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What is an adjective ?

Adjectives describe or modify—that is, they limit or restrict the meaning of—nouns and pronouns. They
may name qualities of all kinds: huge, red, angry, tremendous, unique, rare, etc.

An adjective usually comes right before a noun: "a red dress," "fifteen people." When an adjective
follows a linking verb such as be or seem, it is called a predicate adjective: "That building is huge," "The
workers seem happy." Most adjectives can be used as predicate adjectives, although some are always
used before a noun. Similarly, a few adjectives can only be used as predicate adjectives and are never
used before a noun.

Some adjectives describe qualities that can exist in different amounts or degrees. To do this, the
adjective will either change in form (usually by adding -er or -est) or will be used with words like more,
most, very, slightly, etc.: "the older girls," "the longest day of the year," "a very strong feeling," "more
expensive than that one." Other adjectives describe qualities that do not vary—"nuclear energy," "a
medical doctor"—and do not change form.

The four demonstrative adjectives—this, that, these, and those—are identical to the demonstrative
pronouns. They are used to distinguish the person or thing being described from others of the same
category or class. This and these describe people or things that are nearby, or in the present. That and
those are used to describe people or things that are not here, not nearby, or in the past or future. These
adjectives, like the definite and indefinite articles (a, an, and the), always come before any other
adjectives that modify a noun.

An indefinite adjective describes a whole group or class of people or things, or a person or thing that is
not identified or familiar. The most common indefinite adjectives are: all, another, any, both, each, either,
enough, every, few, half, least, less, little, many, more, most, much, neither, one (and two, three, etc.),
other, several, some, such, whole.

The interrogative adjectives—primarily which, what, and whose—are used to begin questions. They can
also be used as interrogative pronouns.
1. Which horse did you bet on? = Which did you bet on?

2. What songs did they sing? = What did they sing?

3. Whose coat is this? = Whose is this?

The possessive adjectives—my, your, his, her, its, our, their—tell you who has, owns, or has experienced
something, as in "I admired her candor, "Our cat is 14 years old," and "They said their trip was

Nouns often function like adjectives. When they do, they are called attributive nouns.

When two or more adjectives are used before a noun, they should be put in proper order. Any article (a,
an, the), demonstrative adjective (that, these, etc.), indefinite adjective (another, both, etc.), or
possessive adjective (her, our, etc.) always comes first. If there is a number, it comes first or second. True
adjectives always come before attributive nouns. The ordering of true adjectives will vary, but the
following order is the most common: opinion word→size→age→shape→color→nationality→material.

Participles are often used like ordinary adjectives. They may come before a noun or after a linking verb. A
present participle (an -ing word) describes the person or thing that causes something; for example, a
boring conversation is one that bores you. A past participle (usually an -ed word) describes the person or
thing who has been affected by something; for example, a bored person is one who has been affected by

1. They had just watched an exciting soccer game.

2. The instructions were confusing.

3. She's excited about the trip to North Africa.

4. Several confused students were asking questions about the test.

5. The lake was frozen.

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In grammar, a conjunction (abbreviated CONJ or CNJ) is a part of speech that connects words, phrases, or
clauses that are called the conjuncts of the conjoining construction. The term discourse marker is mostly
used for conjunctions joining sentences. This definition may overlap with that of other parts of speech,
so what constitutes a "conjunction" must be defined for each language. In general, a conjunction is an
invariable grammatical particle and it may or may not stand between the items in a conjunction.

The definition may also be extended to idiomatic phrases that behave as a unit with the same function,
e.g. "as well as", "provided that".

A simple literary example of a conjunction: "the truth of nature, and the power of giving interest".
(Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Biographia Literaria)

Conjunctions may be placed at the beginning of sentences : "But some superstition about the practice

The following are the kinds of conjunctions;

A. Coordinating Conjunctions (FANBOYS)

for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so

Coordinating conjunctions join equals to one another: words to words, phrases to phrases, clauses to
___Prepositions are short words (on, in, to) that usually stand in front of nouns (sometimes also in front
of gerund verbs).

Even advanced learners of English find prepositions difficult, as a 1:1 translation is usually not possible.
One preposition in your native language might have several translations depending on the situation.

There are hardly any rules as to when to use which preposition. The only way to learn prepositions is
looking them up in a dictionary, reading a lot in English (literature) and learning useful phrases off by
heart (study tips).

The following table contains rules for some of the most frequently used prepositions in English :


There are many different determiners in the English language.

• Articles

Articles are among the most common of the determiners. A, an, and the all express the definiteness and
specificity of a noun.

For example, “the” is a definite article, meaning the person using the word is referring to a specific one.
On the other hand, “a” or “an” are indefinite articles.

1. The dog is barking too loudly.

2. A student returned the book.

• Demonstratives

Demonstratives, such as this, that, these and those, require a frame of reference in which an individual
can point out the entities referred to by a speaker or a writer.

1. Do you want this piece of chicken?

2. I don't want to go to that movie.

• Quantifiers

Quantifiers, such as all, few, and many, point out how much or how little of something is being indicated.

1. He took all the books.

2. Few of the children wanted to go to the zoo.

• Possessives

When referring to an entity that belongs to another, you can use possessives. My, your, their, and its are
a few examples.

1. Is this your car?

2. The dog growled and showed its teeth.

There are many other types of determiners. For instance, cardinal numbers, the numbers that are
written out in English, are also included in the class of determiners. Determiners are generally split into
two groups—definite determiners and indefinite determiners.



An exclamation is a statement of strong emotion. There are several ways to make an exclamation.

• Interjections

Interjections are words or short phrases used to convey wonder, delight, anger, etc. They typically occur
at the beginning of a sentence and are followed by exclamation marks.

Example: Wow! I’ve been using exclamations in formal writing all along.

Example: Holy crap! That was fast.

• Exclamatory Sentences

An exclamatory sentence contains either “what” or “how.” Usually “what” and “how” are used to ask
questions, but in exclamatory sentences, they express emotion.

Example: What a jerk! How rude!

Example: What big feet you have! How tall you’ve grown!

• Exclamation Marks with Other Sentence Types

You can also give other sentence types an exclamatory meaning by using an exclamation point.

This works for imperative sentences (i.e., commands), which are used to tell others what to do.

Example: Please help yourself!

Example: Don’t do that!

It also works for declarative sentences (i.e., most sentences), which make statements or provide

Example: The aliens are attacking the city!

Example: He broke it!

However, in formal writing, exclamation marks are rarely used with interrogative sentences
(i.e.,questions). In these cases, only use a question mark.

Informal: Where did they go?!

Informal: What did you do?!

• Exclamation Marks in Formal Writing

While exclamation marks should generally be avoided in formal writing, there are exceptions.

• Proper Nouns containing Exclamations Marks

In some cases, exclamation marks are a part of a proper noun.

Example: In Quebec, there are several places that include exclamation marks in their name: Saint-Louis-
du- Ha! Ha!, a town located in Temiscouata County; Rivière Ha! Ha!, a river in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean;
and Baie des Ha! Ha!, a bay on the St. Laurence River.

• Titles containing Exclamation Marks

It is most common to see exclamation marks in entertainment titles. Be sure to italicize the exclamation
mark if it’s part of a title.

Example: Marlon Brando starred in two films with exclamation marks in their titles: Viva Zapata! (1952)
and Burn! (1969).

• Exclamation Marks and Quotations

If a quote containing an exclamation mark ends a sentence, do not include a period.

Incorrect: Homer Simpson coined the expression, “Doh!.”

Correct: Homer Simpson coined the expression,“Doh!”

Similarly, if a quote containing an exclamation mark begins a sentence, do not use additional

Incorrect: “Happy new year!,” the announcer exclaimed.

Correct: “Happy new year!” the announcer exclaimed.

However, if the exclamation mark is part of a title, include a comma inside the quotation marks.

Example: “Oi to the World!,” a song written by the Vandals, was covered by No Doubt.

If the quotation is not an exclamation but the surrounding sentence is, place the exclamation mark
outside of the quotation marks.

Example: I can’t believe he said, “You’re too old”!