Wednesday's are for Grammar

Now class, did you all do your homework? Remember - our example was:

The smarty-pants, Mrs. Spit, is a really good grammar teacher.

And you were to find the subject and the predicate? Let's check your answers.

The Simple Subject:
Mrs. Spit - It's Mrs. Spit that is the really good grammar teacher.
The Compound Subject:
The smarty-pants, Mrs. Spit - smarty pants is an adjective that describes Mrs. Spit.
The Simple Predicate:
is - remember the predicate describes the actions, the experience or the state of being of the subject. In this case, Mrs. Spit has the nominative of being a really good grammar teacher.
The Compound Predicate:
Is a really good grammar teacher. The compound describes the rest of the state of being.

Today's Lesson - Parts of Speech

In this lesson you get to learn "those big grammar words". All words form a part of speech. Every word in a sentence should have a part of speech associated with it. So, the basic parts of speech are:

  • Verb
  • Noun
  • Pronoun
  • Adjective
A verb expresses an action, an occurrence or a state of being.
- Mrs. Spit dances - what is she doing - she's dancing.
- Mrs. Spit became grumpy - what state of being is she - she's grumpy. Remember - the grumpy is just a description of my state of being. It's the became that is the action.
- Mrs. Spit was hit by a flying baseball. This sentence is a bit trickier. Many of you might select flying as the verb, but remember, the flying describes the baseball, not the subject of the sentence - Mrs. Spit. In this case the verb is was. Was is a form of verb called a linking verb. Linking Verbs connect our subject with the words that describe the subject. (also called a subject complement).

There are also axillary or helping verbs (doesn't that make you feel all warm and fuzzy, there are verbs that want to help you!) An axillary verb is a form of one of the following verbs(1):

  • be
  • do
  • have
  • can
  • may
  • will
Nouns and Pronouns.
A noun is a person, place or thing or idea.
- Mrs. Spit drank whisky - the noun is the whisky(2).
- Mrs. Spit is Mr. Spit's wife - this sentence has two nouns. Wife and Mr. Spit. Mr. Spit is a proper noun, meaning that it refers to a specific person, place or thing. We always capitalize proper nouns.
- She is a gardener. Can anyone tell me what the noun is? (Kuri, I'm looking at you!). That's right, there's two. Gardener is a noun, and so is "she". She is a pronoun.

A pronoun is a word or group of words that replaces a noun. If you replace your kid's name with he or him; or when you are really mad at your neighbour, and you call him a womble (3), you are using a pronoun. (4)

An adjective is one of the simpler things to find in a sentence. It describes the verb or modifies it.
- The very pretty Mrs. Spit is a good wife. And the adjectives are (I'm looking at you Mr. Spit). Yes, that's right, very pretty and good wife. The very pretty describes the subject, and the good wife describe my state of being.
There is also a set of adjectives that are called limiting adjectives. They describe the relationship to something.
- That is Mrs. Spit's car. In this case, the "that" is a limiting adjective. It describes a particular car as belonging to Mrs. Spit. (5). For those of you who remember yesterday, Kendra's use of whose was also an adjective. (Point 3)
- Few women today are like Mrs. spit. In this case, we are limiting the noun - women - with the idea that Mrs. Spit is a one of a kind (Few).

Next week, we'll talk about

  • Adverbs
  • Prepositions
  • Conjunctions
  • Interjections
  • Expletives (I expect you to get a 100% on this section)

Your Homework

Mrs. Spit went to the amazing knitting store.

Find the Verb, the Adjective, the Noun (Including proper nouns).

And really class, do try harder to get your homework done.

(1) Yeah, ok, there are many axillary verbs. And I'm not going to list them all. Move on.
(2) Actually to be specific, I drink bourbon. Maker's Mark. And you get bonus points if you can tell me whether the name of the bourbon is a noun or a proper noun.
(3) A la Jeremy Clarkson, from Top Gear.
(4) See, and you are just thinking you were being an awful neighbour - and maybe you are, but you are being grammatically correct while you do so.
(5) You might also be able to figure it out by the plethora of dog hair in it.