Category Archives: Grammar 362

English 362 Ch. 7: Prepositional Phrases – Phrasal Verbs

Hey pwips! Now that Olivia has gone over regular prepositional phrases, let’s talk about those pesky phrasal verbs.

Criteria for a Phrasal Verb

As we discussed in class, the best way to test if a verb is phrasal is to move it around the noun phrase.

We blew up the tree ——-> We blew the tree up

If the preposition can be moved around the noun phrase, it is phrasal. If the preposition cannot be moved, then it is an ordinary prepositional phrase with a Prep and an NP/PrepComp.

Why is it important to know if a preposition is phrasal or not?

A phrasal preposition is diagrammed differently from a regular prepositional phrase. A phrasal preposition does not have a PrepComp. This means that any NP after a phrasal preposition is not a part of the PrepPhr, and will most likely be a DO.

A PrepPhr with a phrasal preposition will only be composed of that preposition. The nodes will go as follows:

PredPhr-> PrepPhr -> Prep

The function of a phrasal preposition will often be AdvComp.

English 362: Chapter 7 – Prepositional Phrases

Congrats on finishing chapter 6 pwips! Brace yourselves, and lets keep forging ahead to chapter 7!

In this chapter, we will begin with talking about the structure of prepositional phrases and three of the ways they can function.


The common structure of prepositional phrases is Prep + NP. The NP has the function of the prepositional complement (PrepComp)

  • Here are examples:

without you

on the boat

in our records of the American War for Independence

Note that prep phrases can contain other prep phrases as is shown in the last example. But also note how each of those prep phrases had the basic structure of Prep + NP.

Now lets discuss some of the different functions of the PrepPhr.

  1. Prep phrases as Modifiers of a Noun or Noun Phrase

One function of a prep phrase is to modify a noun as an adjective does. Remember: When prep phrases modify nouns, it will always follow that noun.

  • Example:

My mom made the recipe from the Puerto Rican cookbook

In this sentence, the noun that is being modified by a prep phrase is “the recipe”. The phrase that modifies it is “from the Puerto Rican cookbook”. Since this prep phrase modifies a noun, that prep phrase is part of the overall NP “the recipe from the Puerto Rican cookbook”.


2.   Prep Phrases as Noncore Phrases

In the last chapter, we learned about precore and postcore phrases such as adjuncts and adverbials. The form of those phrases is often prep phrase.

  • Examples:

In my opinion, the Beijing Olympics ceremony was the most impressive.

The baby cried during the night.

In the first sentence, the prep phrase functions as an adjunct. In the second, it functions as an adverbial.


3.   Prep Phrases as Adverbial Complements

Prep phrases can also function as adverbial complements. Adverbial complements complete the sense of a verb.

  • Examples:

My mom put the raspberry cream-cheese cake in the oven.

The first wave of raiders broke through the north gate.

In both of these sentences, the prep phrases that function as adverbial complements are “in the oven” and “through the north gate”. If you remove these phrases, you can see how the sense of the verb is incomplete.




English 362: Review for Quiz 3: Ch. 5 & 6

Heyo pwips, it’s time for another quiz! Here’s a quick review of Ch. 5 and Ch. 6.


Ch. 5: Objects and Adjuncts

  • Sentence Core: NP and PredPhr
    • NPs can occur within the PredPhr
      • If you have 2 NPs and they are referring to 2 different entities, then the first (usually a person) will have the function IO and the second will have the function DO
      • If you have 2 NPs and they are referring to the same 1 entity, then the first NP will have the function DO and the second will be OC
        • An OC can also be an AdjPhr, but still requires that there be a VP, NP, and a AdjPhr in the predicate. If the PredPhr only consists of the VP and an NP or AdjPhr, then it has the function of an SC
    • Reminder that a transitive sentence has a DO
  • Non-Core Elements: Adverbial or Adjunct
    • Non-core elements are under their own node under the S. They are not a part of the predicate.
    • Adverbials and Adjuncts are functions. Adverbial forms are often prepositional phrases, and Adjunct forms are often prepositional phrases or adverb phrases.



