Sunteți pe pagina 1din 65



Anul I Semestrul II
TITULARUL DISCIPLINEI: lector dr. Madalina Cerban

Tema nr.1: THE NOUN

Uniti de nvare :
Formation of nouns by affixation and compounding
The grammatical category of number
The grammatical category of case
The grammatical category of gender

Obiectivele temei:
nelegerea modurilor de formare a substantivelor prin afixare i compunere
cunoaterea conceptului de categorie gramatical a numrului. Diferene ntre
limba romn i englez
nelegerea categoriei de caz.
nelegerea categorie de gen

Timpul alocat temei : 4 ore

Bibliografie recomandat :
Bdescu, L. Alice, 1984. Gramatica limbii engleze, Bucureti, Ed. tiinific i
Banta, A. 1978. English and Contrastive Studies, Bucureti, Tipografia Universitii
Banta, A. 1996. Descriptive English Syntax, Iai, Institutul European
Berry, Roger, 1993. English Guides, Articles, Harper-Collins Publishers, Birmingham
Berry, Roger, Page V, Collins/Cobuild, 1993. Articles, The University of Birmingham
Broughton, G. 1990. The Penguin English Grammar A-Z for Advanced Students,
London, Penguin ELT
Crystal, David, 1997. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English language, CUP
Curme, G., 1966. English Grammar, New York, Barnes and Noble
Gleanu Frnoag, G., Comiel, E., 1992. Gramatica limbii engleze, Ed.
Omegapress, Bucureti
Gruia, George, 2002. A Concise English Grammar, Ed. Grupus, Craiova
Jespersen, O. 1965. Essentials of English Grammar. London, George Allen & Unwin
Leech, G. and Svartik, I. 1994. A Communicative Grammar of English, London,
Longman House
Levichi, Leon, 1971. Gramatica limbii engleze, Bucureti, Ed. Didactic i
Levichi, Leon, 1970. Limba englez contemporan - Morfologia, Bucureti, Ed.
Didactic i PedagogicLevichi, Leon. 1968, 1993. Sinonime n gramatica limbii
engleze, Bucureti, Ed. tiinific
MacMillan, 1999. English Dictionary for Advanced Learners
Murphy, R., 1992. English in use, ELOD
Palmer F., 1971. Grammar, Penguin Books
Prlog H., 1982. More on the Superlatives. AUT, XX, pp. 85-88
Prlog H., 1995. The English Noun Phrase, Timioara, Hestia Publishing House
Quirk, R.S. Greenbaum, G. Leech, J. Svartik 1976. A Grammar of Contemporary
English, London, Longman
Thomson, A.J. and Martinet, A.V. 1960, 1997. A Practical English Grammar, OUP
***, 1996, Oxford English Reference Dictionary, OUP

1.1. Formation of nouns by affixation and compounding

Nouns have characteristics that set them apart from other word classes or
parts of speech. According to the 3 criteria, the most important characteristics of noun
1. morphologically , the noun is distinguished from other parts of speech as
regards its form and the grammatical categories (of number, case, gender).
2. syntactically, nouns can function as subject, object, predicative, apposition,
attribute and adverbial modifier.
3. in point of meaning, the noun denotes objects (beings, things, phenomena,
A a noun denotes an object is correct but incomplete since a
noun is also characterized by specific morphological traits as well as by syntactic
functions hence the necessity to define this part of speech from various points of
view. In the present course we are going to deal with the 2 basic morphological
characteristics: their form and their grammatical categories.
Form: From the point of view of form, nouns can be divided into:
1. simple nouns, these nouns formed made up of a one word which can not be
decomposed anymore, e.g. book, clock.
2. derivative nouns, nouns formed by means of derivational suffixes (some of
the most frequent noun-forming suffixes are :
- er (agential suffix): writer, driver, thriller
- ness: kindness, happiness unique nouns denoting abstract nouns
- hood: childhood, boyhood, denoting abstract qualities
- ing: reading verbal nouns denoting the action
- ion: expectation or state of the respective verbs
- ment: development
- let: booklet (diminutive suffix)
In the case of a number of verbs, mainly of French origin, we can find both a noun
derived by means of a suffix and a second noun which is the form in ing used as
noun, e.g. from to develop
a) the development of our economy
b) the developing of new technologies is the chief target
The noun in ing has more dynamic implications and suggests a continue action.
a) dezvoltarea (static)
b) procesul de dezvoltare (dinamic)
3. Compound nouns
are made of two or more words representing either homogeneous or non-
homogeneous parts of speech. The semantic relation between the elements of the
compound noun is of two types:
a) endocentric, the meaning of the compound analysed can be deduced from the
meaning of its parts;
b) exocentric, the meaning of the compound cannot be deduced from the
meaning of its parts.
Compound nouns appear in three forms:
as two separate words
as two separate words linked by a hyphene
as one word
The three orthographies depend on the extent to which the two components are
felt to have lost their original meaning or not. That is why dictionaries sometimes
differ with regard to the orthography of compound nouns are.
a) endocentric:
N + N: post-office, clock-room, classroom (note the three orthographies). In
each case the meaning of the compound is deductible from the meaning of its parts.
To understand a compound noun, we determine the meaning of the last term
(the Head). The preceding term supplying some information about it, classroom
means room for classes. Mention should be made that compound noun have the
principal stress on the first word, e.g. drug store, post office.
V-ING +N: this pattern is also of the endocentric type. In this compound the
V-ing can be originally:
- a gerund: a sleeping car, working conditions
- a present participle: used as an adjective which can be expended into a relative
(attributive clause: the working class=the class who works.
N+N (derived from verb-er): this pattern is usually of the endocentric type,
e.g. watch-maker, pencil-sharpener
V+N: watch dog, a rattlesnake
ADJ+N: blackboard
b) exocentric:
N + N: ladybird (buburuza), blockhead (netot), butterfly (fluture)
ADJ+N: hotdog, blackleg

4. Nouns formed by means of conversion from other parts of speech.

a) from adjective: an adjective may function as a noun if it is preceded by the definite
e.g. the good- binele
The supernatural appears in many of Shakespeares plays.
If the converted adjective refers to people it is plural in meaning and takes a plural
verb (it represents a whole class of themes of multitude) the rich, the selfish
e.g. The rich are often selfish.
The sick are well taken care of in our hospitals.
b) from verb in the form of
(i). the short infinitive of a simple verb: a try: Let me have a try at it.
(ii). the short infinitive of a complex verb . There are 2 different ways in which the
elements of complex verbs may be combined:
- the verb and particle may simple be joined (sometimes written as one word as
hyphenated - a hyphen can meet the nominalized verb and particle):
e.g. a breakdown, take off, make-up.
- the verb and the particle may be placed in reverse order to form a compound noun:
e.g. break-out-outbreak; outcome
- the past participle:
e.g. the injured, the wounded (nouns of multitude)
-the ing form: being, reading, building
Sometimes the gerund takes the definite article and it becomes a noun on such cases;
it is often followed by the preposition of (the verbal noun) e.g. the swimming

Evaluation test:
1. Attach the appropriate noun-forming suffix: -dom, -hood, -ship, -ist, -ism, -er, -ful,
-ese to each of the following nouns: London, child, Portugal, mouth, brother, friend,
Japan, piano, art, hand, behaviour, teenage, star, impression, village, boy, Darwin,
owner, spoon, member, cello, king, philosophy.

2. Attach the appropriate noun-forming suffix: -age, -al, -ance/-ence, -ant, -ation, -ee,
-er, -ing, -ment to each of the following verbs: develop, use, embody, write, accpt,
receive, descend, paint, employ, upheave, marry, produce, arrive, defend, house,
describe, clean, form, abolish, train, refuse, happen, enlighten, thrill, inhabit, starve,
bathe, cover.

3. Supply a compound nouns in place of the phrase in italics:

1. We have bought a new lamp for reading. 2. You must repair the leg of the chair. 3.
Put this basket on the table in the kitchen, please. 4. The surface of the road is wet. 5.
I remember that the cover of the book was red. 6. Here is the key of the car. 7. He has
just repaired the keyboard of the computer. 8. Not all of us agree to the policy of the
party. 9. Have you locked the door of the garage? 10. Margaret was very much
interested in what the critic of the film was saying. 11. When we got there the door of
the cellar was open. 12. You will have to replace the handle of the suitcase. 13. There
were a lot of people at the gate of the factory. 14. I will ring you up from the phone in
the office.

4. Translate into English using compound nouns:

1. Pantofii ti de dans sunt foarte frumoi. 2. Acesta este un vagon de nefumtori. 3.
Gara e la o distan de 5 minute de aici. 4. Eram n faa liceului cnd am vzut
curcubeul. 5. Sindicatele au luat atitudine mpotriva fumatului. 6. Mi-am scos haina
de ploaie cnd am intrat n ser. 7. Camerista a fcut o depresie nervoas. 8.
Redactorul-ef e plecat n cltorie de afaceri. 9. Zborurile de noapte sunt foarte rare.
10. Am observat urme de pai pe prag.
1.2. The category of number
The English noun has 2 numbers: singular and plural.
The singular is that form of the noun which denotes either one object (a book) or an
indivisible whole (money). The plural is that form of the noun which indicates more
than one object (book). When we are talking of the category of number in nouns, there
are 2 aspects that should be taken into account:

I. Formation of the plural number

a) regular plural forms: Nouns generally form their plural in a regular predictable
way by adding s to the simple form, to the singular form, e.g. books, days
In adding s some spelling rules should be observed:
- nouns ending in a sibilant sound in the singular (spelt with s, -ss, -x, -ch, -sh,
-zz) add es, in the plural (pronounced (iz):
e.g. class/es, churh/es, box/es, wish/es, watch/es
Exceptions: when -ch is pronounced (k) epoch/s, stomack/s, monarch/s
- nouns ending in y follwing a consonant form their plural by dropping the y
and adding es:
e.g. country-countries, duty-duties
- nouns ending in y following a vowel form their plural by adding s
e.g. play-plays, boy-boys
- twelve nouns ending in -f(e) add es with -f changing into v:
e.g. calf/ calves, life, knife, half, leaf, loaf, self, shelf, thief, wife, wolf, elf
Exception: roof/s, chief/s, handkerchief/s
- nouns ending in o, add es
e.g. potato/es, tomato/es, hero-/es
Exception: piano/s , soprano/s, radio/s, photo/s, zero/s
b) Irregular plural forms: there are nouns preserved from Old English which form
their plural as they did in Old English by means of internal vowel changes or
mutation, e.g. man/men, woman/women, tooth/teeth, goose/geese, foot/feet,
mouse/mice, mouse/lice or by adding en to the singular , e.g. child/children, ox/oxen,
brother/brethren (fellow members of a religious society)
c) Foreign plurals: a few nouns of Latin or Greek origin retain their original plural
forms, they form the plural according to the languages, were borrowed from:
- is > -es: e.g. crisis/crises, basis/bases, analysis/analyses, thesis/these,
- um >-a: e.g. symposium/symposia, stratum/strata, medium/media, erratum/errata
- on > -a: e.g. criterion/criteria, phenomenon/phenomena
- us >- i: e.g. fungus/fungi, nucleus/nuclei, radius/radii, stimulus/stimuli
- a >- ae: e.g. formula/formulae, alga/algae, larva/larvae, vertebra/vertebrae
- ex >- ices: e.g. index/indices, appendix/appendices, matrix/matrices
There is tendency for some foreign nouns adopted in English to develop regular plural
forms, without losing the original forms. When both forms are used the foreign one is
more formal, which means that formulae occurs in technical and scientific texts while
formulas in everyday speech.
There is quite a large number of nouns (not necessarily of Latin origin) which have
double plural forms implying changes of meaning:
arm (bra) arms (brae; arme)
cloth (material) cloths (stofe, materiale);
clothes (haine)
colour (culoare) colours (culori; drapel)
glass (sticl, pahar) glasses (pahare, ochelari)

d) Plural of compound nouns: compound nouns follow some definite rules of plural
formations, depending on the elements that make up of the compound:
- in most compound nouns (N + N), the last element assumes the plural form
e.g. horse-races, grown-ups, postmen
- in compounds composed of N + PREPOSITION + N, the first element
assumes the plural form
e.g. editor-in-chief/ editors-in-chief, sister-in-law/ sisters-in-law
- in compound nouns made up of N+ PARTICLE/PREPOSITION the first
element assumes the plural form
eg. looker/s-on, passer/s-by
- in compounds made up of VERB (without nominal ending) + ADVERBIAL
PARTICLE the last element assumes the plural form
e.g. take-offs, breaks-in
- if the word man or woman forms the first part of the compound, both nouns
assume the plural form
e.g. man-servant, man-servants, woman-doctors
- in compounds consisting a N in their structure the last element assumes the
e.g. merry-go-round/s, forget-me-nots

II Countability
The most common manifestation of the category of number is reflected in the notion
of countability with presupposes the possibility of counting objects. From the point of
view of countablility, English nouns can be divided into 2 classes:
1. countable nouns are those nouns that can be counted, those nouns that can be
distinguished as separate entities. Count nouns have the following characteristics:
- they are variable from the point of view of number, they have both numbers in the
singular and in the plural, eg. student/s, man/men, criterion/criteria
- since they can distinguished one entity from others, they can be individualized by
means of determiners who cause quantifiers and/or number; thus they may be
preceded by the following determiners:
- in the sg: both art. : a(one), the determinatives, each, every, this/that, no, the
numeral one;
- in the plural: the article: the, the determinatives, these/those, once, any, no,
many, a few, several, numbers from 2 onwards
- they agree in number both with the verb and with the determiners. Thus, a singular
noun requires a singular verb and a singular determiner, while a plural noun requires a
plural verb and a plural determiner. Those nouns that meet the 3 conditions mentioned
above are countable nouns.
a) individual (common) nouns, eg. student/s
Such nouns have the 3 characteristics mentioned above, eg. This book is interesting.
Those books are interesting. The vast majority of nouns in English follow this pattern.
b) collective nouns are those nouns that semantically collect a number of similar
objects (usually of persons) into one group. Such nouns are: army, assembly,
audience, board, class, committee, family, flack, government, group, jury, party, staff,
team. These nouns are variable in form, meaning that they have both numbers singular
and plural. In this respect they behave like individual nouns proper. A singular noun
may take agree with a singular or a plural verb, a family several families.
- a singular noun takes a singular verb when it refers to the group as a whole as
a unit. The noun behaves like an individual noun
e.g. The average family which now consists of 4 members at most, is a great deal
smaller than it used to be.
The committee is preparing its support.
Our team is in the second division.
Note that in this case the nouns are preferred to by inanimate singular pronoun it,
- a singular noun may take a plural verb when the speaker or writer is thinking
more of the individual members/persons that make up the group (than of the group
- when such a noun in the singular refers to the separate members of a
collectivity, it behaves like a collective noun, as if it were plural, the consequence
being that...
Although singular in form the noun agrees with a plural verb and it also referred to by
the animate plural, pronouns they, who.
e.g. My family are being and supportive; they are always ready to help me. I dont
know any other family who would do so much (the members of my family).
The team are playing very well, arent they?
The government are discussing the new development scheme (reference is made
to the individuals that make up the act).
c) Some nouns with the same form for the singular and the plural have no special
form for the category of number: considering that the basic form is that of the
singular, we can say that they receive (unmarked nouns) a zero ending in the plural. In
spite of the fact that they are no variable in form, they are considered to be countable
nouns because they meet the others 2 conditions, verbs and determiners with such
nouns are either singular or plural according to the meaning expressed by the nouns.
- some nouns ending in s : means , series, species (also headquarters, works
e.g. A new means of transport is the hovercraft.
The fastest means of transport are not always the most comfortable.
This is a rare species.
- some nouns denoting animals (sheep , deer, also aircraft)
e.g. There is a stray sheep on the road. There are some stray sheep on the road.
- some names of nationality : Chinese, Japonese, Swiss.

