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NUMBER: -Countable vs. Uncountable nouns -plural forms -nouns having only sg./pl. forms CASE: expression of possession GENDER: natural vs. grammatical gender PC in the use of gender
COUNTABLE vs. UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS COUNTABLE NOUNS nouns referring to people or things that can be counted as separate, individual items. a manager, a job, an idea, a few ideas, two computers UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS things that cannot be divided or counted. accommodation*, advertising, advice, cash, documentation, employment, equipment, evidence, feedback, furniture, guidance, hardware, health, help, information, literature, luggage, machinery, marketing, money, paperwork, permission, progress, publicity, research, software, traffic, training, transport, travel, weather, work (Source: Cambridge Business Corpus)
Do not have plural forms
Can be singular or plural
Can you arrange (some) accommodation for ten visitors?
This new job is a great opportunity for me. I have lots of opportunities to travel.
Cannot be used with indefinite articles a/an
Can be used with indefinite articles a/an
We made (some) progress in our research.
We had a meeting and we solved this problem.
Can be used without a determiner
Singular countable nouns need a determiner (e.g. a/an, my, this, one)
Research is expensive.
We paid £6,000 for this report.
Always take a singular verb
Can take a singular or a plural verb
This software is out of date and needs updating.
My boss has a PhD. My colleagues are all graduates.
(a.) UNCOUNTABLE when they refer to SUBSTANCE / IDEA (b.) COUNTABLE when they refer to
1. CONTAINERS (for things) 2. TYPES/BRANDS 3. PARTICULAR EXAMPLES / CONCRETE THINGS 4. A PARTICULAR SITUATION
I prefer tea to coffee. There’s cheese in the fridge. She has blonde hair. The statue was made of stone.
1. Three teas and two coffees, please. (=cups of~) (colloquial English) 2. Our shop offers you dozens of cheeses to choose from. (=kinds of~) 3. There’s a hair in my soup! 4. He had a stone in hand.
BUSINESS (= company)
Small businesses are our future. Going to Asia was a great experience.
EXPERIENCE (= an event)
We do business all over the world.
PAPER (= newspaper; 2. (plural only) documents)
EXPERIENCE (= practical knowledge)
Do you get the local paper? PAPER (=material) I have to file the papers of this I didn’t have any paper deal. so I couldn’t take notes.
I have limited experience in sales.
ROOM (= a hall)
We’re short of meeting rooms.
Our office is full. There’s no room to expand.
We run competitions as part of promotion.
COMPETITION (=rivalry for supremacy)
PROPERTY (= a building, a piece of land; 2. plural only) features that a substance has)
Is there much competition in the field of IT?
They sold a property to avoid going bankrupt. The physical properties of this product are outstanding.
PROPERTY (=things that somebody owns)
WORK (= books, painting/s, music produced by an artist; (plural only) activities involved in building/repairing roads and bridges)
The hotel is not responsible for any loss or damage to guests’ property. He is a first-year student but he is looking for parttime work.
WORK (= job, activity)
Our company intends to buy some of this artist’s works. This year they are investing in road works all over the country.
used with UNCOUNTABLE nouns.
MEASURES AND CONTAINERS:
A LITER OF OIL 15 TONNES OF CEMENT A BOTTLE OF WATER TWO TINS OF PAINT A PIECE OF / AN ITEM OF / A BIT OF ADVICE (EQUIPMENT, EVIDENCE, FURNITURE, LUGGAGE, MACHINERY, NEWS, PAPER, SOFTWARE) SOME / A BIT OF ADVERTISING (CASH, FEEDBACK, FUN, LUCK, MONEY, PROGRESS, TRAFFIC, TRAVEL)
DO NOT USE IT IN FORMAL
A BIT OF IS COLLOQUIAL, WRITING!
General rule: noun (singular) + -s road/-s, area/-s, machine/-s Variations: Noun ending in PLURAL FORM + ies +s + es EXAMPLES family – families, party – parties tray - trays, storey storeys watch – watches, boss – bosses, fox - foxes, quiz quizzes potato – potatoes, hero – heroes, volcano/-es, mosquito/-es, echo/-es, negro/-es, veto/-es piano/-s, casino/-s, photo/-s, kilo/-s, adagio/-s radio – radios, video – videos
CONSONANT + -Y VOWEL + -Y -CH*, -S, -SH, -X, -Z
CONSONANT + -O
+s VOWEL + -O +s
ending in –F / -FE ending in –F / -FF
usually + -VES +s
leaf – leaves, loaf – loaves, thief – thieves, shelf - shelves, half halves, elf - elves chief - chiefs, belief - beliefs, cliff – cliffs child – children, ox - oxen man – men, woman – women, tooth – teeth, goose – geese, foot – feet, *mouse – mice; ***person - people sheep – sheep, craft – craft, series – series, means - means LATIN: stimulus – stimuli, alumnusalumni, corpus-corpora; alumnaalumnae; datum – data, symposium – symposia, medium – media, referendum/-s – referenda GREEK: crisis-crises, analysisanalyses, basis-bases, ellipsis/-es; phenomenon-phenomena, criterioncriteria
+ (R)EN change of vowel no change in plural
varies according to the origin of word
formal written English
MD – MDs, MP – MPs, VIP – VIPs, 1970s
Abbreviation / decade + -s
formed with apostrophe (‘) are common but may be considered correct in INFORMAL writing!
appear frequently in the plural form. These occur in a number of categories:
CLOTHING: clothes, jeans, trousers, pyjamas, overalls TOOLS/EQUIPMENT: scissors, glasses, scales, binoculars GAMES: dominoes, darts, cards, billiards SUBJECTS/ACTIVITIES: Physics, Maths, Politics, Economics, aerobics, athletics OTHER: goods, remains, thanks, congratulations, news, stairs, headquarters, outskirts, valuables, savings, surroundings, earnings, customs
colour/-s compass/-es custom/-es
only) damage/-es minute/-es only) premise/-es return/-es term/-es
colours (plural only) compasses (pl. only) vs. customs (pl. damages (pl. only) vs. minutes (pl. premises (pl. only) returns (pl. only) terms (pl. only)
vs. vs. vs.
army, audience, board, committee, crew, family, jury, majority, party, staff, team *police, people When they refer to the whole group (as a unit) + verb in the SINGULAR When they refer to the members of the group (as individuals) + verb in the PLURAL * always + verb in the PLURAL
created by combining two or more words. can be written as
a single word: dressmaker, Thanksgiving, turnover two separate words: business magazine, tea cup, rocking chair two words joined by a hyphen: waste-bin, passer-by
Compounds can be formed from
nouns (business person) noun + verb (windsurfing) verb + noun (cookbook, swimsuit) adjective + noun (highway, real estate) multi-word verbs (breakdown, stand-up, *downfall) time expressions (a three-hour delay, a ten-minute drive)
The noun or the main noun gets the plural form
washing machine – washing machines printer cartridge – printer cartridges toothbrush - toothbrushes
The compound nouns ending in –FUL and –LOAD + -s (at the end)
handful – handfuls workload – workloads
If the compound does not contain a noun the last word gets the plural form
grown-up – grown-ups, take-off – take-offs, drive-in - driveins
COMPOUND SUBJECT (X and Y) + verb in the PLURAL
Writing and reading are necessary for success in college.
the elements of the subject function as a single unit + verb in the SINGULAR
His lawyer and business partner prepares the tax forms. ***Ice cream and cake is his favourite dessert.
