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© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

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ALL ABOUT GRAMMAR

Published by R.I.C. Publications® Pty Ltd PO Box 332, Greenwood Western Australia 6924

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Rosemary Allen 2007

©

ISBN 978-1-74126-361-9

o c . che e r o t r s super Copyright Notice

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, or by an information retrieval system without written permission from the publisher. R.I.C. Publications®

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All about grammar iii

Contents

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Adjectives: ....................2–8 Types of adjectives ..........................2

Using adverbials in expository writing

Abstract nouns

19

Clauses: .....................20–23

45

Special features of nouns .............46

Adjectives made from proper nouns

Numbers

46

2

Coordinate clauses.........................20

Compounds

47

Demonstrative adjectives

2

Subordinate clauses.......................21

Nouns and gender

47

Types of subordinate clauses

Making nouns (nominalisation)

48

Possessive nouns

48

Adjectives of quantity: indefinite and exact amounts

3

Comparative and superlative adjectives

4

Distributive adjectives

4

Adjectives that classify

4

Possessive adjectives

5

Participles as adjectives

5

Compound adjectives

6

Placement of adjectives ..................6

Order of adjectives

Relationships between adjectives and nouns

7

Placement of clauses .....................23

Conditional sentences ..................24–25 Types of conditional sentences ........................................24

Verbs that act like nouns (gerunds)

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Ordinal numbers as adjectives 3

21

49

Participles .................49–55

First conditional

24

Types of participles ........................50

Second conditional

25

Present participles

Third conditional

25

Past participles

Conjunctions.............25–29 Types of conjunctions ....................26 Coordinating conjunctions

26

Subordinating conjunctions

26

Correlative conjunctions

26

50 51

Other uses for participles

52

Placement of participles ................53 Active and passive forms

53

Participles replacing clauses

54

Positioning of participles

55

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Adjectives: antonyms and synonyms

7

8

Adverbs.......................9–19 Types of adverbs ............................10 Adverbs of place

10

Placement of conjunctions ............27

Adverbs as conjunctions

28

Problems with conjunctions .........29

Determiners ..............30–35

Phrases ......................56–58 Types of phrases ............................56

Noun phrases

56

Adjectival phrases

57

Adverbial phrases

57

Additional phrases

58

10

Articles

30

Adverbs of manner

10

Quantifying determiners

32

Adverbs of frequency

11

Demonstrative determiners

34

Types of prepositions ....................59

Adverbs of reason or cause

11

Interrogative determiners

34

Possessive determiners

35

Prepositions that refer to position

59

Prepositions that refer to movement or direction

59

Prepositions that refer to time and place

60

Prepositions that have special uses

60

Types of determiners .....................30

Adverbs of degree (intensifiers)

12

Interrogative adverbs

12

Adverbs that compare

13

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Adverbs as modals

Adverbs that comment

Adverbs that emphasise

Forming adverbs using a suffix

The function of direct speech.......35

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14

Placement of adverbs ....................14 Order of adverbs

Direct and indirect speech .......................35–41

15

15

Problems with adverbs .................16 Adverbials ......................................17

The function of indirect speech ...36

Indirect statements and tense changes 37 Direct and indirect questions .......39

Imperatives, commands, advice and requests

Using prepositions with other parts of speech 60 Problems with prepositions ..........60

40

Interjections................... 42 Nouns ........................42–49

Adverbial phrases and clauses

18

Proper nouns

43

Placement of adverbials

19

Common nouns

43

Similes as adverbials

19

Collective nouns

43

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Prepositions ..............58–66

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Adverbs of time and duration

Types of nouns ...............................43

Adverbs that look like prepositions

60

Prepositions in pairs

61

Unnecessary prepositions

62

Further problems with prepositions

62

Prepositions that must be used in a set way

65

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All about grammar The placement of prepositions ...................................65

Objects of sentences: direct and indirect

109

Prepositional phrases ....................66

Complements: subject and object

110

Prepositions and possessives........66

Pronouns...................67–72

Problems with sentences ............112

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Types of pronouns .........................67

Misplaced modifiers

113

67

Sentence fragments

114

Personal pronouns (reflecting points of view)

Fused or run-on sentences

115

67

A comma splice

115

Reflexive pronouns

68

Selecting the correct verb

115

Possessive pronouns

69

Redundancies

116

Relative pronouns

69

Double negatives

116

Interrogative pronouns

70

Problem prepositions

117

Demonstrative pronouns

70

Unclear pronoun reference

118

Indefinite pronouns

71

Distributive pronouns

71

Problems with pronouns...............72

Punctuation ..............72–93 Types of punctuation ...................74

Using the full stop (period)

74

Using capital letters

75

Using the exclamation mark

78

Verbs .....................119–161 The functions of verbs ................119 Verb parts: finite verbs ...............121 Problems with finite verbs

123

Auxiliary verbs (helper verbs)

124

Verb parts: non-finite verbs .......125 1. Infinitives

126

2. Participles

130

3. Gerunds

134

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Pronouns and gender

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Using the question mark

81

Using apostrophes

82

Using the colon

84

Using the semicolons

85

Using quotation marks

86

Other types of verbs ...................135

Compound verbs (verb phrases)

135

Transitive and intransitive verbs

135

Using hyphens and dashes ...........87

Verb tenses ...................................135

Hyphens

88

Formation and function

Dashes

89

Other features of verbs ..............149

Dots

90

Active and passive voice

149

Singular and plural verbs

153

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Parenthetical expressions .............90

136

Commas

91

Regular and irregular verbs

153

Round brackets

91 92

Phrasal or prepositional verbs

156

93

Mood

157

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Square brackets Dashes

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Sentences................93–118 Types of sentences ........................93

Simple sentences

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Using commas

93

Compound sentences

100

Complex sentences

100

Verb formation ............................159

Affixes

159

Tenses

160

Problems with verbs....................160

Sentence parts: subject and predicate ..............................107 A complete predicate: transitive, intransitive and linking verbs

107

Simple predicate: a verb, verb string or compound verb 108 Sentence parts: object and complement ................................109

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All about grammar 1

Dear Students I’ve always found it puzzling that some students really enjoy exploring grammar and find it very easy, while others find it very difficult and say they hate grammar lessons. So, I asked some of my young friends who like grammar, if they know why. This is what they told me:

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‘Grammar is easy—if you understand why it changes when you use it for different purposes and how it changes in different situations.’

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‘When you have to learn grammar rules and do lots of boring activities, it’s not much fun; but grammar lessons are enjoyable when you’re allowed to talk about reasons and discover things about grammar yourself, or with some friends.’

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‘It’s much easier to learn about grammar if you have a friend who can help you with it. My grandma helps me. She knows lots about grammar.’

After listening to their words of wisdom, I set about to write this reference book with the intention of making grammar easier for you to master. Throughout the text, my young friends, Jenny, John and Jack, will offer you advice on how to use language patterns and features for many different purposes. I am sure that, with their help, you will understand more fully how the English language ‘works’ and that your writing will improve as a result. Enjoy the book,

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Hi, I’m Jenny and I find grammar really hard, so I’ve offered to ask questions throughout the book—my questions might be the ones that you’ve always wanted to ask.

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Rosemary Allen

Hi, I’m John. I’m lucky because grammar is easy for me, so I offered to help with this book. Hopefully, I’ll be able to answer Jenny’s questions. I hope that helps you too.

Hello, my name’s Jack. I like to discover things about grammar. I want to share some of my interesting discoveries with you. Just look in the ‘Jack’s facts’ boxes in this book and you’ll see what I mean. R.I.C. Publications®


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All about grammar

Adjectives

Can you help me, John? I have to add some adjectives to my writing, but I’m not sure what to do.

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I don’t know! What is big and black and hairy with fierce fangs and red, glowing eyes?

I don’t know either, but it’s crawling in your hair.

Jack’s facts

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Sure. That’s easy. What’s big and black and hairy with fierce fangs and red, glowing eyes?

Adjectives are words that describe. Using them makes your writing more interesting and precise because they add more meaning to nouns and pronouns. There are many different types of adjectives to help you paint a more vivid ‘word picture’ of what you are trying to say.

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AGGH! Help me get it off, John!

It’s OK! There’s nothing really there—I was just trying to show you how adjectives can help you paint a more vivid picture.

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Types of adjectives

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Adjectives are words that describe nouns. There are many types of adjectives. They can provide more information about size (tiny), age (ancient), shape (rectangular), rectangular), colour (blue), quality (clever), rectangular clever), origin (French) and the class to clever which a noun belongs (aquatic). The following are types of adjectives.

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Adjectives made from proper nouns

You can make adjectives from proper nouns; for example: I really enjoy listening to Indian music played by my American friend, Tom.

Demonstrative adjectives

Demonstrative adjectives are used to point out a person or thing. This, that, that these and those are demonstrative adjectives. They are the only adjectives that need to change when the noun they describe is plural. For example: This cup is chipped and those cups are dirty, so can I use these mugs, or that glass instead. Notice how ‘this’ this’ and ‘that’ are used with singular nouns—cup and glass—but ‘those’ those’ and ‘these’ are used with plural nouns—cups and mugs. R.I.C. Publications®

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All about grammar 3

Adjectives of quantity: indefinite and exact amounts Some adjectives tell us more about the amount or quantity of a noun. Some, several, any, any no, little, few, few many and much are quantitative adjectives. These quantitative adjectives describe indefinite quantities; for example: Several of my friends came over to my house after the game, but I only had a few biscuits and some apples to give them.

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Others can tell us exactly how many or how much; for example: The two girls had only three dollars between them, so they bought a double ice-cream and shared it. It was the second time they had shared a treat.

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Ordinal numbers as adjectives

When you want to describe things according to the order they follow, you use an ordinal number that tells you about sequence; for example: He celebrated his When is his thirteenth thirteenth birthday on the sixth day of the third birthday? Can you month in the first year of this millennium. work it out?

Comparative and superlative adjectives

Adjectives can be used to show different degrees of the quality they are describing—comparative adjectives compare two items, while superlative adjectives tell about the highest degree; for example: Although John was tall, his older brother Jim was taller (comparatives) and his oldest brother Jack was the tallest (superlatives) of the three boys. Comparative adjectives can be formed by adding ‘–er’ and superlative adjectives can be formed by adding ‘–est’. However, some comparative and superlative adjectives are irregular. Here are a few:

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© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Adjective

Comparative

Superlative

good

better

best

bad

worse

worst

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far

farther

farthest (distance only)

further

furthest

many/much

more

most

little

less

least

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old

older

oldest

elder (of two)

eldest (more than two)

Adjectives with three or more syllables use ‘more’ to form their comparative and ‘most’ to form their superlative; for example: The younger princess was more intelligent and more confident than her sister, but her brothers were the most powerful and most competitive of the five young royals. www.ricgroup.com.au

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All about grammar

Problems with comparatives and superlatives Often, comparatives and superlatives are confused. Always use the comparative degree (the ‘-er’, or ‘more’ form) for comparing two persons or things. The superlative degree (the ‘-est’, or ‘most’ form) is used for comparing more than two.

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It is wrong to write: Sue was more happier than Jenny. (Use ‘happier’)

It is correct to write: Sue was happier than Jenny. (Use the comparative)

It is wrong to write: Tom is the most worse boy in the class.

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Distributive adjectives

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It is correct to write: Tom is the worst boy in the class. (Use the superlative)

Distributive adjectives are words like each, every, every either and neither neither. They are used to point out that the noun described is to be considered separately; for example: •

Every boy in our class has black hair. (‘every’ = each single boy)

Each clown is carrying either an umbrella or a bucket in his/her right hand. (Notice that the subject and the object of this sentence are treated as singular, because the distributive adjective tells us to consider them separately.)

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Adjectives that classify

Classifying adjectives tell what type of thing the noun is, or from what it is made; for example:

Scientists at the medical centre discovered the mathematical formula that solved the chemical problem problem.

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The diamond ring and gold necklace were part of the jewellery collection she brought with her.

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All about grammar 5

Possessive adjectives

Adjectives such as my, my her, her his, your, your its and their their, describe who owns something. Possessive adjectives must be placed before a noun. They can be singular or plural and they can also refer to different points of view, as shown in the table below.

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Singular

Plural

1st person (the person speaking)

my

our

your

your

his, her, its

their

The possessive adjective ‘its’ does not take a possessive apostrophe. This is so that it will not be confused with the contraction for ‘it is’ (it’s).

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2nd person (the person spoken to)

3rd person (the person spoken about)

Jack’s facts

Some possessive adjectives can be confused with pronouns. How can you tell the difference? Easy! Just ask: Can it stand on its own, or is it followed by a noun to help qualify that noun?

For example, in the sentence: ‘This is my house’, the word ‘my’ my’ is placed before the noun (house) to qualify which my one is meant, therefore it’s a possessive adjective.

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Good evening, Sir. I have come to ask for your daughter’s hand in marriage!

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My daughter’s hand? Look, either you take my whole daughter, or nothing!

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Participles as adjectives

Present and past participles can be used as adjectives. Present participles used as adjectives are active—they show the effect one thing has on another; for example: Doing comprehension exercises every night is boring and tiring. I’d rather be reading novels that are exciting. Past participles that are used as adjectives are passive, and mean ‘affected in this way’; for example: The audience was bored rather than amused because the clown was uninterested interested in entertaining the audience. www.ricgroup.com.au

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All about grammar

Compound adjectives Some adjectives are made up of more than one word; for example: That well-known author over there is very rich because all her novels are on the bestseller list. She is very well-dressed and she owns a three-storey apartment, as well as a twenty-metre yacht.

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Jack’s facts

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Placement of adjectives

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Sometimes compound adjectives are called phrases, because they are made up of more than one word. Notice that they are placed in front of the noun and are joined with a hyphen?

Attributive adjectives are adjectives that are placed in front of a noun; for example: The snarling dog had a delicious bone clenched between his sharp, yellow teeth.

Predicative adjectives are adjectives that are placed after verbs; for example: The dog was hungry and thirsty thirsty. My poor, old grandpa is cranky because he has arthritis.

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I didn’t realise there are so many kinds of adjectives. Does it matter which order I put them in? What if I use more than one adjective to describe something? R.I.C. Publications®

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Adjectives that describe qualities, however, can be placed before nouns, or after a verb; for example: The rich man became poor after he invested in a new venture that was risky risky. The adjectives ‘rich’ and ‘new’ come before the nouns they describe, but the adjectives ‘poor’ and ‘risky’ come after verbs.

Yes, it is important. Read the information on the next page—it’ll help you.

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All about grammar 7

Order of adjectives Writers often use more than one adjective to describe a noun. There is a special order for adjectives that appear in a list; for example: He placed the big, blue, plastic bucket under the tap. Notice that size comes first, then colour and then material from which the noun is made.

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Sometimes there is a variation, but the usual order is: size (e.g. high, enormous, long, thin, narrow); description (e.g. attractive, hairy, hairy unpainted, ferocious); age (e.g. old, ancient, ancient young); shape (e.g. round, circular, circular square, pointy); colour (e.g. red, blue, green); material (e.g. wooden, nylon, canvas); origin (e.g. Scottish, Australian, Japanese, Dutch, Filipino) and purpose (walking stick, polishing rag, riding boots). When describing compound nouns such as walking stick, polishing rag or riding boots, the adjective is not separated from the noun (for example: The old man used an ancient, ancient wooden walking stick). Adjectives expressing an opinion (adjectives of quality) usually come before all other adjectives; for example: The girl had beautiful full red lips.

Although it is advisable not to include too many adjectives in a sentence, it is possible to include all of the above adjective types; for example: The archaeologist discovered a large, ornate, ancient, elongated, greyish, metal, Egyptian carving knife in the desert sands.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons Relationships between adjectives and nouns •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

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By adding ‘the’ in front of some adjectives, you can change them into nouns; for example: There is so much misunderstanding in the world—the rich do not understand the troubles of the poor poor, the healthy do not recognise the problems of the sick and the young cannot possibly comprehend the difficulties of the old. Nouns can also act as adjectives; for example: He planted spring flowers in the garden bed.

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Forming adjectives using a suffix

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Some nouns and verbs can be made into adjectives by adding a suffix; for example: faith – faithful, faithless; child – childish; gold – golden; mountain – mountainous; affection – affectionate; quarrel – quarrelsome; poet – poetic; attract – attractive; person – personal; accept – acceptable; horror – horrible; friend – friendly; interest – interesting; paint – painted; hair – hairy. y y. Adjectival phrases and clauses

Adjectival phrases and clauses can be added to a noun to add more information and clarify which one you mean. www.ricgroup.com.au

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All about grammar

An adjectival phrase is a group of words that acts as an adjective and does not have a verb. Some adjectival phrases have an adjective as the first word; for example: The way the new teacher explained the problem made it understandable and easy easy. Some adjectival phrases begin with a preposition, but because they are doing the job of an adjective, they are called adjectival phrases; for example: That girl with the red hair is my friend.

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An adjectival phrase that comes before a noun can be joined by a hyphen; for example: … a three-year savings plan.

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Adjectival phrases can give information about: where (The cat up the tree is mine.); why (He mixed a remedy for toothache and gave it to me.); whose (We visited the grave of the unknown soldier.); what kind (She offered the widow words of wisdom and comfort.); and with (Unfortunately, the only seat left was the chair with the broken leg.). When they come after a noun they usually start with prepositions; for example: The boy in the wheelchair said that the best day he had ever had was his day at the beach. Sometimes these are called prepositional phrases. Similes are also adjectival phrases; for example: He frowned at her with a scowl like furrows in a cornfield.

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Overused adjectives are boring— use a thesaurus to help increase your word power and make your writing more interesting.

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An adjectival clause is a group of words that contains a verb and modifies a noun or pronoun. Mostly, an adjectival clause begins with who, whom, which, that whose or where; for example: that, The person who was organising it has cancelled the farewell party that was supposed to take place on Tuesday Tuesday. Because they often begin with a relative pronoun, adjectival clauses are sometimes called relative clauses.

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Adjectives: antonyms and synonyms

There are many adjectives in the English language and some have similar meanings to each other. Synonym is a word that means ‘similar to’ or ‘same as’; for example, ‘frightening’ and ‘terrifying’ have almost the same meaning. An antonym is a word that means the opposite of something. For example, ‘weak’ is the opposite of ‘strong’. You can make your writing more interesting by using synonyms for adjectives. Try to avoid synonyms like ‘nice’, ‘fine’ or ‘hot’ day; ‘pretty’ girl or ‘bad’ dog, all of which are overused.

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All about grammar 9

Adverbs

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S It’s not hard if you remember that the word adverb is made up of add + verb verb—so adverbs mostly add information to verbs. Adjectives mostly add information to nouns.

Jack’s facts

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How can I tell whether to use an adverb or an adjective, John?

John’s right. Mostly, adverbs add information to verbs, but they can also add information to adjectives, conjunctions, prepositions and other adverbs. Look at the examples below.

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Look at these examples:

Look at the way adverbs have been used here.

Phong’s toy boat looked almost perfect from where he was standing. (The adverb ‘almost’ modifies the adjective ‘perfect’.)

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Phong gazed proudly at his new boat. (The adverb ‘proudly’ modifies the verb ‘gazed’.)

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He didn’t know, but it was floating partly under the surface and sinking slowly. (The adverb ‘partly’ modifies the preposition ‘under’; the adverb ‘slowly’ modifies the verb ‘sinking’.)

The tiny boat sank just as Phong reached out his hand to grab it (the adverb ‘‘just’ modifies the conjunction ‘as’).

It was too late to save his toy. (The adverb ‘too’ ‘ modifies the adverb ‘late’.)

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Adverbs answer questions about where (place), when (time), how long (duration), how much (degree), how often (frequency), why (reason) and how (manner) an action took place. They can be used with present, past or future tense verbs, but they are never used to add information to nouns. Interrogative adverbs such as why, why when, how and where are used to introduce questions. www.ricgroup.com.au

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All about grammar

Types of adverbs Adverbs of place Adverbs of place tell us about the position, direction or distance of an action. They usually come after the verb. The following poem uses a lot of adverbs of place to tell you where ants run. Busy ants

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Busy ants run everywhere,

Upstairs and downstairs, They’ve no time to play.

Adverbs of time and duration

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Sometimes here and sometimes there,

Indoors, outdoors and far away away,

Adverbs of time tell you when an action takes place or how long the action lasts. They usually come at the start or end of the sentence or clause. The words now, now tomorrow, tomorrow yesterday, yesterday after, after later than, recently, recently before, soon and yet are adverbs of time, while forever, forever still, yet, yet already and briefly are adverbs of duration; for example: ‘Later, Later, I will explain briefly what we still have to Later cover and what you should revise for the test tomorrow’, said the teacher.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f rr evi ew pur posesonl y• Adverbs ofo manner

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Adverbs of manner tell you the way an action is carried out. They usually come after the verb and often end in ‘ly’—words such as slowly, slowly carefully, carefully happily, happily drearily politely and dangerously; for example: drearily, The boy walked slowly and reluctantly home. In this sentence, the adverbs ‘slowly’ and ‘reluctantly’ tell us how he walked.

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Be careful because some ‘-ly’ -ly -ly’ words are really adjectives; for example, a friendly man, a kindly old lady or a miserly person.

Be careful if someone asks, ‘How are you feeling?’ The adverb to use in your answer is, ‘I’m feeling well, well thank you’. It is not not, ‘I’m feeling good, good thank you’.

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All about grammar 11

Adverbs of frequency Adverbs of frequency tell how often the action is performed; for example: He never comes on time. The words sometimes, often, never, never always, usually usually, and occasionally are all adverbs of frequency. They come in front of simple tense verbs, except for the simple tense of the verb ‘to be’. They come after the verb ‘to be’ and after the first auxiliary (helper) verb in compound verbs:

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He is always hungry after school. (After the verb ‘to be’)

My friend has never asked me to come to his house. (After the first auxiliary)

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The boys often stop for an ice-cream on the way home. (Before the simple tense)

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Adverbs of reason or cause

Adverbs of reason/cause tell why an action occurs. For example, look at these jokes.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Why do bees have sticky hair?

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o c . che e r o t r s super Why did the boy wear a brightyellow, purplestriped belt?

So his trousers wouldn’t fall down.

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Because they use honeycombs.

Jack’s facts

Adverbs can modify adjectives, but an adjective cannot modify an adverb. We can say: The old couple shared a really wonderful love or; The old man was extremely tall. We cannot say: The old man was real tall.

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Words such as thus, consequently, consequently because, so, hence, since and therefore are adverbs of reason/cause. Adverbs of reason can be more than one word; for example: •

The grass was unusually dry due to a lack of rainfall last winter.

The man had very little money as a result of his careless spending.

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Adverbs of degree (intensifiers)

Teac he r

Interrogative adverbs

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Adverbs of degree are used to place extra emphasis. Some people call them intensifiers. These adverbs tell about the degree to which something possesses an attribute. Words such as absolutely, absolutely scarcely, scarcely completely, completely almost, almost barely, barely really rather, really, rather extremely, extremely too, quite, slightly, slightly reasonably, reasonably very, very much, better, better enough, somewhat, somewhat deeply, deeply just, just much, hardly, hardly truly, truly so, half half, and more are all adverbs of degree. They come in front of another adverb or adjective to modify it; for example: The aid workers were deeply disturbed to see how utterly starving the villagers were because of the drought. They had certainly arrived just in time to save them.

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Interrogative adverbs are often called question words because they are used to start and form questions. Words such as where, when, how, how how much, how many and why are interrogative adverbs. They usually come at the beginning of a question; for example:

How could you keep me waiting for so long? (Asks about reason)

When did you change your mind? (Asks about time)

Why didn’t you phone me? (Also asks about reason)

How long did you expect me to wait for you? (Asks about duration)

How many times is this that you’ve made me wait for you? (Asks about how often)

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Where were you yesterday? (Asks about place)

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Interrogative adverbs in clauses

Interrogative adverbs are not only used to ask questions. They can be used to introduce a clause of place and a clause of time; for example: •

The police officer searched the area where the robber was last seen. (Adverbial clause of place)

Her car skidded when she applied the brakes to avoid a hole in the road. (Adverbial clause of time)

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Adverbs that compare Adverbs can be used to compare. They have comparative and superlative forms just like adjectives.

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Jack’s facts

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Teac he r

Single-syllable adverbs can be formed by adding ‘-er’ and ‘–est’, but just like adjectives, there are some irregular comparative and superlative forms. Adverbs with two or more syllables can be formed These examples help by adding ‘more’ or ‘most’. Often the word ‘the’ is to show you what placed in front of a superlative adverb. Jack means.

I arrived early early, John came late, Xu was later and Tom was the latest to arrive. (‘Late’ is a single-syllable adverb)

It was feeding time at the zoo. The donkey brayed loudly, the lion roared more loudly and the elephant trumpeted the most loudly, to let the keeper know. (‘Loudly’ is a two-syllable adverb)

Be sure to put a little salt on Sally’s fries, but less on Ibrahim’s and the least on mine. (These are irregular forms. Some others are well, better, best; badly, worse and worst; much, more, most; and far, further, furthest.)

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Adverbs as modals

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Adverbs can be used to indicate how sure we are about something or how much we are obliged to do something. To express positive probability, use words such as positively, positively certainly, certainly definitely nitely, undoubtedly, undoubtedly no doubt doubt, evidently, evidently doubtless, patently, patently surely or always. To express uncertainty, or negative possibility, use words such as never, never perhaps, maybe, possibly, possibly seemingly, seemingly supposedly sometimes, apparently, supposedly, apparently allegedly, allegedly theoretically or purportedly purportedly. For example: Certainly I will investigate the matter for you, as doubtless you expect it and apparently you feel our students are responsible.

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Adverbs that comment

Comment adverbs are used to tell how the speaker feels about something. They are used to express a belief. Words like personally, personally naturally, naturally actually, actually surely hopefully, surely, hopefully logically, logically apparently, apparently surprisingly, surprisingly logically and perhaps are comment adverbs. They usually come at the beginning of a sentence, but can also be placed in the middle or at the end of a clause; for example: •

Personally, I think he was very wise to wait until I could advise him.

Well, naturally you would. You were the one who asked him to wait, obviously.

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Adverbs that emphasise Emphasising adverbs are used to draw attention to and emphasise ideas. Words such as: really, really especially, especially mainly, mainly simply, simply even, just just, and only only, are emphasising adverbs. They can be placed before verbs, adjectives and other adverbs; for example:

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I simply love chocolate cake, especially from the cake shop next door. It’s just divine and it’s even better than the chocolate cake my mum makes.

Placement of adverbs

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Beginning position •

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Different kinds of adverbs go in different places in a clause. They may go at the beginning, the middle or the end of a clause.

Time adverbs and adverbs that connect two thoughts can be used to begin a sentence.

For example: Yesterday, I was confident I could do it. (time adverb) However, today I’m not so sure. (connecting adverb + time adverb) This can also be written as: Yesterday I was confident; however, today I’m not so sure.

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Middle position •

Adverbs of manner, indefinite frequency, certainty, completeness and emphasis mostly appear in the middle of a clause.

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End position •

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For example: She ran quickly to the bus stop, because the bus had almost reached the corner. (manner + completeness) My aunt often drops in after shopping, so she’ll probably come by later. (indefinite frequency + certainty) He looked everywhere for it—even under the bed. (emphasising adverb)

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Adverbs of manner, time and place are mostly placed at the end position.

For example: He ate his dinner slowly. (manner) I went to the movies yesterday. (time) He waited downstairs. (place)

Jack’s facts

Would you say, ‘The boy gobbled hungrily the cake’? No! Instead you would say, ‘The boy gobbled the cake hungrily hungrily’; or ‘Hungrily Hungrily, the boy gobbled the cake’. Why? Because you do not usually place an adverb between a verb and its object. Just like adjectives have a special order, so do adverbs. R.I.C. Publications®

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All about grammar 15

Order of adverbs When you are using more than one adverb or adverbial in a sentence, adverbs of manner usually go before adverbs of place and time; for example: •

He fell heavily on the stairs. (‘Heavily’ – adverb of manner; ‘on the stairs’ – adverb phrase of place)

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But, like most rules there are exceptions.

He climbed down cautiously cautiously. (‘Down’, the adverb of place goes before ‘cautiously’ the adverb of manner.)

They crept in quietly quietly. (‘In’, the adverb of place goes before ‘quietly’, the adverb of manner.)

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Teac he r

However, certain adverbs of place precede adverbs of manner. These include: in/out, out off/ out, off on, away/ away home, back forward, down/up; for example: back/

Time adverbs can appear in first position, or follow adverbs of manner and place; for example: •

They ran tirelessly in the race yesterday. (‘Yesterday’, the adverb of time, follows ‘tirelessly’, the adverb of manner, and ‘in the race’, the adverb phrase of place.)

