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    Woodlands English Department May 2015

    Glossary of Grammatical Terms

    Note: Numbers 8 through 12 indicate the grade level at which the academic term should be introduced:

    Absolutes (12): words or phrases that modify whole sentences rather than parts of sentences or individual words. An absolute phrase, which consists of a noun and participle, can be placed anywhere in the sentence but needs to be set off from the sentence by commas. The snow having finally stopped, the football game began. (absolute phrase)

    Abstract nouns (8): Nouns that refer to idea’s, qualities, generalized concepts, and conditions, and that

    so not have plural forms.

    happiness, pride, furniture, trouble, sincerity

    Active voice (10): The standard form of a clause, in which the actor or cause (if there is one) is the

    grammatical subject.

    A rabbit bit him (as opposed to the passive voice: He was bitten by a rabbit).

    Adjectives (8): words that modify nouns and pronouns. Descriptive adjectives (clean, beautiful, offensive,

    for example) have three forms:

    Positive (9): Clean, beautiful, offensive

    Comparative (9): for comparing two things): cleaner, more beautiful, less offensive

    Superlative (9): for comparing more than two things): cleanest, most beautiful, least offensive

    Adjective clauses: see dependent clauses.

    Adjunct (12): A modifier which adds information about the time, place, manner, purpose, result, or

    other feature of the event or state.

    She opened the bottle with her teeth.

    The errant husband slept in the doghouse.

    Adverbs (8): Modify verbs, verbals, adjectives, and other adverbs. Descriptive adverbs (for example, fast,

    gracefully, awkwardly) have three forms:

    Positive (9): fast, gracefully, awkwardly

    Comparative (9): for comparing two things): faster, more gracefully, less awkwardly

    Superlative: (9): for comparing more than two things): fastest, most gracefully, least awkwardly

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    Woodlands English Department May 2015

    Adverb clauses: See dependent clauses.

    Affix (8): A prefix or suffix: enrich, restate, blacken, slipped, squirrels, cancellation, David’s

    Agreement (8): The uses of corresponding form for related words in order to have them agree in

    number, person, or gender.

    John runs. [Both subject and verb are singular]

    If the pipes are not flushed regularly, they might freeze.

    [They agrees in number with the antecedent, pipes.]

    Antecedents (8): Words or groups of words to which pronouns refer.

    When the bell was struck, it rang very loudly.

    [Bell is the antecedent of it.]

    Antonyms (8): Words with the opposite meanings.

    Appositives (11/12): Nonessential phrases and clauses that follow nouns and identify or explain them.

    My uncle, who lives in Yellowknife, is taking wind surfing lessons in Bermuda. (appositive) Articles (8): A small category of words which mark the definiteness of a noun phrase, including the definite article the and the indefinite articles a, an and some. See noun determiners. Auxiliary verbs (8): A special kind of verb which conveys information relevant to meaning of the clause, including tense, mood, and negation. See also modal verbs. should be going has taken (auxiliary verb) (auxiliary verb) Backshift (12/ optional): Changing the tense of a verb (usually in indirect or reported speech) to match the tense of the verb of speaking or believing.

    Lisa said she was tired (compare with Lisa said, “I am tired.”) Traditionally called sequence of tenses.

    Cardinal numbers: See noun determiners.

    Word Antonym

    Hot Cold

    Fast Slow

    Noisy Quiet

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    Woodlands English Department May 2015

    Case (12 or optional): The form or position of a noun or pronoun that shows its use or relationship to other words in a sentence. The three cases in English are: (1) subject (or subjective or nominative); (2) object (or objective or accusative; and (3) possessive (or genitive). Classic prose (11/12): Refers to a prose style in which the writer appears to direct the readers’ attention to an objective, concrete truth about the world by engaging the reader in conversation. Clauses (8): Groups of related words that contain both subjects and predicates and that function either as sentences or as parts of sentences. Clauses are either independent (or main) or dependent (or subordinate). Clichés (11/12: Overused or tired expressions that no longer effectively communicate. George Orwell described them as “dying metaphors.” Coherence connectives (12): A word, phrase, or punctuation mark that signals the semantic relation between a clause or a passage and one that preceded it. Anna eats a lot of broccoli, because she likes the taste. Moreover, she thinks it’s healthy. In contrast, Emile never touches the stuff. And neither does Anna’s son. See also conjunctive adverb / transition. Collective nouns (8/9): Singular nouns that refer to groups of people or things, such as committee, team, or jury. When the group includes a number of members acting as a unit and is the subject of sentence, the verb is singular. Colloquialisms (10/11): Words or phrases used in casual conversation and writing. Comma splices (10): Punctuation errors in which two or more independent clauses in compound sentences are separated only by commas and no coordinating conjunctions. but (or); Jared said he could not help ^ that response was his reply to all requests. Common nouns (8/9): Nouns that refer to general rather than specific categories of people, places, and things and are not capitalized. basket person history tractor Comparative: The form of adjectives and adverbs used when two thing are being compared. higher more intelligent less friendly Complement: When linking verbs link subjects to adjectives or nouns, the adjectives or nouns are complements. Dania was talented. She became a musician. (complement) (complement) Complex sentences: Sentences with one independent clause and at least one dependent clause arranged in any order.

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    Woodlands English Department May 2015

    Compound nouns (9/10): Nouns such as swimming pool, dropout, roommate, stepmother, which are made from more than one word. Compound sentences (9/10): Sentences with two or more independent clauses and no dependent clauses. Compound-complex sentences (9/10): Sentences with at least two independent clauses and at least one dependent clause arranged in any order. Concrete nouns (8/9): Words that refer to people and things and can be perceived by the senses. Conjunctions (8): Words that connect other words, phrases, and clauses in sentences. Coordinating conjunctions connect independent clauses; subordinating conjunctions connect dependent or subordinating clauses with independent or main clauses. Coordinating Conjunctions: and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet Some Subordinating Conjunctions: after, although, because, if, since, until, while Conjunctive adverbs (10/11): Words that begin or join independent clauses. See also coherence connectors: consequently however therefore thus moreover Connotation (9/10): The attitudes and emotional overtones beyond the direct definition of a word. The words plump and fat both mean “fleshy,” but plump has a more positive connotation than fat. Consistency (11/12): Maintaining the same voice with pronouns, the sane tense with verbs, and the same tone, voice, or mode of discourse. Coordinating conjunctions: See conjunctions. Coordination (8): Using two or more linguistic elements (words, phrases, clauses, etc.) of equal importance. Two independent clauses in the same sentence are coordinate because they have equal importance and the same emphasis. Correlative conjunctions (9): Words that work in pairs and give emphasis. both . . . and neither . . . nor either . . . or not only . . . but also Count nouns (8/9): Nouns that name things that can be counted because they can be divided into separate and distinct units. Dangling modifiers (11/12): Phrases or clauses in which the doer of the action is not clearly indicated. Naveen thought Missing an opportunity to study ^ the exam seemed especially difficult. Declarative mood (12): See mood.

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    Woodlands English Department May 2015

    Demonstrative pronouns (8/9): Pronouns that refer to things. (See noun determiners.) this that these those Denotation (8/9): The explicit dictionary definition of a word. Dependent clauses (subordinate clauses) (8/9): Clauses that cannot stand alone as complete sentences. There are two kinds of dependent clauses: adverb clauses and adjective clauses. Adverb clauses begin with subordinating conjunctions such as after, if, because, while, when, and so on. Adjective clauses tell more about nouns or pronouns in sentences and begin with words such as who, which, that