Archive for August 2011
The Eight Parts of Speech
- a word which takes the place of a noun. Its antecedent is a noun.
- modifies (i.e. describes or limits) a noun.
Ex. The big cat is dangerous.
Ex. Yesterday, the birds sang sweetly here.
- a word which shows a relation between a) the noun (or pron.) which always follows it and b) some other noun or verb in the sentence.
CONJUNCTION- there are two types:
1)COORDINATE – and / but / or / for
Some common sub. conjunctions: because/when/ where/before/that/until/unless/except/than/as/if/although
-a word which is interjected (i.e. “thrown in”) to a sentence without any connection to the rest of the words. It is often for emphasis and so may be accompanied by an exclamation mark.
Example: Hey! are you listening?
- a group of words centered around a subject (noun or pronoun)+ Verb. A single such group of words makes a “simple” sentence. Two (or more)clauses will require one (or more) conjunction to make a complete sentence. Clauses joined by coordinate conjunctions add information, but do not make a relationship between the two clauses.
A subordinate clause needs another clause to make sense.(and so is sometimes called a dependentclause)
A subordinate clause always relates to another clause in one of three ways: by acting as an adjective or an adverb or a noun.
SUBJECTS AND OBJECTS
Any noun or pronoun always functions as a “subject” or “object” when used in a sentence. There are 5 variations. Subjects do things. Objects do not.
(Note: every sentence must have a subject but need not have an object)
Ex. The dog bit the teacher on the leg.4) Object of the preposition – any n. or p. following a preposition is always in the objective case ( i.e. is an “object”)
Ex. a) The dog bit the teacher on the leg.
b)Beside Bill and me roared a huge lion. (Objects of the prep. “Beside”)
5) Indirect object of the verb – any n. or p. which is sandwiched between the verb and the object of the verb.
Ex. I gave John the message. ( It always has the effect of being a prepositional phrase; e.g. I gave the message to John. The noun “message” is the direct object of the verb.)
Verbals are words which, because they have no subject, are one-half verb AND one-half some other part of speech (i.e. a noun or adj. or adv.).There are three kinds of verbals: infinitive, gerund, and participle.
The infinitive is the verb form before it is conjugated to match with a subject. It always starts with “to” (which is part of the infinitive and not a proposition).
Ex. to run/ to laugh/ to shout/ to cry/ to die
The infinitive, like all verbals, is half verb because it may be modified by adverbs or be followed by an object. It still retains part of the action of its full verb form.
This sentence has only one verb: “like”. The infinitive “to climb” is not a true verb because it has no subject. However, it still has the power to perform an action on an object (mountains), and to be modified by an adverb phrase (in Alberta) as well an an adverb clause (when it is warm) .The other half of this infinitive works like a noun. Clearly, “to climb” is a thing you like doing. It is what you like. It is the object of the verb “like”. In our example, then, “to climb” is both a verb and a noun.
This double power gives all verbals a special power to breathe energy into sentences.
An infinitive can be used in three ways:
Ex. I am writing is O.K. but not I writing or I written. (or, heaven forbid, “I seen”!)
A gerund is a verbal noun. It is always in the form of the present participle of the verb. Like the infinitive, it keeps half of its verb power.
Ex.: Writing stories for money kills the creative impulse.
“Writing”, as the subject of the verb “kills”,- is a noun. It also behaves like a verb by a) acting on its object “stories,” and b) being modified by an adverb phrase (for money).
Gerunds always end in “ing” (the present participle) and can be any kind of subject or object.
The only full verb is “inspired.” “Written” is an adjective modifying “note.” However, “written” is also an adjective with the action power of a verb. That verb half is here modified by an adverb phrase (in an unsteady hand). So, “written in an unsteady hand” is NOT a clause but a verbal phrase.Verbal adjectives (i.e. participles) can use either present or past participles.
Kinds of Sentences
Sentences are described according to 4 types or “kinds” which are determined by the number and type of clauses found in them.
A sentence with only one clause (one subject + verb).
Ex.: The dog barked.
A sentence with 2 or more principal clauses.
Ex.: The dog barked and the young girl cried.
A sentence with 1 principal clause and 1 or more subordinate clauses.
Ex.: The dog barked as the young girl cried.
A sentence with 2 or more principal clauses and 1 or more subordinate clauses.
Ex.: The dog barked and the cat meowed as the young girl cried.