Blog Archive

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Learning Grammar Basics (Grammar #1)

     I've been pondering what to do for my grammar blogs. For a while I just didn't really know what to do. I guess I could start with the most basic of things, and see where they go. So first off, I think it is most fitting to start out with identifying sentences. Let's start now. 

     That was an imperative sentence. Imperative sentences gives a command or makes a request. These types of sentences most often end with periods, although they can occasionally end with exclamation points. I like imperative sentences a lot. 

     That was an example of a declarative sentence. Declarative sentences make a statement or expresses an opinion. In this case, I am stating an opinion when I say I like imperative sentences a lot. Declarative sentences always end with a period. If there is an exclamation point, then that would be an exclamatory sentence. 

     An exclamatory sentence expresses emotion and ends with an exclamation point. In our earlier sentence, we could change it from declarative to exclamatory by adding an exclamation point. Then I am expressing happiness and joy, stating I like imperative sentences a lot! Are we almost done with this lesson yet?

     That was an example of an interrogative sentence. Interrogative sentences ask questions. These sentences often begin with who, what, where, etc.. These sentences end with question marks. 

    Now we know the four types of sentences. Let's put our newfound knowledge to good use and practice identifying sentences from various texts! (That was an imperative sentence). We'll be looking at Jacob's "The Monkey's Paw".  Alright, let's begin!

The first sentence of the story is a doozie. “Without, the night was cold and wet, but in the small parlour of Laburnam Villa the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly.”

This is a declarative sentence, as it is declaring a statement, saying the night was cold, but the Laburnam Villa was warm inside. Sometimes identifying the types of sentences can be hard, but if you use the process of elimination, it is very straightforward. The sentence didn't end with a question mark, so it cannot be an interrogative sentence. It did not end with an exclamation mark, so it is not an exclamatory sentence. Lastly, the sentence did not give a command or a request, so it cannot be an imperative sentence. The only other choice is declarative. Using this logic, try to figure out the next few sentences.

1. “And if they could, how could two hundred pounds hurt you, father?”

2. “In the brightness of the wintry sun next morning as it streamed over the breakfast table he laughed at his fears.”

3. “Well, wish for two hundred pounds, then; that'll just do it.”

4. "Is he hurt?"

5. “It's my boy; it's Herbert!”

Well, how was it? Here's the answer key:

1: Interrogative 
2: Declarative 
3: Imperative 
4: Interrogative
5: Exclamatory 

Number 5 was a little tricky. It seems like it is declaring a statement, but there is an exclamation point, so it is really expressing surprise as the old woman cries out for her son in Monkey's Paw.

That wraps up grammar lesson number 1. Stay tuned for the next one!

- Jack Goodenough

Excerpts From: W. W. Jacobs. “The Monkey's Paw / The Lady of the Barge and Others, Part 2.” iBooks. 
This material may be protected by copyright.