to traditional grammar
aims, audience, and
how to buy the printed version
2. The basics
accidence and syntax
2.2 PARTS OF SPEECH | 2.3
noun | 2.4 adjective |
2.5 adverb | 2.6
2.7 article | 2.8
pronoun | 2.9 preposition |
2.10 conjunction |
interjection | 2.12 words with more than one function
2.13 PARTS OF THE SENTENCE | 2.14
subject | 2.15 predicate |
| 2.17 clause |
3. Old English
3.1 DECLENSION | 3.2
number | 3.3 gender |
3.4 case | 3.5
nominative | 3.6 accusative |
3.7 genitive | 3.8
dative | 3.9 instrumental |
cases after prepositions | 3.11 noun-declension |
adjective-declension | 3.13 pronoun-declension
3.14 CONJUGATION | 3.15
strong and weak verbs | 3.16
verbs | 3.17 anomalous verbs
guide is designed mainly for students who haven't been taught formal
grammar at school, and find that the study of medieval literature at
University level requires basic language skills that they don't have. It
is deliberately conservative, keeping as far as possible to the
terminology of 'traditional grammar', which is found in most of the
dictionaries, glossaries and grammars you are likely to use. Since this
terminology is mainly derived from Latin and Greek grammar, it isn't an
ideal way of describing English, which in some respects has a very different
structure. If your main interest is in modern English language rather
than medieval literature, you should consult a reference work
using a more recent analytical model; two approachable examples are the Collins
Pocket English Grammar (London: HarperCollins, 1992), and David
Crystal's Rediscover Grammar (London: Longman, rev. ed. 1996).
You should also note that the guide is descriptive rather than
prescriptive; it introduces you
to basic grammatical terms and concepts rather than telling you what you
should or shouldn't do in your written English.
It is also available as a printed booklet from
English, Faculty of Humanities, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, at £1.50
including p&p (UK only); email or phone the English Discipline
Administrator for details (see
http://www.soton.ac.uk/english/contact.page?). Alternatively, you
can download it as a PDF file.
2. The basics
Accidence and syntax
THE PARTS OF SPEECH
Grammar deals with two aspects of
language, accidence and syntax.
i) Accidence is mainly concerned with
how individual words vary in form according to their grammatical
e.g. book, books;
write, wrote. This variation in form is
known as inflexion.
ii) Syntax is concerned with how
individual words are put together to make sentences.
Words can be classified into 9 categories: noun, adjective, adverb,
verb, article, pronoun, preposition, conjunction, interjection.
of a person, place, or thing:
Middlemarch, book. Nouns can be inflected to indicate the plural
books; man, men) and, in some instances, the possessive (or
genitive) case (see 3.4, 3.7): Shakespeare's
Sonnets, the wife's admirers, the men's room, a week's
word describing (or 'qualifying') a noun: purple
patches, a handsome husband, the posture is ridiculous,
the three Musketeers, the fifth column, my country,
that woman. Some adjectives are inflected to indicate
the comparative (happier)
and superlative (happiest);
others use more
instead: e.g. Mama says
that she was then the prettiest, silliest, most affected
husband-hunting butterfly she ever remembers.
Most adjectives can be used either attributively (the
green hat) or predicatively (the
hat is green); e.g.:
had no notion that I was wrong or irreverent to my tutor.
sir, was great fortitude of mind. Johnson:
No, sir, stark
Adverb a word
qualifying an adjective (very
fat, so sweet, seriously displeased), a verb (he
almost ran, I read slowly), another adverb (I
read incredibly slowly, I am most seriously displeased),
or the sentence as a whole (Then
my trousers fell down. Fortunately nobody noticed).
Most adverbs form their comparative and superlative with more
and most, but
a few are inflected (faster,
fastest). The characteristic adverb-ending is -ly.
Verb a word expressing
a state or action: be,
have, do, run, write, love give, can, must.
