A REVIEW OF GRAMMAR

This chapter is what its title announces: a review. It attempts no more than a retrospective view or survey of material some or most of which are not exactly unfamiliar to the college freshman. Any standard English dictionary provides several definitions of the word grammar. For example, the 1970 edition of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language consists of seven definitions, of which the first three concern us here. 1. The study of language as a systematically composed body of words that exhibit the discernible regularity of structure (morphology) and arrangement into sentences (syntax), sometimes including such aspects of language as the pronunciation of words (phonology), the meanings of words (semantics), and the history of words (etymology). 2. (a) The phenomena with which this study deals, as exhibited by a specific language at a specific time. (b) The system of rules implicit in a language, viewed as a mechanism for generating all sentences possible at that language. 3. a normative or prescriptive system of rules setting forth the current standard of usage for pedagogical or reference purposes. The first two convey the modern and scientific sense of the word grammar as opposed to its traditional sense conveyed by the third entry: “A normative or prescriptive system of rules setting forth the current standard of usage for pedagogical or reference purposes.” It is in this latter sense that we retrospectively view, in this chapter, English grammar as a system of rules presented not as orders to be obeyed blindly but as guides to be followed intelligently. This is not to say that we are blissfully unaware of the spectacular recent achievements of structural and generativetransformational grammarians. In the language arts a practical code of communication of technical vocabulary is absolutely essential to enable the instructor to explain or discuss at length the writing needs of students. The option to use traditional technology serves pragmatic ends such as pedagogical efficiency equated with tried and tested methods. The traditional approach to English grammar emphasizes definition and rules. By and large it is deductive. From the generalization contained in a definition and rule, the student proceeds to apply the rule. The traditional approach largely depends on the classification of words into eight parts of speech, in the pattern of Latin grammar, as follows: noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, preposition, conjunction and interjection. These are defined by meaning, function or form. Essentially, however, they are functional elements. Thus the subject and object functions are identified as noun functions. The predicate function is identified with the verb function. An adjective modifies a noun; an adverb modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. In short, the traditional approach emphasizes the word as a basic unit of grammar. WORDS Contemporary dictionaries classify words in terms of parts of speech. The part of speech to which a word belongs can be determined only by its use in the sentence. In traditional grammar, the eight parts of speech are identified as follows, depending – it must be emphasized – on how they are used. Many words can function as other parts of speech as well. Naming Words: Nouns and Pronouns

Nouns are names of people, places, things, qualities, actions, ideas, relationships: President Marcos, Balanga, radio, serenity, dancing, loyalty, kinship. There are five major types of nouns, classified according to the objects or qualities which they designate. Proper nouns name a particular person, place or thing and begin with a capital letter: Manansala, Bulacan, July.all other nouns are called common nouns and begin with a small letter: woman, barangay, feet. Some proper and common nouns may be further classified as collective nouns, which are used to designate a group of persons, or things: Jaycees, crew, flock. Two other classification of nouns are abstract nouns, which refer to things not discernible with any of our senses: loyalty, wisdom, truth; concrete nouns, which refer to tangible things discernible with our senses: bougainvillea, chair, window. Nouns can be recognized in a variety of other ways: 1. Nouns are usually preceded by words like the, a, an, and may also bepreceded by other determiners like this, some, my, your, each. 2. nouns can indicate the meaning “more than one” by suffixing the letter s: books, owls, pesos, streets; es is suffixed if the noun ends in s, sh, ch or x: glasses, wishes, churches, axes. 3. Some groups of nouns have the following endings: -tion, -ness, -ment, -ure to distinguish them from corresponding verbs or adjectives: organize, organization; kind, kindness; develop, development; seize, seizure. 4. Some nouns are distinguished from corresponding words by stress: récord, recórd; tránsfer, transfér; súbject, subjéct.

5. nouns occur in a specific positions in the sentence – in subject position before the verb or in object position after the verb: Education is important. Misbehavior means expulsion. Pronouns are words which refer indirectly to people, places, things, etc.: she, he, it, someone, which, who. There are seven major classifications of pronouns in terms of the way they substitute for a noun or a noun-equivalent. 1. Personal Pronouns The personal pronouns directly substitute for a noun as subject (nominative case): “She did it”; as object (objective case): “I saw her”; as owner (possessive case): “It is my book”. Personal pronouns also indicate the person speaking (first person), the person spoken to (second person), and the person or object spoken of (third person). They likewise indicate the meaning “one person” (singular) or “more than one” (plural). The forms of the personal pronouns are as follows: 1st person: Nominative: Possessive: Objective: 2nd person: Nominative: Possessive: Objective: Singular I my, mine me Singular you your, yours you Plural we our, ours us Plural you your, yours you Plural they
their, theirs

3rd person: Singular Nominative: he, she, it Possessive: his, her, hers its Objective: him, her, it 2. Relative Pronouns

them

Relative pronouns link or relate clauses to their antecedents. For example, the two sentences “She is the dancer who arrived today.” The

linking verbs. Some verbs may be used both transitively and intransitively: He wrote a letter. everything. few. (transitive) Cecil plays well. whoever (whomever). (They respect each other. were. Asserting Words: Verbs and Verbals Verbs are words that specify actions.” The most frequently used indefinite pronouns in English are: all. none. (intransitive) A linking verb. which. those are the principal demonstrative pronouns. several. whatever (whosoever. sound. some. to things. whichever. that. things. everybody. others. . Interrogative Pronouns The interrogative pronouns are used to produce a question: “Who picked up the laundry?” “Which bus should we take?” “What do you plan to do?” 5. seem. other linking verbs are become. ourselves. 6. feelings. The teacher became weary. 4. which. The choice of a relative pronoun is partly determined by its antecedent: who is used to refer to persons only. states.” “Each of the students has complaints. oneself. (intransitive) Cecile plays the violin. smell. (transitive) They will obey promptly. Verbs are of four kinds in terms of their functions: transitive verbs.” “This show is the last.. 7. to either persons or things. somebody. nobody. They are used as reflexive pronouns by simply referring back to the subject (He was quite proud of himself) or as intensive pronouns by emphasizing or intensifying their antecedents (She did it herself). produce. and auxiliary verbs. itself. can stand between the subject and a predicate noun or a predicate adjective. himself. get. (transitive) They danced until the curfew hours. these. The most commonly used linking verb is a form of to be: am. whichsoever. A transitive verb requires a direct object. fall. feel. anybody. taste. intransitive verbs. etc. Indefinite Pronouns The indefinite pronouns designate persons or things less specifically than other pronouns: “Everyone seems satisfied. (intransitive) They will obey your orders. appear.” Demonstrative pronouns point out precisely or identify certain things or persons. other. everyone. yourselves. Reciprocal Pronouns The reciprocal pronouns are indicators of some mutual relationship between two or more persons or things. whom). existence (of people. is. are. an intransitive verb does not. sit. appear.) (They trust one another. that. 3.): hit.relative pronouns are who (whose. that. herself. was. Demonstrative Pronouns This. yourself. whomsoever. places. and they are compound indefinite pronouns: each other. something. personal pronouns combined with the Myself. themselves. whatsoever). These are the most frequently used relative pronouns. (intransitive) They dance the tinikling. anything. another. (transitive) He wrote rapidly. Compound Personal Pronouns The compound are simple pronopu8ns word self or selves. the rest are either less frequently used or are no longer used. one. unlike other verbs. There are only two reciprocal pronouns.) These pronouns are used interchangeable. one another. they also function as modifiers of nouns: “This is the last show.

