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ENGLISH LANGUAGE (ACADEMIC) 1.0 NOUNS Names of anything and everything seen and unseen.


A noun gives a name to a person, a thing or a place. It gives it an identification label. Figure 1.0 shows the relationship types of nouns.











All nouns are either proper nouns or common nouns. There are two types of common nouns: countable nouns and uncountable nouns. Figure 1.1 shows that relationship among the four types of nouns.







Proper and Common Nouns PERSON NAMES You use a proper noun as the specific name of a person, place, event or thing. You always spell this type of noun with a capital letter. Example: PLACES/GEOGRAPHICAL PLACE/INSTITUTIONS BRAND NAMES Malaysia UITM Ferrari

Mr. Boniface Anak Mawan Erren Eba


Bank Negara


You use a common noun as the general name of a person, place, event or thing. Example:



PERSON/LIVING THINGS woman/cat clerk/plant student/orchid

FEELINGS/EMOTIONS hatred/sorrow excitement/elation freedom/sadness


Countable and Uncountable Nouns Some common nouns refer to people or things that we can count. They are countable nouns. Some common nouns refer to things that are not usually counted. They are uncountable nouns. Example: UNCOUNTABLE NOUN Salt Water



Number: Singular and Plural A countable nouns has two forms, singular and plural. The singular form denotes one. The plural form denotes more than one An uncountable noun only has the singular form. Example: Noun Countable Singular bag girl Uncountable water Plural bags girls -

ENGLISH LANGUAGE (ACADEMIC) a) Some nouns have a plural form but no singular form. You can only use them as plural nouns. Examples: Clothing Tools Others


trousers/pants/glasses/pyjamas/shorts/trunks scissors/tongs/shears/pincers/clippers belongings/surroundings/goods

b) Some nouns have a plural form but they are uncountable nouns which are singular in meaning. Example: Diseases Subjects of study/activity Games Others rickets/diabetes/rabies/mumps aerobics/athletics/statistics cards/darts/checkers news/politics/savings

c) Some nouns have a plural form but you can use them in the singular or plural. Example: bellows means quarters species barracks headquarters

d) Some nouns do not have a plural form and you always use them in the singular. They are uncountable nouns. Example: love milk traffic advice luggage knowledge



e) Some nouns do not have a plural form but you always use them in the plural. They are also known as plural nouns. Example: police people vermin military cattle gentry

f) Some nouns do not have a plural form but you can use them in the singular or plural. Example: Swiss Sheep Japanese Chinese salmon deer

g) There are some nouns for which only a singular form is used because they refer to certain things in the world that are unique. These nouns are referred to as singular nouns. Example: sun moon atmosphere air


Collective Nouns Collective nouns refer to groups of people, animals, or things. A collective noun is always used in the singular, example: A flock of birds A pride of lions A bind of salmons A flight of insects dissimulation/fleet/flight/parcel/pod flock/sault/troop draught/leap/run/school/shoal horde/plague/rabble/swarm chattering/drum/troubling

A charm of hummingbirds

ENGLISH LANGUAGE (ACADEMIC) 2.0 Pronouns A pronouns is used in place of a noun. Example:


Sherman went to see a football match. Shermans wife went along. Although Shermans wife hated football, (Shermans wife) went along to keep Sherman company. The match was boring.

Can be changed to

Sherman went to see a football match. His wife went along. Although his wife hated football, she went along to keep him company. It was boring.

Since a pronoun represents a noun, like a noun, it can be: i. ii. The subject of a verb The object o a verb

This unit we deal with a major class of pronouns called personal pronouns.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE (ACADEMIC) Figure 2.1 shows the types of Personal Pronouns SUBJECT PRONOUNS I we she he they it OBJECT PRONOUNS me us her him them it POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS mine ours hers his theirs its (rarely used) you you yours yourself REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS myself ourselves herself himself themselves itself


REFLEXIVE ADJECTIVES my our hers his their its


Reflexive pronouns are not personal pronouns. However, it is important for you to compare them with personal pronouns. Personal Pronouns There are altogether four types of personal pronouns:








ENGLISH LANGUAGE (ACADEMIC) 2.2 Object Pronouns PERSONAL PRONOUNS : OBJECT PRONOUNS me us Example: a) Julia took me to the man. Notes:


me object of the us object of the verb showed. you object of the you object of the verb needed. her object of the him object of the it object of the verb reached. them object of the verb gave.

b) The man showed us the verb took. place to but it.



a) She invited (all of) you.

b) They needed you, Johan, to verb invited. sing for them.

him, her, it


a) He took her to the airport.

b) She ask him to take her verb took. there. c) They reached it in time for verb asked. her flight. d) I gave them some money.


