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Grammar Train

Jean-Louis Martine

tesolmaster.com
I Know Nouns!
Nouns are names given to any object in the real world Concrete nouns or
any state of mind e.g. Love hate etc Abstract nouns

The word Noun comes from the Latin word “numen” meaning name.

We can work out if a word is a noun by asking are selves is it a name.

When learning a foreign language one of the first and most useful question we
can learn to ask is……………………..

What is it called? What do you call that?

You are asking for the name of something, a place, a person, an object or a
thing even an emotion is a noun.

Examples of Common Nouns (Common Names)

What is it called?

It’s called a frog.

Frog is the name we give to this kind of animal.

What is it called?

It’s called snow.

What is it called?

It’s called a city.

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* Be careful when deciding if you think a word is a noun or not. Emotions like
Love, Hate and Happiness are all nouns. Activities like play, work and leisure are
also nouns. All the colours are also nouns.

What is it called?

It’s called love.

What is it called? It’s called wonder.

What is it called? It’s called a thunderstorm.

*Nouns come in more than one group.

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I Know
Common and Proper Nouns

A common noun is the name given to any non-specific item object or place.
Common nouns start with a small letter.

A proper noun is the name given to a specific object person or place.

Example

What is it called? It’s called a cat. (Common noun)

What is your cat called? His name is Tom. (Proper noun)

What is it called? It’s called a city. (Common noun)

What is this city called? It’s called London. (Proper noun)

Only names that are specific are proper nouns and all proper nouns are written
with a capital letter.

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I Know
Countable nouns
Can you count it? Yes you can!

How many cats are there? There are five cats! (Countable noun)

How many rivers are there? There are hundreds of rivers. (Countable noun)

All nouns that can be counted can be expressed in the singular or plural. The
most common expression of the plural is by the addition of an “s” at the end of the
noun.

Cat becomes cats.

River becomes rivers.

This is known as “the regular” form. For most plural forms the addition of an
“s” to the original singular form will be sufficient to create the plural.

However there are many exceptions.

Here are some of the most common exceptions.

I Know Regular and Irregular countable nouns

Regular Nouns Irregular Nouns


Singular Plural Singular Plural
Cat > Cats Chid > Children
Pen > Pens Man > Men
Television > Televisions Woman > Women
Hammer > Hammers Person > People
School > Schools Mouse > Mice
Job > Jobs Sheep > Sheep
Session > Sessions Series > Series
Tradition > Traditions Kiss > Kisses
Instrument > Instruments Tooth > Teeth

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I Know
Un-countable nouns
Can you count it? No you can’t!

Many Nouns cannot be counted by the nature of what they are that is it makes
no sense to use numbers when talking about them. This applies to all abstract nouns
and some common nouns.

How much do you love me? I Love you a lot. Correct

Can you count it? No you can’t

How many do you love me? I love you twelve! Incorrect

Can you count it? No you can’t

You must really hate him. Yes I hate him a lot. Correct

Can you count it? No you can’t

You must hate him twenty-seven. I hate him thirty. Incorrect

Can you count it? No you can’t

Other examples of uncountable nouns are liquids and similar things like sugar,
salt and butter, which are inherently difficult to count. There are ways that we can get
around this problem by the addition of something that is countable.

e.g.

1) Three spoonfuls of sugar.

Instead of counting the sugar (grain by gain) we count how many spoons of
sugar we want. Red = Uncountable noun Blue = Countable counter part

The same is true of liquids. Like beer, wine, water or milk.

2) Three glasses of wine. 3) Five pints of beer.

4) Four litters of milk 5) Six bags of cement.

5) Two pieces of furniture.

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Nouns
Regular Countable Nouns Irregular Countable Nouns Uncountable Nouns

Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular only


Cat > Cats Chid > Children Milk
Pen > Pens Man > Men Love
Television > Televisions Woman > Women Money
Hammer > Hammers Person > People Furniture
School > Schools

I know Possessive forms


The simplest way to explain this is that a possessive from of noun is used to
indicate ownership over something from the word “possession”, meaning to belong
to, or to be owned by.

