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2012 “Making your Language Grow” Booklet

Year 6

Ceci Bonardi - Mónica Kuriger 1


Definite and Indefinite Articles Professions

The indefinite article a (or an) indicates any one of the things for which the noun stands.

a girl, a car, a computer, a hawk, a pencil, a tent, an architect, an apple

The is called the definite article because it refers to a particular person or thing in the sentence. It is used when the thing or person we are talking about has already been mentioned.

The woman walks. The girls play. The dog runs.

Use the when you refer to a particular thing, which you want to distinguish from similar things.

The book which I am reading is interesting. The garden is near the house. The houses of Cairo are high. The cotton of Egypt is of good quality.

When to Omit the Definite Article 1) When speaking of anything used in a general sense,

Water is necessary to plants. Cotton is exported from South Carolina 2) Omit the when a noun is used in a general sense in the plural.

Ships are built at the harbor. Clothes are needed in cold climates. Professions a doctor - a teacher – a plumber – a dentist – a contractor – a lawyer – a graphic designer an engineer – an accountant – an optician – an artist – an actor Practice

Say vs. Tell Say and tell have similar meanings. They both mean to communicate verbally with someone. But we often use them differently. The simple way to think of say and tell is: You say something You say something to somebody You tell someone something

You say something

You tell someone something

Ram said that he was tired.

Ram told Jane that he was tired.

Anthony says you have a new job.

Anthony tells me you have a new job.

Tara said: "I love you."

Tara told John that she loved him.

Practice Prepositions Prepositions of Place at






at the corner

in the garden

on the wall

at the bus stop

in London

on the ceiling

at the door

in France

on the door

at the top of the page

in a box

on the cover

at the end of the road

in my pocket

on the floor

at the entrance

in my wallet

on the carpet

at the crossroads

in a building

on the menu

at the entrance

in a car

on a page

Notice the use of the prepositions of place at, in and on in these standard expressions at



at home

in a car

on a bus

at work

in a taxi

on a train

at school

in a helicopter

on a plane

at university

in a boat

on a ship

at college

in a lift (elevator)

on a bicycle, on a motorbike

at the top

in the newspaper

on a horse, on an elephant

at the bottom

in the sky

on the radio, on television

at the side

in a row

on the left, on the right

at reception

in Oxford Street

on the way

Prepositions of Time at






at 3 o'clock

in May

on Sunday

at 10.30am

in summer

on Tuesdays

at noon

in the summer

on 6 March

at dinnertime

in 1990

on 25 Dec. 2010

at bedtime

in the 1990s

on Christmas Day

at sunrise

in the next century

on Independence Day

Notice the use of the preposition of time at in the following standard expressions:



at night

The stars shine at night. I don't usually work at the

at the weekend

weekend. I stay with my family at

at Christmas/Easter

Christmas. We finished the test at the

at the same time

same time. He's not home at present. Try

at present


Notice the use of the prepositions of time in and on in these common expressions:



in the morning

on Tuesday morning

in the mornings

on Saturday mornings

in the afternoon(s)

on Sunday afternoons

in the evening(s)

on Monday evening


Simple Present – Simple Past

Present Simple

Simple Past

Actions done regularly

I always study English on Tuesday.

Used to show a completed action

I studied English last Saturday.






Simple Present

Do - does

Do/does + infinitive

I don’t like chocolate

Does he like to watch football?


Did + infinitive

I didn’t go to school yesterday

Did you watch the match last night?

Simple Past

“Do” is both an auxiliary and main verb

Simple Present I, we, you, they I do my homework in the evenings.

I don't do my homework in the evenings.* he, she, it

He does his homework in the evenings.

He doesn't do his homework in the evenings.*

*Note: Here we use do in the negative sentence as an auxiliary and as a main verb.

Simple Past

I did my homework in the evenings.

