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Parts of Speech
• Nouns name something, a person, place, or thing. • Nouns may be abstract or concrete. • Something may be classified as a noun if you can put an article (a, an, or the) or a possessive pronoun (my, her, him) in front of it. Examples: advertising, philosophy, doctor, computer, honest, lion.
Pronouns – stand in place of nouns.
There are many kinds of pronouns. Personal: Subjective: I, you, he, she, we, they Objective: me, you, him, her, us, them Possessive: my, your, her, our, their Absolute possessive: mine, yours, his, hers, ours, theirs I never should have lent her my new flashlight.
Reflexive or Intensive: myself, yourself, themselves, and so on. Frankenstein’s creature was shocked when he looked at himself in the mirror. (reflexive) I did it by myself. (intensive)
Even more pronouns. . .
Relative: These pronouns connect subordinate clauses to main clauses. who, which, that, whose, whoever, whomever, whichever, and so on The best friends are those who know when to keep quiet.
Interrogative and Demonstrative Pronouns
Interrogative pronouns begin questions. Who, whom, which, what. What do you mean by that? Demonstrative pronouns point to someone or something. This, that, these, those, such. Such is life. This is the life.
Indefinite and Reciprocal Pronouns
Indefinite pronouns stand for an indefinite number of people or things. Any, some, each, every, few, everyone, everybody, someone, somebody. Everybody loves somebody sometime. Reciprocal pronouns express a reciprocal relationship. Each other, one another Scott and Zelda hated each other intensely.
• A verb is an action word or a word that describes a state of being. • It may be composed of an auxiliary verb and a main verb. • Verbs may be transitive or intransitive (some verbs may be either) or linking.
More about verbs . . .
A transitive verb needs an object to be complete. Winston shut the door. An intransitive verb is complete without an object. Rita yawned. A linking verb connects the subject to a state of being. Malcolm is mischievous.
• • • • There are twenty three helping verbs in English: forms of have, do, and be, which also may function as main verbs; and nine modals which function only as helping verbs. They are: can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will, and would. The forms of have, do, and be change form to indicate tense; the nine modals do not. Forms of have, do, and be include: do, does, did be, am, is, are, was, were, being, been
The main verb of a sentence is always the kind of word that would change form if put into these sentences.
Base form: Usually I (walk, ride). Past tense: Yesterday I (walked, rode). Past participle: I have (walked, ridden) many times before. Present participle: I am (walking, riding) right now. -s form: Usually he/she/it (walks, rides).
More about verbs. . .
• If a word doesn’t change form when slipped into these test sentences, you can be certain it is not a main verb. For example, the noun revolution, though it may seem to suggest an action, can never function as a main verb. Try to make it behave like one …. Today I revolutioned. . . Yesterday I revolutioned. . . and you’ll see why. • When both the past-tense and the past-participle forms of a verb end in –ed, the verb is regular (walked, walked). Otherwise the verb is irregular (rode, ridden).
Even more about verbs. . .
• The verb be is highly irregular, having eight forms instead of the usual five; the base form be; the present-tense form am, is and are; the past-tense form was and were; the present participle being; and the past participle been. • I am here. They are here. • They were here. He was here. • I have been there before.
• • • • • • • • Adjectives describe or modify nouns. They can come before the noun or pronoun they modify or they can follow a linking verb. Adjectives answer the questions: Which one? What kind of? How many? A delicious meal awaited us. (delicious modifies the noun meal – It answers the question what kind of?) A devilish apparition appeared in the doorway. (devilish modifies apparition. It answers the question what kind of? Her performance was wooden. (wooden modifies performance – it follows the linking verb was and it answers the question What kind of?) Twenty students boarded the bus. (twenty modifies the noun students and it answers the question How many?) That hat belongs to me. (That modifies hat and it answers the question which one?)
• • • • • • • Adverbs describe or modify verb, adjectives, and other adverbs. They often end in –ly. Adverbs answer the questions: When? Where? How? Why? Under what conditions? And to what degree? The party ended too soon. (too modifies the adverb soon which modifies the verb ended.) Read the best books first. (Read when?) She was extremely good and very lonely. (extremely and very intensify and limit the intensity respectively of the adjectives good and lonely.) I am not happy. I am never sad. (not and never are used as negators and are classified as adverbs. In these cases they limit or modify the adjectives happy and sad respectively)
• The preposition is a linking word that is always followed by a noun or a pronoun. • It is a phrase that modifies another word in the sentence. • The prepositional phrase nearly always functions as an adverb or adjective. • The road to hell is paved with good intentions. (To hell functions as an adjective modifying the noun road; with good intentions functions as an adverb modifying the verb phrase is paved.)
More about prepositions. ..
• Choosing the right preposition may cause problems in written English. • Some common prepositions are: about, above, across, after, against, along, among, around, at, as, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, by, concerning, considering, despite, down, during, except, for, from, in, inside, into, like, near, next, of, off, on, onto, opposite, out, outside, over, past, plus, regarding, respecting, round, since, than, though, throughout, till, to, toward, under, underneath, unlike, until, unto, up, upon, with, within, without. • Some prepositions are more than one word: along with, as well as, in addition to, instead of, next to, up to.
Prepositions are always part of a phrase . . .
• We ran down the street when we heard the bell of the ice cream truck. (down the street and of the ice cream truck are both prepositional phrases)
• Conjunctions are used to join two words, phrases, or clauses and they indicate the relation between the elements joined. • Coordinating conjunctions: connect grammatically equal elements and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet. • Correlative conjunctions: pairs of conjunctions the connect grammatically equal elements either. . .or, neither . . . nor, not only . . . but also, whether . . . or, both . . . and.
More about conjunctions. ..
• Subordinating conjunctions introduce subordinate clauses and indicate their relation to the rest of the sentence. after, although, as, as if, because, before, even though, if, in order that, rather than, since, so that, than, that, though, unless, until, when, where, whether, while. • Conjunctive adverbs are adverbs used to indicate the relation between independent clauses. accordingly, also, anyway, besides, certainly, consequently, finally, furthermore, hence, however, incidentally, indeed, instead, likewise, meanwhile, moreover, nevertheless, next, nonetheless, otherwise, similarly, specifically, still, subsequently, then, therefore, thus.
Some sentences using conjunctions. . .
The office sent invoices to those who owed money and greeting cards to those who did not. (And is the coordinating conjunction showing the relationship between those who owed money and those who did not. ) After the war was over, Ashley returned to Melanie. (After is a subordinating conjunction showing the relationship of the first clause to the second. Since the subordinate clause begins the sentence it is followed by a comma. )
• Interjections are exclamatory words or phrases that interrupt a sentence. No, I don’t want to go to the dentist. Wow, I can’t believe what you just told me.
Phrase and Clause
• A phrase is a group of words In the house, by the bridge, over the moon, playing doctor, • A clause is a group of words with a subject and a verb. We were playing doctor in the tree house. We were by the bridge when we saw the cow jump over the moon.
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