The simplest way to spot a possessive noun is to look for ’s

It is John’s book. The book belongs to John.

That is Mary’s leg. It is part of her body.

That is Louis’ picture. Louis painted it.

Beijing is China’s capital city. Beijing belongs to China.

The Mississippi is America’s most famous river. The Mississippi belongs to


America.

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I Know
Compound Nouns and Noun Combinations
Nouns are often put together or combined to express one thing, this is
known as a noun combination. When noun combinations are a regular occurrence
the two nouns are often joined by a hyphen – or can even be written as one word.
When nouns are combined they act as one. The first noun in a noun combination often
tells us more about the second “main” noun acting in some way like an adjective.

Examples: of Compound nouns and noun combinations

light bulb ice-cream weekend


computer virus timetable battlefield
mobile phone schoolbag
homework

I Know
Collective Nouns
Collective nouns are used to refer to groups of people. Although a group
contains more than one individual, collective nouns can be used in the singular,
depending on weather you want to emphasise, the group as a unified body or the
individuals within the group.

Everyone is happy

The Staff are happy

The Army is moving into position.

The Army are moving into position.

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I know Pronouns
Pronouns are used to replace nouns or noun phrases when the noun is known
to avoid repetition of the noun in a sentence group of sentences.

e.g.

Bob was very happy Bob had just won the lottery.

Bob was very happy he had just won the lottery.

Bob = Noun he = Pronoun = Bob

There are eight types of pronoun:

Personal Pronouns have two types Subject and Object they are used to
stand in place of a noun.

Subject Pronouns: I, You, He, She, It, We, They, Who, Whoever,

Object Pronouns: Me, You, Him, Her, It, Us, Them, Whom, Whomever,

They are also divided to express The Plural and The Singular of

The First Person: Singular I, me, Plural we, us

The Second Person: Singular and Plural you

The Third Person: Singular he, him, she, her, it, Plural they, them

This determines whether am / is / or are, is used and whether or not s or es, is


added to end of the verb in the formation of past tenses.

Reflexive Pronouns have one type and are used to refer backwards or
inwards on the subject or object. Think of the word refection.

Possessive pronouns have two types Possessive pronouns and Possessive


determiners the difference being Possessive pronouns stand alone in a sentence e.g.
Think of the word possession.

It is mine.

And Possessive determiners always come before a noun e.g.

It is my book.

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PRONOUN CHART
Personal Reflexives Possessive Possessive
Subject Object pronoun determiner
I me myself mine my
you you yourself yours your
he him himself his his
she her herself hers her
it it itself its its
we us ourselves ours our
you you yourselves yours your
they them themselves theirs their

Demonstrative Pronouns help us to demonstrate something or point it out.

When these words stand alone they are considered to be pronouns because
they replace or stand in for a noun. When they are used before a noun they are
considered to be determiners because the determine which noun we are referring to
e,g, this ball or that.

this, that, these, those,

He is a teacher. (pronoun) This book (determiner)

Interrogative Pronouns are used in the formation of questions and are


normally followed by a question mark. They can also be used in indirect questions
that do not require a question mark. Think of the word interrogation meaning to
question.

who, whom, whose, what, which,

He said “What is it your name?” He asked the man’s name.


(direct question) (indirect question)

Relative Pronouns are used to introduce relative clauses that come after a
noun or noun phrase. e.g.

He is the man that came in yesterday. Look at the boy with the blue hat.

Relative pronouns act rather like conjunctions and join two parts of a sentence
together to give more information about the noun subject or object i.e. The clause is
related to the noun.

that, which, who, whom, whose, what, whatever whomever

There are only two Reciprocal Pronouns: One another (more than two or in
general) and each other (between two people or things). They are called such as they
are used to demonstrate a reciprocal relation between people or things.

The two boys played with each other. We should love one another.

