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Active and Passive voice Events may be related in the active or the passive voice. In the passive, the person or thing receiving the action becomes the grammatical subject. For example (the entity receiving the action is in boldface): active voice: Eric Rohmer made this film. passive voice: This film was made by Eric Rohmer. One forms the passive by conjugating the verb "to be" before the past participle of the principal verb. the tense of the verb "to be" will determine the tense of action. When an agent of the action (that is, the person or entity performing the action) must be described, one does so by using the preposition "by": This industry will soon be developed in the third world. Sorry, but this car has been purchased by another customer. English uses the passive voice frequently, although it is best to avoid it when possible. An option is to use an impersonal subject, such as "one" or "someone" (passive voice): This job needs to be done. (active voice): Someone needs to do this job. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

[NOTE IN THE ABOVE CHART “shape” (round, square) should be put between “age” and “color”, and the “noun” column should be separated from the other columns, with a + inserted.] Example: We rented a nice little brown log cabin by a lake. Note: We usually limit the number of adjectives preceding a noun to three. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns Demonstrative adjectives Demonstrative adjectives have two singular forms (this, that) and two plural forms (these, those). These adjectives are used to designate proximity to an object, or to distinguish between an object that is close (in time or space) and one that is more remote. Usually "this" and "these" signal proximity, while "that" and "those" suggest distance: These books are too expensive. This car is responsive. That man irritates me! This hotel is more expensive than that one.

Demonstrative pronouns Demonstrative pronouns have the same form as the demonstrative adjectives, but are used without the nouns to which they refer. In the singular, when designating a specific object, the pronoun "one" is often added: These tomatoes are fresher than those. These are better than those. Would you like a little of this? That strikes me as really weird! The book is more interesting than that one. In front of a relative pronoun, the demonstrative pronoun becomes "the one" or "the ones" (when speaking of things), or "he / she who", "they who" (when speaking of people): This film is the one that you hated so much. He who eats well works well. This pen is the one with which the President signed the new law.

Related topics Relative pronouns Subject pronouns Reflexive pronouns Object pronouns Reciprocal pronouns Possessive pronouns Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Possession Possessive adjectives Possessive pronouns "To belong" The "s" of possession "Whose"

In English possession may be expressed in five different ways: Possessive adjectives Possessive adjectives agree with the person to whom they refer: I --> my you --> your he, her, it --> his (masculine), her (feminine), its (impersonal) we --> our they --> their So, I have lost my keys. They are coming in their car. I met your grandparents. This car has lost its power. Note: In English the possessive adjective is used to refer to parts of the body: She brushes her teeth twice a day. He broke his arm playing soccer. His stomach aches. Possessive pronouns Possessive pronouns, like the adjectives, agree with the person to whom they refer. Singular and plural share the same form: I --> mine your --> yours he, she, it --> his (masculine), hers (feminine), its (impersonal) we --> ours they --> theirs So, I have my likes, and she has hers. If you give me one of yours, I'll give you one of mine. I like our house, but frankly, I am jealous of theirs! That's mine!

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

The "s" of possession One may add "--'s" to any noun in order to indicate possession: I just read Gustave's book. The front door's lock is broken. Many of the world's countries are poor.


Note: Do not confuse the "s" of possession with the contraction of the verb "is": Fred's going to fetch it. (= Fred is going to fetch it.) The train's late again. (=The train is late again.)

"Whose" for indicating possession "Whose" will be placed before the possession (the object possessed), and will refer ownership to the preceding noun: The man whose dog bit me said he was sorry. (The dog belongs to the man.) Here is the woman whose daughter I intend to marry.(The woman is the mother of the daughter.) Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Adjectives Forms Usage Related topics Forms Adjectives are generally invariable in English and do not agree with nouns in number and gender; nor do they take case endings: a blue car the great outdoors a group of young women However, a few adjectives have a connotation which is slightly masculine or feminine. Thus, one says that a woman is beautiful while a man would be called handsome. Adjectives indicating religion or nationality (or a region, state or province) generally begin with a capital letter, whether they refer to people or objects: She is an American student. They go to a Catholic school. They enjoy Breton music. Usage: In a noun cluster an adjective will be placed, with very few exceptions, in front of the noun it modifies. When two adjectives precede a noun, they can be connected by a comma (,) or by the conjunction"and." In a series of three or more adjectives, one usually uses "and" before the last adjective in the list. Examples: I like short novels. That fellow will be a competent worker. She writes long and flowery letters. He works long, hard hours. She had a mean, old and overbearing step-mother. An adjective may follow the noun when it is in a predicate (after the verb) or in a relative clause. (In relative clauses the relative pronoun may be implicit.) Examples: He was a man (who was) always happy to help others. She is a woman (who is) true to herself. They were entirely satisfied.

Related topics Possessive adjectives Demonstrative adjectives Comparisons Superlatives Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

Simple questions Simple questions (that is, questions to which one can respond by a simple "yes" or "no") may be formed in three different ways: 1. "Do": one precedes an assertion with "do" or "does" (or "don't" or "doesn't" for a negative expression, or "did", "didn't" for the past): Do you want to go to the movies? Does she work at IBM? Don't you travel quite a bit? Do they answer questions quickly? Didn't they want to eat? But: One never places "do" or "does" before the verb "to be" or before modal verbs in questions; in this case it is preferable to invert the subject and verb: Are you coming to the reception? Was the meeting boring? Weren't you hungry?

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

3. Modal phrases: If a modal verb is used in a sentence, or if it is strongly implied, a modal phrase can be used to make an interrogative form. The modal phrase is typically an inversion of the subject and verb, in the negative, repeated at the end of the sentence: It's time to go, isn't it? He'd like to come with us, wouldn't he? You would like to go with us, wouldn't you? You can understand that, can't you? In the case of a negative question, the modal phrase would be in the affirmative: You wouldn't want to try it, would you? She won't be back, will she? (See also: negations)

Interrogative adverbs Simple questions solicit a "yes" or "no" answer. More precise questions may be formed by using the interrogative adverbs: when, why, how, how much, where. Generally, the interrogative adverb precedes the rest of the question; then the order of the sentence follows the rules indicated for inversion or for questions formed with "do / does". Where are you going? Why do you want to take this class?


How much do you earn a month? How do these machines work? (Où vont ces étudiants ?) When do you expect to get home? (A quelle heure penses-tu rentrer ?) See also: Questions, Interrogative pronouns.

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

subject (person) : who + question Who did this painting? Who wants to get an ice cream? subject (thing) : what + question What interests you? What is good in this restaurant? direct object (person) : whom + question Whom did you see in France? Whom are you going to meet at this reception? direct objet (thing) : what + question What do you want to do this evening? What are you preparing? object of a preposition (person) : preposition + whom + question About whom are you thinking? With whom did you go out? Note: In spoken English, one often places the preposition at the end of the sentence, in which case one uses "who" instead of "whom" Who are you thinking about? Who did you go out with? object of a preposition (thing) : preposition + what + question With what did you open it? In what way does that concern you? Note: In spoken English, the preposition is often put at the end of the sentence: What did you open it with? What did did they base their opinion on?

Which, which one, which ones. The adjective "which" and its pronominal forms ("which", "which one", "which ones") ask that a person make a choice. Usually these pronouns will be placed at the beginning of the sentence; Normalement, ces pronoms se trouveront au début de la phrase ; then the order of the sentence follows the


rules indicated for inversion or for questions formed with "do / does". Which film do you want to see? Which date did you choose? Here are two pizzas. Which one do you prefer? There are many different Burgundy wines. Which ones do you like? Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Adverbs Formation Position Related topics Formation 1. Most adverbs are formed from the adjective. One adds the ending "--ly" to the adjectival form: intelligent --> intelligently slow --> slowly precise --> precisely Some adverbs are irregular: A. If the adjective ends with "--le," simply replace the "e" with "y": simple --> simply subtle --> subtly B. The adverb corresponding to the adjective "good" is irregular: good --> well C. Some adverbs have the same form as the adjective: high low hard better fast D. In general, adverbs of time and space have no corresponding adjective; the same can be said of adverbs of quantity: yesterday today tomorrow early soon late here there less more as very much a lot of little of

Position When an adverb modifies a verb, it generally comes at the end of the clause (but before any prepositional phrases or subordinated clauses): He writes poorly. She pronounced that word well.. Joseph worked diligently. They worked hard before coming home. Exceptions: certain adverbs signaling the speaker's opinion, such as "probably," "undoubtedly," "surely," "certainly," etc., come at the beginning of the sentence, or else between the modal verb (or auxiliary) and the principal verb: We are probably going to spend the summer in Corsica. Certainly we would never do that! We will undoubtedly see a dirty political campaign this year. Adverbs of time and space generally come at the end of the sentence; however, they may be placed at the beginning of the sentence if the predicate


clause is long and complicated: I saw her yesterday. We're going to the beach today. She went to bed very early. Tomorrow we will try to get up early to prepare for our trip. Adverbs modifying adjectives or an other adverb are placed before the adjective or adverb they modify: She was really very happy to see you. It was a brilliantly staged performance.

Related topics Comparatives Superlatives Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

If the same is not true for you...?/td> subject + (negative) auxiliary I'm not.

Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Adjectives Forms Usage Related topics Forms Adjectives are generally invariable in English and do not agree with nouns in number and gender; nor do they take case endings: a blue car the great outdoors a group of young women However, a few adjectives have a connotation which is slightly masculine or feminine. Thus, one says that a woman is beautiful while a man would be called handsome. Adjectives indicating religion or nationality (or a region, state or province) generally begin with a capital letter, whether they refer to people or objects: She is an American student. They go to a Catholic school. They enjoy Breton music. Usage: In a noun cluster an adjective will be placed, with very few exceptions, in front of the noun it modifies. When two adjectives precede a noun, they can be connected by a comma (,) or by the conjunction"and." In a series of three or more adjectives, one usually uses "and" before the last adjective in the list. Examples: I like short novels. That fellow will be a competent worker. She writes long and flowery letters. He works long, hard hours. She had a mean, old and overbearing step-mother. An adjective may follow the noun when it is in a predicate (after the verb) or in a relative clause. (In relative clauses the relative pronoun may be implicit.) Examples: He was a man (who was) always happy to help others. She is a woman (who is) true to herself. They were entirely satisfied.

Related topics Possessive adjectives Demonstrative adjectives Comparisons Superlatives Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

buck, a doe ram, a ewe bull, a cow stallion, a mare

In other cases, the word "male" or "female" is added, if it is considered necessary to be specific: a female cat a male giraffe Note: If the gender of the person or animal is known, one will generally use the pronoun "he" or "she" to refer to it, as appropriate. When the gender is left unstated, the pronoun "he" is generally used when speaking of people, or "it" when speaking of animals. Some objects are also considered to be gendered in certain usages: some people may refer to a boat or a car as "she." Certain nouns (especially the names of professions) are traditionally associated with men or women, in which case one signals exceptions to the tradition by adding "woman" (or "lady") or "man" to the term: They are in a group of male dancers. My wife prefers to see a woman doctor. Plurals As a general rule, the plural is formed by adding "-s" to the singular form of nouns. shoe --> shoes book --> books river --> rivers Nouns ending in "s" or "s" will generally take the ending "-es" : bus --> buses kiss --> kisses Words ending in "y" will generally take the ending "-ies" in place of the "y": party --> parties supply --> supplies Certain words have very irregular forms in the plural: one one one one one one

man --> two men woman --> two women person --> two people foot --> two feet mouse --> two mice goose --> two geese


one one one one one one one one one one one

tooth --> two teeth wife --> two wives child --> two children knife --> two knives thief --> two thieves dwarf --> two dwarves (ou: dwarfs) potato --> two potatoes leaf --> two leaves life --> two lives loaf --> two loaves half --> two halves

A small set of words do not change form in the plural: one moose --> two moose one sheep --> two sheep one aircraft --> two aircraft Words of Greek or Latin origin which have retained their original endings will generally take the plural form associated with the language they are drawn from: one one one one one one one one one one one one one

alumnus --> two alumni syllabus --> two syllabi alumna --> two alumnae alga --> many algae criterion --> many criteria forum --> many fora (or : forums) thesis --> two theses hypothesis --> two hypotheses phenomenon --> two phenomena cactus --> two cacti (or : cactuses) diagnosis --> two diagnoses oasis --> two oases analysis --> two analyses

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

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

Related topics Adjectives Definite articles Indefinite articles Partitive articles Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Definite articles General principles Omission of the article Use in negatives and interrogatives Related topics General principles The definite article "the" (invariable in form) designates a person, place, or event which has been specified or defined by the speaker: Here's the book I bought. The cat is on the roof. He said he would bring the money. Omission of the definite article The definite article does not always precede nouns: sometimes indefinite articles or partitive articles will be used. Often, though, no article at all is necessary, as in the following cases: 1. As a general rule, the definite article is omitted before abstract nouns or nouns representing general categories. It is often omitted after verbs expressing opinions or preferences: Truth is the highest good. I don't like animals. Cats are nicer than dogs. Time flies. She likes coffee, but she hates tea. 2. Generally, the article is omitted before days of the week and dates: On Tuesdays the museums are closed. On Saturdays I sleep in. Friday night we are going dancing. I was born on June 16, 1980. 3. Generally, the article is omitted before names of countries, states, cities, and regions: France is seventeen times smaller than the United States. California is larger than Brittany. Exception: Some names actually include the definite article, such as The Hague. 4. Generally, the article is omitted before titles or nouns indicating professions: President Mitterrand completed two terms. We saw Professor Miller at the restaurant. She met with Doctor Schmidt. The use of the definite article does not change in interrogatives and negatives.

Related topics Indefinite articles Partitive articles Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

Related topics Definite articles Partitive articles Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Partitive article:"some" When the article "some" appears before a plural noun it functions like an indefinite article: He has some tickets for the game. Some students decided not to attend the class. However, when "some" appears before a singular noun, it is being used as a partitive. This is to say that a part of something is indicated, or a partial (or indeterminate) quantity is referred to. It is often used after verbs of possession or consumption: Do you have some time? We're going to buy some milk. I heard some bad news. She has some money to spend. Would you like some help ? Note: After expressions of quantity, the partitive article is not used: Students buy a lot of pastries. Today people have more activities than before. In negative expressions, the partitive article "some" generally becomes "any" (this change will also occur in negative interrogatives): She doesn't have any money. They didn't have any milk. Don't you have any money? The word "any" is not strictly necessary in the negative,and it may often be omitted: I never have accidents. They didn't have milk. Related topics Definite articles Indefinite articles Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Auxiliary verbs An auxiliary verb ("helping" verb) is combined with the principal verb to form certain tenses or moods. (See also the modal verbs, which nuance the meaning of the verbs they accompany.) The only true auxiliary verbs in English are "to be," "to have," and "to do." "To be" is an auxiliary verb for the progressive teneses (See the present progressive, the past progressive, the future progressive): I am going home. She was fishing with her father. We will be calling on you later. "To have" is an auxiliary verb for the perfect tenses, including the present perfect, the present perfect progressive, the pluperfect, the future perfect, the past conditional: We have finished. They hadn't waited for us. "To do" is an auxiliary verb for making questions and negations in both the present simple and the preterit : Do you have any money? Did you hear me? He doesn't want to help us. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Auxiliary verbs An auxiliary verb ("helping" verb) is combined with the principal verb to form certain tenses or moods. (See also the modal verbs, which nuance the meaning of the verbs they accompany.) The only true auxiliary verbs in English are "to be," "to have," and "to do." "To be" is an auxiliary verb for the progressive teneses (See the present progressive, the past progressive, the future progressive): I am going home. She was fishing with her father. We will be calling on you later. "To have" is an auxiliary verb for the perfect tenses, including the present perfect, the present perfect progressive, the pluperfect, the future perfect, the past conditional: We have finished. They hadn't waited for us. "To do" is an auxiliary verb for making questions and negations in both the present simple and the preterit : Do you have any money? Did you hear me? He doesn't want to help us. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Possession Possessive adjectives Possessive pronouns "To belong" The "s" of possession "Whose"

In English possession may be expressed in five different ways: Possessive adjectives Possessive adjectives agree with the person to whom they refer: I --> my you --> your he, her, it --> his (masculine), her (feminine), its (impersonal) we --> our they --> their So, I have lost my keys. They are coming in their car. I met your grandparents. This car has lost its power. Note: In English the possessive adjective is used to refer to parts of the body: She brushes her teeth twice a day. He broke his arm playing soccer. His stomach aches. Possessive pronouns Possessive pronouns, like the adjectives, agree with the person to whom they refer. Singular and plural share the same form: I --> mine your --> yours he, she, it --> his (masculine), hers (feminine), its (impersonal) we --> ours they --> theirs So, I have my likes, and she has hers. If you give me one of yours, I'll give you one of mine. I like our house, but frankly, I am jealous of theirs! That's mine!

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

The "s" of possession One may add "--'s" to any noun in order to indicate possession: I just read Gustave's book. The front door's lock is broken. Many of the world's countries are poor.


Note: Do not confuse the "s" of possession with the contraction of the verb "is": Fred's going to fetch it. (= Fred is going to fetch it.) The train's late again. (=The train is late again.)

"Whose" for indicating possession "Whose" will be placed before the possession (the object possessed), and will refer ownership to the preceding noun: The man whose dog bit me said he was sorry. (The dog belongs to the man.) Here is the woman whose daughter I intend to marry.(The woman is the mother of the daughter.) Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Causative constructions When one does not carry out an action oneself but rather has the action done by someone else, this is expressed by a causative construction. In English it is the verb "to have" that introduces the causative. The model will generally be: "to have" (conjugated) + direct object (noun or pronoun) + principal verb (in its past participle form): We'll have a monument erected on this site. I had my hair cut. When one wishes to designate the agent of the action (the person who has carried out the described action), there are two possibilities: 1. -- "to have" (conjugated) + direct object (noun or pronoun) + principal verb (in its past participle form) + "by" + agent (usually not as a pronoun): The professor had the work done by his lab assistants. I had it done by my employees. 2. -- "to have" (conjugated) + agent (as a direct object noun or pronoun) + principal verb (in its infinitive form) + the object (also in the form of a direct object noun or pronoun) The professor had his students write an essay. I had him do it. Note: Especially in spoken English, the verb "to get" often replaces "to have," in which case "to" is added to the infinitive (but not before past participles). This construction also suggests that it may be (or have been) difficult to produce a certain reaction on the part of the agent: We'll get a monument erected on this site. The professor got his students to write an essay. When one wishes to express a change in temperament or in general conditions, it is the construction "to make + adjective" which is used: That letter made her sad. He makes me furious! That new problem made negotiations really hard! Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Comparatives General principles Adjectives Adverbs Nouns Verbs Related topics

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

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

Adjectives Adjectival comparisons follow these models: Jean is taller than Catherine. Philippe is less tall than Jean. Le誰la is as tall as Jean. Note: Monosyllabic adjectives, and several common two-syllable adjectives, take the ending "--er" and do not include the adverb "more": young --> younger tall --> taller old --> older If the adjective ends in "--y" the "y" becomes "i" : heavy --> heavier early --> earlier busy --> busier healthy --> healthier chilly --> chillier If the adjective ends in "--e" only an "r" is needed: wise --> wiser large --> larger simple --> simpler late --> later If the adjective ends with "single vowel + consonant" the consonant is doubled and one adds "--er" : red --> redder big --> bigger thin --> thinner hot --> hotter


Some very common adjectives have irregular comparatives: good --> better bad --> worse far --> farther

Adverbs Adverbial comparisons follow these models: The students are working more diligently than the professor. This fellow speaks less eloquently than a schoolboy. They are all working as hard as possible! Note: In comparisons indicating superiority, adverbs ending in "--ly" do not take the adverb "more," but only the ending "--er". (However, these adverbs will function normally in comparisons using "less" or "as.") fast --> faster hard --> harder And some adverbs have irregular comparative forms : well --> better badly --> worse far --> farther

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

Verbs "More," "less," and "as" can be used as adverbs to modify verbs: He eats more than he used to. That boy reads less than his friends. You ought to listen as much as you talk.

Related topics Superlatives Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Past conditional The past conditional is expressed using the modal "would" before a past infinitive (= "have" + past participle). This construction serves to express missed opportunities and past hypotheses: She told me that she would have liked to come and see us. In your position, I would have done the same thing. One finds it often in hypothetical constructions with "if." When "if" is followed by the pluperfect, the conditional past is expected in the second clause: If I had had the time, I would have done my homework. If you had told me the truth, I would have believed you. If he had worked harder, he'd have received a better grade. Note: In certain regions (principally in the United States) one hears the conditional past in both clauses of hypothetical expressions: If you would have told me he was going to win, I wouldn't have believed you. See related topics: Conditional Modal verbs Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Conditional The conditional is formed using the modal "would" in front of an infinitive (dropping the word "to"). The conditional is used especially in three contexts: 1) Politeness I would like the menu, please. Would you have a couple of minutes for me? 2) To indicate the "future within the past": She said she would come to the party. I thought he would arrive before me. 3) In hypothetical constructions with "if." When "if" is followed by the preterit or the subjunctive, the conditional is expected in the second clause: If I had the time, I would do my homework. If you told me the truth, I would believe you. The "if" of hypothetical expressions can be implicit: In your position (= if I were you), I wouldn't have stayed. See related topics: Past conditional Modal verbs Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Conditionals There are four common conditional forms. The zero and first conditionals are also called ‘real’ conditionals. The second and third conditionals are also called ‘unreal’ conditionals. Zero Conditional The zero conditional is an if/then statement that is used to express a scientific fact or something that is generally true. Form: If + subject +present simple verb, subject + present simple verb. Or Subject + present simple verb + if + subject + present simple verb. Examples: If you put sugar in your tea, it becomes sweet. The trip takes 35 minutes if you take the express train. First Conditional The first conditional is an if/then statement that expresses the consequence of a probable or possible situation in the future. Form: If + subject + present simple verb, subject + will + verb Or Subject + will + verb + if + subject + present simple verb Examples: If you call before 11 p.m., I will pick you up from the station. I’ll burst if I eat any more food! Second Conditional The second conditional is an if/then statement that expresses the consequence of a hypothetical, imaginary, impossible, or improbable situation in the future. Form: If + subject + simple past verb, subject + would + verb Or Subject + would+ verb + if + subject + simple past verb Examples: If I had a million dollars, I would buy a mansion in Florida. I would wear a coat if I were you. (It’s really cold outside.) Third Conditional The third conditional is an if/then statement that expresses what would have happened if events in the past were different. It is often used to express regret about actions in the past the speaker would like to change. Form: If + subject + past perfect, subject + would + have + past participle Or Subject + would + have + past participle + if + subject +past perfect Examples: If I had known about the divorce, I wouldn’t have asked him about his wife. (I didn’t know about the divorce and I asked him about this wife. I regret that I asked him and would change the past if possible.) Sally would have bought a new car if she had received a raise at her job. (Sally didn’t buy the new car but would have under different circumstances in the past.) Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

(some) coffee

(some) fruit

Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Defining and Non-Defining Relative Clauses A relative clause gives us information about the noun it modifies. A defining relative clause gives essential information about the noun it modifies. The sentence would not make sense if the clause were removed. Defining relative clauses often come right after the nouns that they modify, without a comma. People who eat healthy foods live longer. What’s the name of the hotel that you stayed at? A non-defining relative clause gives us additional but non-essential information about the noun it modifies. The sentence would still make sense if the nondefining clause were removed. In writing, non-defining relative clauses are usually separated from the rest of the sentence by commas before and after the clause. Isabel Allende, who wrote Daughter of Fortune, lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Watership Down, which is my favorite novel, is a story about rabbits. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Definite articles General principles Omission of the article Use in negatives and interrogatives Related topics General principles The definite article "the" (invariable in form) designates a person, place, or event which has been specified or defined by the speaker: Here's the book I bought. The cat is on the roof. He said he would bring the money. Omission of the definite article The definite article does not always precede nouns: sometimes indefinite articles or partitive articles will be used. Often, though, no article at all is necessary, as in the following cases: 1. As a general rule, the definite article is omitted before abstract nouns or nouns representing general categories. It is often omitted after verbs expressing opinions or preferences: Truth is the highest good. I don't like animals. Cats are nicer than dogs. Time flies. She likes coffee, but she hates tea. 2. Generally, the article is omitted before days of the week and dates: On Tuesdays the museums are closed. On Saturdays I sleep in. Friday night we are going dancing. I was born on June 16, 1980. 3. Generally, the article is omitted before names of countries, states, cities, and regions: France is seventeen times smaller than the United States. California is larger than Brittany. Exception: Some names actually include the definite article, such as The Hague. 4. Generally, the article is omitted before titles or nouns indicating professions: President Mitterrand completed two terms. We saw Professor Miller at the restaurant. She met with Doctor Schmidt. The use of the definite article does not change in interrogatives and negatives.

