Surface structure In Part III we were concerned with the relation between what we have called the 'deep structure' and the 'shallow structure' of English. The idea behind this metaphor is that English sentences of the kind we actually use, form what we might call the 'surface structure' of the language, and these other levels represent stages which are progressively closer to the 'underlying' meanings of the surface sentences. Up to now we have said little to shew that the surface structure of a sentence cannot be identified with its shallow structure. The phenomena discussed in this chapter, however, shew that this identification cannot be carried through.