Grammar Boot Camp Brought to you by English Department Instructors Fall 2009
First Things First: Parts of Speech Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs, Adjectives, Adverbs, Prepositions, and Conjunctions
Nouns that name non-specific persons, places, or things are called common nouns. Ex. teacher, stadium, peanut butter Nouns A noun is a word for a person, place, thing, or idea. Ex. Person: mailman, Ralph, lady Place: school, Centennial Park, heaven Thing: ball, book, Jeep Idea: love, anger, honesty, distrust Nouns that name a specific person, place, or thing are called proper nouns. These nouns are CAPITALIZED. Ex. Mrs. Brown, Camden Yards, Jiffy
Practice Identify all the nouns in the following sentences by underlining them. Put a “c” over the common nouns and a “p” over the proper nouns. _________________________________________________________ • Although Frances was usually careful with his passport, he thoughtlessly left it with his wallet by the pool, and a thief took it. • The Johnson’s loaded their old car and crowded in for the long, hot ride to their beach house in Nag’s Head. • The airplanes from Southwest, Continental, and Airtran waited in the shimmering heat of the runway for clearance from the tower to take off. _________________________________________________________ Now, compose two original sentences about things you have done on a vacation. Include both common and proper nouns in each sentence.
Possessive pronouns are a special form of pronouns that also show “ownership” over something in addition to taking the place of the noun. Ex. Megan and Kevin tiptoed into the room to get their books. Pronouns A pronoun is a word that is used to take the place of a noun in a sentence. Ex. We tiptoed carefully across the room so that we would not disturb her. If you are cautious, she will never hear it.
Practice Identify all the pronouns in the following sentences by underlining them. Put a “p” over all the possessive pronouns. _______________________________________ • The day was busy, but it was not too busy for a stop at the library to get our books. • We used the online catalogue first, then had to ask them for help at the front desk when it did not give us the information we needed. • Our visit ended up taking longer than we expected, but their help was needed to get the right books.
Antecedents An antecedent is the noun that a pronoun refers to. Ex. The dancers spread out around the room, warming up for their practice in its brightly lit atmosphere. In this sentence, “dancers” is the antecedent for the pronoun “their”, and “room” is the antecedent for the pronoun “its”.
Practice For the following sentences, underline the pronoun, and draw a line from the pronoun to its antecedent. _________________________________________________ • The dancers got into their positions as the rehearsal began. • The beautiful music was an inspiration to the dancers as it filled the room with a lively melody. • Nodding his head in time to the music, the choreographer watched the rehearsal intently. _________________________________________________ Now, compose two original sentences about a musical, dance, or theatrical performance, or a movie you have seen. Use any of the pronouns in the word box, and pair them with an antecedent in each sentence. he she it you them they theirs hers his us its we yours
Verbs Verbs are words that convey action or doing. They may also convey a state of being. Ex. Action/doing: run, swim, dance, jump, talk, read, sit, sleep, eat, study, dream, think, work State of being: is, am, were, was, are, be, being, been
Practice Identify the verbs below by underlining them. Place an “a” over the action verbs and a “b” over the being verbs. ____________________________________________ • I went to my first indoor soccer game last night. • The field was in a large warehouse in Baltimore. • While my friends played, I sat on the sidelines and watched the match. • Will is an aggressive player even though he is usually a gentle person. • Our team won the match when Jose drove the ball past the goalie for the final point.
Helping Verbs Some verbs are also called helping verbs. They are placed before the main verb to help convey more specific meaning. Ex. been, has, have, had, can, could, will, would, shall, should, may James may prefer to sit and talk rather than dance. Shane would have taken me to the prom if Alice had declined his invitation. Remember: Helping verbs must be paired with a main verb. Together they are referred to as a phrasal verb.
Practice In the following sentences, identify the helping verb by underlining it. Circle the entire phrasal verb – both the helping verb and the main verb. ____________________________________________ • The prom tickets would have cost more money if we used the larger ballroom. • The prom has been held at the same hotel for five years in a row. • When our class plans the prom, we may choose another location. • Amanda should have been nominated for Prom Queen. • The prom committee has worked hard six months for this event.
Linking Verbs Verbs for the five senses are also linking verbs (look, feel, sound, taste, smell). Ex. The centerpieces look festive on all the picnic tables. Linking verbs connect the main noun in a sentence (subject) with words or phrases in the predicate. Unlike helping verbs, linking verbs can stand alone. Ex. be, am, is, was, were, become, seem, appear, believe, remain, prove Everybody seems hungry for the picnic after the race. I am glad they have so much food.
Practice Identify the linking verbs by underlining them in the following sentences. _______________________________________ • The hamburgers and hotdogs were on platters in the middle of the table. • They smell so delicious. • This is a great way to spend the day with friends. • Everyone appears to enjoy the day’s events. • I feel the picnic should be planned again next year.
Adjectives Adjectives are words used to modify (give more information about) nouns or pronouns. Adjectives answer the questions What kind? and/or How many/how much?. Ex. Severalbig, red balloons made considerable noise when they exploded.
