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  1. The subject-matter of syntax.

Syntax deals with combinability of words, i.e. how words are combined to make meaningful utterances, what patterns they combine on, and what abstract grammatical meaning they express.

The main objectives of Syntax are:

1) to study relations between words within word combinations;

2) to study the sentence as a structural unit which communicates a message in a definite situation.

The units of syntactic analysis are the sentence and the phrase. They represent different levels of a hierarchy.

In most respects, however, the sentence and the phrase differ.

the sentence

the phrase

expresses a ‘complete thought’

Doesn’t express a ‘complete thought’

Has a certain intonation pattern

Does not have intonation

Is a minimal communicative unit of speech

Is part of a communicative unit of


Has a nominative function – is a

2. Communicative types of sentences.

The sentence is above all a communicative unit. According to the purpose of communication, sentences are subdivided into declarative, interrogative and imperative.

Declarative sentences are traditionally defined as those expressing statements, either affirmative or negative.

Imperative sentences express inducements of various kinds (orders or requests); they may also be either affirmative or negative.

Interrogative sentences express questions, or requests for information.


emotional (exclamatory sentences)

non emotional (all other types)

Blokh: intermediary communicative types

So-called indirect questions have the form of a declarative sentence, but actually express a request for information, e.g.: I wonder who shut the window (cf.: Who shut the window?). An answer is expected, as with a regular question, e.g.: I wonder who shut the window. – Tom did; the response supports the mixed communicative character of this sentence type. Rhetorical questions are interrogative in their structural form, but express a declarative functional meaning of high intensity, e.g.: How can you say a thing like this?

3. Structural classification of sentences: simple sentence VS composite sentence.

The Sentence is the largest grammatical unit in the English and it refers to a group of words that begins with a capital letter and ends with any of these three punctuation marks: the period or full stop, the exclamation mark and the question mark.

A sentence is a set of words complete in itself as the expression of a thought, containing or implying a subject and a predicate, and conveying a statement, question, exclamation or command.

Structural Classification of the English Sentences

There are four types sentences based on structural classification. These are:

  • Simple Sentence (Two-membered sentence contains two principle parts — the subject and the predicate)

  • Complex Sentence (A complex sentence is a polypredicative construction built up on the principle of subordination.)

  • Compound Sentence (A compound sentence is a sentence which consists of two or more clauses coordinated with each other.)

  • Compound-Complex Sentence

From the point of view of their structure sentences can be divided into: two-membered; one-membered; complete; incomplete.

4. The simple sentence: Two-member sentences / One-member sentences.

Simple sentences. Two-membered sentence contains two principle parts — the subject and the predicate. A two-membered sentence can be complete and incomplete. It is complete when it has a subject and a predicate. It is incomplete when one of the principal parts or both of them are missing, but can be easily understood from the context. Such sentences are mostly used in colloquial speech and especially in dialogue (Where were you yesterday? At the cinema).

One-membered sentence have only one principal part (Dusk — of a summer night).

Simple sentences, both two-membered and one-membered can be unextended and extended. A sentence consisting only of the primary or principle parts. She is a student. Birds fly. Winter!

An extended sentence is a sentence consisting of the subject, predicate and one or more secondary parts (objects, attributes, adverbial modifiers). The two native woman stole furtive glances at Sarie.

5. The composite sentence. General characteristics of a composite sentence.

Composite sentence is formed by two or more predicative groups. Being a polypredicative construction, it expresses a complicated thought reflecting two or more elementary situational events.

Each predicative unit in a composite sentence makes up a clause in it that corresponds to a separate sentence as a part of a contextual sequence.

Composite sentence displays two principal types of the connection of clauses — subordination and coordination.

According to the traditional view, all composite sentences are to be classed into:

  • compound sentences (coordinating their clauses),

  • complex (subordinating their clauses).

6. Compound sentences. Types of coordination.

A compound sentence is a sentence which consists of two or more clauses coordinated with each other. In a compound sentence the clauses may be connected:

1) syndetically, i.e. by means of coordinating conjunctions (and, or, else, but, etc.) or conjunctive adverbs (otherwise, however, nevertheless, yet, still, therefore, etc.) The darkness was thinning, but the street was still dimly lighted.

