You are on page 1of 6

Adjectives

Adjectives are one of the eight parts of speech. Just as a reminder, the others are the verb, the noun, the pronoun, the adverb, the preposition, the conjunction, and the interjection. The primary purpose of an adjective is to modify a noun. They typically answer one of these three questions about the noun: What kind? How many? Which one? For example: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. the 44th president a green product a responsible investment an economist's analysis the dumbest, worst leader

Adverbs
An adverb modifies--changes, enhances, limits, describes, intensifies, muffles--a verb, an adjective or another adverb. ANSWERS THE QUESTION HOW? [In the following examples, the adverb is bold and the word it modifies is underlined.] 1. It isn't just the practice, studying, running, bad days, great days and traveling that experienced players handle well. 1. WELL tells us how the players HANDLE things. 2. They have quickly figured out how to deal with their boss. 1. QUICKLY tells us how they HAVE FIGURED OUT.

A predicate is one of the two main parts of a sentence, the other being the subject, which the predicate modifies. For the simple sentence "Apples are red.", Apples acts as the subject, and are red acts as the predicate (a subsequent description of the subject, headed with a verb).

Verbal A verbal is the form of a verb used as a noun, adjective or adverb. Identifying verbals can be somewhat tricky. While verbals are forms of verbs, they are NOT the action associated with the subject. In other words, they are not verbs.

1. Gerunds are forms of the verb that function as nouns. They always end in "ing." 2. Participles are forms of the verb that function as adjectives. They can end in "ed," "en," or "ing." 3. Infinitives are forms of the verb that may acts as adjectives, adverbs or nouns. They include "to" plus the base form of the verb, as in "to run."

Gerunds
First and foremost, a gerund is the form of a verb, but it is not a verb. Second, it is a noun. And finally, it ends in "ing." [In the following examples, the gerund is bold and the verb is underlined.] 1. Many local governments and school districts forbid releasing student information to any outside group, including the military, colleges or corporations. 1. First find the subject and verb: GOVERNMENTS and DISTRICTS are the subjects and FORBID is the verb. Is it an action verb? Yes? Do they forbid something? Yes. What? RELEASING. So, RELEASING is a direct object, which is a noun. A form of a verb that ends in ING and acts as a noun is a gerund. 2. Burning oil and smashing atoms are good for the environment. 1. First find the subject and verb: BURNING and SMASHING are the subjects and ARE is the verb. Therefore, BURNING and SMASHING are nouns. A form of a verb that ends in ING and acts as a noun is a gerund.

Participles
First and foremost, a participle is the form of a verb, but it is not a verb. Second, it is an adjective. And finally, it ends in "ing" or "ed" or "en." [In the following examples, the participle is bold and the verb is underlined.] 1. As the colonies became a new nation dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, public schools had another purpose. 1. First find the subject and verb of each clause: COLONIES BECAME and SCHOOLS HAD. 2. With that done, we can see that DEDICATED is not the subject. Instead, it describes the word NATION. Therefore, it is an adjective. A form of a verb that ends in ED, EN or ING and acts as an adjective is a participle.

2. Transformed by the national economy, urban factories developed a need for disciplined, obedient workers. 1. The subject (factories) DEVELOPED. So what does TRANSFORMED do? It describes FACTORIES.

Infinitives
First and foremost, an infinitive is the form of the verb, but it is not a verb. Second, an infinitive can be a noun, an adjective or an adverb. And finally, it is always "to" plus a verb. [In the following examples, the infinitive is bold and the verb is underlined.] 1. Supporters of the Internet fail to mention that it contains a lot of trash packaged to look like reliable information.

Clauses
Traditionally a clause is defined as a group of related words that has both a subject and a verb. In attempting to identify clauses, they are often contrasted with phrases, which do not have a subject and verb.
Therefore, in the sentence, "She has not met the person who will move into her old office," "She has not met the person" and "who will move into her old office" are both clauses. On the other hand, "into her old office" is a phrase.

Phrases
A phrase is a group of related words that lacks both a subject and a verb. Because it lacks a subject and a predicate it cannot act as a sentence. A phrase typically functions as a single part of speech in a sentence (e.g., noun, adjective, adverb). There are four types of phrases: 1. Prepositional phrases, which begin with a preposition and include the object of the preposition. 2. Participial phrases, which begin with the participle and include the object of the participle or other words that are connected to the noun by the participle.

3. Gerund phrases, which begin with the gerund and include the object of the gerund or other words that are acting as the complete subject or complete object. 4. Infinitive phrases, which begin with an infinitive and include the object of the infinitive or other words that are acting as part of the phrase.

Appositives
A word, phrase or clause that means the same thing as (i.e., synonym) or further explains another noun (pronoun). 1. Non-restrictive appositives are not essential to the meaning of the sentence. 2. Restrictive appositives are essential to the meaning of the sentence.

NON-RESTRICTIVE: 1. Her husband, Fritz, is a nice guy. 1. We assume she has only one husband. Thus, commas are used. 2. The firm chose Mary, vice president of public affairs, as its chief executive officer. 1. Because we have identified the person by name, her title is additional information. It can be set off by commas. In other words, we could take it out and the meaning would not change. RESTRICTIVE: 1. Evan's friend John cheated on the test. 1. EVAN has more than one friend; therefore, no commas are used to set off JOHN. We need the name to know which friend we're talking about.

Relative Pronouns
A relative pronoun relates to another noun preceding it in the sentence. In doing so, it connects a dependent clause to an antecedent (i.e., a noun that precedes the pronoun.) Therefore, a relative pronoun acts as the subject or object of the dependent clause. Consider the following sentence where the relative pronoun is a subject: 1. The chef who won the competition studied in Paris. 1. In this sentence, WHO relates back to (or is relative to) the noun CHEF. WHO also acts as the subject of the dependent clause and the verb WON. The dependent

clause: who won the competition. The independent clause: The chef studied in Paris. In this sentence, the relative pronoun is an object in the dependent clause. 1. The shirt that Carl bought has a stain on the pocket. 1. In this sentence, THAT relates back to (or is relative to) the noun SHIRT. THAT is also the object of the verb BOUGHT. The dependent clause is: that Carl bought.

Conjunctions
Most simply, conjunctions connect things. They allow us to make longer more complex sentences. There are four types of conjunctions: 1. A coordinating conjunction 1. connects a word, a phrase or a clause of equal weight. (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet) 2. A subordinating conjunction 1. connects only clauses and in doing so creates a subordinate clause. 3. A correlative conjunction 1. operates in pairs to connect sentence elements. (Either/Or, Neither/Nor, Not Only/But Also) 4. A conjunctive adverb 1. creates a relationship between ideas in the sentence. 2. not a true conjunction.

Punctuation
Punctuation is more than simply a series of rules to be memorized. It is the tool that can most effectively fine tune your writing. The choice to use a semicolon rather than begin a new sentence. The decision to string series of phrases one after another with commas. The attempt to interrupt the flow of a sentence a sentence with a dash. All of these involve crafting beyond simply applying rules. But to apply the proper touch, a writer must understand the rules that govern punctuation. He or she must know slows a sentence as well as what stops it. There are six types of punctuation we will consider:

1) commas, which are used to connect a series of words, phrases and clauses and have specific rules of use in Associated Press Style. 2) semicolons, which are used to connect independent clauses and provide clarity in a "comma heavy" sentence. 3) colons, which are used to let the reader know that a list or restatement is to follow. 4) dashes, which are used to indicate a dramatic break in the sentence's direction. 5) hyphens, which are used to connect compound modifiers. 6) quotation marks, which have specific rules of use in Associated Press Style.