English Grammar: A University Course

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ENGLISH GRAMMARThis best-selling comprehensive descriptive grammar forms a complete course, idealfor all students studying English Language, whether on a course or for self-study.Broadly based on Hallidayan systemic-functional grammar but also drawing on cognitive linguistics and discourse analysis, English Grammar is accessible, avoiding overlytheoretical or technical explanations.The book consists of twelve self-contained chapters built around language functions,and each chapter is divided into units of class-length material. Key features include: Numerous authentic texts from a wide range of sources, both spoken and written,which exemplify the grammatical description;Clear chapter and unit summaries which enable efficient class preparation andstudent revision;Extensive exercises with a comprehensive answer key.This new edition has been thoroughly updated with new texts, a more user-friendlylayout, more American English examples and a companion website, providing extratasks, a glossary and a teachers’ guide.This is the essential coursebook and reference work for all native and non-nativestudents of English grammar on English language and linguistics courses.Angela Downing is Professor Emeritus at Universidad Complutense de Madrid,Spain. She was General Editor of Atlantis (Journal of the Spanish Association of Englishand American Studies) from 2006 to 2012 and has published numerous articles on grammar and discourse.

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ENGLISH GRAMMARA university courseThird editionAngela Downing

Third edition published 2015by Routledge2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RNand by Routledge711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business 2015 Angela DowningThe right of Angela Downing to be identified as author of this work has beenasserted by her in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright,Designs and Patents Act 1988.All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced orutilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, nowknown or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in anyinformation storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from thepublishers.Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks orregistered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanationwithout intent to infringe.First published 1992 by Prentice Hall International (UK) LtdRoutledge edition first published 2002Second edition published 2006 by RoutledgeBritish Library Cataloguing-in-Publication DataA catalogue record for this book is available from the British LibraryLibrary of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataDowning, Angela.English grammar: a university course/Angela Downing.—Third edition.p. cmIncludes bibliographical references and index.1. English language—Grammar. 2. English language—Grammar—Problems, exercises, etc.3. English language—Textbooks for foreign speakers. I. Title.PE1112.D68 2015428.2—dc232014024429ISBN: 978-0-415-73267-3 (hbk)ISBN: 978-0-415-73268-0 (pbk)ISBN: 978-1-315-75004-0 (ebk)Typeset in Amasisby Swales and Willis Ltd, Exeter, Devon, UK

CONTENTSList of figuresPreface to the third editionAcknowledgementsIntroduction to the third editionTable of notational symbols1 Basic conceptsUnit 1Language and meaningUnit 2Linguistic forms and syntactic functionsUnit 3Negation and expansionExercises2 The skeleton of the message: introduction toclause structureUnit 4Syntactic elements and structures of the clauseUnit 5Subject and PredicatorUnit 6Direct, Indirect and Prepositional ObjectsUnit 7Subject and Object ComplementsUnit 8AdjunctsFurther readingExercises3 The development of the message: complementationof the verbIntroduction: Major complementation patterns and valencyUnit 9Intransitive and copular patternsUnit10 Transitive patternsUnit 11 Complementation by finite clausesUnit 12 Complementation by non-finite clausesSummary of major verb complementation patternsFurther 72727779818594101107108108

viENGLISH GRAMMAR4 Interaction between speaker and hearer: linkingspeech acts and grammarUnit 13 Speech acts and clause typesUnit 14 The declarative and interrogative clause typesUnit 15 The exclamative and imperative clause typesUnit 16 Indirect speech acts, clause types and discourse functionsUnit 17 Questions, clause types and discourse functionsUnit 18 Directives: getting people to carry out actionsFurther readingExercises5 Conceptualising patterns of experience: processes,participants, circumstancesUnit 19 Conceptualising experiences expressed as situation typesUnit 20 Material processes of doing and happeningUnit 21 Causative processesUnit 22 Processes of transferUnit 23 Conceptualising what we think, perceive and feelUnit 24 Relational processes of being and becomingUnit 25 Processes of saying, behaving and existingUnit 26 Expressing attendant circumstancesUnit 27 Conceptualising experiences from a different angle:Nominalisation and grammatical metaphorFurther readingExercises6 Organising the message: thematic and informationstructures of the clauseUnit 28 Theme: the point of departure of the messageUnit 29 The distribution and focus of informationUnit 30 The interplay of Theme–Rheme and Given–NewFurther readingExercises7 Combining clauses into sentencesUnit 31 Clause combining: the complex sentenceUnit 32 Relationships of equivalence between clausesUnit 33 Relationships of non-equivalence between clausesUnit 34 Subordination and subordinatorsUnit 35 Discourse functions of conjunctionsUnit 36 Reporting speech and thoughtFurther 249253258261267271279280

CONTENTSvii8 Talking about events: the Verbal Group285Unit 37 Expressing our experience of eventsUnit 38 Basic structures of the Verbal GroupUnit 39 Organising our experience of eventsUnit 40 The semantics of phrasal verbsFurther readingExercises2872933003033103119 Viewpoints on events: tense, aspect and modality315Unit 41 Expressing location in time through the verb: tenseUnit 42 Past events and present time connected: Present Perfectand Past PerfectUnit 43 Situation types and the Progressive aspectUnit 44 Expressing attitudes towards the event: modalityFurther readingExercises32633434335535610 Talking about people and things: the Nominal Group359Unit 45 Expressing our experience of people and thingsUnit 46 Referring to people and things as definite, indefinite, genericUnit 47 Selecting and particularising the referent: the determinerUnit 48 Describing and classifying the referent: the pre-modifierUnit 49 Identifying and elaborating the referent: the post-modifierUnit 50 Noun complement clausesFurther readingExercises11 Describing persons, things and circumstances:adjectival and adverbial groupsUnit 51 Adjectives and the adjectival groupUnit 52 Degrees of comparison and intensificationUnit 53 Complementation of the adjectiveUnit 54 Adverbs and the adverbial groupUnit 55 Syntactic functions of adverbs and adverbial groupsUnit 56 Modification and complementation in the adverbial groupFurther readingExercises12 Spatial, temporal and other relationships: thePrepositional PhraseUnit 57Unit 58Prepositions and the Prepositional PhraseSyntactic functions of the Prepositional 8455459459465467475

viiiENGLISH GRAMMARUnit 59 Semantic features of the Prepositional PhraseFurther readingExercises479487487Answer KeySelect BibliographyIndex491509513

