College of Languages


Syntax I

Course Code C0266 Th 3 Pr 3 CrHrs 2

Syntax is the component of language grammars that determines how words combine into larger units and how parts of sentences relate to each other. This module introduces students to principles of syntactic theory and trains students to carry out basic practical syntactic analysis with reference to English. It is considered as one of the most significant aspects of Linguistics. Linguists, those who are specialized in dealing with the scientific study of language, will lack the backbone of linguistics (especially the theoretical part) in case they miss what is offered in syntax or in case they are unaware of what syntax does to language. Thus, it is one of the core modules taught at English Department/ Nawroz University. It is, generally, about how sentences are structured and how these structures are governed. It introduces the basic structures of sentences; major phrase types, major clause types. This subject aims to equip our English learners (students) with an effective knowledge of essential features of English syntax. When students graduate and become English language teachers, they cannot give appropriate and adequate explanations to their students if they have no knowledge of syntax. Although a truly comprehensive treatment of English syntax is not feasible in almost a 30-week course, students will hopefully develop knowledge and grammatical skills sufficient for developing their own grammatical expertise. The class is designed as a follow-up to English Grammar and Morphology classes offered in the former semesters of study at English Department/Nawroz University.

  1. To introduce the students to the basic components of English sentences and describe their functions.
  2. To make the students analyse the syntactic structures of sentences (i.e. phrases, clauses etc.).
  3. To introduce them to the different categories and classes of phrases and clauses; noun phrases, verb phrases, determiners, nominal clauses, adverbial clauses etc.
  4. To enable them to be familiar with the different types and categories of verbs, subjects, objects, adverbials etc.
  5. To enable them to be familiar with the coordination and subordination concepts.
  6. To enable them to be aware of the similarities and differences between the grammars of languages.

Distribution of Marks

Final Mark

Final Exam

Second Term


First Term




















Quirk, R., S. Greenbaum (1995) A University Grammar of English, UK: Longman Group.


Biber, D., S. Conrad, and G. Leech (2003) Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English, England: Longman.


Introduction to grammar and syntax: What is meant by the concept ‘grammar’? The elements of grammar.

Recognize the level of students in grammar by the form of a diagnostic test.

Basic sentence structure: sentence elements (English sentence patterns) i.e. (S, V, C, O, A) & The subject and Predicate + Giving assignments to students.

Practicing on identifying the different clause patterns.

Components of the predicate and categories of verbs: intensive, extensive, stative, dynamic, transitive verbs & direct object, intransitive verbs, di-transitive verbs & indirect objects, copulas & subject complements, complex transitive verbs and object complements.

Practicing exercises on sentence elements & categories of verbs

A quiz on the covered topics

Semantic roles of sentence subjects

To be continued

Practicing exercises on them.

Introduction to phrases

Noun phrase (NP) & its components

Determiners, pre-determiners and post-determiners

Genitives, pronouns…

Practicing exercises on them.