What Are Some Basic Rules of English Grammar?


Quick Answer

Some basic grammar rules include rules about sentence structure, such as a singular subject requires a singular predicate. A sentence must contain a subject and a predicate and should stand alone as a complete thought.

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What Are Some Basic Rules of English Grammar?
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Full Answer

The subject is the focus of a sentence, such as a person, animal or object. The predicate expresses action or tells something about the subject. Some nouns include people, animals, places, ideas or feelings. Nouns can be singular, plural or show possession. Pronouns are words that replace the noun, such as "you" or "they." Verbs show action and indicate whether the sentence is in the past, present or future tense.

Adjectives add meaning to the noun or pronoun by explaining how much, how many or what kind. Adverbs act in a similar fashion as an adjective, but they modify verbs and explain how much, when, where, why or how. Prepositions are used with nouns to identify location, time, direction, reason or possession. Conjunctions connect words, phrases or clauses and include words such as "and," "but" and "or."

In a sentence, a clause is any group of words that has a subject and a predicate. If they are complete thoughts they are independent clauses, but if they are incomplete thoughts they are dependent clauses. A group of words in a sentence that does not contain a subject and a predicate is a phrase. One example is the prepositional phrase, which always begins with a preposition and contains a noun, such as "to bed."

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