9 Basic English Grammar functions

9 Basic English Grammar functions

In our final series of articles to learn English online, today we will be learning the basic functions of English grammar. English grammar functions are defined as “Grammatical function is the syntactic role played by a word or phrase in the context of a particular clause or sentence. Sometimes called simply function. In English, grammatical function is primarily determined by a word's position in a sentence, not by inflection (or word endings)”

In simple words, English grammar functions are items of a language with respect to their contextual meaning. Hence the best way to learn these is by way of conversational style of English learning. Conversing with online spoken English tutors and trying different English grammar functions in contextual sentences will be a better learning exercise provided you first know the basics of these in terms of definitions, rules etc.

You will be able to practice these in your conversation training in online English-speaking courses. But most online English communication courses may not necessarily teach you the basics of English grammar functions since this is the groundwork that students are expected to learn on their own.

So today, let’s cover the 9 basic English grammar functions with examples for your simple understanding. Going through this article in detail wil help you learn English grammar.

1) Noun 

Noun is a name or identity word to describe an object or person. Most of the time, it is the center of the sentence.  We identify the object or a person by the name given, and that is a noun. The name or title of any living or non-living thing is a noun.

Words- dog, tree, temple, sun, ram, daughter, doctor

Example –

This is a cat.

A kid is sitting on the table.

Doctor is treating the patients.

It also carries an article. Few examples of the same can be

  • If a common noun – Use article a

A bag, a pencil

  • If an uncommon noun – Use article the

The sun, the Tajmahal

  • If plural –No article will be used here

We have ten mangoes.

Friends are coming.

  • If it starts with the sound of vowels – a, e, i, o, u –Use article an

An umbrella, An hour

2) Verb

What a living or non-living thing is doing or performing is termed as a verb. The act, the performance, and an action come under the category of verb. It is further divided into three categories.

Main verb - Describes an action/activity or work.

Words - get, come cut, tell, meet, like.

Examples –

I like apple.

I will tell my mother.

I can eat chicken.

Auxiliary verb – This is primarily used for identifying the time or tense of the sentence when it has taken place. Whether it is past, present or future time.

Words – is, am, was, were, has, have, do, did

Examples –

I am walking in the park.

I was sleeping at my home.

I have not seen him before.

Modal verb – This is importantly used for expressing – ability, possibility, possession, and obligation.

Words – can, could, will, would, should, may, might

Examples –

I can write in english.

You should come tomo.

They will see next sunday.

3) Adverb

It helps in describing a verb, adjective, or another adverb. It tells us about the degree of happening as how long, when, or where it is done. Most of the adverbs are found by adding ‘ly’ in the adjective. It tells about the value, volume, degree of the verb, adjective, and other adverb.

Words - really, silently, truly, nicely, badly

Examples –

My sister eats quickly.

My brother runs very fast.

He really speaks well.

4) Adjective 

An adjective describes a noun or pronoun. It tells about the looks, shape, appearance, kind, and form of a noun or pronoun. It helps in recognizing the description of nouns or pronouns. With the help of adjectives, we can know the structure and face value of the noun. It helps in identifying the noun and pronoun.

Words - small, little, large, big, well.

Examples –

 I have three pencils.

He like big bags.

I have big tv at home.

5) Pronoun

 It takes the place of nouns. Instead of mentioning the noun, again and again, you should use the pronoun form of it. There is different category of pronouns –

Personal pronoun - Words - i, you, he, she, it

Possessive pronounWords – my, mine, your, you

Reflexive pronounWords – myself, themselves, herself

Indefinite pronounWords - sombody, anyone, everthing, somewhere

Examples –

She is coming to home today.

I will write myself.

This phone is mine.

6) Preposition 

It links a noun to an object or another noun. It is needed to connect the object in a sentence. If there is an object, then we need it to connect with the help of a proposition. If there is an object, then there will be a preposition to connect the subject in the sentence.

Words - at, in, of, on, after, under

Examples –

She is sitting on her seat.

He is waiting at the bus stand.

They kept the bag under the tree.

7) Conjunction

It helps in joining two clauses or sentences.  When there is additional information to be shared, then we need a conjunction to connect or join both. It helps in connecting and giving more information in one sentence itself.

Words - but, and, while, because, before

Examples –

I am not coming because i am not well.

I need some bread but without butter.

They had seen it before coming to Delhi.

8) Exclamation

They help is identifying the emotions and tone of the written sentence. When someone is performing an act, it is possible to figure out the mood like excitement, shock, admiration etc, but in written, it is not possible, so exclamation marks give real picture to the writing. We could connect or understand the emotion or message behind the written matter.

Words - oh! Wow! Hi!

Examples –

Oh my god! What are you saying?

Stop shouting!

What a beautiful house!

9) Determiners

They help is identifying the noun and is followed by a noun always.  It describes a noun, and this is always needed at the time of using a noun in a sentence. We cannot use a noun without a determiner. 

  1. Articles – a, an, the
  2. Demonstratives – this, that, these, those
  3. Quantifiers -a bit, all, any, both, many, some, much
  4. Distributives – each, all, half, every, either, both
  5. Possessives – our, my, your, his, her, its, their

Examples –

That bag is mine.

I need some water to wash my hair.

Every day i go to office.

She is searching for her bag.

We hope these simple defintions have helped you. We would love to hear your feedback and recommendatiosn for future learner series artciles.

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