The Cambridge Grammar Of The English Language by Rodney Huddleston Geoffrey K. Pullum

The Cambridge Grammar Of The English Language by Rodney Huddleston Geoffrey K. Pullum

Author:Rodney Huddleston, Geoffrey K. Pullum
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: The Cambridge grammar of the English language
Published: 2002-04-15T04:00:00+00:00

altogether excluded, however: they can occur in interrogatives used with the indirect force of an exclamatory statement, as in Haven't they such charming manners!

(c) Extraposable NPs

NPs with the form the + ... N + integrated relative clause / o/phrase can stand on their

own as exclamations:

[18] i The money he spends on clothes!

ii The cost of these clothes!

iii The way he treats his wife!

We call these 'extraposable NPs' because they can appear in extraposed subject position with predicates such as amazing: It's amazing the money he spends on clothes I the cost of these clothes ; It's a scandal the way he treats his wife . The verbless examples in [18] are understood in much the same way as these with some generalised exclamatory predicate understood; the attitude implied is usually one of disapproval. An alternative to the + N + relative is the fused relative construction: What some people will do to save a few dollars! (compare: The things some people will do...!).

(d) Imprecative retorts

[19] A: I'll invite them round for dinner. B: Like hell you will!

The structure consists of an expletive + personal pronoun subject + auxiliary with anaphoric ellipsis of the complement.

9 Imperatives and directives

9.1 Subtypes of imperative clauses

The grammatical properties which together define the class of imperative clauses in English were summarised in §2. The most important points are:

[1] i The subject is an optional rather than obligatory element.

ii The verb is in the plain form.

iii Supportive do is used in relevant constructions with be, not just lexical verbs. Ordinary imperatives vs /ef-imperatives

The main syntactic division within the class is between ordinary imperatives (the default subclass) and /et-imperatives:


Let-imperatives are marked by a special use of let distinct from the normal use with the sense "allow". Let in the "allow" sense is found in all clause types (cf. declarative He let us borrow his car), including ordinary imperatives like [iia]. The Zerof [ib] and [iit>] h as been bleached of this meaning and serves as a marker of this special type of imperative construction.

i a. Open the window. ii a. Please let us borrow your car.

b. Let's open the window. b. Let's borrow Kirn's car.


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