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The Structure Of Sentence

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    The subject of my class paper sounds as following: « Structure of Sentence in English » . Before get downing of probe in our subject, I would wish to state some words dealt with the subject of my class paper. When analyzing the construction of a unit, we find out its constituents, largely units of the following lower degree, their agreement and their maps as parts of the unit. Many linguists think that the probe of the constituents and their agreement suffices. Therefore Holliday writes: « Each unit is characterized by certain constructions. The construction is a syntagmatic model of interconnected elements, which are paradigmatically established in the systems of categories and stated as values in the construction … . if a unit ‘word ‘ is established there will be dimensions of word-classes the footings in which operate as values in clause constructions: given a verb /noun/ adverb system of word categories, it might be that the constructions ANV and NAV were admitted in the clause but NVA excluded ». Standing on such land, I would wish to indicate out undertakings and purposes of my work:

    1.  The first undertaking of my work is to give definition to term « sentence » .
    2.  The 2nd undertaking is to depict the construction of sentences in English.
    3.  The last undertaking of my work is to qualify types of parts of the sentence.

    In our sentiment the practical significance of our work is difficult to be overvalued. This work reflects modern tendencies in linguistics and we hope it would function as a good manual for those who want to get the hang modern English linguistic communication. Besides this work can be used by instructors of English linguistic communication for learning English grammar. The present work might happen a good manner of connoting in the undermentioned domains:

    1. In High Schools and scientific circles of lingual sort it can be successfully used by instructors and philologues as modern stuff for composing research works covering with English verbs.
    2. It can be used by instructors of schools, secondary schools and colleges by instructors of English as a practical manual for learning English grammar.
    3. It can be utile for everyone who wants to enlarge his/her cognition in English.

    After holding proved the actuality of our work, I would wish to depict the composing of it: My work consists of four parts: debut, the chief portion, decision and bibliography. Within the debut portion we gave the brief description of our class paper. The chief portion of the work includes several points. There we discussed such jobs as the types of sentences in English, their building, parts of the sentence, and etc. In the decision to our work we tried to pull some consequences from the scientific probes made within the present class paper. In bibliography portion we mentioned some beginnings which were used while roll uping the present work. It includes lingual books and articles covering with the subject, a figure of used lexicons and encyclopaedia and besides some cyberspace beginnings.

    The impression of sentence has non so far received a satisfactory definition, which would enable us by using it in every peculiar instance to happen out whether a certain lingual unit was a sentence or non. Therefore, for illustration, the inquiry remains open whether such store notices as Book Shop and such book rubrics as English are sentences or non. In favor of the position that they are sentences the undermentioned consideration can be brought frontward. The notice Book Shop and the rubric English Grammar intend ‘This is a book store ‘ , ‘This is an English Grammar ‘ ; the phrase is interpreted as the predicative of a sentence whose topic and nexus verb have been omitted, that is, it is apprehended as a unit of communicating. Harmonizing to the other possible position, such notices as Book Shop and such rubrics as English Grammar are non units of communicating at all, but units of nomination, simply appended to the object they denote.

    Since there is as yet no definition of a sentence which would enable us to make up one’s mind this inquiry, it depends on everyone ‘s subjective position which option he prefers. We will prefer the position that such notices and book rubrics are non sentences but instead nomination units. We besides mention here a particular instance. Some novels have rubrics formulated as sentences, e. g. The Stars Look Down,by A. Cronin, or They Came to a City, by J.B. Priestley. These are surely sentences, but they are used as nomination units, for case, Have you read The Stars Look Down? Do you like They Came to a City? With the rise of modern thoughts of paradigmatic sentence structure yet another job refering definition of sentence has to be considered.

    In paradigmatic sentence structure, such units as He has arrived, He has non arrived, Has he arrived, He will get, He will non get, Will he arrive,etc. , are treated as different signifiers of the same sentence, merely as arrives, has arrived, willarriveetc. , are different signifiers of the same verb. We may name this position of the sentence the paradigmatic position. Now from the point of position of communicating, He has arrived and He has non arrived are different sentences since they convey different information ( so, the significance of the one categorically contradicts that of the other ) . When analyzing the construction of a unit, we find out its constituents, largely units of the following lower degree, their agreement and their maps as parts of the unit.

