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LEC sem.


Morphology – it is a branch of linguistics that studies word structure;

- it’s the second level of analysis after phonetics;
- analysis the primordial level of meaning
- it is related to the lexicon, syntax, phonetics and semantics
- it is a key element in modern linguistics without which parsing ( analiza
fiecărui cuvânt în parte) is impossible
- studies lexical and grammatical categories (nouns, verbs, article etc)
Morpheme – the minimal unit of morphology defined as a unit with
meaning and form
- the number of morphemes in a lexical item does not get influenced by
the number of syllables of the respective lexical item

Buyers {buy}+ {er} + {s}- meaning of plural
{er}- the person who (persoana care)
Fisher {fish} + {er}
Bigger {big} + {er}- comparative
Men {man} +{ s} or {man} + [PL]

- from a semantic prospective lexical item can be parsed according to

their feature
Ex. {girls} + {girl} + [ +human; -male; -adult] + {s} + [PL]- plural
-în loc de –male și – adult se poate scrie direct +female; + teen sau child
(exemplul de mai sus este dat de profu’ dar a zis ca putem sa scriem si
- the same morpheme may have different grammatical interpretations –
{s} can show [PL] or Indicative mode, Present Simple (PS), Simple
Tense, III pers. Sg.

Lexical and grammatical morphemes

Lexical morphemes (LM)- the morphemes which have a meaning by
-nouns, verbs, adj.

Grammatical morphemes (GM)- specify a relationship between other
- prepositions, articles, conjunctions

Moorphemes- Lexical –free morphemes- nouns

- verbs
- adj.
- bound - nouns
- vb.
- adj
- Grammatical – free- prep.
- article
- conjunctions
- bound - inflections
- derivation
Free morphemes –can stand alone as words and they may be lexical (girl,
buy, dog, etc) or grammatical (at, and, the etc)
Bound morphemes – can occur only in a combinations( the part of a
word); they can be lexical [CLUDE] ( in-, pre-, dis-, -ly etc.)
or grammatical {PLU}, {PAST SIMPLE}, {PAST PART}, {PRESENT
sheep {sheep} + [PLU] – zero morpheme (it has a meaning but it doesn’t
have a form)
cranberry – cran is an empty morpheme bc. it has a form but no meaning
Bound grammatical morpheme –can be divided in :
1. Inflectional affixes – they are suffixes; they have a wide range of
-most English nouns make plural with the morpheme [PLU]
- most come from old English
- 8 inflectional affixes- 1.{PLU}
2.{POSS}-possessive -‘s
6.{PAST}-ed; vb.neregulate {răd.vb} + {Past}
7.{Pres.Part.}- ing
8.{Past Part.}-en
2. Derivational affixes


Better {good} +{COMP}

Best { good} + { SUP}

Present Tense
loves {love} + {Pres} [s]
love { love} + { Ø}
may love { may} + {love} + {Ø} – “may” is a modal vb. –it is followed
by short infinitive; it is in 3rd person singular; the morpheme {s} is
absent; there is no “to” before or after; in negative form it does not need
an auxiliary vb
Past Tense
loved {love}+{PT}+[-ed]
drove {drive}+[-ed]
Past Participle
driven {drive}+[-en]
Present Participle
driving {drive}+[-ing]

Two main morphological categories

1. Verbal categories- subdivided in –tense, aspect and modality
2. Nominal categories subdivided in- number, case, gender and definite,
indefinite article
The category of TENSE
Tense represents the chronological order of events as they are perceived
by the speaker
There are 3 different time spheres:
-Speech Time-the time when a certain sentence is pronounced(now) ST
-Reference Time –the time indicated by the sentence (it may not be the
same with ST), it can be present, past or future (specified in the sentence)
-is established by the help of tense inflections and temporal adverbials
-temporal adverbials can be- anchored-right now(speech
time),yesterday(it preceded speech time), tomorrow(it follows ST) and
unanchored – ex.”on Monday”( it is not anchored in time), “the other
- Event Time- refers to the moment when the relevant event occurs (may
not be the same as RT)

Temporal adverbials can be:
Simple-tomorrow, now, yesterday
Complex-yesterday afternoon, tomorrow at 8; are single units

John washed the car last week ST=now; RT= is specified by “last
week” and “washed’ ; ET= not specified therefore considered to be
simultaneous with RT

He knocked and entered. ST=now; RT= Past –knocked, entered ; ET= not
specified therefore considered to be simultaneous with RT

Last night Mary had disappeared 3 months ago. ST= now; RT=specified
by “last night”; ET= 3 months ago; had disappeared; before RT

