Lessons

Grammar review: adverb phrases

December 18, 2014

An adverb phrase is a group of words that serves the purpose as an adverb. An adverb is a word used to modify a verb, an adjective or another adverb. Study the examples given below. He behaved rudely. (Verb – behaved; adverb – rudely) Here the word ‘rudely’ explains how he behaved. We can express […]

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Verb review: infinitives

November 26, 2014

The infinitive is the basic form of the verb. It is usually used with the particle to. Examples are: (to) break, (to) walk, (to) stand, (to) write. The infinitive can also be used without the particle ‘to’. For example, it is used without ‘to’ after modal auxiliary verbs (e.g. shall, will, should, could etc.). I […]

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Using would

November 24, 2014

The modal auxiliary verb ‘would’ has several uses. Here are a few. Habitual action in the past Would is used talk about habitual action in the past. When I was a boy, I would go swimming every evening. When we were kids, we would stay up late. In informal writing and speech, ‘would’ is often […]

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Conversion of a complex sentence into a compound sentence

November 19, 2014

A complex sentence consists of one coordinate (main) clause and one or more subordinate clauses. A compound sentence consists of two or more coordinate (main) clauses. As we have already learned, a main clause can stand alone. A subordinate clause, on the other hand, cannot stand alone. It needs to be attached to a main […]

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Noun clause exercise

November 12, 2014

Combine the following sentences into a complex sentence with a noun clause using ‘that’. 1. He will fight to the finish. He says this. 2. She will win the first prize. It is certain. 3. He was innocent. He could not prove that. 4. The manager committed the blunder. It is evident. 5. He will […]

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The verb and the object

October 12, 2014

Every sentence must have a subject and a predicate. The subject is usually a noun or a pronoun. The predicate must contain a verb. The predicate may also contain several other words. Study the examples given below. The driver stopped the car. (Subject – the driver; predicate – stopped the car) Here the predicate consists […]

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Gerunds and infinitives as subjects

October 7, 2014

The subject of a sentence is usually a noun or a pronoun. But sometimes, to-infinitives and –ing forms are also used as subjects. Study the examples given below. Swimming is a good exercise. Here the –ing form ‘swimming’ acts as the subject of the verb ‘is’. More examples are given below. Smoking is injurious to […]

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The subject

October 7, 2014

A sentence must have a subject and a predicate. The subject is usually a noun or a pronoun. The predicate must contain a verb. When the subject is a proper noun or a pronoun, it may consist of just one word. Study the examples given below. Alice smiled. He knows the answer. They ran after […]

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Object complement

October 3, 2014

Study the sentence given below. Does it make complete sense? They elected Martin. While this sentence has a subject, a verb and an object, it does not make complete sense. We understand that Martin has been elected, but we don’t know what position he occupies. In this case, we need a word or phrase to […]

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Compound or complex sentence

October 2, 2014

State which of the following sentences are compound and which are complex. In the case of a compound sentence, separate the coordinate clauses and mention the conjunction. If the sentence is complex, divide it into its clauses and state the principal clause and the subordinate clause. 1. Donald took out his pen and started writing. […]

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