III Uncountable /no-count us are invariable in form, having only one form either
singular or plural.
They agree with the verb and determiners only in the singular or only in the plural.
Classification of uncountable/no-count/ invariable nouns.
The nouns which are generally treated as uncountable nouns in English can be
decided into the following groups:
a) singular uncountable nouns
They have the following characteristics:
- they are invariable in form having one form : singular (they have no plural)
- since they dont express the opposition between singular and plural they cannot be
determined by means of quantifiers or numerals. They cannot be used with the
indefinite article a or with the determiners each, many, few, these, those. The only
determiners that can be used with uncountable nouns are: the, this / that,
some/anywhere, much, a little.
- they agree with the verb and the determiners only in the singular. In point of
meaning the nouns can be divided into:
(i). mass/material nouns: they denote concrete things looked upon as a whole, as
indivisible entities which can not be counted as : bread, butter, chalk, coffee, fish,
gold, oil, salt, snow, steel, water, etc.
e.g. Water is pleasant to drink when cold,
Steel is much more resistant than copper.
He loves to drink wine.
Fruit is good to eat. Lets have some fruit for desert.
Some other uncountable nouns denote a whole composed of various units: equipment,
furniture, jewelery, luggage, baggage, money, machinery.
e.g. Where is your luggage?
The money is in the wallet.
Note: moneys: fonduri monetare, incasari.
(ii). abstract nouns: the class of abstract nouns is more extensive in English than in
e.g. advice, applause, business, cruelly, evidence, homework, income, information,
injustice, knowledge, progress, strength, trouble, thunder (most of them are countable
in Romanian).
e.g. His advice is always good.
He felt his strength was failing.
Your information is not reliable.
His progress in English is highly satisfactory.
Her knowledge of history is poor.
Note: Knowledge may take the indefinite article when is used in a particular sense.
e.g. He has a good knowledge of mathematics.
Businesses intreprindere, localuri sedii de intreprindere
Uncountable nouns (both mass and abstract ones) can be individualized , quantified
by means of:
1. partitive expressions like: a piece of, an item of, a bit of, an act of,
eg. a piece of chalk, a piece/word of advice, an act of cruelty/ injustice, a piece
/stroke of luck
2. by referring to a piece / part of a certain shape or to a container
e.g. a loaf of bread, a sheer of paper, a flash of lightning, a bar of soap
Some uncountable nouns in s: news, as well as nouns denoting sciences in ics,
(physics, linguistics, mathematics, athletics); some diseases (measles, mumps,
rickets); some games (billiards, darts, dominoes)
e.g. Near is the news /BBC announcement.
Draughts is an easier game than chess.
Some uncountable nouns can become countable ones, and therefore, can be used in
the plural or can be preceded by the indefinite article a (one) whom they refer to
varieties of things or when they denote a particular kind of things.
e.g. The steels of this plant are of very good quality.
Many different wines are made in France.
Various fruits were on display at the greengrocers.
The fishes of the Black Sea are good.
- glass: uncountable (the material). e.g. Windows are made of glass.
countable (the container). e.g. Give me a glass of water.
- Paper: uncountable (the material). e.g. The box was wrapped in paper.
countable (test). e.g. He has written a good paper.
- Iron: uncountable (the material). e.g. This tool is made of iron
countable (tool, implement used for smoothing clothes). e.g. He has
got a new iron.
- Youth: uncountable (the state of being young ). e.g. The enthusiasm of youth.
countable (a young person). e.g. Half a dozen of youths were waiting

b) Plural Invariable Nouns (Pluralia tantum)

They are invariable in form, having only one form, that of plural, they only occur in
the plural and are never used at the singular.
- they agree with the verb and determiners (the, these/those) only in the plural
- in point of meaning, the nouns included in his group refer to...
a. summation plural: article of dress or instruments/tools who are composed of similar
e.g. clothes, jeans, pants, tights, trousers, shorts, binoculars, glasses, scales, scissors,
These trousers are too long for you.
Where are the scissors?
The nouns can be individualized/ quantified by means of the partitive expression a
pair of.
Other nouns that only occur in the plural: firewall, goods, dregs, procedings, wages,
annals, outskints, surroundings. In many cases there are forms without s, sometimes
with a difference of meaning, there are some nouns with have difference meanings
when used in the singular and in the plural as invariables
Nouns in - s have two meanings in the plural
e.g. content-contents; compass-compasses; custom-customs; brain-brains; colour-
colours; damage-damages; effect-effects; ground/s
c) Nouns of multitude (unmarked plural, zero plural)
There are some nouns who with the verb in the plural although they are not marked
formally for the plural , they have a form in the singular
e.g. cattle, people, police, youth, clergy
The cattle are grazing in the field.
There are a lot of people in the street.
The youth of today do not know what they want.
Note: do not confuse the noun of multitude people (=human beings) with the
countable noun a people (=nation) who is regular.
There is also a noun of multitude youth (=young people) with countable noun youth
(=young person)
d) substantivized adjective and participle
(i) adjective and past participle used with the definite article
There arent very many substantivized adjective of this kind in English, the
construction is not productive. Most other adjective can not be used in this way.
e.g. we cannot say: the foreign (=the foreign people), but we can say the happy ( = the
happy people), the old, the rich, the poor, the sick, the wounded.
The rich get richer while the poor get poorer.
(ii). also adjective of nationality ending in sh, -ch, -the British, the English, the
Scotch, The Dutch, the Spanish, the French.
e.g. The Scots have the reputation of being thrifty.

Evaluation Test:
1. Form the plural of the following nouns: fellow-citizen, passer-by, man-eater,
woman doctor, man-of-war, take-off, footstep, cameraman, sister-in-law, potato, echo,
leaf, roof, ski, sky.

2. Supply the plural of the following nouns of Greek and Latin origin: bacillus,
addendum, series, datum, crisis, schema, stimulus, criterion, phenomenon.

3. Choose the appropriate form of the verb. Note the difference in meaning with the
nouns that take both a singular and plural predicate:
1. His phonetics is/are much better. 2. My trousers is/are flared. 3. The scissors is/are
lost for ever. 4. Statistics show a great interest in ecology. 5. Youth today is/are
turning from church nowadays. 6. What is/are your politics? 7. The acoustics of the
National Theatre is/are excellent. 8. What is/are cattle good for? 9. Fresh-water fish
include/ includes salmon, trout and eel. 10. The police as/ have made no arrest yet. 11.
It is generally accepted that bad news dont/ doesnt make us happy. 12. The class
was/were warned not to talk during the test. 13. Mumps is/are very painful ailment.
14. A number of cars was/ were involved in the accident. 15. The council was/ were
unable to agree. 16. One of the girls has/have lost her umbrella. 17. Fish and chips
is/are a very popular meal in England. 18. Either the boys or the girl help/helps the
woman. 19. Advice is/are given on all the technical aspects. 20. The Italian clergy
was/ were opposed to divorce.

4. Translate into English:

1. Casa lor nu este mare, dar mprejurrile sunt ncnttoare. 2. Casa lor este lng o
intersecie aglomerat. 3. tirile sunt cu adevrat interesante. 4. Secretara ne+a dat
procesul+verbal al edinei de ieri. 5. Brbatul pretindea despgubiri. 6. Soldaii au
salutat drapelul regimentului. 7. Dup un zbor de trei ore am ajuns la destinaie. 8.
Biliardul este un joc interesant. 9. Era un spectacol minunat s admiri rsritul
soarelui de pe stnci. 10. Simeam o durere acut n piept. 11. Avem nevoie de un
compass ca s desenm cercul. 12. Asemenea fenomene sunt greu de explicat. 13. Am
cumprat o pung de cartoi de trei kilograme. 14. Ipotezele sale s-au dovedit corecte.
15. Toate criteriile de evaluare pot fi ndeplinite cu uurin. 16. Sfaturile lui nu sunt
utile. 17. Am o mulime de teme de fcut pn mine. 18. Progresele realizate de
echip au fost observate de toat lumea. 19. Tocmai am trecut cu bagajele prin vam.
20. Ochelarii bunicii au fost spari de nepotu su din neatenie.

1.3. The category of Case

Case is the grammatical category that indicates the relationship between
certain parts of speech (in particular between nouns). The grammatical category of
case can be marked, in synthetic languages by inflections and in analytical languages
by word order or prepositions.
Old English was characterized by a great number of inflections with the
consequence that there were four cases with distinct endings. In the course of its
historical development, the English noun has lost its former case system. Thus, case
which morphologically is a very complex grammatical category in many European
languages such as German, Russian, Romanian and many other languages, is not very
significant for the English noun. The morphological structure of the noun is uniform
irrespective of its relations and functions. As a result of the general tendency towards
analytical instead of synthetic forms, case inflections disappeared. The English noun
has, however, the -s ending in the Genitive.
The loss of distinct case forms has been compensated by a stricter word order
in the sentence and the use of a large number of prepositions. The question that arises
is whether the disappearance of case inflections is general among grammarians.
Those who pursue a formal approach restrict of number of English cases to
- the common case (Nominative, Dative, Accusative) - unmarked
- the possessive case (Genitive) marked in s
Those who pursue a functional approach (besides form, the category of case
implicitly entails context and syntax) consider that there are 3 cases in English:
- the Nominative used for subjects
- the Genitive used to indicate possession (This case in frequently termed
possessive although the purpose of its meaning is wider than possession (in the
normal sense of the world).
- the Objective Dative and Accusative used for objects of a verb or preposition.
A. The Nominative case is the case of nouns that display the function of a
Subject, predicative or apposition in the sentence.
B. The Accusative Case is used with nouns that express the function of Direct
Object or of adverbial modifier. The old distinctive inflections for the Accusative case
have disappeared, their function being taken over by strict word order:
e.g. The hunter killed the lion.
The lion killed the hunter.
A noun in the Accusative case is used after:
a) transitive verb to denote the objective that undergoes the change. If there is only
one object in the sentence, it gets the position immediately after the verb.
e.g. I read a book last night.
After some ditransitive verbs which may have 2 objects:
- the verbs to ask, to envy, to forgive may be followed by 2 objects in the Accusative
e.g. The teacher asks the people several questions.
I envy John his garden.
- V+ objective animate + objective inanimate: the verbs to give, to hand, to offer, to
pay, to read, to show, to tell, to throw, to write, to wish are usually followed by an
indirect objective in the Dative and a direct object in the Accusative.
e.g. I gave John my book.
b) some intransitive verbs changing them into transitive ones.
e.g. some intransitive verbs having the same root as the noun in the Accusative (a
Cognitive Object): to smile a bright smile, to live a bad life, to fight a terrible fight.
c) prepositions: most prepositions in English are followed by (pro)nouns in the

C. The Dative Case is used with nouns that display the function of Indirect
Object. In present day English, the dative is marked either by prepositions (to,
sometimes for) or by strict word-order among the nouns of the sentence. A noun in the
Dative case is used after the following parts of speech.
a) verbs:
- transitive
- intransitive
- some intransitive verbs followed by an indirect object of person: to happen, to
occur, to propose, to submit, to surrender, to yield,
e.g. It happened to my brother.
An idea occurred to John.
- some transitive verbs followed by 2 objects (If the indirect object is placed before
the direct objective, the prepositions to is omitted).
e.g. I paid the money to the cashier. I paid the cashier the money.
I am writing a letter to my friend. I am writing my friend a letter.
There are a number of verb obligatory followed by the preposition. In these cases
with the preposition to the indirect object is placed before the direct object: to
address, to announce, to propose, to relate, to repeat.
e.g. I introduced him to my mother. I introduced to my mother all my friends.
- V + DO + (FOR). A direct object and an indirect object preceded by the preposition
FOR: to buy, to allow, to do, to leave, to make, to order, to reserve, to save, to speak
(The preposition FOR is omitted if the indirect object is placed before the direct
e.g. She brought a present for her mother. / She brought her mother a present.
She made a new dress for her daughter. / She made his daughter a new dress.
b) some nouns: attitude, cruelty, kindness, help, promise, duty
e.g. Her attitude to animals surprised us. He kept his promise to his friend.
c) some adjectives of the same semantic field: cruel, kind, good, polite, helpful,
grateful, rude
e.g. Dont be cruel to animals.
I am grateful to the friends who help me.
She advised me to be kind to her.
d) Also adjectives involving a comparison: corresponding, equal, equivalent, similar,
superior, inferior, prepositional.
e.g. The result was not equal to his efforts.
Man is superior to animals.

D. The Genitive Case.

The noun in the Genitive case expresses the idea of possession and discharges the
syntactic function of an attribute. There are 2 forms of Genitive:
I. The Synthetic Genitive
Form in English, the genitive is marked by the ending -s preceded by an apostrophe.
In present-day English there are 2 ways of marking the synthetic genitive in writing:
- the apostrophe + the ending s are added to the singular form of nouns:
e.g. the girls name
and to unmarked plural noun or irregular in the plural:
e.g. the mens clothing, the childrens toys.
- the apostrophe is added to the plural form of regular nouns (the boys teacher)
to proper names ending in s (Dickensnovels).
The Group genitive (Possessive): Compounds as well as noun phrases denoting one
idea are generally treated as one word and the genitival suffixes are attached to the
last elements of the group who may not be known rather than to the head.
e.g. the queen Englands throne.
The group genitive is not normally acceptable following a clause.
e.g. A mums son I know has just been arrested.
In a group of words made up of a noun apposition the genitive mark is added to the
e.g. Have you seen my brother Jimmys car?
Two nouns coordinated by and representing the possessors of the same object take s
after the last word.
e.g. Tom and Marys parents (Tom and Mary are the possessors of the same object,
are brothers).
If they represent the possessors of different object, each noun receives the suffix.
e.g. Toms and Marys parents.
Jasons and Shakespeares plays.

The position of the noun in the Genitive case.

a) The noun in the genitive the determiner usually precedes the determined, the noun
in the nominative.
e.g. This is Marys bag.
b) The genitive with ellipsis
The noun in the genitive can appear by itself, the noun modified by the s genitive
may be omitted. This is possible when:
- the determined noun has been mentioned previously and the speaker wants to avoid
the repetition (if the context makes its identity clear).
e.g. This is Toms book. Marys is on the table.
- the determined noun denotes residence, establishment institutions, buildings,
represented by such nouns as shop, office, house, place, cathedral, store.
e.g. She went to the chemists shop.
I went into a stationers shop to buy a postcard. I was at the Browns
yesterday. St Pauls cathedral is one of the sights.
c) N+N Genitive
The noun in the syntactic genitive can follow the determiner noun in a Double
Genitival Construction. The double genitival is a construction which consists of the
two types of genitive: the prepositional Genitive (frmed with preposition of) combined
with the syntactic Genitive. The double genitive is used with the following values:
(i). a partitive meaning
e.g. A cousin of his wifes (one of his wifes cousins).
He is a friend of Johns (one of Johns friends).
The determined nouns must have indefinite reference (indefinite article), it must be
seen as one of an unspecified member of items attributed to the post-modifier.
(ii). The double genitive differs in meaning from the prepositional genitive.
- a description of genitive (a description made by some body else about genitive):
e.g. A description of Galsworthys (one of genitives description, a description
made by genitive)
- a description or emotional implication it expresses various shades of subjective
attitude the speakers contempt, arrogance, dislike (The noun is determined by the
e.g. That child of Anns is a nuisance. That remark of Johns was misplaced.

The uses of the synthetic genitive

The synthetic genitive is generally used in the following categories of nouns.
a) animate nouns, mainly with nouns denoting living beings:
- nouns denoting persons and proper names:
e.g. the boys book
- collective nouns (who indicate in effect a body of people):
e.g. The governments decision; the companys officials
- indefinite pronouns referring to persons (somebody, nobody, everybody, another,
e.g. nobodys fault, everyones wish
-large animals:
eg. the lions mouth.
b) Some clauses of inanimate nouns:
- geographical names (names of continents, countries, cities, looked upon in a political
or economic sense.
e.g. Europes future; Londons museums
- nouns denoting institutions:
e.g. the schools program.
-natural phenomena:
e.g. the suns rays, the earths atmosphere
- nouns denoting units of time (temporal nouns):
e.g. New Years Eve, a days journey
- nouns denoting distance, measure, value:
e.g. a miles distance, a pounds worth of sugar.
- personifications:
e.g. Loves Labours Lost; lifes joys.
- set phrases:
e.g. in my minds eyes, at ones fingers end, the ones hearts content

The meanings of the genitive

1. possessive: this value, most frequently associated with the syntactical genitive
e.g. my fathers car = my father has a car.
The boys book = the boy has a book.
2. subjective (the determiner is a subject while the determined noun is the object):
e.g. the girls story= the girl told a story.
3. objective (the determiner is an object):
e.g. the prisoners release= release the prisoner.
4. classifying. The previous examples the genitive (the first name) has a particular
e.g. my fathers car- my father is a particular individual some genitive expression
have a class meaning.
It is equivalent to relative adjective. The use of the indefinite article changes the noun
in the genitive into a relative adjective.
e.g. childrens magazine a magazine for children
a womans college a college for women.

II Analytical Genitive (The prepositional genitive)

In the middle English, the analytic means of expressing the genitive (the preposition
OF +Noun) placed after the determined noun, came to complete with the syntactical
form, and today the Accusative has replaced the syntactical genitive in some of its
The analytic genitive is used with the following types of nouns:
- inanimate nouns: the title of the book, the roof of the house, the bend of the
river, the member of the faculty.
- some geographical names:
- in appositions: the city of London, the golf of Mexico.
- when the geographical names are looked upon from a partly geographical
point of view: The boundaries of Switzerland are...
- animate nouns may take the Analytical Genitive instead of Synthetic Genitive
- for the sake of emphasis (when we went to emphasize the animate noun the
proper names, much as in titles), the focus of information falls on the last
word: Shakespeares plays= The complete works of W Shakespeare; The
Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
- When the determiner (the noun in the genitive) is a part of a complete noun
phrases,and it is determined in its turn.
e.g. The name of the man over there, at the table, who came yesterday.
The Synthetic Genitive may follow one another in a sentence if both possessors are
animate: a syntactic genitive may gave another Synthetic Genitive
e.g. Marys brothers friend.
My cousins wifes first husband.
But the use of the Synthetic Genitive with both nouns is rarely found in speech.
It is preferred to express to former genitive by a prepositional constructions, the latter
by the Synthetic Genitive. In some cases there is a functional similarity between a
Synthetic Genitive and an Analytical Genitive (the S.G. and the A.G. are in free
variation). Thus, both structures are possible in: The gravity of the Earth / The Earths
gravity. The S.G. is used in newspapers headlines, perhaps for reasons of space
eg. Fire at U.C.L.A. Institutes roaf damaged. While the subsequent news item begins
The roaf of a science institute on the compres was damaged last night.

