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Some Easy Grammar Tips

Updated on September 30, 2011

Indirect Objects

Indirect objects should never give anybody any trouble.  They are as easy as they can be.  Here is an example:

I will throw Mr. Smith his hat.

The indirect object in this sentence is Mr. Smith.  Why?  Mr. Smith received the hat, thereby receiving a part of the action from the action verb throw.  Why is he not the direct object?  Easy.  Because you didn't throw Mr. Smith.  You threw the hat.  Therefore the hat is the direct object, because it went flying through the air.

Here is another example:

He mailed Susan a letter.

What is the indirect object?  Susan.  Why?  Because she received the letter, thereby receiving a part of the action from the action verb mailed.  Why is she the indirect object and not the direct object?  Because he did not mail Susan.

The Difference Between Adjectives and Adverbs

Some folks confuse adjectives and adverbs.  I did as a kid until I learned the knack.  They are both descriptive words that add details to a sentence.  The main difference is what questions they answer--adjectives answer which one, what kind, or how many.  Adverbs, on the other hand, answer how, when, or where.  The other difference between the two is that adjectives always tell more about a noun (or a pronoun), whereas adverbs tell about practically everything else: verbs, adjectives, and even other adverbs.

Example: The red dog ran happily down the avenue.

The adjective in that sentence is red.  This tells "what kind" about the noun dog.

The adverb in that sentence is happily.  It tells "how" about the verb run.

Example: The black cat climbed very saucily up the green apple tree.

What kind of cat?  Black.  What kind of tree? Green, apple.  All adjectives.

How did the cat climb?  Saucily.  How saucily?  Very saucily.  So both very and saucily are adverbs.

Finding the Past Participle (and other Principal Parts)

Verbs. You gotta love 'em. They are such useful words, and they take so many forms. Sometimes those forms give folks a headache. Maybe this technique can ease the pain.

When trying to find the past participle, you need to use a series of sentences that precede the verb in order to help direct your mind to the proper word form.

What is the past participle of fly? Give up?

Present: fly

Present participle: flying (notice the ing)

Past: flew

Past participle: flown

Here are the sentences you can use with any verb to find these:

I ____.

Now I am ____.

Yesterday I ____.

Often I have ____.

Now let's take another verb and put it into those sentences. Notice how nicely the parts fall into place. For this illustration let's use the verb run.

I run.

Now I am running. (Notice the ing.)

Yesterday I ran.

Often I have run.

You can easily find and name the principal parts. It becomes humorous if you find an odd verb and say that you have done it often! Let's see...

I vaporize.

Now I am vaporizing.

Yesterday I vaporized.

Often I have vaporized!

Try it! It's more like a game, and the more you play it, the better you will become at it.


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    • profile image

      reiswan dude 6 years ago

      good English hopes all are get understand

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Top Notch hub! Bookmarking this one. I had difficulty with this in school, so it is nice to be educated at my age. You make it so easy. Love it! Rated up. :)

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Nice work, Silver Poet. Fun.