Task

4 - Tasks

Published: 29.06.2010, Updated: 03.03.2017
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1

Find the lexical words in these sentences and state whether they are nouns, verbs adjectives or adverbs. Do you consider go for in the last example as two separate words with independent meanings or as one unit of meaning? Defend your answer.

1  That is good news.
2  Did Mary like any of the CDs?
3  We have carefully examined each case.
4 The candidate was totally relaxed.
5  Nobody would go for your solution.

Key

KEY

  1. Is (verb), good (adjective), news (noun)
  2. Mary (proper noun), like (verb), CDs (noun- abbreviated from compact discs)
  3. carefully (adverb), examined (verb), case (noun)
  4. candidate (noun), was (verb), totally (adverb), relaxed (adjective)
  5. go for (verb), solution (noun)

Since go for means ‘support/accept’ and go alone does not have its literal meaning of ‘moving’, it is best to regard go for as one unit of meaning, a phrasal verb.
In sentence 4 relaxed is best regarded as an adjective, in which case was is not an auxiliary but a form of the lexical verb BE.
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2

Go back to the five sentences above and put the function words into their correct classes.

Key

KEY

  1. that (demonstrative pronoun)
  2. did (auxiliary), any (indefinite pronoun), of (preposition), the (determiner, definite article)
  3. we, (personal pronoun), have (auxiliary), each (indefinite determiner)
  4. the (determiner, definite article)
  5. Nobody (indefinite pronoun), would (auxiliary), your (possessive determiner)
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3

Identify the noun phrases in these examples and state what their syntactic function is, i.e. whether subject, direct object, subject predicative etc.

1  The ship couldn’t sink.
2  Steven Gerrard made the right decision.
3  The decision would be a shock.
4  Chelsea had offered Liverpool a record transfer fee.
5  The next day the kids met Steven.
6 There are many training fields in the area.
7  It was a shock to find him that dehydrated. (‘uttørret’)

Key

KEY

  1. the ship (noun phrase as subject).
  2. Steven Gerrard (noun phrase as subject), the right decision (noun phrase as direct object).
  3. The decision (noun phrase as subject), a shock (noun phrase as subject predicative).
  4. Chelsea(noun phrase as subject), Liverpool(noun phrase as indirect object), a record transfer fee (noun phrase as direct object).
  5. The next day (noun phrase as adverbial), the kids (noun phrase as subject), Steven (noun phrase as direct object).
  6. There (empty filler as anticipatory subject), many training fields (noun phrase as real subject), the area (noun phrase as part of a prepositional phrase).
  7. It (empty filler as anticipatory subject), a shock (noun phrase as subjectpredicative), to find him that dehydrated (an infinitive construction – not a noun phrase – that functions as real subject).


Note: It and there in sentences 6 and 7 are very special words. They are not normal noun
phrases, but they replace and anticipate noun phrases. Remember that regular
pronouns such as I, you, he/she/it also replace noun phrases.  We can call them single-
word pronoun phrases even though they do not look like typical noun phrases with
noun heads. cf. I love you.

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4

Identify verbals in the seven sentences above.

Key

KEY

  1. couldn’t sink
  2. made
  3. would be
  4. had offered
  5. met
  6. are
  7. was
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5

In example 6 of question 3 there is a prepositional phrase in the area. What syntactic function does this prepositional phrase have in the sentence?

Key

KEY

In the area functions as an adverbial because it tells us where the many training fields are.

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6

In this pair of sentences the prepositional phrase in Rome occurs in two different positions. Explain the difference in meaning and grammar between the two.

The two men met after 18 years in Rome.        The two men met in Rome after 18 years.

Key

KEY

The first sentence means that they met somewhere after having spent 18 years in Rome.
The other means that they met in Rome after having spent 18 years somewhere.

The placement of after 18 years and in Rome makes the difference. In the second sentence in Rome follows closely after met and we understand in Rome to refer to the place where they met. In the first example in Rome comes at the end. It is separated from met and instead connected to 18 years. So it means that they ‘had spent 18 years in Rome’. In the second sentence we know that they met in Rome, because met comes immediately before in Rome, but we do not know where the 18 years had been spent.

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7

Find the adverbials in these examples and state what phrase type they are, whether adverb phrase, prepositional phrase, noun phrase, etc.
NB! In this question you will have to bear in mind the difference between phrase types on the one hand and their syntactic function on the other.