Ch. 6: The Verb Phrase

  • The operator, or left-most verb, carries the tense
  • Verbs may be tensed or non-tensed
    • Tensed: General present, -s present, and past
    • Non-tensed: Base form, -ing form, and -en form
  • Verbs may have an aspect
    • Perfect Aspect: Form of has + -en form of next verb
    • Progressive Aspect: Form of be + -ing form of next verb
  • Auxiliary verb functions include “modal of,” “perfect of,” and “progressive of”
  • You will also need to know numbers
    • First-person Singular: I
    • First-person Plural: We
    • Second-person Singular: You
    • Second-person Plural: You
    • Third-person Singular: He/She/It
    • Third-person Plural: They

English 362: Chapter 6: Problematic Verbs

There is often a lot of confusion surrounding the verbs “to lay” and “to lie”, and “to sit” and “to set” because they are so similar in a few of their forms. Let’s look at how to determine when to use each verb and distinguish between their meanings.

Lay and Lie

First of all here are the different forms of each:

  • Base form= lay/ lie
  • -Ing Form = laying/ lying
  • -En Form = laid/ lain
  • General Present = lay/ lie
  • -S Present = lays/ lies
  • Past Tense = laid/ lay


The key difference between these two verbs is that “to lay” is a transitive verb and “to lie” is an intransitive verb. Remember that transitive means that the verb takes a direct object (DO).

Here are examples with “to lay”:

My annoying brothers lay their dirty feet on my bed. (General present)

Frodo lays his weary head against the soft pillow. (-S present)

Tree Beard laid Merry and Pippin down on the grass. (Past)

The soldiers were laying beams across the northern entrance. (-ing form)

I have laid decorative center pieces on the tables. (-En form)

In each of these sentences, there is a direct object after the verb. (For example, in the first sentence the direct object is feet)


Here are sentences with “to lie”:

My furry cat lies on my jacket. (-S present)

Cats lie on my fluffy jacket. (General present)

My furry cat lay on my jacket yesterday. (Past tense)

My furry cat was lying on my jacket. (-ing form)

My furry cat has lain on my jacket before. (-En form)

In these sentences, you see that “to lie” does not take any direct object.


Sit and Set

Typically, these two verbs are less confusing, but they are still worth discussing. Again, we have a difference of “to set” as a transitive verb and “to sit” as an intransitive verb.

First, here are the forms of each:

  • Base form= set/ sit
  • -Ing Form = setting/ sitting
  • -En Form = set/ sat
  • General Present = set/ sit
  • -S Present = sets/ sits
  • Past Tense = set/ sat


Example Sentences

I sat with my back against the wall. (Past)

She sits next to her family. (-s present)

I was sitting there when he randomly introduced himself. (-ing form)

I have sat there before. (-en form)

Nobody should sit alone. (General present)


My family has set a record for most family stickers on the car window. (-En Form)

I set my books on that table usually. (General present)

He sets up the stage scenery. (-S present)

He is setting up the stage scenery. (-ing form)

I set my hopes on a vacation to Japan or China. (Past)

English 362: Ch. 6 Verbs & Jackie Chan, I Guess

Forms of Verbs

  • Non-tensed
    1. Base form —————- take
    2. -ing form —————– taking
    3.  -en form —————– taken
  • Tensed
    1. General present ——– take
    2. -s present —————- takes
    3. Past tense —————- took


  • Progressive
    • Action is ongoing or was ongoing
    • Form of be + -ing form of next verb to the right
      • Forms of be: be, is, are, am, was, were
      • Example: Jackie Chan is starring in a new movie.
  • Perfect
    • Suggests action is terminal
    • Form of have + -en form of next verb to the right
      • Forms of have: have, has, had
      • Example: Jackie Chan has stolen Olivia’s heart.
  • Both Perfect and Progressive Aspects
    • Sentences can have both aspects
    • Form of have + been + -ing form of next verb to the right
      • Example: Olivia has been picking some crazy blog post themes.