can. Verbs that accompany other verbs are called helping verbs or auxiliary verbs. The box sounds empty. possibility. There are three types of verbals: participles. (participle) Swimming is more strenuous than jogging. do. (active) The banana was eaten by Nora. combinations of verbs are usually referred to as verb phrases. in which statements are made and questions asked. Infinitives are preceded by to and are used as nouns. The curtain looks new. (passive – agent unnamed) Nora ate the banana. adjectives. Thus they are also referred to as verbal adjectives. a verb may distinguish the way in which the statement is regarded by the writer. I am glad to see you. (Infinitive used as a noun) He has lots of money to spend. A verb is said to be in the active voice if it expresses an action performed by the subject. I feel good. You may leave now. and gerunds. In English. voice needs to be mentioned here. The room appears small. (active) A dictionary was brought to class by her. which are the most common auxiliary verbs. The answer seems right. The effort proved futile. Indicative mood: as a fact. She brought a dictionary to class. Participles are both verbs and adjectives. She must see you at once.May father is tall. are incapable of making complete predications. (Infinitive used as adjective) Her method is sure to succeed. Voice is the aspect of verbs which indicates whether the subject acts or is acted upon. shall. (gerund) To run is easy. (passive) A letter was written. verb forms are traditionally distinguished as finite or non-finite. By means of mood. may. (infinitive used as adverb) Modifying Words: Adjectives and Adverbs . Working students need more time to study. infinitives. (passive) The banana was eaten. (passive) A dictionary was brought to class. I can improve my work. (passive agent unnamed) Mood is the function of a verb which expresses the manner in which the action or condition of the subject is stated. must. the non-finite verbs. doubt Imperative mood: as a command The basic mood is the indicative. also called verbals. it is the passive voice if it expresses the action of some agent upon the subject. They are formed by adding have. (active) A letter was written by Henry. I have refused the offer. Of several grammatical properties of verbs. a statement Subjunctive mood: as a wish. The agent may or may not be named in the sentence. or adverbs. (passive – agent unnamed) Henry wrote a letter. Gerunds (or verbal nouns) are used as nouns (though they may still have a subject or object). Unlike the finite verbs which can make complete predications. I have been told the news. will.

bubonic decisive. sophisticated. hence they are conveniently treated together. a trip. the most common of which includes the following: desirable.Both adjectives and adverbs are modifiers. Swedish harmless. Limiting adjectives point out an object or indicate quantity or number: this chair. funny artistic. Japanese. extremely happy. visionary. and superlative: Positive Adj: hard Adv: hardly Adj: good bad Adv: well badly Comparative harder more hardly better worse better worse Superlative hardest most hardly best worst best worst Joining Words: Prepositions and Con junctions A preposition is a word relating a noun or pronoun phrase or clause to another word in the sentence. soulful selfish. permissive rotten. tiresome. golden. indicated without a capital: paris green. Chinese culture. Most adverbs are adjectives or participles with the ending –ly: “He wrote badly”. the ability to type The article a is used before words beginning with a consonant sound. An adjective is a word that describes or defines a noun or pronoun in order to amplify or restrict its meaning. an absence regretted the hour of parting. Proper adjectives are derived from proper nouns and are originally limiting adjectives: Filipino customs and traditions. thirty days. a grade. that is. callous. metric. an is used with words with a vowel sound. and adverb as in: Probably he is wrong. where. a tedious job.”. manila paper. Shakespearean plays. pasteurized milk. there. then. a life. marvelous cranky. an adjective as in: thoroughly satisfied. bacchanalian event. vivid memories. Adjectives are of three general types: descriptive. Most adjectives and adverbs have three forms or degrees of comparison: positive. friendly. india ink. translatable critical. a day. a definite attempt. excessive. bothersome The indefinite articles (a. playful. fearless. his house. timeless elementary. a difficult assignment. reddish. secondary vigorous. since. hypothetical smashed. cordial. payable. four-footed Chinese. these examples. wooden lonely.” Other adverb forms are simple: now. Descriptive adjectives modify the noun by naming a quality or condition of the object it names: a gray sweater. an) and the definite article (the) function as adjectives since they limit or specify the words they precede. dreamy. comparative. limiting. their drawing. An adverb modifies a verb as in: She talked fast. Most adjectives are recognizable by their suffixes. daily handsome. journalese faithful. to make its meaninbg more exact: a black cat. to a verb (She went to the dance) to a noun (the capital of Bulacan) to an adjective (young at heart) . Sometimes a proper adjective becomes simply a descriptive adjective. “He unfortunately left. and proper. several questions. a European trip an hour. “They were deliriously happy. he wrote quickly. an ample reward. quite.

for art’s sake from abroad. on. She did not know where to find him. Lucas failed two courses last semester. Coordinating conjunctions join words or groups of words of equal rank. for the university. with my classmates a conjunction is a word that connects words. When a greater emphasis is desired. Another kind of conjunction is an adverb used as a connective. so he went back to the province. for it was quite late. because of. She is young and pretty. Although it was late. A linguist has estimated that of more than 92 percent prepositions used. but. by. This is the hottest summer since martial law was declared. The driver may be found either upstairs or in the garage. They could not solve the problem. of. at. nine of them recur: at. at her suggestion. It is distinguished from a preposition in that the latter always has an object expresses or understood. to. I took only one. for. in the city. The most important of this kind. according to). David is strong. the correlative conjunctions may replace the coordinating conjunction” The driver may be found upstairs or in the garage. by candlelight for me. Randy and his wife refused to leave. Some conjunctions are used in pairs. from the province. I went to bed. either…or.and. of the Philippines. from memory in a hurry. by force. along) or several words (in order to. (adverb) A preposition may be a single word (in. or clauses. He sold the painting that he finished last month. (preposition) Since the price of the tickets was high. Neither Randy nor his wife would leave.Many words used as prepositions may also be used as adverbs or conjunctions. on paper. but Oscar is even stronger. for we knew what happened. furthermore. from. at midnight by myself. Subordinating conjunctions join dependent clauses to main or independent clauses. yet I trusted him. with: at home. (conjunction) They haven’t been around since. on. not only… but also. of me on top. neither…nor. You should decide or resign. He seemed irresponsible. phrases. which is called conjunctive adverb includes the following” consequently. in. (conjunction) They did the work for fifty pesos. and whether…or. These are called correlative conjunctions: both…. hence. in trouble of Manila. (preposition) Conjunctions are either coordinating or subordinating. nor did they care to. which a conjunction does not have. he was not hungry. . on condition in Mindanao. We decided to leave.

