Forms and Functions of the English Clause







EBS 282: Forms and Functions of the English Clause


3.0       Learning Guide


Week Topic Objectives Self-Study Questions
1 The English Grammatical Rank Scale 1.      By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

a)      define the terms rank and rank scale.

b)      explain the relationship that exists between the grammatical units on the rank scale.

c)      analyse clauses according to their constituent units.

Answer the following questions after your reading assignments and discuss the answers with your tutor:

2.      (a) Define rank in one sentence.

(b) How many ranks do we have in the grammar of English?

Mention them.

3.      (a) What is rank scale?

(b) Analyse the following clauses to show that it          consists of

lower grammatical ranks. Use the box diagram shown in slide


(i)     The man has registered his name.

(ii)  Freda had won the beauty contest.

4.      In two paragraphs, explain the two kinds of relationship between units on the English grammatical rank scale. Provide illustration in your explanation

 2 Rankshift 1.      By the end of the lesson, the student will be able to:


a)       explain the concept of rankshift. NTS 3i

b)      explain the differences between a ranking clause and a rankshifted clause. NTS 3e

c)      identify ranking and rankshifted clauses in texts. NTS 3j

Answer the following self-study questions and discuss the answers with your tutor:

2.      (a) Define rankshift.

b) Give two (2) examples of your own to illustrate rankshift and            explain these examples with the help of the box diagram.

3.      Write down two differences between ranking clauses and rankshifted clauses and illustrate these with your own examples.

4.      Identify the underlined clauses in the following sentences as a ranking clause or downranked (embedded) clause. Explain your answers:

(i)     The man who refused to wash his hand with alcohol-based sanitizer caught covid-19.

(ii)  What the students need to know is the objective of this course.

(iii)             Although he hasn’t eaten for days as a result of the lockdown, he looks fit.

(iv) Jesus wept.

(v)   Donald Trump, who is the president of USA, is a twitter fan.

  1. By the end of the lesson, the student will be able to:

a)       Describe key concepts on which grammatical analysis is based, namely: grammatical unit, rank, grammatical class, and grammatical function/element.

b)      Identify the grammatical units, grammatical classes and grammatical functions of underlined constructions.

Answer the following questions on Week 3 readings and discuss the answers with your tutor:

  1. Explain each of these concepts

(i)     Grammatical unit

(ii)  Grammatical rank

(iii)             Grammatical class

(iv) Grammatical function

  1. Tell the grammatical unit/rank, grammatical class and grammatical function/element of these underlined constructions

(i)     In the end, the choice became pretty clear.

(ii)  In the end, the choice became pretty clear.

(iii)             One of his friends called a doctor.

(iv) The boss is in his office.

(v)   They left the country last week.

  1. Label the functional constituents of these clauses:

(i)     She quickly realised her mistake.

(ii)  They waited outside for ages.

(iii)             The election campaign has started.

(iv) Many people are painting their houses white.

(v)   In the end, the choice became pretty clear.

4.       “SPOCA are functions within the clause and they correspond to groups/phrases.” With appropriate illustrations, discuss this statement.


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