Online Grammar Tutorial: Review

 Home    Self-Test    Practice    Links    Humor    Contact    Search


Materials on this page provide basic background information about grammar. Check them out if you're

  • vague about prepositions or other parts of speech
  • confused about where to start and stop a sentence
  • wishing you'd paid more attention to semicolons and other punctuation marks
  • concerned that poor mechanics will distract readers from your message
  • smart enough to know your spellchecker can't catch every spelling mistake

Besides choosing one of these five categories, you can also do a quick review of one term or explore a recommended site.

Categories Reason to Review
Parts of Speech Become familiar with terms used in explanations of grammar rules
Sentence Structure Understand the basic ways that English-speakers put sentences together
Punctuation Marks

Review how to use commas, ellipses, and other punctuation marks with confidence

Mechanics Keep readers from thinking you're careless or uneducated
(How credible is a grammar expert who advises you not to join two independent clauses with a coma?)
Spelling Catch the sound-alike words your spellchecker misses
(e.g., there, their, they're)


Review Strategies

For a quick review, you might

  1. Skim the list of terms until you come to a term you don't know.
  2. Click on a Resources link beside the unfamiliar term.
  3. Choose one of the first links for a basic introduction; choose a link towards the end of the list for more detail.

To minimize clicking, you might prefer to choose a site to explore:

    Charles Darling's comprehensive Guide to Grammar & Writing includes definitions and quizzes. Choose from pulldown menus or use the index to find the term you're looking for. Look for links at the top or bottom of the page if you need more information.

    Garbl's Editorial Style Manual answers questions about capitalization, forming plurals and possessives, and using punctuation marks. Check out the keywords or use the alphabetical index.

    Online Technical Writing: Common Grammar, Usage, and Spelling Problems (OTW) provides an overview of writers' "biggest headaches," with many examples of proper usage and how to correct problems.

    Sentence Sense is a comprehensive online tutorial that begins with how sentences are put together and explains how to correct common errors. Place your cursor over a chapter number to preview the contents.

    The Write Place Catalogue at St. Cloud State University has helpful articles on style, plagiarism, grammar, and punctuation.

    If Grammar Help doesn't answer your question, check out Ruth Vilmi's links to selected Internet resources. Many are helpful to English language learners.

Topic Terms Resources
Parts of Speech

Search tip:
Go to Google;
type define:
(e.g., define: noun)

"The Grammar Lesson"
Steve Kowit's poem gives a quick overview of parts of speech.

Parts of Speech (LEO)

Parts of Speech (Wikipedia)

The Parts of Speech (definitions and quiz)





Lynch's Guide to Grammar and Style



proper noun

Proper Noun

The Proper Noun

Use of Capital Letters with Nouns



Count and Noncount Nouns (Purdue)

Count and Non-count Nouns (Darling; includes quiz)

collective nouns

Collective Nouns (Darling)

Collective Nouns (Wikipedia)

List of Collective Nouns by Subject

compound nouns

Compound Words

Compound Nouns

Compound Nouns and Adjectives

possessive nouns

The Possessive Form of Nouns

Possessive Nouns

Possessive Forms of Nouns (Darling)

Plural and Possessive Nouns

irregular plurals

English Irregular Plurals

Irregular Nouns

verb verb tense

Verb Tense (Purdue)

Verbs (OWL)

Tenses (Online English Grammar)


helping verb

Auxiliary Verb (Wikipedia)

Helping and Modal Auxiliary Verbs

irregular verb

Irregular Verbs (list)

Irregular Verbs (Wikipedia)

compound verb

The Compound Verb

Compound Verb (Wikipedia)

Compound Verbs


Active and Passive Verbs

The Passive Voice

Action Verbs

pronoun overview

Pronoun (Lynch)

Pronouns (OTW)

Pronouns (Darling)

Pronoun (Writing English)



Pronoun Case

It's versus Its

number Using Pronouns Clearly
adjective overview

Adjective (Wikipedia)

Adjectives (includes quizzes)

Adjective or Adverb?

Adjective Help

More About Adjectives

Adjectives (great links)

Adjectives (Online English Grammar)

Commas with Coordinate Modifiers

comparative forms (degree)

Comparison of Adjectives

Adjectives (scroll to "Degrees...")