Main verbs and auxiliary verbs
Verbs are divided into two classes, main verbs and auxiliary
The great majority of verbs function as main verbs, which can be
used on their own in a sentence:
no compliments to your mother. I saw something nasty in the
A small number of very common verbs (e.g. can,
may, will, must, dare) function as auxiliary verbs. As the
term suggests, auxiliary verbs act as a support system to the main
verbs, and will only occur together with a main verb, expressed or
understood: e.g. I cannot
reconcile my heart to Bertram. I may, I must, I can,
I will, I do / Leave following that, which it is
gain to miss. He would say that, wouldn't he?
The verbs do, have,
and be can be
used either as main verbs (I
have an overdraft at the bank. I do as little work as I
can. Why am I a fool?) or as auxiliaries (We
have seen the lions at Longleat. You don't mind if I
smoke, do you? Yes, I do! Why are we waiting?).
Auxiliary verbs can be used to form questions (Why
does he conduct the music with a poker?)
and negative statements (A
lady does not move),and to express tense,
mood, voice, and aspect (see next four sections).
Tense indicates the
time at which, or during which, the action described by the verb takes
place. Only two tenses are marked by inflexion in English, the present
he/she/it runs) and the past (I
ran, etc.; I
walked, etc.). Other tenses are formed periphrastically
(that is, by the use of auxiliary verbs): e.g. the perfect (You
have wasted two whole terms) and the pluperfect
(Mr McKnag had been so
shocked by Flora's letter that his old trouble had returned)
are formed by adding have
to the main verb, and the future usually by adding
or shall (In
this life or the next, I will have my vengeance. Not only marble, but
the plastic toys / In cornflake packets will outlive this rhyme).
The verb has three moods:
used for statements and questions (No
man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money. Shall I compare thee to
a summer's day?). By far the most common mood; often not
specifically indicated in glossaries.
used for commands (Publish
and be damned! Unhand it, sir! Do not lean
out of the window. Keep Britain tidy).
Subjunctive, used to express wishes, demands, and
hypothetical or unreal conditions (I
wish I were dead! I insist that he leave [or: should
leave] at once. If you were to read Richardson for the story,
your patience would be so fretted that you would hang
yourself. Had we but world enough and time, / This coyness, lady,
were no crime. Be that as it may...).
Apart from the dropped -s
ending in the present tense of verbs (as in that
he leave), which tends in any case to be an American
rather than an English idiom, the only distinctive subjunctive forms in
modern English are found in the verb to
be (present tense be,
past tense singular were);
the subjunctive mood is now mainly indicated by past tense forms (If
I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?)
or by the use of auxiliary verbs (If
I were as rich as Mr Darcy, I should not care how proud I was. I would
keep a pack of foxhounds, and drink a bottle of wine every day).
The verb has two voices, active (e.g. I
write my essays at the last minute. The dog bit the man)
and passive (e.g. My
essays are written at the last minute. The man was bitten
by the dog). The passive is formed by the verb be
and the past participle of the verb (see 2.6
indicates the way in which the action or state described by the verb is
regarded (e.g. as completed or in progress); compare the simple past
tense form I wrote
with the forms I was
writing (progressive aspect) and
have written (perfective aspect).
Finite and non-finite forms
A finite form of the verb is one that expresses tense and mood. The
non-finite forms of the verb are called the infinitive, the present
participle, and the past participle (the last two terms are
rather misleading, however, as neither expresses tense: e.g. in
was singing, singing
is a present participle, and in he
will be beaten, beaten
is a past participle).
This usually has to
in front of it, except after auxiliary verbs:
We laugh at the elixir
that promises to prolong life to a thousand years; and with equal
justice may the lexicographer be derided who, being able to produce
no example of a nation that has preserved their words and phrases from
mutability, shall imagine that his dictionary can embalm
his language, and secure it from corruption and decay, that it is
in his power to change sublunary nature, or clear the
world at once from folly, vanity, and affectation.
Marked by its ending in -ing:
We were working in
the Library. The English winter, ending in July / To recommence
in August . . .
Usually (though not always) ends in -ed
(I love, I have loved,
I was loved) or -en
(I write, I have written,
it was written).
