Friday, June 11

Grammar Basics 1: I Ain't Gotta Learn That Does I?


I recently entered to join a crit group and having had to crit a members work brought something glaringly to my attention.

While I was trying to explain that I know how a sentence should sound, but couldn’t explain why it didn’t sound right, I realized… I hate Grammar (And I suck at knowing what’s what).

What can I say? I hate the mechanics of Grammar.

Yes, I said that and still have enough nerve to label myself as an aspiring author. I know what I want to say, and – generally – how to say it. Though if you ask me if it’s in past, pretense or future tense with an adverb, adjective, or whatever… I’m lost.

I know Nouns (person, place, or thing – easy). I’ve been learning verbs (action) and adverbs (describes verb, generally ending in – ly).

As far as the rest go? I’m like a four year old whose parents told her to clean her room… in one ear and out the other. If I’m to behave as a professional – aspiring or otherwise - shouldn’t I at least respect, what basically amounts to, the very foundation of my craft?

So, in an effort to help myself, I’m hoping to help other’s struggle (provided I’m not alone on in my hatred of grammar).

Onto to Grammar Basics 1 – Suzie style…

Noun: person, place or thing - singular nouns are almost always stronger then plural: “Aggressive snort of the black stallion” (singular) reads strong then “horde of wild mustangs (plural).

Proper Noun: Name of certain people, places, or things (Sally, Robert, United States of America, New Orleans…etc). Certain nouns – such as mother or father – only become proper nouns when they take the place of a name.

Abstract Nouns: Ideas, qualities, and other intangibles (fear, freedom, neglect).

Concrete Nouns: Tangible items experienced through our five senses (bottle, telephone, letters, blanket, perfume).

Collective Nouns: Name groups - groups as a whole use singular verbs while individual members of that group use plural verbs *more in later posts. (army, communities, herd, senior class).

Count Noun: items that can be counted, frequently accompanied by adjective showing how many. One dollar, seven pills, half-dozen sandwiches.

Noncount Nouns: items that come in quantities not capable of being counted. Most fall in certain categories.
Food: butter, milk, flour, sugar
Nonfood bulk material: asphalt, oxygen, rain, snow, gold
Abstractions: love, anger, pity, stress

Pronouns: Word substituted for a noun. Pronouns are used in place of proper nouns.(she, he, it, they, we, you, and I).

Personal Pronouns: Specific persons, places, or things.
Singular: I, me, you, he, she, him, her, it
Plural: we, us, you, they, them

Possessive pronouns show ownership.
Singular: my, mine, your, yours, her, his, it.
Plural: our(s), your(s), their(s)

Demonstrative Pronouns: Point out nouns they replace. (this, that, those, these).

Indefinite Pronouns: Refer to nonspecific persons or things (all, any, anybody, anything, both, everybody, everyone, everything, few, many, no one, nothing, somebody, someone, something, several, some).

Interrogative Pronouns: introduce questions - who(ever), whom(ever), whose, which(ever), what(ever)

Relative Pronouns: join a dependent clause to a noun - who(ever), whom(ever), whose, which, that.

Intensive & Reflexive Pronouns: consist of personal pronouns plus -self or -selves. Intensive refers back to noun or other pronoun for emphasis: I did it myself. Reflexive refers back to subject for emphasis or to complete the meaning: I washed myself.
Singular: myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself
Plural: ourselves, yourselves, themselves

Okay, now that my head is properly spinning into oblivion... I think I'll lie down and take a nap.

Am I the only writer that just loathes aspects of grammar? What are your thoughts on grammar? Do you have easy tips and tricks that you use to help point you in the right "grammatical" direction?

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