Posts Tagged ‘phrasal genitive’

Grammar Terms Beginning with P – Part I

July 19th, 2010 in English Grammar, English Learning, Improve English


The label person refers to the grammatical category which distinguishes participants in a conversation. English distinguishes three persons: first person, second person and third person.

The first person represents the speaker. The pronouns are I/me and we/us. The second person represents the listener, and the pronoun is you. The third person represents everybody and everything else. The third person pronouns are he/him, she/her, it, they/them.

Phrasal genitive

The grammatical construction in which the preposition of and a possessive appear together. Examples: a friend of mine and that cat of yours

Phrasal verb

A verb consisting of a simple verb and an adverb particle. Examples are: make up, take off, turn on, put away etc. A phrasal verb differs from a prepositional verb (preposition + verb) in three aspects.

1. The adverb particle in a phrasal verb is stressed.

2. The adverb particle of a phrasal verb can be moved to the end.

3. The simple adverb of a phrasal verb should not be separated from its particle by an adverb.


A sequence of one or more words which forms a single grammatical unit. There are five types of phrases in English: noun phrase, verb phrase, adjective phrase, adverb phrase and prepositional phrase.


The construction in which a preposition comes at the front of its clause, just before its subject.


To whom were you talking?

At whom are you looking?

Note that these constructions are extremely formal in English. The more common equivalents are:

Who were you talking to?

Who are you looking at?

Place adverb

An adverb which answers the question ‘where?’ Examples are: here, there, above, down, nearby, upstairs, downstairs etc.


Another term for past perfect

Plurale tantum

A noun which is plural in form even though it is singular in sense. Examples are: cattle, oats, remains, pants, scissors, binoculars, pyjamas, shorts and tweezers. These nouns cannot be used with the indefinite article a/an: we cannot say a pants or a cattle, and we must say instead a pair of pants or a herd of cattle.