Miss Mentor’s Little Black Book of Grammar

By demonstrating interest in a grammar book, I can surmise a few things about you….

  1. You are a clever and discerning person.
  2. You are probably studying for the test that will help an admissions director determine your fate at her school.
  3. You are smart and curious.
  4. You look great in black.

Onboard?

Good.

Let’s go.

If you have questions or comments, you are welcome to leave those here – see below – or shoot me a note: grammar-feedback@missmentor.com.

How to Use This Guide

Just Getting Started

Read from the beginning. Keep your focus on SENTENCES until you can competently work through the Complete It Chapter, Level 1.

Experienced with Diagramming

You have experience diagramming sentences. Or perhaps, you took Latin for 3 years in high school. If you have a significant amount of time in language classes you have probably diagrammed sentences.

Excellent! You may need a refresher and you will definitely want to see how I define terms. My version of sentence diagramming is streamlined, and builds on what you would have learned in a great grammar class or in your Latin language class.  Other languages’ diagramming techniques may not be as helpful.

Read through DIAGRAMMING to get up to speed on our version of diagramming. Then choose your adventure. The beta testers like you reported success with reading DIAGRAMMING first, then working through the Complete It Chapter, Level 1.

If you stumble with the Complete It Chapter, just use go back through SENTENCES to refresh yourself.

You are a Cunning Linguist

Be kind. I am not a linguist. I trained in Civil Engineering and Finance. I used dirt, concrete, and a limited non-repeatable vocabulary for my first post college job. I heart Excel . . . I even have the t-shirt. Worse still, I MADE the t-shirt.

Much of my grammar education has been the result of student questions. While I may know what is correct or incorrect by eye and ear (huge thanks my family!), I had to have a language to convey that to my students . . . thank you grammarians and linguists for creating that language and fussing over it for centuries. You are the sentinels of our language.

My approach is different from that of a grammarian. My students are not planning to be writers; they just want to get the job done. That “job” may be taking admissions tests or it may be proofing a memo. Most likely, both.

So, I come to the table recognizing that most of my readers come to this book out of necessity, not (yet) love of grammar. If they can learn to love the English language more, that’s a bonus.

So all you grammarians, I am ever so grateful for your feedback and suggestions. If you have comments, please send me an email: grammar-feedback@missmentor.com.

Errors and omissions are entirely my responsibility. Do send me a note if you see something higgly-piggly, please!