All Together Now

  • Sentences can have multiple auxiliaries before reaching the lexical verb. All auxiliaries must follow this pattern:
    • Modal – Perfect – Progressive – Lexical Verb
  • Tense must be carried on the leftmost verb.
    • Examples:
      • She has been acting strange.  –> Has carries the tense, so this sentence is present tense.
      • We were going there next. –> Were carries the tense, so this sentence is past tense.
    • Most modals cannot carry tense. Here are examples of ones that can.
      • She used to come here. –> Used to is what’s known as a generic past.
      • She is going to exercise later. –> Going to is known as prospective tense.
      • More examples and explanations can be found on Pg. 107 of your book.


English 362: Object Sentence Patterns! (ft. Jackie Chan)

Whasup Pwips! S-V-DO, S-V-IO-DO, and S-V-DO-OC are three of our sentence patterns. Let’s take a closer look at the components of each one.

  1. S-V-DO

This sentence pattern consists of a subject, verb, and direct object.

  • Direct Object: a noun phrase that is the target of the verb


Jackie Chan flawlessly performed a flip-kick.

In order to help you determine the DO (which is the target noun phrase of the verb) ask “who?” or “what?” of the verb. In this sentence you could ask “Jackie Chan performed what?”, and the answer is “a flip-kick”.


2.   S-V-IO-DO

The components of this sentence pattern are Subject, Verb, Indirect Object, and Direct Object. The IO and DO are two separate noun phrases. The IO is the recipient of the DO. In most cases, the IO is a human recipient.


Jackie Chan gave the villain a knuckle sandwich.

In this sentence, we identify the DO by finding the target of the verb “gave” which is the noun phrase “a knuckle sandwich”. We find the IO by locating the recipient of that knuckle sandwich, which is the second noun phrase “the villain”.

3.   S-V-DO-OC

The components of this sentence pattern are Subject, Verb, Direct Object, and Object Complement. An Object Complement (OC) is usually a noun phrase, but it can also occur as an adjectival phrase. An OC complements the DO. (Remember that a complement is an element that “completes” or extends the sense of another element in a construction.)

Example 1:

My little brother named Jackie Chan the greatest martial artist.

The DO is “Jackie Chan” and the OC that complements that DO is the noun phrase “the greatest martial artist”.

Example 2:

The rigorous training made Jackie Chan strong.

In this sentence the DO is once again “Jackie Chan”, but the OC is the AdjPhr “strong” that complements “Jackie Chan”.

English 362: Super Subject Complements

Heyo pwips, let’s talk subject complements!

Subject Complements

  • Function label
  • Follow a linking verb
    • Forms of be: is, am, are, was, were
    • Other verbs: seems, become, turned
  • Are a part of the predicate, S-V-SC
  • Can be a noun phrase or an adjective phrase


Wonder Woman is strong.

  • NP – Wonder Woman – Subject
  • Linking Verb – Is
  • Adjective Phrase – Strong – SC

Harley Quinn seems evil.

  • NP – Harley Quinn – Subject
  • Linking Verb – seems
  • Adjective Phrase – evil – SC

Starfire has become Queen of Tamaran.

  • NP – Starfire – Subject
  • Linking Verb – become
  • Noun Phrase – Queen of Tamaran – SC

Precore and Postcore and Batman!

Way to go Pwips! You made it through chapters 3 & 4 and an introduction to the noun phrase and sentence types. In the upcoming chapter 5, we will dive into the predicate phrase and certain phrases that are not a part of the core sentence.

Here is an introduction to those certain phrases—

  • First of all, we need to define what the core sentence is:

– The subject and the predicate of a simple declarative sentence are the core of the sentence.

  • For example:

Batman is the best superhero of all time!

“Batman” is the subject of the sentence, and “is the best superhero of all time” is the predicate. These two components always make up the core sentence.

Various kinds of phrases can be added at the beginning or end of the core sentence. These phrases are referred to as precore and postcore phrases and have different forms and functions. They add circumstances or comments about the core.

The first kind of these phrases is a precore phrase:

  • Pre-Adjuncts: These precore phrases frame the core sentence by telling us a circumstance that is true of the entire sentence. They tell the attitude of the writer toward the sentence or tell the reader what the next topic of the text will be.
    • For example:

In my opinion, Batman is the best superhero of all time.

