Basic Grammar for Writing Skills Includes Knowing Sentence Structure

parts of speech

Knowing sentence structure is pivotal for any kind of writing you want to create. Not knowing this key element will mean that your communication, that is, getting your point across to others, will not be understood or will not be received well. Knowing basic grammar for writing skills will minimize misunderstanding.

There are 9 parts of speech that you will want to learn in your quest to build your writing skills. 

Learn these 9 parts of speech here:

Verbs indicate an action or a state of being. Examples of verbs: walk, think, seem, assemble, become.

Nouns are people, places, things, ideas, or concepts. Examples of nouns: Elvis, studio, guitar, talent, fame.

Determiners go with a noun or noun phrase to shape its meaning. Examples of determiners: the, a/an, my, many, some, that.

Pronouns stand for a noun or noun phrase, so you don’t have to keep repeating it. Examples of pronouns: you, me, her, they, who, these.

Adjectives describe a noun, usually answering the question “what kind?” Or “which one?” Examples of adjectives: green, tall, friendly, difficult.

Adverbs describe a verb, adjective, or other adverb, usually answering the question “where?” “when” “how?” Or “why?” Examples of adverbs: quietly, totally, very, too.

Prepositions tie nouns to other information in the sentence. A prepositional phrase can work as an adjective, describing a noun or as an adverb, describing a verb, adjective, or other adverb. Examples of prepositions: in, on, by, over, after.

Conjunctions join words, phrases, or clauses in a sentence. Examples of conjunctions: and, but, either . . . or, whenever.

Interjections are outbursts that indicate strong emotion. Examples of interjections: Ouch! Awesome! Oh, no! and many other reactions replaceable by emoji. (McLendon 24,25)

After you have mastered basic grammar for writing skills, you will use them effortlessly in crafting your stories and other forms of writing.

Use the 9 Parts of Speech in order to Master 
Basic Grammar for Writing Skills


We will give more attention to verbs and nouns later in this article. Now, we will study the other 7 parts of speech:


A very common part of speech is the determiner, which goes with a noun or noun phrase. One of the most common is the word the. (McLendon)

Others are a and that.


The monster becomes bored.

A monster becomes bored.

That monster becomes bored.


Pronouns replace nouns or noun phrases. Common ones include these, you, and they. (McLendon)


These girls have expensive tastes.

You have expensive tastes.

They have expensive tastes.


These describe a noun and can answer the question “what kind?” Or “which one?” (McLendon)


The friendly cat leaped into my arms.

That blue car is for sale.

You have short hair.


Recall that these describe a verb, adjective, or other adverb. Adverbs answer the question “where?” “when?” “how?” or “why?” (McLendon)



Those burglars left hastily.

A dandelion blows briskly in the wind.

They moved very quietly when they spotted the lion. 


These join nouns to other information in the sentence and can work as an adjective, describing a noun, or as an adverb, describing a verb, adjective, or other adverb. (McLendon)


After the storm, Lester went outside to survey the damage to the roof.

The key is on the floor.

A flower pot sits in the middle of the garden.


In sentences, conjunctions such as—whenever, but, either, and—connect words, phrases, or clauses. (McLendon)


Whenever I work overtime, I get double pay.

I prefer to work alone, but my sister begs to help me.

Jack and Jill had unfortunate endings.


These are outbursts such as, Ouch! and Oh my! that alert us to strong emotions. (McLendon)


Ouch! You stuck me with your ink pen.

Oh, my goodness! Your baby is so cute.”

Great! I knew you could improve your grades.”

When you understand these parts of speech, you can see how indispensable they are to the writing craft. Now let's move on to the noun and verb agreement. 

Learning Noun and Verb Agreement Will Teach 
you Basic Grammar for Writing Skills


Nouns and verbs must agree when you write a sentence. The subject of a sentence will be a noun. The verb will be the action or state of being part. 

Here is a simple sentence that shows the noun and verb agreement:

Noun and Verb

Karen seems tired.

The noun Karen is singular; therefore, the state-of-being verb, seems, must agree. There is an -s at the end of the verb seem.

Let's have a plural subject, meaning having more than one noun:

Karen and Jake seem tired.

Here we have two subjects (plural) and use the state-of-being verb, seem, with no -s. 

We can substitute the singular or plural subject for pronouns:

She seems tired.

They seem tired.

Let’s look at other sentences:

Karen goes to the carnival.

Karen, Jake, and Carl go to the carnival.

She goes to the carnival.

They go to the carnival.

The monster becomes bored with watching people and decides to eat them.

The monster and her side-kick become bored with watching people and decide to eat them.

It becomes bored with watching people and decides to eat them.

They become bored with watching people and decide to eat them.

Practice identifying noun and verb agreement when you read books and magazines and other writings. When you write sentences, double-check for this agreement. Pay attention to spell check, as it can alert you when this agreement is violated.

Make sure you understand the nine parts of speech and how they fit appropriately in a sentence. When you master this basic grammar for writing skills, your writing will take on a professional quality.

McLendon, Lisa. The Perfect English Grammar Workbook: Simple Rules and Quizzes to Master Today’s English. Zephyros Press, 2017.