the noun adjective pronoun question

When is a specific word a noun? an adjective? a pronoun? Great questions! ➲ Sometimes, a noun is used as an adjective. This is true for the word gar- den in the sentence, “The garden display attracted many visitors” since garden describes the type of display. ➲ Examples of when a noun is a noun…

reflexive demonstrative and interrogative pronouns

A reflexive pronoun is formed by adding ‘‘-self’’ or ‘‘-selves’’ to a personal pronoun. ➲ Reflexive pronouns include the first-person pronouns, myself and ourselves. The second-person pronouns are yourself and yourselves. The third-person pronouns are himself, herself, itself, and themselves. The young lady carried in all her packages by herself. They relied upon themselves to…

subject complements predicate nominatives and predicate adjectives

A subject complement is a word or group of words within the complete predicate that either identifies (with a predicate nominative) or describes (with a predicate adjective) the subject (doer of the action). There are two types of subject complements—the predicate adjective (the describer) and the predicate nominative (the identifier). As an example, in the…

The nominative case

Nouns and pronouns (I, you, he, she, it, we, and they, to name a few) used in the nominative case function as subjects and predicate nominatives in sentences. Subject examples: Patsy read the newspaper. I can assist you with the project. They will be doing the least favorite part of the job. Predicate nominative examples:…

Regular Comparison of Adjectives and Adverbs

To show how they differ in degree or extent, most adjectives and adverbs have three degrees (or forms)—the positive, the comparative, and the superlative. One-syllable words form these degrees in a regular way. ➲ The positive degree (or form) is used when an adjective or adverb modifier is not being compared. The young sister walked…

working on + (noun)

I’m working on + (noun) I’m is a contraction for the words I am. The phrase ‘working on’ relays a physical or mental effort towards an accomplishment. Here are some examples: I’m working on a big project. I’m working on training my dog. I’m working on making new friends. I’m working on educating myself. I’m…

subject and verb agreement

A sentence’s subject must agree in number with its verb. Thus, singular verbs should be used for singular subjects, and plural verbs should be used for plural subjects. ➲ In each of these sentences, the singular subject is underlined, and the singular verb is italicized. Sam holds the school record for the mile run. This…

complete and simple subjects

➲ The complete subject (the noun or pronoun that performs the action) contains all the words that help to identify the main person, place, thing, or idea in the sentence. The complete subject in each sentence is italicized. Many teachers and two principals from our school attended the musical concert. Giraffes and monkeys in the…

the object of the preposition

The object of the preposition is the noun or pronoun that follows a prepo-sition and completes the prepositional phrase. The prepositional phrase can also includemodifiers. In the sentence, ‘‘The orange juice box was in the new refrigerator,’’ the prepositional phrase is ‘‘in the new refrigerator.’’ This phrase answers the question ‘‘Where (is the orange juice…

irregular verbs part two

Infinitive Present Participle Past Past Participle to + verb the -ing form (Yesterday I . . . I had . . . She has . . . You have . . . lie to rest, to recline lying lay lain lose losing lost lost make making made made ride riding rode ridden ring ringing rang…

The Apostrophe

Here are useful rules for the apostrophe. Learn them well, and use them in your writing. Use an apostrophe to form the possessive of singular and plural nouns. Add an apostrophe and an s to form the possessive of a singular noun. Joe + ’s = Joe’s car day + ’s = day’s effort flag…

The Semicolon

Use a semicolon to join two independent clauses. In this case, a conjunction is unnecessary. The two independent clauses should be closely related. Isaac is a champion discus thrower; he holds the state record. (This is an acceptable use of the semicolon.) Isaac is a champion discus thrower; his dad is a baker. (This is…

the verb

The verb, the fourth of the eight parts of speech, is an action word. Since all good writing starts with strong verbs, this part of speech is very important. The three basic types of verbs are the following: ➲ The action verb tells what action the sentence’s subject (or doer) per-forms, is performing, has performed,…

the noun clause

object of the preposition, or a predicate nominative. This type of clause often starts with any one of these words—how, that, what, whatever, when, where, whether, which, whichever, who, whoever, whom, whomever, whose, and why. The noun clause is underlined in each of these sentences. Its function within the sentence follows in the parentheses. What…

the interjection

The interjection, the eighth part of speech, expresses strong emotions or feelings. Often found at the beginning of a sentence, an interjection is usually followed by either an exclamation mark (for strong emotions) or a comma (for mild emotions). An interjection can also be used to protest or command. Though interjections can stand alone, they…

