Theoretycal Framework ( Interrogative Sentence )

The Theories used for this study are the theory of English interrogative taken from “A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language” by Quirk, (1985) and “A Pratical English Grammar” by Thomson A.J and A.V. Martinet (1986)

2.3.1 Major classes of question

According to Quirk, questions can be divided into three major classes according to the type of reply they expect (Quirk, 1985: 806):

a)      Those that expect affirmation or negation, as in Have you finished the book?, are YES-NO questions.

b)      Those that typically expect a reply from an open range of replies, as in What is your name? or How old are you? Are WH- questions.

c)      Those that expect as the reply one of two or more opinions presented in the question, as in Would you like to go far a WALK or stay at HOME?, are ALTERNATIVE questions.

Logically well-formed replies, response that conform with expectations, are a subset of pragmatically appropriate answers. Many answer that are apparently irrelevant become relevant in terms of the implicatures they convey:

     Example: A: have you seen my chocolates?

                     B: well, the children were in your room this morning.

It is therefore possible for a question to be answered by another question:

Example: A: Are you going to watch television again?

                 B: What else is there to do?

                 A: Is that your baby?

                 B: What do YOU think? [Sarcastic: ‘Of course it’s my                                 baby.’]

Any utterance of a question that has the illocutionary force of an inquiry may be answered by I don’t know or I’m not sure, or by a refusal to answered, eg: It’s none of your business (impolite), or by an evasion, eg: Good question, or by challenge to a presippotion of the question, eg: Do you like Joan Parker? –I do not know any Joan Parker. Questions primarily have the illocutionary force of inquiries. However, they are often used as directives conveying requests, offers, invitations, and advice.  Yes-no questions

Yes-o questions are usually formed by placing the operator before the subject and giving the sentence a rising intonation:

The boat has LEFT.                           ~Has the boat Left?

Ann is writing a PAPer.                    ~Is Ann writing a PAPer?

Our team was BEATen.                    ~Was our team BEATen?

He could have broken his LEG.        ~Could he have broken his LEG?

She’ll be waiting outside.                  ~Will she be waiting outside?

If there is no item in the verb phrase that can function as operator, DO is introduced, as with negation:

They live in Sidney.                           ~Do they live in Sidney?

Her efforts proved successful.          ~Did her efforts prove successful?

He likes driving.                                ~Does he like driving?


Again as with negation, main verb BE functions as operator; in BrE main verb HAVE often acts as operator, but informally HAVE… got is more common:

Does she have a cold? <esp AmE>

Has she (got) a cold? <esp BrE>

Patrick was late.        ~ Was Patrick late?

She has a cold


a) Positive yes-no questions

      Like negative statements, yes-no questions may contain nonassertive forms such as any and ever. The question containing such forms is generally neutral, with no bias in expectation towards a positive or negative response.


Ask some boring questions.               Will ask any boring QUESTION

Someone called left already.              Did anyone call last night?

The boat has left already.                   Has the boat left yet!

I live somewhere near Dover             Has you live anywhere near Dover?

I suppose some of the class will         Do you suppose any questions?

      But questions may be CONDUCIVE, ie they may indicate that the speaker is predisposed to the kind of answer he has wanted or expected. Thus, a positive question may be presented in a form which is biased towards a positive answer. It has positive orientation, for example, if it use assertive forms that the usual nonassertive forms:

Did someone call last night? [‘Is it true that someone called last night?’]

Has the boat left already?

Do you live somewhere near Dover?

A positive question may also have negative orientation. Notice the effect of really in:

            Do you really want to leave now? [‘Surely you don’t want to.’]

A question that is not conducive, ie that has no bias for eliciting a positive or negative response, can be said to have neutral polarity.

b) Negative yes-no questions

Negative questions are always conducive. Negative orientation is found in questions, which contain a negative form of one kind or another:

            Don’t you believe me?                           Have they never invited you home?

Aren’t you joining us this evening?   Has nobody called?

Hasn’t he told you what to do?

Negative orientation is complicated by an element of surprise or disbelief. The implication is that the speaker had originally hoped for a positive response, but new evidence now suggests that the response will be negative. Thus, Hasn’t he told you what to do? means ‘Surely he has told you what to do, hasn’t he? I would have thought that he had told you.’ Here there is a combining of a positive and a negative attitude, which one may distinguish as the OLD EXPECTATION (positive) and NEW expectation (negative). Because the old expectation tends to be identified with the speaker’s hopes or wishes, negatively orientated questions often express disappointment or annoyance:

Can’t you drive straight? [‘I’d have thought you’d be able to, but apparently you can’t.’]

Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? [‘You ought to be, but it appears you’re not.’]

Notice the nonassertive items in the next two examples of negative orientation:

Hasn’t the boat left yet! [‘I’d hoped it would have left by now, but it seems it hasn’t.’]

Didn’t he recognize you either! [‘I’d thought he would, but it seems he didn’t.’]

If a negative question has assertive items, it is biased towards positive orientation:

Didn’t someone call last night? Didn’t he recognize you too? Hasn’t the boat left already!

Such questions are similar in effect to type (i) tag questions (cf 11.8), or alternatively to statements showing disbelief: ‘Surely someone called last night!’

The position of the negative particle varies according to whether the full or enclitic negative particle is used; n’t precedes the subject, whereas not generally follows it:

Didn’t they warn you?         Did they not warn you?

Haven’t they left?                Have they not left?

The construction with not after the subject is generally considered rather formal, and therefore the enclitic is usually preferred in spoken English. The formal alternative is particularly unlikely if the subject is lengthy. Both orders obey the general rule of subject-operator inversion, but since enclitic n’t is fused with the operator into one grammatical word, it necessarily moves with the operator in subject-operator inversion.

Some speakers accept a third construction, also rather formal, in which the full particle is in the same position as the enclitic:

Is not history a social science?

This construction is especially likely in formal contexts where the subject is lengthy:

Does not everything we see about us testify to the power of Divine Providence?

The construction is an apparent exception to the regular placement of the subject immediately after the operator, but in print it may merely represent the printed equivalent of the attached enclitic. Focusing subjuncts (c/8.116ff) can also appear between operator and subject, and their presence makes a preceding full particle more likely in formal contexts:

Did not even a single student come to the lecture?

c) Yes-no questions with modal auxiliaries

The formation of yes-no questions with modal auxiliaries is subject to certain limitations and shifts of meaning. (For the negation of modal auxiliaries). The modals of permission (may <esp BrE), and can) and of obligation (must <esp BrE), and have to) generally involve the speaker’s authority in statements and the hearer’s authority in questions:




A:                                     I leave now?      [‘Will you permit me ….’]



B: Yes, you                                      [‘I Will you permit me ….’]

Must I 

Do I have to

A:                                                        leave now?      [‘Are you telling me….’]


have to


B: Yes, you                                      [‘I am telling you…’]

This means that the question form anticipates the form appropriate for the answer. A similar switch from hearer to speaker takes place with shall [volition], which (esp in BrE) involves the speaker’s will in statements, but the hearer’s will in questions: You shall suffer for this! [rare;’/ intend to make you suffer …!’] Shall 1 switch off the television? [‘Do you want me to…?’]

