You are on page 1of 348


[Recommended for Matriculation &
Higher Secondary Schools in India]

Israel Jayakaran

English has become a world language. All Commercial and Trade transactions are done
only in English in almost all the countries of the world. Therefore, every person is expected
to possess a good knowledge and command over the language. A mere superficial
knowledge is not enough at all. Unfortunately, the grammar books available as of now on
the bookshelves of the market happen to be of low standard only, which shall not put you on
the road to attaining mastery over the language. If you want to fare well and flourish in life
including in your own country, you need to be highly proficient in English. A good
knowledge in English will carry you through anywhere. In fact, you can force your way
through anywhere.
The Indian education world surely needs a grammar book of high standard for schools.
And here is such a kind of book for Matriculation and Higher secondary schools. This book
covers a wider syllabus required in todays world and follows an easier method of imparting
knowledge too. Even the most difficult topic has been explained in simpler and
understandable language so that a student bubbles with confidence on it.
It is not known why English grammar is not included as a regular subject at college
level, especially in Arts and Science colleges. How do we help the rural or students from
Indian language medium schools? They have not been taught English grammar effectively
in school nor are they taught English in such a way as to be able to speak and write it well
There is a need to teach them full fledged grammar at college level. They would need just
90 hours to attain a good standard. There is a separate book for colleges and written in the
same style.
It is possible that you yourself have acquired your present standard of English through
the functional grammar method. This recipe is not good enough for higher level learning.
You need to go over to what is called the Structural grammar method. This platform
alone will lead you to achieving supremacy over the language. This book will help you
upgrade your own benchmark.
A novel and unique method has been followed in this book, absolutely suited for
learners from non-English speaking homes. For every type of sentence construction, a
definite formula has been specified. All you need to do is to follow the formula method.
Then you can rest assured that your English is faultless and fine as well.

This book will certainly take you to the near pinnacle of English both in spoken form
and written form. In the written English., Spellings and Punctuations are important; in
spoken English, our pronunciation is important. You need to take some experts guidance as
regards pronunciation.
Every chapter contains an exercise of between 35 and 50 questions. It is essential that a
student attempt all questions and the teachers correct the answers.
Knowing and speaking grammatically correct English is not sufficient at all. You must
know all the nuances of the language during different occasions, of how to converse and
carry yourself in front highly cultured personalities, of how to go about your way in social
circles and social parties and formal meetings. 3 chapters on conversation techniques and
social etiquette in various situations have been included in the book.
English grammar books of present time have not given much importance for written
English, especially in prose form running into many paragraphs. Writing a good sentence
doesnt mean you can produce a readable Essay or a Project report or a Paper for a Seminar
developed into dozens of paragraphs. You need more guidelines at writing a paragraph. A
substantial amount of pages have been devoted to the art of good writing.
It is the greatest desire of the Author of this book that you come out a Winner of sorts
in every field of activity and on the use of English on all these activities once you have gone
through this book thoroughly.
Best of luck!


List of contents
Lesson 1
Lesson 2
Lesson 3
Lesson 4
Lesson 5
Lesson 6
Lesson 7
Lesson 8
Lesson 9
Lesson 10
Lesson 11
Lesson 12
Lesson 13
Lesson 14
Lesson 15
Lesson 16
Lesson 17
Lesson 18
Lesson 19
Lesson 20
Lesson 21
Lesson 22
Lesson 23
Lesson 24
Lesson 25
Lesson 26
Lesson 27
Lesson 28
Lesson 29
Lesson 30
Lesson 31
Lesson 32
Lesson 33
Lesson 34

Page No.
Parts of Speech (Section A)
Structure of a Simple sentence
Present tense
Present continuous sentence
More about structure of a Simple sentence
Simple present tense
Parts of speech (Section B)
Past tense
Past continuous tense
Simple past tense
Future and Future continuous tenses
Perfect tenses: Present perfect and Present perfect 103
continuous tenses
Past perfect and Past perfect continuous tenses
Future perfect and Future perfect continuous tenses 115
Universal auxiliaries
FIP tense and FIP continuous tenses
Complex sentence
Passive voice
When to use which voice
Compound sentence
Preposition and Preposition phrases
THERE and IT as temporary subjects
Emphatic IT
Direct speech and dialogue writing
Expressing a wish
Conversation techniques
How to write a paragraph
Idioms, figure of speech and idiom phrases
Essay planning and writing.

Lesson 1
Part of speech is a name to signify a family. All the English words belong to one
of the ten families. So, we say, the English language has ten parts of speech.
Some books say, 8 and some 9 but we stick to the figure 10. We shall cover in this
Lessonr four of them, viz, NOUN, PRONOUN, AUXILIARY and VERB) and the rest later.
Noun is a word used for person, place, thing or quality.

Girl, sister, mother, father, Narayan, John, Mohammed, Sheba

Metropolitan, village, city, town, Chennai, Coimbatore .
Pencil, scale, cloud, plant, bedstead, stool.
Honesty, truth, innocence, bravery, courage (Nouns which we
cant see but we know it is present in a human being)

We can classify the Noun of Person and Quality under the following categories in
Proper noun

- George, Mohammed, Sheila (Names of particular

Chennai, London (Names of particular places)

Common noun - Woman, sister, uncle, aunty, father, fountain pen (No
person in particular and things)
Collective noun - People, crowd, fleet (A group of person ore things
but treated as one set)
Abstract noun - Sincerity, fear, cowardice (Nouns we cannot see but
we know that it is present in a human being)

All the common nouns could be singular or plural in number. We get the plural by
adding the letters s for some nouns like this,


For singular nouns ending in the letter x or ch, we add the letters es like this,
For singular nouns ending in the letter y, we remove y and add the letters ies like
For singular nouns ending in the letters fe, we remove fe and add the letters ves like


There is no plural for Proper nouns (of particular persons and particular places)
Of the 82 pronouns in the language, we shall cover in this lesson only the important
ones known as Personal pronouns because they come under Three persons, viz., First
person, Second Person and Third person and under Three types known as, Subjective
pronoun, Objective pronoun and Possessive pronouns.
Subjective pronoun

Objective pronoun

Possessive pronoun

First person



Second person





Third person

Rules for using the above pronouns:

1 Use the Subjective pronouns only in the SUBJECT section of a sentence.
Conversely, if you see a Subjective pronoun in a sentence, you can say blindly that
that part is the Subject of that sentence.
2. We use the Objective pronouns only in the OBJECT part of a sentence.
Accordingly, if you see an Objective pronoun anywhere in a sentence, you
can say blindly that that part is the Object of that sentence. Sometimes this
objective pronoun may be preceded by a preposition. (Whereas, a Subjective
ronoun will be always a single word.)
3. Possessive pronouns will be always followed by a common noun. They will remain
as a pair in the Subject or Objecct part of any sentence.
Every common noun in the world is represented by only four pronouns. They are
HE, SHE, IT and THEY. For example, we use HE for every singular male in the world, be
it a Man or Animal or Bird or an Insect. And SHE for every singular female like mother,
female tiger, or a female fish. IT for any lifeless thing such as road, pen, marble.
Sometime we may refer to a baby child (either male or female) also as IT.
THEY is for plural nouns of all above.
There is no corresponding noun for I, WE and YOU. We may call them Pure
pronouns and we use them only as Subject in a sentence. [YOU may be the Object also]

A verb is a word of action. You can see the action/activity/movement in your mental
eyes. The action is produced by the movement of any part of the body of a living being.
Thus, action can be produced by human being or animals or fish or birds or insects, so long
as they have some moving parts in them. This is a broad definition for a verb.
You can notice movement (or activity) of some kind in every normal verb. In some
verbs, action may not be visible to your mental eyes but you know action is very much
present there.. Take the verb LOVE. You cannot see the movements but you know several
parts of the body are in play in this word.
The strange thing about a verb is that we can never use it by itself. Every verb needs
a helper (or a partner) before we could use it in a sentence. That helper is called
Auxiliary. Thus, an auxiliary and a verb will form an inseparable pair in an English
sentence. In most cases, an auxiliary will be to the left side of a verb.
There are however some action less verbs in the English language. You will see these
later in the list of auxiliaries. They are only six: AM,IS,ARE,WAS,WERE and BE.
Although these are basically auxiliaries we can use them as verbs, self supporting verbs, in
which case you cannot see any action in such sentences that contain these six verbs. And we
use these action less verbs only in action less tenses.
Every verb has 3 forms - PRESENT FORM (or, Basic form), PAST FORM and PAST
PARTICIPLE (PP) form. Whenever you learn a new Present form verb, find its other two
forms. A good dictionary will give all the three forms for every verb.
Here is a list of some popular verbs:
Present form

Past form

PP form

Type I




Type II







Type III




Type IV




Type V

Am |
Is | Be
Are |


Has |
Have |
Do |





Study the above verb patterns carefully. In Type I, the past form and PP form are
the same. We get the past form by adding the letter d or the letters ed to the Present form
In Type II we remove the letter y and add the letters ied to get the Past form. Here
also, the past form and PP form are the same.
In Type III, all the 3 forms are different with different spellings. In some cases, the
Past and PP could be the same.

In Type IV, all the forms are the same. In one case, (Read), while the spelling is the
same, the Past and PP form are pronounced like it was red.
In Type-V also all the 3 forms are different except for had.
A verb cannot stand on its own feet but would need the support of an auxiliary to stand
on. You can consider a verb as a lame man who is unable to walk on his own and needs a
stick or a pair of crutches to walk along.
The job of an auxiliary is to help or support a verb. It has no other purpose. Auxiliaries
are equal to a pair of crutches to make a lame man (verb) move along. Auxiliary and Verb
form an inseparable pair. Just as you cannot use a verb by itself, you cannot use an auxiliary
by itself either. It must always partner a verb. It cannot partner any other part of speech.
There are some auxiliaries which can do the job of an Auxiliary and also a Verb
simultaneously. They have been named, Auxiliary cum Verbs and abbreviated as
A.Vand pronounced as A dot V. We may also call them as, 2-in-1 words. Or as self
supporting verbs. In the English language, there are only 11 such A.Vs.
The total number of auxiliaries used in the entire English language is 32, out of which
11 are the A.Vs.
The A.Vs are: AM, IS, ARE, HAS, HAVE, WAS, WERE, HAD, DO, DOES, DID (11)
We may use these 11 words as auxiliaries in which case they will be supporting a verb and
be to the left side of a verb (in most cases) or as Auxiliary cum Verbs in a sentence doing
the job of an Auxiliary and Verb at the same time.
Of these 11 A.Vs, you cannot see any type of action in 5. They are the action less
varieities. They are: AM, IS, ARE, WAS, WERE [We can use BE as an auxiliary or as a
verb.This is an action less verb. You will find BE in the listof Universal auxiliaries]Thus,
there are six actonless verbs in the language.
Then there are 21 pure auxiliaries. Their job is only to support or help a verb. The pure
auxiliaries can never be used as verbs ever. They are :WILL, SHALL, CAN, MAY,
also call these, Universal auxiliaries as well. Why universal, we shall see later.

The last 3 are two worded auxiliaries, but we count each as one auxiliary. Next, we
have to use them with to at the end. We cannot separate the two words.
If we use the word NOT to the right side of an auxiliary, it becomes known as
Negative auxiliary. When we want to give a Negative answer, all we do is, add the word
NOT to the auxiliary to its right. Incidentally, we cannot add NOT to a verb to make a
Negative answer. NOT is a soft form and NEVER, which has been listed as Universal
auxiliary. It is a strong form of NOT.
The remaining 6 parts of speech are : ADJECTIVE, ADVERB, PREPOSITION,
CONJUNCTION, ARTICLE and INTERJECTION. We shall cover them later.
Exercise - 1
1. State how many parts of speech are there in the English language
2. What do you understand by A.V?
3. Can we use an A.V as a verb?
4. How do we give Negative answers?
5. Can you use MUST as an A.V?
6. Can we use a Verb by itself in a sentence?
7. Can we use one of the pure auxiliaries by itself in a sentence?
8. A verb is like a lame man. Justify.
9. How many two worded auxiliaries are there in the English language. Name them.
10. Can we separate out the preposition to in the following auxiliaries: USED TO,
11. What do you understand by action less self supporting verbs? Name them.
12.Give a broad definition for verb.
13.What is a Pronoun?
14.How many pronouns have you learnt in this lesson?
15.Which are the First Person pronouns?
16.What is the speciality about HE, SHE, IT and THEY?
17.What do you understand by pure pronouns? Which are they?
18.Can we use a possessive pronoun in the Subject part?
19.Can we use a possessive pronoun in the Object part?
20.In which part of a sentence can we use the Subjective pronouns?
21.In which part of a sentence can we use the Objective pronouns?
22.Name the Second person pronouns.
23.Can we interchange the Subjective pronoun with the Objective pronouns?

24. What is the job of a pure auxiliary?

25.Some of the pure auxiliaries look like nouns . Which are they?
26. Is it possible to give a negative answer without the availability of auxiliaries?
27. Name the action less verbs in the English language.
28. Name all the pure/Universal auxiliaries
29. What do you understand by Abstract noun?
30. Can we use a present form verb in a sentence by itself?
31. Can we use a possessive pronoun in the Subject section?
32. How do we derive the past form verbs? Give examples.
33. How do we write the plual form of nouns ending in y and fe.
34. Can an auxiliary help all part of speech?
35. Wha is the objective form of I


Lesson 2
Simple sentence structure
We can divide every English sentence into two parts. Examine the following sentences:
(a) James is playing / football now
Grammar part
Meaning part
(b) Eva can speak /

English well.
Meaning part

No matter in which tense you may write a sentence, it will have these two parts.
The grammar part has 3 sections, viz, Subject, Auxiliary, Verb.
(a) James is playing
(b) Eva can speak
The Meaning part will have, Object or/and Complement. Furthermore, O and C may
be in any combination like 2 Os and 1 C or 3 Cs and 1 O and so on. Some sentences may
not have the O/C part at all; they will be incomplete sentences. But, they will be English
sentences all right. Every English sentence must have S+A+V.
Now, we can write the sentence formula like this:
S + A + V + O/C
The Meaning part has nothing to do with the Grammar part. They are independent of
each other. The Meaning part of one sentence can attach itself to the Grammar part of
another and vice versa. The Grammar part is like a railway engine; the same engine can
pull an express train or a goods train or a passenger train. The Meaning part is similar to a
Contents of the various sections

The main word in the Subject will be always a Noun (s) plus words of all parts of
speech except Auxiliary and Verb. Instead of a Noun, the Subject may also have a Pronoun
called, Subjective Pronoun. A Subjective pronoun will always be a single word out of: I,
One or more auxiliaries out of the list of 32 will appear in this section. Every tense will
have its own exclusive auxiliary or auxiliary set.
One of the three forms of verb will be in this section. The form of verb will depend on
the tense.
The main word in the Object will be a Noun or a plural Noun (like in the Subject) plus
words of all parts of speech except Auxiliary and Verb. Instead of a Noun, it may also have
an Objective pronoun out of ME,US,YOU,HIM,HER, IT, THEM. This objective pronoun
may have a preposition as its partner, like to me , with us for you and so on..
The Main word in a complement will be an Adverb plus words of all parts of speech
except Auxiliary and Verb. Complements are of 3 types Complement of Manner,
Complement of Time and Complement of Place. Do note that complement of time and
complement of place will be always nouns. So, dont think that every Noun found in the
O/C part will be always an Object.
Also remember that S or O or C could be very long containing sometimes 10-15 words.
In a later lesson we will see how to separate out the O and C from the meaning part.
Categories of a Simple sentence
We can write every Simple sentence in 7 categories 2 in Answer form and 5 in
Question form. Every category has its exclusive formula and you must remember these
formulae when you write a sentence. You will never go wrong in writing a sentence if you
write it according to the formulae. Here they are:

a1 (Positive answer): S+A+ V + O/C [James is playing / football now]

a2(Negative answer): S+ NegA + V + O/C [James is not playing / football now]
S NegA V
Gen Q (General Question): Int + A + S + O/C [What is James / playing now?]
Sp Q(Specific Question): A + S + V + O/C [Is James playing / football now?]
Neg Q(Negative Question): NegA +S +V + O/C [Cant Eva speak / English well?]
NegA S V
EQ1 (Emphatic Question 1): a1 + Q tag. [Eva can speak English well, cant she?]
O/ C
NegA Pronoun
of the
EQ2( Emphatic Question 2): a2 + Q tag. [Eva cant speak English well, can she?]
Note the following points:
(a) A General Question always will start with an Interrogative. The English language
uses only 9 interrogatives WHO, WHAT,WHICH,WHOSE, WHOM(Also known as
interrogative pronouns); HOW, WHEN,WHERE, WHY(Also known as interrogative
adverbs . The interrogative HOW has several subscripts; they are, HOW many, HOW
much, HOW often, HOW long , HOW far.
(b) The difference between a Positive answer (a1) and a Negative answer (a2) lies in
the Auxiliary. In a1, the auxiliary used is positive and in a2, negative.
(c) The Q tag in EQ, consists of the Auxiliary of that tense (positive or negative)
followed by the pronoun of the subject which will be always, I,WE,YOU,HE,SHE,IT or
(d) These 7 categories of formulae hold good for any tense. We will be using them in all
the 16 tenses covered in this book.
(e) Do these formulae look frightening to you? They are simple to remember,
actually.O/C is a common factor in all categories. So, dont look at it. The other elements

are only S+A+V. In any question form, the pattern will be A+S+V and in the answer it will
be S+A+V or S+ NegA +V.
Use of A.Vs
In Lesson 1, we learnt about 32 auxiliaries and out of them 11 are the Auxiliary cum
Verb types. Of the 11, we use 5 in action less tenses. Or, we may look at them in a
different way as well. A tense that uses the A.Vs would be the action less varieties.
When we use the A.Vs, the category formula will be slightly different, as shown below:
Gen Q:
Sp Q :
Neg Q:

I +A.V +S + O/C
A.V + S + O/C
Neg A.V +S + O/C
S + A.V +
S + NegA.V + O/C

EQ1 : a1 + Q tag
EQ2 : a2 + Q tag. [The Q tag will always have the first auxliary of that tense plus
the Pronoun of the Subject, which will be one of the
7 Subjective pronouns]
Exercise - 2
Pick out the grammar part in the following sentences:
1. Analogue modulation is a difficult subject.
2. Some good books are in this library.
3. Are you blind to these facts?
4. Where is your most modern house in this area?
5. These are my chicks; and those are the unhatched eggs.
6. Have you any knowledge on computer operation?
7. Who arent your friends in this group of students?
8. Isnt your pet dog too friendly to all visitors to your house?
9. Hasnt any of your friends a CD player in their house?
10. Whose orders are these to us?
Write suitable Negative questions (Neg Q) for the following statements:


11. I dont have all the spare parts in my shop for a Scooter.
12. We did not watch any T.V serial last night.
13. I am not helping you in your studies today.
14. Gopal isnt an honest worker in my workshop.
15. As the A team of our school, didnt we win the honour for our school?
Write suitable EQs for the following statements.
16. Albert is our best coach for football.
17. The wingers in our hockey team have not been effective at all.
18. Our boys will not play any match today.
19 I am not a kind person in the Biblical sense.
20. Selvi has studied only upto Std VI..
Write Gen Q, Sp Q and Neg Q for each of the following statement:
21. We have a brand new Zen car.
22. One student in my class is doing exceptionally good in Mathematics.
23. Meenas acting could have been better.
24. Jane did not understand English.
25. Jane cannot talk in French.


Lesson 3
The English language uses in all 18 tenses. Of these, we shall learn the first 16 tenses
in this Book. The 16tenses are made of 2 action less and 14 action based tenses.Present tense
is the first of the action les tense.
When to use the Present tense
We use it,
(i) to talk about the things and persons we see before our eyes and
information we hear about, in the present time.
(ii) to talk or give information about the materials and qualities we and
other persons possess, in present time.
For every tense, there is what is called the S+A+V rule (or Grammar rule).
The S +A +V rule ( Grammar rule) for Present tense:
THEY (or its corresponding Noun)
HE, SHE, IT ( or their
corresponding noun)









Possessive case:
Here are some sample sentences:


(a) These students are / our school mates.

(b) Jonathan is
/ the best student in my class.
(c) I am not
/ your brother
Grammar part
Meaning part
All the three sentences above are shown in two parts with a stroke mark dividing
them. The first part is the Grammar part and the second Meaning part. The meaning
part has nothing to do with the grammar part and vice versa. For example, we can take the
grammar part of (b) and attach it to the meaning part of (c). The new sentence then would
be, Jonathan is your brother. But, dont think every transposition like this would make
meaningful sentence.
In sentence (a), These students is the Subject. (Plural noun = They)
In sentence (b), Jonathan is the Subject (Proper Noun = He)
In sentence (c), I is the Subject.(Subjective pronoun, a pure pronoun for which
there is no corresponding noun.)
Do you recognize the next word ARE, IS, AM? They are A.Vs, arent they? And
one is a Negative A.V (am not) So, we can say that the Grammar part in a sentence will
have, SUBJECT + A.V or SUBJECT + Neg A.V
For the Meaning part, let us give the letters O/C which stand for, OBJECT /
COMPLEMENT. We shall study later the difference between OBJECT and
COMPLEMENT. It is the O or C or O and C parts that convey the meaning of a sentence.
A sentence can have one or more OBJECTS and one or more COMPLEMENTS; it can
also have a combination of O and C.
(a) and (b) are positive answers or statements (a1) whose formula we can write as,
a1: S + A.V + O/C
(c) contains a Negative answer or statement (a2) whose formula is,

S + Neg A.V + O/C

Grammar part
Meaning part

In our day to day talk and conversation we use only two categories of answers
Positive (a1) or Negative (a2). Note the symbols a1and a2. We shall be using these
symbols throughout this book.


Here are some examples of questions:

(d) Where is your house / in this town?
(General question)
(e) Is your brother / younger to my brother? (Specific question)
(f) Arent your parents / my uncles friends? (Negative question)
Split the above into the Grammar part and Meaning part
(d) Where is your house
Int A.V
Grammar part

in this town?
Meaning part

Int stands for Interrogative.

The formula for a General question (Gen Q) therefore is : Int + A.V + S + O/C.
Compare this with a1. While in the answer form, the formula follows the pattern S +
A.V, in the question form, the pattern turns into A.V + S. The General question always
starts with an interrogative word. There are only 9 interrogative words in the English
language. They are: WHO, WHAT, WHICH, WHOSE, WHOM (Also known as
Interrogative pronouns),HOW, WHERE, WHEN, WHY (Also known as Interrogative
adverbs). The interrogative HOW, has some expansions such as , HOW MANY, HOW
(e) contains a Specific question (Sp Q) whose sentence formula is :
Sp Q : A.V + S + O/C
(f) contains a Negative question (Neg Q) whose sentence formula is:
Neg Q: Neg A.V + S + O/C
A Negative question is more powerful than a Specific question.
We can frame still more powerful questions. They are known as Emphatic question 1
(EQ1) and Emphatic question 2 (EQ2). In EQ1 and EQ2, we make use of a1 and a2 like
EQ1: a1+ A.V+ Pronoun of the Subject.
EQ2 : a2 +Neg A.V + Pronoun of the Subject.

Here is the full form of EQs:

EQ1 : I am your brother, amnt
|______________| Neg A,V Pro of Subj
Question tag
EQ1: Jonathan is the best student in my class,

Neg A.V Pro of S

EQ2: These students arent our school mates, are

| _______________________________| A.V Pro of S
Please note the following points:


The Question tag consists of the auxiliary cum verb of that tense and
Pronoun of the Subject. A long subject like These students must be
reduced to its equivalent pronoun, which will be always, I or We or You or
He or She or It or They.
Always use the short form of the Neg .A.V. The short forms are,
Am not = amnt
Is not = isnt
Are not = arent

The short abbreviated forms sound very powerful. If you use the long form, the power
would seem lost.
We can now summarise all the formulae as follows:
Gen Q :
Sp Q :
Neg Q :
a1 :
a2 :

Int + A.V + S + O/C

A.V + S+ O/C
Neg A.V +S+ O/C
S +A.V +O/C
S + Neg A.V + O/C

EQ1 : a1+ Q.tag

EQ2 : a2+ Q tag


Use the short form of A.V in Negative questions and in the Question tags.
So, there are seven categories of sentences. You must know how to frame a question
in all the 5 ways. Also, if one category is given to you, you must be able to write the
remaining 6 categories. Let us try this method.
Given, a1 : We are

the residents of Minerva colony in Madras.

-------------- O/C ------------------------------

Now, based on this category we can write the remaining six like this,
Gen Q : Where are we from?
Int A.V S
Sp Q : Are we the residents of Minerva colony in Madras?
A.V S ------------------ O/C -------------------------Neg Q : Arent we the residents of Minerva colony in Madras?
Neg A.V S ----------------- O/C --------------------------EQ 1 : We are the residents of Minerva colony in Madras, arent we?
---------------------- a1 -----------------------------Q tag
EQ2 : We arent the residents of Minerva colony in Madras, are we?
--------------------a2 -----------------------------------Q tag -a2 : We arent the residents of Minerva colony in Madras.
S Neg A.V ---------------- O/C --------------------------Do remember to use the abbreviated or short of a Negative auxiliary. They are to be
pronounced as written. Give practice to your tongue in pronouncing these negative A.Vs
Splitting a sentence into the S+A.V+ O/C form is called analyzing a sentence or
sentence analysis. Become expert in analyzing every sentence you read and every
sentence you hear so that you are very clear about the elements of the grammar part. The
Grammar part will have only 2 elements in it, viz, S and A.V in this tense.
Here are more sentences of daily use in Present tense. Identify the S and A.V
elements in each as you read them.
Gen Q : Where are you?
a1 : I am in the bath room now.
a2 : I amnt inside my study room now.


Sp Q : Are all your brothers below the age of 9?

a1 : They are all below the age of 9
Neg Q: Arent you the weakest student in Standard V?
a2 : I amnt a weak student in Std V. Actually, I am the top student..
The O/C part can be split into two parts and one of them used as the starting part of a
sentence. Put the split out O/C where it will sound most effective. In the above example,
the sentence starts with a part of O/C actually.
EQ : Our teachers are always very patient with us, arent they?
a1 : They are always very patient with us.
a2 : They arent always patient with us. Sometimes they are angry with us.
Gen Q : Where is your younger brother?
a1 : He is in my Aunts house now.
a2 : He isnt in the house just now.
NegQ : Isnt your close friend very naughty during the games period?
a1 : He is naughty at times.
Neg Q : Amnt I your mothers own sister?
a1 : You are my mothers own sister.
EQ2: We arent your enemies in this colony, are we?
a2 : You arent our enemies at all.
EQ1 : Your pet dog is a very affectionate animal, isnt it?
a1 : It is indeed an affectionate fellow.
S A.V ----------- O/C ----------------Use of THERE in a sentence
THERE is a complement of place (Adverb of place), but we use this word to start an
English sentence.
Analyse the following sentence:


There is
a visitor

at the gate.

We have identified S and A.V. Then what is THERE? Is it a complement? No. It is

known as the Temporary subject, which also means that the real subject will come later.
The real subject here is, a visitor.
In the English language, we start many sentences with THERE as the temporary
subject. This is good English, incidentally. For instance, we never say, A cat is in my
room but always say, There is a cat in my room.
Here are some typical sentences of daily use in Q and A forms that use THERE. When
you analyse all of them, you will notice that a real subject come some words later after
THERE, which is the temporary subject.
1. Isnt there someone at the reception counter?
2. There is someone at the reception counter
3. Is there anything in the fridgidaire?
4. There is some left over food in it.
5. There are several mistakes in your essay, young man.
6. You are wrong. There is no doubt about it at all.
7. There are some evil people among you.
8. Arent there any do-gooders in this crowd?
9. There is a good restaurant at the end of this road.
10.There you are ! The answer is perfectly correct.
The second use of this tense is to talk about the things and qualities we and others
Here, is the grammar rule:









The sentence formulae are the same. Here are some examples:


Gen Q : What have you in your pocket?

Int A.V S
a1 : I have some small change in my pocket.
a2 : I havent anything in my pocket.
I have nothing in my pocket.
You can give a2 answers in two different ways as shown above. Learn to use them
Sp Q: Has your small brother
a1 : He has many toys.
a2 : He hasnt many toys.
He has no toys at all.

many toys?

Neg Q: Havent all the college students a bicycle each?

a1: All students have a bicycle each.
a2: Many students have no bicycle at all.
EQ1: Your children have some good story books, havent they?
Q. tag
EQ2: Chelladurai hasnt any sisters, has he?
The short forms of these two auxiliaries are :
Has not = Hasnt
Have not = Havent.
Always use the short form in Negative questions, a2 answers and Q tag.
Here are some sentences of daily use in PRESENT tense in Q and A forms. As you
read them (Please read them aloud in order to give practice to your tongue !), remember to
identify 3 things in each sentence.
(1) The tense
(2) The category of sentence
(3) What A.Vs have been used.

Sample sentences
1. Your school/college building is very large, isnt it? (Present, EQ1, IS)
2. Have you any colour pencil in your instrument box? (Present, Sp Q, HAVE)
3. Is your mother inside the house now?
4. She isnt in the house. She is in the next house at this moment.
5. What is there for breakfast today?
6. Are there many windows in this room?
7. There are three windows in this room.
8. Your house is very beautiful, isnt it?
9. You have no pity at all for poor people, have you? (Or,. You havent any pity ..)
10.Your friends are very kind persons, arent they?
11. I am not sure about the location of your house at all.
12. Are you very clear in your mind about this topic?
13. Sharda, you indeed have a wonderful apartment, havent you?
S C(m)
Q tag
14. It is wonderful indeed.
15. Money isnt all that important in life, is it?
16. There is no doubt whatever about this mans guilt at all, is there?
(Note the details of the Q tag when we start a sentence with THERE. There is no
equivalent pronoun for THERE. So, we use it as it is. This is the only exception
case in the EQ categories.)
17.Toms parents have two cars, havent they?
18.They have three cars in fact.
19. Am I your true friend or not?
20. You are certainly my true friend. There is no doubt about it at all.
21. Where is your home work?
22. Here it is Madam.
O/C S A.V, O/C
23. Why isnt your mother present in the hospital?
24. She is too busy in the house, Sir.
25.Amnt I your fathers elder brother?
26. You are my fathers elder brother.
27. Who is in the bathroom?
28. I am here, mummy.
29. How is your mother in the hospital today, Sujata?
30. She is much better today, Uncle.
31.Arent all these students quite weak in English?

32.They are surely very weak in English.

33.Where is the toilet in this compound?
34.The toilet is in the far building over there.
35.What is your father, Mohini?
36. He is a Lecturer in History in the Govt college.
37.This is not my school bag.
38.This is a long corridor, isnt it?
39.Isnt this a beautiful tree?
40.It is not so beautiful as all that.
There are in all 5 tenses in the PRESENT family. Of these, we use the PRESENT
TENSE much more than the others in our conversation.
Concluding note
Do you see any action or activity in the above sentences? Action/activity means, some
kind of movement? Do you see any? They look like static sentences, dont they? Truly
they are action less sentences. Action less, because we have used action less A.Vs in
them. The A.Vs, AM, IS and ARE are action less words/verbs. This is an important
conclusion. Read Lesson 5 carefully and come back to this tense.
What about HAS and HAVE? They are A.Vs all right, but do they show any action ?
Take a sentence like, I have two pens in my hand. Do you see any action. Of course, we
do. Unless something is holding the pens, how could the pens remain in your palm? Some
muscles ae holding the pen. So, even though wehave classified these two words as A.Vs,
they are action bsed like DO,DOES and DID.
Exercise 3
Pick out the A.Vs in the following sentences::
1. I am fond of Analogue modulation.
2. Arent your books from this shop?.
3. You are blind to these facts, arent you?
4. Is this your most modern house?
5. These are our bicycles.
6. Have you any knowledge on soft ware?
7. Who isnt your friend in this group?
8. Has your aunt any sisters?

9. Havent all your friends a modern car each?

10. Amnt I your teacher?
Fill up the blank with a suitable A.V of the Present tense
11. . I your immediate neighbour in K.V colony?
12. Your argument . no strength in it at all.
13. Where your hand kerchieves?
14. this your school bag?
15. . there any doubts about todays lesson?
16. I .. no pet cat in my house. We . only a small pet dog.
17. Shanti . no hobbies at all.
18. Vanitha my cousin sister.
19. . all mothers good cooks?
20. Sushilnath no sense of humour at all.
(Revise Lesson2 before attempting the following questions)Identify the O/C in the
following sentences:
21. We cannot give you everything from this shelf.
22. Dont we have 2 T.V sets in our house?
23. We are going out just now.
24. Couldnt you have taken all the small kids in your car?
25. You didnt bring any honour to your school.
(Revise Lesson 1 before attempting the following questions) Pick out the auxiliaries
from the following sentences:
26. We havent been playing well at all.
27. We dont need take you in our team
28. The policeman ought not to have arrested this senior citizen.
29. Havent you been getting used to this teacher even after weeks?
30. When will you be getting your next promotion?
Locate the mistake, if any, in the following sentences and rewrite the correct ones:
31. The pretty girl in the last row are my team mate in table tennis.
32. All the students in my class has very affectionate parents.
33. You, Susan and I are good friends, isnt we?
34. Rangarajan have one small sister and one elder brother.

35. Is they good at studies?

36. Arent Mala and Sheila yours friends?
37. Are there anyone in this class without any type of friends?
38. Some people have some nasty habits, hasnt they?
39. Which student havent a calculator?
40. There is a big difference between love and hate, isnt it?
41. Write 5 sentences of your own using THERE as temporary subject in answer form and
any one question form


Lesson 4
When to use
This is an action oiented tense, the first one we arelerning.
We use the PRESENT CONTINUOUS TENSE to describe an action actually in
progress or going on, at the time of talking. The person performing the action may be
yourself or a Second or a Third person.
In this tense, we use the Auxiliary separately and verb separately.
Grammar rules



HE, SHE, IT(or their

Corresponding nouns)


WE, YOU, THEY(or Theys

corresponding nouns)

Verb form
Present ending in ING

Sentence formulae
Since we use the Auxiliary separately and Verb separately, the sentence formulae
will be slightly different like this.
Gen Q : Int + A + S + V + O/C
Sp Q : A + S + V + O/C
Neg Q : Neg A + S + V + O/C

a1 : S + A + V + O/C
a2 : S + Neg A + V + O/C
EQ1: a1 + Neg Aux + Pronoun of S
EQ2 : a2 + Aux + Pronoun of S
Sample sentences
Gen Q : Where is your friend staying nowadays?
a1 : He is staying
in his own houe.
a2 : My friend isnt staying in Chennai nowadays.
Sp Q: Am I supervising your work too much?
a1 : You are supervising my work much too much.
a2 : You arent supervising my work much at all.
S NegA
Neg Q: Arent Ramanujam and his friend working too hard for theirs finals?
a1 : They are indeed working
too hard for their finals.
a2: Ramanujam and his friend arent working all that hard for finals
NegA V
We can split the O/C part into parts and use one of them anywhere in a
sentence where it will be effective in meaning. Normally we split the O/C in two parts only.
And usually, one part of O/C can be the starting part, as we will see later in some examples.
EQ1 : Now, we are watching a horror movie, arent we?
Adv(t) S A
Q tag
a1: We are surely watching a horror movie.
S A Adv(m)

EQ2: I am telling you all the actual truth about yesterdays incident, amnt I?.
Q tag
a2: You arent telling the entire truth about the incident.
S NegA V
Here are more sentences of daily use. As you read each, analyse it mentally. You
must develop your speed of analyzing. With practice, you can analyse any sentence within a
second. The sentence analysis actually would be restricted to the S+A+V part only to know
the tense of the sentence.
Gen Q: What are you eating Surinder?
a1 : I am munching some monkey nuts.
2 : We are not eating any birthday cake.
Neg Q : Arent you showing too much of interest in sports now?
a1 : Indeed, I am taking a lot of interest in all sports activities now.
a2 : At times, I amnt showing any interest on studies .
NegQ: Arent you revising your lessons now?
a1 : I am actually revising my English lessons now.
Gen Q: Where are all the VII standard students going now?
a1 : They are going to the Central auditorium
NegQ: Arent you walking a little too fast?
Here is a mix of sentences belonging to Present and Present continuous tenses:
Where is your house in this locality, Ramesh?
My house is at the third row from here.
What are you doing at the moment, Suresh?
I am buying some vegetables now for my mother.
Have you sufficient cash for all those vegetables?
I have sufficient money, dear fellow.
Arent you taking piano lessons this now in your institute?
Of course, I am taking piano lessons just now.
Are you enjoying the lessons? Are they very difficult?
The lessons are not difficult at all. I am enjoying every lesson.
Is any guest staying with you now?
Two of my friends are spending their week end with me in my house.

Note: This tense is often misused by the English users. For instance, a question such as,
Where are you studying? while your friend is standing in front of you, is a misuse, isnt
it?. When you asked the question, was he in school and studying? Is the action going on
when you posed the question? No. We have to use some other tense for that situation. So
ensure that the action is really in progress when you use this tense.
Exercise 4
Answer the following in a1 or a2 form in Present continuous tense :
1. Is your mother cooking breakfast now in the kitchen?
2. Isnt Rajan singing in your house now?
3. Why isnt George wearing his sports shoes?
4. You are celebrating your birthday now, arent you?
5. Who is sitting next to you just now?
6. Is the Mangalore mail running on time now?
7. Are you waiting for someone?
8. Ahmed is running round the football ground now for entertaining himself, isnt he?
9. Arent you waling too fast now?
10.Isnt Madhavan running high temperature in the hospital now?
Locate the mistake in each sentence and rewrite it. Mistake could be in the sentence
constuciton also:
11. Isnt Sumita hold the badminton racket in the wrong hand?
12. Ibrahim isnt playing well in the match today, is he?
13. Clever children usually are having clever parents.
14. When are your friend Ravindran reaching here?
15. I am not revise my lessons now.
16. We are proceed to the school on cycle, arent we?
17. Is your is your little sister keeping good health?
18. Isnt we sitting comfortably on the terrace wall now?
19. I am do my homework now.
20. Isnt Rajendran, Sujata and you learning English grammar attending the coaching
class now?
Fill up the blank with a suitable Auxiliary or A.V which ever is more suitable:
21. Normally, .. all college students above the age of 15 years?

22. Koshy David .. attending the football coaching camp during this week, isnt he?
23. Pradeeps sister . quite tall for her age, isnt she?
24.. a famous carpenter repairing all your broken furniture at present?
25. What your friend purchasing from this shop?
Write EQ 1 or EQ2 as the case may be for the following statements:
26. The watchman is pacing the front yard.
27. I am not recommending any student of this class for the goal keepers place.
28. This young mother is always worrying about her small daughter until her return
from school.
29. No one among you is suitable for the Captains post.
30. We are playing the trial match at the moment.
Write the remaining 6 categories of sentences for the given statement:
31. Given: a2 : We are not touching Chennai on our way to Bangalore from Vijayawada.
Neg Q: Arent you arriving at a wrong conclusion?
a1 : We are marching slowly on the metal road now.
Identify the verb/A.Vhe following sentences:
34. His condition is very stable this morning.
35. Your patient isnt running high temperature at all at present.
36. We are polishing our shoes now
37. Radha is concentrating on her dance lessons at the moment.
38. We havent any regrets over our failure.
39. Amnt I a smart guy?
40. He has many tricks up his sleeves.
Analyse the following sentences:
41. You are waiting for someone now, arent you?.
42. As a matter of fact, you are the top student in your class as of now.


Lesson 5
Till now, we have learnt two Tenses PRESENT and PRESENT CONTINUOUS.
The Present tense uses the auxiliary cum verbs AM, IS, ARE, HAS and HAVE. We saw
earlier that AM,IS and ARE are action less self supporting verbs or words.
Whereas, in the Present continuous tense, we use the auxiliary separately and verb
separately. Here we use normal verbs. In Chapter 1 we noted that a verb is a word of
action generated by the movement(s) of the parts of the body of a living being. The sentence
that uses a normal verb, which essentially has to be supported/helped by an auxiliary, will
show some action in them; you can see the action in your mental eyes. This is an important
point to remember.
Action based and action less tenses
Of the 16 tenses we are going to cover in this book, two are action less tenses; we
have already done one, PRESENT TENSE,[Well do that second actionless tense a little
later] and the remaining 14 are action based tenses.
Other parts of a Simple sentence
The sentences we discussed in Chapter 3 are known as Simple sentences. The term
Simple sentence is a technical word and dont interpret it as the opposite of difficult
sentence. We can write every Simple sentence in 7 categories and every category has its
own formula. The basic contents of a Simple sentence are: S + A + V + O/C. We know what
is contained in A and V. Let us now examine the other parts/section.


The main word in the Subject will be a Noun, which may be supported by words of all
parts of speech except Auxiliary and Verb. Here is an example of a long Subject along with
the identity of the supporting words:
An old man with his son, perfectly dressed ! and an ailing aunt from Attur
Art Adj Noun Prep P.Pro Noun adverbs
conj Art Adj Noun Prep Noun
|---------------------------------------------Subject ---------------------------------------|
are staying in this guest house.[Past continuous tense and an action based variety
Do you see that the Subject has 14 words belonging to 8 different parts of speech?
We can use only a maximum of 8 parts of speech. ( Auxiliary and Verb will never be present
in the Subject). There are 4 nouns in the Subject. Consider one of them as the main Noun
and the other nouns along with the words of other parts of speech are pointing towards the
main Noun.
Whenever you see a long subject, find its equivalent Pronoun, because it would
become necessary in the EQ question tag. Here it is, THEY.
The Subject could also be a single word in which case it will be a Subjective pronoun
or a single Noun. The Subjective pronouns are I, WE, YOU, HE, SHE, IT and THEY. (See
Chapter 1)
Now, here is an important observation. Incidentally very few grammar books talk
about it. What is the meaning of Subject? I asked myself this question and couldnt get a
satisfactory answer for quite some time. The Subject section has a noun and we noted that
a little earlier. But, does the word Noun make the meaning of Subject any clearer? There
are four nouns Of Person, Place, Thing and Quality. Which ones out of these 4, will go
in the Subject section? But, look at the whole sentence. What is the activity in the sentence?
(Do remember that a sentence that uses a normal verb supported by an auxiliary, will be an
action -oriented sentence) The verb concerned will show the nature of the action / activity
contained in the sentence. The activity here is staying. Who is doing that staying part?
The Subject, isnt it? Now , we are getting somewhere closer. The Subject will/must have a
Noun and that Noun is the doer of the action concerned in the sentence. This is a very
important conclusion indeed. Which Nouns could do/perform an action? Only the Noun of a
Person or Thing. Correct? The other two, viz, Place and Quality, cannot perform any action.
So, in an action based sentence, theSubject will be the doer of the action.
The Enlish language uses only two types of tenses,viz, Action based and action
less.Of the 16 tenses we will be learning in this book, 14 are action based and 2 action
less.In an action based tense/sentence the Subject is the doer of the action. And that doer

could be only a Person or Thing. Present continuous tense is the first action based tense.
Examine the Subjects in all the examples and find out what types of nouns we have used.
As regards the definition of Subject in an action less tense, we shall learn about it
when we do the second and final action less tense.
The next elements are Auxiliary and Verb. And you know already their role in the
Next, let us come to the O/C part? We noted that this part, whether it is Object or
Complement or a combination of both, will contribute to the meaning of the sentence. It is
the O/C part that will give us the full meaning of the sentence. The S+A+V part will
convey some meaning all right but never the full meaning. Take the following semisentence,
They are eating
Does the above semi sentence (It is an English sentence all right ! ) convey the full
content of the activity? If anything, it raises several question such as, eating what, eating
where eating how and so on. The full meaning will be clear only when we put the O/C
part, such as, breakfast in a restaurant.
This drives us to the conclusion that any Simple sentence must be self contained in
meaning. In other words, it must have O/C. An English sentence must have S+A+V.
Without A and V, what you will find will only be a group of English words and not an
English sentence. And, a Simple sentence must have O/C part. In the absence of O/C, we
cannot call it a Simple sentence. Thats why I said earlier that a Simple sentence is a
technical word.
We can look at the O and C part from another angle as well. It will contain the
details of the activity of the verb. Eating is the activity and what are its details?
The details are breakfast in a restaurant. O/C is nothing but the details of the activity as
revealed by the Verb in the sentence. The details will be in terms of O and C.
How do we segregate the Object and the Complement from the O/C part?
The Object test (Or, the Noun test)
We learnt in Chapter 2 that there are 9 interrogative words WHO, WHAT, WHICH,
WHOSE, WHOM and WHY, WHEN, WHERE and HOW? Of these, the first 5 are known

as interrogative pronouns. We use the interrogative pronouns to identify the Object in a

sentence. The main word in the Object will be always a noun which may be supported by
words of all parts of speech except A and V.
Consider the sentence, We are eating our breakfast just now. Have you recognised
the tense of this sentence? Yes, it is a Present continuous tense sentence because the action
is in progress at the time of talking. The S+A+V part consists of We are eating. Now,
use one of the interrogative pronouns after the Grammar part. We are eating WHAT?
The answer is our breakfast. So, our breakfast is the Object, which is a Noun. We can
therefore say, that any word or group of words that answer one of the test questions out of,
WHO,WHICH,WHAT,WHOSE, WHOM will be the object. Here are some examples
wherein the Objects are shown in bold along with the relevant identifying question :

James doesnt love his neighbour. (TQ : love WHO?)

Rashmi has fractured a hand. (TQ: fractured WHAT?)
I did not borrow my sisters book? (TQ: borrow WHOSE BOOK?)
(You do) pass that pencil to me. (TQ: pass WHICH, pass to WHOM).
(This sentence has two objects. ME is an objective pronoun, hence even without a
test question, you can say it is the Object.)

With practice, you can say that a particular word(s) are answer(s) for one of the
interrogative pronouns. Hence they will be the Object. If the Object is a long one, the main
word in it will be a Noun and all the others will be supporting words of all parts of speech
except A and V. Here is a long object; identify every word and state which is the real object.
We are reading

a famous book, well written on philosophy and modern

ethics to the satisfaction of our friends !
-------------------- O -----------------------------------The above sentence has a long O; it is O because the group of words answer the Object test
question WHAT and they have been shown in bold. Here is the identity of every word in the
a = article, famous = adjective, well written = adverbs, on = preposition,
philosophy = noun, and = conjunction, modern = adjective, ethics = noun, to
= preposition, the = article, satisfaction = noun , of = preposition, our =
possessive pronoun, friends = noun.
Words of all parts of speech are present here, except of course, Auxiliary and Verb. There
are 4 nouns; consider anyone of them as the main noun (the true object) and all the other
nouns and other words are pointing towards that main noun. I would consider book as the

main noun. Do note that every word in the object conveys or contributes to the meaning of
the object.
The Object could also be a single word, in which case it would be an objective
pronoun or a Noun. [The Objectie pronouns are: ME,US,YOU,HIM,HER, IT and THEM]
It is the same as saying, if you see an objective pronoun anywhere in the sentence, you can
blindly say that that word is the object. An objective pronoun could have to its left a
preposition and no other word. See the example at (d) If there is a Noun, it will be the
Object only if it passes the Noun test.
Look at the objects in all the sentences closely. All objects are Nouns and Nouns of
Persons or Things only, arent they? Can we then say that any Noun of Person or Thing
found in the O/C part will be an Object or Objects? This is a short cut method.
Now, we need a definition for Object. Can we say that an Object is a person or thing
acted upon by the Subject. The nature of action, which is conveyed by the Verb could be
directed only against a person or thing. Thus, we see a definite connecton between Subject
and Object and the connecting agency is the Verb. And a normal verb, that too. It cannot be
an A.V. Dont forget all normal verbs have action in them.
Always go in for the short cut method to identify the Object(s). If you find a Noun of a
Person or Thing, you could say with confidence that it is the object.
The Complement test (Or, The Adverb test)
In the same way, we use the Test Question , WHEN, WHERE or HOW to identify the
Complement (s). The main word in a Complement will be an Adverb which may be
supported by words of all parts of speech except A and V. Complement means An Adverb
with supporting words from all parts of speech except A and V.. If it is a single word, we
call it, Adverb. Adverbs are of three types, Adverb of time, Adverb of Place and Adverb
of Manner. The words in bold in the following examples are adverbs of different types:
We did not reach the railway station before 9 p.m. (TQ: reach WHERE, reach WHEN)
The above identification method is rather baffling, isnt it? Take the first group of words
(railway station). It is a Noun, isnt it? But it is also a place. So, it is an adverb of place.
An adverb of place which passes the TQ , WHERE will always be a noun. And so is the
answer for WHEN. Any expression of time such as, morning, evening, 10 p.m etc, will be
always a noun and falls under the definition, Adverb of time.
(a) This girl did not sing well
in the competition. ( TQ: didnt sing HOW?

Adv of manner

Adv of place

didnt sing WHERE)

(b)Our son ate his lunch very hurriedly (TQ: Our son ate HOW?).
The TQ, HOW has some expansions such as, HOW many, (number), HOW much
(money), HOW far (distance) , HOW long (time), HOW often (frequency). Here are some
examples which use the adverbs of manner:
(c)The Principal counted the number of members twice. (TQ: counted HOW
(d) We could not purchase 2 dozen oranges. (TQ: couldnt purchase HOW many?)
(Do you see that 2 dozen oranges also pass the Object/Noun test? So, take it as
Complement or Object, for the present.)
(e )We are paying our servant Rs 300 a month. (TQ: paying HOW much)
So, you will find more nouns doing the job of Adverb than the words of Adverb of
manner. Even in adverbs of manner, you would find quite a few nouns. For instance, the
answer for HOW much will always be a noun; and same for HOW long, HOW far?
Out of the four interrogative adverbs we have used only 3 for the Complement
test.What about the interrogative WHY? The TQ WHY will give the adverb of reason.
Adverb of reason will be always in a Clause form. We will learn about Clauses (and the
Clause of reason) in a later lesson.
So, when you see a noun in the O/C part, you can straightway say it is object if the
noun is that of a Person or Thing. If is a noun of Place or Time, it will be Complement of
Place or Time. If there is no noun in the O/C part, it will be complement of Manner.
This is the short cut method of identification.
Henceforth in our Sentence analysis, you must show clearly which is the O and which
C. A sentence can have any number of Os and Cs, but usually not more than two of each.
And you know how to identify them all by the shortcut method. Also remember that we can
split an O or C into two parts usually and put one of them either as the starting word(s) or
somewhere else in the sentence to make the meaning absolutely effective. No matter where
a Complement/Object is, you know how to pick it out.


Now we need a definition for Complement. We can define it this way; Complement is
a place or time or manner, the subject is being led into.
More about pronouns
Read Chapter 1 again on pronouns. Besides the Subjective pronouns, we can use
some other pronouns also in the Subject part. They are called indefinite pronouns.
Indefinite pronouns
The Indefinite pronouns are: ONE, MANY, A FEW, FEW, ALL, SUCH, OTHERS,
ONE means any single person which could be a male or a female. You can use all the
above as Subject. Here are some examples:
(a) ONE could travel in any bus with this freedom ticket
(b) MANY attended the evening function.
(c) SOMEONE/EVERYBODY is looking for you.
(d) Did ANYONE / ANYBODY make a telephone call for me?
(e) ALL are sinners according to the Bible.
(f) FEW people comply with the IT rules. (FEW here means nearly nil.)
(g) A FEW members attended the morning church service. (A FEW means a small
(h) SUCH is my luck, isnt it?
(i) SOMETHING touched my toes.
(j) THEY say that a well dressed man pick pocketed our chairman. (A Complex sentence
and THEY here refers to plural males or females)
(k) All the OTHERS may report at the office after working hours.
We can use all the above indefinite pronouns as Object also except THEY and FEW.
Here are the examples. (THEY and FEW are fit only as Subjects.)
(l) Could we blame ONE for all our troubles
(m)We do not see MANY in the auditorium
(n)Call SOMEONE /ANYONE from the crowd quickly.
(o)Tell EVERYONE this good news.
(p) I have informed only A FEW.

(q) Have you told the OTHERS.

Reflexive pronoun
The following pronouns, known as reflexive pronouns (because they reflect back on the
Subject) are used only as Objects. Carry out the Object test in the following sentences:
(a) I am going to the collectors office myself. [Myself is a Person, hence object]
(b) We ourselves witnessed the great circus feat.
(c) You can verify this fact by yourself/yourselves.[Yourself/yourselves are persons]
(d) He himself is responsible for this accident.
(e) This lady came to my office herself.
(f) This cat strangled itself to death.
(g) These boys do not trust themselves.
No matter where you find the reflexive pronoun, it will turn out to be object.These being
inherently Objective pronouns, we can never use them as Subjects. Yet, one could hear
people proclaiming a sentence like , Myself is available for this part in the drama, My
father and myself see this serial every evening. It is wrong to use the reflexive pronouns as
Possessive pronouns
The possessive pronouns are of two varieties. One variety we have already seen in
Chapter 1. They are: MY, OUR, YOUR, HIS, HER, ITS and THEIR. We must use these
pronouns always to the left side of a common noun and such a combination can be used
either in Subject or Object. We can never use them singly by itself.
But, there is another kind of possessive pronoun which are : MINE, OURS, YOURS,
HIS, HERS, ITS and THEIRS. You may add these to the list of pronouns shown in Chapter
1. We can use these all by itself in a sentence and in which case they will turn into
Objective pronouns or Subjective pronouns. Imagine a possessive pronoun becoming an
Object or Subject ! But then there it is ! The Noun test will tell us that they have turned into
Subjective or Objective pronouns. Carry out the Noun test and verify it yourself.
Used as Objects
(a) Is this book yours? (TQ : is WHOSE?)

(b) These books are ours. (TQ: are WHOSE)
(c) Isnt this cycle mine?
(d) The first prize is his/hers. Dont throw any challenge about it.
(e) This broken finger nail is its.
(f) All these mangoes are theirs now.
Used as Subjects
(g) Yours is a fine house.
(h) Between the two teams, ours (yours) did worse in all the matches.
(i) Sheilas essay was good. Hers turned out to be the best.
(j) Theirs dont perfom well in every competition.\
(k) Mine was liked by the judges. (Passive voice)
All the above possessive pronouns belong to persons. Therefore, you may use them in
all tenses and in action oriented tenses as well.
Although we can use His and Its also as Subjects, they wouldnt sound well and the
listener may get confused too.
So, what is the real identity of MINE, OURS, YOURS, HERS and THEIRS?
Are they Possessive pronouns, Subjective pronouns or Objective pronouns? They are
Possessive pronouns as far as the Pronoun list is concerned. Once you use them in a
sentence, they turn into Subjective or Objective pronouns. Arent they very interesting
Use of Objective pronouns as Subjects
The expression Objective pronoun implies that you can use them only in the Object
part of a sentence. But, we can use US and THEM in the Subject section also provided you
add some words before it, as shown below:
One of / Any of / Some of / A few of / Many of / All of US/THEM are standing at the
gate at the moment.
You cannot use US or THEM singly in the Subject section.

When we use a Subject in the above pattern, you will get into some difficulty in framing
the Q tag in EQs. Which pronoun of the Subject to use? This is the way:
One of us is staying back, isnt one (or he/she)?
------ Q tag --------Some of them , arent some (or, they)?
A few .. arent they?
Many of
, arent they?
Any of .., isnt any? (or, he/she)
All of us .., are all? (or they)
No one .., isnt one?
None .. , arent they?
In other tenses, use the appropriate auxiliary of the tense. As regards the pronoun in the
Q tag, follow the method given above.
Possessive noun
When we have to show a possessive case in respect of a Proper noun or Common noun,
we use an apostrophe and the letter s like this,
(l) Sundaras pet dog came first in the race. ( Her pet dog)
(m)Philips house caught fire the other day. (His house)
When the noun ends in the letter s we just use the apostrophe in written form and
pronounce it in a different way as shown below:
(n)James sister is lame on one leg. (Pronounced as Jamses sister).
(o) We agreed to the proposal for Business sake. (Pronounced as Businesses sake)
Now, here is a red-herring. Take the following Present tense sentences and analyse them:
(a) Surenderan is a good student.
(b) These are my cousin brothers.
The words in bold pass the Object test [TQ: WHO] and therefore technically we
must call them Objects. But look at it from the angle of the definition we had stated for an

Object. They are Nouns all right and nouns of Persons as well but are they the persons
acted upon? Where is the action? The sentences use A.Vs which are action less verbs.
Next, the Subject, by definition, is a doer of an action contained in a sentence. Is
Surendran the doer of an action? Which action? Is these doer of an action? Which
So, here comes the rub. Though these sentences have objects (certified as such by the
object test), they are not real objects because they do not satisfy the meaning or definition of
Object. What then are these words? Do you notice, that the words in bold amplify the
Subject or add more information to the Subject? Look at them again.
Good student refer to Surendran, as additional information / description of the
Subject. Surenderan and good student are interchangeable since they refer to the same
person/noun. My cousin brothers refer to the pronoun These as additional information
about the Subject. My cousin brothers and these refer to the same noun.
So, it is wrong to call these words as Objects. We have to call them by some other
name. That name is Adjunct. We may define an adjunct as additional information in
relation to the Subject. Thus, the sentence analysis of a sentence that uses the action less
A.Vs will be like this,
(f) Monkeys arent humans.
Neg A.V
(g) My students are not your students.
(h) Paul is my brother
(i) I am not your neighbour.
What if the end words are not nouns? What if they are adverbs or complement and
pass the /Adverb/Complement test? We then have to call them Adverb or Complement.
(j) This boy is nice.
(k) Isnt she beautiful?
(l) They are clever and smart
C (m)


The sentence formula is somewhat different when action less verbs are present in a
sentence. In this case, it is the PRESENT tense. The basic sentence formula for PRESENT
tense is,
S + A + V + Adjunct/Complement
Do remember that any sentence that uses one of the following 5 A.Vs (viz,
AM,IS,ARE,,WAS,WERE )will be action less sentences. An action less sentence will never
carry an Object but only an Adjunct or Complement.
When we did Present tense, we called the meaning part as O/C. But they will not
come under the definition of Object, as defined in this lesson. Therefore go back to Present
tense lesson and amend the O/C as Adjunct/Complement.
When there is an Object in a sentence, we say that that Verb has been used transitively.
Such a verb will lead to a person/thing acted upon. Every verb need not lead to an object;
some may lead to only a Complement. In this case, we say that the Verb has been used
intransitively. Some verbs are intrinsically intransitive verbs; they will never lead to an
object; there will be no person or thing acted upon in such sentences. They are COME and
GO and their synonyms. These two normal verbs (which are called, intransitive verbs) will
always lead to a Complement only. ( We can use even these so called intransitive verbs to
lead to an Object. We will cover this aspect in a different Level of English) The so called
transitive verbs can be used transitively or intransitively. Remember, there is nothing known
as transitive verbs. There exist only intransitive verbs. Here are two examples:
(a) Mala sings magnificent songs.
(b) Mala sings magnificently.
(c) We returned home well before 9p.m.
(A) V
Adv of place Adv of time
(d) All of us dont go to office daily at 9 a.m.
Neg A V Place
(c ) and (d) contain intransitive verbs which will never lead to an object.
Concluding remarks


You will not find most of the information and definitions contained in this Lesson in
any Grammar book available in book shops. They are all my discoveries. I am sharing
them with you. Tell others about them.
Read Lesson 2 (Sentence structure) once again and look at S, O and C in the light of
the definitions and clarifications contained in this lesson. Do note that Present tense
sentences are action less sentences. They are static type sentences. You cannot see
anything moving in this tense.
In the PRESENT tense and PRESENT CONTINUOUS, which one will show action
less sentences? And why?
Ans: The PRESENT tense sentence will be action less because we use A.Vs
(AM,IS,ARE) in it.
Exercise 5
1. Define verb in a down-to-earth language.
2 . Can we use a verb by itself in a Simple sentence? If yes, write an a2 sentence
using write.
3. How many Pronouns can represent every Noun in the world and name them.
4. What do you understand by Pure pronoun? Name them.
5. Write a sample long Subject going up to 12 words and state its equivalent
Subjective pronoun.
6. Explain the real meaning of Subject to a student of IV grade.
7. Explain the real meaning of Object to a V grade girl student.
8 .How will you pick out the Object(s) in the meaning part of a sentence. Give
9 Write out a long Object and identify every word in it.
10. Is it possible that an objective pronoun could have some additional word? If yes,
give examples.
11. How will you separate out a complement or complements in a sentence. Justify
your answer.
12. What are the various types of Adverbs? Give the Test Question for each type.
13. Can a Noun appear in the Complement part of a sentence. Justify through some
14. What do you understand by Indefinite pronouns? State their uses.
15.Where all can you find a possessive pronoun in a sentence.
16. Can you use a possessive pronoun by itself, singly? Justify.

