English Grammatical Terms

Letter A

(PG = Prescriptive Grammar  —  DG = Descriptive Grammar)

(GL = Grammatical Lingo  —  OB = Obtuse  —  NG = Not Grammatical)

  • Abbreviation  —  [DG]  The Term “Abbreviation” is used to refer to a shortened or contracted form of a Word or Phrase, used to represent the WHOLE Word or Phrase.  This is done by utilizing the omission of certain Letters;  By the substitution of Letters;  or by the use of the initial Letters of each Word in a Phrase.

Also included in the classification of “Abbreviation”, are symbols such as:  +, =, @, &, and many many more.  (Although this is not commonly known, or logically thought about.)

  • Absolute Phrase  —  [PG]  The Term “Absolute Phrase” is used to refer to Any Phrase which contains both a Noun and a Participle — and may also contain an Adjective and/or an Object.
  • Abstract  —  [PG]  The Term “Abstract” — alone — is not a Grammatical Term.  But when it is used within Grammar — it is used in-reference-to a Noun which is NOT a physical (tangible) “Thing”.  But, instead, is an “Idea” or “Concept”.
  • Abstract Noun  —  [PG]  The Term “Abstract Noun” is used to refer to any Noun which represents:  An Idea;  A Quality or Characteristic;  A State Of Being;  Or The Subject Of An Action — as opposed-to a Concrete Noun
  • Academic Question[NG]  The Term “Academic Question” is not a Grammatical Term. It is a Rhetorical Term which is used to refer to refer to a Question which is of no real importance…  which is actually quite hilarious when you think about how important people in the field of Academics think of themselves to be.  😆


For Example:  The Acronym NASA is made from the name:  National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

This is as opposed to a “Passive Sentence”, or when the Sentence is in the “Passive Form” — where-in the focus of the Sentence is on the Action of the Verb, rather than who is “doing” the action.


Active Form:  “The Teacher explained the Grammatical Term very well.”

Passive Form:  “The Grammatical Term was explained very well.”

  • Active Voice  —  [GL & OB]  The Term “Active Voice” — in Traditional Grammar — is Stupid & Obtuse because it has NOTHING to do with the “Voice” and the use of that Word as part of the Term does NOT help the student to comprehend what it means.

The “Active Voice” is simply the Traditional Grammar Term to say that a Sentence is in the “Active Form”. — which is much more clear and makes more logical sense than using the word “Voice”.

  • Adjectival Clause  —  [DG]  The Term “Adjectival Clause” is used to refer to any Clause which has an Adjectival Function.
  • Adjective  —  [PG]  The Term “Adjective” One of the Nine Grammatical Units in The Grammar Of The Common TongueAdjectives are Words that describe other Words — usually Nouns, but also other Adjectives.  Although there is a generally agreed-upon standard for the “Types” of Adjectives in Traditional Grammar — that standard and it’s terms are con-fusing & Obtuse.
    In The The Grammar Of The Common Tongue — the types of Adjectives are those that are/or describe:  1. Quantity and/or Determination  2. Opinion  3. Size and/or Measurement  4. Physical Shape  5. Quality and/or Condition  6. Age  7. Color  8. Origin  9. Material  10. Purpose of Use and/or Being.
    When there is more than one Adjective used to describe something in a Sentence — the order of Adjectives is the same as the numbering above.

And since I don’t want to hurt any of their feelings — I just use “Adjective-Clause”.  😉 

  • Blog Post  —  coming soon!
  • Grammar Lesson  —  coming soon!
  • Video Lesson  —  coming soon!
  • See Also:  “Adjective-Phrase”
  • Adjective-Phrase  —  [PG]  The TermAdjective-Phrase” is used to refer to any Phrase which Functions As an Adjective.
  • Adjunct Adverbial  —  [DG & OB]  The Term “Adjunct Adverbial” is used — in Traditional Grammar — to refer to any so-called “Adverbial” (also an Obtuse, Stupid, & Completely NOT-necessary Grammatical Term) which is added to a Sentence but does not add necessary information to the sentence.

AND — grammatically — if that so-called “Adverbial” were omitted from the Sentence — it would not change the meaning of the Sentence or make it — in any way — incomplete.

