The Elements of English Grammar
Many of these definitions and examples are extracted from The Allyn & Bacon Handbook, 4th edition (Rosen, L.J., and Behrens, L., Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2000) and The Everyday Writer, 2nd edition (Lunsford, A.A., Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2001). This page is meant for educational uses only, and is intended primarily for students at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois.
This page identifies many of the grammatical elements which comprise English. It does not present grammatical rules, but simply defines the most important pieces that go into the construction of English sentences.
Click on the word or phrase highlighted in the section below to display a pop-up definition.
Subjects and predicates
Large doses of alcohol act as a depressant.
Types of nouns
Judge Thompson ruled against Dan.
The judge ruled against Dan.
Lois brought eighteen cups to the party.
The air was fragrant with the smell of lilacs.
Please place the clock on the mantle.
Ambition is a two-edged sword.
The family went on vacation together.
Types of verbs
George built a treehouse for his son.
Mona smiled slyly.
Joan seems content in her new position.
I have gone to see the doctor.
[modal auxiliary verbs]
I might go to France this summer.
is a science and an art.
Roberto was weary of acting a false role.
[Participle] The edited
manuscript was 700 pages.
The employee processing your request is named Sheila.
parent well requires endless patience.
The employee to process your request is Sheila.
She wanted to process your request as soon as possible.
Our favorite people and our favorite stories become so not by any inherent value, but because they illustrate something deep in the grain. (Joan Didion)
[Descriptive] The poor unwittingly
subsidize the rich.
Poverty almost always can be eliminated.
[Conjunctive] In early school grades, simple processes like addition are taught. By late fourth grade, however, students are introduced to the basics of algebra.
[Personal] When sugar dissolves in water, the sugar molecules break their close connection with the sugar crystal.
[Relative] The committee members,
belonged to the candidate's party, voted for censure.
The pollution, which began in 1968, has now reached dangerous levels.
officials overcame partisan loyalties.
This event shows the vitality of our political system.
is in charge of the polling procedure?
What is the correlation between profit and stock price?
control economic forces.
The chemical itself can be extracted through heating.
[Reflexive] The workers did not have the skills to help themselves through the transition period.
Everybody who sees the
movie will rave about it.
Somebody embezzled the funds.
The justices implicated each
other in the bribery scandal.
The products complement one another
We did not want to leave during the performance.
The students waited anxiously for their test grades.
Fold the eggs into the batter, and add three teaspoons of vanilla while stirring.
Except for Brandon, all the students went on the field trip.
Because of the lack of non-verbal cues, miscommunication often occurs during online communication.
According to Prof. Andrea Lunsford, collaboration is an essential element in any piece of communication.
Infants only cry at birth, but within a few years they speak in complete sentences.
Emotions are communicated online with emoticons. Consequently, the range of emotional expression in Instant Messenger is limited compared to real-life communication.
Users not only distort facts about themselves in chatrooms, but also use online profiles as masks behind which they can hide while abusing others.
If Loren scores high enough on her SAT test, she will have a better chance of getting admitted to Oberlin.
N0! This was the response to neighborhood requests for diminished police teams.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that jobs for academicians are scarce.
There are no good reasons for opposing this legislation.
|according to||along with||apart from|
|as well as||as for||because of|
|by means of||by way of||contrary to|
|due to||except for||in addition to|
|in back of||in case of||in front of|
|in place of||in spite of||instead of|
|next to||on account of||on top of|
|out of||outside of||owing to|
|with regard to||with respect to|