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Grammar

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Sit is an intransitive verb by its nature; it cannot have a direct object; Set implies a direct object by its nature.

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Contents

PRACTICAL GRAMMAR AND COMPOSITION

CHAPTER I

SENTENCES.—PARTS OF SPEECH.—ELEMENTS OF THE SENTENCE.—PHRASES AND CLAUSES

1. In thinking we arrange and associate ideas and objects together. Words are the symbols of ideas or objects. A Sentence is a group of words that expresses a single complete thought.

2. Sentences are of four kinds:

a. Declarative; a sentence that tells or declares something; as, That book is mine.

b. Imperative; a sentence that expresses a command; as, Bring me that book.

c. Interrogative; a sentence that asks a question; as, Is that book mine?

d. Exclamatory; a declarative, imperative, or interrogative sentence that expresses violent emotion, such as terror, surprise, or anger; as, You shall take that book! or, Can that book be mine?

3. Parts of Speech. Words have different uses in sentences. According to their uses, words are divided into classes called Parts of Speech. The parts of speech are as follows:

1. Noun; a word used as the name of something; as, man, box, Pittsburgh, Harry, silence, justice.

Page 2 2. Pronoun; a word used instead of a noun; as, I, he, it, that.

Nouns, pronouns, or groups of words that are used as nouns or pronouns, are called by the general term, Substantives.

3. Adjective; a word used to limit or qualify the meaning of a noun or a pronoun; as, good, five, tall, many.

The words a, an, and the are words used to modify nouns or pronouns. They are adjectives, but are usually called Articles.

4. Verb; a word used to state something about some person or thing; as, do, see, think, make.

5. Adverb; a word used to modify the meaning of a verb, an adjective, or another adverb; as, very, slowly, clearly, often.

6. Preposition; a word used to join a substantive, as a modifier, to some other preceding word, and to show the relation of the substantive to that word; as, by, in, between, beyond.

7. Conjunction; a word used to connect words, phrases, clauses, and sentences; as, and, but, if, although, or.

8. Interjection; a word used to express surprise or emotion; as, Oh! Alas! Hurrah! Bah!

Sometimes a word adds nothing to the meaning of the sentence, but helps to fill out its form or sound, and serves as a device to alter its natural order. Such a word is called an Expletive. In the following sentence there is an expletive: There are no such books in print.

4. A sentence is made up of distinct parts or elements. The essential or Principal Elements are the Subject and the Predicate.

The Subject of a sentence is the part which mentions that about which something is said. The Predicate is the part which states that which is said about the subject. Man walks. In this sentence, man is the subject, and walks is the predicate.

Page 3 The subject may be simple or modified; that is, may consist of the subject alone, or of the subject with its modifiers. The same is true of the predicate. Thus, in the sentence, Man walks, there is a simple subject and a simple predicate. In the sentence, The good man walks very rapidly, there is a modified subject and a modified predicate.

There may be, also, more than one subject connected with the same predicate; as, The man and the woman walk. This is called a Compound Subject. A Compound Predicate consists of more than one predicate used with the same subject; as, The man both walks and runs.

5. Besides the principal elements in a sentence, there are Subordinate Elements. These are the Attribute Complement, the Object Complement, the Adjective Modifier, and the Adverbial Modifier.

Some verbs, to complete their sense, need to be followed by some other word or group of words. These words which "complement," or complete the meanings of verbs are called Complements.

The Attribute Complement completes the meaning of the verb by stating some class, condition, or attribute of the subject; as, My friend is a student, I am well, The man is good Student, well, and good complete the meanings of their respective verbs, by stating some class, condition, or attribute of the subjects of the verbs.

The attribute complement usually follows the verb be or its forms, is, are, was, will be, etc. The attribute complement is usually a noun, pronoun, or adjective, although it may be a phrase or clause fulfilling the function of any of these parts of speech. It must not be confused with an adverb or an adverbial modifier. In the sentence, He is there, there is an adverb, not an attribute complement.

The verb used with an attribute complement, because such verb joins the subject to its attribute, is called the Copula ("to couple") or Copulative Verb.

