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GRAMMAR REVIEW
NOT TAUGHT in 28
Professor Stevens, English 28


Five Lessons Below:
Lesson 1 | Lesson 2 | Lesson 3 | Lesson 4 | Lesson 5 |


WARNING: Do not go beyond this grammar section until you have accomplished the following:

1.     Memorized/know all the non-action verbs (linking, BE, helping) listed below, all of them in order.

2.     Memorized/know all the prepositions listed below, all of them in order.

          If you have not been taught the "small" stuff listed below while you were in elementary through high school, you NEED to do it now.  You will not be able to punctuate properly until you know the "small stuff."   If you move on beyond this page before you know them, you will continue to "guess" whether your sentence is correctly written or correctly punctuated.  Knowing most of them will NOT DO you any good; you need to be able to identify all of the "simple," childish words, and what they do in a sentence, especially the verbs.  Good Luck.  Or perhaps I'll see you next semester; on the other hand, you really don't want to see me a second time; once is enough. 

 

 

Lesson 1: Be & Linking Verbs
| Lesson 1 | Lesson 2 | Lesson 3 | Lesson 4 | Lesson 5 |

You are required to memorize the non action verbs—Be & Linking Verbs—below.  Knowing these verbs will help you to properly identify a sentence so that you can punctuate correctly.  Writers cannot use a coordinator, subordinator or semicolon properly unless they can accurately identify a sentence(s).  You will be expected to write a list of the non-action verbs during the second week of class from memory.  Memorize them in order; your mind works in order or sequence: top to bottom, left to right, one through 20, and A through Z, so learn them, alphabetically, A-Z, because that is how your memory works.


MEMORIZATION LIST (non Action Verbs—Be Verbs & Linking Verbs)
Memorize in Order--ALL 25

BE verbs

do
does
did

is
are
am

will
was
were

have
has
had

must
can
am

may
might
must

should
would
could
shall
be
been
being

 

True Linking verbs & Some BE Verbs

be, am, is, are, was, were (be), acts, appears, becomes, became, gets, grows, remains, turns.     PLUS the 5 senses: looks, sounds, feels, smells, tastes (use past tense also)

 

Non-Action Verbs—Be & Linking Verbs—EXPLAINED

NON ACTION VERBS

 

TYPE OF VERB

 

 

Be Verbs

do
does
did

is
are
am

will
was
were

have
has
had

must
can
could

may
might
must

should
would
shall

be
been
being

 Be Verb: I am.   She can.—a state of being. 

1.     "Be verbs specify a state of "being."  These verbs listed to the left are intransitive verbs or a non-active verb. 

2.      These verbs do not allow anything to be done or act on something or someone.


However, many of the “Be” verbs can be used as linking verbs, which link the subject of the sentence with information about it. Sometimes linking verbs are called "state-of-being verbs."

1      The eye is brown.
2   This orange tasted sweet.

 

1.     In the first sentence, is links eye to information about it--the fact that it is1,  brown. That is its state of being = "Be-Verb."  However, his eye is not the same as "brown;" hence, "brown" describes the eye (or X describes Y). 

2.     The two are not interchangeable Sor the same; you cannot say, "Brown looks eye."  So, whenever you have a linking verb it is always followed by an adjective (brown in this case) that describes the subject (eye in the case)

N    LV   Adj.
The  eye   is   brown. (Pattern 2)

3.      In the second sentence, tasted links sweet to information about it—its sweetness. Did you think tasted was an action verb? Well, it is—when the subject is doing the tasting. But in example two, the orange isn't doing any tasting. The orange itself tasted soft. That is its state of being. Tasted can also be used as an action verb: The girl tasted the orange. 

 

 

 Lesson 2: “Be” As—Helping & Linking Verbs
| Lesson 1 | Lesson 2 | Lesson 3 | Lesson 4 | Lesson 5 |

 

 

 


“Be” Verbs As Helping Verbs:

 

do
does
did

is
are
am

will
was
were

have
has
had

must
can
do

may
might
must

should
would
shall

be
been
being



An auxiliary-helping verb (“be” verb listed above) goes with another verb. Most of the time auxiliary-helping verbs are called "helping verbs" because they introduce or "help out" the main verb.

