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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > A Big Grammar Confusion!!!!Help!!!!!!!!    

A Big Grammar Confusion!!!!Help!!!!!!!!



Nebal
Lebanon

A Big Grammar Confusion!!!!Help!!!!!!!!
 
Hello everyone,
I was explaining to my 8th graders the Transitive and Intransitive Verbs, however they faced a big confusion.
They learned that the transitive verb is followed by a direct object, whereas the intransitive verb is not followed by an object. Now , the big confusion occured when there were phrasal verbs like look up..
 
For example, I looked up the meaning of a word in the dictionary.
They asked whether they should take the verb as "lookedī alone and thus "up the meaning" is a prepositional phrase, and looked is intransitive;or take the phrasal verb " looked up" and thus the verb is transitive followed by the object "the meaning".
 
Another big confusion is "take care of your body". shall they take "take care of" or "take care" as a verb.
 
What about epressions like "pay attention" and "die of embarrassmant", how should they be taken???????
 
Help me  and my students get out of this confusion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Thnx in advance!!!!!!!
Nebal

8 Dec 2008      



Zora
Canada

First - a LOT of phrasal verbs are transitive - so the whole thing would be considered as the "verb"...  Second "look up" can be a phrasal or it can be literal.. example:

He looked up the word in a dictionary. - (look up here means "searched") and it is transitive.

He looked up. ... means just that - he looked upwards... and is not a phrasal, therefore itīs not (or doesnīt have to be) transitive.


"Pay attention!" is a exclamation / command.. but used in a sentence it should be "pay attention to" - (yes, the whole thing would be considered as a verb and itīs transitive...)

"Die of embarrassment" is a saying, the same as "die laughing"... and idiom of sorts.


8 Dec 2008     



goodnesses
Algeria

Hi, All

I think that to avoid the confusion we should take the phrasal verb as one "entity" I mean as if it is a normal verb.

Eg: look + up = 1 verb

However as Zora mentioned it sometimes the same verb followed by the same preposition do not form a phrasal verb

Eg: "look up" (=direction) by opposition to "look down"

8 Dec 2008     



Pietro
United States

Well, I suppose by saying īintransitive verb is not followed by an objectī, you meant that transitive verbs can take an object, but an indirect one, yes?

As Zora said, a lot of phrasal verbs are transitive, but when it is used without a particle it can become intransitive or take be both transitive and intransitive in different contexts.

Again, as Zora said, there can be 2 possible uses of īlook upī and a number of other verbs that can be regarded both phrasal (looked up in the dictionary) or a verb + its modifier (look up and down).

(goodnesses, I think itīs not preporision but an adverb in the function of an adverbial modifier of place)

And such phrases as īpay attention toī or ītake care ofī should be treated, in my opinion, as one phraseological unit, or a set-phrase, if you like.

The verbs in them are transitive, as they take a direct object. And these verbs are combined with a number of nouns to form a set-phrase. Note, that the preposition following the phrase is one required by a noun.

9 Dec 2008     



Vickiii
New Zealand

HEHEHE.
 
Hi Nebal,
 
See what I mean - Goodnesses and Zora, Arenīt they great?

9 Dec 2008     



goodnesses
Algeria

Hi again Vickii

I donīt think any of us pretended he/she is the great or the "know everything".
All we are trying to do is explaining and/or understanding thing the most simple way possible.

I agree with you Piettro contributes with great comments referenced from valuable books.
However, I think they are too elaborate and advanced. I am sure if do this in my class they will chase me out.

In final, Piettro has often confirmed what I or Zora said.



PS:
I agree with Pittro "up" in that example is an adverb (direction) since it modifies the verb. SORRY.

9 Dec 2008     



Zora
Canada

Itīs just an expression Goodnesses.. meaning arenīt they nice ... and I DO like to think that I am nice, how about you?? Wink LOL just kidding...

Hi vickii and pietro

9 Dec 2008     



goodnesses
Algeria

Yes, Zora.
I think that after a while we come to be convinced that some people would never be offending to you.
And thatīs what I think of you and Vickii and Logos and many others.
I was sure (99.99%) it was a kind of greeting.
Thanks for confirming.

9 Dec 2008     



alien boy
Japan

Thank you so much for answering this. I was about to give it a go, but youīve saved me from getting a head ache!

Thank you,
B-)

9 Dec 2008     



Zora
Canada

lol...no problem alien boy, I know how you feel... I actually went back and forth on this thinking "Do I attempt to answer it or not!" ... It was only until I saw that nobody else really wanted to that I took a stab at it... LOL Though it was nice to know that I wasnīt the only one staring at the screen and thinking.. "How the heck do I explain this??"

9 Dec 2008     



Pietro
United States

goodnesses hi there)) Yep, your comments helped me to somewhat sum everything up and avoid looking for examples =)

mmm... the may seem a bit advanced, though it was not aimed at students but a teacher =))

Zora hello =D how are you today?

9 Dec 2008     

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