ТОП 10:

Grammatical Features Typical of Modern English


Naturally only some features of Modern English will be considered here.

The deeply rooted tendency for compactness has stimulated a wide use of various verbal complexes: the infinitive complex, the gerundial complex, the participial complex, the absolute nominative construction. The same tendency is displayed in some pre-positional attributes: the N1 + N2 attributive model, attributive groups, attributive phrases. None of them has any equivalents in Ukrainian grammar and as a rule they require decompression in translation. Causative constructions also illustrate this tendency for compactness.


He …soon twinkled Paul out of his sulks (R.F.Dalderfield).

Він почав підморгувати Полю, і той припинив дутися.


Translation is sometimes impeded by the existence of grammatical homonymy in Modern English. For example, the Gerund and Participle I are homonyms. The analytical forms of the Future-in-the-Past are homonyms with the forms of the Subjunctive mood: should (would) + infinitive. The difficulty is aggravated by a homonymous form of the Past Indefinite of the verb “will” expressing volition. The Infinitive of Purpose and the Infinitive of Subsequent Action may easily be confused. Grammatical homonymy may often be puzzling and may sometimes cause different interpretations. In such cases recourse should be taken to a wider context, e.g.

What we stand for is winning all over the world. (L. Barkhudarov, Lectures).

The translation of the sentence depends on the grammatical interpretation of the –ing form, i.e. whether it is interpreted as Participle I or as a Gerund. According to the former interpretation, the word combination “is + winning” is the form of the Present Continuous Tense; according to the latter, it is a nominal predicate – link verb + Predicative. These different interpretations result in different translations:


1. Те, за що ми виступаємо, отримує перемогу в усьому світі.

2. Мы стоимо за те, щоб добитися перемоги в усьому світі.

A different grammatical interpretation involves a different political interpretation.




Some English grammatical forms and structures have no corresponding counterparts in Ukrainian, others have only partial equivalents. The first group (non-equivalents) includes articles, the gerund and the Past Perfect Tense.

Articles. The categories of definiteness and indefiniteness are universal but the ways and means of expressing these notions vary in different languages.

In English this function is fulfilled by the articles whereas in Ukrainianby word order. Both the definite and indefinite articles in English are meaningful and their meanings and their functions cannot be ignored in translation.

Every utterance falls into two parts – the so-called theme and rheme. The theme indicates the subject of the utterance while the rheme contains the information about the subject. The theme, in other words, represents a known thing, which has probably been mentioned before, whereas the rheme introduces some new information. Thus the theme is the starting point of the utterance and as such it can sometimes introduce a new subject about which the rheme gives some information. In this case the indefinite article is used to indicate indefiniteness. The theme usually occupies the initial position in the sentence. The theme in the English language with its fixed word order usually coincides with the grammatical subject of the sentence. When the theme again occurs in the text it is preceded by the definite article.


A lady entered the compartment. The lady sat down in the corner seat


The categories of indefiniteness and definiteness are expressed by the indefinite and the definite articles respectively and these categories are rendered by word order in translation.

У купе війшла пані. Пані сіла в кутку біля вікна.

When the articles are charged with some other meanings apart from the categories of definiteness and indefiniteness lexical means come into play in translation.

If these meanings are not rendered lexically the Ukrainian sentence is semantically incomplete.

The influence and authority of the Secretariat depends to an extent (though not nearly to the extent that is popularly supposed) on the talents of one individual – the Secretary-General. (Peter Lyon, The U.N. in Action).

Вплив і авторитет Секретаріату залежить у певній мірі (хоча і не в такій мірі, як зазвичай вважають) від здібностей однієї людини – Генерального секретаря.


The Gerund.Another non-equivalent form is the gerund. It fulfils various functions in the sentence and can be translated by different means.

“I wonder at Jolion’s allowing this engagement”, he said to Aunt Ann

(J. Galsworthy).

„Мені дивно, що Джоліон дозволив ці заручини”, – сказав він тітоньці Енн.

The gerund modified by a proper noun in the possessive case is translated by a subordinate clause.

The gerund used in the function of a prepositional object is also rendered in translation by a subordinate clause.

The mayor of the island is talking of opening up its lush and virgin interior to beef-and-dairy cattle ranching.

Мер острову промовляє про те, щоб використовувати соковиті, незаймані луки його внутрішньої частини для м’ясомолочного господарства.

The so-called half-gerund may also be translated by a subordinate clause.

There was nothing more to say: which didn’t prevent, as the game went on, a good deal more being said. (G.F.Snow).

Розмовляти більше не було про що, але це не завадило тому, що в ході гри було сказано ще дуже багато.

The Past Perfect Tense.The meaning of the Past Perfect Tense is usually rendered in Ukrainian by some adverbs of time.

The stone heat of the day had gentled down. (I.Shaw).

Жар, який йшов днем від розпеченого каміння, вже спав.

But in many cases the Past Perfect Tense is translated by the Ukrainian Past Tense without any temporal specification.