    Many linguists think that the probe of the constituents and their agreement suffices. Therefore Holliday writes: « Each unit is characterized by certain constructions. The construction is a syntagmatic model of interconnected elements, which are paradigmatically established in the systems of categories and stated as values in the construction … . if a unit ‘word ‘ is established there will be dimensions of word-classes the footings in which operate as values in clause constructions: given a verb /noun/ adverb system of word categories, it might be that the constructions ANV and NAV were admitted in the clause but NVA excluded » .

    Now ‘ a syntagmatic model of interconnected elements ‘ may depict the construction of a combination of units every bit good as that of a higher unit, a combination of words every bit good as a sentence or a clause. The-important belongingss that unite the interconnected elements into a higher unit of which they become parts, the map of each component as portion of the whole, are non mentioned. Similarly. Harris thinks that the sentence The fright of war grew can be described as TN1PN2V, where T stands for article, N for noun, P for preposition and V for verb. Such descriptions are executable merely if we proceed from the impression that the difference between the morpheme, the word and the sentence is non one of quality but instead of measure and agreement.

    Harris does non suggest to depict the morpheme ( as he calls it ) is as VC, where V stands for vowel and C for consonant. He does non make so because he regards a morpheme non as an agreement of phonemes, but as a unit of a higher degree possessing some quality ( viz. , intending ) non found in any phoneme or combination of phonemes outside the morpheme. Since we assume that non merely the phoneme and the morpheme, but besides the word and the sentence are units of different degrees, we can non hold to the position that a sentence is simply an agreement of words. In our sentiment, The fright of war grewis a sentence non because it is TNPNV, but because it has belongingss non built-in in words. It is a unit of communication and as such it possesses predicativity and modulation. On the other manus, TNPNV stands besides for the fright of war turning, the fright of war to turn, which are nonsentences.

    As to the agreement of words in the sentence above, it to the full depends upon their combinability. We have TN and non NT because an article has merely right-hand connexions with nouns. A prepositional phrase, on the reverse has left-hand connexions with nouns ; that is why we have TNPN, etc. The development of transform grammar ( Harris, Chomsky ) and tagmemic grammar ( Pike ) is to a great extent due to the realisation of the fact that « an effort to depict grammatical construction in footings of morpheme categories entirely – even in turn inclusive categories of categories – is deficient » . As defined by Harris, the attack of transformational grammar differs from the above-described pattern of qualifying « each lingual entity … as composed out of specified ordered entities at a lower degree » in showing « each sentence as derived in conformity with a set of transformational regulations, from one or more ( by and large simpler ) sentences, i.e. from other entities of the same degree. A linguistic communication is so described as consisting of specified sets of meat sentences and a set of transmutations » .

    As one can easy see, the forms supra do non simply represent agreements of words, they are such agreements which contain predicativity – the most indispensable constituent of a sentence. Given the proper modulation and replaced by words 4hat conform to the regulations of combinability, these forms will go existent sentences. Viewed therefore, the forms may be regarded as linguistic communication theoretical accounts of speech sentences. One should detect, nevertheless, that the difference between the forms supra is non, in fact, a contemplation of any sentence distinctive features. It instead reflects the difference in the combinability of assorted subclasses of verbs. The difference between ‘ NvV and ‘ NvVN ’ , for case, reflects the different combinability of a non-transitive and a transitive verb ( He is kiping: He is composing letters.Cf. to kip, to compose letters) . The difference between those two forms and ‘ N is A ’ reflects the difference in the combinability of fanciful verbs and nexus verbs, etc. A similar list of forms is recommended to linguistic communication instructors under the header These are the basic forms for all English sentences:

    1.  Birds fly.
    2.  Birds eat worms.
    3.  Birds are happy.
    4. Birds are animate beings.
    5.  Birds give me felicity.
    6.  They made me president.
    7. They made me happy.

