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The Ultimate Guide to

English Grammar

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The Present Simple 1. Permanent truths and facts We use the present simple to talk about permanent truths and facts.

Water boils at 100 degrees. Cats have four legs. The sun rises on the east

2. Situations in the present We use the present simple to talk about situations in the present.

I work in a bank. Peter lives in London. She likes cats.

3. Regular, repeated activity We use the present simple to talk about a regular, repeated activity.

I get up at 7am. She works from 9am to 5pm.

We use adverbs to say how often we do things: Adverbs of frequency

Adverbial phrases of frequency

always usually normally generally often frequently sometimes occasionally seldom hardly ever rarely never

on Mondays every day once a month twice a week every year in the afternoons at nights every now and then nowadays from time to time

4. Referring to the future We use the present simple to refer to the future, especially to talk about timetables.

The plane arrives at 10 am. The concert starts at 9pm.

5. Clauses of time and condition We use the present simple in clauses of time and conditions referring to a point in the future. It is used after: when, if, unless, before, after, until, as soon as, whenever, etc.

I will give him the book when I see him. If it rains, we will say at home. As soon as we arrive home, I will make dinner. The bus leaves at 4.15pm. Professional English Center Unlock your English

6. Observations and declarations We use the present simple to talk about observations and declarations. We use state verbs to express sentiments, states and thoughts (not activities).

I hope he arrives on time. Jonathan likes chocolate. I agree with you. 7. Instructions We can use the present simple to give instructions.

You heat the oil and fry the meat. You turn left at the second street. You mix the flour with the sugar. 8. Sports commentaries, news headlines We use the present simple in sports commentaries and newspaper headlines.

Ronaldo passes the ball to Beckham. And Smith takes the ball and hands it to Frank. Ford dismisses 500 workers.

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The Present Continuous 1. Actions in progress We use the present continuous to talk about actions which are happening at the moment of speaking. For example:

Peter is watching TV at the moment. We are cooking dinner in the kitchen. What is happening in the street

2. Temporary actions in the present We use the present continuous to talk about temporary actions or situations in the present period. We often use following adverbials: today, this week, this year, these days, now, for the time being, for now, at the moment, etc. to refer to a period around now.

I am working from home these days. (but normally I work in the office) These days Peter is living in London. (but his home is in York) She is studying at university. (but she is not studying at this very moment) 3. Situations in the process of changing We use the present continuous to talk about situations which are changing. We often use the following verbs: get, become, change, rise, increase, grow, fall, improve,

begin, start

The prices are rising. Is your English improving? We are getting tired. 4. Planned future actions We use the present continuous to refer to planned future actions, especially with verbs which express movement.

She is flying to New York on Wednesday. We are driving to France next week. Peter is travelling to the UK next month. 5. Repeated actions We use the present continuous to talk about repeated actions, especially if we are irritated or want to criticise. We often use: always, constantly, continually or never.

You are always talking on the phone! He is constantly inviting his friends to the pub. He is always coming late to work.

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The Present Perfect 1. Relationship between past and present We use the present perfect when: a) there is a connection between the past and the present: I have read this book. (so I know it) b) we give new information:

I have broken the vase. (so it is broken)

) to talk about things people have done or experienced and the exact time is not important and the action can be repeated: He has travelled to several countries. (not important when) 2. With adverbials We use the present perfect with adverbials which show a connection between the past and the present:

already, yet, still, just, so far, up to now, ever, never, recently, since, for, ever, before, etc. I have already finished the project. Peter has lived in London and New York so far. She has just completed her degree. Have you ever been to New York? I have never eaten a frog. 3. With time reference We use the present perfect to talk about a period of time which started in the past and continuing into the present (and perhaps beyond). We often use: today, this + morning/afternoon/week/year, etc.

I’ve travelled a lot. (in my life and can do it again) I have taken two exams this week. (the week is not finished) She has written three emails this morning. (the morning is not finished) 4. In clauses of time and condition We use the present perfect simple to refer to a future action which will be completed.

I will send you an email after I have finished my homework. Can you give me a ring when you have arrived to the hotel? Once you have found your passport, you can travel again. 5. With since, for, how long We use the present perfect simple to describe how long an activity is if the activity started in the past and continues to the present or into the future. We use: since, for and how long

I have lived in Beijing for 6 months. He has worked for Microsoft since 1996. How long have you had this car? Professional English Center Unlock your English

6. With superlatives We can use the present perfect simple with superlatives to say that something we experience is the best/worst, first, etc that has happened to us so far.

It’s the best cake I have ever eaten. It’s the most expensive holiday I have ever had. It’s the first time I have been here. 7. For or since? We use for to say how long an activity is (a period of time). We use since to say when an activity started.

For = duration

Since = point in time

three months a day five years two hours a while some time

1999 June last week Christmas I met you the first day

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The Present Perfect Continuous 1. Use and meaning We use the present perfect continuous to talk about actions which started in the past and continue up to the present or beyond. The present perfect emphasizes the duration and continuity of the action. She has been studying for three hours. I have been working as a teacher for over ten years. 2. For and since We can use the present perfect continuous with for and since.

I have been learning English for two years. She has been wearing glasses since she was a child. Joe has been watching TV for hours. 3. Present perfect simple or continuous? Simple


To focus on the result of an activity:

To focus on the activity:

I’ve read the book. (finished reading it)

To focus on how many times an activity has happened:

I’ve been reading this book since the morning. (still reading it)

To focus on how long an activity is:

She has worked for three companies.

She’s been working here for five years.

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State Verbs 1. General description Most verbs in English are dynamic. They can describe habits or actions in progress. Dynamic verbs have simple and continuous forms. Habit: I often travel abroad. Action in progress: I am watching television at the moment. State has no beginning or end, they describe states, not actions. Some verbs are always stative: belong, want Some verbs can have state or dynamic uses: weigh/weighing 2. Feelings and perceptions Feelings: Like, love, prefer, hate, dislike, care, hope, admit Perception: Feel, hear, notice, see, smell, sound, taste We normally use these verbs in the simple tenses:

Do you see that woman in the park? I love cats.

We often use can with see, hear , smell and taste: I can smell something (at the moment) Can you hear the music? 3. Wants Wants and needs: want, need, wish, depend on, weigh, come from, cost

I wish you good luck. The room needs cleaning. She wants to sleep.

4. Existence and possession Existence: be, exist Possession: belong to, own, owe, have, possess Appearance: appear, seem, resemble, look

She is tall. Who does this pen belong to? It appears to be difficult.

5. Thinking and believing Knowledge: forget, realise, understand, know, remember Opinion: believe, doubt, imagine, suppose, think, expect, agree, mean, deserve If we want to say “have an opinion”, we can use think:

I think he is a nice person.

Other examples:

She doesn’t understand your words. I know Peter well. I doubt he would like your idea

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6. Compositions and connections Compositions: consist of, contain, have Connection: come from, concern, cost, fit, suit

The presentation consists of five parts. Maggie comes from Canada. My friend has a Ferrari.

7. Change in meaning Some verbs can have a dynamic or state form with a change in meaning.



I think you are right. (opinion)

I am thinking about my holiday. (consider)

I can see you. (see with my eyes)

I am seeing the bank manager tomorrow. (meeting)

This cake tastes good. (has a good taste)

I was just tasting the cake. (testing)

You look good. (seem)

What are you looking at? (look with eyes)

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The Past Simple 1. Completed past actions We use the past simple to talk about completed actions and events in the past which are not connected to the present.

We travelled to London by bus. Peter finished his studies last year. Jane bought some bread and then walked home. 2. Past habits We use the past simple to talk about habits or repeated actions in the past.

When I was young, I always spent the holidays with my grandparents. I went to work by bus when I worked in France. She went to lots of concerts. 3. Past situations at a concrete past time We use the past simple to talk about actions or events at a concrete past time or period of time.

I got up at 7am. She worked from 9am to 5pm. We met in 1995.

4. With for and ago We use the past simple to refer to completed action in the past with ago.

We use for to express the duration of a past action. The plane arrived 10 minutes ago. Joe lived in Peru 10 years ago. The journey lasted for two hours. I stayed in a hotel for five days.

5. With when We use the past simple to ask questions with when or what time.

What time did you arrive home? When did you start working here? When did you meet your wife? 6. With adverbials We can use the past simple with adverbials which refer to the past. We use:

Last week/month/year yesterday, earlier today, this week a year/three days/ a few months ago at two o’clock, in 2003

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The Past Continuous 1. Actions in progress in the past We use the past continuous to talk about an action which was in progress in the past at a specified time. We often use all to emphasize continuity: all night, all day, al evening, etc.

We were watching movies all night. I was working all day. She was living in Paris in 1998. 2. Actions happening at the same time We use the past continuous to express that two or more actions were in progress at the same time. We often use while.

While Peter was playing on the computer, Julie was reading a book. Jack was jogging and Peter was weightlifting. I was writing emails while the cake was baking in the oven. 3. Actions interrupted by another action We use the past continuous to express that an action in progress was interrupted by another action. We use the past simple for the action which interrupts. We often use the following words: when, as, just as, while.

We were having dinner when the phone rang. While I was walking home, I met Fred. Just as she was leaving the office, the boss turned up. 4. Repeated past actions We use the past continuous to talk about repeated past actions. We often use always, all the time, constantly and continually to express criticism.

When she was young, she was always playing music at night. He was talking all the time. Jack was always wearing a scarf. 5. Unfulfilled plans We use the past continuous to talk about unfulfilled plans. We use: plan, hope, want, intend, to be going to, etc.

I was hoping to meet my friends at the weekend but they were too busy. She was planning to go on holiday but she didn’t have money. Peter was wanting to phone his mum but he didn’t have time. 6. Polite questions We can use the past continuous for polite questions. Professional English Center Unlock your English

I was wondering if you could help me. I was thinking that you might be able to help me. I was hoping you could do something for me. 7. Background information We can use the past continuous to give background information.

It was getting dark and she was preparing dinner. We were walking in town when the sun was setting. Peter was going home and the sun was shining.

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The Past Perfect 1. Comparing past events We use the past perfect when we want to emphasize that one past event happened before another past event. The action which happened first uses the past perfect.

When I arrived at the station, the train had left. (the train left before I arrived) 2. With when If we want to emphasize that one action happened before another, we can use when + past simple.

When she arrived at the party, everyone had left. = everyone left before she arrived (past simple)

(past perfect)

3. With time expressions We can use the past perfect with time expressions to express that the action in the past perfect happened before the action in the past simple. We can use: when, before, after, as soon as, by the time, the moment, immediately , till, until,


When I had finished the project, I called my boss. As soon as they had arrived to the hotel, they went to bed. She didn’t know how funny he was, until she had met him.

4. With adverbs We can use the past perfect with the following adverbs: just, already, never and ever.

Peter had already begun cooked dinner, when his wife arrived. She had just completed her first book, when the editor contacted her. 5. As the equivalent of the present perfect We can use the past perfect as an equivalent of the present perfect when we are looking back from the past.

It was 2003 and she had just arrived to New York. He had worked for T&T Co. for 5 years when he was promoted. 6. With reported speech We use the past perfect in reported speech when the original sentence was in the past simple or in the present perfect. From past simple to past perfect:

‘I went to the cinema three times last week.’, he said He said that he had gone to the cinema three times the week before.

From present perfect to past perfect:

‘Have you ever been to New Zealand?’, she asked. She asked if I had ever been to New Zealand.

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7. With if, wish and if only We use the past perfect in subordinate clauses to express an unreal past situation.

I wish you had told me about the problem. If you had told me about the problem, I could have helped you. If only she had sent me an email. I would rather we had gone home on time. 8. Past simple or past perfect? In most cases, we can use either the past simple or the past perfect. The past perfect is used to show which action happened first when it is important. After I finished work, I went home. = After I had finished work, I went home. However, we must always use the past perfect when we talk about unreal past situations

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The Past Perfect Continuous 1.Use and meaning We use the past perfect continuous to emphasize the duration of an activity in the past.

When I arrived home, Jane had been cooking for an hour. He was tired because he had been playing computer games all night. 2. With reported speech We use the past perfect continuous in reported speech: the present perfect continuous and the past continuous become past perfect continuous.

“I was walking in the park when I met her.” he said He said that he had been walking in the park when he had met her. “I have been living here since 1985.” he claimed. He claimed that he had been living there since 1985.

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The Future Simple 1. Facts or prediction We use the future simple to express facts about the future which do not depend on the speaker.

Peter will be 28 years old in December. The elections will take place next year.

We can also make predictions about the future which are not definite or arranged.

It will rain tomorrow. (weather forecast) Real Madrid will win the match again. (I think) 2. Intentions and promises We use the future simple to talk about intentions and promises or decisions made at the time of speaking.

Ok, I will buy you an ice cream. (promise) I’ll have a cappuccino, please. (decision) I will travel to New York one day. (intention) 3. Threats We can use the future simple to express threats.

Leave me alone or I will call the police! You will regret this! 4. Requests The future simple can also express requests.

Will you, please, open the door for me? Will you help me with the project, please? 5. Hopes and expectations We can use the future simple to talk about hopes and expectations. It is used with verbs: expect, hope, think, assume, doubt, suppose, believe, I’m sure, I wonder, etc. and with adverbs: probably, hopefully, perhaps, possibly, etc.

I hope he will arrive on time. Hopefully the plane will not be delayed. Do you think he will phone? 6. Weather forecasts We use the future simple in weather forecasts to predict the weather.

Tomorrow will be rainy. The snow will continue tomorrow. It will be sunny and dry over the next few days.

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7. Offers and suggestions We use ‘shall’ to express offers and suggestions.

Shall we have a pizza? (suggestions) Shall I wash up the dishes for you? (offer) Where shall we go on holidays? (asking for suggestion) 8. Use of shall We don’t use shall very often in modern English. It is usually used to express offers and suggestions in the first person singular (I) and plural (we) in questions. The negative of shall is shan’t (= shall not).

Shall I make you a cup of tea? We can also use shall to express strong determination.

I shall tell him the truth!

