La Négation : domaine anglais by Centre interdisciplinaire d'études et de recherches sur

By Centre interdisciplinaire d'études et de recherches sur l'expression contemporaine (Saint-Étienne)

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Black, my cat is. As speakers of English, we recognize these examples as being grammatical or not. If however we want to explain in what way they are grammatical, or in what way they are deviating from a grammatical norm, we need to know more about the different kinds of words that are available in the language, and the possible places where they can occur in a sentence. 5 Word classes There are several different categories or classes of words available in the grammar. The main classes of words that you may already be familiar with in English are: nouns verbs adjectives adverbs prepositions Being able to recognize the class of a word is particularly helpful in stylistic analysis since it will enable you to identify and describe the various structural components in texts.

I need to buy a pair of purple shoes, and a new red hat. Patterns in language 28 It is possible to read this sentence putting stress on different words in turn, so as to suggest the speaker wants to buy the shoes and hat (as opposed to borrowing, stealing or hiring them); that the speaker wants to buy them (as opposed to someone else buying them); that the speaker wants a new hat (instead of an old one); that they want a pair of shoes (instead of just one), and so on. By putting the stress on the final word, ‘hat’, you create the meaning that the speaker is correcting a misunderstanding on the part of someone they are addressing, who perhaps thought they were going out to buy a red coat.

For example, if someone had said that being punctual was important and you disagreed, you might say: with the main stress and the secondary stress in the opposite order. If you can’t tell automatically which syllables in a word are stressed, try saying the word aloud and holding different syllables in turn for slightly longer than the others. A syllable which can be drawn out longer than the others without the word sounding very peculiar is probably a syllable on which the stress naturally falls.

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