Tuesday, April 25, 2017

ENGL 3663: Participles and Gerunds

Participles and Gerunds

Like infinitives, both participles and gerunds are nonfinite phrases. And, like infinitives, they are words that derive from – come from – verbs, and yet do not function as verbs.

Coolness for All Y'all

Here's a cool link:

Antoine Dodson Saves My Class

ENGL 3663 Nonfinite Phrases

Nonfinite Phrases:



That-clauses are dependent clauses introduced (usually) by the word that which function as nouns.

        Polly knew that her truck was almost out of gas.
        That the storm was coming worried us all.
        I love the theory that meteors brought life to earth.
        Elvis was surprised that no one brought pie.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

ENGL 3663: Relative Clauses

Relative Clauses

We’ve also already talked about these clauses, which are have dependent clauses that are introduced by relative pronouns or relative adverbs.

Relative pronouns, you’ll remember, include the words who, whom, whose, which, that. Relative adverbs are words like when, where, why.

Friday, April 14, 2017

ENGL 3663: Subordinate Clauses

Subordinate clauses

Subordinate clauses, which we have already talked briefly about, are clauses which are subordinated to the main clause of the sentences, and which are introduced by subordinating conjunctions – words like if, after, although, so that, when, unless, and so on. (See page 145 in your text for a refresher.)

Like all dependent clauses, subordinated clauses have both a subject and a finite verb, but their meaning is incomplete.

                Unless Dave wins the lottery.

                Since we were toddlers.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

ENGL 3663: Finite Clauses

Finite Clauses

So far we have been dealing, mostly, with simple sentences, as opposed to complex or compound sentences.

A simple sentence is defined as a sentence containing just one independent clause.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

ENGL 3663: Study Sheet Test Two

ENGL 3663 UA – Fort Smith                                                            Spring 2017 / Jennings
Study Sheet for Test 2 (Through Page 294)
Test 2 will be held on TUESDAY APRIL 11

I.  Identifying: Be able to identify words by form or class, and to identify the function of all these words when you see them in an English sentence.

ENGL 3663: Basic Sentence Transformation:

Basic Sentence Transformation: 
  • Indirect objects
  • Passive constructions 
  • Negative constructions 
  • interrogative constructions 
  • imperatives

When we combine the simple sentence types we’ve already looked at – sentence type I, II, III, IV, and V – into more complex sentence, we do this through a process that grammarians call “sentence transformation.”

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Jokes for Grammar Nerds!

Here from Buzzfeed, 25 Jokes for all of us who love grammar:

25 Jokes Only Grammar Nerds Will Love

All y'all will love #22!

ENGL 3663: The Five Basic Sentence Types

ENGL 3663: English Grammar: The Five Basic Sentence Types

Type I: Subject (NP1) + Main Verb Phrase (Intransitive)
Type II: Subject (NP1) + MVP (Be-verb) + Adverb Phrase (of time/place)

ENGL 3663: Sentence Types

Sentence Types

In order to analyze sentences, we will look first at the five basic types of English sentences – the prototypical English sentences.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

ENGL 3663: Phrases


To begin with, all English sentences – indeed, all sentences in all human languages, so far as we have encountered them – divide into subject and predicate.

That is to say, all English sentences tell us about a topic (a person, a thing, an idea, whatever), and then tell us something about that topic.

As a speaker of English, you already know about this division, and you’ll probably find you can divide sentences into subjects and predicates quite easily. Where would you put the division in these sentences, for instance?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

ENGL 3663: Relatives

Relative Pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs

Although relative pronouns are a kind of pronoun, and relative adverbs a kind of adverb, like the conjunctive adverb they also serve a dual function as a sort of conjunctive.

ENGL 3663: Conjunctions


Conjunctions connect grammatical structures. We have two – or really 2.5 – types of conjunctions. (2.5 because the conjunctive adverb is a kind of half-and-half case: half conjunction, half adverb.)

Kinds of conjunctions:

·        Coordinating
·        Subordinating
·        Conjunctive adverb

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

ENGL 3663: Verb Particles

Verb Particles (AKA phrasal verbs, verb-adverb combinations)

In modern standard English we have an interesting construction whereby a preposition combines with a verb to form a new verb.

