English Notes

Comprehension: Prostration and narrative and Descriptive essay

The passage centres on the childhood of Wole Soyinka. It is an extract from his book titled ‘Ake’. In this passage, Wole Soyinka is faced with the challenge of respecting tradition in the aspect of prostration.

The passage reveals Soyinka’s view about the act of prostration as a young child. He detected the act in itself when he was ordered to do so by an elder at the Kabiyesi’s palace.


Questions 1 – 6, Page 24

Topic: Vocabulary Development: Festivals

The passage is an extract from The Guardian Newspaper. It focuses on the celebration of Sallah in Sokoto State.


Vocabulary, page 24

Topic: Noun Phrases and Noun Clauses.

A         NOUN PHRASE: The noun phrase is a phrase in which the main word or the head is a noun or pronoun.

Examples:       the big ugly girl

a fat bank account

the man outside

the man from the moon.

Functions of the Noun Phrase

1.         As subject of a sentence

            The big girl is quarrelsome

            The poor suffer a lot

2.         As object of a verb.

            The officer praised the students

            I bought my friend  a present

3.         As subject complement

            Our lecturer may become a commissioner

            His wife is a nurse.

4.         As object complement

            The grateful boy called his friend  a saviour.

5.         As complement of a preposition.

            The governor thought of the brilliant lawyer when choosing his cabinet.

            The thief hid the gun under his bed.

B.        NOUN CLAUSE: A noun clause is a subordinate clause that performs the functions of a noun.

            Functions of the Noun Clause

1.         Subject of a sentence

            What he said  is bitter

            That he was insulted pained him a great deal.

2.         Object of a verb.

            The cook gave us what we should eat.

            He told us that he would come.

3.          Complement of subject

            Honesty is what we want.

            The important thing is that he has arrived.

4.         Complement of object

            We call him  what he likes

5.         Complement of a preposition.

            The prize will go to whoever wins.


Exercise V, Page 182

Exercise No 1, Page 225. Countdown to English.

Topic: Adjectival Phrases and Adjectival Clauses.

  1. ADJECTIVAL PHRASE: An adjectival phrase is a phrase which modifies a noun or pronoun.

Functions of an Adjectival phrase

1.         Attributive adjectives.

            Fat men seldom run fast.

            The slim lady is my wife

2. Predicate adjectives.

Those questions are tough

The man looks stupid

3.         Post -modifiers

            The boy with a brown  cap is my class-mate.

            The fund available will not be enough for the project.

4.         As nouns

            The rich are usually unmindful of  the poor.

            The government should cater for the needy

B.        ADJECTIVAL CLAUSE: An adjectival clause is a subordinate clause that performs the function of an adjective.

            The following conjunctions are usually used to introduce adjectival clauses: who, whom, whose, that, which, where, when, e.t.c.

            Examples of Adjectival clauses

            The man who came here  is a teacher.

            The house which has been renovated,  looks very new.

            It was he who slapped me.

            The lady whose car was stolen is crying.

            That is the goat that ate our yam.

            Here is the man about whom I was talking to you.


Exercise, No 2, Page 211 Exercise, No 2, Page 225, Countdown to English.

Topic: Narrative and Descriptive Essays.

  1. NARRATIVE ESSAY: A narrative essay is one that requires you to relate an event or incident as an eyewitness would. This is the art of story-telling, and a wide experience in the reading of short stories, novels, and so on, is required.

Your essay must be interesting and convincing; the reader should enjoy reading it and be led to believe that what he is reading is true. The narrative should follow the order in which the event took place, gradually moving the reader to the climax of your story. You only have to state the facts as they were.

Examples of topics on Narrative Essay includes

The Longest Journey That I Have Ever Made.

The Day I Will Never Forget.

How I Spent My Last Holiday

Had I known Always Comes Last.

An Interesting Film I Have Watched.

 B. DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY: A descriptive essay is one that requires you to write a description of, for example, an object, a person, an animal, an incident or a scene. If you choose a descriptive essay in the examination, you should have a very clear picture in your mind of what you want to describe. The clearer the picture you have, the better will be your description. Descriptive essays are usually popular with examination candidates .

To score a high mark, candidates will be expected to give very clear, interesting and informative description. Examples  of topics on Descriptive Essay.

A Market Day In My Town

My Favourite Teacher.

A Wedding I Attended Recently.

My School.

My Ideal House.


Write an essay on any of the earlier mentioned topics


Sentence Intonation Patterns.



  1. Define and state the types of clauses we have.

Mention the grammatical functions of the underlined noun clauses;

  •  What I want for my birthday is a pair of trouser.
  • The mechanic didn’t know what the problem was.
  • A man of principle is all we ask for.


  • As the new senior prefect of your school, write a farewell speech meant to be delivered at the graduation ceremony of the outgoing SS3 students.


Revision and Tests  Part 2, Page 33. Effective English

Practice 1, Nos 1- 5, Page 29, Effective English.

Click here to ask a question and get an answer published in the forum. Read our disclaimer.

Get paid for every topic you create in: Forum!MAKE-MONEY