Syntactic Functions of Adjectives

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Syntactic Functions of Adjectives

§ 7.Adjectives may serve in the sentence as:
1) an attribute,

e.g.She had pleasant blueeyes and very long fairhair which she
wore in neatplaits round her head.

Adjectives used attributively usually precede the noun imme-
diately. Generally there is no pause between the adjective and the
noun. Such attributes are called close attributes(see the examples

However, if an adjective does not so much give a permanent
characteristic to its noun but rather refers to the temporary
state, circumstance or condition under which what is said takes
place, it becomes a loose attributeand may be placed in different
positions in the sentence.

e.g. Nervous, the man opened the letter.
The man, nervous, opened the letter.
The man opened the letter, nervous.

The meaning of the above sentence can be interpreted as 'The
man who was nervous, opened the letter*. Loose attributes tend to
approach to the predicative function.

Here are more examples illustrating loose attributes:

e.g. Clever and tactful,George listened to my story with deep

My father, happy and tired,kissed me good-night.
2) apredicative,

e.g. Her smile was almost professional.
The sky was becoming violet.
He was awareof what was going on in the office.

Adjectives used predicatively tend to refer to a temporary
condition rather than to a permanent characteristic.

e.g. She is ill.

The child is asleep.

Note. Note the following sentence pattern which is commonly used to express
all sorts of measurements.

e.g. The water was five feet deep.

The train was twenty minutes late.
My watch is three minutes slow.
He is thirty years old.

3) part of a compound verbal predicate,

e.g. He stood silent, with his back turned to the window.
She lay motionless, as if she were asleep.

He rolled onto his back and stared up into the tree where lit-
tle black cherries hung thick.

4) an objective predicative,

e.g. I thought him very intelligent.

She wore her hair short.

In this function adjectives sometimes express the result of the
process denoted by the verb,
e.g. The cat licked the saucer dry.

The powder washes the linen white.

He pushed the window open.

She made him happy.

The news turned his hair white.

5) a subjective predicative,

e.g. Her hair was dyed blonde.
The door was closed tight.
The vegetables were served raw, the way he liked.

6) an adverbial modifier,

e.g. When ripe, the apples are sweet.

Whether right or wrong, the man ought to be treated fairly-
If possible, the child should be given the medicine three
times a day.

As is seen from the above examples, adjectives used ad-
verbially are all introduced by conjunctions. The phrases which
the adjectives are parts of can be treated as elliptical adverbial


e.g. When (it is) necessary, he can be taken to the doctor.

§ 8. Adjectives in the predicative function often require an ob-
ject to complete their meaning. Objects to predicative adjectives
can be expressed by nouns with prepositions (a), by infinitives (b),
by ing-forms with or without a preposition (c) or by object clauses

e.g. a) I was not aware of his presence.

We were all very interested in the result of the experiment.

b) He was quick to understand what I meant.
They were happy to hear the news.

c) She is busy packing-
Basil was little used to being heard with respect and was

resentful at being reproached with his own words.

d) I was anxious that they should not miss the train.
He was glad that I was going on a holiday.

2) Adjectives are often used to build up exclamatory sentences
in which an adjective preceded by how is placed at the head of the

e.g. How charming your daughter is!
How warm it is today!

Place of Adjectives in Attributive Phrases

§ 9. Adjectives used as close attributes precede the noun they

e.g. Nick could beat his father so badly at tennis that only paren-
tal affection reconciled the older player to the poor show
he put up.

Sometimes adjectives are found in post-position to the word
they modify. It occurs in the following cases:

1) if an adjective modifies an indefinite pronoun,

e.g. Anyone intelligentcan do it.

I'll tell you something wonderful.

2) in some set phrases, e.g. the president elect (=soon to take
office), the examination board proper (=as strictly defined), court
martial, attorney general, heir apparent,
and the like.

3) if an attribute is expressed by the adjectives absent, present,
and involved,

e.g. The men present were all his friends.

The people involvedwere asked to come at ten o'clock.

Post-position is possible if an attribute has a modifier following it.

e.g. Peter and Tom were the boys easiest to teach.
Or: Peter and Tom were the easiestboys to teach.

They have a garden larger than yours.
Or: They have a largergarden than yours.

If there are several attributes modifying a noun their order
within the attributive group is best shown in the following table:


epithet size shape age colour origin substance attribute forming a close sense-unit with a noun noun

Nick, surprised,went over to the window to re-read the letter.
Mother stood up from the table, curiousand anxious.

§ 10.Note the place of the indefinite article when an adjective
happens to be modified by too, so, as and however.

e.g. She is too timida girl to meet him.

Dr Grogan was, in fact, aswise an old man as my grandfather.
For this see also "Articles", § 65.


e.g. a brilliant (1) young (4) man
a small
(2) round (3) table
a dirty
(1) old (4) brown (5) coat
a charming
(1) French (6) writing (8) desk
a large
(2) green (5) Chinese (6) carpet
a famous
(1) German (6) medical (8) school
a large
(2) iron (7) box
a big
(2) square (3) old (4) chest
a tall
(2) young (4) London (6) policeman

An attributive group in which all the spaces were filled would
be rare and cumbersome. Adjectives used as loose attributes are
mobile in the sentence (for this see also § 7).
e.g. Unhappy,the girl returned to work.


§ 1. Pronouns include a miscellaneous group of words which
function in the sentence as noun pronouns or as adjective pronouns.

It is difficult to define the meaning of pronouns. Unlike nouns
and adjectives, they do not name objects or qualities, but only
point to them. In other words, they are devoid of concrete lexical
meaning. They have a generalized meaning instead, which be-
comes clear only in the context or situation.

