Grammar is a fundamental component to understanding the ins and outs of the English language. However, it is also made needlessly confusing by excessively advanced labelling. So today, we’re going to go over some grammar terminology and discuss what they actually mean.
- Articles (Definite and Indefinite)
Articles are simple. The indefinite articles are “a/an” and the definite articles are “the”. “a/an” is used when referring to objects, places, or ideas that have not been referred to before, or do not have context. For example: “I bought a chair last week”. The chair has just been introduced, so we use an indefinite. “The” is used when the object/place/person is defined, or we have context for it. For example: “I bought a chair last week. I’ve placed the chair in my office.” If you want to go more in depth, there are other caveats to this concept, but these are the basics.
Conjunctions are very simply words that link other words, phrases or clauses together. There are different types of conjunctions, such as coordinating, correlative, and subordinating conjunctions. Coordinating conjunctions connect independent/equal words or phrases. For example: “We went to the park and the zoo.” Correlative conjunctions use pairs of conjunction words. For example: “He was neither happy nor sad”. Finally, subordinating conjunctions are used to connect a clause that cannot stand on its own as a sentence, and is reliant on an independent clause. A clause that cannot operate as its own sentence is something like “Hence he went to work” which does not make sense on its own. So, we add an independent clause: “he was no longer sick hence he went to work”. The subordinating conjunction is used in front of a dependent clause to connect it to an independent clause.
Gerunds by far have the most interesting name while being one of the simplest grammar concepts. Gerunds are verbs that also function as a noun, and typically end in “-ing”. For example: “Running is hard.” Running is the Gerund in this sentence, and is used as the subject of the sentence. The gerund can also be the object of the sentence, and in a variety of other ways.
These are only a few of the many grammar concepts that litter the English Language – though I should specify these are the basic definitions. While their official names may be confusing, the concepts themselves are very simple and shouldn’t deter anyone from attempting to learn.