Links to Western Grammar Online. . .

What is . . . ? What are . . . ? -- quick reference links to key grammatical terms

These links will give you the opportunity to browse in Western Grammar On-line, the older version of Western Grammar, not the new WebCT Western Grammar.

This menu of terms in the seven modules might be useful for sharpening your awareness of terms. The text for the lessons here in Western Grammar Online is essentially the same as in the WebCT version. These links take you to the particular place in a lesson where the term occurs.

Use the WebCT version for quizzes and tests. This version has only two sample questions of each quiz.

You can return here with the BACK button after exploring a term.

Each of the links here will take you to a particular module at the top or the bottom of which you can find a link back to the Western Grammar On-line main menu.

Scroll down this page for an overview of all seven modules.

Module 1

parts of speech subjects predicates objects

main clause (or principal clause) subordinate clause (or dependent clause)

article noun pronoun possessive pronoun participial phrase preposition

verb auxiliaries predicate

intransitive verbs

linking verbs copula verb transitive verbs

subject complement subjective completion

predicate noun predicate adjective

subordinate conjunction subordinator

Module 2

noun phrase prepositional phrase participial phrase present participle past participle

types of subject

noun phrase

verbal phrase

infinitive infinitive phrase

gerund gerund phrase

noun clause

Module 3

fragments run-ons and comma splices commas colons and semi-colons
Quotation Marks Hyphens Dashes and Parentheses non-restrictive phrases and clauses

Module 4

dangling and misplaced participial phrases active and passive voices subject-verb agreement

Module 5

pronoun agreement pronoun reference pronoun case

ambiguous reference weak reference empty reference the improper use of broad reference ambiguity

Module 6

coordination subordination parallelism sentence variety

faulty parallelism faulty parallelism in lists faulty parallelism with auxiliaries

faulty parallelism with correlative conjunctions false comparisons coordinate structures

Module 7

fragments comma splices and run-ons placement of commas

dangling and misplaced participial phrases inappropriate use of the passive voice

subject-verb agreement

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The following section is under construction, but will offer additional grammatical help when completed:

What is a noun? -- A noun is a person, place, or thing, which functions grammatically as a subject, an object of a verb, or as an object of a preposition in clause, whether a main clause or a subordinate clause.

What is a pronoun? -- A pronoun is . . .

What is a relative pronoun? -- A relative pronoun raises a question about its antecedent (its subject) -- who? whom? which? that? are relative pronouns

What is a subject? -- A subject is . . .

What is a verb? -- A verb is . . .

What is an object? -- An object is . . .

What is a preposition? -- A preposition is . . .

What is a clause? -- A clause is a group of related words which has both a subject and a predicate.

What is a phrase? -- A clause is different from a phrase because a phrase is a group of related words which lacks either a subject or a predicate or both.

What do adjectives modify? -- Adjectives modify noun or other adjective words, phrases or clauses.

What is an adjective clause? -- Adjective clauses modify nouns or pronouns. An adjective clause nearly always appears immediately following the noun or pronoun.

What do adverbs modify? -- Adverbs modify verb, adjective or other adverb words, phrases or clauses.

What is an adverb phrase? --

What is an adverb clause? --

What is a noun phrase? --

What is a noun clause? --

What is a verbal? --

What is a verbal phrase? --



Tip: Test for an adjective clause by turning the clause into a question, the answer to which will connect the relative pronoun to its antecedent--its subject.

EXAMPLE: Here is the key which will open the door. Question: "which will open the door"? Answer: the key--which will open the door is a subordinate adjective clause modifying the noun key. The subject of the adjective clause is the relative pronoun which.

Most subordinate adjective clauses begin with one of these relative pronouns: who, whom, which or that.

Sometimes the relative pronoun may be understood.

The words that or who, for example, may not specifically be in a sentence, but they could be implied. To determine the subject of a clause, ask who? or what? and then insert the verb.

Example of a subordinate adjective clause with that:

The book that is on the floor should be returned to the library.

Example of a subordinate adjective clause with that absent, but implied:

The book on the floor should be returned to the library.

Tip: In your grammatical analysis, use the guideline: ask who? or what? and then insert the verb. Who should be returned? OR What should be returned?

Obviously, the book! Therefore, book is the subject of the clause--that is on the floor.

Here is the grammatical description:

that is on the floor is a subordinate adjective clause modifying the noun book, which is subject of the sentence.


Occasionally, an adjective clause is introduced by a relative adverb, --a when, where, or why adjective clause

Example: Home is the place where you relax.

In your grammatical analysis, determine the subject--ask who or what and insert the verb: Who or what "is the place" ?

Obviously, "home"!

Therefore, home is the subject of the subordinate adjective clause, where the heart is.

Here is the grammatical description:

where the heart is is an adjective clause modifying the noun home, which is the subject of the sentence.


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