You are on page 1of 65

Lesson 1

Lesson 1
Nouns and Adjectives
ReminPlease don't get deceived by the simple appearance of Lesson One.
In fact, it lays the sound foundations of all upcoming lessons
and is often referred to later on when your studying gets stuck.

A NOUN is the NAME of anything.

1. John kicked the football through the goal. (goal - a wooden frame)

2. The result was one goal to nil. (goal - a point)

3. His team won a narrow victory.

4. His wish came true.

5. John got excited and drank up a can of beer.

1 When we WRITE, a noun has to be decided first.

n. v.
a. before a verb. - John kicked
v. n.
b. after a verb. - kicked the football
We put a noun prep. n.
c. after a preposition. - through the goal
v. n.
d. after a 'be'. - was one goal

Lesson 1
2 When we READ, a verb or preposition should catch our eyes first. Then a noun comes next.

a. Before any verb we can find a subject noun

- John kicked.

b. After a verb we can find an object noun

- kicked the football.

c. After a preposition we can find an object noun

- through the goal.

d. After a ‘be’ we can find a complement noun

- was one goal.

3 Now turn our thoughts the other way round.

Any words or a group of words will be taken as nouns when they are found in these
four positions:
a. Before a verb.
b. After a transitive verb.
c. After a preposition.
d. After a ‘be’.
This important concept will help us understand the formation of noun phrases, gerunds
(pages 89 - 91) and even noun clauses (pages 150, 155, 237, 310, 312, 324).

Kinds of Nouns:
1. 2.

Lesson 1

A name for a special person,

1. Proper Noun place or company, such as John,
Paris, IBM, etc.

2. Common Nouns Things that we can see

and touch, such as
a. Concrete Noun
(countable) book, table, cup, bottle,
car, house, etc.

b. Collective Noun
(countable) A number or collection that we
treat as a whole, such as family,
mob, flock, army, fleet, etc.

Something that we can‛t touch or

c. Abstract Noun see but only feel, such as happiness,
(uncountable) success, bravery,
energy, wisdom,
honesty, etc.

d. Mass Noun Things that don‛t have separate units,

(uncountable) such as wood, water, gold, cotton,
homework, money, advice, travel,
weather, jewelry, news, etc. In
‘two pieces of gold‛, we count ‘pieces‛.

A common noun is the name used for any one of a class, such as ‘book’ (concrete),
‘family’ (collective), ‘happiness’ (abstract) and ‘copper’ (mass). It is contrasted with a
proper noun, which is used for a special person or place.

Lesson 1

A. Please put the underlined nouns of the following passage in the boxes

d H i s S h a d o w
The Dog a n
a b r id g e w ith a piece o
dog, is cross ee his shado
Lucky, a little eh a p p e n s t o s
outh when h shadow to be
meat in his m ta k e s h is o w n
below. He mis . Now he wan
in the water pie c e o f m e a t
with a bigger atch it. Whil
e he
another dog t r ie s t o s n
g’s meat and th drops into
the other do t in h is m o u
piece of mea ever. Sadly, L
does so, the a r k n e s s f o r
appears in d ands.
water and dis h is f a m il y with empty h
join dy.)
goes back to r y t h in g if you are gree
e ev e
(You may los

Proper Concrete Collective Abstract Mass

Lesson 1
Why do we classify a noun?
From the kind of noun we can get: (1) its exact meaning, (2) its countable or
uncountable nature. This nature will guide us to the correct uses of: (3) articles
(a, an, the), (4) verb forms (singular / plural) and (5) adjectives of quantity.

(1) We come to understand the meaning of a noun according to its type.

My cat Beauty does not like fish. (proper noun)
Mary is still a beauty in her middle age. (concrete noun)
Everybody admires her beauty. (abstract noun)
(2) Countable or uncountable nature of a noun carries a different meaning.
Beer [U] an alcoholic drink (mass noun – uncountable)
Beer is sold here.
[C] a bottle, can or glass of beer (concrete noun – countable)
Give us two beers, please. (=two bottles, two cans or two glasses)
(3) Countable concrete and collective nouns take articles (a, an, the); uncountable
mass and abstract nouns don’t.
concrete n. collective n. proper n.
In a bar the attendants were serving a group of tourists from an India town.
mass n. abstract n.
Beer brings temporary pleasure to drinkers. (no articles)

(4) Some nouns in singular number take a singular verb under one meaning, and
in plural number take a plural verb for another meaning.
Singular Plural
FORCE - strength FORCES - army
MANNER - method of doing things MANNERS - politeness
PAPER - sheet PAPERS - documents
RETURN - coming back RETURNS - profits
WATER - liquid WATERS - an area of water

The return of the company’s former CEO was good news to the staff.
The returns on the new investment of the company were encouraging.
(5) Some adjectives of quantity such as ‘many’ and ‘few’ are used to qualify
countable nouns, while ‘much’ and ‘little’ to describe uncountable nouns.
mass n.
Much beer has been sold during holidays.
concrete n.
At the close of business hours, only a few beers were left unsold.
Lesson 1

m e !
r n a
w y o u r n ame!
y ou Kneo ! me!
o w y o u r n a m a
Kn ow
Knowyour n

First name
Christian name Middle name Last
Middle name Lastname

First name
Christian name
Family name
(Given Name)
(Given Name)

We usually write:
Ronald W. Reagan or Ronald Reagan

Barack Hussein Obama

Teacher: A noun is the name of a person or

a thing. Who can give me a noun?
First boy: A cow.
Teacher: Very good. Another noun?!
Second boy: Another cow!

Lesson 1
Nouns: singular and plural
Nouns that refer to “only one” are singular.
Nouns that refer to “more than one” are plural.
Singular Plural Exceptions
book books
Regular horse horses
cat cats

dish dishes
bench benches
Nouns that end in box boxes stomachs
a “hissing” sound buzz buzzes monarchs
(-sh,-ch,-s,-x,-z) ass asses (‘ch’ pronounced as ‘k’)
glass glasses
inch inches

potato potatoes
Nouns that end in pianos
tomato tomatoes
-o casinos
echo echoes

life lives
knife knives
loaf loaves proofs
Nouns that end in shelf shelves beliefs
-f or -fe thief thieves chiefs
dwarf dwarfs/ dwarves
scarf scarfs/ scarves
wharf wharfs/ wharves

duty duties
army armies keys
Nouns that end in lady ladies days
-y city cities valleys
fly flies monkeys
body bodies (A vowel before ‘y’)

man men
tooth teeth
Nouns that don’t goose geese
follow any of these child children
rules mouse mice
sheep sheep
ox oxen
German Germans
Lesson 1
The following nouns are used ONLY in the singular:
News / Information (No news is good news.)
Aerobics (Aerobics is a form of exercise.)
Physics (Physics is a science subject.)
Garbage / Trash (Garbage is collected on Wednesdays in this town.)
Equipment (Our office equipment is said to be up-to-date.)
Baggage / Luggage (Too much baggage / luggage is not allowed on the plane.)
Furniture (The furniture of the home suits the style of the house.)
The following nouns are used ONLY in the plural:
Sweets (My sister bought a packet of sweets to suck on her way to school.)
Thanks (It was thanks to my uncle that I got the job.)
Riches (Some people wanted fame, while others were crazy about riches.)
Goods (Our company supplies honest goods at honest prices.)
Fireworks (Last night the whole city was entertained with fireworks.)
Wages (The little shop pays very low wages per week.)
Remains (The remains of yesterday’s lunch were still seen lying on the table.)
Some nouns in certain expressions must be in plural number:
exchange seats; shake hands; make friends with; take turns; be friends with
E.g. We may change trains at the next station. (NOT ‘train’)

Singular Plural Examples

cloth (C) cloths a yard of cloth
clothing (U) an item of clothing
clothes (C) a suit of clothes

1. In winter people wear heavy clothing like hats, scarves, boots, and overcoats.
2. Many cloths of high quality are used for making fashionable and expensive clothes.