E.g.: The English
language, while it was employed in the cultivation of every
species of literature, has itself been hitherto neglected;
suffered to spread into wild exuberance, resigned to the
tyranny of time and fashion, and exposed to the corruptions of
ignorance, and caprices of innovation.
the past tense form of the verb is the same as that of the past
participle, and the grammatical context must be used to distinguish
them. Compare I walked
home, she won the match (past tense, finite form) with
I have walked
home, the match was won (past participle, non-finite
form following auxiliary verb).
All other forms of the verb are finite. Test your recognition of finite
and non-finite forms on this example:
The Devil, having
nothing else to do,
Went off to tempt my lady Poltagrue.
My Lady, tempted by a private whim,
To his extreme annoyance, tempted him.
This minute category contains only the definite article (the)
and the indefinite article (a,
A word used as a substitute for a noun: he,
himself, that, what, who, each, either, some, one.
There are several different kinds of pronoun, including
- personal (I,
you, he, etc.)
- possessive (my,
- reflexive (myself,
- relative (who,
which, that; e.g. the
woman who rode away, the book that I bought)
- interrogative (who,
what, which; e.g. What
was that? I asked her who was there)
- demonstrative (this,
that; e.g. Drink
Six pronouns, I, we, he, she, they, and who, have three different
case-forms (a relic of the Old English case-system; see 3.4): the subjective
(or nominative) (I
go to work. Who is it?); the possessive
(or genitive) (That's
my book. Whose is it?); and the objective
(She hit me. By whom?).
Personal, possessive, and reflexive pronouns distinguish person
in both singular and plural:
||I, my, myself
||he, she, it
Personal, possessive and reflexive pronouns also distinguish gender in
the third person singular. In Modern English this means that the form
varies according to the sex (or lack of it) of what is being talked
about: masculine (he,
etc.) for male persons and (sometimes) animals, feminine (she,
etc.) for female, and neuter (it,
etc.) for other things.
Prepositions are used to relate nouns or pronouns grammatically to the
rest of the sentence. They can be either simple (at, on, by,
through, with) or compound (away
from, because of, by means of).
Conjunctions are used to link words or groups of words. Conjunctions can
be co-ordinating (and,
but, or) or subordinating (if,
although, because, that, when, so that); see 2.17. Like
prepositions, they can be either simple (and,
but, if) or compound (so
that, provided that, as long as).
an exclamation, grammatically independent of the rest of the sentence: Alas!
Oh dear! Damn! D'oh!
Words with more than one function
Note that many words can be classified in more than one way, and their
function in the sentence should always be taken into account. For
in that man
functions as an adjective; in I
like that as a demonstrative pronoun; in I
wouldn't go that far as an adverb; in the
book that I bought as a relative pronoun; and in he
said that he would come as a subordinating
conjunction. When in doubt, look carefully at the grammatical context.
PARTS OF THE SENTENCE
The sentence is a self-contained syntactical unit. It is traditionally
divided into two parts, subject and predicate.
of a sentence represents the person or thing about
which a statement is being made:
sat on the mat. All Ireland is washed by the Gulf
When the verb is active (e.g. sat), the subject carries out the
action; when it is passive (e.g. is washed), the subject is
affected by the action. The usual position for the subject is at the
beginning of the sentence, but this is not invariable:
What am I to do?
Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?
Last night we stayed up late.
Or even: Him the
almighty power / Hurled headlong.
In imperative sentences the subject is usually not expressed:
Run! Make my day! Don't
even think about parking here!
all parts of the sentence other than the subject. It can contain several
elements, but the only essential one is a finite verb (Run!
Birds fly). Other possible elements are:
Some verbs take a direct object (I
need a drink. She hit him), others both a
direct and an indirect object (Give
me the daggers. Don't bring Mr Elton any more wine).
The indirect object normally comes before the direct object; it can be
replaced by a phrase with to
or for (Give
the daggers to me. Don't bring any more wine for Mr Elton).
