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PCURAR CORINA

ESSENTIALS

ONE
PARTS OF SPEECH

I. THE VERB
A verb is a word that expresses action or otherwise helps to make a
statement.
Verbs are divided into two main categories:
verbs of being or condition (helping verbs) (1.) and action verbs (2.)
Action verbs are the more common verbs, and they are easy to spot. Words
such as come, go and write are action verbs. Sometimes action verbs express
an action that cannot be seen: believe, remember, know, think and
understand.

The four basic forms of a verb are called the principal parts of a verb.
The four principal parts of a verb are:
The infinitive
The present participle
The past
The past participle
Examples:
I do my homework after supper. (short infinitive)
I am doing my homework now. (present participle)
I did my homework yesterday. (past)
I have done my homework. (past participle)

The way a verb forms its past tense determines its classification as regular
or irregular.
A verb that forms its past and past participle forms by adding d and
ed to the first principal part (infinitive) is a regular verb.
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Examples:
INFINITIVE
Use
Ask
Suppose

PRESENT
PARTICIPLE
Using
Asking
Supposing

PAST
Used
Asked
Supposed

PAST
PARTICIPLE
Used
Asked
Supposed

You will observe that the present participle of many regular verbs ending in
e drops the e before adding ing.

A verb that forms its past and past participle in some other way than a
regular verb is an irregular verb.
Irregular verbs form their past in past participle in various ways: by
changing the vowel, by changing consonants, by adding en, or by making
no change at all. For irregular verbs, the past tense ending and the past
participle ending is variable, so it is necessary to learn them by heart.
Examples:
INFINITIVE
Begin
Bring
Sit

PAST
Began
Brought
Sit

PAST PARTICIPLE
Begun
Brought
Sit

1. Helping Verbs (auxiliaries)


Helping verbs have no meaning on their own. They are necessary for the
grammatical structure of a sentence, but they do not tell us very much alone.
We usually use helping verbs with action verbs. They help the action
verb (which has the real meaning). There are only about 15 helping verbs in
English, and we divide them into two basic groups:

A. Primary helping verbs (3 verbs)


These are the verbs be, do, and have. Note that we can use these three verbs
as helping verbs or as action verbs.
be
do
have

B. Modal helping verbs (10 verbs)


We use modal helping verbs to modify the meaning of the main verb in
some way. A modal helping verb expresses necessity or possibility, and
changes the action verb in that sense. These are the modal verbs:
can, could
may, might
will, would,
shall, should
must
ought to

A.
THE VERB BE
to make continuous tenses (He is watching TV.)
to make the passive (Small fish are eaten by big fish.)
Present affirmative:
I am
You are
He, she, it is
We are
You are
They are

Im
Youre
Hes, Shes, Its
Were
Youre
Theyre

Present negative:
I am not
You are not
arent
He, she, it is not
We are not
You are not
arent
They are not
arent

Im not
Youre not

I ain`t
You

Hes, Shes, Its not


Were not
Youre not

He isnt
We arent
You

Theyre not

They

Present interrogative (Aff/Neg):


Am I (not)?
Are you (not)? / Arent you?
Is he (not)? / Isnt he?
Are we (not)? / Arent we?
Are you (not)? / Arent you?
Are they (not)? / Arent they?

Past affirmative:
I was
You were
He, she, it was
We were
You were
They were

Past negative:
I was not
You were not
He, she, it was not
We were not
You were not
They were not

I wasnt
You werent
He, she , it wasnt
We werent
You werent
They werent

Past interrogative:
Was I (not)? / Wasnt I?
Were you (not)? / Werent you?
Was he (not)? / Wasnt he?
Were we/ you/ they (not)? / Werent we/ you/ they?
Present participle: being
Past participle: been

It can also be used to denote existence.(there is, there are)


Example:
There is a book on the table.
As a full verb followed by an adjective:
Examples:
I am happy.
Peter is hungry.
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THE VERB DO
to make negatives (I do not like you.)
to ask questions (Do you want some coffee?)
to show emphasis (I do want you to pass your exam.)
to stand for a main verb in some constructions (He speaks faster than
she does.)

Present affirmative:
I/you/we/they do
He, she, it does

Present negative:
I/you/we/they do not/ dont
He, she, it does not/ doesnt

Present interrogative:
Do/ Dont I/ you/ we/ they?
Does/ Doesnt he, she, it?

Past affirmative:
I/ you/ he/ we/ you/ they did
Past negative:
I/ you/ he/ we/ you/ they did not/ didnt

Past interrogative (Aff/Neg):


Did/ Didnt I/ you/ he/ we/ you/ they?
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Present participle: doing


Past participle: done
The verb DO is used as an auxiliary to form questions and negative
statements in the present simple and past simple. It is never used in whquestions, or yes- no questions.
Examples:
Does he drink coffee?
He didnt drink any coffee.
What happened?
He wrote that? (Yes/No)

THE VERB HAVE


to make perfect tenses (I have finished my homework.)

Present affirmative:
I/ you/ we/ they have
He, she, it has

Present negative:
I/ you/ we/ they have not/ havent
He, she, it has not/ hasnt

Present interrogative:
Have/ Havent I/ you/ we/ they?
Has/ Hasnt he, she, it?

Past affirmative:
I/ you/ he, she, it/ we/ you/ they had

Past negative:
I/ you/ he, she, it/ we/ you/ they had not/ hadnt

Past interrogative:
Had/ Hadnt I/ you/ he, she, it/ we/ they?

Present participle: having


Past participle: had
As a full verb with the meaning to posses (have got).
Example:
You have a new car.
Note:
Have a look = look
Have a swim = swim
Have dreams = dream
I must have my hair cut. (Trebuie sa merg la tuns.)
He had his car repaired. (El si-a dat masina la reparat.)

B.
What are Modal Verbs?
Modal verbs are special verbs which behave very differently from normal
verbs. Here are some important differences:
Modal verbs do not have to in the infinitive:
can, may, should, etc.
When we need to use this, the modal substitutes are used instead of the
modals.
Do not have all tense forms.
For the missing tense forms, substitutes are used:
To be able to (for can)
To be allowed to, be permitted to (for may)
To have to (for must)
To want to (for will), etc
Modals are followed by a short infinitive:
Mary can swim.
They form the negative by simply adding the negation not:
You cannot accept such an offer.
Modals form the interrogative by inversion:
May I come in?
Do not get -s in the third person singular indicative present:
Tom must be back before five o'clock.

Can
Can is one of the most commonly used modal verbs in English. It can be
used to express ability or opportunity, to request or offer permission, and to
show possibility or impossibility.
Examples:
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I can ride a horse. ABILITY


We can stay with my brother when we are in Bucharest. OPPORTUNITY
She cannot stay out after 11. PM. PERMISSION
Can you hand me the salt? REQUEST
Any child can grow up to be president. POSSIBILITY

Using Can in Present, Past, and Future


Modal Use

Positive Forms
1. = Present 2. =
Past 3. = Future

Negative Forms
1. = Present 2. =
Past 3. = Future

You can also use:

can

1. I can speak
German.
2. SHIFT TO
COULD
I could speak
German when I
was a kid.
3. SHIFT TO
BE ABLE TO
I will be able to
speak German by
the time I finish
my course.

1. I cant speak
German.
2. SHIFT TO
COULD
I couldnt speak
German.
3. SHIFT TO BE
ABLE TO
I wont be able to
speak German.

be able to

1. I have some
free time. I can
help you now.
2. SHIFT TO
BE ABLE TO
I had some free
time yesterday. I
was able to help
you at that time.
3. Ill have some
free time
tomorrow. I can
help you then.

1. I dont have
any time. I cant
help you now.
2. SHIFT TO BE
ABLE TO
I didnt have time
yesterday. I
wasn't able to
help you at that
time.
3. I wont have
any time later. I
can't help you
then.

be able to

GENERAL
ABILITY

can
OPPORTUNITY

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can
PERMISSION

can
REQUEST

can
POSSIBILITY,
IMPOSSIBILITY

1. I can drive
mom's car when
she is out of
town.
2. SHIFT TO
BE ALLOWED
TO
I was allowed to
drive moms car
while she was out
of town last
week.
3. I can drive
moms car while
she is out of town
next week.

1. I cant drive
mom's car when
she is out of town.
2. SHIFT TO BE
ALLOWED TO
I wasnt allowed
to drive mom's
car while she was
out of town last
week.
3. I cant drive
moms car while
she is out of town
next week.

may

Can I have a glass


of milk?
Can you give me
a lift to the
airport?

Cant I have a
glass of milk?
Cant you give
me a lift to the
airport?

could, may

Anyone can
become rich and
famous if they
know the right
people.

It cant cost more


than a dollar or
two.
You cant be 30! I
thought you were
about 18 years
old.

could

Learning a
language can be a
real challenge.

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Could
Could is used to express possibility or past ability as well as to make
suggestions and requests. Could is also commonly used in conditional
sentences as the conditional form of can.
Examples:
Extreme rain could cause the river to flood the city. POSSIBILITY
She could swim like a pro by the age of 11. PAST ABILITY
Tom could see a movie or go out to dinner. SUGGESTION
Could I use your computer to email my boy friend? REQUEST
We could go on the trip if I didn't have to work this weekend.
CONDITIONAL

Using Could in Present, Past, and Future


Modal Use

Positive Forms
1. = Present 2. =
Past 3. = Future

Negative Forms
1. = Present 2. = Past
3. = Future

You can
also use:

could

1. John could be the


one who stole the
money.
2. John could have
been the one who
stole the money.
3. John could go to
jail for stealing the
money.

1. Mary couldnt be the


one who stole the
money.
2. Mary couldnt have
been the one who stole
the money.
3. Mary couldnt
possibly go to jail for
the crime.

might,
may

1. NO PRESENT
FORM
2. You could have
spent your vacation
in Hawaii.
3. You could spend
your vacation in
Italy.

NO NEGATIVE
FORMS

POSSIBILITY

could
SUGGESTION

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could
PAST ABILITY

could
POLITE
REQUEST

I could run ten miles


in my twenties.
I could speak
German when I was
a kid.

I couldnt run more


than a mile in my
twenties.
I couldnt speak
German.

be able
to

Could I have
something to drink?
Could I borrow your
pen?

Couldnt he come with


us?
Couldnt you help me
with this for just a
second?

can,
may,
might

REMEMBER: Could not vs. Might not


Could not suggests that it is impossible for something to happen. Might not
suggests you do not know if something happens.
Examples:
Jack might not have the key. MAYBE HE DOES NOT HAVE THE KEY.
Jack could not have the key. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE THAT HE HAS THE KEY.

May
May is most commonly used to express possibility. It can also be used to
give or request permission, although this usage is becoming less common.
Examples:
Clare may be at home, or perhaps at work. POSSIBILITY
Johnny, you may leave the table when you have finished your dinner.
GIVE PERMISSION

May I use your bathroom? REQUEST PERMISSION


Using May in Present, Past, and Future

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Modal Use

Positive Forms
1. = Present 2. = Past
3. = Future

Negative Forms
1. = Present 2. = Past
3. = Future

You
can
also
use:

may

1. Jack may be upset. I


cant really tell if he is
annoyed or tired.
2. Jack may have been
upset. I couldnt really
tell if he was annoyed
or tired.
3. Jack may get upset if
you dont tell him the
truth.

1. Jack may not be


upset. Perhaps he is
tired.
2. Jack may not have
been upset. Perhaps he
was tired.
3. Jack may not get
upset, even if you tell
him the truth

might

1. You may leave the


table now that you're
finished with your
dinner.
2. SHIFT TO BE
ALLOWED TO
You were allowed to
leave the table after
you finished your
dinner.
3. You may leave the
table when you finish
your dinner.

1. You may not leave


the table. Youre not
finished with your
dinner yet.
2. SHIFT TO BE
ALLOWED TO
You were not allowed to
leave the table because
you hadnt finished your
dinner.
3. You may not leave
the table until you are
finished with your
dinner.

can

May I borrow your


pen?
May I make a phone
call?

NO NEGATIVE
FORMS

can,
might

POSSIBILITY

may
GIVE
PERMISSION

may
REQUEST
PERMISSION

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Might
Might is most commonly used to express possibility. It is also often used in
conditional sentences. English speakers can also use might to make
suggestions or requests, although this is less common in American English.
Examples:
Your purse might be in the car. POSSIBILITY
If I didn't have to study, I might go with you. CONDITIONAL
You might visit the botanical gardens during your visit. SUGGESTION
Might I borrow your pen? REQUEST

Using Might in Present, Past, and Future


Modal Use

Positive Forms
1. = Present 2. = Past
3. = Future

Negative Forms
1. = Present 2. =
Past 3. = Future

You
can
also
use:

might

1. She might be on the


bus. I think her car is
having problems.
2. She might have taken
the bus. Im not sure
how she got to work.
3. She might take the
bus to get home. I dont
think Tom will be able
to give her a ride.

1. She might not be


on the bus. She might
be walking home.
2. She might not have
taken the bus. She
might have walked
home.
3. She might not take
the bus. She might
get a ride from Tom.

could,
may

1. If I entered the
contest, I might actually
win.
2. If I had entered the
contest, I might actually
have won.

1. Even if I entered
the contest, I might
not win.
2. Even if I had
entered the contest, I
might not have won.

POSSIBILITY

might
CONDITIONAL
OF MAY

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might
SUGGESTION

might
REQUEST

(British form)

3. If I entered the
contest tomorrow, I
might actually win.
Unfortunately, I cant
enter it.

3. Even if I entered
the contest tomorrow,
I might not win.

1. NO PRESENT
FORM
2. You might have tried
the apple pie.
3. You might try the
apple pie.

1. NO PRESENT
FORM
2. PAST FORM
UNCOMMON
3. You might not
want to eat the apple
pie. Its very
calorific.

could

Might I have something


to drink?
Might I borrow your
car?

NEGATIVE
FORMS
UNCOMMON

could,
may,
can

REMEMBER: Might not vs. Could not


Might not suggests you do not know if something happens. Could not
suggests that it is impossible for something to happen.
Examples:
Jack might not have the key. MAYBE HE DOES NOT HAVE THE KEY.
Jack could not have the key. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE THAT HE HAS THE KEY.

Must
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Must is most commonly used to express certainty. It can also be used to


express necessity or strong recommendation, although native speakers prefer
the more flexible form have to. Must not can be used to prohibit actions, but
this sounds very severe; speakers prefer to use softer modal verbs such as
should not or ought not to dissuade rather than prohibit.

Examples:
This must be the right address! CERTAINTY
Students must pass an entrance examination to study at this school.
NECESSITY

You must take some medicine for that cough. STRONG


RECOMMENDATION

Children, you must not play in the street! PROHIBITION

Using Must in Present, Past, and Future


Modal Use

Positive Forms
1. = Present 2. =
Past 3. = Future

Negative Forms
1. = Present 2. =
Past 3. = Future

You
can
also
use:

must

1. That must be
Tom. They said he
was tall with dark
hair.
2. That must have
been the right
restaurant. There
are no other
restaurants on this
street.
3. NO FUTURE
FORM

1. That must not be


Tom. He is supposed
to have dark hair.
2. That must not
have been the right
restaurant. I guess
there is another one
around here
somewhere.
3. NO FUTURE
FORM

have to

CERTAINTY

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must not

You must not swim


in that river. The
water is polluted.
You must not feed
the animals in the
zoo.

PROHIBITION

must
STRONG
RECOMMENDATION

(Americans
prefer
the form
should.)

must
NECESSITY

(Americans
prefer
the form
"have to.")

1. You must take


some time off and
get some rest.
2. SHIFT TO
SHOULD
You should have
taken some time off
last week to get
some rest.
3. SHIFT TO
SHOULD
You should take
some time off next
week to get some
rest.

1. You mustnt
smoke so much. It's
not good for your
health.
2. SHIFT TO
SHOULD
You shouldn't have
smoked so much.
3. SHIFT TO
SHOULD
You shouldnt
smoke in front of
your father when he
arrives tomorrow, he
thinks you quit.

should

1. You must have a


permit to enter the
library.
2. SHIFT TO
"HAVE TO"
We had to have a
permit to enter the
library.
3. We must get a
permit to enter the
library next week.

1. SHIFT TO
"HAVE TO"
We dont have to get
a permit to enter the
library.
2. SHIFT TO
"HAVE TO"
We didnt have to
get a permit to enter
the library.
3. SHIFT TO
"HAVE TO"
We wont have to
get a permit to enter
the library.

have to

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REMEMBER: Must not vs. Do not have to


Must not suggests that you are prohibited from doing something. Do not
have to suggests that someone is not required to do something.
Examples:
You must not eat that. IT IS FORBIDDEN, IT IS NOT ALLOWED.
You dont have to eat that. YOU CAN IF YOU WANT TO, BUT IT IS NOT
NECESSARY.

Have To
Have to is used to express certainty, necessity, and obligation.
Examples:
This answer has to be correct. CERTAINTY
The soup has to be stirred continuously to prevent burning. NECESSITY
They have to leave early. OBLIGATION
Using Have to in Present, Past, and Future
Use

Positive Forms
1. = Present 2. = Past
3. = Future

Negative Forms
1. = Present 2. = Past 3.
= Future

You
can
also
use:

have to

1. That has to be Tom.


They said he was tall
with dark hair.
2. That has to have
been the right
restaurant. There were
no other restaurants on
the street.
3. NONE

1. SHIFT TO MUST
That must not be Tom.
They said he has blond
hair, not dark hair.
2. SHIFT TO MUST
That must not have been
the right restaurant. I
guess there was another
one around there
somewhere.
3. NONE

must,
have
got to

CERTAINTY

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have to
NECESSITY

1. She has to read four


books for this literature
class.
2. She had to finish the
first book before the
midterm.
3. She will have to
finish the other books
before the final exam.

1. She doesnt have to


read "Jane Eyre". Its
optional reading for extra
credit.
2. She didnt have to write
a critique of "Lord Jim".
She had to give a
presentation to her class.
3. She wont have to take
any other literature
classes.

must

REMEMBER: Do not have to vs. Must not


Do not have to suggests that someone is not required to do something. Must
not suggests that you are prohibited from doing something.
Examples:
You must not do that. IT IS FORBIDDEN, IT IS NOT ALLOWED.
You dont have to do that. YOU CAN IF YOU WANT TO, BUT IT IS NOT NECESSARY.

Ought To
Ought to is used to advise or make recommendations. Ought to also
expresses assumption or expectation as well as strong probability, often with
the idea that something is deserved. Ought not (without to) is used to advise
against doing something, although Americans prefer the less formal forms
should not or had better not.
Examples:
You ought to stop smoking. RECOMMENDATION
Jim ought to get the promotion. IT IS EXPECTED BECAUSE HE DESERVES
IT.
This stock ought to increase in value. PROBABILITY
Mark ought not drink so much. ADVICE AGAINST SOMETHING (NOTICE
THERE IS NO "TO")

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Note: Ought not


Remember that ought to loses the to in the negative. Instead of ought not to,
we say ought not.
Examples:
You ought not smoke so much.
She ought not take such risks while skating.
They ought not carry so much cash while traveling.

Shall
Shall is used to indicate future action. It is most commonly used in sentences
with I or we, and is often found in suggestions, such as Shall we go? Shall is
also frequently used in promises or voluntary actions. In formal English, the
use of shall to describe future events often expresses inevitability or
predestination. Shall is much more commonly heard in British English than
in American English; Americans prefer to use other forms, although they do
sometimes use shall in suggestions or formalized language.
Examples:
Shall I help you? SUGGESTION
I shall never forget where I came from. PROMISE
He shall become our next king. PREDESTINATION
I'm afraid Mr. Smith shall become our new director. INEVITABILITY
More Examples of Shall
Modal Use

Positive Forms

Negative Forms

You
can
also
use:

shall

I shall be replaced by
someone from
abroad.
I shall be there by
10:00.

I shall not be replaced


after all.
I shall not be there. I
have a previous
obligation.

will

FUTURE ACTION

(British form)

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Shall we begin work?


Shall we move into
the living room?

shall
VOLUNTEERING,
PROMISING

(British form)

shall
INEVITABILITY

(British form)

should

I shall take care of


everything for you.
My son shall have a
car for his birthday.

I shall never forget


what
you have done for me.
I shall never give up
the fight for a better
life.

Man shall explore the


distant regions of the
universe.
We shall overcome
oppression.

Man shall never give


up the exploration of
the universe.
He shall not be held
back.

will

Should
Should is most commonly used to make recommendations or give advice. It
can also be used to express obligation as well as expectation.
Examples:
When you go to Rome, you should visit the Vatican.
RECOMMENDATION

You should focus more on school and less on your friends. ADVICE
I really should be in the office by 7:00 AM. OBLIGATION
Tom should be here by now. EXPECTATION

23

Using Should in Present, Past, and Future


Modal Use

Positive Forms
1. = Present 2. =
Past 3. = Future

Negative Forms
1. = Present 2. =
Past 3. = Future

You can
also use:

should

1. Children should eat


more fruit.
2. John should have
eaten more fruit, he
might have been
slimmer.
3. You really should
start eating fruit.

1. Sarah shouldnt
drink so much. It's
not good for her
health.
2. Sarah shouldnt
have drunk so
much. That's what
caused the car
accident.
3. Sarah shouldnt
drink at the party
next week; one
might think she is
an alcoholic.

ought to

I should be in bed
before 9:00.
We should return the
books before the
library closes.

NO NEGATIVE
FORMS

be
supposed
to

1. Tom should be in
Bucharest by now.
2. Tom should have
arrived in Bucharest
last week.
3. Tom should be in
Bucharest by next
week. His new job
starts on Monday.

1. Tom shouldnt
be in Bucharest
yet.
2. Tom shouldnt
have arrived in
Bucharest until
yesterday.
3. Tom shouldnt
arrive in Bucharest
until next week.

ought to,
be
supposed
to

RECOMMENDAT
ION,
ADVISABILITY

should
OBLIGATION

should
EXPECTATION

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Will
Will is used with promises or voluntary actions that take place in the future.
Will can also be used to make predictions about the future.
Examples:
I promise that I will write you every single day. PROMISE
I will make dinner tonight. VOLUNTARY ACTION
He thinks it will rain tomorrow. PREDICTION
More Examples of Will
Modal Use

Positive Forms

Negative Forms

You
can
also
use:

will

The school principle will


be replaced by someone
more experienced.
Fred will be there by
8:00.

The school
principle will not
be replaced after
all.
Fred will not be
there. He has a
previous
obligation.

shall

I will take care of


everything for you.
I will make all the
necessary arrangements.
There's no need to worry.

I will never forget


what you have
done for me.
I will never give
up the fight for a
better life.

shall

FUTURE
ACTION,
PREDICTION

will
VOLUNTEERING,
PROMISING

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Would
Would is most commonly used to create conditional verb forms. It also
serves as the past form of the modal verb will. Additionally, would can
indicate repetition in the past.
Examples:
If he were an actor, he would be in adventure movies. CONDITIONAL
I knew that she would be a very successful model. PAST OF WILL
When they had a dog, they would always take him for long walks.
REPETITION

Using Would in Present, Past, and Future


Modal Use

Positive Forms
1. = Present 2. =
Past 3. = Future

Negative Forms
1. = Present 2. =
Past 3. = Future

would

I knew that they would


be late.
He told me he would
be here before 8:00.

I knew they wouldnt


be late.
He told me he would
not be here before 8:00.

When I was a child, I


would always go to the
beach.
When he was young, he
would always listen to
his parents.

When I was a kid, I


wouldnt go swimming
by myself.
When he got older, he
would never listen to
his parents.

PAST OF
"WILL"

would
REPETITION
IN PAST

26

You
can
also
use:

used
to

2. ACTION VERBS
Action verbs are the more common verbs, and they are easy to spot. Words
such as come, go and write are action verbs. Sometimes action verbs express
an action that cannot be seen: believe, remember, know, think and
understand.
VERB TENSES- allow us to talk about time, to place an action or state of
being in the past, present or future. They also allow us to talk about
intention, what would, could or should be done.

Simple Present
FORM
AFFIRMATIVE
Short infinitive + s/ es in third person
Verbs ending in -o add es:
to go => goes
to do => does
Verbs ending in -y (if preceded by a consonant) change the y into i
before adding the ending es :
to try => tries
Verbs ending in -y (if preceded by a vowel) simply add the ending s:
to stay=> stays
Verbs ending in x, s, ss, z, zz, sh, ch add 'es' to the infinitive in
the third person singular:
to wash => washes
NEGATIVE:
The negative form of the present simple is formed with the help of the verb
to do which is found in the short infinitive in all persons except the third
person singular, and the negation not:
do (does III) + not + short infinitive

27

INTERROGATIVE:
The interrogative form of the present simple is formed according to the
following pattern: do (does III) + subject + short infinitive:
Examples:
You speak English.
Do you speak English?
You do not speak English.

USE 1 Repeated Actions


Use the Simple Present to express the idea that an action is repeated or
usual. The action can be a habit, a hobby, a daily event, a scheduled event or
something that often happens. It can also be something a person often forgets
or usually does not do.
Examples:
I play tennis.
She does not play tennis.
Does he play tennis?
The train leaves every morning at 8 AM.
The train does not leave at 9 AM.
When does the train usually leave?
She always forgets her purse.
He never forgets his wallet.
Every twelve months, the Earth circles the Sun.
Does the Sun circle the Earth?

USE 2 Facts or Generalizations


The Simple Present can also indicate the speaker believes that a fact was
true before, is true now, and will be true in the future. It is not important if
the speaker is correct about the fact. It is also used to make generalizations
about people or things.
Examples:

28

Babies like milk.


Spiders do not like milk.
Do cats like milk?
Florida is in America.
Windows are made of glass.
Windows are not made of stone.
New York is a small city. IT IS NOT IMPORTANT THAT THIS FACT IS
UNTRUE.

USE 3 Scheduled Events in the Near Future


Speakers occasionally use Simple Present to talk about scheduled events in
the near future. This is most commonly done when talking about public
transportation, but it can be used with other scheduled events as well.
Examples:
The plane leaves tonight at 6 PM.
The train does not arrive at 11 AM, it arrives at 11 PM
The party starts at 8 oclock.

Present Continuous
FORM
AFFIRMATIVE
(am / is / are + present participle)
the present of the verb to be + verb + -ing
Verbs ending in a consonant preceded by short stressed vowel double the
consonant before adding the ending. One-syllable verbs always double the
end consonant:
to sit => sitting
Two (or more)-syllable verbs double the end consonant only if the final
syllable is stressed:
to begin => beginning

29

but
to differ => differing, to refer => referring
Verbs ending in silent '-e' drop the '-e' before adding the ending '-ing':
to make => making
Verbs ending in -y keep the 'y' when -ing is added:
to try => trying
Verbs ending in -ie change the ending into -y when -ing is added:
to lie => lying
Verbs ending in -ic change ic into -ick before adding the ending -ing:
to picnic => picnicking
NEGATIVE:
the present of the verb to be + NOT + short infinitive + -ing
INTERROGATIVE:
the present of the verb to b'+ SUBJECT + short infinitive + -ing:
Examples:
You are watching TV.
Are you watching TV?
You are not watching TV.

USE 1 Now
Use the Present Continuous with Normal Verbs to express the idea that
something is happening now, at this very moment. It can also be used to
show that something is not happening now.
Examples:
You are learning English now.
You are not swimming now.
Are you sleeping?
I am sitting.
I am not standing.
Is he sitting or standing?

30

They are reading their books.


They are not watching television.
What are you doing?
Why aren't you doing your homework?

USE 2 Longer Actions in Progress Now


In English, now can mean: this second, today, this month, this year, this
century, and so on. Sometimes, we use the Present Continuous to say that we
are in the process of doing a longer action which is in progress; however, we
might not be doing it at this exact second
To express repeated action over a limited period of time.
Examples:
I am studying to become a doctor.
I'm taking swimming lessons this summer.
Tom is walking to school until his car is repaired.
I am not studying to become a dentist.
I am reading the book Tom Sawyer.
I am not reading any books right now.
Are you working on any special projects at work?
Arent you teaching at the university now?
USE 3 Near Future
Sometimes, speakers use the Present Continuous to indicate that something
will or will not happen in the near future.
Examples:
I am meeting Tom after dinner.
I am not going to the party tonight.
Is he visiting his mother next weekend?
Isn't Susan coming with us tonight?
USE 4 Repetition and Irritation with Always
The Present Continuous with words such as always or constantly expresses
the idea that something irritating or shocking often happens. Notice that the

31

meaning is like Simple Present, but with negative emotion. Remember to put
the words always or constantly between be and verb + ing.
Examples:
She is always coming home late.
He is constantly talking. I wish he would stop.
I don't like them because they are always complaining.

Simple Past
FORM
AFFIRMATIVE:
Short infinitive + ed or irregular verbs
The regular verbs form the past by adding the ending -ed to the short
infinitive:
to happen => happened
Verbs ending in a consonant preceded by a short vowel double the
consonant:
to stop => stopped
Verbs ending in '-y' preceded by a consonant change the y into i:
to try => tried
Verbs ending in silent -e drop the e before the ending -ed is added:
to live = lived
The negative and interrogative are formed with the help of the past tense
form of to do (did) both for regular and irregular verbs.
! ! BE CAREFUL, DO NOT PLACE AFTER DID THE
AFFIRMATIVE PAST FORM INSTEAD OF THE SHORT
INFINITIVE.
NEGATIVE:
did + not + short infinitive of verb
.
32

INTERROGATIVE:
did + subject + short infinitive of verb
Examples:
You called Susan.
Did you call Susan? ( Did you called Susan?-not correct)
You did not call Susan. (You did not called Susan.-not correct)

USE 1 Completed Action in the Past


Use the Simple Past to express the idea that an action started and finished at
a specific time in the past. Sometimes, the speaker may not actually mention
the specific time, but they do have one specific time in mind.
Past time expressions used with the simple past tense :
last week (year), yesterday, the day before yesterday,
two years (days, weeks, months, etc.) ago, in 1993,etc.
a long time ago, once upon a time, some time ago...
Examples:
I saw a movie yesterday.
I didnt see a play yesterday.
Last year, I traveled to Italy
Last year, I didnt travel to Italy.
Did you have dinner last night?
She washed her car last week.
He didnt wash his car.

USE 2 A Series of Completed Actions


We use the Simple Past to list a series of completed actions in the past.
These actions happen 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on.
Examples:
I finished breakfast, walked to the lake, and found a nice place to
swim.
He arrived from the airport at 8:00, checked into the hotel at 9:00,
and met the others at 10:00.
I got dressed, took the umbrella, locked the door and went to school.
33

Used To
FORM
used to + short infinitive
USE Habit in the Past
Used to expresses the idea that something was an old habit that stopped in
the past. It indicates that something was often repeated in the past, but it is
not usually done now. (also see modals/would)
Examples:
Mom and dad used to go to Italy in the summer.
I used to have breakfast at 9 oclock.
My sister used to eat meat, but now she is a vegetarian.

Past Continuous
FORM
AFFIRMATIVE
was/were + present participle
(past of the verb to be + the short infinitive + -ing)

NEGATIVE:
past of the verb to be+ NOT+ the short infinitive +-ing
INTERROGATIVE:
past of the verb to be+ SUBJECT+ the short infinitive + ing
Examples:
You were writing when I called.
Were you writing when I called?
You were not writing when I called.
USE 1 Interrupted Action in the Past
Use the Past Continuous to indicate that a longer action in the past was
interrupted. The interruption is usually a shorter action in the Simple Past.
Remember this can be a real interruption or just an interruption in time.
34

Examples:
I was watching TV when mother called.
While we were having dinner, the lights went off.
What were you doing when the earthquake started?
I was listening music, so I didn't hear the bell.
You were not listening to me when I told you to turn the oven off.
While father was sleeping last night, someone broke into his house.
USE 2 Specific Time as an Interruption
In USE 1, described above, the Past Continuous is interrupted by a shorter
action in the Simple Past. However, you can also use a specific time as an
interruption.
Examples:
Last night at 6 PM, I was watching TV.
At midnight, we were still driving through the desert.
Yesterday at this time, I was writing a letter.

Present Perfect
FORM
AFFIRMATIVE
has/have + past participle
(present simple of the verb to have + past participle (III form of the
verb)

NEGATIVE:
present simple of the verb to have+ NOT + past participle (III form of
the verb)

INTERROGATIVE:
present simple of the verb to have+ SUBJECT + past participle (III
form of the verb)

35

Examples:
You have seen that movie many times.
Have you seen that movie many times?
You have not seen that movie many times.

USE 1 Unspecified Time Before Now


We use the Present Perfect to say that an action happened at an unspecified
time before now, in combination with adverbials of frequency (often,
sometimes, rarely, etc.) or adverbials that indicate unfinished periods of
time (today, this week, this month, this year). The exact time is not
important.
Examples:
I have seen that movie twenty times.
I think I have met Susan before.
People have traveled to the Moon.
People have not traveled to Mars.
Have you read my letter yet?

How Do You Actually Use the Present Perfect?


The concept of unspecified time can be very confusing. It is best to associate
Present Perfect with the following topics:
a. Experience
You can use the Present Perfect to describe your experience. It is like saying,
I have the experience of... You can also use this tense to say that you have
never had a certain experience. The Present Perfect is NOT used to describe
a specific event.
Examples:
I have been to Italy.
The number of occurrence is not specified - it may be one or more
than one:
I have been to Italy three times.
The time of the occurrence is also left unspecified.

36

I have never been to Italy.


I think I have seen that play before.
He has never traveled by bus.
A: Have you ever met Susan?
B: No, I have not met her.

b. Change over Time


We often use the Present Perfect to talk about change that has happened over
a period of time, in combination with a definite or indefinite time adverbial
modified by a resultative preposition (for/since):
Examples:
You have grown since the last time I saw you.
English has become one of the most popular courses at the university
since the new teacher arrived.
My English has really improved since I moved to London.

c. Accomplishments
We often use the Present Perfect to list the accomplishments of individuals
and humanity. You cannot mention a specific time.
Examples:
Man has walked on the Moon.
Mary has learned how to read and write French.
Doctors have cured many deadly diseases.
Scientists have discovered a new planet.

d. An Uncompleted Action You Are Expecting


We often use the Present Perfect to say that an action which we expected has
not happened. Using the Present Perfect suggests that we are still waiting for
the action to happen.
Examples:
The student has not finished his homework yet.
Mary hasnt mastered Japanese, but she can communicate.
The taxi has still not arrived.
Tom hasnt stopped smoking.

37

Present Perfect Continuous


FORM
AFFIRMATIVE
has/have + been + present participle (verb + -ing)
NEGATIVE
has/have +NOT+ been + present participle (verb + ing)
INTERROGATIVE
has/have +SUBJECT+ been + present participle (verb + ing)
Examples:
You have been writing for two hours.
Have you been writing for two hours?
You have not been writing for two hours.

USE 1 Duration from the Past Until Now


We use the Present Perfect Continuous to show that something started in the
past and has continued up until now.
Examples:
I have been sitting here for the last hour.
She has been working at that company since her graduation.
What have you been doing for the last 30 minutes?
Susan has been teaching at the university since May.
We have been waiting here for over two hours!
USE 2 Recently, Lately
You can also use the Present Perfect Continuous WITHOUT a duration, and
the tense has a more general meaning of lately. We often use the words
lately or recently to emphasize this meaning.
Examples:
She has been watching too much television lately.
Have you been exercising lately?
Mary has been feeling a little depressed.
38

Lisa has not been practicing her English.


What have you been doing?

Past Perfect
FORM
AFFIRMATIVE
had + past participle
NEGATIVE:
had + NOT + past participle
INTERROGATIVE:
had + SUBJECT + past participle
Examples:
You had studied Romanian before you moved to Bucharest.
Had you studied Romanian before you moved to Bucharest?
You had not studied Romanian before you moved to Bucharest.

USE 1 Completed Action Before Something in the Past


The Past Perfect expresses the idea that something occurred before another
action in the past. It can also show that something happened before a
specific time in the past.
Examples:
I had never seen such a beautiful beach before I went to Florida.
I did not have any money because I had lost my wallet.
Had Susan ever studied Japanese before she moved to Japan?
She only understood the movie because she had read the book.
When I got to the theatre the play had already begun.
We were not able to get a hotel room because we had not booked in
advance.

39

Past Perfect Continuous


FORM
AFFIRMATIVE
had been + present participle (verb + -ing)

NEGATIVE:
had + NOT + been+ verb + '-ing'

INTERROGATIVE:
had +SUBJECT+ been+ verb + '-ing'
Examples:
You had been walking for more than two hours when you saw a
house in the distance.
Had you been walking for more than two hours when you saw a
house in the distance?
You had not been walking for more than two hours when you saw a
house in the distance.

USE 1 Duration Before Something in the Past


We use the Past Perfect Continuous to show that something started in the
past and continued up until another time in the past. Notice that this is
related to the Present Perfect Continuous; however, the duration does not
continue until now, it stops before something else in the past. The period of
time (marked by for or since) must be
mentioned with the Past Perfect Continuous:
Examples:
They had been talking for over an hour before Tony arrived.
She had been working at that company for three years when it went
out of business.
Mike wanted to sit down because he had been standing all day at
work.

40

Tom had been studying at the university for more than a year before
he left for London.

USE 2 To refer to a repeated action in the past


An action anterior to a past moment, indicating that the repetition had
occurred within one limited period of time:
Example:
He had been trying to get her on the phone.

Simple Future
Simple Future has two different forms in English: will and be going to.
Although the two forms can sometimes be used interchangeably, they often
express two very different meanings. Both will and be going to refer to a
specific time in the future.

FORM : Will/Shall
Although shall and particularly will are the closest approximation to a
colorless, neutral future, they do not form a future tense comparable to the
present or past tenses. They do simply refer to future time.

AFFIRMATIVE
shall/will + short infinitive
Shall/will may be abbreviated in the affirmative: ll:
NEGATIVE
shall/will + NOT + short infinitive
Shall/will may be abbreviated in the negative:
will not => wont, shall not => shant
INTERROGATIVE
shall/will + SUBJECT + short infinitive

41

Examples:
You will come later.
Will you come later?
You will not come later.

USE 1 Will to Express a Voluntary Action


Will often suggests that a speaker will do something voluntarily. A voluntary
action is one the speaker offers to do for someone else. Often, we use will to
respond to someone elses complaint or request for help. We also use will
when we request that someone help us or volunteer to do something for us.
Examples:
Theres somebody at the door. Ill go and open it.
Ill bring the cakes for the party.

USE 2 Will to Express a Promise


Will is usually used in promises, determinations.
Examples:
I will call you when I arrive.
I promise I will not tell him about the surprise party.
Don't worry, Ill be careful.
I will pass the exam, no matter how hard I have to study.

USE 3 If a modal expression (certainly, surely, probably, I know, I hope,


Im afraid, etc.) is present in the sentence that expresses a future activity:
Example:
Thomas will certainly come tomorrow.

FORM: Be Going To
AFFIRMATIVE:
the present simple of the verb to be + going+ to +verb

42

NEGATIVE:
the present simple of the verb to be +NOT+ going+ to +verb
INTERROGATIVE:
the present simple of the verb to be +SUBJECT+ going+ to + verb
Examples:
You are going to meet Susan tonight.
Are you going to meet Susan tonight?
You are not going to meet Susan tonight.
USE 1 Be going to to express a Plan
Be going to expresses that something is a plan. It does not matter whether
the plan is realistic or not. It expresses the subjects intention to perform a
certain future action. This intention is premeditated and there is also the idea
of some sort of preparation for the action that has already been made.
Examples:
We are going to spend our vacation in Italy.
Im going to be a doctor when I grow up.
What are you going to do when you get your degree?
Michelle is going to begin medical school next year.
They are going to drive all the way to Paris.
USE 2 Will or Be Going to to Express a Prediction
Both will and be going to can express the idea of a general prediction about
the future. Predictions are guesses about what might happen in the future. In
prediction sentences, the subject usually has little control over the future.
In the following examples, there is no difference in meaning.
Examples:
The year 2222 will be a very interesting year.
The year 2222 is going to be a very interesting year.
John Smith will be the next President.
John Smith is going to be the next President.
The movie Avatar will win several Academy Awards.
The movie Avatar is going to win several Academy Awards.
43

! No Future in Time Clauses !


Like all future forms, the Simple Future cannot be used in clauses beginning
with time expressions such as: when, while, before, after, by the time, as
soon as, if, unless, etc. Instead of Simple Future, Simple Present is used.
Examples:
When you arrive tonight, we will go out for dinner.( When you will
arrive tonight, we will go out for dinner. not correct)

Future Perfect Tenses


SIMPLE FORM
AFFIRMATIVE:
Will/shall+ have+ past participle of verb
NEGATIVE:
Will/shall+ NOT +have +past participle of verb
INTERROGATIVE:
Will/shall +subject +past participle of verb
PROGRESSIVE FORM
AFFIRMATIVE:
Will/shall+ have+ been +verb +ing
NEGATIVE:
Will/shall +NOT + have +been +verb +ing
INTERROGATIVE:
Will/shall +subject +have +been +verb +ing
The Future Perfect tenses are used to express an action or to help make a
statement about something that will be completed in the future before some
other future action or event, or a future activity that goes on uninterruptedly
into a future moment of reference.

44

Examples:
By this October, I will have graduated.
By tomorrow, I will have been studying for 11 hours. (progressive
form)

! People often mix their tenses or use the wrong verb form when speaking.
Although these errors may be overlooked in conversation, they are painfully
evident in written communication! They often confuse the reader and affect
the tone of the message.
Learning to use the right verb tense is important to convey intentions and the
time of an action or state of being accurately and clearly. The various tenses
in English are formed using the basic elements of a verb.
a. use the correct verb form with each tense;
Incorrect: He checked on the order and has went to pick it up.
Correct: He checked on the order and has gone to pick it up.
Incorrect: I done the work last night and handed in this
morning.
Correct: I did the work last night and handed in this
morning.
Incorrect: The book is fascinating reading. It provided a
detailed study
of how cultures were created.
Correct: The book is fascinating reading. It provides a
detailed study of how cultures are created. (the writer refers to
the present tense in the first sentence; all references that follow
should also be in the literary present tense)
b. when describing two events in the past that did not occur at the same
time, use the past perfect to refer to the event or action in the more
distant past;
Incorrect: I suddenly remembered (past) that I left (more past)
my wallet at home.
Correct:
I suddenly remembered that I had left my wallet at
home. (leaving the wallet at home preceded remembering the fact)
c. do not use would have in if clauses that express the earlier of two
past actions, use the past perfect;

45

Incorrect: If he would have studied harder, he would have


passed the course.
Correct:
If he had studied harder, he would have passed the
course.
d. use the present infinitive (to write, to play, etc.) to express action
following another action;
Incorrect: She intended to have visited all her relatives.
Correct:
She intended to visit all her relatives.
e. use the perfect infinitive (to have written, to have played, etc.) to
express action before another action;
Correct:
He was happy to have seen Frank. (The speaker
saw Frank first; then he was happy about it. Therefore the perfect
infinitive is the right form to use.)

Active and Passive Voices


If the subject of a sentence performs an action, the verb is in the Active
Voice. If the subject receives the action, the verb is in the Passive Voice.
Active voice: She sold a box of candy. (the subject she performs the
action)
Passive voice: She was sold a box of candy. (the subject she receives
the action)
The active voice adds interest and liveliness to a message. In general, use the
active voice. Avoid weak and awkward passive verb constructions.
The passive voice however, can be used to express an action in which the
actor is unknown, when a more objective or diplomatic is required, or when
it is desirable not to disclose the actor.
Passive voice: The front door had been locked before we left home.
(we do not know by who)
Active voice: Our sales manager made a mistake in completing
your order.
Passive voice: A mistake was made in completing your order. (we
better leave our sales manager out of this mess; more diplomatic)

46

II. THE NOUN


A noun is the name of anything that may be the subject of discourse.
Its not easy to describe a noun. In simple terms, nouns are things (and
verbs are actions). Like food. Food (noun) is something you eat (verb). Or
happiness. Happiness (noun) is something you want (verb). Or human being.
A human being (noun) is something you are (verb).
What are Nouns?
The simple definition is: a person, place or thing. Here are some examples:
person: man, woman, teacher, John, Mary
place: home, office, town, countryside, America
thing: table, car, banana, money, music, love, dog, monkey
According to their FORM, nouns can be classified as:
simple nouns
compound nouns
phrasal nouns
According to their MEANING, nouns can be classified as:
proper nouns
common nouns
names of materials (mass nouns)
collective nouns

The Possessive Case


When we want to show that something belongs to somebody or something,
we usually add s to a singular noun and an apostrophe to a plural noun:
the boys ball (one boy)
the boys ball (two or more boys)
Notice that the number of balls does not matter. The structure is influenced
by the possessor and not the possessed.
The structure can be used for a whole phrase:
the man next doors mother (the mother of the man next door)
the Queen of Englands dogs (the dogs of the Queen of England)

47

If joint possession is intended, the apostrophe is placed on the last element


of the series:
Lin and Chans bicycle (the bicycle is owned by both)
IBM and Xeroxs new venture (the two companies are working
together on one venture)
Individual possession requires an apostrophe with each element of the
series:
Lins and Chans new bicycles (notice the plural after the names-a
clue that each person owns a bicycle)
Texacos and BPs annual reports
The Possessive of Proper Nouns (Names)
We very often use possessives with names:
This is Marys car.
Where is Johns telephone?
Who took Anthony's pen?
I like Lexis new dress.
When a name ends in s, we usually treat it like any other singular noun, and
add s:
This is Charless car.
Some nouns have irregular plural forms without s (man > men). To show
possession, we usually add s to the plural form of these nouns:
singular noun

plural noun

my childs dog

my childrens dog

the mans work

the mens work

the mouses cage the mices cage


a persons clothes peoples clothes
The possessive can also denote:
Institutions of various kinds (restaurants, churches, theatres, sports
grounds, hospitals, etc)

48

St. Pauls was damaged during the war.


We usually have dinner at Ginas.
A home:
I will go to my mothers.
A shop:
You shall find fresh meat at the butchers.

Number
When a Noun denotes a single object, it is said to be Singular or of the
Singular Number: man, rose.
When a Noun denotes more than one object of the kind, it is said to be
Plural or of the Plural Number: men, roses.
The Plural of Nouns is formed from the Singular. In the oldest form of the
English language, several plural endings existed. Of these one only remains
in active force in modern English, namely the ending -s or -es. Hence when
a new word arises, we at once, and as a matter of course, form its plural in
this way: telegram, telegrams.

A, An or The?
When do we say the dog and when do we say a dog? (here we talk only
about singular, countable nouns.)
The and a/an are called articles. We divide them into definite and
indefinite like this:

Articles
Definite Indefinite
the

a, an

We use definite to mean sure, certain. Definite is particular.


We use indefinite to mean not sure, not certain. Indefinite is general.

49

When we are talking about one thing in particular, we use the. When we are
talking about one thing in general, we use a or an.
Think of the sky at night. In the sky we see 1 moon and millions of stars. So
normally we would say:
I saw the moon last night.
I saw a star last night.

Regular Plurals ending in -es, -s.


When the s sound can be conveniently attached without making an
additional syllable, s only is used:
boy, boy-s; girl, girl-s ; lion, lion-s; elephant, elephant-s; Caesar, the
Caesar-s; Pitt, the Pitt-s.
But when the s sound cannot be conveniently attached without making an
additional syllable, es is used:
fox, fox-es; church, church-es.
This is the case when the noun already ends in a sound of s; viz. s, sh, ch, x,
z:
gas, gas-es; summons, summons-es; lass, lass-es; fish, fish-es; birch,
birch-es; box, box-es; topaz, topaz-es; .Fitz, the Fitz-es.
When ch is sounded as k, s only is added:
monarch, monarch-s.
To the above add many nouns in o:
potato, potato-es
tomato, tomato-es
But all nouns ending in -o preceded by a vowel form the plural in -s and not
in -es:
bamboo/bamboos, embryo/embryos, folio/folios
Abbreviations ending in -o add also -s:
kilo, kilo-s < kilogram; photo, photo-s < photograph; pro, pro-s <
professional
Nouns ending in -y.
Final y not immediately preceded by a vowel is changed into ies:
lady, ladies. .

50

But when a vowel immediately precedes, the y remains unchanged:


boy, boys; day, days; chimney, chimneys; attorney, attorneys.
Nouns ending in -quy take -ies:
soliloquy, soliloquies.
Proper names in y do not usually change the y:
the three Marys (but also Maries).

Irregular Plural
For most irregular nouns, the spelling changes to form the plural. Because
these changes do not follow a general rule, the forms must be memorized.
a. Nouns ending in -f, -fe, and if:
These, as a general rule, change the f into v before the plural ending:
leaf, leaves; wife, wives; wolf, wolves; life, lives; half, halves; calf,
calves; knife, knives; elf, elves; shelf, shelves; thief, thieves; loaf,
loaves; leaf, leaves; self, selves
But nouns in -ief, -oof, -ff, -rf, usually take simple -s:
brief, briefs; chief, chiefs; grief, griefs; (but not thief, thieves)
hoof, hoofs; roof, roofs; proof, proofs;
cliff, cliffs; skiff, skiffs; whiff, whiffs;
dwarf, dwarfs; scarf, scarfs; turf, turfs.
Staff however makes staves ; and wharf, scarf, turf, sometimes take a plural
in -ves (wharves, scarves, turves).
b. Inflexion by change in the body of the word:
man, men; woman, women; foot, feet; goose, geese; tooth, teeth;
louse, lice; mouse, mice.
c. Plurals in -n or -en:
ox, oxen; brother, brethern (where there is internal changes besides)
child, children (Old English, childer)
To these may be added:
cow, kine (=cows); hose, hosen.
d. The plural the same as the singular; in some cases owing to the loss of
final vowel or other sign of the plural distinction:
sheep, sheep; deer, deer; swine, swine.
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e. Some difficulty is presented by a few compound words, the elements of


which have not perfectly coalesced.
When two titles are united, the last now usually takes the plural, as:
major-generals;
A few old expressions sometimes occur in which both words, following the
French idiom, take the plural, as:
knights-templars, lords-lieutenants, lords-justices.
A compound noun forms the plural by adding -s to the principal word:
step-son, step-sons;
father-in-law, fathers-in-law.
When the compounds are made of words none of which may be regarded
as the principal element, the -s is added to the last word (to the end of the
compound):
forget-me-not, forget-me-nots ; gin-and-tonic, gin-and-tonics; grownup-grown-ups; close-up-close-ups;, take-of, take-offs.
Compounds with man- and woman- when they indicate gender and have an
attributive position, pluralize both elements:
man-servant, men-servants; woman doctor, women doctors.
f. Some foreign words form the plural as they would in the original:
language: basis, bases; crisis, crises; datum, data;
Other foreign words form the plural either as they do in the original
language, or by adding -s or -es as in English. When in doubt about the
preferred form, consult a dictionary:
appendix, appendices (f. pl.), appendixes (E. pl.); formula, formulae
(f. pl.), formulas (E. pl.); index, indices (f. pl.), indexes (E. pl.)

52

Gender
There are two genders properly so called: Masculine and Feminine. The
distinction of male and female in nature is called sex. The distinction
between Masculine and Feminine in words is called Gender.
The English language, unlike most others, applies the distinction of
Masculine and Feminine only to the names of persons and animals: man,
woman; boy, girl; lion, lioness. Nouns which denote things without animal
life are said to be Neuter or of Neuter Gender (i.e, neither masculine nor
feminine): iron, stone, river. The only exception to this rule is when
inanimate things are represented as persons.
Note. Collective Nouns are Neuter though denoting collections of male or
female objects: army, committee, sisterhood.
When the same name is used for male and female, it is said to be Common
or of Common Gender: bird, fish, parent, sovereign, friend.
There are three ways of indicating difference of Gender in Nouns:A. By inflexion.
B. By using a word indicative of sex.
C. By distinct words.
A. THE GENDER DISTINGUISHED BY INFLEXION.
1. The feminine is usually distinguished from the masculine by the
ending -ess:
Masculine.
abbot
actor
adulterer
master
author
mayor
duke
monitor
baron
marquis

Feminine.
abbess
actress
adulteress
mistress
authoress (or
author)
mayoress
duchess1
monitress
baroness
marchioness2

53

murderer
enchanter
prophet
god
emperor
founder
governor
seamster
host
elector
sorcerer
tiger
traitor
viscount
lion
benefactor
negro
canon
patron
count
peer
dauphin
poet
deacon
proprietor
preceptor
protector
prior
giant
heir
shepherd
hunter
priest
songster
instructor
inventor
Jew

murderess
enchantress
prophetess
goddess
empress
foundress
governess
sempstress3
hostess
electress
sorceress
tigress
traitress
viscountess
lioness
benefactress
negress
canoness
patroness
countess
peeress
dauphiness
poetess (or poet)
deaconess
proprietress (-trix)
preceptress
protectress
prioress
giantess
heiress
shepherdess
huntress
priestess
songstress
instructress
inventress
Jewess

2. A few isolated instances of other feminine endings occur:

54

(a.) -trix, in a few Nouns taken directly from the Latin:


Masculine
Feminine
administrator
administratrix
executor
executrix
testator
testatrix
(b.) -en, an old feminine suffix of which only one pure English example
remains : vix-en (0. E. fixen ; Germ. fuchsin), she-fox; hence, a spiteful
woman.
To this head belong alsoMasculine
Feminine
hero
heroine (Greek)
landgrave
landgravine (German)
margrave
margravine (German)

B. THE GENDER IN COMMON NOUNS DISTINGUISHED BY A


WORD SIGNIFICANT OF SEX.
Common.
ass
bear
bird
calf
elephant
fox
goat
pig
rabbit
servant
sparrow

Masculine.
he-ass (jack-ass)
he-bear
cock-bird (male-bird)
bull-calf
bull-elephant (maleelephant)
dog-fox
he-goat
boar-pig
buck-rabbit
man-servant (maleservant)
cock-sparrow

55

Feminine.
she-ass
she-bear
hen-bird (female-bird)
cow-calf
cow-elephant (femaleelephant)
bitch-fox
she-goat
sow-pig
doe-rabbit
maid-servant (femaleservant)
hen-sparrow.

