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Objects of grammar and the main branches of grammar.


Grammar may be regarded from practical or theoretical point of view.

  • The aim of practical grammar – the description of grammar, rules that are necessary to understand and formulate sentences.
  •  From the theoretical point grammar is the science of language, the main aim – to offer explanations for these rules.

Grammar is subdivided into 2 areas: morphology and syntax.


Morphology – the study of how words are formed out of small units (morpheme). It studies grammatical structure of words. Diff. types of morphemes.

Morphological analysis can help us find out the history of the word, from what language it was borrowed, to understand to what par it belongs to.


Types of morphemes:


Every morpheme can be classified as either free or bound. These categories are mutually exclusive, and as such, a given morpheme will belong to exactly one of them.


    Free morphemes can function independently as words (e.g. town, dog) and can appear with other lexemes (e.g. town hall, doghouse).

    Bound morphemes appear only as parts of words, always in conjunction with a root and sometimes with other bound morphemes. For example, un- appears only accompanied by other morphemes to form a word. Most bound morphemes in English are affixes, particularly prefixes and suffixes, examples of suffixes are: tion, ation, ible, ing, etc. Bound morphemes that are not affixes are called cranberry morphemes.


Bound morphemes can be further classified as derivational or inflectional.


Inflectional m. – modify a verb's tense or a noun's number without affecting the word's lexical meaning or class. (to mark such distinctions as tense, person, number, gender, mood, voice, and case). Examples of applying inflectional morphemes to words are adding -s to the root dog to form dogs and adding -ed to wait to form waited.

Derivational m. - change either the semantic meaning or part of speech of the affected word.

For example, in the word happiness, the addition of the bound morpheme -ness to the root happy changes the word from an adjective (happy) to a noun (happiness)



Syntax studies the principles and the rules of constructing sentences in a language, the gr. relations between the units in the sentence. (Who did you see Mary with? With whom did you see Mary?)



Grammar is concerned not just with principles which determine the formation of words, phrases and sentences, but also with the principles which give their interpretation - that is how to interpret.

e.g. man-eater and man-made have very different interpretations: in the 1st word 'man' is a patient interpretation, in the sense that man is the patient victim on whom the act of eating is going to be performed, by contrast in compounds like man- made, the word man is an agent interpretation, in the sense that man is the agent responsible for the act of making.



Chomsky has drawn a distinction between competence and performance.

         There is a distinction between competence (the fluent native speaker's subconscious knowledge of his language) and performance (what people really say or understand by what someone says on a given occasion). (performance – речевая деятельность; competence – компетенция)


Sam loves you more than Jim:

Sam loves you more than Jim loves you

Sam loves you more than Sam loves Jim


The nature of grammatical competence relates to native speaker intuitions about the interpretations of words in their native language.


2. Different Means of Expressing Future Actions in the Past.


Future in the Past

Like Simple Future, Future in the Past has two different forms in English: "would" and "was going to." Although the two forms can sometimes be used interchangeably, they often express two different meanings.

FORM Would

[would + VERB]


  • I knew you would help him.
  • I knew you would not help him.

FORM Was/Were Going To

[was/were + going to + VERB]


  • I knew you were going to go to the party.
  • I knew you were not going to go to the party.

USE 1 Future in Past

Future in the Past is used to express the idea that in the past you thought something would happen in the future. It does not matter if you are correct or not. Future in the Past follows the same basic rules as the Simple Future. "Would" is used to volunteer or promise, and "was going to" is used to plan. Moreover, both forms can be used to make predictions about the future.


  • I told you he was going to come to the party. plan
  • I knew Julie would make dinner. voluntary action
  • Jane said Sam was going to bring his sister with him, but he came alone. plan
  • I had a feeling that the vacation was going to be a disaster. prediction
  • He promised he would send a postcard from Egypt. promise

REMEMBER No Future in Time Clauses

Like all future forms, Future in the Past cannot be used in clauses beginning with time expressions such as: when, while, before, after, by the time, as soon as, if, unless, etc. Instead of using Future in the Past, you must use Simple Past.


  • I already told Mark that when he would arrive, we would go out for dinner. Not Correct
  • I already told Mark that when he arrived, we would go out for dinner. Correct



  • I knew John would finish the work by 5:00 PM. Active
  • I knew the work would be finished by 5:00 PM. Passive
  • I thought Sally was going to make a beautiful dinner. Active
  • I thought a beautiful dinner was going to be made by Sally. Passive


20.06.2014; 00:54
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