Shall is rare with you as subject, and generally infrequent in AmE, except for inviting or requesting agreement (Shall we eat now?). It is unlike the other modals in two respects. First, its use in questions is virtually restricted to first person subjects. Secondly, its declarative use is not symmetrical with its interrogative use; hence, shall is not repeated in the response to a question with shall. The expected response after shall I and exclusive shall we is agreement, and may be a 2nd person imperative. After inclusive shall we it is a 1st person imperative:

A: Shall we carry your suitcases? [‘Would you like us to …?’]

B: Yes, please do (so).

A: Shall we have dinner? [‘Would you like us (including you) to…?’]

B: Yes, let’s.

May in the possibility sense is not often used in questions:

May we be doing him an injustice?

Can or (more commonly in AmE) could replaces it:




A:                             they have missed the bus?

may have.

Might have.


B: Yes, they

The hypothetical uses (e/4.62) of the auxiliaries might [permission], would [volition], and could [volition] require special treatment, since in yes-no questions these past forms are regularly used for politeness. If modal auxiliaries are retained, the present forms are generally substituted for might and would in responses, and the present form is usual tot could:

A    :   Might I call you by your first name?

B   :   Yes, you may.                                                                                 [1]

A   :   Would you pay for me?                                                                 

B   :   Yes, I will. A: Could 1 see you for a moment?                              [2]

B   :   Yes, you can. [Also may (esp BrE), and less usually, could]         [3]

A more common response for [1 – 3] would be (Yes,) of course. Other responses might be (Yes,) please do for [1] and TH be glad to for [2]. The questions have polite past forms appropriate to their illocutionary force as requests. Need (esp in BrE) is used as a nonassertive modal auxiliary, although (esp in AmE) the main verb need (c/3.41 f) and do have to are common substitutes:

Need they leave now? (esp BrE)

need to

have to


Do they                                      I leave now?

But the corresponding positive forms are must, have to, or the main verb need:


Yes, they           have to.

                          need to.

On the other hand, must in the necessity sense has positive orientation: Why must it always rain when we want to have a picnic?

Notice the assertive always after must, in contrast to the possible nonassertive ever after need:

Must it always happen this way?         

Need it ever [also: always] happen this way?

Dare is occasionally used as a nonassertive modal auxiliary, especially in BrE. Common substitutes are the main verb dare and (esp in AmE) the blend construction with dare (DO and the bare infinitive):

Do you dare to cast aspersions on my character?

Dare I suggest a compromise between your two positions? {esp BrE)

Do we dare tell them the truth? (esp AmE)

Negative responses may repeat the same verbs, but positive forms require the main verb dare:

Yes, they dared to complain.

d) Tag Questions

      Maximum conduciveness is expressed by a further type of yes-no question which conveys positive or negative orientation – a tag question appended to a statement:

            The boat hasn’t left, has it!

            Joan recognized you, didn‘t she!

The general rules for forming the most common types of tag question are :

(a)   The tag question consists of operator and subject in that order (enclitic n’t, if present, is attached to the operator): is he?, didn’t she?, can’t I?, will you?, hi formal English the negative particle is placed after the pronoun: did they not?, is she not? That position is usual in informal English in Northern BrE dialects.

(b)   The operator is generally the same as the operator of the preceding statement (</Note fcj below):

I haven’t seen you before, have I?

If the statement has no operator, the dummy auxiliary DO is used, as for yes-no questions in general:

She knows you, doesn’t she?

(c)   (The subject of the tag must be a pronoun, which either repeats, or is in co reference with, the subject of the statement, agreeing with it in number, person, and gender.

(d)   If the statement is positive, the tag is generally negative, and vice versa.

(e)    The nuclear tone of the tag occurs on the auxiliary, and is either rising or falling.

Four main types of tag question emerge from the observance of these rules. (The formula + S – T represents a positive statement with falling nuclear tone followed by a negative tag with rising tone. The other formulae are similarly explicable.)


RISING TONE                                       FALLING TONE

(i) + S – T                                                 (iii) + S – T       

He likes his job, DOESn’t he?                 He likes his job, DOEsn’t he?


 RISING TONE                                      FALLING TONE

(ii) – S + T                                                 (iv) – S + T

      He doesn’t like his job, DOES he?         He doesn’t like his JOB, does he?

      The meanings of these sentences, like their forms, involve a statement and a question; each of them, that is, asserts something, then invites the listener’s response to it. Sentence (i), for example, can be rendered ‘I assume he likes his job; am I right?’, (ii) means the opposite: ‘I assume he doesn’t like his job; am I right?’. Clearly these sentences have a positive and a negative orientation respectively. A similar contrast exists between (iii) and (iv). But it is important, again, to separate two factors: an assumption (expressed by the statement) and an EXPECTATION (expressed by the question). On this principle, we may distinguish the four types as:

                             (i)            Positive assumption + neutral expectation + S – T

                           (ii)            Negative assumption + neutral expectation  – S + T

                         (iii)            Positive assumption + positive expectation – S – T

                         (iv)            Negative assumption + negative expectation – S – T

The tag with a rising tone invites verification, expecting the hearer to decide the truth of the proposition in the statement. The tag with the falling tone, on the other hand, invites confirmation of the statement, and has the force of an exclamation rather than a genuine question. In this respect, types (iii) and (iv) are like (though not as emphatic as) exclamatory yes-no questions with a falling tone. Compare, for example, Isn’t it wonderful WEAther! with It’s wonderful WEAther, isn’t it? and Wasn’t she Angry I with She was ANgry, WASn’t she?

There is a further, less common, type of tag question in which both statement and question are positive:

Your car is outSIDE, is it?

You’ve had an Accident, HAVE you?

The tag typically has a rising tone, and the statement is characteristically preceded by oh or so, indicating the speaker’s arrival at a conclusion by inference or by recalling what has already been said. The tone may sometimes be one of sarcastic suspicion:

            So that’s your little, game, is it?

We may therefore add a fifth, less usual, type of tag question to the earlier four types:



(v) + S + T

So he likes his JOB, does he?

The tag of this type sometimes has no nucleus, but is part of the preceding tone unit. Its effect may be scolding (Oh, you’ve had another accident, have you?), sarcastic (So that’s your game, is it?), or sarcastically contradictory (So your car is outside, is it?).

1)      Tag questions with imperatives and exclamatives 

Tag questions can be appended also to imperative sentences, where they invite the listener’s consent. For positive imperatives, types (i), (iii), and (v) are available. The auxiliary in the tag is usually won’t for the negative and will for the positive, and the subject is usually you:

(i)    Open the door, won’t you?

(iii) Open the DOOR, won’t you?

(v)   Open the DOOR, will you?

Type (i) tag is least insistent, and type (v) tag is most insistent. Other auxiliaries and subjects also occur:

Open the door, can’t you?

Hand me a knife, won’t somebody?

Turn on the light, will somebody or other?

Save us seat, can one of you?

Have another one, why don’t you?

Negative imperatives are less commonly followed by tag questions. The only type that seems possible will you? In type (iv), with a falling tone on the tag:

(iv)     Don’t make a NOISE, WILL you?

