The Communicative Grammar of English Workbook (2013)
UNIT SEVEN. Adverbs, adverbials and prepositions
Most adverbs are formed from adjectives by adding the suffix -ly: complete ⇒ completely.
Adverbs can function as
•adverbials in sentences:
Everything was carefully planned/planned carefully.
– adjectives and other adverbs:
John was extremely angry/He reacted extremely angrily.
This is too weak an argument to convince anybody./How painful a reminder it was!
– prepositions, determiners, numerals and pronouns:
The pub is just round the corner/It is just two hundred yards away.
– nouns or noun phrases:
It was rather a disappointment./What a painful reminder it was!
– adjectives and other adverbs:
That’s not good enough./Oddly enough, he didn’t turn up.
– certain quantifiers, pronouns and interrogatives:
I met somebody else./Who else was there?
– nouns or noun phrases:
Our journey home was uneventful./We had left the day before.
•complements of prepositions:
Keep all that stuff for later./The snake was in there.
Task one *
Identify the adverbs (12 in all) in the following text.
Saying Tajikistan’s borders are “soft” would be too kind. Foreign diplomats and local journalists say the place is effectively run by a coalition of feudal warlords largely financed, directly or otherwise, by the drug trade. The country derives fully a third of its GDP from the heroin industry, according to U.N. estimates. Even so, Tajikistan’s senior narcotics officer must be doing something right. Why else would a gang of gunmen have attacked his apartment in Dushanbe back in March?
(from Newsweek, 17 September 2001, p. 22)
Task two **
Classify the above adverbs on the basis of their function, i.e. in terms of the elements they modify.
Example: I knew pretty well what I was doing.
⇒ (pretty) well: adverbial in sentence
⇒ pretty: premodifier (of adverb)
Task three **
Fill the gaps in the following text, using one of the adverbs below:
Note: never and still are to be used twice
As ___________ as roles are concerned, most people assume that a family’s financial situation is not _______________ the responsibility of the man. On the other hand, they would _______________ ______________ compliment the woman, not the man, on a ______________ decorated or _______________-kept house. Everyday care of the children is _________________ seen as ________________ the woman’s responsibility. Although ______________ as many women have jobs as men, _____________ half of the jobs done by women are part-time. In fact, the majority of mothers with children under the age of twelve either have no job or work _________________ during school hours. Men _________________ take a ______________ active domestic role than they did forty years _______________. Some things, __________________, ________________ seem to change. A comparison of child-rearing habits of the 1950s and the 1980s showed that the proportion of men who ______________ changed a baby’s nappy had remained the same (40 per cent)!
(from James O’Driscoll, Britain, p. 51)
Task four **
Replace the underlined parts by alternative collocations (with adverbs) which are equivalent in meaning.
Example: We had very little time to make up our minds.
⇒ We had hardly any time to make up our minds.
1.I want to spend my holidays at some other place this year.
2.The organization was sufficiently powerful to strike back again.
3.What an impertinent young man Tony is!
4.There were very few people around at that moment.
5.I was familiar enough with local customs to appreciate their importance.
6.How ludicrous an idea it was!
7.Surprisingly, there was hardly any food left in the refrigerator.
8.Under the circumstances there was no other person I could turn to.
9.Wilma was too inexperienced a pilot to fly a jumbo jet.
10.Ronald is an honest stockbroker and would never cheat you out of your money.
7.2. Adverbials – Introduction
Adverbials give extra information about an action, happening or state as described by the rest of the sentence.
Adverbials have a number of different forms:
•adverbs, adverb phrases, noun phrases, prepositional phrases
•finite clauses, non-finite clauses (infinitives, -ing and -ed participles), verbless clauses.
Most adverbials are mobile, so that they can occur in different places in the sentence:
•front-position (FP): before the subject
•mid-position (MP): before the main verb occurring on its own, after an unstressed operator, before a stressed operator
•end-position (EP): after the verb (and its object and/or complement, if present).
Long adverbials normally occur in end-position, while short ones usually occur in mid-position. Front-position gives contrast or provides the background or setting for what follows.
Task one **
Underline the adverbials in the following text.
In the last 50 years mining and forest industries have taken a larger place in Newfoundland economics. Although the fishing industries are still the largest employers, the province no longer depends upon them exclusively for its livelihood. In recent years gas and oil reserves to rival those in the North Sea have been discovered off the coast of the island and off Labrador. The federal government has given the go-ahead to a $5.2 billion project known as the Hibernia Oil Fields just off the east coast of St John’s. If plans are realized, oil could flow by the millennium.
(from Insight Guide: Canada, p. 232)
Task two **
(a)Arrange the above adverbials in groups on the basis of form categories, while adding FP, MP or EP in brackets to designate their position in the sentence.
(b)How does length affect these positions?
Task three **
Insert the adverbials (presented in alphabetical order) in the most appropriate position. Only the underlined sentences should be considered.
1.General elections take place.
(always; on a Thursday)
They are not public holidays. People have to work, polling stations are open.
(from seven in the morning; in the normal way; so; till ten at night; to give everybody the opportunity to vote)
(from James O’Driscoll, Britain, p. 101)
2.Andrew Nugée would pack an SLR film camera and about 30 rolls of film.
(not long ago; when he went on vacation)
He takes a digital camcorder.
(for capturing both moving and still images; now; simply)
Nugée is just one of many who have been bitten by the digitalimaging bug: “It’s changed my approach to photography. I take my camcorder,” he says.
(from Newsweek, 3 September 2001, p.16)
7.3. Time-when 1
Sections 151–155; 455–456
Time-when is often expressed by adverbials having end-position.
