Learning

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 […]

Read the full post →

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 […]

Read the full post →

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 […]

Read the full post →

-ing form or infinitive?

November 6, 2010

Some adjectives and verbs can be followed by either a gerund (-ing form) or an infinitive. I started teaching when I was 20. OR I started to teach when I was 20. She was proud of having won. OR She was proud to have won. Notes In some cases there is a difference meaning. Remember […]

Read the full post →

Interchange of degrees of comparison – part II

October 13, 2010

Study the given sentence: Iron is more useful than any metal. The sentence given above doesn’t make sense because it means that iron is more useful than iron itself. (When you say any metal it includes iron.). It should, therefore, be rewritten as ‘Iron is more useful than any other metal.’ More examples are given […]

Read the full post →

Interchange of the degrees of comparison

October 13, 2010

It is possible to change the degree of comparison without changing the meaning of a sentence. Study the following examples. Positive: I am as strong as him. Comparative: He is not stronger than me. As you can probably see, both sentences mean the same. Positive: No other girl in the class is as tall as […]

Read the full post →

Dare and Had Better

August 18, 2010

Dare is used both as an ordinary verb and as an auxiliary verb. The ordinary verb dare is used in the sense of defy, challenge or face boldly. It has -s in the third person singular. Questions and negatives are made with do. He did not dare to accept the challenge. He dares you to […]

Read the full post →

Uses of Need

August 18, 2010

Need is used both as an ordinary verb and as an auxiliary verb. As an ordinary verb need is used in the sense of require. The ordinary verb need has -s in the third person singular. Questions and negatives are made with do. Do you need any help? We need more volunteers. We have got […]

Read the full post →

May and Might

August 15, 2010

May is used to ask for permission. May I come in, please? May I go home now? May not is used to deny permission. ‘May I go now?’ ‘No, you may not.’ Notes Nowadays, the denial of permission is often expressed by cannot. This usage is probably encouraged by the fact that the contraction can’t […]

Read the full post →

Talking about the future part II

August 7, 2010

The simple present tense is used to talk about future events that are part of official programs or timetables. The college reopens on August 16th. The train leaves at 6 pm. When does the flight arrive? The simple present tense is also used to talk about future in clauses beginning with if, unless, when, while, […]

Read the full post →
Keep your grammar up-to-date!
Includes Grammar Guide (PDF)