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English Grammar Exercises

for high-school students

TEACHER: Hồ Thúy Loan


English Grammar Exercises for high-school students
1. NOUNS AND PHRASES..................................................................................................................... 2
2. SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT ........................................................................................................... 4
3. QUANTIFIERS................................................................................................................................... 7
4. ADVERBS ......................................................................................................................................... 7
5. COMPARISON OF ADJECTIVES & ADVERDS .................................................................................... 7
6. THE USE OF SOME ENGLISH TENSES ............................................................................................... 7
7. VERBS FOLLOWED BY GERUND OR THE TO-INFINITIVE .................................................................. 7
8. NOTES OF USING THE VERBS DO & MAKE .................................................................................... 10
9. NOTES OF USING MODEL VERBS .................................................................................................. 11
10. PASSIVE VOICE .......................................................................................................................... 13
11. PREPOSITIONS ........................................................................................................................... 15
12. SENTENCE BUILDING ................................................................................................................. 17

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1. NOUNS AND PHRASES
Nouns are often used to talk about people, places, animals, things, events, actions or
ideas

 People: man, women, teacher


 Place: home, office, town, countryside
 Animal: cat, dog, tiger, monkey
 Thing: table, car, book, money
 Event or action: weeding, theft, robbery, cooking
 Event or idea: time, result, security, conclusion
 All common nouns can be divided into two groups: countable nouns and
uncountable nouns.
 Countable nouns are used to refer to people, objects and places which
can be counted. These nouns have singular and plural forms.
 Singular countable nouns: a doctor, one pen, a park
 Plural countable nouns: some doctors, two pens, many parks

Countable nouns can takes singular or plural verbs.

 Singular verbs: + Plural verbs:


This house is large. These houses are large.
That student is intelligent. Those students are intelligent.
 A determiner a / an is often used before singular countable nouns; a is
used before consonant sounds; an is used before vowel sounds.
 A pupil an apple
A pencil an egg
 Uncountable nouns are used to refer to things which cannot be seen as
separate and which cannot be counted. These nouns do not have plural
forms.
Happiness, music, beauty
Milk, sugar, water
Uncountable nouns always take singular verbs.

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Milk is good for our body.
Rice was very cheap last year.
A determiner a / an is not used before uncountable nouns.
A milk, a sugar
However we can say a glass of milk, a pound of sugar.
 There are some nouns which are considered uncountable in English but
countable in other languages. Some of them often go with a countable
expression.
Uncountable Nouns Countable Nouns
Advice A piece of advice
Bread A loaf / piece of bread
Furniture A piece of furniture
Information A piece of information
Luggage Apiece of luggage
Money A sum of money
News A piece of news
Work A piece of work

 Some and any can be used before plural countable nouns and
uncountable nouns. Some is common in positive sentences and any is
common in questions and negative sentences.
There is some sugar in the jar.
There are some pictures on the wall.
We don’t need any eggs in the fridge?
 A noun phrase is a group of words consisting of a basic noun (B.N) and one or
many modifiers (M) of that basic noun.
The merchants of ancient Egypt
M B.N M
Many beautiful girls
M B.N

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 In a noun phrase there can be determiners, quantifiers and modifiers as
well as nouns.
Determiners are the articles (a, the); demonstratives (this, that, these,
those) and possessives (my, your…). They come before the noun.
A book my pen this bag
Quantifiers are words / expressions like a lot of, many, much, a few, a
little, every, each, all, most, both, some, half, any, no, etc. They also
come before the noun.
A lot of books two cars half an hour
Modifiers
 A noun can be modified by an adjective or by another noun.
A small chair the exact time
Some glass bottles an emergency landing
 It can also be modified by a prepositional phrase or an adverb
phrase.
The spring of 2002 the women inside
 Modifying clauses often come after nouns in noun phrases.
The answers which we receive are sometimes not reliable.
 A noun phrase can be one word
Pupils do not go to school on Sundays. (countable noun)
Diamond is very expensive. (uncountable noun)
We go to work by bus. (pronoun)

2. SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
Subject-verb agreement means choosing the correct singular or plural verb after
the subject.
The boys are studying in the room.
The elevator works well.
 When the two singular subjects are joined by and, the verb is plural.
My sister and my brother are students.

