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Using a Dictionary

A dictionary is a book that gives a list of words in alphabetical order and explains their meanings in the
same language, or another. It also refers to a book that explains the words and phrases used in a particular
subject such as a science dictionary, a medical dictionary or a computer dictionary.
Followings things can be searched in a dictionary:a) spelling, variations in spellings
b) difference between British and American English
c) Different forms of the words, suffixes, prefixes, etc.
d) Pronunciation, variations in accent, stress etc. phonetic transcription
e) Grammatical categories of the words.
f) Functional labeling of the words in context.
g) Usages of the words, definitions.
h) Usages of the words, definitions.
i) Exceptional rules.
j) Phonological, morphological, syntactical, semantic, lexical and grammatical support
How to use a dictionary:
Search words as per the alphabetical order
Understand meanings in context
Derive meaning with the help of prefixes, suffixes etc.
Understand meaning with the help of antonyms, synonyms etc.
Understand the following abbreviations:

Full forms


Countable noun

Uncountable noun



Sb / sth

Somebody / something



AmE or AE
BrE or BE

American English
British English



Homophones are the words that sound but have a different meaning and spelling. For example:
My son is a doctor.

The sun is really hot today.

List of homophones:

Heal-hell- heel
leak- leek

List of Homophones with examples:

Alter (to become different) - he had altered so much that I scarcely recognized him.
Altar-a holy table in a church or temple
Aye- (yes)
- oh aye, I understand that.
Eye-there were tears in her eye.
-I will buy two jackets tomorrow.
- bye, well meet tomorrow.
By- come and sit by me.
Dye (to change the color of sth) -she dyed her hair.
Die (to stop living)
-nobody likes to die.
Hi- Hi, friends
High-she has a high voice.
Rye- a plant
Wry-she had a wry smile on her face.
Tyre- a front tyre
Tire-her legs were beginning to tire
Idol-my father is my idol.
Idle- he is an idle student.
Row- he was sitting in the back row.
Roe-(mass of eggs)
Sew-my mother knows how to sew.
So- (very, extremely)
Manner- it is bad manner to talk with your mouthful.
Manor-an area of land
Minor- she has to undergo a minor surgery.
Minerher father is a miner.
Rolewhat is your roll in her plan?
Roll( a long piece of paper, cloth or film)
Solethe sole reason to come here to see you again.
Soulhe believes in the existence of soul.
KnowI do know her properly.

NoWayWeighSaleSailRainReignReinPrayPreyAisleIsle-(an island)

I never say no to my boss.

I have a long way to go.
way each work before you speak.
he is not interested in buying anything from sale.
he likes to sail.
-it did not rain heavily last time.
-Akbar reigned before Salim.
-she held the rain in her hands.
I daily pray for her health.
-Hawks prey on small birds.
he did not go towards next aisle.
Ill not talk to him.
this book is a rich seam of information.
it does not seem good.
(mixer of lots of beers)
he has been bruised.
(a bridal gown)
( a set of leather bands, attached to reins)
the grass was wet with due.
due to him, I could not attend the party.
- I was very discreet about my love affairs.
-that can be divided into discrete categories.
-I would fain do as you ask.
- (To represent falsely; pretend to)
-during convocation, minister was guest of honor.
- he guessed wrong about her.
whether he wants or not, Ill go.
-how is weather in Asam?
- he would not ask anything to me.
-this chair is made of wood.
- the children ran up the stairs.
- he stares at her.
-the ship was anchored off shore.
-I am not sure about him.
-she does not comb her hair daily.
- I saw a white hare near our flats.
- she caught a ball in her hand.
- he has never been to any court.
-police was checking their id proof.
-he has not given me a single cheque.
-he has bought a rose flower.
-this chapatti is made of flour.
- I saw a bear moving in forest.
-he was bare foot.
-still one hour is left in exam.
-our country is India.
-whole world know about the benefits of yoga.
-there is a hole in this tank.
- which color do you like the most?
-the movie was all about a witch.

