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Grammar

Verb TO HAVE (GOT) [present]



ARTICLES (A(N)/THE).


Verb TO BE [present]



The English Verb Tense system chart:
Here's a chart which summarises the English Verb Tense system.


BASIC PAST IRREGULAR VERB CHART (1) 


GROUP 1- Irregular verbs which have all the same three forms.
GROUP 2- Ireegular verbs which have the same past and past participle forms, in three subgroups:
a) ending in -D
b) ending in -GHT
c) ending in -T
GROUP 3- Irregular verbs which have three different forms for present, past and past participle, in another three subgroups:
a) ending in -EN
b) having the vowel series E/-WN
c) having the vowel series I/A/U (begin/began/begun)

English Irregular Verb form chart (2) ordered by group similarities of spelling and/or pronunciation.

Trying to make learning English Irregular Past Verb forms easy, here you have a chart with the Irregular Pasts of English verbs not ordered alphabetically but in groups of similarities.

- The left column has the verbs which have the same past simple and past participle forms
- The right column has verbs with different past simple and past participle forms.

In each column there sub-groups ordered by spelling and/or  pronunciation similarities. See why each verbs is in the corresponding group.




CONNECTORS
Connectors are linking words which join ideas and show how those ideas are related to each other:
I enjoy good food BUT I hate cooking [contrast]
I'm not going to the party BECAUSE I don't feel very well [reason]
I worked during the summer, SO I've got money to buy a computer [result]
They also help us organise our writing and make it easier for the reader to follow:
I think it's a good idea to take a gap year after finishing school. FIRSTLY, taking a year to travel or to work gives you valuable experience in the real world. IN ADDITION, it can help you decide what you want to study. HOWEVER, some people say that a gap year is a waste of time BECAUSE most people don't plan it properly. IN CONCLUSION, a gap year can be a positive experience if you use time well.
CONNECTORS ORDERED BY MEANING:
- ADDING POINTS ON THE SAME TOPIC:
and - in addition - furthermore - moreover - besides - also - too - as well (as)
- CONTRAST:
but - however - nevertheless - yet - still - although - even if - even though - in spite of - despite
- REASON:
because (of) - since - due to - one/another reason for... is... - as
- RESULT:
so - therefore - consequently - thus - as a result - as a consequence - for this reason - that's why
- PURPOSE:
in order to - so as to - so that - to+infinitive
SIMILARITY:
similarly - likewise - in the same way
- EXPRESSING OPINION:
in my opinion - I (strongly) believe that - I think/feel (that) - in my view - it seems to me (that) - personally - as I see it
- REALITY:
in fact - as a matter of fact - actually - the truth is (that)
- GENERAL STATEMENTS:
in general - generally - as a rule - on the whole
- LISTING POINTS, ORDERING:
to begin /start with - in the first place - first of all - firstly, secondly, thirdly, finally - at last
- GIVING EXAMPLES:
for example - for instance - such as - like - particularly - in particular - especially - (more) specifically
- OPPOSING POINTS:
on the one hand - on the other hand - in contrast
- SEQUENCING:
first - at first - in the beginning - before - next - then - soon - meanwhile - later - after that - afterwards - at last - eventually - finally - in the end
- TIME:
when - while - before - after - until - as soon as - by the time
- CONCLUDING:
in conclusion - to sum up - in short

LEXICAL ERRORS
Here are some typical lexical mistakes of grammatical words between English &Spanish:
- ENGLISH WORDS TO EXPRESS SPANISH "QUE":
a) RELATIVE "QUE"
1- "WHO" substitutes people. That man WHO is crossing the street is my neighbour.
2- "WHICH" substitutes things of the whole previous sentence (=lo cual). This is the book WHICH I bought yesterday.
3- "THAT" can either substitue people or things. This is the book THAT I bought yesterday.
4- "WHAT" (=lo que). This is WHAT I have to tell you.
b) COMPARATIVE "QUE" - "THAN" My house is bigger THAN yours.
c) INTERROGATIVE "QUÉ" - "WHAT?" WHAT are you doing?
d) CONJUNCTION "QUE" - "THAT" I think THAT I should try to do it.
e) EXCLAMATIVE "QUÉ" - "WHAT!" WHAT a nice day! - "HOW!" HOW nice it was!

- ENGLISH WORDS TO EXPRESS SPANISH "COMO":
a) INTERROGATIVE "CÓMO"
- "HOW?" HOW did you come?
- "WHAT... LIKE?" WHAT is your house LIKE?
- "HOW MUCH?" (=¿a cómo?) HOW MUCH are the apples?
b) CONJUNCTION "COMO"
- "AS" AS I had no money, I couldn't go to the cinema.
- "AS IF"(=como si) He behaved AS IF he didn't know us.
- "UNLESS" (=como no) UNLESS you go immediately, he'll get angry with you.
- ADVERB "COMO"
- "LIKE" He sleeps LIKE a log.
- "SUCH AS" There are different kinds of fish such as herrings and salmon.
- "AS" We can use this tin AS an ashtray.
d) INTERJECTION "COMO"
- "WHAT?" I beg your pardon. What?

