Learning English Grammar Part 1

Learning English Grammar

  1. Parts of Speech – Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives, Verbs, Adverbs, Prepositions, Conjunctions, Interjections:

a. Noun: It is a word used as a name of a person, place or thing.

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E.g. Sheila, Delhi, toy


  • Proper: Denotes a particular person, thing or place like Delhi, Mohan.
  • Common: Denotes a class of objects like desk, girl, chair.
  • Collective: Denotes several things regarded as a group like army, class, jury.
  • Abstract: Denotes something that cannot be seen, touched, etc. and denotes a quality like honesty, laughter, truth.
  • Material: Denotes a substance of which things are made like cotton, wheat, paper.
  • They can also be Masculine (Rohan, horse), Feminine(Tanya, cow) or Neuter (House, chair)
  • They can be Countable(Books, chairs) or Uncountable(Milk, noise)

b. Pronoun: It is a word used in place of a noun.

E.g. She, he, me, I


  • Personal: I, he, they, etc.
  • Reflexive and emphatic: Myself, himself, themselves, etc.
  • Demonstrative: This, that, those, etc.
  • Indefinite: One, any, somebody, none, etc.
  • Distributive: Each, every, neither, etc.
  • Reciprocal: Each other, one another, etc.
  • Relative: Who, which, what, etc.
  • Interrogative: Who, whose, whom, which, what, etc.

c. Adjective: It is a word used to describe a noun or a pronoun, i.e., it adds to the meaning of a noun or pronoun.

E.g. Beautiful, ugly, large, empty.


  • Adjectives of Quality: They describe the kind, quality or characteristic like beautiful, clever.
  • Adjectives of Quantity: They indicate how much of a thing is meant in indefinite terms like some, half, little.
  • Adjectives of Number: hey indicate how many people or things are meant. They can be definite (an exact number like two, three), indefinite(few, some, all, many) or distributive(referring to each noun like every, neither, each)
  • Demonstrative: They indicate which person or thing is meant like these, that, those, etc.
  • Interrogative: They are used to ask questions like which, what, who.
  • Exclamatory: They express a feeling like ‘What a story!’ Here, where, what are used as adjectives.
  • Possessive: They indicate possession like ours, my.


  • Positive: It is the basic form like small.
  • Comparative: It compares to things which are different like smaller.
  • Superlative: It denotes the extreme like smallest.

Examples: Bad, worse, worst/ Beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful/ Far, further, furthest.

d. Verb: It is a word which is used to describe an action or to say something about the noun or pronoun.

E.g. Is, lives, prays, dances.


  • Transitive: They pass on the action from the subject to the object.

E.g. Laila saw a man.

  • Intransitive: They do not pass on the action from the subject to the object.

E.g. Laila runs.

e. Adverb: It is a word used to modify a verb, an adjective or another adverb.

E.g. Quickly, very, sweetly.


  • Simple: These maybe further subdivided into:
    1. Adverb of Time: Soon, early, late, before, tomorrow.(Answers ‘when’)
    2. Adverb of Place: Here, there, anywhere. (Answers ‘where’)
    3. Adverb of Manner: Bravely, smartly, beautifully. (Answers ‘how’ or ‘in what manner’)
    4. Adverb of Degree or Quantity: Very, quite, almost. (Answers ‘how far’)
    5. Adverb of Frequency (or Number): Twice, always, firstly. (Answers ‘How often’)
    6. Adverb of Reason: Therefore, thus, hence. (Answers ‘Why’)
    7. Adverb of Comparison: More quickly, as fast as, such as.
    8. Adverb of Affirmation or Negation: Certainly, not.
  • Interrogative:
    1. Adverb of Time: How long, when.
    2. Adverb of Place: Where.
    3. Adverb of Manner: How.
    4. Adverb of Degree or Quantity: How high, how much, how far.
    5. Adverb of Number: How many.
    6. Adverb of Reason: Why.
  • Relative: It joins two clauses by relating itself to a noun and indicates time, place, reason or manner like “I know the house where he lives” or “I don’t know the time when the function begins”

f. Preposition: It is a word placed before a noun or a pronoun to indicate some relation between the noun or pronoun and some other word.