., process and circumstancesSemantic rolesOrder of syntactic elements in the declarative clauseOrder of syntactic elements in the interrogative clauseTheme-Rheme orderCombining the three structuresUnits on the rank scaleComponents and realisationsSubject and PredicatorObject (O) and Complement (C)Direct Object (Od) and Indirect Object (Oi)Complement typesAnticipatory ‘it’ as stand-in for displaced SubjectAnticipatory ‘it’ as Object clause as ObjectRecipient as Indirect Object and Beneficiary as Indirect ObjectRecipient as Subject and Beneficiary as SubjectMulti-word verb and ObjectVerb and PP as Adjunct or CompManner of movement – Extent – Path – Goal – PurposeMain clause and embedded nominal wh-clauseClause types or moodsCorrespondence between clause types and speech actsClause types and the ordering of the subject and finiteImperative and declarativeNegative and emphasisLet’s and Let usClause types and illocutionary forceThe circumstantial roleAgentive Subject of a voluntary process of ‘doing’Affected participant in a voluntary process of ‘doing’Affected Subject in a passive clauseForceInvoluntary processes of ‘happening’Transitive-causative 18129130131147157161161161162163164

xENGLISH nti-causative structureAnalytical causatives with a resulting attributeSummary of examples of transitivity structures in material processes Examples of mental processesExamples of cognitive processesCarrier with its AttributeCurrent Attribute and resulting AttributeThe be/belong possessive structureVerbs of possession in the Possessor/Possessed structureVerbal processesPlace and timeBasic realisations of semantic rolesNominalised realisations of semantic rolesTwo cognitive mappings of a situationHigh and low transitivityMain types of processes, participants and circumstancesTheme and RhemeMultiple ThemesThemes derived from a HyperthemeDirect and indirect speechConstituent elements of the English verbal groupBe, have and doVerbs particles (phrasal verbs)Speech time as reference timeThe scope of the simple Present tenseThe Present Perfect and the Past tenseAdjuncts of indefinite time and adjuncts of definite timeLexical aspect of English verbsPre-head, head and post-head in nominal groupsBasic structure of the nominal groupDefinite and indefinite referenceSummary of determinative featuresDescriptors and classifiers and their orderingDefining and supplementive adverbsStructure of the adjectival groupGrading options in English for comparative and superlative adjectives Interrelated uses of certain time adverbsStructure of the prepositional phrasePrepositions and 390399408422430453468478

PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITIONIn consonance with the welcome suggestions made by Routledge and reviewers alike,this book has been revised again for its third edition with certain aims in mind. Thefirst, in this age of cuts, was to slim down the content as regards the length of the text,without losing the character and coherence of the whole. This I have proceeded to do,reducing the length of each chapter as well as that of other sections.Offsetting this pruning, there was the need to cover or amplify certain areas of thegrammar that had been underdeveloped in previous editions, despite their importance.Such is the case with conditional sentences. They are complex enough for non-nativestudents to be wary of using them, yet at the same time common enough in interpersonal interaction, both spoken and written, to warrant careful attention and practice.They also have interesting variants which students may be unaware of. The gap is nowfilled in Chapter 7.A further aim has been to increase the projection of the grammar to an Americanreadership. Differences of grammar between Standard American and Standard BritishEnglish, which already appear in the second edition, are now more numerous andexplicit; wherever possible, they are accompanied by authentic illustrations. It is wellknown that the major differences between these two standard forms of English liein the lexis rather than in the grammar, and that features of American grammar aresoon taken up and adopted, especially by young British speakers. New illustrations,both one-liners and short texts, have been selected so as to provide, at the same time,American lexical items that differ from their British English counterparts. Comparisonsof American with British English as regards grammar in use are made where the grammatical point in question is being discussed, and are signalled as AmE vs BrE. A furtherdetail is that the term Module is now replaced by Unit, as being more transparent toAmerican readers.I feel confident that Philip Locke, were he still alive, would welcome these furtherchanges, together with those already carried out in the second edition of 2006. Withouthis invaluable collaboration in the writing of the first edition, published in 1992, it islikely that the whole conception of English Grammar, A University Course might havebeen different. I am particularly indebted to him for his enormous enthusiasm combined with unflappability, which made our joint collaboration so enjoyable.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSMy debt to my predecessors is, as before, very great. In addition to the grammarsof Michael Halliday, Randolph Quirk, Sydney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech and JanSvartvik, the wealth of information, corpus examples and frequencies provided bythe Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English, by Douglas Biber and his colleagues Stig Johansson, Geoffrey Leech, Susan Conrad and Edward Finegan, havebeen a reliable resource of great value. Rodney Huddleston and Geoffrey K. Pullum’s AStudent’s Introduction to English Grammar, based on their previous Cambridge Grammarof Contemporary English, though not specifically a functional grammar, is both informative and a pleasure to read. Aimed at students who will shortly be seeking employment,these texts argue for the advantages of havin