Verbs which take an object are known as transitive, those which
don't (e.g. He laughed.
It's raining) as intransitive.
This can be either a subject complement (She
is fat. He became a midwife. You seem surprised)
or an object complement (Drinking
makes me fat. They appointed him chairman. He proved them wrong).
Subject complements refer back to the subject of the verb, object
complements to its object.
an adverbial element
This may qualify the verb (That
will do nicely. March indefatigably on) or the
sentence as a whole (Frankly,
my dear, I don't give a damn).
is a small
group of words which functions in the same way as a single part of
speech; unlike the sentence, it doesn't have both a subject and a
predicate. Traditional grammar concentrates on a few specific types of
the prepositional phrase,
which is introduced by a preposition (under
the greenwood tree; by the rules of grammar; with his
muddy boots on).
the participial phrase,
which includes a present or past participle (pouring
himself a drink; all things considered).
the infinitive phrase,
which includes an infinitive (to
learn my ABC; to be a pilgrim).
Individual nouns (or pronouns), adjectives, and adverbs can be replaced
by phrases of this kind:
The end of writing is to
instruct (cf. The
end of writing is instruction: noun)
I saw a woman wearing
Manolo Blahniks (cf.
saw a fashionable woman: adjective)
All things considered,
it's not worth it (cf. Ultimately
it's not worth it: adverb).
The clause is a group
of words containing its own subject and predicate. Clauses can be either
main clauses or subordinate ('dependent) clauses.
A simple sentence, with a single subject and predicate (e.g. The
cat sat on the mat), consists of a single main clause.
A compound sentence contains more than one main clause (She
gave me a ring but I diced it away. Of making many books
there is no end, and much study is a weariness to the flesh.)
The main clauses are linked by co-ordinating conjunctions (e.g. and,
but, or). Where the subject of the two clauses is the same,
it need not be expressed in both: They
cut me up with a knife and fork / And tied me to a cabbage stalk.
A complex sentence is one which contains not only a main clause
(or clauses) but at least one subordinate clause (There'd
be no kissing if he had his wish. When I'm a veteran with only
one eye, / I shall do nothing but look at the sky. We have left
undone those things which we ought to have done).
Subordinate clauses can be introduced by:
- subordinating conjunctions:
because, although, since, etc.
- relative pronouns:
have done those things which we ought not to have done. I met
a man who wasn't there.
- interrogative pronouns: e.g. I've
no idea who she was.
- relative adverbs: e.g. Where
there is leisure for fiction, there is little grief.
- interrogative adverbs:
don't know how you could do such a thing.
- or sometimes inverted word-order: Had
we but world enough and time...
|Relative pronouns are sometimes omitted: e.g. Well,
Lulu, here is another book and we have not read half the ones we have
Subordinate clauses, like phrases, can replace nouns (or pronouns),
adjectives, or adverbs:
- noun clause:
is still unsure. I know that he's here.
(Cf. The future
is still unsure. I know that.)
- adjectival clause:
met a man who was over eighty. (Cf. I
met an old man).
- adverbial clause: He
went home when it was dark. I left the party because they
threw me out bodily. (Cf. He
went home late. I left the party reluctantly).
following sentence simple, compound, complex, or compound and complex?
|Full of quiet
dignity, and so obviously an English gentleman of perfect breeding
and impeccable taste, even in the khaki shorts, sun-helmet and old
school tie appropriate to the burning tropical sun, his bronzed
clean-cut countenance radiant with the unselfconscious superiority
so much admired---yet so vainly imitated---by less fortunate
nations untouched as yet by the public school tradition, the Civil
Engineer, watching the gradual but irresistible collapse of his
new bridge into the brown, swirling waters of the flooded river
hundreds of feet below, and ignoring, with the ease of long
practice, the coarse but good-natured badinage of his workmen and
the less friendly, indeed actively hostile, criticism of the
representatives of the local authorities, consoled himself by
imagining, with a thrill of anticipatory aesthetic pleasure, the
excellence of the English prose, beautifully phrased and
brilliantly punctuated, soon to be enshrined in his report
justifying and explaining this unfortunate contretemps---an
exquisite prose developed through his regular attendance at the
admirable lectures on the Use of English provided, regardless of
trouble and expense, though without extra emolument accruing to
the lecturer dedicated to the task, by the benevolent authorities
of his old University.