III The Implicite genitive

Many of the meaning characteristic of the genitive can sometimes rendered by word
order alone. The I.G. is rendered by the mere juxte-position of 2 nouns without any
formal mark. (without the suffix s or the preposition of) which might be expressing
the relation between them. In this simple construction who is nothing that a compound
noun, the first noun assumes a determining role, it assumes the value of an attribute,
thus preceding the determined noun.
The I.G. can replace both syntactic genitive and analytic genitive.
In contemporary English, the I.G. appears chiefly in:
- titles names of organization : UNO (The United Nations organization)
- newspaper headlines: This kind of structure is extremely common, because it saves
e.g. Death drug research centre spy drama expressions like these can be understood
by reading when bookwords. The headline is about a drama concerning a spy in a
centre for research into a drug that causes death.
I. The I.G. may be often replace a Analytical G. (a postdeterminer) by meaning of a
predeterminer: N1+(OF+N2) = (N2). N1.
e.g. a member of the faculty a faculty member, the Genitive a postdeterminer is
replaced by a predeterminer such as: the bank of the river, the strings of the violin are
transformed into I.G: the river bank, violin strings.
As a rule, I.G. issues mostly to describe common, well known kinds of things;
compounds are widely used, while for concepts which are not so well known we use
prepositional genitive.
Compare: mountains top, a tree top, but the top of a loudspeaker.
Sometimes, the different structures express different meanings.
A cup of coffee - A coffee cup
A box for matches - A match box
We use the prepositional structure to express possession, to talk about a container with
its contents.
e.g. A cup of coffee = a cup containing coffee
A coffee cup = a cup for coffee
A box of matches = a box with matches in it
A match box = (perhaps empty)
II. The Implicite Genitive is used instead of the syntactic genitive in expressions of
time and distance.
In expression of time or distance beginning with a numeral, the S.G. can be used as an
e.g. a five hours talk a five-hours talk; a ten minutes break a ten-minute break.
a three miles distance a three-mile distance.
As a rule the IG is more general than the syntactic genitive (who has a more limited
reference). Thus, the syntactic genitive is used when the determiner is a particular
individual while the IG is used when the determiner usually refers to a whole class:
e.g. That cars engine is making a funny noise (The SG is used to refer to).
A car engine usually lasts for about 80,000 miles.
A Sundays paper (a paper that comes out on Sunday)
Please, put the dogs food under the table (the determiner dogs is a particular
individual: the dogs food is the food that a particular dog is going to eat.
Dogfood costs merely as much as a steak, the structure in which the noun is
used as adjective: dog refers to a whole class: dog food is food for dogs in

Evaluation Test:
1. Join the two nouns in order to form a genitive. Sometimes you have to use an
apostrophe with or without s, sometimes you have to use the analytical genitive:
1. the coat/ Jimmy. 2. the newspaper/ yesterday. 3. the wife/ the man crossinf the
street. 4. the neighbours/ my parents. 5. the roof/ house. 6. the mane/ my friend. 7. the
name/ that river. 8. the dress/ the girl we met yesterday. 9. the policy/ government. 10.
the marks/ the boy and the girl.

2. Write aut the following sentences inserting the possessive form of the noun given in
the brackets at the end of each:
1. The .. concert was most amusing (babies). 2. They did not see the ... signal
(policeman). 3. She stayed five days on her farm. (friends) 4. Our welfare
should always come first. (country) 5. The clinic has large stocks of foods.
(babies). 6. The leg was broken in that accident. (tourist). 7. The meeting was
held in the staff room. (teachers) 8. The face was met with tears. (baby).

3. Translate into English:

1. Casa prietenei lui Nick este foarte frumoas. 2. Ideile colegului fratelui meu sunt
interesante. 3. Cteva dintre jucriile copilului verioarei mele au fost recent
cumprate. 4. Caietele colegului lui Dan sunt foarte ordonate. 5. Acestea sunt
rezultatele testului de ieri. 6. Din avion am avut o vedere de ansamblu a ntregului
ora. 7. Dup o pauz de zece ore ne-am continuat cltoria. 8. Membrii comitetului
se vor ntlni peste trei zile. 9. Sunt sigur c dup o vacan de dou sptmni de vei
simi mai bine. 10. Maina directorului liceului este parcat n faa colii.
4. Translate into English using the two forms of the Dative wherever possible:
1. I-am trimis fiului meu nite bani. 2. Tu i-ai dat fetiei dou jucrii. 3. Spunei-i
secretarei numele dumneavoastr. 4. Doctorului i-a prescris un alt medicament
pacientului. 5. n fiecare diminea i spune la revedere bunicii sale. 6. Le-a explicat
bieilor regulile noului joc. 7. Prinii i cumpr un ghiozdan nou surorii mele n
fiecare an. 8. I-a scris o scrisoare mamei sale. 9. Vrei s l prezini pe Tom prinilor
ti_ 10. I-am oferit tnrului absolvent o slujb foarte bun.

1.4. The category of Gender

Jespersen defines gender in the following wayby the term gender we mean any
grammatical division (presenting some analogy to the distinction between masculine,
feminine and neutral whether that division is) either based on the natural division into
the 2 sexes (M and F) or that between animate and inanimate.
Some grammarians make the difference between grammatical gender and natural
gender. In most European languages gender, to a large extent, is grammatical.
The irrelevance (the arbitrary character) of any kinf of meaning to gender can be
illustrated by comparing the genders of some inanimate nouns in several languages.
Let us compare the gender of the nouns SUN and MOON in some the Romance
languages and German. In the Romance languages sun is Masculine and moon is
Feminin (R- soare, Fr- soleil, It-sole, Sp-it sol; R- luna, Fr- la luna, It- le luna); but in
German, sun is feminine and moon is masculine (die Sonnes, der Mond).
In English, gender is to a large extend natural in that the connection between
the biological category sex and the grammatical category gender is very close; in so
far as sex distinction determine English gender. Thus, nouns denoting beings (persons,
sometime animals) are either masculine or feminine (depending on whether they
denote male or female beings) while inanimate nouns are neuter.
In most European languages gender is a grammatical category, being marked
formally on the one hand the masculine and feminine nouns have distinctive
endings, on the other hand, articles and adjectives agree with the noun in gender.
Unlike in such languages in English the gender is rarely marked for formally.
The grammatical category of gender is marked in 3 ways in English:
1) Lexically; 2) morphologically; 3) using gender markers.
1) Lexically, the masculine and the feminine can be indicated by means of
different words:
- For personal nouns: man/woman; boy/girl; brother/sister, etc
- For animate nouns (higher animate when sex difference is felt to be
relevant): stallion/mare; cook/hen.
2) Morphologically: by means of specific derivational suffix which is added to the
masculine in order to form the feminine.
-ess: prince-princess; host-hostess; actor-actress; duke-duchess
-ine: hero-heroine
-ette: usher-usherette
-ix: administrator-administratrix
These derivational suffixes are not productive, however they are not regular, we can
not form teacheress, doctoress on the patern host /hostess.
The usual derivational suffix applied to animate nouns in ess
e.g. Lion/lioness; tiger/tigress
3) A number of nouns denoting a persons stares, function, profession has a single
form used both for masculien and feminine (the Common Gender or the Dual gender):
e.g. artist, cook, cousin, doctor, enemy, foreigner, friend, guest, librarian,
neighbour, pupil, speaker, student, teacher, writer, worker. Take out of the contrast,
such nouns can be ambiguous (we do not know whether they are M and F). The
gender of such nouns can be identified by means of words that mark gender. (gender
a) the gender of such nouns is usually identified in a context by means of pronouns
with refer to nouns and who have different gender forms in the 3-rd person singular
(personal and reflexive pronouns, possessive adjective).
e.g. The teacher asked the pupil a few more questions, the sentence is ambiguous
to the gender of the 2 nouns, but it can be distinguished if we add:
. as she wanted to give him a better mark
When such nouns are used generically (neither gender is relevant), a Masculine
reference pronoun may be used (another solution would be to use he or she),
e.g. He any student calls, tell him.
With nouns denoting large animals the choice of the pronoun can be a matter of sex
(he replaces male animals, she-female animal). When used generically, such nouns
denoting large animals are usually considered masculine being replaced by the
pronoun he.
The pronoun it usually replaced small animals and optionally all animals even when
sex is known.
A bull-can be he, it
A cat- can be he, she, it.
e.g. The horse was restive at first, but the soon be come manageable. Gender in
animals is chiefly observed by people with a special concern (e.g. Fat animals are
called she or he when they are thought of as having personality intelligence by their
owners, but not always by other people).
b) Besides pronouns, disambiguation with respect to gender is also possible by using
some words marking gender (gender markers such as boy/girl, man/woman,
e.g. boy friend/girl friend, salesman/saleswoman, policeman/policewoman.
This is not very productive because there are many words in which the distinction do
not work.
Others, chairman, for instance, do not change: in Great Britain a woman who presides
over a committee is still called a chairman Madam Chairman although there is a
tendency to replace words like this by forms like chairperson.
With large animals, he/she, cock/hen can be used as gender workers.
e.g. he-goat; she-goat; cock-sparrow/hen-sparrow.

2. The stylistic use of the grammatical category of gender

Normally masculine nouns denoting inanimate things, are usually replaced by it.
a) Some nouns denoting inanimate things, which are neuter in everyday speech,
are sometimes personified in literature.
The masculine gender is usually ascribed to nouns denoting strength, violence,
harshness; e.g. wind, ocean, sun, while the feminine gender is ascribed to nouns
denoting delicacy, tenderness or less violent forces: nature, liberty, moon.
Let us compare 2 sentences, one from literature when the moon is personified and the
other in a neutral style.
e.g. The moon has risen. How pale and ghostly the roofs looked in her silvery
The moon has no particular importance, except to the earth which it attends as
Sometimes, the distinctions depend on the authors imagination and intention. In other
words, English writers are quite free to refer nouns and lifeless things to any gender
when personified. An example in point is The Nightingale and the Rose where
Oscar Wilde makes the Nightingale of the feminine gender and the Rose tree of the
masculine gender.
e.g. the rose-three shook his head and said: My roses are yellow .
b) In everyday speech, there are a number of derivations from the normative pattern.
- nouns such : ship, boat, car often used as feminine (are often referred to as her, she)
the speaker conveying the fact he regards them with affection, that he considers as
close or intimate to him.
e.g. The ship struck an iceberg which tore a large hole in her side.
- names of countries when looked upon from the political or economic proint of view.
As geographical units, names of countries are treated as nominate:
e.g. Looking at the map we see France. It is one of the largest countries in Europe.
As political /economic units, names of countries are often feminine.
e.g. France has been able to increase her deports by 10% cent.
- the nouns: baby, infant, child can be neuter and referred to by it:
e.g. She began nursing her child again.
Another is not likely to refer to her baby as it, but it would be quite possible for
somebody who is not emotionally connected with the child to replace such nouns by

Evaluation test:
1. Form feminine nouns from the following masculine nouns using the following
suffixes: -ess, -ix, -a, -ine.
Actor, host, sheperd, administrator, sultan, lion, prior, negro, hero, prince, tiger, heir,

2. Give the corresponding masculine nouns of the following nouns: queen, woman,
daughter, nun, lady, sister, goose, bee, duck, grand-daughter.

3. Give the masculine of: bride, girl-friend, maidservant, female candidate,

policewoman, lady footballer, woman diplomat, lady speaker, spinster, lady, nurse,
female student.

4. Translate into English:

1. tiai c premiul a fost din nou cucerit de romni? 2. Este cea mai modern poet a
noastr. 3. Sora mea a jucat rolul prinesei. 4. Ambasadoarea a inut un discurs. 5. Este
o fat btrn foarte excentric. 6. Nu cred c vduva de la parter este acas. 7.
Leoaica pe care ai vzut-o la circ a fost adus din Africa. 8. A venit lptreasa azi? 9.
Este plcut cnd eti servit de servitoare aa de politicoase. 10. Toate miresele sunt
frumoase. 11. Prietena fratelui meu are numai 18 ani. 12. Bunica e mndr de copiii i
nepoii ei. 13. Este foarte dificil s ai de-a face cu astfel de paciente. 14. Toi membrii
juriului, att juraii, ct i juratele, au fost de acord asupra verdictului. 15. Contele i
contesele au rang mai mic dect ducele i ducesa.
Tema nr.2: THE ARTICLE

Uniti de nvare :
The Definite article
The Indefinite article
The Zero Article

Obiectivele temei:
nelegerea modurilor de folosire a articlolul hotrt n limba englez.
Diferene fa de limba romn
nelegerea modurilor de folosire a articlolul nehotrt n limba englez.
Diferene fa de limba romn
nelegerea construciilor gramaticale n care articolul nu este folosit

Timpul alocat temei : 2 ore

Bibliografie recomandat :
Bdescu, L. Alice, 1984. Gramatica limbii engleze, Bucureti, Ed. tiinific i
Banta, A. 1978. English and Contrastive Studies, Bucureti, Tipografia Universitii
Banta, A. 1996. Descriptive English Syntax, Iai, Institutul European
Berry, Roger, 1993. English Guides, Articles, Harper-Collins Publishers, Birmingham
Berry, Roger, Page V, Collins/Cobuild, 1993. Articles, The University of Birmingham
Broughton, G. 1990. The Penguin English Grammar A-Z for Advanced Students,
London, Penguin ELT
Crystal, David, 1997. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English language, CUP
Curme, G., 1966. English Grammar, New York, Barnes and Noble
Gleanu Frnoag, G., Comiel, E., 1992. Gramatica limbii engleze, Ed.
Omegapress, Bucureti
Gruia, George, 2002. A Concise English Grammar, Ed. Grupus, Craiova
Jespersen, O. 1965. Essentials of English Grammar. London, George Allen & Unwin
Leech, G. and Svartik, I. 1994. A Communicative Grammar of English, London,
Longman House
Levichi, Leon, 1971. Gramatica limbii engleze, Bucureti, Ed. Didactic i
Levichi, Leon, 1970. Limba englez contemporan - Morfologia, Bucureti, Ed.
Didactic i PedagogicLevichi, Leon. 1968, 1993. Sinonime n gramatica limbii
engleze, Bucureti, Ed. tiinific
MacMillan, 1999. English Dictionary for Advanced Learners
Murphy, R., 1992. English in use, ELOD
Palmer F., 1971. Grammar, Penguin Books
Prlog H., 1982. More on the Superlatives. AUT, XX, pp. 85-88
Prlog H., 1995. The English Noun Phrase, Timioara, Hestia Publishing House
Quirk, R.S. Greenbaum, G. Leech, J. Svartik 1976. A Grammar of Contemporary
English, London, Longman
Thomson, A.J. and Martinet, A.V. 1960, 1997. A Practical English Grammar, OUP
***, 1996, Oxford English Reference Dictionary, OUP

This class includes article and other parts of speech that can replace the article
before a noun, namely the demonstrative, possessive, indefinite, interogative and
negative adjective (a/the/this/my/each/what the most important place within the class
of determiners. It is used only as a determiner, unlike the other parts of speech which
can be used both as determiners (determiner noun and as pronouns (stand for nouns).
As the commonest determiner of the noun, the article is used for marking a
definite, indefinite or generic reference to a noun (some articles also discharge
functions borrowed from other types of determiners to which they are etymologically
or grammatically related. The definite article may discharge the same function as the
demonstrative adjective, the indefinite article those of the numeral ONE, the zero
article may discharge the function of indefinite adjectives such as some. From the
point of view of function, there are three articles in English: the definite, the indefinite
and the zero articles.

2.1. The Definite Article

The definite article developed from the demonstrative this/that. The definite
article has the fuction of a demonstrative in those cases in which it is interchangeable
with a demonstrative determiner, with no change of meaning.
Eg. It is just what I want at this time.
Dont do anything of the /this/that kind.
Under the/these circumstances it would be foolish to leave.
The definite article also discharges the function of a demonstrative:
e.g. John the Great, Richard the Lion-Hearted
The definite article is invariable in spelling, but pronounced [the] in front of words
begeinning with a consonant or semivowel and [thi] before words beginning with a
vowel sound. [thi] is pronounced when it is stressed.
eg. Jones is the [thi] specialist in Kindmy trouble.
The definite article can be used with singular and plural nouns.