compound complex sentences

A compound-complex sentence has two or more main (or independent) clauses and at least one subordinate (or dependent) clause. ➲ After the winds ceased, the children went outside to play, and their parents started to rake the leaves. The main (or independent) clauses are ‘‘the children went outside to play’’ and ‘‘their parents started to…

the preposition

The preposition, the sixth part of speech, is a word that shows the relation-ship between a noun (or a pronoun) and another word in the sentence. Mollie walked into her aunt’s house. (Into connects walked and house.) My mom exercises quietly in the morning. (In connects the idea of exercises and morning.) The professor placed…

the subordinating conjunction

The subordinating conjunction joins larger groups of words within sen-tences. It begins adverb clauses (groups of words that answer the questions When? Where?How? To what extent?). The subordinating conjunction can also be used to combine the ideas found in several sentences. Here are the subordinating conjunctions, followed by sample sentences. after although as as far…

The possessive case and pronouns

A word used in the possessive case shows ownership. Possessive pronouns do not require apostrophes. The singular possessive pronouns aremy, mine, your, yours, his, her, hers, and its. The plural possessive pronouns are our, ours, your, yours, their, and theirs. The possessive pronoun whose also does not require an apostrophe. This house is theirs. Their…

Talking About The Past

Past simple : finished actions, past states, past habits and routines, actions following one another Past perfect : an event that happened before another past event, an event that happened before a certain point in past used to + inf : past habits not repeated anymore, past states not existing any longer Past continuous :…

the correlative conjunction

Just as the coordinating conjunction does, the correlative conjunction joins words or groups of words. Here are the five pairs of correlative conjunctions. Whether . . . or Neither . . . nor Both . . . and Either . . . or Not only . . . but also Note: Using only the first…

Prepositions – About

About identifies a topic. Pattern 1: noun + be + about + nounThis book is about prepositions.Nouns commonly used before about:argument, article, book, conversation, disagreement, discussion, joke, lecture, movie, news, play, program, report, speech, story Pattern 2: noun + about + nounShe gave me advice about my loan.Nouns commonly used before about:assurance, complaint, comment, gossip,…

the adverb

The adverb, the fifth part of speech, modifies (qualifies or limits) verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. An adverb can answer any of these four questions—Where? When? How? To what extent? ➲ Adverbs modify verbs: Henry swam brilliantly. (How did Henry swim?) The train then came down the line. (When did the train come down the…

Confusing usage words part six

learn: verb to acquire knowledge How did you learn to swim so gracefully? teach: (verb) to instruct Will you please teach me the eight parts of speech for this test? personal: (adjective) individual or private; intended for use by a single person This is a personal problem that I would not want to share with…

introducing phrases

A phrase is a related group of words that functions as a part of speech and does not contain both a subject and a verb. ➲ Verb phrases do not contain a subject. Examples of verb phrases include has been laughing, will remain, and does believe. ➲ Prepositional phrases, such as the adjective phrase and…

Confusing usage words part three

can (verb) to know how to to be able to I think that I can climb that fence with little effort. may (verb) to be allowed to May I help you with those heavy bundles? cent: (noun) one penny 1/100 of a dollar Lou found one cent under the couch. scent: (noun) a smell odor…

types of nouns

A noun is the name of a person, place, thing, or idea. There are singular nouns that name ONE person (player), place (room), thing (towel), or idea (love), and there are plural nouns that are the names for MORE THAN ONE person (play-ers), place (rooms), thing (towels), or idea (loves). There are other types of…

the noun

A noun, the first of the eight parts of speech, is the name of a person, place, thing, or idea. person: Darlene, boy, mayor, worker, scientist, assistantplace: Los Angeles, dock, home, park thing: automobile, tool, balloon, penguin, tree idea: freedom, independence, enmity, thoughtfulness A singular noun is the name of only one person, place, thing,…

Commas Part Four

Here is a very important comma rule. Study it, and use it well in your writing. Use a comma to separate nonessential or nonrestrictive clauses, participial phrases, and appositives. A nonessential or nonrestrictive element adds information that is not necessary to the sentence’s basic meaning. • Nonessential or nonrestrictive clauses The debate, which was attended…

agreement involving prepositional phrases

A verb will agree in number with the sentence’s subject. In the sentence, ” One of the girls is counting the tickets,” the subject is one and the verb is is. Both the subject and the verb are singular. In the sentence, “Many of the girls are counting the tickets,” the subject, many, and the…