I have to say that this course is really challenging me and inspiring me to want to do better. I really love the workload, and how the professors are so communicable and not dry. I enjoy learning this way so very much.
PREPOSITIONSPrepositions are words that connect nouns and pronouns to other words and show the relationship between the words. While there are hundreds of prepositions, some of the more common prepositions are:
- in the village
- despite the extensive remodeling project
- underneath the grey blanket
- near him
- between you and me
- with her
CONJUNCTIONSConjunctions are words that link other words in a sentence and indicate the relationship between those words. There are four types of conjunctions:
- coordinating conjunctions
- correlative conjunctions
- adverbial conjunctions
- subordinating conjunctions
Coordinating conjunctions join words or word groups of equal importance.
There are only seven coordinating conjunctions:
*Use the memory word FANBOYS to help you remember all seven coordinating conjunctions.
- The child was crying, for he had fallen and scraped both knees.
- The man and the woman walked hand and hand down the street.
- The Tan’s did not wish to visit Alaska, nor did they wish to visit Tierra del Fuego.
- She likes tea but not coffee.
- The student could play or study, but not both.
- The young man ate breakfast, yet he was still hungry.
- The game ended, so the team left the field.
Correlative conjunctions are word pairs that join words or words groups of equal importance.
Common correlative conjunctions include:
- not only . . . but also
- whether . . . or
- both . . . and
- not . . . but
- either . . . or
- as . . . as
- neither . . . nor
- They want to travel not only to Europe but also to Asia.
- I want either the red dress or the black shoes.
- I want both the red dress and the black shoes.
- Whether you clean your room or vacuum the house is up to you.
Unlike coordinating conjunctions and correlative conjunctions that link words and word groups, adverbial conjunctions join independent clauses, which you will study in Week 4.
Adverbial conjunctions tell the reader the relationship between the two main clauses. Below are common adverbial conjunctions organized by the relationship they specify.
|Cause or |
|in addition |
|in fact |
|as a result |
Subordinating conjunctions are a word or group of words that introduces a subordinate clause, which you will study in Week 4.
Below are common subordinating conjunctions organized by the relationship they specify.
|Cause or |
|Purpose||Space or Time|
|in order that |
Study these charts, for you will be referring to them throughout the course. You should become familiar with these words and the corresponding organizational relationship. They will help you to improve your thought and sentences as you write.
PARTS OF SPEECH AT WORKBefore you begin reading this section, take a few moments to copy down or print this list of symbols that will be used to identify parts of speech in sentences we will be working with throughout this unit.
|Part of Speech/Sentence||Symbol|
|Prepositional Phrase||Prep P|
The sentences that you will learn to write in this course will contain many words from the eight parts of speech (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives/determiners, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections). What is even more important is that the words categorized as the eight parts of speech can do many different “jobs” in the sentences you create. The box below illustrates some of the work these elements can do for you.
|Parts of Speech||Jobs They Perform in Sentences|
|Nouns, pronouns||Subjects (the actor/who/what) and Objects (receive the action of the actor)|
|Verbs||Verbs (describe the action of the actor)|
|Adjectives, adverbs, prepositions||Modifiers (add details and description)|
|Conjunctions||Conjunctions (link sentences, words)|
There is one more significant thing to know about the relationship between the eight parts of speech and sentences. Just as the parts of speech can do various jobs in sentences, words that make up the eight parts of speech can also multitask. In fact, many of the words in the English language can be more than one part of speech, as you already know, and can do a variety of jobs in sentences. Look at the following examples.
|Word||Part of Speech||Sentences|
|bubbles||Noun||The bubbles floated up and away.|
|verb||Water bubbles when it begins to boil.|
|up(s)||adverb||He climbed up to the top of the ladder.|
|preposition||They went up the stairs.|
|adjective||The up elevator is on the left.|
|noun||She has had more ups than downs lately.|
|well||interjection||Well! I don’t believe it!|
|adverb||The teacher spoke well of the student.|
|adjective||My friend is well.|
|daily||noun||The daily arrives at 3:00 pm.|
|adjective||Daily attendance is a requirement.|
|adverb||He called her cell phone daily.|
And these examples are just four of tens of thousands of words that multitask in this way. Learning the parts of speech and how they function will help you be a better writer and editor.
But, rest assured, once you have a firm grasp of English based on the descriptions of it you find here, you will better understand that this ability words have to do so many things helps to make the English language very rich and very flexible and very descriptive.
Now that you can see all of the roles English words can play in sentence structures, creating sentences for writing will become much easier for you.
For example, the noun and verb Seals performed create a complete sentence.
Now add the adjective the:
Add another adjective that describes the color of the seals:
The verb, performed, doesn’t really describe the actions of the seals. Try a verb that better describes the seals’ actions:
Leaped better describes the seals' action. Writing and reading would be rather dull if there weren’t verbs that described action. In fact, sentences sometimes contain multiple descriptive verbs. Look at the following sentence.
Look at how this sentence gains energy and vitality when action verbs are added. (Do note that adding additional verbs also means adding commas and the conjunction and.)
There is one more thing you can do to make this sentence even more dynamic. Add adverbs and prepositional phrases to give additional details about the verbs.
By adding adverbs (words and phrases that modify verbs) to the sentence, you create a sentence that is even more specific and visual.
Now, add several adjectives. Remember adjectives are words used to add descriptive details to nouns and can be inserted in prepositional phrases.
Remember, this sentence began as Seals performed.
A sprinkling of action verbs and their attending adverbs, as well as a few adjectives and prepositional phrases turned this sentence into an event. As you begin to experiment with expanding sentences in this way, your writing will become word pictures that readers will be able to visualize.
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