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  1. #1
    gchman is offline Junior Member
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    Exclamation Grammatical Structure

    Hello there.

    Could you explain this grammatical structure to me?

    How beginning your day with the right morning meal can boost energy and burn fat.

  2. #2
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Grammatical Structure

    Quote Originally Posted by gchman View Post
    Hello there.

    Could you explain this grammatical structure to me?

    How beginning your day with the right morning meal can boost energy and burn fat.
    It's not a complete sentence.

    It is a title of a "how-to" article.

    - How to bake chocolate chip cookies

    - How to build a birdhouse
    - How to build a birdhouse using readily-available and low-cost material

    - How to make a paper airplane
    - How to make a paper airplane stay in flight longer by using paper clips as stabilizers
    - How using paper clips as stabilizers can make a paper airplane stay in flight longer


    It is a variation on
    - How to boost energy and burn fat
    - How to boost energy and burn fat by beginning your day with the right morning meal
    - How beginning your day with the right morning meal can boost energy and burn fat

    To make it into a complete sentence, you'd have to add a subject and a verb:
    This article tells you how beginning your day with the right morning meal can boost energy and burn fat.

  3. #3
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    Re: Grammatical Structure

    Quote Originally Posted by gchman View Post
    Hello there.

    Could you explain this grammatical structure to me?

    How beginning your day with the right morning meal can boost energy and burn fat.
    How beginning your day with the right morning meal can boost energy and burn fat. - Noun clause

    can boost - modal auxiliary and verb

    energy - object of the verb "boost"
    _____________________________

    To make it a complete sentence, start with "This is" or "That is".

    This is how beginning your day with the right morning meal can boost energy and burn fat.

    Sometimes a noun clause is used as a title. Students can become confused by this because it appears to be a question, but it's not.

    Post any follow-up questions you have.
    Last edited by PROESL; 18-Oct-2009 at 09:29.

  4. #4
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Grammatical Structure

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    How beginning your day with the right morning meal can boost energy and burn fat. - Noun clause

    can boost - modal auxiliary and verb

    energy and burn fat. - objects of the verb "boost"
    _____________________________

    To make it a complete sentence, start with "This is" or "That is".

    This is how beginning your day with the right morning meal can boost energy and burn fat.

    Sometimes a noun clause is used as a title. Students can become confused by this because it appears to be a question, but it's not.

    Post any follow-up questions you have.
    I see. Students see the similarity between:

    (This is ) How "this" can do "that"

    and

    How can "this" do "that?"

    As a question, the article's title would be:

    How can starting your day with the right morning meal boost energy and burn fat?

  5. #5
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Re: Grammatical Structure

    An addendum to the other comments: you may be interested to know that, in structural terms, this is a nominal relative clause.

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    Re: Grammatical Structure

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    I see. Students see the similarity between:

    (This is ) How "this" can do "that"

    and

    How can "this" do "that?"

    As a question, the article's title would be:

    How can starting your day with the right morning meal boost energy and burn fat?
    Yes, that's it. Though it's not something that I've heard people talk about, I've always noticed the potential for such confusion. I think that could be part of the confusion here or the reason for the question.

    This adds to the difficulty that some students have remembering to invert an auxiliary and the subject to form a question.

  7. #7
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    Re: Grammatical Structure

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    An addendum to the other comments: you may be interested to know that, in structural terms, this is a nominal relative clause.
    That's a new term to me. I would first call it a noun clause. As well, I would call it a predicate noun because it follows the verb "be". So, to me, it would be a predicate noun clause.

    That's it. - it - predicate noun.
    That's what I mean. - what I mean - predicate noun clause.

    So just to be sure, would you also call "what I mean" a nominal relative clause?

    I've always associated the word "relative" with "adjective clauses", as "relative clause" or "adjective clause".

    I searched for "predicate noun clause" in The Grammar Book (grammar reference for teachers), and I also searched for "nominal relative clause". I could not find either term. I did, however, come across "nominal relative clause" at a few websites.

  8. #8
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Re: Grammatical Structure

    A nominal relative clause is indeed -as its name indicates - a kind of noun clause. My comment was therefore inserted as an addendum to yours, not in contradiction of it!

    A nominal relative clause is typically one introduced by a (nominal relative) pronoun such as 'what' used in the sense of 'that which' , e.g. the subordinate of

    This is what I meant.


    As with adjectival relative clauses, however, nominal relatives can be introduced by adverbial as well as by pronominal forms: the 'how' of the sentence at issue here (="the way in which") is a nominal relative adverb.

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    Smile Re: Grammatical Structure

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    A nominal relative clause is indeed -as its name indicates - a kind of noun clause. My comment was therefore inserted as an addendum to yours, not in contradiction of it!

    A nominal relative clause is typically one introduced by a (nominal relative) pronoun such as 'what' used in the sense of 'that which' , e.g. the subordinate of

    This is what I meant.

    As with adjectival relative clauses, however, nominal relatives can be introduced by adverbial as well as by pronominal forms: the 'how' of the sentence at issue here (="the way in which") is a nominal relative adverb.
    I didn't take it as a contradiction. I just found the term you posted interesting since I would identify the form with a different term.


  10. #10
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    Smile Re: Grammatical Structure

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    A nominal relative clause is indeed -as its name indicates - a kind of noun clause. My comment was therefore inserted as an addendum to yours, not in contradiction of it!

    A nominal relative clause is typically one introduced by a (nominal relative) pronoun such as 'what' used in the sense of 'that which' , e.g. the subordinate of

    This is what I meant.

    As with adjectival relative clauses, however, nominal relatives can be introduced by adverbial as well as by pronominal forms: the 'how' of the sentence at issue here (="the way in which") is a nominal relative adverb.

    ^This is the sentence at issue, as far as I can tell. So that I can be clear on your terminology, are you sayng that "how beginning your day with the right morning meal can boost energy and burn fat" is a nominal relative clause or a nominal relative adverb clause? In a previous post you referred to it as a nominal relative clause. So I would be clear on what you mean. Which one is it? I can see how it's adverbial because it speaks of "how". I can also see it could be nominal because in another sentence it could simply be the object of a verb, as in this sentence: "We know how beginning your day with the right morning meal can boost energy and burn fat."

    ^This is how beginning your day with the right morning meal can boost energy and burn fat.

    So just to recap, for my information, please, would you call it nominal or adverbial?

    Thank you.


    Previously posted in reference to the clause in question:

    Originally Posted by philo2009
    An addendum to the other comments: you may be interested to know that, in structural terms, this is a nominal relative clause.
    Last edited by PROESL; 18-Oct-2009 at 09:31.

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