Collective nouns

Collective nouns are countable nouns that refer to groups of people, objects, or things. A collective noun differs from a mass noun (a noun that cannot be counted---e.g., love, water, evidence) because it can be pluralized. For example, each of these collective nouns refers to a group but can itself … [Read more...]

Indefinite articles

An indefinite article is a limiting adjective that precedes an unspecified thing, person, or idea. In English, the only indefinite articles are a and an. The article always comes first in its noun phrase, sometimes preceding other adjectives in the phrase (for example, a precedes the adjective black … [Read more...]


The adverb therefore should be used with caution, as it is often at the center of run-on sentences. Therefore is not conventionally considered a conjunction, so it cannot fuse two independent clauses into a single sentence the way conjunctions like and, but, and because can. For example, the … [Read more...]

Agent and recipient nouns

An agent noun denotes a person who performs an action. Most agent nouns end in either  -er (standard) or -or (for words derived directly from Latin). A recipient noun denotes a person who receives an action. Recipient nouns usually have the suffix -ee, which technically means one to … [Read more...]

Coordinate adjectives

Coordinate adjectives are adjectives that appear in sequence with one another to modify the same noun. For example, the adjectives in the phrases bright, sunny day and dark and stormy night are coordinate adjectives. Coordinate adjectives are usually separated with either commas or and, and and … [Read more...]

Phrasal prepositions

A phrasal preposition (not to be confused with a prepositional phrase) is two or more words functioning as a preposition. Below are some of the most common phrasal prepositions in English: according to apart from because of by means of contrary to given that in addition to in front … [Read more...]

Irregular plural nouns

In English, there are hundreds of nouns that don't follow the standard rules for pluralization. There are no easy ways to remember them, so they generally have to be memorized. Some of the rarer irregular plurals are often misused, leading to the creation of variant forms, which usually encounter … [Read more...]

Abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms

In English, there are four main classifications of shortened words and phrases. Abbreviations All types of shortened words and phrases are technically abbreviations, but we generally use this term to denote shortened words---for example, Dr. in place of Doctor, pars. in place of paragraphs, Found. … [Read more...]


A suffix is a letter or group of letters affixed to the end of a word to create a different word. Some suffixes are single letters; for example, in the word floors, -s is a suffix indicating that the noun, floor, is plural. Others are multiple letters; for instance, in the word brightest, the suffix … [Read more...]


In English, a contraction is an abbreviated word formed by removing a letter or multiple letters from a longer word or phrase. The omitted letters are replaced by an apostrophe. For example, he's is a contraction of he is, won't is a contraction of will not, o'clock is a contraction of of the clock, … [Read more...]

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