Some Final Words on Nouns at this early stage:

1. A noun has first to be classified as countable (concrete and collective) or
uncountable (abstract and mass).
2. Countable nouns require articles (a, an, the); uncountable nouns don’t.
3. Countable nouns take singular / plural verbs; uncountable nouns only singular.
tr. v. n. prep. n.
4. Before a noun we find a transitive verb / preposition, e.g. ... show love, ... in love.
After a noun we find a transitive / intransitive verb. E.g. Birds eat worms. Birds fly.
n. tr. v. n. int. v.
Please refer to Lesson 2.
Lesson 1

• An adjective adds information to a noun.

• We say that the adjective qualifies the noun.
• Usually an adjective goes before a noun or comes after a linking verb.
(Please see page 19.)

Any word that adds information to a noun is an adjective.

adjective noun
The adjective qualifies the noun.

Adjectives are classified in order to make a neat stacking (arrangement) for

a smooth, natural description of a noun. (Please see page 12.)

1. Demonstrative Adjectives (this, that, these, those, the, a(n), etc.)

These adjectives point out people, things, etc.

This and these refer to things close to the speaker.

That and those point at things less close to the speaker.
This and that go with singular nouns.
These and those go with plural nouns.
The goes with both singular and plural nouns.

This house is old. (singular)

That house is old. (singular)
These houses are new. (plural) This house
Those houses are new. (plural)
The school is open. (singular)
The children are playing. (plural)

Lesson 1

2. The Possessive (noun in the possessive form used as an adjective)

This kind of adjectives shows ownership.

That is John’s car.

John’s → shows ownership or possession.

John’s car = The car that belongs to John.

The Possessive answers the question, 'Whose?'

Whose car? John's.

Formation of the Possessive:

1. The Possessive of a noun whether singular or plural is formed by adding ’s to the noun:

the boy’s book; the king’s crown; the family’s income;

men’s club; children’s school; people’s leader

2. When a noun ends in s, the Possessive is formed by adding an apostrophe (’)

after the s:

the boys’ school; the students’ teacher

Lesson 1

3. Adjectives of Quantity
some money much patience
enough food all his wealth some money
no sense whole amount
many days each boy

These adjectives answer the question: How much or how many?

‘Many’ goes with countable nouns. (concrete and collective nouns)
‘Much’ goes with uncountable nouns. (abstract and mass nouns)

4. Adjectives of Quality (opinion, size/shape/age, color, proper adjectives)

i ii iii iv v vi

i iv i ii iii iv
a nice man an old car a beautiful big round old table
ii v v vi
a large city a blue shirt a black Japanese car
iii vi
a square table the English language
thin man

These adjectives answer the question: Of what kind?

Adjectives of opinion include beautiful, ugly, nice, bad, dirty, good ... .
Lesson 1

A noun can be used as an adjective to qualify another noun in order to show the
Function or Element of the second noun.

n. n.
A beauty salon (A salon that provides beauty services)
adj. n.
A beautiful salon (A salon that looks beautiful)
n. n.
An information center (A center that provides information)
adj. n.
An informative talk (A talk that gives people helpful ideas)

n. n.
A gold chain (A chain that has the element of gold)
adj. n.
Golden hair (Hair that has bright yellow color)
n. n.
A silk suit (A suit that is made of silk)
adj. n.
A silky voice (A gentle voice that is like soft silk)

Word order of the adjectives

opinion size shape age color proper adj.
The chairman’s two beautiful large round old brown Indian teak tables.

demonstrative possessive of quantity of quality noun used as adj.

(1 ) (2) (3) (4 ) to show ‘element’

Lesson 1
Collocation (matching of different parts of speech)
A noun and an adjective are close partners.
An adjective can qualify a few nouns, and, likewise, a noun can be qualified by a
few adjectives.

Adjectives Nouns


intuition (= feeling)
a ... dog
a ... officer
a ... fig-tree

a ... role
a ... person

(= chief)
a ... game

Adjectives Nouns



Lesson 1

a new
a rare
the human species
an extinct (singular and plural)
an endangered

The secret of writing good English lies in a good match between nouns and adjectives.
ONLY through extensive reading can a learner acquire such a kind of valuable knowledge.

B. Please underline all the adjectives in this passage.

Janet’s family had a big, old house with a beautiful

garden, a lot of flowers and many old trees. One morning,
Janet came in from the garden. She was a tall, fat woman,
thirty years old. It was the hottest day of the year, but
5 she wore a warm, brown skirt and yellow shirt. She went
into the kitchen to get a refreshing drink of cold water.
Just then the back door opened. And her mother came in.
Her mother Molly was a tall, dark woman with gray hair.

A black and white dog came into the kitchen after her
10 and ran across to her. She sat down, put her hands on
its head and said to Janet, “I usually did the same to you
when you as a kid were having a sad and depressed look.”

Lesson 1
Comparison of Adjectives
Most adjectives have the positive degree, the comparative degree followed by ‘than’ to
compare 2 things, and the superlative degree preceded by ‘the’ to compare more than 2 things.

All one-syllable adjectives follow the -er / -est pattern.

Positive Comparative Superlative
tall taller tallest
quick quicker quickest
old older/elder oldest/eldest
If the vowel of the positive is short, the last consonant is doubled.
big bigger biggest
red redder reddest
wet wetter wettest
If the positive ends in -e, only -r and -st are added.
brave braver bravest
cute cuter cutest
wide wider widest

If the positive ends in -y, it changes to -ier and -iest.

dry drier driest
sly slier /slyer sliest /slyest
shy shier /shyer shiest /shyest

Most two-syllable adjectives, especially those ending in -able, -ful, -ing, -ish, -ive, -less
and -ous, take MORE / (LESS) in the comparative and MOST / (LEAST) in the superlative.

readable more readable most readable

hopeful more hopeful most hopeful
charming more charming most charming
foolish more foolish most foolish
active more active most active

Other two-syllable adjectives follow the -er / -est pattern as the one-syllable adjectives do.
clever cleverer cleverest
simple simpler simplest
happy happier happiest
friendly friendlier friendliest
Lesson 1

However, some two-syllable adjectives can take EITHER -er / -est OR more / most:
common; stupid; pleasant; handsome; polite; gentle
e.g. Your servant was stupider than I thought.
Your servant was more stupid than I thought.

Irregular Comparison
The following Adjectives are exceptions:

good better best

bad worse worst
little less, lesser least
much more most
many more most
far farther/further farthest/furthest

can be used
We use ‘’ with the positive degree. without ‘the’
John is as fat as Jack. to mean ‘very’.
Mary is not as fat as John.
We use ‘than’ with the comparative degree. -The movie
John is fatter than Mary. was most
This dress is more beautiful than that dress. interesting.

‘The’ is used with the superlative degree. -People

John is the fattest of the three boys.
the bill most
Mary is the most beautiful girl in the class.
This is the fastest car on the running track.

Lesson 1

To Learn English (1)

Clear and correct English makes people easily understand you, and they would
immediately decide that you are well educated. As a result, they truly respect you:
this brings to your career every chance of success.

However, to achieve good English, people need some basic tools for the long,
steep climb to the goal. These are determination, patience and effort.

To begin with, the meaning of a word varies according to what part of speech it
is. Often, a different part of speech of a word carries a different meaning:

1) The dog was taken ill. (adjective - sick)
Poverty is an ill. (noun - problem)

2) The children are running about. (adverb - in different directions)

The report is about the weather. (preposition - concerning)
The movie is about to start. (adjective - soon going)

3) To understand a clause, we first find out its verb and next its subject/object.
Tokyo office costs cost a lot of money.
(‘Cost’ is a transitive verb, meaning ‘need’)
(‘Costs’ is a plural noun, meaning ‘expenses’, subject of the transitive verb ‘cost’.)
Bush ducks shoe throw in Iraq.
(‘Ducks’ is a transitive verb, meaning ‘avoids’.)
(‘Throw’ is a noun, object of ‘ducks’.)
(‘Shoe’ is a noun, used as an adjective to qualify ‘throw’.)
So English is a language of definition (to read according to rules).

