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Verb Patterns and the Be Patterns

Verb Patterns and the Be Patterns

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Verb Patterns and the Be Patterns

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  1. Verb Patternsand the Be Patterns Ed McCorduck English 402--Grammar SUNY Cortland

  2. slide 2: verbs and sentence patterns Our analysis of sentence structure will be based on the assumption that there exist certain specific sentence patterns. The pattern of any given sentence will be said to derive from whatever its main verb is, i.e., each verb requires the sentence that it “anchors” to be in a specific pattern. English 402: Grammar

  3. slide 3: four sentence pattern categories There are a limited number of sentence patterns, and these patterns can be grouped into four main sentence pattern categories: be patterns linking verb patterns intransitive verb pattern transitive verb patterns English 402: Grammar

  4. slide 4: the be patterns: Pattern I the be patterns Pattern I NP be ADV/TP (subj) (predvb) (adverbial of time or place) Stated plainly, sentences of this pattern feature a noun phrase subject, any form of the verb be functioning as a “predicating verb” and an element that serves as an adverbial of time or place. Note: All the patterns and the accompanying codes/abbreviations used in describing them come directly from our textbook Understanding English Grammar. As in our text, “(subj)” stands for the subject role and “(predvb)” means that the verb (in this pattern be, under which the code occurs) functions as a predicating verb. English 402: Grammar

  5. slide 5: examples of Pattern I sentences exx (words/phrases serving as the elements of this pattern are separated by |) George | is | early. The books | were | in the library. Our team’s games | have been | on Fridays. English 402: Grammar

  6. Here is a Reed-Kellogg diagram of George is early showing how in sentences of this pattern the adverbial of time or place is placed below the verb as a modifier on a slanted line: slide 6: Reed-Kellogg diagram of a Pattern I sentence English 402: Grammar

  7. The example sentence The books were in the library features a prepositional phrase (a.k.a. a PP). Prepositional phrases are headed by a preposition, i.e., a little word like in,at or through, that governs a noun phrase. In Reed-Kellogg diagrams, a prepositional phrase is diagramed as a unit in which the preposition is on a slanted line below the predicate part of the main line, and this slanted line connects to a line parallel to the main line on which is placed the headword of the noun phrase, and any modifiers of the head noun go below it on slanted lines. For example, following is the diagram of The books were in the library in which in the library is a prepositional phrase serving as an adverbial of place: slide 7: prepositional phrases English 402: Grammar

  8. slide 8: Reed-Kellogg diagram of a Pattern I sentence with a PP ADV/TP English 402: Grammar

  9. slide 9: the be patterns: Pattern II Pattern II NP be ADJ (subj) (predvb) (subj comp) “(subj comp)” is subject complement English 402: Grammar

  10. slide 10: examples of Pattern II sentences exx George | is | dorky. The teacher | will be | very annoyed. The art world | has been | in a tizzy. English 402: Grammar

  11. In Reed-Kellogg diagrams, complements go on the main line after the predicating verb and are separated from it by a slanted line. Here is the diagram of George is dorky where the adjective dorky functioning as a subject complement (i.e., it refers to the subject of the sentence George) comes after the verb is: slide 11: Reed-Kellogg diagrams with complements English 402: Grammar

  12. When the subject complement is a prepositional phrase as in the example The art world is in a tizzy, the prepositional phrase is put on top of a vertical line with a “forked tail” (I think thing looks like a rocket) which connects to the main line and comes after a slanted line like any other complement. To illustrate, here is the diagram of The art world is in a tizzy where in a tizzy is a prepositional phrase functioning as subject complement: slide 12: prepositional phrases as subject complements English 402: Grammar

  13. slide 13: Reed-Kellogg diagram of a sentence with a PP subj comp English 402: Grammar

  14. slide 14: the be patterns: Pattern III Pattern III NP1be NP1 (subj) (predvb) (subj comp) NP1 means that the noun phrase refers to the same entity as some other noun phrase in the same sentence, which is also designated NP1. English 402: Grammar

  15. slide 15: examples of Pattern III sentences exx Peter | is | the village idiot. That chick | was | a babe. Members of the gang | had been | fugitives English 402: Grammar

  16. compare Professor Mendez is my math teacher. NP1 NP1 Professor Mendez killed my math teacher. NP1 NP2 i.e., in the second sentence the noun phrases Professor Mendez and my math teacher cannot refer to the same person, these NPs therefore having different “indexes” slide 16: NP1s vs. NP2s English 402: Grammar

  17. Noun phrase subject complements are diagramed like other complements, namely after slanted lines on the main line after the verb. As an example, here is the diagram of Peter is an idiot: slide 17: Reed-Kellogg diagram of a Pattern III sentence English 402: Grammar