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Chapter 31. Go Back to Basics > Learn the Lingo

Learn the Lingo

Grammar is a collection of terms and rules we use to discuss writing. Taught in elementary and middle school, much of this minutia about English composition may have been long forgotten by working adults.

As a general guideline, you may recall that English contains about a dozen parts of speech. Among these are nouns—which define persons, places, and things—and adjectives, which further describe those nouns. Grammarians also use various names for parts of sentences; these terms often overlap parts of speech in terminology. An example is a subject, which is the doer of the action. It often is a noun. Grammar terms also cover broad concepts such as case and number.


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