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Indefinite Article: a/an This section is about indefinite articles. Form and Basic Uses of Indefinite Articles Use a before a consonant sound. I need a comfortable chair. I couldn't find a hotel room. Use an before a vowel sound. Notice that an is used before words beginning with h when the h is not pronounced. Take an umbrella. It's raining. You have an hour to finish the test. Use a/an with singular countable nouns. There is no difference between a and an in the way they are used. She was writing a letter when he called. Use a/an:
 

with an indefinite meaning (it doesn't matter which). Do you have a pen? I need to sign this check. when mentioning something for the first time. Use the for second mention. I looked up and saw a plane. The plane was flying very low.

Specific Uses of Indefinite Articles Use a/an:

to classify or identify a person or thing She's a computer programmer. Is that an answering machine? to mean "one." Usually, the word one is not used unless counting or contrasting one with another number. I'd like a burger, please. with some units of time or measurement to mean "each." The trains depart 5 times an hour.

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Definite Article: the This section is about definite articles. Choose a topic from the outline to learn more. Click on the plus sign next to "Definite Article: the." Specific Uses of Definite Articles Use the when there is only one possible person, place, or thing in the environment. There has been an accident. Does the President know about it? Are you going to the post office this morning? Exercise is good for the heart. Do you mind if I open the window? Use the to refer to things that are one of a kind:
   

the Earth, sun, moon, sky, etc. - The Earth travels around the sun every 365 days. institutions - The World Bank lends money to many nations. public bodies - The government collects taxes. publications - The Singapore Straits Times is a daily newspaper.

Use the with nouns that refer to a particular group as a whole:
 

specific groups - The museum is not open to the public on Monday. nationalities - The Portuguese were great explorers. Remember to add plural -s to nationalities ending in -an - The Russians and the Americans raced to the moon in the 1960s.

Form and Basic Uses of the Zero Article Nouns without any article at all use the zero article. Use the zero article (-) with:
  

plural countable nouns - (-) Computers are useful (-) machines. uncountable nouns - (-) Water is made up of (-) hydrogen and (-) oxygen. most proper nouns - (-) Mr. Teague plans to visit (-)China in (-)September. Exceptions to this rule include the Earth, and plurals or adj + noun combinations the Johnsons, the Netherlands, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Alps, the Atlantic Ocean, etc.

English uses the zero article in general statements with uncountable nouns and plural countable nouns. Life is full of surprises. Do you like classical music?

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Overview of Pronouns A pronoun is a word like he, she, or it used in place of a noun. Use pronouns when it is already known who or what is referred to. - Martina called. She wants you to call her back. Words like I, me, they, and them are called personal pronouns.

1st person forms refer to the speaker: I (singular); we (plural). We can either include the listener or not. We're leaving tomorrow. What about you? 2nd person forms refer to the person or people who are being spoken to: you (both singular and plural). Are you ready to go? 3rd person forms refer to the person or thing that is being spoken about: he, she, it (singular); they (plural). It can refer to a thing, place, or animal, though animals (for example, pets) can also be referred to with he or she. Joanna is here. She can't stay long. The car didn't sound right, so I took it to the mechanic. The dog wagged his/its tail.

Subject Pronouns Subject pronouns come before a verb. Notice that the pronoun you can refer to one person or more than one person. My name is Pietro Bustelli. I work in the New York office. Don't forget your books. You'll need them to do your homework. Greg isn't here. He's out sick today. Please call Jennifer Green. She's in her office. The clock isn't working. It needs a new battery. Anna and I just got back from Greece. We had a great trip. John and Sandra are here, but they can't stay long. Object Pronouns Object pronouns come after verbs or prepositions. Tomorrow is my birthday. John is taking me out to dinner. You don't have to go to the meeting. I'll take notes for you. Vijay doesn't know about our decision yet. Please don't tell him. Nadia has worked very hard. I think we should give her a promotion. My suit is dirty. I'll have to take it to the cleaners. Carly and I are going out to lunch. Would you like to join us? The students didn't understand the assignment, so the teacher explained it to them again.

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In informal speech, object pronouns are used after it is/it was: A: Who said that? B: It was him. In informal speech, object pronouns are used in short answers, but in more formal speech and writing, a subject pronoun + verb is used. Informal A: Who wants ice cream? B: Me! Formal A: Who wants ice cream? B: I do. One and Ones An adjective is not usually used by itself as if it were a noun. Incorrect: I sold the old car and bought a new. Correct: I sold the old car and bought a new one. Use one or ones to replace a countable noun. A: What kind of telephone did you buy? B: A cordless one. One and ones are often used after which, this, that, and adjectives. A: I like the red roses. Which ones do you like? B: The white ones.

