EVERYTHING (ALMOST) YOU WANTED TO KNOW (WHO WANTS TO KNOW ABOUT THIS STUFF?), BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK. I am totally html inept, but will do my best to keep this blog supplied with plenty of syntax junk. The main aim here is to help my students (my future colleagues, in fact) come to grips with the syntax of English, even if they can't stand it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Quite a lot of errors in English are made with dependent clauses. When these are used with NO INDEPENDENT CLAUSE to support them, they become SENTENCE FRAGMENTS.

When the verb is not conjugated to concord with a subject, there is no sentence idea, but rather a FRAGMENTED IDEA, that is, a SENTENCE FRAGMENT.

- “Shakespeare” is the subject
- “having published” is not a conjugated idea, therefore, this is a SENTENCE FRAGMENT.

A mechanism you can use to check if the verb is conjugated to concord with the verb is to simplify the two parts.
- “Shakespeare” can be changed to the pronoun “I”, and “having published” can be changed to the verb “speak”. For this to work, you must maintain the same form for the verb, that is, “speaking”.
- “Shakespeare having” = “I speaking” - It is easy to see that this is NOT A SENTENCE in English, because the verb is not conjugated to concord with the subject. Thus, you can verify if subjects that appear to have a verb really have one.

There are two ways to correct the error (sentence fragment) above:
- “Shakespeare published his first play” - alter the verb to concord with the subject;
- “Shakespeare, having published his first play, became a household name” - use the sentence fragment as a dependent clause and write a different main clause, thus making this a complex sentence.


Blogger Lilian Almeida said...

Helloooooooooo Tony!!!
This is Lilian from CNA Tremembé, remember me?
You don't?
The one that has a creepy english self-taught ahuahauahuaha just kidding.
I'm here just to wish (with some delay) a Happy Teacher's day and say that I really admire you as a person, a human being (human?!) and as a professional!!!
I really want to learn all these kind of stuff but don't know pretty much how to start.
Then I've decided to come here and read all your posts and I'll do this from now on!!!
If you want, my email is lilian.alves@gmail.com, ok?
You weren't supposed to know so much, 'cause now it's kind of frightening to write something that could be veeeeeeeery wrong hehehe =)
Vou ficando por aqui agradecendo novamente pelos dois workshops que assisti e serão muito úteis para mim!
É com saber que ainda existem feras no inglês E no português!!!
Kisses and by the way, nice picture!!!!! ;****

10:35 PM


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