Joe wrecked the car before evening. ST=now; RT= wrecked; evening
RT before ST ; ET=specified by complex temporal adverbials – ET ←RT
ET before RT)

Present Time Axis (RT=ST)

RT=ST ET=RT – pres. Simple
RT=ST ET←RT – pres perfect
RT=ST ET→RT- future

Past Time Axis (RT←ST)

RT←ST ET=RT –past simple
RT←ST ET←RT- past perfect
RT←ST ET→RT- future in the past

Future Time Axis (RT→ST)

RT→ST ET=RT-future perfect
RT→ST ET←RT- future perfect
RT→ST ET→RT- future perfect

The value of the tenses

Simple Present Tense has the following tenses

1. Generic –indicates that the activity is valid at the moment now
Ex. Water boils at 100 degrees .- general fact

- generic sentences don’t specify a particular moment in time; they imply
the presence of the adverb “always” ST=now; RT=not specified,
therefore the same with ST; RT=is always
2. Habitual – do not specify a moment in time; the sentences do not have
a particular time bc. they do not refer to an event but rather to recurrent
Ex. Mary gets up at 7 everyday. St=now; RT= same with ST; ET=7
everyday; repeated
3. Instantaneous – is assumed to be simultaneous with the moment of
speaking; the activity is treated as if it starts and ends at the same time
and also takes place at the present moment, now
Ex. in commentaries, radio, TV
Popescu takes the ball and passes it to Ionescu and Ionescu scores
-in demonstrations: I hold the object like this, I look trough this window
and press the button.
-when the situation presupposes a person in a position of authority :
I declaire war!
-in sentences with performative verbs: I accept your offer!
4. Future value- present simple can occur in simple sentences with a time
adverbial or subordinate adverbial close of time
Ex. Tomorrow is Saturday!
We start for Istanbul tonight.
I am forty next week (present cu val. de viitor)
ET=is not specified therefore simultaneous with RT
5. Past Time Value
- simple present tense with present time value(PTV) is also called historic
present(used in stories) ST=now; RT=in past; ET=not specified therefore
considered simultaneous with RT
Ex. John tells me you are getting a new car.
Verbs frequently used- to tell, to learn, to say, to hear, to ask
-used in newspaper head lines Ex. Champ dies!
-used in table of dates, capture or snaps- Ex. Shakespeare dies in 16161!
-used in stage directions-formulated in PS , travel itinerary.

Simple Past Tense

- expresses an activity that was finished in the past or that was regularly
or habitually performed in the past
- is usually displayed with specific adverbials such as- last, ago,
yesterday, the day before yesterday, just now

- can also be used without any specific time adverbials
Ex. I woke up at 7, I brush my teeth, took a shower and left to work at 8
-when there is a comparison between present and past conditions, time
adverbials can be absent- Ex. Romanian national team is not what it was
1. Habitual past
-refers to a past recurrent ability usually marked in time by adverbials
Ex. John got out at noon, everyday during his childhood
-does not indicate an unique moment of time
Ex. They went to the movie 3 times
2. Past Tense with Past Perfect value
- Ex. He enjoyed and admired Shakespeare’s sonnets.
He addressed and sealed the envelope
-sometimes the sequence of activity is clearly marked morphologically
with words such as:- after, before, as soon as
Ex. He dropped the letter before he went away
ST= now; RT=he went away RT←ST; ET←RT
3. Past Tense with Future Time value
- this use is fictional
Ex. In the year 2222 the interplanetary vehicle made a routine journey to
the moon.
- may refer to future as well
Ex. She told me she would call me as soon as she knew the answer
4. Past Tense referring to Present Time
-occurs mainly in questions in which the speaker requires informations
from the listeners
Ex. Did you want me?(Ai nevoie de mine?) → the normal expected
question is ‘Do you want me?’ but it may sound impolite
-using past tense shows a higher degree of politeness
Present Perfect
-is generally used to show an activity that has a result effect in the present
or that has just finished in the present
-key adverbials- just, already, yet, never, lately, recently, until now, since,
for, this week, this month, this year, today
-also expresses an activity that started to develop in the past and that may
have continued up to the present moment
-temporal values of present perfect- when, until, till, before, after, by the
time, once
Ex. I will call you once you have turned on your phone

