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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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Talking about the future

August 6, 2010

There are several ways of talking about the future in English. We can, for example, use the simple future tense, the going to form or the simple present tense. The simple future tense The simple future tense is used to talk about things which are beyond our control. It expresses the future as fact. We […]

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Active and Passive Voice Exercise II

August 5, 2010

Find the verbs in the following sentences and state whether they are in the active voice or the passive voice. 1. The tiger killed the deer. 2. The boy is learning his lessons. 3. This house was built by my grandfather. 4. Alice has been waiting for a long time. 5. Mother was making a […]

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Synthesis of sentences

August 3, 2010

Synthesis means the combination of a number of simple sentences into one new sentence – simple, compound or complex. The following are the chief ways of combining two or more simple sentences into one large simple sentence. By using a participle He sprang up to his feet. He ran away. springing up to his feet, […]

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Common errors in the use of tenses

July 28, 2010

Incorrect: It is raining for two days. Correct: It has been raining for two days. Incorrect: The baby is sleeping for three hours now. Correct: The baby has been sleeping for three hours now. Here the error lies in using the present continuous instead of the present perfect continuous. We use the present perfect continuous […]

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Repetition of the article

July 27, 2010

Read the sentence given below: I have a black and white cow. This sentence means that I have a cow which is partly white and partly black. But If I say ‘I have a black and a white cow’, I have two cows – one black and the other white. Hence when two or more […]

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Omission of the articles

July 25, 2010

Before uncountable nouns We do not use articles before uncountable and abstract nouns used in a general sense. Honey is sweet. (NOT The honey is sweet.) Sugar is bad for your teeth. Wisdom is better than riches. Virtue is its own reward. Note that uncountable nouns take the article the when used in a particular […]

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What are articles?

July 22, 2010

The words a or an and the are called articles. Articles come before nouns. There are two articles – a/an and the The article a or an is called the indefinite article because it doesn’t state which person or thing we are talking about. For example, a doctor means any doctor. A child means any […]

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