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The Future Continuous 1. Actions in progress in the future We use the future continuous to describe an action in progress in the future.

I will be having dinner at 6pm. (around 6pm) We will be watching football in the evening. (all night) 2. Planned future actions We use the future continuous to describe planned actions or arrangements in the future.

I will be meeting my friends at the weekend. We will be staying in a hotel while we are in New York. 3. Routine actions We can describe routine actions and repeated, regular events.

I’ll be working Friday evening. (as normal) I’ll be seeing him tomorrow so I can tell him the news. 4. Polite questions We can use the future continuous in polite questions instead of the future simple (will). Questions with the future continuous are more polite or casual.

Will you be meeting him tomorrow? Will you be helping with the decorations? 5. Assumptions about the present We can use the future continuous to express assumptions about the present.

They will be landing in Tokyo now. It’s 7 o’clock, she will be going home now.

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The Future Perfect 1. Completed actions in the future We use the future perfect to describe an action which will be completed in the future. It is common to use by + a time reference: by January, by 2035, by next month, by the time

you arrive.

I will have cleaned the whole house by the time your parents arrive. We will have arrived by 4pm. They will have built the bridge by next year. 2. With for We often use ‘for’ with the future continuous to talk about the duration of a future activity.

By next month, I will have lived here for two years. They will have been married for 40 years by the end of this year. 3. Assumptions We can use the future perfect to express assumptions about the past or the present.

As you will have heard, we will be changing office. (I am quite confident that you have

heard it)

He will have woken up by now – it’s 10 o’clock.

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The Future Perfect Continuous 1. Use and meaning We use the future perfect continuous to talk about the duration of an activity or event. It is usually necessary to mention a time reference.

She will have been working for this company for 6 years in August. I will have been studying Spanish for ten years. 2. With for We usually use ‘for’ to express the duration of a future activity.

She will have been living abroad for 3 years by the end of next months. They will have been seeing each other for 2 months. 3. An activity leading up to a future time We use the future perfect continuous to describe an activity which leads up to another future activity.

When you arrive, I will have been cooking for hours. She will be tired when you see her because she will have been working hard.

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The Zero Conditional 1. Form The zero conditional is formed with: Main clause

If clause

present tense

present tense

Ice melts You get sick

if you heat it. if you eat too much.

If clause

Main clause

present tense

present tense

If you heat ice, If eat too much,

it melts. you get sick.

2. Meaning We use the zero conditional to talk about general truth and facts.

I always take a taxi if it rains. If you freeze water, it becomes ice. 3. Other forms The zero conditional can also be formed with ‘when’ instead of ‘if’.

When it rains, the weather turns cold. I always order a takeaway when I work late.

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The First Conditional 1. Form The main way of forming the first conditional is: Main clause

If clause

Future simple ‘will’

Present simple

I will stay at home

if it rains tomorrow.

If clause

Main clause

Present simple

Future simple ‘will’

If it rains tomorrow,

I will stay at home.

2. Meaning We use the first conditional to talk about events which we feel are possible.

If the sun shines tomorrow, I will go to the park. She will be very happy if she hears the news. If you play games all night, you will be tired in the morning. 3. With modal verbs We can use the first conditional with modal verbs to add an extra meaning. The extra meaning is always related to the meaning of the modal verb. The modal verb can be: may, might, can, could, should, ought to, must.

If you eat your sandwich, you can play with your friends. If you want a pet, you should be more responsible. If you can talk to him today, will you give him my regards? 4. If clause with other tenses Depending on the meaning we want to express, we can use the following tenses in the if clause:

present continuous, present perfect simple and present perfect continuous. If you are coming to the party, you will have to wear a suit. If she has received your letter, she will reply soon. If Jim has been cleaning the house, he will be very tired tonight.

5. Main clause with other tenses It is also possible to use the following tenses in the main clause: ‘be going to’, future continuous

and future perfect.

If I finish work early, I am going to watch my favourite film. She will be sleeping all night if she gets very tired. Professional English Center Unlock your English

If he goes to Botswana, he will have visited 52 countries in the world. 6. With the imperative We can use the imperative in conditional sentences.

If you have a problem, please phone me. However, we can replace the if word with and or or. Affirmative sentences:

If you finish early, go home. Finish early and go home.

Negative sentences:

If you don’t stop shouting, I’ll call the police. Stop shouting or I’ll call the police.

7. If + should We can use should in the if clause to make the meaning more polite or less likely to happen.

If I should see him, I will tell him the news. If I should go to the concert, I’d better get ready now. If you should happen to find a mobile phone, it’s mine.

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The Second Conditional 1. Form We form the second conditional the following way: Main clause

If clause

Would + infinitive

Past simple

I would buy a sports car

if I won the lottery.

If clause

Main clause

Past simple

Would + infinitive

If I won the lottery,

I would buy a sports car.

2. Meaning We use the second conditional to talk about imaginary or improbable situations.

If you had more time, would you stay longer? If I had a hot air balloon, I would fly around the world. If she didn’t like her job, she wouldn’t work here. 3. If clause + modals / past continuous In the if clause, we can use the past continuous, could or was/were to.

If I were to travel round the world, I would start in New York. If you could change your name, what would you choose? If we were driving too fast, the police would arrest us. 4. Main clause + modals In the main clause, we can use the modals could and might.

If we finished work early, we could go out in the evening. If we had time, we might meet up with our friends.

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The Third Conditional 1. Form We form the third conditional the following way: Main clause

If clause

would have + participle

past perfect (continuous)

I would have visited you.

If I had had the time,

you would have passed the test.

If you hadn’t been partying,

If clause

Main clause

past perfect (continuous)

would have + participle

If I had had the time,

I would have visited you.

If you hadn’t been partying,

you would have passed the test.

2. Meaning We use the third conditional to talk about a past event which did not happen. With the third conditional, we express how we would like to change the past.

If I had won the lottery last week, I would have bought that sports car. (But I didn’t win

the lottery so I didn’t buy that sports car.)

3. Main clause + modals It is possible to use could or might instead of would in the main clause of the conditional sentence.

He might have gone to the party if he had been invited. He could have met lots of friends if he had gone to the party. 4. If clause + could We can use in the if-clause of the conditional sentence.

If I could have flown to New York yesterday, I would have seen the carnival.

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The Mixed Conditional 1. Types We can create mixed conditional sentences by mixing the if-clause from one type of conditional sentence with the main clause of another type of conditional sentence. 1st


If I go to the party tonight,

I wouldn’t wear a suit.



If I had more money,

I would have ordered a pizza. 2nd


I would speak Spanish now.

If I had studied harder when I was young,

2. Conjunctions We can use the following conjunctions instead of ‘if’:

What if If only

Assuming (that) As/so long as

Provided/providing (that) On (the) condition (that)

Imagine Even if

Unless Suppose/supposing (that)

Even if it rains, I will go jogging. You can meet your friends, as long as you finish your homework before. Suppose you get the promotion, what will you do? Provided that you finish all the work, you can go home early. 3. Inversions In conditional sentences, we can use an inverted structure instead of ‘if’. Should you have any questions…. = If you should have any …. Were I to meet him…. = If I met him… Had you studied more…. = If you had studied more…..

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4. Other ways Sometimes in spoken English we express conditions in other ways – usually with extra words – or the condition is implied in the context.

I am sure you’d enjoy dancing. Why don’t you try it? = If you tried dancing, you would enjoy it.

Don’t tell Mike the news. He’d be furious.

= If you told Mike the news, he’d be furious.

With a bit more time, he could have finished the project.

= If he had had a bit more time, he could have finished the project.

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Future Time Clauses 1. What is it? The part of a sentence which talks about the future is a called future time clause or conjunction of time. They are introduced by the following conjunctions:





as soon as





by the time

2. Use If time clauses refer to the future, we usually use the present simple or the present perfect after the conjunction. When I arrive home, I will phone you. As soon as I have arrived, I will phone you. I will phone you before I leave the office. 3. Use with present simple We use the present simple in the future time clause, if the two actions in the sentence happen at the same time or the emphasis is on the action. When I see her, I will tell her the news. (at the same time) As soon as I hear something, I will let you know. (immediately I will inform you) 4. Use with present perfect We use the present perfect in future time clauses to show that an action is completed before another action. I will phone you after I have arrived home. (First I arrive home, then I will phone you.) As soon as I have finished my studies, I will travel round the world. (First I will finish my studies, then I will travel.)

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Wish, if only 1. Meaning We use sentences starting with ‘wish’ or ‘if only’ if we want to express a wish. ‘If only’ is not so common and more emphatic than ‘wish’. We can wish something about: a) the present: I wish you were here. (but you are here now) b) the future: I wish he would help me with my project tomorrow. c) the past: I wish I had travelled the world when I was younger 2. Wishes about the present We use wish + past simple or wish + past continuous to talk about a wish in the present.

I wish I had a small dog. (but I don’t have a dog) I wish I were/was taller. (but I am short) I wish you were here. (but you are not here) We can use were instead of was:

I wish I were younger.

We can also use could:

I wish I could drive a car.

3. Wishes about the future We use wish + would to express the following: a) to talk about a future wish, for something to happen:

I wish he would arrive sooner. I wish they would increase the speed limit.

b) to complain about a bad habit:

I wish you wouldn’t smoke so much. I wish you would stop lying.

4. Wishes about the past We use wish + past perfect to express a regret about the past. It refers to something that we cannot change.

I wish I had studied more. (but I didn’t) I wish you had arrived on time. (but you didn’t) Peter wishes he had written down the girl’s number.

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The Passive Sentence 1. Forming the passive The passive sentence is formed: be + past participle. We always keep the tense of the original active sentence. Active: I write the letter. She brought the cake.

Passive: The letter is written. The cake was brought.

The object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence: Maria A bird


a bird.

was found

by Maria.

2. The simple tenses How to form the passive in the present simple and in the past simple: a) In the present simple, the active verb becomes: is/are + past participle (of the same verb).

Active: Peters cleans the house every Friday. Passive: The house is cleaned every Friday. b) In the past simple, the active verb becomes: was/were + past participle (of the same verb).

Active: Peters cleaned the house last Friday. Passive: The house was cleaned last Friday. 3. The continuous tenses How to form the passive in the present and past continuous: a) In the present continuous, the active verb becomes: is/are + being + past participle (of the same verb).

Active: Peters is cleaning the house. Passive: The house is being cleaned. b) In the past continuous, the active verb becomes: was/were + being + past participle (of the same verb).

Active: Peters was cleaning the house. Passive: The house was being cleaned. 4. The perfect tenses How to form the passive in the present and past perfect:

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a) In the present perfect, the active verb becomes: have/has + been + past participle (of the same verb).

Active: Peters has cleaned the house. Passive: The house has been cleaned. b) In the past perfect, the active verb becomes: had + been + past participle (of the same verb).

Active: Peters had cleaned the house. Passive: The house had been cleaned. 5. The passive with modals How to form the passive with modal verbs: modal verb + be + past participle

Active: Peters will clean the house. Passive: The house will be cleaned. Active: Joe can write the memo. Passive: The memo can be written. Active: Joe might bring the sandwiches. Passive: The sandwiches might be brought. 6. The agent Usually we omit the subject of the active sentence from the passive sentence. However, if it is important for the meaning of the sentence, we can include the agent at the end of the passive sentence: by+ who did the action with + the instrument used to do the action

Dinner was served by the waiter. This house was built in 1885 by my grandfather. The cake was cut up with a knife. 7. The uses of the passive We use the passive if: a) b) c) d) e)

we don’t know who did the action: The motorway was built last year. the action is more important than who did it: The dinner has been prepared. it is obvious who did the action: The bank has been robbed. in scientific texts: Water is heated to 90 degrees. in reports and announcements: The new president has been elected.

8. Verbs with two objects Some verbs can have two objects: a direct and an indirect object. Both object can become the subject of the passive sentence. Joe gave me a book.

I was given a book by Joe. A book was given to me by Joe.

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Peter sent Sarah a letter.

Sarah was sent a letter. A letter was sent to Sarah.

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Reporting Verbs 1. The structure When we want to report what people say, believe, think, report, etc., we use an impersonal passive construction. 1) it + is/was reported/said + that + clause

The television reported that a fire broke out in the centre. It is reported that a fire broke out in the centre.

2) passive subject + is/was reported + to infinitive


passive subject + is/was reported + to have participle

The television reported that a fire broke out in the centre. A fire was reported to have broken out in the centre. 2. Reporting verbs Examples of reporting verbs we can use:

assume, calculate, claim, consider, discover, estimate, expect, feel, hope, know, prove, report, say, show, think, understand, agree, believe, find, mean, presume, regard, suppose, etc. Dinosaurs are believed to have died out millions of years ago. Mr Smith is expected to arrive shortly. The costs were calculated to be over the budget. 3. Continuous events Look at the examples: The neighbours think that Mr. Jack is living in Paris. Mr. Jack is thought to be living in Paris. The family believed that Frank was working for the CIA. Frank was believed to be working for the CIA. In these sentences ‘is living’ and ‘was working’ are continuous tenses, therefore, their passive form is ‘to be doing’. 4. Earlier events Study these examples: a) The news reports that the president has been re-elected. b) The president is reported to have been re-elected. a) The teacher reported that Kate had cheated in the exam. b) Kate was reported to have cheated in the exam. In these examples, ‘has been re-elected’ and ‘had cheated’ are actions which happened before ‘reports’ and ‘reported’ therefore their passive form is ‘to have done’ or ‘to have been done’ 5. Double passive Professional English Center Unlock your English

Look at the example: a) His friends feared that Joe was kidnapped. b) Joe was feared to have been kidnapped. As you can see, this sentence contains two passive parts: ‘was feared’ (this is the reporting part) and ‘to have been kidnapped’ (this is the original passive part). This often happens when the original sentence contains a passive part.

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The Causative 1. Form When we ask or force somebody to do something for us, we can use the following structures: 1) 2) 3) 4)

to have something done: Sue had her hair cut by the hairdresser. to get something done: I got my car repaired yesterday. to get somebody to do something: I will get my brother to fix the printer. to have somebody do something: I will have my brother fix the printer.