In Traditional Grammar this Term — along with “Adjunct Clause” & “Adjunct Phrase” are all categorized under the “blanket term”:  “Adjunct Adverbial”, or simply “Adjunct”.  Both of-which Terms are Stupid & Obtuse.  The second actually being Grammatically incorrect (which is not a good idea for an actual Grammatical Term!)  😆

Furthermore — in researching this Term — I also saw it described as an “Adverbial Adjunct” — which is DOUBLY wrong because by reversing the Adjective and Noun in the Term changes the focus is of the Term AND it’s Meaning.

And although the two Terms are similar in meaning — they are NOT the same thing!  (Yet another example of why those who are supposedly “authorities” of Traditional Grammar are — more often than not — complete idiots…  But they try hard.  Which is important for them…  but not for us.  We only appreciate people who know what they are doing when they profess to be “experts.)  😎

The Bottom Line Is…  ANY Term that contains the Words “Adjunct” or “Adverbial” are completely useless.

As with anything in Traditional Grammar, there is only a rough agreement on the actual number of the different Types Of Adverbs.  There are between 4 or 5 that are common to all lists.  But then there are those who say there are 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, or even as many as 14 different Types Of Adverbs in total!  This is because most of these so-called “authorities” do not use logic in their interpretation.  They only repeat what they have been told — which proves that they are NOT authorities.

In The Grammar Of The Common Tongue — there are only 5 types of Adverbs.  The Five Main Types Of Adverbs Are…  Adverbs of:  Degree, Frequency, Manner, Place, & Time.

  • Adverb-Clause  —  [PG]  The Term “Adverb-Clause” is used to refer to a Clause which Functions As in an Adverb.
  • Adverb-Phrase  —  [PG]  The Term “Adverb-Phrase” is used to refer to a Phrase which Functions As an Adverb.
  • Adverbial Conjunction  —  [OB]  The Term “Adverbial Conjunction” is used to refer to an Adverb which is Functioning As a Conjunction. 
  • Affirmative  —  [GL & OB]  The Term “Affirmative” is not a Grammatical Term.  It is Grammatical Lingo which is used to refer to Words, Phrases, or Sentences that express that something that “is real”, “is true” — or which expresses agreement in some way.
  • Affix  —  [DG & OB]  The Term “Affix” is used to refer to both “Prefixes” & “Suffixes” together.  Therefore — it is only ever useful in talking ABOUT Grammar — and not in actually Learning and Using the Language itself.

The Term literally means:  That which is “Affixed” (attached to) something else.  And since there are only two “Affixes” (Prefixes & Suffixes) — it does not serve us to have yet another Grammatical Term which is ONLY used to describe the only two types of this Grammatical Term.

That is why it is considered to be Obtuse, and is not used on The Grammar Of The Common Tongue.

  • Agent  —  [DG]  The Term “Agent” is used to refer to the “doer” of the action (or the one causing it to happen) in a Sentence.

Knowing this Term will not help you to Comprehend or Communicate in English.  It is only helpful if you have an exam in-which you need to know what this Term is.

This Term is most-often used in the negative form by teachers, in order to explain why a student’s Sentence is not correct.  Because of this, the Term is almost never used by the learner of English, and is only used by teachers, or those who study English Grammar.

An  English Teacher May Say:  “This is not correct because the Verb is not in agreement / does not agree with the Noun.  Since the Pronoun is ‘He’ — then the Verb ‘to be’ should not be in the form of ‘am’ — but in the form of ‘is’.”

So the only use of this Term is in talking ABOUT Grammar.  When use the Term to speak about the Grammatical Units / Devices in the Sentence that “work together” — we say that they “Agree With” each other, or are “In Agreement”.


For Example:  If the Subject or Object in a Sentence (which is a Noun, Noun-Phrase, or Phrasal-Noun) is Plural — then the Verb must “Agree With” that Plural Noun form — usually by having an “-s” Suffix.  But the Verb form must also “Agree With” the Time in-which the action happens (Verb-Tense).


So “Agreement” is the Term used to refer to the way that parts of a Sentence “work with” and are “connected to” each other.  For the Sentence to be correct, they must “Agree”.  If they do not “Agree” or “Have Agreement”, then the Sentence is NOT correct.

