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The principal parts of the sentence.



The parts of the sentence which are connected by means of the predicative bond are principal parts.The subject and the predicate constitute the backbone of the sentence: without them the sentence would not exist at all, whereas all other parts may or may not be there, and if they are there, they serve to define or modify either the subject or the predicate, or each other. These are the core of the communicative unit. The non-predicative bond comprises attributive, completive and copulative relations.

The subject is one of the 2 main parts of the sentence. It denotes the thing whose action or characteristic is expressed by the predicate. It is not dependent on any other part of the sentence.It may be expressed by different parts of speech, the most frequent ones being: a noun in the common case, a personal pronoun in the nominative case, a demonstrative pronoun occasionally, a substantivized adjective, a numeral, an infinitive, and a gerund. It may also be expressed by a phrase.

In Modern English there are two main types of subject that stand incontrast as opposed to each other in terms of content: the definite subjectand the indefinite subject.

Definite subjectsdenote a thing-meant that can be clearly defined: a concrete object, process, quality, etc., e. g.:

(a) Fleur smiled. (b) To defend our Fatherland is our sacred duty. (c) Playing tennis is a pleasure. (d) Her prudence surprised me.

Indefinite subjectsdenote some indefinite person, a state of things or a certain situation, e. g.: (a) They say. (b) You never can tell. (c) One cannot be too careful. (d) It is rather cold. (e) It was easy to do so.

The common definition of the predicatein terms of modern linguistics is that it is a more or less complex structure with the verb or verb-phrase at its core.The predicate is one of the 2 main parts of the sentence.It denotes the action or property of the thing expressed by the subject. It is not dependent on any other part of the sentence. Ways of expressing the predicate are varied and their structure will better be considered under the heading of types of predicate.

It is sometimes claimed that the predicate agrees in number with the subject: when the subject is in the singular, the predicate is bound to be in the singular, and vice versa. However this statement is very doubtful.

· E.g. My family are early risers. + The question of concord refers to the level of phrases, not sentences.

The predicate can be a word, a word-morpheme or a phrase. If it consists of one word or word-morpheme it is simple.There are only 2 spheres of its use:1.In sentences where the immediateneighborhood of the subject noun and the predicate noun or adjective is used to suggest the impossibility or absurdity of the idea that they might be connected. Sentences with this kind of simple nominal predicate are always exclamatory,e.g. My ideas obsolete! It would not do to call such sentences elliptical since the link verb cannot be added without completely changing the meaning of the sentence. 2. In the sentences in which the predicative comes first, the subject next, and no link verb is either used or possible. Such sentences seem to occur chiefly in colloquial style, e.g. “Splendid game, cricket”, remarked MR Barbecue-Smith heartily to no one in particular; “so thoroughly English”.

If the predicate is made up of more than one word it is called compound.The compound nominal predicate is always consists of a link verb and a predicative, which may be expressed by various parts of speech, usually a noun, an adjective, also a stative, or an adverb. Link verb – the idea of link suggests that its function is to connect the predicative with the subject. It is not correct. The true function of a link verb is not a connecting function. It expresses the tense and the mood in the predicate (to be also expresses number and person). There are sentences in which the finite verb is a predicate itself, i.e. it contains some information about the subject which may be taken separately, but at the same time the verb is followed by a predicative and is in so far a link verb. He came home tired - the finite verb in such sentences conveys a meaning of its own, but the main point of the sentence lies in the information conveyed by the predicative noun or adjective. The finite verb performs the function of a link verb.

Since such sentences have both a simple verbal predicate and a compound nominal predicate, they form a special or mixed type: double predicates.

In terms of complementation, predicates are reasonably classified into verbal(time presses, birds fly, the moon rose, etc.) and nominal (is happy, felt strong, got cool, grew old).

 





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