  1. Mr. Stevens is reading the story.
  2. We should be going dancing.

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

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

Note that you can't is or should something.  This let's know you that they are not action verbs.  Is and should just are; they do nothing.  Try to "is'ing" something; for example, "is" a ball.  You can't because "is" wouldn't allow you to do anything to the ball.

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

Grammar REVIEW/QUIZZES on the Web Review Verbs: Verbs #1 and Verbs #2

A verb lets know about an action (hit, fell) or a state of being (is, can). There are three types of verbs: action (hit), linking (seems), and helping (should).

 


Action Verbs

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

There are three types of action verbs:

Type of Action Verb

Verbs

Sentence Examples

Transitive

swim, jump, run, play, swing, etc.

He swims.  She jumps.  He plays.  They swing. They ran.  Muskrats swim.

Transitive with Direct Object (DO)

kicked, slapped, pushed, threw, kissed, picked-up, hung, etc.

He threw the toy.
She kicked the ball.
They pushed the car.
He hangs the picture.
We built a sandcastle.

Transitive with Direct Object (DO) and Indirect Object (IDO) (only a few verbs can create two nouns within a sentence with a DO and IDO.

handed, made, make, mail, mailed, send, sent, find, found, give, gave, show, showed, ask, asked, tell, told, sell, sold, offer, offered, promise, promised, chose, chosen, take, took select, selected, elect, elected, etc.

He handed Sara her comb.
She gave Mary the job.
I will promise Bill the money.
I might send her a letter.

 

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

 


Lesson 3: Verb—Passive/Active: Use Present or Past Tense Only
| Lesson 1 | Lesson 2 | Lesson 3 | Lesson 4 | Lesson 5 |

 

The voice of a verb is active or passive. The voice of the verbs in a sentence should be consistent unless there’s a good reason for a shift. Avoid unnecessary shifts if you can do.

Brown = Passive
Red = Active

 

Brown = Passive
Red = Active

Wrong: Larry polished the diamond engagement ring, rechecked the certificate of authenticity, and was demolished when his intended bride said no

Polished--Active
Rechecked--Active
Was demolished--Passive
Said—Active

Correct: Larry polished the diamond engagement ring, rechecked the certificate of authenticity, and cried like a baby when his intended bride said no.

Correct: Larry polished the diamond engagement ring and rechecked the certificate of authenticity. His intended bride completely demolished him with her refusal.

 

In general, active voice is better than passive. The passive verbs create an awkward, wordy mess.

The diamond engagement ring was polished and the certificate of authenticity was rechecked by Larry, and Larry was completely demolished when “no” was said to him by his intended bride.

 

Which sentence is correct?

A. Maria popped the cork from the champagne, reached for the chilled glasses, and was shocked to learn that the caviar had been confiscated by customs officials.

B. Maria popped the cork from the champagne, reached for the chilled glasses, and was shocked to learn that customs officials had confiscated the caviar.

C. Maria popped the cork from the champagne, reached for the chilled glasses, and staggered in shock when she heard that customs officials had confiscated the caviar.

 

Read more

C—correct

Also, keep all your verbs in the same tense—past or present

Note: In English 21/28 use all present or past tense in the “active” voice.  Use NO “Be” verbs with present/past verbs—also known as helping verbs or auxiliary verbs.

Larry begs Ella to marry him, offers her a crown and a private room, and finally won her hand. (Present to present to past.)

Larry begs Ella to marry him, offers her a crown and a private room, and finally wins her hand. (All three verbs are in present tense.)

Larry begged Ella to marry him, offered her a crown and a private room, and finally won her hand. (All three verbs are in past tense.)

 

Sometimes in telling a story, you must shift tense because the action of the story requires a change in time.

Betsy always practices for at least ten hours a day, unless she is giving a concert. Last week she flew to Antarctica for a recital. When she arrived, the piano was frozen. Nevertheless, the show went on. Next week Betsy will practice twelve hours a day to make up for the time she lost last week.

Betsy’s story has present (practices), present progressive (is giving), past (flew, arrived, was frozen, went, lost), and future tenses (will practice). Each change of tense is justified by the information in the story.

 

Can you tell which sentence is correct?

 

A. Jim scrambled to the finish line a second before the next fastest racer and then raised his arms in victory.

B. Jim scrambles to the finish line second before the next fastest racer and then raises his arms in victory.

Answer: Both sentences are correct. In sentence A, both scrambled and raised are in past tense. No shift, no problem. In sentence B, both scrambles and raises are in present tense. Again no shift, again no problem.

