Agent

Just remember this: the agent of a sentence is the one doing the action of the verb. Consider the following sentences: (1) The car struck the fence. (2) The fence was struck by the car. In both (1) and (2) it is the car that is doing striking, even though in (2) it is NOT the subject.…More

The linguistic sign

Saussure pointed to that language is mistakenly thought of as a matching of a thing to a name. To him the link is between a concept (signified) and a sound pattern (signifier). The signified is its meaning and the signifier is the “container”. The two together makes the linguistic sign. The linguistic sign has two characteristics.…More

The origin of English words

About 85% of words in the English language are from three languages – Germanic, French and Latin. 12% are from Greek and other minor languages like Chinese and Japanese. About 4% are proper names. Different languages had influence on English at different periods in history. Latin was the language of the Church. French came with…More

Active vs. passive sentence structures

One of the reasons (there are many reason but this is just one) why we would like to change an active sentence into a passive one is because we would like to bring the object of the sentence into focus. Consider these sentences: My brother was hit by a car. A car hit my brother.…More