Various individual pronouns may have different grammatical
categories. Some of them have the category of number (e.g, this
these, that — those), others have the category of case (e.g. I — me,
somebody — somebody's),
still others are invariable (e.g. each, such,
all, what
and some others).

It should be pointed out that although pronouns function as
nouns or adjectives in the sentence, they do not cover all the
functions of the two parts of speech, but can only have some of
them. Pronouns can be divided into the following classes:

1) personal pronouns, 6) indefinite pronouns,

2) possessive pronouns, 7) reciprocal pronouns,

3) reflexive pronouns, 8) interrogative pronouns,

4) emphatic pronouns, 9) conjunctive pronouns.

5) demonstrative pronouns,

Personal Pronouns

§ 2. We find the following personal pronouns in English:


  Singular Plural
1 st person I we
2nd person you  
3d person he she it they

I and we are said to be the pronouns of the 1st person, i.e. a
person (or persons) who speaks (speak). You is said to be the pro-
noun of the 2nd person, i.e. a person (persons) spoken to. He,
she, it
and they are said to be the pronouns of the 3d person, i.e.
a person (persons) or a thing (things) spoken about.

We distinguish singular and plural personal pronouns. Singu-
lar personal pronouns refer to one person or thing and plural per-
sonal pronouns refer to more than one person or thing. The pro-
nouns I, we, you, he and she are mainly used for persons. I, we
and you are indifferent to gender, while he is masculine and she is
feminine. The pronoun it is used for animals, concrete things and
abstract notions, i.e. it refers to neuter nouns. The pronoun they is
used for persons, animals and things and is indifferent to gender.

§ 3. In addition to the above structural meanings of the per-
sonal pronouns, they have a few other special applications.

It is a tradition to use we instead of I in newspaper articles,
scientific prose, etc. This so-called editorial we is believed to
sound less assertive and, hence, more modest than I.

, e.g. We are convinced that the Government has made a grave
mistake in imposing tills tax.

She is sometimes used for inanimate objects, especially ships,
; motor cars, aircraft, etc.

e.g. Come along and have a look at my new car. She is a beauty.
She is also used for countries, and even cities, especially in
rather formal and rhetoric speech.

e.g. France has made it plain that she will regret the proposal.

You may be used with reference to nobody in particular, to
any person who might find himself in a similar position.

e.g. You don't know him. He is dishonest. You feel that he is ly-
ing to you every moment of the day.

"Have you been aboard Mrs Wilcox's yacht? What do people
do aboard yachts?" "I don't know. You drink, I suppose,"
Gregory said, shrugging his shoulders.

In my youth during Christmas holidays I loved to visit my
classmates who all lived in small provincial towns. Once

you got into them, each anonymous house held a promise
of fun. You didn't know who lived in them, but maybe in
one of them, as you went from the station to the house of
the people you were visiting, there would be a pretty girl
getting ready for a dance.

They may be used to mean 'people in general', especially in
the phrase they say.

e,g. They say he's going to resign.

No wonder they say the present generation hasn't got a scrap

of enterprise.
The personal pronouns are used as nouns in the sentence.

§ 4. The personal pronouns change for case. There are two cases
for personal pronouns — the nominative case and the objective case.


The Nominative Case The Objective Case
I you he she it we you they me you him her it us you them

The forms of the nominative case function in the sentence as

e.g. I expect they will laugh at me.

Why, don't you know what he's up to?

The forms of the objective case function in the sentence as objects.

e.g. I met himin the street, (direct object)

He gave me some advice, (indirect object)

Please, don't tell anyone about us. (prepositional object)

When personal pronouns are used as predicatives or after than-'
and but, the nominative case is considered to be very formal; the
use of the objective case is preferred in spoken English.

e.g. "Who is it?" "It's me (I)."

"Do you need anything?" "A secretary that I'lldictate my

piece to." "I'll be her."
You're better off than them (they).
She is as tall as him(he).
No one can do it but him(he).

But only a nominative case personal pronoun can be used in
the following sentence pattern where the pronoun is followed by a

e.g. It was I who did it.

The Use of it

§ 5. As has been said, the pronoun it is generally used for con-
crete things, abstract notions and animals.

e.g. I tried the door. It was locked.

He promised his help if ever I needed it.

He got down the horse and tied it to the rail.

Yet the pronoun it may be used to identify an unknown person.
Then, once it has been done, he or she must be used.

e.g. There was a knock at the door. I thought it was the postman.

He usually came at that time.

When the waiter came up to his table he did not at once real-
ize it was Paul. He was as handsome as ever.

It may also refer to an idea expressed in a preceding word-
group (a), clause (b), sentence (c) or even context (d).

e.g. a) He tried to break the lock. It was not easy either.

There was some mutual hesitation about shaking hands,
with both deciding against it.

b) He knew that his father was dying but he did not want to

speak with anyone about it.

c) The music had stopped. He didn't notice it.

d) He studied her, then shook his head. He waited a moment

and then decided not to say what he might have been go-
ing to say. He swallowed half his whiskey before going
on, and when he did, he returned to the conventional

questions. She had watched him do it all without any in-

It is very often used as a formal subject in impersonal state-
ments about weather conditions, time, distance and all kinds of

e.g. It is raining heavily.

It was very cold in the room.
It is half past three now.

It is six miles to the nearest hospital from here.
It is three feet deep here.

It as the formal subject is also found in sentences in which the
predicate is modified by an infinitive phrase (a), or an ing-iorm
phrase (b), or a clause (c). We usually find nominal predicates in
this kind of sentences:

e.g. a) It is stupid to fall asleep like that.
It is a pleasure to see you again.

b) It won't be easy finding our way home.