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I Know Determiners
Determiners are a class of word that are used to help define or identify a
noun and are placed before it. You may have noticed that some of them can act as
Pronouns this is when they are used instead of the noun and replace it completely.

The two most commonly used determiners are:

“A, An,” which are known as The indefinite article as they signify a noun
which is non-specific e.g.

A cat Referring to no cat in particular

The definite article “The” which is used to signify a specific noun. e.g.

The cat Referring to one cat in particular.

Possessive determiners
my, your, his, her, its, our, your, their, indicate who or what the noun belongs to.

e.g. My cat. Your cat. His cat. etc. This reflects ownership or possession.

Demonstrative determiners help us to demonstrate something or point it


out in exactly the same way as demonstrative pronouns except the do not replace the
noun but precede it adding the information. e.g.

This cat, or that cat.

When these words stand alone they are considered to be pronouns. However
when they are used before a noun they are considered to be determiners.

this, that, these, those,

This is mine. (pronoun)

This book is mine. (determiner)

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I Know Quantifiers
Quantifiers are very specific class of determiner and they are used to
signify number or quantity. Like all determiners quantifiers are place before a noun or
noun phrase.

The most easy to remember and use are the Cardinal numbers 1 2 3 4 5 ….etc

and the Ordinal numbers First Second Third Forth Fifth…………….. Etc

They can precede any concrete noun.

However with other Quantifiers there use is limited to either countable or


uncountable nouns and or to refer to only to two items e.g. both

Quantifier chat

Countable uncountable Singular Plural two


All X X X
Another X
Any X X X X
both X X X
each X X
Either/neither X X
Enough X X
Every X
Few/fewer/a few X X
Little/less/a little X
Some X X X
Many X X X
Much X
More X X X
No X X X X
Several X X
A lot of X X

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I Know Adjectives
Adjectives are words that give more information about a noun or pronoun.
They are often known as describing words. Adjectives are often related to Nouns or
Verbs i.e. they have a Noun or a Verb as their root. Many of these are followed by
“suffixes” (word endings): -able -al -ate -an -ant -ent -ful -ist -ive -ory
-ous -some -wise -y Sometimes the adjective has long out lived the usage of it’s
verb or noun root, as in the case of impeccable that originate from the Latin
“impeccabilis” meaning not liable to sin.

Suffixes are not always used when a Noun acts as an Adjective e.g.

The cat The black cat

What makes a word an adjective is the way it is used i.e. the “job” it is doing.
Adjectives give more information about a noun and tell us what kind of a thing it is,
that is they describe it.

Look at the sentence part The cat

Adding Adjectives tells us more about the particular cat we are talking about.

What kind of cat is it?

It’s a big black cat.

It’s a funny cat. It’s a big black and friendly cat.

Noun > Adjective Verb > Adjective


beauty > beautiful drink > drinkable
truth > truthful work > workable
courage > courageous like > likeable
danger > dangerous talk > talkative
obligation > obligatory communicate > communicative
street > streetwise hurt > hurtful
parent > parental
lone > lonesome
lone > lonely

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I Know Verbs
Verbs are typically referred to as Action (dynamic) words however
this is only one of their many functions Verbs are also used to express a state of
mind, condition or a relationship between one thing and another. One of the chief
differences that can be drawn between verb types is Lexical that is, one based upon
the words meaning. Verbs that refer to States tend not to be used with Continuous
forms, (ing) because states of mind and relationships are not processes that move
but are rather static by nature.

A second and equally important distinction that can be made between Verb
types is that between Main Verbs, verbs that function by themselves and convey the
key meaning in any group of verbs e.g. to love to hit, to sing, and Auxiliary
(meaning to help) verbs that add or help to give extra meaning to the main verb.
Auxiliary verbs cannot be used by them selves and must accompany a main verb e.g.
had (had breakfast), can (can swim), is (is sick) etc.

State and dynamic Verbs


This distinction is drawn between different kinds of Main Verbs.

State verbs express a state of mind, to love, to hate, to know or

a relationship, to be, to belong, to have, to resemble because state are not actions we
tend not uses them with continuous from e.g.

