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ACTIVE AND PASSIVE VOICE


Events may be related in the active or the passive voice. In the
passive, the person or thing receiving the action becomes the
grammatical subject.
For example (the entity receiving the action is in boldface):
active voice: Eric Rohmer made this film.
passive voice: This film was made by Eric Rohmer.
One forms the passive by conjugating the verb "to be" before the
past participle of the principal verb. the tense of the verb "to be" will
determine the tense of action. When an agent of the action (that is,
the person or entity performing the action) must be described, one
does so by using the preposition "by":
This industry will soon be developed in the third world.
Sorry, but this car has been purchased by another customer.
English uses the passive voice frequently, although it is best to avoid
it when possible. An option is to use an impersonal subject, such as
"one" or "someone"
(passive voice): This job needs to be done.
(active voice): Someone needs to do this job.

ADJECTIVES
Forms
Usage
Related topics
Forms
Adjectives are generally invariable in English and do not agree with
nouns in number and gender; nor do they take case endings:
a blue car
the great outdoors
a group of young women
However, a few adjectives have a connotation which is slightly
masculine or feminine. Thus, one says that a woman
is beautiful while a man would be called handsome.
Adjectives indicating religion or nationality (or a region, state or
province) generally begin with a capital letter, whether they refer to
people or objects:
She is an American student.
They go to a Catholic school.
They enjoy Breton music.
Usage:
In a noun cluster an adjective will be placed, with very few
exceptions, in front of the noun it modifies. When two adjectives
precede a noun, they can be connected by a comma (,) or by the
conjunction"and." In a series of three or more adjectives, one
usually uses "and" before the last adjective in the list.

Examples:
I like short novels.
That fellow will be a competent worker.
She writes long and flowery letters.
He works long, hard hours.
She had a mean, old and overbearing step-mother.
An adjective may follow the noun when it is in a predicate (after the
verb) or in a relative clause. (In relative clauses the relative pronoun
may be implicit.)
Examples:
He was a man (who was) always happy to help others.
She is a woman (who is) true to herself.
They were entirely satisfied.

NOUNS
Gender
Plural
Related topics
Gender
In English nouns rarely change form, even to indicate gender. As a
general rule, only nouns referring to people and some animals
reflect gender in their form. By the same token, unlike many other
languages, the adjectives modifying nouns will remain unchanged.
Example:
My poor little dog died.
However, certain nouns -- especially those referring to people -- may
have different forms to indicate masculin or feminine usage:
man -- woman
gentleman -- lady
actor -- actress
uncle -- aunt

father -- mother
The same can be said of certain male and female animals:
a buck, a doe
a ram, a ewe
a bull, a cow
a stallion, a mare
In other cases, the word "male" or "female" is added, if it is
considered necessary to be specific:
a female cat
a male giraffe
Note: If the gender of the person or animal is known, one will
generally use the pronoun "he" or "she" to refer to it, as appropriate.
When the gender is left unstated, the pronoun "he" is generally used
when speaking of people, or "it" when speaking of animals. Some
objects are also considered to be gendered in certain usages: some
people may refer to a boat or a car as "she."
Certain nouns (especially the names of professions) are traditionally
associated with men or women, in which case one signals
exceptions to the tradition by adding "woman" (or "lady") or "man" to
the term:
They are in a group of male dancers.
My wife prefers to see a woman doctor.
Plurals
As a general rule, the plural is formed by adding "-s" to the singular
form of nouns.
shoe --> shoes
book --> books

river --> rivers


Nouns ending in "s" or "s" will generally take the ending "-es" :
bus --> buses
kiss --> kisses
Words ending in "y" will generally take the ending "-ies" in place of
the "y":
party --> parties
supply --> supplies
Certain words have very irregular forms in the plural:
one man --> two men
one woman --> two women
one person --> two people
one foot --> two feet
one mouse --> two mice
one goose --> two geese
one tooth --> two teeth
one wife --> two wives
one child --> two children
one knife --> two knives
one thief --> two thieves
one dwarf --> two dwarves (ou: dwarfs)
one potato --> two potatoes

one leaf --> two leaves


one life --> two lives
one loaf --> two loaves
one half --> two halves
A small set of words do not change form in the plural:
one moose --> two moose
one sheep --> two sheep
one aircraft --> two aircraft
Words of Greek or Latin origin which have retained their original
endings will generally take the plural form associated with the
language they are drawn from:
one alumnus --> two alumni
one syllabus --> two syllabi
one alumna --> two alumnae
one alga --> many algae
one criterion --> many criteria
one forum --> many fora (or : forums)
one thesis --> two theses
one hypothesis --> two hypotheses
one phenomenon --> two phenomena
one cactus --> two cacti (or : cactuses)
one diagnosis --> two diagnoses
one oasis --> two oases

one analysis --> two analyses


A few nouns are invariable or collective, always indicating a plural
meaning:
She gave me some information.
Michelle has a lot of clothes.

Capital letters
Certain nouns are generally capitalized, including: days of the week
and months; names of holidays, cities (or states, etc.) and religions;
nouns of nationality:
Minneapolis
Jewish
Monday
April

ADJECTIVE ORDER
When two or more adjectives are used to describe something they
are put in a certain order. For example, opinions come before facts.
Beautiful long black hair
A handsome young man
A nice new shirt
Nice, beautiful and handsome are opinions. Young, new, long and
black are facts. Opinions come first. Size comes before age. Age
comes before color. The following chart show the basic order of
adjectives, but you should know that sometimes this order is not
followed.

[NOTE IN THE ABOVE CHART shape (round, square) should be


put between age and color, and the noun column should be
separated from the other columns, with a + inserted.]
Example:
We rented a nice little brown log cabin by a lake.
Note: We usually limit the number of adjectives preceding a noun to
three.

ADVERBS
Formation
Position
Related topics
Formation
1. Most adverbs are formed from the adjective. One adds
the ending "--ly" to the adjectival form:
intelligent --> intelligently
slow --> slowly

precise --> precisely


Some adverbs are irregular:
A. If the adjective ends with "--le," simply replace the "e"
with "y":
simple --> simply
subtle --> subtly
B. The adverb corresponding to the adjective "good" is
irregular:
good --> well
C. Some adverbs have the same form as the adjective:
high
low
hard
better
fast

D. In general, adverbs of time and space have no


corresponding adjective; the same can be said of adverbs
of quantity:
yesterday
today

tomorrow
early
soon
late
here
there
less
more
as
very
much
a lot of
little of

Position
When an adverb modifies a verb, it generally comes at the
end of the clause (but before any prepositional phrases or
subordinated clauses):
He writes poorly.
She pronounced that word well..
Joseph worked diligently.

They worked hard before coming home.


Exceptions: certain adverbs signaling the speaker's
opinion, such as "probably," "undoubtedly," "surely,"
"certainly," etc., come at the beginning of the
sentence, or else between the modal
verb (or auxiliary) and the principal verb:
o We are probably going to spend the summer in
Corsica.
o Certainly we would never do that!
o We will undoubtedly see a dirty political campaign
this year.
Adverbs of time and space generally come at the end of
the sentence; however, they may be placed at the
beginning of the sentence if the predicate clause is long and
complicated:
I saw her yesterday.
We're going to the beach today.
She went to bed very early.
Tomorrow we will try to get up early to prepare for our
trip.
Adverbs modifying adjectives or an other adverb are
placed before the adjective or adverb they modify:
She was really very happy to see you.
It was a brilliantly staged performance.

QUESTIONS
Simple questions
o "Do"
o Inversion
o Modal verbs ("will", "would", etc.)
Interrogative adverbs ("how?", "when", "why?", etc.)
Interrogative pronouns ("who", "whom", "what", etc.)
"Which", "which one"

Simple questions
Simple questions (that is, questions to which one can respond by a
simple "yes" or "no") may be formed in three different ways:
1. "Do": one precedes an assertion with "do" or "does" (or "don't"
or "doesn't" for a negative expression, or "did", "didn't" for the
past):
Do you want to go to the movies?

Does she work at IBM?


Don't you travel quite a bit?
Do they answer questions quickly?
Didn't they want to eat?
But: One never places "do" or "does" before the verb "to be"
or before modal verbs in questions; in this case it is preferable
to invert the subject and verb:
o Are you coming to the reception?
o Was the meeting boring?
o Weren't you hungry?

2. Inversion: with certain verbs (especially the verbs "to be", "to
do", "to have", and modal verbs) questions are formed by inverting
the subject and object. (In the case of the verb "to have," which is
usually combined with "do" in interrogatives, inversion signals a
literary style.)
Is Jack home?
Have you nothing to declare?
Would you like to go to the movies?
Will they ever come to visit?
Can the employees talk to the boss?
Won't you sit down?

3. Modal phrases: If a modal verb is used in a sentence, or if it is


strongly implied, a modal phrase can be used to make an
interrogative form. The modal phrase is typically an inversion of the

subject and verb, in the negative, repeated at the end of the


sentence:
It's time to go, isn't it?
He'd like to come with us, wouldn't he?
You would like to go with us, wouldn't you?
You can understand that, can't you?
In the case of a negative question, the modal phrase would be
in the affirmative:
You wouldn't want to try it, would you?
She won't be back, will she?
(See also: negations)
Interrogative adverbs
Simple questions solicit a "yes" or "no" answer. More precise
questions may be formed by using the interrogative adverbs: when,
why, how, how much, where. Generally, the interrogative adverb
precedes the rest of the question; then the order of the sentence
follows the rules indicated for inversion or for questions formed with
"do / does".
Where are you going?
Why do you want to take this class?
How much do you earn a month?
How do these machines work? (O vont ces tudiants ?)
When do you expect to get home? (A quelle heure penses-tu
rentrer ?)

See also: Questions, Interrogative pronouns.

Interrogative pronouns
Interrogative pronouns are used to ask who has done what, to
whom, why, with what, etc. Normally these pronouns are placed at
the beginning of the sentence; hen the order of the sentence follows
the rules indicated for inversion or for questions formed with "do /
does".
One chooses the pronoun based on its function, according to the
following table:

subject (person) : who + question


Who did this painting?
Who wants to get an ice cream?
subject (thing) : what + question
What interests you?
What is good in this restaurant?
direct object (person) : whom + question
Whom did you see in France?
Whom are you going to meet at this reception?
direct objet (thing) : what + question
What do you want to do this evening?
What are you preparing?

object of a preposition (person) : preposition + whom + question


About whom are you thinking?
With whom did you go out?
Note: In spoken English, one often places the preposition at
the end of the sentence, in which case one uses "who"
instead of "whom"
o Who are you thinking about?
o Who did you go out with?
object of a preposition (thing) : preposition + what + question
With what did you open it?
In what way does that concern you?
Note: In spoken English, the preposition is often put at the end
of the sentence:
What did you open it with?
What did did they base their opinion on?

Which, which one, which ones.


The adjective "which" and its pronominal forms ("which", "which
one", "which ones") ask that a person make a choice. Usually
these pronouns will be placed at the beginning of the sentence;
Normalement, ces pronoms se trouveront au dbut de la phrase ;
then the order of the sentence follows the rules indicated
for inversion or for questions formed with "do / does".
Which film do you want to see?
Which date did you choose?
Here are two pizzas. Which one do you prefer?

There are many different Burgundy wines. Which ones do you


like?

AFFIRMATIVE SENTENCES
If the same is true for
you...?/td>
So + auxiliary + subject
I'm very sociable.
So am I.

