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Grammar - Mechanically Inclined

Page history last edited by Wendy Rooney 4 years, 9 months ago



 http://www.harcourtschool.com/glossary/grammar/ - Grammar Glossary


http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/noun.htm - The Noun


http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/verb.htm - The Verb


https://staff.rockwood.k12.mo.us/kerenselizabeth/compact/Documents/SaidisDeadlist%5B1%5D%5B1%5D.pdf - Said Is Dead - Verbs to Substitute for Said




http://www.harcourtschool.com/glossary/grammar/index_word_pre.html?grade=4&word=dependent_clause4.html - Dependent Clause


http://www.harcourtschool.com/glossary/grammar/define/gr4/indepen_clause4.html - Independent Clause




Sentence Patterns



Sentence Pattern #1 - Simple Sentence


Subject + Predicate/ Noun + Verb


EX:  Matt Coughed.



Sentence Pattern #2 - Compound Sentence (Fanboys)

FANBOYS  (for   and   nor   but    or    yet  so )

Independent Clause Fanboy Independent Clause


A Compound Sentence has 2 Independent Clauses joined with a FANBOY (Conjunction).


EX: I wasn't supposed to cross that street, but I did.




Compound Sentences using Semicolons (;)


Independent Clause; Independent Clause.


EX: Esmerelda lost her laptop; she never keeps it in a safe place.






Sentence Pattern #3 -  Complex Sentences


Opener, Sentence


AAAWWUBBIS (also known as Subordinating Conjunctions - after, although, as, when, while, until,  because, before, if, since)


Although I have that car, I would like to trade it in.




Independent Clause + Dependent Clause


EX: I told him that his new print looked like an interesting prehistoric drawing of a fish, although I really could not make out what it was!



Dependent Clause + Independent Clause


EX: If the weather permits, we can participate in the Polar Bear Plunge.




 Sentence Pattern #4 - Complex Sentence


Sentence, Closer



(Independent Clause)    (Dependent Clause)

I became disgruntled while doing my homework



 (Independent Clause)                       (Dependent Clause)

 The old woman looked haggard, as she got out of the car. 





Sentence Pattern #5 - Appositive


Appositive - A word or group of words that rename a noun in the sentence, acting like a second noun. Usually appositives are considered nonessential information, so they are set off with commas.



EX: Miss Hopkins, the most stylish teacher at WDMS, enjoys writing poems.



EX: Mrs. Rooney, a beach lover, loves her pink beach chair.




Sentence Pattern #6 - Serial Comma Sentence Pattern


Use commas between items in a series.


EX: I go to the beach with sunglasses, sunscreen, and a good book.



Sentence Pattern #7 - Prepositional Phrases


Fact #1 - When you begin a sentence with a prepositional phrase, you should probably separate it from the rest of the sentence with a comma.  You don't have to, but usually a comma helps your reader understand your sentence faster and better.


Prepositional Phrase, Subject + Predicate (Complete Sentence)



During the storm, the family hid in the root cellar.

After the championship match, we flocked to the pizza place to celebrate our victory.


Because of my lisp, I don't like to talk on the phone.



Fact #2 - Sentences that start with prepositional phrases are always interesting.  If you ever want to make the first sentence in your story sound even better, consider beginning it with a prepositional phrase.





a collection of words that may have nouns or verbs, but it does not have a subject doing an action (verb)



leaving behind a dog

smashing into a fence before the test

because of her glittering smile


 http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/clause.htm - The Clause



a collection of words that has a subject that is actively doing an action (verb) 



because she smiled at him

I despise people of low character

since she laughs at jokes



Subjects and Predicates


Every complete sentence contains two parts: a subject and a predicate. The subject is what (or whom) the sentence is about, while the predicate tells something about the subject. In the following sentences, the predicate is enclosed in braces ({}), while the subject is highlighted.


Judy {runs}.

Judy and her dog {run on the beach every morning}.

To determine the subject of a sentence, first isolate the verb and then make a question by placing "who?" or "what?" before it -- the answer is the subject.


The audience littered the theatre floor with torn wrappings and spilled popcorn.