  1. Optimistically, she would open any letter.
  2. A few years ago we got Torres, a player with power, pace, personality, and most importantly, goals.
  3. His new contract would be signed in a few days.

Key

KEY

  1. Optimistically is an adverbial in the form of a single-word adverb phrase. It refers to how she felt when she opened letters.
  2. A few years ago is an adverbial of time in the form of a noun phrase. Most importantly is an adverbial which expresses the speaker’s opinion of what was most important in the list of qualities. It is in the form of an adverb phrase.
  3. In a few days is an adverbial of time in the form of a prepositional phrase.
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8

These examples consist of sentences with two or more clauses combined. Draw a vertical line  where one clause ends and another begins. Then state whether the combinations show subordination, coordination or, in some cases, both.

  1. If I believe he is fit for fight, I’ll put him in the squad.
  2. These manufacturers will match our quality and price, but they’ll have better designs.
  3. The two women feel that they represent entirely different values and are not on good speaking terms.
  4. Mom, I have decided what flower to plant.
  5. Members who have not received the invitation may call Bill because he is on the organising committee.
Key

KEY

  1. Here we have subordination between a clause of condition (‘betingelsessetning’) and a following main clause.
    If I believe he is fit for fight | I’ll put him in the squad. In fact the first clause of condition can be separated into two clauses as well, like this:
    (If)  I believe | he is fit for fight, where the second is subordinated to the first.
  2. Here we have coordination.
    These manufacturers will match our quality and price | but they’ll have better designs.
  3. Here we have coordination between these two clauses:
    The two women feel that they represent entirely different values | and are not on good speaking terms.
    The first of these shows subordination between The two women feel and that they represent entirely different values.
  4. This is a case of subordination of what flowers to plant to the main clause.
    Mom, I have decided| what flowers to plant
  5. The first main division is between the main clause and the following subordinate because clause. Members who have not received the invitation may call Bill | because he is on the organising committee.
    But we have another case of subordination inside the first clause, cf. Members | who have not received the invitation | may call Bill.

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9

Read the extracts 1-8 below and answer the following questions:

  1. Put the eight passages in an order that creates good coherence.
  2. Give your reasons why you want the passages to go in that order. Refer to specific examples of     content and language form that you rely on.
  3. Which genre does this text belong to?
  4. Comment briefly on the style of this piece.

 

 

1
Because these few simple facts were all anyone knew about him what began as a bet nearly ended in tragedy for the handsome but mysterious man. It happened like this….

2
He spent his day at the club reading. At 6.10 he started playing cards and returned home every evening at 9.15, after one game of cards. Any money he won at cards he gave to charity, a fact which impressed his fellow card players who found him charming and handsome.

3
Phileas Fogg was a man of mystery. Apart from a few simple facts, no one knew anything about him. He had no family and lived with a single servant in a large house in London.

4
At 11.30 on the day Jean started work, there had been a bank robbery  -  £55,000 had been stolen from the Bank of England and there was a reward for the robber's capture. Ports and railway station were being watched to try to stop the thief from leaving the country.

5
The members of the Reform Club were playing cards as usual that afternoon but they were also talking about the bank robber, possible hiding places for him and how quickly he could get out of the country. They agreed that the world had shrunk and some said that you could travel around it in three months.

6
Fogg was a man of very exact habits. In his house there was a timetable which showed that he had tea at exactly 8.23 every morning. At 9.37 his servant brought him his shaving water, heated to exactly 86 degrees Fahrenheit. He left his home at 11.30 precisely and went to the Reform Club.

7
In 1892 a new servant started working for Phileas, the Frenchborn Jean Passepartout, who had worked as a fireman, a singer, and an acrobat in a circus. Jean was a strong yet gentle man who, because of his pleasant manners, was well liked wherever he went.  Phileas Fogg seemed to be just the master he needed. But Jean couldn’t have been more wrong.

8
“You don’t need three months!” said Phileas Fogg . “You can travel around the world in eighty days! I bet I can do it in eighty days.”  “Do you accept the bet?” “Very well then, his friends said, “we accept.”

Based on Around the World in Eighty Days,

The Ladybird Children’s Classics version,

Ladybird Books, Loughborough, 1982

 

Key

KEY

1
The most likely sequence of passages is: 3, 6, 2, 1, 7, 4, 5, and 8. Read the text and see if you understand and appreciate the cohesion (‘sammenhengen’) between the 8 paragraphs.