The commonest type of adverbial is the prepositional phrase, used especially to refer to points and periods of time:
•at 6.30 p.m.; at noon (= clock-time)
•on Sunday; (on) the next day (= day periods)
•in/during the morning; in/during April (= shorter or longer than day periods)
•between 1990 and 2000 (= periods with clearly defined limits)
•by night; by day (= idioms).
Noun phrases and adverbs are used in adverbials such as:
•last Saturday; this year; yesterday; tomorrow.
Task one *
Add time-when adverbials to the sentences below, giving them end-position and using the most appropriate connecting preposition where necessary.
1.Western society changed profoundly. (the 1960s)
2.British-born actor Sir Alec Guinness died. (2000; 5 August)
3.Two people were killed in an accident on the nearby motorway. (last Friday)
4.A system of voluntary schools developed. (the 19th century)
5.Have you ever visited Paris? (night)
6.I heard the clock strike twelve. (midnight)
7.People tend to spend less money. (a recession)
8.We are leaving for the Seychelles. (next week)
9.The inter-city bound for Bristol was derailed. (10.54 a.m.)
10.Most schools are open again. (early autumn)
11.The operation is due to take place. (Tuesday morning)
12.World War One ended. (1918; 11 a.m.; 11 November)
Task two **
Complete the following sentences by adding time-when adverbials at the end. Use a variety of adverbials.
1.I was born ……….
2.I went to school for the first time ……….
3.The last time I was abroad was ……….
4.The happiest time in my life was ……….
5.I usually get up ………. and go to bed ……….
6.I’m in the right mood for working ……….
7.I often feel frightened ……….
8.I can relax best ……….
9.I intend to visit my dentist ……….
10.I would like to go on holiday ……….
Task three **
Complete the following sentences, using the most appropriate of the time-when adverbials listed below. Any missing prepositions are still to be added.
three years later
when I get back indoors
11 May 1926
1.The midnight sun is shining brightly when I climb into a bunk ______________, and equally brightly when I wake _____________.
2.I ask Jack if the snow ever disappears.
‘Oh yes,’ he assures me, ‘it melts ____________. And starts snowing _______________ ________________.
3.Roald Amundsen’s airship Norge left Ny Alesund ____________ and landed in North America _____________, after a journey of over 3000 miles. ________________ Amundsen died in the Arctic attempting to rescue his friend Nobile.
4.I stumble outside clutching my toothbrush (…). _____________ Harald is off the phone and preparing coffee. ______________, he tells me, he will be celebrating fifteen years at Kap Wik.
(adapted from Michael Palin, Pole to Pole, pp. 4–12)
7.4. Time-when 2
Time relationships can be indicated by a variety of prepositions, adverbs and conjunctions:
•before/after the war; by Friday; before(hand)/afterwards; before/after/when/as it happened
•already; still; yet; any more.
Time measurement expressions include phrases such as:
•three years ago; (in) three years from now; in three years; in three years’ time.
Time-when adverbs like again, now, today, etc. identify a point or period of time directly, while adverbs like afterwards, later, next, etc. do so indirectly.
Time-when clauses are introduced by conjunctions like when, after, as, before, etc.
Task one **
Complete the following sentences by inserting one or two of the time–when adverbials listed below. In most cases a pair of (correlating) adverbials are to be added.
a few years from now
after the collapse of communism
already; by the end of 1999
before he was succeeded by Bill Clinton
earlier that month; after a while
hours ago; by now
two weeks ago; since
1.I decided to talk to my wife and see my solicitor.
2.Over 170 nations had signed the non-proliferation treaty.
3.The European Union may well consist of about twenty-five member states.
4.George Bush Sr. was President of the United States.
5.The missing girl left home and has not been seen.
6.The Boeing 747 took off from Dubai Airport, so it should have landed in Delhi.
7.The situation in Eastern Europe began to change very fast.
8.I don’t know whether a solution has been found.
9.Hostilities had resumed, but fortunately things quietened down.
10.We were to learn that the suspect had been convicted of drugs trafficking.
Task two **
Combine the following pairs of sentences, turning the second sentence into an adverbial clause and using each of the conjunctions listed below just once. The sentence parts in square brackets are NOT to be included.
after as as soon as before now that once since until when while
Example: I went to see several specialists [last month].
I decided to have a pacemaker implanted [early this week].
⇒ I went to see several specialists before I decided to have a pacemaker implanted.
1.I met Sheila [three years ago].
I was 17 years old [then].
2.The tourists picnicked in the city’s main park [at noon].
They visited a local museum [at 2 p.m.].
3.Two wings of the castle were destroyed by fire [early this morning].
It was struck by lightning [around midnight].
4.I will phone you [soon].
I [have to] finish this repair work [first].
5.The car crash happened [on Sunday evening].
It was raining heavily [all evening].
6.We can all heave a sigh of relief [now].
The worst of the storm is over [now].
7.Steering a canoe is relatively easy.
You [should] get the hang of it [first].
8.The patient’s condition seemed to stabilize [gradually].
Time passed [gradually].
9.I do not want to fly to Canada [in the next few weeks].
The international situation [should] have improved [first].
10.There has only been one single burglary [lately].
A security camera was installed [some time ago].
Sections 161–165; 457
Duration is normally expressed by adverbials occurring in end-position, though short adverbials can also occur in mid-position.
The commonest time duration adverbials are prepositional phrases, especially those introduced by the preposition for: stay for the summer/for two years (but: all day). Other common prepositions are over, until/till, up to and from … to/until.
Adverbial clauses of duration can be introduced by the conjunctions while, since and until/till.