I didn't do my homework in the evenings.**

**Note: Here we use did in the negative sentence as an auxiliary and do as a main verb.


Words often Confused

Were – where The kids were in the garden a moment ago. Do you know where they are now? The boxes were in the garage yesterday. Where do you think I should put the boxes now? Live – leave I live in a comfortable apartment in the centre of the city. I will never leave this place. My friends live in a quiet and solitary place. Leave the place as soon as you can! Their – there My friends are living in Canada at the moment, but their parents are still in USA. They live in a beautiful place by the sea. Would you like to spend your life there? Those are my new neighbours. Their house is the most beautiful of the area. Who wouldn’t like to live there?

Practice Make sentences using the frequently confused words

Whose - Who’s These words sound the same, but how do you know which one to use? The easiest way is to remember that ‘who’s’ is a contraction – it is short for ‘who is’ or ‘who has’. ‘Whose’ is used when something belongs to someone. If ‘who is’ or ‘who has’ doesn’t fit in the sentence, then the word ‘whose’ will probably be used. Complete these sentences inserting the correct word. 1.

______ coming to the party?

2. ______ coat is this? 3. ______ gone to the library? 4. The woman, ______ son won a year’s supply of chocolate, was not happy as she was a health freak! 5.

I’d like to know ______ going to pay for the dinner?

6. As the night drew in we were all wondering ______ going to go out and get the take away? 7. The teacher asked, “______ done their homework?” 8. Sitting on the train, I noticed a suitcase. I didn’t know ______ it was, so I left it there. 9. Jed exclaimed, “I found ten pounds on the floor, ______ is it? 10. ______ the Prime Minister at the moment? 11. “This is ridiculous, ______ got the remote control now?” moaned dad. 12. The identical twins liked to play tricks on people. “______ who?” was often cried by those around them! Your - you’re 1. ___________ going to be very late for school. 2. ___________ shoes are really cool. ___________ going to make everyone jealous. 3. Do what ___________ told! 4. ___________ spelling has really improved. Two - to - too 1. In the last World Cup, he scored ___________ goals. 2. He had ___________ go ___________ see the headteacher. 3. She watched ___________ much television. 4. She was ___________ angry ___________ say anything. 5. It rained every day for ___________ weeks.

Parts of Speech

Basic Rules

Nouns: names people, places, things, events, and ideas. They can be common or proper, concrete or abstract. Pronouns: takes the place of a noun (person, place, thing, event, or idea) Adjectives: words that describe or limit nouns and pronouns. Verbs: words that show action, thought or feelings, or state of being. Adverbs: words that modify verbs or that intensify verbs, other adverbs, or adjectives. Prepositions: words that act like adjectives to describe nouns or pronouns, and adverbs that modify verbs or verb phrases. Conjunctions: words that connect words or phrases in a sentence. Interjections: words that bring excitement into a sentence Adjectives describe nouns, telling us more about them.

Instead of___________________ use ___________________



















satisfactory fluffy



good looking twiggy











short- run











good enough filthy

haired neat






weensy keen















weeny beneficial




huge great


Using adverbs

Adverbs are words that modify: a verb (He drove slowly. — How did he drive?) an adjective (He drove a very fast car. — How fast was his car?) another adverb (She moved quite slowly down the aisle. — How slowly did she move?) Adverbs often tell when, where, why or under what conditions something happens or happened. Adverbs frequently end in -ly; however; many words and phrases not ending in -ly serve an adverbial function and an ly ending is not a guarantee that a word is an adverb. The words lovely, lonely, motherly, friendly, neighbourly, for instance, are adjectives. That lovely woman lives in a friendly neighbourhood. Adverbs can modify adjectives, but an adjective cannot modify an adverb. Thus we would say that "the students showed a really wonderful attitude" and that "the students showed a wonderfully casual attitude. Like adjectives, adverbs can have comparative and superlative forms to show degree. Walk faster if you want to keep up with me. We often use more and most, less and least to show degree with adverbs: With sneakers on, she could move more quickly among the patients. The flowers were the most beautifully arranged creations I've ever seen. She worked less confidently after her accident. That was the least skilfully done performance I've seen in years.

