Практична граматика англійської мови для першокурсників. Частина I: Навчально-методичний посібник з граматики

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читал этот роман Хемингуэя, не так ли? – Нет, не читал, дай мне его, если он у тебя есть, хорошо?



PRINCIPAL                                                                          SECONDARY

SUBJECT      PREDICATE object             attribute         adverbial modifier    




The subject can be expressed by:

1.  a noun

·  a noun in the common case, e.g.  The sea is calm tonight. Anna sings beautifully.

·  a noun in the possessive case, e.g.  Anna’s was the best voice of all.

·  a noun group, Paul and Vera are my best friends. The blue of the sky showed that it was morning already.

2.  a substantivized adjective, e.g.  The old and the young must be helped by the society.

3.  a numeral, e.g. Thirteen is my favourite number. The third was our bus.

4.  a pronoun

·  a personal pronoun, e.g. She is my sister. We were really happy.

·  a possessive pronoun in its absolute form, e.g.  Theirs was a happy marriage.

·  an indefinite pronoun, e.g.  Anyone can do it, it’s easy.

·  a demonstrative pronoun, e.g. That was not true.

·  a negative pronoun, e.g. No one knew the truth.

·  an interrogative pronoun, e.g.  Who has been sitting on my chair and has broken it?

·  a detaching pronoun, e.g.  The other is better.

·  a universal pronoun, e.g. All is well that ends well.

5.  an infinitive or an infinitive phrase, e.g.  To live is to love. To forgive that was impossible.

6.  a gerund or a gerundial phrase, e.g.  Seeing is believing. Sleeping all the time is wasting your life.

7.  dummy subjects ‘it’ and ‘there’, e.g.  It is never late to learn. There is many a slip between the cup and the lip.

8.  a quotation, e.g.  ‘Daddy’ is one of Danielle Steel’s romantic novels.

9.  a subject clause, e.g.  What is done cannot be undone.

**TASK 9.  Find the subject of the sentence and match it with the parts of speech given below.

Part 1.

1.  The fog is thinning.                                        a)  an adjective;

2.  My sister’s sons are playing now.                 b)  a possessive pronoun;      

3.  The unbelievable has happened.                    c) an interrogative pronoun;

4.  Is she really very beautiful?                           d)  a noun;

5.  That was the last straw.                                  e)  a demonstrative pronoun;

6.  Kate’s is not this book, it’s that.                    f)  a negative pronoun;

7.  Nothing comes from nothing.                         g)  a subject group/ a noun group;

8.  One learns by experience.                               h)  a personal pronoun;

9.  Hers was the final judgment.                          i)  a noun in the possessive case;

10. Who told you this?                                         j)  an indefinite pronoun.                        

Part 2.

11. Four and four is eight.                                    k)  an infinitive phrase;                           

12.  The third was a young man.                           l)  a quotation;

13.  To understand is to forgive.                           m)  a cardinal numeral;

14.  To deny the past is to deny the future.           n)  a gerundial phrase;

15.  Talking mends no holes.                                o)  an ordinal numeral;

16.  Gardening after work is my father’s hobby.  p)  a subject clause;

17.   That he will be on time is not very likely.    q)  a dummy subject “there”;

18.   “How do you do?” is not an everyday          r)  an infinitive

greeting in modern English.

19.   It’s no use crying over the spilt milk.           s)  a dummy subject “it”;

20.   There was nothing to say or to do.                t)  a gerund



SIMPLE                                                                                 COMPOUND

verbal             nominal                                                           verbal                         nominal

                                                                                    modal              aspect            

Simple verbal predicates

Predicates of this kind denote one action and may be expressed by:

  1.  synthetical forms of the verb (notional verbs with or without endings)

e.g. They never cook themselves

       Mary cooks dinner every evening.

       Mary cooked dinner yesterday.