It Every English sentence needs a subject. Sometimes, it is used as an "empty" subject. Use it to talk about:

 

time A: What time is it? B: It's 12 o'clock. weather Wear a coat. It's cold outside. the environment It's getting dark. Let's go home.
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Although it is possible to begin a sentence with a to-infinitive or a noun clause, it is more common to begin with it and put the infinitive or noun clause later. It was difficult to make a decision. It's a shame that Henry isn't here.

Possessive Adjectives Possessive adjectives refer to the one who owns or has the thing possessed. They do not refer to the thing that is possessed.

Possessive adjectives are always used before nouns. I left the report on my desk. Thank you. I really appreciate your help. Bob has a new supervisor. His name is Toshio Tanaka. Gloria is away on business. Her assistant has the phone number. We cannot accept the proposal in its present form. We're moving to our new offices next week. The employees met with their lawyer to discuss the new contract. Notice that the possessive adjective its has no apostrophe. It's is a short form for it is or it has (+ past participle).

Possessive Pronouns Possessive pronouns stand alone. Do not use them before nouns. Notice that there is no possessive pronoun form for it. That isn't my briefcase. Mine is black. Bill's passport was on the desk, but I didn't see yours. Sharon has her ticket and Andy has his. Irene isn't here right now. Are you a friend of hers? Most companies have a holiday tomorrow, but ours doesn't The staff received their bonuses, but the supervisors haven't received theirs yet. Reflexive Pronouns Reflexive pronouns are formed from possessive adjectives + -self or -selves. Notice that “you” has both a singular and plural reflexive form. I enjoyed myself at the party last night. Be careful with the knife. You'll cut yourself. He looked at himself in the mirror She doesn't live with her family any more. She lives by herself (= alone). We don't need help. We can do it ourselves. You and Kate will have to cook for yourselves while I'm away. They're old enough to take care of themselves.
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Use reflexive pronouns:
  

when the subject and object of a verb are the same - He used the money to buy himself some new shoes. when the object of a preposition is the same as the subject of the verb - Tell me a little about yourself and why you want the job. to emphasize a noun or pronoun - I myself heard him make that promise.

Some verbs, such as get up, sit down, and stand up, are reflexive in other languages but not in English. There are very few verbs in English that must be followed by a reflexive pronoun. These include: absent, avail, busy, and pride. She busied herself in the garden to make the time go faster.

Demonstrative Adjectives Use that/those to refer to people or things that are far away or that have already been mentioned. Use:
  

that + singular countable noun Do you see that man across the street? He's our new sales manager. that + uncountable noun Don't forget to bring that information you promised me. those + plural countable noun Those stars are called the Seven Sisters.

Use this/these to refer to people or things that are near or that have already been mentioned. Use:
  

this + singular countable noun Look at this photo closely. Do you see anyone you know? this + uncountable noun Ugh! This milk is sour! It smells awful. these + plural countable noun Sales of Tasty Choice frozen foods were down. The market for these products has become very competitive.

In referring to periods of time, use:

that to refer to a time that has been mentioned A: How about March 8th? B: I have a meeting that morning, but I'm free in the afternoon.

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this to refer to a time in the present or near future Are you working on any special projects this week? Can I call you back this afternoon?

Indefinite Pronouns Use somebody/someone and something in affirmative sentences and in questions inviting a "yes" answer. Use a singular verb after these words. Somebody/Someone's at the door. Please see who it is. I'd like something to drink. Can I get you something to eat? Use nobody/no one and nothing to mean "not a single person/thing" in affirmative sentences. Use a singular verb after these words. I didn't go to the meeting because nobody/no one told me about it. She's always complaining. Nothing makes her happy. Use anybody/anyone and anything in questions and negative statements. Was anybody/anyone there when you arrived? I didn't do anything yesterday. I just stayed home and rested. Use everybody/everyone and everything, meaning all the members of a group, in affirmative statements.

Everybody/everyone and everything take singular verb forms. If everybody/everyone is here, let's start the meeting. We made the deadline. Everything was finished by noon. Plural pronouns (they, their, etc.) are often used in referring back to everyone. Some speakers do not consider this correct, and use masculine pronouns (he, his, etc.) unless the context is clearly female. Everyone has their own computer.

