Monday, October 5, 2009

Lecture 4: Grammar - Focus on Subjects, Predicates & Complements

  • Review Subjects and Predicates
  • Activity
  • Review Complements
  • Activity
  • Review Adjectives and Adverbs
  • Newspaper Activity
  • Homework

  • The subject part of a sentence names whom or what the sentence is about. 
  • It is the part of the sentence about which something is being said.
The children are learning
Who is learning? The children?
The subject = the children.

  • The predicate part of the sentence tells what the subject does or has. 
  • It can also describe what the subject is or is like.
The children are learning.
What are the children doing? Learning.
The predicate = learning

This might seem silly, but this video is an excellent reminder of subjects and predicates. After watching this, you will have absolutely no trouble differentiating between a subject and a predicate:

Indirect Objects
  • Indirect: a word(s) denoting the person or thing indirectly affected by the action.
  • It is the person to whom or thing to which something is done.
  • A sentence cannot contain an indirect object without also containing a direct object.
  • An indirect object is really a prepositional phrase in which the preposition to or for is not stated but understood.
  • The indirect object always comes between the verb and the direct object.
  • The indirect object always modifies the verb.

Direct Objects
  • Direct object = noun that completes the verb and receives the action
“He hit the ball.”
Direct object = ball (what was hit?)
  • We can usually identify the direct object by asking who or what was affected by the subject.
We bought a new computer
Q. What did we buy?
A. A new computer ( = the direct object)
  • The direct object generally comes after the verb, just as the subject generally comes before it. So in a declarative sentence, the usual pattern is:
Subject - Verb - Direct Object

  • Objective complement
  • a noun or an adjective that completes the action expressed in the verb
  • refers to the direct object
  • A complement is any word or phrase that completes the sense of a subject, an object or a verb.
  • Note: the terminology describing predicates and complements can overlap and be a bit confusing.
  • An objective complement follows and modifies or refers to a direct object.
  • It can be a noun or adjective or any word acting as a noun or adjective.

Comparatives and Superlatives

Listen to Grammar Girl's podcast:
"Comparatives vs. Superlatives

When you’re comparing items, you need to notice if you’re comparing two things or more than two things.

When you compare two items, you’re using what’s called a comparative, so you use “more” before the adjective or the suffix “-er” on the end of it. You can remember that comparatives are for two thing because “comparative” has the sound “pair” in it and a pair is always two things. It's not spelled like “pair” but it sounds like pair.

When you compare three or more items, you’re using a superlative, so you use “most” or the suffix “-est.” You can remember that superlatives are for more than two things because “superlative” has the word “super” in it and when you want a whole bunch of something, you supersize it.

So to think about it loosely, use a comparative when you have a pair of things and a superlative when you have a supersized group (at least more than two)."


Remember, no class next week: THANKSGIVING

Read: Chapter 5 and Chapter 7 in Correct Writing.

Read “Thx for the Iview! I Wud (heart) 2 Work 4 U!! ;) in Exploring Language.

Post your ransom letter to the blog as an image. As a reminder, here are the assignment guidelines:

Create a ransom note
Decide to whom you’ll send it and what you’ll hold for ransom
Include three examples of:
  • Direct and indirect objects (highlight direct objects in green, indirect objects in yellow)
  • Comparatives and superlatives (comparatives should be underlined with a wavy line, superlatives with a double wavy line)
  • Complements, object and verb (object complements should be circled, verb complements have a rectangle)
  • Subjects and predicates (underline subjects once, underline predicates twice)


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