The verb in the above sentence is "littered." Who or what littered? The audience did. "The audience" is the subject of the sentence. The predicate (which always includes the verb) goes on to relate something about the subject: what about the audience? It "littered the theatre floor with torn wrappings and spilled popcorn."





The Subject


Recognize a subject of a sentence when you see one.

In a sentence, every verb must have a subject. If the verb expresses action—like sneeze, jump, bark, or study—the subject is who or what does the verb.


Take a look at this example:

During his biology lab, Tommy danced on the table.

Danced is an action verb. Tommy is who did the dancing. Tommy is the SUBJECT.


Look at the next example:

The speeding hotrod crashed into a telephone pole.

Crashed is the action verb. The hotrod is what did the crashing. Hotrod is the SUBJECT.

Not all verbs are action verbs. Some verbs are linking: am, is, are, was, were, seem, and become, among others. Linking verbs connect the subject to something that is said about the subject.


Take a look at this example:

Ron's bathroom is a disaster.

Bathroom is the subject. Is connects the subject to something that is said about it, that the bathroom is a disaster.

Here is another example:

The bathroom tiles are fuzzy with mold.

The word tiles is the subject. Are connects tiles to something said about them, that they are fuzzy with mold.

Generally, but not always, the subject of a linking verb will come before the linking verb.


Know the difference between a complete subject and a simple subject.

The complete subject is who or what is doing the verb plus all of the modifiers [descriptive words] that go with it.

Read the sentence below:

The big, hungry, green Martian grabbed a student from the back row.

Who did the grabbing? The Martian, of course. But this Martian wasn't petite, satisfied, and blue. No, this one was big, hungry, and green. The complete subject, then, is the huge, hairy, hungry, green Martian.

The simple subject, on the other hand, is the who or what that is doing the verb without any description. Take a look at this example:

The bright copper coin sparkled on the sidewalk.

What did the sparkling? Obviously, the bright copper coin. The, bright and copper, however, are just description that distinguishes this coin from one that is, let's say, tarnished and silver.

 The simple subject is only the word coin.


Remember that the subject is never part of a prepositional phrase.

The subject of a verb will never be part of a prepositional phrase. A prepositional phrase begins with a preposition [in, on, at, between, among, etc.] and ends with a noun, pronoun, or gerund. Look at these examples of prepositional phrases:

in the dirty bathtub

on the bumpy road

at home

between us

among the empty pizza boxes

without crying


Sometimes a prepositional phrase appears to be either the subject itself or part of the subject. Read the example that follows:

Neither of these boys wants to try a piece of pineapple pizza.

In this sentence, the boys seem to be the ones who do not want the pizza, but because they are part of a prepositional phrase, of these boys, they are not the subject. Neither is the actual subject.


Take a look at another example:


My dog, along with her seven puppies, has chewed all of the stuffing out of the sofa cushions.

Here, both my dog and her seven puppies are chewing on the sofa, but because the puppies are part of the prepositional phrase along with her seven puppies, the only word that counts as the subject is dog.


Remember this additional point:

Generally, but not always, the subject comes before the verb, as in all of the examples above. There are, however, exceptions, like this one:

In a small house adjacent to our backyard lives a family with ten noisy children.

Lives is the action verb in this sentence, but it is not the house or the backyard that is doing the living. Instead, it is the family with ten noisy children. Family, then, is the subject of this sentence, even though it comes after the verb.

 Take a look at another example:

Around the peach trees are several buzzing bumblebees.

Are is the linking verb in this sentence. The word trees, however, is not the subject because trees is within the prepositional phrase around the peach trees. The subject in this sentence, bumblebees, follows the verb rather than coming before it.




Compound Subject - A sentence has a compound subject when more than 1 noun does the action


Ex: Mining, industrial development, and the building of large dams all damage the rain forests too.


Matthew, Michael, and Bridget are coming to dinner.



Compound Predicate - A sentence has a compound predicate when the same subject does more than 1 action.


Ex: Soil washes streams and rivers and chokes them with mud.


Maureen washed her beachchair, folded her towel, put her flip flops on, and went home.



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