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Phrases which are indivisible either syntactically or semantically or both





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§ 36. Phrases of this kind contain two or more notional word-forms used together to designate a person or a non-person, an action or a quality. Syntactical relations between their components are not always explicit, and so they are not analysed separately.

Here belong:

 

1.Groups of words that name one thing or one unit.

 

Will you allow me another half an hour?

Here is your needle and thread.

 

2. Groups of words denoting an indefinite number or amount of things.

A lot of unpleasant things have been said.

 

3. Groups of words denoting arithmetical calculations.

Two plus two is four.

Ten by three equals thirty.

Four from nine leaves five.

 

4. Groups of words consisting of two or more proper names belonging to one person.

George Gordon Byron was born in 1788.

 

5. Groups of words which form one geographical name.

New York is the largest city in the United States of America.

 

6. Groups of words containing a proper name and a noun denoting an occupation, a title, a rank, a relatioship, or naming a species of animal.

 

How do you do, Doctor Brown?

Mrs. Poppets brought the tray in.

The boy looked up at Colonel Julian.

He always reminds me of my Uncle Podger.

The dog Charlie was full of importance.

Note:

 

However these groups of words allow of another interpretation: the first word may be treated as a non-

detached apposition. See § 92.

 

7. Groupsof words containing a verb and a noun denoting an action.

 

She looked at him and gave a sigh.

Please, don’t make trouble.

 

8. Adverbial groups of words.

 

He came two minutes ago.

A week later she began to recover.

 

Phrases of this kind (1-8) function in the sentence in accordance with their nominal, verbal or adverbial nature as one whole. (See the examples above.)

Predicative complexes

 

§ 37. Predicative complexes differ from phrases in that they have two words with predicative relation between the nominal and the verbal parts of the phrase. These words in their turn may have one or more words dependent on them. Though the predicative relation within a complex is grammatically only implicit, its presence makes it possible to turn any predicative complex into a clause, which cannot be done to a phrase.

 

I saw him run ——> I saw that he was running.

He still found life interesting ——> He still found that life was interesting.

 

Predicative complexes are dealt with in full in § 124-132.

Clauses

§ 38. Clauses, like predicative complexes, contain two words connected predicatively, but unlike predicative complexes the predicative relation in clauses is expressed explicitly in the grammatical forms of the subject and the predicate.

 

I don’t know what you mean.

She came when nobody was in.

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