Loading....
Coupon Accepted Successfully!

 

The Parts Of Speech

Parts of speech are the classes into which the words are divided basing on their functions in the sentences. Just as different parts of a machine serve different functions resulting in the desired effect, different words of a sentence serve different purposes expressing the sense intended. The word classes thus formed are noun, pronoun, adjective, adverb, verb, preposition,conjunction and interjection.
We shall discuss these word-classes briefly from G-matic perspective.

Nouns

Nouns are basically naming words.


The names of places, things, persons, concepts or anything we can imagine constitute this class. Words, such as doctor, Susan, restaurant, Tokyo, city, chair, pencil,knowledge, and courage, are nouns because they name something or someone.


Nouns are very important for language because the very existence of a sentence is not possible without a noun. We use a sentence when we want to talk about something. This something must be named and used as the subject of the sentence.


Study the following sentences in which nouns are italicized and understand how they function as naming words.

Pronouns

Pronouns are substitutes for nouns.


We use pronouns mostly to avoid unnecessary repetition of nouns.


He, she, it, they, I, we, you, this, 
and that are such words that substitute nouns. The nouns which are substituted by the pronouns are called antecedents for those pronouns.


Study the following sentences in which the pronouns are italicized.

  • Michael went to the gym whenever he wanted to exercise.

To avoid the repetition, the word he is used in the place of the noun Michael. Thus, the noun Michael is the antecedent for the pronoun.

  • Even though most Indus Valley settlements were located in semi-arid areas, they primarily depended on wheat and barley as their subsistence crops.

In the above statement, the pronoun they and the adjective their refer to Indus Valley settlements. If we were to repeat the noun, the sentence would be quite awkward.


Sometimes, the pronouns are used to refer to phrases or even whole sentences. But this is acceptable only in informal English, not in G-matic English. Study the following example that illustrates this problem.

? The corporation has unwisely invested money in sectors that are not profitable. This has resulted in the depletion of the reserves.

In the above sentence, the pronoun this is used to refer to the whole sentence. This is quite acceptable in informal English. But this use is not acceptable in G-matic English.


The words I, we and you are also pronouns. But their very nature of reference does not need antecedents. Some pronouns, such as which, that, whom, whose etc., relate a new idea to a noun and thus, are called relative pronouns. We will discuss all concepts about the pronouns in a separate chapter.

Verbs

Verbs are action or state words.


They express the action done by the subject or the state or condition of the subject. In passive constructions, verbs refer to action done onto the subject.


A verb is the basic element of a sentence because a sentence is not possible or formally correct if it does not have at least one ‘complete’ verb.


Study the following examples in which the verbs are italicized.

  • Grammar changes more slowly than vocabulary. (The verb changes expresses the action of the subject.)
  • The situation is critical. (The verb is expresses the state of the subject.)
  • Cape Town and Durban are South Africa’s the largest ports. (The verb are gives the state of the subject.)
  • The coffee was too hot to drink. (The verb was expresses the condition of the subject.)

Sometimes, one single word may not be enough to express the action from time and continuity perspectives. Thus we need more than one word. Then we have both helping verbs and main verbs in the sentence. These word groups called verb phrases.


Study the following sentences.

  • The violation will attract stringent measures from the government. (will is the helping verb and attract is the main verb.)
  • The strategy had improved the profitability of the company. (had is the helping verb and improved is the main verb.)
  • The management should have notified the workers’ union before talking decision. (Should and have are the helping verbs and notified is the main verb.)

Sometimes, you may want to express your ‘mood’ about some action. You need to use the relevant helping verbs (commonly called modals) to indicate how you perceive the action.


Study the following examples.

  • He should make the payment. (You feel that it is his duty.)
  • He may make the payment. (You feel his payment is a possibility.)
  • He must make the payment. (You feel that it is a compulsion or a necessity.)

List of modal auxiliaries: will, would, shall, should, can, could, may, might, must, need to, ought to, dare.

 

Now that you have some familiarity of the concepts of verbs, it’s time we looked at the verbs G-matically. I was mentioning that every sentence should have at least one complete verb. The way a sentence cannot exist without a subject, the same way, it cannot be complete without a complete verb which is grammatically called a finite verb.


Study the following examples to understand the above concept.

 Most of the contestants being less than 24 years of age.

You can understand that the subject of this example is most of the contestants. It needs a verb to follow. However, the verb is not a complete verb making it a fragment. To correct this sentence fragment error, we need to make the verb complete. Look at the following correction.

 Most of the contestants are less than 24 years of age.

 Although the cheetah mainly preys on a small antelope, its pray, on Serengeti plains, having been the gazelle.

 Although the cheetah mainly preys on a small antelope, its pray, on Serengeti plains, has been the gazelle.

Adjectives

 

Adjectives are words that describe nouns.

