Indefinite: a (becomes an before a noun starting with a vowel sound)
2. NOUNS are the names of things: man, book, wind, crowd, happiness, America, Tuesday
Common nouns are the names of ordinary things: man, table, wind
Proper nouns are those things that always have a capital letter: America, Tuesday, June
Collective nouns are the names of groups of things: crowd, flock, herd
Abstract nouns are the names of intangible things: happiness, bravery, kindness
3. PRONOUNS are words that are used instead of nouns:
Personal: I, me, we, us, you, he, him, she, her, it.
Possessive: mine, ours, yours, his, hers, its. The book is yours (your book)
Demonstrative: this, that, these, those. That (that thing) is good
Relative: who, whom, which, (that). The man, who (he) lived there, was nice
Interrogative: who, what, which, when, where, how, why.
What (thing) do you want? Where (at what place) are you?
Why (for what reason) are you there? I don't know how (in what manner) you do it
4. ADJECTIVES describe, or modify nouns: big, beautiful, crazy, green, soft, good
Adjectives can have degrees:
positive: big, good, beautiful
comparative: bigger, better, more beautiful
superlative: biggest, best, most beautiful
Personal: my, our, your, his, her, its, their
Demonstrative: this, that, these, those: this book; those dogs
Relative: whose, which, what: at whose house; on which day
5. VERBS are 'doing', 'having' or 'being' words: be, do, say, have, run, wash
Verbs have tenses (or times)
Present tense: I do, he does
Past tense: I did, he did
Future tense: I will do, he will do
Verbs also have two participles, present and past.
Present participle: doing (I am doing, I was doing)
Past participle: done (I have done, I had done)
As can be seen, these participles are used in compound tenses of the verb.
Verbs can be finite or infinite. These are generally the same verb & depend on how a verb is used in a particular context.
A finite verb has a subject: I love you
An infinite verb does not have a subject (and often has the word 'to' in front of it): I want to love you; I can love you
Verbs can be transitive or intransitive. These are generally different verbs.
A transitive verb has a direct object: I love you; he is fixing the car; she makes money
An intransitive verb does not have a direct object: I went to town; you sat in the seat.
In these examples, town and seat are indirect objects.
The verb 'to be' does not have a direct object: I am a teacher (teacher is the subject of am, not the object)
Verbs can be active or passive:
I did the gardening (active)
The gardening was done by me (passive)
Modal verbs: These are verbs which are used with other verbs to modify the verb: I should, might, may, would take the dog for a walk
6. ADVERBS describe or modify verbs: quickly, thoroughly, nicely
She did it thoroughly; you speak beautifully
Adverbs also modify adjectives: She is very pretty; it was extraordinarily good
Adverbs can also modify other adverbs: He speaks extremely highly of you
Adverbial phrases are simply adverbs which are expressed in more than one word.
Compare: I travelled slowly (adverb)
& I travelled on the bus (adverbial phrase)
7. CONJUNCTIONS join sentences together. There are two types:
Coordinate Conjunctions join sentences of equal weight:
We are having lunch in town and going to the pictures; I know her but not him
Subordinate Conjunctions join sentences of unequal weight:
We are going to town if it does not rain
I got wet because I didn't have an umbrella
In the resulting sentence, the clause that starts with the subordinate conjunction is the subordinate clause, the other is the main clause.
A preposition is a word which comes before a noun or pronoun and shows the position of some other word in the sentence:
John is on the beach; Mary is in the house; the kids are at the pictures.
9. MORE ABOUT SUBJECTS AND OBJECTS OF A VERB
Look at these sentences:
John loves Mary
Mary loves John
In the first sentence, John is the subject of the verb and Mary is the object.
In the second sentence, Mary is the subject of the verb and John is the object.
Notice that the nouns, John and Mary, stay the same, whether they are the subject or the object of the verb.
Pronouns, however, do often change according to whether they are the subject or object of a verb. If we replace the two sentences above with pronouns, they become:
He loves her
She loves him
Here is a list of pronouns:
Subject Pronouns Object Pronouns
A mistake is often made when both a noun and a pronoun are the subject or object, as in:
My husband and I saw the film
The man visited my husband and me (not my husband and I).
10. MODIFIERS. A modifier is like an adjective. It describes someone or something or what they do. It often comes at the beginning of a sentence.
Walking down the street, the building came into sight. Incorrect
Walking down the street, I caught sight of the building. Correct
Here Walking down the street is the modifier. It describes what someone was doing, and that person (I) must be the subject of the sentence.
The sentence could be changed to:
While I was walking down the street, the building came into sight.
Here, I is the subject of the verb in the subordinate clause & the building is the subject of the verb in the main clause of the sentence.