 

Fix these sentences:

1.      They were telling people to just depend on God and forget about depending on the government.

2.      The government announced that it was lifting a ban on food and aid, but it later changed course.

3.      We were arrested several times by the police, and they were refusing that we cross into Kenya.

 

One way to fix them:

1.      They told people to just depend on God and forget about government help.

2.      The government announced it lifted a ban on food and aid, but it later changed course.

3.      The police arrested us several times, and they refused to let us cross into Kenya.

 

 

 

 

 Lesson 4: Nouns (determiners, possessives & adjectives)
| Lesson 1 | Lesson 2 | Lesson 3 | Lesson 4 | Lesson 5 |

 

|Identifying a noun.  You cannot write a sentence correctly unless you know you have a subject/noun.  How do you know when you have a noun in your sentence?  It is very simple.  You can locate a noun by locating or identifying two simple type of words: determiners/articles and possessives, which are the most accurate way to identify nouns plus adjectives.  Yep, more of the simple/small words that make it impossible to write clearly.


 

ONE: Determiners/articles are special kinds of words that IDENTIFY NOUNS.

·         Determiners identify a noun and count or tell how many. 

·         More, each, every, either, all, both, he, an, a, several, many, some, most, few, less, this, these, those, and any are just a few determiners. 

o   a six-year-old child

o   these tables

o   every girl

o   all students

o   the crazy rule the world.—Yep, crazy is a noun in this phrase.

o   The player hit four runs.Yep, runs is a noun in this sentence.

Also, a determiner is any number—one, two, three, four, five, etc.: one house, two dogs, and five people. 

A determiner is always followed by a noun.  If you use a determiner, it will be followed by a noun; it has to happen:  a house, the dog, many people, etc.  However, an adjective can come between a determiner and its noun: a large house, the brown dog, many loud people, etc.  So if you use "crazy," it is manly used as an adjective: The crazy girl ran.  But, if I say: A crazy was elected.  The word "crazy" is now used as a noun because "a" precedes or comes before it.  Determiners are said to "mark" nouns. That is to say, you know a determiner will be followed by a noun

More importantly, determiners are not part of any sentence pattern.  For example: "The boy ran."  Cross out the determiner, "the," because it is not part sentence patterns. Articles, determiners, and quantifiers are those little words that precede and modify nouns; there are hundreds of them.  Again, it is impossible to know how to write a sentence unless you know what these "small words" do and know their function is.

Also, possessives identify a noun:

  • month's pay (possessive-month's followed by the noun pay)
  • Stevens' class (possessive-Stevens' followed by the noun class)
  • Orange County's freeways (possessive Orange County's) followed by the noun freeways)

On the other hand, you can have an "adjective appear in between the "determiner or possessve" and its "noun."  Please see the four examples below under "Adjectives."  In the sample below "the" is followed by the noun "professor." 

determiner         adjective        noun
   several                tall          professors

Possessive         adjective        noun
     Maria’s               tall            friend

 

Like determiners possessives are said to "mark" nouns. That is to say, you know a determiner will be followed by a noun.

Lastly.  Why is it important to be able to locate a noun?  Unless you cannot identify your subject in your sentence, you cannot make sure your subject/noun agrees with your verb.  Plus, if you cannot make sure you have a sentence with a subject and verb, you will have problems using the comma and semicolon properly in a complex or compound sentence.


TWO: Adjectives are words that describe (modify) something.

  • the tall professor
  • the lugubrious lieutenant
  • a solid commitment
  • the unhappiest, richest man

Before getting into other usage considerations, one general note about the use—or over-use—of adjectives: Adjectives are delicate; don't ask them to do more work than they should. Let your heavy-duty verbs and nouns do the hard work of description. Be especially careful in your use of adjectives that don't have much to say in the first place, such as interesting, beautiful, lovely, exciting. It is your job as a writer to create beauty and excitement and interest in your story telling not your adjectives.

Chew on the uses of adjectives (modifiers) in this adjectivally loaded paragraph from Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel--slightly altered. (Charles Scribner's, 1929, p. 69.)

