Football language – extra time (2)

[Full match highlights]

Almost there… The match so far:  1st half  |  2nd half | extra time (1)

At the end of an exhausting football match strange things happen.

This post is about strange balls, strange players, strange kit.
It may be useful to revisit their grammatical equivalents: verbs, nouns/pronouns, adjectives.

strange ball

To be or not to be, this is the question.

We said that verbs  represent action.   Sometimes, however, they represent existence or a state of mind (“to be”, “to become”,  “feel”, “seem”, “get”).  This is when “strange subjects” may suddenly appear.

Predicate and Copula


Look at the first sentence: you could swap the noun “captain” with the noun “Ronaldo” and the meaning would be essentially the same.

You can’t say that “captain” is the object of the action; instead, we call “captain” the predicate.  In ToB, the linked predicate is made clear by the  smubble to the left of the ebble (with a little space to distinguish it from a preposition)… And it is no coincidence that it is positioned within the same space as the subject.

The verb “to be” (is), in this case, is used to link the subject with its predicate.   In English Grammar, verbs that perform this function are also called “copula” or “copulative”: this is because in Latin the noun  copula means “link”, “tie” (think of “couple”).

The second sentence  is very similar to the first: the only material difference is that the predicate, in this case, is an adjective.  This is why, in ToB, The predicate adjective “exceptional” has a smubble attached to a smebble rather than an ebble.

Predicates are therefore “strange subjects”, in the sense that they complement or amplify the characteristics of the subject of the sentence, often aided by “strange, copulative” verbs – of which “to be” is by far the most commonly used.

Here are more examples to think about:
– The goallie becomes aware
– Messi feels great
– Maldini seems upset
The referee gets angry

Note: the verb “to be”, or “to become” are always copulae.  This not always the case for other “copulative” verbs.  For example, in the sentence “the referee gets the red card”, you should see that “the red card” is the object of the “getting” action, not a predicate of the subject.  In this case (and many others), therefore, “to get” is not used as a copula.


There is another example of “strange subject” that is worth mentioning before we see the final result of this exciting football match: the vocative.


When we address others in direct speech, we often call their name before asking for (or ordering) something.

In the example above, “Ronaldo” is the vocative.  In ToB, The vocative is represented by a smubble attached to the right of the ebble representing the noun. Again, this is positioned in the same space of the subject.

It is also worth pointing out how “don’t” is represented as a smuggle (secondary verb) followed by another smubble (adverb, positioned in the “state” domain).. this is simply because it is the combination of two separate words: “do” (verb that goes with “miss”) and “not” (adverb).

The end?

In this thrilling match we have been entertained by most of the players carrying out all sorts of actions, normal and strange.

There is only one left to cover, a player so special as to wear colours that stand out from all the others: the goallie…And when is the goalie’s moment of glory?  Penalties!!!

Want to try Tower of Bubble (ToB)? Download the Template | Cheat Sheet (Key Symbols)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s