Possessive Pronouns



EXAMPLES a) That car you saw was mine. I bought it ten years back but sold it when I went overseas.

NOTES Possessive pronouns show a sense of ownership or possession.

b) My wife and I bought this car. So, the car is ours. yours yours a) This is yours, she told

Do not use a noun after a possessive

ENGLISH LANGUAGE (ACADEMIC) me. To my friends, she said, And these are yours. her, his theirs a) These books over here are Rolands and those are Ronas. please carry his to his room and get someone to take hers to her car, my father said to me. b) My books are here.

BI3111D1 pronouns.

Roland and Rona bought those that are over there a long time ago. So, those books are theirs and not mine


Reflexive Pronouns Reflexive pronouns end -self or -selves. They are used when the object of the verb refers to the subject of the verb.

REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS SINGULAR myself PLURAL ourselves EXAMPLES 1. I helped myself to the tea. 2. We helped ourselves to the cakes. yourself yourselves 1. You must do your homework yourself. 2. I saw you looking at yourselves in the mirror. herself, itself himself, themselves 1. She told herself that she was wrong.



2. They enjoyed themselves at the party last night.

2.4.1 Reflexive Pronouns refer the verb back to the subject of sentence. Examples:

She stopped herself from saying anything more. They surprised themselves by winning a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. He looked at himself in the mirror. I could have kicked myself for making that mistake. The tiger saw a reflection of itself in the water.

2.4.2 Reflexive Pronouns, when used with by mean the subject is alone and with no one else. Example: The kitten was playing by itself when I walked into the room. That family succeeded in business all by themselves and not because of others. He lives in that house all by himself.

2.4.3 There are some verbs and phrases which are usually followed by reflexive pronouns. Look at the table below. You can use the verbs and phrases in the left hand column with reflexive pronouns in the right hand column to make sentences of your own. VERBS AND PHRASES believed in, blamed; cut; enjoyed; felt sorry for; helped; gave; introduced; killed; pinched; was REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS himself herself myself themselves ourselves


Proud of; taught; told; worked for, wished.


yourselves itself


Contractions with Pronouns Contractions are shortened forms of two words. Contractions are used only in informal writing. You should not use contractions in formal writing. However, contractions are acceptable in speech nd, in fact, help o make speech flow more smoothly. Contractions are acceptable both in formal and informal speech.

When you use verbs and pronouns together, you can sometimes contract them. Note the following verb-pronoun contractions. VERB am is are has have had will I she, he, it you, they, we she, he, it they, we, you she, he, you, I, we PRONOUN Im shes, hes, its youre, theyre, were shes, hes, its theyve, weve, youre shed, hed, youd, Id, wed VERB-PRONOUN CONTRACTION

she, he, you, I, we, they, shell, hell, youll, Ill, well, theyll, itll it


Verbs A verb is a word which describes the action in a sentence (the word that is doing something) Examples:

Bob is I play football. They skip quickly. We eat spaghetti. Bob is seven today





-s / -es -ed -en -ing


Lexical Verb 1. Intransitive 2. Transitive auxiliaries












ENGLISH LANGUAGE (ACADEMIC) 3.1 Inflection English verbs have four inflections: 3.1.1 s of third person singular present tense verbs:


The s form of a verb consists of the base with s on the end. You use the form in a simple present tense sentence when the subject is singular. Angelina Nina reads every day. Frederick rides a red car. Stephanie loses the game.

3.1.2 ed of past tense verbs: The past form of a verb is the form that used in a simple past tense sentence. Some verbs consist of the base form with -ed on the end while others involve a total change of the base form. Sheila locked the door.

Andrew dropped his phone. 3.1.3 en of past tense participle:

I have seen that movie ten times.

Albert has forgotten to wear his socks. 3.1.4 ing of the present participle: You can also called present participle form consists of the base form with -ing on the end. It is used in sentences in the continuous tenses. I am taking two courses this semester.

I am trying my best to study.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE (ACADEMIC) 3.2 Group We group verbs into two: lexical and auxiliary.


