Structure of English.

How to submit

You should submit your assessment electronically via Turnitin on BlackBoard.

Assessment task details and instructions



For the trees you have to draw:


  1. You can draw them by hand on a sheet of paper, then take a picture and insert the image files onto the word document (recommended option).
  2. You can do it by inserting lines on Office Word or any similar word processor (ShapesàLines).
  3. You can do it using online syntax tree generators like RsyntaxTree and phpsyntaxtree or by downloading and installing Treeform, a cross-platform syntax tree drawing software in Java.

It is your responsibility to check that your trees are OK before you submit your work. Double-check for missing or displaced branches or/and labels. It is also recommended that you convert your .doc files into .pdf before you submit. Make also sure that your trees are displayed clearly on the computer screen. Please don’t make them too small or faint, as I won’t be able to see the details.


For this piece of work, you don’t have to use citations and references.

You must not discuss your answers with (or show them to) other students.

Assessment Tasks (You should attempt all four tasks)


Task 1: Draw labelled trees for the following four sentences. Additionally, for the four expressions in bold state their function in the sentence they occur in.


a.      I know that very few people would give their partners a second chance.
(Tree=6 marks/Function=3 marks)

b.      Every resident thinks that they should have bought a considerably bigger house.
(Tree=7 marks/Function=3 marks)

c.       The three tourists asked the agency whether they could watch the game at the local pub with their friends from England.
(Tree=9 marks/Function=3 marks)

d.      The smelly cheese will usually empty a room of people in seconds.
(Tree=6 marks/Function=3 marks)                                                                    [40 marks]


Task 2:  The underlined strings of words in the sentences below ARE constituents. For each string, provide TWO pieces of evidence that illustrate why this is so.  While you can use any diagnostics you want, try to make use of as many different diagnostics as possible.


a.      Very few people would give their friends their car.

b.      We all expected that they would wait for their friends after the lecture.

c.       I’m reading our dean’s report of the meeting.

d.      They can watch the game at the local pub with their friends from England.

e.      I will probably need a new car in May.

[5 X 4 marks=20]



Task 3:  Consider the sentence below and give a logical argument for the assumption that the string ‘their grandparents in the summer’ is NOT a constituent, explaining the logic of your argument.


The two sisters would very often visit their grandparents in the summer.


                                                                                                                                                      [20 marks]


Task 4:  The sentence below is structurally ambiguous. After you explain what the ambiguity is—using appropriate paraphrases (4 marks)— and why it arises (4 marks), illustrate how this ambiguity can be accounted for using labelled tree diagrams (12 marks). Be as explicit as possible.


                          They decided that they needed a new car in May
                                                                                                                                                     [20 marks]


Assessed intended learning outcomes


On successful completion of this assessment, you will be able to:


Knowledge and Understanding


1. Analyse the structure and identify the grammatical properties and functions of English phrases and clauses using appropriate linguistic conventions, arguments and evidence.


Practical, Professional or Subject Specific Skills


1. Employ problem-solving strategies.

2. Develop advanced analytic skills.


Transferable Skills and other Attributes

1. Enhance your digital skills.


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