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BEGG-172: Language and Linguistics

BEGG-172: Language and Linguistics

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: BEGG-172/TMA/July-2022 & January-2023

Course Code: BEGG-172

Assignment Name: Language and Linguistics

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Max. Marks: 100


Answer all questions.

Section A


Answer each question in about 300 words. (Based on Blocks 1 and 2)


Q1) What is Language? State the various functions of language? (5)

Ans) Language is a concept that has spawned countless meanings due to the variety of applications it has. Some of them concentrate on the broad idea of "language," while others concentrate on more particular facets of "a language," and yet others concentrate on its more formal components, such as phonology, grammar, and semantics. There are also those who emphasise language's variety of uses or the distinctions it has from other kinds of human and animal communication.


Using intentionally created symbols, language is a wholly human and non-instinctive manner of expressing thoughts, feelings, and wants. (E. Sapir, 1911)


The functions of language are as follows:

  1. The Referential Function: One of the main purposes of this function, which is information transmission, was the discovery of language. This includes describing people, places, things, and even mental states.

  2. The Expressive Function: This function conveys the speaker's or writer's emotions or attitudes while also evoking emotions in the listener or reader. We can even communicate in this way while we are by ourselves. For instance, what do you think I would say to myself if my phone fell into a bucket of water? Probably use a foul phrase. We can also express good emotion by saying things like "Wow, isn't that gorgeous!" when we see something particularly lovely.

  3. The Directive Function: This function directly engages the addressee and is typically used to either cause or prohibit an action. Therefore, it can be encountered in instructions and requests and calls for the use of vocatives and imperatives, as in the phrases "Aditi, come here immediately" and "Please shut the window."

  4. The Phatic Function: Here, language is used mostly for social interaction. This function can be seen in informal conversations on the weather, such as "It's very hot these days," and pleasantries such as "Hi, how are you?"

  5. The Poetic Function: This function, which is applied to both poetry and slogans, concentrates on the message for its own purpose. Language serves an aesthetic purpose in this way.

  6. The Metalingual Function: This feature is employed to discuss language in general.


Q2) Distinguish between spelling and sound in English. (5)

Ans) The differences between spelling and sound in English are as follows:


There is no exact relationship between spelling and sound in English. We must therefore study how these new words are spoken in addition to thinking about how words are produced, how they change, and how new words are created. Take the morphemes for the plural and past tense, for instance. The plural morpheme can be written with a s or an e. There are three different ways to pronounce it. In other words, the plural morpheme s is pronounced as in sat for hats, huts, roofs, sticks, and berths. The plural morpheme is pronounced z as in zoo in the words tubs, beads, logs, caves, wreaths, drums, sons, songs, bells, boys, bears, days, and cows.


English is one of those languages where the connection between the alphabet's letters and sounds is not exact. The alphabet is so overloaded, and frequently, different letters stand for the same sound while one letter or set of letters signify different sounds. This confounds us since in many Indian languages, where words are pronounced exactly as they are written, there is perfect match between writing and sounds. Due to the influence of our mother tongue, we frequently speak English words incorrectly since we tend to say them similarly to how they are spelled. Therefore, we must be aware of the various aspects of the discrepancy between the English sounds and the alphabetic letters.


As a result, we now know that a word's pronunciation in English is not always clear from its spelling. By studying the dictionary, we can do that. But until the dictionary uses a method other than spelling to determine how to pronounce words, it is unable to do so. As a result, phonetic symbols are typically used in dictionaries to represent the consonant and vowel sounds of English. The INTERNATIONAL PHONETIC ASSOCIATION created these symbols to aid linguists in identifying and describing the sounds of various languages. They are founded on the ONE SYMBOL FOR ONE SOUND concept. As a result, just one sound is represented by each consonant and vowel symbol.