Was taken ill (idiomatic expression) = fell ill
‘Bush ducks shoe throw in Iraq’ is newspaper English, which usually omits the
articles (a,an,the). Traditional English is ‘Bush ducks a shoe throw in Iraq.’
(‘Throw’ is a countable noun, which requires an article.)

Lesson 2

Lesson 2
A VERB tells us something about a person or thing and is
the most important word in a sentence.

When we write, we first have some nouns in our mind, such as ‘key’
and ‘door’. (Please refer back to page 1.) Then we look for a suitable
verb ‘opens’ to match the nouns like this:

Subject Verb Object

(noun) (noun)
A key opens a door.

* ‘Key’ and ‘door’ are countable concrete nouns, which need an article ‘a’.

Here the noun ‘key’ governs the verb ‘opens’. It is subject (the action doer) of the verb.

The second noun ‘door’ (the action receiver) is the object governed by the verb ‘opens’.

Transitive verb
The verb ‘opens’ is a transitive verb because it passes the action from the action doer ‘key’
(subject) to the action receiver ‘door’ (object). A transitive verb must take an object.

Lesson 2
Intransitive verb
Subject Verb
The world laughs.
The action verb ‘laughs’ stops with the action doer ‘world’ (subject).
There is no action receiver (object).

Why is it first and foremost to classify a verb?

The answer is easily seen in the following examples:
intr. v.
1. He stopped to smoke. (= He walked no farther and stood there and smoked.)
tran. v.
2. He stopped smoking. (= He gave up smoking and smoked no more.)
In 1, the intransitive 'stopped' ends with the subject 'he', and 'to smoke' tells us why he
stopped. (Please see page 98.)
In 2, the transitive 'stopped' means 'quitted' and takes the noun (gerund) 'smoking' as its
object. (Please see page 90 for more explanations of gerunds.)

xa mples:
More E
intr. v.
She turned, and dropped the ball. (= She went round and dropped the ball.)
tran. v.
She turned and dropped the ball. (= She turned the ball and dropped it.)

Linking verb (Please see page 100.)

The linking verb ‘be’ (am, is, are, was, were, been, being, be) is used most frequently. It
links a noun or an adjective with the subject to make the meaning of a sentence complete.

Subject Complement
John is a doctor.
(noun) (linking v.) (noun)

Subject Complement
John is happy.
(noun) (linking v.) (adjective)

Lesson 2
Both the noun ‘doctor’ and the adjective ‘happy’ are complements of ‘is’. There are
many other linking verbs, such as seem, appear, become, grow, turn, prove, look,
come, go, feel, get, etc. They take a noun or an adjective as their complements, NOT
as objects.
For Ex The weather looks fine.
n. link. v. adj.
The weather looks fine.

We can understand the sentence in two ways:

• The adjective ‘fine’ is complement of the
linking verb ‘looks’.
• The adjective ‘fine’ qualifies the noun

Noun or adjective?
If we put a noun instead of an adjective after a linking verb, we say the two nouns
refer to the same person or thing.

John becomes a teacher. (John = a teacher )

So the following sentence is incorrect.

John is happiness.

‘John’ is a man, and ‘happiness’ is an abstract noun. They are different things. Here
we must use the adjective form ‘happy’ instead.

John is happy. ( = happy John / a happy man)

Lesson 2

A verb in different types suggests different meanings:
The children are playing. (intransitive – are having fun)
n. (obj)
The wife played the violin badly. (transitive – performed)
n. adj.
The husband played deaf. (linking – pretended)

The following are the most frequently used sentence patterns:

(1) SV
(subject + intransitive verb / transitive verb in the passive voice)
My dog barked.
A rat was caught.

(2) SVO
(subject + transitive verb + object)
The dog killed the rat. (concrete noun)
The rat stole some food. (mass noun)

(3) SVC
(subject + linking verb + complement)
The food was cheese. (mass noun)
The cheese smelt good. (adjective)

(4) SVOC (Please see page 105.)
(subject + transitive verb + object + complement)
I called the dog a good boy. (concrete noun)
The dog made me happy. (adjective)

(5) SVOO
(subject + transitive verb + object + object)
I gave the dog some cookies.
Tom handed Susan a present.

Lesson 2

A. Please find out the sentence pattern of each of the following sentences.

Example: The tree has been blown away. ( 1 ) SV

1. Someone is coming.
2. She is the champion.
3. Tiffany feels bad.
4. All of the witnesses are being investigated.
5. Tom found his wallet.
6. We showed the official our passports.
7. I found Tom sleepy.

B. The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs

In paragraph 1, please write ‘I’ for ‘intransitive verb’, ‘T’ for ‘transitive verb’ and
‘L’ for ‘linking verb’. The first one has been done for you.

The night fell. A farmer came to his goose’s nest. He found a heavy, yellow egg
there. He felt strange, ‘Someone has played a trick on me.’ Still, he took it home but
was very happy because the egg was a lump of gold.

Lesson 2

In paragraph 2, try to look for a noun/pronoun in the FOUR positions:

( 1 ) before a verb,
( 2 ) after a transitive verb,
( 3 ) after a linking verb,
( 4 ) after a preposition.
The 1st sentence has been done for you.

(1) (2) (4) (4)
The farmer sold the egg for a handsome sum of money. Every evening the goose
laid an egg of gold, and very soon he became a rich man.

In paragraph 3, try to write ‘subject’ for the noun/pronoun before a verb, ‘object’
after a transitive verb OR a preposition, and ‘complement’ after a linking verb.

subj. subj. compl. subj.
As the farmer grew rich, he turned greedy man. But he didn’t want to get only one
egg everyday. He said, “ I’d better cut the goose open to take all the eggs out of her at
one time.” So he cut open the goose but found nothing. Now he became an unhappy
man. (N.B. There is no ‘a’ before ‘greedy man’. Please see ‘turn’ on page 104.)

For ONLY, please point out which is a noun and which is a verb in the
following sentence.

Shaw saw saws saw saws.

See page 95 for tips.

Lesson 2


world peace
living standard
preserve a person’s outlook
historic buildings (prevent decay)
food (prevent decay)

electricity, water, etc.

(not to waste)
land, forest or other natural resources
(prevent them from damage)
conserve historic buildings (prevent decay)
food (prevent waste)

Both historic buildings and food can be governed by either preserve or conserve.

Here we can see how an object noun can be governed by several transitive verbs and
qualified by several adjectives. If the noun is uncountable, no article is needed.


keep strict, lax
maintain tough
proper discipline (uncountable)
lack normal

Lesson 2
Likewise, a transitive verb can also govern a few different nouns, and each noun can be
qualified by a few adjectives, too. If the noun is countable, an article is needed.

main, major, great

grave, deep
express genuine concern
growing (uncountable)

express a humble apology
profound (countable)

Verbs, adjectives and nouns are 3 in 1. And we should not study an English word singly.
Verb + (a/ an/ the/ no article) + adjective + noun is a core pattern of sentence-writing.
To read more and to consult dictionaries often will help (to) pave the way to success.

C. Please say what part of speech each word in italics is in the following sentences.

int. v. adj.
Example: I spring over the garden gate to pick some spring flowers.

1. Bath the little dog in this bath, and wrap it up with a bath towel.

2. Iron this shirt with an electric iron on this iron table made of iron from the USA.

3. Water this plant with water from these water bottles.

Lesson 2
Summary (At this first stage, it is good enough to understand the following.)
To think this way

Word(s) = Subject = Noun

(before a verb) (before a verb)

Word(s) Object Noun

(after a verb / prep.) = =(after a verb / prep.)

Word(s) = Complement = Noun / Adjective

(after a linking verb) (after a linking verb)
To think the other way

(See P.107.)

