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Language Study: Pieces of a
Mrs. Cahill
Freshmen Lit
Unit Essential Questions
What function does our language serve?
What is the importance of our audience when speaking
and writing?
How does understanding the rules of our language make
us better communicators?
Learning Targets
At the end of this unit, I will be able to:
construct a complete persuasive essay
use a variety of sentences in my own writing
identify the parts of a sentence
use a variety phrases in my own writing
define independent and dependent clauses
Language, lan·guage
the system of communication used by a community or
EVERY and ALL languages have three things in common
What do you think are some things a language MUST
have? Does it have to be spoken? Written?
1. All languages change.
Words go in and out of style over time
Some things no longer exist, and we no longer need
words for them
Example: Bodkin, a long pin used for fastening hair
Other times, new things come into existence, and we
need new words for them
Example: Tweet, blog
Can you think of any words or expressions used by your
parents (or grandparents) that are not used by you or your
friends? What are they?
2. All languages vary.
Even when people speak the same language, each
group uses it a little bit differently
Language use often varies by location
Example: soda vs. pop
What are some terms that vary between different
Are there different ways to pronounce the same word?
3. All languages follow rules.
All languages have rules, even informal ones
Example: Google ---> googled
BUT the rules may change, depending on who you are
speaking to
Not all languages follow the same rules
 Example: English and Spanish follow different rules
We call this system of rules grammar
Grammar tells us how to join our smaller
parts into bigger parts and create meaning
The English language can be divided into
many different kinds of parts: words, phrases,
sentences, and more
In the past, you have probably heard the term parts of
speech. What are some of the different parts of speech?
Nouns: An Owner’s Manual
A NOUN is used to name people, places, things, ideas—
anything that needs naming
Example: Truck
A NOUN is often accompanied by other words—together,
these words make up a NOUN PHRASE
Example: The red truck
Adjectives: An Owner’s Manual
An ADJECTIVE modifies a NOUN, and answers the
question What kind? It might also answer the questions
Which one? or How many?
Example: The black truck
Sometimes multiple words will work together to modify
your NOUN—this is called an ADJECTIVE PHRASE
Example: The astonishingly black truck
Verbs: An Owner’s Manual
A VERB is used to show an action or state of being
A VERB is often accompanied by other words—together
these words make up a VERB PHRASE
Example: The truck ran the stop sign.
Adverbs: An Owner’s Manual
An ADVERB modifies a VERB. It tells us where, when, or
how a VERB happened.
Example: The boy sat quietly.
Sometimes multiple words will work together to modify
your VERB—this is called an ADVERB PHRASE
Example: The boy sat in silence.