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Part of Speech analysis for a sentence
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:57 pm Reply with quote
the antithesis
 
Joined: 07 Jul 2006
Posts: 6


Hi there

Wondering if anyone can help out...

An EFL student asked me what part of speech 'how you feel' is in the following sentence Shocked :

" It's how you feel when you're tired and overworked..."

Any comments and suggestions are most welcome!!!

Cheers

Mike
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Re: Part of Speech analysis for a sentence
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:10 pm Reply with quote
Dave
 
Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 357
Location: Washington, DC


the antithesis wrote:
Hi there

Wondering if anyone can help out...

An EFL student asked me what part of speech 'how you feel' is in the following sentence Shocked :

" It's how you feel when you're tired and overworked..."

Mike, to me that phrase seems to be a subordinate clause (introduced by the conjunction/question word "how", and having "you" as subject and "feel" as verb). That clause, in turn, is functioning as a predicate nominative (similar to the word "computer" in the sentence "This is a computer").

This business of subordinate clauses functioning as subjects or objects or things like that might be easiest to see in the following sentence:

Quote:
I don't know what you want.


In the big sentence, the subject is "I," the verb is "do [not] know," and the object of the verb, the thing I do not know, is "what you want."

I don't know whether I've made this clear. But in that last sentence, I did it again. "Whether I've made this clear" is the direct object of the verb "know."

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:25 am Reply with quote
the antithesis
 
Joined: 07 Jul 2006
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Thanks for the input Dave...'you're such a nerd!'


Quote:
Mike, to me that phrase seems to be a subordinate clause (introduced by the conjunction/question word "how", and having "you" as subject and "feel" as verb).


Okay, I think I am almost through gutting this grammatical beast...

1. Is 'how I feel when' a subordinate noun clause?

2. Could one instruct that predicative nominatives only function in the presence of linking verbs?

3. Finally, how might the cryptic 'pedicative nominative' be better described using plain English?

"The predicative nominative is simply an 'equalizer'" ?


Cheers

Mike
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:01 am Reply with quote
Dave
 
Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 357
Location: Washington, DC


Your questions one-by-one:

1. I think it would be more accurate to say that "how I feel" is a subordinate clause that functions as a noun within that sentence. Instead of "how I feel," you could just as easily substitute "banana" ["It's a banana"] or "very good question" ["It's a very good question"].

(Incidentally, in your example sentence, there's an additional subordinate clause that functions as an adverb: "when you're tired and overworked" is an adverb that modifies the verb "feel.")


2. I think if you explain the "linking verb" concept clearly, you could say that predicate nominatives do indeed function in the presence of linking verbs. The obvious one of these is "to be," but "to equal" is also one.

3. Here's a good definition of PN from http://englishplus.com:
Quote:
A predicate nominative is a noun or pronoun which follows the verb and describes or renames the subject. It is another way of naming the subject. It follows a linking verb.


4. (You didn't ask this one, but somebody's going to.) A linking verb is a verb that implies a state or condition of the subject, rather than an action. It connects the subject noun to another noun, substantive, or adjective. In most of the sites I saw, the verb "to be" is given as an example, but there can be others. "Two plus two equals four"--in this sentence "equals" is the LV. "You look tired"--in this one, "look" is the LV, because it is used to describe the condition of "you." In other words, "looking" is not an action you are doing, but I'm saying "Your condition appears to be one of tiredness."

I love this stuff, as you can tell.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:21 am Reply with quote
the antithesis
 
Joined: 07 Jul 2006
Posts: 6


Quote:
1. I think it would be more accurate to say that "how I feel" is a subordinate clause that functions as a noun within that sentence. Instead of "how I feel," you could just as easily substitute "banana" ["It's a banana"] or "very good question" ["It's a very good question"].


Yes, yes. We just gotta be so precise in these matters!

Quote:
I love this stuff, as you can tell.


This is sort of Word Nerds with a XXX rating... Wink

If I may break the original sentence apart one more time, would I be correct in saying that 'stressed' in the following sentence is an adjective that is functioning as a noun subject (within sentence) ?

" Stressed is how I feel when I work too hard..."

Thanks again for the input Dave...
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:36 am Reply with quote
Dave
 
Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 357
Location: Washington, DC


the antithesis wrote:
If I may break the original sentence apart one more time, would I be correct in saying that 'stressed' in the following sentence is an adjective that is functioning as a noun subject (within sentence) ?

" Stressed is how I feel when I work too hard..."

Ooh, this is a good one.

Here's how I think I'd analyze this one:

"Stressed" is indeed an adjective here. It's actually the past participle of the verb "to stress," which is functioning here as an adjective. (English does this all the time.)

I would say, though, that it really is an adjective here. I would say "stressed" in this sentence is a predicate adjective that modifies the noun (substantive) subject.

The trick here is that the noun subject is actually, once again, the clause "how I feel."

This sentence inverts normal English word order, which is usually Subject-Verb-Predicate Adjective. But this is also done not infrequently, as in this sentence:

"Black is the color of my true love's hair."

Here "color" is the subject, and "black" is the predicate adjective.

There may be an even nerdier linguist on this forum than I, who can correct me if I'm wrong. But this explanation really feels right to me.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 2:35 am Reply with quote
the antithesis
 
Joined: 07 Jul 2006
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Quote:
There may be an even nerdier linguist on this forum than I, who can correct me if I'm wrong. But this explanation really feels right to me.


It is certainly a convincing explanation...now to word it so a pre-int. EFL learner can understand it!

Quote:
This sentence inverts normal English word order, which is usually Subject-Verb-Predicate Adjective.


I have to put it to you Dave: Why the inversion? Is it to sort of really stress the adjective, to give it more force. For example:

Boss: " So how do you feel about the decision?"
Irate worker: " Pis*** off is how I feel"

Once again, thanks for the input Dave![/i]
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:23 am Reply with quote
Dave
 
Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 357
Location: Washington, DC


I do believe it's a matter of emphasis. In your example, "P***** off" would be in implied contrast to other possibilities, such as "Ecstatic," "Bored," etc.

I wish I could boil this down for a pre-int. English learner. I'll think about it some more. That's the level at which I have to explain things to beginning German students. I should be able to do it.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:03 am Reply with quote
the antithesis
 
Joined: 07 Jul 2006
Posts: 6


Dave,

Not to worry...you have done a heap already. I'll be giving it a bash soon, so I'll be sure to post back with how I attempted it.

Cheers

Mike
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Part of Speech analysis for a sentence
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