agreement involving prepositional phrases

A verb will agree in number with the sentence’s subject. In the sentence, ” One of the girls is counting the tickets,” the subject is one and the verb is is. Both the subject and the verb are singular. In the sentence, “Many of the girls are counting the tickets,” the subject, many, and the…

Customer and Client – Client

Customer and Client – Client Don’t Say:That lawyer has plenty of customers. Say:That lawyer has plenty of clients. Note:A person car. be a customer at a shop, but a client of a lawyer, a bank, etc.

inversion: auxiliary verb before subject

[ auxiliary verb + subject + main verb ] We put an auxiliary verb before the subject of a clause in several different structures. Questions Have your father and mother arrived? Where is the concert taking place? Spoken questions do not always have this word order You’re coming tomorrow? Reported questions do not usually have…

Interested in, not for

Interested in, not for Don’t Say:She’s not interested for her work. Say:She’s not interested in her work. Note:Also take an interest in She takes a great interest in music.

In and At – At

In and At – At Don’t Say:My mother is staying in 66 Argyle Street. Say:My mother is staying at 66 Argyle Street. Note:We use at when we’re talking about an address, a public place or building (a bus slop, the Post Office, the library etc.) and cases in which the location urelpt’dnt but wtat we…

Just now for Presently, etc

Just now for Presently, etc Don’t Say:The messenger will arrive just now. Say:The messenger will arrive presently. Note:If we are speaking of a near and immediate future time, we must use presently, immediately, in a minute, or soon Just now refers to present or past time, and not to future time: He’s not at home…

In and Into – Into

In and Into – Into Don’t Say:Richard came in the room and sat down. Say:Richard came into the room and sat down. Note:Always write the preposition into as one word.In denotes position inside something, while into denotes motion or direction towards the inside of something.

singular and plural nouns and pronouns

A singular noun or pronoun is a word that refers to one person, place, thing, or idea. ➲ Singular nouns include car, desk, pool, friend, computer, video, geography, and poetry. ➲ Singular pronouns include he, she, it, I, me, mine, my, his, and her. A plural noun or pronoun refers to more than one person,…

ignore / neglect

If you ignore someone/something, it means you don’t pay attention to it: – The president ignored the criticism and continued with his plan. – My best friend has been ignoring me ever since we had a fight – she hasn’t been answering my calls. – Ralph drives way too fast; he totally ignores the speed…

fairly, quite, rather and pretty

not fairly quite rather/pretty very •-•-•-•-• nice nice nice nice nice Fairly modifies adjectives and adverbs. It is not very strong: if you say that somebody is ‘fairly nice’ or ‘fairly clever’, she will not be very pleased. ‘How was the film?’ Fairly good. Not the best one I’ve seen this year. ‘ I speak…

Omission of a or an from make a noise, etc

Omission of a or an from make a noise, etc Don’t Say:I told them not to make noise. Say:I told them not to make a noise. Note:Also to make a mistake, to make a fortune, to make a will, to make an impression, to make an experiment, to make an attempt-

10 Phrases for Cheering Someone Up

1. What’s the matter?2. What’s wrong?3. Are you all right?4. You look a bit down. (= a little sad)5. Is there anything I can do to help?6. Cheer up! / Chin up!7. It’s not so bad.8. Everything will be OK.9. Look on the bright side. (= consider the positive aspects)10. It’s not the end of…

possessive with determiners (a friend of mine, etc)

We cannot put a possessive together with another determiner before a noun. We can say my friend, Ann’s friend, a friend or that friend, but not a my friend or that Ann’s friend. [determiner + noun + of + possessive] That policeman is a friend of mine. Here’s that friend of yours I met another…

If I was… / If I were…

Which is correct? If I were you, I’d apologize. If I was you, I’d apologize. The first one is correct – If I were you – because this is a hypothetical (imaginary) situation. It is not possible for me to be you, but I am imagining that this is the case. Here are more examples…

all ready / already / all right / alright

All ready and all right (two words) mean that everything is ready or everything is correct / OK: – The students are all ready for the test. – Your answers are all right. or All your answers are right. Already means that something happened earlier than expected: – He’s only 14 and he’s already graduated…

do + -ing

We often use do with -ing to talk about activities that take some time, or that are repeated. There is usually a ‘determiner’ before the ing form — for example the, my, some, much. I do my shopping at weekends. Have you done the washing up? I did a lot of running when I was…

requests

We usually ask people to do things for us by making yes/no questions. (This is because a yes/no question leaves people free to say ‘No’ if they want to.) Common structures used in polite requests: Could you possibly help me for a few minutes? (very polite) I wonder if you could help me for a…

6 Phrases for Talking About Future Plans

1. I’m going to…2. I’m planning to…3. I hope to…4. I’d like to…5. I might… / I may… Click here for the difference between may and might6. I’m thinking about… Click here for the different prepositions to use after “think”

it: preparatory subject

When the subject of a sentence is an infinitive or a clause, this does not usually come at the beginning. We prefer to start the sentence with the ‘preparatory subject’ it. It’s nice to be with you. {To be with you is nice is possible, but unusual.) It s probable that we’ll be a little…

The subject misplaced after never, etc

The subject misplaced after never, etc Don’t Say:Never I have heard of such a thing. Say:Never have I heard of such a thing. Note:When never, seldom, rarely, neither, nor, not only, no sooner, are pacec: at the beginning of a complete- clause, the verb must come before me subject as, in a Question.

(be) used to + noun or… -ing

After be used to, we use a noun or an -ing form. The meaning is quite different from [used to + infinitive] If you say that you are used to something, you mean that you know it well. You have experienced it so much that it is no longer strange to you. [be used to…

Music, art and literature

Forms and people Music Classical music: e.g Beethoven’s piano concertos, Schubert’s symphonies. Beethoven and Schubert are both composers (= people who write classical music) and most of their music is played by an orchestra (= large group of musicians including violins, cellos, etc.) which is led by a conductor, e.g. Georg Solti or Loren Maazel,…

Fall for Fell

Fall for Fell Don’t Say:John fall down and broke his leg. Say:John fell down and broke his leg. Note:Fell, felled, felled means to knock or cut down: The wood-cutter felled a large tree.

Sound alike words part one

The words in these pairs sound alike. Study these quick definitions, and use these words in your writing and speech. board: piece of wood Hillary hammered the pine board. bored: tired of; not interested Were you bored at the movies? brake: the stopping device Push hard on the brake to stop the bike. break: a…

Succeed in + -ing

Succeed in + -ing Don’t Say:Paula succeeded to win the prize. Say:Paula succeeded in winning the prize.

bring and take

We use bring for movements to the place where the speaker or hearer is. We use take for movements to other places. Compare: This is a nice restaur;:: – s ‘or bringing me here. Lets have another dnnt. and then I’ll take you home. (NOT . . . and then I’ll bring you home-:) (on…

Take or have a shower, not make a shower

Take or have a shower, not make a shower Don’t Say:I make a shower every morning. Say:I take a shower every morning. Or: I have a shower every morning. Note:When speaking of the sea or the river, say. to bathe, to have a bathe, to go for a bathe to go bathing. to go for…

Habit and Custom – Habit

Habit and Custom – Habit Don’t Say:Telling lies is a very bad custom. Say:Telling lies is a very bad habit.

Describing people – appearance

Hair, face, skin and complexion He used to have black hair but it’s gone grey,almost white. What sort of person would you like to go out with? Blonde, fair, dark or ginger-haired / red-haired? She has such beautiful auburn hair. [red-brown] Fair and dark can be used for hair, complexion or skin. Height and build…