Related topics Indefinite articles Partitive articles Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns Demonstrative adjectives Demonstrative adjectives have two singular forms (this, that) and two plural forms (these, those). These adjectives are used to designate proximity to an object, or to distinguish between an object that is close (in time or space) and one that is more remote. Usually "this" and "these" signal proximity, while "that" and "those" suggest distance: These books are too expensive. This car is responsive. That man irritates me! This hotel is more expensive than that one.

Demonstrative pronouns Demonstrative pronouns have the same form as the demonstrative adjectives, but are used without the nouns to which they refer. In the singular, when designating a specific object, the pronoun "one" is often added: These tomatoes are fresher than those. These are better than those. Would you like a little of this? That strikes me as really weird! The book is more interesting than that one. In front of a relative pronoun, the demonstrative pronoun becomes "the one" or "the ones" (when speaking of things), or "he / she who", "they who" (when speaking of people): This film is the one that you hated so much. He who eats well works well. This pen is the one with which the President signed the new law.

Related topics Relative pronouns Subject pronouns Reflexive pronouns Object pronouns Reciprocal pronouns Possessive pronouns Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Direct and indirect discourse When one reports what others have said word for word, this is called "direct discourse." It is generally signaled by the presence of quoation marks: Philippe said, "I'll come if I have the time." My roommate said, "Clean the place up, or get out of here!" When one paraphrases the words of others, writing them so as to avoid direct quotation, this is called "indirect discourse." Indirect discourse entails certain changes: A. Quotation marks are not used: direct discourse: He told me, "You're stupid" indirect discourse: He told me that I was stupid. B. When the verb in the reported discourse is conjugated, is it generally preceded by "that"; however, the inclusion of "that" is optional She said that she would be late. OR: She said she would be late. They informed us that the plane was delayed. OR: They informed us the plane was delayed. C. Imperative forms, when recounted in indirect discourse, generally become infinitive constructions: direct discourse: He told me, "Write to me." indirect discourse: He told me to write him. direct discourse: I told them, "Get out of here!" indirect discourse: I told them to get out of here. D. When a quotation is put in indirect discourse, care must be taken to verify that verb tenses reflect the change in temporal context: direct discourse: She said, "I will be on time." indirect discourse: She said she would be on time. direct discourse: When he called he said, "I am at the airport" indirect discourse: When he called he said he was at the airport. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Direct and indirect discourse When one reports what others have said word for word, this is called "direct discourse." It is generally signaled by the presence of quoation marks: Philippe said, "I'll come if I have the time." My roommate said, "Clean the place up, or get out of here!" When one paraphrases the words of others, writing them so as to avoid direct quotation, this is called "indirect discourse." Indirect discourse entails certain changes: A. Quotation marks are not used: direct discourse: He told me, "You're stupid" indirect discourse: He told me that I was stupid. B. When the verb in the reported discourse is conjugated, is it generally preceded by "that"; however, the inclusion of "that" is optional She said that she would be late. OR: She said she would be late. They informed us that the plane was delayed. OR: They informed us the plane was delayed. C. Imperative forms, when recounted in indirect discourse, generally become infinitive constructions: direct discourse: He told me, "Write to me." indirect discourse: He told me to write him. direct discourse: I told them, "Get out of here!" indirect discourse: I told them to get out of here. D. When a quotation is put in indirect discourse, care must be taken to verify that verb tenses reflect the change in temporal context: direct discourse: She said, "I will be on time." indirect discourse: She said she would be on time. direct discourse: When he called he said, "I am at the airport" indirect discourse: When he called he said he was at the airport. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Do and Make We often use do followed by words for work or indefinite activities. Do your homework. Can you do the dishes tonight? Stan did the grocery shopping every Saturday morning. You must do something about the mice in the basement! We often use make with the meaning of . Let’s make some travel plans. Mom made a cake for Zachary’s birthday. Do you want me to make breakfast for you? There are also many idiomatic expressions that use the verbs do or make. To do one’s best, to make progress, to do one’s duty, to make a fortune Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Causative constructions When one does not carry out an action oneself but rather has the action done by someone else, this is expressed by a causative construction. In English it is the verb "to have" that introduces the causative. The model will generally be: "to have" (conjugated) + direct object (noun or pronoun) + principal verb (in its past participle form): We'll have a monument erected on this site. I had my hair cut. When one wishes to designate the agent of the action (the person who has carried out the described action), there are two possibilities: 1. -- "to have" (conjugated) + direct object (noun or pronoun) + principal verb (in its past participle form) + "by" + agent (usually not as a pronoun): The professor had the work done by his lab assistants. I had it done by my employees. 2. -- "to have" (conjugated) + agent (as a direct object noun or pronoun) + principal verb (in its infinitive form) + the object (also in the form of a direct object noun or pronoun) The professor had his students write an essay. I had him do it. Note: Especially in spoken English, the verb "to get" often replaces "to have," in which case "to" is added to the infinitive (but not before past participles). This construction also suggests that it may be (or have been) difficult to produce a certain reaction on the part of the agent: We'll get a monument erected on this site. The professor got his students to write an essay. When one wishes to express a change in temperament or in general conditions, it is the construction "to make + adjective" which is used: That letter made her sad. He makes me furious! That new problem made negotiations really hard! Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Future perfect Relatively rare in English, the future perfect serves to express one future action which precedes a future moment or another future action. Moreover, it asserts that these actions will be completed before the principal action. It is formed by adding the modal "will" to the auxiliary "have," preceding the past participle: She will have finished before eight o'clock. Tomorrow morning they will all have left. They will already have finished eating by the time we get there. One can often use the simple future instead of the future perfect, but a nuance is lost: the simple future does not emphasize the completion of the first action: Tomorrow morning they will all leave. (The future perfect would emphasize that they will already have departed before tomorrow morning.) They will finish eating by the time we get there. (They may finish just as we arrive; the future perfect would emphasize that they will have finished before we arrive.) Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Future progressive The future progressive serves to express an action which will be in the process of occurring. It is formed by putting the present progressive into the future: will be + present participle. I will be waiting for you at six o'clock. He will be eating by the time you arrive.

Hint for usage: How to choose between the future progressive and the simple future? If it is possible to use the expression "will be in the process of," it is the future progressive that best expresses the action. The future progressive indicates that an action will be continuing at a given moment; the simple future suggests that the action will be complete. Thus the verb tense can nuance meaning. Consider these sentences, both of which are grammatically correct: I will be finishing my homework at 10:00. (This suggests that I may finish my homework at 10:05 or 10:15; I will be nearing completion, in the process of completion.) I will finish my homework at 10:00. (This suggests that I will finish at 10:00 sharp.) Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Near future Especially in spoken English one finds the near future used as a way of describing imminent events. Strictly speaking, the near future is not a future tense, for it is formed by combining the present tense of the verb "to go," conjugated in the present progressive, with the infinitive of the principal verb. We are going to leave soon. I'm going to give her a call. Also used to express imminent actions is the construction "to be about to do something," also conjugated in the present. I am about to lose my temper! The detective is about to stop the criminal. One can also conjugate these forms in the past progressive in order to express a "future within the past": He said he was going to do it. She was going to buy a new car, but she never did. When I saw them, they were about to make a decision. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Adjectives Forms Usage Related topics Forms Adjectives are generally invariable in English and do not agree with nouns in number and gender; nor do they take case endings: a blue car the great outdoors a group of young women However, a few adjectives have a connotation which is slightly masculine or feminine. Thus, one says that a woman is beautiful while a man would be called handsome. Adjectives indicating religion or nationality (or a region, state or province) generally begin with a capital letter, whether they refer to people or objects: She is an American student. They go to a Catholic school. They enjoy Breton music. Usage: In a noun cluster an adjective will be placed, with very few exceptions, in front of the noun it modifies. When two adjectives precede a noun, they can be connected by a comma (,) or by the conjunction"and." In a series of three or more adjectives, one usually uses "and" before the last adjective in the list. Examples: I like short novels. That fellow will be a competent worker. She writes long and flowery letters. He works long, hard hours. She had a mean, old and overbearing step-mother. An adjective may follow the noun when it is in a predicate (after the verb) or in a relative clause. (In relative clauses the relative pronoun may be implicit.) Examples: He was a man (who was) always happy to help others. She is a woman (who is) true to herself. They were entirely satisfied.

Related topics Possessive adjectives Demonstrative adjectives Comparisons Superlatives Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

buck, a doe ram, a ewe bull, a cow stallion, a mare

In other cases, the word "male" or "female" is added, if it is considered necessary to be specific: a female cat a male giraffe Note: If the gender of the person or animal is known, one will generally use the pronoun "he" or "she" to refer to it, as appropriate. When the gender is left unstated, the pronoun "he" is generally used when speaking of people, or "it" when speaking of animals. Some objects are also considered to be gendered in certain usages: some people may refer to a boat or a car as "she." Certain nouns (especially the names of professions) are traditionally associated with men or women, in which case one signals exceptions to the tradition by adding "woman" (or "lady") or "man" to the term: They are in a group of male dancers. My wife prefers to see a woman doctor. Plurals As a general rule, the plural is formed by adding "-s" to the singular form of nouns. shoe --> shoes book --> books river --> rivers Nouns ending in "s" or "s" will generally take the ending "-es" : bus --> buses kiss --> kisses Words ending in "y" will generally take the ending "-ies" in place of the "y": party --> parties supply --> supplies Certain words have very irregular forms in the plural: one one one one one one

man --> two men woman --> two women person --> two people foot --> two feet mouse --> two mice goose --> two geese


one one one one one one one one one one one

tooth --> two teeth wife --> two wives child --> two children knife --> two knives thief --> two thieves dwarf --> two dwarves (ou: dwarfs) potato --> two potatoes leaf --> two leaves life --> two lives loaf --> two loaves half --> two halves

A small set of words do not change form in the plural: one moose --> two moose one sheep --> two sheep one aircraft --> two aircraft Words of Greek or Latin origin which have retained their original endings will generally take the plural form associated with the language they are drawn from: one one one one one one one one one one one one one

alumnus --> two alumni syllabus --> two syllabi alumna --> two alumnae alga --> many algae criterion --> many criteria forum --> many fora (or : forums) thesis --> two theses hypothesis --> two hypotheses phenomenon --> two phenomena cactus --> two cacti (or : cactuses) diagnosis --> two diagnoses oasis --> two oases analysis --> two analyses

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

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

Related topics Adjectives Definite articles Indefinite articles Partitive articles Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Gerunds and Infinitives Gerunds as Subjects The gerund is the –ing form of the verb when it is used as a noun. We can use a gerund as a subject or as an object. Walking is good for your health. Too much dieting can be dangerous. Terry quit smoking. We go dancing every Saturday night. He’s very good at listening to other people’s problems. I am tired of worrying about money. Verbs followed by gerunds Here are some verbs that can be followed by a gerund but not an infinitve. keep postpone dislike recommend avoiddetest feel like give up put off practice finish What would you recommend trying? I dislike watching violence on television. Here are some verbs that can be followed directly by an infinitive but not a gerund. hope expect intend agree refuse appear manage promise afford decide choose fail wait volunteer Susan refuses to try new food. We intend to ask for a raise. Some verbs can be followed by a gerund or an infinitive. Be careful! In some cases the meaning changes. try remember like forget love prefer start begin continue can’t stand I like eating in fancy restaurants. Annie likes to eat fast food. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Near future Especially in spoken English one finds the near future used as a way of describing imminent events. Strictly speaking, the near future is not a future tense, for it is formed by combining the present tense of the verb "to go," conjugated in the present progressive, with the infinitive of the principal verb. We are going to leave soon. I'm going to give her a call. Also used to express imminent actions is the construction "to be about to do something," also conjugated in the present. I am about to lose my temper! The detective is about to stop the criminal. One can also conjugate these forms in the past progressive in order to express a "future within the past": He said he was going to do it. She was going to buy a new car, but she never did. When I saw them, they were about to make a decision. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Habitual actions in the past To describe habitual, repeated actions in the past, one generally uses the construction "used to + verb." Thus: When I was little, we used to go camping a lot. When my father was in school, they used to slap children who didn't behave. I used to work days, but now I work the night shift. In spoken English, one often uses the common construction with the modal "would," followed by the main verb: When we were kids, we would haze each other quite a bit. When I was little, we would go camping a lot. When my father was in school, they would slap children who didn't behave. See also: The preterit The past progressive Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Auxiliary verbs An auxiliary verb ("helping" verb) is combined with the principal verb to form certain tenses or moods. (See also the modal verbs, which nuance the meaning of the verbs they accompany.) The only true auxiliary verbs in English are "to be," "to have," and "to do." "To be" is an auxiliary verb for the progressive teneses (See the present progressive, the past progressive, the future progressive): I am going home. She was fishing with her father. We will be calling on you later. "To have" is an auxiliary verb for the perfect tenses, including the present perfect, the present perfect progressive, the pluperfect, the future perfect, the past conditional: We have finished. They hadn't waited for us. "To do" is an auxiliary verb for making questions and negations in both the present simple and the preterit : Do you have any money? Did you hear me? He doesn't want to help us. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Auxiliary verbs An auxiliary verb ("helping" verb) is combined with the principal verb to form certain tenses or moods. (See also the modal verbs, which nuance the meaning of the verbs they accompany.) The only true auxiliary verbs in English are "to be," "to have," and "to do." "To be" is an auxiliary verb for the progressive teneses (See the present progressive, the past progressive, the future progressive): I am going home. She was fishing with her father. We will be calling on you later. "To have" is an auxiliary verb for the perfect tenses, including the present perfect, the present perfect progressive, the pluperfect, the future perfect, the past conditional: We have finished. They hadn't waited for us. "To do" is an auxiliary verb for making questions and negations in both the present simple and the preterit : Do you have any money? Did you hear me? He doesn't want to help us. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Auxiliary verbs An auxiliary verb ("helping" verb) is combined with the principal verb to form certain tenses or moods. (See also the modal verbs, which nuance the meaning of the verbs they accompany.) The only true auxiliary verbs in English are "to be," "to have," and "to do." "To be" is an auxiliary verb for the progressive teneses (See the present progressive, the past progressive, the future progressive): I am going home. She was fishing with her father. We will be calling on you later. "To have" is an auxiliary verb for the perfect tenses, including the present perfect, the present perfect progressive, the pluperfect, the future perfect, the past conditional: We have finished. They hadn't waited for us. "To do" is an auxiliary verb for making questions and negations in both the present simple and the preterit : Do you have any money? Did you hear me? He doesn't want to help us. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


The imperative Imperatives are used to issue commands. They use the infinitive of verbs (dropping the word "to"); in the first person plural ("we"), the infinitive is preceded by "let's" (or: "let us"): Speak! Finish your homework! Let's eat! Close the door! The negative imperative is formed by placing "don't" (or "do not") before the imperative form; in the first person plural one uses "let's not" (or "let us not") : Let's not forget who helped us. Don't leave me! Don't walk on the grass! Please don't eat the daisies! The imperative has no effect on the word order of the rest of the sentence. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

Related topics Definite articles Partitive articles Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Indirect Speech Direct and Indirect Speech Direct speech can also be called "quoted" speech. We use direct speech when we want to reproduce someone's words exactly. We always use quotation marks. Elizabeth said, "I'm tired.â&#x20AC;? Jessie said, "I want a new job." Indirect speech can also be called "reported" speech. We use indirect speech when we want to reproduce the idea of someone's words without using their exact words. The verb forms and pronouns may change, and quotation marks are not used. Elizabeth said that she was tired. Jessie said that she wanted a new job. Notice that the verbs in the examples changed to the past in the indirect speech statements to coordinate with the past tense verb "said". Look at these verb changes: Sam says, "I drive to work." Sam says that he drives to work. Sam said, <I drive to work.> Sam said (that) he drove to work. Sam said, <I am driving to work.> Sam said (that) he was driving to work. Sam said, <I have driven to work.> Sam said (that) he had driven to work. Sam said, <I drove to work.> Sam said (that) he had driven to work. Sam said, <I will drive to work.> Sam said (that) he would drive to work. Sam said, <I can drive to work.> Sam said (that) he could drive to work. Sam said, <I may drive to work.> Sam said (that) he might drive to work. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Present participles Formation The present participle is formed by adding the ending"--ing" to the infinitive (dropping any silent "e"at the end of the infinitive): to to to to to

sing --> singing talk --> taking bake --> baking be --> being have --> having

Use A. The present participle may often function as an adjective: That's an interesting book. That tree is a weeping willow. B. The present participle can be used as a noun denoting an activity (this form is also called a gerund): Swimming is good exercise. Traveling is fun. C. The present participle can indicate an action that is taking place, although it cannot stand by itself as a verb. In these cases it generally modifies a noun (or pronoun), an adverb, or a past participle: Thinking myself lost, I gave up all hope. Washing clothes is not my idea of a job. Looking ahead is important. D. The present participle is used in progressive verb tenses, which indicate continuing actions or actions in progress (the present progressive, the future progressive, the present perfect progressive) : I am eating my dinner. He was walking across the park. We will be calling you tomorrow. E. The present participle may be used with "while"or "by" to express an idea of simultaneity ("while") or causality ("by") : He finished dinner while watching television. By using a dictionary he could find all the words. While speaking on the phone, she doodled. By calling the police you saved my life! F. The present participle of the auxiliary "have"may be used with the past participle to describe a past condition resulting in another action: Having spent all his money, he returned home. Having told herself that she would be too late, she accelerated. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

Simple questions Simple questions (that is, questions to which one can respond by a simple "yes" or "no") may be formed in three different ways: 1. "Do": one precedes an assertion with "do" or "does" (or "don't" or "doesn't" for a negative expression, or "did", "didn't" for the past): Do you want to go to the movies? Does she work at IBM? Don't you travel quite a bit? Do they answer questions quickly? Didn't they want to eat? But: One never places "do" or "does" before the verb "to be" or before modal verbs in questions; in this case it is preferable to invert the subject and verb: Are you coming to the reception? Was the meeting boring? Weren't you hungry?

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

3. Modal phrases: If a modal verb is used in a sentence, or if it is strongly implied, a modal phrase can be used to make an interrogative form. The modal phrase is typically an inversion of the subject and verb, in the negative, repeated at the end of the sentence: It's time to go, isn't it? He'd like to come with us, wouldn't he? You would like to go with us, wouldn't you? You can understand that, can't you? In the case of a negative question, the modal phrase would be in the affirmative: You wouldn't want to try it, would you? She won't be back, will she? (See also: negations)

Interrogative adverbs Simple questions solicit a "yes" or "no" answer. More precise questions may be formed by using the interrogative adverbs: when, why, how, how much, where. Generally, the interrogative adverb precedes the rest of the question; then the order of the sentence follows the rules indicated for inversion or for questions formed with "do / does". Where are you going? Why do you want to take this class?


How much do you earn a month? How do these machines work? (Où vont ces étudiants ?) When do you expect to get home? (A quelle heure penses-tu rentrer ?) See also: Questions, Interrogative pronouns.

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

subject (person) : who + question Who did this painting? Who wants to get an ice cream? subject (thing) : what + question What interests you? What is good in this restaurant? direct object (person) : whom + question Whom did you see in France? Whom are you going to meet at this reception? direct objet (thing) : what + question What do you want to do this evening? What are you preparing? object of a preposition (person) : preposition + whom + question About whom are you thinking? With whom did you go out? Note: In spoken English, one often places the preposition at the end of the sentence, in which case one uses "who" instead of "whom" Who are you thinking about? Who did you go out with? object of a preposition (thing) : preposition + what + question With what did you open it? In what way does that concern you? Note: In spoken English, the preposition is often put at the end of the sentence: What did you open it with? What did did they base their opinion on?

Which, which one, which ones. The adjective "which" and its pronominal forms ("which", "which one", "which ones") ask that a person make a choice. Usually these pronouns will be placed at the beginning of the sentence; Normalement, ces pronoms se trouveront au début de la phrase ; then the order of the sentence follows the


rules indicated for inversion or for questions formed with "do / does". Which film do you want to see? Which date did you choose? Here are two pizzas. Which one do you prefer? There are many different Burgundy wines. Which ones do you like? Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

Simple questions Simple questions (that is, questions to which one can respond by a simple "yes" or "no") may be formed in three different ways: 1. "Do": one precedes an assertion with "do" or "does" (or "don't" or "doesn't" for a negative expression, or "did", "didn't" for the past): Do you want to go to the movies? Does she work at IBM? Don't you travel quite a bit? Do they answer questions quickly? Didn't they want to eat? But: One never places "do" or "does" before the verb "to be" or before modal verbs in questions; in this case it is preferable to invert the subject and verb: Are you coming to the reception? Was the meeting boring? Weren't you hungry?

