English Grammar

Задания на практические занятия по теме:Syntactical expressive means and stylistic devices

Part 1

I. Study the following passages and analyze peculiarities of their syntax:

  1. She couldn’t spell, and she loved beer, but she had two or three “points”, and practice, and a knack, and mother-wit, and a kind of whimsical sensibility, and a love of the theatre, and seven sisters, and not an ounce of respect, especially for the “h”.  (H. James)
  2. Outside our villa was a wide nag-stoned verandah roofed with an ancient vine from which the great green clusters of grapes hung like chandeliers; from here one looked out over the sunken garden full of tangerine-trees and the silver-green olive groves to the sea, blue and smooth as a flower petal. (G. Durrell)
  3. “It’s a very good idea,” said Mother. “After all it’s only for a couple of hours, dear. You surely wouldn’t mind that.” I stated in no uncertain terms that I would mind it very much indeed. (G. Durrell),
  4. When I gathered the wine-coloured flowers I brooded on the problem of the bitterns. When the hen bird had reared her brood to the stage where they were fully feathered, I would dearly have liked to kidnap two and add them to my not inconsiderable menagerie. The trouble was, the fish bill for my present creatures – a black-backed gull, twenty-four terrapins, and eight water snakes – was considerable and I felt that Mother would view the addition of two hungry young bitterns with mixed feelings, to say the least (G. Durrell)     
  5. Hiawatha (hoopoe) paused and, with her splinted and her good wings spread out, she leaned forward and pecked at the slow-worm – a rapid, rapier-thrust of her beak, so quick it was difficult to see. (G. Durrell)
  6. This incident (everybody said, when she died the next year) took years off her life, but as she was ninety-five when she died this was scarcely credible. (G. Durrell)
  7. Sitting under the open window in the twilight with my arm round Rogger’s (the dog) shaggy neck, I had listened with interest, not unmixed with indignation, to the family discussion on my fate. (G. Durrell)
  8. The bottle, filled to the brim with oil, looked as though it were made of pale amber, and enshrined in the centre, held suspended by the thickness of the oil, was a small chocolate-brown scorpion, his tail curved like a scimitar over his back. (G. Durrell)
  9. Here and there on the green plush surface of the moss were scattered faint circular marks, each the size of a shilling.(G. Durrell) 
  10. The plane would invariably arrive in the middle of tea; a dim, drowsy hum could be heard, so faint one could not be sure it was not a bee. (G. Durrell)
  11. Hungry, thirsty, tired, with my head buzzing full of the colours and shapes I had seen, I carried my precious specimens slowly up the hill to the villa,   while  the   three  dog’s,   yawning   and   stretching,    followed   behind. (G. Durrell)          
  12. But it was the face of Rain that made Mor almost cry aloud. He had told her nothing of his political plans. She was hearing of them now for the first time. She looked towards him, her lips parting as if to question him, her eyes expressing astonishment and sheer horror, her whole face working in an agony of interrogation. (I. Murdoch)
  13. While he was at the college he had earned a pilot’s license for single-engine planes, had had it suspended for buzzing the stadium during a football game, had become a dazzling skier on weekends and winter holidays, had taken up skydiving and had made twenty five free-falls, had surfed up and down the California coast in all sorts of weather and tried some scuba diving, had talked his way out of having his driving license revoked for repeated speeding, had grown to be six feet tall and weighed 180 pounds, had paid no   attention to his male classmates and a great deal of attention to his female ones, had made no friends, had attended a symphony concert in San Francisco with his Mother and had made a plausible pretence of enjoyment and had given her great pride, she said, in the way he had turned out (I. Shaw)
  14. Sally Carrol Happer, resting her chin on her arm and her arm on an old window-seat, gazed sleepily down over the sprangled dust whence the heat waves were rising for the first time this spring. (F. S. Fitzgerald)
  15. On both sides of her along the walls she felt things creeping, damp souls that haunted this palace, this town, this North.

“Oh, send somebody – send somebody!” she cried aloud. Clark Darrow – he would understand; or Joe Ewing; she couldn’t be left here to wander forever – to be frozen, heart, body, and soul. This her – this Sally Carrol! Why, she was a happy thing. She was a happy little girl. She liked warmth and summer and Dixie. These things were foreign – foreign. (F. S. Fitzgerald)

16. It was the sun, it was a light; a torch, and a torch beyond that, and another one, and voices; a face took flesh below the torch, heavy arms raised her, and she felt something on her cheek – it fell wet. Some one had seized her and was rubbing her face with snow. How ridiculous – with snow! (F. S. Fitzgerald)

II. Study the passage and discuss the language peculiarities that mark the shift from the author’s speech to represented inner speech;

He held a small pickled onion delicately on the end of his fork. “There is,” he said, “the question of my equipment.”

