Language Matters: Lexical Chunks (1)

Analyse the form and use of the highlighted lexical chunks in the extracts below. Don't do them all at once - try one or two a day and then check with the suggested answers here. Note anything you miss or get wrong, and look up any terms which you're not sure of in the ELT Glossary. When you go on to further items, make sure you give fuller answers


The following extracts are from  Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code (2003, Doubleday).


Extract A

Across the room, Sophie Neveu felt a cold sweat breaking across her forehead. Langdon was still spread-eagled on the floor. Hold on, Robert. Almost there. Knowing the guard would never actually shoot either of them, Sophie now turned her attention back to the matter at hand, scanning the entire area around one masterpiece in particular - another Da Vinci.

Extract B

The controller's initial response was a babbling, lame attempt to protect the privacy of their British client - one of the airfield's most respected customers. It failed miserably.

'Okay,' Fache said, 'I am placing you under arrest for permitting a private plane to take off without registering a flight plan.' Fache motioned to another officer, who approached with handcuffs, and the traffic controller felt a surge of terror.