                Verb + preposition = new verb

ENGL 3663: Prepositional Phrases

Structure Class Words: Part II

So far in looking at structure class words, we have looked at
·        Determiners
·        Auxiliaries
·        Qualifiers

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Study Sheet for Test One

I. Defining: Be able to define these terms, with examples if possible:

Standard English Grammar
Prescriptive v. Descriptive grammar
Form v. function

Practice Test for the First Test

ENGL 3663: English Grammar / 2016                                   Name___________________
Test 1 Practice Test 2

Part I: Defining Terms
Define three of these five terms. Give an example if you can.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

ENGL 3663: Reflexive, Reciprocal, and Indefinite Pronouns

Reflexive Pronouns

The reflexive pronouns are words like myself, himself, herself, ourselves, itself, and so on.

ENGL 3663: Personal Pronouns

Pronouns: Personal

In traditional grammar, pronouns are often classified with nouns. But a little thought shows us that nouns and pronouns have very different forms. Pronouns also function somewhat differently than nouns do.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

ENGL 3663: Qualifiers


A qualifier precedes an adjective or adverb, modifying it by increasing or decreasing its quality. In that respect, a qualifier is a kind of adverb (since it always modifies something other than a noun). However, it is not a true adverb, but a structure class word.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

ENGL 3663: Auxiliaries


Auxiliary verbs provide grammatical information about the main verb. Specifically, these verb indicate information about tense, mood, and voice. (We’ll talk about all of this in more depth later on.) You may have heard these verbs called “helping verbs.”

ENGL 3663: Determiners


A determiner is a structure class word that precedes and modified a noun. The prototypical examples are a, an, and the.

                Elvis baked a pie.
                Ivy gave the bear an apple.

ENGL 3663: Structure Class Words

Structure Class Words

So far, we have been looking at Form Class Words – nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. To review, form class words are words that can change their shape by accepting morphemes. So a noun, like dog, can become dogs; and an adjective like happy can become happier, or unhappy.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

ENGL 3663: Modifiers


Adjectives are modifiers. In function, they are words that modify nouns.

What’s a modifier? A modifier is a word that changes the meaning of another word. So, for instance, take these sentences:

                The truck is mine.
                The orange truck is mine.
                The old orange truck is mine.
                The old orange truck in the carport is mine.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Sentence Diagrams

Sentence Diagrams:

As we move further into the book, we’ll start using sentence diagramming, both the Reed-Kellogg method and tree diagrams. Your book on pages 106-108 introduces you to this method, but you can learn more at this link.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

ENGL 3663: Form Class Words: Verbs


Verbs express action, we were told in the third grade (those of us who got taught grammar in the third grade). And it is true that some verbs do express action.

                        Emma shot the pirate.
                        Daniel danced all night.

Verbs also express a state of being, however:

ENGL 3663: Form Class Words and Nouns

 Form-Class Words

English grammar is traditionally described as having eight parts of speech:
·        Nouns
·        Verbs
·        Adjectives
·        Adverbs
·        Pronouns
·        Conjunctions
·        Prepositions
·        Interjections

But this traditional division into eight parts looks only at the function of the words, ignoring the form, and thus often leads the poor student of grammar into swamps of confusion.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Some Terms

Prototypical v. Peripheral: In grammar as in life, our categories leak. When, for instance, we are sorting fiction into boxes labeled fantasy and boxes labeled science fiction, we will find some examples that clearly go in one box or the other – Lord of the Rings, The Left Hand of Darkness – but others will fall in a grey area: Anne McCaffery’s Pern novels, for instance.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

ENGL 3663: Introduction

First, the good news. If you’re a native speaker of English, you already know English grammar. 

Every native speaker of English over the age of two or three (at least those without some sort of developmental issue) knows English grammar by the time they reach the age of two or three years old, though they may still be refining certain points well into their fourth year. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

ENGL 3663: Syllabus 2017

University of Arkansas: Fort Smith
ENGL 3663: Syllabus

Course Title ENGLISH GRAMMAR                         

Course Code    ENGL        3663                                                         Credit Hours        3  
                        Prefix        Number                                                      Lecture Hours      3  
                                                                                                            Lab Hours            0  
                                                                                                            Contact Hours      3_    

Instructor: Kelly Jennings
Office: Vines 139
Phone: 788-7907
Office Hours:   TR TR 8:00-11:00; 2:00-4:00; Or by appointment