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Grammar Terminilogy



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Grammar Terminology

    Active Voice:

    The verb form that indicates that the subject of the sentence is doing the action expressed by the verb.

    Ø Linda cooked the meal.


    A word that describes or modifies the meaning of a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase.

    Ø Little boys. / Hot water. / A big car…


    A word that qualifies or describes the meaning of a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. it can tell how, where, when, how often, or to what degree.

    Ø Softly, now, here, frequently, rapidly, slowly,….


    limiting adjectives; The is definite; a and an are indefinite.

    Ø The teacher (specific and definite)

    Ø A teacher (anyone).

    Auxiliary Verb:

    A verb that accompanies the main verb of a clause or a sentence and helps express its tense, mood, or voice.

    Ø I am hungry

    Ø Sara could not help you.

    Collective nouns:

    The name of a collection, group, or set of persons, places, things, etc.

    Ø Team, jury, audience, United States…


    A mark ( that indicates that something, often a list, is to follow.

    Ø The new Fords are available in the following colors :

    red, green, blue, etc.


    A mark(,) that indicates a short pause and a separation of ideas or elements in a phrase, clause, or sentence.

    Ø Yes, Jane, you’ll need food, clothing, and money.


    Describing the degree of comparison of adjectives or adverbs that relates two items.

    Ø She spoke louder and more distinctly than her

    brother did.


    A word or a phrase that completes the meaning of the verb in a clause or sentence. The construction of the predicate can be completed by the complement.

    Ø She is a manager.

    Ø This winter will be long and cold.

    Ø He asked if he could miss practice today.

    Complex sentence:

    A sentence with one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses.

    Ø When the snow melts, we will plant crops.

    Ø We’ll plant crops when the snow melts.


    Referring to two equal elements that have been joined in a sentence.

    Ø Compound subject: Harry and Al own a restaurant.

    Ø Compound verb: they live and work here.

    Ø Compound adjective: gig red two-door car

    Ø Compound sentence: she is an optometrist and he is

    an optician.


    A systematically arranged listing of all the forms of a verb corresponding to tense, voice, mood, number, person, and gender.


    A word that connects or joins two or more words or ideas, showing the relationship between them.

    Ø Hassan and Zouhair are old, but they are lively and young in heart.

    Conjunctive adverb:

    A word that modifies the clause that it introduces and that joins two independent clauses. It functions as both adverb and a conjunction.

    Ø Nadia didn’t finish her botany course; instead, she took a job and moved to Los Angeles.


    Any of the 26 letters of the alphabet except a, e, I, o, and u. they function as subordinates to the vowels.

    Coordinate conjunction:

    A conjunction that connects two equal and identically constructed parts.

    Ø And, but, for, or, nor, yet.

    Correlative conjunction:

    A conjunction that connects items of equal rank and similar form that are used in pairs. It shows their reciprocal or complementary relationship.

    Ø Neither Hassan nor Zouhair is here.

    Ø Not only Hassan but also Zouhair is here.

    Countable nouns:

    Nouns that can be totaled, numbered, or counted. These nouns accept a plural form.

    Ø A book ten books

    Dependent clause:

    A clause that can not stand alone as a sentence; it depends on the independent clause, it expresses an incomplete thought. Dependent clauses are introduced by words such as that, who, since, although, because, etc.

    Direct object:

    The word or phrase that directly receives the action of the verb and that answers the question what? Who?

    Ø The dog bit the man. (Bit what?)


    A word or a group of words that is not a complete sentence. A sentence fragment is usually a word, phrase, or clause that’s incorrectly used or placed, thus causing confusion. In the sentence below, crying is a fragment since the reader does not know whether it describes SHE or FLUFFY.

    Ø Crying, she held her kitten, fluffy


    The classification of words according to the divisions of sex: masculine, feminine, and neutral.


    A mark (-) that connects two parts of a word.

    Ø De-escalate ninety-two


    The mood of a verb that expresses a command or request. The subject of an imperative mood sentence is often you, understood but not written.

    Ø Stop where you are. Wake up.

    Independent clause:

    A clause that can stand alone, independently, as a sentence; it expresses a complete thought.


    The mood of a verb that indicates that the action or condition expressed by the verb is fact.

    Ø I’m here. John drives fast

    Indirect object:

    The word or phrase that indirectly receives the action of the verb and that answers the question to whom.

    Ø I paid her the money. (paid to whom?)


    A verbal; a form of a verb using to. The infinitive is most often used as a noun, but it can serve as an adjective or adverb as well.

    Ø To dance was her dream.

    Ø I stayed after school to help.

    Ø They needed permission to continue.


    An expression of strong ,sudden emotion or feeling; an exclamation.

    Ø Wow! Woops!

    Linking verbs:

    A verb that connects a subject with a predicate adjective or predicate nominative. the most common linking verb is be; other examples include appear, seem, look.

