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Adverbs
What are adverbs?

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Adverbs are words that tell us more about verbs....they add information to the verb. (A verb is a 'doing' word or a 'being' word, e.g. 'walk', 'feel') Using adverbs makes your sentences more interesting. Any verb you use can have an adverb added. The girl smiled nervously. The boy grinned sheepishly. The light shone feebly. We use adverbs:
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to say how something happens 'The family walk (how?) quickly.' to say where or when something happens 'I met him (when?) yesterday.' to say how often something happens 'She gets the bus (how often?) daily.' to make the meaning of an adjective, adverb or verb stronger or weaker 'Dave eats (degree?) more slowly than his wife.'

Adverbs are often created from adjectives (describing words that tell you more about nouns) by adding 'ly' to the end of the adjective. e.g. slow becomes slowly 'Joe is a slow person. He walks slowly.'

Certain words change when they become adverbs. If an adjective ends in a 'y' you need to change the 'y' to an 'i' before adding 'ly'. Happy becomes happily Heavy becomes heavily

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Position of adverbs There are three places in the sentence where adverbs can come. At the beginning of a sentence: 'Suddenly I had earache.' 'Recently I had earache.' In the middle of a sentence: 'I suddenly had earache.' 'I recently had earache.' At the end of a sentence: 'I had earache suddenly.' 'I had earache recently.' How do you know where the adverb goes? Most kinds of adverbs can go in 'mid-position' (before the verb) in a sentence: 'I'm usually working at weekends.' 'I never said I liked you.' Other adverbs may fit more comfortably at the beginning or end of a sentence: 'Yesterday I went to the skate park.' 'I went to the skate park yesterday.' The best way to know if the order is right is to say the sentence to yourself. Does it sound right? 'She often is late.' 'She is often late.' This sounds better.

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Spotting adverbs Adverbs are quite complicated. You cannot tell by the look of a word that it is an adverb. You can recognise it as an adverb only by the work it does in a sentence. A word may be an adverb in one sentence and a different part of speech in another sentence.
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The job went well. Here well describes the verb 'went', so it is an adverb. The well was drained by morning. Here well names something, so it is a noun. The well water tasted disgusting. Here well is being used to name a type of 'water', so it is not describing a verb. It is not an adverb here.

'-ly' on the end of a word is a good clue that it's an adverb. Many adverbs are made by adding '-ly' to the end of adjectives E.g. 'careful' (adjective) becomes 'carefully' (adverb) Sunita is very careful with her money. She spends her money carefully. However, lots of other adverbs are irregular BEWARE! Some words ending in '-ly' are never used as adverbs E.g. 'friendly', 'lovely', 'lonely' Also, look out for adverbs that have the same form as adjectives. 'Hard' and 'early' are both adjectives (used to describe people, places and things) AND adverbs (used to tell us more about the verb):
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It's still early. (adjective) We arrived early. (adverb) He works very hard. (adverb) He's a hard man to know. (adjective)

Other adverbs with the same form as adjectives are fast, high, low, late and long.

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More about spotting adverbs Adverbial phrases Adverbial phrases are small strings of words that do the same job as single-word adverbs: 'I'll see him on Saturday.' 'She's in the kitchen.' ''The thief ran down the road.' 'The mobile phones rang all at once.'

Other places to find adverbs... An adverb may also be used to describe another adverb or an adjective. 'The weekend passed very quickly.'
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quickly describes the verb passed: quickly is an adverb. very describes the adverb quickly: very is also an adverb.

'That seemed an extremely interesting plan.'
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interesting describes the noun plan: interesting is an adjective. extremely describes the adjective interesting: extremely is an adverb.

Adverbs can also qualify (describe) whole sentences: 'Hopefully the shoes will fit.' 'The dress, unfortunately, was ruined.'

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Adverbs - degrees of comparison Adverbs are often used to make the meaning of a verb or other adverb stronger or weaker. This is known as 'degrees of comparison'. What are they? The positive degree is the simple form of the adverb : slowly, early. e.g. 'He walked slowly.' The comparative degree is used to compare two actions : slower, more slowly, earlier. e.g. 'Sarah walked more slowly than Ben.' The superlative comparison is used to compare three or more : slowest, earliest. e.g. 'We all take our time, but I walk the slowest of all.'

How do you make them? Adverbs of one syllable usually form the comparative by adding - er and form the superlative by adding - est 'hard' (positive) - 'harder' (comparative) - 'hardest' (superlative) Adverbs of two syllables or more generally form the comparative by adding more and the superlative by adding most. 'quickly' (positive) - 'more quickly' (comparative) - 'most quickly' (superlative)

Watch out! Examples of exceptions badly: worse (comparative) - worst (superlative). well: better (comparative) - best (superlative). far: farther (comparative) - farthest (superlative).

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'Adverbs' tutor notes The 'Adverbs' topic area aims to help learners to recognise and use adverbs. How does this tie in with the curriculums?

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England RS/L1.1 - Learners need to understand the use of adverbs and adverbial phrases. Wales As England. Northern Ireland As England. Scotland See www.aloscotland.com for details of the Scottish curriculum.

In the Skillswise module you'll find: Adverbs factsheets There are five factsheets for this module, each on 'print-out-and-keep' sheets. You'll find curriculum references on the top, right-hand corner of the factsheets.
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Factsheet 1 - What are adverbs Factsheet 2 - Position of adverbs Factsheet 3 - How to spot an adverb Factsheet 4 - More about spotting adverbs Factsheet 5 - Degrees of comparison

Adverbs worksheets Six printable worksheets give the learner opportunities to identify adverbs, their purpose, degree of comparison and position in a sentence. They also give the learner the opportunity to select and use appropriate adverbs. You'll find curriculum references in the top right-hand corner of the worksheets. They are printable resources to carry on the work learners have done online.
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Worksheet 1 - Find the adverbs Worksheet 2 - What are these adverbs doing Worksheet 3 - Using adverbs to compare

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Worksheet 4 - Positioning adverbs Worksheet 5 - Fill in the gaps Worksheet 6 - Changing meaning

Technical help: If you are new to the web, why not try the BBC WebWise online course, Becoming WebWise? It's free, you can do it in your own time from any computer and it will take you through everything you need to know to use the web successfully in your teaching. Find out more about WebWise. You can find out more about the technical requirements for Skillswise in our Help - Technical Information section. Taking it further: With Skillswise For adverbs practice, don't forget to visit 'Instructions' and 'Types of text' With the web Here are a few suggestions of other places where you might find resources that you can use to help you with adverbs.
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English language centre, University of Victoria, Canada In-depth review of adverbs with an exercise at the end. Activities for ESL Students This site offers a good quiz that compares adjectives and adverbs.

Internet Grammar of English This site was created for university undergraduates, but their adverbs section is very good and offers a series of exercises at the end of their factsheet. Words quiz

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Apostrophes
Apostrophes factsheet Apostrophes have two uses:
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Apostrophes show you that some letters have been taken out of a word to shorten it. Do not becomes don't. I will becomes I'll. Could have becomes could've. The apostrophe goes where the letters have been removed. You use apostrophes this way in informal writing. You should not shorten words when you are writing formal letters. NOTE - sometimes words are shortened in an irregular way. The apostrophe, however, is still used to show where letters are missing. E.G: Will not becomes won't. Apostrophes show you that something belongs to something else. To show belonging you add 's The cat's tail - says that the tail belongs to the cat. The car's lights - says that the lights belong to the car. Tony's hair - says that the hair belongs to Tony. Usually the apostrophe goes before the s. If the owner already ends in s then the apostrophe goes after the s that is already there. You just need to add an apostrophe. Eg: The dogs' bowls - says that the bowls belong to some dogs. The boys' coats - says that the coats belong to some boys. The cars' wheels - says that the wheels belong to some cars. Watch out for plurals that don't end in s. Words like men and children don't end in s, but they are talking about lots of people. These words use 's to show possession. E.G: The men's hats - says that the hats belong to the men. The women's house - says that the house belongs to the women.

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'Apostrophes' tutor notes The aim of the apostrophes topic area is to help learners revise the use of apostrophes to show where letters are missing in informal writing and to demonstrate that one thing belongs to something else. How does this tie in with the curriculums?

