Basic English and Grammar Skills and Rules

A strong grasp of English and grammar rules can help you do better on language arts assignments, such as reports or essays. A strong understanding of English grammar can also help you present yourself more professionally in your future career. Keep reading to learn about some basic grammar rules that will help you in school.

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Understanding Basic Grammar Rules

Nouns and Pronouns

Nouns are the people, places, things or ideas found in the sentences that you read. Proper nouns name specific people, places, things or ideas and must be capitalized. Common nouns are not specific, and therefore, are not capitalized. Every sentence must contain a noun in order to qualify as a sentence. Some examples of proper and common nouns are provided below:

Proper Nouns- David, Washington, Saturday, February and The Emancipation Proclamation

Common Nouns- dog, sunlight, today, marbles and crayons

Pronouns are the words used in place of nouns. They can also be used to replace other pronouns. Generally, pronouns are used to keep sentences from sounding repetitive. Some examples of pronouns are provided below. In each sentence, the pronouns have been bolded.

Sally doesn't think she deserves the bad treatment her brother keeps giving.
Johnny and I feel like we gave our best effort.

Adjectives and Adverbs

Adjectives are words used to describe nouns. They are used in conjunction with nouns to provide more detail. Furthermore, adjectives play a role in making sentences sound interesting. Some examples are provided below. Adjectives are in bold.

The gigantic, slimy creature headed right for us.
Simon is a fast running back and a strong leader.

Adverbs are words that modify verbs or adjectives. In other words, they tell when, where, why or how something happens. Most adverbs end in -ly, but not all. Some examples, in bold, are found below.

The extremely large meteor fell quickly from the sky.
Sally danced gracefully in the competition.

Punctuation Marks

Punctuation marks are the symbols that guide the structure and organization of sentences. You can find the marks at the end of sentences or within sentences. There are many types of punctuation marks and various reasons to use them. However, information on the basic ones is provided below, along with examples.


Periods (.) are found at the end of direct statements or indirect questions.

Kevin walked to the grocery store.
She asked where her slippers were.

Question Marks

Question marks (?) are found at the end of direct questions or sentences that are part statement and part question.

Where were you yesterday?
You don't really care, do you?

Exclamation Points

Exclamation points (!) are found at the end of sentences to show emphasis or surprise.

I am so disappointed in you!
That is absolutely amazing!
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