When to use the passive voice

April 8, 2014

Verbs can be active or passive. In the active voice, the subject is the doer. In the passive voice, the subject is the person or thing affected by the action of some other agent. The government approved the policy. (Active) The policy was approved by the government. (Passive) There is nothing wrong with a passive […]

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Common Phrasal Verbs

March 15, 2014

Here is a list of common phrasal verbs. Account for This is an inseparable phrasal verb. To account for something is to give a reason or explanation for it. How will you account for the money you spent on that fancy dress? How do you account for the sudden improvement in your grades? The student […]

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Classification of verbs

January 30, 2014

Transitive and intransitive verbs Verbs can be classified in several ways. First, some verbs require an object to complete their meaning. ‘She read…’ Read what? ‘She read a story.’ These verbs that require an object are called transitive verbs. Verbs that do not require an object are called intransitive verbs. Note that most verbs can […]

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Phrasal verbs beginning with put

September 15, 2013

The word put is used in a large number of phrasal verbs. Put across To put something across is to make it understood. He failed to put his message across. (= He failed to convey his idea.) People working in sales and marketing should be able to put themselves across well. Put aside To put […]

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Copular or linking verbs

August 26, 2013

We have already learned that intransitive verbs do not take objects. Examples are: sleep, sit, rest, weep, laugh, cry etc. She is weeping. The child sleeps. The boy was laughing. There is yet another variety of verbs which do not normally take objects. These are called copular verbs or linking verbs. While intransitive verbs make […]

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Verbs: Some common mistakes

August 18, 2013

The verb write can take two objects. Sometimes this causes problems. Incorrect: He wrote me. Correct: He wrote to me. Notes We write something. (He wrote a letter.) We write something to someone. (He wrote a letter to his mother.) (NOT He wrote a letter his mother.) We write someone something. (He wrote his mother […]

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Verb terminology

August 11, 2013

While learning about verbs, you will come across grammatical terms like infinitives and gerunds. Below are explanations of these frequently used grammar terms. Infinitives The infinitive is the base form of the verb. It is sometimes preceded by the marker to and then it is called the to-infinitive. Remember that that ‘to’ is a not […]

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Copular verbs and action verbs

July 17, 2013

In English, there are mainly two types of verbs: copular verbs and action verbs. Copular verbs are also called linking verbs because they link the subject with a following adjective or noun. The most common copular verb is be. It has several forms. Examples are: is, am, are, was, were, being, been etc. As you […]

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The future perfect tense

May 20, 2013

The future perfect tense is used to describe an action that will have been completed at a certain point of time in the future. Consider this situation. You are working on a project and you will finish it in two months. Then at the end of two months, you will have completed that project. Note […]

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Not so common reporting verbs

May 7, 2013

In informal spoken reports, say, think and ask are the most common reporting verbs. These verbs can go before sentences or between clauses. She asked me what I was doing there. He said that he wouldn’t go. I thought that it was funny. A much wider variety of reporting verbs are also available in English. […]

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