Homonyms are words that sound and are spelt the same, but have different meanings.
Here are some examples:
Club (somewhere to dance)
Club-(large, heavy object that people get hit with)
Fine- (money you owe for bring things back late)
Fine-(feeling okay)
Rock-( a type of music)
Rock-(made of stone)
Bear-( to carry)
List of Homonyms with examples:
May- I may write another book till next July.
May- I have started writing this book from May, 2010.
Tear- Do not tear this pouch before I say.
Tear- all of sudden, he burst into tears.
Chair- Chhavi has bought a pair of chair from Delhi.
Chair- she was chairing the session yesterday.
Mine- he does not want to work in mines.
Mine- this bike is not mine.
Bat- he saw a bat flying over him.
Bat- Sachin uses a heavy bat while playing.
Lead- she wants to lead the team.
Lead- Lead is a heavy grey metal.
Can- he bought a Pepsi can.
Can- I can do it for you.





A word or an ending of any word that shows that something or somebody is small, e.g., piglet (a young
pig), kitchenette (a small kitchen). A diminutive states that something is very small. It may be small in
size or years such as duck- duckling or it may be a term of endearment such as frog- froggy. So in
general, diminutives are used to express the idea of smallness, affection or contempt.
Making a diminutive:
Diminutives can be made by adding a suffix.
Book + let- booklet
Diminutives can be made by adding a prefix.
Mini + bus- minibus
Diminutives can be a different altogether.
Dog- puppy

List of prefixes that make thing small

List of suffixes that make things small


Ankle - anklet
Arm - armlet
- article
Ball - ballet/ballot
Banner -banneret
Bear - Cub
Bird -birdie

- bullock

Cabin cabinet
Car- chariot
Cask - casket
Cat - kitten
Cigar- cigarette
City - citadel
Cock cockerel

Corn - kernel
Cow - calf
Crown coronet
Cut - cutlet


Dame - damsel
Dear - darling
Dog - puppy/pup
Double - doublet
- droplet
Duck -duckling

Maid - Maiden
Mode Model
Mole - Molecule
Mouth muzzle
Nave- Navel
Nest nestling
Nose- nozzle
Novel- novelette

Fowl - chicken
Fourth -farthing
Frog - tadpole


Part particle/paddock
Pig- pigling

Hare - leveret
Hen - chicken
Hire- hireling
Horse- colt/foal

Ring -ringlet
River -rivulet
Rock rocket
Rose- rosette


Sack -satchel
Sap - sapling
Scythe -sickle
Seed -seed let
Shade -shadow
Sheep -lamb
Spark - sparkle, spark let


Suck- suckling



Waggon- waggonette
Wave- wavelet
Weak- wavelet
Wolf- cub

Year- yearling

Sentence Structure
A phrase is a group of words that lacks a subject, a complete verb, or both.
In the dark
Finding the answer
A clause is a group of related words with both a subject and a predicate (verb).
Independent Clause
An independent clause (also called a main clause) is a group of words that has a subject and a verb and
does not start with a subordinating conjunction.
Example: I ate raspberries.
Dependent Clause
A dependent clause (also called a subordinate clause) is a group of words that has a subject and a verb and
starts with a subordinating conjunction. A dependent clause cannot stand alone as a sentence.
Example: After I ate raspberries
Types of Sentences
Simple Sentence
A simple sentence consists of one independent clause.
Example: I ate raspberries.
Compound Sentence
A compound sentence consists of two or more independent clauses separated by a comma and a
coordinating conjunction or by a semicolon.
Example: I ate raspberries, and I developed a rash.
Example: I ate raspberries; I developed a rash.
Complex Sentence
A complex sentence consists of at least one dependent clause and one independent clause.
Example: Because I ate raspberries, I developed a rash.
Compound-complex Sentence
A compound-complex sentence consists of at least two independent clauses and one or more dependent
Example: Although I am allergic to raspberries, I ate them, so I developed a rash.


1. SV
Subject + Verb (verb- Intransitive)
The Sun rose.
The audience laughed.
The guest has arrived.
The children walked down the street.

Manish was running.

Transitive Verbs: it is used with a direct object.

E.g., 1.He tore a piece of paper. In this sentence, the word tore is transitive and the word a piece of
paper is a direct object.
2. I hate him.
3. She prepares food.
A transitive verb may have two objects.
Our teacher gave us homework. In this sentence, there are two objects: Direct object- homework and
Indirect object -is.
Intransitive Verb: it used without an object.
e.g., He runs.
The sun rose.

2. SVO (Subject + Verb + Object)

My teacher

Verb (Tran.)
listens to

a headphone.
a book.
a bicycle.

3. SVC (Subject + Verb + Complement)

Subject--Linking Verb--Subject Complement)
That man is a merchant.
His brother became chairman.
He will remain an officer.
The nurse seemed tired.
This soup tastes good.
I feel sick.
My grandfather looks (or appears) old.
His hair turned gray.

Subject Complement- When a complement refers to the subject of an intransitive verb it is

called a subject complement.

Other verbs: seem, look, feel, appear, grow, smell, taste, and turn
4. SVA (Subject + Verb + Adverb)
Subject--Verb ("to be")--Adverb or Prepositional Phrase)
My parents are here.
He is outside.
The groceries are in the kitchen.
Yours brother were there.
5. SVOO (Subject + Verb + Indirect Verb + Direct Verb)
She wrote his mother a letter.
Dr. Rathi teaches the students Business Management.
The shopper gave the clerk ten dollars.
Pearl sent Hari a book.
My father bought me a pen.
My grandma told us a story.
Q. How to define direct and indirect object?
If you get answer of question word what that is direct object and if you get answer of who or
whom then that is indirect object. For instance,
He paid me money.
(What-money that is direct object and who- or whom- me that is indirect object)

(Subject + Transitive Verb + Direct Object + Object Complement)
He called the teacher a genius.
We thought him foolish.
The class elected Jerry president.
Studying keeps him busy.
The lawyer considered the defendant innocent.
I consider it unwise.
The child made her mother happy.

Object Complement-When a complement refers to the direct object of a transitive verb, it

is called object complement.
e.g., I consider it unwise.

7. SVOE VT (transitive verb)

(Subject + Transitive Verb + Direct Object + Adverbial)
The guard put the key in the door.
The police treated the old man politely.
He put the pen on the desk.
She congratulated me on my success.

Parts of Speech
There are eight different kinds of words in English. They are called Parts of Speech.
1. Noun 2. Pronoun 3.Verb 4.Adverb 5.Adjective
6. Preposition 7.Conjunction 8.Interjection
The words that denote the name of a person, animal, place or thing are called Nouns.
e.g., Person- man, woman, teacher, john
Place- home, office, town. Countryside
Animal-dog, cat, horse, buffalo
Thing- book, pen, room, tree
Kinds of Nouns
Nouns can be divided into five kinds:
1. Proper Noun
2. Common Noun
3. Collective Noun
4. Material Noun
5. Abstract Noun
Proper Noun: A proper noun is the name of a particular person, animal, place or thing.
e.g. Albert Hall, Red Fort, Samsung, Amity University, Mr. Sharma, Jaipur
Common Noun: A common noun is the name given in common to every person or thing of the same class
or kind.

e.g., city, man, woman, ship, phone, dog, boy, school

Note: difference between common noun and proper noun
Common nouns
Proper nouns
INS Veer
Collective Noun: A collective noun is the name of a number or collection of persons or things taken
together and spoken of as a whole.
e.g., crowd, army, jury, federation, government, team
Material Noun: A material noun is the name of the material of which things are made.
e.g., gold, rice, milk, tea, sugar, wheat, plastic, flour, wood
A material noun is an uncountable noun but a common noun is a countable noun.

Abstract Noun: An abstract noun is name of quality, state or concept or something that has no concrete
shape or evidence. It is something that we can not touch or see.
e.g. honesty, laughter, discipline, love, sorrow, theft, sickness etc.
Identify the underlined nouns in the following sentences:
1. Shyam works as a tailor at ASFT.
2. I took lunch at Mugliai restaurant.
3. His father is a postman.
4. This chair is made of iron.
5. Laugher is contagious.