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

3. Modal phrases: If a modal verb is used in a sentence, or if it is strongly implied, a modal phrase can be used to make an interrogative form. The modal phrase is typically an inversion of the subject and verb, in the negative, repeated at the end of the sentence: It's time to go, isn't it? He'd like to come with us, wouldn't he? You would like to go with us, wouldn't you? You can understand that, can't you? In the case of a negative question, the modal phrase would be in the affirmative: You wouldn't want to try it, would you? She won't be back, will she? (See also: negations)

Interrogative adverbs Simple questions solicit a "yes" or "no" answer. More precise questions may be formed by using the interrogative adverbs: when, why, how, how much, where. Generally, the interrogative adverb precedes the rest of the question; then the order of the sentence follows the rules indicated for inversion or for questions formed with "do / does". Where are you going? Why do you want to take this class?


How much do you earn a month? How do these machines work? (Où vont ces étudiants ?) When do you expect to get home? (A quelle heure penses-tu rentrer ?) See also: Questions, Interrogative pronouns.

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

subject (person) : who + question Who did this painting? Who wants to get an ice cream? subject (thing) : what + question What interests you? What is good in this restaurant? direct object (person) : whom + question Whom did you see in France? Whom are you going to meet at this reception? direct objet (thing) : what + question What do you want to do this evening? What are you preparing? object of a preposition (person) : preposition + whom + question About whom are you thinking? With whom did you go out? Note: In spoken English, one often places the preposition at the end of the sentence, in which case one uses "who" instead of "whom" Who are you thinking about? Who did you go out with? object of a preposition (thing) : preposition + what + question With what did you open it? In what way does that concern you? Note: In spoken English, the preposition is often put at the end of the sentence: What did you open it with? What did did they base their opinion on?

Which, which one, which ones. The adjective "which" and its pronominal forms ("which", "which one", "which ones") ask that a person make a choice. Usually these pronouns will be placed at the beginning of the sentence; Normalement, ces pronoms se trouveront au début de la phrase ; then the order of the sentence follows the


rules indicated for inversion or for questions formed with "do / does". Which film do you want to see? Which date did you choose? Here are two pizzas. Which one do you prefer? There are many different Burgundy wines. Which ones do you like? Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Inversion Inversion occurs when we change the order of the subject and the verb in a declarative sentence after an adverbial in initial position. It is used for emphasis, in more formal or poetic discourse, and in some day-to-day fixed expressions. Inversion only occurs if the sentence contains an auxiliary verb, modal verb, or the verb be. The following are some common adverbials that can be used with inversion. at no time, little, never, not until, nowhere, only after, only then, only later, rarely, seldom, scarcely, under no circumstances Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Irregular preterits and past participles This alphabetical list shows the irregular forms of the most common verbs. Each entry includes the infinitive, the preterit, and the past participle. In cases where variant forms exist, they will be shown at the end of the entry. Literary or archaic forms are flagged by a cross: Ý. The past participle is used in many conjugations, including the present perfect, the pluperfect,the past conditional, and the future perfect. can = could [pret.], been able [p.p.] may = might [pret.] to abide = abode [pret., p.p.] to arise = arose [pret.], arisen [p.p.] to awake = awoke [pret.], awakened [p.p.] to be = was, were [pret.], been [p.p.] to bear = bore [pret.], borne [p.p.] to beat = beat [pret.], beaten [p.p.] to become = became [pret.], become [p.p.] to befall = befell [pret.], befallen [p.p.] to begin = began [pret.], begun [p.p.] to bend = bent [pret., p.p.] to beseech = besought [pret., p.p.] to bet = bet [pret., p.p.] to bid = bid [pret., p.p.]; bade [pret.]Ý to bind = bound [pret., p.p.] to bite = bit [pret.], bitten [p.p.] to bleed = bled [pret., p.p.] to blow = blew [pret.], blown [p.p.] to break = broke [pret.], broken [p.p.] to breed = bred [pret., p.p.] to bring = brought [pret., p.p.] to build = built [pret., p.p.] to burn = burned [pret., p.p.]; burnt [pret., p.p.]Ý to burst = burst [pret., p.p.] to buy = bought [pret., p.p.] to cast = cast [pret., p.p.] to catch = caught [pret., p.p.] to choose = chose [pret.], chosen [p.p.] to cleave = cleaved [pret., p.p.]; cleft [pret., p.p.]Ý to cling = clung [pret., p.p.] to come = came [pret.], come [p.p.] to cost = cost [pret., p.p.] to creep = crept [pret., p.p.]; creeped [pret.] to cut = cut [pret., p.p.] to deal = dealt [pret., p.p.] to dig = dug [pret., p.p.] to do = did [pret.], done [p.p.] to draw = drew [pret.], drawn [p.p.] to dream = dreamed [pret., p.p.]; dreamt [pret., p.p.]Ý to drink = drank [pret.], drunk [p.p.] to drive = drove [pret.], driven [p.p.] to dwell = dwelled [pret., p.p.]; dwelt [pret., p.p.]Ý to eat = ate [pret.]; eaten [p.p.] to fall = fell [pret.], fallen [p.p.] to feed = fed [pret., p.p.] to fight = fought [pret., p.p.] to find = found [pret., p.p.] to flee = fled [pret., p.p.] to fling = flung [pret., p.p.] to fly = flew [pret.]; flown [p.p.] to forbid = forbad [pret.]; forbidden [p.p.] to forget = forgot [pret.]; forgotten [p.p.] to forsake = forsook [pret.]; forsaken [p.p.] to freeze = froze [pret.]; frozen [p.p.] to get = got [pret., p.p.]; gotten [p.p.] to gild = gild [p.p.] to give = gave [pret.], given [p.p.] to go = went [pret.], gone [p.p.]


to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to

grind = ground [pret., p.p.] grow = grew [pret.], grown [p.p.] hang = hung [pret., p.p.]; hanged (•éxécution•) [pret., p.p.] have = had [pret., p.p.] hear = heard [pret., p.p.] hew = hewn [p.p.] hide = hid [pret.]; hidden [p.p.] hit = hit [pret., p.p.] hold = held [pret., p.p.] hurt = hurt [pret., p.p.] keep = kept [pret., p.p.] kneel = kneeled [pret., p.p.] kneel = knelt [pret., p.p.] know = knew [pret.], known [p.p.] lay = laid [pret., p.p.] lead = led [pret., p.p.] lean = leaned [pret., p.p.] lean = leant [pret., p.p.] leap = leaped [pret., p.p.] leap = leapt [pret., p.p.] learn = learned [pret., p.p.] learn = learnt [pret., p.p.] leave = left [pret., p.p.] lend = lent [pret., p.p.] let = let [pret., p.p.] lie = lay [pret.], lain [p.p.] light = lit [pret., p.p.] lose = lost [pret., p.p.] make = made [pret., p.p.] mean = meant [pret., p.p.] meet = met [pret., p.p.] mow = mowed [pret.], mown [p.p.] pay = paid [pret., p.p.] put = put [pret., p.p.] quit = quit [pret., p.p.] read = read [pret., p.p.] rebuild = rebuilt [pret., p.p.] recut = recut [pret., p.p.] redeal = redealt [pret., p.p.] redo = redid [pret.], redone [p.p.] relay = relaid [pret., p.p.] remake = remade [pret., p.p.] rend = rent [pret., p.p.] repay = repaid [pret., p.p.] reread = reread [pret., p.p.] rerun = reran [pret.], rerun [p.p.] resend = resent [pret., p.p.] reset = reset [pret., p.p.] retake = retook [pret.], retaken [p.p.] reteach = retaught [pret., p.p.] retell = retold [pret., p.p.] rethink = rethought [pret., p.p.] rewrite = rewrote [pret.], rewritten [p.p.] rid = rid [pret., p.p.] ride = rode [pret.], ridden [p.p.] ring = rang [pret.], rung [p.p.] rise = rose [pret.], risen [p.p.] run = ran [pret.], run [p.p.] saw = sawed [pret., p.p.]; sawn [p.p.]Ý say = said [pret., p.p.] see = saw [pret.], seen [p.p.] seek = sought [pret., p.p.] sell = sold [pret., p.p.] send = sent [pret., p.p.] set = set [pret., p.p.] sew = sewed [pret., p.p.]; sewn [p.p.] shake = shook [pret.], shaken [p.p.] shave = shaved [pret., p.p.]; shaven [p.p.] shear = sheared [pret., p.p.]; shorn [p.p.]


to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to

shed = shed [pret., p.p.] shine = shone [pret., p.p.]; shined [pret.] shoe = shod [pret., p.p.] shoot = shot [pret., p.p.] show = showed [pret., p.p.]; shown [p.p.] shrink = shrank [pret.], shrunk [p.p.] shut = shut [pret., p.p.] sing = sang [pret.], sung [p.p.] sink = sank [pret.], sunk [p.p.] sit = sat [pret., p.p.] slay = slew [pret.], slain [p.p.] sleep = slept [pret., p.p.] slide = slid [pret., p.p.] sling = slung [pret., p.p.] slink = slunk [pret., p.p.] slit = slit [pret., p.p.] smell = smelled [pret., p.p.] smell = smelt [pret., p.p.] smite = smote [pret.], smitten [p.p.] sow = sowed [pret., p.p.]; sown [p.p.] speak = spoke [pret.], spoken [p.p.] speed = sped [pret., p.p.] spell = spelled [pret., p.p.] spell = spelt [pret., p.p.] spend = spent [pret., p.p.] spill = spilled [pret., p.p.] spill = spilt [pret., p.p.] spin = spun [pret., p.p.] spit = spat [pret., p.p.] split = split [pret., p.p.] spoil = spoiled [pret., p.p.]; spoilt [pret., p.p.] spread = spread [pret., p.p.] spring = sprang [pret.]; sprung [p.p.] stand = stood [pret., p.p.] steal = stole [pret.], stolen [p.p.] stick = stuck [pret., p.p.] sting = stung [pret., p.p.] stink = stank [pret.], stunk [p.p.] stride = strode [pret.], stridden [p.p.] strike = struck [pret., p.p.]; stricken [p.p.] string = strung [pret., p.p.] strive = strove [pret.], striven [p.p.] swear = swore [pret.], sworn [p.p.] sweep = swept [pret., p.p.] swell = swelled [pret.], swollen [p.p.] swim = swam [pret.], swum [p.p.] swing = swung [pret., p.p.] take = took [pret.], taken [p.p.] teach = taught [pret., p.p.] tear = tore [pret.], torn [p.p.] tell = told [pret., p.p.] think = thought [pret., p.p.] thrive = thrived [pret., p.p.] throw = threw [pret.], thrown [p.p.] thrust = thrust [pret., p.p.] tread = trod [pret.], trodden [p.p.] undo = undid [pret.], undone [p.p.] unlearn = unlearned [pret., p.p.]; unlearnt [pret., p.p.]Ă? unwind = unwound [pret., p.p.] wake = woke [pret.], woken [p.p.] wear = wore [pret.], worn [p.p.] weave = wove [pret.], woven [p.p.]; weaved [pret.] weep = wept [pret., p.p.] win = won [pret., p.p.] wind = wound [pret., p.p.] withdraw = withdrew [pret.], withdrawn [p.p.] wring = wrung [pret., p.p.] write = wrote [pret.], written [p.p.]


Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Irregular preterits and past participles This alphabetical list shows the irregular forms of the most common verbs. Each entry includes the infinitive, the preterit, and the past participle. In cases where variant forms exist, they will be shown at the end of the entry. Literary or archaic forms are flagged by a cross: Ý. The past participle is used in many conjugations, including the present perfect, the pluperfect,the past conditional, and the future perfect. can = could [pret.], been able [p.p.] may = might [pret.] to abide = abode [pret., p.p.] to arise = arose [pret.], arisen [p.p.] to awake = awoke [pret.], awakened [p.p.] to be = was, were [pret.], been [p.p.] to bear = bore [pret.], borne [p.p.] to beat = beat [pret.], beaten [p.p.] to become = became [pret.], become [p.p.] to befall = befell [pret.], befallen [p.p.] to begin = began [pret.], begun [p.p.] to bend = bent [pret., p.p.] to beseech = besought [pret., p.p.] to bet = bet [pret., p.p.] to bid = bid [pret., p.p.]; bade [pret.]Ý to bind = bound [pret., p.p.] to bite = bit [pret.], bitten [p.p.] to bleed = bled [pret., p.p.] to blow = blew [pret.], blown [p.p.] to break = broke [pret.], broken [p.p.] to breed = bred [pret., p.p.] to bring = brought [pret., p.p.] to build = built [pret., p.p.] to burn = burned [pret., p.p.]; burnt [pret., p.p.]Ý to burst = burst [pret., p.p.] to buy = bought [pret., p.p.] to cast = cast [pret., p.p.] to catch = caught [pret., p.p.] to choose = chose [pret.], chosen [p.p.] to cleave = cleaved [pret., p.p.]; cleft [pret., p.p.]Ý to cling = clung [pret., p.p.] to come = came [pret.], come [p.p.] to cost = cost [pret., p.p.] to creep = crept [pret., p.p.]; creeped [pret.] to cut = cut [pret., p.p.] to deal = dealt [pret., p.p.] to dig = dug [pret., p.p.] to do = did [pret.], done [p.p.] to draw = drew [pret.], drawn [p.p.] to dream = dreamed [pret., p.p.]; dreamt [pret., p.p.]Ý to drink = drank [pret.], drunk [p.p.] to drive = drove [pret.], driven [p.p.] to dwell = dwelled [pret., p.p.]; dwelt [pret., p.p.]Ý to eat = ate [pret.]; eaten [p.p.] to fall = fell [pret.], fallen [p.p.] to feed = fed [pret., p.p.] to fight = fought [pret., p.p.] to find = found [pret., p.p.] to flee = fled [pret., p.p.] to fling = flung [pret., p.p.] to fly = flew [pret.]; flown [p.p.] to forbid = forbad [pret.]; forbidden [p.p.] to forget = forgot [pret.]; forgotten [p.p.] to forsake = forsook [pret.]; forsaken [p.p.] to freeze = froze [pret.]; frozen [p.p.] to get = got [pret., p.p.]; gotten [p.p.] to gild = gild [p.p.] to give = gave [pret.], given [p.p.] to go = went [pret.], gone [p.p.]


to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to

grind = ground [pret., p.p.] grow = grew [pret.], grown [p.p.] hang = hung [pret., p.p.]; hanged (•éxécution•) [pret., p.p.] have = had [pret., p.p.] hear = heard [pret., p.p.] hew = hewn [p.p.] hide = hid [pret.]; hidden [p.p.] hit = hit [pret., p.p.] hold = held [pret., p.p.] hurt = hurt [pret., p.p.] keep = kept [pret., p.p.] kneel = kneeled [pret., p.p.] kneel = knelt [pret., p.p.] know = knew [pret.], known [p.p.] lay = laid [pret., p.p.] lead = led [pret., p.p.] lean = leaned [pret., p.p.] lean = leant [pret., p.p.] leap = leaped [pret., p.p.] leap = leapt [pret., p.p.] learn = learned [pret., p.p.] learn = learnt [pret., p.p.] leave = left [pret., p.p.] lend = lent [pret., p.p.] let = let [pret., p.p.] lie = lay [pret.], lain [p.p.] light = lit [pret., p.p.] lose = lost [pret., p.p.] make = made [pret., p.p.] mean = meant [pret., p.p.] meet = met [pret., p.p.] mow = mowed [pret.], mown [p.p.] pay = paid [pret., p.p.] put = put [pret., p.p.] quit = quit [pret., p.p.] read = read [pret., p.p.] rebuild = rebuilt [pret., p.p.] recut = recut [pret., p.p.] redeal = redealt [pret., p.p.] redo = redid [pret.], redone [p.p.] relay = relaid [pret., p.p.] remake = remade [pret., p.p.] rend = rent [pret., p.p.] repay = repaid [pret., p.p.] reread = reread [pret., p.p.] rerun = reran [pret.], rerun [p.p.] resend = resent [pret., p.p.] reset = reset [pret., p.p.] retake = retook [pret.], retaken [p.p.] reteach = retaught [pret., p.p.] retell = retold [pret., p.p.] rethink = rethought [pret., p.p.] rewrite = rewrote [pret.], rewritten [p.p.] rid = rid [pret., p.p.] ride = rode [pret.], ridden [p.p.] ring = rang [pret.], rung [p.p.] rise = rose [pret.], risen [p.p.] run = ran [pret.], run [p.p.] saw = sawed [pret., p.p.]; sawn [p.p.]Ý say = said [pret., p.p.] see = saw [pret.], seen [p.p.] seek = sought [pret., p.p.] sell = sold [pret., p.p.] send = sent [pret., p.p.] set = set [pret., p.p.] sew = sewed [pret., p.p.]; sewn [p.p.] shake = shook [pret.], shaken [p.p.] shave = shaved [pret., p.p.]; shaven [p.p.] shear = sheared [pret., p.p.]; shorn [p.p.]


to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to

shed = shed [pret., p.p.] shine = shone [pret., p.p.]; shined [pret.] shoe = shod [pret., p.p.] shoot = shot [pret., p.p.] show = showed [pret., p.p.]; shown [p.p.] shrink = shrank [pret.], shrunk [p.p.] shut = shut [pret., p.p.] sing = sang [pret.], sung [p.p.] sink = sank [pret.], sunk [p.p.] sit = sat [pret., p.p.] slay = slew [pret.], slain [p.p.] sleep = slept [pret., p.p.] slide = slid [pret., p.p.] sling = slung [pret., p.p.] slink = slunk [pret., p.p.] slit = slit [pret., p.p.] smell = smelled [pret., p.p.] smell = smelt [pret., p.p.] smite = smote [pret.], smitten [p.p.] sow = sowed [pret., p.p.]; sown [p.p.] speak = spoke [pret.], spoken [p.p.] speed = sped [pret., p.p.] spell = spelled [pret., p.p.] spell = spelt [pret., p.p.] spend = spent [pret., p.p.] spill = spilled [pret., p.p.] spill = spilt [pret., p.p.] spin = spun [pret., p.p.] spit = spat [pret., p.p.] split = split [pret., p.p.] spoil = spoiled [pret., p.p.]; spoilt [pret., p.p.] spread = spread [pret., p.p.] spring = sprang [pret.]; sprung [p.p.] stand = stood [pret., p.p.] steal = stole [pret.], stolen [p.p.] stick = stuck [pret., p.p.] sting = stung [pret., p.p.] stink = stank [pret.], stunk [p.p.] stride = strode [pret.], stridden [p.p.] strike = struck [pret., p.p.]; stricken [p.p.] string = strung [pret., p.p.] strive = strove [pret.], striven [p.p.] swear = swore [pret.], sworn [p.p.] sweep = swept [pret., p.p.] swell = swelled [pret.], swollen [p.p.] swim = swam [pret.], swum [p.p.] swing = swung [pret., p.p.] take = took [pret.], taken [p.p.] teach = taught [pret., p.p.] tear = tore [pret.], torn [p.p.] tell = told [pret., p.p.] think = thought [pret., p.p.] thrive = thrived [pret., p.p.] throw = threw [pret.], thrown [p.p.] thrust = thrust [pret., p.p.] tread = trod [pret.], trodden [p.p.] undo = undid [pret.], undone [p.p.] unlearn = unlearned [pret., p.p.]; unlearnt [pret., p.p.]Ă? unwind = unwound [pret., p.p.] wake = woke [pret.], woken [p.p.] wear = wore [pret.], worn [p.p.] weave = wove [pret.], woven [p.p.]; weaved [pret.] weep = wept [pret., p.p.] win = won [pret., p.p.] wind = wound [pret., p.p.] withdraw = withdrew [pret.], withdrawn [p.p.] wring = wrung [pret., p.p.] write = wrote [pret.], written [p.p.]


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Irregular preterits and past participles This alphabetical list shows the irregular forms of the most common verbs. Each entry includes the infinitive, the preterit, and the past participle. In cases where variant forms exist, they will be shown at the end of the entry. Literary or archaic forms are flagged by a cross: Ý. The past participle is used in many conjugations, including the present perfect, the pluperfect,the past conditional, and the future perfect. can = could [pret.], been able [p.p.] may = might [pret.] to abide = abode [pret., p.p.] to arise = arose [pret.], arisen [p.p.] to awake = awoke [pret.], awakened [p.p.] to be = was, were [pret.], been [p.p.] to bear = bore [pret.], borne [p.p.] to beat = beat [pret.], beaten [p.p.] to become = became [pret.], become [p.p.] to befall = befell [pret.], befallen [p.p.] to begin = began [pret.], begun [p.p.] to bend = bent [pret., p.p.] to beseech = besought [pret., p.p.] to bet = bet [pret., p.p.] to bid = bid [pret., p.p.]; bade [pret.]Ý to bind = bound [pret., p.p.] to bite = bit [pret.], bitten [p.p.] to bleed = bled [pret., p.p.] to blow = blew [pret.], blown [p.p.] to break = broke [pret.], broken [p.p.] to breed = bred [pret., p.p.] to bring = brought [pret., p.p.] to build = built [pret., p.p.] to burn = burned [pret., p.p.]; burnt [pret., p.p.]Ý to burst = burst [pret., p.p.] to buy = bought [pret., p.p.] to cast = cast [pret., p.p.] to catch = caught [pret., p.p.] to choose = chose [pret.], chosen [p.p.] to cleave = cleaved [pret., p.p.]; cleft [pret., p.p.]Ý to cling = clung [pret., p.p.] to come = came [pret.], come [p.p.] to cost = cost [pret., p.p.] to creep = crept [pret., p.p.]; creeped [pret.] to cut = cut [pret., p.p.] to deal = dealt [pret., p.p.] to dig = dug [pret., p.p.] to do = did [pret.], done [p.p.] to draw = drew [pret.], drawn [p.p.] to dream = dreamed [pret., p.p.]; dreamt [pret., p.p.]Ý to drink = drank [pret.], drunk [p.p.] to drive = drove [pret.], driven [p.p.] to dwell = dwelled [pret., p.p.]; dwelt [pret., p.p.]Ý to eat = ate [pret.]; eaten [p.p.] to fall = fell [pret.], fallen [p.p.] to feed = fed [pret., p.p.] to fight = fought [pret., p.p.] to find = found [pret., p.p.] to flee = fled [pret., p.p.] to fling = flung [pret., p.p.] to fly = flew [pret.]; flown [p.p.] to forbid = forbad [pret.]; forbidden [p.p.] to forget = forgot [pret.]; forgotten [p.p.] to forsake = forsook [pret.]; forsaken [p.p.] to freeze = froze [pret.]; frozen [p.p.] to get = got [pret., p.p.]; gotten [p.p.] to gild = gild [p.p.] to give = gave [pret.], given [p.p.] to go = went [pret.], gone [p.p.]


to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to

grind = ground [pret., p.p.] grow = grew [pret.], grown [p.p.] hang = hung [pret., p.p.]; hanged (•éxécution•) [pret., p.p.] have = had [pret., p.p.] hear = heard [pret., p.p.] hew = hewn [p.p.] hide = hid [pret.]; hidden [p.p.] hit = hit [pret., p.p.] hold = held [pret., p.p.] hurt = hurt [pret., p.p.] keep = kept [pret., p.p.] kneel = kneeled [pret., p.p.] kneel = knelt [pret., p.p.] know = knew [pret.], known [p.p.] lay = laid [pret., p.p.] lead = led [pret., p.p.] lean = leaned [pret., p.p.] lean = leant [pret., p.p.] leap = leaped [pret., p.p.] leap = leapt [pret., p.p.] learn = learned [pret., p.p.] learn = learnt [pret., p.p.] leave = left [pret., p.p.] lend = lent [pret., p.p.] let = let [pret., p.p.] lie = lay [pret.], lain [p.p.] light = lit [pret., p.p.] lose = lost [pret., p.p.] make = made [pret., p.p.] mean = meant [pret., p.p.] meet = met [pret., p.p.] mow = mowed [pret.], mown [p.p.] pay = paid [pret., p.p.] put = put [pret., p.p.] quit = quit [pret., p.p.] read = read [pret., p.p.] rebuild = rebuilt [pret., p.p.] recut = recut [pret., p.p.] redeal = redealt [pret., p.p.] redo = redid [pret.], redone [p.p.] relay = relaid [pret., p.p.] remake = remade [pret., p.p.] rend = rent [pret., p.p.] repay = repaid [pret., p.p.] reread = reread [pret., p.p.] rerun = reran [pret.], rerun [p.p.] resend = resent [pret., p.p.] reset = reset [pret., p.p.] retake = retook [pret.], retaken [p.p.] reteach = retaught [pret., p.p.] retell = retold [pret., p.p.] rethink = rethought [pret., p.p.] rewrite = rewrote [pret.], rewritten [p.p.] rid = rid [pret., p.p.] ride = rode [pret.], ridden [p.p.] ring = rang [pret.], rung [p.p.] rise = rose [pret.], risen [p.p.] run = ran [pret.], run [p.p.] saw = sawed [pret., p.p.]; sawn [p.p.]Ý say = said [pret., p.p.] see = saw [pret.], seen [p.p.] seek = sought [pret., p.p.] sell = sold [pret., p.p.] send = sent [pret., p.p.] set = set [pret., p.p.] sew = sewed [pret., p.p.]; sewn [p.p.] shake = shook [pret.], shaken [p.p.] shave = shaved [pret., p.p.]; shaven [p.p.] shear = sheared [pret., p.p.]; shorn [p.p.]


to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to

shed = shed [pret., p.p.] shine = shone [pret., p.p.]; shined [pret.] shoe = shod [pret., p.p.] shoot = shot [pret., p.p.] show = showed [pret., p.p.]; shown [p.p.] shrink = shrank [pret.], shrunk [p.p.] shut = shut [pret., p.p.] sing = sang [pret.], sung [p.p.] sink = sank [pret.], sunk [p.p.] sit = sat [pret., p.p.] slay = slew [pret.], slain [p.p.] sleep = slept [pret., p.p.] slide = slid [pret., p.p.] sling = slung [pret., p.p.] slink = slunk [pret., p.p.] slit = slit [pret., p.p.] smell = smelled [pret., p.p.] smell = smelt [pret., p.p.] smite = smote [pret.], smitten [p.p.] sow = sowed [pret., p.p.]; sown [p.p.] speak = spoke [pret.], spoken [p.p.] speed = sped [pret., p.p.] spell = spelled [pret., p.p.] spell = spelt [pret., p.p.] spend = spent [pret., p.p.] spill = spilled [pret., p.p.] spill = spilt [pret., p.p.] spin = spun [pret., p.p.] spit = spat [pret., p.p.] split = split [pret., p.p.] spoil = spoiled [pret., p.p.]; spoilt [pret., p.p.] spread = spread [pret., p.p.] spring = sprang [pret.]; sprung [p.p.] stand = stood [pret., p.p.] steal = stole [pret.], stolen [p.p.] stick = stuck [pret., p.p.] sting = stung [pret., p.p.] stink = stank [pret.], stunk [p.p.] stride = strode [pret.], stridden [p.p.] strike = struck [pret., p.p.]; stricken [p.p.] string = strung [pret., p.p.] strive = strove [pret.], striven [p.p.] swear = swore [pret.], sworn [p.p.] sweep = swept [pret., p.p.] swell = swelled [pret.], swollen [p.p.] swim = swam [pret.], swum [p.p.] swing = swung [pret., p.p.] take = took [pret.], taken [p.p.] teach = taught [pret., p.p.] tear = tore [pret.], torn [p.p.] tell = told [pret., p.p.] think = thought [pret., p.p.] thrive = thrived [pret., p.p.] throw = threw [pret.], thrown [p.p.] thrust = thrust [pret., p.p.] tread = trod [pret.], trodden [p.p.] undo = undid [pret.], undone [p.p.] unlearn = unlearned [pret., p.p.]; unlearnt [pret., p.p.]Ă? unwind = unwound [pret., p.p.] wake = woke [pret.], woken [p.p.] wear = wore [pret.], worn [p.p.] weave = wove [pret.], woven [p.p.]; weaved [pret.] weep = wept [pret., p.p.] win = won [pret., p.p.] wind = wound [pret., p.p.] withdraw = withdrew [pret.], withdrawn [p.p.] wring = wrung [pret., p.p.] write = wrote [pret.], written [p.p.]


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Causative constructions When one does not carry out an action oneself but rather has the action done by someone else, this is expressed by a causative construction. In English it is the verb "to have" that introduces the causative. The model will generally be: "to have" (conjugated) + direct object (noun or pronoun) + principal verb (in its past participle form): We'll have a monument erected on this site. I had my hair cut. When one wishes to designate the agent of the action (the person who has carried out the described action), there are two possibilities: 1. -- "to have" (conjugated) + direct object (noun or pronoun) + principal verb (in its past participle form) + "by" + agent (usually not as a pronoun): The professor had the work done by his lab assistants. I had it done by my employees. 2. -- "to have" (conjugated) + agent (as a direct object noun or pronoun) + principal verb (in its infinitive form) + the object (also in the form of a direct object noun or pronoun) The professor had his students write an essay. I had him do it. Note: Especially in spoken English, the verb "to get" often replaces "to have," in which case "to" is added to the infinitive (but not before past participles). This construction also suggests that it may be (or have been) difficult to produce a certain reaction on the part of the agent: We'll get a monument erected on this site. The professor got his students to write an essay. When one wishes to express a change in temperament or in general conditions, it is the construction "to make + adjective" which is used: That letter made her sad. He makes me furious! That new problem made negotiations really hard! Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

General principles The auxiliary modals "would," may," "might," "should," "must," "ought to," "can," "could," "will," "shall" are invariable. They exist only in the present, and unlike most verbs in the simple present, their form does not change in the third person singular. Modal verbs are auxiliaries, or "helping" verbs: they are used in conjunction with another verb (in infinitive form) as a way to modify its meaning. Modals can nuance the meaning of the principal verb in a number of ways: -- Possibility or ability, by "can" or "could" I can do this job. Could you please do the dishes? -- Possibility or permission by "may" or "might" (often translated in other languages by a different mood, such as the subjonctif). I may finish my paper tonight. You may come with us, if you wish. It might be helpful to have a map. -- Obligation, or moral obligation, by "must," "ought to," or "should": Students must hand in their work on time. You ought to see a doctor. You should never play with fire. Note that "must" can also indicate probability: You must be exhausted! He must play tennis pretty well. The modal verb "would" is used to express the conditional: If he had time, he would pick up some groceries. The modal verb "will" expresses the future: The train will arrive in an hour. Contractions After a pronoun subject, "would" is often contracted into "--'d" ("I'd", "we'd", "she'd", etc.), while "will" is contracted into "--'ll" ("I'll", "you'll", "they'll", etc.). After all modal verbs, the word"not" of the negative can be contracted into "--n't" ("wouldn't", "shouldn't", etc.). Exceptions : "will not" becomes "won't". "Can not" can also be written "cannot"; in its contracted form, the "n" is not doubled: "can't". Note: The contraction of the modal verbs "shall," "ought," and "may," is considered slightly archaic or literary. examples of contractions: I wouldn't (would not) do that, if I were you! They'll (they will) never believe it! She won't (will not) bother you anymore.

Question tag phrases ("isn't it," "wasn't it," etc.) Modals can be used in a negative interrogative form after an affirmative expression. The function of such an expression is to prompt the listener to reassert or reaffirm what has been stated: You would like to go with us, wouldn't you? You can understand that, can't you?


The modal verb used in the interrogative tag is generally the same as the modal found in the main clause; the subject pronoun is also repeated. After a negative sentence, the modal tag phrase is in the affirmative: You wouldn't want to try it, would you? (Je suppose que tu ne voudrais pas l'essayer.) She won't be back, will she?

Related topics Conditional Future Subjunctive Questions Negation Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Near future Especially in spoken English one finds the near future used as a way of describing imminent events. Strictly speaking, the near future is not a future tense, for it is formed by combining the present tense of the verb "to go," conjugated in the present progressive, with the infinitive of the principal verb. We are going to leave soon. I'm going to give her a call. Also used to express imminent actions is the construction "to be about to do something," also conjugated in the present. I am about to lose my temper! The detective is about to stop the criminal. One can also conjugate these forms in the past progressive in order to express a "future within the past": He said he was going to do it. She was going to buy a new car, but she never did. When I saw them, they were about to make a decision. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

"Not" The most common way to put a phrase in the negative is by using "not." Generally, "not" must follow an auxiliary verb ("to be", "to do") or a modal ("shall", "must", "might", "will", etc.), even if this verb adds no meaning to the sentence. When no other modal is present or appropriate, the verb "to do" is used. Here are some sample phrases in both affirmative and negative form: I want to play the piano. --> I do not want to play the piano. He will arrive on time. --> He will not arrive on time. They should go out together. --> They should not go out together. Note: Most often, the adverb "not" will be contracted to "--n't" after an auxiliary or modal verb: is not --> isn't should not --> shouldn't does not --> doesn't must not --> mustn't has not --> hasn't will not --> won't Questions The same structure (placing "not" after the verb) will hold for questions: Isn't it time to leave? Wouldn't you care for a drink? Note: If one chooses not contract "not" to "--n't", the adverb "not" will be placed after the subject in the question. This style is considered literary: Is it not time to leave. Would you not care for a drink? Using "not" instead of the contraction can produce certain stylistic effects: To stress the negative meaning of the sentence: "He will not come to your house" is stronger than "He won't come to your house" To affect a literary style, especially in the formation of a questions: Will you not come by and see us?

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


Never / not... ever She never wants to see him again. She doesn't ever want to see him again. Nothing / not... anything He does nothing at all. Can't you do anything right? Nowhere / not... anywhere Where are you going? -- Nowhere. I don't want to go anywhere. Not a single / not... a single Not a single letter arrived today. He doesn't have a single idea what we're doing. Neither... nor... We neither ate nor drank during the ceremony. I like neither tomatoes nor zucchini. Only (always placed before the element one whichs to limit): She only has seven dollars. We were only playing. They were the only ones to come. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

"Not" The most common way to put a phrase in the negative is by using "not." Generally, "not" must follow an auxiliary verb ("to be", "to do") or a modal ("shall", "must", "might", "will", etc.), even if this verb adds no meaning to the sentence. When no other modal is present or appropriate, the verb "to do" is used. Here are some sample phrases in both affirmative and negative form: I want to play the piano. --> I do not want to play the piano. He will arrive on time. --> He will not arrive on time. They should go out together. --> They should not go out together. Note: Most often, the adverb "not" will be contracted to "--n't" after an auxiliary or modal verb: is not --> isn't should not --> shouldn't does not --> doesn't must not --> mustn't has not --> hasn't will not --> won't Questions The same structure (placing "not" after the verb) will hold for questions: Isn't it time to leave? Wouldn't you care for a drink? Note: If one chooses not contract "not" to "--n't", the adverb "not" will be placed after the subject in the question. This style is considered literary: Is it not time to leave. Would you not care for a drink? Using "not" instead of the contraction can produce certain stylistic effects: To stress the negative meaning of the sentence: "He will not come to your house" is stronger than "He won't come to your house" To affect a literary style, especially in the formation of a questions: Will you not come by and see us?

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


Never / not... ever She never wants to see him again. She doesn't ever want to see him again. Nothing / not... anything He does nothing at all. Can't you do anything right? Nowhere / not... anywhere Where are you going? -- Nowhere. I don't want to go anywhere. Not a single / not... a single Not a single letter arrived today. He doesn't have a single idea what we're doing. Neither... nor... We neither ate nor drank during the ceremony. I like neither tomatoes nor zucchini. Only (always placed before the element one whichs to limit): She only has seven dollars. We were only playing. They were the only ones to come. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

"Not" The most common way to put a phrase in the negative is by using "not." Generally, "not" must follow an auxiliary verb ("to be", "to do") or a modal ("shall", "must", "might", "will", etc.), even if this verb adds no meaning to the sentence. When no other modal is present or appropriate, the verb "to do" is used. Here are some sample phrases in both affirmative and negative form: I want to play the piano. --> I do not want to play the piano. He will arrive on time. --> He will not arrive on time. They should go out together. --> They should not go out together. Note: Most often, the adverb "not" will be contracted to "--n't" after an auxiliary or modal verb: is not --> isn't should not --> shouldn't does not --> doesn't must not --> mustn't has not --> hasn't will not --> won't Questions The same structure (placing "not" after the verb) will hold for questions: Isn't it time to leave? Wouldn't you care for a drink? Note: If one chooses not contract "not" to "--n't", the adverb "not" will be placed after the subject in the question. This style is considered literary: Is it not time to leave. Would you not care for a drink? Using "not" instead of the contraction can produce certain stylistic effects: To stress the negative meaning of the sentence: "He will not come to your house" is stronger than "He won't come to your house" To affect a literary style, especially in the formation of a questions: Will you not come by and see us?

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


Never / not... ever She never wants to see him again. She doesn't ever want to see him again. Nothing / not... anything He does nothing at all. Can't you do anything right? Nowhere / not... anywhere Where are you going? -- Nowhere. I don't want to go anywhere. Not a single / not... a single Not a single letter arrived today. He doesn't have a single idea what we're doing. Neither... nor... We neither ate nor drank during the ceremony. I like neither tomatoes nor zucchini. Only (always placed before the element one whichs to limit): She only has seven dollars. We were only playing. They were the only ones to come. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

buck, a doe ram, a ewe bull, a cow stallion, a mare

In other cases, the word "male" or "female" is added, if it is considered necessary to be specific: a female cat a male giraffe Note: If the gender of the person or animal is known, one will generally use the pronoun "he" or "she" to refer to it, as appropriate. When the gender is left unstated, the pronoun "he" is generally used when speaking of people, or "it" when speaking of animals. Some objects are also considered to be gendered in certain usages: some people may refer to a boat or a car as "she." Certain nouns (especially the names of professions) are traditionally associated with men or women, in which case one signals exceptions to the tradition by adding "woman" (or "lady") or "man" to the term: They are in a group of male dancers. My wife prefers to see a woman doctor. Plurals As a general rule, the plural is formed by adding "-s" to the singular form of nouns. shoe --> shoes book --> books river --> rivers Nouns ending in "s" or "s" will generally take the ending "-es" : bus --> buses kiss --> kisses Words ending in "y" will generally take the ending "-ies" in place of the "y": party --> parties supply --> supplies Certain words have very irregular forms in the plural: one one one one one one

man --> two men woman --> two women person --> two people foot --> two feet mouse --> two mice goose --> two geese


one one one one one one one one one one one

tooth --> two teeth wife --> two wives child --> two children knife --> two knives thief --> two thieves dwarf --> two dwarves (ou: dwarfs) potato --> two potatoes leaf --> two leaves life --> two lives loaf --> two loaves half --> two halves

A small set of words do not change form in the plural: one moose --> two moose one sheep --> two sheep one aircraft --> two aircraft Words of Greek or Latin origin which have retained their original endings will generally take the plural form associated with the language they are drawn from: one one one one one one one one one one one one one

alumnus --> two alumni syllabus --> two syllabi alumna --> two alumnae alga --> many algae criterion --> many criteria forum --> many fora (or : forums) thesis --> two theses hypothesis --> two hypotheses phenomenon --> two phenomena cactus --> two cacti (or : cactuses) diagnosis --> two diagnoses oasis --> two oases analysis --> two analyses

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

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

Related topics Adjectives Definite articles Indefinite articles Partitive articles Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

"Not" The most common way to put a phrase in the negative is by using "not." Generally, "not" must follow an auxiliary verb ("to be", "to do") or a modal ("shall", "must", "might", "will", etc.), even if this verb adds no meaning to the sentence. When no other modal is present or appropriate, the verb "to do" is used. Here are some sample phrases in both affirmative and negative form: I want to play the piano. --> I do not want to play the piano. He will arrive on time. --> He will not arrive on time. They should go out together. --> They should not go out together. Note: Most often, the adverb "not" will be contracted to "--n't" after an auxiliary or modal verb: is not --> isn't should not --> shouldn't does not --> doesn't must not --> mustn't has not --> hasn't will not --> won't Questions The same structure (placing "not" after the verb) will hold for questions: Isn't it time to leave? Wouldn't you care for a drink? Note: If one chooses not contract "not" to "--n't", the adverb "not" will be placed after the subject in the question. This style is considered literary: Is it not time to leave. Would you not care for a drink? Using "not" instead of the contraction can produce certain stylistic effects: To stress the negative meaning of the sentence: "He will not come to your house" is stronger than "He won't come to your house" To affect a literary style, especially in the formation of a questions: Will you not come by and see us?

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


Never / not... ever She never wants to see him again. She doesn't ever want to see him again. Nothing / not... anything He does nothing at all. Can't you do anything right? Nowhere / not... anywhere Where are you going? -- Nowhere. I don't want to go anywhere. Not a single / not... a single Not a single letter arrived today. He doesn't have a single idea what we're doing. Neither... nor... We neither ate nor drank during the ceremony. I like neither tomatoes nor zucchini. Only (always placed before the element one whichs to limit): She only has seven dollars. We were only playing. They were the only ones to come. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Personal pronouns Forms Subject pronouns Predicate pronouns Order of pronouns Related topics

Here are the different forms for personal pronouns in English:

Use of the subject pronoun Subject pronouns reflect the nouns they replace. Since English nouns rarely show gender, the pronouns "he" and "she" are generally used only for people or animals; in the case of objects or impersonal expressions, the pronoun "it" will be used. Examples: She wants to eat. You look tired. It is hard to cook well.

Use of predicate pronouns: Predicate pronouns will always have the same form whether they are used as direct, indirect, or prepositional objects. The forms are: "me", "you", "it", "him", "her", "us", "them." Whatever the form of the sentence (affirmative, negative, interrogative), direct objects -- or the pronouns replacing them -- will follow the verb: Did you buy it? You didn't buy it. You bought it. Prepositional objects will come after their preposition: Will you come to the store with me? He left without her. Indirect objects will generally come after the proposition "to," except if the pronoun precedes the direct object, in which cas the proposition "to" disappears: I have spoken to her. I gave this present to them. BUT : I gave them this present. Order of pronouns When a verb is followed by two or more pronouns, the following sequence is observed:


Examples : Don't tell that to him. He couldn't sell the car to them. Exception: As noted above, one may omit the preposition "to" in front of an indirect object, in which cas the indirect object pronoun precedes the direct object: He gave me it for Christmas. Don't tell him that. He couldn't sell them the car.

Related topics Relative pronouns Reflexive pronouns Reciprocal pronouns Demonstrative pronouns Possessive pronouns Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

Indirect Object: An indirect object will most often be the person or persons expressed as the recipient of the direct object and will be found immediately after the transitive verb and before the direct object. I threw him the ball. Phrase: A phrase adds to the meaning of a sentence but does not contain a subject or a verb. The yellow house is at the bottom of the driveway. Clause: A clause will contain a subject and a verb and function as either a dependent or an independent clause. See Dependent Clause Adjective Clause: An adjective clause will begin with a relative pronoun and give us more information about a noun or pronoun within a sentence. See Dependent Clause. Adverb Clause: An adverb clause will begin with a subordinating conjunction and offer readers more information about the verb (usually giving us information about time, place, or why something happened). See Dependent Clause. Noun Clause: A noun clause also begins with a relative pronoun but functions differently from an adjective clause. The noun clause operates in the subject position of a sentence, in the object position of a sentence, or in the subject complement position of a sentence. That I studied the assignment was evident to the teacher. (Noun Clause as Subject) I forgot that I needed my passport. (Noun Clause as Direct Object) Pedro was looking for whatever he needed for the baseball game. (Noun Clause as Object of the Preposition) Prepositional Phrase: A prepositional phrase always begins with a preposition and ends with a noun (the object of the preposition). In some cases, the object of the preposition will be a noun clause. The prepositional phrase functions either as an adjective, telling us more about a noun or pronoun, or an adverb, providing us more information about the verb. (May be as short as two words or as many as several words)

The student in the purple dress walked down the hallway. (Adjective and Adverb Prepositional Phrases, respectively) Participial Phrase: A participial phrase joins together a participle and its corresponding words, functioning, always, as an adjective. The participle may be present (ending in -ing) or past (ending in -ed or its irregular form). The school, aged and bent from years of harsh weather, fell from its state of grace. (Past Participial Phrase) Swimming in a sea of grammar, the students splashed each other with verbs and nouns. (Present Participial Phrase) The singing bird trilled high notes in the early morning. (Participle) Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

"Not" The most common way to put a phrase in the negative is by using "not." Generally, "not" must follow an auxiliary verb ("to be", "to do") or a modal ("shall", "must", "might", "will", etc.), even if this verb adds no meaning to the sentence. When no other modal is present or appropriate, the verb "to do" is used. Here are some sample phrases in both affirmative and negative form: I want to play the piano. --> I do not want to play the piano. He will arrive on time. --> He will not arrive on time. They should go out together. --> They should not go out together. Note: Most often, the adverb "not" will be contracted to "--n't" after an auxiliary or modal verb: is not --> isn't should not --> shouldn't does not --> doesn't must not --> mustn't has not --> hasn't will not --> won't Questions The same structure (placing "not" after the verb) will hold for questions: Isn't it time to leave? Wouldn't you care for a drink? Note: If one chooses not contract "not" to "--n't", the adverb "not" will be placed after the subject in the question. This style is considered literary: Is it not time to leave. Would you not care for a drink? Using "not" instead of the contraction can produce certain stylistic effects: To stress the negative meaning of the sentence: "He will not come to your house" is stronger than "He won't come to your house" To affect a literary style, especially in the formation of a questions: Will you not come by and see us?

