Grammatical connection between subject and predicate: stylistic...

Grammatical relationship between subject and predicate: stylistic evaluation of options

The subject and the predicate usually have the same grammatical forms of number, gender, person; see, for example:

The clouds are racing, the clouds are winding;

The invisible moon

Lighting the snow volatile;

The sky is cloudy, the night is cloudy.


The correspondence of the grammatical forms of the main members of the proposal is not a prerequisite for their functioning; in other cases, the forms of the subject and the predicate are not compared, and their predicate relations are indicated in their syntactic function: Not for me your beauty shining ... ( M. Lermontov). There may be incomplete correspondence between the grammatical forms of the main members: All life my was a pledge /Meetings of the faithful with you (A. Pushkin) but different forms of the genus; Your destiny - endless troubles - inconsistency of the number forms, etc.

Analyzing the grammatical forms of the main members of the sentence, the researchers abandoned the term "reconciliation", replacing it with more precise coordination . This grammatical connection is broader and freer; different words and word forms can enter into it, and their morphological properties need not correspond to each other, since their mutual relations are determined not by lexical and grammatical affiliation, but by a syntactic position in the sentence structure & quot ;. Coordination of the main members of the proposal is studied in detail in the syntax of the modern United States language. The tasks of practical stylistics include the evaluation of variants of the forms of the predicate , the analysis of their use in different types of speech.

1. The stylistic aspect in the study of the coordination of the main members of the sentence brings us to the problem of choosing the predicate number when the subject indicates a set of objects, but has the singular grammatical form.

The nouns majority, minority, set and the like, despite the grammatical form of the singular, denote not one object, but many objects, so the predicate can take not only the form of a single but also a plural: On this pond ... the and held countless ducks (I. Turgenev) were displayed; A lot of hands knock in all the windows from the street, and someone breaks at the door (N. Leskov). Which of the forms should be preferred and when the use of one form or another is not stylistically justified?

Grammatists of the past considered the correct form of the predicate the only number, but United States writers often did not observe this norm. By our time it is increasingly shattering, and now "the cases of harmonization in meaning in business speech, in journalism, in colloquial speech" are predominant. However, it is possible to single out contexts in which it is preferable, and for book styles and the only correct one, is the use of a certain form of the number of the predicate.

We illustrate the features of the choice of singular and plural forms of the predicate for the subject, most, a minority, a set.


Consider the following judgments:

1. Most agreed with the speaker.

2. Most of the authors agreed with comments.

3. Most writers strongly rejected editor fixes.

4. Most authors who signed contracts with the publisher, submitted manuscripts.

5. Most authors sign a contract, work over manuscripts.

6. Most editors, proofreaders, authors, reviewers have studied these documents.

7. Most editors received the order, reviewed its content, and made the necessary conclusions.

The form of the singular number of the predicate is fully justified in the first and second sentences, replacing it with a plural form will give them a colloquial hue (since harmonization in sense is inherent in mostly live speech). In the third sentence, the predicate indicates the active nature of the action, and the plural form creates its actualization. The value of the subject is also not indifferent, if it calls the animate objects, co-ordination over the plural is preferable; cf .: Most of the students responded well at the seminar - Most of the items lay in disarray.

With the remote location of the main members, especially if the subject is separated from the predicate by the participial, participial turn (examples 4 and 5), and also when listing the homogeneous members in the subject or predicate (examples 6 and 7), the plural form is stylistically justified the predicate. This is the expression of the tendency to coordinate the forms of the main terms by the meaning: if the predicate is remote from the subject, we, as it were, "forget" about the grammatical form of the singular number of the subject, but we know that it indicates a large number of objects. The idea of ​​the set is supported by the agreement of the participle in the plural: the majority of authors who concluded ... (an even more explicit reference to the set is contained in a parallel syntax: Most authors who concluded ... ). Enumeration in the composition of the subject creates the same impression of the set, and for homogeneous predicates, repetition of a single number would seem illogical, since all attention is focused on the action in which many participate.

The semantic side of the utterance determines the coordination of the form of the predicate by the plural number, if the predicate points to the action of many persons: Most of the participants in the rally met for the first time; Most of those present were hugging, crying. A nominal predicate can be expressed only in the form of a plural: Most of the visitors were veterans ; Most of the survivors were emaciated and sick.

