English Grammar

Circumstantial complements types with recognition and examples

They are an essential part of our grammar and it is important to know and master them to enrich our language. We explain in depth what are circumstantial complements, types and how to recognize these + EXAMPLES , so that you can assimilate the lesson and get the highest grade in your exams or solve those doubts that you always had about it.

When speaking or writing it is very important to have the right words so that the person with whom you are talking can perfectly understand what you are trying to say. Many people do not take this very seriously, causing what you are trying to say cannot be understood and even misunderstandings can be reached. For this reason, it is essential to pay close attention to the way you express yourself and above all, the resources you use when saying something and that is why circumstantial complements play a fundamental role.

What is a circumstantial complement?

When speaking of circumstantial complements , it refers to the sentence or syntactic functions that are reported or manifested about some type of event ; whether of time, quantity, place, cause, mode, among others, where any process, state and even action that is referred to by a verb takes place.

To understand it in a better way, a circumstantial complement also known as CC , has the main purpose of offering specific information about the way in which a situation is being carried out. For a CC to function properly, it is necessary to combine three classes of phrases , these are linguistic units that are composed of one or more words, which perform a kind of syntactic function in a given sentence. Now, the phrases that are within a circumstantial complement are the following:

  • Adverbial phrase or SAdv: carries out all the syntactic functions that an adverb normally does. Usually it has a gerund or an adverb as a nucleus.
  • Prepositional phrase or SPrep: it is composed of a prefix and a word that has an adverb, adjective or noun as its nucleus.
  • Nominal phrase or SN: in this case the nucleus is made up of a pronoun or a name.
  • CCs have three of their own that will be very useful when recognizing them, these are:
  • Cumulative: two or more circumstantial complements match within a sentence.
  • Removable: it is possible to exclude a circumstantial complement and even so, the sentence will not lose its meaning at any time.
  • Movable: it can be placed in any part of the sentence.

Types of circumstantial complements

Seen from a syntactic point of view, circumstantial complements are the same, however, they can be differentiated from other complements such as direct and indirect, agent, among others, and various types of CC are distinguished based on what they mean. . The most common types of CC are:

  • Time CC: this type of circumstantial complement offers data that is related to the exact moment in which the action is carried out within the verb. It is used to answer the question When?
  • Place CC: in this case, it provides information associated with the place where the action occurs. This means that it is used to answer the question Where?
  • CC of cause: they offer data referring to the cause or reason for the action within a verb. It is used to answer the question Why?
  • Mode CC: with this data is added corresponding to the mode or the way in which the action is executed in the verb. It is used to answer the question How?
  • Company CC: with this it is possible to offer information associated with the person or persons for whom the action is carried out within the verb. It is used to answer the question With whom?
  • Purpose CC: provides data about the purpose of the action within the verb. Normally, it is used to answer the question for what?
  • QC of medium or instrument: with this type of QC it is possible to recognize the instrument used to carry out the action within the verb. It is used to answer the question With what?
  • CC of affirmation or negation: it is usually used in the confirmation of some certainty that is directly related to what is proposed within a verb. It is used to answer the question Really?
  • Concession CC: with this CC you can know the reasons why an action could not be carried out. It is used to answer the question In spite of what?
  • CC of matter: it is similar to that of instrument and is usually used to answer the question with what material?
  • Quantity CC: with this you can know what is the amount the action is carried out in the verb. It is used to answer the question How much?

How to recognize a circumstantial complement?

There are several ways in which a CC can be recognized, however, there are two criteria that must be kept in mind when trying to recognize the circumstantial complement , these are:

  • Keep in mind that you must confirm the existence of a circumstance that is directly associated with the verb. To be sure, it is necessary to ask any of the questions shown in the previous part, since this way, it will be easier to identify the type of circumstantial complement.

Other things to keep in mind when identifying a CC are:

  • Two or more CCs may appear within a sentence.
  • The circumstantial complement gives a kind of movement to the sentence.
  • If a CC is no longer needed for the core of the predicate, then it can be completely removed from the sentence and still will not represent any kind of ungrammatical error.
  • There are cases in which you can change the CC and instead, put an adverb.

Examples of circumstantial complements

Next, we will show you some examples of circumstantial complements according to their type . Let’s see.

According to the weather:

  • We are going to the movies with Teresa on Friday.
  • I will play soccer tomorrow.
  • Will you come to the house next month?

According to the place:

  • Buy a nice shirt at the store.
  • I found a good place on the mountain.
  • I’ll wait for you at the station.

According to the cause:

  • I can’t understand you because you speak very softly.
  • Maria will not come because her mother is not feeling well.
  • You cannot come because children are not allowed.

According to the mode:

  • I lost several pounds in a short time on that diet.
  • Maria finished the semester with study and dedication.
  • Carlos was able to buy his apartment with effort.

According to the company:

  • We are going for a walk with my sister Inés.
  • Let’s play hide and seek with Mario.
  • My uncles will be arriving soon with my lulu niece.

According to the purpose:

  • I will buy bread to eat.
  • I’m going to my mother’s house to get an order.
  • I will finish my studies to be a professional.

According to the affirmation or denial:

  • I will always be there if you need me.
  • Never say something like that.
  • Of course I am prepared.

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