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Glossary of Grammar Terms
beginning with letter P
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P Tweet Definition of P Like Definition of P on Facebook
noun
  1. The sixteenth letter of the Appendix:Roman script, English alphabet, preceded by O and followed by Q.
abbreviation
  1. Park
  2. Phone
  3. Pager
  4. Passenger
parataxis Tweet Definition of parataxis Like Definition of parataxis on Facebook
noun
  1. (grammar) Speech or writing in which clauses or phrases are placed together without being separated by conjunctions, for example "I came; I saw; I conquered".
  2. (politics) In Greek political system: coalition, "partisan camp"
parenthesis Tweet Definition of parenthesis Like Definition of parenthesis on Facebook
noun (parenthes, es)
  1. A clause, phrase or word inserted (usually for explanation or amplification) into a passage which is already grammatically complete, and usually marked off with brackets, commas or dashes.
  2. (Rhetoric) A digression; the use of such digressions.
  3. Either of a pair of brackets, especially round brackets, ( and ), used to enclose parenthetical material in a text.
  4. (context, Mathematics, Logic) Such brackets as used to clarify expressions by grouping those terms affected by a common operator, or to enclose the components of a vector or the elements of a matrix.
participial Tweet Definition of participial Like Definition of participial on Facebook
noun
  1. (grammar) a participle
adjective
  1. (grammar) of, relating to, or being a participle
participle Tweet Definition of participle Like Definition of participle on Facebook
noun
  1. (context, grammar) A form of a verb that may function as an adjective or noun. When combined with a form of auxiliary verbs, such as have or be, they form certain tenses or moods of the verb.
The past of "to love" is "loved".
The present of "to go" is "going".
partitive Tweet Definition of partitive Like Definition of partitive on Facebook
noun
  1. (grammar) a partitive word, phrase or case
adjective
  1. that divides something into parts
  2. (grammar) indicating a part rather than the whole of something; e.g. some
part of speech Tweet Definition of part of speech Like Definition of part of speech on Facebook
noun
  1. (grammar) The function a word or phrase performs in a sentence or phrase.
past Tweet Definition of past Like Definition of past on Facebook
noun
  1. The period of time that has already happened, in contrast to the present and the future.
  2. (grammar) The past tense.
adjective
  1. Having already happened; in the past; finished.
past glories
  1. Relating to the past.
past tense
  1. (of a period of time) the one before this one
during the past year
adverb
  1. in a direction that passes
I watched him walk past
past perfect Tweet Definition of past perfect Like Definition of past perfect on Facebook
noun
  1. A tense which represents actions that occured before other actions in the past; the pluperfect tense
perfective Tweet Definition of perfective Like Definition of perfective on Facebook
noun
  1. (grammar) a perfective verb form
adjective
  1. (grammar) of, or relative to the perfect tense or perfective aspect.
period Tweet Definition of period Like Definition of period on Facebook
noun
  1. (context, now mostly, North America) Punctuation mark ending a sentence or marking an abbreviation. <!-- What languages does this apply to? All? Or just most? Should it be
adjective
  1. appropriate, Appropriate for a given historical era.
    • 2004, Mark Singer, Somewhere in America, Houghton Mifflin, page 70
    • :As the guests arrived &mdash; there were about a hundred, a majority in attire &mdash; I began to feel out of place in my beige summer suit, white shirt, and red necktie. Then I got over it. I certainly didn't suffer from Confederate-uniform envy.
periphrastic Tweet Definition of periphrastic Like Definition of periphrastic on Facebook
adjective
  1. expressed in more word, words than are necessary
1916 Martin Brown Ruudhttp://www.gutenberg.org/files/16416/16416-8.txt :
:As poetry it does not measure up to Aasen; as translation it is , arbitrary, not at all faithful.
  1. (grammar) characterized by periphrase or circumlocution.
: "The daughter of the man" may be used as a synonym for "the man's daughter"
  1. indirect in naming an entity; circumlocutory
1870 Edward Bulwer-Lytton, in Vril: The Power of the Coming Racehttp://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/bulwer/1871/coming-race.htm :
:In writing, they deem it irreverent to express the Supreme Being ... and in conversation they generally use a epithet, such as the All-Good.
person Tweet Definition of person Like Definition of person on Facebook
noun (plural:persons, people (by suppletion))
  1. Human being; individual.
  2. Specific human being.
Where is the ?