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England Rs/L1.2 - Understand that grammatical clues can be used to make sense of individual words and of complete sentences. Know and use the term 'apostrophe'. Understand the function of the omissive apostrophe to indicate contracted word style. Wales As England. Northern Ireland As England. Scotland See www.aloscotland.com for details of the Scottish curriculum.

In the Skillswise module you'll find: Apostrophes factsheet The facts about apostrophes, with examples, on one 'print-out-and-keep' sheet. Apostrophes games There are two games in this section, both of which have a similar structure. Both games require some level of familiarity with a keyboard, as answers have to be typed in. If you don't get all the answers right, your friend gets gunged. Please also note that students have to click the cursor into the text box before they can type the answer. Ideally, the cursor would appear automatically in the text box, but unfortunately this isn't possible in Flash version 4 (the software that is the spec for further education). TOP TIP! To see the game completely full screen, press the F11 key on the keyboard. This takes away the distraction of the top browser bar. To bring the browser bar back, just press F11 again!

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Apostrophes activity - 'Cutting a Dash' We are sorry but we have had to remove the BBC Radio 4 programme about apostrophes, 'Cutting a dash', from this website. This is because of changes in copyright. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Apostrophes quiz The learner can choose their level. Level A is the easiest, level C the hardest. Students can print out a certificate if they score 50% or more in the quiz. This will appear as a link on the results page - click on the link and the certificate will appear in a new window. Once printed students can write their name on the certificate. Apostrophes worksheets There are two worksheets in this section. They are meant to be printable resources to carry on the work learners have done online. The two worksheets are based on sports stories, where students have to decide where to put the apostrophes. Technical help: To get the most out of this topic area you need the following 'plug-ins':

Flash The game in this topic section uses Flash. This is free to download and should only take a few minutes. You can follow the BBC WebWise instructions to download it to your machine. Find out more.

If you don't have Flash the same learning points are covered in the quiz and in the worksheets and factsheets. If you are new to the web, why not try the BBC WebWise online course, Becoming WebWise? It's free, you can do it in your own time from any computer and it will take you through everything you need to know to use the web successfully in your teaching. Get WebWise. You can find out more about the technical requirements for Skillswise in our Help - Technical Information section. Taking it further:

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With Skillswise: Don't forget to check out the Skillswise Lesson plans and Teaching inspirations areas for more ideas about teaching apostrophes. On the web: Here's a few suggestions of other places on the web that you might find useful resources that you can adapt for teaching apostrophes.

Live chat Print out some interviews with celebrities at BBC Live Chat as texts that you could use to highlight the apostrophes that indicate a letter (or letters) have been omitted. BBC News Print out a news story from BBC News, then ask learners to rewrite the story using apostrophes so it reads less formally. Home for abused apostrophes Pictures of real-life examples of cruelly misused apostrophes.

Personal pronouns What are personal pronouns? A noun is a word that is person, place or thing. e.g. Brian, the car, the dog, Sunita, London A pronoun is a word that can be used in place of a noun. A personal pronoun is used in place of a noun that is a person or a thing. Personal pronouns for people = Personal pronouns for things = I, you, he, she, we, they me, you, him, her, us, them it, they, them

Why use a personal pronoun?

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Personal pronouns are useful because you don't have to repeat words. They can be used to talk about something or someone that you have already talked about. e.g. Elizabeth put the coat on because Elizabeth was cold. This would be better written as: Elizabeth put the coat on because she was cold. The word she is a personal pronoun and means 'Elizabeth' in this sentence. This makes the sentence shorter and more interesting, as you don't have to repeat 'Elizabeth'. There are two types of personal pronouns:
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Subject pronouns are the 'who' or 'what' the sentence is about: I, you, he, she, it, we, they are all subject pronouns Object pronouns are the 'who' or what' acted upon: me, you, him, her, it, us, them are all object pronouns

e.g. Elizabeth put the coat on. In this sentence 'Elizabeth' is the subject and 'the coat' is the object. Elizabeth is doing the action (putting on) and the coat is the thing that is 'done to' (it is the thing that she puts on). If you wanted to repeat this information later you could say: She put it on.

Problems with personal pronouns Remember that personal pronouns are small words that you can use to replace a person or thing, when you have already talked about them. e.g. Barry loves Nathalie. He (Barry) is always buying her (Nathalie) presents. Singular or plural?

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The singular (talking about 1 thing) personal pronouns are: I / me . he / him . she / her . it . you The plural (talking about more than 1) personal pronouns are: we / us . they / them . you

Singular personal pronouns are used to replace singular nouns (one person or thing). Plural personal pronouns are used to replace plural nouns (many people or things). NOTE - 'You' can be used to replace one person or many people, it is both singular and plural. Should it be 'I' or 'me'? These personal pronouns are often used in the wrong place. Think about whether the personal pronoun is the subject or the object. Is it 'I' doing something or 'me' being acted upon? e.g. John and I are going there. Please give the money to me. A good trick for working out which one to use is to say the sentence to yourself with the other person taken out. e.g. John and I are going to the cinema. Take out 'John' and what do you get? You get 'I am going to the cinema' which is right. If you said 'Me are going to the cinema' you can hear that it is wrong.

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'Personal pronouns' tutor notes The aim of the 'personal pronouns' topic area is to revise the rules and the uses of the personal pronouns I / me / you / it / he / him / she / her / we / us / they / them. N.B. This module deals with personal pronouns - not possessive pronouns. You may feel that some of the work in this module stretches into Level 2. The majority of work on pronouns does take place at Level 2 of the curriculum, but Level 1 specifies that learners should 'understand the term pronoun'. How does this tie in with the curriculums?

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England Rs/L1.1 - 'Use implicit and explicit grammatical knowledge ... to predict meaning, try out plausible meanings and to read and check for sense.' 'Understand the term pronoun.' Ws/L1.2 - 'Use correct grammar - write grammatically correct sentences...' Wales As England. Northern Ireland As England. Scotland See www.aloscotland.com for details of the Scottish curriculum.

In the Skillswise module you'll find: Personal pronouns game There are 3 levels of game. At level 1 learners have to identify the personal pronoun within a given sentence and type it into a text box. At level 2 learners have to choose the best personal pronoun to fill the gap. At level 3, the hardest level, learners are asked to re-type a sentence using personal pronouns where they make sense. On each level, if a learner gets the right answer they are given the chance to dig for treasure on the treasure map, to build up points. It is possible to play each level of this game over and over again, as sentences are randomly pulled in from a large selection and the treasure map will randomly generate, so that the treasure is always in different

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places. Please note, however, that the treasure map and score start afresh each time the game is closed or a new level is started. A note on level 3 of the game There is only one right answer for each re-typed sentence. A sentence will only be marked as correct if it is entirely correct, i.e. the spelling and punctuation are correct aswell as the use of personal pronouns. Feedback, however, will give an indication of what the mistake was (use of pronouns or spelling). Answers can be entered entirely in capital letters (so if caps lock is accidentally on it's not a problem), but if answers are typed in lower case then the learner must make the correct use of capital letters. As with all our games, we recommend that you take a look at the 'How to play' demonstration on the flash game, before introducing your students to the game. You can find this on the bottom, black bar when you open the game. Please let us know what you think about this game. Personal pronouns quiz The learner can choose their level. Level A is the easiest and level C the hardest. All 3 levels deal with putting the right personal pronoun into the gap in the sentence. Students can print out a certificate if they score 50% or more in the quiz. This will appear as a link on the results page - click on the link and the certificate will appear in a new window. Once printed students can write their name on the certificate. Personal pronouns factsheets The facts about using personal pronouns, with examples. In this case there are two printable sheets - 'What are personal pronouns' and 'Problems with personal pronouns'. Personal pronouns worksheets There are three worksheets in this section. The first involves filling gaps in short telephone messages, the second involves filling gaps in a longer piece of text (a postcard) and the third offers a blank template for learners to write their own postcard. If you have a great worksheet for personal pronouns at level 1 - tell us about it and we might add it to the site! Technical help:

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To get the most out of this topic area you need the following 'plug-ins':

Flash The game in this topic section uses Flash. This is free to download and should only take a few minutes. You can follow the BBC WebWise instructions to download it to your machine. Find out more.