Here is a little test for OUTSTANDING learners.

Please find out the subjects and objects in the following sentences:
A wolf walking by the mountain’s side in the evening saw his
own shadow.
wolf subject of the transitive verb ‘saw’.
side object of the preposition ‘by’.
evening object of the preposition ‘in’.
shadow object of the transitive verb ‘saw’.
1. A frog braver than the rest putting his head above the
water cried to the boys loudly.
2. Near an apple tree grew a rose bush. (Please refer to P.294.)
Lesson 2

Different suffixes can help us easily understand whether a word is a noun,

verb or adjective and hence their meanings. (Please try to memorize them.)

Of Nouns
(1) Denoting mainly the agent or doer of a thing.
n) -ar (-er, -eer, -ier, -ary)
-ain (-an, -en, -o

ca pt ai n, mu sic ian , scho lar, teac her, engin eer,

cit ize n, su rg eo n. finan cier, miss iona ry.

-ate (-ee, -ey, -y

) -er (-ar, -or, -yer)
ad vo ca te , em ploye e, pai nte r, beg gar ,
at to rn ey , com pa ny . sai lor , em plo yer .

(2) Denoting state, action, result of an action.

-ance (-ence) -dom

brilliance , assistan ce, fre edo m, wis dom ,
marriage , leakage,
excellence, innocence. kin gdo m.
bondage .

-ice (-ise)
-ion -th
ser vice, pra cti ce,
fan cy , acc ura cy , act ion , uni on , he alt h, gr ow th ,
exe rcis e.
ba nk ru ptc y opi nio n. st re ng th .

-ness -ment
dar kne ss, goo dne ss, fr ien ds hip , pa rt ne rs hip , punis hme nt, judgm ent,
swe etn ess , bol dne ss. ha rds hip . impr ovem ent.

-ty -ure -ling -y

dif ficu lty , ple asu re, pict ure , duck ling, darli ng, victo ry, stor y,
bea uty , cru elt y. tre asu re. nest ling. mise ry.

Lesson 2

Of Adjective

-y -ary
-al with the quality of;
ne ces sa ry , ordin ar y,
na tio na l, us ua l, we alt hy , hea lth y,
contr ar y.
fin a l, gr ad ua l, leg a l. gre edy nee dy, dirt y.

ble) -ive
-ed -ble (-ible, -a
act ive , att ent ive , excelle nt , vio len t,
ab le , po ss ib le ,
gif ted , lea rne d, . tur bul en t.
lau gh ab le , se ns ib le att rac tiv e.
tale nte d.

-ful -less
somewhat like;
full of; free from, without;

hope ful, joyf ul, fea rle ss, sha me les s, girlis h, fooli sh,

beau tifu l, fruit ful. ho pel ess , sen sel ess . wom anis h.

-en -ous
-ate made of;
dan ger ou s,
fam ilia r, sim ila r, for tun at e, obs tin at e, woo den, golde n,
cop iou s, ted iou s.
re gu lar . tem per at e. woo len, eart hen .

Of Verb
-se (transitive)
-ish (transitive) to make; -en (transitive)
-fy (transitive)
causative, forming;
publi sh, puni sh, cleanse, rinse,
sim pli fy , pu rif y, weak en, sweeten, hard en,
bani sh. realise.
te rri fy , ve rif y. wide n, stre ngth en.

Lesson 2

To Learn English (2)

An English word must be learned together with other words at the same time. This
word-matching, or word-combining is called collocation. Such a close connection among
words spreads through the whole language. It includes proverbs, idioms, phrasal verbs,
and many fixed expressions.
No news is good news. (Proverb)
Dancing is not my cup of tea. (Idiom)
We ran out of money after our holidays. (Phrasal verb)
The story is about love at first sight. (Fixed expression)

There are many types of matching as the following sentence shows.

:Adjective :Adverb

AA very
reasonably large
large company
company have recently bought
has recently bought 50,000
shares wholly
wholly through
through aa leading
leading stockbroker.
subject tran. v. object prep. object

Tips to learn
1. Through all kinds of
Adverb Adverb Adverb reading materials.
2. With dictionaries.
very reasonably recently
quite reasonably very cheaply buy
utterly (adverb) rather quickly (verb)
fairly quite

Adjective Adverb Adjective

50,000 wholly a
large shares partly through leading stockbroker
20% (noun) completely (prep.) large (noun)

Lesson 3
Lesson 3
Sentences and
A group of words is a sentence when it contains a VERB and
makes COMPLETE sense.

1. Tommy has a bike. (statement)

(bike = bicycle or motorbike or motorcycle)

2. Where are you going? (question)

3. Open the door. (command)

So a sentence can do any one of these three things:

1. Make a statement to tell us something.

2. Ask a question.
3. Give a command.

A phrase is formed with TWO or MORE words. It doesn’t have a VERB
and cannot make complete sense.

adv. adv. adv. adj. adj. n. adj. n.

very fast quite heavy an old man dark clouds
adv. phr. adj. phr. n. phr. n. phr.

Lesson 3

A phrase is also a group of words beginning with a preposition followed by a (pro)noun.

prep. n. (obj.) prep. n. (obj.)

into the house at nine o’clock
prep. pron. (obj.) prep. n. (obj.)
for them on the table

To sum up:
A VERB forms a sentence; i.e. a sentence must have a VERB.
Two or more words form a phrase, and a phrase does NOT have a VERB.

Prepositional Phrases (Please refer to page 55 for details.)

A preposition stands before a noun to form a PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE.

Like a transitive verb, the preposition governs or takes the noun as its object.

p les :
Ex a m

n. prep. n. (obj.)
1. I paid a visit to a friend (from Canada).
adj. prep. n. (obj.)
2. Many people are fond (of tea).
v. prep. n. (obj.)
3. The dog jumped (upon the table).

Lesson 3

In 1 The preposition from shows the relation between

the nouns ‘friend’ and ‘Canada’, so the prepositional
phrase from Canada qualifies the noun ‘friend’. (Please see page 56.)

In 2 Of tea modifies the adjective ‘fond’. (Please see page 57.)

In 3 Upon the table modifies the verb ‘jumped’. (Please see page 57.)

Lesson 3
Some frequently used prepositions:

on Monday (Tuesday, Wednesday…Sunday) .

on March 30th (date)
on your left/right (at your back/front)
on the eve of peace
on the eve of victory

December 24 December 31
on Christmas Eve on New Year’s Eve

December 25 January 1
on Christmas Day on New Year’s Day

Some idiomatic expressions with ‘On’:

on business, pleasure, holiday, vacation
on sale, cf. for sale
on purpose
on the whole

‘On’ used together with an adjective:

on Monday morning/ afternoon/ evening/ night
on a cold morning/ afternoon/ evening/ night (Please see the Note on page 109.)
(NOT in a cold morning)

Or with a prepositional phrase: (of June 12) (Please see Adjective Phrases on page 56.)
on the morning/ afternoon/ evening/ night of June 12
(NOT in the morning of June 12)
Lesson 3

A. Now please replace the words in italics with a suitable expression.

1. Joe was a naughty boy who always did something wrong with intention ( ).
2. Mary hurried to Paris to handle some business ( ).
3. The shop opened yesterday and had lots of goods to sell ( ).
4. Your essay had some grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, but
generally speaking ( ) it still deserved a passing mark.


in a minute, in a moment
in a few minutes ( in a few moments/ hours/ days/ months/ years)
in this week (month, year)
David got married in June. (in July, August, September … )
in this century, in 1999, in recent years
in future (in the future)
in the past
in the end
He had a long vacation in summer. (in autumn, spring, winter)
in the hot season, in the rainy season

Some idiomatic expressions with ‘In’:

in love
in a hurry (= in haste)
in danger, in debt, in difficulties
in short, in brief, in a word
in trouble

Lesson 3

B. Now please replace the words in italics with a suitable expression.

1. John and Mary were no longer to like each other ( ). They were separated.
2. The boy broke the window again and was not knowing ( ) to explain
what to do.
3. As John freely spent his money, he now found himself owing money ( ).
4. Joe was lazy, stupid, and never listened to other’s advice or accepted other’s help;
to express briefly ( ), he was quite useless.
5. The doctor got an emergent call and went to the caller’s home quickly ( ).


