Predicative constructions


A predicative complex is a syntactical unit intermediate between a phrase and a clause. It consists of two parts, the first denotes the doer of the action and the second one denotes the action itself. The first part of the predicative complex may be either a noun or a pronoun and is called a nominal part. The second part may be an infinitive, a participle, a gerund, an adjective, an adverb or a noun and is called a verbal part.

The for-to-infinitive construction is a predicative complex in which the nominal part is introduced by the preposition for, while the verbal part is an infinitive with the particle to. The construction can be used as an indirect object of certain verbs (ask, watch, etc.) and adjectives (anxious, eager, impatient, sorry, willing): I watched for him to appear through the bushes.

The gerundial construction is a predicative complex with the predicate part expressed by a gerund. It may be either a direct or an indirect object in the sentence: She liked his worrying about his wife.

The following predicative constructions can perform the function of an object only.

The objective with the infinitive construction may combine with a wide range of verbs and is usually used as a direct object, though it may also occur in the function of an indirect object.

Verbs which may take the objective with the infinitive construction as a direct object:

a) and require the infinitive with the particle to:

― verbs of wish and intention (wish, want, desire, choose, prefer, should / would like, intend, mean, etc.): I did not mean it to be told to her;

― verbs of attitude (like, dislike, love, hate, cannot bear, etc.): I can’t bear people to be unhappy or upset;

― verbs of mental activity (think, suppose, consider, believe, know, find, expect, imagine, understand, assume, acknowledge, feel, trust, etc.): I supposed him to have been married to her years ago;

― verbs of declaring (declare, report, pronounce, etc.): Everybody pronounced him to be a complete failure;

― verbs of inducement (order, command, ask, allow, etc.): She would not allow the life of the child to be risked;

b) and require the bare infinitive (the infinitive without to):

― verbs of sense perception (see, hear, feel, observe, notice, etc.): We saw planes zoom into the air;

― the verbs let, make: She made him cry.

The objective with Participle I construction can be used with:

― verbs of sense perception: There we saw the crocodiles swimming about;

― the causative verbs have and get: He got them running his errands every day.

The objective with Participle II construction can be attached to verbs of four semantic groups:

― verbs of sense perception: I heard my name called;

― verbs of mental activity (think, believe, consider, remember): At first she thought Johnny killed;

― verbs of wish: Nobody wanted it done in such a way;

― the causative verbs have and get: I would like to have my hair cut.

The objective construction with non-verbals can be attached to:

― verbs of mental activity and sense perception: I thought it a wonderful


― causative verbs: All this made her angry.

The use of articles


1. As a rule, predicative and appositive nouns are used with the classifying indefinite article which shows that the speaker is characterizing a person, object or event as a specimen of a certain class of thing. With plural nouns no article is used:

She is really an excellent creature but a complete fool, as I said.

I had several companions and they have all been complete fools.

2. If there is a limiting modifier, predicative and appositive nouns are used with the definite article:

He is the only person here with medical knowledge.

Philip had been the hero of his childhood.

3. If predicative and appositive nouns denote the position (rank, state, post or occupation) which is unique, i.e. can be occupied by one person at a time, either no article or the definite article is used. These nouns are often used after the verbs to appoint, to choose, to elect, to become and some others:

Mr. Henderson is manager, not under-manager any longer.

His ideal was professor Edward Edwards, head of the Department of Chemistry.

They chose him chairman of the Society.

He was elected (the) President of the country.

The definite article tends to be left out in sentences like:

It was nearly 40 years before she became Queen.

When he was President he often longed for more privacy.

As some grammars point out, it would be unnatural to leave in the definite article and say “She became the Queen” or “When he was the President” though the article can be used when the noun is followed by of.

Note that when talking about a person rather than describing someone’s role you need an article: The Queen is strongly against the project.

Note the absence of article in set expressions with the verb to turn: to turn traitor, to turn miser, to turn pirate.

4. The nouns son and daughter predicatively and appositively generally take the definite article when modified by an of-phrase if they express mere relationship:

She is the daughter of a doctor.

If the speaker wants to emphasize the idea that there are several sons and daughter in the family, the indefinite article is used: She is a daughter of a doctor. When the stress is laid on the social position of the person in question, no article is used: She is daughter of a doctor.

5. No article is used in structures with enough where predicative nouns acquire

an adjectival character, denoting a certain characteristic of the person in question:

Surely Bella isn’t fool enough to believe that sort of stuff?

6. The article is also omitted when predicative nouns are used in clauses of concession with inverted word order: Child as he was, his judgement was sound.

7. If the appositive noun denotes a well-known person or work of art, the definite article is generally used: John Galsworthy, the famous English writer, was of a Devonshire family.

But if the person or work of article is not widely known, the indefinite article is used: “Pericles”, a comedy by Shakespeare, is hardly ever staged.