Page 4 Some verbs require an object to complete their meaning. This object is called the Object Complement. In the sentence, I carry a book, the object, book, is required to complete the meaning of the transitive verb carry; so, also in the sentences, I hold the horse, and I touch a desk, the objects horse and desk are necessary to complete the meanings of their respective verbs. These verbs that require objects to complete their meaning are called Transitive Verbs.

Adjective and Adverbial Modifiers may consist simply of adjectives and adverbs, or of phrases and clauses used as adjectives or adverbs.

6. A Phrase is a group of words that is used as a single part of speech and that does not contain a subject and a predicate.

A Prepositional Phrase, always used as either an adjective or an adverbial modifier, consists of a preposition with its object and the modifiers of the object; as, He lives in Pittsburg, Mr. Smith of this place is the manager of the mill, The letter is in the nearest desk.

There are also Verb-phrases. A Verb-phrase is a phrase that serves as a verb; as, I am coming, He shall be told, He ought to have been told.

7. A Clause is a group of words containing a subject and a predicate; as, The man that I saw was tall. The clause, that I saw, contains both a subject, I, and a predicate, saw. This clause, since it merely states something of minor importance in the sentence, is called the Subordinate Clause. The Principal Clause, the one making the most important assertion, is, The man was tall. Clauses may be used as adjectives, as adverbs, and as nouns. A clause used as a noun is called a Substantive Clause. Examine the following examples:

Adjective Clause: The book that I want is a history.Adverbial Clause: He came when he had finished with the work.Noun Clause as subject: That I am here is true.Noun Clause as object: He said that I was mistaken.

Page 5 8. Sentences, as to their composition, are classified as follows:

Simple; a sentence consisting of a single statement; as, The man walks.

Complex; a sentence consisting of one principal clause and one or more subordinate clauses; as, The man that I saw is tall.

Compound; a sentence consisting of two or more clauses of equal importance connected by conjunctions expressed or understood; as, The man is tall and walks rapidly, and Watch the little things; they are important.

Exercise 1

In this and in all following exercises, be able to give the reason for everything you do and for every conclusion you reach. Only intelligent and reasoning work is worth while.

In the following list of sentences:

(1) Determine the part of speech of every word.

(2) Determine the unmodified subject and the unmodified predicate; and the modified subject and the modified predicate.

(3) Pick out every attribute complement and every object complement.

(4) Pick out every phrase and determine whether it is a prepositional phrase or a verb-phrase. If it is a prepositional phrase, determine whether it is used as an adjective or as an adverb.

(5) Determine the principal and the subordinate clauses. If they are subordinate clauses, determine whether they are used as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs.

(6) Classify every sentence as simple, complex, or compound.

  1. Houses are built of wood, brick, stone, and other materials, and are constructed in various styles.
  2. We gladly accepted the offer which he made.
  3. I am nearly ready, and shall soon join you.
  4. There are few men who do not try to be honest.
  5. He works hard, and rests little.
  6. She is still no better, but we hope that there will be a change.
  7. Let each speak for himself.
  8. It was I who told him to go.
  9. To live an honest life should be the aim of everyone.
  10. Who it really was no one knew, but all believed it to have been him.
  11. In city and in country people think very differently.
  12. To be or not to be, that is the question.
  13. In truth, I think that I saw a brother of his in that place.
  14. By a great effort he managed to make headway against the current.
  15. Beyond this, I have nothing to say.
  16. That we are never too old to learn is a true saying.
  17. He often wished that the wind might rage.
  18. Blessed is he who has been educated to bear his fate.
  19. It is I whom you see.
  20. The study of history is a study that demands a well-trained memory.
  21. Beyond the city limits the trains run more rapidly than they do here.
  22. Alas! I can travel no more.
  23. A lamp that smokes is a torture to one who wants to study.

Exercise 2

(1) Write a list of six examples of every part of speech.

(2) Write eight sentences, each containing an attribute complement. Use adjectives, nouns, and pronouns.

(3) Write eight sentences, each containing an object complement.

(4) Write five sentences, in each using some form of the verb to be, followed by an adverbial modifier.

Page 7 CHAPTER II

NOUNS

9. A noun has been defined as a word used as the name of something. It may be the name of a person, a place, a thing, or of some abstract quality, such as, justice or truth.

