Grammar Review: Written and Oral English Language Conventions cahsee preparation: Unit Two Standard(s) Addressed

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Grammar Review: Written and Oral English Language Conventions

CAHSEE Preparation: Unit Two

Standard(s) Addressed:

Grade 7 Review WOC: 1.2 Identify and use infinitives and participles and make clear references between pronouns and antecedents; 1.3 Identify all parts of speech and types and structure of sentences; 1.4 Demonstrate the mechanics of writing (e.g., quotation marks, commas at end of dependent clauses) and appropriate English usage (e.g., pronoun reference).


Reflective Communicators: Think, read, write, listen, speak well

Directions: At the start of class each day you are to have this paper on your desk. When the bell rings you are to begin working on the activity. Each of these activities is designed to prepare you for the CAHSEE on March 13th, so pay attention!
Grammar Activity (Tuesday, 1/31): “Phrases”

A phrase is a group of words that function as a single part of speech. The sentence below contains a number of phrases.

Finishing the race will require running up some steep slopes.

  • finishing the race (This gerund—we’ll get to what that is in a minute—acts as a subject noun.)

  • will require (This phrase functions as a verb.)

  • running up some steep slopes (This gerund phrase acts as an object noun.)

Types of Phrases:

  1. A

    Appositive Phrase
    n appositive phrase, which follows a noun or a pronoun and renames it, consists of a noun and its modifiers. An appositive adds new information about the noun or pronoun it follows.

Example: The Trans-Siberian railroad, the world’s longest railway, stretches from Moscow to Vladivostok.

(The appositive phrase renames Trans-Siberian Railroad and provides new information.)

  1. A verbal phrase is a phrase based on one of the three types of verbals: gerund, infinitive, or participle.

  • A gerund phrase consists of a gerund (a verb ending in “ing” and used as a noun) and its modifiers. The whole phrase functions as a noun.

Example: Spotting the tiny mouse was easy for the hawk. (Here the gerund phrase is used as the subject of the sentence.)

  • An infinitive phrase consists of an infinitive (the base form of a verb with the word “to” in front of it) and its modifiers. The whole phrase functions as either a noun, and adjective, or an adverb.

Example: Your efforts to clean the chalkboard are appreciated. (The infinitive phrase is used as an adjective modifying efforts.)

  • A participial phrase consists of a past or present participle (a verb form ending in “ing” or “ed” and acting as an adjective) and its modifiers. The whole phrase functions as an adjective.

Example: Following her nose, the beagle took off like a rabbit. (The participial phrase modifies the noun beagle.)

Practice: Identify each underlined phrase as an appositive, a gerund, an infinitive, or a participial phrase.

  1. Shaking violently from the cold, Suzy couldn’t wait to leave the classroom. (participial)

  2. A common mistake that people make in many countries is to stand with their hands on their hips.

  3. Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting, the Mona Lisa, depicts an unknown woman.

  4. In the Netherlands, complimenting people about their clothes is not a good idea.

  5. The entire building, the two shops and the restaurant, was being renovated.

  6. The city’s safety codes about renovating existing structures are strict.

  7. John moved to New York, distancing himself from his California roots.

  8. Most people would like to have more time for relaxation.

Grammar Activity (Wednesday, 2/1): “Phrases, Part II”

Today we will discuss three other types of phrases (yesterday, you’ll remember we talked about appositive, infinitive, gerund, and participial phrases).

  1. A verb phrase consists of a main verb preceded (def: to come or go before something) by one or more helping verbs.

Example: Snow has been falling for days. (has been falling is a verb phrase)

  1. A prepositional phrase is a group of words beginning with a preposition and ending with a noun or a pronoun. Prepositional phrases function mainly as adjectives and adverbs.

Example: Juan won the cross-country race in record time. (in record time is used as an adverb modifying the verb won.)

  1. An absolute phrase consists of a noun and a participle—a verb form (plus the participle’s object, if there is one, and any modifiers). An absolute phrase functions as an adjective that adds information to the entire sentence. Absolute phrases are always set off with commas.

Example: Its wheels clattering rhythmically over the rails, the train rolled into town. (The noun wheels is modified by the present participle clattering. The entire phrase modifies the rest of the sentence.)

Practice: Identify each underlined phrase as a verb, a preposition, or an absolute phrase.