Indefinite pronouns can also be used with:
  

adjectives - He gave me something special for my birthday. comparatives - Don't you have anything cheaper? infinitives - Is there no one to help you?

Quantity Overview of Quantifiers Quantifiers are words like a lot of, a little, and some, or numbers. They show how much of something or how many things we are talking about.
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I have a lot of work to do. The soup needs a little salt. I could use some help setting up the equipment. Can you give us two hours? Numbers and exact measure words are definite quantifiers. We need five eggs and half a pound of butter for this recipe. Most quantifiers are indefinite. They do not give an exact amount. We have enough eggs, but we don't have much butter. Some quantifiers are used with uncountable nouns. He had a great deal of confidence in himself and was sure he would succeed. Some quantifiers are used with countable nouns. I called them several times, but there was no answer. Some quantifiers are used with both countable and uncountable nouns. A lot of employees are at a training course now. There was a lot of information on their web site.

Uses of some and any Use some + plural noun or uncountable noun:
 

in affirmative statements I have some phone calls to make. in questions inviting a "yes" answer A: Do you need some more time? B: Yes. I'm not quite finished. in offers A: Would you like some coffee? B: Yes. Thank you. in requests A: May I have some milk? B: Of course. to mean "certain" Some people will believe anything they read.

Use any + plural noun or uncountable noun:

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    

in negative statements I didn't take any sick days last year. in uncertain questions Are there any holidays in May? in statements with a negative meaning There were hardly any (= very few) seats left by the time we got to the theater. in conditional sentences If you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer them. to mean "every" Any child could answer that question.

Uses of no and none No + countable or uncountable noun can be used in place of not any to show complete absence. No may sound more emphatic. There are no sandwiches because there was no time to make them. There aren't any sandwiches because there wasn't any time to make them. None can be used by itself as a pronoun to refer to a noun used earlier. I can't find the eggs. There are none in the refrigerator. A: Did you have any trouble getting here? B: No, none. Your directions were very clear.

Uses of many, much, and a lot of Use many + plural noun:
  

in negative sentences Not many people know who he is. in questions How many people work in your office? after so and too or with as…as So many qualified people have applied for the job that it will be difficult to choose just one. in ordinary affirmative statements. A lot of is more usual in conversation; many sounds more formal in affirmative statements. Many foreign companies have set up factories there.

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Use much + uncountable noun:
    

in negative sentences There wasn't much traffic this morning, since it's a holiday. in questions How much water should I give the plants? in statements with a negative meaning The noise prevented her from getting much sleep. after so and too or with as…as I can't go out to dinner tonight. I have too much work to do. Much can be used in ordinary affirmative statements, but it sounds very formal. Other quantifiers are usually used in its place, such as a lot of or a great deal of. Much effort went into the development of this project.

A lot of is more usual in conversation than many or much in affirmative sentences. Use a lot of (informal lots of) with:

plural nouns I took a lot of pictures on the trip. (more natural than: I took many pictures on the trip.) uncountable nouns He has a lot of experience in marketing. (much more natural than: He has much experience in marketing.)

Notice that the verb agrees with the noun that follows a lot of. There was a lot of water on the floor. There were a lot of people waiting to board the airplane. Uses of few, a few, little, a little A few and a little are positive in meaning. They mean "some."
 

Use a few with countable nouns. We're having a few friends over on Saturday. Would you like to join us? Use a little with uncountable nouns. I know a little Spanish.

Few and little are negative in meaning. They mean "hardly any" or "not enough." Few and little sound formal when they are used without a modifier like very.
 

Use few with countable nouns. Claire was lonely. She had few friends. Use little with uncountable nouns. He has very little hope of winning the election.
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Uses of both and all Use both + plural noun and both (of) the (or both (of) my/these etc.) + plural noun in the same way to refer to two people or things. Katherine wrote two letters. Both letters were about the company's new advertising campaign. Both the letters were short. Both of my brothers are older than me. Use all + plural or uncountable noun to refer to things in general. All children like to play. Not all grass is green. Use all (of) the/my etc. for particular reference. All the children on my street like to play soccer. All the grass in our yard has turned brown. All of their documents were lost in the fire. Usually all is not used by itself as a pronoun to mean "all the people" or "all the things." Use everyone, everybody, or everything instead. Everyone has gone home. I think everything is ready for the presentation.

Each compared with every Use each/every + singular countable noun.
    

