Style Guide

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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The qualifying infinitive

June 29, 2012

The qualifying infinitive may be used: 1) to qualify a noun like an adjective Give me something to drink. Give me a chair to sit. It was a sight to see. This is a thing to admire. 2) to qualify a verb like an adverb I came to see you. We are going to play […]

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Shall and will exercise

November 25, 2011

Fill in the blanks using will or shall. 1. ……………………… the messenger wait for the reply? 2. …………………….. I carry this bag for you? 3. He …………………………. be talking all the time without doing anything. 4. This machine …………………….. work well without giving you any trouble. 5. ……………………….. you give me your dictionary? 6. ……………………… […]

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Uses of that

September 14, 2011

That can be used as an adjective and a pronoun. It is the singular form of those. Compare: Look at that man over there. Look at those men over there. As an adjective that can refer to either people or things. This photograph is much better than that photograph. That boy says that he is […]

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Grammar terms with M

September 13, 2011

Main clause A clause which is capable of making a complete sentence by itself. A sentence must have at least one main clause. A simple sentence consists of only a single main clause. Example: John wrote a letter. In a compound sentence, there are two main clauses connected by and. Susie cooked dinner and Jane […]

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