May 2017

*8th Grade English Exam is on Friday, May 12*

A verbal is a verb form that acts as another part of speech—either as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. Participles, gerunds, and infinitives are the three types of verbals.

A participle is a verb form that functions as an adjective. It modifies nouns and pronouns and can be either a present participle or a past participle.
A participial phrase includes the participle, plus any modifiers and complements.

A gerund is a verb form that functions as a noun. It always ends in -ing.
A gerund phrase includes the gerund, plus any modifiers and complements.
By functioning as a noun, gerunds and gerund phrases can act as subjects, direct objects, indirect objects, predicate nominatives, or objects of a preposition in a sentence.
*A good way to determine whether a word or phrase is functioning as a gerund versus a present participle is to replace it with the word something. If the replacement works, then the word or phrase is a gerund.

An infinitive is a verb form that typically begins with the word to. An infinitive phrase includes the infinitive, plus any modifiers and complements. Infinitives and infinitive phrases can function as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs. When they function as nouns, they can act either as subjects, direct objects, or predicate nominatives.

Why Are Verbals Important?
Writers can use verbals to help make their writing more varied and concise and to give it better flow.
Original: James ran from the dog. He hid behind a tree. He knew he couldn’t stay there for long, though. He could hear the dog. It was approaching him. It snarled and growled. He tried to think of somewhere else he could go. Then he saw the barn. Would he be able to get to it without the dog first spotting him? James wasn’t sure, but he thought he should probably run to it. It was his only real option.

Revised: Running away from the dog, James hid behind a tree. He knew he couldn’t stay there for long, though. He could hear the approaching dog, snarling and growling. He tried to think of somewhere else to go. Then he saw the barn. Would he be able to get to it without the dog first spotting him? James wasn’t sure, but he thought running to it was his only real option.

A noun is the name of a person, place, thing, idea, or quality.
Examples: John, Mary, boy, girl, children; Pasadena, ASPCA; classrooms, notebooks; freedom, intelligence; hope, anger, joy

A pronoun is usually a substitute for a noun. The noun is called the "antecedent" (but an indefinite pronoun has no antecedent).
a. Personal pronouns: I, mine, me; you, yours; he, his, him; she, hers, her; it, its; we, ours, us; they, theirs, them.
b. Interrogative pronouns: who, whose, whom, which, what
c. Relative pronouns (include): who, who, whose, which, that; whoever, whomever, whichever
d. Demonstrative pronouns: this, that, these, those
e. Indefinite pronouns (include): all, another, any, anybody, anyone, anything, both, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, many, neither, nobody, no one, none, one, others, some, somebody, someone, such
f. Intensive or reflexive pronouns: myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, themselves

A verb expresses an action or a condition (a state of being).
Examples: Robert will eat the hamburger. (action) Sara is happy. (condition or state of being)
Robert won’t eat the hamburger. Sara isn’t happy.
Will Robert eat the hamburger? Is Sara happy?

An adverb describes a verb, adjective, or other adverb. Adverbs usually tell how (for example: slowly), when (e.g., lately), where (e.g., there), how much (e.g., very), or why (e.g., therefore).
Example: He always chews his gum loudly.

An adjective describes or limits a noun.
Examples: tall, young, pretty, light, blue, new, white (The tall, young, pretty girl is wearing a light blue dress with her new white shoes.) (NOT: ...a light dress bluewith her new shoes white.)
Adjectives and adverbs have three degrees of comparison: positive, comparative, superlative. Examples:
Mary has a smart child. Sara has a smarter child. Nancy has the smartest child.
Robert is an intelligent student. William is more intelligent than Robert. Kim is the most intelligent student.
The red car is expensive. The white car is less expensive. The blue car is the least expensive.
I’m a good painter. She’s a better painter. He’s the best painter.
I’m a bad singer. She’s a worse singer. He’s the worst singer.

A preposition usually shows the relationship between a noun or pronoun and another part of a sentence.
There are many prepositions, including: about, above, across, after, against, along, among, around, as, at, before, behind, below, beneath, between, beyond, beside, besides, by, down, during, except, from, for, in, inside, into, like, near, next, of, off, on, out, out of, outside, over, past, round, since, than, through, till, to, toward, towards, under, underneath, unless, until, upon, up, with, within, without.
Examples: My pencil is under my desk by my foot. Martha drove from LA to NY.

A conjunction connects words, phrases, and clauses.
Coordinate conjunctions connect words, phrases, and clauses of equal value: and, or, nor, but (and sometimes for). e.g., The dog and the cat are hungry.
Correlative conjunctions occur in pairs: both-and, either-or, neither-nor, not only-but also. e.g., Both the fish and the snake are thirsty.
Subordinate conjunctions connect unequal clauses (dependent clauses with independent clauses). They include: after, although, as, because, before, if, since, than, though, unless, until, when, where, while. e.g., After they ate, they had dessert.

An interjection is a word that expresses feeling or emotion; usually it is followed by an exclamation mark.
Examples: Oh! Ah! Wow! Gosh! Golly! Ouch! Yikes! Yippee! Hooray! Boo! Whew!