8th Grade Grammar: Key Skills and Concepts

, Staff Writer
Updated November 18, 2020
8th grade grammar
    8th grade student practicing grammar skills
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    Used under Getty Images license

Eighth grade grammar is full of lessons related to higher order verb usage, vocabulary building and how to clearly combine ideas. Some 8th grade grammar lessons will be familiar to students while others will be totally new. As students complete their final year of middle school, they'll review and expand upon many previously learned grammar skills while also picking up new information to properly prepare for moving on to high school.

Properly Punctuate Pauses and Omissions

In addition to reviewing correct comma usage, 8th grade grammar also covers the use of ellipses and dashes.

Correctly Use Verbs Based on Voice and Mood

With regards to verbs, 8th grade grammar goes beyond the basics to focus on verb voice and mood.

Recognize and Use Verbals in Sentences

Eighth grade grammar covers verbals, including gerunds, participles and infinitives.


Determine Word Meanings via Context Clues

Eighth graders need to perfect their ability to discern what words mean by the context in which they appear.

  • explore examples of context cues to develop the ability to decipher meanings based on context
  • complete vocabulary context cues activities to practice figuring out the meaning of middle school vocabulary words
  • verify the meaning of unfamiliar words by checking a dictionary to see if you were able to figure it out via context

Identify Word Roots and Affixes

The last year of middle school is when students need to master the use of affixes and root words appropriate for their grade level.


Differentiate Between Connotation and Denotation

Eighth graders will improve their language skills by mastering the difference between connotative and denotative meanings.

Recognize and Interpret Figurative Language

During the eighth grade year, students should develop skills with regards to figurative language. This requires the ability to interpret beyond literal word meanings.


Preparing for the Transition to High School

Common Core grammar lessons for 8th graders are all about making sure students have mastered middle school English and are fully prepared to transition to high school. Consider working in some lessons on personal goal examples for student success to further prepare learners for the next level.