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GRAMMAR

Lesson keyword: best


Comparatives and Superlatives

VOCABULARY:
as, bad, best, better, between, difference, favorite, good, least, less, more,
most, than, what, which, worse, worst

-The planet Earth is big. Saturn is bigger. Jupiter is the biggest.

>> In the above sentences,


the word "big" is an ADJECTIVE
the word "bigger" is a COMPARATIVE ADJECTIVE
and the word "biggest" is a SUPERLATIVE ADJECTIVE

COMPARATIVE ADJECTIVES:
>> When we use an adjective to compare two things, we add "er" to the
end of the adjective if it is short, and we say "more" or "less" before the
adjective if it is long.

SUPERLATIVE ADJECTIVES:
>> When a thing is unique because it is the most or least of a
particular quality, we add "est" to the adjective if it is short, and we say
"most" or "least" before the adjective if it is long. Before all superlative
adjectives, we say "the" because a superlative describes something unique.

ADJECTIVE COMPARATIVE SUPERLATIVE


big bigger the biggest
small smaller the smallest
funny funnier the funniest
stupid stupider the stupidest
soft softer the softest
complicated more complicated the most complicated
complicated less complicated the least complicated
expensive more expensive the most expensive
expensive less expensive the least expensive
difficult more difficult the most difficult
difficult less difficult the least difficult

>> There are two important exceptions:


good better best
bad worse worst

>> Instead of saying "my most liked", or "my most preferred", we say my "favorite".

SPELLING:
>> If an adjective ends in "y", remove the "y" and add "er" or "est":
silly sillier silliest
muddy muddier muddiest
heavy heavier heaviest

ADVERBIAL PHRASES OF COMPARISON:

-Which is bigger, the Indian Ocean or the Atlantic Ocean?


The Atlantic Ocean is.
or:
The Atlantic Ocean is bigger than the Indian Ocean.

This sentence has two parts:

The Atlantic Ocean is MAIN CLAUSE


bigger than the Indian Ocean. ADVERBIAL PHRASE OF COMPARISON

>> Adverbial phrases of comparison use the following conjunctions: than, as,
the + (comparative adjective). For example:

-The Atlantic Ocean is...

bigger THAN the Indian Ocean.

not AS big AS the Pacific Ocean. THE CLOSEST ocean to Europe.

>> When we use the word "difference", we also use the preposition "between":
-What's the difference between a mountain and a hill?
A hill is much smaller.
-What is the difference between Italian wine and French wine?
French wine is usually sweeter than Italian wine.
-What's the difference between "pants" and "trousers"?
"Pants" is American and "trousers" is British.

>> We use the word "which" when asking to identify one thing among a small
number of things. We use "what" when when asking to identify one thing among many
many possible things:

-What is your favorite TV show? (many, many possible TV shows)


My favorite TV show is the news.
-Which is older, Athens or Chicago? (two possible things)
Athens is much much older than Chicago.
-What is the best way to learn English? (many, many possible ways)
By using easyenglish.com, of course!
-Which is cheaper, a castle or a house or an apartment? (three possible things)
An apartment is cheaper than a house or a castle.

EXAMPLES:

-Cloth shoes are less expensive than leather shoes.


And plastic shoes are the least expensive of all.
-Larry Smith is the worst actor in the world.
No, he isn't, Claude Hopper is worse.
-This wine is good, but San Giovese wine is better.
-What's the tallest mountain in the world?
Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain.
-English grammar is the most complicated of all languages.
No, it isn't, German grammar is more complicated.
-What's the tallest mountain in the world?
Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain.
-Larry Smith is the worst actor in the world.
No, he isn't, Claude Hopper is worse.
-The Italian soccer team is as good as the Brazilian team.
No it isn't. The Brazilian team is better.
-Is Tokyo as expensive as New York?
Yes, it is. Maybe Tokyo is more expensive.
-German beer is the best beer in the world.
Well, I think Dutch beer is better.
-This is the coldest winter ever.
-Arnold Schwarzenegger is the strongest man on earth.
-The more you study, the more you learn.
-The more you eat, the heavier you get.

EXERCISES:
>> There is an error in each sentence. Re-write the sentence correctly:

0. This is longest book in the library.


This is the longest book in the library.
1. The Atlantic Ocean is not as big the Pacific Ocean.
2. Your hands are dirtyer than mine.
3. Albert Einstein is intelligenter than me.
4. Nobody is rich as the Queen of England.
5. This is the cheaper car on the market.
6. Who is fastest man in the world?
7. That restaurant is best in town.
8. Julia Roberts is more pretty than my grandmother.
9. The Ferrari is the faster car of all.
10. I am as taller as you.
11. Where are the more beautiful beaches in the world?
12. China is bigger India.
13. Athens is one of oldest cities in the world.
14. Who is the better lawyer in town?
15. Is ice heavier that water?
>> Put the words in the correct order:

0. than food food is German Italian better


Italian food is better than German food.
16. hotel hotel this the than last cleaner is
17. is Boston city older or Rome which the?
18. not hot Casablanca is as Paris as
19. in tallest world the Mt. Everest mountain is the
20. important are more politics education than ?

>> Answer the following questions:

0. Who is the best worker in the company?


Mr. Suzuki is the best worker.
21. Is the Danube River as big as the Amazon River?
22. Which is more fun, swimming or playing tennis?
23. Is skiing more difficult than walking?
24. Which is more unhealthy, smoking or drinking?
25. What is the most populated country in the world?
26. What is the best TV show?

>> Ask questions for the following answers:

0. Sunrise is the most beautiful time of day.


When is the most beautiful time of day?
27. Ms. Sanchez is the best teacher.
28. Michael is stupider than Max.
29. No, Cuba is smaller than Madagascar.
30. No, geometry is not as difficult as algebra.
31. No, I am older than Rita.
32. Argentina is colder than Panama.
33. Brazil is bigger than Peru.
34. 10:00 is later than 8:00.
35. Mountain climbing is more dangerous than reading.

POSSIBLE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS:

1. The Atlantic Ocean is not as big as the Pacific Ocean.


2. Your hands are dirtier than mine.
3. Albert Einstein is more intelligent than me.
4. Nobody is as rich as the Queen of England.
5. This is the cheapest car on the market.
6. Who is the fastest man in the world?
7. That restaurant is the best in town.
8. Julia Roberts is prettier than my grandmother.
9. The Ferrari is the fastest car of all.
10. I am as tall as you.
11. Where are the most beautiful beaches in the world?
12. China is bigger than India.
13. Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world.
14. Who is the best lawyer in town?
15. Is ice heavier than water?
16. This hotel is cleaner than the last hotel.
17. Which is the older city, Boston or Rome?
18. Paris is not as hot as Casablanca.
19. Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain in the world.
20. Are politics more important than education?
21. No, it isn't. The Amazon is bigger.
22. Swimming is more fun than playing tennis.
23. Yes, skiing is more difficult than walking.
24. Smoking is more unhealthy than drinking.
25. China is the most populated country in the world.
26. The best TV show is "Star Trek".
27. Who is the best teacher in the school?
28. Who is stupider, Max or Michael?
29. Is Cuba bigger than Madagascar?
30. Is geometry more difficult than algebra?
31. Is Rita older than you?
32. Which is colder, Panama or Argentina?
33. Which is bigger, Brazil or Peru?
34. Which is later, 8:00 or 10:00?
35. Which is more dangerous, mountain climbing or reading
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.
We can use comparative adjectives when talking about two things (not three or more things).
In the example below, "bigger" is the comparative form of the adjective "big":

A1 A2
A1 is bigger than A2.

Formation of Comparative Adjectives

There are two ways to make or form a comparative adjective:

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

Variation: if the adjective ends in -e, just add -r late later

Variation: if the adjective ends in consonant, vowel, consonant, double the last consonant big bigger

Variation: 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

modern more modern


Normal rule: use "more"
expensive more expensive

With some 2-syllable adjectives, we can use '-er' or 'more':

quiet quieter/more quiet


clever cleverer/more clever
narrow narrower/more narrow
simple simpler/more simple

Exception
The following adjectives have irregular forms:

good better
well (healthy) better
bad worse
far farther/further

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".

Look at these examples:

John is 1m80. He is tall. But Chris is 1m85. He is taller than John.


America is big. But Russia is bigger.
I want to have a more powerful computer.
Is French more difficult than English?

If we talk about the two planets Earth and Mars, we can compare them as shown in the table below:

Earth Mars

Diameter (km) 12,760 6,790 Mars is smaller than Earth.

Distance from Sun (million km) 150 228 Mars is more distant from the Sun.

Length of day (hours) 24 25 A day on Mars is slightly longer than a day on Earth.

Moons 1 2 Mars has more moons than Earth.

Surface temperature (degrees Celcius) 22 -23 Mars is colder than Earth.

Although we use comparative adjectives when talking about two things (not three or more things), in fact one or both of the things may
be a group of things.

Mt Everest is higher than all other mountains.

Here, we are talking about hundreds of mountains, but we are still comparing one thing (Mt Everest) to one other thing (all other
mountains).

Verbs What Are Verbs?

Verb Classification
helping verbs: primary/modal
main verbs: transitive/intransitive, linking, dynamic/stative, regular/irregular

Verb Forms |
to sing, sing, sings, sang, sung, singing

Tenses
I sing, I am singing, I have sung, I have been singing, I sang, I was singing

English Tense System


What is Tense?
Tense & Time
Basic Tenses
Regular Verbs
Irregular Verbs
Be

Present tenses Simple, Continuous, Perfect Simple, Perfect Continuous


Past tenses Simple, Continuous, Perfect Simple, Perfect Continuous
Future tenses Simple, Continuous, Perfect Simple, Perfect Continuous

Phrasal Verbs |
put out, look after, get on with

Conditionals |
if I win, if I won, if I had won

Modal Verbs
can, shall, must...
Gerunds (-ing)
fishing is fun, I hate working

Questions |
Do you like me?, Why do you like me?, Do you like me or him?

Tag Questions |
You like me, don't you?

Subjunctive |
She insists that he come

Active Voice, Passive Voice


Cats eat mice, Mice are eaten by cats

Infinitive or -ing? |
I like to do, I like doing

Plural Verbs with Singular Subjects


the company do, the company does

Verb Meanings with Continuous Tenses |


Am I being silly?

Used to do / Be used to |
I used to do it, I am not used to it

Going to
I am going to do it

Future Time |
I will do it, I am going to do it, I am doing it, I do it

For & Since for Time |


for two days, since 1st April

Verb Classification

We divide verbs into two broad classifications:

1. Helping Verbs

Imagine that a stranger walks into your room and says:

I can.
People must.
The Earth will.

Do you understand anything? Has this person communicated anything to you? Probably not! That's because these verbs are helping
verbs and have no meaning on their own. They are necessary for the grammatical structure of the sentence, but they do not tell us
very much alone. We usually use helping verbs with main verbs. They "help" the main verb. (The sentences in the above examples are
therefore incomplete. They need at least a main verb to complete them.) There are only about 15 helping verbs.

2. Main Verbs

Now imagine that the same stranger walks into your room and says:

I teach.
People eat.
The Earth rotates.

Do you understand something? Has this person communicated something to you? Probably yes! Not a lot, but something. That's
because these verbs are main verbs and have meaning on their own. They tell us something. Of course, there are thousands of main
verbs.
In the following table we see example sentences with helping verbs and main verbs. Notice that all of these sentences have a main
verb. Only some of them have a helping verb.

helping verb main verb

John likes coffee.

You lied to me.

They are happy.

The children are playing.

We must go now.

I do not want any.

Helping verbs and main verbs can be further sub-divided, as we shall see on the following pages

Helping Verbs

Helping verbs are also called "auxiliary verbs".

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 main verbs. They "help" the main verb (which has the real meaning). There are
only about 15 helping verbs in English, and we divide them into two basic groups:

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 main verbs. On this page we talk
about them as helping verbs. We use them in the following cases:

be
o to make continuous tenses (He is watching TV.)
o to make the passive (Small fish are eaten by big fish.)

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

do
o to make negatives (I do not like you.)
o to ask questions (Do you want some coffee?)
o to show emphasis (I do want you to pass your exam.)
o to stand for a main verb in some constructions (He speaks faster than she does.)

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 main verb in that sense. These are the modal verbs:

can, could
may, might
will, would,
shall, should
must
ought to

Here are examples using modal verbs:

I can't speak Chinese.


John may arrive late.
Would you like a cup of coffee?
You should see a doctor.
I really must go now.

Main Verbs

Semi-modal verbs (3 verbs)


The following verbs are often called "semi-modals" because they are partly like modal helping verbs and partly like main verbs:

need
dare
used to

What is Tense?

tense (noun): a form of a verb used to indicate the time, and sometimes the continuation or completeness, of an action in relation to
the time of speaking. (From Latin tempus = time).

Tense is a method that we use in English to refer to time - past, present and future. Many languages use tenses to talk about time.
Other languages have no tenses, but of course they can still talk about time, using different methods.

So, we talk about time in English with tenses. But, and this is a very big but:

we can also talk about time without using tenses (for example, going to is a special construction to talk about the future, it is
not a tense)
one tense does not always talk about one time (see Tense & Time for more about this)

Here are some of the terms used in discussing verbs and tenses.

Mood

indicative mood expresses a simple statement of fact, which can be positive (affirmative) or negative

I like coffee.
I do not like coffee.

interrogative mood expresses a question

Why do you like coffee?

imperative mood expresses a command

Sit down!

subjunctive mood expresses what is imagined or wished or possible

The President ordered that he attend the meeting.

Voice

Voice shows the relationship of the subject to the action. In the active voice, the subject does the action (cats eat mice). In the
passive voice, the subject receives the action (mice are eaten by cats). Among other things, we can use voice to help us change the
focus of attention.
Aspect

Aspect expresses a feature of the action related to time, such as completion or duration. Present simple and past simple tenses have
no aspect, but if we wish we can stress with other tenses that:

the action or state referred to by the verb is completed (and often still relevant), for example:
I have emailed the report to Jane. (so now she has the report)
(This is called perfective aspect, using perfect tenses.)

the action or state referred to by the verb is in progress or continuing (that is, uncompleted), for example:
We are eating.
(This is called progressive aspect, using progressive [continuous] tenses.)

Tense and Time

It is important not to confuse the name of a verb tense with the way we use it to talk about time.

For example, a present tense does not always refer to present time:

I hope it rains tomorrow.


"rains" is present simple, but it refers here to future time (tomorrow)

Or a past tense does not always refer to past time:

If I had some money now, I could buy it.


"had" is past simple but it refers here to present time (now)

The following examples show how different tenses can be used to talk about different times.

TIME
TENSE
past present future

I want a coffee. I leave tomorrow.


Present Simple
She likes coffee.

I am taking my exam next


I am having dinner.
month.
Present Continuous
They are living in London.

Present Perfect Simple I have seen ET. I have finished.

I have been playing tennis.


Present Perfect Continuous
We have been working for four hours.

If she loved you now, she If you came tomorrow, you


Past Simple I finished one hour ago.
would marry you. would see her.

I was working at 2am this


Past Continuous
morning.

Past Perfect Simple I had not eaten for 24 hours.

If I had been working


We had been working for 3 If I had been working now, I
Past Perfect Continuous tomorrow, I could not have
hours. would have missed you.
agreed.

Future Simple Hold on. I'll do it now. I'll see you tomorrow.

I will be working at 9pm


Future Continuous
tonight.

Future Perfect Simple I will have finished by 9pm


tonight.

We will have been married for ten years next month.

They may be tired when you


arrive because they will have
Future Perfect Continuous been working.

In 30 minutes, we will have been working for four hours.

Basic Tenses

For past and present, there are 2 simple tenses + 6 complex tenses (using auxiliary verbs). To these, we can add 4 "modal tenses" for
the future (using modal auxiliary verbs will/shall). This makes a total of 12 tenses in the active voice. Another 12 tenses are available in
the passive voice. So now we have 24 tenses.

24 Tenses past present future*

simple tenses past present future

past perfect present perfect future perfect


ACTIVE
past continuous present continuous future continuous

past perfect continuous present perfect continuous future perfect continuous


complex tenses
formed with past present future
auxiliary verbs
past perfect present perfect future perfect
PASSIVE
past continuous present continuous future continuous

past perfect continuous present perfect continuous future perfect continuous

Some grammar books use the word progressive instead of continuous. They are exactly the same.

The use of tenses in English may be quite complicated, but the structure of English tenses is actually very simple. The basic structure
for a positive sentence is:

subject + auxiliary verb + main verb

An auxiliary verb is used in all tenses. (In the simple present and simple past tenses, the auxiliary verb is usually suppressed for the
affirmative, but it does exist for intensification.) The following table shows the 12 tenses for the verb to work in the active voice.

structure
past present future*
auxiliary main verb

normal I worked I work I will work


simple
intensive do base I did work I do work

perfect have past participle I had worked I have worked I will have worked

continuous be present participle -ing I was working I am working I will be working

continuous perfect have been present participle -ing I had been working I have been working I will have been working

* Technically, there are no future tenses in English. The word will is a modal auxiliary verb and future tenses are sometimes called
"modal tenses". The examples are included here for convenience and comparison.

Basic Tenses: Regular Verb

Regular verbs list


This page shows the basic tenses with the regular verb work. It includes the affirmative or positive form (+), the negative form (-) and
the interrogative or question form (?).

The basic structure is:

positive: + subject + auxiliary verb + main verb


negative: - subject + auxiliary verb + not + main verb
question: ? auxiliary verb + subject + main verb

These are the forms of the main verb that we use to construct the tenses:

base verb past past participle present participle -ing

work worked worked working

past present future

I did work I do work


+ I will work
SIMPLE I worked I work
do + base verb
(except future: - I did not work I do not work I will not work
will + base verb)
? Did I work? Do I work? Will I work?

+ I had worked I have worked I will have worked


SIMPLE PERFECT
- I had not worked I have not worked I will not have worked
have + past participle
? Had I worked? Have I worked? Will I have worked?

+ I was working I am working I will be working


CONTINUOUS
- I was not working I am not working I will not be working
be + ing
? Was I working? Am I working? Will I be working?

+ I had been working I have been working I will have been working
CONTINUOUS PERFECT
- I had not been working I have not been working I will not have been working
have been + ing
? Had I been working? Have I been working? Will I have been working?

Basic Tenses: Irregular Verb

Irregular verbs list

This page shows the basic tenses with the irregular verb sing. It includes the affirmative or positive form (+), the negative form (-) and
the interrogative or question form (?).

The basic structure is:

positive: + subject + auxiliary verb + main verb


negative: - subject + auxiliary verb + not + main verb
question: ? auxiliary verb + subject + main verb

These are the forms of the main verb that we use to construct the tenses:

base verb past past participle present participle -ing

sing sang sung singing


past present future

I did sing I do sing


+ I will sing
SIMPLE I sang I sing
do + base verb
(except future: - I did not sing I do not sing I will not sing
will + base verb)
? Did I sing? Do I sing? Will I sing?

+ I had sung I have sung I will have sung


SIMPLE PERFECT
- I had not sung I have not sung I will not have sung
have + past participle
? Had I sung? Have I sung? Will I have sung?

+ I was singing I am singing I will be singing


CONTINUOUS
- I was not singing I am not singing I will not be singing
be + -ing
? Was I singing? Am I singing? Will I be singing?

+ I had been singing I have been singing I will have been singing
CONTINUOUS PERFECT
- I had not been singing I have not been singing I will not have been singing
have been + -ing
? Had I been singing? Have I been singing? Will I have been singing?

The basic structure of tenses for regular verbs and irregular verbs is exactly the same (except to be). The only difference is that with
regular verbs the past and past participle are always the same (worked, worked), while with irregular verbs the past and past participle
are not always the same (sang, sung). But the structure is the same! It will help you a great deal to really understand that.

Irregular Verbs List

This is a list of some irregular verbs in English. Of course, there are many others, but these are the more common irregular verbs.

