Sunteți pe pagina 1din 2

Page 1

Grammar and Error detection
1. Parts of Speech
Parts of speech are the basic types of words that English
has. Most grammer books say that there are eight parts of
speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, conjunc-
tions, prepositions and interjections. We will add one more
type: articles.
Noun: A noun is a naming word. It names a
person, place, thing, idea, living crea
ture, quality, or action.
Examples: cowboy, theatre, box,
thought, tree, kindness, arriaval
Pronoun: A pronoun is used instead of a noun, to avoid
repetition of the noun.
Examples: I, you, he, she, it, we, they
Verb: A verb is a word which describes an action
(doing something) or a state (being some-
Examples: walk, talk, think, believe, live, like,
Adjective: An adjective is a word that describes a noun.
It provides information about the noun.
Examples: big, yellow, thin, amazing, beauti-
ful, quick, important.
Adverb: An adverb is a word which usually describes
a verb. It tells you how an action is done. It
may also tell you when or where something
Examples: slowly, intelligently, well, yester-
day, tomorrow, here, everywhere
Preposition: A preposition usually comes before a noun,
pronoun or noun phrase to show what rela-
tion the person or thing denoted by it
stands in regard to something else. It joins
the noun to some other part of the sentence.
Examples: on, in, by, with, under, through,
Conjunction: A conjunction joins two phrases or sen-
tences together.
Examples: but, so, and, because, or
Interjection: An interjection is not grammatically related
to any part of the sentence, because it often
stands alone. Interjections are words which
express emotion or surprise, and they are
usually followed by exclama
tion marks.
Examples: Ouch!, Hello!, Hurray!, Oh no
Articles: An article is used to introduce a noun.
Examples: the, a, an
2. Phrases
Phrases :
A phrase is a group of words functioning as a unit. It
does not express a complete thought. It does not
contain a finite verb.
A finite verb shows tense, number, and person.
eg : He ran away to avoid punishment.
The commonest type of phrases are
(1) Noun phrases
(2) Adjective phrases
(3) Verbal phrases
(4) Adverbial phrases and
(5) Prepositional phrases.
1. Noun phrases: These are the phrases which have a
noun as their head word.
The letter arrived yesterday.
The letter is a noun phrase.
ii. The naughty boy called his teacher a silly old fool.
Here noun phrases are 1. The naughty boy
2. his teacher 3. a silly old fool
2. Adjective phrases: These phrases modify nouns.
Old cot, Dark night , Tall Building
Apart from this present participles and past participles
act as adjectives.
i. The boy, crying bittarly, was carried home.
ii. The tree, bending under the weight of its fruit.,
was the first thing he looked at every morning.
3. Verbal phrases: A group of words acting like a verb and
consisting of a preposition and an adverb.
i. He put out the lamp.
ii. The bus got off.
iii. He gave up smoking.
4. Adverbial phrases: These units are more mobile than
other phrases. It is possible to have several in the
same single sentence.
i. He learnt to speak English very quickly.
ii. He almost invariably arrives late.
iii. Next year we hope to tour Canada is throughly as
5. Prepositional phrases: These are sometimes de-
scribed as adverbial because they often tell us , when,
where , why or how something happened. They can,
however function in other roles.
She hit the thief with the hand bag.
She hit the thief with the scar.
Both the phrases marked out, are prepositional (they
begin with prepositions). But the first phrase tell us
about how the thief was hit. Hence it is an Adverbial
phrase. The second describes the thief . Hence it is
The essential difference between the phrase and the
Page 2
Grammar and Error detection
A clause has a subject and a predicate.
A phrase is a unit of words only.
Clauses can be divided into two classes. They are (1)
Main clauses
(2) subordinate clauses or dependent clauses.
Main Clause Subordinate clause:
eg : He would be very sad / if he lived along.
3. Clauses
The main clause is independent. The subordinate clause
depends on the main clause.
Type of clauses:
1. Adjective Clause:
Adjective clause modify a noun.
Eg: 1. That is the man who scolded Gopal.
2. The Lion which was caged has escaped.
3. The car which he had bought us was green
The adjective clause must be placed very close to the word
modified by it. If the adjective clause is misplaced, the sentence
becomes confusing to the reader.
W: He rode the cycle in the garden which was bought by
his father.
R: He rode the cycle, which was bought by his father, in the
In the above example, the misplaced word which gives an
impression that the garden was bought by his father. The
sentence can be corrected by placing which before the
adjective clause.
An adverb clause is a subordinate clause that functions like
an adverb. It answers the questions like where, when, why,
under what conditions and with what results.
It contains a subject and a predicate and makes complete
1. You can leave when she comes.
2. Wear warm clothes because the weather is cold.
3. I will not speak to her till she telephones me.
An adverb clause modifies an adverb, verb or an adjective in
the main clause.
1. Adverb clause of time (till, after, when etc)
I will write the assignment after I read the instructions
care fully
2. Adverb clause of place (whereas, where, etc)
You can tell him where to meet you
3. Adverb clause of supposition (though, even if, although
Although he smiled, he was angry
4. Adverb clause of cause/reason (so that, in order that etc)
He called me yesterday so that he could know
the details of the meeting
5. Adverb clause of condition (whether, if etc)
If they offer you a better salary, you should join
them immediately
6. Adverb clause of consequence (that etc.)
He hit the ball so hard that it landed outside the
7. Adverb clause of comparison (than, as, etc)
He is stronger than I (am)
3. Noun Clause
A noun clause is a subordinate clause that functions as a
noun. A noun clause can be a predicate, subject, nominative,
appositive, direct object, object of preposition or an indirect
Useful Hint: Substitute something or someone in the place
of the clause. If the meaning is clear then it is a noun clause.
1. I hope I pass the test. [I hope something , here the
sentence still making sense]
2. He wanted to know what had taken place in the market.
3. He does not understand what you speak.
In the above examples, the words in bold text act as nouns as
they are the objects of a verb. A noun clause can take the place
of a subject, object or a complement of the subject.
Certain clauses can act in all the three ways. Thus, a noun
clause is identified by its function in the sentence.
1. Why he did not arrive is the question. (Subject of a verb)
2. We have said that this is not the right way. (Object of a
transitive verb).
3. Pay attention to what the teacher is saying (Object of a
4. His conviction that she would stand first at the
examination encouraged her to study harder. (In opposition
to noun/pronoun).
5. My conviction is that she would stand first. (Complement
of a verb).
6. We are sorry that you missed your train. (After an
intransitive verb to be)