College of Languages



Course Code C0274 Th 3 Pr 3 CrHrs 6

Teaching syntax is of importance to students ( learners) of English as a second/foreign   language as it contributes to developing all language skills .It also enhances learners’’ communicative skills as it will ultimately  help learners’ develop grammatical competence which is a component of communicative competence . By learning rules of syntax learners will be able to use the language ( i.e.) English correctly, fluently  and accurately  as these rules will teach them how to use word order and construct correct sentences . Learning rules of syntax will also help learners to write accurately.  The three dimensions of syntax ( grammar ) : form meaning and use will help learners develop language competencies.


This course has been designed to meet the needs of EFL learners of English as a foreign /second language in syntax taking their level into consideration . It is based on constructivism theory of learning in design. It starts with introducing students with concepts and theories of syntax  . It overviews briefly what students have taken during the last three years of their study in grammar ,then it proceeds to what they have not taken before . It focuses on syntactic elements like concord , phrases , clauses , types of the \English sentences structurally and functionally . It ends up with two important topics in syntax , which are IC Analysis and Phrase Structure  Rule and Tree Diagram .

It is aimed and expected that by the end of the year students will be able to :

1. demonstrate what syntax is syntax with its branches .

2. demonstrate understanding of different syntactic theories.

3. identify the lexical ( word classes) categories and use them correctly

4. to review grammatical forms and structures   use them in speaking and writing and other communicative contexts .

5. demonstrate understanding of different grammatical concepts ( concord , phrases , clauses ,etc. ) ,  that contribute to their    grammar competence ; a component of communicative competence , which ultimately help them develop language competencies .

6. demonstrate understanding and consequently using of a variety of sentence structures and functions.

7.  identify and analyze constituent structure.

6.  demonstrate   understanding of phrase structure rules and Tree diagram.

Distribution of Marks

First Semester


Second Semester

Final Exam

Final Mark




















A course in English Syntax to EFL college  students  compiled by Lazgin Barany ( 2021)


Longman Students Grammar of  Spoken and Written English by Douglas Biber et al. ( 2002) 


A University Grammar of English by Quirk and Greenbaum  ( 1973)


  • Introduction to syntax – Types of grammar/syntax

    Introduction to lexical categories - What determines the lexical category of a word- Grammatical or functional categories

    Nouns in English – General review  and classification- Common and proper nouns- Abstract and concrete nouns - Collective nouns and compound nouns - Countable –uncountable nouns -

    Syntactic functions of nouns - Gender of nouns- The Genitive case

    Determiners – Types and functions

    Pronouns – General review – types- Rules and Syntactic functions of pronouns

    The verb and the verb system in English – Review – Types – Action and Linking verbs

    Finite and nonfinite verbs

    Lexical verbs – Transitive and Intransitive verbs – Dynamic and Stative verbs – Regular and Irregular verbs

    The English verb system – Tense – Aspect -

    Mood and Voice

    Adjective  and adverbs – Review – Adjectives  Formation - Rules for comparison

    Functions of Adjectives

    Adverbs –Functions and forms

    Types of Adverbs

    Concord in English – Types

    Rules of the three types of concord

    English sentence structure – Subject types

    Predicate – types - Types of the English sentences- Structure and Function

    Phrases and Clauses – Phrases- Features and types  of Phrases

    Noun phrases

    Verb phrase  - Adjective Phrases

    Adverb phrases and prepositional phrases

    Clauses – Types of clause – Main and Subordinate clauses ( independent and dependent )

    Noun clause

    Adverb clauses

    Adjective  clauses

    IC Analysis 1

    IC Analysis 2

    Phrase Structure Rules and Tree diagram 1

    Phrase Structure Rules and Tree diagram 2

    General review