AP Language

AP Language
Flashcard Set 2
 Is
a noun; a clause; or phrase which a pronoun or
other part of speech refers to
 Good writers assure that every pronoun clearly
refers to a specific word or phrase
 Example:
When Jasmine discovered that HER bicycle was not
in the garage, SHE immediately wondered if HER
friend Doreen had borrowed it.
Test tip
 When
a question on the AP English Lang
exam asks you to find an antecedent, the
answer will probably not be simple. Be
prepared to look beyond the immediate
sentence. Use the strategy of asking
questions such as WHO? WHAT? WHEN?
Antecedent practice
Read the following passage and look for the antecedent of the pronouns in
bold type
First, it is important to note that men and
women regard conversation quite
differently. For a women it is a passion, a
sport, and activity even more important to
life than eating because it doesn’t involve
weight gain.
--Merrill Markoe,What the Dogs Have Taught Me
 The
first pronoun IT refers to the noun
conversation, while the second pronoun IT
refers to the noun activity. (The activity, of
course, is making conversation.)
A tougher antecedent
Read the following passage and look for the antecedents of the pronouns in bold type.
The contrast would be too painful, the shock too great, but for the
intervention of the Fool, whose well-timed levity comes in to break the
continuity of feeling when it can no longer be borne, and to bring into
play again the fibres of the heart just as they are growing rigid from
over-strained excitement. The imagination is glad to take refuge in the
half-comic, half-serious comments of the Fool, just as the mind under
the extreme anguish of a surgical operation vents itself in sallies of wit.
The character was also a grotesque ornament of the barbarous times,
in which alone the tragic ground-work of the story could be laid. In
another point of view it is indispensable, inasmuch as while it is a
diversion to the too great intensity of our disgust, it carries the pathos to
the highest pitch of which it is capable, by sowing the pitiable
weakness of the old king’s conduct and its irretrievable consequences
in the most familiar point of view.
--William Hazlitt, Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays
Answers for the previous slide
This passage is complex, as it is written in an
ornate style of the early 19th Century. It’s fairly
easy to identify the antecedent of the pronoun
THEY: it refers to the noun FIBRES. To find the
antecedent of the pronoun IT, you might ask
yourself, “What is indispensable and why?” Here
the pronoun IT refers to the noun CHARACTER—
Hazlitt is saying that the character of the Fool,
with its comic relief, is indispensable to
Shakespeare’s play King Lear. However, the
pronoun ITS refers to the nearby noun
CONDUCT, and not the word CHARACTER.
A similar type of question
For Example…an AP-type question might…
The word “character” is used as another name
of which of the following?
a. levity
b. imagination
c. comments
d. the Fool
e. sallies of wit
Rationale: the word ‘character’ refers to ‘the Fool”, a character in the
play. Several questions on the AP test will ask you to identify similar
connections between words and phrases.
AP assumes you know the following clauses:
1. Independent (or main)
2. Dependent (subordinate)
But there are more and I feel you should at
least be aware of them…
Adjective clause
Everyone recognized the actress who
emerged from the limousine at the premier.
The gift, which had been purchased months
before, was wrapped and gathering dust in
the corner.
Adverb clause
Once the game went into overtime, the crowd
rose to its feet and maintained a continuous
The fans realized, once the winning touchdown
was scored, that they had witnessed a classic.
**a Phrasal Modifier can also function as an adj.
or an adv. In a sentence.
Prepositional phrase as an
The singer in the sequined dress performed
a program of wonderful jazz songs.
Hailstones began falling, threatening the
windshield of his new sports car.
A noun or noun phrase that renames another noun
An accomplished chef, Ricardo prepared delicious
meals for visitors.
Austin learned a great deal about the rigors of
Olympic training from Natalya, a former gymnast
I played with Lollipop, our neighbors’ spritely little
pug, for a few minutes each evening.
Verbal phrase
Made up of a verbal (a verb that also functions as another part of
speech) and all of its modifiers and objects…verbals can be a
participial phrase, a gerund phrase, or an infinitive phrase.
Washing her car in the driveway, Betsy noticed a scratch on the hood.
(The phrase in italics is a participial phrase that functions as an adj.
modifying BETSY.)
Washing her car is the last thing Betsy has to do today. (The phrase in
italics is a gerund phrase that functions as a noun and the subject of
the sentence.)
Betsy likes to wash her car on sunny summer afternoons. (The phrase in
italics is an infinitive phrase that functions as a direct object in the
Absolute phrase
A word group that modifies that modifies an entire sentence
and consists of a noun plus at least one other word …
His jacket red amidst the white snowfall, the
hunter could be seen from miles away.
The hunter could be seen from miles away, his
red jacket glowing amidst the white snowfall.
The hunter, red jacket almost glowing in the
snow, could be seen from miles away.
Sentence types
It is assumed you know the following:
 Simple sentence
 Compound sentence
 Complex sentence
 Compound-complex sentence
Coordinating conjunctions
You know…
Or the semi-colon
Parallel structure
The particular man aims to be somebody;
to set up for himself; to truck and higgle for
a private good; and, in particular, to ride
that he may ride; to dress that he may be
dressed; to eat that he may eat; and to
govern, that he may be seen.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
AP exam might ask you to identify the parallel elements in the
Emerson sentence, or to choose an edit that would improve the
parallel structure. What’s parallel in the passage above?
Which word is grammatically and
thematically parallel to the word TONE in
the following sentence?
a. pulpit
b. stage-declamation
c. solemnity
d. venture
e. liberty
The answer is C….because????
Periodic sentence
Indicate and define the periodic in this…
For when the greatest of all wars broke out and
a multitude of dangers presented themselves at
one and the same time, when our enemies
regarded themselves as irresistible because of
their numbers and our allies thought themselves
endowed with a courage that could not be
excelled, we outdid them both in a way
appropriate to each.
--Isocrates, Panegyricus
Cumulative sentence
Reverses the order of the periodic sentence. Instead
of withholding the main idea until the last clause, the
writer states it immediately and then expands on it
with examples, details, and/or clarifications.
“Her moving wings ignited like tissue paper,
enlarging the circle of light in the clearing
and creating out of the darkness the
sudden blue sleeves of my sweater, the
green leaves of jewel-weed by my side, the
ragged red trunk of a pin.”—Annie Dillard
Inversion sentence
The typical subject-verb order is reversed.
Consider the sentence, "Gone are the days
when everyone had read the same books,
seen the same movies, and dined at the
same restaurants.”…the typical order would
be, “The days when everyone had…are
gone.” Because inversion is infrequently
used in prose, it called attention to the part
of the sentence that is out of typical order,
and thus creates a special emphasis.
Balanced sentence
Two coordinate but contrasting structures are place
net to each other like the weights of a balanced
scale. Thus, a balanced sentence creates a
contrasted thought:
“Many are called but few are chosen”—
Matthew 22:14
“I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.”
(Julius Caesar)
When you read a balanced sentence out loud, you
tend to pause between the balanced parts. That
pause is marked by some kind of fulcrum—usually a
coordinating conjunction or a mark of punctuation.

similar documents