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….

types of sentences by purpose

Sentences have different purposes. Some make statements. Some ask questions. Others give commands, and still others express strong feelings. Here are the four types of sentences by purpose: &#10162 A declarative sentence makes a statement or expresses an opinion. Use a period at the end of a declarative sentence. Andy Murray has a great will…

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…

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…

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…

Confusing usage words part two

anywhere: in, at, or to any place I think that we can drive anywhere in this county. anywheres: This word does not exist in the English language. as: (conjunction that starts a subordinate clause); (adverb) to the same degree, equally. (As is also a preposition.) Rex is already as tall as his dad. like: (preposition)…

compound subject and compound predicate

➲A compound subject is two or more subjects in a sentence. These subjects are joined by a conjunction and share the same verb. The compound subject is underlined in each sentence. Happy, Sleepy, and Doc knew Snow White. The horses and the king’s men could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again. She and I…

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 direct object

A direct object is a noun or pronoun that receives the action of a transitive verb (a verb that has an object) or shows the result of that action. A direct object answers the question ‘‘What?’’ or ‘‘Whom?’’ after the transitive verb. In these sentences, the transitive verb is underlined, and the direct object is…

More subject verb agreement situations

An expression of an amount, including fractions, measurements, percent-ages, and time periods, can be singular or plural depending on its use. Two-sixths equals one-third. (Two sixths is considered a single unit.) Sixteen hours is a very long time to wait. (Sixteen hours is a unit of time, one block of time according to the sentence.)…

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 :…

sentences fragments and run on sentences

A sentence can be a word (Stop!) or a group of words that must contain a subject (doer), a verb (action), and a complete thought. ➲ In the sentence, ‘‘Lorina washed her face,’’ the subject is Lorina, the verb is washed, and the group of words makes a complete thought. A fragment is a group…

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…

Present Perfect Simple Tense

Present Perfect Simple Tense have + past participle things you have done in your life – Have you ever been to Mexico? – I’ve tried sushi before. Have you? – He’s lived in many different countries. number of times you have done something – I’ve been to Paris three times. – How many times have…

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…

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…

The verb be

Forms of the verb to be are used very frequently in the English language. It is very useful to know all of the verb’s forms. Here is a list to help you along with the verb’s tenses. Present tense: The action either exists or is happening now. Singular Plural First person I am happy. We…

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…

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 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…

Sound a like words Part Four

Here is the last of the sound-alike words. Study, review, and use them when you can. threw: past tense of to throw The hurler threw his best pitch right down the middle of the plate. through: preposition meaning ‘‘in one side and out the other’’ We walked through the many corridors of the large building….

introducing clauses

A clause is a group of words that has both a subject and a verb. Any simple sentence is a clause. Unlike phrases, clauses include both a subject and a verb. The specific types of clauses are the following: ➲ A main or independent clause is a group of words that can stand alone. ‘‘Jeremiah…

The Colon

Use a colon (:) to introduce a list or series of items. You should have the following books and supplies with you on the first day of class: Roget’s Thesaurus, two pencils, a dictionary, and two notebooks. These are the eight parts of speech: noun, pronoun, adjective, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection. Note: A…

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…

the adjective phrase

An adjective phrase is a prepositional phrase that modifies a noun or a pronoun. This phrase answers the question Which one? The adjective phrase follows right after the noun or pronoun that it modifies or describes. Generally, if you cannot logically move the prepositional phrase within the sentence, it is most often an adjective phrase….

Confusing usage words part five

farther: (adjective and adverb) used to designate a physical distance This woman shot the arrow much farther than I did. further: (adjective and adverb) additional Let’s wait for further instructions before we do anything else. healthful: (adjective) that which brings about good health; wholesome Doctor Geiger told his patient to eat a more healthful diet….

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…

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 adverb clause

An adverb clause functions as an adverb. This clause answers any of these questions—How?When?Where?Why? Howmuch? Howoften? It has a subject and a verb, but it cannot stand alone as a complete thought. It needs to be joined with an independent or main clause to make sense. An adverb clause starts with any of the following…