Wednesday's are for Grammar

Last Week's Homework

Well then class, your homework was to identify the verb, the adjective and the noun (including proper nouns). Let's see how you did.

Mrs. Spit went to the amazing knitting store.

Verb: went
Noun: knitting store
Proper Noun: Mrs. Spit
Adjective: amazing.

So, we have an award here at Mrs. Spit's. A special award, created by my very best friend Gen, using all her graphic arts skills, just for those who did their homework.

Those Receiving the Shiny Grammar Apple Whis Week (to put on their blog and receive approbation and honours):
- Sweet Camden Lass(Who gets bonus points for also identifying the subject and predicate)
- Alicia (Who does not suck at this grammar stuff)
- Geohede (Who is exempt from homework this week, if the twins come before next Tuesday)
- Just Me (Who made up her own example, and got that correct!)
- Natalie (Who also got the proper noun!)
- Excavator (Who asks really hard questions)
Receiving Honourable Mention:
JuliaS - Who did not do the homework, but did help excavator write code, in addition to parsing the sentence.
- JamieD - Who gave me a sparkly, shiny award, that I have been remiss in saying thank you for!

This Week's Lesson:

An adverb modifies the verb. It limits or bounds or modifies the verb, telling us more about the action of the sentence. This is different from and adjective, because an adjective modifies the noun, not the verb. Adverbs can also modify the entire clause, as I will show in example 2.

Mrs. Spit speaks quickly - in this sentence the quickly modifies the act of speaking. You get more information about the verb. Mrs. Spit doesn't just speak, she speaks quickly.
Mrs. Spit is an unusually brilliant knitter. Mrs. Spit doesn't just knit, but she's unusually brilliant at it. The unusually doesn't actually modify the is, it modifies the whole last clause of "brilliant knitter".

Did you notice something about the adverbs? Go back and look, we'll wait.
That's right, adverbs most often end in -ly.

Prepositions (not propositions!) make the world go 'round. A preposition tells us the relationship between the object and another clause in the sentence. The preposition tells us if something is higher or lower or up or down or in front of or behind something else. You probably know a lot of them on this list(1):
  • above/below
  • for/against
  • in/out
  • before/after
  • up/down
  • during/after
  • within/without
  • to
  • at
  • except
  • until
  • but

A conjunction is a word that joins other words or groups of words.(2) There are two types of conjunctions: co-ordinating and subordinating. A co-ordinating conjunction joins words of equal rank.

Mrs. Spit is smart and funny. Note that both ideas are equally important in the sentence, and the "and" joins them.

Common Co-Ordinating Conjunctions include: and, but, or, nor and for.

A subordinating conjunction introduces a clause, or part of a sentence that depends on or is less important than the other clause or part of the sentence.

Mrs. Spit was knitting while she was stressed out. Note, the knitting is more important, it happens because of the second thing - the stressed out.

Common Subordinating Conjunctions include: If, whether, while, unless, although, as, before, after and until.

An interjection is an exclamatory word, thrown in a sentence. Adjectives and adverbs often become interjections. Think of words like: yes!, Hey, Ouch!, Why?, Hooray.

Ouch! Yelled Mrs. Spit as she dropped the anvil on her foot. The interjection is Ouch!

This is going to break your heart. I am not talking about the salacious words you never see used here at Mrs. Spit's. An expletive is using the words there or it, and combining them with the infinitive "to be". In a sense, the expletive postpones the event until another time.

There will be another grammar column next week for you to study. There will be is an expletive.

Expletives are generally not the best English. It is usually better to use more direct wording. In the sentence above, I should have said:

Please study next week's grammar column.


Mrs. Spit was gardening quietly in her back garden, working quickly to finish the odious task. "Ewww", she screamed. "That beetle is ugly, disgusting and gross".

Your job is to find:



(1) - Umm, lot's more than this folks, but my hands are getting tired.

(2) Conjunctions are real followers.