2. With the subject, which is expressed in a quantitative-nominal combination, there is also the problem of choosing the forms of the number of the predicate. So, we have AP Chekhov: Some three soldiers stood next to the very descent and were silent ; he had two sons; LN Tolstoy preferred forms: In the sleigh sat three muzhiks and a woman ; In his heart struggled two feelings - good and evil. Comparing these examples, you can see that here, too, an active action ( fought ), and the designation of subjects ( three soldiers ) for the subject was suggested the choice of the form of the plural of the predicate. Verbs meaning being, presence, presence, as a rule, are put in the singular, unlike those that call active action; There were three phones on the table - Three phones rang at the same time.

However, for such proposals, one should also take into account the character of the numerals used in the subject. Thus, the numeral one will be prompted by a single number of the predicate: Twenty-one people confirmed this. In other cases, one has to resort to tricks to eliminate illogicality. For example, a journalist wrote: Twenty-one Koreans, languishing in prison, went on a hunger strike. This stylistic revision is possible: All these twenty-one people who languish in prison, went on a hunger strike.

Numerical two, three, four often require coordination of the form of the predicate by the plural: Three houses for the evening name ; Three three barns stood by the shed (A. Pushkin). The larger the number indicated, the easier it is to comprehend it as a whole, so the predicate can be in the form of a single number: One hundred and thirty-seven delegates are already registered , and five people were late . The choice of the form of the predicate in such cases emphasizes either the undivided nature of the action, the perception of the subject as a single group, the totality of objects (then the predicate is used in the singular), or, on the contrary, the individual participation of each in the performance of the action (and then the predicate is put in plural). Twenty-six people > (M. Gorky) - Thirty-two people ... breathed with one breath (M. Sholokhov). In such cases, the official-business style uses a single number, and in expressive speech, options are possible.

The only number of the predicate does not cause hesitation in the designation of the measure of weight, space, time (what is perceived as undivided set ): a century has passed; I was sixteen years old; There were five steps to the barrier; Seven cans of paint were used for repair. But with the actualization of the predicate, another form is possible: Twelve years of the disease did its case.

If the quantity is designated approximately or specified by the words only, only, the predicate is put in the singular:

It fused to me that twenty people are sitting in a large room with open windows (I. Turgenev); Fyodor plodded to the hillock, behind the hill lay a dozen carpenters (D. Furmanov); Here we all ... - he looked at the ... the Red Army soldiers in bewilderment, - only seven remained ... (K. Simonov).

The same rule regulates the coordination of the forms of the predicate for the subject with an indefinite-quantitative numeral several, how many, many, many, little, little, many:

How little we are from the battle survived (A. Pushkin); Already many coaches passed along this road (M. Lermontov); Several bullets squeaked over my head (M. Lermontov); There was in his voice the bitterness of a man whose eyes killed so many good people ... (K. Simonov).

However, with the same numerals already in the XIX century. used and the predicate in the plural, which emphasized the semantic weight of the verb in the sentence:

Several ladies with fast steps walked back and forth on the site (M. Lermontov); Several sled escorted me to the first station (A. Herzen); The next morning several dozens of men and women stood at the hospital gates (M. Gorky).

At present, such coordination of the form of the predicate is becoming more and more fixed: Many educational organizations can not give a clear, scientifically grounded answer to these questions ( gas.).

3. Vibrations in the form of a number of predicates occur when homogeneous subjects . In fiction there are options:

Once, Swan, Cancer, yes Pike

Carrying from the load took ,

And together, all three of them harnessed

(I. Krylov);

We will soon return home, -

But why are we going there? ..

It's sweet for us and at home not to forget:

Meet us with care and need!

(N. Nekrasov)

Coordination of the form of the number of the predicate in such proposals determines a number of conditions. If in the beginning the homogeneous subjects are listed, and the postpositive predicate follows immediately after them, then it takes the plural form; The gymnast and Sasha all the way cried (A. Chekhov). With a different sequence of sentence members, options are possible; cf .: From the area arrived the investigator and the doctor (the main carrier of the action - investigator ) ; In the room remained only the owner, yes Sergei Nikolaevich, yes Vladimir Petrovich (I. Turgenev) - there is no need to single out someone as the initiator of the action. In this case, if among the homogeneous subjects there are nouns in the plural, then the predicate takes the same form of number: My big misfortunes , my patience touched the hearts of the inhabitants (A. Chekhov). If the subject, which is closest to the predicate, used in the singular form, is also underlined by the definition, then the predicate can this grammatical form: Carrying heavy tramp forged boots and loud screams of women (A. Serafimovich).