Words, such as short, clever, dangerous, likely, impossible etc., are used to describe nouns and hence, such words are basically adjectives.


Determiners

Determiners are a small group of adjectives that specify the common nouns. These adjectives are articles (aan and the), possessives (myouryourhishertheir and its) and demonstratives (thisthatthese and those).


Because of their importance in G-matic expressions, you should be able to understand which adjective is describing which noun. Many sentence errors, such as illogical predication and faulty comparison, result from this lack of understanding.

Study the following sentences and identify both the adjectives and the nouns described by them.

  • Meridian is an imaginary line stretching from pole to pole.

In this sentence, the adjective imaginary is describing the noun line.

  • Shirley MacLaine, a Hollywood actress, is popular for her philosophical speeches.

In this sentence, the word Hollywood is describing the noun actress. (Remember, the word Hollywood is actually a noun, but as it is describing a noun, it is acting as an adjective in this sentence) The adjective philosophical is describing the noun speeches. The adjective popular is describing the subject Shirley MacLaine.

 

Correlating adjectives and nouns
Identify both the adjectives and the nouns modified by them in the following sentences.

  1. A small, fast mongoose called Meerkat is a social mammal that practices group care for its young.
  2. Eiffel Tower, which is a wrought iron tower, is an early example of wrought-iron construction.
  3. The term Ice Age is misleading because the period actually consisted of very cold period interspersed by warm periods.
  4. The scientific debate about culture has become controversial because of the ethical concerns that question the central assumptions of the nature of culture.
  5. Many extreme sports are not competitive sports in true sense as the main challenge is not imposed by another athlete, but by the inherent risk in the activity.

Keys

  1. Small, fast (adj) ­– mongoose(n) ; social (adj) – mammal (n); group (a noun acting as adjective) – care; the word young, though it is usually an adjective, is not an adjective in this sentence. It is functioning as a noun with a sense of cubs/ baby animals.
  2. Wrought (adj) – iron (noun); iron (noun functioning as adjective) – tower (n); early (adj) –example (n) ; wrought-iron (noun acting as adj) – construction (n).
  3. Misleading (adj) – term (n); cold (adj) – period (n); warm (adj) – periods (n)
  4. Scientific (adj) – debate (n); controversial (adj) – debate (n); ethical (adj) –concerns (n); central (adj) – assumptions (n)
  5. Many (adj), extreme (adj) – sports (n); competitive (adj) – sports (n); true (adj) – sense (n); main (adj) – challenge (n); another (adj) – athlete (n); inherent (adj) – risk (n)

Adverbs

Adverbs are the words that describe verbs, adjectives and adverbs.


Most of the times, they describe verbs. They, however, describe even the whole sentences. Both adjectives and adverbs together describe anything you want to describe, and so, they both together are called modifiers.

Most adverbs that end with –ly­ are formed by suffixing –ly to the adjective.

cleverly ( adv) – clever (adj); dangerously (adv) – dangerous (adj).


However, you should remember that some adjectives themselves end with ly. Friendly, fatherly, etc., are such words.

These adverbs basically describe the manner in which the action is done. For example, if you say he came quickly, you mean he came in a quick manner.


Coming to other descriptive purposes, an adverb can describe the time, place, manner, frequency, or degree of the action denoted by the verbs.


Study the examples and see how the adverbs (which are italicized) are used to describe different aspects of action done.

  • The board took the decision yesterday. (The adverb yesterday is describing the time of action.)
  • Your secretary came here. (The adverb here is giving the place of action.)
  • The man acted cunningly. (The adverb cunningly is describing the manner in which the person acted.)
  • My boss often comes to my cabin. (The adverb often is describing the frequency of action.)
  • She almost reached the airport. (The adverb almost describes the degree of completion of the action.

 

Identifying adverbs and words described
Identify the adverbs and the words modified by them in the following sentences.

  1. A web-feed is a data format used for providing users with frequently updated content.
  2. Age is definitively measured chronologically, but the term aging is quite ambiguous for scientific reasons.
  3. Historically, the concept of family is considered the basic foundation for society.
  4. Folk religious is a term that is loosely and vaguely applied to less organized religions of the world.
  5. The board was quite keenly interested in the proposed law.

 Keys

  1. Frequently (adverb) – updated (adjective)
  2. Definitivelychronologically (adverbs) – measured (verb)
  3. Historically (adverb) – the whole sentence is modified.
  4. Looselyvaguely (adverbs) – applied (verb)
  5. Keenly (adverb) – interested (adjective); quite (adverb) – keenly (adverb)

 

Prepositions

Prepositions are relating words.


When you want to relate one concept expressed by one noun or verb to another concept expressed by another noun, you need to use prepositions.