A PLURAL SUBJECT DESCRIBING A SINGLE ENTITY (time, measurement, money) + verb in the SINGULAR
Twenty-four hours is a long time in politics. Five dollars is a modest fee. Five kilos of beans is about eleven pounds.
NEITHER + noun … NOR + noun EITHER + noun … OR + noun NOR OR the number of the noun which is closer to the verb imposes the number of the verb (PROXIMITY RULE)
Neither the students nor the teacher is correct. Either the idea or the details are wrong. Snowstorms or rain causes accidents.
4. Titles of books, movies, articles + verb in the SINGULAR
Monetary Theories is a useful book.
5. Nouns with no plural forms
CLOTHES: + verb in the PLURAL (Scissors are used to cut the jeans.) SUBJECTS:
+ verb in the SINGULAR (if we refer to the science) Statistics seems to be very difficult for students. + verb in the PLURAL (if we refer to any other aspect but the science) Statistics show a significant increase in consumer confidence over the last months.
The United Nations has agreed to deploy a peacekeeping force. The United Nations are in disagreement on this issue. The United Nations is in disagreement on this issue.
British English, if we refer to the individuals forming the group, the agreement with the verb is made in the plural. In the same context in American English a singular verb is preferred. It is common use to use a plural verb after nouns such as THE MAJORITY, A NUMBER, A COUPLE when these are followed by OF + a plural noun:
The majority of the people were pleased to see the government fall.
THE NOUN Gender Case
GRAMMATICAL vs. NATURAL GENDER
The gender that a word has from a linguistic point of view masculine, feminine, neuter The biological and social notion of being male or female. masculine, feminine
In Modern English grammatical gender is not important. Some grammarians assert that English does not have grammatical gender.
Nouns that are automatically replaced by masculine or feminine pronouns or by IT.
CONTRASTING NOUNS DESCRIBING PEOPLE
boy / girl brother / sister father / mother gentleman / lady king / queen monk / nun Mr / Mrs – Miss – Ms nephew / niece sir / madam uncle / aunt man / woman
Replaceable by HE / SHE
CONTRASTING NOUNS DESCRIBING ANIMALS
Replaceable by IT
bull - ox / cow (cattle) rooster – cock / hen (chicken, poultry) gander / goose ram / ewe (sheep) stallion / mare (horse)
–ESS ENDINGS AND OTHER FORMS INDICATING GENDER
MASCULINE FORM + -ESS = FEMININE FORM
*actor / actress (talent vs. looks) god / goddess heir / heiress host / hostess prince / princess *steward / stewardess (PC term: flight attendant) waiter / waitress
Some words have gone out of use or considered pejorative (authoress, poetess, manageress).
a few cases, -ESS endings are used for female animals
leopard / leopardess lion / lioness tiger / tigress
/ SHE- (stressed) is used as prefix
he-goat / she-goat wolf / she-wolf
(bride)groom / bride hero / heroine lad / lass landlord / landlady male / female usher / usherette widower / widow
IDENTIFYING MASCULINE AND FEMININE BY ‘MAN’, ‘WOMAN’
policeman / policewoman (PC term: police officer) salesman / saleswoman (PC term: sales representative, sales rep) postman / postwoman chairman / chairwoman (PC term: chair, chairperson) spokesman / spokeswoman (PC term: spokesperson)
is assumed that words like model, nurse traditionally refer to a woman and words such as judge and wrestler refer to a man. If we want to refer to a person of the opposite sex, ‘male’ / ‘female’ are used in front of the noun.
model / male model nurse / male nurse judge / female judge wrestler / female wrestler
most English nouns only the use of a replacing pronoun clarifies the gender.
My accountant says he is moving his office. His doctor says she is pleased with his progress.
COMMON / DUAL NOUNS adult, artist, cook, cousin, enemy, foreigner, guest, journalist, lawyer, neighbour, orphan, owner, parent, passenger, person, relative, speaker, spouse, strange, student, etc.
HE or SHE / THEY
Traditionally, English used HE when the gender of the person was not known
If a student is ill, he must send his medical certificate to the College office.
PC!!!! Nowadays the usage above is considered sexist, therefore to be avoided. ‘HE OR SHE’ is preferred.
If a student is ill, he or she must send a medical certificate to the College office.
Gradually, ‘THEY’ is becoming popular in such contexts (although some grammarians still consider it as an INFORMAL construction)
If a student is ill, they must send a medical certificate to the College office. If anyone wants my ticket, they can have it.
Sometimes people refer to animals (usually pets) as HE/SHE, especially when they are thought of as having personality, intelligence or feelings
Go and find the cat and put him out.
Some people use SHE for motorbikes and cars; sailors use SHE for boats and ships (an affective use)
‘How’s the new car?’ ‘She’s running beautifully.’ The ship has struck a rock. She’s sinking!
Nouns do not have a grammatical gender in English. Some nouns have a ‘natural’ gender, there are different terms referring to males and females (woman / man, mother / father) Most nouns for jobs do not imply a gender. To specify gender, one has to use the term man/woman (a woman doctor) Other nouns for jobs and roles do refer to males or females, often by their suffix (businessman, manageress) Some time ago it used to be common to use the –man suffix to refer to people of both sexes.
That’s the view of Sheila Davidson, chairman of the Institute of Public Relations.
A lot of people avoid such situations now, especially if referring to a woman, and prefer a form with no implicit gender (chair) or to match the suffix to the person (chairwoman).
That’s the view of Sheila Davidson, chair(woman) of the Institute of Public Relations
to the relation in which one noun / pronoun stands to some other word in the sentence Some grammarians identify two cases in English: possessive/ genitive and common Others support the idea of four cases: nominative, accusative, genitive and dative.
has the syntactic function of subject, subjective complement or apposition
Salespeople have a flexible work schedule. (who?) She is my superior. Ada, his secretary, has circulated the agenda for the next meeting. can function as a direct object, a prepositional object, etc. He saw his friend in the street. (whom?) At the meeting, he disagreed with his colleagues.
has the function of indirect object is marked by the prepositions TO and FOR or by word-order THE PREPOSITIONAL DATIVE (to whom? For whom? Of whom?)