Future Tense
- some scientists believe that future does not exist bc. future time
reference it is expressed either by future adverbials (tomorrow, next
week etc) either by the modal verbs ‘will’ and ‘shall’
Means of expressing futurity
1. Future Simple
-it is frequently interpreted as a modal verb
-in most cases it is incomplete without a time adverbial
Ex. I will have some coffee (in the near future)
It will rain tomorrow ( it is absolutely certain that it will happen)
2. Future Continuous
- does not result from the tense but rather from the time adverbial
Ex. The train will be arriving at 5 o’clock
Will you put on another play soon?
3. Be going to
-is a frozen construction expressing near future activities (short form
Ex. I’m going to punish them Vs. I intend to punish them →first sentence
is stronger showing a future fulfillment of a present intention
- it can also show a future fulfillment of a present cause
Ex. She’ s going to have a baby.
It’s going to rain
-expresses intention same as Present continuous
4. Be about to
-frozen construction showing a plan or an arrangement that is or was
supposed to happen according to a schedule
Ex. The plane is to take off at 5
-possible synonyms- ‘to be ready to’, ‘to be near to’, ‘to be on the point
of’, to be on the verge of’, on the brink of’
5. Present Simple
-has a future interpretation bc. of the time adverbial attached to the
Ex. I start school tomorrow.
Exams begin on Monday.
-the schedule is dictated by an authority
6. Present Continuous or Progressive
-expresses and activity that was planned in the past but which may
change in the future
Ex. John is rising at 5 o’clock tomorrow (he intends but he may change
his mind)

-differs from present simple in that the speaker may change his mind in
the case of PP. and can’t change his mind in the case of PS
Ex. I am starting school tomorrow Vs. I start school tomorrow → in the
first sentence the idea is that of an intention and in the second the idea is
that the speaker is oblige by an authority, doesn’t have the right to change
his mind
7. Future Perfect
-just like present perfect and past perfect, it specify a situation that takes
place in the interval of time that starts before the RT
Ex. By this time tomorrow I will have left
ST=now; Rt=by this time tomorrow- future RT→ST; ET←RT

The category of aspect

- aspects are different ways of viewing the internal temporal constituency
of a situation
Two types of aspects:
Perfective → presents a situation in its totality without concern of
temporal constituency- Ex. I have just bought a car.
Imperfective→ is concerned with the temporal constituency of a situation
which is presented as being performed in one or more stages
-is divided into habitual aspect and continuous(progressive) aspect
In progressive aspect punctual situations can never occur Ex- to die, to
arrive, to know
Habitual aspect –is particular in English language being realized in two
different ways :
- for present habits the use of a frequency adverbial is required –Ex. I
always wake up early.
- for past time habitual activities, two constructions are used
→ frozen constructions-‘used to’ Ex. I used to wake up early
→a modal verb-‘would or will’ Ex. I would wake up early

Vendler - Kenny classification of verbs

There are 4 classes of verbs:

1. verbs that have internal temporal constituency (can be analysed as
having stages, fazes) Ex. I am running, writing, singing
2. verbs that ca be placed in imperative –go, run, sing, write, work
3. verbs that can occur with adverbs of manner – willingly, deliberately
Ex. She was running deliberately

4. verbs that can occur as complements of other verbs like- persuade,
force Ex. I forced him to sing
These four characteristics make the distinction between 2 classes of
- Activity verbs- occur at a single moment in time
- Accomplishment verbs-occur repeatedly or continuously
- Each category is divided into other subcategory:
Activity vbs → Achievements vbs
run recognize
walk realize
swim lose
push spot
drive win
drink reach (the top)
travel start
eat stop
look arrive

Accomplishment vbs. → State vbs

to build (a house) to know
to make (a chair) to believe
to deliver to have a headache
to attend to trust
to play to love
to grow up to feel
to get ready to hear
to taste
to smell
to sit
to stand

There are some tests that classify between the 4 classes of vbs.:
1. Only activities and accomplishments occur in prospective aspects
Ex. John is building a house Vs. John is knowing the answer (nu exista)
2. Only activities and accomplishments occur in imperative
Ex. Paint a picture Vs. Know the answer (gresit)
3. Only activities and accomplishments occur with adverbs of manner

Ex. John ran the race deliberately Vs. John lost the race deliberately
Other minor tests-
-accomplishments vbs. Take adverbials with prepositions ‘in’ and activity
with ‘for’- Ex. John painted a picture in an hour.
John walked for an hour.
Achievements can be distinguished by the following tests :
- the paraphrase is ’take some time’ and not ‘spend time’- It took John a
few minutes to notice the painting
- achievements don’t occur with adverbs like: carefully, deliberately,
- achievements occur with presposition’in’- John noticed the painting in
a few minutes

1. Activity verbs- all activity verbs have a corresponding accomplishment


Activity(general) → Accomplishments (specific)

To drink beer to drink 3 glasses of beer
To play the piano to play a Mozzart sonata
To eat bread to eat a sandwich

-almost all the activities verbs can be transformed into a habitual

sentence by using a frequency adverbial Ex. I have never played the
I often eat bread.