    The header is surely instead pretentious. The list does non include sentences with zero postulations or with partly implied predicativity while it displays the combinability of assorted verb categories. And as a sort of statement he adds: « Word order is changeless in A and B, but non in C. Even in sober prose a adult male may state Bright is the sun. » The foregoing analysis of meat sentences, from which most English sentences can be obtained, shows that « every sentence can be analysed into a Centre, plus zero or more buildings … The Centre is therefore an simple sentence ; adjoined buildings are in general qualifiers » . S In other words, the indispensable construction representing a sentence is the postulation ; all other words are added to it in conformity with their combinability. This is the instance in an overpowering bulk of English sentences. Here are some figures based on the probe of modern American non-fiction.

    No Form Frequency of happening

    ( per cent )

    as exclusive form in combination





    Capable + verb

    Babies call.

    Capable + verb + object

    Girls like apparels.

    Capable + verb + predicative

    Dictionaries are books.

    Dictionaries are utile.

    Structural topics + verb +

    + fanciful topic

    There is grounds.

    It is easyo learn knitwork.

    Minor forms

    Are you certainly?

    Whom did you ask for?

    Brush your dentitions. What a twenty-four hours










    Some analogy can be drawn between the construction of a word and the construction of a sentence. The morphemes of a word are officially united by emphasis. The words of a sentence are officially united by modulation. The Centre of a word is the root. The Centre of a sentence is the postulation. Some words have no other morphemes but the root ( ink, excessively, but ). Some sentences have no other words but those of the postulation ( Birds fly. It rains. Begin. ) . Wordss may hold some morphemes besides the root ( intolerable ) . Sentences may hold some words besides the postulation ( Yesterday it rained to a great extent. ) . Sometimes a word is made of a morpheme that is normally non a root ( doctrine ) . Sometimes sentences are made of words that are normally non postulations ( Heavy rain ) .

    Wordss may hold two or more roots ( fair-haired, merry-go-round ) . Sentences may hold two or more postulations ( He asked me if I knew where she lived. ) . The roots may be coordinated or subordinated ( Anglo-Saxon, blue-bell ) . The postulations may be coordinated and subordinated ( She spoke and he listened. He saw Sam did non believe ) . The roots may be connected straight ( pathway ) or indirectly, with the aid of some morpheme salesman. The postulations may be connected straight ( 7 think he knows ) or indirectly, with the aid of some word ( The twenty-four hours passed as others had-passed. ) .

    The limit line between a word with more than one root and a combination of words is frequently really obscure ( californium. chalkboard and black board, brother-in-law and brother in weaponries ) . The limit line between a sentence with more than one postulation and a combination of sentences is frequently really obscure. Californium. She ’ d merely to traverse the paving. But still she waited. ( Mansfield ) . As we know, a postulation in English is normally a combination of two words ( or word-morphemes ) united by predicativity, or, in other words, a predicative combination of words. Apart from that the words of a postulation do non differ from other ‘ words in conforming to the general regulations of. Combinability. The regulations of grammatical combinability do non acknowledge of *boys speaks or *he am. The combination *the fish barked is unusual every bit far as lexical combinability is concerned, etc.

    All the other words of a sentence are added to those of the postulation in conformity with their combinability to do the communicating every bit complete as the talker wishes. The postulation Boys drama can do a sentence by itself. But the sentence can be extended by recognizing the combinability of the noun male childs and the verb drama into the three noisy male childs play rollickingly upstairs. We can develop the sentence into a still more drawn-out one. But nevertheless extended the sentence is it does non lose its unity. Every word in it is non merely a word, it becomes portion of the sentence and must be evaluated in its relation to other parts and to the whole sentence much in the same manner as a morpheme in a word is non merely a morpheme, but the root of a word or a prefix, or a postfix, or an inflexion.

    Depending on their relation to the members of the postulation the words of a sentence normally fall into two groups – the group of the topic and the group of the predicate. Sometimes there is a 3rd group, of parenthetical words, which largely belongs to the sentence as a whole. In the sentence below the topic group is separated from the predicate group by the parenthetical group. That last thing of yours, beloved Flora, was truly singular. As already mentioned, the distribution and the map of a word-combination in a sentence are normally determined by its head-word: by the noun in noun word-combinations, by the verb in verb word-combinations, etc. The adjuncts of word-combinations in the sentence are added to their head-words in conformity with their combinability, to develop the sentence, to organize its secondary parts which may be classified with respect to their head-words.