Task one **
Complete the following sentences, using one of the time duration adverbials listed below:
all winter long
ever since I’ve known about the health risks involved
for several years now
from 1837 to 1901
until his grasp loosened
up to now
1.In Australia time stood still __________________, then the country
suddenly became part of the modern world.
2.The promise of more food aid ________________ raised hopes among the starving population.
3.Fortunately, the world has been spared a major nuclear conflict ______________________.
4.The cold spell that began in December 1962 lasted ___________________.
5.The failure of living in flats has been generally recognized _____________________.
6.Lisa let Simon hold her hand ______________________.
7.I’ve abstained from smoking ________________________.
8.The present income disparities cannot go on _________________.
9.Queen Victoria reigned __________________________.
10.Two lanes are _________________ closed for resurfacing purposes.
Task two **
Replace the underlined part in each of the following sentences by an adverbial of duration expressing (roughly) the same meaning. Sentences 9 and 10 should be slightly changed in other ways as well.
Example: I stayed in Scotland from Monday morning to Sunday evening.
⇒ I stayed in Scotland for a week.
1.The First World War lasted from 1914 to 1918.
2.Humans may not be able to live on another planet before the beginning of the next century.
3.It was quite obvious that we couldn’t wait eternally.
4.I haven’t been feeling too well in the past few weeks.
5.We stayed on the Bahamas until the day before Easter.
6.Fighting in the area has been going on all day long.
7.We’ve been receiving nuisance calls since a short time ago.
8.The Olympic team did a lot of training on Saturday and Sunday.
9.The heatwave began on 21 June and ended around 20 September.
10.Several reporters were present and police officers were combing the woods for the missing girl at the same time.
Sections 166–169; 458
Frequency, both indefinite and definite, is expressed by adverbials, which normally occur in mid- and end-position respectively.
•Most indefinite frequency adverbials are adverbs, ranging in meaning from an upper to a lower limit of frequency:
– We always/sometimes/never drink wine.
– We eat meat on numerous/some/few occasions.
•Definite frequency adverbials usually take one of the following (equivalent) forms:
– I visit the local bar once a week/every week/weekly.
Task one **
Replace the expressions of frequency in the following sentences by alternative adverbials having more or less the same meaning.
1.I’ve met this famous comedian several times.
2.I used to see Mum every two days.
3.Even hardened soldiers sometimes become sentimental.
4.I go to the sauna once a month.
5.I’ve been to the United States many times.
6.Our neighbours have a barbecue most weekends.
7.Mr Sweethome travels abroad on very few occasions.
8.Some people go for a walk every day of the year.
9.We usually have breakfast at 7.30.
10.My elder brother is almost never at home.
11.I borrow books from the library every other week.
12.Bossy people are often difficult to communicate with.
Task two ***
Complete the following sentences by adding a frequency adverbial which makes sense in the context.
Example: Labour delegates meet at their party conference.
⇒ Labour delegates meet annually at their party conference.
⇒ Labour delegates meet at their party conference once a year.
1.True vegetarians eat meat.
2.A footballer performing a hat-trick is a player who scores.
3.Gypsies are people who are on the move.
4.Bill Clinton was elected President of the United States.
5.Drunk-driving is a serious offence.
6.The Olympic Games take place.
7.Even the best actors forget their lines.
8.A bimonthly journal is published.
9.Most adults go to bed between 10 p.m. and midnight.
10.Astronauts have orbited our planet.
11.People aged over 100 live on their own.
12.Commuters travel to work.
7.7. Place, direction and distance
Section 170; 454
Expressions of place and direction are chiefly adverbials and post-modifiers. Place adverbials usually have end-position. When there are two adverbials in this position, the smaller location normally comes first: Many people eat in Chinese restaurants in London.
The range of grammatical structures includes adverbs and adverb phrases, prepositional phrases, noun phrases followed by away, back etc., and adverbial clauses.
Task one **
Underline the expressions of place, direction and distance in the following texts.
1.Nowhere in Chester is the delightful impact of the River Dee so evident than when strolling on the north bank and enjoying the splendid sight of the many boats which can always be found there. Indeed, regattas have been held on the Dee since the early nineteenth century. It is also possible to hire boats from various companies situated on the Groves and there are some cruises which sail past Eaton Estate, home of the Duke of Westminster.
(from Chester, Cathedral and City, p. 20)
2.Having crossed Australia from north to south we must now head east again, back to the Pacific coast and on to New Zealand, the most southerly landfall on this side of the Rim. There is a train, suitably called the ‘Indian Pacific’ which winds its way in leisurely fashion across flat plains, past Broken Hill, where an Aboriginal by the name of Charlie Rasp came across one of the richest seams of silver, lead and zinc found anywhere in the world, through the Blue Mountains and into Sydney twenty-four and a half hours later.
(from Michael Palin, Full Circle, p. 195)
Task two **
(a)Which of these place expressions are NOT adverbials?
(b)Classify the adverbials on the basis of grammatical structure.
7.8. Prepositions of place
The most important words for indicating place are prepositions.
•‘at -type’ prepositions indicate a point in space:
to, at, from, away from such a remote spot
•‘on -type’ prepositions indicate a line or a surface:
on, on to, off, across, over, along, through the river
•‘in -type’ prepositions indicate an area or a volume:
in, into, out of, through, inside, outside, within the prison compound.
Task one **
Complete the following sentences and text, using each of the above prepositions at least once.
1.The discredited politician lived ______ Grantchester, a small village just ______ Cambridge.
2.The pilot came aboard three miles ______ Vancouver Island and steered the freighter safely _______ the harbour.
