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Grammar Definitions: Basics XIII


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Apposition
Condition describing two nouns, next to each other in a sentence, which are equivalent in meaning. ( my brother, Joe; Mrs. Brown, the secretary)
Auxilliary Verb
Verb which helps another word show voice or tense. ( I would have forgotten. She had left.)
Case(s)
Form of a noun or pronoun which shows its relation to other words in a sentence.
Clause(s)
Group of words in a sentence which contains a subject and a predicate.
Cliche (Clee shay)
An expression used so often that it loses effectiveness ("bigger and better"; "let's put our shoulders to the wheel)
Comparison-Comparative/Superlative
Change of form in adjective and adverbs to show increase in amount or quality (strong, stronger, strongest; good, better, best)
Complex Structure
Sentence which has one independent clause and at least one dependent clause. (We are happy that you came.)
Complimentary Close
That part of a letter just before the signature where the writer takes polite leave of the reader. (In formal letters, "Yours truly,";in informal letters, "Cordially"
Context
Other words with which a given word is associated in a sentence and which determine the meaning of that word. (sheer nonsense; sheer cliff; sheer stockings)
Denotation
Direct specific meaning of a word. (red as colour rather than as a sign of danger or, when capitalized as a Communist)
Diction
Effectiveness with which words are chosen by a writer or speaker to express his or her thoughts.
Direct Quotation
Use of the exact words of the speaker. (The teacher said, " Do your homework.")
Euphemism
Roundabout expression used instead of a more direct one which might have too harsh an effect on the reader or listener. ("short of funds" instead of "bankrupt")
Future Tense
Time of verb which shows a happening yet to take place. (He will retire next year.)
Glossary
Listing of difficult or unusual words occuring in a book with their definitions. It is usually found in the back of a book.
Hyphen
Mark(-) used to join compound words (two-faced), to join certain prefixes to words (ex-president) or to separate words into syllables (En-glish).
Idiom
Group of words which, taken together, has a different meaning from the individual words used separately (once upon a time).
Indefinite Article
Refers to "a" and "an."
Indefinite Object
Word that shows, without any preposition, to whom or for whom the action in the sentence is taking place. (He gave me a pen.)
Inside Address
Name and address of the person to whom the letter is written.
Interrogative Adjective
Adjective which is used before a noun in a question. (Which boy came? What book did you read?)
Interrogative Adverb
Adverb which is usually used at the beginning of a question. (When did you come? Where did you eat?)
Nominative Absolute
Indepedent group of words containing a noun and a participle which are included as part of a sentence. (The sun shining, we left for the park.)
Nominative Case
Case of the subject or predicate noun in a sentence. (Frank is president.)
Passive
Form of a verb which is used when the subject of the sentence receives the action. (The watch was given to Joe.)