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7.7 Copular sentences

  1. The copula is the verb to be. Sentences whose main verb is a form of the verb to be are called copular sentences:
    (a) Fido is a dog. Copular
    (b) Fido is happy. Copular
    (c) Fido is under the table. Copular
    (d) Fido is barking. Not Copular [Main Verb = bark]
  2. The phrases following the copula are called predicative phrases
    (a) Fido is a dog. Predicative NP
    (b) Fido is happy. Predicative AdjP
    (c) Fido is under the table. Predicative PP
  3. In the logical translations of copular sentences, we assume be contributes nothing to the meaning:

(a) & \mathrm{\:dog\:}(\text{fido})  ...
...\:under\:}(\text{fido}, \mathrm{\:the\:table\:})\\

    Thus concludes the grammar of Fido!

Jean Mark Gawron 2009-02-16