If the same is not true


for you...?/td>
subject + (negative)
auxiliary
I'm not.

DEFINITE ARTICLES

General principles
Omission of the article
Use in negatives and interrogatives
Related topics
General principles
The definite article "the" (invariable in form) designates a person,
place, or event which has been specified or defined by the speaker:
Here's the book I bought.
The cat is on the roof.
He said he would bring the money.
Omission of the definite article
The definite article does not always precede nouns:
sometimes indefinite articles or partitive articles will be used. Often,
though, no article at all is necessary, as in the following cases:
1. As a general rule, the definite article is omitted before abstract
nouns or nouns representing general categories. It is often omitted
after verbs expressing opinions or preferences:
Truth is the highest good.

I don't like animals.


Cats are nicer than dogs.
Time flies.
She likes coffee, but she hates tea.
2. Generally, the article is omitted before days of the week and
dates:
On Tuesdays the museums are closed.
On Saturdays I sleep in.
Friday night we are going dancing.
I was born on June 16, 1980.

3. Generally, the article is omitted before names of countries, states,


cities, and regions:
France is seventeen times smaller than the United States.
California is larger than Brittany.
Exception: Some names actually include the definite article,
such as The Hague.
4. Generally, the article is omitted before titles or nouns indicating
professions:
President Mitterrand completed two terms.
We saw Professor Miller at the restaurant.
She met with Doctor Schmidt.
The use of the definite article does not change in interrogatives
and negatives.

INDEFINITE ARTICLES

The indefinite article has two forms: before singular nouns one uses
"a" (or "an" before most vowels); before plural nouns one uses
"some":
a cat
an accident
some dogs
But: before vowels producing a "y" sound (as in "you"), "a" is used,
rather than "an":
a unit
not a one

a unicorn
As a general rule, the indefinite article signals a person, thing or
event that has not been clearly defined by the speaker. It does not
indicate a specific objection (which is the role of the definite article);
rather, it indicates any one object out of many possible ones (in the
singular), or any assortment or quantity from many possible
assortments or quantities (in the plural). It is often used after verbs
of possession or consumption:
Give me a coffee, please.
I have a book you might like.
She has some cherries for sale.
In the negative, the plural indefinite article changes: "some" is
generally replaced by "any" (this change also occurs in negative
questions) :
Don't you have any cookies ?
They don't have any books for sale.
I have never had an accident.

PARTITIVE ARTICLE:"SOME"
When the article "some" appears before a plural noun it functions
like an indefinite article:
He has some tickets for the game.
Some students decided not to attend the class.

However, when "some" appears before a singular noun, it is being


used as a partitive. This is to say that a part of something is
indicated, or a partial (or indeterminate) quantity is referred to. It is
often used after verbs of possession or consumption:
Do you have some time?
We're going to buy some milk.
I heard some bad news.
She has some money to spend.
Would you like some help ?
Note: After expressions of quantity, the partitive article
is not used:
Students buy a lot of pastries.
Today people have more activities than before.
In negative expressions, the partitive article "some" generally
becomes "any" (this change will also occur in negative
interrogatives):
She doesn't have any money.
They didn't have any milk.
Don't you have any money?
The word "any" is not strictly necessary in the negative,and it may
often be omitted:
I never have accidents.
They didn't have milk.

AUXILIARY VERBS
An auxiliary verb ("helping" verb) is combined with the principal verb
to form certain tenses or moods. (See also the modal verbs, which
nuance the meaning of the verbs they accompany.) The only true
auxiliary verbs in English are "to be," "to have," and "to do."
"To be" is an auxiliary verb for the progressive teneses (See the
present progressive, the past progressive, the future progressive):
I am going home.
She was fishing with her father.
We will be calling on you later.
"To have" is an auxiliary verb for the perfect tenses, including the
present perfect, the present perfect progressive, the pluperfect, the
future perfect, the past conditional:
We have finished.
They hadn't waited for us.
"To do" is an auxiliary verb for making questions and negations in
both the present simple and the preterit :
Do you have any money?
Did you hear me?
He doesn't want to help us.

B
AUXILIARY VERBS
An auxiliary verb ("helping" verb) is combined with the principal verb
to form certain tenses or moods. (See also the modal verbs, which
nuance the meaning of the verbs they accompany.) The only true
auxiliary verbs in English are "to be," "to have," and "to do."
"To be" is an auxiliary verb for the progressive teneses (See the
present progressive, the past progressive, the future progressive):
I am going home.
She was fishing with her father.
We will be calling on you later.
"To have" is an auxiliary verb for the perfect tenses, including the
present perfect, the present perfect progressive, the pluperfect, the
future perfect, the past conditional:
We have finished.
They hadn't waited for us.
"To do" is an auxiliary verb for making questions and negations in
both the present simple and the preterit :
Do you have any money?
Did you hear me?
He doesn't want to help us.

BELONG
The verb "to belong to"
The verb "to belong to" indicates ownership or possession:
That poodle belongs to Louise.
The world belongs to you.

C
CAUSATIVE CONSTRUCTIONS
When one does not carry out an action oneself but rather has the
action done by someone else, this is expressed by a causative
construction. In English it is the verb "to have" that introduces the
causative. The model will generally be: "to have" (conjugated) +
direct object (noun or pronoun) + principal verb (in its past participle
form):
We'll have a monument erected on this site.
I had my hair cut.
When one wishes to designate the agent of the action (the person
who has carried out the described action), there are two possibilities:
1. -- "to have" (conjugated) + direct object (noun or pronoun) +
principal verb (in its past participle form) + "by" + agent (usually not
as a pronoun):
The professor had the work done by his lab assistants.
I had it done by my employees.
2. -- "to have" (conjugated) + agent (as a direct object noun or
pronoun) + principal verb (in its infinitive form) + the object (also in
the form of a direct object noun or pronoun)
The professor had his students write an essay.

I had him do it.


Note: Especially in spoken English, the verb "to get" often replaces
"to have," in which case "to" is added to the infinitive (but not before
past participles). This construction also suggests that it may be (or
have been) difficult to produce a certain reaction on the part of the
agent:
We'll get a monument erected on this site.
The professor got his students to write an essay.

When one wishes to express a change in temperament or in general


conditions, it is the construction "to make + adjective" which is used:
That letter made her sad.
He makes me furious!
That new problem made negotiations really hard!

COMPARATIVES
General principles
Adjectives
Adverbs
Nouns
Verbs
Related topics

General principles
Comparatives are used to compare two things and to highlight the
superiority, inferiority, or equality of one term compared to another.
The comparative can apply to adjectives, adverbs, nouns, or even
verbs. Whatever the part of speech concerned, the structure of the
comparison remains the same:

Examples for adjectives, adverbs, nouns, and verbs follow:

Adjectives
Adjectival comparisons follow these models:
Jean is taller than Catherine.
Philippe is less tall than Jean.
Lela is as tall as Jean.
Note: Monosyllabic adjectives, and several common two-syllable
adjectives, take the ending "--er" and do not include the adverb
"more":
young --> younger
tall --> taller
old --> older
If the adjective ends in "--y" the "y" becomes "i" :
heavy --> heavier
early --> earlier
busy --> busier
healthy --> healthier

chilly --> chillier


If the adjective ends in "--e" only an "r" is needed:
wise --> wiser
large --> larger
simple --> simpler
late --> later
If the adjective ends with "single vowel + consonant" the
consonant is doubled and one adds "--er" :
red --> redder
big --> bigger
thin --> thinner
hot --> hotter
Some very common adjectives have irregular comparatives:
good --> better
bad --> worse
far --> farther
Adverbs
Adverbial comparisons follow these models:
The students are working more diligently than the professor.
This fellow speaks less eloquently than a schoolboy.
They are all working as hard as possible!
Note: In comparisons indicating superiority, adverbs ending in "-ly" do not take the adverb "more," but only the ending "--er".

(However, these adverbs will function normally in comparisons using


"less" or "as.")
fast --> faster
hard --> harder
And some adverbs have irregular comparative forms :
well --> better
badly --> worse
far --> farther

Nouns
Noun comparisons follow these patterns:
I have more work than you.
He has less homework than the rest of us.
If only I had as much talent as she!
The comparative can signal quantities of nouns:
I have less than five francs in my pocket.
She has more than five hours worth of work to do.
However, in comparisons of inferiority, and when the quantity
represents a "countable" noun, one should use the term
"fewer" rather than "less" :
He works fewer than ten hours per week.
Sam has fewer students than I do.

Verbs

"More," "less," and "as" can be used as adverbs to modify verbs:


He eats more than he used to.
That boy reads less than his friends.
You ought to listen as much as you talk.

CONDITIONAL
The conditional is formed using the modal "would" in front of an
infinitive (dropping the word "to"). The conditional is used especially
in three contexts:
1) Politeness
I would like the menu, please.
Would you have a couple of minutes for me?
2) To indicate the "future within the past":
She said she would come to the party.
I thought he would arrive before me.
3) In hypothetical constructions with "if." When "if" is followed by the
preterit or the subjunctive, the conditional is expected in the second
clause:
If I had the time, I would do my homework.
If you told me the truth, I would believe you.
The "if" of hypothetical expressions can be implicit:
In your position (= if I were you), I wouldn't have stayed.

PAST CONDITIONAL
The past conditional is expressed using the modal "would" before a
past infinitive (= "have" + past participle). This construction serves
to express missed opportunities and past hypotheses:
She told me that she would have liked to come and see us.
In your position, I would have done the same thing.
One finds it often in hypothetical constructions with "if." When "if" is
followed by the pluperfect, the conditional past is expected in the
second clause:
If I had had the time, I would have done my homework.
If you had told me the truth, I would have believed you.
If he had worked harder, he'd have received a better grade.
Note: In certain regions (principally in the United States) one hears
the conditional past in both clauses of hypothetical expressions:
If you would have told me he was going to win, I wouldn't have
believed you.

CONDITIONALS
There are four common conditional forms. The zero and first
conditionals are also called real conditionals. The second and third
conditionals are also called unreal conditionals.
Zero Conditional
The zero conditional is an if/then statement that is used to express a
scientific fact or something that is generally true.
Form: If + subject +present simple verb, subject + present simple
verb.
Or
Subject + present simple verb + if + subject + present simple verb.
Examples:
If you put sugar in your tea, it becomes sweet.
The trip takes 35 minutes if you take the express train.
First Conditional
The first conditional is an if/then statement that expresses the
consequence of a probable or possible situation in the future.
Form: If + subject + present simple verb, subject + will + verb
Or
Subject + will + verb + if + subject + present simple verb

Examples:
If you call before 11 p.m., I will pick you up from the station.
Ill burst if I eat any more food!
Second Conditional
The second conditional is an if/then statement that expresses the
consequence of a hypothetical, imaginary, impossible, or improbable
situation in the future.
Form: If + subject + simple past verb, subject + would + verb
Or
Subject + would+ verb + if + subject + simple past verb
Examples:
If I had a million dollars, I would buy a mansion in Florida.
I would wear a coat if I were you. (Its really cold outside.)
Third Conditional
The third conditional is an if/then statement that expresses what
would have happened if events in the past were different. It is often
used to express regret about actions in the past the speaker would
like to change.
Form: If + subject + past perfect, subject + would + have + past
participle
Or
Subject + would + have + past participle + if + subject +past perfect
Examples:
If I had known about the divorce, I wouldnt have asked him about
his wife.
(I didnt know about the divorce and I asked him about this wife. I
regret that I asked him and would change the past if possible.)
Sally would have bought a new car if she had received a raise at her
job. (Sally didnt buy the new car but would have under different
circumstances in the past.)

COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

Countable nouns are used to name things we can count.


One apple, two apples, three carrots, four fingers, etc.
Uncountable nouns are used to name things we cannot count.
Bread, water, air, sand, etc.
Countable nouns have a singular as well as a plural form.
a chair
two chairs
some chairs
a banana the bananas many bananas
Remember! Use an in front of a word that begins with a vowel
sound.
An apple an orange an hour
Uncountable nouns do not usually take the indefinite article a or an.
They are often used without any article at all, and they do not
usually have a plural form.

(some) bread

(some) coffee

(some) fruit

D
DEFINING AND NON-DEFINING RELATIVE CLAUSES
A relative clause gives us information about the noun it modifies. A
defining relative clause gives essential information about the noun it
modifies. The sentence would not make sense if the clause were
removed. Defining relative clauses often come right after the nouns
that they modify, without a comma.
People who eat healthy foods live longer.
Whats the name of the hotel that you stayed at?
A non-defining relative clause gives us additional but non-essential
information about the noun it modifies. The sentence would still
make sense if the non-defining clause were removed. In writing,
non-defining relative clauses are usually separated from the rest of
the sentence by commas before and after the clause.

Isabel Allende, who wrote Daughter of Fortune, lives in the San


Francisco Bay Area.
Watership Down, which is my favorite novel, is a story about rabbits.

DIRECT AND INDIRECT DISCOURSE


When one reports what others have said word for word, this is called
"direct discourse." It is generally signaled by the presence of
quoation marks:
Philippe said, "I'll come if I have the time."
My roommate said, "Clean the place up, or get out of here!"
When one paraphrases the words of others, writing them so as to
avoid direct quotation, this is called "indirect discourse." Indirect
discourse entails certain changes:
A. Quotation marks are not used:
direct discourse: He told me, "You're stupid"
indirect discourse: He told me that I was stupid.
B. When the verb in the reported discourse is conjugated, is it
generally preceded by "that"; however, the inclusion of "that" is
optional
She said that she would be late.

OR: She said she would be late.


They informed us that the plane was delayed.
OR: They informed us the plane was delayed.
C. Imperative forms, when recounted in indirect discourse, generally
become infinitive constructions:
direct discourse: He told me, "Write to me."
indirect discourse: He told me to write him.
direct discourse: I told them, "Get out of here!"
indirect discourse: I told them to get out of here.
D. When a quotation is put in indirect discourse, care must be taken
to verify that verb tenses reflect the change in temporal context:
direct discourse: She said, "I will be on time."
indirect discourse: She said she would be on time.
direct discourse: When he called he said, "I am at the airport"
indirect discourse: When he called he said he was at the airport.
DO AND MAKE
We often use do followed by words for work or indefinite activities.
Do your homework.
Can you do the dishes tonight?
Stan did the grocery shopping every Saturday morning.
You must do something about the mice in the basement!
We often use make with the meaning of .
Lets make some travel plans.
Mom made a cake for Zacharys birthday.
Do you want me to make breakfast for you?
There are also many idiomatic expressions that use the verbs do or
make.
To do ones best, to make progress, to do ones duty, to make a
fortune

F
NEAR FUTURE
Especially in spoken English one finds the near future used as a
way of describing imminent events. Strictly speaking, the near future
is not a future tense, for it is formed by combining the present tense
of the verb "to go," conjugated in the present progressive, with the
infinitive of the principal verb.
We are going to leave soon.
I'm going to give her a call.

Also used to express imminent actions is the construction "to be


about to do something," also conjugated in the present.
I am about to lose my temper!
The detective is about to stop the criminal.
One can also conjugate these forms in the past progressive in order
to express a "future within the past":
He said he was going to do it.
She was going to buy a new car, but she never did.
When I saw them, they were about to make a decision.

FUTURE PERFECT

Relatively rare in English, the future perfect serves to express one


future action which precedes a future moment or another future
action. Moreover, it asserts that these actions will
be completed before the principal action. It is formed by adding
the modal"will" to the auxiliary "have," preceding the past participle:
She will have finished before eight o'clock.
Tomorrow morning they will all have left.

They will already have finished eating by the time we get


there.
One can often use the simple future instead of the future perfect, but
a nuance is lost: the simple future does not emphasize the
completion of the first action:
Tomorrow morning they will all leave. (The future perfect would
emphasize that they will already have
departed before tomorrow morning.)
They will finish eating by the time we get there. (They may
finish just as we arrive; the future perfect would emphasize
that they will have finished before we arrive.)

FUTURE PROGRESSIVE

The future progressive serves to express an action which will be in


the process of occurring. It is formed by putting the present
progressive into the future: will be + present participle.
I will be waiting for you at six o'clock.

He will be eating by the time you arrive.

Hint for usage: How to choose between the future progressive and
the simple future? If it is possible to use the expression "will be in
the process of," it is the future progressive that best expresses the
action. The future progressive indicates that an action will
be continuing at a given moment; the simple future suggests that the
action will be complete. Thus the verb tense can nuance meaning.
Consider these sentences, both of which are grammatically correct:
I will be finishing my homework at 10:00. (This suggests that I
may finish my homework at 10:05 or 10:15; I will be nearing
completion, in the process of completion.)
I will finish my homework at 10:00. (This suggests that I will
finish at 10:00 sharp.)

G
GERUNDS AND INFINITIVES

Gerunds as Subjects
The gerund is the ing form of the verb when it is used as a noun.
We can use a gerund as a subject or as an object.
Walking is good for your health.
Too much dieting can be dangerous.
Terry quit smoking.
We go dancing every Saturday night.
Hes very good at listening to other peoples problems.
I am tired of worrying about money.
Verbs followed by gerunds
Here are some verbs that can be followed by a gerund but not an
infinitve.
keep
postpone
dislike
recommend
avoiddetest
feel like
give up
put off
practice
finish

What would you recommend trying?


I dislike watching violence on television.
Here are some verbs that can be followed directly by an infinitive but
not a gerund.

hope
expect
intend
agree
refuse
appear
manage
promise
afford
decide
choose
fail
wait
volunteer
Susan refuses to try new food.
We intend to ask for a raise.
Some verbs can be followed by a gerund or an infinitive. Be careful!
In some cases the meaning changes.
try
remember
like
forget
love
prefer
start
begin
continue
cant stand
I like eating in fancy restaurants.
Annie likes to eat fast food.

GO: NEAR FUTURE

Especially in spoken English one finds the near future used as a


way of describing imminent events. Strictly speaking, the near future
is not a future tense, for it is formed by combining the present tense
of the verb "to go," conjugated in the present progressive, with the
infinitive of the principal verb.
We are going to leave soon.
I'm going to give her a call.
Also used to express imminent actions is the construction "to be
about to do something," also conjugated in the present.
I am about to lose my temper!
The detective is about to stop the criminal.
One can also conjugate these forms in the past progressive in order
to express a "future within the past":
He said he was going to do it.
She was going to buy a new car, but she never did.
When I saw them, they were about to make a decision.

H
HABITUAL ACTIONS IN THE PAST
To describe habitual, repeated actions in the past, one generally
uses the construction "used to + verb." Thus:
When I was little, we used to go camping a lot.
When my father was in school, they used to slap children who
didn't behave.
I used to work days, but now I work the night shift.
In spoken English, one often uses the common construction with
the modal "would," followed by the main verb:
When we were kids, we would haze each other quite a bit.
When I was little, we would go camping a lot.
When my father was in school, they would slap children who
didn't behave.
See also:
The preterit
The past progressive

The preterit
As a general rule, the preterit is formed by adding the ending "--ed"
to the infinitive (dropping any unpronounced "e" in final position, and
changing any final "y" to "i"):
to walk --> walked
to answer --> answered
to want --> wanted
to smile --> smiled
to cry --> cried
The preterit forms of many common verbs are irregular:
to be --> was (singular), were (plural)
to have --> had
to do --> did
to make --> made
to eat --> ate
to go --> went

to drink --> drank


to think --> thought
to bring --> brought
to drive --> drove
to write --> wrote
to sing --> sang
to build --> built
(For a complete list of this irregular forms, see Irregular preterits and
past participles).
Usage
The preterit expresses actions which were completed in the past.
Unlike those described by the present perfect, these actions do not
continue in the present. Unlike the past progressive, the preterit
does not describe the process or duration of actions: it states them
only as completed actions:
She went to the store this afternoon.
They called the police.
He came, he saw, he conquered.
The duration of the action is of no importance: the preterit may
describe an action lasting an instant or many years. Thus verbs
indicating belief, emotion, possession, location, etc. will often be
expressed in the preterit:
I lived in London for three years.
She owned three dogs throughout her childhood.
I never trusted what they told me.

In the negative and interrogative, the auxiliary verb "to do" -conjugated in the preterit -- will be used with the infinitive to express
the past:
Did you arrive in time?
Didn't you eat yet?
We didn't go to the movies after all.

Past progressive
The past progressive is a past tense which emphasizes the ongoing
nature of the action described. It is formed by using the auxiliary "to
be" with the present participle:

I was working.
He was eating his dinner when the phone rang.
The cat was meowing last night while we tried to sleep.
Normally, if an idea could be expressed with the expression "was in
the process of doing" or with "was in the midst of doing," the past
progressive will be more appropriate than the simple past.
Consequently, verbs indicating belief, emotion, possession, etc., are
rarely conjugated in the past progressive:
I thought that was right. ["I was in the process of thinking..."
would be awkward.]
Cheryl owned her own house. ["Cheryl was in the midst of
owning..." would be awkward.]
Note: Do not use the past progressive in order to describe habitual
actions in the past.

I
IMPERATIVE
THE IMPERATIVE

Imperatives are used to issue commands. They use the infinitive of


verbs (dropping the word "to"); in the first person plural ("we"), the
infinitive is preceded by "let's" (or: "let us"):
Speak!
Finish your homework!
Let's eat!
Close the door!
The negative imperative is formed by placing "don't" (or "do not")
before the imperative form; in the first person plural one uses "let's
not" (or "let us not") :
Let's not forget who helped us.
Don't leave me!
Don't walk on the grass!
Please don't eat the daisies!
The imperative has no effect on the word order of the rest of the
sentence.

INDIRECT SPEECH

Direct and Indirect Speech


Direct speech can also be called "quoted" speech. We use direct
speech when we want to reproduce someone's words exactly. We
always use quotation marks.
Elizabeth said, "I'm tired. Jessie said, "I want a new job."
Indirect speech can also be called "reported" speech. We use
indirect speech when we want to reproduce the idea of someone's
words without using their exact words. The verb forms and pronouns
may change, and quotation marks are not used.
Elizabeth said that she was tired. Jessie said that she wanted a new
job.
Notice that the verbs in the examples changed to the past in the
indirect speech statements to coordinate with the past tense verb
"said". Look at these verb changes:
Sam says, "I drive to work."
Sam says that he drives to work.
Sam said, <I drive to work.>
Sam said (that) he drove to work.
Sam said, <I am driving to work.>
Sam said (that) he was driving to work.
Sam said, <I have driven to work.>
Sam said (that) he had driven to work.
Sam said, <I drove to work.>
Sam said (that) he had driven to work.
Sam said, <I will drive to work.>
Sam said (that) he would drive to work.
Sam said, <I can drive to work.>
Sam said (that) he could drive to work.

