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1 KEY ENGLISH GRAMMAR WORKSHEET # 4: PRONOUNS A. Explain the use of it and there in the following sentences: 1. It was rumoured that the archbishop had had an accident. §126.96.36.199 2. There was a rumour that the archbishop had had an accident. §188.8.131.52 3. Nice weather today, isn’t it? §184.108.40.206 4. There were two old ladies crossing the street in front of the bus. §220.127.116.11 5. It was two old ladies that crossed the street, not two old men. §18.104.22.168 6. It pleased them to see her happy again. §22.214.171.124 1. IT is used as preparatory subject when the extraposed subject is a clause (in this instance a finite clause: that the archbishop had had an accident). 2. THERE is used as preparatory subject when the extraposed subject is a noun phrase (in this instance: a rumour that the archbishop had had an accident). 3. An empty IT is used when talking about the weather. (VATT-regeln: Väder, Avstånd, Tid, Temperatur), except when there is a noun phrase. IT is also used with the word weather itself, except when weather is preceded by a quantifier + an adjective: “There was quite a lot of bad weather that summer.” 4. THERE is used as preparatory subject when the extraposed subject is a noun phrase (in this instance: two old ladies). Please note the subject-verb agreement: there were…ladies. 5. An empty IT is used in emphatic constructions (called cleft sentences), when we want to focus on a specific part of the sentence (the fact that it was the ladies who crossed, not sb else). 6. IT is used as preparatory subject when the extraposed subject is a clause (in this instance, a non-finite clause: to see her happy again). B. Why is the definite article used with leg in sentences (1) and (2), but the possessive pronoun used with finger in sentence (3)? 1. The soldier was wounded in the leg by a bullet. §8.3.1 2. The bullet wounded the soldier in the leg. §8.3.1 3. He cut his finger. §8.3.1 Nouns denoting body parts, mental states, pieces of clothing or other personal belongings do not take the definite article; instead, a possessive pronoun is used. This rule applies to all active clauses where the subject of the clause also is the owner of the thing possessed. However, the definite article is used when the clause is in the passive voice and/or the object of the clause is the owner of the thing possessed. 1. The clause is in the passive voice → the definite article is used. 2. The object is the owner → the definite article is used. 3. The subject is the owner and the clause is in the active voice → a possessive pronoun is used. 2 C. Possessive pronoun or the definite article? 1. She hurt her/the leg. 2. She was hurt in her/the leg. 3. They took off their/the shoes. 4. She brushed her/the hair. 5. The three little kittens lost their/the mittens. 6. The patient was examined in his/the chest. 7. My/The head hurts. 8. He kissed his granddaughter on her/the head. 9. I was stung on my/the neck. 10. The clowns painted their/the faces. Active clause; the subject is the owner Passive clause Active clause; the subject is the owner Active clause; the subject is the owner Active clause; the subject is the owner Passive clause Active clause; the subject is the owner The object is the owner Passive clause Active clause; the subject is the owner D. The use or omission of commas round relative clauses can sometimes affect the meaning: My wife, who’s in Paris, will be returning tomorrow. Without commas, this could suggest that I have another wife (or other wives) who are somewhere else! Say what these sentences mean a) without commas b) with commas: 1. The test paper which everyone failed was far too difficult. 2. My brother who is in Canada is an architect. 1a. The test paper which everyone failed was far too difficult. The underlined part is a restrictive relative clause (also known as a defining relative clause, nödvändig relativsats). It defines or identifies the subject and gives necessary information which cannot be left out. → There were several test papers, and it was the one that everyone failed which was too difficult. 1b. The test paper, which everyone failed, was far too difficult. The underlined part is a non-restrictive relative clause (also known as a non-defining relative clause, icke-nödvändig relativsats). It gives additional ‘by-the-way’ information which can be left out. → There was only one test paper and everyone failed it. By the way, it was too difficult. 2a. My brother who is in Canada is an architect. Restrictive relative clause. → I have more than one brother and this specific one is an architect. 