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Chapter 33
Introduction to phrases & clauses
Using these slides
• These slides are planned to help you
be a more effective reader of the
Longman Student Grammar.
• Please have the book in hand as we go
through Chapter 3.
Getting an overview of the
• This chapter is quite small compared to others in
the book. How long is it?
• What 2 sections do they promise on page 37?
• Flip through. Get a sense of the sections.
• Also look to see what kinds of “visible” data they
• Find the reviews that come at the end of section
major chunk. You might try reading those first to
see what the authors consider the most important
information in each section.
Organization in grammar
reference books
• Notice that grammar reference
books generally
– Start with the most general and common
– End up with interesting but infrequent
aspects of the grammar of the chapter
– What does that organization suggest
for a reader?!!
What you need to be
sure to understand
• By the end of our study of this chapter,
you need to be sure that you
– Know the difference between phrases &
– Know the most common types of phrases
– Know the most common types of clauses
– Begin to know about the uses of types of
phrases and clauses in different registers
Register information in
Chapter 3?
• In my initial look through the chapter, I didn’t see
any of the “visible frequency” figures they gave
• But the review on page 46 mentions register
differences in use of longer and more complex
phrases….so it’s there somewhere.
• As you read, mark the places where they mention
register differences and their corpus data.
Words, phrases, clauses
• The purposes for this chapter: “to see how
words pattern together to form phrases”
and “to see how phrases pattern together
to form clauses.” (p. 38)
• Patterns & Grammarians: Grammarians are
always looking for patterns…not
singularities but patterns.
– Combinations that get repeated.
– Systematic choices among words that are part
of sub-groups.
How should we talk about
• We need to learn to talk about phrases in
terms of
– Structure: the kinds of words that are put
together to make phrases and the ways those
words are ordered
– Syntactic roles: the ways that different kinds
of phrases are put together to make up clauses
– Communication uses: the ways that phrases are
used in different types of communication…
register differences
What are phrases like?

See their summary on the top of page 39!

Then, we’ll go through each of those statements.
Graphical systems in
• Grammarians have a really difficult task as we try to show
readers the internal structures of grammatical units.
• How can we mark up the examples to make their structure
more visible to readers and students?
• Two major systems are used now in many publications
– Bracketing….using [ ] to mark words that go together
• page 38 Example 1
– Trees…drawing lines down from a set of words to show which
words go together
• Page 39 Figures 3.1 and 3.2
Embedded Defined
• Embedded is the term used in linguistics to
mean “one thing inside another thing.”
• The example on page 38 involves a noun
phrase inside a prepositional phrase:
– … [by [the opposition]]
– The brackets end up being double sets of
brackets to show that the preposition has a
noun phrase in its object
• Noun phrase: the opposition
• Prepositional phrase: by the opposition
Analyzing phrases
• Internal Structure: the kinds of words
that are combined and the order they are
combined in
– What kinds of words are combined to make a
noun phrase?
• Articles, adjectives, nouns, etc.
• Syntactic roles: the ways that the phrases
are used in clauses
– How is a noun phrase used in a clause?
• Subject, object, etc.
What’s this businesses with clauses?
Why don’t they ever talk about sentences?
What are the most important
types of phrases?
• Well, you make a list. What can you
see by flipping ahead from page 41?
– Noun phrases
– Verb phrases
– Adjective phrases
– Adverb phrases
– Prepositional phrases
How should you read the
descriptions of phrases?
• Grammar materials are just about always going to
tell you 2 things about a grammatical item:
– 1. how it is made…its internal structure….the words that
So…read be sections
these combinedthatand
way their word order
asking yourself these questions:
– 2. how the phrase type is used to make up larger units
1. What’re the forms? What kinds of words are combined to make these?
•2. You
How can also
are they expect
used to start
to make other kinds ofseeing more
grammatical and
3. more information
How are aboutAre“use
they used in context? thereinanycontext”:
register differences?

