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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Faulty parallelism

January 14, 2014

Correlative conjunctions should be followed by grammatical structures of the same kind. Correlative conjunctions have two parts. Examples are: both…and…, not…but…, not only…but also…, either…or, neither…nor… etc. Incorrect:  It was both a long journey and tedious. Correct: The journey was both long and tedious. Incorrect: Either you must confess your involvement or prove your innocence. […]

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How to write complex sentences

January 12, 2014

A complex sentence consists of one main clause and one or more subordinate clauses joined together with the help of subordinating conjunction(s). Two clauses connected by relative pronouns or relative adverbs are also examples of complex sentences. Writing a complex sentence is easy if you have a basic understanding of conjunctions and relative pronouns. Study […]

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Kinds of determiners

January 8, 2014

There are different kinds of determiners. Articles – a, an, the Possessive pronouns – his, yours, theirs, ours, whose etc. Numbers – one, two, three etc. Indefinite pronouns – few, more, each, every, either, all, both, some, any etc. Demonstrative pronouns – this, that, these, those, such Some Notes on Quantifiers Just like articles, quantifiers […]

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