V1 V2 V3
Base Form Past Simple Past Participle

awake awoke awoken

be was, were been

beat beat beaten

become became become

begin began begun

bend bent bent

bet bet bet

bid bid bid

bite bit bitten

blow blew blown

break broke broken

bring brought brought

broadcast broadcast broadcast

build built built


burn burned/burnt burned/burnt

buy bought bought

catch caught caught

choose chose chosen

come came come

cost cost cost

cut cut cut

dig dug dug

do did done

draw drew drawn

dream dreamed/dreamt dreamed/dreamt

drive drove driven

drink drank drunk

eat ate eaten

fall fell fallen

feel felt felt

fight fought fought

find found found

fly flew flown

forget forgot forgotten

forgive forgave forgiven

freeze froze frozen

get got gotten

give gave given

go went gone

grow grew grown

hang hung hung

have had had

hear heard heard

hide hid hidden

hit hit hit

hold held held

hurt hurt hurt

keep kept kept


know knew known

lay laid laid

lead led led

learn learned/learnt learned/learnt

leave left left

lend lent lent

let let let

lie lay lain

lose lost lost

make made made

mean meant meant

meet met met

pay paid paid

put put put

read read read

ride rode ridden

ring rang rung

rise rose risen

run ran run

say said said

see saw seen

sell sold sold

send sent sent

show showed showed/shown

shut shut shut

sing sang sung

sit sat sat

sleep slept slept

speak spoke spoken

spend spent spent

stand stood stood

swim swam swum

take took taken

teach taught taught


tear tore torn

tell told told

think thought thought

throw threw thrown

understand understood understood

wake woke woken

wear wore worn

win won won

write wrote written

Regular Verbs

English regular verbs change their form very little (unlike irregular verbs). The past tense and past participle of regular verbs end in -ed,
for example:

work, worked, worked

But you should note the following points:

1. Some verbs can be both regular and irregular, for example:

learn, learned, learned


learn, learnt, learnt

2. Some verbs change their meaning depending on whether they are regular or irregular, for example "to hang":

regular hang, hanged, hanged to kill or die, by dropping with a rope around the neck

irregular hang, hung, hung to fix something (for example, a picture) at the top so that the lower part is free

3. The present tense of some regular verbs is the same as the past tense of some irregular verbs:

regular found, founded, founded

irregular find, found, found

Simple Present Tense


I sing
How do we make the Simple Present Tense?

subject + auxiliary verb + main verb

do base

There are three important exceptions:

1. For positive sentences, we do not normally use the auxiliary.


2. For the 3rd person singular (he, she, it), we add s to the main verb or es to the auxiliary.
3. For the verb to be, we do not use an auxiliary, even for questions and negatives.
Look at these examples with the main verb like:

subject auxiliary verb main verb

I, you, we, they like coffee.


+
He, she, it likes coffee.

I, you, we, they do not like coffee.


-
He, she, it does not like coffee.

Do I, you, we, they like coffee?


?
Does he, she, it like coffee?

Look at these examples with the main verb be. Notice that there is no auxiliary:

subject main verb

I am French.

+ You, we, they are French.

He, she, it is French.

I am not old.

- You, we, they are not old.

He, she, it is not old.

Am I late?

? Are you, we, they late?

Is he, she, it late?

How do we use the Simple Present Tense?

We use the simple present tense when:

the action is general


the action happens all the time, or habitually, in the past, present and future
the action is not only happening now
the statement is always true
John drives a taxi.

past present future

It is John's job to drive a taxi. He does it every day. Past, present and future.

Look at these examples:

I live in New York.


The Moon goes round the Earth.
John drives a taxi.
He does not drive a bus.
We meet every Thursday.
We do not work at night.
Do you play football?

Note that with the verb to be, we can also use the simple present tense for situations that are not general. We can use the simple
present tense to talk about now. Look at these examples of the verb "to be" in the simple present tense - some of them are general,
some of them are now:

Am I right?
Tara is not at home.
You are happy.

past present future

The situation is now.

I am not fat.
Why are you so beautiful?
Ram is tall.

past present future

The situation is general. Past, present and future.

This page shows the use of the simple present tense to talk about general events. But note that there are some other uses for the
simple present tense, for example in conditional or if sentences, or to talk about the future. You will learn about those later.
Present Continuous Tense

I am singing

We often use the present continuous tense in English. It is very different from the simple present tense, both in structure and in use.

In this lesson we look the structure and use of the present continuous tense, followed by a quiz to check your understanding:

Structure: how do we make the present continuous tense?


Use: when and why do we use the present continuous tense?
Spelling: how do we spell verbs with -ing for the present continuous tense?
Present Continuous Tense Quiz

Continuous tenses are also called progressive tenses. So the present progressive tense is the same as the present continuous
tense.

Present Perfect Tense

I have sung

The present perfect tense is a rather important tense in English, but it gives speakers of some languages a difficult time. That is
because it uses concepts or ideas that do not exist in those languages. In fact, the structure of the present perfect tense is very
simple. The problems come with the use of the tense. In addition, there are some differences in usage between British and American
English.

In this lesson we look at the structure and use of the present perfect, followed by a quiz to check your understanding:

Structure: how to make the present perfect tense

How do we make the Present Perfect Tense?

The structure of the present perfect tense is:

subject + auxiliary verb + main verb

have past participle

Here are some examples of the present perfect tense:

subject auxiliary verb main verb

+ I have seen ET.

+ You have eaten mine.

- She has not been to Rome.

- We have not played football.

? Have you finished?

? Have they done it?


Contractions with the present perfect tense

When we use the present perfect tense in speaking, we usually contract the subject and auxiliary verb. We also sometimes do this
when we write.

I have I've

You have You've

He has He's
She has She's
It has It's
John has John's
The car has The car's

We have We've

They have They've

Here are some examples:

I've finished my work.


John's seen ET.
They've gone home.

He's or he's??? Be careful! The 's contraction is used for the auxiliary verbs have and be. For example, "It's eaten" can mean:

It has eaten. [present perfect tense, active voice]


It is eaten. [present tense, passive voice]

It is usually clear from the context.

Use: when and why to use the present perfect tense

How do we use the Present Perfect Tense?

This tense is called the present perfect tense. There is always a connection with the past and with the present. There are basically
three uses for the present perfect tense:

1. experience
2. change
3. continuing situation

1. Present perfect tense for experience

We often use the present perfect tense to talk about experience from the past. We are not interested in when you did something. We
only want to know if you did it:

I have seen ET.


He has lived in Bangkok.
Have you been there?
We have never eaten caviar.

past present future


!!!

The action or state was in the past. In my head, I have a memory now.

Connection with past: the event was in the past.


Connection with present: in my head, now, I have a memory of the event; I know something about the event; I have experience of
it.

2. Present perfect tense for change

We also use the present perfect tense to talk about a change or new information:

I have bought a car.

past present future

- +

Last week I didn't have a car. Now I have a car.

John has broken his leg.

past present future

+ -

Yesterday John had a good leg. Now he has a bad leg.

Has the price gone up?

past present future

+ -

Was the price $1.50 yesterday? Is the price $1.70 today?

The police have arrested the killer.

past present future

- +

Yesterday the killer was free. Now he is in prison.

Connection with past: the past is the opposite of the present.


Connection with present: the present is the opposite of the past.
Americans do not use the present perfect tense so much as British speakers. Americans often use the past tense instead. An American
might say "Did you have lunch?", where a British person would say "Have you had lunch?"

3. Present perfect tense for continuing situation

We often use the present perfect tense to talk about a continuing situation. This is a state that started in the past and continues in
the present (and will probably continue into the future). This is a state (not an action). We usually use for or since with this structure.

I have worked here since June.


He has been ill for 2 days.
How long have you known Tara?

past present future

The situation started in the past. It continues up to now. (It will probably continue into the future.)

Connection with past: the situation started in the past.


Connection with present: the situation continues in the present.

For and Since with the present perfect tense. What's the difference?

For & Since with Present Perfect Tense

We often use for and since with the present perfect tense.

We use for to talk about a period of time - 5 minutes, 2 weeks, 6 years.


We use since to talk about a point in past time - 9 o'clock, 1st January, Monday.

for since

a period of time a point in past time

x------------

20 minutes 6.15pm

three days Monday

6 months January

4 years 1994

2 centuries 1800

a long time I left school

ever the beginning of time

etc etc

Here are some examples:

I have been here for 20 minutes.


I have been here since 9 o'clock.
John hasn't called for 6 months.
John hasn't called since February.
He has worked in New York for a long time.
He has worked in New York since he left school.
For can be used with all tenses. Since is usually used with perfect tenses only.
The present perfect tense is really a very interesting tense, and a very useful one. Try not to translate the present perfect tense into
your language. Just try to accept the concepts of this tense and learn to "think" present perfect! You will soon learn to like the present
perfect tense!

Simple Past Tense

I sang

The simple past tense is sometimes called the preterite tense. We can use several tenses to talk about the past, but the simple past
tense is the one we use most often.

In this lesson we look at the structure and use of the simple past tense, followed by a quiz to check your understanding:

Structure: how do we make the simple past tense?

How do we make the Simple Past Tense?

To make the simple past tense, we use:

past form only


or
auxiliary did + base form

Here you can see examples of the past form and base form for irregular verbs and regular verbs:

V1 V2 V3
base past past participle

work worked worked


regular The past form for all regular verbs
explode exploded exploded
verb ends in -ed.
like liked liked

go went gone The past form for irregular verbs is


irregular
see saw seen variable. You need to learn it by
verb
sing sang sung heart.

You do not need the past participle form to make the


simple past tense. It is shown here for completeness
only.

subject + main verb


The structure for positive sentences in the simple past tense is: past

The structure for negative sentences in the simple past tense is:

subject + auxiliary verb + not + main verb


did base

The structure for question sentences in the simple past tense is:

auxiliary verb + subject + main verb


did base

The auxiliary verb did is not conjugated. It is the same for all persons (I did, you did, he did etc). And the base form and past form do
not change. Look at these examples with the main verbs go and work:

subject auxiliary verb main verb

I went to school.
+
You worked very hard.
She did not go with me.
-
We did not work yesterday.

Did you go to London?


?
Did they work at home?

Exception! The verb to be is different. We conjugate the verb to be (I was, you were, he/she/it was, we were, they were); and we do
not use an auxiliary for negative and question sentences. To make a question, we exchange the subject and verb. Look at these
examples:

subject main verb

I, he/she/it was here.


+
You, we, they were in London.

I, he/she/it was not there.


-
You, we, they were not happy.

Was I, he/she/it right?


?
Were you, we, they late?

Use: how do we use the simple past tense?

How do we use the Simple Past Tense?

We use the simple past tense to talk about an action or a situation - an event - in the past. The event can be short or long.

Here are some short events with the simple past tense:

The car exploded at 9.30am yesterday.


She went to the door.
We did not hear the telephone.
Did you see that car?

past present future

The action is in the past.

Here are some long events with the simple past tense:

I lived in Bangkok for 10 years.


The Jurassic period lasted about 62 million years.
We did not sing at the concert.
Did you watch TV last night?

past present future

The action is in the past.

Notice that it does not matter how long ago the event is: it can be a few minutes or seconds in the past, or millions of years in the past.
Also it does not matter how long the event is. It can be a few milliseconds (car explosion) or millions of years (Jurassic period). We use
the simple past tense when:
the event is in the past
the event is completely finished
we say (or understand) the time and/or place of the event

In general, if we say the time or place of the event, we must use the simple past tense; we cannot use the present perfect.

Here are some more examples:

I lived in that house when I was young.


He didn't like the movie.
What did you eat for dinner?
John drove to London on Monday.
Mary did not go to work yesterday.
Did you play tennis last week?
I was at work yesterday.
We were not late (for the train).
Were you angry?

Note that when we tell a story, we usually use the simple past tense. We may use the past continuous tense to "set the scene", but we
almost always use the simple past tense for the action. Look at this example of the beginning of a story:

"The wind was howling around the hotel and the rain was pouring down. It was cold. The door opened and James Bond entered. He
took off his coat, which was very wet, and ordered a drink at the bar. He sat down in the corner of the lounge and quietly drank
his..."
This page shows the use of the simple past tense to talk about past events. But note that there are some other uses for the simple past
tense, for example in conditional or if sentences.

Past Continuous Tense

I was singing

The past continuous tense is an important tense in English. We use it to say what we were in the middle of doing at a particular
moment in the past.

In this lesson we look at the structure and the use of the past continuouse tense, followed by a quiz to check your understanding:

Structure: how do we make the past continuous tense?


How do we make the Past Continuous Tense?
The structure of the past continuous tense is:

subject + auxiliary verb BE + main verb

conjugated in simple past tense present participle

was
base + ing
were

For negative sentences in the past continuous tense, we insert not between the auxiliary verb and main verb. For question
sentences, we exchange the subject and auxiliary verb. Look at these example sentences with the past continuous tense:

subject auxiliary verb main verb

+ I was watching TV.

+ You were working hard.

- He, she, it was not helping Mary.

- We were not joking.

? Were you being silly?


? Were they playing football?

How do we use the past continuous tense?


The spelling rules for adding ing to make the past continuous tense are the same as for the present continuous tense.
Use: how do we use the past continuous tense?

How do we use the Past Continuous Tense?

The past continuous tense expresses action at a particular moment in the past. The action started before that moment but has not
finished at that moment. For example, yesterday I watched a film on TV. The film started at 7pm and finished at 9pm.

At 8pm yesterday, I was watching TV.

past present future

8pm

At 8pm, I was in the middle of watching


TV.

When we use the past continuous tense, our listener usually knows or understands what time we are talking about. Look at these
examples:

I was working at 10pm last night.


They were not playing football at 9am this morning.
What were you doing at 10pm last night?
What were you doing when he arrived?
She was cooking when I telephoned her.
We were having dinner when it started to rain.
Ram went home early because it was snowing.

Some verbs cannot be used in continuous/progressive tenses.

We often use the past continuous tense to "set the scene" in stories. We use it to describe the background situation at the moment
when the action begins. Often, the story starts with the past continuous tense and then moves into the simple past tense. Here is an
example:

" James Bond was driving through town. It was raining. The wind was blowing hard. Nobody was walking in the streets. Suddenly,
Bond saw the killer in a telephone box..."

Past Continuous Tense + Simple Past Tense

We often use the past continuous tense with the simple past tense. We use the past continuous tense to express a long action. And
we use the simple past tense to express a short action that happens in the middle of the long action. We can join the two ideas with
when or while.

In the following example, we have two actions:

1. long action (watching TV), expressed with past continuous tense


2. short action (telephoned), expressed with simple past tense

past present future

Long action.
I was watching TV at 8pm.

You telephoned at 8pm.

Short action.

We can join these two actions with when:

I was watching TV when you telephoned.

(Notice that "when you telephoned" is also a way of defining the time [8pm].)

We use:

when + short action (simple past tense)


while + long action (past continuous tense)

There are four basic combinations:

I was walking past the car when it exploded.

When the car exploded I was walking past it.

The car exploded while I was walking past it.

While I was walking past the car it exploded.

Notice that the long action and short action are relative.

"Watching TV" took a few hours. "Telephoned" took a few seconds.


"Walking past the car" took a few seconds. "Exploded" took a few milliseconds.

Past Perfect Tense


I had sung

The past perfect tense is quite an easy tense to understand and to use. This tense talks about the "past in the past".

In this lesson we look at:

Structure: how do we make the past perfect tense?

How do we make the Past Perfect Tense?

The structure of the past perfect tense is:

subject + auxiliary verb HAVE + main verb

conjugated in simple past tense past participle

had V3

For negative sentences in the past perfect tense, we insert not between the auxiliary verb and main verb. For question sentences, we
exchange the subject and auxiliary verb. Look at these example sentences with the past perfect tense:
subject auxiliary verb main verb

+ I had finished my work.

+ You had stopped before me.

- She had not gone to school.

- We had not left.

? Had you arrived?

? Had they eaten dinner?

When speaking with the past perfect tense, we often contract the subject and auxiliary verb:

I had I'd

you had you'd

he had he'd
she had she'd
it had it'd

we had we'd

they had they'd

The 'd contraction is also used for the auxiliary verb would. For example, we'd can mean:

We had
or
We would

But usually the main verb is in a different form, for example:

We had arrived (past participle)


We would arrive (base)

It is always clear from the context.

Use: how do we use the past perfect tense?


How do we use the Past Perfect Tense?

The past perfect tense expresses action in the past before another action in the past. This is the past in the past. For example:

The train left at 9am. We arrived at 9.15am. When we arrived, the train had left.

The train had left when we arrived.

past present future

Train leaves in past at 9am.

9 9.15

We arrive in past at 9.15am.

Look at some more examples:

I wasn't hungry. I had just eaten.


They were hungry. They had not eaten for five hours.
I didn't know who he was. I had never seen him before.
"Mary wasn't at home when I arrived."
"Really? Where had she gone?"

You can sometimes think of the past perfect tense like the present perfect tense, but instead of the time being now the time is past.

past perfect tense present perfect tense


had | have |
done | done |
>| >|

past now future past now future

For example, imagine that you arrive at the station at 9.15am. The stationmaster says to you:

"You are too late. The train has left."

Later, you tell your friends:

"We were too late. The train had left."

We often use the past perfect tense in reported speech after verbs like said, told, asked, thought, wondered:

Look at these examples:

He told us that the train had left.


I thought I had met her before, but I was wrong.
He explained that he had closed the window because of the rain.
I wondered if I had been there before.
I asked them why they had not finished.

Past Perfect Continuous Tense

I had been singing

How do we make the Past Perfect Continuous Tense?

The structure of the past perfect continuous tense is:

subject + auxiliary verb HAVE + auxiliary verb BE + main verb

conjugated in simple past tense past participle present participle

had been base + ing

For negative sentences in the past perfect continuous tense, we insert not after the first auxiliary verb. For question sentences, we
exchange the subject and first auxiliary verb. Look at these example sentences with the past perfect continuous tense:

subject auxiliary verb auxiliary verb main verb

+ I had been working.


+ You had been playing tennis.

- It had not been working well.

- We had not been expecting her.

? Had you been drinking?

? Had they been waiting long?

When speaking with the past perfect continuous tense, we often contract the subject and first auxiliary verb:

I had been I'd been

you had been you'd been

he had he'd been


she had been she'd been
it had been it'd been

we had been we'd been

they had been they'd been

How do we use the Past Perfect Continuous Tense?

The past perfect continuous tense is like the past perfect tense, but it expresses longer actions in the past before another action in the
past. For example:

Ram started waiting at 9am. I arrived at 11am. When I arrived, Ram had been waiting for two hours.

Ram had been waiting for two hours when I arrived.

past present future

Ram starts waiting in past at 9am.

9 11

I arrive in past at 11am.

Here are some more examples:

John was very tired. He had been running.


I could smell cigarettes. Somebody had been smoking.
Suddenly, my car broke down. I was not surprised. It had not been running well for a long time.
Had the pilot been drinking before the crash?
You can sometimes think of the past perfect continuous tense like the present perfect continuous tense, but instead of the time being
now the time is past.

past perfect continuous tense present perfect continuous tense

had | | | have |
been | | | been |
doing | | | doing |
>>>> | | | >>>> |

past now future past now future

For example, imagine that you meet Ram at 11am. Ram says to you:

"I am angry. I have been waiting for two hours."

Later, you tell your friends:

"Ram was angry. He had been waiting for two hours."

Simple Future Tense

I will sing

The simple future tense is often called will, because we make the simple future tense with the modal auxiliary will.

How do we make the Simple Future Tense?

The structure of the simple future tense is:

subject + auxiliary verb WILL + main verb

invariable base

will V1

For negative sentences in the simple future tense, we insert not between the auxiliary verb and main verb. For question sentences, we
exchange the subject and auxiliary verb. Look at these example sentences with the simple future tense:

subject auxiliary verb main verb

+ I will open the door.

+ You will finish before me.

- She will not be at school tomorrow.

- We will not leave yet.


? Will you arrive on time?

? Will they want dinner?

When we use the simple future tense in speaking, we often contract the subject and auxiliary verb:

I will I'll

you will you'll

he will he'll
she will she'll
it will it'll

we will we'll

they will they'll

For negative sentences in the simple future tense, we contract with won't, like this:

I will not I won't

you will not you won't

he will not he won't


she will not she won't
it will not it won't

we will not we won't

they will not they won't

How do we use the Simple Future Tense?

No Plan

We use the simple future tense when there is no plan or decision to do something before we speak. We make the decision
spontaneously at the time of speaking. Look at these examples:

Hold on. I'll get a pen.


We will see what we can do to help you.
Maybe we'll stay in and watch television tonight.

In these examples, we had no firm plan before speaking. The decision is made at the time of speaking.

We often use the simple future tense with the verb to think before it:

I think I'll go to the gym tomorrow.


I think I will have a holiday next year.
I don't think I'll buy that car.

Prediction
We often use the simple future tense to make a prediction about the future. Again, there is no firm plan. We are saying what we think
will happen. Here are some examples:

It will rain tomorrow.


People won't go to Jupiter before the 22nd century.
Who do you think will get the job?

Be

When the main verb is be, we can use the simple future tense even if we have a firm plan or decision before speaking. Examples:

I'll be in London tomorrow.


I'm going shopping. I won't be very long.
Will you be at work tomorrow?

Note that when we have a plan or intention to do something in the future, we usually use other tenses or expressions, such as the
present continuous tense or going to.

Future Continuous Tense

I will be singing

How do we make the Future Continuous Tense?

The structure of the future continuous tense is:

subject + auxiliary verb WILL + auxiliary verb BE + main verb

invariable invariable present participle

will be base + ing

For negative sentences in the future continuous tense, we insert not between will and be. For question sentences, we exchange the
subject and will. Look at these example sentences with the future continuous tense:

subject auxiliary verb auxiliary verb main verb

+ I will be working at 10am.

+ You will be lying on a beach tomorrow.

- She will not be using the car.

- We will not be having dinner at home.