People go to work at 8:30 in the morning. (time)

at this time
at the beginning
at first, at last
at the end of June
at Easter (festival), at Chinese New Year (festival)
at Christmas (festival) cf. on Christmas day
at a small village or town
She was born at my town in Florida.
at a small spot

Lily works in this restaurant. (a long stay).
She dined at another restaurant yesterday. (a short stay)
Dr. Reagan’s patient is in the hospital.
His visitors are at the hospital now waiting to see him.
Many students at the zoo enjoyed seeing animals in the zoo.

Lesson 3
We send parcels at the post office.
I am going to have a meeting at her office.
I am waiting for him at the station.

Some idiomatic expressions with ‘At’:

at dinner, at table, at breakfast, etc.
at will (= as one wishes)
at a loss (= not knowing what to do; selling products for less money)
at work, at play
at war, at peace

C. Please replace the words in italics with a suitable expression.

1. The son was unable ( ) to tell where the money had gone.
2. After you have paid a sum of money, you can eat what you want ( ).
3. The two countries are still fighting ( ) now.
4. The couple had an argument while they were eating ( ).
5. We were happy when we saw the children were playing ( ).

Lesson 3

With, By
‘With’ is used with the tools, and ‘by’ the agents.
The hunter killed the tiger with a shot.
The merchant was stabbed by a robber.

In, within
‘In’ means ‘at the end of’; ‘within’ means ‘before the end of’.
It is two o’clock now, and I will return in an hour.
(= will return after 3 o’clock)
It is two o’clock now, and I will return within an hour.
(= will return before 3 o’clock)

Between, among
‘Between’ is used with two persons/things; ‘among’ with more than two.
I sit between my brother and my sister.
John is the tallest boy among the class.

Beside, besides
‘Beside’ means ‘at the side of’, while ‘besides’ means ‘in addition to’.
David slept beside a big tree.
Besides John, Mary and Nancy were present too, so there were three people in all.

D. Please fill in the blanks with suitable prepositions:

1. To catch the plane, I hurried to the airport ____________ an hour.

2. A silly quarrel existed ___________ two friends.
3. He cut down a big tree ___________ an axe.
4. _________ a Toyota, he has a Ford, so he owns two cars now.
5. The president encouraged cooperation ___________ the departments.
6. The child was saved __________ a doctor.
7. He traveled eight miles __________ two hours.
8. Come and sit __________ me.
Lesson 3

Over / under
The spider is vertically over the head.
The bridge is vertically over the river.

The mouse is vertically under the chair.
The travelers are walking vertically under the sun.

The bees are above the head.

The cockroaches are below the chair.

o t e:
Over is the opposite of under.
Above is the opposite of below.
literary / old-fashioned

On is the opposite of underneath / beneath.

A layer of dust is on the paint.
The paint is underneath / beneath a layer of dust.

Underneath, beneath and under can be interchangeable in most cases.

The key is put under / underneath / beneath the door mat.
The cat is sleeping under / underneath / beneath the chair.

Lesson 3
Very often nouns, adjectives and verbs are paired
with prepositions.
• The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
• Macau has a reputation for Portuguese food.
• Diligence is a key to success.

• Man is different from animals.
• France is famous for her perfumes.
• Children are fond of sweets.

• Every man wishes for distinction.
• Lazy people generally do not succeed in life.
• When things go wrong, people should hope for the

Sometimes different prepositions of a noun, an adjective

or a verb are followed by different kinds of objects.
• He takes no interest in politics. (‘in’ something - liking)
• What you say has no interest to me. (‘to’ a person - attracting)

Lesson 3

• The boy is now free from danger.
• He is free with his money.
• The goods were passed free of duty.

• He agreed to my proposal. (‘to’ something)
• He agreed with me on that question. (‘with’ a person)
• They could not agree among themselves. (‘Among’ is used for more than two people.)

Sentence Writing

A key opens the door.

i) Since we have learned the use of adjectives in lesson one, we may find some
ADJECTIVES to qualify the noun “key” and “door”:
adj. n. adj. n.
A golden key opens every door. (A proverb)

ii) In this lesson, we have learned the use of a prepositional phrase after a noun,
and now we may add such a phrase after each noun of the following sentence:
adj. n. adj. n.
A golden key from a person opens every door to fame and power.
(Money can bring a person reputation and authority.)

Lesson 3

To be on my own
My graduation day happens to fall on my birthday, the
day that I have to give a serious thought to my future. The
word ‘independence’ comes to my mind first. My family’s
responsibilities to me have come to an end, and I should not
5 come up with any excuse to go on enjoying their resources
that they come by in no easy way. Now that I have come of
age, my ambition will be wearing thin if I don’t learn to take
care of myself.

My parents always suggest that I, as their favorite

10 daughter, stay with them all the time so that they can show
their love and concern for me. But I think otherwise. I
am only concerned about losing myself in their foolish
fondness that way. So conflict develops. To solve the
situation, I convince them that I have found myself but
15 will still keep them company as much as possible after my
independence. But at this moment I am more concerned with my career.
n. n.
In fact their loving concern about their child should not go against my deep concerns
over my future. Of course, I need both love and independence. However, too much or
too little of either won’t make me prosper. To be on my own, I have to shed the protection
20 and indulgence of the family and to learn the ways of facing this harsh and cruel world
that I am concerned with. Fine feathers don’t make fine birds. I just don’t want to grow
tran. v.
old and have nothing to show for it. This concerns me most.

Please put the underlined collocations into your memory bank.
concern for = a feeling of caring about someone (line 11)
be concerned about / for = be worried about (line 12)
concern about / over / at = a feeling of worry about something (line 17)
be concerned with = be involved in (line 21)

Lesson 4

Lesson 4
• Adverbs do NOT modify Nouns / Pronouns. This is the work of adjectives.
• Adverbs modify ALL OTHER parts of speech, even an adverb itself.

1. To modify another adverb:

• Great men are not always wise.
• The little boy speaks quite clearly.

2. To modify an adjective:
• Today is unusually hot for Spring.
• I am so glad to meet you.

3. To modify a preposition:
• He was sitting almost outside the door.
• He arrived long before the time.

4. To modify a subordinating conjunction:

• A man is truly happy only when he is in sound health.
• He has been ill ever since he left us.

5. To modify a whole sentence:

• So what are you going to do? (‘So’ is a sentence adverb here.) (Please see page 174.)
• Luckily he escaped unhurt. (‘Luckily’ is a sentence adverb here.)

6. To modify a verb:
• We once met her.
• The people criticize the government strongly.

Lesson 4
Adverb's best friend is VERB. Here we focus on their close relation.
An adverb tells us how, where or when an action happens. We say the adverb modifies
the verb. Adverbs are often formed by adding + ly to an adjective (adjective + ly).

v. N. (complement)
The boy is a quick runner.
subj. adj.

The boy runs quickly .
subj. adv.

The old gentleman was a slow walker.

adj. n.

The old gentleman walked slowly .

v. adv.

The little boy’s behavior was bad .

n. adj.

The little boy behaved badly .

v. adv.
When the adjective ends in –y, the –y is changed into – ily to form an adverb.

The bird sang a merry song.
adj. n.

The bird sang merrily .

v. adv.
Lesson 4
But there are some adverbs that are NOT formed like this.

Here are some examples:

John is a hard worker.

adj. n.

John works hard.

v. adv.

This is a fast train.

adj. n.

This train goes very fast.

v. adv.

The little girl’s behavior was good.

n. adj.

The little girl behaved well.

v. adv.

