Home Random Page



Lesson 6 class work Discussions A-Z Adv p.93 VALUE

1) The structural principle of classifying phraseological units

2) S.V.Kunin's concept of phraseological units




The structural principle of classifying phraseological units is based on their ability to perform the same syntactical functions as words. In the traditional structural approach, the following principal groups of phraseological units are distinguishable:

1)Verbal: to run for one's (dear) life, to get (win) the upper hand, to talk through one s hat, to make a song and dance about something, to sit pretty (Amer. si.);

2)Substantive: dog's life, cat-and-dog life, white lie, tall order, birds of a feather, birds of passage, red tape, brown study;

3)Adjectival: high and mighty, spick and span, brand new, safe and sound, (as) cool as a cucumber, (as) nervous as a cat, (as) weak as a kitten, (as) good as gold (usu. spoken about children), (as) pretty as a picture, as large as life, (as) slippery as an eel, (as) thick as thieves, (as) drunk as an owl (si.), (as) mad as a hatter/a hare in March;

4)Adverbial: high and low -* They searched for him high and low;

by hook or by crook -* She decided that, by hook or by crook, she must marry him;

for love or money -> He came to the conclusion that a really good job couldn 7 be found for love or money;

in cold blood -» The crime was said to have been committed in cold blood;

to the bitter end to fight to the bitter end;

by a long chalk -* It is not the same thing, by a long chalk.

5)Interjectional: my God/by Jove! by George! goodness gracious! good Heavens! sakes alive



A.V. Kunin's classification is based on the functions the units fulfil in speech. The classification is based on the combined structural-semantic principle and it also considers the quotient of stability of phraseological units.

Phraseological units are subdivided into the following four classes according to their function in communication determined by their structural-semantic characteristics.

1)Nominative phraseological units are represented by word-groups, including the ones with one meaningful word, and coordinative phrases of the type wear and tear, well and good. The first class also includes word-groups with a predicative structure, such as as the crow flies, and, also, predicative phrases of the type see how the land lies, ships that pass in the night.

2)Nominative-communicative phraseological units include word-groups of the type to break the ice - the ice is broken, that is, verbal word-groups which are transformed into a sentence when the verb is used in the Passive Voice.

3)Phraseological units which are neither nominative nor communicative include in- terjectional word-groups. (a pretty kettle offish).

4)Communicative phraseological units are represented by proverbs and sayings.

These four classes are divided into sub-groups according to the type of structure of

the phraseological unit. The sub-groups include further rubrics representing types of struc­tural-semantic meanings according to the kind of relations between the constituents and to either full or partial transference of meaning.

The classification system includes a considerable number of subtypes and gradations and objectively reflects the wealth of types of phraseological units existing in the language.



Formal classification distinguishes the following set expressions:

A. nominal phrases: the root of the trouble;

B. verbal phrases: put one's best foot forward;

C. adjectival phrases: as good as gold; red as a cherry;

D. adverbial phrases: from head to foot;

E. prepositional phrases: In the course of;

F. conjunctional phrases: as long as, on the other hand;

G. interjectional phrases: Well, I never!

A stereotyped sentence also introduced into speech as a ready-made formula may be illustrated by Never say die! - never give up hope, take your time - do not hurry.

This classification takes into consideration not only the type of component parts but also the functioning of the whole, thus, tooth and nail is not a nominal but an adverbial unit, because it serves to modify a verb (e.g. fight tooth and nail).

Within each of these classes a further subdivision is as follows:

a) Set expressions functioning like nouns:

N+N: maiden name - the surname of a woman before she was married; brains trust - a committee of experts;

N's+N: cat's paw - one who is used for the convenience of a cleverer and stronger person;

Ns' N: ladies' man - one who makes special effort to charm or please women;

N+prp+N: the arm of the law; skeleton in the cupboard;

N+A: knight errant - the phrase is today applied to any chivalrous man ready to help and protect oppressed and helpless people

N+and+N: lord and master - husband; all the world and his wife; A+N: high tea - an evening meal which combines meat or some similar extra dish with the usual tea;

N+subordinate clause: ships that pass in the night - chance acquaintances;

a) Set expressions functioning like verbs: V+N: take advantage;