© John Swannell
When a noun (or pronoun) is followed by another noun describing it, the
second noun is in apposition to the first: Have
you got Mr Bones, the undertaker? I, Tiresias, have
will find a detailed account of Old English grammar, designed for
student use, in Bruce Mitchell and Fred C. Robinson, edd., A Guide to
Old English, 7th edn. (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007), and you should
learn to find your way round it---start with pages 1-7. Because it is so
detailed, however, you may find it hard to sort out the wood from the
trees at first. The notes here are intended
- to give you an overview of the main features of Old English
- to identify the main difficulties you will meet
- to explain the technical terms that you will need to recognize.
|The main difference between Old English (OE) and Modern
English (MnE) is that OE is, like modern German, a highly inflected
language. Grammatical relationships which in MnE are made clear by the
use of prepositions, auxiliary verbs, and a rigidly fixed word-order are
often shown in OE by inflexion instead, and you will have to pay close
attention to inflexions in order to make sense of OE texts. The way in
which inflexions vary in nouns, pronouns, and adjectives is known as declension;
in verbs it is called conjugation.
OE nouns, pronouns, and adjectives vary their forms according to their number,
gender, and case.
singular (= one) or plural (= more than one), as in MnE.
However, a linguistic fossil, the dual (= two) is preserved in
the first and second person personal pronouns as an intermediate form
between singular and plural: so we have
||I, you [one
||we two, you two
[more than two people]
MnE has natural gender (see 2.8 iii)): he,
she, and it
refer to the actual gender of the person or thing being described. OE,
however, has grammatical gender: as in modern French and German,
every noun is assigned a gender which may have no natural connection
whatever with what it describes. So OE
'lady' is grammatically feminine, but OE wif
is neuter, and OE wifmann
This is one of the ways in which inflexions can be used to express
grammatical relationships. Case is used extensively in many languages
(including German, Greek, and Latin), and you will need to master it to
translate OE correctly. Very little of the OE case-system survives in
MnE; one area where it does survive to some extent is in the pronouns
(see 2.8 i)), and you may find it helpful to start
there. The following summary is only a rough guide to the meaning and
functions of the cases; for other uses, see Mitchell and Robinson,
There are five separate cases in Old English: nominative, accusative,
genitive, dative, and (less common) instrumental.
The subject-case: He
andwyrde sona 'He answered at once'; Him andwyrde se faeder
'The father answered him.' Note that in OE the subject is
not necessarily placed before the beginning of the sentence, or even
before the verb.
Characteristically the direct-object case: Tha
se engel gelaehte hine 'Then the angel seized him'; Tha stowe
habbath giet his iefernuman 'His successors still have that place'.
Note that in OE the direct object may be placed before the verb, as in
the second example.
Mainly possessive; can often be rendered by MnE 'of'. E.g. Godes
engel 'God's angel'; on Cyres dagum cyninges 'in
the days of King Cyrus'. Note: hiera
fif 'five of them'; fela wundra 'many wonders'.
Characteristically the indirect-object case: Sege
thinum leodum miccle lathre spell 'Give your people a
much more hostile message'; He sealde aelcum anne pening 'He
one a penny'. Can often be rendered by 'to' or 'for' in MnE.
This refers to the means by which, or the manner in which, an action is
done, and can often be rendered in MnE by 'by' or 'with': lytle
werode 'with a small force'; wundum
werig 'worn out by
wounds.' Nouns have no separate instrumental inflexion, and
use dative forms to express this case.
Cases after prepositions
All the above cases except the nominative may also occur after
e.g. on thone thriddan
'on the third day'; with thaes hrofes [genitive] 'towards
and some prepositions can be followed by more than one case.