Adverbs modifying verbs are classified into 3 main types:

manner place
, and . time

Lesson 4

1. Adverbs of Manner
Some adverbs tell us HOW an action is done.
v. adv.
The old gentleman walked slowly. (How did he walk?)
v. adv.
The little boy ran quickly. (How did he run?)
v. adv.
The woodcutter sat sadly beside the river. (How did he sit?)

2. Adverbs of Place .

A few adverbs tell us WHERE an action happens.

v. adv.
I sat there. (Where did I sit?)
v. adv.
He sleeps here. (Where does he sleep?)

3. Adverbs of Time
The following adverbs tell us WHEN an action is done.
v. adv. .
The woodcutter lost his axe yesterday.
(When did he lose it?)

v. adv.
We must come to school tomorrow.
(When must we come to school?)

An adverb phrase acts exactly the same as an adverb to modify a verb. An adverb
phrase is formed with two or more words, or a preposition + noun. (Please see P.31.)

E.g. The best fish swim very relaxedly near the bottom all the time.
manner place time
Lesson 4

A. Please underline the adverbs in the following sentences.

Example: You’ll do this exercise carefully, won’t you?

1. Come here. (1 adverb)

2. Why did you go there? (1 adverb)
3. I did the work yesterday. You didn’t do it well; you must do it carefully now.
(4 adverbs)
4. The girl shouted suddenly, “The car is here.” (2 adverbs)
5. The teacher spoke clearly, and we understood her easily. (2 adverbs)
6. George worked hard and did the exercise well today. (3 adverbs)
7. The child opened the door of the cage, and the bird flew out. (1 adverb)
8. He didn’t know the bird would fly away. (1 adverb)
9. You came here late today; you must come early tomorrow. (5 adverbs)

We have learned that a noun or an adjective acts as a complement of BE.
However, adverbs of PLACE or TIME can also be the complements of BE because
these adverbs do not have corresponding adjectives.


I am here. She is there. (Adverb of place)

It is now or never. (Adverb of time)

Lesson 4

B. Fill in each of the following blanks with a suitable adverb in the box and say
whether the adverb shows the manner, or place, or time of the action.

brightly early fast hard here merrily

quietly slowly tomorrow yesterday well

Example: The boy wrote quickly (manner).

1. You are arriving too_______________( ).You are the first one turning up.
2. I will do the work _______________( ).
3. Open the door _________________( ). Your mother is sleeping.
4. Come ____________( ). I want to speak to you.
5. I talked to Jane____________( ).
6. Carmen drove the car ___________( ) along the wide road but
_____________( ) in the crowded streets.
7. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining _________________( ), the
birds were singing ___________( ) and children were playing in the field.
8. Mary is an amateur singer; I didn’t know she sang so ______________( ).
9. Learning English is hard work, but I want to learn it, so I will work ___________
( ) on it.

When these three kinds of adverbs come together, their order runs like this:

Manner – Place – Time

(How?) (Where?) (When?)

Lesson 4

C. Please arrange the following adverbs / adverb phrases (preposition + noun)

in this way.

Example 1: The boys studied quietly here yesterday. (single adverbs)

manner place time

Example 2: You are working without a break on this job at the moment. (adv. phrases)
manner place time

1. John drove his new car. (this morning, on the freeway, with care)
3 2 1
2. Please pay this bill. (quickly, now)

3. He spoke to me. (yesterday, in haste, at school)

4. Mary had a cup of tea. (in this restaurant, with me)

5. My brother lived. (in this house, last year, with me)

6. The old man sat. (in an armchair, quietly)

7. He has worked. (for 20 years, in this company)

8. The only way to learn a language is to practice it. (all the time, with patience,
at any place)

9. High positions go. (in every profession, with good English, at all times)

10. Very few sentences come out. (on a piece of paper, right, during the first writing)

Lesson 4
When a sentence is long, an adverb / adverb phrase of time is often put at the
beginning of the sentence:
Last time we had a long discussion on clean air in our city.
At five in the evening I received an urgent call from my son.

When a sentence has a verb of movement, the adverb / adverb phrase of place is often
put right after it:
I drove my friend home in a hurry last night.
My sister flew to Tokyo by JAL last week.

D. Please arrange the adverbs / adverb phrases in the ways shown above.

1. I need to prepare breakfast for all the members of my family.

(in the kitchen, at seven in the morning)
2. Then I walked. (with my neighbors, to the supermarket)
3. I drove (to the dentist, in the afternoon) to have my teeth examined.
4. I went to wait for my son’s school bus.
(at the corner of the next street, at 3:30 in the late afternoon)
5. The man forgot his wallet and ran back. (in a state of panic, to the shop)
6. Come! (at once, here)
7. The boy went (to his room, a moment ago) to fetch his books.
8. John returned. (with his friends, to the hotel, at midnight)
9. The climbers climbed up. (in the morning, to the top of the hill)
10. Go (now, to the movies) to see if tickets are still available.

Lesson 4
A second interview will be arranged pretty soon. (very)
Adverb v.
The Christmas tree was prettily decorated. (beautifully)
Adjective n.
Considering her old age, Mary is still a pretty woman. (beautiful)

v. v.
Easy come, easy go. (without difficulty)
Adverb v.
Our breakfast was easily prepared. (without difficulty)
Adjective n.
The teacher asked me an easy question. (without difficulty)

At peak hours the traffic is dead slow. (very)
Adverb adj.
The speaker is deadly serious. (very)
Adjective n.
My telephone went dead. (not working)

She came late. (not on time)
Adverb v.
I have been feeling ill lately. (recently)
Adjective n.
The harvest was rather late this year. (behind time)

Adverbs match Verbs

Speak + clearly / loudly / frankly / softly / privately / publicly
Change + greatly / completely / dramatically / radically / significantly
Listen + attentively / carefully / closely / hard / intently / politely
Suggest + politely / respectfully / seriously / strongly / tactfully / tentatively

Adverbs match Adjectives

Extremely / fabulously / highly / pretty / the most + successful
Especially / highly / particularly / perfectly / very + suitable
Fairly / painfully / pretty / rather / very / dead + slow
Extremely / fabulously / prohibitively / very / the most + expensive
Lesson 4
Comparison of Adverbs
One-syllable adverbs take ‘er’ + ‘than’ to form the Comparative, and ‘est’ the Superlative.
Positive Comparative Superlative
fast faster fastest
hard harder hardest
soon sooner soonest
long longer longest

E.g. Joe ran fast. (Positive)

John ran faster than Joe. (Comparative)
Jack ran fastest of all. (Superlative)
This brand of batteries lasts long.
This brand of batteries lasts longer than other brands.
This brand of batteries lasts longest.
adj. n. v. adv.
This is the fastest train that runs fastest of all vehicles.
The superlative degree of an adjective needs 'the', but the superlative degree of an
adverb does not.
‘More’ and ‘most’ are required for adverbs ending with ‘ly’ to form the Comparative and
Superlative degrees.

quickly more quickly most quickly

skillfully more skillfully most skillfully
carefully more carefully most carefully
Exception: early, earlier, earliest

Some common adverbs form their Comparative and Superlative Degrees IRREGULARLY:

badly worse worst

far farther farthest
little less least
much more most
well better best

Some adverbs such as ‘now’, ‘then’, ‘there’, ‘once’, ‘away’, etc do NOT
have comparison.
Lesson 4
Sentence Writing
Lessons Review:
In lesson one we study NOUNS and ADJECTIVES:
a golden key ( a and golden – adjectives. key – noun.)
every door ( every – adjective. door – noun.)

In lesson two we learn how to use a VERB to form a sentence with nouns:
A golden key opens every door.

In lesson three we learn that a PREPOSITION follows a verb, a noun and an

With little effort a golden key opens every door to fame available for a few.

The preposition ‘with’ is paired with the VERB ‘open’.

…opens every door with little effort …

The preposition ‘to’ is paired with the NOUN ‘door’.