Practice Identify the adjectives in the following sentences by underlining them. Then, draw an arrow to the noun or pronoun that it modifies. _________________________________________________________ • It was a hot, humid day when the circus train arrived in the small town. • All the young children and even some of the older folks came down to watch the colorful spectacle. • Sleek, striped tigers and enormous elephants were paraded past the astonished crowd. • The huge tent was raised efficiently by numerous strong men. • The entire town anticipated the enjoyment of a great show and a wonderful time at the circus. _________________________________________________________ Now, compose three original sentences about a circus performance, and use at least two adjectives for each sentence. Try to use descriptive words that will give the reader a vivid picture of what you are writing about.
Adverbs How? Slowly Well Happily Fast Adverbs are words used to modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. The answer the questions How?, When?, Where?, To what extent?. Ex. Happily, we soon left the house to go there. When? Tonight Soon Now Tomorrow Where? Here There Nowhere Everywhere
Practice Identify the adverbs in the following sentences by underlining them and drawing an arrow to the verb, adjective, or other adverb that they modify. _________________________________________________________ • Studying intently for the upcoming exams, the students carefully organized their class notes. • Sharon patiently helps her classmates who always need more assistance to understand the lessons. • A study session at the library was cleverly planned by Gary and DJ. • We met there promptly and worked cooperatively. • We will take the exam soon and are prepared well because we studied so diligently. _________________________________________________________ Now, compose three original sentences about a school experience that include at least two adverbs each. Remember: Adverbs describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs and tell the reader how, when, and where the action in the sentence takes place. Ex. quickly, up, perfectly, better, carefully, down, here, well, hard, monthly, there, now, fast, rarely, neatly, soon, fast, rarely, neatly, soon, early, low, promptly, rudely, busily, sadly, loudly, high, late, finally, simply, far
Prepositions Prepositions are words that tell the relationship between objects. Most often, they tell the position of one object to another. Ex. The mouse jumped over the startled cat and ran under the chair, around the corner, and into the whole.
Practice Identify the prepositions in the following sentences by underlining them. ____________________________________________ • Peter Rabbit squeezed through the fence in Mr. MacGregor’s garden. • The frightened rabbit looked behind him, then hopped toward the tempting row of carrots. • Seated among all the juicy vegetables, he was beside himself with joy. • Mr. MacGregor spotted two long brown ears between the bean plants. • He chased poor Peter with his rake throughout the garden until the naughty rabbit escaped over the fence.
Conjunctions Conjunctions are joining words that link parts of sentences. The most common are for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. Sometimes, these are referred to as FANBOYS. Ex. I bought a present for my best friend but ended up leaving it on the school bus. There are many other conjunctions that can combine phrases and clauses to make interesting sentences. Ex. until, after, whereas, unless, whenever, however, if, because, although, besides, though, instead, otherwise, therefore, since, while
Practice Choose a word from the following list of conjunctions that will complete the sentences below: until, after, unless, if, for, whenever, however, because, although, besides, since, though, and, yet, nor, so, but, instead, or, therefore. _________________________________________________ • We planned to surprise Alex __________ it was her birthday. • Terri bought balloons __________ pink crepe paper. • All of her friends __________ Rita, her cousin sang Happy Birthday __________ it embarrassed Alex. • She loved her decorated locker __________ she kept the decorations up for a week. • It was a memorable birthday __________ it made her feel special.
Parts of a Sentence Subjects and Predicates Phrases Clauses
Subjects and Predicates Every sentence has two essential parts: a subject and a predicate.
Step By Step • Finding the Subject • Find the verb. • Ask “Who?” or “What?” before the verb. • Ex. The girl in the red sweater plays second base. • verb – plays • who plays? - girl Subjects and Predicates The subject is the part of the sentence that names the person, thing, or idea that the sentence is about. The predicate is the part of the sentence that tells what the subject does, what it is, or what happens to it. Ex. The eagle on the Great Seal s holds a motto in its beak. p Remember: “There” and “here” are never subjects, and prepositional phrases never contain the subject.
Practice In each sentence, underline the subject once and the predicate twice. _______________________________________ • He made a great deal of money as the inventor of dynamite. • Nobel created a fund for prizes for outstanding achievement. • Since 1917, committees of Swedish experts have been awarding annual prizes in chemistry, physics, medicine, literature, and peace. • Each prize carries a cash award, a medal, and a worldwide recognition.
Clauses A clause is a group of words containing at least a subject and a verb. There are two kinds of clauses: independent and dependent.
Independent Clauses An independent clause has a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought. (aka a sentence) Ex. Karenis late as usual. sv
A dependent clause usually begins with a dependent word. Here are some dependent words: After Though Although Unless As When Because Whenever Before Where If Wherever Since Whether Than While Dependent Clauses A dependent clause has a subject and a verb but does not express a complete thought. (aka a fragment) Ex. because sheis trying to save money Remember that a dependent clause cannot stand alone. When it does, it is a fragment and needs to be corrected.