? Will you be playing football?

? Will they be watching TV?


When we use the future continuous tense in speaking, we often contract the subject and will:

I will I'll

you will you'll

he will he'll
she will she'll
it will it'll

we will we'll

they will they'll

For spoken negative sentences in the future continuous tense, we contract with won't, like this:

I will not I won't

you will not you won't

he will not he won't


she will not she won't
it will not it won't

we will not we won't

they will not they won't

We sometimes use shall instead of will, especially for I and we.

How do we use the Future Continuous Tense?

The future continuous tense expresses action at a particular moment in the future. The action will start before that moment but it will
not have finished at that moment. For example, tomorrow I will start work at 2pm and stop work at 6pm:

At 4pm tomorrow, I will be working.

past present future

4pm

At 4pm, I will be in the middle of working.

When we use the future continuous tense, our listener usually knows or understands what time we are talking about. Look at these
examples:

I will be playing tennis at 10am tomorrow.


They won't be watching TV at 9pm tonight.
What will you be doing at 10pm tonight?
What will you be doing when I arrive?
She will not be sleeping when you telephone her.
We 'll be having dinner when the film starts.
Take your umbrella. It will be raining when you return.

Future Perfect Tense I will have sung

The future perfect tense is quite an easy tense to understand and use. The future perfect tense talks about the past in the future.

How do we make the Future Perfect Tense?

The structure of the future perfect tense is:

subject + auxiliary verb WILL + auxiliary verb HAVE + main verb

invariable invariable past participle

will have V3

Look at these example sentences in the future perfect tense:

subject auxiliary verb auxiliary verb main verb

+ I will have finished by 10am.

+ You will have forgotten me by then.

- She will not have gone to school.

- We will not have left.

? Will you have arrived?

? Will they have received it?

In speaking with the future perfect tense, we often contract the subject and will. Sometimes, we contract the subject, will and have all
together:

I will have I'll have I'll've

you will have you'll have you'll've

he will have he'll have he'll've


she will have she'll have she'll've
it will have it'll have it'll've

we will have we'll have we'll've


they will have they'll have they'll've

We sometimes use shall instead of will, especially for I and we.

How do we use the Future Perfect Tense?

The future perfect tense expresses action in the future before another action in the future. This is the past in the future. For example:

The train will leave the station at 9am. You will arrive at the station at 9.15am. When you arrive, the train will have left.

The train will have left when you arrive.

past present future

Train leaves in future at 9am.

9 9.15

You arrive in future at 9.15am.

Look at some more examples:

You can call me at work at 8am. I will have arrived at the office by 8.
They will be tired when they arrive. They will not have slept for a long time.
"Mary won't be at home when you arrive."
"Really? Where will she have gone?"

You can sometimes think of the future perfect tense like the present perfect tense, but instead of your viewpoint being in the present, it
is in the future:

present perfect tense future perfect tense

| will |
have | have |
done | done |
>| >|

past now future past now future

Future Perfect Continuous Tense

I will have been singing

How do we make the Future Perfect Continuous Tense?

The structure of the future perfect continuous tense is:

subject + auxiliary verb WILL + auxiliary verb HAVE + auxiliary verb BE + main verb
invariable invariable past participle present participle

will have been base + ing

For negative sentences in the future perfect continuous tense, we insert not between will and have. For question sentences, we
exchange the subject and will. Look at these example sentences with the future perfect continuous tense:

subject auxiliary verb auxiliary verb auxiliary verb main verb

+ I will have been working for four hours.

+ You will have been travelling for two days.

- She will not have been using the car.

- We will not have been waiting long.

? Will you have been playing football?

? Will they have been watching TV?

When we use the future perfect continuous tense in speaking, we often contract the subject and auxiliary verb:

I will I'll

you will you'll

he will he'll
she will she'll
it will it'll

we will we'll

they will they'll

For negative sentences in the future perfect continuous tense, we contract with won't, like this:

I will not I won't

you will not you won't

he will not he won't


she will not she won't
it will not it won't

we will not we won't


they will not they won't

How do we use the Future Perfect Continuous Tense?

We use the future perfect continuous tense to talk about a long action before some point in the future. Look at these examples:

I will have been working here for ten years next week.
He will be tired when he arrives. He will have been travelling for 24 hours.

.Phrasal Verbs and other multi-word verbs

Phrasal verbs are part of a large group of verbs called "multi-word verbs". Phrasal verbs and other multi-word verbs are an important
part of the English language. Multi-word verbs, including phrasal verbs, are very common, especially in spoken English. A multi-word
verb is a verb like "pick up", "turn on" or "get on with". For convenience, many people refer to all multi-word verbs as phrasal verbs.
These verbs consist of a basic verb + another word or words. The other word(s) can be prepositions and/or adverbs. The two or
three words that make up multi-word verbs form a short "phrase" - which is why these verbs are often all called "phrasal verbs".

The important thing to remember is that a multi-word verb is still a verb. "Get" is a verb. "Get up", is also a verb, a different verb. "Get"
and "get up" are two different verbs. They do not have the same meaning. So you should treat each multi-word verb as a separate
verb, and learn it like any other verb. Look at these examples. You can see that there are three types of multi-word verb:

direct your eyes in a certain


single-word verb look You must look before you leap.
direction

prepositional verbs look after take care of Who is looking after the baby?

search for and find information in a You can look up my number in the
multi-word phrasal verbs look up
reference book telephone directory.
verbs
phrasal-prepositional look
anticipate with pleasure I look forward to meeting you.
verbs forward to

In this lesson we look at the three types of multi-word verbs, including phrasal verbs, followed by a quiz to check your understanding:

Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs are a group of multi-word verbs made from a verb plus another word or words. Many people refer to all multi-word verbs
as phrasal verbs. On these pages we make a distinction between three types of multi-word verbs: prepositional verbs, phrasal verbs
and phrasal-prepositional verbs. On this page we look at phrasal verbs proper.

Phrasal verbs are made of:

verb + adverb

Phrasal verbs can be:

intransitive (no direct object)


transitive (direct object)

Here are some examples of phrasal verbs:

examples
phrasal verbs meaning
direct object

get up rise from bed I don't like to get up.


intransitive
phrasal
break down cease to function He was late because his car broke down.
verbs

put off postpone We will have to put off the meeting.


transitive
phrasal
verbs
turn down refuse They turned down my offer.

Separable Phrasal Verbs

When phrasal verbs are transitive (that is, they have a direct object), we can usually separate the two parts. For example, "turn down"
is a separable phrasal verb. We can say: "turn down my offer" or "turn my offer down". Look at this table:

They turned down my offer.


transitive phrasal verbs are
separable
They turned my offer down.

However, if the direct object is a pronoun, we have no choice. We must separate the phrasal verb and insert the pronoun between the
two parts. Look at this example with the separable phrasal verb "switch on":

John switched on the radio.

direct
object
pronouns John switched the radio on. These are all possible.
must go
between
the two
parts of
transitive John switched it on.
phrasal
verbs

John switched on it. This is not possible.

Separable or inseparable phrasal verbs? Some dictionaries tell you when phrasal verbs are separable. If a dictionary writes "look
(something) up", you know that the phrasal verb "look up" is separable, and you can say "look something up" and "look up something".
It's a good idea to write "something/somebody" as appropriate in your vocabulary book when you learn a new phrasal verb, like this:

get up
break down
put something/somebody off
turn sthg/sby down

This tells you whether the verb needs a direct object (and where to put it).

Prepositional Verbs

Prepositional Verbs

Prepositional verbs are a group of multi-word verbs made from a verb plus another word or words. Many people refer to all multi-word
verbs as phrasal verbs. On these pages we make a distinction between three types of multi-word verbs: prepositional verbs, phrasal
verbs and phrasal-prepositional verbs. On this page we look at prepositional verbs.
Prepositional verbs are made of:

verb + preposition

Because a preposition always has an object, all prepositional verbs have direct objects. Here are some examples of prepositional
verbs:

examples
prepositional verbs meaning
direct object

believe in have faith in the existence of I believe in God.

look after take care of He is looking after the dog.

talk about discuss Did you talk about me?

wait for await John is waiting for Mary.

Prepositional verbs cannot be separated. That means that we cannot put the direct object between the two parts. For example, we
must say "look after the baby". We cannot say "look the baby after":

Who is looking after the baby? This is possible.


prepositional verbs are inseparable
Who is looking the baby after? This is not possible.

It is a good idea to write "something/somebody" in your vocabulary book when you learn a new prepositional verb, like this:

believe in something/somebody
look after sthg/sby

This reminds you that this verb needs a direct object (and where to put it).

Phrasal-prepositional Verbs

Phrasal-prepositional Verbs

Phrasal-prepositional verbs are a small group of multi-word verbs made from a verb plus another word or words. Many people refer to
all multi-word verbs as phrasal verbs. On these pages we make a distinction between three types of multi-word verbs: prepositional
verbs, phrasal verbs and phrasal-prepositional verbs. On this page we look at phrasal-prepositional verbs.

Phrasal-prepositional verbs are made of:

verb + adverb + preposition

Look at these examples of phrasal-prepositional verbs:

examples
phrasal-prepositional verbs meaning
direct object

get on with have a friendly relationship with He doesn't get on with his wife.

put up with tolerate I won't put up with your attitude.

look forward to anticipate with pleasure I look forward to seeing you.

run out of use up, exhaust We have run out of eggs.


Because phrasal-prepositional verbs end with a preposition, there is always a direct object. And, like prepositional verbs, phrasal-
prepositional verbs cannot be separated. Look at these examples:

We ran out of fuel.


phrasal-prepositional verbs are
inseparable
We ran out of it.

Now check your understanding

It is a good idea to write "something/somebody" in your vocabulary book when you learn a new phrasal-prepositional verb, like this:

get on with somebody


put up with sthg/sby
run out of something

This reminds you that this verb needs a direct object (and where to put it).
Like many grammar books, we divide multi-word verbs into:

prepositional verbs
phrasal verbs
phrasal-prepositional verbs

Other grammars, however, call all multi-word verbs "phrasal verbs".

English Conditionals

There are several structures in English that are called conditionals.

"Condition" means "situation or circumstance". If a particular condition is true, then a particular result happens.

If y = 10 then 2y = 20
If y = 3 then 2y = 6

There are three basic conditionals that we use very often. There are some more conditionals that we do not use so often.

In this lesson, we will look at the three basic conditionals as well as the so-called zero conditional. We'll finish with a quiz to check your
understanding.

People sometimes call conditionals "IF" structures or sentences, because there is usually (but not always) the word "if" in a conditional
sentence.

Structure of Conditional Sentences

Structure of Conditional Sentences

The structure of most conditionals is very simple. There are two basic possibilities. Of course, we add many words and can use various
tenses, but the basic structure is usually like this:

IF condition result

IF y = 10 2y = 20

or like this:

result IF condition
2y = 20 IF y = 10

First Conditional

First Conditional
First Conditional: real possibility
We are talking about the future. We are thinking about a particular condition or situation in the future, and the result of this
condition. There is a real possibility that this condition will happen. For example, it is morning. You are at home. You plan to
play tennis this afternoon. But there are some clouds in the sky. Imagine that it rains. What will you do?

IF condition result

present simple WILL + base verb

If it rains I will stay at home.

Notice that we are thinking about a future condition. It is not raining yet. But the sky is cloudy and you think that it could rain.
We use the present simple tense to talk about the possible future condition. We use WILL + base verb to talk about the
possible future result. The important thing about the first conditional is that there is a real possibility that the condition will
happen. Here are some more examples (do you remember the two basic structures: [IF condition result] and [result IF
condition]?):

IF condition result

present simple WILL + base verb

If I see Mary I will tell her.

If Tara is free tomorrow he will invite her.

If they do not pass their exam their teacher will be sad.

If it rains tomorrow will you stay at home?

If it rains tomorrow what will you do?


result IF condition

WILL + base verb present simple

I will tell Mary if I see her.

He will invite Tara if she is free tomorrow.

Their teacher will be sad if they do not pass their exam.

Will you stay at home if it rains tomorrow?

What will you do if it rains tomorrow?


Sometimes, we use shall, can, or may instead of will, for example: If you are good today, you can watch TV tonight.

Second Conditional

Second Conditional: unreal possibility or dream


The second conditional is like the first conditional. We are still thinking about the future. We are thinking about a particular condition
in the future, and the result of this condition. But there is not a real possibility that this condition will happen. For example, you do not
have a lottery ticket. Is it possible to win? No! No lottery ticket, no win! But maybe you will buy a lottery ticket in the future. So you can
think about winning in the future, like a dream. It's not very real, but it's still possible.

IF condition result

past simple WOULD + base verb

If I won the lottery I would buy a car.

Notice that we are thinking about a future condition. We use the past simple tense to talk about the future condition. We use WOULD +
base verb to talk about the future result. The important thing about the second conditional is that there is an unreal possibility that
the condition will happen.

Here are some more examples:

IF condition result

past simple WOULD + base verb

If I married Mary I would be happy.

If Ram became rich she would marry him.

If it snowed next July would you be surprised?

If it snowed next July what would you do?

result IF condition

WOULD + base verb past simple

I would be happy if I married Mary.

She would marry Ram if he became rich.

Would you be surprised if it snowed next July?

What would you do if it snowed next July?

Sometimes, we use should, could or might instead of would, for example: If I won a million dollars, I could stop working.

Third Conditional
Third Conditional: no possibility
The first conditional and second conditionals talk about the future. With the third conditional we talk about the past. We talk
about a condition in the past that did not happen. That is why there is no possibility for this condition. The third conditional is
also like a dream, but with no possibility of the dream coming true.
Last week you bought a lottery ticket. But you did not win. :-(

condition result

Past Perfect WOULD HAVE + Past Participle

If I had won the lottery I would have bought a car.

Notice that we are thinking about an impossible past condition. You did not win the lottery. So the condition was not true, and
that particular condition can never be true because it is finished. We use the past perfect tense to talk about the impossible
past condition. We use WOULD HAVE + past participle to talk about the impossible past result. The important thing about the
third conditional is that both the condition and result are impossible now.
Sometimes, we use should have, could have, might have instead of would have, for example: If you had bought a lottery
ticket, you might have won.
Look at some more examples in the tables below:

IF condition result

past perfect WOULD HAVE + past participle

If I had seen Mary I would have told her.

If Tara had been free yesterday I would have invited her.

If they had not passed their exam their teacher would have been sad.

If it had rained yesterday would you have stayed at home?

If it had rained yesterday what would you have done?


result IF condition

WOULD HAVE + past participle past perfect

I would have told Mary if I had seen her.

I would have invited Tara if she had been free yesterday.

Their teacher would have been sad if they had not passed their exam.

Would you have stayed at home if it had rained yesterday?

What would you have done if it had rained yesterday?

Zero Conditional

Zero Conditional: certainty

We use the so-called zero conditional when the result of the condition is always true, like a scientific fact.

Take some ice. Put it in a saucepan. Heat the saucepan. What happens? The ice melts (it becomes water). You would be surprised if it
did not.

IF condition result

present simple present simple

If you heat ice it melts.

Notice that we are thinking about a result that is always true for this condition. The result of the condition is an absolute certainty. We
are not thinking about the future or the past, or even the present. We are thinking about a simple fact. We use the present simple tense
to talk about the condition. We also use the present simple tense to talk about the result. The important thing about the zero conditional
is that the condition always has the same result.

We can also use when instead of if, for example: When I get up late I miss my bus.

Look at some more examples in the tables below:

IF condition result

present simple present simple


If I miss the 8 o'clock bus I am late for work.

If I am late for work my boss gets angry.

If people don't eat they get hungry.

If you heat ice does it melt?

result IF condition

present simple present simple

I am late for work if I miss the 8 o'clock bus.

My boss gets angry if I am late for work.

People get hungry if they don't eat.

Does ice melt if you heat it?

Summary
Conditionals: Summary
Here is a chart to help you to visualize the basic English conditionals. Do not take the 50% and 10% figures too literally. They
are just to help you.

probability conditional example time

100% zero conditional If you heat ice, it melts. any time

50% first conditional If it rains, I will stay at home. future

10% second conditional If I won the lottery, I would buy a car. future

0% third conditional If I had won the lottery, I would have bought a car. past

Nouns

It's 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
teacher, school, book

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
The problem with this definition is that it does not explain why "love" is a noun but can also be a verb.

Another (more complicated) way of recognizing a noun is by its:

1. Ending
2. Position
3. Function

1. Noun Ending

There are certain word endings that show that a word is a noun, for example:

-ity > nationality


-ment > appointment
-ness > happiness
-ation > relation
-hood > childhood

But this is not true for the word endings of all nouns. For example, the noun "spoonful" ends in -ful, but the adjective "careful" also ends in -ful.

2. Position in Sentence

We can often recognise a noun by its position in the sentence.

Nouns often come after a determiner (a determiner is a word like a, an, the, this, my, such):

a relief
an afternoon
the doctor
this word
my house
such stupidity

Nouns often come after one or more adjectives:

a great relief
a peaceful afternoon
the tall, Indian doctor
this difficult word
my brown and white house
such crass stupidity

3. Function in a Sentence

Nouns have certain functions (jobs) in a sentence, for example:

subject of verb: Doctors work hard.


object of verb: He likes coffee.
subject and object of verb: Teachers teach students.

But the subject or object of a sentence is not always a noun. It could be a pronoun or a phrase. In the sentence "My doctor works hard", the noun is
"doctor" but the subject is "My doctor".

Countable Nouns, Uncountable Nouns


Why is this important? Why do some nouns have no plural?
dog/dogs, rice, hair(s)

Countable and Uncountable Nouns

English nouns are often described as "countable" or "uncountable".

In this lesson we look at:


Countable Nouns

Countable Nouns

Countable nouns are easy to recognize. They are things that we can count. For example: "pen". We can count pens. We can have one, two, three or
more pens. Here are some more countable nouns:

dog, cat, animal, man, person


bottle, box, litre
coin, note, dollar
cup, plate, fork
table, chair, suitcase, bag

Countable nouns can be singular or plural:

My dog is playing.
My dogs are hungry.

We can use the indefinite article a/an with countable nouns:

A dog is an animal.

When a countable noun is singular, we must use a word like a/the/my/this with it:

I want an orange. (not I want orange.)


Where is my bottle? (not Where is bottle?)

When a countable noun is plural, we can use it alone:

I like oranges.
Bottles can break.

We can use some and any with countable nouns:

I've got some dollars.


Have you got any pens?

We can use a few and many with countable nouns:

I've got a few dollars.


I haven't got many pens.

"People" is countable. "People" is the plural of "person". We can count people:

There is one person here.


There are three people here.

Uncountable Nouns

Uncountable Nouns

Uncountable nouns are substances, concepts etc that we cannot divide into separate elements. We cannot "count" them. For example, we cannot
count "milk". We can count "bottles of milk" or "litres of milk", but we cannot count "milk" itself. Here are some more uncountable nouns:

music, art, love, happiness


advice, information, news
furniture, luggage
rice, sugar, butter, water
electricity, gas, power
money, currency
We usually treat uncountable nouns as singular. We use a singular verb. For example:

This news is very important.


Your luggage looks heavy.

We do not usually use the indefinite article a/an with uncountable nouns. We cannot say "an information" or "a music". But we can say a something
of:

a piece of news
a bottle of water
a grain of rice

We can use some and any with uncountable nouns:

I've got some money.


Have you got any rice?

We can use a little and much with uncountable nouns:

I've got a little money.


I haven't got much rice.

Uncountable nouns are also called "mass nouns".

Here are some more examples of countable and uncountable nouns:

Countable Uncountable

dollar money

song music

suitcase luggage

table furniture

battery electricity

bottle wine

report information

tip advice

journey travel

job work

view scenery

When you learn a new word, it's a good idea to learn whether it's countable or uncountable.

Nouns that can be Countable & Uncountable


Nouns that can be Countable and Uncountable

Sometimes, the same noun can be countable and uncountable, often with a change of meaning.

Countable Uncountable

There are two hairs in my coffee! hair I don't have much hair.

There are two lights in our bedroom. light Close the curtain. There's too much light!

Shhhhh! I thought I heard a noise. noise It's difficult to work when there is too much noise.

Have you got a paper to read? (= newspaper) paper I want to draw a picture. Have you got some paper?

Our house has seven rooms. room Is there room for me to sit here?

We had a great time at the party. time Have you got time for a coffee?

Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's greatest works. work I have no money. I need work!

Drinks (coffee, water, orange juice) are usually uncountable. But if we are thinking of a cup or a glass, we can say (in a restaurant, for example):

Two teas and one coffee please.