E.g. On, in, around, across.


  • Simple: In, of, an , of, to.
  • Compound: Without, within, outside, inside.
  • Double: From behind, out of, from beneath.
  • Participle: Notwithstanding, concerning, pending, considering.
  • Phrase: By means of, because of, on account of.
  • They indicate relations of place (in, out, up, above), time (at, on, in , from), instrument(by, with, by means of), manner (with courage, with hope, with bravery), cause/reason/purpose (for, through, with shame), possession (Book of Ram, Boy with a dog), measure/rate (by metre) and contrast/concession (with, for)

g.Conjunction: It is used to join words or phrases.

E.g. And, but, so, although.

Correlative conjunctions are most widely used in pairs. These include:

  • ..and
  • ..or
  • ..nor
  • ..yet
  • ..or
  • Not only…but also
  • No sooner…than
  • Scarcely/Hardly…When/Before
  • …than
  • ..as
  • ..that
  • The same…as
  • The same…that
  • As/So…as
  • ..so
  • ..that

 h. Interjection: It is a word used to express some sudden feeling.

E.g. Hurrah!, Wow!, Bravo!

They express a variety of emotions:

  • Joy: Hurrah! Ha-ha!
  • Sorrow: Alas! Ah! Oh!
  • Surprise: Oh! What! Ha!
  • Appreciation: Bravo! Hear-hear!
  • Contempt: Fie! Pooh!
  • Calling: Hello! Ho!
  • Drawing attention: Look! Listen! Behold!
  • Making or becoming silent: Hush!
  1. Types of Sentences:

There are four different kinds of sentences:

  • Assertive: Those which simply affirm or deny something. They end with a full stop. (.)

E.g. Shreya swims very fast.

  • Imperative: Those which contain some command, request, advice or prohibition. They too end with a full stop. (.)

E.g. Please close the door.

  • Interrogative: Those which ask questions and end with a question mark (?)

E.g. Where do you live?

  • Exclamatory: Those which express some strong or sudden feelings. They end with an exclamation mark. (!)

E.g. What a wonderful place!

  1. Agreement of Subject and Verb:

There are various rules for the agreement of subject with the verb since most people make grave grammatical errors in this aspect. The rules are:

  • Two or more singular subjects (connected by ‘and’) take a plural verb.

E.g. Karishma and her sister were dancing.

  • If two subjects joined by and represent one idea, they take the singular verb.

E.g. Slow and steady wins the race.

  • If two singular subjects joined by and are preceded by ‘each’ or ‘every’, the verb is Singular.

E.g. Every boy and every girl was satisfied.

  • If two singular nouns refer to the same person or thing, the verb must be singular. Also, the second article is dropped.

E.g. The poet and teacher has come.

  • Two or more singular subjects connected by ‘either…or’, ‘neither…nor’, ‘or’, ‘nor’ take a Singular verb.

E.g. Either Tina or Shaina is going to come.

Note: When the subjects thus connected are of different numbers, the verb should be plural and the plural subject should be placed near the verb. E.g. Neither Rohan nor his brothers were present.

Note: Also, when the subjects thus connected are of different persons, the verb agrees in person with the one nearest to it. E.g. Either you or she is wrong.

  • A collective noun takes a Singular Verb if the idea of oneness is expressed by it but if it connotes the individuals of the collection, the verb must be plural.

E.g. There is a large number of pupils in the class.

A number of students were rewarded.

  • If two nouns are joined by ‘with’ or ‘as well as’, the verb agrees with the first noun.

E.g. The king, with all his sons, was arrested.

  • ‘Either’, ‘neither’, ‘each’, ‘everyone’, ‘many a’, must be followed by a singular verb.

E.g. Many a boy is tempted to do mischief.

  • When none of is used with a plural noun or pronoun, or a singular noun that refers to a group of people or things, both singular and plural verbs can be used. But it is best to remain on the side of caution and use it as singular where possible.

E.g. None of them is/are coming tonight.

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