If you don't have Flash the same learning points are covered in the quiz and in the worksheets and factsheets. If you are new to the web, why not try the BBC WebWise online course, Becoming WebWise? It's free, you can do it in your own time from any computer and it will take you through everything you need to know to use the web successfully in your teaching. Get WebWise. You can find out more about the technical requirements for Skillswise in our Help - Technical Information section. Taking it further: With Skillswise: Don't forget to check out the Skillswise Lesson plans and Teaching inspirations areas for more ideas about teaching personal pronouns. On the web: Here's a few suggestions of other places on the web that you might find useful resources that you can adapt for teaching personal pronouns.

Object / subject worksheet This is a free worksheet from the Longman 'Spectrum' series that is available in PDF format (so you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software to be able to access it). It asks learners to pair up subject and object pronouns and then to re-write sentences that have been mixed up. Go down to Unit 7 and click on the 'Object Pronouns' link. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat software to view this, British Council game The British Council has a site with games and activities for people who are learning English as a foreign language. This includes a 'drag and drop' game for pronouns. The learner has to choose which

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category of pronoun a word comes under - object, subject, possessive or reflexive ... so it may be a bit high for level 1. It is also very lacking in feedback, as you don't get a response about whether you are right or wrong. Might be useful, however, for a student and tutor to use together. Worksheets galore! 13 worksheets from 'edHelper.com' practising both personal and possessive pronouns. Might be quite useful for early work, as the pronouns are broken down into pairs (e.g. choosing 'she' or 'her'). This is an American site and you can subscribe for more worksheets and lesson plans, but the pronoun ones are available for free. Teacher Resource Exchange This is a site set up by the UK government to allow teachers to exchange lesson ideas, plans and worksheets. This particular resource is aimed at Key Stage 2, but doesn't feel particularly non-adult. There are 2 charts showing personal and possessive pronouns and 2 exercises - the first sorting personal and possessive pronouns and the second identifying pronouns in sentences. Interesting discussion point? On the BBC's H2G2 community pages it seems that personal pronouns have been causing a bit of a stir! The debate seems to centre on how using the wrong pronoun can be perceived as being sexist (are builders always 'he'?) and how some people seem to go to great lengths never to reveal the gender of their partner. Could this be a good game for raising awareness of pronouns - talk about someone you know without ever giving away what sex they are?

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Verb subject agreement

How to make verbs agree with their subjects 1. What are verbs and subjects? Verbs are action words e.g. eat, sleep, talk, walk, do, buy are all verbs Subjects are the person or thing who are doing the action of the verb e.g.I eat; The dog sleeps; George talks a lot; They walk to work. The subject of a sentence can be singular (one) or plural (many). e.g. The computer is old. (singular) The computers are old. (plural) 2. What is verb-subject agreement? The verb form can change depending on whether the subject is singular or plural. e.g. The car park (singular subject) was (verb) full. The car parks (plural subject) were (verb) full. In these sentences each of the verbs agrees with its subject. The correct verb form has been used. The verb must always agree with its subject. Single subject = single verb, plural subject = plural verb. 3. How does this work? In regular verbs: singular First person Second person Third person I like bananas. you like bananas. he / she / it likes bananas. plural We like bananas. you like bananas. they like bananas.

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She likes to cycle to work.(correct) / She like to cycle to work.(incorrect) We like swimming. (correct) / We likes swimming. (incorrect) Helpful hint: 's' is added to the third person singular. This is the way most regular verbs in the present tense work.

Problems with verb-subject agreement
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Irregular verbs Not all verbs work in a regular way (see factsheet 1). Some of the most common verbs are irregular. e.g. be, go, do, have Verbs and subjects must still agree, but you have to learn and remember the way the irregular ones work. Note the correct verb form for the third person singular for these irregular verbs: 'to do' = I do - he / she / it does (NOT do) 'to have' = I have - he / she / it has (NOT have) 'to go' = I go - he / she / it goes (NOT go) e.g. She does karate on Thursdays. They do lots of sparring. It has soft fur. They have soft hands. She goes sailing every month. I go every week.

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Too many words Sometimes it's difficult to work out the subject, because there are lots of words between the subject and the verb e.g.Steve, who has just returned from Australia, does not intend to go back. (Singular subject, 'Steve' = singular verb)

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The children, excited about Father Christmas, went to bed early without complaining. (Plural subject, 'children' = plural verb) The best thing on television last night was EastEnders. (Singular subject, 'thing' = singular verb)

Problems with plurals in verb-subject agreement

Sometimes the subject (the person or thing doing the action of the verb) may seem to be plural, because it is a 'collective noun' - a singular (one) noun that groups together many things or people. e.g. A swarm of bees = 1 swarm, containing many bees A pack of cards = 1 pack, containing many cards This is an area of some debate, but as they are treated as a singular unit, collective nouns usually take the singular verb form. e.g. A herd of elephants was charging towards us. The class is very noisy today. My football team is doing really well.

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e.g. My colleague and manager were both promoted today. (Two people = plural subject) Rupert and Jane are football fans but Colin prefers shopping. (Two people = plural subject, takes the plural verb 'are'; one person = singular subject, takes the singular verb 'prefers')

e.g. The bag of shopping was too heavy to carry. (Bag of shopping = singular subject. Lots of shopping, but there's only one bag.) Remember: if you are unsure which verb form to use, look at the subject carefully. Is the subject singular (one), or plural (many)? A singular subject requires the singular verb form. A plural subject requires the plural verb form.

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'Verb subject agreement' tutor notes
The aim of the 'verb subject agreement' topic area is to revise the rules of making verbs agree with their subjects and to offer plenty of opportunities to learn by practice.

How does this tie in with the curriculums?

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England Rs/L1.1 - 'use implicit and explicit grammatical knowledge ... to predict meaning, try out plausible meanings and to read and check for sense.' Ws/L1.2 - 'understand that, while writing, a writer needs to keep checking that singular subjects have a singular verb and that plural subjects have a plural verb' Wales As England. Northern Ireland As England. Scotland See www.aloscotland.com for details of the Scottish curriculum.

In the Skillswise module you'll find:
Verb subject agreement - game There are 3 levels to this game, getting progressively more difficult. At each level, learners are given the chance to hunt for treasure after they successfully complete each task. At level 1 learners are asked to spot the subject of the sentence. At level 2 learners have to choose which form of the verb best fills the gap in the sentence (this covers some tense practice as well as verb-subject agreement). At level 3, the hardest level, learners are given a sentence and asked to re-type it using the new, given, subject. The sentence must be exactly right, with correct spelling and punctuation as well as correct verb subject agreement, to gain the chance to uncover the treasure. If you have any comments at all on this game, please do get in touch. Verb subject agreement - quiz As usual, there are 3 levels of quiz, which get harder as you progress from level A to level C. At level A learners have to answer 'true' or 'false' to a number of statements about verbs and subjects. Levels B and C ask learners to decide which sentence is correct. You might like to know that all the statements in level A are true. The tutor writing this material felt that it would be confusing to present students with statements that weren't true, as verb subject agreement is quite a confusing area. Let us know if you don't agree! Students can print out a certificate if they score 50% or more in the quiz. This will appear as a link on the results page - click on the link and the certificate will appear in a new window. Once printed students can write their name on the certificate.

55 Verb subject agreement - factsheets There are 3 factsheets in this section. They all give hints and tips and examples to help learners learn the rules of verb subject agreement. The first factsheet looks at the basic rules. The second looks at some common things that can cause errors and confusion and the last factsheet looks at some specific problems to do with working out if something is singular or plural. Verb subject agreement - worksheets There are 4 worksheets in this section. The worksheets ask learners to choose which are the right forms of verbs within a number of sentences, to spot verbform errors within an informative piece of text and to change singular verbs and nouns into plurals. If you have a great worksheet for practising verb subject agreement - tell us about it!

Technical help:
To get the most out of this topic area you need the following 'plug-ins':

Flash The game in this topic section uses Flash. This is free to download and should only take a few minutes. You can follow the BBC WebWise instructions to download it to your machine. Find out more.

If you don't have Flash the same learning points are covered in the quiz and in the worksheets and factsheets. If you are new to the web, why not try the BBC WebWise online course, Becoming WebWise? It's free, you can do it in your own time from any computer and it will take you through everything you need to know to use the web successfully in your teaching. Get WebWise. You can find out more about the technical requirements for Skillswise in our Help - Technical Information section.