… door to fame …

The preposition ‘for’ is paired with the ADJECTIVE ‘available’.

… available for a few…

In lesson four we learn that an ADVERB modifies a preposition, a verb and

an adjective:
Just with little effort, a golden key opens up every door to fame
only available for a few.
The adverb ‘just’ modifies the preposition ‘with’.
The adverb ‘up’ modifies the verb ‘opens’.
The adverb ‘only’ modifies the adjective ‘available’.


Now we should have the basic knowledge to tell what part of speech each
word is in a sentence.

Just with little effort, a golden key opens up

adv prep adj noun adj adj noun verb adv

every door to fame only available for a few.

adj noun prep noun adv adj prep adj pron

Lesson 4

A Poor Husband

John was a henpecked husband, whose

harsh-spoken wife always bullied him, so the
timid-spoken John did not dare to assert himself
before her.

5 At last, John went to a cemetery one
day. He sat down before a grave, crying loudly,
pounding his fists forcefully on the ground and
complaining bitterly, ‘Why you died so early?
Why didn’t you take her away with you? Why?
10 Why?’

‘Sure, the loss of the dearest hurts most, but time will gradually ease the
pains,’ a passing watchman gently consoled John.
‘The dearest?’ John wept more loudly, ‘I didn’t know the guy.’
‘Then why a lot of tears?’
15 ‘He was my wife’s ex-husband!’

A week after, John’s request produced an effect. His wife died in a traffic accident.
A funeral service took place in a small church. When the pallbearers carried the coffin out,
they accidentally ran into a tree, rocking the coffin violently. Then a faint moan came
out from the coffin, and they found the
20 woman was still alive. She lived on for
another year until one day heart failure
suddenly took away her life. A service
was again held in the same church,
after which the pallbearers were again
25 carrying the coffin out clumsily. As they
were walking, the husband broke out
sharply, ‘Watch out for that damn tree!’

Lesson 4

Please try to get familiar with the underlined collocations.
The writer has made the best use of adverbs in this passage:
‘always bullied’, ‘crying loudly’, ‘pounding his fists forcefully’, ‘complaining bitterly’,
‘died so early’, ‘hurts most’, ‘gradually ease’, ‘gently consoled’, ‘wept loudly’,
‘accidentally ran’, ‘rocking the coffin violently’, ‘still alive’, ‘suddenly took away’,
‘again held’, ‘carrying the coffin out clumsily’, ‘broke out sharply’.

If all the adverbs are taken away, the passage will look dull and lifeless.
A henpecked (adj) husband (line 1)
= a husband who is afraid to disagree with his wife
Harsh-spoken (adj) (line 2)
= speaking in a cruel or strict way
Bullied (T) (line 2)
= threatened
To assert himself (a fixed expression) (line 3)
= to have his own way
Cemetery (n) (line 5)
[C] = a piece of land for burying dead people
Pounding (I/T) (line 7)
= hitting
Bitterly (adv) (line 8)
= unhappily: bitterly disappointed/ regretted
Consoled (T) (line 12)
= made someone feel better, comforted
I console myself with the thought that no one was injured in the
Ran into (phrasal verb) (T) (line 18)
= hit someone or something
Faint (adj) (line 18)
= difficult to hear, see, smell, etc.
Moan (n) (line 18)
[C] = a long low sound expressing pain: faint/ soft/ deep/ low/
moan; let out/ give/ make/ hear/ have a moan
Pallbearer (n) (line 24)
[C] = someone who walks beside a coffin or carries it
Clumsily (adv) (line 25)
= moving in an awkward way and tending to break things
Broke out sharply (line 26)
= called out loudly and suddenly
Lesson 5

Lesson 5
Prepositional Phrases

Prepositions take a noun or pronoun to form a phrase

(a group of words without a verb).
Examples: at my house; in your school; with you.

Here are some more examples:

Preposition + noun / pronoun

in your pocket
over the wall
through us
to him
round the house
into the garden
toward the door

They are called prepositional phrases.

After a preposition, the pronoun is always the object pronoun.

Lesson 5
He came with them.
He will sit between you and me.
This letter was written by him.
He bought the house from us.

Prepositions take a noun / pronoun as its object.

Prepositional phrases are usually used as:

1. an adjective phrase;
2. an adverb phrase.

1. Adjective Phrases
These phrases do the work of an adjective: they describe (qualify) a noun.

e examples:
Here are som

A dirty boy opened the door.

adj. n.

A boy with a dirty face opened the door.

n. adj. phrase

I like a quiet seat in the train.

adj. n.

I like a seat in the corner.

n. adj. phrase

Any word/words that add more information to a noun will be an adjective/adjective phrase.
Adjective phrases are placed after a noun/pronoun or a linking verb:

The children of the village go to this school. (After a noun)

Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead. (After a pronoun)
One today is worth two tomorrows. (After a linking verb)
She looks like an angel. (After a linking verb)

Lesson 5

2. Adverb Phrases
A. These phrases often do the work of an adverb: they tell how, where or when
an ACTION was done. We call them adverb phrases.

subj. v.
The soldiers fought bravely (adverb of manner).

subj. v.
The soldiers fought with great bravery (adverb phrase of manner).

She sat there (adverb of place).

She sat in the corner (adverb phrase of place).
He came yesterday (adverb of time).
He came at four o’clock (adverb phrase of time).

Here is a special point to remember:

Besides following a VERB, an adverb phrase can also stand at the head of a sentence.
At four o’clock he came.

i.e. When a prepositional phrase is placed at the head of a sentence, it usually functions as
an adverb phrase to modify the finite verb.

B. The following phrases are also adverb phrases because they add more information to an
adjective as an adverb does. They go only after the adjective that they modify.

Your manner was extremely foolish.

adv. adj.

Your manner was foolish in the extreme.

adj. adv. phrase

This information is useful to us.

adj. adv. phrase

Your name is high on the list because you are important.

adj. adv. phrase
Lesson 5

Adverb phrase or adjective phrase?

Sometimes the same group of words may be an adverb phrase or an adjective phrase.
It all depends on the work it is doing. Look at these phrases:

subj. v.
The view through the open window is very pretty.
This is an adjective phrase because it qualifies the noun ‘view’.

subj. v.
The bird flew through the open window.
This is an adverb phrase because it modifies the verb ‘flew’. It tells where it flew.

The class in the room is learning English.
The phrase qualifies the noun ‘class’, so it is an adjective phrase.
We dance in the room.
The phrase modifies the verb ‘dance’, so it is an adverb phrase.

The bell at eleven o’clock tells us that the lesson is finished.
This is an adjective phrase. It qualifies the noun ‘bell’.
The bell rings at eleven o’clock to tell us that the lesson is finished.
This is an adverb phrase. It modifies the verb ‘rings’.

Lesson 5

A. In the following sentences, please tell which are adjective phrases and
which are adverb phrases.

Put round brackets ( ) to enclose each adjective phrase and show with an arrow the
noun it qualifies.
Underline each adverb phrase and show with an arrow the verb it modifies.
Examples: The teacher (of the class) explained the lesson. (adjective phrase)

The boys stood round the room. (adverb phrase)

1. The driver of the car went fast.

2. She drove down the main road.
3. My mother cut the cake with a knife.
4. The cake was made by my brother.
5. It was baked in a big oven.
6. It was a cake with pink icing.
7. The boy at the next desk borrowed my pencil.
8. The son of the king is called the Crown Prince.
9. The cat jumped through the window.
10. The lesson finishes at four o’clock.

More about adverb phrases and adjective phrases:

1. The key opens the door (with a wooden knob). (with = having)
tr. v.
2. The key opens the door with little effort. (with = by using)

In sentence 1, ‘with a wooden knob’ is an adjective phrase, qualifying the noun ‘door’ in a
good sense. But the sentence will carry an absurd sense, if the same phrase goes to modify
the verb ‘opens’, or to qualify the noun ‘key’.