Adjectives are highlighted in this "pink" and the described-nouns are underlined in brown:

            He remembered yet the East India Tea House at the Fair, the sandalwood, the turbans, and the robes, the cool interior and the smell of India tea; and he had felt now the homesick thrill of wet mornings in Spring, the cherry scent, the cool earth, the wet earth of the garden, the strong breakfast smells and the floating snow of blossoms. He knew the  sharp excitement of hot dandelions in young earth; in July, of watermelons bedded in sweet hay, inside a farmer's covered wagon; of cantaloupe and crated peaches; and the scent of orange rind, bitter-sweet, before a fire of coals. He knew the good smell of his father's sitting-room; of the smooth old leather sofa; of the blistered varnished wood upon the hearth; of the heated calf-skin bindings; of the flat moist plug of apple tobacco, stuck with a red flag; of burnt leaves in October; of the brown autumn earth; of honey-suckle at night; of a clean rosy farmer who comes weekly with printed butter, eggs, and milk; of fat limp underdone bacon and of coffee; of a bakery-oven in the wind; of large stringbeans smoking-hot and seasoned well with salt and butter; of a room of old pine boards in which books and carpets have been stored, long closed; of Concord grapes in their long white baskets.

Please note a few of the words in Wolfe's paragraph above have been slightly altered for intelligibility.

          In the first part of the sentence above East and India tell us more about the noun, "Tea House."  Although "India" is usually used as a noun in a sentence, here it is used as a descriptive word.  India wants more jobs.  In this sentence India is in a noun position at the beginning of the sentence. 

          In Contrast, in the same paragraph above cool is a typical adjective that describes the noun, interior, one that seems more familiar to use as an adjective. 

          Consequently, you cannot ever know what part of speech a word is until you see what it is doing in its sentence.  If you say unusual is an adjective without knowing what it is doing in a sentence, you may be wrong: The unusual rule the world.  Here "unusual" is in a noun position.

Grammar REVIEW/QUIZZES on the Web

Quiz: Subject
Review: Adjectives
Quiz: Adjectives and Adverbs
Review: Subject Verb Agreement
Quiz: Subject Verb Agreement 1
Quiz: Subject Verb Agreement 2

 

 


Lesson 5: Prepositions
| Lesson 1 | Lesson 2 | Lesson 3 | Lesson 4 | Lesson 5 |

 

You are required to memorize the prepositions below.  Knowing these verbs will help students to properly identify prepositional phrases in a sentence.  You cannot use a coordinator, subordinator or semicolon properly unless you can accurately identify prepositional phrases, which expand a sentence and are not a major part of the sentence.  You will be expected to write a list of them during the second week of class from memory.  Memorize them in order; your mind works in order or sequence: top to bottom, left to right, one through 20, and A through Z, so learn them alphabetically, A-Z.

Common Prepositions

Time or space                                       Other relationships
(position or direction)                            (addition, comparison, etc.)

about

into

according to

above

near

as

across

next to

as for

after

off

aside from

against

on

because of

along

onto

concerning

along with

on top of

despite

among

out

except

around

out of

except for

at

outside

excepting

before

over

in addition to

behind

past

in spite of

below

since

instead of

beneath

through

like

beside

throughout

of

between

till

on account of

beyond

to

regarding

by

toward

regardless of

down

under

unlike

during

underneath

with

for

until

without

from

up

 

in

upon

 

inside

within

 

inside of

 

 

Source: Fowler HR, Aaron JE. The Little, Brown Handbook., Addison, Wesley, Longman, New York.

A preposition connects a noun to another word in the sentence:

  • N       V       N     P    *N
    Cats make beds on pillows. 
    (*OBJECT OF THE PREPOSITION "on")

The noun (pillows) is the object of the preposition (pillows) . The preposition plus its object and any modifiers is a prepositional phrase; hence, "Cats make beds on pillows'." Prepositions normally come before their objects. 

Preposition

Object of the Preposition

on

the surface

with

great satisfaction

upon

entering the room

from

where you are standing

except for

ten employees

 

 

 

Grammar REVIEW/QUIZZES on the Web
Quiz: Prepositions     Quiz: Preposition 1     Quiz: Prepositions 2

 

 

 

x



PREPOSITION USED AS ADVERBS

On the other hand, when a preposition is used in a sentence without an object (noun) at the end of a sentence; then it becomes an adverb that tells how, what, when, where.  For example, in the sentence: He went down the road.  "Down," a preposition, has an object noun, road, so down the road is a prepositional phrase.  However, in the sentence: He went down; "down" does not have an object noun, so it is behaves like an adverb that tells “where” he went.