3.The high road ______ Kingsbridge ______ Plymouth passes ______ three
4.Today we are trekking ______ dense forests ______ the island of
5.It was in 1799 that Wordsworth moved ______ Dove Cottage with his sister Dorothy, but lack of space caused them to move ______ it again in 1808 ______ larger premises.
6.______ the parliament building, gazing out ______ the Ottawa River, one has a fine view of the twin city ______ the far shore – Hull.
7.Walk straight ______ the field, go ______ a gate and continue ______ the edge of the next field.
8.Very little is known about what is going on ______ the country, except that most civilians are staying well ______ war zones.
9.As soon as I had arrived _____ Axminster railway station, I stepped ______ the train ______ the platform, got ______ my car and drove off ______ Charmouth ______ the coast of Dorset.
10.On Tuesday 15 August, Scase was ______ York Station beginning his watch by half-past eight in the morning. He had travelled ______ York the previous evening and had taken a room ______ a dull commercial hotel close ______ the station. He could have been lodged ______ any provincial city. It never occurred to him to visit the Minster or to stroll ______ the cobbled streets ______ the city walls.
(from P.D. James, Innocent Blood, p. 123)
Task two **
Complete the following sentences, using prepositional phrases which act as acceptable place adverbials in the context.
1.One of the rodeo riders lost his balance and fell ……….
2.Two people escaped from the burning building by jumping ……….
3.The commuters were relieved to see that the London train was at last pulling ……….
4.Looking outside, I could see two pigeons perched ……….
5.To get to the other side of the river you only have to walk ……….
6.Firefighters had already rescued the driver but two passengers were still trapped ……….
7.It is safer to sail ………. than to go further out to sea.
8.Billy wanted to play in the neighbours’ garden, so he simply climbed ………..
9.Instead of visiting the old town centre we just drove ………
10.Eastern Docks have been blockaded, so ferries will have to leave ………. Docks this time.
11.I thought Barbara was married because she was wearing a ring ……….
12.People who want to socialize often have some drinks ……….
7.9. Overlap between types of prepositions
The preposition ‘at’ is preferred to the preposition ‘in’
•for smaller towns or villages when they are seen as places on the map: live at Chatham.
•for buildings when they are thought of as institutions: be at school.
The preposition ‘at’ is preferred to the prepositon ‘to’ with verbs such as aim, throw, point, shout, etc. when the following noun phrase indicates a target: shout at the intruder.
The preposition ‘on’ is preferred to the preposition ‘in’ when a surface is meant, rather than an area or a volume: to sit on the grass.
Fill the gaps with one of the following prepositions: at, in, into, on, to.
1.Cornelius Vanderbilt was born ______ Staten Island in 1794.
2.Would you please stop yelling ______ me like that?
3.Jack the Ripper killed at least seven prostitutes ______ the East End.
4.Do you still have an account ______ Barclays Bank?
5.Local youths were playing football ______ the freshly mown grass.
6.After taking a degree ______ Oxford, Thomas Hughes trained as a barrister.
7.The orangutan still lives in the wild ______ Borneo.
8.The PM and the Home Secretary are meeting ______ No.10, Downing Street.
9.One tourist threw a bath-towel ______ the girl who was scrambling up the embankment.
10.Thousands of troops are pouring ______ eastern Congo again.
11.The ferry had to dock ______ Plymouth for urgent repair work.
12.Several bodies were found ______ the collapsed building.
7.10. Various positions
Position is a relation between two objects and can be indicated by a range of prepositions, including the following pairs: in front of ~ behind; above ~ below; over ~ under; on top of ~ underneath.
The prepositions by and beside can be synonymous with at the side of or near. Other sets of prepositions which are related in meaning are [a] between, among and amid, and [b] about and (a)round. The preposition oppositemeans facing.
There are corresponding prepositional adverbs which are identical or related in form: in front ~ behind; above ~ below; overhead ~ beneath; on top ~ underneath.
Task one ***
Complete the following sentences, using a phrase beginning with one of the above prepositions.
Example: Secret meetings normally take place ……….
⇒ Secret meetings normally take place behind closed doors.
1.An eyebrow is a line of hair ……….
2.A basement is a room or area ……….
3.If you want to get warm again, just sit ……….
4.A national border is a dividing line ……….
5.Nobody could see the bullet-proof vest the officer was wearing ……….
6.The passage was so narrow that the candidates had to line up and stand ……….
7.If you do not know the itinerary, just follow the vehicle ………..
8.A party of tourists accompanied by a guide would tend to trail ………. after some time.
9.When somebody lives right across the street, they occupy the house ……….
10.When you are surrounded by professionals doing the same work, you are ……….
11.When a town is besieged, there are enemy soldiers all ………
12.When piling up things, you normally put the last object ……….
Task two **
Add the most appropriate prepositional adverb where necessary, using each adverb just once:
1.Most of the divers had resurfaced but one or two were still trapped.
2.During the occupation of the area only the old and sick stayed.
3.Dozens of B-52s and other warplanes were flying that morning.
4.Young children travelling in cars are not normally allowed to sit.
5.I was awakened by a persistent stamping of feet produced by the people living.
6.Before putting the pizza in the oven just sprinkle some Parmesan.
7.The man sitting leaned forward and suddenly grabbed me by the shoulders.
8.I lifted the carpet to find out what had been hidden.
9.Hours after the tragedy groups of relatives and friends were still standing.
10.On this side of the road are several detached houses, with a few remaining plots of land.
Many prepositions of place indicate different aspects of motion:
•motion towards: into, onto, to, towards, etc.
•motion away from: away from, out of, etc.
•passage and direction: across, along, down, over, past, through, up, etc.
•circular motion: about, around.
