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3 Core TEAS Grammar Concepts You Must Know To Pass (2024 Update)


To ace the TEAS test’s grammar section, you must solidify your understanding of grammar fundamentals. This includes mastering sentence structure, parts of speech, and punctuation rules. Here’s a breakdown of these key TEAS Grammar Concepts with additional explanations and examples:

1. Parts of Speech:

The eight parts of speech act as building blocks for sentences, each serving a specific function:

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    • Noun: A word that names a person, place, thing, or idea. Nouns can be singular (one) or plural (more than one). They often appear with articles (“the,” “a,” “an”) but not always.

      • Examples: Doctor, hospital, medication, care, kindness
      • Articles: The doctor, a patient, an examination
    • Pronoun: A word that takes the place of a noun to avoid repetition. Pronouns must agree in number (singular/plural) and gender (masculine/feminine/neuter) with the noun they replace (antecedent).

      • Examples: She, he, it, they, them, we, us, I, you, me
      • Agreement: The nurse gave the medication to her patient. (Her refers to the singular feminine noun “nurse”)
  • Verb: A word that expresses an action, occurrence, or state of being. Verbs are conjugated to indicate tense (past, present, future) and voice (active, passive).

    • Examples: Runs, jumps, sings, writes, becomes, disappears, is, are, was, were
    • Tense: The doctor sees (present) many patients each day. The doctor saw (past) ten patients yesterday.
  • Adjective: A word modifies a noun or pronoun by describing it (what kind, how many, which one).

    • Examples: Young, long, eight, happy, beautiful, intelligent
    • Placement: The kind nurse patiently explained the procedure. (Kind modifies “nurse,” patiently modifies “explained”)

    TEAS Grammar Concepts

  • Adverb: A word that modifies a verb, adjective, another adverb, or a whole sentence. It answers questions like “how,” “when,” “where,” “why,” or “to what extent.”

    • Examples: Quickly, very, gently, carefully, well, incredibly, often, always
    • Modification: She spoke softly (modifies the verb “spoke”). He arrived too late (modifies adjective “late”).
  • Preposition: A word that shows the relationship between a noun or pronoun and another word in the sentence. It can indicate location, direction, time, or manner.

    • Examples: About, until, with, by, in, on, at, through, for, during
    • Relationship: The nurse walked with the patient to the recovery room. (With shows accompaniment, to shows direction)
  • Conjunction: A word that connects words, phrases, or clauses. Coordinating conjunctions (FANBOYS – for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) join grammatically equal elements. Subordinating conjunctions (because, since, although, while, etc.) introduce dependent clauses.

    • Examples: Coordinating: The doctor and the nurse reviewed the patient’s chart. (And joins two verbs) * Subordinating: Although the patient was nervous, they felt confident in the doctor’s care. (Although introduces a dependent clause)
  • Interjection: A word that expresses sudden emotion or surprise. An exclamation mark often follows interjections.

    • Examples: Oops, wow, oh!, hurray!, hello!

2. Sentence Structure

Sentence structure is the blueprint for crafting clear and concise sentences. It dictates the order and arrangement of words to convey a complete thought. Here, we delve deeper into the essential elements that make up a well-structured sentence:

  • Subject: The foundation of a sentence is that the subject identifies the who or what is performing the action or experiencing a state of being. It can be a noun (person, place, thing, or idea) or a pronoun (replaces a noun).

    • Examples: The doctor (noun, subject) examined the patient. She (pronoun, subject) felt relieved after the diagnosis.
  • Verb: The verb breathes life into the sentence, indicating the action being performed or the state of being of the subject. Verbs are conjugated to reflect tense (past, present, future) and voice (active, passive).

    • Examples: The nurse administered (verb) medication to the patient. (Active voice) The nurse administered the medication (verb). (Passive voice)
  • Object (Optional): The object receives the action expressed by the verb. There are two main types of objects:

    • Direct Object: Directly affected by the verb.

      • Example: The doctor prescribed (verb) antibiotics (direct object) for the infection.
    • Indirect Object: Precedes the direct object and tells “to whom” or “for whom” the action is done.

      • Example: The nurse gave (verb) the medication (direct object) to the patient (indirect object).

Understanding these core components allows you to construct grammatically correct sentences that flow logically. But sentence structure goes beyond the basics. Different sentence structures can be used to achieve specific effects:

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  • Simple Sentences: Contain one independent clause (subject-verb-object).

    • Example: The nurse checked the patient’s temperature.
  • Compound Sentences: Combine two or more independent clauses using coordinating conjunctions (FANBOYS).

    • Example: The surgery was successful, and the patient recovered quickly.
  • Complex Sentences: Feature an independent clause and one or more dependent clauses (introduced by a subordinating conjunction).

    • Example: Although the patient was nervous, they trusted the doctor’s expertise.

Mastering these sentence structures gives you the flexibility to express yourself clearly and effectively in various writing contexts.

3. Punctuation Rules

Punctuation marks are the unsung heroes of the written language. These tiny symbols act like traffic signals, guiding readers through sentences and ensuring clarity. Mastering punctuation is essential for avoiding confusion and effectively conveying your message. Here, we’ll explore some of the most common punctuation marks and their uses:

  • Comma (,):

    • Separates items in a list: The nurse documented the patient’s temperature, pulse, respiration, and blood pressure.
    • Connects independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction (FANBOYS – for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so): The surgery went smoothly, and the patient recovered quickly. (Note: a comma is optional here if the clauses are very short)
    • Sets off introductory phrases: After a thorough examination, the doctor diagnosed the patient.
  • Period (.): Marks the end of a declarative or imperative sentence, signifying a complete thought.

  • Semicolon (;): Connects two closely related independent clauses without a conjunction, creating a stronger connection than a comma: The doctor explained the risks of surgery; the patient ultimately decided to proceed.

  • Colon (:):

    • Introduces an explanation, list, or quotation: The nurse had three main responsibilities: administering medication, monitoring vital signs, and updating patient records.
    • Follows an independent clause introducing a complete thought before additional information: The doctor offered reassurance: “Everything went well, and you should recover quickly.”
  • Exclamation Mark (!): Used for emphatic statements or strong emotions: The test results were positive!

  • Question Mark (?): Indicates a question: When can I expect to go home?

  • Quotation Marks (” “): Set off direct speech or quoted material: The doctor said, “We’ll monitor you closely overnight.”

Beyond these core rules, punctuation can also be used for stylistic purposes. For example, using dashes can add emphasis or introduce an abrupt shift in thought. However, the TEAS exam focuses on using punctuation accurately to ensure clear and grammatically correct sentences.

By mastering these punctuation fundamentals, you’ll demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively in writing. This skill is crucial for nurses, as clear and concise communication is vital for accurate documentation, patient education, and collaboration with other healthcare professionals. Remember, proper punctuation fosters clarity and professionalism, ultimately improving patient care.


In conclusion, a strong foundation in grammar is essential for success in the TEAS grammar section and beyond. By solidifying your understanding of the eight parts of speech, sentence structure, and punctuation rules, you’ll be equipped to construct clear, concise, and grammatically correct sentences.

This enhances your performance on the TEAS and translates into effective communication in the professional nursing setting. Clear communication is paramount for patient safety, building trust, and ensuring accurate information exchange. So, take the time to practice these concepts, and you’ll be well on your way to demonstrating your proficiency and readiness for a rewarding nursing career.

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