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Business English Week 1

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Basic Sentence Structure
¡  Chapter 1, p. 3
¡  Every sentence must have at least 2 parts
¡  A subject
¡  A verb

¡  A subject is usually a noun (a person, place or

thing) or a pronoun (e.g., I, you, she, he, it, we,
¡  A verb shows what the subject is usually doing
(present tense), or has done (past tense), or will
do (future tense)

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¡  Verbs indicate what someone or something does
or is or has
¡  My accountant filled out my income tax return.
¡  His method is more efficient than mine.
¡  He has a lot of information to save me money.

¡  But most of the time, verbs show action

¡  An instructor teaches
¡  A student learns
¡  A program coordinator organizes school functions
¡  A business administrator works at an office

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¡  Chapter 1, p. 8 (at the bottom)

¡  The subject of a sentence is the word doing the

action of the verb.
¡  An instructor teaches
¡  A student learns
¡  A program coordinator organizes school functions
¡  A business administrator works at an office

¡  In the sentences above, we have nouns (people) as

the subjects, but subjects can also be pronouns

¡  Pronouns: replace nouns, especially if you want to

avoid repeating the name of the noun(s)

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Subject Pronouns
¡  Will be studied more extensively later (Chapter 6)
¡  I (about one’s self)

¡  you (about someone else; could be more than

one person)

¡  we (about one’s self and others)

¡  he, she, it (another person or thing, depending

on gender, but is singular)

¡  they (other people or things; gender doesn’t

matter, but is plural)

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Pronouns Example
James walks everyday to school for twenty
minutes. James He is a student at the local high
school, Business Collegiate. There, James he studies
many subjects, but his favourite classes are Math
and English. James He does very well in both those
subjects, but James he wants to do better. James
asked Wendy for help, so that James he can study

Wendy loves lending a help when Wendy she can,

so Wendy she makes sure that James gets all the
help James he needs when it comes to studying.

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Another Example
The weather has been very weird in Toronto lately.
The weather It was hot, and then the weather it
was cold, but then there was a heat wave for two
weeks. And now, the weather it is cloudy. The
weather It might rain later on too. The weather It
can be really confusing sometimes.

Sam and Ray talk about the weather often. Sam

and Ray They are probably the only ones who can
discuss weather for a long time. Sam and Ray They
enjoy talking about the weather because Sam and
Ray they make a lot of plans for outdoor activities.

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Principal Parts of the Verb
¡  Chapter 1, p. 10

¡  Every verb has five principal (basic) parts

Principal Part Example (to go)
Infinitive To go
Present tense Go
Past tense Went
Present participle Going
Past participle Gone
¡  Present tense and past tense do not need
helping verbs (e.g., is, has, can, do, may)

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Verbs as Describing Words
¡  Chapter 1, p. 12
¡  Present participles and past participles can be used
as describing words too
¡  I am walking to the subway station right now.
(present participle)
¡  Walking is good exercise.
¡  I was running around trying to catch my dog.
(past participle)
¡  Running three miles a day is better exercise.

¡  Infinitive verbs can also be describing words

¡  To get a good job requires good skills
¡  To pay bills when they’re due is good policy

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Sentence Completers
¡  Chapter 2, p. 17
¡  Recall participles can be used as describing
¡  The exhausted photographer dropped her tripod.
¡  The answering machine was out of order.

¡  In the sentences above, the participles are

adjectives, which describe nouns, in this case
¡  An adjective can also describe any nouns,
whether they’re the subject or object of the

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What is an Object?
¡  In sentence, there is usually a subject, a verb and
an object
¡  An instructor teaches students.
¡  A student learns from the instructor.
¡  A program coordinator organizes school functions.
¡  A business administrator works with their officemates.

¡  Objects are nouns usually found after the verb.

The object of the sentences typically has
something done to it.

¡  The subject does something to the object.

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Participles are Adjectives for
Object Nouns
¡  The exhausted photographer dropped her
¡  The photographer is the subject noun
¡  The verb exhausted is used an adjective to describe
the subject noun photographer

¡  The editor fired the exhausted photographer.

¡  The subject is not the photographer
¡  The subject is the editor
¡  The verb exhausted is used as an adjective to
describe the object noun photographer

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Nouns into Adjectives
¡  Chapter 2, p. 18
¡  A suffix is a word ending that
changes the function of many

¡  We can change the way we use

the word (or in this case, a noun)
by adding a different word
ending, or changing the word

¡  There is also a chart at the

bottom of page 18

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Prepositional Phrase
¡  Chapter 2, p. 19
¡  Prepositional phrases consist of more than one
word; they can be used as adjectives because
they describe nouns

¡  Prepositional phrases are placed after the noun

¡  They are called “prepositional phrases” because

there’s a preposition included

¡  Preposition: a connecting word that shows the

relationship between a noun and another word
in the sentence

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Prepositional Phrases
¡  The book on my desk belongs to Roger.
¡  The office across the hall is the President’s suite.
¡  The flowers in the vase are wilting.