The tag is a persuasive softener of the imperative. However, if the will you? is nonnuclear, it increases the peremptoriness of the directive. First person plural imperatives may take shall we? As a tag question:

Shall we?

Let’s play another game,  

Let s not discuss if now,

Type (iii) tag and the (only occasionally used type (i) tag are appended to exclamatives. That tag questions invite the hearer’s agreement:

(iii) How THIN she is, isn’t she?

(i)   What a beautiful PAINTING it is, isn’t? [‘Or don’t you agree?’]

The tag may also be-appended to abbreviated verbless exclamations:

What a beautiful painting, isn’t it?

                  How add, isn’t it?

2)      Invariant tag questions

      Several other tag questions inviting the listener’s response may be appended to statements and exclamations. The have same form whether the statement is positive or negative, and take a rising tone:

Am I right?

isn’t that so?

don’t you think?

wouldn’t you say?



Didn’t forget


They                                        to attend the lecture,     


She passed the exam                   right? (informal)

She didn’t pass the exam            eh? /er/ (casual, may be impolite

Again the falling tone is more insistent than the rising tone

e)  Declarative questions

Not all yes-no questions have subject-operator inversion. The declarative question is a type of question, which is identical in form to a declarative, except for the final rising question intonation. It is rather casual in tone:

You’ve got the explosive?

They’ve spoken to the amBASsador, of course?

Your realize what the RISKS are?

Boris will be THERE, I suppose?

He didn’t finish the RACE?

Declarative questions are conducive, and resemble tag questions with a rising tone in that they invite the hearer’s verification. Positive questions have positive orientation, and therefore accept only assertive forms;

He wants something to eat?

Somebody is with you?

When followed by a comment clause, the declarative may have a fall:


You realize what the RisKS are       HOPE


Negative question have negative orientation, and nonassertive forms may be used following the negative:

You didn’t get anything to eat?

You want nothing to eat yet?

Nobody ever stays at your place? Wh-questions

      Wh-question are formed with the aid of ole of the following simple interrogative words or wh-words (Quirk, 1985 : 817):

Wh/whom/whose, what, which, when, where, how, why

a)      Functions of wh-element

There are variable clause functions in which the wh-element operates:

Whoever opened my letter? [wh-element: S]

Which books have you lent him? [wh-element: Od]

Whose beautiful antiques are these? [wh-element: Cs]

How wide did they make the bookcase?  [wh-Element: Co]

When will you be promoted? [wh-element:A]

Unlike yes-element question, wh-questions generally have falling intonation. As a rule, (i) the wh-element (ie the clause element containing the wh-word) comes first in the sentence (apart from some conjuncts as on the other hand); (ii) the wh-word itself takes first position ini the wh-element. The only exception to the second principle occurs when the wh-word is within, a prepositional complement. Here English provides a choice between two constructions, one being formal.  In formal style, the preposition precedes the complement, whereas otherwise the complement comes first and the preposition is deferred to the end of the sentence:

On what did you base your prediction? (Formal)

What did you base your predication on?

We may perhaps express this difference more neatly by saying that neutral style generally requires that the wh-word comes first, but formal English requires that the wh-element as a whole comes first. In some cases there is no sensible presupposition:

How does he feel?                      ~He feels somehow or other

Where was she born?                  ~She was born some where

What time is it?                           ~ It’s some time or other

How should I know?

Why should I?

      As the above examples indicate, a positive wh-question may generally be matched with a positive presupposition. There may, however, be no presupposition if nonassertive items (cf 10.60) are present:

When will we ever win any prizes?

What help have they ever given us?

Who has any money?

The questions are conduction, having a negative orientation. Questions introduced by Why do you have a positive presupposition, but a negative orientation when have the illocutionary force of directives:

Why do you bother to reply? [‘You are replying but shouldn’t bother to reply.’]

Why do you make so much fuss? [‘You are making a lot of fuss but shouldn’t make so much fuss.’]

As a directive, it cannot have a past form. Thus Why did you bother to reply? is an inquiry, not a directive, though the overtone is still negative. The abbreviated form with the bare infinitive is always a directive:

Why bather to reply?

Why make so much fuss?

b)      Negative wh-questions

Wh-question can also be negative (Quirk, 1985 : 820):

Who hasn’t had any coffee?                                                                  [1]

Why didn’t you tell me?                                                                        [2]

When shouldn’t I call?                                                                           [3]

Which books don’t you want?                                                               [4]

Where didn’t you clean?                                                                        [5]

How long haven’t you heard from them?                                              [6]

Haw often didn’t the pay his rent?                                                        [7]

The presuppositions can be listed just as for positive questions:

Somebody hasn’t had any coffee.                                                          [1a]

You didn’t tell me for some reason.                                                      [2a]

I shouldn’t call at some time.                                                                 [3a]

You don’t want some books.                                                                 [4a]

You didn’t clean in someplace                                                              [5a]

You haven’t heard from them for some time                                         [6a]

He didn’t. pay his rent a number of times.                                            [7a]

In the presupposed particular unknown is outside the scope of negation. Thus [4a] may be paraphrased by There are some books that you don’t want’.

Questions beginning with Why don’t you and the abbreviated Why not are commonly used as directives. The directives are invitation or (more commonly in AmE) suggestions or instructions:

Why don’t you shave?

Why don’t you clean your teeth?

Why don’t you come for a meal one day next week?

Why don’t revise this paper?

Why not ignore their remarks?

Why not go by train?

Why don’t you conveys advice, but it frequently has a critical and irritable tone, since it used when the hearer has not performed or is not performing the recommended activity:

Why don’t you take sleeping tablets? [‘Anyone else would.’]

Why don’t you see a doctor?

Why don’t you, unlike Why not, may also be used an inquiry like the inquire, the directive allows nonassertive items (Why don’t you ever write?), but unlike the inquiry, the directive does not allow a past form of the verb (Why didn’t you write?). on the other hand, the directive takes the operator do before be: Why don’t you be quieter? (cf the inquiry Why aren’t you quieter?). in these syntactic features, directives beginning with Why aren’t you and  Why not resemble imperative sentences, which normally have the illocutionary force of directives. Especially in AmE, Why don’t I is used for offers (Why don’t I give you a hand?), or Why don’t we for offers (Why don’t we give you a hand?) or suggestions (Why don’t we have a rest now?).

c)      More than one wh-element

Ordinary questions can have more than one wh-element: Which present did you give to whom! If one of the wh-element is subject, it must be initial: who said what to whom Generally only one wh-element is fronted, but adverbial wh-element may be coordinated (Quirk, 1985: 822)

When and where did they meet? / When did they meet, and where?

Who did he hit, and why? I Who and why did he hit? ALTERNATIVE questions

There are two types of alternative questions. The first resembles a yes-no question, and the second a wh-question (Quirk, 1985: 823):

Would you like CHOcolate, vaNiLla, or STRAWberry (ice cream) ?      [1]

Which ice cream would you LIKE? CHOcolate, vaNiLla or

STRAWberry?                                                                                            [2]

The first type differs from a yes-no question only in intonation; instead of the final rising tone, it contains a separate nucleus for each alternative: a rise occurs on each item in the list, except the last, on which there is a fall, indicating that the list is complete. The difference of intonation between alternative and yes-no questions is important, in that ignoring it can lead to misunderstanding – as the contrast between these replies indicates:

alternative: A : Shall we go by BUS or TRAIN? B: By BUS.

yes-no: A: Shall we go by bus or TRAIN? B: No, let’s take the car.