It's no use hoping he'll ever change his mind.

c) It was clear that he was going to give in.

It was a surprise that he had come back so soon.
The formal it may be used not only as the subject of the sen-
tence but also as an object followed by an adjective or a noun
which is modified by an infinitive phrase, an ing-iorm phrase or a

e.g. I found it difficult to explain to him what had happened.
He thought it no use going over the subject again.
He thought it odd that they had left him no message.
The pronoun it is also used in the so-called emphatic con-
struction, i.e. a special sentence pattern that serves to emphasize
some word or phrase in the sentence,
e.g. It was my question that made him angry.

It was on the terrace that he wanted them to lay the table.

Finally, the pronoun it is rather often used in various idi-
omatic expressions where it seems to have very little lexical
meaning of its own, if any at all. Most of these expressions are
colloquial or even slangy.

e.g. Hang it all, we can't wait all day for him.
Hop it, old thing, you are in the way here.
When I see him, I'll have it out with him.
If you are found out, you'll catch it.

Possessive Pronouns

§ 6. There are the following possessive pronouns in English:


  Singular Plural
1 st person my our
2nd person your your
3d person his ha- lts their

Possessive pronouns serve to modify nouns in the sentence,
i.e. they function as attributes,
e.g. The doctor usually came to his office at three o'clock.
Do you think you are losing your popularity?
Prom my place I could watch the people eating their lunch.
It should be noted that in English the possessive pronouns are
often used instead of articles with nouns denoting relations, parts
of the body, articles of clothing and various other personal be-

e.g. Bob nodded at his wife as if he wanted to say "You see?"
He bit his lips, but said nothing.
He took off his jacket and loosened his tie.
Amy put her cigarette back into her bag.

But there are certain idiomatic phrases where the definite ar-

ticle is used instead of a possessive pronoun,
e.g. I have a cold in the head.
He was shot through the heart.

He got red in the face.

He took me by the hand.

The ball struck him in the back.

He patted his wife on the shoulder.

§ 7. The possessive pronouns may also perform noun func-
tions. Then they are used in their so-called absolute forms: mine,
yours, his, hers, its, ours
and theirs.

e.g. She put her arm through mine.

They are not my gloves; I thought they were yours.
Theirs is a very large family.

Incidentally, its is hardly ever used as an absolute form.
Note. The form yours is commonly used as a conventional ending to letters,
e.g. Yours sincerely (truly, faithfully). J. Smith

Sometimes we find absolute forms of possessive pronouns pre-
ceded by the preposition of. This combination is called a double

e.g. He is a friend of mine.

It happened through no fault of his.

We had a slight accident and, luckily, that neighbour of
yours came along or we would still be there.

Reflexive Pronouns

§ 8. The reflexive pronouns are formed by adding -self (in the
plural selves) to the possessive pronouns in the 1st and 2nd persons
and to the objective case of the personal pronouns in the 3d person.


  Singular Plural
1st person myself ourselves
2nd person yourself yourselves
3d person himself herself itself themselves

There is one more reflexive pronoun which is formed from the
indefinite pronoun one — oneself.

These pronouns are used as noun pronouns in the sentence.
They are called reflexive pronouns because they show that the ac-
tion performed by the person which is indicated by the subject of
the sentence passes back again to the same person. In other
words, the subject of the sentence and its object indicate the same
person. In this case the reflexive pronouns are weakly stressed.

e.g. He wrapped himself in his blanket and fell off to sleep.
She cooked herself a big meal.

I'm sure you both remember the day when you talked about
yourselves and the past.

As is seen from the above examples, the reflexive pronouns
may serve in the sentence as different kinds of objects — direct,
indirect and prepositional.

Note 1. Note the following sentences where personal pronouns are preferred to
reflexive pronouns.

e.g. He went in, closing the door behind him.
She put the thought from her.
He looked about him.

Note 2. Note that both personal and reflexive pronouns are found in sentences
expressing comparison.

e.g. My brother is as tall as myself (me).

No one realizes it better than yourself (you).

§ 9. Reflexive pronouns may also be used in a different way:
together with the verb they may form set phrases characterized
by idiomatic meaning. The reflexive meaning of the self-pronoun

weakened in this case. The meaning of the verb differs from the
meaning of the same verb when it is followed by an object ex-
essed by a noun or an indefinite pronoun.
eg. He forgot Jane's address, ('забыл')
I'm afraid he's forgetting himself, ('забывается')
Finally I found the answer to the riddle, ('нашел')
Finally I found myself near a railway station, ('оказался')
She came to the theater ten minutes late, ('пришла')
At last she came to herself, ('пришла в себя')

A few other verbs are always followed by reflexive pronouns
with which they form a close sense-unit, e.g. to pride oneself on
something, to avail oneself of something.

We also find idiomatic uses of reflexive pronouns in such set
phrases as to be myself (himself, etc.) meaning to be or behave as
e.g. I'm glad to see that he is himselfagain.

Besides, there are a few prepositional phrases with reflexive
pronouns which are to be treated as set phrases because they have
idiomatic meaning,
e.g. Are we actually by ourselves again? ('одни')

He was almost beside himselfwith excitement, ('вне себя')
In spite of himselfhe was interested, ('наперекор себе', 'вопре-
ки своему желанию')

Go and find for yourselfhow it is done, ('сам')
It is a word complete in itself,('само по себе')
As formyself, I have no complaint to make, ('что касается


I came away and left him to himself,('оставил его одного')
We can drive the car amongourselves, ('вдвоем по очереди')

Emphatic Pronouns

§ 10.Emphatic pronouns have the same forms as reflexive
pronouns — they are homonyms. Emphatic pronouns are used for
emphasis. They serve as noun pronouns and always perform the
function of apposition in the sentence. They can be placed either
immediately after their head-word or at the end of the sentence.
They are rendered in Russian as сам, сама, само, сами.
e.g. Youyourself told them the story. (Or: Youtold them the sto-
ry yourself.)
My mother herself
opened the door. (Or: My motheropened

the door herself.)

