Adjectives and Adverbs: These are words you can use to modify—to describe or add meaning to—other words. Adjectives modify nouns or pronouns. Examples: young, small, loud, short, fat, pretty. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, other adverbs, and even whole clauses. Examples: really, quickly, especially, early, well.
Appositives: Appositives modify nouns for the purpose of offering details or being specific. Appositives begin with a noun or an article (a, an, the), they don’t have their own subject and verb, and they are usually set off with a comma. Example: The car, an antique Stingray, cost ten thousand dollars.
Articles: The English language has definite (“the”) and indefinite articles (“a” and “an”). The use depends on whether you are referring a specific member of a group (definite) or to any member of a group (indefinite).
Commas: Commas have many uses in the English language. They are responsible for everything from setting apart items in a series to making your writing clearer and preventing misreading.
Contractions: Apostrophes can show possession (the girl’s hamster is strange), and also can show the omission of one or more letters when words are combined into contractions (do not = don’t).
Coordinators: Coordinators are words you can use to join simple sentences to equally stress both ideas you are connecting. You can easily remember the seven coordinators if you keep in mind the word FANBOYS
(For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So).
Dangling Modifiers: All modifiers, words that add clarity, describe, or add detail to other words in a sentence, must be clearly and logically connected to their implied subjects, the grammatical subject of the clause nearest to the modifier. When they are not logically connected, they are called dangling modifiers.
Fragments: A sentence must contain a subject-verb unit; a fragment is a group of words that pretends to be a sentence but doesn’t actually have a valid subject-verb unit. Example: Since they broke up.
Possessives: To show ownership of things, people or concepts, we use possessives. A common way to form the possessive is to add apostrophe + s. Example: the books of the student → the student’s books.
Run-Together Sentences: Run-together sentences are the result of combining two or more complete sentences together without an acceptable joiner. Acceptable joiners for connecting independent clauses include: coordinators, subordinators, and semi-colons ( ; ).
Subject & Verb Identification: Two of the most important parts of speech are subjects and verbs. Verbs are words that indicate action or a state of being, words like: write, run, tell, have, be, look, feel. The subject of a sentence performs the action(s) indicated by the main verb; that is, the subject is the doer of the action.
Subject-Verb Agreement: In the present tense verbs must agree with their subjects: both must be singular, or both must be plural. Examples: I breathe the air. He breathes the air. You must add an –s or –es at the end of the verb when the subject is a singular third person (he, she, it).
Subordinators: Like coordinators, subordinators can join simple sentences but they de-emphasize one of the ideas. Sentences with a subordinator (words such as although, since, when, even though, because) need to be connected to an independent sentence. Example: Since she studied, she got an A.
Verb Tenses: Tense refers to the form a verb takes in a sentence, whether to express the present, past or future.