A pronoun is used instead of a noun. This helps to avoid the repetition of nouns.
e.g., My best friend is Mayank Gupta and Mayank works as an assistant director at Bombay.
My best friend is Mayank Gupta and he works as an assistant director at Bombay.
Shilja is absent because she is ill.
I go to temple every Sunday along with my friends at 7.00 PM and we come back at 8.20 PM.
Kinds of Pronoun
1. Personal pronoun
2. Reflexive pronoun
3. Emphatic pronoun
4. Demonstrative pronoun
5. Indefinite pronoun


Distributive pronoun.
Reciprocal Pronoun
Interrogative pronoun
Relative Pronoun

PERSONAL pronoun: it can be divided in three parts such as (a) first person (I, We), (b) second person
(you) and (c) third person (he, she, they, and it)
Reflexive Pronoun: this pronoun is combined with self or selves to emphasize the subject of the verb.
e.g., myself, ourselves, himself, herself, themselves, itself.
Emphatic pronoun: it emphasizes the noun or pronoun they follow or this pronoun is used for emphasis.
E.g. bour class teacher himself wrote a letter to me. (subject emhasized)
I made a call to Mr. Rajnikant himself.
Demonstrative Pronoun: it is used to point to people or thing they stand for:
e.g., that is my friends house.
This is my book.
Indefinite Pronoun: it refers to one or more unspecified beings, objects, or places.
e.g. all, another, any, anybody/anyone, anything, each, everybody/everyone, everything, few, many,
nobody, none, one, several, some, somebody/someone.
Distributive Pronoun: A distributive pronoun considers members of a group separately, rather than
They include each, any, either, neither and others.
Reciprocal Pronoun: they are used to express mutual/ reciprocal relationship.
Dont blame each other/ one other.
Interrogative Pronoun: it is used to ask questions. For example, what do you want? Where do you stay?
e.g. who, whom, which, what
Relative Pronoun: A relative pronoun links two clauses into a single complex clause. It is similar in
function to a subordinating conjunction. Unlike a conjunction, however, a relative pronoun stands in place
of a noun. Compare:
This is a house. Jack built this house.
This is the house that Jack built.
I do not know who is standing at the door.
A word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence, and forming the main part of the predicate of a
sentence, such as hear, become.

He studies at AUH.


He has been bed-ridden for long time.


His marriage took place.


Kinds of Verbs
There are two types of verbs: Auxiliary Verbs or Helping Verbs and Main Verbs.
Main Verbs
Go, come, sit, stand up etc.
He goes to college daily. (Main Verb)
She laughed a lot yesterday.
(A Main verb does not the help of any other verb.)
Auxiliary Verbs
It helps the main verb to form its tense and voice.
e.g. a. Primary auxiliary
be: is, am, are, was, were
have: has, have, had
do: do, does, did
Modal auxiliary
Can, could, will, would, shall, should, may, might, must, ought.
Semi- model auxiliaries
Dare, need, dare (to)


An adverb is a word that tells more about a verb. It qualifies or modifies not only a verb but can modify a
pronoun, preposition, adjectives and adverb also.
E.g. Speak loudly
Too slowly
Just in time
He runs fast.
Kinds of Adverbs
1. Adverbs of Time
It denotes the time of an action.
e.g., Since, lately, recently, now, by now, right away, now-a-days ago, back, before, tomorrow, yet, still,
today, already, soon, recently, once, one of these days, some day
2. Adverb of Place/ Position
It indicates the place of any action.
Out, here, there, in, everywhere, somewhere, up, down, nowhere
3. Adverbs of Manner
It indicates the manner of any action.
Almost, too, fully, very, quite, well, fast, slowly, easily, hard
4. Adverbs of degree
They indicate degree or intensity.
Too, quite, fully, very, almost, totally, a lot, a great deal, much, so much, very much, a bit
e.g., he is too weak to stand up.
5. Relative Adverb
They relate to antecedents and also join clauses.
When, where, who, whenever, wherever
e.g., this was the reason why he got angry.

6. Adverbs of negation
No, not, never
He will never do it again.
7. Interrogative adverbs
They are used to ask questions.
When, how, how long, how far, how much, where, why, what time, how often
8. Adverbs of affirmation
Surely, yes, indeed, certainly

Degrees of Comparison
Adverbs have three degrees of comparison: positive, comparative and superlative.













more slowly

Most slowly




An adjective is a word that tells more about a noun, pronoun or another adjective. An adjective qualifies
or modifies a noun. Adjectives can be used before a noun or after certain verbs. Two or more adjectives
can be used together.
E.g. A big cat

A beautiful lady
I like Chinese food.
a good girl
Position of Adjectives
Adjectives can come before noun: a new car
Adjectives can come after verbs: such as be, become, seem, look etc.
e.g., that car looks fast.