(infinitive used as noun) In short. what is to be done? Heavens. the three words “Instructor Nomer Varua” form a unit in the sentence “Instructor Nomer Varua will lecture in Harvard. that which modifies or qualifies a verb or verb phrase is called an adverbial phrase. what a bore he is! PHRASES A very important sentence element is the phrase. hence the phrase is called prepositional phrase. phrases can serve as though they are single parts of speech. “Of the lecture hall” is a prepositional phrase serving as an adjective phrase modifying noun phrase “the doors. As their names suggest. Three other types of phrases are traditionally identified as participial phrase. He opened the doors of the lecture hall. The three words “on both sides” constitute prepositional phrase serving as an adverb modifying the verb “wrote”. The award presented to the clerk made him very happy. (independent) . and therefore. The eighth part of speech really serves no function except to express emotion. It is called interjection and has no grammatical relation to the rest of the sentence in which it occurs. two types of clauses are distinguished as independent (or main. gerund (or verbal noun). gerund phrases. Alas. (participial phrase modifying award) Anybody using this instrument must be careful (participial phrase modifying anybody) Jogging every morning is a wholesome exercise. nevertheless. Thus. CLAUSES Like the phrase. (Look for more examples of conjunctions) So far we have reviewed the seven ofd the eight parts of speech in traditional English grammar. but unlike it the clause has a subject and a predicate verb. It is one of two types of word group operating as units within the sentence. or principal) and dependent (subordinate).however. they function in a variety of ways. The main kinds of phrases are the noun phrase. to be reviewed in the next section. For example. “Will lecture” is a unit called verb phrase and “in Harvard” is also a unit called preposition al phrase. the clause is a group of related words. moreover.” As a unit it is called a noun phrase. and infinitive phrases.” He wrote on both sides of the paper. I know the person with whom you were talking. (infinitive used as adverb) To see is to believe. The other word group is the clause. and infinitive (or verbal noun. these are phrases containing any of the three kinds of verbals or non-finite verb forms: participle (or verbal adjective). Traditionally. The latter is introduced by a preposition. adjective. or adverb). (infinitive used as adjective) She came to observe. the verb phrase and the prepositional phrase. (gerund phrase used as subject) The person to see is the dean. The prepositional phrase that modifies noun or a noun phrase is called an adjective phrase.

Time: When she arrived. and noun cluse. an adjective or another adverb. who spoke at the conference. An adverbial clause modifies a verb. Subject: That you are right is evident. Concession: Although she was in Davao. “I know the person” is an independent clause to which is contained a dependent or subordinate clause “with whom you were talking. The student who spoke at the conference is a varsity player. adverbial clause. manner. Adjective phrase: A man of wealth is not always happy.In the example given. the comma is not used if the relation in thought is very close or if the clause restricts the meaning of the independent clause by explaining or identifying the word to which it refers. Adverbial clauses express such relationships as place. . He delivered a speech. (restrictive clause) Miss Realce. Object of a preposition: She is in doubt about who will come. Place: Where his treasure is. He comes at a time when he is needed. she did not see him. is a varsity player. and comparison. Comparison: He does not try so hard as others do. result. or a predicate complement. A dependent clause preceding the independent clause. Cause: He wrote a good exam because he was prepared. Purpose: He left early that he might catch up with you. it is also referred to as a restrictive clause. Result: Jerry spoke so rapidly that we could not understand him. you are free from cramming. “I” is the subject and “know” is the predicate verb. especially if it contains more than five words. That was the place where he was buried. cause. (nonrestrictive clause) A noun clause performs such functions of the noun as being the subject of a sentence or the object of a verb or a preposition. Time.” There are three types of dependent clauses: adjective clause. Predicate complement: The problem is that you did not come. condition. In this sense. concession. An adjective clause is joined to the independent clause by a relative pronoun or by equivalents of relative pronouns such as where meaning at or in which and when meaning at or in which. purpose. Manner: He died as he had lived. An adjective clause modifies a noun or a pronoun. which was long. Adjective clause: A man who is wealthy is not always happy. is conventionally separated from it by a comma. The expansion of an adjective to an adjective phrase and then to an adjective clause may be seen in the following: Adjective: A wealthy man is not always happy. One following the dependent clause may or may not be separated from it by a comma. Object of a verb: The professor said that he would come late. he was away. there is his heart also. Condition: If you study regularly.

A complex sentence contains an independent clause and at least one dependent (or subordinate) clause. “They examined the documents and sorted them”. or of two or more nouns or pronouns as in “Liza and her brother study in BPSU”. Sentences Classified according to Form The simple sentence. but he was not there. instead a semicolon takes the place of a connecting word. or . gerunds.” The predicate may consist of a single verb as in “Bataan falls. From the traditional point of view.and. as in “He has been reading all day”. nevertheless.accordingly. The simple subject is leader and the simple predicate could instill. I will do shopping early. hence. or that. The Compound Sentence. or of a whole phrase or clause as in “Who should be qualified is uncertain. moreover. who. and others placed a ladder against the burning building.The relationship of a noun clause to the rest of the sentence is so close that it is not ordinarily set off by a comma. or of group of verbs such as an auxiliary verbs and the main verb. besides. but. or. what. as in the sentence. A simple sentence contains a subject and a predicate either or both of which may be compound. Participles. It was a difficult assignment. she did it. nor.” or of two or more verbs. The Complex Sentence. coveting power or property could. which. therefore. the following is a simple sentence: A leader. Of course these conjunctive adverbs have other uses than to connect the two independent clauses of compound sentences. or of the main verb and a complement. and infinitives are verb forms but are not finite. There are three primary ways by which the independent clauses of a compound sentence may be joined: (1) by the coordinate conjunctions --. however. A group of words containing no other verb forms than one of these verbals has no predicate and therefore is not a sentence. with words or phrases which belong to them grammatically. An adjective clause is introduced by a relative pronoun. Simple sentence with a compound predicate: She entered and saw it. A compound sentence must be distinguished from a compound predicate. possibly separated from each other. A compound sentence is one in which two or more independent clauses are joined. for.” A predicate must contain a finite verb. instill in his subjects admiration for warlike attitudes. I cannot wait for you. then. still. so. SENTENCES A well-formed sentence must contain a subject and a predicate. (2) by conjunctive adverbs --. with propaganda. as in “She is an interesting person. thus. nevertheless. A complex sentence must contain at least one adjective clause or one adverbial clause or one noun clause. Examples: The meeting had already started. The sentence Elsa and Manny sing and dance is a simple sentence with a compound subject and a compound predicate. The subject may consist of a single noun or pronoun as in “Bataan falls”. or (3) by a relation in ideas so close and obvious that no connective is needed. Elsa sings is a simple sentence consisting of a subject “Elsa” and a predicate “sings” both without modifiers. Compound Sentence: Some firemen unrolled the hose.