Q3) Discuss various stress patterns in words with suitable examples. (5)

Ans) In terms with more than one syllable, it is imperative to accent the appropriate syllable in English. Make it a point to look up a term in the dictionary or on the internet if you are unsure of which syllable is stressed. Words in the English language can have up to 8 syllables. It's possible to derive words with three or four syllables or not. In general, words with more than four syllables are derived. In other words, derivational suffixes lengthen words by increasing the potential number of syllables in the stem. Varied words with different syllable counts have various patterns of stress. In actuality, words with the same syllable count have various stress patterns. As an illustration, there are words with two syllables that emphasis the first syllable as well as terms with two syllables that stress the second syllable.


Here are a few two-syllable terms with the stress on the first syllable:

  1. 'agent

  2. 'curious

  3. 'knowledge

  4. 'subject

  5. 'awkward

  6. 'drunkard

  7. 'moment

  8. 'therefore

  9. 'certain

  10. 'effort


Below is an example of three-syllable words that receive stress on the third syllable.

  1. corre'spond

  2. briga'dier

  3. After'noon

  4. devo'tee

  5. coin'cide

  6. compre'hend

  7. disap'pear

  8. absen'tee

  9. employ'ee

  10. disap'point


There is a stress mark below and in front of each word's first syllable in addition to the stress mark on the word's third syllable, as you can see. Each word's third syllable is pronounced with greater intensity and typically has a change in voice pitch. As a result, it is referred regarded as having the principal stress. An English word must have the predominant stress on the appropriate syllable in order to be understood. Since the first syllable is spoken with some power, it is heard louder than the third syllable but not by as much. As a result, it is said to experience secondary stress. With the alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables, the latter occurs in lengthier words to keep the rhythm of the word.

Q4) Discuss the Saussurean concepts of structural linguistics. (5)

Ans) In order to distinguish between the linguistic system and its real usage or function, Saussure created the distinction between langue and parole. Consequently, langue is a language's system or structure, whereas parole is the act of speaking, writing, or actually speaking in a language.


These two concepts can be understood as follows:

  1. Langue: when people's actual linguistic behaviour is contrasted with the abstract method that a speech group uses to communicate.

  2. Parole: is speaking and writing in context when utilising language.


Additionally, Saussure talked about synchronic and diachronic linguistics. The study of language might be conducted at a specific time or as a progression over time. While diachronic linguistics is the study of language over time, synchronic linguistics investigates language as a system in a certain state at a single point in time (evolution of language over time).


Language operates in two unique ways, according to Saussure: through combination and through substitution. These two relationships—syntagmatic and paradigmatic—represent the associative link between signs. Units like sounds, phrases, clauses, sentences, and discourse are chained together in the syntagmatic relationship in a set order and combination. Consider a word like "cat" at the level of sound, for instance. The letters /k/, //, and /t/ make up the three units that make up this word. The word "cat" is created when they are combined. It is syntagmatic in this relationship.


On the other hand, a paradigmatic relationship is one that exists between elements that are present and elements that are not but may have been. Again, let's use an illustration. The letter /k/ forms the word cat's first unit. Many other sounds, such as /p/, /b/, or /m/, could have entered this space, creating words like pat, bat, and mat. The paradigmatic relationship between the unit /k/ and other likely choices like /p/, /b/, or /m/.

Section B


Answer each question in about 300 words. (Based on Blocks 3 and 4)


Q1) Write a short note on origin of words in English. (5)

Ans) The etymology of a word is its history and origin; if you want to learn the etymology of an English term, see the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary or another dictionary that covers word etymologies. The word was derived from the old French word pleasant, which signified "silly" or "simple," and it was used in English. The Latin word niscuis, which means ignorant, derives from the words ne, which means not, and scire, which means know.


The adjective "nice" in Middle English denoted foolishness, stupidity, and senselessness. It has meanings in late middle English such as "strange," "unusual," and "exceptional," as well as "hard to satisfy" and "of refined or critical taste." It denoted being attentive, near, and entering minute information in the late 16th century. It wasn't until the 18th century that it started to be employed as a word of praise in a fairly broad sense. It was a synonym for "agreeable," "pleasant," "pleasing," "delightful," and "usually commendable"; it also meant "tasty," "appetising," "kind," "


Today, the word "pleasant" is used to express approbation for so many different things that in official English, it would be preferable to substitute a more discriminating term. The term "lovely" has a significantly different connotation today than it had many centuries ago. When we look at the origins of the word "lovely," which are Latin and then old French, from which the English term was derived, we find that those languages gave it a totally different meaning. The word's meaning changed over the years after it was introduced to English before settling on the meaning it has now.