I love you. Not I am loving you.

I know him. Not I am knowing him.

I like ice-cream. Not I am liking ice-cream.

Dynamic Verbs describe actions acts activities and processes: to hit, to run,
to jump, to change, to flow, to walk, to crawl,

By the very nature of the kinds of things Dynamic Verbs describe


continuous can be used.

I run. (Present simple) I am running. (Present continuous)

I hit him. (Present simple) I am hitting him. (Present continuous)

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List of State Verbs

State of mind Relationships


to love to be
to hate to own
to know to have
to like to resemble
to understand to belong
to need
to want
to wonder
to dislike

Regular and Irregular Verbs


Regular Verbs
Infinitive Past simple Past principle

Cast Cast Cast


Cost Cost Cost
Cut Cut Cut
Fit Fit/Fitted Fit
Hit Hit Hit
Let Let Let
Put Put Put
Read (long) Read (short) Read (short)
Set Set Set
Shut Shut Shut
Spread Spread Spread

Continuous form of regular verbs


When making the continuous form or regular verbs the simple
addition of ing is used. e.g. Cast > Casting Read > Reading.
For words ending in a single consonant with a short vowel sound it is
necessary to double the last consonant to keep the vowel sound short. e.g.

Cut > Cutting Fit > Fitting Set > Setting

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Irregular Verbs
There are approximately 300 irregular verbs in the English language, and there
are no rules or easy way to tell whether or not a verb is regular or irregular. However
irregular verbs can be grouped in accordance with the pattern in which they change
form to make learning easier.

Changes in the past


Infinitive Past simple Past Participle

bind bound bound


feed fed fed
find found found
get got got
have had had
hear heard heard
hold Held held
lay laid laid
light lit lit
make made made
meet met met
pay paid paid
say said said
sell Sold sold
shoot shot shot
sit sat sat
stand stood stood
tell told told

Changes in the past and past participle


Infinitive Past simple Past Participle
drink drank drunk
sink sank sunk

Irregular verbs be and go different to all other in so much as their forms


have no relation to each other in terms of spelling.

be go
Present Tense am/is/are go(es)
Past Tense was/were went
Past Participle been gone

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I Know
Modal Auxiliary Verbs
shall / will / can / could / would / should / may / might / must /
need (n’t) / ought (not) to /
Modal auxiliary verbs differ from main verbs in two ways. The first difference is that
they cannot stand alone but must be used in conjunction with a full verb. This
function is exemplified in the name “Auxiliary” meaning to help or assist. The second
difference of modal auxiliary verbs is to do with their function as “Mode changers”
Hence the name “Modal”

To understand modality more clearly consider the following examples:

Come to dinner. (This sentence is an imperative and acts as an order)

Can you come to dinner? (The use of can here is linked to ability rephrased: Are you
able to come to dinner. Remember come is the full verb can is the modal auxiliary
verb.)

Will you come to dinner? (The use of will here is linked to intention. Rephrased do
you intend to come to dinner?)

You ought to come to dinner? (The use of ought to here is being used to express the
speakers belief that s/he thinks X is a good idea.)

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I Know
Adverbs
What is an Adverb? Add Verb! Simply it is a word which adds additional information
to a verb. For example: Run quickly

Run is the verb quickly is the adverb

Adverbs can come both before and after the verb. For example:

The boy ran happily down the road. The boy happily ran down the road.

Adverbs answer the question: How? About the verb

How did the boy run? He ran quickly.

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I Know
Phrasal Verbs
Phrasal verbs are an extremely large and potentially confusing area of the English
language. The best way to describe a phrasal verb is to say that it is a number of
words taken together, as a set phrase with a particular meaning.

The one of the greatest problems with learning and teaching phrasal verbs is that there
is not necessarily a direct or obvious connection between to the constituent words and
the meaning of the phrasal verb itself. Another problem with phrasal verbs is that one
phrasal verb might have more than one meaning. Finally there are just so many
phrasal verbs in English it is difficult to know where to start and they are easy to
confuse with each other.