When the Accusative form precedes the Dative form Give the money to John. After verbs such as ANNOUNCE, BELONG, COMMUNICATE, DESCRIBE, EXPLAIN, INTRODUCE, LISTEN, REPLY, SUGGEST,SPEAK Explain to Mary what it means.
THE DATIVE WITHOUT PREPOSITION
used when the Dative precedes the Accusative Show our guests the production line.
GENITIVE / POSSESSIVE
‘s Genitive ‘of’ Genitive POSSESSOR and POSSESSED OBJECT
(APOSTROPHE) ‘S GENITIVE
Singular noun + ‘s The manager’s decision Singular noun ending in –s + ‘s The actress’s speech Irregular plural noun (plural forms not ending in -s) + ‘s Children’s games (most) names ending in –s + ‘s (‘ is also accepted, esp. in literature) (N.B. no matter how it is written, the genitive is pronounced as /iz/) Charles’s address (Charles’ address) * Greek names ending in –s + ‘ (Archimedes’ principle) Plural noun/ name + ‘ Managers’ meeting the Joneses’ house
When the possessor refers to people (animals, pets), groups, places, times
Have you seen John’s new car? Have you met the boss’s new assistant? Have you seen the article in today’s Observer?
Sometimes ‘s can be added to a noun phrase which does not end with a noun
He is manager-on-the-left’s assistant. (He is the assistant of the manager on the left.)
To refer to the origin of something (where it comes from, who made it)
Oil is Saudi Arabia’s biggest export. The theory of human needs is Maslow’s most famous work.
refer to a quantity or measure (duration, distance, value + ‘worth’)
There will be an hour’s delay. Could you give me a pound’s worth of candies?
certain fixed expressions:
at death’s door for God’s/goodness’/Pete’s/Christ’s/heaven’s sake
The possessed object can be omitted when reference is made TO SOMEONE’S HOME, SOME SHOPS, SERVICES, MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS (the grocer’s, the florist’s, the chemist’s, the doctor’s, the hairdresser’s, Macy’s, Christie’s)
We are going to the Linda’s for the weekend. (Linda’s home)
The possessed object can be omitted in REPLIES when it is clear from the context:
‘Whose briefcase is this?’ ‘Richard’s.’
POSSESSIVE (OF and ‘s/possessive
Is used when a noun is seen both as specific and as one of several (use indefinite article with the noun!)
I have heard the story from a friend of my brother’s. He is a colleague of ours.
THE DEFINITE ARTICLE THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE THE ZERO ARTICLE
in front of common nouns (or adjective + common noun) that affect (determine) the meaning of the noun. Proper nouns do not generally require identification but there are situations in which they are used with determiners. There are two classes of determiners:
Words which help us to CLASSIFY or IDENTIFY; Words which enable us to indicate QUANTITY.
Words which help us to CLASSIFY or IDENTIFY:
INDEFINITE ARTICLE I bought a new briefcase yesterday. DEFINITE ARTICLE The briefcase that I’m holding is new. DEMONSTRATIVES I bought this/that briefcase yesterday. POSSESSIVES Do you like my new briefcase?
Words which enable us to indicate QUANTITY
NUMBERS I bought two new briefcases yesterday. QUANTIFIERS I didn’t buy many briefcases in the past years.
is used only in front of
A SINGULAR COUNTABLE NOUN:
a letter, an invoice
is used in front of:
A SINGULAR COUNTABLE NOUN:
the letter the letters the water, the information, the equipment
A PLURAL COUNTABLE NOUN:
AN UNCOUNTABLE NOUN:
ARTICLE: we often use no article in front of
A PLURAL COUNTABLE NOUN:
letters, invoices water, information, equipment
AN UNCOUNTABLE NOUN:
A or AN? and /ə/, /ən/ or /ei/?
A is used before consonant sounds (not just consonant letters!!!). N.B. /j/ (pronounced like y in 'you‘) is a semi-consonant. AN is used before vowel sounds. Provide the correct indefinite article:
fire N (the letter) house umbrella year eye uniform honour union hotel B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) I.Q.
When something is mentioned for the first time:
Peter and Jane shared an office on the ground floor.
To refer to an example of a certain class:
John is a Catholic. The meeting was scheduled on a Wednesday.
Names of days
Names of jobs
*** When we give someone’s TITLE or UNIQUE POSITION, THE or ZERO ARTICLE is used:
Mary is training to be a certified accountant. She was a company director when she retired.
*** after THE POST/POSITION/ROLE OF + job title, ZERO ARTICLE is used:
He has been appointed head of the department / the head of the department. He was promoted on the post/position/ role of Marketing Manager. English has become an international language. That is a very good (type of/kind of) coffee.
A kind of, or example of something (+ adjective)
*** if you refer to something as UNIQUE, THE or ZERO ARTICLE is used.
English has become the international language of business.
3. after WHAT and SUCH:
What a shame! He’s such an efficient professional! The trains to Brussels depart three times an hour. half an hour a quarter of an hour 50 pence a litre
4. With some units of time or measurement, to mean EACH:
5. Quantity: ‘only one’ 6. + Proper nouns:
The burglar took a diamond necklace and two valuable paintings. + a famous name, to mean someone or something that has the same qualities as that person or thing:
John is a good architect, but he will never be a Gustave Eiffel. an early Rembrandt
+ the name of a famous artist, to refer to one of his/her creations:
+ the name of a person, to refer to an unknown person, the expression meaning ‘a certain…’
There is a (certain) Dr. Kenneth Perch on the phone. Do you want to talk to him?
is used before consonant sounds /ði/ is used before vowel sounds /ði:/ is used when we want to draw attention to the noun that follows (‘the one and only’, ‘the main one’)
Do you mean the Benjamin Franklin, the inventor?
1. to refer to something that has already been mentioned and is known to both the speaker and the listener(s):
(Peter and Jane shared an office on the ground floor.) The office was small and comfortable, with two facing desks.
2. to refer to something that is known to both speaker and listener(s), although it has not been mentioned before:
‘Where is the meeting room?’ (we assume it is only one meeting room in that building) ‘It’s on the first floor.’
3. in sentences or clauses where we define or identify a particular person or object:
The man who wrote this petition is famous. ‘Which car did you buy?’ ‘The red one.’ My desk is the one with a silver notebook on it.
