Terms

Find the meaning of the idiomatic expressions

November 16, 2013

Find the meaning of the idiomatic expressions. 1. To catch a Tartar is to a) catch a dangerous person b) encounter a person who is too strong for the assailant c) catch a criminal with great difficulty d) live carefully and cautiously 2. If something happens out of the blue, a) it happens when you […]

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Expressions with take

November 2, 2013

Take is one of the most frequently used words in English. Needless to say, nearly fifty expressions in current use incorporate the verb take. Take something / somebody for granted There are two meanings for this expression. To take somebody for granted is to benefit from their help without bothering to acknowledge it. Children often […]

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Color related idioms

June 5, 2013

Color-related idioms and expressions are very common in English. Meanings of colors change across cultures. We will discuss some of these expressions here. In the black If a business is in the black, it is making money. Like a red flag to a bull If a statement or an action is like a red flag […]

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Grammar terms: simple sentence, singular, split infinitive

October 19, 2011

Simple sentence A sentence which contains only one main clause. Examples are: She is coming; The king is dead; My brother wants to buy a new car. Singular The simplest form of an English noun. This is the form which is entered in a dictionary. Examples are: dog, tree, girl, flower etc. A countable noun […]

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Grammar terms: Sentence Adverb and sequence of tenses

October 19, 2011

Sentence adverb Adverbs usually modify a verb or a verb phrase. A sentence adverb is an adverb which does not merely modify a verb or a verb phrase, but which instead modifies the entire sentence containing it. A sentence adverb usually expresses ideas such as the probability, desirability or other characteristic of the situation described […]

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Grammatical terms

September 17, 2011

Person The grammatical category which is used to distinguish participants in a conversation. English distinguishes three persons. The first person represents the speaker or speakers. The pronouns are I and we. The second person represents the hearer or hearers. The pronoun is you. The third person represents everything and everybody else. The pronouns are: he, […]

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Grammar terms beginning with letter L

September 10, 2011

Labile verb A verb which can be either transitive or intransitive. English has many labile verbs. Examples are: sink, smoke, dress, wash, swim, jump etc. Susie smokes expensive cigarettes. (Transitive) Susie smokes. (Intransitive) The explosion sank the ship. (Transitive) The ship sank. (Intransitive) She washed her dress. (Transitive) This dress washes easily. (Intransitive) Lexical item […]

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Grammar terms beginning with letter F

September 8, 2011

False friend A word in a foreign language which looks very much like a word in your own language but which has a very different meaning. Finite verb A label applied to a verb-form which is marked for tense. A finite verb has the marking –s in the simple present tense. Note that this happens […]

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Grammar terms beginning with letters D and E

September 7, 2011

Double negative A construction in which two or more negative words occur in a single clause. Examples are: I don’t have nothing to prove. I didn’t see nothing. Double negatives are common in colloquial English. Formerly they were also acceptable in standard English, but now they are regarded as non-standard. Note that a double negative […]

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Grammar terms beginning with Letter D

September 6, 2011

Dangling participle A dangling participle is a participle which is not grammatically linked to the rest of the sentence. For example, in the sentence ‘Standing at the gate, a scorpion bit him’, the participial phrase ‘standing at the gate’ is dangling; it appears to be linked to the scorpion, but it is wrong. Though dangling […]

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