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Daily the old lady hobbled painfully to church. (The time adverb ‘daily’, comes before the adverb of manner ‘painfully’, and the adverb phrase of place ‘to church’.)

Forming adverbs using a suffix

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Jack’s facts

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Adverbs can be made from other parts of speech by adding a suffix. By far the most common suffix used for this purpose is ‘–ly’; for example: careful – carefully, ly happy - happily. ly, ly. Here are some others: home – homeward, ly clock – clockwise.

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When you use ‘–ly’ ly’ to form adverbs, the following spelling rules apply: ly •

For words that end in ‘y’ yy’ and are preceded by a consonant (e.g. merry merry), change the ‘yy’ to ‘i’ (merrily merrily). merrily ily).

For words that end in ‘l’ (e.g. ideal ideal), be sure to keep the ‘l’ (ideally). ly ly).

For words that end in ‘–ible’ or ‘–able’ (e.g. responsible, capable) drop the ‘–le’ (responsibly, ly capably). ly, ly ly).

For words that end in ‘–e’ (e.g. secure) retain the ‘e’ (securely), ly), except for words like ly ‘true’, ‘whole’ and ‘due’ (truly, ly wholly, ly, ly duly). ly, ly ly).

For words that end in ‘–ic’ (e.g. automatic) add ‘–al’ before the ‘ly’ ly’ (automatically). ly ally ally).

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Problems with adverbs Sometimes an adjective is incorrectly used as an adverb. For example:

It is wrong to write: The car didn’t run very good after he fiddled around with it.

It is correct to write: The car didn’t run very well after he fiddled around with it.

It is wrong to write: I can’t run as quick as Tim.

It is wrong to write: I can’t run that far.

It is correct to write: I can run as far as that.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Avoid double negatives; using a double negative does not mean a repetition of ‘no’, ‘not’ or ‘none’. Writing two negatives is meaningless because two negatives make the sentence positive again. For example: –

It is wrong to write: I didn’t see nobody nobody. (This means I did see someone.)

It is correct to write: I didn’t see anybody.

A misplaced modifier such as ‘only’ and ‘barely’ is a common error. For example:

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The conjunction ‘that’ can be used as an adjective (that that boy), a pronoun (the car that Dad bought) or a conjunction (you said that you would tell her), but it should not be used as an adverb. For example;

– –

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It is correct to write: I can’t run as quickly as Tom.

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r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

Teac he r

It is wrong to write: She only grew to be five feet tall.

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It is correct to write: She grew to be only four feet tall.

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The word ‘never’ is not a simple word of negation. It means ‘in no way’, ‘not at all’. For example: –

It is wrong to write: She never practised her piano scales last night.

If you meant to say: She did not practise her piano scales last night.

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All about grammar 17

Adverbs of frequency are usually placed before the main verb. But when the verb has an auxiliary such as the verb ‘to be’ (am, is are, was, were, be, being, have been), or a modal verb such as ‘can’ or ‘must’, the frequency adverb usually comes after that verb and before the main verb. For example: – –

It is correct to write: That company often gives special prices. It is wrong to write: He is trying always to beat my record.

It is correct to write: He is always trying to beat my record.

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Teac he r

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It is wrong to write: That company gives often special prices.

It is wrong to write: Goals sometimes can be very hard to reach.

It is correct to write: Goals can sometimes be very hard to reach.

Intensifying adverbs are often used incorrectly when modifying adjectives. For example:

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• It is wrong to write: It was a real enjoyable concert.

It is correct to write: It was a really enjoyable concert.

It is wrong to write: John bought a complete new computer system.

If you meant to write: John bought a completely new computer system.

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Adverbials

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An adverbial is a word group used as an adverb, or a word that isn’t an adverb, but is used as one. Nouns can be adverbials; for example: I ran home. (‘Home’ is a noun used as an adverbial.)

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Phrases and clauses can be adverbials. For example: I ran to my house.

Adverbials tell you how often (frequency), why (reason), when (time), how long (duration), where (place) and how (manner) about an action. Adverbials often begin with a preposition, e.g. for a minute, in a week.

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r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

She always runs away from the ball.

Adverbial phrases and clauses

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Teac he r

What makes Cinderella such a bad soccer player?

An adverbial can be one word; for example: She ran away quickly.

Adverbs can be a phrase; for example: She ran away like the wind.

An adverbial becomes a clause if it includes a finite verb; for example: She ran away as though a demon were chasing her.

Adverbial phrases and clauses that tell about place, manner or time, usually start with a preposition; for example: –

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• The insects hid out of sight sight, under the rocks. (Adverbial phrases of manner telling where.)

She sang in a loud voice with the choir so her mother could hear her. (Adverbial phrases of manner telling how and the adverbial clause of reason telling why.)

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Jack’s facts

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The concert begins at exactly eight o’clock on Friday evening evening. (Adverbial phrases of time telling when.)

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The adverbials you use in narrative writing can be quite general, but the adverbials used in factual writing must be very specific. For example, in a science report you can use adverbials to describe accurately how something reacts or moves. Adverbials are very useful, especially when

you are to writing a narrative setting, or describing how your characters are acting, or for describing sounds.

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Placement of adverbials As a general rule, the adverbial is placed as close as possible to the verb that you intend to modify. If more than one adverb is added, the usual priority order for their placement is:

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1. adverb of manner

4. adverb of time

2. adverb of place

5. adverb of purpose.

3. adverb of frequency

Teac he r

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While adverbs can sometimes be placed before their verb, you must take care to ensure that the meaning of the phrase or sentence is not made unclear. Some adverbs (such as ‘only’ and ‘not only’) should not be placed before the verb; for example: The shiftworker slept only during the day.

The intended meaning of this sentence is that the shiftworker slept during the day, but not during the night. Look at the difference in meaning of the word day ‘only’ when it is shifted:

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f o rr evi ew pur posesonl y• Similes as adverbials The shiftworker only slept during the day.

The sentence now means that the shiftworker did nothing else but sleep during the day—he or she did not eat, drink, watch TV or do anything else.

The river gleamed like a silver ribbon in the moonlight.

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A simile is a poetic way of describing how an action resembles something else; for example:

The boy ran across the meadow, moving as lightly as a summer breeze.

The old man’s rheumatic hands trembled like leaves in the wind.

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Using adverbials in expository writing

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Adverbs and adverbials can be used as signals to set the tone of your writing and let your readers know what stance you are taking; for example: •

In my opinion, littering should be regarded as a criminal act. (Signals first person point of view.)

According to experts, climate change is increasing rapidly. (Signals third person point of view, which is more scholarly.)

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When you have to write a persuasive text or argue a point, adverbs can help you to express your opinion more clearly.

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Articles

(See determiners)

Clauses

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S A bit of nonsense

Sentences have clauses, Conversations have pauses, But tigers and lions and panthers, Have ‘claws-es’.

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Teac he r

Hi Jenny, how do you like my nonsense poem?

Sorry John, I don’t really understand it. What’s a clause?

Jack’s facts

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Jenny’s question doesn’t have a simple answer because there are different kinds of clauses. She needs to read the information below.

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A clause is a group of words that has a subject and a finite verb; for example, Birds fly y. This is a clause because it has a subject (birds) and a finite verb (fly). It is also called a principal clause, an independent clause or a main clause because it makes sense without adding any other information to it.

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Principal clauses can be called sentences. Some sentences consist of only one clause. These are called simple sentences. For example: The dog chewed on the bone. It was a juicy one. We can add information to the clause (e.g. Birds fly to their nests.) and it is still a principal clause or sentence.

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Some sentences comprise two or more clauses that are joined together. If the clauses are equally important, they are called coordinate clauses and the sentence is called a compound sentence.

Coordinate clauses

A sentence can have two or more principal clauses joined by a conjunction such as or, or and, but or so. The clauses that make up the sentence are called coordinate clauses; for example, Birds fly to their nests and feed their young. The word ‘and’ is called a coordinating conjunction because it joins two principal clauses. We could also write: Birds fly to their nests. Birds feed their young. R.I.C. Publications®

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All about grammar 21

Jack’s facts Did you notice that the subject (birds) was not repeated when the coordinating conjunction (and) and) was used? and

Because each clause has only one finite verb, you can tell how many clauses make up a sentence by counting the number of finite verbs.

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Subordinate clauses

Teac he r

Types of subordinate clauses

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Clauses that cannot create a sentence alone are called subordinate clauses. A subordinate clause is also called a dependent clause—it depends on the main clause to make sense. A subordinate clause expands on a principal clause; for example: Birds fly to their nests to feed their young. The added clause has a verb (feed), but it is not a principle clause because it cannot stand on its own. If you need information from the principle clause to help you understand the added clause, then you know that the extra clause is subordinate. Subordinate clauses are named according to the work they do. They replace other parts of speech. Adverbial clauses

Adverbial clauses can take the place of adverbs of time, place, reason, manner, comparison, concession, condition, degree, purpose and result; for example:

• •

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• He collected shells after he had finished his lunch. (Adverbial clause of time)

He collected shells where the ocean and the river met. (Adverbial clause of place)

He collected shells because he had promised his sister some. (Adverbial clause of reason)

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He collected shells like his father had done many years ago. (Adverbial clause of manner)

He collected shells as tiny as those his father had collected. (Adverbial clause of comparison)

He collected shells although he was afraid of the ocean. (Adverbial clause of concession)

He will collect shells if he has the time. (Adverbial clause of condition)

He collected shells as fast as he could go. (Adverbial clause of degree)

He collected shells so that the memories would stay with him. (Adverbial clause of purpose)

He collected shells so beautiful that everyone wanted to buy them. (Adverbial clause of result)

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Adverbial subordinate clauses often begin with words like because, if, if while, since, how, how why and when, because, until, although, after and as. Adjectival clauses/relative clauses A clause that does the job of an adjective is called a relative clause; for example:

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The children who live in my street are very friendly.

Noun clauses

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Teac he r

Did you notice that the clause starts with the relative pronoun ‘who’? Other relative pronouns that begin a relative clause are: who, whom, which, that and whose. Noun clauses act as nouns and can be either the subject or object of the verb.

Jack’s facts

Sometimes relative clauses can be tricky. Look at the sentence: This is the town where we will stop for the night. Although this looks like an adverbial clause of place, the word ‘where’ actually means ‘at which’—it describes the noun ‘town’. Therefore it is an adjectival clause

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Yes, sometimes they start with words like ‘where’ and ‘who’, so you think they are adverbial or adjectival clauses.

Then how can I tell?

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A noun clause answers the question, ‘What?’ about the verb.

Noun clauses can be a bit tricky, Jenny

Easy, just ask what job it is doing. What is its function?

What we tried to do was considered impossible. The coloured clause answers the question, ‘What What was considered impossible?’. So, it is a noun clause in the subject position.

It was not difficult to see that it would be a difficult task. The coloured clause answers the question, ‘What What was not difficult to see?’. So, it is a noun clause in the object position.

I know how we can find the solution. The coloured clause answers the question, ‘What What do I know?’. So, it is a noun clause in the object position.

I know where the solution lies. The coloured clause answers the question, ‘What What do I know?’. So, it is a noun clause in the object position.

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All about grammar 23

Clauses

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S Subordinate or dependent or embedded clause

Principal or independent clause

Adverbial clause

A clause can form the whole of a simple sentence, or it can be part of a compound or complex sentence.

Adjectival Noun clause Relative clause

Placement of clauses

Sometimes clauses appear in the middle of a sentence. For example: The keepsake, which the old lady kept in her drawer, drawer was stolen by the burglar. The principal clause is bold.

time

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Teac he r

Jack’s facts

reason

purpose place

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• frequency

result

concession

degree

compare/ contrast

Hey, John! If two’s company and three’s a crowd, what do you call four and five? I don’t know, Jenny. What do you call four and five?

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condition

o c . che e r o t r s super Nine of course.

Very funny! Do you know that you just used a conditional? conditional

A conditional? Is that another kind of joke? No, Jenny. It’s another kind of sentence. www.ricgroup.com.au

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Conditional sentences

(Also verbs: subjunctive mood, page 157.)

Conditional sentences are those that tell you an action depends on another condition. They are sometimes called ‘if-sentences’. Conditional sentences have two parts. They have an ‘if–clause’ that is called the condition clause and a main (independent) clause that is sometimes called a consequence clause.

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If you don’t hand in your homework

the teacher will make you stay in after school.

If I had a million dollars

I would open a home for stray cats.

If only you had entered the race

I’m sure you would have won.

Teac he r

Consequence (independent clause)

Jack’s facts

Did you notice how the three conditional sentences differed from each other? There are three kinds of conditional sentences. The type of conditional you write is determined by the meaning you wish to express.

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Condition (if–clause)

Types of conditional sentences First conditional

The first conditional is used to talk about real possibilities or facts; for example: If water freezes, it turns to ice. Notice that the ‘if-clause’ is in the present tense (If water freezes) and the main clause is in the present simple tense (it turns to ice). You can also use the first condition to talk about future predictions; for example: If the drought continues, continues, the wild animals will die. Notice that the ‘if-clause’ is in the present tense (If the drought continues,) and the main clause is in the future simple tense (the wild animals will die). The main clause can also have an imperative verb; for example: If Jack asks where I am, tell him I’ve gone home. ‘If–clauses’ begin with words like if, if should, unless, provided that that, as long as and even if if.

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But won’t it change the meaning of my sentence if I use ‘as ‘ long as’ instead of ‘‘if ’?

Jack’s facts

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Jenny is right. The second sentence below has tighter conditions than the first sentence.

It certainly will, Jenny. You make the conditions more limited or restricted according to the word you use to begin the ‘if-clause’. R.I.C. Publications®

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© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

If you do not rest, you may get tired.

Unless you rest you will get tired.

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Second conditional The second conditional is used to refer to something to happen, or one that is imaginary: for example: If would donate some to charity. Notice that the ‘if-clause’ is in the past perfect tense (If I had more money money,) and the main clause has ‘would’ + an infinitive (II would donate some to charity).

that is possible, but unlikely I had more money money, I

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Third conditional

Jack’s facts

When you state something that is not real, you use the subjunctive ‘were’ rather than ‘was’; for example: If I were a famous singer singer, I would travel all over the world.

Teac he r

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The third conditional is used to talk about guesses or theories. It is used to talk about impossible events that cannot be carried out because they are past events, so the opportunity for accomplishing them is no longer possible. You can make guesses or theories about things that have already happened; for example: If I had locked the gate, my dog would not have escaped. Notice that the ‘if-clause’ is in the past perfect tense (If I had locked the gate) and the main clause has ‘would would (not) have’ + past participle (my dog would not have escaped).

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Position of conditional clauses

The position of the main clause and the ‘if–clause’ can change; for example:

• •

Your father will be angry if you are late.

If you are late, your father will be angry.

These are both correct

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What do you get if you join a centipede with a parrot?

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I don’t know! What do you get if you join a centipede with a parrot?

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Conjunctions

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A walkie-talkie!

You could call that kind of joke a conjunction joke.

Conjunctions are ‘joining words’. They can connect: •

one word with another (bread and nd butter, small but strong, up orr down). These conjunctions usually join similar parts of speech together (e.g. the conjunction ‘and’ joins two adjectives in: They were cold and hungry hungry).

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one compound with another (boy scouts and girl guides, Mr Jones and Mrs Jones)

one phrase with another (keen to start and eager to please)

one clause with another (He left the classroom because he was ill).

When you join clauses together, there are two main kinds of conjunctions: coordinating conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions. There is also a third kind called correlative conjunctions.

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Types of conjunctions Coordinating conjunctions

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Subordinating conjunctions

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When two clauses are equally important (i.e. principle clauses/sentences), the conjunction is called a coordinating conjunction. Here are two sentences; I have a pet hamster. I don’t know what to feed it. They can be joined so that the ideas in the sentences are linked. They can be joined so that both ideas remain equally important; for example: I have a pet hamster but I don’t know what to feed it. The main coordinating conjunctions are and, and but, but or, or for, for yet and still.

Here are two sentences: Mr Jones was a kindly man. He always let the village children play in his garden. The ideas in the two sentences are linked. The second sentence can explain why Mr Jones let the children play in his yard. The conjunction ‘because’ can be used to show this; for example, you could write; Because Mr Jones was a kindly man, he always let the village children play in his garden. The first clause (Because Mr Jones was a kindly man) can no longer stand on its own—its meaning now depends on the main clause (he always let the village children play in his garden), so it is called a subordinate clause.

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Correlative conjunctions

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You can make one idea more important than the other. For example, you could have written: Mr Jones, who was a kindly man, always let the village children play in his garden. Or, you could have written: Mr Jones, who always let the village children play in his garden, was a kindly man.

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Correlative conjunctions are joining words that always come in pairs. They link one word with another, or one sentence part with another using word pairs such as neither nor; either/ neither/ either or; not only only/but also; both/and; not/ not but; as/as; whether/ whether or or. For example: •

We use either/ either or when we have a choice between two possibilities; for example: You can either come with me to the movies or go with James to the park. Notice that both words are needed to make the correlative conjunction and that they link two words of the same type—the verbs ‘come’ and ‘go’. On its own the word ‘either’ is an indefinite pronoun and the word ‘or’ is a coordinating conjunction.

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r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

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We use ‘not not only only/but also’ and ‘both/and’ when we want to emphasise an addition; for example: The driver of the car was not only speeding, but also talking on his mobile phone. Both Madison and James will be staying with us for the holidays. Notice that the correlative conjunctions link together two words of the same type. In the first sentence, the types of words are the verbs ‘speeding’ and ‘talking’. In the second sentence the types of words are the proper nouns ‘Madison’ and ‘James’.

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We use ‘neither/ neither nor’ to join two negative ideas; for example: The cup of tea neither/ was neither hot nor sweet. Neither Jane nor her mother is coming on Friday. Notice that you use a singular verb in the second sentence, even though there are two people mentioned as the subject. However, you can use the plural verb ‘are’ if you are speaking or writing informally. Like the example above, both words are needed to make a correlative conjunction. On its own the word ‘neither’ is an adjective and the word nor is a coordinating conjunction.

We use ‘whether/ whether or’ when we want to link two phrases to show uncertainty; for whether/ example: He didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry when he realised he had won first prize.

We use ‘as/as’ when we want to make a comparison between two things that are similar. For example: My cake doesn’t taste as delicious as your cake tastes.

We use ‘not/ not but’ to show an alternative; for example: The fair will be opened not/ not by the Mayor but his wife.

Placement of conjunctions

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• • •

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Conjunctions can be placed between two clauses, or at the beginning of a sentence. The conjunctions and, but, but so, because and that usually go between two clauses; for example:

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She was exhausted and weak.

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She had tried hard, but the course was too difficult, so she was unable to finish the marathon. She knew that she could have finished, if there had been fewer hills, because she had run the distance easily before.

Most conjunctions can also be placed at the beginning of a sentence; for example: •

Although the boys were not related, they looked like brothers.

If I hadn’t met both their parents earlier, I would have assumed they were siblings. www.ricgroup.com.au

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Where you place the conjunction will help your readers to know what part of the sentence you want them to focus on most. For example, the following sentence includes a cause and a consequence: •

If you pour boiling water into that glass glass, it will break. (Focus is on the cause)

That glass will break if you pour boiling water into it. (Focus is on the consequence)

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Adverbs as conjunctions

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Type of clause

Relative

Conjunction

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Words like however, however nevertheless, still, still yet, yet though, besides and moreover can be used as conjuncts; for example: I try to hurry, yet I’m always late. We must be early; otherwise we won’t get a ticket for the concert. Different conjunction types can be used to show these different relationships between ideas: Example sentence

that, who, whom, which, whose

The lady who won the prize is my aunt. The bus that I take home at night is always late. When I saw how much fun they were having, I joined the club. Before you come having in, please wipe your feet.

Telling how often

after, while, as, before, when, then, finally, next, meanwhile, first whenever, each time

Telling how long

since, while, until

Place

where, wherever

The untidy girl left her things wherever she went.

as, because, so, since, for

You may keep the puppy since nobody owns it.

so that, in order to, in order that

For failing to do your homework, you can’t go out.

So/that, such/that, consequently, thus, therefore, as a result

He drove slowly so that he could enjoy the view.

Concession

Although, even though, while, despite, whereas, even if, however

While I can understand your feelings feelings, I don’t agree with your actions. He went ahead with his plans although he had been warned of the danger danger.

Condition

If, unless, as long If you don’t study study, you won’t pass your as, in case, providing exams. You can’t come unless you finish that your homework.

To add an idea

further more, moreover, also, in addition

Time

Telling when

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Whenever I’m in the bath, the phone rings. Stir the ingredients until the sugar dissolves.

Reason

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Cause

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I’m too busy writing this letter to come with you; moreover, moreover I promised to help my mum today. today www.ricgroup.com.au


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Problems with conjunctions •

A correlative conjunction must link similar types of words; for example, it is incorrect to say: His father was not only old but also a doctor.

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This is incorrect because ‘old’ is an adjective and ‘doctor’ is a noun. •

Another common error is to link different types of verbs; for example:

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The boy didn’t know whether to laugh or crying when he realised he had won first prize.

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This is incorrect because, even though both are verbs, ‘to laugh’ is the infinitive form and ‘crying’ is the present participle.

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The most important thing to remember when using correlative conjunctions is that they link words and sentence parts that are the same type.

Another thing to remember is that when ‘either’ and ‘neither’ are used without ‘or’ and ‘nor’ they act as adjectives or pronouns.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i o ns Jack’s facts •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• –

Either film seems to be a good choice. (Adjective)

Either seems like a good choice to me. (Pronoun)

Neither film proved to be good. (Adjective)

Neither one was good. (Pronoun)

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Semicolons are often needed when you use an adverbial conjunct. For example: He was old and frail; still he marched proudly in the parade.

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Some people make the mistake of using two conjunctions in a sentence; for example:

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Although she was pretty, but she was also vain.

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Remember that you only need to use one ‘she’. You could write: She was pretty, but also vain. Or you could write: Although she was pretty, she was vain. Neither is it necessary to include the subject in both clauses; for example: When the train pulled into the station it slowed a little and then it steamed away. This could be written: When the train pulled into the station it slowed a little and then steamed away. (Notice the second ‘it’ has been omitted.)

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Determiners Then, I’d better tell you that there is no such word as determiner determiner, Jenny.

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S Well, actually there is such a word as determiner, but it’s used in a special way.

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Teac he r

Jan is determined to do well in her grammar test, but I think I’m much more determiner than she is.

Determiners are words used before nouns. They are a special kind of adjective. A countable singular noun cannot stand on its own, it must have an article or some other determiner in front of it. For example: a book, the books, this/that book, those books, my/his/her book, their books, every/each book. There are five kinds of determiners: articles, quantifiers, demonstratives, interrogatives and possessives.

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Types of determiners Articles

Indefinite articles

The indefinite articles ‘a’ and ‘an’ are used as follows:

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There are only three articles: ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’. ’. ‘‘A’ and ‘an’ are called indefinite articles. ‘The’ is called a definite article.

When you refer to general things, quantities or states: The explorers rowed across a vast river during their journey. We do not know which specific river so we use ‘a’. We go to music lesson twice a week. My friend, Jane, has always been a worrier.

The article ‘a’ is used in front of a noun that begins with a consonant, or sounds like it begins with a consonant: a cup, a saucer, a plate, a spoon, a uniform. Notice that the word ‘uniform’ sounds like it begins the same as the word ‘you’.

The article ‘an’ is used in front of a noun that begins with a vowel, or a vowel sound: an apple, an egg, an igloo, an ostrich, an hour. Notice that the word ‘hour’ sounds the same as the word ‘our’.

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‘A’ and ‘an’ are used only with singular count nouns. For example, it is correct to write: The boy read a book. It is incorrect to write: The boy read a books. We spread a butter on the toast. With uncountable nouns you must use other expressions (see quantifying determiners).

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S I don’t know. What do you get if you cross an elephant with a hose?

You get a jumbo jet!

Definite article

The definite article ‘the’ is used as follows:

Jack’s facts

The article ‘a’ is used before singular words beginning with a consonant or words that begin with ‘h’ where the letter ‘h’ is pronounced; while, ‘an’ is used before singular words beginning with a vowel or with a silent ‘h’.

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Teac he r

What do you get if you cross an elephant with a hose?

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When you refer to anything for which there is only one of its kind. For example: The media coverage of the Olympic Games, held in the West Indies, was excellent. I have a headache and I’m getting the flu.

With singular and plural count nouns, as well as uncount nouns. For example, it is correct to write: She gave the sweets to the boy boy. It is also correct to write: She gave the sweets to the boys boys.

If you have already mentioned a noun and you are referring to it a second time, it becomes definite. For example: John is reading a book, the one I lent him this morning.

When you use a superlative; for example: The new computer shop is the biggest and the cheapest in town. You can get the best bargains at the lowest price.

Before a noun that has been made definite by adding a phrase to it; for example: I like the girl in the green dress, the one with the red hair.

When both people are familiar with the thing being talked about. For example: If you’re going away this weekend who’s looking after the dog dog?

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When you refer to a particular thing or things: The explorers rowed across the Amazon River during their journey. This is a particular river. The definite article is also used in front of most geographical names that end in ‘s’ (e.g. the United States, the United Arab Emirates). It also applies to groups of islands like the Maldives, the Hebrides and the West Indies.

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Plural countable nouns don’t need articles unless you are referring to a particular group; for example: Boys are usually very active. This is a general statement meaning all boys. If I want to be specific, I could use the definite article: The boys in my class are usually very active.

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Quantifying determiners

Teac he r

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Quantifiers are words that tell us about how much or how many. Some common quantifiers are a few, many, a lot of, plenty of, a little, much, some, any, several, some of, none of, a great Jack’s facts deal of and a large amount of of. For ‘A’ or ‘an’ go before words that refer to example: Several of the Year 6 students general things, but ‘the’ comes before achieved very good results in the test, words that refer to specific things. but a few of them made many mistakes. Quantifying determiners can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns. •

Use: several, many, some, any, a few, a lot of of, and plenty of with countable nouns; for example: Several boys came to dinner. They ordered many dishes.

Use much, some, any, a little, plenty of, a lot of and a great deal of with uncountable nouns. That cake needs a little butter, some milk, a lot of sugar and plenty of mixing before you put it in the cake tin.

The words ‘some’ and ‘many’ can be used to generalise about a whole group; for example: Many fish live in the ocean while some fish live in rivers, lakes and ponds.

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© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• What would you get if you crossed some cars with a lot of strawberries?

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I don’t know. What would you get?

You’d get many traffic jams jams.

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Generally we use the quantifier ‘some’ in positive sentences, but use ‘any’ in negative sentences and questions. For example: Some people say there are bears in the woods (positive). I haven’t seen any bears running around our campsite (negative). Have you seen any yet? (question).

When you use the sentence pattern of quantifier + ‘of the’ + noun, the noun must be plural. For example: A few + of the + players congratulated us.

The quantifier ‘much’ has a comparative and superlative form; for example: The chef told the trainee not to use much milk when making the entree, because more milk was needed to make the main course and the most milk was needed for the pudding.

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Useful information about quantifiers Determiner Many, lots and a lot of

Remember

Example She doesn’t have many friends. She had lots of friends.

An indefinite article is sometimes used with the quantifier ‘many’ to join a plural quantifier with a singular noun (in this case a singular verb is used).

Many an overweight person has been tempted by her apple pies.

Some, any, no, none

‘Some’ and ‘any’ mean a number or amount of something. They can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns. ‘Any’ is usually used in questions and negative sentences.

Do you have any bread? Do you have any biscuits? Sorry, we don’t have any.

Zero determiner

When you are talking about abstract ideas or subjects, no determiner is needed. If you are referring to a specific subject, an article is needed.

I’m studying history for my test.

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I have a lot of friends. I have lots of friends.

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Teac he r

Use ‘many’ mostly in negative sentences Use ‘a a lot of of’ or ‘lots’ in positive sentences.

I’m studying the history of Singapore for my test.

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Demonstrative determiners

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Demonstratives are pointing words like this, that, these and those. They help us refer to the thing we are talking about according to how far away from us it is in distance or time; for example: That dog over there by the tree is John’s dog, but this one here is mine. ‘This’ and ‘that’ are used with singular nouns, but ‘these’ and ‘those’ are used with plural nouns. This book is yours, but those books on the bed are mine.

Interrogative determiners

Interrogative determiners are used before nouns to form questions. They are words like ‘what’, ‘which’, and ‘whose’. For example: Which boy won the race? Whose jacket is this? What colour is an amethyst?

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o c . che e r o t r s super What word, if pronounced right is wrong, but if pronounced wrong is right?

I don’t know. Tell me, which word is it?