4. to refer to objects that we regard as UNIQUE:
The Earth, the sun, the moon, the sky, the weather, etc. Institutions: The World Bank, The European Central Bank, The IMF, the United Nations Public bodies: the Government, the Police, the Army Publications: The New York Review of Books, The Economist, The Times The salt, the sugar, the pepper (Pass me the salt, please!) Parts of the whole:
The human being: the brain, the head, the lungs The room: the ceiling, the door, the floor The back, the front, the centre, the inside, the outside, the top, the bottom
before superlatives and ordinal numerals:
the highest building, the first page, the last chapter
+ adjective/ + plural noun, to refer to ‘the group as a whole’
the Europeans, the liberals, the Japanese, the old, the rich
+ singular noun, to make a general statement
Schools should concentrate more on the student and less on exams.
THE SPECIFYING ‘THE’ THE + noun + OF
The freedom of the individual is worth fighting for.
+ clause/ phrase (to specify a person or thing)
The Smith you are looking for no longer lives here. The letters on the shelf are for you.
9. ‘THE’ in time expressions
In time sequences: the beginning, the middle, the end, the first, the last, the next, the following day, the present, the past, the future + parts of the day: in the morning/afternoon, evening + seasons (THE is optional): (the) spring / summer / autumn / winter + date (Ordinal numbers usually require THE when they are spoken, but not when they are written)
The next meeting will be on May 24th. (spoken as May the 24th)
+ ages: The Middle Ages, The Renaissance In fixed time expressions, e.g., at the moment, for the time being, in the end
In fixed expressions:
THE + comparative, THE + comparative
The sooner, the better.
do the shopping make the beds play the piano/violin/cello/flute
+ PROPER NOUNS
+ family names (to refer to the family as a whole): the Smiths, the Lincolns + somebody’s name (to refer to a specific person or to make the distinction between two people having the same name):
I’m afraid this is not the Tom Smith I am looking for. The Chicago of the 1920s was a terrifying place.
+ proper name (to refer to a specific situation)
‘THE’ with PLACE NAMES:
Geographical areas: the Arctic, the Middle East, the North Pole, the Balkans Oceans, seas, rivers: the Pacific (Ocean), the Caspian (Sea), the Black Sea, the Nile (or the River Nile), the Mississippi (or the Mississippi River), the Suez Canal Mountain ranges: the Alps, the Carpathians, the Himalayas Islands (only in the structure THE ISLE/ISLAND OF…): the Isle of Capri, the Isle of Man Groups of islands: the Azores, the Bahamas
Deserts: the Gobi (Desert), the Kalahari (Desert), the Sahara (Desert) Countries (only unions and associations): the UK (the United Kingdom), the USA (the United States of America)
*** (a few countries): the Netherlands, the Philippines, (the) Sudan, (the) Yemen
States/ counties: the Vatican *** A few cities: the Hague, the City (of London) *** A few streets: the High Street, the Strand, the Drive *** A few buildings (in compounds): the British Museum, the Library of Congress Universities (in the structure THE UNIVERSITY OF…): the University of Cambridge
absence of an article THE ZERO ARTICLE is used with:
PLURAL COUNTABLE NOUNS:
Computers are useful machines. Water is made of hydrogen and oxygen. Mr Thomson is planning to visit China in September.
most PROPER NOUNS:
1. with uncountable or plural nouns to talk about a type of thing rather than specific things the reader or listener already knows about (plurals: people, places, food, occupations, nationalities, animals, insects, plants, products; uncountable nouns: food, drink, substances, collections, colours, sports, games, abstract nouns, politics, philosophy, languages)
We drank tea and ate sandwiches. We use computers at work. He understands Chinese well. Come round after lunch. Have you had breakfast? Yes, Thursday will be convenient. I’ll see you on Tuesday. The AGM was on the Thursday of that week. We went skiing at the weekend. We go away at Christmas. Easter is early this year. We had a wonderful Christmas. I started work here the Easter before the last.
2. with the name of a language
3. with the name of a meal
4. with days of the week
5. with special times (holidays)
6. with years, seasons and months
He was born in 1882. We play golf in summer / in the summer. Winter always depresses me. I start the course in September. That was the year I was born. It was the winter of 1995 when things started to go wrong for the company.
7. with parts of the day and night (especially after at, by, on, before)
He can’t sleep at night. I prefer to travel by day. She must get home before midnight. I hope to get there before dark. It’s warmer during the day. Someone got up in/during the night. We are meeting in the morning. They arrived at the hotel in the evening. I couldn’t see in the dark. The meeting is on June 29th.
8. with dates in writing
9. with words referring to institutions such as school, college, university, church, prison, hospital
School is over at half past three. (school activities) Vicky is at college. (as a student) David is in hospital (as a patient) Melanie is going to church (to a religious service) The man is in prison (as a prisoner) The school is a mile from here. (the school building) The meeting was at the college. Melanie waited in the hospital for news. We wanted to look round the church but it was locked. The young woman is in the prison. She has gone to the prison to visit a relative. the cinema, the factory, the house, the library, the office, the pub, the shop, the station at home, go home, come home, leave home BUT in the house, to the house, in the home at sea (sailing), go to sea (as a sailor) BUT on the sea, by the sea, at/to the seaside, on/to the coast In town, go into town, leave town BUT the town centre, the city, the village At work, go to work, leave work BUT the office, the factory Go to bed, in bed BUT sit on the bed, make the bed Arm in arm, come to light, face to face, from top to bottom, hand in hand, keep in mind, make friends, make fun of Day and night, father and son, light and dark, pen and ink, sun and moon
When we refer to that specific building, THE is used:
With other nouns referring to buildings, THE is used:
10. in fixed expressions
11. with means of transport
by air/ bicycle / bike / boat / bus/ car/ coach/ land / plane / sea / ship / tram / tube; on foot Elizabeth was my colleague’s name. These tools are made by Jackson and Son. J. Smith is the pseudonym of a famous author.
12. with names of people (first name/surname/full name/ initials)
13. with titles (Mr, Mrs, Ms, Miss, Dr)
Mr, Mrs, Ms cannot normally be used on their own as a form of address. They are followed by a surname. Ms is hardly heard in speech, but it is common in written language to apply to both married and unmarried women. Dr (doctor), abbreviated, is followed by a surname, but it can also be used on its own as a form of address (written in full)
Dr Brown/ Nice to see you, Doctor!
Captain, Colonel, Major, Professor are titles that can be used both on their own or with surnames Madam and Sir are used in BrE as a form of address (Can I help you, Madam/Sir?) or in formal letters, as salutations (Dear Sir, Dear Madam) when we do not know the name of the people we are writing to. Given titles in BrE: Sir + first name (+ surname), Lord + Surname
Sir John Falstaff / Sir John, Queen Elizabeth, Lord Spencer
14. with place names
Continents: Africa, Asia, Europe Geographical areas: Central Asia, Lower Egypt, Upper Austria Lakes: Lake Constance, Lake Geneva Mountains (peaks): Mont Blanc, Everest, Ceahlau Islands: Christmas Island, Corfu Island Most countries States, counties: Bavaria, Ohio, Surrey Most cities Parks: Central Park, Hyde Park Buildings: Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey Most streets: Madison Avenue, Oxford Street Most bridges: Tower Bridge Most shops and restaurants: Marks and Spencers, Bloomingdale’s
DEMONSTRATIVES AND QUANTIFIERS PERSONAL PRONOUNS REFLEXIVE AND RECIPROCAL PRONOUNS INDEFINITE PRONOUNS AND ADVERBS RELATIVE PRONOUNS AND ADVERBS
/ THAT (singular) and THESE / THOSE (plural) can be used as adjectives before nouns to refer to somebody or something known to both speaker and listener:
‘I’m not sure which photocopier to order.’ ‘Well, I think this photocopier looks reliable.’
They are used to distinguish between close and distant things (in both space and time) CLOSE DISTANT I’ve seen that presentation before. Can you see those people over there? Do you remember that AGM? There were no smartphones in those days. Do you recognize this presentation? These negotiators are extremely proficient.
What are you doing this weekend? There’s so much crime these days.
N.B. In very INFORMAL SPEECH we can use THIS or THESE instead of
A/AN or SOME, often to introduce a topic or start telling a story: This woman came up to me in the bank and asked if she could borrow…
They can be used as pronouns to refer to a noun, a thing or an idea:
THIS can be used to talk about a situation we are experiencing:
This is a really wonderful idea. Alistair says he’s giving up his job to travel the world. I think that’s stupid.
They are used as a more formal alternative to THE ONE(S):
This is the worst recession we have seen for more than ten years.
Some residents turned out to welcome the official to their neighbourhood. Those who had bothered were invited to a cocktail party afterwards. I’ve never seen a winter this cold before. So you think you’re that clever, do you?
In certain expressions, THIS or THAT is used instead of SO to intensify an adjective:
determiners which describe the quantity of something.
+ PL. NOUN I’ve got no coins. none of the details neither of the briefs either of the two semesters any (of the) documents both (of the) awards (a) few (of the) projects half (of) the tasks + UNCOUNT NOUN I’ve got no money. none of the information ------------any (of the) information -----(a) little (of the) water half (of) the work ------------neither brief either semester any document ----------half (of) the task
QUANTIFIER +SG. NOUN no none of the neither either any both few/little half
QUANTIFIER some several a lot of many/much most each every (one of) all
+ SG. NOUN --------a lot of the conference ----most of the holiday each applicant every page all (of) the problem
+ PL. NOUN some (of the) projects several (of the) issues a lot of (the) ideas many (of the) managers most (of the) projects each of the applicants every one of the pages
+ UNCOUNT NOUN some (of the) money ----a lot of (the) time much (of the) furniture most (of the) fruit ---------
all (of) the problems all (of) the trouble
Often quantifiers (except NONE and A LOT) are used directly before a noun:
It’s impossible to nominate both candidates for the Vicepresidency.
With most quantifiers, using of THE before a plural or an uncountable noun changes the meaning of the noun from general to specific:
I’d like some information. (general, we do not specify which information) I’d like some of the information. (specific information)
With BOTH, OF can be omitted before THE:
Both (of) the candidates believed they had won.
Note the difference between EACH and EVERY! Both quantifiers describe ‘more than one’; we can use EACH to refer to two things, but not EVERY.
They had many exams each semester. They must come to classes every day.
SOME and ANY SOME is usually used in affirmative sentences, ANY in negative or interrogative sentences:
You’ve got some interesting ideas but do you have any money to back them?
ANY used in affirmative sentences means ‘it does not matter which’:
It is possible to use SOME in questions where the speaker has some expectation that the answer will be positive:
You can’t negotiate with them. Any business person will tell you that.
Is some of the information useful? (I expect that part of it is.) Is any of the information useful? (I have no idea if it is useful or not.)
Quantifiers (except NO and EVERY) can be used without a noun as subject of the clause:
The vote was split: half were in favour of the motion, half were against it.
When used as subjects, some quantifiers take a singular verb, and some take a plural verb. Others are used with a singular or plural verb, depending on the noun they substitute or modify. The quantifiers NEITHER and NONE take a singular verb with plural nouns, though a plural verb is now accepted in speech and informal writing:
None of the students is willing to accept the increase in coursework. None of the students are willing to accept the increase in coursework. (spoken or informal written English)
are words which are substituted for nouns in order to avoid repetition.
SUBJECT OBJECT POSSESSIVE POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS PRONOUNS ADJECTIVE PRONOUNS S I you he she it we they me you him her it us them my your his her its our their mine yours his hers --ours theirs
myself yourself/yourselves himself herself itself ourselves themselves
After we mention a person or an object once, or if the context makes it clear who or what we are referring to, we usually use pronouns to refer to them:
Paul Allen plans to set up a museum. He was a founder of Microsoft.
Object pronouns are used instead of a noun as a direct or indirect object:
D.O.: I met the CEO yesterday. I really appreciate him, don’t you? I.O.: Those books belong to Jeremy. Can you give them to him, please?
Possessive adjectives are used before a noun to express ‘belonging’:
ADJ.: Did the neighbours leave that here? It looks like their deckchair. PRON.: No, it’s not their deckchair. It’s ours! Don’t you recognize it?
Possessive pronouns are used instead of a possessive adjective + noun:
does not usually omit pronouns, especially subject pronouns:
We can expect new regulations; they are often voted in the AGM.
pronouns are not used in infinitive phrases or relative clauses if the object has already appeared in the same sentence:
Those plastic cards look safe enough to use (them). That’s the folder I told you about (it).
There are some cases where either an object pronoun or a subject pronoun can be used. After AS and THAN in comparative patterns, we use the subject pronoun only in very formal English; the object pronoun is more common:
FML.: The line manager didn’t know the procedure any better than I. INFML: The line manager didn’t actually know the procedure any better than me.
After AS and THAN we can use a subject pronoun with an auxiliary or modal verb:
The line manager didn’t speak English as well as I do/did/can. ‘Who’s there?’ ‘It’s us.’
The object pronoun is usually used in short responses:
After IT IS the subject pronoun is used in formal language and the object pronoun in informal:
FML.: It is they who asked for the project to be voted. INFML.: It is them who asked for the project to be voted.