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However, if the two subjects together express something which is seen as a single
thing, the verb is singular.
Milk and cheese is what I need to buy.
 When the two subjects are joined by as well as, together with, along with,
accompanied by, the verb is usually singular if the first subject is singular and
plural if it is plural,
My son, together with his friends, is going to travel around the world.
The students, as well as their teacher, have not arrived yet.
 When the two subjects are joined by either … or, neither … nor, or not only … but
also the verb is usually singular if the second subject is singular and plural if it is
plural.
Our room is too crowded – either a table or two chairs have to be moved out.
Neither her friends nor she has arrived.
 The verb in sentences beginning with there and here often agrees with the subject
that comes after it or at the end of the sentence.
There comes the bus.
Here are your keys.
 A linking verb must agree with its subject, not with the complement.
The best hope for the future is our children.
Our children are the best hope for the future.
 Verbs should agree with the relative-pronoun subjects: who, which, and that.
The boss likes the worker who always arrives on time.
 When a collective noun is used to mean a single group or unit, it takes a
singular verb; but when it refers to the individual members of the groups, it
takes a plural verb.
My family have decided to move to Ho Chi Minh City.
The average American family has 3.5 members.
Some collective nouns are: army, audience, class, family, firm, staff,
government, committee, faculty, group, herd, public, and team
 Nouns indicating amounts, quantities often take singular verbs,
Fifteen minutes isn’t enough for the students to finish this test.

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Five miles is too much for me to run in one day.
Twenty dollars is an unreasonable price for the necklace.
 Some singular nouns like statistics, physics, tactics, electronics, athletics,
politics, news, measles, economics, mathematics, the United States look plural
but usually take singular verbs.
Physics was his major study in college.
 Indefinite pronouns like anybody, anyone, anything, nobody, no one, nothing,
somebody, someone, each, something, everybody, everyone, and everything
often take singular verbs.
Nobody has cleaned the floor for months.
Every elementary school teacher is going to take this examination.
 Expressions beginning with one of normally have plural nouns but take
singular verbs.
One of my friends is going to visit Ha Noi next week.
 Other quantifying expressions are:
None of + the + uncountable noun + singular verb
None of the money has been found.
None of + the + plural noun + plural verb
None of the students have finished the exam yet.
A number of + plural noun + plural verb
A number of applicants have been interviewed,
The number of + plural noun + singular verb
The number of days in a week is seven.

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3. QUANTIFIERS

4. ADVERBS

5. COMPARISON OF ADJECTIVES & ADVERDS

6. THE USE OF SOME ENGLISH TENSES

7. VERBS FOLLOWED BY GERUND OR THE TO-INFINITIVE


 In sentences some verbs can take another verb as a complement. The verbs
functioning as the complement must be in the to-infinitive (to + base form of verb)
form or they must be in the gerund (verb + -ing) form.
She decided to move to another city.
She hates answering the telephone after midnight.

Verbs That Always Followed by the To-Infinitive

 The following verbs take a to-Infinitive as a complement.


Agree choose hope prepare train
Aim claim learn pretend try
Appear decide long promise turn out
Arrange demand hesitate prove undertake
Ask expect manage refuse want
Attempt fail need seek wish
Beg forget neglect seem would hate
Can’t effort guarantee offer swear would like
Can’t wait happen omit omit tend would love
Cause help plan threaten
I learnt to drive when I was 30.
The boss asked the secretary to stay for dinner.

Verbs That Always Followed by the Gerund

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 The following verbs / expressions takes a gerund as a complement.

Appreciate detest give up miss risk


Avoid dislike imagine postpone save
Can’t face dread involve practice suggest
Can’t help enjoy it’s (not) worth quit there’s no
Can’t stand escape it’s no good recall tolerate
Carry on excuse it’s no use recollect understand
Confess fancy justify regret
Consider feel like keep report
Delay finish mention resent
The thief admitted stealing the money
She always avoids meeting me.
 The following verbs take a gerund as a complement when there is no object but get
a to-infinitive as a complement when there is an object.
Advice allow encourage permit recommend
We don’t allow smoking here
We don’t allow our personnel to smoke here.
 The following verbs can take either a to-infinitive or a gerund as a complement
with no change in meaning.
Begin continue hesitate like prefer
Can’t stand hate intend love start

After a while the journalists began to ask questions.

