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Quick and simple guide to nouns,

pronouns, adjectives and adverbs.

NOUNS •TENSE- There are twelve tenses in English-- six

standard tenses and six progressive tenses. The six
standard tenses are as follows:
WHAT IS THE CLAUSE, PHRASE OR 1) Past tense- something that took place earlier and Adjectives are words that describe or modify another
SENTENCE ABOUT? did not continue into the present: “I ate ice cream person or thing (a noun). The Articles — “a”,” an”,
before my dinner”. and “the” are all examples of adjectives. Adjectives
NOUNS- TWO TYPES; PROPER AND COMMON. 2) Present tense- something that is occurring now: “I describe nouns by answering one of three
•Proper noun= the name of a specific person, place or am eating ice cream”. questions:
thing. Proper nouns are so important that they 3) Future- something that will occur at some point 1) What kind is it?
always start with a capital letter, e.g. London, subsequent to the present time: “I will eat ice cream “The small, furry dog was very excited”.
Sarah, Queen. after dinner”. What kind of dog? Small and furry.
•Common noun= name of an everyday object or 4) Present perfect/simple perfect- something that took 2) How many are there?
thing. They are “common” so they are not as place earlier but is continuing into the present: “I have “The lady was walking three small, furry dogs”.
important as proper nouns and therefore have no eaten ice cream everyday this week because my Mum How many dogs are there? Three.
capital letter, e.g. table, bus, man. has been working late”. 3) Which one is it?
5) Past perfect/pluperfect- something that happened “The smallest dog tried to run away”.
PRONOUNS- TAKE THE PLACE OF A NOUN IN A earlier than something else, which is expressed in the Which one is it? The smallest dog.
SENTENCE past, rather than past perfect, tense: “I was eating my Quite often you will need to use more than one
•HE waited for the bell to ring. ice cream when I saw that my Mum was approaching adjective to describe a noun. Sometimes a series of
•SHE was unhappy with her test result. in the car”. adjectives need a comma between them and
•THEY were late for the meeting. 6) Future perfect- something that will happen in the sometimes they do not. If the adjectives are
future before some other future event: “I will have coordinate, you should use commas between them,

VERBS eaten ice cream everyday this week if I have another

one after school today”.
The six progressive tenses are
but if they are noncoordinate, no commas are
COORDINATE ADJECTIVES- are adjectives whose
WHAT IS THE SUBJECT DOING? WHAT IS BEING 1) Past progressive- describes a past action which was order can be rearranged without the sentence
DONE TO THE SUBJECT? WHAT STATE IS THE happening when another action occurred. This tense is appearing incorrect. You can also insert the word
SUBJECT IN? formed by using was/were with the verb form ending “and” in between coordinate adjectives and they
in “ing”: “I was eating ice cream when I bumped into will still make sense. In our first example, “The
Every verb has five properties; person, number, tense, my Mum”. small, furry dog was very excited”, the adjecives
voice and mood. 2) Past progressive perfect- describes a past, ongoing could be rearranged without any problem, “The
action that was completed before some other past furry, small dog was very excited”. The word “and”
•NUMBER- the verb can refer to a single person, action. This tense is formed by using “had been” and can also be added, “The small and furry dog was
place or thing as the subject of a sentence the present perfect of the verb (the verb form ending in very excited”. This means that the adjectives
(”singular”), or can refer to more than one person, “ing”): “I had been eating icecream everyday after “small” and “furry” are coordinate.
place or thing (”plural”). Verbs are therefore always school until my Mum found out”. NONCOORDINATE AJECTIVES- do not make
either singular or plural. 3) Present progressive- describes an ongoing action sense when you rearrange their location in the
that is happening at the same time the statement is series or when you insert “and” between them. For
•PERSON- a sentence can be written in first, second written. This tense is formed by using am/is/are with example, “The three furry dogs were barking”. If
or third person. the verb form ending in “ing”: “I am eating icecream you switch the order of the adjectives or add the word
*first person plural= “we”, singular= “I” as soon as I get home from school”. “and” the sentence will no longer make sense: “the
*second person plural= “you”, singular= “you” 4) Present progressive perfect- describes an action furry three dogs were barking”/ “The furry and
*third person plural= “they”, singular= “he/she” that began in the past, continues in the present, and three dogs were barking”.
may continue into the future. This tense is formed by
•VOICE- verbs can either be used in active voice or
in passive voice, depending upon whether the subject
is acting or is being acted upon.
using “has” or “have been” and the present participle
of the verb (the verb form ending in “ing”): “I have
been eating ice cream everyday after school since my
*active voice= the subject is acting, e.g. “The Mum started her new job”. Adverbs are words that are used to describe actions.
footballer kicked a ball into the back of the net”. 5) Future progressive- describes an ongoing or They can be single words, phrases or clauses.
*passive voice= the subject is being acted upon, e.g. continuous action that will take place in the future. Adverbs answer one of four questions:
“The ball was kicked by the footballer into the back This tense is formed by using “will be” or “shall be” 1) How?
of the net”. with the verb form ending in “ing”: “I will be eating “The dog ran quickly through the park”.
ice cream everyday after school now that my Mum How did the dog run? Quickly.
•MOOD- The mood of a verb reflects whether the has a new job”. 2) When?
action described is factual (the indicative mood), a 6) Future progressive perfect- describes a future, “The dog ran immediately he heard his owner
possibility or supposition (the subjunctive mood), or ongoing action that will occur before some specified whisle”.
is a command or exhortation (the imperative mood). future time. This tense is formed by using “will have When did the dog run? Immediately.
*present indicative: I eat ice cream everyday after been” and the present participle of the verb (the verb 3) Where?
school. form ending in -ing): “I will have been eating ice “The dog ran somewhere into the distance”
*present subjective: I would eat ice cream everyday cream after school for five days straight when I have Where did the dog run? Somewhere.
after school but my Mum won’t allow it. one on Friday after school”. 4) Why?
*present imperative: Eat the ice cream quickly ”I don’t know why the dog started to run“
before your Mum arrives! Why did the dog run? He doesn’t know.