Language Arts 8th Grade

What I've learned this year! By: Tristyn Landry

Chapter 1 The Sentence: Subjects, Predicates, and Kinds of Sentences

A sentence is a word group that contains a subject and a verb and that expresses a complete thought. A sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a period, a question mark, or an exclamation point. A sentence fragment is a word group that looks like a sentence but does not contain both a subject and a verb or does not express a complete thought.


Ex. Sentence Fragment- A butterfly with bright blue wings and long antennae. [This group of words has a subject (butterfly), but the verb is missing. What did the butterfly do?]

Sentence: A butterfly with bright blue wings and long antennae landed.



A subject tells whom or what the sentence is about. To find the subject, ask who or what is doing something or about whom or what something is being said. The complete subject consists of all the words that tell whom or what the sentence is about. The simple subject is part of the complete subject. The simple subject is the main word or word group that tells whom or what the sentence is about.


Ex. Subject: Are dalmatians very good watchdogs? [About what is something being said? Something is being said about Dalmatians.]



The predicate of a sentence tells something about the subject. The complete predicate consists of a verb and all the words that describe the verb and complete its meaning. Sometimes the complete predicate appears at the beginning of a sentence. In the following. In the following examples, vertical lines separate the complete subjects from the complete predicates. The simple predicate, or verb, is the main word or word group that tells something about the subject.


Ex. Under a large bush sat the tiny rabbit.



A compound subject consists of two or more connected subjects that have the same verb. The most common connecting words are and and or.


Ex. Among the guest speakers were an astronaut, an engineer, and a journalist.



A compound verb consists of two or more verbs that have the same subject. A connecting word-- usually and, or, or but-- is used between the verbs. In compound verbs, the helping verbs may not be repeated before the second verb if the helper is the same for both verbs.


Ex. Tristyn walked and talked to her teacher.



A declarative sentence makes a statement an ends with a period.


Ex. Curiosity is the beginning of knowledge.



An imperative sentence gives a command or makes a request. Most imperative sentences end with a period. A strong command ends with an exclamation point.


Ex. Stop Tristyn!



An interrogative sentence asks a question and ends with a question mark.


Ex. How do diamonds form?



An exclamatory sentence shows excitement or strong feeling and ends with an exclamation point.


Ex. Tristyn won free tickets!

Chapter 2 Parts of Speech Overview: Noun, Pronoun, Adjective

A noun is a word or word group that is used to name a person, a place, a thing, or an idea.


Ex. Tristyn likes flowers.



A compound noun is made up of two or more words used together as a single noun. The parts of a compound noun may be written as one word, as separate words, or as a hyphenated word.


Ex. One word- Basketball is a fun sport. Separate words- The fire drill went off at school today. Hyphenated word- You need self-control.



A common noun names any one of a group of persons, places, things, or ideas. A common noun generally does not begin with a capital letter. A proper noun names a particular person, place, thing, or idea. A proper noun begins with a capital letter.


Ex. Common noun- country

Proper noun- Spain, Ivory Coast



A concrete noun names a person, place, or thing that can be perceived by one or more of the senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell). An abstract noun names an idea, a feeling, a quality, or a characteristic.


Ex. Concrete noun- teacher

Abstract noun- knowledge



A collective noun is a word that names a group.


Ex. People: family, Animals: pack, Things: collection



A pronoun is a word used in place of one or more nouns or pronouns. The word that a pronoun stands for is called its antecedent.


Ex. Who invented the telephone?



A personal pronoun refers to the one speaking (first person), the one spoken to (second person), or the one spoken about (third person).


Ex. First Person- Last Spring, I visited my relatives. Second Person- Did you say that this pen is yours. Third Person- The coach gathered the players around her and gave them a pep talk.



A reflexive pronoun refers to the subject and functions as a compliment or an object of a preposition. An intensive pronoun emphasizes a noun or another pronoun. Notice that reflexive and intensive pronouns have the same form.


Ex. Reflexive pronoun- She is herself again. Intensive pronoun- I myself sold more than fifty tickets.



A demonstrative pronoun points out a person, a place, a thing, or an idea.


Ex. These are the names of those who volunteered.



An interrogative pronoun introduces a question.


Ex. Which player scored the most points?



A relative pronoun introduces a subordinate clause.


Ex. Tristyn is a person who enjoys hanging out with her friends.