Margaret Mead A balance sentence emphasizes the similarity or contrast between two ideas by expressing these ideas in parallel construction. In fact. The hand that rocks the cradle is the hands that rule the world. Exclamatory. imperative. a compound-complex sentence contains two or more independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses.by its equivalent like where or when. beauty is truth. they may be balanced. A noun clause is introduced by such words as that. and exclamatory. In contrast. and that is followed by explanatory or qualifying ideas. .” and “I wonder why she left.” The Compound-Complex Sentence. She left because she could not see you. . An exclamatory sentence expresses a strong emotion. why. Although the periodic sentence structure is cumulative or climactic in its effect and therefore is rhetorical. Interrogative: Where shall we start? Imperative: Come at once. later she came back and brought flowers. This is not to say that periodic sentences are to be preferred to loose sentences. An adverbial clause is introduced by any of the subordinating conjunctions. the loose sentence states its principal thought at the outset.Margaret Mead Loose and Effective: Women are trapped in their present conception of a home as a very private place from which everyone but their husbands and children are excluded. a periodic sentence is grammatically complete only after the last word is read. A declarative sentence states a fact or asserts something. An occasional periodic sentence imparts vigor to writing style.John Keats CASE . . as in the sentences: “I see that you are happy. there are far more loose sentences than periodic sentences in English.William Ross Wallace Truth is beauty. how. Periodic and Effective: As women’s sense of their freedom to make choices grows. the importance of what women have done and been in the past will acquire a new visibility. On the other hand. Declarative: The summer season has begun. An interrogative sentence asks a question. . An imperative sentence expresses a command or entreaty. too many periodic sentences in one composition would be tedious if not annoying. How wonderful you are! Sentences Classified According to Arrangement of Content Sentences under this classification are either loose or periodic. Sentences Classified according to Meaning and Purpose In terms of meaning and purpose. A periodic sentence is one in which the main idea is withheld until the end of the sentence. sentences are classified as declarative. A loose sentence can be clipped at certain points and still be grammatically complete. interrogative. but an excess of periodic sentences would be irritating.” “I asked how she did it. we read the sentence with a certain degree of suspense as we await the principal thought preceded by subordinate ideas.

genitive (possessive). (Me is the predicate complement of to be) The student whom I thought to be mediocre surpassed my expectations. In English. and I. He was not manipulated by flatterers. case is much less useful as a grammatical case. The subject of a finite verb is in the nominative case. She reads faster than I. (nominative) She spoke to some of us – namely. For example. object. her and me. genitive.) I can do it as well as they.Case is a change in the form of a noun or pronoun to indicate its relation to other words in a sentence. accusative (objective). Nominative Case 1. . she. and accusative (or objective): I – my – me. Does that rule apply to us freshmen? 4. (Whom is the subject of to be) 5. Accusative (Objective Case) 3. dative. We are speaking of technology transfer. genitive. there are three cases in English: nominative (subjective). The newsletter reported him to be dead. (Than her – Than I should see her. however. The case relation of nouns and pronouns to other sentence elements is expressed through word order. In languages like Latin and German. nouns have two forms of endings – a genitive and a common form that serves for all other relationships students – student’s and the personal pronouns have three case endings – a nominative. an accusative object follows its verb or prepositions. the case endings of the nominative. The object of a verb or preposition is in the accusative (objective case). (Him is the subject of the infinitive to be and not the object of reported) She imagined the writer to be me. (Not her) Is it you who are going? Note. 2. A noun or pronoun linked with a gerund should preferably be in the genitive case. or objective complement of an infinitive is in the accusative case. It is me (it’s me) are used in colloquial spoken English and informal writing. An appositive should be in the same case as its antecedent. her mother. I couldn’t help laughing. English adjectives do not take endings. A predicate complement is in the nominative case. The subject. An elliptical clause of comparison preceded by than or as requires the case called for by the expanded construction. She appreciates your coming too see her. and accusative (and the ablative in Latin) are important clues. It is I (It’s I) is used by careful speakers and writers in formal situations. Whom do you mean? (Who do you mean is colloquial) When she said that to me. (accusative) We all met – she. and we two.) I should see you more frequently than her. (Than I – Than I read. All are going – he. (nominative) 6. (As they – as they can do it.) Genitive (Possessive Case) 7. It was she.

use an of-phrase. Note: This rule should not be followed if it violates good idiomatic usage. A verb does not agree with a word which intervenes between it and the subject. Plural: We are happier than usual. The following expressions. The project took five weeks to finish. (Gerund) I heard you appealing for support. a peso’s worth. the sentence should be recast. They objected to his being here. state. The projects took five weeks to finish. Except for the verb b. Wrong: A new list of rules have been issued. The project takes five weeks to finish. When the use of a genitive is awkward. Singular: I am happier than usual. Nouns usually form their plurals by adding –s. it pays to use the genitive case form with the gerund because it is not ambiguous. Many forms of nearly all verbs show a difference in number. AGREEMENT OF SUBJECT AND VERB The subject and the verb of a typical English sentence are considered its backbone. Note also the difference between the possessive-with-gerund and noun-withparticiple constructions: I heard of your appealing for support. Awkward: The table’s front legs are wobbly. -es. for example. A table is beside the window. mass. books. Instead most verbs add an –s in the third person singular: he drives.He bought me tickets to the sarzuela without my asking him. whereas the accusative form is. The projects take five weeks to finish. feeling. The subject provides the starting point and the verb specifies the action. or existence of whatever is named by the subject. Examples: Singular is was has takes has taken Plural are were have take have taken 1. most verbs do not add –s. Most nouns and verbs form their plurals in opposite ways. (Student and wants are in the third person and are singular in number) 2. . -es. A verb must agree with its subject in person and number. Except in inverted order. A verb agrees with its subject in number and person. masses. Tables are beside the window. (participle) 8. -ies. (Students and want are in the third person and are plural in number) The student wants to see you. Note: Although this rule is not universally followed by all writers. the law’s delay. she talks. the subject stands before the verb. they drive. country. On the other hand. English verbs have one form for both numbers and for all persons except an –s in the third regular present. book. Better: The front legs of the table are wobbly. What this means is that the grammatical number of the subject should agree with the grammatical form of the verb. or –ies to agree with the a plural noun subject. the girls talk. The students want to see you. countries. a stone’s throw. Do not attribute possession to an inanimate object. are acceptable: at my wit’s end. today’s paper.

everyone. is supposed to guide the discussion. many a one. neither. Betty and her friend are arriving today. Mathematics is too difficult for him.) Someone is coming. nobody. or more subjects joined by and require a plural verb. The sum and substance of his view is clear. (Know agrees with the nearer subject they) Either she or I am going. The news is disappointing. not with the intervening noun students. the verb agrees with the nearer of the two. The following are usually considered singular: economics.) 3. each is required to pay. either. (The subject of verb is list not rules. (Who refers to those. news. anybody. Two kilometers is long enough. mumps. somebody. Note: Authorities on usage differ. Two or more singular subjects joined by or or nor require a singular verb. whereabouts. Two. Each of those who want to come is required to pay. use a singular verb. Each of the students requires attention. Right: You. but a good rule to follow is this: When in doubt. mechanics. Right: Neither he nor she is here. Ten pesos was hard to earn in my barrio. Try rearranging the sentence and this fact will become clear. Note: If the subjects differ in number or person. Wrong: Every young man or woman are taken for what they are. are supposed to guide the discussion. anything. (Are agrees with the subject you. A noun plural in form but singular in meaning requires a singular verb. politics. 6. Adobo and mongo are his favorite food. not moderator. none requires a plural verb when it refers to a countable noun. Note: When two subjects are closely related in thought. Rice and fish is the staple food there. the following indefinite pronouns are singular: another. (The singular verb requires agrees with its subject each. None of the rice was saved. no one.Right: A new list of rules has been issued. Singular pronouns require singular verbs. physics. a singular verb is used. Note: A subject indicating a quantity or number requires a singular verb when the subject is regarded as a unit. One of you is expected to go. Neither he nor they know. not with you) Note: None requires a singular verb when it refers to a mass noun. the moderator. Right: Every young man or woman is taken for what he or she is. (Am agrees with I) 7. None of the students told their parents. 4. Right: Neither he nor she is here.) . ethics. thus: Of those who want to come. mathematics.) Wrong: You. which is a plural antecedent and agrees with the plural verb want. anyone. Relative pronouns with plural antecedent require plural verbs. 5. the moderator. (Is agrees with one. someone. Wrong: Neither he nor she are here. None of the work is finished. but none of them were in English. She examined ten books.