17. In what capacity can we use the possessive pronoun YOURS and THEIRS. Give
18. Is there anything known as transitive verb? When do we call some verbs
transitive verbs?
19. Can an intransitive verb lead to an object in a sentence? Why not?
20.Give the sentence formula for an a1 category in an action less sentence.
21.Why is there no Object in a Present tense sentence although the word(s) may pass
the Object test?
22. Use THEMSELVES in a sentence and state the identity of this word.
23.What do you understand by Adjunct. Give example.
24. Which pronouns could we use in the Subject section and Object section singly?
25.Use US in the Subject through two examples.
26. Fill up the blank in the following EQs:
(a) One of them is coming with us on the picnic, is - - - ?
(b) Some of us are very much interested in English grammar, arent - - - 27.Give the grammar rules for the Present continuous tense.
28. Give the S +A +V rules for Present tense, possessive case.
29.Give the list of all A.Vs used in the English language.
30. Of the 11 A.Vs, some will show some kind of activity. Which are they?

Lesson 6

When to use
This is the third tense in the Present family. (The other two are PRESENT and
We use the Simple present for four different situations. It is a very interesting but a
most misunderstood tense as well. Here are the uses,
(a) to talk about the activities we do as a routine; some daily ( like going for work or
eating our meals, going to bed), some weekly ( like going to church or temple) and
some on a monthly or yearly basis.
(b) to give an order or command to a SECOND person who is before you.
(c) to acknowledge a command / order.
(d) to make a suggestion/statement and acknowledging the same.
The Grammar rules (or, the S+A+V rules)
All persons


Verb form
Present form


*These auxiliaries are used primarily for use at (c) to acknowledge an

order/command.You can use it for issuing a command/order also.
This tense uses the auxiliary separately and verb separately. Since a normal verb is
used here, the sentences will be action-oriented.
Sample sentences
We follow the same formulae for the 7 categories of sentences, but using the auxiliaries
and verb form stated above. In this tense, we have 8 categories of sentences.
Use of auxiliary DO (with I, WE, YOU, THEY)
Gen Q : Where do you normally park your motor cycle?
Int A S Adv(C1) V

Ea1 : I do park it normally in my portico.

S A V O Adv(C1)
a1 : I park it normally in my portico.
S (A)V O
a2: I dont normally park it at my backyard.
S NegA C1
Sp Q: Do your parents reside in this house?
Ea1 : They do reside in this house.
a1: They reside in this house.
S (A)V
Neg Q: Dont my wife and I pray to God

every night before bed time?


Ea1: We do pray to God every night before bed time?

a1 : We pray
to God every night before bed time?
A (A)V
EQ1: We pray to God every night before bed time, dont we?
|---------------------- a1 -------------------------| NegA, Subj pro
EQ2: I normally dont park my motor cycle at my back yard,
|-----------------------a2 -----------------------------------------|

do I?
A S. Pro

In this tense, we can give Emphatic a1 answers. This is shown as Ea1. We dont
give emphatic answer for every question. For normal answer, all we do is, silence the
auxiliary DO. To remind ourselves that an auxiliary is very much present, we show it inside
brackets as, (A)V. Dont forget that there is no English sentence without S+A+V which
may be in different sequences. In the sentence analysis if we merely show S+V, one could
conclude that the auxiliary is absent. This is completely wrong. Strangely, several English
users also say that there is no auxiliary in a1 answers in Simple present tense all because we
go straight to the V after S.
Here are sentences of daily use with DO as the auxiliary. Analyse every sentence
mentally as you say each loudly:
Routine actions


Where do your friends go for tennis practice every day?

They go to our Defence club for their tennis practice.
Dont you get tired of revising and revising the same lessons. (revising here is a
I dont get tired of it at all.
Many of our class mates dont see too many movies in the theatre, do they?
Many dont see movies in a theatre.
Dont you watch one or T.V. serials daily?
I do watch a few serials daily. (This is an Ea1)
Peter and I dont drink coffee, do we?
We dont drink coffee. We do drink a lot of tea every day.
How do you travel to your office?
My neighbour and I normally take an auto for office.
Why dont you share your neighbours car for office?
His car is not at all reliable. (Present tense answer)
The second use of the SIMPLE PRESENT tense is, to give a command/order.
Do remember that we can issue an order or command only to a person standing in front of
you, ie. SECOND person. The category of sentence in this regard is a1 or a2 and not
any other.
You have used all the commands/orders given below several times in your life and you
would have heard them also but without realizing that they are regular English sentences.
May I reiterate once again that every English sentence must have S+A+V?
a1 : (You do) sit down.
S A V Adv
a1 : (You do) come to my office immediately.
a1 : Stand up.
: Stand still
: Stop writing.
: Go home.
: Wait here.
: Stop fidgeting.
: (You do) Be careful.
S A V Adv

: Be silent during the prayer.

a2 : ( You) Dont smoke inside the office
S NegA V
: Dont stand there. Go for your work.
: Dont touch the flowers.
: Dont walk on the lawn.
: (You) Dont be silly
Neg A V Adv
: Dont be proud.
: Dont panic during any crisis.
Be is a normal present form verb. Its other two forms are, WAS/WERE and BEEN.
Be is also a 3 in 1 word. BE is equal to AM, IS, ARE. Thus, it is an A.V. We have
used AM,IS and ARE as A.V in PRESENT tense. We have used it as normal verb
(supported by the auxiliary DO) here. And we shall use it as auxiliary in Future tense.
We may use the auxiliary WILL also for issuing an order/command. While the Simple
present with DO will sound impolite and blunt, the order with WILL may sound somewhat
polite, thats all.
a1 :
a2 :
a2 :

Will you see me at 1300 hours?

Will you complete this job by this evening?
You shall not step into my house ever again. (SHALL is stronger than WILL)
You shall get him by all means.

Now, are you clear about issuing orders/ commands? For an order to be crisp and
businesslike, we have to use the short form omitting the S and A sections or S section only.
(c) Acknowledging an order/command
For acknowledging an order, we use the auxiliary WILL or SHALL. SHALL is
stronger than WILL. We use these auxiliaries for all Persons. If you check back, you will
note that these two are Pure auxiliaries or Universal auxiliaries.
a2 : Dont touch the flowers.
a1 : I will not touch the flowers.
S Neg A V


a1: Go home straight.

: I shall go home straight.
a2: Dont come to my house with immediate effect.
a2: I shant come to your house. (SHANT is the short form for SHALL NOT)
a1 : Help me in this job.
a2 : I wontt help you in this job. (WONT is the short form of WILL NOT)
a1: Take your seat.
a1: I will take my seat after a minute.
a1: Shut up.
a1: I will shut up.
Do note that you give the command/order in a1 or a2
acknowledgement is also in a1/a2 category of sentence.

category and the

(d) Making suggestions and also acknowledging them

Gen Q : What do you see over there?
Int A S V
Obviously the above sentence is not a routine action type although we have used the
auxiliary DO. The sentence amounts to making a suggestion or asking a question about
some thing that you see or do in present time. And the acknowledgement could be in a1
category or a2 category as applicable, using the auxiliary DO.
a1 : I see a tree over there.
S (A)V
a2 : I dont see anything over there.
S NegA V
Sp Q: Do you like mangoes or oranges?
a1 : I like oranges. a2: I dont like mangoes.
Neg Q : Dont you argue unnecessarily?
a1 : I argue only occasionally.
EQ1 : Your friends understand the situation in their own homes, dont they?
a2 : They dont understand it most of the time.

EQ2 : We dont accept all the advice of our elders, do we?

a2 : We dont accept them sometime.
Use of DO as a verb
Analyse the following sentence:
How do you do
Int A S

this asana

in your yoga exercise?


What is the identity of the second do? Looking at it from the analysis angle, where
is the V in the sentence? The formula for a Gen Q is : Int+A+S+V+O/C. Therefore the
second do is doing the job of a normal verb and is supported by the auxiliary do.
Do happens to be a normal verb as well. Dont you see some action at the mention
of the word? As a normal verb, its other two forms are, DID, DONE.
In the Simple present tense, we use do as a normal verb supported by do again
but silenced. Analyse the following sentence:
We do
S (A)V

this task every day.


You can view do here is an A.V also.

DO is one of the 11 A.Vs. (See Chapter 1) All the A.Vs are 2-in-1 words, i.e. we can
use them as self supporting verbs or as auxiliaries to support a normal verb. Thats how we
used AM, IS and ARE as auxiliaries in PRESENT CONTINUOUS tense. Of the 11 A.Vs,
only 5 are action less words. DO, DOES and DID are not action less types; they are very
much action- based verbs as well.
Thus, DO happens to be a 3-in-1 word. We use it as an A.V., as auxiliary in Simple
present and as normal verb in any tense.
Use of HAVE as present form verb in SIMPLE PRESENT


HAVE is also a 3-in-1 word. We used it as A.V in PRESENT tense possessive case.
Here shall we see its use as a normal present form verb? As a verb, its other 2 forms are,
Gen Q: What do you have in your pocket?
Int A S V
a2 : I dont have anything in my pocket.
a1 : I have only a ball point in my pocket.
S (A)V Adv
You may consider have as A.V also in the above sentence. Both categories will
convey the same meaning.
Sp Q : Do you have some spare money with you?
Ea1 : I do have some fifteen rupees spare money with me.
a1 : I have about fifteen rupees spare money with me.
Neg Q : Dont you have any food in the fridgidaire?
a1 : I have some left-over food in the fridgidaire.
a2 : I dont have anything inside the fridgidaire..
EQ1 : You have ten students for tuition now, dont you?
EQ2 : My parents dont have much money at all with them, do they?
Use of auxiliary DOES (with HE, SHE and IT)
We use this auxiliary only for (i) routine activities and (ii) for making suggestions and
acknowledging them. We cannot use this for issuing order/command. Here are the sample
Routine activities
Gen Q: Where does Paul Jones take his English tuition from?
Int A
Ea1: He does take English tuition from a home tutor.
a1: He takes English tuition from a home tutor.
S (A)V
a2 : He does not take it in any institute.
NegQ: Doesnt our History professor take us to task for our casualness in studies?

Ea1: He does take us to task.

a1 : He takes us to task over our casualness in studies.
EQ1: Ranganathan plays cricket very well, doesnt he?
|------------------- a1 --------------------|
Q. tag
EQ2: Sandy Sundaram doesnt like short story writing, does he?
|------------------ a2 ----------------------------------| A Pro of Subj
What have we done? In a1 case, we remove the auxiliary DOES and give an s sound
to the present form verb. We will get the s sound by adding the letter s in some cases,
letters es in some and letters ies in the case of certain verbs. The formula would appear
to be like this,
DOES + act
DOES + speak

= acts
= speaks

DOES + catch
DOES + brush

= catches
= brushes

DOES + cry
DOES + fly

= cries
= flies.

Making suggestions and acknowledging them

SpQ: Does Sheila love me?
Ea1: She does love you.
a1: She loves you very much.
S (A)V O
a2: She doesnt love you at all.
S NegA V
O Ct
Neg Q : Doesnt Rajam know my cousin sister?
a1 : Rajam knows yuur cousin sister.
a2 : She doesnt know your cousin sister very well.
Analyse the following sentence :
Gen Q : What does Sneha do for a living?
Int A
a1: She takes to modelling every now and then.

S (A)V
a2: She does nothing in particular. Her parents support her.
Have you noticed that we have used DO as a present form verb along with the
auxiliary DOES in the Gen Q above? And further, we have used DOES as A.V in an a2
category. Do remember that DOES is also an A.V. We use it as the Auxiliary in Simple
Present and as A.V in Simple present as shown above.
Use of HAVE as present form verb
We used HAVE as a present form verb with the auxiliary DO earlier. When we use
this verb with the auxiliary DOES, something peculiar happens. Examine the following
Gen Q: What does Abraham have in his table drawer?
Ea1 : He does have his calculator, walkman and some fiction books.
a1 : He has his calculator, walkman and some fiction books.
a2 : He doesnt have any money in it at all.
Do you notice that a1 answer does not use HAVE as a verb. We have switched over
to HAS which is an A.V? We cannot express this sentence idea in any other way at all. And
here is the strangest occurrence. It would appear that,
DOES + have = has
Like in the other cases, we cannot remove DOES and give an s sound to the Present form
verb HAVE. If we do, HAVES turns into a noun. So, in the entire English language, HAVE
is the only Present form verb that will not accept the s sound and yet remain a present form
verb. So the above formula is true and is an exceptional one.
SIMPLE PRESENT tense sentences with the interrogative WHO
Study the following sentences:
Gen Q : Who goes to the market daily for purchasing vegetables?
Int/S V
a1: Maragatham goes to the market daily, Madam.
a2: Everyone doesnt go to the market daily, Madam.


When we use the interrogative WHO, the sentence pattern changes. In the Gen Q,
where is the Subject and where is the Auxiliary.?
WHO is doing two jobs, that of an interrogative and also of Subject. If WHO is the
Subject (Noun), what Person is it? First or Second or Third? And what is the number of the
so called Noun? Without this information we cannot select the Auxiliary and Verb. The
answers for these questions are, WHO as a Noun belongs to the Third person. WHO may
refer to a single Third person noun or plural Third person noun. The selection of the Verb
will show whether WHO is to be taken as singular or plural. Next, when WHO is the
Subject, we dont use an Auxiliary if it is a Positive question and go straight to the verb
singular verb or plural verb. But, if it is a negative kind of question, we have to use the
Auxiliary. Here are more examples:
Gen Q : Who knows this man? (The Subject WHO is singular.)
en Q : Who does not know this man? (WHO is singular)
Who do not know the uses of a calculator? (WHO is plural)
Who knows all the rules of Cricket?
a1 : All of us know this man, Sir.
: Only one of them knows this man, Sir.
Gen Q : Who do not understand Hindi in this group?
: Who understand French in this class?
: Who understands Sanskrit in Std X?
We will come across WHO as the interrogative cum Subject in other tenses also. The
treatment to be given to it then will be the same as explained here.
Exercise - 6
Answer the following questions in the affirmative ( a1 category). You may make any
assumption in framing the answer:
1.In which guest house, do we stay during our visit to New Delhi?.
2. Doesnt Seshan talk too loudly during a guest lecture in the auditorium?
3. Shekhar always fights with everyone for silly reasons, doesnt he?
4. Who live in the coastal region of Tamil Nadu?
5. Who does not know algebraic division sums?
Answer in the negative (Give a2 answers). You may make any assumption in
framing your answer, which may be in any tense belonging to the Present family:


6. Doesnt Miriam sleep on the first floor of your house?

7. Dont these magazines belong to a few III Semester students?
8. Does your elder sister know cooking?
9. Do all fathers scold their children for bad performance in their school?
10.Who does the gardening job in your house?
Locate the mistake, if any, in the following sentences and rewrite the concerned
sentence where necessary:
11.Mohana know you very well.
12.Subby does not have any grudge against you at all, doesnt he?
13.The Sun do set in the West daily.
14.My History lecturer does comes to class always on time.
15.Where does your mother buys your shoes from?
16.Raman and Krishnamoorthy owns this house in this colony.
17.Do you have some spare pencils with you now?
18.Dont you normally take your breakfast at 7.30 a.m?
19.Shyam isnt use his own motorbike to college these days.
20.Who not know the National Anthem?
During the learning stage, when you listen to somebodys sentences, you must identify 3
things almost instantly. They are: the tense, category of sentence and the A+V or A.V. In
the following sentences identify these 3 elements:
21.Some children are not fond of ghost stories.
22.Surely, many school children dont like sandwiches for lunch.
23.Arent you sometime or the other threatening some students with punishment?
24.Does Purushottam not wish you every morning?
25.Isnt this your book?
26.Stop lecturing to me.
27.We dont encourage our colleagues copying someone elses answers.
28.Have you any uncles?.
29.Dont disobey your elders ever.
30.How do you do?
State the tense and pick out the S+A+V or S+A.V part in each of the following
31.You have two other friends, havent you?
32.What is there in your handbag?

33.What does Sujata have in her handbag?

34.Amnt I the goal keeper in your team?
35.Are Martha, Sunita and Jayseeli living beyond their means?
36.Edward doesnt have any sense of humour at all, has he?
Write the remaining 6 categories of sentences
37.Given, Ea1: Jayaraman does like omelette.
38.Given, EQ2: : Janakiraman isnt my kind of philanthropist, is he?
39.Given, a2 : We dont have any CDs in our shop.
State which sentences given below belong to the routine actions, which orders, which
suggestions and which acknowledgements:
40.Do you go to the library?
41.Why dont you talk nicely with your classmates?
42.I see many varieties of paintings in this exhibition hall.
43.Stop talking in my class.
44.I will go there this very minute.
Give emphatic answers for the following questions:
45.Do you all know the multiplication tables up to 16?
46.Where does our Chief Minister live in Chennai?
47.When do you revise all your lessons?
48.In which house does our English professor live in this colony?
49.For giving orders, which category or categories of sentence do we use? Give two
50.In the following sentence, what is the idenity of the word underlined?
Sudhir is not my neighhour.

Lesson 7


We had covered in detail all about NOUN, AUXILIARY, VERB and PRONOUN
in Chapter 1. In this Chapter, we are going to study the remaining Parts of speech, viz,
Earlier we saw that the Subject and Object could have words of all parts of speech
except Auxiliary and Verb. Therefore when you spot any of these words in S or O, you
must know their true identity. In C also you will find words of all parts of speech except A
and V. If you see a Noun in the Complement, you know it would be mostly Adverb of Place
or Time and sometime adverb of manner that answer the test questions,
how much, how often, how long, how many, how far.
A, AN and THE are articles because they refer to number(s) of noun(s).. A refers
to a singular noun, An also refer to a singular noun that starts with a vowel, The
refers to plural nouns.
A/An refer to any common singular noun. Whereas the refers to a particular
common noun only.
The is also used to refer to a large number of noun. But then, what about the
small number like 2 to 15, 20, 50, 100? For such small number we use, SOME, ANY,
MANY, ALL, A FEW, FEW. If they refer to the number of the noun, we should call them
Articles.. Here are some examples:
(a) A poor boy is waiting here for you.
(b) We broke an egg from that nest.
(c) All the students of St Johns international school are from rich families.
(d) Some mangoes have fallen off the bullock cart. (some refers to about 6 or 7)
(e) Do any students understand the Nepali language here? (any refer to 2 or 3)
(f) Many persons are attending our church service on Sundays. ( Say up to 50?)
(g) All children are very nice to animals in this colony. (a large number)
(h) A few people always come here for alms. (A small number, say about 5, 6)
(i) Few people attend a lecture on Philosophy. (Just one or two persons)


We can use the above articles not only to the left side of a common noun but also to the
left side of an adjective that is describing a noun.
Adjective is a tricky word and an interesting one at that as well. Adjective is a word
that describes a Common Noun in some way and will be always to the immediate left side
of that noun. Some books would say that there are various types of Adjectives like
adjectives of quality, quantity, manner and so on. Why bother about the types? I have said
that an adjective would describe the quality of a noun in some way except its number. That
definition is enough. What is more important to learn is that many parts of speech would
be doing the job of an adjective than a real adjective. The only way to spot them as
adjectives is, to see if it is to the left side of a common noun and if it is describing that noun
in some way. We may find that combination ( adjective + noun) in the Subject part or O/C
part. You will never see an adjective all by itself. You can never use an adjective singly
Here is a list of natural adjectives: LONG, SHORT, TALL, BEAUTIFUL, UGLY,
BRIGHT, DULL, BIG, LARGE, NICE and so on. Here are some sentences:
(a) Rajagopal is a dull boy.
(b) Ours is not a big house.
(c) Vineeta is a beautiful girl.
Other parts of speech doing the job of an adjective
Demonstrative pronouns as adjectives
Study the following sentences:
(a) That book is yours, isnt it?
(b) We are sitting on this chair.
(c)These houses belong to my grand father.
(d) We dont like those mangoes.
(e) Dont touch these/those books
All the words in bold are demonstrative pronouns. Demonstrative because we have to
use our index finger to point at the things referred therein. And here, they are doing the job
of adjectives.


Interrogatives as adjective
(a)What time is it now?
(b) Which train goes to Delhi?
(c)Whose car is this?
Nouns as adjectives
The Eighth standard children are present here now.
The London mail is leaving now.
There are several tailor shops on this road.
Please get me a dozen mangoes.
School boys should not loiter around during week days.
Five boys do not understand Tamil in this class.
Verbs as adjectives
We can use PP verbs or continuous verbs also as adjectives:
My elder sister is a caring woman.
The running/rushing train came to a halt after some 2 kilometers.
Arent you a very daring fighter?
Please return the borrowed book back to me.
Amala is a married woman.
Isnt this a very interesting book?
Articles as adjectives
While A or An will refer to only a single number of a noun, the other articles SOME,
MANY, ALL, ANY, A FEW, FEW may refer to a number or could describe a noun in a way
other than number. In which case, they will be doing the job of adjectives. Study the
following sentences:
(a) My dear friend is eating some mangoes secretly over there without anyones
(b) Many Tibetians could talk in Hindi.
(c) Does any boy know this poor old man?
(d) Summon all candidates for a personal interview.
(e) Please give me a few currency notes.


(f)Few refugees are denied help in India.

When we use the other parts of speech to do the job of adjectives, we name them as
derived adjectives. They are not natural adjectives.
Degrees in Adjectives
We use the natural adjectives in 3 degrees in a Simple sentence POSITIVE,
The sentences cited above which use the natural adjectives or derived adjective are in
Comparative degree
An adjective essentially talks about the quality of a noun, a quality of a common
only.When we compare the qualities of two persons, we may find one is superior to the
other. Or, the value of one quality varies in some measure. To bring out this difference
between the two qualities, we use the comparative degree. Such comparison is made in a
qualitative manner and never in a quantitative manner at all.
We get the comparative degree of an adjective by adding the letters er to thepositive
degree natural adjective. Here are some examples:
Positive degree

Comparative degree

If the positive degree word ends in the letter y, we remove it and use the
letters ier as shown below:


If the adjective is a long one (has two or three syllables), we use MORE or LESS
before it to get the comparative degree as shown below:

More beautiful
More intelligent
More abnormal
More favourable


Less Expensive
Less tolerable
Less troublesome

Have you noticed that we have designed the comparative degree only for the Natural
Adjectives and not for the derived adjectives? In some cases only we can do so and never in
all cases. Study the following:

More interesting
Less interesting
More charming
Less charming
More/Less caring
Less caring

We are successful only in case of continuous verbs. Others fail here.

We must remember that it is describing a common noun and hence must be to the left
side of that noun. Several users forget this fact.
Here is how we use the comparative degrees to bring out which quality is superior
andwhich inferior:
(a) Peter is a shorter boy than Samuel.(is)
(b) Isnt Sujata a more beautiful woman than Martha? (is)
(c) This is a less expensive pen than the other, isnt it?

Note that the comparison is in qualitative terms. The sentence does not say by how many
centimeters is Peter shorter in relation to Samuels height.


Often, some writers and even highly learned people unwittingly use sentences like, Peter
is shorter than Samuel. This is not adjective-comparative at all. Where is the noun the
adjective is describing? It turns into an Adverb comparative.
Now, if we have to use a pronoun for the compared person (noun), it has to be a
Subjective pronoun and not an objective pronoun. Subjective pronoun, because the Adjective
comparative is a Complex sentence and not a Simple sentence. You will understand this
better when we learn about Complex sentences. Here are the examples:
(aa) Peter is a shorter boy than he (is)
conj S A.V
(bb) Isnt Sujata a more beautiful woman than Martha (she) (is)?
(cc) This is a less expensive pen than the other (is), isnt it? (other is a pronoun and
used as subject here.)
We often omit the Verb or A.V after the subjective pronoun of the compared
person.But it is very much present, this being a Complex sentence. Incidentally, many users
do not realize that the Adjective comparative is a Complex sentence. A complex sentence will
have 2 Nos. S+A+V with one conjunction.
In writing a comparative degree sentence, you must use the adjective in the comparative
form and use THAN as conjunction as shown.
Superlative degree
To show in a group that someone is the top most in quality, we use the Superlative
degree.We arrive at the superlative degree by adding the letters est to some adjectives and
most/ least to the long ones as shown below:







More aggressive


Less vigilant



Here are some examples of the superlative degree. In this we must use the article
thebefore the superlative adjective which must describe a common noun.
(a) Sugirtha is the brightest student in my class.
(b) Our team plays the most aggressive game in any match.
S (A)V
(c) You are the least vigilant security force in this part of the globe.
The Positive and Superlative sentences are Simple sentences because you will find only
one set of S+A+V+O/C and it is a Simple sentence
In trying to locate the top most person/thing, we may note that there are quite a few
persons holding the top position. For instance, several students could secure 100% marks in
Maths. Therefore, all of them are the tops, arent they? We express this situation by using
one of the before the superlative degree followed by the noun described in plural form. Here
are the examples:
(a) Krishnan is one of the brightest students in this class.
(b) Ours is one of the smartest batches in this Academy.
(c) Kritika is one of the most beautiful maidens in our college.
(d) Do you call this as one of the least memorable acts of our group?
The following sentence is wrong. Do you know why?
(e)Kundipatti is one of the smallest village in Tamil Nadu
The noun described by the superlative adjective is in singular form. It is wrong. It
must read villages. Yet, you would find many English speakers use the superlative in
this manner.
For certain natural Positive adjectives, the Comparatives and Superlatives are totally
different words. They are however, only a few. Here they are:
Bad, evil, ill

Less, lesser





Less , More and Most are interesting words, arent they? Less particularly.
We can use it singly as Positive or also as Comparative.
Here are the sentences that use these Adjectives:
(a) Arent these children in the first row your good students?
(b) Indeed, they are better students than the others in my class (are).
(c) The best student of the Science group is Ravindran of Bangalore.
(d) You dont need much money, do you?
(e) Of course, I need more money than my small brother (needs)
(f) During the free for all game, Suchitra collected the most toys.
(g) I am not giving you the least help.
Adverbs are of three types Adverb of Manner, Adverb of Place and Adverb of
Time. Adverbs (of Manner only) are like cousin sisters of Adjectives. Therefore an
Adverb would be doing the same as an Adjective. While an Adjective will describe a
common noun standing immediately to its left, the Adverb will describe that noun
standing away from it.
We can use all the natural adjectives as adverbs (of Manner) and a few of the
derived ones as well.
We identify the type of adverbs through test questions:
Adverbs of manner (TQ: HOW)
Adverbs of time
Adverbs of place (TQ: WHERE)
The definition for Adverb cited bove, holds good only for Adverb of Manner.
Adeverb of time and place will not describe any noun. They will usually form part of the
Complement of the sentence and give the details of the verb. [Do recall that we look at
the O/C as a part containing the details of the Verbs action]


In Chapter 4, we saw how to carry out a Complement test. You also know that the
main word in a Complement would be an Adverb (of Manner) supported by words of all
parts of speech except A and V. If the Complement test reveals a single word, we call it
an ADVERB (of manner) and if a group, a Complement.
You can use an adverb singly, all by itself, in the S part or O/C part. You take an
adjective + noun combination, remove the noun and put it elsewhere and what is left
will be an Adverb. And that word will pass the Adverb/Complement test. You may see an
adverb as part of a Complement or as part of a Subject. You will not see it in an Object
group. Study the following examples:

Isnt this a marvellous pen?. (Adjective)

This pen is marvellous. (Adverb. This pen is HOW?)


Isnt this student doing well in English? (Adverb . Doing HOW?)

Ram counted the money twice. (Adverb: HOW many times?)

Some sentences could use adverbs of different types. Study the following:
(e) We dont go home directly after office time.
(place) (manner)
(f) On Sundays, the servant maid comes late to our house.
(g) I visit a Star hotel at least once a month
(manner) (freq) (time)
(h) The attendance at the rally on a Sunday afternoon is usually
(freq) (manner)
|-----------------------Subject ---------------------------| A.V |----C
Thin is an adverb of manner and it is describing rally but standing away fom it.
Sunday afternoon and usually are words of the O/C part, giving meaning to the A.V
Like in the case of Adjectives, we use Adverbs also in 3 degrees. And the method of
framing the Comparative and Superlative is the same as in the Adjective case.
Here are the examples:

Positive degree
(a) Susanna sings melodiously. (Adv of manner. TQ: HOW)
(b) She gives me the pocket money at week ends.(Adverb of time. TQ:
(c) We are on our way to New Delhi (Adverb of place. TQ: WHERE).
Comparative degree
(a) Mona is sweeter than Pinky.
(b) Isnt Gita more graceful than me?
(c) Roy is better than me in every aspect.
(d) Moses, as the secretary, is less popular here than others.
(e)Your presentation is much superior to mine.
Notice the absence of a Noun after the adverb comparative? This is one of the
differences between Adjective comparative and Adverb comparative. The second is, the
Adverb comparative is a Simple sentence and if we have to use a pronoun, it must be an
objective pronoun. See (b) and (e)above.
Superlative degree
(a) This ice cream shop is the best in this area.
(b) Subrata is the cleverest in BA I year.
(c) The sweets available in this shop is easily the worst.
(d) Our shopping list is the smallest.
(e) An evening in this club is most enjoyable.
(f) Isnt this little child one of the sweetest?
(g)Certainly this is one of the best in this exhibition.
(h)That scene is one of the most memorable.
Compare the last 3 with their adjective counter parts. The adverb superlative
differs from the Adjective superlative in one respect. Have you spotted that difference?
What is it? The letter s, isnt it? In the Adjective case the noun used is to be plural in
number. Where is the question of giving plural for an Adverb?? !!
Do remember that we use Comparative and Superlative degrees to only Adverbs
of Manner. Theres no question of applying this rule to Adverb of time and Adverb of

Absolute equality cases

What if there is no difference in quality between two persons/things. They are
absolutely equal in all respects. The Adverb case enables us to express such total
Here, we use an adjective cum adverb word between as .. as like this,
(a) Ganesh is as good as Srinath, in bowling.
(b) Radha is as pretty as Pooja.
(c) I am as vigilant as him
(d) Arent our members as smart as theirs?
What rules have we followed in framing the absolute equality cases?
(i) All are Simple sentences.
(ii) We have used the Adverb phrase as as putting an adjective cum
adverb word in between. We can use all the words cited above as
adjectives or adverbs in a sentence.
(iii) Being a Simple sentence, you must use only an objective pronoun.
While we can use all Natural Adjectives as Adverbs, the reverse is not true. There
are some pure adverbs such as SOON, FAST, WELL. We cannot use these to bring out
any equality. If used, the phrase will turn out to be a Preposition (which we will cover a
little later)
(e) Reach here as fast as possible.
(f) Contact me as soon as you arrive at the railway station.
These are not equality cases at all. The phrase as as is doing the job of a
Use of as well as
Well is a pure adverb. And we use this phrase as a parenthetical phrase like this,
The PM, as well as some of his ministers, is on his way to Chennai from New Delhi.


Here, as well as has no influence whatever on the number of the Subject. The
Subject here happens to be The PM which is singular and therefore the verb used is
also singular.
But, we often use this phrase with the meaning and. This is permissible \
nowadays. We use this adverb phrase with the meaning and as shown below:
Men and materials as well as some animals are travelling on a goods train.
It is not good to use more than one and in a sentence and so we switch over to as
well as instead of another and. And happens to be a simple conjunction.
We have used the above single words in the comparative and superlative degrees. We
can use them singly as adjectives or adverbs as well like this,
(a) Who makes most blunders in English composition? (Adj, Positive
(b) Most politicians dont visit their constituency regularly at all. (Adj, Pos)
(c) Isnt this medicine mostly sugar and salt? (Adverb), Positive)
(d) Where there is more, more people will clamour for it. (The first more
is adverb and the second adjective)
(e) How much money have you? (Adj)
(f) Do you need so much? (Adverb)
(g) The less you have, the more you need. (Both are adverbs)
(h) You have less friends, havent you? (Adjective)
(i) Isnt this the least of all your deeds? (Adverb).
(j) This is your least donation, isnt it? (Adjective)

Preposition is a word that will show the true relationship or the connected
meaning between any two words. The best way of testing a Preposition is, remove
what looks like a Preposition and if you find that the two words to its left and right
convey no meaning whatever (and the meaning is clear only after the introduction of the
meaning-linking word) then that word is a Preposition.

Take the following sentences:

(a)A man is standing near a ladder.
(b)We are getting bored without a TV set.
(c)The ladder is leaning on the wall.
(d)The ladder is before the wall.
The words in bold are Prepositions. Remove it and see if you get any meaning.
Take (a). What is the connection/link/true relationship between standing and a
ladder? Similarly between bored and a TV set?
It is the Preposition that helps to form the correct picture of the ladder and wall,
isnt it? Here is another set of sentences. See how the whole mental picture changes with
different Prepositions:
(a) A saucer is near the table.
(b) A saucer is behind the table.
(c) A saucer is over the table.
(h) A saucer is under the table.
(i) A saucer is beside the table.
The Prepositions shown in the above examples give the true
relationship/meaning between two nouns. Lets use Prepositions between a verb and a
(j) Dont I come to your house daily?
(k) I walk from my house to school every day.
(l) Rukmani doesnt loiter near my house.
(m)We will surely get over it.
Next, take an adverb and a noun/pronoun:
(n) Immanual is angry with me.
(o) The baby isnt quiet without me near her.
(p) Our teaching staffs are always polite to us.
Accordingly, could we say that without Prepositions, the Subject or Object part
of a sentence may not convey the correct meaning or such a sentence may convey a
wrong meaning? Both statements are true.

Because of the above definition, dont run away with an impression that every
sentence must contain one or two preposition in S or O/C? Not at all. Many sentences
may not have a preposition at all and yet we will get the meaning between the two
words beside it. Here are some sentences:
(q) Where there is love, there will be peace and tranquility.
(r ) I am repairing my cycle now.
(s) My friend Shankar always grumbles.
(t) Are you a happy person now?
The simple prepositions we use are: AT, BY, FOR, FROM, IN, OR, TO,
Besides the above, there are Preposition phrases which shall be covered in a
later lesson.
Conjunction is a word that connects two Simple sentences in a joint meaning.
There are several simple Conjunctions. We shall come to these when we learn Complex
sentence. AND is a Conjunction too. Besides using it for joining two Simple sentences,
we can also use it to join two words. Those two words may belong to any part of speech
except two verbs. We shall see the reason why for this, when we come to Complex
sentence. We can use AND this way in the S section or O/C sections. Here are some
(a) Mala and Sneha are inside the house now.
(b) I am watching a T.V. serial and (I am) also munching some monkey nuts.
(c) Isnt Madhavi a charming and helpful person?
(d) My brother and I dont go for a walk every evening.
Interjection is not a word at all. It is a symbol - ! It is an exclamation mark. We
use Interjection to show a sudden joy, surprise or shock in a sentence like this,
(a) Oh, she is dead !
(b) You can walk backward for 100 KM !
(c) Alas! There is a snake on my path.
(d) Hurrah! We have won the match.

Isnt it an irony that we include a symbol as a part of speech in the English

language and leave out vital words like the AUXILIARY and ARTICLE? Almost all
grammar books in the market as of now, talk about 8 parts of speech which include
Interjection while in actual fact there are TEN!
Exercise - 7
1. Use MANY and ANY as articles in your own sentences.
2. Bring out the difference between the articles A and THE?
3. When do we use AN?
4. When can we consider an article as adjective? Give two examples.
5. Use THIS and THOSE as adjectives in your own sentences
6. What do you understand by derived adjectives? Give 3 examples.
Fill up the blank with a suitable adjective:
7.Is this a .. matter?.
8. Have you . reason for committing this blunder?
9. Isnt Timothy a man of .. ambition?
10. Isnt Ajay an . Chess player?
11. boy and . girls are present here now, Sir.
Identify the Adjectives and Adverbs in the following sentences:
12. Pran Nath is clever but he is an arrogant fellow as well.
13. Doesnt your cousin brother resemble you very much?
14. Do you call this person smart?
15 Which mother hates any of her children?
16.These boys are bad; avoid such boys.
17.Dont we experience some April showers in Chennai?
18.Arent there too many candidates for one single post of a clerk?
19.Married women are not allowed here.
20. Shanta is a charming person all right.
Identify whether the following are Adjective comparative or Adverb comparative:
21. Arent you better than me?
22. Indeed you are a better student than I am.
23. Sudarshan is more intelligent than many persons in this class.
24. They are smarter students than ours.
25. Arent you feeling worse now than before?

Locate the mistake in the following sentences and rewrite the faulty ones:
26. Mona is one of the most clever student in our batch.
27. As Ushers in this hall, Srinivasan is best.
28. A best student of my class walked away with the school first prize.
29. Isnt Nora more beautiful?
30. One of the smartest candidate live here.
Use a suitable preposition in the following sentences so as to convey an accurate
31.My elder brother usually takes me a doctor during my illness.
32.I am not scared English grammar.
33.Our History teacher is not a good mood today.
34.A cat is sitting a wall there
35.Isnt this a matter vital importance?
36.Come and sit me.
37.No one you knows the truth.
38.Wait here my return.
39 .Write two sentences to show extreme surprise.
40. Ram and Shyam are absolutely equal in smartness. Express this using an adverb


Lesson 8
This is the second and final action less tense which uses A.Vs.
Accordingly, except for PRESENT and PAST tenses, the sentences of the remaining
14 tenses will display action in them.
When to use
We use the PAST tense,
(a) to talk about things we saw in the past time. Such past information may be
about yourself or another person or even the environment. .
(b) to give information about the things/qualities a person or persons possessed in
the past time. (possessive case)
Grammar rules


Verb form






Possessive case

The basic sentence formula for PAST tense is,

S + A + V + Adjunct / Complement
For the 7 categories of sentences, we follow the same formulae we learnt earlier for
the PRESENT tense cases.
Sample sentences with analysis:


Gen Q : Where were you yesterday evening?

Int A.V S
a1: I was in the library till late in the evening.
Sp Q : Was your younger sister a student of this nursery school last year?
a2 : She wasnt a student of this nursery school last year.
S NegA.V
Neg Q: Werent your brothers unfriendly with my guests in yesterdays function?
Neg A.V
a2 : They werent unfriendly as such. They are basically reserved persons.
EQ2: We werent present at last months farewell party, were
|------------------------ a2 ----------------------------| A.V Subj pro
EQ1: Madhubala was a very mischievous child in her school days, wasnt she?
Here are some sentences we use in our daily life:
Q : Who were your colleagues in college last year?
a1: There were quite a number actually. Now they are at various places.
Ty S A.V
(Note the way we have used THERE as a temporary subject in the first sentence. The
second sentence is in PRESENT tense. During a conversation we may use 2 or 3 tenses, all
pertaining to different time periods as well)
a2: Some present here, were not my college colleagues at all.
Neg A.V
GenQ: How long were you at the beach yesterday evening.
a1: I was there till 7 p.m.
a2 : I wasnt there for more than 2 hours.
Q : Werent you the MC (Master of ceremonies) in the club function last week?
a1: I was the MC.
Q: Wasnt your sister with you at the railway station last evening?
a1: She was with me at the station.
a2 : She wasnt with me for more than 15 minutes at the station.
EQ1: Happy and jolly Saraswati was in the hospital for 2 days, wasnt she?
|--------- S ---------------| A.V
Q tag
a1: Indeed she was in the hospital for 2 days.

EQ2: Our school hockey match wasnt at 3 p.m. yesterday, was it?
a2 : It wasnt at 3 p.m. It was at 4.30 p.m.
Use of HAD in Possessive case
EQ1: You had a good motor bike last year, hadnt you?
a1 : Of course, I had a good motor bike. (Of course is a strong form of yes.)
a2 : I hadnt any motor bike last year at all.
a1: My mother had a severe head pain last night.
a1: We had a huge Alsatian dog till last year.
a1: They never had any problem with their land lord throughout their stay in this house.
They had no problem with their land lord throughout their stay in this house.
We use this A.V (HAD) mostly in a1 form. Gen Q, Sp Q , Neg Q and EQ2 categories
would not sound well. So, avoid using them. Later you will find that there are other methods.
Even in a2 category, we go in for a different form; we use NO/NEVER instead of NOT. They
hadnt any problem . will not sound well. They had no problem. sounds OK.
Here are typical a2 categories:
a2: Tandon had no friends in this colony.
Tandon never had any friends in this colony.
a2: I never had a moped.
I had no moped.
a2: We had no coaching class yesterday.
Use of There
Q: Wasnt there a tall tower in this plasce last year?
NegA.V TyS
a1: There was a tall tower here till last year. It isnt here now.
Q : Were there anybody else
with you last evening in your house
S Adv(m) Adjct
a2: There were many mistakes in your in your letter, werent there?
Q tag

The temporary subject THERE is used only in the Present and Past tenses.
Here is model conversation using PAST and PRESENT tenses:
Q : Why were you late for our meeting this morning?
a : I was late because of a minor accident on my way.
Q : Were you out of station last week?
a : I was out to Delhi for a week on duty.
Q : Werent your parents somewhat angry with my parents in yesterdays party.
a : They were angry, not hostile.
Q : Who is that person next to you?
a : He is Prem sagar. He was my hockey coach till last year.
Q : Who all were with you at the football stadium?
a : Lots of my friends were with me.
Q : When was your parents silver anniversary?
a : It was on 28th of last month.
Q : Are you all right this morning?
a : I am all right this morning. I was very sick yesterday.
Q : Werent you a fast runner during your younger days?
a : I was. Now, I am afraid, not. (I am afraid usually precedes a negative answer. It means
a kind of apology. Learn its use. Your English will then sound stylish.)
Q : Who was there near the entrance?
a : Nobody was there.
Q : Wasnt Suchitra badly dressed for yesterdays party?
a : She was badly dressed indeed.
Q: Where was yesterdays football match?
a : It was at the Nehru stadium.
a : The match wasnt at Egmore stadium.
Sentence analysis

Analyse the following sentence:

Neg Q: Werent you the MC in the club function yesterday
NegA.V S
Adv (t)
In the above analysis, the MC passes the Object test[Werent you WHAT?]
Similarly, in the club function also passes the object test. But, are they really objects?
What is the definition for Object? Object is a Noun of a Person/Ting acted upon by the
Subject. Where is the acting part in this senence? Such acting could be done only by a
normal verb since every normal verb is a word of action. Here, we have used A.V, which are
actionless verbs. So the words under examination, are not objects. Have a look at them more
closely. Arent these words adding to the meaning of the subject, as additional information?
the MC adds more information to the subject. In the club function also gives additional
information to you. Therefore, we have to name them Adjunct which means additional
information and never as objects..
But, yesterday is time. So, it is an Adverb of time.
Thus, the sentence analysis for an action less sentence would be like this:
S+ A.V + Adjunct/Complemenmt.
Accordingly, go back to the Lesson on Present tense and replce O/C by
Adjunct/Complemenmt. When we did the Present tense, we did not know what an object was
and how to identify it. But now, you aremore knowledgeable and understand the logic behind
WAS and WERE are action less A.Vs. But HAD is an action bsed A.V like HAS and HAVE.
Thus, the English language has only five actionless verbs AM,IS,ARE,WAS,WERE. We also
add BE, which is an universal auxiliary and is equal to am,is,are,was,were.
Exercise 8
Give affirmative answers:

Whose mistake was this one?

Where were these cycles this morning? Whose cycle is this?
Wasnt your copy of the RD magazine inside your table drawer?
You werent quite right in your arguments, were you?
Why wasnt your elder brother present in office today?

6. Wasnt Ramanujam responsible for this road accident?

7. You had two good workers in your workshop last year, hadnt you?
8. It was a beautiful flower show, wasnt it?
9. Wasnt Susheela a perfect speaker in her earlier classes?
10.I was fully prepared for the debate, wasnt I?
Give negative answers:
11.Were you responsible for this mess up?
12.Wasnt your sister very rude to me?
13.Was the magic show useful to you in any way?
14.The English grammar paper was quite easy, wasnt it?
15.All the exam papers were easy, werent they?
Spot the mistake if any, and rewrite the concerned sentences:
16.Some children was always late for class at least once a week.
17.Your child and my small sister was behind the stage.
18.I were your desk make, werent I?
19.All the teachers are present at yesterdays farewell party.
20.Where were the car driver last evening?
21.All is well with us, wasnt it?
22.We had no complaint about the food, was we?
23.When was you 10 years old?
24.Matthew and I was good friends in Std VII.
25.Whose bicycle was this?
Analyse the following sentences:
26.The deers in the zoo werent friendly towards the visitors.
27. Dogs and cats were disallowed inside the hospital wards.
28.Ranjita was a good news reader in DD channel
Change the following into their corresponding PRESENT tense form:
29.My childhood friend was sick in hospital.
30.Some boys werent careful during their Maths examination.
31.I had no reliable friend in my colony.
32.Was Soundarya a hardworking girl?
33.Who had no money in this group? (Imagine who refers to a plural noun)
Lesson 9


This is the Fifth tense we are going to learn.. This tense also uses the Auxiliary
separately and Verb separately. Therefore, the sentences in this tense will be activityoriented.
When to use
We use the Past continuous tense,
(a) to talk about an action or activity that started in the past time, going on for
some time and also ended in the past time period.
(b) to refer to a point of time in that action-duration. (This use will come into play
in Complex sentences.)
S+A+V rules


Verb form
Continuous verb

We apply the same sentence-structure -formulae as before for the 7 categories of

Sample sentences in the 7 categories:
Gen Q : Where were you working before?
Int A S
a1 : I was working in a garment manufacturing unit for 5 years.
a2 : I wasnt working anywhere else.
S NegA
Sp Q : Were you working as an office assistant in the export department?


a1 :

I was working as an office assistant for 5 years.

Neg : Wasnt your factory manufacturing some leather garments also?
EQ1 : The Unit was also running a school for their employees, wasnt it?
A Adv V
NegA S.Pro
EQ2 : All the employees were working very devotedly, werent they?
Q. tag
All the sentences above talk about an action that started in the past time period and
also finished in the past time period. But, when we want to give importance for the duration
of that activity, we prefer this continuous tense. Take the following sentence,
Mr. Somraj was working in this college for 10 years.
It implies that Somraj isnt working in the college now; the working action had
finished. But the sentence highlights the ten year period of working in that college. However,
to make it clear that the action had finished, always give the action ending time in your
sentences, such as Mr. Somraj was working this college for 10 years till Jan 2011
Reference to a point of time
Suppose in that duration of 10 years, we wish to talk about a particular day and time,
then we have to switch over to a different kind of sentence for that purpose. See the
sentence below:
a1: Mr. Somraj was conducting an English lesson when I sighted him in a room in his
This sentence doesnt talk about the beginning and the completion of the action at all.
It pins the attention to a particular point of time in that duration.
Sp Q: Wasnt this wall clock working all these days?
a1 : It was working all right when I last saw it. (Point of time)
The above are Complex sentences in which you can identify two Nos. S+A+V+O/C.
(While a Simple sentence will have only one set of S+A+V+O/C) The Past continuous
tense, focusses on a particular point of time in the duration of the action.
We will learn more about the Complex sentence in a later Lesson in this Book.

When we use a Past continuous tense in a simple sentence, it will only talk about the
start and finishing time of an action. If you want to refer to a particular time in that duration,
you have to go over to the Complex sentence structure. This will not be possible in a simple
More model sentences
Q : What were you teaching you class during the last period of the day?
a : I was teaching Mathematics.
Q : Who was visiting you yesterday evening?
a1: My uncle was visiting us.
a2 : Nobody was visiting us.
In which house was this young woman staying in this colony?
She was staying in House No. 3 for 3 years.
With whom were you talking for such a long time in front of your house?
I was talking with a student from the next school.
Wasnt your present house maid working in a college professors house till last
She was working there just for a few months.
She is working with us now.
Werent your next door neighbours using your motor bike for a few days?
They werent using it for more than a day.
What were you doing when your tutor was coaching you in Mathematics?
(Complex sentence)
My brother and I were paying attention to him when he was coaching us.
This child was nearly drowning when the guard was swimming towards it,
wasnt it? (Complex)
Truly the child was drowning.
We were glancing through the pages of a magazine when someone knocked on
our door, werent we?. (Complex sentence)
We were actually reading a magazine when someone knocked on our door.


Exercise 9
Answer the following General questions in affirmative or negative category
whichever sounds appropriate. But, use only the Past continuous tense:
1. How is your elder brother doing in X Standard?
2. Where were you taking your computer lessons from?
3. Whose cycle were you cleaning yesterday?
4. Why were you weeping after the class time yesterday? (Give answer in a Complex
5. Who was riding along with you on your way to school?
6. Which student out of these was throwing a stone at you this morning?
7. With whom were you playing table tennis last evening?
8. When was your brother revising his lessons?
9. What was Samuel doing just before school time?
10.You were waiting for someone at the school gate, werent you?
Spot the mistake(s) in every sentence and rewrite the sentence correctly using Past
continuous only:
11.Wasnt our coach explain the rules of the game very clearly?
12.Werent Daniel knocking at your door for a long time?
13.Yesterday, some hostel students was playing carom after 10 p.m., werent they?
14.Wasnt it rain very heavily last Saturday?
15.Wasnt you copying your friends class notes?
16.Some students dont doing well in their final exams.
17.Our little brother always twisting the tail of our pet cat.
18.How often Serena and Lorna are visit Marina beach in a week?
19.You calling on your class teacher yesterday, werent you?
20.Who was overtaking you at the bend, wasnt he?
Here is a mix of all the tenses you have learnt so far. (5 in all). Locate the mistake and
rewrite the faulty sentences. All sentences may not be defective:
21.Was we responsible for some students failure?
22.Do any girl in this group know Bharatanatyam?
23.Doesnt Susheela and Ramani act smart always?
24.We are travelling in a superfast train now.
25.Arent they boast too much about some of their achievements in life?
26.When is the match yesterday?

27.You have any sense?

28.He has no calculator in his school bag.
29.You surely was at the station last evening at 8 p.m.
30.All of us are present at yesterdays school function.
Fill up the blank with the correct auxiliary of any of the tenses covered till now:
31.Kalyani and Sugirtha .. always fighting every day.
32.. you the right person for this job, or . we look for another?
33... our teacher pull us up for bad behaviour?
34.One of them .. a regular cricket player.
35. You . doing the right thing at all.

Lesson 10


When to use
We use the Simple past tense to talk about the action/activity that started and
finished in the past time period.
(If you look back, we used the Past continuous tense also for the same task.
Therefore, this tense is interchangeable with Past continuous. But, when we want to high
light the duration of that action/activity, we go over to the Continuous in preference to
Simple past)
Grammar rule


Verb form
Present form

Like in the Simple present case, this tense also has 8 categories of sentences..
Sample sentences (with analysis)
Gen Q : Where did Shanti take her lessons on computer soft ware from?
Int A S V
Ea1 : She did take her software lessons from Cee Point institute
a1 : Shanti took
her software lessons from Cee Point institute.
a2 : She didnt take her software lessons from her college.
S NegA V
Sp Q : Did Mohana solve the differential equation sum all by herself?
a1 : Of course, she solved it all by herself.
S (A)V O1
Neg Q: Didnt the Professors of this college submit a strong protest over something?
EQ1: Some children always complained about corporal punishment, didnt they?
(A) V
Q. tag

EQ2 : None of us in this group ever took to drugs, did we?

(A) V
O A S. pro
In this tense, if we use the auxiliary in a1 sentences, the anwer becomes very
powerful. Ea1. We dont give powerful answer every time. For normal answer, all we do is,
silence the auxiliary and use the past form verb. But to remind ourselves that auxiliary is
verymuch present, we show it inside bracket to the left side of the verb. Here is the formula:


= took
= solved
complain = complained
= saw
= wrote

Here are some verbs in their Present, Past forms and Past participle forms, (Dont
forget, every verb has 3 forms) We use the Past form in the Simple past tense. We will see
the use of the PP form when we come to Perfect tenses.

Type I
(In this type, we add
the letter d or ed
to get the Past form
verb. Past form and )
PP form are the same)

Present form

Past form

PP form






Type- II. If a present

form verb ends in the
letter y, we remove
y and add letters
ied to get the Past
form. The Past and
PP are the same)




Type III. In this type.

all the 3 forms are
different. In some
cases,the Past and
PP forms are
the same.




Type IV. In this,

all the 3 forms





are the same and

with the same
spelling as well.


Type V. Dont
forget that the A.Vs
are also verbs, self
supporting verbs. As
verbs, they too must
have all the 3 forms.

Am |
Is | Be
Are |

read (pronounced as

read (red)

was |
were |


Has |
Have |



Do, does



There is no shortcut to learning the 3 forms for a verb. You have to learn them by
Sample sentences of daily use. (Analyse each as you read them)
Where did you go for your last summer vacation?
We went to Ooty.
S (A)V
I spent a part of my summer vacation in Kodaikanal.
S (A)V
Did all of you take Group I in your +1?
All of us did take Group I. (All of us took Group I)
Didnt you meet this boy behind your house?
I did meet him indeed. (I met him indeed)
Didnt the principal call you for a dressing-down?
Did you play hockey or volley ball today?
Which T.V. serial did you watch last evening?
I watched a popular T.V serial.
At what time did you return home after the night show?
We returned home around 1.30 a.m.
Some of you did not collect the application form, did you?
Some of us didnt collect the forms, Sir.

In whose house were you rehearsing this drama?

We rehearsed it in Kandans house, Madam.
How much money did you spend on this shirt?
We didnt spend much at all.
Did someone knock at your front door at midnight last night?
No one knocked at our door. (Note the construction of this type of a2)
Nobody knocked at our door.
How many students went on the trek last week.
Sometime in a Positive Q, we can omit the auxiliary DID and go straight for the Past
form verb.(See the example, How many students went . )
But, when we start a
Positive Q with WHO, we have to use the Past form verb. without the auxiliary. For
Negative Q however, we must use the auxiliary. If you recall, we followed the same rule in
Simple present also. Examine the following sentences carefully:
Who did not obtain permission for studying late?
NegA V
[Here, WHO is doing two jobs, that of an Interrogtvie and also Subject. As Subject,
it is a Noun of Third person]
All of us obtained permission, Sir.
Who scored the highest mark in Mathematics in this batch?
S (A)V
Didar and Surinder scored 100 % marks in Maths, Sir.
You did not do well in your interview, did you?
I didnt do well at all in the interview, Sir.
S NegA V
I did fairly well in the interview, Sir.
We did do very well in our progress test, Sir.
Double emphatic statements/answers.
We can make use of the EQ formula and Ea1 formula, to make very powerful
statements/answers. Of course, this will be in Question form. But we could consider such
sentences as double emphatic positive answers also. Here are the examples:

(a) We did reach the spot dead on time, didnt we?

NegA Subj pro
(b) You did sight me in the crowd despite all odds, didnt you?
(c) The Principal and the staffs did stand up on arrival of the Chief guest, didnt they?
(d) We didnt ridicule any student after the declaration of the results, did we?
We often use the EQ1 and EQ2 in answer form in all the tenses for making powerful
statements and with a lot of stress in them, like this,
(e) I never make strong statements, do I?
(f) Raju and I are great friends, arent we?
(g) My mother doesnt give tuition to every student, does she?
(h) Some of us saw an orbiting satellite in the night sky, didnt we?
(i) We are going off the track, arent we?
(j) We were average students in all our previous classes, werent we?
Here is an imaginary conversation between 3 Higher secondary school friends at a
bus stop. They are waiting for their school bus. Note the tenses they use:
Seshadri :
Manick :
Sesh :


Manickraj, did you see the latest movie of Maniratnams?

Maniratnam? Who is he, Seshadri?
You are a sad case man ! Do you see any Tamil movies?
I am afraid no. I see only English movies.
Thats quite unIndian, isnt it Manickraj?
What is unIndian about it, dear fellow? I grew up on Indian soil, didnt I?
Ah ! That is a nice answer, Manickraj. I appreciate it. Some persons have
funny ideas about patriotism.
What do you mean, Robert? Am I not patriotic?
Now, now, dont lose your shirt, friend. All of us are Indians to the skin. Do
you agree?
(It is) All right, all right boys. Stop fighting.
I was saying. Maniratnam is an excellent Tamil movie director.
There is a correction, friend. He also directed a Hindi movie. It was Bombay.
You are correct Robert. It was my mistake, actually. Are you all interested in
my speech or not? All of you are disturbing me. You are not allowing me
forward at all. There you are. You are in a fighting mood again. Why dont
you be patient?
I am a good listener. I dont interfere in the middle of ones sentence.


Great fellow you are. There! See there! The ice cream vendor is coming.
Come along.


Who are for cone? Who are for cup?

Give me cone please.
I want a cup please. A cup of strawberry ice cream.


It is very nice, isnt? I mean the straw berry ice cream.

I didnt enjoy this Companys ice cream at all. It was OK last year.
I liked their last years chocolate bars.

Sesh :

Did you watch any of Maniratnams latest movie?

Arent you asking a wrong person?
(I am ) Sorry. Sorry. Seshadri, you saw one last week, didnt you?
I did see one. I dont remember the name though.
See? See? ( You do see?) . People see movies. They dont remember the
Are you insinuating?
What is the meaning of insinuating?

Sesh :

The school bus has arrived and they board it.

The above conversation probably lasted for some 10 minutes. They used all the 6 tenses.
The Present family tenses actually dominated the conversation. This happens in any
conversation. One would use a minimum of 3 tenses. Therefore, you must be quite quick in
changing over tenses.
In a conversation, always identify three things the tense of the sentence you heard, the
category of sentence and the A+V sections. Only then, you will choose the right tense for
your answer.
In a conversation we make shortcuts quite often. Sometime we omit the Subject,
sometimes S +A and sometimes the entire S+A+V. This is permissible. But you must
identify the missing parts immediately.
We will learn more about conversation techniques in a later lesson in this Book.
Exercise - 10


Give affirmative answers (a1) for the following. You may make any assumptions in
framing your answers:
1.When exactly did you finish your football match yesterday?
2.Didnt your Alsatian dog chase a stray cat ?
3.How did you travel to Trichy last month?
4.You drew this picture on the black board, didnt you?
5.Who snatched my money purse from my back pocket?
6.Why did you talk to our girl students so rudely?
7.Where did you pick up this puppy dog from?
8.Samuel went to the library of the next school yesterday, didnt he?
9.Who sang well in yesterdays variety show?
10.Did you see my calculator anywhere?
Give Emphatic answers (Ea1) for the following:
11.Did you meet the new entrants to our class?
12.When did the new admission take place in our school?
13.Who taught you History last year?
14.Who left the lunch box in the Assembly hall?
15.Didnt you say sorry to the old lady at the gate?
Answer in the negative (a2):
16. Did your servant maid clean these vessels before 9 a.m.?
17.Why didnt you come to the stadium on time for our running practice? (Give a
Complex sentence answer)
18. Who put this dirty sign at the back of my T shirt?
19.Didnt you throw your home garbage into the dust bin in front of your house?
20.You whispered something bad about me into Sagayams ear, didnt you?
Make EQ1 or EQ2 out of the following statements:
21.Some students never improved their English in our previous class.
22.We always went only to a decent hotel for our afternoon tiffin.
23.His overall size didnt frighten me.
24.Our Physics lecturer scolded us for late submission of our Lab reports.
25.My uncle always favoured me between me and my elder brother.
Convert the following Past continuous sentences into Simple past:

26.I was purchasing some CDs till late in the evening yesterday, wasnt I?.
27.All of us were playing table tennis for more than 2 hours last Saturday, werent we?.
28.We werent doing our homework very seriously till last week, were we?
29.Suryanarayan was avoiding me for a long time, wasnt he?
30.You were spending over 2 hours in the swimming pool yesterday, werent you?.
Locate the mistake(s) and rewrite the faulty sentences:
31.Two students in our class didnt prepared well for the English II paper at all.
32.Gupta Dass really didnt meant anything bad about our school.
33.Didnt the class monitor checked you for your absence from class during the Third
34.You did copy your desk mates answers, dont you?
35.You forget our names, didnt you?
36.You did fought with your fellow passengers during your last train journey, did you?
37.When did you last did a good deed to anyone?
38.Did you had a headache last evening?
Analyse the following sentences:
39.Never Sir, never did I tell a lie in my life.
40.All the kings men and all the kings horses did not put humpty dumpty together
41.When did we ever give you any kind of help?
Many people died in the fire accident inside a public cinema hall, didnt they?
Give double emphatic answer:
42. Didnt you acknowledge your Principals letter?
43.I didnt answer Question No. 3 well at all.
Write the remaining six categories of sentences:
44. We stood under a tree until the end of the heavy rain.
45. Ramanujam was a great mathematician.

