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Anyone who writes needs to possess at least a basic understanding of grammar and how to use it to their advantage. Reading an article or story by someone who has poor command of the English language can seriously detract from the story. When you send a story to a publisher, you want him or her to focus on your story, not on the fact that you donít have proper command of the English language.
This article may be a bit simplistic for some, but just think of it as a review of what you already know. For those of who wish to make a more detailed study of grammar, there are plenty of resources available on the internet to help you out. In this article nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and prepositions are covered.
What is a noun? A noun is simply a person, place or thing. There are common nouns and proper nouns. A common noun is the name of an object or thing. A proper noun names a specific person, place or thing. For example, writer is a common noun, Dean Koontz a proper noun. Sears Tower is a proper noun, while building is a common noun. Snoopy is a proper noun, while dog is a common noun. Leonardo da Vinci is a proper noun, while artist is a common noun. High Point Road is a proper noun, while road is a common noun. Proper nouns are capitalized, while common nouns are not unless they happen to be the first word of a sentence.
A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. They cut down on repetition and enable the sentences to flow more smoothly. There are several different types of pronouns, but that is for serious grammar fanatics and Iím not going to go over them. Instead of saying Mary picked up Maryís shoes and put the shoes in the closet, you would say Mary picked up her shoes and put them in the closet.
There are 3 types of verbs. Action verbs, of course, show action. Melody jumped on the trampoline. State of being verbs tell about something in a state of being. Mrs. Sandusky is extremely tall. Helping verbs cannot stand alone, they always need another verb to complete the thought. Nor do they express action. We are jumping rope.
Adjectives are words that are used to modify or describe another person or thing in the sentence. The most commonly used adjectives are probably the articles a, an and the. The deep, luscious aroma of freshly brewed coffee woke up Darryl.
Adjectives add color and depth to an otherwise boring story. But too many of them tend to bog down a story and make it laborious to read.
Adverbs can be used to modify any part of the language except a noun. The easiest ones to recognize end in -ly, though not all words that end in -ly are adverbs. Some of them are adjectives. Remember, adjectives only modify or describe nouns or pronouns. Adverbs modify everything else. An adverb can be placed anywhere in a sentence, but it will always answer one of the following questions - how, when, where, why, in what way, how much, how often, under what condition, or to what degree.
Prepositions are fun words. Used to link nouns, pronouns and phrases to other words in the sentence, they usually indicate location or tell when something happened. Examples of prepositions are above, beneath, over, under, since, during and until.. There are many, many more prepositions. If needed, you can find lists of them in any grammar book or on the internet.
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White is an excellent resource to have when it comes to the proper uses of grammar. I have had a copy of this book for as long as I can remember. You can purchase a copy through Amazon, link provided below.
The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition
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