Kinds of Adjectives


Adjective of

Beautiful, lovely, wonderful, good, bad, wet,

honest, black, long, short,


This, that, these, those


Some, any, no, few, many, much, one, forty, etc.


Each, every, either, neither


Whose, which, what


Very. own

describe the
shape, size
or color etc.
of a person
or thing
They point
out the noun
They show
quantity ex.
Much fat
Refer to each
one of
Whose car is
the statement

A preposition is a word usually placed before a noun or pronoun to show place, time, cause, purpose, or
means. It indicates various relationships between words or phrases, the most common are those of time,
space position and emotional attitudes.
E.g. I stay at home.
He has been here for long.
She comes along with her friend.
Preposition of Time
The prepositions which indicate time areAt, in, on, which, before, after, from, to, for, since, till, until, by and between.
1) at four o clock, at noon, at sun-set. At dusk etc.
2) on Sunday, on 20 th May, on the holidays etc.
3) within some days
4) I will do it before Monday.
5) I reached at my home after five months.

She has been dancing for three minutes.

7) I must wait for you till May.

8) I have been working here since August 11, 2010.
9) I write another book by December, 2013.
10) She may go to Goa between June and July.
Preposition of Place
The prepositions which indicate place areAt, on, over, above, in, into, from, to, in front of, behind, up, down, upon, under, beside, beneath, below,
within, without, along, across, through, between, beyond, among, before, after, of, etc.
Preposition of Relation
Of, for, to, by, with, besides, etc.

Prepositional Phrases
As to, as for, as regards, by means of, because of, on account of, on behalf of, in case of, in front of , in
lieu of, in search of l in spite of, in order to, in the guise of, in accordance with, on behalf of, due to, in
course of, with reference to, with regard to, etc,

In and At:
In is used for large places; at for small places.
e.g., I stay at Vaisali Nagar.
She stays in Jaipur.

Beside/ besides
Beside means by the side of; besides means in addition to.
Mess is located beside laundry.
He plays badminton besides hockey.

A conjunction is a word that joins words, phrases or clauses.
Amit and Sumit have taken food, but no one knows about Smita.
Kind of Conjunctions
Coordinating Conjunctions
These conjunctions are used to join grammatical units of the same class or rank.
e.g., and, but, or, nor, for, yet, etc.
And is used to join or add words together in the sentence

e.g.,They ate and drank.

Or is used to show choice or possibilities.
e.g., He will be here on Monday or Tuesday.
But is used to show opposite or conflicting ideas.
e.g., she is small but strong.
So is used to show result .
e.g., I was tired so I went to sleep.
Subordinating Conjunctions
They are used to join words or sentences of unequal rank.
e.g., after



Correlative Conjunctions
Correlative conjunctions are pairs of conjunctions that work together. The most common correlative
conjunctions are:
both . . .and
either . . . or
neither . . . nor
not only . . . but also
Some examples:

I want to eat both chapattis and pizzas.( Bothand is restricted to two only)
I like neither eggs nor meat.
I will visit either Shimla or Nanital.
Anna Hazzare is not only a writer but also a good leader.
No sooner had the police reached than the burglars fled.
He asked me if / whether I saw a movie.
He is lame but active.
Though he is rich yet he is a miser.
Take umbrella along with you in case you need it.
He behaves different as if he is stranger.

Interjection is a group of word that shows sudden feeling. An interjection often appears at the beginning
of a sentence. It is usually followed by an exclamation point or a comma
Wow! That is a giant pumpkin!
Ouch, you stepped on my toe!
Yippee! We won!
Whoa! Hold your horses!
Bravo, you did a great job!
Articles are determiners. Articles are used with nouns but not all nouns are used with articles.
Kinds of Articles:

There are two types of articles.

Definite Articles: - the is a definite article.
Indefinite Articles: - a and an are called indefinite articles.
Article A

The article a is used with singular common nouns beginning with consonants.
E.g. , it is a pen.
It is a place to take food.
She is a player.

