Grammar: Morphology

Grammar in EAP



Morphology is the branch of grammar that studies the structure and form of words. It contrasts with syntax, the study of word combinations.

It consists of two fields: the study of inflection and the study of word formation.


Several classes of word in English have different forms; they inflect.

  • Regular verbs have five forms: “begin“, “begins“, “began“, “begun“, “beginning“.
  • Some adjectives have three inflected forms: “weak“, “weaker“, “weakest“.
  • Nouns typically have three forms: “lady“, “ladies“, “lady’s” and perhaps “ladies’“.

For example:

When people know their past and understand their present, they start believing in a future they can influence and have a part in.

This mode of political religious action no longer starts out from a universal centre and figure, such as the papacy.

Expert advice from a local gym or sports centre can be very helpful when you are starting with weights.

Naturally Marx started by explaining the historical mechanism and inner working of the social system.

Four years of college is undoubtedly good, if one has the time and money for it.

Obviously you might be better joining a club to participate in sport.

He must care for the best interest of the client whose affairs are in his trust.

From the very beginning of the academic year informal evening gatherings were held for the school, a large purpose of which was to introduce the incoming student to the traditions of the school.

He was given to as much good living as one could conceive and enjoyed enormously parties with the students.

The student’s natural aptitude and attitude of inquiry must be satisfied by teachers.

He was a particularly engaging man, with a real sense of the students‘ point of view, always bright, friendly and positive in his teaching but blunt, quick and unmistakably clear.


Try this exercise: Inflection Exercise

Word Formation

See: Vocabulary: Word Formation & Vocabulary: Affixes & Roots

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