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The simple predicate.

The simple predicate is expressed by a finite verb in a simple or a compound tense form.

It generally denotes an action: sometimes, however, it denotes a state which is represented as an action.

Erik arrived at the lab next morning full of suppressed excite­ment. (Wilson)

And so, after all, the Padre had been thinking of letting him escape. (Voynich)

Mr. Rivarez, I have been looking for you everywhere. (Voy­nich)

When Mary was brought inhe gave her the local anaesthesia. (Cronin)


§10. There is a special kind of predicate expressed by a phraseological unit, such as to get rid, to take care, to pay attention, to lose sight, to have a wash, to give a push, etc.1

When we clear the forests we get rid of such inconveniences. (Heym)

I went to the bathroom and had a good wash for it had been a dusty journey. (Du Maurier)

The characteristic feature of this predicate is that the first compo­nent, i. e. the finite verb, has lost its concrete meaning to a great extent and forms one unit with the noun, consequently the noun cannot be Seated as an object to the verb. This can also be easily proved by the impossibility of putting a question to the second component.

[1] There is a great difference of opinion as to the nature of this predicate, ^ost Russian grammarians treat it as a subdivision of the simple predi­cate (JI. П. Винокурова; В. H. Жигадло, И. П. Иванова, Jl. J1. Иофик;

А. Ганшина и Н. М. Василевская, because it expresses one idea and its tvvo components form an indivisible unit.

There is another view according to which it is a subdivision of the compound Predicate. Some English grammarians call it a 'group-verb predicate'.


My friend gave me an interesting book to read.

The man gave a violent start.

Whereas in the first case we can easily put a question to the object (e. g. What did yourfriend give you 7), in the second case this is impos­sible.

We shall treat this kind of predicate as a subdivision of the simple predicate. For the sake of convenience we shall call it a phraseological predicate.

We distinguish two types of the phraseological predicate.

1. Word combinations of the following type: to have a smoke, to have a swim, to have a run, to give a laugh, to give a push, to take a look, to make a move, etc. These combinations consist of a finite verb which has to a great extent lost its concrete meaning and a noun formed from a verb and mostly used with the indefinite article.

This predicate denotes a momentaneous action. In Russian this shade of meaning is rendered by different prefixes and suffixes which express a momentaneous action.

He had a smoke. — Он покурил.

He gave a push. — Он толкнул.

He gave a start. — Он вздрогнул.

He had a wash. — Он вымылся, помылся.

He gave a cry. — Он вскрикнул.

This type of phraseological predicate is characteristic of colloquial speech.

Every now and then she gave a half-glance at the people on the pavement. (Lindsay)

She gave an unkind throaty laugh. (Lindsay)

Troy said, "First of all, sergeant, have a drink." (Heym)

He started, made a short run and stopped and looked over hisshoulder. (Dickens)

2.Word combinations of the following type: to get rid, to get hold, to make usey to take care, to lose sight, to make fun, to pay attention, to make up one's mind, to change one's mind, to take part, etc.

The second component of these combinations is in most cases an abstract noun used without any article.

That's more than twenty years ago. She has never made use of her power or caused me a moment's uneasiness. (Shaw)

You were making fun of mother just now. (Shaw)

Then he caught his breath, suddenly reminded of something else. (Wescott)

She made a gesture of dismissal and then suddenly changed her mind. (Wescott)

It is better that you do not know where I live. I will get in touch with you. (Wilson)


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