With vowel letter which has consonantal sound.

e.g., a university, a union, a one-sided affair, a one-rupee note, unit

Article a is not used before adjectives but if there is a singular noun after adjectives then it is

e.g., she is a beautiful.

He is a rich.

But, she is a beautiful girl.

But, he is a rich man.

Article a is not used before plural nouns.

e.g., They are a books/ dogs.

Before numerical expressions

e.g., a couple of, a dozen, a score, a hundred, a thousand, a million, a lot of, a great many of.
A couple of students started agitation.
He gave me a thousand rupee.
Some phrases/ expressions also take a article
To make a noise

such a pleasant surprise

To have a cold

such a thing

To be in a hurry

what a hot day

To have a taste for

what a good chance

Article An

Article an is used before a word beginning with a vowel sound.

e.g., an egg, an apple, an umbrella, an opportunity

With words beginning with silent h.

e.g., an heir, an honest boy, an hour, an heir

In abbreviations, if consonants begin with a vowel sound, they take an article before them.

an M.L.A.

an M.P.

an S.I.

an S.H.O.

an MBA an FIR

It not necessary that all abbreviations will take an article. Only those words which first syllable has vowel
sound, an article is used otherwise not.
e.g., MLAs first letter is m which sounds em which is vowel sound.


l (el) x (eks) s (es) n (en)


Article the

To denote a particular person, animal, thing or one already mentioned.

e.g., I saw a movie last night. The movie was about a soldier and a beautiful girl. The soldier was
in love with the girl but the girl was in love with a doctor. So the soldier shot the doctor and married
the girl.
The book you gave me is fantastic.

With superlatives

e.g., the best student of Amity University

the worst part of his life was in that book.

The finest silk used to come from Bangladesh.

To show complete species

The king Cobra is very dangerous.

The earthworm is said to be a friend of farmers.
The cow is a useful animal.

Before names of certain books

The Ramayana, the Vedas, the Puranas etc.

With nouns that are unique

The earth, the moon, the stars

With adjectives representing a class of person

The poor, the rich, the weak, the old etc.

Before ordinals

The first, the tenth, the second, the fourth

Omission of the Articles (Zero Articles)

Normally no article is used before countries and states but

The U.S.A.
the Punjab
The Sudan
the Netherlands
Before languages
I know a/an English.
He knows --- French.
Before disease/ festivals/ seasons
I love to travel in winter.
Bird flu has broken out.
He is going on Holi.
Before food/ games
We used to play volleyball.
She does not take breakfast in the morning.
Before relations
Mother is not well today.
Father is going to market.
Before plurals nouns (normally)
Birds fly

I love books.
Before proper noun
Mohan is sleeping.
Danny fights a lot.

Some more rules about articles.

1. If article the is used before that proper adjective then it makes the feel of nation or
e.g., The English are very hard working.
The French are very fashionable.
Englishlanguage but the English means people of England.
2. Article the is not used when we are thinking of the idea of these places and what
they are used for. For instance, school, college, church, court, hospital, market, bed,
e.g., 1. Sandeep always goes to the college. But, Mr. sukhwal went to the college to
meet his sons mentor. (he didnt go there as a student)
2. Akshay met with an accident so he had to go the hospital. But, Vinod sir went
to the hospital to meet Akshay.

The main purpose of PUNCTUATION is to make the meaning of the, written word clear to the reader.
The rules of PUNCTUATION are governed by common sense, so it is easy to master them if you keep the
main object of PUNCTUATION in mind---CLARITY.
Use a period to end a complete sentence. A sentence is a group of words containing a subject and
predicate. In British English a period is called a 'full stop'.

They are going to visit.


A FULL STOP is used after abbreviations and initials.

E.g.:- a.m.; Ph.D.;LL.B.;etc




There are a number of different uses for commas in English. Commas are used to:

Separate a list of items. This is one of the most common uses of a comma. Notice that a comma is
included before the conjunction 'and' which comes before the final element of a list.
I like reading, listening to music, taking long walks, and visiting with my friends.
They would like books, magazines, DVDs, video cassettes, and other learning materials for their

Separate phrases (clauses). This is especially true after a beginning dependent clause or a long
prepositional phrase.
In order to qualify for your certificate, you will need to take the TOEFL exam.
Although he wanted to come, he wasn't able to attend the course.

