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GRAMMAR

The grammar of a language is the structural rules that determine the compositionof words, phrases and sentences in that language.

It also refers to the study of the rules of a language

Background

In order to appreciate this topic, your knowledge about nouns will be required.

A noun is the part of speech that is used to name or identify a person, place, thing or idea.
For example: (a)Persons: Kiptanui, cousin, teacher. (b)Places: Nairobi, village, show ground. (c)Things: tree, cup, piano, computer. (d)Ideas: peace, democracy, honesty.


The following animation illustrates nouns derived from other nouns.


OBJECTIVES

By the end of the topic you should be able to:


1.Define and identify suffixes and prefixes.


2.Derive nouns from other nouns, verbs and adjectives using suffixes and prefixes.


3.Use the noun derivations to form correct sentences.


Attempt the following exercises.



Addition of suffixes to nouns to form new words


Nouns can be formed from other words by adding suffixes to words.

A suffix is a letter or letters added to the end of a word to form a new one.

For example:

teach+er=teacher

selfish+ness=selfishness

coward+ice=cowardice

apply+cation=application


Derivation of nouns from other nouns, verbs and adjectives.

Nouns can be derived from various categories of words such as verbs, adjectives and other nouns.


Nouns derived from other nouns


The following animation illustrates nouns derived from other nouns


Nouns derived from verbs



Nouns derived from adjectives



Objective

By the end of the topic, you should be able to:


1.Use transitive and intransitive verbs in sentences correctly.


2.Identify transitive and intransitive verbs in sentences.

Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

What are transitive and intransitive verbs? In order to answer this question satisfactoriry, it is important to first of all define the word verb.

A verb may be defined simply as a word which shows action or state of being.

It is an most important part of a sentence because it says something about the subject of the sentence and expresses actions, events or states of being.

Every sentence must have a verb.

To understand the meaning of a sentence, we must be able to recognise the verb.

Various endings may be added to verbs to express different meanings and relate them to aspects such as: tense, person, number and voice.

Verbs are categorised into main verbs and auxiliary verbs.

Examples of main verbs are talk and pick. Some main verbs are used with objects while others are not.


This is what is referred to as transitive and intransitive usage of verbs respectively.





Transitive and Intransitive Verb Usage

A transitive verb is a verb that has an object that receives an expressed action.

The verb must take an object for its meaning to be complete, for example, in the sentence, 'She bought a car,' 'bought' is a transitive verb since it requires the object car to complete its meaning.

Another category of verbs is the intransitive verb.

Intransitive verbs do not require an object to complete their meaning, for example, in the sentence

'Peter came early,'

the verb 'came' does not require an object to complete its meaning.

The animation below depict transitive and intransitive verb usage.


Intransitive verbs

An intransitive verb is a verb that does not require an object to complete its meaning. For example:

(1) The balloon burst.

(2) The driver panicked.


3.Fatuma walked slowly.

In the sentences above, the verbs: burst, panicked and walked do not require objects to complete their meaning.

Verbs which can be used both transitively and intransitively

Depending on their context, some verbs can be used transitively and intransitively. Look at these examples:


Transitive: Njeri studies English.

Intransitive: Njeri studies at home.

Transitive: The cow ate grass.

Intransitive: The cow ate greedily.

Transitive: Anita drank the milk.

Intransitive: Anita drank quickly.

Transitive: The crowd cheered the team.

Intransitive: The crowd cheered wildly.

Other verbs which can be used both transitively and intransitively include:

see, play, burn, drive, answer and break.

Look at animations of the following sentences in which verbs have been used both transitively and intransitively.

The monkey tricked the crocodile.

Monkeys trick regularly.

The girls jumped the barrier.

The girls jumped excitedly.

The floods damaged the wheat fields.

The floods subsided the following Tuesday.

After observing the cartoons, which actions are transitive and which ones are not? Discuss with your friends.


Summary


Background

Difference between phrases and phrasal verbs

Identify the phrasal verbs in the sentences in the animation below.


For you to interact with and appreciate this topic, you must be able to distinguish between phrases and phrasal verbs.

Note that there is a difference between a verb phrase and a phrasal verb.

A verb phrase refers to a main verb plus a complement, an object and /or adverbial, for example, in the following sentence, the verb phrase comprises of everything else apart from the subject 'Peter.'

Peter presented her with an expensive wedding present. (everything except the the subject 'Peter', is a verb phrase)

A phrasal verb consists of a main verb and a particle.


In the sentence, 'Harriet turned down Jim's marriage proposal because she wanted to pursue a masters degree.' turned down' is a phrasal verb.