Sam said, <I may drive to work.>


Sam said (that) he might drive to work.

"-ING" (PRESENT PARTICIPLE)

PRESENT PARTICIPLES
Formation
The present participle is formed by adding the ending"--ing" to the
infinitive (dropping any silent "e"at the end of the infinitive):
to sing --> singing
to talk --> talking
to bake --> baking
to be --> being
to have --> having
Use
A. The present participle may often function as an adjective:
That's an interesting book.
That tree is a weeping willow.
B. The present participle can be used as a noun denoting an activity
(this form is also called a gerund):
Swimming is good exercise.
Traveling is fun.

C. The present participle can indicate an action that is taking place,


although it cannot stand by itself as a verb. In these cases it
generally modifies a noun (or pronoun), an adverb, or a past
participle:
Thinking myself lost, I gave up all hope.
Washing clothes is not my idea of a job.
Looking ahead is important.

D. The present participle is used in progressive verb tenses, which


indicate continuing actions or actions in progress (the present
progressive, the future progressive, the present perfect
progressive) :
I am eating my dinner.
He was walking across the park.
We will be calling you tomorrow.
E. The present participle may be used with "while"or "by" to express
an idea of simultaneity ("while") or causality ("by") :
He finished dinner while watching television.
By using a dictionary he could find all the words.
While speaking on the phone, she doodled.
By calling the police you saved my life!
F. The present participle of the auxiliary "have"may be used with the
past participle to describe a past condition resulting in another
action:

Having spent all his money, he returned home.


Having told herself that she would be too late, she
accelerated.

INVERSION

Inversion occurs when we change the order of the subject and the
verb in a declarative sentence after an adverbial in initial position. It
is used for emphasis, in more formal or poetic discourse, and in
some day-to-day fixed expressions. Inversion only occurs if the
sentence contains an auxiliary verb, modal verb, or the verb be.
The following are some common adverbials that can be used with
inversion.
at no time, little, never, not until, nowhere, only after, only then, only
later, rarely, seldom, scarcely, under no circumstances

IRREGULAR PRETERITS AND PAST PARTICIPLES

This alphabetical list shows the irregular forms of the most common
verbs. Each entry includes the infinitive, the preterit, and the past
participle. In cases where variant forms exist, they will be shown at
the end of the entry. Literary or archaic forms are flagged by a cross:
. The past participle is used in many conjugations, including
the present perfect, the pluperfect,the past conditional, and
the future perfect.
can = could [pret.], been able [p.p.]
may = might [pret.]
to abide = abode [pret., p.p.]
to arise = arose [pret.], arisen [p.p.]
to awake = awoke [pret.], awakened [p.p.]
to be = was, were [pret.], been [p.p.]
to bear = bore [pret.], borne [p.p.]

to beat = beat [pret.], beaten [p.p.]


to become = became [pret.], become [p.p.]
to befall = befell [pret.], befallen [p.p.]
to begin = began [pret.], begun [p.p.]
to bend = bent [pret., p.p.]
to beseech = besought [pret., p.p.]
to bet = bet [pret., p.p.]
to bid = bid [pret., p.p.]; bade [pret.]
to bind = bound [pret., p.p.]
to bite = bit [pret.], bitten [p.p.]
to bleed = bled [pret., p.p.]
to blow = blew [pret.], blown [p.p.]
to break = broke [pret.], broken [p.p.]
to breed = bred [pret., p.p.]
to bring = brought [pret., p.p.]
to build = built [pret., p.p.]
to burn = burned [pret., p.p.]; burnt [pret., p.p.]
to burst = burst [pret., p.p.]
to buy = bought [pret., p.p.]
to cast = cast [pret., p.p.]
to catch = caught [pret., p.p.]
to choose = chose [pret.], chosen [p.p.]
to cleave = cleaved [pret., p.p.]; cleft [pret., p.p.]
to cling = clung [pret., p.p.]
to come = came [pret.], come [p.p.]
to cost = cost [pret., p.p.]
to creep = crept [pret., p.p.]; creeped [pret.]
to cut = cut [pret., p.p.]
to deal = dealt [pret., p.p.]
to dig = dug [pret., p.p.]
to do = did [pret.], done [p.p.]
to draw = drew [pret.], drawn [p.p.]
to dream = dreamed [pret., p.p.]; dreamt [pret., p.p.]
to drink = drank [pret.], drunk [p.p.]
to drive = drove [pret.], driven [p.p.]
to dwell = dwelled [pret., p.p.]; dwelt [pret., p.p.]
to eat = ate [pret.]; eaten [p.p.]
to fall = fell [pret.], fallen [p.p.]
to feed = fed [pret., p.p.]
to fight = fought [pret., p.p.]
to find = found [pret., p.p.]
to flee = fled [pret., p.p.]
to fling = flung [pret., p.p.]

to fly = flew [pret.]; flown [p.p.]


to forbid = forbad [pret.]; forbidden [p.p.]
to forget = forgot [pret.]; forgotten [p.p.]
to forsake = forsook [pret.]; forsaken [p.p.]
to freeze = froze [pret.]; frozen [p.p.]
to get = got [pret., p.p.]; gotten [p.p.]
to gild = gild [p.p.]
to give = gave [pret.], given [p.p.]
to go = went [pret.], gone [p.p.]
to grind = ground [pret., p.p.]
to grow = grew [pret.], grown [p.p.]
to hang = hung [pret., p.p.]; hanged (xcution) [pret., p.p.]
to have = had [pret., p.p.]
to hear = heard [pret., p.p.]
to hew = hewn [p.p.]
to hide = hid [pret.]; hidden [p.p.]
to hit = hit [pret., p.p.]
to hold = held [pret., p.p.]
to hurt = hurt [pret., p.p.]
to keep = kept [pret., p.p.]
to kneel = kneeled [pret., p.p.]
to kneel = knelt [pret., p.p.]
to know = knew [pret.], known [p.p.]
to lay = laid [pret., p.p.]
to lead = led [pret., p.p.]
to lean = leaned [pret., p.p.]
to lean = leant [pret., p.p.]
to leap = leaped [pret., p.p.]
to leap = leapt [pret., p.p.]
to learn = learned [pret., p.p.]
to learn = learnt [pret., p.p.]
to leave = left [pret., p.p.]
to lend = lent [pret., p.p.]
to let = let [pret., p.p.]
to lie = lay [pret.], lain [p.p.]
to light = lit [pret., p.p.]
to lose = lost [pret., p.p.]
to make = made [pret., p.p.]
to mean = meant [pret., p.p.]
to meet = met [pret., p.p.]
to mow = mowed [pret.], mown [p.p.]
to pay = paid [pret., p.p.]
to put = put [pret., p.p.]

to quit = quit [pret., p.p.]


to read = read [pret., p.p.]
to rebuild = rebuilt [pret., p.p.]
to recut = recut [pret., p.p.]
to redeal = redealt [pret., p.p.]
to redo = redid [pret.], redone [p.p.]
to relay = relaid [pret., p.p.]
to remake = remade [pret., p.p.]
to rend = rent [pret., p.p.]
to repay = repaid [pret., p.p.]
to reread = reread [pret., p.p.]
to rerun = reran [pret.], rerun [p.p.]
to resend = resent [pret., p.p.]
to reset = reset [pret., p.p.]
to retake = retook [pret.], retaken [p.p.]
to reteach = retaught [pret., p.p.]
to retell = retold [pret., p.p.]
to rethink = rethought [pret., p.p.]
to rewrite = rewrote [pret.], rewritten [p.p.]
to rid = rid [pret., p.p.]
to ride = rode [pret.], ridden [p.p.]
to ring = rang [pret.], rung [p.p.]
to rise = rose [pret.], risen [p.p.]
to run = ran [pret.], run [p.p.]
to saw = sawed [pret., p.p.]; sawn [p.p.]
to say = said [pret., p.p.]
to see = saw [pret.], seen [p.p.]
to seek = sought [pret., p.p.]
to sell = sold [pret., p.p.]
to send = sent [pret., p.p.]
to set = set [pret., p.p.]
to sew = sewed [pret., p.p.]; sewn [p.p.]
to shake = shook [pret.], shaken [p.p.]
to shave = shaved [pret., p.p.]; shaven [p.p.]
to shear = sheared [pret., p.p.]; shorn [p.p.]
to shed = shed [pret., p.p.]
to shine = shone [pret., p.p.]; shined [pret.]
to shoe = shod [pret., p.p.]
to shoot = shot [pret., p.p.]
to show = showed [pret., p.p.]; shown [p.p.]
to shrink = shrank [pret.], shrunk [p.p.]
to shut = shut [pret., p.p.]
to sing = sang [pret.], sung [p.p.]

to sink = sank [pret.], sunk [p.p.]


to sit = sat [pret., p.p.]
to slay = slew [pret.], slain [p.p.]
to sleep = slept [pret., p.p.]
to slide = slid [pret., p.p.]
to sling = slung [pret., p.p.]
to slink = slunk [pret., p.p.]
to slit = slit [pret., p.p.]
to smell = smelled [pret., p.p.]
to smell = smelt [pret., p.p.]
to smite = smote [pret.], smitten [p.p.]
to sow = sowed [pret., p.p.]; sown [p.p.]
to speak = spoke [pret.], spoken [p.p.]
to speed = sped [pret., p.p.]
to spell = spelled [pret., p.p.]
to spell = spelt [pret., p.p.]
to spend = spent [pret., p.p.]
to spill = spilled [pret., p.p.]
to spill = spilt [pret., p.p.]
to spin = spun [pret., p.p.]
to spit = spat [pret., p.p.]
to split = split [pret., p.p.]
to spoil = spoiled [pret., p.p.]; spoilt [pret., p.p.]
to spread = spread [pret., p.p.]
to spring = sprang [pret.]; sprung [p.p.]
to stand = stood [pret., p.p.]
to steal = stole [pret.], stolen [p.p.]
to stick = stuck [pret., p.p.]
to sting = stung [pret., p.p.]
to stink = stank [pret.], stunk [p.p.]
to stride = strode [pret.], stridden [p.p.]
to strike = struck [pret., p.p.]; stricken [p.p.]
to string = strung [pret., p.p.]
to strive = strove [pret.], striven [p.p.]
to swear = swore [pret.], sworn [p.p.]
to sweep = swept [pret., p.p.]
to swell = swelled [pret.], swollen [p.p.]
to swim = swam [pret.], swum [p.p.]
to swing = swung [pret., p.p.]
to take = took [pret.], taken [p.p.]
to teach = taught [pret., p.p.]
to tear = tore [pret.], torn [p.p.]
to tell = told [pret., p.p.]

to think = thought [pret., p.p.]


to thrive = thrived [pret., p.p.]
to throw = threw [pret.], thrown [p.p.]
to thrust = thrust [pret., p.p.]
to tread = trod [pret.], trodden [p.p.]
to undo = undid [pret.], undone [p.p.]
to unlearn = unlearned [pret., p.p.]; unlearnt [pret., p.p.]
to unwind = unwound [pret., p.p.]
to wake = woke [pret.], woken [p.p.]
to wear = wore [pret.], worn [p.p.]
to weave = wove [pret.], woven [p.p.]; weaved [pret.]
to weep = wept [pret., p.p.]
to win = won [pret., p.p.]
to wind = wound [pret., p.p.]
to withdraw = withdrew [pret.], withdrawn [p.p.]
to wring = wrung [pret., p.p.]
to write = wrote [pret.], written [p.p.]