We are all queer fish, queerer than we know ourselves.
The parting itselfwas short but it made her ill with grief.
The emphatic pronouns are strongly stressed, but nevertheless
they can be omitted without destroying the sense of the sentence.

Demonstrative Pronouns

§ ll.There are four demonstrative pronouns in English: this,
that, such
and same. They all may be used as noun pronouns and
as adjective pronouns.

The pronouns this and that change for number. Their corre-
sponding plural forms are: these and those.

§ 12. The pronoun this (these) refers to what is near in space,
time or conception (a), that (those) to what is farther off (b).

e.g. a) Do you know these people? Thisis Harry Field, my coach,
and thisis Jake Spring, the producer.

Take thispear. It looks very ripe.

"Look at this,"he said and showed me his tie.

When he stopped talking, she wondered, "Why is he tell-
ing me all this?"

"Maybe you don't want to go to thisparty," he asked hop-
ing she would say "no".

b) Do you see thosehouses in the distance? That'swhere we
are going.

Is thatyour son?

They ate the pie and drank the coffee in silence. When
they had finished, Delany said, "Now I'll have thatci-
gar you offered me."

He was deaf but she didn't think that many people noticed

The pronouns this (these) and that (those) may also have other

1) In some cases this (these) may refer to what is to follow,
that (those) to what precedes.

e.g. After I've listened to you very attentively I'll tell you this —

Idon't think you should trust the man.

But I'm glad to see you have an interest in sports. That
means we have two things in common.

2) This (these) and that (those) are often used with nouns indi-
cating time. This (these) is used for time which is future or just
past. That (those) is used for time which is clearly past.

e.g. "Why don't you come and see me some time?" "How about

this Sunday, if it's convenient?"
Father had to go to Chicago this morning.
I remember that he woke up early that morning.
She looked flushed and well, although she had a heart attack

that summer.

3) Sometimes the use of this (these) and that (those) is emo-
tionally coloured. The kind of feeling implied (affection, vexation,
disgust, contempt, etc.) depends on the situation.

e.g. Will this dog ever stop barking?

Do you really believe in those ideas?
When will you stop trumping that piano?
He is one of those so-called modern poets.

4) The pronoun that (those) may be used instead of a noun al-
ready mentioned. It is called a prop-word in this case,
e.g. He found it easier to believe that her actions were those of a

spoilt girl.

He hung his daughter's portrait beside that of his wife's.
These poems are not so good as those written by you last


I entered by the door opposite to that opening into the gar-

She was a good teacher. She knew how to teach bright chil-
dren and those who were slow.
I was interested to learn that the cafe was the same that we

had visited five years before.

As is seen from the above examples, that (those) in this case is
followed by a prepositional phrase, a participle, an ing form or a


5) That is often used instead of it. In this case that appears to

be more emphatic than it.

e.g. I'm going to practise law. I have that all planned.
"Let's send him a wire." "That's an excellent idea."
"His gun went off and he nearly killed himself." "I didn't

know that."

"Tell her I'm sorry I missed her." "I'll do that."
"I'm going to stay here a while." "That's fine."

6) Those followed by a who-clause, a participle or an ing-iorm
refers to persons.

e.g. Serious newspapers are read by those (=people) who want to
know about important happenings everywhere.

Even those (=people) who do not like his pictures are not in-
different to him.

Those (=people) injured in the accident were taken to hospital.

Note. Those present 'присутствующие' and those concerned 'заинтересован-
ные лица' are set phrases.

7) In spoken English that may be used as an adverbial modifi-
er of degree.

e.g. I did not think he was that stupid.
I will go that far, but no further.
He should know that much about his trade.

§ 13. That, this are often found as part of set phrases. Here
are some of them:

e.g. "Mike will tell you that I seldom pass through this place
without dropping in." "That's right." ('Это верно.')

"I have a car outside. I'll give you a ride home." "Oh, that's
all right. It isn't much of a walk." ('He надо'. 'Ничего'.)
My husband said you were properly brought up. He always
notices things like that. (=such things)
Would you like a bag like this? (=such a bag)
I hate it when they dance like this. (=in this way)
I had never heard him speak like that before. (=in that way)
It was May, but for all that the rain was falling as in the

heaviest autumn downpours, (=despite that)
My mother intended to have a glorious supper — not that
she could eat much nowadays, but for the sake of style
and my sake, ('не то чтобы...')
She was young and beautiful. More than that, she was happy.

('более того...')

You ought to know better than that, ('быть умнее')
"Do you want to speak to me about your work?" "Oh, hardly

that." ('да нет, не совсем'; 'совсем не о том')
Не talked about his responsibilities and all that, ('и тому по-

I'm thinking of your future, you know. That's why I'm giv-
ing you a piece of advice, ('поэтому')

After that I did not see him for several days, ('после этого')

Marion's concern was directly for me. "Yes, it was a pity you
ran across her," she said. "Mind you, I expect you puzzled
her as much as she did you — that is, if I know anything
about you." ('то есть')

"You know what people think when a man like him dies."
"That is?" "People imagine it's a revenge." ('то есть?'

'а именно?')
Let's leave it at that, ('оставим все так'; 'остановимся на


So that's that, ('вот так-то'; 'такие-то дела')
I told you before, I won't do it, and that's that, ('и все')
That settles it. ('На том и порешим.')
What were you doing down there, or what was I doing there

for that matter? ('впрочем, даже')

Note. Note that English people speaking of their country say this country
whereas in Russian it would be наша страна.