¡  In the sentences above, the prepositional

phrases show where the subject nouns are. This is
called space relationship

¡  There’s also a time relationship

¡  The day before yesterday was when I shopped.
¡  The week after next is when I’ll be on vacation.

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List of Prepositional Phrases
¡  Chapter 2, p. 20
¡  Take a few minutes to read through the list

¡  Which ones are confusing?

¡  Aboard – going into a ship/boat or train
¡  Among – around certain people or things
¡  Except – excluding, or without
¡  I got all the papers except the blue one for you.
¡  The girl scouts except one went on the trip.
¡  Upon – on top, or when something happens
¡  The book upon the teacher’s desk is yours.
¡  The date upon notice is subject to change.

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¡  Chapter 2, p. 20-21
¡  Recall that adjective describe nouns
¡  But adverbs describe verbs
¡  Margaret responded slowly.
¡  The instructor teaches quickly.
¡  The students are listening attentively.

¡  Most adverbs end with –ly

¡  Ben speaks well.
¡  I ran fast.

¡  Adjectives + -ly can also be adverbs

¡  I was running exhaustedly.

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Prepositional Phrases as
¡  Chapter 2, p. 22

¡  Prepositional phrases can also be adverbs

¡  I walked across the room.
¡  The treasurer signed on the dotted line.
¡  The comet streaked through the sky.
¡  The witness squirmed in his chair.
¡  The manuscript slipped from my hands.

¡  The prepositional phrase shows where or how the

verb is used.

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Not, Never, Always, Often,
Sometimes, Also and Very as
¡  Chapter 2, p. 23

¡  These words modify the verb. They change or

strengthen the meaning.
¡  “not” & “never” show negative meaning
¡  “always” & “often” show something happens a lot
¡  “sometimes” means it happens from time to time
¡  “also” means it is added information

¡  Very is also another adverb

¡  “very” strengthens the effect of the verb
¡  Mercedes reads very slowly.

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Examples for the Other
Adverbs: Not, Never, Always,
Sometimes & Also
¡  The adverbs are bolded. The verbs are
¡  Gwen never leaves work early.
¡  Ken did not answer the telephone.
¡  Normal always works hard.
¡  Alice sometimes goofs off.
¡  She can also concentrate on her job.

¡  Notice the helping verbs used for some of these

adverbs, especially “not”
¡  You do not enter that way.
¡  She could not believe what happened.

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Direct Objects
¡  Chapter 2, p. 24

¡  The direct object is the noun or pronoun that receives the

action of the verb
¡  Amina wrote the letter. (What did Amina write?)
¡  The lawyers argued the case. (What did they argue?)
¡  The jury delivered its verdict. (What did they deliver?)
¡  The judge conferred the sentence. (What did the judge confer?)

¡  Be careful! Sometimes the direct object is tricky to find.

¡  Amina wrote Jason a letter. (What did Amina write?)
¡  The jury delivered its verdict to the court. (What did they deliver?)

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Predicate Nominative
¡  Chapter 2, p. 25

¡  A predicate nominative is when the subject is

described as a noun
¡  Janice is a dentist.
¡  There is no action verb. The verb is describes the
¡  Juanita was a secretary.
¡  Again, no action verb, The past tense verb was
describes what the subject used to be.
¡  She may be the next company president.
¡  The infinitive verb to be is used here with a helping
verb, describing what the subject may become in
the future.
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Predicate Adjectives
¡  Chapter 2, p. 25

¡  On the other hand, a predicate adjective

describes the subject with an adjective
¡  Janice is skillful.
¡  An adjective describes the subject, Janice here.
¡  Juanita is ambitious.
¡  She will be successful.

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Sentence, Fragments
& Run-ons
¡  Chapter 3, p. 29

¡  A basic sentence in English consists of a subject

and a verb, and sometimes an object
¡  Sam sees the tree.
¡  subject, verb, object
¡  Sam sees the tree and hears the birds.
¡  subject, verb, verb, object
¡  Sam and Willy golf.
¡  subject, subject, verb
¡  Sam and Willy golf and swim.
¡  subject, subject, verb, verb
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Complicated Sentences
¡  Chapter 3, p. 30

Sam sees the tree. Willy hears the birds.