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


Never / not... ever She never wants to see him again. She doesn't ever want to see him again. Nothing / not... anything He does nothing at all. Can't you do anything right? Nowhere / not... anywhere Where are you going? -- Nowhere. I don't want to go anywhere. Not a single / not... a single Not a single letter arrived today. He doesn't have a single idea what we're doing. Neither... nor... We neither ate nor drank during the ceremony. I like neither tomatoes nor zucchini. Only (always placed before the element one whichs to limit): She only has seven dollars. We were only playing. They were the only ones to come. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Prepositional Verbs Single preposition verbs Sentence structure Mulitple preposition verbs Sentence structure Related topics

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

speak speak speak speak

-- to say words up -- to speak loudly down (to someone) -- to be condescending toward someone for (someone) -- to speak in someone's place

to to to to to to to

put put put put put put put

to to to to to to to to

turn -- to twist turn on -- to make something function (a light, a motor) turn off -- to remove the power to (a light, a motor) turn around -- to turn to face the opposite direction turn up -- to augment the sound, the light turn down -- to diminish the sound, the light turn out -- to become turn red, white, etc. -- to change colors

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

Sentence structure When the sentence includes a noun object, the object will follow the preposition; if the object is replaced by a pronoun, the pronoun precedes the preposition: He turned on the television. He turned it on.

She put away her books. She put them away.

Multiple preposition verbs There are many prepositional verbs that take two prepositions: to to to to

put up with (something, someone) -- to tolerate someone go out with -- to accompany someone go off on (a digression, an adventure) -- to begin, to start run away from -- to flee

Sentence structure


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

Related topics Prepositions Verbs with prepositions Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Personal pronouns Forms Subject pronouns Predicate pronouns Order of pronouns Related topics

Here are the different forms for personal pronouns in English:

Use of the subject pronoun Subject pronouns reflect the nouns they replace. Since English nouns rarely show gender, the pronouns "he" and "she" are generally used only for people or animals; in the case of objects or impersonal expressions, the pronoun "it" will be used. Examples: She wants to eat. You look tired. It is hard to cook well.

Use of predicate pronouns: Predicate pronouns will always have the same form whether they are used as direct, indirect, or prepositional objects. The forms are: "me", "you", "it", "him", "her", "us", "them." Whatever the form of the sentence (affirmative, negative, interrogative), direct objects -- or the pronouns replacing them -- will follow the verb: Did you buy it? You didn't buy it. You bought it. Prepositional objects will come after their preposition: Will you come to the store with me? He left without her. Indirect objects will generally come after the proposition "to," except if the pronoun precedes the direct object, in which cas the proposition "to" disappears: I have spoken to her. I gave this present to them. BUT : I gave them this present. Order of pronouns When a verb is followed by two or more pronouns, the following sequence is observed:


Examples : Don't tell that to him. He couldn't sell the car to them. Exception: As noted above, one may omit the preposition "to" in front of an indirect object, in which cas the indirect object pronoun precedes the direct object: He gave me it for Christmas. Don't tell him that. He couldn't sell them the car.

Related topics Relative pronouns Reflexive pronouns Reciprocal pronouns Demonstrative pronouns Possessive pronouns Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


The imperative Imperatives are used to issue commands. They use the infinitive of verbs (dropping the word "to"); in the first person plural ("we"), the infinitive is preceded by "let's" (or: "let us"): Speak! Finish your homework! Let's eat! Close the door! The negative imperative is formed by placing "don't" (or "do not") before the imperative form; in the first person plural one uses "let's not" (or "let us not") : Let's not forget who helped us. Don't leave me! Don't walk on the grass! Please don't eat the daisies! The imperative has no effect on the word order of the rest of the sentence. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Participle Clauses Participle clauses use a present participle (-ing) to join together sentences, whether in the present or the past, that have the same subject. Troy stars Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom. It is a very exciting film. Both of these sentences have the same subject (Troy). Starring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom, Troy is a very exciting film. Another example: Johnny Depp appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean, Chocolat, and many other films. He's one of the most talented actors of his generation. Appearing in Pirates of the Caribbean, Chocolat, and many other films, Johnny Depp is one of the most talented actors of his generation. Participle clauses use a past participle if the main verb is passive. Troy was filmed in North Africa. It stars Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom. Filmed in North Africa, Troy stars Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Present participles Formation The present participle is formed by adding the ending"--ing" to the infinitive (dropping any silent "e"at the end of the infinitive): to to to to to

sing --> singing talk --> taking bake --> baking be --> being have --> having

Use A. The present participle may often function as an adjective: That's an interesting book. That tree is a weeping willow. B. The present participle can be used as a noun denoting an activity (this form is also called a gerund): Swimming is good exercise. Traveling is fun. C. The present participle can indicate an action that is taking place, although it cannot stand by itself as a verb. In these cases it generally modifies a noun (or pronoun), an adverb, or a past participle: Thinking myself lost, I gave up all hope. Washing clothes is not my idea of a job. Looking ahead is important. D. The present participle is used in progressive verb tenses, which indicate continuing actions or actions in progress (the present progressive, the future progressive, the present perfect progressive) : I am eating my dinner. He was walking across the park. We will be calling you tomorrow. E. The present participle may be used with "while"or "by" to express an idea of simultaneity ("while") or causality ("by") : He finished dinner while watching television. By using a dictionary he could find all the words. While speaking on the phone, she doodled. By calling the police you saved my life! F. The present participle of the auxiliary "have"may be used with the past participle to describe a past condition resulting in another action: Having spent all his money, he returned home. Having told herself that she would be too late, she accelerated. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Partitive article:"some" When the article "some" appears before a plural noun it functions like an indefinite article: He has some tickets for the game. Some students decided not to attend the class. However, when "some" appears before a singular noun, it is being used as a partitive. This is to say that a part of something is indicated, or a partial (or indeterminate) quantity is referred to. It is often used after verbs of possession or consumption: Do you have some time? We're going to buy some milk. I heard some bad news. She has some money to spend. Would you like some help ? Note: After expressions of quantity, the partitive article is not used: Students buy a lot of pastries. Today people have more activities than before. In negative expressions, the partitive article "some" generally becomes "any" (this change will also occur in negative interrogatives): She doesn't have any money. They didn't have any milk. Don't you have any money? The word "any" is not strictly necessary in the negative,and it may often be omitted: I never have accidents. They didn't have milk. Related topics Definite articles Indefinite articles Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Active and Passive voice Events may be related in the active or the passive voice. In the passive, the person or thing receiving the action becomes the grammatical subject. For example (the entity receiving the action is in boldface): active voice: Eric Rohmer made this film. passive voice: This film was made by Eric Rohmer. One forms the passive by conjugating the verb "to be" before the past participle of the principal verb. the tense of the verb "to be" will determine the tense of action. When an agent of the action (that is, the person or entity performing the action) must be described, one does so by using the preposition "by": This industry will soon be developed in the third world. Sorry, but this car has been purchased by another customer. English uses the passive voice frequently, although it is best to avoid it when possible. An option is to use an impersonal subject, such as "one" or "someone" (passive voice): This job needs to be done. (active voice): Someone needs to do this job. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Habitual actions in the past To describe habitual, repeated actions in the past, one generally uses the construction "used to + verb." Thus: When I was little, we used to go camping a lot. When my father was in school, they used to slap children who didn't behave. I used to work days, but now I work the night shift. In spoken English, one often uses the common construction with the modal "would," followed by the main verb: When we were kids, we would haze each other quite a bit. When I was little, we would go camping a lot. When my father was in school, they would slap children who didn't behave. See also: The preterit The past progressive Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Past conditional The past conditional is expressed using the modal "would" before a past infinitive (= "have" + past participle). This construction serves to express missed opportunities and past hypotheses: She told me that she would have liked to come and see us. In your position, I would have done the same thing. One finds it often in hypothetical constructions with "if." When "if" is followed by the pluperfect, the conditional past is expected in the second clause: If I had had the time, I would have done my homework. If you had told me the truth, I would have believed you. If he had worked harder, he'd have received a better grade. Note: In certain regions (principally in the United States) one hears the conditional past in both clauses of hypothetical expressions: If you would have told me he was going to win, I wouldn't have believed you. See related topics: Conditional Modal verbs Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Irregular preterits and past participles This alphabetical list shows the irregular forms of the most common verbs. Each entry includes the infinitive, the preterit, and the past participle. In cases where variant forms exist, they will be shown at the end of the entry. Literary or archaic forms are flagged by a cross: Ý. The past participle is used in many conjugations, including the present perfect, the pluperfect,the past conditional, and the future perfect. can = could [pret.], been able [p.p.] may = might [pret.] to abide = abode [pret., p.p.] to arise = arose [pret.], arisen [p.p.] to awake = awoke [pret.], awakened [p.p.] to be = was, were [pret.], been [p.p.] to bear = bore [pret.], borne [p.p.] to beat = beat [pret.], beaten [p.p.] to become = became [pret.], become [p.p.] to befall = befell [pret.], befallen [p.p.] to begin = began [pret.], begun [p.p.] to bend = bent [pret., p.p.] to beseech = besought [pret., p.p.] to bet = bet [pret., p.p.] to bid = bid [pret., p.p.]; bade [pret.]Ý to bind = bound [pret., p.p.] to bite = bit [pret.], bitten [p.p.] to bleed = bled [pret., p.p.] to blow = blew [pret.], blown [p.p.] to break = broke [pret.], broken [p.p.] to breed = bred [pret., p.p.] to bring = brought [pret., p.p.] to build = built [pret., p.p.] to burn = burned [pret., p.p.]; burnt [pret., p.p.]Ý to burst = burst [pret., p.p.] to buy = bought [pret., p.p.] to cast = cast [pret., p.p.] to catch = caught [pret., p.p.] to choose = chose [pret.], chosen [p.p.] to cleave = cleaved [pret., p.p.]; cleft [pret., p.p.]Ý to cling = clung [pret., p.p.] to come = came [pret.], come [p.p.] to cost = cost [pret., p.p.] to creep = crept [pret., p.p.]; creeped [pret.] to cut = cut [pret., p.p.] to deal = dealt [pret., p.p.] to dig = dug [pret., p.p.] to do = did [pret.], done [p.p.] to draw = drew [pret.], drawn [p.p.] to dream = dreamed [pret., p.p.]; dreamt [pret., p.p.]Ý to drink = drank [pret.], drunk [p.p.] to drive = drove [pret.], driven [p.p.] to dwell = dwelled [pret., p.p.]; dwelt [pret., p.p.]Ý to eat = ate [pret.]; eaten [p.p.] to fall = fell [pret.], fallen [p.p.] to feed = fed [pret., p.p.] to fight = fought [pret., p.p.] to find = found [pret., p.p.] to flee = fled [pret., p.p.] to fling = flung [pret., p.p.] to fly = flew [pret.]; flown [p.p.] to forbid = forbad [pret.]; forbidden [p.p.] to forget = forgot [pret.]; forgotten [p.p.] to forsake = forsook [pret.]; forsaken [p.p.] to freeze = froze [pret.]; frozen [p.p.] to get = got [pret., p.p.]; gotten [p.p.] to gild = gild [p.p.] to give = gave [pret.], given [p.p.] to go = went [pret.], gone [p.p.]


to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to

grind = ground [pret., p.p.] grow = grew [pret.], grown [p.p.] hang = hung [pret., p.p.]; hanged (•éxécution•) [pret., p.p.] have = had [pret., p.p.] hear = heard [pret., p.p.] hew = hewn [p.p.] hide = hid [pret.]; hidden [p.p.] hit = hit [pret., p.p.] hold = held [pret., p.p.] hurt = hurt [pret., p.p.] keep = kept [pret., p.p.] kneel = kneeled [pret., p.p.] kneel = knelt [pret., p.p.] know = knew [pret.], known [p.p.] lay = laid [pret., p.p.] lead = led [pret., p.p.] lean = leaned [pret., p.p.] lean = leant [pret., p.p.] leap = leaped [pret., p.p.] leap = leapt [pret., p.p.] learn = learned [pret., p.p.] learn = learnt [pret., p.p.] leave = left [pret., p.p.] lend = lent [pret., p.p.] let = let [pret., p.p.] lie = lay [pret.], lain [p.p.] light = lit [pret., p.p.] lose = lost [pret., p.p.] make = made [pret., p.p.] mean = meant [pret., p.p.] meet = met [pret., p.p.] mow = mowed [pret.], mown [p.p.] pay = paid [pret., p.p.] put = put [pret., p.p.] quit = quit [pret., p.p.] read = read [pret., p.p.] rebuild = rebuilt [pret., p.p.] recut = recut [pret., p.p.] redeal = redealt [pret., p.p.] redo = redid [pret.], redone [p.p.] relay = relaid [pret., p.p.] remake = remade [pret., p.p.] rend = rent [pret., p.p.] repay = repaid [pret., p.p.] reread = reread [pret., p.p.] rerun = reran [pret.], rerun [p.p.] resend = resent [pret., p.p.] reset = reset [pret., p.p.] retake = retook [pret.], retaken [p.p.] reteach = retaught [pret., p.p.] retell = retold [pret., p.p.] rethink = rethought [pret., p.p.] rewrite = rewrote [pret.], rewritten [p.p.] rid = rid [pret., p.p.] ride = rode [pret.], ridden [p.p.] ring = rang [pret.], rung [p.p.] rise = rose [pret.], risen [p.p.] run = ran [pret.], run [p.p.] saw = sawed [pret., p.p.]; sawn [p.p.]Ý say = said [pret., p.p.] see = saw [pret.], seen [p.p.] seek = sought [pret., p.p.] sell = sold [pret., p.p.] send = sent [pret., p.p.] set = set [pret., p.p.] sew = sewed [pret., p.p.]; sewn [p.p.] shake = shook [pret.], shaken [p.p.] shave = shaved [pret., p.p.]; shaven [p.p.] shear = sheared [pret., p.p.]; shorn [p.p.]


to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to

shed = shed [pret., p.p.] shine = shone [pret., p.p.]; shined [pret.] shoe = shod [pret., p.p.] shoot = shot [pret., p.p.] show = showed [pret., p.p.]; shown [p.p.] shrink = shrank [pret.], shrunk [p.p.] shut = shut [pret., p.p.] sing = sang [pret.], sung [p.p.] sink = sank [pret.], sunk [p.p.] sit = sat [pret., p.p.] slay = slew [pret.], slain [p.p.] sleep = slept [pret., p.p.] slide = slid [pret., p.p.] sling = slung [pret., p.p.] slink = slunk [pret., p.p.] slit = slit [pret., p.p.] smell = smelled [pret., p.p.] smell = smelt [pret., p.p.] smite = smote [pret.], smitten [p.p.] sow = sowed [pret., p.p.]; sown [p.p.] speak = spoke [pret.], spoken [p.p.] speed = sped [pret., p.p.] spell = spelled [pret., p.p.] spell = spelt [pret., p.p.] spend = spent [pret., p.p.] spill = spilled [pret., p.p.] spill = spilt [pret., p.p.] spin = spun [pret., p.p.] spit = spat [pret., p.p.] split = split [pret., p.p.] spoil = spoiled [pret., p.p.]; spoilt [pret., p.p.] spread = spread [pret., p.p.] spring = sprang [pret.]; sprung [p.p.] stand = stood [pret., p.p.] steal = stole [pret.], stolen [p.p.] stick = stuck [pret., p.p.] sting = stung [pret., p.p.] stink = stank [pret.], stunk [p.p.] stride = strode [pret.], stridden [p.p.] strike = struck [pret., p.p.]; stricken [p.p.] string = strung [pret., p.p.] strive = strove [pret.], striven [p.p.] swear = swore [pret.], sworn [p.p.] sweep = swept [pret., p.p.] swell = swelled [pret.], swollen [p.p.] swim = swam [pret.], swum [p.p.] swing = swung [pret., p.p.] take = took [pret.], taken [p.p.] teach = taught [pret., p.p.] tear = tore [pret.], torn [p.p.] tell = told [pret., p.p.] think = thought [pret., p.p.] thrive = thrived [pret., p.p.] throw = threw [pret.], thrown [p.p.] thrust = thrust [pret., p.p.] tread = trod [pret.], trodden [p.p.] undo = undid [pret.], undone [p.p.] unlearn = unlearned [pret., p.p.]; unlearnt [pret., p.p.]Ă? unwind = unwound [pret., p.p.] wake = woke [pret.], woken [p.p.] wear = wore [pret.], worn [p.p.] weave = wove [pret.], woven [p.p.]; weaved [pret.] weep = wept [pret., p.p.] win = won [pret., p.p.] wind = wound [pret., p.p.] withdraw = withdrew [pret.], withdrawn [p.p.] wring = wrung [pret., p.p.] write = wrote [pret.], written [p.p.]


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Past progressive The past progressive is a past tense which emphasizes the ongoing nature of the action described. It is formed by using the auxiliary "to be" with the present participle: I was working. He was eating his dinner when the phone rang. The cat was meowing last night while we tried to sleep. Normally, if an idea could be expressed with the expression "was in the process of doing" or with "was in the midst of doing," the past progressive will be more appropriate than the simple past. Consequently, verbs indicating belief, emotion, possession, etc., are rarely conjugated in the past progressive: I thought that was right. ["I was in the process of thinking..." would be awkward.] Cheryl owned her own house. ["Cheryl was in the midst of owning..." would be awkward.] Note: Do not use the past progressive in order to describe habitual actions in the past. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Future perfect Relatively rare in English, the future perfect serves to express one future action which precedes a future moment or another future action. Moreover, it asserts that these actions will be completed before the principal action. It is formed by adding the modal "will" to the auxiliary "have," preceding the past participle: She will have finished before eight o'clock. Tomorrow morning they will all have left. They will already have finished eating by the time we get there. One can often use the simple future instead of the future perfect, but a nuance is lost: the simple future does not emphasize the completion of the first action: Tomorrow morning they will all leave. (The future perfect would emphasize that they will already have departed before tomorrow morning.) They will finish eating by the time we get there. (They may finish just as we arrive; the future perfect would emphasize that they will have finished before we arrive.) Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Present perfect General principles Recent past General principles The present perfect describes an action or emotion which began in the past and which continues in the present. It is formed by using the auxilary "to have" with the past participle: I have always wanted to visit Israel. Money has always been the problem and not the solution. I have discovered the answer. After such expressions as "since," "for," "how long," etc., one generally uses the present perfect or even the present perfect progressive: I have been in Paris for three weeks He has been telling that story for years! How long have you lived in Quebec? In the negative, the present perfect expresses and action which has not yet occurred: I haven't finished yet. She said she would call, but she hasn't called. Recent past In conjunction with the word "just", the present perfect or the preterit can be used to express the recent past: I (have) just arrived. The film has just come out [or: The film just came out]. Note: do not confuse this use of "just" (which indicates the recent past) with "just about," which indicates, to the contrary, something which will happen in the near future: I have just about finished. (= I have almost finished; I will finish soon.) Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

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Pluperfect The pluperfect is formed with the preterit of the auxiliary "to have," followed by the past participle of the principle verb: He had always wanted to travel in Africa. She had already left when Philippe arrived. I bought the book that Corinne had recommended to me. Usage The pluperfect expresses the precedence of one action compared to another. The earlier action will be described by the pluperfect; the later will generally be described by the preterit. When one action precedes another, the pluperfect is not absolutely necessary. Witness this sentence, which provides a list of actions in chronological order (all expressed by the preterit): The alarm rang, I got up, and I ate breakfast. It is usually only when one seeks to emphasize the precedence of one action that the pluperfect will be used. Often one finds such adverbs as "already," which reinforces the impression of precedence. She learned to love the dog that had bitten her the week before. When I got home, I had already heard the bad news. The children ate all the cookies that their father had bought. In certain phrases one action may be left implicit: She had already thought of that. The pluperfect is often used in in hypothetical expressions with "if," in conjunction with the past conditional: I would not have come if I had known he was ill. Withe the adverb "just" the pluperfect indicates the immediate past in a past context: He had just eaten lunch when I arrived. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Adjectives Forms Usage Related topics Forms Adjectives are generally invariable in English and do not agree with nouns in number and gender; nor do they take case endings: a blue car the great outdoors a group of young women However, a few adjectives have a connotation which is slightly masculine or feminine. Thus, one says that a woman is beautiful while a man would be called handsome. Adjectives indicating religion or nationality (or a region, state or province) generally begin with a capital letter, whether they refer to people or objects: She is an American student. They go to a Catholic school. They enjoy Breton music. Usage: In a noun cluster an adjective will be placed, with very few exceptions, in front of the noun it modifies. When two adjectives precede a noun, they can be connected by a comma (,) or by the conjunction"and." In a series of three or more adjectives, one usually uses "and" before the last adjective in the list. Examples: I like short novels. That fellow will be a competent worker. She writes long and flowery letters. He works long, hard hours. She had a mean, old and overbearing step-mother. An adjective may follow the noun when it is in a predicate (after the verb) or in a relative clause. (In relative clauses the relative pronoun may be implicit.) Examples: He was a man (who was) always happy to help others. She is a woman (who is) true to herself. They were entirely satisfied.

