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Appunti inglese II - sintassi syntax Appunti scolastici Premium

Appunti di sintassi del modulo 1 del secondo anno di lingua inglese (Lingua inglese II). C'è spiegata tutta la sintassi (phrases, clauses...) con tantissimi esempi per capire meglio e le definizioni. Università degli Studi di Milano - Unimi. Scarica il file in formato PDF!

Esame di Lingua inglese II docente Prof. P. Catenaccio



He spends one-third of his salary on t

Central determiners:


- Pronouns

- Negative


Post determiners:

Numbers: cardinals and ordinals. Ordinals always precede cardinals.

- The first two apples

General ordinals: last, next, other, another, previous

Quantifiers: many, few, several, much, little etc. They precede the noun.

- The few remaining apples (central d., post d., pre-modifier, head).


Pre-modifiers are words that modify the head they refer to and they come before the noun itself.

They can be nouns, adjectives and nouns in the possessive form, participle (-ing and -ed forms).

A leather jacket

These sweet donuts

The children’s playground

A deserved success

The then teacher

A rather nice invitation (central determiner, adverb phrase, adjective phrase, head)

AdvP and AdjP are embedded in the NP.


Pronouns, cardinal numerals and some adjectives in a pronominally position may function as head

in a noun phrase:

Anyone may come

The magnificent seven

The innocent were allowed to leave


They can be phrases and clauses.


- Prepositional phrases: very common. Ex. A game of cards.

Adverb phrases: only occur after the noun when referring to time or place. Ex. The trip


Adjective phrases: very rarely after the noun. Ex. The president elect.


- Relative clauses: The man I met yesterday.

That-clauses: The belief that God exists.

Comparative clauses: Rachel gave a louder cry than Miriam did.

Non-finite clauses: -ing, -ed, infinitive clauses. Ex. The book devoured by Chiara; The storm

brewing at sea; a place to stay (both relative clauses).


An adjective phrase consists of an adjective and all of its modifiers and complements. The smallest

possible adjective phrase therefore consists of just an adjective. The adjective is always the head of

the phrase.

AdjPs function in two ways:

within a NP to modify a head noun or pronoun (attributive and postmodifying)


the adjective can either precede or follow the head: if the head is an indefinite pronoun, an AdjP

that modifies it must follow the pronoun. While if the head is a noun the AdjP must precede it.

Ex. Anybody clever should be able to turn that thing into something quite useful

Ex. A clever person should be able to turn that thing into a quite useful object

directly in a predicate, to predicate something about a subject or object.

- If a predicate adjective phrase is about the subject, the AdjP is a subject complement; if it is

about the object then it is an object complement.

Sharon is clever (subject complement)

They called me stupid (object complement)

The adjective phrase in English has three functional constituents:

Premodification: modifying, describing, or qualifying constituents which precede the head

- (intensifiers, adverbs)

It’s partly cloudy

She is so extremely sweet

the head: adjective or participle serving as the focus of the phrase;

- Postmodification: complementation: (the major subcategory of postmodification) completes

- the specification of a meaning implied by the head (prepositional phrases or infinitive

clauses). Adverb: enough or indeed.

He was excited indeed

He is very energetic for his age

It’s too good to be true ADVERB PHRASE


When? She always arrives early.

- How? In what way? He drives carefully. She eats slowly.

- Where? They go everywhere together.

- To what extent? It is terribly hot.


Adverbs in English:

Only, just, well, still, how, next

Adverbs of manner (modo): really, well, slow, fast, hard, better, together

Adverbs of degree: more, just, so, very, quite, rather, almost, enough, too, rather, very.

Adverbs of frequency: always, usually, often, sometimes, seldom, never.

Adverbs of time: now, today, yesterday, tomorrow, later, before, a fter.

Adverbs of place: here, there, nowhere, inside, underground, everywhere, upstairs, east .

An adverb phrase consists of an adverb head and all its modifiers.

Only adverb phrases can modify adverbs but adverbs can have various types of complementation.

Premodifiers: adverb or adverb phrase

Head: adverb

Postmodifier: adverb (enough or indeed), prepositional phrase, infinitive clause

It doesn’t matter however fast you run

She is formerly of Cincinnati

She skates so very well indeed

We drove too quickly to see well

Adjectives and adverbs are usually premodified by intensifiers

AdjP - The hungry cat was feeling very aggressive

AdvP - My new shoes pinched me rather uncomfortably

The only way we can postmodify an adjective is by using the adverbs enough or indeed

AdjP - He is happy indeed

AdvP - She works hard enough

They can also be postmodified by prepositional phrases and infinitive clauses

AdjP - Mary is upset about her failure

AdvP - Susan was talking too softly to hear her.

