Transformation of Sentences (Part -1) - English Grammar Teaching Notes | EduRev

English Grammar

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Teaching : Transformation of Sentences (Part -1) - English Grammar Teaching Notes | EduRev

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The English language is so vivid that the same meaning may often be expressed in many ways. This gives rise to the various forms a sentence may take in expressing the same idea.

As,
(i) Nature say, ‘God is good’.
(ii) Nature exclaims, ‘How good is God!’
(iii) Nature proclaims the goodness of God.
(iv) The goodness of God is proclaimed by nature.
(v) Nature never ceases to proclaim the goodness of God.
(vi) That God is good is proclaimed by nature.
(vii) We find the goodness of God in nature.
(viii) The goodness of God is written large on the face of nature

(ix) Nature teaches us that God is good.
(x) Nature teaches us the goodness of God.
Thus, to transform or convert a sentence is to rewrite it to change its form without any change of meaning.

Sentences may be of various forms.

Like: 
(a) Statement or Assertive (affirmative or negative); Question or Interrogative; Desires or Imperative and Optative; and , Exclamatory sentences
(b) Active and Passive
(c) Simple, Compelx, Double and Multiple (Compound)
(d) Direct and Indirect (Narration)

Statement: Questions : Exclamations

Interchange of form is not possible in all cases. An Assertive sentence or Statement (e.g., Sin leads to ruin) cannot be turned into an Imperative or Optative one.

A Statement or Assertive sentence can be changed into a Question or an Interrogative sentence.

Assertive : Everybody knows that the Earth is round.

Interrogative : Who does not know that the Earth is round?

But an Interrogative sentence which merely asks for information cannot be changed into an Assertive one : why did you go there?

There may, however be sentences which are Interrogative only in form but are Exclamatory in character. Such sentences can be converted into Assertive ones.

As,

Interrogative: Did I not help you?
Assertive : I did help you

Interrogative into Assertive

Interrogative : Can a leopard change his spots?

Assertive : A leopard cannot change his spots

Interrogative : Who will not help a man in distress?

Assertive : Everybody will help a man in distress

Interrogative : Can any man, by taking thought, add a cubit to his stature?

Assertive : No man can, by taking thought, add a cubit to his stature.

Interrogative : Is that the way a gentleman should behave?

Assertive : That is not the way a gentleman should behave.

Interrogative : Shall I ever forget those happy days?

Assertive : I shall never forget those happy days

Assertive into Interrogative

Assertive : Now here in the world will you find a mountain peak higher than Everest. 

Interrogative : Where in the world will you find a mountain peak higher than Everest?

Assertive : Nobody else could have done it. 

Interrogative : Who else could have done it?

Assertive : He saw someone in the house? 

Interrogative : Did he see anyone in the house?

Assertive : Surely you will join us. 

Interrogative : Am I not sure that you will join us?

Assertive : There is nothing wrong with me. 

Interrogative : Is there anything wrong with me?

Assertive : There is nothing better than a pious life. 

Interrogative : Is there anything better than a pious life.

Exclamations and Statements

An Exclamatory Sentence can be converted into an Assertive sentence, but all Assertive sentences cannot be turned into Exclamatory sentences.

Exclamatory : Was any man ever immortal!

Assertive : No man was ever immortal.

Exclamatory : What a piece of work is man!

Assertive : Man is a wonderful piece of work.

Exclamatory : What an unhappy life he leads!

Assertive : He leads a most unhappy life. 

Exclamatory : Oh! how desirous I am to meet you once more.

Assertive : I am very desirous to meet you once more. 

Exclamatory : How beautiful is night!

Assertive : Night is very beautiful.

Exclamatory : How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!

Assertive : The moonlight very sweetly sleeps upon this bank.

Affirmative into Negative

Affirmative : He failed to notice me when he came in.

Negative : He did not notice me when he came in.

Affirmative : As soon as he came he made objections.

Negative : No sooner did he come than he made objections.

Affirmative : Only the evening star has yet appeared.

Negative : None but the evening star has yet appeared.

Affirmative : He was a man of some intelligence.

Negative : He was a man of no great intelligence.

Affirmative : Kolkata is the biggest city in India.

Negative : There is no other city in India as big as Kolkata.  

Negative into Affirmative

Negative : I am not a little tired.

Affirmative : I am very tired.

Negative : There is no rose without a thorn.

Affirmative : Every rose has a thorn.

Negative : We did not find the road very bad.

Affirmative : We found the road fairly good.

Negative : There happens be no smoke without fire.

Affirmative : Wherever there is smoke these in fire.

Negative : None but a Hercules could do this.

Affirmative : Only a Hercules could do this.

Negative : A good boy never neglects his lessons.

Affirmative : A good boy always minds his lessons.

Negative : No one can deny that he was a great man.

Affirmative : Everybody must admit that he was a great man.

Active into Passive

Active : They proposed to build a dam for irrigation purposes. 

Passive : It was proposed by them that a dam be built for irrigation purposes.

Active : The Curator of the Museum showed us some ancient coins.

Passive : We were shown some ancient coins by the Curator of the Museum.

Active : They laughed at him.

Passive : He was laughed at by them.

Active : They proposed to hold a meeting.

Passive : It was proposed by them that a meeting be held.

Active : Brutus stabbed Ceasar.

Passive : Ceasar was stabbed by Brutus.

Active : The people will make him king.

Passive : He will be made king by the people.

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