C. DISTINCTION OF SEX INDICATED BY DISTINCT WORDS


(Where a common form exists, it is supplied.)
Masculine.
bachelor
boar
boy
bridegroom
brother
buck
hart
stag
bull
bullock, ox, steer
cock
colt
dog
drake
drone
earl
father
gaffer
gander
gentleman
horse, stallion
husband
king
lad
lord
man
monk, friar
nephew
papa
ram
sire
sloven
son
uncle
wizard

Feminine.
maid, spinster
sow
girl
bride
sister
doe
roe
hind
cow
heifer
hen
filly
bitch
duck
bee
countess
mother
gammer
goose
lady
mare
wife
queen
lass
lady
woman
nun
niece
momma
ewe
dam
slut
daughter
aunt
witch

56

Common
hog, swine, pig
child, youth
sibling
deer
deer
deer
ox, neat
ox, neat
fowl
foal (also colt)
dog, hound
duck
bee
parent
goose
horse
spouse (poet.)
sovereign

man

sheep

child

III. THE ADJECTIVE


An adjective is a word that tells us more about a noun. (By noun we
include pronouns and noun phrases.)
An adjective qualifies or modifies a noun (a big dog). But, it does not its
form according to number or gender.
I have a white cat. (cat- singular, feminine)
John has two white dogs. (dogs- masculine, plural)
It is sometimes said that the adjective is the enemy of the noun. This is
because, very often, if we use the precise noun we dont need an adjective.
For example, instead of saying a large, impressive house (2 adjectives + 1
noun) we could simply say a mansion (1 noun).
Adjectives can be used before a noun (I like Chinese food) or after certain
verbs (It is hard).

1. Adjective before Noun


We sometimes use more than one adjective before the noun:
f. I like big black dogs.
g. She was wearing a beautiful long red dress.
What is the correct order for two or more adjectives?
1.1. The general order is: opinion, fact:
a nice French car (not a French nice car)
(Opinion is what you think about something. Fact is what is definitely
true about something.)
1.2. The normal order for fact adjectives is size, age, shape, color, material,
origin:
a big, old, square, black, wooden Chinese table
1.3. Determiners usually come first, even though they are fact adjectives:
articles (a, the)
possessives (my, your...)
demonstratives (this, that...)
quantifiers (some, any, few, many...)
numbers (one, two, three)
57

When we want to use two color adjectives, we join them with and:
Many newspapers are black and white.
She was wearing a long, blue and yellow dress.
The rules on this page are for the normal, natural order of adjectives. But
these rules are not rigid, and you may sometimes wish to change the order
for emphasis.

2. Adjective after Certain Verbs


An adjective can come after some verbs, such as: be, become, feel, get, look,
seem, smell, sound
Even when an adjective comes after the verb and not before a noun, it
always refers to and qualifies the subject of the sentence, not the verb.
Look at the examples below: subject verb adjective
Ram is English.
Because he had to wait, he became impatient.
Is it getting dark?
The examination did not seem difficult.
Your brother looks nice.
This towel feels damp.
That new song doesn't sound very interesting.
Dinner smells good tonight.
This milk tastes sour.
It smells bad.

Comparative Adjectives
When we talk about two things, we can compare them. We can see if they
are the same or different. Perhaps they are the same in some ways and
different in other ways. We can use comparative adjectives to describe the
differences.

Formation of Comparative Adjectives


a. Comparative of Superiority
There are two ways to make or form a comparative adjective:
58

short adjectives: add -er


long adjectives: use more
Short adjectives
1-syllable adjectives

old, fast

2-syllable adjectives ending in -y

happy, easy

Normal rule: add -er

old older

if the adjective ends in -e, just add -r

late later

if the adjective ends in consonant, vowel, consonant,


double the last consonant

big bigger

if the adjective ends in -y, change the y to i

happy happier

Long adjectives
2-syllable adjectives not ending in -y

modern, pleasant

all adjectives of 3 or more syllables

expensive,
intellectual

Normal rule: use more

modern more
modern
expensive more
expensive

b. Comparative of Inferiority
We form the comparative of inferiority as follows:
short adjectives (monosyllabic): add not as..;
long adjectives; use less..than
Examples:
good, not so good
expensive, less expensive

59

Use of Comparative Adjectives


We use comparative adjectives when talking about 2 things (not 3 or 10 or
1,000,000 things, only 2 things).
Often, the comparative adjective is followed by than.
Examples:
John is 1m80. He is tall. But Chris is 1m85. He is taller than John.
America is big. But Russia is bigger.
This car is very expensive. I shall buy one that is less expensive.
Is French less difficult than English?

Superlative Adjectives
A superlative adjective expresses the extreme or highest degree of a quality.
We use a superlative adjective to describe the extreme quality of one thing in
a group of things.
Formation of Superlative Adjectives
a. Superlative
As with comparative adjectives, there are two ways to form a superlative
adjective:
short adjectives: add -est
long adjectives: use most

We also usually add the at the beginning.


Short adjectives
1-syllable adjectives

old, fast

2-syllable adjectives ending in -y

happy, easy

Normal rule: add -est

old the oldest

60

if the adjective ends in -e, just add -st

late the latest

if the adjective ends in consonant, vowel,


consonant, double the last consonant

big the biggest

if the adjective ends in -y, change the y to i

happy the happiest

Long adjectives
2-syllable adjectives not ending in -y

modern, pleasant

all adjectives of 3 or more syllables

expensive, intellectual

Normal rule: use most

modern the most


modern
expensive the most
expensive

b. Negative Superlative
The negative superlative is expressed by using the least in front of the
adjective.
modern, the least modern;
expensive, the least expensive

Use of Superlative Adjectives


We use a superlative adjective to describe one thing in a group of three or
more things. Look at these examples:
John is 1m75. David is 1m80. Chris is 1m85. Chris is the tallest.
Canada, China and Russia are big countries. But Russia is the biggest.
The car I bought was the least expensive of all cars.
No language you want to study is the least difficult.

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! Do not use double comparative or superlative!


Incorrect:
Our swimming hole is much more shallower than Lake Murray. (double
comparative: -er and more)
That was the most funniest situation. (double superlative: -est and most)
Correct:
Our swimming hole is much shallower than Lake Murray.
That was the funniest situation.

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IV. THE ADVERB


An adverb is a word that tells us more about a verb. An adverb qualifies
or modifies a verb (The man ran quickly). But adverbs can also modify
adjectives (Tara is really beautiful), or even other adverbs (It works very
well).
Many different kinds of word are called adverbs. We can usually recognize
an adverb by:
1. Function (Job)
2. Form
3. Position

1. Function
The principal job of an adverb is to modify (give more information about)
verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. In the following examples, the adverb is
in bold and the word that it modifies is in italics.
Modify a verb:
- Tom speaks loudly. (How does Tom speak?)
- Susan lives locally. (Where does Susan live?)
- Mom never smokes. (When does mom smoke?)
Modify an adjective:
- He is really handsome.
Modify another adverb:
- Grandma drives incredibly slowly.
But adverbs have other functions, too. They can:
Modify a whole sentence:
- Obviously, I can't know everything.
Modify a prepositional phrase:
- It's immediately inside the door.

2. Form
Many adverbs end in -ly. We form such adverbs by adding -ly to the
adjective. Here are some examples:
63

quickly, softly, strongly, honestly, interestingly


But not all words that end in -ly are adverbs. Friendly, for example, is an
adjective.
Good is an adjective and is always used as an adjective. Never use good to
modify a verb.
I feel good. (referring to the condition of the subject)
Well is both an adjective, meaning in good health, and an adverb of manner,
answering the question how something is done.
I feel well. (referring to the condition of the subject)
She writes well. (modifies the verb)
Some adverbs have no particular form, for example:
well, fast, very, never, always, often, still

3. Position
Adverbs have three main positions in the sentence:
Front (before the subject):
Now we will study adverbs.
Middle (between the subject and the main verb):
We often study adverbs.
End (after the verb or object):
We study adverbs carefully.
In general, avoid splitting a verb phrase when using an adverb. While the
rule is not carved in stone, it is a good one to keep in mind.

Types of Adverbs:
Adverbs of Frequency
Adverbs of Frequency answer the question How often? or How
frequently? They tell us how often somebody does something.
often, rarely, sometimes, usually, seldom, etc.

64

Adverbs of frequency come before the main verb (except the main verb to
be):
We usually go shopping on Saturday.
I have often done that.
She is always late.
Occasionally, sometimes, often, frequently and usually can also go at the
beginning or end of a sentence:
Sometimes they come and stay with us.
I play football occasionally.
Rarely and seldom can also go at the end of a sentence (often with very):
We see them rarely.
John eats fruit very seldom.

Adverbs of place
Adverbs of place indicate position. They answer to the question: Where?
here, there, in the room, on the table, etc.
Adverbs of place come after the main verb, direct object (if there is one) or
adverb of manner (if there is one):
Mary searched everywhere, but she couldnt find her ring.
I took the children to the zoo.
They were playing happily in the garden.

Adverbs of time
Adverbs of time indicate the time at which something happened. They
answer to the question: When?
then, yet, still, now, today, in the afternoon, etc.
Adverbs of time are placed at the very beginning of the clause or at its very
end. The end position is more usual.
Last week I met his girl friend.
Mom and dad went to the opera yesterday.

65

Note:
-still is placed before the main verb or after the verb to be:
He still thinks he is the best in his class.
He is still in denial.
-yet is placed at the end of the sentence.
Tom hasnt come yet.
Are we there yet? (usually with a negative answer)
Adverbs of Time/ Frequency (When?)
always
before
eventually
forever

frequently
never
now
Monday

occasionally
often
once
seldom

Adverbs of Place/ Direction (Where?)


across
around
backward
here

in
out
over
sideways

there
through
under
upstairs

Adverbs of Degree ( How much?)


completely
entirely
excessively
however

less
mildly
most
much

nearly
somewhat
thoroughly

Adverbs of Manner ( How?)


beautifully
carefully
coldly
earnestly

equally
handily
hotly
nicely

thankfully
quickly
resentfully
tirelessly

Adverbs indicating time, direction, place, or degree may look the same as
nouns, prepositions or adjectives.

66

Comparison of Adverbs
Normally adverbs of two or more syllables form the comparative with more
and the superlative with most.
Adverbs that are identical in form with adjectives: fast, hard, late, long,
quick, high, far, deep, near use the endings -er for the comparative and
-est for the superlative.
Tom must study harder for this exam.
You can drive faster.
My daughter danced more gracefully than ever.

! Do not use the double negative!


The tern double negative refers to the use of two negatives to express a
single negation. Like the double comparison, the double negative is
grammatically redundant.
If used with an unnecessary negative such as not, nothing, or without, the
adverbs hardly, barely, and scarcely are still considered unacceptable.
Incorrect:
I couldnt hardly quit in the middle of the job.
The motion passed without scarcely a protest.
Correct:
I could hardly quit in the middle of the job.
The motion passed with scarcely a protest.

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V. THE PRONOUN
Pronouns are small words that take the place of a noun. We can use a
pronoun instead of a noun. Pronouns are words like: he, you, ours,
themselves, some, each... If we didn't have pronouns, we would have to
repeat a lot of nouns. We would have to say things like:
Do you like the new teacher? I don't like the new teacher. The new
teacher is too pompous.
With pronouns, we can say:
Do you like the new teacher? I dont like him. He is too pompous.

Personal Pronouns
Personal pronouns represent specific people or things. We use them
depending on:
number

person gender

subject

object

male/female

me

2nd

male/female

you

you

3rd

male

he

him

female

she

her

neuter

it

it

1st

male/female

we

us

2nd

male/female

you

you

3rd

male/female/neuter they

singular 1st

plural

personal pronouns

them

number: singular (eg: I) or plural (eg: we)


person: 1st person (eg: I), 2nd person (eg: you) or 3rd person (eg: he)
68

gender: male (eg: he), female (eg: she) or neuter (eg: it)
case: subject (eg: we) or object (eg: us)
We use personal pronouns in place of the person or people that we are
talking about.
Here are the personal pronouns:
Examples (in each case, the first example shows a subject pronoun, the
second an object pronoun):
I like chocolate.
Tom called me.
Do you like chocolate?
Tom likes you.
He runs fast.
Did Tom call him?
She is beautiful.
Does Tom like her?
It doesnt work.
Can daddy repair it?
We went for a walk.
Susan invited us.
Do you need a table for four?
Did Tom and Susan beat you at doubles?
They played tennis.
Tom and Susan beat them.

When we are talking about a single thing, we almost always use it.
We often use it to introduce a remark:
It is nice to have a holiday sometimes.
It is important to be educated.
Its difficult to raise a child.

69

Is it normal to see them together?


We also often use it to talk about the weather, temperature, time and
distance:
Its raining.
It will probably be cold this week.
Is it nine o'clock yet?
It's 20 kilometers from here to the next village.

Demonstrative Pronouns
A demonstrative pronoun represents a thing or things :( (to demonstrate verb:
to show; to indicate; to point to)
near in distance or time (this, these)
far in distance or time (that, those)
near

far

singular

this

that

plural

these

those

Here are some examples with demonstrative pronouns:


You can eat this.
Have you read this?
These are bad times.
Do you like these?
That is something new.
Look at that!
Those were the days!
Can you see those?
This is longer than that.
These are better than those.

70

Possessive Pronouns
We use possessive pronouns to refer to a specific person/people or
thing/things (the antecedent) belonging to a person/people (and sometimes
belonging to an animal/animals or thing/things).
We use possessive pronouns depending on:
number: singular (eg: mine) or plural (eg: ours)
person: 1st person (eg: mine), 2nd person (eg: yours) or 3rd person
(eg: his)
gender: male (his), female (hers)
Below are the possessive pronouns, followed by some example sentences.
Notice that each possessive pronoun can:
be subject or object
refer to a singular or plural antecedent

number

person gender (of "owner") possessive pronouns

singular 1st

plural

male/female

mine

2nd

male/female

yours

3rd

male

his

female

hers

1st

male/female

ours

2nd

male/female

yours

3rd

male/female/neuter

theirs

All these houses are so small. Mine is the big one. (subject = My
house)
I like your dress. Do you like mine? (object = my dress)

71

I went to the post office. I posted my letter but I forgot to post yours.
(object = your letter)
My house is so big. Yours is so small. (subject = Your house)
All the essays were good but his was the best. (subject = his essay)
Tom wrote his vows but Susan didnt write hers. (object = her vows)
These are your tickets. Ours are at home. (subject = Our tickets)
Each couples books are color-coded. Yours are red. (subject = Your
books)
I don't like this familys garden but I like yours. (object = your
garden)
These arent John and Marys children. Theirs have black hair.
(subject = Their children)
John and Mary dont like your car. Do you like theirs? (object = their
car)
Whose can also be a possessive pronoun (an interrogative possessive
pronoun). Look at these examples:
This car is new, whose is it?
I wonder whose dress is the most beautiful.

Interrogative Pronouns
We use interrogative pronouns to ask questions. The interrogative pronoun
represents the thing that we don't know (what we are asking the question
about). The interrogative pronouns are invariable for gender and number.
There are four main interrogative pronouns: who, whom, what, which
Notice that the possessive pronoun whose can also be an interrogative
pronoun (an interrogative possessive pronoun).
subject

object

person

who

whom

thing

what

72

person/thing

which

person

whose

(possessive)

Notice that whom is the correct form when the pronoun is the object of the
verb, as in Whom did you see? (I saw John.) However, in normal,
spoken English we rarely use whom. Most native speakers would say (or
even write): Who did you see?
Look at these example questions. In the sample answers, the noun phrase
that the interrogative pronoun represents is shown in bold.
question

answer

Who told you?

Tom told me.

subject

Whom did you tell?

I told Susan.

object

What's happened?

An accident's happened.

subject

What do you want?

I want milk.

object

Which came first?

The Mercedes came


first.

subject

Which will the doctor see first?

The doctor will see the


child first.

object

There's one car missing. Whose


hasn't arrived?

Tom's (car) hasn't


arrived.

subject

Weve found everyone's paper.


Whose did you find?

I found Tom's (paper).

object

Sometimes we use the suffix -ever to make compounds from some of these
pronouns (mainly whoever, whatever, whichever). When we add -ever, we

73

use it for emphasis, often to show confusion, anger or surprise. Look at these
examples:
Whoever would want to do such a horrible thing?
Whatever did you do to upset her like that?
They're all beautiful! Whichever will you choose?

Reflexive Pronouns
We use a reflexive pronoun when we want to refer back to the subject of the
sentence or clause. Reflexive pronouns end in -self (singular) or -selves
(plural).
There are eight reflexive pronouns: (reflexive -adj. : reflecting back on the
subject, like a mirror)
reflexive pronoun
singular

myself
yourself
himself, herself, itself

plural

ourselves
yourselves
themselves

Examples:
I see myself in the mirror.
You cut yourself shaving.
He sent himself the letter.
Children cannot look after themselves.
All the above reflexive pronouns can also act as intensive pronouns. An
intensive pronoun emphasizes its antecedent. Look at these examples:
I made it myself. I myself made it.
Have you yourself seen it? OR Have you seen it yourself?
The President himself promised to stop the war.
She spoke to me herself. OR She herself spoke to me.
The exam itself wasn't difficult, but exam room was horrible.
Never mind. We'll do it ourselves.
You yourselves asked us to do it.
74

They recommend this book even though they themselves have never
read it. OR They recommend this book even though they have never
read it themselves.

Reciprocal Pronouns
Reciprocal pronouns are used when each of two or more subjects is acting in
the same way towards the other. For example, I am talking to You, and You
are talking to Me. So we say:
A and B are talking to each other.
The action is reciprocated. Tom talks to Susan and Susan talks to Tom. I
keep your secret and you keep my secret.
There are only two reciprocal pronouns, and they are both two words:
each other
one another
When we use these reciprocal pronouns:
there must be two or more people, things or groups involved (so we
cannot use reciprocal pronouns with I, you [singular], he/she/it), and
they must be doing the same thing
Examples:
John and Mary love each other.
Peter and David hate each other.
The ten prisoners were all blaming one another.
Both teams played hard against each other.
We gave each other gifts.
Why dont you believe each other?
They cant see each other.
The gangsters were fighting one another.
The boats were bumping against each other in the storm.
In general we use each other more often than one another, which sounds a
little formal.
75

Indefinite Pronouns
An indefinite pronoun does not refer to any specific person, thing or amount.
It is vague and not definite. Some typical indefinite pronouns are:
all, another, any, anybody/anyone, anything, each, everybody/everyone,
everything, few, many, nobody, none, one, several, some,
somebody/someone
!Remember! Do not use double negatives!
Incorrect:
He did not keep no records.
Mary did not see nobody in the room.
Correct:
He did not keep any records. (or: He kept no records.)
Mary did not see anybody in the room. (or: Mary saw nobody in the room.)

Most indefinite pronouns are either singular or plural. Some of them


can be singular in one context and plural in another.
Examples:
Singular:

another
anybody /anyone
anything
each
seen separately
either
enough
everybody/ everyone
everything

an additional or different person or thing


no matter what person
no matter what thing
every one of two or more people or things,
one or the other of two people or things
as much or as many as needed
all people
all things
76

less
little
much
neither
things
nobody/no-one
nothing
one
other
mentioned
somebody/someone
something
you

a smaller amount
a small amount
a large amount
not one and not the other of two people or
no person
no single thing, not anything
an unidentified person
a different person or thing from one already
an unspecified or unknown person
an unspecified or unknown thing
an unidentified person (informal)

Plural:

both
few
fewer
many
others
several
they

two people or things, seen together


a small number of people or things
a reduced number of people or things
a large number of people or things
other people; not us
more than two but not many
people in general, informal

Singular or plural:
all
the whole quantity of something or of some things or people
any
no matter how much or how many
more a greater quantity of something; a greater number of people or
things
most the majority; nearly all
none not any; no person or persons
some an unspecified quantity of something; an unspecified number
of people or things
such of the type already mentioned

77

Examples:
This apple is rotten, I would like another.
Is there anybody who can answer my question?
Is anything wrong?
Each will receive a ticket.
Its you or Tom, no one else applied for this position. Either is suited.
But neither gets the job if the answers arent correct.
Enough is enough, dont you agree?
Everybody works out.
I guess everything is at its right place.
If you eat red meat, less is healthy.
Little is known about her boy friend.
Nothing matters to you.
Dont drink so much, one gets the idea youre an alcoholic.
Somebody was here before.
Something bad is happening.
I have twins! Both are red-haired!
Few know the answer and fewer have the courage to spell it.
Many try to win the contest.
Others have seen this movie and enjoyed it, too.
All were tired, several left the room. / All is forgotten.
Are any singing tonight? / Is there any on the table?
Some say you are wrong. / Here is some.
Most is forgiven. / I invited my class, most have arrived.

78

79

TWO
BUSINESS ENGLISH
Business writing is different
Writing for a business audience is usually quite different than writing in the
humanities, social sciences, or other academic disciplines. Business writing
strives to be crisp and succinct rather than evocative or creative; it stresses
specificity and accuracy. This distinction does not make business writing
superior or inferior to other styles. Rather, it reflects the unique purpose and
considerations involved when writing in a business context.
Business language varies from the conversational style often found in email
messages to the more formal, legalistic style found in contracts. A style
between these two extremes is appropriate for the majority of memos,
emails, and letters. Writing that too formal can alienate readers, and an
attempt to be overly casual may come across as insincere or unprofessional.
Business writing should be clear and concise. Take care, however, that your
document does not turn out as an endless series of short, choppy sentences.
Keep in mind also that concise does not have to mean bluntyou still
need to think about your tone and the audience for whom you are writing.
Consider the following examples:
After carefully reviewing this proposal, we have decided to prioritize
other projects this quarter.
Nobody liked your project idea, so we are not going to give you any
funding.
The first version is a weaker statement, emphasizing facts not directly
relevant to its point. The second version provides the information in a simple
and direct manner. But you dont need to be an expert on style to know that
the first phrasing is diplomatic and respectful (even though its less concise)
as compared with the second version, which is unnecessarily harsh and
likely to provoke a negative reaction.
80

Participating effectively in a Business English environment not only requires


a solid grasp of English grammar, but also an understanding of key
communication factors. This feature focuses on key points to take into
consideration each time you are using English.
Function: What is the main purpose of the conversation?
Domain: What is my position in this conversation? What is my role?
Register Use: Who am I speaking with?
Urgency: How important is it what I have to say?
The use of this lexical approach is essential for successful language
acquisition in English for Specific Purposes. For this reason, the following
vocabulary sheets go a long way in helping you and provide adequate
materials for students with English for Special Purposes needs.

VOCABULARY
(from Top Twenty English Vocabulary-eBook)
1. Banking
1
2
3
4

balance
bank charges
branch
checkbook
(A.E.)
5 check (A.E.)
6 credit
7 credit card
8 current
account
9 debit

n. the difference between credits and debits in an account


n. money paid to a bank for the banks services etc
n. local office or bureau of a bank
n. book containing detachable checks; chequebook (B.E.)
n. written order to a bank to pay the stated sum from
ones account; cheque (B.E.)
n. money in a bank a/c; sum added to a bank a/c; money
lent by a bank - also v.
n. (plastic) card from a bank authorizing the purchasing
of goods on credit
n. bank a/c from which money may be drawn at any
time; checking account (A.E.)
n. a sum deducted from a bank account, as for a cheque -

81

also v.
10 deposit
n. bank a/c on which interest is paid; savings account
(A.E.)
account
11 fill in (B.E.)
v. to add written information to a document to make it
complete; to fill out (A.E.)
12 interest
n. money paid for the use of money lent - interest rate n.
13 loan
n. money lent by a bank etc and that must be repaid with
interest - also v.
14 overdraft
n. deficit in a bank account caused by withdrawing more
money than is paid in
15 pay in
v. [paid, paid] to deposit or put money in to a bank
account
16 payee
n. person to whom money is paid
17 paying-in slip n. small document recording money that you pay in to a
bank account
18 standing order n. an instruction to a bank to make regular payments
19 statement
n. a record of transactions in a bank account
20 withdraw
v. [-drew, -drawn] to take money out of a bank account withdrawal n.
Example of a text using banking vocabulary:
If you are 18, youll probably want to open a bank account. There are two
main types of accounts: a current account and a savings account.
You can use a current account for your day-to-day banking needs. Your
bank might give you a cheque book, which allows you to write
cheques/checks to pay for goods and services. Youll probably also have a
bank card which allows you to withdraw cash from cash machines (also
known as hole in the wall machines) and to pay for goods in shops. You
get a secret pin number (personal identification number) that you use when
you withdraw cash.
If you receive a cheque/check, you can pay it in or deposit it at your bank.
You can also pay in cash (money). If you want to convert your
cheque/check into cash, you can cash the cheque/check. Some companies
can also pay money into your account via a direct bank transfer.
A savings account should pay you interest. Most banks give you a different
rate of interest depending on how much you are saving, and how much
notice you give before withdrawing money.

82

People traditionally use banks for a range of services. As well as an


overdraft facility (where you borrow money from the bank), people also get
a mortgage (loan to buy a house), personal loan, and insurance from their
banks. High street banks (the sort of banks which you can find on any high
street) are also good places to change money.
Many banks now offer telephone banking and internet banking. This
means that you can manage your finances without going to the local branch
(office) of your bank.

2. Contracts
1 agreement

n. an arrangement between two or more people, countries


etc; contract
2 appendix
n. additional or supplementary material at end of contract,
book etc
3 arbitration
n. settlement of a dispute by a person chosen by both
parties - to arbitrate v.
4 article
n. a particular statement or stipulation in a contract etc;
clause
5 clause
n. a particular statement or stipulation in a contract etc;
article
6 condition
n. anything necessary before the performance of
something else
7 force majeure n. superior, power; unforeseeable event excusing one
party from fulfilling contract
8 fulfil
v: to satisfy a condition; to complete the required task; to
fulfill (A.E.)
9 herein
adv: in here; in this (document etc)
10 hereinafter
adv: in the following part (of this document etc)
11 hereto
adv: to this (document etc) [eg: attached hereto]
12 heretofore
adv: up until now; until the present; before this
13 in behalf of in the interests of (person etc); for (person etc); on behalf
of (B.E.)
14 null and void invalid; without legal force; not binding
15 on the one
on one side - on the other hand on the other side
83

hand
16 party
17 stipulate
18 terms
19 warrant
20 whereas

n. the person or persons forming one side of an agreement


v. to specify as an essential condition - stipulation n.
n. conditions or stipulations
v. to give formal assurance; to guarantee
conj: it being the case that; in view of the fact that [in
introduction to contracts]

3. Marketing
1 brand
2 consumer
3 cost
4 develop
5 distribution
6 end-user
7 image
8 label
9 launch
10 mail order
11 market
research
12 packaging
(B.E.)
13 point of sale

n. a particular make of product - to brand v. - branded


adj.
n. the person who buys and uses a product or service - to
consume v.
v. [cost, costed, costed] to estimate the price of making a
product - costing n.
v. to create a new product or improve an existing one product development n.
n. the delivering of products to end-users, inc.
advertising, storing etc
n. the person, customer etc who is the ultimate (and so
real) user of a product
n. the concept or perception of a firm or product held by
the general public
n. small piece of paper, metal etc on a product giving
information about it
v. to introduce a new product, with publicity etc product launch n.
n. the selling of goods by post - mail-order catalogue n.
n. study of consumers needs & preferences, often for a
particular product
n. the wrapping or container for a product
n. the place where a product is actually sold to the public
- point-of-sale adj.

