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Inglés. Manual de gramática (3/3)

Héctor Orobio Valencia

Autor: Héctor Orobio Valencia
9,17/10 (6 opiniones) |9409 alumnos|Fecha publicación: 30/10/2009

Capítulo 12:

 Gramática. partes del discurso

NOUNSNouns are words that denote or name a person, animal o thing, as book, pen, John, Mary, dog, cat, etc.
VERBSVerbs express an action, or a state, as go, study, be, feel, etc.
ADJECTIVESAdjectives describe or define nouns, as good, bad, blue, my, an, etc.
ADVERBSAdverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs, as here, always, very, etc.
PRONOUNSPronouns are words used as replacements or substitutes for nouns, as he, him, that, me, them, mine, etc.
PREPOSITIONSA preposition is a word used to show the relation between its object and some other word, as in, on, at, under, since, etc.
CONJUNCTIONSConjunctions function as connectors between words, phrases, clauses, or sentences, as and, or, because, if, etc.
INTERJECTIONSInterjections are words expressing emotion, distinguished by their use in grammatical isolation, as Hey! Oh!

Word before noun: a word used with a noun that specifies whether the noun is definite or indefinite.

In English the indefinite articles are "a" and "an," and the definite article is "the"


Refer to: people, things, abstract ideas.

1.     Countable Nouns

With or without determiners:                        A student

                                                           The student

                                                           Four students


Singular: always uses determiners:   Student (wrong)

                                                           A student (right)

Plural nouns:                                      Scissors




2.     Uncountable nouns

(Mass Nouns)

General concepts:                  Health



3.     Proper Nouns

Individuals or places:             John




Expresses the noun relation with the other parts of the speech, such as by, on, with, from, after, before, etc.

            She put the flowers on the table.

However, in some constructions English prepositions can be put at the end of a proposition.

            The people I came here with

            La gente con la que vine


Describe actions, emotions and states.

There are three main types:

·       Main verbs

·       Auxiliary verbs

·       Modal verbs

1.     Main Verbs:

Form well-made sentences. They carry the main meaning.

Example:         Walk




2.     Auxiliary Verbs and Auxiliary Modals:

They indicate the grammatical tenses in the negative and interrogative forms.

Verbs:             be, have, do

Modals:           shall, will

3.     Modals Verbs

They express possibility, capacity, permission, suggestion, desires or necessity.

They are:         Can      Could

                        May     Might

                        Must    Ought to

                        Should Would

Examples:       He can do it

                        She might do it

                        You must do it


A verb or verb phrase referring to the time of the action. A form that takes the verb depending on the time it is expressing.

There are three basic forms:

Simple tenses

Rashid catches the bus to school most days

Continues tenses

Rashid is catching the bus this morning

Perfect tenses

Rashid has caught the bus right now

Verbs Forms

There are four or five different forms

The base or infinitive form

Talk, expect, grow, talks, expects, grows

Present  participle

Talking, expecting, growing

The past tense

Talked, expected, grew

The past participle

Talked, expected, grown

Transitive and Intransitive Verbs 

A.    Trans. Verbs:

A verb that has a direct object.

Direct object: a noun phrase or pronoun coming after the verb:

            The teacher helped Rebecca

Indirect object: is which can be used after a preposition to express the same meaning or over which refers the verb action in indirect form:

            John gave Peter a book

            John gave a book to Peter

B.    Intransitive Verbs:

A verb that does not have a direct object over which the verb action falls down:

            She laughed

            She was laughing at him

Active and Passive Voice

            The teacher helped Rebecca

            Rebecca was helped by the teacher

The two sentences have the same meaning, but in the first one, ´The teacher` is the subject while in the second, ´Rebecca` is the subject, so the focus is different. The verb in the first sentence is in the active voice. In the second sentence, the verb, formed with ´was` is in the passive voice.  The direct object of an active verb can be always be made de subject of a passive verb.

Utility: the passive voice can be very useful when you want to talk about an action or event, but do not know (or do not want to say) who did it. Example:

            Daren stole my pen (active voice).

            My pen has been stolen (passive voice).

Phrasal Verbs

Some verbs are used with an adverb or preposition to form a special kind of verb, called a phrasal verb. Phrasal verbs are expressions like:

            Take in, take off, take over, run down, break in, and so on.

The meaning of a phrasal verb is often very different from the meaning of the simple verb and the adverb or preposition used on their own.


Marks used to organize writing: the standardized nonalphabetical symbols or marks that are used to organize writing into clauses, phrases, and sentences, and in this way make its meaning clear

Use of punctuation: the use of punctuation marks

Act of punctuating writing: the act of punctuating writing or an occasion during which writing is punctuated.