An indefinite pronoun refers to a person, a place, a thing, or an idea that may or may not be specifically named.


Ex. Everyone completed the test before the bell rang.



An adjective is a word used to modify a noun or a pronoun.


Ex. stone house

Chapter 3 Parts of Speech Overview: Verb, Adverb, Preposition, Conjunction, Interjection

A verb is a word used to express action or a state of being. Verbs are classified in three ways- (1) as helping or main verbs, (2) as action or linking verbs, and (3) as transitive or intransitive verbs.


Ex. Tristyn is at her house.



A helping verb helps the main verb express action or a state of being.


Ex. Tristyn will be leading the orchestra tonight.



An action verb is a verb that expresses either physical or mental activity.


Ex. The scientist studied the ant colony.



A linking verb connects the subject to a word or word group that identifies or describes the subject.


Ex. The watermelon looks ripe.



A transitive verb is a verb that expresses an action directed toward a person, place, thing, or idea. An intransitive verb expresses action (or tells something about the subject) without the action passing to a receiver, or object.


Ex. Transitive- Tristyn swam ten laps.

Intransitive- Tristyn swam well.



An adverb is a word that modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. Adverbs may come before or after the words they modify. Adverbs may come between the parts of the verb phrases.


Ex. Slowly the man crawled down.



A preposition is a word that shows the relationship of a noun or pronoun, called the object of the preposition, to another word.


Ex. Tristyn is writing about her stay in the hospital.



All together, the preposition, the object of the preposition, and any modifiers of the object are called a prepositional phrase.


Ex. Tristyn climbed onto the crowded bus.



A conjunction is a word used to join words or groups of words.


Ex. Either help me the set the table now, or wash the dishes later.



An interjection is a word used to express emotion.


Ex. Aha, you've discovered the secret.

Chapter 4 Complements: Direct and Indirect Objects, Subject Complements

A complement is a word or a word group that completes the meaning of a verb.


Ex. I was hungry.



A direct object is a noun, pronoun, or word group that tells who or what receives the action of the verb.


Ex. Tristyn greets whoever enters her house.



An indirect object is a noun, pronoun, or word group that sometimes appears in sentences containing direct objects.


Ex. Tristyn was a collector of rare books.



A subject complement is a word or word group that completes the meaning of a linking verb and that identifies or describes the subject.


Ex. Tristyn is a dedicated friend.



A predicate nominative is a word or word group that is in the predicate and that identifies the subject or refers to it.


Ex. Tristyn's cousin is she.



A predicate adjective is an adjective that is in the predicate and that describes the subject.


Ex. The chili tastes spicy.

Chapter 5 The Phrase: Prepositional, Verbal, and Appositive Phrases

A phrase is a group of related words that is used as a single part of speech and that does not contain both a verb and its subject.


Ex. Tristyn is watching television.



A prepositional phrase includes a preposition, a noun, or pronoun called the object of the preposition, and any modifiers of that object.


Ex. The Seine River flows through Paris.



A propositional phrase that modifies a noun or a pronoun is called an adjective phrase.


Ex. Tristyn Landry is the one on the right.



A prepositional phrase that modifies a verb, an adjective, or an adverb is called an adverb phrase.


Ex. Tristyn is good at volleyball.



A participle is a verb form that can be use as an adjective.


Ex. Chosen for her leadership abilities, Tristyn was an effective team captain.



A participial phrase consists of a participle and any modifiers or complements the participle has. The entire phrase is used as an adjective.


Ex. After a while, we heard the duck quacking noisily at its own image.



A gerund is a verb form ending in -ing that is used as a noun.


Ex. Skiing down that slope was fun.



A gerund phrase consists of a gerund and any modifiers or complements the gerund has. The entire phrase is used as a noun.


Ex. Having a part-time job may interfere with your schoolwork.



An infinitive is a verb form that can be used as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. Most infinitives begin with to.


Ex. Tristyn likes to skate.



An infinitive phrase consists of an infinitive and any modifiers or complements the infinitive has. The entire phrase may be used as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb.


Ex. The crowd grew quiet to hear the speaker.



An appositive is a noun or a pronoun placed beside another noun or pronoun to identify or describe it.


Ex. I chose one person, her, to organize the volunteers.



An appositive phrase consists of an appositive and its modifiers.


Ex. Her sister, Tristyn, has brown hair.

