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Old Tuesday, August 07, 2007
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Thumbs up English Grammar ( for Beginners )

English Grammar

Level I

Parts of Speech :


A noun names a person, place, thing, or idea.

Common Nouns and Proper Nouns

Common nouns refer to common, everyday things.

The dog sleeps in her own bed.
His friend is crazy about popcorn.
My cousin went to college.

A proper noun refers to specific things that are unique or have names. Proper nouns begin with capital letters.

My friend Miranda is from Wyoming.
In 2001 Halloween falls on a Wednesday.
Most Ecuadorians practice Christianity.

Concrete Nouns and Abstract Nouns

A concrete noun names something you can experience with at least one of your senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell). Most nouns are concrete nouns.

My ice melted in the sun.
Darrel's kitten tore apart the yarn.
Thunder rattled our windows.

An abstract noun names something you cannot experience with your senses. Sometimes abstract nouns are called "idea nouns."

Sandra's courage and curiosity made her a good explorer.
It's important to have respect in a friendship.
Honesty is usually the best policy.


A pronoun is used in place of a noun or nouns. Common pronouns include he, her, him, I, it, me, she, them, they, us, and we. Here are some examples:

INSTEAD OF: Luma is a good athlete.

She is a good athlete. (The pronoun she replaces Luma.)

INSTEAD OF: The beans and tomatoes are fresh-picked.

They are fresh-picked. (The pronoun they replaces the beans and tomatoes.)

Often a pronoun takes the place of a particular noun. This noun is known as the antecedent. A pronoun "refers to," or directs your thoughts toward, its antecedent.

Let's call Luma and ask her to join the team. (Her is a pronoun; Luma is its antecedent.)

To find a pronoun's antecedent, ask yourself what that pronoun refers to. What does her refer to in the sentence above—that is, who is the her? The her in the sentence is Luma; therefore, Luma is the antecedent.

Subjective Pronouns

A subjective pronoun acts as the subject of a sentence—it performs the action of the verb. The subjective pronouns are he, I, it, she, they, we, and you.

He spends ages looking out the window.
After lunch, she and I went to the planetarium.

Objective Pronouns

An objective pronoun acts as the object of a sentence—it receives the action of the verb. The objective pronouns are her, him, it, me, them, us, and you.

Cousin Eldred gave me a trombone.
Take a picture of him, not us!

Possessive Pronouns

A possessive pronoun tells you who owns something. The possessive pronouns are hers, his, its, mine, ours, theirs, and yours.

The red basket is mine.
Yours is on the coffee table.

Demonstrative Pronouns

A demonstrative pronoun points out a noun. The demonstrative pronouns are that, these, this, and those.

That is a good idea.
These are hilarious cartoons.

A demonstrative pronoun may look like a demonstrative adjective, but it is used differently in a sentence: it acts as a pronoun, taking the place of a noun.

Interrogative Pronouns

An interrogative pronoun is used in a question. It helps to ask about something. The interrogative pronouns are what, which, who, whom, and compound words ending in "ever," such as whatever, whichever, whoever, and whomever.

What on earth is that?
Who ate the last Fig Newton?

An interrogative pronoun may look like an interrogative adjective, but it is used differently in a sentence: it acts as a pronoun, taking the place of a noun.

Indefinite Pronouns

An indefinite pronoun refers to an indefinite, or general, person or thing. Indefinite pronouns include all, any, both, each, everyone, few, many, neither, none, nothing, several, some, and somebody.

Something smells good.
Many like salsa with their chips.

An indefinite pronoun may look like an indefinite adjective, but it is used differently in a sentence: it acts as a pronoun, taking the place of a noun.

Relative Pronouns

A relative pronoun introduces a clause, or part of a sentence, that describes a noun. The relative pronouns are that, which, who, and whom.

You should bring the book that you love most.
That introduces "you love most," which describes the book.

Hector is a photographer who does great work.
Who introduces "does great work," which describes Hector.

