English grammar

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Communicating effectively

Introduction[edit | edit source]

What is grammar?[edit | edit source]

Grammar is a field of linguistics that comprises the rules of language. These rules are always changing and differ from area to area and from language to language.

Subfields of Grammar/Lingustics[edit | edit source]

There are multiple sub-fields of Grammar/Linguistics. These subfields include:

Origins of English[edit | edit source]

English is a West Germanic language. It came from Anglo-Frisian dialects brought to Britain in the mid-5th to 7th centuries AD by Anglo-Saxons who migrated from what is now northwest Germany, southern Denmark and the Netherlands. It is also heavily based on Latin, the language used by the Roman Empire, that existed from 27 BC to around 1453.

The Grammar[edit | edit source]

Alphabet, Pronunciation, and an Introduction to basic Pronunciation NEEDS EDITING[edit | edit source]

Parts of Speech[edit | edit source]

There are nine different parts of speech, each with several subcategories.

  • noun - a word that names a person, animal, place, thing, or idea. A commonly found subcategory of the noun in English is the proper noun, which denotes someone or something's name with a capital letter at the beginning of the word. (examples: fireman, dog, church, computer, friendship, Russia)
  • verb - a word that describes an action or state of existence. The most common verbs you'll see are called 'action verbs', but there exists many other kinds of verbs as well such as the 'auxiliary verb', which gives functional or grammatical meaning to the sentence it appears in. Common examples are 'is' and 'was'. (examples: run, jump, like, want, is)
  • pronoun - a word that is used in place of a noun. These are used to decrease redundancy in sentences. The pronoun 'I' is always capitalised in a sentence. (examples: I, you, he, she, we, they)
  • adjective - a word that describes a noun (examples: big, red, dark)
  • adverb - a word that modifies a verb or adjective (when, where, how) (examples: quickly, yesterday, everywhere)
  • preposition - a word that connects a noun or pronoun to a sentence (examples: on, at, by, as, after)
  • conjunction - a word that links two words, phrases, or sentences (example: and, or, because)
  • interjection - a word that conveys emotion (example: ahem!, egad!, ouch!, yahoo!)
  • articles - a word that introduces a noun (example: a, an, the)

The Basics of the Noun[edit | edit source]

This can be used almost anywhere in speech such as when your talking about multiple things like food or even games.

The Basics of the Verb[edit | edit source]

Transitivity[edit | edit source]

The Simple Tenses[edit | edit source]

The Basics of the Pronoun[edit | edit source]

The Basics of the Adjective[edit | edit source]

Subjects and Predicates[edit | edit source]

Simple Subject[edit | edit source]

A simple subject is a noun that tells who or what the sentence is about. Usually a simple subject is one word. Read the following example sentence: Bob jumped. In the sentence, Bob is the simple subject. Bob is the who or what of the sentence. Read the following example sentence: Bob the basketball star jumped three feet in the air. Bob is still the simple subject of the sentence.

Simple Predicate[edit | edit source]

The simple predicate is the verb or verb phrase. It tells what the subject did, is doing, or will do. Read the following example sentence: Bob jumped. In the sentence, jumped is the simple predicate. Jumped is the 'What did he do' of the sentence. Read the following example sentence: Bob the basketball star jumped three feet in the air. Jumped is still the simple predicate of the sentence.

Syntax, or Sentence Formation[edit | edit source]

Simple Sentences[edit | edit source]

Helping Verbs in the Past Tense[edit | edit source]

To obtain a clear understanding of the helping verb in the English past tense, we must review the simple past, since that is what we will use for our examples. The simple past includes sentences like 'Bob jumped' or 'Bob flew.' However, when we add a helping verb that does not change the actual tense, the main verb reverts to the infinitive.

Example: Bob jumped. Bob flew.

        Bob did jump.     Bob did fly.

Conventions[edit | edit source]

Mood[edit | edit source]

Confusing words, Idioms, Colloquialisms, and Slang[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

  • Apostrophe misuse
  • Andrew Rossiter (2020). A Descriptive Grammar of English. 207 pp. ISBN 979-8645611750

Go to the Department of English