10. Common and Proper Nouns. A Proper Noun is a noun that names some particular or special place, person, people, or thing. A proper noun should always begin with a capital letter; as, English, Rome, Jews, John. A Common Noun is a general or class name.

11. Inflection Defined. The variation in the forms of the different parts of speech to show grammatical relation, is called Inflection. Though there is some inflection in English, grammatical relation is usually shown by position rather than by inflection.

The noun is inflected to show number, case, and gender.

12. Number is that quality of a word which shows whether it refers to one or to more than one. Singular Number refers to one. Plural Number refers to more than one.

13. Plurals of singular nouns are formed according to the following rules:

1. Most nouns add s to the singular; as, boy, boys; stove, stoves.

2. Nouns ending in s, ch, sh, or x, add es to the singular; as, fox, foxes; wish, wishes; glass, glasses; coach, coaches.

3. Nouns ending in y preceded by a vowel (a, e, i, o, u) add s; as, valley, valleys, (soliloquy, soliloquies and colloquy, colloquies are exceptions). When y is preceded by a consonant (any letter other than a vowel), y is changed to i and es is added; as, army, armies; pony, ponies; sty, sties.

4. Most nouns ending in f or fe add s, as, scarf, scarfs; safe, safes. Page 8 A few change f or fe to v and add es; as, wife, wives; self, selves. The others are: beef, calf, elf, half, leaf, loaf, sheaf, shelf, staff, thief, wharf, wolf, life. (Wharf has also a plural, wharfs.)

5. Most nouns ending in o add s; as, cameo, cameos. A number of nouns ending in o preceded by a consonant add es; as, volcano, volcanoes. The most important of the latter class are: buffalo, cargo, calico, echo, embargo, flamingo, hero, motto, mulatto, negro, potato, tomato, tornado, torpedo, veto.

6. Letters, figures, characters, etc., add the apostrophe and s ('s); as, 6's, c's, t's, that's.

7. The following common words always form their plurals in an irregular way; as, man, men; ox, oxen; goose, geese; woman, women; foot, feet; mouse, mice; child, children; tooth, teeth; louse, lice.

Compound Nouns are those formed by the union of two words, either two nouns or a noun joined to some descriptive word or phrase.

8. The principal noun of a compound noun, whether it precedes or follows the descriptive part, is in most cases the noun that changes in forming the plural; as, mothers-in-law, knights-errant, mouse-traps. In a few compound words, both parts take a plural form; as, man-servant, men-servants; knight-templar, knights-templars.

9. Proper names and titles generally form plurals in the same way as do other nouns; as, Senators Webster and Clay, the three Henrys. Abbreviations of titles are little used in the plural, except Messrs. (Mr.), and Drs. (Dr.).

10. In forming the plurals of proper names where a title is used, either the title or the name may be put in the plural form. Sometimes both are made plural; as, Miss Brown, the Misses Brown, the Miss Browns, the two Mrs. Browns.

11. Some nouns are the same in both the singular and the plural; as, deer, series, means, gross, etc.

12. Some nouns used in two senses have two plural forms. The most important are the following:


brother brothers (by blood) brethren (by association)
cloth cloths (kinds of cloth) clothes (garments)
die dies (for coinage) dice (for games)
fish fishes (separately) fish (collectively) Page 9
genius geniuses (men of genius) genii (imaginary beings)
head heads (of the body) head (of cattle)
index indexes (of books) indices (in algebra)
pea peas (separately) pease (collectively)
penny pennies (separately) pence (collectively)
sail sails (pieces of canvas) sail (number of vessels)
shot shots (number of discharges) shot (number of balls)

13. Nouns from foreign languages frequently retain in the plural the form that they have in the language from which they are taken; as, focus, foci; terminus, termini; alumnus, alumni; datum, data; stratum, strata; formula, formulœ; vortex, vortices; appendix, appendices; crisis, crises; oasis, oases; axis, axes; phenomenon, phenomena; automaton, automata; analysis, analyses; hypothesis, hypotheses; medium, media; vertebra, vertebrœ; ellipsis, ellipses; genus, genera; fungus, fungi; minimum, minima; thesis, theses.

Exercise 3

Write the plural, if any, of every singular noun in the following list; and the singular, if any, of every plural noun. Note those having no singular and those having no plural.

