The course is structured so that chunks of information will be followed with small sections of exercises – so that you can practice what you have learned. There will be an official exam at the end of the course, so don’t worry if you choose not to do the exercises during the course – they’re just to make sure that you have understood what you have read, and are entirely optional.
As a side note, this course uses American English spellings of certain words (such as “lightsaber” instead of “lightsabre”); however, this does not mean that the British English spellings are wrong. The one exception to this is the word “lightsaber” itself. Because George Lucas, and subsequent Star Wars sources, use the American spelling, the word is essentially canon, and therefore should always be spelled using the American form.
- Subject – this is the entity or character that carries out an action in a sentence (e.g. Cats eat fish)
- Object – this is the entity or character to which an action is carried out (e.g. Cats eat fish)
- Verb – this is the word which denotes the main action of a sentence (e.g. Cats eat fish)
- Adverb – this denotes how the verb is done (e.g. Cats eat fish slowly)
- Noun – this is a word that is used to denote a particular class of persons, places or things (e.g. Cats eat fish)
- Adjective – this is used to describe a noun. (e.g. Black cats eat slimy fish)
- Pronoun – this is a word that can be used in place of a noun in a sentence. (e.g. They eat fish)
- Relative Pronoun – this is a word that introduces a subordinate clause, and also replaces a noun in that subordinate clause. The pronoun in English always refers back to the noun that directly precedes it in the sentence. (e.g. Cats eat fish, which live in the sea)
- Subordinate Clause – a subordinate clause provides additional information about a sentence. As it is introduced by a Relative Pronoun, it almost always refers to the noun that directly precedes it in a sentence. (e.g. Cats eat fish, which live in the sea).
- Preposition – in, with, from, by, upon, to – these are all examples of preposition. The preposition is sometimes known as the “locative”. (e.g. Cats eat fish, which live in the sea)
- Participle – this is a variation of a verb, and exists in only two tenses: present and imperfect. A participle can be thought of as a combination between a verb and adjective. (e.g. Injured cats eat leaping fish)
A basic definition of sentence is “a self-contained unit, divulging information in a set structure”. A sentence must always have a subject and a verb before it can be considered a sentence (e.g. I run). However, be aware that certain verbs require an object, and cannot be used without one. These are called transitive verbs (e.g. He lifted a pillow). A verb that does not require an object is called an intransitive verb, and is capable of making up a sentence on its own (e.g. The dog barked).
Other types of grammatical structure can be added to embellish your sentence. Thus, you are able to describe a noun using an adjective, and a verb using an adverb. Remember, an adverb describes a verb, and an adjective describes a noun. By adding in extra little words, it is possible to make your sentence more complex, and more enjoyable to read (e.g. The big, black dog barked loudly and scarily).
Let’s move on to subordinate clauses. These are an advanced type of structure, and will help your sentences hang together with much more finesse than a simple sentence on its own (e.g. I have lived in this town, in which I was born, for less than half my life instead of I was born in this town. I have lived in this town for less than half my life). A subordinate clause is a way of joining two sentences together, with the use of a relative pronoun, to form one complex sentence instead of two simple sentences. One thing you must be careful of with subordinate clauses, however, is that your relative pronoun must be governed by the preposition present in the original sentence.
There are four types of sentences when you talk about structure: simple, complex, compound, and complex-compound. A simple sentence contains only one independent clause and no subordinate clauses. A complex sentence contains only one independent clause and at least one subordinate clause. A compound clause contains at least two independent clauses without any subordinate clauses. A complex-compound sentence is just what it sounds: a combination of a complex and compound sentence, meaning that it has at least two independent clauses and at least one subordinate clause.
To form a compound clause, you join the two independent clauses with a conjunction and/or with a punctuation mark, such as a semicolon. A conjunction is a connecting word like “and,” “but,” “however,” and “or.”
Consider the following example:
“I was born in this town. I have lived in this town less than half my life.”
- Decide which sentence is the dominant one – in other words, which conveys the primary information?
- Find the preposition in the sentence, should there be one. (In this case, in)
- Write your sentence.
Your finished product will either be:
“I have lived in this town, in which I was born, for less than half my life.”
“I was born in this town, in which I have lived less than half my life.”
Now consider this example: “Cats eat fish. Fish live in the sea.”
Can you work out how to make the second sentence a clause subordinate to the first?
In English, there are two most frequently used relative pronouns. T