The structure of the english article
English Language Translation Theory Department Teacher
English Language Translation Theory Department Teacher
The majority of English articles have the structure of an inverted pyramid. This means that the main information of the article is summarized in the first paragraph, thus turning the text upside down. The ending, the consequences of an event are put in the first place, whereas the details and the initial cause are revealed later. The aim of such structure is to bring the vital information to the reader’s attention as soon as possible, which is in the first passages of the article.
THE STRUCTURE OF THE ENGLISH ARTICLE
Najimova Perizad Arslanbay qizi
UzSWLU, English Language Translation Theory Department Teacher
The majority of English articles have the structure of an inverted pyramid. This
means that the main information of the article is summarized in the first paragraph,
thus turning the text upside down. The ending, the consequences of an event are put
in the first place, whereas the details and the initial cause are revealed later. The aim
of such structure is to bring the vi
tal information to the reader’s attention as soon as
possible, which is in the first passages of the article. Secondary information is
introduced in the third-fourth paragraph of the article, though the reader might not
read so far. In his article “the birth of the inverted pyramid” an American journalist
and writer Chip Scanlan says that the appearance of the structure of the inverted
pyramid owes much to the invention of the telegraph, that happened 150 years ago.
Given that the massages were expensive, journalists tried to avoid the copious style
of 19th century and invented a new, compressed style.
According to the research 48 articled out of the analyzed 50 have the structure
of the inverted pyramid and only two have the chronological structure. It should be
pointed out that this structure is very convenient for news texts as it gives the reader
the possibility to learn about the changes in a particular situation very quickly.
Peculiarities of English newspaper headlines.
The distinguishing feature of an English headline is simplified grammar. In
passive constructions the verb “to be” is often omitted:
Chinese traffic police given anti-smog nasal filters (27.03)
traffic police IS given anti-smog nasal filters
French driver trapped for an hour in speeding 125mph car with no brakes
(13.02) instead of
French driver WAS trapped for an hour in speeding 125mph car
with no brakes.
Articles and possessive pronouns are also omitted:
Princess Diana’s dress
snapped up by anonymous bidder as surprise for wife.
The Present Simple Tense is mainly used in headlines, even if past actions are
described. The Present Simple tense gives a reader the feeling of simultaneity of
Paris fashion week: Raf Simons repeats Oscars triumph for Dior.
Andrew Marr leaves hospital nearly two months after suffering a stroke.
The use of quotations and direct speech is common for English headlines:
old bank robber 'wanted to return to jail’.
Nicolas Sarkozy: I’d return to politics only to save France.
Relaxation of US cannabis laws ‘violates UN drug convention’.
The jobseeker's story: 'I'm not proud to say I’ve gone begging‘.
Indirect speech is also occasionally used:
World’s oldest person Jiroemon
Kimura 115, says rise with the sun, read a paper.
Adoption reforms must slow down and give more support to parents, say peers.
Foreign words and emotional lexics are often used:
French Communist party says adieu
to the hammer and sickle
– french “Good bye”); Bonjour … David Beckham introduces himself as a Paris Saint-
– french “Good afternoon”).
Minami Minegishi of AKB48 appears in tearful mea culpa on YouTube after
breaking her band's strict rules on dating
, (mea culpa
– (from Latin, often humorous,
used when you are admitting that sth is your fault).
Readers can also come cross tropes in newspaper headlines:
Fashion renews its love affair with the royal family (metaphor).
It should be pointed out that the main function of English headlines is the
informative function, the author in the first place informs the reader what the article is
about and only after that tries to attract attention and advertise his work:
European countries expected to start arming rebels.
Paralyzed people could
get movement back through thought control.
Childcare costs rising by more
than twice the rate of inflation.
A few words must be said about the structure of an English headline. Most
commonly a headline is a two-member sentence which has a subject and a predicate.
Single words and phrases seldom make headlines:
Obesity crisis: doctors demand
soft drinks tax and healthier hospital food
Spanish city's ban on Islamic veils
Lexical and syntactical peculiarities of an English article.
One of the main peculiarities of English articles is without a doubt the role of
passive voice. It is especially evident in news reports:
More than 200 medicinal products are affected (
…he could be sent to prison for up to 20 years.