    All the adjuncts of noun word-combinations in the sentence can be united under one name, attributes. All the adjuncts of verb ( finite or infinite ) word-combinations may be termed complements. In the sentence below, the properties are spaced out and the complements are in heavy type. He frequently took Inene to the theater. Instinctively taking the modern Society plays with the modern Society conjugal jobs. ( Galsworthy ) . The adjuncts of all other word-combinations in the sentence may be called extensions. In the sentences below the extensions are spaced out. You will ne’er be free from snoozing and dreams. ( Shaw ) . She was of all time soundless, inactive, gracefully antipathetic. ( Gals-worthy ) . The distribution of semi-notional words in the sentence is determined by their maps – to link fanciful words or to stipulate them. Consequently they will be called conjunctions or specifies. Concurrences and prepositions are typical conjunctions. Atoms are typical specifies.

    Partss of the Sentence

    Traditionally the topic and the predicate are regarded as the primary or chief parts of the sentence and the property, the object and the adverbial qualifier – as the secondary parts of the sentence. This resistance primary – secondary is justified by the difference in map. While the topic and the predicate make the postulation and therefore represent the sentence, the secondary parts serve to spread out it by being added to the words of the postulation in conformity with their combinability as words. Thus the sentence combines syntactical and morphological dealingss, which, in our sentiment, it is necessary to know apart more strictly than it is normally done. The traditional categorization of the parts of the sentence is unfastened to unfavorable judgment from the point of position of consistence.

    The name property truly shows the low-level nature of the portion of the sentence it denotes. The dual term adverbial qualifier shows non merely the secondary character of the corresponding portion of the sentence ( qualifier ) , but besides refers to a certain portion of address ( adverbial ) . The term object does non bespeak subordination, it merely refers to the content. Many words of a sentence, such as prepositions, concurrences, articles, atoms, parenthetical words, are traditionally – non considered as parts of the sentence, even as third 1s But as we know, the parts of a unit are units of the following lower degree, in our instance words. The map of each word in the sentence is its relation to the other words and to the sentence as a whole. So each word is every bit much a portion of the sentence as each morpheme is a portion of the word ( its root, prefix, inflection, etc. )

    The infinitive to happen in the sentence Your undertaking is to happen itis regarded as a portion of the predicate and is named predicative. The same infinitive in the sentence Jane is to happenit is besides considered as a portion of the predicate, but it is non called ‘predicative ‘ . It has no name at all, every bit good as the infinitives in We ought to happen it. , We can non happen it, etc. When a noun or an adjectival is attached to a finite link-verb it is called a ‘predicative ‘ ( He is a, instructor ) , but when it is attached to a overbid link-verb ( To be a instructor is my dream ) , it has no name. With objects it is different. The noun missive is an object both in He writes a missiveand in He wants-to compose a missive.

    Many of these incompatibilities can be done off with if we discriminate between the syntactical and the morphological dealingss within the sentence. As already noted, merely the words incorporating the structural significances of predicativity are regarded as the structural topic and predicate. The main standard for the division of all the other words of a sentence into parts of the sentence is their combinability. Thus combinability is the belongings that correlates parts of address and parts of the sentence every bit good as the maps of fanciful and semi-notional words. Those fanciful words in a sentence which are adjuncts of certain head-words will be divided in conformity with their head-words into properties, complements and extensions. Those semi-notional words which serve to link two words or clauses ( prepositions, concurrences ) will be regarded as a separate portion of the sentence, conjunctions.

    Those semi-notional words that are used to stipulate assorted words or word combinations ( articles, atoms ) will be called specifies. Finally, words in a sentence, with zero connexions, mentioning to the sentence and known as parenthetical elements, are a distinguishable portion of the sentence. The topic is the independent member of a two-member postulation, incorporating the individual constituent of predicativity. Both members of the postulation he sleeps incorporate the significance of ‘person ‘ . But in slumbers this significance depends on that of he and is due to grammatical combinability. This accounts for the fact that slumbers can non do a sentence entirely, though it contains all the constituents of predicativity. Sleeps similarly depends on he every bit far as the significance of ‘number ‘ is concerned. The significances of ‘person ‘ and ‘number ‘ in H? are lexico-grammatical and independent.