The second type of alternative question is really a compound of two separate questions: a wh-question followed by an elliptical alternative question. Thus [2] might be taken as a reduced version of:

Which ice cream would you like? Would you like CHOcolate, vaNiLla, or


An alternative question presupposes the truth of only one of the propositions:

Are you a DEMocrat or a RePUBlican ?

[You are either a Democrat or a Republican.]

Do you want SHERbet, yoghurt, or fruit?

[You are being given a choice of only one of the three.]

A yes-no question presupposes that one of two mutually exclusive possibilities is true:

Are you READy?

Converting a yes-no question into an alternative question introduces this tautology into the presupposition:

ARE you ready or AREn’t you ready?

[Either you are ready or you are not ready.]

The second conjoin may be reduced to or not:

ARE you ready or NOT?

The tautology gives a petulant tone to the question and explains why such questions are not normal. The structure of alternative yes-no questions follows the pattern of coordination the ellipse forms generally being preferred, where they are possible:

Did ITaly win the World Cup or did BraziL win the World Cup?

Did ITaly win the World Cup or did Brazil?

Did ITaly win the World Cup or BraziL?

Often the remaining part of a second or subsequent alternative question is fronted to the appropriate position in the first question:

Did fraly or Brazil, win the World Cup?

This type of fronting is also possible for the vacuous negative alternative:

Are you coming or aren’t you (coming)

are you or aren’t you coming?

There is no fronted version of Are you coming or not? ( Are you or not coming?) because fronting would violate the requirement of structure equivalence of conjoins.

2.3.2        Minor types of questions

Questions can be divided into two minor classes such as exclamatory questions and rhetorical questions (Quirk, 1985: 825).  EXCLAMATORY questions

The exclamatory question is interrogative in structure, but has the illocutionary force of an exclamatory assertion. Typically it is a negative yes-no question with a final falling instead of rising tone:

Hasn’t she grown!

Wasn’t it a marvelous coNcert!

These invite the hearer’s agreement to something on which the speaker has strong feelings. The meaning, contrary to the appearance of the literal wording, is vigorously positive. In situations where both the negative and the positive questions are possible, the difference is roughly represented by these paraphrases:

Wasn’t it a marvelous coNcert! = ‘What a marvelous coNcert it was!’

Has she GROWN! = ‘She has grown!’ RHETORICAL questions

The rhetorical question is interrogative in structure, but has the force of a strong assertion. It generally does not expect an answer. A positive rhetorical yes-no question is like a strong negative assertion, while a negative question is like a strong positive one (Quirk, 1985: 825).

 POSITIVE: Is that a reason for desPAiR? [‘Surely that is not a reason …’]

Can anyone doubt the wisdom of this action? [‘Surely no one can doubt.’]

NEGATIVE: Isn’t the answer OBvious? [‘Surely the answer is obvious.’]

Haven’t you got anything better to DO? [‘Surely you have something better to do.’]

2.3.3        The Function of Interrogative Sentence

According to Thomson and Martinet in their book A Practical English Grammar state that interrogative sentence has various function, such as: giving suggestion, make request, give confirmation, invitation, permission, offering and greeting.  Interrogative Sentence Function as a Suggestion

Interrogative sentences can be used to express suggestion in daily conversation. Interrogative sentence which has the function a suggestion usually opened with wh-question or an auxiliary.


  1. Why don’t you take a holiday? (Thomson, 1986: 251)
  2. Why don’t you learn to play your guitar? (Thomson, 1986: 251)
  3. Why don’t you call on me tomorrow? (Quirk, 1973: 350)
  4. Why don’t we have a party? (Quirk, 1973: 350)

All of the examples above are interrogative sentence as a suggestion. In example no (1) Is started with the wh-question why and following by the negative auxiliary (don’t). It has function give suggestion to someone to take holiday. Example no (2), is introduced with why and followed by the auxiliary do plus not, contracted into don’t. it is mean the speaker give suggestion to someone learn to play the guitar. In example no (3), the wh question word why come before the negative auxiliary don’t in this sentence means that the speaker give suggestion to someone to call her tomorrow. In example no (4), also started with why and followed by negative auxiliary don’t. it also has function as suggestion.

In example (1) and (2) the interrogative sentence above are started with wh-question (wh) and in (2) the interrogative sentence is started with an auxiliary. Those sentences have functioned as suggestion.  Interrogative Sentence Function as a Request

Interrogative sentence which has the function to make a request is usually opened by modal auxiliaries such as can, could, will, and would. This interrogative sentence is used to ask someone to do something.


  1. Can you wait a moment, please? (Murphy, 1985: 62)
  2. Could you please show me the way? (Thomson, 1986: 247)
  3. Could I have a cup of tea? (Thomson, 1986: 246)
  4. May I have a copy of the letter? (Thomson, 1986: 247)

In example no 1, the interrogative sentence is started with auxiliary “can”. It is used to express request. In this case the speaker requests the listener to wait a moment. In example no 2, auxiliary could is used, that means the speaker wants the subject “you” to show the way. In example no 3 and 4, the interrogative sentence as a request because ask someone to do something.  Interrogative Sentence Function as Asking Information

This form is daily conversation is usually followed by an auxiliary which expect yes or no answer and needs information.


  1. Can you tell me the time, please? (Murphy, 1985: 103)
  2. When will you know your examination result? (Murphy, 1985: 14)
  3. What is the time? (Thomson, 1987: 76)

In the interrogative sentence no 1, it shows that the speaker asks information from another person. The sentence has function of asking for information. In no 2, its functions are to ask information. It means the speaker wants to know about examination result. In no 3, started with wh-question What. It is used to ask information about time.  Interrogative Sentence Function as a Confirmation

Interrogative sentence with has the function as a confirmation is interrogative sentence that follows a statement this is the tag-question. If the statement is positive, the tag is negative and if the statements are negative, the tag is positive. These are short additions to sentences, asking for agreement or confirmation.


  1. He like his job, doesn’t he? (Quirk, 1973: 194)
  2. He doesn’t like his job, does he? (Quirk, 1973: 194)
  3. Edward lives here, doesn’t he? (Thomson, 1986: 113)

In no 1, the sentence has the positive statement and negative tag question, in example no 2, the statement is negative and tag is positive. And in example no 3, the sentence also has the positive statement with negative tag question. All of them are use to ask confirmation.  Interrogative Sentence Function as an Invitation

The interrogative sentence can be used when we want to invite someone and it is usually opened by wh-question or an auxiliary.


  1. Would you like to come to cinema with us tomorrow morning? ( Murphy, 1985: 62)
  2. Could you have lunch with me? (Thomson, 1986: 249)
  3. May I invite you to dinner next Saturday? Quirk, 1973: 351

The interrogative sentences above have function invitation. The sentence no 1, use the auxiliary would. It shows that the speaker invites someone to go together. The sentences no 2, is started with auxiliary could that the speaker invites someone to have lunch together. Sentence no 3, the modal may before the subject I. it is mean that the speaker invite the subject ‘you’ to dinner next Saturday.  Interrogative Sentence Function as a permission

Interrogative sentence can have function to ask permission with someone. The words which are used in this sentence such as: allow, permit, let and can be followed by an auxiliary, may and used for permission.