2. Have Sometimes, the structure suggests difficulty or bad luck. ‘Have’ is more common in these situations

I had my car stolen. Sometimes it is unclear from the meaning if we asked somebody to do an action for us or if it was bad luck:

We had the hole garden dug up. (‘dug up’ can mean we asked somebody to dig up the

garden, or perhaps that a dog dug in the garden and destroyed the plants)

3. Get ‘Get’ is more common in spoken English and ‘have’ is more common in formal English.

I’ll get her to type up the document. I’ll have a meeting arranged for next Tuesday.

Get can mean ‘manage’ to do something’.

I got the house cleaned by the time the visitors arrived.

4. Needs doing We often use an idiomatic expression which means that we have to do an action: need doing or need done

I need to clean my shoes. My shoes need cleaning. You need to water the plants. The plants need watering. Note: We don’t mention the person who does the action. ‘Need done’ is a regional expression and is generally not considered correct. 5. Get + past participle We can often use ‘get’ with a past participle to mean ‘become’. Its meaning is similar to ‘be + past participle. We often use the following expressions:

To get + married / divorced / dressed / hurt / done / accepted / chosen / arrested, etc. Professional English Center Unlock your English

She got dresses quickly. His fingers got burned. They got divorced last year. I will get the letter typed up.

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Verbs 1. Verb types Verbs can be transitive or intransitive or both. Some words can have two objects and some take a compliment. 2. Transitive verbs Transitive verbs require an object. Some words have just a direct object while other verbs have both a direct and an indirect object. These verbs can also take a prepositional phrase. Study the following table: Verb

indirect object

direct object

Prepositional phrase

They received


a letter

on Monday.

We gave


a book

for Christmas.


after dinner.

He smokes

3. Verbs with two objects The indirect object usually comes before the direct. However, it is possible to put the direct object first and then connect the indirect object with a preposition (usually to or for). Verb

Indirect object

Direct object

She bought I gave They sent

Frank her me

a book. flowers. an email.


Direct object


Indirect object

We wrote The bank lent I showed Ann made She chose He ordered

a letter money my new flat a cake a dress a pizza

to to to for for for

my friend. my brother. Jack. her sister. her daughter. the kids.

4. Intransitive verbs Intransitive verbs cannot take an object. They also cannot use the passive form. Some common intransitive verbs: appear / burn / come / fall / go / happen / lie / matter / open / sleep / swim Professional English Center Unlock your English

The children are sleeping. We swim every day. Some verbs can be both transitive and intransitive: The film continued after the break. (intransitive) Joe continued the story. (transitive) Intransitive verbs can take a prepositional phrase or an adverbial phrase that completes their meaning.

We waited for the bus for 15 minutes. The door closed with a huge bang.

5. Linking verbs + complements Some verbs are followed by a complement, not an object. These verbs are called linking verbs. Linking verbs describe the subject and can be followed by an adjective or noun phrase. Common linking verbs: be / become / appear / grow / turn / seem / remain / look / sound / stay / keep / get / go

He seemed ill. They became concerned. The milk turned sour. The food tastes delicious. William is an accomplished writer. Appear and seem can be followed by a ‘to be+adjective’.

Ann seems to be late again.

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Gerund or Infinitive? 1. Gerund or infinitive? When we want to use two verbs one after the other, or a verb after an adjective, we can connect them in different ways: • with a to infinitive • with a gerund (-ing) • with a bare infinitive (infinitive without ‘to’) • with a that clause • with a preposition + to infinitive • with an object + to infinitive • adjective + to infinitive A good dictionary will always tell you which category a verb belongs to. 2. Verb + to infinitive The following verbs are followed by a to infinitive: afford / aim / appear / ask / attempt / choose / deserve / fail / happen / help / learn / manage / neglect / offer / plan / prepare / refuse / seem / tend / wait / want / wish

Peter can’t afford to buy a house. We decided to buy an ice-cream. Jack wanted to go for a walk. He tends to smoke a lot. 3. Verb + to infinitive / that Some verbs can be followed by a to infinitive or a that clause: agree hope seem

arrange intend threaten

They They They They

decide learn wish

demand plan

desire pretend

agreed to travel by car. agreed that travelling by car was a good idea. hoped to arrive early. hoped that the plane wouldn’t be late.

4. Adjectives + to infinitive Adjectives are usually followed by a to infinitive verb. (For exceptions, look at part 2.) 1. It + is/was + adjectives (+ noun) + to + verb

It is difficult to answer this question. It is a difficult question to answer. It is nice to see you.

2. Subject + is/was + adjective + to + verb

She is easy to talk to. Frank was surprised to see us. This question is difficult to answer.

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expect promise

3. It + is/was + adjective + for you + to + verb

It is nice of you to help me. It was kind of him to organize the party.

5. Verb + ing / noun Some verbs can be followed by either a noun or a gerund (verb+ing): avoid feel like keep risk

delay finish mind can’t stand

dislike help miss

enjoy give up postpone

fancy involve practise

I enjoy reading books. I enjoy this party.

He practiced dancing. He practiced his dance moves. I can’t stand smoking. I can’t stand cigarettes. 6. Verb + ing / noun / that Some verbs can be followed by either a gerund, a noun, or a that – clause: admit imagine

appreciate mention

consider recollect

confess report

deny suggest

He admitted stealing the jewellery. He admitted that he stole the jewellery. Jack mentioned meeting Fred in the street. Jack mentioned that he met Fred in the street. 7. Verb + preposition + ing All verbs which have a preposition are always followed by a gerund: afraid of / apologise for / concentrate on / congratulate on / decide on / dream of / get rid of / forgive for / insist on / keen on / look forward to / prevent from / sorry for / succeed in / suspect of / stop from / thank for / warn against

Jack apologised for breaking the vase. Phil succeeded in swimming across the channel. 8. Verb + ing = Verb + to infinitive A few verbs can be followed by either a gerund or an infinitive without any change in the meaning. These are: attempt / begin / continue / can’t bear / dread / hate / intend / like / love / prefer / start

I began to read the newspaper. I began reading the newspaper. 9. Verb + ing ≠ Verb + to infinitive In these cases, the meaning changes depending on the infinitive or gerund:

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Verb + ing / inf


I remember visiting my grandma when I was a child.

➢ Have a memory of it

Please, remember to post the letter.

➢ Instruction to remember

I won’t forget meeting him the first time.

➢ Have a memory of it

Please, don’t forget to lock the doors.

➢ Instruction to remember

I regret telling him my secret.

➢ I am sorry that I did this.

I regret to inform you that the plane has been canelled.

➢ I am sorry that I will do this

Last winter, I tried skiing but I didn’t like it.

➢ Experiment

I have tried to call him five times.

➢ Attempt

He stopped reading and stood up.

➢ Finish doing it

He stopped to have a cigarette.

➢ Stop in order to so something

Changing your country means learning a new language.

➢ Involve

I meant to call you but I didn’t have time.

➢ Intend

Fred went on talking about his job for hours.

➢ Continue

After university, Jill went on to become a lawyer.

➢ The next thing to do

10. Verb + bare infinitive A small number of verbs are followed by an infinitive without to: a) Modal verbs → this topic is discussed in a separate unit.

I should go. You must eat your food.

b) Help, let, make She helped me (to) bake the cake.

Please, let me show you the new catalogue. She made the children clean up. But: The children were made to clean up. (passive!)

Note: ‘Help’ can be followed by to infinitive or the bare infinite (without ‘to’). 11. See / hear / feel, etc. The following verbs can be followed by an infinitive without to or a gerund with a small change in meaning. a. see/hear/feel/etc. + object + verb = we focus on the completed action b. see/hear/feel/etc + object + verb+ing = we focus on the continuing action Professional English Center Unlock your English

feel / hear / see / listen to / notice / watch

He saw the boy run across the road. (from beginning to end) He saw the boy running across the road. (part of the action) I heard him shout. (a short shout probably) I heard him shouting. (the shouting continued) 12. Verb + object + to or Verb + ing Some verbs can be followed by a gerund or by an object plus to infinitive. a. Verb + gerund b. Verb + object + to infinitive







He recommended travelling to Asia. He recommended us to travel to Asia. She forbade leaving the room. She forbade the child to leave the room. 13. Expressions There are some expressions which always use the gerund. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

have difficulty doing something it is a waste of time/money doing something (to is also possible) spend time doing something waste time doing something It’s no use/good doing something

I spent time talking to my neighbour. It’s no use learning Hungarian. Nobody speaks it. It’s a waste of time speaking to him. He never listens. 14. Verb + (object) + to Some verbs can be followed by a to infinitive or by an object + to infinitive. ask *force *remind would like

beg *invite *teach would love

I want to go home. I would like to leave.

help *get *tell would prefer

expect *order *warn would hate

I want you to go home. I would like you to leave.

The verbs with a star (*) always follow the verb + object + infinitive pattern.

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*enable *persuade want

The Auxiliary (Modal) Verb system The modal verbs help us express extra ideas that other types of sentences cannot. 1. The verb system The chart below shows how the different types of verbs are related in the English language.

The English verbs Main verbs go buy work read write eat Speak has to

Auxiliary verbs

do have


Semi-modal verbs dare (to) need (to)

ought to had better

Modal verbs can, could may, might will, would shall, should must

2. What does it mean? As you could see from the chart before, in the English language we can have main verbs and auxiliary verbs. Auxiliary verbs help the main verbs to form tenses, negative sentences and questions.

I don’t eat meat. (negative sentence) I have eaten an apple. (present perfect) Can you swim? (question) Modal a) b) c) d) e)

verbs can give several extra meanings to the main verb: Ability: Peter can sing well. Obligation: You must pay the bills. Permission: You may sit down. Prohibition: Dogs mustn’t enter. Possibility: He could arrive soon.

3. Characteristics Modal verbs behave differently from main verbs: • They never change, they don’t add –s, -ed, -ing. • They are followed by the verb without ‘to’. • They always go before the main verb. • They form the negative by adding ‘not’ or ‘n’t’. • They are used to form questions and negatives.

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Obligation and Necessity 1. Obligation We can use should, ought to, must, mustn’t, need (to), have to and have got to when we want to express obligation. Obligation

No Obligation


You should be careful. You ought to be careful. You must eat vegetables. You mustn’t drive fast. I need to phone Paul. I have to wear a uniform. I have got to see the doctor.

You don’t have to get up early. He doesn’t have to pay rent. I don’t need to write to her. I needn’t write to her.


I had to work last Sunday. You should have told me the price. You ought to have arrived earlier. You needed to call me.

He didn’t have to write a report. You didn’t need to call me. You needn’t have called me.

2. Must and have to must and have to/have got to We prefer must: to give orders and instructions to show the speaker feels strongly about something in public notices We prefer have to: to talk about rules and regulations to talk about habits have got to is more informal than have to. I must go home now. (It’s my decision.) I have to work tomorrow. (It is outside my control.) 3. Must and don’t have to mustn’t means it is forbidden/prohibited. We can also use can’t to express prohibition. don’t have to means it is not necessary. Synonyms of don’t have to:

don’t need to needn’t haven’t go to

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You mustn’t play ballgames in the park. (It is not allowed.) You can’t eat all the cakes! Leave some to the others, too. You don’t have to phone the client. (It is not necessary.) 4. Should and ought to should and ought to are used to express advice, opinion or a polite instruction. In the negative we say shouldn’t and oughtn’t to.

You should eat more vegetables. (In my opinion is it good for you but you don’t have to do it.)

You ought to see the doctor. (My advice is to see the doctor but you have a choice.) You shouldn’t work so much. 5. Had better and to be to We can use had better or had better not to give strong advice.

You had better leave now. He had better not be late! We can use to be to when we want to give a formal instruction. You are to arrive in the office at 8am sharp. You are not to enter the premises. 6. Need (to) In the present, we can use need as a main verb or as a model verb. It means ‘necessary.

I need to call mum. (main verb) - I need call mum. (model) I don’t need to call her. - I needn’t call her. Do you need to call? - Need you call?

In the past tense, we use the main verb form with ‘to’:

I needed to call. I didn’t need to call.

But: needn’t have done has a different meaning: You needn’t have brought the umbrella. (You brought the umbrella although it was totally unnecessary.) 7. Obligation in the past When we talk about obligation in the past, we use had to or needed to. In the negative we use didn’t have to or didn’t need to.

I had to work last weekend. = I needed to work last weekend. (It was necessary and I did it.)

I didn’t have to work yesterday. (It was not necessary.) If something was necessary but the person didn’t do it, we use: should have done or ought to have done. I’m angry with Peter. He should have told me the truth! (Although it was important, he didn’t tell me the truth)

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Deductions 1. Certainty - present To express that we are very sure about something in the present, we can use must.

You’ve worked all day. You must be very tired! You must be the new boss. Nice to meet you. To express that we are sure something is not possible in the present, we use can’t and couldn’t.

You can’t be tired! You’ve been sleeping all day. It couldn’t be true! He always lies. Note: mustn’t (obligation, uncertainty) is not the opposite of must (prohibition)! 2. Certainty - past To express that we are very sure about something in the past, we can use must have.

Jo didn’t answer the phone. He must have fallen asleep. Well done for passing the test. You must have studied a lot. To express that we are sure something is not possible in the past, we use can’t have/couldn’t have.

He can’t have lent you the money. He’s mean! He couldn’t have stolen the painting. He has an alibi. 3. Possibility - present To express uncertainty or possibility in the present, we can use may, might or could. ‘Where’s Jane?’ ‘I don’t know. She may be in kitchen. Or she could be in bathroom.’ (The speaker is not sure.)

‘Don’t buy him that tie. He may not/might not like it.

Note: We don’t use couldn’t to express possibility. 4. Possibility - past To express possibility in the past, we can use may have, might have or could have.

‘Why is that child crying?’ ‘He may have lost his toy.’ ‘Where are the diamonds?’ ‘They could have been stolen!’ 5. Probability - present To express probability or expectation, we can use will, should (ought to) or to be bound to.