After a while the journalists began asking questions.

 The following verbs can take either a to-infinitive or a gerund as a complement


with different meanings.
 Remember or forget + to-infinitive refers to the necessary actions.
Remember or forget + gerund refers to the memories of the past.

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Did you remember to give the documents to Frederick?
I can’t remember turning off the electricity.
 Stop + to-infinitive refers to the purpose. Stop + gerund means to end or to
give up an action.
We stopped to buy a drink at Mr. William’s shop.
You should stop smoking.
 Need + to-infinitive refers to the action of a concrete subject. Need +
gerund has a passive sense.
Jack needs to buy a new computer.
This computer needs repairing.
 Mean + to-infinitive has the sense of “intend”. Mean + gerund expresses the
result or what is involved in something.
Sorry, I did not mean to hurt your feelings.
Buying that company means making higher profits.
 Regret + to-infinitive refers to a present action, especially when giving bad
news. Regret + gerund has the sense of “feeling sorry” about something in
the past.
We regret to inform you that the Multi Ray is no longer available.
I regret wasting so much time when I was a student.
 Try + to-infinitive has the sense of “attempt to do something”. Try + gerund
means to do something which might solve the problem.
Our sales manager is trying to find another job.
When the computer jams, try closing an application with Control-Alt-
Delete buttons.

Example:

1. Jane is a nurse, but she is trying to find a new job. Although she enjoys looking
after people, nursing is not very well paid, and she cannot afford to pay her
bills. She finds it impossible to live on such a low salary without overdrawing
her account at the bank. Her flat needs redecorating and she would like to buy a
car. She managed to earn enough last year for a short holiday by saving some

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extra money in her spare time, and this year, she is hoping to visit some friends
in France. She has stopped going to the theatre, which used to be one of her
greatest pleasures. She is thinking of working in America, where she could earn
a higher salary in a private hospital, but would prefer to stay in this country if
possible. She likes being able to see her parents whenever she wants to. A
friend of hers went to America after leaving university, but began missing her
friends so badly that she had to come back.

8. NOTES OF USING THE VERBS DO & MAKE


DO

 Do is often used when speakers don’t want to refer exactly to what activity they
are talking about. It is often used with words like thing, something, nothing,
anything, everything, and what.
She did a very strange thing.
I like doing nothing.
What shall we do?
 Do is often used in the structure “do + verb + -ing” to talk about activities that
take a certain time, or are repeated (for example jobs and hobbies). There is
usually a determiner before the –ing form.
During the holidays I’m going to do some walking, some swimming
and a lot of reading.
 Do is often used to talk about work and jobs.
I’m going to do the shopping next Sunday.

MAKE

 Make is often used to talk about constructing, building, creating, etc.


He’s old enough to make his own bed now.
I’ve just made a cake.
They intend to make a boat.

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 Common Fixed Expressions
 Do good, harm, business, one’s best, a favor, sport, exercise, one’s hair,
one’s teeth, one’s duty, etc.
 Make a journey, an offer, an arrangement, a suggestion, a decision, an
attempt, an effort, an excuse, an exception, a mistake, a noise, a phone call,
money, a profit, a fortune, a bed, a fire, a progress, love, peace, war.

Example:

Karin doesn’t like doing housework. However, she does most of cooking. Last
night, she made very good dinner. She also made dessert. Her roommate,
Leslie, usually does the dishes. Karin doesn’t have a washer or dryer, so she
has to go to the launderette to do her laundry. Karin tries to make her bed every
morning. When Karin has friends over, they often make a mess.

9. NOTES OF USING MODEL VERBS


Model verbs are can, could, may, might, will, would, shall, should, ought to, must,
need, etc.
 Model verbs have no s-form for the third person singular, ing-form and past
participle.
 Model verbs are considered auxiliary in negative and question sentences.
He can’t speak English.
Can he speak English?
 Model verbs are always followed by a base form of verb.
Use
 Can is used to show general ability, opportunity, permission, request,
possibility and impossibility.
I can speak Chinese.
Can you swim?
I have some free time, I can help her now.
I can drive Susan’s car when she is out of town.
Can you give me a lift to school?

