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Phrases

A phrase is a group of two or more words that express a single idea but do not usually form a
complete sentence.
Unit 9 Noun phrases
The basic structure of noun phrases
A noun phrase can consist of a determiner, one or more adjectives, and a noun. The
determiner and adjective(s) are optional. For example
girl noun
younger audiences adjective ! noun
the girl determiner ! noun
the little girl determiner ! adjective ! noun
the cute little girl determiner ! adjectives ! noun
A noun phrase can consist of just a pronoun, for example he or them.
Unit 10 Prepositional phrases
A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition plus a noun phrase, for example in the closet.
Unit 11 Verb phrases
"very verb phrase contains a verb, for example laughs, left.
A verb phrase can also consist of a verb plus a noun phrase, for example chased the ball.
Further a verb phrase can consist of a lin#ing verb plus an adjective, for example is tall.
A verb phrase can also consist of a verb plus a noun phrase plus a prepositional phrase, for
example drove her friend to the mall.
To sum up, we list below the #inds of verb phrases discussed
verb (example laughed)
verb ! adjective (example was happy)
verb ! noun phrase (example left the room)
verb ! preposition phrase (example wal#ed to the corner)
verb ! noun phrase ! preposition phrase (example wal#ed $achel to the corner)
Unit 12 Auxiliary phrases
%o far, each verb we&ve tal#ed about occurs in a verb phrase. This type of verb is called a
main verb. 'ther verbs, called helping verbs (or auxiliary verbs), are found in auxiliary
phrases.
The basic structure of auxiliary phrases
(ere are some sentences with helping (auxiliary) verbs
). %he should study.
*. %he has studied.
+. %he is studying.
,n these sentences, the main verb is a form of study, and the helping verb is helping to give us
additional information that we can&t get from just the main verb.
Modals
'ne #ind of helping verb is called a modal. A modal adds information, such as possibility,
necessity, or requests, to the verb that follows. The modals are underlined in the sentences
below
)
"llen can do the job.
, will worry about that later.
-ou should rest before the party.
.ennis might change that carpeting.
There are nine basic modals, listed below.
can could
may might
shall should
will would
must
%ome expressions are similar to modals but consist of more than one word. They are called
phrasal modals or periphrastic modals. (ere are some examples, underlined in the following
sentences
, am able to go.
, ought to go.
, am going to go.
, would li#e to go.
, have to go.
, need to go.
/otice that many of the phrasal modals have the same meaning as one of the one0word
modals1 for example, am able to 2 can, ought to 2 should, am going to 2 will.
, am able to go 2 , can go.
, ought to go 2 , should go.
, am going to go 2 , will go.
/ote also that phrasal verbs end in to, which is followed by the base form of the verb.
Perfect hae
'ne #ind of helping verb is the verb have. ,t has three forms have, has, and had.
,n each of the sentences below, the helping verb is a form of have either have, has, or had
and is underlined.
). %he had greeted me happily.
*. They have eaten dinner early today.
+. (e has written many articles about the wealthy.
%entences with the helping verb have are said to be expressed in the perfect aspect, which
adds information to the main verb indicating that the action is complete.
(ave can be used as a helping verb or as a main verb. 3hen have is used as the main verb,
it refers to the idea of possession. 3hen have is used as the helping verb, it is always
followed by another verb.
%ometimes there are sentences with two occurrences of have. (ere are some examples.
4ac# has had a bad time.
The mayor had had a close election.
3e have had a delicious dinner.
The first occurrence of have is a helping verb1 the second occurrence of have is the main verb
(and refers to possession). 4ust as any other main verb can use have as a helping verb, the
main verb have can also use have as a helping verb. That results in two forms of have in the
same sentence.
*
Pro!ressie be
'ne #ind of helping verb is be. ,t has the following forms am, is, are, was, were, be, been,
and being. %entences with the helping verb be are said to be expressed in the progressive or
continuous aspect, which usually indicates that the action ta#es place over a period of time.
The verb be is not used only as a helping verb in "nglish. ,t can also be the main verb in a
sentence, in which case it&s a lin#ing verb. (ere are some sentences with be used as the
main verb
, am happy
%he was an actress.
Those 5roadway shows are great.
