A-Level English Language- Terminology Pt.1

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A-Level (AS&A2) English Language- Grammar and terminology advice.

Grammar and terminology may seem scary at first. But honestly, once you've got the hang of the simple stuff, it all becomes so much easier. So remain calm and confident, we're gonna dive right in!

Nouns

Nouns, often known as "naming words", come under 4 categories;

1. Abstract- things you can't touch, see or measure. They are mainly ideas and feelings e.g. 'love', 'fear', 'birth', 'imprisonment'. 

2. Common- things you can touch, see or measure. Kind of makes sense to say they're the opposite to abstract...whatever helps you to remember I guess. Common nouns include dog, house, tree, chair etc.

3. Collective- names of groups of individuals. For example, one person who sings is a singer; a group of people who sing are a choir. Other examples include Gang, Pack, Bunch. REMEMBER: taking off the 's' can still mean many. These can be quite confusing and often people get them all mixed up. So, make sure you nail 'em. 

4. Proper- refer to specific individuals, things of which there is only one e.g. 'London', 'Mars', 'Queen Elizabeth II', 'the M6 mortorway', 'Brad Pitt'.

Things nouns can do;

  • We can tell a word is a noun because we put 'the', 'a' or 'an' in front of it. These three little words are called articles.
  • Most nouns have a 's' on the end if we're talking about more than one of them (the plural form)
  • Most nouns have apostrophe 's' at the end if we're talking about ownership. 

Adjectives

These puppies are easy, they're just describing words...come on, you knew that. Adjectives can describe physical qualities like size and shape. Adjectives can also show us how intense something is and show judgement. They usually describe nouns or pronouns. 

Adjectives come in three grades to show how things compare;

1. 'Small', is just an adjective, just a simple descriptive word. So the first grade is adjective. We're starting small here (get it?)

2. Then we move onto the 'comparative adjective'. An example of a comparative adjective would be 'smaller'. Notice that we have added 'er' on the end of small... We're picking things up now, there's more meaning to smaller than small right?

3. The final grade is 'superlative'. And example of a superlative would be 'smallest'. Again, notice we've added 'est' onto the end of small. Smallest has more meaning than small- this guy is the smallest of the small. We can't get any smaller than this.

Many adjectives become before the word they are describing. These are called PRE-modifying adjectives. Adjectives, many come after the word they are describing, these are known as 'complements'. 

Verbs

Verbs are often called doing words, they tell you about actions taking place or about something's existence. Unfortunately for you, there are lots of different kinds of verbs. The easiest to start with are called 'main verbs'.

'Main verbs'- every sentence starts with one of these guys and if it doesn't, then it's actually not a real sentence.

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