3.2.1 Lexical verbs are two types: a) Transitive Verbs My sister broke the window.

In the first sentence, the word that comes after the verb, window, is the object of the verb. We say that window is the object because it receives the action of the verb. All objects of verbs receive the action of the verb. Here are some more examples of transitive verbs with their objects:

I sold some books. I took the bus.

I bought a radio.
I understood her question. I wrote a letter.

When a verb has an object that receives the action of the verb, we say that the verb is transitive. Transitive verbs are more common on the TOEFL than intransitive verbs. b) Intransitive Verbs My father cried. We can see in this sentence that there is no word after cried. In other words, there is no object for the word--there is no noun to receive the action of the word.



Think about it--what could we say? My father cried something. Is there a noun that we could use after cried? We could probably think of one or two nouns, like tears, or even, goodbye, but normally, we do not use the verb cry with an object. In this case we say that this verb is intransitive because it does not have an object after it. Here are some more examples of intransitive verbs:

The women screamed. Helen is coming. Your driving license has expired. I slept. I coughed. The glass fell. My cat ran. The sun rose.

3.2.2 Auxiliary Verb Sometimes called helping verbs of the main verbs (lexical verbs). Examples: be, am, is, are, was, were, do, does, did, has, have, and had. Auxiliary verbs are used together with a main verb to give grammatical information and therefore add extra meaning to a sentence, which is not given by the main verb. The three most common auxiliary verbs are:

Examples: 1. I am leaving.



Leaving is the main verb. Am is the auxiliary.

2. She has arrived.

Arrives is the main verb. Has is the auxiliary.



3. Do you smoke?

Smoke is the main verb. Do is the auxiliary.

Do / does / did
Do is common for forming questions and making negatives. Did is used for do and does in the past tense. Do and does is never used for the past. Examples: In statements 1. I do my homework. 2. You do the laundry. 3. We do the washing up. 4. They do yoga. 5. He/she does the cleaning. In questions 1. Do I know you? 2. Do you live here? 3. Do we have time? 4. Do they come from Vietnam? 5. Does he/she drive to work? In negative sentences 1. I do not. (I don't) 2. You do not. (you don't) 3. We do not. (we don't) 4. They do not. (they don't) 5. He/she does not. (he/she doesn't)

Be = am / is / are
Be can be used as an auxiliary verb or the main verb in a sentence. Is tells us that an action is happening now or is going to happen in the future. Be is also used to make passives.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE (ACADEMIC) Are is used for they and we. Was is used for the past tense of am and is. Were is used for the past tense of you, we and they. In statements 1. I am 21. 2. You are Indian. 3. We are waiting. 4. They are excited 5. He/she is cool. In questions 1. Am I in the right place? 2. Are you my new boss? 3. Are we nearly there? 4. Are they the best players on the team? 5. Is he/she old enough to go to bars? In negative sentences 1. I am not. (I aren't) 2. You are not. (you aren't) 3. We are not. (we aren't) 4. They are not. (they aren't) 5. He/she is not. (he/she isn't)


Have = has / had

Have is used to make the present perfect tense (it is always followed by the past participle). Has is used for the third person singular. Had is used for past tenses especially the past perfect tense. It describes an action that began in the past and continues into the present or that occurred in the recent past.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE (ACADEMIC) In statements 1. I have a dog. 2. You have something on your shirt. 3. We have seen it before. 4. They have called me three times. 5. He/she has lived in America. In negative sentences 1. I have not. (I haven't/ I've not) 2. You have not. (you haven't/you've not) 3. We have not. (we haven't/we've not) 4. They have not. (they haven't/they've not) 5. He/she has not (he/she hasn't)


Other common auxiliary verbs are:







should would

These are also known as modal verbs. We use them to show obligation, possibility and necessity. For example: 1. Jack is late. He might be sleeping. 2. I should clean my room today. 3. I must wear a tie to school. (possibility) (obligation) (necessity)

Answering questions
Auxiliary verbs are useful in giving short answers to questions. Basically, your answer can end with the auxiliary verb. The following examples are natural and completely acceptable ways to answer questions:



Questions 1. Do you like reading? 2. Can you speak English?

Answering questions Yes, I do (like reading) Yes, I can (speak English)

3. Do you have a sister?

No, I don't (have a sister)


Verb Tenses Verb tenses describe WHEN the action is happening.


its ALREADY happened.


its happening NOW.