2) asyndetically, i.e. without a conjunction or conjunctive adverb. The rain fell softly, the house was quiet.

7. Complex sentences. Types of subordination.

A complex sentence is a polypredicative construction built up on the principle of subordination. Clauses in a complex sentence may be linked in two ways:

1) Syndetically, i.e. by means of subordinating conjunctions or connectives.

E.g. more and more, she became convinced that some misfortune had overtaken Paul.

2) Asyndetically, i.e. without a conjunction or connective. I wish you had come earlier.

A subordinate clause may follow, interrupt or precede the principal clause.

According to the grammatical function subordinate clauses can be divided into: subject, predicative, object and adverbial (of time, place, purpose, cause, condition, concession, result, manner, comparison).

8. The problem of classification of parts of speech in English

The classification of parts of speech is the controversial problem in general linguistics. There exist different classifications.

When the first English grammar appeared, the English grammarians borrowed from Latin the traditional classification of parts of speech. But it couldn’t be easily applied to modern English, because it was created for highly inflected languages, such as Greek and Latin, while English is highly analytical language, as there are not many inflections left in it.

According to their meaning, morphological characteristics and syntactical functions, words fall under certain classes called parts of speech. We distinguish between notional and structural parts of speech. The notional parts of speech perform certain functions in the sentence: the functions of subject, predicate, attribute, object, or adverbial modifier.

The notional parts of speech are:

(1) the noun;

(2) the adjective;

(3) the pronoun;

(4) the numeral;

(5) the verb;

(6) the adverb;

(7) the words of the category of state;

(8) the modal words;

(9) the interjection.

The structural parts of speech either express relations between words or sentences or emphasize the meaning of words or sentences. They never perform any independent function in the sentence. Here belong:

(1) the preposition;

(2) the conjunction;

(3) the particle;

(4) the article.

9. Morphological composition of English nouns

According to their morphological composition we distinguish simple, derivative and compound nouns.

1.Simple nouns are nouns which have neither prefixes nor suffixes. They are indecomposable: chair; table, room, map, fish, work.

2.Derivative nouns are nouns which have derivative elements (prefixes or suffixes or both): reader, sailor, blackness, childhood, mis­conduct, inexperience.

Productive noun-forming suffixes are:

-er: reader, teacher, worker

-ist: communist, telegraphist, dramatist

-ess: heiress, hostess, actress

-ness: carelessness, madness, blackness

-ism: socialism, nationalism, imperialism

Unproductive suffixes are:

-hood: childhood, manhood

-dom: freedom

-ship: friendship, relationship

-merit: development

-ance: importance

-ence: dependence

-ty: cruelty

-ity: generosity

3.Compound nouns are nouns built from two or more stems. Com­pound nouns often have one stress. The meaning of a compound often differs from the meanings of its elements.

The main types of compound nouns are as follows:

а) noun-stem + noun-stem: appletree, snowball;

b)adjective-stem + noun-stem: blackbird, bluebell;

c)verb-stem + noun-stem: pickpocket; the stem of a gerund or of a participle may be the first component of a compound noun: dining- room, reading-hall, dancing-girl.

The class of compound nouns also includes phrasal compounds: forget-me-not, commander-in-chief.

10. Grammatical categories of the English noun

The class of nouns is constituted by the following grammatical categories: Number (singular, plural); Case (common and possessive); Gender (masculine, feminine, neutral).

The basic form is the singular. The plural of almost all the counts is built by adding the inflexion -/e/s to the basic form /singular form.


cat –cats







A small number of nouns have irregular plurals. They are










In a number of nouns having a sound /f/ in the singular/spelled –f of –fe/ this sound changes into /v/ in the plural form and the ending –es is added.








Gender of nouns may be defined by 3 ways:

1)system of personal pronouns (he, she, it);

2) special suffixes -er(-or) , -ess (waitress);

3) lexical units which express the idea of gender (niece – nephew; bull – cow)

Common gender. Some nouns which can may both a female or a male person they belong to so call common gender (doctor, president). Animate nouns: he , she. Inanimate nouns - it.

The category of case of the English noun is constituted by the binary privative opposition of the Common and Possessive cases. The formal marker of the Possessive case is the morpheme ‘s.