Reflexive Pronouns

A reflexive pronoun refers back to the subject of a sentence. The reflexive pronouns are herself, himself, itself, myself, ourselves, themselves, and yourselves. Each of these words can also act as an intensive pronoun (see below).

I learned a lot about myself at summer camp. (Myself refers back to I.)
They should divide the berries among themselves. (Themselves refers back to they.)

Intensive Pronouns

An intensive pronoun emphasizes its antecedent (the noun that comes before it). The intensive pronouns are herself, himself, itself, myself, ourselves, themselves, and yourselves. Each of these words can also act as a reflective pronoun (see above).

I myself don't like eggs.
The queen herself visited our class.


A verb tells about an action or a state of being. There are three types of verbs: action, linking, and auxiliary.

Action Verbs

An action verb expresses action. It tells what a person or a thing does.

Muskrats swim in marshes.
We built a fantastic sandcastle.

To find out whether a word is an action verb, ask yourself whether that word expresses something you can do. Can you muskrat? No! Can you marsh? No. But can you swim? Yes—swim is an action verb.

Linking Verbs

A linking verb links the subject of the sentence with information about it. Sometimes linking verbs are called "state-of-being verbs."

Jeremy is tired.
This apple tastes so sweet.

In the first sentence, is links Jeremy to information about him-the fact that he is tired. That is his state of being.

In the second sentence, tastes links apple to information about it—its sweetness. Did you think taste was an action verb? Well, it is—when the subject is doing the tasting. But here, the apple isn't doing any tasting. The apple itself tastes sweet. That is its state of being.

Auxiliary Verbs

An auxiliary verb goes with another verb. Sometimes auxiliary verbs are called "helping verbs" because they introduce or "help out" the main verb.

Ms. Sothros is reading our stories.
We should dig for buried treasure.

In the first sentence, the auxiliary verb, is, helps out the main verb, reading, by telling when the action is taking place—right now.

In the second sentence, the auxiliary verb, should, helps out the main verb, dig, by telling about its importance—digging must be important, if it is something that should happen.

Note that you can't is or should. This reminds you that they are not action verbs.

Be, have, and do are the most common auxiliary verbs. Other common auxiliary verbs include can, could, should, would, may, might, and must.

Check Its Function!

In English, the same word can have different functions. For instance, paint can be a verb or a noun. Here are some examples.

Let's paint the garage.
We brought paint to school.

In the first sentence, paint is a verb—it is something you can do. In the second sentence, paint is a noun—it is a thing.

Our rabbits live in a hutch.
Luis sang before a live audience.

In the first sentence, live is a verb—it is something you can do. In the second sentence, live is an adjective—it describes something.

Smile, dance, contact, ski, color, and research are just a few of the many other English words that can have different functions.


An adverb modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. In this case, "modifies" means "tells more about." An adverb tells more about how the verb is being done. Many adverbs end in "-ly."

Susan writes quickly and well.
Herbie will visit tomorrow.
Let's go home.
That was a very funny joke.

Adverbs can answer questions like these: "How?" (quickly and well) "When?" (tomorrow) "Where?" (home) "To what extent?" (very funny)

Interrogative Adverbs

An interrogative adverb asks a question. The interrogative adverbs are how, when, where, and why.

How did you get here?
Where are you going next?

Conjunctive Adverbs

A conjunctive adverb joins two ideas. It can give emphasis to one of the ideas, or answer the question "How are they related?" Some common conjunctive adverbs are besides, however, indeed, moreover, nevertheless, otherwise, and therefore.

I am allergic to cats; nevertheless, I love them.
It might rain later; therefore, we should pack our umbrellas.

A semicolon is used before a conjunctive adverb, and a comma is used after it.

to be continued
ஜ иστнιπg ι ιмթΘรรιвlε тσ α ωιℓℓιиg нєαят ஜ

Last edited by Sureshlasi; Tuesday, August 07, 2007 at 03:01 PM.
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