News, goods, thanks, scissors, proceeds, puppy, studio, survey, attorney, arch, belief, chief, charity, half, hero, negro, majority, Mary, vortex, memento, joy, lily, knight-errant, why, 4, x, son-in-law, Miss Smith, Mr. Anderson, country-man, hanger-on, major-general, oxen, geese, man-servant, brethren, strata, sheep, mathematics, pride, money, pea, head, piano, veto, knives, ratios, alumni, feet, wolves, president, sailor-boy, spoonful, rope-ladder, grandmother, attorney-general, cupful, go-between.

When in doubt respecting the form of any of the above, consult an unabridged dictionary.

14. Case. There are three cases in English: the Nominative, the Possessive, and the Objective.

The Nominative Case; the form used in address and as the subject of a verb.

The Objective Case; the form used as the object of a verb or a preposition. It is always the same in form as is the nominative.

Page 10 Since no error in grammar can arise in the use of the nominative or the objective cases of nouns, no further discussion of these cases is here needed.

The Possessive Case; the form used to show ownership. In the forming of this case we have inflection.

15. The following are the rules for the forming of the possessive case:

1. Most nouns form the possessive by adding the apostrophe and s ('s); as, man, man's; men, men's; pupil, pupil's; John, John's.

2. Plural nouns ending in s form the possessive by adding only the apostrophe ('); as, persons, persons'; writers, writers'. In stating possession in the plural, then one should say: Carpenters' tools sharpened here, Senior officers' wives are invited, etc.

3. Some singular nouns ending in an s sound form the possessive by adding the apostrophe alone; as, for appearance' sake, for goodness' sake. But usage inclines to the adding of the apostrophe and s ('s) even if the singular noun does end in an s sound; as, Charles's book, Frances's dress, the mistress's dress.

4. When a compound noun, or a group of words treated as one name, is used to denote possession, the sign of the possessive is added to the last word only; as, Charles and John's mother (the mother of both Charles and John), Brown and Smith's store (the store of the firm Brown & Smith).

5. Where the succession of possessives is unpleasant or confusing, the substitution of a prepositional phrase should be made; as, the house of the mother of Charles's partner, instead of, Charles's partner's mother's house.

6. The sign of the possessive should be used with the word immediately preceding the word naming the thing possessed; as, Father and mother's house, Smith, the lawyer's, office, The Senator from Utah's seat.

7. Generally, nouns representing inanimate objects should not be used in the possessive case. It is better to say the hands of the clock than the clock's hands.

Note.—One should say somebody else's, not somebody's else. The expression somebody else always occurs in the one form, and in such cases the sign of the possessive should be added to the last word. Similarly, say, no one else's, everybody else's, etc.

Page 11 Exercise 4

Write the possessives of the following:

Oxen, ox, brother-in-law, Miss Jones, goose, man, men, men-servants, man-servant, Maine, dogs, attorneys-at-law, Jackson & Jones, John the student, my friend John, coat, shoe, boy, boys, Mayor of Cleveland.

Exercise 5

Write sentences illustrating the use of the possessives you have formed for the first ten words under Exercise 4.

Exercise 6

Change the following expressions from the prepositional phrase form to the possessive:

  1. The ships of Germany and France.
  2. The garden of his mother and sister.
  3. The credit of Jackson & Jones.
  4. The signature of the president of the firm.
  5. The coming of my grandfather.
  6. The lives of our friends.
  7. The dog of both John and William.
  8. The dog of John and the dog of William.
  9. The act of anybody else.
  10. The shortcomings of Alice.
  11. The poems of Robert Burns.
  12. The wives of Henry the Eighth.
  13. The home of Mary and Martha.
  14. The novels of Dickens and the novels of Scott.
  15. The farm of my mother and of my father.
  16. The recommendation of Superintendent Norris.