Taking it further:
Here's a few suggestions of other places on the web that you might find useful as resources that you can adapt for teaching verb subject agreement.

Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University This American university website offers online guidelines for English language learning. This particular section of the website gives you several guidelines to help your subjects and verbs agree. Quiz from City University, Hong Kong This is a 22 question multiple-choice quiz aimed at learners of English as a foreign language. The learner has to choose the right form of the verb from a drop-down. They can then mark their own answers at the end. Quizzes galore! Multiple-choice quizzes where learners choose the right form of the verb. Again,

56 they can mark their own answers at the end. This is a US site from Chicago public schools. The font is still small, but these are probably the best quizzes for level. Quiz 1 = overview / quiz 2 = 'I' / quiz 3 = 'you' / quiz 4 = 'he' / quiz 5 = 'we' / quiz 6 = 'they' / quiz 7 = various Wise-up to verb subject agreement More background information on the ins and outs of making verbs and subjects agree. Enjoy!

Adjectives

What are adjectives?
Adjectives are describing words - they tell you more about nouns. Nouns are 'naming' words, they are a person, place or thing. Adjectives tell you more about the noun. Using adjectives makes your sentences more interesting. The pretty girls laughed. In this sentence: 'girls' is the noun (it says who's laughing). 'pretty' is the adjective (it says more about the noun). Here are some more sentences with nouns and adjectives.
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The fat captain ate dinner. Sam is blonde and gorgeous. Old Hani and I drove up the big hill.

Remember that adjectives tell you about the noun, they describe the noun. Don't confuse adjectives with adverbs. Adverbs describe the verb, they tell you more about an action eg: 'he laughed loudly'. Remember that adjectives usually come before the noun. You can use more than one adjective if you need to. Eg: The tall, bright, beautiful waitress picked up the dark, dirty coffee. There are rules about the order that you should put adjectives in when you use more than one, but the best way to know is to say the sentence to yourself. Does it sound right?

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'Adjectives' tutor notes
The aim of the adjectives topic area is to remind learners what adjectives are and to encourage them to use adjectives to make their sentences more interesting. This area also reminds learners that adjectives can be used to make texts positive or negative.

How does this tie in with the curriculums?

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England Rs/L1.1 - Use implicit and explicit grammatical knowledge along with own knowledge and experience to predict meaning, try out plausible meanings, and to read and check for sense. Rw/L1.2 - Recognise and understand the vocabulary associated with different types of text. Wt/L1.4, - Use language suitable for purpose and audience. Wales As England. Northern Ireland As England. Scotland See www.aloscotland.com for details of the Scottish curriculum.

In the Skillswise module you'll find:
Adjectives game The learner is advised that they've got a new job on a newspaper. The training programme has three levels - lonely hearts, classifieds and late news editor. The learner has to make the ads more interesting by picking the best adjective from a selection. Not every adjective will work everywhere. Sometimes a word will be refused because it doesn't make sense, sometimes it won't work grammatically in the sentence (eg: where it would need 'an' and not 'a' before it). Don't try and get the student to do all 3 levels at once, this is meant to be a game that people can come back to and play again and again. In the 'Lonely hearts' section look out for the secret 'bonus' bit, only available when the student has amended the adverts of all the people. The last section, 'Late news editor', specifically practises positive and negative adjectives. TOP TIP! To see the game completely full screen, press the F11 key on the keyboard. This takes away the distraction of the top browser bar. To bring the browser bar back, just press F11 again! Adjectives quiz The learner can choose their level. Level A asks learners to choose the best adjective for the job, level B deals with identifying the adjective and level C asks learners to identify positive and negative adjectives. We have now put in place a system that will allow the student to print out a certificate if they score 50% or more in the quiz. This will appear as a link on

59 the results page - click on the link and the certificate will appear in a new window. Students can write their name in once the certificate is printed. Adjectives factsheet The facts about adjectives, with examples, on one 'print-out-and-keep' sheet. Adjectives worksheet Once a student has tried the game, maybe they'd like to write their own personal advert? Or each member of the class could write an advert for someone else - then the students have to work out who everyone is. This worksheet provides a template, plus some suggested adjectives.

Technical help:
To get the most out of this topic area you need the following 'plug-ins':

Flash The game in this topic section uses Flash. This is free to download and should only take a few minutes. You can follow the BBC WebWise instructions to download it to your machine. Find out more.

If you don't have Flash the same learning points are covered in the quiz and in the worksheets and factsheets. If you are new to the web, why not try the BBC WebWise online course, Becoming WebWise? It's free, you can do it in your own time from any computer and it will take you through everything you need to know to use the web successfully in your teaching. Get WebWise. You can find out more about the technical requirements for Skillswise in our Help - Technical Information section.

Taking it further:
With Skillswise: Don't forget to check out the Skillswise Lesson plans and Teaching inspirations areas for more ideas about teaching adjectives. On the web: Here's a few suggestions of other places on the web that you might find useful resources that you can adapt for teaching adjectives.

UK Adult Basic Skills Resource Centre A complete, FREE, follow-on lesson plan (complete with great printable resources) from this excellent basic skills resources site. Sent in by a tutor everything is mapped to the curriculum, there are links to other resources such as adjectives games and suggestions for further activities. It would seem that this is the home of the now renowned lemon sherbet game! The science of adjectives Did you know that the adjectives you choose to include in your lonely heart advert

60 reveal an awful lot about you and that in lonely hearts 'the veneer of civilisation is stripped away and men and women are slaves to their most basic instincts'. Professor Robin Dunbar of Liverpool University has spent a lot of time studying lonely hearts adverts and this is his conclusion. On the BBC Science site you can fill in your own advert and get the benefit of his insight. The font is small and the language is quite complicated, but it would be a lovely exercise to adapt. EastEnders Get your students to write a personal ad for their favourite EastEnders character. Do they think Pauline needs help with her love life? Visit the characters page to print out summaries of each character. Loot The website for the famous classified ads magazine will let you hunt for cars, homes and even musical instruments. Choose your category and then browse by 'classification' to find real small ads for use in class. Or if you're feeling adventurous, set the class a set of criteria and let them search!

Commas
When to use commas
We use commas in two main ways: 1. Commas separate the items in a list. Sometimes these items are real things. E.g. I need some pens, pencils, paper and a calculator before I start my class. I must buy some eggs, milk, sugar and tea. Sometimes these items are things you do, or places you go. E.g. Yesterday I went to work, played badminton, went to the pub and then went to bed. I'm going to spend my holiday walking on the beach, sleeping in the sun and reading my book. BEWARE! Always make sure you use and to separate the last two items in your list. Make sure that you don't use a comma before the word and at the end of your list. Don't use commas where you should use a full-stop. If the words could stand alone as a proper sentence then you need to put a full-stop or a joining word ('and', 'but' etc) in and not a comma. 'Yesterday I went to work, I walked the dog, I went shopping and I washed the car.' This doesn't work as these could all stand alone as proper short sentences. If you want to write them as a list (for example, to show you were in a hurry, or that you had a lot to do) take out the 'I'. 'Yesterday I went to work, walked the dog, went shopping and washed the car.'

61 2. Commas mark out the less important part of a sentence. This is a useful way to make your sentences more interesting by adding extra information. E.g. The car, which was parked by the light, had a dog in the back seat. This sentence is about the car and the dog, it's not about where the car was parked. Tony, his mum's favourite, was given chocolate cake for tea. This sentence is about Tony eating chocolate cake. We don't need 'his mum's favourite' for the sentence to make sense, it's extra information. Rajinda, the youngest in the family, is about to get married. This sentence is about Rajinda getting married, it's not about her position in the family. HOW CAN I CHECK? A quick way to check this second use of commas is to see if the sentence makes sense without the words between the commas. The first sentence 'The car, which was parked by the light, had a dog in the back seat.' would become 'The car ____ had a dog in the back seat.' This sentence makes sense so the commas are in the right places.

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'Commas' tutor notes
The commas topic area aims to help learners revise the use of commas to separate items in a list and to mark out information in a sentence that is 'extra'. Related topic areas on Skillswise are: Making simple sentences Compound sentences

How does this tie in with the curriculums?

