Grammar - Syntactic Explorations


This section covers the basic parts of speech categories, while allowing students to see that they already have strong intuitions about these, and that the traditional meaning-based definitions (a noun is a person, place, or thing; a verb is an action or state) are insufficient. Instead, they will discover tools to employ in determining parts of speech. Discussion of the stigmas associated with certain variations (typically deemed “incorrect”) and that they are based on socially-determined biases rather than linguistic fact is incorporated throughout via investigation of linguistic patterns and exploration of the origins of some of the prescribed rules, thereby allowing writers to make informed choices.


Part 1: Nouns

Lesson 1.1 : Introduction to Nouns – Nouns and Unconscious Knowledge

Lesson 1.2: Noun Morphology - tests for nouns (noun suffix table)

Lesson 1.3: Noun Syntax - more tests for noun (noun morph and syn chart)

Lesson 1.4: Pronouns


Part 2: Verbs

Lesson 2.1: Introduction to Verbs – Verbs and unconscious knowledge

Lesson 2.2 Verb Morphology - test for verbs

Lesson 2.3: Verb Forms - Infinitive, Present, Past

Lesson 2.4: Past and Present Participles

Lesson 2.5: Main Verbs and Auxiliary Verbs


Part 3: Clauses

Lesson 3.1: Introduction to Clauses

Lesson 3.2: Identifying Clauses Using Tag Questions

Lesson 3.3: Identifying Clauses Using Subject-Auxiliary Inversion

Lesson 3.4: Subject-Auxiliary Inversion and Fragments

Lesson 3.5: Restrictive and Non-Restrictive Relative Clauses - and punctuation again


Part 4: Adjectives, Adverbs, and Prepositions

Lesson 4.1: Adjective Morphology and Syntax

Lesson 4.2: Verb or Adjective – Understanding Passive

Lesson 4.3: Adverbs

Lesson 4.4: Degree Words

Lesson 4.5: More on Adverbs and Other Modifiers – and Punctuation!

Lesson 4.6: Prepositions

Lesson 4.7: PPs and Subject-Verb Agreement

Lesson 4.8: Prepositions or Particles? Learning about Phrasal Verbs