English has been stealing terms from any language it comes into contact with, aside from Germanic, French, and Latin. Over 350 other languages have contributed words to English, claims Crystal. We no longer perceive the foreignness of the majority of these borrowings because they have been ingrained in the language for many years as a result of the earliest times of interaction. However, it is far from true that English has stopped incorporating words from other languages into its own. The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary currently includes words from African, Asian, and Indian languages.


Q2) Discuss the grammatical categories associated with the English verb. (5)

Ans) The grammatical categories associated with the English verb are as follows:


Person and Number

The verb forms according to Person (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and Number (singular and plural) are as follows:

For third person singular, the whole verb receives the -s inflection, as in the sentence "He writes." Additionally, there are different forms for the main verb, including am in the first person singular, is in the third person singular, and are in all other circumstances. The modal verb, however, remains unchanged. There are no obvious past tense forms for the modal verbs. Some modals' past tense forms remain the same regardless of the number or person.



Only two forms of verb inflexion exist for tense. While one form relates to the past tense and the other to all other times but the past (that is, present, future or all time).


Full Verbs

  1. They left last week (past time)

  2. They leave tomorrow (non-past=future)


Primary Verbs

  1. History is an interesting subject (non-past=all time)

  2. She is arriving tomorrow (non-past=future)

Observe that the verb does not have an inflected form in the last sentence that specifically refers to the future. Typically, when discussing a future event, the modal auxiliary verbs shall and will are used along with the verb's main form.



In English, aspect refers to the distinction between "activity in progress" and "action finished," which is indicated by variations in the verb's inflectional pattern.


Let us look at the following sentences:

  1. Radha is writing a letter.

  2. Radha was writing a letter.


It's important to note that the first statement refers to a current action. The second statement likewise makes reference to an ongoing activity, but this time it's in the past. The suffix -ing on the main verb in both sentences denotes that the activity is ongoing.



Depending on the speaker's attitude toward what is being said or toward the person being addressed, a verb or verb phrase can take on a variety of distinct forms. If what is being said is a factual assertion, it can take one of several different forms.


For example, the following sentences are spoken as statements of fact.

  1. Radha is a tall girl.

  2. The earth rotates on its axis.

  3. Man landed on the moon for the first time in 1969.


These sentences' verbs are considered to be in the indicative mood. Depending on the person and number of the subject, the tense, the aspect, etc. that are involved, they take on different forms.



Active and Passive are the two subcategories under the category of voice. We can either employ the active voice or the passive voice while describing the same occurrence. The subject is viewed as the doer in the active voice. Action is perceived as being done by or to the subject in the passive voice.


For example,

  1. The tailor stitched four dresses yesterday. (active)

  2. Four dresses were stitched by the tailor yesterday. (passive)


Q3) Distinguish between functional and formal labels. (5)

Ans) The differences between functional and formal labels are as follows:


A sentence is made up of smaller clauses. These units could be single words or word combinations in and of themselves. Each of these parts serves a specific purpose in the statement. We utilise terms like subject, predicate, object, complement, and adjunct to indicate what role a unit may be doing. These labels provide a purpose, as opposed to formal labels like noun, adjective, adverb, etc.


Formal labelling and word form are connected. A word's shape is constant and unaffected by where it appears in a phrase. In several sentences, a word could appear in a different place. In certain sentences, it could be serving a different purpose. To illustrate these various functions, we shall utilise several functional labels. However, because of the consistency of its structure throughout all of these sentences, the formal label will also be consistent.


