Ch 1: Compass Writing Skills: Grammar

About This Chapter

This chapter introduces you to various parts of speech with definitions and examples. Learn about the different types of words that make a sentence through our brief video lessons as you get ready for the ACT Compass Writing Skills test.

Compass Writing Skills: Grammar - Chapter Summary

Review the topics discussed in this chapter to be able to identify grammatical errors and avoid them in your writing. The short videos that are featured in this chapter clearly indicate the purpose and appropriate usage of verbs, nouns, pronouns and more. You'll see the following covered:

  • Types of nouns and their use in the subject of a sentence
  • Antecedents, including compound antecedents
  • Relative, interrogative and possessive pronouns
  • Action, linking and auxiliary verbs
  • Errors in verb tense
  • Adjectives versus adverbs
  • Misplaced and dangling modifiers
  • Predicate basics

Assess your understanding of the grammatical topics appearing in this chapter with quick and informative practice quizzes and a chapter exam. The videos you can watch across the chapter all have lesson transcripts for you to explore.

ACT Compass Writing Skills Objectives

The ACT Compass Writing Skills is a placement exam used by colleges to determine which classes you should take. It consists entirely of multiple-choice questions. This exam calls for test takers to identify a range of errors in writing that includes basic grammatical mistakes. You can learn or review the information needed to recognize various errors in grammar through the content of this chapter.

15 Lessons in Chapter 1: Compass Writing Skills: Grammar
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What Are Nouns? - Definition, Types & Examples

1. What Are Nouns? - Definition, Types & Examples

A noun is a part of speech that identifies a person, place, thing, or idea. In this lesson, in addition to learning how to identify nouns, you'll learn the difference between proper and common nouns and a bit about how nouns function in sentences.

What Are Pronouns? - Types, Examples & Definition

2. What Are Pronouns? - Types, Examples & Definition

In this lesson, we'll learn about pronouns in general, and take a look at two types of personal pronouns: subjective case and objective case pronouns. Knowing which case of pronoun you'll need can help you avoid common pronoun errors.

Pronouns: Relative, Reflexive, Interrogative & Possessive

3. Pronouns: Relative, Reflexive, Interrogative & Possessive

In this lesson, we'll look at relative, reflexive, interrogative and possessive pronouns. We'll do this by antagonizing our friend Gary with the whos, whats, whoms, and whichevers that make up these pronouns.

Using Nouns as the Subject of a Sentence: Grammar Rules & Examples

4. Using Nouns as the Subject of a Sentence: Grammar Rules & Examples

A subject is an essential part of a sentence. This video explains the role that subjects play in sentences, how nouns work as subjects and the various types of subjects.

What is an Antecedent? - Definition, Meaning & Examples

5. What is an Antecedent? - Definition, Meaning & Examples

If you have a pronoun in a sentence, you'll also need to have an antecedent. In this lesson, find out what an antecedent is as well as some of the basic rules for avoiding vague pronoun references and for making sure that you have pronoun-antecedent agreement.

Compound Antecedents: Definition & Examples

6. Compound Antecedents: Definition & Examples

You may know already that an antecedent and its pronoun must agree in number. In this lesson, you'll learn about compound antecedents and the various rules involving how they can be made to agree with pronouns.

Personal Pronouns and Antecedents: Number Agreement

7. Personal Pronouns and Antecedents: Number Agreement

In this lesson, you'll learn how to avoid one of the most common grammatical mistakes in writing by learning how to ensure that all of the antecedents in your writing agree in number with the pronouns that they're matched up with.

Action, Linking and Auxiliary Verbs: Definitions, Functions & Examples

8. Action, Linking and Auxiliary Verbs: Definitions, Functions & Examples

Do you think that a verb is just a verb? Check out this lesson to learn about the differences among action verbs, linking verbs, and auxiliary/helping verbs.

Verb Forms: Participles & Infinitives

9. Verb Forms: Participles & Infinitives

Using verbs correctly involves knowing more than just how to express action in a sentence. This lesson will show you a few special types of verb forms - infinitives, present participles, and past participles - as well as how to use them.

Comparison of Adjectives & Adverbs: Examples, Sentences & Exercises

10. Comparison of Adjectives & Adverbs: Examples, Sentences & Exercises

Adjectives and adverbs are descriptive words that allow our sentences to be much more specific and interesting than they would be without them. This lesson covers the rules for using adjectives and adverbs correctly, including those used in comparisons.

Indefinite and Definite Articles: Definition and Examples

11. Indefinite and Definite Articles: Definition and Examples

Watch this video lesson on indefinite and definite articles. Find out when you should use which type of article and when you shouldn't use any article at all.

What are Predicates? - Definition and Examples

12. What are Predicates? - Definition and Examples

A predicate is a necessary component of each sentence, so it's important to know what one is and how to identify one. This lesson goes over the basics of predicates as well as how knowing about them can help answer other grammatical questions.

Identifying Errors of Verb Tense

13. Identifying Errors of Verb Tense

In order to identify verb tense errors, you'll need to learn about the six verb tenses and how they differ. Once you know how to look for them, problematic shifts in verb tenses can be spotted and avoided easily.

What Are Misplaced Modifiers and Dangling Modifiers?

14. What Are Misplaced Modifiers and Dangling Modifiers?

I have this recurring nightmare where all my modifiers are misplaced or dangling and everybody's laughing at me. Don't let this happen to you! Learn why modifiers are important and why putting them in the right place is even more so.

Active and Passive Voice

15. Active and Passive Voice

You may have heard your teachers toss around the terms 'passive voice' and 'active voice'. But if you've never really understood what it means to write actively or passively, stick with us -- and learn how to turn to awkward passive sentences into bright, active ones.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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