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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Using it as a preparatory subject

June 3, 2014

In older English, it was a common practice to use an infinitive clause as the subject of a sentence. To wait for people who would never turn up made him angry. Here the infinitive phrase ‘To wait for people who would never turn up’ acts as the subject of the verb made. In modern English, […]

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Sentence synthesis exercise

May 30, 2014

Combine the following pairs of sentences. 1. It is very hot. I can’t go out now. 2. It may rain. We will get wet. 3. I bought these mangoes yesterday. They are very sweet. 4. The weather was fine. We went out for a walk. (Combine using a participle) 5. They are pretty. They are […]

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Type 1 conditional sentences

May 28, 2014

Type 1 conditional sentences are used to talk about real and possible situations. Here we use a simple present tense in the if-clause and will /can / may + infinitive in the result clause. Study the sentences given below. If I am hungry, I will get something to eat. If you are hungry, you can […]

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Analysis of a simple sentence

May 27, 2014

A simple sentence consists of just one clause. To analyze a simple sentence, we must first of all learn how to divide the sentence into two main parts – the subject and the predicate. Study the examples given below. Birds chirp. (Subject – birds; predicate – chirp) The boy sang a song. (Subject – the […]

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