Frame 4, Page 7 - What is the difference between the object and compliment?

What is the difference between the object and compliment?

ANSWER:

Wonderful! You are reading actively and asking questions from the get-go.

This frame doesn't address the matter of objects or compliments, but the question must have come to your mind as you were thinking about the example sentence,

Love makes all things easy.

You must be wondering whether the phrase "all things easy" is an object or complement of the verb "make" in this sentence.

Well, there are two meanings to the word, "complement." We have the general category of verb complements, of which the object is one kind of verb complement and the subject complement is another kind of verb complement.

I'll assume that you're asking the question, "What is the difference between the object and subject complement?"

You will learn more about verb complements in general in iEnglish 203: The Simple Sentence. For now, though, let me just say that objects are usually nouns that follow action verbs like "make."

For example, we usually make something. That "something" is an object of the verb "make."

Subject complements, on the other hand, are usually adjectives or nouns that follow verbs like "be" or "feel," describing or providing information about the subject him-/her-/itself in some way, rather than about what the subject is doing.

For example, we are something, and that "something" can be an adjective (e.g. "happy") or a noun (e.g. "a team"). These subject complements, "happy" and "a team" provide information about the subject "we."

Sometimes these verbs that take subject complements are called linking verbs, because they act as a bridge or link between the subject and information that complements it.

I hope this helps.

If you have further questions about this, feel free to ask them using the "Click here to post comments" link below.

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Professor iEnglish

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Frame 13, Page 25 - Why is "drink" not underlined as a verb?


In this sentence:

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

the verb phrases which are underlined are "can lead" and "can't make." Why is "drink" not underlined also? Isn't it a verb?

ANSWER:

Yes, an excellent question!

In this predicate, "can't make it drink," the main verb is "make," and its object is "it." The word "drink" is what we call a "bare infinitive," or an infinitive without a "to" in front of it. The bare infinitive is used as a complement to complete the meaning of main verb, "make" and the main verb's object, "it." Therefore, we consider "drink" to be a complement rather than a verb.

You'll also notice that there is no subject-verb agreement between "it" and "drink." That is a further clue that "drink" is not behaving as a verb.

Another way to see what is happening is by examining the passive voice version of this clause:

The horse cannot be made to drink it.

Here, you can clearly see that the main verb is "made" and that "to drink" is a complement, an expression that helps to complete the meaning of the main verb.

Both to-infinitives and bare infinitives can sometimes behave like nouns and serve noun functions. Sometimes they can behave like adjectives and serve adjective functions. However, they are not used as verbs to fulfill verb functions.

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Professor iEnglish

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Frame 19, Page 37 - Dependent vs. Independent Clauses


Does the dependent clause also get the head noun? Does every clause have a 'head noun' and 'verb'?

ANSWER:

This is a good question, and an important one to consider. Please read the following answer carefully.

By definition, every clause has a subject and predicate, including a dependent clause. If there are not both a subject and predicate, there is no clause. See iEnglish 201 frame 7.

Now, since every subject must have a head noun, and every predicate must have a main verb, the answer to your second question is:

YES, every clause has both a head noun and a main verb.

There are two kinds of clauses: the independent clause and the dependent clause. Both types of clauses contain a head noun in the subject and a main verb in the predicate.

Therefore, in answer to your first question:

YES, dependent clauses also have a head noun, because they must have both a subject and predicate to be considered as clauses. See the examples of dependent clauses in iEnglish 201 frame 20, and notice the vertical lines that separate the subject from the predicate.

I think what you are really having difficulty understanding is the difference between the independent and dependent clause.

The difference is that the independent clause may stand alone as a complete sentence, but the dependent clause may not stand alone as a complete sentence. The dependent clause must always appear in a sentence together with an independent clause. That is why it is called a "dependent" clause--it is dependent on the independent clause to form a sentence.

You may wish to review iEnglish 201 frames 16 to 24 for more information about the difference between independent and dependent clauses.

I hope this helps!

Write me further questions about this frame if you still don't understand. Use the link below that says "Click here to post comments" and write me your questions in the comments.

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Professor iEnglish

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Frame 42, Page 83 - Difference between the auxiliary verb & modal verb


What is the difference between the auxiliary verb and modal verb?