Its ABOUT to or WILL happen.

3.3.1 Past tense to present tense These sentences are in the past. You can change them to the present by putting today at the front of each sentences. Examples:



PAST 1. Sarah felt hot. 2. The cow jumped over the moon. 3. John sat outside in the garden. 4. The mouse ran up the clock.

PRESENT Today Sarah feels hot. Today the cow jumps over the moon. Today John sits outside in the garden. Today the mouse runs up the clock.

3.3.2 Present tense to past tense The following sentences are written in present tense. Try changing them to the past tense by putting Yesterday at the beginning of each. Examples: PRESENT 1. I eat spaghetti. 2. They skip quickly. 3. Bonny is seven. 4. I play football. PAST Yesterday I ate spaghetti. Yesterday they skipped quickly. Yesterday Bonny was seven. Yesterday I played football.

3.3.3 The future tense The future tense is used to describe what will or could happen. Change this sentences to the future tense by adding tomorrow at the start of each. Examples: 1. Josh and Rash went up the hill. 2. Terrence chased the mouse. 3. Lily entered the wardrobe. 4. Bo Peep lost her sheep. Tomorrow Josh and Rash could/will go up the hill. Tomorrow Terrence could/will chase the mouse. Tomorrow Lily could/will enter the wardrobe. Tomorrow Bo Peep could/will lose her sheep.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE (ACADEMIC) 3.4 Qualities Aspect 3.4.1 Progressive Aspect Progressive aspect of a verb is signalled by


be as a primary auxiliary,

followed by the present participle (or ing-participle) of the next verb. We have one more use for the ing-participle of verbs; when preceded by a form of be (including the past participle been), the ing-participle signals progressive aspect if the main tense of the sentence is present, then we have the present progressive; if it is past, we have the past progressive. Aspect refers to how an event or action is to be viewed with respect to time, rather than to its actual location in time. We can illustrate this using the following Examples: 1 2 3 David fell in love on his eighteenth birthday. David has fallen in love. David is falling in love.

In [1], the verb fell tells us that David fell in love in the past, and specifically on his eighteenth birthday. This is a simple past tense verb. In [2] also, the action took place in the past, but it is implied that it took place quite recently. Furthermore, it is implied that is still relevant at the time of speaking -- David has fallen in love, and that's why he's behaving strangely. It is worth noting that we cannot say *David has fallen in love on his eighteenth birthday. The auxiliary has here encodes what is known as PERFECTIVE ASPECT, and the auxiliary itself is known as the PERFECTIVE AUXILIARY. In [3], the action of falling in love is still in progress -- David is falling in love at the time of speaking. For this reason, we call it PROGRESSIVE ASPECT, and the auxiliary is called the PROGRESSIVE AUXILIARY. Aspect always includes tense. In [2] and [3] above, the aspectual auxiliaries are in the present tense, but they could also be in the past tense:



1. David had fallen in love -- Perfective Aspect, Past Tense 2. David was falling in love -- Progressive Aspect, Past Tense

3.4.2 Perfect Aspect As a main verb, have indicates possession of some thing or quality. As an auxiliary, it combines with the past participle to form a structure called the perfect. Like the progressive, the perfect is technically a verb aspect but often referred to as a tense. The perfective auxiliary is always followed by a main verb in the ed form, while the progressive auxiliary is followed by a main verb in the -ing form. We exemplify these points in the table below: Perfective Aspect / Progressive Aspect Present Tense Past Tense has fallen had fallen is falling was falling


Qualities Number

3.5.1 Singular and Plural Nouns, pronouns, and verbs can be singular or plural. The form, singular or plural, must correspond to other elements of the sentence. Below are some examples and guidelines for verb usage. Noun and pronoun guidelines follow the material on verbs.



verb 1. 2. 3.

I travel frequently. (first person singular) You travel frequently. (second person singular) She travels frequently. (third person singular) (Note the verb spelling change.) We travel frequently. (first person plural) You travel frequently. (second person plural)

4. 5.

