prepositions and adverb particles

Words like down, in are not always prepositions. Compare: I ran down the road. He’s in his office. Please sit down You can go in In the expressions down the road and in his office, down and in are prepositions: they have objects (the road, his office). In Please sit down and You can go…

see

When see means ‘use one’s eyes’, it is not usually used in progressive tenses. We often use a structure with can instead. I can see a rabbit over there. (NOT I’m seeing. . .) See can also mean ‘understand’. We do not use progessive tenses. ‘We’ve got a problem.’ I see (NOT I’m seeing )…

enjoy

[enjoy + noun enjoy + pronoun enjoy… -ing] Enjoy always has an object. When we talk about having a good time, we can use enjoy myself/yourself etc. ‘Did you enjoy the party? 1 Yes. I enjoyed it very much.’ I really enjoyed myself when I went to Rome. Enjoy can be followed by . ….

get (+ object) + verb form

After get, we can use an object with an infinitive or -ing form. [get+ object + infinitive] I can’t get the car to start get + object + -ing form Don’t get him talking about his illnesses, please. We often use the structure with the infinitive to talk about persuading somebody to do something. Get…

indeed

We use indeed to strengthen very. Thank you very much indeed. I was very pleased indeed to hear from you. He was driving very fast indeed. We do not usually use indeed after an adjective or adverb without very.

much, many, a lot etc

In an informal style, we use much and many mostly in negative sentences and questions, and after so, as and too. In affirmative sentences (except after so, as and too), we use other words and expressions. Compare: How much money have you got? I’ve got plenty. (NOT I’ve got much.) I haven’t got many pop…

passive structures: introduction

They built [this house] in 1486. (active)This house was built in 1486. (passive) Channel Islanders speak [French] and English, (active) [French] is spoken in France, Belgium, Switzerland, the Channel Islands, . . . (passive) A friend of ours is repairing [the roof].(active) [The roof] is being repaired by a friend of ours, (passive) This book…

punctuation: semi-colons and full stops

We can use semi-colons (;) or full stops (.) between grammatically separate sentences. Some people like Picasso. Others dislike him. Some people like Picasso; others dislike him. We often prefer semi-colons when the ideas are very closely connected. It is a good idea; whether it will work or not is another question.

singular and plural: pronunciation of plural nouns

The plural ending -(e)s has three different pronunciations. After one of the ‘sibilant’ sounds /s/, Izl, ll, /3A /tj/ and /d3A -es is pronounced hzl. buses/’bASiz/ crashes /’kraefiz/ watches/’wotjiz/ quizzes/’ kwiziz/ garages/’gaera:3iz/ br/dges/’brid3iz/ After any other ‘unvoiced’ sound (/pA /f/, /0/, /t/ or /k/), -(ejs is pronounced /s/. cups /kAps/ bafbs /ba:0s/ boo/cs/buks/ coughs /kofs/…

such and so

We use such before a noun (with or without an adjective). [such(+ adjective) + noun] She s such a fool. He’s got such patience. I’ve never met such a nice person. It was such a good film that I saw it twice. We use so before an adjective alone (without a noun). [so + adjective]…

countable and uncountable nouns

Countable nouns are the names of separate objects, people, ideas etc which we can count. We can use numbers and a/an with countable nouns; they have plurals. a cat three cats a newspaper two newspapers Uncountable nouns are the names of materials, liquids, and other things which we do not see as separate objects. We…

explain

After explain, we use to before an indirect object. I explained my problem to her (NOT I explained her my problem.) Can you explain (to me) how to get to your house?

have: actions

We often use have + object to talk about actions. (For example: have a drink; have a rest.) In these expressions, have can mean ‘eat’, ‘drink’, ‘take’, ‘do’, ‘enjoy’, ‘experience’ or other things — it depends on the noun. Common expressions: have breakfast/lunch/tea/dinner/a meal/a drink/coffee/a beer/a glass of wine have a bath/a wash/a shave/a shower/a…

inversion: whole verb before subject

here, there etc If we begin a sentence with here or there, we put the whole verb before the subject, if this is a noun. Here comes Mrs Foster (not I here Mrs Foster comes) There goes your brother. If the subject is a pronoun, it comes before the verb. Here she comes There he…

neither (of): determiner

We use neither before a singular noun to mean ‘not one and not the other’. [neither + singular noun] ‘Can you come on Monday or Tuesday?’ ‘I’m afraid neither day is possible. ‘ We use neither of before another determiner (for example the, my, these), and before a pronoun. The noun or pronoun is plural….