Let's use an analogy to try to comprehend this. Formal classifications include "man," "woman," "girl," and "boy." We can discern a person's gender based on their appearance, whether they are a boy, girl, or man. Imagine that this guy is a man. He might take on many roles in relationships with other people, and depending on those roles, we might refer to him as a "father" in one situation, a "brother" in another, a "boss" in a third, a "junior employee" in a fourth, a "spouse" in a fifth, and so on. Functional designations include "father," "brother," "spouse," and "boss." They are based on the man's relationship in a particular scenario. As a result, these designations will vary depending on the circumstance. However, the official title will remain the same in each of these instances. Everywhere, the person will be a "guy."


If we apply the same idea to words, formal labels include "noun," "adjective," and "adverb." If a word is a "noun," it will always be used in a sentence as a noun. However, it can function as a "complement" in a third sentence, a "complement," and a "subject" in one sentence. Depending on what the provided noun is doing in the given sentence, this will vary. As a result, although functional labels depend on the relationship and vary from phrase to sentence, formal labels are fixed and tied to the form.


Q4) Explain the different types of nouns by giving suitable examples. (5)

Ans) The different types of nouns are as follows:


Proper Nouns and Common Nouns

Proper nouns include names like Ravi, Lata, John, Delhi, Thames, Tommy, etc. They are associated with distinct entities. They signify "particular people, locations, things, etc." in other words. On the other hand, common nouns are those that signify a whole class or group, such as boy, lady, city, river, dog, animal, etc. Between the two, there are some significant variances. Articles are typically not used with proper nouns. The terms "a John," "the Lata," and "an America," etc., are not utilised. Only a few unique scenarios allow for such uses. Secondly, unless once again in extremely specific, limited instances, proper nouns do not assume plural forms. Delhis, Johns, etc. (Note: Ungrammatical words and phrases are indicated by an asterisk *.)


Count Nouns and Non-count Nouns

These words are both countable and uncountable. The term "count noun" refers to nouns that designate countable entities, such as "book," "class," "river," etc. Noncount Nouns are those that refer to a mass or continuum that cannot be quantified, such as furniture, water, sugar, heat, etc. Count nouns have both singular and plural forms since they can be counted as one and more than one (book-books, class-classes, river-rivers, etc). Because they are not separated into one and more than one, non-count nouns do not display the singular-plural pairing. These nouns are either singular or plural in grammar (water, sugar, etc). (people, cattle, etc).


Abstract Nouns and Concrete Nouns

This distinction, which relates to the meanings of nouns, is frequently made in traditional grammar. Abstract nouns are words that signify intangible things like feelings, ideas, and abstract concepts like love, success, misery, and dreams. Concrete nouns are those that designate tangible objects, such as a table, book, sun, or the earth.


The fact that these classifications overlap and that we cannot directly relate one category to another must be kept in mind.

Section C

Answer each question in about 700 words. (Based on Blocks 1 to 4 )


Q1) What do you understand by having ‘knowledge of a Language’? Discuss with examples. (15)

Ans) The special ability that makes us human is language. Using language, we may express our thoughts, emotions, and ideas.


Knowledge of the Sound System

When we claim to know a language, we are implying that we are familiar with its sounds and are able to tell them apart from other noises. When speakers of a given language say words from another language, this fact becomes fairly obvious. A speaker of Bengali, Assamese, or Oriya, for instance, cannot distinguish between the sounds "b" and "v." The term "Vivek" sounds like the word "Bibek" when they speak it. They are unaware of this fact, as evidenced by the fact that they mispronounce it. When they read it or hear it spoken by someone else, they can tell the difference apart, but they are unable to express it clearly when speaking for themselves.


It is not sufficient for speakers of a language to merely be aware of the permitted sounds of that language; they must also be aware of the permitted sound combinations and the possible positions for those sounds inside words. Without making a conscious attempt to learn the "new" sound, a speaker of one language will almost always mispronounce a term when it has a different sound combination than what is acceptable in his or her language.