2. State Verbs
-include cognitive verbs like: feel, hear, smell and active verbs like listen,
look, watch
Ex. I can smell perfume
-state verbs can also be recategorized as activity verbs after some
Ex. He is polite. →He is being polite –arata ceva temporar, face pe
-another situation of recategorized takes place in the case of verbs of
mental perceptions: to think, to believe, to know
Ex. They think(state vb) that John is a rascal (pierde vara) → They are
thinking(activity vb) about John

3. Accomplishments verbs
- sometimes can receive an activity interpretation
Ex. John ate the bag of pop-corn- state
John ate pop-corn for an hour- activity
4. Achievement verbs
–under normal circumstances achievements are non durative but
sometimes are recategorized if they have a plural noun as subject
Ex. The soldier reached the summit – achievement
The soldiers reached the summit (activity) –fiind mai multi nu pot
ajunge toti o data si atunci actiunea este durative

1.Progressive aspect in english

- activity verbs are placed in progressive aspect
- a state verb can occur in progressive aspect if they are recategorized
- to jump, to kick, to knock, to fire a gun, to slam the door → non
durative verbs or instantaneous process which can not be placed in
progressive, but when such verbs are used in progressive the meaning
is that of repeated process
- Ex. The child is jumping up and down
The boy is slamming the door
Momentary verbs →to accept, to deny, to declare, to dare→ can not be
used in progressive aspect; they already express an activity which takes
place at the moment of ST (speech time)
State verbs → indicate a potential for having properties at a hypothetical
Ex. He is being a hero (in this moment only)
Verbs of mental cognition → think, trust, understand, regret, imagine,
hope, wonder → can not be used in progressive aspect bc. they denote a
characteristic at a individual level
→ when they are used in progressive they are recategorized in other
classes Ex. She is knowing more and more about physics. → ‘knowing’
is recategorized in activity
Verbs of physical cognition → see, hear, feel, smell, taste → can be
placed in progressive aspect if they are recategorized Ex. When you
play the piano you are hearing things I am deaf to.
Emotive verbs → love, hate, dislike, want, despise → can be used in
progressive aspect if they are recategorized as activities and if they are
valid only during certain temporal or spatial interval
Ex. I am despising her for what she has done → (I despise her only now)

Locative verbs → can be used in progressive aspect if they are
recategorized from state to activities
-the interpretation is temporal
Ex. The river flows in Bucharest → ‘flows’ is state
The river is flowing in Bucharest → ‘flowing’ is activity

3. Perfective aspect in English

- indicates a view of the situation as a single unit without stage
- perfective aspect shows a result or an effect
- all verbs no matter of their class will display a result or a climax
Ex. I have read the book.
I have bought a new car.
→ perfective aspect is resultative
- can also have result in the present
Ex. She has been here since Monday (she is still here)
She has lived in London since 2000 (she still lives in London now)
-perfective aspect in English is continuative
- with specific adverbs of frequency can show an iterated interpretation
Ex. I have told you several times to be still
- perfective aspect must not be taken for perfect tenses such as present
perfect, past perfect, conditional perfect

The category of modals

There are 3 sets of principals:
1. Modalities which conform to the rational laws and are called
Epistemic Modalities
2. Modalities which conform to social laws (authority over somebody,
something, duty, order, compulsion)
3. Modalities which conform to the natural cause → Deontic modal
Expressions of modality
1. Nouns →hypothesis, proposal, prophecy, command, request etc.
2. Adjectives → possible, probable, certain, sure, normal
3. Adverbs → maybe, possibly, seemingly
4. Lexical verbs → to assume, to believe, to fear, to guess, to hope
5. Modal verbs → can, may, must, will, shall → primary modals
→could, might, ought to, would, should, need, dare →
→secondary modals

Characteristics of modal verbs
1. The NICE properties:
N →negation –is achieved without auxiliary (ex.cannot)
I →inversion- between subject and predicate in interrogative (Ex. Can I
C →code- Ex. He can swim and so can she → after ‘so’ the modal verb is
used without an auxiliary
E →emphasis- Ex. He will be there (va trebui sa fie acolo)
2. No ‘s’ for 3rd pers. Sg Ex. He can dance
3. Absence of non finite forms – without ‘to’
4. No co occurrence – Ex. He may will come!→ este gresit- nu se
folosesc doua verbe modale unul dupa altul
Modal verbs are polysemanthic words which express- permission,
probability, ability
Modal verbs which →occur with progressive aspect
→occur with perfect infinitive
→have restrictions on the subject(may take animate
or inanimate subject) →all are EPISTEMIC and all the others are

