Answers to Grammatical Function Past Questions: WASSCE

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The below questions and answers will show you how to provide the most suitable answers to this section of your WAEC/WASSCE/SSSCE and GCE English Language Comprehension paper.

We are going to provide answers to each one of  the items according to the below question that WAEC repeats almost every year.

The question is in two parts.

  • What grammatical name is given to this expression as it is used in the passage?
  • What is its function?

Please note that the part of each sentence which is in bold lettering is what we are interested in.

Grammatical Name and Function Questions

1. When they talked or swore, their minds showed a bright pink. NOVEMBER 2014.

Grammatical Name (GN): Adverbial Clause of Time

(F): It is modifying the verb, “showed”.

2. Not long after the government’s official proclamation newspaper reporters had a field day. JUNE 2015.

GN: Adverbial Phrase

F: It is modifying the verb, “had”.

3. They needed to buy saucepans and pieces of cloth to prepare for marriage when they returned home. JUNE 2013.

GN: Adverbial Clause

F: It is modifying the verb, “prepare”.

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4. People who speak the same language feel related to one another. NOVEMBER 2009.

GN: Adjectival Clause

F: It is qualifying the noun, “people”.

5. Here he was, inviting contributions on an issue that was not on the agenda. NOVEMBER 2009.

GN: Adjectival Clause

F: It is qualifying the noun phrase, “an issue”.

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6. In the waiting room, he met other applicants for the interview, which had been slated for 9:00am. NOVEMBER 2015.

GN: Adjectival Clause/Non-defining Relative Clause

F: It is qualifying the noun phrase, “the interview”. (or the noun, “interview”)

7. In Niger, for example, the absence of wetlands has forced the men to break new ground with a fish farming technique which is proving very successful. NOVEMBER 2005.

GN: Noun Phrase

F: It is subject of the verb phrase, “has forced” (or the verb, “forced”).

8. What you put in your mouth can change your mood, alertness, memory and clarity of thought. NOVEMBER 1999.

GN: Noun Clause

F: It is subject of the verb phrase, “can change” (or the verb, “change”)

9. But you have made a sad mistake and must suffer the consequences. NOVEMBER 1999.

GN: Noun Phrase

F: It is object of the verb phrase, “have made” (or the verb, “made”)

10. Akua was already there, desperately hurling through a window whatever she thought could be salvaged from the pool she stood in. PART OF SPEECH JULY 2003.

GN: Adverb

F: It is modifying the verb, “was”.

11. Although the child’s parents are his earliest and most important models, he is exposed to many other potent influences: siblings, television, school, celebrities and so on. JUNE 2008.

GN: Adverbial Clause (of concession)

F: It is modifying the verb phrase, “is exposed” .(or the verb, “exposed”)

12. This reminded me of another father I came across many years ago. JUNE 2008.

GN: Adjectival Clause (or Zero Relative Clause: Note that the relative pronoun, WHOM/WHO, introducing this clause is omitted. It should have come just after “father” and before “I”)

F: It is qualifying the noun phrase, “another father” (or noun, “father”).

13. He was not a hard-hearted man who would cherish denying a man in distress a favour but the deplorable condition his car was in made him behave that way. JULY 2004.

GN: Noun Clause (or infinitive -ing clause)

F: It is object of the verb, “cherish” (or verb phrase, “would cherish”)

14. Perhaps no other historical figure exhibited this leadership characteristic better than Richard the Lionheart, the twelfth century English King, who always led his army personally into battles, always maintaining the front position. NOVEMBER 1998.

GN: Adverbial Phrase

F: It is modifying the verb, “led”.

15. I only steeled myself for the rebuke from Mr. Nyamekye who never countenanced ill-prepared papers such as the one I had written. NOVEMBER 1998.

GN: Adjectival Clause

F: It is qualifying the noun, Mr. Nyamekye.

16. The community centre was brimful of expectant citizens when the chief came in. NOVEMBER 2002.

GN: Noun Phrase

F: It is subject of the verb “was”.

17. As she had done on previous occasions, she got out, stood by her car, and donned her poor-defenceless-woman look. PART OF SPEECH. GCE JUNE 1997.

GN: Adjective

F: It is qualifying the noun, “look”. (Note that the word, “look” as used in the above sentence is a noun and not a verb.)

18. Then she turned round to the elders and chuckled in spite of herself and her smarting face. GRAMMATICAL NAME. YES. GCE JUNE 1997.

GN: Adjective

F: It is qualifying the noun, “face”.

19. There was an unknown woman, Madame Legros, who ran a small tailoring shop, in France during the French Revolution. NOVEMBER 2001.

GN: Adjectival Clause (or Non-defining relative clause)

F: It is qualifying the noun, “Madame Legros”.

20. In addition to this false sense of well-being, the poor who eventually find  their way up the financial ladder do not read enough to utilize the health information available in the media and other sources of information to help them adopt a healthier lifestyle. NOVEMBER 2001.

GN: Adjectival Clause

F: It is qualifying the noun phrase, “the poor”.

21. Although some people like talking about the “good old days”, few are ready to give up the many time-and-labour-saving devices that they have come to take for granted. GRAMMATICAL NAME GCE JUNE 1996.

GN: Adjective

F: It is qualifying the noun, “devices”.

22. Here, that truth is that a victim can tolerate the person who actively inflicts an injury on him quite readily, but finds it much more difficult to forgive the bystander who encourages that offender to carry on inflicting his misdeed. GRAMMATICAL NAME AND FUNCTION, GCE JUNE 1998.

GN: Relative Pronoun

F: It is introducing the adjectival clause (or relative clause) “who encourages that offender”

23. Apart from his two new cassocks, Father John owned hardly anything to write home about. GRAMMATICAL NAME AND FUNCTION, GCE JUNE 1998.

GN: Noun Phrase

F: It is object of the verb, “owned”.

24. Yet, it is the only organ that never really rests. JUNE 2013.

GN: Adjectival Clause

F: It is qualifying the noun, “organ” (or the noun phrase, “the only organ”).

Source: The West African Examinations Council Past Question Papers

 

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