Lesson 11


When to use
We use the Future and Future continuous tenses for an action we propose to do in some
future time. The action itself is only on your mind; it has not started; it will not start until
that particular time arrives. And once that action time arrives, it becomes a Present family.
This is the peculiarity of this tense. It is a no activity type tense. When we look at a
sentence from the points of view of (i) What is the action/activity? (ii) What is its timing?
we dont get a proper answer about the timing of a Future tense sentence. ( Incidentally
the timing of the activity would be only two Present time or Past time, ie. The
action/activity is in progress or action not finished and action completed.)
We opt for the Continuous tense when we want to give importance for the anticipated
duration of the proposed action. These two are interchangeable.

Grammar rules


Verb form
Present form

Shall is stronger than will in effect. You must use shall in any Q form for First
person (I, WE).
Sample sentences (Future tense)
Gen Q : When will you go to New Delhi?
Int A S V
a1 : We shall goto New Delhi day after tomorrow morning.
a2 : We shant/ wont go there before day after tomorrow.
V Adv(t)

Short form of shall not is SHANT.

will not is WONT

SpQ : Will you transfer this certificate on my brothers name?
Neg Q : Wont they come to my house for a cup of tea?
NegA S V
Neg Q : Shant we meet our principal this afternoon?
NegA S V
EQ1 : We shall complete this course within 3 months, shant we?
EQ2 : All of you wont be rude to strangers, will you?
NegA V Adv(m)
Q. tag
When to use
We use this tense for an action we propose to do in some future time. We prefer the
continuous tense when we want to give importance for the duration of the proposed action.
Otherwise, this tense is interchangeable with Future tense.
Grammar rule
All persons


Verb form


Continuous verb

Sample sentences
Gen Q : How will all of you be receiving your parents during the week end?
Int A
a1: We shall be receiving them with great warmth, Madam.
V O1
a2: We shant be receiving them with grumpy faces, Madam.
Neg A


This is the first time we are using a 2-worded auxiliary set. Therefore, we put the S
after the first auxiliary in any Question form as seen above. No such problem arises in a1
and a2. In the Q tag, we use only the first auxiliary.
Sp Q: Will all of you please be standing till the end of the National anthem?
(m) Adv A
a1 : All of us shall be standing till the end of the National anthem.
a2 : All of us wont be sitting during the National anthem.
Neg A
Neg Q : Wont Saroja be attending my birthday function?
Neg A S
EQ1: Rogers shall be returning the loan to me within a month, shant he?
NegA S. pro

Use only the first auxiliary in the Q tag and not both.

EQ2 : We wont be returning from Kodaikanal till the end of summer, will we?
S NegA
Q. tag
Sentences of daily use
When will you be changing into your games kit?
We shall be changing at 4 p.m.
Will you also be going to church along with your parents?
Who all will be accompanying your parents to church?
All children will be accompanying my parents to church.
How will you proceed to school tomorrow?
We shall use our bicycle.
Will you and your friend Ganesh visit Shakuntala in the hospital after the school
Surely both of us will be visiting Shakuntala in the hospital.
Who will cook my breakfast today?
The maid will cook your breakfast today. I am not feeling well today.
When will the football game start?
It will start sharp at 4.30 p.m.
Wont you lend me your instrument box for a day?
I shall lend it to you. Return it positively by tomorrow evening.
Shant we challenge George and Sam for a game of badminton?
We shall certainly challenge them. Will they accept our challenge?

They will not be ready for a game at short notice. They will need a lot of practice.
I wont be using your scale every time. Mine is missing at the moment.
Who all will be coming for your social party?
Use of WILL/SHALL in Simple present
We noted in Lesson 6 (Simple present) that we use the auxiliary WILL to
acknowledge an order or a suggestion. Towards that, WILL happens to be a Simple present
auxiliary as well.
We can use WILL to issue an order in Simple present. While the order in Simple
present with the auxiliary DO would look blunt, an order with WILL will sound more polite
and one can acknowledge it with WILL or SHALL. Here are the examples:
Sp Q : Will you please come to my office straightway?
a1 : Yes, I shall come at once.
NegQ : Wont you do a favour for me?
a2 : I am afraid, I wont.
Do the above sound like Future tense sentences? No. If you study them from
timing angle, you will find they belong to the Present time. The orders do sound polite
with WILL and SHALL, dont they? You could consider them as suggestions as well.
Implied Future tense
For a future action, we normally dont use the Future auxiliaries WILL and SHALL.
The newspapers and telecasts will never print out/ state that The PM of Nepal will arrive in
New Delhi on 21st of this month. They will invariably announce, The PM of Nepal
arrives in New Delhi on 21st or The PM of Nepal is arriving in New Delhi on 21st.
Do you see, we have used Simple present or Present continuous tense sentence showing
the action time as a future event? So, for any future action, we can use Simple future or
Present continuous tenses provided the stipulated action time is the future. If the sentence
construction doesnt make it clear, one can misunderstand it as conventional Simple present
and Present continuous activity.
Here are some examples:
(a) I am leaving for Madurai tomorrow morning. (= I will be leaving for Madurai

tomorrow morning.)
(b) My father is catching the flight for Delhi this evening.
(c) My sister arrives from London next week.
(d)Arent your friends leaving Chennai shortly? (= Wont they be leaving Chennai
(e) We touch Chennai en route early morning tomorrow.
(f) Some of us write our final exam next April
(g) We go for a picnic tomorrow, dont we?
(h) We are seeing an English movie this evening, arent we?
Thus, in your conversation and written English, always use S. Present or Present
continuous for future activities.
Exercise 11
Answer in the affirmative:
1. Will the drill master punish us for our absence from the games parade yesterday?
2. Wont the top schools be meeting in the District sports meet?
3. When will our School sports start this year?
4. When are you reaching the Sports field in the Municipal school ground?
5. When will you be posting this letter?
6. Will all the invitees be staying in our hostel after the Sports meet?
7. Surely you wont let me down, will you?
8. Where shall we sit for our discussion?
9. You will never mislead my brothers, will you?
10.Are you coming with me or are you going with your teacher?
Answer in the negative:
11.Padmini Rajan will help us in Mathematics, wont she?
12.Your sister returns from Coimbatore tomorrow morning, doesnt she?
13.Shall we shift the table tennis board to the next room?
14.Who will be repairing our broken chairs?
15.Wont the students of UKG class also be going with us on the picnic?
Write Emphatic questions for the following a1/a2 :
16.I shall not sign these letters today.

17.I will surely keep this cane chair inside the study room.
18.Your students wont proceed for the basketball practice without you.
19.Malathi will be teaching these small girls dancing.
20.All my friends are staying back from the morning run.
Locate the mistake(s) and rewrite the faulty sentences:
21.Will these guests stay late in our school, will they?
22.Wont Madhuri writing a reply to her mother today itself?
23.When will your sister playing cards?
24.Sit still, will you?
25.You will please wait here for your friend?
26.The wayside beggars wont leave you alone, wont they?
27.My brother and her sister will be joining this library from yesterday.
28.Will India supporting the cause of Srilankan Tamils?
29.Arent you join the protest march tomorrow?
30.Who acting in the next months drama?
Give answers in an Implied Future tense :
31.When will you supply the sports gear for our school?
32.Who will be playing against me?
33.The Maths teacher will summon you to his room tomorrow, wont he?
34.Why arent you taking part in the Elocution competition?
35.Shant the KG kids be singing a famous film song at the prayer hall tomorrow?
Write the remaining 6 categories:
36.Given: a1: We are leaving on an excursion next week.
37.Given: EQ2: The bright students wont be taking part in the debate, will they?
38.Given: Neg Q: Wont some foreign tourists be visiting our school?
Analyse the following sentences:
39.Our Head master and the Vice principal will be inspecting our project assignments.
40.When will the Staffs of our school give us special coaching?
Lesson 12


Till now we have done 8 tenses. These are also called the Basic tenses. Many
English users know only these 8 tenses which fall under 3 time periods. And they have been
managing their day to day life quite well too. But you need to learn more so that your
English is not only of high standard but also more accurate and fine tuned.
These 8 tenses fall under 3 particular time periods. Take the PRESENT, PRESENT
CONTINUOUS and SIMPLE PRESENT tenses, all of them would deal with information
and activities/statements confined to the Present time period only. We may also look at these
activities as, activities not yet completed cases. The PAST, PAST CONTINUOUS and
SIMPLE PAST tenses are confined to the Past time period only. And they would refer to
completed activities. Completed activities means, Completd in the past time. The
FUTURE and FUTURE CONTINUOUS tenses also fall into the Present time period
because the statements pertaining to these two tenses are made only in Present time. Thus,
any Future or Future continuous statements are future looking and there will be no activity
in them at all. As we have already seen, the action in a future tense is only in your mind .


----------- Past ----(Action completed cases)

-- Present ---Future (Future

Looking. Action doesnt
even start)





Future looking.
No action.

The diagram below shows the tenses in their various time periods:
What about the inter-time period activities? Take your own life. You were born
some years back, ie. in the Past time and you are living now in the Present time. That
means you have crossed over from the Past to the Present; whether your life will go over
to the future or not, is known to God alone. None of us could guarantee that we would be
alive tomorrow. What tense do we use for such a situation?
Study the following diagram:
Past time
Start |
Start |


Future ----- (Futue looking)


|| Finishing

See the activity shown in (a). It starts in a Past time period and continues till the
time of talking in the Present time period but has not ended.

Look at (b). This action started in the Past time period, has crossed the Present time
and projects into the Future time period and is expected to end at an appointed time in the
future. Such a progress is relevant to a journey of say 36 ours we undertake. We can foresee
the time of the end of the journey, cant we? Of course, there is no guarantee that you could
reach your destination as the activity itself is only future looking. Lets say an action is in
progress and it crosses the present time period and extends into the future time and ends at
some future time point? What tense do we use for such a situation?
For such inter-time period activities, we use the Perfect tenses.
There are Six Perfect tenses. Of these, we use only 4 for the inter time period
activities shown in (a) [Present perfect and Present perfect continuous tense] and (b) [Future
perfect and Future perfect continuous tense]. In this Lesson we shall cover the first two.
When to use
We use the Present perfect tense,
(a)To indicate a completed activity in the immediate past, say a short while back
(b)To talk about the after effects of a completed activity.
[So, if you want to talk anything about a completed activity, you must use
Present perect tense and never Simple past, which is used only for closed
S+A+V rules


Verb form
PP form

In the Present perfect tense, we use the 3rd form of verb PP verb.
We have used HAS and HAVE as A.Vs in Present tense earlier for possessive
cases. We also used HAVE as present form verb in Simple present. In the Present perfect
tense, we use HAVE and HAS as auxiliaries.. Dont forget that HAVE is a 3-in-1 word.

Sample sentences
Gen Q : What have you done with your old pen?
Int A S V
a1: Obviously, I have given it away to someone..
Adv(m) S A
a2: I have not thrown it away..
S NegA
O Adv(m)
Sp Q : Has Sreedhar given you back the loan amount?
V O1 Adv(t)
a2 : Sreedhar hasnt given back the loan amount as yet.
NegA V Adv
Neg Q: Havent Vadivelus brothers called on you so far
a1 : They havent called on me so far.
S NegA
EQ1 : Some college hosteliers have strayed into drugs, havent they?
NegA S. pro
EQ2: Kandasamy has undergone a major operation, hasnt he?
Q. tag
Here are some model sentences in Present perfect mtense:
Completed activities in the immediate past [Use (a)]
Q : Where is your sister, Madhu?
a : My sister has left for college. ( = She left just a little while back)
a : My brother has gone to the market.
a : Hurrah ! We have won the match.
Q : Havent we hidden some truths from our friends?
a : We havent hidden any truth from them..
a : My brother has finished his engineering degree.
Q : Havent you completed your medical course as yet?

a : My children havent left for school as yet.

a : My brother has been working in this factory since 1989. (It means, he is still
a : Sugirtha has been suffering from jaundice for nearly 2 weeks now.
Q : Havent you been meeting my daughter rather too frequently?
a : I have been meeting her frequently no doubt, Sir.
Q: Havent these students been working on this assignment since last Friday?
a.: My friend has been living in this house since 2010
Effect of a completed activity than the action itself [Use at (b)]

I have finished all the assigned work. (Also means, I am free now.)
My small brother has cut his finger. (The finger is bleeding now and needs attention)
We have seen that movie. (Means, Shall we talk about that movie? )
We have examined the patient.

Suppose the doctors statement reads, We examined the patient. This would mean
that the examining activity is over Simple past tense and it is a closed case. Action
completed case. Whereas the statement, We have examined the patient implies,
examination is over; shall we talk about the next step? Do you see the difference between
the two tenses? We use a Simple past for a completed activity; closed case. Whereas the
Present perfect tense shows that the action is over and someone is studying the after effects
of that action.
Q. Have you been to London? (The activity is over, shall we talk about the after effects
of your visit to London? A closed case would read, Did you visit London?)
Here are more sentences of daily use. Identify which ones refer to
completion in the immediate past and which ones in the distant past.
My pen is missing. Has anyone seen it?
I havent seen your father since January. Has he gone somewhere?
My teacher has marked me absent for today. Is it because of my late arrival for
Who has done this mischief in my school bag?
Surely, you havent done it, have you?
We have searched for him all over the town but he hasnt shown up.
Hasnt Martha borrowed your class note book some days back?
Havent we played against this team last year?
All of us have told a lie sometime or the other, havent we?

Mother has left the house a couple of hours back

Why havent you told your father about the teachers strictures on you?
My sister hasnt told me anything about this plan at all?
Have you understood todays lesson well?
I havent understood a thing actually.
Hasnt your elder brother visited your grandparents a dozen times during the last 2
How have you solved this equation?
When to use
We use the continuous tense only for an action that started in the past time period and
is continuing in the present time at the time of talking and the action itself has not ended..
Grammar rule


Verb form
Continuous verb

Sample sentences
GenQ : What have you been doing with my class notes for so long?
Int A S A V
a1 : True, I have been sleeping on it.
Adv S
Sp Q : Has Bharathan been avoiding you for some days?
a2 : He hasnt been avoiding me as such.
NegQ: Hasnt James been marking me as absent on certain occasions?
a1: Truly he has been showing you as absent in class at times.
Adv S
EQ1 : Some of us have been neglecting our studies lately, havent we?

EQ2 : Nandita hasnt been going for music classes regularly at all, has she?
Neg A
Q. tag
Here are more sentences that we use every day:
Q: How long have you been living in ths city?
a : We have been living in this city since July 2005.
Q: Havent you been working in this factory for over five years?
a : I have been working here since the year 2006
There is a rule to use the preposition since with the meaning from when the S,A,V
part is in a perfect tense and the reference is to a point of time. This is a popular
question in several competitive examination
But when we talk about a perod of time, use for and not since
Here are some examples of wrong and correctly worded sentences:
(a) My mother has been sick since three days. (Wrong)
(b) My mother has been sick for three days (Right)
(c) My small brother has been studying in this school from 2011. (Wrong)
(d) My small brother has been studying in this school since 2011. (Right)
(e) Havent all of us been working on this project since three days? (Wrong)
(f) Havent all of us been working on this project for three days (Right)
(g)Hasnt Madhavan been revising his lessons from Monday last? (Wrong)
(h)Hasnt Madhavan been revising his lessons since Monday last? (Right)
(i)I was writing this essay from Monday last.(Right, because the S,A,V is in
a non-perfect tense)
(j)I will be learning music from next Wednesday. (Right since the grammar
part is in a non-perfect tense)
Exercise 12
Fill up the blank with the correct auxiliary and verb form. The verb to be used is
shown in brackets in its Present form.
1. Sulochana . . six books of Enid Blytons during the vacation. (finish)
2. Some members of my colony .. in the group discussion last week. (participate)


Havent you . your cycle to Murugan occasionally? (lend)

What . Sundaresan in his trouser pocket? (get)
Where . your parents . the whole day? (are)
Your family doctor .. your house daily during the last 4 days, hasnt he?
7. My good old friend Vadivelu .. . a couple of cycles during the last 3 years. (lose)
8. How many pages of imposition . you . by now? (complete)
9. . anyone .. a calculator today? (bring)
10... you . Taj mahal? (see)
Give a1 or a2 answer for the following but in Present perfect or Present perfect
continuous tense only:
11.Werent you learning moped riding in the football field yesterday?
12.How well are you doing in your studies?
13.Do you know this poem well?
14.Is everyone at home hale and hearty?
15.Rajinder was a very good footballer last year, wasnt he?
16.Who is giving you advice routinely?
17.Your neighbours are very considerate towards all the teen agers in your compound,
arent they?
18.Arent you suffering from cold for some time?
19.Do you get a headache after a long game of Chess?
20.It was raining for a week continuously in Coimbatore last year, wasnt it?
Spot out the mistake and rewrite the faulty sentence:
21.Hasnt Shankar leave the house as yet?
22.How much time have this student spent on this exercise?
23.Havent everyone taken their seat in the Van?
24.When has Mangalam stitching these clothes?
25.A man from the next town and his three children has come here for school admission.
26.You and I hasnt done badly at all in the party games.
27.Selvan is dragging his feet on this issue, hasnt he?
28.Every Simple sentence have S+A+V part.
29.Hasnt Manmohan showing a kind of sympathy to stray dogs from last month?
Write the equivalent Present perfect tense for the following statements:
30.The priest didnt come to Church this morning.
31.The church choir arent singing well for some days now.

32.Our cook Gomathi did not cook todays breakfast well at all.
33.Miss. Thomson was very helpful to us.
34.Arent these students quite weak in English grammar?
35.When did you speak to my uncle about my performance in school?
36.How are you?
37.Am I your opponent ever ?
Write the remaining 6 categories of sentences for the following:
38.Given, NegQ: Hasnt Senthaman been spending much time on Archery?
39.Given, a2: We havent experienced a heavy showers in our town for days
40. Shanta Paul hasnt been dancing well lately at all.
Rewrite the following sentences in Present perfect or Present perfect continuous tense
usng the correct prepositions where necessary
41.I stopped lending my pen to any one from 2 years.
43.My class teacher does not give us good marks since the time of her promotion.
44. Am I not kind to all my friends since the date of my birthday?
45. My friend and I did not seek your help from last September.
Lesson 13
Both these tenses are interchangeable. Use the continuous tense when you want to
highlight the importance of the duration of an action.
We use these two tenses for completed activities. Thus they are interchangeable with
Simple past tense and Past continuous tenses.
As a rough guide line, use the Past perfect tenses for activities of the distant past and
Simple past and Past continuous for recent past.
Of the six Perfect tenses, these two tenses cover the activity or activities in the Past
time period only. Past perfect and Past perfect continuous tenses do not deal with inter-time
period activities at all.



When to use
(a) for an action that started in the past time and also finished in the past time.
(b) If two actions took place in the past time period, we use the Past perfect (or
continuous tense) for the first action and Simple past for the second action. This
use is applicable only in Complex sentence. We shall revert to these tenses
when we learn Complex sentence.
(c) When we talk about the after effects of a completed action.(Similar to Present
perfect tense)
(d) In reported speech, when we describe what someone had said earlier. This use also
comes in Complex sentence.
Grammar rule


Verb form
PP form

Sample sentences
For a completed activity in the past [Use (a)]
Gen Q : What had Sudhakar done with his prize money?
Int A
a1: He had spent all of it on books.
a2 : He hadnt wasted it on any useless ventures.
S NegA V
Sp Q: Had this student repeated the same mistakes in his answers?
a2: Fortunately, he didnt repeat the same mistakes.
Adv(m) S NegA V
Neg Q : Hadnt you met this person before?
NegA S V


EQ1 : You had employed this maid servant before, hadnt you?
|------------------ a1 ----------------------------| NegA S. Pro
EQ2 : We had never told a lie about the conduct of this servant, had we?
V O1
We can write all these sentences in Simple past as well. So, what is the difference? Here
is something most important. We use the Simple past for closed cases. We cannot reopen
such cases. Take a sentence such as, This student left our school for good., . Here, the
student left and we do not want to talk about that action any more. But, suppose there is a
possibility of the student coming back, then we use the Past perfect for the same action like,
This student had left our school but he might come back.
As regards the other Uses, we shall revert to them when we do Complex sentence.
When to use
We use the continuous tense for the same purposes as for the Past perfect tense but when
we want to bighlight the duratioof a completed activity we opt for the continuous tense.
Otherwise they are interc hangeable.
Grammar rule


All persons


Verb form
Continuous form

Sample sentences
Gen Q: What had you been waiting for all these years?
Int A S A
a1: We had been waiting for some guidance from the help line.
a2: We hadnt been waiting for any miracles.
Neg A
Sp Q : Had your guests been staying in your house for so many days?
NegQ : Hadnt these children been learning all the answers by heart for the exam?

EQ1 : Mr. Charles had been writing articles for publication, hadnt he?
--------------------------| NegA S. Pro
EQ2 : Sharon Williams hadnt been dancing for quite sometime now, had she?
| -------------------- a2 ----------------------------------------------| Q. tag
Exercise 13
Rewrite the following Simple past sentences in Past perfect or PP continuous tense
whichever is more appropriate :
1. Didnt you decorate these rooms all by yourself?
2. You were singing song after song after your dinner last night, werent you?
3. The sales-girl brought these samples right at our door steps.
4. All of you witnessed our demonstration of the product, didnt you?
5. Some student didnt make the grade at the selection test.
6. We were rehearsing the school drama at the time of that T.V serial.
7. What were you grinding in your Mixie at 10 p.m. last night?
8. Krishnan never told me about your admission into a hospital.
9. My mother was baking a nice cake last Sunday.
10.You made a mess of your life, didnt you?
Answer the following in Past perfect affirmatives:
11.At what time did you meet with this accident?
12.Didnt the Grammar teacher scold you for your bad spelling?
13.Some of them walked out of the class, didnt they?
14.Where were you studying before?
15.Was this book lying on the road?
Spot out the mistake and rewrite the faulty sentences:
16. I written some letters to all my friends.
17. The train had stop all of a sudden in the middle of a forest.
18.The flash flood did caused a lot of damage to some bridges on the highway..
19.You had spoke to my sister, hadnt you?
20.Our friends been taking tuition for English and Mathematics.
21. All rivers in the South been overflowing after the heavy monsoon last year.

22. The river Cauvery had never damage its banks even during heavy downpours.
23. We not seen such bad accident cases at all till now.
24. Karuna had crying consistently after the mishap.
25. History never been his strong subject at all.
Rewrite the following sentences in Past perfect or PP continuous tense
whichever is more suitable:
26. Wasnt Mr. Arulanandam a good English Lecturer?
27. We have played against this District team quite a number of times last year.
28. There were far too many mistakes in your essay.
29. My sister stood first in the TOEFL examination in our college last year.
30. I was captaining your badminton team till last year, wasnt I?
Rewrite the following in any of their equivalent Past family tense without significantly
changing the meaning:
31. Havent we been in such a muddle before?
32. Some of you behaved like kids some time or the other in your life, havent you?
33. We were keen learners of cricket once upon a time, werent we?
34.You didn get a good training in boxing, did you?
35. My parents arent at home at 7 p.m.
36. We havent studied Law ever.
37. Doesnt Marthandan ever talk about anything other than football?
Write the remaining categories:
38. Given, EQ2: We hadnt been encouraging this student sufficiently at all.
39. Given, Gen Q: What had you given me by way of good education?
Analyse the following sentence and give the part of speech of every word:
40. An old man from Sendarapatti along with his daughters and wife and towed by his strong
son, had visited the Charity home in the center of the city for help and permanent sustenance
of his remaining years.


Lesson 14
This is the second perfect tense [Shown at (b) in Lesson 12] which deals with intertime period activities. The Future perfect and FP continuous tenses are interchangeable.
Like before, go in for the continuous tense when you want to give importance for the
duration of the action.
When to use
We use this tense, for an action we expect to complete by a particular time in the
future time period. Action ending time would imply that action must be in progress. The
sentence would not tell us exactly when the action started. Three possibilities are there: in

the past or present or even in future time, just before completion. Thus, this tense could
cover all the three time periods. Go back to Lesson 12 (Perfect tenses) and have a good look
at the Time Diagram given therein and see the activity line marked (b).
The Future perfect tense is thus a very interesting tense. The peculiar thing about this
tense is, We will be concerned more about the time of completion of an activity than the
starting time. Anyway, the starting time will play no part at all. Regardless of when an
action commenced, our attention will be focussed only on its conclusion time. Therefore
the statement that this tense could cover all the three time periods will be of academic
interest only.
Also do note that if the terminating time is not specified, it will not be a Future perfect
tense but a Future tense. While there will be no action whatever in a Future tense statement,
action will be in progress in a Future perfect tense statement. This is the main difference
between the two varieties.
S + A + V rules



Verb form


PP form

Note: SHALL is stronger than WILL. Always use SHALL for the First persons in any of
the Q categories.
Sample sentences
Gen Q: When will your twin sons have acquired their Degree?
Int A
a1: They will have acquired their Engineering Degree by May next year.
a2 : They wont have acquired their Degree before May next year.
Sp Q : Will you have touched Frankfurt by tomorrow evening en route to London?
Neg Q: Shant your friends have completed their Matriculation by March this year?
Neg A

EQ1 : Monica will have married her uncle by December this year, wont she?
EQ2 : Santhanam shant have built his house by April next year, shall he?
Here is an important point. If we frame a question in the conventional Future
tense such as, I will reach Kolkata tomorrow morning?, the sentence will merely show an
intention or a hope or an expectation. The action may not have even started. But when you
say, I will have reached Kolkata by tomorrow morning you are giving the eact time of
arrival because you are already in motion and there is some surety about your arrival time.
Thus, the Future tense will not be an accurate statement to indicate the time of
completion of an action.
Here are some typical sentences of daily use:
Wont all your students have paid their tuition fee by this evening?
They shall have paid it by this evening.
Your children will have completed their VII standard by March next year, wont
All teachers shall have received their salary by the after noon of 2 March.
When will you have finished your college studies?
By next March, our sons will have spent 3 full years in Boarding.
Ratna wont have been teaching Physics for more than 5 years by December next
When you want to give importance for the duration of the action in question, we opt
for the continuous tense. Otherwise, both are interchangeable.
Grammar rule
All persons


Verb form
Continuous verb

Sample sentences
Gen Q: What will our children have been doing till the end of their summer vacation?
Int A

a1 : They will have been spending all their time on indoor games or T.V watching.
a2: They wont have been using it over any useless schemes.
V O1
NegQ : Shant he have been completing this Medical course by end of next year?
Neg A S
Sp Q : Will Madhavan have been acting in his 100 film by end of this decade?
EQ1: Some students will have been squandering away all their spare time by end of
summer, wont they?
EQ2 : Most of us shant have been wasting our holidays on sleeping, shall we?
For the first time, we are using a 3-worded auxiliary set. Do note that we have
selected all the auxiliaries from the same list of 32. We use in the Q tag only the first
auxiliary. In any Q form, we put the Subject after the first auxiliary.
The FP continuous tense isnt all that effective, is it? We could write all the above
continuous tense sentences in the FP tense itself and the power of the sentences would still
continue to be the same. So, we normally dont use the FP continuous tense.
Exercise 14
Rewrite the following sentences in Future perfect tense:
1. We will return your loan by next month.
2. We will meet you some time later.
3. Wont your boss give me an appointment for tomorrow?
4.My baby cries till the arrival of a glass of milk right before her eyes.
5.When are you inviting me for a game of Bridge in your house?
Rewrite the following in Future perfect continuous tense:
6.My small son shall attend your coaching class till February next year.
7.Our present English lecturer will not be teaching in our college from next year.
8.How will we go for sight seeing tomorrow?
9.What shall your sisters be revising tomorrow?
10.Shant we protest against the new time table?
Give negative answer for the following in the Future perfect tense:

11.Arent Moses and Srinivasan meeting you at the Roxy theatre this evening?
12.Your friends are leaving for Mumbai tomorrow, arent they?
13.Wont you spend another hour in our house?
14.Wont we be seeing the lottery result by tomorrow morning?
15.When does your father leave for office?
Spot out the mistake(s) and rewrite the faulty ones in proper Future perfect or FP
continuous tense:
16.My eldest brother shall have report the matter to the Principal by next Friday..
17.When shall the Director Technical education visiting our college?
18.My maternal uncle didnt have like your food preparation at all.
19.Milkha will have ran 15 KM by 4 p.m. this evening.
20.Wont Pradhan has won the match tomorrow?
21.We wont agree to the proposal even on your insistence
22.All the guardians shall attend the school function without exception.
23.My mother will finished her cooking by 1230 hours.
24.Santosh shall be completing this job sharp at 4 p.m.
25.Three MDS students shall have completing their practical training of 3 months by
next month.
Rewrite the following in Future perfect tense without significantly changing the
26.We reach your house tomorrow evening.
27. I obtain my engineering degree in May this year.
28.My children return from Ooty next week, dont they?
29.Some of our teachers are not renewing their contract from June this year.
30.Which position will you accept in the football team?
Convert the following continuous tense sentences into Future perfect continuous
tense and verify whether the meaning is the same or has changed. If changed, what
are the reasons?
31.I was proceeding to my office at 8 a.m.
32.Hadnt we been studying till 1 a.m.?
33.Werent you feeling sad for all our misdeeds during the week?
34.The man over there had not been playing the game with the right attitude at all.

35.One of my friends had been failing in all his business ventures.

Lesson 15
You have learnt so far 14 tenses. Do you remember them all? You have also learnt
that every one of these 14 tenses has its own A and V combination. You cannot use the A +
V of one tense in any other. Thats how we identify the tense of a sentence. This statement
however, holds good only in respect of the Basic auxiliaries.
How many auxiliaries have you used up so far out of the list of 32? The answer is 15
as shown below: AM, IS, ARE, HAS, HAVE, WAS, WERE, HAD, DO, DOES, DID, WILL,
SHALL, BE and BEEN. All the 14 tenses use only these 15. These 15 are known as the
Basic auxiliaries. You have used BE and BEEN as second auxiliaries in more than one
tense. Incidentally these two auxiliaries can attach themselves as second auxiliaries in
several tenses. (And dont forget that these two words are Verbs as well.) And that leaves us
with 17 more auxiliaries which we have to cover as yet.

But, we can use the Universal auxiliaries which are 21 in number, in more than one
tense. Thus, you will see for every tense not only there are Basic auxiliaries but also some
Universal auxiliaries. Some tenses use up to 8 Universal auxiliaries besides the Basic ones.
However, two particular tenses use only the Universal auxiliaries. You have already
covered them Future (WILL/SHALL) and Future continuous (WILL BE / SHALL BE).
There are two varieties of Universal auxiliaries. We use the first one to help a verb.
(Thats the job of any auxiliary for that matter !) The second lot of Universal auxiliaries are a
sort of helpless auxiliaries, i.e Before they can help a verb, they need the help of some
other auxiliary or auxiliaries. We shall deal with them separately in this Lesson. The first
We use each of these 14 auxiliaries in various tenses.
A question would arise in your mind, What is the nature and quality of an Universal
We call them Universal for two reasons. One, we can use each for more than one
tense and next, we use them for All Persons First, Second and Third persons. At this stage,
another question will be steaming in your mouth - how then do we identify the tense of a
sentence that contains an Universal auxiliary or auxiliaries. This is where the second
method of viewing a sentence comes into play - what is the activity in the sentence and what
is its timing? And you already know that it is the verb that will tell you the activity in the
sentence. And the timing would be either Present time or Past time. It is not difficult to
find out whether the action is going on or action not completed (Present family tense) or is
the action completed? (Past family tenses ). Dont forget that there is no activity whatever in
a Future tense sentence. So, when we look at the timing of an action, we get only two
Present family tense or Past family tenses. So far so good you would say and ask, How
do I know which tense is in play within these two families?
Now, this is where your knowledge of the 14 tenses will come to your help. Along
with an Universal auxiliary there will be some other auxiliary such as HAS/HAVE and
HAD. You know these belong to Present and Past perfect tenses. Then all the continuous
tenses will have the additional auxiliary BE/ BEEN with a continuous verb. As regards the
Simple Present and Simple past, the timing of the activity[i.e, action not completed or action
completed,] will ell you broadly if the sentence belongs to the Pesent family or Past familyh.
So, identification of the tense family with Universal auxiliary based sentence is not a
difficult matter at all.

With the above clarifications, shall we get on with these 14 auxiliaries and see in how
many tenses we use each?
When to use
CAN is basically a Present family auxiliary. We use this only when some kind of
ability is required to do a job. We dont use CAN where no special ability is required for the
Grammar Rules
(a) Simple present
(b) Present continuous


Verb form
Present form
Continuous verb

Sample sentences
Gen Q : When can you meet me during office hours?
Int A S V O
a1: We can meet you during our lunch break.
a2: We cannot meet you till the end of office time.
S Neg A V O
(Short form for CANNOT is CANT)
Sp Q : Can you cross a busy city street without difficulty?
NegQ : Cant you do your work without complaining?
NegA S V
EQ1 : Most of you can walk a distance of 1 KM in 15 minutes, cant you?
|----------------- a1 --------------------------------------------| NegA S. Pro
EQ2 : We cannot jump 20 feet, can we?
|------------ a2 ------------| Q. tag


GenQ: What kinds of work can you be doing for 3 hours non-stop?
a1: I can be sleeping for 3 hours non stop?
a2: We cant be eating our meal for 3 hours non stop.
SpQ: Can this doctor be performing surgery for 4 hours without getting tired?
a2: He cant be performing an operation for 4 hours without some break.
S NegA
NegQ : Cant we be singing some popular movie songs during our car journey?
NegA S A V
EQ1: Some of our colleagues can be running a profitable business now, cant they?
Q. tag
EQ2 : All of us cant be watching T.V during dinner time, can we?
Neg A
Q. tag
Never use this CAN when no special skill is called for in performing a job. Yet,
dont you hear people say, Can I come in, Sir? Wrong. Do you , as an adult, need any
special skill to walk in ?
Here are some typical sentences of daily use. Analyse each until you reach a speed of
5 seconds.:
Can you touch your feet without bending your back?
Certainly I cannot touch the feet without bending the back.
Can you swim in rough sea?
Can all of you read Hindi and Spanish?
Cant you help me with some financial assistance?
How early can you be at my house tomorrow morning?
I cant lift this box all by myself.
You cant be spending all your spare time in my room, can you?
Cant you be a little more sympathetic towards this poor man?
Saroja can be staying in our house just for 3 days.
Babloo can be a good boy in school for an hour or so.
He can be very nasty after an hour.

When to use
We use MAY,
(a) to ask for permission/approval for some action .
(b) to make a polite request or give approval/refusal in response to a request.
(c) To express possibility of some occurrence.
(d) To express a wish.
Grammar Rules


(a) Simple present

(b) Present continuous
(c) Present perfect
(d) Present perfect continuous


Verb form
Present form
Continuous verb
PP form
Continuous verb

Sample sentences:
Asking for permission/making a polite request and approval for the same
May I come in, Sir?
May I use your telephone, please?
You may use it. ( Please do - Simple present)
May I leave now, Sir?
Yes, You may. (Short answer)
May we start answering / writing now?
Expressing possibility(50:50 basis only)

Will it rain today?

It may rain.
Will all the hosteliers return from home by this evening.
Some of them may not return by this evening. Some may return.

Expressing a wish
a1: May God bless you bountifully, my friend.
a1: May God give you a safe journey.

a1: May you be happy and joyful throughout your married life.
a1: May you have a happy married life.
a1: May you live long.
We cannot express a wish in any other category.
Sentences in other tenses for all situations
a1: Our mother may be returning from Kanyakumari this evening. (Pr cont :
a2. The property developer may not be returning our advance so soon as all that.
(Pr cont: Possibility)
Q: May I borrow some money from you? (S. Pre : Request)
a2: You may not come to my house often. (S. Pre : Refusal)
Q: May I help you? May I be of any help to you? (S. Pr : Polite request)
a1: You may leave now.
a2: You may not leave office so early.
a2: You may have left your umbrella in Rajans house. (Pr pfct: Possibility)
a1: The little chap may have been hiding his pain. (Pr. Pfct cont : Possibility)
Q: When may I expect your reply?
There is no short form for may not. So, use the long form only.
When to use
We use MIGHT,
(a) as Past equivalent of MAY in Complex sentences.
(b) to indicate a distant possibility, say 25: 75 ratio.
Grammar Rules
(a) Simple present
(b) Present continuous


Verb form
Present form
Continuous verb

(c) Simple Past (in Complex

(d) Future


Present form


Present form

Sample sentences
Distant possibility
Gen Q: What might be the reasons for my sons failure ? (S. pre)
a2: He might not have prepared well at all. (S.pre)
Sp Q :
Neg Q :
a1 :
a1 :
a1 :

Will this medicine cure my constipation?

It might cure you. (Future )
Mightnt the new lecturer be teaching the subject better? (Pr. Cont)
He might be teaching better. (Pr. Cont)
My father might be joining us a little later. (Pr. Cont)
This student might do well later. (Future)

Since the same A +V is used for Simple present and Future, see the timing of the
activity and decide its tense.
The short form for might not is mighnt.
I might attend your birthday party this evening..
I might not get an opportunity of meeting your father during my halt at Delhi.
Of course, your mother might be worrying about your safety.
My Secretary may not be expecting you this morning.
We might spend an hour or so with you on our return journey.
My sisters mightnt be spending their next winter vacation with you.
As regards the first use at (a) Past equivalent of MAY, we shall revert to it when
we learn Complex sentence
When to use
We use SHOULD,
(a) as the past equivalent of SHALL in Complex sentence.

(b) to express duty or obligation towards others.

(c) to say what is advisable in certain situations.
Grammar Rules
(a) Simple present
(b) Present continuous


Verb form


Present form

Sample sentences:
Duty or obligation on ones part towards others and what is advisable (Used in
Simple present or Present continuous tenses only).
Gen Q: What should one do on occasions of road accidents?
a1: A citizen should render whatever help is possible from his/her side.
SpQ : Should these students be attending extra classes?
NegQ : Shouldnt Mona spend some time at the bed side of her ailing aunt?
a1: Mona should be spending an hour daily by the bed side of her ailing aunt.
a2 : Mona shouldnt neglect her ailing aunt in any manner.
EQ1 : Johnny should be reaching the station anytime now, shouldnt he?
EQ2 : You shouldnt protest against the teachers remarks on your class
performance, should you?
The short form for should not is shouldnt.
Here are more sentences of daily use with this auxiliary:
Should all of us attend this persons funeral?
We should attend on account of his benevolence to poor students.
We should never talk ever against the teaching staffs.
Shouldnt every Plus 2 candidate work hard for any professional
Competitive examinations?
Young boys and girls should play games at least for an hour daily.
My children should be playing some indoor games at this hour.
You should observe all good manners towards your elders, shouldnt you?

You shouldnt be boasting too much about your achievements, should you?
All of you should eat your meals always on time.
As regards the first use i.e. as past equivalent of SHALL, we shall come to it
when we learn Complex sentence.
When to use
We use COULD,
(a) as past equivalent of CAN in Complex sentence.
(b)for making polite requests in Simple present and Future tenses.
(COULD is more polite than MAY)
(c)for ability/possibility in Simple present.
(d) for past action in Past family.
Grammar Rules
(a) Simple present
(b) Present continuous
(c) Future tense
(d) Future continuous
(e) Simple past


Verb form


Present form
Continuous verb
Present form
Continuous verb
Present form

Sample sentences
Polite requests in Simple present and Future tenses
Could you please send a reply immediately? (Future)
Could I use your telephone please. (S. pre) (More polite than MAY)
Could all of us leave the hall now ? (S. Pre)
Of course, you could bring any number of guests with you. (Future)
The A + V used is the same for Simple present and Future tenses. You could
identify the tense only by looking at the overall timing of the activity.
Sentences of ability / possibility

These students could be observing a token protest. (S. Pre)

Could two gardeners complete the transplanting work within a day? (S.
When could the servant collect her salary? (S. pre)
Sentences of past action
Could you post this letter yesterday? (S. pre).
I could not post this letter due to unavoidable reasons. (S. past)
We couldnt attend your social function last evening. (
Why couldnt you attend it?

We could not get a taxi for your place.

My daughter could not attend school yesterday.

We could hear some noise in your room last night.

Could you wait for me for 10 minutes? (S. pre)

* We cannot wait for you for more than 5 minutes.(S. pre)
Note: Suppose this answer was, We could not wait for you for more than 5 minutes
would convey a past time action. Hence, to state the inability in present time, the speaker
switches over to Simple present And with a Simple present auxiliary CAN.
We use WOULD,
(a) as past equivalent of WILL in Complex sentence
(b) to talk about a regular habit in past, present and future time period.
(c) as a polite form of request in present or future time period
(d) as a stronger form of determination.
Grammar Rules
(a) Simple present
(b) Present continuous
(c) Simple past


Verb form
Present form
Continuous verb
Present form

(d) Future
(e) Future continuous


Continuous verb

Sample sentences
Regular habit
Gen Q: Where would you go for your winter vacation this year? (Future)
a1: I may go to the South. The weather there is always warm.( )
a2: I would not go anywhere at all. I shall stay in New Delhi only. (S.Pre)
a1: Your little daughter would spend most of her time in my daughters
house. (S.Past, S. present and Future)
a1: This person would attend church service only twice a year.. (S. Past, S.
pre and Future)
EQ1: This young man would meet my neighbours daughter only outside this
colony, wouldnt he?
(Past, Present and Future habit)
Neg Q: Wouldnt you stick to your promise of coming with me in our daily walk?
Sp Q: Would this boy continue his tuition with you during this year also?
Polite request
Would you please wait here till my return? (S. pre)
Would you please send a prompt reply for this letter? (Future)
You would be attending the Kitty party tomorrow, wouldnt you? (Future)
Would you kindly post this letter in the post office on your way home?(S. pre)
Wouldnt you be coming to the office in my car tomorrow? (Future)
Would you please go over to my room straightway? (S. Pre)
The polite requests will be made only in S.Present or Future tenses.
Stronger form of determination
I would speak to your father today itself. (S. pre)
Would you return my book immediately? (S. pre)
Wouldnt you stop meeting this boy friend of yours? (S. pre)
When would you write to your estranged sister? (S. pre)


Since the A+V is the same for all tenses, identify the real tense by looking at the
activity and its timing. While framing a sentence, make sure that the timing of the activity is
clear in the O/C part.
We use MUST,
(a) to show duty or obligation in present time. MUST is stronger than SHOULD.
Grammar rules
(a) Simple present
(b) Present continuous


Verb form


Present form
Continuous verb

The short negative form is mustnt. While pronouncing this auxiliary, silence
the first t and say it like it is , musnt
Sample sentences
What must we do in situation of extreme political implications?
We must not do anything silly and irresponsible.
Must you always pick me for giving an opening talk to children?
Mustnt you be more polite to your equals?
You must drink your milk daily without fail, musntt you?
We mustnt take life lightly at all, must we?
Students at School level mustnt be spending much of their time on T.V
We must be preparing our class notes at this hour, mustnt we?
We must obey all traffic rules.
In our day to day life, we must co-operate with the Govt in power.
(a)to show ones duty or obligation towards others. (This is stronger than
MUST. This is the first 2-worded auxiliary we are using. Dont split it.

Always use it as a phrase)

Grammar Rules
(a) Simple present
(b) Present continuous


Verb form
Present form
Continuous verb

Sample sentences
You ought to go for work always on time.
You oughtnt to talk back to your elders.
We ought to respect all our elders.
Children ought to stand up when older people enter their room. (Complex
Students ought not to be wasting time even during vacation time.
All citizens in a Democratic country ought to take part in every Election.
Weak students ought to spend more time on their books.
We normally dont use this auxiliary in any kind of Q categories including
EQ1/EQ2 because of its tongue-twisting pronunciation.
We use NEED
(a) in a sentence when we want to give an effect of necessity or
(a) Simple present
(b) Present continuous


Verb form
Present form
Continuous form

Sample sentences
Sp Q : Need all of you go to a movie on Christmas day?

a2 : We neednt go at all.

Sp Q : Need I give you my reasons for all my outdoor activities?

Neg Q: Neednt you cut across all caste barriers without hesitation?
EQ 2: You neednt be sending money to this poor boy every month, need
Have you noticed the absence of Gen Q, EQ1 and a1 in the above examples?
They are not possible either. Try some a1 and see what happens:
Vishal needs to return to the hostel today.
You need to revise all your trigonometrical formulae every day.
All of you need to watch the football match today, neednt you?
Here is the sentence analysis:
Vishal needs to return to the hostel today
You need to revise all your trigonometrical formulae every day
All of you need to watch the football match today, neednt you?
Q. tag
What you thought was an Auxiliary has turned into a verb. Dont forget that
NEED is also a present form verb. An infinitive will invariably come after the verb
NEED. We shall cover infinitive in a later lesson. Thus, the a1 category is out and along
with that EQ1 is also out. As regards Gen Q, one could frame it with other auxiliaries with
greater effect.
Who need not take any advance amount from the office?
The above sentence has no punch in it at all. Why not a sentence like,
Who may not / should not/ would not take any advance .
Accordingly, we use NEED as auxiliary mostly in Sp Q, Neg Q, and a2 categories . This
auxiliary is most useful in a2 category.
Also note , how diplomaic the a2 sentence sounds.


We use DARE
(a) when we want to give the meaning , be brave enough . in a
(a) Simple present


Verb form
Present form

Sample sentences
Gen Q: How dare you call me a coward?
a2 : I dare not call you that at all, Sir.
Sp Q: Dare they drop my brother from the hockey team?
a2 : The school dare not drop your brother from the team at all, Sir.
A Gen Q must start with only HOW as the interrogative and no other. We
cannot frame Neg Q, a1 and EQ1 with this auxiliary. The answer could be with other
auxiliaries and not necessarily with DARE.
Here are some more sentences of daily use:
I dare not take a risk on this matter at all.
We dare not ever challenge our professor.
Our dog dare not attack any well dressed visitor.
How dare Meena comes out with such a gaudy dress for an official
Dare they disobey my orders?
Visitors dare not go near the wild animals cage, dare they?
Helpless auxiliaries
You know that the job of an auxiliary is to help as verb. But there are some
auxiliaries which need the help of other auxiliaries before they could help a verb in a
sentence.. These helpless auxiliaries are: KEEP, KEPT, USED TO and GOING TO. We
cannot use these 4 by themselves. We have to add one or more auxiliaries from the same list
to form an auxiliary set and only thereafter we can use them in a sentence. Being Universal,
we can use them in many tenses:

When to use
We use them,
(a) to show a continuing activity whose end is not known or which continues
for a very long time.
Grammar rules
(a) Simple present
(b) Simple past
(c) Future
(d) Present perfect
(e) Future perfect
(f) Past perfect

do/does/can/may/would KEEP
did KEEP
shall/will KEEP
has/have KEPT
will have/shall have KEPT
had KEPT

Verb form
Continuous verb

Sample sentences
Simple present
1. Do you keep visiting your ward in the boarding every week end?
I do keep visiting my ward every week end.
My wife does keep visiting my ward once a month.
Note : It will be wrong to write, My wife keeps visiting .. Here, KEEP is an
auxiliary and an auxiliary does not accept any s sound like in the case of a verb in Simple
present. Yet, you will hear people use sentences like, He keeps coming to my house daily.
Can/could you keep helping our son in English?
You may keep helping him with money as long as necessary.
We would keep inviting your daughter for all parties.


Simple past
Did you keep taking this patients temperature every half hour?
We did keep taking the temperature every half hour, Doctor.
Note: Did keep is NOT equal to kept. This we do only with a verb in Simple past.
But here, keep is an auxiliary and it needs another auxiliary as its helper.
Future tense
Will you keep watering this garden always?
I shall keep watering it , Madam.
Martha shall keep meeting you during her spare days.
Present perfect tense
Have some pick-pockets kept picking your pocket during your outings?
They have kept spending a lot of money on us daddy, havent they?.
(In the Q tag, we use only the first auxiliary)
Mary has kept repeating the same mistakes in her essays.
Past perfect
Hadnt this small child kept pestering you for chocolates?
She had kept pestering me for chocolates.
Future perfect
Our gate sentry will have kept watching for any gate crashers, wont he?
My son will have kept waiting for my arrival.
Note: Did you notice that there is no a2 category? a2 will not sound nice at all. So,
for negative answer we switch over to the conventional tense.
This is a versatile auxiliary used in all the 16 tenses.

We use this two worded auxiliary,

(a) to talk about a regular habit of present time.
(b) to talk about a past regular habit discontinued some time in the past.
(c) to talk about future expectations
T + A + V rules
(a) Present tense
(b) Past tense
(c) Simple present


Verb form

am/is/are USED TO
AM/IS/ARE act as verbs
was/were USED TO
WAS/WERE act as verbs
should/must/ought to/will/shall/ Use only the verbs
get/become/be USED TO
shown in bold and
no other.

(d) Present continuous am/is/are/can be/may be/

would be/ could be/should be/
must be/ought to be/need be/

Use no other verb

getting or becoming

will be/ shall be getting/

becoming USED TO
(e) Present perfect
(f) Present perfect

has/have got/become/been

Use no other verb

except the bold ones

has been/have been/may have been/ Use only getting

getting/becoming USED TO
or becoming

(g) Simple past

did USE TO

Any present form

(h) Past continuous

was/were getting/becoming

Use only the verbs

getting or becoming

(i) Past perfect

would have/could have/should

have/might have/must have/ need
have/ought to have got/become/

Use only the

got/become or

been USED TO
(j) Past perfect Cont.

(k) Future

(l) Future Cont.

(m) Future perfect

must/ need/ought to have been
getting/becoming USED TO
get/become/be USED TO


Use only the verbs

getting or
Use only
verbs shown
in bold.

will be/ shall be/could be/

Use only getting
would be/might be getting /
or becoming
becoming USED TO
will have/shall have got/become/ No other verb
been USED TO
except got,become
or been

(n) Future perfect Cont.

will/shall HAVE BEEN

getting/becoming USED TO

Use no other verb

except getting /

Sample sentences
Present family
1.All of us can/may/would .will/shall get used to our new master within a week.
2 Our baby son gets used to any new governess soon, doesnt he?
Adv Q. tag.
3. Amnt I getting used to this new room pretty fast?
Neg A
4.A number of us have got used to seeing several T.V. serials a week, havent we?
5. Krishnan has been becoming used to powder milk lately.
6. We are used to good company only in our class.

Past family


7. We were used to a lot of ragging in our first year in college years back.
Note: In all the examples above, please note that the Verb comes before the auxiliary or
the Verb comes in between the auxiliaries. This is the peculiarity of USED TO
8. Did you use to love poetry during your school days?
9.(a) I did use to love poetry a lot during school days.
(b) I used to love poetry a lot during school days.
Note : In the case of Simple past, we tend to treat USED TO like it is a verb. It is an
imperfect verb actually, unlike the normal verbs. This is again a peculiarity with this
10. The junior nurse in the Govt hospital was slowly getting used to the strict doctors.
A Adv V
11. The village students would/might/must/need/should/ought to have been used to
our English pronunciation.
12 .Some of them should have got used to our English pronunciation. (Past pefct)
13. Many Junior college students could (would/might/should/must/need/ought to) have
been getting used to rejection at the admission level. (Past pfct continuous)
Future family
14.We shant (could/would/might) get used to late night studies during our college days.
S NegA
15. Those students could be (would be/ shall be/will be) getting used to night time
16 .The Third semester Mechanical engineering students will not have got used to the
Electronic laboratory so soon.
17. .Wouldnt (could/should/might/must/need/ought to) the lady students of our
Neg A
engineering college have become used to the overly tricks of the men students?

We use this 2-worded auxiliary,
(a)to show future actions or future expectations.
(Have you recognised this as a Future tense which as you know is pronounced
only from Present time? Do recall also the Implied future tense. We use this auxiliary as
equivalent to a implied future tense sentence)
Grammar rules
(a) Future

am/is/are GOING TO

Verb form
Present form

Sample sentences
1. Are some employees going to form a Trade union?
2. George isnt going to join the Trade union.
3. When are you all going to stage a drama for the inmates of this colony?
4. Robert isnt going to repeat this experiment, is he?
5. We are going to witness this match tomorrow afternoon.
6. My friend is going to meet you next week.
Here is an interesting information:
(a) The Past perfect tense auxiliary is HAD. But we have shown several auxiliaries
in the Past perfect column while dealing with the auxiliaries USED TO. See (i).
These auxiliaries belong to Future in the Past tense. (We will do this in the next
Lesson). The Future in the Past tense turns into Past perfect if the sentence
shows a completed activity.
(b) Which Universal auxiliary (ies) are used in maximum number of tenses?



- in all the 16 tenses. (Including the FIP to be done in the next

KEEP/KEPT - appear in all 7 continuous tenses plus Simple present (for
routine action) = 8 tenses.
WOULD/COULD - used in all 3 families although not in all tenses

It should have flashed on your mind by now that the English users seldom make
use of the auxiliary USED TO in all tenses in their daily conversation and writing. Isnt it
such an all purpose auxiliary?
Notice the difference between the conventional Continuous tenses and sentences
with KEEP/KEPT as the auxiliary. While the action in the conventional continuous tenses
always come to an end (whether the end time is indicated or not), in the sentences with
KEEP/KEPT, action(s) do not come to an end at all or we dont think about it ever ending at
all. We never think about the rotation of the Earth coming to an end, do we? [ The Earth
does keep moving round the Sun every year.. This beggar boy had kept coming to my
office every month for donation.]
Other auxiliaries
If you take a count of all the auxiliaries we have used in various tenses, we have used
14 Universal auxiliaries in various tenses. What about the remaining 7 out of the 21
Universal auxiliaries? Here is the account. We have used WILL and SHALL in Future tense.
BE and BEEN in the all the Perfect tenses as second auxiliaries. NEVER is a strong form
of NOT. We have used NOT in all the tenses in a2 categories. BEING is an auxiliary
reserved for Passive voice about which you will learn in Lesson 19. The last auxiliary is
BETTER. This is used in advanced English which is not covered in this book.
Exercise 15
1. Which auxiliaries can we use in all the three time periods? Give one example for each.
2. Why do we call certain auxiliaries Universal? Name the ones you have learnt so far.
3. What do you understand by 3-in-1 word? How many are there in the English language.
Give a sample sentence for each.
State the tense of the following sentences:
4. The man concerned could not be present here.
5. My representative would see you sometime this week.
6. You could continue as a part time lecturer for another year.

7. Must you repeat the same demand week in and week out?
8. We should not disregard our elders advice.
9. This medicine might not suit your system.
10. We might visit you shortly.
11. Dont disturb me until 8 p.m.
12.May God not punish you for this blatant lie.
13. You cannot beat me in this game.
14. Will you help me, please?
15.Could I request you for a favour?
16. Monica could not attend this evenings cinema show.
17. My son could accept your offer.
18. My father could be sitting in the library.
Fill up the blank with a suitable auxiliary:
19. My aunt .. reached Chennai by tomorrow evening from New Delhi.
20. Lavanya . meet me next week
21. You not touch a live snake.
22. This student come to me only in case of serious doubts.
23. Menon always say only nice things about me.
24. .. you please write a leave letter for me?
25. I write your leave letter.
Wrong auxiliaries have been used in the following sentences. Spot them out and
rewrite the sentence with the correct auxiliary:
26. The teacher is not in the staff room now; she can have gone home
27. Can you come to my desk please?
28. May your parents be in the house this evening?
29. Would I borrow your rubber please?
30. Chandra may have practising yoga every day.
31. Madanlal not have sold his motor bike.
32. During a heavy rain and thundering we be standing under a green tree at all.
33. You need darent show your impatience with small kids.
34. Lily cannot post this letter yesterday morning.
35. Can I show you some more shirts please?
Write each of the following sentences in a minimum of 3 alternative ways using
different auxiliaries:


36. Many South Indians cannot converse in Hindi at all.

37. This student didnt come to my house last week.
38. I was going to tell your father about your wayward life.
39. When will you finish college?
Write the remaining 6 categories of sentences:
40. Couldnt Rajendran have been used to good moral habits?

Lesson 16
You already know that in a Future tense there is no activity whatever. The intended
action is only in your mind and does not even start. Thats why we called the Future tense
statements as future looking ones.
You also know that a Future tense sentence is
pronounced from the Present time period only.
Is it possible to make a Future tense statement (or, a future looking statement) from a
Past time point? Why not? You can take your mind to a Past time point and make a futurelooking statement from that point, cant you?. It is an imaginary past point. We have been
making statements of this kind a lot in our day to day life but without giving it a proper
understanding. You must remember that any kind of Future tense statements whether made
from the real present time or imaginary past time, will have no action in it.
Such a tense would cover two time periods, wouldnt it? - Past and Future? There is a
special name for such a tense also. It is Future in the Past tense. In short FIP and FIP


continuous tenses. Put in simpler words, the tense would mean that we think of the Future
from a Past time point. We can show this situation in a Time Diagram as shown below:
Past period



Point of making a futurelooking statement.
imaginary Past point

(c )

You are in present time no doubt at Point A. You take your mind to Point B which is
in the imaginary past and make a future looking statement shown as line (c). You will
make the conventional Future tense statement (or future looking statement) in the present
time from Point D.
The auxiliaries used for the FIP tense are quite different from the Future auxiliaries.
When to use
We use the Future in the Past tense to talk about an action we wanted to do in some
past time but didi not do it on account of some reason..
S +A + V rules


Verb form


Need/ought tohave/ got/become/ Use only the
been USED TO
verbs in bold
was/were GOING TO

Present form

(9 auxiliary sets)
Sample sentences
Gen Q: What should I have done in such a critical situation?
a1: You should have admonished the person then and there.
a2: You should not have kept quiet at all.
Neg A
SpQ: Must you have brought up the same point again in the teachers meeting?
NegQ : Wouldnt you have forgiven your littler son even for such a major lapse?
EQ1 : You might have given him a light corporal punishment, mightnt you?
EQ2 : I couldnt have ordered one meal instead of two, could I?
Gen Q : By when could you have got used to working in the underground collieries?
a1: You should have been used to the church order of prayer by now?
a2: You ought not to have been used to drugs ever in your life time.
a1: We were going to report the matter to the police towards the end of the
We use this also for the same purpose as the FIP tense - for an action we wanted
to in some past time but did not do it on account of some resons. We opt for the continuous
tense when we want to give importance to the duration of theproposed action. Both these
tenses are interchangeable.
Grammar rule
All persons


Verb form







Might/would/could/should/must /need/
Use only the
ought to have been getting/becoming verb shown in
Might/would/could/should/must/need/ Continuous verb
Ought to have KEPT
(9 auxiliary sets)

Sample sentences
Gen Q: Who might have been spreading some bad news about me?
a1: Obviously some mischievous person must have been spreading it.
a2: No one wantonly could have been spreading a bad news about you?
SpQ: Could all the orphan children have been expecting some sweets from me?
Neg Q: Shouldnt all the temporary workers have been waiting for the new
EQ1: We ought to have been scotching the rumour every time, oughtnt we?
EQ2: You neednt have been sending strong notes of protest at all, need you?
Neg Q: Shouldnt your workers have been staying at the building site itself?
a1: You should have been getting used to all the laboratory equipment quite
a1: You ought to have kept meeting your professor as often as necessary.
We dont use the Continuous tense much at all.


