Rodney Huddleston and Geoffrey K. Pullum, A STUDENT’S INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH GRAMMAR (Cambridge University Press, ). It contains exercises, and will provide a basis for introductions to grammar and courses on the structure of English not Rodney Huddleston, Geoffrey K. Pullum . The Cambridge grammar of the English language /. Rodney Huddleston, Geoffrey K. Pullum p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. isbn 0

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Deictic time is usually the moment of utterance. The Luxury to apprehend The Luxury ‘twould be To look at Thee a single time An Epicure of Me In whatsoever Presence makes Till for a further Food I scarcely recollect to starve So first am I supplied – This would be described as “confused” by today’s undergraduates, who take it for granted that “accessibility” is the first requirement of all writing and impute confusion to any writer who stretches them.

Verbs tense aspect and mood.

As far as prescriptive approach is concerned some demands need to be fulfilled. It can be a sign of respect to raise an objection rather than roll over permissively while re-describing usual huvdleston in such a way as to make a new locution fine by readjusted norms.


Put the “only” elsewhere and the schmooze evaporates: Huddleston and Pullum The tense of that writing, like the tense of that last sentence “will have been”is best described with an old term: Descriptive grammar can find nothing wrong with the inert officialese of, say, Radio 4, in which forthcoming speeches by government ministers are predictably “major” before they are uttered, and all majorities “vast”, and from which decent words like “many” are disappearing, their place taken by “an awful lot of”.

To those who have interests in language other than those of the linguist, “synchronic study” can at times seem like a polite name for parochialism. One of the Pet Shop Boys’ perkier songs has a chorus which goes: This would be described as “confused” by today’s undergraduates, who take it for granted that “accessibility” is the first requirement of all writing and impute confusion to any writer who stretches them.

You can see the ambiguity from the possibility of rewriting with either “is” or “was” between “Michaelmas Term” and “lately”, and again between “Lord Chancellor” and “sitting”, and so on. The perfect Parameters of analysis: Readers need respect for, a capacity to delight in, usages other than their own; such respect and delight are not encouraged by the tendency of grammarians to treat “usage” as if it were a noun which occurred only in the singular, nor by their habit of dismissing how the language used to be with their equivalent of the characters’ constant refrain in EastEnders: They rightly decline to prescribe usage, but they exceed their remit when they proscribe prescription, for it is a fact of language use that writers and speakers concern themselves with more than information throughput and grammaticality as strictly understood.


The analyses defended there are outlined here more briefly, in an engagingly accessible and informal style.

The traditional usage is actual in his lines gammar time somebody reads them with understanding; it was still going strong when Dick Powell, in a Busby Berkeley musical, sang the magnificent compliment “I only have eyes for you”. Very few observed the prime syntactical fact about the novel’s first page: It is a comprehensive book on grammar so far my knowledge is concerned. Take the case of “only”.

Similarly with gerunds, those elusive beasts from earlier grammars so magnificently drawn by Ronald Searle in his cartoons of “The Private Life of the Gerund” in How to Be Topp. Or consider some characteristic lines from one of the language’s most grammatically resourceful writers, Emily Dickinson:. Of course they are uncertain about number, and whether number of partners matters.

Retrieved from ” http: The Cambridge Gramar observes wearily: We hang on the words of style gurus about everything gramkar trainers to varieties of olive oil, but on the subject of our language there is nothing to say, only market research to report.

He might have meant that the time-honoured conception of “humanity” was in ruins, or that there remained an abiding conception of “humanity in ruins”, kindness amid dereliction, or even that his experiences in France refreshed for him the old notion of “the Fall of Man”, a long-standing ruinousness of the human.

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language

These will have been in France. Because linguists busy themselves with “actual usage” “synchronic” study of the language, in their termsthey are professionally bound to scant other, earlier usages; the “long-standing” must always give way to the “actual”.

In her right hand, she brandishes a bundle of twigs above the bare torso of a “bad boy”; he’s holding his book with its cover toward him, his eyes are turned up into her disapproving stare and, though he looks as if he’s about ggammar get a hyddleston, he has a big grin on his face. Perhaps the adjective is here a new portmanteau word made up from “outworn” and “careless”.

Huddleston and Pullum’s () analysis of tense – Glottopedia

Secondary tense distinguishes perfect from non-perfect forms, the former being marked with the auxiliary have. The faint but persistent lavender of the subjunctive about his “preserve” gives him reason for a moment to regard himself as superseded or at least on his way into the shade, as if, talking to an elderly relative, he began to feel his own self aged too. For the purposes of linguistics, sharp focus on current English is entirely legitimate, but there are things we may, and perhaps should, want to know about our language other than those synchronic description can reveal.


Cissy has long gone to his reward, I struggle on with my round shoulders and inculcated dislike of the “split infinitive”, and Sir Paul still has the big grin. So the Cambridge Grammar’s editors note that sentences like “They invited my partner and I to lunch” are “regularly used by a significant proportion of speakers of Standard English The descriptive grammarian in quest of systematic clarity will correctly observe that “historically the gerund and present participle of traditional grammar have different sources, but in Modern English the forms are identical.

The last line of Geoffrey Hill’s poem, “Pisgah”, reads: Selected pages Title Page. Bleak House havers creatively over the boundaries between past and present in order to ask whether the story it’s telling is about the bad old days or the way we live grajmar, to question confidence about history’s direction, to gauge the gap, if gap there be, between the primordial “mud” and the “Mlud” with which the Lord Chancellor is eventually addressed on the novel’s third page.

Leech Huddeston preview available – Pullum No preview available – It is not confused, it is superbly elliptical, even aeronautic. Tense huddlestno regarded as a relationship between the time referred to and the time of orientation.

Clause type asking exclaiming and directing. Primary tenses express the distinction between past and present time. Drinke to me, onely, with thine eyes, And I will pledge with mine; Or leave a kisse but in the cup, And Ile not looke for wine.

Cambridge University PressFeb 17, – Education – pages. The words “a time-honoured conception of humanity in ruins” are ambiguous because of uncertain juncture. Fretful sub-editors who want to know the better way with “which” and “that” must apply elsewhere. For example, “He may have known her” is a perfect form, whereas “He may know her” is unmarked Huddleston and Pullum Such as what Ben Jonson meant when he wrote: Or consider some characteristic lines from one of the language’s most grammatically resourceful writers, Emily Dickinson: