Can You Define These Grammatical Terms?

By: Annette
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Good grammar is essential, but in this quiz we're going to take it a step further by testing your knowledge of grammar's inner workings. Can you guess what these grammatical terms mean? No adjective can describe how much fun this is going to be.

Which of these is an adjective?

Yellow is the adjective from these examples. An adjective is something that describes or qualifies a noun.

Which of these is an adverb?

An adverb is something that describes, limits, or qualifies a verb, adjective or group of words. Other examples include: really, slowly, someday and very.

What comes first, the antecedent or the pronoun?

The antecedent is the thing referred to by the pronoun. For instance, "I bought a dog, and he's so cute." "Dog" is the antecedent, and "he" is the pronoun.

A clause is a group of related ______ containing a subject and a predicate.

A clause is a group of related words containing a subject and predicate. There are independent and dependent clauses.

The word "government" is _____.

The word "government" is a collective noun. That means that the word represents a group of people or things.

"Gut-wrenching" is ______ .

A compound adjective is something that uses multiple words. It identifies, describes or limits a noun or pronoun.

How many different kinds of noun cases are there?

There are three cases of nouns. These include: subjective, objective, and possessive.

"Housekeeper" is a ______ .

"Housekeeper" is a compound noun. It includes two or more words that connect as a single concept. "Free-for-all" is another example.

Compound subjects are connected by what?

Compound subjects are connected by a conjunction. For examples "drinking and driving," "she and I" and "Jack and Jill."

What does a conjunction do?

A conjunction is used to link things. For example, in "bread and butter," "and" is the conjunction.

Which of these is a conjunctive adverb?

All of these examples are conjunctive adverbs. They are used to connect two clauses.

What is the only definite article in the English language?

"The" is the only definite article in the English language. It is used before a noun and refers to a specific thing. "The" dog is good.

The direct object answers the question _______.

The direct object is the thing that answers the questions what? or who? For example, "I threw the ball." The "ball" is the direct object.

An ellipsis consists of ______.

An ellipsis consists of three dots that take the place of a missing word. I wanted to finish this quiz, but...

An elliptical clause is grammatically _____ .

An elliptical clause is grammatically incomplete. That is to avoid repetition. For instance, "I had five candies; Diana, three." There was no need to repeat the words "had" or "candies."

Does gender play into grammar?

You're darn right gender plays into grammar. A man is referred to as "he" and a woman is referred to as "she." Gender affects both nouns and pronouns.

A gerund is a verb that acts like _____.

A gerund is a verb that acts like a noun. For instance, consider "Walking is good for your health." In this example, "walking" is a gerund.

How many indefinite articles are in the English language?

There are only two indefinite articles in the English language. These are "a" and "an."

What answers the questions to whom, for whom, to what or for what?

The indirect object is the thing that answers all these questions. For instance, "John gave Clara a hug." Who did John give the hug to? Clara.

To be or not to be, that's the _____ .

"To be" is an infinitive. In fact, adding "to" before a simple verb creates an infinitive: "to ride," "to talk, "to sit."

"Wow" is _____ .

Some of the greatest words are interjections. For example, "oops," "darn," and "uh-oh." They're often followed by an exclamation point!

What is a noun?

A noun is a person, place, thing, entity or quality. It can even be a point in time, such as tomorrow.

How many kinds of participles are there?

There are two kinds of participles: present and past. resent participles always end in "ing," but past participles vary.

When you talk about yourself, you're speaking in _____ person.

When you're speaking about yourself, you're speaking in first person. I hope you understand.

A phrase doesn't have a ______.

A phrase does not have a subject and verb, so it is different than a clause. For example, in "They were having a terrible argument," "a terrible argument" is a phrase.

Which of these is a preposition?

These are all prepositions. These are words that precede a noun or pronoun to form a phrase that qualifies a part of a sentence.

The pronoun acts as a substitute for a _____.

The pronoun acts as a substitute for a noun. Examples include "I," "you," "it" and "me."

"When Shelly and Fred go to the movies, they always laugh." Where is the pronoun?

"They" is the pronoun in this sentence. It replaces the need to repeat "Shelly and Fred."

The ______ is what the sentence is about.

The subject is what or whom the sentence is about. The subject is always a noun, a pronoun, or a phrase acting as a noun.

Which of these is a verb?

"Jog" is a verb. A verb expresses an action, an occurrence or a state of being.

A subject complement is _____.

A subject complement can be all three of these things. It follows a linking verb and describes the subject.

A transitive verb requires _______.

A transitive verb requires a direct object. One example is, "I found my keys." "Found" is the transitive verb.

Auxiliary verbs are ____ verbs.

Auxiliary verbs are helping verbs. These are placed in front of the main verb to form a verb phrase, as in "We will go to the store." "Will" is the auxiliary verb.

A verb and an auxiliary verb form a ______.

The verb plus the auxiliary verb form a verb phrase. This can also act as a predicate.

"I can swim!" What's the auxiliary verb?

"Can" is the auxiliary verb. "Swim" is the verb, and together they form a verb phrase.

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