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Grammar Basics For Dummies®, Mini Edition

Grammar Basics For Dummies®, Mini Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-41283-1

May 2012

64 pages

Select type: Paperback

Product not available for purchase


Get down to the basics with the rules of English grammar!

No matter your skill level, avoid common grammar errors with coverage of the basics! This mini guide, written by a veteran English teacher, takes the ""grr"" out of grammar and gives you fun, easy-to-follow strategies for understanding the rules of grammar and punctuation. Improve your speaking and writing skills — without ever diagramming a single sentence! Whether you want to get a better grade in your English class or improve your communication skills, you'll get the grammar building blocks you need to accomplish your goals.

Open the book and find:

  • The parts of a sentence

  • Tips on making sure your subject and verb agree

  • When to use singular and plural pronouns

  • How to use adverbs and adjectives to say what you mean

  • The rules on punctuating properly

Introduction  1

About This Book 1

Icons Used in This Book 2

Where to Go from Here 2

Chapter 1: Parts of the Sentence  3

Locating Verbs: The Heart of a Sentence 3

Linking verbs: Giant equal signs 4

Lights! Camera! Action verb! 5

Getting by with a little help from my helping verbs 5

Pop the question: Locating the verb 5

Who’s Doing What? How to Find the Subject 6

Teaming up: Subject and verb pairs 7

Pop the question: Locating the subject-verb pairs 8

Unusual word order 8

Searching for the subject in questions 9

Handling Complements 10

Action verb complements 10

Linking verb complements 11

Pop the question: Locating the complement 12

Pop the question: Finding the indirect object 13

Chapter 2: Verb Tense and Number  15

Relax! Understanding Verb Tense 15

The simple tenses 16

Perfecting verbs: The perfect tenses 17

Forming Present and Past Participles of Regular Verbs 19

Just to Make Things More Difficult: Irregular Verbs 19

To be 20

Irregular past tenses and past participles 20

Writing Singular and Plural Verbs 21

Plain present tenses 21

Progressive tenses 22

Present perfect and future perfect tenses 22

Making Subjects and Verbs Agree  23

The question of questions 23

Negative statements and subject-verb agreement 24

The distractions: Prepositional phrases and other irrelevant words 25

Difficult subjects 26

Chapter 3: Using Pronouns Properly  27

Pairing Pronouns with Nouns 27

Identifying Singular and Plural Pronouns 28

Matching Pronouns to Pronoun Antecedents 29

Detecting Pronoun Case 30

Subject pronouns 31

Object pronouns 32

Possessive pronouns 33

Chapter 4: Do You Feel Bad or Badly? The Lowdown on Adjectives and Adverbs  35

Adding Meaning with Adjectives 36

Articles: Not just for magazines 37

Pop the question: Identifying adjectives 37

Stalking the Common Adverb 38

Pop the question: Finding the adverb 38

Adverbs describing adjectives and other adverbs 39

Choosing Between Adjectives and Adverbs 40

Placing Descriptions in the Proper Spot 41

Chapter 5: Placing Punctuation  45

Hanging with Apostrophes 45

Using apostrophes to show possession 46

Contractions: Shortening words with apostrophes 47

Quotation Marks 49

Quotations with speaker tags 49

Quotations without speaker tags 50

Quotations with question marks or exclamation points 51

Quotations with semicolons 52

Punctuating titles: When to use quotation marks 52

The Pause That Refreshes: Commas 53

Distinguishing items in a series 53

Essential or extra? Commas tell the tale 54

Punctuating independently 55