0

Lots of people refer to "subject + verb + adjective" as a formula.

Does there exist this kind of grammar formulas in grammar book? In other words, is this kind of formulas a well recognized term?

4
  • I suspect you're thinking of the five basic (canonical) clause types: S-P, S-P-PC, S-P-Od; S-P-Od-PC, S-P-Oi-Od. – BillJ Feb 17 '20 at 17:33
  • s + verb + adjective? "She sang beautiful"?? "She sang beautifully" Maybe you're thinking of ADVERB? I have no idea what BillJ wrote in their comment :) – Mari-Lou A Feb 19 '20 at 17:36
  • @Mari-LouA e.g. "You are beautiful" – brennn Feb 20 '20 at 2:32
  • 1
    @brennn The five canonical sentence types are labelled S=subject. P=predicator (verb), C=complement. Od=direct object. Oi=indirect object. These are functional terms, each function being realised by the appropriate word or phrase class. For example, subjects are usually (but not always) noun phrases, complements may be noun phrases, adjective phrases, or adverb phrases, and so on. – BillJ Feb 20 '20 at 7:53
2

"Grammar" by definition incorporates the structure of a language. The rules of grammar dictate how sentences are constructed. There is no single "grammar formula", although the "rules" for constructing the most basic of sentences could, I suppose, be called a "formula", and perhaps are when teaching English as a foreign language, but during my own education as a native British English speaker, I never heard the term "grammar formula".

A formula is a list of ingredients with which something is made. In a mathematical context, if an "ingredient" or element of the formula was omitted, it would be an incomplete formula.

The example "formula" you gave of "Subject + Verb + Adjective" is very basic and does not give all the "ingredients" of a complete sentence. It does not mention articles, for example, and even in the most basic sentence, the subject would require one.

At best, I would suggest "subject-verb-adjective" is a guide to the order in which these appear within a sentence.

1

I suspect you're thinking of the five basic (canonical) clause types:

S-P: Ordinary intransitive [We hesitated.]

S-P-C: Complex-intransitive [We felt happy.]

S-P-Od: Ordinary monotransitive [We sold our house.]

S-P-Od-PC: Complex-transitive [We made them happy.]

S-P-Oi-Od: Ditransitive [We gave them some food.]

2
  • Thanks for your answer. Is there a term to refer to this kind of symbols, S-P, S-P-C? – brennn Feb 20 '20 at 2:36
  • @brennn The five canonical sentence types are labelled S=subject. P=predicator (verb), C=complement. Od=direct object. Oi=indirect object. These are functional terms, each function being realised by the appropriate word class. For example, subjects are usually (but not always) noun phrases, complements may be noun phrases, adjective phrases, or adverb phrases, and so on. – BillJ Feb 20 '20 at 7:48
0

it is neither a well recognized nor always true

subject + verb + object (for transitive verb) (I write a letter)
subject + verb (for intransitive verb) (He died)
subject + verb + Complement (which a noun or an adjective) (for linking verb) (It seems delicious / I will become a politician)

All in all, the above structure sometimes is not true, due to applying inversion:

So beautiful was the girl that nobody could talk of anything else

It is noteworthy noting that a "subject", "object" , even "Complement " sometimes can be a clause (noun, adjective, adverbial)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.