Related topics Possessive adjectives Demonstrative adjectives Comparisons Superlatives Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

buck, a doe ram, a ewe bull, a cow stallion, a mare

In other cases, the word "male" or "female" is added, if it is considered necessary to be specific: a female cat a male giraffe Note: If the gender of the person or animal is known, one will generally use the pronoun "he" or "she" to refer to it, as appropriate. When the gender is left unstated, the pronoun "he" is generally used when speaking of people, or "it" when speaking of animals. Some objects are also considered to be gendered in certain usages: some people may refer to a boat or a car as "she." Certain nouns (especially the names of professions) are traditionally associated with men or women, in which case one signals exceptions to the tradition by adding "woman" (or "lady") or "man" to the term: They are in a group of male dancers. My wife prefers to see a woman doctor. Plurals As a general rule, the plural is formed by adding "-s" to the singular form of nouns. shoe --> shoes book --> books river --> rivers Nouns ending in "s" or "s" will generally take the ending "-es" : bus --> buses kiss --> kisses Words ending in "y" will generally take the ending "-ies" in place of the "y": party --> parties supply --> supplies Certain words have very irregular forms in the plural: one one one one one one

man --> two men woman --> two women person --> two people foot --> two feet mouse --> two mice goose --> two geese


one one one one one one one one one one one

tooth --> two teeth wife --> two wives child --> two children knife --> two knives thief --> two thieves dwarf --> two dwarves (ou: dwarfs) potato --> two potatoes leaf --> two leaves life --> two lives loaf --> two loaves half --> two halves

A small set of words do not change form in the plural: one moose --> two moose one sheep --> two sheep one aircraft --> two aircraft Words of Greek or Latin origin which have retained their original endings will generally take the plural form associated with the language they are drawn from: one one one one one one one one one one one one one

alumnus --> two alumni syllabus --> two syllabi alumna --> two alumnae alga --> many algae criterion --> many criteria forum --> many fora (or : forums) thesis --> two theses hypothesis --> two hypotheses phenomenon --> two phenomena cactus --> two cacti (or : cactuses) diagnosis --> two diagnoses oasis --> two oases analysis --> two analyses

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

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

Related topics Adjectives Definite articles Indefinite articles Partitive articles Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Possession Possessive adjectives Possessive pronouns "To belong" The "s" of possession "Whose"

In English possession may be expressed in five different ways: Possessive adjectives Possessive adjectives agree with the person to whom they refer: I --> my you --> your he, her, it --> his (masculine), her (feminine), its (impersonal) we --> our they --> their So, I have lost my keys. They are coming in their car. I met your grandparents. This car has lost its power. Note: In English the possessive adjective is used to refer to parts of the body: She brushes her teeth twice a day. He broke his arm playing soccer. His stomach aches. Possessive pronouns Possessive pronouns, like the adjectives, agree with the person to whom they refer. Singular and plural share the same form: I --> mine your --> yours he, she, it --> his (masculine), hers (feminine), its (impersonal) we --> ours they --> theirs So, I have my likes, and she has hers. If you give me one of yours, I'll give you one of mine. I like our house, but frankly, I am jealous of theirs! That's mine!

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

The "s" of possession One may add "--'s" to any noun in order to indicate possession: I just read Gustave's book. The front door's lock is broken. Many of the world's countries are poor.


Note: Do not confuse the "s" of possession with the contraction of the verb "is": Fred's going to fetch it. (= Fred is going to fetch it.) The train's late again. (=The train is late again.)

"Whose" for indicating possession "Whose" will be placed before the possession (the object possessed), and will refer ownership to the preceding noun: The man whose dog bit me said he was sorry. (The dog belongs to the man.) Here is the woman whose daughter I intend to marry.(The woman is the mother of the daughter.) Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Verbs with prepositions Certain verbs and verbal expressions are generally followed by a preposition before their object (and this preposition will generally be shown in the dictionary). However, the meaning of these verbs is not dramatically changed by the addition of the preposition. The same cannot be said of the prepositional verbs, dealt with in another section. Examples: to to to to to to to to to to to to

wait for look for look at listen to pay for ask for be happy with something be mad at (or: with) someone depend on be interested in thank for be busy with

Sample sentences: She's the one who paid for our dinner! I'm not asking for anything! I'm busy with my own stuff. That depends on you.

See also Prepositions Prepositional verbs Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Prepositional Verbs Single preposition verbs Sentence structure Mulitple preposition verbs Sentence structure Related topics

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

speak speak speak speak

-- to say words up -- to speak loudly down (to someone) -- to be condescending toward someone for (someone) -- to speak in someone's place

to to to to to to to

put put put put put put put

to to to to to to to to

turn -- to twist turn on -- to make something function (a light, a motor) turn off -- to remove the power to (a light, a motor) turn around -- to turn to face the opposite direction turn up -- to augment the sound, the light turn down -- to diminish the sound, the light turn out -- to become turn red, white, etc. -- to change colors

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

Sentence structure When the sentence includes a noun object, the object will follow the preposition; if the object is replaced by a pronoun, the pronoun precedes the preposition: He turned on the television. He turned it on.

She put away her books. She put them away.

Multiple preposition verbs There are many prepositional verbs that take two prepositions: to to to to

put up with (something, someone) -- to tolerate someone go out with -- to accompany someone go off on (a digression, an adventure) -- to begin, to start run away from -- to flee

Sentence structure


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

Related topics Prepositions Verbs with prepositions Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Prepositions Space Geography Means of transportation Time "To" with indirect objects Related topics Space In their simplest form, prepositions are used to indicate position (in time or space) of one thing with respect to another: I put the book on the table. She arrived before the others. He came toward me. There are many prepositions. Here is a partial list, with examples: to -- He gave the book to his friend. at -- They arrived at his house at 5 o'clock. of -- It was the third day of the month. from -- That young women comes from Thailand. on -- She put the plate on the table. under -- The cat crawled under the bed. over -- The boy threw the rock over the tree. underneath -- The rabbit escaped underneath the fence. before -- (time) She arrived before the movie started. after -- He called his mother after he finished shopping. in front of -- His mother parked her car in front of his apartment. behind -- The dog ran behind the house. for -- He went to the store for more milk. toward -- The criminal walked toward him with a gun. against -- Everyone was against that idea. around -- The athletes ran around the track six times. close to -- He placed the food close to the squirrel. far from -- He placed the food far from the lion. next to -- He was hot, so he sat down next to the air conditioning. facing -- She sat down on the other side of the table, facing him. in the midst of -- I don't know where to find any free time in the midst of these emergencies.

Usage of prepositions The use of prepositions is one of the most complex aspects of English, and it is impossible to cover all cases. Some general guidelines, however, may be helpful. Geography Movement toward a town, country, state, or continent is generally expressed by the preposition "to"; presence in a city, state, etc. is expressed by "in"; movement away from a city, state, etc., is expressed by "from" (if the verb requires a pronoun): When are you going to Canada. He went to Asia last year. I spent three years in London. She was born in Normandy. He comes from Mexico. Transportation As a general rule, the preposition "by" is used to describe how one has traveled. The prepositions "in" and "on" describe one's presence inside a vehicle. In the case of small vehicles (a car, a helicopter...), the preposition "in" is required: I came by bike. Traveling by plane is my favorite. I was already on (in) the train when he arrived. She is waiting for me in the car. Time


To designate an hour the preposition "at" is used: Let's meet at six o'clock. They arrived at 4:45. For dates and days of the week, one uses "on": His birthday is on Monday. It happened on March 3, 1997. For months one uses "in": My birthday is in September. We will begin work in August. To express duration, the preposition "for" is used; "in" can be used to express the time it will take to complete a task: I am going away for a few days. He worked with them for three years. I can read that book in a day.

Indirect objects The preposition "to", which generally precedes an indirect object, will disappear before a noun (or pronoun) when the indirect object precedes a direct object. ("To" will be retained when the indirect object follows a direct object.) Examples : She gave John the ticket. Mais : She gave the ticket to John. or: He sent her a letter. Mais : He sent a letter to her. Ou : He sent it to her. This can also be seen in certain phrases in which the direct object is implicit. I already told it to him. Mais : I already told him (the news). Related topics Verbs with prepositions Prepositional verbs Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Present participles Formation The present participle is formed by adding the ending"--ing" to the infinitive (dropping any silent "e"at the end of the infinitive): to to to to to

sing --> singing talk --> taking bake --> baking be --> being have --> having

Use A. The present participle may often function as an adjective: That's an interesting book. That tree is a weeping willow. B. The present participle can be used as a noun denoting an activity (this form is also called a gerund): Swimming is good exercise. Traveling is fun. C. The present participle can indicate an action that is taking place, although it cannot stand by itself as a verb. In these cases it generally modifies a noun (or pronoun), an adverb, or a past participle: Thinking myself lost, I gave up all hope. Washing clothes is not my idea of a job. Looking ahead is important. D. The present participle is used in progressive verb tenses, which indicate continuing actions or actions in progress (the present progressive, the future progressive, the present perfect progressive) : I am eating my dinner. He was walking across the park. We will be calling you tomorrow. E. The present participle may be used with "while"or "by" to express an idea of simultaneity ("while") or causality ("by") : He finished dinner while watching television. By using a dictionary he could find all the words. While speaking on the phone, she doodled. By calling the police you saved my life! F. The present participle of the auxiliary "have"may be used with the past participle to describe a past condition resulting in another action: Having spent all his money, he returned home. Having told herself that she would be too late, she accelerated. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Present perfect progressive A close relative of the present perfect, the present perfect progressive, emphasizes the continuation of a single action: it indicates that the action is ongoing or continuing at the moment one is speaking. The form -- relatively complicated -- consists of the past auxiliary "to have" + "been" (the past participle of "to be") + the present participle of the principal verb. For example: I have been trying to reach you all afternoon. They have been working hard to finish their project. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Present perfect General principles Recent past General principles The present perfect describes an action or emotion which began in the past and which continues in the present. It is formed by using the auxilary "to have" with the past participle: I have always wanted to visit Israel. Money has always been the problem and not the solution. I have discovered the answer. After such expressions as "since," "for," "how long," etc., one generally uses the present perfect or even the present perfect progressive: I have been in Paris for three weeks He has been telling that story for years! How long have you lived in Quebec? In the negative, the present perfect expresses and action which has not yet occurred: I haven't finished yet. She said she would call, but she hasn't called. Recent past In conjunction with the word "just", the present perfect or the preterit can be used to express the recent past: I (have) just arrived. The film has just come out [or: The film just came out]. Note: do not confuse this use of "just" (which indicates the recent past) with "just about," which indicates, to the contrary, something which will happen in the near future: I have just about finished. (= I have almost finished; I will finish soon.) Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Present progressive General principles Near future In negative constructions Related topics General principles The present progressive is a version of the present which emphasizes the fact that an action is still unfolding (or is continuing) at the time one speaks. It is formed by using the auxilary "to be" with the present participle: I am working. He is eating his dinner. The cat is meowing. Usually, the present progressive indicates that one is "in the process of" or "in the midst of" doing something. If this is the idea one wishes to communicate, the present progressive will be preferable to the simple present. If you cannot replace the verb by a form of "to be in the process of," the present progressive should probably not be used. Indications of emotion, belief, and possession are rarely conjugated in the present progressive: I think that is right. ["I am in the process of thinking" would be awkward.] Cheryl owns her own house. ["Cheryl is in the process of owning" would be awkward.] In certain situations the present progressive can indicate an action which will take place in the immediate future: I am going to the movies this evening. They are leaving tomorrow. Near future: To emphasize the idea of future action while using the present tense, one may use the verb "to go"; it indicates what one is going to do. In this case the principle verb remains in the infinitive: I know he is going to yell at me! They are going to regret that decision. Note: The near future can also be used in past constructions, in which case the verb "to go" is conjugated in the past progressive: She was going to leave, but the telephone rang. Present progressive in the negative The word "not" comes after the auxiliary "to be": He is not working very hard. You are not driving fast enough.

Related topics Negation Questions Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Simple present (indicative) The simple present is used to express actions which take place in the present or which occur regularly. It also serves to express general or absolute statements not anchored in a particular time frame. I work at home. Politics are a dirty business. Jill speaks four languages fluently. On Sundays, we like to fish. In the interrogative, the present is generally introduced by a form of the verb "to do" ("do / does"): Does your father like to cook? Do you have time to stop by my place? The appropriate form of the verb "to do" will also be used for the negative: I do not (don't) work at home. No, he does not (doesn't) like to cook. After the conjunctions "when," "as soon as," etc., the present is used, even though actions expressed may refer to the future: She'll come when she can. He'll pay us as soon as we finish.

Forming the simple present The present is extremely regular in its conjugation. As a general rule, one uses the base form of the infinitive (minus the preposition "to"). For the third person singular ("he," "she," "it"), an "-s" is added if the verb ends in a consonant, or "-es" if the verb ends with a vowel: To work I work you work he / she / it works we work they work To go I go you go he / she / it goes we go they go However: verbs ending with "consonant + y" (for example, "to try," "to cry," "to bury," etc.) will end in "-ies" in the third person singular: To bury I bury you bury he / she buries we bury they bury

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


they have To be I am you are he / she is we are they are Related topics Negatives Questions Near future Prepositional verbs Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Irregular preterits and past participles This alphabetical list shows the irregular forms of the most common verbs. Each entry includes the infinitive, the preterit, and the past participle. In cases where variant forms exist, they will be shown at the end of the entry. Literary or archaic forms are flagged by a cross: Ý. The past participle is used in many conjugations, including the present perfect, the pluperfect,the past conditional, and the future perfect. can = could [pret.], been able [p.p.] may = might [pret.] to abide = abode [pret., p.p.] to arise = arose [pret.], arisen [p.p.] to awake = awoke [pret.], awakened [p.p.] to be = was, were [pret.], been [p.p.] to bear = bore [pret.], borne [p.p.] to beat = beat [pret.], beaten [p.p.] to become = became [pret.], become [p.p.] to befall = befell [pret.], befallen [p.p.] to begin = began [pret.], begun [p.p.] to bend = bent [pret., p.p.] to beseech = besought [pret., p.p.] to bet = bet [pret., p.p.] to bid = bid [pret., p.p.]; bade [pret.]Ý to bind = bound [pret., p.p.] to bite = bit [pret.], bitten [p.p.] to bleed = bled [pret., p.p.] to blow = blew [pret.], blown [p.p.] to break = broke [pret.], broken [p.p.] to breed = bred [pret., p.p.] to bring = brought [pret., p.p.] to build = built [pret., p.p.] to burn = burned [pret., p.p.]; burnt [pret., p.p.]Ý to burst = burst [pret., p.p.] to buy = bought [pret., p.p.] to cast = cast [pret., p.p.] to catch = caught [pret., p.p.] to choose = chose [pret.], chosen [p.p.] to cleave = cleaved [pret., p.p.]; cleft [pret., p.p.]Ý to cling = clung [pret., p.p.] to come = came [pret.], come [p.p.] to cost = cost [pret., p.p.] to creep = crept [pret., p.p.]; creeped [pret.] to cut = cut [pret., p.p.] to deal = dealt [pret., p.p.] to dig = dug [pret., p.p.] to do = did [pret.], done [p.p.] to draw = drew [pret.], drawn [p.p.] to dream = dreamed [pret., p.p.]; dreamt [pret., p.p.]Ý to drink = drank [pret.], drunk [p.p.] to drive = drove [pret.], driven [p.p.] to dwell = dwelled [pret., p.p.]; dwelt [pret., p.p.]Ý to eat = ate [pret.]; eaten [p.p.] to fall = fell [pret.], fallen [p.p.] to feed = fed [pret., p.p.] to fight = fought [pret., p.p.] to find = found [pret., p.p.] to flee = fled [pret., p.p.] to fling = flung [pret., p.p.] to fly = flew [pret.]; flown [p.p.] to forbid = forbad [pret.]; forbidden [p.p.] to forget = forgot [pret.]; forgotten [p.p.] to forsake = forsook [pret.]; forsaken [p.p.] to freeze = froze [pret.]; frozen [p.p.] to get = got [pret., p.p.]; gotten [p.p.] to gild = gild [p.p.] to give = gave [pret.], given [p.p.] to go = went [pret.], gone [p.p.]


to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to

grind = ground [pret., p.p.] grow = grew [pret.], grown [p.p.] hang = hung [pret., p.p.]; hanged (•éxécution•) [pret., p.p.] have = had [pret., p.p.] hear = heard [pret., p.p.] hew = hewn [p.p.] hide = hid [pret.]; hidden [p.p.] hit = hit [pret., p.p.] hold = held [pret., p.p.] hurt = hurt [pret., p.p.] keep = kept [pret., p.p.] kneel = kneeled [pret., p.p.] kneel = knelt [pret., p.p.] know = knew [pret.], known [p.p.] lay = laid [pret., p.p.] lead = led [pret., p.p.] lean = leaned [pret., p.p.] lean = leant [pret., p.p.] leap = leaped [pret., p.p.] leap = leapt [pret., p.p.] learn = learned [pret., p.p.] learn = learnt [pret., p.p.] leave = left [pret., p.p.] lend = lent [pret., p.p.] let = let [pret., p.p.] lie = lay [pret.], lain [p.p.] light = lit [pret., p.p.] lose = lost [pret., p.p.] make = made [pret., p.p.] mean = meant [pret., p.p.] meet = met [pret., p.p.] mow = mowed [pret.], mown [p.p.] pay = paid [pret., p.p.] put = put [pret., p.p.] quit = quit [pret., p.p.] read = read [pret., p.p.] rebuild = rebuilt [pret., p.p.] recut = recut [pret., p.p.] redeal = redealt [pret., p.p.] redo = redid [pret.], redone [p.p.] relay = relaid [pret., p.p.] remake = remade [pret., p.p.] rend = rent [pret., p.p.] repay = repaid [pret., p.p.] reread = reread [pret., p.p.] rerun = reran [pret.], rerun [p.p.] resend = resent [pret., p.p.] reset = reset [pret., p.p.] retake = retook [pret.], retaken [p.p.] reteach = retaught [pret., p.p.] retell = retold [pret., p.p.] rethink = rethought [pret., p.p.] rewrite = rewrote [pret.], rewritten [p.p.] rid = rid [pret., p.p.] ride = rode [pret.], ridden [p.p.] ring = rang [pret.], rung [p.p.] rise = rose [pret.], risen [p.p.] run = ran [pret.], run [p.p.] saw = sawed [pret., p.p.]; sawn [p.p.]Ý say = said [pret., p.p.] see = saw [pret.], seen [p.p.] seek = sought [pret., p.p.] sell = sold [pret., p.p.] send = sent [pret., p.p.] set = set [pret., p.p.] sew = sewed [pret., p.p.]; sewn [p.p.] shake = shook [pret.], shaken [p.p.] shave = shaved [pret., p.p.]; shaven [p.p.] shear = sheared [pret., p.p.]; shorn [p.p.]


to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to to

shed = shed [pret., p.p.] shine = shone [pret., p.p.]; shined [pret.] shoe = shod [pret., p.p.] shoot = shot [pret., p.p.] show = showed [pret., p.p.]; shown [p.p.] shrink = shrank [pret.], shrunk [p.p.] shut = shut [pret., p.p.] sing = sang [pret.], sung [p.p.] sink = sank [pret.], sunk [p.p.] sit = sat [pret., p.p.] slay = slew [pret.], slain [p.p.] sleep = slept [pret., p.p.] slide = slid [pret., p.p.] sling = slung [pret., p.p.] slink = slunk [pret., p.p.] slit = slit [pret., p.p.] smell = smelled [pret., p.p.] smell = smelt [pret., p.p.] smite = smote [pret.], smitten [p.p.] sow = sowed [pret., p.p.]; sown [p.p.] speak = spoke [pret.], spoken [p.p.] speed = sped [pret., p.p.] spell = spelled [pret., p.p.] spell = spelt [pret., p.p.] spend = spent [pret., p.p.] spill = spilled [pret., p.p.] spill = spilt [pret., p.p.] spin = spun [pret., p.p.] spit = spat [pret., p.p.] split = split [pret., p.p.] spoil = spoiled [pret., p.p.]; spoilt [pret., p.p.] spread = spread [pret., p.p.] spring = sprang [pret.]; sprung [p.p.] stand = stood [pret., p.p.] steal = stole [pret.], stolen [p.p.] stick = stuck [pret., p.p.] sting = stung [pret., p.p.] stink = stank [pret.], stunk [p.p.] stride = strode [pret.], stridden [p.p.] strike = struck [pret., p.p.]; stricken [p.p.] string = strung [pret., p.p.] strive = strove [pret.], striven [p.p.] swear = swore [pret.], sworn [p.p.] sweep = swept [pret., p.p.] swell = swelled [pret.], swollen [p.p.] swim = swam [pret.], swum [p.p.] swing = swung [pret., p.p.] take = took [pret.], taken [p.p.] teach = taught [pret., p.p.] tear = tore [pret.], torn [p.p.] tell = told [pret., p.p.] think = thought [pret., p.p.] thrive = thrived [pret., p.p.] throw = threw [pret.], thrown [p.p.] thrust = thrust [pret., p.p.] tread = trod [pret.], trodden [p.p.] undo = undid [pret.], undone [p.p.] unlearn = unlearned [pret., p.p.]; unlearnt [pret., p.p.]Ă? unwind = unwound [pret., p.p.] wake = woke [pret.], woken [p.p.] wear = wore [pret.], worn [p.p.] weave = wove [pret.], woven [p.p.]; weaved [pret.] weep = wept [pret., p.p.] win = won [pret., p.p.] wind = wound [pret., p.p.] withdraw = withdrew [pret.], withdrawn [p.p.] wring = wrung [pret., p.p.] write = wrote [pret.], written [p.p.]


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The preterit As a general rule, the preterit is formed by adding the ending "--ed" to the infinitive (dropping any unpronounced "e" in final position, and changing any final "y" to "i"): to to to to to

walk --> walked answer --> answered want --> wanted smile --> smiled cry --> cried

The preterit forms of many common verbs are irregular: to to to to to to to to to to to to to

be --> was (singular), were (plural) have --> had do --> did make --> made eat --> ate go --> went drink --> drank think --> thought bring --> brought drive --> drove write --> wrote sing --> sang build --> built

(For a complete list of this irregular forms, see Irregular preterits and past participles). Usage The preterit expresses actions which were completed in the past. Unlike those described by the present perfect, these actions do not continue in the present. Unlike the past progressive, the preterit does not describe the process or duration of actions: it states them only as completed actions: She went to the store this afternoon. They called the police. He came, he saw, he conquered. The duration of the action is of no importance: the preterit may describe an action lasting an instant or many years. Thus verbs indicating belief, emotion, possession, location, etc. will often be expressed in the preterit: I lived in London for three years. She owned three dogs throughout her childhood. I never trusted what they told me. In the negative and interrogative, the auxiliary verb "to do" -- conjugated in the preterit -- will be used with the infinitive to express the past: Did you arrive in time? Didn't you eat yet? We didn't go to the movies after all. Related topics The past progressive Habitual actions in the past Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Future progressive The future progressive serves to express an action which will be in the process of occurring. It is formed by putting the present progressive into the future: will be + present participle. I will be waiting for you at six o'clock. He will be eating by the time you arrive.

