Interrogative pronouns

May 29, 2012

The relative pronouns (e.g. who, which, what, whom, whose etc.) which are used to ask questions are called interrogative pronouns. The interrogative pronouns may be used to ask: Direct questions Who are you? What do you want? Whom did you go with? Whose is this? Which is your pen? Indirect questions I don’t know what […]

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Adverb complements

April 11, 2012

Some sentences are incomplete without adverb complements. For example, a sentence with put will not make sense if you do not say where something is put. In the same way, a sentence with go will not make sense if you do not say where somebody goes. If we want to say how long something lasts, […]

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The need for auxiliary verbs

March 26, 2012

English verbs have only a limited number of forms. For example, the typical English verb write has the following forms: write, writes, wrote, written, writing. But these forms are not always sufficient to express all the meanings. For example, ideas like questioning, negation, time, repetition, completion, willingness, obligation etc cannot be expressed by using the […]

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Get with infinitives and –ing forms

March 25, 2012

Get can be followed by –ing forms and infinitives. There is usually a difference of meaning. Get + -ing form is sometimes used to mean ‘start doing something’. Common expressions are: get going and get moving. Let’s get going. The structure get + object + -ing form means ‘make somebody / something start doing something’. […]

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Verbs with two objects

March 23, 2012

Many verbs can be followed by two objects – one indirect and one direct object. The indirect object usually refers to a person, and comes first. I gave him a watch for his birthday. Could you send me the report? I will lend you some money. Let me get you some coffee. She told me […]

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Passive voice exercise

March 1, 2012

Change the following sentences into the passive. 1. I love him. 2. We cheered the players. 3. The hunter shot the tiger. 4. Mr. James will give you a present. 5. They carried the patient home. 6. She has done her work. 7. Do it at once. 8. Carry it home. 9. Do not pluck […]

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Changing an affirmative sentence into interrogative and exclamatory

May 15, 2011

Study the following sentences. They are in the pattern ‘adjective + of + noun / pronoun + to-infinitive’. It was good of him to help the poor man. It is foolish of him to throw away his chances like that. It was clever of him to solve the problem so quickly. These sentences can be […]

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Gerunds or present participles?

January 18, 2011

We can use -ing forms (e.g. drinking, singing, smoking, running etc.) not only as verbs, but also like adjectives, adverbs or nouns. You are drinking too much these days. (Here the -ing form is part of the present continuous verb.) Barking dogs seldom bite. (Here the -ing form is used like an adjective. It modifies […]

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Use of certain longer and shorter alternatives

December 22, 2010

Many longer expressions have shorter alternatives. Examples are given below: Plenty of / a lot of / a great deal of = many / much A long way / a long way off = far / far off The longer forms are generally used in the affirmative; the shorter forms are used in the negative […]

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The question words who, which and what

November 8, 2010

Which and what There is little difference of meaning between which and what. They are often both possible. Which is your favorite song? OR What is your favorite song? Which writer / what writer has influenced you most in your life? We prefer which when the number of choices is limited. We have got small […]

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