Descriptivism versus prescriptivism

Having relatively recently taken my learning of the English language seriously, I have come across the idea of descriptive versus prescriptive language. I have always thought that as long as the intended message is sent, received and understood, the way in which this is achieved is irrelevant. What is Prescriptive language? This is where theContinue reading “Descriptivism versus prescriptivism”

Conjunctions – what is a conjunction

This is last post of this mini-series on the basic elements of English. Next week I have an epic I have been working on about the dark arts of driving traffic to your WordPress site. Conjunctions Conjunctions allow us to create complex sentences. Without conjunctions. Our sentences. Would be short, jarring affairs. As we haveContinue reading “Conjunctions – what is a conjunction”

Determiners – What is a determiner

What is a determiner? Determiners are a class of words which include: articles, possessive adjectives (my, his, her, its, our, your, their), demonstratives (this/that, these/those) and quantifiers. The essence of determiners is that they tell us if a noun-phrase is specific or general. Therefore they must come before a noun. As we looked at articlesContinue reading “Determiners – What is a determiner”

Adverbs – What is an Adverb?

Adverbs are to verbs as adjectives are to nouns. Unlike adjectives, Adverbs describe verbs, adjectives and adverbs. Adverbs are used to make a sentence more interesting and can be used around almost any verb. Adverbs usually answer questions – how? When? Where? I walk (how?) quickly I went to the shop (when?) yesterday adverbs can beContinue reading “Adverbs – What is an Adverb?”

Adjectives and what they are

Adjectives a.k.a describing words Adjectives often destroy a sentence. You could have an exquisite sentence only to be ruined by the overuse of clumsy bewildering adjectives. Adjectives describe nouns or pronouns and tell us something about them. They do not modify verbs, adverbs or other adjectives. If you want to sound sophisticated and sanctimonious, youContinue reading “Adjectives and what they are”

Verbs and their sub-classes

Without verbs not much happens I school I home You me With the verb I love school I walked home you love me Verbs like other elements of speech have been classified into, nice, easily-forgettable categories, for our learning pleasure. First I need to take a quick detour to talk about infinitives. An infinitive formContinue reading “Verbs and their sub-classes”

Pronouns and their sub-classes

I thought this was going to be an easy one, and it would just be an extension of nouns. However, it seems pronouns are just as complicated. Pronouns are essentially words that take the place of nouns. And from my understanding, their only purpose is to make the text more interesting. Instead of writing ‘Sam wantsContinue reading “Pronouns and their sub-classes”

Nouns and sub-classes of nouns

This should be a quick one? The essence of a noun is that it is a ‘naming word’. However, as is the way with the English language, there are many categories and sub-categories within the categories of nouns. So, without further ado, let’s get into nouns. Fun fact: every sentence must have a subject, andContinue reading “Nouns and sub-classes of nouns”