Anna Hefley Ghadah Althunayyan HyunMi Lee Subject Clauses andRelated Structures Part 1 Chapter 20
Subject Clauses and Related Subjects • Subject clauses appear in subject position in sentences. • The four types of clauses together are sometimes called noun clauses. • We will also examine certain structures that can be used instead of sentence with subject clauses and look at discourse factors that favor the use of subject clause and of these related structures.
Types of Subject Clauses • All verbs allow noun phrases to occur as subject: NP as Subject Verb Object John/He bought a plane ticket. Alan's sister • Some verbs also permit subordinate clauses to appear in this position; the clause in subject position is introduced by that. Clause as Subject Verb Object [That she didn't reply immediately] doesn't surprise him. • Unlike NP subjects, clauses in subject position generally cannot undergo subject-auxinversion . * Doesn't [ that she did not reply immediately] surprise him?
Types of Subordinate Clauses • Infinitive Clauses • Gerund Clauses • That Clauses • Interrogative Clauses
Infinitive Clauses • Infinitive clauses contain a verb in its infinitive form. They are nonfinite clauses in that their verb, being in the infinitive form, doesn't carry tense. Infinitive clauses may have a subject which is preceded by for. The for is a complementizer – a type of subordinator whose only function is to introduce dependent clause. For more frequently, infinitive clauses have no over subject. In (b) the subject it typically understood as "people in general." • For John to ignore her advise would be foolish. • To write good poetry requires as much practice as talent.
Infinitive Clauses cont. Infinitive clauses can appear in subject position before: • verbsincluding amuse, cause, delight and occur. To ask someone for help simply wouldn't occur to my father.
Infinitive Clauses cont. • be + adjectives including easy, difficult, foolish, good, and impossible. To fool him is not particularly difficult. • be + nouns including error, mistake, offense, and task. To get a simple yes or no answer out of her is a real task.
Gerund Clauses Gerund clauses contain a verb in present participle form. They are nonfinite clauses, not marked for tense. The subject may be in a possessive form as in (a), or a possessive pronoun as in (b). If it has no overt subject, it begins with a present participle as in (c). • Alan'srefusing our invitation took us completely by surprise. • His refusing our invitation took us completely by surprise. • Writing good poetry requires as much practice as talent.
That Clauses That clauses are introduced by that and include a subject and a past or present tense verb, as in (a) and (b), or a modals in (c). Because they have tensed verb, that clauses are a type of finite clause. That clauses occur before: • verbsincluding amaze, bother, deter, illustrate, indicate, and surprise. That he continuesto visit her regularly after all these years amaze me. • be + adjectives including apparent, clear, disconcerting, evident, important, and remarkable. That he managed to get his degree at all is truly remarkable. • be + nouns including accident, asset, factor, miracle, result (of), source (of). That he would say such a thing is the result of his utter lack of understanding.
Interrogative Clauses • Interrogative clauses, or embedded question clauses, begin with a wh- element. They are finite clauses, having a present or past tense verb or modal. • verbsincluding bother, concern, depend on, determine, interest, and matter. Whether he can get a scholarshipwill depend on his grade. • be+ adjectives including arguable, certain, clear, debatable, important, obvious, relevant, and significant. The main clause is often negative. How he plans to do thatis not clear. • be+ noun including concern, issue, matter, and problem. The main clause is often negative. Whether he completes it today or tomorrowis not the issue.
Subject Clause Types Worksheet # 4 QUESTION
Subject ClauseTypes Worksheet # 4 ANSWERS
Anna Hefley Ghadah Althunayyan HyunMi Lee Subject Clauses andRelated Structures Part 3 Chapter 20
Related Structures withNP Subjects • Tough movement and subject raising sentences are alternative to sentences with subject clauses. • Involve the movement of an NP from an extraposed subject clause into subject position in the main clause. • Possible only in sentences with certain main clause verbs or certain adjectives or nouns following be.
