“Traditional grammars make use of a fairly wide technical vocabulary to describe the concepts they use . . . Some of these terms are probably unintelligible to most people, although they may have some dim recollection of them from their schooldays.” Frank Palmer
You need to know the basic laws of the sentence to catch grammar errors. Once you can recognise the parts of a correct sentence, you will become better at recognising incorrect sentences.
As Palmer says in his quote, grammar has technical jargon, for example, "words like 'noun,' 'verb,' 'agreement,' 'plural,' 'clause,' and even 'word' itself" (Palmer). These words (see, I'm using them already) can be confusing.
In this glossary, we define and explain some of the terms you will find in this site. For more detailed explanations, you can consult a grammar handbook, visit some of the sites in our links section, or ask your English professor.
The Parts of the Sentence
- The Subject and the Predicate: the two main parts of the sentence
- The "Yes/No Question" Test: a simple test to help decide whether a word group is a complete sentence.
- Phrases and Clauses: How to determine the difference between phrases, independent clauses, and dependent clauses.
Parts of Speech
The following are some of the parts of speech that will be relevent in the grammar outlaw profiles. For more details, consult a grammar manual.
- Co-ordinating Conjunctions
- Correlative Conjunctions
- Subordinating Conjunctions
- Transitional Words
- Proper Nouns
- Common Nouns
- Collective Nouns
- Abstract Nouns
- Concrete Nouns
- Indefinite Pronouns
- Personal Pronouns
- Possessive Pronouns