Basic English Grammar Terms

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Important Grammar Terms In English

Verb, Noun, Adjective, Adverb, etc.

When you study English, it’s a good idea to know some basic grammar terminology. You know, the parts of speech in English. These are good to know when you need to explain something, but you don’t know a particular word. In addition, knowing this vocabulary will help you communicate smoothly with your English teacher. For each of the grammar terms here, I have included some example sentences for you. Keep in mind that this lesson is not a complete list of all English grammar terms, it’s just the basics. Let’s get started!

Verb
A verb is word that indicates an action or a state.

  • Some examples of verbs which indicate actions are go, eat, take, and do.
    • Let’s go to the beach.
    • I eat toast every morning.
    • Take a pen and some paper.
  • Some examples of verbs which indicate states are be, see, feel, and recognize.
    • I am happy to see
    • I feel I think I’ll take a nap.
    • I didn’t recognize you with your new hair style.

Noun
A noun is a word that indicates a person, place, or thing.
Countable nouns are words that represent things that you can count using numbers.

  • Countable nouns can be singular, which means the word represents one single thing, like pen, desk, car, and dog.
    • I have a pen.
    • His car is blue.
    • What kind of dog is this?
  • Countable nouns can be plural which means the word represents more than one thing, like pens, desks, cars, and dogs.
    • I buy pens
    • How many desks do we need?
    • Dogs are so cute!

Uncountable nouns are words that represent abstract ideas and things you can’t count using numbers, like love, information, water, and air.

  • Love is a wonderful thing in life.
  • Can you give me some information?
  • I drink a lot of water every day.

Adjective
An adjective is a word that describes a noun and indicates the characteristics of that noun.

  • Adjectives include objective words like colors, sizes, and shapes. Some examples of these adjectives are blue, big, and round.
    • It’s a blue
    • I have a big coffee mug.
    • The round table is best for the meeting.
  • Adjectives also include subjunctive words like appearance, thought, or feeling. Some examples of these adjectives are beautiful, kind, and exciting.
    • She’s a beautiful
    • A kind man helped me cross the road.
    • That was a very exciting concert last night.

Adverb
An adverb is a word that modifies a verb, an adjective, and another adverb. Many adverbs are formed from adjectives and their spelling ends in LY.

  • Adverbs that modify verbs indicate how the action happens.
    • Jack walks slowly, but he talks quickly.
    • Bob hardly works in the winter.
    • I woke up early this morning.
  • Adverbs that modify adjectives indicate the degree of that adjective.
    • It’s very
    • She is amazingly
    • It was a blazingly hot summer day.
  • Adverbs that modify other adverbs indicate the degree of that adverb.
    • I ran more quickly this race than I did the last race.
    • She held the pencil quite delicately when she drew the picture.
    • I very quietly told her that I had to leave.

Preposition
A preposition is a word that comes before a noun and indicates direction, location, time, etc.

  • Let’s go to the park tomorrow.
  • The pen is on the table.
  • I woke up at 5:00am this morning.

Prepositional Phrase
A prepositional phrase contains a preposition followed by a determiner and a noun.

  • Please put the paper in this box.
  • Joe lives down the street from the bookshop.
  • If we stand under that tree we can escape from the rain.

Gerund
A gerund is an ing verb which is used as or functions as a noun. A gerund can be the subject or the object of a verb.

  • Listening to jazz helps me relax.
  • I really like cooking.
  • Do you prefer skiing or snowboarding?

Infinitive.
An infinitive is to plus a verb. Like a gerund, an infinitive can be the subject or the object of a verb.

  • To listen to jazz is to experience the soul of music.
  • I really like to cook.
  • If you have a chance to see Jack, ask him to call

Conjunction
A conjunction is a word that is used to combine two sentences into one sentence. Some examples of conjunctions are and, or, and but.

  • We went to the mall and I bought a new suit.
  • You can have a room with dinner or you can reserve a room with dinner and breakfast.
  • Henry works on the weekends, but he never works overtime.

 Determiner
A determiner is a word that comes before a noun and identifies which noun we are talking about. Some examples of determiners are a/an, the, my, his, etc.

  • Today I saw a dog and a
  • The dog was brown and the cat was tiger striped.
  • Has anyone seen my pen?

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