Replace the transitive verbs in the following sentences by ‘simple’ verbs followed by a preposition indicating motion.
Example: The host preceded his guests while showing them around.
⇒ The host went/walked in front of his guests while showing them around.
1.Several people I did not know entered the room.
2.Lady Snodgrass slowly descended the stairs.
3.The plane circled the church spire several times.
4.Hundreds of troops were approaching the garrison town.
5.Aid workers wanted to leave the area as fast as they could.
6.The lorry passed the local supermarket.
7.Two elderly tourists were climbing the hill.
8.Small groups of infantrymen had already penetrated enemy lines.
9.On their way back the hikers followed the river.
10.It took me less than a minute to cross the Golden Gate Bridge.
11.People were allowed to board the high-speed train at 8.45.
12.The crippled man was unable to negotiate the stile leading to the next field.
7.12. Space and motion
The meanings of space and motion can be combined in various ways:
•viewpoint (speaker’s position) often expressed by prepositional phrases used as post-modifiers: the town beyond the lake, the garage past the stadium
•place meaning resulting from motion: The horses are over the fence.
•pervasive meaning: all over/through the building/throughout Germany.
Place prepositions are often used in more abstract, metaphorical senses: out of danger, under suspicion, over ten miles, beyond recognition, etc.
Most place prepositions correspond in form and meaning to prepositional adverbs: We stopped the bus and got off. Some prepositional adverbs have special uses: They travelled on.
Task one **
Replace all of the underlined part by the most appropriate preposition in sentences 1–7. Use alternative expressions in sentences 8–10.
Examples: One suspect was seen in the vicinity of the water tower.
⇒ One suspect was seen near the water tower.
Two burglars had already got into the vault.
⇒ Two burglars were already inside the vault.
1.Who is the man standing on that ladder?
2.Jane was phoning a woman who lived on the other side of the Atlantic.
3.It would be nice to see the vineyards on the other side of those hills.
4.I could just make out the shed which was partly hidden by the shrubs.
5.The petrol station is just at the bottom of the road.
6.You can get a beer at the pub when you turn the corner.
7.Hurricane Hugo caused extensive damage in all the countries of Central America.
8.There was a strong police presence in every single place.
9.Some of the terrorists have left the country already.
10.Susan will have left home for good next week.
Task two **
Complete the following sentences, using one of the prepositions listed below:
on top of
1.Don’t criticize the PM: his behaviour was ________ reproach.
2.It is morally indefensible to drive ________ the influence.
3.Whoever was ________ the bombing should get a life sentence.
4.Sadly, education in some developing countries is still ________ standard.
5.I looked up all the unfamiliar words ________ curiosity.
6.Susan’s silly remarks made me fly ________ a temper.
7.We should aim for some uniformity and therefore work ________ the same lines.
8.Ms Owen may be ________ her prime but she is still very attractive.
9.After all his recent successes Basil felt ________ the world.
10.Essential duties were neglected ________ all the confusion.
11.Some people were so angry that they lost control ________ their feelings.
12.Tristan considered such a menial job ________ his dignity.
Task three ***
Replace the verb and its object by an alternative verb followed by a prepositional adverb.
Example: The strikers left the workplace.
⇒ The strikers walked out.
1.We all entered the house.
2.Our yacht crossed the lake.
3.The truck left the car park.
4.A stranger approached me all of a sudden.
5.Several people left their flats to live somewhere else.
6.We continued our cycle tour.
7.Richard paid a casual visit this afternoon.
8.The couple ended their relationship after ten years of marriage.
Distance can be expressed by noun phrases of measure such as a foot and a long way. These phrases can modify a verb of motion (He ran several kilometres) or precede and modify an adverbial of place (they live a long way away).
Complete the following sentences by adding the most appropriate noun phrase:
about two hundred yards from here
a few hundred yards
a hundred feet above our heads
five thousand feet below
just inches from my head
six hundred miles
thousands of miles
thousands of miles away
1.My parents live near Manchester and my sisters in Canada, which is __________________.
2.Most aeroplanes can fly __________________ without needing to refuel.
3.The newsagent’s is further down the road, _______________.
4.From the summit of Mont Blanc, I gazed into the valley _________________.
5.Last summer I cycled __________________ in ten days.
6.I had been walking uphill only ______________ when I was already out of breath.
7.Two bullets perforated the windscreen of my car, _____________.
8.A kite was flying ________________.
9.The explosion at the steel works could be heard ______________.
10.Water levels have dropped ________________ since it stopped raining.
7.14. Manner, means and instrument
Sections 194–197; 453
Adverbials of manner, means and instrument specify how an action is performed or how an event takes place. They usually have end-position, but in passive sentences mid-position is also possible: The point was put well./The point was well put.
•Manner is expressed by adverbs, adverb phrases or prepositional phrases: (to speak) (very) confidently, in a confident manner/way, with confidence. Manner is sometimes combined with comparison: (to play) like/as an actor/as if one were an actor
•Means is typically expressed by a phrase introduced by the preposition by: by car, by the gate
•Instrument is typically expressed by a phrase introduced by the preposition with or without: with a key/without (using) a key.
Task one **
Identify the adverbials of manner and means in the following texts, classifying them on the basis of grammatical structure.
1.Drive extremely carefully when the roads are icy. Avoid sudden actions as these could cause a skid. You should
•Drive at a slow speed in as high a gear as possible; accelerate and brake very gently
•Drive particularly slowly on bends where skids are more likely. Brake progressively on the straight before you reach a bend. Having slowed down, steer smoothly round the bend, avoiding sudden actions
•Check your grip on the road surface when there is snow or ice by choosing a safe place to brake gently. If the steering feels unresponsive this may indicate ice and your vehicle losing its grip on the road. When travelling on ice, tyres make virtually no noise.
