Grammatical Catechism - University School of the Lowcountry

Grammatical Catechism
1. What are the seven coordinate conjunctions?
And, but or, not, for, yet, so
When coordinate conjunctions join independent clauses, what needs to be done?
A comma is used before the coordinate conjunction.
2. What are some subordinate conjunctions?
Although, since, until, because, (not because of), as, if, as if, even though, so (that), before, after …
What do subordinate conjunctions do?
Subordinate conjunctions begin adverb clauses.
How are adverb clauses punctuated?
A comma is used after an introductory adverb clause. (The adverb clause beginning the second independent
clause is considered introductory, and a comma will follow the clause).
3. What are some transition expressions?
However, therefore, moreover, consequently, subsequently, on the other hand, as a result, in addition …
How are transition expressions punctuated?
Transition expressions are set off with commas. If the transition expression comes at the beginning of a second
independent clause, it is followed by a comma. If it comes inside a second independent clause, it is set off with
commas before and after the transition expression.
4. What are the five relative pronouns?
Who, whose, whom, which, that
How are relative pronouns used?
Relative pronouns begin adjective clauses.
How do we determine whether a relative pronoun is singular or plural?
A relative pronoun is singular when its antecedent noun is singular. A relative pronoun is plural when its
antecedent noun is plural.
5. What are linking verbs?
Is, am, are, was, were, have been, has been, had been, become
What do linking verbs do?
Linking verbs connect the subject to the predicate nominative which renames the subject. A predicate
nominative is a noun or pronoun which follows the verb and describes or renames the subject. It is another way
of naming the subject (The predicate nominatives in the last sentence have been italicized).
6. What is a phrase?
A phrase is a group of related words.
How are phrases identified?
Gerund phrase, participial phrase, infinitive phrase, prepositional phrase, absolute phrase, appositive phrase
(you will receive an explanation of the above later).
7. What is a clause?
A clause is a group of words with a subject and a verb. Clauses include noun clause, adjective clause, adverb
clause, and independent clause (which is like a simple sentence). (you will receive an explanation of the above
Agreement of Subject and Verb
(a few of the tricky rules)
1. Subjects connected by and require plural verbs.
The teacher and his students are going on a field trip.
The computer and I are now compatible
Music and art have been a major influence in my life.
2. The following pronouns are singular:
a. words ending in “body” and “one”:
everyone, everybody, someone, somebody. no one, nobody, anyone, none (not one)
b. either, neither, each
Everyone of my books is in its proper place.
Everyone of my students has his/her books.
3. The verb in the adjective clause agrees with the antecedent of the relative pronoun (who, whose, whom,
which, and that – words which begin adjective clauses).
Everyone of my students who are prepared should feel less stress.
4. When subjects are connected by or / nor, the verb agrees with the closer subject.
Charles or his brothers are excited about hunting.
Either the Baroque composers or Mozart is among my favorites.
5. Collective nouns – jury, committee, audience, crowd, class, troop, family … words which represent a group –
may be singular or plural depending on their meaning.
a. If the noun represents the group as a whole, the verb is singular.
b. If the noun is implying the members of the group, the very is plural.
The class was late. (the group as a whole).
The class were arguing. (the members of the class).
Who Hit Whom?
The proper use of the pronouns who / whom is characteristic of an educated person. Like learning the proper
use of lie / lay, you will be asked to study, to think. If you are willing to do that, you will have absolutely no
problem in learning the use of who / whom.
A. WHO is used as the subject of the verb.
Study these examples:
WHO brought me the new computer? (WHO is the subject of the verb BROUGHT.)
Porter is one of the boys WHO are going with me on my Winterim excursion
John is the only of the students WHO is attending Oxford University.
WHO is also used after linking verbs as the predicate nominative. (is, am, are, was, were, has been, have
been, had been, become = linking verbs)
Do you know WHO you are?
* In natural order the sentence would read; “you are WHO?” So the nominative case
WHO would come after the linking verb ARE as predicate nominative.
Is she aware of WHO she will become?
* She will become WHO?
B. WHOM is used as an object – usually the direct object or the object of a preposition.
Study these examples:
Direct Objects
I see WHOM?
You like WHOM?
He saw WHOM?
Objects of the Preposition
Give the book to WHOM?
The package was for WHOM?
I, HE, SHE, WE, THEY are used exactly like WHO
ME, HIM, HER, US, THEM are used exactly like WHOM