Knowledge of the Meaning of Words

Although we are unable to grasp words from unfamiliar languages, people who speak those languages can communicate with one another. Each language has a unique name for each notion or meaning. There are many sounds that are shared by many languages, but the way those sounds are combined to make words and the meaning that each language gives to even the most similar combination of sounds differs. This occasionally has funny results. For instance, the sound sequence "kutia" is shared by Hindi and Bulgarian; in the former, it denotes a "box," while in the latter, it denotes a "female dog." This demonstrates very effectively how meaning and sound are arbitrary constructs. Onomatopoeic or echoic words are those that, in the majority of languages, have a pronunciation that hints at their meaning. These words' sounds resemble those of the natural world. However, even in this case, there may be differences between languages.


However, one might not claim that someone "knows" a language even if they are fully conversant in all of the appropriate sound combinations and their meanings. Knowing a language also includes being able to put words together to make phrases, and then phrases together to make sentences. It is evident that utilising language also entails being creative, as there are many sentences that a person speaks that s/he has never heard before. This is because it is impossible for a person to memorise all the potential sentences in a language. The ability to "make" and comprehend innovative sentences that have never been said before is essentially what is meant by linguistic creativity. One is capable of creating an endless number of sentences. The thing that genuinely sets human language apart is this characteristic. We must have some specialised understanding of the language system to be able to make an endless number of fresh utterances every time we speak.


Knowledge of Appropriate Social Context

It is not sufficient to simply be able to construct fresh sentences; one must also be aware of the precise settings in which they should be employed. This is how language functions in society. Knowing the appropriate reaction to give in a given circumstance is essential for effective communication. When someone asks your name, it would not be proper to reply, even if it would be grammatically correct, "the weather is quite fine." To the extent that the speaker and the hearer have similar associations, communication is feasible. Words and tones have the ability to evoke associations with things and thoughts. Therefore, words and tones are symbols with underlying meanings. We must assign meaning potentials to contexts since context shapes and affects the meanings of what is spoken. So, the components of a language are its sounds, words, and potential sentences. Knowing a language refers to understanding its sounds, words, and rules for combining and using them in appropriate social circumstances.

Q2) Discuss the feature of stressed and unstressed syllables in a connected speed by giving suitable examples. (15)

Ans) In addition, the amount of stressed and unstressed syllables inside an English sentence affects the rhythm of the sentence. Stress and rhythm are the two components of connected speech. These two characteristics belong to speech rather than writing. Therefore, in order to learn the rhythm of spoken English, we must listen to as much of it as we can. We'll start by looking at the types of words that are typically stressed before moving on to other aspects of the rhythm of English, like contracted forms and weak forms.


Not all of a word's syllables are stressed. We have a mix of stressed and unstressed syllables instead. For instance, the terms said, visitors, and left are all capitalised in the sentence "She said that the guests had left." She, that, the, and have are not stressed. The "rhythm" of English speech is essentially determined by the alternation between stressed and unstressed words. Therefore, stressing every word in an English sentence normally would sound very strange.


Speak the following sentences for example.

  1. 'Cut the 'cake.

  2. 'Look at the 'sky.

  3. 'Put it on the 'floor.

  4. 'Show them what you have 'bought.

  5. 'Why did they 'leave in a 'huff?


Please take note that in connected speech, if a word is stressed, the stress mark (in writing) is also utilised for single-syllable words. Nevertheless, when they happen separately, this is not the case.


The number of unstressed syllables between the stressed syllables varies from 1 to 4, and sentences 1 through 4 each have two stressed syllables. However, all of the nouns in these sentences have only one syllable. The speaker rushes from one stressed syllable to the next while focusing on the stressed ones, slurring over the unstressed words in the process. Some of the unstressed words as a result become weaker. For instance, the word at is weakened and pronounced /t/ in sentence 2. The words them and have in sentence four are weakened and pronounced /m/ and /hv/, respectively.


Here are a few more sentences that combine words with different syllable counts with words with only one syllable.

  1. Try again.

  2. Ring me up.

  3. I’ve read it.

  4. It’s pretty.


Each of these sentences has a unique arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables, resulting in a unique rhythm. Examples of comparable stress patterns are found in sentences 1 and 2, where a stressed syllable (Try and Ring) is followed by an unstressed word (a and me), which is then followed by another stressed syllable (gain of again and up). The stress pattern in sentences 3 and 4 is the same, with an unstressed syllable coming first, followed by a stressed syllable, and then an unstressed syllable. It is not stressed, neither am I, nor has it been read. Pre is stressed, pretty's first syllable is emphasised, and try is unstressed in phrase 4.