Here are some sentences of daily use. Do remember that in no case, action should
have taken place at all. A sentence will be an FIP brand only if action has not taken place.
Examine every sentence from this angle:
a1: Some of you should have accompanied our HOD during his visit to the next
a1: You should have been more circumspect in your comments.
Neg Q : Couldnt you have given a clearer route plan for your house?
a1: We could have visited some friends instead of wasting time in the beach.
a2: We could never have located your lonely house in total darkness.
EQ: I would have certainly forewarned you about this possibility, wouldnt I?
a1: Of course, I would have loaned you some money readily.
EQ : You must have used a much more polite language to the lady, mustnt you?
a1: You ought to have expressed your regrets immediately to the lady over your
rash remarks.
a2: We ought not to have forgotten our cameras during a visit to a Zoo?
a1: You should have pointed out my grammar mistakes then and there.
a1: We need have spent more midnight oil for our finals.
SpQ : Would you have loaned your brand new motor bike to me?
Neg Q: Shouldnt you have warned me about this impending danger?
a1: I certainly could have helped with some finance.
a1: We could have got used to the audio system in the auditorium much earlier.
* a2: You shouldnt have kept picking on the young lecturer so very frequently.
*Sp Q : Ought you have asked for other peoples help every time?
* a2: You mustnt have used such strong words at all during the discussion.
Have you examined all the sentences from the angle of action completed or not
started? In none of the above, action has taken place. But see the ones marked with an
asterisk? Havent you noticed that action had taken place in these sentences? But, the
auxiliary set used belong to FIP tense? Therefore, do these sentences belong to the FIP
tense or Past perfect tense? We use the Past perfect for a completed activity. Here, since
action had taken place we should treat them as Past perfect sentences and not the FIP
variety. Correct?
Did you also notice that when we write an a2 category sentence, it seems to turn
into a Past perfect case? Here are more examples of completed activity cases. Scrutinize
them carefully:
a2: Your younger sister need not have come for this social party at all.
a2: I shouldnt have let you into our home secret.

a2: You mustnt have used such bad words at your elders.
a2: I couldnt have solved these problems without your help.
a2: Except for your invitation, my relatives might not have come for the wedding.
a2: We shouldnt have selected this place for our afternoon siesta.
a2: We need not have attended this drab social party at all.
All the sentences above deal with completed activities. Hence they belong to the
Past perfect tense.
But, dont get away with the impression that all a2 categories will belong to Past
perfect. Some a2 would be of the FIP variety as well. Study the following:
a2: Some of our guests couldnt have possibly reached here on time. (FIP)
a2: The lady would not have attended the birthday party even if you had sent a
vehicle for her. (FIP) (Complex sentence)
a2:Wouldnt you have helped our son even if we had not requested you. (FIP)
a2: The students wouldnt have scored such low marks if only they gone to the
exam hall better prepared. (Action completed case- Past perfect)
So, what is the conclusion? Earlier we saw that the Past perfect tense used only one
auxiliary HAD. Now, you can include the above seven also.
Exercise - 16
Rewrite the following sentences in the FIP tense using the most appropriate
auxiliary set. Do make sure that action does not get completed.:
1. Will you walk with me up to the School compound?
2. Can you translate this letter into French?
3. Shant we revise all our Shakespeares plays today?
4. My brother will not marry his aunts daughter.
5. Our servant maid will not work in your house from tomorrow.
6. Little Dennis does not feed the chickens.
7. Little Dennis the Menace loves his dog Ruff.
8. Of course my young sister would eat this fruit.
9. We must not play with cooking gas.
10.We could not reach the college on time today.
Locate the mistake(s) and rewrite the concerned sentence:

11.Our HOD could corrected our test papers so fast.

12.My uncle shall not have mislead you as regards the rules of the game.
13.Do you need changed the positions of the players for this particular match?
14.You ought not have helped this student on account of his malingering.
15.Shouldnt you kept quiet in yesterdays meeting?
16.All of you must got used to this new calculator.
17.Dont you ever keep copy the answers of your desk mate.
18.Some children oughtnt have reading Adults magazine.
19.Hadnt Sudarshan kept poke his nose frequently in everyones business?
20.Samuel neednt have castigating these boys so much and almost daily, need he?
Write each of the statement given below in any 3 different ways using Universal
auxiliaries without significantly changing the original meaning.:
21.Rajathi will write her Nursing test next month.
22.Menon is acting in tomorrows college play let.
23.Joseph will thrash Muthu nicely.
24.Doesnt Timothy speak very good English?
25.The Mangalore mail arrives in an hours time from now.
Answer the following question in the FIP or FIP continuous tense.
26.Were you visiting your hostel ward yesterday?
27.Did you shoot any birds in the forest yesterday?
28.Wasnt Maddy standing idly in front of his house yesterday evening?
29.Why didnt you buy some cotton shirts instead of terry cot shirts.
30.Could you ruin the prospects of your uncles sons marriage?
State the tense of the following sentences:
31.Sundardass was going to finish the innings within 2 hours.
32.Oughtnt you have stopped this children from crossing a busy street?
33.You must not have agreed to a foolish proposal like that.
34.Couldnt you have got used to the New English grammar much earlier?
35.The Police should have kept checking all the vehicles on the high way.
36.You need not have accepted this assignment at all.
37.The ticket collector wouldnt have penalized you on account of your innocence.
38.We couldnt have finished copying your notes even by tomorrow evening.
39.Muralidharan was going to see me yesterday.

40.The surgeon is going to examine him.

Analyse the following sentences and state the tense of each:
41.When could we have been using these sheets of paper
42.We are used to this pet dog.
43.Have you kept borrowing money from your room mate?
44.You should have been used to this particular driver.
Write the remaining categories of sentences:
45.Given, EQ2: My mother and I should not have been getting used to this home made
pickles, should we?

Lesson 17
What is infinitive?
If we use the preposition to before any present form verb , the combination
becomes known as infinitive. We may say that the English language has as many
infinitives as the number of Present form verbs.
We may use an INFINITIVE as a Verb or as a Noun.
One Auxiliary or an Auxiliary set can support only one verb in the S+A+V part of a
sentence. The sentence formula also shows it can have only one verb or one activity. What
if we make the Subject do a second action and a third action,one after the other? Well, in
that case the second and subsequent verbs of action must be infinitive verb only. We cannt
use two normal verbs in the Grammar part. Next, we should use an infinitive verb only as

part of the O/C and not as part of S+A+V. You can use two infinitive verbs also one after the
other (with or without the conjunction and or any other connecting word) in the O/C part.
Accordingly, our sentence formula now upgrades itself like this,
S +A +V

O/C + Infin V + O/C

The pattern could be like this also,

(i) S +A +V + Infin V + O/C

(ii) S + A + V + Infin V + Infin V + O/C

Do remember that we can never write a sentence like this,

S +A +Infin V +O/C


Like we have seen before, the Infin V+ O/C part, has nothing to do with the S+A+V
part. They are independent of each other. In other words, the S+A+V part could belong to
any tense and the sentence with the Infin V part will be meaningful and valid. Also note that
the Infinitive-verb is a word of action since we have derived it from a normal verb.
Here are some examples:
1. Hameed is a good boy to play a friendly game with. (Present tense)
S A.V Ajct
2.Has Sameer any extra magazines to share with me? (Pre)
3.Isnt Sundari coming with me to play table tennis.? (Pr cont)
4.Swarna doesnt like to throw social parties so often. (S. pre)
NegA V InficV
5.Venkat was an excellent bowler during his hey days to frighten any batsman. (Past).
6.When did Shankar agree to teach me English? (S. past)
7.Wasnt Brown travelling a lot to spend away all his extra money? (Past cont)
O InfinV
8.We will not go to the next colony to practise football. (Future).
9.Havent we learnt enough English to go about our way in high circles? (Pr. Pfct)
10.My mother has been keeping this run away dog to handover to the owner. (Pr pfct
11.We hadnt met your brother to discuss this matter. (Past pfct)
12.Our friends will not have reached London to partake in the competition. (Future pfct)
13.I could have mastered this art to challenge John some day. (FIP)
14.Siva would have been doing this mischief just to teach Naidu a good lesson.
Adv InfinV
O (FIP cont)

Do note that the infinitive verb has added a second activity in the sentence? One Doer
(ie. The Subject) can do two actions one after the other, cant he? Conversely, if we want to
make a Doer do two or more actions, we have to show them only through infinitive verbs.
Here are some examples of two consecutive infinitive verbs with or without the conjunction
15.Miriam wont have liked to invite and to entertain her immediate neighbours.
16.Most of the newspapers accept advertisements to educate the readers and also to earn
more revenue for themselves.
17.All of us have come to your area not to fight but to play a friendly match.
18.Johnson arrived here to test, to verify our bonafides.
19.Kesari isnt all that innocent to tempt us towards him.
20.Warrier did not go to the temple only to worship his Deity.
You can use an infinitive verb in a continuous form as well. We choose the continuous
form when we want to highlight the duration of the action shown by the infinitive-verb.
Here are the examples:
21.Had you come all the way from Kanyakumari to be spending a month of vacation with
22.We could have detained this intruder to be reforming him into a good person.
23.Did you see this movie only to be writing a report on it?
24.Some of us are here to be listening to your diverse arguments on the subject.
25.You are the last person to be leaving the cinema hall.
You can use one infinitive in the normal form and the second in the continuous form.
Actually if you want to use two infinitive-verbs one after the other, you should use one in
the present form and the other in the continuous form like this,
26.Meenakshi has come here to prove and to be convincing you about her novel theory
27.When are you going to Madurai to see the temples there and to be photographing
28.Couldnt you have come a little earlier to my house to have a chat with our son and
to be consoling him a little?
29.We went to the airport not only to see off our friend but also to be welcoming our
foreign guests.
30.We were sitting comfortably on the stands to watch the match and also to be
applauding the performance of our team.


Omission of to in the infinitive verb

There is a rule, omit the preposition in the infinitive verb section if any of the 8 special
verbs is present in the S+A+V part and if there is an object. These special verbs are: LET,
MAKE, HEAR, FEEL, SEE, BID, WATCH or HAVE and in any of their form. Here are the
31. Will you please let me address the workers my self?
32. The referee made my brother run round the football field twice.
33. You should hear us convey our argument before the final verdict.
34. We could feel the carriage jump off the rails over the river bridge.
35. Did you see the thief slip into the forest?
36. The Chairman of the interview board bid me step into the hall.
37. Dont watch me tick off this student.
38. Of course I will have you help the poor little boy.
Help, Dare and Enable are exclusive verbs. You may or may not omit the preposition.
Both versions will be correct. See the examples below:
39.(a) Wont you help me escape this punishment?
(b) Wont you help me to escape this punishment?
40.(a) My tuition master enabled me to write a proper essay on Independence day.
(b) My tuition master enabled me write a proper essay on Independence day.
41.(a) I dare you say such things about me.
(b) I dare you to say such things about me.
If you examine the sentences from 31 to 38 very carefully, you would notice that they
conform to the sentence formula given below:
S + A + V(sp) + O + Infin V + O/C

(Vsp Special verbs)

Supposing there is a C after Vsp, (with or without O in the sentence), then the omission
rule does not apply. Study the following examples:
42. We have been watching carefully to catch the trouble makers.
43. Lord, please make us prayerful to worship thee more regularly.
Adv (A)V O Adv

If there is an Adverb or Complement after S+A+V with or without O in the sentence, do

not omit the preposition. Here are more examples. They are all of the pattern,
S +A V + O + C + Infin V + O/C
44. We cannot let you free to play anywhere.
Adv InfinV
45. Do you feel nice to stay in this guest house?
46. Didnt you hear every word clearly to understand the talk?
47. I will have you anywhere to take you to task.
48. The Selection committee will not bid you now or for the next 10 minutes
the room.

to go into

The adverb present in the complement could be of any type.

Next, observe the rule of omission of the preposition only with the present form of the
infinitive verb and not the continuous form. The following sentences are wrong:
You must let me be watching this serial.
Will you please make us be copying these notes?
[Further, the omission rule does not apply to Passive voice sentences. We shall see this
when we learn Passive voice. As of now, the sentences we are framing belong to the Active
We saw earlier that we can give Emphatic answers only in two tenses Simple
present and Simple past. And, they are Ea1 only. We can never give Emphatic negative
answers (Ea2) in these tenses. What then about other tenses?
It is possible to give Ea1 and Ea2 in all tense- families through the infinitive- verb
method using some of the A.Vs. Study the following sentences:
Present family with A.V
1. (a) I am / to meet my class teacher at 2 p.m. today.
(b) I am not / to talk to you ever again.
2 . (a) Mona Singh is / to reach here by 5 p.m
(b) Dalip Singh is not / to check the late comers.

3 .(a) All of us are / to assemble at the football field at 3.30 p.m.

(b) All of us are not / to gather at the hockey field.
4. (a) Has Sheila / to mend these clothes by tomorrow?
(b) Hasnt Radha / to bring her school fees today?
5 .(a) We have / to submit our homework on Monday, havent we?
(b) We havent / to pay our fees before 5th of the month, have we?
The first part has just S + A.V and the second part has the infinitive-verb .
Past family with A.V

(a) Abraham was / to recite a poem today.

(b) Abraham wasnt / to recite a poem today.
7 (a) Were you / to write a letter to the Principal last week?
(b) Werent you / to write a letter to the Principal last week?
8. (a) One of us had / to apologise to the History teacher on behalf of the class, hadnt we?
(b) One of us hadnt / to apologise to the History teacher on behalf of the class, had we?
Simple present (with the verb HAVE)
Along with the Simple present auxiliaries DO and DOES, Simple past auxiliary DID
and Future auxiliary WILL/SHALL we must use the verb HAVE also as shown in the
following examples:
9. (a) Do you have / to leave the class room now?
(b) We dont have / to leave the play ground as yet.
10. (a) Does Vanitha have / to learn this dialogue also?
(b) Doesnt Leela have / to obey this order immediately?
11. (a) Where does Ram have / to report for duty?
Simple past (with the verb HAVE)
12. (a) Did you have / to hide the truth from the school authorities?
(b) Didnt you have / to submit this essay last week itself?
13. (a) For which date did you have / to reserve your seat?
Future (with the verb HAVE)
14 (a) You will/shall have / to send this letter by todays post itself.

(b) Wont/Shant you have / to memorise all the Multiplication tables by this month?
All the above statements in Q and A categories do sound powerful, dont they? So,
here is the method to give powerful Ea1 and Ea2 in any time period. Its not possible to use
the Perfect tenses for Emphatics.
If you examine all the Emphatic sentences above from the timing angle, you would
notice that they are all either Future looking or with an FIP tense bias, Nothing is of the
action completed types. This is a point worth remembering when you use Emphatics.
Use of interrogatives with infinitive-verbs
When the first verb in the S+A+V part is ASK, DECIDE, DISCOVER,
FOREGET,KNOW, LEARN, REMEMBER or FIND OUT in any of their form, we have to
use one of the interrogatives out of HOW, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE or WHICH followed by
an infinitive-verb as shown below :
(a) A commuter asked me HOW to reach the local railway station.
(b) My sister decided on my behalf WHICH college to join in.
(c) The stray dogs soon discovered on their own WHEN to cross a busy road.
(d) Sure you forgot WHERE to go for the meeting, didnt you?
(e) You must know WHAT to pray for.
(f) We really dont know WHEN to ask for our pocket money.
(g) Havent you learnt HOW to make a speech from a platform?
(h) Do remember WHICH switch to press to open the screen.
(i) Will you please find out on your own HOW to attract the attention of your class?
(j) You should learn HOW not to get into trouble. (Make a note of the alternative
method of writing a2 sentence)
(k) How will you know WHEN to raise a question in the auditorium?
All the examples above belong to all categories of sentences. Try to memorise these
important verbs. You must use an interrogative followed by an infinitive-verb invariably
with these special verbs. Some listener may not notice the absence of the interrogative but
such sentences would be considered bad English.
We can use all the Infinitive as Nouns as well. As Nouns, we may use them as Subjects
or Objects. Here are the examples. Though we can use an infinitive as a Noun in the subject
section, it will not be exactly equivalent to a normal noun of person or thing as we know.

Only a person or any living being or a Thing could perform an action. In the same way, an
infinitive-noun is not be a Noun/Thing acted upon although it may pass the Object test.
Look at every sentence given below from that angle:
As Subject of a sentence
(a) To read must be every students routine activity.
(b) To err is human.
(c) To be or not to be is the question.
(d) To ride was my hobby some years back.
(e) To work hard should have been your motto during college days.
(f) To stand first in every class need not be every students goal.
To act ike a famus star
Do you notice that the infinitive-nouns are words of action and NOT Persons/Things
capable of performing an action? Therefore, do not equate the infinitive-noun to an actual
Noun (of person or thing).
Accordingly, the S+A+V part has to be in the action less tenses only, in Present or
Past tense only. We may however use the Universal auxiliaries in any tense with infinitive
as the Noun but only with the verb BE. Do remember that BE is an action less verb.
Here are some examples with BE in any tense:
(a) To fight could be a foolish thing.
(b) To hide a truth in a court will not be a wise step.
(c) To talk back has always been Sekhars childish habit
So use the infinitive noun as Subject only in present and Past tenses, as show in the
following examples:.
(a) To read must be every students routine.
(b) To ride was my passion from my teen age days.
The infinitive noun at (a)is not self contained in meaning, is it?. Some doubts arise
here such as, To read WHAT? , To ride WHAT? They look to be incomplete words or

incomplete in meaning. So, it is quite in order to add some explanatory words to make the
meaning clear like this,
(aa) To read good books must be every students routine.
(bb) To ride a horse was my hobby some years back.
Examples at (aa) and (bb) use amplifying words to make the meaning of the infinitivenoun very clear. In which case, the Subject will be the infinitive-noun plus the amplifying
words. Dont view the amplifying words as Object or Complement.
Here are more examples with amplifying words:
(c) To kick a dog
is a cruel act.
Ampl words
(d) To swim in the sea can be an enjoyable pastime for some people.
Ampl words
(e) To hide a truth has never been my habit. [has been is an action less A+V]
|--------- S ----|
As object in a sentence
(f) Some of us had gone to the library to read.
(g) After a hectic picnic we hit the bed to sleep.
(h) Will all the dissenters please assemble in the hall to discuss?
(i) We entered the church to worship
In all the above cases, the infinitive passes the Object test; more so, since we have
used transitive verbs in the S,A,V part and hence they are Nouns infinitive-nouns. (Also at
the same time remember, that they are NOT nouns of Persons/Things and they do not
fulfill the definition of an Object either. Nor can we accept themas adjunct because the
word does not give additional information about the subject. And yet we have to treat them
as objects. These are peculiar objects, no doubt).
See what happens if we use some amplifying words to the so called object to make
the meaning clearer.


(j) Some of us had gone to the library to read some magazines.

(k) Will all the dissenters please assemble in the hall to discuss all issues.
What has happened? What we thought and used as infinitive-noun - objects have
turned into infinitive-verbs. Therefore, make sure that the infinitive is the last word when
used as Noun-Object. (Also dont forget that an infinitive-noun is a word of action and not a
noun of person/thing). The privilege of using amplifying words, is applicable only when an
infinitive is used as a Subject.
Have you also noticed that the S+A+V could be in any tense when the object is an
infinitive-noun? We cannot enjoy such a privilege when we use an infinitive-noun as
Infinitives as Connectors
Sometimes we can use an Infinitive to connect two Simple sentences into one Simple
sentence without any change in the meaning.. Imagine, two Simple sentences becoming one
Simple sentence with the same meaning? We can call it a miracle, cant we? - Two Nos
S+A+V+O/C becoming one No. S+A+V+O/C? See the examples given below:
Given, (a) There is a Captain in every team. (b) He directs all his players.
S (A)V
Here is the combined sentence,
1. There is a Captain in every team to direct all his players.
Ty S A.V
infin V
Given, (c ) The thief showed a dagger at the housewife. (d) He frightened her.
2. The thief showed a dagger at the housewife to frighten her.
Given, (e) This gentleman did not have the purse with him. (f) He could not give any
money to the donation seeker.
3. This gentleman did not have his purse with him to give any money to the
donation seeker.

What method have we followed for using an infinitive as a connector?

Step 1: Take each verb and convert it into an infinitive.
Step 2: Keep one sentence as it is and replace the S+A+V of the other sentence
with the infinitive along with its O/C.
You will find one of the two infinitives may succeed in the connecting process.
But, dont get away with an impression that you could connect any two sentences this way.
For connection to be possible, there must be one common word of action between the
Take the following pairs,
Given, (g) My friends arrived at this spot. (h) They wanted an immediate solution.
There is no common verb of action between the two. So, we cannot connect them. Next,
if one of the sentences belongs to Present or Past tense, connection will not be possible at all
as shown in (i) and (j).
Given, (i) DSouza is a clever footballer. (j) Nobody can outwit him.
These two sentences too cannot be connected since one of them has an A.V
So, conversion of two Simples into One Simple with an infinitive connector would be
possible only in certain cases and not in all cases.
Writing the remaining categories of sentences
Writing the remaining 6 categories of sentences should not pose any problem. Here are
two examples. Examine them:
Given, a1: To run down a person is a bad act.
a2: To run down a person isnt a good act.
Gen Q: What is a bad act?
Sp Q : Is to run down a person a good act?
Neg Q : Isnt to run down a person a bad act?
EQ 1 : To run down a person is a bad act, isnt it?
EQ2 : To run down a person isnt a good act, is it?


The infinitive-noun is a word of action. Hence, the most appropriate pronoun for it is,
it. Follow this method for the Question tag for any infinitive-noun.
Exercise 17
Use a suitable infinitive-verb or infinitive noun in the blank:

Beula was too keen .. a job in a multi national company.

.. is to enjoy life.
Havent you forgotten .. me the house key on your way out?
What have you done. back your class notes?
We could have left our house earlier .. our train.
Are these mangoes ripe enough .
Isnt Leela ever so ready . everyone?
Use a suitable infinitive-verb in its continuous form in the blank:

8. Didnt your parents tell you .. for them at the station?

9. Have you .. the same work day in and day out?
10.We reached the play ground earlier . basket ball for a few hours at a stretch.
Use two infinitives in the blanks:
11.We are going .. in the pool .. ourselves out.
12.We have learnt classical dancing our friends and it ourselves
13.Dont go to his house him and him.
Give emphatic a1 answer for the following questions:
14.Are you attending todays inaugural ceremony?
15.Isnt Violet writing her entrance exam this morning?
16.Does our gardener visit your nursery daily?
17.Did Madhubala submit her personal assessment report on the new maid?
Give emphatic a2 answer:
18.The children will not be playing chess today, will they?
19.Dont you get up from bed by 6 a.m?
20.Are you taking your medicines regularly?

Locate the mistake if any and rewrite the faulty sentence:

21.You mustnt let me to catch you for the same blunder ever again.
22.The class monitor made me to do ten sit-ups this morning.
23.Did you watch me to be performing this job?
24.Do you dare to move this chair from here?
25.Should you have to punishing me for such a small lapse?
26.Didnt the master let me off to attend this match?
27.Havent we learnt to use a calculator in Std IX itself?
28.All my students do know to ask for home assignments.
Convert the following pairs of sentences into single Simple sentences:
29.(a) You speak the truth. (b) You are not afraid of it.
30.(a) He must express regret for his mistake. (b) Only then he can escape punishment.
31.(a) Every Indian must do his duty. (b) The country expects that from each citizen.
32.(a) The protesters held a meeting. (b) They wanted better terms for the employees.
33.Write short notes on omitting and not omitting the preposition to in an
34.Write the remaining six categories. Given, a2: Not to donate for every cause has been
this mans policy.
35.Given, EQ1: We have been scared to talk to this bully, havent we?

Lesson 18

What is Gerund?
If we add the letters ING to any Present form verb, the new word is called a Gerund.
For example,
Go - going; Sing - singing ;
Gerund is also called a verbal noun. The name implies that a Verb has become a
Noun. Yes, we can convert every Present form verb into a Noun by adding the letters ING.
You have been using such nouns all your life without knowing its origin. Take the
word swimming. Havent you used it several times? Similarly the words, writing,
reading fishing, smoking, painting? These words have been derived from the
present form verbs, SWIM, WRITE, READ, FISH, SMOKE, PAINT by adding the letters
ing to it.
Thus, you can form a Noun out of any Present form verb. Remember, only Present
form verb. Here are more examples:
Present form verb


Once we have formed a Noun out of a present form verb, we can use it as the Subject or
Object in a sentence.
Here are some examples as Objects:


(a ) Arent you tired of too much of playing?

(b) This morning I have gone for riding.
(c) Please stop writing.
Similarly we can use a Gerund as Subject also.
(a) Jogging is a good exercise.
(b) Learning makes a person more knowledgeable.
(c) Fighting creates bad blood between people.
(d) Rams paintings sold very fast in the exhibition because of their excellence.
If a Gerund is not self-explanatory in meaning, we can add amplifying words. While
you can add amplifying words to an Infinitive only when it is used as a Subject, here you can
use additional words in the Subject and also in the Object section to make the meaning
clearer. In such a case, the Gerund along with the amplifying words will constitute the
Subject/Object. Here are some examples:
(e) Swimming in the sea was always an enjoyable experience for me.
A.V Adv
(f ) Riding in a mountainous area could harm your horse.
(g) Reading good books should be every college students routine.
(h) Smoking in public places has been prohibited nowadays.
(i) Dont resort to copying your desk mates answers.
(j) I did enjoy reading this article?
(k) Could you pardon our leaving the hall early?
If you study all the sentences carefully, you would notice that we have used a number of
action based sentences in many tenses treating gerund as a doer of action while we used
Infinitive nouns only in action less tenses (Present and Past). Therefore, havent we treated a
gerund as a noun of a thing? Is it correct?
We know that any common noun could be expressed in plural form. Or conversely if a
noun word could be expressed in plural form, why cant we call it a common noun? For
example, Writings, Paintings, Cursings, Fightings and so on. Thus all gerunds are common

If you analyse the sentences from (h) to (j), you will find the sentence pattern is like
Gerund + amplifying words +A +V +O/C
|.S .|
S +A +V + Gerund + Amplifying words + O
Make sure that a Gerund Noun-Object (first object) comes immediately after V. This is
an important point. If there is a conventional O or C after V, what you think is a Gerund,
may not be a Gerund at all but something else. (What is that something we shall see later).
The words after a Gerund-object may also pass a Complement test and may not be acting
as amplifying words at all. You could take these words as amplifying words only if they
add to the meaning of the gerund and if not, as complement. Take the following sentences
and analyse them :
(l) You should stop talking during a lecture.
Talking is a gerundnoun and looks to be self explanatory as well. So, what is
during a lecture? They dont look like amplifying words as at all. The words pass the
complement test. Therefore they constitute the complement of the sentence. Here are more
examples of this type:
(m) Dont attempt answering as yet.
(n) We didnt appreciate Ranis (her) acting in this film at all.
(o) I found standing on one leg quite uncomfortable.
ampl words
(p) In this compound, did you find parking easy?
Pronoun before a GERUND
Any common noun can have only three particular words as its partner. They are
Adjective, Possessive pronoun and Article. Being common noun, Gerund too could have
these partners. Here ae the exmples:


(i) Beautiful writing, excellent jumping, marvellous marching. (Adjective )

(ii) My Acting, his playing, our running. (Possessive pronoun)
(iii) Any cursing, some blessings, the lecturing . (Article)
See example at (n). The pronoun used here is the possessive type. If you use an
objective pronoun, the gerund will turn into something else. (We shall see about it later.)
Here are the examples:
(q) Father doesnt like your returning home late.
P. pro
(r) We were sure of her marrying our Lecturer.
(s) His reading was excellent this morning.
(t) The neighbours didnt like the childs crying. (Possessive noun)
(u) My uncles marrying our sister was acceptable to everyone in our family.
ampl. words
(v) All of us applauded Madans playing in the field today. (Possessive noun)
Gerund with the force of a verb
Even after framing a Gerund out of a verb, we can use this Gerund as a Verb or with the
force of a Verb. Sounds funny, doesnt it? But, its true. But then, it must be used only as a
second verb like we did in the case of an infinitive-verb. And also, along with some selected
prepositions only. Examine the following sentences:

The guardian insisted very much on/at seeing his ward in the hostel immediately.
This little fellow is very good at escaping any minor works in the house.
Shouldnt you have come early for meeting your old friends.
Some of my colleagues were not interested in learning English grammar.
Didnt you feel joyful after tying the wedlock around your brides neck?
Jane is fast at boarding any local train.
Are you competent at counting the stars in the sky?
The police charged the employees with protesting.
You cannot touch your knees without bending your body.

If you examine these sentences carefully, you will find that the gerunds are showing a
kind of verbal action than acting as a noun of action. This effect is brought about by
using the following prepositions - on, at, to, in, after, with, without, for, against.


Note the sentence pattern in all the cases. It is: S+A+V+O/C+ gerund-verb+O/C. You
can use a gerund verb only if there is an O or C after S+A+V. If there is only S+A+V, you
can use only a gerund-Noun (it can have a possessive pronoun as part of the gerund), which
then will be an object.
Further, some critics may say that the above Gerunds are actually Nouns and the
preposition preceding it, is a preposition doing the job of connecting two words. The
argument indeed sounds reasonable and an anti-Gerund-Verb argument as well.
But then, do you see that we can replace all the Gerund-verbs by Infinitive-verbs in the
sentences (a) to (g)?
Study them with a different eye:
(a) The guardian insisted very much at seeing his ward in the hostel immediately.

to see
his ward

(b) This little fellow is very good at escaping any minor works in his house.

to escape

(e) Didnt you feel joyful at tying the wedlock around your brides neck.

to tie

Since the sentences (aa), (bb) and (ee) are absolutely meaningful, cant we say that at
seeing, at escaping and at tying are all verbs and therefore there is something known as
gerund-verbs ?
It may not be possible to replace every gerund-verb by an infinitive-verb. In such
cases, we have to conclude that those gerunds are gerund-nouns. Study the following
(j) John joined duty in the Company only after receiving the appointment letter.
(k)We felt ourselves under tremendous obligation at accepting the investigative
The preposition + gerund combination in(j) and(k) cannot be replaced by infinitiveverbs. Therefore, we should view them as gerund-nouns only.
One advantage of gerund-verbs is that we can start a sentence with it. Study the
following examples:

(l) After tying the wedlock in my brides neck, I felt absolutely joyful.
(m) At

accepting the investigative work, we felt ourselves under tremendous

In any piece of writing, its not good to start every sentence with S+A+V. For some
variety one could start a sentence with O or C. And here is another variety of starting a
sentence with a gerund-verb.
Infinitive or Gerund?
Infinitives and Gerunds have a very close relationship like they are cousin brothers.
In certain cases you can replace an infinitive by a gerund and vice versa. Note, in certain
cases only.
Here are some examples of replacement of infinitive- nouns by gerund-nouns.
(a) Mahima doesnt like copying.
(aa) Mahima doesnt like to copy.
(b) Dont we love forgiving?
(bb)Dont we love to forgive?
(c) Many people hate fishing.
(cc) Many people hate to fish.
(d) Slogging is mans fate in life.
(dd) To slog is mans fate in life.
(e) Refusing invitations every time is not good etiquette.
(ee) To refuse invitation every time is not good etiquette.
(f) Laughing heartily could be good for health.
(ff) To laugh heartily could be good for health.
In the same way, we can replace an infinitive-verb only with a gerund-verb in certain
cases. Here are the examples:
(g) We are going to the auditorium to see a drama.

(gg) We are going to the auditorium for seeing a drama.

(h) Dont all parents warn their children not to fight with other children?
(hh) Dont all parents warn their children against fighting with other children?
(i) Monica is slow to understand a joke.
(ii) Monica is slow at understanding a joke.
(j) Sendhil is delighted to win the first prize.
(jj) Sendhil is delighted at winning the first prize.
(k) Are you confident enough to count the number of attendees here?
(kk) Are you confident enough in counting the number of attendees here?
But, dont harbour an impression that you can replace every infinitive by a gerund and
vice versa. Not at all. Certain verbs in the S+A+V part will accept only infinitives and
certain only gerunds.
Use only a gerund-noun-object when the first verb is, APPRECIATE, CONSIDER,
PARDON, REMEMBER, RISK or UNDERSTAND and also their synonyms.. Here are
some phrasal verbs that will accept only gerund-nouns: GIVE UP, LOOK FORWARD and
PUT OFF. Sample sentences are :
(a) We APPRECIATE your withdrawing from the contest.
(b) Will you kindly CONSIDER joining the Maths, Physics and Chemistry group?
(Will you kindly consider to join the Maths, Physics and Chemistry group will be
wrong and bad English too.)
(c) You cannot DENY seeing me at the cinema theatre last night.
(d) I DISLIKE quarrelling among friends.
(I dislike to quarrel among friends will be bad English)
(e) Do you ENJOY seeing a bull fight contest?
(f) (You) Please (do) EXCUSE my asking this question.
(g) IMAGINE my borrowing money from my subordinates?
(h) Can you RISK inviting him to your social party?
(i) We UNDERSTAND your participating in the Elocution.
(j) Shanta can never GIVE UP meeting Sanjay.
(k) Dont you LOOK FORWARD to running a restaurant of your own?
(l) You should never PUT OFF moving with people.


Do note that the Gerund-noun-object must come immediately after V. There should be
no C or O before a gerund-noun.
Use only infinitive-verb with the following verbs in the S+A+V part : WANT,
PROMISE, NEED, REFUSE or SEEM and also their synonyms
(a) Do you WANT/WISH to meet our Father superior in this seminary?
(b) The Police inspector DEMANDED to verify the motorist s documents.
(c) We hereby AGREE to carry out your plan.
(We hereby agreeing to carry out your plan will be bad English)
(d) Sangeeta doesnt HOPE to replace anyone in the hockey team.
(e) Could we EXPECT you to return to office next Monday?
(Could we expect your returning to office next Monday will be wrong.)
(f) Our little grandson is LEARNING how to ride a tricycle.
(g) Do you NEED to consult any other doctor?
(h) Some of us MANAGED to get a Government job during the recent strike.
(i) My Aunt PROMISED to buy a good dictionary for me.
(j) You dont SEEM to care for my leadership at all.
When an infinitive-verb is used in a sentence, the sentence pattern could be like this,
S+A+V+O/C + Infin-V + O/ C


S+A+V+Infin-V + O/C

With the following first verbs, you can use either an infinitive-verb or a gerund-noun:.
Here are the sample sentences:
(a) We began to play only after 5 p.m.
(aa) We began our playing only after 5 p.m.
(b) Did you continue to stand near the gate even after 5 p.m?
(bb) Did you continue your standing near the gate even after 5 p.m.
(c) We hated to shop in this supermarket.
(cc) We hated shopping in this supermarket.


(d) We would have liked/loved to help you out in this tussle.

(dd) We would have liked/loved helping you out in this tussle.
(e) Does Jayaram prefer to wait another hour for his favourite T.V serial?
(ee) Does Jayaram prefer waiting another hour for his favourite T.V serial?
(f) Why dont you start to do the job?
(ff) Why dont you start doing the job?
(g) We intend to admit our son in this school.
(gg) We intend admitting our son in this school
Exercise- 18
Fill up the blank with a suitable gerund-noun.
1. Isnt your tailor-friend very fond of ..?
2. Constant is necessary along our border with Pakistan.
3. Did you like our priests . this morning?
4. .. in the afternoon is necessary for old people.
5. Doesnt Ramanathan love .. about others?
6. Dont go for . after late evening.
7. Avoid .. with other students in your class.
8. .. your own shoes must be your motto.
9. The hostel matron is very fond of . small children.
10. All babies will love . round the living room.
Replace the gerunds with suitable infinitives wherever necessary and in whichever
suitable capacity:
11. Helping other students had been my principle during my students life.
12. Do you wish fighting with me?
13. We cannot agree accepting this money from you.
14. We wanted taking some loan for this home project.
15. My father has requested seeing your father sometime.
16. Didnt you need consulting somebody on this issue?
17. My class teacher warned me against coming late for class every day.
18. Pardon my saying so. You are a smart girl indeed.
19. Have you ever tried going for jogging much before sun rise?
20. Our Vice Principal preferred seeing me during the lunch break.

Replace the infinitives with gerunds where necessary in whichever suitable capacity:
21. Isnt a thermometer an instrument to take the body temperature?
22. Our tuition master has no objection to teach one more subject.
23. The prisoner refused to eat his meal.
24. Isnt to copy in any examination a serious offence?
25. Do you imagine me to participate in every sports item?
26. Never consider to refuse help for poor students.
27. Do you derive pleasure to hurt other peoples feelings?
28. To tell lies to escape punishment is a terrible sin.
29. Wont clever students hate to sit idle even for 30 mins?
30. You ought to order him to apologise voluntarily.
Spot out the mistake(s) and rewrite the faulty sentence:
31. Mummy doesnt like me returning home late after games.
32. Our car driver didnt come for duty on time to school pick us.
33. Did I ever neglect to seeing you?
34. I pardon him correcting your mistakes so often.
35. How did you manage at getting an appointment with our Principal?
Analyse the following sentences. State the tense and the category of each sentence:
36. Using the appropriate word in any piece of writing should be the rule for a literature
37. Are you used to bathing in a bath-tub or under a shower?
Write the remaining categories of sentences:
38. You were very fond of killing birds with your catapult, werent you?
State whether the words in bold are Gerundnouns or Gerund-verbs:
39. My aunt is very fond of singing inside the bathroom.
40. Did you appreciate Jacquelines acting in the last episode?
H 41. Do you agree for doing a work for Rs 100?
42. Isnt this a trick for cheating me?
43. I had to put in a lot of effort at parking my bike here.
44. The coachhas no objection to listening to your suggestions

45. The teacher offered peoduaw apologies for refusing to help you some days back.
Form gerund or infinitive out of the following present form verbs and use in the blank
as considered necessary:
Sing, shave, polish ,blame, buy, touch, move, shine, copy, study, sell
46. Sunita is a dull student because she prefers . to .
47 .. is his pastime because he is crazy ftermusic.
48. . the feet of an elder is an Indian custom.
49. Boys should not resort to until they around 18/19 years of age.
50. Dont we like . our shoes all by ourselves?
51. anything door to door is not my cup of tea.
52 . anything from a super market is the practice of the rich people.
53. Have you ever tried .. in the rough sea?
54. Instead of me for everything, why dont you examine you own actions?
55. . your deskmates answers in an examination is illegal

Lesson 19


What is participle? Participle is a connector. It can convert two simple sentences
into one simple sentence.
There are three types of Participles - Present participle, Past participle and Perfect
participle. A Present participle would look exactly like a gerund i.e a Present form verb
ending in the letters ING. The Past participle is nothing but the PP verbs which we have
been using in the Perfect tenses and FIP tense. A Perfect participle actually is a branch of
Past participle and we use it to show two completed activities, one following the other.
I dont intend teaching you everything about Participle in this book because it is a
vast subject. But in this lesson, I shall teach you how to use various types of participles in a
sentence. Use of participles will make your writing look great,stylish and concise. It helps in
achieving economy of words in sentence structure. So long as you know how to use the
three types of Participles, your English learning would be full.
Present participle
This will be a present form verb ending in ING looking exactly like a Gerund. But
this word (Participle) must come only after O or C.We use it to connect two simple
sentences. Use this Participle according to the formula given below:
S + A + V + O or C + Pr. parti + O/C
Pr parti + S + A + V + O
If you find a verb ending in ING immediately after S+A+V, it will be a gerundnoun-object. It is same as saying that if a Gerund noun is the first object, it will appear
immediately after S+A+V. We have already noted that earlier in this Lesson. But if the same
word comes after O or C, it will be a Present participle.
Examine the following sentences from the formula angle:
(a) We had reached the theatre on time hoping to meet all our friends. (12 words)
Pr parti Inf-V
Participle is a connector. It connects two simple sentences. Here are the two simple
sentences which have been made into one by using the Present participle
1. We had reached the theatre on time. 2 We hoped to meet all our friends

there. (15 words in all)

(b) Edna could not touch her toes without bending her body.
Pr parti
Here are the two individual simple sentences:
1. Edna could not touch her toes. 2. She had to bend her body to touch them.
Once you have followed the formula, you can start the sentence with the present
participle like this,
(aa) Hoping to meet all our friends, we had reached the cinema theatre on time.
(bb) Without bending her body, Edna couldnt touch her toes.
Here is another type of Present participle whose rule is:
Being + Noun/Adverb + S + A +V + O/C
We use the above method if one of the two sentences is in the action less
1. I am your elder sister. 2. Dont I have the right to correct your life style?
(c) Being your elder sister, dont I have the right to correct your life style?
NegA S V
1. We are poor. 2. We cannot give you any donation for your cause.
(d) Being poor, we didnt give you any donation for your cause.
Pr.parti Adv(m)
The S+A+ V part can be in any tense. Having written down the sentences according
to the formula, you can turn round the sentence like this,
(cc) Dont I have the right to correct your style of life, being your elder sister.
(dd) We didnt give you any donation for your cause, being poor.
Follow this pattern only when one of the two sentences is in Present or Past
tense i.e. sentence with A.V in it

Past participle
While we use the Present participle for an activity not completed, (the tense does not
matter at all), we use the Past participle only for a completed activity. The S+A+V part
therefore must be only in any Past family tense.
Formula for use: S+A+V+O/C + Past parti + by/at/with +O/C
(e) Impressed by the colour combination, we had bought six paintings.
Past parti
[1.The colour combination impressed us.2. We had bought six paintings]
(f) Touched at the sight of the accident, we comforted the grieving family
(g) Disappointed with the performance of this lawyer, John appointed another lawyer
(ee) We had bought six paintings from a vendor impressed by the colour combination.
(ff) We comforted the grieving family members, touched at the sight if the accident..
(gg) John appointed another lawyer, disappointed with the performance of this lawyer.
The Past participle must be followed by a preposition and that too only one of the three
prepositions out of by, at or with.
Perfect participle
Use this Perfect participle only in such sentences that show starting of an action
aftercompletion of the first action.
Formula: Having + PP verb + O + S + A + V + O/C
(h) Having completed our task, we moved under a tree to take rest.
Perfect parti
O1 S (A)V
infin-V O2
[We completed our task. We moved under a tree to take rest.]
(i) Having driven out the evil spirit, Lord Jesus told the man to go home.
Perfect parti
O2 infin-V Cp


(hh) We moved under a tree to take rest having completed our task.
(ii) Jesus told the man to go home having driven out the evil spirit from him.
Here, the S+A+V must be in a Past family tense only.
Use any of the 3 methods described above in your sentences when writing a paragraph
(covered under Lesson 32)
Number of Gerund objects in a sentence
We saw that a Gerund object will appear immediately after the verb according to the under
mentioned formula:
S + A +V + Gerund object + O/C
Is it possible to have two Gerund objects in a sentence? Try it. Study the following sentence:
We received our grading as our certificate for sitting in the next class room
(A)V O1(gerund)
What is sitting in the above sentence? Is it a gerund or participle? Note, that the word
comes after O2, therefore qualifies to be a participle and not a gerund object.
So, the conclusion is that in a sentence there could be only one gerund-noun-object.
Exercise 19
Identify the Participles in the following sentences and state the type of each:

I saw a drunkard lying on the road.

Noticing a snake on my path, I went far away from the spot.
I complimented the roadside artist impressed at all his paintings.
Having finished my lunch I went out to meet my visitor.
Being a senior citizen, amnt I entitled to some privilege?
I corrected the students answer papers thoroughly having had a look at each paper.
Touched by the sorrowful sight, I went ahead helping most of the accident victims.
8. When I went out of my house, I saw a man weeping on the roadside.
9. I saw a small snake creeping on the road.
10. Hearing the college hooter, we rushed to reach the college gate.
Combine the following pairs of sentences using any suitable type of participle:
11. I listen to small complaints from my students. Sometime I feel tired of it all.
12. His father encouraged him. So, Samuel studied harder to come first in the class.

13. Little Dennis took out his catapult. He went on a hunting mission behind his house.
14 The Lecturer closed the book. He handed it over to the owner.
15. Mona helped me. I solved all the problems easily.
16. Silas lost a lot of money in the exhibition. He stopped playing lucky dip.
17. Dont eat chocolates. How can I tell which one is good?.
18. The Professor had already entered the class. I sneaked in through the back door.
19.I did not know the location of the auditorium in our college. So, I sought
someones guidance.
20.Suresh completed his homework. Then he went out to play with his friends.
21.I am not a bad guy at all. Why do most of my classmates avoid me?
22.I felt sorry for the young lady student. I offered to carry her heavy bag.
23.I didnt hear the Lecturers question. So, I gave a vague answer.
24.Mohammed is a good Muslim boy. I have a soft corner for him in my heart.
25.Shiva is a born leader. He is however, a lazy fellow.
Convert the following infinitive connector based Simple sentences into Participle based
Simple sentences: (Tip: First convert each into two Simple sentences)
26.He is slow to understand others.
27.My aged uncle has two young girls to provide for.
28.This old woman visits the sick people in the general hospital to show her love
for them.
29.My small brother hates to get up from bed every morning.
30.I am not afraid to walk on dark roads at night.
Write the remaining 6 categories of sentences:
31.My name,having been struck out of the residential list,did not appear in any other.
32.Curious, I opened the registered letter with some misgivings.
33.Appreciating my efforts, the coach agreed to teach my method to all the players.
34.Angered by the statement, Robert pounced on a classmate.
Analyse the following sentences:
35.Having been disappointed by my marks, my father refused to allow me to join
a self financing engineering college.
36.We see this little boy distributing the morning newspaper to the colony residents.
Lesson 20


What is Complex sentence? It is a single sentence consisting of two Simple sentences
with a joint meaning. This joint meaning is given by the conjunction. So, we can say that a
Complex sentence is a sentence that consists of two Simple sentences connected by one
conjunction in a joint meaning.
The two Simples must be self contained in meaning. In other words, each must have
O/C. We may write the formula for a Complex sentence like this,
S +A + V + O/C + Conjunction + S +A +V + O/C
It is not necessary that the conjunction must always be in the center. We may also start
a Complex with the conjunction like this,
Conjunction + S + A+ V+ O/C + S +A +V + O/C
Conjunctions are of 3 types: Simple conjunctions, Conjunction phrases and Conjunction
pairs. In this lesson, we shall cover only the Simple conjunctions. The other two are to be
covered only at the next higher level of English..
The important Simple conjunctions are: AND,BUT,OR, BECAUSE, AFTER, THAT,
AND is a peculiar conjunction. In addition to joining two Simples into a joint meaning, it
can also connect any two words except two verbs . Thus, in a Simple sentence, AND is the
only conjunction you could spot in the Subject section or Object section and no other type.
Complex sentence tense rules
The rule says, a Complex sentence will have two Simple sentences connected in a joint
meaning. Thus far, you have learnt 16 tenses and you are well versed in writing Simple
sentences in all the 16 tenses. Naturally you will ask, Can my Simples be of any tense?
No, you cant pick and choose sentences of any tense you like. You have to conform to what
is known as the tense rules in complex sentence and write only such tenses that are


Tense rules for Complex sentence

First sentence

Second sentence

Present family

Any tense in any family

according to the timing of
the activity and meaning.

Past family

(a) Past family tense, or

(b)with Past equivalent Aux,
(c)Present family only in case
of Universal truths.

Future family

Present family

Universal truth
What is Universal truth? It is a fact which no one could disagree with. For instance,
The Earth moves round the Sun once a year. Will anyone disagree with this?
The victim is breathing means that the victim is alive. Can we ever say that The victim
was breathing? and continues to be a living person? As a guideline, you can take it that
the Universal truths are only those concerning Space and some aspects of Nature.
First sentence / Second sentence
There is no stamp mark as the First or Second sentence. The sentence you write first is
the First sentence and observe the tense rule from its point of view. You are at liberty to
change the second into first or vice versa if the sequence of action sounds sensible.
Sample sentences
Examine every sentence from the Tense rules angle.
First sentence in Present family
1. I am sure of it because the thief is hiding here somewhere. (Present Present)
S A.V Adv(m) O Conj
2. Doesnt James admit the fact since he had spent the night in his uncles house?

(Pr Past)
3. How does the tuition master say that he will come tomorrow? (Pr- Future)
Int A
V Conj S A V
4. Cant you visit me until I invite you? (Pr Pr)
NegA S V O Conj S (A)V O
5. If you dont return my money, my uncle shall tell your mother. (Pr Pr)
6. Because you have told a lie, you confess it to your parents. (Pr pfct Pr)
7. Why dont you enter the contest after I have explained the benefits. (Pr - Pr pfct)
8 Until I reach home, dont tell anyone about my mission. (Pr Pr)
9. While I play tennis, you may read some magazines in the library. (Pr Pr)
10. Could you tell me when I could meet the HOD? (Pr Pr)
11.Before you switch on the power, (You do) check all the connections. (Pr Pr)
12.Unless you can assure me of some benefit, I shall not join your group. (Pr Future)
13.I have been here since 9 a.m. but you didnt turn up on time. (Pr Past)
14.Will you write a good essay only after I have gone? (Pr Pr pfct)
15.I cant recommend your case until you improve your behaviour. (Present- Present)
16.Mother is angry since you had failed in the Unit test. (Pr Past)
17.I could let you into the secret even though you have been adamant all the while (Pr
Pr pfct)
18.You are not to turn the question paper till I give the order. (Present Pr)
19.Although it is early, shant you go home directly? (Pr Future)
20.All of us have been perfect in our work, so, you should not take us to task. (Pr pfct
First sentence in Past family
21.I reached here on time all right but you were absent (Past Past).
22.The master gave a reply that he WOULD not take class the next day. (Past Past eqiv)
23.Mothers opinion was negative only after you had asked for more details (Past Past)
23.We wished him success yet he did not do his best at all. (Past Past)
24.The doctor shouted that the mentally ill patient was running away. (Past Past)
25.Why did you have to loan the money after I had warned you against it? (Past past)
26. I havent revealed revealed anything though I had told you everything about my life.
(Pr Pfct Past)
27.The doctor had made a forecast that the patient WOULD pull through the crisis.
(Past Past equiv)
28 Didnt the money lender repeat his usual line that he COULD never be
(Past Past equiv)
29. The doctor was of the opinion that this medicine MIGHT cure this illness.
(Past Past equiv)

30.The coach advised us that we SHOULDNT play a rough game in todays match.
(Past Past equiv)
31.Our mothers report this morning was that the servant reported for work on time.
(Past past)
32.Didnt Galileo assert that the Earth moves round the Sun once every year?
(Past Present [Universal truth])
33.The search team conveyed that the victim is alive and is breathing normally.
(Past Present [Universal truth])
34.My friend could not have led you astray if you had requested him with sincerity.
(FIP Past)
35.He had kept warning me though I had not asked for his advice. (Past Past)
36.We werent used to long hours of work since we were from an arctic country.
(Past Past)
37.Because I had forewarned you , you should have taken adequate precautions
(Past FIP)
38.You ought to have taken plenty of warm clothing with you since I had advised you
so. (FIP Past)
39.You couldnt have cleared that paper if I hadnt coached you well. (FIP Past)
Do make a note of the following points:
(a) You can treat the Present perfect tense as one belonging to the Present family
or past family in observing the tense rule. See examples 14, 17, 20 and 27
(b) Treat the FIP tense as a Past family.
First sentence in a Future family
40.Mike wont join your Company until you promise him a salary of Rs 10,000 p.m.
( Future Present)
41.All elders will be nice to you if you dont play your pranks.(Fut Pre)
42.This player would not move from here until the coach orders him to do so.(Fut-pre)
43.Wont our professor take us to task when we show much reluctance on our part?
44.James will surely keep complaining about the food till he is able to relish it.(Fut-Pre)
45.Wont all of us get used to the morning walk even though we may not like rising
46.We could be wrong some time unless we are all angels !
47.Mustnt we report this matter to the Hostel warden since it happens to be a serious

48.We will have reached here 8 a.m. as we are walking very fast..(Fut. pfct Pre)
49.I shall have obliged you if you have stuck to your stand. (Future- Present)
.Some of the conjunctions look like prepositions. For example, TILL, UNTIL,
BEFORE, AFTER,BECAUSE,SINCE. Once you identify two Simples in a sentence you
know the word is a conjunction. If you find it between two words, then it will be a
Treat the Future perfect tense as equivalent to Future tense for the Tense rule purpose.
What about the EQ categories? You have not sighted any examples of EQ1 or EQ2.
Here you will develop a doubt to which Auxiliary to use in the Q tag. There is no hard and
fast rule at all. Use either of them whichever sounds nice in your ears. Here are some
50.You are not going to join the First group unless the Principal compels you, are you?
51.Jude cannot remember half the Trigonometrical formulae because he has a poor
memory, hasnt he? (Here, can he? will be equally effective)
52.We would certainly go for a swim if the weather is fine, wouldnt we?
53.You were used to smoking until you joined this Seminary, werent you?
54.You should have brought your hand gloves with you when the sky was threatening to
rain, shouldnt you?
Use of HAD (Past perfect tense)
Go back to Lesson 13 Past perfect tense. This tense has 4 uses; of these, we covered
only the first one. The remaining 3 find their place in Complex sentence.
Two action rule
If two actions took place in the past period, we use the Past perfect tense (with HAD)
for the first action and Simple past for the second. Here are some examples:
55.I did not leave for my office until my father had stepped into the house.
56.Hadnt the teacher distributed our answer papers before he announced the marks?
57.Peter did declare his innocence when he had stood before the judge.
58.We reached our destination only after the rain had stopped.
59.You had told your father why we stopped visiting your house, hadnt you?


As a follow up matter
What is a follow up matter? Action is over and we refer to that action in a subsequent
60.I had submitted my explanation but the office did not respond to it.
61.Hadnt we been to New Delhi several times yet we never visited the Lok Sabha
62.My married sister had asked for money in several letters but I ignored her request.
Reported speech
We describe in a sentence of what someone had said in the past. Journalists would use
such sentences.
63.The Chief Minister replied that he had issued fresh orders for allotment of funds.
64.The Administrator confirmed that he had already signed all the papers.
Do you notice that all the examples from 61 to 65, though under different situations,
follow the same 2-action rule? So whenever you refer to two completed activities in the
past, follow the 2 action rule and your sentence would be correct.
Lose Complex sentence
Earlier you had seen that a Complex sentence should consist of 2 Simple sentences with
one Conjunction. In other words, we could extract out the two Simples from a Complex
sentence. Study the examples at 64 and 65. The first sentence has only the S+A+V part
while the second has S+A+V+O/C. Do you see that this is not a full-fledged Complex
sentence according to the definition? Therefore we can call it a Lose Complex sentence
because one of its simple sentences has only S+A+V and no O/C. We will come across
sentences of this kind especially when we convert a Direct speech into Indirect speech. Such
sentences are permissible and yet you have to observe the same tense rules. We may also call
such sentences as a sentence with a clause. We shall learn more about it when we deal
with Compound sentence at a different Level.
Here are some examples of Lose Complex or Sentence with a clause:
65.The Drill master says that he will not give us a new football till next week.
66.Doesnt your friend think that I am a good writer in English?


67.Are you sure, you dont want any money from me? (Conjunction is silent here. This
is permissible)
68.Daddy asks if you can do him a favour on your way to office?
69.The Lecturer repeats that he will not give tuition to any student in this college.
70.Shanti had enquired if you would accompany her to church.
71.The Coach says that he will be present at the cricket ground on time.
72.All of us must admit that we do hide the real truth once in a while.
73.I asked where Shivani was headed for?
74.Shivani replied, she was on her way for a movie.
Usefulness of Complex sentences
A proper Complex sentence will contain two activities in them; that is, each Simple will
use only active verbs and will have the O/C part. Did it ever occur to you that you could
take any two Simples, not even remotely related, connect it and find a sensible joint
meaning? Thats a trick played by the conjunction, isnt it? A conjunction connects the two
Simples in a joint meaning. It has no other purpose. For us to get a sensible joint meaning,
we should select the most suitable conjunction. Shall we try this trick in some sentences and
verify whether we get a sensible joint meaning or not?
Here are two sentences without any relationship between them:
(a) I didnt go to college this morning..

(b)The headman of Sendarapatti

village suffered a stroke yesterday.

Here is the combined sentence:

Because the headman of Sendarapatti village had suffered a stroke yesterday,
I didnt go to the college this morning..
The sentence sounds meaningful, doesnt it? There are 2 actions, hence we have to use
the auxiliary HAD for the first action. The tense rule must be observed. Here are more
(c ) We had skipped our Bridge game session. (d) My mother gave biscuits for the
afternoon tea
Since my mother gave biscuits for the afternoon tea, we had skipped our Bridge
game session.
(e) Shakuntala is absent today. (f) My sister will get married to her own uncle.


If Shakuntala is absent today, my sister will get married to her own uncle.
(f) Shall we watch a video movie? (g) Kill that damn snake.
Shall we watch a video movie after you had killed the damn snake?
In order to fulfill the tense rule or the 2-action rule, you should make the necessary
changes in the auxiliaries.
In Lesson 17 Infinitive, we learnt the art of using an infinitive to convert two Simples
into one Simple. sentence. This indeed is a miracle Two S+A+Vs turning into one S+A+V.
Connection by the infinitive method may not be possible in every case. But, combining with
a Conjunction will work with any two Simples.
Conditional statements
All Conditional statements will be Complex sentences and the conjunction used will
always be IF. There are 3 types of conditional statements Open, Past and Past perfect
conditional. But, no matter which type, you must observe the tense rules.
Open conditional statements
Here, use the auxiliaries out of CAN,MAY,SHALL,WILL,MUST or OUGHT TO in
one part and any Present family tense in the other.
75.Can I discuss this point with you this afternoon if you happen to be free?
76.You may develop fever if you stay in the water for too long.
77.You shall not move from this place even if I dont return by 7 p.m.
78.Will you call me a moron if I give you some money daily?
79.Why must I obey you if you are going to be cruel to me most of the time?
80.We ought not to abuse the beggars on the street, if you dont want to help them.
Past conditional statements
We make the Past conditional statements also for the Present time cases only. In this
variety, we use the auxiliaries WOULD, SHOULD,COULD or MIGHT. Because they
happen to be Past equivalent auxiliaries, we have to use a Past family in the other part of
the sentence in order to conform to the Tense rules. Do note that the timing of the activity
will be in the present time only.


81.Would you lend me some money if I requested you?

Note: Would you help me if I request you will be wrong because then the sentence
will go counter to the tense rules. Next, this sentence in terms of timing of the activity is
equal to Will you help me if I request you?
82. Sp Q:Could we come to your house this evening if you were free?
a2: You cannot come this evening since I will be away. Or, Dont come this
evening since I will be away.
NegQ: Couldnt you guide us in this lesson, if we contacted you during
lunch break?
a1: I could indeed guide you if you contacted me during lunch break?
83.We should overlook your fault if you committed one unwittingly, shouldnt we?.
84.He might not reach the station on time if his bike developed some snag en route.
85.The doctor might oblige you if you made a personal appeal to him.
Note: For a2 answer in Srl 82 , we have switched over to a present auxiliary (cannot). If
we use could it could give a wrong impression of the timing; it could refer to the past
time; the answer itself might sound funny with could. Since the conditional statement
refers to the present time, the auxiliary cannot sounds most appropriate and correct as well.
[ Note the alternative sentence also with the auxiliary Dont come]
All the statements from 83 85 could be written also as Open conditional statements
using present auxiliaries and the timing will continue to be in Present time. See the
examples below:
Can we come to your house this evening if you are free?
You cannot come since I will be away.
Dont come since I will be away
You can come since I will be free.
Cant you guide us in this lesson, if we contact you during lunch break?
I can indeed guide you if you contact me during lunch
We shall overlook your fault if you commit one unwittingly, shant we?.
He may not reach the station on time if his bike developes some snag en route.
The doctor may oblige you if you make a personal appeal to him.
Past perfect conditional statements

We make the Past perfect conditional statements only for Past time cases. Here, we
use the FIP auxiliaries in one part and any Past perfect tense in the other. Here are the
86.Wouldnt I have gone to the station to receive your guest if you had ordered me
87.If the policeman had not guided me, I couldnt have spotted your house in this area.
88.The doctor might have hit upon this idea if you had only told him all your symptoms..
89. must have put too much of salt in one of the dishes if all the diners had complained
about the food.
90.ou could have saved much of your energy if you had foreseen the possibility.
91.ou need not have gone out of your way to help this student, if you hadnt had
sufficient resources with you.
92.We ought to have brought him to the hospital a couple of days earlier, if he had told
us about his pain.
Writing the remaining 6 categories of sentences
This may not be possible in respect of every Complex sentence. In a few, some
categories may not sound well at all. Study the following examples:
Given, a2: After what you have done to us, we shall never seek your help in
the future at all.
a1: After what you have done to us, we shall seek your help in future.
Sp Q : Shall we seek your help in future after what you have done to us?
Neg Q : Shant we seek your help in future after what you have done to us?
EQ1 : We shall never seek your help in future after what you have done to us,
shant we?
EQ2 : We shant y seek your help in future after what you have done to us, shall
Gen Q: What shall we seek from you after what you have done to us?
Some sentences do sound funny, dont they and the meaning itself is mutilated.
Therefore, do not attempt this exercise as far as Complex sentences are concerned.
Learners have difficulty in using this conjunction. If you follow the rule given below,
your sentences would always be correct:

a1 - UNLESS a2
a2 - UNLESS - a1
You must view a1 as a sentence with a positive meaning and a2 as one with
negative meaning. Dont always go by positive auxiliary or negative auxiliary.
Sentences with a negative meaning should be considered a2 types even though a
positive auxiliary might have been used. Here are some examples:
93. You should not play inside the house if there is good sun shine outside.
94.(a) Mohini will become indifferent towards you unless you side with her always.
(b) If you dont side with her always, Mohini will become indifferent towards you.
95.(a) Unless you are sick, you should attend school today. (The first here is an
a2 type since the meaning is negative)
(b) If you are not unwell, you should attend school today.
96. (a) If you promise to behave well only, I will send you for the birthday
(b) Unless you promise to behave well, I wont send you to the birthday
97. (a) I will spoil your Party dress unless you allow me to wear it myself for a while.
(b)I wont spoil your Party dress if you allow me to wear it myself for a while.
98. (a) Why shall I take part in sports unless my House master orders me?
(b) Why shall I not take part in sports if my House master orders me?
99. (a) Should you avoid me always unless I smiled at you?
(b) You should not avoid me if I smiled at you always.
Exercise 20
Use the correct auxiliary and verb form in the blank. The verb to be used is shown in
its present form in brackets:
1.Didnt Sundaram tell you that he . to my family regularly? (write)
2. Shouldnt we rest here until the stragglers . with us? (catch up)
3. Wont our neighbour think that our mother . still in the bedroom? (be)
4. Mark can come with me if his brother him. (permit)
5. Your friend also enquired where I .. going . (am/was)
Locate the mistake and rewrite the faulty sentence:

6. All of them will go home only if the PT master gave permission.

7.Would any parents doubt that their children will not get promoted?
8. The Priest always told me that he is present in the church from 8 a.m. onwards.
9. Make haste while the Sun shone.
10. Isnt life a bubble because it blew off with the wind?
Rewrite the following simple sentences using any suitable auxiliary out of
11. Does Shyam make speeches in Tamil?
12. The baby boy next door spends the whole morning in my house every day.
13. This quack claims that his ayurvedic medicine does cure Cancer.
14. Meenakshi was doing her homework when her mother stepped into her room.
15. Dont your grown up children be fighting with each other sometime or the other?
Fill up the blank with a suitable auxiliary out of CAN, MAY, MIGHT, WOULD or
16. The Vice Chancellor . be in his office now.
17. Susheela said that she. look after my child during my absence.
18. The search team . not have located the missing child if the police dog had not guided
them to the spot.
19. you run 10 KM in 30 minutes?
20. Unless I had ordered you, you .. not have set up your room, you?
Write the following sentences in as many was as you can with different auxiliaries
without significantly changing the meaning:
21. Surrendran may have thrashed Babloo severely on his back.
22. Lalkrishnan speaks French equally fluently.
Rewrite the following sentences using an auxiliary out of NEED and DARE:
23. Should I reply this letter today itself?
24. They should not go to a movie under any excuse.
25. Why did you buy so many oranges?
Combine the following unconnected Simple sentences into a single meaningful sentence:
26. Isnt this a very nice building? My uncle designed it ten years back.

27. We were students of St Peters High school once. We learnt the tense rules of Complex
sentence there.
28. The servant maid had been absent for 3 full days. Dont pay her the salary for those
29. The clock struck one. The mouse ran down.
30. Would you call him a gentleman? Enoch seldom speaks the truth.
Spot the mistake and rewrite the faulty sentence:
31.Could I discuss this issue with you if I meet you this evening in your house?
32. I shall surely receive your son at the railway station if he had desired it.
33. Your friends wouldnt have lost the match if they kept their cool during the match.
34. Unless you are a top student you could not get through the entrance examination for
medical course.
35. If I run fast, could I catch that train?
Rewrite the following statements using the conjunction UNLESS and yet without
changing the meaning:
36. I shall board this bus only if you dont go with me.
37. If you had cautioned me earlier I would not have sent my friend to the reservation office.
38. Couldnt you have written this letter since you hadnt been all that sick?
39. Bring out the difference between Open conditional statement and Past conditional
statements through one example..
40. For which situations do we use the Past Perfect conditional statements. Give two

Lesson 21
Whatever sentences we have written so far in 16 tenses, are in the Active voice.

We can express a sentence either in Active voice or Passive voice without any change in the
meaning. When we want to give importance for the doer of the action we opt for the Active
voice; if for the person/thing acted upon, we go in for the Passive voice.
The grammar part for Active and Passive is exactly the same. We make use of the
auxiliaries from the same list of 32 for both and yet there would be no repetition of A+V
between Active and Passive.
Conversion steps from Active to Passive
Here is a simple example of conversion from Active to Passive:
(a) Moses loves English. (Active)
(aa)English is loved by Moses. (Passive)
(b) John is writing a letter to his mother.
(bb) A letter is being written by John to his mother.
There is no difference in meaning between (a) and (aa), (b) and (bb). We are saying
the same sentence idea in a different way. Thats all. In the above conversion from Active to
Passive, we have observed 4 steps as follows:

We have interchanged the Subject and Object.

There is a new auxiliary (for this tense)
The new verb is in PP form. (We always use only the PP verb in Passive
We have used the preposition by in the Passive form before the new Object.

No matter in which tense you convert, you must follow the above 4 steps.
Some additional guidelines for conversion
(1) If a sentence has no OBJECT, we cannot convert it into Passive form. This is an
essential condition.
(2) If a sentence has an object and also a complement, we leave the
complement untouched and deal only with the object.
(3) If a sentence has 2 or more Objects, we can convert only one at a time. It may not
be possible to convert all the objects.
(4) If the Object in the Active has a preposition with it, that sentence cannot be

converted int Passive form.

(5) In a complex sentence, if both have objects, you can convert both in Passive form.
If one sentence has only a complement, leave that sentence untouched.
Deal with the following sentences according to the above guidelines.:
(c) Smith does not drink fresh milk daily. (Active)
S NegA
(cc) Fresh milk is not drunk by Smith daily. (Passive)
Neg A V
O Adv
(d) Radha sang many songs very well in the Temple (Active)
S (A)V
(dd) Many songs were sung very well in the Temple by Radha.
(The complements remain untouched in the Passive.)
(e) My mother gave me a very good gift for my birthday.
(A)V O1
(P1) I was given a very good gift for my birthday by my mother.
(P2) A very good gift was given to me for my birthday by my mother.
A V O1
In the original sentence at (e), there are 3 objects. In P1, we have converted me in
Passive and in P2, a very good gift . We cannot convert the third object for my birthday
into Passive because of the presence of for in that object.
(f) In todays music concert, my sister will sing along with me.
Passive is not possible because of the presence of along with two prepositions.
Question forms
A Question must sound like a question in the Passive as well. If a General question,
the interrogative must appear in the Passive as well:
(g) Does Joe see too many movies during holidays? (Active)
(gg)Are too many movies seen by Joe during holidays? (Passive)

(h) Dont these small children play games after school hours? (Active)
Neg A
(hh) Arent games played by these small children after school hours? (Passive)
NegA S
(i) When does Jane finish her homework? (A)
(ii) When is her homework finished by Jane? (P)
Int A
Conmversion of EQs
(A) Martha gives tuition to poor children in the evening hours, doesnt she?.
(P1) The poor children are given tuition by Martha in the evening hours, arent
(P2) Tuition is given to poor cildren by Martha in the evening hours, isnt it?
(A) We dont run many computer courses in our Institute, do we?
(P) Many computer courses are not run by us in our Institute, are they? (P)
The sentence structure formulae for all 7 categories in Passive voice are exactly the
same as in the Active voice.
Now that you are clear about the basic pattern of a passive voice sentenec, you can
convert Simple sentences of any tense into Passive form. All you need to know is the A+V
rule for each; Aux in particular, because V will be always in PP form. And here is the list
of Passive voice auxiliaries covering all the 16 tenses:
1.(a) Present tense
(b) Present Emphatics
2.(a) Present continuous tense
(b) Present continuous

Active Aux

Passive Aux

Passive not possible
Add BE
Add BE
(With other Universals
in this tense, Passive will not
be possible)

3.(a) Simple present

(b) Simple present

4 (a) Present perfect

(b) Present perfect
5. Present perfect cont.
6.(a) Past tense
(b) Past Emphatics
7.(a) Past continuous tense
(b) Past continuous

8.(a) Simple past

(b) Simple past

SHALL, get/become


Add BE

HAS BEEN, HAVE BEEN Passive not possible

Passive not possible

Add BE
Add BE

did KEEP
was/were getting/becoming
Passive not possible
did .. USE TO

Add BE

9 (a)Past perfect
(b) Past perfect

have got/become

10. Past perfect cont.


Passive not possible

11(a) Future
. (b) Future Emphatics



Add BE
Add BE

(c) Future

Have been got/become

Add BE
Add BE

12.Future cont.


13. Future perfect


14. Future perfect cont.



15. Future in the Past

NEED, have got/become USED TO
Was/were GOING TO
Add BE
Passive not possible

16. FIP cont.

Passive not possible

Passive not possible
Passive not possible\

If you examine the above rules, you will notice that out of the 16 tenses, we could put
in Passive form only 9. We cannot put the remaining 7, which are: Present tense, Past
tense, Present perfect continuous, Past perfect continuous, Future continuous, Future perfect
continuous and FIP continuous. (The Emphatics in all the 3 tense families can be converted
into Passive form while the conventional Present and Past tense sentences cannot be.)
The sufferers appear to be the continuous tenses. Out of the 7 continuous tenses, we
can convert only the Present continuous and Past continuous and NOT the other 5 due to
want of auxiliaries. The Present and Past tenses are not possible since we have taken their
Active auxiliaries for Simple present and Simple past Passive forms.
Here are some Sample sentences in a mix of categories for each tense:
Simple present
(A)Radha suggests a strong action
(P) A strong action is suggested by Radha.
(A) Do the people in this village love animals?
(P) Are animals loved by the people in this village?
(A)Does Ram like everyone in this class?
(P) Is everyone in this class liked by Ram?

(A) What shoud we call this gadget as?

(P) What should this gadget be called as by us?
(A) Mustnt you submit this report on time?
(P) Mustnt this report be submitted on time by you ?
(A) The goal keeper would stop all shots.

(P) All shots would be stopped by the goal keeper.

(A) Surely you can get used to mediocre food in this hostel.

(P) Mediocre food can be got used to by you in this hostel.

(A) George could keep suggesting a new plan every time.

(P) A new plan could be suggested continuously by George every time.

[With KEEP in the Active, it is very difficult to form a Passive showing a continuous
actioin. The above is the nearest.]
(A)Do you dare touch a live electric wire?
(P) Could a live electric wire be touched by you
[We face the same problem with DARE. Adopt any method and use any auxiliary in
the Passive in order to maintain the same meaning.]
Present emphatics
(A) All Christian students are to meet the Bishop this afternoon
(P) The Bishop is to be met by all Christian students this afternoon.
(A) Some children have to sing the National Anthem in the function.
(P) The National Anthem has to be sung by some children in the function.
(A) Jaya doesnt have to read the Bible lesson today
(P) The Bible lesson isnt to be read by Jaya today.
Present continuous tense
(A)These engineers are building our new house.
(P) Our new house is being built by these engineers.
(A) We are not manufacturing small boats in our industrial unit.

(P) Small boats are not being manufactured by us in our industrial unit.
(A)Am I telling you these stories very fast?
(P) Are these stories being told to you by me very fast?
(A)Isnt Vineet ruining our holiday?
(P) Isnt our holiday being ruined by Vineet?.
(A) Where are you keeping your shoes during games period?
(P) Where are your shoes being kept by you during tames period?
(A)Arent we going to watch this TV. serial this evening?
(P) Isnt this serial going to be watched by us this evening?
Present perfect tense
(A) What have you bought from this shop?
(P) What has been bought by you from this shop?
(A)Hasnt Johnny whipped this horse a little too much?
(P) Hasnt this horse been whipped by Johnny a little too much?
(A) We have won this match today very easily.
(P) This match has been won by us today very easily.
(A) We may have reached this place earlier.
(P) This place may have been reached by us earlier.
(A)Some of us havent got used to cold baths in the hostel life.
(P) Cold baths havent been got used to by some of us in the hostel life.
Simple past tense
(A) We did not quite like the wardens stern warnings.
(P) The wardens stern warnings werent liked by us.
(A) Why didnt you wear your stockings?
(P) Why werent your stockings worn by you?

(A) Some of us could not attend our teachers wedding last week.
(P) Our teachers wedding last week could not be attended by some of us.
(A)Did you use to play billiards in our club?
(P) Was billiards used to be played by you in our club?
(A) Why couldnt you post this letter yesterday
(P) Why couldnt this letter be posted yesterday by you
Past emphatics
(A)The invitees were to watch the childrens show.
(P) The childrens show was to be watched by the invitees.
(A)The Maths master did have to take the extra classes last week.
(P1)The extra classes had to be taken by the Maths master last week.
(P2) The extra classes did have to be taken by the Maths master last week.
Past continuous tense
(A)Candy was copying down my notes last night.
(P) My notes were being copied by Candy last night.
(A) These boys were singing too many songs on the stage, werent they?.
(P) Too many songs were being sung by these boys on the stage, werent they?
Past perfect tense
(A)The new artist had displayed a number of his paintings in the exhibition.
(P) A number of his paintings had been displayed by the new artist in the
(A)Hadnt we wasted much of our time at seeing unimportant stalls?
(P) Hadnt much of our time been wasted by us at seeing unimportant stalls?
(A)This young player had got used to a substandard billiards table.
(P) A substandard billiards table had been got used to by this young player.
Future tense

(A)All the children of this hostel will/shall finish their play by 5 p.m.
(P) Their play will/shall be finished by all the children of this hostel by 5 p.m.
(A)Roger might win the first prize in the 100 meter race.
(P) The first prize in the 100meter race might be won by Roger.
(A) We could get used to night driving within a month, couldnt we?
(P) Night driving could be got used to by us within a month, couldnt it?
(A)Will you keep forgetting my birthday every year?
(P) Will my birthday be forgotten by you every year?
[ As pointed out already, a Passive with KEEP may not be always possible. In order to
maintain the meaning, we may have to use another suitable verb like in the above case.]
Future emphatics
(A)All parents will/shall have to attend the closing ceremony of the school.
(P) The closing ceremony of the school will/shall have to be attended by all
(A)What will the class monitor have to bring to the class tomorrow?
(P) What will have to be brought to the class tomorrow by the class monitor?
Future perfect tense
(A)My brother will have received John at the station tomorrow by this time.
(P) John will have been received by my brother at the station tomorrow by this
(A)Wont you have finished your revision study positively by next week?
(P) Wont your revision study have been finished by you positively by next
(A)Paul shall have taken the Civil Service exam by next month, shant he?
(P)The Civil service exam shall have been taken by Paul by next month, shant


Future in the Past tense

(A)Surely, you wouldnt have faced such problems in my house.
(P) Such problems wouldnt have been faced by you in my house.
(A)Couldnt you have told this good news a little earlier?
(P) Couldnt this good news have been told to me a little earlier by you?
(A)Which remark of mine might have hurt your grandfather?
(P) Your grand father might have been hurt by which remarks of mine?
[This sentence cannot start with the interrogative WHICH in order to maintain the
(A)All of you ought to have submitted your application for admission on time.
(P) Your application for admission ought to have been submitted by all of you on
(A)You should have got used to this painting brush by now?
(P) This painting brush should have been got used to by you by now.
(A) My mother was going to meet your brothers yesterday evening.
(P) Your brothers were going to be met by my mother yesterday evening.
Conversion of Complex sentences
In writing a Complex sentence, you may develop a doubt about the voices to be
used. Should both be in passive form or only one?
Views differ in this regard. Some English users feel that both sentences must be
in the same voice. I hold the view that it could be a combination of both. One guideline is,
to see which construction makes the sentence sound better in your ears. Sometimes the
sound of both sentences may hurt your ears and sometimes they may combine and produce a
good sound.
Here are some examples:
(A) When I reached the water tank I did not find my friend there.
(P) When I reached the water tank, my friend was not found there by me.
(A) Since you possess an orange already in your hand, why should I buy you a

mango in addition?
(P) Since an orange is possessed by you already in your hand, why should a
mango be bought for you by me in addition?
But as a grammatical exercise, you have to convert both into passive form.
Conversion of Commands/orders/suggestions in simple present
Conversion will be possible only if there is an object in the
(A)(You do) blow the whistle now.
(P) The whistle is to be blown by you now.
(A)Pay the servants today itself.
(P) The servants are to be paid today itself by you.
(A) (You)Dont keep company with bad boys.
(P) Company with bad boys is not to be kept by you.
(A)Do not give false evidence ever at any time.
(P) False evidence is never to be given by you at any time.
Have you noticed in the Passive form, the power of the command is missing? While in
the Active, the command/order sounds direct and imposing, the same in the Passive sounds
more like a request. Thus, to keep up the effectiveness and firmness inbuilt in the Active
voice command/order, we use a different method like this,
(P) Let the whistle be blown now. (by you)
(P) Let the servants be paid today itself.
(P) Let the company of bad boys be kept away/avoided.
(P) Let false evidence be never given any time. (by you).
Convsersion of Infinitive based sentences
You will find infinitives as Subject or Object or as Verbs. We are not going to cover the
first two since they are advanced subjects and will be coveredc only at college level (First
As regards infinitve verbs, there are three methods to be followed in order to maintain
the meaning. They are (a) Complex sentence method(b) gerund methd and (c) Passive

infinitive method. We shall deal with only the Passie infinitve method in this course and
leave the other two for college level.
Here are some examples:
(A) This orphanage has many abandoned kids to care


Infin-verb Adv

What is the identity of to care? It is an infinitive verb, a second verb of action.

(P)This orphanage has many abandoned kids to be cared for.
We have to use the Passive infinitive method in all such cases where the infinitive-verb
is followed by an adverb. Dont mistake these words for prepositions. If preposition, it
must show some relationship between two words. Does for show any such relationship?
Whereas, for passes the adverb test. Here are more examples of this variety:
(A)These are the clever people to learn from.
(P) These are the clever people to be learnt from.
(A) Richard is a nice boy to watch and copy at.
(P) Richard is a nice boy to be watched and copied at.
(A) We have no extra house to let out.
(P) No extra houses are had by us to be let out.
But study the following examples where the Passive infinitive method fails.
(A)The director told us to allow latecomers into the auditorium only after 4.30 p.m.
(A) In an examination hall, the invigilators warn the students not to copy some one elses
We cannot use the Passive infinitive method in these types of sentences and will have to
go in for Complex or Gerund methods, which are beyond the score of +2 level. Writing an
Active sentence initially and converting it in Passive form may create some problem.
Whereas, we can write a Passive sentence directly as well. In such a direct method, it will be
easy to use the Passive infinitives. Here are the examples:
1. Mark wants to be elected leader of the trekking party by his classmates.
2. The Chief minister likes to be praised frequently by the people.
3. A candidate from a village school is eager to be called for the interview by the
selection board.


4. He has resented to be hailed by any nickname by his classmates.

5. The urchins expect to be allowed to watch the match by the referee.
If you try to put the above in Active form, you may find the going difficult. Try.
Accordingly, you could go in for a direct Passive infinitive sentence in all the three methods,
more particularly the Passive infinitive type.

Exercise - 21
Change into Passive form:
1. We did not bring our lunch box.
2. Doesnt Mala know my brother?
3. What answer did Rajan give for my question.
4. Isnt my close friend accusing me of copying in the exam?
5. Am I to play the match this afternoon in the other school ground?
6. Who will have to hoist the National flag on Independence day?
7. Dont you see a tall building over there?
8. Isnt Monas elder sister writing the Civil service exam next month?
9. The Vice Chancellor doesnt see any student directly.
10.Will you get used to some bad habits in this school?
11.Wouldnt you give one of your rooms on rent for my friend?
12.When will you meet our Maths lecturer again?
13.Would you have secured your certificate by next week.
14.You do keep visiting your grandparents every month, dont you?
15.We ought to worship God daily any number of times.
16. Hasnt someone stolen your instrument box?
17. Who stole my pen from my locker?
18. Who all werent taking notes on my lecture?
19. Didnt all the juniors spot out the Pole star last night in the open field area?
20. We couldnt have located your house without help from some passers by.
21. When will you have climbed this steel tower?
22. The women spectators made too much of noise during the game, didnt they?
23. Hadnt we met this man before somewhere in the city?
24. All students have submitted their homework, havent they?
Convert the following Passive into Actives
25. My watch has been removed from here by some intruder.


26. We are being watched constantly by our juniors in this hostel.

27. Werent we to be met by the security guards?
28. Lots of mango fruits have been eaten by Jane this afternoon
29. I am not to be met by you ever again. Is it understood by you?
30. Astrology is not being taught by our staffs in this college.
31. Rajkumar has been located in the exhibition ground by the police...
32. These workers cannot be trusted at all by anyone.
33. The Opening song was to be sung by these 3 girl students during the ceremony.
34. Didnt your Dad promise you a motor bike after your promotion.
35. All your clothes are being searched by the watch and ward men.
36. The big bell couldnt have been rung by a small boy like you at all.
37. All our rooms used to be kept clean by our Aunt till last month.
38. We need not have been thanked so profusely by you at all over a small favour.
39. Which CDs will have been purchased by you from this shop?
40. This sick dog ought not to have been put to sleep by the Vet.
Write your own sentences as directed:
41. Write an a2 category Passive using could have + sought .
a Negative Passive question using being + written.
42. Write a Passive EQ1 in any tense using the PP verb sawn.
43. Write a sentence of any category in Passive form in Present perfect tense using the verb
44. Write an a1 Passive using the auxiliary get used to in any tense.
45. Write a Passive General question in Future perfect tense using the verb drink.
Convert from Active to Passive voice where possible:
46. Will you work for me?
47. If you give me Rs 100, I shall help you in your work.
48. When ever I walk into your room, you are solving mathematics equations, arent
49. When could you get used to this new servant?
50. Must you go everywhere during your week ends?
51. All of you must buy an atlas unless you have run short of money.
52. If Megna comes here , dont hep her in any way.
53. I wanted to coach you inEnglish but I didnt have time, Sundari.
54. Wherever I went I saw only water, water and water.
55. You could have easily solved this problem if only had applied your mind.

Lesson 22
Just to remind you, the English language uses 18 tenses. Of these we have covered 16
till now. We also noted that only 9 out of the 16 Actives, could be put in Passive form. Why
then have the Passive form at all, especially when its usefulness is restricted to only 9


The Passive voice has several advantages as we shall see in this Lesson. They are:
Since there is no change in the meaning between an Active and Passive, the Passive
gives us another variety in writing a sentence. (We shall learn more about this advantage
when we come to Paragraph writing.)
The choice of voice would depend upon to who we want to give the prominence - to the
doer of an action or the person/thing acted upon?
If the doer is to be given prominence, we go in for the Active voice. If for the
person/thing acted upon, we opt for the Passive voice.
In the Passive form, it is quite permissible to omit the doer, i.e. by followed by a
noun. Such a sentence would still be valid. Whether Active or Passive, the sentence
structure formula remains the same. Thus, the Passive becomes valuable when we want to be
silent deliberately about the doer. Sometimes we may not even know who the doer is. In
such situations, the Passive form will prove very useful indeed. Here are some examples of
exclusive Passive sentences where we remain silent about the doer of the action:
(a) My eraser has been stolen. (Here, you probably dont know who has stolen it.
V Thus, an Active form wont be possible here.)
(b) Hindi is not spoken all over India.
S Neg. A V
(c) All of us have been invited for the school function. (It is not important to
know who the inviter is.)
(d) All applications will be examined. (We want to be silent on who will examine
the applications. The name of the person is possibly being withheld for security
(e) Is cricket played in all the countries?
(f) These books are not to be taken away. (The Active form - Dont take
Neg. A.V Passive
Adv (these books - would sound like
(an order and impolite as well.)
(g) Smoking is prohibited. (Dont smoke is more of an order than a request.)
(h) Wasnt Peter given an excellent present?(The sentence is silent onwho the giver
(i) The work must be completed today.
(j) Your bicycle is being washed now.
(k) The toy aeroplane was burnt/had been burnt.

(l) The young girl is hurt.

(m) All absentees will be punished.
(n) The erring students will not be spared.
(o) Let not this rule be forgotten.
(p) The culprit has been released on bail today.
(q) The prisoner has been placed in a special cell.
Hearsay type sentences
Sentences of the type, Young parents think/consider/know/report/believe/say, that the
disobedient children deserve punishment have a slightly different kind of Passive form.
(A) Some parents say that this college is very lenient towards the lady students.
The above sentence follows the same pattern mentioned earlier. This is a Complex
sentence. In this, is Parents think/say . or, Some parents say very important?
Why not be silent about this part of the Complex sentence? Thus, the Passive form becomes
advantageous here and we use a diplomatic phrase in the first part like, It is said, It was
considered etc and followed by the second part in Active or Passive form.
(P) It is said that this college is very lenient towards the lady students.
Here are more such expressions:
(A)The audience considered that the last speakers speech was quite poor.
(P) It was thought that the last speakers speech was quite poor.
We use IT here as an impersonal subjective pronoun.
The expression could be in the Present or Past families like, It is or It was

Here are more examples:

It is felt that
It is learnt that .
It has been reported that .
It is believed that .
It has been decided that (This is a Passive form)
It is known that .
It is said that .
It is considered that .
It is desired that ..
It is understood that ..

It was thought that .

It was considered . etc. etc. etc.
These kinds of Passive forms are used extensively in Official correspondences, Office
circulars, Public notices, Gazette notifications and Govt. orders and so on. Here are some
typical sentences of this nature that are used frequently. See how polite but firm they are:
(a) It is seen that many men students do not spend any time in the library.
(b) It has been noticed that some members do not pay their club bill on time.
(c) It has been decided that the teaching staffs of this institution shall not offer
any private tuition to the students of this college.
(d) It is hereby made clear to the citizens that ..
(e) The public are hereby notified that violation of traffic rules
(f) It is requested that suitable instructions in this regard may please be issued by
the Departments concerned.
(g) It is understood that a few graduates from our college did not get admission
for Post graduate courses.
Here are more examples of exclusive Passive voice sentences that we use daily and
where we are silent about the doer of the action.
(h) The rumour is believed to be wrong.
(i) Your hostel warden is supposed to return from leave today.
(j) This information may please be conveyed to the Minister.
(k) The order has been cancelled.
(l) You are mistaken.
(m) He is mistaken.
(n) All are welcome to attend the meeting in the Auditorium.
(o) Injustice has been done to us.
(p) I have been deceived.
(q) We had been cheated.
Politeness is required not only in official correspondences but in normal life too. We are
expected to be very polite in our dealings with others.
We use the Simple present for issuing a command/order. Commands/orders would sound
direct and harsh. One might say that an order is an order and one need not be apologetic
about it! True, but yet one could make them sound somewhat polite and make it look more

like a firm request than an order. Passive voice would make this possible. Study the
following orders:
(a) (You do) Sit here.

(i) (You do) (Please) Be seated here.
(ii) You are requested to sit here

(b) (You ) Dont smoke.

You are requested not to smoke.

(c) Come to my office.

You are requested

his office.

(d) Report here.

You are requested to report here.

(e) Dont walk on the lawn.

to come/go to my /

You are requested not to walk on the lawn

Points for and against Passive voice

A Passive voice sentence uses more words than the Active. Study the following

(A)One should always obey elderly people. (6 words)

(P)Elderly people should always be obeyed by us. (8 words)
(A)The Principal directed us not to allow any unauthorised persons into the
auditorium. (13 words)
(P)We have been directed by the Principal that unauthorised persons are not to be
allowed into the auditorium. (18 words)
The points against Passive forms are,

(i) They are more expensive in words and long winded.

(ii) Some sentence constructions may sound odd and awkward. Go through such
sentences in Lessons 29 - 31.
The points in favour are,
(i) Passives are extremely polite and persuasive.
(ii) We can be silent about the doer of an action.


So, choose whichever is appropriate. Just as 70% of our sentences will contain
infinitives, 30 % of our sentences would be in Passive voice. Apart from its advantages,
certain sentences would sound effective only in the Passive form.
Exercise 22
Rewrite the following in Passive form:
1. Someone asked Raja his name.
2. The Management refused the new student any scholarship.
3. We bought a Moped for Melissa.
4. One cannot pump out the sea water even in an age.
5. Dont stare at me like that.
6. Dont tell lies.
7. Could you lend me your bicycle?
8. Why have you done injustice to me?
9. What should you do when a stranger hails you?
10. You can achieve many things in life unless you like too much of leisure.
11. You will not see me again in that multi colour costume.
12. Did you use to live in this house before?
13. You could have done this job better, couldnt you?
14. We must answer all the questions in this test paper.
15. Dont keep smiling at me continuously.
Convert the following in Active form:
16. It is said that figs are better than apples.
17. It has been noticed that some senior students make the juniors complete their
Lab reports.
18. We let ourselves be caught.
19. This task is to be completed within 10 minutes.
20. It has been rumoured that lady students will not be allowed in the next excursion .
21.This girl allowed herself to be overtaken in the 200 meters race.
22. Fighting with the students of the next college is hated by our Principal.
23. We came here so that your on the spot drawings could be seen by us.
24. Running on the lawn isnt permitted in this compound.
25. Copying will not be easy to be detected.
26. It has been announced that oranges will not be sold here henceforth.
27. Werent we told by the Registrar that our term are to be paid before the tenth
of next month?
28. So many poor students come here to be awarded some kind of scholarship.
29. The Bible is to be obeyed in all respects and not challenged.

30. Fishing is not to be allowed in this part of the river.

Each of the following Passive sentences has one error. Locate and rectify:
31. The table had broken.
32. The canteen contract had been awarding by the Competent authority.
33. This girl was laughed at with her friends.
34. Isnt this child happy to look after by her old aunt?
35. The gardeners would have handed over the seeds by next Sunday.
36. Let not I be seen among you from tomorrow.
37. Madison has beaten by Simon in the badminton match.
38. Promises be fulfilled without fail.
39. It is said frequently that violence will meet violence.
40. People sometimes believe that happiness bought by money.
41. The numbers were calling by Robert for the last round of Tombola.
42. They are came.
43. This months Readers digest been read to me by my sister.
44. He has gone.
45. Smoking is prohibit here.
46. We wouldnt allowed to sit here by the zoo authorities.
47. Will you have been reached London by tomorrow morning?
48. It is believed that you have failed in the finals.
49. People are believed to say that the petrol price will increased from next April
50. Some Finance companies cannot be trusted if a large sum promised as interest


Lesson 23
The third and final type of sentence used in the English language is the Compound
sentence. [We have already covered Simple and Complex sentences]


We may define a compound sentence as a single sentence that combines in it three or

more Simple sentences with two or more conjunctions. Its formula would be like this,
Here are some examples:
(a) John came to my house to learn English because he was quite poor in it and he
wanted to improve his standard so that he could show off to his friends..
In the above, you could consider the first set as a complex sentence also. However,
there are 3 conjunctions here Because, And, So that. This is one method of writing a
compound sentence.
Some students may like to use the conjunction and like this,
(b) Jane is a nice girl and she is my next door neighbour as well and she doesnt like to
mix with other girls at all and therefore has been named a recluse.
Technically, this is a compound sentence because it has 3 Simples but one
wouldconsider it as a cheap compound sentence and needs no special skill to write it.
A good compound sentence should contain one or two clauses, of course, along with
a Complex sentence.
Definition of a clause
A clause will be a Simple sentence but with a difference, in that, it will not be
completely meaningful until a reference is made to some word in the rest of the sentence but
it will have S+A+V+O/C. Consider the following sentence:
(c) This man is an extraordinary person, who eats only one meal a day
|. Clause.|
The above sentence has 2 Nos. S,A,V all right.. While the first sentence is meaningful, [This
man is an extraordinary person],the second is not although it too has the S,A,V elements.
What is WHO in the second sentence? Is it a Conjunction or Subject? It is both. WHO refers
to who? Do remember, it appears to be the Subject in the second sentence. Until we refer to
the word Person in the other part of the sentence, we dont know what WHO is. Right or
not? This is a clause, an Adjective clause because it is describing a common noun Person.

Noun clause:
(d) What the Principal said about our son, has come true.
Take the second sentence has come true. Where is the Subject here? The Subject is
The Principals statement but these words have been put in a sentence form What the
Principal said about our son, which is doing the job of a Noun and is acting as the Subject
for the second part. Do note that What the Principal said about our son is not meaningful
at all until we read the second part. So, this is a Noun clause. A Noun clause will do the job
of a noun and could be the Subject or the Object. Here is an example of Noun clause doing
the job of an object:
(e) George could have said that he was an astrologer of some kind.
|.. Noun Clause Object|
The clause answers the Object test, hence a Noun clause
Adverb clause
The third variety is Adverb clause. Guess what it will do. It will do the job of an
Adverb (of manner) but in S+A+V+O/C pattern.
(f) You should leave the hall only after you handover your answer book.
|..Adverb clause - .|
You hand over your answer book passes the Complement test, Complement of time , is an
Adverb clause.
Now we come to the refined definition of a Compound sentence. A real Compound
sentence will have a Complex sentence with a clause. Or possibly, a Simple sentence with
two clauses.
In modern times, there is an unwritten convention, not to write long sentences. What
should be the ideal length? 8-10 words for a Simple sentence and 10 14 for Complex and
around 16 for a Compound. Never exceed 24 words in a Compound sentence. The
guideline is that a reader should understand your sentence in one go; if you can design such
a sentence, you could go even up to 32 words.
Of the 3 clauses, the one we use most is the Adjective clause followed by the Noun
clause. An Adverb clause will invariably be just a Complex sentence

We may reduce a clause into phrase. A phrase is just a group of words. If we retain
only the O/C part of a clause, it will still be meaningful and describing a common noun but
then we would have used lesser number of words.
(g) The tiger, which was wounded in last nights show, was not taken out of cage today
| Adjective clause|
(gg) The tiger, wounded in last nights show, was not taken out of the cage today.
| Adjective phrase |
A phrase should NOT have the S,A,V elements in it but only the O/C part. When
we use a phrase in a sentence, show the phrase between two commas. Otherwise, it
could be misunderstood.
Here are two examples of Noun phrase:
(h) I do not believe what he says.
|..Noun clause..|
(hh) I do not believe his statement
| N. phrase|
(i) The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.
|. Noun clause |
(ii) The cradle rocking hand, rules the world.
|. Noun phrase ..|
Examples of Adverb phrase.
(j) We sing when we are happy. [sing WHEN?]
|.Adverb clause|
(jj) We sing, at the time of our happiness.
|. Adverb phrase|
(k)These roadside singers go where there is a big gathering of peope.[TQ: go
(kk)These roadside singers go to crowded places
|Adv phrase..|
(l) Can I paint as I please? [paint HOW?]

| Adv clause|
(ll)Can I paint according to my desire?
|Adv phrase..|
(m)The picture dropped because someone had touched it [dropped WHY?]
|Adv clause ..|
(mm)The picture dropped because of someones touching
|Adverb phrase |
An Adverb clause will answer the test queston, When, Where, How and Why?
When to write Compound sentences
When you have to write anything such as an essay/composition or an article or a report
or a letter, dont transform your contents into Simple sentences only. It would then sound
childish. After 1 or 2 Simple sentences, write a Complex sentence; then a Complex with one of
the clauses. Later on write a Compound sentence, at the rate of one Compound in two
paragraphs. You may work out your own formula in this regard.
Exercise -23
Pick out the Complex and Simple sentences and Clauses in the following sentences::
1.The cricket match which concluded this afternoon was criticized heavily by the spectators
since not all the players gave their best.
2. Having got hurt, the centre forward stopped suddenly while the wingers
waited for the ball to be passed to them.
3.The ship which was caught in a typhoon sailed into the harbour late last night when the
Captain fainted due to exhaustion.
Pick out the clauses in the following sentences and state what type it is; later replace the
clause by an appropriate phrase.
4.This is the house where my late uncle lived.
5.Love your neighbour as yourself is a great command of Lord Jesus Christ.
6.I hope that I shall teach you all English.
7.We dont believe what he said in front of the Principal.
Identify the Adjective clauses in the following sentences and replace each by an Adjective

8. Georges small kitten whose fur is white as wool, is only 2 months old.
9.My uncles house which is a 2-floor bungalow was built within 11 months.
10.We could have easily caught the thief who was hiding in the bush to our left.
11.Mary, who is the tallest girl in our college, is actually only 17 years old.
Identify the Noun clauses and replace them with Noun phrase
12.I hope that I shall teach French to your class.
13. That we should come to college ten minutes before the bell, is the rule.
14. The Police will catch whoever violate the traffic rules.
15. I do not believe what I am seeing .
Combine the following groups of 3 sentences into ONE Compound sentence:
16. (a)Wordsworth was a great poet. (b) He was born in England. (c) Many do not know his
date of death.
17. Jawaharlal Nehru devoted himself to public affairs. (b) He seldom took a holiday. (c)
This went on for 40 years.
18. (a) He was a great writer. (b) He was an English man (c ) All his books are read even
now by the students.
19. (a) Tagore was a great poet. (b) He was born in Bengal (c) All school students read his
poems even today.
20. (a) Lal Bahadur Sashtri devoted himself to politics. (b) He became Prime Minister for
a short while. (c) He died suddenly due to heart attack.
21.(a) He was a great writer (b) He was a British citizen (c) All his books are found in the
libray even today.
Break the following Compound sentences into their equivalent Simple sentences:
22.You may or may not like this book but nevertheless I have sent it to you since your father
asked me todo it.
23. Remembering that St Pauls school football team is strong, James refused to play against
them on some excuse because he didnt wish to be known as a losing Captain.
24. All hell broke lose when the RSS chief said that the Christian establishment members
should become independent of foreign control. (A newspaper report)
25. India said that it was keeping a close watch along the international border with
Pakistan since it was conducting a majopr military exercise.
26. We had a shrewd father who gave me a better eduction than my two sisters because they
could not study beyond school level..

27.The physical stamina of the soldiers on both sides had become nearly exhausted and
on the part of the Indian troops there definitely was a determination to finish off the
enemy and bring the matter to an end..
State whether the following sentences are true complex sentences or sentences with
clause. Justify your answer.
28.My sister will stay here till you return from work.
29.When Judy arrives here she will tell us everything about the home fight.
30.After you have finished with this cellphone, please return it to me.

Lesson 24

What is Preposition?

Preposition is a single word or a group of words that connect two

words in meaning and show the true relationship between them. The words concerned may
belong to any part of speech. Looking at it in another way, except for the preposition, we
would not know the true relationship/ the meaning/ connection between any two words.
Examine the following sentence:

A ladder is .. the wall

What is the relationship between ladder and wall? We really do not know or there
could be so many possible connections between them. But if we put any of the following
words in the blank, we get a clearer and definite picture of the link between ladder and the
AFTER, ABOVE and so on.
That is the purpose of prepositions. Preposition looks to be magical word that
connects any two words in a precise meaning. But for the Preposition, the words would
look as though they are hanging in the air!
Here is a list of other single word Prepositions: BY, FOR, FROM, OF, TO, DOWN,
We cannot use these Prepositions as you like but for particular situations only.
Preposition of time
Use only the following:
Preposition of position
AT [Use it for villages and small towns e.g. The match is at Manapakkam]
IN (Use only for large areas, large cities, e.g. I live in Chennai)
Preposition of direction
Dont think that a Preposition is a must in every sentences. Preposition is NOT
necessary if the following verbs are followed by an Object:



REQUEST in any of their form.
Here are some examples:
(a) My son did not show me his school report.
(b) Didnt you tell Paul to wait for me?
(c) We never promised Babloo any special prize.
(d) The coach advised us not to dribble for too long.
(e) Did you ask the master for any help?
(f) Didnt I remind you to submit your answers on time?
(g) We should have urged you earlier to follow your fathers dictates.
(h) We did not request the gate keeper to open the gate
(i) Havent you given this small boy your toy?
Preposition phrases
Besides the single worded Prepositions, we also have two or more worded phrases.
They do exactly the same job as simple Prepositions. A Preposition phrase is
advantageous because (a)it helps us to convert a Complex sentence into a Simple sentence
(b) we can start a Simple sentence with a Preposition phrase; we cannot do so with a single
worded Preposition
The important Preposition phrases are:
Can you convert a Complex sentence into one Simple sentence? In other words, can
you convert 2 Nos S,A,.V [ S+A+V+O/C + conjn + S+A+V+O/C ] into S+A+V+O/C? Yes,
we can by the infinitive connector method.
Is there any other method? Yes, by replacing one of the two sentences in a complex
sentence by a suitable preposition phrase.
Here are some examples of how a Complex is converted into a Simple without any
change in the joint meaning.

(a) Will you help me if my father pays you? (Complex)

(aa) Will you help me on account of my fathers payment? (Simple)
(b) Break open this box if there is any fire in the hall.
(bb) In case of fire in the hall, break open this box.
(Besides conversion into a Simple, we have also started the sentence
with the phrase)
(c) Your children had taken part in the drama though I had warned them against it.
(cc) In spite of/ Despite my warning, your children had taken part in the drama.
(Your children had taken part in the drama in spite of my warning)
(d) After we had moved over to this city, we hired a bigger house.
(dd) Consequent to our moving over to this city, we hired a bigger house.
Do make sure that a Noun or a Noun phrase or Noun of action follows every
Preposition phrase. You can put the phrase after S+A+V or the sentence could start with the
phrase. Thus, a Preposition phrase gives us a variety to start a sentence in a different way
in addition to converting a Complex into a Simple sentence.
Here are more examples Phrase-wise:
Because of (= for the reason of)
(e) I was late for college because of a tyre puncture.
(f) You were out of luck perhaps because of my presence with you.
For the sake of
(g) For the sake of peace in our home, I maintain good relation with all members.
(h) We played this match for their sake. (for the childrens sake)
(i) Wont you help me for our friendships sake
On behalf of
(j) I am attending this meeting on behalf of my class prefect.
(k) On my fathers behalf, may I thank you profusely for the favour.
In lieu of / In place of
(l) In lieu of coffee, may I take milk?

(m)Who will be then in my place.

Instead of
(n)Instead of a card game, shall we play chess?
(o)Why did you go to a movie instead of the library.
Owing to / Due to
(p)Owing to/ due to ill health the professor is not taking our class today.
With a view to [ =With a particular result in mind]
(q) With a view to playing in the national team, this student took to cricket
very seriously from school days.
(r)With a view to standing first in the class, I studied upto 6 hours a day.
(s) With a view to maintaining permanent peace, I made up with my one time
Note: Use a gerund noun always after this phrase. That would be good English
although you may use a suitable noun.
By dint of
(t) By dint of hard work, this soldier rose to the rank of an officer in the Army.
(u) It is only by dint of hard work that one could succeed in life.
By virtue of
(v) By virtue of his age, Philip has been appointed the student leader of our class.
(w) He was let off lightly by virtue of his good conduct during the year.
In consequence of/ consequent to /consequent upon
(x) In consequence of our promotion, we moved to the class room in the next
(y) Consequent to our promotion, we moved to the class room in the next
(z)Consequent upon his becoming a Vice Chancellor, Mr. Simon appointed ten
Lecturers afresh..


Exercise 24
Fill up the blank with the most appropriate preposition given in the multiple choice:
1. Some persons are very particular . formalities.
on (b) beside (c ) among (d) at
2. Hasnt he shown dereliction . duty?
on (b) of (c) over (d) against
3. Can a peon have authority his boss?
(a)at (b) in (c ) on (d) over
4. Remembering the good points .. his mind, he accepted the appointment.
(a) over (b) against (c ) in (d) under
5. Turning it . his mind, he asked for change of some terms in his appointment
over (b) in (c ) into (d) up
6. He did confess . his crime, didnt he?
(a) through (b) under (c) for (d) to
7. Isnt this officer too friendly . his subordinates?
(a) with (b) at (c) beyond (d) in
8. These days the workers are clamouring . higher and higher wages, arent
they? at (b) for (c) over (d) about
9. After retirement, this officer invested all his money . business
(a) on (b) over (c) to (d) in
10.Could I ever deprive him his rights?
(a) beyond (b) below (c) of (d) on
11. This fellow always laughs his own jokes.
(a) near (b) at (c) with (d) under
12. Whereas, this youngster cracks jokes and laughs . others.
(a) at (b) over (c) with (d) inside
13. Could you swim .. this river without difficulty?
(a) in (b) at (c) across (d) on
14. I walked . the forest without any weapon with me.
(a) into (b) around (c) outside (d) on
15. A roof your head is a must these days.
(a)above (b) in (c) at (d) inside
16. We have been living in Chennai . 1990 A.D
(a)from (b) till (c) since (d) beyond
17. . this mountain there is a big temple.
(a) beyond (b) after (c) over (d) around
18. One . you is a devil.
(a) of (b) in (c) between (d) among

19. .. you and him, who is the older?

(a) about (b) between (c) out (d)along
20.If you break . now, when will you return.
(a)of (b) off (c) over (d) into
21.Visitors are not allowed to go .. this line.
(a) after (b) beyond (c) within (d) in
22.You are likely to get a wicket if you bowl . the wicket.
(a) round (b) over (c) under (d) beyond
23. Dont enter into the auditorium . me.
(a) without (b) within (c) under (d) beyond
24. A cat is sleeping . your bed.
(a) among (b) through (c) before (d) until
25. My friend at present is living .. New Delhi.
(a) at (b) into (c) on (d) in
26. Dont talk among yourselves . a lecture.
(a) in (b) into (c) during (d) inside
27. .. for your intervention I might have been dismissed from the college.
(a) after (b) when (c) but (d) since
28. I was lying in the hospital .. days.
(a) since (b)in (c) for (d) during
29. I have been lying in the hospital . Monday.
(a) from (b) since (c) for (d) during
30.The choice is . you and Philip.
(a) among (b) between (c) for (d) on
31. Make your choice .. ice cream, plum pudding and coffee.
(a) among (b) between (c) for (d) on
32. Arent all the profits divided the shareholders?
(a) among (b) between (c) for (d) on
33. Nicky and his sister are capable of resolving any disputes . them.
(a) among (b) between (c) for (d) on
34. Were you born . December or January?
(a) on (b) during (c)in (d) at
35. Please give . Johny a packet of biscuits.
(a) to (b) during (c) in (d) nil
Convert the following Complex sentences into Simple sentences:
36. My sister could not go to office today because she had a severe headache.
37. I am late for work today because my cycle developed a puncture on the way.
38. Since it was raining very heavily, I could not reach your house on time.

39. We maintain good friendship because we want peace between our families.
40.I am attending this meeting because my college Principal is indisposed.
41. Would you like to take a cup of milk or coffee? (This is a Complex sentence)
42. I have come to collect the certificate because my brother is ill.
43. I told Stephen not to fight with the men of the next college but he didnt listen.
44. During the vacation days, children must do something useful and they should
not waste time in gossipping.
45. I wanted to play in the National team, so I took to cricket very seriously.
46. You can enjoy some peace so that we will never go back on our commitment.
47. They had allotted me a new office after I was promoted to a senior rank.
48. Give the young patient a dose of DW injection and also a glass of horlicks.
49. I gave him the appointment because he is an honest worker.
50. After I had been transferred to another college, this particular Lecturer
became very strict with his students.
51.If I am admitted to the hospital, Mr. Robert Williams will conduct my classes.
52. This student was denied admission in our college because he had very low
marks in all subjects.
53. The father vacated his post in the factory because he wanted a job for his son.
54. Since my father isnt here, may I receive the registered letter addressed to
55. If there is any fire in our premises, ring up at once 101 for help.

Lesson 25
Temporary subject
There is actually an adverb, adverb of place. But we use it as a Noun and as
Temporary subject in many sentences. You can call it as Subject introducer as well. The
real subject of the sentence will come a little later. We have already seen some examples in
Lesson 3. Here are some more with sentence analysis :
(a) There is a stranger at our entrance.
Ty S A.V S
(b) There are far too many mistakes in your essay.

(c) There are some people standing here who wont taste death until the coming
Cp Conj NegA V O1
of Son of Man (From the Bible. A Complex sentence)
(d) Are there anyone here
who wishes to meet me in person?
C(p) Conj (A)V infin-V O
Here are some typical sentences that we use on day to day basis:
(e)There are some passengers already inside the bus.[ =Some passengers are already
inside the bus].This sentence although is grammatically correct, is not considered good
(f) There is no doubt about this mans guilt at all.
(g) There goes all your money.
(h) There you are mistaken.
(i) There you start all over again.
(j) There you are. You have done it again.
(k) Is there anything to eat inside the fridge?
(l) There is nothing we could do about it.
(m) There would be always some people among you who cannot read and write.
Use of IT as Temporary subject
IT is a pronoun. We can use it as Subject or Object in a sentence. IT is used
primarily to refer to a noun going before That being so, could we start a sentence with IT
and in a new sentence; which noun would it represent then? Yet, we do start many sentences
with IT. In such cases, IT will turn out to be a Temporary subject and the real subject will
appear a little later. Let us analyse some of the sentences we often use:
(a) It
was a difficult paper.
Ty S A.V
(b) It is not
easy to say no to a childs request.
TyS NegA.V C(m)
(c) It is a good habit to read books
(d) It was correct to call him a thief.
(e) It is my proud privilege to address this August gathering.
|..S |
(g) It is John.
(h) It was a very nice party, Sir.

(i) Isnt it great to be with your parents during every holiday?

While indicating time also, we have to use IT as temporary subject. Study the
following sentences:
(j) It is 8 p.m. already. [ The time is 8 p.m is bad English]
(k) It is midnight.
Use of IT as impersonal pronoun
(a) It rains.

S (A)V
(b)It snows
(c) It thunders.
(d) Isnt it raining now?
In all the above cases (a to d), IT is acting as the subject but which noun does it
represent? None. It is known as an impersonal pronoun, not referring to any noun going
We use IT as impersonal pronoun cum subject when a noun and a verb is the same
word. Otherwise we would have to say/write
(aa) The rain rains.
(bb) The thunder thunders.
Here are more examples we use in our day to day sentences whereof IT is an
impersonal pronoun cum subject:
(e) It is all right with me.
S A.V Cm
(f) It is fine.
(g) It is perfectly all right.
(h) It is very bad indeed.
(i) It is very sweet of you to visit us.
(j) It is requested that you may sit as arbitrator.
(k) It is believed that the Principals stand was correct in the matter.
(l) It was very wrong on my part.
(m) It will be John who will represent me.

(n) It doesnt matter at all.

(o) Is it paining a lot in this place?
Exercise 25
The following sentences are wrong. State why?
1. The time is 11 p.m. now.
2. We were playing even when the rain was raining lightly.
3. What is the time now, please?
4. To call you the Principal, is correct
5. When is twilight?
6. Loud thunders thunder during every night in Chirapunjee.
7.When the time is 8 a.m, come to me.
8. Morning is here already.
9. When evening comes, all birds go to their nests.
10. Good, isnt it?

Lesson 26
In this Lesson we shall learn that IT could be used for making Emphatic expressions
as well in the Present, Past and Future time periods. This is the most important use of IT.
Do recall that we could make emphatic expressions in the Infinitive method also. See
Lesson 17. There, we called them Emphatics. Emphatics are Simple sentences and could
never deal with completed activities cases at all. All of them are the future looking types.

Whereas, the Emphatic IT expressions are Complex sentences. Here also we use IT
as a Temporary subject and the real subject follows thereafter. Examine the following
sentences :
Present time cases
(a) It is
Mano who
the trouble maker in our class.
conjn/S A.V
(b)It is the men students who answer all the questions correctly, dont they?
(c) Is it you students who made me volunteer for the trial demonstration?
(d) It is we who should say sorry to the lady students in our class.
(e) It is Susan who is the leader for todays debate, isnt she?
(f) It is certainly your statement that made Veronica resort to crying.
(g) It is I who seems to be the scapegoat every time, isnt it?
(h) Isnt it you who comes late for the afternoon class?
(i) It is always the small children who clamour for our attention.
(j) It isnt correct to call poor people by derogatory titles.
Past time cases
(k) It was you who was totally ignorant about the State capitals of India
TyS A.V S Conj/S A.V
(l) It was to Varanasi where my father went for making penance, didnt he
(m)It was that fine compliments from your mouth that boosted Janes spirit.
|S |
(n) Wasnt it I who was clueless about William Shakespeare?
(o) Surely it was you who was responsible for creating a bad atmosphere.
Future time cases (Future tense cases)
(p) It will be Marcus who will represent our University this year .
(q) It wont be I who will lead the debate, will I?
(r) Wont it be those girls in the first row who will lead us in the singing of
The Anthem?
(s) It will be certainly you who has to be our spokesperson .


Shall we examine the rules we have followed in composing the above powerful
(i)All the sentences given for the three time periods are Complex sentences and
they conform to the tense rules. In the first part, IT is always the temporary
subject and the real subject follows thereafter. Hence if you are using a
pronoun, it must be a subjective pronoun.
(ii)The conjunctions used are only, THAT, WHO,WHAT,WHICH or WHERE
(iii)The conjunction WHO also act as the Subject for the second sentence. When a
conjunction does the job of the Subject, it virtually is a Noun and a Third
erson common noun at that. Accordingly, we are concerned only with its
number (singular or plural) for determining the verb form for the second part of
the Complex sentence. The number of the conjunction-noun will be the
number of the real Subject of the first part and not its person.
Consider the sentences, Who is going to the Super market today? Who are going to
skip the games period today? How did we decide on is and are ? In the first case the
Subject is singular and in the second, it is plural. The person of the subject thus
becomes irrelevant when a conjunction such as WHO is playing the dual role. Viewed
in this light the second part in (g), (h) and (k) are correct. The difficulty will arise
only when YOU or I is the real subject in the first part. In such cases, use a singular
verb for singular subject and plural verb for plural subject in the second sentence.
(iv)Regardless of the number of the real subject in the first part, the first sentence
always should start with IT IS or IT WAS or IT WILL BE.
(v)In this pattern, we cannot frame a General Question starting with an Interrogative.
(vi)As regards the EQs, in the Q tag use whichever subjective pronoun sounds
Here are more examples of sentences we use in our daily life:

It was you who spread out all kinds of false rumours.

Isnt it you who has been complaining about our Hostel food almost daily?
It is I who is always blamed for everything. (Passive voice)
Isnt it you who is the God who does wonders? [Compound sentence is also valid]
It is I and always I who acts as the usher in every function.
It was your unjustified allegation that destroyed the reputation of our group leader.
It is because you preferred to stand aside that George had to stand on the dais without
any preparation whatever.(Compound sentence)
8. It is only when these facts are flushed out with details of the dramas that have gone in
my life that it becomes a story. (Compound sentence)

Here are some sentences of daily use starting with IT , as impersonal pronoun. They
are quite emphatic too.
9. It is all right. Dont worry yourself about it.
10.It is not quite proper to ignore old people, is it?.
11.It was indeed an excellent evening.
12.Wasnt it a pleasure to meet the Chief guest this evening?
13.It was very kind of you.
14.Does it matter? It doesnt matter at all.
15.It is important that you be here on time, isnt it?
IT acting as impersonal pronoun cum subject, we can also write emphatic Complex
sentences. Study the following examples:
16.It will be nice if you could join us for lunch
17.It wont be proper if you go away without informing the host.
18.It is then that I will step in to sort out the problem.
19.Is it all right if we leave a little early?
20.It was at this stage that I walked into the examination hall.
21.It was then that we decided to function as an effective team.
22.It will be towards the evening that we shall lead the protest march.
Usefulness of Emphatic IT
Besides sounding powerful, we may make use of this method to connect any two
Simple sentences into a meaningful complex sentence. like we did in composing Complex
sentences. In almost all the cases, we would be successful in producing a meaningful
Complex sentence even if the individual Simples are totally unrelated to each other. Study
the following examples:
23.(a) This is a nice building. (b) My father designed it ten years back.
It is my father who designed this nice building ten years back.
It is this nice building that my father designed ten years back.
24.(a) We were students of St. James college. (b) We learnt the tricks of composing
Complex sentences there.
It was during our student days in St. James college that we learnt the rules for
compossing Complex sentence.
25.(a) We heard the church bell. (b) We ran fast.

It was only when we heard the church bell that we ran fast.
26.(a)We could not come for witnessing yesterdays match. (b) There was no bus
service in our area yesterday.
It was because there was no bus service in our area yesterday that we could not
come for witnessing the match.
27. (a) We had taken our evening tea at 3 p.m. (b) We left the picnic spot
It was after we had taken our evening tea at 3 p.m. that we left the picnic spot.
28. (a) The rehearsal will take place at 5 p.m. (b) It is in my house.
It is in my house that the rehearsal will take place at 5 p.m.
29. (a) We shouldnt call him a cheat? (b) Samuel never tells lies.
It is because of Samuels honesty that we shouldnt call him a cheat
30. (a) I shall be very harsh with you. (b) Dont be lazy.
It is on account of your laziness that I shall be very harsh with you.
Do remember that we can combine all the above pairs through the Complex sentence
method also.

Lesson 27
When two persons face each other and talk between themselves, they would use the
personal pronouns I, YOU or WE. Such a dialogue is referred as Direct speech because they
will be addressing each other directly.
When we want to repeat the exact words used by somebody, we put such sentences
between inverted commas (..). The contents inside the inverted commas are also known
as Direct speech.
Thus far, you have been writing sentences in various tenses in Indirect speech.

In our day to day life, both in written and spoken forms, we use both the speeches. Hence,
you must have knowledge of both and also know how to convert one into the other.
Direct speech
Here is a conversation between two persons, who are facing each other. Examine their
words from the definition point of view.


Where are you going, Raju?

I am going to a medical shop to buy some medicines.
Medicines? Is anyone sick in your house?
Yes, my mother is ill with high temperature.
I am sorry to know that, my friend. Is she lying in bed?
Yes, she is. After I give these medicines, she ought to feel better.
Did a doctor see her?
Yes, he did this morning. This is his prescription.

Notice the following points:


Both the young men are using the pure pronouns I or YOU. When they use the
First person pronouns, we call their speech as Direct speech.
(b) When either of them refers to another being, they use the Third person i.e. HE,
SHE, IT, THEY. All the sentences they use are grammatically correct. Some of them,
especially the short answers may look wrong but they are not. They are the short cuts
in personal conversation, about which we shall learn more in the Lessons on
Conversation techniques.
Now if a third person who has been overhearing this conversation reports it, it will be
something like this:
Peter asked Raju where he was going. Raju said that he was on his way to a medical
shop to purchase medicines. A shocked Peter asked if anyone was sick in his house? Raju
replied that his mother was ill with fever. A more worried Peter asked if she was in bed. Raju
confirmed it. He also stated that according to the doctor, the mother would feel better after
taking the prescribed medicines.
When Peter exclaimed, Medicines? his tone would have revealed some anxiety and
concern, wont it? His feelings have been shown in the Indirect speech, A shocked Peter
asked. I am sorry to know that has been conveyed as, A more worried Peter. It is
relatively easy to express ones emotions in Direct speech, sometimes in single words.

Expressing the emotions in Indirect speech would call for some skill. You must find suitable
words/phrases to translate ones feelings and reactions. Otherwise, the Indirect speech would
look reactionless and even jumpy.
What you must remember is, that what each person has said is the Direct speech. In
the dialogue, we have indicated at the left PETER: and what he said, after his name.
Similarly when it was Rajus turn we showed RAJU: and wrote after his name whatever he
had said. The names on the left show, who is speaking. Another method of showing who
spoke the Direct speech is like this,
Peter asked Raju, Where are you going?
Raju replied, I am going to a medical shop to buy some medicines.
What is contained inside the inverted commas is the Direct speech - Where are you
going? What about the other words i.e. Peter asked Raju? This is Indirect speech. So, when
we have to show in writing a Direct speech, it will be a combination of Indirect and Direct
speech; what one said will be Direct and will be inside inverted commas and the details of
who said that, will be in Indirect speech.
Next, shall we study how to make Direct speech statements in various time periods
and how to convert one into the other?
Present time period cases
Direct :

Mother says, I am going out for an hour.