MODAL VERBS
General principles
Contractions
Question tag phrases: "isn't it," "wasn't it," etc.
Related topics

General principles

The auxiliary modals "would," may," "might," "should," "must,"


"ought to," "can," "could," "will," "shall" are invariable. They exist
only in the present, and unlike most verbs in the simple present,
their form does not change in the third person singular.
Modal verbs are auxiliaries, or "helping" verbs: they are used in
conjunction with another verb (in infinitive form) as a way to modify
its meaning. Modals can nuance the meaning of the principal verb in
a number of ways:
-- Possibility or ability, by "can" or "could"
I can do this job.
Could you please do the dishes?
-- Possibility or permission by "may" or "might" (often translated
in other languages by a different mood, such as the subjonctif).
I may finish my paper tonight.
You may come with us, if you wish.
It might be helpful to have a map.
-- Obligation, or moral obligation, by "must," "ought to," or
"should":
Students must hand in their work on time.
You ought to see a doctor.
You should never play with fire.
Note that "must" can also indicate probability:
You must be exhausted!
He must play tennis pretty well.
The modal verb "would" is used to express the conditional:
If he had time, he would pick up some groceries.

The modal verb "will" expresses the future:


The train will arrive in an hour.
Contractions
After a pronoun subject, "would" is often contracted into "--'d" ("I'd",
"we'd", "she'd", etc.), while "will" is contracted into "--'ll" ("I'll",
"you'll", "they'll", etc.). After all modal verbs, the word"not" of the
negative can be contracted into "--n't" ("wouldn't", "shouldn't",
etc.).
Exceptions : "will not" becomes "won't". "Can not" can also be
written "cannot"; in its contracted form, the "n" is not doubled:
"can't".
Note: The contraction of the modal verbs "shall," "ought," and
"may," is considered slightly archaic or literary.
examples of contractions:
I wouldn't (would not) do that, if I were you!
They'll (they will) never believe it!
She won't (will not) bother you anymore.

Question tag phrases ("isn't it," "wasn't it," etc.)


Modals can be used in a negative interrogative form after an
affirmative expression. The function of such an expression is to
prompt the listener to reassert or reaffirm what has been stated:
You would like to go with us, wouldn't you?
You can understand that, can't you?
The modal verb used in the interrogative tag is generally the same
as the modal found in the main clause; the subject pronoun is also
repeated.

After a negative sentence, the modal tag phrase is in


the affirmative:
You wouldn't want to try it, would you? (Je suppose que tu ne
voudrais pas l'essayer.)
She won't be back, will she?

N
NEGATION

"Not"
Negative questions
Negative constructions ("never", "no one", "nothing", etc.)

"Not"
The most common way to put a phrase in the negative is by using
"not." Generally, "not" must follow an auxiliary verb ("to be", "to
do") or a modal ("shall", "must", "might", "will", etc.), even if this
verb adds no meaning to the sentence. When no other modal is
present or appropriate, the verb "to do" is used.
Here are some sample phrases in both affirmative and negative
form:
I want to play the piano.
--> I do not want to play the piano.
He will arrive on time.
--> He will not arrive on time.
They should go out together.
--> They should not go out together.
Note: Most often, the adverb "not" will be contracted to "--n't"
after an auxiliary or modal verb:
o is not --> isn't
o should not --> shouldn't
o does not --> doesn't
o must not --> mustn't
o has not --> hasn't
o will not --> won't

Questions
The same structure (placing "not" after the verb) will hold for
questions:
Isn't it time to leave?
Wouldn't you care for a drink?
Note: If one chooses not contract "not" to "--n't", the adverb
"not" will be placed after the subject in the question. This style
is considered literary:
o Is it not time to leave.
o Would you not care for a drink?
Using "not" instead of the contraction can produce certain stylistic
effects:
To stress the negative meaning of the sentence:
"He will not come to your house" is stronger than "He won't
come to your house"
To affect a literary style, especially in the formation of a questions:
Will you not come by and see us?

Negative constructions
Other negative constructions are possible. Because English does
not allow double or triple negatives, it is important to avoid using
"not" with other negative constructions. When "not" is included, use
the affirmative forms of other adverbs:
No more / not... any more
I want no more of your money

I don't want any more of your money.


No one / not... anyone
No one called tonight.
I don't want to see anyone tonight.
Never / not... ever
She never wants to see him again.
She doesn't ever want to see him again.
Nothing / not... anything
He does nothing at all.
Can't you do anything right?
Nowhere / not... anywhere
Where are you going? -- Nowhere.
I don't want to go anywhere.
Not a single / not... a single
Not a single letter arrived today.
He doesn't have a single idea what we're doing.
Neither... nor...
We neither ate nor drank during the ceremony.
I like neither tomatoes nor zucchini.
Only (always placed before the element one whichs to limit):
She only has seven dollars.
We were only playing.

They were the only ones to come.

O
OBJECTS
Direct Object: A direct object will most often be a noun (thing or idea)
that receives the action of the transitive (action) verb. I threw the
ball.

Indirect Object: An indirect object will most often be the person or


persons expressed as the recipient of the direct object and will be
found immediately after the transitive verb and before the direct
object. I threw him the ball.
Phrase: A phrase adds to the meaning of a sentence but does not
contain a subject or a verb.
The yellow house is at the bottom of the driveway.
Clause: A clause will contain a subject and a verb and function as
either a dependent or an independent clause.
See Dependent Clause

Adjective Clause: An adjective clause will begin with a relative


pronoun and give us more information about a noun or pronoun
within a sentence. See Dependent Clause.
Adverb Clause: An adverb clause will begin with a subordinating
conjunction and offer readers more information about the verb
(usually giving us information about time, place, or why something
happened). See Dependent Clause.
Noun Clause: A noun clause also begins with a relative pronoun but
functions differently from an adjective clause. The noun clause
operates in the subject position of a sentence, in the object position
of a sentence, or in the subject complement position of a sentence.
That I studied the assignment was evident to the teacher. (Noun
Clause as Subject)
I forgot that I needed my passport. (Noun Clause as Direct Object)
Pedro was looking for whatever he needed for the baseball game.
(Noun Clause as Object of the Preposition)
Prepositional Phrase: A prepositional phrase always begins with a
preposition and ends with a noun (the object of the preposition). In
some cases, the object of the preposition will be a noun clause. The
prepositional phrase functions either as an adjective, telling us more
about a noun or pronoun, or an adverb, providing us more
information about the verb. (May be as short as two words or as
many as several words)

The student in the purple dress walked down the hallway. (Adjective
and Adverb Prepositional Phrases, respectively)
Participial Phrase: A participial phrase joins together a participle and
its corresponding words, functioning, always, as an adjective. The
participle may be present (ending in -ing) or past (ending in -ed or its
irregular form).
The school, aged and bent from years of harsh weather, fell from its
state of grace. (Past Participial Phrase)
Swimming in a sea of grammar, the students splashed each other

with verbs and nouns. (Present Participial Phrase)


The singing bird trilled high notes in the early morning. (Participle)

ORDER OF PREPOSITIONS
PREPOSITIONAL VERBS
Single preposition verbs
o Sentence structure
Mulitple preposition verbs
o Sentence structure
Related topics

Single preposition verbs


A great number of verbs in English can be modified by the addition
of a preposition. Often the preposition will nuance, or even
dramatically change, the meaning of the base verb. The meanings
are often idiomatic, and the meaning expressed by any given
preposition may be very different from one verb to another.

It would be impossible to list all such verbs here (but you will find
them in the dictionary itself). These examples will suffice to provide
an illustration of the principle:
to speak -- to say words
to speak up -- to speak loudly
to speak down (to someone) -- to be condescending toward
someone
to speak for (someone) -- to speak in someone's place

to put -- to set down


to put up -- to place up high
to put up -- to put in jars or cans
to put away -- to put something back where it belongs
to put down -- to release one's grasp of something
to put out -- to place outside, or to take outside
to put on -- to wear

to turn -- to twist
to turn on -- to make something function (a light, a motor)
to turn off -- to remove the power to (a light, a motor)
to turn around -- to turn to face the opposite direction
to turn up -- to augment the sound, the light
to turn down -- to diminish the sound, the light

to turn out -- to become


to turn red, white, etc. -- to change colors
Sentence structure
When the sentence includes a noun object, the object will follow the
preposition; if the object is replaced by a pronoun, the
pronoun precedes the preposition:
He turned on the television.
He turned it on.

She put away her books.


She put them away.

Multiple preposition verbs


There are many prepositional verbs that take two prepositions:
to put up with (something, someone) -- to tolerate someone
to go out with -- to accompany someone
to go off on (a digression, an adventure) -- to begin, to start
to run away from -- to flee
Sentence structure
When the verb is followed by two prepositions, the object follows the
two prepositions, whether the object is a noun or a pronoun:
How can you put up with him?
Bill should not go out with Monica.

P
PARTICIPLE CLAUSES

Participle clauses use a present participle (-ing) to join together


sentences, whether in the present or the past, that have the same
subject.
Troy stars Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom.
It is a very exciting film.
Both of these sentences have the same subject (Troy).
Starring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom, Troy is a very exciting film.
Another example:
Johnny Depp appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean, Chocolat, and
many other films.
He's one of the most talented actors of his generation.
Appearing in Pirates of the Caribbean, Chocolat, and many other
films, Johnny Depp is one of the most talented actors of his
generation.
Participle clauses use a past participle if the main verb is passive.
Troy was filmed in North Africa.
It stars Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom.
Filmed in North Africa, Troy stars Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom.

PRESENT PARTICIPLES

Formation
The present participle is formed by adding the ending"--ing" to the
infinitive (dropping any silent "e"at the end of the infinitive):
to sing --> singing
to talk --> talking
to bake --> baking
to be --> being
to have --> having
Use
A. The present participle may often function as an adjective:
That's an interesting book.
That tree is a weeping willow.
B. The present participle can be used as a noun denoting an activity
(this form is also called a gerund):
Swimming is good exercise.
Traveling is fun.
C. The present participle can indicate an action that is taking place,
although it cannot stand by itself as a verb. In these cases it

generally modifies a noun (or pronoun), an adverb, or a past


participle:
Thinking myself lost, I gave up all hope.
Washing clothes is not my idea of a job.
Looking ahead is important.

D. The present participle is used in progressive verb tenses, which


indicate continuing actions or actions in progress (the present
progressive, the future progressive, the present perfect
progressive) :
I am eating my dinner.
He was walking across the park.
We will be calling you tomorrow.
E. The present participle may be used with "while"or "by" to express
an idea of simultaneity ("while") or causality ("by") :
He finished dinner while watching television.
By using a dictionary he could find all the words.
While speaking on the phone, she doodled.
By calling the police you saved my life!
F. The present participle of the auxiliary "have"may be used with the
past participle to describe a past condition resulting in another
action:
Having spent all his money, he returned home.

Having told herself that she would be too late, she


accelerated.

PARTITIVE ARTICLE:"SOME"

When the article "some" appears before a plural noun it functions


like an indefinite article:
He has some tickets for the game.
Some students decided not to attend the class.
However, when "some" appears before a singular noun, it is being
used as a partitive. This is to say that a part of something is
indicated, or a partial (or indeterminate) quantity is referred to. It is
often used after verbs of possession or consumption:
Do you have some time?
We're going to buy some milk.
I heard some bad news.
She has some money to spend.

