GRAMMAR STUDY GUIDE
Prepositions
Prepositional Phrase: Begins with a preposition – ends with a noun or pronoun.
Sentences still make sense when the prepositional phrase is taken out.
aboard
about
above
across
according to
after
against
along
amid
among
around
at
as
because of
before
behind
below
beneath
beside
between
beyond
by
by means of
down
during
except
for
from
in
in addition to
in front of
in spite of
inside
instead of
into
like
near
of
off
on
on account of
onto
out
out of
over
past
since
through
throughout
to
toward
under
underneath
unlike
until
up
upon
with
within
without
Sentence
A group of words that contains a subject (who or what the sentence is about) and a
verb (what the subject does, has, or feels) and expresses a complete thought.
1) Declarative – Makes a statement.
2) Interrogative – Asks a question.
3) Imperative – Gives a command or makes a request. (Subject is you)
4) Exclamatory – Shows excitement or expresses strong feeling.
The best part of the movie was the popcorn. Declarative
Why do you say that? Interrogative
Just stop! Imperative
You make me so angry when we talk about movies! Exclamatory
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Conjunctions
Conjunction Junction, what’s your function: hooking up words and phrases and clauses
Each side of the conjunction must be equal.
“And” joins two adverbs
“And” joins two prepositional phrases
And joins two independent clauses
The bird flew easily and swiftly.
During the day or at night you can leave.
He ran and they walked.
Coordinating Conjunctions
and or
nor
for
so
yet
but
Correlative Conjunctions (co-related) – always act in pairs
either...or neither...nor both...and not only...but also whether...or
just as…so
Subordinate Conjunctions
after
as long as
although
as soon as
as
because
as if
before
if
in order that
since
so that
than
though
unless
until
when
whenever
where
whereas
wherever
while
Clause
A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and verb.
Independent Clause
Expresses a complete thought and can stand by itself
as a sentence.
Subordinate Clause
or
Dependent Clause
Does not express a complete thought and cannot
stand alone. *Begins with a subordinate
conjunction or relative pronoun (which, who whom,
whose, that).
Examples:
Independent Clause
the man left his house
Subordinate Clause
because the man left his house
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Type of Sentence
Simple
Independent
1
Dependent
0
2
0
1
1+
2
1+
She went to the game.
Compound
She liked the game, but her team didn’t win.
Complex
Although they lost, they played well.
Compound-Complex
The team was down, but they stayed positive because they liked each other.
Writing Errors
Fragment – Missing one or more of the
following: subject, verb, or complete thought
Run-on – Two independent clauses put
together without punctuation
Comma Splice – Two independent
clauses joined by a comma
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Nouns
People (except short words like “she”), places, things, and ideas (joy, sadness)
Follow describing words (example - hungry dog)
Follow the words a, an, and the
Follow possessives (his, her, my, our, their, its, your)
Found at the end of prepositional phrases
Common Nouns are not capitalized.
examples: store, girl, game
Proper Nouns are capitalized.
examples: Target, Sue, Madden 2007
Concrete Nouns refer to things you can see.
examples: ball, glove, hat
Abstract Nouns name ideas, feelings, or qualities.
examples: happiness, joy, love, hours, dedication
Compound Nouns are nouns of two or more words.
examples: together (earthquake, corncob)
spaced (high school, corn bread)
hyphens (son-in-law)