When we have a noun and a pronoun, or two pronouns together, we tend to put the speaker first (out of politeness):
You and I are both invited to that presentation.
If we have a noun and a pronoun where the pronoun does not refer to the speaker, we usually put the pronoun first:
Don’t you think we should let him and his lawyer decide about going to court?
We should use object pronouns after a preposition, although in informal English it is possible to use the subject pronoun:
They are sending the new consignment over for Tom and me to check. INFML.: They are sending the new consignment over for Tom and I to check.
some exclamations we modify object pronouns, usually with an adjective:
Look what I’ve done! Silly me! Lucky old him/her!
can use a noun after a pronoun to clarify who or what we are referring to:
I want you people to see the Department head immediately. Then she, Ms Stein, got up and asked everyone to leave at once.
ONE or ONES are used to avoid repeating countable nouns:
Do you prefer the blue folders or the black ones?
ONE/ONES can be used after THE and adjectives but not immediately after A/AN:
I’d like a folder. Can you pass me one from the top shelf? There are interesting exhibits here. This is an amazing one.
ONE/ONES is not used when we refer to an item that has previously been described:
I need a box. A large one. (= any box) Where is my box? Oh, here it is. (my box – a definite one)
Reflexive pronouns are formed with SELF/SELVES and are used when the subject and the object are the same person or thing:
Quick! The worker has burnt himself!
After prepositions an object pronoun is used to refer to the subject when it is clear who or what it refers to; otherwise a reflexive pronoun is used:
Jim emerged from the underground station and looked around him. (him = Jim) Jane was upset. Her supervisor was really annoyed with her. (her = Jane) Jane was upset. Her supervisor was really annoyed with herself. (herself = supervisor)
Reflexive pronouns are used to refer to the subject after verbs with dependent prepositions:
Politicians have to believe in themselves if they expect the people to believe in them.
Either the object pronoun or the reflexive one can be used to refer to the subject after AS (FOR), LIKE, BUT (FOR) and EXCEPT (FOR):
IDIOMATIC USES Some verbs take the reflexive in English idiomatically: e.g. enjoy oneself, help oneself, behave oneself, etc.
Howard made sure that everyone except him/himself had the agenda of the meeting.
Help yourself with the food, won’t you?
The phrase ‘by oneself’ (one = myself/yourself/himself/herself/ourselves/yourselves, themselves) means ‘alone’ or ‘without help’:
We’ve decided to make the presentation by ourselves.
EMPHATIC USE OF REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS Reflexive pronouns can be used to emphasize the subject or object of a sentence. The pronoun can come after the subject, after the auxiliary (if there is one) or verb, after the object or at the end of the sentence.
I myself have used this technique on a number of occasions. I have myself used this technique on a number of occasions. I have used this technique myself on a number of occasions. I have used this technique on a number of occasions myself.
The reflexive pronoun used at the beginning or the end of a sentence and separated by a comma means ‘as far as I’m concerned’.
Myself, I don’t like the communicative approach in language learning. I don’t like the communicative approach in language learning, myself.
ALWAYS SINGULAR ALWAYS PLURAL
each, either, much both, several, a few, many
Much of the research has already been completed. Some visitors to the new plant are enthusiastic but many have expressed their disappointment. Some of the information is considered top secret. Some of us are hiring a motor home to go on holiday. ‘We can’t get many books to the schools in the outback.’ “Don’t worry! Any (books) are better than none.’
SINGULAR OR PLURAL any, half, some, a lot, all
Steve and Elaine blame only themselves for the failure of the project. (they both blamed the two of them and nobody else)
Steve and Elaine blame each other for the failure of the product. (Steve blamed Elaine and Elaine blamed Steve)
OTHER usually refers to two subjects, ONE ANOTHER to more than two, though we tend to use the two forms interchangeably in informal English:
He spoke fast and his words tripped over each other/one another.
When we wish to express general feelings and opinions (i.e. not necessarily those of the speaker), we can use YOU, WE or THEY:
You can wear whatever you like to go to work these days.
If we wish to include ourselves, it is better to use WE:
We can wear whatever we like to go to work these days.
If we wish to exclude ourselves, it is better to use THEY:
They behave really badly at football matches nowadays. Did you know they’ve introduced a new safety procedure? (= the management)
THEY is also used to refer to people in authority:
used in formal language to mean people generally including ourselves:
One can empathize with the demands of the strikers.
is used as a subject or object pronoun, and as a reflexive pronoun (oneself):
One tends to learn to fend for oneself if one lives alone.
PERSON someone/somebody anyone/anybody
OBJECT something anything
PLACE somewhere anywhere
MANNER somehow anyhow (informal equivalent of anyway)
everyone/everybody no one/nobody
do not refer to a specific person, place, object, etc. SOME compounds are used when we are thinking of a particular unspecified person, place or thing ANY compounds are used when we are thinking of people, places or things in general:
‘What would you like for your birthday?’ ‘oh, anything.’ (no particular present) ‘Well, there’s something I would like…’ (a particular present)
ANY + one/thing/where is not negative and it means ‘it doesn’t matter who/what/where’:
Anyone would understand that the promotional campaign is a flop.
If we use these pronouns and adverbs as subjects, they take a singular verb:
Everything is going smoothly and NASA expects to launch the shuttle as scheduled.
We can use these pronouns with modifiers, e.g. adjectives or ELSE:
The manager decided to do something active about the problems of the company. Something else you become aware of in this company is its organic structure.
USED FOR PRONOUNS who whom which which that whose no pronoun ADVERBS where when why NOMINAL PRONOUN what objects, ideas (means the thing that) places times reasons people, animals people objects, animals ideas people, objects, animals relationships, possessions people, things, animals
USED AS SUBJECT √ X √ √ √ √ X √ √ √ OBJECT √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √
WHOM is formal and we rarely use it in speech. It is mainly used after prepositions:
WHICH is used (not WHO) to refer to inanimate objects:
I’m referring to the person with whom you were seen. When he left the office, he carried a heavy bag, which made her suspicious.
THAT is used to refer to people and objects but WHO is usually preferred for a person when the pronoun is the subject of the relative clause.
WHOSE can be used to refer to objects:
Mr Harrison is the lawyer who/that has been chosen to represent you.
It would only be possible to colonize planets whose atmosphere contained enough oxygen to sustain human life. (the atmosphere of which)
The relative pronoun that refers to the object of a relative clause can be omitted:
The man (who) I met at the conference was in the negotiating team. I met the man who was in the negotiating team at a conference. I remember – it was the day when/that the company went bankrupt. Sometimes he thought that money was the reason why/that he accepted the job. High taxation is often the main reason for which governments fall.
