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June 25, 2016

English Grammar for Competitive Exams in 60 Days - Lesson 1

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Friends, as a number of aspirants have been asking us to post lessons on English grammar basics, here we are posting Daily English lessons for competitive exams. These lessons are intended for those who want to learn English grammar from fundamentals in a specific time frame.

We will post these lessons on regular basis (One lesson per day).  Every day there will be one or more topics. Each topic is dealt with definitions followed by Examples and Exercises. The answers for these exercises will be disclosed in the next post. Meanwhile you have to workout with these Exercises, you can discus with your fellow learners using the comments section below.

We hope, this type dealing with the topic enables you to understand the topic thoroughly and remember it permanently.

We solicit your suggestions for improving these lessons so that it can be more useful to learners. You can give your feedback by using comments section below. Happy Reading :)

Lesson 1

In this first lesson we shall discuss the following topics
  • The Alphabet
  • Vowels and Consonants
  • Syllables and Words 
  • Parts of Speech

The Alphabet

The Alphabet : The set of letters used in writing a language is called the Alphabet. 
As you know, there are 26 letters in English Alphabet. 
They are A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
Important Points to Note :  
  • Alphabet means the set. 
  • A, B, C, D ... all these are Letters (Alphabets is wrong usage
Vowels and Consonants
  • Vowels : The letters a, e, i, o, u are called Vowels.
  • Consonants : All the other letters except vowels are called consonants.

Difference between Vowels and Consonants

  • A vowel is a sound that is made with the mouth and throat not closing at any point. That means vowels are sounded WITHOUT the lips touching each other, or the tongue touching the top of the mouth.
  • In contrast, a consonant is a sound that is made with the air stopping once or more during the vocalization. That means that at some point, the sound is stopped by your teeth, tongue, lips, or constriction of the vocal cords. 

Syllables and Words

A Syllable : A word or part of a word containing a vowel sound is called a Syllable.
E.g : 
  • Cheese (it produces eee sound.... one syllable word)
  • Butter -> but-ter (two syllables word)
  • Beautiful -> bea - ti - ful (three syllables word)
A word :  A letter or a group of letters that has a meaning is called a word.
  • I
  • We
  • Pen
  • Book etc.

Parts of Speech

Parts of Speech : If you are delivering a speech (talking), you use different types of words for different purposes. Some words to refer a person, some words to describe what he does and some words to describe how stupid he is.... We can classify these words according to their use in a sentence, i.e., the work they do in a sentence. They are called Parts of Speech.  

There are eight Parts of Speech in English. They are,
  1. Noun
  2. Pronoun
  3. Adjective
  4. Verb
  5. Advetb
  6. Preposition 
  7. Conjunction and
  8. Interjection
1. Noun : A noun is a word used as the name of a person, place or thing (Nouns are naming words)
E.g : Rama, Nagpur, Chair, Happiness, Sadness etc

2. Pronoun : A pronoun is a word used instead of a Noun. Have a look at the following story.
Shivani went to market. Shivani bought some carrots. Shivani made carrot juice with those carrots. Shivani poured the Carrot juice on Shivani's laptop. 

Now read below story
Shivani went to market. She bought some carrots. She made carrot juice with them. She poured it on her laptop. 

Which sentence is simple ?
Second one, right ? In the second sentence, we just substituted the nouns Shivani, Carrots and Carrot juice with some other words to prevent the repetitive use of them. These are called pronouns. In simple words, A pronoun is a word used instead of a Noun. 
Important Note : Pronoun means for - a noun
E.g : He, She, It, etc (Pronouns are substituting words)

3. Adjective :  An Adjective is a word used to add something to the meaning of a Noun.  
Important Note : Adjectives are describing words.
E.g : 
  • The flower is beautiful. [If I show you a flower and ask you to describe it, then what will you say ? This flower is beautiful, This flower is red, This flower is good looking, This flower is pale..... all the words highlighted in bold are describing the flower. So these are called Adjectives (describing words)
4. Verb : A Verb is a word used to say something about a Noun. (Verbs are action words)
E.g : 
  • Birds fly
  • Fishes Swim
  • Hritik Dances
  • Ram Gopal Varma Tweets 
All these words highlighted in bold describes the action of the noun. These are Verbs.

5. Adverb : An adverb is a word used to add something to the meaning of a Verb, an Adjective or another Adverb.
Important Note : Adverbs are also describing words. They describe verbs. Adjectives and another Adverbs.
E.g :
  • He worked the sum quickly (describing verb - here the quickly describing "How fast" he can work on a Sum)
  • The flower is very beautiful (describing adjective - here very describing "how beautiful" the flower is)
  • She pronounced the word quite correctly (describing adverb - here quite describing "how correct" her pronunciation is)
6. Preposition : A preposition is a word used to show the relation between a Noun or a Pronoun and another word in a sentence.
Important Note : Prepositions are relating words
E.g : 
  • The cow is in the field (here the cow and the field are two different nouns. We are saying the relation between them using the word in)
  • The book is on the table (here the book and the table are two different nouns. We are saying the relation between them using the word on)
7. Conjunction :  A conjunction is a word used to join words, phrases or clauses.
Important Note : Conjunctions are Joining Words
E.g :
  • Ravi and Hari are good friends (here and is joining two words)
  • To fight or give up that is what we have to decide (here or is joining two phrases)
  • Kajol ran fast but missed Sharukh's train (here but is joining two sentences)
Shortcut Technique to remember Conjunctions : Remember the name f.a.n.b.o.y.s. (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So all these are Conjunctions)

8. Interjection : An Interjection is a word used to express some sudden feeling. (Interjections are exclamatory words).
  • Hurrah. We won the game.
  • Alas. She is dead.
That's all for today friends. Now let's have a look at a simple exercise.

Exercise : 1

Name the parts of speech of the underlined words in the following sentences :
  1. Rama is a Doctor.
  2. Ravi is a clever boy.
  3. Sitha is a very good girl.
  4. The cow is in the field.
  5. Ravi and hari are good boys.
  6. She speaks fluently. 
  7. Alas! She is no more.
  8. Hurrah! We won the game.
  9. She will return next week.
  10. Where there is a will there is a way.
The answers will be disclosed in tomorrow's Lesson. In tomorrow's lesson we shall discuss Phrases, Kinds of Phrases, Clauses and Kinds of Clauses. Please use the comments section below if you have any issues with understanding this lesson. If you like this initiative, please don't forget to share this with your friends. Happy Reading :)

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