Proper Nouns (Names)


Do we say "Atlantic Ocean" or "the Atlantic Ocean"? Should I write "february" or "February"?
Shirley, Mr Jeckyll, Thailand, April, Sony

Proper Nouns (Names)

A proper noun is the special word (or name) that we use for a person, place or organization, like John, Marie, London, France or Sony. A name is a
noun, but a very special noun - a proper noun. Proper nouns have special rules.

common noun proper noun

man, boy John

woman, girl Mary

country, town England, London

company Ford, Sony

shop, restaurant Maceys, McDonalds

month, day of the week January, Sunday

book, film War & Peace, Titanic

In this lesson we look at the uses of proper nouns, followed by a quiz to check your understanding:

Using Capital Letters with Proper Nouns

Using Capital Letters with Proper Nouns

We always use a Capital Letter for the first letter of a proper noun (name). This includes names of people, places, companies, days of the week and
months. For example:

They like John. (not *They like john.)


I live in England.
She works for Sony.
The last day in January is a Monday.
We saw Titanic in the Odeon Cinema.

Proper Nouns without THE

Proper Nouns without THE

We do not use "the" with names of people. For example:

Bill (not *the Bill)


first names
Hilary

Clinton
surnames
Gates

full names Hilary Gates

We do not normally use "the" with names of companies. For example:

Renault, Ford, Sony, EnglishClub.com


General Motors, Air France, British Airways
Warner Brothers, Brown & Son Ltd

If the full (registered) name of a company starts with "The", then we use "The" if we use the full name, for example:

The Post Publishing Public Co., Ltd

We do not normally use "the" for shops, banks, hotels etc named after a founder or other person (with -'s or -s). For example:

shops Harrods, Marks & Spencer, Maceys

banks Barclays Bank

hotels, restaurants Steve's Hotel, Joe's Cafe, McDonalds

churches, cathedrals St John's Church, St Peter's Cathedral

We do not normally use "the" with names of places. For example:

towns Washington (not *the Washington), Paris, Tokyo

states, regions Texas, Kent, Eastern Europe

countries England, Italy, Brazil

continents Asia, Europe, North America

islands Corsica

mountains Everest

Exception! If a country name includes "States","Kingdom", "Republic" etc, we use "the":

states the United States, the US, the United States of America, the USA
kingdom the United Kingdom, the UK

republic the French Republic

We do not use "the" with "President/Doctor/Mr etc + Name":

the president, the king President Bush (not *the President Bush)

the captain, the detective Captain Kirk, Detective Colombo

the doctor, the professor Doctor Well, Dr Well, Professor Dolittle

my uncle, your aunt Uncle Jack, Aunt Jill

Mr Gates (not *the Mr Gates), Mrs Clinton, Miss Black

Look at these example sentences:

I wanted to speak to the doctor.


I wanted to speak to Doctor Brown.
Who was the president before President Kennedy?

We do not use "the" with "Lake/Mount + Name":

the lake Lake Victoria

the mount Mount Everest

Look at this example sentence:

We live beside Lake Victoria. We have a fantastic view across the lake.

We do not normally use "the" for roads, streets, squares, parks etc:

streets etc Oxford Street, Trenholme Road, Fifth Avenue

squares etc Trafalgar Square, Oundle Place, Piccadilly Circus

parks etc Central Park, Kew Gardens

Many big, important buildings have names made of two words (for example, Kennedy Airport). If the first word is the name of a person or place, we
do not normally use "the":

people Kennedy Airport, Alexander Palace, St Paul's Cathedral

places Heathrow Airport, Waterloo Station, Edinburgh Castle

Proper Nouns with THE

Proper Nouns with THE

We normally use "the" for country names that include "States","Kingdom", "Republic" etc:

States the United States of America/the USA

Kingdom the United Kingdom/the UK

Republic the French Republic

We normally use "the" for names of canals, rivers, seas and oceans:
canals the Suez Canal

rivers the River Nile, the Nile

seas the Mediterranean Sea, the Mediterranean

oceans the Pacific Ocean, the Pacific

We normally use "the" for plural names of people and places:

people (families, for example) the Clintons

countries the Philippines, the United States

island groups the Virgin Islands, the British Isles

mountain ranges the Himalayas, the Alps

Look at these sentences:

I saw the Clintons today. It was Bill's birthday.


Trinidad is the largest island in the West Indies.
Mount Everest is in the Himalayas.

We normally use "the" with the following sorts of names:

hotels, restaurants the Ritz Hotel, the Peking Restaurant

banks the National Westminster Bank

cinemas, theatres the Royal Theatre, the ABC Cinema

museums the British Museum, the National Gallery

buildings the White House, the Crystal Palace

newspapers the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Post

organisations the United Nations, the BBC, the European Union

We normally use "the" for names made with "of":

the Tower of London


the Gulf of Siam
the Tropic of Cancer
the London School of Economics
the Bank of France
the Statue of Liberty

Possessive 's
Adding 's or ' to show possession.
John's car, my parents' house

Noun as Adjective
Sometimes we use a noun to describe another noun. In that case, the first noun is "acting as" an adjective.
love story, tooth-brush, bathroom

Compound Nouns
A compound noun is a noun that is made with two or more words.
tennis shoe, six-pack, bedroom

Adjectives
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).

Adjectives can be used before a noun (I like Chinese food) or after certain verbs (It is hard).

We can often use two or more adjectives together (a beautiful young French lady).

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 don't need an adjective.
For example, instead of saying "a large, impressive house" (2 adjectives + 1 noun) we could simply say "a mansion" (1 noun).

Determiners
the, a/an, this, some, any

Determiners

Determiners are words like the, an, my, some. They are grammatically similar. They all come at the beginning of noun phrases, and usually we
cannot use more than one determiner in the same noun phrase.

Articles:

a, an, the

A, An or The?

When do we say "the dog" and when do we say "a dog"? (On this page 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.

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.

Look at these examples:

the a, an

The capital of France is Paris. I was born in a town.


I have found the book that I lost. John had an omelette for lunch.
Have you cleaned the car? James Bond ordered a drink.
There are six eggs in the fridge. We want to buy an umbrella.
Please switch off the TV when you finish. Have you got a pen?

Of course, often we can use the or a/an for the same word. It depends on the situation, not the word. Look at these examples:

We want to buy an umbrella. (Any umbrella, not a particular umbrella.)


Where is the umbrella? (We already have an umbrella. We are looking for our umbrella, a particular umbrella.)
This little story should help you understand the difference between the and a, an:

A man and a woman were walking in Oxford Street. The woman saw a dress that she liked in a shop. She asked the man if he could buy the dress
for her. He said: "Do you think the shop will accept a cheque? I don't have a credit card."

Possessive Adjectives:

my, your, his, her, its, our, their, whose

Possessive Adjectives

Warning! These are adjectives. Don't confuse them with pronouns!

We use possessive adjectives to show who owns or "possesses" something. The possessive adjectives are:

my, your, his, her, its, our, their


whose (interrogative)

possessive
number person gender example sentence
adjective

1st male/female my This is my book.

2nd male/female your I like your hair.

singular male his His name is "John".

3rd female her Her name is "Mary".

neuter its The dog is licking its paw.

1st male/female our We have sold our house.

plural 2nd male/female your Your children are lovely.

3rd male/female/neuter their The students thanked their teacher.

singular/plural 1st/2nd/3rd male/female (not neuter) whose Whose phone did you use?

Compare:

your = possessive adjective


you're = you are

its = possessive adjective


it's = it is OR it has

their = possessive adjective


they're = they are
there = adverb (I'm not going there / look over there / there is a car outside)

whose = possessive adjective


who's = who is OR who has

Be careful! There is no apostrophe (') in the possessive adjective "its". We use an apostrophe to write the short form of "it is" or "it has". For
example:
it's raining = it is raining
it's finished = it has finished

I'm taking my dog to the vet. It's broken its leg.

Other determiners:

each, every

Each, Every

Each and every have similar but not always identical meanings.

Each = every one separately


Every = each, all

Sometimes, each and every have the same meaning:

Prices go up each year.


Prices go up every year.

But often they are not exactly the same.

Each expresses the idea of 'one by one'. It emphasizes individuality.

Every is half-way between each and all. It sees things or people as singular, but in a group or in general.

Consider the following:

Every artist is sensitive.


Each artist sees things differently.
Every soldier saluted as the President arrived.
The President gave each soldier a medal.

Each can be used in front of the verb:

The soldiers each received a medal.

Each can be followed by 'of':

The President spoke to each of the soldiers.


He gave a medal to each of them.

Every cannot be used for 2 things. For 2 things, each can be used:
He was carrying a suitcase in each hand.

Every is used to say how often something happens:

There is a plane to Bangkok every day.


The bus leaves every hour.

Verbs with each and every are always conjugated in the singular.

either, neither
some, any, no

Some, Any

Some = a little, a few or a small number or amount

Any = one, some or all

Usually, we use some in positive (+) sentences and any in negative (-) and question (?) sentences.

some any example situation

+ I have some money. I have $10.

- I don't have any money. I don't have $1 and I don't have $10 and I don't have $1,000,000. I have $0.

? Do you have any money? Do you have $1 or $10 or $1,000,000?

In general, we use something/anything and somebody/anybody in the same way as some/any.

Look at these examples:

He needs some stamps.


I must go. I have some homework to do.
I'm thirsty. I want something to drink.
I can see somebody coming.

He doesn't need any stamps.


I can stay. I don't have any homework to do.
I'm not thirsty. I don't want anything to drink.
I can't see anybody coming.

Does he need any stamps?


Do you have any homework to do?
Do you want anything to drink?
Can you see anybody coming?

We use any in a positive sentence when the real sense is negative.

I refused to give them any money. (I did not give them any money)
She finished the test without any difficulty. (she did not have any difficulty)

Sometimes we use some in a question, when we expect a positive YES answer. (We could say that it is not a real question, because we think we
know the answer already.)

Would you like some more tea?


Could I have some sugar, please?
much, many; more, most
little, less, least
few, fewer, fewest
what, whatever; which, whichever
both, half, all
several
enough

Adjective Order
beautiful, long, dark brown

Adjective Order

There are 2 basic positions for adjectives:

1. before the noun


2. after certain verbs (be, become, get, seem, look, feel, sound, smell, taste)

adj. noun verb adj.

1 I like big cars.

2 My car is big.

In this lesson we look at the position of adjectives in a sentence, followed by a quiz to check your understanding:

Adjective before noun

Adjective Before Noun

We sometimes use more than one adjective before the noun:

I like big black dogs.


She was wearing a beautiful long red dress.

What is the correct order for two or more adjectives?

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.)

2. The normal order for fact adjectives is size, age, shape, colour, material, origin:

a big, old, square, black, wooden Chinese table

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)

Here is an example with opinion and fact adjectives:


adjectives

fact noun
deter-
opinion
miner age shape colour

two nice old round red candles

When we want to use two colour 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. Consider the following conversations:

Conversation 1
A "I want to buy a round table."
B "Do you want a new round table or an old round table?"

Conversation 2
A "I want to buy an old table".
B "Do you want a round old table or a square old table?"

Adjective after certain verbs

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 she had to wait, she became impatient.
Is it getting dark?
The examination did not seem difficult.
Your friend looks nice.
This towel feels damp.
That new film doesn't sound very interesting.
Dinner smells good tonight.
This milk tastes sour.
It smells bad.

These verbs are "stative" verbs, which express a state or change of state, not "dynamic" verbs which express an action. Note that some verbs can be
stative in one sense (she looks beautiful | it got hot), and dynamic in another (she looked at him | he got the money). The above examples do not
include all stative verbs.

Note also that in the above structure (subject verb adjective), the adjective can qualify a pronoun since the subject may be a pronoun.

Comparative Adjectives
richer, more exciting

Superlative Adjectives
the richest, the most exciting
Gradable and Non-gradable Adjectives |

Gradable and Non-gradable Adjectives

Adjectives describe qualities (characteristics) of nouns.

Some qualities can vary in intensity or grade (for example: rather hot, hot, very hot; hot, hotter, the hottest).

The adjective hot is gradable.

Other qualities cannot vary in intensity or grade because they are:


a. extremes (for example: freezing)
b. absolutes (for example: dead)
c. classifying (for example: nuclear)

The adjectives freezing, dead and nuclear are non-gradable.

Gradable Adjectives

A gradable adjective can be used with "grading adverbs" that vary the adjective's grade or intensity. Look at these examples:

grading adverbs gradable adjectives


a little, dreadfully, extremely, fairly, hugely, immensely, + angry, big, busy, clever, cold, deep, fast, friendly, good, happy, high, hot,
intensely, rather, reasonably, slightly, unusually, very important, long, popular, rich, strong, tall, warm, weak, young

A gradable adjective can also have comparative and superlative forms:

EC Tip: "Gradable adjectives" are also called "qualitative adjectives". "Grading adverbs" are also called "submodifiers".

big, bigger, the biggest


hot, hotter, the hottest
important, more important, the most important

Look at these example sentences:

My teacher was very happy with my homework.


That website is reasonably popular. But this one is more popular.
He said that Holland was a little cold and Denmark was rather cold. But Sweden was the coldest.

EC Tip: The adjective dead is non-gradable because it is an absolute. Dead is dead. We cannot be more or less dead. One person cannot be
"deader" than another. Other absolutes include: correct, unique, perfect

Non-gradable Adjectives

A non-gradable adjective cannot be used with grading adverbs:

It was rather freezing outside.


The dog was very dead.
He is investing in slightly nuclear energy.

Non-gradable adjectives do not normally have comparative and superlative forms:

freezing, more freezing, the most freezing


dead, deader, the deadest
nuclear, more nuclear, the most nuclear

Often, non-gradable adjectives are used alone:

EC Tip: Don't try to learn lists of gradable and non-gradable adjectives! It's better to understand what makes an adjective gradable or non-
gradable. This is a matter of logic and common sense. Most native-speakers have never heard of gradable and non-gradable adjectives. They just
"feel" that it doesn't make sense to say "fairly excellent" or "very unique". You probably have the same idea in your language.
It was freezing outside.
The dog was dead.
He is investing in nuclear energy.

However, a non-gradable adjective can be used with "non-grading adverbs" (which usually just give the adjective extra impact), for example:

non-grading adverbs non-gradable adjectives

absolutely awful

utterly excellent extreme

completely terrified

totally dead

nearly impossible absolute

virtually unique

essentially chemical

mainly digital classifying

almost domestic

Here are some example sentences with non-gradable adjectives:

Her exam results were absolutely awful. She will have to take the exam again.
Is there anything like it in the world? It must be virtually unique.
It starts an essentially chemical reaction.

Adjectives that can be gradable and non-gradable

Some adjectives may have more than one meaning or sense. It's possible for the same adjective to be gradable with one sense and non-gradable with
another sense. For example:

adjective common =

He's got a very old car. gradable not young

I saw my old boyfriend yesterday. non-gradable former, ex-

He has some dreadfully common habits. gradable vulgar

"The" is a very common word in English. gradable prevalent

The two countries' common border poses problems. non-gradable shared


Adverbs used with gradable and non-gradable adjectives

The adverbs really (very much) and fairly and pretty (both meaning "to a significant degree, but less than very") can often be used with gradable
and non-gradable adjectives:

gradable non-gradable

Please don't forget! It's really important. He was really terrified.

He's a fairly rich man. It's a fairly impossible job.

He's pretty tall. It's pretty ridiculous when you think about it.

"Quite" with gradable and non-gradable adjectives

The meaning of the adverb "quite" changes according to the type of adjective we use it with:

adjective quite =

It's quite warm today. gradable fairly, rather

Are you quite certain? non-gradable completely, absolutely

Reference
Non-gradable adjectives

Although we don't recommend that you learn lists of non-gradable adjectives, here are some for reference. You can decide for yourself whether
they are extreme, absolute or classifying.

alive, awful, black, boiling, certain, correct, dead, domestic, enormous, environmental, excellent, freezing, furious, gigantic, huge, immediately,
impossible, miniscule, mortal, overjoyed, perfect, pregnant, principal, ridiculous, superb, terrible, terrified, unique, unknown, white, whole

Non-grading adverbs

Again, no need to learn lists. Here are a few examples. There are many more. Remember that you cannot use all non-grading adverbs with all non-
gradable adjectives. Some collocate (go together). Some don't.

absolutely, almost, completely, entirely, exclusively, fully, largely, mainly, nearly, perfectly, practically, primarily, utterly, virtually

see also:

Noun as Adjective

Noun as Adjective

As you know, a noun is a person, place or thing, and an adjective is a word that describes a noun:

adjectivenou
n

clever teacher

small office

black horse

Sometimes we use a noun to describe another noun. In that case, the first noun "acts as" an adjective.

noun
as
adjectivenoun

history teacher

ticket office

race horse

The "noun as adjective" always comes first

If you remember this it will help you to understand what is being talked about:

a race horse is a horse that runs in races


a horse race is a race for horses
a boat race is a race for boats
a love story is a story about love
a war story is a story about war
a tennis ball is a ball for playing tennis
tennis shoes are shoes for playing tennis
a computer exhibition is an exhibition of computers
a bicycle shop is a shop that sells bicycles

The "noun as adjective" is singular

Just like a real adjective, the "noun as adjective" is invariable. It is usually in the singular form.

RightWrong

boat race boat races NOT boats race, boats races

toothbrush toothbrushes NOT teethbrush, teethbrushes

shoe-lace shoe-laces NOT shoes-lace, shoes-laces

cigarette packet cigarette packets NOT cigarettes packet, cigarettes packets

In other words, if there is a plural it is on the real noun only.

A few nouns look plural but we usually treat them as singular (for example news, billiards, athletics). When we use these nouns "as adjectives" they
are unchanged:

a news reporter, three news reporters


one billiards table, four billiards tables
an athletics trainer, fifty athletics trainers
Exceptions:
When we use certain nouns "as adjectives" (clothes, sports, customs, accounts, arms), we use them in the plural form:

clothes shop, clothes shops


sports club, sports clubs
customs duty, customs duties
accounts department, accounts departments
arms production

How do we write the "noun as adjective"?

We write the "noun as adjective" and the real noun in several different ways:

two separate words (car door)


two hyphenated words (book-case)
one word (bathroom)

There are no easy rules for this. We even write some combinations in two or all three different ways: (head master, head-master, headmaster)

How do we say the "noun as adjective"?

For pronunciation, we usually stress the first word:

shoe shop
boat-race
bathroom

Can we have more than one "noun as adjective"?

Yes. Just like adjectives, we often use more than one "noun as adjective" together. Look at these examples:

car production costs: we are talking about the costs of producing cars

noun as noun as
adjective adjective noun

costs

production costs

car production costs

England football team coach: we are talking about the coach who trains the team that plays football for England

noun as noun as noun as


adjective adjective adjective noun

coach

team coach

football team coach

England football team coach

Note: in England football team coach can you see a "hidden" "noun as adjective"? Look at the word "football" (foot-ball). These two nouns
(foot+ball) have developed into a single noun (football). This is one way that words evolve. Many word combinations that use a "noun as adjective"
are regarded as nouns in their own right, with their own dictionary definition. But not all dictionaries agree with each other. For example, some
dictionaries list "tennis ball" as a noun and other dictionaries do not.
government road accident research centre: we are talking about a centre that researches into accidents on the road for the government

noun as noun as noun as noun as


adjective adjective adjective adjective noun

centre

research centre

accident research centre

road accident research centre

government road accident research centre

Newpapers often use many nouns together in headlines to save space. Look at this example:

BIRD HEALTH RESEARCH CENTRE MURDER MYSTERY

To understand headlines like these, try reading them backwards. The above headline is about a MYSTERY concerning a MURDER in a CENTRE
for RESEARCH into the HEALTH of BIRDS.

Note, too, that we can still use a real adjective to qualify a "noun as adjective" structure:

empty coffee jar


honest car salesman
delicious dog food
rising car production costs
famous England football team coach

coffee cup, bus station, research centre

Adverbs

Adverbs are an important part of speech. They usually answer questions such as how?, where?, when?, how often? and how much?

What is an Adverb?
What do adverbs do? What's their job?

What is an Adverb?

An adverb is a word that tells us more about a verb. It "qualifies" or "modifies" a verb (The man ran quickly). In the following examples, the adverb
is in bold and the verb that it modifies is in italics.

John speaks loudly. (How does John speak?)


Afterwards she smoked a cigarette. (When did she smoke?)
Mary lives locally. (Where does Mary live?)

But adverbs can also modify adjectives (Tara is really beautiful), or even other adverbs (It works very well). Look at these examples:

Modify an adjective:
- He is really handsome. (How handsome is he?)
- That was extremely kind of you.

Modify another adverb:


- She drives incredibly slowly. (How slowly does she drive?)
- He drives extremely fast.

Note that 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.

Adverb Form
How do we make adverbs?

Adverb Form

We make many adverbs by adding -ly to an adjective, for example:

quick (adjective) > quickly (adverb)


careful (adjective) > carefully (adverb)
beautiful (adjective) > beautifully (adverb)

There are some basic rules about spelling for -ly adverbs. See the table below:

Adjective ending do this adjective adverb

quick quickly
nice nicely
most adjectives add -ly
sole solely
careful carefully

regrettable regrettably
-able or -ible change -e to -y
horrible horribly

-y change -y to -ily happy happily

-ic change -ic to -ically economic economically

But not all words that end in -ly are adverbs. The words friendly, lovely, lonely and neighbourly, for example, are all adjectives.

