State verbs and action verbs

July 22, 2014

In English, there are basically two kinds of verbs – action verbs and state verbs. As the name itself suggests, action verbs indicate an action of some kind. Examples are: throw, catch, play, come, work, sing, dance, write, cook and break. State verbs refer to a state. Examples are: have, be, believe, know, love, hate, […]

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Expressions with through

July 5, 2014

Here is a list of idiomatic expressions using the word through. Half-way through / part-way through If something happens half-way through, it happens in the middle of an activity. They were forced to stop work half-way through the project. We left half-way through the concert. Monday through Friday From Monday until the end of Friday. […]

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Related words that take different prepositions

July 4, 2014

Some words that have very similar meanings take different prepositions after them. According to / in accordance with According to him the end justifies the means. In accordance with his advice, I started dieting. Affection for / affectionate to She has great affection for her children. The old woman is affectionate to all. Alternate with […]

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Combine using infinitives

July 4, 2014

Combine the following pairs of sentences using infinitives. 1. He did not have even a penny with him. He could not buy a piece of bread. 2. The team has a captain. He leads other team members. 3. You must give me the keys of the safe. If you do that you will be able […]

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Sentence transformation exercise

July 2, 2014

A simple sentence consists of one main clause. A complex sentence consists of one main clause and one or more subordinate clauses. A complex sentence can be transformed into a simple sentence by reducing the subordinate clause into a phrase. Study the example given below. We met a girl who was carrying a basket on […]

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Reflexive pronouns in subject position

June 24, 2014

Consider the following sentences. ‘Nice job. Who did this?’ ‘Myself and Jane. Do you think ‘myself’ is correctly used in the above sentence? Words like ‘myself’, ‘yourself’, ‘himself’, ‘herself’ etc., are reflexive pronouns. The reflexive pronouns are used when the object of the verb refers to the same person as the subject. Consider the sentence […]

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Using maybe and may be

June 23, 2014

Maybe is an adverb. It can be used in the following ways. Maybe can modify an entire sentence. Maybe she will come. Maybe we will win. Maybe you should leave her alone. Maybe can be used before a number. There were maybe 100 people at the meeting. Maybe is used when you are not sure […]

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Using perhaps

June 22, 2014

The words maybe and perhaps mean the same. In British English, they are both common. Maybe is preferred in an informal style. Perhaps is slightly more formal. Both perhaps and maybe can go at the beginning of a sentence. Maybe she will come. OR Perhaps she will come. Maybe she didn’t recognize you. OR Perhaps […]

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‘Can’ or ‘May’, ‘Will’ or ‘Shall’

June 15, 2014

Read the examples given below. Can I come in, Sir? May I come in, Sir? Is one of these two sentences more correct than the other? Well, actually, in modern English they are both considered acceptable. May is a preferred in a formal style or when you want to be more polite. In less formal […]

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Rhetorical questions

June 4, 2014

A rhetorical question is a kind of question that is not meant to be answered. Rhetorical questions are used to make a point. This makes them different from Yes / No questions because the latter expect an answer. Here is a quick review of Yes / No questions Yes / No questions are asked to […]

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