Would you like some help ?


Note: After expressions of quantity, the partitive article
is not used:
Students buy a lot of pastries.
Today people have more activities than before.
In negative expressions, the partitive article "some" generally
becomes "any" (this change will also occur in negative
interrogatives):
She doesn't have any money.
They didn't have any milk.
Don't you have any money?
The word "any" is not strictly necessary in the negative,and it may
often be omitted:
I never have accidents.
They didn't have milk.

PRESENT PERFECT

General principles
Recent past
General principles

The present perfect describes an action or emotion which began in


the past and which continues in the present. It is formed by using
the auxilary "to have" with the past participle:
I have always wanted to visit Israel.
Money has always been the problem and not the solution.
I have discovered the answer.
After such expressions as "since," "for," "how long," etc., one
generally uses the present perfect or even the present perfect
progressive:
I have been in Paris for three weeks
He has been telling that story for years!
How long have you lived in Quebec?
In the negative, the present perfect expresses and action which has
not yet occurred:
I haven't finished yet.
She said she would call, but she hasn't called.
Recent past
In conjunction with the word "just", the present perfect or the preterit
can be used to express the recent past:
I (have) just arrived.
The film has just come out [or: The film just came out].

Note: do not confuse this use of "just" (which indicates the recent
past) with "just about," which indicates, to the contrary, something
which will happen in the near future:
I have just about finished. (= I have almost finished; I will finish
soon.)

PHRASAL VERBS

Phrasal verbs are made up of two parts, a verb plus a particle. A


particle is a preposition that has become linked to a verb. Together
the verb and particle have a fixed meaning. Phrasal verbs can take
objects or not. Phrasal verbs that take objects can be inseparable or
separable. Don't forget: phrasal verbs have tenses too!
Inseparable phrasal verbs always remain together. Examples:
The brothers set off to seek their fortunes.
The girls get up early every morning.
The burglar almost got away.
Alice is looking after her baby sister.
In separable phrasal verbs, the object can often go between the
verb and its particle:
He took off his jacket or He took his jacket off
But if the object has been replaced by a pronoun, the pronoun must
go between the verb and particle:
He took it off
If the object is particularly long, don't use it to separate the verb and
particle:
He took off the jacket he'd bought last week at Harrods.

PLUPERFECT

The pluperfect is formed with the preterit of the auxiliary "to have,"
followed by the past participle of the principle verb:
He had always wanted to travel in Africa.
She had already left when Philippe arrived.
I bought the book that Corinne had recommended to me.
Usage
The pluperfect expresses the precedence of one action compared to
another. The earlier action will be described by the pluperfect; the
later will generally be described by the preterit. When one action
precedes another, the pluperfect is not absolutely necessary.
Witness this sentence, which provides a list of actions in
chronological order (all expressed by the preterit):
The alarm rang, I got up, and I ate breakfast.
It is usually only when one seeks to emphasize the precedence of
one action that the pluperfect will be used. Often one finds such
adverbs as "already," which reinforces the impression of
precedence.
She learned to love the dog that had bitten her the week
before.
When I got home, I had already heard the bad news.
The children ate all the cookies that their father had bought.
In certain phrases one action may be left implicit:
She had already thought of that.
The pluperfect is often used in in hypothetical expressions with "if,"
in conjunction with the past conditional:
I would not have come if I had known he was ill.

Withe the adverb "just" the pluperfect indicates the immediate


past in a past context:
He had just eaten lunch when I arrived.

PREPOSITIONS

Space
In their simplest form, prepositions are used to indicate position (in
time or space) of one thing with respect to another:
I put the book on the table.
She arrived before the others.
He came toward me.
There are many prepositions. Here is a partial list, with examples:
to -- He gave the book to his friend.
at -- They arrived at his house at 5 o'clock.
of -- It was the third day of the month.
from -- That young women comes from Thailand.
on -- She put the plate on the table.
under -- The cat crawled under the bed.
over -- The boy threw the rock over the tree.
underneath -- The rabbit escaped underneath the fence.
before -- (time) She arrived before the movie started.
after -- He called his mother after he finished shopping.
in front of -- His mother parked her car in front of his
apartment.
behind -- The dog ran behind the house.
for -- He went to the store for more milk.

toward -- The criminal walked toward him with a gun.


against -- Everyone was against that idea.
around -- The athletes ran around the track six times.
close to -- He placed the food close to the squirrel.
far from -- He placed the food far from the lion.
next to -- He was hot, so he sat down next to the air
conditioning.
facing -- She sat down on the other side of the
table, facing him.
in the midst of -- I don't know where to find any free time in the
midst of these emergencies.

Usage of prepositions
The use of prepositions is one of the most complex aspects of
English, and it is impossible to cover all cases. Some general
guidelines, however, may be helpful.
Geography
Movement toward a town, country, state, or continent is generally
expressed by the preposition "to"; presence in a city, state, etc. is
expressed by "in"; movement away from a city, state, etc., is
expressed by "from" (if the verb requires a pronoun):
When are you going to Canada.
He went to Asia last year.
I spent three years in London.

She was born in Normandy.


He comes from Mexico.
Transportation
As a general rule, the preposition "by" is used to describe how one
has traveled. The prepositions "in" and "on" describe one's
presence inside a vehicle. In the case of small vehicles (a car, a
helicopter...), the preposition "in" is required:
I came by bike.
Traveling by plane is my favorite.
I was already on (in) the train when he arrived.
She is waiting for me in the car.
Time
To designate an hour the preposition "at" is used:
Let's meet at six o'clock.
They arrived at 4:45.
For dates and days of the week, one uses "on":
His birthday is on Monday.
It happened on March 3, 1997.
For months one uses "in":
My birthday is in September.
We will begin work in August.
To express duration, the preposition "for" is used; "in" can be used
to express the time it will take to complete a task:
I am going away for a few days.

He worked with them for three years.


I can read that book in a day.

Indirect objects
The preposition "to", which generally precedes an indirect object,
will disappear before a noun (or pronoun) when the indirect object
precedes a direct object. ("To" will be retained when the indirect
object follows a direct object.)
Examples :
She gave John the ticket.
Mais : She gave the ticket to John.
or:
He sent her a letter.
Mais : He sent a letter to her.
Ou : He sent it to her.
This can also be seen in certain phrases in which the direct object is
implicit.
I already told it to him.
Mais : I already told him (the news).

VERBS WITH PREPOSITIONS

Certain verbs and verbal expressions are generally followed by a


preposition before their object (and this preposition will generally be
shown in the dictionary).
However, the meaning of these verbs is not dramatically changed
by the addition of the preposition. The same cannot be said of the
prepositional verbs, dealt with in another section.
Examples:
to wait for
to look for
to look at
to listen to
to pay for
to ask for
to be happy with something
to be mad at (or: with) someone
to depend on
to be interested in
to thank for
to be busy with
Sample sentences:
She's the one who paid for our dinner!
I'm not asking for anything!

I'm busy with my own stuff.


That depends on you.

PRESENT PERFECT PROGRESSIVE

A close relative of the present perfect, the present perfect


progressive, emphasizes the continuation of a single action: it
indicates that the action is ongoing or continuing at the moment one
is speaking. The form -- relatively complicated -- consists of the past
auxiliary "to have" + "been" (the past participle of "to be") +
the present participle of the principal verb. For example:
I have been trying to reach you all afternoon.
They have been working hard to finish their project.

PRESENT PROGRESSIVE
General principles
Near future
In negative constructions
Related topics
General principles
The present progressive is a version of the present which
emphasizes the fact that an action is still unfolding (or is continuing)
at the time one speaks. It is formed by using the auxilary "to be"
with the present participle:
I am working.
He is eating his dinner.
The cat is meowing.
Usually, the present progressive indicates that one is "in the
process of" or "in the midst of" doing something. If this is the idea
one wishes to communicate, the present progressive will be
preferable to the simple present. If you cannot replace the verb by a
form of "to be in the process of," the present progressive should
probably not be used. Indications of emotion, belief, and possession
are rarely conjugated in the present progressive:

I think that is right. ["I am in the process of thinking" would be


awkward.]
Cheryl owns her own house. ["Cheryl is in the process of
owning" would be awkward.]
In certain situations the present progressive can indicate an action
which will take place in the immediate future:
I am going to the movies this evening.
They are leaving tomorrow.

Near future: To emphasize the idea of future action while using the
present tense, one may use the verb "to go"; it indicates what one
is going to do. In this case the principle verb remains in the infinitive:
I know he is going to yell at me!
They are going to regret that decision.
Note: The near future can also be used in past constructions,
in which case the verb "to go" is conjugated in the past
progressive:
o She was going to leave, but the telephone rang.
Present progressive in the negative
The word "not" comes after the auxiliary "to be":
He is not working very hard.
You are not driving fast enough.

SIMPLE PRESENT (INDICATIVE)

The simple present is used to express actions which take place in


the present or which occur regularly. It also serves to express
general or absolute statements not anchored in a particular time
frame.
I work at home.
Politics are a dirty business.
Jill speaks four languages fluently.
On Sundays, we like to fish.
In the interrogative, the present is generally introduced by a form of
the verb "to do" ("do / does"):
Does your father like to cook?

Do you have time to stop by my place?


The appropriate form of the verb "to do" will also be used for the
negative:
I do not (don't) work at home.
No, he does not (doesn't) like to cook.
After the conjunctions "when," "as soon as," etc., the present is
used, even though actions expressed may refer to the future:
She'll come when she can.
He'll pay us as soon as we finish.

Forming the simple present


The present is extremely regular in its conjugation. As a general
rule, one uses the base form of the infinitive (minus the preposition
"to"). For the third person singular ("he," "she," "it"), an "-s" is added
if the verb ends in a consonant, or "-es" if the verb ends with a
vowel:
To work
I work
you work

he / she / it works
we work
they work
To go
I go
you go
he / she / it goes
we go
they go
However: verbs ending with "consonant + y" (for example, "to try,"
"to cry," "to bury," etc.) will end in "-ies" in the third person singular:
To bury
I bury
you bury
he / she buries
we bury
they bury

"To have", "to be"

The only irregular verbs in the present are "to have," "to be," and
the modal verbs.
To have
I have
you have
he / she has
we have
they have
To be
I am
you are
he / she is
we are
they are

Q
QUANTIFIERS

Using Some, Any, and No


We use both some and any with plural countable nouns and with
uncountable nouns.
They tasted some delicious wines in Italy.
Do you have any Seville oranges?
I dont have any tea, but I have some coffee.
Did you get any brown bread?
We use some in affirmative sentences and in questions when we
think the answer will be yes.
I bought some bread and some eggs today.
Would you like some more wine?
We use any in most general questions and in negative sentences, .
Are there any dragons on Lombok?
There arent any snakes in Ireland.
Much, Many and a Lot of
We use many and a lot of with countable nouns in the plural.
They saw many stars in the sky.
They grow a lot of bananas in Ecuador.
We use much and a lot of with uncountable nouns.
They eat a lot of rice in Malaysia.
My family doesnt eat much red meat.