Separate two independent clauses that are connected by a conjunction such as 'but'.
They wanted to purchase a new car, but their financial situation would not allow it.
I'd really enjoy seeing a film this evening, and I'd like to go out for a drink.

Introduce a direct quote (as opposed to indirect speech i.e. He said he wanted to come ...).
The boy said, "My father is often away during the week on business trips."
His doctor replied, "If you don't stop smoking, you run the risk of a heart attack."

Separate appositives (a noun, or noun phrase) or non-defining relative clauses.

Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, comes from Seattle.
My only sister, who is a fantastic tennis player, is in great shape.

Question Mark
The question mark is used at the end of a question.
Where do you live?
How long have they been studying?

Exclamation Point
The exclamation mark is used after an interjection or after a phrase or sentence expressing some strong
Alas! I have failed!
I can't believe he is going to marry her!

That ride was fantastic!

A semicolon has one degree more stopping power than a comma. It is a useful sign, but not used as often
as it should be.
While comma separates individual items a semicolon separates groups of items.
E.g.:-In the childrens room were toys, story books, and posters; in the kitchen were pots, pans, vegetables
and fruits; and the library had books, charts, and maps..

To separate two independent clauses. One or both of the clauses are short and the ideas expressed
are usually very similar.
He loves studying; He can't get enough of school.
What an incredible situation; it must make you nervous.

To separate groups of words that are themselves separated by commas.

I took a holiday and played golf, which I love; read a lot, which I needed to do; and slept late,
which I hadn't done for quite a while.
They plan to study German, for their travels; chemistry, for their work; and literature, for their
own enjoyment.

The colon is one of the least used marks of punctuation it shows a pause more complete than a semicolon,
though not as complete as a full stop it is often used with a dash after it (:-).

To provide additional details and explanation.


He had many reasons for joining the club: to get in shape, to make new friends, to lose some
weight, and to get out of the house.
She gave notice for the following reasons: bad pay, horrible hours, poor relations with
colleagues, and her boss.

To introduce a direct quote (a comma can also be used in this situation).

He announced to his friends: "I'm getting married!"
She cried out: "I never want to see you again!"

Subject Verb Agreement

Concord means that the Verb must agree with its subject in person and number.
Some useful hints:
1. Two or more singular nouns connected by and usually take a plural verb.
a. Amit and neel are not friends.
b. Oil and water do not mix.
c. Rama, Geeta and Rita are doctors.
d. Time and tide wait for none.
2. If two nouns joined by and refer to the same person or thing the verb is singular.

a. The great scholar and poet is dead.

b. The orator and statesman was dead.
3. If two subjects or two singular nouns connected by and express one idea, the verb is singular.
a. Age and experience brings wisdom.
b. Slow and steady wins the race.

Bread and butter is his only food.

c. The horse and carriage stands at the door.

4. When singular nouns connected by and are preceded by each or every. They are followed by
singular verb.
a. Each man and each woman has a vote.
b. Every man, woman and child was present.
c. Each boy and girl has to go.
5. Two or more singular subjects connected by or, nor , either -----or, neither---nor, take a singular
a. Neither he nor his father was present there.
b. Either you or Manu has to go.
c. No house or hut was left unexplored.
6. When the subjects, joined by or, nor , either ---or are of different numbers, they take a plural
verb, and the plural subject should be placed next to the verb.
a. You or your friends have done it.
b. The teacher or the students are present.
c. Either the boy or his parents have come.
7. When the subjects connected by or, nor , either ----or etc; are of different persons, the verb is
used according to the subjects nearest to it.
a. Either Leela or I am going.
b. Either you or Mohan has done it.
c. Mahesh was not present, nor were you..
d. You or Ria is responsible for it.

8. A collective noun takes a singular verb when the group is thought of a as a single unit.
a. The committee was appointed yesterday.
b. The mob has dispersed.
c. The majority does not like it.
But when individual members of the group are thought of the plural verb is used.
a. The military were called.
b. The committee were divided.
c. The crew were taken prisoners.
d. The mob have started throwing stones.