The functions of the definite article

1. Individual, definite/specific/unique reference (it is a deicitic reference;
deictic=pointing to)
The function of the definite article is to show that the noun to which it is attached is
definite, is known, is particularized in a certain context:
- The preceding context (anaphoric reference)
- The following context (cataphoric reference)
a) The anaphoric reference (anaphora= the use of a word) as a substitute for a
previous word or group of words. The noun to which the definite article is attached by
the speaker as being known to the interlocutor, which (generally speaking)
presupposes a previous occurrence of the respective noun.
(i). The antecedent may be found in the same linguistic context ( in the same sentence
or in a previous sentence).
e.g. I brought a book yesterday. The book seems interesting.
The noun to which the definite article is attached is known because it has been
introduced previously.
(ii). The antecedent may be found in the non-linguistic context.
The definite article is used with nouns whose reference is understood, therefore is
definite in the situational context (of communication).
e.g. a situational context may be: a room. If somebody says: Close the window.
although the noun window hasnt been mentioned previously, it is known by the
speaker and by the interlocutor, therefore it is definite /unique in the situational
context in which the alternance takes place.
e.g. In a town: the townhall, the police station are definite, unique within the town
that the speaker and intelocutor are in.
On a broader plane, in the world, in the univers, we talk of the sun, the moon, the
earth as unique elements known as a whole.
b) The cataphoric reference: when the definite determination follows the noun being
expressed by a relative clause or a prepositional phrase (again here the definite
article is used on the basis of the linguistic context).
e.g. The book that I brought yesterday seems quite interesting.
The book on the table seems quite interesting.
The post determiners (Relative Clauses, Prepositional Phrases) require definite

2. Non-significant reference with proper names

Proper names need no articles as they are definite enough in themselves, the
individualization of the nouns is denoted by themselves. In other words, having
unique or individual reference by themselves, proper names are not expected to be
used with the definite article, so the presence of the definite article is logically
This use of the definite article can be explained historically: Proper names
were used as adjectives determining a noun:
eg. The Atlantic Ocean
Even when the determined noun (the head) was later omitted, but the proper name is
still preceded by the definite article, the Atlantic.
The other words, the definite article is used with those geographical names which are
still felt as adjectives to which the head may be added.
The definite article is used with the following classes of proper names:
I. geographical names: names of oceans, seas, rivers, mountains ranges, names
of countries, (which certain a common noun such as republic, state); names of canals,
deserts, gulfs, etc.
e.g. The Atlantic (ocean) , The Mediterranean sea, The Danube River, The USA, The
Sahara Desert.
II. names of institutions: hotels, restaurants, threatres, cinema, museum, libraries.
e.g. The Ritz Hotel, The Atheneum , The British Museum.
III. names of newspapers
e.g. The Times
IV. names of ships
e.g The Titanic
V. Proper names are used with the definite article where they are post-modified
by an attribute or a clause.
e.g. The England of Queen Elizabeth, but Elizabethan England.
I didnt like The Ophelia in the modern version of the play.
The Paris I used to know was more beautiful now than ever.
The plural of Proper name preceded by the definite article denotes a whole family.
e.g. The Wilsons are going abroad
3. Generic reference
when the noun is used in its general sense, as a representative of a class, as a whole.
The definite article discharges this use before the singular member of countable
e.g. The horse is an useful animal.
Lions are animals of prey.
4. Syntactically, the definite article occurs:
- before comparatives and superlatives (adjectives and adverbs)
e.g. The richest (people) are not always the happiest.
- before ordinal numerals
e.g. the fifth lesson.
The more they argued, the angrier they become.
- set phrases: in the main, on the one/other hand, to take the trouble, on the whole, to
tell/speech the theeth, to be out of question, to be on the safe side, for the time being
in the long run, by the way.

2.2. The Indefinite Article

Developed from the word one, it has 2 forms:
- a used before words beginninig with consonnants or semivowels
- an used before words beginning with vowel sounds: a man, a university, an egg, an
It is used with singular countable nouns.
1. The Indefinite (anticipatory) epiphonic reference.
The typical use of indefinite article is this epiphonic use: a(n) introduces a new
element in the communication when the speaker considers that noun preceded by the
indefinite article is not known to the interlocutor.
e.g. I brought a book yesterday.
I saw a lion at the zoo.
Corresponding to indefinite a used with singular countable nouns in the indefinite
determiner, some used with plural nouns.
e.g. I brought (some) books yesterday. I saw some lions at the zoo.
In such indefinite use it is possible to skip some but not a. The nouns that are
introduced in the speech by the anticipatory a are later referred to by anaphoric the.
2. The Numeric functions
a) The indefinite article as a weak form of the numeral one is used with a clear
numerical value before countable nouns in the singular indicating measure or a
numerical series.
e.g. Wait a minute!
She was silent for a (one) moment a and one are often interchangeable.
b) When used distributively, the indefinite article approaches the meaning of
each/every in expressions of price, speed, radio.
e.g. It costs a penny a pound.
He works 8 hours a day.
His rent is 100 a mouth.
In numeral English, a could be replaced by the prepositions per.
e.g. The brewers use barly apprecimatively 100,000 tens per year.
3. The Generic/classifying function
The indefinite article can be used with countable nouns in the singular to represent a
class, of things as a whole (a representative member of a class). This function is
usually formal in definitions
e.g. A lion is a beast of prey.
or in proverbs
e.g. A friend is a friend indeed.
When the indefinite article is used generically it may be considered a weaker any.
The indefinite use and the generic/classifying use of a(n) may be distinguished from
each other by their different plurals.
Indefinite: I saw a lion - singular
I saw some lions - plural
Generic: A lion is a wild animal.
Lions are wild animals.
Some is used with the plural correspnding to the indefinite a, but with the plural of
generic a.
4. In certain syntactic constructions
a) the indefinite article occurs with nouns in predicative positions (the predicate)
denoting a profession, job, nationality)
e.g. John was/become a teacher.
He is an Englisman.
No article is used when the noun designates a unique representative of a profession.
e.g. He was elected president of the trade union.
b) in oppositions
e.g. W. Irving, an American prose writer, was born in 1793.
c) after the conjuction as (meaning in the capacity of) .
e.g. He worked there for several years as a designer.
He was often ill as a child.
No article is used if the noun designates a unique profession, rank.
e.g. As chairman, I insist that nobody speak out of terms.
d) after such, quite, rather, what, too, so, how.
e.g. Mary is such a pretty girl! Such a pity!
We had quite a party!
He is rather a fool.
What a pretty girl Mary is!
How perfect a view!
She is too kind a girl to refuse!
We could not do it in so short time.
How /so + adj + a +noun, usually used in the literrary style are replaced in colloquial
speech by what and such.
e.g. How astonishing a night What an astonishing night!
So short a time - such a short time.
e) The determiner phrase many a followed by a singular noun phrase with singular
agreement has plural meaning (it is rather literary in use): Many a+Nsg.+Vsg:
e.g. Many a traveller has admired the Danube Delta.
But, the determiner phrase a good/great many is followed by a plural N.P.: A good
great many +Npl+Vpl:
e.g. A good(great) many children were going to the demonstration.
f) The indefinite article can be used with a plural construction expressing a measure
and regarded as a single whole, as it can be seen from the form of the verb (in the
e.g. We spent a pleasant three days in the country.
The show was performed for another 3 weeks.

5. In set phrases
We have to bear in mind the big difference to Romanian language. In Romanian most
of these set phrases have a article: to be in a hurry, take a seat, at a distance, to be a
pity, to be in a rage, all of a sudden, have a mind to, take a funny to.

2.3. The Zero Article

It occurs with all the categories of nouns, singular and plural, countable
and uncountable nouns.
The functions of zero article are:
1. The generic function/ reference
It is the typical function of the zero article. The zero article is characteristically a
generic determiner in which function it used before:
a) uncountable nouns concrete or abstract nouns
The use of the zero article with such nouns viewed in general is in opposition with the
use of the zero article when referring to a concrete/definite noun grammatically: when
the noun is determined, when it is followed by a post-modifier, a relative clause, a
prepositional phrase.
e.g. Water is necessary to life. (concrete noun)
We have to notice that the use of the zero article before a mass noun: water is viewed
in general, as unlimited material.
The water in the jug is not fresh.
We have to notice that the definite article is required because the post-modifying
phrase in this jug makes the fact that the water refers to a definite quantity.
e.g. Friendship is a noble feeling. (abstract noun)
The friendship between the two writers lasted long.
We have to notice that the definite article is required because the post-modifing phrase
between two writers makes the friendship to have an unique reference.
Other abstract nouns free of articles: nature, society.
e.g. We have duties to society as well as to ourselves.
b) countable nouns:
(i). countable nouns in the plural: plural nouns preceded by the zero article denote an
indefinite number:
e.g. Books are useful to a scholar.
Children like to play.
The some opposition can be established here between the use of the zero article with
the use of the definite article: when a post modifier construction limits the meaning of
the noun to a specify member, the noun is preceded by the definite article.
e.g. The books for this course are available to any library.
(ii). countable nouns in the singular (man/woman)
e.g. Nature has been changed by man.
Man is an intelligence being.
When the generic use of the articles proves to be syntactically relevant, the general
nouns, the concrete nouns are accompanied by the definite article while abstract nouns
have the zero article.
There is a large category of nouns which are used either with the definite article or
with the zero article depending on whether their meaning is considered as concrete
or abstract (A typical example is school: to go to school means attend school, while to
go to the school means go to the place where school building is located).
(iii). with nouns expressing buildings and places such as: college, school, hospital,
prison, jail,town, bed, table, the zero article is used when referrence is made to the
activity performed, while the definite article is used when they refer to the concrete
e.g. I was late going to bed. (go to sleep)
She flung herself down on the bed.
Some opposition can be formed with nouns denoting seasons, names of meals.
e.g. I like winter.
Cricket is played in summer.
But where talking about a particular, concrete season, we use the definite article (the
definite article has a demonstrative value= this/that)
e.g. The autumn was cold. (that autumn)
We shall go to the seaside in the summer. (this summer)
The first meal of the day is breakfast.
The definite article is used when the reference is made to a particular meal.
e.g. The breakfast they offered was very good.
2. Individual, definite (or unique) referrence (non-significant referrence)
(i). Proper names
No article is necesserary, the definite article is not used with proper names, because
they are unique names and thus they have unique reference.
The zero article is used with:
a) names of people (also when accompanied by a close apposition or by an attribute
which expresses an intrisec quality).
e.g. Peter, Dr. Brown, King Lears, Joljon, Poor Tom.
Note 1: But the titles (doctor, etc.) used without the proper name are preceded by the
definite article.
e.g. The doctor was sent for in the middle in the night.
Note 2: the group Adj+Pr. Name takes the definite article when the adjective is
defining or contracting.
e.g. The brave amiral Nelson was celebrated by all people.
Nouns denoting members of the family (father, mother, aunt) are used with zero
article and thus they are treated as proper names.
Father is out, but mother is in. (the speaker refers to his own mother)
But, The father was the completely wrong. (the speaker refers to a strange person)
b) geographical names: the zero article is used with names of continents, countries,
regions, districts, towns, cities, lakes, peaks.
E.g. Europe, Egypt, Moldavia, London, Lake Ontario, Mount Everest
Exceptions: The Sudan, The Cong, The Hague.
The zero article is also used when the names of continents, countries have a
geographical or historical attribute (when the adjective is used only for describing).
e.g. Northen America, Western Europe, ancient Egypt, but, the England of Queen
Victoria (post-modification).
The zero article is also used with names of parks, buildings, streets, in which the
proper name is followed by a common name .
e.g. Hyde Park, Oxford Street.
c) Calendar items: festivals, months and day of the week.
e.g. Christmas, Easter, in January, on Monday.
But when the nouns are particularized by an attribute they take the definite article.
e.g. On the following Monday.
3. The Z.A. in Set Phrases.
In paralel/symetrical constructions: day by day, face to face, from morning till night,
from beginning to end.
Other set phrases: take ofence, give permission, by hand.

The Omission/ ellipsis of the articles

The omission or ellipsis of the article is a stylistically marked from used in
telegrams, journalese (newspaper advertisments and headlines) stage directions, quick
colloquial language, usually practiced for economy of space.
e.g. (A) plane crashes on (the) motorway.
George goes (the) table (on the) left.
Colloquial language: (It is a ) pity they wont be there.
(Is the) car still not working.
The omission of the articles is to be clearly distinguished from the zero article.
a) Salt is necessary in cooking.
b)Urgent deliver salt to ASTY retailer.,.
In the first example, a)we have to do with a special kind of determination- the zero
article -with a mass noun for generic reference.
In the second example we have to do with the omission of the determiner. The definite
article is used with definite, unique reference. In normal circumstances, without
omission, the second sentence (the text of a telegram) would be: it is urgent to deliver
the salt in waterhouse 3 to the retailer from ASTY.
In the second example the ellided article can be inserated in the place from which it
has been omitted.

Evaluation Test:
1. Insert definite, indefinite and zero articles where necessary in the following
1. What man has done, man can do. 2. He wanted to be race-horse and win
Derby. 3. horse has come home. 4. Why not turn linguist? 5. books filled
shelves. 6. He believes in woman. 7. He is afraid of nothing, man or beast. 8.
More and more girls want to become Nadia Comaneci. 9. He insisted on nap in
sun. 10. We do not sell pepper by weight, we sell it by box. 11. He was
sitting there, cap in hand, speaking in whisper. 12. He is away on trip to
West Germany, Netherlands, United States. 13. He is always in hurry. 14.
Do you think our pattern of life will have changed a lot by year 2000? 15. He
made them man and wife. 16. plane was on domestic flight to
Alexandria on Mediterranean Sea. 17. We have no job for you whether you are
accountant or builder. 18. They have been directors of mine, father and
son for six years. 19. Johnson, who is professor of sociology at University of
Essex, is member of executive. 20. In early society, women were mens
equal and occupied leading position in household and in society.
2. Supply the necessary articles in the following sentences:
1. Long before birth of Cristopher Columbus people in Europe believed that
earthly paradise, land of plenty, with perfect climate lay to west across
Atlantic Ocean. 2. In his letter Columbus wrote of Carribean landscape and
described abundance and fertility of newly-found islands. 3. In reply he
sent home from other side of Atlantic, he wrote islands are fertile to
extraordinary degree. There are trees of thousand kinds, some in flower,
some with fruit. 4. From West Indies he wrote: I learnt by signs that there
was king in south, who owned many vessels filled with gold. 5. When
later explorers reached Andes and found gold for taking, it seemed that their
dreams of paradise on earth had at last come true.

3. Translate into English:

1. Mi s-a spus c s-a fcut un anun special la radio azi diminea. 2. Doctorul Taylor
lucreaz la un spital londonez lng teatrul Old Vic. 3. i place viaa, dar nu a avut o
via prea interesant. 4. Ce facei voi dac nu gsii banii care v trebuie? 4.
Omenirea a visat ntotdeauna la spaiul cosmic. 5. Organizaia Naiunilor Unite
militeaz pentru colaborarea ntre popoare. 6. Cltoreau ziua. 7. E professor bun? 8.
V declar so i soie. 9. Asear a avut loc o premier la Oper. 10. Tare a vrea s am
un tablou de Baba. 11. n drum spre cas, domnul Ionescu, preedintele Asociaiei
apicultorilor, va face o escal la Otopeni. 12. Creang s-a nscut la Humuleti. 13. Nu
scriei cu stiloul, scriei cu cerneal. 14. Meseria de olar nu este o raritate n Romnia.
15. N sunt n msur s v spun dac metodele au fost introduse pe scar larg. 16. l
considerm sportive bun. 17. De regul li se spune oamenilor s viziteze Galeria Tate
i Muzeul Britanic. 18. Dac va fi numit director, o s ncurajeze tinerii specialiti. 19.
Am sa i spun alt dat, acum m grbesc. 20. E timpul s pui capt acestei situaii

Uniti de nvare :
The form of the adjective
The functions of adjectives: attributive and predicative
The degrees of comparison

Obiectivele temei:
nelegerea modurilor de formare a adjectivelor prin afixare i compunere
cunoaterea conceptului de categorie gramatical a adjectivului. Diferene
ntre limba romn i englez
nsuirea funciilor pe care le poate avea adjectivul n limba englez
nelegerea modului de formare a gradelor de comparaie

Timpul alocat temei : 2 ore

Bibliografie recomandat :
Bdescu, L. Alice, 1984. Gramatica limbii engleze, Bucureti, Ed. tiinific i
Banta, A. 1978. English and Contrastive Studies, Bucureti, Tipografia Universitii
Banta, A. 1996. Descriptive English Syntax, Iai, Institutul European
Berry, Roger, 1993. English Guides, Articles, Harper-Collins Publishers, Birmingham
Berry, Roger, Page V, Collins/Cobuild, 1993. Articles, The University of Birmingham
Broughton, G. 1990. The Penguin English Grammar A-Z for Advanced Students,
London, Penguin ELT
Crystal, David, 1997. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English language, CUP
Curme, G., 1966. English Grammar, New York, Barnes and Noble
Gleanu Frnoag, G., Comiel, E., 1992. Gramatica limbii engleze, Ed.
Omegapress, Bucureti
Gruia, George, 2002. A Concise English Grammar, Ed. Grupus, Craiova
Jespersen, O. 1965. Essentials of English Grammar. London, George Allen & Unwin
Leech, G. and Svartik, I. 1994. A Communicative Grammar of English, London,
Longman House
Levichi, Leon, 1971. Gramatica limbii engleze, Bucureti, Ed. Didactic i
Levichi, Leon, 1970. Limba englez contemporan - Morfologia, Bucureti, Ed.
Didactic i PedagogicLevichi, Leon. 1968, 1993. Sinonime n gramatica limbii
engleze, Bucureti, Ed. tiinific
MacMillan, 1999. English Dictionary for Advanced Learners
Murphy, R., 1992. English in use, ELOD
Palmer F., 1971. Grammar, Penguin Books
Prlog H., 1982. More on the Superlatives. AUT, XX, pp. 85-88
Prlog H., 1995. The English Noun Phrase, Timioara, Hestia Publishing House
Quirk, R.S. Greenbaum, G. Leech, J. Svartik 1976. A Grammar of Contemporary
English, London, Longman
Thomson, A.J. and Martinet, A.V. 1960, 1997. A Practical English Grammar, OUP
***, 1996, Oxford English Reference Dictionary, OUP

The adjective is the part of speech that, just like the noun can be defined from the
point of view of the 3 criteria (semantic, morphological and syntactic).
a) From semantic point of view, the adjective denotes some characteristic of an
b) From the morphological point of view, the adjective has the grammatical
category of comparison.
c) From the syntactic point of view, the adjective has dischanged the syntactic
function of an attribute, predicative, apposition, complement (in Romanian we
call it nume predicativ suplimentar) in the sentence.

