Show a little love to the basics: Part 1

No matter how old I get or what I’m writing I always find myself trying to remember some of the things I learned as a child in school. So, what better than to start things off than with a refresher course. So, I’ve put together a quick cheat-sheet with some easy to understand explanations of common writing and grammar terms and concepts. For your benefit, but probably more so for mine!

Here’s a couple of the sites I used to compile this list:



A word used to describe an action, occurrence, or state of being.

Words to describe doing something.

Example: Damage, Hang, Hug, Mix.


A word or phrase that modifies or qualifies an adjective, verb, or other adverb expressing a relation of place, time, circumstance

In a sense, it’s how, when, or where something is occurring

Example: Always, Accidentally, Somewhere, Underground, Eagerly, Loudly, Patiently


A word or phrase naming an attribute added to or grammatically related to a noun to modify or describe it

Descriptive words.

Example: Red, Silly, Broad, Inexpensive, Adorable


A unit of grammatical organization. The main clause is a standalone sentence usually consisting of a subject and a predicate. A subordinate clause forms part of and is dependent on a main clause, often introduced by a conjunction.

Part of a sentence that can stand alone as a complete sentence, or is a complete sentence when used in conjunction with the main clause.


The part of a sentence or clause containing a verb and stating something about the subject

The part of a sentence that talks about what the subject is doing.

Example: The cat hurried home.


Words that are used as replacements or substitutes for nouns and have a general reference.

Example: I, You, he, this, she, who, what. Sometimes objective forms: Him, me, Her

Run-on sentences:

The Written sequence of two or more main clauses that are not separated by a period or semicolon or joined by a conjunction.

A sentence with two or more standalone sentences with no full stops and are not joined by conjunctions (see below for conjunctions)

Example: There were two people running down the street passing frightened pedestrians calling the police before walking home to eat dinner with their family who just got home from school where they were failing classes all term long.

Sentence Fragments:

A phrase or clause written as a sentence but lacking an element, such as a subject or verb, that would enable it to function as an independent sentence

A phrase or presumed sentence that cannot stand by itself because it does not contain a complete clause, or subject and predicate.

Example: Walked alone. Instead of: Roland walked alone. Roland without stopping. Instead of: Roland walked alone without stopping. If it’s not “complete” it’s a fragment.

Compound Sentence:

A sentence with more than one subject or predicate

Multiple sentences in one, combined by a semicolon or conjunction.

Example: Thomas walked down the street; he didn’t see the man behind him. Or: Thomas walked down the street, while the man behind him walked silently, but flourished his nightstick through the air.


A word used to connect clauses or sentences or to coordinate words in the same clause

Words used to combine two or more sentences together, forming compound sentences, or to form words into a clause or complete sentences.

Example: and, but, if, yet, so, nor


A word (other than a pronoun) used to identify any of a class of people, places, or things (common noun), or to name a particular one of these (proper noun).

A person place or thing.

Example: Breakfast, Bailey, Plants, Minute, doctor, word, greed, Marge, Howard.

That was just Part 1 of my Basics series. I hope that gave you an easy place to find these things for future reference and if there are any additions, edits, further explanations, or things you’d like posted for easy access, let me know below and I’ll get right on it! See you in the next post in: Show a little love for the basics: Part 2!