Friday, April 6, 2018

Markers of subordination

   There are two main indicators that a clause is subordinate:

1    The presence of a subordinating conjunction. Clauses which        areintroduced by one of the subordinating conjunctions are
      subordinate clauses. Here are some examples:

          James left the room because he was angry.

          If you need more money, just phone me.

          I read a magazine while I was waiting.

However, not all subordinate clauses are introduced by a 
subordinator. The subordinator that, for instance, may be

         [1] Paul knows that Amy prefers tennis.

         [2] Paul knows Amy prefers tennis.

In [1] that indicates that the clause that Amy prefers tennis
is subordinate. In [2], however, there is no formal marker of
subordination, though the clause Amy prefers tennis is still
a subordinate clause. So while a subordinator always indicates a
subordinate clause, not all subordinate clauses are introduced by
a subordinator.

2      The form of the verb phrase. If the verb phrase is non-finite
        then the clause in which it occurs is a subordinate clause.

       We recall that the non-finite verb forms are (1) the base form
       (often with to), (2) the -ed form and (3) the -ing form.
       These three verb forms give their names to three subordinate            clause types:


      The road was widened to improve the traffic flow.
      To receive all the channels, you may need an antenna.
      A satellite must reach an altitude of 100 miles to get clear of
      the atmosphere.

-ed clauses
     Deprived of oxygen, plants will quickly die.
     The warriors faced each other, dressed in black armour.
     Designed for drafting, mechanical pencils are also useful for

-ing clauses

     Michelangelo painted lying on his back.
     The teacher stood in the doorway, saying nothing.

     Emily rang the doorbell, her heart pounding.

 In a to-clause, to sometimes occurs as in order to or so as to:
    In order to reduce heat loss, we’ve sealed the window frames.
    Be punctual so as to reduce waiting time.

The form of the verb phrase, then, is a marker of subordination.
If the verb phrase is non-finite, the clause which contains it is a

subordinate clause.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Prepositional phrases

Prepositional phrases have the following basic structure:

        Premodifier            Preposition            Complement

         just                         after                        the game      

The complement in a prepositional phrase is most commonly a noun phrase:

            in London

            around the world

            across our street

            through the open window

Clauses can also function as the complement in a prepositional

            It’s a good way of reducing the debt.

            He succeeded by working hard.

Prepositional phrases usually consist of a preposition followed by itscomplement. Premodifiers in a prepositional phrase are quite rare,but here are some examples:

             just after the game

             straight across the road

             right around the building

The functions of prepositional phrases

                     The major functions of prepositional phrases are:

  Postmodifier of a noun:

              The population of China is growing.

              The demand for British steel has dropped dramatically.

               Caroline is reading a book on Renaissance painting.

2     Adjunct:

               I’ve got to see the doctor on Wednesday.

               Before the war, he played football for Leeds United.

               We met David beside the river.

3     Subject complement:

              Your lunch is in the microwave.

              The other gift is for James.

              Phil Collins was with a band called Genesis.

 Postmodifier of an adjective:

              Sarah is very proud of her achievements.

              The villagers are not very tolerant of strangers.

              The officers were found guilty of disreputable conduct.

5    Object complement:

               Sue has a job putting cards in alphabetical order.

               I am obliged to place these matters before the jury.

               She’s got a drawing board on her knee.