Exercise 7

Correct such of the following expressions as need correction. If apostrophes are omitted, insert them in the proper places:

  1. He walked to the precipices edge.
  2. Both John and William's books were lost.
  3. Page 12 They sell boy's hats and mens' coats.
  4. My friends' umbrella was stolen.
  5. I shall buy a hat at Wanamaker's & Brown's.
  6. This student's lessons.
  7. These students books.
  8. My daughters coming.
  9. John's wife's cousin.
  10. My son's wife's aunt.
  11. Five years imprisonment under Texas's law.
  12. John's books and Williams.
  13. The Democrat's and Republican Convention.
  14. France's and England's interests differ widely.
  15. The moons' face was hidden.
  16. Wine is made from the grape's juice.
  17. Morton, the principals, signature.
  18. Jones & Smith, the lawyers, office.

16. Gender. Gender in grammar is the quality of nouns or pronouns that denotes the sex of the person or thing represented. Those nouns or pronouns meaning males are in the Masculine Gender. Those meaning females are in the Feminine Gender. Those referring to things without sex are in the Neuter Gender.

In nouns gender is of little consequence. The only regular inflection is the addition of the syllable-ess to certain masculine nouns to denote the change to the feminine gender; as, author, authoress; poet, poetess. -Ix is also sometimes added for the same purpose; as, administrator, administratrix.

The feminine forms were formerly much used, but their use is now being discontinued, and the noun of masculine gender used to designate both sexes.


Speaking of Grammer

Table of Contents

Parts of Speech Nouns Kinds of Nouns Proper Nouns Common Nouns Collective Nouns (family, herd, flock) Abstract Nouns (beauty, patience, eternity) Verbal Nouns (name of action - a jump, etc.) Properties of Nouns Gender Number Singular Plural Adding “s” Changing vowel in the word (feet) Adding “en” (children, oxen) Change “f” to “v”, add “s” or “es” (wives) Change “y” to “i”, add “es” (ladies) If vowel comes before “y”, use 1. Foreign plurals (radii, data, crises, etc.) Letters, figures, signs, words; add ‘s Compound nouns (sons-in-law) Proper nouns, add “s” or “es” Add plural to title ( the Misters Smith) Some nouns are the same both ways (fish) Case Nominative Case Angels protect us. (Subject of a finite verb) Come here, Joan. (Nominative of direct address) Sarah is happy. (Predicate nominative) Poor man! (Nominative of Exclamation) St. Patrick, patron of Ireland, was a bishop. (Nominative apposition)


Possessive case My Father’s house is the house of prayer. (Modifier of a substantive) Objective case God has given us everything. (Direct object of a verb) I gave my mother a present. (Indirect object) Christ chose Peter as pope. (Predicate object) He laughed a happy laugh. (Cognate object) She saw a bird in the tree. (Object of a preposition) They walked a mile. (Adverbial objective) I saw my friend Louise at the park. (Object in apposition) They believed the man to be ill. (Subject of an infinitive) Pronouns Kinds of pronouns Personal First person Second person Third person Adjective Demonstrative Adjective - This story is funny. I saw that book. I like these foods. Those hats are brown. Pronoun - This is easy. How old is that book? These are beautiful pictures. Those are too big. Indefinite any, both, either, neither, every, etc. Relative This is a story that I can recommend. It is the man whom you saw earlier. Interrogative Who, which, what adjectives


Book

Nouns


We can divide words into eight parts of speech: nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.

A noun is the name of a person, place, thing, or idea. We can divide nouns into two classes: proper nouns and common nouns.

Kinds of Nouns
A proper noun is the name of a particular person, place, thing, or idea.

Examples: Julia sat quietly. Peter was born in Birmingham. David read five chapters from the Bible. Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday.

Common nouns fall under four categories: concrete nouns, collective nouns, abstract nouns, and verbal nouns.

Examples: The girl swept the floor. The flock went to pasture. Patience is a virtue. Patrick took a deep breath.


Properties of Nouns
The three properties of a noun are gender, number and case.

Gender
There are three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. Some nouns such as cousin and bird can be either masculine or feminine. We may show gender in the following ways: 1. by the use of different words: husband wife king queen boy girl

2. By adding an ending to the masculine or feminine form: hero heroine prince princess

bride bridegroom widow widower

Number

Nouns fall under two number categories: singular and plural. A noun is singular if it denotes one person, place, thing, or idea. A noun is plural if it denotes more than one person, place, thing, or idea. We may form the plurals of nouns in the following ways:

1. by adding “s” or “es” to the end of the singular: boy boys church churches girl girls flash flashes jewel jewels glass glasses prince princes princess princesses

2. by adding “en”: ox oxen child children

3. Most nouns ending in “f” or “fe” form their plural by changing the “f” to “v” and adding “s” or “es.” life lives leaf leaves wife wives wolf wolves

4. Common nouns ending in “y” preceded by a consonant* change the “y” to “i” and add “es”. sky skies puppy puppies lady ladies bunny bunnies * If the “y” is preceded by a vowel, we form the plural by adding “s” as in rule 1.