The choice of the number of the predicate is influenced by the forms of the kind of subject ; Wed: Dungeons dead silence/Neither groan nor sigh violated (K. Ryleev); Not penetrated neither light, nor heat (S. Babaevsky). Coordination in the form of the closest subject in such cases violates the meaning of the statement (cf .: Good worked brother and sister ), therefore, if the subject is expressed by animate nouns of all kinds, the predicate must have only plural form: Neither he nor it the words did not say (I. Turgenev). It is important to emphasize that in scientific and formal styles in such cases, the options are unacceptable - the predicate must always be in the form of a plural: The current and voltage increase - the power also increases.

The predicate is used in the singular, if there are words for each subject, every, every, every : Every peasant and every worker knows what he fought for. In gradation (ie, such a arrangement of words, in this case - homogeneous subjects, that each subsequent amplifies, extends the value of the previous one), the grammatical form of the predicate "adapts" to the nearest subject: All Europe, all America, the whole world watched this United States transmission. This affects semantics: after all, the last subject, as it were, absorbs the meaning of all others, so and the predicate should be likened.

The lexical meaning of the predicate affects the coordination of its form of number, if the verb indicates the action of many ( met, gathered, argued, debated , etc.).

We considered options for coordinating the forms of the predicate number for homogeneous subjects, connected connecting unions or intonation. With other unions, the situation is changing.

If homogeneous subjects are connected by separative unions and it is necessary to emphasize that the action is performed alternately by one or another person (or from several subjects, the action is performed by some one), the predicate is used in the form of a single number: Whether the chock, or the barrel floats along the river (A. Tvardovsky); The Moscow or St. Petersburg University will hold this conference. If the subjects are of different kinds or stand in different numbers and the predicate is postpositive, it takes the form of a plural: Whether the bush, or hotspots were seen in the distance (see: hummocks were seen ).

The same form of the predicate is determined by the use of the comparative union both ... and, emphasizing the idea of ​​plurality: Both education and health are objects of close attention of regional leaders. Gradational unions not only ... but also; not so much ... as many , etc., containing a tinge of oppositions , usually determine the coordination of the predicate in the form of an singular:

Not only the contents of the manuscript, but the very form of presentation of the material required special conversation - cf .: Most of their faces expressed if not fear, then anxiety (L. Tolstoy).

If homogeneous subjects are connected by adversarial unions ( a, but, yes ), then the prepositional predicate coordinates their forms according to the first subject; Published poem, not poem - Published poem, not poem - The poem is published , but the poem. The forms of the postpositive predicate depend on the subject with which the predicate is related in meaning (regardless of which of the subjects is closer to it): A poem, and not a poem published in the journal - Not a poem, not a poem, but a novel published in the journal.

4. Commentary requires and such cases of coordination forms of the number of the predicate:

Lived old man with his old woman

Near the blue sea ...


A weaver with a cook,

With the saber Baba Babaricha

Do not want to let the king go

A wonderful island to visit.


Only in the second sentence is the combination of nouns in nominative and instrumental reliableness a subject; in the first prepositional-nominal combination with an old woman is used as a supplement . It is as a complement to the nouns, calling not the main vehicle of the action, but the person accompanying it: The old peasant with the Batrak /He was going by the forest (I. Krylov). Wed: While on the open base housed cows, came Timetnov with Demka Ushakov (M. Sholokhov); but: Five minutes later, only Davydov with Makar (M. Sholokhov) remained in the empty area near the barns left . In such cases, the plural of the predicate emphasizes that two equal persons participate in the action, i.e. coordination of the forms of the predicate can perform a semantic distinctive function: The mother with her daughter slept on the couch - The mother with her daughter sat ( daughter at the same time could have the mother in her arms, on her knees, etc.).

A stylistic value in similar cases also receives a sequence of nouns of all kinds. Wed: A husband and wife are invited to visit (both on equal grounds) - the first place is the "stronger grammatical male"; but: Wife with her husband invited to visit (invited his wife, and her husband must accompany her) - nominating a feminine noun in the first place emphasizes that it is the main bearer of the action, therefore and the predicate coordinates its forms of number and gender according to it.

