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Syntactic functions of adjectives

Syntactically adjectives may function both as 1) at­tributes and 2) predicatives, i.e. parts of the predicate. Here are the examples of the attributive use: She returned in the early morning. After careful consideration we accepted the offer. Trying to conceal her embarrassment she turned away her red face.

Sometimes adjectives used attributively may occur in postposition, i.e. after the noun they describe: This is the only possible answer. — This is the only answer possible. In some cases the postpositional use of adjectives is obligatory: I'll do everything possible to help you.

When used predicatively, adjectives are combined with link-verbs: be, feel, get, grow, look, seem, smell, taste, turn. For instance: / was early for work today. When driving he is always careful. They feel nervous. He looked happy. Honey tastes sweet. She turned red with embar­rassment.

Such adjectives as long, high, wide, deep, etc. find themselves in predicative position together with nouns denoting periods of time and units for measuring height, length and so on. For example: The garden is 20 metres long and 15 metres wide. The well is 25 metres deep.

The most frequently recurrent link-verb is the verb to be which enters a considerable number of set expres­sions of adjective + preposition type: be ready for/with, be fond of, be late for, be jealous of, be happy about, be afraid of, be frightened of, be dependent on, be persistent in, be grateful to/for, be angry with, be certain about/of, be suspicious of, etc. The predicative function of the adjectival collocations is often supported by their syno­nymous verbal counterparts: be fond of— love, be grateful to/for — thank, be suspicious of— suspect of.

The predicative function may be performed by do­uble comparative forms of adjectives in the elliptical (or predicatively incomplete sentences with missing verbal elements): The more expensive the hotel, the better the service. (=The more expensive the hotel is...) The warmer the weather the better I feel.

Note that qualitative adjectives perform their attribu­tive and predicative functions on equal terms while rela­tive adjectives tend to occur in the function of attribute more frequently than in that of predicative: In her silken garment she looked grand. The historic meeting between the two leaders marked the beginning of a new era.

Adjectives with the a- prefix like afire, afloat, agape, ajar, akin, etc. usually function predicatively: The house was aflame. The company somehow managed to keep afloat. The problem facing him is akin to that of ours.

However in some rare cases they may be used attri-butively: He got down to work afire with enthusiasm.


/. Comment upon the morphological structure of the following adjectives:

Universal, satisfactory, dishonorable, absent-minded, affectionate, agrochemical, conversational, cool, coordi­nate, double, intoxicated, hard-boiled, mindless, rest­rained, sheepish, stately, sympathetic, three-piece.

2. Give the opposites of the following adjectives by using the correct negative prefix:

Acceptable, adequate, agreeable, attentive, available, compatible, complete, considerable, constant, constitu­tional, credible, direct, discreet, distinct, excusable, fre-

quent, grammatical, hospitable, logical, loyal, mistakable, mobile, mortal, natural, polite, probable, religious, repu-

table, resistible, resolute, responsible, selfish.

3. Write down the comparative and superlative degrees of the following adjectives:

Large, heavy, free, sly, near, able, complete, rude, polite, respectable, far, distant, slim, slender, shy, coarse, wide, narrow, high, low, sly, brave.

4. Define the class of the italicized adjectives and their syntactic function in the text given below:

Words are the raw material of the writer's craft, and in his choice of them lies very much of his skill. English

offers him an immense vocabulary, enriched from many sources. French and Latin have added most to the original Saxon stock, but words have been borrowed from almost every country under the sun. French came over with the Norman conquerors; Renaissance scholars borrowed di­rect from Latin and Greek; fine gentlemen in Elizabeth's day garnished their speech with French, Italian and Spanish phrases; merchants and sailors and adventurers brought home new words from East and West. The pro­cess has been continuous, and continues still today. By these means the English vocabulary has increased not only in size, but in richness and variety. There seems at times a bewildering number of words which might express one plain meaning. How, then, shall we select the right one?

5. Insert little or a little and define which part speech they belong to:

a) 1. Have ... patience. 2. She had ... opportunity to use it. 3. I'll go ... way with you. 4. There's ... doubt he was responsible. 5. So much to do, so ... time. 6. Won't you have ... brandy? 7. We have ... hope of success. 8. I saw ... chance of doing it. 9. Wait ... longer.

b) 1. There's ... we can do about it. 2. There's ... that I can add to what he said. 3. Have some coffee: the­re's ... left. 4. I've got ... ; he's got a lot. 5. Is there any brandy, I'll have ... . 6. He said ..., but I knew what he meant. 7. I can't help you, I know ... about it. 8. It means ... to me. 9. Try ... of this cake.

c) 1. I used to play a lot, but now I play ... . 2. He's ... interested in anyone but himself. 3. She's ... sen-

timental. 4. It was ... difficult, not very. 5. You must excuse me. I'm ... tired. 6. Can we just move it ...? 7. He says ..., but he thinks a lot. 8. We thought it would be popular but it's ... used. 9. I'm just ... worried.

6. Insert few or a few:

1. It's so difficult that ... people can do that. 2. It was so cold that ... people came. 3. There are ... places hotter. 4. He has ... friends so he almost never goes out. 5. Can you give me ... examples? 6. ...flowers would look nice, but we don't need many. 7. I've been there ... times, but not often. 8. ... men have served their country so well. 9. He's had quite ... accidents.