Main collective nouns: government, parliament, council, committee, army, crew, staff,
jury, fleet, crowd, majority and mob.

9. Some nouns are plural in form but singular in meaning, they take singular verb.
a. The news is true.
b. The wages of sin is death.
c. Politics is a dirty game.
d. Their first innings was disappointing.
More examples: news, mathematics, economics, innings, gallows
10. Some nouns are singular in form, but plural in meaning, they take plural verbs.
a. Twelve dozen cost one hundred rupees.
b. The cattle are grazing.
11. Words joined to a singular subject by with, together with, as well as, in addition to etc. take
a singular verb.
a. The teacher, along with the students was absent.
b. Justice, as well as mercy allows it.
c. The, mother, with her three daughters, was going.
d. He, as well as his friends, has failed.
12. The verb must agree in number and person with its real subject and not with any other
noun that immediately precede it.
a. One of my friends has gone.
b. Each of the boys was given a book.
c. Every one of the students has applied for scholarship.

d. Neither of the boys was able to pass.

13. When the subject is a sum of money considered as a whole, the singular verb is used.
a. A thousand rupees is not a small sum.
b. Six thousand rupees is the fees.
c. forty miles is not a long distance for a motorist.
But when the subject is a sum of money and the reference is to the coins or bills considered
separately the plural verb is used.
a. There were a hundred silver rupees in that box.
b. A thousand dollars were distributed among the prize winners.
14. When two singular nouns are connected by not only -----but also or but, the verbs is singular.
a. Not only India, but all the world condemns terrorism.
b. Not only silver, but also gold is mined in this country.
15. When a plural noun is the title of a book, or when it represents a single quantity or mass, it takes a
singular verb.
a. The united states of America has a big army.
b. The adventures of Robinsons Crusoe is a fine book.
16. When the subjects connected by as well as, or together with; differ in number or person or both the
verb is used according to the number and Person of the subject that stand first.
a. my parents as well as I were unhappy.
b. He as well as you is to blame.
c. you as well as I are fond of tea.
d. The students as well as the teacher were interested in English.
17. If the subjects joined by not only---but also differ in number or person or both, the verb is used
according to the subject that stands last.
a. Not only the masters but also the servants were blamed.
b. Not only the captain but also the players were delighted.
18. Some nouns are one thing but considered to be plural.
a. Your trousers are dirty
B. Your scissors are blunt.
C. Where are your specs?
BUT if there nouns are used with a pair of, then it will be used as a singular verb.
Ex: a pair of trousers is ready for you.
19. Some adjectives, act as plural nouns, if used with article the .
Ex. The poor are honest.
The dumb do not speak.
20. Singular Verb is used when Adjective of quantity (much, , more, little, less) is used as subject.
a. Much has already been done.
b. Little has been done so far.
C. Much more is still in depth.
d. Much less was expected.
21. Formula;
Indefinite/Definite Number +of+ a number of /the number of
A number of ---- Plural verbs
The number of ----Singular verb
Ex. 1.A numbers of boys have come.
2. A number of children are playing

3. A number of students are absent

4. The number of students is going down.
5. The number of employees is fixed.
6. The number of guests varies.

In each of the following sentences supply a verb in agreement with its Subject :1. Two and two --------------- four.
2. There -------------- many objections to such a plan.
3. Death or disgrace ------------- before him.
4. Neither his father nor his mother ---------------- alive.
5. Iron as well as gold ------------------ found in India.
6. Bread and butter ----------------- wholesome food.
7. The public ------------------- requested not to walk on the grass.
8. The great poet and novelist ---------------dead.
9. Not one of you --------------- done his work properly.
10. Each of the boys ------------------ rewarded.
11. The accountant and cashier ---------------- absconded.
12. Extravagance and parsimony --------------------- to be avoided.
13. Mans misery and happiness ------------ in a great measure in his own hands.
14. Kindness as well as Justice---------------------- to be our guide.
15. The formation of paragraphs -------------------- very important.
16. The jury ------------- divided in their opinions.
17. The horse and the trap-------------------been waiting a long time.
18. Every leaf and every flower---------------stripped off the tree.
19. To take pay and then not to do work--------------------dishonest.
20. Two thirds of the city -------------------in ruins.