Mother says that she is going out for an hour.

When we convert a Direct speech into Indirect, the sentence becomes a Complex
sentence. (Strictly speaking, we must consider these as loose Complex sentences, because
the first part will in most cases have only S+A+V. Nevertheless you must observe the tense
rules assuming them to be full fledged Complex sentences.)
Note the punctuations carefully - use a comma after the Indirect element (i.e. details of
who makes the statement); then the inverted commas; the first letter of the first word in the
Direct speech to be in capital; put a full stop to mark the end of the Direct statement; then,
inverted commas. These punctuations are very important.
Here are more examples:

Babbly tells me, I may not come for playing today.











Babbly tells me that she may not come for playing today.
The watchman asks, Are you coming with me to the shop?
The watchman asks if I am going with him to the shop?
The young lady informs, My mother visited me in my college
The young lady informs that her mother visited her in her college
The Delhi correspondent has reported, Many newspaper
employees are sitting near the front gate protesting against the
wage cut.
The Delhi correspondent has reported that many newspaper
employees were sitting near the front gate protesting against the
wage cut.
Tyagi responds, I dont eat meat at all.
Tyagi responds that he doesnt eat meat all.
The daughter replies, I have finished my breakfast.
The daughter replies that she had finished her breakfast.
Your friend conveys, I have been waiting here for 15 minutes.
Your friend conveys that he had been waiting here for 15 minutes.

When converted into Indirect speech, the sentence becomes a Complex sentence and
accordingly you must observe the tense rules.
The first and second person pronouns inside the inverted commas are changed into
third person pronouns. This may not be so in all cases; when the reference is to the
writer/speaker, he/she must use I/We even in the Indirect speech. See (b).
The reference to the time and day and place to remain as today, tomorrow, yesterday,
here, there.
Past time period cases









Anuradha said, I may not attend college tomorrow.

Anuradha said that she might not attend college on the following
The Lecturer replied, I have not corrected your test papers as yet.
The Lecturer replied that he had not corrected our test papers till
Moses insisted, I did not lend my fountain pen to Ahmed.
Moses insisted that he had not lent his fountain pen to Ahmed.

Although the Direct speech has used a Simple past auxiliary (did), we have used a
past perfect auxiliary (had) in the Indirect. Why? We have followed the two action rule.





















Sheila said to me, Shall we meet our friend this evening at her
Sheila enquired if we should meet our friend that evening at her
Manohar told me, I wont be leaving for Lucknow till tomorrow.
Manohar told me that he wouldnt be leaving for Lucknow till the
following day.
The visitor asked, Where is your father now?
The visitor asked where my father was then.
My father said, Were you in your uncles house last night?
My father asked if I had been in my uncles house the night
The Principal was firm with my father, I cannot give your son the
Commerce group.
The Principal was firm with my father that he could not give me
the Commerce group.
Murugan said to me, Do you understand clearly all the rules of
Direct speech?
Murugan asked me if I had understood clearly all the rules of
Direct speech?
Didnt he tell you, You should have completed this task by
Didnt he tell you that you should have completed this task by the
day before?
The Professor reiterated, You see the point now, dont you?
The Professor reiterated if I had seen the point then or not?
I will come here again tomorrow, the Demonstrator conveyed.
The Demonstrator conveyed that he would go there again on the
following day.
He replied, The milkman has been delivering the milk regularly,
hasnt he?
He replied that the milkman had been delivering the milk
regularly, hadnt he?
The bus driver confirmed, I did give a leave application, didnt I
The bus driver confirmed that he did give a leave application,




didnt he?
Couldnt he have said, I will try.
Couldnt he have said that he would try?
We should have told you, We will try, shouldnt we?
We should have told you that we would try, shouldnt we?

Since the Indirect element is in the Past family, the contents inside the inverted
commas too must be in a suitable Past family and conforming to the tense rules.
If the speech is in Q form, use the verb asked/enquired in the first part.
Change the time and place inside the inverted commas when dealing with Past time
cases as under:
as yet
till then
that day
the day before
the next day or the following day.
last night
the night before
As in the Present time case, change the First person into Third person pronouns. But,
if the meaning demands it, keep the First person in First person only. See (g) and (h). As
regards the second person pronouns, leave them unchanged.
The Direct speech part could be in any past family also as in (m) and (n). Convert
such sentences in accordance with the tense rules.
The Direct speech part may be in EQ form. Convert it with an equivalent EQ form in
the past family. Where an EQ does not sound well, use any alternative form to show the
emphatic nature of the statement.
Future time cases




Matthews will certainly say, Come after two days.

Matthews will certainly say that you may go to him after two days.
The Administrator might remind you, Dont forget to attend the
sports committee meeting.
The Administrator might remind you that you should not forget to











attend the sports committee meeting.

Madan will boast, Wasnt I the class representative till last year?
Madan would boast that hadnt he been the class representative till
last year?
Sikandar would have said, I am helping the weak students even
now, amnt I?
Sikandar would have said that he had been helping the weak
students even now, hadnt he?
He shall confirm to you, I have been assisting the Lecturer till
He shall confirm to you that he has been assisting the Lecturer till
My uncle might ask you, Didnt I send you to the library for a
special purpose?
My uncle might ask you if he hadnt sent you to the library for a
Special purpose?

If the tense of the contents inside the inverted commas is in a past family, modify the
future auxiliary in the first part in tune with the tense rules. (Past equivalent - Past family)
See (c).
If the first part has an FIP tense, use a Past family tense in the other part in the
Indirect speech. See (d). In (d) we have also observed the 2 action rule.
As regards the adverbs of time (last year, now today) keep them as they are in
the Indirect like we did in the Present family case.
Use of infinitive-connectors
Instead of a Complex sentence Indirect speech, we could also write out an Infinitiveconnector based Simple sentence. This would be possible if the first verb is a
command/suggestion/order variety like, ORDER, DIRECT, INSTRUCT or their synonyms.
Here are some examples :



Rajan orders us, Bring all your complaints to me first.

Rajan orders us to bring all our complaints to him first.
The HOD shouted to me, Hand over your class notes at once?
The HOD shouted to me to hand over my class notes at once.
Your friend will always direct you, Dont come to me every








Your friend will always direct you not to go to him every time.
You might have shouted at him, Put on your socks right now.
You might have shouted at him to put on his socks right then.
We could have told you, Wait here till 5 p.m.
We could have told you to wait there till 5 p.m.
The referee should have warned you, Dont commit any more
fouls during the play.
The referee should have warned you not to commit any more fouls
during the play.
John said, Meet me at the theatre at 6 p.m.
John asked me to meet him at the theatre at 6 p.m.
Talukdar said, Dont drive this fast.
Talukdar advised me not to drive that fast.
Mazumdar says, Dont open the front door to everyone.
Mazumdar tells me not to open the front door to everyone.

When the order is in polite form, we follow the gerund or Complex sentence method
as shown in the following examples:



He said, Let us leave the house at 9 a.m.

He suggested leaving the house at 9 a.m.
He suggested that we might leave the house at 9 .a.m.
(k) D
Our leader says, Let Krishnan not show his anger on them
Our leader suggests that Krishnan may not show his anger on
The student leader suggests, Let us stop here for a while.
The student leader suggests stopping here for a while.
(m) D
The Principal warned, Let no one violate any rule.
The Principal warned that no one should violate any rule.
(n) D
My mother responded, Let me do it myself.
My mother responded that she would do it herself.
(o) D
The Panchayat President said, Let them come in person to me.
The Panchayat President said that they could come to him in
Note that the gerund method would be suitable only when an objective pronoun us is
present; if a subjective pronoun or a noun or other objective pronoun is present, adopt the
Complex sentence method.
Conversion of Interrogatives into Indirect speech

The interrogative remains unchanged in the Indirect speech. Study the following
(a) D
Matthew said, Where is she going?
Matthew asked where the other (or she) was going?
(b) D
The visitor asked, Where is the railway station?
The visitor asked where the railway station was?
(c) D
The traveller enquired, When is the next train to Hyderabad?
The traveller enquired when the next train to Hyderabad was?
(d) D
The father asked, How will you reach your destination?
ID :
The father asked how I would reach my destination?
(The D sentence here is vague. It is not clear, who the father is
addressing. If he had asked his own son, then the correct ID is as
given above. If he had referred to another person, the correct ID
would be, The father asked how he would reach
his destination?)
Indirect to Direct speech
What we have learnt so far looks like an one way traffic, doesnt it? If we could
convert a Direct speech into Indirect, so could we an Indirect into Direct. This would call
for some skill. Study the following example of conversion from Indirect to Direct:
Ram gave some money to Abby and asked him to buy two shirts for him. Abby
hesitated for a while and then agreed. He stepped into a ready made garment shop.
Welcoming the customer, the sales man asked what he would need. Abby explained. A little
later, the salesman wanted to know the size of shirts the customer wanted. Abby couldnt
tell because he had not enquired about it from Ram. The salesman asked next, about Rams
age and height. Abby gave the information. The salesman now guessed the correct size and
showed the customer some half a dozen varieties. Two designs attracted Abby. So, he
ordered two shirts of different colours, paid the money and returned home. Ram examined
the material and liking the material he thanked Abby profusely for the favour.
During the conversion, give the name of the speaker on the left and after a colon,
indicate his words/sentences and so on.
Here is a possible Direct speech version:
Ram :
Abby :

Abby, kindly go to the market and buy me two shirts. Here is Rs 400.
Well er well. All right. Please hand over the money.

Ram :

Here you are.

Abby :
Abby :
Abby :
Abby :

(At the sholp)

Good afternoon, Sir. May I help you?
I need two Gents shirts, please.
What size, Sir?
Im afraid, I dont know. These are for a friend of mine.
Not to worry, Sir. Whats his age and height?
25. About my height.
Its size 42, Sir.
Here are six varieties; all of size 42.
I think Ill take this and that one. Please pack them up.
(Back in the room)

Ram :

Abby, terrific. I like them very much. Thank you, Abby boy.

In the Direct speech, the greatest difficulty will arise while conveying ones reactions
or emotions in describing certain situations. For instance, Abbys hesitation to buy the shirts
for his friend; this has been represented by Well well.. which show his
unreadiness. If he was happy at that, we could have written something like, Ah. Of
course. Give me the money Next, how do we translate A little later We really
cannot. Thus we show silence and the Salesman continues with his action of displaying six
shirts. Similarly, how do we describe Abby paying the bill and returning home? We cant. So
the next piece of dialogue is by Ram, obviously at his home, which implies that he has paid
the bill and left the shop.
These are the drawbacks of Direct speech. It would deal only with what one has
Incidentally, to write out a Direct speech two or more human beings must be
involved. You cannot describe a scene or a building or a crowd etc by Direct speech. In
such cases, we have to depend on Indirect.
When to use which Speech
Indirect speech
In our day to day conversations, when we refer to other people, we will be using the
Indirect speech. In written work also, we use mostly the Indirect speech, like writing out a
report or an official letter, notices, etc. Indirect speech sentences are quite powerful if we use

appropriate and dynamic verbs. In addition, we have the EQs to give greater strength in
our sentences especially when we have to describe a situation or portray a weak or powerful
personality and so on.
Direct speech
We use the Direct speech when we face a second person and talk to him/her directly.
In which case, we will be using the pure pronouns I, WE or YOU. However, if the
conversationalists refer to a third person, they would use HE, SHE, IT, THEY.
As regards the written work, we will use the Direct speech only when we want to reproduce
verbatim what someone has said or when we quote a proverb or a quotation etc. Otherwise,
our written work will be mostly in Indirect speech.
But, Direct speech is the exclusive domain of authors of novels and short stories. You
could never find a novel or a short story without Direct speech in them and plenty of that
too? They will always use the Direct speech for dialogues between two characters. Could
they put such dialogues in Indirect speech as well? Of course, they could. Havent we
ourselves done some exercises on the art of conversion from Direct to Indirect and vice
versa? But, it may not sound as powerful and realistic as Direct speech will. Further, Direct
speech could never give any colour to any of your descriptions. However, Direct speech has
its own attractions. Examine the following dialogue:
Selvi and Madhavi were walking along on their way to a nearby park.
Suddenly stopping Selvi said, Madhavi, I have a piece of good news for
you? .
You have? Whats it? Whats it?
My elder brother has agreed to give you tuition in Maths. Are you
Oh! I am indeed happy, Selvi. How very nice of your brother. But, I
wonder why he took so long to say it?
He is very busy in office, you see?
Yes, I understand. Did he say from when?
From next Wednesday, I think. Well. Why dont you come to my house
this evening and talk to Anna about it yourself?

Have you noticed, when we read the first sentence, they are just two girls walking. But
when we put in Direct speech the words used by Selvi, she has become live! Real life
character! The remaining conversation has induced life into the piece, hasnt it? Authors use
this technique to revive or sustain the interest in certain situations.
We may use the Direct speech also to express our own personal feelings and thoughts
when writing an article or a description or a satire or some personal account etc. This would
be like talking to yourself!. Here, there is only one person. Examine the following
Could this fellow be a cheat? I debated in my mind.
Go and drown yourself in the nearest lake! I felt like telling him.
Good, I reflected in my heart.
I thought silently about that grand man. What an extraordinary human being he is? From
rags to riches in total honesty?
He could have been more diplomatic about his statement, I thought to myself.
In writing some personal account, you must indicate to the reader whatever has been
going on in your mind. In real life, before we answer anyones question, dont we go through
some kind of introspection or weigh the pros and cons or develop some good or bad feelings
over the question and only thereafter we frame the answer? True or not? Your writing would
be realistic only if you reveal those to the reader. Without these silent and off the record
reflections, what you write may look jumpy and out of context as well. Direct speech is
useful in such writings.
Here is an example of a personal account or a Satire, in which the writers personal
feelings and reactions have been shown:
When I reached the Public library compound, I heard someone calling
me. I turned around to see. Waving his hands at me, a middle aged man
inched in my direction.
Who could he be? I wondered in my mind. Could he be someone of
my school days or a clever imposter ..? Eversince I was cheated to the tune
of some Rs 200 by an innocent looking person some months back, I had
become suspicious of any stranger.


Hey, Jay, dont you recognise me? I am Samy, dammit. We met in

London last June, remember? the other said showing all his teeth.
A warning bell rang loudly in my ears instantly. Surely, this guy is a
cheat, I had concluded and decided to be extremely cautious. You see, I had
never visited London or for that matter any place outside India.
In the above piece, the writers own personal feelings, impressions and thoughts
have been expressed in Direct speech. And inclusion of such personal thoughts makes the
reading interesting too.
Dialogue writing
A dialogue is nothing but Direct speech between 2 persons usually. One can write a
dialogue straightway or convert an Indirect speech report or a description in Indirect speech
into Direct speech. The participants usually would be 2 or never more than 3.
Here is a sample conversation between two persons given in Indirect speech.
Convert the report into a dialogue form:
Venu greeted the Headmaster and expressed regret for disturbing
him. The HM asked him what the matter was. Venu requested him to
change him from the Maths-Physics-Chemistry group to the Commerce
group. For a query, Venu replied that he found the MPC group very
The HM in turn demanded to know how he would manage the
Commerce group since 5 weeks of teaching have already elapsed.
Venu said that his father would arrange private tuition for him. The HM
sked him to bring his parents to his office on the following day. He also
added that he would discuss the matter with his parents in the first
instance and give his decision.
Here is the dialogue form of the above report. Study it carefully:
Dialogue form.
Venu :
HM :

Good morning. Excuse me, Sir. I have a request.

Yes, what is it, Venu?

Venu :

I request you to change my group from Maths-Physics-Chemistry to the

Commerce group, Sir.
Oh ! Why?
I am finding these subjects very difficult, Sir.
By now 5 weeks of teaching is over. How will you manage, Venu?
My father will arrange private tuition for me, Sir.
I see. All right. Please bring your parents to me tomorrow. I shall give
my decision after discussing the matter with your parents. OK?


This is a straightforward conversion from Indirect to Direct. There is hardly any

emotion in the situation. The only difficult part is the first sentence. Greeted translated
as Good morning; expressed regret . translated as , excuse me, Sir. The next piece
contains some emotions and personal feelings. See how these have been converted into
Direct speech:
A gentleman, after some hesitation, asked a shopkeeper if he could
give some smaller notes for a Hundred rupee note. The shopkeeper
tightened his face initially, relented after a few seconds and gave him
two Rs 50 notes. He also added that he didnt have any ten rupee notes
with him at that time. But, if the other bought any material from his shop
he could manage to return some small change. It all depended for how
much he would purchase things.
The gentleman purchased three chocolate bars, each costing Rs.13. Feeling happy, the
shopkeeper returned Rs 11 in smaller denominations against one fifty rupee note. The
gentleman thanked him profusely, bid goodbye and went his way.
The Dialogue form:


Gent :
Gent :

Er Excuse me. Could you give me some smaller notes for Hundred
Rupees. Please?
What ? .. All right. Here are two 50 rupee notes. I dont have any
ten rupee notes, you see? But, if you buy any material from my shop I
could manage the balance. It all depends on how much you would
purchase for.
In that case, please give me three chocolate bars. How much do they
cost? Oh, Rs 13 each? Take this 50 rupee note.
Thats good, Sir. Here is the balance of Rs 11.
Thank you very much. Good day.

We have translated the various emotions and other visible actions in the following ways:
after some hesitation- Er Excuse me.
The shopkeeper tightened his face and relented ..- What .? All right.
The gentleman purchased 3 chocolate bars .- In that case, give me 3
chocolate bars
Feeling happy - Thats good, Sir.
Bid goodbye and went his way- Good day.
You cannot ignore such feelings. While it may be easy to express them in Indirect
speech, you have to think of suitable words/description while translating such
actions/feelings in Direct speech.
2. Here is a dialogue between 3 persons given in Indirect speech. Convert the description
into Direct speech.
Paul greeted Suresh heartily and he responded to it equally
enthusiastically. When Paul asked Suresh about, what he proposed to do after
XII standard, Mahesh joined them. Interrupting their conversation, Mahesh
suggested that all of them may go for a matinee show; a great English film was
running in Devi theatre. The other two looked at each other blankly murmuring.
Suresh said that he would certainly join a Science college. An impatient Mahesh
insisted on knowing whether they would see a movie that afternoon or not. Paul
was agreeable. Suresh wasnt all that keen but when Mahesh pressed him, he
Dialogue form
Suresh :
Mahesh :
Suresh :

Hi, Suresh. How are you Boy?

Good morning, Paul. Nice to see you.
Suresh, what do you intend doing after XII standard?
Hi fellows! Sorry to butt in. How about going to a matinee show
this afternoon? A nice English movie is running in Devi theatre?
I dont know.. not sure

Mahesh :
Suresh :
Mahesh :
Suresh :

What the hell? Are we going for a movie or not?

Okay, I think.
Well actually ... possibly .
Come, come, Suresh. Be a sport, man.
All right. Agreed.

During a conversation, school and college young men use a lot of slangs. In the
dialogue form, use such terms. Also note how certain feelings and reactions have been
translated. They would also call each other by endearing names such as, Boy, fellows,
man, yaar etc. The dialogue form would be realistic only when you use such words and
expressions. Dont stick to formal language. One would normally use informal language in
a dialogue.
Exercise 27
Change the following Direct speech statements of the speaker into Indirect speech:

Give me a cup of tea, Rangan told his wife.

Mohana said, How is your mother feeling today?
Our teacher always reminds us, Havent I told you several times not to copy
any sentences from any book or magazines but write your own?
Jaya wrote, I am longing to receive your instant reply for this letter.
When I got up from my seat in the examination hall, the invigilator asked,
What is the matter?
Sundaram will always complain, The cook does not give me sufficient food.
Whenever I see the College Principal he says, Your son is an excellent student
in my college.
Petting my little cat I speak to her, Be a good pet. Dont steal anything from
the kitchen.
The History Lecturer explained, Akbar won the respect of his subjects because
of his justice and fairness to all.
The leader replied, My classmates will reach here shortly.
The angry Professor remarked, How dare you shout at me like this?
Janakiraman said, Dont worry, mother. I shall get better marks next time.
Send the next candidate in, said the President of the selection committee.
Hurry up, shouted the referee.
Mohan said to me, Didnt you find out my marks from the office clerk?
Shanti of course will talk to you sweetly and say, Let me see.
Madam may say, I didnt have time to look into your notes.
The office superintendent advises all students, Pay your tuition fees on time.


Hannah always says, I will join the best college in the city after my Plus 2.
Amir khan must have told you, I shall surely recommend your name for the
Captains post.

Write the following Indirect statements into Direct speech:


Sudha requested Monica to go with her to the saree shop.

Monica regretted that she couldnt go with Sudha to the saree shop that day.
Ashok says that he had already seen that tele-film.
Santanu wants to know whether his parents would listen to him.
My friend asked me if I would accompany him to the Principals office.
Paul asserted that he wanted to be an Army officer.
The hospital matron enquired whether the patient would like to get discharged
that afternoon or on the following morning.
On Monday mornings I ask my students if they spent their week end usefully.
Whenever the mother is ill, the eldest daughter cooks all the meals.
Sunita demanded to know the name of the thief.

Write the following Indirect speech in a suitable Direct speech dialogue form:



When Enoch asked Manoharan if he would join his group, Mano could not
reply immediately. He said he would think it over and reply on the following
day. In the meantime, would Enoch please consider taking John also in the
Sandra did not listen to her mothers advice and volunteered to join the picnic
group. Mohana and Vineeta consoled Sandra saying, that she should make up
with the mother on return from the picnic trip.
The argument was between the History Lecturer and English Lecturer. The
History Lecturer wanted to conduct the rehearsal only between 4 and 5 p.m.
but the English Lecturer wanted that particular time for the extra classes since
her daughter returned from school at 4.30 p.m. and the daughter expected to
see the mother when she returned from school.
Menon insisted that Indirect speech was quite useless. But, Thangaraj did not
agree. In his view, Indirect speech was more useful and powerful too than the
Direct. Could Menon put the description of a long procession in Direct speech?
Menon did not reply straightway. He promised to think about it and give a
suitable reply next Monday. At this stage, Vinodhini joined them. She asked if
she could be the umpire in their battle of words. The young men admitted that
Vinodhini was excellent in English. Could she then express her views on Direct
and Indirect speech? Clearing her throat Vinodhini said, both had their own


good and bad points and the two males need not dispute over it. Menon and
Thangaraj looked at each other clutching and unclutching their palms
Three friends went to a Music shop. Chandra wanted to buy an audio cassette
of the latest Tamil hits. When asked what she wanted, Ratna replied she needed
a CD of Hindi songs. Neena had her own idea; she just wanted to listen to a
few songs inside the music shop and come away without buying anything.

Lesson 28
We use the future tense for an action we propose to do in some future time. This would
also mean that we have made the necessary preparations for that action and we have a clear
picture of the action in mind and only its execution remains. The same reasoning holds good
for implied future tense as well, wherein we use the Simple present or Present continuous
tense showing the action-time in some future time.
But, what tense or sentence pattern should we use in expressing a desire or a wish which
would be mostly imaginary and one on which we have no clear idea at all possibly. All of us
do entertain some such dreams in our heart and more often than not, wouldnt hope to realise
any of them at all. But we do dwell on such happy thoughts with tremendous pleasure. Take
the wishes like, Will I win Rs one crore in the Crorepati programme? Would I be Prime


Minister of India one day? and so on. These are but desires, imagination and unclear
The English language does give us a method to express such wishes of the future and
articulated in present time.

A future wish expressed in present time

All persons - wish or wishes - that - S - would/could -present form verb-O/C
(This is a Complex sentence with that as the conjunction)
Here are some examples:

I wish that you would do something about that noise from the next house.
We wish that you could be more polite to your elders.
Martin wishes that the weather would be fine tomorrow.
My parents wish it wouldnt rain today. (conjunction silenced)
Does your friend wish that the train would reach Chennai central not more
than 45 minutes behind schedule?
How I wish I could be a center of attention in any social function?
My parents wish that I could speak another foreign language besides English.
You wish that you could win a big lottery, dont you?
Dont you wish you could also go on this journey with your brother?

All are Complex sentences in Q, a1, a2 and EQ forms. Notice how we frame a2 as given
in (d). (Incidentally, we can never start an a2 like We dont wish )
II. Wish of the past expressed in present time
Dont we often think or talk about things/events that should have taken place but hadnt?
Or, we regret some actions of the past and possibly wish that we hadnt done them. We
express such regrets in the following way:


All persons - wish/wishes - that - S - Past tense verb (A.V) or Simple past or Past
perfect auxiliary and verb - O/C
(a) I wish that I knew Kumars house address. (I dont know Kumars house
address as of now.)
(b) We wish Magda had accompanied you to town. (Magda didnt go with you.
She could have gone with you)
(c) Do you wish you had taken an umbrella with you? (i.e You didnt have an
umbrella with you at the time of the statement)
(d) We wish that we had gone to the beach instead of this useless movie.
(e) Samuel wishes that he hadnt eaten so much biryani.
(f) David wishes that he had done his post graduation before taking up a job.
(g) Doesnt Ranjan wish that he never gave a wrong statement.
(h) You wish you hadnt been that smart with the HOD, dont you?
(i) I wish I wasnt that unkind to a beggar this morning.
(j) All the staffs wish that you had taken part in the inter-college debate.
(k) I wish the match was yesterday.
You may omit the conjunction that where considered redundant.
In the second part of the Complex sentence, use Simple past or Past perfect or Past tense
(with A.V), whichever sounds appropriate. Do remember that the action hadnt taken place
in some cases and in some the actions were wrong. It is only a corrective wish (thought) and
the wish itself is expressed in present time like this,
Future wish
Present time

Past wish (Unreal or imaginary past)

Examine the statements at (i) and (k). Here we have used the auxiliary cum verb - WAS.
In such cases, it is normal to use WERE instead of WAS even for singular subjects like this,
(l) I wish I were present in yesterdays meeting.
(m) I wish my son were a little more intelligent.
(n) Dont you wish your daughter were present at this function.
(o) Do you wish that I werent your friend?
(p) We really wish she were less beautiful.


On the same basis, we may express a wish in the unreal past (or, an impossible situation)
using the conjunction IF like this,
(q) If I were you, I would solve this problem in a different way.
(r) If I were you, I wouldnt have bought this cassette.
(s) If a thief were to enter your house tonight, he would certainly steal your bicycle.
For all the unreal cases of Present, Past and Future times, we can also use the
conjunction phrase AS IF or AS THOUGH. You will notice that these two phrases point
towards imaginary happenings.
Rule 1
Imaginary past wishes (thoughts) expressed in present time:
All persons + Simple present (A & V) + O/C + AS IF/AS THOUGH + S + A +V
(of Past, Simple past or Past perfect tense) + O/C

Suresh talks as if his father owned this school.

You look as though you had been cheated.
He sings as if he were (was) a famous playback singer.
Dont talk as though you had known my mother for years.
You could treat me as if I were your relative, couldnt you?
This Asst.Lecturer ordered me about as if he were the Head of the Department.

In these examples, the first part of the Complex sentence is in Simple present and the
second in a Past family. The second part deals with an imaginary event/situation of the past,
whereof nothing really happened or no such action took place at all.
Rule 2
Imaginary past wishes (thoughts) expressed in real past time:
All persons + A+ V (Simple past) + O/C + AS IF/ AS THOUGH + S + A+ V (of any
Past family)
(g) Sundaram spoke as if he had broken his leg during the match.
(h) It looked as though Matthew was going to walk away with the first prize.

(i) The sky smelt as if it was going to rain.

(j) Did she pretend as if she knew nothing about the theft.
(k) The retiring Professor retraced his student days as if he were living those days.
In the second part of the Complex sentences we have dealt with the imaginary past
wishes/thoughts whereof action did not really take place at all. And the first part could be in
present or past family.
Rule 3
Imaginary future wishes (thoughts) expressed in present time.
All persons + A+ V (Present or Simple present) + O/C + AS IF/ AS THOUGH +
S + A + V (Future or Implied future) - O/C
(l) It looks as though Meena isnt coming for the party.
(m) I am 16 years old. Dont talk to me as if I am a primary class kid.
(n) You talk as if I wont bring my brother to witness the match.
(o) It appears as if it is going to snow by this evening.
(p) Doesnt he talk as if he would really go for a fight with the other?
III. Wish in real past for actions completed in the past.
Let us consider the actions that had taken place in the real past period. But, the results
turned out to be wrong; things should have happened in a different way altogether.
All persons + wished + that + S + Past perfect A & V + O/C.
Here are the examples:
(a) Your father and I wished that you hadnt gone on this pleasure tour.
(b) Your friend did wish that he had abandoned the idea of retaliation.


(c) Did you wish that we hadnt sent you to an Engineering college at such a
heavy cost?
(d) How I wished that I hadnt written that angry letter to your sister.
(e) Didnt you ever wish that you would stand first in the State level list?
All are in Q, a1 and a2 forms. Notice the way how we have framed an a2 statement [see
(c) and (d)]. We could never start an a2 such as, I didnt wish that .
Politeness in issuing orders
Do recall that we use the Simple present for issuing an order. This method is direct and
also blunt. We also saw that the bluntness could be made somewhat less offensive when the
concerned order is put in Passive voice. There is one more method to make an order sound
persuasive and elegant and yet firm in tone. This is where we make use of the 32nd
auxiliary - BETTER.
Had better is the auxiliary set we use to make a command sound genteel. Its meaning
is, It is advisable; it not, there will be trouble. This set is used only in present time. (In a
way we could consider this set as equal to may, should, must as well.)
All persons + had better + present form verb + O/C
Here are the examples:
(a) You had better leave my office now.
(b) Q. Shall I wear my canvas shoes for school today?
a1.You had better wear them. It may rain.
(c) You had better not leave the house the whole day today.
(d) All of you had better come on time for my class.
(e) We had better consult our Senior Lecturers about this programme.
(f) You had better not keep any late nights till your exams are over.
(g) You had better not tell your mother about this incident. OK?


All the above are in a1 and a2 forms only. We dont use this auxiliary set in Q, EQ1 or
EQ2 forms. Next, this pattern will sound well only in the Second person and First person
Exercise 28
Rewrite the following sentences/ideas in the form of a wish in the appropriate tense:
1. I want to spend a week end in a 5-star hotel; but, I want my parents to bear
the hotel charges.
2. Could I watch the cricket match on T.V. today?
3. I hope my brother is on time for this evenings party at Subbus house.
4. Once upon a time you wanted to learn piano, but you couldnt for some reason.
You now regret it.
5. You would have taken a lot of snap shots on your previous visit to the Zoo.
But you had forgotten to take the camera with you.
6. We should not have come to this church at all today.
7. You sent your mother to a wrong shop for buying your sarees. You are sorry
8. You hadnt given proper career guidance to your neighbour who had so much
faith in you. You feel sorry about it now.
9. Your next door acquaintance is not doing well in college.
10. Your small sister has wasted all her pocket money on video games.
11. In the coming year, you want your elder brother to become an Air Force pilot.
12. After the late evening show, you dont find any taxi or auto to go home; the
only way appears to be to walk home.
13. You have requested your friend to go with you on your morning jogging; you are
not very sure if he would join you.
14. The weather outside is very cloudy; there might be a drizzle.
15. Your father attended Swami Ayyappas religious ceremony. You feel he should
not have gone all the way to Sabarimalai for it.
Improve upon the following sentences so that they are more accurate:

I wish Swarna is here.

We wish the weather changed.
I wish that you wouldnt complain all the time about something or the other.
The picnickers wish that they didnt forget to bring a video camera.
Do you wish I am a clever student?
Did you ever wish that you could be the Captain of the Indian cricket team?
Dont talk like you are my tuition master.


23. Your mother wished that she hasnt given you too much of freedom.
24. Mona yelled like she had seen a ghost.
25. How I wish I am there during the prize awarding ceremony.
Make the following commands/suggestions sound somewhat polite and persuasive:

Go home immediately.
Be present in my office sharp at 9 a.m.
Dont come to me for help every week.
You are late. Dress up fast.
Shall we go in for dinner now?

Lesson 29
With certain Verbs, Nouns and Adverbs in one half of a Complex sentence, we are
required to omit the auxiliary in the second half. This is the only occasion where we omit the
auxiliary in an English sentence. Such words have been named : SUBJUNCTIVE verbs,
SUBJUNCTIVE nouns and SUBJUNCTIVE adverbs.[This is my coinage !]
There is also a lone SUBJUNCTIVE CONJUNCTION - LEST. When lest is the
conjunction, we omit the auxiliary in the Simple sentence that follows it.


Subjunctive verbs
When any of the following verbs is present (in any of its three tense families) in one half
of a Complex sentence, the second sentence must be with a present form verb only and
without an auxiliary.
Examine the following sentences which contain the Subjunctive verbs:
(a) The professor DEMANDS that Miss Sunitha alone act as the spokesperson
for the Post graduate class.
(b) Our parents DESIRE that your friend come to our house after 7.30 p.m.
(c) Will the Principal INSIST that his son alone stand for the election?
(d) The senior members PREFERRED that every new entrant to our group sign
an undertaking instead of verbal assurances.
(e) The Management group had PROPOSED that the Personnel manager reduce
number of clerks in the main office by 10.
(f) Didnt you RECOMMEND that we accept candidate No 3 for the post?
(g) We REQUEST that the first prize winner present himself at the auditorium.
(h) We will REQUIRE an assurance that some of you not attend todays
( .. do not attend will be wrong)
(i) Would you SUGGEST that we not take part in the next Assembly election?
(j) They URGED that every student revise their lessons more carefully, didnt they?.
(k) A Minister DEMANDED that Mrs. Sonia Gandhi take over the party
leadership of the Congress (Extract from a newspaper report in 1999 A.D)
(l) About 500 DK members DEMANDED in a procession that the Kanchi
withdraw his disparaging reference to widows. (Extract from a newspaper in 1999 A.D.)
(m) The Minister DESIRED that his PA be present by his side during all meetings.
All the examples given above are grammatically correct and adhere to the following
sentence structure:
S + A + V + O/C + THAT + S + V (present form verb only) + O/C
Any tense
No s sound and no
auxiliary DO or DOES


Whatever may be the tense of the first half of the Complex sentence, the verb used in the
second half must be in present form only and without any supporting auxiliary. When the
subject of the second part is singular, no s sound is to be given to the present form verb. If
the second half is a negative (a2) type, omit the auxiliary and use NOT as shown in
examples (h) and (i).
This is a violation of the rule you have learnt about Simple present tense, isnt it? This
new rule is applicable when a SUBJUNCTIVE verb is present in the first half of a Complex
The next violation we have committed here is on the tense rules. According to the
Tense rules of Complex sentences, when the first half is in a Past family the second must be
in a Past family or with past equivalent auxiliary or in Present family with Universal truths.
But here, the Subjunctive rule is that even if the first half is in a Past family, the second must
be in Simple Present tense only with a present form verb and without a supporting auxiliary.
And here is another surprise! See what happens if we use a Past family in the second
half when the first half has a SUBJUNCTIVE. Study the following sentences:
(n) The workers PROPOSED that their union leader went on a hunger strike as a
mark of protest.
(o) The Vice Chancellor had DESIRED that the suspended Lecturer withdrew
appeal from the High court.


Do the examples at (n) and (o), which conform to the tense rules, convey any
sense/meaning? The sentences sound ridiculous, dont they?
Let us see what happens when the second half is in a Future family:
(p) The professor DEMANDED that Miss Sunitha alone shall act as the spokesperson of the class.
(q) You didnt RECOMMEND that my son shall play in A team, did you?
(r) You didnt say that the CBI will investigate this case, did you?
Future tense in the second half appears to match all right but we have used an auxiliary.
But then, it can be seen that the first verb need not be a Subjunctive at all and could be any
normal verb too. See (r) So, this is no special case as such.

Subjunctive nouns
With the following SUBJUNCTIVE objective nouns in the first half (which may be in
any tense) the second half must be in Simple present only and without a supporting
auxiliary. Future family will also match but with a supporting auxiliary:
Accordingly, here is the sentence structure formula:
S + A + V +

O + THAT +

Any tense

+ V + O/C

| - - - - - -|

Noun object

Simple present
Future with A+V
Here are the examples conforming to the above sentence structure rule:
(a) The parents firm DEMAND was that bride not wear a white saree for the wedding.
(b) The Lecturers INSISTENCE is that the students submit their project work by not
later than 15th of that month.
(c) Our PREFERENCE has been that every member contribute Rs 10 towards
Earthquake relief fund.
(d) Wasnt it your RECOMMENDATION that the youngest student shall garland the
Chief guest?
(e) The magician ignored the SUGGESTION that he reveal the secret behind some of
his magical feats.
(f) The Headmaster of the nearby school had forwarded a REQUEST that our college
B team play a friendly match with his A football team.
(g) Our HOD complied with the REQUIREMENT that all his staffs surrender half
their leave for the year.
(h) My PROPOSAL is that you shall stay with your uncle instead of in the hostel.
Subjunctive Adverbs


Subjunctive adverbs in the first half too, places some restrictions in the composition of
Complex sentences. They are:
There are two rules with regard to the presence of Subjunctive adverbs in the first half:
Rule - 1
The first half is in Present tense and starts with It is or What is
It is /What is +

C +


V +


| - - - - - - - - - - - -|
(Simple present
verb without A)

Here are the examples:


It is IMPORTANT that he attend extra classes from today.

Isnt it ESSENTIAL that your brother accompany you to the movie?
It is quite IMPERATIVE that a Staff lead you all to the Zoo.
Is it NECESSARY that every new entrant bring a transfer certificate?
What is so IMPORTANT that your father visit you daily in the hostel?

According to the tense rules when the first half is in a Present family the second could
be in any tense according to the situation. But, the Subjunctive rule says that the second half
must be in Simple present tense only. Shall we see what happens if the second is in a Past or
Future family?
(aa) It is IMPORTANT that he attended extra classes from today.
(bb) Isnt it ESSENTIAL that your brother accompanied you to the movie?
(cc) It is quite IMPERATIVE that a Staff led you all to the Zoo.
(dd) Is it NECESSARY that every new entrant brought a transfer certificate?
(ee) What is so IMPORTANT that your father will visit you daily in the hostel?
What is so IMPORTANT that your father has been visiting you daily in the
Do these sentences convey any sensible meaning? Do they sound correct in your ears?
Only a Simple present verb without a supporting auxiliary in the second half, seems to give a
meaningful sentence. Thus, here is another violation when a Subjunctive adverb is present
in the first half.

A question would arise, could the second half have Present tense A.Vs?
The answer is No. Rule 1 stipulates that we should use only a Simple present tense verb
without A. An auxiliary cum verb (A.V) doesnt fulfil this condition; it has an inbuilt A in it;
next, AM, IS and ARE do not belong to Simple present tense. Whereas BE is a normal verb
in present form and belongs to Simple present tense. Along with BE, you must not use any A
although some universal auxiliaries (such as, Should, Would etc) may sound appropriate.
Let us examine some sentences with AM, IS and ARE in the second half:
(f) Isnt it absolutely ESSENTIAL that every boarder is in bed by 9.30 p.m?
(g) Isnt it IMPORTANT that I am on the Staff list to stand for election?
(h) Why is it NECESSARY that they are present in the class room before time?
The second halves dont sound well, do they? Nor do they seem to give a sensible
meaning. Replace them by BE and note that they sound not only nice but also meaningful:
(ff) Isnt it absolutely ESSENTIAL that every boarder be in bed by 9.30 p.m?
(gg) Isnt it IMPORTANT that I be on the Staff list to stand for election?
(hh)Why is it NECESSARY that they be present in the class room before time?
Rule - 2
The first half is in Past tense and starts with It was ..

It was



that +

V + O/C
| Simple past

or, Past perfect |

without A

If the first half is in Past tense with It was .., the second half must be in Simple past or
Past perfect only. Rule - 2 is in contravention to Rule - 1 applicable for Subjunctive-verbs.
But then, there it is. It would also appear that the normal tense rules hold good when a
Complex sentence starts with It was . and followed by a Subjunctive -adverb.
Here are the examples:
(i) It was NECESSARY that the escort always stood behind the VIPs.


(j) Wasnt it ESSENTIAL that he went for a morning walk daily?

(k) Wasnt it IMPORTANT that your mother had accompanied you to your fiances
(l) Wasnt it IMPORTANT that your mother accompanied you to your fiances
(m) It was IMPERATIVE that your son met me daily.
(n) It was IMPERATIVE that your son had met me daily.
All the sentences sound correct when the second half is in Simple past and Past perfect
tenses. It would appear that as far as Subjunctive adverbs are concerned and the first half
contains It was/ Wasnt, the normal Complex sentence tense rules apply.
Subjunctive conjunction
Lest is a conjunction with the meaning, in order that not or, for a fear that It
has a negative meaning. To avoid any error, observe this formula in composing a Complex
sentence with LEST as the conjunction:
a1 - LEST - a2
a2 - LEST - a1

Rule- I
S + A + V + O/C + LEST + S +
Any tense

V + O/C

Present form
verb without A

Here are the sample sentences:


Dont oversleep lest you/he/she miss your/his/her detraining station.

You must not annoy him lest he beat you to death.
He has not come out of his house during day time lest someone spot him out.
Isnt he keeping himself strong lest he experience defeat.
Had not Moses stood before Him to turn away His wrath lest he destroy them?
(Psalms 106:23, Holy Bible)
(f) We never said anything lest he misunderstand us.
(g) I did not accept the new appointment lest I lose my seniority in the present job.

Often, to be on the safe side, many writers would use the auxiliary SHOULD before the
verb. Thus, you would frequently find the expression, Let him not oversleep lest he should
miss his detraining station. Or, You must not annoy him lest he should beat you to death.
The above sentences are incorrect from grammar angle. The rule is very clear in that, there
should be no auxiliary.
When a SUBJUNCTIVE Verb or Noun or Adverb is present in the first half of a
Complex sentence, the second half must be in a tense without an Auxiliary and in conformity
with the SUBJUNCTIVE TENSE rules, which are quite different from the conventional
Complex sentence tense rules.
The Subjunctive tense rules are applicable only to the Active voice sentences. They do
NOT apply to Passive voice Complex sentences at all. In the Passive cases, we follow the
conventional Complex sentence tense rules. Here are the examples:
Passive voice
(a) The doctor DEMANDS that all the female patients are attended to only by
female nurses.
(b) The Management had PROPOSED that the number of clerks in the main office
should be reduced by 10 by the Personnel manager.
(c) Wouldnt you INSIST that another attempt is made by the student concerned?
(d) The parents have made a REQUEST that a white saree is not worn by the bride for
the wedding.
(e) Wasnt it your SUGGESTION that a thesis was submitted by every post- graduate
student before the end of the semester?
(f) It is IMPORTANT that you are accompanied by your elder sister on every ttrip to
the gymnasium.
(g) Wasnt it ESSENTIAL that the nursery class was attended by every child before
admission to KG class?
(h) It is NECESSARY that a cadre course is undergone by every soldier before the next
(i) Didnt I caution you lest some mistake was committed by you unwittingly.


Summary of all Subjunctive tense rules

First sentence
1. Any tense with Subjunctive
Active voice

Second sentence
Simple present with unsupported verb in
present form verb

2. Any tense with Subjunctive

Active voice

Simple present with unsupported noun in

present form verb

3. It is

Adverb in
What is .. Active voice

4. It was

Subjunctive Adverb
in Active voice

Simple present only and

without a supporting auxiliary

Simple past or Past perfect

Uses of Subjunctives
What is the use of Subjunctives and why are we learning it, you would ask ?
As you can see, there is no certainty about the information at all. It looks to be a
rumour of sorts, doesnt it? It indeed is. This is essentially a journalists language. In order
to protect himself , a journalist would use Subjunctives giving the impression that he was
not the real eye witness for the news item but heard it from someone!
So, you cant catch him for incorrect reporting.
We can also use them in our day to comversation too. When you are not very sure about
an information or story or hearsay, resort to subjunctives.
(Is the summary correct? Is there any uncertainty in any sentence? Can we
say that this is a journalists language?) Critiques, please answer,
Exercise 29
Correct the mistake(s) if any, in the following sentences:
1. I suggested that your brother had joined the National Defence Academy next year.
2. Wasnt it essential that you participated in the tournament?
3. Would you insist that the hockey sticks were collected from the sports store by
every player himself?

4. The Principal has proposed that the final year students should not miss any classes
during the last semester.
5. The Principal has opined that the final year students may not miss any classes
during the final semester.
6. My fathers insistence was that his daughter did well in studies.
7. Is it necessary that all college students underwent compulsory military training?
8. The Chief guest proceeded with the assumption that the student audience
understand high level English.
9. The Lecturer would always insist that the Lab attendant was present in the
Chemistry laboratory.
10. Didnt you prefer that the morning PT parade is held at 5.30 a.m. instead of 6 a.m.?
Make the necessary changes in the sentences if the words underlined are replaced by the
words shown in brackets:
11. I would recommend that all the weak students attend the extra classes after
college hours. (say)
12. Didnt the VC urge that we take more interest in the physical activities for our
students? (spell-out)
13. The senior student of the first year class requested that he be permitted to lead the
students in singing the National Anthem? (wanted)
14. The HODs desire was that we did not miss any of his lectures. (insistence)
15. Would the lady students prefer that their leader act as their spokesperson? (like)
16. It is vital that the guilty person admitted his mistake voluntarily. (essential)
17. Isnt it right that the best student was appointed the leader of the class?
18. It was correct that the car driver always remained inside the car. (important)
19. It is important that all students be present in the class 5 minutes before the starting
time. (good)
20. Would you say that Ramanujam go out for 15 minutes? (suggest)
21. The doctor did not desire that the patient roam about inside the ward. (like)
22. We could have demanded that the culprit be punished for the offence. (asked)
23. It was nice that you got posted out of this place at last. (important)
24. Your insistence was that I dont miss any opportunity. (recommendation)
25. Didnt we say that your close friend ought not to see us at once. (insist)
Fill up the blank with the correct verb form :
26. It was exemplary that you in all competition.
27. It is essential that you . present at the auditorium before 6 p.m.
28. We propose that your sister . with you on your next visit.
29. Our requirement is that your ward .. all rules of the hostel.


30. The doctor has demanded that all the visitors .. sent out of the hospital
before 7 p.m.


The first part of the following Complex sentences contain a Subjunctive; use the correct
auxiliaries or verbs in the second half:
31. It is essential that you accompanied by your elder brother during your shopping trip.
32. You could have given some excuse lest you had caught by the police.
33. You surely preferred that the Professor saw you directly.
34. It was indeed necessary that you see me during the lunch recess.
35. Our recommendation has been that Ibrahim took over the leadership of the
Write the remaining 6 categories of sentences:
36. The Lab Demonstrator proposed that the III Semester students repeat the previous
weeks experiments.
37. You didnt recommend that my brother play the goal keeper, did you?
38. Why is it important that this person be your local guardian year after year?
39. Wasnt it your proposal that everyone must be put through physical check?
40. Dont overwork yourself lest your mother worry herself to death about your
Analyse the following sentences:
41. Our HOD desired that Peter desist from teasing the lady students.
42. Did you say that the Police will enter our college campus to carry forward the
43. It is essential that my friend guide you in all your assignments, isnt it?
44. Isnt it imperative that you meet the Lecturer every day after college hours?
45. It is very important that you be present at the canteen during the lunch hour.


Lesson 30
By going through the first 19 lessons, you surely would have been bubbling with
confidence that you know all the rules of Sentence constructions in all the 16 tenses, how to
use infinitives, gerunds, participles, passive voice etc in written English. But, you might tell
yourself, When I have to talk with someone I feel tongue tied, more so with the opposite
sex or elders. How do I overcome all these shortcomings?
May I tell you that your fear would be, not about the grammar rules but on how to
start a conversation, how to keep yourself on a high confidence level without showing
nervousness, how to let the conversation proceed smoothly, how to be respectful or how not
to offend the other person by using inappropriate words and phrases etc.

Your fears are justified in a way. Very few grammar books teach you anything about
conversation techniques or dialogue such as how to observe courtesies, how to frame your
sentences in a nice and attractive way and so on. This lesson lets you into all such secrets of
effective conversation in various situations.
You may feel confident of talking to your good friend at initiating a conversation. But
you wouldnt know how to start it with a stranger or a high official. This is called breaking
the ice. You are not sure of how to break the ice. You are aware that once the ice is broken,
you could keep the conversation going.
First, lets understand what a conversation is.
It is a talk between two persons. One will ask a question and the other will answer
and reverse the process. It could take place between 3 persons also. But 2 is the normal rule.
So, a conversation will consist of Qs and As. The Qs could be in any of the 5 categories.
The answers are only two types. Your conversation will be usually of ONE question at a
time. We converse, usually converse, in Sentence forms. Most of the time in single
sentences or at the most 3 consecutive sentences, in which case, those sentences will be
really short.
In the rest of this lesson, lets take various situations and see how the participants go
about it, what kind of words and phrases they use etc.
Situation 1 Meeting an old friend after a week or so at a common place.
Paul: Hi, Ahmed, good morning, how are you?
Ahmed: Am fine. How are you, friend?
Paul: Nothing to complain, Ahmed. God has been kind to me. Have no problem
Ahm: How is your preparation going on? Our Public exam is only a fortnight away,
you see?
Paul: I know. Am getting a little nervous as the D day approaches.
Ahm: Whats there to be nervous about, old chap? Be brave. Look at Kesav. That
fellow walks as if all his text books are on his palms. Hah, Hah.
Paul: I say, Kesav is a top guy. Actually, he could teach our teachers a thing or
two.But we are just average fellows.
Ahm : Dont include me in your gang. I am in the top bracket, say, of the first 20.
Paul: Excellent. We are only 25 in the Matriculation class. You are in the 20th position
means, you are just one above me. Arent you?


I know, I know. But I am not nervous like you. Ill certainly get pass marks in
every subject.
Well, well. See you on the exam day.
Shall we analyse their sentences?

1.You always greet a well known person with a hullo or hi followed by the familiar
greeting phrase, good morning or good afternoon etc. And the other must acknowledge it
in a similar fashion. How are you? as a greeting is all right between friends or very
familiar persons.
2. Pal, old chap; guy gang friendare all informal words used between friends.
These words show some affection towards the other.
3.Have you seen that many sentences do not follow the S+A+V+O/C pattern. These are
shortcuts and are permissible in conversations. Take the phrase I know. Here the O/C is
missing or you can say that O/C has been silenced. Be brave is a short form of, You do be
brave. Look at Kesav is a short form of You do look at Kesav. OK is also a short
form of It is all right. See you on the exam day is a short form of I shall see you on the
exam day.
4. Also take note that some of the sentences end with the S+A+V, you know, you see? You
can view them as Complex sentences as well without a conjunction. But, in conversation,
this is a nice method of ending a sentence with a good note. These phrases mean nothing at
all except they sound well. You may also use them in your conversations. The usual phrases
are, you know, you see, see what I mean, OK, Right, I say, well. Sometimes, you may
also start a sentence with any of these phrases, especially with well.
5. Earlier we said that in a conversation we use normally one sentence at a time. Here, you
find Ahmed and Paul have used up to 4 sentences. This is all right but they must be real
short ones. If you use 4 long complex sentences, the other may feel lost and not follow
your thoughts at all. Hence, the advice to use only one sentence at a time.
6. EQs are used not only as questions but also as powerful statements.
7. Here the participants could be two young maidens also.
Situation 2 Tom bumps into a stranger of about the same age in a Public
library area just at the entrance and there is nobody else. So,
Tom finds that he has to say something or feels compelled to

float a conversation.
Tom: Good morning. I am Tom Tom Jones. (Extends his right hand)
Prem: (Shaking hands with Tom) Good morning. I am Prem. Prem Kumar. How do you
Tom: How do you do? I am new to this Library. Have you visited here before?
Prem. Yes. Several times. Where do you live Tom?
Tom: In Anna nagar. Its in the opposite direction, you know?
Prem: Yes, I know. What are your interests Tom? What brings you here?
Tom: Well Prem, I have to write an essay on the Chola period, you see? Have come to
hunt for some material about those kings. And you?
Prem: Well, I come here to read some magazines. This Library keeps a lot of foreign
magazines, you see?
Tom : Good. Which school are you from, Prem?
Prem : I am in St Johns. Joined it for my +1 last month. And how about you?
Tom : I have just entered +2. I am a History student.
Shall we now analyse the conversation and note down the various points?
1. Sometimes we may bump into someone or come across face to face with a stranger
accidentally all at once. Some people would say sorry and go about their job. Why? Why
not start a conversation with the other? That would be a wonderful opportunity too, wouldnt
it? You must learn to meet people and talk with them. You now have the wherewithal to
speak confidently. You never know you may learn something new from them. In fact, one
young man got a job after colliding with a top industrialist, an elderly person, because he had
impressed that gentleman with his high profile English !!
2. When such a chance comes about like in the case of Tom and Prem, greet the other with
a warm Good morning or Good afternoon etc and with a charming smile. Rest assured that
the other will respond with equal warmth. Never ask the other person, Whats your name?
Or Who are you? etc. You give your own name first and it is an invitation for the other to
reveal his name.
3.How do you do? is the correct form of greeting a stranger. And no other. The response
for How do you do is again How do you do?. It may sound funny to you. But thats the
way it is. Similarly, if you are introduced to an unknown person, you also greet him/her with
How do you do?
4. Notice the various shortcuts used by the speakers. Several times is equal to I
have visited this Library several times.

5. After answering Prems question What brings you here?, Tom ends his part with And
you? This is a short form for, What have you come here for? In Anna nagar is the O/C
part and a short form for, I live in Anna nagar. How about you? is short form for
Where do you study?
6.In the two examples above, you would notice that the conversation has picked up speed.
Why? Because, one has thrown a question. If you dont ask a question, the conversation
will come to a dead end especially when you meet a new person. You must ask only
questions of common or mutual interest and never any of personal nature.
Situation 3 - You see the opposite sex somewhere and you know that maiden,
though you havent had a personal encounter with the other
before. How to manage such a situation. Lets see how Joe had
gone about the job.
Joe: I believe we have seen each other quite a lot. In St Peters Matriculation school, I
Joe : I am Joseph, Matriculation Section A. You are in Section C, I am sure.
Joe: Come Sanjana. Dont pretend you dont know me. Good morning.
Sanj: Good morning. Where. you going?
Joe: To Parrys corner, naturally. And your good self?
Sanj: To Central station.
Joe : Going to receive someone?
Sanj : Yes, my Dad.
Joe : Your Dad, you said. Doesnt he live with you here in Chennai?
Sanj : Yes, but, he had to go to New Delhi on duty, you see?
Joe : Oh, is that so? Well, the bus is on its way here. Shall we get in ?
Inside the bus
Joe :
Sanj :
Joe :
Sanj :

How have you done in the exam?

Not bad. Will get through all right.
Dont be so modest, Sanjana. I am sure you will get a State rank.
Really? You will be the first one I shall inform, if it ever turns out to be true.
By the way, how have you done?
Joe : Not bad, you know? I am not a top student like you .. I mean I am just
an average student.

Sanj : Oh, my stop has come. See you sometime. Bye

1. Its not good to look the other way when you sight a familiar face and especially at close
quarters. Here, it is the Male who has to take the initiative. A Female will never be bold
enough to pick up a conversation in India or for that matter in any country. Joe knows
Sanjana by name and face but they have never talked with each other over the years.
2. Initially very shy, Sanjana has picked up speed. Sentences have started flowing out of her
mouth. Why? Joe had been throwing questions at the other and encouraging her to come out
of the shell. Remember that such questions must be of common interest.
3. When you pay compliments of any kind to the opposite sex, be very judicious; dont
overdo or otherwise it might be misunderstood and annoy the other.
4. And your good self is the short form of, Where exactly are you going? Good self is
more honorable than the simple you. Good self seems to be an Indian model and is an
equivalent from an Indian language. Its a good title to adopt by other countries as well.
Similarly, Your good name? instead of Your name?
Situation 4 - How to go about it when you encounter the opposite sex who is a
total stranger? See, how Balan manages it.
The venue is Professor Sudarsans house. Two of his old students have decided to call
on the professor one evening. Balan has entered first and is sitting comfortably on a chair
while the professor is in his study room. And IN walks an young lady about the same age as
Balan : .
Lady : .
Total silence in the Sitting room. After some 3 minutes of status quo Balan decides
to break the ice.
Lady :

Come to meet the professor?

(Very softly) Y - e - s.
Chennai has become very hot, hasnt it? .
Are you Professor Sudarsans student or something?

Lady : Yes. Ex-student.

Balan: Oh, what a coincidence? I am an ex-student of his too.
When were you in Presidency college?
Lady: Years back, you know?
Balan: English literature?
Lady: Of course. How did you guess?
Balan: Well, its your accent. See what I mean?
Lady: Dont tell me my accent is all that great?
Balan: It is indeed. Many Tamilian students just cant get rid of the Tamil slant in their
Lady: I am sure, you are a Tamilian too. Correct or not?
Balan Well, its a secret.
At this stage the Professor enters in.
Prof: (Facing the lady) Hello, Mohana? When did you come?
Moha: Some 5 minutes back, Sir.
Prof: By the way, have you introduced yourself to each other?
Moha: Am afraid, No.
Prof: Well, Mohana, meet Balan, Balan Menon, Asst Manager in Harry & Co.
(Turning to Balan) Balan, she is Mohana Rajan. My ex student. She is
an MA Lit.
Balan: How do you do, Miss. Rajan?.
Moha: How do you do, Mr. Menon. Never guessed that you were a working person.
1.Here is another situation where the Gent has to be the first to speak. Balan just couldnt
ignore the presence of a lady inside someone elses sitting room. So, he throws a very
innocuous question which just cannot be misinterpreted at all. If she was the Professors
daughter, the lady would have just gone in. Whereas, she too took her seat in the room. So,
Balan thinks that she is also a visitor like himself.
2. See the way Balan has phrased his first question. Come to meet the Professor? This is
the short form of Have you come to meet the Professor? Framed in other ways like,
What have you come here for? Whats the purpose of your visit? etc would indeed
sound rude. Nor does he greet her. It would have looked awkward too to say, good
evening after such a gap of time. So, Balan skips it. He could have wished her immediately
on her entry. In which case, the conversation would have taken a different angle altogether.


3.The lady doesnt respond positively at all. Balan doesnt leave the matter there. He is
determined to make her talk. His next question is not only appropriate but also totally
unoffensive. Are you the Professors ex-student or something? Whats this something?
This is another end phrase, thats all. At this juncture, the lady gets interested and replies
him with a positive note. Another trick Balan has followed is, giving a compliment. All of
us like to be complimented over something or the other, such as, your dress, the family
members, the school/college where we studied, our work place etc. Here again, dont overdo
it. Your compliment must be suitable to the occasion and completely acceptable to the other.
4. Have you also noticed that Balan doesnt introduce himself to the lady? He waits for the
Professor to do it. It would have been different had the visitor been a gentleman like
5. When introduced, Balan addresses the other formally by her surname - Miss. Rajan.
Mohana also addressed him as Mr. Menon. Dont ever use the first name on first
introduction; use only the formal names.
6. By the way is another good opening phrase which means, Incidentally. Some people
would say ,By the by. Wrong. This is a wrong phrase.
Situation 5 James comes in contact with an elderly gentleman at the
entrance to a cinema theatre.
James: (The sweep of the pedestal fan in the hall is very strong and suddenly you find
your cinema ticket has flown off and is resting on a gentlemans shoes a couple of meters
away) Excuse me. Excuse me
Elderly Man: (The other person turns around to see who is calling him. He is an elderly
gentleman, well dressed; appears to be over 50 years of age). Yes, may I be of any help,
young man?
James: Yes, Sir. My cinema ticket is stuck on your shoes? May I trouble you a little,
Elderly: Oh I see? (He bends down, picks it up and shows it toward James)
James : (steps forwards and collects the ticket from the elderly man) Thank you, Sir.
Thank you very much.
Elderly: You are welcome, sonny. What you doing?
James : Just finished my Plus 2, Sir.
Elderly: What are your plans ahead? Engineer or Doctor?
James : Oh No, Sir. Neither. Intend going for a degree in Commerce.
Elderly: Good. Any qualification is good enough, you know? Study hard, work hard and
you will flourish in life.

