ABCs of English Grammar

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Course Description

This self-paced online course will provide you with a review of the grammar and writing skills necessary when taking any high school or college test, or with your everyday work-related writing and correspondence.

Divided up into 15 easy-to-understand lessons, this grammar course concentrates on usage, the mechanics of a sentence, spelling, and a general review of grammatical problem areas. Each lesson focuses on frequent errors, gives examples, suggests strategies, and offers further study guides.

This course is ideal for all types of students who want to get an edge on taking a high school, college, or a job related English exam and anyone wishing to update and improve their grammar skills.

The Parts of Speech 

Traditional grammar identifies eight parts of speech in the English language, namely: verb, noun, pronoun, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction and interjection. Each part has a function within a sentence; the function each part of speech serves identifies what part of speech it is. Each part connects to the other in some way to form sentences with meaning and which are grammatically correct. This quick reference does not cover the multitude of grammatical rules of the English language as it pertains to the parts of speech; however, it is a great summary and starting point for future lessons. Don't worry about memorizing every detail in the flowcharts below; we will go over specific details later in the course.

The Verb


The finer points of verbs include the following information.

The last types of verbs are Helping Verbs . There are twenty-three helping verbs. Their sole purpose is to help action verbs and linking verbs. Transitive passive verbs ALWAYS need a helping verb to make a sentence complete. If you can, try to memorize them.

The twenty-three helping verbs are:

be, am, is, are, was, were, been, being, have, has, had, could, should, would, may, might, must, shall, can, will, do, did, does.

Examples of how helping verbs work in a sentence:

The ball will be kicked by Bob. (Transitive passive).

The helping verb will is helping kicked; without the action verb kicked, the helping verb will has no clear meaning. Without willthe sentence would read: The ball be kicked by Bob.

Bob was kicked by Bill. (Transitive passive).

The helping verb was is helping kicked in this sentence too. Without it, the sentence would make no sense. Without was the sentence would read: Bob kicked by Bill.


The action verb kicked can stand alone: Bob kicked Bill.

The linking verb stay can stand alone: Bob stay here.

The helping verb was cannot stand alone: Bob was.

The Noun


Here are the finer points of nouns and a few rules to learn and memorize.

Singular versus Plural nouns. Singular nouns name one thing. Plural nouns name more than one thing.

Most singular nouns can be made plural just by adding an s at the end.

Examples: towns, students, flocks, bouquets, ships, cats, flags, pens, dogs, apples, and others.

Here are the exceptions to adding an at the end of a noun to make it plural.


If the noun ends with s, ch, sh, x, or z, then add es to make it plural.

Examples: waitress = waitresses, witch=witches, dish=dishes, fox=foxes, and buzz=buzzes. 


If the noun ends with y and the preceding letter is a consonant, not a vowel, remove the y and add ies to make it plural.

Examples: Sky=skies, fly=flies, and try=tries.

Words that end with the letter f 


Most words that end with the letter can be made plural by adding s at the end. Here are the exceptions to that rule:

There are thirteen (13) nouns that cannot be made plural with the letter s . The is removed and ves is added, and those thirteen nouns are:

Calf, half, knife, life, wife, elf, self, shelf, leaf, sheaf, thief, loaf, and wolf.

The plural forms of those nouns are:

Calves, halves, knives, lives, wives, elves, selves, shelves, leaves, sheaves, thieves, loaves, and wolves.

There are four (4) nouns that end in that can be made plural by adding s or ves at the end, they are:

Dwarf, hoof, scarf, and wharf.

The plural forms of these nouns are:

Dwarf=dwarfs or dwarves, hoof=hoofs or hooves, scarf=scarfs or scarves, and wharf=wharfs or wharves.

Either plural form is proper and correct.

Concrete versus Abstract nouns (abstract nouns are also called "idea" nouns)

concrete noun is a noun that you can take in with the five senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, or smell).

An abstract noun or idea noun is something that cannot be observed by the five senses.

Concrete noun examples are: steak, perfume, computer, eggs, apples, phone, sun, breeze, rain, snow, and others.

Abstract or idea noun examples are: love, trust, value, bravery, understanding, empathy, knowledge, and kindness.

If you are uncertain whether the noun is concrete or abstract, just ask yourself, "Can I touch, see, hear, taste, or smell this?" If so then it is a concrete noun; if not, then it is an abstract noun.

The Pronoun


The Adjective


The finer points of adjectives are presented below.

Articles. Articles are a special type of adjective. They are determiners in that they determine the definiteness and specificity of the noun they precede.

There are only three articles: the, a, an.

The is a definite article, because it indicates a specific person, place, or thing:

The book, the apple, and the knowledge.

A and an are indefinite articles because they do not indicate a specific person, place, or thing:

A book, an apple, a knowledge.


You should read a book. (Which book? "A" book.)

She read the book. (Which book? "The" book.)

Instead of reading a book, she ate an apple. (Which apple? An apple.)

Proper adjectives.   Adjectives that answer the descriptive question, "What kind?" and are also proper names, should be capitalized the same way that proper nouns are capitalized.


American values, French toast, Italian bread, and Shakespearian play.

Positives, Comparatives, Superlatives.   These refer to the degree or level of the adjective, or are used to compare adjectives.


Hot=positive, hotter=comparative, and hottest=superlative.

Cool=positive, cooler=comparative, and coolest=superlative.

In addition to degree or level, comparatives are used to compare two things.

Scott is nicer than Richard.

In addition to degree or level, superlatives are used to compare three or more things.

Scott is the smartest person in the school.

The Adverb



The finer points of adverbs follow.

People often confuse adjectives with adverbs. Remember:

Adverbs modify or describe verbs, adjectives, or another adverb.

Adjectives modify or describe nouns as well as pronouns!

Adverbs answer the question, "How?"

Adverbs often end in ly .


Good versus Well. Good is an adjective; well is an adverb.


She did a good job (good is the adjective describing the noun job).

She did well on the job. (well describes or answers the question, "How?" How did she do on the job? "Well.")

The Preposition





The finer points of the preposition follow.

The prepositions off, in, and to, are the most frequently used words in the English language.

There is a list of prepositions. There are approximately 150 prepositions in the English language. However, the prepositions used most frequently are as follows:

About, below, excepting, off, toward, above, beneath, for, on, under, across, beside(s), from, onto, underneath, after, between, in, out, until, against, beyond, in front of, outside, up, along, but, inside, over, upon, among, by, in spite of, past, up to, around, concerning, instead of, regarding, with, at, despite, into, since, within, because of, down, like, through, without, before, during, near, throughout, with regard to, behind, except, of, to, with respect to.

The Conjunction




The Interjection


The finer points of interjections follow.

Interjections do not always have to come at the beginning of a sentence, although they often do. Sometimes they appear in the middle or at the end of a sentence as well. When interjections appear at the end or middle of the sentence, they should be punctuated with a comma or commas.


It's raining again, yikes!

Can you believe,oh boy , that it's raining again?

Interjections can be sounds: Ouch! Ug! Eew! Phew! Shhh!


Phew! The baby needs a diaper change.

The baby pulled my hair, ouch!

Interjections are like pepper; they spice up sentences and add mild or strong emotion to the overall meaning.
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Course Lessons

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Lesson 1: Introduction to Grammar

This first lesson will provide an overview and set a guide for this course. 1 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Review Practice Worksheet: optional-WordSearch-Activity-7080.pdf
  • Take Survey: Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: Introduction

Lesson 2: Subject and Predicate

The definitions and examples of a subject and predicate. 63 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Review 4 Practice Worksheets
  • Review 2 Articles: Identifying the Subject and Predicate Exercise; Subject and Verb Agreement
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Exercise: Subject and Predicate Agreement
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Exercise: Subject Verb Agreement
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Exam: Subject and Predicate

Lesson 3: Nouns and Pronouns

This lesson defines nouns and the different forms of pronouns. 58 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Review 5 Practice Worksheets
  • Review 2 Articles: Pronoun Central; Compound Nouns
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Exercise: Find the Subject Noun
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Exercise: Case of Nouns and Pronouns
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Exercise: Pronoun Substitution
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Exercise: Correct Pronoun Use
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Exercise: Nouns and Pronouns
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Exercise: Using the Correct Pronoun