Each is used for two or more things to suggest "one by one," "separately." You must sign each copy of the form. Every is used for three or more things and suggests "all together." The meal was delicious! I enjoyed every bite. However, each and every are often used in exactly the same way. The company's profits have increased each/every year. Each (not every) can be used after a noun or at the end of a sentence. The tickets are fifteen dollars each. Every (not each) can be modified by words like almost or not. I buy a newspaper almost every day.

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Other, others, and another

 

Use other + plural noun to refer to additional or alternative people or things of the type mentioned. He shares an office with two other people. There must be other ways of solving the problem. After quantity words such as some, any, no, or one, the word other can be used with an uncountable or singular noun. We don't have any other information about the accident. There is one other person I could ask. Use the (or my/her, etc.) other with either a singular or plural countable noun to refer to one or more of the rest of a group. I found one glove, but I can't find the other one. Use the others by itself to mean "the rest." Alicia, what do you think? Do you agree with the others? Use another + singular noun to refer to an additional or an alternative thing or person. Would you like another cup of coffee? Thursday isn't good for me. Can we meet another day? Another can be used with a plural noun if few or a number comes before the noun. I'll be staying here for another two days.

Either and neither Either and neither refer to two people or things.

Use either + singular noun to mean "one or the other." A: Should we meet or just talk on the phone? B: Either way is fine with me. Use neither + singular noun to mean "not one and not the other." Neither executive would admit to being wrong.

Overview of Adjectives An adjective describes the person or thing that a noun refers to. Julio is young. He's only twenty-two. These boxes are heavy. I can't lift them. That's a good idea. Let's go out for dinner. Adjectives do not change their form to "agree" with nouns. We had a long meeting to discuss the problem. We had several long meetings to discuss the problem. Adjectives may be:
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     

a word without a suffix or prefix The basement was cold and damp. a word formed with a suffix such as -able, -ful, -ical, -ish, -ous, -y added to a noun. Be careful. The roads are icy. a word formed with a prefix such as dis- or un- added to an adjective. He was unhappy about moving to a smaller office. the -ing form of a verb I read an interesting article about Internet-based companies. the -ed form of a verb I'm interested in the effect of electronic commerce on local businesses. a compound She's self-employed. She runs a small consulting company.

Position of Adjectives Most adjectives can occur:
 

before nouns We bought a new computer. after linking verbs. Be, look, seem, feel, taste, smell, and become are common linking verbs. This computer is new. We just bought it.

Note that adjectives come after, not before, indefinite pronouns like anything, anyone, something, somewhere, nothing, everything. Did you notice anything unusual? Some adjectives are used only after a verb (usually a linking verb like be), not before a noun. These include:
 

adjectives beginning with a- (e.g., afraid, alive, alone, asleep, awake) She was alone in the house, and no one could hear her. some adjectives, when they describe a person's health or feelings (e.g., glad, ill, pleased, sorry, stressed, upset, well) But: these adjectives have different meanings when used before some nouns - an ill effect, a sorry state, etc. I'm glad you liked the present.

Some adjectives are used only before a noun. These include:

adjectives that either give emphasis (e.g., mere, sheer, utter) or restrict the reference of the noun (e.g., chief, main, only, sole) The meeting was an utter waste of time. adjectives referring to location (e.g., bottom, indoor, lower, outdoor, top, upper) She bit her lower lip nervously.
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a few adjectives ending in -al or -ic (e.g., atomic, federal, medical) We pay state and federal taxes.

A limited number of adjectives (e.g., available, eligible, imaginable) can either go before or after a noun. There are no rooms available/available rooms for the 23rd. Adjectives used in measurements go after the noun. The room is 18 feet long and 12 feet wide. Some adjectives can take on different meanings when they are used in different positions. He's an old friend. (= I've known him a long time.) [used only before a noun] My aunt is very old now. (= She has lived for a long time.) [used either before or after a noun] He gave a very involved (= complicated) explanation. [used before a noun] The people involved (= connected with this) no longer work for the company. [used after a noun] Modifying Adjectives Many adjectives that describe a quality can be modified with very, too, or enough.

Very and too go before the adjective. Your directions were very clear. Steve is only 14. He's too young to drive a car. Enough goes after the adjective. Jane is 18. She's old enough to drive.

