English Syntax

English Syntax
English Syntax

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What is syntactic analysis? It’s the art of deciphering sentence structure and identifying the possible forms of a word. For example, this sentence has three possible forms: “I want”, “want I”, and “want I”. Let’s take a look at two different types of structures, then some examples of more complex structures:


This is the first way in which verb tenses are related – because they’re both based on different lengths. The perfect tense indicates some kind of future action that occurred in the past, such as “he ran”. The imperfect tense indicates some kind of action that occurred repeatedly in the past, such as “he was running”.


Causative verbs are different from transitive verbs. A transitive verb requires an object in order to make sense, but causative verbs don’t require objects because they are used to show a change in the subject. Transitive verbs include actions like “eat, drink, buy”. Causative verbs include actions like “make, force, let”.


Every verb has a syntactic subject that tells what the action is about. This word usually comes directly before the verb and will identify who or what is performing an action. For example, “he read” doesn’t actually tell us who is reading, just the action he is doing. This can become more important when you have to give details about what it means for a verb to be active or passive.


Active verbs are used to describe a situation in which something happens, generally an action. For example: “he ate”. Active verbs include transitive verbs and intransitive verbs that form their own subjects.


Passive verbs are used to describe a situation in which something happens without reference to the subject of the sentence. For example: “the book was bought”. Passive verbs include intransitive verbs and transitive verbs that form their own objects.


This is a common way to distinguish active verbs from passive verbs. Active verbs indicate an action that is performed on the subject by the subject. For example: “he ate” or “it was eaten”. Passive verbs indicate an action that is performed with respect to the subject by a third party, usually a person not directly involved in the action. For example: “the book was bought” or “it was sold”.


So what does it mean for something to be “active?”: it means that there starts being more than one direct object at some point during the sentence, expressing information about someone or something other than the subject itself.


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