¡  We can combine sentences with punctuation

¡  Sam sees the tree; Willy hears the birds.

¡  We can combine sentences with coordinators

¡  Sam sees the tree, and Willy hears the birds.

¡  A coordinator (and, yet, for, nor, or, but, so) is

usually used after a comma to connect two or
more similar sentences

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Coordinators Examples
¡  AND – Sam was painting, and Jim was choosing colours.

¡  OR – Jim chose between painting with blue, or painting with red.

¡  YET – Sam told him to choose red, yet Jim chose blue.
(did something unexpected)

¡  BUT – Jim wanted to apologize, but Sam said it’s okay.

¡  FOR – Jim still felt bad, for he felt guilty for ignoring Sam’s
suggestion. (gives a reason)

¡  SO – Sam wanted Jim to know it was okay, so he gave his painting

to Jim as a present. (what happened afterwards)

¡  NOR – Sam wasn’t surprised when Jim gave his own painting to
him, nor was Jim surprised when the art instructor applauded their
good manners. (a negative version of or)
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¡  Chapter 3, p. 32
¡  When you add a subordinator (p. 32 in the grey
box at the bottom of the page), a sentence can
be turned into a fragment

¡  A fragment is an incomplete sentence

¡  For example
¡  When Sam sees the tree…
¡  While you check the textbook…
¡  Since I’m reading…
¡  Once upon a time…

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¡  Chapter 3, p. 33

¡  Fragments can also be incomplete sentences

¡  There’s no verb
¡  There’s no subject
¡  But seeing subordinators in the beginning of a short
statement usually means, you’re looking at
¡  But is a coordinator and subordinator
¡  e.g., But like you…

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More Complicated
¡  Chapter 3, p. 34 and p. 36

¡  Subordinators can also be used as coordinators

¡  Lee was watching TV while Carol was studying.
¡  subject verb subordinator subject verb
¡  Lee was watching TV while also trying to study.
¡  subject verb subordinator verb

¡  Subordinators can also be placed in the beginning of the

¡  Before you start working in class, it’s important to know this.
¡  subordinator subject verb subject verb
¡  Because you pay attention in class, you’re doing well.
¡  subordinator subject verb subject verb
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Run-on Sentences
¡  Chapter 3, p. 37

¡  A run-on is when we try to combine sentences by just

sticking them together

¡  Two sentences can be combined with a coordinator,

subordinator, or a semi-colon (which acts like a period/dot
but the pause is very brief)

¡  Trey took two milk jugs from the fridge he dropped one
¡  Trey took two milk jugs from the fridge, but he dropped one.
¡  The took two milk jugs from the fridge; he dropped one.

¡  On pages 38-39, we will be working on answering Exercises

11-12 together

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Words of Transition
¡  Chapter 3, p. 39
¡  Use words of transitions by starting a new sentence

¡  There is usually a period/dot or a semi-colon before a word of


¡  For example
¡  I was very focused when I studied. Accordingly, I did well in the test.
¡  He was really well prepared. Also, she was too.
¡  You are doing great. Indeed you’ll continue to do so.

¡  Sometimes you need a comma (to show a brief pause when

reading the sentence) or sometimes you don’t need the
comma after the word of transition

¡  Let’s read the examples at the bottom of page 39

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Subject-Verb Agreement
¡  Chapter 4, p. 45

¡  Again, the name of these terms are not important, but it

might help you remember grammar rules

¡  Subject-verb agreement is a fancy way of saying the

subject should match the verb

¡  If it is a singular subject (only one, thing or place), the verb

should match it, so the verb should also be singular

¡  If it is a plural subject (more than one noun), the verb should

also be plural

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Singular vs Plural Nouns
¡  Chapter 4, p. 45-46

¡  Most singular nouns can be made into a plural noun by adding

–s at the end
¡  pen à pens, orange à oranges, show à shows, book à books

¡  But some nouns that end with –s already are made into a plural
noun by adding –es at the end

¡  The same goes for nouns that end with –ch, -sh, -x and –z
¡  bus à buses, dish à dishes, quiz à quizzes

¡  If the noun ends with a –y but the letter before that is a

consonant, the –y is replaced with –ies (there are expections)
¡  butterfly à butterflies, company à companies, monkey à monkeys

