Border Patrol Agent

Glossary of Grammatical Terms

This glossary will be available to you during the actual test, but it is recommended that you study
the glossary before taking the test. The glossary contains basic grammatical concepts that apply
to English, Spanish, and the Artificial Language. The glossary contains fairly extensive and
comprehensive explanations of each grammatical concept. The explanations in the actual test
are not comprehensive. Consequently, it is particularly important that you study these
explanations very carefully.

Article: An article is a word that precedes a noun and determines whether it is a definite or
indefinite noun; for instance the book, an object.

Adjective: An adjective is a word used to modify a noun or pronoun (for example, intelligent
women). Generally, an adjective serves to answer questions such as: which, what kind of, how
many. For example, (1) “This book” would be the adjectival answer to the question “which
book?” (2) “a beautiful book” would be the adjectival answer to the question “what kind of
book?” and (3) “several days” would be the adjectival answer to the question “how many days?”
In English, adjectives have only one form, regardless of the type of noun they modify. More
specifically, whether a noun is feminine or masculine, singular or plural, the adjective used to
modify it remains the same; for example, the adjective strong is exactly the same when it refers
to one man, one woman, many women, or many men. By contrast, in both Spanish and the
Artificial Language, the ending of the adjective is different if the adjective is modifying a
singular masculine noun, a singular feminine noun, a plural feminine noun, or a plural masculine

Adverb: An adverb is a word used to modify a verb. For example, the sentence “It was
produced” could be modified to express where it was produced by saying “It was produced

Generally, an adverb is used to answer the questions where (as in the example above), when (as
for example, “he comes frequently”), how (as for example, “she thinks logically”). Adverbs
sometimes are used to modify an adjective or another adverb. For example, in the sentence “She
has a really beautiful mind,” the adverb really modifies the adjective beautiful. In the sentence
“She thinks very logically,” the adverb very modifies the adverb logically. In the Artificial
Language the only adverbs used are those which modify verbs. In the Spanish language, as well
as in the English language, adverbs are used to modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.
Gender: As a grammatical concept, gender refers to the classification of words according to
whether they are masculine, feminine, or neuter.

As stated above, Spanish takes masculine or feminine endings for nouns, adjectives, and articles.
The neuter form is used sometimes to express abstraction in a more emphatic manner. The
neuter form is NOT used in the Artificial Language. Consequently, it is very important for you
to remember that in the Artificial Language all nouns, adjectives, and articles take either a
masculine or a feminine ending according to whether the sentence refers to a male or female.
Also, all nouns and adjectives in the Artificial Language were conceived (for the sake of
simplicity) to be masculine. Thus, unless the feminine gender is specified in the sentence, the
masculine gender is used always.

Infinitive: An infinitive is the general, abstract form of a verb; for example, to look, to think, to
remember, to walk. Once the action expressed by a verb is attached to a specific subject (a
person, animal, or thing), then we say the verb is “conjugated,” or linked to that subject; for
example, “he/she thinks,” “the dog runs,” “the table broke.”

In contrast to the way that an infinitive in English is preceded by the word “to” (as in “to think”),
in the Artificial Language (and in Spanish), infinitives are defined by their suffix. In the version
of the Artificial Language used here, this ending (or suffix) is ker (in the actual test, the ending
will be different).

Noun: A noun is a word which names a person, place, thing, or abstraction; for example,
Lindsay, Chicago, tree, wisdom. A noun can refer to an individual (as in Lindsay, an individual
person, or Chicago, an individual place) or to a set (as in “all stones,” “all trees,” “all cities”).
Prefix: A prefix always occurs at the beginning of a word. It can be a single letter or a sequence
of letters; for example, amoral, illegal, dysfunctional.

A prefix is the opposite of a suffix, which always occurs at the end of a word, but both serve to
change the basic word in some way. For example, polite is the basic word (in this case an
adjective) to express the concept of behavior that conforms to accepted social norms, while
adding the prefix im and creating the word impolite transforms the word polite into its
contradictory concept. You should note that in the Artificial Language a prefix is used to create
a negative concept (see Rule 13). Such a rule mimics both Spanish and English, in both of which
negation is usually expressed by using a negative prefix.

Pronoun: A pronoun is a word used in place of a noun; for example, “she” instead of “Lindsay,”
“they” instead of “the guards,” “it” instead of “the stone,” “himself/herself” instead of “the

In both English and Spanish there is a difference between a pronoun that stands for the subject of
an action (as in “He threw the stone,” meaning that Lindsay threw the stone), and a pronoun that
stands for the object of an action (as in “The stone was thrown at him,” meaning that the stone
was thrown at Lindsay). By contrast, in the Artificial Language used in this manual there is no
grammatical difference between he and him, both being yev. Remember, however, that in the
Artificial Language pronouns take feminine endings when the subject or object of the action is
feminine. Accordingly, in the version of the Artificial Language given in this manual, both she
(subject) and her (object) would be yevnef (i.e., yev plus the feminine suffix nef).

Suffix: A suffix always occurs at the end of a word. It can be a single letter or a sequence of
letters, for example, creamy, readable, nicely. Unlike prefixes, suffixes often change the “part of
speech” (i.e., the type of word). For example, in the case of creamy, the suffix y changes the
noun cream into the adjective creamy, and in the case of nicely, the suffix ly changes the
adjective nice into the adverb nicely.

In addition, suffixes are used to conjugate verbs (for example, to change the present tense into
the past tense: you walk, you walked) and to create the plural form of nouns (for example, boy,
boys). In Spanish, suffixes are used for the same purposes, but they are used for other purposes
too, such as creating plural forms for adjectives and changing the gender of a word.
In the Artificial Language, suffixes are used (1) to change the part of speech (for example, Rule
11 uses a suffix to change an adjective into an adverb), (2) to conjugate verbs (for example,
Rules 6 and 7 use suffixes to express the present and past tenses), and (3) to create the plural
form of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and articles (Rule 2). In addition, the Artificial Language
mimics Spanish in using a suffix to express gender.

You should study all the rules on suffixes in the Artificial Language, and you should practice
using these rules, but you should NOT memorize them because (1) you will have them available
to you at all times during the actual test, and (2) in the actual test, some of the suffixes and
prefixes are different from the ones used in this practice test.

Verb: A verb is used to express either an action or a state of being. For example, “He prepared
dinner” expresses the action of making all preparations for dinner, while “He is a citizen”
expresses the state or condition of being a citizen.

A condition or “state of being” can be permanent or transitory. For example, “The agent’s horse
is a bay mare” expresses a permanent condition for the horse (being a bay mare), while “George
is at lunch” expresses a transitory condition for George (being at lunch). The Spanish language,
unlike English, has two different verbs to express permanent and transitory conditions, although
the Artificial Language is akin to English rather than to Spanish in its use of a single verb to
express any state of being.

When a verb is linked to a subject (i.e., “conjugated”) it changes from the abstract infinitive form
to a specific form such as a present tense or a past tense. The Artificial Language primarily uses
only two tenses: the simple past tense and the simple present tense in the indicative mood (see
Rules 6 and 7). (Verbs in the indicative mood express a real action or condition, whereas verbs
in the subjunctive mood express hypothetical actions or conditions. The subjunctive mood does
not exist in the Artificial Language, but it is very important in Spanish.)

You may find that the past participle is used in the test (see Rule 8). In that case, the present
perfect tense (they have crossed) and the past perfect tense (they had crossed) will be used in the
Artificial Language.

Be sure to apply the rules as directed in the test material. If no rule governing the past participle
is listed in the actual test material, then the past participle is treated as a simple past tense.

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