Monthly Archives: February 2015

Grammar: one word, two systems (morphology and syntax)

This is a post comes from an answer I gave to a question on Quora. It sums up my definition of grammar so well I felt it was worth reproducing it for you here. 

Question: Are there any explanations of grammar available that don’t use technical words?

Words are words, technical or not. 

Here is how I got through grammar. 
Firstly, there are two types of grammar in terms of what they aim to explain – Morphology and Syntax
Morphology is about how words change (morph). Syntax is about how words work in a sentence. 
Morphology revolves around terms like:
  • Noun
  • Verb
  • Adjective
  • Adverb
  • Pronoun
  • Preposition
  • Determiner
  • Conjunction
Syntax revolves around terms like:
  • Subject
  • Verb
  • Object
  • Complement
  • Adverbial
Note here that verb appears in both morphology and syntax terminology. Therefore there are two meanings to verb. In morphology a verb is how it changes to make, for example, tenses (past, present or future). In syntax it is how it describes what the subject is doing (and whether it is affecting an object or objects). 
Keep these two groups of grammar separate and you will master grammar, particularly when it comes to the meaning of verb when you hear or use it. 
A further note, these minimum number of terms have been enough to get through understanding grammar. The biggest issue is to understand that grammar is a term for the two systems of morphology and syntax. 

A quick comparison between my Apple iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air

I’ve had my new Apple iPad Mini 3 (64GB, cellular model) for a couple of weeks now and it has become my favourite iOS device (I have an iPhone 5S (16GB) and iPad Air (16GB, wi-fi model)). Compared to the iPad Air the iPad Mini 3 feels better, more balanced when handheld. The iPad Air does have a nice big screen but otherwise iPad Mini 3 is better in every other respect.

The upgrade (or in some people’s eyes, “downgrade”) is one I like. Even though the internal hardware performance specifications are the same, the extra hardware are truly welcome.

Here is my list of things I really like about my iPad MIni 3:

  1. Touch ID
  2. 64GB (my iPad Air had only 16GB)
  3. cellular model (my Air was only a wi-fi model)
  4. better battery life
  5. form factor

Because the two tablet’s performances are virtually identical it is only the hardware that make the Mini 3 better. Let me talk about why each of the above points were important. Continue reading