The relative pronoun cannot be omitted if it is the subject of the relative clause:
THAT can be used as an alternative to WHEN in relative clauses:
The only noun that takes WHY as a relative pronoun is ‘reason’:
Instead of WHY we can also use OF + WHICH:
such as ALL OF, MANY OF may be used before WHICH or WHOM in a relative clause to refer to the subject or object of the clause:
The supermarket removed from the shelves all of its jars of tomato puree, several of which were found to contain fragments of glass. The college entered over a hundred students for the exam, all of whom passed. We interviewed fourteen applicants for the post, none of whom we thought suitable.
relative clauses we can modify the pronoun or adverb with –ever to give the meaning of ANYTHING, ANYONE, ANYWHERE, etc.:
Use whichever phone you want – they all have outside lines. I’d like to meet whoever wrote this report. You can put the billboard wherever you think it looks best. I don’t mind.
FORMATION OF ADJECTIVES THE ORDER OF THE ADJECTIVES ADVERBS DEGREES OF COMPARISON SOFTENERS AND INTENSIFIERS
Three business partners are having lunch in a quiet restaurant. It’s a warm day. The food is delicious. They feel talkative.
adjective can be used attributively (before a noun) or predicatively (after a linking verb i.e., be, seem, appear, become, get, look, feel, taste, touch, smell, stay, etc.)
Most adjectives can be used in both positions:
This is good coffee. Vs. This coffee tastes good.
Some adjectives are restricted to one position
MAIN / CHIEF / PRINICIPAL – Be careful crossing the main road. ONLY – The only problem is that the company is running out of money. INDOOR / OUTDOOR – Chess is an indoor game. INNER / OUTER FORMER – The former sales agent now trains young professionals. UPPER ELDER / ELDEST Adjectives ending in –al e.g. general, industrial, local, national, social
beginning with the prefix a- are usually predicative, e.g.,
Ablaze, afraid, aglow, alike, alive, alone, asleep, aware, ashamed
The products look very alike.
Pleased Ill / unwell Content (= happy) Fine (in good health) / well Glad
descriptions, we often use a sequence of adjectives to refer to a noun, being ordered according to their meaning. Determiners (articles, quantifiers, numerals, demonstrative and possessive adjectives) usually precede the sequence of adjectives. GENERAL DESCRIPTION + PHYSICAL STATE + PROPER ADJECTIVE + noun
1. OPINION (HOW GOOD?) 2. SIZE (HOW BIG?) 3. MOST OTHER QUALITIES 4. AGE (HOW OLD?) 5. COLOUR 7. MATERIAL (MADE OF?) 8. TYPE (WHAT KIND?) 9. PURPOSE (WHAT FOR?)
wonderful, nice, great, awful, terrible large, small, long, short, tall quiet, famous, important, soft, wet, difficult, fast, angry, warm new, old red, blue, green, black stone, plastic, steel, paper an electric kettle, political matters, road transport a bread knife, a bath towel
6. ORIGIN (WHERE FROM?) American, British, French
Japanese industrial designers (origin, type) A long boring train journey (size, quality, type) some nice easy quiz questions (opinion, quality, purpose) a beautiful wooden picture frame (opinion, material, purpose)
, commas are used between adjectives referring to opinion, size and quality.
a horrible, ugly building a busy, lively, exciting city
There are some adjectives that we can use to talk about groups of people in society:
- to do with social or economic position:
the disadvantaged, the homeless, the hungry, the poor, the privileged, the rich, the starving, the strong, the underprivileged, the unemployed, the weak the blind, the deaf, the disabled, the handicapped, the living, the sick, the healthy the elderly, the middle-aged, the old, the over-sixties, the under-fives, the young The very poor are left without hope. The severely disabled need full-time care. The less fortunate cannot afford to go on holiday. Should the mentally ill be allowed to live in the community?
- to do with physical condition or health:
- to do with age:
We can sometimes use an adverb before such an adjective:
THE + ADJECTIVE refers to that group in general. When we mean a specific person or a specific group of people, the words MAN, WOMAN, PEOPLE are used.
The young have their lives in front of them. None of the young people in the village can find jobs here.
Most adjectives from this group are derived from verbs. COMMON –ING ADJECTIVES
amazing, boring, corresponding, encouraging, exciting, existing, following, increasing, interesting, leading, missing, outstanding, promising, remaining, threatening, underlying, willing, working advanced, alleged, armed, ashamed, bored, complicated, determined, disabled, disappointed, educated, excited, exhausted, frightened, interested, pleased, surprised, tired, unemployed, unexpected, worried
COMMON –ED ADJECTIVES
adjectives are formed by adding an adjective prefix or suffix to a verb or noun. PREFIXES
NEGATIVE MEANING: un-, in-, non-, dis-, mis-, i(l)
uninteresting, insensitive, non-standard, disrespectful, misleading, illiterate, illegitimate, irregular
-less, -ful, -ous, -ive, -al, -ent, -y, -ish
cordless, careless, careful,beautiful, continuous, monotonous, serious, effective, instinctive, active, central, final, technical, different, persistent, sunny, funny, stylish, greenish
made from a combination of more than one word, resulting in a compact expression of information. They take many forms, including:
greyish-blue full-time, cutting-edge, large-scale butterfly-blue, age-old, life-long ill-suited, newly-restored, so-called free-spending, slow-moving highly-sensitive wishy-washy, roly-poly, goody-goody church-owned, classroom-based, horsedrawn eye-catching, law-abiding, nervewracking
ADJECTIVE + ADJECTIVE ADJECTIVE + NOUN NOUN + ADJECTIVE ADVERB + -ED PARTICIPLE ADVERB + -ING PARTICIPLE ADVERB + ADJECTIVE REDUPLICATIVE NOUN + -ED PARTICIPLE NOUN + -ING PARTICIPLE
The ending –LY is the normal adverb ending, but a few adjectives also end in –ly.
friendly, lively, lovely, elderly, likely, lonely, silly, ugly
The interviewer was very friendly. This is a silly question. She spoke to us in a friendly way / manner.
HARD, EARLY, HIGH, LATE, DEEP, NEAR, STRAIGHT, LONG, WRONG, FAST, LOW, RIGHT can be used both as adjectives and as adverbs
I came on the fast train. The train went quite fast. We did some hard work. We worked hard. They sell cheap clothes in the market. They sell things cheap / cheaply there. Come here as quick / quickly as you can.
In informal English, the adjectives CHEAP, LOUD, QUICK, SLOW can be used as adverbs.