And some adverbs have no particular form. Look at these examples:

well, fast, very, never, always, often, still

Note that the form of an adverb can also change to make it comparative or superlative

Kinds of Adverbs
What are the main kinds of adverbs?

Kinds of Adverbs

Here you can see the basic kinds of adverbs.

Adverbs of Manner

Adverbs of Manner tell us the manner or way in which something happens. They answer the question "how?". Adverbs of Manner mainly modify
verbs.

He speaks slowly. (How does he speak?)


They helped us cheerfully. (How did they help us?)
James Bond drives his cars fast. (How does James Bond drive his cars?)

We normally use Adverbs of Manner with dynamic (action) verbs, not with stative or state verbs.

He ran fast. She came quickly. They worked happily.


She looked beautifully. It seems strangely. They are happily.
Adverbs of Place

Adverbs of Place tell us the place where something happens. They answer the question "where?". Adverbs of Place mainly modify verbs.

Please sit here. (Where should I sit?)


They looked everywhere. (Where did they look?)
Two cars were parked outside. (Where were two cars parked?)

Adverbs of Time

Adverbs of Time tell us something about the time that something happens. Adverbs of Time mainly modify verbs.

They can answer the question "when?":

He came yesterday. (When did he come?)


I want it now. (When do I want it?)

Or they can answer the question "how often?":

They deliver the newspaper daily. (How often do they deliver the newspaper?)
We sometimes watch a movie. (How often do we watch a movie?)

Adverbs of Degree

Adverbs of Degree tell us the degree or extent to which something happens. They answer the question "how much?" or "to what degree?". Adverbs
of Degree can modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs.

She entirely agrees with him. (How much does she agree with him?)
Mary is very beautiful. (To what degree is Mary beautiful? How beautiful is Mary?)
He drove quite dangerously. (To what degree did he drive dangerously? How dangerously did he drive?)

Adverb Position
Where do we place the adverb in a sentence?

Adverb Position

When an adverb modifies a verb, there are usually 3 possible positions within the sentence or clause:

1. FRONT - before subject Now I will read a book.

2. MID - between subject + verb I often read books.

3. END - after verb/object I read books carefully.

When an adverb modifies an adjective or another adverb, it usually goes in front of the word that it modifies, for example:

adverb adjective

She gave him a really dirty look.

adverb adverb

We quite often study English.


The position of an adverb often depends on the kind of adverb (manner, place, time, degree). The following table gives you some guidelines for
placement based on the kind of adverb.

Warning: these are guidelines only, and not complete. There are many exceptions.

sentence
kind of adverb mainly modifies usual position
adverb

manner verbs She stroked his hair gently. END

place verbs He was working here. END

definite He finished the job yesterday. END


time verbs
frequency We often go to Paris. MID

I nearly died. MID

degree verbs, adjectives and adverbs It was terribly funny. before adjective

He works really fast. before adverb

Adverbs of Frequency
hourly, weekly, once a year...
always, sometimes, never...

Adverbs of Frequency

Adverbs of Frequency are Adverbs of Time that answer the question "How frequently?" or "How often?". They tell us how often something happens.
Here are some examples:

a. daily, weekly, yearly


b. often, sometimes, rarely

You probably see a difference between a) and b) above. With words like daily we know exactly how often. The words in a) describe definite
frequency. On the other hand, words like often give us an idea about frequency but they don't tell us exactly. The words in b) describe indefinite
frequency.

We separate them into two groups because they normally go in different positions in the sentence.

In this lesson we will look in more detail at:

Adverbs of Definite Frequency

Adverbs of definite frequency

Examples:

hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly


every second, once a minute, twice a year
once, twice, once or twice, three times
Adverbs of definite frequency, like all adverbs of definite time, typically go in END position. Look at these examples:

Most companies pay taxes yearly.


The manager checks the toilets every hour.
The directors meet weekly to review progress.

Sometimes, usually for reasons of emphasis or style, some adverbs of definite frequency may go at the FRONT, for example:

Every day, more than five thousand people die on our roads.

Adverbs of Indefinite Frequency

followed by an

Adverbs of indefinite frequency

Examples:

never, seldom, sometimes, often, always

Adverbs of indefinite frequency mainly go in MID position in the sentence. They go before the main verb (except the
100% always, constantly
main verb "to be"):
usually, normally
We usually go shopping on Saturday.
frequently, regularly
I have often done that.
She is always late. often

Occasionally, sometimes, often, frequently and usually can also go at the beginning or end of a sentence: 50% sometimes

occasionally
Sometimes they come and stay with us.
I play tennis occasionally. rarely, infrequently

seldom
Rarely and seldom can also go at the end of a sentence (often with "very"):
hardly ever
We see them rarely.
0% never
John eats meat very seldom.

See also adverb vocabulary:

Adverbs of Manner List

Adverbs of Manner List

Alphabetical list of common single-word manner adverbs

Adverbs of manner form the largest group of adverbs. We make most of them simply by adding -ly to their corresponding adjective. This is an
alphabetical list of 130 common single-word adverbs of manner. Adverbs of manner that do not end in -ly are shown in bold.

accidentally
angrily
anxiously
awkwardly
badly
beautifully
blindly
boldly
bravely
brightly
busily
calmly
carefully
carelessly
cautiously
cheerfully
clearly
closely
correctly
courageously
cruelly
daringly
deliberately
doubtfully
eagerly
easily
elegantly
enormously
enthusiastically
equally
eventually
exactly
faithfully
fast
fatally
fiercely
fondly
foolishly
fortunately
frankly
frantically
generously
gently
gladly
gracefully
greedily
happily
hard
hastily
healthily
honestly
hungrily
hurriedly
inadequately
ingeniously
innocently
inquisitively
irritably
joyously
justly
kindly
lazily
loosely
loudly
madly
mortally
mysteriously
neatly
nervously
noisily
obediently
openly
painfully
patiently
perfectly
politely
poorly
powerfully
promptly
punctually
quickly
quietly
rapidly
rarely
really
recklessly
regularly
reluctantly
repeatedly
rightfully
roughly
rudely
sadly
safely
selfishly
sensibly
seriously
sharply
shyly
silently
sleepily
slowly
smoothly
so
softly
solemnly
speedily
stealthily
sternly
straight
stupidly
successfully
suddenly
suspiciously
swiftly
tenderly
tensely
thoughtfully
tightly
truthfully
unexpectedly
victoriously
violently
vivaciously
warmly
weakly
wearily
well
wildly
wisely

Adverbs of Place List

Adverbs of Place List

Alphabetical list of common single-word place adverbs

about
above
abroad
anywhere
away
back
backwards (also backward)
behind
below
down
downstairs
east (etc)
elsewhere
far
here
in
indoors
inside
near
nearby
off
on
out
outside
over
there
towards
under
up
upstairs
where

Common suffixes

-wards or -ward (backwards, downwards, eastward, forwards, homewards, upwards)


-where (anywhere, everywhere, nowhere, somewhere)

Note that some adverbs can also be prepositions.

She was waiting with a red scarf on. (adverb)


She put the red scarf on the table. (preposition)

Adverbs of Time List

Adverbs of Time List

List of common single-word time adverbs

points of time (definite):

now
then
today
tomorrow
tonight
yesterday

frequency (definite):

annually
daily
fortnightly
hourly
monthly
nightly
quarterly
weekly
yearly

The word "bimonthly" is ambiguous and best avoided. Bimonthly can mean "twice a month" or "every two months". The same is true of
"biyearly"/"biannually".

frequency (indefinite):

always
constantly
ever
frequently
generally
infrequently
never
normally
occasionally
often
rarely
regularly
seldom
sometimes
regularly
usually

relationships in time (indefinite):

already
before
early
earlier
eventually
finally
first
formerly
just
last
late
later
lately
next
previously
recently
since
soon
still
yet

Adverbs of Degree List

Adverbs of Degree List

Alphabetical list of common single-word degree adverbs

almost
absolutely
awfully*
badly*
barely
completely
decidedly
deeply
enough
enormously
entirely
extremely
fairly
far
fully
greatly
hardly
highly
how
incredibly
indeed
intensely
just
least
less
little
lots
most
much
nearly
perfectly
positively
practically
pretty*
purely
quite
rather
really
scarcely
simply
so
somewhat
strongly
terribly*
thoroughly
too
totally
utterly
very
virtually
well

*informal

Pronouns

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 president? I don't like the president. The president is too pompous.

With pronouns, we can say:

Do you like the president? I don't like him. He is too pompous.

Personal Pronouns
I, me, you, he, him, she...

Personal Pronouns

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

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


person: 1st person (eg: I), 2nd person (eg: you) or 3rd person (eg: he)
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. My name is Josef but when I am talking about myself I almost
always use "I" or "me", not "Josef". When I am talking direct to you, I almost always use "you", not your name. When I am talking about another
person, say John, I may start with "John" but then use "he" or "him". And so on.

Here are the personal pronouns, followed by some example sentences:

number person gender personal pronouns


subject object

1st male/female I me

2nd male/female you you

singular male he him

3rd female she her

neuter it it

1st male/female we us

plural 2nd male/female you you

3rd male/female/neuter they them

Examples (in each case, the first example shows a subject pronoun, the second an object pronoun):

I like coffee.
John helped me.

Do you like coffee?


John loves you.

He runs fast.
Did Ram beat him?

She is clever.
Does Mary know her?

It doesn't work.
Can the engineer repair it?

We went home.
Anthony drove us.

Do you need a table for three?


Did John and Mary beat you at doubles?

They played doubles.


John and Mary beat them.

When we are talking about a single thing, we almost always use it. However, there are a few exceptions. We may sometimes refer to an animal as
he/him or she/her, especially if the animal is domesticated or a pet. Ships (and some other vessels or vehicles) as well as some countries are often
treated as female and referred to as she/her. Here are some examples:

This is our dog Rusty. He's an Alsation.


The Titanic was a great ship but she sank on her first voyage.
My first car was a Mini and I treated her like my wife.
Thailand has now opened her border with Cambodia.

For a single person, sometimes we don't know whether to use he or she. There are several solutions to this:

If a teacher needs help, he or she should see the principal.


If a teacher needs help, he should see the principal.
If a teacher needs help, they should see the principal.

We often use it to introduce a remark:

It is nice to have a holiday sometimes.


It is important to dress well.
It's difficult to find a job.
Is it normal to see them together?
It didn't take long to walk here.

We also often use it to talk about the weather, temperature, time and distance:

It's raining.
It will probably be hot tomorrow.
Is it nine o'clock yet?
It's 50 kilometres from here to Cambridge.

Demonstrative Pronouns
this, that, these, those

Demonstrative Pronouns

demonstrate (verb): to show; to indicate; to point to

A demonstrative pronoun represents a thing or things:

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, followed by an illustration:

This tastes good.


Have you seen this?
These are bad times.
Do you like these?

That is beautiful.
Look at that!
Those were the days!
Can you see those?

This is heavier than that.


These are bigger than those.

Do not confuse demonstrative pronouns with demonstrative adjectives. They are identical, but a demonstrative pronoun stands alone, while a
demonstrative adjective qualifies a noun.

That smells. (demonstrative pronoun)


That book is good. (demonstrative adjective + noun)

Normally we use demonstrative pronouns for things only. But we can use them for people when the person is identified. Look at these examples:

This is Josef speaking. Is that Mary?


That sounds like John.

Possessive Pronouns
mine, yours, his...

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

1st male/female mine

2nd male/female yours


singular
male his
3rd
female hers

1st male/female ours

plural 2nd male/female yours

3rd male/female/neuter theirs

Look at these pictures. Mine is the big one. (subject = My picture)


I like your flowers. Do you like mine? (object = my flowers)

I looked everywhere for your key. I found John's key but I couldn't find yours. (object = your key)
My flowers are dying. Yours are lovely. (subject = Your flowers)

All the essays were good but his was the best. (subject = his essay)
John found his passport but Mary couldn't find hers. (object = her passport)
John found his clothes but Mary couldn't find hers. (object = her clothes)

Here is your car. Ours is over there, where we left it. (subject = Our car)
Your photos are good. Ours are terrible. (subject = Our photos)
Each couple's books are colour-coded. Yours are red. (subject = Your books)
I don't like this family's garden but I like yours. (subject = your garden)

These aren't John and Mary's children. Theirs have black hair. (subject = Their children)
John and Mary don't like your car. Do you like theirs? (object = their car)

Notice that the following (with apostrophe [']) do NOT exist: her's, your's, their's

Notice that the interrogative pronoun whose can also be a possessive pronoun (an interrogative possessive pronoun). Look at these examples:

There was $100 on the table and Tara wondered whose it was.
This car hasn't moved for two months. Whose is it?

Interrogative Pronouns
who, what, which...

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).

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

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? John told me. subject

Whom did you tell? I told Mary. object


What's happened? An accident's happened. subject

What do you want? I want coffee. object

Which came first? The Porsche 911 came first. subject

Which will the doctor see first? The doctor will see the patient in blue first. object

There's one car missing. Whose hasn't arrived? John's (car) hasn't arrived. subject

We've found everyone's keys. Whose did you find? I found John's (keys). object

Note that we sometimes use the suffix "-ever" to make compounds from some of these pronouns (mainly whoever, whatever, whichever). When we
add "-ever", we use it for emphasis, often to show confusion or surprise. Look at these examples:

Whoever would want to do such a nasty thing?


Whatever did he say to make her cry like that?
They're all fantastic! Whichever will you choose?

Reflexive Pronouns
myself, yourself, himself...

Reflexive Pronouns

reflexive (adj.) [grammar]: reflecting back on the subject, like a mirror

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 pronoun

myself
singular yourself
himself, herself, itself

ourselves
plural yourselves
themselves

Look at these examples:


reflexive pronouns

the underlined words are NOT the same person/thing the underlined words are the SAME person/thing

John saw me. I saw myself in the mirror.

Why does he blame you? Why do you blame yourself?

David sent him a copy. John sent himself a copy.

David sent her a copy. Mary sent herself a copy.

My dog hurt the cat. My dog hurt itself.

We blame you. We blame ourselves.

Can you help my children? Can you help yourselves?

They cannot look after the babies. They cannot look after themselves.

Intensive pronouns

Notice that all the above reflexive pronouns can also act as intensive pronouns, but the function and usage are different. An intensive pronoun
emphasizes its antecedent. Look at these examples:

I made it myself. OR 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.
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
each other, one another

Reciprocal Pronouns

reciprocal (adj.): given or done in return; [grammar] expressing mutual action

We use reciprocal pronouns when each of two or more subjects is acting in the same way towards the other. For example, A is talking to B, and B is
talking to A. So we say:

A and B are talking to each other.


The action is "reciprocated". John talks to Mary and Mary talks to John. I give you a present and you give me a present. The dog bites the cat and the
cat bites the dog.

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

Look at these 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 don't you believe each other?
They can't see each other.
The gangsters were fighting one another.
The boats were bumping against each other in the storm.

You probably notice that each other is used in more examples above than one another. That's because in general we use each other more often than
one another, which sounds a little formal. Also, some people say that we should use one another only for three or more people or things, but there
is no real justification for this.

Indefinite Pronouns
another, much, nobody, few, such...

Indefinite Pronouns

That's Not My Job!


This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

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

Note that many indefinite pronouns also function as other parts of speech. Look at "another" in the following sentences:

He has one job in the day and another at night. (pronoun)


I'd like another drink, please. (adjective)

Most indefinite pronouns are either singular or plural. However, some of them can be singular in one context and plural in another. The most
common indefinite pronouns are listed below, with examples, as singular, plural or singular/plural.

Notice that a singular pronoun takes a singular verb AND that any personal pronoun should also agree (in number and gender). Look at these
examples:

Each of the players has a doctor.


I met two girls. One has given me her phone number.

Similarly, plural pronouns need plural agreement:

Many have expressed their views.

pronoun meaning example


singular

another an additional or different person or thing That ice-cream was good. Can I have another?

anybody/anyone no matter what person Can anyone answer this question?

The doctor needs to know if you have eaten anything in


anything no matter what thing
the last two hours.

each every one of two or more people or things, seen separately Each has his own thoughts.

Do you want tea or coffee? / I don't mind. Either is good


either one or the other of two people or things
for me.

enough as much or as many as needed Enough is enough.

everybody/everyone all people We can start the meeting because everybody has arrived.

They have no house or possessions. They lost everything


everything all things
in the earthquake.

less a smaller amount "Less is more" (Mies van der Rohe)

little a small amount Little is know about his early life.

much a large amount Much has happend since we met.

neither not one and not the other of two people or things I keep telling Jack and Jill but neither believes me.

nobody/no-one no person I phoned many times but nobody answered.

nothing no single thing, not anything If you don't know the answer it's best to say nothing.

Can one smoke here? | All the students arrived but now
one an unidentified person
one is missing.

other a different person or thing from one already mentioned One was tall and the other was short.

somebody/someone an unspecified or unknown person Clearly somebody murdered him. It was not suicide.

something an unspecified or unknown thing Listen! I just heard something! What could it be?

you an unidentified person (informal) And you can see why.

plural

both two people or things, seen together John likes coffee but not tea. I think both are good.

few a small number of people or things Few have ever disobeyed him and lived.

fewer a reduced number of people or things Fewer are smoking these days.

many a large number of people or things Many have come already.

others other people; not us I'm sure that others have tried before us.

several more than two but not many They all complained and several left the meeting.

they people in general (informal) They say that vegetables are good for you.

singular or plural

All is forgiven.
all the whole quantity of something or of some things or people
All have arrived.

Is any left?
any no matter how much or how many
Are any coming?
a greater quantity of something; a greater number of people There is more over there.
more
or things More are coming.

Most is lost.
most the majority; nearly all
Most have refused.

They fixed the water so why is none coming out of the


none not any; no person or persons tap?
I invited five friends but none have come.*

an unspecified quantity of something; an unspecified Here is some.


some
number of people or things Some have arrived.

He was a foreigner and he felt that he was treated as


such of the type already mentioned
such.
* Some people say that "none" should always take a singular verb, even when talking about countable nouns (eg five friends). They argue that
"none" means "no one", and "one" is obviously singular. They say that "I invited five friends but none has come" is correct and "I invited five friends
but none have come" is incorrect. Historically and grammatically there is little to support this view. "None" has been used for hundreds of years with
both a singular and a plural verb, according to the context and the emphasis required.

Relative Pronouns
who, whom, which...

Relative Pronouns

A relative pronoun is a pronoun that introduces a relative clause. It is called a "relative" pronoun because it "relates" to the word that it modifies.
Here is an example:

The person who phoned me last night is my teacher.

In the above example, "who":

relates to "person", which it modifies


introduces the relative clause "who phoned me last night"

There are five relative pronouns: who, whom, whose, which, that*

Who (subject) and whom (object) are generally only for people. Whose is for possession. Which is for things. That can be used for people** and
things and as subject and object in defining relative clauses (clauses that are essential to the sentence and do not simply add extra information).

Relative pronouns can refer to singular or plural, and there is no difference between male and female.

Look at these examples showing defining and non-defining relative clauses:

example sentences
notes
S=subject, O=object, P=possessive

- The person who phoned me last night is my teacher.


That is preferable
- The person that phoned me last night is my teacher.
S
- The car which hit me was yellow.
That is preferable
- The cars that hit me were yellow.

defining - The person whom I phoned last night is my teacher.


- The people who I phoned last night are my teachers. Whom is correct but very formal. The relative
- The person that I phoned last night is my teacher. pronoun is optional.
O - The person I phoned last night is my teacher.

- The car which I drive is old. That is preferable to which. The relative
- The car that I drive is old. pronoun is optional.
- The car I drive is old.

- The student whose phone just rang should stand up.


- Students whose parents are wealthy pay extra.

P
- The police are looking for the car whose driver was masked.
Of which is usual for things, but whose is
- The police are looking for the car of which the driver was
sometimes possible
masked.

- Mrs Pratt, who is very kind, is my teacher.

S
- The car, which was a taxi, exploded.
- The cars, which were taxis, exploded.

- Mrs Pratt, whom I like very much, is my teacher. Whom is correct but very formal. Who is
- Mr and Mrs Pratt, who I like very much, are my teachers. normal.
O
non-
defining - The car, which I was driving at the time, suddenly caught fire.

- My brother, whose phone you just heard, is a doctor.

P - The car, whose driver jumped out just before the accident, was
completely destroyed. Of which is usual for things, but whose is
- The car, the driver of which jumped out just before the accident, sometimes possible
was completely destroyed.

*Not all grammar sources count "that" as a relative pronoun.


**Some people claim that we cannot use "that" for people but must use "who/whom"; there is no good reason for such a claim.