Some adjectives cannot be modified by very, too, or enough. These adjectives often describe an extreme quality. Other modifiers may be used to emphasize them. The weather was absolutely perfect. What you're asking me to do is utterly impossible. He won't hear you. He's fast asleep. Adjective or Adverb? Use adjectives, not adverbs, after linking verbs such as be, seem, look, taste, feel, smell, etc. He was/felt/looked sick. She seems happy. Note that well can be either:

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 

an adjective meaning "in good health" I'm going home now. I don't feel well. an adverb telling "how" You play the piano very well.

Adjectives ending in -ed and -ing Many past participles ending in -ed and present participles ending in -ing are used as adjectives. Common pairs include: bored/boring, confused/confusing, disappointed/disappointing, interested/interesting.

Use -ing adjectives to describe the thing or person that caused a feeling. The archeologists made an exciting discovery. The after-dinner speaker was boring. Use -ed adjectives to describe how someone feels. The archeologists were very excited about the ancient tools they discovered. The audience was bored and restless.

The + Adjective Usually, a noun or the pronoun one must be used after a determiner (the, a, my, your, etc.) + adjective. A: Which coat is yours? B: The black one. A: Do you like your new job? B: I'm still at my old one. The important thing is to be prepared. Some adjectives can be used alone after the to refer to "the group as a whole." The meaning is plural. The rich want lower taxes. The sick want better health care. The poor want more opportunities. Nationality Adjectives and Nouns When talking about nationalities, adjective forms are preferable to nouns. Remember: nationality adjectives can only be used as nouns if the adjective ends in -an. Some nationalities can have -man or -woman added to make a noun. Reiko is Japanese. (preferable to Reiko is a Japanese person.) Joao is Brazilian. (preferable to Joao is a Brazilian.) Pierre is a Frenchman.
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Adjective Word Order Adjectives used together are usually in this order: opinion, size, age, shape, color, origin, material, use. No more than three or four adjectives are used together to modify a noun..
       

opinion They have a beautiful horse. opinion + size They have a beautiful little horse. opinion + size + color They have a beautiful little black horse. opinion + size + color + origin They have a beautiful little black Arabian horse. use There was a conference table in the room. shape + use There was a round conference table in the room. size + shape + use There was a large round conference table in the room. size + shape + material + use There was a large round oak conference table in the room.

Overview of Adverbs Adverbs can add to the meaning of:
   

verbs He spoke slowly and clearly so that everyone would understand. adjectives My department is very busy now. other adverbs I don't know her very well. whole sentences Unfortunately, sales were much lower than we expected.

Adverbs can be single words or phrases. They answer questions like:
 

how She walked quickly to keep warm. how long The training session lasted all day.

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 

how often; when I usually leave the house before seven. where We ate lunch in the park.

Adverbs of Manner Adverbs of manner tell how something happens. They are typically formed by adding -ly or -ily to an adjective. It was a slow train. It crept slowly through the tunnel. She was happy. She sang happily as she worked. Some adverbs have the same form as adjectives. He liked fast cars. He drove fast on the highway. We had an early flight. We left early. Some adverbs have two forms: a form that is the same as an adjective and an -ly form. The two forms often have different meanings. He didn't work hard (= using effort). In fact, he hardly worked (= almost didn't work) at all. I worked late (= past my usual time) last night. I've had a lot of work to do lately (= recently). Some adverbs have two forms that have the same meaning. The form without -ly is usually used only in informal speech or writing. Please don't talk so loud/loudly. I'm trying to read. Go call the police quick/quickly! There's been an accident. Some adjectives end in -ly. Since they are adjectives, they cannot be used as adverbs. (Incorrect: Everyone smiles very friendly.) Other adjectives like this are: cowardly, lively, lovely, silly. My neighborhood is a friendly place. People smile in a friendly way when you pass them on the street. Adverbs of Time Adverbs of time describe when something happened. They are usually points of time, such as last week or yesterday. Other time adverbs include already, still, yet, and soon. I presented my proposal last week. They had a staff meeting yesterday. They've already made their decision. I'm still waiting to hear what they decided. No one has told me anything yet.

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Adverbs of Duration Adverbs of duration describe how long an action continues. They are usually adverbial phrases. Use:
    

since with a point in time or event in the past to indicate when something started He's been out of work since March/since the company closed. for with a period of time He's been looking for a job for ten weeks. over and during with a period of time He answered several ads over the weekend. by (= not later than) with a point in time He hopes to have a job by June. until/till (= up to the time of) with a point in time He won't feel relaxed until/till he's working again.

Adverbs of Frequency Adverbs of frequency are words like always, usually, frequently, often, sometimes, seldom, and never (arranged from most to least often) that answer the question How often? They have three basic positions:
 

after be when it is the only verb in the sentence I'm always late. after an auxiliary, if there is one, and before the main verb when there is only one verb I frequently sleep through my alarm. My business partner is usually waiting for me when I get to the office. after the first auxiliary when there is more than one I would never have completed the report without you.

Intensifiers and Other Adverbs of Degree Intensifiers are words like very that strengthen:
 

adjectives She's very excited about her promotion. adverbs I feel very strongly that you should reject the offer.

Really and extremely can be used for special emphasis in place of very. Really is more informal in use. I'm really sorry, but I made a mistake.

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Some intensifiers, like very, really, and extremely, can be used with most adjectives and adverbs. Other intensifiers tend to combine with particular adjectives and adverbs. The advertising campaign was highly successful in attracting new customers. It's awfully hot in here. The price was drastically reduced to attract buyers. I'm terribly busy all day today. Compare very and too:
 

Very gives force to an adjective or adverb; it makes it stronger in meaning. This job is very difficult, but I can do it. Too does not simply strengthen an adjective or adverb. It means "more than is desirable" or "more than enough." This job is too difficult for me. Sorry, I can't do it.

Use much, far, and a lot to strengthen comparisons. She works much longer hours than I do. The factory has had far/a lot fewer accidents with the new equipment. Adverbs of degree change the strength of adjectives and other adverbs.

Quite often means "very," "to a considerable degree." This fabric feels quite different. It's much softer than the other one.

Be careful: in spoken British English, quite can also mean "not as much" - I quite like it, but I prefer the other one.
 

Pretty means "inclined to be." It is informal in use. I'm pretty sure the store closes at six. Fairly suggests a lower degree. We need to make a decision fairly quickly.

Focus Adverbs Use focus adverbs like even and only to focus attention on a word or words. They can be used in various positions:
 

after be or an auxiliary (or the first auxiliary, if there is more than one) I'm only going to be in Paris for two days. before a main verb other than be The hotel chiefly attracts business guests.

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before the word that is the focus of attention Even the teacher couldn't answer all the questions correctly. We have only one printer that works.

Some focusing adverbs are used to link sentences or parts of sentences:

Also is usually used after be or an auxiliary or before a main verb other than be. It can also be used at the beginning of a sentence. Diana is good at problem-solving. She's also very creative. I play tennis and I also swim for exercise. Too is usually used at the end of a sentence. Use also and too to link affirmative sentences or ideas. Manuel seems like a natural leader. He has a lot of experience, too. Use either at the end to link negative sentences or ideas. Stephanie doesn't have much experience. She didn't seem very enthusiastic about the job, either.

Use too and either in short answers:

Use too to agree with affirmative statements. A: I'm hungry. B: I am, too! (informal: Me, too!) Use (not) either to agree with negative statements. A: I didn't understand the directions. B: I didn't, either.

Viewpoint Adverbs Viewpoint adverbs add a comment about the sentence. They express the viewpoint of the speaker or writer. Unfortunately, I can't stay long. Frankly, I don't think he's qualified for the job. The product obviously appeals more to women.

BE, HAVE, AND DO This section is about the be, have, and do.

Simple Present Form of be

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Notice: Short forms, shown in parentheses, are used in conversation and when writing in a conversational style.

To form affirmative statements: Use am with I. I am from Brazil. (I am = I'm) Use are with you, we, they. You are a good friend. (you are = you're) We are ready to leave now. (we are = we're) Computers are expensive. (they are = they're) Use is with he, she, it. Ken is a computer programmer. (Ken is = Ken's; he is = he's) Sara is very young. (Sara is = Sara's; she is = she's) ILA is a big company, with over 5000 employees.(ILA is = ILA's; it is = it's)

To form negative statements:
 

Use am + not after I. I am not in my office today. (I am not = I'm not) Use are + not after you, we, they. Notice that there are two short forms: you're/we're/they're + not and you/we/they aren't. Don't worry. You are not late. (you are not = you're not = you aren't) Use is + not after he, she, it. Notice that there are two short forms: he's/she's/it's + not and he/she/it isn't. He is not a very good manager. (he is not = he's not = he isn't)

To form a Yes/No question, put am/are/is before the subject. Am I late? Are you Janice Robinson? Is Mr. Rogers here yet? A Yes/No question with Yes + subject pronoun + am/are/is (no short form) or No + subject pronoun + am/are/is + not (using a short form in the negative). A: Are you ready? B: Yes, I am. A: Am I late? B: No, you aren't. A: Is it cold out? B: No, it's not. To form a question-word question (wh-question), use question-word + am/are/is + subject. When is the next flight?
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GRAMMAR REFERENCE PART 1
How are you? Where are the keys? Simple Past Form of be To form affirmative statements:

Use was with I, he, she, it. I was at work until six o'clock. Marta was there until seven. Use were with you, we, they. You were right about the date. We were interested in your proposal. The tickets were on the table.

To form negative statements, use subject + was/were + not. The project was not done on time. (was not = wasn't) The customers were not happy. (were not = weren't) To form a Yes/No question, put was/were before the subject. A Yes/No question can be answered with Yes + subject pronoun + was/were or No + subject pronoun + wasn't/weren't. A: Was she surprised to see you? B: Yes, she was. A: Were you the project manager? B: No, I wasn't. To form a question-word question (wh-question), use question-word + was/were + subject. How long was the flight? Why were you late?

Present Perfect Form of be To form affirmative statements:
 

Use have + been with I, you, we, they. I have been to Korea several times. (I have been = I've been) Use has + been with he, she, it. She has been the head of my department for three years. (she has been = she's been)
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GRAMMAR REFERENCE PART 1
To form negative statements:

Use have + not + been with I, you, we, they. We have not been able to reach her at that phone number. (have not been = haven't been) Use has + not + been with he, she, it. He has not been with the company very long. (has not been = hasn't been)

To form Yes/No questions, use Have/Has + subject + been. Yes/no questions can be answered with Yes + subject + have/has or No + subject + haven't/hasn't. A: Has it been quiet here tonight? B: Yes, it has. A: Have you been here long? B: Yes, I have. or No, I haven't. To form question-word questions (wh-questions), use question-word + have/has + subject + been. Where have you been? Common Uses of be as a Main Verb
   

 

before nouns They are employees of Netcom. before adjectives I'm happy to be here. before prepositional phrases I wasn't at work yesterday. in imperatives Be here at six o'clock. Don't be late. with -ing to refer to temporary behavior The children were being good. after there, used to say that a person or thing exists, as when mentioning something for the first time or reporting an event. It is more idiomatic to say "There's a car in the driveway" than "A car is in the driveway." Notice that the does not usually follow there + be. There's a package for you. There weren't any tickets left. There has been an accident.

Uses of be as an Auxiliary
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GRAMMAR REFERENCE PART 1
Be combines with other verbs to form tenses, such as:
 

the present progressive [continuous] She is sleeping. the past progressive [continuous] You weren't listening.

Be combines with past participles to form the passive voice:
 

the present passive This chair is made of plastic. the past passive It was designed by a well-known artist.

Have Present and Past Forms of have Notice: Short forms are not used in American English for have as a main verb. To form affirmative statements in the simple present:

Use have with I, you, we, they. I have two sisters, Mary and Eliza. Mary and I have brown hair. Use has with he, she, it Eliza has red hair.

To form negative statements in the simple present:

Use do not (= don't) + have with I, you, we, they. I don't have a car. We don't have enough chairs for everyone. Use does not (= doesn't) + have with he, she, it. My husband doesn't have any brothers.

To form affirmative statements in the simple past, use had with all subjects. Our office had a party yesterday. To form negative statements in the simple past, use did not (= didn't) + have with all subjects. I didn't have breakfast this morning.
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GRAMMAR REFERENCE PART 1
To form Yes/No questions:

use Do/Does + subject + have in the simple present Do you have any questions? Does he have his own office? Use Did + subject + have in the simple past. Did they have enough money?

A Yes/No question can be answered with:

Yes + subject pronoun + do/does or No + subject pronoun + don't/doesn't in the simple present A: Does she have an appointment? B: No, she doesn't. Yes + subject pronoun + did or No + subject pronoun + didn't in the simple past. A: Did you have a good time in Boston? B: Yes, I did.

To form question-word questions (wh-questions):

Use question-word + do/does + subject + have in the simple present. When do you have lunch? Why doesn't this door have a lock? Use question-word + did + subject + have in the simple past. Where did you have the party?

Common Uses of have as a Main Verb Have can be used a main verb in the following ways:

as a stative verb to show possession, relationships, arrangements, or illness. There are no progressive (continuous) (-ing) forms for these meanings. Our company has several branch offices in Asia. They have two daughters. She has a job interview tomorrow. I left early because I had a headache. as a dynamic verb to mean eat, drink, enjoy, experience, take, etc. Have can be used in progressive (continuous) (-ing) forms with these meanings. Have a seat. This chair is empty. Do you have lunch here often? We're having a meeting on Friday to discuss the schedule. We had a long talk last night. Could you have a look at this report? as a dynamic verb meaning "to cause something to be done." We are having the house painted next week.
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GRAMMAR REFERENCE PART 1

Uses of have as an Auxiliary Notice: Short forms are commonly used for have as an auxiliary. Have combines with past participles to form perfect tenses, such as:

the present perfect We've been very busy lately. (we have = we've) He has lived here since 1996. (he has = he's) the past perfect The movie wasn't as good as I had expected. (I had = I'd)

For more information, see The Present Perfect and The Past Perfect. Have + been combines with past participles to form passives. She has been promoted to director of marketing. (she has = she's) Some changes have been made in the design.

Have got Have got is often used in place of have in casual conversation (particularly in British English) to show:
   

possession - I've got an idea. (I have got = I've got) relationships - I've got a friend who looks just like you. arrangements - We've got a meeting with the contractor scheduled for tomorrow at ten. illnesses - He's got a bad cold. (he has got = he's got)

Short forms of have are normally used with got (I've got, she's got, we've got, etc.). Have got is generally used only in the present tense. I've got a new car. I've had it for a month. To form negative statements, use subject + haven't/hasn't + got. I haven't got time to talk now. To form a Yes/No question, use Have/Has + subject + got. Have you got our address?

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GRAMMAR REFERENCE PART 1

Do Simple Present and Past Forms of do Notice: Short forms are not used for do as a main verb. To form affirmative statements in the simple present:
 

Use do with I, you, we, they. All you ever do is talk. Use does with he, she, it. Simon does his homework at the library.

To form negative statements in the simple present:
 

Use do not (= don't) + do with I, you, we, they. We don't do business with that bank anymore. Use does not (= doesn't) + do with he, she, it. It doesn't do any good to complain.

To form affirmative statements in the simple past, use did with all subjects. The doctors did everything they could to save him. To form negative statements in the simple past, use did not (= didn't) + do with all subjects. She did not do anything to help. To form yes/no questions:
 

Use Do/Does + subject + do in the simple present. Does this button do anything special? Use Did + subject + do in the simple past. Did they do the job well?

A Yes/No question can be answered with:

Yes + subject pronoun + do or No + subject pronoun + don't in the simple present A: Do you do your shopping on Saturdays? B: No, I don't. Yes + subject pronoun + did or No + subject pronoun + didn't in the simple past. A: Did he do the shopping yesterday? B: Yes, he did.

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GRAMMAR REFERENCE PART 1
To form question-word questions (wh-questions):

Use question-word + do/does + subject + do in the simple present. What do you usually do on the weekend? Where does she do her homework? Use question-word + did + subject + do in the simple past. What did he do to the car?

Common Uses of do as a Main Verb
  

 

for action in general Don't just sit there--do something! to avoid repeating a previous verb You work so hard. I don't know how you do it. for work A: What do you do? B: I'm a flight attendant. for household tasks If I do the shopping, can you do the cleaning? to mean "perform" (successfully or unsuccessfully) How did you do on the test? I couldn't do the puzzle.

Uses of do as an Auxiliary Notice: Short forms are commonly used for the negative forms of auxiliary do.

 

to form yes/no questions with full verbs Do you drive to work? Does the bus stop here? to form question-word question with full verbs Where did you park the car? Why didn't you tell me? (did not = didn't) to form negative statements with full verbs I don't like that color. (do not = don't) He doesn't work here any more. (does not = doesn't) for emphasis A: Why didn't you call? B: I did call. to avoid repeating a previous verb She speaks Spanish, and so do I. in negative imperatives Please don't take the last one.

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GRAMMAR REFERENCE PART 1
Do and make Use do to talk about activities involving:
     

work - I'm not sure I can finish it by then, but I'll do my best. household tasks - I do the cleaning every weekend. obligations - Can you do something for me? speed - He got a ticket because he was doing 90 on the highway. subjects and school work - I'm not going to take physics, because I can't do calculus. action in general - What are you doing after work?

Use make when you produce or create something. Our company made an agreement to sell the property. Please don't make long distance phone calls. They're making their decision today. I need to make a reservation for tonight. He made a lot of money on the stock market.

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