The mainspring of his existence was taken away when she died… Ellen was the audience before which the blustering drama of Gerald O’Hara had been played. (M. Mitchell).

Опора його існування зникла з її смертю. ... Еллін була тією публікою, перед якою розігрувалася бурхлива драма Джеральда О’Хара.


Partial Equivalence


SL and TL grammatical forms hardly ever coincide fully. The scope of their meaning and their functions and usage generally differ, therefore these forms are mostly partial equivalents.

The category of number in English and in Ukrainian is a casein point. Most often the use of the singular and the plural in the two languages coincides. But divergences in the use of the singular and the plural appear in the first place in the so-called Singularia and Pluralia Tantum, that is, in those nouns which have either only a singular or a plural form, e.g. gate – ворота, ink – чорнила, money – гроші, and vice versa: gallows – шибениця, news – новини. Sometimes a countable noun in English and in Ukrainian, E.G. talent – talents; талант – таланти develops a new LSV (lexical-semantic variant) which is used as an uncountable noun.

Abstract nouns are more often used in the plural in English than in Ukrainian, e.g.


The struggles of many sections of the U.S. population against the war-lovers in America have grown to a height never reached before.

Боротьба багатьох верств населення Сполучених Штатів проти прибічників війни досягла нечуваного розмаху.


Allende’s political skills made him four times candidate for the presidency.

Політичний досвід Альєнде забезпечив чотирикратне висування його кандидатури на пост президента.


Sometimes different usage prevents a strict observance of he category of number in translation, e.g.


The right to work is ensured by the democratic organization of the national economy, the growth of the productive forces and the elimination of crisis and unemployment.

Право на труд забезпечується демократичною організацією народного господарства, зростом продуктивних сил і відсутністю криз та безробіття.


The plural form in Ukrainian (криз) achieves the required degree of generalization.

There is also a tendency in English o use nouns like “eye, “cheek”, “lip”, “ear”, “limb”, etc. in the singular, e.g.


He always thought of her as seventeen or so, clean of limb, beautiful of feature and filled with the impatience for life. (R. Wilder).

Він завжди уявляв собі її якою вона була років сімнадцяти – красиві риси обличчя, стрункі ноги і нестримна жага до життя.


The noun “limb” can also be rendered metonymically – ваблива фігура.

There is also a considerable difference between the use of the Passive voice in English and in Ukrainian. The English language allows different types of passive constructions and there are a number of verbs in English which can be used in the passive voice while the correlated verbs in Ukrainian cannot. For example, many English verbs are used both as transitive and intransitive.


Original samples of Paris clothing have been flown to London to illustrate lectures to the fashion industry.

Нові моделі паризьких туалетів було доставлено літаком до Лондону для показу під час лекцій представникам англійських домів моделей.


English verbs with a prepositional object are also used in the passive voice, a construction non-existing in Ukrainian.


Lovers if familiar symphonic fares are catered for with two Brahms symphonies and First Piano Concerto by Beethoven.

Прихильників часто виконуваної симфонічної музики в нинішньому сезоні частують двома симфоніями Брамса і Першим фортепіанним концертом Бетховена.


The impersonal passive with a preposition is translated by an impersonal construction.


The increase in the family allowances that was widely hoped for has come to nothing.

Збільшення допомоги багатодітним сім’ям, на яку всі так розраховували, не здійснилося.


Verbs formed by conversion present great difficulties in translation especially when used in the Passive.


The roads were sentinelled by oaks. (Clemance Dane).

По краях дороги, немов вартові, стояли дуби.


Its picturesqueness is rendered by a simile which makes the translation semantically and stylistically equivalent.

The desire for giving prominence to some element of the utterance, often accounts for the use of the passive form in English. As the word order is Subject-Predicate-Object and as stylistic inversion is relatively infrequent because of its expressive value, the Passive is naturally used. The tendency is particularly marked in newspaper style.


Fears are expressed that the North Sea could be fished out of herring.

Висловлюються остороги, що з Північного моря можуть виловити весь оселедець.


Verbals – the Infinitive and the Participles. Though these categories also exist in Ukrainian there are considerable difficulties in their forms and their use: the English Infinitive has Perfect and Continuous forms which are absent in the Ukrainianlanguage, whereas these verbals in the Ukrainianlanguage have perfective and imperfective aspects, non-existent in English. There are infinitive and participle complexes in Englishwhich have no counterparts in Ukrainian.


The Infinitive.Nominative with the infinitive (the infinitive as a secondary predicate).

Oil consumption has increased by 4 per cent and the increase is expected to go up to 5 per cent.

Споживання нафти зросло на 4 відсотки і очікується, що воно сягне 5 відсотків.

The infinitive complex is rendered by two clauses.

Последнее изменение этой страницы: 2017-01-27; Нарушение авторского права страницы

infopedia.su Все материалы представленные на сайте исключительно с целью ознакомления читателями и не преследуют коммерческих целей или нарушение авторских прав. Обратная связь - (0.01 с.)