3.1. The form of the adjective

1) Apart from those adjectives that have no specific endings (small, long), some adj
expressing qualities have several specific endings / suffixes. Those are derived from
other parts of speech by means, meaning that they can be identified by these suffixes.
Derivational suffixes:
-ful: useful, handful
-ly: frienddly, lovely, deadly
-ish: childish, greenish
-ible/able: valuable, credible
-ous: famous, courageous
-less: careless, useless
-y: rainy, dirty
-some: tiresome, troublesome
2) Conversion: The analytical system of Modern English makes it possible not only
for adjectives, but for any part of speech, or even word combinations that convey a
quality or feature to be used as an attribute in pre-position (before a noun).

a) nouns: the great bulk of relative adjectives is supplied by converted nouns

e.g. a brick house denominal adjective
When a noun (house) is used as adjective before another noun it is always used in
singular, even if its meaning is plural
e.g. a horse race - a race of horses.
There are some exceptions: some nouns in s (sports, customs, clothes) as well as
some sg nouns ending in ics (athletics, economics) are used as adjectives without
any change.
e.g. a sports car, a clothes shop, a mathematics teacher
They have to be used in the plural become these words have meaning that are
different from the adjectives that end in ic.
Compare: Some converted nouns have corresponding adjectives ending in en or y.
In each synonimic pair, the converted noun denotes the material a thing is made of
while the proper adjective ending in -en/-y has a qualitative meaning, especially a
figurative one.

b)Verbs: the verbal forms used are participle (present or past participle)
(i). The present prticiple (v-ing form)
e.g. an amazing success, a surprizing attitude, the coming year, singing birds.
Such -ing forms can be used into Relative/Attribute Clauses:
e.g. a success that amazed everyone
(ii). The Past Participle (v-ed forms)
e.g. a tired expression, a broken window, the results obtained
A few past participles take the en suffixes when are used as adjectives, but they take
the ed or the suffix when are used with a verbal function (to form perfective tenses:
The verbs that have two past participle are:
e.g. Sink-sunk-sunken; melt-melted/molten
Drink-drunk-drunken; shrink-shrunk-/en
Strike-struke/en; swell-swelled-swallen; shave-shaved-shaved
e.g. The storm has sunk the ship - sunken eyes
For a few others, there is no difference between adjectives and the verbal participle in
spelling but there is in pronunciation: in adjectives the suffix ed is pronounced [id]
e.g. a learned man/I have learned this poem; also an aged women

c) Compound adjectives - are very frequent in contemporary English.

The most frequent patterns in which they occur are:
(i). Adj + Past Participle:
e.g. hard-boiled egg
(ii). N + Adj.: Most of them are derived fom implicit or explict Relative clauses
e.g. ice-cold water - water which are as cold as ice
world-famous sportman - a sportman who are famous all over
(iii). N + Past Participle/Present Participle
e.g. a hand-made object - an object which is made by hand
a peace-loving person - a person who love peace
(iv). Numeral + N: The noun in the compound often occurs in the singular form
even it is preceded by numerals higher than one:
e.g. five pounds - a five pound note; six-pence - a six-penny note
a three-week trip - a trip which lasts three weeks
(v). Adv + Past Participle:
e.g. well-bred person, well-meant remark
(vi). Adj + N + -ed: the construction occurs with:
- parts of the body: e.g. thin-faced, grey-haired; blue-eyed
- also figuratively: e.g. cool-headed; broad-minded
- pieces of clothing: e.g. long-sleeved, white-collared
- miscellaneous: e.g. thick-leavel, long-shaped, many-sided
(vii). Adv + Adj.
e.g. evergreen plants, wide-open window
(viii). Verb + Noun
e.g. a telltale signal
(ix). Verb + Verb
e.g. a would-be champion
(x). Verb + Adv
e.g. a runaway criminal
(xi). N + N
e.g. a sound-proof room
(xii). Prepositional groups:
e.g. an out-of-the-way an out-of-the-date theory, a do-it-youerself kit; a stay-at-

3.2. The functions of adjectives

Two factors are generally considered to be characteristics of adjectives: their function
and the grammatical category of comparison.

I. The functions of adjectives. The most frequent are attribute or predicative function
in the sentence.
(i). The attributive function
The adjective discharges the functions of an attribute when it is placed before
or sometimes immediately after the noun to which it refers.

a) Adjectives in English are usually placed in front of the noun which they modify or
determine. This position is so relevant for adjective that any word or group of words
placed in the position has the function of an attribute.
When a noun is preceded by 2 or more adjectives, the question of their relative
position rises. The adjectives in attributive position come in the following order
(although no normal nominal group- NP- is likely to have a representative in each

b) Another position in English is immediately after the noun

1.This position belongs chiefly to the literary style.
e.g. Once upon a midnight dreary
2. It is also found in some set-phrases of French and Latin origin
e.g. secretary general, court martial, poet laureate, time imemorial
3. If the adjective is expended (modified, qualified) by a word or phrase;
e.g. It was an ugly house - it was a house ugly with decay
a clever boy - a boy clever at games
4. If the adjective is part of an expression of measurement (weight, age)
e.g. a wall six feet high, ten years old, two miles long
5. Adjectives ending in -able, -ible are placed after the noun (if this is preceded by a
superlative or by only)
e.g. He was driving at the greatest speed posible.
6. After indefinite pronouns ending in -thing/-body/-one.
e.g. She brought some thing nice.
He said nothing interesting.
7. A few adjectives are found in both positions with a difference in meaning;
e.g. present, proper;
The present members.
After the introduction we started the meaning proper (itself).
Proper follows the noun when it means itself /themselves; before the noun it means
real, genuine.

(ii). The predicative function

When an adjective is connected with a noun by means of a link verb. The clauses of
the verb who require adjectives instead of adverbs. These verbs are:
- verbs of seeming: to seem, to appear
- verbs of becoming: to become
- verbs of continuing: to go on, to continue
- verbs of physical perception: to feel, to hear, to smell, to taste
Words like nervous, good, perfect do not show how the action is fulfilled, but
how the subject is, having the function of an adjective, not that of an adverb. The
same verbs can be accompanied by adverbs which show us how the action is fulfilled;
e.g. She taste the food slowly.
He sounded the bell furiously.

Predicative adjectives with complementation

When used in the predicative function some adjectives can be followed by:
a) a prepositional phrase in 2 patterns:
- Preposition + NP
e.g. I was angry to him/at the delay.
- Preposition + V-ing
e.g. I was angry at seeing such a greatdisorder.
b) an infinitival phrase. Some adjectives such as glad, happy, pleased, sory, difficult,
hard, certain, likely.
e.g. I was very glad to see him.
She is certain to be in.
c) a clause
e.g. I was glad that you came.
(iii). Adjectives used attributively and predicatively
In most cases, an adjective can be used both attributively and predicatively.
e.g. This is a good book the book is good.
However, some adjectives can obly occur in one of these 2 positions.
a) Adjectives used only attributively
- adjectives ending in -en, derived from nouns (denominal adjective)
e.g. a wooden box, a woollen dress.
- adjectives denoting material
e.g. a stone box
These adjectives cant be used in predicative position.
e.g. *The box is wooden.
The coresponding concept is expressed predicatevely by OF + Noun
e.g. The box is made of wood.
The adjectives in -en only when used figuratively can be used both attributive and
e.g. Her face turned ashen at the news.
- the adjectives : joint, live, mere, sheer, little, late
e.g. sheer luck. We can not say: *Her luck was sheer.
- adjectives refering to time (ending in -ly or converted from nouns)
e.g. a daily /morning newspaper
- adjectives ending in -ie (-el) derived from nouns
e.g. atomic energy, a chemical plant, a lyric poet
- adjectives denoting cardinal points
e.g. Romania lies in Eastern Europe.
- the adjectives which are past-participles
e.g. drunken-man, sunken-eye
- a few adjectives in -er that are not longer recognized as comparatives: former, inner
e.g. the former manager. We can not say *The manager is former.

b) Adjectives used only predicatively

- adjectives derived by means of the prefix -a
When used attributively, some of the above mentioned adjectives are replaced by a
e.g. She is afraid of mice./The frightened child.
He is alone in the house./ A solitary man.
Some of these adjectives may be used attributively when they are preceeded by an
e.g. fully awake person, a very ashamed child
- the adjectives: content, drunk, poorly, ready, well, worth
e.g. I am feeling quite content.
c) Adjectives which can be used in both positions: attributively and predicatively , but
with a difference in meaning
- glad: is used mainly in a predicative position
e.g. I am glad to hear you can come
Attibutively, the corresponding concept is expressed by happy
e.g. She has a happy life.
In attributive position, glad occurs chiefly in phrases: glad news (joyful, to give sb the
glad eye)
- ill: is used mainly in a predicative position
e.g. He has been ill.
It occurs in an attributive position in certain phrases with the meaning of bad, evil
e.g. ill-fame, ill-luck, ill-temper, to have an ill effect on the mind
- sorry: is used chiefly in a predicative position
e.g. I fell sorry for you.
Where is used attributively , it means sad, pitiful, worthless
e.g. a sorry sight, a sorry excuse
- sick: used attributively means awful
e.g. a sick man (with his meaning in American English sick is common in
predicative position).
Used predicatively sick means suffering from nausea, vomiting.

3.3. The degrees of comparison

Comparison refers to the forms assumed by an adjective to show that a quality
may exist in various degrees with two objects or with one and the same object at
varoius moments. Comparison applies to all those adjectives which refer to values on
a scale, to adjectives that are gradable. On the whole, qualitative adjectives of all
kinds form degrees of comparison.
Some adjectives can not be compared. Some of them are superlative
intrisically, expressing a quality in its highest degree even in their basic form:
excellent, perfect, superb, extreme, exceptional, exquisite. Some of them are
superlative etymologically:
e.g. maximum, optimum, or comparatives: superior, inferior, major, minor;
others refer to material:
e.g. wooden, woollen;
or adjectivized nouns:
e.g. iron, glass;
and therefore the possiblity for grading them is not normally preceded.
A further category is that of adjectives of a rather general nature, hardly conceivable
in comparison with other elements:
e.g. chemical, alternative, innerent

As in Romanian, there are three degrees of comparison: positive, comparative and

I. The Positive degree
It is the basic form of the adjective, it does not imply a comparison with another
II. The Comparative degree
It expresses the comparison between 2 or more objects enjoying the same quality or
between the quality of the same object.
III. The Superlative degree
It shows quality of an object is in the higher degree.

Formation of the degrees of comparison.

There are 2 regular ways of making the category of comparison, and an irregular one.
a) the synthetic (inflectional) comparison: the comparative and superlative are formed
by adding the suffix -er or -est to the positive form of the adjective. This type of
comparison is used with:
- monosylabic (one-syllable) adjectives;
e.g. short/er/est
- some disyllabic (two-sylable) adjectives ending in -y/-ow/-le/-er
e.g. happy/happier/est; narrow/er/est
simple/er/est; clever/er/est
Exceptions: proper, hostile, fragile, eager take the anlytical comparison . The suffix
-most is found as the superlative sign in a number of words, most of which indicate
locality, space, position, some are formed with the comparative: inner most, upper
- other with the positive degree of the adjective or adverb: kindmost, foremost,
- others again to nouns: rearmost, his innermost thoughts (wide, furtest)
b) the analytic (periphrastic) comparison: the comparative and superlative are formed
by means of the adverb more and the most with:
- plurisylabic adjectives;
e.g. interesting/more/the most interesting
- adjectives derived from present or past participle
e.g. boring/more/the most boring
valued/more/the most valued
- certain adjectives commonly found only in predicative case, such as afraid, alive,
Some monosylabic adjectives, such as: calm, cross, fit, fond, frank, grave, prompt,
right, and some disylabic adjectives, such as common, eager, pleasant, precise,
sincere display both patterns of comparison.
When the comparative expresses a comparison of two qualities in the same person or
thing, the analytic form is commonly used:
e.g. She is more kind than intelligent
c) The irregular comparison
The irregularly compared adjectives are those adjectives whose forms for comparison
are irregular. Some irregularities in the comparative and superlative forms are due to
the fact that they come from different bases.
- good-better-the best
e.g. His markes are good, but they were better, last. Men of few words are the best
- bad/worse/the worst
- little-less/lesser-the least
Little has two meanings.
(i). having the meaning of the qualitative adjective small used with countable
nouns, little is not normally compared. The possible comparative is younger, the
superlative the youngest.
e.g. John is a little boy. He is Marys youngest son.
(ii). having the meaning of a quantifier determiner used with material and abstract
nouns (uncountable nouns), little has the comparative less, the superlative the least.
e.g. He gives us a little trouble.
Less money is needed now.
A differerentiation has taken place between less and lesser to that less to quality and it
is attached to uncountable nouns while lesser refers to value or importance and it is
attached to countable nouns. Lesser is more literary and it is used only attributively.
e.g He has less time than I have.
Choose the lesser of two evils; to a lesser degree.
- much-many/more/the most
e.g. He has much money. His father has more. Their grandfather has the most.
We have many books, but our school library has even more.
Some other adjectives have the comparative and superlative formed by contraction,
vowel change and epesithesis. These adjectives have double forms in the comparative
and superlative:
- far/farther-further/the farthest-the furthest
The forms farther- the farthest are used with reference to distance in space.
e.g. The village was farther than we had expected.
Pluto is he fathest planet.
The forms further- the furthest can be used with reference to distance in space.
e.g. The isle is a mile further on, but these forms have acquired another meaning as
well: addition, besides, .
e.g I need no further bibliography for my paper.
The forms of superlative the farthermost and the furthemost express an even higher
degree than the corresponding forms farther, furthest, meaning the most distant.
e.g. Scientific expeditions are studying the furthermost ends of the Antarctic.
- near/nearer/the nearest- next
The nearest refers to distance, space, closest while next refers to time, order,
succesion, immediately following.
e.g. The nearest house is 3 miles away.
Next time you see your parents remember me to them.
- late/later-latter/the latest/last
Late and later /the latest are used with the basic meaning of time
e.g. Today the evening train is later than usual.
The latest means the most recent, the last up to now
e.g. This is the latest fashion.
Latter and last are used with reference to order, sequence. Latter is used:
(i). in the sense of the second.
e.g. The latter half of January was cold.
(ii). in contrast to former, meaning the second.
e.g. The Whigs and the Torries are names of political parties in England: the
former is no longer used today, but the latter is still common.
Last is used as the apposite of first.
e.g. I spent my last money yesterday.
He was the last person to call.
- old/older-elder/the oldest/the eldest
The regular forms older, the oldest are used to denote age and length of time; they are
used with reference to people and things.
e.g. When you get a little older, youll understand.
This is the oldest monument in our city.
Elder and the eldest are semmantically used only with reference to people. They are
chiefly used with reference to persons connected by kinship (members of the same
family). Syntactically, they usually occur attributively (before a noun).
e.g. His elder sister is 10 years older than he is.
I have 3 elder brothers.
Elder and the eldest may be used predicatively if they are preceded by a determiner
(definite articles, possesive adjectives) .
e.g. Here are my children: this is the eldest.
Elder and the eldest are also used when we speak of people higher in rank or of
authorities; elder is frequently substantivized.
e.g. He is the eldest and most respected member of the colectivity.
The experience of our leaders is of great help to us.

