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English Grammar 101

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English Grammar 101

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  1. English Grammar 101 A Review of the Essentials David A. deSilva

  2. Parts of Speech • Nouns • Pronouns • Verbs • Adjective • Adverbs • Prepositions • Conjunctions • Interjections

  3. Parts of Speech (2) Nouns: words that name persons, places, things, or ideas Pronouns: words that stand in for a noun Verbs: words that express action or state of being Adjectives: words that describe nouns or pronouns Adverbs: words that describe verbs Prepositions: words that connect a noun and its modifiers to another component of the sentence Conjunctions: words that join nouns, verbs, or other parts of a sentence Interjections: words that express emotion, shock, and the like.

  4. Parts of a Sentence • Every sentence has a subject and a predicate. • The subject is the noun or the pronoun that the sentence says something about; • The predicate is what is said about that noun or pronoun, i.e., what that noun does or what that noun is. • “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35 NIV) • “Jesus” is the subject: the sentence is “about” Jesus. • “wept” is the predicate – what is said about Jesus.

  5. Subjects and Predicates • “And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it.” (Rev 5:3 NRSV) • “no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth” is the subject; the main subject would be “one”; the rest is composed of modifiers (or descriptors) • “was able to open the scroll or to look into it” is the predicate; the main predicate would be “was”; the remaining words are complements and objects.

  6. Subjects and Predicates (2) • “When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” (Rev 5:8 NRSV) • The subject is in italics; all the rest is predicate (“when he had…” tells when the elders “fell”). • Predicates can be split up; subjects do not always come first. • In this sentence, we find a “compound subject” (more than one subject): (1) “creatures” and (2) “elders”.

  7. Subjects and Predicates (3) • “And the elders fell down and worshiped.” (Rev 5:14b NRSV) • In this example, we find a “compound predicate”: the subject governs more than one verb – (1) “fell down” and (2) “worshiped” • “Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.” (Rev 5:6 NRSV) • In this example, the subject is one word: “I”

  8. Subjects and Predicates (4) • Sentences starting with “there” or “it”: these words are often used as a kind of “place marker” for the real subject of a sentence. • “There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines.” (Mk 13:8 NRSV) • Grammatically speaking, the sentence is: “Earthquakes will be [=will occur] in various places; famines will be [=will happen].” The grammatical subjects are “earthquakes” and “famine,” not “there” and “there.”

  9. Subjects and Predicates (5) • “But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin year after year.” (Heb 10:3 NRSV) • Grammatically speaking, the sentence is: “But a reminder of sins is in these sacrifices year after year.” The real subject is “reminder.” • “It is senseless to give a pledge, to become surety for a neighbor.” (Prov 17:18 NRSV) • Grammatically speaking “to give a pledge” is the subject (“to become surety for a neighbor” is set in apposition). “To give a pledge is senseless.”

  10. Complements • Alongside the verb, the predicate often contains other essential parts of the sentence. These may include: • Direct objects • Indirect objects • Predicate nominatives • Predicate adjectives

  11. Complements (2) • Direct Objects and Indirect Objects occur with “action” verbs: • The direct object receives the impact of the action. Put another way, the subject enacts the verb upon the direct object. • “I baptize you with water for repentance.” (Mt 3:11 NRSV). The subject (“I”) enacts the verb (“baptize”), but it is the direct object (“you”) that gets dunked. 

  12. Complements (3) • “He went and took the scroll.” (Rev 5:7 NRSV) • The Lamb (“he”) does the going and taking; “the scroll” is the object affected by the Lamb’s actions. “The scroll” is the direct object. • “Bear fruit worthy of repentance.” (Mt 3:8 NRSV) • In this imperative sentence, “fruit” is the thing that has to be borne: it is the direct object of the command, “bear.”

  13. Complements (4) • Indirect Objects: nouns or pronouns that are the indirect recipients of the action, often the “beneficiaries” of the action (“to” or “for” whom the action happens). • “By your blood you ransomed for God saints from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (Rev 5:9 NRSV). • The subject is “you”; the main verb of the predicate, “ransomed,”; “saints” are the ones actually “ransomed,” hence the direct object. “God” is the indirect object: the ransoming of the saints has an indirect effect on God, “for whom” the action happens.

  14. Complements (5) • “God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.” (Matt 3:9 NRSV) • Looking at the infinitive “to raise up,” the direct object of the infinitive is “children,” the entities actually raised up; the indirect object is “Abraham,” to whom (i.e., in whose favor) these children are raised up.

