because and because of

[clause + because + clause because + clause, + clause because of + noun/pronoun] Because is a conjunction. It joins two clauses together. I was worried because Mary was late. Because I was tired, I went home. Because of is a preposition (used before a noun or a pronoun). I was late because of the…

be + infinitive

[I am to… you are to… etc] We use this structure in a formal style to talk about plans and arrangements, especially when they are official. The President is to visit Nigeria next month. We are to get a 10 per cent wage rise in June. We also use the structure to give orders. Parents…

be with auxiliary do

[do + be + adjective/noun don’t + be + adjective/noun] Don’t be … is used to give people advice or orders. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be a fool! In affirmative sentences, we usually just use Be . . . Be careful! But Do be . . . is used for emphasis. Do be careful, please!!!…

at, in and on (time)

[ at + exact time in + part of day on + particular day at + weekend, public holiday in + longer period] Exact times I usually get up at six o’clock. I’ll meet you at 4.15. Phone me at lunch time. In informal English, we say What time . . . ? (At what…

at, in and on (place)

At is used to talk about position at a point. It’s very hot at the centre of the earth. Turn right at the next traffic-lights. Sometimes we use at with a larger place, if we just think of it as a point: a point on a journey, a meeting place, or the place where something…

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 + . . ….

as much/many … as …

We use as much … as .. . with a singular (uncountable) noun, and as many … as .. . with a plural. Compare: We need as much time as possible. We need as many cars as possible. As much/many can be used without a following noun. I ate as much as I wanted. Rest…

as and like

Similarity We can use like or as to say that things are similar. a. Like is a preposition. We use like before a noun or pronoun. [like + noun/pronoun] You look like your sister. (NOT … as your sister.) He ran like the wind. It’s like a dream. She’s dressed just like me. We use…

as…as …

{[as + adjective + as as + adverb + as] + noun/pronoun/clause} We use as … as … to say that two things are the same in some way. She’s as tall as her brother. Can a man run as fast as a horse? It’s not as good as I expected. We can use object…

articles: special rules and exceptions

Common expressions without articles Articles are not used in these expressions: to school at school from school to/at/from university/college to/at/in/into/from church to/in/into/out of bed/prison/hospital to/at/from work to/at sea to/in/from town at/from home for/at/to breakfast/lunch/dinner/supper at night by car/bus/bicycle/plane/train/tube/ boat on foot go to sleep watch television (TV) on TV Possessives A noun that is used…

articles: a and an; pronunciation of the

We do not usually pronounce /a/ before a vowel (a, e, /’, o, u). So before a vowel, the article a {lal) changes to an, and the changes its pronunciation from Compare: a rabbit , an elephant , the sea , the air We use an and the before a vowel sound— a pronounced vowel…

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)…

articles: the

The means something like ‘you know which one I mean’. It is used with uncountable, singular and plural nouns. the water (uncountable) the table (singular countable) the stars (plural countable) We use the: a. to talk about people and things that we have already mentioned. She’s got two children: a girl and a boy. The…

all, everybody and everything

We do not usually use all alone to mean ‘everybody’. Compare: All the people stood up. Everybody stood up. (NOT All stood up.) All can mean everything, but usually only in the structure all + relative clause ( = all (that) . . .). Compare: All (that) I have is yours (OR Everything ) Everything…

after (preposition); afterwards (adverb)

After is a preposition: it can be followed by a noun or an -ing form. We ate in a restaurant after the film. After seeing the film, we ate in a restaurant After is not an adverb: we do not use it with the same meaning as afterwards, then or after that. We went to…

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…

adjectives: order

Before a noun, we put adjectives in a fixed order. The exact rules are very complicated (and not very well understood). Here are the most important rules: Adjectives of colour, origin (where something comes from), material (what it is made of) and purpose (what it is for) go in that order. colour origin material purpose…

actual(ly)

Actual means ‘real’; actually means ‘really’ or ‘in fact’. We often use them to correct mistakes and misunderstandings, or when we say something unexpected or surprising. The book says he was 47 when he died, but his actual age was 43. ‘Hello, John. Nice to see you again.’ Actually, my name’s Andy.’ ‘Do you like…