Comparison of compound adjectives

Compound adjectives form the degree of comparison in two ways, depending on the
fusion of the elements.
(i). when the first element is an adjective that presents its meaning, this is changed in
the comparative and superlative.
e.g. well known/ better known/ the best known
intelligent boy/ more intelligent boy/ the most intelligent boy
(ii). when the two elements make up a whole from the point of view of meaning, the
comparison is achieved by means of more and the most.
e.g. heart broken/ more heart broken/ the most heart broken

The Uses of the Comparative

I. The comparative degree
a) Comparison of equality
Quality is expresses by means of an adjective in the positive degree placed between
the conjunction as as.
e.g. He is as tall as his father.
A great number of idioms are based on comparatives of equality (though the idea of
superlative is implied): similarities: as black as pitch, as busy as a bee, as sweet as
honey, sometimes the first conjuction as which precedes the adjective may be omitted.
e.g. The wall is black as pitch.
b) Comparison of inferiority can be indicated in two ways:
(i). by means of the adverb less placed before the adjective in the positive degree
e.g. This book is less interesting than that one.
Less is generally not used with one-sylalble adjectives.
(ii). by means of the negative form of the comparative of equality not so/as .as is
prefered with short adjectives (the construction not as as is prefered in spoken
e.g. This book is not so/as interesting as that one.
c) Comparison of superiority is expressed by means of the comparative degree of
the adjective. In constructing a sentence in the comparative of superiority, the basic of
comparison can be:
- implied by the whole context and then the comparative sentence does not contain the
basic form of the adjective
e.g. the lower classes, the younger generation.
She is much better today.
- made fully explicit, being introduced by means of the conjuction than.
e.g. John is more stupid than Bob (is).
He is older than I am.
The pronoun in formal English remains in the nominative case because it is still
considered to be the subject of the verb, even if the verb is not expressed; however, in
informal English, the pronoun is often into the Accusative Case: than me. When the
pronoun is used with a verb, only subject pronouns are possible.
e.g. Lucy made more mistakes than I did.
After a few comparations taken from Latin: superior, inferior, exterior, posterior,
junior, senior, the conjunction than is replaced by the preposition to.
e.g. Our team is superior to yours.
When only two things or persons are being compared, the comparative (instead of the
superlative) is preceded by the definite article.
e.g. His two sons look the same age: which is the older?
I like Betty and Hary, but I think Bettys the nicer of the two.

The comparative of superiority occurs in same special constructions.

(i). gradual increase or continuing change is expressed by two comparatives, joined by
means of the conjunction and in the case of monosyllabic adjectives by repeating the
comparative form of the respective adjective, and in the case of plurisylabic adjectives
by repeating more and more.
e.g. The house is bigger and bigger.
More and more people are buying cars.
(ii). the emphatic, intensifying force can also be rendered by certain words, used
before the comparative such as: much, by far, ever, still, a great deal, not at all.
e.g. This book is much better than that one.
Anne is cleverer by far than her brother.
It would be a great deal better for us to go there now.
Henry is nice, but his brother is even nicer.
(iii). prepositional or parallel increase is expressed by the comparative preceded by
the in correlation with a similar comparative: The + Adj in comparative form +
Subject + Verb +the +Adjective in comparative + Subject + Verb. The pattern
expresses that the degree of one quality or characteristic is dependent upon the degree
of another.
e.g. The older he gets, the wiser he is.
The better you behave, the more popular you will become.
The verb to be may be absent from the 2 sentences.
e.g. The harder the task, the greater satisfaction.
The more hurry, the less speed.
b) The superlative degree
It shows a quality in its highest degree in comparison with other objects. It is
expressed by means of the superlative degree of the adjective.
e.g. The adjective in the superlative is usually preceded by the definite article the.
The head (the qualified noun) is usually followed by a prepositional phrase (usually
introduced by in, sometimes by of) or by a Relative clause.
e.g. He is the happiest men in the world.
Roses are the most beautiful of flowers.
Of is possible after a superlative without a noun phrase.
(i). The Relative Superlative
The definite article in front of the Relative Superlative is sometimes omitted when the
thing spoken of is not compared, but regarded as possessing a certain quality in a very
high degree. In other words, it is equivalent to Absolute Superlative.
e.g. The sky was palest blue.
The Relative Superlative may be intensified by very, much, far.
e.g. He is much the most imaginative of them all.
The organization was by far the most powerful.
This is the very good book.
The Relative Superlative may also be intensified by means of adjectives such as
imaginable, possible, placed after the determiner noun.
e.g. I hope youll have the finest weather possible.
I have read the worst novel imaginable.
(ii). The Absolute Superlative
It shows a quality in its highest degree without a comparison with other objects. It is
usually formed by means of the adverb very placed before the adjective in the postive
e.g. I have read a very nice/interesting book.
Numerous adjectives derived from past participles used predicatively form their
Absolut Superlative by means of much or very much. They cannot be preceded by
very alone. Other adverbs that can be used are: greatly, quite particulary, deeply.
e.g. The financial situation seems to be (very) much improved.
We are (very) much oblged to you/greatly obliged.
I was very much surprised to hear it.
When used attributively, adjectives derived from part participle can form the Absolute
Superlative with very, but not all of these adjectives can.
e.g. He is a very celebrated actor /a well-known writer.
There was a very surprised look on his face.
Very is not often used with some of the adjectives in predicative position beginning
with a; thus, instead of very awake we say widely awake, instead of very alone we say
very much alone/all alone/very lonely.
Other means of expressing the Absolute Superlative:
There are some other adverbs which can fulfill the same function as very, but
implying shades of meaning or stylistic changes they are more emphatic than very.
- the most + the adjective in the positive degree: the most used without any article
or with the indefinite article is synonymous with very (it is a strenghtened very).
e.g. She is most beautiful (means that she is extremely beautiful, and not that she is
more beautiful than all).
Everybody was most kind to me.
- much/far + too + the adjective in the positive degree
e.g. It is far too difficult.
- too is also commonly used (especially in American English) as a synonim of very in
negative sentences.
e.g. I dont feel too good.
- we can also achieve an intensifying effect by using the adverbs: extremely, mightly,
highly, quite remarkable, awfully, terribly, frightfully, dreadfully, utterfully + the
adjective in the positive degree
e.g. His activity is highly satisfactory.
It is awfully kind to you.
Thats teribly nice to Ann.
I am dreadfully sorry.
- quite + an ungradable adjective which are intrinsically superlative expresses the
idea of completeness, i.e. full, wrong, right, sure, certain or with a strong adjective
such as: perfect, amazing, extraordinary.
e.g. Youre quite wrong.
It is quite extraordinary.
I cant understand it al all.
We can also achieve an intensifying effect by repeating attributive adjectives or
degree intensifiers:
e.g. an old, old man = a very old man
It is very, very good = extremely good.

Evaluation test
1. Form adjectives from the following nouns:
accident, winter, faith, grace, influence, economy, autumn, occasion, poison,
sympathy, comfort, expression, fire, man, charity, method, hero, danger, custom,
affection, skill, ocean, suspicion, melody, volcano, fear, person, boy, nature, mania.

2. Give the comparative and the superlative of the following nouns:

small, interesting, good, difficult, noisy, little, many, far, clever, patient, narrow, thin,
ignorant, cold, dirty, late, industrious, bad, faithful, gracious, wealthy, beautiful, lucky,

3. Put the adjectives in brackets into the correct form:

1. Bucharest is (far) from Madrid than from Paris. 2. Geroge is (tall) boy in the class.
3. Your homework is (bad) than hers. 4. These books are not (expensive) as the other
ones. 5. His car is (good) than mine. 6. You have as (many) pencils as me. 7. Peter is
(clever) boy in school. 8. Books are and nowadays (expensive). 9. She was kind
and gave me (far) information. 10. My (old) sister works in one of the (old) schools in
town. 11. Lucy and Peter are in theie room: the (fore) is reading, the (late) is watching
TV. 12. Yersterdays weather was (bad) than todays. 13. The more, the (merry) says
an English proverb.14. Nobody is so (happy) as Rose. 15. Tis hotel manager was the
(polite) man I have ever met.

4. Translate into English:

1. Am admirat peisajele pitoreti. 2. Cred c a fost bine intenionat, dar e limpede ca
bun ziua c nu a reuit s gseasc cele mai bune soluii. 3. Cltoriile n spaiul
cosmic devin din ce n ce mai frecvente. 4. Fiul meu este cu trei ani mai mare dect el.
5. Ultimele tiri sunt ncurajatoare. 6. Aceste aspecte ale problemei sunt mai puin
interesante dect cele precedente. 7. ie i e i mai fric dect lor c preurile o sa
devin mai mari. 8. Uitndu-m la cei doi copii, nu mi vine s cred c primul este la
fel de mare ca i al doilea. 9. Cu ct mbtrnim, cu att devenim mai nelepi. 10. M-
am oprit la pot i i-am trimis fostului meu profesor o carte potal. 11. Era foarte
mulumit c putea s i ajute pe cei sraci. 12. Erau destui oameni care l puteau
ajuta. 13. Au intrat n clas doi cte doi. 14. Noi mergem la multe o dat la dou
Tema nr.4: THE NUMERAL

Uniti de nvare
Definition of numerals
Classification of numerals

Obiectivele temei
nelegerea prii de vorbire a numeralului
formarea capacitii de a identifica diferitele tipuri de numerale

Timpul alocat temei : 2 ore

Bibliografie recomandat :
Bdescu, L. Alice, 1984. Gramatica limbii engleze, Bucureti, Ed. tiinific i
Banta, A. 1978. English and Contrastive Studies, Bucureti, Tipografia Universitii
Banta, A. 1996. Descriptive English Syntax, Iai, Institutul European
Berry, Roger, 1993. English Guides, Articles, Harper-Collins Publishers, Birmingham
Berry, Roger, Page V, Collins/Cobuild, 1993. Articles, The University of Birmingham
Broughton, G. 1990. The Penguin English Grammar A-Z for Advanced Students,
London, Penguin ELT
Crystal, David, 1997. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English language, CUP
Curme, G., 1966. English Grammar, New York, Barnes and Noble
Gleanu Frnoag, G., Comiel, E., 1992. Gramatica limbii engleze, Ed.
Omegapress, Bucureti
Gruia, George, 2002. A Concise English Grammar, Ed. Grupus, Craiova
Jespersen, O. 1965. Essentials of English Grammar. London, George Allen & Unwin
Leech, G. and Svartik, I. 1994. A Communicative Grammar of English, London,
Longman House
Levichi, Leon, 1971. Gramatica limbii engleze, Bucureti, Ed. Didactic i
Levichi, Leon, 1970. Limba englez contemporan - Morfologia, Bucureti, Editura
Didactic i Pedagogic
Levichi, Leon. 1968, 1993. Sinonime n gramatica limbii engleze, Bucureti, Ed.
MacMillan, 1999. English Dictionary for Advanced Learners
Murphy, R., 1992. English in use, ELOD
Palmer F., 1971. Grammar, Penguin Books
Prlog H., 1982. More on the Superlatives. AUT, XX, pp. 85-88
Prlog H., 1995. The English Noun Phrase, Timioara, Hestia Publishing House
Quirk, R.S. Greenbaum, G. Leech, J. Svartik 1976. A Grammar of Contemporary
English, London, Longman
Thomson, A.J. and Martinet, A.V. 1960, 1997. A Practical English Grammar, OUP
***, 1996, Oxford English Reference Dictionary, OUP

1.1. Definition
The numeral is a word that denotes an abstract number or the abstract numerical order
of objects; it can be a noun, an adjective or a pronoun.

The questions they answer are: how many?; how much?; which?

Irrespective of their morphological status, numerals are invariable:

e.g. Ten multiplied by two is twenty. (noun)
Ten books are on the desk. (adjective)
The first has been the fastest. (pronoun)

1.2. Classification of numerals:

Numerals can be classified according to various criteria:

(i). according to the form:
a. simple: one, two, twenty
b. compound: sixty five
c. by derivation: thirteen, fourteen and all the ordinal numerals

(ii). according to content:

a. cardinal numerals
b. ordinal numerals
c. fractional numerals
d. multiplicative numerals
e. distributive numerals
f. adverbial numerals of recurrence

ii.a. Cardinal numerals show the number of objects:

one, two, ten, three thousand, seven hundred, two million, four billion

- numerals hundred, thousand, million, billion do not get a plural suffix when used
with numbers:
e.g. 3,000 = three thousand, 4,000,000 = 4 million
However, when we use them to show an indefinite number, they can be used in plural:
e.g. There are thousands and thousands of people on the streets.
There are ten of millions of people in the library.
- use and before the tens:
e.g. 1,124 = one thousand, one hundred and twenty-four
- a comma (,) is used instead of a full stop to separate millions from hundreds of
thousands, thousands from hundreds:
e.g. 3,125,879
- use a full stop instead of a comma in decimal fractions:
e.g. 5.7
- years are read as follows: the first two figures together and the last two together:
e.g. 1984 = nineteen eighty-four
- the cardinal numeral is also used instead of the ordinal numeral to show the number
of a house, bus, flat, chapter, section, volume:
e.g. chapter 2, flat eleven
- telephone numbers can be read in several ways. They are usually read figure by
figure if the figures are different:
e.g. 45.25. 35 = forty-five twenty-five thirty-five
If the figures are identical we can use the word double:
e.g. 45.22.35 = forty-five double two thirty-five
- the figure zero is used in the following ways:
- zero is used to express temperatures, in mathematics
- oh is used when reading long numbers
- nil is used to express scores in games
- love is used to express scores in tennis
- telling the time: the traditional way of telling the time uses prepositions (past and to)
and cardinal numerals for hours and minutes, e.g. it is twenty to five. There is a newer
form that has been imposed by international use (flights, trains tec) and which consists
of the juxtaposition of two cardinal numbers, the first telling the hour and the second
telling the minutes, e.g. four twenty (a.m. or p.m.).

ii.b. Ordinal numerals

When we want to identify or indicate something by indicating where it comes in a
series or sequence, the ordinal numbers are used. They are formed with the help of the
th added to their equivalents, except the first three numbers which have irregular
forms, and the compound numbers with which only the last figure gets in ordinal
e.g. the first the second
the third the fourth
the fifth etc.

Except the first three ordinal numerals whose form is different, the others are formed
from the cardinal numeral, and all are preceded by the.
telling the date: the date may be written in various ways, but it is read as follows: the
+ the numeral + of + name of the month and then the year, e.g. June, 4th , 2000 =
the fourth of June, two thousand etc.
to show regular intervals, e.g. every third week = o dat la trei sptmni, twice
every second week etc.

ii.c. Fractional numerals

They express:
- common fractions: 2/3 = two thirds; =one fourth; 4/6 = four sixths; half; 3
= three and a half etc.
- decimal fractions: special attention should be paid to the fact that instead of
comma in the European system, a full stop/a period is used in the Anglo-Saxon
system, e.g. 5.6; 3.56; 2.8765; 1.2 etc.

ii.d. Multiplicative numerals

Show how many times a quantity or number increases
e.g. adjectival use: double - dublu
threefold - ntreit
fourfold - mptrit
The form is an ordinal numeral + fold.
adverbial use: twice - dublu, ndoit, de dou ori
three times, threefold - ntreit, de trei ori
four times, fourfold - mptrit, de patru ori
a hundred times - de o sut de ori

ii.e. Distributive numerals

These numerals show the distribution and grouping of objects:
e.g. (one) by one - (unul) cte unul
by twos - cte doi
by threes - cte trei

ii.f. Adverbial numeral of recurrence

Shows how many times an action is repeated or how many times a quantity or number
is larger/smaller than another quantity or number
e.g. once - o dat
twice, two times - de dou ori
three times, thrice - de trei ori
four times - de patru ori
once and a half - o dat i jumtate
three times a year - de trei ori pe an
many times - de multe ori

Evaluation Test
1. Answer the following questions using the figures given in brackets. Write the years
in letters:
1. When did Marconi invent the radio? (1895)
2. When was the White House built? (1792)
3. When was Australia discovered? (1616)
4. When was the typewriter invented? (1829)
5. When was the Eiffel Tower built? (1889)
6. When were the mountains on the moon discovered? (1609)
7. When did Elisabeth II become Queen of England? (1952)
8. When was Shakespeare born? (1564)

2. Answer the questions:

1. When is the first school-day? 2. When is your birthday? 3. When is Christmas? 4.
When is your national holiday? 5. When is the last school-day? 6. When is the last day
of the year? 7. When is your mothers birthday? 8. Whats the date today? 9. Whats
the date tomorrow? 10. When was Eminescu born?

3. Translate into English:

1. Copiii au intrat n coal doi cte doi. 2. Am citit sute de pagini n ultimele
sptmni. 3. Tocmai am cumprat dou duzini de chibrituri. 4. Cred c maina are
mai mult de o sut de km. pe or. 5. Biletul tu de clasa a doua este pentru data de 22
iulie. 6. Un sfert din locuitorii acestui orel lucreaz n min. 7. Numai dup ce am
citit problema de trei ori am neles-o. 8. Nu ducem la teatru din dou n dou
sptmni. 9. Dup strngerea recoltei, anul acesta, ranii sper s obin un ctig
ntreit. 10. Am ntlnit-o o dat sau de dou ori, dar nu am discutat cu ea niciodat. 11.
Regele Richard III a fost unul dintre mai sngeroi regi din istoria Angliei. 12.
Capitlolul IX mi s-a prut mai interesant dect capitolul V. 13. Care este rspunsul tu
la cea de-a douzecea ntrebare? 14. Nou ori doi fac optsprezece. 15. Trenul va sosi
n jurul orei 14.20. 16. Invenia lui a adus un profit nzecit fabricii la care lucreaz. 17.
Trei cincimi plus o cincime fac patru cincimi.
Tema nr.5: Pronouns

Uniti de nvare
Definition of pronouns
Classification of numerals

Obiectivele temei:
nelegerea categoriei de pronume. Diferene fa de adjectivele
Folosirea corect a diferitelor tipuri de pronume.

