A Comprehensive Guide to English Grammar…In Parts

Grammar sucks.

Let’s be honest. It’s kinda boring except not kinda…it’s just fucking boring.

Nevertheless, when I started my teaching career 30 years ago, I quickly became embarassed because I KNEW why things sounded bad…I just couldn’t tell kids WHY what they had written was wrong.

So, I began teaching myself and now, after 30 years, I have it mostly right.

I am going to assume the reader knows what these are: adjectives, nouns, verbs, adverbs, and pronouns. All the rest I will cover.

So, lesson one — Nouns and verbs. Nouns have the decency to stay in their lane, but verbs can fuck you alllll up. So, in the interest of simplicity, let me say that there are two types of verbs of which you need to be aware and just so we who get this shit can seem smarter than we are we call them “transitive” and “intransitive”. However, if you want to think like a norml person and not a word dork, you can just think of “transitive” as action verbs and intrasitive as non-action verbs- like am, is, are , was, were be. There are also linking verbs, but they work with the transitive and intransitive so fuck ‘em- you don’t really need to be aware of them because the aforementioned ones will take precedent.

I. Transitive verbs: Transitive verbs are actions and those actions may or may not have an “object”. Take a look at this scene from “The Simpsons” ( there will be many scenes from that show…I love it ) :

The character doing the punching is Nelson and the kid getting punched is Milhouse. If you made the sentence “ Nelson punches Milhouse” you have a pretty fair illustration of what a transitive verb looks like. First though, let’s deal with subjects of sentences. Subjects are nice because no matter what kind of verb a sentence has, all ya gotta do is ask “Who” or “What” prior to the verb and you will find the subject. Sometimes the subject can be more than one noun or pronoun, but not in this case. In this case you look at the sentence “Nelson punches Milhouse” and you should know that the verb is “punches”. So, you ask “Nelson punches WHO?” and the subject is Nelson. From there, you can determine whether the sentence has an object or not, and to do that you find the verb ( it has to be an action verb for an object” and you ask “Nelson punches WHOM?” and your object is Milhouse. Since Milhouse receives the action of the verb DIRECTLY, Milhouse is the DIRECT OBJECT of the sentence.

So, to find the subject of a sentence you find ANY verb and ask “Who” or “What” before it, and whatever answers that question is the subject ( remember there can be multiple subjects).

To find a DIRECT OBJECT , you find an ACTION verb and ask “whom” or “what” after it, and whatever answers that, if anything does, is your Direct Object.

Remember, though, a sentence ONLY needs a subject and a verb, so even if there IS an action verb there MAY not be a DO.

The following sentences ALL have subjects and DOs

Trump incited a riot ( Trump -s , riot — DO)

America defeated England ( Happy 4th people lol. America = S, England = DO)

Zoey and Cat like candy ( Zoey, Cat= subjects, Candy = DO)

I will see if anyone reads this and then will decide whether or not to continue.

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Dr. Dad Bod

I am a husband, father, teacher, and soccer coach, and aspiring writer residing in Northern Virginia. More than anything, I love having fun and pushing myself!