She will arrive soon. (I expect her to arrive soon because she usually arrives at this time.) She should be in Paris now. (I expect that the plane has landed.) He’s bound to be promoted. He’s the best. (I expect that he will be promoted.) 6. Probability - past To express probability in the past, we can use should have or shouldn’t have. Professional English Center Unlock your English

He should have arrived in New York by now. (I expect that he has arrived.) He shouldn’t have sold his car. He loves it. (I expect that he didn’t sell his car.

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Ability 1. Ability - present To talk about ability in the present, we use can and to be able to/to be unable to.

‘Can Joe drive?’ ‘No, he can’t. He is too young.’ I cannot sing at all. I am not able to answer this question. It’s too difficult. Note: The negative of can is can’t and cannot. can is used for general situations. to be able to/to be unable to is used for more specific situations and can be used in all the tenses. to be able to is also used for all the tenses.

I will be able to speak English next year.

2. Ability - past To talk about ability in the past, we can use could and was/were able to.

When I was young, I could run very fast. I could always swim well, but that day I just wasn’t able to swim fast enough. 3. Other ways of expressing ability We can use verbs to express ability: manage to + infinitive and succeed in + gerund/noun. These verbs can be used both in the present and the future. They an be used in all the tenses.

I have managed to phone the insurance company finally. I’m sure Jack will succeed in learning French.

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Communication 1. Permission Asking for permission:

Giving permission:

Can I open the window, please? Could I use your phone, please? May I sit down? May I enter?

Yes, of course, you can. No, you can’t use my phone. You may sit down. You may not enter.

Could is more formal and polite than can. May is the most formal way of asking or giving permission 2. Requests We can make requests using the following modal verbs:

Can I ask you something? Can you help me with this letter, please? Will you get me some milk, please?

More formal ways of making requests:

Could I borrow your camera? Could you make me a coffee, please? Would you pass me the salt, please?

3. Offers We can make offers in different ways:

Shall I open the door for you? Can I get a cup of tea for you? Would you like to have something to eat? Would you like me to help you? Why don’t I go and get a sandwich for you? I can write the report, if you’d like me to. I will take you to the airport. 4. Suggestions Ways of making suggestions:

Shall we order a pizza? Let’s go the cinema tonight. Why don’t we go out for a walk? How about watching a movie? What about watching a film? We can go to Paris or to Rome. We could go out tonight. 5. Orders and instructions We can give polite orders by using one of the following expressions:

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You must fill in the form immediately. Can you, please, finish the report by tomorrow? Could you post this letter, please? Would you mind telling me the truth? Another way of giving an instruction is to use the imperative:

Stand up. Sit down. Open the door.

6. Advice We can ask for advice the following ways:

Shall I tell him the truth? Should I talk to him? Would you buy this car if you were me?

We can give advice in many different ways:

You must go and see the doctor. You should/ought to eat more vegetables. You shouldn’t smoke. You had better drive carefully. You had better not arrive late. You could call him.

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Reported Speech 1. What is it? Reported speech is when we report or repeat somebody’s words or sentences. We can report directly by simply repeating the exact sentence we heard:

Joe: ‘It is very hot today.’ ‘It is very hot today’, Joe said. Or indirectly, when report somebody’s sentence from our point of view:

Peter to Anne: ‘I like your new dress.’ Anne: ‘Peter says that he likes my new dress.’ 2. What can we report? We can report many different types of sentences: statements, thoughts, questions, instructions, offers, advice, promises, suggestions Frank to Bill: ‘Stop using my bike!’

Frank told Bill to stop using his bike. ‘You shouldn’t smoke so much’, said Fred.

Fred suggested that I shouldn’t smoke so much. ‘Do you like blue cheese?’ , asked Mary.

Mary asked Phil if he liked blue cheese. 3. Tense change or not? When we report somebody’s sentences which relate to the present, we do not have to change the tenses. Usually the reporting verb (eg. say, tell) is in the present. Chris to Liza: ‘I love you.’ Liza to her friend: ‘Chris says that he loves me.’ When we report somebody’s sentences which relate to the past, we have to change the tenses. Usually the reporting verb is in the past.

‘I went on an excursion around the city’, said Bill. Bill said that he had gone on an excursion around the city. 4. Statements, thoughts, etc. When we report somebody’s words and thoughts, we have to pay attention to the following: Tense change Pronoun change Changing words of time and place

Study the examples carefully:

‘I can swim very fast’, said Frank. Frank said that he could swim very fast.

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These are discussed in the following unit

‘I am going to travel to Paris next year’, insisted Bill. Bill insisted that he was going to travel to Paris the following year. 5. Wh-question When we report somebody’s wh-question, we have to pay attention to the following changes: a) Tense change b) Pronoun change c) Changing words of time and place d) Word order change from question to statement Look at the example sentences, and study how the word order changes: ‘Where are you going?’ asked mum. Mum asked where I was going. When does the plane arrive?’ asked the passenger. The passenger asked when the train arrived. 6. Yes/no questions When we report somebody’s question, we have to pay attention to the following changes: a) Tense change b) Pronoun change c) Changing words of time and place d) Word order change from question to statement e) Add if/whether in reported speech Study how the word order changes in yes/no questions: ‘Do you have a car?’ She asked if/whether I had a car. ‘Have you ever been to New York?’ He asked if/whether I had ever been to New York. 7. Reporting advice, promise, etc. When reporting advice, command/instruction, promise, request, warning, etc, we use: advise / ask / tell / warn / promise / beg / expect / want / allow / command / tell / invited / offer, etc (+ pronoun) + the to-infinitive

‘Open, the door, please.’ He told me to open the door. ‘Can you help me?’ He asked me to help him. ‘You shouldn’t smoke.’ He advised me not to smoke. ‘I’ll will visit you.’ She promised to visit me. ‘We could do it for you.’ They offered to do it for us. ‘Don’t tell him anything.’ She instructed me not to tell him anything. 8. Suggestions When we report suggestions and recommendations with the word suggest, we can use four constructions: ‘Let’s order pizza.’

He suggested that we order pizza. Professional English Center Unlock your English

He suggested that we should order pizza. He suggested that we ordered pizza. He suggested ordering pizza. Note: We cannot use ‘to-infinitive’ after suggest! 9. Tense changes When we report somebody’s speech and the reporting verb is in the past, we have to move the tense one step back in time: present simple present continuous past simple present perfect (continuous) past perfect past continuous am going to will can/could may/might must mustn’t shall/should

past simple past continuous past perfect past perfect (continuous) past perfect past perfect continuous was going to would could might had to couldn’t should

10. Time, place word changes When the reporting verb is in the past tense, we usually have to change the following words: today tonight tomorrow yesterday two days ago next (week/day) last (week/month) now here come this/these ago before

that day that night the next day, the following day the previous day, the day before two days before, two days earlier the following (week/day) the (week/month) before then there go that/those/that before earlier

11. Other changes In reported speech, pronouns can change depending on the speaker’s viewpoint. Peter to his son: ‘I will buy you a video game.’ Son to his friend: ‘Dad said that he would buy me a video game.’ This/that/these/those may change to the. This/that may change to it.

‘I love this ice-cream’, said Clara. Clara said that she loved the ice-cream. ‘Please, give me that book’, asked Fred.

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Fred asked me to give it to him. 12. Common reporting verbs: admit, advise, agree, answer, tell, suggest, think, demand, ask, report, remind, believe, imagine, insist, wonder, beg, announce, command, forbid, invite, tell, order, warn, teach, offer, want to know, enquire, request, command, wonder, recommend, refuse, threaten, swear, instruct, explain, remind

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Countable and Uncountable Nouns 1. Countable nouns Countable nouns can: - be counted: 1 apple – 2 apples – 3 apples - have both singular and plural forms: child – children, car - cars - use a/an with the singular form: a house, a cat, an elephant - can use some / any / many / a few: some dogs, any banana, a few books, many people 2. Uncountable nouns Uncountable nouns are usually abstract ideas, liquid or mass forms. Uncountable nouns: - cannot be counted: 3 rices but: some rice/a bowl of rice - have only a singular form and followed by a singular verb: water, rice, sand, air, wine, cheese. The water is clear. - cannot use a/an: a music, a blood, a furniture, an advice - can use some / any / much / a little: some music, any advice a little water, much damage 3. Nouns ending in -s Plural nouns are nouns which only have plural forms. They are followed by a plural verb. trousers, clothes, glasses, goods, feelings, jeans, premises, surroundings, thanks, stairs, socks, pyjamas, scales, pants, remains, goods, proceeds, whereabouts, congratulations, overheads, earnings, outskirts, savings, particulars ‘Where are your trouser?’ ‘They are on the shelf.’ Some uncountable nouns end in –s but are uncountable and use a singular verb: mathematics, physics, aerobics, genetics, measles, linguistics, economics, classics, mumps, diabetes, news, thanks, happiness, gymnastics, aerobics, darts, politics, physics, phonetics, statistics, rabies, means, economics

Mathematics is an interesting subject. Plural measurements ending –s take a singular verb:

Four-hours is a long time to drive without stopping.

4. Group nouns Group nouns or collective nouns are nouns which refer to a group of people or things together. They can take either a singular or a plural verb. government, army, company, crew, crowd, data family, group, media, press, public, staff, team, committee, gang, the BBC, the EU, club, audience, class, generation, jury

My family is/are from Minnesota. The team is/are very successful. Professional English Center Unlock your English

Some collective nouns only take the plural verb:

Cattle are microchipped. The people are celebrating. The police always arrive quickly.

5. Irregular plurals Some countable nouns have irregular plural forms: change in form: child – children ox - oxen man – men woman – women tooth – teeth goose – geese foot - feet mouse – mice louse – lice person – people

no change in form: fish – fish aircraft – aircraft cod – cod deer – deer fruit – fruit sheep – sheep series – series species - species



change -f to -v

knife – knives life – lives wife – wives half – halves wolf – wolves loaf – loaves leaf – leaves shelf-shelves calf – calves elf - elves hoof - hooves

no change

cliff – cliffs chief – chiefs cuff – cuffs roof - roofs

ends in -o

potato – potatoes tomato – tomatoes volcano – volcanoes buffalo – buffaloes embargo – embargoes hero – heroes mosquito – mosquitoes zero - zeroes

change –a to -ae

alumna – alumnae antenna - antennae

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change –us to -i

cactus – cacti nucleus – nuclei focus – foci fungus – fungi octopus – octopi radius – radii stimulus – stimuli syllabus - syllabi

change –is to -es

analysis – analyses crisis – crises thesis – theses oasis – oases diagnosis – diagnoses basis – bases ellipsis – ellipses emphasis – emphases hypothesis – hypotheses neurosis – neuroses paralysis – paralyses parenthesis – parentheses synthesis - syntheses

change –on to –a

phenomenon – phenomena criterion - criteria

change –um to -a

datum – data medium – media bacterium – bacteria addendum – addenda curriculum – curricula memorandum – memoranda millennium – millennia stratum – strata symposium - symposia

change –x to -ces

appendix – appendices index – indices matrix - matrices

6. Counting the uncountable We can count uncountable things by using the following expressions: a a a a a a a a a

bit of bread bunch of flowers cup of tea spoonful of medicine loaf of bread piece of news pool of water glass of coca cola portion of meat

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a bag of flour items of clothing pieces of furniture a bar of chocolate a box of cereal a can of beer a drop of blood a roll of toilet paper a tube of toothpaste

a a a a a a a

slice of cake tub of butter bottle of wine blade of grass speck of dirt scrap of spot of ink

a a a a a a a

jar of jam block of ice kilo of fruit block of lump of sheet of paper grain of truth

7. Common uncountable nouns Here’s a list of common uncountable nouns. Study the list carefully. advice baggage behaviour company damage electricity experience fun hair information love music paper travel

age bread blood concern duty equipment faith furniture health knowledge luck machinery rubbish weather

anger beauty concrete air education evidence food growth homework justice luggage money traffic work

8. Quantifiers used with countable nouns a couple of a number of both (of) each (of) every neither (of) the whole (of) (a) few (of) many (of) several (of)

another of either (of) the entire half (of)

9. Quantifiers used with singular uncountable nouns an amount of a great deal of a little (of) 10. Quantifiers used with all nouns all (of) a lot of all (of) any (of) more (of) most (of) none (of) plenty of

much (of)

lots of enough (of) no some (of)

11. Subject verb agreement Under the previous points, we already discussed some of the interesting features of subject-verb agreement. Here are some more things worth knowing. We use a singular verb after: Professional English Center Unlock your English

• • • • • • •

everyone / everybody / everything words beginning with any- / some- / noany of / each of / either of / neither of / none of / the number of + plural noun any of / none of / the majority of / a lot of / plenty of / all (of) / some (of) + uncountable noun each / every + singular noun common phrases connected by ‘and’ (fish and chips / R & D) X per cent of + plural nouns

We use the plural verb after: • any of / each of / either of / neither of / none of / the number of + plural noun (Singular verb is preferred! See above.) • the number of + plural noun • plural forms of measurements and quantities (50 pounds, thirty metres) • two joint subjects (Jack and Jill / a book and a pen) • after ‘per cent’ • Subject connected with ‘either … or …’ and ‘neither … nor …’ 12. Change of meaning Some words change their meaning depending on the countable or the uncountable form. Countable: a paper = newspaper a wood = a forest an experience = a particular situation a coffee = a cup of coffee a help = a helping person a hair = one piece a work = a work of art an exercise = a task a tea = a cup of tea a chicken = the whole chicken to eat cheeses = various kinds

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Uncountable: paper = the material wood = the material experience = in general coffee = liquid help = help in general hair = all the hair on the had work = in general exercise = physical exercise in general tea = the liquid chicken = the meat cheese = the food

Possessive ‘s and of 1. Using ‘s We normally use ‘s in the following cases:



For people and animals

The cat’s fur, the boy’s book

After singular nouns

my brother’s bike

After plural nouns, we put the only ‘

the three girls’ dog

For organisations

the school’s decision

For places and origins

Madrid’s best restaurant, Beckett’s novel

After more than one noun

Jack and Jill’s house

After compound nouns

my sister-in-law’s birthday

With time expressions

yesterday’s movie, tomorrow’s trip

With periods of time

a week’s holiday, ten minutes’ drive

With quantities and measurements

a pound’s worth

With irregular plural nouns

the children’s toys

With double possessive

my mother’s cat’s food

With names of shops, companies

the newsagent’s, the greengrocer’s the vet’s


For goodness’ sake!