(from The Highway Code, §206)
2.Unlike the man before her she moves like a soldier, at a fast cat-like crouch, weaving and ducking and using the river bed for cover.
(from Michael Palin, Full Circle, p. 293)
Task two **
Complete the following sentences by adding an adverbial of manner, means or instrument on the basis of the noun phrase in brackets. In some cases two or three different forms are acceptable.
1.The trade unions protested against the government’s measures. (vigour)
2.The new proposal was received. (enthusiasm).
3.The losing team fought back. (courage)
4.The local tribes were treated. (cruelty and injustice)
5.I was dressing the patient’s wounds. (a qualified nurse)
6.Mr Pym was behaving towards the new trainee. (a sixteen-year-old)
7.The front gate was locked, so I tried to get in. (the backdoor)
8.Fortunately, we were able to communicate. (mobile phone)
9.The employers sought to win over the workers. (a pay rise)
10.Why don’t we resolve the problem? (a change of tactics)
11.The burglars knocked the night porter unconscious. (a baseball bat)
12.We cannot reduce the flood risk. (proper sea defences)
Task three **
Fill the gaps in the following sentences, adding the most appropriate of the adverbials listed below:
as if it were your last day on earth
by a perilously slim extending ladder
by road or by rail
by sounding your horn
by the path we always used
by the use of symbols
clearly and accurately
like an Arctic explorer
using an old-fashioned fountain pen
with a crowbar
with a little piece of rope for support
with fond approval
with great difficulty
1.Susan had been writing a letter, _______________.
2.I only managed to get leave of absence _______________.
3.We got down to the beach _______________.
4.Time passes _______________ when you are waiting.
5.The burglar forced open the greenhouse _______________.
6.Jonathan’s bride watched over him _______________.
7.You can travel on public transport between cities ____________.
8.When morning came, I was dressed _______________ and still shivering.
9.Live each day _______________.
10.Do not scare animals _______________.
11.We boarded the plane _______________, _______________.
12.This vast amount of detail can only be conveyed _______________ _______________.
7.15. Prepositions (general)
Task one **
Complete the paragraph below by putting in the appropriate preposition.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes is described ………..(1)……….. the Guinness Book of Records as “the world’s greatest living explorer”. Born ………..(2)……….. 1944 and educated ………..(3)……….. Eton, he served ………..(4)……….. the SAS ………..(5)……….. embarking ………..(6)……….. a series ………..(7)……….. record-breaking Arctic, Antarctic and desert explorations. ………..(8)……….. 1979 and 1982 he and fellow explorer Charles Burton became the first men to reach both Poles and circumnavigate the Earth ………..(9)……….. its polar axis. ………..(10)……….. 1986 he broke the record ………..(11)……….. getting ………..(12)……….. the North Pole unsupported. ………..(13)……….. 1993 he achieved the first unsupported crossing ………..(14)……….. the Antarctic, the longest such polar journey ………..(15)……….. history, 1,345 miles. A year ago he attempted the first unassisted polar trek ………..(16)……….. the North Pole, abandoned when his sledge slid ………..(17)……….. the Arctic Ocean. Frostbite cost him a thumb and the tops of four fingers. Sir Ranulph’s adventures have raised more than £6 million ………..(18)……….. charity. After writing several books ………..(19)……….. them, he has now published his first thriller. ………..(20)……….. his wife ………..(21)……….. 31 years, Virginia, he runs a Somerset farm ………..(22)……….. 100 sheep and 200 Aberdeen Angus cattle. ………..(23)……….. there, this flamboyant hero told us ………..(24)……….. his own special hero.
(from SAGA Magazine, February 2002, p. 45)
Task two **
In the sentences below state whether the words underlined are prepositions (P) or prepositional adverbs (PA).
1.These are the books I paid for. Not those.
2.We’ll walk down.
3.It was a very steep hill and we had to climb up. There was no other way.
4.Don’t stand too near!
5.Should I put more salt in?
6.I looked up and there he was.
7.Which shop did you go into?
8.I don’t know what he’s looking for.
9.It didn’t look a very interesting town. We just drove through.
10.He’s not someone I’d work with.
7.16. Two or more adverbials
Time adverbials in end-position tend to occur in the order duration + frequency + time–when:
– I used to swim for an hour or so every day when I was a child.
When various semantic types of adverbials occur in end-position, the normal order is manner/means/instrument + place + time:
– I was walking quietly across the lawn that evening.
When two time or two place adverbials occur together, the more specific one tends to come first.
However, long adverbials of any type often come at the very end of the sentence.
Arrange the adverbials in brackets in the most appropriate order.
1.Some scientists believe that palm trees will be growing (in fifty years; in Iceland).
2.We moved together (at the front of the building; into the small colonial room).
3.Laura was sitting (in an armchair; with a magazine in her lap).
4.I found this (among the boulders; by the tower).
5.I tapped (at ten past four; on Stella’s door).
6.The couple had travelled (on the Transsiberian Express; eastward).
7.The barrel of the gun pointed (in my direction; intimidatingly).
8.Martin Cash arrived (after a career of crimes, arrests and escapes; in 1840; in the penal colony of Port Arthur).
9.Hudson travelled (extensively; for several years; in the North).
10.Mr Lee was (in his office; in Hong Kong; on the fourth floor of a supermarket).
11.Ruth gazed (at the paving stone; fixedly; under her feet).
12.Tallinn became visible (about 1 o’clock; in the afternoon; to starboard).
