Glossary

Glossary www.CartoonStock.com Action Verb—An action verb describes—what else?—action. Distinguish action verbs from linking verbs, which do not des...
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Glossary

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Action Verb—An action verb describes—what else?—action. Distinguish action verbs from linking verbs, which do not describe an action and which link a noun or adjective back to the subject. Adverb—Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Many, but not all, single word adverbs end in “ly.” Not all words that end in “ly” are adverbs. Adverbs answer questions such as when? where? why? under what circumstances? how? how often? to what extent? Adjective—Adjectives describe nouns. They answer questions such as which one? how many? what color? what kind? Antecedent—The antecedent is the noun or pronoun back to which a pronoun refers. In the sentence ―The lawyer filed his brief,” ―lawyer‖ is the antecedent of the pronoun ―his.‖ Appositive – An appositive provides additional information about the noun or pronoun to which it relates. It renames the noun by referring to another aspect of its identity. Appositives can be single words (with or without modifiers) as in “Robert Jones, the judge, is in chambers.” Appositive Phrase—An appositive phrase is a group of words performing the same function as a single word appositive, as in “The judge, always a stickler for propriety, sanctioned the lawyer.” Article—The articles are a, an, and the. They are a type of adjective. ―The” is a definite article because it refers to a specific person, place, or thing. ―An” and ―a” are indefinite articles because they refer to non-specific persons, places, or things. Clause—A clause is a group of words containing a verb and subject. An independent clause is a complete sentence. A dependent clause is introduced by a relative pronoun or a subordinating conjunction. It cannot stand by itself. ―Because I said so” is an example of a dependent clause introduced by the subordinating conjunction ―because.‖ Compound Subject—Subjects expressed as A and B as in “Ted and Molly argued the case.” Compound Sentence—A compound sentence is composed of two independent clauses joined by a comma and a coordinating conjunction, as in ―You talk to the judge, and I will talk to the client.”

Conjugation of the verb “to be”— Present

Singular

Plural

Past

Singular

Plural

First Person

I am

We are

First Person

I was

We were

Second Person

You are

You are

Second Person

You were

You were

Third Person

He, she, it is

They are

Third Person

He, she, it was

They were

Future

Singular

Plural

First Person

I shall (will) be

We shall (will) be

Second Person

You will be

You will be

Third Person

He, she, it will be

They will be

Present Perfect

Singular

Plural

First Person

I have been

We have been

Second Person

You have been

You have been

Third Person

He, she, it has been

They have been

Past Perfect

Singular

Plural

First Person

I had been

We had been

Second Person

You had been

You had been

Third Person

He, she, it had been

They had been

Future Perfect

Singular

Plural

First Person

I shall (will) have been

We shall (will) have been

Second Person

You will have been

You will have been

Third Person

He, she, it will have been

They will have been

PROGRESSIVE FORM

Present

Singular

Plural

First Person

I am being

We are being

Second Person

You are being

You are being

Third Person

He, she, it

They

Past

Singular

Plural

First Person

I was being

We were being

Second Person

You were being

You were being

Third Person

He, she, it were being

They were being

Future First Person

Singular

Plural

I will be being

Second Person Third Person Present Perfect First Person

Singular

Plural

I have been being

Second Person Third Person Past Perfect First Person

Singular

Plural

I had been being

Second Person Third Person Future Perfect First Person Second Person Third Person

Singular I will have been being

Plural

Conjunctive Adverb—Although conjunctive adverbs provide transitions, they cannot join two independent clauses without the use of a semicolon or period. The following words are conjunctive adverbs: accordingly, also, anyhow, besides, consequently, finally, furthermore, hence, however, indeed, instead, likewise, meanwhile, moreover, nevertheless, nonetheless, otherwise, still, then, therefore, and thus. Coordinate Adjective—Coordinate adjectives, unlike cumulative adjectives, require commas. Coordinate adjectives can be reversed in order and the conjunction ―and‖ can be inserted between them, as in ―the little, red hen.” It makes sense to say ―the red, little hen” and ―the little and red hen.” Therefore, ―little” and “red” are coordinate adjectives requiring commas. Coordinating Conjunction—Coordinating conjunctions join words, phrases, and clauses of equal grammatical stature. The most common coordinating conjunctions are and, but, and or. For, nor, so, and yet are also coordinating conjunctions. Correlative Conjunction—The correlative conjunctions are both… and, either… or, neither… nor, not only… but (also.) The use of these conjunctions requires parallel structure. Cumulative Adjective—Cumulative adjectives, unlike coordinate adjectives, do not require commas. The order of cumulative adjectives cannot be reversed and the conjunction ―and‖ cannot be inserted between them, as in “the new laptop computer.” Dangling Modifier—A dangling modifier is the result of using a participial phrase, an infinitive phrase, or a prepositional phrase with an object gerund phrase and failing to put right next to the phrase the doer of the action identified in the participle, infinitive, or gerund. In the sentence ―Looking over the brief, several punctuation errors could be seen,” “Looking over the brief” is a dangling modifier because the noun ―errors‖ is not the doer of the action ―looking.‖ Demonstrative Pronouns—The demonstrative pronouns are this, that, these, and those, as in ―This is mine.” Note that these words can also be used as adjectives, as in “This brief is mine.” Dependent Clause—A dependent clause contains a subject and a verb, but it cannot stand by itself. It is introduced by a relative pronoun or a subordinating conjunction. ―Because I said so” is an example of a dependent clause introduced by the subordinating conjunction ―because.‖ Direct Object—Direct objects answer the question “[verbed] what or whom?” In the sentence ―I filed the brief,” “brief” is the direct object because it answers the question ―filed what?‖

Gerund—A gerund is an ―–ing‖ word acting as a noun, as in ―Running is my favorite sport.” In this sentence, “running” is a gerund acting as the subject of the sentence. Gerund phrase—Gerund phrases consist of a gerund (an ―–ing‖ word acting as a noun) and any object, complement, or modifier it may have. Gerund phrases are used as nouns. In the sentence “Running a law firm is hard work,” “Running a law firm” is a gerund phrase acting as the subject of the sentence. Indefinite Pronoun – The indefinite pronouns are any, anyone, each, either, everybody, everyone, neither, nobody, none, no one, one, somebody, someone, Independent Clause—An independent clause contains a subject and a verb, and it can stand by itself. It is a complete sentence. Indirect Object—Indirect objects answer the question ―[verbed] to whom or what?” Note that the word ―to” does not appear on the page. In the sentence ―I gave him the brief,” “him” is the indirect object because it answers the question ―gave to whom or what?‖ Infinitive—An infinitive is a verb form usually preceded by “to.” Infinitives may be used as nouns, adverbs, or adjectives. Infinitive Phrase—An infinitive phrase consists of an infinitive (a verb form usually preceded by ―to‖) and any object, complement, or modifier it may have. In the sentence ―I love to play football,” “to play football” is an infinitive phrase. Infinitive phrases may be used as nouns, adverbs, or adjectives. Inverted Sentence—An inverted sentence results from transposing the subject and the verb. In a regular sentence, the subject precedes the verb. The sentence ―Seated in the courtroom are lawyers who will help you” is inverted because the verb ―are” precedes the subject “lawyers.” Linking Verb—Linking verbs ―link‖ the subject to a noun or adjective that refers back to and re-names or describes the subject. Examples of linking verbs: The verb ―to be‖ Sensory verbs (sometimes!)—smell, look, feel, taste, sound, seem, appear Occurrence verbs—become, grow, remain Modifier—Modifiers are adjectives and adverbs. Nonrestrictive Modifier—A nonrestrictive modifier merely describes the noun or pronoun it modifies, unlike a restrictive modifier that defines the noun or pronoun.

Oxford Comma—In a list, the comma before the conjunction and the final item in the list is the serial or ―Oxford‖ comma. Participle—Participles are principal parts of verbs. Participles are used as adjectives. For formation of participles, see Present Participles and Past Participles. Participial Phrase—A participial phrase contains a participle (a verb form, often ending in ―ing,‖ ―d, ― or ―ed‖ ), and any object, complement, or modifiers it may have. Participial phrases are used as adjectives. In the sentence ―Running, I ran out of breath,” “running‖ is a participle. Past Participle—The present participle of regular verbs is identical to the past tense. The past participle usually ends in –d, -t, or –ed. The past participle of irregular verbs results from internal changes to the verb, as in see, saw, seen or know, knew, known. In the sentence ―Exhausted, the lawyer collapsed into the chair,” “exhausted” is a past participle describing ―lawyer.‖ Past perfect tense—The past perfect tense is used to indicate action completed prior to an action indicated by the use of the past tense. It is formed by ―had” and the past participle. In the sentence “The court held that the plaintiff had exhausted his options,” ―had exhausted‖ is the past perfect used to indicate something that happened before the court ―held‖ in the past. Phrase—A phrase is a group of related words. Phrases are usually introduced by prepositions, infinitives, gerunds, or participles. Predicate Adjective—In a sentence containing a linking verb, the predicate adjective is an adjective that relates back to and describes the subject, as in ―I am cold.” Predicate Nominative—In a sentence containing a linking verb, the predicate nominative is a noun relating back to and renaming the subject, as in “I am a lawyer.” Prepositions—Prepositions introduce phrases made up of the object of the preposition and any modifiers it might have. The following is a list of the most common prepositions. about above across after against along amid among around at

between beyond but (except) by concerning down during except for from

out over past since through throughout to toward under underneath

before in behind into below like beneath of beside off besides on as inside next without instead of rather than in accordance with

until unto up upon with within near because of with respect to on behalf of

Prepositional Phrase—A prepositional phrase contains a preposition, its object, and any modifiers of the object, as in ―The brief is on my desk.” Present Participle—A present participle is a principal part of a verb. It always ends in “ing.” Examples are running, jumping, playing. Pronoun—A pronoun takes the place of a noun or another pronoun. Relative Pronouns—Relative pronouns introduce dependent clauses. The relative pronouns are that, what, which, who, whom, and whose. In the sentence ―I know what you want,” “what you want” is a dependent clause acting as the direct object. It is introduced by the relative pronoun “what.” Restrictive Modifier—Unlike a nonrestrictive modifier that merely describes the noun or pronoun it modifies, a restrictive modifier defines the noun or pronoun. Serial Comma—In a list, the comma before the conjunction and the final item in the list is the serial or ―Oxford‖ comma. Subject—The subject of the sentence is not always the one who performs the action. In passive voice, the subject receives the action. To find the subject of the sentence, ask ―who or what [verbed]?‖ In the sentence ―The brief was filed on April 26,” “brief” is the subject because it answers the question ―Who or what was filed?‖ Note that it is not the doer of the action; this sentence is written in passive voice. Squinting Modifiers—Squinting modifiers appear between two words that they could be modifying. They create confusion because the reader cannot tell which word they modify. In the sentence “The court decided on May 19 to enter custody,” it is not clear which action occurred on May 19. Therefore, ―on May 19‖ is a squinting modifier. Subordinating Conjunctions—Subordinating conjunctions introduce dependent clauses. The most common subordinating conjunctions are after, although, as, as if, as long as, because, before, even though, if, in order that, provided that, once,, since, so that, that, though, unless, until, when, where, and while. Verb Phrase—A verb can, and often does, consist of more than one word. A multi-word verb is a verb phrase, as in ―I have been practicing law for thirty years.”