third person) Plural: The girls came with their parents. Anyone may be absent if he has a good excuse. and person. Third Person: The woman revealed that she was over forty.) He’s a good cook. (The antecedent of which is the clause He’s a good cook. Singular pronouns refer to singular antecedents. 1. 9. third person) Plural: The men brought their cameras. (third person) Singular: The man brought his camera. she is one. Right: The main part of this machine is the large rollers. (feminine gender. This steak withy onions tastes good. 8. Singular: The girl came with her parents. and not. Every book is in its place. gender. together with.He is one of the most active members who have been with us. which nobody can deny. The expletive it requires a singular verb. it agrees with have. Second Person: You should have brought it yourself.) A pronoun must agree with its antecedent in number. Wrong: The main part of this machine are the large rollers. (with onions is a parenthetical addition and does not make the subject plural. Wrong: The large rollers is the main part of this machine. or but not which come between the subject and the verb do not affect the number of the verb. (The antecedent of whom is the word person) He gave me a batch of papers which he asked me to correct. a plural verb. She is the only one of those absent who is excused. (The antecedent of which is the phrase a batch of papers. in addition to.) Note: The verb in a subordinate clause is singular if only or a similar word precedes one. (The relative pronoun who refers to the plural antecedent members. Right: The audience were of conflicting opinions on the issue. Words and phrases introduced by including. 10. as well as. Rearranged version: Of the most active members who have been with us. (masculine gender. She is one person whom I trust. Right: The audience was gathering quickly. A verb agrees with its subject. It is a privilege to be with you. Right: The class has decided to adopt the resolution. . (third person) First Person: I wish you had told me earlier. or clause to which a pronoun refers to is called its antecedent. A collective noun requires a singular verb when the group is though of as a unit. no less than. phrase. not with predicate noun. Wrong: This steak with onions taste good. Note: After the expletive there the verb is singular or plural according to the number of the subject that follows. with. it requires a plural verb when the individuals in the group are thought of separately. Right: The class have been consulted about the resolution. Right: The large rollers are the main parts of this machine.) AGREEMENT OF PRONOUN AND ITS ANTECEDENT The word.

I demand that he be left alone. etc. I wish he were my adviser. Condition contrary to fact. (Request) The verb in the imperative mood has only one form. When the antecedent of a pronoun is a collective noun. Close the door. (As a unit) The council welcomed their guests. or a demand. The indicative mood is ordinarily used to make a statement of fact or ask a question regarding a fact. If I were you. The barber and surgeon the same person in the Middle Ages. If I were not training hard. It is also used in a conditional clause introduced by if or unless when one is positive that the condition states a fact. we could go out without an umbrella. Resolved. c. he should be excused. write. a desire. God be with you always. The council postponed the date of its meaning. English verbs may express one of three moods – indicative. and it is the same as the present infinitive without to: leave. Neither Ricky nor his companions would admit that they cared to come. would he approve this proposal? e.Everyone finished his work before the end of the hour. I would tell the truth. do. 3. (As individuals) 4. MOOD Mood (or mode) denotes the manner in which an action or a state is expressed by the verb. b. A parliamentary notion I move that the meeting be adjourned. (command) Please be on time so that we can leave early. (Statement of fact) Where are the books? (Question of fact) If he is sick. the pronoun is either singular or plural depending on the sense of the sentence. that all members of the club be made to do social work. (Polite command) Join our club and invite your friends too. The President and Armed Forces commander-in-chief was busy during the flood. 2. run. He likes anybody or anything which can help him. Doubt or Uncertainty She sometimes acts as if she were the only intelligent person around here. A supposition If you were falsely accused. be. A wish. He likes anything or anybody who can help him. A pronoun agrees with the nearer of two antecedents. The imperative mood is used to express a command or request. The books are on your study table. what would you do? Assuming he were here. imperative and subjunctive. d. Two or more nouns preceded by a single article take a singular verb. The barber and the surgeon are different individuals today. (Condition states a fact) The verb forms used to express the indicative mood are the most commonly used forms. The subjunctive mood is used to express the following: a. .

Pages Second Person: you have been you have been 288-289) Third Person: he has been they have been Past Perfect Tense First Person: Second Person: Third Person: First Person: Second Person: Third Person: I had been you had been he had been we had been you had been they had been Future Perfect Tense I shall have been we shall have been you will have been you will have been he will have been they will have been SUNJUNCTIVE MOOD to be Singular Plural Present Tense (if) I (if) we (if) you be (if) you (if) he (she. f. it) (if) we (if) you (if) they First Person: Second Person: Third Person: First Person: Second Person: Third Person: be were were . 4 edition. Present Tense First Person: I am we Do not shift the mood of verbs in parallel Second Person: you are you constructions. it) (if) they Past Tense (if) I (if) you (if) he (she. A highly improbable situation to be Were he elected treasurer. and tohe do Person: will be they will be show the different forms of the verb in the indicative and subjunctive mood. to have. g. Singular the Plural business would collapse.If she were that smart. Necessity to be to have It is necessary that he take the final Principal Parts: was been have had had exam to pass the course. it) they to do do did done are Inconsistent: If he were here and was Past Tense informed about your proposal. Second Person: you were you were Consistent:Third If he Person: were here and were he was they informed about your proposal. First Person: he wouldInot was we agree to it. she would LINKING AND AUXILIARY VERBS have won the prize. he would not agree to it. (from the Present Perfect Tense book “A Complete in Freshman FirstCourse Person: I have been we have been th English” by Harry Shaw. Third Person: he is (she. Future Tense First Person: I shall be we shall be The following outlines of the Second Person: you will be you will be auxiliary verbs toThird be. It is expected that every citizen obey INDICATIVE MOOD the laws.

past perfect. 3. and future perfect. As shown in the paradigm above. indicates the time of the action or state of being expressed by a verb. But formal usage still employs the subjunctive whenever the indicative would not serve.The use of the indicative and imperative moods give students little trouble. are the present perfect. There are six basic tenses in English. Example: I go. Example: I went. Future – to indicate an action that is to take place at some future time. . were and be are the only forms of the subjunctive. The primary tenses. Past – to indicate an action that took place at a specific previous time. and they are expressed in various forms. TENSE Tense. or simple tenses are: 1. The secondary tenses. or perfect tenses. Present – to indicate an action taking place at the time of speaking. Example: I shall go. and the use of the subjunctive mood is slowly disappearing. 2.

