Adjective: a word, phrase, or clause that describes a noun or pronoun.
Adverb: a word, phrase, or clause that modifies the meaning of a verb, adjective, or other adverb.
Antecedent: the noun or noun phrase to which a pronoun refers.
Appositive: a noun or noun phrase that identifies or modifies the noun or pronoun that comes immediately before it—e.g., Joey, my boyfriend, wanted pizza.
Article: a type of adjective used to indicate specificity. In English, the only articles are the, a, and an.
Auxiliary verb: an irregular verb that provides information about another verb. The main ones are to have and to be.
Case: the property of a noun or pronoun that indicates how it relates to other parts of a sentence. The three cases in English are nominative, possessive, and objective.
Collective noun: a count noun referring to a group—e.g., staff, band, group.
Comparative: indicating that something has a quality to a greater or lesser degree than something else. For example, faster, prettier, and more equitable are comparative adjectives. Comparative adverbs usually take more.
Complement: a word or phrase that completes the meaning of a verb. The main types are objects, predicate nouns, and predicate adjectives.
Conjunction: a word or phrase that links words, phrases, clauses, or sentences.
Conjunctive adverb: an adverb that functions as a conjunction—for example, however, therefore, hence.
Contraction: an abbreviation of a word or phrase formed by omitting letters, usually replacing the omitted letters with an apostrophe—e.g., can’t, we’ll, he’d.
Conventional: significantly more common than alternative forms.
Count noun: a noun that can be singular or plural.
Dangler (or dangling modifier): a modifier, especially at the beginning of a sentence, positioned to modify the wrong word or no word at all—e.g., Leaving home, the weather was nice.
Direct object: the noun or pronoun referring to a person or thing acted upon directly by the action of a verb—e.g., I’m writing a book.
First person: the person of a clause when the speaker is speaking of himself or herself.
Gerund: an –ing verb form that functions as a noun—e.g., Running is fun. Gerunds are identical to present participles, which usually function as adjectives.
Grammar: the set of rules one needs to know in order to competently form sentences in a language.
Imperative mood: the mood of a verb when its clause makes a command or a request—e.g., Read me that book.
Indicative mood: the mood of a verb when its clause states a fact or opinion or asks a question—e.g., Grammar is easy.
Indirect object: a noun or pronoun denoting a person or thing acted upon indirectly by the action of a verb—e.g., I gave the book to him.
Infinitive: the uninflected form of a verb, usually preceded by to. Infinitives are usually nouns—e.g., To write well is not easy.
Intensifier: an adverb that amplifies the meaning of the adjective it modifies—e.g., very, quite, rather.
Interjection: a short word or phrase that suddenly and briefly expresses an emotion or reaction—e.g., oh, wow, ahem.
Modifier: a word or phrase, especially an adjective or adverb, that modifies the meaning of another word or phrase.
Mood: the quality of a verb that expresses the speaker’s attitude toward the likelihood, existence, or desirability of the verb’s action. In English, the three moods are indicative, imperative, and subjunctive.
Nominative case: a noun’s or pronoun’s case when it is the subject or complement of a verb.
Noun: a word denoting anything that can be named, usually an object, person, place, idea, or action.
Number: the quality of a noun, pronoun, or verb that indicates whether it refers to a single person or thing or more than one.
Object: a noun or pronoun that receives the action of a verb.
Objective case: a noun’s or pronoun’s case when it is the object of a verb, preposition, or infinitive.
Participle: an -ed or -ing verb form used as an adjective or to form the progressive aspect or perfect tense.
Past participle: the participial form of a verb usually identical to the past-tense form (ending in -ed)—though there are many irregular past participles.
Perfect participle: a participle taking the form of having plus the past participle—e.g., having had, having gone.
Person: the quality of a clause that indicates whom the speaker is speaking about.
Phrase: a group of two or more words that function together yet have no subject or predicate.
Possessive case: a noun’s or pronoun’s case when its relationship to another element in the sentence is one of ownership, association, or belonging.
Predicate: the part of a clause that tells what the subject does, what is done to the subject, or what is being said about the subject.
Prefix: a letter or group of letters added to the beginning of a word or word element to change its meaning.
Preposition: a word that links a noun or pronoun to another type of word.
Present participle: a participle ending in -ing.
Pronoun: a word that stands in for a noun.
Second person: the person of a clause when the speaker is speaking of the person spoken to.
Sentence: a group of words expressing a complete thought and containing at least one independent clause.
Standard: generally favored by editors and professional writers in moderately formal to very formal language registers.
Subject: the person, place, or thing about which something is said in a clause.
Suffix: a letter or group of letters added to the end of a word or word element to change its meaning.
Style: a conventional or customary manner of presenting language. Different publishers, publications, editors, and authors may have different style preferences.
Subjunctive mood: the mood of a verb when its clause, which is necessarily dependent, addresses conditions that are contrary to fact—e.g., If I were good at grammar, I’d be a better writer.
Superlative: indicating that something, when compared with two or more other things, has a quality to the greatest or least degree. For example, fastest, prettiest, and most equitable are superlative adjectives. Superlative adverbs usually take most.
Tense: the quality of a verb that expresses when the action occurred, occurs, or will occur.
Third person: the person of a clause when the speaker is speaking of someone who is neither the speaker nor the one spoken to.
Usage: the way in which words and phrases are used by speakers of a language.
Verb: a word or phrase denoting an action.
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