Grammar is a branch of linguistics that deals with the arrangement (syntax) and form and structure (morphology) of words. Every word in the English language can be classified by its use and position. The following glossary lists the classification, punctuation marks and some of the terminology used for the analysis of a language.
adjective. A word that qualifies a noun. Adjectives are descriptive (the big book), quantative (many pages), interrogative (which page), demonstrative (those books) or indicate possession (my book).
adverb. A word that describes how, where or when an action (verb) is performed. It usually has the suffix -ly: they moved quickly.
antonyms. Opposites: fast is an antonym of slow.
apostrophe. Punctuation mark indicating possession (Bob's car) or representing letters that have been removed (wouldn't, isn't).
article. A noun identifier. 'A' or 'the' being the indefinite and definite article.
colon. Punctuation mark introducing a list, quotation or summary.
conjugation. The recitation of the various forms of a verb.
exclamation mark. Punctuation mark indicating emotion. It follows genuine exclamations not ordinary statements.
full stop (period). Punctuation mark which indicates: 1. The end of a complete sentence. 2. An abbreviation when the last letter is different from that at the end of the complete word (adj. for adjective).
hyphen. Punctuation mark that joins compound words (lay-by, free-range) or marks a word that has been split at the end of a line.
impersonal. Referring to the third person he, she or it.
interjection. Word or phrase expressing sudden emotion.
inverted comma. Punctuation mark enclosing direct quotations (speech). There is normally a comma before and after the quote. Single quotation marks indicate a title or quote within speech.
noun. The name of a person, thing or quality. Types of noun include: common or concrete nouns (man, cat), proper nouns (London, John Bull), abstract nouns (love, hate) and collective nouns (flock, group).
paragraph. A group of related sentences.
parenthesis (brackets). Punctuation mark isolating part of a sentence which could be omitted. The punctuation of the rest of sentance should run as if the brackets were not there.
preposition. A word that links a noun with the rest of the sentence. Prepositions usually indicate location (in, on, with) or time (before, during, at).
pronoun. A word used in place of a noun. There are two types: personal pronouns (I, you, it) and possessive pronouns (mine, yours, theirs).
question mark. Punctuation mark which follows direct questions but not reported ones.
sentence. A group of words containing a verb that makes complete sense.
syllable. A group of letters that usually contains a vowel and can be pronounced independently from the complete word.
verb. A word describing an action or state: what a person or thing does or experiences. Click here for verb forms.