It’s the word wrong wrong, of course. R.I.C. Publications®

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Possessive determiners My, your, our, his, her, their and its are possessive determiners. They are very much like possessive pronouns, but they must be used before a noun. Some people call them possessive adjectives; for example: That is my toy (possessive determiner). This toy is mine (possessive pronoun).

r o e t s Bo r e Direct and indirect speech p ok u S

Teac he r

The function of direct speech

Did you notice the following about the two sample sentences? • • • •

A capital letter started each sentence.

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Direct speech is when you write exactly what a person says. To write direct speech you must use quotation marks around the words that were spoken by the person; for example: ‘We’re going to Jane’s party’, said Selma. Sometimes the person speaking is mentioned first; for example: Selma asked, ‘Are you going to Jane’s party?’. Jack’s facts When more than one person is speaking, you must start on a new line for each new speaker

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• The first word of the actual words spoken also started with a capital letter.

Quotation marks were placed around the actual words spoken.

A comma separated the speaker from the actual words spoken.

Three old friends who were nearly deaf met in the street.

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‘Windy, isn’t it?’, ’’, said the first old lady. ‘No, it’s Thursday’, ’’, said the second old lady.

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Here is another example:

‘Yes, so am I’, ’’, said the third old lady. ‘Let’s go and order a cup of tea.’

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r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S That’s right, Jenny. But it’s not difficult if you know the rules. I’ll show you some examples.

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Teac he r

But it’s not always that simple. Sometimes, the words spoken are broken up by an explanation of who is speaking.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• ‘There is no need to worry’, said Rob. ‘The problems you are facing can be solved quite easily.’

‘I’m trying’, sighed Geoff, ‘to understand why I can’t come with you’.

This quotation is different because there are two separate sentences. So a full stop is used to separate the sentences. The full stop comes after an explanation of who is speaking.

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Notice that quotation marks go around each part of the direct speech, but no capital is used to begin the second part of the quotation. This is because only a single sentence has been spoken.

Other uses for quotation marks are listed under the heading ‘Quotation marks’.

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The function of indirect speech

Indirect speech is often called reported speech. It is used when you want to report what someone said to another person; for example: •

Betty said, ‘I’m going to Jane’s birthday party’. (Direct speech needs quotations marks.)

Betty said that she was going to Jane’s party. (Indirect speech does not need quotation marks.)

Betty says she is going to Jane’s party.

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Jack’s facts

Indirect statements and tense changes

I’m still trying to phone a cab.

1. No tense change: •

Ryan says that he has already swept the path.

Mary says that she is still trying to phone a cab.

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r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

I can understand the difference between reported and direct speech, but why do sentences two and three have different verb tenses?

Teac he r

When we turn direct speech into indirect (reported) speech, some changes are usually necessary. This is easier to understand if we look separately at the changes that occur when we use statements, questions and commands.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• The farmer says she will probably have a good crop this year.

Chloe says that Mercury is the closest planet to the sun.

I never want to travel overseas!

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun.

Grandma says she never wants to travel overseas.

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You may need to change other things, but you do not need to change the tense:

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2. Tense changes:

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Most direct speech is introduced by a past tense verb such as ‘said’. The table on the next page shows how verb tenses change when indirect speech is introduced by a past tense verb.

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if the introductory verb is in the present or future tense

if you are reporting a general fact

if the action is still happening (Jack is still cold)

if you are reporting a statement that someone makes often.

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When the tense changes, there are also changes to other things like pronouns, demonstratives, places and times. See if you can spot them in the table on the next page. www.ricgroup.com.au

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Tense change

Direct speech

Indirect speech

‘I never use water colours’, the artist informed me.

The artist informed me that he never used water colours.

Present continuous becomes past continuous

‘I am writing a book about my many experiences’, he boasted.

He boasted (that) he was writing a book about his many experiences.

Present perfect becomes past perfect

‘I have completed my homework’, announced Miranda.

Miranda announced (that) she had completed her homework.

Present perfect continuous becomes past perfect continuous

‘I have been waiting for ages in this queue’, May complained.

May said (that) she had been waiting for ages in that queue.

Simple past becomes past perfect

‘My dog ate my homework’, Dan explained to the teacher.

Dan explained to the teacher that his dog had eaten his homework.

Future becomes conditional

‘I can’t come tomorrow. I will be flying to Egypt’, he told me.

He told me that he couldn’t come the next day because he would be flying to Egypt.

Future continuous becomes conditional continuous

‘We shall be celebrating our 50th anniversary on the 20th of January’, said Grandma.

Grandma said that they would be celebrating their 50th anniversary on the 20th of January.

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Teac he r

Simple present becomes simple past

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Jack’s facts

Other changes:

‘I’ I’ becomes ‘he’ or ‘she’

‘me’ becomes ‘him’ or ‘her’

‘my’ my’ becomes ‘his’ or ‘her’ my

‘our’ becomes ‘their’

‘we’ becomes ‘they’ they they’

‘us’ becomes ‘them’

‘you’ becomes ‘I’ or ‘me’, ‘him’ or ‘her’, ‘he’ or ‘she’, ‘they’ they’ or ‘them’ they

‘your’ becomes ‘his’ or ‘her’, ‘their’ or ‘my’ my my’

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Changes to pronouns are as follows:

Changes to times, places and others are as follows: •

‘now’ becomes ‘then’

‘today’ today’ becomes ‘that day today day’

‘tomorrow’ becomes ‘the the next day day’

‘yesterday’ yesterday’ becomes ‘the day before’ or yesterday ‘previous previous day day’

‘last night’ becomes ‘the night before’

‘next week’ becomes ‘the following week’

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‘ago’ becomes ‘before’

‘here’ becomes ‘there’

‘this’ becomes ‘that’

‘these’ becomes ‘those’

‘thus’ becomes ‘so’

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Direct and indirect questions

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

Teac he r

Farmer Brown wants to know how to get his sick pig to the animal hospital.

Tell him to call a ham-bulance!

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My pig is sick. How can I get it to the animal hospital?

In the above joke the farmer has asked a direct question. Then the receptionist uses an indirect question; that is, she repeats the farmer’s inquiry to the animal doctor. Did you notice that her indirect question changed into a statement—so there was no need to use a question mark. The word order also changed. In a reported (indirect) question the subject comes before the verb, not after it. Here are some examples of the changes that occur when we turn a direct question into an indirect question:

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Direct question

Indirect question

Examples of changes

If the direct question begins with a question word, the question word is repeated in the indirect question.

‘What are you doing?’, he asked me.

He asked me what I was doing.

The word order changes so that the verb is placed after the subject.

‘Where are you going?’

She asked me where I was going.

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‘Is it going to be hot today?’, Ben asked.

‘Fred, would you come to the concert with me?’, asked Gina.

The verb tense changes from present to past. An introductory expression ‘She asked me’ is added.

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The pronoun changes from ‘you’ to ‘I’.

Ben asked if it was The word ‘if’ if’ or ‘whether’ is added when the if going to be hot direct question doesn’t have a ‘questiontoday. word’, or when you are reporting a question that has a yes or no answer. Gina asked Fred whether he would go to the concert with her.

She said, ‘Where She asked where is the post the post office was. office?’ www.ricgroup.com.au

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Mum asked who spilt the orange juice.

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‘Who spilt the orange juice?’, said Mum

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‘Must Must we go now?’, she asked. ‘Shall Shall I help you carry your parcels?’

She asked whether The changes here are very similar to those they had to leave made when direct statements are changed then. into indirect statements. Changes are made to pronouns, place, time and tenses.

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S

‘How can I ever face her again?’, I thought.

The verb ‘offer’ is used in the indirect question if ‘shall’ is used as a form of offer.

Paul wondered why Angela hadn’t answered his letter.

The words ‘wonder’ and ‘didn’t know’ can be used to report questions that people silently ask themselves.

I didn’t know how I could ever face her again.

Imperatives, commands, advice and requests

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Teac he r

‘Why hasn’t Angela answered my letter?’, thought Paul.

She offered to help me carry my parcels.

You can use special verbs to report imperatives, commands, advice and requests. Some of these are: order, order warn, tell, command, forbid, advise, beg, urge, implore, entreat, entreat warn, recommend, ask, instruct, instruct invite, remind and encourage; for example:

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‘Get the spanner out of my tool box’, said Dad.

Could be reported as: Dad told me to get the spanner out of his tool box. ‘You had better dress warmly, Ted’, she said.

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Oh, doctor! I feel as sick as a dog. R.I.C. Publications®

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Could be reported as: She advised Ted to dress warmly.

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What did the doctor tell you?

Then you had better go and see a vet!

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Summary of ways to report imperatives, commands, advice, suggestions and requests Direct question

Indirect report

Examples of changes

Mum warned me not to make too much noise.

When reporting a negative, you use the word ‘not’ + an infinitive.

‘Please complete page 63 for your science homework’, said Mr Cinotti.

Mr Cinotti said we were to complete page 63 for our science homework.

When reporting direct speech that needs an ordering, requesting or advising verb, use the construction ‘to’ + verb.

She said, ‘Go away and leave me alone!’

She told me/him/her/ her her/ us them/the us/ the boy to go away and leave her alone.

When no person is named, you will need to add a noun or pronoun.

‘Will all passengers please fasten their safety belts for takeoff’, the stewardess asked.

The stewardess requested all passengers to fasten their safety belts for take-off.

A question that begins with ‘will’ is treated as a request, unless the sentence is spoken sharply or impatiently.

‘Will you stop annoying me!’, she said.

She ordered us to stop annoying her.

He says, ‘Speak up louder!’

He says that you are to speak up louder.

When a command is introduced with a present tense verb, use be + an infinite construction.

The teacher said, ‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’.

The teacher said that if I couldn’t say anything nice, I shouldn’t say anything at all.

When a person uses ‘if’ if’ in direct if speech, use ‘say’ or ‘tell’ with ‘should’. If you think the person is giving advice rather than a command, use ‘say/ say tell’ + ‘that’ + say/ subject + ‘should’.

The lawyer advised that the contract should be cancelled.

Advice and recommendations can be reported in the passive. In this case, use the verb (recommend/ recommend advise/ recommend/ urge) + ‘that’ + ‘should’.

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‘Don’t make too much noise’, said Mum.

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‘I recommend cancelling this contract,’ the lawyer said.

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‘Sue is to blame for the problem’, said Sam. ‘So let her fix it.’

Sam said that Sue was to blame for the problem so she should (ought to) fix it.

When ‘let him/her’ is used in direct speech it usually expresses an obligation, so it is reported as ‘should’ or ‘ought to’.

‘Let’s redecorate the house’, said Jack.

Jack suggested that we redecorate the house.

When ‘let’s’ is used in direct speech it usually expresses a suggestion, so it is reported as ‘suggest’ in indirect speech.

‘Let’s not argue about it until we know what really happened’, Femi said.

Femi suggested not arguing about it until they knew what really happened.

The same applies for the negative.

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Gerunds

(see page 134)

Interjections

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‘Did you know that the French eat frogs’ legs and snails in sauce?’

‘Ooo! Yuk!! I don’t think I could’.

‘Here’s a frog. Would you like to taste his leg?’

‘Eek!! Go away, I detest frogs’.

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Interjections are short words that express a strong feeling about something. They can also be phrases used to exclaim, protest or command. They sometimes stand by themselves, but they are often found within larger structures. Most mild interjections are marked off from the rest of the sentence with a comma or set of commas. However, if the interjection is more forceful or emotional, it is followed by an exclamation mark. Some common ones include: Yuk!; Eek!; Wow!; Ow!; Whoops!; Aaagh!; Ooo!; Ouch!; Oh, no! and Alas! For example:

‘Wow! Wow! I won first prize in a raffle!’

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‘Oh! Oh! Are you sure?’

Interjections are seldom used in formal writing.

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Nouns What is a noun that is another name for a bad-tempered duck?

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I don’t know. What is another name for a bad-tempered duck?

A fire-quacker!

A noun is the name of a person, place or thing. Some people call nouns ‘naming words’ because they tell you who or what does the action in a sentence. R.I.C. Publications®

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Types of nouns There are four kinds of nouns: common, proper, collective and abstract nouns.

Proper nouns

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This is the name given to words that represent specific places (Australia, Lake Victoria, Mount Olympus); persons (Richard, Mrs Lim, Dr Jones) or things such as days of the week (Friday, Friday Saturday), months of the year (May, Friday, May June), May, festivals (Chinese Chinese New Year Year, Easter Easter), origins (French wines, Russians), buildings (Statue Statue of Liberty Liberty, Taj Mahal), brand names (Milo™, Toyota™) book titles and movie titles (Cinderella, The BFG). Proper nouns always start with a capital letter.

Common nouns

This is the name given to words that represent ordinary things you can see or touch; therefore, they are sometimes called concrete nouns. You do not need to use a capital letter for common nouns; for example: doctor, doctor teacher, teacher pencil, ruler library and classroom. ruler,

Collective nouns

This is the name given to words that represent groups of things, animals or persons; for example: a bouquet of flowers, a herd of cattle, a panel of judges. Here is a useful table of common collective nouns. judges

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Noun: people

Collective noun

Noun: people

army

soldiers

crew

oarsmen, sailors,

gang people

criminals, thieves, workers

horde

savages

audience

listeners

panel

band

musicians, robbers

party

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assembly, association, crowd, gathering, group, host, mob, multitude, throng

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board

choir, chorus class company

host

angels

doctors, judges

friends, politicians

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women, ladies directors singers

pupils, scholars, students actors, soldiers

congregation

church-goers, worshippers

corp

soldiers

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Collective noun

platoon, troop, regiment

riders, scouts (troop only), soldiers

posse, squad

police officers

squadron

pilots

staff

teachers, workers

team

cricketers, footballers (or other sports players)

troupe

perfomers

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Collective noun

Noun: animals

Collective noun

Noun: animals

army

ants, frogs

murder

crows

band bed brood, clutch business caravan cloud

colony

nest

mice, vipers

nursery

raccoons

chickens

pack

hounds, mules

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S ferrets

parliament

owls

camels

plague, swarm

locusts

finches

pod

whales

locusts

pride

lions, peacocks

rookery

crows, nesting birds, penguins

school

fish, porpoises

ants, flies, vole

covey

partridges, grouse

den, pack

wolves

drove

cattle, ponies

flight flock

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charm

gorillas

mussels

sett

badgers

swallows

shoal

fish

birds, geese, goats, sheep

skulk

foxes

sloth

bears

gaggle

geese

smuck

jellyfish

herd

buffaloes, cattle, elephants, swine

stud

horses

hive, swarm

bees, flies, insects

team

oxen, wild horses

huddle

walruses

troop

monkeys

litter

kittens, pigs, puppies

watch

nightingales

menagerie

animals

warren

rabbits

mob

kangaroos

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What’s another name for a mob of kangaroos?

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o c . che e r o t r s super Grasshoppers!

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Collective noun

Noun: plant life, food

Collective noun

Noun: things

bale, stack

hay

anthology

poems, short stories

biscuits, cakes, loaves, scones

archipelago

islands

bouquet, bunch, nosegay

bunch

keys

flowers

bundle, sheaf

papers

box

chocolates

canteen, set

cutlery stars

batch

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carton, clutch

eggs

collection

books, coins, money, rocks, stamps

clump, cluster

bushes, trees

convoy, fleet

ships

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carrots, spinach

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bunch, hand, comb

cluster, constellation, galaxy

bunch

crate

fruit

flight

aircraft, stairs

hedge

plants, shrubs

flotilla

yachts

nursery

plants

fusillade, volley

orchard

fruit trees

heap, pile

packet

biscuits, flour, lollies, rice

kit, set

plantation

tropical fruit trees

sheaf

wheat

tuft

grass

shots

stones tools

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Jack’s facts

S’warm, isn’t it!

pack

playing cards

packet

cigarettes

peal

bells

pile

newspapers, old clothes, plates

quiver, sheaf

arrows

range

hills, mountains

row

houses, lamp posts

skein

wool

stack string

chairs

beads, pearls

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Collective nouns can take a singular or plural verb. When you want the collective noun to mean a single group, you use a singular verb. For example: Our team is the highest scoring team in the league. When you want the collective noun to mean a number of individuals, you use a plural verb. For example: The panel are not all in agreement over the decision. www.ricgroup.com.au

books

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What does a group of bees say when the weather’s hot?

library

suit

suite

clothes

furniture

Abstract nouns

This is the name given to words that represent things that you cannot see, touch, smell or taste—things you can only think about like honesty, danger, happiness and fear. For example: You could see the fear in his eyes as he constantly faced danger. R.I.C. Publications®


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Special features of nouns Numbers Nouns that refer to one thing are called singular nouns; for example: book, pencil, desk. Nouns that refer to more than one thing are called plural nouns; for example: books, pencils, desks. Nouns that have both singular and plural forms are called count nouns; for example book – books, apple – apples. You can use an article (see page 30) in front of count nouns; for example the books, a book, an apple. You can also use quantity words or numbers with count nouns; for example: three books, lots of books. You can count them individually and you can make them plural. Singular countable nouns must have a determiner in front of them. It is correct to write: That cup is dirty. Incorrect to write: Cup is dirty.

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Some nouns have only one form. They cannot be counted separately or made plural; for example: butter, sugar, water, music, homework, rice. These are called noncount or uncount nouns. You do not use articles ‘a’ or ‘an’ in front of uncount nouns (see page 31). Instead, you use words describing quantity, such as: Two T loaves of bread, a bar of chocolate, several grains of rice. Uncountable nouns can stand alone; for example: Rice is grown in tropical countries.

Sometimes the same noun can be used in countable and uncountable ways; for example: three pieces of fruit – the fruits from many countries; six cakes – two slices of cake; a letter of the alphabet – the different alphabets of ancient civilizations; two glasses of wine – two cases of French wines, two sheets of paper – two exam papers.

Plural nouns can be formed in many ways. There are spelling rules to help you do this:

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Rule

Examples

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Add an ‘–s’ to most plural nouns

girls, fables, buildings, keys, dogs, cupfuls

Add ‘–es’ to nouns ending in ch, sh, o, s, x and z. There are some exceptions to this rule

churches, wishes, heroes, buses, foxes, quizzes Some exceptions are: banjos, pianos, stomachs, and words that end in ‘–oo’ (zoos).

Add either ‘s’ or ‘es’ to some words that end in ‘o’

halos or haloes, mango or mangoes, buffalo or buffaloes, mosquito or mosquitoes

Change the final ‘y’ into ‘i’ and add ‘es’, but not if a vowel is the second last letter

fairies, babies, ladies, armies, flies, cities But not: monkeys, valleys, boys, plays

Change the final ‘f’ ff’ or ‘fe’ into ‘ves’, but not if the word ends in ‘ff’. ff’. There ff are some more exceptions to this rule

leaves, wolves, lives, knives, shelves, wives Some exceptions are: chiefs, puffs, reefs, dwarfs, roofs, safes, hoofs

Change the vowel

men, geese, mice, feet, crises, oases, women But not: humans

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All about grammar 47

Rule

Examples

Make no change at all—plural and singular are the same

deer, trout, salmon, swine, reindeer

Make no change to words that have no singular form

scissors, spectacles, pliers, clothes, measles, shorts, tweezers, tongs, mathematics

Make the first word plural in some compound nouns

men-of-war, passers-by, daughters-in-law, Exceptions: mouse-traps, step-sons, maidservants, spoonfuls

Exceptions: Fish can be fish or fishes.

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Compounds

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Nouns can be made up of more than one word; for example: sunshine, milkshake, football, earthquake. These are called compound nouns.

Nouns and gender

The word ‘man’ is a masculine noun and the word ‘woman’ is a feminine noun. Masculine means male and feminine means female. A teacher could be either a male or a female, so the word ‘teacher’ is called a neuter noun. Names for things can be different for masculine, feminine and neuter nouns. For example; the word ‘horse’ is a neuter noun, the word ‘stallion’ refers to a male horse and the word ‘mare’ refers to a female horse. A young horse is called a ‘foal’, but ‘colt’ refers to a young male horse, while ‘filly’ refers to a young female horse. Here are some more examples:

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Neuter

Masculine (male)

Feminine (female)

Progeny (young)

cow

calf (male), heifer (female)

stag

hind or doe

calf (neuter)

fox

fox

vixen

cub (neuter)

geese

gander

goose

gosling (neuter)

billy-goat

nanny-goat

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goat

highness horse

peacock pig relations sheep (wether)

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bull

deer

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cattle

kid (neuter)

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queen

prince (male), princess (female)

stallion

mare

filly (female), colt (male), foal (neuter)

peacock

peahen

chick (neuter)

boar

sow

piglet (neuter)

uncle

aunt

cousin, niece (female), nephew (male)

ram

ewe

lamb (neuter)

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Making nouns (nominalisation) Other parts of speech, including verbs, adverbs and adjectives, can be made into nouns using a prefix or a suffix. Here are some examples: clean – cleanliness, happy – happiness, decorate – decorat decoration, honest – honesty, y y, popular – popular popularity, ity intelligent – intelligence, leader – leader ity, leadership, govern – government, free – freedom, post – postage, tour – tourism.

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Possessive nouns

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Apostrophes can show us three different kinds of possession: 1. Ownership

The rule

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Nouns that show ownership are called possessive nouns. Possessive nouns are formed by adding an apostrophe and sometimes an ‘s’. For example: the children’s shoes, John’s shoes.

Write the name of the owner or owners and then add the apostrophe. Write an ‘s’ after the apostrophe, if one is required.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• The cow’s horns The horns belong to one cow

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The horns belong to more than one cow

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The cows’ horns

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Some tricky examples include: James’s cap cap, Mr Jones’s car. Notice that the names of the owners already end in ‘s’. You add the extra ‘s’ only if you want to add an extra syllable. These examples can also be written without the ‘s’ - James’ cap cap, or Mr Jones’ car.

2. Identity

Refers to the possession that a person responsible for the production/ creation of an object/item has for it; for example: Roald Dahl’s latest book; or the authors’ words (more than one author). R.I.C. Publications®

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All about grammar 49

3. Time and space

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For example: a kilometre’s walk from here; or an hour’s time

Verbs that act like nouns

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons Noun phrases •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Some verbs act like nouns. These are called gerunds. For more about gerunds, see page 134. (see phrases, page 56)

Participles

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Participles can be parts of a verb. To form a complete verb they must have a helper verb, such as the verb ‘to be’ (am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been) and ‘to have’ (have, has, had), as well as helper verbs such as shall, will, would, may, may might, might can and could. It is easy to recognise present participles because they usually end in ‘–ing’; for example: I am walking my dog while my brother is riding his bike.

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It is also easy to recognise past participles because they usually end in either ‘–ed’, ‘-en’ or ‘–t’. For example: He has played fifty games with the club. She has eaten her lunch already. I have spent all of my pocket money.

However, there are some irregular verbs that are an exception.

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Jack’s facts

Here are some of the irregular past participles that cause trouble for students: gone, drunk, begun, made, rung, flung, come, swum, sung, run, shrunk, torn, bought. You need to practise using these. For example: He has swum the English Channel five times. Mum has made the bed. The concert has begun. The phone has rung five times. R.I.C. Publications®


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However, the spelling of the participle can help you tell the difference.

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The names ‘present’ and ‘past’ participle can be confusing because both kinds can be used to talk about the past, the present and the future.

Present participles are words like walking, eating, sleeping. They usually end in ‘–ing’

… while past participles usually end in ‘–ed’, ‘-en’ or ‘–t’. Words like ‘walked’, ‘eaten’ and ‘slept’ are past participles.

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Types of participles Present participles

Forming complete verbs using present participles

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You add a present tense helper verb (is, are, be) to the present participle to form a verb that is present continuous tense; for example: The crowd is waiting for the game to begin. In this sentence, the participle ‘waiting’ is used with the helper verb ‘is’ to form the complete present continuous verb ‘is waiting’.

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A present tense helper verb can also be used to form the future continuous tense; for example: I shall be waiting for you at the entrance. In this sentence, the participle ‘waiting’ is used with the helper verbs ‘shall be’ to form the complete present continuous verb ‘shall be waiting’.

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Other uses of the present participle •

A present participle can sometimes take the place of a relative pronoun + verb. For example, the sentence: Children who wish to attend camp must pay their fees by Friday. This can be written as: Children wishing to attend camp must pay their fees by Friday. The relative pronoun + verb (who + wish) have been replaced by the present participle ‘wishing’.

The present participle can be used as a non-finite verb in a phrase. For example: We heard the choir singing our favourite Christmas carol.

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A present participle can be used after the object of a sentence when you use verbs such as see, hear, feel, smell, listen, observe or watch; for example: –

I felt the earth moving under my feet.

Didn’t you hear the boy calling for help?

Mum smelled something burning on the stove.

Students you must observe the safety rules governing the laboratory.

They heard the same song playing over and over again.

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Did you hear about the man who dreamed he was eating a giant marshmallow? No. What happened to him?

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• When he woke up, his pillow had disappeared disappeared!

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Past participles

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Forming complete verbs using past participles

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Do you know that your joke uses both a present and a past participle!

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If you add a past tense helper verb (was, were) the present participle forms a past continuous tense verb; for example: The crowd was waiting for the game to start.

The past participle can be used with a helper (auxiliary verb) to form the past perfect tense; for example: The boy had broken his arm.

The past participle is used with a helper (auxiliary verb) to form the future perfect tense; for example: By the time we arrive, the concert will have begun. begun

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Other uses of the past participle •

A past participle can sometimes be used on its own to change a passive verb into an active form; for example: The tree had been attacked by termites and was no longer safe.

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This can be written as:

Attacked by termites, the tree was no longer safe.

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The helper verbs (had had + been) have been replaced by the past participle ‘attacked’.

The past participle can be used with ‘having’ + ‘been’ to emphasise that one action happened before another; for example:

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Having been tricked by her before, the girl no longer trusted Beth.

Other uses for participles Participles as adjectives

Both present participles and past participles can be used as adjectives to describe a noun or pronoun. If you refer to a singing lesson, the word ‘singing’ is an adjective because it describes the type of lesson. However, it also acts like a verb (participle) because it suggests an action. Here are some other examples of participles used as adjectives:

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After the storm, there were broken branches and fallen trees everywhere.

I found that book very boring.

He looked very tired.

The frightened girl ran from the dog.

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The convicted felon ran from the court house.

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Participles can also form part of an adjectival phrase or clause; for example: The book belonging to Jane is on the table. The girl who was frightened by the dog ran away.

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Participles as adverbs

Some past and present participles can be made into adverbs by adding -ly. ly. For ly example: •

May caring caringly ly placed her arms around the child’s shoulders. (Present participle with ‘–ly’)

She repeated repeatedly ly reminded me not to be late.

We met unexpected unexpectedly ly at the corner store.

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Participle clauses can be adverbial. Look at the following examples: Polished regularly, antique furniture will last forever. (This suggests an adverb of condition; Old furniture will last forever if you polish it regularly.)

Not realising she had already arrived, I telephoned to see why she was late (This suggests an adverb of reason; Because I didn’t realise she had already arrived, I telephoned to see why she was late.)

Setting the plate down, I returned to the kitchen. (This suggests an adverb of time; I set the plate down and then returned to the kitchen.)

I paused, trying to think of what to write next. (This also suggests an adverb of time, indicating that two things happened at the same time.)

He complained the whole time we were in Paris, totally spoiling the holiday for everyone. (This suggests an adverb of consequence: Because he complained, everyone’s holiday was spoiled.)

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Participles as verbal nouns (gerunds)

A gerund is a verbal noun: a noun formed from a participle ending in ‘-ing’. For example: Jogging is a very healthy form of exercise. In this sentence, the present participle ‘‘jogging’ acts as a noun because it names something. However, it also acts as a verb because it indicates an action. Here are some more examples:

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Catching frogs was our favourite past time when we were children.

I don’t like fishing.

For older people, walking is a safer form of exercise than jogging.

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Participles can be part of active or passive sentences. For example:

Look at the word ‘smoking’ in these two sentences: He was smoking in bed. Smoking is bad for your health. In the first sentence, ‘smoking’ is a participle (verb). In the second sentence, ‘smoking’ is a gerund.

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Placement of participles Active and passive forms

Jack’s facts

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The pioneers cleared the land and built log cabins. (Active)

The land was cleared and log cabins were built by the pioneers. (Passive)

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Participles replacing clauses •

When two related actions happen at the same time, a present participle can be used like a conjunction, replacing one of the clauses. Look at these two clauses:

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Trish skipped away.

She sang as she went.

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Theses clauses can be rewritten as: Trish skipped away singing. In this new clause, the participle has been placed after the finite verb, ‘skipped’.

The deer senses danger.

The deer sniffs the air.

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However, the participle can also be placed before the main clause. Consider the following sentences:

These clauses can be rewritten as: Sensing danger, the deer sniffed the air.

