Improve your English

Pronouns = singular and some are plural X Each of you have been given a pencil. Incorrect

Each of you has been given a pencil. Correct ‘Each’ is a singular pronoun and therefore ‘has’ should be used as it refers to one person or thing. Look at the following examples: She (one person) has a pencil. (singular) They (several people) have been given pencils. (plural

Pronouns which are singular and should always be followed by the singular form of the verbs are: everyone, nobody, anything, and something:      Everyone comes to the match. Nobody likes her. Anything is better than that. Something has fallen off the desk. Each man brings a hat.

Mistakes are often made with the pronoun ‘everyone’, which is singular: Everyone has their own books. Incorrect! Everyone is singular. ‘Their’ and ‘books’ are plural so ‘his’ or ‘her’ and ‘book’ should be used Everyone has his or her own book. Correct! Collective nouns such as team or group Collective nouns = must always be followed by the singular form of the verb. The Government are planning a new divorce Bill ,incorrect!! The Government is planning a new divorce Bill, correct! Most collective nouns can, of course, be made plural by adding an‘s’. They are then followed by the plural form of the verb. The Governments of France and England are both democratic. The Writing Crew offers great advice. Writing Crew members offer great advice.

Verbs, too, can be singular or plural. That is to say, a verb will assume one form when the
accompanying noun is singular and another form when the noun is plural:

the last one will be preceded by ‘and’: She was elegant. objectionable person I have ever met. Adverbs describe or modify verbs. more and however. The children run away whenever the teacher calls them. describe vividly and paint a picture with words using Adjective . Using the participles Both the present and the past participles can be used as adjectives:  The crying child ran to its mother. (present participle)  The howling dog kept the family awake. Other adverbs are: too. ‘Much’ is an adverb modifying the adjective ‘better’. If there is a list of adjectives before a noun. . unkind. The present is used when the subject is doing the action. ly’ to an adjective: She dances beautifully. separate them with a comma: You are the most rude. . They add colour and flesh to your sentence. Adjectives are used to enhance nouns. He hastily wrote the letter. COLOURING YOUR WRITING You will need to evoke atmosphere. It makes the sentence more vivid. Adverbs can also be used to modify or help other adverbs: The doctor arrived very promptly.The child runs away whenever the teacher calls her. . ‘Very’ is an adverb modifying the adverb ‘promptly’. self-confident and beautiful. poised. (present participle)  The broken doll lay on the floor. (past participle)  The wounded soldier died in hospital. Look at the following. The past is used when something has been done to the noun . They must always be related to a noun: He bit into the juicy apple. They are often formed by adding ‘. If the list of adjectives is at the end of the clause. ‘Juicy’ is an adjective which describes the noun ‘apple’. They can also modify adjectives: The patient is much better today. Utilising adjectives Adjectives are words that describe nouns. (past participle) Make sure that you use the correct participle.

of. In the following examples the prepositions are underlined. ◆ Present and past participles can be used as adjectives. ◆ Adverbs modify or help verbs. in. ◆ If a sentence begins with a conjunction. ◆ When modifying a verb. for. It indicates the relation of the noun or pronoun to another word. ◆ Prepositions ‘govern’ nouns or pronouns. I knew she was at home. with. above. . . ly’. Page 32 . ‘to be’. ◆ They can be used singly or in a list. on. ◆ A phrase is a group of words that does not make sense on its own. Her book was under the table. after. there must be two clauses following it and they must be separated by a comma. by. they usually end in ‘. REVISING THE POINTS ◆ Conjunctions or connectives are words that link clauses together. Some other prepositions are: from.USING PREPOSITIONS A preposition is a word that ‘governs’ a noun or pronoun and usually comes before it. Notice they are all followed by a noun or pronoun. She ran across the road. ◆ Relative pronouns are used to introduce a dependent clause in the middle of a main clause. ◆ Phrases add extra information to the sentence ◆ Adjectives describe nouns and add colour to your writing. He told me about it There has been a tradition that a preposition should be not be placed at the end of clause or sentence but should always precede the noun or pronoun which it governs. The clouds were massing in the sky. ◆ Sentences should not start with ‘and’ or ‘but’. between. ◆ They can precede the noun or be placed after the verb. adjectives or other adverbs. Who are you talking to? Should therefore be: To whom are you talking? ‘To’ is the preposition and ‘whom’ is a relative pronoun.

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