84

14 product

n. something made to be sold; merchandise [includes


services] - to produce v.
15 public
n. creation and maintenance of a good public image relations
public relations officer n.
16 registered
adj. registered or officially recorded as a trademark -
abbr. - to register v.
17 sponsor
n. firm supporting an organization in return for
advertising space - also v.
18 S.W.O.T.
abbr. Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
19 total product n. the whole product, inc. name, packaging, instructions,
reliability, after-sales etc
20 trademark
n. special symbol, design, word etc used to represent a
product or firm abbr.

4. Meetings
1 A.G.M.
2 A.O.B.

abbr. Annual General Meeting


abbr. Any Other Business [usually the last item on an
agenda]
3 absent
adj. not here; not at the meeting; not present
4 agenda
n. a written programme or schedule for a meeting
5 apologies
n. item on agenda announcing people who are absent;
apologies for absence
6 ballot
n. a type of vote, usually in writing and usually secretsecret ballot n.
7 casting vote
n. a deciding vote (usually by the chairman) when the
votes are otherwise equal
8 chairman
n. the person who leads or presides at a meeting;
chairperson; chair
9 conference
n. formal meeting for discussion, esp. a regular one
held by an organization
10 conference call n. telephone call between three or more people in
different locations
11 consensus
n. general agreement
12 decision
n. a conclusion or resolution to do something - to

85

decide v.
13 item

n. a separate point for discussion [as listed on an


agenda]
14 matters arising n. item on agenda for discussion of what has happened
as a result of last meeting
15 minutes
n. a written record of everything said at a meeting
16 proxy vote
n. a vote cast by one person for or in place of another
17 show of hands n. raised hands to express an opinion in a vote
18 unanimous
adj. in complete agreement; united in opinion
19 videoconference n. conference of people in different locations linked by
satellite, TV etc
20 vote
v. to express opinion in a group by voice or hand etc also n. - to cast a vote v.

5. Selling
1 after-sales

service
2 buyer
3 client
4 close
5 cold call
6 customer
7 deal
8 discount
9 follow up
10 guarantee

n. service that continues after a product has been sold


[eg: repairs etc]
n. 1 any person who buys anything 2 a person
employed by a firm to buy
n. a person who buys services from a lawyer, architect
or other professionals
v. to finalize a deal or sale; to make a sale
v. to telephone a prospect without previous contact also n.
n. a person who buys goods or services from a shop or
business
n. a business transaction - also v. dealer n.
n. a reduction in the price; a deduction [usually
expressed as a percentage (%)]
v. to continue to follow persistently; to maintain contact
[eg: after a lead]
n. a promise that a product will be repaired or replaced
etc if faulty - also v.
86

11 in bulk

in large quantity, usually at a lower price

12 lead

n. useful indication of a possible customer to be


followed up
n. a reason given by a prospect for not buying - to
object v. see overcome
v. [-came, -come] to overcome an objection to show
an objection is invalid
n. something made and usually for sale - to produce v.
see service
n. a possible or probable customer; prospective
customer
n. sales representative person who represents & sells
for a firm; salesperson
v. to sell in small quantities (as in a shop to the public) also n. see wholesale
n. work done usually in return for payment - to serve v.
see product
v. to sell in bulk (as to a shop for resale to the public) also n. see retail

13 objection
14 overcome
15 product
16 prospect
17 representative
18 retail
19 service
20 wholesale

6. Money
1 A.T.M.
2 banknote
3 bill (A.E.)
4 black market

abbr. Automated Teller Machine; cash dispenser (B.E.)


n: a piece of paper money; bill (A.E.)
n. a banknote; a piece of paper money
n. illegal traffic in officially controlled commodities
such as foreign currency
5 bureau de
n. establishment where currencies of different countries
may be exchanged
change
6 cash
n. 1 coins or bank notes (not cheques); 2 actual money
paid (not credit)
7 cash dispenser n: automatic machine from which clients of a bank may
withdraw money; ATM
8 cashier
n. person dealing with cash transactions in a bank, store

87

etc
9 coin
n: a piece of metal money
10 currency
n. the money in general use or circulation in any country
11 debt
n. money etc owed by one person to another
12 exchange rate n. the rate at which one currency can be exchanged for
another
13 foreign
n: the currency of other countries
exchange
14 hard currency n. currency that will probably not fall in value and is
readily accepted
15 invest
v. to put money for profit into business, land etc investment n.
16 legal tender
n: currency that cannot legally be refused in payment of
a debt
17 petty cash
n. a cash fund for small, everyday expenses
(B.E.)
18 soft currency n. currency that will probably fall in value and is not
readily accepted
19 speculate
v. (risky) buying of foreign currency, land etc for rapid
gain - speculation n.
20 transaction
n. a (usually commercial) exchange; a deal - to transact
v.

7. Import- Export
1 bill of lading
2 c.&f.
3 c.i.f.
4 cargo
5 certificate of
origin
6 container

n. list of goods and shipping instructions; waybill


abbr. cost & freight: includes shipping to named port
but not insurance
abbr. cost, insurance & freight: includes insurance and
shipping to named port
n. goods or products that are being transported or
shipped
n. a document that shows where goods come from
n. huge box to hold goods for transport - container

88

port n. to containerise v.
7 customs
8 declare
9 f.a.s.
10 f.o.b.
11 freight
12 irrevocable
13 letter of credit
14 merchandise
15 packing list
16 pro forma
invoice
17 quay
18 ship
19 shipping agent
20 waybill

n. 1 government tax or duty on imported goods 2


officials who collect this tax
v. to make a statement of taxable goods - customs
declaration form n.
abbr. free alongside ship [includes delivery to quayside
but not loading]
abbr. free on board: includes loading onto ship
n. goods being transported; cargo
adj. that cannot be undone; unalterable - irrevocable
letter of credit n.
n. a letter from a bank authorizing a person to draw
money from another bank
n. things bought and sold; commodities; wares - also v.
n. a document that is sent with goods to show that they
have been checked
n. an invoice or request for payment sent in advance of
goods supplied
n. a solid, artificial landing place for (un)loading ships;
wharf - quayside n.
v. to send or transport by land, sea or air - also n.
shipment n.
n. a person acting for or representing a ship or ships at
a port
n. list of goods and shipping instructions; bill of lading
- air waybill n.

8. Insurance
1 actuary
2 assessor
3 claim

n. a person who calculates risks for insurance


companies
n. a person who calculates the value of something [eg:
a building, car etc]
n. an application for payment under an insurance
policy - to make a claim v.

89

4 comprehensive

n. [of an insurance policy] all-inclusive; providing


complete protection
5 consequential
n. a loss that happens as a consequence of or as a
result of another
loss
6 cover (B.E.)
n. the protection given by an insurance policy [eg:
public liability cover]
7 employers
n. liability or responsibility of a firm for damage
caused to one of its employees
liability
8 goods in transit n. property, merchandise or any goods in the process
of being transported
9 insurance broker n. agent who arranges insurance; middleman between
insurer & policyholder
10 liability
n. 1 the state of being liable 2 anything for which a
person is liable
11 liable
adj. legally obliged to pay for damage, injury etc;
responsible - liability n.
12 loss
n. death, injury, damage etc that is the basis for a
claim - to lose v.
13 loss adjuster
n. a person who assesses the amount of compensation
arising from a claim
14 policy
n. a contract of insurance [eg: a product liability
policy]
15 policyholder
n. the person to whom an insurance policy is issued
16 premium
n. a payment, usually monthly, yearly etc, for an
insurance policy
17 product liability n. liability or responsibility of a firm for damage
caused by one of its products
18 public liability
n. responsibility of a firm for damage caused to a
member of the public
19 reinsurance
n. the insuring of risk by one insurance company with
another - to reinsure v.
20 risk
n. 1 chance or possibility of injury, loss etc 2 person
or thing causing risk

90

9. British and American Financial Terms


Here are some of the main differences between British and American
financial terminology.
British
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Articles of Association
authorised share capital
barometer stock
base rate
bonus or capitalisation issue
bridging loan
building society
cheque
company
creditors
current account
debtors
gilt-edged stock (gilts)
labour
Memorandum of Association
merchant bank
ordinary share
overheads
profit and loss account
property
quoted company
retail price index (RPI)
share
share premium
shareholder

American
Annual Stockholders Meeting
Bylaws
authorized capital stock
bellwether stock
prime rate
stock dividend or stock split
bridge loan
savings and loan association
check
corporation
accounts payable
checking account
accounts receivable
Treasury bonds
labor
Certificate of Incorporation
investment bank
common stock
overhead
income statement
real estate
listed company
consumer price index (CPI)
stock
paid-in surplus
stockholder

91

shareholders' equity
stock
trade union
unit trusts
visible trade

stockholders' equity
inventory
labor union
mutual funds
merchandise trade

Account -- a record of financial transactions; usually refers to a specific


category or type, such as travel expense account or purchase account.
Accountant -- a person who trained to prepare and maintain financial
records.
Accounting -- a system for keeping score in business, using each countrys
currency.
Accounting period -- the period of time over which profits are calculated.
Normal accounting periods are months, quarters, and years (fiscal or
calendar).
Accounts payable -- amounts owed by the company for the goods or
services it has purchased from outside suppliers.
Accounts receivable -- amounts owed to the company by its customers.
Accrual basis, system, or method -- an accounting system that records
revenues and expenses at the time the transaction occurs, not at the time cash
changes hands. If you buy a coat and charge it, the store records or accrues
the sale when you walk out with the coat, not when you pay your bill. Cash
basis accounting is used by individuals. Accrual basis accounting is used by
most businesses.
Accrued expenses, accruals -- an expense which has been incurred but not
yet paid for. Salaries are a good example. Employees earn or accrue salaries
each hour they work. The salaries continue to accrue until payday when the
accrued expense of the salaries is eliminated.
Aging -- a process where accounts receivable are sorted out by age
(typically current, 30 to 60 days old, 60 to 120 days old, and so on.) Aging
permits collection efforts to focus on accounts that are long overdue.
Amortize -- to charge a regular portion of an expenditure over a fixed period
of time. For example if something cost $100 and is to be amortized over ten
years, the financial reports will show an expense of $10 per year for ten
years. If the cost were not amortized, the entire $100 would show up on the
financial report as an expense in the year the expenditure was made.
Appreciation -- an increase in value. If a machine cost $1,000 last year and

92

is now worth $1,200, it has appreciated in value by $200. (The opposite of


depreciation.)
Assets -- things of value owned by a business. An asset may be a physical
property such as a building, or an object such as a stock certificate, or it may
be a right, such as the right to use a patented process.
Current Assets are those assets that can be expected to turn into cash within
a year or less. Current assets include cash, marketable securities, accounts
receivable, and inventory.
Fixed Assets cannot be quickly turned into cash without interfering with
business operations. Fixed assets include land, buildings, machinery,
equipment, furniture, and long-term investments.
Intangible Assets are items such as patents, copyrights, trademarks, licenses,
franchises, and other kinds of rights or things of value to a company, which
are not physical objects. These assets may be the most important ones a
company owns. Often they do not appear on financial reports.
Audit -- a careful review of financial records to verify their accuracy.
Bad debts -- amounts owed to a company that are not going to be paid. An
account receivable becomes a bad debt when it is recognized that it won't be
paid. Sometimes, bad debts are written off when recognized. This is an
expense. Sometimes, a reserve is set up to provide for possible bad debts.
Creating or adding to a reserve is also an expense.
Balance sheet -- a statement of the financial position of a company at a
single specific time (often at the close of business on the last day of the
month, quarter, or year.) The balance sheet normally lists all assets on the
left side or top while liabilities and capital are listed on the right side or
bottom. The total of all numbers on the left side or top must equal or balance
the total of all numbers on the right side or bottom.
Bond -- a written record of a debt payable more than a year in the future.
The bond shows amount of the debt, due date, and interest rate.
Book value -- total assets minus total liabilities. (See also net worth.) Book
value also means the value of an asset as recorded on the company's books
or financial reports. Book value is often different than true value. It may be
more or less.
Breakeven point -- the amount of revenue from sales which exactly equals
the amount of expense. Breakeven point is often expressed as the number of
units that must be sold to produce revenues exactly equal to expenses. Sales
above the breakeven point produce a profit; below produces a loss.
Capital -- money invested in a business by its owners. (See equity.) Capital
also refers to buildings, machinery, and other fixed assets in a business. A
capital investment is an investment in a fixed asset with a long-term use.
93

Capitalize -- to capitalize means to record an expenditure on the balance


sheet as an asset, to be amortized over the future. The opposite is to expense.
For example, research expenditures can be capitalized or expensed. If
expensed, they are charged against income when the expenditure occurs. If
capitalized, the expenditure is charged against income over a period of time
usually related to the life of the products or services created by the research.
Cash flow -- the amount of actual cash generated by business operations,
which usually differs from profits shown.
Chart of accounts -- a listing of all the accounts or categories into which
business transactions will be classified and recorded. Each account usually
has a number. Transactions are coded by this number for manipulation on
computers.
Contingent liabilities -- liabilities not recorded on a companys financial
reports, but which might become due. If a company is being sued, it has a
contingent liability that will become a real liability if the company loses the
suit.
Cost of sales, cost of goods sold -- the expense or cost of all items sold
during an accounting period. Each unit sold has a cost of sales or cost of the
goods sold.
Credit -- an accounting entry . Usually an increase in liabilities or capital, or
a reduction in assets. The opposite of credit is debit. Each credit in a balance
sheet has a balancing debit. Credit has other usages, as in "You have to pay
cash, your credit is no good." Or "we will credit your account with the
refund."
Debit -- an accounting entry. Usually an increase in assets or a reduction in
liabilities. Every debit has a balancing credit.
Deferred charges -- see prepaid expenses.
Deferred income -- a liability that arises when a company is paid in advance
for goods or services that will be provided later. For example, when a
magazine subscription is paid in advance, the magazine publisher is liable to
provide magazines for the life of the subscription. The amount in deferred
income is reduced as the magazines are delivered.
Depreciation -- an expense that is supposed to reflect the loss in value of a
fixed asset. For example, if a machine will completely wear out after ten
years use, the cost of the machine is charged as an expense over the tenyear life rather than all at once, when the machine is purchased. Straight line
depreciation charges the same amount to expense each year. Accelerated
depreciation charges more to expense in early years, less in later years.
Depreciation is an accounting expense. In real life, the fixed asset may grow