§ 14. The demonstrative pronoun such may mean of this or
that kind
(a) or indicate degree (b). Such is followed by the indefi-
nite article before singular countable nouns.

e.g. a) If I were you I would not have said such a thing about him.
He was a silent, ambitious man. Such men usually succeed.
Such is the present state of things.

The position of Dan Crusher was such that he was wel-
come in any club,
b) He is such a bore.

He wrote such desperate letters to me that year.

The meaning of such is often completed by a clause of con-
sequence introduced by that or a phrase introduced by as.
e.g. I had such a busy morning that I had no time to call you up-

He cut such an absurd figure that I felt inclined to laugh.

I never saw such a handsome man as Jim's father.

Mr Clark was afraid that his promotion would never come

because there was such a thing, he said, as junior clerks

trying to draw attention to themselves.

Such may be followed by an infinitive with as.

e.g. His carelessness is such as to make it unlikely that he will
pass his examination.

Note that such may be combined with some indefinite pro-

e.g. I'll do no such thing.

He didn't say any such thing.

Any such request is sure to be turned down.

On every such occasion dozens of people get injured.

Some such story was told to me years ago.

§ 15- Such is sometimes found as part of set phrases. Here are
some of them:

e.g. They export a lot of fruit, such as oranges, lemons, etc.

(= for example 'такие, как')
His education, such as it was, was finished by the time he

was fifteen, ('каково бы оно ни было')
My services, such as they are, are at your disposal, ('каковы

бы они ни были')
John is the captain of the team, and, as such, he is to decide

what is to be done, ('как таковой')

§16. The demonstrative pronoun same means 'identical'. It is
always preceded by the definite article.
e.g. We don't have to go all in the same car.
I was astonished and at the same time very much excited.
In autumn the school re-opened. The same students came to
George's classes.
His stories set one's imagination to work. The same is true
of his articles.
The meaning of same is often completed by a clause intro-
duced by that or as.
e.g. He wore the same suit that I had seen him in five years before.
He ate his sandwiches at midday in the same places as I did.
"You haven't changed," I said smiling. He had the same ab-
surd appearance that I remembered.

Same may also be followed by a phrase introduced by as.

e.g. Saying good-bye, my aunt gave me the same warning as on

the day of my father's departure.

His head was disproportionally large, built on the same lines
as his sister's but with finer features.

§ 17. Same is sometimes found as part of set phrases. Here
are some of them:

e.g. It's all the same to me. (=It makes no difference to me.)

I asked him what he wanted to start with. It was all the

same to him. (=it made no difference to him.)
I don't think he'll wish to see me. But I'll come all the same.

(=in spite of that)

"How is he today?" "Much the same." (=not apparently differ-

Indefinite Pronouns

§ 18. The indefinite pronouns express various degrees and var-
ious kinds of indefiniteness. We find the following subgroups
among them:

1) indefinite pronouns proper:

a) some, any, no;

b) somebody, anybody, nobody;
someone, anyone, no one;
something, anything, nothing;

c) one, none

2) distributive pronouns:

a) all, every, each, other, either, neither, both;

b) everybody, everyone, everything

3) quantitative pronouns:

much, many, little, few, a little, a few, a lot of, lots of,
a great deal, a great many,

§ 19. The pronoun some may be used as an adjective pronoun
and as a noun pronoun. It has several meanings. Some usually ex-
presses an indefinite number or amount or indefinite quality.

e.g. On such days my mother would give me some pennies to buy

sweets or a magazine.

They did give us some nice things to eat, didn't they?
I was terrified that some disaster was waiting for me.
I had been playing cricket with some of the neighbouring


The visitor asked me to describe some of the work we do in
our laboratory.

Some, used with a singular countable noun, may mean 'a par-
ticular but unidentified person or thing'.

e.g. Some boy had written a Latin word on the blackboard.
We must first think of some plan.

Some is very often used for contrast. Then it is strongly stressed.
e.g. I enjoy some music, but not much of it.

Some of us agree with the statement, some disagree.

Some may also mean 'approximately',
e.g. It happened some twenty years ago.

When used as a noun pronoun, some may be singular or plu-
ral. It depends on whether some refers to countable or uncount-
able nouns.

e.g. Some of his opinions were hard to accept.

Some of the food was packed in waterproof bags.

As a rule, some is used in affirmative sentences (see the exam-
ples above). In interrogative and negative sentences it is changed
into any or no (see §§ 20-21 below). However, there are instances
when some remains unchanged in interrogative and negative sen-
tences. It happens when the question or negation does not concern
the part of the sentence containing some, i.e. when the part of the
sentence containing some remains affirmative in meaning.

e.g. May I give you some more tea?

I could not answer some of his questions.
Did you see some of his poems published in the magazine?
I'm going away for a week. So I shan't be able to see some
interesting games.

Not all your answers are correct. Some are, some aren't.
You know some women can't see the telephone without taking
the receiver off.

§ 20. The pronoun any is also used as an adjective pronoun
and as a noun pronoun. In affirmative sentences any means 'it
does not matter who, what or which'.

e.g. Come any day you like.

I was interested in any new prospect of change.
Any who have questions to ask are requested to do so in writ-
"Which newspaper do you want me to buy?" "Any will do."

Her voice carried well in any hall.
Note. Any number of is a set phrase, meaning 'a great many',
e.g. I have any number ofplants in my garden.

In interrogative and negative sentences any is used instead of some.

e.g. Is there any chance of seeing any of his pictures?
I did not see any change in his life.
They asked him for some money. He said he didn't have any.