1. CAN
a. ability (physical and mental) – deontic interpretation
- the subject is animate
- it can be replaced by ‘to be able to’(more formal than ‘can’ and it is
preferred if the time reference of the sentence is Past or Future)
- Ex. I ran and I was able to catch the bus.
- ‘can’ is followed by verbs of sensation(feel, hear, taste, smell, see)
- Ex. John can hear voices(the speaker agrees that the voices are real)
- John hears voices (voices are hallucinations)
- the normal use of can is capability→ Ex. I can dance. He can tell
awful lies
- ‘can’ + first person pronounce expresses an offer→ Ex. We can send
you a sample( noi ne oferim sa-ti transmitem….)
- ‘can’ + 3rd person pronounce- vagueness → Ex. I’ll send John down
and then he can call you
- ‘can’+ 2nd person pronounce- request → Ex. Can you open the door
for me?
b. permission- deontic interpretation
- it obeys social laws

- its use sometimes overplays ’may’ → Ex. You can go now!
- permission ‘can’ is less alight than permission ‘may’
c.possibility – epistemic interpretation characteristics
- it obeys rational laws → Ex. Cigarettes can damage your health
- can accept both animate and inanimate subject
- can be followed by progressive aspect → Ex. He can’t be sleeping at
this time
- the negative of ‘can’ expresses impossibility → Ex. You can’t be his
- for past time reference is used perfect infinitive → Ex. Can you have
made a mistake?

2. MAY
a. permission with deontic interpretation
- it obeys social laws
- it presupposes a person in a position of authority → Rx. You may not
smoke in here
b. possibility with an epistemic interpretation
- it obeys rational laws → Ex. This may be the last cigarette I smoke.
- ‘may’ is more formal than ‘can’
- epistemic ‘may’ occurs in affirmative sentences → Ex. It may rain

a. probability with epistemic interpretation
- it obeys rational laws → Ex. They must have used a key.
- it indicates knowledge arrived at rather by interference than by direct
experience (arata concluzii la care s-a ajuns printr-un rationament)→ Ex.
It must have been love but it’s over
- ‘must’ can occur with future time reference → Ex. Something must
happen next week
- can be replaced by ‘to be bound to’ → John must be bound to be in his
- can be replaced by ‘to have to’(got) → Ex. You’ve got to be joking
- for future time reference ‘to be bound to’ is preferred
- the negation of ‘must’ is ‘can’t’ –shows improbability → Ex. You can’t
be serious
b. obligation with deontic
- it obeys the system of social laws and it presupposes authority →
Ex. You must go now

- it can show sarcasm → Ex. If you must behave like a savage…
- it can show a piece of advise → Ex. You must keep everything to
- it weakness the lexical verbs with verbs of linguistic communication –
say, tell, admit, suggest etc → Ex. I must say you are an idiot!
- Deontic ‘must’ is replaced by ‘to have to’→ Ex. I must go → I have to
- ‘Mustn’t’ negates the event, obligation not to act → Ex. You mustn’t
chew gum during classes (este interzis)
- to negate the modality to necessity only ‘needn’t’ can be used → Ex.
You needn’t have come
- for past time reference ‘to have to’ is used → Rx. I must leave home
a. volition(vointa) –deontic
- it expresses a wish, a desire → Ex. Do as you will!(fa cum vrei)
- in negative expresses refusal → Ex. She loves him and she wont leave
- can express a resolution(hotarare) → Ex. I will see her now
- with 2nd person interrogative host a request → Ex. Will you open the
- It can be interpretive as a mild imperative (it is more polite) → Ex.
Will you sit down for a moment?
- Can be used after ‘if’ → Ex. If you will sit next to me I will be
b. power- deontic
- it indicates how objects or persons will behave, so it obeys social and
natural laws → Ex. This room will seat 30 persons.
c. habit- deontic
- obeys natural laws → Ex. Boys will be boys
- the situation takes place as a consequence of a natural tendency of an
object or person → Ex. A falling drop will hollow.
d. possibility, probability –epistemic
- it obeys rational laws
- its use overlaps ‘may’ → Ex. You will be his daughter (e posibil sa fi)
- for past time reference, perfect infinitive is used →Ex. He will have
brought his mother back by next week
a. obligation- deontic
- it expresses rather the will of the speaker than the will of the subject