Nouns (as in modern German) can have either a strong or a weak
declension. These terms refer simply to the kind of inflexional
endings they have. Strong nouns (e.g. stan 'stone', hus 'house',
giefu 'gift') have a wide variety of inflexional endings; weak nouns
(e.g. sunne 'sun', nama
'name') have endings predominantly in -an. The weak endings
in particular are not always distinctive enough to be very helpful in
establishing the grammatical function of a noun; for other clues to its
function, see under 3.12, 3.13.
Adjectives, like nouns, can be declined either strong or weak
(case-endings similar, but not identical, to those of nouns). But while
a given noun will belong to either the strong or the weak
declension (not both), the great majority of adjectives (as in modern
German) can take either strong or weak inflexions according to their
function in the sentence. Weak endings are always used after the
definite article and the demonstrative adjectives
'this' and 'that',
and sometimes after possessive adjectives like 'my'
as well. Adjectives agree with the nouns they qualify in number, gender,
This is considerably more complicated than in MnE (see Mitchell and
Robinson, sections 15-21); it will save you time in the long run to
learn by heart at least the forms of the personal pronoun (Mitchell and
Robinson, sections 18, 21).
You will also find that it saves time to learn the forms of the
definite article (Mitchell and Robinson, section 16), as this will often
allow you to establish the number, gender, and case of the noun it goes
with without having to identify the form of the noun itself (a task
which can be difficult, time-consuming, and inconclusive).
Note that i)
the definite article doubles as the demonstrative adjective 'that';
translate according to context
ii) the in Old
English is not a form of the definite article but a very common
indeclinable relative pronoun ('who,
OE verbs have a larger number of distinct inflexions than MnE verbs, and
a distinctive present and past subjunctive form. See Mitchell and
Robinson, sections 87-134, for full details. The main types of verb are
Strong and weak verbs
The two main types of verb in OE (as in MnE) are strong and weak.
Weak verbs, the
more regular and more common type, normally form their their past tense
and past participle by adding an ending with -d-: e.g.
(infinitive), fylde (past tense),
gefylled (past participle),
which gives the MnE verb-forms '[to]
fill', '[he/she] filled', '[he/she has] filled'. This has remained the dominant type of verb in MnE:
loved; walk, walked, etc.
Strong verbs form
their past tense and past participle by vowel-change: e.g. drincan
(past tense), gedruncen
drink', '[he/she] drank', '[he/she has] drunk'. Many strong
verbs still survive in MnE: ride,
rode, ridden; choose, chose, chosen; run, ran, run; win, won.
In OE there is sometimes vowel-variation within the present tense
(ic ceose 'I choose',
but he ciest 'he chooses')
or the past tense (ic
band 'I bound' but we
bundon 'we bound') as well as between the present and
These vowel-changes are not always predictable (though the analogy of
the corresponding MnE verb can sometimes help; when in doubt, look
through Mitchell and Robinson, Appendix A (pp. 152-58), where you will
find a list of all the verb-forms you are likely to encounter.
These are a small but frequently-occurring group of verbs, mainly
auxiliaries, which have a present tense which is past (='preterite') in
form but present in meaning: e.g. dearr
'dare', can 'can', maeg 'may'. They have acquired a
new, weak past tense: dorste
'dared', cuthe 'could', mihte 'might'.
These are common verbs too irregular to fit into the previous
categories: they include wesan/beon
'to be', gan 'to go' (note the irregular past tense eode
Consult Mitchell and Robinson, Ch. 5. The most likely source of problems
for the beginner is word-order: the standard pattern of the MnE
sentence, subject-verb-object, is much less common in OE, especially in
the poetry. Those who have studied German will recognize the following
features of OE word-order:
- Infinitives or past participles may be placed at the end of a main
clause: Ic wolde thas
lytlan boc awendan 'I wanted to translate this little
- An object, complement, or adverb may be put at the beginning of
the sentence for emphasis: in this case the subject will follow
the verb: Tha swigode
se cyning 'Then the king was silent.'