It should be noted that a negative meaning may be conveyed
in the sentence not only by not, but also by never, without, sel-
dom, hardly,
etc. It may also be expressed in another clause.

e.g. He never had any luck.

He went away without saying good-bye to any of us.

Now that he lived in the country he seldom had any visitors.

The Dutchman spoke French with hardly any accent.

No one is under any obligation to you.

I don't think any of us ought to wish the result to be different.

Any is used when some doubt or condition is implied. This of-
ten occurs in object clauses introduced by if or whether or in con-
ditional clauses.

e.g. Let me know if you hear any news.

I wonder if you have met any of these people before.
If you have any news, call me up right away.

If you still have any of my father's letters, send them to me,

Any may be used as an adverbial modifier of degree in the sen-

e.g. He isn't any better.

In spite of your advice she isn't any the wiser.

§ 21. The pronoun no is negative in meaning and used only as
an adjective pronoun. It may mean 'not any' or 'not a'.

e.g. He had no tie on.

They have no friends in London.

He had no desire to take decisions.

There are no letters for you today.

I have no money left.

There were no people in the hall.

No boy at the school had ever seen the sea.

He is no hero.

The girl was no beauty.

The old man was no fool.

Note the set phrase to be no good.
e.g. He is no good as a pianist, ('никуда не годится')

§ 22. There are the following compound pronouns formed with
some-, any- and no-:

someone — anyone — no one
somebody — anybody — nobody
something — anything — nothing

They are all used as noun pronouns and the rules for the use
of some, any and no in different kinds of sentences hold good for
them (see §§ 19-21 above).

The compounds in -one and in -body are singular in meaning
and can be used only of persons,
e.g. There is someone in his office. Do you hear them talking?

He'd told my landlady he was looking out for someone to
paint him.

My mother wanted me to give more money to the fund than
anyone in the form.

Is there anyone at home?

No one was in a hurry. No one seemed to think that to-
morrow existed.

I found my mother in the kitchen. There was no one else at

Somebody must have been using my books. They've got all

misplaced on the shelf.

Anybody can see that the whole thing has been a failure.
Did you meet anybody on your way home?
Nobody can help him under the circumstances.
The compounds in -one and in -body can have the form of the
genitive case.

e.g. He isn't going to be in anybody's way at this hour of the night.
Did you take anybody's photograph at the party?

Note. When the compounds in -one and in -body are followed by else, the geni-
tive case suffix -'s is added after else.
That's not my hat. It's somebody else's.

The difference between the compounds in -body and those in —

one is that the latter are, as a rule, more individualizing, i.e. the

compounds in -body refer to persons collectively, whereas those in

one refer to individuals.

Cf. Somebody is sure to get interested in the job. (=some people,

one or more persons)
This is a letter from someone interested in the job. (=some

person, one person)

Nobody knew about her arrival. (= no people)
No one had come to meet her. (= not a person)
As a result, the compounds in -body are never followed by an
of-phrase, while the compounds in -one sometimes are.
e.g. Does anyone of you correspond with her family?

The compounds in -thing can be used only of things. They are
also singular in meaning but they cannot have the form of the
genitive case.

e.g. There is something wrong with him.

We were almost outside our house before I took in that some-
thing was not right.

"Why don't you say something?" he demanded.

I'll do anything for you.

"Is there anything in the paper?" he said, as we approached
the end of our silent meal.

Nothing could remove his disappointment.

The doctor could suggest nothing to me. (= The doctor could
not suggest anything to me.)

He looked at me and didn't say anything.

Dirk never concealed anything.

Let me see your pictures. If there's anything I like, I'll buy it.

Note the idiomatic use of something in the following sen-

e.g. He is something of a hermit. ('В нем есть что-то от отшель-

I hope to see something of you during the holidays. ('Я наде-
юсь видеть вас хоть иногда...')

Не is something in the Foreign Office. ('Он какое-то ответст-
венное лицо в Министерстве иностранных дел.')
Something or other prevented him from coming. ('По той
или иной причине он не смог прийти. Что-то помешало
ему прийти.')

It's something like two miles to the lake. (=approximately)
I'll whistle the tune for you. It goes something like this.
('приблизительно вот так')

All the compound indefinite pronouns may be modified by ad-
jectives which are generally placed in post-position to their head-

e.g. You should do something sensible about it at last.
Somebody important has arrived, I'm sure.
I want someone reliable to do this work.
I thought he was going to tell me something painful.
I thought I'd come and see if they had anything new.

§ 23. The pronoun one in all of its uses refers exclusively to
persons or things that are countable.

The pronoun one is used as a noun pronoun and as an adjec-
tive pronoun.

As a noun pronoun, it can have the plural form ones and the
form of the genitive case one's. Besides, as has been said above
(see § 8 above), the reflexive pronoun oneself is formed from it.

As an adjective pronoun one is invariable.

One has many various uses in English.

1) It is used to stand for 'people' or 'I or any person in my po-
sition'. In other words, it refers to nobody in particular.

e.g. One can*t be too careful in matters like this.

He was very young, not more than twenty-three or four, as

indeed one could see at a glance.
The sea was so smooth, so luminous that when one stared at

it for long one could no longer distinguish, for a moment

or two, the shape of things.
His sincerity excited one's sympathy.
It's not what I should have chosen for my last years, but one

no longer makes one's life when one is old. Life is made

for one.

Note. Care should be taken not to use one too often in the sentence because it
would make the sentence stylistically clumsy (see the last example above).