Collective Nouns name a group or collection considered as one unit.
examples: crowd, army, class
Possessive Nouns show ownership.
examples: Mike’s, dog’s
Appositives
Nouns (or noun phrases) that identify, describe, or rename the noun they follow.
Example
Billy, the 32 year military veteran, is a really neat guy.
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Verbs
Show action (Action verbs)
Show a “state of being” (Linking verbs)
Help the main verb (Helping verbs)
Most common ending is –ed
Ask “Who (or what) did what” – what they did is a verb
“Not” is not a verb
Memorized Verbs
am
is
are
was
were
be
being
been
has
have
had
do
does
did
may
might
must
can
could
shall
should
will
would
Other Linking Verbs: appear, become, feel, grow, look, remain, seem, stay, smell,
sound, taste.
Verb Tenses
Perfect means have has had
Progressive means –ing ending
Present: walk(s)
Past: walked
Future: will walk
Present perfect: has/have walked
Past perfect: had walked
Future perfect: will have walked
Present progressive: is walking
Past progressive: was walking
Future progressive: will be walking
Present perfect progressive: has/have been walking
Past perfect progressive: had been walking
Future perfect progressive: will have been walking
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Intransitive verbs do not have an object or “receiver” of the action.
Transitive verbs direct their action toward an object.
Direct Objects
Receive the action expressed by the verb.
Find the verb then ask “what?”
Indirect Objects
Come before the direct object.
Tells to whom or what or for whom or what.
Example: The coach hit Joey fly balls.
1) Who (subject) = coach
2) Did what (verb) = hit
3) Hit what (direct object) = fly balls
4) Who received the direct object (indirect object) = Joey
*Can’t have an indirect object if there isn’t a direct object.
Active Voice
The subject performs the action.
The subject comes before the verb.
Passive Voice
The subject receives the action.
The doer of the action is unknown or unimportant
Examples:
Active Voice
The coach hit fly balls.
Passive Voice
Fly balls were hit by the coach.
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Subject-Verb Agreement
A verb must agree with its subject in number.
Singular Subjects (no s‘s) take Singular Verbs (have s‘s)
Plural Subjects (have s’s) take Plural Verbs (no s‘s)
Examples:
Tom wins almost every game.
Good athletes win almost every game.
Rules:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
“And” makes subjects plural
Use a verb that agrees with the nearer of two subjects joined by “or”
Movie and book titles (etc…) take a singular verb
Terms that refer to amounts (money, time, weight) are usually singular
Subjects of sentences cannot be in prepositional phrases
Troublesome Verbs
Lie – to rest
Lie
Lay – to place Lay
Lying
Lay
Laying Laid
Rise – to get up or go up
Raise – to lift up or force up
Lain
Laid >>> Must have a direct object!
Rise Rising Rose Risen
Raise Raising Raised Raised >>> Must have a
direct object
Affect – verb meaning to influence
Accept – verb meaning to receive willingly
Effect – noun (can be verb)
Except – preposition used to exclude or leave out
Verbals – Verb forms that act as another part of speech.
*Not the main verb in the sentence.
Participle A verb form that can be used as an adjective.
Example: The workers fixed the destroyed bridge.
Gerund
A verb form ending in -ing that functions as a noun.
Example: Steve enjoys running.
Infinitive
A present tense verb that follows the word “to.”
Example: You will get to vote for class officers.
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Uses for Commas

