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There are also infinitives corresponding to other aspects: to have written, to be writing, to have been writing. The second-person imperative is identical to the basic infinitive; other imperative forms may be made with let let us go, or let's go; let them eat cake. A form identical to the infinitive can be used as a present subjunctive in certain contexts: It is important that he follow them or There is also a past subjunctive distinct from the simple past only in the possible use of were instead of was , used in some conditional sentences and similar: if I were or was rich For details see English subjunctive.

The passive voice is formed using the verb be in the appropriate tense or form with the past participle of the verb in question: cars are driven, he was killed, I am being tickled, it is nice to be pampered, etc. The performer of the action may be introduced in a prepositional phrase with by as in they were killed by the invaders.

The English modal verbs consist of the core modals can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will, would, as well as ought to , had better, and in some uses dare and need. The modals are used with the basic infinitive form of a verb I can swim, he may be killed, we dare not move, need they go? The copula be, along with the modal verbs and the other auxiliaries , form a distinct class, sometimes called " special verbs " or simply "auxiliaries".

I could not Apart from those already mentioned, this class may also include used to although the forms did he use to?

It also includes the auxiliary do does, did ; this is used with the basic infinitive of other verbs those not belonging to the "special verbs" class to make their question and negation forms, as well as emphatic forms do I like you? For more details of this, see do-support. Some forms of the copula and auxiliaries often appear as contractions , as in I'm for I am, you'd for you would or you had, and John's for John is.

For detail see English auxiliaries and contractions. A verb together with its dependents, excluding its subject , may be identified as a verb phrase although this concept is not acknowledged in all theories of grammar [20]. A verb phrase headed by a finite verb may also be called a predicate. The dependents may be objects , complements, and modifiers adverbs or adverbial phrases.

In English, objects and complements nearly always come after the verb; a direct object precedes other complements such as prepositional phrases, but if there is an indirect object as well, expressed without a preposition, then that precedes the direct object: give me the book, but give the book to me. Certain verb—modifier combinations, particularly when they have independent meaning such as take on and get up , are known as " phrasal verbs ". For details of possible patterns, see English clause syntax. See the Non-finite clauses section of that article for verb phrases headed by non-finite verb forms, such as infinitives and participles.

Categories

English adjectives , as with other word classes, cannot in general be identified as such by their form, [21] although many of them are formed from nouns or other words by the addition of a suffix, such as -al habitual , -ful blissful , -ic atomic , -ish impish, youngish , -ous hazardous , etc. Adjectives may be used attributively , as part of a noun phrase nearly always preceding the noun they modify; for exceptions see postpositive adjective , as in the big house, or predicatively , as in the house is big.

Certain adjectives are restricted to one or other use; for example, drunken is attributive a drunken sailor , while drunk is usually predicative the sailor was drunk. Many adjectives have comparative and superlative forms in -er and -est, [22] such as faster and fastest from the positive form fast. Spelling rules which maintain pronunciation apply to suffixing adjectives just as they do for similar treatment of regular past tense formation ; these cover consonant doubling as in bigger and biggest, from big and the change of y to i after consonants as in happier and happiest, from happy.

The adjectives good and bad have the irregular forms better, best and worse, worst; also far becomes farther, farthest or further, furthest. The adjective old for which the regular older and oldest are usual also has the irregular forms elder and eldest, these generally being restricted to use in comparing siblings and in certain independent uses.

For the comparison of adverbs, see Adverbs below. Many adjectives, however, particularly those that are longer and less common, do not have inflected comparative and superlative forms. Instead, they can be qualified with more and most, as in beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful this construction is also sometimes used even for adjectives for which inflected forms do exist. Certain adjectives are classed as ungradable. Consequently, comparative and superlative forms of such adjectives are not normally used, except in a figurative, humorous or imprecise context.

Similarly, such adjectives are not normally qualified with modifiers of degree such as very and fairly, although with some of them it is idiomatic to use adverbs such as completely. Another type of adjectives sometimes considered ungradable is those that represent an extreme degree of some property, such as delicious and terrified. An adjective phrase is a group of words that plays the role of an adjective in a sentence. It usually has a single adjective as its head , to which modifiers and complements may be added.

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Adjectives can be modified by a preceding adverb or adverb phrase, as in very warm, truly imposing, more than a little excited. Some can also be preceded by a noun or quantitative phrase, as in fat-free, two-metre-long. An adjective phrase may include both modifiers before the adjective and a complement after it, as in very difficult to put away. Adjective phrases containing complements after the adjective cannot normally be used as attributive adjectives before a noun.

Exceptions include very brief and often established phrases such as easy-to-use.


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Certain complements can be moved to after the noun, leaving the adjective before the noun, as in a better man than you, a hard nut to crack. Certain attributive adjective phrases are formed from other parts of speech, without any adjective as their head, as in a two-bedroom house, a no-jeans policy.

Description

Adverbs perform a wide range of functions. They typically modify verbs or verb phrases , adjectives or adjectival phrases , or other adverbs or adverbial phrases. Many English adverbs are formed from adjectives by adding the ending -ly, as in hopefully, widely, theoretically for details of spelling and etymology, see -ly.