- ENGLISH WORDS TO EXPRESS SPANISH "TODO":
a) ADJECTIVE "TODO":
- "EVERY" (=todos y cada uno) EVERY student must bring his own book.
- "EACH" (=cada) One student from EACH school will be chosen.
- "ANY" (=cualquiera, oraciones afirmativas) You can take ANY book you like.
- "THE WHOLE OF" There are only 2 in THE WHOLE OF SPAIN.
- "ALL" He returned ALL the books.
- "A REAL" He's a real gentleman.
b) ADVERB "TODO":
- "COMPLETELY" It will be COMPLETELY finished by then.
- "ENTIRELY" It's not ENTIRELY true.
- "WHOLLY" It's not WHOLLY bad.
c) PRONOUN "TODO":
- "ALL" ALL or nothing.
- "EVERYONE" people EVERYONE who wants to go must be at the station at 6.
- "EVERYTHING" things EVERYTHING reminds me of you.

VIDEO EXPLANATION ABOUT PRESENT SIMPLE vs PRESENT CONTINUOUS:


VIDEO REVISION OF ALL ENGLISH TENSES:


VIDEO EXPLANATION MAKING QUESTIONS IN ENGLISH:


Grammar reference posted on the blog:
- ADVERBS OF FREQUENCY:


We use adverbs of frequency to say how often you do something. Adverbs of frequency are often used with the present simple because they indicate repeated or routine activities.
For example: They often go out for dinner.

Adverbs of frequency include (form most often to least often. See the picture above):

always usually often sometimes rarely never

1. If the sentence has one verb (e.g. no auxiliary verb) put the adverb in the middle of the sentence after the subject and before the verb.
Examples: Tom usually goes to work by car. Janet never flies. She always goes by bus.

2. Adverbs of frequency come after the verb 'be'.
Examples: I am never late for work. Peter is often at school.

3. If the sentence has more than one verb (e.g. auxiliary verb), put the adverb of frequency before the main verb.
Examples: I can never remember anything! They have often visited Rome.

4. When using adverbs of frequency in the question or negative form, put the adverb of frequency before the main verb.
Examples: She doesn't often visit Europe. Do you usually get up early?

Links to exercises on adverbs of frequency:

- (Subject/Object) PRONOUNS & POSSESSIVES:





Position in the sentence: SUBJECT PRONOUNS go IN FRONT OF the verb or BETWEEN the auxiliary verb and the main verb in questions. OBJECT PRONOUNS go AFTER a verb or a preposition.

Position in the sentence: POSSESSIVE ADJECTIVES go BEFORE the noun. POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS go INSTEAD of the noun already mentioned before.

- PASSIVE VOICE
The passive voice is used when we want to focus attention on the person or thing affected by the action.
Normally, the performer of the action, or the agent, comes first and is made the subject of the verb and then we use the active form of the verb. The other person or thing is made the object of the verb. Consider these examples:
'The boss invited her to the party.' 'The construction company in Station Road employs three hundred people.'
However, if you want to focus on the person or thing affected by the action, you make the person or thing the subject of the sentence and use the passive voice:
'She was invited to the party by the boss.' 'Three hundred people are employed by the construction company in Station Road.'
When, then, should we use the passive voice in preference to the active? We often prefer to use the passive voice when:
1. We do not know who the agent is: 'I don’t know who did it, but my pet rabbit has been let out.' 'I had the feeling that I was being followed.' instead of: 'I don’t know who did it, but someone has let out my pet rabbit.' 'I had the feeling that somebody was following me.'
2.When it is obvious to the listener or reader who the agent is: 'I had been instructed to remove all the ash trays.' 'She discovered that she was being paid less than her male colleagues.' instead of: 'My boss had instructed me to remove all the ash trays.' 'She discovered that the firm was paying her less than her male colleagues.'
3. When it is not important to know who the agent is: 'Do you want a lift?' 'No thanks, I’m being collected.' instead of: 'Do you want a lift?' 'No thanks, someone is collecting me.'
4. When the agent has already been mentioned: 'In the next session of parliament, new laws will be introduced aimed at stopping domestic violence.' instead of: 'In the next session of parliament, the government will introduce new laws aimed at stopping domestic violence.'
5. When people in general are the agents: 'All the Beatles records can be borrowed from the central library. instead of: 'You can borrow all the Beatles records from the central library.
Here is a complete list of all the verb forms that are normally used in the passive.
Passive forms are made up of an appropriate form of the verb ‘to be’ followed by the past participle (pp) form of the verb:
Present simple am/is/are + pp How is this word pronounced?
Present continuous am/are/is being + pp The house is being redecorated.
Present perfect simple has/have been + pp He's just been sacked!
Past simple was/were + pp All his credit cards were stolen last week.
Past continuous was/were being + pp He was being treated for depression when he won the lottery. Past perfect simple had been + pp The vegetables had been cooked for far too long, but we had to eat them.
Future simple will be + pp The house contents will be auctioned a week on Saturday.
Future perfect simple will have been + pp There’s no point in hurrying. It will all have been eaten by now.
Infinitive (to) be + pp Exams have to be taken almost every year you are at school. Do you know who is going to be invited?