Pronoun Case
subjective, objective, possessive

Pronoun Case

Pronouns (and nouns) in English display "case" according to their function in the sentence. Their function can be:

subjective (they act as the subject)


objective (they act as the object)
possessive (they show possession of something else)

The following table shows the different forms for pronouns depending on case.

subjective case objective case possessive case

personal pronouns singular 1st I me mine

2nd you you yours

he him his
3rd she her hers
it it its

plural 1st we us ours

2nd you you yours

3rd they them theirs

relative/interrogative pronouns who whom whose

whoever whomever
which/that/what which/that/what

indefinite pronouns everybody everybody everybody's

A problem of case: Mary and I or Mary and me?

1. Mary and I are delighted to be here today. (NOT Mary and me)
2. The letter was addressed to Mary and me. (NOT Mary and I)

In 1, Mary and I are subjects, which is why the pronoun takes the subjective case ("I"). In 2, Mary and I are objects, which is why the pronoun takes
the objective case ("me"). An easy way to check the correct case is to try the sentence without Mary. Would you say "I am delighted to be here" or
"Me am delighted to be here"? Would you say "The letter was addressed to me" or "The letter was addressed to I"?

That's Not My Job!


This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, Nobody

That's Not My Job!


This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody
wouldn't do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

English Prepositions

A preposition is a word governing, and usually coming in front of, a noun or pronoun and expressing a relation to another word or element, as in:

She left before breakfast.

What did you come for?


(For what did you come?)

Short List of Common Prepositions

English Prepositions List

There are about 150 prepositions in English. Yet this is a very small number when you think of the thousands of other words (nouns, verbs etc).
Prepositions are important words. We use individual prepositions more frequently than other individual words. In fact, the prepositions of, to and in
are among the ten most frequent words in English. Here is a short list of 70 of the more common one-word prepositions. Many of these prepositions
have more than one meaning. Please refer to a dictionary for precise meaning and usage.

aboard
about
above
across
after
against
along
amid
among
anti
around
as
at

before
behind
below
beneath
beside
besides
between
beyond
but
by

concerning
considering

despite
down
during

except
excepting
excluding

following
for
from

in
inside
into

like

minus

near

of
off
on
onto
opposite
outside
over

past
per
plus

regarding
round

save
since

than
through
to
toward
towards

under
underneath
unlike
until
up
upon

versus
via

with
within
without

A Simple Rule for Prepositions

English Preposition Rule

There is one very simple rule about prepositions. And, unlike most rules, this rule has no exceptions.

Rule
A preposition is followed by a "noun". It is never followed by a verb.

By "noun" we include:

noun (dog, money, love)


proper noun (name) (Bangkok, Mary)
pronoun (you, him, us)
noun group (my first job)
gerund (swimming)

A preposition cannot be followed by a verb. If we want to follow a preposition by a verb, we must use the "-ing" form which is really a gerund or
verb in noun form.

Quick Quiz: In the following sentences, why is "to" followed by a verb? That should be impossible, according to the above rule:

I would like to go now.


She used to smoke.

Here are some examples:

Subject + verb preposition "noun"

The food is on the table.

She lives in Japan.

Tara is looking for you.

The letter is under your blue book.

Pascal is used to English people.

She isn't used to working.

I ate before coming.

Answer to Quick Quiz: In these sentences, "to" is not a preposition. It is part of the infinitive ("to go", "to smoke").
Prepositions of Place
at the bus stop, in the box, on the wall

Prepositions of Place: at, in, on

In general, we use:

at for a POINT
in for an ENCLOSED SPACE
on for a SURFACE

at in on

POINT ENCLOSED SPACE SURFACE

at the corner in the garden on the wall

at the bus stop in London on the ceiling

at the door in France on the door

at the top of the page in a box on the cover

at the end of the road in my pocket on the floor

at the entrance in my wallet on the carpet

at the crossroads in a building on the menu

at the front desk in a car on a page

Look at these examples:

Jane is waiting for you at the bus stop.


The shop is at the end of the street.
My plane stopped at Dubai and Hanoi and arrived in Bangkok two hours late.
When will you arrive at the office?
Do you work in an office?
I have a meeting in New York.
Do you live in Japan?
Jupiter is in the Solar System.
The author's name is on the cover of the book.
There are no prices on this menu.
You are standing on my foot.
There was a "no smoking" sign on the wall.
I live on the 7th floor at 21 Oxford Street in London.
Notice the use of the prepositions of place at, in and on in these standard expressions:

at in on

at home in a car on a bus

at work in a taxi on a train

at school in a helicopter on a plane

at university in a boat on a ship

at college in a lift (elevator) on a bicycle, on a motorbike

at the top in the newspaper on a horse, on an elephant

at the bottom in the sky on the radio, on television

at the side in a row on the left, on the right

at reception in Oxford Street on the way

Prepositions of Time
at Christmas, in May, on Friday

Prepositions of Time: at, in, on

We use:

at for a PRECISE TIME


in for MONTHS, YEARS, CENTURIES and LONG PERIODS
on for DAYS and DATES

at in on

PRECISE TIME MONTHS, YEARS, CENTURIES and LONG PERIODS DAYS and DATES

at 3 o'clock in May on Sunday

at 10.30am in summer on Tuesdays

at noon in the summer on 6 March

at dinnertime in 1990 on 25 Dec. 2010

at bedtime in the 1990s on Christmas Day

at sunrise in the next century on Independence Day

at sunset in the Ice Age on my birthday


at the moment in the past/future on New Year's Eve

Look at these examples:

I have a meeting at 9am.


The shop closes at midnight.
Jane went home at lunchtime.
In England, it often snows in December.
Do you think we will go to Jupiter in the future?
There should be a lot of progress in the next century.
Do you work on Mondays?
Her birthday is on 20 November.
Where will you be on New Year's Day?

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

Expression Example

at night The stars shine at night.

at the weekend I don't usually work at the weekend.

at Christmas/Easter I stay with my family at Christmas.

at the same time We finished the test at the same time.

at present He's not home at present. Try later.

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

in on

in the morning on Tuesday morning

in the mornings on Saturday mornings

in the afternoon(s) on Sunday afternoons

in the evening(s) on Monday evening

When we say last, next, every, this we do not also use at, in, on.

I went to London last June. (not in last June)


He's coming back next Tuesday. (not on next Tuesday)
I go home every Easter. (not at every Easter)
We'll call you this evening. (not in this evening)

Prepositions of Place: at, in, on

In general, we use:

at for a POINT
in for an ENCLOSED SPACE
on for a SURFACE

at in on

POINT ENCLOSED SPACE SURFACE


at the corner in the garden on the wall

at the bus stop in London on the ceiling

at the door in France on the door

at the top of the page in a box on the cover

at the end of the road in my pocket on the floor

at the entrance in my wallet on the carpet

at the crossroads in a building on the menu

at the front desk in a car on a page

Look at these examples:

Jane is waiting for you at the bus stop.


The shop is at the end of the street.
My plane stopped at Dubai and Hanoi and arrived in Bangkok two hours late.
When will you arrive at the office?
Do you work in an office?
I have a meeting in New York.
Do you live in Japan?
Jupiter is in the Solar System.
The author's name is on the cover of the book.
There are no prices on this menu.
You are standing on my foot.
There was a "no smoking" sign on the wall.
I live on the 7th floor at 21 Oxford Street in London.

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

at in on

at home in a car on a bus

at work in a taxi on a train

at school in a helicopter on a plane

at university in a boat on a ship

at college in a lift (elevator) on a bicycle, on a motorbike

at the top in the newspaper on a horse, on an elephant

at the bottom in the sky on the radio, on television


at the side in a row on the left, on the right

at reception in Oxford Street on the way

Conjunctions

A conjunction is a word that "joins". A conjunction joins two parts of a sentence.

Here are some example conjunctions:

Coordinating Conjunctions Subordinating Conjunctions

and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so although, because, since, unless

We can consider conjunctions from three aspects.

Form

Conjunctions have three basic forms:

Single Word
for example: and, but, because, although

Compound (often ending with as or that)


for example: provided that, as long as, in order that

Correlative (surrounding an adverb or adjective)


for example: so...that

Function

Conjunctions have two basic functions or "jobs":

Coordinating conjunctions are used to join two parts of a sentence that are grammatically equal. The two parts may be single
words or clauses, for example:
- Jack and Jill went up the hill.
- The water was warm, but I didn't go swimming.

Subordinating conjunctions are used to join a subordinate dependent clause to a main clause, for example:
- I went swimming although it was cold.

Position

Coordinating conjunctions always come between the words or clauses that they join.

Subordinating conjunctions usually come at the beginning of the subordinate clause.

In this lesson we will look in more detail at:

Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating Conjunctions

The short, simple conjunctions are called "coordinating conjunctions":

and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so

A coordinating conjunction joins parts of a sentence (for example words or independent clauses) that are grammatically equal or similar. A
coordinating conjunction shows that the elements it joins are similar in importance and structure:

Look at these examples - the two elements that the coordinating conjunction joins are shown in square brackets [ ]:

I like [tea] and [coffee].


[Ram likes tea], but [Anthony likes coffee].

Coordinating conjunctions always come between the words or clauses that they join.

When a coordinating conjunction joins independent clauses, it is always correct to place a comma before the conjunction:

I want to work as an interpreter in the future, so I am studying Russian at university.

However, if the independent clauses are short and well-balanced, a comma is not really essential:

She is kind so she helps people.

When "and" is used with the last word of a list, a comma is optional:

He drinks beer, whisky, wine, and rum.


He drinks beer, whisky, wine and rum.

The 7 coordinating conjunctions are short, simple words. They have only two or three letters. There's an easy way to remember them - their
initials spell:
F A N B O Y S

For And Nor But Or Yet So

Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating Conjunctions

The majority of conjunctions are "subordinating conjunctions". Common subordinating conjunctions are:

after, although, as, because, before, how, if, once, since, than, that, though, till, until, when, where, whether, while

A subordinating conjunction joins a subordinate (dependent) clause to a main (independent) clause:

Look at this example:

main or subordinate or
independent clause dependent clause

Ram went swimming although it was raining.

subordinating
conjunction

A subordinate or dependent clause "depends" on a main or independent clause. It cannot exist alone. Imagine that somebody says to you:
"Hello! Although it was raining." What do you understand? Nothing! But a main or independent clause can exist alone. You will understand
very well if somebody says to you: "Hello! Ram went swimming."

A subordinating conjunction always comes at the beginning of a subordinate clause. It "introduces" a subordinate clause. However, a
subordinate clause can sometimes come after and sometimes before a main clause. Thus, two structures are possible:
Ram went swimming although it was raining.

Although it was raining, Ram went swimming.

Interjections

Hi! That's an interjection. :-)

Interjection is a big name for a little word. Interjections are short exclamations like Oh!, Um or Ah! They have no real grammatical value but we
use them quite often, usually more in speaking than in writing. When interjections are inserted into a sentence, they have no grammatical connection
to the sentence. An interjection is sometimes followed by an exclamation mark (!) when written.

Interjections like er and um are also known as "hesitation devices". They are extremely common in English. People use them when they don't know
what to say, or to indicate that they are thinking about what to say. You should learn to recognize them when you hear them and realize that they
have no real meaning.

The table below shows some interjections with examples.

interjection meaning example

expressing pleasure "Ah, that feels good."

expressing realization "Ah, now I understand."


ah
expressing resignation "Ah well, it can't be heped."

expressing surprise "Ah! I've won!"

alas expressing grief or pity "Alas, she's dead now."

expressing pity "Oh dear! Does it hurt?"


dear
expressing surprise "Dear me! That's a surprise!"

asking for repetition "It's hot today." "Eh?" "I said it's hot today."

expressing enquiry "What do you think of that, eh?"


eh
expressing surprise "Eh! Really?"

inviting agreement "Let's go, eh?"

er expressing hesitation "Lima is the capital of...er...Peru."

expressing greeting "Hello John. How are you today?"


hello, hullo
expressing surprise "Hello! My car's gone!"

calling attention "Hey! look at that!"


hey
expressing surprise, joy etc "Hey! What a good idea!"

hi expressing greeting "Hi! What's new?"

hmm expressing hesitation, doubt or disagreement "Hmm. I'm not so sure."

expressing surprise "Oh! You're here!"

oh, o expressing pain "Oh! I've got a toothache."

expressing pleading "Oh, please say 'yes'!"

ouch expressing pain "Ouch! That hurts!"

uh expressing hesitation "Uh...I don't know the answer to that."

uh-huh expressing agreement "Shall we go?" "Uh-huh."

um, umm expressing hesitation "85 divided by 5 is...um...17."

expressing surprise "Well I never!"


well
introducing a remark "Well, what did he say?"
Modal Verbs (modal auxiliaries)

Modal auxiliary verbs may sound difficult but in fact they're easy. They are invariable (no conjugation). And the main verb is always the "bare
infinitive" (the infinitive without "to").

Can, Could, Be able to | Quiz


Can and could are modal auxiliary verbs. Be able to is NOT an auxiliary verb (it uses the verb be as a main verb). We include be able to here for
convenience.

Can, Could, Be able to

Can and could are modal auxiliary verbs. Be able to is NOT an auxiliary verb (it uses the verb be as a main verb). We include be able to here for
convenience.

In this lesson we look at these three verbs, followed by a quiz to check your understanding:

Can

Can

Can is an auxiliary verb, a modal auxiliary verb. We use can to:

talk about possibility and ability


make requests
ask for or give permission

Structure of Can

subject + can + main verb

The main verb is always the bare infinitive (infinitive without "to").

subject auxiliary verb main verb

+ I can play tennis.

cannot
- He play tennis.
can't

? Can you play tennis?

Notice that:

Can is invariable. There is only one form of can.


The main verb is always the bare infinitive.

The main verb is always the bare infinitive (infinitive without "to"). We cannot say:

Could

Could
Could is an auxiliary verb, a modal auxiliary verb. We use could to:

talk about past possibility or ability


make requests

Structure of Could
subject + could + main verb

The main verb is always the bare infinitive (infinitive without "to").

subject auxiliary verb main verb

+ My grandmother could swim.

could not
- She walk.
couldn't

? Could your grandmother swim?

Notice that:

Could is invariable. There is only one form of could.


The main verb is always the bare infinitive.

The main verb is always the bare infinitive. We cannot say:

Use of Could

could: Past Possibility or Ability

We use could to talk about what was possible in the past, what we were able or free to do:

I could swim when I was 5 years old.


My grandmother could speak seven languages.
When we arrived home, we could not open the door. (...couldn't open the door.)
Could you understand what he was saying?

We use could (positive) and couldn't (negative) for general ability in the past. But when we talk about one special occasion in the past, we use be
able to (positive) and couldn't (negative). Look at these examples:

Past

General Specific Occasion

+ My grandmother could speak Spanish. A man fell into the river yesterday. The police were able to save him.

- My grandmother couldn't speak Spanish. A man fell into the river yesterday. The police couldn't save him.

could: Requests

We often use could in a question to ask somebody to do something. The use of could in this way is fairly polite (formal):
Could you tell me where the bank is, please?
Could you send me a catalogue, please?

Be able to

Be able to

Although we look at be able to here, it is not a modal verb. It is simply the verb be plus an adjective (able) followed by the infinitive. We look at be
able to here because we sometimes use it instead of can and could.

We use be able to:

to talk about ability

Structure of Be able to

The structure of be able to is:

subject + be + able + infinitive

be able
subject main verb adjective infinitive

+ I am able to drive.

is not
- She able to drive.
isn't

? Are you able to drive?

Notice that be able to is possible in all tenses, for example:

I was able to drive...


I will be able to drive...
I have been able to drive...

Notice too that be able to has an infinitive form:

I would like to be able to speak Chinese.

Use of Be able to
Be able to is not a modal auxiliary verb. We include it here for convenience, because it is often used like "can" and "could", which are modal
auxiliary verbs.

be able to: ability

We use be able to to express ability. "Able" is an adjective meaning: having the power, skill or means to do something. If we say "I am able to
swim", it is like saying "I can swim". We sometimes use "be able to" instead of "can" or "could" for ability. "Be able to" is possible in all tenses - but
"can" is possible only in the present and "could" is possible only in the past for ability. In addition, "can" and "could" have no infinitive form. So we
use "be able to" when we want to use other tenses or the infinitive. Look at these examples:

I have been able to swim since I was five. (present perfect)


You will be able to speak perfect English very soon. (future simple)
I would like to be able to fly an airplane. (infinitive)

Have to, Must, Must not/Mustn't | Quiz


Must is a modal auxiliary verb. Have to is NOT an auxiliary verb (it uses the verb have as a main verb). We include have to here for convenience.
Have to
Must, Must not/Mustn't

Must is a modal auxiliary verb.

Have to is NOT an auxiliary verb (it uses the verb have as a main verb). We include have to here for convenience.

In this lesson we look at these two verbs, followed by a quiz to check your understanding:

Have to (objective obligation)

Have to (objective obligation)

We often use have to to say that something is obligatory, for example:

Children have to go to school.

Structure of Have to

Have to is often grouped with modal auxiliary verbs for convenience, but in fact it is not a modal verb. It is not even an auxiliary verb. In the have
to structure, "have" is a main verb. The structure is:

subject + auxiliary verb + have + infinitive (with to)

Look at these examples in the simple tense:

subject auxiliary verb main verb have infinitive (with to)

+ She has to work.

- I do not have to see the doctor.

? Did you have to go to school?

Use of Have to

In general, have to expresses impersonal obligation. The subject of have to is obliged or forced to act by a separate, external power (for example,
the Law or school rules). Have to is objective. Look at these examples:

In France, you have to drive on the right.


In England, most schoolchildren have to wear a uniform.
John has to wear a tie at work.

In each of the above cases, the obligation is not the subject's opinion or idea. The obligation is imposed from outside.

We can use have to in all tenses, and also with modal auxiliaries. We conjugate it just like any other main verb. Here are some examples:

subject auxiliary verb main verb have infinitive

past simple I had to work yesterday.

present simple I have to work today.

future simple I will have to work tomorrow.


present continuous She is having to wait.

present perfect We have had to change the time.

modal (may) They may have to do it again.

Must (subjective obligation)

Must (subjective obligation)

We often use must to say that something is essential or necessary, for example:

I must go.

Structure of Must

Must is a modal auxiliary verb. It is followed by a main verb. The structure is:

subject + must + main verb

The main verb is the base verb (infinitive without "to").

Look at these examples:

subject auxiliary must main verb

I must go home.

You must visit us.

We must stop now.

Like all auxiliary verbs, must CANNOT be followed by to. So, we say:

I must go now. (not *I must to go now.)

Use of Must

In general, must expresses personal obligation. Must expresses what the speaker thinks is necessary. Must is subjective. Look at these examples:

I must stop smoking.


You must visit us soon.
He must work harder.

In each of the above cases, the "obligation" is the opinion or idea of the person speaking. In fact, it is not a real obligation. It is not imposed from
outside.

It is sometimes possible to use must for real obligation, for example a rule or a law. But generally we use have to for this.

We can use must to talk about the present or the future. Look at these examples:

I must go now. (present)


I must call my mother tomorrow. (future)

We cannot use must to talk about the past. We use have to to talk about the past.

Must not/Mustn't (prohibition)

Must not/Mustn't (prohibition)

Must not, Mustn't (prohibition)

We use must not to say that something is not permitted or allowed, for example:

Passengers must not talk to the driver.

Structure of Must not

Must is an auxiliary verb. It is followed by a main verb. The structure for must not is:

subject + must not + main verb

The main verb is the base verb (infinitive without "to").

Must not is often contracted to mustn't.

Look at these examples:

subject auxiliary must + not main verb

I mustn't forget my keys.

You mustn't disturb him.

Students must not be late.

NB: like all auxiliary verbs, must CANNOT be followed by "to". So, we say:

You mustn't arrive late. (not You mustn't to arrive late.)

Use of Must not

Must not expresses prohibition - something that is not permitted, not allowed. The prohibition can be subjective (the speaker's opinion) or
objective (a real law or rule). Look at these examples:

I mustn't eat so much sugar. (subjective)


You mustn't watch so much television. (subjective)
Students must not leave bicycles here. (objective)
Policemen must not drink on duty. (objective)

We can use must not to talk about the present or the future:

Visitors must not smoke. (present)


I mustn't forget Tara's birthday. (future)

We cannot use must not to talk about the past. We use other structures to talk about the past, for example:
We were not allowed to enter.
I couldn't park outside the shop.

Shall versus Will | Should versus Would


People may sometimes tell you that there is no difference between shall and will, or even that today nobody uses shall (except in offers such as
"Shall I call a taxi?"). They say the same thing about should, but it's not really true.

Shall versus Will

People may sometimes tell you that there is no difference between shall and will, or even that today nobody uses shall (except in offers such as
"Shall I call a taxi?"). This is not really true. The difference between shall and will is often hidden by the fact that we usually contract them in
speaking with 'll. But the difference does exist.