Objectives

By the end of the topic, you should be able to:

a) Identify phrasal verbs and explain how they are formed.


b) Use phrasal verbs in sentences correctly.

Phrasal verbs

A phrasal verb consists of a verb plus a preposition or adverb which results in a meaning that is totally different from that of the original verb.

For example, pass + over = pass over.

Some phrasal verbs are transitive while others are not.

In the sentences below, the phrasal verb in sentence 'a' is transitively used while the one in sentence 'b' is intransitively used.

a) Peter made up the story. (transitive).

b) Jane's car broke down. (intransitive).

Some phrasal verbs are separable while others are not, for instance, Mary promised to look into the matter.

look+into=inseparable preposition.

The teacher talked the principal into allowing the girls to visit the national park. talk + into = separable preposition


Characteristics of Phrasal Verbs

A phrasal verb is a main verb combined with a particle.

The particle may be an adverb, a preposition or both and it is used to help create a meaning quite different from the usual meaning of the individual words. This special category of words formed by adding a particle to a main verb is referred to as phrasal verbs.

Phrasal verbs function just like ordinary verbs since they have past, present and future forms.

In addition, they take the -ing forms just like main verbs.

It must be noted that phrasal verbs express a totally different meaning from that of the original words.

Their meanings are special or idiomatic, for instance, ‘give up’ which means to surrender but does not mean giving something to someone who is on a podium.

A phrase may be defined as a group of words which do not make sense on their own as they do not contain a subject and a predicate.


Phrasal verbs formed from the combination of a verb and an adverb.




Phrasal verbs formed from the combination

of a verb and a preposition.

View the following map and attempt the exercise that follows.



Background

In this topic your knowledge on prepositions, phrases, adjectives and adverbs will be very crucial.
A phrase is a group of words that do not make sense on their own.

There are many types of phrases, for example, prepositional phrases,

noun phrases, verb phrases and adjective phrases.


Objective

By the end of the topic, you should be able to: 1) Use correct sentence structures creatively.

2) Identify and use prepositional phrases in sentences.


Prepositional phrases

Prepositions are words that express relationships between words.

They are one of the eight parts of speech. The others are: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections.

A prepositional phrase comprises of a preposition followed by a noun or a pronoun, for example, on Mombasa road is a prepositional phrase.


Introduction


A prepositional phrase begins with a preposition and ends with a noun, a pronoun, gerund, or a clause which then act as the objects of a preposition.


Prepositional phrases used as adjectives and adverbs

The women in the church are all crying.

Which women? The ones in the church.

In the above sentence, in the church is a prepositinal phrase which answers the question which.

It functions as an adjective since it describes the women who are crying.

It is not the women in the market place who are crying, but the women in the church.


Prepositional phrases used as adverbs

The man travelled to the country side. Where did the man travel to?

To the country side.

In the above sentence, the prepositional phrase, to the country side answers the question where.

Hence, it functions as an adverb of place.


Additional information on prepositional phrases used as adverbs

Philip asked for permission at 3:00 pm.

When did Philip ask for permission?

At 3:00 pm.

In the above sentence, at 3:00 pm is a prepositional phrase which functions as an adverb of time.

In other words, it is possible to replace the prepositional phrase at 3:00 pm with a single adverb such as early or late.

The new sentences formed would be: Philip asked for permission early and Philip asked for permission late.

Early and late are adverbs which have replaced the prepositional phrase at 3:00 pm.

Miriam was punished by being told to kneel down for thirty minutes.

In the above sentence, the prepositional phrase is:

by being asked to kneel down for thirty minutes which is introduced by the prepositions by.

The prepositional phrase may be replaced with a single adverb of manner such as severely.

The ensuing sentence would then be:

Miriam was punished severely.

The adverb of manner severely has replaced the prepositional phrase.

It is therefore correct to state that the prepositional phrase by being told to kneel down

for thirty minutes functions as an adverb in the above sentence.


Examples of prepositional phrases

Preposition (at) + noun (home) = prepositional phrase (at home)

Preposition (by) + (gerund) jumping = prepositional phrase (by jumping)

where the gerund is the -ing form of the verb sing.

Preposition (for) + pronoun (me) = pepositional phrase (for me)

Preposition (about) + noun clause (what she needs) = prepositional phrase (about what she needs)

Remember that a prepositional phrase will never contain the subject of a sentence.

Sometimes a noun within the prepositional phrase seems the logical subject of a verb.

Don't fall for that trick! You will never find a subject in a prepositional phrase.