When the subject of the clause completes two actions, one after the other, a present participle can replace the first action; for example: – –

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• He opened the door.

Then he stepped inside.

These can be rewritten as: Opening the door, he stepped inside. In this case, the participle must be placed first because it represents the first action. A participle can also replace the second action when the second action is part of, or a result of the first. Consider these three clauses: He tripped.

He broke his leg as he landed.

He injured his arm as he landed.

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These clauses can be rewritten as: He tripped, breaking his leg and injuring his arm as he landed.

A participle phrase can replace a subordinate clause that begins with ‘as’, as’ as’, ‘because’ or ‘since’. Consider this sentence: Because he knew Dina was untrustworthy, Tom did not take her promises seriously.

The subordinate clause at the beginning of this sentence could be rewritten as: Knowing Dina was untrustworthy, Tom did not take her promises seriously. R.I.C. Publications®

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Positioning of participles Sometimes participles directly follow the subject to which they refer. For example: The boy is running for the bus. At other times they are separated from the subject by other words. For example: She is at university studying hard.

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Sometimes a participle is used in an adjectival phrase that is placed in the middle of a sentence. For example: The wallet belonging to the old man was found at the bus stop. This can cause confusion unless you understand the following rules: If a noun or pronoun precedes a participle, the participle belongs to the noun or pronoun that precedes it. For example: Jane, running for the bus, slipped and fell. (‘Jane’ precedes the participle ‘running’.)

If there is no noun or pronoun preceding the participle, it then belongs to the subject of the main verb that follows. For example: Sensing that she was in danger, Sue began to run. (‘Sue’ is the subject of the main verb ‘began’, so she is the one that the participle belongs to.)

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Look at the sentence: Swinging in the treetops, he saw a monkey. Who is swinging, the boy or the monkey?

You have to be careful where you place a participle phrase. The sentence should read: The boy saw a monkey swinging in the treetops. www.ricgroup.com.au

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Phrases A phrase is a group of related words that does not include a subject or a finite verb.

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A finite verb is one that has a subject and can stand on its own without a helping verb. If I said, ‘The boy fell off the swing.’ The finite verb is ‘fell’’ and it has a subject—the boy.

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I don’t really understand the definition, Jack. I’ve forgotten what ‘‘finite verb’ means.

You see, a sentence isn’t complete unless it has a finite verb. A phrase doesn’t have a finite verb. If you said, ‘The girl with the red hair hair’, it’s only a phrase because it doesn’t have a finite verb.

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Phrases are used to provide more information about nouns and verbs. Sometimes phrases are named according to their function, according to the parts of speech they represent. At other times they are called by the part of speech they begin with (prepositional phrases or verbal phrases).

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Types of phrases Noun phrases

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Phrases are named according to their function:

A noun phrase performs the same function as a noun; it names something. •

It can form the object of a sentence. For example: I prefer fruit rather than ice-cream. You can find the noun phrase here, by asking: ‘I prefer what?’

A noun phrase can also form the subject of a sentence. For example: The time of my departure has not yet been announced. You can find the noun phrase here, by asking: ‘What has not been announced yet?’

Sometimes a noun and a noun phrase can work together and mean the same thing. This is called an appositive phrase (it means placing side-byside). For example: My aunt, the science teacher from Smith School, showed us how to make crystals. In this example, a noun (aunt) forms the subject and it is followed by a noun phrase that refers to the same subject. You can find the noun phrase here, by asking, ‘Which aunt?’.

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Adjectival phrases Adjectival phrases give more information about which noun you mean. An Adjectival phrase can begin with: a preposition: Jan is the girl in the blue skirt.

a present participle: The man wearing a brown coat fell down.

a past participle: The fence built by my Grandpa is still standing.

an infinitive: The soldiers received the order to be punctual punctual.

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S Why do people on a diet eat candles? I don’t know. Why do they eat candles?

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An adjectival phrase has been used in this joke. Can you find it?

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f o rr evi ew pur posesonl y• Adverbial phrases Because they prefer light meals

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Adverbial phrases can be used to give more information about verbs, adjectives or other adverbs. They can do the work of adverbs, by giving more information about where, when, how, how why, why how long and how often; for example: •

We built our house overlooking the ocean. (An adverb phrase of place that tells where.)

During the holidays we went to the beach. (An adverb phrase of time that tells when.)

With a great deal of difficulty we changed the tyre. (An adverb phrase of manner that tells how.)

The little boy tried really hard to please his dad. (an adverb phrase of reason that tells why.)

He practised the piano for ages and ages. (An adverb phrase of duration that tells how long.)

He visited his aunt at least three times a week. (An adverb phrase of frequency that tells how often.)

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Jack’s facts To identify what kind of phrase is in a sentence, you can look at the work it does within that sentence. The same phrase can be adjectival or adverbial. Look at the following examples: 1.

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The pelicans are basking near the lighthouse. (Adverb phrase of place)

The rocks near the lighthouse are very sharp. (Adjective describing which rocks) 2.

Put the mat down near the door. (Adverb of place)

The mat near the door is new. (Adjective describing which mat)

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Notice that the adjectival phrase is placed directly after the noun to which it refers.

Additional phrases

These are phrases named by the part of speech with which they begin. Prepositional phrases

These are phrases that begin with a preposition; for example:

All my friends play soccer on the weekend.

The farmhouse was built in the valley valley.

The girl with the fair hair is my friend.

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Verbal phrases

Verbal phrases can be classed as participle phrases, infinitive phrases or gerund phrases. Here are some examples: That bird sitting on the branch is a woodpecker. (Participle phrase beginning with a present participle)

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• •

The school destroyed by the cyclone has been rebuilt. (Participle phrase beginning with a past participle)

He tried his best to score a goal goal. (Infinitive phrase)

For older people, walking in the park is better exercise than jogging. (Gerund phrase)

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Prepositions tell you the position of one thing in relation to another thing, or between an action and a thing. For example: The kitten is under the sofa. The preposition ‘under’ tells us where the kitten is, in relation to the sofa. R.I.C. Publications®

The word preposition means in front of, so prepositions are usually found in front of nouns or pronouns. See how the preposition ‘under’ is placed in front of the noun ‘the sofa’.

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Types of prepositions There are many prepositions in the English language. Prepositions are used mostly to tell about position, direction or time. Some are one word prepositions. These are called simple prepositions and they are usually very small. The words in, on, at, at by and under are all simple prepositions. Prepositions that consist of more than one word are called complex prepositions. If I had written: The kitten is in front of the sofa, I would have used a complex preposition—’ preposition—’in front of ’.

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Prepositions that refer to position

What is always behind the times?

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Prepositions can tell us the position of things. They are words such as: at, at on, in, behind, in front of of, under, under by, by between, over, over on board, above, close by among, beneath, near, by, near on top of of, by and outside. For example: The lion’s cage is opposite the kiosk, next to the bears and in front of the monkey enclosure by the big tree.

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What sits below the sea and shivers?

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The back of a watch.

o c . che e r o t r s super A nervous wreck.

Prepositions that refer to movement or direction

Prepositions can tell us about direction or movement; for example: To begin the obstacle race, the children had to run down the hill away from the playground and towards the school gymnasium. Some other prepositions that indicate direction and movement include: from, across, to, at, at in, onto, around, out of, of into, forwards, backwards, ahead of of, down, beyond, past, past through, way from, towards, off and along. www.ricgroup.com.au

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Prepositions that refer to time and place Prepositions can be used to tell about time. Some are also prepositions of place; for example: He sat by the pond. (refers to place) He has to have his homework in by tomorrow morning. (refers to time) Here are some prepositions that refer to time: since, when, at, at on, by, by before, after, after in, within, from, for, for during, to and until.

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Prepositions that have special uses

Prepositions can be used for other purposes; for example:

To tell why: He only performed for money. He didn’t do it to help. Others include ‘on account of of’ and ‘since’.

To tell about omission or exception: All of you can come except Joe. Others include: apart from, in spite of of, instead of of, otherwise and without.

To compare: That perfume smells like roses. Your answer is not the same as mine. My brother is bigger than your brother.

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To support or oppose someone or something: I am against the builders cutting down those trees. I will stand by my beliefs. Other prepositions that can be used in this way include ‘for’ and ‘with’.

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Using prepositions with other parts of speech

There are many words that can be used with prepositions. Prepositions can be used with adjectives, nouns, gerunds or verbs; for example: I am very pleased with you. (An adjective followed by a preposition)

The man had no control over his son’s behaviour. (A noun followed by a preposition)

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Why do you always have to quarrel with your sister? (A verb followed by a preposition)

Think carefully before answering. (A preposition followed by a gerund)

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Problems with prepositions Adverbs that look like prepositions

What looks like a preposition may be an adverb, if there is no noun following; for example: We gazed at the moon above. (Here, the word ‘above’ is an adverb of place because there is no noun to which ‘above’ above’ can be linked.) Other examples are: •

He looked across to the valley beyond.

He took his shoes and socks off. off

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They can become prepositions by adding a noun: •

We gazed at the moon above our heads.

He looked across to the valley beyond the tall trees.

He took his shoes and socks off the chair.

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Prepositions in pairs

Be sure to use prepositions in their correct context when pairing them up in a sentence; for example:

The boy walked to the edge of the pool and dived into the water. (‘To’ is used to indicate direction, but ‘into’ indicates entering a place/thing.)

The tiger crouched low on the ground waiting to pounce upon its prey. (‘On’ shows position, but ‘upon’ indicates motion.)

The sauce was stirred with a wooden spoon and served by the chef. (Use ‘with’ when referring to things that are used; use ‘by’ when discussing people or animals.)

You can stay up and watch television till 10.00 pm, because you have been working since 6.00 pm on your project. (‘Till’ means up to a certain time in the future; ‘since’ refers to a given time in the past up until the present.)

He put the cup onto the table and poured coffee into it. (‘Onto’ indicates position or movement where something is placed at a different level, but ‘into’ indicates movement or an entrance.)

The first businessman divided his donation between two worthy causes, while his colleague divided his contribution among several. (‘Between’ refers to when you have a definite number in mind; ‘among’ is used when referring to an indefinite amount.)

Let’s compare yours to mine and see if they are the same. (‘Compare to’ points out similarities.) Compared with mine, your jump is much longer (‘Compared with’ measures one thing against another.)

You take something from a person, not off them. It is wrong to say: I took the book off her. It is correct to say: I took the book from her.

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We stayed at the Garden Hotel when we were in London. (‘At’ is used for small places, but ‘in’ is used for large towns and countries.)

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Unnecessary prepositions Sometimes people use prepositions that are not needed. If the verb in a sentence already indicates direction or position, a preposition is unnecessary. The following prepositions are not required:

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The fox circled around the chicken.

The teacher emphasised on the need for neat writing.

He replied back to his grandmother and thanked her for the card.

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Further problems with prepositions

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There are other situations where prepositions are unnecessary. For example, you do not need to use a preposition with words such as: home, downtown, uptown, inside, outside, downstairs, and upstairs, as they already provide a location. For example, it is incorrect to say: ‘I am going to home’.

Some pairs of prepositions are particularly confusing for students, especially for students for whom English is a second language. Here are some of the prepositions that can cause problems: From/than –

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• When something is unlike another thing, you use ‘from’ as a preposition; for example: Your brother is very different from you. My holiday was very different from Be careful! You don’t your holiday. use ‘from’ or ‘than’ when you are talking about differing opinions. You use ‘with’;

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You use ‘than’ only for for example: I’m sorry but I have to differ with you. comparisons; for example: My dog is bigger than your dog. I have never been happier than I am now.

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Among/between

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When you are talking about two things/people, you use ‘between’ as a preposition; for example: He sat between Bob and Tom. What is the difference between biology and botany?

When you are talking about more than two things/people, you use ‘among’; for example: Only one small ray of sunshine peeped out from among several dark clouds on the horizon. She shared her chocolates among her many friends.

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Off of Off/ –

Never use these two prepositions together. For example, it is right to say: The silly boy fell off his chair.

It is wrong to say: The silly boy fell off of his chair.

In/into

The preposition ‘into’ is used to indicate direction from outside to inside something; for example: He dropped two lumps of sugar into his tea. He fell into the river.

As/like –

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The preposition ‘in’ is used when we want to indicate a place; for example: The phone book is in the third drawer. He sat in the classroom during play time.

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Though the prepositions ‘like’ and ‘as’ are ‘You suggested ’ is a clause similar, they are not made up of a subject (you) and a verb (suggested ). Therefore it can’t be the interchangeable. The object of a preposition (like). It has to have preposition ‘as’ is a a conjunction (as). conjunction. You can say: I will train hard, as you suggested.

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Upon/on –

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The preposition ‘on’ is used to show position: The cat sat curled up on the sofa.

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It is wrong to say: I will train hard, like you suggested. The preposition ‘like’ is not a conjunction.

The preposition ‘upon’ is used to show motion: The cat pounced upon the tiny bird.

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Here are some other problem prepositions It is wrong to say

It is right to say

Apologise about

Apologise for

Attention on

Attention to

Bored of

Bored with

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Differences of

Differences between

Dissatisfaction of

Dissatisfaction with

Help on English

Help with English

In my point of view

From my point of view

In search for

In search of

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Complain about

Concerned about

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Complain on

Concerned to

Interested about

Interested in

Look over the car

Look the car over

Outlook of life

Outlook on life

Reason of

Reason for

Similar with

Similar to

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Phrasal verbs sometimes have an object (they are transitive); for example: The soldiers blew up the bridge and escaped. In phrasal verbs that are transitive, the preposition can be separated from the verb by the object; for example: The soldiers blew the bridge up and escaped. (The phrasal verb ‘blew up’ is separated by the object—the bridge.)

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Different prepositions placed after the same verb (or adverb) can change the meaning of the verb (or adverb); for example: The man turned down Smith Street. He turned into his driveway and turned off the headlights. As he turned into bed, he was sad because his company had not turned over much stock that month.

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Phrasal verbs don’t always require an object (they can be intransitive); for example: He waited for the music to die down.

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Prepositions that must be used in a set way Some phrasal verbs can take only a particular preposition. Here are some of them: ashamed to aware of beware of bound by

difficulty in

fit for

congratulated on

dressed in

cured of

escape from

deal with

depend on

hide from

quarrel with

free from

hope for

recover from

full of

jealous of

short of

exchange with

grateful to

popular with

similar to

feel for

guilty of

profit by

worried about

different from/to

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certain of

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The placement of prepositions

Once it was considered incorrect to end a sentence with a preposition, but it is acceptable now, unless the writer wants to be formal; for example: To whom did you write?

This is the formal method, but it could also be written informally as:

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Who did you write to?

Similarly, you could write:

The children with whom I travel to school are my friends. (formal)

The children who I travel to school with are my friends. (informal)

The formal way of placing a preposition is not possible if you use a phrasal verb; for example:

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Which toys did you clear away in my bedroom?

This could not be written as:

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Away which toys did you clear in my bedroom?

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It would also be incorrect to write:

This is the kind of stupidity up with which I will not put put.

Beginning a sentence with a preposition can lead to grammatical errors; for example: By sleeping in is why the girl was late for school.

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Prepositional phrases Prepositions are often used to introduce phrases. Prepositional phrases can be used to add more information to a noun (by acting as an adjective) or to add more information to a verb (by acting as an adverb). For example:

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The little girl with red hairr (acts as an adjective) ran into the classroom (acts as an adverb of place) at 9.00 am (acts as an adverb of time).

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If it is acting as an adverb, the prepositional phrase refers to the verb ‘hit’. Therefore, the butcher is using a string of sausages to hit the dog.

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Because they can act as adverbs or adjectives, prepositional phrases can be confusing. If I said, ‘The butcher hit the dog with his sausages’. What does this mean? Look at these pictures.

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Look at the witch’s spell below:

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snail of a e m i l s ail Th e a qu f o g eg Th e e th e r m tog e h t fail Mix nnot a c l l spe This

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Prepositions and possessives

But, if it is acting as an adjective, the prepositional phrase refers to the dog. Therefore, the butcher is hitting the dog that has stolen his sausages.

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Boil and bubble Strife and trouble

Add to the vat The blood of a bat

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Notice that the preposition can be omitted and replaced with a possessive apostrophe, e.g.

A bat’s blood

A snail’s slime A quail’s egg

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Pronouns Pronouns are small words used in place of a noun. They are sometimes used so that we don’t have to keep repeating a person’s name or the name of an object.

It is easy to remember what a pronoun is, because the prefix ‘pro’ means ‘in in place of’ of’. So, a pronoun is a word that is used in place of a proper noun.

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Look at these sentences:

The dog was hungry so the dog stole some sausages.

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Joe was hungry so Joe bought a hamburger.

We can use the pronoun ‘he’ to refer to Joe the second time. Thus we can write: Joe was hungry so he bought a hamburger.

We can use the pronoun ‘it’ to refer to the dog the second time. Thus we can write: The dog was hungry, so it stole some sausages.

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Types of pronouns Pronouns and gender

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Pronouns don’t add any further meaning to a sentence like adjectives and adverbs do, but they can help us to write more concisely. By using a pronoun, we can refer to people and things without having to use or repeat their names. However, we need to be very careful how we use them.

Like nouns, pronouns can be masculine, feminine or common (neuter) gender. ‘He’ and ‘him’ are masculine; ‘she’ she’ and ‘her’ are feminine, but ‘it’, ‘they’ and ‘them’ are common gender pronouns.

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Personal pronouns (reflecting points of view)

Personal pronouns are so called because they refer to three categories of persons. This is important, because a pronoun has different forms according to whether it refers to the person who is speaking, the person being spoken to or the person being spoken about. 1. First person refers to the person who is speaking. These are pronouns that refer to the self. The first person pronouns include: I, we, me, us, myself, myself ourselves, mine and ours; I did it myself myself. Come with us. We are going to the movies. That book is mine. www.ricgroup.com.au

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2. Second person refers to the person being spoken to. The second person pronouns include: you, yourself, yourself yourselves and yours; Can you do it yourself You were very good to wait. You risk getting lung cancer if you yourself? smoke. In stories of long ago, the pronouns ‘thee’, ‘thou’ and ‘thine’ would have been used. For example, in one of Shakespeare’s plays, Juliet calls out to Romeo, ‘Wherefore art thou Romeo?’

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3. Third person refers to the person being spoken about. The third person pronouns include: he, she, it, they, him, her, them, himself, himself herself, herself itself, itself themselves, his, hers, its, theirs; for example: He is not coming to her party, even though she invited him.

Personal pronouns can be the subject or object of a sentence. The pronouns: I we, you, he, she, it I, it, and they are used in the subject position—while the pronouns: me, us, you, him, her, her it and them are used in the object position; for example: He didn’t have a science book, so she loaned her book to him. Pronouns used in the objective position often follow a preposition; for example: •

You will have to choose between her and me.

Ben shut the door after them.

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Reflexive pronouns

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Reflexive pronouns are special pronouns that refer to a person, thing or animal when the subject is also the object of the verb. They are often used to emphasise a point, so some people call them emphatic pronouns. For example: The Little Red Hen said, ‘Then I shall plant the wheat myself!’ The rich man had no gardener because he liked to mow the lawn himself. himself

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Reflexive pronouns can be singular words, like: myself, myself herself, herself yourself and itself. They can also be plural, like: ourselves, yourselves and themselves; for itself example:

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The children completed the project all by themselves. (Plural)

Jane completed the project herself because the others would not cooperate. (Singular)

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Reflexive pronouns are used when: •

The subject is also the direct object: She did it herself. herself

The object follows a preposition: I like to study by myself. myself

The subject is the indirect object: John often buys himself some sweets.

When you want to emphasise the pronoun: I myself didn’t like her painting, but others did.

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Possessive pronouns Possessive pronouns are used to talk about things belonging to people. They are sometimes confused with possessive determiners (adjectives) because both refer to ownership. However, there is a difference.

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A possessive pronoun can stand alone—it does not have to come before a noun; for example: This pencil is mine—that one is yours! ‘Mine’ and ‘yours’ are possessive pronouns because they can stand on their own. The possessive pronouns include: mine, yours, his, hers, ours, theirs and its. Possessive determiners, on the other hand, are always followed by a noun. For example: This is my pencil pencil—that is your pencil pencil. The possessive determiners include: my, my your his, her and its. your,

Relative pronouns

Relative pronouns include: who, whom, whose, which and that. Although they are mainly used as a way to indicate more precisely ‘which one you mean’, a relative pronoun actually performs two functions. Firstly, it refers to the noun that precedes it and secondly, it acts as a conjunction by joining two clauses together. For example, look at the following two sentences (clauses): • •

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• That girl is my best friend.

She is wearing a red dress.

These two clauses can be written as: That girl, who is wearing a red dress, is my best friend.

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Did you hear about the man who thought he was an elevator?

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No! I haven’t heard about him. Did he seek psychiatric help?

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No, he said he couldn’t visit the psychiatrist’s office because he didn’t stop at that floor.

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The relative pronoun ‘who’ indicates which girl is my best friend and it also acts to join the two thoughts together.

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Interrogative pronouns Some relative pronouns are also used to ask questions. In this case, they are called the interrogative pronouns: who, what, what which, whom and whose. For example: Who is that girl over there? What does she want? With whom did she come and which one is her dog? Whose dog is this?

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‘Whom’ is used for persons in the object position when you are speaking formally; for example: With whom did he leave? To whom do you wish to speak? Notice that ‘whom’ must be used after a preposition.

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‘Who’ is used for persons in the subject position; for example: Who is your best friend?

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‘Whom’ is not often used in informal speech. For example: Whom did the President appoint to the position? (Formal) Who did you go to the party with? This is acceptable because the speaker is speaking informally. In a formal style it would be written as: With whom did you go to the party?

‘What’ is used for things in both the subject and object position; for example: What went wrong? (Subject position) To what do I owe this pleasure? (Object position)

‘Which’ is used for persons and things in both the subject and object position when there is a limited choice; for example: Which of those boys is your best friend? (Subject position) To which school did you go? (Object position)

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A demonstrative pronoun is used to point out a person or thing and direct our attention to it. This, these, that and those are all demonstrative pronouns; for example:

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This is the way we should go.

That is not your pen.

Those are not ripe; try these instead.

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Demonstrative pronouns

If you use this, that, these or those before a noun, they are classed as adjectives, rather than pronouns. For example: Those apples are not ripe, try these pears instead. www.ricgroup.com.au


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Indefinite pronouns An indefinite pronoun is used to refer to persons and things in a very general way. Thus, indefinite pronouns are often used in exposition and report writing. Words such as someone, anyone, somebody, somebody anybody, anybody everything, anything, many few, many, few all, they, they one, some and others are used when you are not referring to particular persons or things; for example, the following sentences refer to people in general:

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They say that this will be a good season for the farmers.

One cannot be too careful these days.

Isn’t anyone going to say anything?

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Some say he was right to act as he did, but others disagree.

Distributive pronouns

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The pronouns ‘each’, ‘either’ and ‘neither’ are classed as distributive pronouns. They are used when we are considering a number of persons or things individually, so they always take a singular verb. Singular verbs are also used for ‘everyone’, ‘one’ and ‘none’; for example:

• •

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Each has been given a new text book. (This means that everyone, individually, has been given a text book.)

Neither of these is suitable. I tried both, but neither was suitable. (This means that not one or the other was suitable.)

Either would be suitable. (This means that any one of the two things would be suitable.)

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Because these pronouns are considered to be singular and they take a singular verb, other pronouns in the sentence should be singular. For example, it is correct to say and write: Neither has brought his or her library book back. However, when we are speaking informally, it is considered acceptable to say: Neither has brought their library books back.

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Problems with pronouns A lot of the problems associated with pronouns have been discussed under each of the headings above. Here is a reminder of some of the things that are important for you to know:

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It is important to know which pronouns are used only in the subject position of a sentence and which are used only in the object position of a sentence.

It is important to know which pronouns are singular and which are plural.

It is important to know which pronouns refer to females, which refer to males and which are neutral.

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It is important to understand which conventions you can break when you are speaking or writing informally, rather than formally.

When you use a pronoun it is important to make it very clear which person or thing the pronoun represents. For example, the following sentences do not make it very clear who must be tiring:

John flailed in the deep water. Meanwhile Ben, who was a non-swimmer, ran up and down the deck of the boat. He knew that he must be tiring.

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Who is tiring? Does the second ‘he’ refer to Ben or John? It would have been clearer to have written: He knew John must be tiring.

The pronoun needs to be very close to the person or thing it is replacing.

It is important to remember that a pronoun must agree (in person, number and gender) with the noun for which it stands.

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Punctuation

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Punctuation is to writers what pauses and pitch changes are to speakers. Punctuation marks help readers to make sense of what we are trying to communicate in our writing.

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Think about what makes it easier for us to understand what people are saying to us. They pause when they come to the end of a thought. They change the pitch of their voices when they are asking a question, or when they are exclaiming something. Punctuation marks do the same thing in writing. However, if you over-punctuate it is not only irritating, it can also be confusing. A good rule of thumb is to use only as many stops as you need to make your meaning clear.

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Look at the difference between the meanings of the following sentences:

‘John’, said his mother, ‘is the most

John said his mother is the most

talented violinist in town’.

talented violinist in town.

So punctuation marks are really just signposts! They help our readers know how we would like our written work to be read.

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o c . che e r o t r s super That’s right! If you want them to pause you can add a full stop, a semicolon or a comma, depending on the length of the pause you choose.

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However, be careful you don’t ‘over-punctuate’ because that breaks up your text too much and it can be annoying to your readers.

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The rules of punctuation have changed a little over time and you may find that some well-known authors of today use punctuation differently to suit their own style of expression. Many authorities (and teachers) disagree with this, but editors will allow it to a reasonable degree. There are, however, some common rules of punctuation that can help you to decide when to use each punctuation mark. Here are some of them:

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Types of punctuation Using the full stop (period)

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A full stop is sometimes called a period. It is used in three ways:

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1. To show the end of a statement. A full stop marks a pause when you are reading. For example: My mother is a doctor. She works very long hours.

2. To show an abbreviation that uses the first part of the word; for example: Monday (Mon.), England (Eng.), maximum (max.), temperature (temp.), December (Dec.), Smith Crescent (Smith Cres.), Major Jones (Maj. Jones), anonymous (anon.), editor (Ed.), Reverend (Rev.), minute (min.).

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© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• A full stop is not used when the abbreviation ends in the last letter of the word. For example: Green Road, Street or Avenue (Green Rd, Rd Green St or Green Ave), Private Limited (Pte Pte Ltd Ltd), Brothers (Bros).

3. When initials are used within an abbreviation. For example:

in certain frequently used phrases like ‘stamped-addressed-envelope’ (s.a.e.), ‘leg before wicket’ (l.b.w.) or ‘please turn over’ (p.t.o.).

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in some Latin terms, such as exempli gratia (e.g.) or id est (i.e.)

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However, as people become familiar with certain initials, the use of periods is becoming less common, and most initials no longer use full stops. Examples include:

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professional titles or degrees, such as Medical Doctor (MD), Justice of the Peace (JP) or Master of Arts (MA)

places such as buildings, states and countries like the General Post Office (GPO), Western Australia (WA) or the Republic of South Africa (RSA)

organisations such as the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), RAAF), the United RAAF Nations (UN) or Technical and Further Education (TAFE)

most Latin and scientific terms; for example: ante meridiem (am— notice the lack of capitals too), nota bene (NB) and anno domini (AD).

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Further exceptions to the use of full stops Along with most initials, there are other circumstances where full stops are not used:

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For some abbreviations that have become accepted as complete words, such as zoological gardens (zoo), perambulator (pram), examination (exam) and situation comedy (sitcom).

Some words which are acronyms (words formed by using the first letters of a phrase); for example, self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba), radio detection and ranging (radar), Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services (Qantas™).

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For measurement terms such as centimetres (cm), kilogram (kg) and kilometre (km); revolutions per minute (rpm) and British thermal unit (Btu).

Using capital letters Capital letters are used in the following ways:

To begin every sentence and for the first word of a quotation; for example: ‘Courtesy costs nothing’. This was one of my mother’s favourite sayings. She said it often.

Run, run

As fast as you can

You can’t catch me Y

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• I’m the Ginger Bread Man.

Often at the beginning of a line of poetry, but many modern poems don’t do this.

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Would you mind picking up a book for me from the Greentown Library Library? Its title is ‘Antique furniture’.

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o c . che e r o t r s super Certainly! Who is the author?

Anne Teak!

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For the first person, ‘I’.

