English Grammatical Terms

Letter D

(PG = Prescriptive Grammar  —  DG = Descriptive Grammar)

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

  • Dangling Modifier —  [DG]  The Term “Dangling Modifier” is used to refer to any sort of “Modifier” which is left “Dangling”.  Which Metaphorically means that it is “Not Finished”.

So a Dangling Modifier is any Clause or Phrase which is not finished, or may have a different literal meaning than what was meant by the speaker or writer, due to the fact that that there are essential Words missing;  the meaning is ambiguous.

The most common place to see “Sentences” that have so-called “Dangling Modifiers” is in newspaper, magazine, and blog-post headlines.  But they are also common with Interjections.


For Example:  “Beat the dumb-ass with a stick!”


In that Statement — “with a stick” is the so-called “Modifier”.  But it is not clear if it is modifying the “dumb-ass”, or the way in-which we are supposed to beat him.  Do we use a stick as the tool to beat the dumb-ass?  Or do we identify which dumb-ass to beat, because that dumb-ass has a stick — and that is the dumb-ass that we are supposed to beat?

Although this Term is considered to be a Grammatical Term in Traditional Grammar — the Metaphorical use of the Slang Term “dangle” is a bit strange for a proper Grammatical Term.  Also because the Word “Dangle” does not mean to be “un-finished”.  It means to be hanging loosely.

And — this Term (like so many others in Descriptive Grammar) is not needed for Communication & Comprehension of English.  Therefore — it is Grammatical Dross.  It is better to say that the Sentence (not the “Modifier”, which is another Term which is Grammatical Dross)… that the Sentence is Ambiguous.

  • Dash —  [DG]  The Term “Dash” is used to refer to a Symbol Of Punctuation that is used to separate Clauses in a more pronounced way than a Comma.  The “Dash” looks like this.  [ ]

Because the Comma is FAR over-used — and in most cases, used wrongly — you will notice that in The Common TongueDashes are used even MORE than Comma.  This is because they are FAR more effective, and do not cause con-fusion like Commas do.

Because — in Traditional Grammar — there are too many accepted uses for the Comma.  And when the Comma is being used for more than one purpose in a single Sentence — we often have to re-read the Sentence to comprehend it.  Dashes are the cure for this.

  • Declarative Sentence  —  [DG]  The Term “Declarative Sentence” is used to refer to a type of Sentence which “Declares” something — usually with some sort of emphasis — rather than simply making a simple Statement or asking a Question — and often ends with an Exclamation Mark.


“I Shall Make GiveMeSomeEnglish!!! Into The Greatest English Teaching Website In The Universe!”

  • Defining Clause  —  [DG]  The Term “Defining Clause” is used to refer to a type of Subordinate Clause which “Defines” (provides necessary information about) a Noun with-in the Sentence.

A Defining Clause is NOT separated by Commas (as a Non-Defining Clause Is).  And the Sentence would not be complete without the Clause.

  • Defining Relative-Clause  —  [DG]  The Term “Defining Relative Clause” is used to refer to a type of Subordinate Clause which is “Related” to a Noun in the Sentence and gives information about that Noun — which it is “Defining”.  It gives necessary information about that Noun.

A Defining Relative Clause is NOT separated by Commas (as a Non-Defining Relative Clause Is).  And the Sentence would not be complete without the Clause.

However — since there is no such thing as a “Defining Clause” which is NOT “Relative” to the Noun which it is describing (because that makes no sense) — and because there are no other types of “Defining Clauses” — anywhere in English Grammar — then the use of the word “Relative” is Redundant.

For these reasons — In The Grammar Of The Common Tongue — it is simply called a “Defining Clause”.

  • Definite Article  —  [PG]  The Term Definite Article is used to refer to a Noun when there is only one of that thing.  The only Definite Article is:  “The”

The so-called definition of this stupid & Obtuse Term is:  Either a Pronoun or an Adjective which states which “thing” is referred to in a Clause, Phrase, or SentenceThese / ThatThose Ones.  The Red One, The Blue One, etc..

However — This Term is NOT needed for Communication or Comprehension of English.  But if one were to use it — then it should only be used as an Adjective (because that is what it is with the “-ive” Suffix) to describe the Adjective, Noun, or Pronoun.

In-other-words — you say:  “Demonstrative Adjective” or “Demonstrative Pronoun”.  NOT simply “Demonstrative”.

But finally — this Term is not even needed to describe the Pronoun because EVERY Pronoun is ALWAYS “Demonstrative”!  Therefore — this Term it is Obtuse.

  • Demonstrative Adjective  —  [DG]  See the above definition for “Demonstrative”.  This is an Adjective  which “Demonstrates” which “thing” is being referred to:  “This”, “That”, “These”, “Those”, etc..
  • Demonstrative Pronoun  —  [DG & OB]  Although the name of this Term is stupid & Obtuse (because ALL Pronouns “Demonstrate” what they are referring to) there is not really a better name for this Term.  It is a Pronoun which is used when the Noun that it is referring to is not needed.  Also — they are NOT the Personal Or Interrogative Pronouns.