5. Nouns ending in “o” after a consonant* usually form their plurals by adding “es” - except some musical terms. hero heroes potato potatoes * If the “o” is preceded by a vowel, we form the plural by adding “s” as in rule 1.

6. Some nouns form their plurals by the change of one or more vowels inside the word. foot feet mouse mice goose geese man men woman women



7. Many nouns from foreign languages have kept their original plural forms, though some have received English plurals. Datum data Radius radii Crisis crises



8. Letters, numbers, and words regarded merely as words form their plurals by adding “’s.” Your and’s are too numerous. Your h’s look like your n’s. 9. Compound nouns usually* form their plurals by pluralizing the principal word, though there are some exceptions. daughter-in-law daughters-in-law son-in-law sons-in-law * Some words such as cupful and spoonful form their plurals by adding “s” as in rule 1.

10. A few nouns have the same form in either plural or singular. trout deer sheep

11. Proper nouns usually form their plural by adding “s” or “es.” Usage favors the addition of the plural sign to the title of a name. The Mary’s and John’s are present. The Misses Peterson are visiting the Thomas’s. Case Case indicates the grammatical relationship of a noun to verbs, prepositions, and other nouns. There are three cases in the English language: nominative, possessive, and objective. Nouns in the nominative and objective cases have the same form. Only the possessive case nouns are different. The following rules govern the formation of possessive case nouns:

1.  We form the singular form of the possessive case of most nouns by adding “’s.”

The boy’s cap fell. The bird’s wing is broken.

2. Nouns of more than one syllable ending in an s-sound and not accented on the last syllable may form their singular possessive by adding “’s” or by the use of the apostrophe alone.

Miscellaneous

Parts of speech

Noun
Pronoun
Adjective
Nouns as adjectives
Verbs
Action and linking verbs
Verb phrases---am doing, will have come, etc
Adverbs
Prepositions
Conjunctions
Interjections

The sentence

Subject and predicate “John the farmer” “will be riding his horse in France”
Difference between Simple predicate and complete predicate--”will be riding” “will be riding his horse in France”
Compound subjects and verbs
Sentence base--”John will be riding”
complements--”his horse in France”
Subject complements—follow linking verb—if “he was strong” it would be “strong”
Direct and indirect objects
Compound complements
Diagramming
The phrase
Prepositional phrases
Which are either Adjective phrases or Adverbial phrases
participles—words used as adjectives that are like verbs”the barking dog”--the “barking”is a participle
Past participles and present participles—“the defeated team”, “the barking dog”
Participle phrases
Gerunds—words used as nouns that are like verbs “Singing is a good habit”
Gerund phrases
Infinitives--”to be,””to jump”--in a sentence: ”To hide is cowardice”
Infinitive phrases
Infinitives with “to” omitted
Appositives and appositive phrases—in a sense a second subject almost--”my brother Thomas is tall”--”Thomas” is the appositive
Clauses
Independent clauses
Subordinate clauses
Subordinate clauses used as adjectives and adverbs
Subordinate clauses used as nouns
Simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex setups of clauses

Usage

Standard and nonstandard English, formal and informal, mention about different styles of language at different times
Correctly matched words
Singular and plural match
Subject and verb
Compound subjects
Verb matches subject, not predicate nominative
Sentences begun with “here” and “there”--verb matches true subject--”here are five bushels”


Subjects and Predicates

Simple sentences can be divided into two basic parts: the subject (the main topic of the sentence) and the predicate (what the subject does, is, or gets voluntarily or involuntarily).

