Bound Modifiers




BOUND MODIFIERS:

(STRUCTURES THAT CAN BE INSERTED INTO A SENTENCE PATTERN WITHOUT CHANGING THE PATTERN)

  1. ADJECTIVES (adj) are signalled structurally by -er and -est or by more and most (e.g., sharp, sharper, sharpest; useful, more useful, most useful).

    Other common structural signals of adjectives include -ous and -al added to nouns (marvelous, institutional) and -able added to verbs (practicable). Less common signals include -y (healthy), -ful (hopeful), -en (wooden), -ary (legendary), -ish (childish), and quite a few others.

  2. ADVERBS (adv) are often signalled sturcturally by -ly added to an adjective (hopefully, eagerly), by -wise added to a noun (lengthwise, crabwise), or by a- added to the beginning of nouns (ahead, away), verbs (adrift, astir) and adjectives (anew, abroad). Adverbs, like adjectives, are also signalled by -er, -est, and so on.

  3. BOUND PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES (pp) consist of a preposition and a noun. The eleven most common prepositions are the following:

    at, by, for, from, in, into, of, on, over, to, with

  4. OTHER ONE-WORD BOUND MODIFIERS (obm) may include all of the prepositions above (occuring alone) and also the following words:

    again, always, even, maybe, only, ago, anyhow,
    ever, moreover, perhaps, ahead, anyway, furthermore, never,
    rather, almost, anywhere, hardly, nevertheless, quite,
    already, away, here, not, seldom, also, awhile,
    indeed, now, sometimes, altogether, else, just, nowadays, too.

    HOW TO MAKE SENTENCES THAT HAVE BOUND MODIFIERS IN THEM

    Bound modifiers tend to go into slots: adjectives go before nouns, prepositional phrases tend to follow nouns or verbs, adverbs can move around in sentences, and one-word bound modifiers often begin or end sentences. Here are a couple examples of the sentences you are asked to compose in lesson four. The abbreviations in the parenthesis indicate what bound modifier has preceded the parenthesis. Imitate these two sentences in your E-mail message, but use your own words.

    sample one: People seem apt at learning to use computers.

    Nowadays (obm) young (adj) people seem unusually (adv) apt at learning to use these new-fangled (adj) computers quickly (adv) without much help (pp) from their computer-phobic (adj) elders (pp).

    sample two: Constance smiled.

    Moreover (obm) the always (adv) agreeable (adj) Constance smiled modestly (adv) at her best (adj) friend (pp) with silver (adj) braces and curly (adj) hair (pp).

    DEFINITION OF MAIN CLAUSES

    A main clause is any basic sentence pattern (BSP) or any BSP plus its bound modifiers.

    Return to Lesson Four