Lesson 4: Verb Tenses

This lesson discusses the three main tenses of verbs and their sub-categories. 57 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Review 10 Practice Worksheets
  • Review 2 Articles: Verb Tense Worksheets; Intro to Verb Tenses
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Exercise: Find the Verb
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Exercise: Recognizing Verb Tenses
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Exercise: Simple Present Verb Tenses
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Exam: Verbs

Lesson 5: Common Irregular Verbs

Common Irregular Verbs 17 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Review 5 Practice Worksheets
  • Review 2 Articles: Irregular Verbs Exercise 1; Past Participle Practice
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Exercise: Irregular Verbs
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Exam: Irregular Verbs

Lesson 6: Adjectives and Adverbs

Adjectives and Adverbs 50 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Review 5 Practice Worksheets
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Exercise: Identifying Adjectives and Adverbs
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Exercise: Adjectives and Adverbs
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Exercise: Comparative and Superlative Adjectives
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Exam: Adjectives and Adverbs

Lesson 7: The Phrase

Phrases are sections or part of a sentence that impart additional information but don't contain both a subject and verb. 34 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Review Practice Worksheet: optional-WordSearch-Activity-7082.pdf
  • Review 2 Articles: Prepositional Phrases: Diagnostic Quiz practice; Grammar Bytes: Recognizing Prepositional Phrases
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Exercise: Identify the Preposition
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Exam: The Phrase

Lesson 8: The Clause

The clause is a more complete group of words than a phrase. 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Review 5 Practice Worksheets
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Exam: The Clause

Lesson 9: Review the Mechanics of a Sentence

This lesson will define and provide examples of errors that form various sentence forms (such as a run-on sentence). This lesson will also provide a review of punctuation rules, capitalization rules, and the role of modifiers. 105 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Review 5 Practice Worksheets
  • Review 2 Articles: Connectives Practice Quiz; Sentence Fragments
  • Complete Assignment: Sentence Corrections
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Exercise: Run-On sentences
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Exercise: Sentence Logic

Lesson 10: The Role of Modifiers

Here we discuss how sentence meaning can be misconstrued with simple word misplacement and how to fix it. 37 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Modifier Placement; Noun Modifiers
  • Complete Assignment: Modifiers
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Exam: Modifiers

Lesson 11: Introduction to Capitalization

This lesson is a basic introduction for capitalization. 20 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Capitalization; Capitalization Quiz
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Exam: Capitalization

Lesson 12: Introduction to Punctuation

This lesson is an introduction to basic punctuation. 26 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Review Article: Punctuation Quiz
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Exercise: Sentence Punctuation
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Exam: Punctuation

Lesson 13: Review of Spelling

This lesson will provide a guide of frequently misspelled words as well as a spelling guide strategy list. 20 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Review 6 Practice Worksheets
  • Review 3 Articles: Ten Tips for Better Spelling; Syllable Quiz; Spelling Rules
  • Complete: Lesson 13 Exercise: Spelling Review A
  • Complete: Lesson 13 Exercise: Spelling Review B

Lesson 14: Review of Diction

This lesson will discuss the powerful role of words in a sentence and the frequent errors that tend to occur. 0 Total Points
  • Review Practice Worksheet: optional-WordSearch-Activity-7089.pdf
  • Review 2 Articles: Words Commonly Misused or Confused; Word Usage Tips

Lesson 15: Summary and Additional Resources

Additional Resources 382 Total Points
  • Take Poll: End of Course Poll
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Recognize the subject and predicate of any sentence.
  • Know the differences between nouns and pronouns.
  • Be comfortable with forming sentences with the correct verb tenses.
  • Recognize irregular verbs.
  • Differentiate between adjectives and adverbs and use them properly in sentences.
  • Understand what is meant by a Phrase.
  • Identify the Clause.
  • Break down the mechanics of a sentence.
  • Identify the role of modifiers and use them correctly.
  • Correctly use capitalization in writing.
  • Correctly punctuate sentences.
  • Avoid common spelling problems, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

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Course Title: ABCs of English Grammar
Course Number: 7550403
Course Requirements: View Course Requirements
Lessons Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars (6,962 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Course Type: General Education (Self-Paced, Online Class)
CEU Value: 1.5 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Daphnee St.Val
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $50.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $75.00

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