HARD / HARDLY; NEAR / NEARLY; LATE/ LATELY; HIGH / HIGHLY; FREE / FREELY These pairs of adverbs have different meanings:
I tried hard, but I didn’t succeed. Vs. I’ve got hardly any money left. (very little, almost none) Luckily I found a phone box quite near. Vs. I nearly fell asleep in the meeting. (almost) Rachel arrived late, as usual. Vs. I’ve been very busy lately. (in the last few days/weeks) The plane flew high above the clouds. Vs. The material is highly radioactive. (very) We got into the concert free. (without paying) vs. The animals are allowed to wander freely. (uncontrolled)
the adverb of GOOD
We all did well in the test. (Our results were good.)
An adjective meaning ‘in good health’, the opposite of ILL
The manager was very ill, but he is quite well again now. ‘How are you?’ ‘Very well, thank you.’
The comparative and superlative forms of short and long adjectives are different. SHORT and LONG ADJECTIVES
One-syllable adjectives (small, nice) usually have the endings –er (than) (for the comparative) and –est (for the superlative)
The secretary needs a bigger computer. This is the nicest colour.
For adjectives ending in –ed, the more/less, the most / the least forms are used.
Everyone was pleased with the results of the negotiation, but the Sales Manager was the most pleased.
For three-syllable adjectives and with longer ones, the more/less, the most / the least forms are used
The film is more exciting than the book. This machine is the most reliable.
Some two-syllable adjectives have –er, -est, and some have more, most. 1. words ending in a consonant + Y have –er, -est
happy – happier, the happiest
2. words ending in –ful or –less have more, most
careful – more careful, the most careful helpful, useful, hopeless
3. words ending in –ing and –ed have more, most
boring – more boring than, the most boring willing, annoyed, surprised
4. other adjectives that have more, most:
afraid, certain, correct, eager, exact, famous, foolish, frequent, modern, nervous, normal, recent clever, common, cruel, gentle, narrow, pleasant, polite, quiet, simple, stupid, tired
5. adjectives that have both –er and –est and more and most
–e of the positive form is dropped before –er and –est:
nice – nicer, nicest
+ -Y, Y shifts into I before adding -er and -est.
lucky – luckier, luckiest
ending in a single vowel + single consonant double the consonant before adding –er and –est
hot – hotter, hottest, thin – thinner, thinnest
The short adverbs that have the same form as an adjective form the comparative and superlative with –er, -est.
Can you type faster than that?
Many adverbs formed by ADJECTIVE + -LY (carefully, easily, slowly) form the comparative and superlative with more and most.
We could do this more easily with a computer.
Note the forms sooner, soonest and more often, most often.
Try to come to the office sooner.
good/ well bad/ badly far
better worse farther/further
best worst farthest/furthest
can use elder, eldest + noun instead of older, oldest, but only for people in the same family (elder than is NEVER used)
My elder sister is the CEO of that company.
… AS is used to say that things are equal or unequal.
It isn’t as cold as yesterday. Thy don’t earn as much money as they’d like.
The result of the contest was the same as last year.
He is twenty years older than me. He is twenty years older than I am.
After THAN or AS, a personal pronoun on its own has the object form (me), but if the pronoun has a verb after it, then we use the subject form (I)
SOFTENERS and INTENSIFIERS We an put a word or phrase (much, a lot, rather, far, a bit, quite, a little, slightly) before a comparative to intensify or soften the meaning of the adjective.
It’s much faster by tube. This chair is a bit more comfortable. This month’s figures are slightly less good.
Used to express a gradual change
The queue was getting longer and longer. Everything is getting more and more expensive. The country is rapidly losing its workers, as more and more people are emigrating.
Used to imply that a change in one thing goes with a change in another
The higher the price, the more reliable the product.
COMPARATIVE + COMPARATIVE
THE + COMPARATIVE, THE + COMPARATIVE
adverb can be found in three places in a sentence: FRONT POSITION (at the beginning of a sentence), MID POSITION (close to the verb) and END POSITION (at the end of the sentence).
Outside (front position) it was obviously (mid position) raining hard (end position).
The adverb comes after the first auxiliary:
The visitors are just leaving. The briefs have definitely been stolen.
If there is no auxiliary, the adverb comes before the main verb.
I really enjoy negotiations.
When the verb TO BE is on its own, the adverb usually comes after it.
The boss is usually in a bad temper. You’re certainly a lot better today.
When there is stress on the verb TO BE or on the auxiliary, then the adverb usually comes before it:
You certainly are a lot better today. I really have made a mistake, haven’t I?
Use of adverbs in mid position in questions – after the subject:
Has Andrew always liked Statistics? Do you often go out to business lunches?
adverb does not usually go between the verb and the direct object; it is put in end position, after the object.
Tom proofread his report quickly. We played volleyball yesterday. I like classical music very much.
an adverb can go before a long
Detectives examined carefully the contents of the dead man’s pockets.
ADVERBS OF MANNER
tell us how something happens. They usually go in end position, but an adverb which ends in –LY can sometimes go in mid position as well.
We asked permission politely. We politely asked permission.
ADVERBS OF PLACE AND TIME
Adverbs and adverbial phrases of place and time usually go in end position:
Is there a phone box nearby? We’re meeting by the entrance. I’ll see you before very long. Did you have a nice time in New York?
Sometimes they can go in front position:
We are really busy this week. Last week we had nothing to do. I’ll soon find out. The train is now approaching Swindon.
Some short adverbs of time can also go in mid position:
YET means that we are expecting something; STILL means ‘going on longer than expected’; ALREADY means ‘sooner than expected’ usually goes at the end of a negative statement or a question:
Vicky has got a letter but she hasn’t opened it yet. Wait a minute! I’m not ready yet. I have two more lines to write. Have they sent you your cheque yet? No, not yet. I should get it next week.
STILL and ALREADY
In a positive statement, STILL and ALREADY usually go in mid position:
Sarah isn’t home yet. She’s still at work. We wrote a month ago and we’re still waiting for a reply. I’ve only been at work an hour, and I’m already exhausted. It’s nearly lunch time and you still haven’t opened your e-mail.
In negative statements, STILL is used before the auxiliary:
STILL is stronger than YET, often expressing surprise that the situation has gone on for so long.
Rita hasn’t bought her plane ticket yet. Rita still hasn’t bought her plane ticket. Are you still waiting after all this time? Has Tom already been on holiday?
In questions STILL and ALREADY usually go after the subject:
NO LONGER means that something is finished. It goes in mid position.
You can’t buy these items now. They no longer make them. I used to belong to the golf club but I’m no longer a member.
NO LONGER can be a little formal. In informal speech NOT … ANY LONGER or NOT … ANYMORE is used. ANY LONGER/ANY MORE comes at the end of the sentence.
They don’t make these items any longer / any more. Rita has resigned. She doesn’t work here any longer/ any more.
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