  1. Could I use your telephone? (Murphy, 1985: 62)
  2. May I come in? (Murphy, 1985: 62)
  3. Do you think I could borrow your bicycle? (Murphy, 1985: 62)
  4. Can Tom use the car whenever he likes? (Thomson, 1986: 130)
  5. May we smoke in here? (Thomson, 1986: 176)  Interrogative Sentence Function as an Offering

Interrogative sentences with have the function as an offering is used to give or offer something to another person. This sentence is opened with an auxiliary or wh-question.


  1. Can I get you’re a cup of coffee? (Murphy, 1985: 62)
  2. Mai I do that for you? (Quirk, 1972: 32)
  3. Shall I bring you some tea? (Thomson, 1986: 279)

The sentence no 1, is interrogative sentence as an offering. I mean that the speaker is offering a cup of coffee. The sentence no 2, the speaker I want to offer a help the person. The sentence no 3, is also to offer some tea to someone.  Interrogative Sentence Function as a Greeting

Interrogative sentence as a greeting is used when we meet someone who has been known for the first time. And also used when two people are introduced each usually says a greeting (Thomson, 1986: 74).


  1. How are you? (Thomson, 1986: 74)
  2. How do you do? (Thomson, 1986: 74)

The examples above are interrogative sentence as a greeting. In example no 1, is started with how and followed by the verb are. It is used when we meet someone which has we known before. In example no 2, is also started with how. It is used when we meet someone for the first time which is we do not know before.

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Theoretical Framework ( Conjunction )

conjunctionScientific paper must be supported by theory. Writing a paper, we have to follow the procedure objectively and scientifically. One of the aspects that support a validity of a paper is theoretical framework. The theories be used in analyzing the data presented in this study are based on the linguistic features namely cohesion theory proposed by Halliday and Hasan in the book entitled Cohesion in English (1976). This specifically focuses on conjunction as one organic relation of cohesive devices.

According to Halliday and Hasan (1976), in ordinary language there are certain elementary logical relations in existence. This kind of relations are expressed in linguistic structure in the form of coordination, opposition, etc, and corresponding to these, there are certain text forming relation represent semantic links between the elements that are constituent of text. Thus, they are encoded in the form of looser, more flexible linkages between the components of a text.

Beside the theory proposed by Halliday and Hasan (1976), theory proposed by David Nunan in the book entitled Introducing Discourse Analysis (1993) is also applied in this study as a supporting theory.

2.3.1 Types of Conjunction

According to Halliday and Hasan (1976:238), there are four types of conjunction; they are additive, adversative, causal, and temporal. In the following section all types conjunction are described :

a.     And in all this time he met no one.                         (Additive)

b.     Yet he was hardly aware of being tired.                 (Adversative)

c.     So by night time the valley was far below him.       (Causal)

d.     Then, as dusk fell, he sat down to rest.                  (Temporal)

Those are very simple overall framework which does not eliminate the complexity of the facts. The reason of showing this framework is to make it possible to handle a text without unnecessary complication.

            The different types of conjunctive relations that enter into cohesion are not the same as the elementary logical relations that are expressed through the structural medium of coordination. The conjunctive relations are textual; they represent the generalized types of connection that we recognize as holding between sentences. These depend in the last resort on the meaning that the sentences, express, and essentially these are two kinds: experiential, (representing, the linguistic interpretation of experience), and interpersonal, (representing participation in the speech situation). It means that the phenomena of conjunctive relations which can be grouped into four categories that may occur in either ‘internal’ or ‘external’ context. This distinction, which derives from the functional basis of the semantic system, determines the locus of conjunction; the conjunction may be located in the phenomena that constitute in the context of what is being said (external), or in the interaction itself, the social process that constitutes the speech even (internal). Now this is the types of conjunction will be given below.

  1.  Additive

            The additive relation is somewhat different from coordination proper, although it is no doubt derivable from it. Considering cohesive relations, and, or, and nor type can be grouped under the heading of additive. Coordination is said to be realized in the form of a particular structural relation since it is incorporated into linguistic structure (Halliday and Hasan, 1976; 233). While additive indicates something rather looser and less structural than what it meant by coordinate. Hence, If coordinate relation is structural, the additive relation is cohesive. The correlative pairs, such as both … and, either … or, and neither … nor do not occur in general with cohesive function and they restricted to structural coordination within the sentence. The reason is that a coordinate pair functions as a single unit.

            And, or, and nor may express either the external or the internal type of conjunctive relation. For example and, in the additive context, in fact, there may be no very clearly difference between the two (external or internal); but when and is used alone as a cohesive item, as a distinct from and then, etc, it often seems to have the sense of ‘there is something more to be said’, which is clearly internal in terms (Halliday and Hasan 1976; 245).


(1)    “While you’re refreshing yourself,” said the Queen, “I’ll just take the measurements.” And she took a ribbon out of her pocket, marked in inches…(Halliday and Hasan, 1976: 235)

On the other hand, here and does link two different facts, which makes it external, but at the same time, it may serve to convey the speaker’s intention that they should be regarded as connected in some way, for example:

(2)    Was she in a shop? And was that really- was it really a sheep that was sitting on the other side of the counter? (Halliday and Hasan, 1976: 245)

The summary of the conjunctive relation of the additive type with example of each:

a.   Simple additive relations (external and internal):

Additive                    : and, and also, and… too.

Negative                    : nor, and … not, not either, neither.

Alternative                : or, or else.

b.   Complex additive relations (internal): emphatic

Additive                    : further (more), moreover, additionally, beside that, add to this, in addition.

Alternative                : alternatively.

c.   Complex additive relations (internal): de-emphatic

Afterthought             : incidentally, by the way.

d.   Comparative relations (internal):

Similar                       : likewise, similarly, in the same way, in (just) this way.

Dissimilar                  : on the other hand, by contrast conversely.

e.   Appositive relations (internal):

Expository                 : that is, I mean, in other words, to put it another way.

Exemplificatory         : for instance, for example, thus.


  1.  Adversative

            Contrary to expectation as the basic meaning of the adversative relation derived from the content of what is being said or from the communication process, and the speaker -hearer situation. For example:

(1)    All the figures were correct; they’d been checked. Yet the total came out wrong. (Halliday and Hasan, 1976: 250)

Contrastive sense is shown with conjunction but and however.