Future Perfect – to indicate an action that will be completed before some indicated time or event in the future. Hawaii consists of seven large islands. Past Perfect: I had been seen. Experience teaches us many things. Example: I shall have gone before you came. The parish council meets every first Sunday of the month. Present Perfect – to indicate an action begun in the past and completed within a period of time embracing the time of speaking. Uses of the Continuous Present or Perfect Progressive The following list should be carefully noted: Active Voice A. Verbals (Non-finite Verb Forms) Present Infinitive: Perfect Infinitive: Present Participle: Past Participle: Perfect Participle: to see to have seen seeing seen having seen Uses of the Simple Present Tense A. Future Perfect: I shall have been seen. The same tense relation may be graphically illustrated.) 1. To express action in process at the moment of speaking. Present Perfect: I have been seen. Example: I had arrived before he called. Past: I was seen (was being seen). Past Perfect – to indicate an action begun in the past and completed before another past event. To state permanent truths and generalizations Rivers contain freshwater. 2. Past: I saw (was seeing). Future Perfect: I shall have seen (shall have been seeing). . 3.(Note: These three tenses always indicate completed action. Present Perfect: I have seen (have been seeing). Present Perfect Present B. To express customs and habitual actions. Future: I shall see (shall be seeing). expressed or implied. Future Perfect Future C. Example: I have arrived. thus: Past Perfect Past Present: I see (am seeing). Passive Voice Present: I am seen (am being seen). To make statements of present facts. Water contains hydrogen and oxygen. Past Perfect: I had seen (had been seeing). Future: I shall be seen.

Here. Uses of the Past Perfect When the writer or speaker refers to an event that happened before another event in the past or to a condition that continued up to a time in the past. Uses of the Present Perfect A. We had just finished supper when the unexpected guests came. (The action has just been completed. To describe a situation existing at present. A cold wind is blowing outside. (The circus has left town. but we feel warm and comfortable in our cozy living room. My mother’s garden contained many varieties of flowers when I was a child. To express an action or condition that began in the past and has continued to the present or has just been completed. B. To express recency of action or condition. I did not see the circus. and history at Bataan Peninsula State University. I speak several languages. mathematics. The hunters searched for the trail. D.) I have not seen the circus. (The circus is still in town. To make a generalization or statement of fact which was true at one time but is no longer true. I am living in a small apartment near campus. C. (The speaker is still in Los Angeles up to the present) B. the past perfect tense is used. Large trees grew by the river in years past. (The speaker is no longer there) I have been in Los Angeles for a year. The auditorium was very warm because the air-conditioner broke down. but I am enjoying my work. To indicate that an act was complete before the moment of speaking. is reading a book. . I have fewer interruptions in my studies. To make assertions about past conditions or events. they had lost all sense of direction. The speaker may yet see it. B. To express an action or a condition which has (or has not) occurred in the past and which may or may not occur again in the future. To indicate an activity or situation that is continuing over a period of time. In their eagerness to follow the deer. but I am speaking English now. My sister sitting opposite me. Uses of the Simple Past A. I am working harder than I did last year. I am sitting in my favorite leather chair. Can you submit your report by tomorrow? Yes. English. I have just rewritten my theme. This year.) C.) The guests have just left. while her two sons are working seriously at their new picture puzzles. As I write this portion of my journal.The Textbook Committee is meeting now. I am studying natural science. I was in Los Angeles for a year. I have finished it. There is no possibility of seeing it in the town now. I did not enjoy the concert last night.

B. or future. Use the present tense of an infinitive or of a participle to express action taking place at the exact time indicated by the principal verb – present. Dickens draws heavily on his early experiences. Right: I should have liked to be present at your party. C. who had many hardships as a boy. use the past tense to express action completed at a time prior to that of the principal verb. Direct: The lecturer said. In indirect discourse the present tense of direct discourse is changed to a past tense. Note: This does not apply when the statement in indirect discourse is a permanent condition or universal truth.” Indirect: Father said sharply that he had told me before not to molest the bees. Special Uses and Sequence of Tenses A. Wrong: I should have liked to have been present at your party. Right: I planned to write you before I left the city.” Indirect. and the past participle. Note: The past tense had is used in the second example above to refer to events in the author’s life. He will have left for the Visayas before we get our pay. Wrong: I planned to have written you before I left the city.Uses of the Future Perfect The future perfect is used to express an action or a condition that will be completed at a future time or a condition in the future which will be finished before another future event. When narration in the past tense is interrupted for reference to a preceding event.” Indirect: He told me that he was unable to comply with my request.. In David Copperfield. Right: Having missed the train. Right: Lying close to the ground. E. D. I decided to go by automobile. Statements permanently true are regularly put in the present tense even when illogically used with the tense of the main verb Corn grows well in fertile soil. The book I meant had been published in Boston. use the past perfect tense. past. the past tense. The lecturer said that light travels faster than sound. Charles Dickens introduces one eccentric character after another. The textbook will have been printed before the school year opens. The present tense is commonly used in discussing literary works. “Light travels faster than sound. The early settlers found that crops grow well in fertile soil. Direct: he said: “I am unable to comply with your request. David represents Dickens himself. Last summer they repaired the streets which had been damaged by the floods in the rainy season. and the past tense of direct discourse is changed to a past perfect tense. It is best to associate these parts of the verb with the following expressions: . he kept himself concealed from the enemy. PRINCIPAL PARTS OF VERBS The principal parts of an English verb are the present (present infinitive). Direct: Father said sharply: “I told you before not to molest the bees.

Right: The rain has fallen all day. or another adverb. Right: He drank the whole cup. the infinitive are called weak. Wrong: He drived slowly.I see today. Wrong: He drunk the whole cup. -ed. The following (ibid. I saw yesterday. 2. Wrong: The rain has fell all day. An adjective limits or describes a noun or pronoun . pp. I have seen every day this week. Right: He drove slowly. Do not misuse the past tense and past participle. . an adjective. Right: He chose another book. Verbs forming their past tense form past participle by adding –d. or –en. an adverb limits or describes a verb. 1. Do not confuse a strong verb with a weak verb. 321-322) verbs should be carefully studied: Present Tense arise bear bear begin bid bid bite blow break burst catch choose come deal do draw drink Past Future Tense Tense arose arisen bore borne (to carry) bore born (given birth to) began begun bid bid (as in auction) bade bidden(as in a command) bit bitten blew blown broke broken burst burst caught caught chose chosen came come dealt dealt did done drew drawn drank drunk drown eat fall flow fly forget Present Tense get go hang hang know lay lie lie lead lend loose lose pay proved raise ride rise run set sing sit speak swim take tear wake wear wring write drowned ate fell flowed flew forgot Past Tense got went hung hanged knew laid lay lied led lent loosed lost paid proved raise rode rose ran set sang sat spoke swam took tore woke wore wrung wrote drowned eaten fallen flowed flown forgotten Future Tense got (gotten) gone hung (an object) hanged (a person) known laid lain (to recline) lied (a falsehood) led lent loosened lost paid proved raise ridden risen run set sung sat spoken swum taken torn woke worn wrung written ADJECTIVES AND ADVERBS Adjectives and adverbs are usually treated together since they are both modifiers. thus forming their parts by a change in their vowels without any addition are called strong verbs. In spite of this distinction. Wrong: He chhosed another book.