  1. analytical form of the verb (an auxiliary verb + a notional verb),

e.g. Mary is cooking dinner tonight. (is – an auxiliary verb; cooking is a notional verb)

      Mary has been going out with Jake since April. (has been –auxiliary verbs; going out is a notional verb)

Yesterday she was invited to go out by Nick. (was – an auxiliary verb; invited – a notional verb)

  1. phrasal verbs (e.g. to get up; to cut off; put on; to take off, etc.= a verb + post position)

e.g.  She is going out tonight.

         Jim never takes off his shoes when he comes home.

  1. set expressions denoting short actions (e.g. to have a swim; to give a laugh, to make a move, etc.),

e.g.  At the sight of the dog Sofia got frightened and gave a cry.

        The expert took a look at the picture and said that it was a fake.

  1. phraseological set expressions (to lose sight of, to take care of, to make fun of, to take part in, etc),

e.g. Bertha changed her mind about the trip to Liverpool.

       Look through your papers and get rid of all you don’t need.

Simple nominal predicates

Predicates of this kind are expressed by a noun, an adjective, an infinitive, a gerund or a participle, e.g. 

I, a liar

She, jealous

They, trying to help?

Such an old man, to walk so much?

Compound verbal modal predicates

Predicates of this kind consist of a modal verb and an infinitive (with or without the particle “to”),

modal verb + infinitive

e.g.  Dave couldn’t look into his mother’s eyes. 

        They are to come at noon.

Compound verbal aspect predicates

Predicates of this kind consist of a verb denoting the beginning, duration, repetition or the end of the action plus an infinitive or a gerund,

aspect verb + gerund/infinitive

e.g.  They started to talk again. (beginning: to begin; to start; to take off, to commence, etc.)

        Len went on reading.  (duration: to go on; to keep; to continue; to proceed, etc.).

        The students stopped talking. Try to make your boyfriend give up    smoking. (end: to stop; to end; to to give up; to finish, etc.)

        My dad used to take me fishing.(repetition of the actions: used to, would to - with the past reference)

Compound nominal predicates

Predicates of this kind consist of a link verb and a predicative (nominal part);

Compound nominal predicate = link verb + predicative

e.g. Pat is 25.  She is single.  She is a student.  She looks very smart.

Note:  Do not confuse! predicate # predicative


Predicatives can be expressed by different parts of speech:

  1.  nouns

·  in the common case, e.g.  Barbara is a pilot. Steve and Lily are orphans.

·  in the possessive case, e.g.  This book is Helen’s.

  1. different kinds of pronouns, e.g.

·  That was she. (personal pronoun)

·  This book is hers. (possessive pronoun)

·  That was nothing. (negative pronoun)

·  That was all. (universal pronoun) , etc.

  1. non-finite forms of verbs,

·  Boris’s aim was to study in Oxford. (an infinitive)

·  His hobby is painting. (a gerund)

·  The day got more and more fascinating. (participle I)

·  Bella sounded amused. (participle II)

  1. adjectives, e.g.  The roses in Helen’s garden were always beautiful. This kitten looks cute.
  2. adlinks, e.g.  At midnight the boat was still afloat.
  3. numerals, e.g.  Derek’s number was 37.
  4. predicative clauses, e.g.  That was what Dad wanted me to do.
  5. quotations, e.g.  The pirate’s answer was ‘No!’


One and the same verb can be both a link verb and a notional verb according to its function in the sentence. While serving as link verbs, notional verbs lose or change their lexical meaning.



Link Verb

Notional Verb

to be

Mary is a student.

She is in London now.

to look

She looked happy.

She looked at her friend.

to feel

Mary felt well.

He felt her hand on his shoulder.

to get

He got tired of sitting.

He got a letter from home.

to grow

He is growing old.

She is growing vegetables.

to turn

She turned pale.

He turned round the corner.

to come

His dream has come true.

We come home late.

to become

She became nervous.

He became a doctor.

to keep

She kept silent.

She kept her letters in a drawer.

to make

She will make a good teacher.

She will make a tasty cake.

to appear

She appeared excited.

She appeared in the room.

to remain

He remained silent.

She remained at home.

to smell

The cake smelled nice.

She smelled the rose.

to taste

The cake tasted delicious.