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Anyone can become rich and famous if they know the right people.
Learning a language can be a real challenge.
 Could is used to show possibility in the past, condition and polite request.
John could be the one who stole the money.
If I had more time, I could travel around the world.
Could I have something to drink?
 May is used to show possibility, permission and requests.
Jack may be upset. I can’t really tell if he is annoyed or tired.
You may leave the table when you finish your dinner.
May I make a phone call?
 Might is used to show possibility, condition, suggestion and request.
I’m not sure how got to work. She might have taken the bus.
If I entered the contest, I might actually win.
You might try the cheese cake.
Might I have something to drink?
 Shall is used to show future action, volunteering, promising and inevitability.
The marketing director shall be replaced by someone from the New
York office.
Fred shall be there by 8:00.
I shall take care of everything for you.
I shall make the travel arrangements. There’s no need to worry.
 Should is used to show advisability, obligation, expectation, and probability.
People with high cholesterol should eat low fat foods.
Sarah shouldn’t smoke so much. It’s not good for her health.
I should be at work before 9:00.
We should return the video before the video rental store closes.
Susan should have arrived in New York last week. Let’s call her and see
what she is up to.
 Must is used to show certainty, recommendation and necessity.
That must have been the right restaurant. There are no other restaurants
on this street.

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You must take some time off and get some rest.
You must have a permit to enter the national park.
 Must not is used to show prohibition.
You must not swim in that river. It’s full of crocodiles.
 Would is used to show imagination, past of will and repetition in past.
If I were President, I would cut the cost of education.
He told me he would be here before 8:00.
When I was a kid, I would always go to the beach.
 Ought to is used to show advisability, expectation and probability.
Margaret ought to come to the fitness center with us tonight.
Margaret ought to exercise more.
She ought to have received the package yesterday.

10. PASSIVE VOICE


 In English, sentences can be performed in either active or passive voice. In
active sentences the subject is the doer of the action, the focus is on the agent.
In passive sentences the subject receives the action, the focus is on the action,
Active: The executive committee approved the new policy.
Passive: The new policy was approved by the executive committee.
 Sometimes a passive sentence is preferred to an active one, especially when the
agent of the active sentence is unknown or not relevant.
My purse was stolen when I was doing the shopping.

Form

Subject + be + past participle (p.p.) (+ by)

Tenses Forms of Passive Verb


Simple Present Am / is / are + p.p.
Present Continuous am / is / are + being + p.p.
Simple Past Was/ were + p.p.

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Past Continuous Was / were + being + p.p.
Simple Future Will / shall + be + p.p.
Future Perfect Will / have + been + p.p.
Present Perfect Have / has + been + p.p.
Past Perfect Had + been + p.p.
Model Verbs Can / could / should / may / might /
would … + be + p.p.
Other Expressions Have to, used to, be going to + be + p.p.

Ways of Changing an Active Sentence into a Passive One

To change an active sentence into a passive one, follow these steps:

 Put the object of the active sentence at the beginning of the passive sentence.
 Put the verb be after the new subject of the passive sentence. This verb be must be
in the same tense as the main verb in the active sentence and agrees in number
with the new subject. However, if there is a model verb in the active sentence, put
it right after the new subject of the passive sentence, then put the verb be in the
bare infinitive form after the model verb.
 Put the main verb in the active sentence after the verb be, an this verb must be in
the past participle form.
 Finally, put by + the subject of the active sentence after the main verb in the
passive sentence. (This can be eliminated if we don’t want to refer to the subject of
the active sentence.)

Tenses Examples
Simple Present She takes the books.
 The books are taken by her.
Present Continuous The pupils are doing the exercises.
 The exercises are being done by the pupils.
Simple Past The flood destroyed hundreds of houses last year.

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 Hundreds of houses were destroyed last year.
Past Continuous The committee was considering some new projects.
 Some new projects were being considered by
the committee.
Simple Future We will see you off tomorrow.
 You will be seen off tomorrow.
Future Perfect The students will have written many compositions.
 Many compositions will have been written by
the students.
Present Perfect The factory has bought several equipment.
 Several equipment has been bought by the
factory.
Past Perfect She had had dinner before I came.
 Dinner had been had before I came.
Model Verbs You should close the windows.
 The windows should be closed.
Other Expressions There are going to build a big house.
 A big house is going to be built.

