Tag Archives: Content: lexico-grammar

Tag Questions

Tag questions are concerned more with establishing interpersonal relations and suggesting whether some kind of response is required (or to close off any response), rather than requesting any specific information. Andersen (Andersen, Gisle. “Are tag questions questions? Evidence from spoken … Continue reading

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Clause vs Sentence

The difference between a clause and a sentence can be difficult, but important. A clause basically must have a Finite whereas a sentence is just an orthographic convention beginning with a capital and ending with a full stop. Here is … Continue reading

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Modality – system

Modality when presented to EFL learners is often limited to items such as should, could, must, etc. but the complete system network does extend beyond this, and I try to show students how the whole system interacts first rather than … Continue reading

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Modality

Modality operates to “construe the region of uncertainty that lies between ‘yes’ and ‘no’” (H & M, p.147). In order to treat modality somewhat more systematically than is usually the case in EFL treatments, we need to go back to … Continue reading

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Material Clauses 4

Material clauses represent “a quantum of change…unfolding through distinct phases” (H & M, p.184). This unfolding necessarily has an outcome: “a change of some feature of one of the participants” (H & M, p.184). This outcome may be either creative … Continue reading

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Existential Processes 2

Most, if not all, EFL textbooks first introduce existential clauses through either singular/plural (There is a…/There are some…) or mass/count (There is some…/There are some…) distinctions. This, however, I think misses the whole point of the existential process. Singular and mass etc. … Continue reading

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Existential Processes

An existential clause, such as There was an old person of Dover, functions to “represent that something exists or happens…The word there in such clauses is neither a participant nor a circumstance – it has no representational function in the transitivity … Continue reading

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Activity: relational & material Processes

Here is an activity I often do with Elementary or Pre-Intermediate students that gets them noticing and thinking about the difference between relational Processes which construe ‘states’, and material Processes construing change through time. On a piece of paper, you … Continue reading

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Relational Processes (1)

A typical EFL first lesson often includes self-introductions of the kind like: My name is Taro. I am 12 years old.  These clauses use relational Processes, which “serve to characterize and to identify” (H & M, p.210). These two categories may … Continue reading

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Mental Processes

Mental clauses “are concerned with our experience of the world of our own consciousness” (H & M, p.197). Mental clauses consist of a Sensor, which is a human participant, and a Phenomenon: Mary (Sensor) liked (Process: mental) the gift (Phenomenon) … Continue reading

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