Esme Fanshaw heard his voice as though it issued from the wireless -there was a distortion about it, a curious echo. She shook her head. He is not real, she thought… But he was here, Mr. Amos Curry, in a navy-blue pin stripe suit and with a small neat darn just below his shirt collar. He was sitting at her kitchen table – for she had hesitated to ask him into the dining room, which in any case was rarely used, the kitchen had seemed a proper compromise. He was here. She had made a pot of coffee, and then, after an hour, a cold snack of beef and pickles, bread and butter, her hands were a little moist with excitement. She thought again how rash she had been, she said, he is a total stranger, someone from the street, a casual caller; I know nothing at all about him. But she recognized the voice of her mother, then, and rebelled against it. Besides, it was not true, for Mr. Curry had told her a great deal. She thought, this is how life should be, 1 should be daring, I should allow myself to be constantly surprised. Each day I should be ready for some new encounter. That is how to stay young. She was most anxious to stay young. (From “A Bit of Singing and Dancing” by S. Hill)

III. Ambrose, Philip’s uncle, married Rachel in Italy and died very soon. Rachel came to England, and soon Philip, too fell desperately in love with her. He proposed to her but wasn’t accepted. The passage below describes Philip’s feelings at Rachel’s refusal. Do the tasks given below:

I think I knew, upon that instant, all that Ambrose had known too. 1 knew what he had seen in her, and longed for, but had never had. I knew the torment, and the pain, and the great gulf between them, ever widening. Her eyes, so dark and different from our own, stared at both of us, uncomprehending. Ambrose stood beside me in the shadows, under the flickering candlelight. We looked at her, tortured, without hope, while she looked back at us in accusation. Her face was foreign too, in the half light, small and narrow, a face upon a coin. The hand I held was warm no longer. Cold and brittle, the fingers struggled for release, and the rings scratched, cutting at my palm. (From “My Cousin Rachel” by D. du Maurier)


  1. Pick out all the syntactical peculiarities of the passage.
  2. What effect is achieved by the anaphorical repetition of the word “knew”?
  3. Dwell on the combination of polysyndeton and detachment. What idea is
    rendered by these devices?
  4. What was Philip’s emotional reaction to Rachel’s refusal? How does the
    author convey it?

5. Observe adjectives and epithets which the author applies to describe Rachel. What connotation do they have? What impression of Rachel do you get?

Part 2

I. Find syntactical expressive means and stylistic devices.

1) «Flowers! You wouldn’t believe it, madam, the flowers he used to bring me.»

«White! He turned as white as a woman.» K. Mansfield.

2) Being your slave, what should I do but tend

Upon the hours and times of your desire?

3) So long as men can breathe or eyes can see So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

4) Plant has two rooms down an area in Ellam Street. Shop in front, sitting room behind. We went in through the shop. Smell of boot polish like a lion cage. Back room with an old kitchen range. Good mahogany table. Horsehair chairs. Bed in corner made up like a sofa. Glass-front bookcase full of nice books, Chambers’s Encyclopedia. Bible dictionary. Sixpenny Philosophers. (L. Cary. The Horse of Mouth)

5) Many windows

Many floors

Many people

Many stores

Many streets

And many hangings

Many whistles

Many elangings

Many, many, many. many ­

Many of everything, many of any. (D. Bisset)

6) She felt that she was dozing off, and had just begun to dream that she was walking hand in hand with Dinah … when suddenly, thump! hump! down she came upon a heap of sticks and dry leaves, and the 11 was over.

Alice was not a bit hurt, and she jumped up on her feet in a moment: she looked up, but it was all dark overhead; before her was another passage, and the white rabbit was still in sight, hurrying down it. «Here was not a moment to be lost: away went Alice like the wind.  (L. Carroll. Alice in Wonderland)

7) Beauty is truth, truth beauty, – that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

8) Surrey all in one blaze like a forest fire. Great clouds of dirty yellow smoke rolling up. Nine carat gold. Sky water-green to lettuce green. A few top clouds, yellow and solid as lemons. River disappeared out of its hole. Just a gap full of the same fire, the same smoky gold, the same green. Far bank like a magic island floating in the green.

9)  Her love letters I returned to the detectives for filing (Gr. Greene. End of the Affair).

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