Form and Function of Adjectives

order Adjectives (scroll to "The Order...Series")
adverb definition



Kinds of Adverbs

More About Adverbs

Adverbs (Online English Grammar)

You Feel Bad...

comparative forms Comparative Forms (Online English Grammar)
misplaced modifiers

Modifier Placement

It's My Participle, and I'll Dangle It if I Want To!

order Adverbs (scroll to "Order of Adverbs")

Prepositions (Lynch)

Preposition (Wikipedia)

Prepositions: Locators in Time and Place (Darling)

Prepositional Phrases (choose "Grammar Handbook" from the menu in the left frame; then select "Prepositional Phrases" from the Table of Contents)


Conjunctions (Darling)

Conjunctions (Lynch)

Conjunctions (Online Technical Writing)


Articles, Determiners, and Quantifiers

Articles for English Language Learners

Exceptions to Using the Definite Article


Interjections (Darling)

Interjection (Wikipedia)

Sentence Structure




Building Sentence Patterns

Parts of a Sentence

Basic Patterns and Elements of the Sentence (OTW)

Compound Subjects (tutorial)


Parts of a Sentence

Basic Sentence Concepts

Simple Sentence: Subject and Predicate


The Phrase Mark

Phrases (choose "Grammar Handbook" from the menu in the left frame; then select "Phrases" from the Table of Contents)


Parts of a Sentence

Direct and Indirect Objects

Predicates, Objects, Complements


Clauses: The Essential Building Blocks

Strategies for Sentence Recognition

Dependent versus Independent Clauses (definition)

Dependent and Independent Clauses (handout)

A Ten-Minute Tour of Phrases and Clauses and What They Do

The Clause in English


Sentence Parts and Functions

Sentence Types

Sentence Sense (online tutorial)

Comma Splices, Fused Sentences, and Run-ons

agreement Agreement (Lynch)

Strunk's Rule 4

Expressing Coordination in Sentences


Expressing Subordination in Sentences

Academic Writing and Subordination



Parallel Structure in Professional Writing

Punctuation Marks





Comma Uses

Comma Rules

Punctuation: Commas (many examples)

Tips for Using Commas

Unnecessary commas


Semicolons (many examples)

Colons, and Semicolons, and Bears!



Colons (many examples)

Colons, and Semicolons, and Bears!



Dashes (Paradigm)

quotation marks

Punctuation and Quotation Marks (Lynch)

Quotations Marks: A General Explanation of How They Are Used


The Basics of Using Apostrophes to Show Possession


Apostrophe Rules


Parentheses (Lynch)

Parentheses (Darling)

Brackets (Darling)

Brackets (LEO)


Brackets and Ellipses


Are Those Dots Just for Decoration?





The Functions of Punctuation

Periods (Paradigm)

question marks

Question Marks

Strong and Weak Punctuation

exclamation points

Exclamation Marks

Strong and Weak Punctuation






Hyphens (OTW)

Compound Words


Capitalization (Lynch)

Capitalization (Garbl)

Capitalization (OTW)

Capitalization (Paradigm)

Capitalizing Proper Nouns


Numbers (Lynch)

Numbers (Garbl)



Removing links from URLs (MLA)

Which Titles Are Italicized and Which Are Enclosed in Quotation Marks?

Spelling Terms



The Notorious Confusables
Charles Darling's guide to sound-alike words that your spellchecker won't catch (e.g., accept/except)

Ten Common But Easily Corrected Errors
Tina Blue's advice makes these mistakes "as easy to correct as they are to make."

Words That Sound Alike
An exercise from Purdue's Online Writing Lab

Online Dictionaries
Links to various dictionaries provided by the Library of Congress

spelling tips

Some Rules and Suggestions About Spelling (Darling)

Common Spelling Problems

Spelling (Paradigm)

Spelling Checkers

Spelling and Typographical Errors

Why Bother with Spelling and Grammar Rules?

The Basic Cozy Spelling Course



 Home    Self-Test   Practice    Links   Humor   Contact    Search
© 2004 Cecelia Munzenmaier, Adjunct Instructor
Template Designed By JSB Web Templates