For example, the sentence When one is given one's choice of courses of action,
any of which would be to
one's disadvantage, one often has difficulty in deciding
one ought to do should be better expressed in either of the following ways:

a) When someone is given his choice of courses of action, any of which would be
to his disadvantage, he often has difficulty in deciding what he ought to do.

b) When you are given your choice of courses of action, any of which would be to
your disadvantage, you often have difficulty in deciding what you ought to do.

Note that you in the last sentence above applies to no particular person and is
used with indefinite meaning in which it is more common than the pronoun one.
(See also "Pronouns", § 3.)

2) One may have the meaning of 'a person'.

e.g. He is not one to be easily frightened.
He is not one to fall for her charms.
One who paints ought to know a lot about perspective.
There was a look in his eyes of one used to risking his life.
Do you want to be the one to spoil all that?

3) One is often used for contrast with other, in which case it
preserves some of its numerical meaning.

e.g. The brothers are so alike that I sometimes cannot tell one

from the other.
By the way, here are the two duplicate keys to the gate —

I'll take one, the other key you'd better keep yourself.
She smiled as one intellectual to another.
According to Jim, life was one damn thing after another.

4) One, in combination with nouns denoting time, is used to
express some vague time.

e.g. One day he'll understand his mistake.
I'll speak to him one of these days.
One Friday night my mother and father talked for a long

time alone.
One summer evening I went for a stroll in the park.

5) One is used with the meaning of 'only' or 'single'.

e.g. Your father is the one man who can help you now.
This is the one thing we can feel certain about.
This is the one way to do it.
No one man can do it.

6) Last but not least, one is used as a prop-word, i.e. as a sub-
stitute for a previously mentioned noun. It helps to avoid the rep-
etition of the same noun.

e.g. Trams were passing us, but my father was not inclined to

take one.
Will you show me your pictures? I might feel like buying one.

If the prop-word one is preceded by an adjective, an article
must be used with it.

e.g. No, that's not their car. Theirs is a blue one.

The new vicar was less cultivated than the old one.

The prop-word one can be used in the plural.

e.g. I prefer red roses to white ones.

"Which biscuits would you like?" "The ones with chocolate
on them."

The prop-word one (ones) may also be used in combination with
other pronouns, such as this (these), that (those), which, each, ev-
and other as well as ordinal numerals (e.g. first, second, etc.).

e.g. If you will take this chair, I'll take that one.

I've never seen such big tulips as these ones.

Here are some books for you to read. Which one would you

There were several houses in the street, each one more ex-
pensive than the other.

If you don't like this magazine, take another one.

My house is the first one on the left.

There are certain restrictions on the use of the prop-word one:

a) one is not used after own,

e.g. I won't go by your car. I'll use my own.

b) one is normally not used after a superlative or comparative
adjective preceded by the definite article,

e.g. The English climate is often said to be the most unpre-
dictable in the world.

Of all the runners my brother was the swiftest.
Of the two armchairs I chose the harder.

Note. Note that the prop-word one is possible when most is used in the mean-
ing of 'very', 'extremely'.

e.g. His collection of stamps is a most valuable one.

c) one is not used after cardinal numerals,
e.g. I have only one friend but you have two.

d) one is to be avoided in formal or scientific English.
Note the idiomatic uses of one in the following sentences:

e.g. He was a man that was liked by one and all. (= by everybody)

The sky was gently turning dark and the men began to de-
part one after the other. (= in succession, not together)

Would you like me to bring them one by one, sir? (= singly,
one at a time, not together)

No, I won't go with you. For one thing, I am very busy at
the moment. (= for one reason)

The little ones always know a good man from a bad one.
(= children)

It isn't the pretty ones that make good wives and mothers.
(= pretty girls)

§ 24. The pronoun none is a noun pronoun. It is negative in
meaning indicating not one or not any and can be used of persons
(cf. no one) as well as of things, countable and uncountable (cf.
nothing). The verb following it may be singular or plural, accord-
ing to the sense required.

e.g. None of us knows where he is going to work.
None of them are any use to me.
None of them really know how ill she is.
We discovered that none of his promises was kept.
He asked them for advice. None was given.
I wanted some more coffee but none was left.

Note. The difference between none and the negatives no one (nobody) and noth-
is easily brought out with the help of questions. No one (nobody) is used in an-
swer to a who-question.

e.g. "Whoare you speaking to?" "No one (nobody)"

Nothing is used in answer to a what-question,
e.g. "Whatare you doing there?" "Nothing"

But none is used in answer to a how many- or how much-question.

e.g. "How many fish did you catch?" "None"

"How muchpetrol is there in the car?" "None"
"How muchprogress did he make?" "None"

§ 25. The pronoun all can be used as a noun pronoun and as
an adjective pronoun.

All used as a noun pronoun is singular when it means 'every-
thing', 'the whole of a thing'.

e.g. All's well that ends well, (proverb)

I don't find any change here, all looks as it always did.

He has lost all.
Some day his pictures will be worth more than all you have

in your shop.

All used as a noun pronoun is plural when it means 'eve-
rybody', 'the total number of persons, animals or things.'

e.g. All are welcome.

All agree that he has behaved splendidly.

All of us think so.

He made a few suggestions. All of them were acceptable.

When all is used as an adjective pronoun, the verb may be sin-
gular or plural depending on the noun modified by all.

e.g. All the money was spent.

All that business fills me with disgust.

All the trunks are packed ready to go.

All students should register before October 1st.

There are a few peculiarities in the use of all:
1) When all is followed by a noun, there is no preposition be-
tween them.1
e.g. He worked hard all time he was here.

I don't like to speak before all these people.
All my friends were happy to hear the news.
All boys prefer playing games to going to school.