    Ø I feel good. They are runners.


    A form used to express a verb’s factuality or the likelihood of the action or condition. the three moods are imperative, indicative, and subjunctive.


    Describing a word, phrase, or sentence that denies, contradicts, or negates. the opposite of affirmative.

    Ø No, I won’t go. She’s not here.

    Ø She doesn’t/didn’t like the show.


    The case of a noun or pronoun that is used as a subject or predicate nominative. This case is called subjective.

    Noncountable nouns:

    Nouns that are abstract in quality or quantity; that is; that cannot be totaled, numbered, or counted. They don’t accept a plural form.

    Ø Coffee, love, intelligence,…


    The name of a person, place, thing, idea, quality, activity, and etc.. nouns are used as subjects, objects of verbs, objects of prepositions, or appositives.

    Ø Man, city, screwdriver, democracy

    Noun phrase:

    A group of words that functions as a noun.

    Ø The new clinic is trying to provide a viable health care delivery system.


    The word or phrase that identifies the person, place, thing, etc, affected by the predicate in a clause, or that follows and is governed by a preposition.

    Ø The man in uniform took our tickets.


    The case of a noun or pronoun that is used as the object of a verb or preposition.

    Ø The woman in the grey suit sold me This.


    A verbal; a form of a verb used as an adjective.

    Ø The spoken word a singing parrot

    Passive voice:

    The verb form that indicates that the subject of the sentence is receiving the action or effect that is expressed by the verb.

    Ø The water was boiled.

    Ø The door knob is broken.

    Past participle:

    The principal part of a verb that indicates past or completed action or effect. With an auxiliary, the past participle forms the perfect tenses; alone, it functions as an adjective.

    Ø The book, written, has become a best seller.


    A mark (.) That indicates a completed thought, such as at the end of a sentence or after an abbreviation. Periods used with numbers are called decimals.

    Ø Dr. A.M. 3.142


    The form of pronouns that distinguishes among the speaker (I, WE), the person or item spoken to (you), and the person or item spoken about (HE, SHE, IT, THEY). These three divisions are called 1st, 2nd,and 3rd person, respectively.


    A group of related words without a subject or predicate. Phrases must be used in sentences, attached to other words; they cannot stand alone.

    Ø Telling a story , at 5 o’clock, Around the corner.


    Describing the degree of adjectives and adverbs in which they are simple and not compared. Also occasionally, a synonym for affirmative, when speaking of answers, responses, and sentences.


    The case of a noun or pronoun that indicates ownership or possession. Apostrophes are added to nouns and indefinite pronouns to show possessive case.

    Ø Zineb’s dolly - my weapon


    The word or phrase that expresses the action or being of a subject, or that tells what a subject does. Predicates tell something about subjects. The predicate consists of a verb and any of its auxiliaries or modifiers. Many people use the word synonymously with verb.

    Predicate nominative:

    the completion of the thought of a linking verb through identification of the subject.

    Ø He is a spy. Those are sheep.


    In English 5 letters are considered as vowels (a-e-I-o-u) and two as semivowels (w-y).


    A word that links a pronoun, noun, or noun phrase with the rest of the sentence, usually describing time, place, or relationship.

    Ø Of, through, in, with, on, under ,in ,on, at.

    Present participle:

    the principle part of a verb that is usually called the progressive form. It indicates continuous or present action. With an auxiliary, it forms the progressive tenses; alone, it functions as an adjective.

    Ø Smiling, he opened the door.

    Ø The parking lot is over there.


    A word used in the place of a noun or noun phrase, usually to avoid repetition. pronouns designate nouns without naming them.

    Ø Hassan’s relatives thought they had more time.

    Proper noun:

    The actual name of a person, place, etc. Proper nouns always capitalized.

    Ø Paul Adams - Mississippi River

    Question mark:

    A mark (?) That indicates an inquiry, interrogation, or direct question. It’s placed

    At the end of a question.

    Ø Where are we?

    Quotation marks:

    Marks (“ ”) that indicate the beginning and the end of someone else’s exact spoken or written words.

    Ø She said: “ you will have to go”


    Referring to verbs whose objects directly and identically reflect their subjects.

    Ø The child fed her self.

    Ø The player injured himself.

    Relative pronoun:

    A pronoun that introduces a dependent clause and that refers to some antecedent.

    Ø Stan Lee is the cartoonist whom I mentioned.


    A mark ( that indicates a longer pause than a comma but a shorter pause than a period. semicolons are used between independent clauses that are not joined by coordinate conjunctions and between independent clauses that are joined by conjunctive adverbs.

    Ø Linda lives in Bosnia; her mother lives in morocco.

    Ø We met again today; however, we reached no agreement.


    A group of related words with a subject and predicate that expresses a complete thought .it begins with a capital letter and ends with a period, question mark, or exclamation point

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