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2. Using of We normally use of in the following cases: Usage


For things and ideas

the room of the house

With expressions

the beginning / the end / the top / the bottom / the front / the back / the middle, etc.

For organisations

the decision of the school

With double possessive

a friend of Frank’s (one friend out of all of Frank’s friend)

When the noun is followed by a prepositional phrase

the tail of the cat mewing loudly

With long, complex phrases

the mysterious disappearance of Mr Jack Smith

With a specific year or date

the fire of 2014

Other fixed expressions

the President of the United States

3. Either ‘s or of Very often there is no difference in meaning between the ‘s or of:

The book’s cover = the cover of the book New York’s statues = the statues of New York The country’s government = the government of the country.

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Adjectives 1. What are adjectives? Adjectives are words that describe nouns (objects, people). For example: nice, good, beautiful, worried, insulting, continuous Adjectives can go before nouns: adjective + noun

Adjectives can go after some verbs: verbs + adjective

a nice a good a beautiful an insulting

seem is looks feel

person day cat remark

nice good beautiful happy

2. Order of adjectives Sometimes we need to use more than one adjectives. An opinion normally goes before the fact: Opinion An interesting A beautiful An interesting

+ fact Spanish black new

+ noun movie cat idea

If we have several factual adjectives, we use the following order: size








a huge a small an ----

ancient new old

round -----square

blue ----black

Japanese German ------

wooden silver plastic

---tea radio

table spoon button

3. Adding suffixes Adjectives can be individual, unique words (nice, small) or can be formed from other words by using suffixes or prefixes. - able: manageable, readable - ible: flexible, edible - ant: hesitant, distant - ing: sleeping - ic: energetic, apologetic - ish: foolish, blueish - ous: dangerous, famous - ly: friendly, weekly - al: political, musical - ful: harmful, tactful - les: harmless, careless - ive: attractive, passive

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4. Adding prefixes We can form new adjectives by adding prefixes to words. These prefixes create a negative meaning. im-: impossible, impatient il-: illogical, illegal un-: undesirable, unattractive in-: indispensable, indirect dis-: dishonest, disabled ir-: irreplaceable, irrational pre-: pre-negotiated, preheated Note: adding pre- to an adjective, does not create a negative meaning. 5. Compound adjectives Compound adjectives are created by using two words. They are usually written with a hyphen.

bullet-proof, duty-free, long-distance, sugar-free, hand-made

The second part is often a present or past participle. These are often used to describe a person:

long-legged, curly-haired, self-centred, absent-minded, ill-fitting, expensivelooking We can also use prepositions to create a compound adjective:

off-putting, built-up, cut-off, run-down, thrown-out

6. Adjectives of measurement We can combine numbers with nouns to make compound adjectives. They are used to measure different things, ie. age, distance, etc.

a five-minute song (time) a two-year-old girl (age) a ten-euro ticket (price) a one-litre bottle (volume) a three-kilo parcel (weight) a fifty-square metre house (area) an hour-long meeting (duration)

7. Adjectives as nouns Some adjectives can be used with ‘the’ to refer to a group of people. They function like a noun.

the blind the accused the bizarre

the homeless the old the deceased

the young the famous the poor

Some words are used as both nouns and adjectives without changing their form.

English, Italian, German, Chinese, American, etc. chemical, musical, right, dear, elder, fun, indoor

8. Adjectives after verbs We can use adjectives after linking verbs. Here is a list of the most common linking verb:

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appear, be, become, come, feel, get, go, grow, turn, keep, look, remain, seem, smell, sound, stay Examples with adjectives:

The project is difficult. She felt happy all day. It turned dark quickly. You look upset. The witness remained silent.

Adjectives starting with the letter ‘a’- and adjectives that describe health and feelings, tend to go after a linking verb. Often these adjectives have a related adjective which we can use before a noun or after a linking verb.

ablaze, aflame, afloat, afoot, afraid, alight, alike, alive, alone, aloof, ashamed, askew, asleep, awake, aware, fine, glad, ill, poorly, sorry, sure, unsure, upset, well, unwell 9. Adjectives after nouns Some adjectives are used only after nouns. For example, fixed phrases:


secretary general, heir apparent, lieutenant major, force major, court martial,

After anything, something, anywhere, somewhere, etc.:

anything interesting, somewhere quiet, something nice, etc Have you met anybody interesting lately? I’d like to go somewhere quiet this summer. ‘What would you like to have?’ ‘Something nice and sweet.’ Some adjectives which end in –able/-ible can go before or after the noun without change in their meaning. They usually go after the noun when combined with the words only, first and last.

suitable, available, possible, imaginable, etc. I will employ the first candidate suitable for the position. (=first suitable candidate) The only solution possible is to find a new manager. (=the only possible solution) 10. Change in meaning Some adjectives change their meaning depending on their position.

elect, proper, present, concerned, responsible, involved, opposite a proper city = a real city the city proper = the main part of the city the concerned parents = the parents who are concerned the parents concerned = the parents involved

opposite points of view = opinions which conflict the house opposite = the house on the other side of the road the present director = the current director the members present = the members who are here at the moment

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11. -ed and –ing adjectives We can make adjectives from verbs by adding –ing or –ed or by using the past participle form if the verb is irregular. -ing adjectives tell us how something makes us feel. This movie is boring. (= It makes me feel bored.) We had an exciting trip to the zoo. (= The trip made us feel excited.) ‘We saw a real ghost! It was so frightening.’ (= We felt frightened.) -ed adjectives tell us how somebody feels.

I’m tired. He was interested in the idea. She has always been terrified of spiders.

Some –ed and –ing adjectives are not connected to feelings.

a sunken boat a closed deal a broken glass a finished project a written complaint

a sliding door a moving part a sinking feeling a floating boat a ringing phone

Other common –ed / -ing adjectives:

disappointed / disappointed amused / amusing confused / confusing

Most –ed and –ing adjectives go before the noun they describe:

An interesting movie The interested party

However, many –ed and –ing adjectives can also go immediately after the noun they describe: Everyone interested in the discussion was present. (=everyone who was interested…) The cat lying on the sofa is mine. (the cat which is lying on the sofa…) Some of these adjectives are rarely or never used before a noun:

infected, caused, found, included, provided, applying, discussed, questioned, taken, selected, stolen, remaining, identified 12. Adjectives + prepositions Here is a list of some common adjectives with prepositions.



nice, kind, cruel, intelligent, sensible, scared, afraid, frightened, proud, ashamed, fond, full, short, polite, stupid, silly, terrified, jealous, envious, suspicious, critical, tolerant, aware, conscious, capable, incapable, full, typical, tired, sick, certain, sure, independent


nice, kind, good, polite, friendly, cruel, accustomed, used, married, similar, possible, rude, friendly, generous, engaged, different


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angry, furious, annoyed, happy, pleased, upset, nervous, certain, excited, worried, sorry, certain, sure, anxious, curious, right, wrong


surprised, shocked, amazed, astonished


pleased, disappointed, satisfied, angry, annoyed, busy, content, delighted, friendly, occupied, bored, fed up, crowded, impressed


famous, late, ready sorry, responsible, suitable, eager, desperate, impatient


good, angry, bad, hopeless, useless, brilliant, amazed, annoyed, awful, terrible


keen, reliant, dependent


interested, involved


different, absent, free, safe


13. Gradable and non-gradable adjectives Adjectives can be gradable or ungradable. We use different groups of modifiers with the gradable and ungradable adjectives. a) Gradable adjectives can show the scale or grade of something (how much?). They can form comparative and superlative form.

angry, big, busy, clever, common, deep, fast, friendly, happy, popular, rich, strong, weak, young, cheap, expensive, large, small, unpleasant, exciting, good, upset, disappointed, shy, intelligent, dizzy, aggressive, long, difficult, interesting b) Modifiers for gradable adjectives: a bit, a little, fairly, pretty, quite, really, too, very, hugely, slightly, rather, too, somewhat

His car was fairly expensive when it was new. His mother was hugely disappointed with him. c) Ungradable adjectives show extremes (all or nothing).

free, vast, enormous, priceless, minute, tiny, fabulous, freezing, amazing, correct, wrong, deaf, appalled, full, empty, awful, excellent, huge, impossible, superb, terrible, unique, whole, domestic, environmental, dead, exhausted, fantastic, necessary d) Modifiers for gradable adjectives:

absolutely, completely, quite, totally, utterly, perfectly, practically, entirely, simply, virtually, almost, exclusively, fully, largely, mainly, fairly, really, pretty, nearly Jack was totally wrong about the cost of the project. Your photos are simply amazing!

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e) Some adjectives can be both gradable and ungradable.

common, foreign, public, wild, academic, adult, average, genuine, guilty, scientific, technical, true, individual, innocent

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Adverbs 1. Use of adverbs Adverbs give us extra information about actions: Category


manner (how)

quickly, slowly, fast, rapidly, easily, suddenly, badly always, frequently, often, sometimes, never, normally, occasionally, rarely, ever, seldom, generally, usually very, a bit, rather, fairly, extremely, quite, slightly, absolutely, almost, completely, entirely, hardly, partly, really, totally, largely

frequency (how often) degree (how much) certainty

certainly, definitely, probably, possibly

place (where)

in London, here, there, far away

time (when)

tomorrow, at 5 o’clock, on Monday, in July, daily, late, already, finally, immediately, no longer, soon, then

linking adverbs

as well, whereas, although, next


honestly, frankly, sadly

2. Forming adverbs On the one hand, adverbs can be single, independent words or combination of words. On the other hand, we can form adverbs from other words. -from adjectives:

slow – slowly quick – quickly easy – easily loud – loudly

-from nouns:

day – daily week – weekly hour – hourly friend - friendly

3. Spelling Spelling of adjectives can change the following ways: adjective


ending in a vowel or –l


changes to -ly


ending in -le


changes to -ly


ending in –y


changes to -ily


ending in -ic


changes to -ally


ending in -ly


add extra word

friendly way

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4. Confusing adjectives Adjectives and adverb which are often confused: adverbs: fast = run fast still = stand still well = cook well early = arrive early daily = shop daily

adjectives: fast = a fast train still = still water good = a good book early = an early train daily = the daily news

Some adverbs have two forms and we can use both without a change in the meaning:

quick/quickly, cheap/cheaply, slow/slowly/ loud/loudly, etc. Some adverbs have two forms and there is a difference n meaning:

close/closely, direct/directly, high/highly, hard/hardly, free/freely, deep, deeply, late/lately, short/shortly, near/nearly, fair/fairly, wide/widely hard/hardly

He worked hard. (a lot) He hardly worked. (almost nothing)


The taxi arrived late. (not in time) I met Jim lately. (recently) 5. Position of adverbs Adverbs can go into different positions in the sentence. Study the following table carefully. position



time adverbs

Yesterday I visited my friend. In the park, I saw a lovely dog.


frequency adverbs

He often cooks dinner. I almost forgot about the meeting. I will probably go by train. She will soon arrive.


manner adverbs place adverbs time adverbs

She walks slowly. They lived in Madrid. He got up at 6 o’clock.

manner adverbs

Slowly, I approached the lion. I slowly approached the lion. I approached the lion slowly.


all positions

6. Comparatives Usually adverbs form their comparative and superlative forms the same way as adjectives. a) Short adverbs (1 or 2 syllables): They add an –er to the comparative form and an –est to the superlative form. Professional English Center Unlock your English

fast – faster, fastest near – nearer, nearest b) Long adverbs (2 or more syllables): They add more to the comparative form and most to the superlative form.

quickly – more quickly, most quickly carefully – more carefully, most carefully

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Comparatives and Superlatives 1. Forming the comparatives and superlatives As a general rule, the comparative adjective is created by adding –er at the end of the adjective. The superlative adjective is created by adding –est at the end. In the case of two or more syllables, we use the words more and most to form the comparative and superlative forms. adjective
















more beautiful

most beautiful


more interesting

most interesting

1 One or two syllable words ending in –e:

safe – safer – safest nice – nicer – nicest

2 One syllable words ending in a short vowel plus consonant double the consonant at the end of the adjective

big – bigger - biggest sad – sadder – saddest


two syllable adjectives ending in –y: the –y changes into an –i:

busy – busier – busiest happy – happier – happiest

4 Two syllable adjectives ending in –r, -ly, -ow, -y, and -l can have two forms:

clever – cleverer / more clever – cleverest / most clever Also: common, handsome, simple, stupid, pleasant

2. Irregular forms Some comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs are irregular. Note: ‘elder’ cannot be used in comparative sentences. We cannot say ‘He is elder than Kate.’