11. PREPOSITIONS
Prepositions are usually used before nouns to give additional information in a
sentence. Prepositions are often to show position or time.
 Prepositions of Time and Date: in / at / on
 Preposition in is used with months, years, and periods of time or a period of
time in the future.
In January, in 1978, in the twenties, in a few weeks, in a couple of days
 Preposition at is used with precise time.
At six o’clock, at 10:30, at two p.m.
 Preposition on is used with days of the week or with specific calendar days.
On Monday, on Christmas day, on October 22nd

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 Other expressions
In the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, at night
 Prepositions of Place: in / at / on
 Preposition in is used with spaces, with bodies of water or with lines.
In a room, in a building, in a garden, in a park, in the water, in the sea,
in the river, in a row, in a line, in a queue
 Preposition at is used with places, with places on a page or in groups of people.
At the bus-stop, at the door, at the cinema, at the end of the street, at
the top of the page, at the bottom of the page, at the back of the class, at
the front of the class.
 Preposition on is used with surfaces or directions.
On the ceiling, on the wall, on the floor, on the table, on the left, on the
right
 Other expressions
On / at the corner of a street, in the corner of a room, at the front / the
back of buildings, on the front / the back of a piece of paper
 Prepositions of Movement (in / at / to)
 Preposition in is used with non-movement verbs an cities, countries, states, etc.
Stay in the U.S.A, work in the New York
 Preposition at is used with places
At the cinema, at work, at home
 Preposition to is used with verbs of movement such as go, come, drive, etc.
Go to work, drive to California
 Some Other Prepositions: for / during
 Preposition for is used with a period of time
For three weeks, for many years
 Preposition during is used with a noun to express when something happens.
During class, during my vacation, during the discussion
 Prepositions after Adjectives

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Adjectives Prepositions
Afraid, ahead, aware, capable, confident, full of
Available, difficult, late, perfect, useful for
Clever, present, quick, skillful at
Acquainted, crowded, friendly, popular with
Interested, rich, successful in
Absent, different, safe from
Confused, sad, serious about
Acceptable, accustomed, agreeable, contrary, harmful, to
important, kind, lucky, open, pleasant, similar

12. SENTENCE BUILDING


A sentence is a group of words which express a complete meaning. Sentences can
usually have a subject and a predicate.
Mr. Brown arrived early
 A sentence can have main clauses and subordinate clauses.
He came late because he got the traffic.
 A main clause shows a complete thought and it can stand alone as a sentence.
We are student.
 Subordinate clauses cannot stand alone and are linked by subordinating
conjunctions to main clauses in complex sentences.
It is impossible to reach a decision because we lack sufficient
information.
As the market is so sluggish, we shall have to reduce our prices, even
though it may mean a reduction in our gross profit.
 A simple sentence consists of a main clause.
Marry had a little lamb.
I’m poor.
 A compound sentence consists of two or more main clauses.
The phone rang and there was a knock at the door.
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 A complex sentence consists of one main clause and one or more subordinate
clauses.
When I came, they were having dinner.
 Sentences can be classified into four main types: declarative sentences,
interrogative sentences, imperative sentences, and exclamatory sentences.
 A declarative sentence expresses a statement.
The car is green.
 An interrogative sentence refers to a question.
Is the car yours?
 An imperative sentence expresses a command or a request.
Drive carefully.
 An exclamatory sentence expresses strong, surprise feeling.
Not him!

Basic Sentence Patterns

 Subject + Intransitive Verb


The moon rose.
I swim.
We breathe.
 Subject + Transitive Verb + Object
I drive a car.
They are having dinner.
She takes a book.
 Subject + Verb + Complement
I am busy.
They look sick.
Joe became a doctor.
 Subject + Verb + Indirect Object + Direct Object
I gave her a book.
She teaches us English.
Will you do me a favor?

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 Subject + Verb + Object + Complement
I left the door open.
We elected him president.
They named her Lee.

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