Grammar Review Chippendale, Ene-Kaja. Focus on the American College Test (ACT): Student Workbook for English and Reading. Columbia, MO: Focus on Learning, 1999. Print.
Nouns • A noun is a person, place, thing or idea. • Person: John, boy, girl, Mary Ann • Place: school, Pizza Hut, camp, Buchanan County • Thing: television, X-Box, door, banjo • Idea: justice, charity, honor
Types of nouns • Common nouns such as “boy”, “college,” and “river” are words that name any boy, college, or river. • Proper nouns name specific persons, places, or things, such as “John,” “Missouri Western,” or “Missouri River.”
Types of Nouns • Collective nouns are group nouns. Nouns such as “jury,” “committee,” “family,” “herd,” “audience,” and “team” refer to a group of people who usually act together. In most cases, a collective noun is treated as SINGULAR. If the group is regarded as individuals, the PLURAL verb is used. • The committee is meeting at 6 p.m. • The committee are arriving at different times. “Different times” tells you the members are acting as individuals.
Pronouns • A pronoun takes the place of a noun. • Types of Pronouns • Personal Pronouns • Reflexive Pronouns • Relative Pronouns • Indefinite Pronouns
Use of I/me • Use “I” of the pronoun is part of the subject. If the sentence uses a linking verb such as is or was, the pronoun following the verb should be in the subjective case. • Examples • Mary and I are going to the theater together. • It is she. • It was I who called. • Use “me” of the pronoun is part of the object. • Example • Mrs. Shepherd gave Robert and me an A for our joint history project.
Hint • In cases where there are two names, throw out the other person and the correct choice becomes obvious. • Examples • Robert and I went fishing last summer. • Greg went with my family and me to the restaurant.
The Their/There Dilemma • “Their” is always a possessive pronoun and shows ownership. It is used like “his” or her.” • Examples • The boys left their coats inside. • The students thought their homework was difficult. • Hint – THEIR (He and I are in the word; these are personal pronouns.)
The Their/There Dilemma • “There” is usually used as an adverb or expletive. • Examples of adverbs: • Sit over there. • I wouldn’t go there if I were you. • Stop there before you run out. • Example of an expletive that introduces a sentence (or clause): • There are 48 flavors of ice cream. • Hint – THERE (This word contains HERE which designates a place.)
The “its/it’s” mix-up • “Its” is the possessive form of the pronoun “it,” and its should be used similarly to his and her. • Examples • The cat stalked its prey, its forepaw extended. • The playful dog chased its tail. • “It’s” is a contraction that stands for it is. • Examples • It’s (it is) snowing! • When it’s (it is) snowing, I like to be inside. • HINT – There is no pronoun its’! It is a trick.
ACT EXAMPLE • Carnegie Hall, one of the greatest concert halls in the world, is renowned for its elegance, its perfect acoustics, and the famous orchestras, musical groups, and individual singers and musicians have performed there. • (ACT – 50D, #1) • NO CHANGE • its’ elegance, its’ • their elegance, their • It’s elegance, it’s • Hint – As soon as you see its’ eliminate it!
The “who’s/whose” mix-up • “Who’s” is similar to “it’s” in that it is a contraction of who and is. • Example • She is the one who’s (who is) is going to lead the team to victory. • Is it Sarah who’s (who is) arriving later?
The “who’s/whose” mix-up • “Whose” is the possessive form of who. • Examples • “Whose woods these are I think I know.” • I’d like to know whose car is parked in the driveway. • Hint – substitute his to see if it makes sense.
Noun-Pronoun Agreement • Look out for passages that use inaccurate pronouns. • INCORRECT: Literary critics are often less interested in any particular book or writer than one isin placing groups of books and writers into facile categories. (ACT – 9652A) • CORRECT REVISION: Literary critics are often less interested in any particular book or writer than they arein placing groups of books and writers into facile categories. (ACT – 9652A)
Pronoun Confusion • A sentence can be confusing when too many pronouns are used because the antecedent being replaced by the pronoun is not obvious. • When given a choice between using a concrete subject (noun) and a pronoun, pick the concrete subject.