ANSWER:

This is a very good question!

The word "auxiliary" means "extra," so an auxiliary verb can be thought of as an extra verb. In this sense, the modal verb is, in fact, also an 'auxiliary' verb in that it is an 'extra' verb in the verb phrase.

The modal verb, however, has some unique properties that set them apart from the primary auxiliary verbs, be, have and do. Their functions as a class also make the modal verbs distinct from the primary auxiliary verbs.

What are some of the unique properties of modal verbs?

One important property to keep in mind is that modal verbs can never be used by themselves as main verbs. The primary auxiliary verbs, however, can all function as main verbs.

Another important property is that modal verbs do not change forms for subjects. That is, modal verbs do not have s-forms. We cannot say "he cans..." Modal verbs are always used in their base forms. By contrast, the primary auxiliary verbs, be, have and do, must usually agree with their subjects; that is, there usually needs to be subject-verb agreement between the auxiliary verbs and their subjects. One exception to that rule, though, is when they follow a modal verb. Any verb that follows a modal verb must be present in its base form. (See frame 52.)

Another property of modal verbs is that they do not have past tense forms, with the exception of one modal verb pair, perhaps--can/could. Although we may use could as a past form for can in some situations, could has its own unique functions and meaning that is independent of can, so it is considered to be a separate modal verb rather than just the past form of can. As for the other modal verbs, will, may, might, should, shall, etc., we can't really say that these modal verbs have past forms. Modal verbs exist in only one form, and that is the base form.

Finally, the modal verbs lack past and present participles, but the primary auxiliary verbs all have them.

What are some of the functions of modal verbs that make them distinct from the primary auxiliary verbs?

The modal verbs as a class has very different functions from the primary auxiliary verbs, be, have and do. For instance, be and have help main verbs form their tenses. Modal verbs do not do this. Instead, modal verbs provide information about the action regarding its likelihood or possibility, obligation and permission.

I hope this helps!

If you have further questions, write me a comment using the link that says "Click here to post comments."

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Professor iEnglish


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Frame 43, Page 85 - "are interesting"


For question b, can "are interesting" also be the answer?

ANSWER:

This is an excellent question. In fact, the answer to this question will make more sense after you have read iEnglish® 203: The Simple Sentence, but I will do my best to explain it as clearly as possible here.

The short answer to your question is:

NO, "are interesting" is not a complex verb phrase. The reason is "interesting" is not a verb. It is an adjective.

Now, here is the long answer. Try to follow if you can, but if you can't don't worry about it now, and wait until you have read iEnglish® 203. You will understand this answer much better then, I'm sure.

Take this example:

The contents of the box are interesting.

Our subject is "the contents of the box." The head noun of this subject is "contents."

Our predicate is "are interesting." The verb phrase of this predicate is "are."

So what part of the predicate can we say "interesting" is?

You will learn more about this iEnglish® 203, but our example contains an independent clause that follows a SVC clause pattern. "S" stands for subject; "V" stands for verb phrase; "C" stands for subject complement.

The word "interesting" in our example is the "C" or subject complement in the SVC pattern. A subject complement is a word that helps to complete both the meaning of the verb as well as the subject.

Subject complements are often, although not always, an adjective or an adjective phrase.

Let us consider another example:

I am interested in the contents of the box.

The word "interested" is also an adjective. Therefore, the only word in the verb phrase is "am."

Let us consider a third example:

The contents of the box will interest you.

In this example, the word "interest" is used as a verb. Therefore the verb phrase of the predicate contains two words, "will" and "interest."

If you would like further explanation about this, then use the link below that says "Click here to post comments" and write me a question in the comments.

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Frame 47, Page 93 - What is the difference between the auxiliary and modal verb?

What is the difference between the auxiliary and modal verb?

ANSWER:

This is a good question!

You'll be learning more about them in iEnglish 202: Verb Tense, but for now let me clarify one thing: auxiliary and modal verbs are both helping verbs--verbs that help main verbs. For instance, in this example:

You have grown a lot!

The main verb is "grown" and the helping verb is "have."

You may have grown old, but you may not have grown up.

In this example, "may" is also a verb that helps the main verb "grown."

So auxiliary verbs and modal verbs have this in common: they both help the main verb express a more precise meaning.