One of the hallmarks of adverbs is their ability to move around in a sentence. Adverbs of manner are particularly flexible in this regard. Solemnly the minister addressed her congregation. The minister solemnly addressed her congregation. The minister addressed her congregation solemnly.

The following adverbs of frequency appear in various points in these sentences: Before the main verb: I never get up before nine o'clock. Between the auxiliary verb and the main verb: I have rarely written to my brother without a good reason. Before the verb used to: I always used to see him at his summer home.

Adverbs of manner

Adverbs of place

Adverbs of time

Recently quickly

Adverbs of purpose

To .........


Adverbs of frequency Every day/ morning/ afternoon

















The next day


The following week Adverbs of time are

Example: She shops

They are put

usually put at the end

in several stores to

directly before

of the sentence.

get the best buys

the main verb. If

She drives her boat These adverbs are put

Like adverbs of

slowly to avoid

behind the direct

manner, these

hitting the rocks.

object (or behind the

adverbs are put

verb if there's no

behind the direct

direct object)

object or the verb.

'be' is the main verb and there is no auxiliary verb, adverbs of frequency are put behind 'be'. Is there an auxiliary verb, however, adverbs of frequency are put before 'be'.




Beth swims

enthusiastically in the pool

every morning

before dawn

to keep in shape.

Dad walks


into town

every afternoon

before supper

to get a newspaper.

in her room

every morning

before lunch.

Tashonda naps




Clauses – Main and Subordinate A clause is a group of words that contains a verb (and usually other components too). A clause may form part of a sentence or it may be a complete sentence in itself. For example:

He was eating a bacon sandwich. [clause]

She had a long career

but she is remembered mainly for one early work.



Main Clause: Every sentence contains at least one main clause. A main clause may form part of a compound sentence or a complex sentence, but it also makes sense on its own, as in the example:

He was eating a bacon sandwich. [main clause]

Compound Sentences: are made up of two or more main clauses linked by a conjunction such as and, but, or so, as in the following examples:

I love sport


I’m captain of the local football team.

[main clause]


[main clause]

She was born in Spain


her mother is Polish.

[main clause]


[main clause]

Subordinate Clause: A subordinate clause depends on a main clause for its meaning. Together with a main clause, a subordinate clause forms part of a complex sentence. Here are two examples of sentences containing subordinate clauses:

After we had had lunch,

we went back to work.

[subordinate clause]

[main clause]

I first saw her in Paris,

where I lived in the early nineties.

[main clause]

[subordinate clause]

There is one type of subordinate clause that can cause problems, known as relative clause.

Relative Clause: a relative clause is one connected to a main clause by a word such as: which – that – whom – whose – when – who

I first saw her in Paris,

where I lived in the early nineties.

[main clause]

[relative clause]

She wants to be with Thomas,

who is best suited to take care of her.

[main clause]

[relative clause]

I was wearing the dress

that I bought to wear to Jo's party.

[main clause]

[relative clause]

Using Relative Clauses Have you ever wondered about when to use that and when to use which or who in this type of sentence? In fact, for much of the time that is interchangeable with either of these words. For example: √ You’re the only person who has ever listened to me. √ You’re the only person that has ever listened to me.

√ It’s a film that should be seen by everyone. √ It’s a film which should be seen by everyone. When referring to something, rather than someone, that tends to be the usual choice in everyday writing and conversation in British English. However, there is one main case when you should not use that to introduce a relative clause. This is related to the fact that there are two types of relative clause: a restrictive relative clause and a non-restrictive relative clause.

Practice - Spotting different clauses Underline either the main or the subordinate clauses of each of these sentences. 1. Tom, who played rugby twice a week, was athletic. Underline the subordinate clause. 2. Magicians perform tricks which appear impossible. Underline the main clause. 3. Watching scary films, shown late at night, is foolish. Underline the subordinate clause. 4. Kelly enjoys listening to her iPod which is pink. Underline the main clause. 5. The corridor, on the left, leads down to the dungeons. Underline the subordinate clause. 6. The dog barked at the burglar who was stealing the diamonds. Underline the main clause. 7. Pets, properly cared for, act obediently. Underline the subordinate clause.