    The topic is by and large defined as a word or a group of words denoting the thing we speak about. This traditional definition is logical instead than grammatical. In the sentence This pretty miss is my sister ‘s friend the definition can be applied to the whole group This reasonably miss, to state nil of the fact that « the thing we speak about » is so obscure that it practically covers any portion of the sentence showing substantives. The topic of a simple sentence can be a word, a syntactical word-morpheme or a complex. As a word it can belong to different parts of address, but it is largely a noun or a pro-noun. E.g. Fame is the thirst of young person. ( Byron ) . Nothing endures but personal qualities. ( Whitman ) . To see is to believe.

    A word used as a topic combines the lexical significance with the structural significance of ‘person ‘ . So it is at the same clip the structural and the fanciful topic. The syntactical word-morphemes at that place and it are merely structural topics because as word-morphemes they have no lexical significance. But they are normally correlated with some words or composites in the sentence which are regarded as fanciful topics. In such instances it and there are besides called anticipatory or introductory topics. In There is person in the room the fanciful topic is person. In It requires no little endowments to be a dullard ( Scott )the fanciful topic is to be a dullard. In It is rainingthere is no fanciful topic and it is non prevenient. In It is necessary for him to comethe fanciful topic is the complex for him to come. But a composite may besides be used as the lone topic.

    We may talk of a secondary topic within a complex. In the undermentioned sentence it is the noun caput. Several thousand people went to see the headless statue ~ yesterday before it was removed for a new caput to be cast from the original plaster molds. ( Daily Worker ) . The syntactical word-morphemes at that place and it may besides work as secondary topics. It being cold, we put on our coats. I knew of there being no 1 to assist him. The analysis of sentences like He was seen to come in the house is a point at issue. Traditionally the infinitive is said to organize portion of the ‘complex topic ‘. B.A. Ilyish maintains that though satisfactory from the logical point of position, this reading seems to be unreal grammatically, this splitting of the topic being foreign to English. Consequently B.A. Ilyish suggests that merely he should be treated as the topic of the sentence, whereas was seen to come in represents a curious type of compound predicate.

    The traditional analysis, nevertheless, seems preferred, for it admits of handling the sentence as a inactive transform of They saw him come in the house with the ‘complex object ‘ him enter going a ‘complex topic ‘ he … to come in. As to the splitting of the topic, it is another device to convey the structural parts of the topic and predicate together ( he was ) , which is so typical of English. Some writers as, for illustration, A. Smirnitsky, M. Ganshina, and N. Vasilevskaya speak of definite-personal, indefinite-personal and impersonal sentences in Modern English. We see no syntactical land whatever for this categorization since definite-personal, indefinite-personal, etc. sentences have no structural distinctive features typical of these categories. It is a semantical categorization of topics, non sentences.

    If we compare the topic in English with that of Russian we shall happen a considerable difference between them. In Modern Russian the topic is as a regulation characterized by a distinguishable morphological characteristic – the nominative instance, whereas in English it is for the most portion ( unless it is expressed by a personal pronoun or the pronoun who in the nominative instance ) indicated by the place it occupies in the sentence. In Modern Russian the topic is much less obligatory as a portion of the sentence than in English. One-member sentences are legion and of assorted types, among them sentences like bare gulch. In English a finite verb ( excluding the ‘imperative temper ‘ finites ) does non, as a regulation, do a sentence without a topic. In English the topic may be a syntactical word-morpheme, a gerund or a composite, which is, of course, foreigner to Russian.

