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  1. #21
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    Well, this is getting fairly interesting.

    Barry, you said, "Your reference to the verb 'to hit' (I would say the verb 'hit') is also confusing. Your example 'The hit ball flew over the fence' is somewhat contrived. Once again 'hit' is not being used as a verb. The fact that 'hit' is capable of being used as a verb in a different context is of no relevance. You are actually using 'hit' as an adjective. Further to your previous advice to look up in in a dictionary I have checked the main dictionaries for the use of 'hit' in an adjectival way. I have been unable to find any such uses. Hence my view that your use of 'hit' is contrived."

    Would it help to say that the "hard hit ball flew over the fence"? Perhaps I am using baseball instead of cricket.

    As far as "ajar" and "to" are concerned. In syntactic terms they could be called equal to "shut". They modify.

    But so much of this discussion and apparent confusion comes from mixing terms from morphology and syntax. These are different subjects with different lexica.

    How a word is operating within a sentence is a matter of syntax. There the words "verb" and "adjective" can be confusing. It would be better to speak of "simple predicates" (or "gerunds" or "participial phrases" or "infinitive phrases") and "modifiers".
    These latter terms will not be used by a dictionary, which limits itself to morphology, although it may give some contexts to show how a given word can be used as more than one part of speech.

    Regarding my naming the verb "to shut" as "to shut", in my experience that is what linguists, careful grammarians, and careful teachers of foreign languages do. They name verbs by their infinitives. If you simple refer to the verb "to shut" as "shut", it could be the present, past, or past participle that you are talking about (or the latter being used as a modifier -- adjective, if you will).

    "Am, are, is, was, were, be, being, and been" are all forms of the verb "to be".
    "Go, goes, going, went, and gone". These are forms of the verb "to go".

    I have very little idea of how this is all taught in the British schools, but here in America, before the general demise of grammatical knowledge, beginning around the 1970's, all of this, within our system, was quite clear.

    I realize that this is getting long. But if you REALLY care about my approach to this, you should look at the videos on the Youtube channel, mrbisse1, beginning with video 42.1 and then stay with the ".1" series.

    Frank

  2. #22
    Bimbi is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    'Shut' can indeed function as a verb. However, in this particular sentence, does it not function as an adjective?
    Quote Originally Posted by barryashton View Post
    Consider the sentence:

    The gate swung shut behind him.
    Shut is certainly not a verb in the OPs question.

  3. #23
    barryashton is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    Thanks for the link Bimbi. It is very helpful.

    Barry

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    Would it help to say that the "hard hit ball flew over the fence"? Perhaps I am using baseball instead of cricket.
    It still sounds very strange to me. Perhaps it's natural in AmE.
    As far as "ajar" and "to" are concerned. In syntactic terms they could be called equal to "shut". They modify.
    It sounds to me as if 'shut' is an adjective then.
    But so much of this discussion and apparent confusion comes from mixing terms from morphology and syntax. These are different subjects with different lexica.

    How a word is operating within a sentence is a matter of syntax. There the words "verb" and "adjective" can be confusing. It would be better to speak of "simple predicates" (or "gerunds" or "participial phrases" or "infinitive phrases") and "modifiers".
    But words on their own are not any part of speech. The word 'up' is, in itself, not any part of speech. It can be used as a preposition, verb, noun, adjective, etc. Similarly, the word 'shut' is not, in itself, a verb.
    These latter terms will not be used by a dictionary, which limits itself to morphology, although it may give some contexts to show how a given word can be used as more than one part of speech.
    Morphology has little to do with it. It's usage that counts. In my Webster's Third (1961), the word 'disembowel' is listed only as a verb, because it has been used only as verb so far in recorded English. 'shut' is listed as a verb, noun, and adjective, 'up' as an adverb, adjective, verb, preposition and noun.
    Regarding my naming the verb "to shut" as "to shut", in my experience that is what linguists, careful grammarians, and careful teachers of foreign languages do. They name verbs by their infinitives. If you simple refer to the verb "to shut" as "shut", it could be the present, past, or past participle that you are talking about (or the latter being used as a modifier -- adjective, if you will).
    In none of the first four grammars I have just taken from my shelf is 'to' used as part of the infinitive, Hudleston and Palmer (2002) use bold italicised font for the infinitive: want; Quirk et al (1985) and Carter & McCarthy (2006) use smaller font upper case letters: WANT; Biber et al (1999) use lower case italics: want.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  5. #25
    barryashton is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    Frank

    You write 'But so much of this discussion and apparent confusion comes from mixing terms from morphology and syntax'. It may be that you are correct. Perhaps you would resolve the 'apparent confusion' by listing those terms used in this thread that rightly belong to the realm of morphology and separately listing those terms that rightly belong to the realm of syntax.

    As a syntactic fledgling and a morphological embryo I would find any assistance in this regard very useful.

    Barry

  6. #26
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    Barry,

    That's a good idea.

    Morphology involves the 8 "parts of speech" -- noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, conjunction, preposition, and interjection. Interjection is arguably not a part of speech, but it is normally included. The first four are "open classes" with thousands of examples, the next three are closed classes with very few members and very slow to change within the history of a language.

    Syntax involves the 25 or so "parts of sentences" -- subject, predicate, modifier, clause, phrase, direct object, indirect object, objective complement, predicate nominative, predicate adjective, prepositional phrase, object of a preposition, infinitive phrase, gerund phrase, participial phrase, noun of direct address, noun clause, adverb clause, adjective clause, appositive, and probably some others -- but a limited number.

    Morphology involves how individual words can change their form and function. Syntax involves how words or groups of words function within given sentences.

    If there were a truly easy way to understand this, I would offer it. In my videos I have made it as simple as I can while still making it nearly complete.

    Thanks for your suggestion.

    Remember, though, that I am using my American experience, which, I believe, is quite different from the Bristish one.

    Frank

  7. #27
    barryashton is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    Frank

    It may be that we remain divided by a common language. Is the following web site and example of what you have been explaining?

    grammar.about.com/od/basicsentencegrammar/a/creatpartphrase.htm



    Barry

  8. #28
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    Barry,
    I just glanced at that website.
    I find it needlessly confusing.
    There are better ones.
    Give me a moment. I will see if I can find one to sent you.
    Frank

  9. #29
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    Here.

    Try this one.

    grammar.about.com/od/basicsentencegrammar/a/creatpartphrase.htm

    That may be more than you are looking for, but it might help -- entirely American i.e. Reed-Kellogg in its approach.

    Frank

  10. #30
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identifying the verb

    Sorry. That seems not to have worked. Let me try again.

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