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The Compound Nominal Predicate

It denotes the state or quality of the person/thing expressed by the subject, or the class of persons/things to which the person/thing belongs. The compound nominal predicate consists of a link verb + a predicative (the nominal part of the predicate).Most link verbs, except be, to some extent preserve their meanings: to appear, to get, to grow, to continue, to feel, to keep, to look, to turn, to prove. to remain, to fall, to go, to seem, to smell.

· He grew more cheerful.

There are some verbs which, though fully preserving their concrete meaning, perform the function of a link verb: to lie, to sit, to die, to marry, to return, to leave, to come, to stand, to fall…

· The poor woman sat amazed.

According to their meaning link verbs can be divided into 2 large groups:

1) link verbs of being and remaining (to remain, to keep, to continue, to smell, etc.)

· The door remained wide open.

2) link verbs of becoming ( to become, to get, to leave, to run, to turn, to make, etc.)

· this becomes uninteresting, however, after a time.

The predicative can be expressed by:

1) N in the common case

· She’s a pretty child.

2) adjective

· He’s awfully selfish.

· It tastes delicious.

3) ProN

· It’s me.

4) word of category of state

· But I’m afraid I can’t keep the man.

5) numeral

· He was the first to break the silence.

· I’m only 18.

6) prepositional phrase

· The things were outside her experience.

7) infinitive, inf. phrase/construction

· Her 1st thought was to go away.

8) gerund, gerundial phrase/construction

· My favorite sport is swimming.

9) Participle II

· He was surprised at the sound of his own voice.

10) Adverb

The Compound Verbal Predicate


The compound verbal                                                         The compound verbal

Modal predicate                                                                                                aspect predicate

The Compound Verbal Modal Predicate

It shows the action as possible/impossible, obligatory, necessary, desirable, etc. and may consist of:

1) Modal verb + infinitive

· You can prove everything.

2) modal expression: to be + infinitive, to have + infinitive

· I have to work for my living.

3) a V with a modal meaning + infinitive/gerund (to hope, to expect, to intend, to try, to attempt, to long, to wish, to want, to desire, etc.)

· He tried to open the tin and badly cut his finger.

· We intend going to Switzerland.

4) modal expressions + infinitive (to be able, to be obliged, to be bound, to be willing, to be anxious, to be gong, to be capable, etc.)

· I’m going to leave Paris.

5) verbs and expressions used in sentences containing the Subj.Inf.Construction:

· About 4000 workers of the port are believed to be on strike

The Compound Verbal Aspect Predicate

It expresses the beginning, duration, or the cessation of an action and consists of such verbs as to start, to begin, to fall, to set about, to go on, to keep on, to proceed, to continue, to stop, to cease, to finish,etc. + infinitive/gerund. Here also belong would and used to + infinitive.

· His bones ceased to ache.

Mixed types of predicate

(containing 3 elements)

1) the compound modal nominal predicate

· Don’t think I mean to be unkind.

2) the compound aspect nominal predicate

· The grey house had ceased to be the house for the family.

3) the compound modal aspect predicate

· He ought to stop doing nothing and criticizing everybody.


25А)  The predicate as the main means of expressing predication. Types of predicates.

The Predicate is the part of the sentence which expresses a predicative feature attributed to the subject of the sentence. Like the subject, the predicate also carries out a triple function in the sentence: structural, semantic and communicative. Its structural function consists in establishing the syntactic relations with the subject and other parts of the sentence. The semantic function of the predicate finds its expression in attributing certain features to the subject. Its communicative function is manifested in the fact that through the predicate and the expression of predication the sentence becomes a minimal unit of communication. The predicate is 'the structural and semantic centre of the sentence’. In the structure of a simple, two-member sentence the predicate usually carries out the function of the rheme, He disappeared. According to the form of expression predicates are divided into verbal and nominal: The moon rose. The moon was pale. There exists a phraseological predicate (presents a combination of such verbs as have, get, give, take and a verbal noun (give a look, take a bath, have a smoke). From the grammatical point of view the most important characteristic of this type of predicate is not so much its phraseological but its analytical character (all analytical structures are characterized by idiomaticity of their components). The verb expresses the grammatical meaning and the verbal noun expresses a lexical meaning. The two formal types of the predicate correspond to the two main semantic types: process predicate which expresses the action, the state or the existence of the subject and qualification predicate which expresses the quality (property) of the subject. The process predicate can be further subdivided into several types in accordance with the semantic types of verbs: existential (There was a tavern in the town), statal (He slept), locative (The elephant lives in India), relational (He had a small ranch) and actional (The car broke down). The qualification predicate has three subtypes: identifying (So you are the man we have been looking for), classifying (My friend is a student) and characterizing (My wife is a bit of an actress. He was too German).Structurally the predicate may be divided into simple and compound. We said good- bye - a simple verbal predicate; It was a lovely place -simple nominal predicate. The predicate is compounded by the introduction of modal or aspective components. We started saying good-bye - a compound verbal predicate; It must be a lovely place - a compound nominal predicate.


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