  1. The physical body of a specified individual.
Meanwhile, the dazed Sullivan, dressed like a bum with no identification on his , is arrested and put to work on a brutal Southern chain gang. " New York Times, 2004
  1. Any individual or formal organization with standing before the courts.
By common law a corporation or a trust is legally a .
  1. (grammar) A linguistic category used to distinguish between the speaker of an utterance and those to whom or about whom he is speaking. See grammatical person.
personal pronoun Tweet Definition of personal pronoun Like Definition of personal pronoun on Facebook
noun
  1. A pronoun which, in English, refers to one or a combination of the following:
    • The person or people speaking. (first person)
    • The person or people spoken to. (second person)
    • Another person or group of people. (third person)
      1. Any pronoun, with an antecedent, standing in as the subject or object of a verb.
phrasal Tweet Definition of phrasal Like Definition of phrasal on Facebook
adjective
  1. Referring to, or used in the manner of, a phrase.
plural Tweet Definition of plural Like Definition of plural on Facebook
noun
  1. (grammar): a word in the form in which it potentially refers to something other than one person or thing; and other than two things if the language has a dual form.
adjective
  1. More than one of something.
positive Tweet Definition of positive Like Definition of positive on Facebook
noun
  1. A thing capable of being affirmed; something real or actual.
  2. A favourable point or characteristic.
  3. Something having a value in physics, such as an electric charge.
  4. (grammar) An adjective or adverb in the degree.
  5. (context, photography) A image; one that displays true colors and shades, as opposed to a negative.
adjective
  1. Definitively laid down; explicitly stated; clearly expressed, precise, emphatic.
    • Bacon:
    • : Positive words, that he would not bear arms against King Edward"s son.
      1. Fully assured, confident; certain.
      I"m absolutely you've spelt that wrong.
      1. Overconfident, dogmatic.
    • Pope:
    • : Some , persisting fops we know, That, if once wrong, will needs be always so.
      1. (grammar) Describing the primary sense of an adjective or adverb; not comparative or superlative.
      "Better" is an irregular comparative of the form "good".
      1. Derived from an object by itself; not dependent on changing circumstances or relations; absolute.
      The idea of beauty is not , but depends on the different tastes of individuals.
      1. Wholly what is expressed; colloquially downright, entire, outright.
      Good lord, you've built up a arsenal of weaponry here.
      1. Characterised by the existence or presence of qualities or features, rather than by their absence.
      The box was not empty " I felt some substance within it.
      1. Characterised by the presence of features which support a hypothesis.
      The results of our experiment are .
      1. Characterised by affirmation, constructiveness, or influence for the better; favourable.
      He has a outlook on life.
      The first-night reviews were largely .
    • Swift:
    • : a voice in legislation.
      1. (context, chiefly, philosophy) actual, Actual, real, concrete.
    • Bacon:
    • : Positive good.
      1. (photography) Of a visual image, true to the original in light, shade and colour values.
      A photograph can be developed from a photographic negative.
      1. (physics) Having more protons than electrons.
      A cation is a positive ion as it has more protons than electrons.
      1. (slang) HIV positive.
poss. Tweet Definition of poss. Like Definition of poss. on Facebook
abbreviation
  1. possessive (form)
postpositive Tweet Definition of postpositive Like Definition of postpositive on Facebook
noun
  1. A postpositive modifier.
adjective
  1. (of an adjective or other modifier) Placed after the word modified, either immediately after, as in two men abreast, or as part of a complement, as in those two men are bad.
potential Tweet Definition of potential Like Definition of potential on Facebook
noun (wikipedia, potential, Potential (physics))
  1. Anything that may be possible; a possibility; potentially.
  2. (physics) In the theory of gravitation, or of other forces acting in space, a function of the rectangular coordinates which determine the position of a point, such that its differential coefficients with respect to the coordinates are equal to the components of the force at the point considered; -- also called potential function, or force function. It is called also Newtonian potential when the force is directed to a fixed center and is inversely as the square of the distance from the center.
  3. (physics) The energy of an electrical charge measured by its power to do work; hence, the degree of electrification as referred to some standard, as that of the earth; electro-motive force.