¡  Some nounds that end with –o need an –es to be plural

¡  tomato à tomatoes, hero à heroes, potato à potatoes

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Chapter 4, Exercise 2, p. 46
•  Cost à costs •  Factory à factories
•  Journey à journeys •  Safe à safes
•  Buzz à buzzes •  Life à lives
•  (the sound bees •  Fox à foxes
make) •  Banana à bananas
•  Inquiry à inquiries •  Loss à losses
•  Holiday à holidays •  Cargo à cargoes
•  Anniversary à •  Trustee à trustees
anniversaries (high administrative
•  Request à requests control)
•  Finance à finances •  Phony à phonies
•  Success à successes (people who are fake)
•  Ax à axes •  Banjo à banjos
Possessive S
¡  Chapter 4, p. 47
¡  A possessive S is a fancy way of saying add an
apostrophe (’) and an s at the end of a noun to show
that is owns something

¡  Add –’s to a noun that owns/possesses something

¡  A girl’s pen is red.
¡  A cat’s bowl is full of food.
¡  The hamster’s cage is very spacious.
¡  This classroom’s air conditioning is great.
¡  Toronto’s weather is very hot in the summer.
¡  But during winter, Toronto’s weather is extremely cold.

¡  Not all possessive nouns (nouns that own something) end

with an –’s
¡  That’s my pen.
¡  Those are her books.
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Chapter 4, Exercise 3, p. 47
1.  This company’s policy…
2.  All employees’ salaries…
3.  An employee’s performance…
4.  An immediate superior’s opinion…
5.  The administration’s objectivity…
6.  An employee’s loyal service...
7.  A raise’s merit…
8.  …someone’s outstanding performance.
9.  This company’s employees…
10. …their workers’ satisfaction.
Singular vs Plural Verbs
¡  Chapter 4, p. 49

¡  On the contrary, adding an –s to a verb will make is

¡  An archer slings his quiver over his shoulder.
¡  She aims the arrow at her target.
¡  The target startles when his hat falls off his head.

¡  Taking out the –s from a verb makes it plural

¡  Two friends walk down the street.
¡  Peter and Stan startle when they see an arrow pass.
¡  The people in the park are surprised.

¡  The verb to be (is, are, was, were) is irregular.

¡  Chapter 4, p. 50 top of the page

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Chapter 4, Exercise 4, p. 48-49
1.  Airports employ…
2.  The pilots fly…
3.  The navigators keep…
4.  The flight attendant takes…
5.  The ground crews check…
6.  The baggage handler tosses…
7.  The ticket agent arranges…
8.  The customs officials open…
9.  Tower control directs…
10. The security agent watches…
•  Let’s read and tackle Exercise 5 together.
To Be Verb
¡  Chapter 4, p. 49-50
Present Past
Singular is was
Plural are were
¡  For example
¡  One bookkeeper is not enough.
¡  Two bookkeepers are enough.
¡  One executive was working on the deal.
¡  Several executives were working on the deal.
¡  I am busy.

¡  Let’s read and tackle Exercise 6 together

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Verb S-Ending Shortcuts
¡  Chapter 4, p. 50

¡  When the subject is he, she, it, this or that, the verb
needs an s-ending

¡  When the subject is I, you, we, they, these or those,

the verb does not get an s-ending

¡  For example
¡  He travels on business quite often.
¡  They travel on business occasionally.
¡  This idea is interesting.
¡  Those are not interesting.

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Verb S-Ending Shortcuts
¡  Chapter 4, p. 50
¡  BUT when the subject is “I”, the past tense for the to
be verb has an s-ending
¡  I was…

¡  For example
¡  I was at the mall yesterday.
¡  I was on the way here.
¡  I was sometimes confused about writing sentences.
¡  I was so excited to see that new movie!

¡  Let’s read and work on Exercise 7 together

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Compound Subjects
¡  Chapter 4, p. 51-52

¡  Two or more subjects count as a plural subject, so they

need a plural verb
¡  Sam talks.
¡  Willy talks.
¡  Sam and Willy talk.
¡  The desk is mine.
¡  The chair is mine.
¡  The desk and chair are mine.
¡  The archer picks up the arrows.
¡  Pete also picks up the arrows.
¡  The archer and Pete pick up the arrows.

¡  We’ll work on Exercise 8 together J

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Or and Nor
¡  Chapter 4, p. 52

¡  The word or can also separate two or more subjects

¡  But when there is an or separating the subjects, it becomes a

singular subject because not all of the subjects will not all do the
action of verb
¡  Susan or Nancy is taking care of the paperwork today.
¡  Peter or Quentin is the one cleaning after the arrows right now.