  15. Complements (6) • Predicate nominatives and predicate adjectives occur with verbs expressing being or a state of being (also called “linking verbs”). • “God is able” (Matt 3:9 NRSV). • Subject: “God”; verb: “is”; “able” is a predicate adjective. The whole point of the sentence is to link God with this quality, or “predicate” this quality upon God.

  16. Complements (7) • “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals.” (Rev 5:9 NRSV) • Subject: “you”; main verb: “are”; “worthy” is another predicate adjective (followed by two complementary infinitives, “to take” and “to open,” further describing this worthiness). • “No one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.” (Rev 5:4 NRSV) • “worthy” is still a predicate adjective, since “was found” (= was proven to be) is still a “state of being” verb.

  17. Complements (8) • “Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil 2:11 NRSV) • Subject: “Jesus Christ”; main verb: “is”; “Lord” is a noun that is being predicated of “Jesus Christ” – it is a predicate nominative. • Sometimes a direct object can also have a complement in the form of an adjective or noun predicated, in effect, upon it. • “You have made them a kingdom and priests to our God.” (Rev 5:10 ESV) • “them” is the direct object, but “a kingdom and priests” is also specifically what God made “them” – the phrase is an “object complement.”

  18. Kinds of Sentences • Declarative: sentences stating something (whether fictive or real, narrative or argument). • “I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.” (Rev 5:4 NRSV) • Interrogative: sentences asking a question (thus calling for some declarative statement in response). • “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” (Rev 5:2 NRSV)

  19. Kinds of Sentences (2) • Sometimes an interrogative statement is in transposed word order: the subject is most easily found when one reformulates the question as a statement. • “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at?” (Mt 11:7 NRSV) • “What” is not the subject; it is, in fact, the object of the preposition “at.” The subject is “you”: “You did go out into the wilderness to look at ____.”

  20. Kinds of Sentences (3) • Imperative: sentences that issue commands. • “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Mt 3:2 NRSV) • “Bear fruit worthy of repentance.” (Mt 3:8 NRSV) • "Do not weep.” (Rev 5:5 NRSV) • In all these examples the subject – You – is not expressed, but is understood. “Repent, you, for the kingdom….”

  21. Kinds of Sentences (4) • There are 1st and 3rd person commands as well, in which the subject will be expressed. • 1st person plural: ”Let us hold fast to our confession.” (Heb 4:14 NRSV) • 3rd person singular: “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (Jn 8:7 ESV) • 3rd person plural: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Mt 16:24 NRSV)

  22. Nouns • Words that denote a person, place, thing, or idea • Can be “proper” nouns (e.g., Peter, Judea) or “common” nouns (e.g., disciple, region) • Can have “number”: singular, “disciple”; plural, “disciples” (note: usually there is a change of form) • Special ending for possessive/genitive case: “the Lord’s day,” “ the nations’ tribute”

  23. Nouns • 6 Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. • 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne.

  24. Nouns • 6 Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. • 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne.

  25. Pronouns • Words used in place of a proper or common noun. A pronoun generally has an antecedent – a specific noun named earlier in the discourse for which the pronoun is “standing in.”

  26. Personal Pronouns Personal pronouns have “person,” “number,” and “case.” • Singular (nominative): I (1st) , you (2nd) , he, she, it (3rd) • Plural (nominative): we (1st) , you (2nd) , they (3rd) • Singular (objective): me, you, him, her, it • Plural (objective): us, you, them

  27. Personal Pronouns And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals."

  28. Personal Pronouns And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals."

  29. Possessive Pronouns • Singular: mine, yours, his, hers, its • Plural: ours, yours, theirs “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours [= our sins] only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2) “My beloved is mine and I am his.” (Song 2:16)

  30. Possessive Pronouns vs. Possessive Adjectives • Pronouns: stand in for nouns – “he atoned not only for their sins, but ours.” “Ours” stands in for the noun “sins.” • Adjectives: describe nouns – “he atoned for our sins.” “Our” describes a noun in the sentence.

