English Grammar

English grammar concepts Parts of speech 12 grammatical terms


“I don’t want to speak correctly. I want to speak like a lady, “- these words belong to Eliza Doolittle, the heroine of the famous play” Pygmalion “by Bernard Shaw. In this article we will provide you the English grammar basic concepts.

Eliza may not have wanted to learn to speak correctly, but without grammar she would not have been able to speak at all. We are now talking about grammar as a system of words and syntactic constructions inherent in a particular language. Grammar in this sense is “our main asset,” emphasized Eliza’s mentor, Professor Henry Higgins.

But this is not the only definition of grammar. The systematic study and description of a language or a group of languages ​​is also grammar, descriptive grammar. Professor Higgins mainly dealt with just one aspect of it – phonetics, or the study of the sounds of speech. Henry Higgins wrote down the common people in his notebook, a very accurate representation of what descriptive grammar is.

Yet for most, “speaking like a lady” means speaking correctly, as prescribed, speaking in accordance with the language norm. Bernard Shaw said about the importance of prescriptive grammar when he wrote in the preface to Pygmalion: “The English do not respect their native language and stubbornly refuse to teach children to speak it.” It is about the need for a prescriptive approach and the remark of Rex Harrison, who played the role of Professor Higgins in the musical “My Fair Lady”: “And there are places where our language has already been reduced to naught. In America, he is not in use for God knows how many years! “.

Parts of speech in English grammar

Depending on the function in the sentence, words are referred to one or another part of speech. There are 8 parts of speech in English. Just by learning their names, you certainly won’t become an English grammar professor. On the other hand, you will have a basic understanding of the English language and will be ready to start reading other articles on our site – and these articles will help you make significant progress in learning English grammar.

Remember: if a sentence consists of one word, only interjection can act as this word.

Other parts of speech – nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and conjunctions – appear in combinations. To understand which part of speech a word belongs to, we must look not only at the word itself, but also at its meaning, place and role in the sentence.

Consider three sentences:

  1. Jim showed up for work two hours late. (Jim showed up at work two hours late.)
    Here work is what Jim came to the service for.
  2. He will have to work overtime. (He will have to work overtime.)
    And here work is the action that Jim will perform.
  3. His work permit expires in March. (His work permit expires in March).
    Finally, here work denotes the attribute of the noun permit.

In the first sentence, the word work acts as a noun, in the second as a verb, and in the third as an adjective.

We hope you are not confused yet? Let’s see what functions are performed by the 8 parts of speech in English.

Part of speech Main function Examples of
noun names an animate object, place, or thing pirate, Caribbean, ship
(a pirate, caribbean, ship)
pronoun substitutes for a noun I, you, he, she, it, ours, them, who
(me, you, he, she, it, our, them, who)
verb expresses an action or state sing, dance, believe, be
(sing, dance, believe, be)
adjective denotes the sign of a noun hot, lazy, funny
(hot, lazy, funny)
adverb denotes a feature of a verb, adjective
or other adverb
softly, lazily, often
(gently, lazily, often)
pretext shows the relationship between a noun (pronoun) and other words in a sentence up, over, against, for
(up, through, against, for)
union connects words, parts of a complex sentence and  simple sentences in a complex and, but, or, yet
(and, but, or, else)
interjection expresses emotions ah, whoops, ouch
(ah! oh!)

NB! Articles (the, a / an) were once considered a separate part of speech. Now they are more often referred to the category of determinants or determiners.

TOP-18 grammatical terms with movie examples

Refresh your English grammar with catchy quotes from your favorite movies and show off your knowledge in a job interview or exam! We have compiled a dossier on 18 of the most common grammatical terms with some rather unusual examples:

1. Valid (active) voice – Active Voice

A verb form that denotes an action performed by a subject (that is, the protagonist of the sentence, expressed by the subject, subject). In other words, we are talking about how someone does, produces, performs, that is, acts actively.

This construction is opposite to the passive (passive) voice (see below).

“We buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like.” We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.
( Tyler Durden , Fight Club, 1999)

2. Passive (passive) voice – Passive Voice

A verb form that denotes an action to be performed on an object. The object (expressed by the complement, object), as it were, takes an action directed at it (expressed by the predicate).

