Group Assignments for Unit 2

1. Sentence Collection

Collect an example of each type of sentence from written sources. Diagram each sentence, and, briefly explain the use of the VP in context. Please provide citations for all sources.

e.g. Sam was seeing his family doctor on a regular basis. The doctor, however, moved to Seattle, and Sam, at a loss for what to do, finally joined an HMO.

This sentence uses the past progressive to describe action viewed as a process taking place in the past. This process is contrasted with the actions of the doctor moving to Seattle and Sam joining the HMO, both of which are in the simple past, because Sam's seeing the doctor was a process occurring over an extended period of time, while the other actions were one-time events.

VP = verb phrase

  1. Sentence with its VP in the present perfect passive.
  2. Sentence with its VP in the conditional (any tense & aspect).
  3. Sentence with its VP in the present progressive.
  4. Sentence with its VP in the past progressive passive.
  5. Passive sentence with its VP in the simple present.

2. Sentence Construction

Construct a sentence whose verb phrase conforms to the following patterns, and identify the tense, mood, aspect (e.g. present perfect progressive), and voice (active or passive). You do NOT have to do any more writing for this assignment and you do NOT have to diagram the sentences, but only those answers that identify the tense, mood, aspect, and voice will receive full credit.

V = any verb (you'll find this in all the sentences except #2) modal = any modal.

  1. past + be + en + V
  2. pres + have + en + be + ing + be
  3. past + have + en + be + en +V
  4. past + modal + be + ing + V
  5. pres + V
  6. past + modal + have + en + be + en + V

3. Comments on Problematical Sentences

Each sentence is not standard edited English. Some are grammatical but only in non-standard dialects, others are not possible sentences for any English speaker. For each sentence identify, correct, and explain the problem clearly using grammatical terms. You will probably find it very useful to write out the verb strings in several cases.

  1. Uriah was so sleepy because he had drank too much beer.
  2. The candidate walking calmly and confidently up to the podium to deliver her speech.
  3. An ample reward was deserved by Henrietta.
  4. Marches the army forth to battle?
  5. Harry laid in the sun too long yesterday, and now he has a bad sunburn.
  6. He be waiting for the bus every morning.


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Comments to: Sara Kimball
Last updated January, 2001