The most common questions about Analytical Grammar products right here in one place.
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Q: Who Owns and Publishes Analytical Grammar?
A: Analytical Grammar is owned and published by Demme Learning since joining the Demme Learning family of products in July 2020. Demme Learning is an independent family-owned and operated publishing company based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Best known for their signature curriculum Math-U-See, Demme Learning has been providing innovative learning solutions for homeschoolers, parents, and small group learning environments since 1990. The Demme Learning mission is to empower parents to help their children grow into lifelong learners.
Q: Do you allow photocopying?
A: Our printed Analytical Grammar, Jr. AG, Jr. AG: Mechanics, and Eternal Argument products may not be photocopied for any reason. The grammar programs all have consumable student workbooks; you would order a student workbook for each child using the program.
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Q: To what does the study of grammar lead?
A: Better and more correct writing for one thing, plus a clear understanding of the English language and far more fluid use of it, both in speaking and writing. One’s ability to write English correctly is a tremendous advantage in the working world, so one must understand the rules of punctuation. Units 18 through 28 of Analytical Grammar are devoted to punctuation. This is the “pay-off” for the study of grammar, because without knowing the parts of speech, clauses, and phrases, the punctuation rules don’t make sense and are soon forgotten. Making grammatical mistakes in one’s speaking and writing is not only embarrassing; it can be a real obstacle to career advancement. Units 29 through 35 cover the rules of proper usage (when to use “I” and when to use “me,” for example). It is impossible to understand these rules without understanding grammar.
Q: What is Analytical Grammar?
A: It is a unique method of teaching grammar, which starts from “ground zero” – assuming that the student knows no grammar – and continues on from concept to concept, until the entire body of knowledge which we call grammar is covered. The concepts, rather than being taught separately, are woven together into a logical whole which the student will recognize to be what he already knows about how words are put together into sentences to make meaning. Since these concepts make sense to kids, they remember them.
Q: What do I mean by “concept?”
A: In other grammar programs each concept (the adjective, for example) is taught as a separate entity. In truth, most words that we call adjectives can be used as other parts of speech in different sentences. So it stands to reason that what students need to be taught is not to “recognize” an adjective from a list of words; they need to see how an adjective functions in a sentence in relationship to other words.
The concepts in Analytical Grammar are taught in a certain logical order, so that each concept builds on and is reinforced by the concepts already covered. For all intents and purposes, this method is not unlike the study of math where one is applying everything one already knows about math and simply moving on to a new concept.
Q: What does AG cover? Can I see the table of contents?
A: Here is AG’s table of contents:
Season 1 —
Unit #1: Nouns, Articles, and Adjectives
Unit #2: Pronouns
Unit #3: Prepositional Phrases
Unit #4: Subject & Verb
Unit #5: Adverbs
Unit #6: Patterns 1 & 2 (Sentences with and without direct objects)
Unit #7: Pattern 3 (Sentences with indirect objects)
Unit #8: Patterns 4 & 5 (Sentences with predicate nominatives and predicate adjectives)
Unit #9: Helping Verbs
Unit #10: Compound Situations
Season 2 —
Unit #11: Participial Phrases
Unit #12: Gerund Phrases
Unit #13: Infinitive Phrases
Unit #14: Appositive Phrases
Unit #15: Adjectives Clauses
Unit #16: Adverb Clauses
Unit #17: Noun Clauses
Season 3 —
Unit #18: Comma Splits and Splices and Comma Rules 1, 2, & 3
Unit #19: Comma Rule 4
Unit #20: Comma Rule 5
Unit #21: Comma Rules 6, 7, & 8
Unit #22: Comma Rules 9, 10, & 11
Unit #23: Quotations
Unit #24: Dialogue
Unit #25: Titles
Unit #26: Semicolons and Colons
Unit #27: The Possessive
Unit #28: Capitalization
Unit #29: Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement
Unit #30: Subject-Verb Agreement
Unit #31: Choice of Pronoun
Unit #32: Who and Whom
Unit #33: Adjective or Adverb
Unit #34: Transitive/Intransitive Verbs and Assorted Usage Errors (double negatives, singular/plural modifiers, etc.)
Unit #35: Active and Passive Voice
Q: What makes Analytical Grammar different from other grammar books?
A: It is taught sequentially as a whole body of knowledge instead of being taught piece-meal along with writing or literature or other language activities. When units 1 through 17 are finished, the student has learned ALL the grammar he/she will ever need to know in order to master the rules of punctuation and word usage. Since every concept is woven logically together with every other concept, there simply is no reason for endless repetition and drill.
Q: At what grade level is Analytical Grammar taught?
A: The sentences used are written at a sixth-grade reading level. The course has been successfully classroom-tested for over 20 years with children from the gifted to “special ed.” As a result of taking this course, one student improved his “verbal mechanics” score on his achievement test by 35% – from about average to well above! This kind of improvement is not uncommon.
Q: How do I reinforce Analytical Grammar once the course is complete?
A: Since the student will achieve mastery, you can reinforce his/her new knowledge by calling attention to mistakes made in his or her writing. The student can now address those mistakes in an authoritative manner!
However, all of us forget details! When each unit of Analytical Grammar is completed, the student should tear out the pages of exercises and discard them. What will be left over will be all of the pages of notes. These are numbered sequentially. There is a Table of Contents at the beginning of the workbook and an Index at the end. Voila! The student will end up with a complete and indexed grammar book to refer to in case he needs to refresh his memory in the future. I have had many former students comment to me that this was an invaluable grammar reference when writing college term papers!
Using his/her new grammar reference book, AG students can go on to high school level literature and writing. Every two weeks or so throughout high school, however, we think it’s important to take a short break and re-visit grammar and punctuation skills. That’s why we’ve designed our high school reinforcement books. We have four to choose from: American Authors, British Authors, Shakespeare’s Plays, and World Authors. It doesn’t matter in what order you do the books; just choose the one which goes with your literature and/or history study for that year.
Q: What if I don’t want to cover all 35 units at one time?
A: You can easily break the course up into three sections. Units 1 through 10 would be the first section. You could wait a while and then do Units 11 through 17. After another break you should cover the rest of the 17 units together. We’ve divided these into three seasons.
You can wait a week, a month, or even a year between the sections! Should you decide to wait more than a month, however, I would suggest that you purchase my little volume entitled Reinforcement and Review. It contains reinforcement exercises to be done after Unit 10 and after Unit 17. It also contains some review exercises to be given to the student between the first and second break. Please refer to our “Timeline” to see how this works.
The reinforcement exercises consist of readings from and sentences about some selections from literature, of primary interest to children and adolescents. They are designed to reinforce the skills learned in the preceding units of Analytical Grammar.
Q: What do I need to order?
A: For one student, you need to order the basic set of Analytical Grammar. This set contains the student workbook, the teacher book, and DVDs. If you are teaching more than one student, you need to order additional workbooks, one for each additional student. If you plan to break the course up – with breaks in between the sections – rather than teaching it all at one time, you need to order Review and Reinforcement.
Q: What is covered in Jr. Analytical Grammar?
A: It concentrates on the grammar basics, without going into the more complex concepts such as phrases and clauses. All the parts of speech (nouns, articles, adjectives, pronouns, prepositions, verbs, adverbs, and conjunctions) and the functioning parts of a sentence (subjects, verbs, modifiers, direct and indirect objects, predicate nominatives, and predicate adjectives) are covered.
Q: Can I see the table of contents?
A: Here is Jr. AG’s table of contents:
Unit #1: Nouns
Unit #2: Articles, and Adjectives
Unit #3: Pronouns
Unit #4: Prepositional Phrases
Unit #5: Subject & Verb
Unit #6: Adverbs
Unit #7: Patterns 1 & 2 (Sentences with and without direct objects)
Unit #8: Pattern 3 (Sentences with indirect objects)
Unit #9: Patterns 4 & 5 (Sentences with predicate nominatives and predicate adjectives)
Unit #10: Helping Verbs
Unit #11: Compound Situations
Q: What is the reading level of Jr. AG?
A: It is between second and third grade. I recommend that it be used with fourth or fifth graders. The easy reading level is to enable all children to learn the concepts without struggling with comprehension.
Q: How is the Jr. AG course set up?
A: There are 11 units in all, each succeeding unit is designed to utilize and build on knowledge acquired in preceding units. The units are themed around family, school, neighborhood, which are familiar to the child.
There is a page of “notes” at the beginning of each unit, which is really a set of “talking points” for teachers, excetera. I have tried to focus this informational part of the program on questions designed to help children access what they already know about grammar (which is considerable or they wouldn’t be able to put sentences together coherently!).
There are three exercises in each unit containing sentences on which the children can practice their new knowledge.
Each unit has a “comprehension assessment” which is designed to let the teachers, parents, and children know at what level (mastery, probationary, etc) they have internalized the material.
At the end of each unit in Junior Analytical Grammar, there is a writing assignment called “Playing With Words.” This gives the younger students a chance to develop more fluency in their writing as they reinforce the concepts being taught in the unit. It is highly recommended that this part of each unit be covered.
Q: How long will it take to cover Junior Analytical Grammar?
A: A teacher could easily cover the entire program in eleven weeks, with plenty of time left over for other language activities. Once covered, it would be very easy for the teacher to reinforce the grammar concepts by having students “parse” sentences which they encounter in their other work. It would also be a good time then to discuss such things as what is and is not a sentence and how to use various punctuation marks.
Q: I have a 5th grader and an 8th grader. Can Jr. AG and AG be taught at the same time to different students?