  • Alphabet  —  [PG]  The Term “Alphabet” is used to refer to a complete collection of picto-graphic symbols called “Letters”.  All the individual Letters combined into one set is called an “Alphabet”.
  • Ambi-Transitive Verb  —  [DG]  The Term “Ambi-Transitive Verb” is used to refer to any Verb which can be either Transitive or Intransitive, without changing it’s form.

Knowing this Term will not help you to Comprehend or Communicate in English.  It will only be helpful if you are taking an exam in-which you need to know what an Ambi-Transative Verb is.

However — the idea behind this Term is Stupid & Obtuse, as there are MANY different Dialects that are considered to be “American-English” — even within America, alone!  This is also true of literally EVERY every English-speaking country around The World.

The people from the different States in The United States Of America do NOT sound like each other.  The Pronunciation between the Northern & Southern States — as well as the Eastern & Western States — is VERY different.  And there are some Grammatical problems with “American-English” as well.  Such as thinking that the use of the Word “That”, as-well-as the Comma is sometimes optional!  And almost COMPLETELY ignoring The Present Perfect Tenses!

There are similar problems with British-English as well.  The people from the different countries of Great Britain do not sound like each other.  But they may have similar qualities — like ignoring:  The Pronunciation of The Letter “R” at the end of Words — the use of the Particle “To” in-front-of many Verbs — and the use of the Definite or Indefinite Article in-front-of many Nouns (like “Hospital”) which absolutely SHOULD have an Article.

So this is yet ANOTHER reason for the formation of The Common Tongue.  To eliminate ALL of these discrepancies and provide The World with a form of the so-called “English” Language (which is quite different than the “English” that is spoken in England — but) which respects ALL Languages for their contributions TO English, as-well-as the MANY different Dialects around The World — and then provides The ENTIRE World with the *best example for all.

*(though sounding similar to the claims made about “Common Core Education” — The Common Tongue is DRASTICALLY different, because it is not about making things “Easier” & “Inclusive” for everyone.  That is a myth and a lie.  It is about being Correct — while still being **Simple & Elegant.  **[“Simple” & “Easy” are not the same thing.  However The Common Tongue DOES make it MUCH Easier to learn English…  Not by “dumbing it down”…  But by creating a Logical & Correct System — making those who learn it SMARTER…  The “Common Core” does exactly the opposite.]  And finally — the Word “best” [used above] is an opinion, unless it is based on defining boundaries, limitations and/or desired qualities & outcomes.  The reason that The Common Tongue is the “best” is based on the qualities and outcome of being Simple, Elegant, & most-easily Comprehended — while also being the easiest to Learn & Communicate with.)

  • Analogy  —  [DG]  The Term “Analogy” is not a Grammatical Term.  It is a Rhetorical Term which is used as a way of describing something by comparing it to something else which has very similar qualities or characteristics.  It is used to “Illustrate” one’s point when the idea is not immediately clear to the one being spoken to, or addressed in a piece of writing.
  • Animate Noun  —  [DG]  The TermAnimate Noun” is any Noun which refers to a living “Animate” Being — rather than a Non-Living “Thing”.  This Grammatical Term is almost completely useless and is virtually never used in the learning of, or communicating in English.
  • Antecedent  —  [DG]  The Term Antecedent is used to refer to the Noun for-which a Pronoun represents;  is referring to.  This Grammatical Term is almost completely useless unless one is taking a test about English Grammar.  It will not help you to Comprehend or Communicate in English.
  • Aphorism  —  [NG]  The Term “Aphorism” is not a Grammatical Term.  It is a Lexical Term which is used to refer to some sort of Expression which is used to convey some general Principle or Truth.  Such as:  “Time Heals All Wounds.”

For Example:  In the Sentence“If I have to explain another one of these USELESS Grammatical Terms, I think my head is going to explode!”…

“If I have to explain another one of these USELESS Grammatical Terms,…” is the “Apodosis”.

This Term is — however — completely useless to anyone besides those who need to take an exam where-in “Apodosis” is the subject of one of the questions.  Knowing this Term will not, in any way, help you to Learn or Communicate better in English.  That is why it is Stupid & Obtuse, and therefore Grammatical Dross.


