Grammar Crash Course!! Buckle Up!
Focus of Today’s Grammar Crash Course: • What is Grammar? • The 8 Parts of Speech, focusing on • Nouns and Pronouns • Verbs and Adverbs • person, number, tense, and voice of verbs • Adjectives • Prepositions and Prepositional Phrases • Basic Sentence Structures • Dependent vs. Independent Clauses • Grammar Based Composition for Practice
What is Grammar? • The system and structure of a language OR • Both the framework of a language and the process through which a language conveys meaning
Why Bother Learning Grammar? • Understanding grammar means understanding the mechanics of your own language, making you better at: • reading • writing • communicating • understanding the world around you • learning Latin!
Where Did Grammar Come From? • Waaaay back in ancient Greece, the philosophers Aristotle and Plato began describing the grammar of their native language, classical Greek. • They did this as part of their philosophical investigation into the true meaning of words, ideas, and concepts; what words in language actually represent; and how people communicate using words. • Grammar became a formal study that looks a lot like modern grammar under the Romans. • The Romans needed all these fancy grammar words because they wanted to quickly learn a foreign language: Greek. • “Grammar” makes this a lot easier because it allows a clear comparison between the structures and patterns of your native language with the foreign language you are trying to learn.
The Real Question is . . . Who has the better beard, Plato or Aristotle? Plato, Long and Curly Aristotle, Full but Trim
The 8 Parts of Speech • Noun • Pronoun • Adjective • Conjunction • Verb • Adverb • Preposition • Interjection Every word you have spoken, speak, or will speak falls into one of these categories!
Nouns • A noun is a person, place, thing, or idea • Examples: • Billy, Portland, table, freedom • Proper Nouns are nouns that require capitalization • Generally names of people and places
Pronouns • What is a Pronoun? • It’s a word that takes the place of a noun (PPTI). The teacher gives the presentation that he wrote. Rather than repeat “the teacher,” we use “he.” • Common Pronouns: • I we • you • he/she/it they • Common Pronouns that show Possession • my/mine our/ours • your/yours • his/her/its their
Pronouns II • The pronoun “who/which/that” refers back to a noun already mentioned and governs its own clause • The boy who cried wolf was sorry in the end. • Who can only refer back to people. • Use “whom” when the person referred to is an object in the clause • The boy whom the wolf ate was definitely sorry in the end. • I gave the prize to the winner for whom it was intended. • Use “which” or “that” when referring back to to things. • The books that are on the shelf should be required reading.
Pronoun Errors • On the SAT/ACT Multiple Choice Writing Questions, you will often be asked to identify a place where a noun or nouns do not agree with a pronoun. • Example: A smart tennis player such as Roger is someone A who knows how to move around the court, can hit winners at B C the net, and controls their emotions. No error. D E • The mistake is in choice D. Their is a plural pronoun. The subject in the sentence, player, is singular. Instead of using their, the sentence should have used his as the pronoun.
Adjectives • Adjectives are descriptive words that “modify” (describe) nouns • The bad man robbed the bank. • The book was very long and difficult. • Adjectives are qualities and quantities. Find them below: • Twenty happy women filled the spacious square on a sunny afternoon.
Conjunctions • Conjunctions are the little words that join other parts of speech together. • You and I are studying grammar but not zoology. • She filled up when she arrived at the gas station. • Conjunctions can join parts of sentences, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs . . . almost anything! • Conjunction = conjoin => think: conjoined twins to help you remember • We’ll get more on conjunctions in a bit when we talk about sentence structures
Verbs = Action! • Verbs are ACTION words - EXPLODE, do, make, run, eat, sleep, spin, draw, feel, sprint, play, study, pass, fail, grow . . . • Also “to be” is a verb in all its forms - be, am, are, is, was, has been, etc. • Verbs have 5 attributes, or aspects, to the action they express: • Person • Number • Tense • Mood • Voice
Person • “Person” refers to the noun’s point of view as he/she/it performs the action of the sentence. • There are 3 possible points of view: • 1st person = I or we • 2nd person = you • 3rd person = he/she/it or they
Number • This is easy: • Singular = one • Plural = more than one • Let’s look at the verb “love” in all possible persons and numbers:
Tense = Time • When did the action of the verb happen? The answer is the verb’s tense. • Six main tenses: • Present = right now = he eats • Past = before now = he ate • Future = after now = he will eat • Present Perfect = before now, with an effect now = he has eaten (and is now therefore full) • Past Perfect = before a time in the past = he had eaten already when he arrived • Future Perfect = after a time in the future = he will have eaten when he arrives tomorrow
Hey! You Payin’ Attention?! • Put the verb “love” into all six tenses in the 1st person plural • Present = • Past = • Future = • Present Perfect = • Past Perfect = • Future Perfect =
Hey! You Payin’ Attention?! • Put the verb “love” into all six tenses in the 1st person plural • Present = we love • Past = we loved • Future = we shall love • Present Perfect = we have loved • Past Perfect = we had loved • Future Perfect = we shall have loved
Back to Verbs: Mood • Mood refers to the “tone” of the verb or the attitude of the speaker. • Three moods: • Indicative - think “indicate.” This mood just points things out and makes statements. Example: I am studying for my exam. • Imperative - expresses commands. Example: “Finish your homework, Bobby.” “Enjoy Coke.” • Subjunctive - expresses unreal or hypothetical situations. Example: I would go to class if I ever learned anything.