For proper nouns such as:

Jack’s facts Within titles for books, films, songs etc., you only need to use capitals for the first word and any proper nouns; for example: Uncle U T Tom’s c cabin .

names: Peter, Paul, Mary, my dog Rover

titles: The Duke of Wellington W , the Duchess of Kent K

ships: USS Arizona, RMS Titanic T

specific phenomena: Cyclone C T Tracy

names of days of the week (Monday), months of the year (August), holidays (Anzac Day) and festivals (Easter E Easter ), but not for the names of the seasons (summer, autumn)

places including continents (Europe), countries (Canada C Canada ), cities (Hobart), states (Oregon) and counties, shires, boroughs and suburbs

specific geographical features, including planets (Earth E Earth ), seas (the Black Sea), oceans (Indian I Indian Ocean), mountains (Mount Everest), lakes (Lake Superior) and rivers (the Swan River)

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Historical periods (the Middle Ages) and events (the Battle of Hastings)

Holy beings (God, Jesus, Mohammed), religions (Islam I Islam , Catholicism C , the Protestant rotestant religion) and deities from legends (Hercules, Arachne). When using the pronoun ‘He’ for talking about God.

names of businesses, organisations, institutions and brand names

titles of books (Possum magic), plays (Peter Pan), songs (the National anthem), poems (The The man from Snowy River), movies (Shrek), essays T (The The importance of manners) and stories (Rose red) T

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For adjectives derived from proper nouns (my Singaporean friend, F French perfume)

When a thing is given human qualities (personified); for example:

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‘I know of no crueler master than Summer. He sneaks upon us so quietly; scorching the grass brown and robbing our cattle of precious water and food. Without even a weapon, he defeats us with his fiery breath’.

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Read this section of Jack’s recount to see how he has used capital letters.

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Days and months

Placenames

Title for ballet

Name of specific school class

Our visit to the ballet

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Nationality

On Friday December 17, Mrs Bedford and the Y Year 6 students from Green Park School went to the Grand Theatre to see the ballet, Coppelia. A French composer named Leo Delibes wrote the music for Coppelia in 1870. The ballet is the story of a doll maker who tries to bring his beautiful doll to life.

We were all excited when the lights dimmed and the music started. The first scene opened in a village square in Eastern Europe. Ballerinas were dancing in the square when Coppelius, the doll maker, put his mechanical doll, Coppelia, out onto a balcony for people to see. Everyone thought she was real. In fact, she looked so real that Swanhilda, who lived across the street, became very jealous when her sweetheart, Franz, paid attention to the doll. Then the Mayor came and told everyone that the Duke had invited the townspeople to a special event called the Masque of the Bell. After that, Swanhilda and her friends returned to decorate the square and decided to go into Coppelius’s house to search for the girl. Franz also returned with the same idea.

Person’s title

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o c . che e r o t r s super Name of specific event

Person’s name

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Using the exclamation mark You can use an exclamation mark at the end of a sentence if you want to indicate strong emotions such as appreciation, anger, despair, surprise, disgust, misery, sympathy, ridicule or a sense of excitement. Look at the following reactions to John’s broken leg:

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Oh, no! How will we field a team on Saturday night? (Despair) Despair Despair)

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How stupid of you! You knew it was dangerous! (Anger) Anger Anger)

Gosh! How did you do that? (Surprise)

You clumsy fool ! A child could have avoided that! (Disgust) What a neat cast! You must have a good doctor. (Appreciation)

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Oh, poor you! Does it hurt much? (Sympathy)

You were attacked by robbers? Wow! (Excitement)

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Using commas

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Great coordination! You’re a real athlete! (Ridicule, sarcasm)

Commas help you to make your meaning clear in your written work. They are used in several different ways such as the following:

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1. To show your readers where you want them to pause; for example: –

He was terrified climbing the tree tree, but he was determined to save the kitten.

By the time we had broken camp camp, the sun was low on the horizon.

2. To separate the name of the person spoken to from the rest of the sentence. For example: –

Red Riding Hood, Hood, take this basket of goodies to your grandmother.

Come closer, Red Riding Hood, Hood, so I can see what’s in your basket.

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3. To separate words or phrases in a series; for example: –

The weather will be cold so don’t forget to pack your jacket jacket, scarf, scarf, gloves and hat.

The bird flew over the park park, across the town square, square, around the bridge and landed in our garden garden.

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4. To show that you have embedded a clause, phrase or a word in a sentence as a further explanation of what you mean. Embedded comments that provide extra background information are known as appositives. In the following example, the appositive tells us more about Roald Dahl: Roald Dahl, one of the world’s most popular children’s authors, authors, visited our school.

Sometimes the appositive and the word it identifies are so closely related that the comma can be omitted. For example: –

Jack’s only sister Sue sits next to me in school.

My best friend Ben lives next door to me.

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In the first sentence, ‘Jack’s only sister’ and ‘Sue’ are so close that you can regard the entire phrase as one unit and leave out the commas. The same occurs in the second sentence. On the other hand, if you reverse the appositive, you would have to write: –

Sue, Jack’s only sister, sister, sits next to me in school.

Ben, my best friend, friend, lives next door to me.

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Dear Jane,

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5. In letter writing you may include a comma after the greeting and the concluding words; for example: I remain remain,; Regards, Regards ; Yours sincerely sincerely,; Yours faithfully ; Your friend faithfully, friend,; Best wishes wishes,. A comma is also used to separate parts of an address, when you write it in a sentence. Both of these used to be common practice; however, excluding the comma is now acceptable.

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Best wishes,

I have moved house, so from 12 December, please address all of my letters to 13 Green Street, East Perth, Western Australia, 6003.

John

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6. When a place name is followed by further information about its location, it is necessary to separate the information using a pair of commas. For example: –

We visited Seattle Seattle, Washington, Washington, last summer.

Kuala Lumpur Lumpur, Malaysia, Malaysia, is sometimes called ‘The City of Smiles’.

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However, when you use the possessive form, the second comma is not always necessary, and may be a matter of personal preference. For example: Perth, Western Australia’s capital city is well-known for its black swans.

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7. Use a comma to mark off introductory elements. For example:

Looking furtively behind, behind, the boy realised nobody was following him after all.

During the school holidays, holidays, Jane and John stayed with their grandma.

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You can omit the comma if the introductory element is brief, but only if the omission does not result in confusion or uncertainty in reading. If you have any doubt, it is better to use the comma because it is always correct.

8. It can be used to separate parts of a date. For example:

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• My best friend is coming to visit on Thursday Thursday, 6 December, December 2005.

It is now generally accepted practice that using commas in these circumstances is not a requirement.

9. To separate direct speech from the rest of the sentence, particularly when the direct speech is broken in the middle; for example:

‘If you don’t come to my party party’, said Jane Jane, ‘I will be very upset upset’.

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‘Why Why don’t you watch where you’re going going’, growled the grumpy old man.

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Using the question mark Question marks are used at the end of a sentence that asks something. Most questions are used to request information; for example: Whose coat is this? How do I get to Smith Street?

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Because if it lifted the other one it would fall over.

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Why does a stork stand on one foot?

However, you can also add a short question to what you are saying when you want to know if the listener agrees with you; for example: You don’t really believe that, do you you? ? This is called a question tag. Question tags are also used when you are unsure of the statement you have made: He is coming, isn’t he?

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Who carries a basket of goodies, visits Grandma and robs the rich? Little Red Robin Hood!

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Most questions begin with either interrogative determiners (e.g. who, which, whose, what) or interrogative adverbs (e.g. where, how, how when, why, why how long, how many many, how much).

How do you cook toast in the jungle? Under a gorilla, of course.

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Using apostrophes

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Apostrophes are used for a number of reasons, such as the following:

Here are some tricky words to remember: hers, theirs, ours and yours are never written with an apostrophe.

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For contractions

An apostrophe is used to show where the letters have been missed out when you contract (shorten) a word; for example: I’m ’ going to miss you. This really means: I am going to miss you. ‘I ’m am’ = ‘I’m’. The apostrophe shows that the ‘a’ has been left out.

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Others include:

Doughnut?

If can’t is short for cannot, what is the word don’t short for?

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Chart of common contractions Long form

Contraction

Long form

Contraction

are not

aren’t

she is

she’s

cannot

can’t

should not

could’ve

that is

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shouldn’t

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don’t

that will

he’s

they are

they’re

that’ll

I’m

we are

we’re

it’s

we have

we’ve

it’ll

who is

who’s

mustn’t

you are

you’re

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For possessives Nouns that show ownership are called possessive nouns. Possessive nouns are formed by adding an apostrophe and sometimes an ‘s’. The owner can be a person or a thing; for example: Jenny’s ’ skirt, the bird’s ’s ’ nest, the children’s ’s ’ ’s shoes, John’s ’ shoes. ’s

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Apostrophes can show us three different kinds of possession:

The rule

The cow’s horns

The horns belong to one cow.

Write the name of the owner or owners and then add the apostrophe. Write an ‘s’ after the apostrophe, if one is required.

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1. To show ownership

The cows’ horns

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• The horns belong to more than one cow.

When the names of the owners already end in ‘s’; for example: James’’s cap, Mr Jones’’s car, Archimedes’’s bathtub

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Some authorities say these examples can also be written without the ‘s’: James’ cap, Mr Jones’’ car or Archimedes’’ bathtub.

If a plural noun doesn’t end in ‘s’, treat it the same way as a singular noun; for example: women’’s gloves, children’’s Christmas party, people people’’s opinions.

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2. To show identity

For example: Roald Dahl’’s latest book; or the authors’’ latest novels. (More than one author.)

3. To show time, quantity and space

For example: A kilometre’’s walk from here, an hour’’s time, a dollar’s worth of jelly babies.

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When the amounts are plural, just add the apostrophe; there is no need to add another ‘s’. For example: There will be five hours’ delay in your flight. My aunt is coming in four weeks’ time. Her farm is 600 kilometres’ drive from my house.

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For when letters are omitted Sometimes when people speak, they leave off letters or parts of a word. You can use an apostrophe to show this. A well-known Australian expression is:

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’ow ya goin’ mate?

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Fine. Thought you might be roundin’ up the strays.

Using the colon

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The colon is a pause mark that indicates that information will follow. The following kinds of information may follow a colon: a list, a quotation, an example, a definition, the dialogue in a play or an explanation. For example: •

Please be sure the first aid kit includes the following following: compression bandages, antiseptic cream, aspirin and ice packs. (A list)

The inscription on the athlete’s tomb read: ‘He completed his last race with honour and dignity’. (A quotation)

There is a good reason for you to read as many books as possible: it makes you aware of how real authors use language. (An explanation or example)

Colons can also be used to separate hours from minutes when writing the time of the day; for example: 5:30 pm, 11:00 am. However, this is becoming increasingly rare, and more often than not you can replace the colon with a full stop; for example: 5.00 pm, 11.00 am.

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The title of a book, article or magazine may sometimes have a subtitle. A colon is used to separate the subtitle from the title.

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Colons are used in play scripts or screenplays to identify each characters’ dialogue; for example:

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Mother:

Why don’t you want to go to school?

John:

Because nobody likes me. The teachers don’t like me. The kids don’t like me and the work’s too hard.

Mother:

Well, that’s too bad. You have to go!

John:

But why do I have to go? Why can’t I stay home?

Mother:

Because you’re the principal!

Using the semicolon

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But, I don’t want to go to school.

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John:

The semicolon lets your readers know when you want them to make a pause that is a bit longer than a comma, but not as long as a full stop. There are three main ways to use a semicolon:

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1. Use a semicolon in front of an added clause that begins with linking words and phrases such as: therefore, for example, moreover, whereas, indeed and consequently. Look at the following example: He was very late home from school; therefore he was forbidden to watch his favourite television show. Sometimes a comma is necessary after the linking word; for example: The man was very afraid of snakes; indeed, he was horrified of them. www.ricgroup.com.au

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2. Use a semicolon between related clauses when there is no joining word (conjunction) used. You can use it to join two ideas if both are complete enough to be a clause; for example: To err is human; to forgive, divine.

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He was a very devoted father; father he always read the children a story at bedtime.

Clause 2

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Clause 1

3. Use a semicolon to separate items in a sentence when the items themselves have commas included; for example: I’ve invited my best friend, Jenny; Tom, the boy next door; Mr Allen, my teacher; Jane, from my netball team; and my coach, Tina, to my drama concert.

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Using quotation marks (also see direct and indirect speech) Quotations marks can be used in a number of different ways: Using quotation marks when writing direct speech

If you use a person’s exact words, you must use quotation/speech marks. Whatever you would put into a speech bubble should be written between a set of speech marks. To use direct speech, you put single or double quotation marks (depending on what is acceptable) around the words the person is actually saying; for example:

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Quotation marks are often called speech marks because you can use them to indicate the actual words spoken by a person. Here are some things you will need to remember when using quotation marks:

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‘I’m hot’, ’’, complained Tom.

Whenever someone different speaks, you must begin on a new line. For example: ‘I don’t want to do it!’’ protested Jane. ‘Why not?’’ asked John.

The dialogue must be separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma, or a question mark or an exclamation mark.

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When you write what people say, you can do it in two different ways. You can write the exact words spoken, or you can report what they said in different words. When you tell someone else what another person said, you are using indirect speech, so you do not need quotation marks; for example:

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‘II enjoyed that movie’, said Xu to Sally.

Bill said that Xu had told Sally that she had enjoyed the movie.

Notice that the pronoun ‘I’ has changed to ‘she’ because Xu is no longer saying it. For more about direct and indirect speech, see page 35.

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Using quotation marks to enclose names and titles

Books: Jane’s favourite book is ‘I am David’, ’’, but I didn’t like it much.

Plays: Dad took us to see ‘The Lion King’’ on stage in London.

Songs, anthems and hymns: We sang ‘Silent night’’ at the Christmas concert.

Houses: We visited a famous house called ‘Apsley’’ when we were in London.

Ships: The famous liner ‘Titanic’’ hit an iceberg and sank.

Special nicknames and pet names: Her real name was Mary but her family called her ‘Pudding’.

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Using double quotation marks

Using quotation marks to take words out of context

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You use double quotation marks to mark the words of another person within existing quotation marks; for example: ‘When I tried to explain how I tripped on the torn carpet and accidentally broke her vase, my aunt said, “There is no excuse for clumsiness”. ”. It makes me so mad’, sighed Mary. Double quotation ” marks are also used when you name something that would normally need quotation marks, within a quotation; for example: Ken boasted, ‘We are going for a cruise to Dubai on the “Queen Queen Elizabeth II” ” at Christmas time’.

When you want to show that you are using a word in a way that is different from its usual meaning, you can use quotation marks; for example: We could not believe the size of the ‘craters’’ that the rabbits had left on the golf course.

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Using quotation marks to provide explanations

When you explain the meaning of a word within a sentence, you can place it within quotation marks; for example: Carpe diem is Latin for ‘seize the day day’.

Using hyphens and dashes

The hyphen and the dash are often confused, but they are used for different purposes and are different in form. The dash is a longer line than a hyphen. While hyphens are used to show relationships between words, dashes indicate a change in thought or an explanation. www.ricgroup.com.au

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Hyphens There are really no fixed rules to show how hyphens must be used. Sometimes you will have to make your own decision. However, you need to know that a hyphen can be used in the following ways:

Some first-rate aid programs were mounted throughout postwar Europe, but there was not enough food to cater for all the povertystricken families.

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To clarify word meanings. For example, look at the differences in meaning of the following: –

When I recover from the flu, I’ll re-cover the lounge chairs.

Did he re-sign or resign?

I already had forty-five dollar coins and then my aunt gave me forty five-dollar notes for my birthday.

– •

He was so fond of his mother-in-law and father-in-law that he travelled to a remote town in the north-west just to be with them.

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To link words that are so closely related they are almost compound words; for example:

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• I’ll have to re-count the marks now that my students have handed in the recount they were supposed to write during the holidays.

To allow you to join part of a word on one line with the rest of the word on the next line; for example:

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‘I do wish you would stop your constant, ridiculous daydreaming and help me. All day I have had a terrible earache, and I want some suga r, m i l k a n d a small teaspoon for my coffee’, her spiteful grandmother complained.

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To avoid awkward spelling that requires you to duplicate letters; for example: If you promise to cooperate with your supervisor I will re-examine your case and re-employ you as one of the coeditors of a book we are planning to publish about the non-native plants and animals found in our region. To make new adjectives, particularly in poetic writing. For example:

Crossed a hush-a-bye sky Softly whispering An ice-cold goodbye To cotton-wool clouds As they scudded in flight Paving the way For a summer-bright night.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• R Allen

To add a prefix to some words, though not all dictionaries agree with this. Here are some examples you may know: anti-aircraft weapons, autoimmune system, ex-wife, non-fiction, pro-American, pre-election and sub-machinegun.

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Dashes

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A silver-blue moon

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Sometimes there are particular uses for dashes that are not hyphens. Without making it too complicated, here are some of the various uses of dashes. •

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A long dash ‘—’ can be used in much the same way as a comma, a colon or a semicolon. However, it’s usually used to add information that is related to the subject of the sentence, but signifies a change in thought to it. Look at the following example:

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Karen always fell asleep straight away as she was so tired from all the long hours she had to work Compare it to the following:

Karen always fell asleep straight away—it was a pity that she had to work such long hours.

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Here, the second sentence avoids having to explain that she was tired since, even though the dash changes the flow of the sentence, the reader can still relate Karen’s long hours at work with why she fell asleep so quickly. A long dash can also signify an abrupt change in thought to help express an emotion like anger or a way of thinking; for example:

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Roger was using the car for a fishing trip—this was not the reason we bought it.

I hear there has been a pilot strike—I like the idea of driving down south for a holiday.

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This is similar to the parenthetical uses of dashes, which are explained on page 93.

Sometimes, a smaller dash is used ‘–’. This can be used to show a span of numbers. For example: The address is 89 through to 93 Casper Ave.

This can be written as The address is 89–93 Casper Ave.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons Dots •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• You could also show a span in dates; for example: 2000–2006, April–August.

Three dots are sometimes used to carry out a similar function as a dash; to show that a sentence is incomplete or that it has been interrupted; for example:

Parenthetical expressions

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Parenthetical expressions are pieces of extra information that are added to a sentence to make your meaning clearer. They are used when:

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you feel you need to add an extra explanation

you want to insert an illustration, a definition, or additional piece of information

you feel that repeating a previous idea will help to avoid confusion.

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‘I didn’t see the car coming. It came so …’ The boy was unable to finish his explanation and collapsed into the police officer’s arms.

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Punctuation is used to separate this extra information from the rest of the sentence. Note that if the parenthesis is removed, the sentence still makes sense. There are four ways (types of parenthesis) to show that extra information has been embedded in a sentence:

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1. You can surround the parenthesis with a pair of commas

2. You can surround the parenthesis with a pair of round brackets

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3. You can surround the parenthesis with a pair of square brackets 4. You can surround the parenthesis with a pair of dashes.

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The type of mark you select depends on how much the extra information will interrupt the flow of your main sentence. As a general rule, square brackets are for parentheses that interrupt the most, while round brackets are used for information that interrupts less. Commas are used for parentheses that interrupt the least. Dashes are used when you feel that the parenthesis needs more emphasis. For example:

Commas

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Round brackets

A parenthesis with commas is used to add extra information to a main clause: for example: Jenny, who Jenny w was usually late late, surprised us by arriving first.

A parenthesis with round brackets is used for the following:

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To enclose extra information that the writer feels is required as a clarification or as an aside (but might interrupt the reader’s flow of thought); for example: –

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Everyone (the principal principal, teachers, teachers, students, students, teaching aides and cleaners) left the burning building calmly and quickly.

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Catherine did not look favourably upon Duncan (which was a view v that other people held too).

To provide additional information, like the translation of a word from another language, or the scientific name for a plant or animal; for example: The Highland Bush-pea (Pultenaea williamsonii) is commonly found in the mountains of Victoria.

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To provide reference material within text. For example, referencing where a piece of information was obtained: –

In 1999, Emma Pegg was the first person to discover a vaccine for this type of influenza (Shiach 2006).

You can see that the main oil-producing countries (see Map 4) are situated within the Middle East.

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To enclose an acronym after the first reference has been made of a compound term; for example:

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Square brackets A parenthesis with square brackets is used for the following: •

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Aid workers from the World Health Organisation (WHO) reached the survivors last night.

To provide additional information, or clarification, by an author when quoting another writer; for example: Mr Richards was quoted as saying that, ‘Even though Ms Simms was mayor [of Green Bay Bay] for a period of six years, she was largely unpaid for her duties. I believe that this was a major oversight’.

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To provide a link between quoted text when an author decides to remove portions of it. For example, the whole quote may not contain information that is relevant to the point that the author is trying to make:

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Mrs Majid, when accepting a trophy on behalf of her husband, stated that, ‘Orthodontistry was a passion … [that her husband had] studied long and hard for’.

Adding your own emphasis to certain phrases within a quote; for example: In the newspaper, Quang Lee stated that, ‘It was his gentlemanly manner, not his fame or riches, that most impressed his fans [emp emphasis added]’.

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If you are quoting someone else and they have made a factual, spelling or grammatical error and it is important to show that you have quoted the person exactly as they originally wrote/said it. You can enclose the word ‘sic’ (which means ‘thus’ in Latin) to show that the mistake wasn’t your own fault. As an example: Lloyd writes that, ‘Some people on welfare say that their [sic] trying to find jobs, but no-one will employ them’.

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Dashes Longer dashes can also be used as a parenthesis when you want to add information that is related to a clause, but is not part of the sentence; for example:

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Maybe he could have an ice-cream cake—vanilla is my favourite—for his birthday.

From his big bag the clown extracted three balls—one blue, e, one red, one yellow—and began to juggle them. yellow

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If you find parentheses and their different uses confusing, it may be best to only use them when you feel confident. You must be careful not to overuse parenthesis in your writing. Ask yourself, ‘Will my sentence make sense without the inclusion of the parenthesis? Does the parenthesis make my meaning clearer?’ If the material you are going to add is closely related to the previous idea, it is best to use commas.

Sentences

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simple sentences

compound sentences

complex sentences.

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A finite verb is a verb that has a subject preceding it. A subject is the person or thing that does the action

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A sentence is a group of words that includes a subject, a finite verb and conveys a complete meaning. A clause is a phrase that contains a subject and a predicate, but may only be a section of a complete sentence. A sentence begins with a capital letter and finishes with a full stop, a question mark or an exclamation mark. Sentences are named according to the way they are constructed. They can be:

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Compound and complex sentences are sometimes called multiple sentences.

Types of sentences Simple sentences

A simple sentence conveys only one idea that makes sense. It has only one main clause, one verb and one subject. A simple sentence may do the following: 1. Make a statement

3. Make an exclamation to express feelings

2. Ask a question

4. Issue a command (imperative), request or wish

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About ten years. That’s what Dad received when he was caught robbing the bank!

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Now, class—take out your grammar books! Tommy, what is a sentence?

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1. Statements (declarative simple sentences)

Her needlework won a prize at the show.

They reached the picnic ground. It was raining.

In the background lay rolling hills.

I like going to the movies.

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Statements are sometimes called declarative sentences.

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Statements are simple sentences that convey information; they declare something. Here are some examples:

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2. Questions (interrogative simple sentences)

Questions are simple sentences that request information. Here are some examples: –

Where are you going?

Did you enjoy the circus?

What is your name?

These are all direct questions that end in a question mark.

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There are two types of questions: Direct questions can begin with a ‘wh-word’ such as who, where, what, when, why, which and how. This type of direct question requires you to offer information to the asker; for example: Who was that I saw you with last night?

What is his name?

Where did you go?

How did you get there?

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(i)

To form a subject question, just replace the subject or subject modifier with: ‘who’, ‘what’ or ‘which’; for example:

Tom sleeps there. Who sleeps there?

The cat is scratching at the door. What is scratching at the door?

The green one is for you. Which one is for me?

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Are you going to the concert tonight?

Have you bought a ticket?

May I come too?

Would ould you collect my ticket for me?

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Direct questions can also begin with words such as ‘do’, ‘does’ and ‘did’; auxiliaries such as am, is, are, was, were, have, has and had; or modal auxiliaries such as can, could, shall, should, will, would, may, might, must, ought and need. This type of direct question requires you to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. For example:

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(ii) Indirect questions are polite, longer forms of questions. They are made up of two parts: a polite expression + a question that does not have a subject/verb inversion (like a direct question does); for example:

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Do you have any idea where the post office is?

A direct question would ask: Where is the post office? Instead, the speaker begins with a polite expression (Do you have any idea), then adds the question (where the post office is?).

Do you know what country he is from?

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Could you tell me when the next train leaves?

You must be careful not to mix the two question forms together. This is a common mistake for overseas students who are just learning to speak English.

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I know! My Thai friend says, ‘Do you know what is his name?’

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3. Exclamations Exclamations are simple sentences that express intense feelings. People use an exclamation to show extreme emotions when they are overjoyed, disgusted, sympathetic, despairing, angry or when they are experiencing any other strong feeling. Notice that an exclamation mark is placed at the end.

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Here are some examples:

I can’t believe it!

What a great show!

Don’t you dare!

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How fantastic!

4. Imperatives, commands, requests

To emphasise a noun in an exclamatory sentence, begin the sentence with ‘what’. To emphasise an adverb or an adjective in an exclamatory sentence, begin the sentence with ‘how’; for example:

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What a colourful sunset! (noun emphasised)

How cute she is! (adjective emphasised)

How awkwardly he moves! (adverb

Commands are simple sentences emphasised) that request action. The tone of a command varies according to the situation. A command can be a simple request or suggestion. It can be an instruction, such as you would find in a recipe, an instruction manual or a craft book. It can also be a way of offering helpful directions to someone. If the command expresses emotion or urgency, an exclamation mark is placed at the end.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Stir the mixture carefully.

Come here!

Let’s have a cup of coffee.

Turn left at the first set of traffic lights.

Add two tablespoons of sugar.

Stop!

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Here are some examples:

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Did you notice that there is no subject present in a command. The subject, ‘you’, is understood, so there is no need to write it. A sentence can actually consist of just one word, as shown in the sentence: Stop! This means ‘(You) You) stop!’ You

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One moment, Sir! I’ll call our branch manager.

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The structure of simple sentences

There are five main forms of simple sentences:

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Waiter! Waiter! Come here immediately! This is disgraceful! There’s a twig in my soup.

1. Has a subject, a transitive verb and an object. The subject does something directly to the object; for example: The dog (subject) buried (transitive verb) its bone (object).

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2. Has a subject and verb, but no object, so the verb is intransitive. The subject does something but not to an object; for example: The dog (subject) barked (verb).

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3. Has a subject, verb and adjective; for example: Ice is cold. The child was sad.

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4. Has a subject and a linking verb ‘be’. Linking verbs do not show an action. Instead, they help the words at the end of the sentence (the predicate) name or describe the subject; for example: He appears to be happy.

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The most common linking verbs are: the verb ‘to be’ (am, are, is, was, were, am being, can be, have been); others are: feel, grow, grow seem, smell, remain, appear, appear sound, sound stay, stay look, taste, turn and become.

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5. Another type of sentence is an elliptical sentence. This is a sentence that has a part of its structure missing, but the sentence still makes sense. The meaning of the missing part is understood because of the context; for example:

In Latin, ellipsis means ‘falling short’.

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A: Where are you staying?

B: At my aunt’s. (The part missing here is: ‘I’m staying …’)

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A: When are you leaving?

B: Tomorrow. (The part missing here is: ‘I’m leaving …’)

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A: Who is going with you?

B: James. (The part missing here is: ‘… is coming with me’.)

In an elliptical sentence, either the subject or the predicate can be missing.

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Not always, Jenny. A simple sentence is a very direct way of saying something.

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© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Why use simple sentences? Wouldn’t teachers like us to write longer, more complicated sentences?

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It can be used to draw attention to something, to stress a point you’re trying to make or to create suspense and drama; especially within a passage made up of longer complex and compound sentences.

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Compound sentences A compound sentence has two or more main ideas, each of which can stand on its own as a sentence. You can join these ideas (clauses) into one compound sentence using conjunctions (joining words) such as: ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘or’ and ‘so’; for example:

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Dad took out $10.00. He gave it to the cashier.

Dad took out $10.00 and gave it to the cashier. cashier

I was not feeling well. I went to the doctor.

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I was not feeling well, well, so I went to the doctor. doctor

We wanted to warm the house. Our oil heater was broken. We had no money to fix it.

We wanted to warm the house but our oil heater was broken and we had no money to fix it.

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The combined clauses in compound sentences are called coordinate clauses. Both coordinate clauses convey core ideas, so they are of equal importance.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Complex sentences Some grammarians refer to double sentences (a sentence that has two clauses) and multiple sentences (a sentence that has more than two clauses).

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A complex sentence has one main idea (sometimes called a principal clause or an independent clause) and one or more clauses that are dependent on the main idea. The extra clauses (dependent clauses) are called subordinate clauses. A subordinate clause cannot stand on its own. It needs a main clause for it to make sense.