Look at this example:

Neither of these cookbooks contains the recipe for Mombasa-style chicken and beef stew.

Cookbooks do indeed contain recipes.

However, in this sentence, cookbooks is part of the prepositional phrase of these cookbooks.

So, neither, is the subject of the verb contains.

Neither is singular, so you need the singular form of the verb, contains.


If you incorrectly identified cookbooks as the subject, you might write contain, the plural form, and thus commit a subject verb agreement error.

Problematic prepositions

Some prepositions such as along with and in addition to-indicate more to come.

They will make you think that you have a plural subject when in fact you do not. Do not fall for that trick either! Read the example below:

Philip, along with the other students, breathed a sigh of relief when Mrs. Maina announced that she was postponing the due date for the debating competition.

Logically, more than one student is happy with the news.

But Philip is the only subject of the verb breathed.

His classmates count in the real world, but in the sentence, they don't matter,

locked as they are in the prepositional phrase.


Usage of prepositional phrases

Prepositional phrases can be used as adjectives and adverbs in a sentence.

When used as adjectives, the prepositional phrase gives more information about the noun.

When used as an adverb, the prepositional phrase tells us more about the action expressed by the verb

Examples of prepositional phrases

Prepositional phrases are phrases with a preposition as the head word. Look at the diagram below and observe how a preposition like on combines with a noun phrase like the bed to form a prepositional phrase like on the bed.The preposition is in bold to signal the way it functions as the head of each of the given group of words. This is what makes the given words to be termed prepositional phrases.

Summary

We will conclude this session by making the following observations:

1) A prepositional phrase is made up of a preposition followed by a noun or a pronoun.

2) Prepositional phrases can function as adjectives and adverbs.


Nouns

Your knowledge about nouns, subject and predicate will be required for you to be able to handle and appreciate this topic. A noun is a naming word. We give names to everything and everyone around us, for example:

Objectives

By the end of the topic, you should be able to:
a) Explain the term noun clause.


b) Use noun clauses in sentences correctly.

.


The Noun Clause

Introduction to clauses

What is a clause? A clause is the smallest grammatical unit that expresses a complete thought or proposition.

It may comprise of a subject and a predicate.

There are two categories of clauses, namely, independent clauses and dependent clauses.

Independent clauses can stand on their own even when connected with different clauses in the same sentence.

They may express a complete thought and can stand alone as sentences.

Dependent clauses cannot stand alone and, therefore, cannot be termed as sentences since they are sentence fragments.

The three types of dependent clauses are: adjective clauses, adverb clauses and noun clauses.

Adjective clauses are also called relative clauses.


Categories of clauses

There are two categories of clauses, namely, independent clauses and dependent clauses.

Independent clauses can stand on their own even when connected with different clauses in the same sentence.

They may express a complete thought and can stand alone as sentences.

Dependent clauses cannot stand alone and, therefore, cannot be termed as  sentences since they are sentence fragments.

The three types of dependent clauses are: adjective clauses, adverb clauses and noun clauses.

Adjective clauses are also called relative clauses.

Types of dependent clauses

The three types of dependent clauses are: adjective clauses, adverb clauses and noun clauses.

Adjective clauses are also called relative clauses.

This topic deals with noun clauses.

A noun clause is a group of words containing a subject and a finite verb of its own.

It functions as a noun. Noun clauses begin with words such as why, what, where, that, whose, which, whether and when.

Functions of the noun clause in sentences

i) Subject of a verb , for example,

What the minister did shocked the whole country.

Something is the business.

What is your business?

ii) Object of a verb , for example,

Mary's friends did not know that she could not dive.

He said something. What did he say?

iii) Subject complement , for example,

The girls' mistake was that they refused to follow advice.

iv) Object of a preposition, for example,

I am not responsible for what Joseph did.

iv) Adjective complement, for example,

Everybody is sad that the kitten died.

Subject and Predicate


The Noun Clause

Noun clauses and nouns peform the same functions in sentences.


A noun clause contains a subject and a finite verb of its own. Usually, noun clauses begin with words such as why, what, where, that, whose, which, whether and when.


Task on functions of the noun clause

What is the function of the noun clause in each of the following sentences?

i)What the minister did shocked the whole country.

Something is the business. What is your business?

ii)Mary's friends did not know that she could not dive. He said something. What did he say?

iii)The girls' mistake was that they refused to follow advice.

iv)I am not responsible for what Joseph did.


iv)Everybody is sad that the kitten died.

i)Subject of a verb

ii) Object of a verb

iii) Subject complement

iv)Object of a preposition

v)Adjective complement

Summary

In conclusion, we have noted that, a noun clause is a group of words which consists of a subject and a predicate and can be a sentence on its own. We have discussed the noun phrase, its composition and some of its functions. Consider the following sentence:


Note that there is a difference between a phrase and a clause.