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England Rs/L1.1 - Use grammatical knowledge to predict meaning and read and check for sense Rs/L1.2 - Use punctuation to help understanding. Ws/L1.1 - Understand that complete sentences should not be strung together with commas (comma splicing) Ws/L1.3 - Punctuate sentences correctly and use punctuation so that meaning is clear. Be clear about where not to use commas. Wales As England. Northern Ireland As England. Scotland See www.aloscotland.com for details of the Scottish curriculum.

In the Skillswise module you'll find:
Commas factsheet The facts about commas, with examples, on one 'print-out-and-keep' sheet. Commas game In this Flash game learners are told that it's their first day at work. Through activities such as getting their colleagues cups of tea, they have to amend sentences deciding whether a comma or 'and' is more appropriate. They are also asked to match the right picture to the sentence, demonstrating that the meaning of a sentence can be changed by a comma. After feedback from you we have recently updated this game. When the 'and' is erased the personal pronoun (normally the 'I') is now taken too, so that you are left with a list and not with separate proper sentences. Many thanks to everyone who pointed this out to us. TOP TIP! To see the game completely full screen, press the F11 key on the keyboard. This takes away the distraction of the top browser bar. To bring the browser bar back, just press F11 again! Commas activity Unfortunately, because of copyright changes, we have had to take down the BBC Radio 4 programme 'Cutting a dash', which was all about commas. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

70 Commas quiz The learner can choose their level. Level A is the easiest, level C the hardest. At each level the learner has to choose the sentence that has the commas in the right place. Students can print out a certificate if they score 50% or more in the quiz. This will appear as a link on the results page - click on the link and the certificate will appear in a new window. Once printed students can write their name on the certificate. Commas worksheets There are 3 worksheets in this section (plus each worksheet has a printable answer sheet). The worksheets are basically texts (a diary and two informative pieces) which the students have to add commas to.

Technical help:
To get the most out of this topic area you need the following 'plug-ins':

Flash The game in this topic section uses Flash. This is free to download and should only take a few minutes. You can follow the BBC WebWise instructions to download it to your machine. Find out more.

If you don't have Flash the same learning points are covered in the quiz and in the worksheets and factsheets. If you are new to the web, why not try the BBC WebWise online course, Becoming WebWise? It's free, you can do it in your own time from any computer and it will take you through everything you need to know to use the web successfully in your teaching. Get WebWise. You can find out more about the technical requirements for Skillswise in our Help - Technical Information section.

Taking it further:
Don't forget to visit Lesson plans and Teaching inspirations for more ideas for teaching commas. Here's a few suggestions of other places on the web that you might find useful resources that you can adapt for teaching commas.

Recipes At the BBC Food site tickle your tastebuds by browsing through the recipes. You could print out recipes with a small number of ingredients and ask learners to write a shopping list using commas. Film reviews Take a look at the latest film reviews on the BBC Films site. You could print out your favourite film reviews, create a version without the commas and ask the learners to read and amend them.

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More online exercises There's plenty more information about commas on this site AND 5 online exercises (all with printable versions). The background information is clear, but is aimed at university students. The exercises should be accessible to L1 / L2 learners. The whole thing is brought to you by the Owl Online Writing Lab at Purdue University in the US. Interview with Lynne Truss Lynne Truss's book about all things punctuation (especially the misplaced comma) 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves' was the surprising best seller of 2003. This Guardian interview could be usefully adapted for the classroom, or try the BBC News article and punctuation quiz.

Making sentences
Rules and examples to help you make simple sentences.
To make a sentence you need three things: 1. A sentence is a group of words that makes sense on its own. Cheese, car, house, table on Tuesday. This isn't a sentence - it doesn't make sense. I parked my car next to my house. This is a sentence. You can understand what it means. It makes sense on its own. 2. When you are writing you need to use the right sentence punctuation. Using punctuation will show the person who is reading your writing where the sentences begin and end.
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A sentence must begin with a capital letter. A sentence must end with a full-stop (.), a question mark (?), or an exclamation mark (!).

BEWARE! Sometimes people confuse the punctuation to use at the end of a sentence. You can use commas (,), colons (:) or semicolons (;) in your writing, but they should never be used instead of a full-stop. 3. A sentence also needs two kinds of words in it:
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A sentence must have a VERB (a doing word). e.g. like, is, cooking, walked, need. A sentence must also have a SUBJECT. This is the person, or the thing, that is doing the verb. e.g. I, Beppe, Tuesday, dog, you, table, the weather,.

Here are some examples of sentences that show you the verbs and the subjects: Last week Peggy redecorated the pub.

72 Are you hungry yet? Martin, be quiet. Tuesday was very rainy and cold. Other things to know about sentences: Sentences can be very short, or very long. There is no correct number of words that should be in a sentence. The length of the sentence depends on what you want to say and the effect you want to get. BEWARE! If your sentences go on for many lines, make sure that you haven't really put several sentences together as one sentence. It's important to remember that you don't always need to write in sentences. For example, a shopping list doesn't need sentences, but a job application does.

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'Making sentences' tutor notes
The aim of the 'making sentences' topic area is to revise the basics of how to structure a simple sentence. The section concentrates on how to identify where sentences should end and begin in texts and what the key grammatical elements of a sentence are - i.e. the rules. Once learners are confident making simple sentences, they can progress to the 'commas' module and / or the putting sentences together' module that practises using conjunctions to put sentences together.

How does this tie in with the curriculums?

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England Rs/L1.1 - 'Use implicit and explicit grammatical knowledge ... to predict meaning, try out plausible meanings and to read and check for sense.' Rs/L1.2 - 'Use of punctuation to help their understanding.' 'Secure knowledge of end-of-sentence punctuation ... in helping to make sense of continuous text.' Ws/L1.1 - 'Write in complete sentences'. 'Learn to recognise sentence boundaries when proof-reading their own writing by looking for where a new idea or action begins.' Ws/L1.3 - 'Punctuate sentences correctly and use punctuation so that meaning is clear. 'Know all the punctuation markers for the beginning and end of sentences, and know when to use each one.' NB:Skillswise resources are designed for students at level 1. There is some crossover with this module, however, with level 3 - Rs/E3.3 and Ws/E3.3. This arose because tutors have advised us that even at level 1 students have some problems with the basics of sentence construction. Wales As England. Northern Ireland As England. Scotland See www.aloscotland.com for details of the Scottish curriculum.

In the Skillswise module you'll find:
Making sentences games There are 3 games in this module. They look and feel the same, but progress in complexity. In game 1 the learner must identify whether a line of text is a sentence or not with a simple 'yes' / 'no' option. In game 2 the learner must choose the beginning or ending that will make the text on the page into a sentence. In game 3 the learner is offered a choice of 6 punctuation-free texts to work on. Each text has an audio reading available and in each text the learner must mark out the sentences by clicking the mouse where they believe a capital letter or full-stop should appear. In each game there is a timer option. Timing is one of the most difficult things to work out when building a game. If you feel that the game is too fast (or too

84 slow!) then do let us know. You can contact us about this and anything to do with this module here Making sentences quiz The learner can choose their level. Level A is the easiest and level C the hardest. All 3 levels deal with identifying the essential parts of a sentence (verb, subject etc) and testing the learner's knowledge of the rules of simple sentence making. Students can print out a certificate if they score 50% or more in the quiz. This will appear as a link on the results page - click on the link and the certificate will appear in a new window. Once printed students can write their name on the certificate. Making sentences factsheet The facts about making simple sentences, with examples, on one 'print-outand-keep' sheet. Making sentences worksheets There are 5 worksheets in this section. These range from adding the correct end-of-sentence punctuation to a number of sentences, to spotting whether sentences are complete or not, to writing sentences for a letter of complaint from a selection of given words. If you have more ideas for sentence worksheets tell us about them!

Technical help:
To get the most out of this topic area you need the following 'plug-ins':

Flash The game in this topic section uses Flash. This is free to download and should only take a few minutes. You can follow the BBC WebWise instructions to download it to your machine. Find out more.