Related Structures withNP Subjects TOUGH MOVEMENT SENTENCES The object, subject or object of a preposition of an infinitive clause in an extraposition pattern sentence may be moved out of its clause into position occupied by it, to produce a sentence identical in meaning. This movement is calledtoughmovement. It is easy [to understand this lesson]. OBJECT This lesson is easy [to understand]. It’s easy for John [to understand this lesson]. SUBJECT This lesson is easy for John [to understand]. It’s a real pleasure to work with John. OBJECT OF PREPOSITION John isa real pleasure to work with.
Tough Movement Sentences cont. • Tough movement can be applied only to clauses containing be or a similar verb, followed by: • an ease/difficulty adjective such as dangerous, difficult, easy, fun, hard, impossible, pleasant, simple, tough, or wonderful • an NP that has similar ease/difficulty meaning such as a chore, a cinch, a joy, a pain, a piece of cake, a pleasure, a snap
Tough Movement Sentences cont. • Tough movement applied to sentences in which be is followed by an adjective or NP that is not a member of the ease/difficulty set, produces ungrammatical sentences. It is possible to see the doctor. *The doctor is possible to see. It is a real honor to work with Professor Hobson. *Professor Hobson is a real honor to work with.
Subject Raising Sentences Verbs: appear, happen, seem can occur in sentences following an infinitive clause, the subject of which has bees moved to the subject position in the main clause. seems Edithhappensto enjoy my company. appears Subject raising rule: moves the subject of the infinitive clause into subject position in the main clause.
Subject Raising Sentences cont. The subject raising rule also applies to sentences with be followed by any adjective that expresses a degree of probability, such as certain, likely, or unlikely. likely The value of the dollar is unlikely to go up in January. certain This sentence is the result of subject raising rule:
Subject Raising Sentences cont. As with the verbs, with many of these adjectives, equivalent sentences with extraposed that clauses are possible. It is also correct to say: It is likely that the value of the dollar will go up in January. He is sure to complain about something. apt * It is sure that he will complain about something. apt
Use: Subject Raising Sentencesvs. Sentences with Extraposed That Clauses Subject raising sentences are much more frequent than sentences with extraposed that clauses, both with verbs like seem and appear and with adjectives such as (un)likely and certain, in both spoken and written English. The NP that subject raising positions at the start of the sentence is often one that has an anaphoric link to the preceding discourse.
Use: Subject Raising Sentencesvs. Sentences with Extraposed That Clauses cont. The first thing he thought of when he woke up was Anna. She wasn’t likely to take a taxi to Naples. The pronoun she in the subject raising sentence is more directly linked to the antecedent Anna in the previous sentence that it would be in the alternative with extraposition. It wasn’t likely that she would take a taxi to Naples.
Use: Subject Raising Sentencesvs. Sentences with Extraposed That Clauses cont. Factors (less common) that may favor extraposition factor: • To attribute a perception to someone or something, a writer or speaker can use seem or appear followed by a to prepositional phrase and then the extraposed that clause. It seemedtoherthat she was losing control of her temper.
Use: Subject Raising Sentencesvs. Sentences with Extraposed That Clauses cont. • Principle of end weight favors the extraposition pattern when the that clause subject is a long, complex NP, as subject raising would move this NP to an initial position. Such sentences originate in academic prose. The report states that it is likely that more than half of all conventional gas reserves that will be ultimately produced in the United States have already been produced.
Sentences That look like Tough Movement or Subject Raising Structures Sentence (1) has the same pattern as (2), a subject raising sentence, and (3) a tough movement sentence. 1. John is eager to please. 2. John is certain to please. 3. John is easy to please. However, unlike (2) and other subject raising sentences (1) does not have a grammatical extraposed counterpart with a that clause, as example (4) demonstrates. * It is eager that John will please. (Cf. It is certain that John will please.)
Sentences That look like Tough Movement or Subject Raising Structures Unlike “John is easy to please”and other tough movement sentences, “John is eager to please”does not have a grammatical extraposed version with an infinitive complement. *It is eager to please John. (Cf. It is easy to please John.) “John is eager to please” has a different structure than John is eager[(John) to please (someone)], which reflects our intuitions that the subject of the infinitive complement in  is identical to the main clause subject. Sentences like “John is eagerto please” always have adj of willingness or ability (like able, eager, eligible, free, ready, welcome, willing) between the main clause verb be and following infinitive clause.