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…

Parentheses Ellipsis Marks and Dashes

Use the following rules for these three punctuationmarks. Parentheses ( ) are used to • enclose numbers or letters in a series within a sentence There are three different types of learners: (1) visual, (2) auditory, and (3) tactile-kinesthetic. • enclose extra materials Priscilla Smith (n

Transitive and intransitive verbs

A transitive verb is an action verb that has a direct object. Remember that a direct object (a noun or a pronoun) answers the question Whom? or What? after the action verb. Thus, in the sentence, ‘‘The clown threw the toy into the air,’’ the verb, threw, is transitive because (A) it is an action…

the adverb phrase

A prepositional phrase that answers any of these questions—When? Where? How? Why? Under what conditions? or To what degree?—is an adverb phrase. If you can logically move the prepositional phrase within the sentence, it is probably an adverb phrase. Remember that an adverb phrase contains no verb. The adverb phrases in these sentences are underlined….

Confusing usage words part four

good (adjective) effective; efficient; (adverb) well completely fully Evelyn has been a good physicians assistant for many years now(adjective) This is about as good as it gets for this group. (adverb) well (adverb) in a pleasing or desirable manner fittingly to a larg extent I felt well after the challenging mountain climb. Pierre fit in…

the adjective clause

An adjective clause (a group of words with at least one subject and one verb) is a subordinate or dependent clause that functions as an adjective. This type of clause answers the question, Which one? Relative pronouns, such as who, whom, which, and that, begin adjective clauses. At times, words such as where or when…

the pronoun

The pronoun, the second of the eight parts of speech, is a word that takes the place of a noun. ➲In the sentence, ‘‘Felipe is an intelligent student,’’ the noun, Felipe, can be replaced by the singular pronoun he. Thus, the new sentence reads, ‘‘He is an intelligent student.’’ ➲In the sentence, ‘‘We offered the…

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…

Confusing usage words part seven

right: (noun) claim or title; (adjective) proper; just; correct; (adverb) directly; (verb) to put in proper order Freedom of speech is one of our rights. (noun) Is this the right way to tie this knot? (adjective) Come right home after school. (adverb) Let’s right the wrongs we committed. (verb) rite: (noun) a ceremony The religious…

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 infinitive and infinitive phrase

➲The third type of verbal, in addition to the participle and the gerund, is the infinitive. An infinitive is composed of the word to plus a verb. Examples of the infinitive include to remember, to cuddle, to pacify, and to yodel. Infinitives can function as nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. To succeed is Ted’s goal. (noun—subject…

Confusing usage words part one

accept (verb) to receive willingly Will you accept this present as a thank-you for your work except (preposition) but other than All of the dogs except Kenny’s dog were in the park that afternoon

pronouns and their antecedents

Take the sentence, “The veterinarian took pride in her work.” The pronoun her refers back to veterinarian, the subject of the sentence. In this context, veterinarian is the pronoun” antecedent, the word that the pronoun refers back to in the sentence. Usually, the antecedent comes before the pronoun in the sentence. In all cases, the…

The coordinating conjunction

The conjunction, the seventh part of speech, connects words or groups of words. In the sentence, ‘‘The video producer and the singer selected an inter-esting location for the shoot,’’ the conjunction and connects the two nouns producer and singer. Similarly, in the sentence, ‘‘You can swim or jog during the afternoon class,’’ the conjunction or…

the prepositional phrase

A prepositional phrase begins with a preposition and usually ends with a noun or a pronoun. The prepositional phrase is underlined in each sentence. The elderly man went to the doctor’s office today. In the morning, the elementary school students perform their exercises. These magicians performed many tricks for the children. Tomas walked into the…

Commas Part Five

Here are some additional useful rules when working with the comma. Use a comma after the salutation of a friendly letter. Dear Marty, Dearest Mom, Use a comma after the closing in a friendly or business letter. Sincerely, Be well, Use a comma to separate items in dates and addresses. She was born on January…

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…

compound prepositions and the preposition adverb question

A compound preposition has the same function as the regular, one-word preposition. It connects a noun (or pronoun) to another word in the sentence. The sole difference with the compound preposition is that it contains more than one word! according to ahead of apart from as of aside from because of by means of in…

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…

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…

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…

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…

complex sentences

A complex sentence has one main (or independent) clause and one (or more) subordinate (or dependent) clauses. In each sentence, the main clause is underlined, and the subordinate clause is in italics. After the storm subsided, we went out to inspect the grounds. The ticket that you received in the mail is the right one….

Sound a like words Part Three

Here is the third set of sound-alike words. Study and use them well. plain: not adorned; piece of land She wore a plain dress to the event. The horses moved quickly across the plain. plane: a piece of aircraft How heavy is that plane with all those passengers aboard it now? principal: the school’s leader;…

Sound alike words part one

The words in these pairs sound alike. Study these quick definitions, and use these words in your writing and speech. board: piece of wood Hillary hammered the pine board. bored: tired of; not interested Were you bored at the movies? brake: the stopping device Push hard on the brake to stop the bike. break: a…

Commas Part One

A comma probably has more rules and uses than any other punctuationmark. Below is an important comma rule. Use commas to separate items (words, phrases, and clauses) in a series. James enjoys playing tennis, soccer, and basketball. (words in a series) The troop traveled into the mountains, across the plains, and along the river. (phrases…

Quotation Marks Part One

When working with quotation marks (‘‘ ’’), follow these rules. This is the first of three pages about quotation marks. Use quotation marks before and directly after a speaker’s exact words. The lifeguard told the swimmers, ‘‘Please move down between the green flags.’’ Note: Use a comma to separate the speaker’s exact words from the…

Quotation Marks Part Three

This is the third of three pages dealing with quotation marks. Study these rules, and use them in your writing. When you are writing dialogue, start a new paragraph each time the speaker changes. ‘‘We need to remodel the upstairs bathroom,’’ Mom said to Dad. He asked her, ‘‘How much do you think that this…

agreement between indefinite pronouns and their antecedents

Singular indefinite pronouns agree in number with their antecedents. These pronouns are anybody, anyone, anything, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, neither, nobody, no one, nothing, one, somebody, someone, and something. ➲Everyone in the church is singing his or her best. (His and her are singular pronouns, and everyone is the singular antecedent.) Note: Use his…

indefinite pronouns

The singular indefinite pronouns are anybody, anyone, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, neither, nobody, no one, nothing, one, somebody, someone, and something. As subjects, these pronouns agree in number with singular verbs. Everyone in these seats is invited to the party. Neither of the contestants has to leave the studio. Everything in those rooms was…