The adverbial of measure

§ 111. This adverbial is expressed by a noun denoting a unit of measure (length, time, weight, money, temperature).

It is used after statal verbs denoting processes, states, or characteristics allowing measurement, such as to measure, to last, to wait, to sleep, to walk, to run, to weigh, to cost. Nouns as adverbials of measure are preceded by numerals or the indefinite article in its, numerical function.

The room measures 30 feet across.

We walked (for) five miles.

The box weighs a ton.

The temperature went down ten degrees below zero.

The adverbial of exception

§ 112. This adverbial is expressed by nouns or prepositional phrases introduced by the prepositions but, except, save, but for, except for, save for, apart from, aside from, with the exclusion of.

I looked everywhere except in the bedroom.

Your English is decent apart from spelling.

The road was empty except for a few cars.

The prepositions save and save for are more formal and occur in writing, as in:

These men were in fact quite civil save during certain weeks of autumn and winter.

Independent elements of the sentence

§ 113. Independent elements of the sentence, as the term implies, generally are not grammatically dependent on any particular part of the sentence, but as a rule refer to the sentence as a whole. Only occasionally they may refer to a separate part of the sentence. The independent element may consist of a word or a phrase. Its position is more free than that of any other parts of the sentence and accordingly it may occur in different positions in the sentence.

There are two groups of independent elements:

I. Direct address. A direct address is the name of a person (or occasionally a non-person) to whom the rest of the sentence is addressed. It may be emotionally charged or neutral, but semantically it does not influence the sentence.

I’m sorry, Major, we had an arrangement.

Jenny, darling, don’t say such things.

How’s the world, good friend?

II. parenthesis. As to its meaning the parenthesis may be of several types:

a) It may express the speaker’s attitude to the relation between what is expressed in the sentence and reality (perhaps, maybe, certainly, of course, evidently, oh, Goodness Gracious, etc.).

Undoubtedly you are both excellent engineers.

Surely he had too wide a mouth.

The cottages were, in fact, boxlike and rather towny.

Oh, we can’t go.

b) It may connect the sentence it belongs to with the preceding or the following one expressing different relations (first, firstly, secondly, finally, after all, moreover, besides, by the way, on the contrary, that is (ie), for example (eg), etc.).

I was listening and thinking. Besides, I wanted to tell you something.

After all, he’d only been doing his duty.

Finally the whole party started walking.

c) It may specify that which is said in the sentence or express a comment (according to my taste, in my opinion, to tell the truth, in other words, as is known, by the way, etc.).

According to your theory, we’re in a mighty soulful era.

To tell you the truth, the total was more than a thousand francs.

As a rule a parenthesis refers to the sentence (or clause) as a whole.

Frankly speaking, he had been amazed at his failure.

This streak of light was, in all likelihood, a gleam from a lantern.

Sometimes, however, a parenthesis refers only to, a secondary part of the sentence.

Miss Barlett might reveal unknown depths of strangeness, though not, perhaps, of meaning.

As to its morphological nature, a parenthesis can be expressed by:

1. A modal word:

perhaps, no doubt, indeed, certainty, in fact, evidently, maybe, etc.

Perhaps they would go soon.

2. An interjection:

oh, ah, eh, dear me, by God, Good heavens, etc.

Do you like the outfit, eh?

Dear me, I had no idea you were such a determined character.

3. A conjunct (that is, an adverb combining the function of a parenthesis with that of a connector):

finally, anyway, consequently, besides, moreover, otherwise, etc.

But there’s no chance here. Besides, he couldn’t make two ends meet on the job.

4. A prepositional phrase:

in my opinion, in short, by the way, on the other hand, on the contrary, at least, to one’s surprise, etc.

In my opinion you are wrong.

You can’t make me! In short, I won’t do it.

5. An infinitive phrase:

to tell the truth, to be sure, to begin with, to do smb justice, etc.

That was, so to speak, another gift for you.

To do that lady justice, Miss Spencer bore the ordeal very well.

6. A participial phrase:

frankly speaking, strictly speaking, generally speaking, etc.

Generally speaking I think you’re right.

7. A clause (see the item on parenthetical clauses).

As it was, Nell departed with surprising docility.


§ 114. The words in an English sentence are arranged in a certain order, which is fixed for every type of the sentence, and is therefore meaningful. We find several principles determining word order in a sentence, so that word order fulfils several functions – grammatical, emphatic, or communicative, and linking. These functions are manifested in different arrangements of the parts of the sentence.

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