This construction is opposite to the active (real) voice.

“Any attempt by you to create a climate of fear and panic among the populace must be deemed by us an act of insurrection.” Any attempt by you to create an atmosphere of fear and panic among the population should be viewed by us as a rebellion.
(First Elder – Jor-Elu, Superman, 1978)

3. Grammatical basis – Clause

It is customary to call a grammatical base a group of words that contains one subject and / or one predicate.

There are also one-part sentences in which either the subject or the predicate is absent.

The grammatical base can be a separate clause (in this case, it is an independent clause, that is, an independent, main sentence), or it can be included in another sentence (then it is a dependent clause, that is, a dependent or subordinate sentence as part of a complex sentence).

“Don’t ever argue with the big dog [main clause], because the big dog is always right [dependent clause].” Never argue with a big dog, because a big dog is always right.
(Federal Marshal Samuel Gerard, The Fugitive, 1993)

4. Independent (Main) Clause

Sentence that does not depend on the meaning of others (as part of a complex).

The main clause, in contrast to the clauses, can act as an independent clause.

“I wanna be the person who gets happy over finding the perfect dress [main clause], I wanna be simple [main clause], ’cause no one holds a gun to the head of a simple girl [dependent clause].” I want to be a simple girl who is already happy because she found the perfect dress, I want to be simple because no one will put a gun to the head of a simple girl.
(Christina Young, Grey’s Anatomy, 2012)

5. Subordinate clause – Dependent (Subordinate) Clause

A group of words that begins with a relative pronoun or subordinate conjunction. The subordinate clause contains both the subject and the predicate, but, unlike the main clause, it cannot exist as an independent clause.

In other words, if a complex sentence consists of two simple ones: the main and the dependent, the disappearance of the main sentence turns the statement into nonsense.

“I hope that’s a rhetorical question [main clause], because I don’t know [dependent clause].” I hope this is a rhetorical question because I don’t know.
(Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory, 2012)

6. Direct Complement – Direct Object

A direct object is a noun or pronoun that takes on the action of the predicate (while there is no preposition between it and the predicate).

“All my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my uncles. I had to fight my brothers. “ All my life I have been forced to fight. I had to fight my dad. I had to fight my uncles. I had to fight my brothers.
(Sofia, “Flowers in the Purple Fields”, 1985)

7. Indirect addition – Indirect Object

This is a noun or pronoun that indicates with whom or for whom the action denoted by the predicate takes place.

“It’s a family motto. Are you ready, Jerry? I want to make sure you’re ready, brother. Here it is: Show me the money. ” This is the motto of the family. Are you ready Jerry? I want to make sure you’re ready, brother. Here it is: “Show me the money!”
(Rod Tidwell to Jerry Maguire, Jerry Maguire, 1996)

8. Declarative Sentence

A sentence that contains a statement.

“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.
(Don Corleone, The Godfather, 1972)

9. Exclamatory Sentence – Exclamatory Sentence

This is a sentence in which the speaker expresses his strong feelings through an exclamation.

“God! Look at that thing! You would’ve gone straight to the bottom! ” God! Take a look at this! You would go straight to the bottom!
(Jack Dawson, looking at the ring of the Rose, Titanic, 1997)

10. Incentive Sentence – Imperative Sentence

A proposal that provides advice or instruction, expresses a demand or command.

“Close your eyes and pretend it’s all a bad dream. That’s how I get by. ” Close your eyes and imagine that this is all just a bad dream. This is how I manage to survive.
(Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, 2007)

11. Interrogative Sentence

The sentence that asks the question.

“What is the name of the Lone Ranger’s nephew’s horse?” What is the name of the Lone Ranger’s nephew’s horse?
(Mr. Parker, A Christmas Carol, 1983)

12. Simple Sentence

This is a sentence in which there is only one grammatical basis (subject + predicate; also the subject or predicate can act “in splendid isolation”).

“I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” I ate his liver with beans and some decent Chianti.
(Hannibal Lecturer, The Silence of the Lambs, 1991)

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