Family or work? A matter of priorities

Image Source
In  the  past,  the  interests  of  labor  and  management  frequently  collided  over  these  issues,  with  key  workers  in small  companies  often  bowing  to  the  needs  of  their  employers.  In  the  future,  though,  this  likely  will  be  eversed.

Because of the complexity of modern life and changing interfamiliar expectations, employees are finding an increasing variety of family-based reasons for being absent from work or requesting alternate schedules. It is equally important for employees to understand that  a financially  healthy company should care about its  workers, but that  financial  health is based on the firm‘s ability to  achieve  quality  productivity  in  every  facet  of  its  operation.  At  the  same  time  that technology frees us to have greater flexibility and autonomy, work/family issues are in a time warp.  When it comes to work/family balance, corporate cultures are largely inflexible. People don‘t believe they can take leave or use flex time without jeopardizing their careers. The work/family field is expanding. Today‘s work force requires synchronicity between home- and job-life.  A changing  work  force  means that organizations  must  help people manage their  multiple responsibilities. 

Most  often,  large  companies  lead  the  way  in  developing  work/family  policies.  Programs  should  exist for all ages and for people at all income brackets. If companies offer flexible work arrangements and family supports to
help  employees  cope  during  difficult  phases  of  their  lives,  people  would  take  advantages  of  them.  Flexibility  gives people a sense of control and autonomy. Every segment of society must address the challenges of balancing work and family issues. Some experts say we need to evaluate not only the way people work but the amount of time people work. They  agree  that  the  work/family  field  remains  fragmented.  Everything -  policies,  programs,  benefits,  and
communications training – should fit together.

So we need:

–  to train employees to work in new ways;
–  to invest in the technology that allows people to work in different ways;
–  to provide more basic support of people throughout their life transitions, regardless of their status of white- or blue- collar workers. 


Intensifiers of Adjectives EMPHASIZERS with EXAMPLE


very It’s very awkward.
ever so The book is ever so interesting.
too Everybody would be only too glad to see you.
far too It’s far too expensive.
most “Yes”, she thought, “everybody’s been most kind.”
a most The 5th Symphony by Tchaikovsky is a most beautiful piece of music.
that Are things that bad with you?
repetition of the
intensifier or the Adj
I agree with every word you’ve said ― every single word.
You bad, bad boy. It’s very, very bad.


much, a lot, lots My brother is much younger [ than myself]
a great / good deal, a good bit The performance proved to be a great deal better than I could ever expect.
still The first edition is good, the new one is still better.
ever Environmental issues acquire an ever greater scope.
far I’ve been with good people, far better than you.
Adj + by far He is funnier by far.
no This method is no better than the one we’ve been using.
none the + Adj He was none the wiser for that answer, but he didn’t try to analyse it.
all the + Adj His remorse was all the more painful because of the irony of his mistake.
Adj + and + Adj The sound grew fainter and fainter.


by far “The Swan Lake” is by far the best ballet we have.
Adj + possible It’s difficult to go about in the wrongest way possible.
the very She put on her very best dress.

Irregular verbs

Irregular verbs in English language

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The adverbial modifier


The AM is a secondary part of the sentence which modifies a verb, an adjective or an adverb. According to their meaning the following kinds of AM exist: 1) The AM of time (See you tomorrow); 2) The AM of frequency (We see each other often); 3) The AM of place and direction (I was there); 4) The AM of manner (He spoke with a concentrated view); 5) The AM of attendant circumstances (They went never to return); 6) The AM of degree and measure (It's quite good; It weighs a kilo); 7) The AM of cause (We stayed in, it being cold outside); 8) The AM of result (consequence) (I'm too fond of her to leave her); 9) The AM of condition (I wouldn't have achieved this but for her support); 10) The AM of comparison (I play the guitar worse than Paul); 11) The AM of concession (Though afraid he went on); 12) The AM of purpose (They've built a field for playing football).

The AM can be expressed by: 1) An adverb (He spoke suspiciously); 2) A noun with or without accompanying words (They walked for hours); 3) A prepositional phrase (They went down the road); 4) A noun, pronoun, adjective, infinitive, participle, or prepositional phrase with a subordinating conjunction (If necessary, when talking to you, he'll say that he's a better singer than I); 5) A participle or a participial phrase (When invited, he became happier); 6) Absolute constructions – the Nominative Absolute Participial Construction (We went out, the day being sunny), the Nominative Absolute construction (He was leading, his family happy for him), the Prepositional Absolute Participial Construction (He was sitting, with his hands trembling), the Prepositional Absolute construction (He was running, with fire in his eyes); 7) A prepositional phrase or construction with a gerund (They looked at each other without speaking); 8) An infinitive, an infinitive phrase, or an infinitive construction (They rose to go to the kitchen).