7. Insert little, a little, few, a few:

1. I don't need a lot of money, just ... . 2. Not many people came, just ... . 3. He did ... to help us, which was not very friendly. 4. She was tired and had ... to say. 5. Have some coffee: there's still ... left. 6. As we feared, there was ... to interest us. 7. We hoped to sell a lot, but ... have been sold. 8. He found ..., but not many. 9. These are ... of my favourite things.

8. Complete the sentences below with the adjectives tall, wide, old, deep, thick, long, high:

1. The cathedral is 600 year .... 2. The mine is half a mile ....3. This cloth is a metre .... 4. That river is 80 miles .... 5. His son is 6 feet .... 6. The building is 60 feet .... 7. I need a piece of wood half an inch ....

9. Complete the following with one of the forms good/better/best, bad/worse/worst, much/more/most:

1. It was the ... accident in the history of the company. 2. The most expensive is not necessarily the ....

3. She was very ill yesterday, but she's ... today. 4. You surely don't expect me to sell it far ... than I paid for it! 5. Last year's results were bad, but unfortunately this year's are .... 6. Managers earn ... than secretaries. 7. They all ate a lot but he ate (the) .... 8. Nobody gave very much, she gave (the) .... 9. He is not satisfied with -any­thing but the .... 10. He is a good player, but his brother is ....

10. Complete the following with far/farther/farthest, further/furthest:

1. They live on the ... side of the town. 2. I have nothing ... to say. 3. Can you give some ... examples?

4. Our products are sold in the ... corners of the world.

5. I'll race you to the ... of those two trees.

11. Put the words in brackets into the comparative forms:

1. The (near) the bone, the (sweet) the meat. 2. The (much), the (merry). 3. The (high) the temperature, the (great) the pressure. 4. The (much) I learn, the (little) I know. 5. The (great) the opportunity, the (great) the responsibility.



The pronoun is a part of speech which points out objects and their quality without naming them as nouns and adjectives do. Thus pronouns function as substitutes of nouns or adjectives and have a very general relative meaning. For example: / have a daughter. She is five years old. Her eyes are blue. She has a boyfriend. He is six. Both have a lot of toys. They meet every day. They have some secrets.

Note that according to the British tradition pronouns are viewed as noun-substitutes only. For example: He asked for money and I gave him some. Some of his friends didn't give him any. Do you like fish or meat? — Both. Both of them were happy to meet each other.

The same words used attributively, i.e. instead of adjectives, are regarded as determiners in British grammar and as adjectives in American grammar: I gave him some money. Some friends of mine didn 't lend me any money. Both articles are quite informative.

Classes of pronouns

Pronouns are divided into the following groups:

1) personal pronouns: /, we, you, he, she, it, they,

2) possessive pronouns: my, our, your, his, her, its, their, mine, ours, yours, his, hers, its, theirs,

3) reflexive pronouns: myself, ourselves, yourself yourselves, himself, herself, itself, themselves, oneself,

4) reciprocal pronouns: each other, one another,

5) demonstrative pronouns: this, these, that, those. such, (the) same,

6) interrogative pronouns: who, whose, which, what,

7) connective pronouns: who, whose, which, what, that,

8) indefinite pronouns: some, any, somebody, anybo­dy, something, anything, someone, anyone, one;

9) defining pronouns: all, each, both, either, every, everybody, everyone, everything, other, another;

10) negative pronouns: no, none, neither, nobody, no one, nothing.

Personal pronouns

Personal pronouns are used instead of nouns. The principal grammatical category of the class is the category of Person, which is constituted by the words or lexemes, not by a set of grammatical forms: /, we, you, he, she, it, they.

Once personal pronouns are noun-substitutes they share nounal grammatical characteristics, namely they have the categories of Number, Case and in the third person singular — the category of Gender.

The category of Number is formed by the opposition of singular and plural pronouns of the first and third persons: /we, he/she/it they. The second person is represented by the only plural form you. In a sentence you always takes a plural verb: You are my only friend. You have to be careful with people you don't know.

The category of Case is manifested by the opposition of the Nominative Case (именительный падеж) and the Objective Case (объектный падеж). I me, we us, he him, she — her, they — them. For example: Last month I visited my sister. She had invited me to stay for the weekend. We were happy to see each other and her family left us to give a chance to talk. They went to the theatre. We were grateful to them for their tact.

Therefore in a sentence the personal pronouns of the first and third person singular and plural in the Nominative Case can perform the function of subject while in the Objective Case they are either indirect objects or predicatives. More examples to illustrate the point: She gave me a book to read. I thanked her for the book. They have made great progress in English studies. We are proud of them. (She, I, they, we are the subjects, me, her, them are the objects.) That's me on the left of the photograph. Is that her/him ? You can know all these things if you have lived them and if you are them. (Me, her/him, them are

used predicatively.)

In the case of the pronoun of the second person —

you and that of the third person — it, the category of

Case is left unexpressed for these words are unchangeable:

You were talking to a young man when I saw you in the

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