11. General characteristic of the verb

Verb is a part of speech that denotes an action, It has the following grammatical categories: aspect – voice - tense - mood

These categories may be expressed by means of affixes, innaflexions (change of the route vowel) and by form words.

1. According to the functional verbs perform in the sentence; they can form finite(особові) and non-finite forms.

The finite form can be used as the predicate of the sentence.

The non-finite can’t be used as the predicate of the sentence, they are called “verbals” (Participle I, II, Infinitive, Gerund).

2. The basic forms of the verb are:

the infinitive - the past indefinite - the participle II

speak – spoke – spoken.

According to the syntactical function verbs are divided into:

notional verbs – always have a lexical meaning of their own and have an independent syntactical function in the sentence (may be used as a simple predicate).

auxiliary verbs – have only grammatical function used in analytical form.link verbs – which have lost their lexical meaning to some extend and are used in compound nominal predicate.

3. A verb can be

- transitive which can take:

a) a direct object

They express an action which passes on to a thing or object directly.

b) direct and indirect object.

c) prepositional object

- intransitive verbs can’t take a direct object.

4. Semantically all verbs can be divided into:- terminative/- non-terminative

a) Terminative verbs amply a limit beyond which an action can’t continue. (to break).

b) Non-terminative denote an action which don’t amply any limit. (to love, to live, to posses).

c) Verbs of double lexical character/aspect. These verbs in certain context have a terminative meaning, and in other – a derivative.

5. According to their morphological structure verbs are divided into: simple (read, live, hide, speak); derived, i, e. having affixes (magnify, fertilize, captivate, undo, decompose); compound, i. e. consisting of two stems (daydream, browbeat); composite, consisting of a verb and a postposition of adverbial origin (sit down, go away, give up). The modern term for these verbs is phrasal verbs.

12. Principles of the classification of verbs in English

Verbs can be classified in several ways. First, some verbs require an object to complete their meaning.

‘These verbs that require an object are called transitive verbs. Verbs that do not require an object are called intransitive verbs. Note that most verbs can be both transitive and intransitive.

‘The ship sank.’ (Intransitive) / ‘The explosion sank the ship.’ (Transitive)

Some verbs can take a direct object and an indirect object. These verbs are sometimes called ditransitive verbs. Of course, this is not a term you will hear every day.

‘Loud music gives me a headache.’ ­– In the example given above, the verb gives has two objects – me and headache.

Verbs can also be classified as finite or non-finite.

A finite verb can be the main verb of the sentence. Its form is determined by the number and person of the subject.

I work at a bank. / He works at a bank. /I have worked with children before.

Non-finite verbs cannot be main verbs. There are mainly three types of non-finite verbs: infinitives, gerunds and participles.

Linking Verbs A linking verb connects a subject with its complement. These verbs are often called copular verbs or copulas.

Most linking verbs are forms of the verb be. /She is my sister. We are happy.

A few other verbs related to the five senses are also considered as linking verbs. Examples are: look, feel, sound, taste, smell. Some stative verbs are also considered as copular verbs. Examples are: appear, seem, become, grow, turn, prove and remain.

13. Grammatical categories of the verb.

The verb has the following grammatical categories: tense, aspect, voice and mood.

The category of tense is very clearly expressed in the forms of the English verb. This category denotes the relation of the action either to the moment of speaking or to some definite moment in the past or future.

The category of aspect shows the way in which the action develops, whether it is in progress or completed, etc. There are four groups of tenses: Indefinite, Continuous, Perfect and Perfect Continuous. The Indefinite form has no aspect characteristics whatever, the Continuous, Perfect and Perfect Continuous forms denote both time and aspect rela- tions. Each of these forms includes four tenses: Present, Past, Future and Future in the Past, i. e. future from the point of view of the past. Thus there are 16 tenses in English.

Voice is the category of the verb which indicates relation of the predicate to the subject and the object. There are two voices in English: the active voice, the passive voice. The active voice shows that the person or thing denoted by the subject is the doer of the action expressed by the predicate. The passive voice shows that the person or thing denoted by the subject is acted upon.

Mood is a grammatical category which indicates the attitude of the speaker towards the action expressed by the verb from the point of view of its reality. We distinguish the indicative mood, the imperative mood, and the subjunctive mood.

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