Once again video explanations & practice on the Passive Voice. Have a look to check on what we've said in class. Video-lessons PASSIVE:



Links to exercises:
http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/exercises_list/passiv.htm
http://www.english-4u.de/passive.html
- CONDITIONALS:
Here are six video lessons on Conditionals with practical exercises included. Have a look to check on what we've said in class and understand better.
Video CONDITIONAL 1st type-1:
Video CONDITIONAL 1st type-2:
Video CONDITIONAL - unless:
Video CONDTIIONAL 2nd type:
Video CONDITIONAL 3rd type-1:
Video CONDITIONAL 3rd type-2:

- INFINITIVE OR GERUND?


Sometimes we need to decide whether to use a verb in its: -ing form, gerund (doing, singing) or infinitive form (to do, to sing). For example, only one of the following sentences is correct. Which one?
We decided to take a taxi OR We decided taking a taxi

A) WHEN TO USE AN INFINITIVE:
1-always used AFTER ADJECTIVES, for example:
disappointed, glad, happy, pleased, relieved, sad, surprised...
I was happy to help them. She will be delighted to see you.
- Including TOO+ADJECTIVE: The water was too cold to swim in.
Is your coffee too hot to drink?
- It is used after ADJECTIVE+ENOUGH: He was strong enough to lift it.
She is rich enough to buy two.
2- It's used to express PURPOSE*: He phoned to invite me to a party
*For+somebody+TO DO+something: This bench is for us to sit on /
*For+ing: A knife is used for cutting
3- It's always used after QUESTION WORDS+ a verb:
I don't know how to do it. He didn't say when to call him.
4- The infinitive form is used after certain verbs:- agree, allow, can/can't afford, choose, decide, encourage, expect, forget, help, hope, learn, manage, mean, offer, plan, pretend, promise, recommend, refuse, teach, train, want...
I forgot to close the window. We can't afford to take a long holiday.
5- With other verbs the structure is: VERB+(obj)+TO* infinitive: -allow, ask, expect,
help, invite, mean, order, recommend, remind, teach, tell, want, warn...The police ordered the people to leave.
He wanted me to go with him. I warned him not to come back late.
!!*- make & let: verb+obj.+infinitive without to. Let me do it.
6- Always with MODAL VERBS+infinitive without to: - can/could, may/might, must, need, shall/should, will/would. (Except: ought to).
She can swim very well. I'll see you tomorrow. You mustn't do that.
You should go to the doctor. / You ought to go to the doctor.
B) WHEN TO USE A GERUND (-ing):1- The -ing form is used as a noun and is the subject of a sentence or clause:
Swimming is good exercise. Doctors say that smoking is bad for you.

2- The -ing form is ALWAYS used after a PREPOSITION:

They left without saying "goodbye".


or a VERB+PREPOSITION*: - succeed in, insist on, think of...
He insisted on taking me home.
or EXPRESSIONS*: - it's no good/use, have difficulty, go+-ing...
It's no use in complaining He goes swimming every Tuesday.
!!* Watch out with:
- USED TO+infinitive: He used to wear glasses.
- BE/GET USED TO+ing: He's used to getting up early.
- LOOK FORWARD TO+ing: They are looking forward to visiting us this summer.
3- The -ing form is used after certain verbs: avoid, can/can't stand, carry on, dislike, enjoy, fancy, finish, give up, imagine, keep on, mind/not mind, miss, practise
I dislike getting up early. Would you mind opening the window?

C) Some verbs can be followed by the -ing form or the infinitive:
1) Without a big change in meaning: begin, continue, hate, intend, like*, love, prefer*, propose, start.It started to rain. (common) - It started raining.
I like to play tennis.
(it's good, right) - I like playing tennis. (I enjoy it).

!!*would like to+infinitive: I would like to live here.
!!*prefer +ing to +ing: I prefer driving to travelling by train.
prefer to infinitive rather than...: I prefer to drive rather than to travel by train.
would prefer to infinitive rather than...: I'd prefer to stay (rather than leave).

2) Others have a change of meaning depending on which is used:
- REMEMBER / REGRET
I remember posting the letter. (= He remembers having done it. After)
Remember to post the letter when you go out. (Before doing it, remind you to do it.)
- NEED
I need to do more exercise. (It's necessary for me).
The batteries need changing. (Need as a modal verb. It needs to be done.).
- STOP
I stopped to talk to him. (It tells the reason for stopping).
He stopped walking. (It tells the action which stopped).
- TRY
I tried to keep my eyes open. (Effort, attempt).
Try pressing this button. (Experiment, test).

- PREPOSITIONS.


- RELATIVE CLAUSES.

Here's some basic and simple information on Relative Clauses.

Link to complete info  PERFECT GRAMMAR.

- WHAT'S A RELATIVE CLAUSE?
We use a Relative Clause to join two sentences in English or to give extra information about something.

I bought a new car. It is very fast. - I bought a new car that is very fast

She lives in New York. She likes living in New York. - She lives in New York, which she likes.

- DEFINING RELATIVE CLAUSES.
Give us the necessary information to know what we're talking about.

I like the woman who lives next door. (If we don't say "who lives next door", we don't know which woman it is).


When the relative pronoun is the subject of a defining relative clause.
We can use ‘who’, ‘which’ or ‘that’. We use ‘who’ for people and ‘which’ for things. We can use ‘that’ for people or things.
The relative clause can come after the subject or the object of the sentence. We can’t drop the relative pronoun.
For example: (clause after the object of the sentence):
I’m looking for a secretary who / that can use a computer well.
 (clause after the subject of the sentence):

The people who / that live on the island are very friendly.

Link: EXERCISE OF RELATIVE PRONOUN AS SUBJECT.


When the relative pronoun is the object of the clause. In this case we can drop the relative pronoun if we want to. Again, the clause can come after the subject or the object of the sentence. Here are some examples:

(clause after the object) She loves the chocolate (which / that) I bought. 

(clause after the subject) The bike (which / that) I loved was stolen.



- NON DEFINING RELATIVE CLAUSES.
Give us extra information about something, but we don't need it to understand it.

I live in London, which has some fantastic parks. (Everybody knows where London is, "which has fantastic parks" is extra information).


We don’t use ‘that’ in non-defining relative clauses, so we need to use ‘which’ if the pronoun refers to a thing, and ‘who’ if it refers to a person. We can’t drop the relative pronoun in this kind of clause, even if the relative pronoun is the subject of the clause.

(clause comes after the subject)

My sister, who I live with, knows a lot about cars.

My bicycle, which I've had for more than ten years, is falling apart.

(clause comes after the object)

Yesterday I called our friend Julie, who lives in New York.

Last week I bought a new computer, which I don't like now.

- WHOSE.

‘Whose’ is always the subject of the relative clause and can’t be left out. It replaces a possessive. It can be used for people and things.

The woman is coming tonight. Her car is a BMW.
The woman whose car is a BMW is coming tonight.

- WHEN / WHERE / WHY.

We can sometimes use these question words instead of relative pronouns and prepositions.

I live in a city. I study in the city.
→ I live in the city where I study.
→ I live in the city that / which I study in.
→ I live in the city in which I study.

- PREPOSITIONS IN RELATIVE CLAUSES.

If the verb in the relative clause needs a preposition, we put it at the end of the clause:

My brother met a woman. I used to work with the woman.
My brother met a woman (who / that) I used to work with.

If you want to hear an oral explanation on Relative Clauses, here's a video:

Video Relative Clauses explanation:

- MODAL VERBS.


On this post we are going to give basic information on ENGLISH MODAL VERBS:
MAIN CHARACTERISTICS:

1-Each verb has its different concept meaning or function. (Look at the chart above)

2- These verbs aren't conjugated. 
No "-S" in the third person singular present.  He can swim. (Not: *He cans swim)
They lack some verb forms, which are covered by semimodals of a similar meaning.
  He had to leave. (Not *He musted leave. Must doesn't have a simple past form)
  He will be able to do it. (Not *He will can do it. Can doesn't have a future form)
[Semi-modal verbs that are used instead of the modal are:
HAVE TO for MUST (obligation)
BE ABLE TO for CAN (ability)
BE ALLOWED TO for CAN, MAY (permission)]

3- They work as auxiliary verbs in the NEGATIVE and QUESTIONS.
  Can I open the window? No, you can't open the window, it's cold.

4-  These verbs are always followed by INFINITIVE WITHOUT TO.
  He can swim. (Not * He can to swim)
Except OUGHT TO.  You ought to go to the doctor's.

5- PERFECT MODALS: past modal verb+HAVE+Past Participle refer to the past.
She hasn't arrived yet. She might have missed the bus.
You failed the exam. You should have studied more.

Video with basic information on MODAL VERBS:



Link to:
- +INFO & EXERCISES: Perfect English Grammar.
- +INFO @ EXERCISES:English Page.
- +EXERCISES (Modals & their substitutes): Ego4U.

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