Use commas to separate all items in a series
o Example: He jumped, hopped, and skipped at recess.

Use a comma between two or more adjectives that come before a noun.
o If “and” would make sense between the adjectives, use a comma
o If the adjectives can be reversed, use a comma
o Example: Large, bulky cameras are difficult to use.

Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction that separates two fairly long
independent clauses
o Example: We wanted to take a senior picture, but it rained that day.

Use a comma after words, phrases, and clauses at the beginning of sentences.

Use commas to separate interrupters from the rest of the sentence.
o Example: After it rained, the grass turned a deep green color.
o Example: The flowers, of course, looked splendid.

Use commas before and/or after people’s names when they are spoken to.
o Example: Don’t you think so, John?

Use commas to set off appositives that are not necessary to identifying the noun.
o Example: Maybe the mayor, Bill Klubben, will give us a lawn award.

Use commas after the day and the year in dates.
o Example: On June 7, 2005, we received our nomination letter.
o Do not use a comma if only the month/day or the month/year are given.

Use a comma after a city and after the state if both are given.
o Example: We went to Billings, Montana, for the convention.

Use a comma to separate each item in an address except the Zip Code.
o Example: We went to 311 Jones Street, Billings, Montana 55554.

Use a comma after the greeting in a friendly letter and after the closing in both a
friendly letter and a business letter.
o Example: Dear committee,
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Uses for Quotation Marks

Use quotation marks around a speaker’s exact words. (Notice the punctuation in
the following sentences.)
o Example: Mary said, “I can’t believe we won!”
o “Miracles never end,” my mom replied.
o “Well,” the announcer smiled, “we’re glad you’re happy.”

Use quotation marks around titles of short works. Capitalize all words except the
articles (a, an, the) and prepositions.
o Short Story: “Jug of Silver”
o Poem: “Jabberwocky”
o Chapter of a Book: “Writing Business Reports”
o Magazine Article: “How to Ask for a Raise”
o Song: “The Star Spangled Banner”
Uses for Italics and Underlining

Use italics or underlining for titles of long works. Capitalize all words except the
articles (a, an, the) and prepositions.
o Book: A Summer to Remember
o Magazine: Sports Illustrated
o Newspaper: Springfield Advance-Press
o Play: Anne Frank and Me
o Movie: Hoosiers
o TV Series: Survivor
o Painting: Sunflowers
o Musical Works: Symphony No. 5, The Marriage of Figaro
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Uses for Colons (:) Semicolons (;) and Apostrophes (‘)

Use a colon after the greeting of a business letter.

Use a colon to separate the hour from the minute when writing the time.

Use a colon before a list of items.
o Example: We won the following prizes: money, a trip, and a plaque.

Use a semicolon instead of a comma and coordinating conjunction when two
independent clauses are closely related.
o Example: We bought our friends souvenirs; they really loved them.

Use a semicolon to join two independent clauses when the second clause begins
with an adverb such as however, therefore, consequently, besides, moreover,
furthermore, or nevertheless.
o Example: We spent a lot of money; however, it was worth it.

Use an apostrophe to show possession and to replace letters dropped in
contractions.
o Example: Jim’s smile was the best.
o Example: His excitement couldn’t be hidden.

Use an apostrophe and s to form the plural of words, letters, numerals in
mathematics, and symbols, but not for years and decades.
o Example: There were no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it.
o Example: The played a medley of songs from the 1980s.
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Pronouns
Replace nouns (usually short words)
Endings one, body, thing, self, and selves make words pronouns
Antecedent – The noun the pronoun replaces
Indefinite Pronouns (plus words ending in one, body, and thing)
all
both
few
more
neither
several
another
each
little
most
none
some
any
either
many
much
other(s)
Interrogative Pronouns
who
whom
what
which
whose
Personal Pronouns (possessive pronouns are underlined)
I
mine
yours
he
she
they
theirs
me
you
it
him
hers
them
ours
my
your
its
his
her
their
our
we
us
Demonstrative Pronouns
this
that
these
those
Adjective – Modifies (describes) a noun or pronoun
Verb – Shows action or otherwise helps to make a statement
Adverb – Modifies (describes) a verb, an adjective, or another adverb
Adverbs
Describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs
Often end in -ly
Most common adverbs (need to memorize)
too, very, quite, rather, not, never, almost, so, really, always, often, a lot, well
Steps to finding adverbs
1. Who did what? Subject/Verb
2. Did it when…where…how? Adverbs
3. Ask “how” to all the words in the sentence. Adverbs
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INTERJECTIONS
Show emotion or feeling
Have no grammatical relationship to other words around them
Punctuated with an exclamation point if they show strong emotion
Punctuated with a comma for mild feeling
Examples: Wow shh yippie hooray no (swear words)
Adjectives
Describe nouns and pronouns
Answer the questions Which, How many, How much, What kind of
Usually found: Before nouns, after little verbs, and in the middle of prepositional
phrases
Articles – a, an, and the (they are adjectives)
Most numbers and colors are adjectives
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PARTS OF SPEECH STUDY GUIDE - Springfield Public Schools