Originally Posted by Satori
I still don't know what an adverb or a predicate is but I can write "A" papers without much thought.
So, must know or not?
Obviously, one can get through life without knowing. We were all taught in school, though many either never grasped it or didn't retain it.
A predicate is the verb and its little helpers. For example, in the sentence:
The dog barked.
The predicate is "barked."
And in the sentence:
The dog barked loudly at the cat as it ran across the lawn.
The predicate is "barked loudly at the cat as it ran across the lawn." Basically, you just start at the verb and keep going.
There are many wonderful reasons to learn grammar. I like grammer.
However, I don't think kids need to learn it in early elementary school. There really isn't all that much to grammar. It is a very finite subject. I think that by going it over and over and over, we mostly teach children to tune it out! I think waiting until they are older and then really studying it makes more sense.
The reason I've heard for teaching this sort of thing in first and second graders is so that when children write you can more easily tell them what is wrong with their writing. For example. If they fail to write in complete sentences, you can better explain to them why it isn't a complete sentence. If they don't know what a subject or predicate is, then is can be difficult to explain that they have failed to include one in their writing. You can tell them that their subjects and verbs don't agree, and all that sort of thing.
Personally, my kids didn't do a great deal of writing at that age, and I didn't want to discourage their efforts by telling them what was wrong with what they did, but it is the reason given to me by a former teacher with a Master's in Curriculum Development, so I thought I would pass it along.
BTW, adverbs, have two jobs. The can describe verbs. For example:
The dog barked loudly.
"Loudly" is an adverb.
The can also describe adjectives.