Section 215; 459
Expressions of degree can have a heightening or a lowering effect on some part of the sentence. They are usually adverbs acting as modifiers of adjectives, adverbs, etc. or adverbials typically occurring in mid-position: I’m veryhungry./We entirely agree with you.
Identify the degree expressions in the following sentences, specifying
(a)whether they have a heightening (H) or a lowering (L) effect
(b)whether they function as modifiers (M) or as adverbials (A).
1.The two pictures looked particularly valuable to me.
2.The word cathedral simply means ‘a chair’.
3.Just getting the facts straight is monumentally difficult.
4.There were quite a number of things we didn’t know.
5.I had pretty much given up on watching TV.
6.It’s almost impossible to get through to New York.
7.Russians care deeply about whether their country is consulted.
8.The government can ill afford to give in to these demands.
9.Observers claimed that the brutal regime had totally collapsed.
10.It’s all but certain that the two presidents will reach a deal.
11.Perhaps I should try to be a little more like a stern nanny.
12.We’re all terribly grateful to dear Wilfred.
13.It really bothers me that I can’t leave right now.
14.Swallowing is piercingly painful, and only partly relieved by a swig from my water bottle.
(Michael Palin, Pole to Pole, p. 125)
15.I let myself into a neat but rather gloomy cabin, barely half the size of Officer B’s – the fully furnished life of someone small, slender and dainty in their movements.
(Jonathan Raban, Hunting Mister Heartbreak, p. 56)
7.18. Gradable words and degree 1
Degree only applies to gradable words: scale words indicate a relative position on a scale (large, small), while limit words indicate the end-point of a scale (black, white).
Degree expressions with adjective scale words can be different from those used with verb scale words, especially when indicating extreme positions (very tall vs rain (very) much) or intensifying the meaning slightly (prettyhard vs increase considerably).
Downtoners tend to be the same (slightly uncomfortable/fall slightly).
Degree adverbs with limit words are usually the same whether used with adjectives or with verbs (completely black/disagree completely).
Task one **
Insert an acceptable degree expression from the set listed below. (A) stands for ‘indicating extreme position’, (B) for ‘intensifying slightly’ and (C) for ‘toning down’.
a great deal
1.The situation in the border area is getting desperate. (B)
2.High Street spending has increased over the last two months. (B)
3.Teachers are complaining about class sizes these days. (A)
4.In her early nineties now, Mrs Wilson is beginning to look frail. (A)
5.Ricky’s mood swings are making me feel uncomfortable. (C)
6.On the whole, I like these after-dinner speeches. (B)
7.Careful, that wooden chest is heavy! (B)
8.Aren’t you getting worried about Mandy’s recent behaviour? (C)
9.Teenagers tend to admire pop stars. (A)
10.I think we should reword this letter. (C)
11.We were given an accurate description of the situation. (B)
12.Dear Kenny, I’m looking forward to your visit. (A)
Task two *
Complete the following sentences, using the more (or most) appropriate of the degree expressions in brackets.
1.I felt ____________ uneasy at the thought of meeting my rival. (considerably; rather)
2.I remember Aunt Dolly’s words ____________. (exactly; very much)
3.Henry’s work is ____________ sentimental for my taste. (a lot; too)
4.Smoking on these premises is ____________ forbidden. (rather; strictly)
5.Our victory has proved our enemies ____________ wrong. (practically; utterly)
6.Somebody who works ____________ is often described as a workaholic. (a great deal; considerably)
7.Jack told me he wasn’t ____________ bored. (absolutely; in the least)
8.The original edition is still useful as it has only been modified ____________. (slightly; virtually)
9.People who drink too much may have to stop working ___________. (altogether; quite)
10.Walking on the surface of the sun is ____________ impossible. (nearly; quite)
11.I was ____________ surprised when I heard these rumours. (a little; a great deal)
12.The idea that ____________ any anachronism can be rescued is ____________ popular. (almost; completely; extremely)
7.19. Gradable words and degree 2
Comparative adjectives and adverbs are modified by degree words used as adverbials: much healthier. Superlatives can be intensified by degree adverbs like altogether and very: altogether the best show/the very best show.
The adverbial very much is often to be preferred to much: I liked it very much.
The degree adverbs entirely, fairly and quite tend to suggest a positive meaning, while completely, rather, utterly and a bit/little often suggest a negative one: fairly warm vs rather warm.
Task one **
Complete the following sentences, adding degree expressions which indicate ‘extreme position on the scale’.
1.A giraffe’s legs are ____________ longer than an antelope’s.
2.Our success ____________ depends on your willingness to cooperate.
3.We offer ____________ the highest quality in dental care.
4.Some laboratories are using the ____________ latest cloning techniques.
5.I like these Beethoven sonatas ____________.
6.Dad looks ____________ more relaxed these days.
7.Ignoring the problem would be the ____________ worst solution.
8.Well, mate, I’ve done ____________ better than you this time, eh?
9.This studio has produced ____________ the most enchanting pictures.
10.I know you must be ____________ busy but I would ____________ welcome a visit from you.
Task two **
Add an appropriate degree adverb to a gradable element in the following sentences. (A) stands for ‘indicating extreme position’, (B) for ‘intensifying slightly’ and (C) for ‘toning down’.
1.Jimmy looked pathetic standing in the rain outside. (B)
2.Joan seemed at ease in this new environment. (A)
3.It’s a pleasant walk now that the heather is in full bloom. (B)
4.The information we received was accurate. (B)
5.The next of kin were devastated by the news. (A)
6.I’m not convinced that this is the ideal approach. (A)
7.For thirty years Mr Lee made an easy living as a fisherman. (B)
8.I’ve been worried about my health lately. (C)
9.What you were saying is beside the point. (A)
10.It would be foolish to support such a stupid idea. (A)
7.20. Other aspects of degree adverbs
Words like new and full can be used as scale words and as limit words (very/absolutely new).