Thus, it can be said that passive constructions are more common than active
constructions. Apart from passivizing, peculiar is the amount of non-finite verbs:
gerund, participal 1 and participal 2, that make the text more informative and logical:
…. to talk to families about receiving help
She also agreed that the property, accessed
by narrow lanes, was an “open
house” for family, friends and then her boyfriend
However, all were discharged within two days to two weeks having gained
weight and none had long-term damage
Clichés are often used in newspaper articles. This is one if the features of
newspaper style: according to federal complaint, according to state media report,
presumed, estimated, to be reported, it is claimed, it was announced, one the one
hand … one the other hand, … declined to comment, on the agenda etc.
Frequent is also the occurrence of infinitive phrases, such as: to be expected,
to be said to, to appear to, to be likely to do, to fail to do:
… and the proposal appears to have the support of David Cameron.
But newspaper groups appeared to b
e moving to boycott the new system…
The aid is expected to include civilian vehicle…
The woman is said to have injured herself escaping from her first-
Talking about cliché expressions and infinitive phrases, one should point out
the verb “to allege” – to assert to be true, affirm; and its derivative phrases – to be
alleged, allegedly. This verb is used almost in every article and it is fair to assume
that it is very important in the modern press. As well as the infinitiv
e phrases “to
appear to”, “to be said to”, the phrase “to be alleged to” is used in those cases when
the author is not absolutely sure in the reliability of the information that he transmits:
A British tourist in India has been injured after she fled her hotel in fear when
a man allegedly tried to barge into her room
The prosecution has said the motive for the men’s alleged plot may never be
Newspaper articles are also rich in complex and compound sentences:
Local newspapers and magazines could also set up on their own, insiders have
warned, while Scotland is also threatening a separate system.
Job Centre employees across the country say that as a direct result of this sort
of pressure they are now expected to hit a “minimum expected level” of sanctions
Complex sentences are more common in English newspapers than compound
Frequent is the use parenthesis such as: of course, although, finally,
meanwhile, however, at first glance, therefore.
Newspaper article abound in phrasal verbs, that are the feature of colloquial
speech: come up, turn in, draw up, dry up, carry out, cash in, stand up, sum up, put
off, get by, catch up etc.
Proverbs and saying are often used:
Charity begins at home ‘A lot of families in this country need help’
Prevention is better than cure.
Colloquial lexics is often used: plonk, booze, gag, spoof, cool, dorky, soap
(from soap opera).
Texts of newspaper article are rich in idioms:
If the couple intended to keep a low profile, they succeeded
(07.03) (keep a
– to stay out of public notice)
The sporting world seemed poised to give the cold shoulder to Oscar Pistorius
after a court in South Africa
allowed the Olympic and Paralympic star to return to
(31.04) (to give the cold shoulder
– to behave towards
someone in an unfriendly way).
His statement suggests the issue is likely to come to a head
(13.03) (to come to a head
–to reach a critical, crucial stage)
Tropes can often be found in articles:
Beckham was asked how it felt to be the
granddaddy of French sport.
Common are also abbreviations: DWP (Department for Work and Pensions)
ILF (inductive loss factor), FTSE (Financial Times Stock Exchange Index); V-E day
– Victory in Europe day, GP (general practitioner) PR (public relations).
Apart from abbreviations the articles include shortenings. Due to the fact that
The Guardian is quality press, it does not include as many shortenings as tabloids.
However, some comm
on ones occur in separate articles: it’s, aren’t, haven’t, won’t,
doesn’t, teens instead of teenagers, high-tech instead of high-technology etc. Such
usage of shortening can be justified on the one hand by the tendency to economize
speech, increased speed of transmitting massages, one the other hand, by one of
the essential features of newspaper articles
– simplicity and intelligibility to every
member of society.
1. Baker M., 1992. In Other Words: Coursebook on Translation. London and
New York: Routledge.
2. Baker M., Saldanha, G., 2008. Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation
Studies (2nd ed.). London and New York: Routledge.
3. Bayar M., 2007. To Mean or Not to Mean. Kadmous Cultural Foundation.
Baker M., 1992. In Other Words: Coursebook on Translation. London and New York: Routledge.
Baker M., Saldanha, G., 2008. Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies (2nd ed.). London and New York: Routledge.
Bayar M., 2007. To Mean or Not to Mean. Kadmous Cultural Foundation.