3
Phileas Fogg was a man of mystery. Apart from a few simple facts, no one knew anything about him. He had no family and lived with a single servant in a large house in London.

6
Fogg was a man of very exact habits. In his house there was a timetable which showed that he had tea at exactly 8.23 every morning. At 9.37 his servant brought him his shaving water, heated to exactly 86 degrees Fahrenheit. He left his home at 11.30 precisely and went to the Reform Club.

2
He spent his day at the club reading. At 6.10 he started playing cards and returned home every evening at 9.15, after one game of cards. Any money he won at cards he gave to charity, a fact which impressed his fellow card players who found him charming and handsome.

1
Because these few simple facts were all anyone knew about him what began as a bet nearly ended in tragedy for the handsome but mysterious man. It happened like this….

7
In 1892 a new servant started working for Phileas, the Frenchborn Jean Passepartout, who had worked as a fireman, a singer, and an acrobat in a circus. Jean was a strong yet gentle man who, because of his pleasant manners, was well liked wherever he went.  Phileas Fogg seemed to be just the master he needed. But Jean couldn’t have been more wrong.

4
At 11.30 on the day Jean started work, there had been a bank robbery  -  £55,000 had been stolen from the Bank of England and there was a reward for the robber’s capture. Ports and railway stations were being watched to try to stop the thief from leaving the country.

5
The members of the Reform Club were playing cards as usual that afternoon but they were also talking about the bank robber, possible hiding places for him and how quickly he could get out of the country. They agreed that the world had shrunk and some said that you could travel around it in three months.

8
“You don’t need three months!” said Phileas Fogg . “You can travel around the world in eighty days! I bet I can do it in eighty days.”  “Do you accept the bet?” “Very well then, his friends said, “we accept.”

2
Paragraphs 3, 6, 2 and 1 seem to set the general background for the specific events in paragraphs 7, 4, 5 and 8. So there is a break-off point there. The first four characterise Phileas Fogg and his regular habits, the next four lead up to the bet.

Inside the first four, only 1 uses his full name, which is a good indication that it is the opening paragraph. The other three use Fogg and he.
In paragraph 6 we are introduced to the full name of his club: Reform Club; which means that later references can be to the short form the club.
Paragraph 1 sums up Phileas Fogg’s personality and habits while at the same time pointing forward to the story to be told: It happened like this:

Inside the next four sections, seven talks about a new servant, which means that it must come after three where there is mention of a single servant. Seven, incidentally, contains a signal of suspense: Jean couldn’t have been more wrong. (The rest of the story unravels this suspense).
Four must precede five because the robbery is introduced in four and referred to in five.
And five must precede eight because of the mention of three months in five and Phileas Fogg’s subsequent reaction to that statement in eight.

3
This is fiction.

4
The language here is simple. It has no difficult words, fairly short sentences and simple structures, the verbs are overwhelmingly in simple past tense; the tense normally used to tell stories. The exceptions are the passive progressive were being watched in four and the present tense in the dialogue in eight.

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10 (advanced)


Questions
1 Read the text below. Which paragraph(s) give(s)

a) the topic
b) exemplification
c) reason for lack of social mobility
d) a possible wrong inference
e) solutions to the problem of lack of social mobility
f) the author’s conclusion

2 Suggest a different order of the eight paragraphs that would still result in a coherent text.

3 Certain paragraphs must follow certain other paragraphs.  Give two examples and give your reasons for the order you prefer, referring to content and language form.

4  Use your own words to explain the meaning of  1) social mobility (I), 2) the professions (IV), 3) articulacy (IV), 4) the dominant culture (V), 5) an Etonian ( VI), 6) a very deprived intake (VII), 7) work ethic (VII), 8) the very last sentence in passage VIII.

5  How important are social codes, e.g. manner of speaking, articulacy, and general conduct
if you want to move up in Norwegian society?  Write a short text in a neutral style which
addresses this question.


Social Mobility


I
Equality of opportunity and personal ambition alone are not enough if we want to make it easier for people to climb the social ladder. The barriers to social mobility are far more complex and need to be discussed openly.

II
A headhunter I bumped into last year told me about the difficulty she'd had in finding suitable staff. That week she'd taken a candidate with excellent paper qualifications for a meal. Which was where it all went wrong. "His manners were just unspeakable. Shovelling food on to his fork with his fingers. Talking with his mouth full, but holding his hand over it. Licking his fingers." And that was that. "My business is done over lunch. That's where you persuade people and do deals. I can't employ someone if people won't want to eat with them."