→ Ex. Good morning puppy! You shall have a bone!
- It has strong tones of imperiousness(obligativitate) → Ex. You shall
not kill!
- It obeys social laws
b. possibility, probability-epistemic
- it obeys rational laws → Ex. Who touches fire shall be burned.
- In interrogative ‘shall’ inquires about the wish of the addressy → Ex.
Shall I go?(vrei sa plec?)
- It is much polite than ‘will’

a. ability-deontic
- it obeys the system of natural laws
- it stays under a condition reserved → Ex. Do you think you could
command an army?
b. permission- deontic
- it is sued in indirect speech → Ex. He said he could dance
c. possibility- epistemic
- there is little difference between ‘could’ and ‘might’
- the time sphere is present and future → Ex. There could be trouble at
the University tomorrow
a. possibility
- it represents the condition equivalent of ‘may’ → Ex. It may rain(se
poate sa ploua); It might rain (s-ar putea sa ploua)
- it obeys rational laws → Ex. I might join you if I get better
- the time sphere is future
- it is used to make polite interpretations → Ex. We might meet again
after Easter!
- For past time reference perfect infinitive it is used → Ex. They might
have arrived earlier
b. prmission
- is extremely polite and it expresses a request → Ex. Might I have a
- It is used in indirect speech → Ex. He asked if he might go
- Rare use of ‘might’ may show power against all odds → Ex. Push as
he might, he couldn’t open the door
a. advice-perfect synonym for ‘ should’
- it is more formal than ‘must’ → Ex. You oughtn’t to pick your nose in

- it expresses lack of confidence → Ex. You ought to pay for the broken
window(but you probably won’t)
- for past time reference perfect infinitive is used → Ex. We ought to
have gone to the presentation
- it is less polite than ‘should’
b. possibility, probability
Ex. ‘An optimistic treasure seeker would say after working out the
position by the aid of maps, this is where the treasure must be; a more
cautious one would say this is where the treasure ought to be …….

a. advice-deontic
- is a more condition equivalent of shall
- it is weaker than ‘shall’ – Ex. Maids should be seen not heard
- the time sphere is present and future; for past time reference perfect
infinitive is used – Ex. He should have been kinder with her
- is more polite, more formal the ‘ought to’
b. supposition- epistemic
- it obeys the natural laws- Ex. This should be my house
- time reference is present and future and for past time reference perfect
infinitive is used –Ex. It should have been better without him
a. Volition
- perfect synonym to volition’will’
- it ia rare in affirmative –Ex. Turn the matter as he would, he still
couldn’t find a solution
- it is more frequent in negative –Ex. The door wouldn’t open
- it is more frequent in interrogative –Ex. Would you marry me?
- It can be used after ‘if’ –Ex. If you would speak louder we will hear
- It is very formal and polite –Ex. Would you pass the salt please?
b. Power
- the subject of power ‘would’ is inanimate –Ex. She was wondering if
the table would bear
c. Habit
- is a partial synonym in the frozen construction ‘used to’ showing a
habit in the past
- a more refined distinction between ‘used to’ and ‘would’ – ‘used to’ is
followed by the state words and ‘would’ is followed by activity words

– Ex. I used to be a good dancer – I would dance a lot when I was
d. possibility, probability
- it obeys the rational laws
- it is rare and it represents a counter part of ‘may’, ‘might’, ‘can’,
‘could’- Ex. Of course you wouldn’t know.
That would be in the year 1896.

- can be both a modal and lexical verb
- there is no difference in meaning between those two in functionality
- it obeys the social laws
- it represents the negative and interrogative counter part of ‘must’ but it
can be related to ‘should’ as well - Ex. I need a drink
- modal ‘need’ does not occur in affirmative –Ex. Need I say more?(vb
modal) Vs. Do I need to say more? (lexical vb; more formal)
- in indirect speech ‘need ‘ is maintained – Ex. She said she needn’t
have come
-is a modal and a lexical verb
-it is used in interrogative and affirmative –Ex. How dare you?
-for past time reference perfect infinitive is used – Ex. He daren’t have

Nominal categories( noun, adjective, adverb, article)

Classification of nouns

Can be classified according to composition :

1. Simple- are made of one morpheme which can not be decomposed :
Ex. Teacher, clock, boy, room etc
2. Compound- are made of 2 or more words which can be homogeneous
(noun + noun – classroom) or non homogeneous (adj + noun, noun +
preposition – blackboard, passer by etc)
-sometimes the logical relationship between the two components is not
very obvious – Ex. Goldfish( caras), ladybird(buburuza), butterfly
(fluture) etc.
-they can be also logical :Ex. Chair leg, bottle neck, window frame, day
break, moon light etc.
Nouns can be :