Due to the nature of Phrasal Verbs it is difficult to decisively say whether the full
under the heading of Grammar or Lexis. It is my opinion that it is best to consider
them primarily as Lexical items i.e. Vocabulary and then teach the necessary grammar
to with them.

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Verb Tenses I know
The Present Simple
I do
Form
Subject Pronoun 1st 2nd and 3rd person plural Verb
I /you /we/ they + do

Subject Pronoun 3rd person singular / Noun Verb


he/she/it/ Jack* + does
* For The 3rd person and noun constructions add either s or es to the verb.
Present Simple examples chart
I work in a bank. I teach English.
You work in a bank. You teach English.
We work in a bank. We teach English.
They work in a bank. They teach English.
Jack works in a bank. Jack teaches English.
He works in a bank. He teaches English.
She works in a bank. She teaches English.
It counts money in a It teaches English.
bank.
Note. It refers to animals, machines and inanimate object therefore many verbs do not always make
sense with it.

Meaning
The Present Simple is used to convey a general state of affairs. That
“I work in a bank” I am not implying that I am
is to say when I say
working their now at this very minute but that it is My Job. I work in a bank
everyday.

We can look at the meaning of The Present Simple pictorially.

X X X X X X X X X X X X X X

<_______________________________NOW_______________________________>

I work in a bank
X = work in bank
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Making Questions with, The Present Simple

To make questions with the present simple we use the verb do for Subject
Pronoun 1st 2nd and 3rd person plural and does for 3rd
person singular.

Therefore the statement “I work in a bank” becomes the question


“Do you work in a bank?”

When answering a question we use the verb do for positive answers.

and don’t (do not) for negative answers.

Yes I do.

No I don’t

For the 3rd person singular (he/she/it/Jack) we use does and doesn’t.

Example

Does he work in a bank?

Yes he does

No he doesn’t.

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I Know
The Present Continuous
I am doing
Form
1st person singular
I am + Verb + ing
I’m

3rd person singular


he/she/it/Jack is + Verb + ing
He’s/She’s/It’s/Jack’s

2nd person and 3rd person plural


we/you/they are + Verb + ing
We’re/You’re/They’re

Present continuous example chart


I am reading a book. I am writing a letter.
Jack is reading a book. Jack is writing a letter.
He is reading a book. He is writing a letter.
She is reading a book. She is writing a letter.
It is running a program. It is
We are reading a book. We are writing a letter.
You are reading a book. You are writing a letter.
They are reading a book. They are writing a letter.
Note: Contractions are very often used in daily life I am > I’m We are > We’re etc.

Meaning
1. The present continuous is used to describe an on going
activity that has recently started and will end shortly. i.e. It is a on going but
temporary state of affairs.

When I say “I am reading a book” I mean


a) I am reading the book. Now

b) I started reading it recently.

C) I won’t be reading it shortly.

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I Know
The Past Simple
I did

Form
1st 2nd & 3rd person
I/ he/she/it/Jack /we/you/they Verb + ed
ed for regular verbs past participle form for irregular verbs varry

I Know
The Past Continuous
I was doing

Form

1st 3rd person singular


I /he/she/it/Jack was + Verb + ing

2nd person and 3rd person plural


We/you/they were + Verb + ing

I Know
The Future Simple
I will do

Form

1st 2nd & 3rd person


I /he/she/it/Jack /we/you/they will + Verb

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I know
The Future Continuous
I will be doing

Form

1st 2nd & 3rd person


I /he/she/it/Jack will be + Verb + ing
/we/you/they

I Know
The Present Perfect
I have done
Form

1st & 2nd person and 3rd person plural


I / you/we/they + have Verb + ed

3rd person singular


he/she/it/Jack + has Verb + ed

I Know
The Present Perfect Continuous
I have been doing
Form

1st & 2nd person and 3rd person plural


I / you/we/they + have been Verb + ing

3rd person singular


he/she/it/Jack + has been Verb + ing
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I Know
The Past Perfect
I will have done

