Posts Tagged ‘gradable’

Grammar Terms Beginning With Letter G

April 24th, 2010 in English Grammar, English Learning

A gerund is a verb form which acts like a noun. In English, the gerund ends in –ing. A gerund does have some verbal properties but it turns the entire verb phrase containing it into a noun phrase. Consider the verb read and consider the example ‘I like reading short stories’. Here reading is the gerund form of the verb read. By taking the object ‘short stories’ it exhibits verbal properties. Here the entire verb phrase (a phrase containing a verb) ‘reading short stories’ is a noun phrase functioning as the object of the verb ‘like’.

In English, a gerund can occupy any noun-phrase position.

It can be a subject:
Reading stories is a good pastime.
It can be an object:
I like swimming.
It can be the object of a preposition:
We are thinking of visiting Kashmir.

The label gradable refers to any adjective or adverb which denotes a property which can be present to a greater or lesser degree. Examples are: beautiful, nice, clever, fast, high, slowly, big etc. Gradable adjectives can be used with degree modifiers like very, rather, more, most etc.

Very interesting
Rather unpleasant
Most beautiful
Quite big

Not all adjectives and adverbs are gradable. Examples of non-gradable adjective and adverbs are: alive, perfect, round, immediately, topmost etc. Non-gradable adjectives and adverbs cannot be used with degree modifiers. For example, we cannot say ‘most alive’ or ‘rather topmost’.

Grammatical morpheme
The label grammatical morpheme refers to a morpheme which has little or no meaning but which serves a grammatical function. There are few grammatical morphemes in English. Examples are: the, of, the plural suffix –s and the past tense suffix –ed.

Group genitive
The label group genitive refers to the English construction in which the possessive –’s is added to the final word of a noun phrase. Examples are given below:
The Queen of England’s ancestors

Here the ancestors belong to the Queen, and not to England even though the –’s is added to England.