James: Thank you, Sir. The gate has opened. Shall we get in, Sir?
1. Excuse me is one method of attracting the attention of another person if that person
is not looking in your direction. Never hail anyone, Hullo? or Hey? This is not
only rude but completely uncouth as well.
2. The elderly gentleman is one who is tops in good manners. May I be of any
help? is much more honourable than saying, What can I do for you?
3. See, James also doesnt say, Please, pick up that ticket from your shoes? He
says, May I trouble you and leaves the sentence half way without adding the
words ? could you please pick up my ticket?
4. Then someone has done a favour for you, you must thank the other; thank heartily;
always use the phrase Thank you or Thank you, Sir and never Thanks.
5. The correct way of acknowledging a Thank you is, You are welcome and no
other alternative.
6. After acknowledging with You are welcome the elderly gentleman adds the title
sonny. This shows that the elder is very impressed with James s good manners and
addresses him affectionately. James must take this as a compliment and talk to him
7. When you meet an elderly person, address the other as Sir or Madam
8. See how many shortcuts each has made in the conversation: What you doing?
for What are you doing?
9. What are your plans ahead? Engineer or Doctor is for, Are you going for
engineering or medicine?
----Situation 6 - A Telephone call between an youngster and an elderly person
(You are James and you wish to speak with your college friend Monty)
Tring tring


Other: Hello. (The voice is deep and resonant and you know that some elder is on the
line and not Monty. The voice is possibly that of Montys Uncle/father)
You : (After a small gulp). Good morning, Sir. May I May I..
Other: Yes, what is it sonny?
You : Sorry, Sir. May I speak to Monty?
Other: Who are you young man?
You : I am James, Sir, Montys classmate.
Other: Oh. Good morning, James. Wait, I shall call him over.
Other: (After a gap of a minute or so) Here is James for you Monty. (And the elderly
person hands over the handset to Monty)
Monty: Hi. James boy. Howdy?
James: Hey Monty. I got a shock a little earlier, yaar.
Monty: Why?
James : Was it your father or someone else?
Monty: My Uncle, He has come here from London for a few days. Why?
James: Oh nothing. I got a little shaken up when I heard an elderly voice on the receiver.
Thats all.
Monty:You werent rude to him, were you Jamesy boy?
James: Certainly not. I observed all the courtesies we had learnt in our English class.
Did he say anything to you?
Monty: I think he was quite impressed with your telephone manners, because he gave me
a big smile when he handed over the telephone to me.
James: Thank you. Now, about our going to a movie ..
1.When you hear an elderly persons voice on the line, be very cautious. Its always good
to address the elderly person Sir or Madam. They will be impressed and would be most
polite to you. Dont ask him/her, Who are you? What are you doing in my friends house?
Are you Montys father or something? Youngsters should not exceed their limit. Be
courteous as James had done in this example.
2.Howdy is a short form of how do you do? This is a typical language of college
students. Similarly the word yaar. This is an Hindi word, actually. But it has become
common all over India.
3.An elder can use the inquiry, Who are you ? And here the elder also adds young
man. It shows his affection for the caller. You may also say something like, Who are you
young sir? And the little fellow at the end would feel thrilled and perhaps address you

Situation 7 - Conversation between an young man and an young woman over the
(You are Mahesh and you wish to speak with your friend Ramanan on telephone)
Tring tring
Other: Haloo.
(You come to know straightway that the voice is that of a woman. You cant guess
her age also. Possibly a college going maiden.)
Mahesh: Hm. Er hm.. Good morning, I wish to speak with Ramanan. Please.
Other: Oh Ramanan. He is my cousin. Could you please wait till he comes. I think he is
in the toilet. Shall send a word across to him. May I know who is on the line?
Mahesh: Mahesh. Ramanan is my classmate, you see? Will he take long?
Other: Dont know? I believe he spends quite a while when he goes in for a bath.
Mahesh: Does he also sing inside the bathroom?
Other: Yes, he does. Thats what Aunty tells me.
Mahesh:Well, I have known him as a bathroom singer. Hah.. hah.
Other: Ha..ha..
Mahesh:You didnt tell me tell me. your name..
Other: I am Shalini. Ramanans cousin sister.
Mahesh: Are you on a visit to Chennai?
Shalini: Yes, I am. I am actually from Pune.
Mahesh: Oh Pune? Its quite far from Chennai, isnt it?
Shalini:Yes, it is. But its just some 24 hours away.
Mahesh:What you doing,. . Miss Shalini? You wont mind me asking that personal
Shalini: Oh not at all. I am in my final year BA Psychology in Wadia college.
Mahesh:Oh, how nice. Ramanan and I are in second year. I am sure Ramanan would
have told you.
Shalini: No, I am afraid not. I arrived just last evening.
Ah, here is Ramanan. He is still wiping his head with his towel. Talk to him.
Mahesh: Bye. Nice talking with you Miss. Shalini.
Ramanan: Hi, Mahesh. How are you?

1.See how dignified Mahesh is when he is talking with a lady. Some young men treat young
women as dirt. Wrong. Treat everyone with respect. And dont take undue liberty also with
the fair sex. For instance, you cant ask any personal questions about the other like, how old
are you, do you like movies, what is your pastime activity etc. Here, when Mahesh enquires
with a sentence, What you doing Miss Shalini he also gives his apology. True, this is not a
very offensive question. Yet, it amounts to a personal question.
2.Mahesh addresses the lady as Miss. Shalini. This is the correct way. Dont take any
liberty with strangers. Be very formal always in the beginning.
3.Some telephone users have a bad habit of saying, please wait and vanish away. This is
wrong. Any waiting time on a telephone should be just a few seconds. If the caller has to
wait for a longer time, always suggest that the other ring back or you would ask Ramanan to
ring the caller back.
4.See how Mahesh has framed his question - You didnt tell me your name. This is a very
polite sentence, isnt it? To ask, May I know who you are or May I know with whom I
am talking etc at this late stage would have sounded odd. Hence a novel way.
5.Even if the person at the other end is a small girl or boy, you must talk with much courtesy
and politeness. Never be bossy. All your character and school/college learning would
become obvious to the other by the way you conduct yourself on a telephone.
Situation 8 Conversation between two unknown school students of different
This is a scene in a college premises where a number of students have gone in hoping
for a seat in Arts or Science groups. Both sexes are present. James is from a first rate
English medium school where he had finished his +2. He is keen on taking Maths, Physics,
Chemistry and Computer science group. No one seems to know each other since all are
from different High schools. James feels that he needs to meet some students and shouldnt
stand idle ignoring the presence of other students especially the lady students. Lets see how
James manages the situation.
James (addresses a lady student) :Good morning, I am sure, you have come for admission
like me. Right?
Girl: . Y-- e ---- s
James : You must be from a Convent school. Am I right or not?
Girl : Indeed, I am. How did you guess?

James: Well. First, you are very smart; standing upright and looking straight. And of
course you have a charming face.
Girl : What else?
James: While all the other girls are in Salwar Kameez, you are in a saree. A saree suits
you very well.
Girl : OK. I am Sheila. I am from St. Philomenas convent.
James: Isnt it wonderful. I am James, James Vasanthan. I am from St. Pauls
Matriculation and Higher secondary school.
Sheila: Oh, St Pauls from, Madhavaram?
James : Yes.
1.Sheila is initially a very shy and a cold girl as well. Most girls are in India and in most of
the developing countries. A sentence such as You must be from a convent has
energized her. All of us are proud of our work place, school/college, residence etc. And we
love to talk about it. So, Sheila livens up. And to keep the conversation going, James gives
another compliment about her personality. Wont all of us love to hear something good
about our looks, intelligence, dress etc? And here, Sheila wants to hear more accolades and
says what else? See the way James praises her all subdued and nothing loud at all. One
could overstep here. Dont. Too much flattering may back fire. Sheila is naturally impressed
with the young man and she volunteers more information about herself. Imagine a girl
revealing her name to a stranger. At this stage, James has won her over.
2. With the same sex , follow the same method. Praise the other in modest terms and he will
begin to talk. Further, throw a question at him and thats the way to keep a conversation
going. Dont say anything personal. For instance any question such as, How many sister
have you, are they all grown up, married? etc. All questions and compliments must be most
modest and innocuous.
3. So, next time you come across a fair sex, dont run away.
conversation. And you know the trick of how to get it going.

Hang on and start a


Lesson 31
Till now you have learnt the technique of composing a Simple, Complex or Compound
sentence. Next, you have been writing a single sentence at a time. A sentence is the basic
unit of a paragraph and a paragraph may contain usually between 2 and 10 sentences. (It is
not good to write a paragraph of more than 10 sentences). These sentences may be a mix of
Simple, Complex and Compound sentences.
Can we take about 8 excellently well written sentences, package them and call it a
paragraph? No. Eight well written sentences packaged together may turn out to be an awful
paragraph. The paragraph may not read well at all. So, it is not enough to have just well
written individual sentences but each should be connected to the next in such a way that the
reading is smooth, understandable and enjoyable.
To produce such an effect, a writer has to observe what is known as Paragraph writing
rules. As otherwise, your para may sound insipid and boring as well! And, do remember
that a Para is the basic unit of any piece of writing, be it an essay or article or letter or short


story. Accordingly, you must become an expert initially in Para writing before you attempt
any kind of writing.
Once you master the art of writing a single para, it is relatively easy to link one para to
another and next and next and so on. Any writing may contain say, 5 -100 paras.
What is a paragraph?
We may define a para as a group of sentences that talk about one idea or one point of
argument or one situation, unitedly. Shall we call this henceforth, Para theme? All the
sentences in a para must point towards the Para theme. Only then will the para be
readable, understandable and enjoyable.
Para writing rules
While composing a para, do keep in mind the following rules:
(a) Let the first sentence be a catchy one. (More about this later)
(b) Dont start every sentence the same way. For example, if a para contains only
Simple sentences, start the first in the pattern S+A+V+O/C, the next as C+S+
A+V+O, and the next O+S+A+V, Participle +S+A+V+O/C and so on..
(c) It is good to have a combination of all three types of sentences. Something
like, Simple, Simple, Complex, Complex starting with the conjunction, Simple,
Compound and in some such sequence. (It is however, good to write a
Compound sentence only once in 2 or 3 paragraphs.)
(d)Do not repeat the same words, especially verbs or common nouns or adjectives;
use their synonyms. Nor should you repeat the same sentence idea/thought
even if they are in different sentence patterns.
(e) Let one sentence lead to the other smoothly in thought and continuity like
climbing a staircase. For some reason if this is not possible, use a connector
which should act as a bridge between the two sentences.
(f) Restrict the length of your Simple sentences to 12-16 words and Complex /
Compound to a maximum of 20 words. If for some reasons you have to write
a sentence of 24 words or thereabouts, make sure that the reader understands
the contents in one go. Otherwise, go back to the 16/20 words rule.
One could list out more guidelines. But, the above are enough for the present. As you
keep writing more and more paras, you would evolve your own formulae as well. At this
stage, shall we attempt writing a couple of paragraphs keeping in mind the above rules? Here


is a poorly written para of 10 sentences. Read it and write down all the defects noticed by
Everyone developes headache. Headache causes a lot of inconvenience. Some
people may see a doctor with the complaint of headache. Some people may
apply a balm of sorts on the forehead to remove the headache. Some may take
some kind of tablets to eliminate the headache. Some brave people may ignore it
completely. Everyone developes headache some time or the other. We must do
something about it. We may carry a pocket calculator or some gadget like that.
Calculators are easily available everywhere. Calculators dont cost much.
As you could see, all sentences are grammatically correct. Each sentence is good by
itself and conveys a complete meaning. Yet, the para doesnt read well at all. Some readers
may feel that it makes a painful reading. Why? Here is my list of defects. Compare it with
1. All are Simple sentences of the pattern, S+A+V+O/C
2. Many sentences start with Some people.
3. The common noun Headache has been repeated several times.
4. The adjective some appears too many times.
5. Everyone developes .. repeated twice.
6. Para theme rule not adhered to.
While the theme is about headaches, why bring in a new topic calculator. What has
calculator to do with headache? Assuming that this writer insists on starting every sentence
with S, shall we see how the para could be improved upon with the help of connectors to
make it more readable?
Everyone developes headache. Thereupon, it causes much inconvenience to
them. As a result, some people may see a doctor about it. And a few may apply a
balm of sorts on the forehead to remove it. Whereas, tablets may be the
preference of a small number. Yet, somebody could be ignoring it completely as
well. Most of us seem to suffer from this ailment. Accordingly, we need to do
something about it.
You would agree that there is a slight improvement in the readability now. What
ingredients have made the para more acceptable? Use of connectors. (shown underlined)

Next, any repetition of verbs and common nouns has been avoided. The information on
calculators has been deleted since the para theme is on headache.
Connectors provide a smooth bridge of change over from one sentence to another
especially when not connected logically. But for these connectors, the sentences would
sound jumpy.
Let us improve upon the para further by using a mix of Complex/Compound sentences
and starting every sentence in a different way.
Everyone developes headache sometime or the other causing much
inconvenience to them. While some may see a doctor about it, a few may apply
a balm of sorts to remove the pain. Taking medicine may be someones
preference. A brave group may love to ignore it completely. Since most of us
seem to suffer from it often, shouldnt we do something about it?
This version sounds better, doesnt it. Why? Instead of using Simple sentences we have
used Complex sentences to merge 2 or 3 thoughts into one sentence. As a result, the level of
English has shot up. Too many Simple sentences will not only sound childish but annoying
as well.
Use of connectors
Connectors produce two effects - if two sentences start with S, the annoyance part is
removed; if the second sentence is not a logical development of the first or if there is a shift
in thought, it provides a smooth change over (bridge).
Here is another poorly written para, which is in low level English as well. Firstly, point
out the defects and then improve upon it by using connectors:
T.V is one of the most modern inventions. The majority of households have T.V
sets nowadays. Many villagers also own T.V set. Schools use T.V. for teaching
lessons. Several subjects are taught through T.V. We can see film shows also on
it. Some people like to see serials. A number of teachers do not know how to use
T.V. for teaching. They will keep the T.V untouched and use the blackboard.
Children love the T.V cartoons. T.V stations conduct education classes before
the examination season. I like to watch only the sports events like tennis, cricket
on T.V. It saves us the trouble of going to the stadium to witness a match. T.V. is
a desirable gadget in every home.
The para contains 14 sentences which are grammatically correct; each sentence does
convey a clear meaning. However, the para theme is not clear at all.


1. All sentences start the same way.

2. The sentence ideas/thoughts are conflicting. Does the description belong to
T.V as a teaching medium or T.V as an entertainment medium?
3. As a result, the sentence ideas have become jumbled and not logically built up.
4. One good point is that nouns and verbs havent been repeated but pronouns/
synonyms could have been used for the noun T.V
However, notwithstanding the fact that this para is incoherent containing clash of
thoughts, let us improve upon it using suitable connectors to make it sound less offensive!
T.V is one of the most modern inventions. The majority of households have a
T.V set nowadays. Even many villagers own a T.V. In addition, schools also use
them for teaching lessons. Several subjects are taught through it. Further, one
could also see film shows. Some people like serials. As a matter of fact, a
number of teachers do not know how to use the small screen for teaching. They
will keep the T.V. untouched and impart all their instructions through the
blackboard only. Incidentally, children love the T.V cartoons. T.V stations
conduct education classes before the examination season. But, I like to watch
only the sports events like tennis and cricket on the box. Accordingly, it saves us
the trouble of going to the stadium to witness a match. Undoubtedly, T.V is a
desirable gadget in every home.
The para could be made far better if we rearrange the Simple sentences under
entertainment and education separately instead of mixing them.
Do you see that connectors make all the difference between poor English and good
English? They are like magic wands and useful tools at that. Here is a list of connectors that
can be used for different situations. They are to be used in between two sentences:
Connectors of Time and Sequence
Immediately, thereafter, thereupon, next, soon, then, even then, after, later, finally, in the
meantime, meanwhile, afterwards, now, while, a little later, since, at least, of late.
Connectors to link up contrasts
But, however, nevertheless, on the other hand, otherwise, yet, and yet at the same time,
despite it, instead, still, on the contrary, in contrast, even so, for all that, while, nonetheless.
Connectors to show additional information
In addition, also, moreover, further more, likewise, similarly, finally, besides, again and
then, too, equally important, and, further, last, added to all these.
Connectors for results/conclusions


Therefore, hence, thus, consequently, as a result, for, accordingly, thereupon, then, truly,
finally, in conclusion.
Connectors for examples
For instance, as an example of this, for example, take the case of, in other words, that is,
as noted earlier, as noted already, in fact, specifically, in particular, indeed, incidentally.
Connectors for emphasis
Even, actually, as a matter of fact, as a matter of truth, surely, in fact, in actual fact,
certainly, undoubtedly, indeed, true, for sure, come to think of it, that being so.
Connectors indeed liven up a paragraph. Use a suitable connector whenever you find a
gap or a break of thought between any two sentences. You would come across many such
occasions. It is then that you use a connector to bridge the two sentence-ideas. Connectors
should be the starting words of the new sentence.
Connectors alone are not the only aid to convert a bad para into a good one. There is one
more method called, the Curiosity Question (CQ) method.
The CQ method
Rule (e) says that Let one sentence lead to the next smoothly in thought and continuity
like climbing a staircase. How is this to be achieved? It is by forcing the reader to look
forward to something after digesting the first sentence. That looking forward to will come
into play if you frame a sentence to arouse a curiosity question or curiosity questions. In
order to find the answer(s) for those CQs, the reader will feel compelled to read the next
sentence. The possible CQs are, IS IT, HOW, WHAT ARE THEY, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT,
WHAT ELSE etc. But, do make sure you answer the CQ satisfactorily in the subsequent
If a sentence does not arouse a CQ, it will become a dead end sentence and the reader
would not proceed further. It is not difficult to frame and reframe any sentence so as to
produce a CQ of some kind in it. You must be conscious of that, thats all.
Read the following passage written according to this approach. Notice how every
sentence drives you to the next. The kind of CQs a sentence has induced is shown inside
It is comparatively easy to improve the coherence of your writing. (CQ: HOW?) All you
have to do is to observe two simple rules. (CQ: IS IT? WHAT ARE THEY?) The first is, use
suitable connectors. (CQ: OK. WHAT NEXT?) The next is, let every sentence arouse a
curiosity question. (CQ: OK. WHY?) That will compel the reader to read the next sentence
to find the answer. (CQ: ALL RIGHT, THEN?) You continue this process. (OK. THEN?) By


the time the reader comes to the last line, he would have discovered the full theme of your
Have you understood the trick contained in the CQ method? Your aim is to drive the
reader to the last line of the para. You may ask, wouldnt the last sentence look like a dead
end sentence since it would have answered the CQ? It would. This is the place where your
sentence not only should answer the CQ but also generate another CQ. The reader then
would naturally go to the next para.
At times you may find that your sentence has answered the CQ of the previous all right
but does not create another CQ; such a sentence might look like a dead-end sentence too. In
such an event, use a connector.
A sentence in the middle of a para need not fully answer the CQ. It could answer the CQ
partly and yet leave the reader somewhat thirsty and unsatisfied. He would then read the next
sentence which will quench his thirst completely. Even at this place, you may have to go
over to the connector method.
Such writing does not call for any special expertise as such. Once you are fully aware of
this necessity, you would automatically frame your sentences to arouse CQs.
So, you have now two methods to write an effective para - use of connectors and the CQ
method. Use both of them judiciously and your para is guaranteed to be interesting.
Catchy sentence
Rule (a) tells you to make your first sentence catchy. What is catchy? It is the same as
framing the sentence to arouse a CQ(s). But this CQ must be quite loud, thats all. On
reading the first sentence, the reader should jump up or raise his eye brows and yell,
and so on.
Unless your first sentence is catchy, a reader may not read your piece at all. Why should
he/she? The readers are busy people. They have many better things to read and do. So, you
have to literally pull them by the ears and command them to read what you have written.
Thats what your first sentence is supposed to do. If you have designed it in such a way, the
reader will put aside whatever he was doing and apply his attention on your writing. This is
the trick followed in all the articles in the Readers Digest magazine. Read all the first
sentences in any article/story in any issue. Youd feel compelled to read through it right
down to the end.
In this requirement, you need some practice. While it may be easy to compose a
sentence with CQs, to write one which would raise a LOUD CQ would need some skill. You
will have to develop it on your own. Ask your own self initially, show it to your friends,
consult some more, until your method clicks.


Here are some opening lines collected from magazines and newspapers. Dont they raise
your hair or your eye brows?
(a) Is life worth living? That depends on the Liver!
(b) Has a cobra, with a wide open hood, ever greeted you with a good morning
smile on opening your front door?
(c) The best way to get praises about yourself is, to die.
(d) There is no money in poetry, but then there is no poetry in money either.
(e) When the teacher asked Tina, One and one make what? she replied, Love.
(f) That particular night was so still and icy that you could hear the stars twinkle.
If you follow this rule in every para, but not to the same degree as in the opening para,
your writing will earn a lot of fans.
There is one more small tip which you could employ at times. If you open a para with IF
or WHEN, the reader will certainly read the first sentence because the curiosity element
would be inbuilt in the sentence. Even then the sentence must contain some CQ in it and
only then the reader would go to the second sentence.
For each sentence given below, choose the most suitable subsequent sentence out of the
given alternatives:
1. I love reading science fiction stories.
(a) The book S for Science by Dr.Premila is very interesting.
(b)For instance, I found Subash Roys book on Satellites very impressive
(c) So, I read science fictions regularly.
2. Daniel likes to travel a lot.
(a) Daniel likes to travel because his father travels a lot.
(b)As a result, he is always travelling.
(c) He likes it because his father is in the railways.
3. It is quite easy to be the life of a social party. One method is to be up on all
the latest gossips in your area.
(a) It is always handy to keep ready a lot of funny jokes.
(b)Another is, to help keep the conversation lively and of interest to everyone.
(c) In particular, I like any gossip connected with film actresses and young
college maidens.
4. The Plus 2 pass outs are invariably counselled to keep their aim clear before
joining a college.
(a) But, some of them ignore any kind of counselling.
(b)However, some listen and ignore them.
(c) Despite it, some would join any type of college where they get admission.

Without using any connector, improve the dull passages in Q 5 & 6 by remodelling
the same sentences :
5. A professional cricketer becomes the crowds darling during one or two seasons. The
fans may take a fancy over the way he played. The bowlers may get tired of him. Stylish
batting also sometimes endear him to the spectators especially if he reaches a century. If he
could take a few catches, he would become the man of the series.
6. T.V watching is good. Listening to radio could be entertaining. Sometimes video
could be more interesting. Comics are interesting too. They are as educative and enthralling
as T.V.
Sentences in Q 7 and 8 look jumpy and with gaps in thoughts and continuity. Improve
the para by using suitable connectors or introducing additional sentences or by the CQ
method to make the para readable:
7. Our friendly football match was to be on the coming Sunday. That was the only
convenient day for all members in our group. It rained early morning. Monday was out of
question, being a school day. Tuesday was not a holiday. The match was finally fixed for the
following Saturday. We had a good time.
8. A hobby can often pay rich dividends if you devote some of your time in it. For one
thing, it can make boredom a thing of the past. It also would make you feel great. Third, a
hobby can bring one into contact with new and interesting people. Perhaps the greatest
payoff is, that sometimes a hobby can be financially profitable.
Identify the connectors in the following passage:
9. It is difficult to give up smoking. For one thing, a smoker gets used to not only the
nicotine but also to a series of behavioural habits. For instance, the smoker becomes
accustomed to lighting a cigarette when he finds himself under stress. A telephone call or a
letter or a visitor - all these could be the occasion of some kind of stress and hence a
cigarette. In addition, the smoker has possibly got into the habit of associating a cup of tea
or coffee with each cigarette. Or, the other way round. Accordingly, coffee break turns into a
cigarette break. Further, he also concludes each meal with a cigarette. And, if he or she
happens to drink, would reach out for a cigarette to accompany each glass of liquor. Matter
of factly, such habits are hard to break. That being so, these habits cannot be discontinued so
In the following passage, some sentences arouse CQ and some do not. Identify the dead
end sentences and also write the types of CQ(s) some sentences have generated.
10. All animals preserve their health far better than the human beings. They know what
type of food to eat and which would be useful to their body system. They would find a quiet


place and go to sleep almost instantly there. Animals do not push themselves into such a
level of activity that would exhaust them and threaten their health. Instinctively they could
recognise any impending danger and get ready to flee the place as fast as possible. Do they
dream during their sleep like us? Perhaps yes. Their dreams would be either about a new
grazing area or about predators.
11. Having located the deficiencies in Q 10, rewrite it to make it an interesting para.
12. Here is a poorly written para and it is in low level English as well. Improve upon it
following all the guidelines covered in this Chapter. (Use Direct speech, Infinitives,
Participles and Passive sentences where considered necessary)
I went to St pauls school. My son studies there in Std X. Mathematics class was
in progress at that time. I sensed he had sighted me. He waved to me quietly. I
ignored it. Went near the door. Caught the teachers attention. Yes? He looked
up. May I see Devraj for a minute? I am his father. The period will finish after
ten minutes. Then there is a break. You could see him then. I thanked and
waited. Ten minutes looked like ten years. What to do? I moved over to the next
class. It was a girls section. They were giggling and making noise. There was no
teacher there. They saw my face. Everyone rushed to their seat. The talking
stopped. They probably thought I was their new teacher. Luckily the bell rang.
Devraj rushed out to meet me.


We have spent quite some time on writing a Single para. The next problem is, how to
write more than one para? Are there any rules for it? Yes, there are.
One para deals with one idea or one point of argument or one situation. We named
this, theme. Thus, every para must have a theme and every sentence in it must point towards
that theme so that the whole para gives a coherent meaning.
Admittedly, any written piece will have several themes, wont it? Then, each theme
cannot go in any direction, can it? Each theme cannot be an independent unit. All the themes
therefore must point towards the Subject heading. In other words, if any piece of writing
should convey any sense, all the paragraphs in it must be connected logically and point
towards the Subject theme.
The rules for achieving connectedness (or coherence) between paragraphs are similar
to linking/connecting two sentences. The two methods we finalised in this regard are, the CQ
and CONNECTOR approach.


If the last sentence of your first para arouses a curiosity question or questions, the reader
will feel impelled to read the next para, wont he/she? Here, besides answering the CQ, try to
make the first sentences of the second para catchy, possibly not as catchy as the first but all
the same catchy enough to sustain the interest.
If the last sentence happens to be a dead one, and indeed it sometimes could be so, then
use an appropriate connector as the first word(s) of the next para.
Shall we study some examples so that the rule gets home? Are the following two paras
(A) In Indian joint families, quarrels do take place because of communication
failures between the members. One would suspect the others motives for no
rhyme or reason and work out plans of their own to outwit one another. When
they thus drift apart, quarrels would be the result over a period of time.
(B) When members work at cross purposes, no one knows what the others are
thinking. Misunderstanding might arise then. And a little spark from someone
might cause a tremendous explosion one day in the family.
What are the defects in the above paragraphs? It is obvious that they are not connected
and are indeed incoherent. Dont both paras talk about the same situation, same circumstance
albeit in different words!
The last sentence of (A) appears to be a dead-end one because it is a repetition of the
first sentence, in thought. It does not arouse any CQ either.
The first sentence of (B) is a repetition of the sentence, One would suspect one
another of para (A). Nor is it a build-up over the last sentence of (A)
In order to make the two paras coherent, we need to modify the last sentence of (A) in
such a way as to arouse some curiosity questions and lead to the next para. Possibly
something like this,
If only they could talk their mind out openly, a lot of imaginary
misunderstandings would stand removed. (CQ: IS IT? HOW?)
Wont such a sentence lead to a new sentence in para (B) like this?
No longer would they then work at cross purposes. Harmony would prevail
among them. Even a wrong statement on someones part would be taken lightly
or completely overlooked thus avoiding any possibility of a quarrel.
Now, read both the paras together. They do make full sense, dont they? While
completing a para, make sure that the last sentence does throw up some curiosity question.
And also make sure that the first sentence of the next para does answer those CQ(s).
Here is another pair of paras. They are certainly not coherent. How will you improve
upon them?

(C) When Saroja asked me to play a game of chess with her, I couldnt agree
readily. Mother had given me some urgent work to be completed before noon.
Very sorry. Could you wait for some 30 minutes? I had requested. She thought
over it and scratched her head for a few seconds.
(D) You could join me for a second game, Saroja said, bent her head down and
continued her play with Mohini. Mohini, just to spite me, must have come out of
her room to oblige Saroja. You see, Mohini and I had a quarrel the previous evening.
You would notice that there is a big gap between C and D. The last sentence of C does
not initiate any CQ. Nor does it tell why Saroja was scratching her head, what she was
thinking etc.
Para D says that Saroja was playing a game with Mohini. So, there must be a couple of
sentences to clarify how and why Mohini came into the scene. We can connect both the pars
in the following way:
scratched her head for a few seconds. About that time, Mohini peeped
out of her room and asked if she could be of any help. Saroja was only
too happy to play a game with her and invited her into her room.
When Mohini sat in front of the chess board, Saroja transmitted a
message to me that I could join her for a second game. Mohini, just to
spite me had come out of her room to oblige Saroja. You see, Mohini
and I had a quarrel the previous evening.
In certain cases, a connector or a connector phrase could bring about coherence. Take
the next set of paragraphs, for instance:
(E) A computer doesnt have the human brains complex structure. While the
human brain consists of billions upon billions nerve cells, a computer contains
only about ten million electronic components to do the given job. It is obvious
that it cannot do all the jobs a human could, going by the sheer volume of the
operating devices available in each.
(F) A human has the ability to create, to exercise initiative, to deduce and to reach
conclusions logically. His reasoning power is amazing indeed and varies
immensely from ordinary to the genius. No task is beyond his competence.
(G) A computer can only compute, multiply, add, subtract, divide and find out
roots. It cannot provide answers for every problem flashed at it unless it has
been programmed to do so. A computer cannot think for itself, for example.
Para F is not a logical build-up of para E as the sentences go. But, if you put the
connector Furthermore before the first sentence of F, a miracle seems to take place and
para F sounds quite logical. Similarly for para G, add the connector phrase in contrast.


Thus, to achieve coherence between paragraphs, follow the CQ method or Connector

method, whichever appears suitable.
Exercise 31
1. The last sentence of a para is shown. Choose the most coherent sentence for the next
para out of the given alternatives:
(a) Sanjay enjoyed reading the Phantom comic series.
(i) Comics in general always appealed to Sanjay even from his boyhood days.
(ii) For instance, The Cave mans trials was his favourite book.
(b) Tina likes to travel a lot.
(i)Perhaps Tina likes to travel because her father gets many free rail passes.
(ii)Why not, when free rail passes are available through her father
Tina loved travelling even when she was a child.
(c) Solomon forgot to bring sufficient money to buy my ticket.
(i) Consequently, I couldnt accompany the group in the train.
(ii) He said, he remembered it till last evening but forgot when he left the
house this morning.
(d) Breeding prawns near a sea shore is becoming a profitable hobby.
(i) It is liked by all types of people because there is a lot of money in it.
(ii) This is one way of earning a livelihood.
(e) My mother preferred to punish me by making me stand in a corner on one leg.
(i) I was afraid of corners in an empty room from childhood.
(ii) Mother never condoned any offence of her children.
(f) A simple misunderstanding sometimes can become a stumbling block in
communication between husband and wife.
(i) They will avoid each other for a couple of hours and then make up
after saying sorry.
(ii) Misunderstandings could often occur between husband and wife; it is
not unusual.
(g) All materials were ready and I was about to start the assembling work.
(i) There was a last minute hitch; I had left my spectacles at home.
(ii) I started counting the materials along with the blue - print.
2. In the following pairs of paras, write the last sentence of the first para on the dotted
lines so that it leads smoothly to the second para.

(i) The chief asset of an Indian woman is her hair. A long and thick tress
gives her beauty. If you happen to pass by a semi-bald woman, you wouldnt
take second look at her even if she has a shapely body and charming face.


(ii) But then, women dont allow themselves to become bald like men, not
in modern times anyway. A variety of wigs is available in the market
(b) (i) The first question one usually asks on meeting a newly married couple is,
Arranged or Love marriage? This perhaps is an exclusive Indian habit.
But, ..
(ii) In my opinion, both are the same. While Love at first sight is the
triggering point in Love marriages, it is similar in pattern in the Bride
seeing ceremony of arranged marriage as well; the prospective bride
appears before the P.Goom only for a couple of seconds!
(c) (i) The convocation over, we went in different directions doing several
career courses and hunting for a better job after each additional
qualification. It was during this phase of our lives that Rahul seemed to
have completed his M.Phil and had secured a Lecturers post in a city
college. And I had become a bank officer with an MBA diploma.
(ii) The irony was, we were never able to meet face to face after our post
graduation although we kept in touch through our monthly newsletters.

Lesson 32
We learnt the art of writing a Paragraph in Lesson 31. Writing doesnt end there. It is
important to use proper punctuations when you write a paragraph. For instance, when a
sentence had ended, you put a full stop. Full stop is a punctuation which marks the end of
a sentence and allows you to start the subsequent sentence. In addition, there are many other
punctuations which are to be used while writing a paragraph. But for the use of accurate
punctuations, a sentence may not give the right meaning or may even give a wrong meaning.
When we talk, dont we give a short or long pause in between words and sentences?
Such pauses represent different type of breaks and rhythms in the spoken sentences. And

while writing too, we have to follow the same kinds of pauses and rhythms and this is done
through Punctuations.
In this Lesson we shall cover the following punctuations which you must use in your
written English and for that matter, in any language. They are - Full stop (.) Comma (,)
Semicolon (;) Colon (:) Dash (-) Question mark (?) Brackets ( ) Quotation marks ( )
Exclamation (!) and Apostrophe ().
When and where to use punctuations
Full stop (.)
We use this to represent the longest pause,
(a) to mark the end of a complete sentence, be it a Simple or Complex or Compound
James came home by seven thirty last night.
(b) after all abbreviations and initials,
Dr. M.L.A. Co. Mr.T.Anandan Dr. D.G. Sundaram
We can mark the end of a sentence also by a Question mark or Exclamation. In such
cases, we dont use a Full stop in addition.
Comma (,)
A Comma represents a short pause and it is used,
(a) to separate a series of words in a sentence.
(i) England, India, New Zealand, Australia and Sri Lanka took part in the
Cocacola cup cricket match.
(ii) This man lost lands, vehicles, houses and friends.
In such series, we dont use a comma before the conjunction and since this conjunction
marks the last word in the series.
(b) To separate an adjunct. (Adjunct is:extra/additional information or phrases
added to qualify a word in a sentence such as an Adjective clause without the
S+A+V elements in it)
(i) Sir.C.V.Raman, a Nobel prize winner, was a great Indian scientist.
(ii) My brother, the Captain of our District football team, is studying in XII
standard in this school.
(iii) Milton, the great English poet, became a blind man.
(c) to separate any pairs of words connected by and.

High and low, rich and poor, wise and foolish, will be always among us.
(d) before and after Direct speech.
(i) He said, I must leave immediately.
(ii)All my students are good, announced the class teacher.
Semicolon (;)
We use a semicolon,
(a) to show a pause whose duration will fall roughly between a comma and a full stop.
(b) To break up two or more closely allied ideas in the form of Simple sentences.
(i) This crocodile is a friendly type; it will not charge at you ever . (allied idea)
(ii) This boy crossed my path at the beach; we became friends at once. (allied idea)
(iii) Reading makes a full man; speaking a ready man; writing an exact man.
(Here, the semicolon saves A-V. This is the most important use of semicolon.)
Colon (:)
Colon also is used for a pause which will be slightly longer than a semicolon. We use it,
(a) when we give out a list of names or articles one by one.
(i)The big rivers in India are: The Ganges, the Brahmaputra, the Narmada
and the Cauvery.
(ii) Three kinds of fuels are now in use in India: coal, oil and electricity.
(b) for a follow up information.
(i)To summarise: Adjectives are simple words; they must describe a noun;
so, place an adjective to the left of a noun.
(ii) Many students secured first division. They are: Mohan, Sugirtha, Christian,
Sundari ...
(c) though not necessary, we may use it along with a dash.
(i)For example:- steel, coal, electricity etc.
(ii) Examine the following sentences:(1) Didnt you ever touch a cigarette?
(2) Sam shall never commit a mistake like that?
Dash ( - )
A dash also represents a pause but in a different way. We use it to,


(a) indicate a sudden stop or a change of thought but somewhat allied with a
foregoing sentence.
(i) If my father were alive - but, why go into the past? - he would have
attended this function today.
(ii) Some of my relatives and friends - they no longer live here - never
identified themselves with me.
(iii) When the Chairman began his speech - the hum and chatters had died
down by then - the microphone went dead!
Question mark (?)
We use this symbol at the end of a question.
(i) Where are you going?
(ii) You went to market on your own, didnt you?
(iii) Isnt Chennai the capital of Tamil Nadu?
When you use a Question mark at the end of a sentence, dont use a Full stop to mark
the end of that sentence.
Brackets (

We use the brackets,

(a) to mark of the words used in any explanation.
(i)My son will return from England (He is abroad for higher studies) by the
end of this year.
(ii) We depart on 26th January (Our Republic day) at 6 a.m.
(b) to separate from the main part of a sentence a phrase or a clause.
(i)Saravanan gained from his investment (Which was out of his savings)
made with a known Finance company.
(ii) No trespassers (Men or women or children) will be spared from prosecution.
Quotation marks ( .)
We use these marks,
(a) to reproduce the exact words used by a person.
(i ) The Minister said, I shall get a legislation passed about this.
(ii) I would rather die, the accused conveyed, than give false evidence.
(b) to mark off a familiar quotation.
(i) Didnt your mother ever remind you, Waste not, want not?


(c) if a quotation occurs within a quotation, it is to be marked by single inverted

(i) If you say, I get what I like, I would say, I like what I get.
(d) in Direct speech.
(i) My mother said, Your father will take you to school today.
Note the following points while writing a Direct speech:
(i) Use a comma before writing the Direct speech.
(ii) Put the Direct speech sentence(s) inside inverted commas.
(iii) The first word inside the inverted commas must be in capital letter.
(iv) Before the closing inverted commas, use a full stop/question mark to show the
end of the sentence or a comma if the Direct speech projects into Indirect
speech as shown below:
Dont compel me to guide you every time, warned our brother.
Exclamation (!)
This is a part of speech as well. Read Lesson 1. We use this symbol (!) to show a
sudden joy or surprise or shock through a particular word or a whole sentence in the written
form. (In the spoken form, we will be using the body language or audible sounds of some
kind to show joy, surprise, shock etc)
(i) Alas!
(ii) The patient is dead!
(iii) Oh my God!
(iv) Ah! How terrible?
When we use the exclamation mark at the end of a sentence (like in (ii) and (iii)), there
would be no need for a full stop.
Apostrophe ( )
We use this sign,
(a) to show possessive nouns.
(i) This is Mohanas note book. (This is her note book)
(ii) The childrens bed room is over there.
(iii) The boys homework books are here.
(iv) The Inspectors jeep met with an accident.
(v) The VIPs escort is way ahead in the convoy.
(b) to show an abbreviated word.

(i) Dont (do not)

(ii) Ive (I have)
(iii) Wont (will not)
Here, if we remove the apostrophe sign, the word (wont) will have a different meaning
altogether - what someone is fond of doing usually.
(iv)Isnt (is not)
(v)Shant (shall not)
(vi)Were (We are or we were); theyre (they are or they were)
(vii)Hes, Shes, Its ( He is/has, She is/has, It is/has)
(viii)Wouldnt, couldnt, shouldnt (Would not, could not, should not)
(ix) Musnt (Must not)
(c) to show the plural of Figures and Letters.
(i) Add two 5s with two 7s.
(ii) Dont put too many es or ts in your spelling.
(d) to show the plural of some nouns and proper nouns especially those ending with
an s sound or in such cases where the apostrophe will not be mistaken for
possessive cases or where addition of the letter s is likely to cause confusion.
(i) Thermoss (Thermos flasks - plural)
(ii) The Thomass (Mr. and Mrs. Thomas)
(iii) Ups and Downs
(iv) Ins and Outs
Use of Capitals in sentences
Use the Capital letter,
(a) for the first letter in the first word while starting a new sentence after a full stop.
(i) The boy was bad. He had joined a new school.
(b) for all proper nouns even if they are in the middle of a sentence.
(i) When we reached New Delhi, it was raining. Madhavan and Raghuvaran
were at the station to receive us.
(c) for all adjectives derived from a proper noun.
(i)Several Indian scholars and British poets were present at the meeting.
(ii) We dont sell Kashmiri dresses in our shop.
(d) for all nouns and pronouns referring to God wherever they may appear in a sentence.
(i) God is our creator. In His name we always pray.
(ii) It is always He (God) who meets all our needs. We must thank Him always.
(iii) When you pray, say, Lord our Father
(e) for all titles of honour, office, salutations in official letters and all initials
wherever they may appear in a sentence.




(i) My dear Sir. Dear Madam. My dear Professor.

(ii) Mr.Vishwanathan, Padma Sri.
(iii) Dr. S.Ratnasamy, M.B.B.S.
(iv) Miss. Leela John, M.Tech.
for all months, days of week, seasons and festivals wherever they may appear
in a sentence.
(i) It rains in October in Chennai.
(ii) See me next Tuesday.
(iii) Deepavali and Dussera fall in October this year.
(iv) 25th December is the Christmas day all over the world.
for the first person singular pronoun and interjections wherever they may occur
in a sentence.
(i) I didnt take your cycle nor did I see it near my house.
(ii) Sue and I are good friends.
(iii) Oh! he is out.
(iv) Oh dear! Oh dear!.
for the first word in a sentence inside the inverted commas. (Quotation marks)
(i)Rajinder shouted, Catch that thief.
(ii) We all agreed, Wednesdays would be observed as half working days.
for all abbreviated titles, captions and words.
(ii) OK
Exercise 32

Use commas in the following sentences so as to change the meaning :

1. (a) They are good friends.
(b) They are good friends.
(c) There you are come over. (d) There you come over.
Punctuate the following sentences:
2. come along young chap said the drill master loudly you are malingering arent
you next you are habitually lazy I notice
3. i am sorry i interrupted you you said stop me if you dont understand
4. people say subash chandra bose is dead or he would have come to india which
is waiting for years to give him a grand reception.
5. after lunch we resumed our trek and reached a village named hastinapurandar
what a tongue twister I couldnt help saying. Oh we call it hasti usually said
the village headman.
6. who is the girl sitting cross-legged on the bench i asked i am tired sir she
answered with impunity.
7. give me the instruments box father he said i will set it right

8. that was how matters stood when on that monday morning of august 8 a little
boy called abraham was brought to me he was our ayahs youngest son only 9
years old 3 days earlier he had been bitten by a snake small and not poisonous
Punctuate the following dialogue between two friends:
9. are you coming no why should i it is because the dr ordered you to come
matter i mustnt disturb him at this hour you go dont forget today is
sunday ah yes i forgot yaar shall we then go after eleven ok i think hes a kind
fellow you know
10. when krishnan called me i wasnt ready at all hey krish wait 5 minutes all right
make it snappy will you he shouted back cant wait beyond 5 minutes ok dont be
all that fussy my dear fellow he added all right i shall give you 2 more minutes
11. one day walking together along the beach i said to yashwant do you not wish
yourself in your own village again now that you have finished your studies in
the city yes he replied what would you do there said i would you turn back to
farming and eat your own vegetables he looked amazed and shaking head
said no I will put my knowledge to good use in my own village you should not
look down upon farming he told me sternly.
Insert comma, where necessary in the following sentences:
12. History it has been said is the essence of any human record.
13. Nothing probably has contributed more to perpetuate poverty and backwardness
in India than the want of selfless leadership.
14. Most of us or nearly all of us fail to live upto our full length of time owing to
accidents and heart burns and avoidable illnesses.
15. At midnight however the senior politician was awakened by the sound of heavy
boots of some dozen men in uniform.


Lesson 33
Uptil now, we concentrated on how to write grammatically correct straightforward
English sentences in various ways. In a straightforward sentence, we say or write what
exactly we mean. And there is no question of a listener/reader misunderstanding our
sentences; it will be bad writing if they do!
But, what if we dont mean what we say or write? Or, the same as We say/write one
thing and mean something else? Could we call it straightforward English? Certainly not.
Yet, that is exactly what we do often in our English sentences. We dont use
straightforward English sentences all the time. Sometime we drift into devious English; we
use words with indirect meanings. Such use is accepted too. Whats more, such use adds
colour to the language. But if you dont recognise such words and their indirect meaning (or,
hidden meaning) you are likely to misunderstand the sentence(s). Words with a hidden
meaning are called IDIOMS. In them, the intended meaning is different from the dictionary


meaning. How do we get a different meaning? This happens when we add selected
prepositions to some special verbs.
Example of an idiom
Let us consider the verb, BREAK. Its dictionary meaning is, a thing going into pieces
or parts as a result of some force brought on it.
Now, if we add the preposition down to it, it becomes a compound verb, BREAK
DOWN with a new meaning, collapse.
If we add the preposition off, the new compound word, BREAK OFF gets a new
meaning, suddenly withdraw.
With the preposition into, the new compound word BREAK INTO derives the
meaning, forcing ones way.
Here are sentences that use this idiom:
(a) She breaks down every time she remembers her husbands death.
(b) Dont break off your connection with this college.
(c) Thieves will break into your house if you leave it unlocked.
We formed an idiom out of a verb and the new compound word thus will continue to be
a verb. As a verb, it has three forms. They are,
Break down
Break off
Break into

Broke down
Broke off
Broke into

Broken down
Broken off
Broken into

Can we convert an adjective, adverb, a conjunction or a noun in this manner into an

idiom? No. Can we add any word other than a preposition to derive an idiom? No, again.
We derive such idioms, not out of every verb, but only out of some selected present form
verbs. Once formed, you must know the hidden meaning of that idiom. This meaning will be
quite different from the dictionary meaning of the mother word. If the new meaning is the
same as the original meaning, then it would not be an idiom. There is no shortcut to knowing
the hidden meaning of an idiom. You have to learn and remember it. There are only a few of
them. Here is a list of the commonly used idioms in our day to day sentences along with
their true/hidden meaning. See how stylish a sentence sounds when an idiom is used. Idioms
belong to high level English.
1. David, my classmate in BA I year, acted upon (followed) my suggestion.
2. Doesnt some lawyer act for (represent) your father in the court case?

1. The officer barked out (said in an angry tone) at his soldiers over their bad
2. I would have barked out at my team if they had lost the match.
1. P.T.Usha bore away (collected) several prizes in sports events.
2. Aurangzeb bore down (crushed) all oppositions when he came to power.
3. Bear yourselves well (behave well) during the school function.
1. The young woman broke down (collapsed) on hearing the bad news.
2. You shouldnt have broken off (cut off/withdrawn) your talks in the middle
of the negotiation.
3. Some students broke into (forced their way) the crowd to see what was
4. After a kilometer or so we broke into (changed into) a sprint to reach the
finish line.
1. His reckless spending brought about (caused) his downfall.
2. You should bring in (earn) some extra money to augment our family income.
3. That old lady brought me up (reared) to this status because I was an orphan.

We called off (cancelled) the match immediately after half time.

Shall I call you up (telephone you) this evening?
We should not have called off (cancelled) the meeting without notice.
We ought to call on (visit his house officially) our new HOD as soon as possible.

1. The sailors were cast away (marooned as a result of a shipwreck) on the
Eastern coast.
2. We were cast down (shocked/disheartened) by our heavy loss in the business.

The patient came round (regained consciousness) in the late afternoon.

How did such a situation come about/off? (take place)
Our next door neighbours daughter has come of age (has become a major).
I think our Raju Pillai will come round (agree) to our point of view soon.
Dont you worry; he will come off (fare brilliantly) the crisis hundred percent free.


1. Many people cry down (depreciate/belittle) religion and God these days.
2. Several male MPs cried out (protested) against the Womens reservation bill.
3. My uncle did promise to help you but had to cry off (withdraw/back out) for
some personal reasons.
1. Our class mate, Sowmya, had been cut down (humbled) to size.
(brought down to her natural self)
2. Our car engine had suddenly cut off (suddenly stopped) while climbing a slope.
3. Dont cut into (interrupt) our conversation, please?
4. We were cut up (dejected) when the teacher cancelled the rehearsal.
1. The excitement of the hostages release died down (stopped) gradually after 3 days.
2. The visitors waited till the noise of the airliner died away. (faded away from
1. We dropped out (withdrew) of the contest due to ill health of some members.
2. Sudarsan dropped in (paid an unannounced visit) at our house last evening.
1. We are done for. (ruined)
2. Having wandered round the whole day, Abby was done up. (exhausted)

When the riot police arrived, the crowd fell back. (retreated)
Immediately we fell in (attracted to) love with the white kitten.
Your proposal seems to have fallen through (failed/rejected) in the Staff meeting.
Many of our friends have fallen out (disagreed /quarrelled) on us.
The telephone maintenance efficiency has lately fallen off. (deteriorated)


This student expected to get off (escape) with a warning but didnt.
How will you get on (live on/manage) with a deskmate like this young man?
The fish got away (escaped) all right.
How can I get off (get relieved) this tussle?
Though weak in Maths, our daughter managed to get through (pass) the final
6. You will soon get over (clear away) the agony of this tragedy in your home.
7. We are getting down (alighting) at the next bus stop.



The thief gave himself up (surrendered) when he was cornered by the police.
Our cricket team gave up (stopped) their fight when the opposite score was too high.
Mother told the father, If you persist, your son will give in. (submit himself).
The father gave away (transferred) his daughter in marriage to the groom.
The chief guest gave away (distributed) the prizes at the end of the function.
The temporary bridge gave away (collapsed) when a heavy lorry passed over it.
I wish I could give up (stop/leave) the habit of eating chocolates.

1. The drama did not go off (wasnt a success) well at all.
2. The lady has gone through hell (suffered tremendous difficulties) after her
husbands death.
3. Are there any rules to go by (to be guided by)?
4. Ramanathans name will go down (will be remembered) in the history of our
school as a genius.
1. A small boy hung about/hung around (loitered/waited) the gate to make an
entry into the theatre.
2. You hang on (continue/hold on) here until your brother arrives.
1. A platoon of troops on a Kargil height held out (resisted) for over two weeks
without giving in.
2. I hold out (give) no promise to include you in our trek party.

My friend tried to keep up (maintain) with the others on a long distance run.
The guest speaker kept on (continued) talking for several minutes.
We had kept up (maintained) our pressure on our class teacher.
Shall I keep back (hide/conceal) this information from the girls in our class?
I was kept in (confined to the house) by high temperature yesterday.

1. Dont knock down (destroy) every tree in that compound.
1. The Pakistan troops had to lay down (stop fighting) their arms on instructions
from their Government at the instance of USA.
2. He had laid out (invested) a lot of money in comics and toys.

1. My elder sister wouldnt let me into (reveal) her secrets.
2. The Demonstrators were let off (set free) lightly with a few sit-ups.
3. Havent you let me down (disappointed me) by not giving my friend some help?

Who is looking after (caring for you) you in Chennai nowadays?

You should not look down upon (treat lightly) anyone around you.
We always looked up (waited upon) to you for guidance in our student life.
Will you please look into (examine) our cases before next January?
The prices of agriculture products are looking up (rising) lately.

1. I cannot really make out (understand/comprehend) head or tail of what he
is saying.
2. They were at loggerheads till yesterday, but now they have made up. (settled
the quarrel)
3. That rich man made over (donated away) one of his houses to a poor widow.
1. We shall pay him back (retaliate) for the trouble he caused to our gang.
1. He lost his health after his last illness but he is picking it up (recovering from)
in recent days.
2. Lakshmans new car picked up (gained speed) a speed of 80 kmph in 35 seconds.
3. Of all students, why did you pick me on (single out or select me) for this
difficult job?
1. The doctor confirmed that our mother will pull through (recover from an
illness) within a couple of days.
2. Isnt it easy to pull down (destroy) someones chances of winning a prize?
1. The Senior Lecturer said, I cannot put up (tolerate) with your casualness any
2. When my younger brother said No, I felt completely put off. (dejected
3. He tried to put me off (discourage) by citing all the negative points.
4. As per the hostel rules the lights must be put out (extinguished) by 10 p.m.
5. Should we put through (float/pass) these measures in our college as well?

6. Joseph put on (displayed) an air of superiority in front of the lady students.

1. Purushottam has the habit of running down (condemning) whom he dislikes.
2. When we reached Tambaram, we ran out of petrol (no petrol left in the tank)
in our motorbike.
3. If you run through your money (spend away all), ask my friend for help.
4. Our ration bill ran up (became high) to a large amount when we had too many
guests in our house last month.
5. The water tank on the terrace is running over (overflowing).
6. My bicycle skidded and ran into (dashed/collided) the compound wall.
1. We went to the station to see off (bid goodbye) our friends.
2. Havent you seen through (detected something bad) his plans?

The Northeast monsoon set in (started) in Chennai on 2 November this year.

We set out/set off (started on) on a long journey on 21 December.
The High court set aside (annulled) the lower courts verdict.
Hasnt your ex-college friend set up (started) a shop in your area?
I was compelled to set this student down. (snub him)
In his valedictory speech, the Principal set forth (explained/made known) a
number of new ideas about the pass-outs future.

1. All of you must stand up (claim/fight) for your rights.
2. This leader always stands up (supports the cause) for his juniors.
3. We shall feel strong only if we stand up (give support) for one another.
1. My sister is struck down (attacked by) with jaundice.
2. The college has struck off (removed) your name from the college register.

This little boy takes after (resembles) his elder brother.

Recently he has taken to (got used to) tennis.
My father took me to task (scolded/rebuked) when I had failed in 2 subjects.
Dont be taken in (get attracted) by his clever arguments.

1. The heavy assignments are telling upon (affecting) our health.

1. My uncle promised to visit us last evening but he didnt turn up (appear/
come) till 8 p.m.
1. The other school tried to water down (reduce) our importance.
1. When someone comes to you for help, dont wash off (close your eyes/refuse
to involve yourself) your hands.
1. We couldnt read the inscription on the stone tablet since the writings have
worn away. (faded/disappeared away)
2. Your fear about the new teacher will wear off. (gradually disappear within a
few days)
1. Your suggestion will not work out (succeed) this time.
2. This employee worked his way up (progressed in life) within 10 years.
3. Politicians usually work upon (influence) the dreams of the voters.
1. You should not write off (declare as useless) this boy ever.
A caution
It is quite possible to mistake a phrasal verb for an idiom; both will have a preposition to
it. The meaning of a phrasal verb will be the same as the mother verb, i.e dictionary
meaning. But the meaning of an idiom will be quite different from the dictionary meaning of
the mother word.
Take the idiom run over. This is also a phrasal verb and we use it this way:
This child was run over (killed) by a lorry.
But when used as an idiom, its hidden meaning is quite different. (See the examples on
Similarly, cut up. As a phrasal verb, it has the meaning, cut into pieces/parts. We
felled the rotten tree and cut it up for firewood.
Wash off is also a phrasal verb with the meaning, uprooted/ thrown out. During the
heavy floods many trees were washed off/away.


Therefore, study the meaning of a compound word with reference to the context. If the
meaning is literal, then it will be a phrasal verb and if it has a hidden meaning it will be an
Phrasal verbs
Here is a list of some phrasal verbs with their dictionary meaning; do not mistake them
for idioms when you use them in sentences. At the same time, find out their meaning before
you arrive at the conclusion that they are phrasal verbs:
Back out
Break down
Break up
Break out
Clear up
Get on
Get up
Give up
Go off
Go on
Hold on
Hold out
Look ou
Make off
Pull up
Set in
Set off
Set out
Stand out
Take off

withdraw from a promise or some undertaking

fail to work
start suddenly
free from cloud, mist etc.
make progress/advance
rise from bed
abandon an attempt
continue with what you are saying
endure hardship or danger
be watchful/be careful
ruin away
come to a stop
start on a trip/journey
begin a journey
easily identified over the others
leave the ground. (The Delhi flight took off a little while

A miracle
A miracle seems to take place when we add a preposition to an intransitive verb. It then
turns into a transitive verb.
You know that the verbs COME and GO (and their synonyms) are basically intransitive,
in that, they will always lead to a complement and never an object. But when we use these


verbs as phrasal verbs (along with a preposition), they will take on an object and stand the
object test as well. Study the following examples:
(a) My brother comes home at 3.30 p.m. (intransitive verb; home is complement.)
(aa)My brother came to his senses after his failure. (came to has turned transitive;
his senses is an object.)
(b)We wont come across any streams on this highway.
(c) They arrived at the correct conclusion.
(d) We went through hell on our journey.
(e) Dont you come to me hereafter!
When we add a suitable preposition to an intransitive verb, it turns into a transitive verb.
We may treat this compound word as a phrasal verb.
Can we treat such verbs as idioms? No, because there is no hidden meaning when a
preposition is added to an intransitive verb.

Exercise 33
1. In the passage given below, idioms could be used against the words underlined. In
tune with the context, use the most appropriate idioms in those places:
During our trek to Vandaloor, four of us were always lagging behind the first group.
Once or twice we tried to be with them but had to retreat by about 200 meters. After an hour
or so, Muniam collapsed due to exhaustion. It was a very hot day as well. Muniam lay down
for a while with his eyes closed. He regained consciousness only after we splashed some
water on his face.
The leading group of 7 men students terminated their leading spree and came down to
see what had happened. Turning emotional, Virendran gave Muniam a glass of cocacola to
strengthen his spirit.
Following my advice, the group of 10 men students and one lady student decided to stick
together and not split into two batches. When all our anxiety about Muniam came to an end,
we resumed our trek.


When we were about 5 KM from our destination, Saraswati, the lone brave woman of
the party, suddenly retreated stating that her shoes were pinching her at the toes. Some men
were angry that a female was decelerating their speed. Dont surrender like this, I
advised Saraswati and simultaneously chided the males for taking a negative attitude
towards a classmate. How could we tolerate a slow coach? complained Suresh. All
right, all right, Saraswati will overcome this crisis in no time and keep up with us, I said.
And indeed, Saraswati was on her feet and started off with us.
We reached Vandaloor around 12.15 p.m. The distance of 25 KM began to affect our
physical strength. So, we stretched ourselves and rested for half an hour under a tree.
2. Identify the idioms in the following passage and state the hidden meaning attached to
Our college bus stopped seeing a large crowd on our way. Someone said that a lorry
had run over a school boy. While the victim was being taken to a nearby hospital, the crowd
had surrounded the lorry and barked out at the driver and cried out against his callousness.
Though sad, we had to proceed on our way to our individual destinations. One of the
lady students said that lorry drivers were very careless in the city and they must be cut down
to size. What can we do as students? she posed a question at the other travellers. All of us
felt tongue-tied for a while. Then Ravindran said, Why cant we drop in at the Chief
Ministers office one day and submit a memorandum? What is a MEMORANDUM?
asked George, a First year student. I cant make out what it is? Nobody answered him.
Cut up, George murmured some unkind remarks about the seniors.
I have a better idea, said Mohan, a final year student. What? What? everyone
demanded in one voice. The guideline to go by is, Mohan continued, No lorry should be
allowed to ply beyond 30 KMPH speed. The manufacturers should put a speed governor
inside the engine.
Governors live in Raj Bhavan barked out a First year student who was from a village
Not that Governor, stupid, Mohan retorted.
In the meantime our own bus was picking up speed. And then .. then the bus suddenly
ground to a halt. Oh, oh, the driver whined. I think I have run out of diesel, he lamented.
Figure of speech is a method of describing persons and their qualities in a picturesque
way. In such descriptions, we compare the person or his/her quality with something or
someone famous for it. Use of figures of speech will enrich and liven up your language.