Chapter 6 The Clause: Independent Clauses and Subordinate Clauses

A clause is a word group that contains a verb and its subject and that is used as a sentence or as part of a sentence. Every clause has a subject and a verb. However, not every clause expresses a complete thought. There are two kinds of clauses: the independent clause and the subordinate clause.


Ex. Complete thought: Writers gathered at the home of Tristyn Landry. (Writers-subject; gathered-verb) Incomplete thought: when she lived in Paris. (she-subject; lived-verb)



An independent (or main) clause expresses a complete thought and can stand by itself as a complete sentence.


Ex. After I finish studying, I will go to the movies. (I-subject; go-verb)



A subordinate (or dependent) clause does not express a complete thought and cannot stand by itself as a complete thought.


Ex. Tristyn told the police officers what she saw.



An adjective clause is a subordinate clause that modifies a noun or a pronoun.


Ex. Tristyn showed pictures that she had taken in Hawaii.



A relative pronoun relates an adjective clause to the word or words the clause modifies.


Ex. The magazine, which arrives in the mail today, is torn.



An adverb clause is a subordinate clause that modifies a verb, an adjective, or an adverb.


Ex. Tristyn can type faster than I can.



A noun clause is a subordinate clause that is used as a noun.


Ex. Tristyn and Erin remembered who she was.

Chapter 7 Sentence Structure: The Four Basic Sentence Structures

A simple sentence contains one independent clause and no subordinate clauses. A simple sentence may contain a compound subject, a compound verb, and any number of phrases.


Ex. Tristyn rides her bike.



A compound sentence contains two or more independent clauses and no subordinate clauses.


Ex. Erin led for half the distance, and then Tristyn took the lead.



A complex sentence contains one independent clause and at least one subordinate clause. Independent clauses can be interrupted by subordinate clauses.


Ex. All of the stars that we can see without a telescope are part of the Milky Way galaxy.



A compound-complex sentence contains two or more independent clauses and at least one subordinate clause.


Ex. When Tristyn left, she locked the door, but she forgot to turn off the lights.

Chapter 8 Agreement: Subject and Verb, Pronoun an Antecedent

When a word refers to one person, place, thing, or idea, it is singular in number. When a word refers to more than one person, place, thing, or idea, it is plural in number.


Ex. Singular- Tristyn; Plural-everyone



Singular subjects take singular verbs.


Ex. Tristyn is building a birdhouse.



Plural subjects take plural verbs.


Ex. Do any students know the answer?



The number of a subject is not changed by a phrase or clause following the subject.


Ex. Tristyn's brother, who has always enjoyed bicycle repair and maintenance, works at the bike shop on weekends.



The following indefinite pronouns are singular: anybody, anyone, anything, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, neither, nobody, nothing, no one, one, somebody, someone, and something.


Ex. One of the tapes belongs to Tristyn.



The following indefinite pronouns are plural: both, few, many, and several. The indefinite pronouns all, any, more, most, none, and some may be singular or plural, depending on their meaning in a sentence.


Ex.Was any of the music original, or you had heard it all before?



An expression of an amount may take a singular or plural pronoun, depending on how the expression is used.


Ex. Ten dollars is all I need. I think Tristyn can earn it over the weekend.



Some nouns that are plural in form take singular pronouns.


Ex. Tristyn spilled the molasses and had to clean it up.



Use a singular pronoun to refer to the title of a creative work (such as a book, song, movie, or painting).


Ex. After reading "Neighbors", I recommended it to Tristyn.



Use a singular pronoun to refer to the name of a country, city, or organization.


Ex. The Philippines is located in the southwest Pacific Ocean; it consists of thousands of islands.

Chapter 9 Using Verbs Correctly: Principal Parts, Regular and Irregular Verbs, Tense, Voice

The four principal parts of a verb are the base form, the present participle, the past, and the past participle.


Ex. Tristyn sings in the school Glee Club.



A regular verb forms its past and past participle by adding -d or -ed to the base form.


Ex. Tristyn used to work in the library.



An irregular verb forms its past an past participle in some other way than by adding -d or -ed to the base form.


Ex. Tristyn went to the shopping mall.



The tense of a verb indicates the time of the action or state of being expressed by the verb.


Ex. Tristyn has saved (present perfect) her money, and now she has (present) enough for a guitar.