  31. Intensive and Reflexive Pronouns • Singular: myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself • Plural: ourselves, yourselves, themselves Intensive: “He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.” (John 1:8) Reflexive: "Is he going to kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, 'Where I am going, you cannot come'?“ (John 8:22)

  32. Definite Relative Pronouns • Introduce subordinate clauses that, as a whole, function as adjectives (supplying additional information about some noun or pronoun). As with most pronouns, the definite relative pronoun points back to some antecedent (some noun to which it is referring) • Who, whom (objective case of “who”), whose (possessive case of “who”), which/that

  33. Relative Clauses • The relative pronoun introduces a relative clause with a verb and, often, objects, modifiers, and prepositional phrases. The entire clause modifies some noun or pronoun in the main sentence (the antecedent of the relative pronoun). • A relative clause generally could have been written as a separate sentence: • You love Lazarus. • Lazarus is sick. • “He [Lazarus] whom you love is sick.” (John 11:3)

  34. Relative Pronouns (and relative clauses) • “He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne.” • “This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke.” (Matt 3:3) • “I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.” (Matt 3:11)

  35. Indefinitive relative pronouns • The relative pronoun can also be used where there is no antecedent, sometimes generalized (“whoever, whatever”) • “Whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.” (Matt 10:33) • “Remember then what you received and heard” (Rev 3:3)

  36. Interrogative Pronouns • Used to ask questions; no antecedent • Who? What? Which? • “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” (Rev 5:2)

  37. Demonstrative Pronouns • Used to “point out” particular objects. • This, these; that, those • Nearer demonstratives: this, these • Farther demonstratives: that, those

  38. Demonstrative Pronouns • “This [= “this person”] is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke.” (Matt 3:3) • Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who arethese [=“these people”], robed in white, and where have they come from?“ (Rev 7:13) • “Blessed are those [=“those people”] who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matt 5:4)

  39. Indefinite Pronouns • These pronouns do not refer to specific persons or things, but rather to general types or classes. • Anyone, anybody, anything; someone, somebody, something; everyone, everybody, everything; none, nobody, nothing; all, few, many, several, etc.

  40. Indefinite Pronouns • “Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.” (Matt 11:6) • “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field.” (Matt 13:24) • “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matt 22:14)

  41. Reciprocal Pronouns • Pronouns indicating that the individual members of a collective subject act back on other members of the group. • One another, each other • “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.” (John 13:34) • “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” (Luke 24:17)

  42. Appositives • Nouns or pronouns can be used simply to rename another noun or pronoun in the sentence. The second noun or pronoun is said to stand in “apposition” to the first, and is like a parenthetical comment. • “A Savior, Christ, the Lord, is born for you today in David’s city” (Luke 2:11) • “Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints….” (Phil 1:1) • “Ananias came down with some elders and an attorney, a certain Tertullus, and they reported their case against Paul.” (Acts 24:1)

  43. Verbs • Action • Jesus wept. • I saw a mighty angel. • He went and took the scroll. • State of being • no one … was able. • You are worthy.

  44. Verbs (2) • English verbs are often formed by a combination of one or more “helping verbs” with a “main verb.” • The Lion … has conquered. • You were slaughtered. • They will reign on earth. • Helping verbs are an essential part of the formation of the various voices, tenses, and aspects of the English verb.

  45. Helping Verbs Listed • Common Helping Verbs: • Do, does, did • Has, have, had • Am, are, is, were, was, be, being, been • Modal Helping Verbs • Can, could • May, might • Must • Shall, should, ought [to] • Will, would

  46. Verbs: Person and Number • 1st Person • Singular: I heal. • Plural: We heal. • 2nd Person • Singular: You heal. • Plural: You (Y’all) heal. • 3rd Person • Singular: He, she, it heals. • Plural: They heal.

  47. Verbs: Voice • Active: The subject of the sentence performs the action of the verb, often upon one or more objects. • He went and took the scroll. • They will reign on earth. • Passive: The action of the verb is done to the Subject of the sentence. • You were slaughtered. • They were baptized by him in the river Jordan.

  48. Verbs: Tense(all examples are in active voice) • Present • Simple: I baptize. • Progressive: I am baptizing. • Past • Simple: I baptized. • Progressive: I was baptizing. • Future • Simple: I will baptize. • Progressive: I will be baptizing.

  49. Verbs: Tenses (2) • Present Perfect • Simple: I have baptized. • Progressive: I have been baptizing. • Past Perfect (Pluperfect) • Simple: I had baptized. • Progressive: I had been baptizing. • Future Perfect • Simple: I will have baptized. • Progressive: I will have been baptizing.

  50. Verbs: Tenses (Passive Examples) • Present • Simple: I am baptized. • Progressive: I am being baptized. • Past • Simple: I was baptized. • Progressive: I was being baptized. • Future • Simple: I will be baptized. • Progressive: I will be being baptized. (Not regularly used.)