Sue was running too fast to see the obstacle. GOOD POSTMODIFIER. It refers to fast.

Sue was running rather fast to reach the end line. NOT A POSTMODIFIER. It doesn’t refer to fast,

it’s the purpose of running.

He demanded that the child be more (premodifier of AdvP) appropriately (head of AdvP) punished.


Prepositional phrases differ from the other types of phrases in that a preposition cannot stand alone

as the head of a phrase. A preposition has to be accompanied by a prepositional complement,

typically a noun phrase.

Ex. Jackie was searching in the cupboard.

Prepositions in English: on, in, at, since, for, ago, before, to, past, until, by, next to, beside, towards,

under, below, over, above, across, through, into, onto, from, of, off, out of, about.

PP can consist of:

Preposition + noun phrase (in the car)

- Preposition + adverb (above here)

- Preposition + clause (thank you for coming)


[a [white]AdjP dress [with [a [dropped]AdjP waistline]NP]PP]NP

A dress: NP

White: AdjP

With a dropped waistline: PP (embedded: dropped AdjP, a waistline NP)

? They considered the book publishable.

? The book might become a best-seller.

? She has appeared on several TV talk shows.

?Some people regard her as a guru.

[a[long]AdjP vacation [on[the Caribbean island [of[Trinidad]NP or [Jamaica]NP]PP]NP]PP]NP

[his [[most]AdvP recent]AdjP, [[very]AdvP provocative]AdjP novel]NP

[the weather [in Vancouver]PP [on [any given day [in winter]PP]NP]PP


The verb phrase includes the verb plus all the compulsory elements that go with the verb.

The VP carries information about mood, tense, modality, aspect, and voice and this is quite different

from the information carried by a noun phrase. The verb phrase has two functional parts:

the auxiliary, a grammatical morpheme carrying information about mood, tense, modality,

- and voice

Modal: can, may, will, should + base form

Perfect: have + -ed

Progressive: be + -ing

Passive: be + -ed

Support Auxiliary: do + base form

the main verb, a lexical morpheme carrying its lexical information and, usually, an

- inflection.


Divided into 4 categories:

Indicative: most of our statements

- Interrogative: starting a clause with an auxiliary verb or an interrogative pronoun.

- Imperative: base form in clause-initial position.

- Subjunctive: expresses a sense of the unlikely, a wish, a hope, the state of things as speakers

- wish or hope them to be. It describes hypothetical situations.

Beginning subordinate clauses with an auxiliary (Had Liz done that…), subordinators that

mark hypothetical conditions (If I were…) or base form (I suggest all production be carried

out I Italy)


An inflection on the verb that indicates the time reference. Tense is marked on the first verb of the

verb phrase. All verbs marked for tense are called 'finite' verbs whereas verbs that do not carry a

tense inflection (such as participles) are called 'nonfinite' verbs.

English has two tenses (present - past):

the -s inflection marks the present tense

- the -ed inflection marks the past tense.


Verbs using both the -s and -ed forms are regular verbs.

Irregular verbs employ a number of inflections (such as -en for the participle inflection, written)

or no participle inflections at all (such as put or cut).

With future there is no tense, only aspect. Future is a type of modality.


Aspect signals either the completion or the continuation of the process indicated by the verb in


The perfect aspect expresses a sense of completion. Have + -ed participle/irregular participle


Liz has gone already.

The continuous aspect expresses continuity and relevance to the present. Be + -ing participle


Liz is doing the best work ever.


The future is part of the modality system. Modal auxiliary verbs (will) or phrasal verbs (is going to)

refer to the future.

The modality system expresses a sense of obligation, volition, probability, permission, and

- ability. Modal auxiliary verb + base form.

Liz {must/should} go (obligation)

Liz will stop that immediately (volition)

Liz {may/might} go (probability)

Liz {can/may} go (permission)

Liz {can/could} do it (ability)

The modal will also expresses a 'future' sense.

Liz will do it tomorrow (future).

The same modal verb can have more than one function

That can’t be Sue (epistemic, logical)

- You can’t leave now (deontic)






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Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea in Mediazione linguistica e culturale
Università: Milano - Unimi
A.A.: 2018-2019

I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher alicetta.97 di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di Lingua inglese II e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università Milano - Unimi o del prof Catenaccio Paola.

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