There are quite a few types of figures of speech, but we shall restrict our learning to only
two. They are - SIMILS and METAPHORS. We use these two more often than others.
In a simil, we make a comparison between two persons/things of different kinds but
with at least one common point between them. A simil is introduced by the adverbs, LIKE,
AS, SO or AS. AS.
How to make use of a simil in a sentence? Let us consider a hand to hand fight between
two boys named Srinivasan and Norton. Srinivasan fought very bravely. So, we may say,
Srinivasan fought ferociously. We know that an animal such as a tiger or lion also fights
ferociously. Here are two different kinds - a boy and a lion. The common point between
them is, fighting ferociously. We can thus compare the fighting quality of Srinivasam with
that of a lion and say, Srinivasan fought like a lion.
Here are more examples:
(a) The enemy tanks came like a herd of wild elephants.
(b) The person in a saffron cloth often talks like a saint.
(c) God-fearing people shall prosper as palm trees.
(d) As you sow, so you reap.
(e) The lake water was as clear as a blue sky.
(f) Your compliments were as precious as gold.

an adverb out of, LIKE, AS, SO, AS AS. Otherwise, your sentences will be

Many Simils have become Clichs due to over-use. So, design your own instead of
using the old ones. There should be no difficulty in this regard at all. Here are some possible
(a) Sachin Tendulkar often bats like Don Bradman.
(b) This young boy of 14, ran like a cheetah in the track events today.
(c) She glides on the dance floor as gracefully as a swan.
A metaphor is an indirect simil. This is another form of comparison wherein we
proceed as if the two persons/things are one and the same.
Take the first example under simil - Srinivsan fought like a lion. Instead of making a
comparison with a lion, why cant we say that Srinivasan and a lion were exactly alike or
one and the same? i.e. Srinivasan was a lion in the fight with Norton.
Thus we can write all the simil type sentences into metaphor types like this,
(a) The enemy tanks were a herd of elephants.
(b) The person in a saffron robe was a saint during his talk.


The God-fearing people are palm trees.

The lake water was a blue sky.
Your compliments were gold.
She was a swan on the dance floor.

The New Testament of the Holy Bible is full of metaphors as shown below:

I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.

I am the Bread of life.
I am the Door.
You are the Salt of the earth.
Out of his heart will flow Rivers of living water.
I am the True Shepherd.

Once again, work out your own metaphors and desist from using the worn out ones.
Other varieties
The other types are, Personification, Apostrophe, Hyperbole, Euphemism, Antithesis,
Oxymoron, Epigram, Irony, Pun. These are of academic values only and you are likely to get
confused by learning them. So long as you understand the mechanism behind Simils and
Metaphors and are able to frame your own specials, your language will fly high!
We noted in Lesson 32 that idioms are of two words; are formed out of some selected
present form verbs by adding suitable prepositions to them. These idioms are to be used as
verbs only and in their hidden meaning.
Can idioms have more than 2 words? Yes, it can, in which case it is known as idiomatic
phrase. All idiomatic phrases will have 3 or more words. They too will have a hidden
meaning. We always use an idiomatic phrase in its hidden meaning and never in the literal
meaning. They may appear in the forms of Verbs, Adjectives, Adverbs or Nouns. As verbs,
they will have 3 forms. Using the phrases in your sentences should pose no problem so long
as you spot out the part of speech of a phrase.
Shall we study some examples?
To turn a deaf ear (verb = doesnt listen to a good advice, to disregard an advice)
The literal meaning of this phrase is, to rotate your ears. The hidden meaning is given in
brackets and it is a verb in the infinitive form. These are the ways how we could use this
idiomatic phrase:
(i) My classmate turned a deaf ear to all my suggestions. (Past form verb)
(ii) Will you too turn a deaf ear to me like the other boy? (Present form verb)
Black sheep (Noun = a bad person, an undesirable company)


(i) Please dont trust Shekar because he is a black sheep in our class.
(ii) Any black sheep in our group is not to be tolerated. (subject)
Fit as a fiddle (Adverb = in perfect healthy condition)
(i) My grandfather, though nearly 80, is fit as a fiddle. (complement).
Hard core (Adjective = uncompromising/determined)
(i) Isnt this person a hard core tale bearer?
List of idiom phrases
A list of some idiomatic phrases in use as of now, is given at the end in alphabetical
order. Learn as many as possible by heart. You could use these phrases in your written
English and spoken English.
Quite a number of the existing phrases have become clichs. It is difficult to apprise you
about which ones have become clichs (due to over-use) and which ones are not. What is a
clich in the English speaking western nations may not be so in India. However, to be on the
safe side, do try to introduce some modification in a phrase, yet without changing the hidden
meaning, so as to make it sound less offensive.
For example, a sentence such as, This man took the cake (won the honour by eloquent
presentation) when he said he was an ace athlete can be modified to read as, This man
took the jilebi when he said he was an ace athlete. Similarly, Martha set the Cauvery on
fire (caught everyones attention/eye) for, Martha set the Thames on fire. (Incidentally,
an English man will tear off his hair if he hears a sentence like, A Blonde set the Thames on
fire by her mini dress because he has heard the expression thousands of times!)
The best method will be to coin your own phrases. Design them in such a way that the
reader understands the hidden meaning without scratching his head.
- A1. Acid test (Noun = a severe and conclusive test)
The new job was an acid test for my elder brother.
2. An axe to grind (Noun = a personal interest in the matter)
Our political leader has no axe to grind in standing for election in this area.
3. At the heels of (Complement = at a close distance)
The police were at the heels of the fleeing robber.
4. All out (Complement = at full speed/effort)
We went all out to catch the offender.
5. Apple of ones eyes (Noun = a great pet/a real loved one)
Baby Pinky is the apple of her fathers eyes.

6. Above board (Complement = without any blemish or suspicion or concealment)

Our teaching staffs conduct has been always above board.



-BTo burn one fingers (Verb = to get oneself into trouble)

My father burnt his fingers by interfering in his neighbours affairs.
To burn the candle at both ends (Verb = to overwork oneself /spending all
ones energies on his work)
Isnt our Prime Minister burning the candle at both ends?
To bury the hatchet (Verb = to stop the quarrels and forget the past)
Why dont you bury the hatchet and work for your mutual friendship?
To blow ones own trumpet (Verb = praising oneself)
After passing in the entrance test, this student is blowing his own trumpet.
Bag and baggage (Complement = with all ones belongings)
After withdrawal from this boarding, this student had to go home bag and baggage.
Broken-hearted (Adverb =greatly oppressed)
He was sad and totally broken-hearted when the bad news came.
To burn ones boats (Verb =to run into difficulties)
We burnt our boats in a foolish adventure and lost all our money in the bargain.
A blessing in disguise (Noun = an apparent misfortune but ending in an
unexpected good luck) The cancellation of our trip to Tripathi turned out to
be a blessing in disguise because the van in which we were to travel, met
with an accident en route.
A bosom friend (Noun = a very intimate friend)
Nagarajan and Sudhir are bosom friends.
To break the ice (Verb = to break the silence in a group)
Young Shalini broke the ice by commenting on the weather prevailing that day.
To beat about the bush (Verb = to approach the subject slowly / talking
uselessly without coming to the point). The teacher beat about the bush and
the students got bored.
Between the devil and the deep sea (Complement = to be in a totally
helpless condition.) I found myself between the devil and the deep sea when I
had to make a definite decision about going for higher studies.
Birds of the same feather (Noun = people with similar character)
When this group met, the members found themselves to be birds of the same feather.
By hook or crook (Complement = by fair or foul mean; mostly by foul means)
A few substandard students get their degree by hook or crook.
In bad books (Complement = out of favour with a superior)
I feel I am in my bosss bad books.

16. Once bitten twice shy (Complement = one becoming cautious after an unhappy
experience) Once bitten twice shy; that is the reason for his hesitation to accept
additional responsibility.
17. To the bitter end (Complement = right to the end despite difficulties)
The troops in Kargil fought to the bitter end.
18. A black spot (Noun = a poor point)
Failing in one subject in the finals is a black spot in my students career.
19. A bird in hand (Noun = what you already have/possess)
A bird in hand is worth two in the bush. (= What you possess with yourself is
far more valuable and assured than what is visible at a distance)
20. A bolt from the blue (Noun = a sudden and unexpected shock)
The news of a clash in Kargil with Pakistan was a bolt from the blue for India.
21. To burn the midnight oil (Verb = to study till very late at night)
During examination time, many students burn the midnight oil.
22. To make one blood boil (Verb = to infuriate someone)
My fathers castigation made my blood boil.
23. Bone of contention (Noun = ones stand or argument)
The HODs bone of contention is that every student must score above 75%.
24. To make ones blood run cold (Verb = to horrify someone)
His speech on Character made my blood run cold.
25. To make no bones about (Verb = to make no fuss)
This rich boy made no bones about losing his purse today.
26. To make a clean breast of (Verb = to admit/confess to the act)
The lady student made a clean breast of her involvement in the theft.
27. To be in ones good books (Verb = to be in someones favour)
Some students are always in the good books of our class leader.
28. To kill two birds with one stone (Verb = to achieve two successes in one
attempt) By attending the convocation, we killed two birds with one stone.
29. To put all eggs in one basket (Verb = to risk everything in one venture)
He put all eggs in one basket when he deposited all his money in a new Company.
30. To bend backwards (Verb = to be humble and beg)
You dont have to bend backwards to get what is your right.
31. No ones business/None of your business (Noun = not your concern at all)
Please dont discuss our home matters; it is none of your business at all.
32. The ball is in your court (Complement = the next action is from your side)
I have given my views and now the ball is in your court.
-C1. In camera (Complement = in private, without anyone being present)
We held our groups meeting in camera right in my home.


2. Castles in the air (Noun = big things/dreams about the future)

Many students build castle in the air after they write the Plus 2 exam.
3. To build castles in the air (Verb = to dream of big things about the future)
Dont build castles in the air before you take your examinations.
4. Cats and dogs (Complement = heavily)
It rained cats and dogs in my area last night.
5. A cake walk (Noun = a very easy matter)
Getting through the entrance examination is a cake walk for my son.
6. To put the cart before the horse (Verb = to do things in the reverse/wrong order)
Our English Lecturer put the cart before the horse when he called for a
Departmental staff meeting without the HODs permission.
7. Chicken-hearted (Complement = fearful, not courageous)
If you are chicken-hearted, you cannot join the Army.
Chicken-hearted men cannot join the Army. (phrase used as Adjective)
8. Under a cloud (Complement = under disfavour)
Menon has been under a cloud because of some misdeeds on his part.
9. In cold blood (Complement = without any feelings/pity)
The thieves killed an old woman in cold blood.
10. To call it a day (Verb = to end all activities)
Shall we call it a day since it is 4 p.m. already?
11. As the crow flies (Complement = at the map distance/straight distance)
As the crow flies, the distance from Tambaram to Chennai city is 8 KM.
12. To cut a sorry figure (Verb = to make a poor impression about oneself)
This student cut a sorry figure in the eyes of the class by failing in all subjects.
13. To call a spade a spade (Verb = to speak bluntly and straightforward)
People who call a spade a spade are not liked by some.
14. To curry favour (Verb =to use unfair methods for personal benefits)
He is currying favour with his tuition master.
15. Cats whiskers (Noun = geniuses/too clever for others)
His daughters are claimed to be cats whiskers, you see?
16. To take the cake (Verb = to win the honour by eloquent presentation of his theory)
This boy took the cake by claiming to be an outstanding sprinter. (This phrase
is always used in a negative way i.e. to ridicule a person on his personal claim)
17. A cock and bull story (Noun = an unbelievable statement)
What he says is a cock and bull story.
18. To have the cake and eat it too (Verb = to enjoy a double benefit)
This criminal had the cake and ate it too when he got himself released from
the jail and appointed as a candidate for the local election.
19. To count the chicks before they are hatched (Verb = to make plans on
imaginary hopes)



As regards your admission to an engineering college, dont count your chicks

before they are hatched.
To shed crocodile tears (Verb = hypocritical tears/tears without feelings)
In every funeral in his constituency, this politician will shed crocodile tears.
To let the cat out of the bag (Verb = to reveal some personal secret)
This student let the cat out of the bag by pointing at a friend responsible for
his success in the examination.
To pay back in his own coin (Verb = to retaliate using the others personal method)
When our turn came we paid him back in his own coin by charging him a
hefty amount for the help rendered.
Till the cows come home (Complement = never)
His father is not in the country; you can wait for him till the cows come home.
The ball is in your court (Complement = the next action is from your side)
We have done our bit and the ball is now in your court.
A cut and dried method (Noun = a ready made solution)
We should not expect a cut and dried result for everyone of our problems.
A cold feet (Noun = fear/scare)
When little Ramani saw a huge five footer at the boxing ring, he developed a
cold feet instantly.
Cold shoulder (Noun = a snub; distaste for someones company)
When I was introduced to Radha, she displayed a cold shoulder to me.
To eat a crow (Verb = to be humiliated)
He had to eat a crow by saying that he would win the elections hands down
- DTo dance to ones tune (Verb = to follow faithfully someones advice)
This great politician always dances to the tune of his wife.
Demon for work/Workhorse (Noun = working tirelessly for hours)
Our colony supervisor is a workhorse. Our colony supervisor is a demon for work.
Dead letter (Noun = A rule/practice no more in force)
The practice of Sati nowadays is a dead letter.
To fall on deaf ears (Verb = to listen and ignore completely)
My statement that smoking is injurious to health fell on deaf ears.
A dog in the manger (Noun = preventing others to use what has become
useless for himself/herself)
Many people in our country follow a policy of dog in the manger in their daily life.
To go to the dogs (Verb = to go waste completely)
All our labour to reform our mutual friend Radha, went to the dogs.
A dark horse (Noun = A person whose capabilities are not known and whose
future cannot be guessed)


In our batch of soft spoken maidens, the new entrant Monica looks to be a dark
8. To deliver the goods (Verb = to do ones duty well)
If we dont deliver the goods, nobody would invite us for any kind of odd jobs.
9. To wash dirty linen in public (Verb = to expose all home secrets)
He washed the dirty linen in public when he revealed the reasons for the
quarrels in the family.
10. Over my dead body (Complement = something could take place only after
the person concerned is dead)
You could go through this project only over my dead body.
11. To give the devil its due (Verb = to do justice regardless of any bias)
We must give the devil his due when it comes to judging a person on his
12. To let the sleeping dog lie (Verb = not to disturb the progress lest such
action produce trouble)
We should let the sleeping dog lie as far as the progress on fly over construction
is concerned in Chennai.
13. To dot the is and cross the ts (Verb = to be absolutely perfect in all details)
When calculating anyones arrears of pay, one should dot the is and cross the ts.
14. To bite the dust (Verb = to admit to a humiliating defeat)
We had to bite the dust when we could not qualify in the heats.
15. Dog tired (Complement = exhausted)
When I reached home after the long trek, I was dog tired.
-E1. To end in smoke (Verb = to come to nothing/not to bear any fruit)
The Ministers efforts and plans to eradicate corruption ended in smoke.
2. To make both ends meet (Verb = to live within ones means)
Heavy drinkers could never make both ends meet as regards the home-budget.
3. To eat humble pie (Verb = to face a humiliating defeat)
He had to eat humble pie when he discovered that his opponent was a crafty fellow.
4. To eat ones words (Verb = to retract your own statement)
You may have to eat your words if you dont argue your case carefully.
5. To see eye to eye (Verb = not to agree)
George and I dont see eye to eye when we discuss about colony functions.
6. All eyes/All ears (Complement = to watch intently or to hear intently)
When the Chief Minister came as the chief guest, we were all eyes and ears to him.
-F1. To fall from favour/grace (Verb = to find oneself away from favour/grace)
Madhavi fell from the Professors grace after she was caught copying in an exam.

2. To feel free to (Verb = not to hesitate)

Do feel free to say no if you dont like our proposal.
3. To face the music (Verb = to accept any criticism)
We should be ready to face the music if this method fails in our next match.
4. A fish out of water (Noun = a misfit in a particular environment)
I felt like a fish out of water when I attended a talk on Atomic physics.
5. (To feel) fed up (Complement = tired of something)
Are you fed up with the monitors tantrums?
6. At ones finger tips (Complement = information ready on ones mind)
All the trigonometrical formulae are on my finger tips.
7. In a fit of fury (Complement = in a sudden wave of anger)
After the match, Somnath hit Banerjee in a fit of fury for not playing well.
8. Out of the frying pan into the fire (Complement = from a bad to a worse
condition) This young student found himself out of the frying pan into the fire
when he joined another college close by.
9. To put ones foot into the mouth (Verb = to blunder/to get into scrap with
someone) He is sure to put his foot into the mouth if he intervenes in this
domestic problem.
10. To fly in cloud nine (Verb = to feel overly happy and joyful)
He was flying in cloud nine when he heard of his winning the first prize.
11. To come off with flying colours (Verb =to emerge with honour and success)
When he took part in the Declamation, he came off with flying colours.
12. A feather in ones cap (Noun = an honour / a compliment)
The unexpected victory in the finals was a feather in our cap.
13. A fly in the ointment (Noun = a person who ruins a plan which otherwise
would have been perfect)
Dont accept him in our scheme because he is a fly in the ointment.
14. To mend fences with (Verb = to remove all obstacles between ..)
We ought to mend fences with all our neighbours in a colony.
15. To have a finger on every pie (Verb = to involve oneself in many projects at
the same time)
This student has his fingers on many pies.
-G1. Good for nothing (Adjective - useless)
Kandasamy is a good for nothing fellow as far as dependability is concerned.
2. For good (Complement = finally/for ever)
Kamaleshwar left India for good.
3. Go getter (Noun = a real achiever)





Being a go getter, Suresh could be given any job and he will come off with
flying colours in it.
Gift of the gab (Noun = talent to speak well)
Lawyers must possess the gift of the gab if they want to do well in their profession.
To give a piece of ones mind (Verb = to reproach some one)
Our class HOD gave a piece of his mind when students came late for his class.
To let the grass grow under ones feet (Verb = not to remain idle in the job)
Mallika never let the grass grow under her feet when she was learning computers.
Going great guns (Noun = faring excellently in some effort)
Soman is going great guns in his job as the college football team captain.
To kill the goose that lays golden eggs (Verb = to destroy the source that
gives great gains)
When the college sacked the canteen contractor, it killed the goose that lays
the golden eggs.
Touch and go (Adjective = a close thing/experience)
We just reached the station at the last minute; it was a touch and go thing.
-HHard pressed (Complement = under pressure/determined)
I am very hard pressed for time these days since I am on an important
Heart of gold (Noun = a generous heart)
Our new Asst.Lecturer has a heart of gold; she would never scold any student.
Heart to heart (Adjective = intimate and personal)
We should have a heart to talk with Sandy who has fallen out recently from our

4. To make head or tail (Verb = to understand/comprehend)
We couldnt make head or tail of what the chief guest was talking about.
5. Above ones head (Complement = beyond ones understanding)
This theory is above my head.
6. To have it out (Verb = to settle the issue)
I certainly would like to have it out with that girl.
7. To feel at home / At home (Verb = to feel easy and comfortable)
I never feel at home with Mathematics.
This boy is never at home with English. (Used as a complement)
8. Hand in glove (Complement = together as partners)
I was hand in glove with Madhuri on this teasing incident.
9. A hard nut to crack (Noun = a difficult person to deal with)
This person is a hard nut to crack when it comes to arguing with him.
10. Hue and cry (Noun = a loud protest/noise)







We made a hue and cry when our point was not accepted by the HOD.
A Hobsons choice (Noun = no alternative whatever)
When the teacher announced that the list was closed we had only a Hobsons
Hall mark (Noun = an important characteristic)
The hall mark of this new student is his outright sincerity in whatever he does.
To hit the nail on the head (Verb = to say or do the right thing)
He hit the nail on the head when he said that it was a very tough question paper.
To hunt with the hound and run with the hare (Verb = to have a double
policy like for and against at the same time)
Dont hunt with the hound and run with the hare on this situation; make up
your mind.
To get the hell out of here (Verb = to leave the place at once/ to get lost)
You have made some uncharitable remarks about us; get the hell out of here.
To get into hot water (Verb = to get into trouble)
We understand that Samuel got into hot water even after he was let off by the
To take ones hat off (Verb = to compliment and praise someone)
We should take our hat off to Sangeetha who stood by her statement.
To make hay while the sun shines (Verb = to seize a good opportunity)
Govardhan was lucky in every venture. So, he made hay while the sun shone.
Nothing to write home about (Noun = nothing worth mentioning about
somebody) There is nothing to write home about the new benchmate I have in
the new class.
Seventh heaven (Complement = A feeling of extreme joy)
I was in seventh heaven when the result of the declamation was announced.
(Also, I was in cloud 9 when the result was announced I was floating in
cloud 9 when the result was announced.)
In high spirits (Complement = feeling extremely joyful/elated)
I was in high spirits when the exam results were announced.
-IIn the long run (Complement = in the final analysis)
Honesty helps one in the long run.
In the nick of time (Complement = just at the last moment)
We reached the railway station in the nick of time.
To strike when the iron is hot (Verb = to strike when the situation is favourable)
In the battle field, you must strike when the iron is hot.
-KTo dress to kill (Verb = to dress in an alluring way to attract others)


Sadhana of First year always dresses herself to kill the young men around her.
2. To know one from Adam (Verb = unable to recognise/identify someone)
I dont know this boy from Adam. (Use this only in the Negative form)
-L1. To read between the lines (Verb = to understand carefully including
the hidden meanings) When this man makes any proposal, read between the
lines; dont say yes immediately.
2. To lead by the nose (verb = to make one obey him/her)
This lady always leads her husband by the nose.
3.The lime light (Noun = great publicity)
Modest people would always try to avoid the lime light.
4.Let bygones be bygones (Verb = to forgive and forget)
Being close friends, shall we let bygones be bygones?
5 No love lost between them (Noun = not on good terms with someone)
There is no love lost between the two brothers who have been at logger heads
for years.
6. A little bird told me (A Simple sentence = a reliable information picked up
from a reliable source)
A little bird told me that you have been engaged. Right or not?
7. Lakshman rekha (Noun = a restricting line and not to be crossed under any
circumstances) Your Lakshman rekha is our front door. Dont you ever cross
it. (This is a pure Indian idiom phrase)


-MAs a matter of fact (Complement = truly; as it happens)

As a matter of fact, my father is under transfer now.
For that matter (Complement = incidentally/accordingly) (This is a
connector as well.) For that matter, may I also confirm to you my full
co-operation in this case?
To make a mountain out of a mole hill (Verb = to exaggerate to a very
high degree) It was such a small scratch on the little boys knee and he made
a mountain out of a mole hill.
Music to the ears (Noun = something very very joyful)
The news of my fathers promotion was music to our ears.
To miss the boat/bus (Verb = to miss an opportunity)
You may miss the boat if you take your job interview lightly.
To give one a piece of mind (Verb = to scold someone for some lapse)
I gave a piece of my mind to Saroja when she failed to return my class notes.
Monkey business (Noun = something totally foolish)





If you ask me, selecting this place for an excursion is nothing but a monkey
Once in a blue moon (Complement = very rarely)
Robert comes to my house once in a blue moon.
To face the music (Verb = to face some criticism)
When I returned home late that evening, I had to face the music from
my mummy.
To hold on to/hang on to mothers apron (Verb = to depend totally on someone)
Though married, my elder brother hangs on to his mothers apron.
-NNot worth his salt (Noun = he is a worthless fellow)
A boy who runs away from any problem is not worth his salt at all.
Under ones nose (Complement = within ones knowledge)
Raju is so absent minded that he doesnt know what passes under his nose.
A new broom (Noun = a newly appointed person, hence works well)
Our servant is a new broom as of now.
To cut ones nose to spite ones face (Verb = to do silly things and make
his/her own personality worse)
In order to become popular this boy cut his nose to spite his face.
Neck deep (Complement = to be in deep trouble) When I went to help my
friend, more troubles came neck deep.
-OOut of date (Complement = something old fashioned)
This kind of dress is out of date surely.
Off their guard (Complement = being careless)
This boy attacked me from behind when I was off guard.
Out of place (Complement = not in the right order/sequence)
This chair is out of place in this room, dont you think?
Out of pocket (Complement = without money after some loss)
After my long leave I am out of pocket.
With open arms (Complement = being received very warmly)
The host received us with open arms.
-PTo play with fire (Verb = to engage oneself in dangerous activities)
Those involved in gold-smuggling are playing with fire.
To play upon words (Verb = to use words with unusual meanings)
Some authors play upon words in their writings.
We can use this idiom as a noun also: There is a play of words in this line.
To poke ones nose into (Verb = to interfere)



We should not poke our nose into someones private affairs.

To pay through ones nose (Verb = to pay more than what is required)
We had to pay through our nose for this CD player.
To cast pearls before swine (Verb = to describe a great information to a
worthless person)
To explain to this man about God is to cast pearls before a swine.
To paint the town red (Verb = to make everyone notice the doer)
This girl painted the town red by walking in a mini skirt.
To put the thinking cap on (Verb = to examine an issue seriously)
I had to put my thinking cap on when I was asked to teach a small poem to
VIII standard children.
To pick up the thread (Verb = to restart from the previous closing point)
Moses picked up the thread of the arguments where Manian had left.
To put ones foot down (Verb = to refuse to proceed further)
I had to put my foot down when my small brother asked for Rs 50 pocket money.
A pinch of salt (Noun = not a serious information)
I take every statement of this student with a pinch of salt.
To run from pillar to post (Verb = to run from one office to another)
To get our visa on time, we had to run from pillar to post.
To pull someones legs (Verb = to play a joke on someone)
We pulled his legs by saying that he stood first in the class.
To pull up someone (Verb = to scold someone on his/her default)
The teacher pulled up Shanti when she wasnt attentive in the class.
Pull up your socks (Verb = do your work with some seriousness) (A command)
Your work is very casual and substandard. Pull up your socks, will you?
- RHeart in the right place (Complement = of a kind and sympathetic nature)
Rajinder has his heart in the right place.
Round the corner (Complement = very near)
My elder sisters marriage is round the corner.
To take one for a ride (Verb = to get fooled)
You would be taken for a ride if you follow his ideas.
Red tape (Noun = Too many details asked for and too much of delay)
There is too much of red tape when we want anything done from any Govt
To ring a bell ( Verb = to remind one of something)
Whenever I see you, a bell rings in my mind. Havent we met before?
A rainy day (Noun = difficult circumstances/financially hard days)
Everyone must save for a rainy day.



-STo show ones true colours (Verb = to reveal ones true nature)
The young maiden showed her true colours only after marriage.
To stick to ones guns (Verb = to be firm in his/her stand)
Sundaram stuck to his guns even when he was threatened with punishment.
A storm in a tea cup (Noun = a commotion over a small point)
The quarrel between the brother and sister is only a storm in a tea cup.
A shot in the arm (Noun = a morale booster)
The announcement of a scholarship was a shot in the arm for me.
Spick and span (Complement = neat and tidy)
We must always keep our premises spick and span.
To spill the beans (Verb = to give away a secret)
The child spilled the beans when she said that her father was a drunkard.
At a stones throw (Complement = at a short distance)
My house is only a stones throw away from my school.
For a song (Noun = at a very low price)
I got this famous book for a song.
To smell a rat (Verb = to suspect some foul play)
When Samson made an unusual proposal we smelt a rat in it
To leave no stone unturned (Verb = to use all possible methods)
The police left no stone unturned in locating the culprit.
To talk shop (Verb = to talk about office/workplace)
You are not expected to talk shop during social gatherings.
To sail in the same boat (Verb = to suffer or enjoy equally)
You and I are sailing in the same boat as far as this issue is concerned.
To lose ones shirt (Verb = to lose ones temper)
Our football coach lost his shirt when the team lost to a weak team.
To rub salt on ones wound (Verb = to aggravate ones sorrow over some
failure) Dont rub salt on a wound of failure.
A snake in the grass (Noun = one who attacks at an unexpected time)
Dont trust this boy because he is a snake in the grass type.
Skeletons in the cupboard (Noun = has many misdeeds to his/her credit)
He is not a sincere politician at all because he has many skeletons in his cupboard.
Spoilsport (Noun = one who spoils the enjoyment/ruins others prospects)
Whenever we plan a joint function with boys and girls, Ramanathan turns a
The weather played spoil sport when we went on a sightseeing trip the other day.


18. To steal the lime light/thunder (Verb = to snatch away a credit which
naturally was somebody elses)
The small children stole our limelight / thunder in the entertainment show.
19. A close shave (Noun = a narrow escape)
In a car accident last week, we had a close shave.
20. To go for a six (Verb = to go out of control/to get destroyed)
Our picnic programme went for a six when it rained cats and dogs that morning.
21. Saving grace (Noun = a comforting factor)
The saving grace was that the chief guest shook hands with each one of us
after we had lost the match to an unknown team.
-T1. A tall order (Noun = an aim which cannot be reached)
My beating this fat boy in a boxing bout is a tall order.
2. To turn a blind eye (Verb = to take no notice of some event)
This invigilator turned a blind eye to the copying going on in last years exams.
3. To turn a new leaf (Verb = to change ones way for the better)
This lady student turned a new leaf when she entered the Fourth Semester.
4. To throw/pour cold water on (Verb = to discourage someone highly)
Every time I suggested something new, my uncle poured cold water on it.
5. To take the word from someones mouth (Verb = to say exactly the same
points which were somebodys ideas)
When he spoke, he took the words out of my mouth.
6. To take one to task (Verb = to rebuke someone for his/her faults)
Our Lecturer took me to task when I reported late for my English test.
7. Thick skinned (Complement = irresponsive)
This student is so thick-skinned that he wont accept any suggestions.
8. Tooth and nail (Complement = with all power and resources)
We shall fight our case with the teacher tooth and nail.
9. On the tip of my tongue (Complement = readily available in my memory)
His name is on the tip of my tongue but I cant get it out of my mouth.
11. Tickled to death (Complement = feeling extremely joyful)
He was tickled to death to meet me on a public road.
12. To speak with the tongue in the cheek (Verb = not to say anything sincerely
and openly)
This boy always says things with his tongue in the cheek.
13. Cup of tea (Noun = a practice that pleases me) (to be used in the NEGATIVE.)
Attending everyones birthday party is not my cup of tea.
14. To throw in the towel (Verb = to give up the play)
This champion threw in the towel when he sprained his ankle midway in the game.





-UUnder the carpet (Complement = to hide something from public view)

He has the habit of sweeping all his misdeeds under the carpet.
Under a cloud (Complement = out of favour/under suspicion)
This leader is under cloud on account of some scandals doing the rounds.
Underdog (Noun = a person who submits himself/herself)
Ramanujam is the underdog in our group.
-WTo take the wind out of ones sail (Verb = to frustrate someones efforts)
He took the wind out of my sail by removing me from the basket ball team.
To wash dirty linen in public (Verb = to expose a personal matter in public)
You would be washing dirty linen in public if you say anything about the
quarrel you had with your sister at home.
A wolf in sheeps clothing (Noun = a cheat posing to be a good fellow)
Dont depend on his promises at all; he is a wolf in sheeps clothing.
A wild goose chase (Noun = an useless search)
Finding honest and sincere persons these days is a wild goose chase.
Writing on the wall (Noun = a clear future possibility)
It is a writing on the wall that India will become a great power in the next decade.
A windfall (Noun = a sudden gain of wealth)
By getting this job, he will be experiencing a windfall.
To walk an extra mile (Verb = to help out someone more than what is
If you walk an extra mile with poor people, you would get great rewards from
Much water has flowed under the bridge (Past form verb = many things
have happened since a particular time)
Much water has flowed under the bridge since we last met.
To feel on top of the world (Complement = a feeling of elation)
I felt on top of the world when the Professor gave me a remark Very good
over my project assignments.
A white elephant (Noun = Something prohibitively costly)
This newly built house is a white elephant for us.


Lesson 34
An Essay is a piece of writing on a particular subject. It may have 20 to 30 paragraphs.
Every para must have a Para theme. All the sentences in it must point towards or talk
only about that para theme. Any sentence not connected with the theme should be discarded
as such sentences would make a para incoherent.
Since two consecutive paras would have different themes, how do we produce coherence
between them? In Lesson 31, we saw that the last sentence in a para must not only answer

the CQ of the previous sentence but at the same time create such a CQ that would drive the
reader to the next para. Where the CQ method fails, use a suitable connector which would
lead the reader to the next para. This method of connectedness would be easier if the para
themes themselves are connected in logic.
Types of Essays
Incidentally, the titles like Essay, Composition or Article mean the same thing - a piece
of writing on any subject.
Other than official correspondences and stories, all other writings and in particular
Essays/Compositions/Articles will fall under 4 categories as follows:
1. Expository-

A piece of writing on the rules and regulations of games like

football, cricket etc. Explanation and interpretation of some theory.
2. Descriptive - Description of any event in great details such as a picnic or
sports item or Republic day parade or some personal experience.
Description of a historical building or monument or a city etc.
3. Narrative One that deals with the details of an event such as a long train
journey or a holiday or an excursion or the complete proceedings
of a meeting of any kind. The details must be covered in the
same sequence as they occurred without any frills or imaginary
additions to it. The difference between a Descriptive essay and
a Narrative essay is in its presentation. In the former the writer
has the privilege of highlighting certain occurrences and even
omitting some, all according to the preferences of the writer.
Whereas in the Narrative type, the description must cover all
occurrences and events in the same sequence from A to Z without
any additions. Further, there is to be no Conclusion in the
Narrative while this is permissible in the Descriptive.
4. Argumentative- Many subjects have two sides to them - for and against. The
writer gives equal importance to both. He is expected to give a
verdict in favour of one of them but supported by strong arguments.
Some subjects could be presented in all the 4 types. Some may be suitable for a
particular type only. No matter which type you write on, every essay must be organised in 3
major parts as follows:
INTRODUCTION-Here, give a very short description of what the reader is going to
read about. This will be usually of a single and short para. The
first sentence must be a catchy one.
MAIN BODY - All the supporting points/arguments come next. The body will have
as many paras as the elaborating points but each with a para theme.


This again will be a single and small para summing up all the
important points and linking up with the Introductory para in some
way. So much so, if a person reads the Introduction and Conclusion,
he must be able to guess the contents of the Main body.

While actually writing the Essay, you dont write out a heading such as Introduction,
Main and Conclusion but the contents must be so presented that your INTRO and
CONCLUSION para stand out prominently proclaiming themselves to be what actually they
Planning an Essay
Often students scratch their head when asked to write an essay on a given subject with
reflections such as, I dont know anything or dont know much about this subject. How
could I write some 500 words about it? How do I begin and fill up ? etc. Wrong. You
know quite a lot about the subject. During your previous 16 or so years of your life, you
have seen many things with your own eyes or have personal experiences connected with the
subject. And they are all logged in your memory. Human brain is like a computer. You can
open up any file from your memory store even after years and examine the contents.
Let us say, you have to write an essay on an unearthly subject like, GRASS. May I say
that you have sufficient material in your memory store to write a booklet on it? Surprised?
All right, take a piece of paper and write everything that comes to your mind about GRASS.
Dont forget you have been seeing grass almost every week of your life in various places
like, villages, along roadside, inside house compounds, parks and in fact everywhere where
there is no cement or concrete portions! The earth is full of various types of grasses. And
your eyes have seen it all during every season. All what you had seen had been recorded in
your memory store. All you are required to do now is to extract out the contents. Go ahead.
Write whatever comes in your mind about GRASS in any order. But, write your
impressions/ideas in sentence form or in broken sentence form and NOT as cryptic points.
This method is called the Mind exploring method. And here we go on the Mind
exploring list:

Grass is seen everywhere.

You could see them like they are green carpets in some areas.
Grass grows immediately after rain.
As far as I remember, they grow on their own like God had planted the seeds
on the ground some time back.
Once it sprouts out, it grows up.
Sometimes I have seen the grass being mowed with a machine or sickle or
long sword like gadgets.
Lawns look lovely if it is well maintained.
Some grasses are not fit for developing a lawn.

9. Can we call such grass, wild grass? Wild grass have long blades.
10. Animals eat grass; animals like cows, goats, deer etc.
11. Do elephants eat grass? I am not sure. Oh yes, they too eat grass, long grass.
Have heard something like elephant grass.
12. Horses are fond of grass; the horse owners tie a bag full of grass round its neck
and it will keep munching it.
13. I think cows too love grass.
14. Village women cut the grass from the field and sell them to animal owners such as dairy farms and horse farms.
15. In villages, cowherds take the cows and bulls and buffalos for grazing in the
fields beyond the habitation area and they would bring the cattle back home at
sunset time.
16. Same way, the shepherds also take their goats and sheep outside for grazing.
17. Grazing the animals is a profession among the villagers. Perhaps this is the
lowest kind of profession. You dont need any qualification.
18. In village schools, if nothing gets into the head of a boy or girl, the teacher
would usually say, You are fit only to graze goats and cows
19. However, a job is a job. Cowherds and Shepherds earn a living this way.
20. Grass grows even in a cricket pitch. Before the toss, you could see the respective
Captains go and examine the pitch; if they see any grass on the pitch, they know
how the pitch would behave during the play.
21. Have never seen a cricket field without grass. I think the cricket ground
Management ensure that there is grass around the pitch.
22. Come to think of it, even football and hockey fields also would be green and
grassy. One cannot play the game well on a brown or sandy field well.
23. Some grasses grow to a height of just a couple of inches.
24. Some grasses grow quite tall upto 3 meters or so in height. Even elephants
could hide themselves inside a field of such tall grass. Thats why perhaps they
have been named elephant grass.
25. The colour of grass is always green; animals like to eat only green grass; when
does grass turn dry and brown? Yes, during summer season.
26. That is the time the ground also shows cracks and become barren until the
next rain. Once the rain comes, the grass sprouts out as if they had been hiding
inside the ground.
27. Nobody wants dry grass.
28. But hay is dry and yellowish and I think cows and horses eat them. This hay is
produced out of paddy crops and after removing the paddy grains what is left
over is called hay.
29. Is there any grass in a desert? No. I dont think so. For instance there is no
grass on Marina beach or any beach.

30. Oh yes, I have heard of prairie - a kind of plain and open stretch of land
which is full of grass only; no trees at all; I have seen such scenes on T.V. We
dont have prairies in India.
31. Some mountain tops look green, something like an undulated prairie.
32. Three types of grass could be seen - the ones that don grow beyond a height
of say 6 inches (the lawn type); ones with wide blades growing upto a height
of 1 foot. These may be called the weeds or unwanted growth in a vegetable
field; the tall elephant grass which could hide an elephant from view.
33. Grass, like trees, absorb carbon dioxide and convert it into oxygen.
See how many ideas/thoughts/impressions on grass we have listed out? The list probably
could be further expanded. Now, what you have to remember is the above are your ideas,
thoughts and impressions on the subject; they are NOT your sentences for your paragraphs.
These ideas have to be converted into sentences in conformity with the para writing rules.
Therefore, shall we have an exercise on how to convert an idea or a thought or an
impression into a proper sentence and in several ways.? Your ideas etc may have been
expressed in the S+A+V+O/C form or with silent S+A+V. But that doesnt mean that they
are fit enough to enter into a paragraph; you have to match them into it keeping in mind the
para writing rules.
How to write sentences out of an idea/thought/impression
Flowers are found on trees, ground and in water.
1.You dont have to hunt for a flower; they can be located on trees or ground or water.
2. Whether the place is ground or water or trees, you could find some kind of
flowers there.
3. God has created different kinds of flowers that grow on trees, ground and water.
We use flowers in places of worship like temples and churches.
1. Have you seen any place of worship like temples and churches without flowers
of some kind?
2. Flowers remind us of God and thats why we use them in temples and churches.
3. It is not uncommon to see worshippers carrying flowers with them when they
visit a temple or church.
Rich peoples houses will have a garden (small or big depending on the land available)
in the front part of their compound; they would invariably have one or two gardeners to


look after the home garden. Middle class people would look after it themselves; people
living in flats will grow flowers in flower pots. Most people are flower lovers.
1. Someone is required to look after home gardens; it may be the house owner
himself or hired gardeners.
2. People living in multi storey flats usually dont employ gardeners to look after
their balcony flower potted garden; the household members do it themselves.
3. A home garden, be it in front of a house or in the balcony, adds charm and
colour to the living place.
Have you now seen the difference between a sentence that contains an
idea/though/impression and the actual sentence converted out of it? Do recall that you
cannot take any odd sentence and insert it into a paragraph. It has to be fitted into a
paragraph from the angles of logical development and CQ method.
Para planning out of the ideas/thoughts/impressions
Now look through your list and pick out the serial Nos that would contribute to the Intro
Take Points 1, 4, 10, 13, 15 and 16. Dont they suggest to you an opening para of say 2
or 3 sentences? Something like, Grass is vital both for animals and human beings. Nobody
has to plant grass; they grow on their own perhaps on Gods command. Except in the desert
and sea shores, one could see grass everywhere on the Earth.
The introduction para sounds all right. Perhaps we could add a little more frill and also
make the first sentence more catchy? How about a sentence like, Have you seen any place
on the Earth, other than a desert and sea shore, without some kind of grass? Sounds all
right. Now the subsequent sentences in the Intro para should read like this:
Nobody plants grass. It is at Gods command that grass grow. Grass is vital for animals
and human beings.
You can add sentences of your own like the last one - Without grass, any land would
look barren and dry. This sentence looks out of place in terms of para writing rules and also
does not arouse a CQ to push the reader to the next para. So, shift it to the 4 th place. Now,
the full Intro para will be like this:
Have you seen any place on the Earth, other than a desert and sea shore,
without some kind of grass? Nobody plants grass. It is at God command that
grass grow on land. Without grass, any land would look barren and dry. Grass
is vital both for animals and human beings.
Please note that the listing of your ideas, thoughts and impressions are only to get you
started. Dont view the list as sentence providers for your paras. They are only idea
providers. If you develop new ideas at this stage, put that also in sentence form so long as it
fits into the para logic. Read the para once again. If it could be improved further, go ahead.

Now the Main body. Here we have to determine the para themes based on your list. At
the same time, your first para must link up with the Intro para as well.
Since we have said in the Intro para that grass is vital for human beings and animals,
why not pick out the ideas on these two headings? First, animals.
Consider the Points 11, 12, 13, 15, 16. They seem to suggest a para theme such as
Grass is the main food for cows, buffalos and horses.
Dont think that only the points out of your mind exploring list alone will provide the
contents for your para. At this stage also you may add some more thoughts. What is
important is, all your new/additional thoughts must point towards your para theme.
And the first para may go something like this:
The main food for cows, buffalos and horses, is grass. One could see cowherds
and shepherds take these animals for grazing near mountains or such fields
where grass is available. They would return home only at evening time.
Elephants normally dont live on grass. They would need something bigger like
tree branches. Could grass be useful for human beings in some way?
Points 14, 15, 17 and 18 seem to suggest another para theme - profession/job for some
people especially in villages.
Grass also provide job to people, especially in villages. Women cut the grass
and sell it in bundles to the animal owners in the cities and towns. Young boys
from villages, who leave school for various reasons, take to grazing the animals.
This is a kind of job for them to earn a livelihood. They might become
professional cowherds and shepherds in course of time. One does not need any
qualification for the grazing job. So much so, some teachers may dub a dull
student as one fit only for grazing cattle!
Points 21 and 22 stress the necessity of grass in playing fields. So, here is another para
Next, most of the cricket fields, football and hockey play grounds would have
green grass. Such growth protect the players from getting hurt during the play.
As regards tennis courts, there are equal number of hard courts and green
courts. Lawn tennis is a popular phrase. All the courts in Wimbledon are the
lawn types.
In tune with the last line of the above para, it is good to put a para theme on the types of
grass. Points 23, 24, 25 and 32 provide sufficient ideas for such a para.
The grass on tennis lawns and in home lawns belong to a special type. It doesnt
grow very high. Mowers are used to trim the grass height to about 2 cms. So
that the ground looks neat and levelled. The grass that grow to heights about 3
feet are the useless variety which even the animals may refuse to eat. They have

only nuisance value and possibly stifle the growth of vegetables and other crops.
They are periodically cut off by the farmers. The third variety is tall ones
growing up to a height of 3 meters or so. They are known as Elephant grass
The word derives its name possibly because elephants go inside such area to
hide themselves from poachers!
Points 25, 26 and 28 lead towards a para theme, dry grass.
Is every type of grass green in colour? All grass change colour during summer
time; they become dry and yellowish. Cows and buffalos would refuse to eat the
dry grass. However, cows and bulls do eat hay (paddy extracted plants) which
is yellow. They must be tasty to their tongue.
Points 30 and 31 suggest a para on prairie. And a contrast of that - desert In Point No
29 could also go in the same para.
Vast plain lands full of green grass is known as Prairies. These are found in
Northern America. The grass found here are of the lawn type and the area too
would like huge lawns. The important feature of a prairie is that one cannot find
any trees on a prairie. Some mountains, especially in Srinagar area, also look
like prairies of a different kind. Total absence of grass would mean that the land
is a desert or sea shore.
Point 20 looks like another para of sportsmens interest.
A cricket pitch is supposed to be plain and hard but grass seems to grow here
also. Before the match begins you could see the respective Captains examining
the pitch for grass. If they do find signs of grass, it means something to them
and about the way the ball would behave on such a pitch.
Points 26 and 33 have the ideal contents for the concluding para. Dont forget that the
conclusion para must summarise the main body and also must link up with the Introduction
If green grass is absent, we know the summer season has started and there is no
water or moisture below the surface. The ground then will turn brown and will
show cracks. Would such a sight be pleasing to your eyes? We should thank
God for raising and looking after the grass for our benefit. Grass besides trees
convert carbon dioxide into oxygen which is so vital for our life.
The list of points is only an exploration of your own mind on the subject. The ideas
buried in that list will have to be converted by you into proper sentences to fit into your para.
You may consider the above as your first draft. Now, go on with rewriting the essay in
polished English according to your personal formulae. You may not introduce any new ideas
at this stage. Since you have adhered to the para writing rules, what you need to do now is
only to upgrade your English in your subsequent draft.
The above is a Descriptive type essay.

Narrative Essay
If you have to write a Narrative type, your approach could be slightly different. Here,
you may opt for the next method known as, Para theme method. In that, you first
determine the para themes and write the sentence ideas against each. In a narrative type of
essay, you know the exact details of every stage and at the sequence each event occurred.
(You dont have to explore your mind over these) and it is only a question of recollecting
them from your memory. Let us say you want to write a Narrative essay on a 2 day trek you
had undertaken along with your friend Robert. This is how your para planning would go:
Para theme
Sentence ideas, thoughts and impressions
Introduction During teen age years, it is essential to exercise your body regularly to
keep it in good shape. Added to that, you must try to do certain things on your
own without depending much upon your parents. A trek seems to be an ideal
thing which could achieve both the aims.
Preparation Robert and I decided on a trek to a nearby mountain fort. It is about 15
km from our town. We collected a map of the area and chalked out our route.
Bought a haversack each to carry our food articles, coffee, sugar etc, air pillow,
shawl, one change of dress etc.. We had no Army type boots but the thick soled
jungle shoes we already had seemed all right. I had a tent, which I had bought
in a jumble sale. Fathers gave us each Rs 50. This for any emergency
purchases on the way.
Stage 1 - Trek started at 5 a.m. on a Wednesday. Till 7 a.m. nobody sighted on the way
through the town. At the road end, a wayside tea shop. Had tea and breakfast
here. Hot iddlies and vada. Felt energetic. Rested for 15 mins and resumed our
real outdoor walk.
Stage 2 - The pucca road stopped. There was only a track. Map showed a village after 5
km. Name Sendharpuri. Map also showed Sendharpuri at a height of 1000 ft
above sea level. It turned out to be a mountain village. Reached there at 11
a.m. Kuccha road. Walking was not difficult. Finished up all our stock of
water. Filled up the water bottles at Sendharpuri. Met some elderly people.
Talked nicely. They asked, where we were going. Arcot fort. Oh, that, it is over
there, they said. Any school boys in this village. No. But only young men; they
spend time hunting animals for food.
Stage 3 - Reached Arcot fort. Height 1500 feet. Contained only ruins. Long wall of
about 2 KM circumference. In the center, about 8 buildings, built in stones.
Perimeter walls had gaps at intervals of 30 feet, possibly for observation. No
plaque stone to know the history behind the fort. Nawab of Arcot built this fort
to resist the British troops. A battle took place here sometime in 17 th century.
All this from History book.

Stage 4

- Found a tree, a large one. Pitched the tent here and spent the night. Ate our
pack dinner consisting of parotas , boiled eggs, pickles and sweets. Went to
sleep around 8 p.m. Place was noiseless. No barking dogs or jackals. Not even
mosquitoes. Had a sound sleep. Woke up at 5.30 a.m. It was dark. Twilight
came around 5.50. And then the sunrise. There was a huge well in the center.
Peeped into it. Water was full almost at arms depth. Collected some water to
wash our face. Breakfast finished. Started our trek back home. We hit a
proper road after 8 KM or so and halted near a tea shop. Time then was 12
noon. It was nice to eat something hot - dosai and vadais followed by a couple
of bananas. The time was 4 p.m. when we reached home.
Stage 5 - Some 30 KM of cross country walk in 2 days. Didnt feel much tired at all.
Something to boast with friends in school when the school reopened after
summer vacation. Robert asked, what would you have done if we had come
face to face with a tiger or a cheetah? He said bravely, I would have fought
with this knife and he showed me a pen knife used for sharpening pencils. But
thank God, we did not encounter any wild animals, not even thieves. Nobody
visited Arcot fort, we heard. There was nothing but ruins there. Even snakes
refused to live there!
Sounds like a diary, doesnt it? It truly is. As you would notice that the events have been
recorded in a progressive order of time and place. Put here as many details as possible. But,
all factuals. No imaginary thoughts and reflections should be recorded here.
In a Narrative essay, there is no Conclusion para. But, the essay could be ended in a
pleasant note. In order that your essay is readable, follow the CQ method of presentation and
of course with connectors where necessary.
The Essay will contain seven paras including the introduction. Convert all the ideas into
proper sentences. A para should not contain more than 10 sentences. So, it is entirely up to
you; what details are to be left out. If some sentences sound odd and misfits, omit them.
Argumentative Essay
If you have to write an Argumentative type, you have to pick up the points for and
against the title. Let the topic be Should college students or even Plus two students be given
unlimited freedom?
Which method would be appropriate here: the Mind exploring or Para theme?
Certainly, Mind exploring, wouldnt it?
So, write down all your thoughts and ideas as they occur in your mind giving each a
serial number. Dont worry at this stage, whether your ideas are for or against:
1. The Modern time is an era of IT (Information Technology). Information about
every subject is available at the press of a button-history, geography, social life,
art, beauty, sex, drug and what not. You can become highly knowledgeable very

2. Are all the above required and suitable for teen agers? Arent some harmful at
that age? Like drugs and sex? But then, we are on the verge of adulthood.
Further, arent we responsible persons when we are in XI standard and beyond?
At this young age one needs some fun and frolic also.
3. Perhaps. But then it is up to the teenager to select what is useful and reject
others. They must be strong willed in such selections and rejections.
4. Should we quell inquisitiveness and the curiosity element at the initial stage?
Wont these lead to discoveries and inventions? Why not permit the youngsters
to go into details and discover for themselves whether pursuance would be
desirable or not. Drugs, particularly. Also possibly, sex. Isnt freedom the right
of every individual. Freedom of choice?
5. For instance, why should my parents tell me which movies I must see and which
6. Studies could get affected if you see too many movies or read too many
magazines and books not connected with your school curriculum.
7. We know certain things are taboos for girls, especially in Indian society. Take
late night movies and social parties. Parents tell the daughters to return home
before particular time. Whereas for young men there is no such restriction. Is this
8. Who says, male students could enjoy unrestricted freedom on seeing movies
and attending late night dances etc. They too need to be restricted but perhaps
not as much as young maidens. Young men should not think they are above
parental control all because they are masculines. But we know that parents
observe different rules for sons and daughters in the same family.
9. Too much of anything is bad whether young men or women.
10. Our attention must be on studies and improvement of knowledge about
life around us. We should groom ourselves to become useful citizens. Learn
more about your own country and countries similar to ours.
11. The world consists of good things and bad things. If you dont know what is
good and what is bad for your future, ask parents. And go strictly what the
parents or teachers say. Dont be dictated by your own thoughts and preferences.
12. Is it bad for males and females to mix, especially when they study in the same
I am a girl and my mother tells me not to speak with boys. Is this
correct? Well,
some old fashioned mothers may say so. But, why dont you
assure them that you would never go on the wrong path and hence you be allowed
to consult boys about studies or on such subjects some boys may have better
knowledge. Agreed.
13. Let us say, you are in First year B.A. and your sister is in Matric. Would you
personally allow her all the freedom she wants? No, certainly not. I would

certainly like her to grow up to be a pure girl and get married and so on. So, is
there anything wrong if your mother toes a similar line? You shouldnt have
different standards for your own sister and other maidens. Right or not? Right and
14. As lady students shouldnt we be allowed to mix with others of our kind? I agree
that my mixing with boys may be restricted but why any such restrictions in
mixing with other young females? Like all girls dance parties or gossip
essions? Any guarantee you girls wont talk about drugs or pornography etc?
You could, you know if you know that no one is listening? So, some restrictions
or some kind of supervision is necessary even in men groups and solely female
15. A via media appears to be, This far and no farther kind of restriction. We
shouldnt think that our parents are killjoys; they do want their teen age sons
and daughters to enjoy life but within the limits laid down by them. This
approach is good for both parties.
Now, decide upon your Intro para initially after an overview of your Mind exploring
list. It could be something like this:
Teenage proclaims near adulthood. Shouldnt he or she be allowed to probe the
mysteries of the world all on his/her own? The modern environment and
educational facilities enable that?
Main body.
Points 1, 2 and 3 suggest a para theme such as Modern world offers many information
on many subjects and opportunities of learning for all age groups. Against this theme, write
the sentences for and against pattern.
It is true that the modern world offers varieties of opportunities for all age
groups almost in any field of knowledge. At the touch of a button you can get
any information you want and become knowledgeable very soon. But, it is also
possible by touching a wrong button you could get access to wrong and harmful
knowledge. While strong willed young persons could keep away from such evils,
the weaklings could become prey to Drugs and Pornography. Sex and
pornography would be interesting initially but in course of time would divert all
your attention away from studies.
Point 4, 5, 6 , 9 and 11 would lead to a theme, Inquisitiveness leading to inventions
and discoveries
One should be inquisitive about everything in life. You could develop a scientific
mind. Our country would progress only if youngsters get into this kind of
thinking. Knowledge from the prescribed books could be further enhanced by


information available outside it. Further, arent teenagers equally responsible,

being on the verge of adulthood?
Here again, too much of inquisitiveness could lead to a downhill path. If not
checked in time, the youngsters could get ruined permanently. Some kind of
parental control on what books to read, which movies to see, which serials to
watch and so on, is necessary.
Points 9, 10 and 11 talk about freedom.
Some of us may think, Why cant I enjoy life with my friends such as going to
movies of our choice, dance parties and so on? Why should the elders restrict
my freedom?
The world consists of good things and bad things. At the tender age of 16/17, a
girl or a boy wouldnt be in a position to distinguish good from evil. Some
guidance from parents or other elders in the family is therefore good in this
regard. At this age, the first priority must be for studies and more time must be
spent on it.
Points 12, 13 and 14 give enough tips for a theme like, Should young men and women
in our society mix freely?
Girls would love to mix with boys freely especially if they study in co-ed schools.
Mothers seem to be against this. Wont the girls pick up many good things or
principles from others since we come from different social and academic levels?
It is true indeed. But what if girls go astray or if unlimited freedom leads to
sexual liberties? Once the reputation of a girl becomes bad, her chances of
marriage are slim. In our society, the grooms want virgins and maidens of
purity in mind and habits. It is because of this condition that the parents abhor
the idea of much socialising between males and females. Even a teenage elder
brother would not allow his sister to ruin her image by free-mixing. Admittedly,
boys enjoy relatively greater freedom.
While on the one hand, the creative urge and inquisitiveness on the goings on in
the world, should not be suppressed, some measure of parental supervisory
control and guidance is considered a must. Teenage children on their part
should not insist on too much of freedom of action as this would not be in their
long term interest in the Indian society. Parents should not treat the children as
some kind of prisoners. They must lay down a rule of this much and no
farther both for boys and girls.
If you have very clear ideas on a subject, you may write it following the Para theme
method, which will go something like this:.

First, determine your para theme headings and against each, write down the sentence
ideas. These ideas/thoughts should then be converted into proper sentences conforming to
the para writing rules. The approach is same as what we did under the Narrative type
Once you become an expert, you need not follow the Mind exploring method at all and
go straight for the Para theme method.
Expository type
Lets say you want to write an Expository type essay on Cricket. In this type, whatever
you write must deal only with the rules of the game. Your Mind exploring list of Points
may therefore be something like this:
1. Two teams participate, each of 11 players.
2. While one team bats the other will field.
3. From the batting team, only 2 players will be at the wickets.
4. The bowler of the fielding team will throw the ball to the batsman at the striking
end. If he hits the ball away, both of them will exchange places. One such
exchange will constitute a run and will go in favour of the batsman who hit
the ball and thereof to the team.
5. If the fielding team hits the wicket with the ball and drops the bails while the
batsmen are running between the wickets, the batsman who has not reached
the wicket line, will be considered out.
6. The full fielding team (of 11 players) will be spread out in the entire field
while one player called the wicket keeper would stand behind the wicket;
their aim is not to give away runs to the batsmen.
7. When the whole team is dismissed, the other team will start with the batting.
Method of declaring the winner.
8. Two types of matches are played - Test cricket and One day internationals.
The duration and rules thereof. Definition of one over and the number of
overs to be bowled in each type.
9. Types of bowlers - fast, medium fast, slow, spinners.
10. Two umpires needed, one at each wicket-end.
11. The length of the pitch is 66 feet and is prepared specially for every game.
The points have been written down at random. While planning the paras, they must be
logically developed with clear-cut themes, something like this:
As in 2001 A.D, only 15 countries of the world play serious cricket. It is a very popular
game from viewers/spectators angle. National and International matches among the 15

Nations are invariably telecast live or given running commentary over the Radio. If you live
in a cricket playing country and do not know the basic information and rules about this
game, you are likely to be branded as a cricket recluse!
Main body
A. Types
- Test matches; last 5 days and two innings. One day
International match, usually of 50 overs each side.
B. Cricket field - Size, boundary, wicket to wicket length, fielders positions in
the field.
C. Team strength - 11 players in each team. The fielding team will have bowlers,
wicket keeper and fieldsmen. The batting team will have two
players at any time at the crease.
D. Aim of the game To score runs; definition of a run; to whose credit every run
goes; definition of no ball, wide, leg by. Teams collective
score. How winners declared in test matches and in One
dayers. Aim of the fielding team is, to get every batsman out
by catch stump bowled, lbw and run out. Game ends
when 10 batsmen are dismissed.
E. Types of bowling Fast, medium fast, slow, spin, leg break , off break.
F.Prize money - All players get it. Winning team and runner-up get more money.
Special prizes such as Man of the match, Man of the series, best
catch, highest wicket taker etc, are awarded by the sponsors.
Since the game is played for some 7 hours including breaks, one should be physically
fit with good stamina. It has become so popular and profitable that many young men have
taken to cricket as a profession.
When a subject is given to you or you yourself have decided to write an essay on a
subject, be clear in your mind in which category you are going to present it. Some subjects
could lend themselves to all the four types and some only to one or two. But, dont write a
mix of all types; the reader is likely to get confused.
The Para theme method is marginally superior and less time consuming as well. But,
you should have thorough knowledge on the subject, only then could you attempt the para
theme method.
If you are not absolutely clear, go to the Mind exploring method to get you started and
to enable you to determine the para themes.
Let the essay be your own effort. Dont copy from any tutorial books or someones
essays. Once you have trained your mind on the methods recommended in this Chapter,

you would have prepared yourself fully to writing any piece on any subject on your own
when you get into some professional life in later years.
Exercise 34
1. Write a composition of 500 - 600 words each on the following subjects adopting the
Mind exploring method. Show clearly your para plan and the para themes. Your
composition may belong to the Descriptive, Narrative or Argumentative type depending on
the nature of the points listed out by you.
(a) Hair (b) Dust (c) Mango (d) A Football match
2. Write a Narrative cum Descriptive type Composition of about 500 words on the
following topics:

Summer holidays
My hobby
The monsoon season in my city
A government hospital
Street beggars in a city
Friendship with the same sex
Friendship with the opposite sex
Life in a multi storey flat

3. Write an argumentative type Composition of about 500 words on the following

(a) Horse race
(b)Three language formula at High school level.