Hint for usage: How to choose between the future progressive and the simple future? If it is possible to use the expression "will be in the process of," it is the future progressive that best expresses the action. The future progressive indicates that an action will be continuing at a given moment; the simple future suggests that the action will be complete. Thus the verb tense can nuance meaning. Consider these sentences, both of which are grammatically correct: I will be finishing my homework at 10:00. (This suggests that I may finish my homework at 10:05 or 10:15; I will be nearing completion, in the process of completion.) I will finish my homework at 10:00. (This suggests that I will finish at 10:00 sharp.) Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Past progressive The past progressive is a past tense which emphasizes the ongoing nature of the action described. It is formed by using the auxiliary "to be" with the present participle: I was working. He was eating his dinner when the phone rang. The cat was meowing last night while we tried to sleep. Normally, if an idea could be expressed with the expression "was in the process of doing" or with "was in the midst of doing," the past progressive will be more appropriate than the simple past. Consequently, verbs indicating belief, emotion, possession, etc., are rarely conjugated in the past progressive: I thought that was right. ["I was in the process of thinking..." would be awkward.] Cheryl owned her own house. ["Cheryl was in the midst of owning..." would be awkward.] Note: Do not use the past progressive in order to describe habitual actions in the past. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Present perfect progressive A close relative of the present perfect, the present perfect progressive, emphasizes the continuation of a single action: it indicates that the action is ongoing or continuing at the moment one is speaking. The form -- relatively complicated -- consists of the past auxiliary "to have" + "been" (the past participle of "to be") + the present participle of the principal verb. For example: I have been trying to reach you all afternoon. They have been working hard to finish their project. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Present progressive General principles Near future In negative constructions Related topics General principles The present progressive is a version of the present which emphasizes the fact that an action is still unfolding (or is continuing) at the time one speaks. It is formed by using the auxilary "to be" with the present participle: I am working. He is eating his dinner. The cat is meowing. Usually, the present progressive indicates that one is "in the process of" or "in the midst of" doing something. If this is the idea one wishes to communicate, the present progressive will be preferable to the simple present. If you cannot replace the verb by a form of "to be in the process of," the present progressive should probably not be used. Indications of emotion, belief, and possession are rarely conjugated in the present progressive: I think that is right. ["I am in the process of thinking" would be awkward.] Cheryl owns her own house. ["Cheryl is in the process of owning" would be awkward.] In certain situations the present progressive can indicate an action which will take place in the immediate future: I am going to the movies this evening. They are leaving tomorrow. Near future: To emphasize the idea of future action while using the present tense, one may use the verb "to go"; it indicates what one is going to do. In this case the principle verb remains in the infinitive: I know he is going to yell at me! They are going to regret that decision. Note: The near future can also be used in past constructions, in which case the verb "to go" is conjugated in the past progressive: She was going to leave, but the telephone rang. Present progressive in the negative The word "not" comes after the auxiliary "to be": He is not working very hard. You are not driving fast enough.

Related topics Negation Questions Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns Demonstrative adjectives Demonstrative adjectives have two singular forms (this, that) and two plural forms (these, those). These adjectives are used to designate proximity to an object, or to distinguish between an object that is close (in time or space) and one that is more remote. Usually "this" and "these" signal proximity, while "that" and "those" suggest distance: These books are too expensive. This car is responsive. That man irritates me! This hotel is more expensive than that one.

Demonstrative pronouns Demonstrative pronouns have the same form as the demonstrative adjectives, but are used without the nouns to which they refer. In the singular, when designating a specific object, the pronoun "one" is often added: These tomatoes are fresher than those. These are better than those. Would you like a little of this? That strikes me as really weird! The book is more interesting than that one. In front of a relative pronoun, the demonstrative pronoun becomes "the one" or "the ones" (when speaking of things), or "he / she who", "they who" (when speaking of people): This film is the one that you hated so much. He who eats well works well. This pen is the one with which the President signed the new law.

Related topics Relative pronouns Subject pronouns Reflexive pronouns Object pronouns Reciprocal pronouns Possessive pronouns Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

Simple questions Simple questions (that is, questions to which one can respond by a simple "yes" or "no") may be formed in three different ways: 1. "Do": one precedes an assertion with "do" or "does" (or "don't" or "doesn't" for a negative expression, or "did", "didn't" for the past): Do you want to go to the movies? Does she work at IBM? Don't you travel quite a bit? Do they answer questions quickly? Didn't they want to eat? But: One never places "do" or "does" before the verb "to be" or before modal verbs in questions; in this case it is preferable to invert the subject and verb: Are you coming to the reception? Was the meeting boring? Weren't you hungry?

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

3. Modal phrases: If a modal verb is used in a sentence, or if it is strongly implied, a modal phrase can be used to make an interrogative form. The modal phrase is typically an inversion of the subject and verb, in the negative, repeated at the end of the sentence: It's time to go, isn't it? He'd like to come with us, wouldn't he? You would like to go with us, wouldn't you? You can understand that, can't you? In the case of a negative question, the modal phrase would be in the affirmative: You wouldn't want to try it, would you? She won't be back, will she? (See also: negations)

Interrogative adverbs Simple questions solicit a "yes" or "no" answer. More precise questions may be formed by using the interrogative adverbs: when, why, how, how much, where. Generally, the interrogative adverb precedes the rest of the question; then the order of the sentence follows the rules indicated for inversion or for questions formed with "do / does". Where are you going? Why do you want to take this class?


How much do you earn a month? How do these machines work? (Où vont ces étudiants ?) When do you expect to get home? (A quelle heure penses-tu rentrer ?) See also: Questions, Interrogative pronouns.

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

subject (person) : who + question Who did this painting? Who wants to get an ice cream? subject (thing) : what + question What interests you? What is good in this restaurant? direct object (person) : whom + question Whom did you see in France? Whom are you going to meet at this reception? direct objet (thing) : what + question What do you want to do this evening? What are you preparing? object of a preposition (person) : preposition + whom + question About whom are you thinking? With whom did you go out? Note: In spoken English, one often places the preposition at the end of the sentence, in which case one uses "who" instead of "whom" Who are you thinking about? Who did you go out with? object of a preposition (thing) : preposition + what + question With what did you open it? In what way does that concern you? Note: In spoken English, the preposition is often put at the end of the sentence: What did you open it with? What did did they base their opinion on?

Which, which one, which ones. The adjective "which" and its pronominal forms ("which", "which one", "which ones") ask that a person make a choice. Usually these pronouns will be placed at the beginning of the sentence; Normalement, ces pronoms se trouveront au début de la phrase ; then the order of the sentence follows the


rules indicated for inversion or for questions formed with "do / does". Which film do you want to see? Which date did you choose? Here are two pizzas. Which one do you prefer? There are many different Burgundy wines. Which ones do you like? Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Possession Possessive adjectives Possessive pronouns "To belong" The "s" of possession "Whose"

In English possession may be expressed in five different ways: Possessive adjectives Possessive adjectives agree with the person to whom they refer: I --> my you --> your he, her, it --> his (masculine), her (feminine), its (impersonal) we --> our they --> their So, I have lost my keys. They are coming in their car. I met your grandparents. This car has lost its power. Note: In English the possessive adjective is used to refer to parts of the body: She brushes her teeth twice a day. He broke his arm playing soccer. His stomach aches. Possessive pronouns Possessive pronouns, like the adjectives, agree with the person to whom they refer. Singular and plural share the same form: I --> mine your --> yours he, she, it --> his (masculine), hers (feminine), its (impersonal) we --> ours they --> theirs So, I have my likes, and she has hers. If you give me one of yours, I'll give you one of mine. I like our house, but frankly, I am jealous of theirs! That's mine!

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

The "s" of possession One may add "--'s" to any noun in order to indicate possession: I just read Gustave's book. The front door's lock is broken. Many of the world's countries are poor.


Note: Do not confuse the "s" of possession with the contraction of the verb "is": Fred's going to fetch it. (= Fred is going to fetch it.) The train's late again. (=The train is late again.)

"Whose" for indicating possession "Whose" will be placed before the possession (the object possessed), and will refer ownership to the preceding noun: The man whose dog bit me said he was sorry. (The dog belongs to the man.) Here is the woman whose daughter I intend to marry.(The woman is the mother of the daughter.) Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

Related topics Relative pronouns Subject pronouns Reflexive pronouns Object pronouns Demonstrative pronouns Possessive pronouns Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Reflexive pronouns Reflexive pronouns are used to show that the actions described by a verb act upon the subject of the verb: the subject and the object are thus the same. The forms of reflexive pronouns correspond to the forms of the subject pronouns: I --> myself you (singular) --> yourself you (plural) --> yourselves he --> himself she --> herself it --> itself we --> ourselves they --> themselves To use a verb reflexively, the reflexive pronoun must follow the verb (and, in the case of an intransitive verb, it will follow any preposition used with the verb). If there are multiple verbs in the sentence, the reflexive pronoun follows the verb to which it applies: I told myself it would never happen. She talks to herself all the time. Look at yourself in that mirror! I would like to give myself a raise. At the end of a sentence, one can add reflexive pronouns as a way of accentuating the subject in the sentence. In this case, the verb does not have reflexive power: I would rather do that myself. Can you talk to him yourself?

Related topics Relative pronouns Subject pronouns Object pronouns Reciprocal pronouns Demonstrative pronouns Possessive pronouns Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

Subjects The pronoun "who" expresses a grammatical subject when this subject is a person; "that" or "which" are used (indifferently by most speakers) to represent subjects which are things, events, situations, etc. There's the man who stole my wallet! I read a novel that entertained me a great deal. He made a mistake which embarrassed him. When the antecedent is vague or totally absent, one uses "what" or (less commonly) "that which" : What interests me in this film is the music. That which eludes us intrigues us the most.


I don't know what happened.

Objects The pronoun "whom" (in spoken language one often hears "who") expresses a grammatical object when this object is a person; "that" or "which" are used (indifferently by most speakers) to represent objects which are things, events, situations, etc. She is a person whom I respect a great deal. He ordered a beverage which he didn't drink. She is talking about the trip that we're going to take. Note: Use of the relative pronoun is optional (except in the case of "what" or "that which" when referring to specific antecedents); the same sentences as above may be written correctly without the pronoun: She is a person I respect a great deal. He ordered a beverage he didn't drink. She is talking about the trip we're going to take. When the antecedent is vague or absent, on uses "what" or (less often) "that which" : You can do what you want. What they are doing seems useful.

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

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

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

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


Related topics: Subject pronouns Object pronouns Reflexive pronouns Reciprocal pronouns Demonstrative pronouns Possessive pronouns Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Personal pronouns Forms Subject pronouns Predicate pronouns Order of pronouns Related topics

Here are the different forms for personal pronouns in English:

Use of the subject pronoun Subject pronouns reflect the nouns they replace. Since English nouns rarely show gender, the pronouns "he" and "she" are generally used only for people or animals; in the case of objects or impersonal expressions, the pronoun "it" will be used. Examples: She wants to eat. You look tired. It is hard to cook well.

Use of predicate pronouns: Predicate pronouns will always have the same form whether they are used as direct, indirect, or prepositional objects. The forms are: "me", "you", "it", "him", "her", "us", "them." Whatever the form of the sentence (affirmative, negative, interrogative), direct objects -- or the pronouns replacing them -- will follow the verb: Did you buy it? You didn't buy it. You bought it. Prepositional objects will come after their preposition: Will you come to the store with me? He left without her. Indirect objects will generally come after the proposition "to," except if the pronoun precedes the direct object, in which cas the proposition "to" disappears: I have spoken to her. I gave this present to them. BUT : I gave them this present. Order of pronouns When a verb is followed by two or more pronouns, the following sequence is observed:


Examples : Don't tell that to him. He couldn't sell the car to them. Exception: As noted above, one may omit the preposition "to" in front of an indirect object, in which cas the indirect object pronoun precedes the direct object: He gave me it for Christmas. Don't tell him that. He couldn't sell them the car.

Related topics Relative pronouns Reflexive pronouns Reciprocal pronouns Demonstrative pronouns Possessive pronouns Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Quantifiers Using Some, Any, and No We use both some and any with plural countable nouns and with uncountable nouns. They tasted some delicious wines in Italy. Do you have any Seville oranges? I don’t have any tea, but I have some coffee. Did you get any brown bread? We use some in affirmative sentences and in questions when we think the answer will be “yes.” I bought some bread and some eggs today. Would you like some more wine? We use any in most general questions and in negative sentences, . Are there any dragons on Lombok? There aren’t any snakes in Ireland. Much, Many and a Lot of We use many and a lot of with countable nouns in the plural. They saw many stars in the sky. They grow a lot of bananas in Ecuador. We use much and a lot of with uncountable nouns. They eat a lot of rice in Malaysia. My family doesn’t eat much red meat. We prefer to use a lot of and lots of in affirmative sentences and much and many in negative sentences and questions. A Little and a Few A few means the same as “some, but not many.” A little means the same as “some, but not much.” I eat a few apples each week. There’s a little cheese left. Much, many, a lot, a little, and a bit Much or a lot can be used before the comparative form to show that there is a big difference between two people or things. A little or a bit can be used to show a small difference. We can use these words with adjectives, adverbs, and nouns. With adjectives: Austrians are much more formal than Swedes, and they are much less direct. Austrian food is a lot heavier than Swedish food. Austria is a bit cheaper than Sweden. Biology is a little easier than Chemistry. Remember that we cannot use a double comparative. (right) Austrian food is much heavier. (wrong) Austrian food is much more heavier. With adverbs: She speaks a little more quietly than I do. She speaks a bit more quietly than I do. He drives a lot more slowly than you do. With nouns: If the noun is uncountable, we use much or a lot (for a big difference), and a little or a bit (for a small difference). In Sweden they eat a lot of fish. They don’t have much sunshine in winter. If the noun is countable, we use many or a lot (for a big difference), and a few for a small difference, except when using fewer. Many Saabs are driven in Sweden. There are a lot of university students in Boston. There are fewer hours of daylight in an Alaskan winter than in a Mexican winter. You’ve gained a few pounds. Most/Some Look at these sentences. They all contain the words most and some. Not all the sentences contain of. When you are talking more generally, don’t use of. Most people would rather be young than old.


If we are referring to a specific time period or area, or if we are talking about part of a larger whole, we would use of (the). During the flood of 1994, most of the rain fell within a two-day period. Some of my friends don’t eat pizza. A few and few A little and little Little and few (without a) mean “not a lot.” They often have a negative meaning. We have little time before our guests arrive for dinner. We must hurry to finish the cooking. There are few vegetables that he likes. He almost never eats them. Note: Use little with non-countable nouns like bread, rice, fruit, patience. Use few with countable plural nouns like bananas, pieces, and meals. You can use very with few as well as with little. He has very little patience with people who drink too much alcohol. Very few bananas grow in Scotland. A little and a few mean “some” or “a small amount.” They have a more positive meaning than little and few. We have a little time for coffee before our flight. Let’s stop in at that cafe. He makes a few dishes that everyone likes. For example, everyone loves his spaghetti. If you use only with a few or a little, the meaning can become more negative. She ate almost all the chocolates her boyfriend gave her. There are only a few left. Only a few meals at the university cafeteria were strictly vegetarian. Most of the time, meat was served. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

Simple questions Simple questions (that is, questions to which one can respond by a simple "yes" or "no") may be formed in three different ways: 1. "Do": one precedes an assertion with "do" or "does" (or "don't" or "doesn't" for a negative expression, or "did", "didn't" for the past): Do you want to go to the movies? Does she work at IBM? Don't you travel quite a bit? Do they answer questions quickly? Didn't they want to eat? But: One never places "do" or "does" before the verb "to be" or before modal verbs in questions; in this case it is preferable to invert the subject and verb: Are you coming to the reception? Was the meeting boring? Weren't you hungry?

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

3. Modal phrases: If a modal verb is used in a sentence, or if it is strongly implied, a modal phrase can be used to make an interrogative form. The modal phrase is typically an inversion of the subject and verb, in the negative, repeated at the end of the sentence: It's time to go, isn't it? He'd like to come with us, wouldn't he? You would like to go with us, wouldn't you? You can understand that, can't you? In the case of a negative question, the modal phrase would be in the affirmative: You wouldn't want to try it, would you? She won't be back, will she? (See also: negations)

Interrogative adverbs Simple questions solicit a "yes" or "no" answer. More precise questions may be formed by using the interrogative adverbs: when, why, how, how much, where. Generally, the interrogative adverb precedes the rest of the question; then the order of the sentence follows the rules indicated for inversion or for questions formed with "do / does". Where are you going? Why do you want to take this class?


How much do you earn a month? How do these machines work? (Où vont ces étudiants ?) When do you expect to get home? (A quelle heure penses-tu rentrer ?) See also: Questions, Interrogative pronouns.

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

subject (person) : who + question Who did this painting? Who wants to get an ice cream? subject (thing) : what + question What interests you? What is good in this restaurant? direct object (person) : whom + question Whom did you see in France? Whom are you going to meet at this reception? direct objet (thing) : what + question What do you want to do this evening? What are you preparing? object of a preposition (person) : preposition + whom + question About whom are you thinking? With whom did you go out? Note: In spoken English, one often places the preposition at the end of the sentence, in which case one uses "who" instead of "whom" Who are you thinking about? Who did you go out with? object of a preposition (thing) : preposition + what + question With what did you open it? In what way does that concern you? Note: In spoken English, the preposition is often put at the end of the sentence: What did you open it with? What did did they base their opinion on?

Which, which one, which ones. The adjective "which" and its pronominal forms ("which", "which one", "which ones") ask that a person make a choice. Usually these pronouns will be placed at the beginning of the sentence; Normalement, ces pronoms se trouveront au début de la phrase ; then the order of the sentence follows the


rules indicated for inversion or for questions formed with "do / does". Which film do you want to see? Which date did you choose? Here are two pizzas. Which one do you prefer? There are many different Burgundy wines. Which ones do you like? Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

Related topics Relative pronouns Subject pronouns Reflexive pronouns Object pronouns Demonstrative pronouns Possessive pronouns Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Reflexive pronouns Reflexive pronouns are used to show that the actions described by a verb act upon the subject of the verb: the subject and the object are thus the same. The forms of reflexive pronouns correspond to the forms of the subject pronouns: I --> myself you (singular) --> yourself you (plural) --> yourselves he --> himself she --> herself it --> itself we --> ourselves they --> themselves To use a verb reflexively, the reflexive pronoun must follow the verb (and, in the case of an intransitive verb, it will follow any preposition used with the verb). If there are multiple verbs in the sentence, the reflexive pronoun follows the verb to which it applies: I told myself it would never happen. She talks to herself all the time. Look at yourself in that mirror! I would like to give myself a raise. At the end of a sentence, one can add reflexive pronouns as a way of accentuating the subject in the sentence. In this case, the verb does not have reflexive power: I would rather do that myself. Can you talk to him yourself?

Related topics Relative pronouns Subject pronouns Object pronouns Reciprocal pronouns Demonstrative pronouns Possessive pronouns Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Relative Clauses Relative clauses give you information about something or someone. We start relative clauses with which if we are referring to a thing or an idea, and with who if we are referring to a person. A diary is a book which you write in every day. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the person who lives next door. In these examples, both which and who can be replaced by that. We can also form relative clauses with where and when. We start clauses with when if we are referring to a time, and with where if we are referring to a place. July is a month when many people go on vacation. A registry office is a place where a couple can get married. We use whose in place of his, her or their in relative clauses. The best man is the person whose job it is to help the groom. They are the people whose car was stolen. If who, which, or that is the subject of the relative clause, it must remain in the sentence. If it is the object, it can be omitted. Whose is always followed by a noun and cannot be omitted from its clause. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the friend who likes to go to the theater with me. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the friend (who) I like to go to the theater with. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

Subjects The pronoun "who" expresses a grammatical subject when this subject is a person; "that" or "which" are used (indifferently by most speakers) to represent subjects which are things, events, situations, etc. There's the man who stole my wallet! I read a novel that entertained me a great deal. He made a mistake which embarrassed him. When the antecedent is vague or totally absent, one uses "what" or (less commonly) "that which" : What interests me in this film is the music. That which eludes us intrigues us the most.


I don't know what happened.

Objects The pronoun "whom" (in spoken language one often hears "who") expresses a grammatical object when this object is a person; "that" or "which" are used (indifferently by most speakers) to represent objects which are things, events, situations, etc. She is a person whom I respect a great deal. He ordered a beverage which he didn't drink. She is talking about the trip that we're going to take. Note: Use of the relative pronoun is optional (except in the case of "what" or "that which" when referring to specific antecedents); the same sentences as above may be written correctly without the pronoun: She is a person I respect a great deal. He ordered a beverage he didn't drink. She is talking about the trip we're going to take. When the antecedent is vague or absent, on uses "what" or (less often) "that which" : You can do what you want. What they are doing seems useful.

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

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

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

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


Related topics: Subject pronouns Object pronouns Reflexive pronouns Reciprocal pronouns Demonstrative pronouns Possessive pronouns Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Reporting questions in indirect speech Reporting questions using the question words what, where, when, why, how, etc. When we want to report a question that starts with a question word, we include the question word in the reported speech. <Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the time?> arrow He asked me what the time was. <Where do you live?> arrow He asked me where I lived. When we report a question, we do not put the verb in the interrogative form. They asked me where I lived. Not They asked me where did I live. Reporting questions without question words We use if or whether to report a yes-no question that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t use a question word. <Do you want an ATM card?> arrow She asked me if I wanted an ATM card. <Is life expensive in Brazil?> arrow He asked me whether life was expensive in Brazil. <Can I open an account?> arrow She asked whether she could open an account. Remember! You need to coordinate the tense of the verb in the reported question with the verb that introduces the reported question. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Say/tell The verbs say and tell are used in both direct and indirect speech. We use say to refer to any kind of speech. It can be used interchangeably with tell in indirect speech, but not in direct speech. We use tell to refer to situations where instructions or information are given. Mary said that the restaurant was closed. Mary told us that the restaurant was closed. Caleb said â&#x20AC;&#x153;Good morning.â&#x20AC;? It is incorrect to use tell in this sentence. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Sentence Types Simple Sentence: A sentence that contains one and only one independent clauses and no dependent clauses. The young boy smiled at the big dog. Compound Sentence: A sentence that contains at least two independent clauses and no dependent clauses. Essential to the compound sentence is its punctuation, as it must contain either a comma and a coordinating conjunction (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So) or a semi-colon that conjoins the two independent clauses. Joseph taught the students about delivering speeches, and Sarah taught them composition skills. Complex Sentence: A sentence that contains one and only one independent clause and at least one dependent clause. Because the weather forecaster announced the threat of an impending hurricane, the students canceled their luxurious boat cruise to the Azores. Compound-Complex Sentence: A sentence that contains at least two independent clauses and at least one dependent clause. Because the weather forecaster announced the threat of an impending hurricane, the students canceled their luxurious boat cruise to the Azores, but the cruise line would not refund the studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; money. Independent/dependent clauses Independent Clause: Typically thought of as a sentence, offering its readers a complete thought and containing a subject, verb, and its complement (Prepositional Phrase, Direct Object, Adjectival, or Adverbial). The grammar book was thick. Dependent Clause: A clause that cannot stand alone and does not offer its reader a complete thought. A dependent clause will typically be an Adjective, Adverb, or Noun clause. When the frost is on the pumpkin, farmers often know that the harvest season is almost over. (Adverb Clause and Noun Clause, respectively) The book that was on the table was thick. (Adjective Clause) Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


The simple future The simple future uses the modal "will" followed by the infinitive (dropping the presposition "to"). It serves to express actions which will take place at a specified time, or to signal the beginning of an action. (If, on the other hand, one wishes to describe an action which is in the process of occurring, it is the future progressive which will be used to express it.) I will meet you at five o'clock. She will go to the library this evening. We will dance all night long. One sometimes find the modal "shall" in place of "will." This usage, generally reserved for the first person, is considered archaic: What shall I do ? Note: this usage of "shall" to indicate the future is different from the commonplace usage of "shall" to indicate desire or wishes. See modal verbs. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


So and neither with be and do We use so and neither (or not…either) when we want to agree that something that is true for some person is true for us, too. We use so (or …too) with positive sentences and neither (or not…either) with negative sentences. If the main verb is be, use be in the response. If the main verb is other than be, use do in the response. Response form: So + verb + subject (agreement with positive sentence) Neither + verb + subject (agreement with negative sentence) Examples, if the same is true for the respondent : I’m very sociable. So am I. (Or: I am, too.) I’m not very tall. Neither am I. (Or: I’m not, either.) We like parties. So do we. (Or: We do, too.) She doesn’t like snakes. Neither does he. (Or: He doesn’t, either.) We use the verb be or the auxiliary verb do without so or neither when we want to say that what is true for some person is not true for us. Examples, if the same is not true for the respondent: They’re tired. We’re not. I’m not sleepy. I am. He likes mushrooms. She doesn’t. We don’t like art. We do. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Split adverbials hardly... when, barely...when, no sooner...than, not only...but also, so...that, such...that Form: Adverbial + auxiliary or modal verb + subject + main verb Or Adverbial + be + subject Examples: Never have I seen so many cats in one place! Seldom do we feel sad while we are swimming in the ocean. Rarely can one hear such beautiful music. At no time was I late for class. No sooner had I wished to see my lost dog than she appeared before me. Note that, in this last example, the second part (than) of the two-part adverbial is positioned at the start of a new subject-verb clause. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Personal pronouns Forms Subject pronouns Predicate pronouns Order of pronouns Related topics

Here are the different forms for personal pronouns in English:

Use of the subject pronoun Subject pronouns reflect the nouns they replace. Since English nouns rarely show gender, the pronouns "he" and "she" are generally used only for people or animals; in the case of objects or impersonal expressions, the pronoun "it" will be used. Examples: She wants to eat. You look tired. It is hard to cook well.