If you don't have Flash the same learning points are covered in the quiz and in the worksheets and factsheets. If you are new to the web, why not try the BBC WebWise online course, Becoming WebWise? It's free, you can do it in your own time from any computer and it will take you through everything you need to know to use the web successfully in your teaching. Get WebWise. You can find out more about the technical requirements for Skillswise in our Help - Technical Information section.

Taking it further:
With Skillswise: Don't forget to check out the Skillswise Lesson plans and Teaching inspirations areas for more ideas about teaching sentences.

85 On the web: Here's a few suggestions of other places on the web that you might find useful resources that you can adapt for teaching the basics of making sentences.

Job requirements game This is a printable resource available online. There are two sets of cards to print out - the jobs and the skills needed for those jobs. Students choose one of each to make a sentence. You could use the resource to make simple sentences, but also to extend work into more complex sentences - e.g.'Pilots must be good at languages because they travel a lot.' Scrambled sentences As with the link above, there is no information on this site about who has created it, but the game is quite good. The learner has to 'drag and drop' a selection of words into the correct order to make the sentence. The sentences seem to all be about auctions (?) so they are definitely aimed at adults rather than children. The site is a US site.

Putting sentences together
How to put simple sentences together
Constant use of short sentences can be a bit strange to read. To make your writing more interesting, you can use two other sorts of longer sentences. The simplest of these is the compound sentence. How do I make a compound sentence? When you have two or more short, independent, simple sentences which are of equal weight you can join them together using special words called conjunctions. e.g. 'I hate curry.' is a simple sentence. 'I like Thai food.' is also a simple sentence. You can put these together to make one, longer and more interesting compound sentence using a conjunction 'I hate curry' + but + 'I like Thai food' = 'I hate curry, but I like Thai food.'
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Junctions join two or more roads together, so we use conjunctions to join two or more short sentences together Commas are not conjunctions and they should never be used to join short sentences together (commas aren't sticky, so you can't use them to stick information together!). These are the most common conjunctions: and, as, but, or, so

Try to avoid using the same conjunction over and over again. It is much better to 'mix and match'.

86 BEWARE! The conjunction that you use may change the meaning of your sentence! Conjunctions don't just stick sentences together, they show the relationship between the pieces of information. e.g. Note the slightly different meaning in these sentences: I walked home. I was tired. I walked home and I was tired. I walked home as I was tired. I walked home but I was tired. I walked home so I was tired. I walked home or I was tired. The final sentence, using or doesn't really make sense. You can't use every conjunction everywhere - so choose wisely!

Complex sentences
Constant use of short sentences can be a bit strange to read. To make your writing more interesting, you can use two other sorts of longer sentences. Factsheet 1 looked at 'compound' sentences. This factsheet looks at 'complex' sentence. How do I make a complex sentence? When you make a compound sentence (see factsheet 1) you are joining two or more simple sentences together with a conjunction. If you took the conjunction away, the sentences would be complete and they would still make sense. e.g. 'I hate curry, but I like Thai food.'= 'I hate curry' + but + 'I like Thai food' This isn't the same for complex sentences. Complex sentences don't just divide into neat, complete, simple sentences if you take out the conjunctions. In complex sentences the conjunction is used to join together clauses. A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb. Some of these clauses might be complete short sentences, but in a complex sentence at least one of them will depend on the conjunction for its meaning. In other words, if you take the conjunction away, the sentence won't divide into complete units that make sense by themselves. e.g. 'The dinner was burned because she had forgotten it.' = 'The dinner was burned' + 'because' + 'she had forgotten it.' This is a complex sentence:
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'The dinner was burned' = complete, short sentence 'because' = conjunction (joining word) 'she had forgotten it' = subordinate clause. This doesn't make sense on its own. What had she forgotten? This is called a 'subordinate clause' because without the rest of the sentence it doesn't really make sense.

'Although I'm not very good, I really enjoy playing football.' = 'Although' + 'I'm not very good' + 'I really enjoy playing football.' Again, this is a complex sentence:

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'Although' = conjunction (joining word). Yes, sometimes conjunctions can appear at the beginning of a sentence! 'I'm not very good' = subordinate clause. This doesn't make sense on its own. What are you not very good at? This is called a 'subordinate clause' because without the rest of the sentence it doesn't really make sense. 'I enjoy playing football' = complete short sentence

BEWARE! As for compound sentences, commas are not conjunctions and they should never be used to join short sentences or clauses together (commas aren't sticky, so you can't use them to stick information together!). e.g. 'The dinner was burned, she had forgotten it.' = incorrect 'The dinner was burned because she had forgotten it.' = correct

The important joining words
Factsheets 1 and 2 told you about making more interesting sentences by using compound and complex sentences. For both of these, you need a good selection of conjunctions, or joining words. The 'magnificent seven' conjunctions (the most commonly used) are: and, although, as, because, but, if, or

There are a number of other important conjunctions that you can use. These can be put into categories of time, place, or agreement. TIME = before, after, until, since, when, whenever, while

e.g. We all went home before a fight broke out. She went to bed after she put the cat out. There will be no peace until somebody says that they are sorry. It has not been the same around here since our friends moved away. They put the television off when the programme had finished. He washes his new car whenever it gets mucky. The children go to the crèche while Mum goes to work. PLACE = where

e.g. Remember that restaurant where you ate a huge steak.

88 AGREEMENT = though, although, whether

e.g. He could play the violin though he was only five years old. I would invite you to come in although the place is a mess. It was a great show whether you wanted to join in or just watch. Remember!
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Try to avoid using the same conjunction over and over again. It is much better to 'mix and match'. The conjunction you use can change the meaning of the sentence. You can't use every conjunction everywhere - so choose wisely!

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'Putting sentences together' tutor notes
The aim of the 'putting sentences together' topic area is to revise how to put complete simple sentences together into longer, compound sentences using conjunctions. Comma splicing is also covered here. We recommend that students look at the commas and making simple sentences sections of the site, before tackling this module.

How does this tie in with the curriculums?

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England Rs/L1.1 - 'Use implicit and explicit grammatical knowledge ... to predict meaning, try out plausible meanings and to read and check for sense.' Ws/L1.1 - 'write in complete sentences ...understand that sentences can be joined with a wider range of conjunctions than 'as', 'and', 'but'. E.g. 'if', 'so', 'while', 'though', 'since', 'when' ...' 'understand that complete sentences should not be strung together with commas (comma splicing) but should be split into separate sentences or be correctly joined...' Wales As England. Northern Ireland As England. Scotland See www.aloscotland.com for details of the Scottish curriculum.

In the Skillswise module you'll find:
Putting sentences together - games There are now 3 games in this section. These games are very similar in structure to the games in the 'Making simple sentences' module. In game 1 learners simply spot the compound sentence and in game 2 they chose the correct ending for the compound sentence. Both these games pull in sentences each time from a 'pot' of 50 sentences, so the game can be played several times before encountering all the same sentences. Game 3 is a little different as it practises 'drag and drop', where learners need quite good mouse control to 'drag' items from a list and 'drop' them into the correct place in a text. In this game learners can chose from 6 different texts to drop in commas, conjunctions and full-stops. Please do tell us what you think of these games. Putting sentences together - quiz 3 levels of quiz to test compound sentence skills. The learner can choose their level. Level A asks learners to spot the joining word, level B asks learners to choose the best joining word to fill the gap and level C asks learners to choose from joining words, commas and full-stops and concentrates on how different joining words can effect meaning. We have now put in place a system that will allow the student to print out a certificate if they score 50% or more in the quiz. This will appear as a link on

98 the results page - click on the link and the certificate will appear in a new window. Learners can write their name in once the certificate is printed. Putting sentences together - factsheets There are two factsheets in this section. They both give hints and tips and examples for using conjunctions to bring two sentences together into a longer, compound sentence. The first factsheet looks at the most common conjunctions (and, although, as, because, but, if, or). The second looks at some less common conjunctions that are specified in level 1 of the curriculum (see below for curriculum references). Putting sentences together - worksheets There are four printable worksheets with answersheets in this section. The first looks at the most common conjunctions, numbers two and three look at using some less common conjunctions and worksheet four deals with comma splicing. Worksheets are fairly easy to add, so if you have a good idea for a worksheet that practises using conjunctions tell us about it!