A scale word and a different limit word can deal with the same area of meaning (very tired vs absolutely exhausted).
A scale word often corresponds to one or more limit words, intensifying its meaning (very bad vs absolutely terrible).
Words like barely and hardly are negative degree adverbs, while at all occurs in both negative and interrogative sentences. Some degree adverbs tend to intensify specific verbs (need badly, enjoy thoroughly).
Task one ***
Intensify the meaning of the underlined phrases by replacing them with limit words preceded by matching degree adverbs.
Example: The late evening programme was quite funny.
⇒ The late evening programme was absolutely hilarious.
1.Some of these 19th century stamps are very rare.
2.After such a long walk we were all really hungry.
3.The health situation in the flooded areas was very bad.
4.All that unfair criticism made me feel quite irritated.
5.Robust economic growth is somewhat unlikely.
6.The latest novel by Tom Wolfe is rather interesting.
7.The results of the investigation are quite unbelievable.
8.At a five-star restaurant the food is bound to be very good.
9.Working yourself to death like this is rather stupid.
10.The preliminary estimates turned out to be quite incorrect.
Task two **
Add to the underlined parts degree adverbs which (a) are inherently negative OR (b) intensify the meaning of the verb.
Examples: The PM is not a supporter of appeasement.
⇒ The PM is not a supporter of appeasement at all.
We all want to see the surviving sailors.
⇒ We all want to see the surviving sailors (very) badly.
An old ruler was complaining that he was not loved by his subjects. However he tried to convince them of HIS love for THEM, it was all to no avail. The old man failed to realize that people disapproved of the way he managed the finances of the realm.
Years of excessive spending had left his country with no money. Endless military campaigns had been draining it of funds needed elsewhere.
Was it possible to make the ruler change his policies? It seemed so. Even though his subjects wanted reform, he disagreed with even the suggestion of change.
7.21. Role, standard and point of view
A gradable word can have its meaning qualified in terms of
•role: Anna is very good at swimming./As a swimmer, she is very good.
•standard: Anna is a good swimmer for a twelve-year-old.
It is also possible to specify the point of view from which a word or phrase is understood: Anna is a good swimmer in a technical sense./Morally, it was a difficult problem.
Task one *
Identify the expressions indicating role, standard and point of view, determining to which of the three categories each expression belongs.
1.In theory, most of our environmental problems can be solved.
2.Britain is bad at dealing with extreme weather conditions.
3.If you inadvertently wander off the footpath, you are technically trespassing.
4.For a man aged over sixty, running such a distance was quite an achievement.
5.We have become successful by being expert at solving problems.
6.As a football player, David Beckham is unbeatable.
7.In a political sense the uninsured hardly formed a group at all.
8.The coach said we did well for such a young team.
9.On paper, this set of rules looks impressive.
10.Six out of ten is not too bad for a beginner.
11.Ms Carpenter is excellent as a teacher and trainer.
12.Objectively, this war is terrifying. Subjectively, it remains strangely uninvolving.
Task two **
Rephrase each of the above sentences in at least one alternative way.
7.22. Sentence adverbials
Sentence adverbials are not integrated in the structure of the sentence but are peripheral to it. They also have a wide variety of possible structures, ranging from simple adverb to finite subclause. Most sentence adverbials occur in front-position and are separated from what follows by a tone unit boundary.
Some sentence adverbials convey speakers’ comments on what they are saying:
– Frankly / If I may be frank, this isn’t good enough.
Other sentence adverbials have a connective role:
– The team didn’t like the food. However, they have not complained so far.
Task one *
Add a sentence adverbial corresponding in meaning to the expression in brackets.
1.Tracy forgot to lock the front door.
(this was very odd)
2.What Sam told us is a pack of lies.
(this is clear)
3.I haven’t got the faintest idea why she rebuffed you.
(I want to be frank about it)
4.Harry will have second thoughts about this.
(I hope he will)
5.I would say only a trained diver could reach the wreck.
(I want to speak as an expert)
6.The evidence we’ve got is not convincing.
(I have to admit this)
7.Some spectators turned up after the game had started.
(this was unfortunate)
8.I’ve never intended to hurt Maggy’s feelings.
(I want to be honest with you)
9.Dennis jilted his girlfriend for a much older woman.
(this really surprised us)
10.Lady Tattle was monopolizing the conversation again.
(this was characteristic)
11.Many more people will be killed in the operations.
(this cannot be doubted)
12.The white powder looks quite harmless.
(on the surface of it)
Task two **
Connect the following pairs of sentences by adding one of the adverbials below to the second sentence of each pair:
as a result
in other words
on the contrary
1.The Prime Minister is suffering from a hernia. He will not be able to attend the European summit.
2.The peace process is in deep trouble. The various parties involved are prepared to continue their efforts.
3.Nursery education has been transferred to community colleges. Teacher training has been shifted to colleges and universities.
4.We could travel by train. We could travel by plane.
5.I did not feel put off by this unexpected confrontation. I was already looking forward to the next challenge.
6.We are not going to buy a sunbed as it is too expensive. Someone told me UV-radiation can cause skin cancer.
7.I think we should show some more understanding for Susan’s behaviour. She’s been through a lot lately.
8.Is there a cheaper solution? Can you make a cheaper device?
9.Don’t forget to tell the boss. You will get into a lot of trouble.
10.The suspect did not answer any of my questions. He kept staring into the distance.