Grammar: The Parts of Speech

If we examine the words in any sentence, we observe that they have different tasks or duties to perform in the expression of thought.

Savage beasts roamed through the forest.

In this sentence, beasts and forest are the names of objects; roamed asserts action, telling us what the beasts did; savage describes the beasts; through shows the relation in thought between forest and roamed; the limits the meaning of forest, showing that one particular forest is meant. Thus each of these words has its special office (or function) in the sentence.

In accordance with their use in the sentence, words are divided into eight classes called parts of speech,—namely, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections

  1. A noun is the name of a person, place, or thing. Examples: John, brother, Sydney, table, car, anger, song.
  2. A pronoun is a word used instead of a noun. It designates a person, place, or thing without naming it. Examples: I, he, she, that, who, myself, themselves, it, which.

    Nouns and pronouns are called substantives. The substantive to which a pronoun refers is called its antecedent. Some examples are:

    Frank introduced the boys to his father. [Frank is the antecedent of the pronoun his.]

    The book has lost its cover. [Book is the antecedent of the pronoun its.]

    James and Peter served their country in different ways. [Their has two antecedents, connected by and.]

  3. An adjective is a word which describes or limits a substantive.

    The noun box, for example, includes a great variety of objects. If we say wooden box, we exclude boxes of metal, of paper, etc. If we use a second adjective (small) and a third (square), we limit the size and the shape of the box.

    Most adjectives (like wooden, square, and small) describe as well as limit. Such words are called descriptive adjectives.

    We may, however, limit the noun box to a single specimen by means of the adjective this or that or the, which does not describe, but simply points out, or designates. Such words are called definitive adjectives.

  4. A verb is a word which can assert something (usually an action) concerning a person, place, or thing. For example:

    The Wind blows.
    Tom climbed a tree.
    The fire blazed.

    Some verbs express state or condition rather than action.

    The treaty still exists.
    Near the church stood an elm.

    Sometimes a group of words may be needed, instead of a single verb, to make an assertion. This is called a verb-phrase.

    You will see.
    The tree has fallen.
    Our driver has been discharged.

  5. An adverb is a word which modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

    Example: “The river fell rapidly,” the adverb rapidly modifies the verb fell by showing how the falling took place.

    Most adverbs answer the question “How?” “When?” “Where?” or “To what degree or extent?”

    Adverbs modify verbs in much the same way in which adjectives modify nouns.

    Adjective: A bright fire burned.
    Adverb: The fire burned brightly.

    Adjective and adverbs are both modifiers. Adjectives modify substantives; adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.

  6. A preposition is a word placed before a substantive to show its relation to some other word in the sentence.

    The substantive which follows a preposition is called its object.

    A preposition is said to govern its object.

    In “The surface of the water glistened,” of makes it clear that surface belongs with water. In “Philip is on the river,” on shows Philip’s position with respect to the river.

    A preposition often has more than one object.

    Over hill and dale he ran.
    He was filled with shame and despair.

  7. A conjunction connects words or groups of words.

    A conjunction differs from a preposition in having no object, and in indicating a less definite relation between the words which it connects.

    In “Time and tide wait for no man,” “The parcel was small but heavy,” “He wore a kind of doublet or jacket,” the conjunctions and, but, or, connect single words time with tide, small with heavy, doublet with jacket.

  8. An interjection is a cry or other exclamatory sound expressing surprise, anger, pleasure, or some other emotion or feeling.

    Interjections usually have no grammatical connection with the groups of words in which they stand; hence their name, which means “thrown in.”

    Examples: Oh! I forgot. Ah, how I miss you! Bravo! Alas!

Source: An Advanced English Grammar with Exercises by George Lyman Kittredge and Frank Edgar Farley, 1913. Now in the public domain.

eBook Review: The Black Star of Kingston

The Black Star of Kingston

The Black Star of Kingston by S.D. Smith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb: A century before Heather and Picket’s adventures in The Green Ember, a displaced community fights for hope on the ragged edge of survival.

My place beside you,
My blood for yours.
Till the Green Ember rises,
Or the end of the world.

Whitson Mariner and Fleck Blackstar face old fears and new enemies, forging a legend that will echo through the ages.

Old wars haunt. New enemies threaten. An oath is born.

A hero rises.

My Review: Black Star is set 100 years prior to Heather and Pickett being born, so I found myself in a dilemma. The author recommends that after The Green Ember, we should read The Black Star of Kingston. However, for me that would mean leaving the characters I had grown attached to and starting again with a new set of characters. That didn’t sit well for me. I like to stay with the characters I know.

But I started reading Black Star. I did so with a little defiance in the back of my mind. If I didn’t like the new characters, I’d dump Black Star and return to Heather and Pickett’s story.