We prefer to use a lot of and lots of in affirmative sentences and


much and many in negative sentences and questions.
A Little and a Few
A few means the same as some, but not many. A little means the
same as some, but not much.
I eat a few apples each week. Theres a little cheese left.
Much, many, a lot, a little, and a bit
Much or a lot can be used before the comparative form to show that
there is a big difference between two people or things.
A little or a bit can be used to show a small difference.
We can use these words with adjectives, adverbs, and nouns.
With adjectives:
Austrians are much more formal than Swedes, and they are much
less direct. Austrian food is a lot heavier than Swedish food.
Austria is a bit cheaper than Sweden.
Biology is a little easier than Chemistry.
Remember that we cannot use a double comparative.
(right) Austrian food is much heavier.
(wrong) Austrian food is much more heavier.
With adverbs:
She speaks a little more quietly than I do.
She speaks a bit more quietly than I do.
He drives a lot more slowly than you do.
With nouns:
If the noun is uncountable, we use much or a lot (for a big
difference), and a little or a bit (for a small difference).
In Sweden they eat a lot of fish.
They dont have much sunshine in winter.
If the noun is countable, we use many or a lot (for a big difference),
and a few for a small difference, except when using fewer.

Many Saabs are driven in Sweden.


There are a lot of university students in Boston.
There are fewer hours of daylight in an Alaskan winter than in a
Mexican winter.
Youve gained a few pounds.
Most/Some
Look at these sentences. They all contain the words most and
some. Not all the sentences contain of. When you are talking more
generally, dont use of.
Most people would rather be young than old.
If we are referring to a specific time period or area, or if we are
talking about part of a larger whole, we would use of (the).
During the flood of 1994, most of the rain fell within a two-day
period.
Some of my friends dont eat pizza.
A few and few
A little and little
Little and few (without a) mean not a lot. They often have a
negative meaning.
We have little time before our guests arrive for dinner. We must
hurry to finish the cooking.
There are few vegetables that he likes. He almost never eats them.
Note: Use little with non-countable nouns like bread, rice, fruit,
patience.
Use few with countable plural nouns like bananas, pieces, and
meals.
You can use very with few as well as with little.
He has very little patience with people who drink too much alcohol.
Very few bananas grow in Scotland.
A little and a few mean some or a small amount. They have a
more positive meaning than little and few.

We have a little time for coffee before our flight. Lets stop in at that
cafe.
He makes a few dishes that everyone likes. For example, everyone
loves his spaghetti.
If you use only with a few or a little, the meaning can become more
negative.
She ate almost all the chocolates her boyfriend gave her. There are
only a few left.
Only a few meals at the university cafeteria were strictly vegetarian.
Most of the time, meat was served.

R
RECIPROCAL PRONOUNS
To show that two people, represented by a single grammatical
subject, are acting on each other, one uses the reciprocal pronouns:
"each other" or "one another".
They hate each other.
They killed one another.
We talk to each other often.

REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS
Reflexive pronouns are used to show that the actions described by a
verb act upon the subject of the verb: the subject and the object are
thus the same. The forms of reflexive pronouns correspond to the
forms of the subject pronouns:
I --> myself
you (singular) --> yourself
you (plural) --> yourselves
he --> himself
she --> herself
it --> itself
we --> ourselves
they --> themselves

To use a verb reflexively, the reflexive pronoun must follow the verb
(and, in the case of an intransitive verb, it will follow any preposition
used with the verb). If there are multiple verbs in the sentence, the
reflexive pronoun follows the verb to which it applies:
I told myself it would never happen.
She talks to herself all the time.
Look at yourself in that mirror!
I would like to give myself a raise.
At the end of a sentence, one can add reflexive pronouns as a way
of accentuating the subject in the sentence. In this case, the verb
does not have reflexive power:
I would rather do that myself.
Can you talk to him yourself?

RELATIVE PRONOUNS
General information
Subject pronouns
Object pronouns
Possession ("whose")
As prepositional objects
Time

Space
Related topics
General information
Relative pronouns are used to join two sentences. For example,
the following two sentences,
I found an apartment. This apartment has three rooms.
may be joined using a relative pronoun:
I found an apartment which has three rooms.
Relative pronouns have many different
forms: who, whom, whose, that, which, that which, what. The
pronoun is selected based on the following criteria:
1) What is the grammatical function of the pronoun? Is it a subject, a
direct object, or a prepositional object?
2) Does the pronoun refer to a person or a thing (or a situation)?
3) Does the pronoun have an antecedent, or does it represent
an unknown entity?
4) Does it represent a special case (possession, time, or space)?
According to the role it plays, the pronoun will take one of the
following forms:

Subjects
The pronoun "who" expresses a grammatical subject when this
subject is a person; "that" or "which" are used (indifferently by most
speakers) to represent subjects which are things, events, situations,
etc.
There's the man who stole my wallet!
I read a novel that entertained me a great deal.
He made a mistake which embarrassed him.
When the antecedent is vague or totally absent, one uses "what" or
(less commonly) "that which" :
What interests me in this film is the music.
That which eludes us intrigues us the most.
I don't know what happened.
Objects
The pronoun "whom" (in spoken language one often hears "who")
expresses a grammatical object when this object is a person; "that"
or "which" are used (indifferently by most speakers) to represent
objects which are things, events, situations, etc.
She is a person whom I respect a great deal.

He ordered a beverage which he didn't drink.


She is talking about the trip that we're going to take.

Note: Use of the relative pronoun is optional (except in the case of


"what" or "that which" when referring to specific antecedents); the
same sentences as above may be written correctly without the
pronoun:
She is a person I respect a great deal.
He ordered a beverage he didn't drink.
She is talking about the trip we're going to take.
When the antecedent is vague or absent, on uses "what" or (less
often) "that which" :
You can do what you want.
What they are doing seems useful.

Possession: "whose" / "of which"


The pronoun "whose" expresses possession when the subject is a
person; it will often be replaced by "of which" if it refers to an object,
an event, etc.:
The tourist whose ticket had expired filed a complaint.
There is the man whose mother is our mayor.
That was a good article, the point of which was to make us
think.

Prepositional objects
The preposition generally precedes the appropriate pronoun:

Here's the pattern with which I made this shirt.


The woman for whom I work is quite strict.
Here's the tree next to which Newton was sitting.
They went out for dinner, after which they went home.
In spoken English, one often places the preposition at the
end of the clause. Moreover, with the pronoun "what" this
structure is required, even in written English:
Here's the pattern which I made this shirt with.
The woman whom I work for is quite strict.
Here's the tree which Newton was sitting next to.
Tell me what you're thinking about.

Time
The pronoun "when" is used with nouns indicating time. However, it
is rarely necessary to include this pronoun, and it is often omitted:
I remember the day when we met.
I remember the day we met.
He arrived at the moment when we were speaking of him.
He arrived at the moment we were speaking of him.

Space
When more specific prepositions (such as "on," "under,", etc.) are
not necessary, the general pronoun "where" will suffice:
Here's the house where my parents were born.

She doesn't know where she's going.

RELATIVE CLAUSES

Relative clauses give you information about something or someone.


We start relative clauses with which if we are referring to a thing or
an idea, and with who if we are referring to a person.
A diary is a book which you write in every day.
Hes the person who lives next door.
In these examples, both which and who can be replaced by that.
We can also form relative clauses with where and when. We start
clauses with when if we are referring to a time, and with where if we
are referring to a place.
July is a month when many people go on vacation.
A registry office is a place where a couple can get married.

We use whose in place of his, her or their in relative clauses.


The best man is the person whose job it is to help the groom.
They are the people whose car was stolen.
If who, which, or that is the subject of the relative clause, it must
remain in the sentence. If it is the object, it can be omitted. Whose is
always followed by a noun and cannot be omitted from its clause.
Shes the friend who likes to go to the theater with me.
Shes the friend (who) I like to go to the theater with.

REPORTING QUESTIONS IN INDIRECT SPEECH

Reporting questions using the question words what, where, when,


why, how, etc.
When we want to report a question that starts with a question word,
we include the question word in the reported speech.
<Whats the time?> arrow He asked me what the time was.
<Where do you live?> arrow He asked me where I lived.
When we report a question, we do not put the verb in the
interrogative form.
They asked me where I lived.

Not
They asked me where did I live.
Reporting questions without question words
We use if or whether to report a yes-no question that doesnt use a
question word.
<Do you want an ATM card?> arrow She asked me if I wanted an
ATM card.
<Is life expensive in Brazil?> arrow He asked me whether life was
expensive in Brazil.
<Can I open an account?> arrow She asked whether she could
open an account.
Remember! You need to coordinate the tense of the verb in the
reported question with the verb that introduces the reported
question.

S
SAY/TELL

The verbs say and tell are used in both direct and indirect speech.
We use say to refer to any kind of speech. It can be used
interchangeably with tell in indirect speech, but not in direct speech.

We use tell to refer to situations where instructions or information


are given.
Mary said that the restaurant was closed.
Mary told us that the restaurant was closed.
Caleb said Good morning.
It is incorrect to use tell in this sentence.

SENTENCE TYPES

Simple Sentence: A sentence that contains one and only one


independent clauses and no dependent clauses.
The young boy smiled at the big dog.
Compound Sentence: A sentence that contains at least two
independent clauses and no dependent clauses. Essential to the
compound sentence is its punctuation, as it must contain either a

comma and a coordinating conjunction (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet,
So) or a semi-colon that conjoins the two independent clauses.
Joseph taught the students about delivering speeches, and Sarah
taught them composition skills.
Complex Sentence: A sentence that contains one and only one
independent clause and at least one dependent clause.
Because the weather forecaster announced the threat of an
impending hurricane, the students canceled their luxurious boat
cruise to the Azores.
Compound-Complex Sentence: A sentence that contains at least
two independent clauses and at least one dependent clause.
Because the weather forecaster announced the threat of an
impending hurricane, the students canceled their luxurious boat
cruise to the Azores, but the cruise line would not refund the
students money.
Independent/dependent clauses
Independent Clause: Typically thought of as a sentence, offering its
readers a complete thought and containing a subject, verb, and its
complement (Prepositional Phrase, Direct Object, Adjectival, or
Adverbial). The grammar book was thick.
Dependent Clause: A clause that cannot stand alone and does not
offer its reader a complete thought. A dependent clause will typically
be an Adjective, Adverb, or Noun clause.
When the frost is on the pumpkin, farmers often know that the
harvest season is almost over. (Adverb Clause and Noun Clause,
respectively)
The book that was on the table was thick. (Adjective Clause)

THE SIMPLE FUTURE

The simple future uses the modal "will" followed by the infinitive
(dropping the presposition "to"). It serves to express actions which

will take place at a specified time, or to signal the beginning of an


action. (If, on the other hand, one wishes to describe an action
which is in the process of occurring, it is the future
progressive which will be used to express it.)
I will meet you at five o'clock.
She will go to the library this evening.
We will dance all night long.
One sometimes find the modal "shall" in place of "will." This usage,
generally reserved for the first person, is considered archaic:
What shall I do ?
Note: this usage of "shall" to indicate the future is different from the
commonplace usage of "shall" to indicate desire or wishes.
See modal verbs.

SO AND NEITHER WITH BE AND DO

We use so and neither (or noteither) when we want to agree that


something that is true for some person is true for us, too.
We use so (or too) with positive sentences and neither (or not
either) with negative sentences.
If the main verb is be, use be in the response. If the main verb is
other than be, use do in the response.
Response form:
So + verb + subject (agreement with positive sentence)
Neither + verb + subject (agreement with negative sentence)
Examples, if the same is true for the respondent :
Im very sociable. So am I. (Or: I am, too.)
Im not very tall. Neither am I. (Or: Im not, either.)
We like parties. So do we. (Or: We do, too.)
She doesnt like snakes. Neither does he. (Or: He doesnt,
either.)
We use the verb be or the auxiliary verb do without so or neither
when we want to say that what is true for some person is not true for
us.
Examples, if the same is not true for the respondent:
Theyre tired. Were not.
Im not sleepy. I am.
He likes mushrooms. She doesnt.
We dont like art. We do.

