It is a well-known fact that every word in the English language belongs to a certain grammatical category. However, it is sometimes not enough to define whether the word is a noun, a verb, or an adjective. There is a number of different properties that should be considered. Thus, every part of speech has a lot of subcategories, which determine the use of certain words. This fact can be illustrated by a set of simple examples:
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- *The man located.
In this sentence, there is an obvious mismatch of the noun and the verb it is used with. To be specific, the verb “locate” is misused. According to the subcategorization of the English verbs, this verb is transitive. This means that the verb “locate” can only be used with a noun phrase following it. In the analyzed sentence, there is no noun phrase after the verb, which explains why the sentence is ungrammatical. The correct variant of the sentence is:
- The man located the car nearby.
An important detail here is that the verb “locate” can sometimes be intransitive. However, in the given sentence, it is still misused, as far as even if the verb was intransitive, the object would be improper.
- *Jesus wept the apostles.
In this sentence, which seems to be full and logically built, the verb is misused. The explanation for this is the fact that the verbs can be subcategorized due to the properties of the subjects and objects they are used with. For instance, a verb can require either an animate or an inanimate subject or object. In the case of the analyzed sentence, the verb “weep” demands an inanimate subject. Thus, the options to correct this sentence are:
- change the verb;
- change the subject to an inanimate one.
Let us consider the correct versions:
- Jesus wept his tears.
- Jesus mourned for the apostles.
- *Robert is hopeful of his children.
This sentence can be considered as ungrammatical because an adjective in it is misused. The subcategorization of English adjectives suggests that the adjective “hopeful” is transitive. This means that this adjective should be followed strictly by a noun phrase. In our case, the adjective is followed by a preposition, which is grammatically incorrect. Besides removing the proposition, one needs to complete the sentence by adding a subject into the second part:
Robert is hopeful that his children will study better.
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- *Robert is fond that his children love animals.
In this sentence, just like in the previous one, the adjective is misused. The adjective “fond” in English is most often used with the preposition “of.” The other prepositions cannot be used with this word; it is more likely to be used alone. In both cases, this adjective needs to be followed by a noun phrase, as far as it belongs to the category of the transitive adjectives. Thus, the correct version would be:
Robert is fond of the fact that his children love animals.
- *The children laughed at the man.
In this wrongly built sentence, we can see that the preposition is missing. This is due to the fact that the verb “laugh” is never followed by a noun phrase, as far as this word is intransitive. Thus, belonging to this subcategory of verbs determines its use in the language. However, the possible variant is to put after it a proper preposition and a noun phrase. In this particular example, such prepositions as “at,” “after,” “with” can be used:
The children laughed at the man.