When we speak we convey part of our meaning by the tone of voice we use and the ´tune` or intonation of what we say.

In writing: we can get something of the same effect by using punctuation marks.

Correct use of punctuation is important, because it can greatly help the reader to understand the writer´s intention.

A.    Apostrophe (´)

An apostrophe is usually used to indicate possession.

In the singular -´s is used:

                        Peter´s dog

In the plural the apostrophe is added to the end of the word:


Plurals that do not end in –s take -´s to show possession:

                        Children´s toys

Proper names ending in –s either add an apostrophe alone:

                        Jesus´ life

                        Keats´ poetry

Or add -´s:

                        Thomas´s house

                        Mrs. Jones´ garden

B.     Brackets ( ) or Parenthesis

Brackets are put round a part of a sentence that could be omitted while still leaving and intelligible statement:

                        That hose over there (with a blue door) is ours.

C.     Capital Letter (A, B, C…)

Capital letters are used at the beginning of a sentence, and for proper nouns and titles of people and organizations:

                        Ms. Robertson, Dr. Smith, South America, British Rail, etc.

D.    Colon (:)

A colon is used to introduce a following statement:

                        Take it or leave it: the choice is yours.

It is also used to introduce a list, quotation, or summary.

E.     Comma (,)

A comma is used to make a division between two groups of words in a sentence:

                        She ran off, her tennis racket swinging loosely at her side.

Commas are also used to divide units in a series of nouns, adjectives, or phrases:

                        The cupboard was full of records, cassettes and compact discs.

A comma is not normally placed between an adjective and a noun:

                        It was a long, hot, humid day (not hot, humid, day).

Commas are also used to mark off a word or phrase in a sentence which adds a comment but is not an essential part of the sentence. Dashes and brackets can be used for the same purpose. Commas give the lightest degree of separation, dashes produce a jerky effect, and brackets cut off part of a sentence most firmly. Example:

                        He hurried home, taking a short cut, but still arrived too late.

                        It´s a long time – over two years – since we last met.

They both went to the Youth Club (unaware of each other´s plans and met there.

Commas are also used to separate a relative clause that adds some information about a noun, but it is not an essential part of the meaning:

                        The dodo, which is now extinct, inhabited Mauritius.

Here the clause ´which is now extinct` adds a comment on ´dodo`. It is an addition, not an essential part, so it is separated off by commas. Compare this with:

                        I like people who make me laugh.

Here the words ´people who make me laugh` are to be interpreted as a whole. The clause is therefore not separated off by commas.

When addressing a person, commas are used before and after the person´s name or title. Example:

                        I think, Lee, you should try for the prize.

F.      Exclamation Mark

An exclamation mark is used after an interjection (or exclamation) such as Oh!, Bother! Or Hurrah! It is not normally used after an ordinary statement.

G.    Full Stop

A full stop marks the end of a sentence. Full stops are also used after abbreviations and initial letters standing for a whole word. Example:

                        Dec. – for ´December`, fig. – for ´figure`, a.m. – for ´ante meridiem`.

Abbreviations that include the first and last letters of a word are equally acceptable with or without the full stop. Example:

                        Dr, Mr, ft or Dr., ft.

It is usual to write certain names or titles, such as BBC, USA, TUC, without full stops.

H.    Hyphen ( - )

Compounds words, like ´layby` and ´fire engine`, may often be spelled with a hyphen between them.

Prefix: words with a prefix such as ´non - `or ´anti - `are sometimes spelled with a hyphen.

Compounds adjectives: when a compound adjective comes before a noun it is often hyphenated to stress that the constituent parts are not being used independently. Example:

                        She has a red-striped jumper.

                        This is a user-friendly dictionary.

I.       Inverted Commas “

(Quotation marks, quotes, speech marks)

Inverted commas are used for direct quotation, not for indirect speech. It is usual to have a comma before and after a quotation if the sentence continues after the quotation. Example:

                        She said, “Let´s go”, and set off down the street.

Single quotation marks can be used to indicate a title or quotation within the speech. Example:

“I really enjoyed reading ´Romeo and Juliet` last term”, she said, “and now I want to see a live performance”.

Where such a distinction is not required, either single or double quotation marks may be used. Nowadays the single style is more often used.

J.       Question Mark (?)

A question mark is used at the end of direct questions, but not after reported ones.

Thus you use a question mark at the end of:

                        ´Where are you going`? ,

But not after:

                        ´he asked where I was going`.

K.     Semicolon (;)


A semicolon can be used instead of a full stop or instead of a conjunction between two sentences that are closely related. Example:

I arrived home late; the house was in darkness.

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