Technical help:
To get the most out of this topic area you need the following 'plug-ins':

Flash The game in this topic section uses Flash. This is free to download and should only take a few minutes. You can follow the BBC WebWise instructions to download it to your machine. Find out more.

If you don't have Flash the same learning points are covered in the quiz and in the worksheets and factsheets. If you are new to the web, why not try the BBC WebWise online course, Becoming WebWise? It's free, you can do it in your own time from any computer and it will take you through everything you need to know to use the web successfully in your teaching. Get WebWise. You can find out more about the technical requirements for Skillswise in our Help - Technical Information section.

Taking it further:
With Skillswise: Don't forget to check out the Skillswise Lesson plans and Teaching inspirations areas for more ideas about teaching sentences. On the web: Here's a few suggestions of other places on the web that you might find useful resources that you can adapt for teaching compound sentences.

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BBC Bitesize - Key Stage 3 Exercise designed for Key Stage 3 school pupils, but the context is adult enough to use with adult students if you print out the page and remove references to 'Key Stage 3'. There is another printable worksheet on this Key Stage 3 site which may also be helpful, covering both compound and complex sentences. Learners have to fill the gaps in a story from a selection of given conjunctions. Conjunctions quiz This is a French based site designed for EFL students, but it is written entirely in English and has a large selection of free activities to choose from. The conjunctions quiz is multiple-choice, with immediate feedback. Learners have to choose the most appropriate way of linking the sentences / clauses given. Another quiz! Another ESL site, this time created by the Internet TESL journal. Loads of free activities. The conjunctions quiz practises a lot of the conjunctions covered in this module, but it might be better used as a printed resource as it isn't actually interactive! Hunt the conjunction A bizarre little tool that allows you to search for examples of conjunctions in places like the Bible, Agatha Christie stories and some newspaper and business publications. Type a conjunction into the text box that says 'search string', then choose your 'corpus' (e.g. Agatha Christie), then hit the 'search for concordances' button.

Getting the right tense
The simple present
The tense of a verb tells us when the action was done. The action can be done in the past, present or future.

When do I use the present tense? There are two types of present tense 1. Present simple

Use the present simple form of a verb when
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The action takes place now. e.g. I want you to help me now. The action is something that happens regularly. e.g. I walk the dog everyday.

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You are describing things that are generally true. e.g. Train travel is expensive.

NOTE! When it is 'he', 'she' or 'it' doing the action, remember to add 's', 'es' or change the 'y' to 'ies'. e.g.
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I like football, we like football, he likes football. I always try hard, we always try hard, she always tries hard. I watch a lot of films, we watch a lot of films, he watches a lot of films. I seem OK, we seem OK, it seems OK.

The continuous present
The tense of a verb tells us when the action was done. The action can be done in the past, present or future.

When do I use the present tense? There are two types of present tense 2. Present continuous

Use the present continuous form of a verb when:

The action isn't a single action, it is an action that carries on. It is good for describing what people are doing at a particular moment. e.g. I am kicking the ball. He is walking the dog.

The present continuous is made by having am, is or are + the verb + 'ing'. I you we they he she it am are working hard working hard

is

working hard

101 NOTE! Sometimes you can use the present continuous to talk about the future. e.g. I am going on holiday on Friday. This is explained in factsheet 5.

Talking about the past (1)
The tense of a verb tells us when the action was done. The action can be done in the past, present or future. When do I use the past tense? There are many ways of talking about the past in English, but the two main ones are the simple past and the continuous past. 1. Simple past

Use the simple past form of a verb when you are talking about an action that took place at a specific point in the past and that is now finished. e.g. I kicked the ball and scored a goal. I walked the dog yesterday. I went to Florida last year. NOTE! The simple past is formed in different ways for regular and irregular verbs. For regular verbs there is a rule, but irregular verbs just have to be learned!

e.g. 'I live in London now, but I lived in France for five years' = regular simple past tense 'I normally go to work by bus, but yesterday I went in the car' = irregular simple past tense

Talking about the past (2)
The tense of a verb tells us when the action was done. The action can be done in the past, present or future. When do I use the past tense? There are many ways of talking about the past in English, but the two main ones are the simple past and the continuous past. 2. Past continuous

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Use the past continuous form of a verb when you want to talk about a long action that carried on in the past. The continuous past is often used to describe what people were doing when something else happened. e.g. I was kicking the ball when Dave broke his arm. He was walking the dog when I saw George. The past continuous is made by having was, or were + the verb + 'ing'. I he she it you we they was working hard

were

working hard

Talking about the future
The tense of a verb tells us when the action was done. The action can be done in the past, present or future. When do I use the future tense? There are three main ways of talking about the future. You can say:
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I will work late tomorrow. = future tense I am working late tomorrow. = present continuous tense I am going to work late tomorrow. = 'going to' + verb

1. Future tense This is made by 'will' or 'shall' + the verb, as in the example above 'I will work late tomorrow.' Note that 'will' and 'shall' are often shortened. e.g. Autumn will soon be here. It'll break if you drop it. What will you do? I don't know what I'll do 2. Present continuous You can use the present continuous when you are making plans. It's useful to talk about definite arrangements in the near future, as in the example above 'I am working late tomorrow.' e.g. What time are you leaving tomorrow? I'm leaving at 8 O'clock. I'm going out tomorrow. I'm getting a new car next week.

103 3. Going to 'Going to' + the verb is also useful to talk about plans. It suggests that something is decided. e.g. What are you going to do this evening? I'm going to watch a film on TV. I think it's going to rain. He's going to play football.

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'Getting the right tense' tutor notes
The aim of the 'getting the right tense' topic area is to revise the formation and use of the present simple and continuous, the past simple and continuous and the future tenses.

How does this tie in with the curriculums?

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England Rs/L1.1 - 'Use implicit and explicit grammatical knowledge ... to predict meaning, try out plausible meanings and to read and check for sense.' Ws/L1.2 - 'use correct grammar ...e.g. correct use of tense' 'understand that it is easy to change tense unintentionally while writing and that it is important to check for the correct tense...' Wales As England. Northern Ireland As England. Scotland See www.aloscotland.com for details of the Scottish curriculum.

In the Skillswise module you'll find:
Getting the right tense - worksheets There are six printable worksheets (with answersheets where appropriate) in this section. The first worksheet compares the past and present tense and asks students to fill the gaps using the past tense. The second worksheet is another gap-fill, but this time the learner is asked to use the present tense. This worksheet also asks learners to complete a few sentences using the present and past tenses about how their life has changed over the past 10 years. Worksheet 3 looks at 'Annie's holiday' and practises using the present and future tenses, whilst worksheet 4 asks learners to use the 3 most common ways of talking about the future to dream about things they would like to do in the future. In worksheet 5 there is a tenses table where learners have to write the past, present and future tense of verbs. Worksheet 6 is a letter written to a potential pen pal. Learners have to select the correct tense of the verbs. If you have a great worksheet for practising tenses, or if you think we haven't got it quite right, tell us about it! Getting the right tense - game This module uses a version of the 'Treasure Hunt' game for learners to practise their tenses. The game has 3 levels. At level 1 learners have to type the word(s) they think make up the verb in the given sentence into the text box. At level 2 learners are presented with 4 options to fill a gap in a given sentence and they have to chose the right one. Each option is in a different tense (and there are occasional examples of the imperative at this level). Level 3 is the hardest level and involves learners re-typing a whole sentence in a new, given, tense. At this level learners must get everything right - the use of the tense, plus all their spelling and punctuation (although the feedback is quite 'intelligent' and will be

115 able to tell a learner whether their error was in the use of the tense or in their typing). For each level, when a learner is right they are taken to the treasure map for a chance to uncover all the hidden treasure. If there is anything about this game you really like or dislike, please do let us know! Contact us via our feedback page. Getting the right tense - quiz 3 levels of multiple-choice quiz to test tenses skills. The learner can choose their level. Level 'A' is the simplest and asks learners to say which tense a verb is written in (mostly through 'true' and 'false'). At levels 'B' and 'C' the learner must decide which sentence is correct. We have now put in place a system that will allow the student to print out a certificate if they score 50% or more in the quiz. This will appear as a link on the results page - click on the link and the certificate will appear in a new window. A student can write their name in once the certificate is printed. Getting the right tense - factsheets There are 5 factsheets in this section. The first one looks at the present simple, the second at the present continuous, the third at talking about the past using the simple past and the fourth at using the past continuous to talk about the past. The last factsheet looks at the 3 most common ways of talking about the future (the future tense, the present continuous and 'going to'). Tenses is quite a complicated area and all of these factsheets are designed to be revision resources. They give a brief overview of the formation of the tense and details of where it is appropriate to use it.