In the sentence: “John walks.” we have “John” as the subject (the main topic of the sentence, and “walks” as the predicate (what John is doing). We also consider words that explain the subject or the predicate as parts of the predicate. If we have “John walks to town.” we are still talking about John, so “John” is the subject. “to “town” describes “walks”


Who what Where When Why

Does is receives

Who what were when why

Sentence

Words used together to express an idea form a sentence. The principal parts of a simple sentence are: a subject (a noun or pronoun given for a person, place, thing, idea, date, or time) and a predicate (a verb telling what action is taking place or what has occurred.)

Study the sentence:

Birds fly.

"Birds" is the subject, the noun--the thing, and "fly" is the predicate, the verb--the action word. When diagramming a sentence, the subject (noun) is placed on the left hand side of the base line.

John walks.

"John" is subject, the person, a proper noun, and "walks" is the predicate--the action verb.

In the following sentences, which word is the subject (noun) and which word is the predicate (verb) that tells what is said or asserted of the person or thing?
Horses run.

Dogs bark.

Trees grow.

Fishes swim.

Ships sail.

George studies.

Fill in the blank to express an idea or make a sentence.

Charles __________.

Rivers ____________.

Nightingales __________.

Boys _______________.

Girls ________________.

Children ______________.

Pupils _________________.


Fill in the blank with the name of a person or thing to express an idea or make a sentence.

__________ work.

_____________ wither.

_________________ sew.

______________ flow.

______________ sting.

______________ see.

______________ sing.

______________ play.

______________ talk.

Nouns and Verbs

Words used as names are called nouns.

Boys study.

In the sentence above, "Boys" is a noun because it is used as a name. "Boys" is used as a general name and is called a common noun. It is capitalized only when used at the beginning of a sentence.


Jim and Ralph study.

Names of particular persons, places, things, and ideas are called proper nouns. In the sentence above, "Jim" and "Ralph" are proper nouns because they are names of particular persons. Proper nouns are always capitalized no matter where they are in a sentence.

The verb is a word expressing action (studies, flies, sing, flows, walk, sleeps, runs, etc.) or a state of being (is, was, are, am, has, were, etc.)

To find the predicate (or verb--the word or group of words describing an action or state of being) answer the question, "What action is occurring or has occurred?" When diagramming sentences, the predicate or verb goes on the right hand side of the base line.

Study the sentence:

Children play.

"Children" is the subject (noun) and "play" is the predicate (verb--the action word or state of being.)

This is how the sentence would be diagrammed:

Children | play

Charles studies.

"Charles" is the subject (noun) and "studies" is the predicate (verb--the action word or state of being.)

Charles | studies

Charles studies his interesting lessons at home.

"Charles", "lessons", and "home" are all nouns (a person, a thing, and a place, respectively.) Only one is the subject. To find the subject, we first find the predicate (verb-the word describing action). The word describing action is "studies".


Study the sentences. What are the nouns in each sentence? State whether the noun is common or proper.

Words are like arrows.
Mother closed the windows and doors.
Follow a useful pursuit with zeal.
Father bought my sled, but the skates were a gift from George.
Forget not the kindness or your mother.
Reason, eloquence and art can greatly improve the world when used for the greater glory of God.
Truth and error, virtue and vice, are things of an immutable nature.

Study the sentences. Supply a verb to make a sentence.

Charles _________ to Boston.
Anna ____________ from the store.
An honest man _________ the noblest work of God.
A good boy ___________ his parents.
Men _________ God.
James __________ his book.

Study the sentences. Supply a noun to make a sentence.

_________ are useful animals.
__________ has studied the lesson.
__________ gave me a book.
__________ should obey their parents.
_____________will soon wither.
Does _________ confer happiness?

Adjective

Words used to describe nouns are adjectives.

Good boys study.

The word "good" describes the noun "boys". It tells their character. The word "good" in this sentence is called an adjective.

Brown cardboard boxes were stacked neatly.

The word "brown" describes the noun "boxes" in regard to color. The word "cardboard" describes the noun "boxes" in regard to the material of which they are made. The words "brown" and "cardboard" are adjectives.

The young, thin boy stood next to the tall man.

The word "young" describes the noun "boy" in regard to age. The word "thin" describes the noun "boy" in regard to size. The word "tall" describes the noun "man" in regard to height. The words "young," "thin" and "tall" are adjectives.

Adjectives describe nouns.

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