You must realise that words are made up of syllables, some of which are stressed when they are spoken, in order to comprehend what word stress is. A number of features are used while pronouncing the syllables in a word.


The features of stressed syllables in a connected speed are as follows:

  1. The stressed syllable is longer.

  2. The stressed syllable is louder.

  3. The emphasised syllable typically has a different pitch than the other syllables. As a result, the stressed syllable has a higher pitch than the others.

  4. Compared to the other syllables, the emphasised syllable is spoken more clearly. This results in a purer sound for the stressed syllable.

  5. The stressed syllable requires the use of larger facial movement.


The features of unstressed syllables in a connected speed are as follows:

  1. Since there is no stress at all in these syllables, we speed through them and shorten them so much that the vowel is nearly entirely lost.

  2. It has been observed that the vowel in a weak syllable tends to be shorter, less intense, and of a different quality than the vowel in a strong syllable.

  3. Syllabic consonants are phonetic components that frequently pattern as consonants but can also fill the vowel position in a syllable.


Q3) Discuss various word building processes in English by giving suitable examples. (15)

Ans) The word building processes in English are as follows:



We can create a number of words from every fundamental word form or root. Let's start by examining some basic Hindi words to discover how related words have been developed to broaden the language's vocabulary.


Keep in mind that the first word, which means "house," has connections to the second, third, and fourth terms. In the example above, the first word serves as the basis word, while the other words in the sets are words that were created by combining the basic word with additional elements. We are able to distinguish the several related words that are created from a single basic word form in English as well.


Let's examine the words created by adding items at the end, or suffixes, using the term nation as the root:

  1. nation, national, nationalism, nationalize, nationalization

  2. it can be built by adding elements at the beginning, that is prefixes – denationalize.



Each language has its own unique system for creating new words out of old ones. By inserting an element at the beginning of words, English creates new words. The element, a prefix, is used to indicate a change in the base word's meaning.


Look at the following pairs of words for example:

Prefixes a-, dis-, in-, un-, il-, ir-, and im- have been added to the terms in column (b). The words in column (b) gain the opposite meaning of the terms in column (a) after these prefixes are added (a). They convey negation, or the word "not." Even if the second word in each instance is somewhat connected to the first word, it has the exact opposite meaning and broadens the vocabulary.



By including elements at the end of words, we can additionally strengthen them. Suffixes are components that are added to the ends of words to alter them and broaden the vocabulary at the same time.


Look at the following sets of English words for example.

  1. photograph – photography – photographic

  2. nation – national – nationality – nationalize

  3. create – creation – creativity

  4. false – falsify – falsification

  5. beauty – beautify – beautification


Keep in mind that each time an element is added to the end of the initial word, the word expands. Suffixes, in contrast to prefixes, which change the meaning of an English word, add additional meaning to the word to which they are connected. Many of them also alter the grammatical standing of the word. For instance, the -ify ending turns the noun "beautiful" into the verb "beautify" and the adjective "false" into the verb "falsify". They vary from prefixes in this regard since they rarely alter the grammatical status of words.



This is another instance of how pre-existing words are combined to create new words in the English language. Each of these words contains two separate words that each have their own unique meaning. Combining these two words creates new words with fresh and occasionally unique meanings. These components, which at first glance seem to be two words, actually work as a single thing. For instance, the word "darkroom" combines the words "dark" and "room," although it does not refer to any particular dark room. It refers to a unique space where photographic film is developed. Compound words are words that join in this manner in any language to create new words (with a meaning distinct from the two as separate words).



Words form patterns in a language in yet another way. Look at the following sentences:

1a) A beggar stood outside the door.

1b) The scene of the sunset beggared description.

2a) I want to buy a carpet for my room.

2b) I want my room carpeted.


