Writing Study Guide

Submitted By Araconan
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Writing Study Guide
All sentences consist of two major sections; the subject (who/what you're talking about) and the predicate (what we're saying about that someone or something)
1. Noun/pronoun (simple subject) a) Can be compound, linked by "and", "or", or "nor"
1. Verb a) Can be compound, linked by "and", "or", "nor", "yet", or "but"
2. Complement (describing the verb) a) Direct Object (things that are directly affected by the verb) i) Objective Complements (follow the direct object, describing it) ii) Direct Objects are required by transitive verbs (eg. hate) b) Indirect Object (the person, place, or thing to whom or for whom the subject performs the action) c) Subjective Complement (noun, adjective, or pronoun that's used alongside a linking verb such as "be", "become", feel", "look", "seem," smell", "sound", "taste" etc)

Common Problems in Grammar and Usage
Sentence Fragments:
Caused through either have two independent clauses connected through a comma, or when two sentences are combined together even though they should be separate.
Correction Methods:
1. Use a period
2. Connect the independent clauses by a coordinating (and, or, nor, yet, but, for, so) or subordinating conjunction
3. Insert a semicolon
Subject-Verb Agreement:
Must agree in person and number
1. Compound subject takes a plural verb a) Unless the compound subject refers to a single person or thing b) Title of a work of art always takes a singular verb c) Collective nouns are treated as singular i) When a collective noun is used to refer to individual members of a group, it's considered a plural noun ii) "the" can commonly indicate singularity, eg. "the number", "the variety" "a" can commonly indicate plurality, eg. "a number", "a variety" d) Some nouns look plural, but are actually singular, such as "Economics", or "dominoes" e) Nouns that are made of two connected parts are plural, eg. "eyeglasses", "scissors", unless they are referred to as "a pair of", at which they're singular

Pronoun-Verb Agreement:
1. Common singular pronouns include: each, either, neither, someone, everything, somebody, nobody
2. Singular subjects linked by "either or" or "neither nor" team up with singular verbs i) if there are both plural and singular subjects, the nearest one to the pronoun affects it
3. "few, many, and several" are plural

Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement:
Antecedents are the nouns or pronouns used to which the pronoun refers, or possibly defers
1. Common antecedent singular pronouns are: any, anybody, anyone, each, either, every, everybody, everyone, neither, nobody, no one, somebody, or someone
2. Plural antecedents are matched with plural pronouns
3. When more than one antecedent exists with both singular and plural subjects, proximity affects the pronoun

Key Things to Remember:
General Reminders:
1. Always circle the subject
2. If you can't find a mistake, don't try to force one
3. For questions involving changes phrases, always insert the changed phrase back into the question to ensure that it makes sense
4. In questions concerned with wordiness, go with the shorter answer
5. Always pay attention to short phrases followed by a comma, they might be dangling participles
6. Be careful to identify what " it" is referring to, and make sure it's referring to the correct thing in sentence improvement questions

General Grammar Reminders:
1. Data is plural
2. Participles must describe clearly the subject, be especially wary of long phrases that describe a verb (they are used as distracters)
3. Subjects don't have to be people or things, they can be abstract ideas like "an increase"
4. If the "u" sounds like a "y" as in "university", the word before is "a", not "an"
5. Be really careful with gerunds, it's always a possessive case that comes before it. Eg. "tired of your feigning malaise" as opposed to "tired of