The following is a comprehensive list of prepositions:


List of prepositions

About

beyond

near

through

according to

as far as

Across as per next throughout as of  

Against

despite

down

toward

because of

Along

among

during

off

of

after

as well as

around except on circa concerning in accordance with
as excluding onto notwithstanding till in addition to
at for opposite under due to in case of
before from past unlike except for in lieu of
behind in per until instead of in spite of
below including regarding upon out of on account of
beside inside save with owing to on behalf of
besides into since within regardless of with regard to

between

like

out

without

subsequent to 

with respect to

Study the following examples in which the prepositions are italicized.

  • They had a family celebration on Saturday.
  • They ran to the moving train.
  • The proceeds from the sales of the assets were invested in developing the product.

Prepositions are generally followed by nouns, forming the word groups called prepositional phrases. When a single describing word (an adjective or an adverb) does not serve the purpose of description needed, prepositional phrases are used.


Study the following examples to understand this concept.

  • A tall man is waiting there. (tall, an adjective, describes the noun man. There, an adverb, is telling us the place of action of the verb is waiting.)

Here, the modifiers are enough to serve our purpose of describing. But, study the following examples in which single words are not enough to serve the purpose.

  • The woman in the red dress has been waiting in the waiting hall.

The prepositional phrase in the red dress describes the noun the woman just as an adjective doesThe prepositional phrase in the waiting hall tells us the place of action of the verb, just as an adverb does. Thus, prepositional phrases serve the purpose of both adjectives and adverbs.


This discussion is certainly out of context at this juncture. But, given the importance of this concept in G-matic sentence correction, you should certainly need some practice in this regard.

 

Correlating prepositional phrases and words modified
Identify the prepositional phrases in the following sentences and also identify what is modified by them.

  1. All the staff on the aircraft are helping the passengers during the flight.
  2. Unlike a venture capitalist, who manages pooled money of others in professionally managed funds, an angel investor invests the funds from his personal account.
  3. Electronic books, popularly known as e-books, which can be downloaded from the internet, are posing a threat to print industry.
  4. The present debate in the country about how to control the stock markets for the protection of investors concentrates on the laws and regulations of the country.
  5. The Ohio, the largest tributary of the Mississippi, had great importance in the history of Native Americans.

 Keys

  1. On the aircraft (prep phrase) – staff (noun modified). During the flight (prep phrase) – are helping (verb modified).
  2. Unlike a venture capitalist (prep phrase) is showing the contrast between venture capitalists and angel investors. Of others (prep phrase) – money (noun modified). In professionally managed funds (prep phrase) – money of others (noun phrase).
  3. From the internet (prep phrase) – downloaded (verb modified). To print industry (prep phrase) – a threat (noun modified).
  4. In the country (prep phrase) – the present debate (noun phrase modified). About how to … investors (prep phrase) – the present debate (noun phrase). The prepositional phrase for the protection tells you the purpose of controlling the stock markets. Of investors and of the country modify the nouns the protection and the laws and regulations respectively.
  5. Of the Mississippi (prep phrase) – tributary (noun modified). The phrases in the history of Native Americans, and of Native Americans modify the nouns importance and history respectively.

Conjunctions

 

Conjunctions are connecting words.

They connect words, word groups or even sentences establishing logical connection between different elements of the sentences. Conjunctions play a crucial role in defining the syntactical relation between different elements of the sentence.

Study the following example to understand the above concept.

  • As Jack came in, she walked out.
  • Because Jack came in, she walked out.
  • Before Jack came in, she walked out.

All the above sentences are with same set of clauses: Jack came in and she walked out. But in the first sentence, the time of Jack’s entry is same as her exit. In the second sentence, Jack’s entry is the reason for her exit. In the final sentence, there is a sequential relation between both the actions. The establishment of any specific relation is primarily dependent on the conjunction used. G-matic expressions test these syntactical relationships in a subtle way.
 

Conjunctions and syntactic relations
Read the following sentences carefully and select the conjunctions that logically connect the different parts of the following sentences.

