UNIT 03 Be careful!
TOPIC 02 He was wearing a blue cap
LANGUAGE FOCUS 02 Delexical
You can describe some very common activities using delexical
verbs - a verb and noun combination - instead of a verb only.
Sophie and Jenny say:
We were sitting by
the window here, having a drink together.
We looked out and saw a young woman, I guess she was just taking
a walk She wouldn't give him her bag, though
- they had quite a struggle.
Oh, no! That was really silly
of her. You should always give up your bag.
After that he gave
her a good shove, hit her over the head, grabbed
her bag and made his escape.
Verb + noun
to have a drink
to take a walk
to give someone a shove
to make an escape
We often change a verb, for example, "to
drink" into another verb ("have") and a noun ("a
drink"). This is sometimes called a delexical structure. In
delexical structures, the verbs have very little meaning. All the
meaning is in the nouns.
The most common verbs used in delexical structures are: give
There is only a small difference in meaning between the delexical
structure and the normal verb. When we use the verb we are focusing
on the action. When we use the delexical structure we are describing
the whole event.
He walked through the park. (we are talking
about the action of walking.)
He took a walk through the park. (we are talking about the whole
Roll your mouse slowly over the sentences to see
how they become delexical structures.