First you identify the core of the sentence, which is the subject and predicate phrases “Batman is the best superhero of all time”.

“In my opinion” is a prepositional phrase that is functioning as a pre-adjunct. It is not part of the subject, nor is it part of the predicate since it doesn’t say something about the subject “Batman”. Instead it presents a circumstance that comments on, or provides a setting for the whole sentence. In this case, “in my opinion” tells us the writer’s attitude to the sentence.

  • Adverbials: Another type of phrase that can be precore; the term adverbial refers to the function of this type of phrase. Adverbials come in various forms such as noun phrases, simple adverbs, or prepositional phrases. Adverbials express a time at which an action takes place, where the action occurs, or the manner in which an action was carried out.
  • For example:

In a somber tone of voice, Alfred said that some men just want to watch the world burn.

The adverbial “in a somber tone of voice” is a prepositional phrase that expresses the manner in which Alfred is speaking.

Every day the Joker acts like a dog chasing cars.

“Every day” is the adverbial with the form of NP, and it establishes when the action takes place.

In the hospital, Harvey Dent received a surprise visit from the Joker.

The adverbial “In the hospital” describes where the action is taking place.

Post Core Phrases:

Sometimes pre-adjuncts occur at the end of the core sentence, in which case they are called Post-Adjuncts. Post adjuncts function in the same ways as pre-adjuncts.

  • Example:

Ironman is not as epic as Batman, with all due respect.

The post-core phrase “with all due respect” shows the attitude of the writer just as a pre-adjunct would.

Here is an example of a Post-core Adverbial:

  • Example:

Batman leapt into the Batmobile in great haste.

“In great haste” is an adverbial expressing the manner in which the action is taking place.



English 362: Ch. 3 & 4 Quiz Review

Quiz 2 is next Monday-are you ready? Here’s a quick review of what you need to know.

Ch. 3: Diagrams

  • Every diagram should have a subject and a predicate
  • The word that is the head of the phrase always has the same function as the entire phrase
  • A reminder about the different abbreviations used in diagrams is on page 45
  • Learn the definitions of nodes, and what it means to “dominate” and “immediately dominate” on page 50

Ch. 4: Sentences and Their Parts

  • Declarative statements: Subject-Verb
  • Imperatives: Bare Verb, no Subject
  • Interrogatives: Inversion of Auxiliary Verb and Subject
  • Hortatives: “Let’s” or “Let us”
  • Exclamatives and precatives: “How sweet” or “Lord help us”
  • Verbless Interrogatives: No Verb, “How about a piece?”
  • Fragments: Missing a Subject or Verb

Remember to check out our other posts for more information about these topics, and to come into Laurentide for any additional help. Good luck!

English 362: More from Chapter 4: Ellipsis

In addition to the sentence types we are learning about, Chapter 4 introduces the term ellipsis.

Ellipsis: refers to the omission of a word or words that can be supplied.

Although ellipsis rarely occurs in simple declarative sentences, they are much more likely to appear in more complex sentences.

Example 1–

  • The ninja latched his grappling hook onto the window sill, hauled himself up, and entered the Hokage’s private office.

There are three verbs in this sentence (latched, hauled, and entered) assigned to only one subject (The ninja). Intuitively, we know that the all the verbs are predicating “the ninja”, and it is not necessary to include “the ninja” before each verb. That omission is an example of an ellipsis.

Example 2–

  • Merry and Pippin stole, unwrapped, and launched the fireworks.

Here “Merry and Pippin” and “the fireworks”  undergo ellipsis. There is no need to say “Merry and Pippin stole the fireworks, Merry and Pippen unwrapped the fireworks, and Merry and Pippin launched the fireworks.”

Ellipsis in Imperatives

The understood subject or addressee of imperative sentences can also be seen as an instance of ellipsis.


  • Give me my precious!

instead of….

  • (You) give me my precious!

-The understood subject of “you” is the instance of ellipsis