  1. During that period, the composer was undergoing severe emotional crisis ----- (and/but/though) his compositional output dropped a lot.
  2. Crop rotation, the practice of growing dissimilar types of crops in the same field in sequential seasons, prevents the decrease in soil fertility, -------- (as/so/so that) growing the same crop in the same field for many years in a row removes the essential nutrients from the soil.
  3. Music scale is a sequence of musical notes in a specific order that is used to conventionally represent part --------- (but, and, or) all of a musical work including melody and harmony.
  4. The location of any object in the world can be correctly identified ------------ (so/because/even though) there are 24 geostationary satellites and ground support which are perfectly coordinated in Global Positioning System today.
  5. ------------ (as/although/if) the term mafia was coined in 19th century Sicily to refer to the ‘loose association’ of criminal groups, it now comes to mean ‘highly organized association’ of criminal groups.
  6. The European Union reduces conflict among different countries, ------ (for/or/while) the economic prosperity of any country depends upon that of all other countries in the Union.
  7. Some scientists describe glass as super-cooled fluid, ---------- (even though/even if/ so that) it is in solid state ------ (so, while, because) its molecules are not arranged in a regular fashion.
  8. There is uncertainty among researchers whether the incidence of the disease is increasing -------- (or/ nor/if) the apparent increase is because of increase in the reporting of the disease.
  9. ----------- (since/while/after) there was a time ------ (when/while/as) people hesitated to pronounce the word superstition, people living in this age of science have gone so far in the opposite direction ------ (so that/that/but) it has become an overused term.
  10. Southern States that opposed the abolition of slavery declared secession from the United States of America under the leadership of Davis ------ (but/and/yet) declared themselves as a separate country the Confederate States of America ------------- (since/whereas/unless) the States of the United States that supported abolition became united to oppose this attempt ------- (while/ and/as) this conflict resulted in the Civil War.

 Keys

  1. During that period, the composer was undergoing severe emotional crisis and his compositional output dropped a lot.
     
    The composer’s emotional crisis is the reason for the decline of output. If we use though or but, the cause and effect relation cannot be established. We need to use the conjunction with a sense of so. The only possible option is and.
  2. Crop rotation, the practice of growing dissimilar types of crops in the same field in sequential seasons, prevents the decrease in soil fertility, as growing the same crop in the same field for many years in a row removes the essential nutrients from the soil.
     
    There is a causal relation between the two parts of the sentence; the first part is the result while the second part is the reason. So we need to use as in the blank. If we use so, the cause and effect reason is illogically reversed. We cannot use so that as the second clause is not the purpose of the first clause.
  3. Music scale is a sequence of musical notes in a specific order that is used to conventionally represent a part or all of a musical work including melody and harmony.
     
    The music scale can represent part of something or all of that. So the correct conjunction is or. Use of and is illogical in the context. Use of but is also illogical. Perhaps, a part, but not all, of something would have been correct expression.
  4. The location of any object in the world can be correctly identified because there are 24 geostationary satellites and ground support which are perfectly coordinated in Global Positioning System today.
     
    The first clause is the result of the second clause, and thus, because is the correct conjunction. Using so is incorrect as it illogically reverses the causal relation. The conjunction even though is not possible as there is no contrast to be shown.
  5. Although the term mafia was coined in 19th century Sicily to refer to the ‘loose association’ of criminal groups, it now comes to mean ‘highly organized association’ of criminal groups.
     
    The first clause shows the contrast with the second clause. Thus, although is the correct conjunction.
  6. The European Union reduces conflict among different countries, for the economic prosperity of any country depends upon that of all other countries in the Union.
    The causal connection should be expressed by the conjunction. However, or or while does not express the causal connection. Thus, for is the required conjunction. The conjunction for is different from other conjunctions, such as since, because, and as in one way. The use of for emphasizes the result while the other conjunctions emphasize the reason.
  7. Some scientists describe glass as super-cooled fluid, even though it is in solid state because its molecules are not arranged in a regular fashion.
    A contrast is to be shown between the first and second clauses and thus, the conjunction even though is required in the first blank. The last clause shows the reason for the first clause, and thus, because is the conjunction to be used.
  8. There is uncertainty among researchers whether the incidence of the disease is increasing or the apparent increase is because of the increase in the reporting of the disease.
    The paired conjunction whether … or is used to show the possible alternatives. Thus, or is the conjunction needed for the blank.
  9. While there was a time when people hesitated to pronounce the word superstition, people living in this age of science have gone so far in the opposite direction that it has become an overused term.
    The conjunction to express the time relation in this context is when for the second blank. The first clause shows the contrast with the second clause, and thus the first blank requires the conjunction while. The paired conjunction so… that requires the use of that in the third blank.
  10. Southern States that opposed the abolition of slavery declared secession from the United States of America under the leadership of Davis ​and declared themselves as a separate country the Confederate States of America since the States of the United States that supported abolition became united to oppose this attempt and this conflict resulted in the Civil War.
    The two ideas of declaration of secession and declaring themselves express an extension of thought. Thus, the first blank requires the conjunction and. The third clause the states of United states that supported … this attempt gives the reason for the initial concept and thus, the second blank requires since. The last clause is adding infomation related to the result of the whole situation and thus, the third blank requires and.

Interjections

Interjections are words that express sudden emotions.

Words, such as oh, Alas, etc., belong to this category. These words are confined to mostly everyday speech or fiction. Thus, G-matic expressions find no place for them. This book, primarily test-oriented, is, I hope, justified in ignoring these concepts. However, you can go through the examples of sentences with italicized interjections.

  • Wow! What a pleasant surprise.
  • Alas! She is no more!





Test Your Skills Now!
Take a Quiz now
Reviewer Name