The principal clause and the subordinate clauses are joined together using subordinate conjunctions such as after, after before, if, if unless, when, because, as, than and that. They can also be joined using a relative pronoun such as who, which, that and whose. Question words such as who, what, what when, how why, how, why where and which are also used to create complex sentences. The subordinate clause can be placed after or before the main clause. It can also appear after the subject of the sentence; for example:

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I was overjoyed when I heard I had passed the exam.

After she had swept the floor, she had a cup of coffee.

The boy who stole my bike was punished.

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Jack’s facts The following two sentences show the difference between a complex sentence and a compound sentence. •

The rain stopped and the children went swimming.

When the rain stopped, the children went swimming.

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In the first sentence there are two clauses that can stand on their own. (The rain stopped. The children went swimming.) In the second sentence there are also two clauses, but only one can stand on its own (the children went swimming). On its own, ‘When the rain stopped …’ does not make sense.

Types of subordinate clauses

There are six types of subordinate clauses. A subordinate clause can be:

(i)

an adjective clause

(ii) a noun clause (iii) an adverb clause (iv) a relative clause

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(v) a comparative clause (vi) a conditional clause.

Subordinate clauses are named according to their function in relation to the main clause.

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(i) An adjective clause does the work of an adjective. It describes or qualifies a noun. It relates to the main clause through a relative pronoun (who, whom, which, that, as and whose), or through a relative adverb (‘where’ and ‘when’—but only if these adverbs mean ‘in which’, or ‘for which’); for example:

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The girl liked the book that she borrowed from the library library. (A relative pronoun)

Spring is the season when flowers bloom. (An adverb meaning ‘in which’)

She is an athlete for whom I have the most admiration.

It was a surprise to receive such a reception as this one proved to be.

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I’m sorry, Sir. It must be the lobster that got into a fight in the fish tank.

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Well, maybe you should bring me the lobster that won instead!

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Waiter, you’ve given me a lobster that has only one claw.

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(ii) A noun clause does the work of a noun; it names something. You can easily identify a noun clause by asking the question, ‘What?’ before the verb (subject) or after it (object or complement). A noun clause can name the subject, object or complement of a sentence. They mostly start with the word ‘that’ or ‘what’. However, noun clauses are sometimes confused with adverbial clauses because they can also start with the words such as ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘why’. Here are some examples of the work noun clauses can do: –

Where the robber hid the money is a mystery to the police. (Noun clause as a subject)

He explained why he was so careless. (Noun clause as an object)

His excuse was that the dog ate his homework. (Noun clause as a complement)

The fact that he continued to try is proof that he is serious about succeeding. (Noun clause in apposition—a noun clause that explains the previous noun.)

John refused to pay the plumber after what had happened earlier. (Noun clause following a preposition)

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Why would he think that?

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John thinks that our school is haunted.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• I think the reason is that the principal is always talking about school spirit.

(iii) An adverb clause does the work of an adverb; it adds information to a verb by telling more about time, place, reason, manner, condition, result, purpose and concession. It can also modify adjectives and other adverbs by making a comparison (degree).

– –

– –

When she was seventeen, she won a beauty contest.

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An adverb clause of time is usually introduced by words such as when, before, while, whenever, since, after, until; for example:

We have not heard from her since she went to live in America.

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Please wipe you feet before you come inside.

Whenever I climb up high high, I feel dizzy.

An adverb clause of place is usually introduced by ‘where’ or ‘wherever’: –

A delta can form where a river meets the sea.

Where the boats enter the harbour, you are not allowed to fish.

Wherever I roam,, Australia will always be my home.

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104 All about grammar That’s strange. Its always worked for me. I have lots of birds in my garden. Where did you place the seeds?

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I planted them where they would get lots of sunshine and I watered them every day, but not one single bird sprouted.

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Shopkeeper! I demand my money back. This birdseed is no good.

An adverb clause of reason is usually introduced with words such as because, for, as, since, so; for example: –

– – –

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• I can’t call you because my phone is broken.

For not returning my pen pen, I will not lend you anything again.

Here is some money so you can buy your mother a present for Mother’s Day Day.

Since no-one has come forward to claim it, you can keep the bracelet you found.

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He sped by as though a demon were chasing him.

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An adverb clause of manner is usually introduced with ‘as’; for example:

An adverb clause of condition is usually introduced with words such ‘if’ if if’ and ‘unless’; for example:

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If you don’t practise practise, you won’t pass your piano exam

You can’t come to my party unless you say you are sorry for calling me names.

An adverb clause of result is usually introduced with ‘that’ when ‘so’ appears in the previous clause, as well as ‘consequently’, ‘thus’ and ‘therefore’; for example: –

It was so cold that we decided not to go to the park park.

He had an accident on the way; consequently he found himself in hospital instead of at the party party.

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An adverb clause of purpose is usually introduced with words such as: so that, lest, in order that, in order to; for example: He drove past slowly so that he could enjoy the view.

In order to really appreciate chocolate, you need to let it melt on your tongue.

It is important to recognise Anzac Day, lest we forget the brave men and women who fought for us in the war.

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S Why do doctors and nurses wear surgical masks in the operating theatre?

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© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• They wear masks so that no-one will recognise them if they make a mistake.

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I don’t know. Why do they wear surgical masks?

An adverb clause of concession is usually introduced with words such as although, while, as and though; for example: –

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Although I cannot attend the party party, I intend to send her a present for her birthday.

While it is not my responsibility responsibility, I will help you to clean up the damage.

I will help you, though you don’t deserve my sympathy sympathy.

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106 All about grammar (iv) A comparative clause is a type of adverbial clause: –

This dress is not as expensive as I had expected it to be. (An adverb modifying an adjective.)

Jack is quieter and more serious than his sister, sister, Jean. (An adverb modifying another adverb—the verb ‘is’ is understood.)

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(v) A clause that does the work of an adjective is called a relative clause. Relative clauses start with relative pronouns such as: who, whom, which, that and whose; for example: This is the dog that bit the pedestrian pedestrian.

The robbers tied up the officer who was guarding the bank.

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(vi) A conditional clause is a subordinate clause that is usually introduced by the conjunctions ‘if’ if’ or ‘unless’. The action proposed in the main clause if is dependent on the fulfilment of the subordinate clause. The conditional (subordinate clauses) in the sentences below are in bold:

If you do your homework, you can go to the party. (Main clause: ‘You can go to the party’)

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• You can’t go unless you have finished it. (Main clause: ‘You can’t go’)

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Sentence parts: subject and predicate All simple sentences have two parts: a subject, and a predicate. The subject may start the sentence or it may appear within the sentence. In the examples The subject is the below, the subject is bold and the predicate person or thing spoken about. The predicate is what is said about the is underlined:

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subject; it includes the finite verb and its modifiers.

John and Leanna are my best friends.

Slowly the draft horse made its way down the dusty track.

Last summer my parents took us to America.

Lions roar.

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Dark clouds gathered on the horizon.

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A complete predicate: transitive, intransitive and linking verbs

If a sentence has a transitive verb, the predicate consists of the transitive verb and all other accompanying modifiers and words that receive the action of the transitive verb or complete its meaning; for example: •

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• The soup + burnt my mouth.

The soup + made a mess + when it boiled over.

The pot of soup + is bubbling.

The pot of soup + boils over sometimes.

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If the sentence has an intransitive verb, the predicate consists of the verb and any objects and complements of the intransitive verb; for example:

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If the sentence has a linking verb, the subject is linked to the subject complement. The linking verb can be followed by an adjective that tells something about the subject. It can also be followed by a nominative (name) that tells us what the subject is; for example:

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The pot of soup + smells appetising. (The bold adjective in the predicate tells something about the subject.)

Henri + is the best chef we have ever had. (The noun in the predicate tells what the subject is.)

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108 All about grammar

A simple predicate: a verb, verb string or compound verb •

The soup bubbled. (Verb)

The soup has been bubbling. (Verb string)

The soup bubbled, bubbled boiled over over, and dirtied the stove. (Compound verbs).

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A compound predicate consists of two (or more) connected predicates: The soup bubbled over the side of the pot and spread all over the top of the stove.

Mum gave my brother a bowl of soup and wiped up the mess.

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Missing subjects and predicates

Sometimes the subject or predicate does not appear in the sentence because it is understood. In the examples below, the understood part of the sentence is in brackets: •

Halt! Who goes there? The subject is missing. This means: (You) halt!

John! The predicate is missing. This means: John (goes there). It answers the question: ‘Who goes there?’

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Halt! Who goes there?

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o c . che e r o t r s super Ivor!

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Ivor who?

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The word ‘it’ in the subject position In simple sentences, the word ‘it’ can be used to fill the subject position, especially when describing a situation or talking about the weather or time; for example:

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It was very noisy in the hall.

It is very hot day today.

It’s the third of June.

It’s 6.30 pm.

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Sometimes the subject position is filled with the word ‘it’ when the named subject is in the predicate position. This is called an extraposition. In the following examples, the real subject is in bold: •

It is of no concern to me what you did. (Means: ‘What you did is of no concern to me.’)

It is a shame he finds it so difficult to apologise. (Means: ‘That he finds it so difficult to apologise is a shame.’)

It is expected that you will help. (Means: ‘That you will help is expected.’)

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons Sentence parts: object and complement •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

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Objects of sentences: direct and indirect

Two kinds of objects can follow a verb: direct objects and indirect objects.

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To be grammatically correct, a sentence must have at least one subject and one verb; for example: ‘The children + played’. However, very few sentences are as simple as this. In most sentences other words follow to complete the verb’s meaning. These words can be either objects of the sentence or complements of the sentence.

Identifying the type of object is quite simple if you follow these steps.

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First identify the verb in the sentence.

Ask ‘whom’ or ‘what’ after the verb. If you can answer this question, the object is a direct object; a noun or pronoun that receives the action of a transitive verb. It normally follows the verb in a sentence; for example: –

The children played games. Answers the question: The children played ‘what’?

The new mother nursed her baby. Answers the question: She nursed ‘whom’?

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110 All about grammar •

Ask ‘to whom/what’ or ‘for whom/what’ after the verb. If you can answer this question, the object is an indirect object; one that denotes the thing or person that the object is given to, or one that denotes for whom, or to whom an action is done. An indirect object usually stands between the transitive verb and the direct object of a sentence; for example:

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I gave her my promise promise.

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Answers the question: The promise was given to ‘whom’? The indirect object (her) stands between the transitive verb (gave) and the direct object (my promise).

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The new drama school offers talented children a chance to perform perform.

The indirect object (talented children) stands between the transitive verb (offers) and the direct object (a chance to perform).

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A sentence can have an indirect object only if it has a direct object. The indirect object always comes between the verb and the direct object. The indirect object indicates who or what receives the direct object.

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A sentence containing an indirect object can be rewritten by putting ‘to’ or ‘for’ before the indirect object; for example: – –

Red Riding Hood took her grandmother a basket of goodies.

Red Riding Hood took a basket of goodies to her grandmother grandmother.

Complements: subject and object

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Not all verbs are followed by objects. As stated before, verbs that take objects are known as transitive verbs and verbs not followed by objects are called intransitive verbs. If a verb has no action passing over to a person or thing, it is an intransitive verb and therefore it does not have an object. Consider the verbs in the following sentences:

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Sharks are dangerous.

Jane seems bored.

Dad looks happy.

Ted and Marco became friends.

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The most common linking verb is the verb ‘to be’ (am, is, are, was, were, will be, has been …). Other linking verbs are: become, seem, appear, appear feel, grow, grow remains, turned, turned gets, kept, kept look, smell, taste and sound sound, among others. Some of these can be used also as transitive verbs and intransitive verbs. The verbs in these sentences are intransitive, so the sentences cannot take an object.

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Subject complements The verbs in the previous sentences all express a condition or state (rather than an action), so the words following them are complements. In addition, the complements in these sentences all relate back to the subject; for example:

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‘dangerous’ tells more about ‘sharks’

‘bored’ tells more about ‘Jane’

‘happy’ tells more about ‘Dad’

‘friends’ tells more about ‘Ted and Marco’

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Object complements

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Therefore, the complements in these sentences are called subject complements; they tell us more about the subject. Subject complements follow a linking verb or parts of the verb ‘to to be’ be’. They can be either a noun (friends) or an adjective (happy, happy bored and dangerous). happy,

An object complement is similar to a subject complement, except it tells us more about the object of the sentence. In the following sentences, the subject complement is underlined:

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I consider my aunt special special. (‘My aunt’ is the object of the sentence.)

The committee ruled the councillor out of order. (‘The councillor’ is the object of the sentence.)

The team voted Jack captain captain. (‘Jack’ is the object of the sentence.) We call our cat Whiskers. (‘Our cat’ is the object of the sentence.)

The jury declared the accused innocent. (‘The accused’ is the object of the sentence.)

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Colour it red. (‘It’ is the object of the sentence. The unwritten ‘You’ is understood as the subject.)

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In general, object complements are added to a direct object when the verb in the sentence has something to do with observing, judging, naming or changing something. An objective complement can be either a noun (Whiskers, captain) or adjective (innocent, innocent special, out of order and red). innocent,

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112 All about grammar

I used to think that too Jenny, but now I find it’s really useful. It helps me to write sentences that are clearer, more interesting and much more descriptive.

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… and knowing about the structure of sentences helps you to write more correctly. You come to know more about subject-verb agreement and punctuation.

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But why do I need to know all these things about sentences? How can it help me be a better writer?

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Problems with sentences

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The most common errors in basic sentence construction are misplaced modifiers, sentence fragments, run-on sentences, comma splices, problems with subject-verb agreement, problems with verb form and tense, redundancies, double negatives, problem prepositions and unclear pronoun references. Punctuation and spelling are really important, but I think that making sure your sentences are wellconstructed is even more essential.

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But, what makes it more important than punctuation and spelling errors?

I think it’s more serious because it’s more likely to cause misunderstanding. Here are some common mistakes.

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All about grammar 113

Misplaced modifiers By changing the position of a word or phrase you can often enhance your writing or place emphasis on important information. However, writers sometimes place modifiers too close to words that they do not intend to modify. A good general rule to follow is to make sure that thoughts that belong together are placed next to each other; for example: It was reported that Bob Samaras, the well-known politician, had died on the front page. Clearly, the above adverbial modifier should have been placed after the verb:

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It was reported on the front page that Bob Samaras, the well-known politician, had died.

The boy broke his arm, but was able to return to school, on the holidays. Adverbial expressions of time are usually placed at, or close to, the beginning of the sentence. The modifier here should have been placed at the start of the sentence, or after the word ‘arm’:

On his holidays the boy broke his arm, but was able to return to school.

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The two bookshops both sell novels and educational books, which are only ten minutes’ walk from the bus station. An adjectival clause such as this should be placed as close as possible to the noun or pronoun to which it refers: The two bookshops bookshops, which are only ten minutes’ walk from the bus station, both sell novels and educational books.

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The table was made by a carpenter with carved legs. Clearly the carpenter didn’t have carved legs, so the adjectival phrase should have been placed next to the subject:

The table with carved legs was made by a carpenter.

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114 All about grammar •

Running by the lake, several swans glided across the smooth surface. A participle phrase or clause must be attached to the intended noun or pronoun. In this sentence, the noun to which the phrase should be attached is missing. A finite verb is also missing. The sentence should read:

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Running by the lake, I noticed several swans gliding across the smooth surface.

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A thermometer is an instrument with a long tube attached to a bulb which has a numbered scale. In this sentence it is unclear as to which noun the pronoun refers. Does ‘which’ refer to the instrument, the tube or the bulb? It should read:

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A thermometer is an instrument with a long tube which has a numbered scale and is attached to a bulb.

Sally was riding a donkey singing merrily. This confusion can be changed by moving the phrase and adding some commas; for example: Sally, singing merrily merrily, was riding a donkey.

Sentence fragments

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A sentence fragment, as the name suggests, is not a complete sentence. It can look like a complete sentence because it begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop. However, a sentence fragment does not express a complete thought because it lacks one or more of the essential requirements of a sentence. Here are some common errors that cause sentence fragments:

Mistaking a present participle for a verb, as shown in the following examples: –

The old lady dozing in her chair. This lacks an auxiliary verb:

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The old lady is/was dozing in her chair.

Running as fast as she could. This lacks a subject and an auxiliary verb:

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She was running as fast as she could.

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Mistaking a dependent clause for a sentence. A dependent clause does not express a complete thought because it begins with a subordinating conjunction. In other words, the clause depends on an independent clause for its meaning; so a dependent clause must be added to independent clauses to make a complete sentence. Here are some examples: –

That my dad gave me for my birthday. Dependent clauses starting with ‘who’, ‘that’ and ‘which’ can be mistaken for sentences. This fragment can be corrected by adding an independent clause such as: This is the cap that my dad gave me for my birthday.

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All about grammar 115

Fused or run-on sentences Fused or run-on sentences occur when a writer joins two complete thoughts together without indicating where the first thought ends and the second begins. The two independent clauses are placed together without any punctuation between them; for example:

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We arrived home early we didn’t stop at all on the way.

To correct this error, you need to identify the two independent clauses and join them in one of four ways as shown below:

We arrived home early; early we didn’t stop at all on the way. (Add a semicolon to separate the two clauses.)

We arrived home early because we didn’t stop at all on the way. (Use a subordinating conjunction to change one of the independent clauses into a dependent clause.)

We arrived home early, early, but we didn’t stop at all on the way. (Add a comma and a coordinating conjunction.)

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We arrived home early. We didn’t stop at all on the way. (Add a full stop and turn it into two independent clauses.)

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A comma splice

A comma splice occurs when two independent clauses, which contain closely related ideas, are separated by only a comma instead of a full stop or a semicolon. For example:

I thought the party was today, nobody told me the date had been changed.

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Selecting the correct verb

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The methods for correcting a comma splice are the same as for a fused sentence. You can substitute any of the following for the comma: a full stop, a semicolon, a subordinating conjunction or a coordinating conjunction.

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There are several errors that can occur in sentences when you are unsure about verb tenses, verb placement or which verbs are irregular. Placing subjects close to their verbs can help reduce subject-verb agreement errors. If the subject of a sentence is singular, the verb must be singular; if the subject is plural, the verb must be plural. Problems with verbs will be discussed under the heading of ‘Verbs’ (see page 119).

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116 All about grammar

Redundancies These frequently occur in students’ exposition writing. A redundancy means the adding of an unnecessary word to a sentence. Here are some examples: •

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The reason why students shouldn’t be given homework is because they are tired after working hard at school. This should read: Students shouldn’t be given homework because they are tired after working hard at school. The word ‘because’ is sufficient to signal that you are giving a reason.

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In my opinion, opinion, I think that students should not be given homework. Use either ‘In my opinion’ or ‘I think’, but not both. Another similar error is to say:

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In my own personal opinion. If you say ‘my own’, we already know it’s your personal opinion. It should be written: ‘In my opinion … ‘

His argument centres around why students need to have more time for energetic play. The word ‘centres’ already means ‘around’. The sentence should read:

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His argument centres on why students need to have more time for energetic play.

Some other common redundant phrases used in sentences include: each and every; if and when; biography of his life; small in size; united together; audible sound; completely unanimous; end result; fatally killed; in actual fact; the future to come; one and the same; refer back or revert back; return again; six am in the morning; six pm at night; it’s a true fact or it’s a real fact; two equal halves.

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Double negatives

Two negatives in a sentence reverses the meaning of the sentence. For example: •

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I haven’t n’t got no money. This means that the speaker actually has some money. Try: I haven’t n’t got any money.

I was cross because she would not try nothing new. Here, the word ‘anything’ should be substituted for the negative word ‘nothing’: I was cross because she would not try anything new.

The family was not going nowhere special for the holidays. The negative word ‘nowhere’ should be written as the positive word ‘anywhere’. The family was not going anywhere special for the holidays.

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All about grammar 117

Problem prepositions While it is generally accepted that you may end a sentence with a preposition, some students use prepositions incorrectly. For example:

Chop the meat up into small pieces.

Where did you buy this at?

Where did he go to?

They will come later on.

Take your hat off of your head when you enter the room.

You may look out of the window of the train.

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They use extra prepositions when the meaning is clear without them. In the following examples, the underlined preposition is unnecessary:

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The preposition ‘of’ of’ should never be used in place of the preposition have. of I should of done it.

This should read: I should have done it.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• The preposition ‘off’ off’ is a preposition of position or movement. off

We can say: I took the book off my desk.

We can’t say: I took the book off her. (This should read: I took the book from her.)

The preposition ‘between’ is used to refer to two nouns. The preposition ‘among’ is used to refer to three or more.

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Divide the sweets among the two of you.

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This should read: Divide the sweets between the two of you

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Divide the sweets between all the children.

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This should read: Divide the sweets among all the children.

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118 All about grammar From among all the people who applied for the puppeteer’s job, they chose me, Mum!

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I pulled a few strings!

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So, why did they choose you?

The preposition ‘in’ is sometimes used incorrectly to imply that someone, or something, is making an entrance. The correct preposition to use for entering is ‘into’. –

James ran in the house to tell Mum. This should read:

James ran into the house to tell Mum. James’ mum was waiting in the house to greet him. (The preposition ‘in’ is used correctly here.)

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The word ‘like’, when used to show comparison, is a preposition. This means that it should be followed by an object (but not by a subject and verb). If you are comparing a subject + verb with another subject + verb, you use the conjunctions ‘as’ or ‘as as if if’; for example: – –

He looks so much like his aunt. (‘Aunt’ is the object of the preposition ‘like’.)

You look as if you are angry. (‘As if if’ is connecting two subject + verb constructions.)

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Unclear pronoun reference

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When using pronouns in your writing, it is important to make it very clear to whom or to what the pronouns refer. You must also be sure that the pronouns you use and their antecedents agree in number, person and gender. Look at the following sentences. The unclear pronouns are underlined. •

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To stop snails from eating your new plants, sprinkle salt around them. (The plants or the snails?) This should read: Sprinkle salt around your new plants to stop snails from eating them.

I’d like one of them apples please. This should read: I’d like one of those apples please.

Olivia and me both like playing chess. This should read: Olivia and I both like playing chess.

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Verbs In the past, it was common to speak about verbs as ‘doing’ or ‘action’ words. A more recent and accurate definition recognises that different verb types have different functions. Here are some of them:

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The functions of verbs •

Action verbs are verbs which signify physical actions that we can observe; for example:

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The boy laughed as the clown tumbled head over heels.

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When you are writing a procedure it is extremely important to use the most appropriate and precise action verb. For example, the words stir, fold, beat and knead all mean ‘to mix’, but each requires a different action. You must make sure you use the correct action verb: You have to beat the eggs before you knead the dough dough, but after you stir the salt in.

Action verbs also help you to build up characters in the stories you write. The actions of characters can mirror how they feel. For example:

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Barry hung his head and skulked out of the room.

The other children clapped and cheered to see such a bully finally defeated.

When you write a recount, you are retelling what you did, so action verbs are very important; for example:

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After we arrived at the picnic site, we spread a blanket on the ground and unpacked our picnic basket.

Being or having verbs are verbs that do not express action; rather, they show either a state or condition, or they link two pieces of information together; for example: – –

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A cheetah is a feline. (Provides a classification by linking two nouns.)

It has strong jaws. (Provides a description by linking a pronoun with an adjective and another noun.)

Cheetahs are swift and powerful. (Provides a description by linking a noun and an adjectival phrase.)

I am happy. (Expresses a state and links a pronoun and an adjective.)

My home is where my heart lies. (Links a noun with an adverbial clause.)

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120 All about grammar Being and having verbs are used in particular to state facts. They are important verbs because they are used in most expository writing to describe, define, classify and illustrate facts.

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Tomorrow is something that is always coming but never arrives. A corn is a sore spot caused by shoes that are too tight.

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Fish are animals that are easy to weigh because they have their own scales.

Thought verbs are also called ‘feeling’ or ‘perceiving’ verbs, because they express what is going on in the mind of a person; for example:

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It is thought that if the government does not act soon, the world’s greatest rainforests will disappear within the next decade. I feel that we could be protesting vigorously against this legalised vandalism, even though many protesters are growing weary of trying. If we do not continue to protest, I see a very bleak future for many animal species.

Thought verbs can feature in both expository writing (especially in expositions and discussions, but rarely in information reports) and narrative writing (to show what is going on in the minds of the characters).

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Saying verbs report someone else’s words. By using appropriate saying verbs in your narrative writing, you can better develop characters and their personalities. Characterisation can be developed and enhanced through what your characters say and how they say it; for example:

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‘I can’t play netball today’, Alana sighed. ‘I’ve injured my ankle’, she explained. Because she sighed, you can tell that Alana likes netball and that she is disappointed that she can’t play.

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Linking verbs, sometimes called copulas, are verbs that connect a subject with its complement. Linking verbs are sometimes forms of the verb ‘to be’. They do not denote an action. They record a state that is related to the five senses (look, sound, smell, feel, taste). They may also reflect a state of being (appear, seem, become, grow, turn, prove, remain). What follows the linking verb will be either a noun complement or an adjective complement; for example:

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John seems confident.

Hilary is becoming good at grammar.

The dinner looks and smells appetising.

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All about grammar 121

No, I haven’t! How did she become the toast of the town?

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She forgot to switch off her electric blanket and so she went to sleep with it on high!

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Have you heard about the lady who became the toast of the town?

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Verb parts: finite verbs

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Verbs have two main parts: finite and non-finite verbs. The distinction between finite and non-finite verbs is a very important one in grammar, since it affects how verbs work in sentences. To understand how verbs work in sentences, you must first know about verb parts such as: finite verbs and auxiliaries (helper verbs); and non-finite parts such as infinitives, participles and gerunds.

A finite verb is a verb that can be used to make a complete statement; it can stand by itself as the main verb of a sentence. A finite verb can be one word, or it may be more than one word; for example:

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The girl rode a horse.

The girl was riding a horse.

An important aspect of a finite verb is that it must change its form to agree with the subject of the statement. It is limited by the subject of the sentence in which it appears. If the subject is plural, then a finite verb must reflect this (finite verbs are singular or plural); for example: •

Bob has decided to buy a new car. (Singular)

They have decided to buy a new car. (Plural)

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122 All about grammar A finite verb also changes according to whether the statement is written from the first person, second person or third person point of view; for example: •

I am going. (First person point of view)

You are going. (Second person point of view)

She is going. (Third person point of view)

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A little boy was at home reading when his teacher called at the door. Little boy:

Are your parents in?

They was in, but they is out now.

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Teacher:

Teacher:

You shouldn’t say, ‘They was in and they is out’. Where is your grammar?

Little boy:

Oh, she are in the lounge room watching television.

A finite verb is also limited by tense. It will take its form according to whether the event is reported as the past, present or future. For example:

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I am jogging right now. (Present continuous tense)

I was jogging when you called me. (Past continuous tense)

I shall be jogging tomorrow. (Future continuous tense)

I have jogged and now I am tired. (Present perfect tense)

I had jogged already by the time you called me. (Past perfect tense)

I shall have jogged by then. (Future perfect tense)

He was walking along the road. (Singular subject, past continuous tense, third person)

You are walking along the road. (Singular, present continuous, second person)

I am walking along the road. (Singular, present continuous, first person)

We were walking along the road. (Plural, past continuous, first person)

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I shall jog tomorrow. (Future tense)

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Notice how a change of subject causes the finite verb form to change in these examples.

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Problems with finite verbs A common problem with finite verbs occurs when the verb does not agree with the subject, here are some common errors: He is one of the athletes who goes to the club. This is incorrect because when a relative pronoun (who, which, that or what) occurs in a sentence, the verb (goes) must agree with the nearest noun (athletes). Therefore, the sentence should read: He is one of the athletes who go to the club.

The horrific effects of the fire is devastating. This is incorrect because the singular verb (is) does not agree with the plural subject (effects). The subject of a sentence may not always be next to the verb. It should read: The horrific effects of the fire are devastating.

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Her coach and her mother is hoping she will make the national team. This is incorrect because two nouns joined by ‘and’ are considered plural. It should read: Her coach and her mother are hoping she will make the national team.

Her coach, as well as the other players, are hoping she will make the national team. This is incorrect because when two nouns are joined by words such as: together with; as well as; accompanied by; along with and with, only the first noun becomes the subject. It should read: Her coach, as well as the other players, is hoping she will make the national team.

Some nouns, pronouns and combinations of nouns are always singular. When used as the subject of a sentence, the verb in the sentence should always be singular. Here are some of them: –

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Indefinite pronouns such as each, every, nobody, anyone, everyone, everybody, someone, somebody, either and neither. For example: Neither of the boys is home.

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Collective nouns. For example: The new furniture is very attractive. Postage was expensive in Canada. Honesty has its own reward. A swarm of bees is in the tree.