He tasted the cake.

to sound

(giving impression) Her voice on the phone sounded strange.

(producing a sound) The fireman sounded the alarm loudly.


Link verbs are never followed by adverbs, only by adjectives. Russian and Ukrainian learners often make mistakes in the following:

Мне холодно. (adverb) - I am cold. (adjective)       

Она посмотрела на него холодно.(adverb) - She looked at him coldly. (adverb)

Cyп пахнет хорошо. (adverb) - The soup smells nice. (adjective)

Ребенок вел себя хорошо. (adverb)  - The child behaved nicely. (adverb)

BUT:  to feel well (physical state) to feel good (feeling happy or confident about smth)

            to feel bad (physical state) to feel badly (not to feel smth with your fingers when you touch it)

e.g.  How is your granny? - She feels well./ She feels bad.

             How’s your granny’s hand after the operation? - She feels badly; her finger are still stiff.

I feel good about our visit to granny on Saturday.


There exist some mixed kinds of predicates whose types are determined by the first type of predicate,

e.g. You really ought to stop smoking. = compound modal aspect predicate

            The boy continued to be happy the whole week. = compound aspect nominal predicate

            John just had to be the first in that competition. = compound modal nominal predicate

*TASK 10.  Choose the correct part of speech after the verb.

  1. Lilies smell (sweet/sweetly).
  2. This sauce tastes (odd/oddly).
  3. These diamond earrings feel very (well/good) on my ears.
  4. The dog smelled the flower (cautiously/cautious).
  5. The boys felt (happy/happily) when the teacher forgot to give them their homework.
  6. This mushroom pizza tastes (terrifically/ terrific).
  7. The piano sounds (well/good) tonight.
  8. I felt my way (cautiously/cautious) through the darkened room.
  9. Pat looked most ( beautiful/beautifully) at the party yesterday.
  10.  The old man tasted the hot tea (careful/carefully).

**TASK 11. Find the predicatives in the sentence given below and match them with the parts of speech in the right-hand column.

  1. Jane’s mother was a widow.                                      a) a  participle I
  2. The book on the table was Victor’s.                          b)  a gerund
  3. Lily’s dress looked very smart.                                 c)  an infinitive
  4. Dan felt delighted.                                                      d)  a numeral                                     
  5. Is this book his?                                                          e)  a noun
  6. Who is he?                                                                  f)  a personal pronoun
  7. My grandpa will be 70 next year.                              g) a predicative clause
  8. To live is to love.                                                       h) an adlink
  9. His passion is fishing; mine is doing nothing.          i)  a quotation
  10. The news sounded distressing.                                   j)  an adjective
  11. Kate was very much afraid.                                       k)  a participle II
  12. That’s what she told me.                                            l) a noun in the possessive case
  13. The title of the book was  “The Black Arrow”.         m)  a possessive pronoun

**TASK 12.  Find the predicates in the sentences below and decide if they are defined in the right or wrong way. Tick the corresponding column. Correct the wrong definitions.



Type of the predicate




She will be able to do this work only tomorrow.

Simple verbal


The frog leapt off and disappeared in the grass.

Simple verbal


Mary kept doing her work without looking at us.

Compound aspect


The fault was not mine, it was hers.

Simple verbal


Sally, a governess!

Simple nominal


She was taught German in her childhood.

Compound nominal


He had to bite his lip, not to laugh.

Compound modal


The house looked sweet and cheerful.

Compound aspect


He will be a good painter.

Simple verbal


Grace was 65 and still beautiful.

Compound nominal


Should you report to your boss immediately?

Compound aspect


The theatre was being reconstructed when we came to the city.

Compound nominal


Anna’s eyes grew moist.

Compound nominal


How long has she been speaking on the phone?

Simple verbal


She doesn’t like to give her books to other people.

Compound aspect

**TASK 13.  Find all the predicates in the text given below and identify their types. 


            Jean was a nurse at a hospital. She loved her work and was at work most of the day. She was very experienced and looked after the most difficult patients.  When she came home in the evening she looked very tired but she didn’t feel unhappy

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