The words carpet and beggar are both used as nouns in 1a and 2a, respectively. In 1b and 2b, the identical verbs are employed, respectively. The main point to keep in mind is that the word's base form remains unchanged; that is, no suffix or prefix is added to turn the noun into a verb. A new lexical word is produced as a result of the procedure, one with a distinct enough meaning to warrant its own inclusion in the dictionary.


Q4) Discuss the seven basic sentence patterns in English by giving suitable examples. (15)

Ans) The seven basic sentence patterns in English are as follows:


Pattern 1: SV (Subject + Verb)

The subject and the verb are the two bare minimum requirements for this type of phrase. To lengthen the statement, we can add as many additional components as we like, but they will all be optional.


For example:

  1. Birds fly.

  2. The girl laughed.

  3. We sleep.


Pattern 2: SVA (Subject + Verb + Adjunct)

The subject, verb, and adjunct are required parts in this pattern of sentences. Adjuncts are simple to recognise. Expressions of place, time, direction, etc. are called adjuncts. Keep in mind that adjuncts are required elements; if you exclude them, the sentence would be grammatically incorrect. Adverbs or adverbial phrases, particularly those of place, are the most typical adjuncts.


For example:

  1. The director is in the office.

  2. Everyone was on the street.

  3. My parents were upstairs.


You might have noticed that in such sentences the verb is usually some form of ‘be’.


Pattern 3: SVC (Subject + Verb + Complement)

The subject, verb, and complement are the three parts of these sentences. If you omit the complement, the statement will not make sense because it is required. Typically, a complement is a noun or an adjective. The verb in these sentences is typically of the "be" or "become" kind (like become, turn, seem, look, etc.)


For example:

  1. Suresh is a teacher.

  2. The students became uneasy.

  3. Her face turned red.


Pattern 4: SVO (Subject + Verb + Object)

The subject, verb, and object are required components in this pattern. In theory, any word type might serve as the object. But nouns typically occupy the position of objects. You might be unsure about how to distinguish between nouns as objects and complements (see Pattern 3). It is not challenging. While nouns following other sorts of verbs are often objects, those following verbs of the "be" or "become" type are complements. You can also employ the "test of passivation." When you convert a sentence to the passive voice, the noun that was the sentence's object becomes the passive voice's subject. The noun in the first sentence will now be proven to be an object.


For example:

  1. The car hit the truck.

  2. Someone has found a purse.

  3. He drops the ball.


Pattern 5: SVOA (Subject + Verb + Object + Adjunct)

Along with the subject, verb, and object, this pattern also calls for an adjunct. Once more, the adjuncts are typically prepositional phrases or adverbs.


For example:

  1. She put the book on the shelf.

  2. Mosquitoes kept the boys away from the field.

  3. The host left the guests at the Italian restaurant.


Pattern 6: SVOC (Subject + Verb + Object + Complement)

The subject, verb, and object are the other mandatory components in this pattern, along with a complement. Both the subject and the object may be related to the complement. It is referred to as "subject complement" or "object complement" as a result.


For example:

  1. We elected her the chairperson.

  2. Americans call this lady a heroine of romance.

  3. The timely support made Jesse a champion.


Pattern 7: SVOO (Subject + Verb + Object + Object)

Two objects, the subject, and the verb are all required components in this pattern. The direct object is one of the two objects, whereas the indirect object is the other. The two items are straightforward to recognise. The indirect object is the one that comes after a preposition. The first object following the verb is the indirect object if there are no prepositions. In other words, the indirect object either loses or gains a preposition if the two objects' places are switched.

  1. The mother presents the kids with helpful gifts.

  2. (Compare: The woman presents the kids with useful gifts. Children are the indirect object while "gifts" is the direct object.)

  3. She delivered flowers to me.

  4. He was given a gorgeous clothing by his brother.


Thus, the foundation of English sentences is comprised of these seven fundamental phrase (or clause) patterns. These patterns can be expanded in a variety of ways in real life. Additionally, there are numerous ways to combine multiple patterns to create complicated and compound sentences. Finding two or more patterns co-occurring in a complex statement is extremely common.

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