A: Absolutely! If you compare the two tables of contents (above) you’ll see that the first season of AG covers the same materials as Jr. AG (they just have different sentences at a higher reading level). The concepts are identical. The only difference is that the first unit in AG is broken into two units in Jr. AG. Simply finish Unit #1 in Jr. AG with that student and then add in your older child with his AG book. They’ll track right along together. This works so well (and saves you time!) since you can explain the concepts to both students at the same time, but they do the work at their own reading level. They can even help each other out!
Q. We’ve finished Jr. AG. What is covered in Junior Analytical Grammar: Mechanics?
A: This is the table of contents:
Unit #1: Comma Splits and Items in a series
Unit #2: Commas – Two adjectives “and” test
Unit #3: Commas – Compound sentence
Unit #4: Commas – Introductory elements
Unit #5: Commas – Interrupters
Unit #6: Commas – Names, Dates, and Places
Unit #7: Direct Quotations
Unit #8: Titles
Unit #9: Possessives
Unit #10: Capitalization
Unit #11: Pronoun-antecedent agreement
Unit #12: Subject-verb agreement
Unit #13: Which Pronoun? (I or me)
Unit #14: Adjective or Adverb? (good or well)
Unit #15: Transitive and intransitive verbs (lie/lay, sit/set, raise/rise)
Review and Reinforcement
Q: Do I have to purchase the review and reinforcement book?
A: If you are going to start at the beginning of Analytical Grammar and go through to the end without stopping, then you don’t need the R&R book. If, on the other hand, you plan to take breaks between the seasons (we don’t recommend you break in other places), then we highly recommend using the R&R book so the student doesn’t forget what she’s learned during the down time.
Q: I saw the sample page and noticed the R&R exercises have excerpts from books. Do my students need to have read the books to do the worksheet?
A: No. Instead, we hope your child does the worksheet and is inspired to read the whole book. Wouldn’t that be great?
High School Reinforcement
Q: Do I have to purchase the High School Reinforcement books?
A: You don’t have to, no. If you feel like the grammar concepts and terms your student has learned will be solidly reinforced after completely AG in another way, then skip them. Unfortunately, many people do one of two things: stop grammar completely or do ANOTHER daily grammar program. Neither, in our opinion, is a good option. You don’t want them to forget, but you don’t want to (or need to) re-teach. Our high school reinforcement books are the happy medium. It’s only one worksheet every other week. The books contain a lot of great Jeopardy!-type information. It’s a small price to pay to assure all that time and effort spent on AG doesn’t go to waste.
Q: Does it matter the order I do the high school reinforcements?
A: No. There is no order to the books. Simply choose the topic that fits in best with your school year or seems the most appropriate.
Q: Can my child use your high school reinforcements if his grammar instruction came from another grammar program?
A: In theory, yes. As long as your child has completed his study of grammar, then he can use the books. Keep in mind that these reinforcement books don’t teach grammar, they simply provide practice in what the student has already learned. If you start a high school reinforcement book with your child and find it too difficult, that means he has not learned what he needs to know. In that case we recommend going through Analytical Grammar and completing the study of grammar.
Q: What authors/topics are covered in the High School Reinforcement books?
A: Here is a listing of the 18 topics in each of our High School Reinforcement books. Please remember that your student needn’t have read anything by these authors (yet!) or even be familiar with them to be able to do the exercises.
For Current Users
Q: I have a teacher book from 1996. Do I need to buy a new one to match your current student books?
A: 1996 is the original copyright date of the program and we have only made small changes since that date. If your teacher book for AG has 34 units, then go to our UPDATES page to download the new key for the redone Unit 34 and the new Unit 35.
Q: We’re on the adverbs unit and we’re struggling. Any advice?
A: You’re on the hardest part of the program! Keep going! After that unit you begin diagramming the entire sentence and that really does make life much easier. Just like a jigsaw puzzle gets easier when you have fewer pieces left to place, so too is the study of grammar.
Here’s a quick video to help you with adverbs:
Q: My son and I are disagreeing about the placement of a prepositional phrase on a diagram. Who is right?
A: Ahhh, those pesky prepositions. This is a common problem and gets better with practice. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Prepositional phrases (PP) either act like adjectives or act like adverbs. Therefore, they either modify a noun my telling you “which” about that noun, or they modify a verb, adjective, or adverb.
Remember to use the questions to determine what it modifies (which for nouns, how, where, why and when for verbs, how or to what extent for adverbs, etc.).
Remember that if you can move it around or it’s at the beginning of the sentence, it modifies the verb.
PP that modify nouns are USUALLY right after the noun they modify.
You can try reading the PP right after the word you think it modifies, it will “sound right” when you read them together. For example:
I went to the store later in the day.
“in the day” is a PP.
Which word does it sound right when read together?
“went in the day”
“store in the day”
“later in the day” — this is what it modifies.
Unfortunately, sometimes a PP’s position is up for debate. It’s one of the few things in grammar that’s not black and white.
Here’s a video to help you out with diagramming prepositions: