Adjectives

Adjectives are used to describe nouns. They give more details or information about the nouns they are associated with. A: Tell me about your boyfriend B: Well, he is tall, dark, and handsome. A: Sounds like mine. Adjectives can be used to answer the questions What kind (of) or Which one? A: Hi. I'm calling about the car you're selling? B: It's a great car. (It's) in excellent condition. A: What kind of seats does it have? B: They're very comfortable seats, (soft, plush, just like a sofa.) A: Uh. I think I'll sleep on it. A: Hand me a book. B: Which one do you want? A: The red book. The red one. Adjectives come before the nouns they modify (not after). Three happy hippies lived in the Heartquake Hotel. WRONG: Three hippies happy lived in the Heartquake Hotel. Adjectives can also be used with linking verbs to describe the subject of a sentence. When used in this manner, the adjective(s) come after the linking verb. My mother is tall and slender. WRONG: My mother tall and slender. (No linking verb.) Seem, become, appear, and verbs of perceptioncan also be used as linking verbs. Note how they are used with adjectives in the following. Can you identify the linking verbs and the adjectives?

The journey seemed long. (It appeared strenuous and boring.) You smell nice today. What kind of cologne are you wearing? A: What do you want to do this weekend? Bowling? Shopping? A movie? B: Bowling sounds good. CAUTION/BE CAREFUL: Tom looked greedy. (He appeared to be a greedy person.) The adjective greedy is used to describe Tom. Tom looked greedily at the pie on the table. (He saw it and wanted it for himself.) The adverb greedily is used to describe Tom's action. Adjectives are the same for all nouns. They do not change for plurals. Example: Three tired tigers tried to tie a triangular tie. Not: Not three tireds tigers.

Adverbs
Adverbs are used to describe actions. They may come before or after a verb, but not between a verb and its object.
Mrs.Jenner softly sang. (Most common word order.) Mrs. Jenner softly sang. (Also possible.) Mrs. Jenner softly sang a lullaby. Mrs. Jenner sang a lullaby softly. Mrs. Jenner sang softly a lullaby. (Not correct.)

Adverbs may come between a main verb and its auxiliaries.
Mrs. Jenner is softly singing a lullaby. Mrs. Jenner softly is singing a lullaby. (Not correct.) Mrs. Jenner has been softly singing that lullaby for a long time.

Some time and frequency adverbs are "movable." That is, they can be placed at various points in a sentence.
Yesterday I visited the dentist. I visited the dentist yesterday. Jack Prompt is here already. Jack Prompt is already here.

Caution: Even though some adverbs can be used in certain sentence positions, others can not.
I yesterday visited the dentist. (Not okay.) I already visited the dentist. (Okay.) Already I visited the dentist. (Not okay.)

Adverbs such asquite, very, really, extremely, and absolutely are used to modify adjectives and other adverbs.
They come directly before the words they describe. Greg is quite happy with his new boss. Sue eats very slowly. You're absolutely right!

Many adverbs can be formed by adding –ly to adjectives:
Carl is a quick runner. Carl runs quickly.

Some adverbs are identical to adjectives in form. Others are completely different.
Carl is a fast runner. (Adjective) Carl runs fast. (Adverb) Jill is a good student. (Adjective) Jill studies well. (Adverb)

Be careful with words like hardlyandlately, which have no relation to the adjectives/adverbshardandlate.

Adverbs and Prepositions

Adverbs are words or groups of words which tell time, place, frequency or manner. I ate my lunch yesterday. She went there.

I ate at that restaurant last week. She went downtown. Prepositions are usually followed by objects in prepositional phrases. They can also be used to indicate time, place, frequency, duration, reason, manner, or to show contrast. I ate my lunch at noon. She went to the store. I ate in the cafeteria. She walked into the house. *Do not use adverbs as objects of prepositions. Incorrect: Correct: I went to somewhere. I was busy at last night. John works in downtown. I went somewhere. I was busy last night. John works downtown.

She came to home on yesterday. She came home yesterday Be careful with words such as home, downtown, today, next/last week, etc. which are sometimes used as adverbs and sometimes used as nouns. As adverbs As nouns I will go back tomorrow. She went home last night. Next week I will travel to Iowa. Tomorrow is another day. They built a home in Oregon. Next week is my vacation.

Basic Modals
Modal auxiliary verbs are used to moderate the main verb, that is to enhance or restrict the verb to a certain context. The most common modal auxiliaries in English are: can may might could should will must would

Notice the usage of modals in the following sentences:
I pay my taxes. General declaration of fact. Paying taxes is something I normally do. I can pay my taxes. Expresses ability. I have the means (funds) to pay. I might pay my Expresses possibility, but not certainty. Maybe I will pay; maybe I taxes. won't. I will pay my Expresses future intent. I resolve to do it at some later time. taxes. I should pay my Expresses mild obligation. It is required, and I expect to comply.

expresses reservation. For example: Will you. I would pay my taxes. The subject of an imperative sentence is understood as "you" although it is usually not spoken. Jack could heard the bell. Modals are followed by only the base form of the verb and are not used alone unless there is a clear connection to a main verb. I am required and have to comply. Yes. (You) open the door.taxes. I might pay taxes. . Will you help me? Pick up your toys. (You) pick up your toys.g. parent to child. He must to finish his homework. I could pay my taxes. most people use modal expressions when making requests. Please help me. WRONG RIGHT WRONG RIGHT WRONG RIGHT There are many ways to make requests in English. . Penny will go to the movie. I will (help you).. Using Modals To show respect and politeness. Penny will going to the movie. The imperative is often used by persons of authority when speaking to subordinates. The most common involves using the imperative and modals. (In this case). Expresses possibility. Jack could hear the bell. Expresses strong obligation. If I had the money (but I don't). Open the door. See the examples below: Using the Imperative The imperative is the simple form of the verb. I must pay my taxes. e.? Will you open the door for me? . (You) please help me. He must finish his homework.. If I have nothing else to do with the money.

He should eat his dinner. I had better to go now.. Jack supposed to take his medicine.. 4.? Would you open the door for me? Would you please open the door (for me)? Could you (please)..? Would you kindly. 3. Omitting "be" in certain modal expressions: They going to meet us at the theater... /should speak She might be able to help me..? Could you (please) open the door? Could you possibly open the door? Would you kindly open the door? Would you mind opening the door? Would you be so kind as to... .Would you. Correct They are going to meet us at the theater.. John could hear the bell. He should to eat his dinner. You must not use that pencil. Using wrong word order in questions: How I can help you? How can I help you? They are going to meet us at the theater. Penny will going to the movie.. Penny will go to the movie. Using double modals: You should ought to speak English. 2..? Would you be so kind as to open the door? Common Problems with Modals 1... 5.. I had better go now. Using anything but the base form after a modal: John could heard the bell... You must not to use that pencil. Using "to" unnecessarily: Incorrect They going to meet us at the theater. She might can help me.? Could you possibly.? Would you mind (Ving ). You ought to speak English. Jack is supposed to take his medicine.? Would you please.? Could you (please).

The following sentences are examples of the S-V pattern. Verb tense is changed. Other elements can be added to make a sentence more interesting. Core sentence An adverb is added to describe how she sleeps. Jones is the teacher. Flowers are everywhere.Where I should go for the meeting? Where should I go for the meeting? Basic Sentence Structure There are five basic patterns around which most English sentences are built.* They are as follows: S-V Subject-Verb John sleeps. She is my mom. She sleeps soundly. I like rice. She sleeps every afternoon. Karen seems angry. . A time expression is added to tell when she sleeps. She sleeps on the sofa. She sleeps. S-V-O Subject-Verb-Object At the heart of every English sentence is the Subject-Verb relationship. but they are not essential to its formation. A prepositional phrase is added to tell where she sleeps. No one was there. The men are doctors. S-V-Adj Subject-Verb-Adjective He is funny. She is sleeping right now. She loves her job. but S-V relationship remains the same. He's eating an orange. Jack will arrive next week. The workers are lazy. Jill is eating. S-V-Adv Subject-Verb-Adverb Jim is here. S-V-N Subject-Verb-Noun Mr.

He seems happy. George became sick last night. The people like hot. The dogs are sleeping in the garage. Basic sentence with "be" verb Basic sentence with another linking verb Series of adjectives Adverb or intensifier added Different tense and linking verb Note: Only linking verbs can be used with this sentence pattern. . The friendly people like rice. The people like boiled rice. The teachers are in the lobby. Jordan is tall. Basic sentence Using an adverb phrase Plural noun and verb used Prepositional phrase functioning as adverb Note: Only linking verbs can be used with this sentence pattern. Note: Any action verb can be used with this sentence pattern. The teacher is over there. Subject is named and another tense is used. The following sentences are examples of the S-V-O pattern. white rice. He appears very comfortable. Core sentence Specific subject Subject modified with an adjective Subject modified with an adjective Object modified with an adjective Object modified with more than one adjective Note: Only transitive action verbs can be used with this sentence pattern. The people in the restaurant like rice. The following sentences are examples of the S-V-Adv pattern. He is fine. The teacher is here.Mary will sleep later. The people like rice. dark and handsome. New subject may require a different form of the verb. Teachers are everywhere. They like rice. The following sentences are examples of the S-V-Adj pattern.

you may enhance the subject or verb: (VERB enhancements) 1. (SUBJECT enhancements) 5. The man is a doctor. He should have eaten already/ by now. the S . John eats. He should have been eating. 4. Change the noun to a pronoun or vice versa. He will eat. My father is a nice guy. Add an adverbial clause. He eats. (simple present) (future/modal) (continuous) (perfect) (combination) (combination) 2. 3.The following sentences are examples of the S-V-N pattern. he ate. Change the verb in tense or aspect or a combination of the two. He has been eating. Add an adverb or adverb phrase. He eats. He was eating when the bus arrived. To give a sentence more substance. My grandparents are senior citizens. Having finished his homework.V relationship is at the "heart" of every sentence. He is eating. He has eaten. All sentences are built around this core. Add a participial phrase. . The women are doctors. Basic sentence Using plural noun and verb Modified subject and complement Modified plural subject and complement Building Sentences Remember. He was eating in the kitchen. or prepositional phrase.

He eats whichever apple he chooses. His father eats. S-LV-N S-LV-Adj S-LV-Adv He is a doctor. The doctor is sick. Add a relative (adjective) clause. The man eats an apple. red apple. 9. green men from Mars are eating tuna sandwiches. The handsome man eats. She told him a lie. Enhance both the subject and the verb to make sentences more interesting. 11. This man eats. Add an adjective or adjectives. Add an article. The man who lives next door eats. Use a noun clause. Note: Subjects and Objects may be enhanced in similar ways. They eat some of the apples. Add an object. The man eats. Some of the men ate the apples (that) I left on the table. 7. Subject John eats rice. Add a prepositional phrase. Whenever he feels like exercising. Use quantifiers. The man in the kitchen eats. The tall. The man eats the big. Whoever gets here first can eat. Basic Sentence Structures S-V S-V-O S-V-IO-DO He sleeps. Some of the men eat. The man eats an apple from the bowl.6. Object 8. 12. The men from the health club eat every day after working out. The man ate the apple that I bought. or possessive. The man who lives on the corner is eating his lunch now. demonstrative. The doctor is here. She eats rice. the fat man eats a huge meal instead. 10. Conjunctions and Linking Words .

Phrase and Phrase Can be used in a series: A. S + V . as [adjective] as. or D (and. but*. even though. except. S + V although S + V (although. They are followed by noun phrases only and cannot take on a S + V. S + V . however. wherever*.Coordinators Coordinators connect elements of equal importance. yet) Subordinators Subordinators connect elements of unequal importance. at despite. whether?[or not] as. nevertheless. furthermore) Prepositions Prepositions show relationship among elements of a sentence. B. so that. so. or. phrase). but S + V S + V and V S and S + V N and N Adj. to*. S + V (however. next*. One clause is not as strong as the other. with . S + V Sentence Connectors Sentence Connectors connect paragraphs or show relationship between very different ideas. if. However. after*. while. therefore. whereas anywhere*. first*. unless. after*. S + V besides. by like. when. then*. on. about. among. phrase) (Prep. in. still* S + V . consequently. whenever. from between [A and B]. C. anytime*) Although S + V . for*. S + V (prep. moreover. for*. because. and Adj. thus. S + V (during. but. since*. since*. before*. in spite of. nor. before*.

(a daily class) Common Errors The most common error is writing "every day" as one word (everyday) as in the following sentences: 1. near." Examples Note the difference in the following sentences: 1. I used to jog three miles every day.(Prep. (Correct) Frequency Adverbs The most common frequency adverbs in English are: Always Frequently Usually Often Sometimes Occasionally Seldom 100% of the time about 90% of the time about 80% of the time about 70% of the time about 50% of the time about 40% of the time about 20% of the time . Jane goes to class every day (each day) 2. next to) * These words have more than one function. Jane has an everyday class. Every Day Explanation Everyday is an adjective meaning "daily. without. phrase) V + S (unusual) within. beside. Everyday vs. I used to jog three miles everyday (Incorrect) 2." Every day is a time expression meaning "each day" or "regularly.

Frequency adverbs can be placed at various points in the sentence. I'm here occasionally. No.Rarely Never about 10% of the time about 00% of the time Note: The percentages here are rough estimates only. No. I hardly ever do. A: Do you always carry a briefcase? B: (Yes. A: Do you come here often? B: Yes. never and hardly ever are considered negative. . He's usually eating breakfast at this time. but are most commonly used before the main verbs and after be verbs.) I usually do. rarely. etc. No. I always come to work on time. They are seldom home when we call. She's never been to Maine. I usually don't. Other frequency adverbs and expressions are as follows: Every day/week/month Every other day/week Once a week/month/year Twice a year/day. Note: The adverbs seldom. I rarely do. A: What do you usually do here? B: Sometimes I just sit and ponder the meaning of life.

(Every) once in a while Every so often These expressions are used at the beginning and end of sentences. or opinion. Traditionally. sense. I visit my grandmother in Minnesota every once in a while. Non-action verbs indicate state. I normally get up around 6 o'clock. not before main verbs. I get up around 6 o'clock. Normally. desire. Every once in a while I visit my grandmother in Minnesota. I every once in a while visit my grandmother in Minnesota. possession. The most common non-action verbs are: be* look* like have* think* seem sound* want own believe appear* smell* prefer possess consider* taste* love* feel* (existence) (senses) (desire) (possession) (opinion) Note the usage in the following sentences: . that was considered child's play. (Incorrect) Regularly Normally Traditionally (according to schedule) (commonly nowadays) (commonly in the past) These words can come at various points in the sentence. I regularly floss my teeth. They are called non-action verbs. I floss my teeth regularly. Non-Action Verbs Some verbs cannot be used in the progressive tenses.

The boy ate an apple. James. Mr. Someone left this. white dress. They may take on various forms: Water is important for survival. Tactful seems like a nice guy. This salad is tasting delicious. (Non-action) (Action) (Non-action) (Action) (Non-action) (Action) (Non-action) (Action) Noun and Verb Phrases Noun Phrases Noun Phrases are groups of words that can function as subjects or objects in sentences. We have a brand new car. The situation determines whether the action or non-action form of the verb is used. Those flowers look beautiful. (Single words) (Proper names) (Nouns and articles) (Nouns and possessives) (Nouns and adjectives) (Nouns and quantifiers) (Nouns and prep. I think that's a great idea. Mr. Jones spoke to Dr. Some of the kids ate all of the cake. Give me one of each. They are indicated by an asterisk* in the table above. We are having a party this weekend.Mr. My friend works with her father. Tactful is seeming like a nice guy. Billy is being naughty today. The young girl wore a long. Flora is looking out the window. The dogs sleeping on the deck should be left alone. The woman who lives there is my aunt. Craig is a real estate agent. I am thinking about my upcoming speech. This salad tastes delicious. (Wrong!) (Correct) (Wrong!) (Correct) (Wrong!) (Correct) Some verbs have both action and non-action meanings. Whoever wrote this is in trouble. phrases) (Nouns and relative clauses) (Nouns and phrases) (Noun clauses) Pronouns and similar words can also function as subjects and objects: He gave the money to us. I like banana cream pie. I am liking banana cream pie. The man with the gun frightened the people in the bank. .

A: Really? What part of Taipei? . on. and at can be used to indicate time and place. In December On Day.Verb Phrases Verb phrases are groups of words that express action or state of being. State. and At (with specific times and places) The prepositions in. Do you want some more pie? Other words can be added to enhance verb phrases: The mayor works here. On 1st Ave. Examples: A: Where's your office? B: In Taipei. They take on various forms. (adverbs) (negatives) (prepositional phrases) (adverbial clauses) (phrases) (Single verbs) (Past tense verbs) (Progressive verbs) (Perfect verbs) (Perfect progressive verbs) (Verbs and modals) (Passive verbs) (Verbs in questions) Prepositions: In. In 1999. In Utah. They have been working here five years. and at usually indicates the "smallest" time or place. there is only one preposition for the above situations. The men live in the dormitory. They live in the suburbs. Address At 815 East Main Street In many languages. Neil is not a candidate. He stayed at the Hi Hat Hotel. She'll leave whenever she wants. I am learning many new things. In English there are three. On. Taiwan. Date On Saturday. Don't talk while eating. Month. City In Japan. On May 1 At Time At 8:00. Notice how they are used in the following situations: Preposition Time In Year. She has been there before. At 7:30 Place Country. The trip was approved by the professor. On. Just remember that in usually indicates the "largest" time or place. and At Prepositions: In. InTaipei Street On Main Street. I could use some assistance.

She found a rare coin in the library (building). No article indicates the general situation. general in the zoo (animals in their cages) area) at school in the classroom at the swimming pool (on site) Sample sentences: I met my wife at the theater. John was in the hospital for a week with a broken leg. For school. Jones works at the hospital every day. in the water) at the post office/bank (general) in the post office/bank (inside the building) at the zoo (visitors. use at to indicate the general vicinity or area.e. and in to indicate inside the building. C: What time? D: It starts at 6:00.B: It's on Chung Shan North Road. For example: in the swimming pool (in the pool itself i. the 25th. enclosed area. Note the following: "practice"/situation in school (studying. and church. etc. Where exactly is it? B: It's at 105 Chung Shan North Road. (while watching a movie) I spilled my drink in the theater (on the floor of the building) She works at the library on Wednesdays. C: When is the wedding? D: It's in June.) building in the school (building) . etc. Dr. the is used to indicate the building. C: What day? D: It's on Saturday. Prepositions with articles and locations When talking about locations. A: I know that area. listening to teacher. next to the bookstore. prison.

) in the jail/prison (temporary) in the church (building) in the church (fixing the windows) at the church at the prison (visiting his friend) Prepositions of Location The most common prepositions of location are in on at (See: In. On. listening to a sermon.in jail/prison (staying there as a criminal) in church (praying. At) by near nearby above below over under up down around through inside outside (of) between .) Where's Dad? in church (attending services) at church in prison (He committed a crime. etc.

) I live by the river.beside beyond in front of in back of behind next to on top of within beneath underneath among along against These prepositions are most commonly followed by "the" and a noun. Examples. (We both know which table. I live by a river.) The post office is next to the bakery. prepositions can be used with "a/an. (Not: next to bakery) Occasionally. but the listener does not. (You probably don't know which one." This usually indicates that the speaker knows of the place.) Present Progressive Tense . (You know the river I'm talking about. Both the speaker and the listener likely know which object is being referred to. For example. The keys are on the table.

In English. Grumpy while he is watching the football game. He is singing. imminent or future actions. The present progressive can also be used to indicate actions occurring over a period of time which includes the present. Future (Note the presence of future time words. Just let me put on my shoes. where are you? B: I'm coming.) A: Are you going to the concert this weekend? . The form of be is determined by the subject of the sentence. Ongoing Don't bother Mr. I'm taking five classes at the university. They are sleeping. I am going home. Please keep quiet.The present progressive tense takes the form be + V ing. Grace is working at a chemical factory. She is listening. Jake is speaking to his mother right now. Developing I'm beginning to like this place! Imminent A: Honey. What are you doing these days? The present progressive is sometimes used to indicate ongoing. or right now. developing. The baby is sleeping. the present progressive is used to indicate actions happening at the time of speaking.

Example: Mr. She was furious. He didn't know where it would land. Jones lives in Kentucky. Some non-action verbs do not occur in the present progressive tense. but he learned a lesson. She called Henry's parents and told them what happened. . He frequently travels to Memphis to see his wife. It went right through Mrs.B: I wish I could. Henry had to pay for the window with his hard-earned money. Pronouns Pronouns are used in place of nouns. The subject and object pronouns in English are as follows: Subject I You He She It We They Object Me You Him Her It Us Them Use subject pronouns when the pronoun refers to the doer of the action or the main topic (subject) of the sentence. He wasn't too happy about that. They enable speakers to refer to something or someone without having to repeat its name. but I'm meeting an important client from Oklahoma. Henry hit a baseball over the fence. She is a lawyer and only sees him on weekends. The simple present is sufficient. Crabby's window.

Smith has gone to Washington. She is the one I want to see. Ms. Give the balloon to him. Her is the one I want to see. . He asked her to marry him the next day. Mr. I'll give her the message. Smith lives next door to the barber shop. she was in love. WRONG: Correct: WRONG: Correct: Give the balloon to he. Mr. Lindon met her husband in a gold mine.Now. The first time she saw him. Reminders: Do not use subject pronouns in the object position or vice versa. He also liked everything about her. He had a little lamb. Remember to use he/him when referring to males and she/her when referring to females! WRONG: Correct: WRONG: Correct: Mary lived on a farm. Sentence Subjects What can be the subject of a sentence? A noun: Jonathan loves chocolates. he only plays baseball at the ball park. Mrs. Many friends joined them in the wedding celebration. She had a little lamb. Mary lived on a farm. I'll give him the message. Use object pronouns when the pronoun refers to the receiver of the action or is the object of a prepositional phrase. Smith has gone to Washington.

Are you coming to the dance? Words like everyone. Without nouns/pronouns. . Some (count) are here. no one Everything is ready. What you say is not important. All is well. Neither of them is in the foyer. "Dummy" subjects There are five people in the room. nothing. (separately) (all of them are not nice) (not any individual) Noun clauses Whoever left the food on the table is in trouble. A pronoun: It isn't time yet. Some of the pies were gone.The yellow dog makes me nervous. the words before the verb are the subject of the sentence. (as a group) Neither is correct. Be careful In most cases. Some (non-count) is not. How you do it is up to you. Both of them are in the foyer. There is some milk in the refrigerator. anybody. everything. Is everyone here? Is anybody home? Quantifiers with nouns/pronouns Some of the pie was gone. None of those people is my friend. All are watching. something. Both are correct. Crocodiles are very dangerous. everybody. The three of us are going to be there. They went to sleep at 9:00. It is just the three of us. None of those people are nice.

Neither the boys nor their father has a car. Simple Future Tense . Jones nor his sons have a car. On the table were a red hat. The people who live there are my friends. even if they come at the beginning of a sentence. (This is very uncommon usage. Relative clauses do not affect the main subject-verb relationship. With either/neither. Some can sometimes be used to indicate an unidentified person. depending on the meaning.. Some words look plural but are actually singular: Physics is my favorite subject. Some woman was here to see you. however. The family are going in separate directions. One of the men who live there is deranged. S-V agreement within the relative clause may be different. The family is more important than the individual. Neither John nor Jane was the winner. Scotch and soda is my favorite drink. Mass or "group" nouns may be singular or plural.or/nor.) My faithful friend and companion is Terry. The news was good. He is the only one who lives there. depending on focus. white gloves and a blue scarf. Neither Mr. Some guy keeps calling you. Either the men or the women are going to take the cake.. The house that the Jacksons built needs to be remodeled. On the table was a red hat. the subject closest to the verb determines agreement.Prepositional phrases cannot be subjects.

There's no way they can score 21 points in 2 minutes. (Predictions and guesses) My prints will be here tomorrow. I'm going to finish my homework in an hour. A: I have two tickets left for the front row. With be going to. B: I'll take them. A: Who will help me finish this chocolate cake? B: I will.In English the Future Time is expressed in a number of ways. NOT: I gonna stay? NOT: I'm gonna to stay? What's the difference between will and be going to? Both can be used interchangeably in some cases. make sure the verb be agrees with its subject. I'm going to give her a piece of my mind. See examples from the following sentences. We're going to win! Will is the preferable form for making offers or expressing pop decisions. Actually. Be going to is preferable for strong intentions or for describing the inevitable. I will finish my homework in an hour. My prints are going to be here tomorrow. the words going to are often pronounced ? gonna . we're going to eat a whole watermelon together. In speech. . A: What are you gonna do this weekend? B: I'm gonna stay home and clean my carpet. The most common are with will and be going to.? Don't forget the be verb. She's going to eat a whole watermelon. I'm going to eat a whole watermelon.

I'm flying to Beijing . My grandfather was died last year. Jan finished her report on time. I fly to Beijing tomorrow. When she finally got home. Completed action She finally mailed the letter. but unfortunately the store was out of her dog's favorite brand. The simple past tense is expressed with the past form of the verb and nothing else. In such cases. Past status John was still single in 1995. and she knew she had to do something quickly. Her poor dog stared up at her with its hungry eyes. time words must be expressed or clearly implied. Note the usage of the past tense in the following story. I'm flying to Beijing tomorrow. My grandfather died last year. Jane was a movie star. (Correct) (Incorrect) (Incorrect) He drove to work yesterday. her dog was sound asleep on the living room sofa. action which occurred at a specific time in the past b. but the cupboard was empty. Sorry I can't attend the picnic on Saturday. Yesterday Mrs. The simple past tense refers to a. In the morning. . she waited for a half hour in the rain to get a taxi. she went to the kitchen and looked in the cupboard for some food for her dog. completed action c.Sometimes future time can be expressed with either the present or present progressive tense. Simple Past Tense Explanation 1. Hubbard had a very rough day. She hurried to the grocery store to buy some dog food. so she had to catch a bus downtown. After buying the food. My grandfather has died last year. past status Examples Specific past action I ate lunch at noon today. 2.

Common problems with the past tense 1." 6. This morning before coming to class. 2. My pet lizard was died last month. We stop in the grocery store and buy some sandwiches. It happened one night in September. . Last week. The waitress asks us if we have reservations. Then we see a small grocery store. My client and I slowly walk back to the car. the place is full. Correct the mistakes in the following sentences: 1. Tonya fixed her neighbor's car. (Incorrect) (Correct) (Incorrect) (Correct) Exercises Change the verbs in the following sentence into past tense. my secretary forgets to make them. Samantha have pizza for supper. 2. 3. Yesterday. 2. 5. It was happened one night in September. Last week. 4. 1. I go to the restaurant with a client. Yesterday I spend two hours cleaning my living room. 4. 7. That is better than waiting for two hours. Using the present tense when the past tense is required. "No. Last night. Using "was" with verbs in the past tense. Tonya fix her neighbor's car. 10. 8. I say. When we arrive at the restaurant. We drive around the parking lot for 20 minutes in order to find a parking space. 3. Jack eats two bowls of cereal. 9. The waitress tells us to come back in two hours.

Smith fills crates.5. What was happened to your leg? Simple Present Tense 1A. They think twice. Water slakes thirst. Jerry and Linda (come/comes) to school on time. you They. Mr. . Subject I. Mom bakes pies. We Plural nouns He. 2. Bees sting when they are disturbed. Exercises 1. 1C. She. Subjects with verb in ?s form: She makes toys. Jill loves dates. Children sing on special occasions. Examples Subjects followed by verb in base form: I like rice. Chefs use spice. Grandpa washes plates. We throw dice. Explanation The simple present tense takes one of two forms depending on the subject. It takes time. Jerry (come/comes) to school on time. You look nice. It Singular nouns Non count-nouns base form eat go work -s form eats goes works 1B. Some people bring gifts to parties. The dog jumps gates. He rakes leaves. The boys ring the doorbell.

and they ride until the bus reaches their school. Correct Incorrect 2. Then. who lives in a red house on the corner of Main Street and Seventh Avenue. eats his breakfast. 2. reread the above paragraph. and puts on his uniform. He showers. She works at the post office and has to be to work by 9:00. Miller. Tell whether the present tense is appropriate in the following sentences. the Bartlett twins get on the bus. Note how the present tense is used in the following paragraph. His wife drives him to the station where he checks in with his supervisor. 2C. Lee enjoys seeing the kids every day and is happy to see them again in the afternoon when he drives them safely back home. he picks up Mrs. Facts 2B. and prepares for his day. Jones (teach/teaches) geography. Be sure to use the -s form of the verb when the subject of a sentence is singular. The teacher grades homework on Fridays. 4. Mr. Examples Routine actions John brushes his teeth every morning. Lee is a bus driver. 1. Some birds fly south for the winter. Explanation Use the simple present tense to indicate: 1. Carol usually drives to work. Facts Hawaii is in the Pacific Ocean. Yesterday I go to Washington D. Have a partner listen to your speech and check for correct usage of verbs. Correct Incorrect . Routine actions 2. Mr. he gets on Bus #405 and starts the engine. 5. At his first stop. Every day he gets up at 7:00 a. Every day.C. Milk (cost/costs) two dollars a quart.m. They attend class at Bayside Elementary. At the next stop. Water consists of hydrogen and oxygen. The cat (sleep/sleeps) on the sofa every day. then try to repeat the main ideas in your own words. More children get on at the next three stops. Mr. He pulls out of the parking lot and begins his route. Ms. Exercises 1.3. To practice the present tense. 2A. Johnson cleans his living room.

The singular form is used when considering the noun as a single item (count) or entity (non-count). Last night I watched television for two hours. Not using the -s form with singular subjects: Jack likes Chinese food. They usually take the bus to the office. Plural English nouns can be classified as count (singular and plural) and non-count. Right now Susan eats her breakfast.3. brick dog airplane person foot water sugar truth education The plural form is used when considering more than one of the same item. 4. Melinda and Harry work in the bank. 2. . bricks Things to be aware of: dogs airplanes people feet Regular plurals Most plurals are formed by adding -s or -es to the singular noun: boys cats kisses cars rocks watches pens tips boxes pills chiefs dishes pronounce /z/ pronounce /s/ pronounce /Iz/ In some cases. Non-count nouns do not have a plural form. Using the simple present tense when another tense is required. there are special spelling rules that need to be considered when forming the plural. Last night I watch television for two hours. Correct Incorrect Correct Incorrect Correct Incorrect Common Mistakes with the simple present tense 1. 5. Jack like Chinese food. (Correct) (Incorrect ) (Correct) (Incorrect) Singular vs.

(Wrong: Apple is on table. Tommy has two hobbies. or one. Each man contributed one dollar. they are preceded by this. some nouns can be used in both the count and non-count sense: I have a lot of experience. I have a lot of experiences. Milk contains nutrients. Jerry is from Colorado. Third-person singular "-s" Singular and non-count nouns (in the third person) require the "-s" form of the verb in the present tense. every. either.knives hobbies quizzes Irregular plurals Some nouns take on a different form in the plural: women teeth mice children people Non-count nouns Non-count nouns do not have a plural form. My dog likes to eat meat. [Articles are required. Singular count nouns require an article (the. . The girl loves painting. however. Johnny lives next door to Jenny. an) unless they are "proper" nouns Mr. they are preceded by a possessive My mother loves my father. neither.]) The/An apple is on the table. a. that. each. Jones went to Arizona.

However. Please put some wine in the glasses. For the past tense. The verb be The -s form (present tense) for be is is. it is was.Plural nouns and singular non-count nouns do not require an article in the "generic" sense: Water is important for plants. She lives in Malta. For all other subjects. Subject-Verb Agreement Third person singular -s Use the -s form of a verb in the present tense when the subject is third person singular. Tim lives in Naples. -s form He lives in Cyprus. they require articles (the. They live in Crete. some) in most other cases. Ms. . Conner lives in Milan. Example: base form I live in Athens. The Smiths live in Rome. use the base form in the present tense. We have a winner. He has a trophy. The verb have The -s form of the verb have is has.

We were here too.) She is here. Jean does not like spaghetti. only the first verb carries the third person singular -s. They are wrong.Was is also used with first person singular subjects (I) in the past tense. Ron wasn't home yesterday. (Correct) Jean does not likes spaghetti. and were is used in the past. I am here too. She was home yesterday. (Am is used in the present tense. (Correct) . (Correct) Frank have eaten lunch already. You are right. (Correct) Elsa is eats her dinner. (Wrong!) Modals Do not use the -s form of the verb with modals. Frank has eaten lunch already. Auxiliary verbs When auxiliary verbs are used. Ian can eat twelve bowls of rice. (Wrong!) Leo is going to eat later. (Wrong!) Elsa is eating her dinner. (Wrong!) Jean do not likes spaghetti. Are is used with other subjects in the present. He is not here. I was here yesterday. regardless of the subject.

She is being nice today. passives and prepositional collocations: Progressive tenses: He is writing a letter to his brother. (Wrong!) The Verb Be The verb be takes on different forms in the present and past. and the -ing form is being. the past participle is been. He has been a doctor since 1998. Grady's not here right now.Ian can eats twelve bowls of rice. I'll be back tomorrow. Present I He She It You They we am is is is are are are Contraction 'm 's 's 's 're 're 're Past was was was was were were were The verb be indicates existence. Hawaii is in the Pacific Ocean. temporary condition or permanent status. . Trudy was sick yesterday. Greg and Tim are engineers. The verb be is also used in progressive tenses. It is really hot today. The base form is be.

They are as follows: This (indicates something close to the speaker) That (indicates something away from the speaker) These (indicates some things close to the speaker) Those (indicates some things away from the speaker) Example: A: What is this? (pointing to something held in the speaker's hand or near the speaker) B: A pencil. I'm interested in making money.Jeff was cleaning the house this morning. catch! A: Oops. These. That. Here. Those Demonstratives are used to point out a particular item. . Craig was stopped by the policeman.) A: What's that you're holding? B: This is an egg. A: What is that? (pointing to something at a distance from the speaker) B: A tree. The Holleys have been living there since April. This. Remember that demonstratives are used in reference to the speaker. Prepositional collocations: Tracy is fond of chocolates. (What is near "you" may not be near "me" and vice versa. Cassie is not afraid of snakes. Passive voice: The people were surprised by the news.

) Give me that! Give me that (spoon). On the telephone. I'll take that one. Whose are these? Whose are these (socks)? This and that can also be used with one. Example: Receiver: Hello. These oranges are sweet. However.B: That's a mess.) Caller: This is Mr. I want these. Long time no see! Receiver: Is this Bob? What a surprise! (American) Is that Bob? What a surprise! (British) Verb List Regular Verbs base call clean look -s form calls cleans looks past called cleaned looked past participle called cleaned looked -ing form calling cleaning looking 1 notes . this and that are used differently in British and American English to identify callers. A: What are these (holding up a pair of slippers) B: Those are slippers. Caller: I was wondering if you would be interested in buying . I want this one. This milk is fresh. Be sure to use this/that with singular and non-count nouns and these/those with count nouns. (Same for both British and American English) Caller: Hi Jack. Those trucks are empty. That truck is full. Fuller from the Acme Brush Company. Receiver: Who is this? (American) Who is that? (British) (Both expressions are used to ask the caller to identify himself/herself. these and those are more commonly used alone. This orange is sour. (not these ones) I'll take those. . Sometimes demonstratives can be used as pronouns (to refer to a particular noun. .

Pronunciation differences in past/past participle after /t. Spelling and pronunciation differences in -s form after /s.talk end wait kiss wash live love beg sin play stay cry die tie Notes: talks ends waits kisses washes lives loves begs sins plays stays cries studies dies ties talked ended waited kissed washed lived loved begged sinned played stayed cried studied died tied talked ended waited kissed washed lived loved begged sinned played stayed cried studied died tied talking ending waiting kissing washing living loving begging sinning playing staying crying studying dying tying 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 1. Pronunciation differences in past/past participle after /p. d/ sounds 3. Dropping of "silent e" with -ing endings 5. ch. Doubled consonants after "short" vowel sounds 6. k. f/ sounds 2. Spelling differences when "y" is preceded by a consonant Irregular Verbs base cut fit hit let put quit set shut split upset -s form cuts fits hits lets puts quits sets shuts splits upsets past cut fit hit let put quit set shut split upset past participle cut fit hit let put quit set shut split upset -ing form cutting fitting hitting letting putting quitting setting shutting splitting upsetting . s. sh. z/ sounds 4.

burst cast cost hurt spread knit sit spit begin swim ring sing spring cling fling sling sting swing wring hang drink shrink stink think bring buy seek fight catch teach creep keep sleep sweep weep bleed breed feed flee bursts casts costs hurts spreads knits sits spits begins swims rings sings springs clings flings slings stings swings wrings hangs drinks shrinks stinks thinks brings buys seeks fights catches teaches creeps keeps sleeps sweeps weeps bleeds breeds feeds flees burst cast cost hurt spread knit/knitted sat spat/spit began swam rang sang sprang clung flung slung stung swung wrung hung/hanged** drank shrank stank thought brought bought sought fought caught taught crept kept slept swept wept bled bred fed fled burst cast cost hurt spread knit/knitted sat spat/spit begun swum rung sung sprung clung flung slung stung swung wrung hung/hanged drunk shrunk stunk thought brought bought sought fought caught taught crept kept slept swept wept bled bred fed fled bursting casting costing* hurting spreading knitting sitting spitting beginning swimming ringing singing springing clinging flinging slinging stinging swinging wringing hanging sinking shrinking stinking thinking bringing buying seeking fighting catching teaching creeping keeping sleeping sweeping weeping bleeding breeding feeding fleeing .

lead speed meet bend lend send spend deal feel kneel dream mean spill build burn hold sell tell find grind wind break choose freeze speak steal wake weave arise drive ride rise write bite hide slide get leads speeds meets bends lends sends spends deals feels kneels dreams means spills builds burns holds sells tells finds grinds winds breaks chooses freezes speaks steals wakes weaves arises drives rides rises writes bites hides slides gets led sped/speeded met bent lent sent spent dealt felt knelt dreamt/dreamed meant spilt/spilled built burnt/burned held sold told found ground wound broke chose froze spoke stole woke wove arose drove rode rose wrote bit hid slid got led sped/speeded met bent lent sent spent dealt felt knelt dreamt/dreamed meant spilt/spilled built burnt/burned held sold told found ground wound broken chosen frozen spoken stolen woken woven arisen driven ridden risen written bitten hidden slid gotten leading speeding meeting bending lending sending spending dealing feeling kneeling dreaming meaning spilling building burning holding selling telling finding grinding winding breaking choosing freezing speaking stealing waking weaving arising driving riding rising writing biting hiding sliding getting .

forget give forgive forbid fall swell dive blow fly grow know throw draw withdraw show eat beat take forsake mistake shake make swear wear tear bear stand understand become come run dig spin stick strike do forgets gives forgives forbids falls swells dives blows flies grows knows throws draws withdraws shows eats beats takes forsakes mistakes shakes makes swears wears tears bears stands understands becomes comes runs digs spins sticks strikes does forgot gave forgave forbade/forbad fell swelled dove/dived blew flew grew knew threw drew withdrew showed ate beat took forsook mistook shook making swore wore tore bore stood understood became came ran dug spun stuck struck did forgotten given forgiven forbidden fallen swollen dived blown flown grown known thrown drawn withdrawn shown eaten beaten taken forsaken mistaken shaken forgetting giving forgiving forbidding falling swelling diving blowing flying growing knowing throwing drawing withdrawing showing eating beating taking forsaking mistaking shaking sworn worn torn born stood understood become come run dug spun stuck struck/stricken done swearing wearing tearing bearing standing understanding becoming coming running digging spinning sticking striking doing .

** "hang" has two different meanings and thus two usages in past/past participle Wh . They are as follows: When? Where? Who? Time Place Person .Questions allow a speaker to find out more information about topics.go have hear lay pay say lie light lose leave prove read see sew shave shine shoot win be goes has hears lays pays says lies lights loses leaves proves reads sees sews shaves shines shoots wins is/are/am went had heard laid paid said lay lit/lighted lost left proved read saw sewed shaved shined/shone gone had heard laid paid said lain lit/lighted lost left proven/proved read seen sewn/sewed shaven/shaved shined/shone shot going having hearing laying paying saying lying lighting losing leaving proving reading seeing sewing shaving shining shooting winning being won was/were won been * "Cost" does not usually occur in the -ing form.Questions Wh.

I can do it. wh. Auxiliary verbs are italicized in the following sentences.questions depends on whether the topic being asked about is the "subject" or "predicate" of a sentence. I have eaten my lunch. I should have finished my homework.question formation depends on whether there is an "auxiliary" verb in the original sentence. Auxiliary or "helping" verbs are verbs that precede main verbs.) (Something is bothering you. amount (non-count) Quantity (count) Duration Frequency Distance Description The "grammar" used with wh. simply replace the person or thing being asked about with the appropriate wh-word.Why? How? What? Reason Manner Object/Idea/Action Other words can also be used to inquire about specific information: Which (one)? Whose? Whom? How much? How many? How long? How often? How far? What kind (of)? Choice of alternatives Possession Person (objective formal) Price. (Someone has my baseball.) Who has my baseball? What is bothering you? For the predicate pattern. For the subject pattern. . They are leaving.

A: Can I buy you a drink? B: No.) (They have been somewhere.word to the beginning of the sentence. thanks. Be sure to "transfer" the tense and number from the main verb to the word do. first form a yes/no question by inverting the subject and (first) auxiliary verb. Then.) (He is doing something." A: Are you from around here? B: Yes. Then add the appropriate wh-question word.) (The meeting was some time. (He is someone.) ? is he Who is he? ? was the meeting When was the meeting? If there is no auxiliary and the verb is not "be.) ? will you leave When will you leave? ? is he doing What is he doing? ? have they been Where have they been? If there is no auxiliary and the verb is "be. then add the appropriate wh.To make a question using the predicate pattern. (You want something. add the appropriate wh. The easiest are questions that can be answered "yes" or "no. A: Are you married? ." add do to the beginning of the sentence.word to the beginning of the sentence. I am. (You will leave some time.) ? do you want What do you want? ? did you go (past tense) Where did you go? ? does she like (third person -s) What does she like? Yes/No Questions There are many types of questions in English. I do.) (She likes something." invert the subject and verb. A: Do you come here often? B: Yes.) (You went somewhere.

Do the Johnsons live in that house? 2. most questions are asked of the second person (you) and answered in the first (I). Add Do to the beginning of the sentence. John is a doctor. Statement Jan is eating dinner. The Jensens are here. If the main verb "carries" a third person singular s. Jane drives a sports car. I'm from Hollywood. simply switch the positions of the subject and first verb. Question Is Jan eating dinner? Has June rented an apartment? Has Jen been living here since 1969? If there is one verb. If the main verb "carries" past tense. simply switch the positions of the subject and verb. Question Is John a doctor? Are the Jensens here? If there are two verbs. Statement John is a doctor.B: Yes. first count the number of verbs. the process is more complex. June has rented an apartment. Joan played basketball last night. Jan is eating her dinner. Joan played basketball last night. Are you? A: Yes. 1. move the s to Do. The Johnsons live in that house. To form a question from a statement. Jen has been living here since 1969. Jane drives a car. I am. June has rented an apartment. and the verb is not a form of be. making it Does. Do Jane drives a car? (Not finished yet!) Does Jane drive a car? (Good question!) 3. making it Did. I'm from Oregon. . Jen has been living there since 1969. Do Joan played basketball? (Not finished yet!) Did Joan play basketball? (Good question!) In conversation. A: Are you from California? B: No. move the past tense to Do. One verb: is (be) One verb: drives One verb: played Two verbs: is eating Two verbs: has rented Three verbs: has been living If there is one verb in the statement and the verb is a form of be.

the main verb have sometimes functions like be in questions. Question Have you a pet ferret? (British) Do you have a pet ferret? (American) . Statement You have a pet ferret. I don't go out at night. In British English. This is not common in American English.B: Do you know any movie stars? A: No.

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