  1. Members of professional or recreational groups—from pilots to bloggers—often use special slang or technical words called jargon. (prepositional)

  2. Stephen should have been working on his independent reading all semester.

  3. My chores for the weekend complete, I went to play basketball with my friends.

  4. The firefighter stood over the ruins of the building, his senses alert to any sign of a flare up.

  5. Kara could hear her sister snoring across the room.

  6. The truck packed with all her belongings, Erika set out for college.

  7. The term “hairdo” was invented in the 1920s as a slang term for the French word coiffure.

  8. Reach for that dog toy behind the couch.

  9. Our boat has weathered storms worse than this one.

Grammar Activity (Thursday, 2/2): “Punctuation: Underline and Quotes”

In Unit 1 you practiced recognizing which creative works should be identified with underlining (italics) or quotes. Today, we will review to see how much you have internalized! Be careful; there may be a few tricky ones!


  1. Joseph and His Brothers, a novel by Thomas Mann, is based on a Biblical legend.

  2. Through the Tunnel, a short story by Doris Lessing, deals with the transition from childhood to adulthood.

  3. Can you believe she has never seen the movie Star Wars?

  4. Jorge and Melinda attended a performance of Mozart’s long musical work Don Giovanni.

  5. Of all the short stories written in our summer writing class, my favorite was the one called Julie Sue’s Famous Fifteen Minutes.

  6. Have you listened to Ravel’s long musical composition called Bolero?

  7. Devika gets very teary-eyed singing the famous New Year’s song Auld Lang Syne.

  8. Jailhouse Rock is one of my all-time favorite songs.

  9. Nicole’s mother reads The Wall Street Journal, her favorite newspaper, each morning during breakfast.

  10. Langston Hughes’s autobiography is called The Big Sea.

  11. Of all of Billy Joel’s albums, I think The Stranger is his best.

  12. The school drama group will stage The Wizard of Oz next week.

  13. Do you recall reading an article called Cooking with Bananas?

  14. Chapter Four of the book is Koala Bears and Other Hazards, not Life Down Under.

  15. Edgar Lee Masters wrote Spoon River Anthology, a favorite of mine.

Grammar Activity (Friday, 2/3): “Clauses”

A clause is a group of related words that has both a subject and a predicate (verb).

An independent clause presents a complete thought and can stand alone as a sentence; a dependent clause (also called a subordinate clause) does not present a complete thought and cannot stand alone as a sentence.

Example: Sparrows make nests in cattle barns (independent clause) so that they can stay warm during the winter (dependent clause).

Practice: Underline the independent clause once and the dependent clause twice in the following sentences.

  1. She bicycled around the lake twice while the race was in progress.

  2. After the cast took their bows, the curtain descended.

  3. The pessimist sees a half-empty glass while the optimist views it as half full.

  4. The park’s maintenance crew covered the baseball diamond with a plastic tarp as soon as the umpire called a rain delay.

  5. Though Morgan had been down this street many times before, he wasn’t sure which house was Claire’s.

  6. Sleep is a time of rest when the sleeper loses awareness of his or her surroundings.

  7. When they are dreaming, people’s eyes move rapidly and their brains emit small, fast waves.

  8. Scientists call this dreaming phase “REM,” which stands for “rapid eye movement.”

  9. During an eight-hour sleep, most people experience three to five periods of dreaming.

Grammar Activity (Friday, 2/3): “The Phrase versus The Clause”

Review the different types of phrases and clauses from last week’s grammar review activities prior to completing this practice section.

Practice: Indicate whether the underlined portions of each of the sentences below are clauses or phrases. Write a “C” if it is a clause, and a “P” if it is a phrase.

  1. Antarctica has not always been buried in ice. (P)

  2. Millions of years ago, Antarctica was a much warmer place.

  3. Gondwanaland, a land mass that included Antarctica, Africa, Australia, India, and South America began to break apart about 140 million years ago.

  4. Antarctica began drifting south, and ice began to build up.

  5. This happened approximately 30 million years ago.

  6. Evidence that supports this finding comes from fossil studies.

  7. Antarctica is inhabited today by a number of scientists.

  8. The scientists come from many different nations, yet they all work together.

Grammar Activity (Monday, 2/6): “Subject Verb Agreement: Part I”

A verb must agree in number (singular or plural) with its subject.


xample: The student was proud of her semester grades.

Note: Do not be confused by words that come between the subject and its verb. (The manager, as well as the players, is required to display good sportsmanship. Manager, not players, is the subject.)

Practice: Underline the verb that agrees in number with its subject.