Technical help:
To get the most out of this topic area you need the following 'plug-ins':

Flash The game in this topic section uses Flash. This is free to download and should only take a few minutes. You can follow the BBC WebWise instructions to download it to your machine. Find out more.

If you don't have Flash the same learning points are covered in the quiz and in the worksheets and factsheets. If you are new to the web, why not try the BBC WebWise online course, Becoming WebWise? It's free, you can do it in your own time from any computer and it will take you through everything you need to know to use the web successfully in your teaching. Get WebWise. You can find out more about the technical requirements for Skillswise in our Help - Technical Information section.

Taking it further:

116 Here's a few suggestions of other places on the web that you might find useful resources that you can adapt for teaching tenses.

BBC Learning English This is the BBC World Service site that aims to help EFL students improve their English. Here you can find a past tense quiz and a language bank that includes answers to tense questions. While you're there, why not delve into the music of the 70's, 80's and 90's in Retro English and use the text and audio descriptions to practise talking about the past? Tutor recommended! Many thanks to Jo who emailed us to recommend this ESL / EFL English grammar site, 'Englishpage.com'. It's free, easy to use and has a large number of resources built around tenses. There's plenty of overview material (with a great 'quick fix' grid at the bottom of the screen), backed up with interactive exercises. Games galore! This is the British Council website, so it is aimed at students of English as a foreign language. This page links you to lots of games that practise various tenses. The games are built in JavaScript, so they should work on most machines (you don't need the Flash plug-in). Most of them involve using the mouse to 'drag and drop' and are fairly simple to follow. However, they are not always that legible! Lesson plans and ideas Dave's ESL cafe is a famous resource in ESL circles and you'll find a feast of ideas here. All the ideas are sent in from ESL teachers from around the world. First time in England Written by a TEFL teacher from Hove, this site is a free resource. It's the story of two Spanish students coming to England for the first time to attend college. The story is divided into chapters and is written in simple English. Some chapters have exercises attached, but otherwise these might be passages that you could print out and adapt. Chapter 2 looks at the present simple and continuous, Chapter 14 looks at the irregular simple past. Flash games - type in the right tense Another ESL site, this is part of a project organised by the Internet TESL Journal. There are quite a few tenses games here, including a very simple but effective game where learners have to type in the right version of the verb.

Double negatives
What are double negatives?
A double negative happens when you put two negative words together in the same sentence. If the two negative words are talking about the same thing, they cancel each other out - so the message becomes positive. This is confusing and it is a major mistake if you are in a formal situation (for example, writing a letter or at a job interview). Examples of negatives: Negative words no, not, none Negative verbs doesn't, isn't, wasn't

117 no-one, nothing, nowhere neither, nobody, never wouldn't, couldn't, shouldn't won't, can't, don't

If you combine any two of the above words in the same idea, your sentence will be positive (the opposite to what you intended).

Negative + negative = positive. So only use one negative word in a sentence when you want to say that something is negative.

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'Double negatives' tutor notes
Whilst the curriculum talks about the use of negative verbs, in our research sessions with tutors we found that everyone felt that double negatives were a real problem for level 1 learners. We have therefore chosen to concentrate our work on negatives on this area. If you feel differently please let us know.

How does this tie in with the curriculums?

• • •

England Rs/L1.1 - 'Use implicit and explicit grammatical knowledge ... to predict meaning, try out plausible meanings and to read and check for sense.' 'Understand the term negative' Ws/L1.2 - 'Write grammatically correct sentences...' Wt/L1.3 - 'Present information in a logical sequence, using paragraphs where appropriate' Wt/L1.6 - 'Proof-read and revise writing for accuracy and meaning' Wales As England. Northern Ireland As England. Scotland See www.aloscotland.com for details of the Scottish curriculum.

In the Skillswise module you'll find:
Double negatives - factsheet Print out this single factsheet to find out what a double negative is and how to avoid using it. Double negatives - activity As double negatives are especially a problem in a formal environment, this interactive flash activity focuses on helping Joanne get a job. There are three levels to the activity; at level 1 students have to help Joanne fill in the application form, at level 2 they help with the formal letter and at level 3 the students have to choose the correct speech bubble to help Joanne at her interview. Double negatives - quiz 3 levels of multiple-choice quiz to see if students have grasped the concept of double negatives. The learner can choose their level. Level 'A' is the simplest and level 'C' is the most difficult. We have now put in place a system that will allow the student to print out a certificate if they score 50% or more in the quiz. This will appear as a link on the results page - click on the link and the certificate will appear in a new window. Learners can write their name on the certificate once it is printed out. Double negatives - worksheets There are 3 printable worksheets (with answersheets where appropriate) in this section. In the first worksheet learners re-write sentences that contain a double

125 negative. In the second worksheet learners are asked to re-write a newspaper report and in worksheet 3 the objective is to find the correct sentences that make up a letter to the bank. If you have a great worksheet for learning about double negatives, or if you think we haven't got it quite right, tell us about it!

Technical help:
To get the most out of this topic area you need the following 'plug-ins':

Flash The game in this topic section uses Flash. This is free to download and should only take a few minutes. You can follow the BBC WebWise instructions to download it to your machine. Find out more.

If you don't have Flash the same learning points are covered in the quiz and in the worksheets and factsheets. If you are new to the web, why not try the BBC WebWise online course, Becoming WebWise? It's free, you can do it in your own time from any computer and it will take you through everything you need to know to use the web successfully in your teaching. Get WebWise. You can find out more about the technical requirements for Skillswise in our Help - Technical Information section.

Taking it further:
With Skillswise: Don't forget to check out the Skillswise Lesson plans and Teaching inspirations areas for more ideas about teaching double negatives. On the web: Here's a few suggestions of other places on the web that you might find useful resources that you can adapt for teaching double negatives.

BBC Learning English This is the BBC World Service site that aims to help EFL students improve their English. In the 'Learn it' archive there are answers to lots of grammar questions that have been sent in by students - including questions on the use of 'no' and 'not' and the use of 'no' and 'any'. Within this site you will also find a great section on English for work, which includes how to handle phone calls and how to get through a job interview. Has it always been this way? Brush up on a little history with this short piece on the evolution of the double negative from Oxford dictionaries online. It wasn't always a 'no no', as Chaucer and Shakespeare can testify.

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Factsheet and exercise Clearly laid out factsheet with a short exercise from the St Cloud State University in Minnesota. Worksheets Again these are primary resources, but once you have printed the two worksheets out you wouldn't really know that. The two sheets are available as web pages or as PDF documents. (If you want to access them as PDF files you will need to have the free Adobe Acrobat software on your machine.) Make your own quizzes, worksheets etc With this nifty - and free - resource you can put together and print out your own flash cards, quizzes, word lists, wordsearches.... The fun is endless - just make sure that you send them into our lesson plans area once you have created them!

Instructions
Following and writing instructions (grammar)
When you see instructions on signs, or in recipes or DIY manuals they are usually written using the imperative. The imperative is formed by using the verb [the action word] without 'to' or any noun or pronoun in front of it. E.G: 'You need to turn left at the Post office' becomes 'Turn left at the post office.' This type of instruction doesn't say WHO has to follow it. Here are some examples of instructions written using the imperative: Sentence You should not smoke here You must fix this with glue You must not run You will need 300g of flour = = = = Imperative instruction Don't smoke here Fix this with glue Don't run Take 300g of flour

This type of instruction isn't written as a full sentence. Imperative instructions are often written as a list, you start at the top and you work down. The list may be numbered, or may have bullet points. Imperative instructions should never be used when you are writing formally, for example in a letter to the bank.

127 If you see the imperative (E.G: 'Cook for 5 minutes') then you know you are looking at a set of instructions. You can find imperative instructions all over the place, they may be on a microwave meal, on a jar of medicine, or on a tin of paint. Look out for them especially on signs and notices.

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