Tag Archives: adverbial complements

Grammar 362 Ch. 11: The Passive – Prepositional Verbs

Prepositional phrases are still a part of the passive construction. Adverbials and adverbial complements, however, do differ in how they are a part of a passive sentence.

Adverbial Complements

As a reminder, adverbial complements are a part of the PredPhr.  This means that the NP of the adverbial complement (or the PrepComp), can become the subject of a passive sentence.

Ex.: I listened to the lecture. ————> The lecture was listened to by me.

However, if the verb of the sentence has a DO, then the PrepComp cannot become the subject. The DO must be.


Incorrect: Olivia taught the pwips about diagrams. ———-> ***Diagrams were taught the pwips to by Olivia.

Correct: Olivia taught the pwips about diagrams. ————> The pwips were taught about diagrams by Olivia.



Adverbials are not a part of the sentence core. This means, unlike adverbial complements, they can never be the subject of a passive sentence.


Incorrect: I tried on Thursday. ———-> ***Thursday was tried on by me.

Correct: I tried on Thursday. ———–> (It) was tried by me on Thursday.


English 362: Mid-Term Review

Heyo pwips! Let’s review diagramming for your BIG SCARY MIDTERM.  With a little bit of review, it’ll be a piece of cake!

Here are the steps you should follow when diagramming.

  1. Determine the Subj.
    • The Subj will be an NP. Any phrases that modify the noun will be a part of the phrase. This includes determiners, adjective phrases, and prepositional phrases that modify the noun.
  2. Determine the PredPhr.
    • The PredPhr will always start with the VP and may have elements that follow.
  3. Determine any non-core elements.
    • Recall that non-core elements may be moved to either end of the sentence and will still make sense.
    • Non-core elements come in the forms of PrepPhr and AdvPhr.
    • Adjuncts introduce a topic or insert the writer’s view of the subject. Ex: In my opinion, Frankly
    • Adverbials set up a time, place, or manner. Ex: On Thursday
  4. Determine the VP in the PredPhr.
    • VPs will include auxiliary verbs, and the forms of all aux verbs is Aux.
    • Modals will be on the farthest left. They are words such as may, could, should. They do not carry tense and are followed by the bare form of the next verb. Their function is “Modal of____,” in which the blank is filled by the next verb that follows.
    • Perfect aspect will be the next auxiliary verb, and it does carry tense. This requires a form of has (had, have) and the -en form of the next verb that follows. Its function is “Perf of ____,” in which the blank is filled by the next verb that follows.
    • Progressive aspect will be the next verb. It may carry tense if it is the farthest verb to the left that can. It requires a form of be (is, am, are) and is followed by the -ing form of the next verb that follows. Its function is “Prog of ___,” in which the blank is filled by the next verb that follows.
    • The final possible verb is the lexical verb. It will have a form of V and a function of Pred.
  5. Determine any elements in the PredPhr.
    • Additional elements in the PredPhr may include DOs, IOs, OCs, SCs, and ACs. Refer to Olivia’s previous post about sentence patterns to determine when to use what.

That’s it pwips! Good luck!

English 362: Chapter 7: 2 New Sentence Patterns

Heyo Pwips! Let’s look at our two new sentence patterns!

So far we’ve had the following patterns:






This chapter, we are adding 2 more:



Remember that AC stands for “adverbial complement”. The difference between these two sentence patterns is that one (S-V-AC) represents a sentence with an intransitive verb, and the other (S-V-DO-AC) represents a sentence with a transitive verb. Remember that a transitive verb always has direct objects (DO). Oppositely, an intransitive verb does not.


Snoopy crept under the bed.

This sentence is an example of S-V-AC with the PrepPhr “under the bed” functioning as an AC.

Charlie Brown kicked the football into the tree.

This sentence is an example of S-V-DO-AC with “the football” functioning as DO, and “into the tree” functioning as AC.