1. Parts of Speech
According to meanings and forms of the
words and their functions in sentences, English words can be divided into
ten sorts: nouns, pronouns, adjectives, numerals, verbs, adverbs, articles,
prepositions, conjunctions and interjections.
These ten sorts of words belongs to
two bigger categories:
Notional Words: nouns, pronouns,
adjectives, numerals, verbs, adverbs
Form Words: articles, prepositions,
conjunctions and interjections
As the terms imply, notional words have
certain terminal meanings and serve as members of sentences, e.g. subjects,
attributes, adverbials; whereas form words play structural roles and show
the relationship between words or between other parts of the sentences,
or help to build various tenses, voices and moods, etc.
2. Functions of words and their grammatical functions
The following table show the functions
of words and their grammatical functions:
||Parts of Speech
||represent the names of people or things
||serve as subjects, objects, predicatives, etc.
||replace nouns or numerals
||serve as subjects, objects, predicatives, etc.
||indicate the quality and characteristics of people or things
||serve as attributes, predicatives, etc.
||indicate quantity or order
||serve as subjects, objects, predicatives, attributes, adverbials
||indicate actions or situations
||study, see, be
||serve as predicates
||explain verbs, adjectives or other adverbs
||serve as adverbials
||indicate whether a noun refers to a general sense or special sense
||a, an, the
||indicate the relationship between a noun or a pronoun and other words
||of, in, from
||connect words, phrases, or sentences
||and, or, but
||express the feelings on speaking
3. Changes of word forms
Unlike Chinese, nearly all English words
(except prepositions, conjunctions and interjections) have certain changes
in forms. e.g.
single and plural forms
of nouns: map---maps, man---men
nominative case, objective
case, and possessive case of pronouns: I, me, my
original, comparative degree
and superlative degree of adjectives: hard, harder, hardest
infinitive, past form, past
participle and present participle of verbs: do, did, done, doing
cardinal and ordinal forms
of numerals: one, first
(a, an), definite article (the) and zero article (i.e. the situations where
no articles are used)
1. Members of the Sentence
In English, there are seven members
of the sentence:
2. Five basic patterns of simple sentences
the Subject: a member of sentence which describe 'who' or 'what',
and is usually undertaken by nouns, pronouns or their equavilents. E.g.
The Sun rises from
the Predicate: it describes the action or situation of the subject,
and usually undertaken by verbs or verb phrases, e.g.
They study very hard.
the Predicative: it describes the quality, feature, state or identity,
and form compound predicate with linking verbs. It is usually undertaken
by nouns, pronouns and adjectives or their equivalents, e.g.
That river is very deep.
the Object: it shows the object or content of the action of a transitive
verb, or is put after a preposition to form a prepositional phrase. It
is usually undertaken by a noun or pronoun or their equivalents, e.g.
We all like him.
the Complement: it is a supplement of the subject or the object,
and is usually undertaken by an adjective or a noun or other proper structures,
We consider this task very
the Attribute: it modifies or restricts nouns, and is usually undertaken
by adjectives or their equivalent structures, e.g.
This is a difficult
the Adverbial: it modifies verbs, adjectives, adverbs or the whole
sentence, and is usually undertaken by a adverb or its equivalent structures,
He runs fast.
3. Categories of Sentences --- according to use
He studies very hard.
He studies English.
He is a student.
His father will make him
He gave me some books.
Note: S = Subject
V = Verb
P = Predicative
O = Object
Oi = Indirect Object
Od = Direct Object
C = Complement
4. Categories of Sentences --- according to structure
the Statement: it states a thing or an opinion, e.g.
The earth revolves round
He is a very nice person.
the Question: it inquires a situation. There are four sorts of questions:
general question: Do you
like this picture?
special question: Who is
optional question: Shall
we go home or stay here?
tag-question: She is a scientist,
the Imperative: it puts forward demands or give orders, e.g.
Come in, please.
Don't be naughty.
the exclamation: exclaim about the quality, degree or content of
What lovely weather!
How interesting the film
Simple Sentence: includes only subject-pedicate sentence, e.g.
The man knocked at the door.
Compound Sentence: it is connected by coordinate conjunctions and
includes two or more subject-predicate sentences, e.g.
The man knocked at the door
and no one answered.
Complex Sentence: it is formed with a main clause and one or more
subordinate clauses, e.g.
As soon as he arrived at
the house, the man knocked at the door.
Phrases are made up of two
or more words and their meanings are relatively complete, but they are
not sentences themselves. There are six common phrases:
the Noun Phrase:
The books on the shelves
belong to Professor wang.
the Verb Phrase:
They put forward many
the Infinitive Phrase
She will teach me to
sing the song.
the Gerundial Phrase
I always enjoy going
the Participle Phrase
Hearing the good news,
she jumped with joy.
the Prepositional Phrase
There is a village at
the foot of the mountain.
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