play and game

A play is a piece of literature written for the theatre or television. Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare’s early plays. A game is, for example, chess, football, or bridge. Chess is a very slow game. (NOT . . .a very slow play) Verbs: people act in plays or flims, and play games. My daughter…

relatives: identifying and non-identifying clauses

Some relative clauses ‘identify’ nouns. They tell us which person or thing is meant. What’s the name of the tall man who just came in? (who just came in tells the hearer which ia\ man is meant: it identifies the man.) Whose is the car that’s parked outside? (that’s parked outside tells the hearer which…

there is

When we tell people that something exists (or does not exist), we usually begin the sentence with there is, there are etc, and put the subject after the verb. There’s a hole in my sock. (NOT A hole is in my sock) We use this structure with ‘indefinite subjects’ — for example, nouns with a/an,…

adjectives: position

{adjective + noun subject + copula verb (be. seem, look etc) + adjective} Most adjectives can go in two places in a sentence: a. before a noun The new secretary doesn’t like me. She married a rich businessman b. after a ‘copula verb’ (be, seem, look, appear, feel and some other verbsThat dress is new,isn’t…

articles: the difference between a/an and the

Very simply: a/an just means ‘one of a class’ the means ‘you know exactly which one’. Compare: A doctor must like people. ( = any doctor, any one of that profession) My brother’s a doctor. ( = one of that profession) I’m going to see the doctor. ( = you know which one: my doctor)…

future: introduction

There are several ways to talk about the future in English. Present tenses When we talk about future events which are already decided now, or which we can see now ‘are on the way’, we often use present tenses. There are two possibilities: the present progressive , I am… -ing and a structure with the…

if: ordinary tenses

[if+ clause, + clause clause + if+ clause] An if-clause can come at the beginning or end of the sentence. If you eat too much you get fat. You get fat if you eat too much. We can use the same tenses with if as with other conjunctions. If you want to learn a musical…

look (at), watch and see

See is the ordinary word to say that something ‘comes to our eyes’. Suddenly I saw something strange. Can you see me? Did you see the article about the strike in today’s paper? See is not used in progressive tenses with this meaning. When we want to say that we see something at the moment…

numbers

Fractions We say fractions like this: 1/8 one eighth , 3/7 three sevenths 2/5 two fifths, 11/16 eleven sixteenths We normally use a singular verb after fractions below 1. Three quarters of a ton is too much. We use a plural noun with fractions and decimals over 1. Decimals We say decimal fractions like this:…

prepositional verbs and phrasal verbs

Many English verbs have two parts: a ‘base’ verb like bring, come, sit, break and another small word like in, down, up. Couid you bring in the coffee? Come in and sit down. He broke up a piece of bread and threw the bits to the birds. The second part of the verb is sometimes…

verbs with two objects

We use many verbs with two objects — a direct object and an indirect object. Usually the indirect object refers to a person, and comes first. [verb + indirect object + direct object ] He gave his wife a camera for Christmas. Can you send me the bill? I’ll lend you some. Some common verbs…

as, when and while (things happening at the same time)

[As/When/While A was happening, B happened. B happened as/when/while A was happening.] As/When/While A was happening AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA (b) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA B happened. We can use as, when, or while to say that a longer action or event was going on when something else happened. We usually use the past progressive tense (was/were + . . ….

come and go

We use come for movements to the place where the speaker or hearer is. We use go for movements to other places. ‘Maria, would you come here, please?’ ‘i’m coming ‘ (NOT. . . I’m going.’) When did you come to live here? Can / come and sit on your lap? I want to go…

get and go: movement

Get is used for the end of a movement — the arrival. Go is used for the whole movement. Compare: I go to work by car and Lucy goes by train. I usually get there first. I went to Bristol yesterday. I got to Bristol at about eight o’clock. We often use get when there…

questions: basic rules

(Some spoken questions do not follow these rules.) Put an auxiliary verb before the subject. [auxiliary verb + subject + main verb]Have you received my letter of June 17?Why are you laughing? How much does the room cost? (NOT How much the room costs?) If there is no other auxiliary verb, use do or did….