Timpul alocat temei : 4 ore

Bibliografie recomandat :
Bdescu, L. Alice, 1984. Gramatica limbii engleze, Bucureti, Ed. tiinific i
Banta, A. 1978. English and Contrastive Studies, Bucureti, Tipografia Universitii
Banta, A. 1996. Descriptive English Syntax, Iai, Institutul European
Berry, Roger, 1993. English Guides, Articles, Harper-Collins Publishers, Birmingham
Berry, Roger, Page V, Collins/Cobuild, 1993. Articles, The University of Birmingham
Broughton, G. 1990. The Penguin English Grammar A-Z for Advanced Students,
London, Penguin ELT
Crystal, David, 1997. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English language, CUP
Curme, G., 1966. English Grammar, New York, Barnes and Noble
Gleanu Frnoag, G., Comiel, E., 1992. Gramatica limbii engleze, Ed.
Omegapress, Bucureti
Gruia, George, 2002. A Concise English Grammar, Ed. Grupus, Craiova
Jespersen, O. 1965. Essentials of English Grammar. London, George Allen & Unwin
Leech, G. and Svartik, I. 1994. A Communicative Grammar of English, London,
Longman House
Levichi, Leon, 1971. Gramatica limbii engleze, Bucureti, Ed. Didactic i
Levichi, Leon, 1970. Limba englez contemporan - Morfologia, Bucureti, Ed.
Didactic i PedagogicLevichi, Leon. 1968, 1993. Sinonime n gramatica limbii
engleze, Bucureti, Ed. tiinific
MacMillan, 1999. English Dictionary for Advanced Learners
Murphy, R., 1992. English in use, ELOD
Palmer F., 1971. Grammar, Penguin Books
Prlog H., 1982. More on the Superlatives. AUT, XX, pp. 85-88
Prlog H., 1995. The English Noun Phrase, Timioara, Hestia Publishing House
Quirk, R.S. Greenbaum, G. Leech, J. Svartik 1976. A Grammar of Contemporary
English, London, Longman
Thomson, A.J. and Martinet, A.V. 1960, 1997. A Practical English Grammar, OUP
***, 1996, Oxford English Reference Dictionary, OUP

5.1. The definitions of pronouns

For practical reasons adjectives and pronouns of the same kind will be
considered together; the main difference between an adjective and a pronoun of the
same kind lies in the fact that the adjective goes with the noun/noun equivalent while
the corresponding pronoun expresses the same thing and also replaces the noun/noun
equivalent, e.g. a demonstrative adjective is a word that determines a noun/noun
equivalent while a demonstrative pronoun expresses the same meaning as the
demonstrative adjective, but unlike the latter it also replaces the noun/noun
equivalent: this book is mine (adjective), this is mine (pronoun).
Adjectives Pronouns
1. Demonstrative Demonstrative
2. Indefinite + negative Indefinite + negative
3. Possessive Possessive
4. Interrogative Interrogative
5. Relative whose Relative
6. Adverbial ------------
7. ------------ Personal
8. ------------ Reflexive/emphatic
9. ------------ Reciprocal

5.2. The Classification of pronouns

5.2.1. Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns
Demonstrative adjectives Pronouns
this/these this/these
that/those that/those
the same the same
another another
the other the other(s)
other others
such such
This/these, that/those used as adjectives, agree in number with the nouns/noun
equivalents they determine and are the only adjectives to do so,
e.g. This book is quite interesting.
These children are my nephews.
That exhibition closed a month ago.
Those pencils are not mine.

When used as pronouns the idea of number is still there, referring either to one object
or to more than one (= plural),
e.g. This is my book and that is Ann's.
Those were not here yesterday.
These are longer than those (ones).

Those can be followed by a defining/restrictive relative clause (atributiv propriu-

e.g. Those who were caught in the fire suffered serious wounds.

This/That can replace a previously mentioned noun/phrase or clause, e.g.

e.g. The are cleaning the house. They do this every Saturday.

When there is some idea of comparison or selection, the pronoun one/ones is often
placed after this/these, that/those, but it is not essential except when these
demonstratives are followed by an adjective,
e.g. This chair is too low. I'll sit on that (one).
I like this (one) best.
but I like this blue one/these blue ones.
In the last example one/ones cannot be left out.

The same can be used with all kinds of nouns, countable or mass, singular or plural
when it is used as an adjective.

e.g. The same person(s) I met yesterday gave me the same advice.

As a pronoun the same can represent a previously mentioned noun, phrase or any
longer unit
e.g. The same was said about his parents.
The same here can stand for a word, a sentence or a whole story.

Another is singular in meaning and as an adjective takes a singular noun while as a

pronoun it replaces a singular countable noun,
e.g. Give me another book, I don't like this (one).

Another is sometimes opposed to one.

e.g. One says yes, another says no.

Other (an adjective) can take plural countable nouns.

e.g. She does not know what to say, other things are important now.
Don't show yourself, other people may come soon.

The other as an adjective takes singular or plural countable nouns.

e.g. One man came yesterday, while the other person has just arrived.

The other(s) as a pronoun can replace any countable noun in the singular or in the
e.g. One said yes, the other said no.

Such (an adjective and a pronoun) can be a determiner referring back to something
that has already been mentioned; it can take a plural or replace a plural noun,
e.g. Such beautiful flowers are very expensive.
Such was the problems they have to solve.
In the singular such is used with the indefinite article:
e.g. She is such a nice girl!
5.2.2. Indefinite and negative adjectives and pronouns
Most of them are both adjectives and pronouns and the meaning is the same in either
form, therefore the explanation will be one.

Adjectives Pronouns
a) numerical
several several
many/more/most many/more/most
(a) few (a) few
each each
every/all - /all
both both
either either
neither neither
b) numerical and quantitative
some some
any any
no none
lots of a lot
enough enough
c) quantitative
(a) little (a) little
much/more/most much/more/most
d) only pronouns
some/any/no + body/thing/one;
the same as above + else
a) numerical
Several, which can be used as an adjective as well as a pronoun, is not followed by
ones, unless there is a qualitative adjective after it.
e.g. Several persons told me the same thing.
There are several new ones on the table.

Many/more/most more and most can be used quite freely, and so can many with
negative verbs.
e.g. He didnt buy many books.
He gets a lot of books, but she doesn't get many.
The students made more spelling errors than we expected.

Most people are not familiar with these notions. But many with affirmative and
interrogative verbs has a restricted use, i.e. many is possible with affirmative verbs
when preceded by a good/a great, or when modified by so/as/too and very
e.g. I saw a good many beautiful houses there.

When not modified, many is usually replaced by a lot/lots of (+noun) or by a lot/lots

e.g. I saw a lot/lots of important people at the meeting.
I expect you saw a lot, too.

Compare the following: He hasn't won many races; but you've won a lot/lots of races
or You've won a lot/a great many races. The same restrictions of use are applied to
much/more/most, i.e. the quantitative indefinite adjective and pronoun that is
mentioned under c) above. Examples:
We don't have much coffee.
They drink too much.
but He spends a lot/lots of/a great deal of money on his

compare with
He didn't eat much fruit.
She ate a lot/lots of/a great deal of fruit.
or She ate a lot/a great deal.

Little and few (adjectives and pronouns) denote scarcity or lack and have almost the
force of a negative
e.g. There was little coffee left.
Little has been said about this urgent matter.
Few people knew about his tragedy.

This use of little and few is mainly confined to written English, probably because in
conversation little and few might easily be confused with a little and a few. In
conversation, therefore, little and few are normally replaced by hardly any or a
negative verb + much/many
e.g. We saw little = We saw hardly anything/We didn't see much;
Tourists come here but few stay overnight = Tourists come here but hardly any
stay overnight.

But little and few can be used more freely when they are qualified by
so/very/too/extremely/comparatively/relatively etc.
e.g. I would like to visit Kenya, a country I know so little about.
They have too many technicians, we have too few.
There are fewer people living in this building.

Only placed before a few means a small number in the speaker's opinion
e.g. Only a few students like mathematics.

But quite placed before a few increases the number considerably

e.g. I have quite a few books on English morphology. (=quite a lot of books).

A little/little can be adverbs mainly used with verbs:

e.g. They talked a little about their holiday abroad.
and with negative adjectives or adverbs:
e.g. a little anxious, a little annoyed, a little tired etc.
and with comparative adjectives and adverbs:
e.g. The cake should be a little sweeter.
Cant you drive a little faster?

All /each/every all means a number of people or things considered as a group, while
each/every means a number of people or things considered individually.

Each is an adjective and a pronoun while every is an adjective only; each can be
used of two or more persons or things, and is normally used of small numbers; every
is not normally used of small numbers, e.g. Every man had a weapon = All the men
had weapons; Each man had a weapon = the speaker went to each man in turn and
checked that he had a weapon (Thomson and Martinet 1997: 64).
Each can be followed by of + these/those/nouns/pronouns in the accusative
e.g. each of these/the boys/them/us.
Each can be associated with the personal pronoun
e.g. They each understood the problem.
All as a pronoun can be followed by of + the/this/these/that/those/
possessives/proper nouns in the possessive case
e.g. all of the students were there; all of his life he has only; all of these were
bought; all of Toms boys were
The preposition of can be omitted in the examples above, but it cannot be left out in
the construction all+ of + personal pronoun
e.g. all of it; all of us etc.
All of it was broken.
All of us were upset.
All of them left.

If, for some reason, the preposition of must be left out, all follows the noun
e.g. I want it all.
They wanted us all.
The manager dismised us all.

Both (an adjective and a pronoun) means one and the other and takes a plural verb,
e.g. Both (doors) were open.
Both (parents) agreed with their sons teacher.

A personal pronoun in the nominative/accusative + both is also possible

e.g. We both knew him or Both of us knew him.
They called us both or They called both of us.

When one of these pronoun + all/both combinations is the subject of a compound

tense the auxiliary verb usually precedes all/both
e.g. We are all waiting. and not *We all are waiting.
You must both help me.

Either/neither are both adjectives and pronouns. Either means any one of the two
and takes a singular verb
e.g. I have two oranges; you can take either (of them).
Either of you go and buy some bread.

Either + a negative verb can be replaced by neither + a positive verb

e.g. I havent read either of these (books) = I have read neither of these (books).

When neither is the subject of a verb it cannot be replaced by either + a negative verb
e.g. Neither of them knew the way is possible.
Neither means not one and not the other of the two. It takes a singular verb and can
sometimes replace either + a negative verb, except when it is the subject of a
construction (see above).
Either/neither can take a prepositional phrase: of + the/these/personal
e.g. I tried both keys but neither of them worked.
Neither of them knew the way.
Neither elevator was working.

Personal pronouns and possessive adjectives associated with either/neither (singular

adjectives or pronouns) used of people should technically be he/him, she/her, and
his/her, but in colloquial English the plural forms of the personal adjectives or
pronouns are generally used
e.g. Neither of them were working, were they?
Neither of them had brought their passports, hadnt they?

Either ..or/ neither. nor are double conjunctions

e.g. Neither her sisters nor her brothers understood him.
They wanted to go either to France or to England.

The double conjunctions must connect identical parts of speech or identical

constructions (two nouns, two pronouns, two verbal forms etc)
b) Numerical and quantitative adjectives and pronouns
Some and any are used mainly with plural countable nouns and mass nouns (nite),
e.g. There are some people at the door.
There is some time left.

Some is used in affirmative structures (=an affirmative verb) while any is mainly used
in interrogative and negative structures
e.g. Are there any students there?
There arent any books on that table.

Some is also used

with singular countable nouns
e.g. Hes living at some place in Africa.
Ive read that story in some book or other.

with singular countable nouns, with a deprecating meaning or implying

the fact that the person or object is unknown to the speaker
e.g. The little girl was drawing some flower.
Theres some man in the hall.
In spoken English the intonation is enough to make the difference; in written English,
however, the larger context does the same.

with singular countable nouns, stressed, in familiar English denoting

e.g. This is some dress!

with plural countable nouns to contrast with other + noun/others

e.g. Some people learn languages quickly (while others dont).
Some people like their coffee hot (other people like their coffee cold).
with countable or mass nouns to mean a considerable quantity/number
(it is always stressed)
e.g. I willl be away for some time (fairly long time).
The railway station is at some distance (quite a long way).

in interrogative constructions in form but which are actually invitations or

e.g. Will you have some coffee?
Would you buy me some bread?

in interrogative constructions when they refer to a part of the whole or of a

e.g. Could I take some apples, please?
Do you have some change about you?

in interrogative sentences if the question does not refer to some (Levichi),

e.g. Why are there so many people in here?
It is true that some people hate watching TV.

As pronouns some and any follow the same rules as those mentioned above
e.g. Did you buy any stamps? Yes, I bought some/No I did not buy any.

As already mentioned, any is used with countable or mass nouns mainly in negative
and interrogative constructions, as an equivalent of some
e.g. I havent seen any books on the table.
There isnt any coffee left.

Any is also used:

with hardly/barely/scarcely (which are almost negative)

e.g. I have hardly any spare time;
She has hardly any food left.

with without when without any means with no

e.g. She can learn almost any foreign language without any difficulty.
He is able to swim across the lake without any visible effort/with no effort.

after if and whether and in expressions of doubt

e.g. If you need any help, just let me know.
I suppose there isnt any student in the classroom.

in affirmative sentences
e.g. Any woman can wear Armanis dresses.
Can I choose a book? Yes, you can have any.

No (an adjective) and none (a pronoun) can be used with an affirmative verb to
express a negative (as an alternative to any + a negative verb); it can be used with
countable or mass nouns
e.g. I have no apples = I dont have any apples;
I had some last year, but I have none this year.
No changes were made in this department.

A lot of/a lot (see above)

Enough is both an adjective and a pronoun on the one hand, and an adverb on the
other. As an adjective enough precedes the noun/noun equivalent it determines
e.g. She has enough money to buy whatever she wants to.
You have enough time to get to the party.

As an adverb enough follows the adjective/adverb/verb it modifies

e.g. She is smart enough to become a doctor.
They worked enough.

c) Quantitative adjectives and pronouns

For practical reasons quantitative adjectives and pronouns have been dealt with in
parallel with other adjectives and adverbs, so, see sections for little and

d) Pronouns: some, any and no combine with body, thing and one, the resulting
compounds being pronouns. These compounds are: somebody, something, someone,
anybody, anything, anyone; nobody, nothing, no one; as compounds of some, any
and no they follow the rules for some, any and no (see under some, any and no)
e.g. Someone called me on the street.
I dont want to go anywhere.
Anyone can tell the truth.

These pronouns can be used in the possessive case.

e.g. It is nobodys business.
Someones passport has been stolen;
Is this anyones seat?
I dont want to waste anyones time.

These pronouns have a singular meaning and take a singular verb, so personal
pronouns and possessive adjectives should logically be he/him, she/her etc. However,
plural forms are more common:
e.g. Has anyone left their luggage on the train?
No one saw Tom go out, didnt they?

Else can be placed after the pronouns mentioned above as well as after everyone,
everybody, everything (pronouns also) and after the adverbs somewhere, anywhere,
nowhere, everywhere, e.g. somebody else, anybody else, somewhere else etc.
e.g. Im afraid I cant help you; youll have to ask someone else.
There isnt anyone else to ask.

somewhere else etc. - forms can be used in the possessive case

e.g. By mistake, I took someone elses coat;
Was anyone elses luggage opened?
5.2.3. Possessive adjectives and pronouns

Form: Person Adjectives Pronouns

I my mine
II your yours
III his his
her hers
its ----
I pl. our ours
II pl. your yours
III pl. their theirs

Possessive adjectives and pronouns in English have only one form which refers to the
possessor and not to the thing(s) possessed, and do not agree in number, gender or
case with the object(s) possessed
e.g. This is my car and the red one is yours.
If you need a car you can use mine.

Own can be used after possessive adjectives to emphasize the idea of possession
e.g. He couldnt trust his own friends;
She didnt want to see me, her own mother!

Parts of ones body, pieces of clothing or personal belongings are most frequently
preceded by a possessive adjective
e.g. Put on your coat !
Where are my glasses?
He wont lend me his car!

5.2.4. Interrogative adjectives and pronouns

For persons: Nominative case: who (pronoun), dative/accusative cases: whom/who

(pronoun), of which whom is the technically correct one, but who is used, especially
in spoken English; possessive case: whose (adjective and pronoun); what can also be
used for persons and its form is invariable.
For things: what (adjective and pronoun) has an invariable form.
For persons and things when the choice is restricted: which has an invariable form.