The truth is that there are two conjugations for the verb will:

1st Conjugation (objective, simple statement of fact)

Person Verb Example Contraction

I shall I shall be in London tomorrow. I'll

Singular you will You will see a large building on the left. You'll

he, she, it will He will be wearing blue. He'll

we shall We shall not be there when you arrive. We shan't

Plural you will You will find his office on the 7th floor. You'll

they will They will arrive late. They'll

2nd Conjugation (subjective, strong assertion, promise or command)

Person Verb Example Contraction

I will I will do everything possible to help. I'll

Singular you shall You shall be sorry for this. You'll

he, she, it shall It shall be done. It'll

we will We will not interfere. We won't

Plural you shall You shall do as you're told. You'll

they shall They shall give one month's notice. They'll

It is true that this difference is not universally recognized. However, let those who make assertions such as "People in the USA never use 'shall'"
peruse a good US English dictionary, or many US legal documents which often contain phrases such as:

Each party shall give one month's notice in writing in the event of termination.

Note that exactly the same rule applies in the case of should and would. It is perfectly normal, and somewhat more elegant, to write, for example:

I should be grateful if you would kindly send me your latest catalogue.

Would | Quiz
Would is an auxiliary verb, a modal auxiliary verb. We use would mainly to talk about the past, talk about the future in the past and express the
conditional mood.
Would

Would is an auxiliary verb, a modal auxiliary verb. We use would mainly to:

talk about the past


talk about the future in the past
express the conditional mood

We also use would for other functions, such as:

expressing desire, polite requests and questions, opinion or hope, wish and regret...

Structure of Would
subject + would + main verb

The main verb is always the bare infinitive (infinitive without "to").

subject auxiliary verb main verb

would
+ She like tea.
'd

would not
- She like whisky.
wouldn't

? Would she like coffee?

Notice that:

Would is never conjugated. It is always would or 'd (short form).


The main verb is always the bare infinitive.

The main verb is always the bare infinitive. We cannot say:


I would to like coffee.

Be careful! Would and had have the same short form 'd:
He'd finished. (He had finished.)
He'd like coffee. (He would like coffee.)

Use of Would

would: Talking about the past

We often use would as a kind of past tense of will or going to:

Even as a boy, he knew that he would succeed in life.


I thought it would rain so I brought my umbrella.

Using would as as a kind of past tense of will or going to is common in reported speech:

She said that she would buy some eggs. ("I will buy some eggs.")
The candidate said that he wouldn't increase taxes. ("I won't increase taxes.")
Why didn't you bring your umbrella? I told you it would rain! ("It's going to rain.")

We often use would not to talk about past refusals:


He wanted a divorce but his wife would not agree.
Yesterday morning, the car wouldn't start.

We sometimes use would (rather like used to) when talking about habitual past behaviour:

Every weekday my father would come home from work at 6pm and watch TV.
Every summer we'd go to the seaside.
Sometimes she'd phone me in the middle of the night.
We would always argue. We could never agree.

would: Future in past

When talking about the past we can use would to express something that has not happened at the time we are talking about:

In London she met the man that she would one day marry.
He left 5 minutes late, unaware that the delay would save his life.

would: Conditionals

We often use would to express the so-called second and third conditionals:

If he lost his job he would have no money.


IfI had won the lotteryI would have bought a car.

Using the same conditional structure, we often use would when giving advice:

I wouldn't eat that if I were you.


If I were in your place I'd refuse.
If you asked me I would say you should go.

Sometimes the condition is "understood" and there does not have to be an "if" clause:

Someone who liked John would probably love John's father. (If someone liked John they would probably love John's father.)
You'd never know it. (for example: If you met him you would never know that he was rich.)
Why don't you invite Mary? I'm sure she'd come.

Although there is always a main verb, sometimes it is understood (not stated) as in:

I'd like to stay. | I wish you would. (would stay)


Do you think he'd come? | I'm sure he would. (would come)
Who would help us? | John would. (would help us)

would: Desire or inclination

I'd love to live here.


Would you like some coffee?
What I'd really like is some tea.

would: Polite requests and questions

Would you open the door, please? (more polite than: Open the door, please.)
Would you go with me? (more polite than: Will you go with me?)
Would you know the answer? (more polite than: Do you know the answer?)
What would the capital of Nigeria be? (more polite than: What is the capital of Nigeria?)

would: Opinion or hope

I would imagine that they'll buy a new one.


I suppose some people would call it torture.
I would have to agree.
I would expect him to come.
Since you ask me I'd say the blue one is best.

would: Wish

I wish you would stay. (I really want you to stay. I hope you will stay.)
They don't like me. I'm sure they wish I'd resign.

Note that all of these uses of would express some kind of distance or remoteness:

remoteness in time (past time)


remoteness of possibility or probability
remoteness between speakers (formality, politeness)

would: Presumption or expectation

That would be Jo calling. I'll answer it.


We saw a police helicopter overhead yesterday morning. | Really? They would have been looking for those bank robbers.

would: Uncertainty

He would seem to be getting better. (less certain than: He seems to be getting better.)
It would appear that I was wrong. (less certain than: It appears that I was wrong.)

would: Derogatory

They would say that, wouldn't they?


John said he didn't steal the money. | Well, he would, wouldn't he?

would that: Regret (poetic/rare) - with clause

This rare, poetic or literary use of would does not have the normal structure:

Would that it were true! (If only it were true! We wish that it were true!)
Would that his mother had lived to see him become president.

Should | Quiz
Should is an auxiliary verb, a modal auxiliary verb. We use should mainly to give advice or make recommendations, talk about obligation or talk
about probability and expectation

Should

Should is an auxiliary verb, a modal auxiliary verb. We use should mainly to:

give advice or make recommendations


talk about obligation
talk about probability and expectation
express the conditional mood
replace a subjunctive structure

Structure of Should
subject + should + main verb

The main verb is always the bare infinitive (infinitive without "to").

subject auxiliary verb main verb

+ He should go.
should not
- He go.
shouldn't

? Should he go?

Notice that:

Should is invariable. There is only one form of should.


The main verb is always the bare infinitive.

The main verb is always the bare infinitive. We cannot say:


He should to go.

There is no short form for should. The negative should not can be shortened to shouldn't.

Use of Should

should: Giving advice, opinions

We often use should when offering advice or opinions (similar to ought to):

You should see the new James Bond movie. It's great!
You should try to lose weight.
John should get a haircut.
He shouldn't smoke. And he should stop drinking too.
What should I wear?
They should make that illegal.
There should be a law against that.
People should worry more about global warming.

People often say "They should..." Usually, the "they" is anonymous and means the government, or the company, or somebody else - but not us!

should: Obligation, duty, correctness

Another use of should (also similar to ought to) is to indicate a kind of obligation, duty or correctness, often when criticizing another person:

You should be wearing your seat belt. (obligation)


I should be at work now. (duty)
You shouldn't have said that to her. (correctness)
He should have been more careful.
Should you be driving so fast?

should: Probability, expectation

We use should to indicate that we think something is probable (we expect it to happen):

Are you ready? The train should be here soon.


$10 is enough. It shouldn't cost more than that.
Let's call Mary. She should have finished work by now.

should: Conditionals

We sometimes use should (instead of would) for the first person singular (I) and first person plural (we) of some conditionals:

If I lost my job I should have no money.


(If he lost his job he would have no money.)
We should be grateful if you could send us your latest catalogue.
This is not a very important distinction. (More about the use of shall/will and should/would.)

should: (If I were you I should...)

We often use the conditional structure "If I were you I should..." to give advice.

If I were you, I should complain to the manager.


If I were you I shouldn't worry about it.
I shouldn't say anything if I were you.

Note that we can omit "If I were you..." and just say:

I should complain to the manager.


I shouldn't worry about it.
I shouldn't say anything.

In these cases, the phrase "I should" really means something like "you should".

should: Pseudo subjunctive

We often use a special verb form called the subjunctive when talking about events that somebody wants to happen, hopes will happen or imagines
happening, for example:

The president insists that the prime minister attend the meeting.

However, this is much more common in American English. British English speakers would probably convey the same idea using should:

The president insists that the prime minister should attend the meeting.

Here are some more examples:

Subjunctive Using should


typically American English typically British English

The president is insisting that pollution be reduced. The president is insisting that pollution should be reduced.

The manager recommended that Mary join the company. The manager recommended that Mary should join the company.

It is essential that we decide today. It is essential that we should decide today.

It was necessary that everyone arrive on time. It was necessary that everyone should arrive on time.

should: Why should..? | How should..?

If we don't understand (or agree with) something, we may use "Why should..?":

Why should it be illegal to commit suicide? It's your life.

"Why should..?" and "How should..?" can also indicate anger or irritation:

"Help me with this." | "Why should I?"


"Where are my keys?" | "How should I know?"

Questions or Interrogative
What is a question?

A statement is a sentence that gives information. A question is a sentence that asks for information. Questions are also called "interrogative".

Statement: I like EnglishClub.com.

Question: Do you like EnglishClub.com?

A written question in English always ends with a question mark: ?

In this lesson we look at basic questions in English, followed by a quiz to check your understanding:

Basic Question Structure

Basic Question Structure

The basic structure of a question in English is very simple:

auxiliary verb + subject + main verb

auxiliary verb subject main verb

Do you like Mary?

Are they playing football?

Will Anthony go to Tokyo?

Have you seen ET?

Exception!
For the verb be in simple present and simple past, we do not use an auxiliary verb. We simply reverse the positions of be and subject:

Statement: He is German.

Question: Is he German?

Basic Question Types

Basic Question Types

There are 3 basic types of question:

1. Yes/No Questions (the answer to the question is "Yes" or "No")


2. Question Word Questions (the answer to the question is "Information")
3. Choice Questions (the answer to the question is "in the question")

1. Yes/No Questions
Answer
auxiliary verb subject main verb
Yes or No

Do you want dinner? Yes, I do.


Can you drive? No, I can't.

Has she finished her work? Yes, she has.

Did they go home? No, they didn't.

Exception! verb be simple present and simple past

Is Anne French? Yes, she is.

Was Ram at home? No, he wasn't.

2. Question Word Questions


Answer
question word auxiliary verb subject main verb
Information

Where do you live? In Paris.

When will we have lunch? At 1pm.

Who did she meet? She met Ram.

Why hasn't Tara done it? Because she can't.

Exception! verb be simple present and simple past

Where is Bombay? In India.

How was she? Very well.

3. Choice Questions
Answer
auxiliary verb subject main verb OR
In the question

Do you want tea or coffee? Coffee, please.

Will we meet John or James? John.

Did she go to London or New York? She went to London.

Exception! verb be simple present and simple past

Is your car white or black? It's black.

Were they $15 or $50? $15.


Now check your understanding

These pages show the three basic types of question. There are other types of question, for example tag questions.

Going to

Intention

We use the special going to construction when we have the intention to do something before we speak. We have already made a decision before
speaking. Look at these examples:

I have won $1,000. I am going to buy a new TV.


We're not going to see my mother tomorrow.
When are you going to go on holiday?

In these examples, we had an intention or plan before speaking. The decision was made before we spoke.

Prediction

We often use going to to make a prediction about the future. Our prediction is based on evidence. We are saying what seems sure to happen. Here
are some examples:

The sky is very black. It is going to snow.


It's 8.30! You're going to miss the train!
I crashed the company car. My boss isn't going to be very happy!

In these examples, the present situation (black sky/the time/damaged car) gives us a good idea of what is going to happen.

We use will for prediction when we have no real evidence: "It will rain tomorrow." (It's my feeling but I can't be sure.)
We use going to for prediction when there is some real evidence: "It's going to rain." (There's a big, black cloud in the sky and if it doesn't
rain I'll be very surprised.)

Gerunds (-ing)

When a verb ends in -ing, it may be a gerund or a present participle. It is important to understand that they are not the same.

When we use a verb in -ing form more like a noun, it is usually a gerund:

Fishing is fun.

When we use a verb in -ing form more like a verb or an adjective, it is usually a present participle:

Anthony is fishing.
I have a boring teacher.

Gerunds are sometimes called "verbal nouns".

In this lesson, we look at how we use gerunds, followed by a quiz to check your understanding:

Gerunds as Subject, Object or Complement

Gerunds as Subject, Object or Complement

Try to think of gerunds as verbs in noun form.

Like nouns, gerunds can be the subject, object or complement of a sentence:

Smoking costs a lot of money.


I don't like writing.
My favourite occupation is reading.

But, like a verb, a gerund can also have an object itself. In this case, the whole expression [gerund + object] can be the subject, object or complement
of the sentence.

Smoking cigarettes costs a lot of money.


I don't like writing letters.
My favourite occupation is reading detective stories.

Like nouns, we can use gerunds with adjectives (including articles and other determiners):

pointless questioning
a settling of debts
the making of Titanic
his drinking of alcohol

But when we use a gerund with an article, it does not usually take a direct object:

a settling of debts (not a settling debts)


Making "Titanic" was expensive.
The making of "Titanic" was expensive.

Do you see the difference in these two sentences? In one, "reading" is a gerund (noun). In the other "reading" is a present participle (verb).

My favourite occupation is reading.


My favourite niece is reading.

Gerunds after Prepositions

Gerunds after Prepositions

This is a good rule. It has no exceptions!

If we want to use a verb after a preposition, it must be a gerund. It is impossible to use an infinitive after a preposition. So for example, we say:

I will call you after arriving at the office.


Please have a drink before leaving.
I am looking forward to meeting you.
Do you object to working late?
Tara always dreams about going on holiday.

Notice that you could replace all the above gerunds with "real" nouns:

I will call you after my arrival at the office.


Please have a drink before your departure.
I am looking forward to our lunch.
Do you object to this job?
Tara always dreams about holidays.

The above rule has no exceptions!


So why is "to" followed by "driving" in 1 and by "drive" in 2?

1. I am used to driving on the left.


2. I used to drive on the left.

Show answer
Gerunds after Certain Verbs

Gerunds after Certain Verbs

We sometimes use one verb after another verb. Often the second verb is in the infinitive form, for example:

I want to eat.

But sometimes the second verb must be in gerund form, for example:

I dislike eating.

This depends on the first verb. Here is a list of verbs that are usually followed by a verb in gerund form:

admit, appreciate, avoid, carry on, consider, defer, delay, deny, detest, dislike, endure, enjoy, escape, excuse, face, feel like, finish, forgive,
give up, can't help, imagine, involve, leave off, mention, mind, miss, postpone, practise, put off, report, resent, risk, can't stand, suggest,
understand

Look at these examples:

She is considering having a holiday.


Do you feel like going out?
I can't help falling in love with you.
I can't stand not seeing you.

Some verbs can be followed by the gerund form or the infinitive form without a big change in meaning: begin, continue, hate, intend, like, love,
prefer, propose, start

I like to play tennis.


I like playing tennis.
It started to rain.
It started raining.

Gerunds in Passive Sense

Gerunds in Passive Sense

We often use a gerund after the verbs need, require and want. In this case, the gerund has a passive sense.

I have three shirts that need washing. (need to be washed)

This letter requires signing. (needs to be signed)

The house wants repainting. (needs to be repainted)

The expression "something wants doing" is not normally used in American English.

English Parts of Speech

There are thousands of words in any language. But not all words have the same job. For example, some words express "action". Other words express
a "thing". Other words "join" one word to another word. These are the "building blocks" of the language. Think of them like the parts of a house.
When we want to build a house, we use concrete to make the foundations or base. We use bricks to make the walls. We use window frames to make
the windows, and door frames to make the doorways. And we use cement to join them all together. Each part of the house has its own job. And when
we want to build a sentence, we use the different types of word. Each type of word has its own job.

We can categorize English words into 8 basic types or classes. These classes are called "parts of speech".

Some grammar books categorize English into 9 or 10 parts of speech. At EnglishClub, we use the traditional categorization of 8 parts of speech (see
table for more details).
It's quite important to recognize parts of speech. This helps you to analyze sentences and understand them. It also helps you to construct good
sentences.

In this lesson, we have an overview of the eight parts of speech, followed by a quiz to check your understanding:

Parts of Speech Table

Parts of Speech Table

This is a summary of the 8 parts of speech*. You can find more detail if you click on each part of speech.

part of
function or "job" example words example sentences
speech

(to) be, have, do, like, work, sing, EnglishClub.com is a web site. I like
Verb action or state
can, must EnglishClub.com.

pen, dog, work, music, town, This is my dog. He lives in my house. We live in
Noun thing or person
London, teacher, John London.

a/an, the, 69, some, good, big,


Adjective describes a noun My dog is big. I like big dogs.
red, well, interesting

quickly, silently, well, badly, very, My dog eats quickly. When he is very hungry, he
Adverb describes a verb, adjective or adverb
really eats really quickly.

Pronoun replaces a noun I, you, he, she, some Tara is Indian. She is beautiful.

Preposition links a noun to another word to, at, after, on, but We went to school on Monday.

I like dogs and I like cats. I like cats and dogs. I like
Conjunction joins clauses or sentences or words and, but, when
dogs but I don't like cats.

short exclamation, sometimes Ouch! That hurts! Hi! How are you? Well, I don't
Interjection oh!, ouch!, hi!, well
inserted into a sentence know.

* Some grammar sources categorize English into 9 or 10 parts of speech. At EnglishClub.com, we use the traditional categorization of 8 parts of
speech. Examples of other categorizations are:

Verbs may be treated as two different parts of speech:


o Lexical Verbs (work, like, run)
o Auxiliary Verbs (be, have, must)
Determiners may be treated as a separate part of speech, instead of being categorized under Adjectives

Parts of Speech Examples


Parts of Speech Examples
Here are some sentences made with different English parts of speech:

verb noun verb noun verb verb

Stop! John works. John is working.


pronoun verb noun noun verb adjective noun

She loves animals. Animals like kind people.


noun verb noun adverb noun verb adjective noun

Tara speaks English well. Tara speaks good English.


pronoun verb preposition adjective noun adverb

She ran to the station quickly.


pron. verb adj. noun conjunction pron. verb pron.

She likes big snakes but I hate them.

Here is a sentence that contains every part of speech:

interjection pron. conj. adj. noun verb prep. noun adverb

Well, she and young John walk to school slowly.

Words with More than One Job

Words with More than One Job

Many words in English can have more than one job, or be more than one part of speech. For example, "work" can be a verb and a noun; "but" can be
a conjunction and a preposition; "well" can be an adjective, an adverb and an interjection. In addition, many nouns can act as adjectives.

To analyze the part of speech, ask yourself: "What job is this word doing in this sentence?"

In the table below you can see a few examples. Of course, there are more, even for some of the words in the table. In fact, if you look in a good
dictionary you will see that the word "but" has six jobs to do:

verb, noun, adverb, pronoun, preposition and conjuction!

word part of speech example

noun My work is easy.


work
verb I work in London.

conjunction John came but Mary didn't come.


but
preposition Everyone came but Mary.

adjective Are you well?

well adverb She speaks well.

interjection Well! That's expensive!

noun We ate in the afternoon.


afternoon
noun acting as adjective We had afternoon tea.
Glossary of English Grammar Terms

This glossary of English grammar terms relates to the English language. Some terms here may have additional or extended meanings when applied
to other languages. For example, "case" in some languages applies to pronouns and nouns. In English, nouns do not have case and therefore no
reference to nouns is made in its definition here.

