Lessons

Introduction to noun clauses

March 3, 2014

A noun clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb. It acts as a noun. Note that a noun clause cannot stand alone. It is a subordinate clause and it needs to be attached to an independent clause. A noun clause can be the subject or object of the verb […]

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Difference between in hand and at hand

February 24, 2014

These expressions are often confused. When you have something in your hand, you are holding it. Have you got anything in your hand? You are hiding something in your hand, aren’t you? The expressions ‘at hand’ and ‘in hand’ have literal meanings. To have something at hand is to have it conveniently near you. I […]

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Using well

February 13, 2014

Well is an adverb. To do something well is to do it in a skillful or effective way. She sings well. They played well yesterday. She speaks English well. Well can be modified by the expressions very, rather, quite and fairly. She sings rather well. She plays the violin very well for someone of her […]

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Noun phrase and prepositional phrase

February 5, 2014

A phrase is a group of words that does not include a subject and verb. Note that if the group of words contains a subject and a verb, it is considered as a clause. A phrase doesn’t make complete sense, but it must still make some sense. The groups of words given below are not […]

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Using do and make

February 2, 2014

The words do and make are often confused. They have very similar meanings; however, there are some differences as well. In this lesson, we will explain the correct usage of do and make. Examples of common standard expressions with do and make are also given. Using do Do is a general purpose verb. Use it […]

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The subjunctive mood in English

January 30, 2014

The subjunctive mood is not very common in English. It was, but now it has lost most of its importance. However, it is still used in the following cases. a) When the dependent clause expresses a wish. I wish I were prettier. I wish she were here. b) In if-clauses that express an unreal or […]

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Yes / No questions

January 25, 2014

Yes / No questions are those questions that expect ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as answer. These questions do not take the question words when, what, where etc. Yes / No questions are used to check information or ask for confirmation. ‘Are you coming with us?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Has he returned the car?’ ‘No, he hasn’t.’ ‘Do you […]

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Direct and indirect objects

January 22, 2014

The direct object is the receiver of the action mentioned in the sentence. John hit the ball. (Direct object: the ball) Be careful to distinguish between a direct object and an object complement. They named the boy Christopher. In this sentence ‘boy’ is the direct object and ‘Christopher’ is the object complement. The object complement […]

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To, in order to, so as to

January 21, 2014

Compare the two sentences given below. I went to his office to meet him. I went to his office in order to meet him. Although the second sentence is technically correct, it sounds too formal and is usually avoided. Both to + infinitive and in order to + infinitive express the same meaning when expressing […]

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Determiners, articles and possessives

January 16, 2014

You will definitely have noticed those little words that precede and modify nouns. They are of three types: determiners, articles and quantifiers. Articles will tell the reader whether we are referring to a general or specific thing. A teacher needs patience. (General) I would like to talk to the head teacher. (Specific) Quantifiers tell us […]

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