Late Modern English Syntax : Marianne Hundt :

Certain words can be used as both adjectives and adverbs, such as fast, straight, and hard; these are flat adverbs. In earlier usage more flat adverbs were accepted in formal usage; many of these survive in idioms and colloquially. That's just plain ugly. Some adjectives can also be used as flat adverbs when they actually describe the subject. The adverb corresponding to the adjective good is well note that bad forms the regular badly, although ill is occasionally used in some phrases.

There are also many adverbs that are not derived from adjectives, [24] including adverbs of time, of frequency, of place, of degree and with other meanings. Some suffixes that are commonly used to form adverbs from nouns are -ward[s] as in homeward[s] and -wise as in lengthwise. Most adverbs form comparatives and superlatives by modification with more and most: often, more often, most often; smoothly, more smoothly, most smoothly see also comparison of adjectives , above.

However, a few adverbs retain irregular inflection for comparative and superlative forms: [24] much, more, most; a little, less, least; well, better, best; badly, worse, worst; far, further farther , furthest farthest ; or follow the regular adjectival inflection: fast, faster, fastest; soon, sooner, soonest; etc. Adverbs indicating the manner of an action are generally placed after the verb and its objects We considered the proposal carefully , although other positions are often possible We carefully considered the proposal.

Many adverbs of frequency, degree, certainty, etc. Adverbs that provide a connection with previous information such as next, then, however , and those that provide the context such as time or place for a sentence, are typically placed at the start of the sentence: Yesterday we went on a shopping expedition. A special type of adverb is the adverbial particle used to form phrasal verbs such as up in pick up, on in get on, etc. If such a verb also has an object, then the particle may precede or follow the object, although it will normally follow the object if the object is a pronoun pick the pen up or pick up the pen, but pick it up.

An adverb phrase is a phrase that acts as an adverb within a sentence. For example: very sleepily; all too suddenly; oddly enough; perhaps shockingly for us. Another very common type of adverb phrase is the prepositional phrase , which consists of a preposition and its object: in the pool; after two years; for the sake of harmony. Prepositions form a closed word class, [25] although there are also certain phrases that serve as prepositions, such as in front of. A single preposition may have a variety of meanings, often including temporal, spatial and abstract. Many words that are prepositions can also serve as adverbs.

Examples of common English prepositions including phrasal instances are of, in, on, over, under, to, from, with, in front of, behind, opposite, by, before, after, during, through, in spite of or despite, between, among, etc. A preposition is usually used with a noun phrase as its complement.

A preposition together with its complement is called a prepositional phrase. A prepositional phrase can be used as a complement or post-modifier of a noun in a noun phrase, as in the man in the car, the start of the fight; as a complement of a verb or adjective, as in deal with the problem, proud of oneself; or generally as an adverb phrase see above. English allows the use of "stranded" prepositions.

This can occur in interrogative and relative clauses , where the interrogative or relative pronoun that is the preposition's complement is moved to the start fronted , leaving the preposition in place. This kind of structure is avoided in some kinds of formal English. For example:. Stranded prepositions can also arise in passive voice constructions and other uses of passive past participial phrases , where the complement in a prepositional phrase can become zero in the same way that a verb's direct object would: it was looked at; I will be operated on; get your teeth seen to.

The same can happen in certain uses of infinitive phrases: he is nice to talk to; this is the page to make copies of. Conjunctions express a variety of logical relations between items, phrases, clauses and sentences. These can be used in many grammatical contexts to link two or more items of equal grammatical status, [29] for example:.

There are also correlative conjunctions , where as well as the basic conjunction, an additional element appears before the first of the items being linked. Subordinating conjunctions make relations between clauses, making the clause in which they appear into a subordinate clause. A subordinating conjunction generally comes at the very start of its clause, although many of them can be preceded by qualifying adverbs, as in probably because The conjunction that can be omitted after certain verbs, as in she told us that she was ready.

Although English has largely lost its case system, personal pronouns still have three morphological cases that are simplified forms of the nominative , objective and genitive cases : [32]. Most English personal pronouns have five forms: the nominative and oblique case forms, the possessive case , which has both a determiner form such as my, our and a distinct independent form such as mine, ours with two exceptions: the third person singular masculine and the third person singular neuter it, which use the same form for both determiner and independent [his car, it is his] , and a distinct reflexive or intensive form such as myself, ourselves.

The interrogative personal pronoun who exhibits the greatest diversity of forms within the modern English pronoun system, having definite nominative, oblique, and genitive forms who, whom, whose and equivalently coordinating indefinite forms whoever, whomever, and whosever. Forms such as I, he, and we are used for the subject " I kicked the ball" , whereas forms such as me, him and us are used for the object "John kicked me ". Nouns have distinct singular and plural forms; that is, they decline to reflect their grammatical number ; consider the difference between book and books.

In addition, a few English pronouns have distinct nominative also called subjective and oblique or objective forms; that is, they decline to reflect their relationship to a verb or preposition , or case. Consider the difference between he subjective and him objective , as in "He saw it" and "It saw him"; similarly, consider who , which is subjective, and the objective whom.