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 Ling 131: Language & Style

Topic 2 (session A) - Being creative with words and phrases > Word class problems > Task A

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Session Overview
(Semi) Automatic poetry
Introducing word classes
More on word classes
Manipulating word classes
Changing word class - affixation
Changing word class - functional conversion
New words for old
Word class problems
Word class checklist
Useful Links
Grammar Website

Word class problems

Task A - Esther's Tomcat

We've highlighted some of the words in the poem and duplicated them for you in the box below the poem.

accessible / text version of taskWe'd like you to read through the poem again and decide which word classes the emboldened words belong to. We have chosen central examples of the different word classes, so in theory you should breeze through this task. Easy peasey!

Daylong this tomcat lies stretched flat
As an old rough mat, no mouth and no eyes.
Continual wars and wives are what
Have tattered his ears and battered his head.

Like a bundle of old rope and iron
Sleeps till blue dusk. Then reappear
His eyes, green as ringstones: he yawns wide red,
Fangs fine as a lady's needle and bright.

A tomcat sprang at a mounted knight,
Locked round his neck like a trap of hooks
While the knight rode fighting its clawing and bite.
After hundreds of years the stain's there

On the stone where he fell, dead of the tom:
That was at Barnborough. The tomcat still
Grallochs odd dogs on the quiet,
Will take the head clean off your simple pullet.

Is unkillable. From the dog's fury,
From gunshot fired point-blank he brings
His skin whole, and whole
From owlish moons of bekittenings

Among ashcans. He leaps and lightly
Walks upon sleep, his mind on the moon
Nightly over the round world of men
Over the roofs go his eyes and outcry.

Ted Hughes

Now "Drag and Drop" the words below into what you think are the appropriate "word class" boxes [click done when you have decided].

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