Who, whose, which, what, when used as subjects are usually followed by an
affirmative verb
e.g. Who told you this?
Whose words are these?
What went wrong?

But with who, whose etc. + be + noun or personal/distributive pronoun, an

interrogative verb is used
e.g. Who is he? Whose is that?
What is that noise?

What can also be used in other constructions

- what + action + for? meaning why?
e.g. What did you do that for? = Why did you do that? or
What did you go there for?= Why did you go there?

- what + be..+ like? is a request for description or comment (animate/inanimate)

e.g. What was your trip like? (possible answer: It was too long and difficult to
What was the weather like? (possible answer: It was cold and windy)
What is your friend like? (possible answer: He is nice and friendly)

- what + do/does/did + they/he/she/it + look like? is a request for description only

e.g. What does she look like? (possible answer: She is tall and slender)
What does it/the car look like? (possible answer: It is brand new and as quick
as one could imagine).

- what + be + you/he/she/they? is a question eliciting an answer about ones

e.g. What are you? (possible answer: I am a teacher).

- what (and how) are used in questions about age and measurements, i.e.
depth/height/length/width, although in conversation it would be more usual to say
how old/deep/high/ tall/long/wide?

Formal English Conversation

What age are you? What is your age? How old are you?
What height is she? What is his height? How tall is he?
What is the weight of the parcel? How heavy is it?

Ever can be placed after who/what (as well as after the adverbs where, why, when,
how) although it is not necessary; when added, it emphasizes the speakers
surprise/astonishment/anger/irritation/dismay. It has the same meaning as on earth/in
the world and it is not polite
e.g. Who ever are you? (it expresses the speakers irritation, the other person is
probably an intruder);
Who ever told you about it? =Who on earth told you about it?

Who ever and what ever (two words) are different from whoever (pronoun only) or
whatever (pronoun and adjective); whoever means the one who, he/she who
(whoever, whichever and whatever are relative adjectives/pronouns, but it seems
logical to mention them here as well)
e.g. Whoever gains the most points wins the competition.

In order to emphasize the importance of a request or command whatever you do is

often placed before or after it
e.g. Whatever you do, dont mention my name.

5.2.5. Adverbial adjectives

They are hundreds of words that begin in a- that is usually attached to nouns,
adjectives or verbs, e.g. aback, abask, abeam, ablaze, abloom, ablush, aboard,
abreast, acock, adrift, afar, afield, afloat, afoot, afore, afresh, agape, agaze, aghast,
aglow, agog, aground, ahead, ajar etc.

These words are neither pure adjectives nor pure adverbs since they partly show the
state of an object and partly its characteristic at a given moment; they are classed as
adjectives, however, because of the following reasons:

1. state being a transient quality of something, the general meaning of these words
falls under the heading of qualitative adjectives;
2. they are morphologically non-flexional; some may combine with more and the
most, e.g. more afraid, more alive etc.;
3. syntactically they combine with other parts of speech, like any other qualitative
adjectives: with adverbs, e.g. he was painfully alive to the great universal things
(Jack London); with prepositional combinations, e.g. He walked away under a sky
of clear steel-blue, alive with stars (Galsworthy);
4. They combine with infinitives, e.g. He is afraid to come back;
5. they are usually predicatives
e.g. They are asleep.
The door was ajar.

5.2.6. Relative pronouns

Relative pronouns introduce relative clauses which can be a) defining/ restrictive

relative clauses or b) non-defining/non-restrictive relative clauses;

a) Defining relative clauses describe the preceding noun in such a way as to

distinguish it from the other nouns of the same class. A clause of this kind is
essential to the clear understanding of the noun
e.g. The man [who came yesterday] refused to give me his name.
The part in parantheses is the relative clause; if we omit it, it is not clear what man we
are talking about.

Relative pronouns used in defining/restrictive relative clauses:

for things: N. who/that, D. and Acc. Who(m)/that, G. whose;
for things: N., D., Acc. which/that, G. whose/of which

- for persons, nominative: The man who robbed you has been arrested: that is a
possible alternative after all, everyone, everybody, no one, nobody and those; if
in doubt, use who, e.g. Everyone who/that knew him liked him;

- for persons, accusative: the pronoun changes from the formally correct, whom,
to the more usual one, who, then to that or it is left out altogether, e.g. The man
whom/who/that/-----I saw told me to come back yesterday;

- for persons, genitive: People whose rents have been raised can appeal;
- for things, nominative: This is the picture which/that caused such a sensation;
that is a possible alternative to which, but when in doubt, use which;

- for things, accusative: the pronoun changes from which to that or is left out
completely, e.g. The car which/that/----- I hired broke down;

- for things, genitive: A house whose walls were made of glass cost a fortune;

A defining/restrictive relative clause can be replaced by an infinitive or a participle

b) Non-defining/non-restrictive relative clauses are placed after nouns that are

definite already, so they do not define the noun, but merely add something to it by
giving some more information about it; unlike defining relative clauses, they are not
essential in the sentence and can be omitted without causing confusion; the pronouns,
however, can never be omitted as they play an important role in the subordinate
clause. This construction is fairly formal and more common in written than in
spoken English.

Relative pronouns in non-defining relative clauses:

for persons: N. who, D., Acc. who(m), G. whose
for things: N.,D., Acc. which, G. whose, of which


- for persons, nominative: My friend, who doesnt like fishing at all, went fishing

- for persons, accusative: Peter, who(m) everyone suspected, turned out to be

innocent; --for persons, genitive: Ann, whose children are at school today, is
trying to get a job;

- for objects, nominative: That block, which cost $2 million to build, has been
empty for years;

- for objects, accusative: These books, which you can get at any bookshop, will
give you all the information you need;

- for objects, genitive: This house, whose windows were all broken, was a
depressive sight.

Which can also modify a whole main clause or a longer unit that was reported before
e.g. Apart from his talent, he was tall and handsome, which made the jury select
him for the main part in the movie.
or (a longer unit), which left him poor and broke.

Both in defining and non-defining relative clauses the preposition, if there is one,
should be kept after the verb it belongs to. The preposition may precede the relative
pronoun sometimes, but this construction is rather formal and is never used in spoken
English, although it may appear in written form: so, it is more usual to say The man I
was travelling with was from San Francisco than The man with whom I was travelling
was from S.F, in which the preposition precedes the relative pronoun; the same is true
for all instances of relative pronouns associated with prepositions.

The importance of commas in relative clauses

A defining relative clause is written without commas, while a non-defining relative

one is always put between commas, or comes after a comma, at the end of the
sentence. The presence of commas is very important as the meaning changes when
commas are inserted
e.g. The students who wanted to go on a trip were disappointed when it started to
rain (=not all were disappointed, only those who wanted to go on a trip) and
The students, who wanted to go on a trip, were disappointed (all wanted to go
on a trip and all were disappointed).

5.2.7. Personal pronouns

Pronouns are words which replace nouns; the personal pronoun has an anaphoric
function, i.e. they replace nouns previously mentioned or notions the interlocutor(s)
is/are already informed about.

The personal pronoun has number (singular and plural), gender (masculine and
feminine, and the inanimate it), and case (nominative, and dative/accusative):
For the position of the pronoun objects see under noun, the category of the case.

Synonyms of personal pronouns:

- myself can stand for I
e.g. John and myself went on foot.

or after as/than/but
e.g. No person has ever been more intolerably tortured than myself.

- we is sometimes used instead of you in the following cases:

- when talking down (doctor to patient)
e.g. How are we feeling today?
- when talking to children
e.g. Are we hungry?

The pronoun It has been explained under noun, the category of gender; it has other
functions as well:
- Demonstrative IT- very much like the demonstrative adjective, when the pronoun
could be replaced by a demonstrative
e.g. Who is it?
Its all right.
- Impersonal IT- used with time, weather, distance etc.
e.g. It is late.
What time is it?
It is 10 miles distance away.
- Introductory-anticipatory IT - it introduces the sentence and anticipates the logical
subject/object, being itself a formal grammatical subject or object; it also introduces
passive constructions (for other introductory functions see under adjective of quality),
e.g. It is easy to learn English.
It is clear that he wont do it.

- Introductory-emphatic IT- sometimes the speaker feels that it is not strong enough
to use only the subject and the predicate, he feels the need to emphasize the subject,
e.g. The doctor prescribed the medicine (=Doctorul mi-a prescris medicamentul) is
not convincing enough, so the speaker says: It is/was the doctor who
prescribes/prescribed the medicine (=Doctorul e cel care mi-a prescris
medicamentul); or It was only yesterday that I found out the truth; It was the teacher
who told me what to do etc.
- An emphatic-predicate IT- when it refers to person/thing/situation which is final or
ultimate, e.g. This is it! Thats it!
- An empty-meaningless IT- because of the compulsory presence of a subject, e.g. It
is Monday; It is raining etc, very much like b), the impersonal IT.

5.2.8. Reflexive and emphatic pronouns

The form of the reflexive pronoun is the same as the emphatic pronoun, the two can
be distinguished in use.
Person/Number Reflexive/Emphatic/Emphasizing pronoun
I singular myself
II singular yourself
III singular himself
I plural ourselves
II plural yourselves
III plural themselves

The indefinite reflexive/emphasizing pronoun is oneself.

1) as reflexive pronouns they are used as objects of a verb when the action of the verb
returns to the doer, i.e. when the subject and the object are the same person; the word
order is: subject + verb + reflexive pronoun
e.g. I cut myself.
He cant shave himself.

Reflexive pronouns can be used after verb + preposition

e.g. He spoke to himself.
Look after yourself!
The preposition by preceding any of these pronouns changes their meaning to alone,
not accompanied or without help
e.g. He was sitting there by himself =he was sitting there alone.
I did it by myself =I did it without any help.

2) as emphatic pronouns, they have a different place, i.e. subject + emphatic

pronoun + verb + object OR subject +verb + object + emphatic pronoun
e.g. Ann herself opened the door =Ann opened the door herself.
The king himself gave her the medal.

5.2.9. Reciprocal pronouns

They are one another and each other; both can be used for two or more, but each
other is preferred when there are no more than two
e.g. Tom and Ann looked at each other.

The reciprocal pronoun can be used in the genitive

e.g. The boys whispered in each others ears.
It was a general fight, people tearing each others clothes.

In contemporary usage each other is frequently preferred over one another, even
when there are more than two people present.

Evaluation test
1. Fill in the blanks with the necessary possessive determinative or the definite article:
1. I was struck with the expression of face. 2. The waist of the coat was below
hips.3.The dog bit him in leg. 4. I could not hide curiosity as to origin,
life. 5. He struck me on head. 6. I could hear teeth grinding in jaws and faces
were so pale that I grew alarmed for leves. 7. She kissed the baby on head.

2. Suply each, every or all:

1. Wages differ with job. 2. Write down item you buy and penny you spend
for a week. 3. women go in for jewels. 4. One of the effects of higher education
should be to develop in student a greater sense of responsibility. 5. member
union sends delegates to the conference. 6. warmth is sentimental. 7. It is not easy
to find the right job time. 8. man has some secret in his life. 9. I enjoyed
minute of it. 10. leaves had fallen.

3. Fill in the blanks with some, any or no:

1. person or other has spotted us. 2. Ill see you day next week. 3. morning
sun lasts a whole day. 4. She is forbidden to do washing. 5. Come at time you
like. 6. He might make it ambassador to remote country. 7. two men are alike. 8.
She is friend of mine. 9. Can you give me lunch? 10. I have hesitation in
saying that it was worth it. 11. I dont owe man a penny. 12. Lets have beer and
cakes. 13. Ill abandon claim. 14. Did he have excuse? 15. Thats a town of

4. Supply some, (a) little (a) few, much, many:

1. As she was still hungry, she asked for more ham and eggs. 2. Last year I spent
New Years Eve at the seaside; there were people on the beach. 3. Are there
lions at the Zoo? 4. Did you have difficulties in translating this text? 5. The tea is
too sour, you have too lemon in it. 6. There are letters for you today. 7. There
are fine shops on this street. 8. His lectures provide opportunity for discussion.
9. of my knowledge was dated. 10. Theres very accommodation near the

5. Complete these sentences with (a) little, (a) little of the, (a) few/(a) few of the,
much of the, many/ much of the:
1. There is too flour left for the pancakes. 2. He has looked over letters. 3. There
are still people waiting for the doctor. 4. Tractors now do work formerly done
by the farmers. 5. People usually have money left by the end of the holiday. 6. Mrs.
Kean has planted rose-bushes I have sent her. 7. I think we are going to break our
journey and stay days in Paris. 8. May I have jam, please? 9. There were
unoccupied seats when he arrived. 10. people I stopped had heard of Half Moon

6. Translate into English:

1. Nu e nici un pic de lapte n cas. 2. Unele cri sunt chiar ieftine. 3. Ai fost obligai
s nchidei vreun pavilion? 4. Orice colecie se poate mndri cu acest tablou. 5. A
prsit conferina apropos fr nici un motiv. 6. Nu tiu dac vreunul din musafirii
notri s-a odihnit puin nainte de mas. 7. Jocul lui nu are nici o ncrctur
emoional. 8. Nu vrei s te serveti i cu prjitur? 9. M ndoiesc c a luat vreo
pastil. 10. Nu mi ntmpl niciodat s trec pe lng o florrie fr s cumpr flori.
11. Plou prea tare ca s plantm floarea n dimineaa asta. 12. Toi banii sunt n
monede fr valoare. 13. Amndoi copiii sunt foarte politicoi. 14. Fiecare dintre cei
trei oferi este vinovat. 15. Majoritatea timpului se poart cu mine de parc a fi sora
lui mai mic. 16. Cteva ziare au dat tirea. 17. Nu prea sunt sperane s se fac bine.
18. Noi exportm o cincime din producia noastr. 19. Nu-i aa c i-am dat bani i
ieri? 20. Fiecare membru al expediiei s-a odihnit puin nainte de plecare.
Final evaluation test

I. Fill in the blanks with the corresponding articles:

It was raining hard, but when I went to get.umbrella, I found that out
of.umbrellas, we have at.home, there was no one I could use. I decided to take
allumbrellas to.umbrella-maker.
So I took them, left them at.umbrellas-makers, saying I would call forumbrellas
on myway home in.evening.When I went to dine in.afternoon, it was still
raining very hard.

II. Translate into English:

1. L-ai cunoscut pe profesorul de englez[ al surorii mele?
2. Blana de pisic[ e moale.
3. Trebuie s[ m[ tund la coafor.
4. De]i fratele meu este mai @n v`rst[ cu trei ani pare mult mai t`n[r.
5. Ia-o pe poteca mai @ngust[.
6. E de departe cel mai bun elev din clas[.
7. El e ultimul, dar nu cel din urm[.
8. Se sim]ea din ce @n ce mai r[u.
9. Este adev[rat c[ romanul acesta recent publicat este ultimul dumneavoastr[ roman?
10. Am nevoie ]i de alte am[nunte pentru a trage o concluzie.

III. Fill in the balnks with the appropriate pronoun:

1. Almostmight have those.
2. will you take, milk or cream?
3. I dont know .fault it is.
4. The boyyou see there is our teachers son.
5. They were afraid of.
6. There is a simple explanation, but it isnt the onltI can give.
7. There ismilk in the fridge; I cant make the cake.
8. If you haveto do, at least do not disturb me.
9. He tried to save her in spite of
10. Each of them seem to finds silence restful.

IV. Use the words in capitals to complete the blanks with the suitable forms:
1. The of your papers took me a long time. CORRECT
2. Time and space are.. LIMIT
3. I am about the value of his suggestions. DOUBT
4. The witness gave ..opinions about the accident. CONTRADICT
5. The of his actionsis questionable. MORAL
6. The police had to make aentry. FORCE
7. This jewel of yours isyou should keep it in a safe. PRICE
8. She bases her statement on a false. SUPPOSE
9. This novel is.for his work. REPRESENT
10. The.of the task took his several months. ACCOMPLISH

V. Correct the mistakes:

1. The man whom I said would be waiting for you had just left.
2. The most of the people there were strangers.
3. They have agreed to cooperate on numerous matters of mutually interest.
4. There was little flour left and she made some pancakes.
5. Who won the race: Fred or Larry? The second.
6. The two friends kept writing to one another all through the holidays.
7. The cattle was taken to market.
8. A reliable friend should be a honest person.
9. As lon you support me, I feel more slef-confident.
10. The audience is asked to take its seats.

VI. Translate into English:

}tefan @ntinse bra]ul ca s[ @l acopere mai bine cu p[tura. Antim se suci brusc,
apuc`nd cu ambele m`ini servieta. D-ta erai? @ntreb[ el speriat. }I @l privi
cercet[tor, cu b[nuial[. }tefan @i z`mbi ]i se ghemui sub p[tur[. Se sim\ea aproape
@nghe\at. Ar fi vrut s[ adoarm[ din nou ]i @nchise ochii. Dar @i redeschise imediat ]
i @ntoarse capul. Antim nu se culcase, @i urm[rea atent mi]c[rile. Ochii li se
@nt`lnir[ o clip[. St`njenit, }tefan se @ntoarse cu fa\a la perete.