"o#binin! auxiliary erbs
,t&s possible, however, for a sentence to have more than one helping verb. (ere are some
examples of sentences with two helping verbs1 the helping verbs are underlined. ($emember
that there are three #inds of helping verbs
(a) modals (e.g. should, can, might)
(b) have
(c) be.
%he should have studied. (modal ! have)
%he may be studying. (modal ! be)
%he has been studying. (have ! be)
%entence has two helping verbs ,f a sentence has a modal, it will always be the first helping
verb, as you can see in the first two sentences. ,f a sentence has both have and be as helping
verbs, have will always be first, as you can see in the last sentence.
%entence with three helping verbs
%he should have been studying.
6ary might have been loo#ing at him.
,f there are three helping verbs, they are always in the order modal ! have ! be.
The suffixes of auxiliary erbs
3hen the helping verb is progressive be, the next verb always has 0ing added to its base
form. "xample is sleeping. The 0ing verb form is called the present participle.
The children were wor#ing hard.
, am considering a new job offer.
/othing was limiting his development.
6any new advances are emerging.
%am is watching his favourite T7 show.
3hen have is the helping verb, the next verb typically has 0ed or 0en added to its base form.
"xamples has eaten, have watched. The verb form following the helping verb have is called
the past participle.
The 0ed and 0en suffixes are the most common endings for past participles. (owever, for
historical reasons, there are actually several ways to form past participles. /ote the following
patterns of some typical verbs
7erb base 8erfect 8ast participle
be have been been
see have seen seen
give have given given
+
arrange have arranged arranged
wal# have wal#ed wal#ed
play have played played
Another way to form past participles is by changing a vowel of the verb base, sometimes also
adding the suffix 0en. %ome examples are
7erb base 8erfect 8ast participle
begin have begun begun
sing have sung sung
spea# have spo#en spo#en
weave have woven woven
%ometimes no change at all is made to the verb
7erb base 8erfect 8ast participle
hit have hit hit
come have come come
There is no magic or hard and fast rule to determine what the past participle of a
particular verb is. 3e simply memori9e it when we learn "nglish.
3hen the helping verb is a modal, the next verb is always in its base form. "xample can
study.
The piano salesman should consider his actions.
(e will recogni9e it immediately.
%am could be a star :uarterbac#.
The major may spea# to you later.
%ummary of the three helping verbs and the form of the verb that follows each
(elping verb Following verb
modal base form
perfect have past participle form(typically ending in 0ed or 0en)
progressive be present participle form(always ending in 0ing)
Tense
Time refers to a point in real life at which something occurs. Tense refers to the grammatical
form of a verb. A tense is a pattern of verb forms that shows when an action happens. The
verb of a sentence gives information about tense. There are three main tenses
8resent tense
8ast tense
Future tense
Tense information is always indicated by the first verb in the sentence, excluding modals. For
example
4ohn studies.
4ohn studied.
4ohn has studied.
4ohn had studied.
4ohn is studying.
4ohn was studying.
4ohn has been studying.
4ohn had been studying.
%entences with no helping verb are in either the present or past tense, depending on the form
of the verb.
4ohn studies every day.
4ohn studied every day.
;
Almost all verbs, li#e the verbs in sentences )< and *=, form their past tense by adding the
suffix 0ed. These verbs are called regular verbs. %ome verbs, however, do not follow this
pattern. These verbs are called irregular verbs. %ome examples of irregular verbs are see
(past tense saw), write (past tense wrote), and hit (past tense hit).
%entences with will followed by the main verb are in the future tense.
The present tense forms of have are have and has. The past tense form of have is had. ,f a
sentence has a form of have as a helping verb, it will have the word perfect as part of the
name of its tense.
, have bought the boo#s.
, had bought the boo#s.
The difference between the two sentences is that the first sentence is in the present tense,
while the second sentence is in the past tense. /otice that it is only the form of have that
changes to indicate the tense information. The verb after have is always in its past participle
form, which does not change to indicate tense. Although sentences with the have helping verb
are in the perfect aspect, when we tal# about a sentence with both tense and aspect, we just
use the term >>tense.&& %o therefore the first sentence is in the present perfect tense while the
second sentence is in the past perfect tense.