Practice Write “I” for an independent clause or “D” for a dependent clause; then, revise every dependent clause to make it a complete sentence. _______________________________________ • Responsibly written articles and research papers are factual and well documented. • Because you cannot always tell whether the articles and stories you read are true. • Statistics interpreted carelessly weaken a paper. • When you write a research paper.
Prepositional Phrases Appositive Participial A phrase is a group of words which contains neither a subject nor a verb. Ex. in a flash screaming like a banshee Infinitive Absolute
Positioning and Punctuation Phrases can be positioned at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence. When placed in these positions, phrases are often (but not always) set off by commas. phrase comma Ex. In a flash, she realized that the tofu had been underneath her chair all along. commaphrase comma Irving,screaming like a banshee, went careening for the room. phrase Cordelia longed to eat the last tamale. comma unnecessary
Practice Underline every phrase in the sentences below. Check the punctuation of each phrase; make any necessary corrections, and circle them. _______________________________________ • The novel is a masterpiece of realism, portraying life on and around the Mississippi River about 1845. • At the beginning of the novel Huck lives with Widow Douglas. • Huck locked in a cabin by his father escapes and runs away.
So, what’s the difference between phrases and clauses? You tell me! Label the underlined group of words as “P” (phrase), “DC” (dependent clause), or “IC” (independent clause). ____________________________________________ • When they saw the airplane commercial, they knew they had to take a vacation. • With spring break approaching quickly, Tad and Teresa had to start planning. • After sunset, the fish are more likely to bite. • During her sophomore year of high school, she discovered what true friendship was.
Types of Sentences Simple Compound Complex
Reviewing the Basics All sentences must have at least one subject and one predicate (verb). Ex. Billyate the slug on a s v dare.
The Super Simple Sentence A sentence only needs two parts, so it can be as short as two words. Ex. Janeran. s v Bobtripped. Sarahlaughed.
The Simple Sentence AKA The Independent Clause Remember the independent clause, which has one subject and one predicate? *A single independent clause properly punctuated can also be called a simple sentence. Ex. The twinslaughed at the clown. simple sentence independent clause Simple Sentence & Independent Clause are SYNONYMS!
WARNING! The Sentence Fragment Any sentence lacking either a subject or predicate is considered a fragment. Ex. Ran down to the beach. (nosubject) Johann on the phone. (noverb) Remember: Fragments are evil. Always check your sentences.
Practice Correct the following sentence fragments. ____________________________ • The snowmobile on the trail. • Jaguars with spots. • Ate the whole pizza. • Ran and fell down the hill.
Conjunctions: For And Nor But Or Yet So The Compound Sentence A compound sentence is two independent clauses connected by a conjunction. Ex. Captain Tippermanstormed the hill, AND the soldiersfollowed. The thunderrumbled across the plain, YET the elephantsremained calm.
Punctuating a Compound Sentence Always place a comma before the conjunction to separate the two independent clauses. Ex. Heather bought a new house, so she had to furnish it. the very important comma
Practice Add conjunctions and independent clauses to the following independent clauses to create compound sentences. _________________________________ • Bigfoot is tall and hairy, • Gerald saw a UFO, • The ghost moaned and shrieked, Remember: Compound sentences must consist of two full independent clauses.
Recall these dependent words? After, although, as, because, before, if, since, than, though, unless, when, whenever, where, wherever, whether, while The Complex Sentence A complex sentence consists of one independent clause and one dependent clause. dependent Ex. While the sheep slept, the wolves crept in. independent independent The wolves crept inwhile the sheep slept. dependent
Punctuating a Complex Sentence If you begin the complex sentence with the dependent clause, always use a comma to separate the two parts. the very important comma Ex. When tigers are young, they are really, really cute.
Punctuating a Complex Sentence When beginning the complex sentence with the independent clause, no comma is necessary. Ex. Tigers are really cute when they are young.
Practice Create the following sentences. _________________________________ • A compound sentence about a turtle at the beach who drinks Dr. Pepper • A complex sentence about Bob living in the desert • A compound sentence about football and ballet.
Another Practice Use the following starters to complete complex sentences. Be sure to properly punctuate. _________________________________ • Although Geraldine • __________ whenever I am cold. • Because the game • __________ while it is sunny out. • When sand
Final Practice Create the following sentences. _________________________________ • Compound sentence about mermaids • Complex sentence (dependent clause first) about Native Americans • Complex sentence (independent clause first) about dancing • Simple sentence about dirt
Final Practice (for real this time) Rewrite the following paragraph so it does not totally suck (Use all of the new rules). _______________________________________ James at the beach. He wanted a shark to be his friend so he went out into the ocean and he saw a fin and swam towards it really fast and was tired. When the shark saw him it was happy. The shark was hungry. Sharks love to eat. They usually do not eat boys. James looked yummy. Then James said hello to the shark. They became friends.