For example:

(2)  All this time Tweedledee was trying his best to fold up the umbrella, with himself in it … But he couldn’t quite succeed, and it ended in rolling over, bundled up in umbrella with only his head out. (Halliday and Hasan, 1976: 250)

(3) He’s not exactly good- looking. But he’s got brains. (Halliday and Hasan, 1976: 252)

(4) ‘I see you’re admiring my little box,’ the Knight said in a friendly tone. ‘… You see I carry it upside-down, so that the rain can’t get in.’ ‘But the things can get out,’ Alice gently remarked. (Halliday and Hasan, 1976: 252)

(5)   … it swept her straight of the seat, and down among the heap of rushes. However, she wasn’t a bit hurt, and was soon up again. (Halliday and Hasan, 1976: 251)

(6)   She failed. However, she’s tried her best. (Halliday and Hasan, 1976: 252)

            The adversative relation also has its internal aspect. Here the meaning is still ‘contrary to expectation’; but the source of expectations is to be found not in what the presupposed sentence is about but in the current- hearer configuration, the point reached in the communication process.

For example:

(7)   ‘… you might catch a bat, and that’s very like a mouse, you know. But do cats eat bats, I wonder?’ (Halliday and Hasan, 1976: 253)

The summary of conjunctive relations of the adversative type:

a.   Adversative relations ‘proper’ (‘in spite of external and internal)

Simple                       : yet, though, only.

Containing                : but.

Emphatic                   : however, nevertheless, despite this, all the same.

b.   Contrastive relations (‘as against’) (external):

Simple                       : but, and.

Emphatic                   : however, on the other hand, at the same time, as against that.

c.   Contrastive relations (‘as against’) (internal):

Avowal                     : in fact,  as matter of fact, to tell the truth, actually, in point of fact.

d.   Corrective relations (‘not… but’) (internal):

Correction of meaning: instead, rather, on the contrary.

Correction of wording: at least, rather, I mean.

e.   Dismissive (generalized adversative) relations (‘no matter…still’) (external internal):

Dismissal, closed         : in any case, in either case, whichever.

Dismissal, open-ended     : anyhow, at any rate, in any case.


  1.  Causal

So, thus, hence, consequently, accordingly, therefore and a number of expressions like as a result (of that), because of that, in consequence, are the causal relation expression. All the example of causal are regularly combined with initial and. Thus so occurs only initially, unless it is followed by and. There are three specific relations under the heading of causal relations. They are ‘result, reason, and purpose’. The simple form of expression such as so means, as a result, for this reason, for this purpose. Except, they are expressed as prepositional phrases, they are not distinguished.

            The simple form thus, hence, and therefore all occur regularly in an internal sense which is implying some kinds of reasoning or argument from a premise. The word so occurs frequently in another meaning, also internal, that is shared with then; it is a statement about the speaker’s reasoning processes: T conclude from what you say (or other evidence)’ (Halliday and Hasan 1976: 257)

            Other type of conjunctive relations will be under the general heading of causal that is the conditional type. The two of them are closely related, where the causal means a therefore b, while the conditional means possibly if so, then. The simple form of expression of conditional relation, meaning ‘under the circumstances’, is the word then.

The summary of relations of causal type includes:

a.   Causal relations, general (‘because…, so’) (external and internal)

Simple      : so, thus, hence, therefore.

Emphatic  : consequently, accordingly, because of this.

b.   Causal relations, specific:

Reason      : (mainly external)/or this reason, on account of this. (Internal) it follows (from this), on this basis.

Result             : (mainly external) as a result (of this), in consequence (of this).

                          (Internal) arising out of this.

Purpose          : (mainly external) for this purpose, with this mind/view, with this intention.

                          (Internal) ,’o this end.

c.   Reversed causal relations:

Simple       : for, because.

d.   Conditional relations (‘if…, then’) (external and internal)

Simple            : then.

Emphatic        : in that case, that being the case, in such an event, under those circumstances.

Generalized    : under the circumstances.

Reserved polarity: otherwise, under the circumstances.

e.   Respective relations (“with respect to’) (Internal)

Direct             : in this respect/ connection, with regard to this, here.

Reserved polarity: otherwise, in other respects, aside/ apart from this.




  1.  Temporal

            The temporal relations are the relations between two successive sentences. Their relation in external terms, as content may be simply one of the sequences in time. The one is subsequent to the other. This temporal cohesion is expressed in its simple form by then.

The other expressions of temporal relationship besides then and end then are next, afterwards, after that, subsequently, following, later, since. Halliday and Hasan (1976; 261) stated that the presence of an additional component also make temporal relation more specific in the meaning, as well as succession in time.

a.  then + immediately (at once, thereupon, on which)

b.  then + after an interval (soon, presently, later, after a time)

c.  then + repetition (next time, on other occasion)

d.  then + a specific time interval (next day, five minutes later)

            In the sense of simultaneous there are at present, at this point, simultaneously, at the same time, meantime, meanwhile, in the mean time, now, presently, then relative, and when.

            Temporal relation may occur in correlative form that is an anaphoric time expression in one sentence anticipating the anaphoric one that is to follow. The typical anaphoric temporal is: first, first of all, at first etc.  And the expectation will follow that is an item such as next, then, second, or finally:

The example as follow:

(1)  Brick tea is blend that has been compressed into a cake. It is taken mainly by the minority groups in China. First, it is ground to a dust. Then it is ‘   usually cooked in milk. (Nunan: 1993:27)

            Still under the heading of temporal relation, there is included the sense of ‘to return to the point’ which is called resumptive. This resumptive relation is an internal one, expressed by phrases such as anyway, to resume, or to come to the point

            The distinction between the external and the internal type of temporal relation is fairly easy to identify. In the internal type, the successivity is in the communication process, not in the events being talked about. The meaning ‘next in the course of discussion’ is typically expressed by the words next, then, or .secondly, etc, and the culmination of the discussion is expressed by: finally, or in conclusion. The summary of the conjunctive relations of the temporal types include:

a.   Simple temporal relations (external)

Sequential    : (and) then, next, afterwards, after that, subsequently.

Simultaneous  : (just) the, at the same time, simultaneously.

Preceding       : earlier, before, then/that, previously.

b.   Complex temporal relations (external)

Immediate    : at once, thereupon, on which, just before.

Interrupted     : soon, presently, later, after a time, sometime earlier, formerly.

Repetitive       : next time, on another occasion, this time, on this occasion, the last time, on a previous occasion.

Specific          : next day, five minutes earlier.

Durative         : meanwhile, all this time.

Terminal         : by this time, up till that time, until time.

Punctiliar        :  next moment, at this point/moment, the previous moment

c.   Conclusive relations (external)

Simple            : finally, at last, in the end, eventually.

d.  Sequential and conclusive relations (external): correlative forms

Sequential      : first… then, first… next, first… second.

Conclusive     : at first… finally, at first:., in the end.

e.   Temporal relations (internal)

Sequential      : then, next, secondly…

Conclusive     :  finally, as a final point, in conclusion.

f.   Temporal relations (internal) correlative form

Conclusive     : …finally, …to conclude with.

g.   ‘Here and now’ relations (internal)

Past                : up to now, up to this point, hitherto, heretofore at this point, here.

Present           : at this point.

Future             : from now on, henceforward.

h.   Summary relations (internal)

Culminative    : to sum up, in short, briefly.

Resumptive    : to resume, to get back to the point, anyway.

2.3.2 Function of Conjunction

Beside, Stern (2003: 101) proposed that the function of conjunction is to join any of the following language units such as word, clause, sentence, and phrase to another.