Term Definition

one of two voices in English; a direct form of expression where the subject performs or "acts" the verb; see also
active voice passive voice
eg: "Many people eat rice"

part of speech that typically describes or "modifies" a noun


adjective
eg: "It was a big dog."

adjective clause seldom-used term for relative clause

word or phrase that adds information to a sentence and that can be removed from the sentence without making
adjunct the sentence ungrammatical
eg: I met John at school.

word that modifies a verb, an adjective or another adverb


adverb
eg: quickly, really, very

dependent clause that acts like an adverb and indicates such things as time, place or reason
adverbial clause
eg: Although we are getting older, we grow more beautiful each day.

statement that expresses (or claims to express) a truth or "yes" meaning; opposite of negative
affirmative
eg: The sun is hot.

language unit (morpheme) that occurs before or after (or sometimes within) the root or stem of a word
affix
eg: un- in unhappy (prefix), -ness in happiness (suffix)

agreement logical (in a grammatical sense) links between words based on tense, case or number
(also known as "concord") eg: this phone, these phones

antecedent word, phrase or clause that is replaced by a pronoun (or other substitute) when mentioned subsequently (in the
same sentence or later)
eg: "Emily is nice because she brings me flowers."

noun phrase that re-identifies or describes its neighbouring noun


appositive
eg: "Canada, a multicultural country, is recognized by its maple leaf flag."

article determiner that introduces a noun phrase as definite (the) or indefinite (a/an)

feature of some verb forms that relates to duration or completion of time; verbs can have no aspect (simple), or can
aspect have continuous or progressive aspect (expressing duration), or have perfect or perfective aspect (expressing
completion)

auxiliary verb verb used with the main verb to help indicate something such as tense or voice
(also called "helping verb") eg: I do not like you. She has finished. He can swim.

unmarked form of the verb (no indication of tense, mood, person, or aspect) without the particle "to"; typically used
bare infinitive after modal auxiliary verbs; see also infinitive
eg: "He should come", "I can swim"

basic form of a verb before conjugation into tenses etc


base form
eg: be, speak

form of a pronoun based on its relationship to other words in the sentence; case can be subjective, objective or
case possessive
eg: "I love this dog", "This dog loves me", "This is my dog"

verb that causes things to happen such as "make", "get" and "have"; the subject does not perform the action but is
causative verb indirectly responsible for it
eg: "She made me go to school", "I had my nails painted"

group of words containing a subject and its verb


clause
eg: "It was late when he arrived"

form of an adjective or adverb made with "-er" or "more" that is used to show differences or similarities between
comparative,
two things (not three or more things)
comparative adjective
eg: colder, more quickly

part of a sentence that completes or adds meaning to the predicate


complement
eg: Mary did not say where she was going.

noun that is made up of more than one word; can be one word, or hyphenated, or separated by a space
compound noun
eg: toothbrush, mother-in-law, Christmas Day

sentence with at least two independent clauses; usually joined by a conjunction


compound sentence
eg: "You can have something healthy but you can't have more junk food."

concord another term for agreement

structure in English where one action depends on another ("if-then" or "then-if" structure); most common are 1st,
conditional 2nd, and 3rd conditionals
eg: "If I win I will be happy", "I would be happy if I won"
to show the different forms of a verb according to voice, mood, tense, number and person; conjugation is quite
simple in English compared to many other languages
conjugate
eg: I walk, you walk, he/she/it walks, we walk, they walk; I walked, you walked, he/she/it walked, we walked, they
walked

word that joins or connects two parts of a sentence


conjunction
eg: Ram likes tea and coffee. Anthony went swimming although it was raining.

word that has meaning in a sentence, such as a verb or noun (as opposed to a structure word, such as pronoun or
content word auxiliary verb); content words are stressed in speech
eg: "Could you BRING my GLASSES because I've LEFT them at HOME"

verb form (specifically an aspect) indicating actions that are in progress or continuing over a given time period (can
continuous
be past, present or future); formed with "BE" + "VERB-ing"
(also called "progressive")
eg: "They are watching TV."

shortening of two (or more) words into one


contraction
eg: isn't (is not), we'd've (we would have)

thing that you can count, such as apple, pen, tree (see uncountable noun)
countable noun
eg: one apple, three pens, ten trees

illogical structure that occurs in a sentence when a writer intends to modify one thing but the reader attaches it to
another
dangling participle
eg: "Running to the bus, the flowers were blooming." (In the example sentence it seems that the flowers were
running.)

sentence type typically used to make a statement (as opposed to a question or command)
declarative sentence
eg: "Tara works hard", "It wasn't funny"

defining relative clause relative clause that contains information required for the understanding of the sentence; not set off with commas;
(also called "restrictive see also non-defining clause
relative clause") eg: "The boy who was wearing a blue shirt was the winner"

demonstrative pronoun pronoun or determiner that indicates closeness to (this/these) or distance from (that/those) the speaker
demonstrative adjective eg: "This is a nice car", "Can you see those cars?"

part of a sentence that contains a subject and a verb but does not form a complete thought and cannot stand on its
dependent clause own; see also independent clause
eg: "When the water came out of the tap..."

word such as an article or a possessive adjective or other adjective that typically comes at the beginning of noun
determiner phrases
eg: "It was an excellent film", "Do you like my new shirt?", "Let's buy some eggs"

saying what someone said by using their exact words; see also indirect speech
direct speech
eg: "Lucy said: 'I am tired.'"

noun phrase in a sentence that directly receives the action of the verb; see also indirect object
direct object
eg: "Joey bought the car", "I like it", "Can you see the man wearing a pink shirt and waving a gun in the air?"

question that is not in normal question form with a question mark; it occurs within another statement or question
embedded question
and generally follows statement structure
eg: "I don't know where he went," "Can you tell me where it is before you go?", "They haven't decided whether
they should come"

verb form that has a specific tense, number and person


finite verb
eg: I work, he works, we learned, they ran

"if-then" conditional structure used for future actions or events that are seen as realistic possibilities
first conditional
eg: "If we win the lottery we will buy a car"

incomplete piece of a sentence used alone as a complete sentence; a fragment does not contain a complete
fragment thought; fragments are common in normal speech but unusual (inappropriate) in formal writing
eg: "When's her birthday? - In December", "Will they come? - Probably not"

purpose or "job" of a word form or element in a sentence


function eg: The function of a subject is to perform the action. One function of an adjective is to describe a noun. The
function of a noun is to name things.

future continuous
tense* used to describe things that will happen in the future at a particular time; formed with WILL + BE + VERB-ing
(also called "future
eg: "I will be graduating in September."
progressive")

tense* used to express the past in the future; formed with WILL HAVE + VERB-ed
future perfect
eg: "I will have graduated by then"

tense* used to show that something will be ongoing until a certain time in the future; formed with WILL HAVE BEEN
future perfect continuous + VERB-ing
eg: "We will have been living there for three months by the time the baby is born"

tense* used to describe something that hasn't happened yet such as a prediction or a sudden decision; formed with
future simple WILL + BASE VERB
eg: "He will be late", "I will answer the phone"

noun form of a verb, formed with VERB-ing


gerund
eg: "Walking is great exercise"

adjective that can vary in intensity or grade when paired with a grading adverb ; see also non-gradable adjective
gradable adjective
eg: quite hot, very tall

adverb that can modify the intensity or grade of a gradable adjective


grading adverb
eg: quite hot, very tall

hanging participle another term for dangling participle

helping verb another term for auxiliary verb

form of verb used when giving a command; formed with BASE VERB only
imperative
eg: "Brush your teeth!"

pronoun does not refer to any specific person, thing or amount. It is vague and "not definite".
indefinite pronoun
eg: anything, each, many, somebody

independent clause group of words that expresses a complete thought and can stand alone as a sentence; see also dependent clause
(also called "main clause") eg: "Tara is eating curry.", "Tara likes oranges and Joe likes apples."

noun phrase representing the person or thing indirectly affected by the action of the verb; see also direct object
indirect object
eg: "She showed me her book collection", "Joey bought his wife a new car"

indirect question another term for embedded question

indirect speech
saying what someone said without using their exact words; see direct speech
(also called "reported
eg: "Lucy said that she was tired"
speech")

base form of a verb preceded by "to"**; see also bare infinitive


infinitive
eg: "You need to study harder", "To be, or not to be: that is the question"

change in word form to indicate grammatical meaning


inflection
eg: dog, dogs (two inflections); take, takes, took, taking, taken (five inflections)

common word that expresses emotion but has no grammatical value; can often be used alone and is often followed
interjection by an exclamation mark
eg: "Hi!", "er", "Ouch!", "Dammit!"

(formal) sentence type (typically inverted) normally used when asking a question
interrogative
eg: "Are you eating?", "What are you eating?"

pronoun that asks a question.


interrogative pronoun
eg: who, whom, which

verb that does not take a direct object; see also transitive verb
intransitive verb
e.g. "He is working hard", "Where do you live?"

any reversal of the normal word order, especially placing the auxiliary verb before the subject; used in a variety of
ways, as in question formation, conditional clauses and agreement or disagreement
inversion
eg: "Where are your keys?","Had we watched the weather report, we wouldn't have gone to the beach", "So did
he", "Neither did she"

irregular verb verb that has a different ending for past tense and past participle forms than the regular "-ed"; see also regular verb
see irregular verbs list eg: buy, bought, bought; do, did, done

lexicon, lexis all of the words and word forms in a language with meaning or function

lexical verb another term for main verb

linking verb verbs that connect the subject to more information (but do not indicate action), such as "be" or "seem"

main clause another term for independent clause

main verb any verb in a sentence that is not an auxiliary verb; a main verb has meaning on its own
(also called "lexical verb") eg: "Does John like Mary?", "I will have arrived by 4pm"

modal verb auxiliary verb such as can, could, must, should etc; paired with the bare infinitive of a verb
(also called "modal") eg: "I should go for a jog"

word or phrase that modifies and limits the meaning of another word
modifier
eg: the house => the white house, the house over there, the house we sold last year

sentence type that indicates the speaker's view towards the degree of reality of what is being said, for example
mood
subjunctive, indicative, imperative

unit of language with meaning; differs from "word" because some cannot stand alone
morpheme
e.g. un-, predict and -able in unpredictable

verb that consists of a basic verb + another word or words (preposition and/or adverb)
multi-word verb
eg: get up (phrasal verb), believe in (prepositional verb), get on with (phrasal-prepositional verb)

form which changes a "yes" meaning to a "no" meaning; opposite of affirmative


negative
eg: "She will not come", "I have never seen her"

nominative case another term for subjective case

non-defining relative
relative clause that adds information but is not completely necessary; set off from the sentence with a comma or
clause
commas; see defining relative clause
(also called "non-restrictive
eg: "The boy, who had a chocolate bar in his hand, was still hungry"
relative clause")

adjective that has a fixed quality or intensity and cannot be paired with a grading adverb; see also gradable adjective
non-gradable adjective
eg: freezing, boiling, dead

non-restrictive relative
another term for non-defining relative clause
clause

part of speech that names a person, place, thing, quality, quantity or concept; see also proper noun and compound
noun noun
eg: "The man is waiting", "I was born in London", "Is that your car?", "Do you like music?"

clause that takes the place of a noun and cannot stand on its own; often introduced with words such as "that, who
noun clause or whoever"
eg: "What the president said was surprising"

any word or group of words based on a noun or pronoun that can function in a sentence as a subject, object or
noun phrase (NP) prepositional object; can be one word or many words; can be very simple or very complex
eg: "She is nice", "When is the meeting?", "The car over there beside the lampost is mine"

change of word form indicating one person or thing (singular) or more than one person or thing (plural)
number
eg: one dog/three dogs, she/they

thing or person affected by the verb; see also direct object and indirect object
object
eg: "The boy kicked the ball", "We chose the house with the red door"

case form of a pronoun indicating an object


objective case
eg: "John married her", "I gave it to him"
one of the classes into which words are divided according to their function in a sentence
part of speech
eg: verb, noun, adjective

participle verb form that can be used as an adjective or a noun; see past participle, present participle

one of two voices in English; an indirect form of expression in which the subject receives the action; see also active
passive voice voice
eg: "Rice is eaten by many people"

past tense tense used to talk about an action, event or situation that occurred and was completed in the past
(also called "simple past") eg: "I lived in Paris for 10 years", "Yesterday we saw a snake"

tense often used to describe an interrupted action in the past; formed with WAS/WERE + VERB-ing
past continuous
eg: "I was reading when you called"

tense that refers to the past in the past; formed with HAD + VERB-ed
past perfect
eg: "We had stopped the car"

tense that refers to action that happened in the past and continued to a certain point in the past; formed with HAD
past perfect continuous BEEN + VERB-ing
eg: "I had been waiting for three hours when he arrived"

verb form (V3) - usually made by adding "-ed" to the base verb - typically used in perfect and passive tenses, and
past participle sometimes as an adjective
eg: "I have finished", "It was seen by many people", "boiled eggs"

verb form (specifically an aspect); formed with HAVE/HAS + VERB-ed (present perfect) or HAD + VERB-ed (past
perfect
perfect)

grammatical category that identifies people in a conversation; there are three persons: 1st person (pronouns I/me,
person we/us) is the speaker(s), 2nd person (pronoun you) is the listener(s), 3rd person (pronouns he/him, she/her, it,
they/them) is everybody or everything else

pronoun that indicates person


personal pronoun
eg: "He likes my dogs", "They like him"

multi-word verb formed with a verb + adverb


phrasal verb eg: break up, turn off (see phrasal verbs list)
NB: many people and books call all multi-word verbs "phrasal verbs" (see multi-word verbs)

two or more words that have a single function and form part of a sentence; phrases can be noun, adjective, adverb,
phrase
verb or prepositional

of a noun or form indicating more than one person or thing; plural nouns are usually formed by adding "-s"; see also
plural singular, number
eg: bananas, spoons, trees

grammatically correct placement of a word form in a phrase or sentence in relation to other word forms
position
eg: "The correct position for an article is at the beginning of the noun phrase that it describes"

basic state of an adjective or adverb when it shows quality but not comparative or superlative
positive
eg: nice, kind, quickly
adjective (also called "determiner") based on a pronoun: my, your, his, her, its, our, their
possessive adjective
eg: "I lost my keys", "She likes your car"

case form of a pronoun indicating ownership or possession


possessive case
eg: "Mine are blue", "This car is hers"

pronoun that indicates ownership or possession


possessive pronoun
eg: "Where is mine?", "These are yours"

one of the two main parts (subject and predicate) of a sentence; the predicate is the part that is not the subject
predicate
eg: "My brother is a doctor", "Who did you call?", "The woman wearing a blue dress helped me"

affix that occurs before the root or stem of a word


prefix
eg: impossible, reload

part of speech that typically comes before a noun phrase and shows some type of relationship between that noun
preposition phrase and another element (including relationships of time, location, purpose etc)
eg: "We sleep at night", "I live in London", "This is for digging"

multi-word verb that is formed with verb + preposition


prepositional verb
eg: believe in, look after

-ing form of a verb (except when it is a gerund or verbal noun)


present participle
eg: "We were eating", "The man shouting at the back is rude", "I saw Tara playing tennis"

tense usually used to describe states and actions that are general, habitual or (with the verb "to be") true right now;
present simple (also called
formed with the basic verb (+ s for 3rd person singular)
"simple present")
eg: "Canada sounds beautiful", "She walks to school", "I am very happy"

present continuous (also


tense used to describe action that is in process now, or a plan for the future; formed with BE + VERB-ing
called "present
eg: "We are watching TV", "I am moving to Canada next month"
progressive")

tense that connects the past and the present, typically used to express experience, change or a continuing situation;
present perfect formed with HAVE + VERB-ed
eg: "I have worked there", "John has broken his leg", "How long have you been in Canada?"

tense used to describe an action that has recently stopped or an action continuing up to now; formed with HAVE +
present perfect continuous BEEN + VERB-ing
eg: "I'm tired because I've been running", "He has been living in Canada for two years"

progressive another term for continuous

word that replaces a noun or noun phrase; there are several types including personal pronouns, relative pronouns
pronoun and indefinite pronouns
eg: you, he, him; who, which; somebody, anything

noun that is capitalized at all times and is the name of a person, place or thing
proper noun
eg: Shakespeare, Tokyo, EnglishClub.com

standard marks such as commas, periods and question marks within a sentence
punctuation
eg: , . ? ! - ; :
determiner or pronoun that indicates quantity
quantifier
eg: some, many, all

final part of a tag question; mini-question at end of a tag question


question tag
eg: "Snow isn't black, is it?"

question word another term for WH-word

pronoun that indicates that two or more subjects are acting mutually; there are two in English - each other, one
reciprocal pronoun another
eg: "John and Mary were shouting at each other", "The students accused one another of cheating"

reduced relative clause construction similar to a relative clause, but containing a participle instead of a finite verb; this construction is
(also called "participial possible only under certain circumstances
relative clause") eg: "The woman sitting on the bench is my sister", "The people arrested by the police have been released"

pronoun ending in -self or -selves, used when the subject and object are the same, or when the subject needs
reflexive pronoun emphasis
eg: "She drove herself", "I'll phone her myself"

regular verb verb that has "-ed" as the ending for past tense and past participle forms; see also irregular verb
see regular verbs list eg: work, worked, worked

adverb that introduces a relative clause; there are four in English: where, when, wherever, whenever; see also
relative adverb
relative pronoun

dependent clause that usually starts with a relative pronoun such as who or which, or relative adverb such as where
relative clause
eg: "The person who finishes first can leave early" (defining), "Texas, where my brother lives, is big" (non-defining)

pronoun that starts a relative clause; there are five in English: who, whom, whose, which, that; see also relative
relative pronoun
adverb

reported speech another term for indirect speech

restrictive relative clause another term for defining relative clause

"if-then" conditional structure used to talk about an unlikely possibility in the future
second conditional
eg: "If we won the lottery we would buy a car"

largest grammatical unit; a sentence must always include a subject (except for imperatives) and predicate; a written
sentence starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop/period (.), question mark (?) or exclamation mark (!); a
sentence
sentence contains a complete thought such as a statement, question, request or command
eg: "Stop!", "Do you like coffee?", "I work."

list of items in a sentence


series
eg: "The children ate popsicles, popcorn and chips"

of a noun or form indicating exactly one person or thing; singular nouns are usually the simplest form of the noun
singular (as found in a dictionary); see also plural, number
eg: banana, spoon, tree
situation where a word or phrase comes between the particle "to" and the verb in an infinitive; considered poor
split infinitive construction by some
eg: "He promised to never lie again"

Standard English (S.E.) "normal" spelling, pronunciation and grammar that is used by educated native speakers of English

word that has no real meaning in a sentence, such as a pronoun or auxiliary verb (as opposed to a content word,
structure word such as verb or noun); structure words are not normally stressed in speech
eg: "Could you BRING my GLASSES because I've LEFT them at HOME"

one of the two main parts (subject and predicate) of a sentence; the subject is the part that is not the predicate;
subject typically, the subject is the first noun phrase in a sentence and is what the rest of the sentence "is about"
eg: "The rain water was dirty", "Mary is beautiful", "Who saw you?"

subjective case case form of a pronoun indicating a subject


also called "nominative" eg: Did she tell you about her?

fairly rare verb form typically used to talk about events that are not certain to happen, usually something that
subjunctive someone wants, hopes or imagines will happen; formed with BARE INFINITIVE (except past of "be")
eg: "The President requests that John attend the meeting"

subordinate clause another term for dependent clause

affix that occurs after the root or stem of a word


suffix
eg: happiness, quickly

superlative, superlative adjective or adverb that describes the extreme degree of something
adjective eg: happiest, most quickly

subject-verb-object; a common word order where the subject is followed by the verb and then the object
SVO
eg: "The man crossed the street"

syntax sentence structure; the rules about sentence structure

special construction with statement that ends in a mini-question; the whole sentence is a tag question; the mini-
tag question question is a question tag; usually used to obtain confirmation
eg: "The Earth is round, isn't it?", "You don't eat meat, do you?"

form of a verb that shows us when the action or state happens (past, present or future). Note that the name of a
tense tense is not always a guide to when the action happens. The "present continuous tense", for example, can be used
to talk about the present or the future.

"if-then" conditional structure used to talk about a possible event in the past that did not happen (and is therefore
third conditional now impossible)
eg: "If we had won the lottery we would have bought a car"

action verb that has a direct object (receiver of the action); see also intransitive verb
transitive verb
eg: "The kids always eat a snack while they watch TV"

uncountable nouns
thing that you cannot count, such as substances or concepts; see also countable nouns
(also called "mass nouns"
eg: water, furniture, music
or "non-count")
usage way in which words and constructions are normally used in any particular language

referring to Verb 1, Verb 2, Verb 3 - being the base, past and past participle that students typically learn for irregular
V1, V2, V3 verbs
eg: speak, spoke, spoken

word that describes the subject's action or state and that we can change or conjugate based on tense and person
verb
eg: (to) work, (to) love, (to) begin

voice form of a verb that shows the relation of the subject to the action; there are two voices in English: active, passive

question using a WH-word and expecting an answer that is not "yes" or "no"; WH-questions are "open" questions;
WH-question see also yes-no question
eg: Where are you going?

WH-word
(also called "question word that asks a WH-question; there are 7 WH-words: who, what, where, when, which, why, how
word")

order or sequence in which words occur within a sentence; basic word order for English is subject-verb-object or
word order
SVO

question to which the answer is yes or no; yes-no questions are "closed" questions; see also WH-question
yes-no question
eg: "Do you like coffee?"

"if-then" conditional structure used when the result of the condition is always true (based on fact)
zero conditional
eg: "If you dial O, the operator comes on"

important links

www.learnenglish.org.uk
www.lyrics.com
www.ncsu.edu/felder-public/ILSpage.html
www.ruthvilmi.net/hut/LangHelp/Grammar
www.smic.be/smic5022/teacherhandouts.htm
www.teachingenglish.org.uk/download/books_notes/Action_Plan.pdf
www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/methodology/planning1.shtml
www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/methodology/planning2.shtml
www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/methodology/project_work.shtml
www.teaching-unplugged.com
www.thenewspaper.org.uk
http://tqjunior.thinkquest.org/5115/s_writing.htm
www.vark-learn.com/english/page.asp?p=questionnaire
www.vocabulary.com

www.britishcouncil.org/languageassistants-manual.htm

http://dictionary.cambridge.org
www.eastment.com
www.eltforum.com
www.englishclub.com
www.eslcafe.com/ideas/index.html
www.eslpartyland.com/teachers/nov/music.htm
www.hio.ft.hanze.nl/that/writing.htm
www.hio.ft.hanze.nl/thar/listen.htm
www.in2english.com/teaching
http://iteslj.org/links
http://janmulder.co.uk/Phonmap
http://kids.mysterynet.com