,f a sentence has will as a helping verb, it will have the word future as part of the name of its
tense.
$entences %ith a for# of be as a helpin! erb&
,f a sentence has a form of be as a helping verb, it will have the word progressive as part of
the name of its tense. 9The present tense forms of be are am, is, and are. The past tense
forms of be are was and were. These also change in form to indicate tense
, am buying the boo#.
, was buying the boo#.
The difference between the two sentences is that the first sentence is in the present tense,
while the last sentence is in the past tense. /otice that the verb after be is in its present
participle form (that is, its 0ing form), which does not change to indicate tense. $emember that
although sentences with the be helping verb are in the progressive aspect, when we tal#
about a sentence with both tense and aspect, we just use the term> >tense.&& %o therefore thee
first sentence is in the present progressive tense while the second sentence is in the past
progressive tense.
As you might expect, the following sentences are in the future progressive tense
, will be leaving at three o&cloc#.
(arry will be running the marathon.
-ou can see that they have both will and be as helping verbs.
To sum up
(a) A sentence with will always has the word future in its tense name.
(b) A sentence with a have helping verb always has the word perfect in its tense name.
(c) A sentence with a be helping verb followed by a verb in its 0ing form always has the word
progressive in its tense name.
(d) For sentences without will, loo# at the form of the first helping verb, if there is one, or of
the main verb, if there&s no helping verb, to decide if the tense is present or past.
Unit 1' $ub(ects and ob(ects
$ub(ects
,f the main verb of the sentence is an action verb, the subject of the sentence is the doer of
the action and generally comes before the verb. ,t can be found by answering the :uestion
?
>>3ho or what is doing the action@&& "xamples
4ohn ba#ed a ca#e.
-ou are going to grin and bear it.
4ust then, the children wal#ed in.
(e delivered a small pac#age.
The dog bit him.
,f the main verb of the sentence is a lin#ing verb, the subject is who or what the sentence is
about1 the subject is found before the verb.
4ohn is tall.
That church is impressive.
5oth brothers became architects.
"arlier, she had felt di99y.
,n these sentences, the subject is not performing an action i.e. the verb is not an action verb.
$ather, the verb is a lin#ing verb. 3hen the verb in the sentence is a lin#ing verb, the subject
can be found by as#ing the :uestion >>3ho or what is this sentence about@&&
The subject is not always right at the beginning of the sentence
,n the afternoon, , usually ta#e a nap.
,n truth, .on .iego had never really had a career.
That day, his timing was perfect.
3hen in the country, 4ac# was up before dawn.
,n each of these sentences, the subject is preceded by an adverb or adverbial clause, a group
of words typically giving information about time, place, or manner.
)irect ob(ects
The direct object of a sentence is receiving the action. ,t can usually be found by answering
the :uestion >>3ho or what is being acted upon or receiving the action@&& The direct object
typically occurs immediately after the verb.
A noun phrase may be acted upon by the subject and follow the verb. These noun phrases
are called direct objects. The direct objects in the sentences below are underlined
4ohn ba#ed a ca#e.
Aeah had visuali9ed a simple room.
%he is buying a small studio apartment.
6y niece rented a movie last night.
3hat about these next sentences@
6y friend stopped at the grocery store.
6r. Thomas slept well during the night.
These sentences have prepositional phrases, which are underlined. A prepositional phrase is
not a direct object. For example, at the grocery store and during the night are not being acted
upon. To sum up, only transitive action verbs have direct objects, and prepositional phrases
are not direct objects.
*ndirect ob(ects
The indirect object of a sentence can be found by answering the :uestion >>3ho or what is
receiving the direct object@&&
%ometimes a noun phrase is the answer to the :uestion >>3ho or what is receiving the direct
object@&& This noun phrase is called the indirect object. The indirect objects are underlined in
the sentences below.
B
6ary gave the information to $obert.
%he told the truth to her granddaughter.
They bought a car for their teenage daughter.
%entences that have indirect objects must also have direct objects, since indirect objects
receive direct objects. The opposite is not true sentences with direct objects don&t necessarily
have indirect objects.