  1. Conjunction joins one words to another

For data: smile but sad

  1. Conjunction joins one clause to another

For data: I saw a doctor because I felt unwell

  1. Conjunctions joins one sentence to another

For data: it was raining, so I did not go out

  1. Conjunctions joins one phrase to another

For data: the bus and the cab got terible accident

Stern (2003) also proposed that a major use of conjunctions is to join sentence parts that are clauses. When we use of conjunction in this way, it is often possible to choose between putting the conjoined clause (headed by the conjunction) first and putting it second. Because the beginning of the sentence is the most prominent, your choice will depend on which clause you want the reader or listener to focus on.                          The Subclasses of Conjunction and Their Functions

Based on stern (2003: 103), there are two subclasses of conjunction, and one of them has three subdivision, they are:

  1. Coordinating Conjunctions
    1. Coordinating conjunctions (in bold below) are conjunction that join small scale units of language such as words and phrases. Such as: and, but, either….or, neither….nor.

For example:  

We gave flowers and fruits

            word               word

We visited our teachers but not all of them.

                        phrases                        phrases

  1. Coordinating conjunctions also join clauses. The clauses headed by a coordinating conjunction (underlined) are called a “coordinate clause”. For examples:

I cooked and they washed the dishes.

main clause     coordinate clause

I was happy so I bought a chocolate.

main clause     coordinate clause

I know her but I don’t like her.

main clause     coordinate clause


According to Stern (2003), the main coordinating conjunctions and conjunction groups are: and, but, so, yet, still, or, neither, nor, than, either….or, neither….nor, not only….but also, as well as.

  1. Subordinating Conjunctions

According to Stern (2003), subordinating conjunctions are the conjunctions that join clauses to each other. But the two clauses are not equal. One is the main clause (also called a super ordinate clause). The other headed by the subordinating conjunction is the subordinate clause. Stern(2003: 104) also states that in the sense that the subordinate clause, together with its subordinating conjunction, cannot Stern alone but must be join in any one of three functions (conjunction underlined) for example:

  1. As a noun clause:

What she doesn’t understand       won’t hurt her.

subject of won’t hurt                  main clause


  1. As an adjective clause

You have something         that I would like to borrow.

main clause                                  modifies something

  1. As an adverb clause

When she is gone              I feel sad.

modifies feel                     main clause

Stern (2003) also gives the explanation about the three subdivisions of subordinating conjunctions that joined the three clauses above, they are:

  1. Nominal Conjunction is the subordinating conjunction that used to join the main clause with a noun.

For example:

I have got                          what was mine

main clause                      noun clause

The subordinate clause (what was mine) acts as a noun because it is the object of the verb took. The main nominal conjunctions are: whoever, whatever, who, whom, which, that, when, where, how, what, why, whether.

  1. Adjectival conjunction is the subordinating conjunction that used to join an adjective (bolded) with main clause.

For example:

I helped my mother           who was cocking.

main clause                      adjective clause

The subordinate clause (who was cocking) acts as an adjective because it modifies the noun mother.

The main adjectival conjunctions are: who, that, whom, when, whose, where, which.

  1. Adverbial Conjunction is the subordinating conjunction that used to join an adverb with an adverb clause.

For example:

I washed                           when I got home

main clause                      adverb clause


The subordinate clause (when I got home) acts as an adverb of time that modifies the verb washed.

The main adverbial conjunctions are: after, because, until, although, before, unless, since, though, if, when, whenever, as, while, wherever.

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Theoretical Framework ( Preposition )


Scientific paper must be supported by theory. In writing a paper, we have to follow the procedure objectively and scientifically. One of the aspects that support a validity of a paper is theoretical framework. The analysis of this study was based on the theory of grammar. In this case, the writer used two main theories proposed by Quirk, et al. (1985), and Swan (1996).

According to Quirk (1985) and Swan (1996), in the most general terms, a preposition expresses a relation between two entities, one being that represented by the prepositional complement. Of the various types of relational meaning, those of place and time are the most prominent and easy to identify. Other relationships such as instrument and cause may also be recognized, although it is difficult to describe prepositional meanings systematically in terms of such labels. Normally a preposition must be followed by its complement, but there are some circumstances in which this does not happen, either because the complement has to take first position in the clause, or because it is absent. Quirk (1980:143) stated that prepositions followed by a noun phrase or wh-clause or V-ing clause and has meaning that can be divided into preposition denoting place, time, the cause/purpose spectrum, the means agentive spectrum, accompaniment, support and opposition.

English prepositions can sometimes be a little difficult, because they do not always conform to what you would use in other languages. There are many prepositions, for example: at (exact location, time, ability, place, directional verb); for (referring to destination, indicate the period of time); on (indicate some form of contact, applies to a specific day, a temporary condition); and out (indicate some kind of comparison, sometimes can be found d in front of noun).

Swan (1995) thinks that it is difficult to learn to use prepositions correctly in a foreign language. Most English prepositions have several different functions (for instance, one well-known dictionary lists eighteen main uses of at), and these may correspond to several different prepositions in another language. At the same time, different prepositions can have very similar uses (in the morning, on Monday, at night). Preposition before particular words and expressions, for examples: at a party, in my opinion, on time.

As Hornby (1995) in the dictionary entitled Oxford Advance Learner’s Dictionary of Current English also define the preposition as a word or group of words (e.g. in, from, to, out of, on behalf of) used before noun or pronoun to show e.g. place, position, time, or method.

Preposition is one of the traditional parts of speech into which words are classified. It is a closed class, in that few new prepositions ever enter a language. There are some kinds of prepositions. Most of the common English prepositions are simple, complex, and compound, while participial and phrasal prepositions are less common in their using.

The Simple preposition, traditionally, the preposition proper: one- or two-syllable words, such as at, but, by, down, for, from, in, like, near, of, off, on, out, over, save, through, till, to, up, via, with and without (Burks and Wishon, 1980: A-12).

The Complex prepositions consist of more than one word. Some multi-word sequences function semantically and syntactically as a single prepositions (Biber et al, 1990: 75). For examples:

Two word prepositions generally end in a common simple preposition. Ending in:

as         : such as

for        : as for, but for, save for, expect for

from     : apart from, aside from, as from, away from

of           : ahead of, as of, because of, devoid of, exclusive of, inside of, instead of, irrespective of, out of, outside of, regardless of, upwards of, void of

on        : depending on

to           : according to, as to, close to, contrary to, due to, next to, on to, opposite to, owing to, preliminary to, preparatory to, previous to, prior to, relative to, subsequent to, thanks to, up to

with      : along with, together with

others   : as against, as per, as regards, rather than


Three-word prepositions most commonly consist of a simple preposition + noun + another simple preposition. Ending in:

as         : as far as, as well as

far        : in exchange for, in return for

from     : as distinct from

of           : by means of, by virtue of, by way of, for lack of, for want of, in aid of, in aid of, in back of, in case of, in charge of, in consequence of, in front of, in light of, in need of, in place of, in respect of, in search of, in spite of, in terms of, on account of, on grounds of, on top of

to           : as opposed to, by reference to in addition to, in contrast to, in reference to, in regard to, in relation to, with regard to, with respect to

with       : at variance with, in accordance with, in comparison with, in compliance with, in conformity with, in contact with, in line with

There are also four-word prepositions. These are similar to three-word prepositions, expect that include the definite or the indefinite article and usually end in of:

as a result of, at the expense of, for the sake of, in the case of, in the event of, in the light of, on the grounds of, on the part of, with the exception of

The Compound preposition is two prepositions used together as one (Burks and Wishon, 1980: A-12). : in and to as into. For examples: aboard, about, above, across, after, against, along, amid, amidst, among, around, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, besides, between, betwixt, beyond,, despite, except, inside, into, onto, opposite, outside, since, throughout, toward(s), under, underneath, unlike, until, unto, upon, within, without. These prepositions as similar as free prepositions in the way they formed.

