Style Guide

Correct use of some prepositions and transitional adverbs

February 13, 2013

Several words can be different parts of speech. For example and for instance can be prepositions or transitional adverbs. When they are used as transitional adverbs, they come at the beginning of the sentence and modify the entire sentence. Also pay careful attention to the fact that many transitional adverbs are also subordinating (dependent) conjunctions. […]

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Common mistakes in the use of prepositions

February 6, 2013

Although prepositions are small words, they are very important ones. In this lesson, we will explain some common mistakes in the use of prepositions. Incorrect: Although he is clever, he lacks of experience. Correct: Although he is clever, he lacks experience. Incorrect: The train is now approaching to Boston. Correct: The train is now approaching […]

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Passive voice structures with infinitives

December 20, 2012

Read the following sentence. People say that he is a criminal. Can we change this sentence into the passive? Yes, we can. He is said to be a criminal. (NOT That he is a criminal is said by people.) They say these nuts are good for health. (Active) These nuts are said to be good […]

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Time prepositions

December 15, 2012

Time prepositions On Use on with days. I met him on Friday. My birthday is on May 18th. We are having a small party on Christmas day. Use at with clock times and other expressions of time such as noon, night and midnight. The train departs at 6.30. We usually have dinner at 9 o’clock. […]

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Common word combinations

October 28, 2012

It is not always easy to know which preposition to use after a particular noun, verb or adjective. Here are some of the most common combinations. Accuse somebody of something She accused me of breaking the flower-vase. Afraid of I am afraid of the dark. Agree with a person, opinion or policy I couldn’t agree […]

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Position of subordinate clauses

September 26, 2012

A subordinating conjunction and its clause can go either before or after the main clause (depending on what is to be emphasized). If you need money, just let me know. Just let me know if you need money. Although the necklace was expensive, she bought it. She bought the necklace although it was expensive. Because […]

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Introductory it: exercise

August 30, 2012

It can be used in ‘cleft sentences’ with who- and that-clauses to emphasize one part of a sentence. Study the following sentence. My mother took John to the theater yesterday. It was my mother who took John to the theater yesterday. (Emphasis on ‘my mother’) It was John that my mother took to the theater […]

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What is a phrase? (Beginner level)

August 11, 2012

We have already learned that a word is a group of letters arranged in such a way that they make sense. Examples are: flower, book, tree and apple. A phrase is a group of words that make sense. Examples are: the book, on the table, in the corner and under the tree. We cannot make […]

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July 30, 2012

Collocations are common word combinations that sound ‘right’ to native English speakers. Examples are: chain smoker and burning desire. There are numerous collocations in English. Some collocations are made by putting an adjective and adverb together. Some are made by putting two nouns together. Collocations can also be made using several other methods. Here is […]

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Some prepositional phrases

July 20, 2012

A prepositional phrase is a group of words introduced by a preposition. There are quite a few prepositional phrases in English and these set phrases are often used with specific verbs. Prepositional phrases usually go at the end of sentences. Some of them also go at the beginning of sentences. In this lesson we will […]

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