prepositions at the end of clauses

Prepositions often come at the ends of clauses in English. This happens in several kinds of structure: a. questions beginning what, who, where etc. What are you looking at? Who did you go with? Where did you buy it from? b. relative clauses There’s the house (that) I told you about. You remember the boy…

past time: past progressive

Forms Affirmative Question Negative I was working you were working, etc was I working? were you working? etc I was not working you were not working, etc Meaning We use the past progressive to say that something was going on around a particular past time. What were you doing at eight o’clock yesterday evening? I___…

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…

participle clauses

We can use a participle rather like a conjunction, to introduce a ‘participle clause’. Who’s the fat man sitting in the comer? Do you know the number of people employed by the government? Jumping into a small red sports car, she drove off. Participle clauses can have different uses. Some of them are ‘adjectival’: they…

no and not a/not any

No is a determiner . We use no before singular (countable and uncountable) nouns and plural nouns. No means the same as not a or not any, but we use no: (a) at the beginning of a sentence (b) when we want to make the negative idea emphatic. a. No cigarette is completely harmless. No…

next and nearest

Nearest is used for place — it means ‘most near in space’. Excuse me. Where’s the nearest tube station? (NOT … the next tube station?) If you want to find Alan, just look in the nearest pub. Next is usually used for time — it means ‘nearest in the future’. We get off at the…

nationality words

For each country, you need to know four words: a. the adjective American civilization French perfume Danish bacon b. the singular noun (used for a person from the country) an American a Frenchman a Dane c. the plural expression the .. . (used for the nation) the Americans the French the Danes d. the name…

marry and divorce

Marry and divorce are used without a preposition. She married a builder. (NOT She married with a builder.) Will you marry me? Andrew’s going to divorce Carola. When there is no direct object, we usually prefer the expressions get married and get divorced, especially in an informal style. Lulu and Joe got married last week….

long and for a long time

Long is most common in questions and negative sentences, and after too and so. How long did you wait? I didn’t play for long. The concert was too long. In affirmative sentences, we usually use a long time. I waited (for) a long time (I waited long is possible, but not usual.) It takes a…

let’s

Let’s + infinitive without to is often used to make suggestions. It is rather like a first-person plural imperative. Let’s have a drink. ( = I think we should have a drink.) Let’s go home, shall we? There are two possible negatives, with Let’s not . . . and Don’t let’s . . . Let’s…

help

We can use[ object + infinitive ] after help. Can you help me to find my ring? In an informal style, we often use the infinitive without to. Can you help me find my ring? Help me get him to bed. We can also use [help + infinitive] without an object. Would you like to…

have (got) to

We use have (got) + infinitive to talk about obligation. The meaning is similar to must. Sorry, I’ve got to go now. Do you often have to travel on business? The forms with got are common in an informal style in present-tense verb forms. Compare: I’ve got to go to London tomorrow. I had to…

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…

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…

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…

future: shall and will (interpersonal uses)

We can use shall and will to express our intentions and attitudes towards other people. Decisions We use will at the moment of making a decision. ‘The phone s ringing.’ I’ll answer it. ‘ (NOT I’m going to answer it.) ‘I’m going out for a drink. ‘ ‘Wait a moment and I’ll come with you….

future: shall/will (predictions)

Forms [ I shall/will you will he/she/it will we shall/will they will] – + infinitive without to questions: shall/will I; will you, will he/she/it, etc. negatives: I will/shall not you will not, etc. contractions: I’ll, you’ll, he’lletc; shan’t, won’t. In modern English, I shall and I will, we shall and we will are used with…

future: present progressive and going to

We use these two present tenses to talk about future actions and events which are already decided now; they are planned, or they are starting to happen: we can see them coming. Present progressive We often say that something is happening in the future. We talk like this about actions that are already planned; we…

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…

(a) few and (a) little

We use few with plural nouns, and little with singular (uncountable) nouns. Compare: Few politicians are really honest. I have little interest in politics. There is a difference between a few and few, and between a little and little. Few and little are rather negative: they mean ‘not much/many’. A few and a little are…

every and every one

We use every before a singular noun. [every + singular noun] I see her every day. (NOT . . . every days ) Every room is being used. We use everyone of before a pronoun or determiner (for example the, my, these). The pronoun or noun is plural. [every one of us/you/them every one of…

ever

Ever means ‘at any time’. Compare: Do you ever go to Ireland on holiday? ( = ‘at any time’) We always go to Ireland on holiday. ( = ‘every time’) We never have holidays in England. ( = ‘at no time’) Ever is used mostly in questions. We also use ever in affirmative sentences after…

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 . ….

do and make

These words are very similar, but there are some differences. We use do when we do not say exactly what activity we are talking about — for example with something, nothing, anything, everything, what. Do something! I like doing nothing. What shall we do? Then he did a very strange thing. We use do when…

country

Country (countable) = ‘nation’, ‘land’. Scotland is a cold country. France is the country I know best. How many countries are there in Europe? The country (uncountable) = ‘open land without many buildings’ (the opposite of the town). With this meaning, we cannot say a country or countries. My parents live in the country near…

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…

comparison: using comparatives and superlatives

The difference between comparatives and superlatives We use the comparative to compare one person or thing with (an)other person(s) or thing(s). We use the superlative to compare one person or thing with his/her/its whole group. Compare: Mary’s taller than her three sisters. Mary’s the tallest of the four girls. Your accent is worse than mine….

comparison: comparative and superlative adjectives

Short adjectives (adjectives with one syllable; adjectives with two syllables ending in -y) ADJECTIVE COMPARATIVE SUPERLATIVE old older oldest Most adjectives: tall taller tallest + -er, -est. cheap cheaper cheapest late later latest Adjectives ending nice nicer nicest in -e: + -r, -st. fat fatter fattest One vowel + big bigger biggest one consonant: thin…

can: possibility and probability

Possibility We use canto say that situations and events are possible. Scotland can be very warm in September. ‘Who can join the club?’ ‘Anybody who wants to.: There are three possibilities: we can go to the police, we can talk to a lawyer, or we can forget all about it. ‘There’s the doorbell.”Who can it…

both with verbs

Both can go with a verb, in ‘mid-position’, like some adverbs. [auxiliary verb + both am/are/is/was/were + both] We can both swim. They have both finished. We are both tired. [ both + other verb] My parents both like travelling. You both look tired.