Mistakes in the use of articles

March 6, 2014

ESL students make several mistakes while writing English. Interestingly, most of these mistakes are not all that serious and can be avoided easily. Here is a quick overview of common mistakes in the use of articles. Two kinds of articles As you know, there are two kinds of articles in English – definite article (the) […]

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That-clause as a noun clause

March 3, 2014

A that-clause is an example of a noun clause. It can be the subject or the object of the verb. I believe that he is innocent. Here the that-clause ‘that he is innocent’ is the object of the verb believe. She said that she can speak three languages. (Object – that she can speak three […]

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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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Free Grammar Guide: "120 Deadly Grammar and Vocabulary Mistakes."