1. What is the difference between prescriptive and descriptive grammar?
Prescriptive grammar aims to tell people how they should speak while descriptive
grammar aims to describe the way people speak.
2. What is the difference between standard and non-standard dialect?
Standard dialect is the dialect recognized worldwide in newspapers and publications.
Non-standard dialect is a local dialect.
3. What is the difference between formal and informal style?
Both are standard dialects. Formal style is used in formal situations while informal style
is used in casual, everyday situations.
1. The most basic clause is composed of a __________ and a ____________.
2. Noun phrases and verb phrases contain a __________ (the most important word) and 0
or more __________.
3. What is the difference between a function and category?
Function is a relational concept. Category is a class of grammatically alike expressions.
4. “take, took, taken” are different inflectional forms of the same __________.
5. Which parts of speech belong to open categories? Which ones belong to closed
Open: lexical verbs, proper nouns and common nouns, adjectives, adverbs
Closed: auxiliary verbs, pronouns, prepositions, determinatives, subordinators,
1. What is a prototype?
Any member of a category that has the full set of distinctive properties.
2. Verbs function as the head of VPs, also known as __________.
3. A set of inflectional verb forms is called a __________.
Primary Forms Secondary Forms Preterite Plain form
3rd singular present Gerund-participle
Plain present Past participle
4. How do primary forms differ from secondary forms?
Primary forms can be the sole verb. Secondary forms cannot (with the exception of the
imperative use of the plain form)
5. The plain form can be further divided into 3 more contexts. What are they?
Imperative, subjunctive, to and bare infinitival
6. What is shape sharing and what tests can we use to distinguish them?
When different forms of the verb are identical in shape, for example, “walk” looks the
same in the plain present and plain form. The substitution test and distribution test can
be used to tell them apart.
7. Which of the forms are finite?
All primary forms and the imperative and subjunctive plain forms.
8. Main clauses are always finite. What test can we use to determine if a subordinate
clause is finite?
Pronoun substitution test
9. What are the differences between an auxiliary verb and lexical verb?
Auxiliary verbs can precede the subject in an interrogative class (hence the term
subject-auxiliary inversion). They be negated by adding “not” immediately after.
Some inflect for negation with “n’t”.
10. What are the differences between a modal auxiliary and a non-modal auxiliary?
A modal auxiliary verb does not have a 3 singular present, does not have secondary
forms, and usually take a bare infinitival complement.
11. What is the difference between tense and aspect?
Tense is the time relative to the moment of speech (present or predicate) and is marked
by an auxiliary. Aspect is the internal temporal structure (progressive or perfect) and is
marked by the gerund-participle or past participle forms of the head verb.
12. What are the three modalities associated with mood?
Epistemic, deontic, dynamic
13. Is future “will” a tense, aspect, or mood?
Will used to indicate future is a modality. Chapter 4
1. What do we mean when we say the subject and predicate are separate constituents?
They are independent units of structure, each taking their own dependents.
2. What is the difference between a complement and an adjunct?
Complements are licensed by the verb and may not be used freely with any verb. Some
verbs require a complement and the sentence would be ungrammatical if it were
omitted. Adjuncts have no such restrictions.
3. How can we identify the subject?
The subject precedes the verb in a canonical clause. It follows the verb in subject-
auxiliary inversion. It takes the nominative case. It agrees with the verb in present tense
(except modal auxiliaries).
4. What is the difference between objects and adjuncts?
Objects are complements and must be licensed by the verb. It can be passivized and
undergo pronoun substitution. In cases where a sentence has both an object and an
adjunct, the object immediately follows the verb.
5. What is the difference between direct objects and indirect objects?
Direct objects are the most directly acted upon while indirect objects are the recipient of
the situation. Indirect objects can be rewritten as a prepositional phrase with “to” or “for”.
Only the direct object can be fronted.
6. What is the difference between objects and predicative complements?
Objects are a separate entity from the subject, while predicative complements are a
property of the subject.
7. What are the two types of PCs?
Subjective and objective
8. What are the two uses of “be”?
Ascriptive and specifying
9. How many objects and PCs does a complex-transitive clause contain?
1 object and 1 predicative complem