    The Predicate

    The predicate is the member of a postulation incorporating the temper and tense ( or merely temper ) constituents of predicativity. E. g. This dictionary employs a pronunciation that is easy to larn. ( Thorndike ) . I was believing that Dinny has likely had no tiffin. ( Galsworthy ) . I should detest to do you shout. ( lb. ) . The predicate can be a word or a syntactical word-morpheme. When it is a fanciful word, it is non merely the structural but the fanciful predicate as good. E. g. A image frequently shows the significance of a word more clearly than a description. ( Witty ) . When the predicate is a semi-notional verb or a syntactical word-morpheme, it is merely a structural predicate and is normally connected with a fanciful word which makes the fanciful predicate. E.g. He was strong plenty for that. ( Galsworthy ) . We can help our laden brothers in South Africa in their battle for freedom. ( Daily Worker ) . Does anyone cognize of that but me? ( Galsworthy ) .

    Syntactically strong, assist and know are complements to the corresponding verbs. Similarly, if we agree with A.I. Smirnitsky that have in I have friendsis a semi-notional verb, we may see friends as the fanciful predicate. But syntactically friends is a complement to the verb have. As we have seen, predicates may be divided morphologically into words and word-morphemes, and semantically intonational, semi-notional and lexically empty ( structural ). What is traditionally called a predicate is truly the combination of the structural and the fanciful predicate. If we had a name for the combination, that would enable us to do the traditional analysis^ Let us so name the combination a communicative predicate. We may state so that communicative predicates are in conformity with their construction divided into ‘simple ‘ ( dwelling of one word ) and ‘compound ‘ ( of more than one word ) . Harmonizing to their morphological composing they are divided into ‘verbal ‘ ( must see ‘ , is to believe ) and ‘nominal ‘ ( is a pupil, became angry ) .

    As we see, the latter division depends on the complements every bit good as the division into procedure and measure uping predicates, which will be discussed in the corresponding chapter When comparing the predicates in English and in Russian, we must first of all note the absence of syntactical word-morphemes used as predicates and the scarceness of morphological word-morphemes in Russian. So the division into structural and fanciful ( parts of ) predicates is non so indispensable in Russian as it is in English. Second, there are many more sentences without finite verbs in Russian than in English. Third, a Russian postulation contains a predicate without a topic much more frequently than in English.


    The verb in the sentence forms the greatest figure of word-combinations. The adjuncts of all these combinations are united by the term complements. But the complements of a verb are so legion and variegated that it is executable to subdivide them into several groups correlated with the subclasses of verbs. As we know, verbs divide into fanciful, semi-notional and structural 1s. We shall name the adjuncts of the latter two groups predicative complements ( predicatives ) . Fanciful verbs are subdivided into nonsubjective and subjective. The common adjuncts of both groups will be termed adverbial complements ( adverbials ) , those of nonsubjective verbs entirely – nonsubjective complements ( objects ) .


    In the decision of my work, I would wish to state some words harmonizing the done probe. The chief research was written in the chief portion of my class paper. So here I ’ ll give content of it with the description of inquiry discussed in each paragraph. The chief portion of my work consists of following points:

    • «The Sentence» . Here I gave the definition to the term sentence.
    • « Structure of English Sentence »,in this paragraph I described the construction of English sentence.
    • In the following paragraph« Partss of the Sentence »I described chief parts of the sentence ( capable and predicate ) , and secondary parts of the sentence.

    Standing on such land I will add that probe in the inquiries dealt sentences in English and their types is non finished yet, so we will go on it while composing our making work. I hope that my class paper will originate the sincere involvement of pupils and instructors to the job of adjectives in modern-day English.


    1. B. Ilyish, The Structure of Modern English.
    2. V.N. Zhigadlo, I.P. Ivanova, L.L. Iofik. » Modern English linguistic communication » ( Theoretical class grammar ) Moscow, 1956 Y.
    3. Gordon E.M. The Use of adjectives in modern English.
    4. O. Jespersen. Necessities of English Grammar. N.Y. , 1938
    5. Ch. Barber. Linguistic alteration in Present-Day English. Edinburgh, 1964
    6.  The Structure of American English. New York, 1958.
    7.  World Book Encyclopedia Vol.1 NY. 1993 pp.298 – 299
    8.  Internet hypertext transfer protocol: //
    9.  Internet hypertext transfer protocol: //
    10.  Internet: hypertext transfer protocol: //
    11. Inbternet: hypertext transfer protocol: //

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