,ndirect objects are introduced by the preposition to or for. %ome verbs, such as tell and show,
use to to introduce an indirect object, while some verbs, such as buy and leave, use for. To
and for do not function only to introduce indirect objects1 often, to and for have other
functions. Ta#e a loo# at these next sentences and notice the differences between them
6ary gave the baby to $obert.
6ary carried the baby to the corner.
,n both sentences, 6ary is the subject, the doer of the action, and the baby is the direct
object, the receiver of the action. $obert is receiving the baby, the direct object, so $obert is
the indirect object. (owever, in sentence B the corner is not receiving the baby and so it&s not
the indirect object. ,t&s the object of the preposition to. (ere&s a similar pair of sentences
(e got a gift for his wife.
(e got a gift for his birthday.
,n both sentences, (e is the subject, the doer of the action, and a gift is the direct object, the
receiver of the action. ,n the first sentence, his wife is receiving a gift, the direct object, so his
wife is the indirect object. (owever, in the next sentence his birthday is not receiving a gift, so
it&s not the indirect object. (,t&s the object of the preposition for.)
An indirect object can occur
(a) after the direct object (which follows the verb), with to or for introducing it.
(b) before the direct object (and after the verb), without to or for.
For example
4oan gave a present to 5ill or 4oan gave 5ill a present. (5ill is the indirect object in both
sentences.)
To help you decide if a sentence has an indirect object, see if the sentence can be changed
from a pattern li#e
The boys left a note for their teacher
to a sentence with a pattern li#e
The boys left their teacher a note, or vice versa.
/ote that when the direct object is a pronoun, the two patterns are not both possible, as you
can see in these next sentence pairs
(er best friend bought it for her family.
(er best friend bought her family it.
Aucy sold them to her neighbour.
Aucy sold her neighbour them.
That is, when the direct object is a pronoun, it must come before the indirect object.
"xample 6y sister sent it to her friend not 6y sister sent her friend it.
The functions of pronouns
A subject pronoun is used when it is functioning as the subject of the sentence. The subject
pronoun is underlined in the following sentences
C
, read the newspaper every day.
%he is happy.
3e love potato chips.
An object pronoun is used when it is functioning as
(a) The direct object of the sentence.
(b) The indirect object of the sentence.
(c) The object of a preposition.
The object pronouns are underlined in the following sentences
6y sister congratulated me on my birthday. (direct object)
The director sent her a message. (indirect object)
6rs. $affs#y spo#e to us on the phone. (object of a preposition)
,n the past, who and whom wor#ed the same way as subject and object pronouns. ,n
particular, who was used when functioning as a subject and whom was used when functioning
as an object
3ho is running away@ (subject 3ho is doing the action.)
3hom does Datie li#e@ (direct object 3hom is receiving the action.)
(owever, today, who is used in all contexts, except when it directly follows a preposition (see
below). %o today a sentence li#e the following is perfectly grammatical
3ho does Datie li#e@ (direct object)
*#plied sub(ects& co##ands
The subject of commands is an understood or implied you.
(-ou) 'pen that boo# right nowE
(-ou) .on&t even thin# about crossing the street hereE
(-ou) 8lease be careful.
Unit 1+ "o#pound phrases
Foordinating conjunctions, such as and, or, and but, are very powerful. They can join any two
units of the same type. (ere are some examples with and, the most common coordinating
conjunction
). (e gave tennis lessons to the girl and her brother. (two noun phrases joined)
*. , coo#ed dinner and washed the laundry. (two verb phrases joined)
+. Their beautiful and charming hostess soon put them at ease. (two adjectives joined)
;. 6y mother listened to me seriously and patiently. (two adverbs joined)
?. The mon#ey ran up the tree and around its trun#. (two prepositional phrases joined)
B. , rode my bi#e and Teresa wal#ed. (two sentences joined)
"o#pound noun phrases
Two noun phrases joined by a coordinating conjunction is called a compound noun phrase.
"xamples
%he slipped the photograph and both letters into her poc#et.
The senator or his assistant will attend the event.
,&ll be travelling to Dansas and 6issouri next wee# on business.
"o#pound erb phrases
Two verb phrases joined by a coordinating conjunction is called a compound verb phrase.
"xamples
The general ran forward and led the troops.
%he remained calm and followed her instincts.
(is advisor presents him with good ideas but rarely helps him carry them out.
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