The Personal Pronouns Are:  I, Me, My, Mine, MyselfYou, Your, Yours, YourselfHe, Him, His, HimselfShe, Her, Hers, HerselfIt, It’s ItselfWe, Us, Our, Ours, OurselvesThey, Them, Their, Theirs, Themselves

(the Possessive Pronoun“It’s” [with the Apostrophe] is not recognized in Traditional Grammar.  Instead, it is considered to be the Contraction of “it is” — which is illogical & stupid.  “It’s” — as a Possessive Pronoun and NOT a Contraction IS correctly recognized in The Grammar Of The Common Tongue)


The Demonstrative Pronouns Are:  This, That, These, Those


The Interrogative Pronouns Are:   Who, Whom, Whoever, Which, Whichever, What, Whatever

The reason that this Term probably became common is because, in some cases, it may have been easier for the teacher to describe it (or at least that is what the teacher thought).  This is only because it is very likely that the teacher wrongly thought that the student would not be able to comprehend the meaning of “Subordinate”.

And so — instead of explaining that the this type of Clause is “Subordinate” to the main Clause — they say that it “Depends” on the main Clause to give it meaning — but then adds to that meaning.  It “Depends” on the main Clause because it is not a full Clause on it’s own.

For Example:  The last Clause of the first Sentence above — “…but then adds to that meaning.” — is a Subordinate Clause.  It makes not sense on it’s own.  It needs the main Clause for it to make sense.  But it also adds meaning to that main Clause.

However — the use of the Word “Dependent” only describes one aspect of the Clause.  And therefore the Term “Subordinate Clause” is a better Term, and it is the Proper Term.  One only needs to learn the Word “Subordinate”, and they will see that it is true.

  • Descriptive Grammar  —  [DG]  The Term “Descriptive Grammar” refers to one of the Two Aspects Of Grammar which was made clear to “The Teacher” of GiveMeSomeEnglish!!! through thorough study and observation.  It is the Aspect Of Grammar which only “Describes” How We Usually Do Things — and NOT How Things MUST Be Done.

All that makes up this Aspect Of Grammar are those “Grammatical Rules” which — un-like other “Rules”CAN be broken and often ARE broken…  And yet, the communication is still clear.

This is because of what a “Rule” actually is.  It is not a “Regulation” (which is what most people think it is).  The “Regulations” are those so-called “rules” (in Traditional Grammar) that must NOT be broken.  Otherwise the communication is either broken or severely altered.

The OTHER Aspect Of Grammar which contains the “Regulations Of Grammar” is what is known as — “Prescriptive Grammar”

  • Determiner  —  [DG & OB] The Term “Determiner” is a Stupid & Obtuse Grammatical Classification which is far too broad to be in any way useful, other than to con-fuse.  This is because a Determiner can be Pronoun or an Article which identifies;  or distinguishes the Noun.  It can express information such as:  Quantity, Proximity, Definiteness, & Relationship.

As-such — the Term “Determiner” can refer to literally ANY type of Grammatical Unit.  And this is why it is Stupid & Obtuse.

Determiners do not help you to Comprehend or Communicate in the Language.  It is ONLY useful to know about Determiners if you have an exam in-which you have a Question about what a Determiner is.

  • Dialect  —  [NG]  The Term “Dialect” is not a Grammatical Term.  It is a Linguistic Term used to refer to a particular “form” of a Language spoken by a group of people — especially when they are from a certain region — but can also be because of being of a certain culture or sub-culture.

The mistake is the situation where-in someone wrongly uses multiple Verbs in the same Sentence — which structurally apply to the same Subject.  However — in probably every case — the person did not mean for the verb to apply to the same Subject.  They mean to talk about three separate actions, but they did not use correct Sentence Structure.

For Example:  “I’m going to eat, drink, and smoke a cigarette.”

Although this may “sound” okay to some people — Grammatically, it is not correct.  This is because all three of the Verbs are modifying the Noun “Cigarette”.  So it literally means that whoever is saying this is going to eat a cigarette, drink a cigarette, and smoke a cigarette.  Only two of those are possible and one of THOSE is not what you are supposed to do with cigarettes.  😀

“Diazeugma” is almost un-heard of in Traditional Grammar,  And it is completely NOT necessary in The Grammar Of The Common Tongue.  Such Terms do not help you to learn the Language, or to better communicate.  The Term is only represented here as reference, and for the sake of being thorough.


For Example:  What — in Traditional Grammar — we are taught as the “Long I” Sound, actually starts out as the “Short O” Sound, but then smoothly transforms into a “Long E” Sound“Ah-Ee”

  • Direct Object  —  [PG]  The Term “Direct Object” is used to refer to the Noun or Pronoun within a Clause or Sentence which “Receives” (is affected by) the “Action” of the Verb — or shows the result of that “Action” (because it was affected by it).


“I Explain Grammar

“I Make Awesome Websites

“I Help People

  • Direct Speech  —  [PG]  The Term “Direct Speech” is to refer to the form of writing used when stating exactly (“Directly”) what an-other person said — not to simply report ABOUT what someone said.

Reporting ABOUT what an-other person said in a Paraphrased & Summarized way is called:  “Reported Speech”.

In the written form — Direct Speech uses Quotation Marks [ ].


Original Statement:  GiveMeSomeEnglish!!! Is The Freakin’ Bomb!!!”

Direct Speech:  The Teacher said, GiveMeSomeEnglish!!! Is The Freakin’ Bomb!!!”

Reported Speech:  The Teacher said that GiveMeSomeEnglish!!! was a very good website.

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