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Linguistics 2: The Syntax of English


Admission requirements



This course is an introduction to the sentence structure (or: syntax) of Present-day English. We will discuss the classification of words into syntactic categories, and how words can be combined into phrases and phrases into sentences. We will introduce the notion of constituent movement and we will also discuss the function of words and phrases in the sentence as well as different verb complementation types.

Course objectives

Students have:

  • acquired insight into the grammatical structure of Present-day English;

  • have some familiarity with methods of linguistic analysis.


The timetable is available on the BA English website

Mode of instruction

2 one-hour lectures per week and 1 two-hour seminar per week.

Course Load

  • time spent on attending lectures and seminars: 52 hours

  • time for studying the compulsory literature: 102 hours

  • time to prepare for the exam and in-term quizzes: 120 hours

  • making the exam: 2 hours

  • Tutoring/opportunity to inspect exam/quizzes: 4 hours.

Assessment method


Three in-term quizzes and a written exam.


  • Three in-term quizzes (30%)

  • Written exam (70%)

If the in-term quiz average is lower than the written examination mark, only the latter will be taken into account (100%).


If the final grade is 5 or less students may take the resit once and the mark of the resit will constitute 100% of the final grade.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Attendance is compulsory. Missing more than three tutorials means that students will be excluded from taking the exam (or essay or other assignments) and resits. Consequently, the course cannot be completed during that particular academic year. Unauthorized absence also applies to being unprepared and/or not bringing the relevant course materials to class.


Blackboard will be used to provide students with an overview of current affairs, as well as specific information about (components of) the course.

Reading list

  • Noel Burton-Roberts (2016), Analysing sentences: An introduction to English syntax, 4th edition. Routledge.

  • David Crystal (1995), Cambridge encyclopedia of the English language, Cambridge: C.U.P. (2nd edition 2003).


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

NB: First year students will be enrolled by the coordinator of studies.

Students other than BA English language and culture studies need permission from the coordinator of studies before enrolling.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs


Student administration Van Eyckhof