A phrase is a group of words that work as a unit but does not include a subject and a predicate.

Words that are commonly used to introduce noun clauses are: that, what, whoever, whatever, how, whichever, why, where and when.


Background

For you to appreciate this topic, your knowledge about clauses is essential. A clause is a group of words that form part of a sentence, or is a sentence on its own. It has a subject and a predicate. There are two types of clauses: These are independent and dependent clauses.

An independent clause makes sense on its own, for example,

David bought a car.

on the contrary, a dependent clause does not make sense on its own, but relies on the independent clause to express its meaning, for example,

David bought a car which was old.

The words, 'which was old.' form a dependent clause. It depends on the independent clause 'David bought a car.' to make sense.

Objectives

By the end of the topic, you should be able to:
 
a) Construct compound-complex sentences.
 
b) Use correct sentence structures creatively for effective communication.

COMPOUND COMPLEX SENTENCES

View the following animation on various types of sentences.

We will begin our discussion on compound complex sentences by doing the following:

i) Reminding ourselves what a sentence is.

ii) Familiarising ourselves with the various ways of classifying sentences.

What is a sentence then?

A sentence is a group of words that satisfy the the grammatical rules of a language. It comprises of one or more clauses.

A sentence can also be defined as a group of words that express a complete thought.

A complete sentence comprises of one or more clauses.

Each clause has a subject and a predicate where the subject is either a noun or a pronoun while the predicate is the verb component of the clause.

Additional information on sentences


Sentences may be classified on the basis of their structure, purpose and whether they are major or minor sentences.

Classification by structure

For example,


Simple (single independent clause)

Compound (two or more independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction)

Complex (one independent clause and one or more independent clauses joined together by a subordinating conjunction)

Compound complex (consists of multiple independent clauses, of which at least one is a dependent clause.)

Classifying by purpose

declarative- make a statement

interogative- request information

exclamative- express strong emotions

command or imperative- tell someone to do something


Major and minor sentences

Major sentences

-regular sentence with a subject and a predicate, for example,

Jane went to Japan.

 

Minor sentences

-irregular sentence, for example, one word sentences also called word sentences like:

Hello!

Mary!

The more the merrier!


Compound complex sentences

Sentences are classified according to the number and kinds of clauses that they contain. In this classification, there are four kinds of sentences.

Simple sentences

These are sentences that comprise only of an independent clause. For example,

I admire Paulina.

This sentence is one main clause.

It has a subject, 'I'

and

the predicate, "admire Paulina".

Compound sentences

These are sentences that contain two or more independent clauses, joined together by coordinating conjunctions such as: and, but, so. They may also be joined by connectors such as however, consequently, moreover among others, for example,

I admire Paulina but she does not admire me.

[independent clause]+ [independent clause] = compound sentence

These two independent clauses give rise to this compound sentence.

'I admire Paulina' and 'She does not admire me.'

The two independent clauses are joined by the conjunction 'but.'

Complex sentences

These are sentences that contain one independent clause and one or more subordinate clauses. The subordinate clauses are usually introduced by subordinating conjunctions such as after, if, since, although, though, than, before and when, for example,

If I were a mother, I would rock my baby gently.


[subordinate clause]+ [independent clause] = complex sentence.

Click to watch an animation of a mother rocking a baby.


Compound-complex sentences

These are sentences that contain two or more independent clauses and one or more subordinate clauses, for example,


This sentence has two independent clauses;

'I would quickly switch it on' and 'search for information.'

If I saw a computer is a dependent clause because it does not make sense on its own.

Summary

Main aspects of compound complex sentences.

In this topic, we have learnt that compound-complex sentences contain two or more independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses.

Note that independent clauses are also called main clauses and dependent clauses are also called subordinate clauses.

Coordinating conjunctions and connectors are used in the formation of compound-complex sentences.


Click to watch a video clip of weaver birds chirping


The example below shows that, a compound-complex sentence has features of both compound

and complex sentence, hence, the term compound- complex.


Now identify the various constituents of the following compound complex

Red roses blossomed and weaver birds chirped merrily when the rain began to fall.

[independent clause]+[independent clause]+[dependent clause]=compound complex sentence.

Now identify the various constituents of the following compound complex

Flamingoes flew over the receeding waters in panic and jackals howled mournfully for several days since the lake was drying up.

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