(ibid. Use comparatives and superlatives accurately. 135): Adverb Deep in the canyon. for example. Kalinga Apayao? Hold fast until hope comes. sound. Right: She feels strongly that she is underpaid. Try hard to do your best. and fee. Note the following examples (adapted from Harris Ward Wilson’s The University Handbook. He decided the issue justly. More confusion stems from the fact that most words ending in –ly are adverbs. How far is it to Tabuk. 136) He has been ill lately. In formal writing the comparative degree of an adjective or adverb is used in speaking of two persons or things. (Adverb) 5. Speak loud and clear. p. 1963. are adjectives. Wrong: He looked angry about him. The change is indicated by the –er ending or by the use of adverbial modifiers (more. Right: He is a really good listener. and especially those words that may be either adjectives or adverbs. The current tendency favors the use of the form without –ly in speaking and writing informally. 1. Furthermore. (Adjective) He donated a goodly sum. particularly those of sense perception such as look. Do not use an adjective to modify a verb. On the platform you should speak loudly and clearly. Drive slow when it rains. late – lately The train come late. acceptable: Drive slow. The superlative degree is used to show relationships . Do what is right. he found uranium. I just arrived. Common usage. Wrong: He is real good listener. Correct: You should drive slowly on rainy days. Right: She feels fine this morning.adjectives and adverbs usually confused for each other. After certain verbs. taste. hard – harder He was hard-pressed. Do not use an adjective to modify another adjective. the –ly form is preferred . You have been well advised. Correct: The topic is timely. He was rightly criticized. I can hardly see. right – rightly Come right in. Other adverbs have the same form but differ in meanings or shades of meaning. (Adjective) She took a kindly interest in the student. Use accurately adjectives ending in –ly. New York: Holt and Winston. however. Both adjectives and adverbs may be arranged in form to show a greater or lesser degree of the quality they indicate. use an adverb if the modifier limits or describes the verb. 2. some adverbs have two forms which have exactly the same meaning. just – justly I have just come. 3. Right: he looked angrily about him. The confusion arises from the fact that some adjectives and adverbs have identical form. (Adverb) 4. use an adjective if the modifier refers to the subject. smell. In more formal usage. p. but womanly and holy. less). I’ll see you early next week. (Adjective) Wrong: She feels strong that she is underpaid. Wrong: She feels finely this morning. (Adjective) She kindly overlooked his mistake.

phrases and clauses. for they name absolute qualities: unique (adjective). Logical: His shooting was the most nearly perfect in basketball history. perfect (adjective). Uncertain: He told his father he would soon get a bonus. perfectly (adverb). Refer to the earlier discussion on conjunctions. Make the antecedent of each pronoun clear. Avoid the double comparative. objects. The book which I bought is expensive. circular (adjective). The change comes in the form of the – est ending or by the use of modifiers (most. Adverb: Comparative: She dances more gracefully than I. use who (or whom). A conjunction is either coordinate or subordinate. Note: Avoid including the subject compared if the subject is part of the object with which it is compared. Superlative: She is the oldest of three children. circularly (adverb). Clear: He told his father. Preferred: Today’s work is easier than yesterday’s. Superlative: She dances the most gracefully of them all. a conjunction is a word used to join words. use that. When referring to person. PRONOUNS For the foreign student of English. When in doubt.among three or more persons. The gift that I have in mind is for you. Refer to the discussion of pronouns earlier in this lecture. As a connecti9ng word its sole function is to link two elements. 1. Illogical: He has the most unique method of teaching. Faulty: Today’s work is more easier than yesterday’s. excellent (adjective). least). Logical: His method of teaching is unique. .” CONJUNCTIONS As pointed out earlier in this lecture. which and that. These cannot be compared. Do not confuse the relative pronouns who. excellently (adverb). Right: The student who came yesterday is here. Adjective: Comparative: She is the older of two children. “I will soon get a bonus. In referring to things. The person whom you saw is my girlfriend. use which. or ideas. pronouns cause a great deal of problems. Do not use a pronoun instead of a noun if there can be doubt about its antecedent. uniquely (adverb). Preferred: He is younger than any other student in the class. Faulty: He is younger than any student in the class. Certain adjectives and adverbs are logically incapable of comparisons. Illogical: His shooting was the most perfect in basketball history. In formal usage every pronoun must clearly refer to its antecedent.

3.1. but you did. and you did. Inexact: Mer is intelligent. In formal writing never use while to express contrast. Better: Mer is intelligent. Wrong: You are absolutely wrong. Do not misuse coordinate conjunctions. Right: I did not want you to go. but his brother John is stupid. and you must take the consequences. while his brother John is stupid. Inexact: A married man must support his family while a single man has only himself to think of. . and I see that he is happy. Right: You are absolutely wrong. Formal: I did it as she told me. whereas a single man has only himself to think of. Better: A married man must support his family. Formal: You look as if you were excited about something. but you must take the consequences. Careful speakers and writers still consider like a preposition. That student made a “1” in English. Wrong: I did not want you to go. Do not misuse subordinate conjunctions. 2. Wrong: That student made a “1” in English 104 and he worked hard. 4. Right: That student made a “1” in English 104 because he worked hard. In formal writing avoid the use of like as a conjunction. Informal: I did it like she told me.

phrase. or clause is not usually punctuated as a complete sentence. When Paz suddenly came to tell me that I had won. (2) clarifying. Do not write a dependent clause as sentence. Right: I was feeling sad and discouraged when Paz suddenly came to tell me that I had won. what you have is a sentence fragment. REWRITING THE SENTENCE . COMMA FAULT The use of a comma to join two sentences is an error called a comma fault or comma splice. This section deals with three types of rewriting problems. Rule 1a. Although sentence fragments are used with good effect by eminent writers in English. the sentence is corrected by simply removing the period and the capital letter and joining the clause to the preceding sentence. As a general rule. theirs are the exception rather than the rule. When Paz suddenly… is a dependent (adverbial) clause mistaken for a complete sentence. and (3) revising your sentences. In the example above.The points to be made in this section apply especially after you have copyread what you have written. CORRECTING THE SENTENCE PERIOD FAULT A word. Adverbial and adjective clauses are sometimes mistaken for complete sentences. and your error is called the period fault. I. if it is but is not meant to stand alone. For convenience. For example: Period Fault: I was feeling sad and discouraged. they are referred to as “rules” or guidelines for (1) correcting. It is assumed that you are capable of relating them to your own particular needs. avoid injudicious use of sentence fragments.

Faulty: Leukemia is when there is excessive production of white blood cells in the body. Fused Sentence: He looked at his watch it was ten o’clock. Better: That he was confined was the reason for his long absence. they were planted in 1949 when the university moved from Padre Paura to Diliman. Rule 1f. DEPENDENT CLAUSES MISUSED As pointed out in the review of grammar lecture. Do not write two sentences with only a comma between them. not a sentence.Rule 1b. therefore. Correction: I wasn’t feeling well. Faulty: He was confined in the University Clinic was the reason for his long absence. a dependent clause may function as a noun. Improved: It was ten o’clock by his watch. I didn’t go to school. Rule 1c. This is the largest university in Central Luzon. Improved: My friend Myra now studies at the Bataan Peninsula State University which is the largest university in Central Luzon. It was ten o’clock. Faulty: I read in the BPSU Newsletter where there has been a delay in the appointment of the Defender editor. to observe this distinction in function. CLARIFYING THE SENTENCE . as the subject or complement of is and was. Correction: My friend Myra now studies at the Bataan Peninsula State University. Use a noun clause or noun phrase. A comma fault may be corrected by (1) changing the comma to a semicolon or a period. Comma Fault: The acacia trees on the campus are now tall and shady. or (3) subordinating one of the parts to the other. Do not write two sentences without any punctuation mark between them. II. Better: Her only excuse for not coming to my party was that she had no new dress to wear. FUSED SENTENCES When two sentences are run together without any punctuation between them. as an adjective. Correction: He looked at his watch. I didn’t go to school. Faulty: Her only excuse for not coming to my party was she did not have a new dress to wear. The following examples show some remedies: Comma Fault: My friend Myra now studies at the Bataan Peninsula State University. they were planted in 1949 when the university moved from Padre Paura to Diliman. Do not use an adverbial clause in place of a noun. Better: I see in the BPSU Newsletter that there has been… Rule 1e. this is the largest university in Central Luzon. A fused sentence may be corrected by the same remedies as those for the comma fault. or as an adverb. Be careful. Rule 1d. Improved: Because I wasn’t feeling well. Better: Leukemia is a disease characterized by the excessive production of white blood cells in the body. Still Better: His confinement was the reason for his long absence. Do not carelessly use an adverbial clause as a noun clause. Correction: The acacia trees on the campus are now tall and shady. For example: Fused Sentence: I wasn’t feeling well I didn’t go to school. the error is known as fused sentence. (2) inserting an appropriate word or conjunction.

