Topic outline

  • Noun

    noun teacherNouns are the naming words which identify or denote both living and non-living beings.

    A noun is a word that refers to a thing (book), a person (Betty Crocker), an animal (cat), a place (Omaha), a quality (softness), an idea (justice), or an action (yodeling). It's usually a single word, but not always: cake, shoes, school bus, and time and a half are all nouns.

    Nouns make up the largest class of words in most languages, including English.

  • Pronoun

    pronounpicsA pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun.

    For example: Jack is a carpenter. Jack uses a hammer.

    Instead of saying Jack’s name twice, you can use a pronoun to stand in for Jack’s name and make the sentences sound better together:

    Jack is a carpenter. He uses a hammer.

  • Verb

    verbteacherA verb refers to an action, event or state. Grammatically, it is the most important part of an English sentence. A formal English sentence must possess at least one verb. Even just one verb can make a sentence. For example: Run. This word in itself is also a sentence.

    Verbs take many different forms depending on their subjects and their relationship with their subjects, the time they refer to and other ideas we want to express.

    Click on a topic to learn more about verbs.

  • Adjective

    An adjective modifies (qualifies or limits the meaning of ) a noun or a pronoun. It answers the questions, What kind? Which one(s)? How many? How much?

    • Carrie read an interesting story. ( What kind of story?)
    • The recent article has that information. ( Which article?)
    • Kent owns those surfboards. ( Which surfboards?)
    • Wendy paid fifty dollars for the jacket. ( How many dollars?)
    • Much space was devoted to her artwork. ( How much space?)

    The words a, an, and the are the most frequently used adjectives. Although they are sometimes referred to as articles or noun markers, they are really adjectives, plain and simple. Use a before words that start with a consonant sound ( a joking man or a lucky lottery player) and an before words that start with a vowel sound ( an hour’s wait or an interesting story).

    An adjective can come before or after the noun or pronoun it describes:

    • Older cards are found on the table. ( Which cards?)
    • Tall players and intelligent coaches were interviewed by the interested reporter. ( Which players? Which coaches? Which reporter?)
    • Tired and hungry , the campers reached the lodge. ( What kind of campers?)
    • The campers, tired and hungry , reached the lodge. ( What kind of campers?)