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Two nouns that commonly go together. For example: Fish and chips is a specialty of this restaurant. Horse and carriage was the only way to travel in the old days.

Nouns that end in ‘s’ such as: mumps, measles, shingles, billiards, news, the United States and the Netherlands; for example: Billiards is a game of great skill. But be careful because many nouns that end in ‘–ics’ are considered plural nouns. Names of sciences such as ‘mathematics’ and ‘physics’ can be used as plurals or singular nouns. For example: Mathematics is a difficult subject. My mathematics are weak.

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124 All about grammar Some phrases that refer to distance, money or time. For example: Three kilometres was the distance he walked every night. Sixty dollars is very expensive for this tie. Five hours was a long time to wait.

The phrase ‘the number of of’ (when it means a group). For example: The number of refugees crossing the border is increasing.

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Some subject nouns are always plural so they must take plural verbs; for example:

However, some collective nouns such as crew, team, family, staff and jury can be considered as a single unit, or as a number of individuals. Therefore they can take a singular or a plural form; for example: Our team is leading the competition (the ‘team’ is considered a single unit). Our team are wearing their new uniforms (meaning all members of the team are wearing their new uniforms).

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• A number of nouns ending in ‘–ics’ are considered plural; for example: ethics, hysterics, politics, acoustics, the tropics, the basics. The acoustics in this concert hall are dreadful.

Some adjectives used as nouns. For example: the aged, the elderly, the infirm, the rich, the wealthy, the poor, the educated and the employed. For example: The rich and the educated are getting wealthier and the poor have gradually lost hope.

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Nouns such as names of some instruments (glasses, spectacles, pliers, scissors, shears, scales), police, personnel, clothes (and also garments that consist of two parts, such as shoes, pants, pyjamas, trousers) are considered plural. For example: The police are on full alert. His trousers have a huge hole in them.

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The phrase ‘a a number of of’ (when it means several). For example: A number of us are going to the party.

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Auxiliary verbs (helper verbs)

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An auxiliary verb is a helper verb that combines with another verb to make a compound verb; that is, a verb that is made up of more than one word. For example: •

The wind has blown the tree down.

We are going fishing tomorrow.

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Each of the previous sentences shows an auxiliary verb (‘has’ and ‘are’) combined with a part verb (‘blown’ and ‘going’). Notice that it is the auxiliary that determines the tense in each of these sentences. Auxiliaries are usually parts of the verb ‘to be’ (am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been) or the verb ‘to have’ (had’, ‘has’, ‘have’); for example:

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I was washing my hair.

I had been washing my hair.

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You should study more.

I must remember Mum’s birthday.

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However, they can also be modals such as: can, could, will, would, may, may might must, might, must ought to, shall, should, be able to, need to, have got to, dare and need. Modal auxiliaries help the main verb to express a number of meanings and relations between the ‘doers’ of actions and the actions themselves. For example, they help the main verb to express offers, invitations, permission, requests, wants, wishes, necessity, instructions, suggestions, obligation, ability, possibility, probability and certainty. They also show a degree of judgement about what is being done; for example:

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Why must people carry umbrellas in winter?

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So they can stay dry?

No, because umbrellas can’t walk.

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Verb parts: non-finite verbs

‘Non-finite’ refers to a verb part that cannot be used on its own to form a statement. The non-finite verb part can act as a verb, but only if it is combined with a helper (auxiliary) verb. Look at the difference in the following sentences: He walking along the road. (‘Walking’ is non-finite verb part; it needs a helper to complete the statement.) www.ricgroup.com.au

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126 All about grammar It could be completed by using the following auxiliaries to show the tense required: He was walking along the road. (Past continuous tense)

He is walking along the road. (Present continuous tense)

He will walk along the road. (Future tense)

He shall be walking along the road. (Future continuous tense)

He had walked along the road. (Past perfect tense)

He shall have walked along the road (Future perfect tense)

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Did you notice that the non-finite verb parts like ‘walking’ and ‘walked’ do not show number—they are not singular or plural?

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They don’t show tense either—they don’t make the sentence past or present. It is the auxiliary verb that does this.

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There are three non-finite parts of a verb: 1) infinitives; 2) past and present participles; and 3) gerunds.

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1. Infinitives

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These are verb parts that are the base form of a verb. An infinitive mostly has the word ‘to’ in front of it. An infinitive can be used in several ways.

It can act as a noun; for example: To ski is fun. This means the same as: It is fun to ski.

It can act as an adjective; for example: I had plenty of time to spare spare. This means the same as: I had plenty of spare time.

It can act as an adverb; for example: We were running to escape the bear. This tells why we were running (therefore, it is an adverb of reason).

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The infinitive does not always have the word ‘to’ in front of it. In this form, it usually comes after verbs like will, can, made and let; for example: •

We can think of lots of fun activities.

Let me be your partner. Let me go with you.

She will write a note to the teacher.

Dad made me do my homework.

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You can also alter the role of an infinitive depending on your requirements.

An infinitive can be an object following certain verbs; for example: Students need to learn how to type. I wanted to show you how much I appreciated your help.

Used as a shortened form of ‘in order to’. You must exercise (in order) to get well. I went to the supermarket to buy some fruit.

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An infinitive can be a subject or subject complement; for example: To know him is to love him. (Subject). To train as an artist is my lifetime dream. (Subject complement)

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Infinitives can sometimes take objects of their own. We hope to find the dog that destroyed our garden. I was asked to bake a cake for my sister’s birthday party.

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Really? What types of birds does she like to imitate?

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My teacher likes to do bird impressions every day?

o c . che e r o t r s super She likes to watch the class like a hawk and she likes to swoop on anyone who misbehaves.

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128 All about grammar The following table shows a list of words which are usually followed by an infinitive: afford

care

expect

how

need

refuse

tend

agree

choose

fail

intend

neglect

regret

threaten

appear

claim

forget

know

offer

remember

try

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consent

go

learn

plan

seem

volunteer

ask

demand

happen

like

prefer

start

wait

attempt

decide

hate

love

prepare

stop

want

beg

deserve

hesitate

manage

pretend

struggle

wish

desire

hope

mean

promise

swear

begin

The function of infinitives

The infinitive functions in the following ways:

To express the purpose of an action; for example:

He stopped halfway to regain his breathe.

She saved her pocket money to buy her mum a present.

As the complement of certain verbs, including those verbs describing thought, speech, and preferences, as well as verbs of obligation (have to), ability (be able to) or causation; for example: – –

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• We decided to test if we could swing across the river John didn’t think to close the door when he left.

As the complement of the verbs ‘seem’ and ‘appear’; for example: –

My TV appears to be ready for replacement.

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arrange

At times the screen seems to blur.

As the complement of adjectives or nouns modified by the adverbs ‘too’ and ‘enough’; for example:

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I think I will have enough energy to compete in the cross-country race.

I don’t believe she will be too keen to see you succeed.

As the complement of the interrogative words ‘how’ and ‘whether’; for example: –

I’m not sure how to prevent it from happening to me.

I don’t know whether to tell him or not.

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As the subject of a sentence whose main verb is a form of ‘be’, especially if the infinitive expresses an intention or a purpose; for example: –

To guess who will win is almost impossible.

To win was his main objective.

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Splitting the infinitive

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They have been known to sometimes argue.

You have to always come when you are called.

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Splitting an infinitive means placing a word between the infinitive marker ‘to’ and the base verb that follows; for example: I was glad to finally arrive home. Here the infinitive ‘to arrive’ has been split by the adverb ‘finally’—a word has been placed between the two words that make up the verb. Here are some more examples:

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In the past it was considered grammatically incorrect to split an infinitive. Even today, some writers feel that it is bad style and unacceptable to split an infinitive.

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Is it OK to split an infinitive?

However, many people say that the rule against split infinitives is artificial and excessive and serves no real purpose.

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Even the New Oxford dictionary of English states that: ‘In Standard English, the principle of allowing split infinitives is broadly accepted as both normal and useful’. ’’. It recognises that there are many adverbs that need to be placed immediately before the verb; for example: •

I ought to utterly refuse. If you put the adverb somewhere else, you change the emphasis, and the sentence is awkward: I ought to refuse utterly.

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Jack’s facts So what should you do? Should you ignore the old rule that says you should never split infinitives? Sometimes it is necessary to revise old practices, but this can lead to even further confusion. Whether you put an adverb between ‘to’ and the base verb is simply a matter of style and meaning. Two useful rules to follow are: (1) Never split an infinitive unless you want to really emphasise something. (2) Avoid splitting an infinitive unless any other placement of that word would sound awkward.

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The most quoted example of a split infinitive comes from the television series Star trek. Look at the different meanings of the following: •

To boldly go where no-one has gone before. Here, the infinitive verb form of ‘go’ is ‘to go’, and the adverb ‘boldly’ has been inserted, creating a split infinitive.

To go boldly where no-one has gone before. Here the phrase has been reworded to avoid splitting the infinitive.

Boldly oldly to go where no-one has gone before. This is another way to avoid splitting the infinitive.

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2. Participles

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Can you see a difference in meaning between the last two phrases? The first one emphasises the manner of going, while the second one emphasises the place (where no-one has gone before). Students of Latin need to remember that, in Latin, the infinitive is a single word, so it is impossible to split. It is therefore considered bad practice to split an infinitive when you are translating Latin to English.

Participles are verb parts that combine with auxiliary verbs to form a complete (finite) verb. There are two types of participles: past participles and present participles.

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(i) The present participle is made by adding ‘–ing’ to the verb stem verb; for example, laughing, studying, playing and coming. It becomes a complete verb if you add an auxiliary (helper) verb. Only modal auxiliary verbs such as: can, may, might, must, ought, shall, will, should, would and could, fail to form present participles in English.

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I hear that you’ve been telling everyone that I’m stupid. I’m sorry. I didn’t realise you were trying to keep it a secret.

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(ii) The past participle is usually made by adding ‘–d’ or ‘-ed’ to the verb stem of a regular verb; for example: walked, forced, closed, studied, slipped, climbed. However, there are some irregular verbs that may end in ‘-en’, ‘-n’, or ‘–t’; for example: ‘eaten’ and ‘slept’. With regular verbs, the past participle is usually in the same form as the past tense of the verb. With irregular verbs, the past participle may be either in the same form as the past tense or in a different form. Participles: aspect and voice

To form a complete verb, a participle is used with an auxiliary verb. The auxiliary verb also helps to indicate aspect (whether the complete verb is continuous or perfect) or voice (whether the complete verb is active or passive).

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I was studying in Australia. (Past continuous)

I will be studying in Australia. (Future continuous)

I have been studying in Australia. (Present perfect continuous)

I had been studying in Australia. (Past perfect continuous)

At the end of this year, I will have been studying in Australia for three years. (Future perfect continuous)

When combined with the appropriate form of the verb ‘to be’, the present participle is used to form continuous tenses; for example:

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I am studying in Australia. (Present continuous)

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When combined with the appropriate form of ‘have’, the past participle is used to form the perfect tense; for example: •

She has spoken already. She has stopped coming to classes. (Present perfect)

She had spoken by the time I arrived. She had stopped attending ages ago. (Past perfect)

She will have spoken by the time you arrive. She will have walked home in the meantime. (Future perfect)

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However, this applies to the ‘simple’ perfect tenses only, not to the continuous perfect tenses, which use a present participle.

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132 All about grammar The voice of a verb tells you whether the subject does the action, or whether something is done to the subject. There are two voices: active and passive. The present participle in English is an active participle. In the active voice, the subject of the sentence does something to a person or thing; for example:

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The cat was stalking a bird. In this sentence, the subject (the cat) is doing something (stalking) to a thing (a bird).

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The past participle is usually, but not always, a passive participle. In the passive voice, the subject of the sentence receives the action. For example:

Participles used as adjectives

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The bird was stalked by the cat. In this sentence, the subject (the bird) receives the action (stalking by the cat).

Both present participles and past participles may be used as adjectives; for example: •

The boy has broken his arm. (Past participle used as a verb)

The boy has a broken arm. (Past participle used as an adjective)

We watched performing seals at the circus. (Present participle used as an adjective)

A falling branch hit me on the head. (Present participle used as an adjective)

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What’s the best way to prevent diseases caused by biting insects?

o c . che e r o t r s super Stop biting them?

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However, when the present or past participle is derived from verbs that express feelings, they express quite different meanings; for example: •

It was a frightening experience. (The present participle, ‘frightening’, refers to the thing that causes the feeling.)

She cornered the frightened creature. (The past participle, ‘frightened’, refers to the thing that experiences the feeling.)

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Problems with participles

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Waiting in the queue, my friend Kate waved to me.

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A participle that is not clearly connected to the word it is meant to modify is called a dangling participle. Care must be taken when you include a participle phrase in a sentence because readers are most likely to associate it with the noun, noun phrase, or pronoun adjacent to it; for example:

In this sentence, it is not clear who was waiting in the queue. Clearer sentences would be: •

While I was waiting in the queue, my friend Kate waved to me.

While she was waiting in the queue, my friend Kate waved to me.

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If a participial phrase is placed correctly in a sentence there is no doubt about what noun or pronoun it is supposed to modify. Sometimes, misplaced participial phrases can be quite humorous; for example:

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Who is sipping the coffee—the trees the birds or the girl? The girl, sipping hot coffee from a foam cup, observed the birds darting through the trees.

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The girl observed the birds darting through the trees sipping hot coffee from a foam cup.

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By moving the phrase close to the noun that it is modifying, the sentence becomes clearer.

Failing to provide a noun or pronoun for a participial phrase to modify is another difficulty in using participial phrases to enhance a sentence; for example: Climbing the hill, the view was magnificent.

In this case, moving the phrase will not solve the problem. A clearer way to write this would be to add a noun or pronoun; for example: Climbing the hill, we saw a magnificent view. www.ricgroup.com.au

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3. Gerunds

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S Why must I only do backstroke if I go swimming after dinner?

Because Mum said you should never go swimming on a full stomach.

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A present participle can also function as a noun. When a present participle acts as a noun, you call it a gerund. A gerund is a verbal noun. It often follows the verb ‘go’; for example: We like to go swimming, shopping, walking, riding, jogging and yachting.

A gerund can form the subject, object or complement in a sentence; for example:

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John hates studying because he prefers to play soccer with his friends after school. (Here the gerund ‘studying’ is the direct object of the verb ‘hates’.)

John’s least favourite activity is studying. (Here the gerund ‘studying’ provides a subject complement for the verb ‘is’.)

The teacher scolded John for not studying. (Here the gerund is the object of a preposition).

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Studying is necessary if you want to pass your exams. (Here the gerund ‘studying’ acts as the subject of the sentence.)

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A gerund phrase can also form the subject, object or complement in a sentence. For example:

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Being the captain of his soccer team made John feel very proud. (The gerund phrase functions as the subject of the sentence.)

I hope that John appreciates my helping him to study. (The gerund phrase functions as the direct object of the verb ‘appreciates’.)

John’s favourite tactic has been hiding his homework diary. (The gerund phrase functions as the subject complement.)

John might get in trouble for ignoring his study to play soccer. (The gerund phrase functions as the object of the preposition ‘for’.)

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Other types of verbs Compound verbs (verb phrases) A compound verb is one that is made up of more than one word: an auxiliary verb and a non-finite verb (an infinitive or participle). For example:

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We are having a party on Sunday.

Jack and John have been studying hard all week.

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A police officer pulled over a man who was driving the wrong way up a one-way street.

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‘Where do you think you’re going?’ the officer demanded.

‘I don’t know’, answered the man. ‘But I must be running late because everyone else is coming back!’

Transitive and intransitive verbs

In grammar, a transitive verb is one which shows that an action ‘passes over’ (across) to the object of the sentence. So, a verb is transitive if the sentence has an object and intransitive if it has no object; for example: •

The prefix ‘trans’ means ‘across’.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• The Principal punished the rude boy. boy (The act of punishment passed across to the rude boy—the object of the sentence.) The girl stroked the cat. (The act of stroking passed across to the cat which forms the object of the sentence.)

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A verb is intransitive if the action stays with the subject and does not pass over to an object; for example: •

We stopped at lunchtime. (As there is no object in the sentence, the verb is intransitive.)

Dogs bark loudly. (There is no object in the sentence, so the verb must be intransitive.)

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Verb tenses

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Tense is a kind of tool that speakers of English use to express the time when the action of a verb takes place. In English, there are three basic tenses: present, past and future. The three basic tenses have other forms as well. These are:

The word ‘tense’ comes from the Latin tempus, which means time.

The perfect form which indicates an action has been completed.

The progressive form which indicates an action is ongoing.

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136 All about grammar •

The perfect progressive form, which indicates that the ongoing action will be completed at some definite time.

Here are some examples of the tenses and their forms:

Simple

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Future

I study

I studied

I shall study

I drive

I drove

I shall drive

I was studying

I shall be studying

I am driving

I was driving

I shall be driving

I have studied

I had studied

I shall have studied

I have driven

I had driven

I shall have driven

Formation and function

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Past

I am studying

Continuous Perfect

Present

Look at the following tables. They show the special functions performed by the tenses.

Verb tenses don’t just indicate time. They also indicate other things.

The second part of each table shows you how that particular tense is formed.

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Simple present tense: functions Function

Example

Indicates a general truth

A spider has eight legs. There are seven days in one week. A crab is a crustacean.

Indicates an action that is habitual or regular

I like jogging. I jog every day. I read the newspaper every morning. My dog barks whenever a stranger approaches our house.

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Jane is absent from school. She has the mumps. She feels very sick.

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Indicates a present action or condition

Often used in newspaper headlines

Five prisoners escape Prime minister signs peace treaty

Used to indicate future time

The exam starts at 2.00 pm. My train leaves at five.

Indicates feelings and senses

I feel sick. I hear ringing in my ears.

Used to give instructions, demonstrations/directions

Add the butter. Walk straight down this street to the lights. Turn left. The concert hall is on your right

Used to narrate something happening now, such as sports’ commentary

Allen marks the ball. Runs down the centre of the ground. Bounces once, twice. Shrugs off two defenders. Kicks straight and scores another goal for the team.

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Simple present tense: formation •

For timeless present tense, the verb ‘to be’ is used as a complete verb. For example: I am happy. Snakes are cold-blooded. The lion is a member of the cat family.

For third person singular (pronouns ‘she’, ‘he’ and ‘it’) and singular nouns, add an ‘-s’ to the base verb; for example: She likes pie. He prefers pizza. A snake sheds its skin as it grows. However, there are some exceptions:

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For most verbs that end in -ch, -sh, -tch, -x x or -ess, you must add ‘–es’; for example: My mum teaches dancing. She brushes my hair. Dad switches off my light for me. He fixes my bike when it’s broken. James passes the ball to Jack who scores a goal.

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For verbs that end in ‘–y’, you mostly change the ‘-y’ to ‘i’ and add ‘–es’; for example: Mum worries too much (worry). Dad hurries all the time (hurry). My baby sister cries a lot (cry).

For verbs like stay, prey and annoy, that end in ‘–y’ but have a vowel in front of the ‘–y’, you just add an ‘–s’; for example: The polar bear preys on seals. My friend stays overnight sometimes. He buys the daily newspaper. He often toys with the idea of selling real estate.

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For first and second person (pronouns ‘I’, ‘we’, ‘you’) and third person plural (pronoun ‘they’) use the base form of the verb only; for example: I walk to school every day. You catch the bus. They travel by car.

Present continuous tense: functions Function

Example

Indicates something that is happening about now, but not necessarily at the time of speaking

I am reading a book about the life of Madame Curie.

Used to express present plans or arrangements.

I am meeting Luisa at the bus stop. We are going to the movies.

Indicates feelings and hopes

Rasul is feeling very sad. How are you feeling? I am hoping to see you soon.

Indicates that the speaker is annoyed because of the frequency of an action

You are always contradicting me.

Indicates a temporary state that currently exists but is not expected to be permanent

At the moment I am living in London.

Used to talk about things planned for the future

Who is coming with you tonight? We are going to visit Disneyland soon.

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Jane is playing the piano and Jack is writing to his grandma in Los Angeles.

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Indicates that an activity is still in progress

She is studying science. She is teaching Spanish.

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Roland’s father is always working; he’s never home. I’m minding her house while she’s in India.

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138 All about grammar Present continuous tense: formation You make the present continuous tense by adding a present tense form of the verb ‘to be’ (am, is, are) to a present participle (a verb ending with ‘–ing’); for example: I am singing. He is singing. We are singing.

Contractions can be used in informal writing and speaking; for example: He’s singing, I’m singing. They’re singing.

With most verbs you just need to add ‘–ing’ to the base verb to make a present participle. However, with some verbs there are important spelling rules to obey. Here are some of them:

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Verbs such as tap, beg, swim, hop and hum all have short vowel sounds in the middle. To keep the vowel sounds short, you need to double the final consonant before adding ‘–ing’ (tapping, begging, swimming, hopping and humming); otherwise the vowel sound will be a long one. For example: without a double consonant, ‘hopping’ would be ‘hoping’.

For verbs that end in ‘–e’ (race, drive, store and lure), you usually need to drop the ‘e’ and add ‘-ing’ (racing, driving, storing and luring).

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• But for verbs that end in ‘–ee’, –ee’, ‘-oe’ and ‘–ye’ (free, hoe and dye), just –ee’ add the ‘–ing’ (freeing, hoeing and dyeing).

In English, for verbs such as pedal, label and patrol (which all end in a consonant + ‘l’), you need to double the ‘l’ before adding ‘–ing’ (pedalling, labelling and patrolling). This is not the same in American spelling.

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Present perfect tense: functions Function

Example I have completed my homework. I have written to my grandmother. I have just washed my hair.

Indicates an action that happened in the past but still relates to the present

I have studied Italian.

Indicates an habitual or continued action

He has worn glasses since he was five years old.

Indicates a past action whose time is not definite or specified or complete

I have read the chapter but I don’t understand it. My car has broken down again. Grandma has had a bad fall. Jonas has been here recently.

Indicates a future action when used with ‘as soon as’, ‘after’ or ‘when’

When I have washed the dishes, I’ll watch TV. After we have eaten, let’s go to the movies.

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Present perfect tense: formation

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• To form the present perfect tense, you add a past participle to ‘have’ or ‘has’. for example: I have made an awful mistake. Have you seen the new play at the Regent Theatre?

The present perfect tense is often used with time markers such as just, yet, already, ever, never, today, lately, recently and still; for example: He has just left the office.

I haven’t done my homework yet and you have completed yours already.

I have never ever ridden a horse.

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Indicates an action that is completed now at the present time

I still have not seen the new play at the Regent Theatre.

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Contractions can be used in informal writing or speaking; for example: They’ve just arrived. She’s brought her lunch with her today. It’s left a big mark on my coat.

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140 All about grammar Present perfect continuous tense: functions Function

Example I have been writing to my grandmother every day. Grace has been talking on the phone to Tyler for over an hour.

Used to explain a present situation or appearance

I have been cleaning the stove, so my hands are dirty. I have been studying hard, so I will pass my exams. I’m late because I have been driving around looking for a parking spot.

Indicates an habitual or continued action

I have been studying French for five years now. He has been wearing glasses since he was five years old. I have been thinking a lot about you.

Used to talk about health; especially about developing symptoms

I have been experiencing pains in my leg, doctor. Brandon has been putting on a lot of weight.

Used in polite conversation

I’ve been meaning to call you. I’ve ’ve been looking forward to meeting you. I’ve been hoping to make your acquaintance.

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Indicates actions that began in the past, but continue to, or are related to, the present

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Present perfect continuous tense: formation

The present perfect continuous tense is often used with time markers such as: every day, monthly, for an hour, today, lately, recently etc.

Contractions can be used in informal writing and speaking; for example: They’ve been waiting waiting. She’s been bringing her lunch every day. It’s been raining all night.

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To form the present perfect continuous tense, you add a past participle to ‘have’ + ‘been’, or ‘has’ + ‘been’; for example: I have been working since I was sixteen. Have you been studying with Sue?

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Simple past tense: functions Function

Example Ashley was absent from school last week. She had the mumps. She felt very sick.

Indicates a general truth when used with a time marker

Dinosaurs roamed the earth millions of years ago. I walked to school every day when I was young. I owned a racehorse once.

Often used in narratives

One upon a time in a castle far away, there lived a beautiful princess. The wicked witch tricked the children. Every time Pinocchio told a lie, his nose grew longer and longer.

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Indicates a past action or condition

Used to indicate future time when used with ‘if’ if if’

If I arrived late, would you be upset?

Used when making a polite request

I wondered if I might be bold and ask a favour of you.

Simple past tense: formation

For timeless past tense, the verb ‘to be’ is used as a complete verb; for example: The dinosaur was a very large reptile. Early humans were cavedwellers. They had no metal tools.

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For third person singular (pronouns she, he and it) and singular nouns you add an ‘-ed’ to the base verb. For example: She liked pies best, but he preferred pizza, so they bought both. The dog was always alone so it barked day and night. However, there are some exceptions: –

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For base verbs that end in ‘–e’, you just add a ‘–d’; for example: My aunt invited (invite) me to stay. The old man lived (live) in a hut. Dad closed (close) the door.

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Verbs such as clap, beg, flit, hop and hum all have short vowel sounds in the middle. To keep the vowel sounds short, you need to double the final consonant before adding ‘–ed’ (clapped, begged, flitted, hopped and hummed); otherwise the vowel sound will be a long one. For example: without a double consonant, ‘hopped’ would be ‘hoped’.

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For verbs that end in ‘–y’, you mostly change the ‘-y’ to ‘i’ and add ‘–ed’; for example: Mum worried too much (worry). Dad hurried to get his work finished (hurry). My baby sister cried a lot when she was young (cry).

Some English verbs have irregular forms. You do not just add ‘–ed’ to form the simple past tense. (See page 154 for a list of irregular verbs.)

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142 All about grammar Past continuous tense: functions Function

Example Megan was playing the piano when Jack arrived. I was having a shower when the telephone rang.

Used to tell about an action that was taking place for a specified period or for some time in the past

We were watching TV last night. I was watching TV from six o’clock until ten. At the time, I was studying to become a doctor.

Indicates two actions that were taking place at the same time

Mum was reading the newspaper while Dad was cooking the dinner. She was studying science, but I was studying history. She was teaching Spanish and learning Indonesian.

Used with when, as and while to create a time marker for another action

While I was walking along the street, I found a coin. When I was studying in England, I visited Paris and Madrid. As I was turning the corner, I slipped and fell.

Used to explain an action

Don’t be angry, I was only trying to help you. I was trying to move the vase for you, but it fell and broke.

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Used to tell about an activity that was going on when something else happened

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Past continuous tense: formation

With most verbs you just need to add ‘–ing’ to the base verb to make a present participle. The important spelling rules to follow are the same as outlined for present continuous.

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You make the past continuous tense by adding ‘was’ or ‘were’ to a present participle (a verb ending with ‘–ing’). For example: I was singing. He was singing. We were singing. You use ‘was’ with I, he, she and it. You use ‘were’ were’ with you, we and they.

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Past perfect tense: functions Function

Example

Indicates that an event or action She had played hockey before she began to play was completed before another netball. past event She lived in Singapore after she had left Australia. She fainted when she found out she had won the lottery. It was Monday before I had completed it.

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Used with the conditional ‘if’ if if’ to give reasons why an earlier action didn’t take place

If only you had mentioned it earlier, I might not have gone. If I had known about your problems, I could have helped you. If the explosion had happened earlier, more people would have been injured.

Used in reported speech when the present tense must change to past perfect

Jacque said that he had never played football. Alexis demanded to know who had scribbled on her science homework. Janet screamed that she had seen a ghost.

Used with adverbs like ‘because’ and ‘although’ to show causal relations between two past actions

I was forced to walk home yesterday, because the bus drivers had gone on strike. I didn’t feel tired although I had completed the cross-country race.

Used to express that you are disappointed in someone’s actions

I had wondered if your study habits had improved, but obviously they haven’t. I had hoped that you could accompany me, but you seem to be too busy to spend time with your friends.

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The government gave help to the people who had lost their homes in the hurricane. (Note that the simple past verb, ‘gave’, is used for the past event and the past perfect verb ‘had lost’ is used for the even earlier event.)

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Used to refer to an earlier time in the past. You use the simple past tense for past events, but if you want to refer to a time even earlier than that time, you use the past perfect.

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Past perfect tense: formation

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To form the past perfect tense, you add a past participle to ‘had’ or ‘has’; for example: I had forgotten how much I enjoy playing golf. Check the section on past participles (page 131) to see how they are formed

The past perfect tense is often used with time markers such as: ‘before’, ‘when’ and ‘after’.

Contractions can be used in informal writing and speaking. For example: They’d ’d already arrived. She’d hoped he would not be early.

