English Linguistics

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Hey :)
I have a quizz on Friday, and on the shetts, it seems to be a mistake...
First it stands there: Complements can be expresseed by adjectives or a bare noun. Objects can't.
And then at an example sentences cannot be replaced my an adjective or a bare noun -> it is a complement.

Can anybody tell me what is correct??
I can't find anything in book...
I'm German, so please try to explain it easy...

  • English Linguistics -

    The word "complement" means a word (noun or adjective) that completes the meaning of another word or phrase.

    My brother is a repairman.
    (The complement "repairman" tells more about the subject, "brother." It's also known as a predicate noun.)

    My brother is tall.
    (The complement "tall" describes the subject. It's also called a predicate adjective.)

    Objects, however, can be only nouns or noun phrases or noun clauses.

    Go here and choose Terms. Then you can read and study Direct Objects and Subject Complements.

  • English Linguistics -

    This don't really help me.

    Our example was:
    People gave the right information to the President.
    We prove that to the president is a complement because: it denotes a participant of the giving-event, it cannot be replaced by an adjective or a bare noun, or a pronoun in the nominative and that it does not correspond to the subject of an associated passive clause.

    But one session befor we said that 1) complements but not Objects can be expressed by adjectives or a bare noun.
    2) That Objects but not complements correspond to the subject of an associated passive clause.

    What is true?

  • English Linguistics -

    "to the President" is not a complement. It's a propositional phrase.

  • English Linguistics -

    I can't send you the link from my professor... That's to bad, maybe I wirte something wrong or so.. You could have a look there...

  • English Linguistics -

    <IF> you rephrase the example sentence, it could have an indirect object, but not as it's phrased in your post.

    People gave the President the right information.

    Do you see the difference?

  • English Linguistics -

    Yeah, I see.
    But on his shetts it really is People gave the right information to the president.
    And then he prove that to the President is a complement by the way I tell you above...
    I don't understand it

  • English Linguistics -

    Either the teacher or the text is incorrect, and this is something that often confuses native English speakers, too.

    The example you were given has only one complement: "information." It's the direct object.

    The rephrased sentence I gave you has both an INDIRECT object and a DIRECT object.

    In English, the order and placement of words can change meaning. The same is true in German, right?

  • English Linguistics -

    Yes, in German the order of words can change the meaning.

    I found an other example, maybe you can exlain it to me?

    "I had never confessed to her my role in forging the first link in the recent chain of tragic events." TASK: Prove that TO HER is not indirect object but complement.

  • English Linguistics -

    As long as there is the word "to" there, it's not an indirect object. "to her" is a prepositional phrase. It's not a complement of any kind.

  • English Linguistics -

    So you say it isn't a complement?

    Can you give me a definition of complement?

  • English Linguistics -

    Here's a webpage with good explanations and examples:


  • English Linguistics -

    In addition to the link I gave you just above, be sure to re-read the very first reply I posted for you this morning. I defined "complement" for you there, and I gave you two examples.

    Let us know if you still have questions. This is not an easy topic, I know.

  • English Linguistics -

    The Problem is that my professor, tell me the things an other way then do it... And know I don't know what I shall write friday on the quizz...
    I will look all the things up again and tell you then, whether I find something that makes all clear.
    Thank so much so far. You are always a help for me.

  • English Linguistics -

    You're very welcome.

    Please feel free to keep asking questions, and I will answer as completely as I can!

    Keep on posting your questions!!


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