Do not change needlessly from one tense to another. When describing events that occur at the same time, use verbs in the same tense.


Ex. Inconsistent- Suddenly the great door opened, and Tristyn comes into the dining hall. Consistent- Suddenly the great door opens, and Tristyn comes into the dining hall.



A verb in the active voice expresses an actin done by its subject. A verb in the passive voice expresses an action done to its subject.


Ex. Active Voice- Tristyn delivered the balloons. Passive Voice- The balloons were delivered by Tristyn.

Chapter 10 Using Pronouns Correctly: Case Forms of Pronouns; Special Pronoun Problems

The subject of a verb should be in the nominative case.


Ex. I like classical country music.



A predicate nominative should be in the nominative case. A predicate nominative is a noun or a pronoun that is in the predicate and that identifies or refers to the sunject of the verb.


Ex. The last one to leave was he.



A direct object should be in the objective case.


Ex. Tristyn surprised them.



An indirect object should be in the objective case.


Ex. Tristyn built her brother a footlocker.



An object of a preposition should be in the objective case.


Ex. Are you still planning to go to the movies with us?



The personal pronouns in the possessive case-my, mine, your, yours, his, her, hers, its, our, ours, their, theirs-are used to show ownership or possession. The possessive pronouns mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, and theirs are used as parts of a sentence in the same ways in which pronouns in the nominative and the objective cases are used.


Ex. Tristyn gave theirs her complete attention.



The possessive pronouns my, your, his, her, its, our, and their are used before nouns to show ownership or possession.


Ex. My wallet is on the desk.



The use of who or whom in a subordinate clause depends on how the pronoun functions in the clause.


Ex. Tristyn, whom I have met, is intelligent.



A pronoun is used as an appositive is in the same case as the word to which it refers.


Ex. The drama coach introduced the actors, Tristyn and me.

Chapter 11 Using Modifiers Correctly: Comparison and Placement

If a word in the predicate modifies the subject of the verb, use the adjective form. If it modifies the verb, use the adverb form.


Ex. Adjective- Her movements were awkward. Adverb- She moved awkwardly.



The three degrees of comparison are the positive, the comparative, and the superlative.


Ex. Positive- bad Comparative- worse Superlative- worst



Most one-syllable modifiers form the comparative degree by adding -er and the superlative degree by adding -est.


Ex. Positive- cold Comparative- colder Superlative- coldest



Two-syllable modifiers form the comparative degree by adding -er or using more and form the superlative degree by adding -est or using most.


Ex. Positive- often Comparative- more often Superlative- most often



Modifiers that have three or more syllables form the comparative degree by using more and the superlative degree by using most.


Ex. Positive- creative Comparative- more creative Superlative- most creative



To show a decrease in the qualities they express, modifiers form the comparative degree by using less and the superlative degree by using least.


Ex. Positive- safe Comparative- less safe Superlative- least safe



The comparative and superlative degrees of some modifiers are not formed by the usual methods.


Ex. Positive- much Comparative- more Superlative- most



Use the comparative degree when comparing two things. Use the superlative degree when comparing more than two.


Ex. Comparative- Tristyn can perform the gymnastic routine more gracefully than I. Superlative- Carter Lake is the deepest lake in the United States.



Include the word other or else when comparing one member of a group with the rest of the group.


Ex. Nonstandard- Tristyn can type faster than anyone in her computer class. Standard- Tristyn can type faster than anyone else in her computer class.



Avoid using double comparatives.


Ex. Nonstandard- The Asian elephant is more smaller than the African elephant. Standard- The Asian elephant is smaller than the African elephant.



Avoid using double negatives.


Ex. Nonstandard- She couldn't hardly talk. Standard- She could hardly talk.



Place modifying words, phrases, and clauses as near as possible to the words they modify.


Ex. Tristyn has seen almost all of the documentaries directed by Camille Billops.



A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition, a noun or pronoun called the object of the preposition, and any modifiers of that object.


Ex. Tristyn said it might get colder before sunset.



A participial phrase consists of a verb form- either a present participle or a past participle- and any modifiers or complements the participle has, A participle phrase modifies a noun or a pronoun.


Ex. Yelling wildly, Tristyn chased the stagecoach.



An adjective clause is a subordinate clause that modifies a noun or a pronoun.


Ex. A little boy who was lost walked up to Tristyn.