2b. My brother, who is in Canada, is an architect. Non-restrictive relative clause. → I have only one brother and he is an architect. By the way, he is also in Canada. §8.6.5: Restrictive and non-restrictive relative clauses 3 E. Join each pair of sentences in three different ways, according to the example: He’s the man. I sent money to him. He’s the man to whom I sent money. He’s the man who(m) I sent money to. He’s the man (that) I sent money to. 1. She’s the nurse. I gave flowers to her. She’s the nurse to whom I gave flowers. She’s the nurse who(m) I gave flowers to. She’s the nurse (that) I gave flowers to. 2. That’s the chair. I sat on it. That’s the chair on which I sat. That’s the chair which I sat on. That’s the chair (that) I sat on. 3. He’s the boy. I bought this toy for him. He’s the boy for whom I bought this toy. He’s the boy who(m) I bought this toy for. He’s the boy (that) I bought this toy for. F. What is the antecedent (‘korrelat’) of the relative clauses in each of the following sentences? In other words, what is it that I cannot understand, what is it that I do not do, and what is it that I enjoy? 1. Some people like walking in the rain, which I can’t understand. 2. Some people like walking in the rain, which I don’t. 3. Some people dislike walking in the rain, which I enjoy. §§8.6; 8.6.1 (the entire clause) (a verb phrase) (a direct object) Remember: The antecedent is that which the relative pronoun refers back to. G. Explain why there is a choice between these four ways of expressing the same thing: a. She has something in common with the women about whom Norma Clarke writes in her study. b. She has something in common with the women whom Norma Clarke writes about in her study. c. She has something in common with the women that Norma Clarke writes about in her study. d. She has something in common with the women Norma Clarke writes about in her study. The sentences are listed in descending order of formality, with (a) as the most formal one and (d) as the least formal one. Note that the zero construction (as in sentence d) is only possible when the relative pronoun is the object of the relative clause, not when it is the subject. See below: Compare: -This is the girl who wants to marry him. (she wants it → the relative pronoun cannot be left out) -This is the girl whom/who/that/- he wants to marry. (he wants it → the relative pronoun can be left out.) §§8.6.1; 8.6.2 4 H. Explain grammatically the difference in meaning between 1. a. How is she? b. How does she look? c. What is she like? d. What does she look like? §8.5.1 = Hur mår hon? = Hur ser hon ut (nu)? = Hurdan är hon (som person)? = Hur ser hon ut (permanent)? What is used about permanent characteristics and qualities. How is used about temporary characteristics and qualities. 2. a. The people who were in the street were excited. b. The people, who were in the street, were excited. §8.6.5 a- The underlined part is a restrictive relative clause. It gives necessary information, which cannot be left out. → Only the people who were in the street were excited, not the other people. b- The underlined part is a non-restrictive relative clause. It gives additional/parenthetical information, which can be left out. → All the people were excited. By the way, they were also in the street. I. Most of the following sentences contain errors that are often made. Correct the sentences that are wrong. 1. It was very difficult for me to hear all what was being said. §8.6.2 → that 2. I don’t know what improvements that are being planned. §8.5.4 There is no English equivalent to the Swedish tendency to use “som” (a relative pronoun) in indirect questions. 3. It was little else to do. §126.96.36.199 → There The extraposed subject is a noun phrase (little else), so there is used as the preparatory subject. 4. She was standing alone, beside her with rage. §8.1.1 → herself The object form of the personal pronoun is used after a preposition with a concrete meaning; however, if the preposition has an abstract meaning, the reflexive pronoun is used. 5. Shut the door behind you! §8.1.1 As above. 6. There’s a long time since I saw her. §188.8.131.52 → It is or It has been It is used when talking about time (the VATT rule). 5 7. She had her radio beside herself. → her See (4) and (5) above. 8. She learnt herself English. → taught It is possible to say She taught herself English or She learnt English on her own. Remember: learn = lära sig; teach = lära ut (even if the person you teach is yourself). The verb learn cannot take an indirect object. 9. It is no use to talk to them. §184.108.40.206 → talking It is also possible to say There is no use instead of It is no use – the former option is more American. Your choice depends on whether you think the extraposed subject is a noun phrase (no use) or a clause (talking to them). But remember: Don’t change what’s already correct!