– 4. how are these phrases used in particular kinds of

Noun phrase terminology
• Head
– Check the glossary!
Remember to let me know
• Modifier If and when you get confused
About terminology!
– Check the glossary!
• Complement
– Check the glossary!
Yeah, they count, too
• Yep. Noun phrase includes
– Single nouns as well as 2 or more words
with a noun as the head
– Pronouns
– Proper nouns
– Adjectives used like nouns (the brave,
the impossible)
Noun phrase
• So, what’s a noun phrase? Try writing
a definition or saying the complete
definition out loud to yourself.
– Structure: A noun phrase is ….
– Use: A noun phrase is used in clauses as
Verb phrase
• Ok. So. What’s in a verb phrase?
• What’s the head of a verb phrase?
• What other stuff can be added to
that head?
In the lecture for Session 3,
I’ll look at Table 3.1 in detail.
Adjective phrase
• What’s the head?
• What other kinds of things can be
• What’s a complement?
– Check the glossary!
Predicative? Attributive?
• Adjective phrase use involves
– Adjectives that are used after be or
When linking
we look at verb.
adjectivesThese uses are
in more detail,
called You’ll
see that some adjectives.”
adjectives can be
attributive but not predicative. For
• She is smart.
example, He
solar is tall.
= solar power but not
– Adjectives that areis used
The power solar. before a noun
are called “attributive adjectives.”
• The smart student. The tall teacher.
Adverb vs. adverbial
• Oh, dear, 2 terms that seem a lot a like. What do
they mean?
• Adverb = adverb phrase
– A single word adverb or
– A phrase with the adverb as its head
• Adverbial includes adverb phrases but also other
grammatical forms that have adverbial meaning
– Adverb clause
• Because she is smart, she gets good grades.
– Prepositional phrase for adverbial meaning
• She lives on Main Street.
Prepositional phrase
• What’s a prepositional phrase? What structure
does it have?
• What work does it do?
– “The preposition can be thought of as a link relating the
noun phrase to preceding structure.”
– Sometimes a prepositional phrase is at the same level as
a subject or verb phrase and acts as an adverbial. So, it
connects to the clause:
• She lives in Atlanta.
– Sometimes a preposition phrase connects to a noun and
is part of the noun phrase.
• I need the book on the bottom shelf.
• Clauses are analyzed based on the kind of verb
and the kind of stuff required by that verb.
• So, we have the basic clause types given on page
– I’ll go over that table in my lecture so you’ll see that
information again.
– But, look closely right now at the middle of page 47 for
the list of verb “valency” types. Take a look at the
definition in this website: valence. So, a verb attracts
certain kinds of other grammar… or it doesn’t.
• Intransitive verbs: no attraction, no object in = no
• Transitive verbs: attract objects
Basic clause patterns
• The basic clause patterns involve
– Subject + verb + whatever else is required by that verb type
• Verb Types
– In-transitive: no object possible
• Drugs kill.
– Mono-transitive: has to have 1 object
• He owns a very old car.
– Copular: links the subject to an adjective or a noun phrase or a
prepositional phrase to describe the subject
• His car is very old. His car is at the mechanic. His old car is a Ford.
– Di-transitive: direct and indirect objects
• His brother gave him the car.
– Complex transitive: Well, we’ll just look at the examples for now.
• The car makes him crazy.
• He’s sending a letter about the car to his brother.
Basic clause elements
• A clause is made up of
– 1. Verb phrase
– 2. Subject
– 3. Object (not always required, depends on the
verb type)
– 4. Predicative (required by copular verbs)
– 5. Adverbials (usually optional but sometimes
required by certain verbs)
Long Verb Phrase
• This term is one that they have developed to
replace what others call the predicate.
• The long verb phrase is made up of
– A verb phrase
– Everything that the verb phrase requires based on the
type of verb
• Could include objects (monotransitive, ditransitive)
• Could include complements (copular)
• Could include adverbials (optional or required)
• A clause, then, combines
– subject + long verb phrase
Where are we at the end
of Chapter 3?
• Give yourself a test. Write down your answers to these
– What’s a phrase?
– What are the basic phrase types?
– What’s a clause?
– What’re the basic clause types?
– How do phrases & clauses interact with each other?
• Now flip back to the section of the chapter with the
information to check your memory.
• Also, re-read the reviews at the end of each section of the
– Phrase review: page 46
– Clause review: page 54
Now What?
• Read the chapter.
• Listen to and read my lectures on WebCT.
• Do the quizzes.
• Make notes about any of the information
that might be important for your paper.
• Email me with your questions. Remember
that I want to hear about what you do
NOT understand…your questions about the
parts of the chapter that confuse you.