Form

1st & 2nd person and 3rd person plural


I / you/we/they + will have Verb + ed
he /she/it/Jack

I know
The Past Perfect Continuous
I will have been doing

Form

1st & 2nd person and 3rd person plural


I / you/we
/they/he /she/ + will have been Verb + ed
it/Jack

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I Know
The Future Perfect

I know
The Future Perfect Continuous

I Know
The Passive and Active Constructions

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The 12 Tense at a glance

The Present Simple The Past Simple The Future Simple

I do I did I will do
I am I was I will be

I work in a bank. I worked in a bank. I will work in a bank.


He works in a bank. He worked in a bank. He will work in a bank.

I am a teacher I was a teacher I will be a teacher.


He is a teacher He was a teacher. He will be a teacher.

The Present Continuous The Past Continuous The Future Continuous

I am doing I was doing I will be doing

I am working in a bank. I was working in a bank. I will be working in a bank.


He is working in a bank. He was working in a bank. He will be working in a bank.

The Present Perfect The Past Perfect The Future Perfect

I have done I had done I will have done

I have worked in a bank. I had worked in a bank. I will have worked in a bank.
He has worked in a bank. He had worked in a bank. He will have worked in a bank.

The Present Perfect Continuous The Past Perfect Continuous The Future Perfect Continuous

I have been doing I had been doing I will have been doing

I have been working in a bank. I had been working in a bank. I will have been working in a
bank.
He has been working in a bank. He had been working in a He will have been working in a
bank. bank.

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Passive Constructions at a glance
The Present Simple The Past Simple The Future Simple

The Present Continuous The Past Continuous The Future Continuous

The Present Perfect The Past Perfect The Future Perfect

The Present Perfect Continuous The Past Perfect Continuous The Future Perfect Continuous

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I know
If & Conditional clauses
We use if when we want to talk about uncertain events, activities or things,

that may or may not happen or might or might not be true. In such sentences, the if
represents a condition that must happen first hence the name conditional
clauses.

All conditional clauses are separated into two halves the main if clause or
condition that must happen first and the second clause or result which happens
afterwards. Conditionals can understood in terms of cause and effect where If =
the cause.

If you drop that glass, it will brake.

If you heat water to 100.c, it will boil.

Conditional clauses can be used with special tenses to indicate how likely the
statement we are making is.

ZERO Conditional
General truths 100% certainty

FIRST conditional
Possible situation & likely outcomes

SECOND conditional
Hypothetical situations or improbable outcomes

THIRD conditional
Impossible situations and hypothetical outcomes

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I know
Gerunds and participles
Gerund and participle are terms given to when we use –ing forms of the verb Not as
Verbs but as adjectives, adverbs or nouns.

Gerund is the term given to the use of an –ing form of the verb used as a noun e.g.

The man was laughing. (laughing as a verb)

Laughing is good for you. (laughing acting as a noun)

It is easy to check if an –ing is being used as a noun if you can replace it with a noun
then it’s a gerund.

Chocolate is good for you. (Chocolate is a noun)

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I know
Indirect and Reported Speech

In indirect speech we do not use speech marks and often we do not repeat word for
word what someone has said but rather retransmit or convey the mean of what they
have said. This can be very useful for example if I have just had a conversation and
someone asked what we were talking about I might very well find it very hard to repeat
word for word what was said. However I could quite easily explain what was talked
about and what was and wasn’t said in my own words.

Other examples were indirect or reported speech are common are in news reports. For
example a politician gives a long speech that covers many topics. However the news
report needs to sum this up in many less words e.g.

Tony Blair said that Gordon Brown was making a hash of the economy and wouldn’t it
be great if he was back in power.

He said that…………..

It has been reported……….

It is assumed that……………..

Back forming

Very often when we use reported speech we make a tense shift into a past tense e.g.
from the present simple to the past simple.

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