Sunday, December 29, 2013

Demonstrative Pronouns and Demonstrative Adjectives

A demonstrative pronoun represents something or someone and performs as a noun.
e.g. We are chatting about this and that.
This is Kookie speaking.
That is a good idea.

A demonstrative adjective performs as an adjective.
e.g. Those worms were big yesterday, weren't they?

The following words may be demonstrative pronouns or demonstrative adjectives.
They depend on the context of the sentence.

near in distance or time - this + these
far in distance or time - that + those

Saturday, December 28, 2013


PRONOUNS REPLACE NOUNS - especially names of (or reference to) people 
but there are exceptions
e.g. Some are available but none are for sale yet.    - pronouns
Personal Pronouns replace proper nouns representing people - except "it"Possessive Adjectives and Pronouns
(usually connect with proper or personal pronouns)
Reflexive Pronouns
Subject in a sentenceObject in a sentencepossessive adjectivepossessive pronoun





Personal and interrogative pronouns stand alone.
 Possessive and interrogative adjectives qualify another noun
- often a common noun but may be an abstract noun.
Possessive pronouns stand alone.
 Reflexive pronouns stand alone.

e.g. 1.  I warned her that her bag may be searched as it used to be mine but she was determined to face that problem herself.
2. Who is responsible for what bag?

1. The first her in the sentence is an object of warned, so it is a personal pronoun.
The second her is a possessive adjective qualifying the noun bag.
2. who - interrogative pronoun - stands alone
what - interrogative adjective - qualifies the noun bag.


Friday, December 27, 2013


Prepositions are link words beginning phrases.
They link the trunk of the sentence with: 
the branches of time and/or place + manner + reason - adverbial phrase/s qualifying the verb
the descriptive branches - adjectival phrase - qualifying the noun

I read the book - main trunk of the sentence.
about dreams - adjectival phrase qualifying book
It begins with the preposition about
in the afternoon - adverbial phrase of time qualifying the verb read
It begins with the preposition in.
beneath the tree - adverbial phrase of place qualifying the verb read
It begins with the preposition beneath.


** prepositions are usually monosyllabic - one syllable
** Phrases do NOT contain a verb
** A group of 3 words usually = a phrase

for a full list of prepositions see
English Grammar 4U Online
(exercises are included)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Adverbs + Adverbial Phrases ~ Specify details of verbs

Adverbs and adverbial phrases qualify verbs.
They add colour and interest to the action in a sentence.

1. Adverb - One word qualifies a verb. Most adverbs end in "-ly".
2. Adverbial phrase involves two or more words qualifying the verb.
The phrase may involve:
two adverbs e.g. quite fast
begin with a preposition
at the station - adverbial phrase of place beginning with the prepositon at.
3. Adverbs and adverbial phrases answer:
how - most adverbs answer this question

e.g. In the Winter, many surfers enjoy riding the chilly waves with excitement.
In the Winter - adverbial phrase of time
with excitement - adverbial phrase of manner
NOTE: chilly ends in "-ly" but look at this word's position in the sentence.
It is an adjective describing waves.
(And waves is not automatically a verb. Here it is a noun.)
Before identifying a word's role in a sentence, check where it is in the sentence.
In other words, check the context.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Active and Passive Voice

Pic by G.W. aka P.A. ~ An excerpt from an article in Royal Auto magazine.
The traveller's tale is written mostly in active voice so that the reader feels close to the journey.

Pic by G.W. aka P.A. ~ Sign at Coolart, Mornington Peninsula

ACTIVE VOICE ~ When the subject of the verb does the action of the verb, then the whole sentence is in the active voice.
1. He walks the dog along the beach in all weathers.
2. He is walking the dog along the beach today.
3. He has been walking the dog along the beach today.
4. He walked/was walking the dog along the beach today.

When to use the active voice:
(a) This is the preferred form in essays, with particular preference for 1. and 4. ("walked" NOT "was walking") above. It is a compact, direct style, keeping attention on the topic of the essay rather than on complicated grammatical issues.
(b) In creative writing, this form can create a sense of immediate drama.

PASSIVE VOICE ~ When the subject of the verb is being acted upon, then the whole sentence is in the passive voice.
1. The dog is being walked by the man along the beach today.
2. The dog was/has been walked by the man along the beach today.

When to use the passive voice:
(a) If a word needs special emphasis, then the passive voice may be preferred. In the first example above, attention is drawn to the dog rather than the man. But notice that more verb elements are needed to achieve this + the preposition "by" is included!
NOTE: Signs (like the one above for the Old Buttery) often take short cuts and avoid the extra words.
(b) In creative writing, this form may create a slowly paced drama or narrative (for tension).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

ADJECTIVES ~ Specify details of nouns

ADJECTIVES ~ specify/describe details about nouns and usually appear directly before the noun. Most are called "descriptive adjectives".

1. Adjectives may specify:
number (numerical adjectives e.g. "40" in the poster while the adverb "nearly" modifies it)
general identity (demonstrative adjectives e.g. this, that, these, those)
specific national/racial/city identity (proper adjectives from proper nouns e.g. Australian, Chinese, American, Melbournian)

2. Adjectives may use:
nouns as adjectives
e.g. In the above poster, the compound adjective gap year describes organisation. Both gap and year are usually used as nouns.

3. Adjectives follow the noun when any part of the verb "to be" is used:
e.g. Hobart is/was/will be cold and windy.
The words cold and windy are adjectives describing a perspective of Hobart.

4. Some adjectives are used in a comparison.
e.g. Brisbane is hot. Cape York is hotter.
When used in this way, they are known as comparative adjectives.

Comparative adjectives involve degree.
(a) The base is known as the positive form
e.g, strong, funny, red, good, bad
(b) The next stage, comparing two items, is known as the comparative form
e.g. stronger, funnier OR more funny, redder, better, worse
(c) The last stage, comparing three or more items, is known as the superlative form.
e.g. strongest, funniest OR most funny, reddest, best, worst