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good / well



bad / badly



few / little



little (size)






far (distance)

farther / further

farthest / furthest

far (extra)



old (people)



old (things)



3. Comparative sentence When we compare two or more things, we can say: X is bigger/better/safer/etc. than Y

London is bigger than Leeds. Henry is more/less intelligent than Rick. The neighbour’s children are older than mine. When two things are the same, we say: X is as (so) big/good/interesting as Y

Your cat is as old as my cat. Jack is so strong as Fred. His car is not as expensive as your car. 4. The superlative sentence If something is the best/biggest/most expensive, we say: X is the best/nicest/most interesting in the world/classroom/family

James is the tallest in the class. The McLaren F1 is the most expensive car in the world. Note: In a superlative sentence, we usually use ‘in’ and not ‘of’ 5. + adjective / adverb as + adjective or adverb + as Just (about) / nearly / quite as + adjective or adverb + as

I would like to have as many apples as possible. Phone me as soon as necessary. as + clause + as As + much/many/little/few + as Professional English Center Unlock your English

Please, write me as soon as you can. As far as I know, they have moved house. You can take as many slices as you feel like. 6. The ... the We can compare things by using the ‘the…the’ structure: The + older/better/etc. + clause

The older I get, the more I know. The richer he gets, the more unhappy he becomes. The more relaxed he is, the more he talks. 7. Emphasis We can add emphasis to comparative adjectives the following ways:

much / far / a lot / lots / even happier considerably / significantly happier substantially / a great deal happier many / far / a lot more / less / fewer a bit / a little / a little bit / quite a lot / somewhat bigger We can emphasize the superlative forms the following ways:

quite / nearly / easily / much / by far the most expensive car We can emphasize the as …. as structure the following ways:

Nearly / twice / three times as good as

My brother is quite a lot taller than you. His house is by far the best in this street. 8. clauses not + adjective/adverb + enough to do something

The time was not enough to complete the exercise. •

too + adjective/adverb + to do something

It was too hot to sit in the garden. too + adjective + a/an + noun

It was too popular a restaurant to be able to get a table.

so + adjective/adverb + that clause

His car was so fast that the police couldn’t catch him.

9. Showing result • so + adjective/adverb + that clause • so + many / much + noun + that

His car was so fast that the police couldn’t catch him. • • •

such + a/an + adjective + singular noun + that such + adjective + plural noun + that such + a lot of + noun + that

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• •

enough + noun (+ for and/or + to infinitive) adjective / adverb+ enough (+ for and/or + to infinitive)

10. As / like Like + noun / gerund / pronoun is used to compare two things which are similar or the same. Like can also mean ‘for example’ or ‘such as’ or ‘similarly’: As + nouns / clause means ‘in the same way’ or ‘in the positions of’ when referring to jobs.

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Questions 1. Yes/no questions Yes/no questions are those which can be answered with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. We put the auxiliary verb before the subject. Here is a table which shows how to form yes/no questions: Auxiliary







to the cinema?








the cake?








in the ocean?








my keys?

2. Short answers We can give short answers to yes/no questions in two ways: Using the same auxiliary verb as in the original question:

Does he like cats? Aren't they here? Can you swim?

Yes, he does. / No, he doesn’t. Yes, they are. / No, they aren’t. Yes, I can. / No, I can’t.

With afraid/think/suppose/imagine, etc + so/not:

Does he like cats?

I don’t think so. I think so. I hope so. I suppose not. I hope not.

3. Wh- (open) questions Wh- or Open questions start with a question word and the answer can vary according to the question word. When we ask a question about the object or any of the compliment, we put the question word first, then we use the same question word order as in yes/no questions: Question word








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the meeting








your name?

When we ask a question about the subject, we keep the original word order (affirmative order) but we replace the subject with ‘who’: Subject / Who

Rest of sentence


is in London.


is in London?


went home by bus.


went home by bus?


can swim.


can swim?


have bought a house.


has bought a house?

4. Prepositions It is important to keep the preposition of the verb when we ask a question. Prepositions can go to two places: At the front of the questions, before the question word:

At whom are you looking? About which book did you talk?

At the end of the question:

Who are you looking at? Which book did you talk about?

The two solutions are equal. Some people prefer the first option, whereas some people prefer the second option. Note: preposition + who becomes: preposition + whom 5. What or which? We use what when there is an unlimited choice: What car would you like to buy? (out of all the existing types) What would you like to eat? (you can choose whatever you want) Professional English Center Unlock your English

We use which when there is a limited choice: Which car would you like? (out of those you can see here) Which would you like to eat? (out of those you can see here) 6. Question tags We can turn a statement into a question by adding a question tag at the end of the sentence. Reasons for question tags: a polite question: You couldn’t post this letter for me, could you? to check agreement: You are British, aren’t you? to give instructions: Open the door, will you? to make a suggestion or offer: Let’s get a pizza, shall we? 7. Forming question tags The form of the question tag always depends on the tense of the sentence: we use the corresponding auxiliary verb. If the sentence is negative, the question tag is positive. If the sentence is positive, the question tag is negative. Statement

Question tag

He loves travelling,

doesn’t he?

You will do the shopping,

won’t you?

You didn’t ask him,

did you?

They haven’t arrived yet,

have they?

You can swim,

can’t you?

She shouldn’t talk like that,

should she?

8. Special cases of the question tag • question tags for the imperative: will you? or won’t you?

Answer the phone, will you?

• • • •

the first person singular (I): aren’t I?

I am too early, aren’t I?

the question tag for Let’s: shall we?

Let’s go to the cinema, shall we?

for everybody, somebody, someone, no one, etc, they is used

Everyone is here, aren’t they?

for nothing, everything, anything, it is used

Nothing happened, did it?

9. Short agreements To agree with positive statement, we use so + auxiliary of the original statement. Professional English Center Unlock your English

‘I love ice-cream.’ ‘ So do I.’ ‘She is from the USA.’ So am I.’ ‘Peter failed his exams.’ ‘So did Alex.’ To agree with a negative statement, we use neither/nor + auxiliary of the original statement.

‘I don’t drink milk.’ ‘Neither do I.’ ‘Anne hasn’t arrived yet.’ ‘Nor has Bill.’ ‘Phil can’t dance very well. ‘Neither can Jack.’

10. Echo questions Echo questions are short questions we use after we have heard a statement. We use echo questions to confirm what we have just heard and they do not need an answer. We form echo questions using the corresponding auxiliary from the original sentence – similarly to tag questions. However, a positive sentence requires a positive echo question and a negative statement requires a negative echo question.

‘I have never been to Australia.’ ‘Haven’t you?’ ‘I can sing and dance very well.’ ‘Can you?’ ‘Everybody has arrived.’ ‘Have they?’ Note: The same special cases apply as with tag questions.

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Linking Words 1. What are they? Linking words are words that join two or more words, sentences or clauses. Linking words are also called conjunctions. Linking words can express different ideas, for example, - contrast: however, although, but addition: and, more, besides purpose: in order to, so that reason: since, because result: as a result, consequently time: when, after, before, since, by the time, as soon as condition: if, provided, as long as, unless reason: because, since, as purpose: to, in order to, so that contrast: but, although, however, whereas addition: and, besides, as well, too, also result: so … that, such a … that, because of, consequently manner: as if, as though comparison: as … as, than place: where, somewhere, wherever 2. Linking words of contrast a) However, nevertheless, whereas and while We use however and nevertheless to connect to clauses or sentences. Nevertheless is more formal. However can go at the beginning, middle or end of the sentence.

I trust you. However, I won’t tell you my secret. I love animals. I don’t like insect, however. We prefer to cook at home. Sometimes, however, we eat out. He robbed a bank. Nevertheless, the police never caught him. Whereas and while mean ‘on the contrary’. They are usually used in formal speech.

I like tea whereas Frank prefers coffee. While I understand your point, I totally disagree with your decision.

b) Although, though and even though Although, though and even though are synonyms and are used to show contrast. Though can be used at the end of the sentence:

Although it was raining, we went out for a walk. Even though he left the house late, he could catch the train. He went to the party although he was tired. I like cats. (But) I also like dogs, though. c) In spite of and despite In spite of and despite are used to express contrast. We use them the following way: Professional English Center Unlock your English

in spite of despite

+ noun + -ing + the fact that + clause + comma

Despite his success, he remained a shy person. In spite of his success, he lives a quiet life. Despite the fact that he succeeded in life, he is a shy person. 3. The infinitive of purpose a) To infinitive We can use the to infinitive to express purpose (why?).

I went to the shop to buy some fruits. (Why? To buy some fruits.) Peter studies hard to pass his exam. She switched off the light not to waste electricity. Note: The subject of the two verbs is the same: I went and I bought. Note: In the negative, we use not to. b) In order to and so as to If we want to express purpose, we can also use in order (not) to and so as (not) to. They are the formal version of to.

He turned the radio on She closed the window We wrote down the address

in order to so as to to in order not to so as not to

listen to the news hear the noise. forget it.

c) In order that and so that If the grammatical subjects of the two parts of the sentence are different, we use so, in order that and so that.

I emailed the photos to Jane so that she could look at them. Frank cleaned the house in order that he could make Jane happy. We bought the tickets online so we could save money. Note: We often use could in the second clause of the sentence. d) For We use for to describe how something is used. We have to use for+noun or for+gerund.

This switch is for the electricity. This course is for learning about grammar. I went to the office for a meeting. We went out for a meal. 4. Linking words of reason: a) Because, as, since Professional English Center Unlock your English

When we want to express the reason for something, we can use because, as or since. They have the same meaning but usually because is stronger than as and since. They can start the sentence, or they can go in the middle of the sentence. However, only because can start an answer to a question.

I made a sandwich because/as/since I was hungry. Because/since/as I was hungry, I made a sandwich. Note: ‘Why did you make a sandwich?’

‘Because/as/since I was hungry.’

b) So, therefore So and therefore mean ‘for this reason’. Other expressions we can use: consequently, as a result, because of that, hence.

I wanted to talk to my friend so I phoned her. I wanted to talk to my friend. Therefore/Consequently, I phoned her. Compare:

I phoned my friend because I wanted to talk to her.

c) Due to, as a result, etc. When we want to talk about the reason for something, we can use the following expressions: due to, as a result of, owing to, because of, on account of , thanks to. We have to use a noun or a gerund after these expressions.

He bought a Ferrari

due to as a result of owing to because of thanks to on account of

winning the lottery. his lottery win.

5. Linking words of result a) So To express the result of an action, we can use so. It shows cause and effect. so + adjective / adverb + that so + many/much/few/little + noun + that

He was walking so slowly that he missed the bus. She was so clever that she passed all her exams easily. There were so many people on the train that we couldn’t sit down. b) Such Such is used in the same meaning as so but in the following construction: such + (adjective) + uncount noun + that such + a(n) + (adjective) + singular count noun + that such + (adjective) + plural count noun + that

It was such nice weather that we just wanted to sit in the park. Professional English Center Unlock your English

He was such a nice person that he helped everyone. They were such lovely people that we really enjoyed talking to them. c) Too Too means ‘more than needed’. We can use it to express cause and effect. too + adjective/adverb (+ to infinitive / for someone) too + many/much too + many/much + noun (+ to infinitive / for someone)

This house is too big for our family. He is too shy to ask questions. ‘How many cars does Frank have?’ ‘Too many.’ d) Enough Enough means ‘sufficient’. We can use it to express cause and effect. adjective + enough + (+ to infinitive / for someone) adverb + enough + (+ to infinitive / for someone) enough + noun + (+ to infinitive / for someone)

We had enough money to buy a huge pizza. He run fast enough to cross the line first. Peter had enough cups and plates for the party.

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Inversions We use inversions to show emphasis. Inversion means that we use a word order that is different from the usual subject-verb-object order for affirmative sentences. 1. Subject-auxiliary inversion After certain negative adverbials, we use question word order.

Inversions after negative adverbials

Adverbs with negative meaning

Hardly … (when) Hardly ever Scarcely … (when) Rarely Little Never Seldom Barely … (when) No sooner … then Nowhere

Only + time expressions

Only Only Only Only Only Only

Only + conjunction

Only if Only by Only in this way

Not + only / time expressions

Not only … but …also/too Not until

Clauses with neither/nor

Neither … nor

With ‘may’


Negative expressions

In no way At no time Under no circumstances On no account

later after when then recently in the last few days, etc.

Under no circumstances should you arrive late to the meeting. Barely had I arrived home when the phone rang. Only later did she tell him the truth. Professional English Center Unlock your English

May the queen live long! Note: Little is used with verbs of thinking: realise, know, think suspect, etc. Little did we know we’d never meet again. Note: With adverbial that refer to a point in time (only when, not until, etc), we invert the verb in the other clause:

Only when he got to the checkout, did he realise he had left his wallet at home.

2. Subject-verb inversion In certain adverbial expressions, we use subject-verb inversion. Subject verb inversion means that we put the verb in front of the subject. We do this in the following cases: •

Expressing direction of movement with along / away / back / down / in / off / out / up + verbs of place and movement (come, go, fly, climb, run, stand, sit, sail)

Away from the noisy road stood the beautiful Victorian house. Out goes our vacation money! •

Here / there / then / next / first / now / finally + verbs of place and movement

After adverbial phrases

After participle phrases

Here comes the sun. There goes the bus!

In the town centre are the most famous monuments. Waiting at the corner was Helena.

3. Other inversion • In short answers using neither, nor, and so

So do I! Neither does he.

After as, than, so + adjective … that, such + be … that

In conditional sentences

As/though +may/might

Try as he/she/they might

Jack finished the project on time and so did his best friend. I eat more vegetables than does my brother. So expensive was the restaurant that we decided to go somewhere else. Such is his fame that he can get into most private pubs for free. Were you to win the lottery, what would you do with the money? Should you have more questions, do not hesitate to call me. Had you told me the whole story, I would have been able to help.

Impossible as it may seem, I am sure he will win the elections. Intelligent though he is, he couldn’t answer the question. Try as she might, he couldn’t win the competition. Try as they might, they were not able to find a solution.

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Cleft Sentences Cleft sentences are also called it-clauses or what-clauses because they can start with it or with relative pronouns (wh-question words). We use cleft sentences to: • show emphasis • to introduce new information or a new topic • to give reasons • to give instructions • to correct or repeat what we have just said The important information or new information goes either at the front of the sentence or at the end of the sentence. 1. at the front of the sentence in the it-clause: It + be + noun phrase/adverbial phrase + that / wh-word

It was Jack who stole the money. It is the lack of information that infuriates me most. It was last week when I first ate avocados

2. at the end of the sentence (not the wh-clause):

a) What + verb + be + new information/emphasised word What irritates me is his laziness. b) What + verb + be + the fact that + clause

What bothers me most is the fact that my boss didn’t tell me the truth. c) What + verb + be + that-clause / wh-clause

What my dad asked me immediately was why I arrived home so late. What he hoped was that we would all agree with his suggestions. d) Giving instructions

What I want you to do is (to) prepare a presentation. The (first) thing we have to do is (to) check that the passports are valid. Remember that the noun phrase and the adverbial phrase give us the new information in cleft sentences. We can also put a what-clause at the end of the sentence. (However, we cannot put an itclause at the end!)