The choice of forms of a bundle of a nominal predicate in case of inconsistency of the grammatical forms of the main members is also of stylistic interest: In due time Tetyuev was a thunderstorm and kept all the mills in their gloves (D. Mamin-Sibiryak.); Her unrealizable dream was touring . In the first case, the bundle is coordinated by the subject, in the second - by the nominal part of the predicate. This so-called reverse reconciliation highlights the value of the predicate and is used in a number of cases:

1) if the subject to be expressed by the words majority and the like: Most artists were students :

2) if the author wants to strengthen the value of the predicate: First , what struck Privalov, was some lord who was sitting at the table (D. Mamin-Sibiryak);

3) if the subject to be pronounced by the pronoun is: This was a blow for me.

A special stylistic interest is the coordination of the predicate with the subject, expressed by some pronouns. Let's compare some examples:

Someone of the poets said ...; Someone in a wig, with stuck eyelashes and bright lips, nodded in my direction; No one of female students, even the most capable, could not solve this equation; No one of girls, and Lena herself, could not anything come up .

From the sentence to the sentence, the influence of the context that determines the coordination of the predicate is amplified, but the preference given to the semantic principle gives the statements a colloquial coloring. In book styles, such coordination is not stylistically justified: with pronouns-nouns, someone, someone, no one, etc., the predicate should be in the form of a single masculine gender, regardless of whether the pronouns refer to women or to many people.

Another rule determines the form of the predicate in those cases when who appears in the function of the union word in the subordinate part of the compound sentence, to which the correlative word corresponds in the main part: All for the lesson, figured out in this complex issue; Those who knew about the lecture came to listen. In constructions of this type, the plural of the predicate, referring to the union word who, is supported by the corresponding forms of the correlative word and the predicate in the main part of the sentence (which does not exclude the options, because you could say: everyone who came ... ). Such coordination is preferable in book styles, but in colloquial speech in our time coordination in meaning is becoming more and more fixed, it is perceived by writers and journalists. However, if the form of the plural of the predicate is not supported in the main part of the sentence by the same form of principal members, the design acquires an emphatically colloquial coloring; cf .: I know everyone who came to the lesson; Them, who did not come to the seminar, is interested in the dean.

With a nominal predicate, the choice of a bundle is determined by the meaning; cf .: Who was the initiator of this venture ? (meaning one person) - Who were the initiators of our sports ? (several people). Context can exclude variants in other cases when the idea of ​​a set is stressed, for example: We are looking for those who during the Patriotic War, when they were young children, lost brothers.

Thus, in the process of literary editing of the text, it is necessary to keep in view the syntactic links of sentence and word members in word combinations. Those coordination options that the author has chosen, determining the form of the predicate, can not always be accepted. For example, it is not justified to agree on a middle-class predicate: This is one of important milestones in achieving an artist's recognition. When editing, an error is fixed: This One of the important milestones in achieving the recognition of the artist. The use of the verb of the past tense in the form of a feminine gender is not justified: Another architectural monument of the Novgorod Kremlin - Zlatoustovskaya tower - freed from scaffolding. This error provoked the and feminine applications, but that kind of predicate is determined to be born ( a monument - was released )


Edit requires the form of the singular noun included in the compound nominal predicate, in the sentence: Recently, "210 steps became the winner of the international festival of amateur films. Since coordination here causes difficulties due to missing the generic name ( film ) with an unusual application ( 210 steps ), in the edited version it is advisable to use the noun movie ( picture ) : Recently, movie 210 steps became the winner at the international festival ... (or: was voted the best at the festival ).

There are often mistakes in using a subject that points to a set of objects, but has a singular grammatical form. Consider examples of violations of the norm in grammatical coordination:

1. A large amount of wheat, rye, barley surrendered first grade.

1. A large amount of wheat, rye, barley surrendered first grade.

2. 21 cars fit in a vertical half-open 7 × 8 m parking garage.

2. 21 car fits in a vertical half-open 7 × 8 m parking garage.

3. This part of the text, just like the two chapters, not included in the translation ...

3. This part of the text in the translation is not included , just like the two chapters ...

As you can see, in the process of editing, sometimes not only the grammatical form of the predicate is changed, but also the structure is rebuilt so that the author's chosen forms of the genus, the number of the predicate, do not cause doubts in the reader.

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