V+and+V: pick and choose , V+(one's)+N+(prp): snap one's fingers, at; V+one+N: give one the bird - to fire sb;

V+subordinate clause: see how the land lies - to discover the state of affairs;.

b) Set expressions functioning like adjectives: A+and+A: high and mighty;

(as)+A+as+N: as old as the hills, as mad as a hatter;

c) Set expressions functioning like adverbs: N+N: tooth and nail;

prp+N: by heart, of course; adv+prp+N: once in a blue moon; prp+N+or+N: by hook or by crook; cj+clause: before one can say Jack Robinson;.

d) Set expressions functioning like prepositions: prp+N+prp: in consequence of

e) Set expressions functioning like interjections:

These are often structured as imperative sentences: Bless (one's) soul! God bless me! Hang it (all)!



Exercise 1. Explain the meaning of the following phraseological units. Arrange them into groups according to their origin:

A expressions associated with some customs;

B expressions associated with some historical events;

C expressions borrowed from some literary sources;

D expressions borrowed from the Bible.


1. The land of promise. 2. Baker's dozen. 3. New wine in old bottles. 4. Ask for bread and be given a stone. 5. To beat the air. 6. To give the devil his due. 7. Vanity fair. 8. Daily bread. 9. Forbidden fruit is sweet. 10. It rains cats and dogs. 11. To rob Peter to pay Paul. 12. Thirty pieces of silver. 13. To wash one's hands of something. 14. A prodigal son. 15. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. 16. A thorn in the flesh of somebody. 17. To catch somebody red-handed. 18. Marriage is a lottery. 19. To fight the windmills. 20. Judas kiss.

Exercise 2. Comment on the etymology of the following phraseological units.

1. To carry coals to Newcastle. 2. A black sheep. 3. When Queen Anne was alive. 4. To cut the Gordian knot. 5. Solomon's judgment. 6. A crooked sixpence. 7. To be born under a lucky star. 8. From the bottom of one's heart. 9. A peeping Tom. 10. To dance attendance on.


Exercise 3. Give Ukrainian/Russian equivalents to the following phraseological units. Mind their association with human activities.

I. To fish in troubled waters.

2. To rise to the fly.

3. To swallow the bait.

4. To join the colours.

5. To mask one's batteries.

6. To hunt the wrong hare.

7. To hunt with the hounds and run with the hare.

8. To kill two birds with one stone.

9. To feel one's pulse.

10. To take the law into one's own hands.

11. To play first fiddle.

12. In tune.

13. Out of tune.

14. To touch the right cord.

15. To go through the mill.

16. Spade work.

17. To be in the limelight

18. To be out of limelight.


Exercise 4. Arrange the following phraseological units functioning like verbs into groups in accordance with the most typical patterns of their formation:

a) V + N;

b) V + prep + + N;

c) V + (one's) + N + (prep);

d) V + and + V

e) V + + or + V

f) V + subordinate clause:

g) V + postpositive.

Cross the Rubicon, catch cold, lose the game, render a service, come to one's sense, come into fashion, fall into disrepute, make a mistake, grasp the shadow, have a finger in the pie; be at a loss; hit below the belt; fall into a rage; break ground; lose one's heart; play the fool with; beat the air; to sink or swim; to run into debt; to pick and choose; to take a walk; to see how the land lies; to make one's way; to make friends with, to play a wrong card; to take revenge; to know what is what; to turn one's coat; to open the ball. to go through fire and water;

Exercise 5. Arrange the following phraseological units functioning like ad­verbs into groups in accordance with the patterns after which they are formed:

e) N + N,

e) prep + N;

adv + prep + N

6)prep + N + or + N;

7)conj + + subordinate clause.

by heart; at a stroke,
once upon a time; by slow degrees;
once in a blue moon; at all costs;
tooth and nail; for love or money;
by hook or by crook; of course;
within reach; under one's nose; at one jump;
before one can say Jack Robinson; within a stone's throw.


Exercise 7 Translate the following zoosemic idioms into Ukrainian/Russian.


1. The black dog. 1. The golden calf.
2. Clever dog. 2. Lost sheep.
3. Dead dog. 3. Fighting cock.
4. Dirty dog. 4. Milk cow.
5. Gay dog. 5. Old bird.
6. Hot dog. 6. Dark horse.
7. Lazy dog.  
8. Lucky dog.  
9. Red dog.  
10. Sea dog.  
11. Spotted dog.  


Exercise 8. Translate the following sentences into Ukrainian/Russian. Pick out phraseological units and comment on them.

1. The advocates are men who have taken a doctor's degree at college. (D.) 2. Jane is putting the finishing touches to her appearance. (Mg.) 3. I thought it useless to beat about the bush. The fact is, his people aren't keen on his lunching with you. (Mg.) 4. Yates didn't take the hint. (Hm.) 5. June saw she had played a wrong card and broke down. (G.) 6. She has got some silly bee in her bonnet about Eliza. (Sh.) 7. Then he heard the rattle of the nightwatchman going his rounds. It broke upon the silence of the night so harshly that it made him jump out of his skin. (Mg.) 8. I'm a person who likes to cross a "t" and dot an "i". (Mg.) 9. She was only too inclined to take advantage of his weakness. (GO 10. Little Jon could see that he played the second fiddle to her in his father's heart. (G.) 11. And with his poor brain he was trying desperately to make head or tail of the wonderful things he heard. (Mg.) 12. I couldn't forget it and I took revenge. (Ch.B.) 13. I think I should have gone mad. (Mg.) 14. A fine solicitor he is, not the man to let the grass grow under his feet. (Sn.) 15. "Are you very rich?" "No, living from hand to mouth." (Sh.) 16. He had let the cat out of the bag. (G.) 17. She was the life and soul of the party. (Mg.) 18. As soon as I said it, I knew it was a false step. (Sn.) 19. Martin is a dark horse. I should like to know what he wants for the college. (Sn.) 20. Either complete frankness, or complete ignoring - and that meant living with the sword of Damocles above his head. (G.) 21. "I perceive," said Jolyon, "that you are trying to kill two birds with one stone." (G.) 22.1 don't see how I can avoid putting my foot into my mouth without you, do you? (G.) 23. I've put my foot into it with him. (G.) 24. You fool, why do you catch at a straw? (Th.) 25. He was catching at shadows. (Mg.) 26. He'd be a fish out of water in England. (Mg.) 27. After all, what's eight pounds? A drop in the ocean. (Mg.) 28. There was a time when the black sheep of the family was sent from my country to America; now apparently he's sent from your country to Europe. (Mg.) 29. Don't be a dog in the manger, Sheppey! (Mg.) 30. And he's bound to kick the bucket any day now. (Gd.) 31. His second impulse therefore was to let the sleeping dogs lie. (D.)


Lesson 6 class work Discussions A-Z Adv p.93 VALUE


This unit is based on three broad definitions of value – moral values (i.e. what people consider to be right or wrong), utility/importance (i.e. if something is worth doing/having), and economic/material value (i.e. the monetary worth people attach to certain objects; combined with this is the affective value people attach to objects which may in fact be totally worthless).



• What do students understand by the word 'value'? Get them to write a few dictionary-type definitions. Choose a few students and write their definitions on the board. Encourage other students to improve or alter (if necessary) the definitions to make them both more accurate and more dictionary like. Make sure students' definitions cover the three areas from above. Alternatively, brainstorm students on the word 'value' and then categorise as suggested above.

• Bring in some personal items (watch, jewellery, photos of your house etc.) and get students to guess how much they are economically and sentimentally worth. Alternatively students do this amongst themselves with objects or photos that they have brought in.

• Students now write down the four most valuable things they have, either in terms of objects, skills or people, and discuss whether these things are invaluable or not (i.e. whether it would be possible to live without them). Ask students to add a few more items to their list and see if they can assign a monetary value to them or if they can find some viable swaps with their partner's items.


1. Which do you value more?

• Students answer questions individually, then discuss the answers in groups.


2. How strong ore your moral values?

• Get students to discuss the following points regarding moral values:

1. Is it important to have certain values and principles? What are students' values?

2. Have people's values changed over the generations? (e.g. What things do our parents and did our grandparents value?) If so, how?

3. Do students' values conflict with those of people around them?

4. Do they put their principles into action?

• Now tell students to look at the ten situations. Students are to evaluate them in terms of how right or wrong they think they are. They should use a mark ranging from 1 (perfectly acceptable) to 5 (totally unacceptable). Students should do this individually, then follow it with a group discussion.