Writing paragraphs A paragraph is a group of sentences that form a unit. It is the unity of ideas. In a paragraph, you must include a controlling idea. All the information in your paragraph should have a relationship to this controlling idea. Choose information that helps to support your controlling idea.

Parts of a paragraph


Topic sentence

o o o

First sentence in a paragraph Introduces the main idea Gives the reader a clear sense of the content

2. Supporting details

o o

Information after the topic sentence Gives details to develop the main idea of the paragraph (facts, examples, etc)

o o

Last sentence of a paragraph Round up of the main idea in different words

3. Concluding sentence

Example: Mexico is a wonderful place to visit.

Here, the topic is Mexico, and the controlling idea is that it is a wonderful place to visit. Supporting details in the rest of the paragraph should tell us why Mexico is such a great place to visit.

Topic sentence In a paragraph, generally the first sentence is the topic sentence. There is strict connection between the main idea and the topic sentence. The topic sentence is shaped by the controlling idea. The controlling idea is the focus and is placed generally at the beginning of the paragraph.

Supporting sentences The supporting sentences are the developing part which improves major ideas. While writing supporting sentences, the controlling idea must be fully explained, discussed and exemplified.

Concluding sentence Generally, a concluding sentence is a restatement of the topic sentence. It gives the same information as the topic sentence but it is expressed in a different way. While writing a concluding sentence, we can use adverbs such as “all in all, consequently, in conclusion, in short, in summary”. Example: My special treasure is a picture of my mother on her fifteenth birthday. This picture is always in my house when I was growing up. Years later when I got married and moved to Montreal, my mother gave it to me so that I would always remember her. Now, it sits on my table next to my bed. I look at it and, imagine my mother’s life on that day. I think she was excited because her eyes are shining with happiness. Her smile is shy as if she were thinking about a secret. She is standing next to rose bush, and the roses are taller than she is. She is wearing a beautiful white lace dress and black shoes. Her hair is long and curly. She looks lovely in this peaceful place, and I feel calm when I gaze into her eyes at the end of my busy day. This picture of my mother is my most valuable possession

Antecedent An antecedent is the word(s) to which a pronoun refers. Do not use a pronoun without mentioning its antecedent first. Examples:


Punctuation Marks The Comma The comma is a punctuation mark (,) which is used to indicate the separation of elements within the grammatical structure of a sentence. The Semicolon The Semicolon is a punctuation mark (;) which is used to connect independent clauses indicating a closer relationship between the clauses than a period, or full stop, does The Colon The colon is a punctuation mark (:) which is used to direct attention to matter (such as a list, an explanation, a quotation, or amplification) that follows. The Period or Full Stop The period, or full stop, is a punctuation mark (.) which is used to mark the end of a sentence. The Interrogation or Question Mark The interrogation or question mark is a punctuation mark (?) which is used at the end of a sentence to indicate a direct question. The Exclamation Mark The exclamation mark is a punctuation mark (!) which is used especially after an interjection or exclamation to indicate forceful utterance or strong feeling. The Dash The dash is a punctuation mark (-) which is used especially to indicate a break in the thought or structure of a sentence. Let’s play a game

And do some exercises


Paper 1

Writing Non-Fiction

Purpose and Audience Text Structure Sentence Structure Punctuation Spelling

Paper 2

Writing Fiction

Content Audience Text structure Sentence structure Punctuation Vocabulary Spelling

Audience: There should be a clear viewpoint with a clear and consistent relationship between the writer and the reader.

Text Structure: The paragraphs should be well-crafted. Dialogues should be laid out correctly. Sentence structure: Use some compound and complex sentences as well as a range of connectives. Punctuation: Sentences should be demarcated accurately, including appropriate speech punctuation. Vocabulary: Use words effectively to create strong image. Use similes and metaphors. Spelling: The spelling should be accurate,

Making your Language Grow  

Grammar and Writing Exercises

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