Improved: The stifling atmosphere in the crowded bus made me dizzy. A good general rule to follow is: Rule 2a. Avoid “squinting” modifiers. Such adverbs as only. Place modifiers. When phrases and clauses are misplaced. Do not aimlessly separate the parts of a verb phrase. almost. Avoid ambiguous placement of phrases and clauses. Place coordinate sentence elements together. hardly. or clauses. Rule 2d. my mother enrolled me in Grade One. Dangling: After pulling my tooth. For example: Vague and unintendedly humorous: The police repairman was arrested. For example: Vague: I firmly resolved the next day to start studying. consult the dictionary. we should have a good harvest this year. should stand immediately before the element modified. A modifier is said to dangle when the words it modifies is missing or is hidden somewhere in the sentence. the result can be unintendedly funny. etc. or half a day?) Exact: He worked only half a day. thus causing me to become dizzy. Rule 2c. (Unmistakably. . whether words. I left the dentist’s office. Improved: Never in all my life have I seen such a beautiful orchid. SPLIT CONSTRUCTIONS The wrong placement of modifiers or the awkward separation of closely related sentence elements is called a split construction. Improved: After the dentist pulled my tooth. only here refers to half a day) Rule 2b. or (3) reordering the sentence. Improved: When I was only six years old. phrases. Or: I finally resolved to start studying the next day.WORD ORDER To make your meaning clear to the reader. Aimless: With good luck we should have a good harvest this year with God’s help. the ambiguity caused by a dangling modifier may be clarified by (1) supplying the word modified. as close as possible to the words they modify. Aimless: I have never in all my life seen such a beautiful orchid. the dictionary should be consulted. arrange the parts of your sentence such that their relations are logical and exact. Improved: With good luck and with God’s help. Rule 2e. worked. I left his office. Improved: To be sure of your spelling. A word that may modify either what precedes or what follows is called a “squinting” modifier. Dangling: To be sure of your spelling. nearly. my mother enrolled me… Dangling: The bus was crowded. (2) expanding the phrase into a clause. For example: Vague: He only worked half a day. Dangling: When only six years old. Rule 2f. (Does only refer to He.. Avoid dangling modifiers. Exact: The next day I firmly resolved to start studying. Exact: The repairman of the policeman was arrested. Or: I have never seen such a beautiful orchid in all my life.

Rule 2h. Rule 3b. Improved: Not wishing to hurt’s father feelings. Avoid double reference for a pronoun. stage. to complete its meaning. Improved: Maybe I should not condemn her since I don’t know her that well. between sentences. Vague: It is a critical situation. The use of they without an antecedent results in a lack of clarity caused by wordiness. Mother agreed.) Improved: The situation is critical and will be difficult to deal with. to another. Thus. agreed. A sensible rule to follow is: Split infinitive only when it is necessary to avoid an awkward phrase or to secure a desired emphasis. etc. Transition is of three kinds: within the sentence. Unnecessary Split: Mother. Avoid inexact transition. not wishing to hurt father’s feelings. Rule 3a. Using a pronoun to refer to an antecedent which has been merely implied by the preceding words may cause confusion. Vague: The car skidded and crashed into a corner drugstore. Nora decided to be one. remember these rules: Rule 4a. state. It was smashed. Awkward: After a while I was able to although not accurately. Improved: After a while I was able to identify – although not accurately – who were the “terror” teachers. When you rewrite your sentences. For example: Vague: Nora has always envied the surgeon’s life and she decided to be one. REFERENCE OF PRONOUNS Using pronouns accurately is often harder than using other words. Vague: They said in the announcement that it is required to plant a tree every month. it should refer to some other word or group of words called its antecedent. Avoid implied reference for a pronoun. avoid the unnecessary separation of closely related sentence elements. Rule 3c. (The second it is an expletive.. The use of it as a pronoun and it as an expletive in the same sentence may result in ambiguity or awkwardness. Rule 4b. Avoid the indefinite use of it and they. Vague: I should not condemn her. and it will be difficult to deal with it. Do not split the infinitive unnecessarily. Although the split infinitive is no longer considered an unpardonable sin in writing. (Who are they?) Improved: The announcement says that we are required to plant… TRANSITION Transition means “passage from one position. and between paragraphs. (Which was destroyed? The car or the drugstore?) Exact: The car which crashed into the corner drugstore was smashed. This is because a pronoun refers to something without specifying it. I don’t really know her that well. Inexact: She was so tired and she went to bed without supper. . Maker transitions clear by using appropriate words and conjunctions whenever they are needed. identify who were the “terror” teachers.Rule 2g. still it is avoided in careful writing.” The use of correct transitional expressions makes sentences clear and effective. Improved: Having envied the life of a surgeon.

Wordy: The delegate who came from Batanes arrived late. Reduce predication by reducing clauses to phrases or adjectives. Reduce two or more words to one. Make sentence transitions clear repetition. Concise: He is an uncomplaining worker. The repetition of key words important words is an effective means transition between sentences within paragraph or between paragraphs. Wordy: During the elections there were only two parties that contended with each other. Wordy: His recommendations have been taken and accepted without any questions. REVISING THE SENTENCE CONCISENESS Conciseness is the characteristic of writing or speaking in which there are no unnecessary words or ideas. (Examples to follow) III. Improved: She always speaks very loudly. Rule 5a. Rule 5b. Wordy: She always speaks in a very loud voice. Inexact: She did not stay long as it was getting dark. The two parties presented their slates of candidates. by or of a Rule 5c. . Improved: His recommendations have been accepted without any questions. It can be achieved by reducing predication and avoiding needless repitition of an idea. Improved: During the elections only two parties contended with each other and presented their slates of candidates. Improved: The delegate from Batanes arrived late. Reduce predication by combining two short sentences into one. Wordy: We agreed that we should start the work the next day. Rule 5d.Better: She was so tired that she went to bed without supper. Even better: The Batanes delegate arrived late. Improved: We agreed to start the work the next day. Rule 4c. Better: She did not stay long because it was getting dark. Wordy: He is a worker who never complains. Avoid useless repetition of an idea.

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