UTELLanguage Resources

Traditional Grammatical Terminology

© A. G. Rigg, University of Toronto

Few students nowadays, either in high school or anywhere else, receive formal training in English grammar; as a result, older grammatical terms used traditionally to describe languages have fallen out of use. Further, until a couple of generations ago, most students aiming at university learned Latin, if only at an elementary level, and it was particularly in Latin that they learned to use this terminology. Nowadays very few people learn Latin at all. Consequently, when, further in their academic progress, they try to learn older languages (Latin, Greek, Old English, etc.), often using older textbooks, they are baffled at the very terms that are supposed to help them understand the structure of these alien systems. This document is designed to help. It is very old-fashioned in content, but although (perhaps because) it does not employ modern linguistic analysis or terminology, it may also provide an introductory framework for an understanding of modern English.

[Note: PDE = "Present Day English" throughout this document]

  1. General terms
  2. Parts of Speech
  3. Cases
  4. Number
  5. Person
  6. Syntax
  7. Negatives
  8. Interrogatives
  9. Chart of Tense, Aspect, Voice
  10. Index of terms


HTML editor Dennis G. Jerz
Last modified: February 2, 1997
University of Toronto English Library
Director: Ian Lancashire.