Example • Outside Navajo communities, such exposure is rare, which greatly contributed to it’s success. (ACT-59F, #26 modified) F. NO CHANGE G. that H. this J. the Navajo code’s You must decide “Whose success?” Answer F is incorrect. Answers G and H don’t answer the question. The only J answers the question directly.
Example • Joe is seven, living in those two or three years when they can manage to throw a baseball a few feet but when what they’re really interested in are things closer at hand…. (ACT-59F, #46 modified) • NO CHANGE • children • he • some of them Who are “they?” Joe is clearly not a “they,” which eliminates A, and the use of “they’re” eliminates C. Only B answers the question. It is important to read ALL of the sentence. Substitute your choice to see if it makes sense.
Reflexive Pronouns • Reflexive pronouns reflect or take the action of the verb back to the subject: “itself,” “yourself,” “himself,” “herself,” “ourselves,” “yourselves,” “themselves.” • She hurt herself while climbing the rocks. • We took ourselves out of the bicycle race. • The cat hurt itself while trying to catch a fly.
Relative Pronouns • Relative pronouns link a subordinate clause to the main clause of a sentence. Like pronouns, they can also take the place of a noun. • DEFINITE PRONOUNS are which, that and who/whom. • INDEFINTE PRONOUNS include what, which, who, whatever, and whom.
The “that/which” dilemma • Generally, you use that if it introduces a restrictive clause (a clause that changes the meaning of the sentence). • Colleges that require the ACT exam pay attention to the scores. • You use which if the clause does not limit the meaning of the sentence (if it is nonrestrictive). • Colleges, which have many requirements for admission, ask you to submit either ACT or SAT scores.
The “who/whom” quandary • Remember that “who” and “whom” are used only in reference to people. • “Who” is always the subject (substitute he). • “Whom” is always the object (substitute him). • Examples • “Who/Whom did you call?” • Change to “Did you call he/him?” You need him, so you need “WHOM.” Whom did you call? • Who/whom in your class is going to Harvard? • Change to “Is he/him going to Harvard/” He is going to Harvard, so you need “WHO.” Who in your class is going to Harvard?
Indefinite Pronouns • Indefinite pronouns don’t stand for any specific nouns. The most common singular indefinite pronouns are any anybody anyone everyone none neither either each These need a singular verb. Examples Neither of the college graduates has found a job. Everyone who votes is being a responsible citizen. Everyoneneeds to prepare himself for school.
Indefinite Pronouns • The plural indefinite pronouns that require plural verbs are both many several few plenty Examples Several of the students were not able to finish the required test. Manyof the loyal fans are unhappy with the Chiefs record.
Indefinite Pronouns • Some indefinite pronouns like “all,” “most,” “any,” “none,” or “some” may be either singular or plural, depending on whether they refer to things in a quantity that can’t be counted (like coffee or water) or things that can be counted (like coins in a purse). Examples All of the orange juice is gone. All of the test papers were completed on time. None of the candidates is willing to give up his airtime. Nonewere going to the game. (Meaning a group.)
Indefinite Pronouns • Singular subjects joined by OR or NOR take a singular verb. • Examples • Neither my sister nor my brother is able to drive tonight. • Either Yale or Princeton is ranked number one this year.
Indefinite Pronouns • If one of the subjects is singular and the other is plural and joined by OR the verb agrees with the nearer subject. • Examples • Either the student or the teachersare heading to the committee meeting. • Either the teachers or the studentis heading to the committee meeting.
Elliptical Clauses • Use the nominative case for pronouns that are used as subjects of elliptical clauses (clauses that are not complete). • Examples • My parents are as happy as I (am). • She painted more of the fence that he (painted).
Practice = correct = incorrect • Who did you meet with when you interviewed? • The pep assembly honored everyone but Bo and I; we were absent. • We students have lots of forms to complete. • Mary and me are going shopping today. • Everyone must bring theirown pencils to the test. • It’s very cold outside. • The graduating seniors threw there caps in the air. • On the surface it’s premise was simple. • Each of the students were surprised by the pop test.