  1. Neither he nor she (is, are) strong enough to lift the barbell.

  2. The teacher as well as the students (is, are) required to attend the assembly.

  3. Mathematics (has, have) always been my favorite subject.

  4. Most of the picture (was, were) covered in blue and red paint.

  5. There (is, are) disagreements among the committee members.

  6. Some of the ice cream cones in the pack (was, were) crushed.

  7. Neither one of them (is, are) qualified to make that decision.

  8. All of the collie’s fur (was, were) knotted with burdocks.

  9. Honesty and integrity (was, were) just two of Abraham Lincoln’s most famous characteristics.

  10. Jack and the Beanstalk (is, are) the first graders’ favorite story.

Grammar Activity (Monday, 2/6): “Subject Verb Agreement: Part II”

Review the reminders and examples of the previous grammar activity prior to completing today’s second activity.

Practice: Underline the verb that agrees in number with its subject.

  1. There (is, are) more to their stories than either witness (is, are) willing to say.

  2. The cleaners promised that his trousers (was, were) going to be cleaned, pressed, and delivered.

  3. The paper plates, napkins, and coleslaw (was, were) brought to the picnic by the Sungs.

  4. It (was, were) the Crane family that (was, were) supposed to bring the ice and chicken.

  5. Cynthia Moss (study, studies) and (protect, protects) elephants.

  6. Her research (has, have) been done in many national parks.

  7. Wild African elephants (leads, lead) extraordinary lives.

  8. Elephant families, made up of adult females and their young, (is, are) led by the oldest female of the group.

Voice_of_a_Verb”'>Grammar Activity (Friday, 2/10): “Voice of a Verb”

Chances are you will not remember everything you learned (way back in Unit 3) about passive and active voice, so we’ve included a refresher here. Make sure you read this carefully and ask questions when you do not understand, as we can guarantee that you will be asked questions about this on the CAHSEE!

Grammar Memory Check: The easiest way to determine whether or not a sentence is using passive voice is to determine if a sentence uses a “be” verb + another verb. The following are examples of “be” verbs: is, am, ______, was, _________, be, _______, and been.

Voice indicates whether the subject of a sentence is acting or being acted upon.

Active voice indicates that the subject of the verb is, has been, or will be doing something.

  • When a sentence is in the active voice, the subject performs the action.

  • Active voice makes your writing more strong, direct, and lively.

Example: For many years Lou Brock held the base-stealing record. (The subject, Lou Brock, is the one performing the action; it was he who held the record.)

Passive voice indicates that the subject of the verb is being, has been, or will be acted upon.

  • In passive voice, the subject is acted upon, and the performer of the action (called the agent) either is stated in a prepositional phrase or is missing from the sentence.

Example: For many years the base-stealing record was held by Lou Brock. (In this example, the performer of the action is Lou Brock—indicated by the prepositional phrase by Lou Brock—but is being acted upon.

In other words, active voice emphasizes the agent of the action, whereas the passive voice emphasizes the action.

Directions: Underline the “agent of the action” (the person/thing who/that performs the action) once and underline the verb (the action) twice. Then rewrite those sentences that are written in the passive voice. If the sentence is already in active voice, write correct as is.

  1. The poem was read aloud by Maggie.


  1. The Yankees were beaten by the Phillies in the playoffs.


  1. Her laptop was given to Edith by her parents.


  1. Many letters have been sent to me by your office.


  1. Raymond invited Stephanie to the party.


  1. The truth was suddenly realized by the students.


  1. The computers were shipped by the Tustin store on Tuesday.


  1. The essays were graded by all of the teachers.


  1. Amanda took the test last week.


  1. Linda and Peter were married by the minister.

Directory: cms -> lib5 -> CA01000471 -> Centricity -> Domain -> 2253
2253 -> Due: Tuesday, 14 February 2012 All homework must be completed in its entirety
2253 -> Due: Tuesday, 14 February 2012 All homework must be completed in its entirety
2253 -> Due: Monday, 12 March 2012 All homework must be completed in its entirety
2253 -> Standard w 3 – Write expository compositions, including analytical essays and research reports
2253 -> Grammar Review: Written and Oral English Language Conventions cahsee preparation: Unit One Standard(s) Addressed
2253 -> Organizer #3 of 4 Writing Strategies Differentiation Due: Tuesday, 28 February 2012 All homework must be completed in its entirety
2253 -> Cahsee homework
2253 -> Homework Organizer #4 of 4 Writing Strategies Differentiation Due: Monday, 12 March 2012 All homework must be completed in its entirety
2253 -> Organizer #1 of 4 Writing Strategies Differentiation Due: Tuesday, 24 January 2012 All homework must be completed in its entirety
2253 -> Cahsee homework

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