SPLIT ADVERBIALS

hardly... when, barely...when, no sooner...than, not only...but also,


so...that, such...that
Form:
Adverbial + auxiliary or modal verb + subject + main verb
Or
Adverbial + be + subject
Examples:
Never have I seen so many cats in one place!
Seldom do we feel sad while we are swimming in the ocean.
Rarely can one hear such beautiful music.
At no time was I late for class.
No sooner had I wished to see my lost dog than she appeared
before me.
Note that, in this last example, the second part (than) of the two-part
adverbial is positioned at the start of a new subject-verb clause.

THE SUBJUNCTIVE

The subjunctive is used only in select phrases or situations in


English. One finds vestiges of it in certain hypothetical expressions
(using "if + to be") and in certain set phrases. (In many cases the
subjunctive -- considered archaic or literary -- is replaced by
themodal "would," used to express the conditional.) Other meanings
often communicated by the subjunctive in other languages will be
expressed by modal verbs in English.
In constructions using "if + to be" the subjunctive will amount to
using the form "were" (instead of "was") with the first and third
persons singular ("I" and "he," "she," or "it"). (In spoken English,
and in much informal writing, "was" will still be used.)
If I were Muriel, I'd never go back there.
If she were alone, I'd stop by to see her.
He acts as if he were crazy.
Set phrases and proverbs:
God help us!
Long live the king!
Would that I were free!

T
TAG QUESTIONS

We often use tag questions in spoken English to check information


and to ask for confirmation. We form tag questions with auxiliary or
modal verbs or the main verb be, followed by a pronoun.
Youre Tom Cruise, arent you? She speaks Russian, doesnt she?
Thats not Julia Roberts, is it? This doesnt cost much, does it?
A falling intonation on a tag question means you feel certain about
what you are saying. A rising intonation means you are not sure and
need confirmation.
If the first part of the sentence is affirmative, the tag question is
generally negative. If the first part of the sentence is negative, the
tag question is generally affirmative.
You are French, arent you? You arent French, are you? Carly can
swim, cant she? Carly cant swim, can she?

TAG QUESTIONS WITH DO

When there is no verb be or modal verb other than do in the


statement, we use do in the tag question.

You like your work, dont you?


He did his homework, didnt he?
We did lock the door, didnt we?
You dont eat much, do you?

THERE IS/THERE ARE

We use there is and there are to talk about things that exist.
There is is used before singular subjects.
There is a man standing outside.
Can you see if theres an apple in the bowl?
There are is used before plural subjects.
There are twenty-four students in the class.
Carl says there are lots of new shops in the town center.

TIME CLAUSES / CONJUNCTIONS

Conjunctions of Time
We can join two sentences using a conjunction. A conjunction of
time gives us information about when two events happen, relative to
each other.
Common conjunctions of time are when, while, as soon as, until,
after and before.
When can be used to show that one event is before, or at the same
time as, another. When can be used to convey a past or a future
meaning.
I studied abroad for a year when I was at university.
When she finishes this course, shell go abroad for a year.
As soon as means that the second event happened, or will happen,
immediately after the first.
As soon as I finished lunch, I went out for a walk. Ill go out for a
walk as soon as I finish lunch.
Notice that in the second example the verb in the present simple has
a future meaning.
Not until means the same as not before.
I didnt leave home until I got married.

After and before can be followed by a subject-verb clause or by a


gerund.
After I had eaten five ice cream cones, I felt a little sick.
Before coming back to Britain, I travelled all over Eastern Europe.
While can be used to show two events happening at the same time.
While youre getting lunch ready, Ill wash the car.
I studied judo while I was in Japan.
While and During
While and during are both used to show that two things happen at
the same time. While is a conjunction and is used before a subjectverb clause. During is a preposition and is used before a noun
phrase.

What should you do during an earthquake?


Dont run downstairs while the building is shaking.
He arrived while I was eating breakfast.
He arrived during breakfast.

TOO, VERY AND ENOUGH

We use too and very to modify the meaning of adjectives and


adverbs. Too and very come before the adjective and adverb.
Enough usually comes after the adjective.
Too means more than necessary or more than you want. Very
intensifies an adjective or adverb and means to a large extent.
Enough means what is adequate or necessary.
Mt. Everest is very high. Its more than 8,000 meters high.
Mt. Everest is too high to climb in one day.
Magda is only two years old. Shes not old enough to climb Mt.
Everest.

TRANSITION
A transition is a word or phrase that allows for fluid movement
between ideas, sentences, or paragraphs. A transition expression
helps the speaker or writer to construct coherent sentences. In
writing, a transition expression is typically set off with punctuation.
Transitions include but are not limited to the following kinds:
comparison, contrast, summary, and order of importance. Many
common transitions are listed in the chart below.

Examples:
Were too tired to go jogging tonight. Besides, its very cold
outside.
Brittany doesnt dance very well. On the other hand, she sings
beautifully.
Sally just got a job in San Francisco. Therefore, she wont be
moving to London.

V
PREPOSITIONAL VERBS
Single preposition verbs
o Sentence structure

Mulitple preposition verbs


o Sentence structure
Related topics

Single preposition verbs


A great number of verbs in English can be modified by the addition
of a preposition. Often the preposition will nuance, or even
dramatically change, the meaning of the base verb. The meanings
are often idiomatic, and the meaning expressed by any given
preposition may be very different from one verb to another.
It would be impossible to list all such verbs here (but you will find
them in the dictionary itself). These examples will suffice to provide
an illustration of the principle:
to speak -- to say words
to speak up -- to speak loudly
to speak down (to someone) -- to be condescending toward
someone
to speak for (someone) -- to speak in someone's place

to put -- to set down


to put up -- to place up high
to put up -- to put in jars or cans
to put away -- to put something back where it belongs
to put down -- to release one's grasp of something
to put out -- to place outside, or to take outside
to put on -- to wear

to turn -- to twist
to turn on -- to make something function (a light, a motor)
to turn off -- to remove the power to (a light, a motor)
to turn around -- to turn to face the opposite direction
to turn up -- to augment the sound, the light
to turn down -- to diminish the sound, the light
to turn out -- to become
to turn red, white, etc. -- to change colors
Sentence structure
When the sentence includes a noun object, the object will follow the
preposition; if the object is replaced by a pronoun, the
pronoun precedes the preposition:
He turned on the television.
He turned it on.

She put away her books.


She put them away.

Multiple preposition verbs


There are many prepositional verbs that take two prepositions:
to put up with (something, someone) -- to tolerate someone
to go out with -- to accompany someone

to go off on (a digression, an adventure) -- to begin, to start


to run away from -- to flee
Sentence structure
When the verb is followed by two prepositions, the object follows the
two prepositions, whether the object is a noun or a pronoun:
How can you put up with him?
Bill should not go out with Monica.

Verbs
Verb conjugations reflect three elements: the subject, the tense, and the mood. The subject may be singular or
plural and may be in the first person ("I" or "we"), in the second person ("you"), or in the third person "he," she,"
"it," or "they"). Verb tenses include different forms of the past, present and future. The term "mood" refers,
generally, to the attitude of the speaker toward his subject. The different moods include the indicative, the
subjunctive (rare in English), the conditional, and the imperative.

Auxiliaries ("to be", "to have")

Past conditional ("I would have worked...")

Present conditional ("I would work...")

Future perfect ("We will have finished...")

Near future ("We are going to finish...")

Future progressive ("I will be calling you...")

Simple future ("We will leave....")

Imperative ("Let's go!")

Irregular participles

Past progressive ("I was working...")

Habitual past ("I used to work...")

Pluperfect ("I had worked...")

Present perfect ("I have finished...")

Present perfect progressive ("I have been finishing...")

TEMAS

Present progressive (: "I am finishing...")

Simple present (: "I finish...")

Preterit ("I worked...")

Subjunctive ("If I were you...")

Modal verbs ("would", "should", etc.)

Prepositional verbs ("to put down, to put up with..." etc.)

MODAL VERBS

General principles
Contractions
Question tag phrases: "isn't it," "wasn't it," etc.
Related topics

General principles
The auxiliary modals "would," may," "might," "should," "must,"
"ought to," "can," "could," "will," "shall" are invariable. They exist
only in the present, and unlike most verbs in the simple present,
their form does not change in the third person singular.
Modal verbs are auxiliaries, or "helping" verbs: they are used in
conjunction with another verb (in infinitive form) as a way to modify
its meaning. Modals can nuance the meaning of the principal verb in
a number of ways:
-- Possibility or ability, by "can" or "could"
I can do this job.
Could you please do the dishes?
-- Possibility or permission by "may" or "might" (often translated
in other languages by a different mood, such as the subjonctif).
I may finish my paper tonight.
You may come with us, if you wish.
It might be helpful to have a map.
-- Obligation, or moral obligation, by "must," "ought to," or
"should":
Students must hand in their work on time.
You ought to see a doctor.
You should never play with fire.

Note that "must" can also indicate probability:


You must be exhausted!

He must play tennis pretty well.


The modal verb "would" is used to express the conditional:
If he had time, he would pick up some groceries.
The modal verb "will" expresses the future:
The train will arrive in an hour.
Contractions
After a pronoun subject, "would" is often contracted into "--'d" ("I'd",
"we'd", "she'd", etc.), while "will" is contracted into "--'ll" ("I'll",
"you'll", "they'll", etc.). After all modal verbs, the word"not" of the
negative can be contracted into "--n't" ("wouldn't", "shouldn't",
etc.).
Exceptions : "will not" becomes "won't". "Can not" can also be
written "cannot"; in its contracted form, the "n" is not doubled:
"can't".
Note: The contraction of the modal verbs "shall," "ought," and
"may," is considered slightly archaic or literary.
examples of contractions:
I wouldn't (would not) do that, if I were you!
They'll (they will) never believe it!
She won't (will not) bother you anymore.

Question tag phrases ("isn't it," "wasn't it," etc.)


Modals can be used in a negative interrogative form after an
affirmative expression. The function of such an expression is to
prompt the listener to reassert or reaffirm what has been stated:
You would like to go with us, wouldn't you?
You can understand that, can't you?
The modal verb used in the interrogative tag is generally the same
as the modal found in the main clause; the subject pronoun is also
repeated.
After a negative sentence, the modal tag phrase is in
the affirmative:
You wouldn't want to try it, would you? (Je suppose que tu ne
voudrais pas l'essayer.)
She won't be back, will she?

VERBS WITH PREPOSITIONS

Certain verbs and verbal expressions are generally followed by a


preposition before their object (and this preposition will generally be
shown in the dictionary).
However, the meaning of these verbs is not dramatically changed
by the addition of the preposition. The same cannot be said of the
prepositional verbs, dealt with in another section.
Examples:
to wait for
to look for
to look at
to listen to
to pay for
to ask for
to be happy with something
to be mad at (or: with) someone
to depend on
to be interested in
to thank for
to be busy with
Sample sentences:
She's the one who paid for our dinner!

I'm not asking for anything!


I'm busy with my own stuff.
That depends on you.