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Grammar Glossary

Posted on by Kieran McGovern


Active/Passive - the police caught the thief (act)/ the thief was caught by the police (passive)
Adjective -  describes a noun:  the cat is very happy
Adverb -  describes a verb, an adjective or another adverb:
 the cat is extremely small / the cat moved stealthily

Articles - the (definite) a/an (indefinite)

Conditional (also see modal)  - could/would/should 

Conjunction - joins clauses/parts of sentence:  and/or/but etc.
Demonstrative - this, that, these, those

Direct/Indirect object - I gave the present to him{direct} /I gave him the present (indirect)

Gender -  masculine or feminine noun (no formal rule in English. A ship, for example, is feminine by tradition. (all who sail in her )

Gerund - a noun formed from a verb: I like swimming
Irregular verb - does not follow typical paint/painted pattern.  See here 
Infinitive -  base form of the verb:  to drink / to sleep

Lexeme - smallest unit of language: I have been = three lexemes

Main clause/Subordinate clause  - I’ll feed the dog [main clause] when he barks [subordinate clause]
Modal verb: auxiliary verb used with another verb to express a certain mood or intention:  I can’t swim / I have to do my work
Mood - form a verb can take.There are three types of mood:
a) Indicative: used with statements/facts  
b) Imperative: instructions/directions 
c) Subjunctive: expresses doubt/possibility
Noun - naming word  giraffe / telephone

Past/Present/Future tense - when something happens/happened
Possessive - Indicates possession:  mine / yours / his
Preposition: places in time, location or direction:  on, at, between

Pronoun - word that replaces a noun: he/she/it
Personal pronoun -  I /you/he/she/we/you/they
Reflexive pronoun - Myself / yourself / himself
Reflexive verb -  I hurt myself
Singular/Plural - there is a spoon {singular} and two knives {plural}

Subject - The person/thing/animal doing the action:  the monkey eats banana

Verb - an action/doing word: paint, go, be etc

Verbal - verb form that functions as a noun