Black Star started out well, and carried me right through to the end of the book. It was a much faster, smoother read, in my opinion. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that I enjoyed this set of characters more!

This book felt more natural. I’m not sure why that was. Perhaps the author didn’t feel the need to “set up” the world and the characters for the reader, because that had already been done in The Green Ember. Whatever the reason, I really, really enjoyed Black Star.

Now I have another dilemma. Do I stick to the Tales of Old Natalia series or return to The Green Ember stories. Decisions, decisions.

eBook Review: The Green Ember

The Green Ember (The Green Ember #1)

The Green Ember by S.D. Smith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb: Heather and Picket are extraordinary rabbits with ordinary lives until calamitous events overtake them, spilling them into a cauldron of misadventures. They discover that their own story is bound up in the tumult threatening to overwhelm the wider world.

Kings fall and kingdoms totter. Tyrants ascend and terrors threaten. Betrayal beckons, and loyalty is a broken road with peril around every bend.

Where will Heather and Picket land? How will they make their stand?

My Review: I chose this book to read for a couple of reasons:

  1. the book cover is great, and
  2. the rabbits on the cover made me think of Watership Down (which I loved).

Yes, there are rabbits in Watership Down and there are rabbits in The Green Ember, but I wouldn’t say the books are similar apart from that. The rabbits in The Green Ember wear cloths, build ships, make furniture and live life like a human.

That’s not a bad thing. The Green Ember is not Watership Down. Just like Watership Down is not The Green Ember. They are both stories involving rabbits. They are both different from my normal read in some way. I enjoyed them both, for different reasons.

The Green Ember started with a kite game. It didn’t last long, but it did take a little while for the action to start. However, once the story really begins, it was interesting. I enjoyed the characters and the plot. I believe in going with the flow and being accepting. Why shouldn’t a rabbit carry a sword? In their world, they can and they do.

Heather and Pickett are adorable. They display manners and loyalty, and portray a family unit that protects and care for each other. I like that because I think many books for younger readers sometimes step away from these things. And I believe young readers need to be reading exciting adventures, along with good morals.

As is often the case with a first book in a series, there is a lot of set up happening, which can slow an adventure down. However, the second half of the book moved much faster and gripped me much more.

As I said, I enjoyed this book. I will be reading more. In fact, I have already completed Black Star (review to follow soon) and I’m into Ember Falls now. Recommended.

Survival Pouch

Here’s another post regarding survival in the wild, on land or at sea. Click on “survival tips” below this post to reading other posts on the subject.

The survival pouch must be waterproof and large enough to take a mess tin. The pouch, ideally, will be attached to your belt by a strong loop. Use whatever you feel is best, but ensure it is strong and will not come undone easily.

The contents should include:

  • Fuel tablets in their own stove container.
  • Signal flares. Use with care, but remember these are explosives, so follow the instructions on the packaging, when storing.
  • Mess tin, can be used for cooking.
  • Marker panel. Fluorescent strip for signaling (about 30 x 200cm. A silver thermal blanket is ideal.
  • Matches packed in a waterproof container.
  • Brew kit i.e. tea bags, sachets of milk and sugar.
  • Food, i.e. tubes of butter, dehydrated meat, chocolate, salt tablets or electrolite powder.
  • Survival bag, a heat-insulated bag about 60 x 200cm of reflective material that keeps you warm and free of condensation.
  • Survival log, a diary to write in.

If you are planning to go hiking or something similar, then I can see the list being doable. You will have time to shop for them, either in person or online. However, in a true emergency situation, most people would not have a majority of these things on hand.

With this in mind, you have two options. The first is to prepare now, just in case. Think of yourself as Sheldon Cooper and stash emergency bags near the front and back doors of your residence and workplace. You may be thanking him (and me) later for the suggestion.

The second option is to wing it. Grab what you can when (if) the time ever comes. And take a mental note of the types of things you need to keep an eye open for when you’re on the run (from zombies).

Why I Write

Everyone is different. Everyone finds peace and tranquility in different ways. Some like to go fishing, bush walking or jogging. Others like to surround themselves with friends and go to parties, picnics, or out clubbing. And then there are those who prefer to meditate, read, or sew. Me? I like to write.

I started writing to escape the real world. That’s why I started out writing fantasy stories. I could go somewhere nobody would ever find me. I could experience anything my imagination was brave enough to conjure. As a result, I wrote for me alone. No one, ever, was ever meant to discover my worlds and find me.

But then I no longer had to escape. The real world became a good place to be, so I no longer had the desire to “disappear”. As a result, I stopped writing.

Yet, once I had started, I found it difficult to give up. The necessity was gone, but the desire remained. And I also discovered that I wanted to share my worlds. The written word called to me. It was easy to respond and return to writing.