Some people would say that modal verbs are a type of auxiliary verb. In other words, we could call them auxiliary modal verbs. But that name gets to be quite long, so we most commonly just refer to these as modal verbs.

The main difference between modal and auxiliary verbs lies in their meaning and function. There are just three auxiliary verbs in the English language, be, have and do. Their functions are quite distinct from the modals verbs--and there are quite many of them by comparison, e.g. may, might, could, would, should, etc.

You'll learn more about their difference in function in iEnglish 202: Verb Tense, but I can give you a brief summary here by saying that the auxiliary verbs "be" and "have" are used to form verb tenses, and the verb "do" has certain unique functions as an auxiliary verb, such as forming questions and providing a sense of emphasis to the
main verb.

Modal verbs, on the other hand, provide meaning in the way of possibility, permission, ability, etc.

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Frame 47, 49 and 196 - About phrasal verbs

In frame 47, the book says that "grown up" is a phrasal verb. In frame 49, "find out" and "give up" are phrasal verbs. However, in frame 196, "sent up" is not a phrasal verb. How do I know when there is a phrasal verb or not?

ANSWER:

This is a good question, and not one that is easy to answer. There are a few reasons for this. First, different experts and people have different conceptions or ideas of what a phrasal verb is. Second, the English language is constantly evolving. Verb + preposition combinations that were not considered to be phrasal verbs in previous years or decades, may have become so common that they are now recognized as phrasal verbs in the present day.

Here are some ways in which you can tell whether a verb + preposition combination may be a phrasal verb or not:

Test 1: Compare the meaning of the combination with the meaning of the verb by itself.

Is it possible to see the original meaning of the verb in the verb + preposition combination, or does the combination have its own meaning?

Consider the phrasal verb "give up." How does the meaning of "give up" compare with the meaning of the verb, "give"? Can you see the meaning of the original verb "give" in "give up"?

I think it's pretty clear in this example that the meaning of the combination seems to be distinct from the meaning of the verb by itself. We say that the meaning of the phrasal verb in this case is idiomatic. That is, it is difficult to tell the meaning of the combination of the words from examining the meanings of the separate words that create it.

When the meaning of the verb + preposition combination is idiomatic, then you can be certain that you have a phrasal verb.

Test 2: Ask yourself if it's possible to use a different preposition with the verb.

For instance, instead of "grow up," can we say "grow down" or "grow forward"?

If the answer is No, then you have a phrasal verb.

Test 3: Ask yourself whether the verb + preposition combination sounds like a single unit.

Have you heard or seen this combination so often that it almost seems to be used like a single word?

For example, how common or familiar do "go up" or "go down" sound to you?

I hope--pretty familiar?

"Go up" and "go down" are considered to be phrasal verbs because the combinations are so very common.

As a non-native speaking, though, this last test will probably be the hardest one for you to use. Your limited experience and exposure to English can make it difficult for you to tell whether a particular combination is common or not.

If that's the case, then combine this test with one or both of the other tests.

For instance, let's compare the phrasal verb "find out" in frame 49 with the words "sent up" in frame 196.

Do they both sound equally common as verb + preposition combinations to you? Then try Test (1). Does the meaning of the combination somehow change the meaning of the verb?

In the case of "find out," the answer is Yes. To "find out" something usually means to learn or discover something, while to "find" something usually means to search for, locate or see/recognize something.

However, "sent up" essentially preserves the meaning of the verb "send," and the only difference is that the preposition "up" indicates the direction. If you were to examine these two words separately, you could arrive at the meaning of the combination clearly.

We could also apply Test (2). Here, we find that other prepositions can be used equally well with "sent." We could say "sent down" just as well as "sent up." The only difference in meaning is given by the different prepositions.

The same cannot be said for "find out."

For these reasons, the combination "sent up" is not considered to be a phrasal verb by some experts.

In fact, if you check a phrasal verb dictionary, you will find that "send up" can be used as a phrasal verb--but for a completely different idiomatic meaning in British English, only.

My final piece of advice

My final piece of advice is to check a phrasal verb dictionary. There's one that you can use at Englishpage.

Better yet, get yourself a phrasal verbs dictionary like the Collins COBUILD Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs.

Work hard and be successful,

Professor iEnglish

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