What bothers me is tone of voice. = His tone of voice is what bothers me.

3. Other patterns of cleft sentences a) The reason (why/that) …

The reason why we need to learn English is that it is the language of business and science. b) The place (where / that / in which) …

The place / village where I grew up was at the back of beyond. c) The time (when / that) …. Professional English Center Unlock your English

The year when Sarah graduated from university was the happiest day of her life. d) The day / year, etc. (when) …

The day when my holiday started was very windy. e) The day / year, etc. on / in / at which ….

The day on which Sarah got married was a Saturday. f) The person who + verb ….

The person who knocked on the door was wearing bright yellow wellies. g) The person (who / that) + subject + verb …..

The person who Fred loves the most is his daughter.

h) The (only / first / last) thing (which / that) …

The last thing I’ve ever wanted to do was to upset you. i) All (that) ….

All (that) you discovered you must tell the police.

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Ellipsis 1. Ellipsis Ellipsis means omitting (leaving out) certain words from the sentences. We omit words because we want to avoid repetition. We can omit: • nouns • pronouns • verbs and verb phrases • infinitives • wh-clauses • adjectives As a general rule, we can omit the above words in clauses joined by and, or, but. 2. Omitting nouns and pronouns We can leave out a repeated subject in the second clause if it is connected to the first clause with and, or or but.

Gregg opened the newspaper and (Gregg) started reading. Jack wanted to buy some pizza but (he) decided not to. On Fridays, I either go to the cinema or (I) stay at home. 3. Omitting verbs We can leave out a repeated subject, auxiliary and/or verb in the second clause if it is connected to the first clause with and, but, or or.

We can have a pizza or (we can) make a sandwich. We can have a pizza or (we can have) a sandwich. We always have coffee or (we have) tea in the morning. I have finished my course but my brother hasn’t (finished his). Sarah can speak two languages fluently and so can (speak two languages) Bill. ‘Will you come to the party?’ ‘I might (do/come/go). We can leave out verbs and/or auxiliary words in comparison clauses:

Jack has read more books than Bill (has read). In present simple and past simple sentences, if we omit the repeated verb in the second clause, we must replace it with do, does or did:

I wanted to travel a lot before I turned 30 and I did (travel). 4. Omitting clauses We can leave out an infinitive phrase and a wh-clause when the meaning is clear. However, we usually have to keep the ‘to’ and we always have to keep the wh-questions word.

I’m sure I have seen him before but I don’t remember where (I saw him). She asked me not to come to the meeting although I would like to (come). You can eat all the cake if you want to (eat it). Professional English Center Unlock your English

5. Omitting adjectives We can omit a repeated adjectives and adverbials from the second clause after be.

Anna is interested in reading but Jack isn’t (interested). This film is boring but the film yesterday wasn’t (boring). Jack is already here while/but Fred isn’t (here).

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Irregular Verbs 1. Regular verbs Regular verbs form their past and past participle forms by adding –ed to the end of the verbs. Base form

Past form

Past participle

walk love hate finish

walked loved hated finished

walked loved hated finished

2. Irregular verbs Irregular verbs form their past and past participle forms differently from regular verbs. They usually do not use the –ed ending. Base form

Past form

Past participle

think eat

thought ate

thought eaten

Some verbs can have both regular and irregular forms. Base form

Past form

Past participle

dream learn

dreamt/dreamed learnt/learned

dreamt/dreamed learnt/learned

3. All forms the same In some cases, all the three forms (present, past and participle) are the same:

Base form

Past form

Past participle

cut put read hit bet burst set shut

cut put read hit bet burst set shut

cut put read hit bet burst set shut

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4. Two forms are the same Base form and past participle are the same: Base form

Past form

Past participle

come become run

came became ran

come become run

Base form and past participle are the same: Base form

Past form

Past participle

keep mean pay feel

kept meant paid felt

kept meant paid felt

5. Ending in –en Sometimes the past participle can end in –en. The -en can attach to the base form or to the past form: Base form

Past form

Past participle

choose fall speak give write speak shake eat

chose fell spoke gave wrote spoke shook ate

chosen fallen spoken given written spoken shaken eaten

6. All forms are different Sometimes all the three forms of the irregular verb are different: Base form

Past form

Past participle

go see grow blow shrink sing swim

went saw grew blew shrank sang swam

gone seen grown blown shrunk sung swum

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Spelling 1. Adding –s to nouns Most nouns simply add an –s to form the plural

book → books, computer → computers, cat → cats, edge → edges

The exceptions are: Add –es to nouns ending in:

–s or –ss: bus → buses, business → businesses –x: tax → taxes, fox → foxes, box → boxes –ch: church → churches, match → matches except: stomach → stomachs –sh: leash → leashes, dish → dishes

Nouns ending in –o can add either –s or –es

zero → zeros, studio → studios, potato → potatoes, tomato → tomatoes But: ghetto → ghettos/ghettoes, flamingo → flamingos/flamingoes Nouns that end in a consonant + -y change the –y to –ies

baby → babies, story → stories, country → countries

Nouns that end in a vowel + -y (-ay/-ey/ -oy/ -uy) only add –s

monkey → monkeys, tray → trays, toy → toys, day → days

Nouns that end in –f or –fe change to –ves

knife → knives, half → halves

2. Adding –s to verbs Most verbs simply add an –s to form the third person

eat → eats, treat → treats, sleep → sleeps, work → works

The exceptions are: Add –es to verbs ending in

–ss: miss → misses, pass → passes –zz: buzz → buzzes –x: mix – mixes, tax → taxes –ch: catch – catches, watch → watches, touch → touches –sh: push – pushes, wash → washes –o: do → does, go → goes, echo → echoes

Verbs that end in a consonant + -y change the –y to –ies

carry → carries, try → tries, study → studies

Verbs that end in a vowel + -y only add –s

pay → pays, say → says, play → plays

3. Adding –ing to verbs Most verbs simply add an –ing to the verb

eat → eating, treat → treating, sleep → sleeping, work → working

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The exceptions are: Verbs that end in an –e, lose the –e

use → using, smoke → smoking, write → writing

Verbs that end in –ee, keep the –ee

agree → agreeing, see → seeing

Verbs that end in –ic change to –ick

picnic → picnicking, traffic → trafficking

Verbs that end in –ie, change to –y

lie→ lying, tie → tying

We double the last consonant if: The verb has one syllable and ends in a vowel+consonant

sit → sitting, stop → stopping, →plan → planning except: play → playing, show → showing

The verb has two syllables and the second syllable is stressed

begin → beginning, admit → admitting but differ → differing

The verbs ends in a vowel+l

travel → travelling, equal → equallinge

4. Adjectivs and adverbs ending in -e The adjective ends in -e + r/st (comparative and superlative forms)

Fine → finer, finest late → later, latest

- The adjective ends in -e + ly (making an adverb)

nice → nicely, close → closely

- The adjective ends in -le + ply / bly, etc. (making an adverb)

simple → simply, possible → possibly

5. Doubling the final consonant We saw in a previous point above that if a verb has two syllables and the second syllable is stressed, as well as if verbs ends in a vowel+l, we double the final consonant. However, there are other situations when we have to double the final consonant: - Word ends in vowel + consonant + -ing/-ed/-er/-est:

Stop → stopped, stopping, stopper put → putting big → bigger, biggest run → runner, running set → setter, setting

6. Adding –ed to verbs Most verbs simply add an –ed to the verb

help → helped, treat → treated, work → worked

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The exceptions are: - Verbs that end in an –e, add –d

use → used, smoke → smoked, like → liked

- Verbs that end in –ee, keep the –ee

agree → agreed, free → freed

- Verbs that end in –ic change to –ick

picnic → picnicked, traffic → trafficked

- Verbs that end in a consonant+y, change to –ie

try → tried, fry → fried, reply → replied

- We double the last consonant if: - The verb has one syllable and ends in a vowel + consonant

slam → slammed, stop → stopped, →plan → planned except: play → played, show → showed

- The verb has two syllables and the second syllable is stressed

regret → regretted, admit → admitted but happen → happened

- The verbs end in a vowel+l

travel → travelled, equal → equalled

7. Possessive ‘s Most nouns simply add an ‘s to the noun.

Flat → flat’s, cat → cat’s

The Exceptions are: - Regular Plural nouns add only an ‘ (apostrophe) - Boys → boys’, cats → cats’, people → people’s - Singular proper nouns (names) ending in –s can add ‘s or ‘ - Jones → Jones’s or Jones’, The Smiths → The Smiths’s or The Smiths’ - Irregular plural nouns (not ending in –s) add ‘s - Men → men’s, children → children’s - Words like somebody, anybody, one, each other, add an ‘s - One → one’s, somebody → somebody’s 8. –ise or -ize Most words in British English can be spelt with both –ise and –ize. However, American English prefers –ize.

British: realise, organise, hypothesise American: realize, organize, hypothesize


exercise, devise, improvise, surprise, advise, supervise, etc. Some words are spelt with –yse in British English and -yze in American English:

British: Analyse, paralyse American: analyse, paralyze

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Punctuation 1. Punctuation marks The table below shows the names of the most important punctuation marks. Symbol








brackets / parentheses








exclamation mark


full stop/period




question mark




square brackets


stroke / slash & backslash


double quotation mark / speech mark /


quotation marks / inverted commas


underline / underscore

2. Capital letters We use capital letters at the beginning of the following words: Word types


Names of days and month

Monday, Tuesday, January, February

Names of holidays

Christmas, Easter, Labour Day

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Names and surnames of people

John Smith, Joe Blogs

Names of institutions, places, stars, planets, newspapers

Europe, The Thames, Sirius, Mars, The New York Times

Titles of people

Mr, Miss, Dr, Professor Black, Admiral Webb

Nouns and adjectives referring to countries and nationalities

Britain, British, Germany, German, Spain, Spanish

The first word and other important words of book and movie titles

Star Wars, Captain America, Gulliver’s Travels, The Catcher in the Rye

3. Here is a summary that tells you when to use the various punctuation marks. Hyphen (-)

Full stop (.)

To create compound words

Off-limits, bottle opener, topsy-turvy, nicelooking

With some prefixes

Post-war, ex-wife, self-centered, co-worker

With numbers from 21 to 99 and fractions

Twenty-eight, thirty-two, two-fifth

To show the end of the sentence

Cats like milk.

After people’s initials and titles

F. J. Kennedy, Dr. P. Black, Mr. Smith

In some abbreviations

Mr., Mrs., U.S., lb.

Question mark (?)

At the end of questions

Exclamation mark (!)

At the end of a command or exclamation

Comma (,)

After ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in answers

No, I’ve never met her. Yes, I know it.

After greetings

Hi, how are you? Dear Sir, Yours sincerely,

Between words in a list (except when we use ‘and’ or ‘or’)

He likes cars, books, bikes and trains.

In addresses

34 Main Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire

In dates

18th May, 2016

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Apostrophe (‘)

Quotation marks (‘..’)

In numbers after the thousands

5,349 / 123,569 / 45,864

After subordinate clauses

If you finish your dinner, you can go out to play.

Before question tags

You like him, don’t you?

In relative clauses???

Mr. Smith, who was born in 1902, worked in the coal mines of England.

Before and after adverbs

I’d, however, like to live abroad. Actually, he was promoted.

In contractions

It’s (it is), they’re (they are), I’d (I had / I would), can’t (can not), isn’t, aren’t, wouldn’t, etc

With irregular plurals

Do’s and don’t’s, three M.P.’s

In the possessive

Jack’s book, Elena’s frog

When we quote other people’s words To emphasize words Sometimes around titles of books, movies, etc.

Colon (:)

Before explanations Before quotations

Semi-colon (;)

Between grammatically separate sentences

Dash (–)

In informal writing to extend the sentence with an extra thought Instead of a colon, or brackets

Ellipses (…)

To indicate omission or hesitation in speech

Square brackets []

To explain words in a sentence To indicate when a text is changed slightly

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I’d love to see all the capital cities – Paris, London, Berlin, all of them.

Pronouns, Determiners 1. Pronouns There are different pronouns in English depending on their position in the sentence: Subject pronouns

Object pronouns

Possessive determiners







I you he she it

we you they

me you him her it

us you them

my your his her its

our your their

Subject pronouns replace the subject of the sentence and object pronouns replace the object. Possessive determiners show us possession and go in front of the noun. Study carefully this table of the English reflexive and possessive pronouns. Reflexive pronouns

Possessive pronouns





myself yourself himself herself itself

ourselves yourselves themselves

mine yours his hers its

ours yours theirs

We use reflexive pronouns to refer back to the subject of the sentence. Possessive pronouns replace a noun and show possession at the same time. 2. Subject and object Subject pronouns stand in subject position in the sentence, and object pronouns stand in object position. Study the following examples: Subject



He We I

saw met heard

her. them. you.

3. Possessives The possessive determiners always stand before the noun. The possessive determiner + noun combination can be either the subject or object of the sentence. Professional English Center Unlock your English

Possessive pronouns replace the noun they refer to. They stand alone and can be the subject or the object of the sentence. Study the following examples:

This is my book. This is mine. / This book is mine. ‘Whose car is it?’ ‘It is his car.’ or ‘It is his.’ / ‘The car is his.’ ‘Their garden is huge! What about yours?’ ‘Mine is small.’ 4. Reflexive pronouns Reflexive pronouns always refer back to the subject and they usually stand in object position. Study the following examples:

I cut myself with a knife. He quickly washed himself.

We can also use reflexive pronouns to emphasise that the subject did an action. Look at the following examples:

Peter repaired the car himself. We baked the cakes ourselves.

5. Each other, etc. Look at the following examples:

Peter and Tom looked at themselves in the mirror.

Peter looked at himself (Peter) and Tom looked at himself (Tom).

Peter and Tom measured each other / one another. Peter measured Tom and Tom measured Peter.