Such forms are primarily conventions of writing and print and may vary according to the kind of English: BrE generally has on to and AmE onto. Forms like into, on to/onto, and out of are all compounds in speech, because of their rhythm and stress: the first preposition is stressed (INto), and the second is usually reduced. This point is reflected in the non-standard spelling of out of (Will ya get outa here?), where a stands for of reduced to schwa.

2.3.1        Alternative Positions of Prepositions

Martinet and Thomson (1986) mentioned, prepositions normally precede nouns or pronouns. In two constructions, however, it is possible in informal English to move the preposition to the end of the sentence:

  1. In questions beginning with a preposition + whom/which/what/whose/where:

To whom were you talking? (formal)

Who were you talking to? (informal)

In which drawer does he keep it? (formal)

Which drawer does he keep it in? (informal)

It used to be thought ungrammatical to end a sentence with a preposition, but it is now accepted as a colloquial form.

2.3.2        Meaning and Categories

The following list illustrates the use of prepositional phrases to convey specific kinds of information (Burks and Wishon, 1980: 289, 290).

  1. Place, position

There are several prepositions are indicated place or position, such as:

across                          Her house is across the street.

after                             The first street after the bridge is state street.

against                         His bicycle was leaning against the fence.

among                         The letter might be among those papers.

around                         The shop is just around the corner.

at                                             He used to be a student at a north American university.

before                          I have your letter before me now.

behind                          The garage is behind the house.

below                           They live in the apartment below ours.

between                                   His shop is between the bank and the post office.

by                                 That house by the lake is my dream house.

in                                 She was dozing in an armchair when we got there.

in front of                    The ball stopped in front of the bus.

inside                           Come in. it is warmer inside the house.

near                             You shouldn’t smoke near gasoline.

on top of                                  I want whipped cream on top of my strawberries.

opposite                       The school is opposite the church.

outside                         There a bird’s nest outside my window.

over                             The window is over the radiator.

to                                 Attach the rope to the bumper of the car.

under                           The book was under the desk.

underneath                  The book is underneath the paper.

  1. Direction

There are several prepositions are indicated direction, such as:

Across                          I am going across the street to see my cousin.

at                                 The child threw a stone at the bear.

by the way of              Cant we drive to New York by the way of Philadelphia.

down                            We saw her walking down Fifth Avenue.

into                              I saw her going into the theater a few minutes ago.

out of                           He took some money out of his pocket.

to                                 She went to grocery store.

through                        The bird flew through the open window.

toward                         This road leads toward the sea.

up                                The salmon were swimming up the river.

upon                            The bird was perched upon his shoulder.

  1. Time

There are several prepositions are indicated time, such as:

about                           I think she will be away about a week.

after                             Would you please call after eight.

around                         I get to my office around nine every morning.

at                                 I told her to  meet us at six o’clock sharp.

before                          Take this medicine before meal time.

by                                 She should be back by seven at the latest.

during                          During the winter, I think I’ll go to Florida.

from…to                      The office will be open from nine to one every day.

from…until                  She works from eight until two six days a week.

  1. Purpose, reason

There is one preposition indicates purpose or reason, such as:

for                              Take this medicine for your headache.

  1. Possession

There is one preposition indicates possession, such as:

of                               The leader of the scouts has not arrived yet.

  1. Manner, instrument

There are several prepositions are indicated manner or instrument, such as:

by                              I enjoyed going there by train

in                               You can’t go to that restaurant in jeans.

like                             That clown walks like a duck.

With                           She writes with a pen.

  1. Identification

There are several prepositions are indicated identification, such as:

at                               The shop at the corner sells stamps.

on                                          The apartment on the second floor is smaller than ours.

With                           People with law degrees often go into politics.

  1. Distance

There is one preposition indicates distance, such as:

for                              We walks for miles and miles.

  1. Agent

There is one preposition indicates agent, such as:

by                              This film was directed by a Czech director.

10.  Material

There is one preposition indicates material, such as:

with                           I must fill my pen with ink.

  1. Quantity

There is one preposition indicates quantity, such as:

by                              Meat is sold by the pound or by the kilo.

2.3.3        Prepositions with Multiple Meanings

Some prepositions are used to express a variety of meanings. These may present difficulties. Some of the common prepositions with their various meanings and their most common uses are summarized as follows (Burks and Wishon, 1980: 291-293):

  1. Around
  2. At approximately

The police believe the man died around six o’clock.

  1. b.   In the vicinity of

People have reported seeing a stranger around the store.

  1. At
  2. With a street address if the house number is given.

     She lives at 18 Magnolia Street.

  1. With points in time.

     He arrived at 8:00.

  1. With prices.

     They are on sale at two dollars a dozen.

  1. By
  2. Alone (with a reflexive pronoun).

     She did the homework by herself.

  1. b.   Past (with verbs or motion).

     Several buses go by our house.

  1. c.    At the latest (with a maximum time limit).

     All classes will be over by June.

  1. For
  2. To indicate duration of time.

     She played the piano for two hours.

  1. b.   In exchange for.

     I bought thus book for two dollars.

  1. c.     With the beneficiary of an action.

     He baked a cake for me.

  1. Instead of or in place of.

     When he was away, his neighbor did the work for him.

  1. e.    With the subject of an infinitive.

     It is important for them to arrive early

  1. In
  2. With cities, states, countries, continents.

     He lives in Cairo.

  1. b.   With periods of time.

     The mails come in the morning.

  1. c.    With lengths of time.

     He will come in an hours.

  1. With languages.

     That opera was originally written in Italian.

  1. On
  2. To indicate contact with a surface.

     The book is on the table.

  1. b.   With days of the week and dates.

     Summer begins on June 21.

  1. With the name of the street.

     She is visiting a friend on Magnolia Street.

  1. With
  2. To indicate association.

     She is with a consulting firm.

  1. Using.

     He opened the door with his key.

  1. c.    Having.

     A white dress with a red spots.

  1. d.   Showing a particular way of behaving.

     He fought with a big courage.

  1. In the company of.

     She comes to school with her sister.

  1. f.     Because of.

     They smiled with pleasure.

  1. Without
  2. To indicate the absence of something.

     Nothing can live without water.

  1. b.   Not having something.

     You can’t see the film without a ticket.

  1. c.    Without doing something or not doing something.

     He left without saying goodbye.


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Hi all…

I decided to start a new blog since I can’t access the old one.. (i lost the password.. >.<).. So just enjoy my new article related to task I got in college..

Cheers, Esa

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Hello world!

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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