Use of predicate pronouns: Predicate pronouns will always have the same form whether they are used as direct, indirect, or prepositional objects. The forms are: "me", "you", "it", "him", "her", "us", "them." Whatever the form of the sentence (affirmative, negative, interrogative), direct objects -- or the pronouns replacing them -- will follow the verb: Did you buy it? You didn't buy it. You bought it. Prepositional objects will come after their preposition: Will you come to the store with me? He left without her. Indirect objects will generally come after the proposition "to," except if the pronoun precedes the direct object, in which cas the proposition "to" disappears: I have spoken to her. I gave this present to them. BUT : I gave them this present. Order of pronouns When a verb is followed by two or more pronouns, the following sequence is observed:


Examples : Don't tell that to him. He couldn't sell the car to them. Exception: As noted above, one may omit the preposition "to" in front of an indirect object, in which cas the indirect object pronoun precedes the direct object: He gave me it for Christmas. Don't tell him that. He couldn't sell them the car.

Related topics Relative pronouns Reflexive pronouns Reciprocal pronouns Demonstrative pronouns Possessive pronouns Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


The subjunctive The subjunctive is used only in select phrases or situations in English. One finds vestiges of it in certain hypothetical expressions (using "if + to be") and in certain set phrases. (In many cases the subjunctive -- considered archaic or literary -- is replaced by the modal "would," used to express the conditional.) Other meanings often communicated by the subjunctive in other languages will be expressed by modal verbs in English. In constructions using "if + to be" the subjunctive will amount to using the form "were" (instead of "was") with the first and third persons singular ("I" and "he," "she," or "it"). (In spoken English, and in much informal writing, "was" will still be used.) If I were Muriel, I'd never go back there. If she were alone, I'd stop by to see her. He acts as if he were crazy. Set phrases and proverbs: God help us! Long live the king! Would that I were free! Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Superlatives General principles Irregular forms Adjectives Adverbs Related topics General principles When comparing two things one uses the comparative; however, for comparisons in larger groups, it is the superlative which must be used. The superlative designates extremes: the best, the first, the worst, the last, etc. The superlative operates like the comparative, with these exceptions: A. While the word "more" or the ending "--er" signals the comparative, it is the word "most" or the ending "--est" that designates the superlative. (See irregular forms, below): He is the most efficient worker we have. That is the poorest family in the neighborhood. B. The compared term (adjective or adverb) will be preceded by the definite article: He works the fastest of any student I know. She is the tallest woman in town. B. Unlike the comparative, the superlative is not followed by "than": instead, one uses "of," followed by the context of the comparison (although this context is sometimes implicit): It's the best day of my life! She works the best of the whole class. She's the one who arrived first.

Irregular forms Adjectives Monosyllabic adjectives (and several common two-syllable adjectives) take the ending "--est" in superlatives of superiority, and thus will not use the adverb "most." However, these same adjectives will use "less," like other adjectives, in superlatives of inferiority: young --> youngest tall --> tallest old --> oldest If the adjective ends in "--y" the "y" becomes "i": heavy --> heaviest early --> earliest busy --> busiest healthy --> healthiest chilly --> chilliest If the adjective ends in "--e" one adds only "--st" : wise --> wisest large --> largest simple --> simplest late --> latest If the adjective ends in "single vowel + consonant," the consonant is doubled and one adds "--est": red --> reddest big --> biggest thin --> thinnest hot --> hottest Some very common superlatives have irregular forms: good --> best


bad --> worst far --> farthest Some adjectives exist only in superlative form: first last Adverbs Adverbs not ending in "--ly" do not use the adverb "--most" in the formation of superlatives of superiority, but use instead the ending "-est." However, these same adverbs will use "less," like other adverbs, in superlatives of inferiority: fast --> fastest hard --> hardest And some adverbs have irregular forms: well --> best badly --> worst far --> farthest

Related topics Comparatives Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Tag questions with do When there is no verb be or modal verb other than do in the statement, we use do in the tag question. You like your work, don’t you? He did his homework, didn’t he? We did lock the door, didn’t we? You don’t eat much, do you? Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Tag questions We often use tag questions in spoken English to check information and to ask for confirmation. We form tag questions with auxiliary or modal verbs or the main verb be, followed by a pronoun. You’re Tom Cruise, aren’t you? She speaks Russian, doesn’t she? That’s not Julia Roberts, is it? This doesn’t cost much, does it? A falling intonation on a tag question means you feel certain about what you are saying. A rising intonation means you are not sure and need confirmation. If the first part of the sentence is affirmative, the tag question is generally negative. If the first part of the sentence is negative, the tag question is generally affirmative. You are French, aren’t you? You aren’t French, are you? Carly can swim, can’t she? Carly can’t swim, can she? Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

Subjects The pronoun "who" expresses a grammatical subject when this subject is a person; "that" or "which" are used (indifferently by most speakers) to represent subjects which are things, events, situations, etc. There's the man who stole my wallet! I read a novel that entertained me a great deal. He made a mistake which embarrassed him. When the antecedent is vague or totally absent, one uses "what" or (less commonly) "that which" : What interests me in this film is the music. That which eludes us intrigues us the most.


I don't know what happened.

Objects The pronoun "whom" (in spoken language one often hears "who") expresses a grammatical object when this object is a person; "that" or "which" are used (indifferently by most speakers) to represent objects which are things, events, situations, etc. She is a person whom I respect a great deal. He ordered a beverage which he didn't drink. She is talking about the trip that we're going to take. Note: Use of the relative pronoun is optional (except in the case of "what" or "that which" when referring to specific antecedents); the same sentences as above may be written correctly without the pronoun: She is a person I respect a great deal. He ordered a beverage he didn't drink. She is talking about the trip we're going to take. When the antecedent is vague or absent, on uses "what" or (less often) "that which" : You can do what you want. What they are doing seems useful.

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

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

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

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


Related topics: Subject pronouns Object pronouns Reflexive pronouns Reciprocal pronouns Demonstrative pronouns Possessive pronouns Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


There is/there are We use there is and there are to talk about things that exist. There is is used before singular subjects. There is a man standing outside. Can you see if thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an apple in the bowl? There are is used before plural subjects. There are twenty-four students in the class. Carl says there are lots of new shops in the town center. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Time Clauses / Conjunctions Conjunctions of Time We can join two sentences using a conjunction. A conjunction of time gives us information about when two events happen, relative to each other. Common conjunctions of time are when, while, as soon as, until, after and before. When can be used to show that one event is before, or at the same time as, another. When can be used to convey a past or a future meaning. I studied abroad for a year when I was at university. When she finishes this course, she’ll go abroad for a year. As soon as means that the second event happened, or will happen, immediately after the first. As soon as I finished lunch, I went out for a walk. I’ll go out for a walk as soon as I finish lunch. Notice that in the second example the verb in the present simple has a future meaning. Not … until means the same as not … before. I didn’t leave home until I got married. After and before can be followed by a subject-verb clause or by a gerund. After I had eaten five ice cream cones, I felt a little sick. Before coming back to Britain, I travelled all over Eastern Europe. While can be used to show two events happening at the same time. While you’re getting lunch ready, I’ll wash the car. I studied judo while I was in Japan. While and During While and during are both used to show that two things happen at the same time. While is a conjunction and is used before a subject-verb clause. During is a preposition and is used before a noun phrase. What should you do during an earthquake? Don’t run downstairs while the building is shaking. He arrived while I was eating breakfast. He arrived during breakfast. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Too, Very and Enough We use too and very to modify the meaning of adjectives and adverbs. Too and very come before the adjective and adverb. Enough usually comes after the adjective. Too means “more than necessary” or “more than you want.” Very intensifies an adjective or adverb and means “to a large extent.” Enough means “what is adequate or necessary.” Mt. Everest is very high. It’s more than 8,000 meters high. Mt. Everest is too high to climb in one day. Magda is only two years old. She’s not old enough to climb Mt. Everest. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

Examples: We’re too tired to go jogging tonight. Besides, it’s very cold outside. Brittany doesn’t dance very well. On the other hand, she sings beautifully. Sally just got a job in San Francisco. Therefore, she won’t be moving to London. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Prepositional Verbs Single preposition verbs Sentence structure Mulitple preposition verbs Sentence structure Related topics

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

speak speak speak speak

-- to say words up -- to speak loudly down (to someone) -- to be condescending toward someone for (someone) -- to speak in someone's place

to to to to to to to

put put put put put put put

to to to to to to to to

turn -- to twist turn on -- to make something function (a light, a motor) turn off -- to remove the power to (a light, a motor) turn around -- to turn to face the opposite direction turn up -- to augment the sound, the light turn down -- to diminish the sound, the light turn out -- to become turn red, white, etc. -- to change colors

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

Sentence structure When the sentence includes a noun object, the object will follow the preposition; if the object is replaced by a pronoun, the pronoun precedes the preposition: He turned on the television. He turned it on.

She put away her books. She put them away.

Multiple preposition verbs There are many prepositional verbs that take two prepositions: to to to to

put up with (something, someone) -- to tolerate someone go out with -- to accompany someone go off on (a digression, an adventure) -- to begin, to start run away from -- to flee

Sentence structure


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

Related topics Prepositions Verbs with prepositions Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Verbs Verb conjugations reflect three elements: the subject, the tense, and the mood. The subject may be singular or plural and may be in the first person ("I" or "we"), in the second person ("you"), or in the third person "he," she," "it," or "they"). Verb tenses include different forms of the past, present and future. The term "mood" refers, generally, to the attitude of the speaker toward his subject. The different moods include the indicative, the subjunctive (rare in English), the conditional, and the imperative. Auxiliaries ("to be", "to have") Past conditional ("I would have worked...") Present conditional ("I would work...") Future perfect ("We will have finished...") Near future ("We are going to finish...") Future progressive ("I will be calling you...") Simple future ("We will leave....") Imperative ("Let's go!") Irregular participles Past progressive ("I was working...") Habitual past ("I used to work...") Pluperfect ("I had worked...") Present perfect ("I have finished...") Present perfect progressive ("I have been finishing...") Present progressive (: "I am finishing...") Simple present (: "I finish...") Preterit ("I worked...") Subjunctive ("If I were you...") Modal verbs ("would", "should", etc.) Prepositional verbs ("to put down, to put up with..." etc.) Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

General principles The auxiliary modals "would," may," "might," "should," "must," "ought to," "can," "could," "will," "shall" are invariable. They exist only in the present, and unlike most verbs in the simple present, their form does not change in the third person singular. Modal verbs are auxiliaries, or "helping" verbs: they are used in conjunction with another verb (in infinitive form) as a way to modify its meaning. Modals can nuance the meaning of the principal verb in a number of ways: -- Possibility or ability, by "can" or "could" I can do this job. Could you please do the dishes? -- Possibility or permission by "may" or "might" (often translated in other languages by a different mood, such as the subjonctif). I may finish my paper tonight. You may come with us, if you wish. It might be helpful to have a map. -- Obligation, or moral obligation, by "must," "ought to," or "should": Students must hand in their work on time. You ought to see a doctor. You should never play with fire. Note that "must" can also indicate probability: You must be exhausted! He must play tennis pretty well. The modal verb "would" is used to express the conditional: If he had time, he would pick up some groceries. The modal verb "will" expresses the future: The train will arrive in an hour. Contractions After a pronoun subject, "would" is often contracted into "--'d" ("I'd", "we'd", "she'd", etc.), while "will" is contracted into "--'ll" ("I'll", "you'll", "they'll", etc.). After all modal verbs, the word"not" of the negative can be contracted into "--n't" ("wouldn't", "shouldn't", etc.). Exceptions : "will not" becomes "won't". "Can not" can also be written "cannot"; in its contracted form, the "n" is not doubled: "can't". Note: The contraction of the modal verbs "shall," "ought," and "may," is considered slightly archaic or literary. examples of contractions: I wouldn't (would not) do that, if I were you! They'll (they will) never believe it! She won't (will not) bother you anymore.

Question tag phrases ("isn't it," "wasn't it," etc.) Modals can be used in a negative interrogative form after an affirmative expression. The function of such an expression is to prompt the listener to reassert or reaffirm what has been stated: You would like to go with us, wouldn't you? You can understand that, can't you?


The modal verb used in the interrogative tag is generally the same as the modal found in the main clause; the subject pronoun is also repeated. After a negative sentence, the modal tag phrase is in the affirmative: You wouldn't want to try it, would you? (Je suppose que tu ne voudrais pas l'essayer.) She won't be back, will she?

Related topics Conditional Future Subjunctive Questions Negation Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Verbs with prepositions Certain verbs and verbal expressions are generally followed by a preposition before their object (and this preposition will generally be shown in the dictionary). However, the meaning of these verbs is not dramatically changed by the addition of the preposition. The same cannot be said of the prepositional verbs, dealt with in another section. Examples: to to to to to to to to to to to to

wait for look for look at listen to pay for ask for be happy with something be mad at (or: with) someone depend on be interested in thank for be busy with

Sample sentences: She's the one who paid for our dinner! I'm not asking for anything! I'm busy with my own stuff. That depends on you.

See also Prepositions Prepositional verbs Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


Auxiliary verbs An auxiliary verb ("helping" verb) is combined with the principal verb to form certain tenses or moods. (See also the modal verbs, which nuance the meaning of the verbs they accompany.) The only true auxiliary verbs in English are "to be," "to have," and "to do." "To be" is an auxiliary verb for the progressive teneses (See the present progressive, the past progressive, the future progressive): I am going home. She was fishing with her father. We will be calling on you later. "To have" is an auxiliary verb for the perfect tenses, including the present perfect, the present perfect progressive, the pluperfect, the future perfect, the past conditional: We have finished. They hadn't waited for us. "To do" is an auxiliary verb for making questions and negations in both the present simple and the preterit : Do you have any money? Did you hear me? He doesn't want to help us. Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

Subjects The pronoun "who" expresses a grammatical subject when this subject is a person; "that" or "which" are used (indifferently by most speakers) to represent subjects which are things, events, situations, etc. There's the man who stole my wallet! I read a novel that entertained me a great deal. He made a mistake which embarrassed him. When the antecedent is vague or totally absent, one uses "what" or (less commonly) "that which" : What interests me in this film is the music. That which eludes us intrigues us the most.


I don't know what happened.

Objects The pronoun "whom" (in spoken language one often hears "who") expresses a grammatical object when this object is a person; "that" or "which" are used (indifferently by most speakers) to represent objects which are things, events, situations, etc. She is a person whom I respect a great deal. He ordered a beverage which he didn't drink. She is talking about the trip that we're going to take. Note: Use of the relative pronoun is optional (except in the case of "what" or "that which" when referring to specific antecedents); the same sentences as above may be written correctly without the pronoun: She is a person I respect a great deal. He ordered a beverage he didn't drink. She is talking about the trip we're going to take. When the antecedent is vague or absent, on uses "what" or (less often) "that which" : You can do what you want. What they are doing seems useful.

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

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

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

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


Related topics: Subject pronouns Object pronouns Reflexive pronouns Reciprocal pronouns Demonstrative pronouns Possessive pronouns Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

Subjects The pronoun "who" expresses a grammatical subject when this subject is a person; "that" or "which" are used (indifferently by most speakers) to represent subjects which are things, events, situations, etc. There's the man who stole my wallet! I read a novel that entertained me a great deal. He made a mistake which embarrassed him. When the antecedent is vague or totally absent, one uses "what" or (less commonly) "that which" : What interests me in this film is the music. That which eludes us intrigues us the most.


I don't know what happened.

Objects The pronoun "whom" (in spoken language one often hears "who") expresses a grammatical object when this object is a person; "that" or "which" are used (indifferently by most speakers) to represent objects which are things, events, situations, etc. She is a person whom I respect a great deal. He ordered a beverage which he didn't drink. She is talking about the trip that we're going to take. Note: Use of the relative pronoun is optional (except in the case of "what" or "that which" when referring to specific antecedents); the same sentences as above may be written correctly without the pronoun: She is a person I respect a great deal. He ordered a beverage he didn't drink. She is talking about the trip we're going to take. When the antecedent is vague or absent, on uses "what" or (less often) "that which" : You can do what you want. What they are doing seems useful.

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

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

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

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


Related topics: Subject pronouns Object pronouns Reflexive pronouns Reciprocal pronouns Demonstrative pronouns Possessive pronouns Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

Simple questions Simple questions (that is, questions to which one can respond by a simple "yes" or "no") may be formed in three different ways: 1. "Do": one precedes an assertion with "do" or "does" (or "don't" or "doesn't" for a negative expression, or "did", "didn't" for the past): Do you want to go to the movies? Does she work at IBM? Don't you travel quite a bit? Do they answer questions quickly? Didn't they want to eat? But: One never places "do" or "does" before the verb "to be" or before modal verbs in questions; in this case it is preferable to invert the subject and verb: Are you coming to the reception? Was the meeting boring? Weren't you hungry?

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

3. Modal phrases: If a modal verb is used in a sentence, or if it is strongly implied, a modal phrase can be used to make an interrogative form. The modal phrase is typically an inversion of the subject and verb, in the negative, repeated at the end of the sentence: It's time to go, isn't it? He'd like to come with us, wouldn't he? You would like to go with us, wouldn't you? You can understand that, can't you? In the case of a negative question, the modal phrase would be in the affirmative: You wouldn't want to try it, would you? She won't be back, will she? (See also: negations)

Interrogative adverbs Simple questions solicit a "yes" or "no" answer. More precise questions may be formed by using the interrogative adverbs: when, why, how, how much, where. Generally, the interrogative adverb precedes the rest of the question; then the order of the sentence follows the rules indicated for inversion or for questions formed with "do / does". Where are you going? Why do you want to take this class?


How much do you earn a month? How do these machines work? (Où vont ces étudiants ?) When do you expect to get home? (A quelle heure penses-tu rentrer ?) See also: Questions, Interrogative pronouns.

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

subject (person) : who + question Who did this painting? Who wants to get an ice cream? subject (thing) : what + question What interests you? What is good in this restaurant? direct object (person) : whom + question Whom did you see in France? Whom are you going to meet at this reception? direct objet (thing) : what + question What do you want to do this evening? What are you preparing? object of a preposition (person) : preposition + whom + question About whom are you thinking? With whom did you go out? Note: In spoken English, one often places the preposition at the end of the sentence, in which case one uses "who" instead of "whom" Who are you thinking about? Who did you go out with? object of a preposition (thing) : preposition + what + question With what did you open it? In what way does that concern you? Note: In spoken English, the preposition is often put at the end of the sentence: What did you open it with? What did did they base their opinion on?

Which, which one, which ones. The adjective "which" and its pronominal forms ("which", "which one", "which ones") ask that a person make a choice. Usually these pronouns will be placed at the beginning of the sentence; Normalement, ces pronoms se trouveront au début de la phrase ; then the order of the sentence follows the


rules indicated for inversion or for questions formed with "do / does". Which film do you want to see? Which date did you choose? Here are two pizzas. Which one do you prefer? There are many different Burgundy wines. Which ones do you like? Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002


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

Subjects The pronoun "who" expresses a grammatical subject when this subject is a person; "that" or "which" are used (indifferently by most speakers) to represent subjects which are things, events, situations, etc. There's the man who stole my wallet! I read a novel that entertained me a great deal. He made a mistake which embarrassed him. When the antecedent is vague or totally absent, one uses "what" or (less commonly) "that which" : What interests me in this film is the music. That which eludes us intrigues us the most.


I don't know what happened.

Objects The pronoun "whom" (in spoken language one often hears "who") expresses a grammatical object when this object is a person; "that" or "which" are used (indifferently by most speakers) to represent objects which are things, events, situations, etc. She is a person whom I respect a great deal. He ordered a beverage which he didn't drink. She is talking about the trip that we're going to take. Note: Use of the relative pronoun is optional (except in the case of "what" or "that which" when referring to specific antecedents); the same sentences as above may be written correctly without the pronoun: She is a person I respect a great deal. He ordered a beverage he didn't drink. She is talking about the trip we're going to take. When the antecedent is vague or absent, on uses "what" or (less often) "that which" : You can do what you want. What they are doing seems useful.

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

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

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

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


Related topics: Subject pronouns Object pronouns Reflexive pronouns Reciprocal pronouns Demonstrative pronouns Possessive pronouns Back to Index Copyright Ultralingua 2002

Grammar Guide  

Grammar Guide

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