A subject and its verb must agree in number. Singular subject Plural subject he/she/it they The Munchkin The Munchkin Roland Roland and Richard walks walk

Singular verb Plural verb

is are

was were

has have

Correct: he is, she is, the Munchkin was, Rowland has they are, the Munchkins were, Rowland and Boadicea have


Adjectives The adjective system includes all the words and phrases that modify a noun or pronouns. The function of adjectives is, typically, to add extra information to a noun phrase, such as the qualities of people, things and places. Adjectives are describing words. Large, grey and friendly are all examples of adjectives. In the examples below, these adjectives are used to describe an elephant.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE (ACADEMIC) The basic types of adjectives


In English, it is common to use more than one adjective before are noun. For example, Hes a silly young fool, or Shes a smart, energetic women. When you use more than one adjective, you have to put them in the right order, according to type. OPINION An opinion adjective explain what you think about something. Examples; silly, beautiful, horrible, difficult SIZE A size adjective, of course, tell you how big or small something is. Examples; large, tiny, enormous, little AGE An age adjective tell you how young or old something or someone. Example; ancient, new, young, old SHAPE A shape adjective describes the shape of something. Example; square, round, flat, rectangular COLOR A colour adjective, of course, describes the colour of something. Examples; blue, pink, red, grey, reddish ORIGIN An origin describes where something comes from. Examples; French, lunar, American, eastern, Greek MATERIAL A material adjective describes what something is made from. Example; wooden, metal, cotton, paper PURPOSE A purpose adjective describes what something is used for. Examples; sleeping (as in sleeping bag)


Adjectives Modify Nouns The word elephant is a noun. Adjectives are added to nouns to state what kind, what colour, which one or how many. Adjectives are said to



modify nouns and are necessary to make the meanings of sentences clearer or more exact.

Follow the yellow cab. (In this example, the adjectives yellow modifies the noun cab.) Craig caught another large bass. (In this example, the adjectives large modifies the noun bass.)


Adverbs Adverbs are word that modify verbs, adjectives pr other adverbs. They also often tell when, where, why or under what conditions something happens. Adverbs answer the questions "How?", "When?", "Where?", "Why?", "In what way?", "How much?", "How often?", "Under what condition", "To what degree?" Adverbs give you more information about verbs. Example: He walked quietly into the room (walked-verb; quietly-adverb) Adverbs also give you more information about adjectives. Example: He was very happy. (happy-adjective; very-adverb) An adverb modifies an adjective Examples; 1. They were really unhappy. ('really' modifies adjective 'unhappy') 2. My brother is completely fearless. ('completely' modifies adjective 'fearless') 3. I know she is very careful. ('very' modifies adjective 'careful') An adverb modifies an adverb Examples; 1. He is almost always hungry. ('almost' modifies adverb 'always')



2. John plays tennis very well. ('very' modifies adverb 'well') 3. You never can work too carefully. ('too' modifies adverb 'carefully') 6.0 Conjunctions There are three types: 6.1 The coordinating conjunction Which is seen in such English words as 'and', 'but', and 'or'. These join items, ideas, or parts of the sentence that are equal, examples, Bob and Ted" or "Carol and Alice" but not "Tom, Dick, or Harry"'. 6.2 The coordinating conjunction Used in pairs and also usually match up evenly matched parts of the sentence. Common correlative conjunctions in English are 'both ... and', 'either ... or', and 'neither ... nor'. 6.3 Subordinating conjunctions Apportion prominence to one part of the sentence over another. Common subordinating conjunctions are 'after', 'before', 'while', 'since', 'because', and 'until'. 7.0 Prepositions A word (one of the parts of speech and a member of a closed word class) that shows the relationship between a noun or pronoun and other words in a sentence. On, in, and beside are all prepositions. Prepositions can also show location in time. Read the next three examples: 1. At midnight, Jill craved mashed potatoes with grape jelly. 2. In the spring, I always vow to plant tomatoes but end up buying them at the supermarket. 3. During the marathon, Iggy's legs complained with sharp pains shooting up his thighs.



At midnight, in the spring, and during the marathon all show location in time. Because there are so many possible locations, there are quite a few prepositions. Below is the complete list. about according to across after apart from because of before behind beside between during except for from in case of in front of inside into near next outside since through underneath until without


Interjections An interjection is a word or short phrase used in speech to gain attention, to exclaim, protest or command. Interjections can be used to show emotion such as surprise or shock. Interjections are often found at the beginning of a sentence, especially in speech, and are commonly followed by an exclamation mark or a comma. Absolutely Alright Anytime Argh Anyhow Behold Bless you Eh Goodness Hey Hi Hmm Huh My gosh Now Oops Ouch Please Woah Wow Yes Waa Duh Uggh Awww