My big fat grammar project
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My Big Fat Grammar Project. To the Teacher:.

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To the teacher l.jpg
To the Teacher:

Welcome to “My Big Fat Grammar Project.” The BFGP takes students through the patterns of sentences in the English language. As you’ll see, each of the patterns is explained and expanded. The patterns are also diagrammed. Your job is to present ONE pattern at a time. The student’s job is to create a book, booklet, binder, or poster that demonstrates understanding of each pattern. They do this by composing 3 sentences for each of the patterns. To make the BFGP interesting, attractive, and fun, they should choose a theme, the quirkier the better (giraffes, earthworms, ice cream). The BFGP is a work of art: Each sentence should take up a full page (or sizable portion of a poster) and be illustrated with either original drawings, cut-outs from magazines, or clip art.

The patterns are shown on the next screen.


To the teacher3 l.jpg
To the Teacher:

We have three action verb patterns:

1. The intransitive verb pattern: Noun + verb

2. The transitive verb pattern: Noun + verb + noun (direct object)

3. The complex transitive pattern: Noun + Noun (indirect object) + verb + direct object

And we have thee linking verb patterns:

1. Noun + BE + Subject complement (The subject complement can be adverbial information, adjectival information, or nominal information)

2. Noun + OTHER LINKING VERB + Subject complement (same as above, except that some “other linking verbs” do not need a

subject complement, ex: Sometiimes, sneakers smell.

Fear not! All of this will be explained and illustrated in the

screens that follow.

NB: This is a simplified version of sentence pattern taxonomy, representing only the most common patterns.I used

the BFGB for ninth grade students, but it can be used just as well with other levels.


To the teacher4 l.jpg
To the Teacher:

Do the math: The student ends up with 12 sentences, each carefully written, illustrated, categorized, analyzed, and diagrammed, on a particular theme.

Twelve sentences may not seem like a lot, but once students understand the major sentence patterns of English, they are ready to hang all kinds of information on sturdy frames.

The terminology for the BFGP: sentence, subject, predicate, slots, noun, verb; direct object, indirect object, transitive verb, complex transitive verb, intransitive verb; linking verb, helping verb, passive voice, progressive action, subject complement, adverbial, adjectival, nominal

Fear not! All of this will be explained and illustrated in the

screens that follow.

NB: This is a simplified version of sentence pattern taxonomy, representing only the most common patterns.I used

the BFGB for ninth grade students, but it can be used just as well with other levels.


The action verb patterns l.jpg
The Action Verb Patterns

  • Intransitives

  • Transitives


Noun verb l.jpg
Noun + Verb

The Intransitive Verb Pattern

Katherine laughed.

This sentence has two slots: Subject + Verb


Slide7 l.jpg

An intransitive verb is an action verb

that allows for completeness,

needing no other words

in the sentence.

Subject

Verb

Katherine

laughed.

This sentence has two required slots.


Slide8 l.jpg

circus

Elephants

Queen

at

five

the

the

the

purple

movies.

the

An intransitive verb is an action verb

that allows for completeness,

needing no other words

in the sentence.

will laugh

Subject

Verb

laughs

is laughing

was laughing

Katherine

Laughed.

has laughed

This sentence has two required slots.



Noun verb noun l.jpg

Subj.

Verb (transtive)

Direct Object

Noun + Verb + Noun

Transitive Verb + Direct Object

loves

Raymond

Everybody

Subj.

This sentence has three slots: Subject + Verb + Direct Object


Noun verb noun11 l.jpg

Subj.

Verb (transtive)

Direct Object

Everybody

loves

Noun + Verb + Noun

Loves whom

or what?

Transitive Verb + Direct Object

Everybody loves Raymond.

Raymond.

This sentence has three slots: Subject + Verb + Direct Object


Transitives l.jpg
Transitives

Transitive verbs take direct objects.

Direct objects answer “whom” or “what”

to the (action) verbs.



Transitives14 l.jpg
Transitives Pattern

Complex transitive verbs take objects as well as direct objects.

indirect

Indirect objects answer “to whom,” “for whom,” “to what,” “for what” to the direct object.


Sentences having indirect objects l.jpg

Subj. Pattern

Verb (transtive)

Direct

Sentences having indirect objects:

Claudia gave Ramon an eyebrow stud.

Claudia

stud

gave

an

eyebrow

Object

Ramon

indirect object


Sentences having indirect objects16 l.jpg

Subj. Pattern

Verb (transtive)

Direct Object

Sentences having indirect objects:

Verbs about giving and verbs about showing like to take indirect objects.

