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English Linguistics II: Syntax & semantics

Prof. Dr. M. Taverniers

Part 2: Functions in clauses.

10. Functions: in the clause.

In the following examples, place brackets around phrases which are immediate
constituents of clauses and label each clause element for function in the clause (give a
specific label for core elements, but indicate adverbials just by “A”).

1. [S I] [Pred saw] [DO one of your grandchildren] [A the other day].

2. My dislike of the man returned.

3. Taco is really a smart dog.

4. Some guy died at twenty of a heart attack.

5. The gallery became a reality in June.

6. Just give them hot chocolate.

7. He considered it a dumb question.

8. During her short life, her two sisters bought her

a small teddy bear.

9. The Portuguese named the place Bom Bahia

for its harbour.

10. I ’m soaking wet and you call it nice.

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11. Functions: in the clause: clause patterns.
For each of the following clauses, write down the pattern of core and obligatory clause
elements (e.g. S + V + SP), and label the clause pattern (e.g. copular).

1. You still haven’t answered my dog S + V + DO monotransitive

question. (answer sth.)

2. The cheetah is the fastest animal in

the world.

3. I haven’t got Chris his gift yet.

4. We were in a meeting all morning

with Barbara.

5. The boy lives in Washington now.

6. He really told his father the truth.

7. I’d have called him a liar for sure.

8. Here I find you in some dark plot

against me.

9. They made her this incredible offer.

10. So that made her popular.

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12. Functions: in the clause: core elements.
Describe the underlined expressions in the following clauses in terms of their function
within the clause.

1. He, however, was considered lazy.

2. She did not have to account for the deficit.

3. This room is too cold.

4. Well, who do you like most?

5. This one was as big as a star.

6. I don’t feel well.

7. Yesterday was the last day of the project.

8. Sometimes people addressed letters mistakenly to Lady Muriel

Selvedge, and on these occasions she imagined herself the daughter
of an earl, a marquess, or even a duke.

9. I therefore divide this chapter into three parts.

10. Her father had called her one evening.

11. They certainly couldn’t tell her the truth.

12. Well, uh, I got hungry and wanted something to chew on.

13. Finding common ground often has proved difficult over the past
two years.

14. To her son these words conveyed an extraordinary joy.

15. How difficult it was to make the right decision !

13. Functions: in the clause: Adverbials.

Mark all Adverbials in the following clauses and specify their meaning. Be as specific as

1. Every now and then Mrs . Ramsay

looked over her spectacles and smiled at

2. He whizzed his plate through the


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3. Then he would turn as smooth as silk,
affable, urbane, and try to win her so.

4. Now, clearly, Lee and I have never had

a tougher week, but I’m not a beaten
man .

5. To her son these words conveyed an

extraordinary joy .

6. Due to popular demand, he has prepared

the film .

7. The boat had been privately chartered by

a modelling agency
for a birthday party.

8. The girls especially objected to his

manners .

9. Linguistically, these islands are closer to

the mainland than to their neighbouring
islands .

10. He turned Evans’ primitive path into a

usable road with a work gang of only
thirty convicts in less than six months.

11. From an economic point of view, many

of these people have suffered .

12. I’ve noticed a fox in my garden and

John has seen it too.

13. I think she’s pretty bold, to tell you the


14. He chooses with his expert eye.

15. Even Bob was there.

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16. I’ve never felt the voters really cared
about either one of those things, frankly.

17. Unfortunately, my dear, he doesn’t give

a damn .

18. On the contrary, Saturn is placed highest

on the list.

19. Picture, if you will, a rustic cottage in

England two centuries ago .

20. Weatherwise, we are going to have a

bad time this winter.

21. I therefore divide this chapter into three

parts .

22. In this connection, I am of course relying

on certain very general hypotheses as to
the character of the human brain .

23. Dust swirled like smoke in the shaft of

evening sunlight from the small
window: rolls of it drifted over the
floor, clinging to the men’s feet and

24. First we have to discuss where he would

fit on our club.

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25. The two miles of this road were beefed
up in 1937 to handle an increasing
tourist traffic, thus becoming the first
divided highway in Arizona.

14. Functions: in the clause.

Construct pairs of clauses matching the functional patterns below.

1. Subject Predicator Direct Object Object Predicative

2. Stance Adv. Subject Predicator Indirect Object Direct Object

3. Vocative Predicator Prepositional Object Circ. Adv.: Time

4. Linking Adv. Predicator Subject Subject Predicative

5. Circ. Adv.: Subject Circ. Adv.: Predicator Circ. Adv.:

Reason Time Place

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6. Stance Adv. Subject Predicator Direct Object Prepositional Object

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