For Example:

One quote that I always live by is‘Good Enough is Never Good Enough’And that’s why I can’t stand living in Eastern Europe —  where everyone has a ‘Good Enough’ attitude.  And because of this — most of The Balkans are a perfect example of the term ‘Entropy’, because only doing things to be ‘Good Enough’ means that they are not done as they SHOULD be.  But then — because everyone follows what everyone else is doing — that lower quality way of doing things becomes the new standard.  And THEN — with that same ‘Good Enough’ attitude further applied — people do things even worse than the previous shitty ‘Good Enough’ standard — until, very rapidly, the whole place has become a complete shit-hole and only gets worse!


In the above example.  The entire Statement is a Quote.  Therefore it is in Quotation Marks.  But then the Phrase “Good Enough Is Never Good Enough” — which would normally be in Quotation Marks to show that it is an Expression — is surrounded by Apostrophes, because the entire Statement is already IN Quotation Marks.

The same is true for the un-common Phrasal-Adjective “Good Enough” which is used to describe the Noun “Attitude”;  Or is used to show what other people say (or think).

And finally — the Term “Entropy” is in Quotation Marks to indicate that this is the Proper Name of the Term which is being referred-to — in case the person being spoken to with this entire Statement had never heard of “Entropy” before.

Any use of Apostrophes — in-place-of Quotation Marks when they are NOT already WITHIN Quotation Marks is wrong…  Even if it is becoming more Common.  But this is the fault of the computer industry.  Because Quotation Marks are part of Coding Languages — so it is often not possible to use Quotation Marks to name files.  And so now they are fucking up the English Language.

  • Argument  —  [NG]  The Term “Argument” is not a Grammatical Term.  In Common Usage — most people comprehend the Word “Argument” as meaning:  “A heated verbal disagreement”.  However — The Term “Argument” is a Rhetorical Term which is used to refer to a fact, set of facts, or at-least an opinion about something which one uses to support an idea, or to dispute another opposing idea.

The Word “Argument” or the Verb (to) “Argue” (to “Argue” one’s position)  — in the Rhetorical version explained here (not the Common Usage version) is also a Legal Term.


The The Three Articles Are:  “A”, An”, & The”


The Articles:  “A” & “An” are what is called “Indefinite Articles”.  This is because they are used to refer to one thing which is not “Definite”;  not specific.  It could be any of that particular thing.  A ball is just one of ANY of the balls in existence.  An apple is just one apple of ALL apples in existence.

The Article:  “A” appears before Nouns that begin with a Consonant or Consonant SoundThe letter “U” — like in the Word “University” starts with the Consonant Letter “Y” sound.  So we say “A University” but “An Umbrella”.


The Article:  “An” appears before Nouns that begin with a Vowel or Vowel SoundThe letter “H” is sometimes silent in English — like in the Word “Hour”.  Therefore the Word starts with the sound of the following Vowel.  So we say “An Hour”, but “A Helicopter”.


The Article:  “The” is what is called the “Definite Article”.  This is because it refers to a particular specific one, and there can be no other one of that particular thing.  To use it as it’s own example…  The Definite Article” is the ONLY Definite Article.  Or  —  “I don’t want any ball, I want the ball that I got for my birthday.”  “I don’t want any apple, I want the apple that I picked from the tree this morning.”

Of course The Predicative Adjective is also an “Attribute” of the Noun it is describing, but since it is not in the “Predicate” then these are fairly logical Terms.

For Example:

The Best TOEFL Preparation On-Line  —  Attributive Adjective

The On-line TOEFL Preparation That Is The Best  —  Predicative Adjective

However — this Term will not help you to better Comprehend or Communicate in English.  It is only useful if you are taking an exam in-which you need to know what this Term is.

The Auxiliary Verb adds Function or Grammatical meaning to the Verb which it is “Auxiliary” to.  The most common Auxiliary Verbs are necessary to create correct Verb Tenses.


For Example:  In the Sentence “I have visited Dubrovnik twice.”“have” is “Auxiliary” to the Verb “visited”

Other types of Auxiliary Verbs are those that add positive or negative confirmation or question of something.


Do you like Dubrovnik?”  —  “I do like Dubrovnik!”  —  “But I don’t like all the Game of Thrones Memorabilia everywhere.”


All Modal Verbs are specific types of Auxiliary Verbs.

— (Back To Index) —

If This Article Was Helpful, Please Consider Making A Donation

If This Article Was Helpful, Please Consider Making A Donation


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest