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قواعد في اللغة الانجليزية - قواعد انجليزية لكل مبتدأ
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
قواعد في اللغة الانجليزية - قواعد انجليزية لكل مبتدأ
In the previous chapters we have dealt with those topics that are essential for understanding English syntax. In this chapter we are going to examine a few syntactic details that were bypassed or ignored.
1. Complements of the Adjective / Adjectival
So for we have used the term complement to mean any nominal completer of the verb, such as subjective complement and direct object. However, the term is broader than this since it includes two more kinds of completers. For instance, in the sentences
1. We fear that they are dead.
2. I am fearful that they are dead.
“that they are dead” in sentence 1 is a complement of the DO type. In other words, it is a nominal functioning as the direct object of the verb. And since sentence 2 parallels sentence 1 in meaning and form, it is reasonable to call “that they are dead” a nominal functioning as a complement of the adjective fearful.
A prepositional phrase, or an infinitive phrase, can be a complement of an adjective, as in
3. He was hopeful of a promotion. (prepositional
4. She was reluctant to do the work. (infinitive phrase)
Adjectives that do not have a related verb also take complements of the adjective, as in
5. I am eager to meet him.
The adjectivals in Pattern 1 and 4 sentences can be extended by a complement, as in
6. I am glad that you are with us. (Pattern 1)
7. She became tired of studying. (Pattern 4)
2. Complements of the Noun
In the two sentences
8. I fear that they are dead.
9. My fear that the are dead is strong.
the that clause in sentence 8 is a complement of the verb fear, and a complement of the noun fear in sentence 9.
3. Complements in –ing and to-
We can classify English verbs into three classes according to the form of the verbal complement that follows them.
a. Those Followed by -ing
The first class contains verbs that are followed by the –ing form of the verb, but not by to plus a verb stem. An example is:
10. He enjoys swimming.
11. * He enjoys to swim.
b. Those Followed by to plus a Verb Stem
The second class of verbs are followed by to plus a verb stem, but not by the –ing form, as in
12. They agreed to come.
13. * They agreed coming.
c. Those Followed by either -ing or to + Verb
14. He preferred swimming.
15. He preferred to swim.
B. Subjunctive Forms of the Verb
There are two verb forms, were and the stem of any verb, which are used in special ways.
1. The Verb Form were
This form is used in contrary-to-fact (or hypothetical) clauses that begin with if, as if, and as though, as well as in nominal clauses after the verb wish, as in
16. If he were really my friend, he would visit me.
17. I wish I were in Makkah.
In very formal English be is sometimes used instead of were in if clauses, as in
18. If that be the case, I would punish him.
2. The Verb Stem
In this verb form, the verb stem, rather than the inflected form of the verb, is used in certain nominal clauses, as in the following sentences:
19. It is necessary that he depart immediately.
20. It is imperative that the students be on time.
21. The dean insisted that Mona arrive at eight.
When the two verb forms discussed above are used in the positions described, the verb is called subjunctive. Note that we can often replace these subjunctive forms by other structures, as in
22. It is necessary for him to depart immediately.
23. It is necessary that he should depart
24. If he was really my friend, he would visit me.
25. I wish I was in Makkah. (informal usage)
C. Noun Subgroups
Nouns may be divided into three subclasses based on the ways they behave with determiners in relation with the singular and the plural. These three subclasses are the count noun, the mass noun, and the proper noun. Following is a discussion of each.
1. Count Nouns
The count-noun subclass includes everything that is readily countable, like insects, books, sounds, concepts, and minutes. Count nouns have a singular form and a plural form. They can be modified by many, as in many insects, etc.
a. Singular Nouns
In the singular, count nouns are always preceded by a determiner, as in
26. A car passed by.
27. The car passed by.
28. * Car passed by.
b. Plural Nouns
In the plural, count nouns may occur either with or without a determiner, as in
29. Cars may be dangerous.
30. Those care are dangerous.
2. Mass Nouns
The mass noun class includes everything that is not readily countable, e.g. steam, music, justice, advice, water, bread, Arabic, and silk. Mass nouns have no plural, and can be modified by much, as in much steam, etc. They occur only in the singular under the following conditions:
a. Without a Determiner
An example is
31. Information is important.
b. With the
32. The information is important.
c. Not with a / an
English does not use a / an before a mass noun. Therefore such sentences are ungrammatical:
33. *An information is important.
34. * A water is clear.
We should note, however, that many nouns may be mass nouns in one context and count nouns in another context, e.g.
35. Virtue is rewarding. (mass)
36. Her virtues are known to everybody. (count)
37. You have egg on your tie. (mass)
38. We had eggs for breakfast. (count)
3. Proper Nouns
The proper noun subclass consists of the names of particular, or unique, persons, places, and things, e.g. Tennessee Williams, New York, and the Mona Lisa. Proper nouns are considered a subclass of nouns because most of them partly conform to the noun paradigm (which you studied in An Introductory English Morphology) and appear in noun positions. From the point of view of syntax, proper nouns behave like count nouns, with three restrictions. These are:
a. Usually without a Determiner
In the singular proper nouns usually appear without a. determiner, e.g.
39. Ramadan is the ninth month of the year.
40. We talked with Ayman.
41. Cairo is a beautiful city.
However, when singular proper nouns are restrictively modified, a determiner is used, as in
42 The Ramadan in which she fasted for the first
time was hot.
43. It was a Ramadan to remember.
44. The Ayman we talked with was a handsome
45. The Cairo of the 1940's was a beautiful city.
b. Plural Proper Nouns Accompanied by the
The proper nouns that are always plural are normally accompanied by the definite article the, or occasionally be a different determiner. Examples are:
46. The Himalayas are a famous mountain chain.
47. Your Bahamas are too commercialized.
c. Singular Proper Nouns with the
Certain proper nouns are usually singular and are preceded by the, e.g.
48. The Egyptian Museum has great monuments.
49. We stayed at the Hilton.
50. The Atlantic Ocean has very high waves in
However, such singular proper nouns can also be used in the plural, as in
51. Several Hiltons have been built in the country.
52. There are two Atlantic Oceans in the world, the
warm one in the tropics and the cold one near
the north pole.
D. The Expletive There
English native speakers frequently use a kind of sentence that begins with there + be, as in
53. There is a cat under the tree.
The word there in sentence 53 is an expletive, i.e. a meaningless slot-filler that occupies the normal position of the subject. As for the subject itself, it appears after the verb be. It is interesting to note that sentences beginning with the expletive there may be looked at as rearrangements of certain basic sentence patterns, and that most of them conform to one of three types:
1. There + Be + Subject + Adverbial of Place or
This is the type illustrated by sentence 53 above. Another example is:
54. There are two cats under the tree.
This type is a rearrangement of Pattern 2:
55. A cat is under the tree.
56. Two cats are under the tree.
2. There + Be + Subject + -ing Participle + ط or
An example of this type is:
57. There is a man looking for you.
This sentence and similar ones are usually derived from
Patterns 6,7, or 8 employing a verb in the -ing from.
a. Pattern 6:
58. A boy was playing.
There + be :
59. There was a boy playing.
b. Pattern 7 :
60. Some girls were watching television.
There + be :
61. There were some girls watching
c. Pattern 8 :
62. Several mothers were giving their
There + be :
63. There were several mothers giving their
3. There + Be + Subject + -ed Participle + ط or
This type is formed from the passive of the basic sentence patterns 7,8, or 9. Examples are:
a. Pattern 7:
64. The boy found a watch.
65. A watch was found by the boy.
There + be:
66. There was a watch found by the boy.
b. Pattern 8:
67. The university made the professor an offer.
68. An offer was made the professor by the
There + be:
69. There was an offer made the professor by the
c. Pattern 9:
70. They selected a woman chairperson.
71. A woman was selected chairperson.
There + be:
72. There was a woman selected chairperson.
There are two remarks to be made to wrap up the expletive there:
First, in all of the sentences 53 - 62 the expletive there was followed by a form of verb be. Occasionally a few other verbs appear in the structure, as in
73. There remained only two sandwiches.
74. There stood a cute child in the garden.
Second, the expletive there is different from the adverbial there. Examples are:
75. There are players in the playground (expletive)
76. The players are there. (adverbial)
77. There come the players. (adverbial)
E. The Expletive It
In addition to the expletive there, English has an expletive it. This is used as a "dummy" in the subject position before the verb. The expletive it occupies the place of the real subject, which comes later in the sentence, as in
78. It is nice that you could visit us.
If we apply the subject–finding rule – who / what is nice? – the answer will be "that you could visit us." The subject is always a word group, a noun phrase in this case.
In example 78, the expletive it represents a following subject, but it may also represent a following direct object, as in
79. I think it a shame that he failed his exams.
In this sentence "that he failed his exams" is the direct object of the verb "think."
We should be careful not to confuse the expletive it with another it, which is called the impersonal it. The latter also occurs at the beginning of a sentence as a "dummy" subject. The impersonal it usually occurs in short sentences that refer to weather, time, or space. Examples are:
80. It is raining
81. It seems cold.
82. It is five-thirty. (time)
83. It is a long way to Al-Madinah. (space)
In addition to the expletive it and the impersonal it, there are also some idiomatic uses of it, e.g.
84. Beat it! (= Go away!)
85. You'll catch it when father returns.
86. Let's get it over.
87. I'll have it out with you.
88. How goes it?
A.The Tag Question
We may define a tag question as a word or phrase placed at the end of a statement. This word or phrase changes the statement into a yes-or-no question, as in
89. You have studied your lessons, haven't you?
Like many languages, English has invariable single-word forms functioning as tag question, namely huh and eh, e.g.
90. You're leaving, huh?
However, for the most part English uses a set of phrases that are structurally complex. Here is a brief account of these structures:
1. The Use of the Affirmative and the Negative in
If the statement is affirmative, the tag question must be negative, and if the statement is negative, the tag question must be affirmative. We should also note that the tag questions serve to convey certain expectations or responses, e.g.
91. She is a third-year student, isn't she?
92. She isn't a third-year student, is she?
In sentence 91, where the tag is in the negative with a rising intonation, we have a mild expectation of an affirmative response. On the contrary, as in sentence 92, when the tag is in the affirmative with a rising intonation, there is a mild expectation of a negative response. Note also that if the rising intonation is changed to a falling intonation, the expectation, affirmative or negative, is greatly strengthened.
2. The Verb in Tag Questions
The verb in tag questions falls into four patterns:
a. When the Verb of the Statement is be
In this case, the same form of be is used in the tag question, as in
93. The women are your friends, aren’t they?
94. He was late for work, wasn't he?
95. There is a new neighbor in your building, isn't
b. When the Verb of the Statement is Preceded by
One or More Auxiliaries
In this case, the first auxiliary is used in the tag question, e.g.
96. The students were playing football, weren't
97. The man could have paid his debt, couldn’t he?
c. When the Verb of the Statement is a Single-word Present or Past Form (Except be)
In this case, the verb in the tag question is the equivalent form of do. Examples are:
98. Aya plays the piano, doesn't she?
99. Ayman ate the orange, didn't he?
100. Islam and Aya go to college, don't they?
d. When the Verb of the Statement is an Imperative
In this case, the verb of the tag is will, in either the affirmative or the negative, and the pronoun is you, as in
101. Send me some books, will you?
102. Send me some books, won't you?
3. The Subject of the Tag Question Is Always a
Personal Pronoun in the Subject Case
As we have seen in sentences 89 - 102 the subject is always a personal pronoun in the subject form. However, in sentence 95 the expletive there was used instead of the subject. Also you may rarely hear one, as in
103. One leaves on time, doesn't one?
Note also that in sentence 90 no pronoun was used at all, but rather the invariable single-word huh (or eh). This is because we did not have a phrase as a tag question.
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