  4. (grammar) A verbal construction or form stating something is possible or probable.
adjective
  1. Being potent; endowed with energy adequate to a result; efficacious; influential.
  2. Existing in possibility, not in actuality.
  3. (grammar) Referring to a verbal construction of form stating something is possible or probable.
p.p. Tweet Definition of p.p. Like Definition of p.p. on Facebook
abbreviation
  1. (grammar): past participle
predicate Tweet Definition of predicate Like Definition of predicate on Facebook
noun
  1. (grammar) The part of the sentence (or clause) which states something about the subject.
In "The dog barked very loudly", the subject is "the dog" and the is "barked very loudly".
  1. (logic) A statement that may be true or false depending on the values of its variables.
  2. (computing) An operator or function that returns either true or false.
verb (predicat, ing)
  1. (transitive) To announce or assert publically.
  2. (context, transitive, logic) To state, assert.
  3. (transitive) To suppose, assume; to infer.
    • 1859: There was a character about Madame Defarge, from which one might have predicated that she did not often make mistakes against herself in any of the reckonings over which she presided. " Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
    • 1881: Of anyone else it would have been said that she must be finding the afternoon rather dreary in the quaint halls not of her forefathers: but of Miss Power it was unsafe to so surely. " Thomas Hardy, A Laodicean
      1. (context, transitive, originally, US) To base (on); to assert on the grounds of.
    • 1978: the law is what constitutes both desire and the lack on which it is predicated. " Michel Foucault, The Will to Knowledge, trans. Robert Hurley (Penguin 1998, p. 81)
prefix Tweet Definition of prefix Like Definition of prefix on Facebook
noun (prefixes)
  1. That which is prefixed; especially one or more letters or syllables added to the beginning of a word to modify its meaning; as, pre- in prefix, con- in conjure.
verb (prefix, es)
  1. (transitive) put or fix before, or at the beginning of, another thing; as, to prefix a syllable to a word, or a condition to an agreement.
  2. (transitive) set or appoint beforehand; settle or establish antecedently. Obs.
Prefixed bounds. --Locke.
And now he hath to her prefixt a day. --Spenser.
prepositional phrase Tweet Definition of prepositional phrase Like Definition of prepositional phrase on Facebook
noun
  1. (grammar) a phrase that has both a preposition and its object or complement; may be used as an adjunct or a modifier.
For example:
  • The man in the story walked along the beach.
prepositive Tweet Definition of prepositive Like Definition of prepositive on Facebook
noun
  1. A prepositive word.
adjective
  1. Put before; prefixed; as, a prepositive particle.
present perfect Tweet Definition of present perfect Like Definition of present perfect on Facebook
noun
  1. (grammar) A tense that expresses action completed at the present time; in English it is formed by using the present tense of have with a past participle
    • Example: I have finished this definition.
preterit Tweet Definition of preterit Like Definition of preterit on Facebook
noun
  1. (alternative form of, preterite)
privative Tweet Definition of privative Like Definition of privative on Facebook
noun
  1. Something that causes privation or indicates an absence.
adjective
  1. Causing privation.
  2. In grammar indicating the absence of something.
proclitic Tweet Definition of proclitic Like Definition of proclitic on Facebook
noun
  1. (linguistics) A clitic which joins with the following word. In English, the dialectal form t' is an example.
Progressive Tweet Definition of Progressive Like Definition of Progressive on Facebook
proper noun
  1. A member or supporter of a Progressive Party
pronominal Tweet Definition of pronominal Like Definition of pronominal on Facebook
adjective
  1. Of, pertaining to, resembling, or functioning as of a pronoun.
pronoun Tweet Definition of pronoun Like Definition of pronoun on Facebook
noun
  1. (grammar) A type of noun that refers anaphora, anaphorically to another noun or noun phrase, but which cannot ordinarily be preceded by a determiner and rarely takes an attributive adjective. English examples include I, you, him, who, my, each other.
protasis Tweet Definition of protasis Like Definition of protasis on Facebook
noun (protas, es)
  1. the first part of a play, in which the setting and characters are introduced
  • 1922: It doubles itself in the middle of his life, reflects itself in another, repeats itself, , epitasis, catastasis, catastrophe. " James Joyce, Ulysses
    1. the antecedent in a conditional sentence
example: In, "I will be coming if this weather holds up", "this weather holds up" is the

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