Grammar definitions will help give you the basic rundown of all the key components of sentence structure so you will know what to look for when you are writing or editing your stories. Grammar is one of the most difficult areas of the English language to perfect and very few people in the world can actually get everything perfect, so don't kill yourself trying to perfect your writing.
When writing, you must understand what you are putting down on paper is conveying the proper message to your readers. This page will cover some of the basic terms associated with grammar and its definitions so you will comprehend what you are dealing with when it comes to your writing.
Grammar Definitions 1: What is a Sentence?
A sentence, defined by TheFreeDictionary, is "a sequence of words capable of standing alone to make an assertion, ask a question, or give a command, usually consisting of a subject and a predicate containing a finite verb." A sentence completes a phrase you are trying to portray to your readers. A common problem with writers is either having run-on sentences or fragmented sentences. There are four different types of sentences:
1. Simple, which has one independent clause.
2. Compound, which has more than one independent clause.
3. Complex, which has one independent clause and a least one dependent clause.
4. Compound-complex, which has more than one independent and dependent clause.
Grammar Definitions 2: What is a Predicate or an Object?
A predicate does most of the work in a sentence. It actually completes a sentence. TheFreeDictionary defines a predicate as "one of the two main constituents of a sentence or clause, modifying the subject and including the verb, objects, or phrases governed by the verb." An example of a predicate is, "The ice melted," whereas "melted" is the predicate.
Grammar Definitions 3: What is an Adjective?
TheFreeDictionary defines an adjective as "the part of speech that modifies a noun or other substantive by limiting, qualifying, or specifying and distinguished in English morphologically by one of several suffixes, such as -able, -ous, -er, and -est, or syntactically by position directly preceding a noun or nominal phrase." Simply put, adjectives describe or modify a noun in a sentence. An example of an adjective is "the tall building" whereas "the tall" is the adjective.
Grammar Definitions 4: What is an Adverb?
According to TheFreeDictionary, an adverb is "the part of speech that modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb." Adverbs often tell the why, when, where, or under what conditions something is happening, happens, or has happened. Most frequently they end in -ly; however, many words and phrases not ending in -ly are also adverbs and and an -ly ending is not a guarantee that a word is an adverb. For instance, the words friendly, lovely, motherly, lonely, and neighborly are adjectives.
There are adverbs of place, frequency, manner, time, and purpose. An example of adverbs in use is is portrayed in the following example: "She moved quickly" whereas quickly is the adverb.
Grammar Definitions 5: What is a Conjunction?
Remember the cartoon song "Conjunction Junction"? Yes, I'm showing my age, but that was a great learning tool for understanding conjunctions. In fact, that song was from Scholastic Rock in 1973. A conjunction is a word that connects or joins parts of a sentence. Words like "and", "but", "or", "yet", "nor", "so", and "for" are coordinating conjunctions. "Conjunction junction, what's your function..."
Definitions 6: What is a Pronoun?
TheFreeDictionary defines a pronoun as "the part of speech that substitutes for nouns or noun phrases and designates persons or things asked for, previously specified, or understood from the context." There are several different types of pronouns. They are personal, indefinite, relative, demonstrative, intensive, reciprocal, interrogative, and reflexive.
Have you ever heard of "first person" or "third person". Well, this is referring to the pronoun usage such as "they", "you", "we", "I", and so on. Others include "this", "that", and "these".
Grammar Definitions 7: What is a Determiner?
These are little words that precede and modify nouns. It can add a quantity or specify something. They are also known as articles and quantifiers.
Grammar Definitions 8: What is a Preposition?
A preposition refers to time and place with relationship to other words in a sentence. TheFreeDictionary defines it as "a word or phrase placed typically before a substantive and indicating the relation of that substantive to a verb, an adjective, or another substantive." Examples of these include "beside", "on", "at", "against", "after", "during", and many more. Any words that are used to show an object's time or place are generally prepositions.
Definitions 9: What is a Verb?
Ah, the best term of them all. A verb is all about action within a sentence. Without an action, there is no sentence. There are four basic verb forms:
1. Base Form.
2. Past Form.
3. Present Participle.
4. Past Participle.
This is another place where the voice of a sentence comes into play, you know, like "first person" or "third person" voice. Verbs also have moods. Learn more information about verbs.
Grammar Definitions 10: What is a Noun?
Here's another critical part of a sentence. A noun is a person, place, or thing that most sentences are based on. There are proper nouns that name specific people, places, or things, or common nouns which name everything else. Learn more about nouns and the many different examples.
Grammar Definitions 11: What are Interjections?
TheFreeDictionary defines an interjection as "the part of speech that usually expresses emotion and is capable of standing alone." An example of an interjection is "wow". They are typically used to exclaim or command.
Definitions 12: What are Subjects?
The subject of the sentence is who or what the sentence is about. If you find the verb, you can find the subject. The verb generally describes what is going on in the sentence (or the action) with the subject.
Now that you know most of the and terms and definitions related to English grammar, you need to take some time and study each of the terms to perfect one of them every day. The more you learn about each term's usage in the language, the better your writing will become.
There are many common grammar mistakes that people take for granted that will save you a lot of time and effort while writing and editing your stories if you are familiar with each of them. Check out some of these errors so you can avoid embarrassing mistakes with your writing.
Perfect your writing even more by studying more information about grammar definitions from many helpful grammar websites.