• Alternatively, give students the title of the quiz and then get them to invent their own questions, which they then try out on each other.



Get students to discuss Butler's quotation and to decide whether morality changes from country to country, generation to generation, and to compare their view of morality with their parents' and grandparents' generations.

Butler (English writer, painter 1835-1902) also had this to say: 'Morality turns on whether the pleasure precedes or follows the pain. Thus, it is immoral to get drunk because the headache comes after the drinking, but if the headache came first, and the drunkenness afterwards, it would be moral to get drunk'.



1. Which do you value more?

1. Your sense of taste or smell?

2. Your mind or your body?

3. Your arms or your legs?

4. Your own happiness or your (future) child's happiness?

5. Your friends or your family?

6. Your job or your dreams?

7. What you've received or what you've given?

8. Your money or your spirit?

9. Your religion or your citizenship?

10. This life or the next?


2. How strong are your moral values?

Morality is the custom of one's country and the current feeling of one's peers. Cannibalism is moral in a cannibal country.

(Samuel Butler)

1. Kidnapping and holding a child for ransom.

2. Politicians, to get money for themselves, using their influence to get a law passed which they know to be against the public's interest.

3. Smoking in lifts.

4. Buying stolen goods.

5. Newspapers treating crime as news so as to make a known criminal appear heroic.

6. Driving while well over the legal limit of alcohol.

7. Not voting in a national election.

8. Tax evasion by withholding important information.

9. Cheating on your partner.

10. Keeping £10 of extra change given by a clerk by mistake.



3. You're the judge

• Tell students that an American psychologist, Kohlberg, made up some moral judgement stories, to evaluate adult morality. Students read one of these stories and then answer the questions that follow,

• Students must understand meaning of the text before answering the questions. They should think about the answers alone and then discuss them in pairs.

(c) This idea can be extended to AIDS. Do pharmaceutical companies have a right to make a profit out of the millions afflicted with AIDS who are desperate to prolong their lives?

(j) What are the implications of letting Heinz go free? Get class feedback on this.



• Students hear one person's answers to some of the questions on their page. Their task is to match the answers with the questions.


4. Research

• In groups students imagine that they are members of a government agency which only has enough money to fun< two of the projects. Firstly, students discuss the value of such projects, secondly which two not to fund, and finally compare their decisions with other groups.


The Grand Canyon idea sounds absurd, but more than absurd it would be catastrophic. If followed through, the gold market would crash with inevitable consequences on other money markets, the prestige value of gold would disappear as it would no longer be a precious metal, jewellers would have to find other metals to use, etc.


An analysis of square fruit could be made from three main viewpoints.

1) Economic and Social: The most obvious benefit is in packaging – you can store far more in the same space, though to prevent rotting some kinds of fruit should not be in direct contact with each other. The immediate consequence would be a fall in transportation costs (and perhaps in the final cost of the fruit) which would make it difficult for traditional round fruits to compete, thus leading to massive square-fruit farming, ultimately eliminating small producers. Fruit sellers would benefit in terms of displaying the fruit, and juice makers and restaurants could exploit the square form to produce new and easier peeling methods.

2) Feasibility: It's difficult for square fruit to hang easily on branches, which leads to the question 'Why is fruit round?' Fruit is round so that when it falls it rolls: first, so as to limit the damage on impact to its skin (square fruit with all its corners would be considerably more susceptible to damage and secondly so that the seeds roll away sufficiently far from their original tree as to not be obstructive when they in turn produce a new tree. Square fruit also has a greater surface area and is therefore more exposed to environmental hazards. The public, however, might find a square pear rather difficult to hold and to put in their mouths.

3) Ethic: Genetically engineered fruit is just the first step in rearranging nature to conform to our needs. Next we have square chickens (tiny head and no wings - already tried but with limited success as the idea is offputting) and then square people (again much easier to transport and design for - standard chairs, beds etc.)!



Date: 2014-12-22; view: 1373

<== previous page | next page ==>
Different principles of classification of phraseological units | You're the judge
doclecture.net - lectures - 2014-2022 year. Copyright infringement or personal data (0.027 sec.)