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ERIC Number: ED224324
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jun
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Four Families of English Predicate Formation.
Caissie, Roland
A system for classifying English predicates into four families that account for all forms, moods, voices, and tenses is examined as an approach to teach grammar to students of English as a second language (ESL). It is suggested that by focusing on one family at a time, then building by combining these families, students can learn more readily to comprehend, produce, and manipulate conjugations and tenses. The following discriminators, or elements of English predicate formation, are examined: simple action form, modal form, have form, and be form. The system can be simplified for more elementary language levels while still retaining the four groupings; for example, eliminating the past participle in family four, or limiting the number of modals in family two. It is suggested that work with the families begin at the end, family four. Reasons for this include the ubiquity of "be" in English sentences, the simplicity of the interrogative and negative constructions, and the range of expression the use of "be" plus complements allows. From family four, the teacher can return to the beginning and family one. It is suggested that the true determiners for grouping verbs are the same ones that secondarily discriminate between person, time, mood, and voice, and are generally referred to as auxiliaries. They make up the core of all predicate formation in English, and by using each one separately or in concert with others, the entire spectrum of English verb tenses and voice can be produced and their understanding simplified. (SW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A