Postby Prototype on Mon May 18, 2015 1:45 pm

Dear Prof,

Difficult verb to analyze. I´d like to know the way you analyze the ff verb and its complements from the traditional point of view (traditional gramar).

The course cost $ 1000.

Is cost a transitive verb of complete predication or an intransitive of incomplete?

If transitive, I have not been able to find a test that proves that $ 1000 is the direct object.
If intransitive I would consider $ 1000 predicative complement, but what if we add "me" to the sentence? The course cost me $ 1000. A real brainteaser!!

Re: Miscellany

Postby prof on Tue May 19, 2015 4:04 pm

Well, if we look at the phrase 'The course cost £100' than I would say that we have a subject, verb and complement. (A complete predication has just subject and complement e.g. 'I'm alert', so this is an incomplete predication because it also has the verb 'cost'.)

Some verbs can be used transitively or intransitively, as with 'I eat a pie' (where 'eat' is transitive) and 'I eat to live' (where 'eat' is intransitive). Likewise here, 'it cost £100' is subject, verb and complement, and 'It cost me £100' is subject, verb, object and complement.

That '£100' in our example is a complement, as we can see if we change the noun to an adjective. 'This course was cheap. That course cost more.'
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