It wasn’t an easy journey. Writer’s block caught hold of me, or so I thought. In fact, difficult and sometimes horrible events in my life disguised themselves as writer’s block. The pain and grief I felt took me over, leaving me feeling exhausted and worthless. It took me a while to recognise the true “block” was of my own doing. And when I acknowledged that, and accepted it, I began writing once again.

Someone once asked me if I wrote to become rich and famous? Even now I laugh at that. Very few writers become rich and famous authors. Very few indeed.

I want neither fame nor fortune. You scoff at that, I know, but it is true. However, I do want people to read my books and enjoy them. It would be nice to earn enough money from my writing to live comfortably. But I am a reserved person, who enjoys not being “seen” and I honestly do not feel I would cope well with fame. The fortune would never go astray, of course. But you cannot have one without the other. And I enjoy being alone too much, so I do not want fame.

Why do I write? I write to share words, worlds, ideas and characters. I invite the reader into my worlds, hoping they find something they like. And although I no longer feel the need to escape this world, sometimes it is still fun to wander into other worlds and live a life that would never be possible here. Besides, as a reserved person, writing allows me to be braver, louder, and more outgoing than I would ever be in real life.

Why do you write?

The Land of Miu: Discounted eBooks

Each year in March there is a opportunity for readers to grab free and discounted ebooks for the devices. 2019 will be no different.

Read an eBook Week starts on 3 March and continues through to 9 March. Let’s get people reading more. Let’s encourage readers to try an ebook and see if they like it.

Many years ago, I believed I would never read electronic books, because I loved the feel and smell of printed books. However, printed books are not always convenient as they are heavy and cumbersome. I discovered carrying my book library on my phone and being able to access my current read from anywhere, was liberating. Suddenly, while sitting in a doctor’s surgery, or waiting at the train station, or just waiting in general, meant I could whip out my book and read. I always had my phone with me, but I didn’t always have my paperback in my bag.

Avid readers should give ebooks a serious go. And here’s your chance to grab some free and discounted books, including The Land of Miu series. For one week only, you can get all three books for less than a cup of coffee. That’s right, for $3.00 you can download Book 1, 2 and 3.

Grab your copy of the series now and start reading. 😀

Survival Tips

Here’s something different. I’m writing a manuscript where the main character needs to survive on her own for a short period, four to seven days (still deciding), in an unfamiliar location. No people, no conveniences. Lots of dense trees and wild animals.

Due to this situation, I’ve been reading SAS Survival Guide. I find the information fascinating, to be honest. And, being me, I find myself imagining what I would do if there was a zombie apocalypse. And no, the manuscript I’m writing has nothing to do with zombies. 😀

Anyway, I’ve decided that should zombies suddenly take to the streets, one of the first things I’m going to have to grab is this book. It’s only small, pocket sized. And there’s heaps of useful information in it, from what you should take with you, to finding or building shelter, finding food and water, and other stuff that could make the difference between surviving and … well, not.

I might share some useful tips with you, so you can be as prepared as me (when the zombies attack).

Firstly, let’s look at one of the items that should be in the trusty backpack you’ll need to be carrying. The backpack needs to be strong, waterproof and have tough, adjustable webbing secured to the frame, and a comfortable belt to take the weight on the hips.

That item is a tin about 100 x 75 x 30mm. The guide claims the inside of the lid should be polished to make a reflecting surface. The join where the lid and the tin meets needs to be sealed with a strip of adhesive tape to make it waterproof. And cotton wool should be used as a lining to stop the items from rattling (and driving you crazy). The tin and the contents inside should be keep with you at all times. Always.

The items in the tin should be as follows:

  • Matches (waterproof, if possible)
  • Candle (shaved square for packing)
  • Processed flint with saw striker
  • Magnifying glass (for fire starting in sunlight)
  • Needles and thread (several needles, with one with a large eye; wrap the thread around the needles)
  • Fish hooks and line
  • Compass (liquid-filled type with luminous button is best)
  • Beta light (small, self-illuminating; these are reliable for about 15 years)
  • Snare wire (preferably brass, 60-90cm)
  • Flexible saw (best to remove handles and grease before storing)
  • Medical kit, including:
    • Analgesic (for mild/moderate pain relief)
    • Intestinal sedative (for acute/chronic diarrhoea)
    • Antibiotic (a full course; for general infections)
    • Antihistamine (for allergies)
    • Water sterilising tables (for when you cannot boil water)
    • Anti-malaria tables (essential in areas where malaria is present)
    • Potassium permanganate (to treat fungal diseases)
  • Surgical blades (hopefully you’ll never have to use them)
  • Butterfly sutures (to hold edges of wound together
  • Band aides/plasters (waterproof, assorted sizes)
  • Condom (makes a good water-bag)

All the above items need to be placed carefully in the tin. This is your survival tin. You should have a survival pouch too, but that’s information I’ll save for another day.