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What are Nouns?

The simple definition is: a person, place or thing. Here are some examples:

person: man, woman, teacher, John, Mary place: home, office, town, countryside, America thing: table, car, banana, money, music, love, dog, monkey

The problem with this definition is that it does not explain why "love" is a noun but can also be a verb. Another (more complicated) way of recognizing a noun is by its: 1. Ending 2. Position 3. Function 1. Noun Ending There are certain word endings that show that a word is a noun, for example:

-ity > nationality -ment > appointment -ness > happiness -ation > relation -hood > childhood

But this is not true for the word endings of all nouns. For example, the noun "spoonful" ends in -ful, but the adjective "careful" also ends in -ful. 2. Position in Sentence We can often recognise a noun by its position in the sentence. Nouns often come after a determiner (a determiner is a word like a, an, the, this, my, such):

a relief an afternoon the doctor this word my house such stupidity

Nouns often come after one or more adjectives:

a great relief a peaceful afternoon the tall, Indian doctor this difficult word my brown and white house such crass stupidity

3. Function in a Sentence Nouns have certain functions (jobs) in a sentence, for example:

subject of verb: Doctors work hard. object of verb: He likes coffee. subject and object of verb: Teachers teach students.

But the subject or object of a sentence is not always a noun. It could be a pronoun or a phrase. In the sentence "My doctor works hard", the noun is "doctor" but the subject is "My doctor".

Pronouns
Pronouns are small words that take the place of a noun. We can use a pronoun instead of a noun. Pronouns are words like: he, you, ours, themselves, some, each... If we didn't have pronouns, we would have to repeat a lot of nouns. We would have to say things like:

Do you like the president? I don't like the president. The president is too pompous.

With pronouns, we can say:

Do you like the president? I don't like him. He is too pompous.

What are Verbs?


The verb is king in English. The shortest sentence contains a verb. You can make a oneword sentence with a verb, for example: "Stop!" You cannot make a one-word sentence with any other type of word. Verbs are sometimes described as "action words". This is partly true. Many verbs give the idea of action, of "doing" something. For example, words like run, fight, do and work all convey action. But some verbs do not give the idea of action; they give the idea of existence, of state, of "being". For example, verbs like be, exist, seem and belong all convey state. A verb always has a subject. (In the sentence "John speaks English", John is the subject and speaks is the verb.) In simple terms, therefore, we can say that verbs are words that tell us what a subject does or is; they describe:

action (Ram plays football.) state (Anthony seems kind.)

There is something very special about verbs in English. Most other words (adjectives, adverbs, prepositions etc) do not change in form (although nouns can have singular and plural forms). But almost all verbs change in form. For example, the verb to work has five forms:

to work, work, works, worked, working

Of course, this is still very few forms compared to some languages which may have thirty or more forms for a single verb.

What is an Adverb?
An adverb is a word that tells us more about a verb. It "qualifies" or "modifies" a verb (The man ran quickly). In the following examples, the adverb is in bold and the verb that it modifies is in italics.

John speaks loudly. (How does John speak?) Afterwards she smoked a cigarette. (When did she smoke?) Mary lives locally. (Where does Mary live?)

But adverbs can also modify adjectives (Tara is really beautiful), or even other adverbs (It works very well). Look at these examples:

Modify an adjective: - He is really handsome. (How handsome is he?) - That was extremely kind of you. Modify another adverb: - She drives incredibly slowly. (How slowly does she drive?) - He drives extremely fast.

Adjectives
An adjective is a word that tells us more about a noun. (By "noun" we include pronouns and noun phrases.) An adjective "qualifies" or "modifies" a noun (a big dog). Adjectives can be used before a noun (I like Chinese food) or after certain verbs (It is hard). We can often use two or more adjectives together (a beautiful young French lady).

Simple Present Tense


I sing

How do we make the Simple Present Tense?


subje auxiliary + ct verb do main + verb base

There are three important exceptions:


1. For positive sentences, we do not normally use the auxiliary. 2. For the 3rd person singular (he, she, it), we add s to the main verb or es to the auxiliary. 3. For the verb to be, we do not use an auxiliary, even for questions and negatives.

Look at these examples with the main verb like:


subject auxiliary verb main verb

I, you, we, they He, she, it I, you, we, they no t no t

like

coffee.

likes

coffee.

do

like

coffee.

He, she, it does like coffee.

Do

I, you, we, they he, she, it

like

coffee ? coffee

Does

like

Look at these examples with the main verb be. Notice that there is no auxiliary:
subject main verb French . French . French . no t no t no t

am

You, we, they

are

He, she, it

is

am

old.

You, we, they

are

old.

He, she, it

is

old.

Am

I you, we, they he, she, it

late?

Are

late?

Is

late?

Simple Past Tense


I sang The simple past tense is sometimes called the preterite tense. We can use several tenses to talk about the past, but the simple past tense is the one we use most often.

How do we make the Simple Past Tense?


To make the simple past tense, we use:

past form only or auxiliary did + base form

Here you can see examples of the past form and base form for irregular verbs and regular verbs: V1 base regular verb work explode like go see sing V2 past worked exploded liked went saw sang V3 past participle worked exploded liked gone seen sung The past form for all regular verbs ends in -ed. The past form for irregular verbs is variable. You need to learn it by heart.

irregular verb

You do not need the past participle form to make the simple past tense. It is shown here for completeness only. The structure for positive sentences in the simple past tense is: subject + main verb past The structure for negative sentences in the simple past tense is: subject + auxiliary verb + not + main verb did base The structure for question sentences in the simple past tense is: auxiliary verb + subject + main verb did base The auxiliary verb did is not conjugated. It is the same for all persons (I did, you did, he did etc). And the base form and past form do not change. Look at these examples with the main verbs go and work: subject I + You She We Did ? Did they work at home? did you not work go yesterday. to London? did not worked go very hard. with me. auxiliary verb main verb went to school.

Exception! The verb to be is different. We conjugate the verb to be (I was, you were, he/she/it was, we were, they were); and we do not use an auxiliary for negative and question sentences. To make a question, we exchange the subject and verb. Look at these examples: subject main verb

I, he/she/it + You, we, they I, he/she/it You, we, they Was ? Were

was were was were I, he/she/it you, we, they not not

here. in London. there. happy. right? late?

Simple Future Tense


I will sing

The simple future tense is often called will, because we make the simple future tense with the modal auxiliary will.

How do we make the Simple Future Tense?


The structure of the simple future tense is:
subje ct + auxiliary verb WILL invariable will + main verb base V1

For negative sentences in the simple future tense, we insert not between the auxiliary verb and main verb. For question sentences, we exchange the subject and auxiliary verb. Look at these example sentences with the simple future tense:
subje ct auxiliary verb main verb

+ I + You

will will no t no t

open finish

the door. before me. at school tomorrow.

She

will

be

We

will

leave

yet.

? ?

Will Will

you they

arrive want

on time? dinner?

When we use the simple future tense in speaking, we often contract the subject and auxiliary verb:
I will you will he will she will it will we will they will I'll

you'll

he'll she'll it'll

we'll they'l l

For negative sentences in the simple future tense, we contract with won't, like this:
I will not I won't

you will not he will not she will not it will not we will not they will not

you won't

he won't she won't it won't

we won't

they won't

Present Continuous Tense


I am singing We often use the present continuous tense in English. It is very different from the simple present tense, both in structure and in use.

How do we make the Present Continuous Tense?


The structure of the present continuous tense is: subject + auxiliary verb + main verb be base + ing Look at these examples:

subject + I + You She We

auxiliary verb am are is are he they not not

main verb speaking reading staying playing watching waiting to you. this. in London. football. TV? for John?

? Is ? Are

Past Continuous Tense


I was singing The past continuous tense is an important tense in English. We use it to say what we were in the middle of doing at a particular moment in the past.

How do we make the Past Continuous Tense?


The structure of the past continuous tense is: subject + auxiliary verb BE conjugated in simple past tense was were + main verb present participle base + ing

For negative sentences in the past continuous tense, we insert not between the auxiliary verb and main verb. For question sentences, we exchange the subject and auxiliary verb. Look at these example sentences with the past continuous tense: subject + I + You He, she, it We auxiliary verb was were was were you they not not main verb watching working helping joking. being playing silly? football? TV. hard. Mary.

? Were ? Were

Future Continuous Tense


I will be singing

How do we make the Future Continuous Tense?


The structure of the future continuous tense is:
subje ct + auxiliary verb WILL + auxiliary verb BE + main verb

invariable

invariable

present participle base + ing

will

be

For negative sentences in the future continuous tense, we insert not between will and be. For question sentences, we exchange the subject and will. Look at these example sentences with the future continuous tense:
subje ct + I auxiliary verb will auxiliary verb be main verb working at 10am. on a beach tomorrow.

+ You

will

be

lying

She

will

no t no t

be

using

the car.

We

will

be

having

dinner at home.

Will

you

be

playing watchin g

football?

Will

they

be

TV?

When we use the future continuous tense in speaking, we often contract the subject and will:
I will you will he will she will it will we will I'll

you'll

he'll she'll it'll

we'll

they will

they'l l

For spoken negative sentences in the future continuous tense, we contract with won't, like this:
I will not you will not he will not she will not it will not we will not they will not I won't you won't

he won't she won't it won't

we won't

they won't

We sometimes use shall instead of will, especially for I and we.

Present Perfect Tense


I have sung The present perfect tense is a rather important tense in English, but it gives speakers of some languages a difficult time. That is because it uses concepts or ideas that do not exist in those

languages. In fact, the structure of the present perfect tense is very simple. The problems come with the use of the tense. In addition, there are some differences in usage between British and American English. The present perfect tense is really a very interesting tense, and a very useful one. Try not to translate the present perfect tense into your language. Just try to accept the concepts of this tense and learn to "think" present perfect! You will soon learn to like the present perfect tense!

How do we make the Present Perfect Tense?


The structure of the present perfect tense is:
subje auxiliary + ct verb have +main verb past participle

Here are some examples of the present perfect tense:


subje ct + I + You auxiliary verb have have no t no t main verb seen eaten ET. mine. to Rome.

She

has

been

We

have

played

football.

Have

you

finished ? done it?

Have

they

Contractions with the present perfect tense

When we use the present perfect tense in speaking, we usually contract the subject and auxiliary verb. We also sometimes do this when we write.
I have You have He has She has It has John has The car has We have They have I've You've He's She's It's John's The car's We've

They've

Here are some examples:


I've finished my work. John's seen ET. They've gone home.

He's or he's??? Be careful! The 's contraction is used for the auxiliary verbs have and be. For example, "It's eaten" can mean:

It has eaten. [present perfect tense, active voice] It is eaten. [present tense, passive voice]

It is usually clear from the context.

Past Perfect Tense


I had sung The past perfect tense is quite an easy tense to understand and to use. This tense talks about the "past in the pa

How do we make the Past Perfect

Tense?
The structure of the past perfect tense is: subject + auxiliary verb HAVE conjugated in simple past tense had + main verb past participle V3

For negative sentences in the past perfect tense, we insert not between the auxiliary verb and main verb. For question sentences, we exchange the subject and auxiliary verb. Look at these example sentences with the past perfect tense: subject + I + You She We auxiliary verb had had had had you they not not main verb finished stopped gone left. arrived? eaten dinner? my work. before me. to school.

? Had ? Had

When speaking with the past perfect tense, we often contract the subject and auxiliary verb: I had I'd

you had he had she had it had we had they had

you'd he'd she'd it'd we'd they'd

The 'd contraction is also used for the auxiliary verb would. For example, we'd can mean:

We had or We would

But usually the main verb is in a different form, for example:


We had arrived (past participle) We would arrive (base)

It is always clear from the context.

Future Perfect Tense


I will have sung

The future perfect tense is quite an easy tense to understand and use. The future perfect tense talks about the past in the future.

How do we make the Future Perfect Tense?


The structure of the future perfect tense is:
subje ct + auxiliary verb WILL + auxiliary verb HAVE + main verb

invariable

invariable

past participle V3

will

have

Look at these example sentences in the future perfect tense:


subje ct + I auxiliary verb will auxiliary verb have main verb finished forgotte n gone by 10am. me by then. to school.

+ You

will

have

She

will

no

have

t no t

We

will

have

left.

? ?

Will Will

you they

have have

arrived? received it?

In speaking with the future perfect tense, we often contract the subject and will. Sometimes, we contract the subject, will and have all together:
I will have you will have he will have she will have it will have we will have they will have I'll have you'll have I'll've

you'll've

he'll have he'll've she'll she'll've have it'll've it'll have

we'll have they'll have

we'll've

they'll'v e

We sometimes use shall instead of will, especially for I and we.

SIMPLE SENTENCE
A simple sentence, also called an independent clause, contains a subject and a verb, and it expresses a complete thought. In the following simple sentences, subjects are in yellow, and verbs are in green.

A. Some students like to study in the mornings. B. Juan and Arturo play football every afternoon. C. Alicia goes to the library and studies every day. The three examples above are all simple sentences. Note that sentence B contains a compound subject, and sentence C contains a compound verb. Simple sentences, therefore, contain a subject and verb and express a complete thought, but they can also contain a compound subjects or verbs. COMPOUND SENTENCE A compound sentence contains two independent clauses joined by a coordinator. The coordinators are as follows: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. (Helpful hint: The first letter of each of the coordinators spells FANBOYS.) Except for very short sentences, coordinators are always preceded by a comma. In the following compound sentences, subjects are in yellow, verbs are in green, and the coordinators and the commas that precede them are in red.

A. I tried to speak Spanish, and my friend tried to speak English. B. Alejandro played football, so Maria went shopping. C. Alejandro played football, for Maria went shopping. The above three sentences are compound sentences. Each sentence contains two independent clauses, and they are joined by a coordinator with a comma preceding it. Note how the conscious use of coordinators can change the relationship between the clauses. Sentences B and C, for example, are identical except for the coordinators. In sentence B, which action occurred first? Obviously, "Alejandro played football" first, and as a consequence, "Maria went shopping. In sentence C, "Maria went shopping" first. In sentence C, "Alejandro played football" because, possibly, he didn't have anything else to do, for or because "Maria went shopping." How can the use of other coordinators change the relationship between the two clauses? What implications would the use of "yet" or "but" have on the meaning of the sentence?

COMPLEX SENTENCE A complex sentence has an independent clause joined by one or more dependent clauses. A complex sentence always has a subordinator such as because, since, after, although, or when or a relative pronoun such as that, who, or which. In the following complex sentences, subjects are in yellow, verbs are in green, and the subordinators and their commas (when required) are in red.

A. When he handed in his homework, he forgot to give the teacher the last page. B. The teacher returned the homework after she noticed the error. C. The students are studying because they have a test tomorrow. D. After they finished studying, Juan and Maria went to the movies. E. Juan and Maria went to the movies after they finished studying. When a complex sentence begins with a subordinator such as sentences A and D, a comma is required at the end of the dependent clause. When the independent clause begins the sentence with subordinators in the middle as in sentences B, C, and E, no comma is required. If a comma is placed before the subordinators in sentences B, C, and E, it is wrong.

WH Question Words
We use question words to ask certain types of questions (question word questions). We often refer to them as WH words because they include the letters WH (for example WHy, HoW). Question Word what Function asking for information about something asking for repetition or confirmation what...for when where which who asking for a reason, asking why asking about time asking in or at what place or position asking about choice asking what or which person or people (subject) asking what or which person or people (object) Example What is your name? What? I can't hear you. You did what? What did you do that for? When did he leave? Where do they live? Which colour do you want? Who opened the door?

whom

Whom did you see?

whose why why don't how

asking about ownership asking for reason, asking what...for making a suggestion asking about manner asking about condition or quality

Whose are these keys? Whose turn is it? Why do you say that? Why don't I help you? How does this work? How was your exam? see examples below How far is Pattaya from Bangkok? How long will it take? How many cars are there? How much money do you have? How old are you? How come I can't see her?

how + adj/adv how far how long how many how much how old how come (informal)

asking about extent or degree distance length (time or space) quantity (countable) quantity (uncountable) age asking for reason, asking why

Short-Answer Questions
Short-answer questions are constructed-response, or open-ended questions that require students to create an answer. Short-answer items typically require responses of one word to a few sentences. Fill in the blank and completion questions are examples of short-answer question types. Advantages: Short-answer questions assess unassisted recall of information, rather than recognition. Compared to essay questions, they are relatively easy to write. Disadvantages: Short-answer items are only suitable for questions that can be answered with short responses. Additionally, because students are free to answer any way they choose, short-answer questions can lead to difficulties in scoring if the question is not worded carefully. Its important when writing short-answer questions that the desired student response is clear. Most Appropriate For: Questions that require student recall over recognition. Examples include assessing the correct spelling of items, or in cases when it is desirable to ensure that the students have committed the information to memory (medical students, for example, will require recall of information more than recognition by the nature of their jobs). Blooms Levels: Knowledge Comprehension Application Examples:

Here is an example of a poorly executed short-answer question: Evaluation designed to assess a program as it develops is ______________________. This question does a poor job of specifying exactly what information it is looking for. Its conceivable that students could create any number of answers to this question. Changing the question to The type of evaluation designed to assess a program as it develops is called ___________ creates a more accurate question, clearly asking students to respond with the name of an evaluation type. Here is a better example of the short-answer question type: The thin membrane that separates the inner ear from the external ear is commonly called the _____________. This question is very clear in its desired response. In addition, it assesses recall of knowledge-level processing. Short-answer question types can also include asking for definitions and short lists. For example: Briefly define insectivore. List the three states that comprise the west coast of the continental United States.

Tag Questions
You speak English, don't you?

A tag question is a special construction in English. It is a statement followed by a mini-question. The whole sentence is a "tag question", and the mini-question at the end is called a "question tag".
A "tag" is something small that we add to something larger. For example, the little piece of cloth added to a shirt showing size or washing instructions is a tag.

We use tag questions at the end of statements to ask for confirmation. They mean something like: "Am I right?" or "Do you agree?" They are very common in English. The basic structure is:
+ Positive statement, Snow is white, negative tag? isn't it?

Negative statement, You don't like me,

+ positive tag?

do you?

Look at these examples with positive statements:


positive statement [+] negative tag [-] personal pronoun (same as subject) you?
notes:

subje ct

auxilia ry

main verb

auxilia ry

no t

You

are

coming, finished , coffee , coffee ,

are

n't

We

have

have

n't

we?

You

do

like

do

n't

you?

You

like

do

n't

you?

You (do) like...

They I We

will can must

help, come, go, harde r,

wo can must

n't 't n't

they? I? we?

won't = will not

He

should

try

should

n't

he?

You

are

Englis h, there,

are

n't

you?

no auxiliary for main verb be present & past

John

was

was

n't

he?

Look at these examples with negative statements:


negative statement [-] positive tag [+] personal pronoun (same as subject) it? we? you? they? they? I? we? he? you? he?

subject

auxiliary

main verb

auxiliary

It We You They They I We He You John

is have do will wo can must should

n't never n't not n't never n't n't

raining, seen like help, report do tell drive are was n't not us, it right, her, so fast, English, there, that, coffee,

is have do will will can must should are was

Some special cases:

I am right, aren't I? You have to go, don't you? I have been answering, haven't I? Nothing came in the post, did it? Let's go, shall we? He'd better do it, hadn't he?

aren't I (not amn't I) you (do) have to go...

use first auxiliary

treat statements with nothing, nobody etc like negative statements let's = let us

he had better (no auxiliary)

Here are some mixed examples:


But you don't really love her, do you? This will work, won't it? Well, I couldn't help it, could I? But you'll tell me if she calls, won't you? We'd never have known, would we? The weather's bad, isn't it? You won't be late, will you? Nobody knows, do they?

Notice that we often use tag questions to ask for information or help, starting with a negative statement. This is quite a friendly/polite way of making a request. For example, instead of saying "Where is the police station?" (not very polite), or "Do you know where the police station is?" (slightly more polite), we could say: "You wouldn't know where the police station is, would you?" Here are some more examples:

You don't know of any good jobs, do you? You couldn't help me with my homework, could you? You haven't got $10 to lend me, have you?

Intonation

We can change the meaning of a tag question with the musical pitch of our voice. With rising intonation, it sounds like a real question. But if our intonation falls, it sounds more like a statement that doesn't require a real answer:

intonation You don't know where my wallet is, do you? isn't it? / rising \ falling

real question

It's a beautiful view,

not a real question

Answers to tag questions A question tag is the "mini-question" at the end. A tag question is the whole sentence.

How do we answer a tag question? Often, we just say Yes or No. Sometimes we may repeat the tag and reverse it (..., do they? Yes, they do). Be very careful about answering tag questions. In some languages, an oposite system of answering is used, and non-native English speakers sometimes answer in the wrong way. This can lead to a lot of confusion!
Answer a tag question according to the truth of the situation. Your answer reflects the real facts, not (necessarily) the question.

For example, everyone knows that snow is white. Look at these questions, and the correct answers:
tag question Snow is white, isn't it? Snow isn't white, is it? Snow is black, isn't it? Snow isn't black, is it? correct answer

Yes (it is).

Yes it is!

the answer is the same in both cases - because snow IS WHITE! but notice the change of stress when the answerer does not agree with the questioner the answer is the same in both cases - because snow IS NOT BLACK!

No it isn't!

No (it isn't).

In some languages, people answer a question like "Snow isn't black, is it?" with "Yes" (meaning "Yes, I agree with you"). This is the wrong answer in English! Here are some more examples, with correct answers:

The moon goes round the earth, doesn't it? Yes, it does. The earth is bigger than the moon, isn't it? Yes. The earth is bigger than the sun, isn't it? No, it isn't! Asian people don't like rice, do they? Yes, they do! Elephants live in Europe, don't they? No, they don't! Men don't have babies, do they? No. The English alphabet doesn't have 40 letters, does it? No, it doesn't.

Question tags with imperatives

Sometimes we use question tags with imperatives (invitations, orders), but the sentence remains an imperative and does not require a direct answer. We use won't for invitations. We use can, can't, will, would for orders.
imperative + question tag invitation Take a seat, won't you? Help me, can you? Help me, can't you? order Close the door, would you? Do it now, will you? Don't forget, will you? notes: polite quite friendly quite friendly (some irritation?) quite polite less polite with negative imperatives only will is possible

Same-way question tags

Although the basic structure of tag questions is positive-negative or negative-positive, it is sometime possible to use a positive-positive or negative-negative structure. We use same-way question tags to express interest, surprise, anger etc, and not to make real questions.

So you're having a baby, are you? That's wonderful! She wants to marry him, does she? Some chance! So you think that's amusing, do you? Think again.

Negative-negative tag questions usually sound rather hostile:

So you don't like my looks, don't you?