Learn Grammar 1

Learn Grammar 1

The English language is made up of WORDS, which are nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, conjunctions, prepositions, and articles. The combination of these words forms SENTENCES.

To learn and master English, you must learn its grammar, which consists of rules for you to follow when using and combining the words, especially when you write.

The English Sentence

There are 3 types: simple sentence; compound sentence; complex sentence.

A sentence is made up words: a subject; and a verb. It may or may not have an object.

 A subject or an object can be nouns or pronouns.

Nouns are names of animals (e.g. bird, cat, snake), emotions (e.g. anger, joy, sadness), ideas (e.g. belief, theory, understanding), people (e.g. man, policeman, soldier), things (e.g. bottle, chair, knife), and so on.

 Pronouns are words that represent or stand for nouns: I, you, we, they, she, it, and they.

e.g. I = teacher

e.g. You = student

e.g. They = soldiers

Verbs indicate being or an action:

e.g. He is a policeman. (being)

e.g. They are children. (being)

e.g. A bird sings. (an action)

e.g. A knife cuts. (an action)

A verb may come in different forms: a transitive verb that requires an object; an intransitive verb that does not require an object;  some verbs are both transitive and intransitive.

e.g. He laughs all the time. (only transitive)

e.g. He laughs at you all the time. (you is the object of the preposition at, and not the object of laughs; so “laugh” is considered an intransitive verb.)

e.g. She sings a song. (transitive)

e.g.  She sings. (intransitive)

A sentence must have a subject and a verb, although the subject may be implied or understood:

e.g. (You) Take your money.

e.g. (Nobody is allowed to smoke here) No smoking here!

The subject must agree with the verb:

e.g. I am; he is; it is; she is; they are; we are; you are.

Add “s” to a noun to make it plural or indicate more than one:

e.g. “a boy”; “many boys“; “two boys

But there are many exceptions to the rule:

e.g. “kiss” becomes “kisses“; “tax” becomes “taxes

e.g. “half” becomes “halves“; “man” becomes “men”; “child” becomes “children

In English, description words, such as this and that, pair up with singular nouns, while these and those, with plural nouns.

e.g. this apple; that student; these children; those flowers

In English, there are many nouns that do not have a plural form:

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

 

Author: Stephen Lau

Born in Hong Kong, Stephen Lau received his education from the University of Hong Kong, SEAMEO in Singapore, and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. He has published books on learning English as well as on health and wisdom in living. He now resides in the United States.

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