In sentence 2, ‘with little effort’ is an adverb phrase, modifying the transitive verb ‘opens’
in a logical way. If ‘with little effort’ qualifies the noun ‘door’ or ‘key’, the construction will
not make sense either.
Lesson 5
To combine the two sentences into one, we can shift the adverb phrase ‘with little effort’
from the last place to the head of the sentence. And this will avoid confusing the phrase
with the adjective phrase ‘with a wooden knob’:

With little effort the key opens the door with a wooden knob.
adv. phr. tran. v. n. adj. phr.

Now try to understand the differences among the next three sentences:
1. I saw a naughty boy with a dirty hand. (adj. phr.)
tran. v.
2. I touched the vase with a dirty hand. (adv. phr.)
3. The beggar touched the naughty boy with a dirty hand.
tran. v. n.

In sentence 1, it makes sense for ‘with a dirty hand’ to qualify the noun ‘boy’.

In sentence 2, it also makes sense for ‘with a dirty hand’ to modify the verb ‘touched’.

In sentence 3, ‘with a dirty hand’ can be taken to qualify ‘boy’ or to modify ‘touched’.
It can mean either the boy had a dirty hand, or (the beggar) touched (the naughty boy)
with a dirty hand. This is a bad sentence because its meaning is confusing.

g g a r tou with
e oy
The b ughty b
e n a . .
th nd
ty ha
a dir

Lesson 5

B. Please underline the prepositional phrase and say which word it qualifies.
Please point out which one is a bad sentence.
The car overtakes the bus with many passengers.
Answer: With many passengers qualifies the noun bus. It is an adjective phrase.

The chairman bought a house in a hurry.

Answer: In a hurry modifies the verb bought. It is an adverb phrase.

The car overtakes the bus at full speed.

Answer: At full speed may qualify the noun bus, but it may also modify the verb
overtakes. Therefore, this is a bad sentence.

1. The chairman bought a house on a hilltop.

2. The chairman bought a house on his birthday.

3. The chairman bought a house under a company’s name.

4. I called the man in uniform.

5. I called the man in the morning.

6. I called the man with a throaty voice.

7. David helped a woman with much money.

8. David saw a woman in red.

9. David saw a woman at 7 o’clock.

Lesson 5
A further Understanding of Prepositions (Please see pp.39-40.)
Some verbs, adjectives and nouns are paired with a specific preposition to deliver a
special meaning.

Here are some examples showing the use of prepositions.

1. Nouns
noun phrase (object of ‘have’)
adj. phr.
- have faith in God (The noun faith is paired with in.)
- lose faith in the government’s promises.
- keep faith with the children (a fixed expression = keep a promise to)

2. Adjectives
adjective phrase (qualifying ‘man’)
adv. phr.
- Man is sick of housework. (sick is paired with of.) (= bored with)
- The new sailor felt sick on the ship. (The noun ship is paired with on.)
- When Joe had to leave his grilfriend behind, he was sick at heart.
(This fixed expression means upset or unhappy.)

- The boy is good at mathematics. (good is paired with at.) (= skilful at)
- The meat is still good in the fridge. (The noun fridge is paired with in.)
- Though he is not smart, he is good at heart.
(This fixed expression means kind.)

3. Verbs
adv. phr. (modifying ‘die’)
- die of a disease (die of cancer, die of AIDS …)
- die in his sleep (The noun sleep is paired with in.)
- die for the country (a fixed expression)

- wait for me (wait is paired with for.)

- wait at the bus station (The noun station is paired with at.)
- wait on table(s) / at table(s) (This fixed expression means to serve.)
U.S. U.K.

Lesson 5
The Two Uses of the Prepositional Phrases (Preposition + Noun):
(1) as an adjective phrase to qualify a noun:
(After a noun)
The man from the North Pole is my friend.
(After a linking verb)
My friend is from the North Pole.

(2) (i) as an adverb phrase to modify a verb:

(At the beginning of a sentence)
From the North Pole my friend arrived yesterday.
(After a verb)
My friend arrived from the North Pole.
(ii) as an adverb phrase to modify an adjective:
(After an adjective)
The new North Pole is different from the old North Pole.


A phrase should come close to the word it qualifies. The following ambiguous
sentence can be rewritten to show what the writer really means.

1 2 3
Mary called John with a throaty voice.

1. Mary with a throaty voice called John.

(‘With a throaty voice’ is an adjective phrase qualifying ‘Mary’- Mary had
a throaty voice. ‘With’ here is taken to mean ‘having’.)

2. With a throaty voice Mary called John.

(The beginning of a sentence is the position for an adverb phrase to
modify the VERB. ‘With’ here is taken to mean ‘by using’.)

3. Mary called John, who has a throaty voice.

(Using an adjective clause to qualify ‘John’ here is better than using an
adjective phrase, so as to avoid confusion.) (Please refer to Lesson 12.)
Lesson 5

In ‘The room is designed tastefully’, the ‘taste’ here refers to decoration, clothing,
furnishings and so on that win people’s admiration. It doesn’t mean the feeling we get
when we put something in our mouth. However, we usually say that a person has good
taste if the style of his clothing, furniture and so on is elegant, having matching colors and
5 designs that attract people in general. If we say he doesn’t have taste, we mean the opposite.

The noun ‘taste’ has two adjectives: ‘tasty’ and ‘tasteful’.

‘Tasty’ refers to the sensation we get when we put something in our mouth.
A tasty meal tasted delicious.

‘Tasteful’ refers to attractive patterns and designs.

10 The beautifully decorated room is really tasteful.

On the other hand we say things being in good taste or being in bad taste, and this
means the same as ‘designed tastefully or not tastefully’. Yet the phrase ‘in bad taste’ is
more frequently used to describe rude words and bad manners in an awkward situation. For
instance, when a man says in front of a girl, ‘I don’t like girls who are not pretty’, this man
15 shows no respect for others. Such pointed remarks are in bad taste.

But if a girl cannot choose between what is attractive and unattractive in the
matters of clothes, designs and so on, we say she lacks taste, and her poor inborn ability
should not be blamed. However, if a man speaks or acts in bad taste, he should be accused
of that because a man should have the ability to speak politely or act properly toward others.

The following summary lists the expressions we have just learned:

She dresses tastefully. (adverb)
She dresses in good taste. (adverb phrase)
She has taste in her dress. (adjective phrase)
Her dress is in good taste. (adjective phrase)
Her dress is tasteful. (adjective)

Lesson 5

Her dress is designed tastefully. (adverb)
Her dress is designed in good taste. (adverb phrase)
Her dress lacks taste. (noun)
She lacks taste in her dress. (adjective phrase)

Clothing (n) (line 1)
[U] = a group of clothes including hats and gloves: wear
a piece/an item/article of light/heavy/outdoor/sports/protective
clothing; clothing business/company/shop

Furnishings (n) (line 2)

[plural] = furniture in a room including curtains,
carpets, pictures and so on for decoration.

Elegant (adj) (line 4)
= very beautiful and graceful: an elegant woman/ handwriting

Sensation (n) (line 7)

[U] = the ability to feel: produce/feel/have/experience/enjoy//
strange/curious/delicious/pleasant/choking/tingling sensation
He felt a tingling sensation (uncomfortable feeling) down his side.
Many people enjoy the delicious sensation of eating.

Delicious (adj) (line 8)

= very pleasant to taste: be/look/smell/taste/sound delicious
This dish tastes really/absolutely/quite/rather delicious.
The recipe sounds delicious.

Awkward (adj) (line 13)

= making you feel embarrassed: be/seem/become/feel/look//
extremely/rather awkward
They felt awkward about leaving early. (about something)
She is awkward with people she doesn’t know. (with people)

Pointed (adj) (line 15)
(before noun) = showing annoyance/disapproval: pointed comment/look/remark

It is useful to understand the functions of all the expressions in the two
summaries. (Please see pages 63 - 64.)