                                                                           N          V   Prep       
Preposition used as an adverb:                   The ball bounced down the road.

                                                                               N     V    Adverb
Prepositions can be used as an adverb:            The ball went down.


Prepositions can help show where something took place (under, on, across, etc.).  So they can also be used as "adverbs."  For example, the ball bounced down the road.  "Down" is a preposition because it has a noun with it, "road."  But, drop the noun "road" off and "down" becomes an adverb as show in sentence above.

 

Preposition used as a preposition, creating "prepositional phrase:"

The car went down the street.

down =  Preposition:  

Prep has a noun with it (street).

The car went over the curb

over  =  Preposition:

Prep has a noun with it (curb).

The car went through the water.

through = Preposition:

It has a noun with it (water).

Preposition used as an "adverb:"

The car went down.

down =  Adverb:

Prep does not have a noun with it (street).

The car went over.  

over  =  Adverb:

Prep does not have a noun with it (curb).

The car went through.  

through = Adverb:

 Prep does not have a noun with it (water).

Simply put, if a preposition has an noun-object with it, it creates a prepositional phrase (down the hill); however, if it does not have a noun-object with it, the preposition becomes an adverb--telling where. 

  • Such as, the ball went over his head.  In this case "over" is a preposition because it has an object-noun with it, "head." 
  • The ball fell over.  In this case "over" is an adverb because it does not have an object-noun with it.
  •  

Prepositions as "prepositions and adverbs"

A prepositional phrase links a noun, pronoun, or phrase to another part of a sentence. Because many pronouns show direction, some say that "a preposition is anywhere a cat (thing) can go."

Look at the Examples below; then, identify i the "colored" word as a "preposition" or "adverb."

The cat walked around the ball.
The cat walked around.

The cat leaned against the box.
The cat leaned against.              

The cat strolled near the box. 
The cat strolled near.              

The cat sneaked across the box.
The cat sneaked across.              

1.     The cat leapt at the box.

2.     The cat crept behind.

3.     The cat hid below.

4.     The cat went beneath the box.

5.     The cat leaned beside the box.

6.     The cat tip-toed by.

7.     The cat crawled onto the box.

8.     The cat strutted near.

9.     The cat jumped off.

10.   The cat marched over the box.

11.   The cat rambled past.

12.   The cat traipsed to the box.

13.   The cat stalked toward the box.

14.   The cat wiggled under.

15.   The cat settled upon the box.

16.   The cat snuggled next to the box.

Preposition
Adverb

Preposition
Adverb

Preposition
Adverb

Preposition
Adverb

1.    __________

2.     __________

3.     __________

4.     __________

5.     __________

6.     __________

7.     __________

8.     __________

9.     __________

10.   __________

11.   __________

12.   __________

13.   __________

14.   __________

15.   __________

16.   __________

17.   __________

A preposition leads to an object, which is the part of the sentence that receives the action of the verb. The preposition also tells how the object is related to the rest of the sentence.

The cat walked across the ball.

The ball is the object because it receives the action of the verb—the walking. The preposition, across, tells how the ball is related to the rest of the sentence. It links the fact that the cat walked with information about where it walked: across the ball.

Besides the ones listed above, some common prepositions are about, after, among, between, beyond, but, despite, during, for, of, since, through, until, and without.

On the other hand, when a preposition is an adverb it does not have an object after it.

          The cat walked across.

 

 

 

 

Answers to 1-16 quiz

  1. preposition
  2. adverb
  3. adverb
  4. preposition
  5. preposition
  6. adverb
  7. preposition
  8. adverb
  9. adverb
  10. preposition
  11. adverb
  12. preposition
  13. preposition
  14. adverb
  15. preposition
  16. preposition

 

 

 

Grammar Quizzes on the Web

Review Verbs: Verbs #1 and Verbs #2
Quiz: Subject
Quiz: Prepositions
Review: Subject Verb Agreement
Quiz: Subject Verb Agreement 1
Quiz: Subject Verb Agreement 2
Quiz: Preposition 1
Quiz: Prepositions 2
Quiz: Adjectives and Adverbs
Review: Adjectives