III
Had she told the candidate why he hadn't got the job? Of course not. He'd been let down with polite lies. He would never know that something so apparently trivial as table manners had such significance. And perhaps what the headhunter really suspected was that if his manners didn't fit, he'd also be unaware of a myriad subtle rules about how to behave in the group he wanted to join.

IV
The headhunter's story was in my mind when I read a recent report why the professions remain so hard for people from other classes to break into, why social mobility is so hard to achieve. Social barriers are more complex, as are employers' priorities. Yes, employers want qualifications, but what they prize most, though, are more elusive social skills: articulacy, tact, team-working, an ability to understand the social codes of the people already socialized into their staff.

V
The fact that there are different social codes makes attempts at social mobility difficult. The dominant culture is that of the white middle class; the elite culture is that of the upper middle class. Anyone who hopes to be socially mobile has, by definition, to learn to read a culture that is not the one they grew up with. Otherwise, no matter what their formal qualifications, they will either fail to get in, or fail to progress. In essence, they are moving from one kind of life to another, but our pretence that these barriers no longer exist means they are too often left without a map to guide them.

VI
The report suffers from one serious weakness. It doesn't see that ambition, talent and opportunity together still don't guarantee success. A child from an under-privileged background is unlikely to profit from a fortnight in a City law firm in the way an Etonian would.

VII
If social mobility is to be more common, children and teenagers must have access to and understanding of the dominant culture. William Atkinson, the inspiring head of a school in west London, with a very deprived intake, says that it's essential that pupils understand the dominant culture. He introduces them all, whether future doctors or gardeners, to great literature, theatre, art. He expects a work ethic. He tells his pupils that street culture is fine for home, but that only by joining the dominant culture will they have a choice.

VIII
More schools need that honesty and drive. Teenagers need to spend time with adults outside their social groups as mentors, friends and employers. And we need to find a way to talk about behaviour, manners, codes. Not because one set is better than another, but because it's the way humans recognise their groups. Pretending rules don't exist or matter only has one result – it freezes social mobility, and entrenches elites.

Based on Jenni  Russel, The Guardian, July 29, 2009

 


Key

KEY

Task 10

a)
The topic SOCIAL MOBILITY is introduced and defined in paragraph 1 and expanded on in the second part of paragraph four.
b)
Paragraphs two and three serve as exemplification of some of the aspects that prevent social mobility.
Paragraph seven gives an example of what William Atkinson, the head of a school in London, does to help socially ambitious students.

c)
Paragraph five says that as long as we pretend that social codes do not exist and as long as we do not talk about them openly, we will not help those who want to climb the social ladder to reach their goals.

d)
The possibly wrong inference mentioned in question d) is explained in paragraph six. It says that it is wrong to assume that ambition, talent and opportunity are enough for somebody in order to move up in society.
e)
Paragraphs four, five and seven suggest solutions to the problem. Young people need to be exposed to and learn the elusive social codes of the class they aspire to join. That means learning how to behave, learning how to talk, learning how to relate to professional peers, etc. 
f)
The author’s solution is set out in paragraphs five, seven and eight. It covers pretty much the same as what is mentioned in e) above.

2 and 3
This piece could have started with the examples that the original has in paragraphs two and three, and then moved on paragraphs one and four, which define social mobility and provide reasons why it is such a complex process.
It is quite possible to rearrange the order of some of these paragraphs, a fact which suggests that the text does not have a very tight logical structure. [In that way it is different from the structure of the Phileas Fogg text, which is structured according to a sequence of temporal events.]  But the examples given in paragraph eight should come before the conclusion in paragraph eight.

4

social mobility 
ability/aspiration to move up in society
the professions  
jobs which require formal academic training from college or    
university (in recent years the term has come to be used about
less prestigious jobs, but it is still a value-laden word)
articulacy ability to express oneself well
the dominant cultur the cultural values most middle-class white people have and
carry over to their children
an Etonian somebody who has been or is a student at the prestigious Eton
College
a very deprived intake a school that accepts pupils from deprived areas
work ethic moral guidelines that place great importance on one’s    
commitment and will to carry out duties and obligations
entrenches elites stops social mobility and secures the privileged position of the     
elite.

5
No answer suggested, but you may want to consider whether the elusive social codes the author mentions just reflect superficial conventions of behaviour or whether they genuinely reflect a person’s moral values.

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