Typographical Conventions

This page describes the typographical conventions we use in the Grammar Guide and generally on the IWeb TEFL site.


Examples are shown thus:

This is a grammar example.

Following common convention, ungrammatical sentences are marked with an asterisk:

* This is grammatical not.

Note that In some grammars‏‎ (although not ours) you can also see this shown as strikethrough:

This is grammatical not.

In cases where there is doubt over whether a sentence is grammatical or not, a question mark is used before the sentence:

? The car’s door.

Syntax & Form

For examples of structure or syntax‏‎, we use this format. The curly brackets show a grammatical term (e.g. a part of speech or sentence part, etc):

{subject} + {verb}

The three men + smiled
He was running

Note that sometimes we’ll use the + symbol, other times not; this depends on the circumstances and what we want to highlight. Likewise we will put in bold words or phrases to be noted.

If a word is shown normally (i.e. without brackets or other formatting) then it must be used as is; if there is a choice of words then they’re separated with a slash:

{pronoun} + have/had + {past participle}

He had gone
We have seen

To show the base form of a word which needs to be conjugated or declined or otherwise inflected, we put it in round brackets:

{noun phrase} + (be)

the doctor + is
the doctor + was
they + are

Note that this is the same as putting the full list of possibilities separated by a slash:

{noun phrase} + (be)

{noun phrase} + be/am/are/is/was/were/am being/are being/is being/was being/were being/will be

If something is optional it’s in square brackets:

He said + [that] + clause

He said we must go.
He said that we must go.

To show a more general term, we use italics:

[person] + [reporting verb] + quote

He replied, “Never again!”
She said, “I will survive!”

The IWeb TEFL Resource Library in general uses American English‏‎ spelling.

Did you know that if you subscribe to our website, you will receive email notifications whenever content changes or new content is added.
1. Enter your e-mail address below and click the Sign Me Up button.
2. You will receive an email asking you to confirm your intention of subscribing to our site.
3. Click the link in the email to confirm. That’s all there is to it!

Enter your email address below to subscribe to IWeb TEFL.

Note: if you wish to unsubscribe from our site, click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email you received.
Then indicate you no longer wish to receive our emails.

Thank You
IWeb TEFL Team

Posted in Sentence Structure.

Leave a Reply