However, when all is followed by a personal pronoun, the
preposition of must be used.

e.g. He has written three novels and all of them were best sellers.
All of us were disappointed by him.

Note. In American English nouns following all are often joined to it, like per-
sonal pronouns, with the help of the preposition of.

e.g. Allof ourstudents have registered.
Allof these books are mine.

2) Note the possible place of all with nouns (a) and personal
pronouns (b) used as the subject of the sentence.

e.g. a) All the students found the lectures helpful.
The students all found the lectures helpful,
b) All of them found the lectures helpful.
They all found the lectures helpful.

3) All may be followed by an appositive clause which is usually
introduced by the conjunction that or asyndetically.

e.g. Meeting George was the first piece of pure chance that affect-
ed all (that) I did later.

1 For the use or absence of the definite article after all see "Articles", §10, Note.


She listened to all (that) he said with a quiet smile on her lips.
Note the following idiomatic uses of all:
e.g. He is all in. (= He is completely exhausted.)
It was all my fault. (= entirely)
The money is all gone. (= completely)
He was all covered with mud. (= wholly)
I did not understand it at all. (= in the least degree)
After all, people laughed at Manet, though everyone now
knows he was a great painter.
I warn you, once and for all, that this foolishness must stop.
(= for the last and only time)

§ 26. The pronoun every is used only as an adjective pronoun.
It modifies singular countable nouns when there are more than
two objects of the same description.

e.g. After the gale every flower in the garden was broken.

Every head turned to look at them as they progressed slowly
up the aisle.

He knew by heart every word in her letter.

Every morning the landlady greeted him with the same ques-
tion, "Had a good sleep, dear?"

Every time I ring you up, I find you engaged.

He had every reason to believe that he was right.

Note the idiomatic uses of every in the following sentences:

e.g. Every other house in the street was damaged in an air-raid.

(= every second, fourth, sixth, etc. house; about half the


He comes here every three days. (= every third day)
They had a rest every few miles. (= They had a rest every

time they had walked a few miles.)

Every is a synonym of all when the latter is used attributive-
ly. The use of every is, however, more restricted than that of all
because it cannot be used with uncountable nouns.

With countable nouns, their use appears to be parallel.

e.g. The explosion broke all the windows in the street.
The explosion broke every window in the street.

Yet, in addition to the fact that every precedes singular nouns
and all is associated with plural nouns, there is a difference in
meaning. The distinction between all and every is that in a sen-
tence like All the boys were present we consider the boys in a
mass; in the sentence Every boy was present we are thinking of
the many individual boys that make up the mass. Nevertheless it
is more usual to use every instead of all where possible.

§ 27. There are the following compound pronouns formed with
every; everyone — everybody — everything.

All of them are used as noun pronouns and take a singular
verb. Everyone and everybody can be used only of persons.

e.g. Everyone's got a right to their own opinion.

She took the initiative and herself spoke to everyone she knew.
"Everybody's afraid, aren't they?" he said looking at the peo-
ple around.

Both everyone and everybody can have the form of the gen-
itive case,
e.g. He's sure of everyone's consent.

The difference in meaning between everyone and everybody is
the same as between someone and somebody (see § 22 above). Only
everyone can be followed by an of-phrase.

e.g. He is at once physician, surgeon and healer of the serious
illnesses which threaten everyone of us in England today.

Note. The compounds with one are distinct from such groups as every one, any
and some one where one is numerical and refers back to a countable noun that oc
curs in the sentence or the context. These groups are often followed by of-phrases.
e.g. I have three sisters. Every oneof themis beautiful.

The book opened to them new worlds, and every one of them was glorious.

But he knew that it would not take much for every one of themto start
talking freely.

Give me one of those books — any onewill do.

Everything can be used only of things and also takes a sin-
gular verb but it cannot have the genitive case form,
e.g. No wonder everything goes wrong in this house.

I'll tell you everything tonight.

One can't have everything.

§ 28. The pronoun each is used as a noun pronoun and as an
adjective pronoun. In the former case it is singular in meaning
and takes a singular verb (a). In the latter case it is associated
with a singular countable noun and can be used when there are at

least two objects of the same description (b).
e.g. a) I told them what each was to do in case of an emergency,
b) For years I thought I remembered each detail of that day.
I have met him each time he has come to London.
We examined each specimen minutely.
He gave each boy a present.

Each as an adjective pronoun is a synonym of every but there
is some difference in meaning between them. Every tends to gath-
| er the separate items into a whole; each focuses attention on them
individually and so tends to disperse the unity, it takes the mem-
bers of a definite group one by one, without adding them up. In
other words, every refers to a number of individuals or things,
considered as a group; each refers to a number of individuals or
things, considered separately.

e.g. Every orange in the crate was wrapped in tissue paper. He care-
fully unwrapped each orange before putting it on the scales.

As a result of its specific meaning, each may be followed by
an of-phrase, which is not possible in the case of every.

e.g. Eachof the men signed his name as he came in.
1'11send each of you some seeds in the autumn.
Each of theten houses in the row had a garden.

§ 29. The pronoun other can be used as an adjective pronoun
and as a noun pronoun.

As an adjective pronoun, it is invariable. When it is preceded by
the indefinite article (an), they are written as one word another.

"The other + a singular noun" means 'the second of the two.'

e.g. The insurance offices were on the other side of the street.

He pulled on the other glove and said that, though it was

late, he would run along to his office.

I spent half my time teaching law and the other halfin Lon-
don as a consultant to a big firm.

"Another + a singular noun" means 'an additional one', 'a dif-
ferent one'.

e.g. Young Martin had been sent on another errand to the grocer.
Richard stayed for another moment, shifting from one foot

to the other.

We went into another room.
I must find myself another job.

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