Peter and Sarah looked at someone else.

Peter and Sarah looked at a third person.

6. There or it? Both there and it can be used in several different ways. 1. We use it to refer to specific things:

It is an expensive blue car.

2. We use it to talk about time, whether and distance:

It is 5 o’clock. How far is it from the bank?

3. We use there to talk about the existence of a thing:

There are two people talking at the corner.

4. We can also use there in the meaning of ‘a far place’:

Yesterday I went there but I couldn’t find anyone at home.

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Determiners and pronouns 1. Some/any + body/thing Some words can be used both as pronouns and determines. We are going to look at these words. The following indefinite pronoun combinations are possible: some body / one any + thing every where Somebody/one, something, somewhere are used in positive sentences or in questions when we expect a ‘yes’ answer. Anybody/one, anything, anywhere are used in questions and negative sentences. Everybody/one, everything, everywhere are always followed by a singular verb. 2. One, ones We use one and ones when we do not want to repeat a countable noun. ‘The one’ is used instead of a countable singular noun:

‘Which car would you like?’ ‘The one with 5 seats.’

‘a + adjective + one’ is used to replace a countable singular noun:

‘I’d like a coffee, please. A strong one.’

‘Ones’ is used instead of a countable plural noun:

‘I like your cakes, especially the ones with cream.’

3. All, most, some If we talk about general things, we use all/most/some + plural nouns:

All dogs have two legs. Most flowers are nice. Some people are rude. To talk about a concrete group of things or people, we can say all/most/some of + the + noun:

All (of) the dogs in this town are dangerous. (note: ‘of’ is optional with ‘all’) Some of the students in this school want to go to university. If we don’t want to repeat the noun, we can use all/most/some + of + it/the/us/you: ‘Where’s the cake?’ ‘Sorry. I ate all of it.’ 4. Both, (n)either, none Both/either/neither + noun refer to two things. Both is followed by a plural noun + plural verb and either/neither are followed by a singular noun + singular verb.

Both girls are very pretty. Either car is good for me. (= it doesn’t matter which one) Neither house is big enough. (= none of the two)

We can also say:

Both of the girls or both the girls

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Either of the cars Neither of the houses Both/either/neither can also stand alone to refer to a noun:

‘Which one do you like?’ ‘Both.’

5. Each and every Each and every have a similar meaning. But: each looks at things individually and every looks at things collectively. Each + singular noun (+ singular verb)

Each book is useful. I like each book.

Each + of + plural noun/determiner (+ singular verb) Each of these books is good. I love each of you. Every + singular noun (+ singular verb)

Every day is hot. They visited every museum.

Every one + of + the+ plural nouns/determiner (+ singular verb) Every one of the flats has been sold. I want to talk to every one of you. 6. Much, many, few, etc. Study carefully the following table: countable plural nouns much many

uncountable nouns

positive sentence

✓ ✓

little few

lots, a lot, plenty

✓ ✓ (possible)

negatives and questions

✓ ✓

Note the difference in the following constructions: I have few friends/little time. (= not a lot, negative meaning) I have a few friends/a little time. (= some, positive meaning) 7. All, whole Whole means the ‘entire’. All can also mean ‘entire’ or ‘the total available’. Note the difference in the constructions.

the whole day / all day the whole cake / all the cake her whole life / all her life his whole house / all his house

The whole day was a disaster. (=from beginning to end) Professional English Center Unlock your English

We were shopping all day. He worked hard all his life. His whole life was dedicated to his children.

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The Articles 1. The definite article The definite article is: the. It has only one form, the, which is used for both singular and plural nouns:

the book, the house, the table the sofas, the families, the children

The is also used for uncountable nouns:

the cheese, the air, the furniture

2. Use of the definite article when something has been mentioned before:

‘Has he got a car?’ ‘Yes. The car he has is expensive.’

with of:

the colour of my skirt

when only one of something exists:

the President, the Pope, the moon, the sky

when referring to groups of people or nationalities:

the rich, the sick, the English, the Russian

when talking about species (in the context of biology):

The lion is a carnivorous animal.

when talking about musical instruments:

I play the guitar. He plays the piano.

with the media:

the press, the news, the radio, the papers, the tv

with superlatives and ordinal numbers:

But: I watch television. the first, the second, the best, the only, the last

when talking about parts of the body:

He was hurt on the head.

when talking about geographical features: 1. oceans, rivers, mountains:

1. the Themes, the Alps, the Pacific

2. regions:

2. the Middle East, the Sahara, the Amazon

3. groups of islands: 4. some countries:

3. the Solomon Islands, the Caribbean

5. other:

4. the USA, the Ukraine, The UK, the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands

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5. the sea, the coast, the hills, the mountains, the countryside with the dates (only in speech):

the twentieth of July, October the fifth

talking about entertainment:

the cinema, the theatre, the opera, the museum

when referring to hotels and restaurants:

the Hilton, the Grand Hotel, the Oriental

with expressions:

the traffic, in the morning, in the afternoon, the metro, the doctor, the dentist, the hospital, the supermarket, the bank

❖ 3. The indefinite article The indefinite articles are: a and an. We use a in front of a consonant sound

a book, a table, a hotel, a moment, a tall father, a blue car, a nice pie, a fire

We use an in front of a vowel sound

an apple, an hour, an architect, an animal, an important decision, an efficient worker

The plural of a/an is zero or some/any

a cat – cats, some cats a cinema – cinemas, some cinemas

4. The use of the indefinite article when we mention something for the first time:

‘He’s just bought a house.’ ‘Wow. That’s fantastic.’

when we talk about one item of a group:

I’d like to buy a car.

with adjective + noun:

We saw a huge, black panther.

when talking about somebody’s job:

She is a high school teacher.

when talking about a kind/example of something:

We bottle a fine wine. (= a type of fine wine)

when talking about amounts:

a kilo of potatoes, a thousand litre of water

difference between a and one:

I’d like a slice of cake please. ‘But: ‘I wanted only one slice, not two!’

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when talking about frequency, price, distance (meaning per)

When talking about illnesses:

With what and such when using singular, countable nouns:

5 miles an hour, two pound a kilo, twice a week I have a cold. I have a headache. I have a pain in my arm. Except: flue, blood pressure and plural diseases (measles, mumps) What a nice day! Such a lovely dog.

5. The zero article The zero article means no article.

I like Ă˜ travelling. He eats Ă˜ meat every day. We bought Ă˜ bananas. 6. The use of the zero article with names of people, places, companies, countries, etc.:

Jack lives in London. I am friends with both Mary and Peter.

with names of meals:

have dinner, have lunch

with the names of some illnesses:

He has high blood pressure.

when talking about travelling:

go by car/train

with plural nouns when talking in general:

Katie likes exotic animals.

with uncountable nouns when talking in general:

Cheese is made from milk.

when talking about certain places where the function of the place is the most important:

in hospital / at work / in prison / in bed / at school / at university

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Prepositions 1. Use of ‘in We use in with: Months

in September in May


in 1996, in 1976 in 2004, in 2054


in summer, in winter in spring, in autumn


in the 17th century in the 21st century in the Bronze Age

Main parts of the day

in the morning in the afternoon in the evening

2. Use of ‘on We use on with: Days (especially with the word ‘day’)

on on on on on

Monday, on Friday weekdays Thursday morning a good day Christmas Day,


on 16th September on 30th October on the fourth of May

3. Use of ‘at’ We use at with: Times

at 9am at half past eleven at 3 o’clock

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A point of time

at the start at the beginning/end at midnight at noon, at night at lunch time

Special days (without the word ‘day’)

at Christmas at Easter at the weekend


at first, at last, at once, ect.

4. In, during, while In and during often mean the same:

in summer = during summer in the night = during the night

During emphasizes the duration:

It rained every day during the holidays.

Both while and during refer to duration but compare: During + noun

during the film during the break

5. Use of ‘by By means ‘no later than’.

While + subject + verb + object

while we were watching the film while I was having a break


Applications to be received by Friday the 20 June. (= on or before Friday, not later th

than Friday the 20 June.)

by the end of the year / by 2pm on Tuesday / by Sunday morning / by now / by the time you arrive home 6. Use of ‘until Until (or till) refers to the duration of an activity and show how long something will continue. It means that something continues until a moment in the future.

I will be in a meeting until four o’clock this afternoon. (=the meeting will continue until

four, it will stop at four o’clock)

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7. Use of ‘for, in’ In shows how quickly something happens (how long it takes to do something).

Dad will come home in four days. The train journey finished in an hour.

For shows the duration of an action (how long in lasts):

We stayed in Birmingham for 2 days. He went to Tibet for August.

8. Expressions on time = punctual, exact time in time = ok time, not late but almost late in the end = finally at the end (of something) = when something finishes at



at midnight

in the morning

on Wednesday afternoon

at noon

in the afternoon

on Sunday evening

at lunch time

in the evening

on a fine day

at dusk/dawn

in half an hour

on my birthday

at the same time

in a few minutes

on the day of the wedding

at present

in a moment

on the day of something

at the time

in a second

on time

at last

in time

On New Year’s Day

at the end

in the present

on his anniversary

at night

in the past

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Prepositions of Place and Movement 1. Use of ‘in, at, on’ in



refers to an area or volume

refers to a point, place or event

refers to a surface

in the building

at the airport

on the wall

in Europe / Asia

at the bus stop

on the screen

in London

at the bank

on the window

in New York

at the library

on the floor

in the garden

at home

on the door

in the park

at church

on a page

in the street

at school

on a sheet of paper

in the room

at a concert

on the bed

in bed

at a dinner

on the ceiling

in hospital

at a meeting

on the ground

in prison

at a party

on the grass

in church

at (address)

on the beach

in a queue

at the top

on the right

in a row

at the bottom

on the left

in a line

at the end

on the left-hand side

in the sky

at the back

on the right-hand side

in the world

at the front

on a menu

in the country

at the corner

on a list

in the photograph

at sea

on the ground floor

in a book

at work

on the first floor

in a magazine

at college

on a river

in a newspaper

at university

on the river Thames

in the world

at a dance

on the way

in the corner

at a wedding

on a bus/plane on the train/ship

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2. The use of ‘beside, besides, by’ ‘in addition, as well as, except’ besides

Jack was at the party besides Frank and Sally. ‘except’ He invited everyone to his birthday party besides me!


‘next to’ Our house is beside /by the post office. ‘next to’ Our house is beside /by the post office. ‘beyond, past an area or object’ My friend went right by me yesterday without saying hello.


‘using a vehicle’ Jack commutes to work by car. ‘right next to, close’ The hotel is right by the airport 3. The use of ‘between/among’ and ‘like/as’ between between two people among among more than two people like means ‘similar to’ as ‘in the role of, function’

My room is between the kitchen and the living room. The teacher divided the sweets among the students. Phil works like a machine! (=he similarly to a machine, perhaps fast, precise, etc) My sister works as an accountant. (=she is an accountant

4. The use of ‘near/on’ and ‘above/over near

‘not far’ I live near the airport.


‘right next to, along a line’ My uncle lives right on the motorway. ‘at a higher place (not touching)’ The lamp is above the table.



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‘at a higher level (general)’ The sky above/over us is bright at night. ‘at a higher place (touching)’ The blanket is over the bed.

Verbs with Preposition 1. The use of prepositions with verbs In the English language, verbs are very often followed by a preposition.

We are talking about the exam results. Did you listen to radio this afternoon? Scientists experiment with different chemicals. Note: When a verb + preposition is followed by another verb, this verb will use the gerund form.

We are talking about buying a new car. She insisted on paying for the meal.

2. Verb patterns Verb



We talked They listened

about to

the holiday the radio




We talked They listened

about to

the holiday the radio





Obj / -ing

He argued We talked

with to

his wife the manager

about about

the cleaning. the finances.




Object / -ing

They blamed We congratulated

the student them

for on

breaking the window. on their wedding.

3. Verbs with different prepositions Some verbs can be followed by different prepositions. Usually this involves a change in meaning. Here are a few examples:

We talked to the boss. We talked about the weather. I am thinking about taking some time off. (considering)

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What do you think of the new teacher? (What’s your opinion?) I’ve just thought of a cool present for Jane. (the idea came to my mind) 4. About and of Think about = consider, concentrate on something Think of = have an idea or opinion What are you thinking about? (=what’s on your mind?) What do you think of the new boss? (=opinion) Hear about= hear something new, news, new information Hear of = to know about the existence of something Hear from = receive information from someone

Have you heard about the accident last night? ‘Do you know Tom Cruise?’ ‘I’ve never heard of him.’ I haven’t heard from Fred for months.

5. The use of ‘for’ Pay for something = when we buy something, we pay for it. Ask for something = if you want to have something, you have to ask for it. Apologise for something and say sorry for something = if you do something bad or wrong, you have to apologise/say sorry for it Thank somebody for something = if somebody helps you, you have to thank them for it.

Thank you for helping me yesterday. I would like to pay for the drinks. How much are they? I am really sorry for being late. I apologise for the delay. 6. The use of ‘on’ Here are some examples of common verbs which always use the preposition on. depend on rely on spend on congratulate on concentrate on insist on

I can always rely on my best friend for advice. What do you spend your free time on? We congratulated him on graduating from high school. I can’t concentrate on my work in this noise.

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Nouns, Adjectives with Prepositions 1. Nouns and adjectives with prepositions Nouns and adjectives are often followed by a preposition. Nouns take the same preposition as the adjective or verb they are related to. noun

adjective / verb

kindness of success in

kind of succeed in successful in decide on object to

decision on objection to

2. Examples of nouns with prepositions relationship with contract with connection with damage to thanks to discussion about debate about admiration for insistence on decision on attack on excuse for responsibility for increase in decrease in fall from

agreement with reply to information about punishment for advice on respect for delay in call from

3. Examples of adjectives with prepositions good at bad at excellent at married to engaged to pleased with impressed with angry with keen on famous for responsible for suitable for scared of frightened of aware of capable of sick of tired of bored of fond of different from/to embarrassed about successful in influential in interested in

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