¡  However, if there is a plural subject involved, the verb is also

¡  Susan, Nancy or the two new interns are taking care of the paperwork
¡  Peter, Quentin or the three new archers are cleaning after the arrows
right now.
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Indefinite Pronouns
¡  Chapter 4, p. 53-54

¡  Singular indefinite pronouns means that there are pronouns

(replace specific nouns) that do not specifically show the
number of nouns involved
¡  another, little, each, much, every, some, any, no
¡  These can sound plural, but they are singular
¡  Someone has the movie tickets.
¡  Everyone is worried.
¡  No one admits anything.

¡  Plural indefinite pronouns: both, few, many, several, others

¡  Variable indefinite pronouns: all, most, none, some

¡  If you can count more than one, it’s plural; e.g., all employees
¡  If you cannot count the noun, it’s singular; e.g., some coffee

¡  We’ll read and work on Exercises 10, 11 and 12 together

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¡  Chapter 4, p. 56

¡  “There” can begin a sentence but is not the subject

¡  It inverts the sentence, flipping it.

¡  My boss is there. à There is my boss.
¡  Your computers are there. à There are your computers.

¡  To know if the verb is singular or plural, you need to look at

what follows the verb.
¡  The computers are there. à There are the computers.
¡  All of the treats are there. à There are all the treats.

¡  Now let’s take a look at Exercise 13 and answer it together

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Irregular Nouns
¡  Chapter, 4, p. 57-58

¡  There are some irregular nouns.

¡  man à men, woman à women, child à children
¡  foot à feet, mouse à mice, datum à data, medium à media
¡  The rest are at the bottom of page 58

¡  There are some nouns that seem plural but are not
¡  subjects/school departments: maths, linguistics, economics
¡  words that end with –s; e.g., diseases: tuberculosis, measles

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Irregular Nouns
¡  Chapter, 4, p. 57-58

¡  crisis à crises (trouble) ¡  criterion à criteria (a way to

be graded or judged)
¡  analysis à analyses (study)
¡  phenomenon à phenomena
¡  stimulus à stimuli (exciting, (something that can’t be
makes something happen) explained)
¡  cactus à cacti ¡  larva à larvae (baby form of
¡  medium à media (a way to
communicate/talk to people) ¡  vertebra à vertebrae (spine)

¡  datum à data (facts/figures)

•  Let’s work on Exercise 14 together

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Collective Nouns
¡  Chapter 4, p. 59

¡  On the other hand, collective nouns are nouns that are

singular (no –s ending) but represent many
¡  The class is paying attention.
¡  The class has many students.
¡  The crowd is a large group of people.
¡  The number of people is quite large. (collective)
¡  A number of people are counted. (ONE number)
¡  The majority of these people are men. (many)

¡  Let’s practice what we learned with Exercise 15 J

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Prepositional Phrases
¡  Chapter 4, p. 60

¡  Do not confuse the nouns in prepositional phrases as the

subject of the sentence
¡  The effects of global warming are bad for the environment.
¡  Recycling at your home helps the environment.
¡  Animals in the wild suffer from the changes in their climates.
¡  However, animals in the zoo have controlled climates.
¡  So the animals around the world experience different situations.
¡  Anyone in the world is able to make a difference.

¡  Now let’s see if we can answer Exercise 16 together

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Parenthetical Expressions
¡  Chapter 4, p. 61-62

¡  Parenthetical expressions are extra information added into a

sentence usually signified by expressions such as:
¡  as well as, like, in addition to, including, together with, with

¡  Likewise, do not confuse the noun in parenthetical expressions

as the subject of the sentence
¡  The school vice-president, like the president, is in charge of many
¡  Zunera, as well as Lydia, is a program coordinator.

¡  We’ll read and answer Exercise 17 together

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Chapter 4, Exercise 17, p. 62
1.  Social work… is…
2.  Churches…were…
3.  Availability…has…
4.  Psychology…is…
5.  College departments…provide…
6.  Trouble economy…increases…
7.  Social ills…grow…
8.  Individuals…require…
9.  Social workers…are…
10. Social work…makes…
Who, Which, and That
¡  Chapter 4, p. 62-63

¡  Neither singular or plural, but connects the most recent noun

with the verb
¡  Accounting, which was developed in the 19th century, involves the
analysis of financial records.
¡  Accounting is one of the major fields which offer a lot of work.
¡  An individual, who was spotted recently, was wrongly enrolled into
this class.
¡  An individual with many skills that are helpful can still be confused.

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Chapter 4, Exercise 18, p. 63-64
1.  Fields…offer…
2.  Factors…include…
3.  Accounting…was…
4.  Professional…was…
5.  Records…show…
6.  System…provides…
7.  Individuals…are…
8.  Certification…is…
9.  People…meet…
10. Career…is…