When used as a conditional, a past perfect sentence may include ‘could have’, ‘would have’ and ‘might have’; for example: I could have helped you if you had told me about it.

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144 All about grammar Past perfect continuous tense: functions Example

Used to talk about things that were going on in the past when something happened

I had been washing my hair when the phone rang. We had been playing golf when it started to hail.

Used to give background information that will explain the action expressed by the main verb

My teacher was happy with me because I had been trying so hard to improve. Matt was feeling fit because he had been exercising every day.

Used to introduce an idea that the person can no longer carry out

I had been meaning to apologise, but it’s too late for that now. I had been hoping to buy my mother a present, but I lost my job. I had been feeling better, but my doctor advised me not to go.

Used in reported speech when the present perfect continuous tense must change to past perfect continuous tense

Jacque said that he had been thinking about going to Spain. Alexis demanded to know who had been scribbling on her science homework. She asked if you had been driving your car or taking the bus to work.

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Function

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Past perfect continuous tense: formation

To form the past perfect continuous tense, you add a present participle to ‘had’ + ‘been’. For example: I had been working for three years before I was promoted. Have you been studying with Lauren?

Contractions can be used in informal writing and speaking. For example: They’d been waiting for two hours when I arrived. It’d been raining all night. I’d been skating when I fell.

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With most verbs you just need to add ‘–ing’ to the base verb to make a present participle. The important spelling rules to follow are the same as outlined for present continuous.

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Simple future tense: functions Function

Example

Used for predicting The government will ensure that food prices remain steady. future actions and If I wash the car I bet it will rain. happenings I know you will enjoy the circus.

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Indicates plans that have been prearranged

They will leave in the morning, if that’s all right with you. We shall arrive in Paris at 3.00 pm.

Used to express a logical deduction

That will be the mail—I can hear a motorbike. I expect James will come by bus as his car is in the workshop. Without adequate water, your plants will die.

Used to make promises

I promise I shall not do it again. He said he will weed the garden when the rain stops. I shall take the dog for a walk when the weather clears up.

Used to express determination

I shall not leave until I am satisfied. He will pass his exams, despite what you think. I shan’t play with you until you say you are sorry.

Used to remind someone to do something

You will turn off the lights before you go to bed, won’t you? You must assure me that Tomas will return this book on time, as other students are waiting for it.

Used to decide a future action

Shall we go to the park or the playground? Will you catch a bus or will you take the train?

Used to express what something is capable of doing

This car will outperform all others in its class. This vacuum cleaner will halve the time it usually takes you to clean your carpets.

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I will study hard and try to win a scholarship. We shall persevere until the job is done satisfactorily.

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Used to express commitment

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Simple future tense: formation

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You make the simple future tense by adding the modals ‘will’ or ‘shall’ to a present tense verb; for example: I shall write to you when I get home. He will write to his grandma after he has washed the dishes. As a general rule, you use ‘shall’ after first person pronouns (‘I’ and ‘we’) and ‘will’ after second and third person pronouns: you, he, she, they and it. This form of the future is sometimes called the pure future tense.

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However, in some cases the rule for using ‘shall’ and ‘will’ does not apply; for example: –

I will succeed whether you have faith in me or not. (‘Will’ is used to show determination)

I will shut the door for you. (‘Will’ is used to show a simple willingness)

You shall come with us because you have been good. (‘Shall’ is used to promise something)

He shall not come unless he completes his homework. (‘Shall’ is used as a threat)

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You can use ‘will’ with ‘you’ when asking questions about the future; for example: –

When will you go to Ireland?

You won’t faint, will you?

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The contraction for ‘shall not’ is ‘shan’t’; the contraction for ‘can not’ is ‘can’t’; the contraction for ‘will not’ is ‘won’t’. For example: I shan’t come tomorrow. He can’t come tomorrow. They won’t come tomorrow.

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Future continuous tense: functions Function

Example

It is your birthday next month, so I shall be sending party invitations very soon. This time tomorrow I expect he will still be enjoying the sunshine in Spain. While the tennis tournament is on, I will be watching TV from 7.00 pm until midnight.

Used to talk about events that are planned or are likely to happen

On Monday, I shall be visiting my aunt in hospital. As soon he is old enough, my brother will be buying a car.

Used with ‘when’ to indicate that the time of a future action is defined by another action

I will be sleeping when you arrive home. When the sun rises above the horizon, the farmer will be eating his breakfast.

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To express duration of an action that began in the past, has continued into the present and may continue into the future

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Indicates plans that have They will be leaving in the morning. been prearranged We shall be arriving in Paris at 3.00 pm.

Used to express reassurance and to reassert arrangements

Remember, we will be serving dinner promptly at eight. As planned, we will be waiting for you at the airport when you arrive.

Used to speculate and for logical deductions

Will you be studying chemistry next semester? I expect you will be feeling tired by the time you arrive. The kettle will be boiling by now.

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I shall be reporting your behaviour to your parents. He said he will be coming to your party. I’ll be phoning you as soon as the final arrangements are made.

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Used to make promises or threats

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Future continuous tense: formation

You make the future continuous tense by adding the modals ‘will’ or ‘shall’ + ‘be’ + a present participle; for example: I shall be writing to you when I get home. He will be writing to his grandma after he has washed the dishes. As a general rule, you use ‘shall’ after first person pronouns (‘I’ and ‘we’) and ‘will’ after second and third person pronouns: you, he, she, they and it.

With most verbs you just need to add ‘–ing’ to the base verb to make a present participle. The important spelling rules to follow are the same as outlined for present continuous.

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Isn’t it time you gave up robbing banks and applied for a proper job?

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S What kind of job will you be applying for?

I saw a ‘Criminals wanted’ poster at the police station.

Future perfect tense: functions Function

Example

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Yes, I agree. I shall be applying for a job tomorrow.

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Used to talk about possible outcomes at a future time

Whatever the jury decides, at least I will have testified honestly. At least he will have received a good education, even though we had to sell the house to pay for it.

Used when making a logical deduction

It’s 7.00 pm, so he will have eaten by now. They are always on time, so the concert will have already started.

Used when a period in the future is implied

What will you have achieved in the next few years? At least I will have travelled to Europe.

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By next week we will have finished exams. John won’t have completed his assignment by 2.00 pm, so he won’t be able to go. By noon he will have eaten his lunch.

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Used to talk about an action that will be completed by or before a specified time in the future

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Future perfect tense: formation

You make the future perfect tense by adding the modals ‘will’ or ‘shall’ + ‘have’ + a past participle; for example: I shall have completed my homework by five o’clock. As a general rule, you use ‘shall’ after first person pronouns (‘I’ and ‘we’) and ‘will’ after second and third person pronouns: you, he, she, they and it. Check the information on future tense (page 145) for further rules governing ‘will’ and ‘shall’.

Check the section on past participles (page 51) to see how they are formed. Also check the section on irregular verbs (page 154).

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148 All about grammar Future perfect continuous: function Functions

Example By the time of your planned visit, I shall have been living in London for three years. When they eventually take over, I trust the new owners know that some of us will have been working for this company since 1970.

Used to explain a predicted psychological or physical state

He will have been expecting a completed project, so he is sure to be angry when he arrives. Gino will have been driving for three hours, so I know he will be exhausted when he arrives.

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Used when making a logical deduction or guess

It’s 7.00 pm, so he will have been travelling for five hours already.

Future perfect continuous: formation

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Used to talk about the predicted length of an event viewed from a future time

To form the future perfect continuous tense, you add a present participle to ‘will’ + ‘have’ + ‘been’ + present participle; for example: I will have been working for three years when you finish your studies.

You often use the present continuous with ‘for’ or ‘since’ to say how long something has been going on. You use ‘for’ to mention the length of the period and ‘since’ to talk about the beginning of the period.

Contractions can be used in informal writing or speaking. For example: They’ll have been waiting for us for an hour. With most verbs you just need to add ‘–ing’ to the base verb to make a present participle.

The important spelling rules to follow are the same as outlined for present continuous.

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Did you hear about the lady snake charmer who was going to marry an undertaker? No, what did she do?

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She embroidered ‘Hiss’ and ‘Hearse’ on their new bath towels and pillowcases.

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Other future tenses You can use the simple present tense to talk about the future

Her exams finish this Friday. The circus starts on Monday night. The school concert is on Wednesday.

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You can use the verb ‘to be’ + ‘about’ to when you talk about an action that will happen in the immediate or near future

He looks like he’s about to scream. Doctor Jones can’t come to the phone; she’s about to operate operate.

You can use the verb ‘to be’ + ‘going to’ for plans that have been made and things that are certain to happen.

Those dark clouds suggest that it is going to rain. I’m going to knit a scarf with this wool.

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We are going to Mexico in December. Dad is expecting his bonus this month.

Other features of verbs Active and passive voice

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You can use the present continuous tense to talk about the future

Voice is the name given to a grammatical choice we can make in sentence structure: whether you want the subject of a sentence to be the ‘doer’ of the action in the sentence, or whether you prefer the subject of the sentence to be the receiver of the action. That is, do you want the verb to describe what the subject does, or do you want it to describe something that is done to the subject? When the subject performs the action described by the verb, the sentence is active. When the subject is the receiver of the action, the sentence is passive; for example:

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The truck hit the car. The truck is the subject of the sentence. It performs the action (it hit the car). This sentence is active, or in the active voice, because the subject is active; the subject does something.

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The car was hit by the truck. Here, the car is the subject of the sentence but it is now the receiver of the action (it was hit by the truck). Although this sentence contains the same information as the first sentence, the words have been rearranged. Now the subject of the sentence (the car) doesn’t perform the action, instead it receives the action. That is, it is acted upon (was hit); we can say that the verb (was hit) describes something that was done to the subject (the car). This sentence is in the passive voice because the subject of the sentence is passive.

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Some people say that you should always write in the active voice if possible, but that’s not always true.

I agree. It depends entirely on what you want to emphasise in the sentences you write. The passive voice can be more useful than the active voice in some situations.

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Uses of active and passive voice

The problem for me is deciding what those situations are.

Most teachers prefer students to use the active voice in their writing because it is a shorter and more direct way to express what you have to say. Active voice, they believe, results in a strong and effective writing style because it stresses the doer and the action. The active voice is less awkward, less wordy and it clearly states the relationship between the subject and the action; it tells us immediately who did what. You don’t have to search for the subject; for example:

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Smith marks the ball and passes it to Brown on the wing. (Active voice)

The ball is marked by Smith and passed to Brown on the wing. (Passive voice)

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Most of the time, when the subject of the sentence carries out the action, using the active voice is your best choice because it is more dynamic and straightforward.

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However, there are some situations which are awkward or inappropriate when expressed in the active voice, so a passive construction is more effective; for example: •

Passive voice is used when you need to emphasise the object being acted upon rather than the doer or the action. By moving that information to the end, you redistribute the emphasis in the sentence. (Penicillin was discovered by Fleming in 1928.)

The passive voice is used when writers of mystery novels do not want their readers to know which character performed an action or to stress the victim’s role. (The murder weapon was left at the scene. John has been severely beaten.)

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Passive voice is used when the agent (doer) is unknown. (Several robberies have occurred in the area this year.)

The passive voice is used—and sometimes regarded as compulsory—in scientific or technical writing or lab reports, where the actor is not really important but the process or principle being described is very important. (The solution is poured into a test tube and heated for three minutes.)

Passive voice is used when the agent (doer) of the action is unimportant (The pyramids were built thousands of years ago. Kangaroos can be observed near the lake at dusk.)

I’ll have to remember that. Next time I do anything wrong, I’ll use the passive voice to tell Mum about it!

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Passive voice is used in instruction manuals where the process is important and the doer (you) is understood. (The first coat of wax is applied after the stain has completely dried.)

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People often use the passive voice to avoid blame, or responsibility, for their actions. That is, it allows you to completely hide who does the action. (The new law was passed this morning. Your request has been denied. It is commonly thought that girls are better readers than boys.)

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Passive voice is used when the writer is describing a custom in which the artefact is more important than the person. (A shell necklace is worn by single women of the tribe.)

Passive voice is used when the agent is common knowledge, so it is not necessary to mention the doer’s role in the action. (Joseph Ratzinger was elected as Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.)

The passive voice allows you to be diplomatic or courteous. You can talk about some wrongful action without attaching blame, thus allowing the person who carried out the action to maintain his or her dignity. (I’m sorry to hear that your car has been smashed.)

The passive is used in a sentence to refer back to something mentioned in a previous sentence. (In the past, cloth was spun by hand. Today, cloth is made by machines.)

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Jack’s facts You can see that it is not always necessary or better to use the active voice. However, it is important to remember that you should not mix active and passive constructions in the same sentence. For example:

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It is wrong to write: The team won the match and the trophy was received.

It is correct to write: The team won the match and received the trophy.

Passive verb formation

To form the passive you combine a past participle of the main verb + a past or present form of the verb ‘to be’; for example: Many dialects are spoken in Italy. Latin was spoken in Italy.

Other helping verbs can also be present; for example: She could have been injured by that stick you threw.

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To decide which voice is used in a sentence, just ask, ‘Who is the doer of the action?’ If the doer comes before the verb, the sentence is in the active voice. If the receiver comes before the verb, the sentence is in the passive voice.

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The passive can be used in various tenses, as shown in the table below. Tense

Active form

Passive form

Letters are delivered by the post office to every house in the street.

Present continuous

Mum is preparing our dinner.

Our dinner is being prepared.

Present perfect

Someone has taken my book.

My book has been taken by someone.

m . u

The post office delivers letters to every house in the street.

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Simple present

Simple past

Jack posted the letter yesterday.

The letter was posted yesterday.

Past continuous

The principal was making an important announcement.

An important announcement was being made by the principal.

Past perfect

They had provided us with shelter.

We had been provided with shelter.

Future

The doctor will see you soon.

You will be seen by the doctor soon.

Future perfect

By February, we will have completed our studies.

By February, our studies will have been completed.

Modals

Jan can ride a bike. We should paint the house. I might have lost my ring at the zoo.

A bike can be ridden. The house should be painted. My ring might have been lost at the zoo.

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Singular and plural verbs A verb is either singular or plural. You can tell when to use a singular verb by looking at the subject of the sentence. If the subject is singular, the verb is also singular. If the subject is plural, then the verb must also be plural. The verb in a sentence must agree with its subject; for example:

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This ruler is mine. (singular subject, singular verb)

These pencils are mine .(plural subject, plural verb)

My dog barks at strangers. (singular subject, singular verb)

Teac he r

Joe’s dogs bark at strangers. (plural subject, plural verb)

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Most present tense singular verbs end in ‘–s’. However, a few do not follow the rule; the modals ‘can’, ‘must’, and ‘may’ do not have a singular form.

Past tense verbs (except for ‘was/were’) do not have singular and plural forms.

Regular and irregular verbs

Most verbs form their tenses in a regular way. That is, the form of the verb is predictable because it is established by a rule.

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Regular verbs

Jane laugh laughs at all my jokes.

She likes grammar.

Jack enjoy enjoys helping me.

He finds nd grammar easy.

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For spelling rules governing the addition of ‘–s’, see above.

m . u

The simple present tense is usually formed by adding ‘–s’. –s’. It is easy to –s’ decide when to use this form because the rules help you. You add ‘-s’ at the end of the verb: (a) when the subject is singular, and (b) when you use the pronouns ‘she’, ‘he’ or ‘it’ (third person singular); for example:

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Most simple past tense verbs end in ‘–ed’ or ‘–d’; for example:

The children walked, jumped, leaped, skipped, hopped ed and raced d around the pool before they dived d in.

These are called regular verbs because they follow the rules.

For spelling rules governing regular past tense verbs, see page 141.

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154 All about grammar Irregular verbs But what about verbs such as swam, rode, fought, fought won, knelt and ran? Verbs like these do not follow the rule, so they are called irregular verbs. Irregular verbs have special past tense forms and past participles that must be memorised.

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Here are some irregular past tense verbs that you may need to use. You could add additional entries to this list as you encounter different irregular verbs in your reading and writing. Past participle

Verb

Simple past

Past participle

awake

awoke

awakened

fight

fought

fought

beat

beat

beaten

flee

fled

become

became

become

fly

flew

begin

began

begun

forgive

forgave

bite

bit

bitten

freeze

froze

Teac he r

Simple past

blow

blew

blown

give

gave

break

broke

broken

go

went

bring

brought

brought

grow

grew

buy

bought

bought

light

lit

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Verb

fled

flown

forgiven frozen given gone

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lit or lighted

come

mow

mowed

mown

crept

crept

ride

rode

ridden

do

did

done

shine

shone

shone

draw

drew

drawn

sink

sank

sunk

drink

drank

drunk

take

took

taken

drive

drove

driven

tear

tore

eat

ate

eaten

swell

swelled

fall

fell

fallen

win

won

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came

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come

creep

torn

swollen won

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Some irregular verbs can cause problems. Two irregular verbs that are often confused are ‘lay’ and ‘lie’. It helps if you remember that ‘lay’ is a verb meaning to put or place something somewhere. ‘Lay’ takes a direct object, so it is a transitive verb; for example: •

Before every meal I lay the plates on the table.

Yesterday I laid the plates on the table.

I have laid the plates on the table many times.

I am laying the plates on the table right now.

Tomorrow I will lay the plates on the table.

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Waiter! There’s something wrong with these eggs.

r o e t s Bo r e p ok u S Well don’t blame me, Sir, I only laid the table.

Teac he r

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The previous sentences contain verb forms of ‘to lay’. In each sentence the direct object is ‘the table’. ‘Layed’ is a misspelling. The correct spelling is ‘laid’.

The verb ‘lie’ is a verb meaning ‘to recline’. It does not take an object. It is an intransitive verb; for example:

Every night I lie down.

I lay down last night.

I have lain down many times.

I am lying down right now.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• I will lie down later.

All these sentences contain verb forms of ‘to lie’. There is no direct object in any of the sentences.

I lay my clothes on the bed.

I place my clothes on the bed.

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Both of these sentences make sense, so the verb is ‘lay’.

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Every night I lay down.

Every night I place down.

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If you are unsure whether to use ‘lay’ or ‘lie’, try substituting a form of the verb ‘to place’. If it makes sense, use a form of ‘lay’; for example:

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The second sentence doesn’t make sense, so the verb ‘lay’ is incorrect. It should be ‘lie’.

Jack’s facts

The past tense form of the verb ‘hang’ is very tricky. If you want to talk about hanging a picture you say: I hung a picture on the wall. But if you are talking about what happened to a person you say: The criminal was hanged at noon.

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156 All about grammar

Phrasal or prepositional verbs A phrasal verb is a verb that is made up of a verb plus a preposition or adverb that gives the verb a special meaning; for example:

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We cleared away the dishes from the table and washed up the wine glasses.

The crowd moved on and the shouting died away.

The waitress handed round the drinks.

Teac he r •

The woodcutter cut down the tree. (Transitive)

I didn’t get away until noon. (Intransitive)

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Some phrasal verbs are transitive; they require an object, while others are intransitive (they cannot have an object); for example:

However, many phrasal verbs have more than one meaning, so they can be used as both a transitive or an intransitive verb; for example:

Luke took off his tie. Here the phrasal verb means ‘remove’, so the verb is transitive and needs an object (his tie).

The plane took off at noon. Here the verb means ‘to rise from the tarmac’, so there is no need for an object. The verb is intransitive.

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Phrasal verbs in transitive sentences

He tried hard to break in the wild horse.

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He tried hard to break the wild horse in.

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When a phrasal verb is used in a transitive sentence, the noun object is usually placed directly after the verb or at the end of the sentence. Sometimes, however, the noun object is placed within the phrasal verb; for example:

Pronoun objects are mostly placed at the end of the sentence, but some need to be placed immediately after the verb, especially if the verb contains words such as the prepositions in, out, out off, off on, up and down; for example:

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Dad is searching for them now.

He tried to fix it up up.

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Mood The word mood comes from Latin ‘modus’. It means ‘way’ or ‘manner’. Therefore, when we talk about the mood a verb conveys, we are talking about the way or manner the action is conveyed to us by the verb. That is, does it convey an order? Does it simply inform us of a fact? Or does it convey doubts, possibilities or wishes? There are three verb categories that tell us about mood. If the sentence makes a statement of fact, the verb category is the indicative or declarative mood; for example:

I speak English, but my friend speaks Indonesian.

My kitten is cute.

Stranded whales lined the beach.

If the sentence makes a command the verb category is the imperative mood; for example: –

Keep off the wet paint.

Company, halt!

Speak louder, I can’t hear you.

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If the sentence expresses a wish, or a doubt, or an intention, or a desire or a possibility, the verb category is the subjunctive mood. The subjunctive is a verb form used when you talk about situations that are impossible, imaginary, untrue, wishful, unreal, uncertain, improbable or hypothetical. The subjunctive verb form is most typically found in sentences that begin with ‘if’ if’ (see also conditionals, page 24). if

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m . u

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In modern English, the subjunctive is only found in subordinate clauses. It usually follows verbs that express doubts, wishes, regrets, requests, demands, or proposals. Verbs such as ask, demand, determine, insist, move, order, pray, prefer, recommend, regret, request, require, suggest, and wish are verbs that signal the subjunctive mood; for example: –

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If I insisted she would come too.

I wish I were a better skater.

If only she would be my friend, then I would invite her to my party.

The principal requests that all classes be assembled by 9.00 am.

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158 All about grammar Subjunctive mood: special features The most special feature of the subjunctive mood is the way the verb ‘to be’ is used. Singular subjects such as I, I he, she and it take the verb ‘were’, rather than the verb ‘was’; for example:

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If only Mr Tan were my teacher. (Subjunctive). Mr Tan is my teacher. (Declarative)

She yelled as if she were hurt. (Subjunctive) She yelled because she was hurt. (Declarative)

It moved as if it were wounded (Subjunctive). By the way it moved, it was wounded. (Declarative)

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I wish I were able to go too. (Subjunctive) I’m happy I was able to go too. (Declarative)

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Another special feature of the subjunctive mood is the lack of a third person singular when making suggestions and demands; for example:

I insist that his request be denied. (Subjunctive). His request is denied. (Declarative)

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• I suggest that she go to the library to study. (Subjunctive) She goes to the library to study. (Declarative)

I prefer that he let me do it myself. (Subjunctive) He lets me do it myself. (Declarative)

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Your waiter has brought me a plate of soup with a fly in it. I insist that he bring me another bowl immediately.

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I wouldn’t worry about the fly if I were you, Sir. The spider in your salad will soon get rid of it!

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Verb formation Affixes Verbs can be made from other parts of speech such as nouns and adjectives by adding a prefix or suffix.

Prefix

Verb

belittle

little (adjective)

away, from

defrost

frost (noun)

en-

make

entrust, enable, enforce

em-

(used with base words that begin with b or p)

empower, embody

Suffix

Meaning

Verb

-ate

verb marker

create, educate

creation (noun), education (noun)

-e

verb marker

bathe, breathe

bath (noun), breath (noun)

Teac he r de-

Base word and class

ew i ev Pr

Meaning

To cause to be or feel …

be-

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Affixes can change a word from one class into a word from another class; for example:

trust (noun), able (adjective), force (noun)

power (noun), body (noun)

Base word and class

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verb marker

fasten

-ify

verb marker

simplify

-ise

verb marker

fast (adjective)

simple (adjective)

The meaning of a verb can also be changed if a prefix or suffix is added to it. For example Affix

Meaning

New verb

navigate

circum-

around

circumnavigate

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Original verb

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operate, exist

co-

together

cooperate, coexist

agree, embody

dis-

not, apart

disagree, disembody

tell, cast

fore-

in advance

foretell, forecast

inter-

between, among

interchange, interact

mal-

badly

malfunction, maltreat

out-

exceed

outrun, outpace

manage, understand

mis-

badly

mismanage, misunderstand

select, suppose

pre-

before

preselect, presuppose

trans-

across

transmigrate, transact

do, button up

un-

reverse action, not

undo, unbutton

hold, draw

with-

against, from

withhold, withdraw

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change, act

function, treat run, pace

migrate, act

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Tenses Past tense is signalled in most verbs by adding ‘–ed’; for example: added, showed, played, lived, roamed, joined and waited. However, there are several irregular verbs that do not follow this pattern (see irregular verbs, page 154). Some important spelling rules apply when adding ‘–ed’ (see page 141).

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Present participles usually end in ‘–ing’; for example: swimming, playing, digging, skipping and laughing. Some important spelling rules apply when adding ‘–ing’ (see page 138).

Teac he r

Third person singular is signalled by adding ‘–s’ to the verb; for example: digs, hides, skips, laughs and throws. Some important spelling rules apply when adding ‘-s’ (see page 137).

Problems with verbs

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If a sentence has an indefinite pronoun, I’m not sure whether I should use a plural or singular form of a verb in my sentence.

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m . u

w ww

. te

It’s easy, Jenny! Always use a singular form of the verb with words like: everybody, everybody everybody, everybody somebody someone, nobody, somebody, nobody anyone and no-one.

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I know a story about indefinite pronouns! The story is about four people, named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. When ever there was an important job to be done, Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did. Somebody got angry about this, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realised that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done! www.ricgroup.com.au


All about grammar 161

Incorrect verb

Rule

Corrected sentence

A plural verb is used when ‘and’ joins two subjects.

Her mother and her father play tennis

Her mother as well as her father play tennis.

A singular verb is used when a singular subject is joined by: as well as, accompanied by, with or along with.

Her mother as well as her father plays tennis

The results of the exam is posted on the noticeboard.

The verb is not always next to the subject of the sentence. Remember that it must agree with the head noun in the sentence, even if there is a phrase or clause in between.

The results of the exam are posted on the noticeboard.

There is many fish in the sea. There has been several robberies in the area. There are a herd of cows grazing in the field. There is three reasons for my decision.

When a sentence begins with ‘There …’ the verb ‘to be’ that follows (usually ‘is’ or ‘are’) relates to the noun that follows (the head noun).

There are many fish in the sea. There have been several robberies in the area. There is a herd of cows grazing in the field. There are three reasons for my decision.

Neither of the men are experienced

Indefinite pronouns such as: everybody, everybody, somebody, someone, nobody, anyone, no one, either, neither, each, every and one are always singular.

Neither of the men is experienced. Nobody has offered to help. Is anyone going to help? Each of the boys wants to go.

A lot of the class are in the library.

The verb is determined by the noun that follows it when you use expressions of quantity such as: a lot of of, some of of, a half of or thirty percent of of.

A lot of the class is in the library. A lot of the girls are in the library

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Teac he r

Her mother and her father plays tennis.

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The number of road If the sentence commences with The number of road accidents have increased ‘The number of …’ the verb is accidents has increased each year. always singular. each year.

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A number of road accidents has occurred at this intersection.

If the sentence commences with ‘A number of …’ (meaning several), then the verb must be plural.

A number of road road accidents have occurred at this intersection.

See also Nouns: Plural and singular

During a grammar lesson about using pronouns, the teacher asked, ‘Who can give me a sentence that includes “I”?’ Jack was chosen to answer. Jack:

I is …

Teacher

Jack, you can’t follow ‘I’ with ‘is’. You must use ‘am’ or ‘was’.

Jack:

Oh, here’s my sentence! ‘I’ am the ninth letter of the alphabet!

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162 All about grammar See! I told you. Grammar is just like solving a puzzle. The more you explore it, the better you become at mastering it.

Before you go, I thought you might enjoy this. I found it on the Internet, but no-one seems to know who wrote it.

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Teac he r

I have to admit, it has been fun exploring grammar with friends.

Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

And do not start a sentence with a conjunction.

It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat)

Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.

Be more or less specific.

Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.

No sentence fragments.

Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.

Don’t use no double negatives.

Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

One-word sentences? Eliminate.

Eliminate commas, that are, not, always, necessary.

Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.

Kill all exclamation points!!!

Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.

Who needs rhetorical questions?

Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

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All about grammar 163

I hope you have enjoyed exploring grammar with Jenny, John and Jack. Rosemary Allen

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The 10 Superlatives of Life!

Good health is a man’s greatest fortune.

Not showing respect for one’s parents is a man’s worst crime. Arrogance is a man’s greatest failing.

Progress is a man at his most admirable. Forgiveness is a man’s best present. To bully people is a most despicable act. Gambling is a man’s worst mistake.

Despair is a man’s worst case of bankruptcy. Helping a person is a man’s greatest happiness. From a Chinese scroll translated by Ren Sheng Shi

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Teac he r

Taking drugs is a man’s greatest foolishness.

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Teac he r

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All About Grammar  

Covering a comprehensive range of grammar topics, All about grammar is a clear, easy-to-read guide that clearly explains any difficult gramm...

All About Grammar  

Covering a comprehensive range of grammar topics, All about grammar is a clear, easy-to-read guide that clearly explains any difficult gramm...