- In subordinate clauses the verb is usually moved to the end of the
clause: thaet hie
thone Godes mann abitan scolden 'that they should eat up the man of
|Because of this greater variety in word-order, you will
need to look closely at inflexional endings to be sure you have
understood the Old English correctly. So, for instance, don't assume
automatically that a noun (or pronoun) at the beginning of a sentence is
the subject of that sentence. Is it in the nominative case? If not, it
can't be the subject. Does it agree in number with the verb that follows
it? If it is singular and the verb is plural, or vice versa, it can't be
the subject of that verb.
index of grammatical terms
C D E F G H I J K L
M N O P Q
R S T U V
W X Y Z
accusative case 3.6
active voice 2.6 iv)
adjectival clause 2.17
adjectival phrase 2.16
adverbial clause 2.17
adverbial phrase 2.16
anomalous verbs 3.17
aspect 2.6 v)
attributive (adjective) 2.4
auxiliary verb 2.6 i)
case 2.8 i), 3.4-10
comparative (adjective) 2.4
comparative (adverb) 2.5
complement 2.15 ii)
complex sentence 2.17
compound conjunction 2.10
compound preposition 2.9
compound sentence 2.17
conjugation 3, 3.14-17
co-ordinating conjunction 2.10, 2.17
dative case 3.8
definite article 2.7
demonstrative pronoun 2.8
dependent clause 2.17
direct object 2.15 i)
feminine 2.8 iii), 3.3
finite 2.6 vi)
future 2.6 ii)
gender 2.8 iii), 3.3
genitive case 2.8 i), 3.4, 3.7
grammatical gender 3.3
imperative 2.6 iii)
indefinite article 2.7
indicative 2.6 iii)
indirect object 2.15 i)
infinitive 2.6 vi)
infinitive phrase 2.16
instrumental case 3.9
interrogative adverb 2.17
interrogative pronoun 2.8, 2.17
intransitive 2.15 i)
main clause 2.17
main verb 2.6 i)
masculine 2.8 iii), 3.3
mood 2.6 iii)
natural gender 3.3
neuter 2.8 iii), 3.3
nominative case 2.8 i), 3.5
noun clause 2.17
noun phrase 2.16
object 2.15 i)
object complement 2.15 ii)
objective case 2.8 i)
participial phrase 2.16
parts of speech 2.2-12
passive voice 2.6 iv)
past participle 2.6 vi)
past tense 2.6 ii)
perfect tense 2.6 ii)
perfective aspect 2.6 v)
periphrastic (verb-forms) 2.6 ii)
person 2.8 ii)
personal pronoun 2.8
pluperfect tense 2.6 ii)
plural 2.3, 3.2
possessive case 2.3, 2.8 i), 3.7
possessive pronoun 2.8
predicative (adjective) 2.4
prepositional phrase 2.16
present participle 2.6 vi)
present tense 2.6 ii)
preterite = past tense 2.6 ii)
preterite-present verb 3.16
progressive aspect 2.6 v)
reflexive pronoun 2.8
relative adverb 2.17
relative pronoun 2.8, 2.17
simple sentence 2.17
strong declension 3.11-12
strong verb 3.15
subject complement 2.15 ii)
subjective case 2.8 i)
subjunctive 2.6 iii)
subordinate clause 2.17
subordinating conjunction 2.10, 2.17
superlative (adjective) 2.4, (adverb) 2.5
tense 2.6 ii)
transitive 2.15 i)
voice 2.6 iv)
weak declension 3.11-12
weak verb 3.15
I am grateful to my former colleague, John
Swannell, for the last sentence in section 2.17, and
to all the other masters and mistresses of the English language whose
words I have borrowed to enliven the student's journey through the dusty
deserts of barren philology. I am also grateful to Bob Wilkins,
Institute of Archaeology, Oxford, for permission to reproduce his
photograph of the Finglesham buckle, and to the
British Library for permission to reproduce the illustration from
London, British Library, Burney MS 275, f. 275r (no further reproduction
© Bella Millett, English Department, University of Southampton
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