1. Derived- which can be prefix, infix or suffix
2. Inflectional nouns – according to different termination of form,
number, gender and case

Classification according to number

1. Individual nouns
- have both singular and plural forms ( book-books, family-families)
- there are some exceptions to these rules → nouns that have the same
form for singular and plural (a series – two series; a species- two
- when they are used individually they are preceded by the definite
article ‘the’
- when they are used generically they are preceded by zero article
Ex. The lion is a wild animal → Lions are wild animals
→exceptions this rule are – meals of the day (are never articulated);
nouns like school, university, church, hospital which are interpreted
generically Ex. She goes to school (not to the school)
2. Defective individual nouns (Pluralia Tantum) include:
- articles of dress – trousers, pajamas, overalls(salopeta), pants etc.
- instruments or tools – scissors, binoculars, glasses, spectacles, tongs
(cleste), tweezers(penseta), scales (cantar)
- parts of the body – bowls (intestine); whiskers (mustati)
3. Proper nouns
-are thought to be unique and therefore spelled with a capital letter Ex.
Romania, English, The Earth etc
- sometimes proper nouns can become common when they are preceded
by definite or indefinite articles : Ex. The Picasso I bought yesterday; The
Beethoven I heard this week
4. Abstract nouns
- do not have a material representation in real life
- they can denote actions, states, feelings Ex. Reading, neighbourhood,
length, love, piety, communism, poverty, history, music etc
- exceptions to this category are some nouns which have only the plural
form although they are used with a singular verb →
→ names of sciences- linguistics, mathematics, economics
→ names of diseases – mumps(oreion), rickets(rahitism) etc.
→ some games are also included – billiards, darts, bowls etc
5. Collective nouns
- they are individual unique nouns denoting collective meanings

- the agreement between collective nouns and verbs is a choice of the
speaker: Ex. My family is at the seaside Vs. My family are at the seaside
→ family, police, team, crew, army, government, man kind etc.
6. Nouns of multitude
Ex. people, poultry (pasari domestice), cattle (vite), the rich, the poor,
the restless
-have agreement with the verb in plural
7. Individual nouns
- can be used in singular and plural with the same form
Ex. sheep – sheep (oaie-oi)
deer – deer
trout- trout
salmon- salmon
shrimp- shrimp
fruit- fruit → when is from the same species and ‘fruits’ when is form
different species
-nouns can be countable or uncountable
Uncountable nouns are:
- common
- concrete
- abstract
Exceptions → advice – pl- pieces of advice
information – items of information
news - items of news
furniture – pieces of furniture
money – is not countable
Formation of the plural number
1. generally English nouns have plural with [s] but the pronunciation
- [s] – cup-cups; book-books; cliff- cliffs
- [iz] – box-boxes; rose-roses; judge-judges
- [z] – pencil-pencils; boy-boys; door-doors; idea-ideas
2. nouns ending in [y] preceded by a consonant from their plural with
[es]([y] is changing in [i]) - city-cities; factory-factories;
3. nouns ending in ’y’ preceded by a vowel simply add [s] – boy-boys;
4. nouns ending in [f] or [fe] change into [ves] - leaf-leaves; knife-
knives; wolf-wolves; life-lives
Exceptions: -cliff-cliffs; roof-roofs; hoof-hoofs; scarf-scarfs
5. Nouns ending in [o] add [es] for plural - potato-potatoes; tomato-

tomatoes; cargo- cargoes
Exceptions: photo-photos; piano-pianos; soprano-sopranos
6. Irregular nouns
woman-women tooth-teeth die-dice
child-children mouse-mice
ox-oxen foot-feet
louse-lice goose-geese

7. Foreign nouns
- they usually come from Greek, Italian , French
- they pluralise according to the language they come from
Latin origin: - cactus- cacti
- focus- foci
- bacillus- bacilli
- stimulus- stimuli
- genus-genera
- larva-larvae
- vertebra- vertebrae
- medium-media
- bacterium- bacteria
- erratum- errata
- stratum- strata
- index- indices
- matrix-matrices
- appendix- appendices (anexă)
Greek origin:
- analysis- analyses
- thesis-theses
- oasis-oases
- basis-bases
- hypothesis - hypotheses
- parenthesis- parentheses
- criterion- criteria
- phenomenon- phenomena
Other words involve differences of meaning when they are turn to plural :
medium- mediums ( people who communicate with spirits)
- media (agencies)
penny- pennies (individual coins)
- pence (collective value)

air – air - a-și da aere
custom (obicei)- costumes (vamă )
damage (injury, harm) – damages (compensation for a loss)
pain (durere) – pains (trouble, effort)
premise (premiză) – premises (incintă, spațiu interior)
spectacle (spectacol) – spectacles ( ochelari)
spirit – spirits (stare de spirit; băuturi spirtoase)

