15 Grammar Terms You Must Know
An adjective is a word used to describe people, things, events etc. It denotes a temporary or permanent quality.
Examples are: honest, beautiful, old, small, big, happy etc.
A typical adjective has the following properties:
1. It can be placed before a noun.
- I saw a beautiful (adjective) girl (noun).
- We have a little house in the city.
2. It can be placed after a verb like be, seem, look, become and feel.
- He is clever.
- She looks happy.
3. It can be compared either with –er, -est or with more, most.
- She is taller than her husband.
- She is more beautiful than her sister.
4. It can take a degree modifier like very, too, rather and so.
- You are so sweet.
- She is rather tall.
An adverb is a word like tomorrow, slowly, happily, once, soon, here and elsewhere.
An adverb usually modifies a verb or a verb phrase and provides information about the manner, time, place or circumstances of the activity or state denoted by the verb or verb phrase. It can also modify an adjective or another adverb.
- He walked slowly. (The adverb slowly modifies the verb walked.)
- He spoke quite loudly. (The adverb quite modifies the adverb loudly.)
- It was a very delightful function. (The adverb very modifies the adjective delightful.)
- She sang badly.
- We will have to think quickly.
- Susie drives too fast.
- She walked very slowly.
- Susie drives too fast.
- Do it more carefully.
Examples are: yesterday, tomorrow, once, soon, always, never etc.
A place adverb says something about the location or direction of an action.
Examples are: here, somewhere, elsewhere, uphill, ahead etc.
A group of words consisting of a subject and a predicate is called a clause.
- The dog barks.
- The sun shines.
- Ann sang a song.
Every sentence must contain at least one main clause, though a sentence may contain two or more main clauses, and in any case may additionally contain one or more subordinate clauses.
For example, the sentence Alice wrote the letters consists of a single main clause, while the sentence Alice wrote the letters and Peter posted them consists of two main clauses connected by and, and the sentence Peter started making dinner while Alice tidied the lounge consists of a main clause plus a subordinate clause beginning with while.
A simple sentence consists of a single main clause.
- Mike started making dinner.
- Susie tidied the lounge.
- Mike smokes but Peter doesn’t.
- Alice wrote the letters and Peter posted them.
- Alice said (main clause) that she would come (subordinate clause).
- You may sit (main clause) wherever you like (subordinate clause).
- Will you wait (main clause) till I return (subordinate clause)?
- If you eat too much (subordinate clause) you will fall ill (main clause).
- After she left university (subordinate), Alice moved to London (main) and her boyfriend followed her (main).
Conjunctions are words that join clauses into sentences. Conjunctions not only join clauses together; they also show how the meanings of the two clauses are related.
Examples are: and, but, although, because, when, if etc.
- He is poor, but honest. (contrast)
- I wrote the letters and Ann posted them. (addition)
- He was happy because he got a rise. (cause)
- Two and two make four.
- Ann and Mary are good friends.
- Jack and Jill went up the hill.
Coordinating conjunctions join pairs of clauses that are grammatically independent of each other. Examples are: and, or, but or yet.
Other conjunctions, like because, when, that or which, are called subordinating conjunctions. A subordinating conjunction together with its following clause acts like a part of the other clause.
- I will phone you when I arrive.
- I stayed an extra night so that I could see Alice.
Noun ClauseA noun clause is a group of words which contains a subject and predicate of its own and does the work of a noun.
Consider the sentence given below.
- He said that he would come. (He said what? That he would come.)
Now consider another sentence.
- That you have come pleases me. (What pleases me? That you have come.)
Other examples are:
- I don't know what she wants.
- I think you have made a mistake.
- Can you guess what I want?
- How the burglar got in is mystery.
A noun is said to be plural or in the plural form if it refers to more than one person, place, animal or thing. Examples are: birds, animals, flowers, boys, books, pens etc.
The possessive form of a noun is one which indicates possession. For example, in ‘Peter’s house’, Peter’s is in the possessive form. The possessive form of a noun is formed by putting a raised comma (’) at the end of the noun and adding the letter s.
Pronouns, too, has possessive forms. Examples are: my, our, his, her, your, their and its.
A preposition shows the relation between two words in a sentence. For example, in the sentence ‘The ball is in the basket’, the preposition ‘in’ shows the relation between the words basket and ball.
A pronoun usually stands for, or replaces a noun. The pronouns he, she, it and they are of this type. Some pronouns do not replace or stand for any noun. The pronoun I stands for the speaker and the pronoun you stands for the person spoken to.
11. Proper noun
A proper noun is the special name of a person (John, Mary), a country (India, France, Mumbai), a place (library, church), a river (the Nile), an ocean (the Pacific Ocean), a mountain (Mount Everest), a day (Monday), a month (January) etc. A proper noun always begins with a capital letter.
A phrase is a group of words which makes sense, but not complete sense. Examples are: in the corner, with care and his house.
A sentence is a group of words which makes complete sense. A sentence has a subject and a predicate of its own. In writing, a sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop, a question mark or an exclamation mark.
Sun rises in the east.
She is my friend.
Who is she?
She is my friend.
Who is she?
A noun is said to be singular or in the singular form if it refers to one person, place, animal or thing. For example, the nouns boy, school, pen and cow are in the singular form.
A verb is an action word. It indicates an action. Examples are: cut, make, break, speak, write, work etc.