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A word that modifies a noun or pronoun.


A word that modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb; common ending is "ly".


Words beginning with the same consonant sound.


Reference to someone or something famous in order to make a point.


Written in alphabetical order.


Comparison of the similarities of two things that are unlike.


Noun that names a person, place, or thing that a pronoun refers back to.

Author's purpose

1. persuasion
2. inform
3. entertain


Reference to the author of the material you are using


A strong ending sentence to a paper.


Use a colon to introduce a list of items, after the formal greeting in a business letter, between hours and minutes in expression of time, and in a title that has specific information about the book.

Combining sentences

Write the most effective sentence to express a thought. This prevents wordiness.


two independent clauses joined without punctuation or only a comma

Comparative Adjective/Adverb

Comparing two things. ex- John is taller than Mike.

Complex sentence

Contains one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses.

Compound sentence

Contains two or more independent clauses connected by a comma and a conjunction or a semicolon.

Compound/complex sentence

Contains more than one independent clause and at least one dependent clause.


A word used to join works or groups of words

Context clues

Clues in surrounding text that help the reader determine the meaning of an unknown word.

Correlative conjunctions

Pairs of words that connect words used in the same way.

Dependent clause

Clause that does not expresses a complete thought and cannot stand alone as a sentence.

Direct object

A word or group of words that name the receiver of the action. Ex. New Yorkers take the subway.


Words that are spelled the same but are pronounced differently


Words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings.


Introduction to get the reader's attention.


An exaggeration.


Phrase whose meaning cannot be determined from the ordinary meaning of the words.


Expressed indirectly; understand what author is trying to express through his use of words and characters' action.

Independent clause

Clause that expresses a complete thought and can stand alone as a sentence.


An alphabetical listing of topics and the page numbers where they can be found in a text. It is usually found in the back of the book.

Indirect object

A word or group of words that tell "For whom am I doing this wonderful thing." It is located between the action verb and the direct object.


A logical guess based on facts and common sense.


A verb form that usually begins with the word "to" and is followed by a verb. "To" is not a preposition when used this way.


A word of phrase used to express emotion. Ex. Hey, how do you like my automatic scanner?


Off the subject; not needed.

Main Idea

General idea for a paragraph or paper.


Type of figurative language in which two unlike things are compared.


A word or group of words that limit the meaning of another word; describes. Adjectives and adverbs are modifiers.


Atmosphere; overall emotions shown within a story such as happy, gloomy, peaceful, and mysterious.


A fictional tale that explains the actions of gods or heroes or the origins of elements of nature.


Person, place, thing, or an idea.

Organizational pattern

Compare/contrast, chronological order, cause/effect, transition


Words that sound like what they describe


Giving human traits to animals or nonliving things


The way something is viewed.

Predicate adjective

An adjective that follows a linking verb and describes the verb's subject.


A word that shows a relationship between a noun or pronoun and some other word in the sentence. The most common prepositions are the following: in, on, to, for, from, with, at, of, about, and by.

Pronoun/noun antecedent agreement

Agreement in number and case between a pronoun and its antecedent.

Quotation marks

Remember, most common way to use quotation marks is "comma quote and period quote."


Not needed; extra; saying the same words again..


Punctuation mark that separates two independent clauses in a sentence..


The coming of one thing after another; order which events happen.


A comparison of two unlike things using "like" and "as".

Simple predicate

The verb or verbs in a sentence.

Subject/verb agreement

agreement in number between a subject and a verb. If the subject is singular, the verb is singular. If the subject is plural, the verb is plural.

Subordinate clause

Another name for dependent clause. This type of clause can not stand alone as a complete thought.

Supporting sentence

Sentences in a paragraph that elaborate your topic sentence.


Deep meaning or insight of a piece of literature-overall message.


Author's attitude towards the subject which is conveyed through the writer's choice of words.

Topic sentence

States the main idea of the text; what the paper will be about.


Make connection between sentences and paragraphs, giving the paragraph cherence and making it easier to follow. Common transition words are first, next, then, following, also etc.


Sameness throughout such as a unifying theme.

Verb forms

Every verb has four basic forms called its principal part. Present-sail; present participle-is sailing (always ends with "ing"); past-sailed, past participle-has sailed.


Comparing more than two things (use "est" and "most" or "least.")


For whom you are writing.

Superlative Adjective/Adverb

compares 3 or more things ex- Of the entire class, John is the tallest.


group of words that contain a subject and a verb--may or may not be able to stand alone

cumulative adjectives

adjectives that do not modify a noun separately. In other words, they have to stay together in a particular order. They do NOT require a comma between them

coordinate adjectives

adjectives that could be joined by AND because they describe the noun separately, they require a comma betwen them


a paragraph of poetry; usually set off by spacing

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