Category of gender
a. masculine
b. feminine
c. neuter
d. common

Completely different names of showing masc. and fem. :

boy-girl; monk-nun; mother-father; brother-sister; husband-wife;
nephew-niece; lord-lady; sun-daughter; uncle-aunt; wizard-witch; bull-
cow; cock-hen; dog-bitch; gander-goose; drake-duck; ram-ewe; stallion-
mare; king-queen
lion- lioness; tiger- tigress; actor- actress; god-goddess; host-hostess;
priest-priestess; mister-mistress; manager-manageress; prince-princess;
shepard - shepherdess; waiter – waitress; widow- widower; bride- groom

Different by adding an additional noun:

boyfriend- girlfriend; father- in- law ---mother-in-law; man cashier-
woman cashier; male child- female child; he-bear---she-bear; he-goat---
By compounding:
chairman-chairwoman; headmaster- headmistress; landlord-landlady; half
brother- half sister; policeman- policewoman; grandfather- grandmother;
englishman – englishwoman;

Neuter gender:
Denotes nouns, things, ideas whose sex we are not interested in: book,
house, baby, horse, thought, yet sometimes usually for stylistic reasons,
neuter nouns may become masculine if:
1. if they denote passions or violent actions: anger, crime, despair,
love, fear, fury, murder, terror etc.
2. if they denote things that suggest power or dignity : mountain,
ocean, river, storm, death, winter, summer, sun etc.

Neuter nouns can also become feminine if:
1. they denote beauty and gentleness: charity, affection, hope, devotion,
modesty, virtue, mercy
2. if they denote negative traits of character: envy, jealousy, revenge
3. if they denote elements from nature: moon, darkness, evening, earth
4. nouns denoting arts or sciences: poetry, painting
5. names of countries and towns: London, Romania
6. names of universities: Cambridge, Hyperion
7. names of ships , cars: boat, planes
Common gender (or dual gender)
Refers to nouns that are perceive as general and can refer to both
masculine and feminine:
Ex. Infant, adult, animal, spectator, parent, partner, cook, inhabitant,
doctor, teacher, servant, orphan, novelist, neighbor

Category of case
1. Nominative case is found in the following cases :
a) when the noun is the predicative (nume predicative)
Ex. I am a doctor! –nume predicative
b) when it is an opposition:
John, my neighbor, is a good man.
2. The genitive
Is used to show possession
-2 types: 1. synthetical or saxon genitive
2. analytical
1. is realize by adding “s” to the noun
It can be used when :
-the possessor is human: Ex. My father’s car
- when the possessor is in the plural Ex. The boys’ – is represented by
the apostrophy
- if the noun is irregular, saxon genitive is used : women’s habits,
children’s toys etc.
- when the name ends in “s” Ex. Dickens- Dickens’s novels
- when the possessor is represented by more nouns Ex. Ana and Maria’s
Ana’s or Mary’s house
My brother – in – law ‘s house
- the synthetical can be used with collective nouns : the Government’s
decision; the company’s success

- personifications: Romania’s mountains; London’s parks; our ship’s
- with chronological events: tomorrow’s meeting; today’s newspaper; at
a walk’s distance
- in idiomatic expressions: a needle’s eye; for God’s sake; for
goodness’ sake; for heaven’s sake
- saxon genitive is sued with the possessor not with the possessed
object: Ex. Have you visited San Paul’s?
I will go to live at my aunt’s.
2. The analytical genitive
Is achieved by means of preposition “of’ when:
- the possessor is a thing: Ex. The door of the room
- when we want to emphasis a name of a person: Ex. The wars of
- when the possessor is followed by an opposition Ex. This is the
house of Mr. Brown, the architect

Sometimes both synthetical and analytical genitive can be used with

different meaning:
Ex. The portrait of Turner (one portraying him) VS The portrait of
Turner’s ( one painted by Turner)
3. The implicit genitive
- it is achieved by putting together the 2 elements – possessed object and
Ex. The chair leg; the bottle neck; the sunrise; the sun set; the United
Nations Organisations