Style Guide

Verbs not used in progressive forms

March 9, 2011

Some verbs are not used in progressive forms. I love you. (NOT I am loving you.) I like this color. (NOT I am liking this color.) I rang her up because I wanted to speak. (NOT I rang her up because I was wanting to speak.) Many of these non-progressive verbs refer to states rather […]

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Singular and plural nouns

November 29, 2010

The label number refers to the grammatical category which relates to the number of countable objects in the world. In English, number is important with nouns. An English noun exhibits a two-way distinction of number: a singular form and a plural form. The singular form denotes one of something. Examples are: tree, cat, flower, girl, […]

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Uses of the participle – part II

October 6, 2010

Participles are also used in absolute phrases with a noun or pronoun going before them. God willing, we shall meet again. The fog having lifted, the plane took off. Notes: Each of these absolute phrases can be transformed into a subordinate clause. If God is willing, we shall meet again. When the fog had lifted, […]

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Uses of the verb have

October 1, 2010

The verb have is used in a number of ways in English. It can be used as an auxiliary verb. It can also be used as an ordinary verb. As an ordinary verb have indicates ideas such as possession of objects, individual characteristics, relationships etc. Examples: He has a brother in Germany. She has long […]

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Figure of Speech Part III

September 29, 2010

Metonymy Metonymy literally means a change of name. In metonymy an object is denoted by the name of something which is generally associated with it. For example The Bench, for the judges The laurel, for success Bluejackets, for sailors Red-coats, for British sailors The Crown, for the king Since there are different kinds of association […]

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Figures of Speech – Part III

September 25, 2010

Antithesis In antithesis, a striking contrast of words or sentiments is expressed in the same sentence. It is employed to secure emphasis. Examples are given below: Man proposes, God disposes. Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more. Oxymoron Oxymoron is a special form of antithesis. Here two contradictory qualities of […]

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Figures of Speech – Part II

September 24, 2010

We have seen that a metaphor is an implied simile. Every simile can be compressed into a metaphor and every metaphor can be expanded into a simile. Compare: Life is like a dream. (Simile) Life is a dream. (Metaphor) Personification In personification inanimate objects and abstract ideas are spoken of as if they have life […]

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Figures of speech – Simile and Metaphor

September 22, 2010

A figure of speech is a departure from the ordinary form of expression. It is employed to produce a greater effect. There are four different kinds of figures of speech. 1. Those based on resemblance Examples are: simile, metaphor, personification and apostrophe 2. Those based on contrast Examples are: antithesis and epigram 3. Those based […]

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Passive Voice Exercise

August 5, 2010

Change the following sentences from the Active voice to the passive voice. 1. The boy killed the spider. 2. The woodcutter felled the trees. 3. Columbus discovered America. 4. The master praised the boy. 5. The police arrested the thief. 6. The boys were making kites. 7. He has written a novel. 8. We will […]

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Non-finite verbs

June 15, 2010

Read the following sentences: John thinks that he is a great artist. I wish to learn English. In sentence 1, the verb thinks has a subject. Its form is determined by the number and person of its subject, namely John. Verbs which are thus limited by number and person of their subject are called finite […]

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