Voice • Two Voices: • Active: the subject performs the action of the verb. Example: Jim hits the ball. • Passive: the subject does NOT perform the action. Example: The ball is hit (by Jim).
Voice Practice Let’s change these verbs from active to passive or vice versa. • We drive. • He was denied. • You will eat. • They had been helped. • Stephen was covering.
Verb Practice • Can you identify the five attributes of these verbs? • We held • Person • Number • Tense • Mood • Voice • She will have read • Person • Number • Tense • Mood • Voice • You had been aided • Person • Number • Tense • Mood • Voice • Just do it! • Person • Number • Tense • Mood • Voice
Adverbs • Adverbs modify verbs and sometime adjectives • Usually end in -ly • Examples: “We barely escaped.” “The students submitted an extremely excellent performance.”
Prepositions and Prepositional Phrases • Prepositions are little words that most often, but not always, express place. • Examples: under, through, around, with, without, into, in, on, about • A prepositional phrase is simple the preposition itself and the words it governs. • Example: “He ran into the cave.” “I came with him.”
Interjections • Hey, these are obvious and easy! • Holy cow! • Wow! • Whoa, did you see that? • Hi, how are you?
Basic Sentence Structures • Subject = the noun that performs the action of the verb • Direct object = the noun that receives the action of the verb • Billy hits Timmy. • Billy is the subject => he hits • Timmy is the direct object => he is hit
Basic Sentence Structures • Indirect Object = a noun that is affected by the action of the verb in a secondary way. • The noun answers the question “To whom?” or “For whom? • Indirect Objects are found with verbs of giving, showing, and saying. • Examples: “I said to Billy, ‘Do not hit Timmy.” “She showed her stamp collection to the class. It was really boring.” “Santa gives gifts to children at Christmas time.” • Sometimes the to/for gets left out, depending on the wording. “Santa gives children gifts at Christmas time.”
What is a Sentence? • A complete sentence needs to have at just two words: a subject and a verb that go together. • We sleep. • Anything else is considered a phrase or a dependent clause. • A phrase consists of two or more words expressing a thought but without a subject-verb combo • Example: Sleeping at night . . . • To investigate the crime . . . • And remember prepositional phrases? We ran around the house. • A dependent clause uses a subordinating conjunction and may have a subject-verb combo • => more on this . . .
Independent vs. Dependent Clauses • A dependent clause requires a subordinating conjunction. Let’s look at some examples: • While I was at work, I missed the game. • You eat breakfast because it’s healthy. • “While I was at work.” is not a complete sentence. It is dependent on the complete idea of “I missed the game.” • While is the word that makes it dependent/subordinate to the main idea of “I missed the game.”
Bringing It All Together • Grammar based composition: I will give you a list of grammatical items that must appear in a sentence that you will write. • Example: write a sentence that contains the following: a verb in third person singular and past tense, a prepositional phrase, and an indirect object. • One possible answer: She gave him a gift on his birthday. • “She gave” is 3rd person singular, past tense. • “him” is an indirect object of “give” • “on his birthday” is a prepositional phrase.
Your Turn • Write a sentence that contains the following: • a verb in the 2nd person, future tense • two adjectives • one adverb • a prepositional phrase
Your Turn • Write a sentence that contains the following: • a dependent clause • a verb in the 1st person, past perfect tense • a direct object of “the pancake people” • a verb in the passive voice
Review of Today’s Presentation: • What is Grammar? • The 8 Parts of Speech, focusing on • Nouns and Pronouns • Verbs and Adverbs • person, number, tense, and voice of verbs • Adjectives • Prepositions and Prepositional Phrases • Basic Sentence Structures • Dependent vs. Independent Clauses • Grammar Based Composition for Practice