I

am sending

money.

you

Indirect Object



Slide18 l.jpg

Now, we come to the LINKING VERB patterns: Noun (direct object) Pattern

Let’s learn about BE:

IS

AM

ARE

WAS

WERE

BE

BEING

BEEN


Three uses of be l.jpg
Three Uses of BE: Noun (direct object) Pattern

  • As a main verb, to express existence:

    My teacher is a werewolf.


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Three Uses of BE: Noun (direct object) Pattern

  • As a helping verb, to express

    progressive action:

    My teacher was turning into a werewolf.


Three uses of be21 l.jpg
Three Uses of BE: Noun (direct object) Pattern

  • As a helping verb,to form the passive voice:

    Many students were attacked at night.


Pattern be nominal l.jpg
Pattern : BE + nominal Noun (direct object) Pattern

A nominal is a word or group of words that does the work of a noun (a noun and its modifiers). A nominal may be a single word, a phrase, or a clause. You can tell where a nominal begins and ends by replacing it with a pronoun. Whatever words the pronoun “eats up” would be one nominal. (Another test is to use the word “something” to replace a nominal.)

A ferret is a type of weasel.


Slide23 l.jpg

ferret Noun (direct object) Pattern

type

a

of

weasel

A

A ferret is a type of weasel.

is

(Something) is (something).

(Something) = (something).

Subject item = Subject complement item

Same referents on both sides of the verb

This clause has three slots.


Pattern be adjectival l.jpg
Pattern: BE + Adjectival Noun (direct object) Pattern

BE + a subject complement that is

an adjectival

An adjectival is to an adjective what a nominal is to a noun: a single word, a phrase, or a clause that does the work of an adjective, ie. to answer Which one? What kind? or How many?


Pattern be adjectival25 l.jpg
Pattern : BE + Adjectival Noun (direct object) Pattern

A ferret is furry.


Slide26 l.jpg

ferret Noun (direct object) Pattern

A

A ferret is furry.

is

furry.

BE verb

singular

present tense

Adjectival

Subj. Complement

NP (noun phrase)

Subject

Note that this clause can be expressed in the form of a phrase:

the furry ferret.

This sentence has three slots.


Slide27 l.jpg

A ferret is furry and funny. Noun (direct object) Pattern

furry

is

ferret

and

funny

a

BE verb

singular

present tense

NP (noun phrase)

Subject

Note that this clause can be expressed in the form of a phrase:

the furry ferret.

Adjectival

Subj. Complement

This sentence has three slots.


The be patterns l.jpg
The BE Patterns Noun (direct object) Pattern

BE + Adverbial Information

BE + Adverbial

(An adverbial is to an adverb what an adjectival is to an adjective and what a nominal is to a noun, ie. a single word, phrase, or clause that answers the questions that adverbs answer: after linking verbs, adverbials usually answer where? or when?)

A ferret is in the garage.


Slide29 l.jpg

ferret Noun (direct object) Pattern

A

in

garage

the

A ferret is in the garage.

is

(Something) is (somewhere).

(Something) is (happening at some time).

This clause has three slots.


Slide30 l.jpg

birthday Noun (direct object) Pattern

my

My birthday was yesterday.

was

yesterday

(Something) is (somewhere).

(Something) is (happening at some time).

This clause has three slots.


Make 3 sentences in be patterns l.jpg
Make 3 Sentences Noun (direct object) Patternin BE Patterns


The other linking verb patterns l.jpg
THE OTHER LINKING VERB PATTERNS Noun (direct object) Pattern

Sense verbs:

Look, sound, smell, taste, feel

Seem, become, grow…


Pattern linking verb adjective l.jpg
Pattern: Linking Verb + Adjective Noun (direct object) Pattern

Linking Verb + Predicate Adjective

This ice cream tastes delicious.


Slide34 l.jpg

ice cream Noun (direct object) Pattern

This

This ice cream tastes delicious.

delicious

tastes

NP

Subj

Subject complement

Predicate Adj.

(linking) verb

Note: In a Pattern 4 sentence, the subject complement

Is an adjective, not an adverb.

Hence: I feel bad (not badly).

This sentence has three slots.


Slide35 l.jpg

doctor. Noun (direct object) Pattern

famous

a

Linking Verb + Noun Pattern :

Linking Verb + Noun

She became a famous doctor..

She

became

Subj.

(linking) verb

Subject complement

Predicate noun.


Make 3 sentences in other linking verb patterns l.jpg
Make 3 Sentences Noun (direct object) Patternin Other Linking Verb Patterns


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