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in value or it may become worthless long before the depreciation period


ends.
Discounted cash flow -- a system for evaluating investment opportunities
that discounts or reduces the value of future cash flow. (See present value.)
Dividend -- a portion of the after-tax profits paid out to the owners of a
business as a return on their investment.
Double entry -- a system of accounting in which every transaction is
recorded twice -- as a debit and as a credit.
Earnings per share -- a companys net profit after taxes for an accounting
period, divided by the average number of shares of stock outstanding during
the period.
Equity -- the owners share of a business.
Expenditure -- an expenditure occurs when something is acquired for a
business -- an asset is purchased, salaries are paid, and so on. An
expenditure affects the balance sheet when it occurs. However, an
expenditure will not necessarily show up on the income statement or affect
profits at the time the expenditure is made. All expenditures eventually show
up as expenses, which do affect the income statement and profits. While
most expenditures involve the exchange of cash for something, expenses
need not involve cash. (See expense below.)
Expense -- an expenditure which is chargeable against revenue during an
accounting period. An expense results in the reduction of an asset. All
expenditures are not expenses. (To expense is a verb. It means to charge an
expenditure against income when the expenditure occurs. The opposite is to
capitalize.)
Fiscal year -- an accounting year than begins on a date other than January 1.
Fixed asset -- see asset.
Fixed cost -- a cost that does not change as sales volume changes (in the
short run.) Fixed costs normally include such items as rent, depreciation,
interest, and any salaries unaffected by ups and downs in sales.
Goodwill -- in accounting, the difference between what a company pays
when it buys the assets of another company and the book value of those
assets. Sometimes, real goodwill is involved - a companys good reputation,
the loyalty of its customers, and so on. Sometimes, goodwill is an
overpayment.
Income -- see profit.
Interest -- a charge made for the use of money.
Inventory -- the supply or stock of goods and products that a company has
for sale. A manufacturer may have three kinds of inventory: raw materials

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waiting to be converted into goods, work in process, and finished goods


ready for sale.
Inventory obsolescence -- inventory no longer salable. Perhaps there is too
much on hand, perhaps it is out of fashion. The true value of the inventory is
seldom exactly what is shown on the balance sheet. Often, there is
unrecognized obsolescence.
Inventory shrinkage -- a reduction in the amount of inventory that is not
easily explainable. The most common cause of shrinkage is probably theft.
Inventory turnover -- a ratio that indicates the amount of inventory a
company uses to support a given level of sales.
Invested capital -- the total of a companys long-term debt and equity.
Journal -- a chronological record of business transactions.
Ledger -- a record of business transactions kept by type or account. Journal
entries are usually transferred to ledgers.
Liabilities -- amounts owed by a company to others.
Current liabilities are those amounts due within one year or less and usually
include accounts payable, accruals, loans due to be paid within a year, taxes
due within a year, and so on.
Long-term liabilities normally include the amounts of mortgages, bonds, and
long-term loans that are due more than a year in the future.
Liquid -- having lots of cash or assets easily converted to cash.
Marginal cost, marginal revenue -- marginal cost is the additional cost
incurred by adding one more item. Marginal revenue is the revenue from
selling one more item. Economic theory says that maximum profit comes at
a point where marginal revenue exactly equals marginal cost.
Net worth -- total assets minus total liabilities. Net worth is seldom the true
value of a company.
Opportunity cost -- a useful concept in evaluating alternate opportunities. If
you choose alternative A, you cannot choose B, C, or D. What is the cost or
loss of profit of not choosing B, C, or D? This cost or loss of profit is the
opportunity cost of alternative A. In personal life you may buy a car instead
of taking a vacation round the world. The opportunity cost of buying the car
is the loss of the enjoyment of the vacation.
Overhead -- a cost that does not vary with the level of production or sales,
and usually a cost not directly involved with production or sales. The chief
executives salary and rent are typically overhead.
Post -- to enter a business transaction into a journal or ledger or other
financial record.
Prepaid expenses, deferred charges -- assets already paid for, that are
being used up or will expire. Insurance paid for in advance is a common
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example. The insurance protection is an asset. It is paid for in advance, it


lasts for a period of time, and expires on a fixed date.
Present value -- a concept that compares the value of money available in the
future with the value of money in hand today.
Price-earnings (p/e) ratio -- the market price of a share of stock divided by
the earnings (profit) per share. P/e ratios can vary from sky high to dismally
low, but often do not reflect the true value of a company.
Profit -- the amount left over when expenses are subtracted revenues.
Also called income, net income, earnings. Not the same as cash flow and
does not represent spendable cash.
Retained earnings -- profits not distributed to shareholders as dividends, the
accumulation of a companys profits less any dividends paid out. Retained
earnings are not spendable cash.
Revenue -- the amounts received by or due a company for goods or services
it provides to customers. Receipts are cash revenues. Revenues can also be
represented by accounts receivable.
Risk -- the possibility of loss; inherent in all business activities. High risk
requires high return. All business decisions must consider the amount of risk
involved.
Sales -- amounts received or due for goods or services sold to customers.
Gross sales are total sales before any returns or adjustments.
Net sales are after accounting for returns and adjustments.
Stock -- a certificate (or electronic or other record) that indicates ownership
of a portion of a corporation; a share of stock.
Preferred stock promises its owner a dividend that is usually fixed in amount
or percent. Preferred shareholders get paid first out of any profits. They have
preference.
Common stock has no preference and no fixed rate of return. Treasury stock
was originally issued to shareholders but has been subsequently acquired by
the corporation .
Authorized by unissued stock is stock which official corporate action has
authorized but has not sold or issued. (Stock also means the stock of goods,
the stock on hand, the inventory of a company.)
Sunk costs -- money already spent and gone, which will not be recovered no
matter what course of action is taken. Bad decisions are made when
managers attempt to recoup sunk costs.
Variable cost -- a cost that changes as sales or production change. If a
business is producing nothing and selling nothing, the variable cost should
be zero. However, there will probably be fixed costs.

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Working capital -- current assets minus current liabilities. In most


businesses the major components of working capital are cash, accounts
receivable, and inventory minus accounts payable. As a business grows it
will have larger accounts receivable and more inventory. Thus the need for
working capital will increase.
Write-down -- the partial reduction in the value of an asset, recognizing
obsolescence or other losses in value.
Write-off -- the total reduction in the value of an asset, recognizing that it no
longer has any value. Write-downs and write-offs are non-cash expenses that
affect profits.

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99

THREE
Appendix 1
There are no fixed rules for forming the past tense and past and present
participle of irregular verbs. It is necessary to memorize the forms and to
keep a good dictionary handy. For reference, some of the most
commonly used irregular verbs are listed here.

Basic Form

Past Tense

Past Participle

be
begin
bite
blow
break
bring
burst
buy
catch
come
do
draw
drink
drive
eat
fall
fight
flee
fly
forget
get
go
hang
hide

was
began
bit
blew
broke
brought
burst
bought
caught
came
did
drew
drank
drove
ate
fell
fought
fled
flew
forgot
got
went
hung/hanged
hid

been
begun
bitten
blown
broken
brought
burst
bought
caught
come
done
drown
drunk
driven
eaten
fallen
fought
fled
flown
forgotten
got/gotten
gone
hung/hanged
hidden
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Present
Participle
being
beginning
biting
blowing
breaking
bringing
bursting
buying
catching
coming
doing
drawing
drinking
driving
eating
falling
fighting
fleeing
flying
forgetting
getting
going
hanging
hiding

know
lay
leave
lend
lie
lose
lost
pay
ride
ring
rise
run
see
set
shake
shine
shrink
sit
speak
steal
strike
take
tear
throw
wear
write

knew
laid
left
lent
lay
lost
lost
paid
rode
rang
rose
ran
saw
set
shook
shone
shrank
sat
spoke
stole
struck
took
tore
threw
wore
wrote

known
laid
left
lent
lain
lost
lost
paid
ridden
rung
risen
run
seen
set
shaken
shone
shrunk
sat
spoken
stolen
struck
taken
torn
thrown
worn
written

knowing
laying
leaving
lending
lying
losing
losing
paying
riding
ringing
rising
running
seeing
setting
shaking
shining
shrinking
sitting
speaking
stealing
striking
taking
tearing
throwing
wearing
writing

Appendix 2
The meaning and spelling of the following words are commonly confused.
Practice using them until the correct usage is familiar to you.
accept, except
accept-to take, to agree
I accept the offer.
except-excluding, omitting
Everyone left except me.

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advice, advise
advice-opinion, counsel
She needs your advice.
advise-to counsel
Please advise him of his rights.
affect, effect
affect- to influence, change
Inflation always affects our level of income.
effect-(n.) impression, results; (v.) to cause
The computer has had a profound effect on our everyday lives.
It has effected a complete change in the way we do business.
imply, infer
imply- to suggest
Are you implying that I was at the scene of the crime?
infer- to deduce from evidence
Your gloves were found in the room, we infer that you visited the deceased
sometime last night.
its, its
its- contraction of it is or it has
Its [is has] been a long day.
its- possessive form of the pronoun it
When the ship fired its guns, the blast was deafening.
later, latter
later- after a time
Theyll mail it later today.
latter- last mentioned of two
If its a choice between the beach and the mountains, Ill take the latter.
lead, led, lead
lead-(v.) to go before; (adj.) first
The boys always lead the rush to the beach.
led-(v., past tense of lead) went before
They led the parade playing their kazoos.
lead-(n.) heavy metal; graphite
The paperweight is made of lead.
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lie, lay
lie- to rest or recline (lie, lay, lain)
The cat always lies down on my sweater. Yesterday he lay on it all day. I
wish he had lain somewhere else.
lay- to put or place something (lay, laid, laid)
I will lay the sweater on the couch. Yesterday I laid it there without thinking
about the cat. I have laid it there many times.
lose, loose, loss
lose- misplace
Dont lose the tickets.
loose- not fastened down; release
The screw is loose on the showerhead,
loss- deprivation
His leaving was a loss to the company.
past passed
past-(n., adj.) preceding
The past president gave the gavel to the new president.
passed- (v., past tense of pass) went by; gone by
We passed my cousin on the road.
personal, personnel
personal- individual
Can I ask you a personal question?
personnel- a department; workers
The human resources (personnel) office keeps records on all company
personnel.
precede, proceed
precede- to come before
My older brother precedes me by one grade at school.
proceed- to go ahead
We can proceed with your game as soon as the weather clears.
principle, principal
principle- rule, standard
Sound principles can help you make good decisions.
principal-(adj.) main, chief; (n.) superintendent
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Ill never forget my grade school principal, Mr. Harvey.


quiet, quite
quiet- silent
The valley is quiet as dusk.
quite- completely
He was quite upset with himself for losing the race.
rise, raise
rise-(v.) to go up, to get up; (n.) reaction
The moon rises later each night.
raise-(v.) to lift, bring up; (n.) an increase
Raise the picture a little higher.
sit, set
sit- to rest in an upright position
We had to sit on the plane for three hours before we took off.
set- to put or place something
They set the coffee on the table.
stationary, stationery
stationary- still, fixed
The chair is stationary.
stationery- letter paper
He took out a sheet of stationery and wrote a letter.
than, then
than- after a comparison; when
Vivian is taller than Kelly.
then- nest; in that case
She took Freds order and then mine.
that, which
that- used to introduce a phrase or clause essential to the meaning of the
sentence; not set off by commas
The shipment that arrived yesterday had to be returned.
We ate the 15 doughnuts that Jan brought to work in the morning.
which- used to refer to a specific noun or pronoun and to introduce a phrase
or clause not essential to the meaning of the sentence; usually set off my
commas
We ate 15 doughnuts, which was 15 too many.
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The shipment, which arrived yesterday, had to be returned.


Exception: that or which can at times be used interchangeably to avoid too
many repetitions of either word in a sentence.
there, their, theyre
there- a place
The book has to be on the table, I saw it there just a minute ago.
their- possessive form of they
Why dont they take their skateboards and go home?
theyre- contraction of they are
Theyre upset that the watermelon fell of the table.
weather, whether
weather- climate
The weather has been changing slowly over the past fifty years.
whether- if; regardless
They have to know whether you are going. You should tell them whether
you fell like it or not.
whos, whose
whos- contraction of who is or who was
Do you know whos [who is] coming to the party tonight? No, I dont know
whos [who has] been invited.
whose- possessive form of who
Whose purple car is parked outside out house?
youre, your
youre- contraction of you are
Youre going to be late for dinner.
your- possessive form of you
Your dinner is cold.

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Bibliography
1. Baugh, L. Sue, Essentials of English Grammar, McGraw-Hill Inc,
NY, 2005
2. Clarke, Simon; In Company, MacMillan Publishers, Oxford, 2003
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Suzanne; Whitten, E. Mary; Harbrace College Handbook, 11th
edition, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers, Orlando Flo, 1990
4. Marius, Richard; Wiener, S. Harvey; The McGraw-Hill College
Handbook, 4th edition, McGraw-Hill Inc, NY, 1994
5. Thurman, Susan; Grammar and Style Book, Adamsmedia, Avon,
Massachusetts, 2008
6. Zdrenghea, M. Mihai; Greere, L. Anca; A Practical English
Grammar with Exercises, Ed. Cusium, Cluj-Napoca 1999
7. http:// esl.about.com.
8. http://www.4hb.com

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