Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Grammar Time!

Identifying Verbs, Subjects, and Prepositional Phrases
Every sentence in English must have at least one verb and one subject. When you identify the verb first, it is much easier to find the subject of the sentence. The verb in a sentence is always related to 
the subject. The subject usually appears in front of the verb. Since the verb expresses what the subject does or is, verbs either express:

Action (eat, stop, help, buy, make, do, gain, succeed)

State of being (am/is/are/were, become, seem, look, appear, taste, sound, remain)
Mental states (know, think, feel, remember, believe)

If a verb consists of only one word, it is automatically the “main verb.” However, sometimes the main verb has “helping verbs” that go along with it. 

Together with the main verb, they make up the 
“complete verb phrase.” It is possible to have more than one helping verb, so the verb phrase can be four or five words long.

Main verb (if alone) = the complete verb
Example: I study every day.

Helping/modal verbs + main verb = the complete verb phrase
Example: I should study every day.

It is easier to recognize the subject or subjects of sentences when you find the verb first. The subject of the sentence usually

Occurs before the verb
Tells who or what does the action or expresses the state of being or state of mind

Tip: Subjects are either nouns or pronouns. Many nouns have a determiner such as a, an, or the. Other determiners are possessive nouns, possessive pronouns, and numbers (student’s, her, those, seventeen). If you aren’t sure if a word is a noun, try using a determiner with it or making it plural or possessive. If you can, you’ve identified a noun; then you need to decide if it is the subject 
of the verb. Remember that the –ing form of a verb can act as a noun (Studying math and science opens doors to many careers.) and be 
the subject of a sentence.

Common Prepositions
In some sentences, nouns or pronouns in prepositional phrases can be confused with the subject. For this reason, it is easier to identify nouns that are subjects if you first identify the prepositional phrases in sentences by putting parentheses around them. Remember that a prepositional phrase may contain one or more nouns or pronouns.

One-word Prepositions:
about            before               down              off              toward(s)
above            behind              during            on              under

across           below                for                 out              until
after            beneath             from               over           up
against         beside(s)           in                   since           upon
along            between            into               through        with
among          beyond              like                throughout   within
around          by                    near               till                without
at                despite              of                   to

Two-word and Three-word Prepositions
according to
as many as 
because of 
in place of 
such as
across from 
as much as 
by means of
in spite of 
together with
along with 
as well as 
due to 
on account of
instead of
apart from 
aside from 
in addition to
subsequent to

on top of


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