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Intervenant

Laurence Petoud
Executive Assistant
Formatrice en Entreprise
ECDL Expert
laurence.petoud@gmail.com
www.facebook.com/CambridgeExamsPreparation
http://fce-cae.blog4ever.com/

This support has been developed as part of my
revisions for exams First Certificate in English.
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Table of Contents
Abbreviations ........................................................................................................................................ 16
Acronyms ............................................................................................................................................... 16
About ..................................................................................................................................................... 17
Above and over ..................................................................................................................................... 18
According to .......................................................................................................................................... 18
Accept and agree ................................................................................................................................... 19
Difference between accept and agree .............................................................................................. 19
Across .................................................................................................................................................... 19
Affect and Effect .................................................................................................................................... 19
Against ................................................................................................................................................... 20
Agree with and agree to ........................................................................................................................ 20
Ago ......................................................................................................................................................... 21
All ........................................................................................................................................................... 21
All and every .......................................................................................................................................... 23
Already, just and yet .............................................................................................................................. 23
All and whole ......................................................................................................................................... 24
Along ...................................................................................................................................................... 24
A lot of, lots of, plenty of, a great deal of etc. ....................................................................................... 24
All ready and already ............................................................................................................................. 25
Also ........................................................................................................................................................ 25
Using also .......................................................................................................................................... 25
Not only...but also ............................................................................................................................. 26
Using not only ... but also .................................................................................................................. 26
Using as well as .................................................................................................................................. 28
Also, as well and too .............................................................................................................................. 28
Also, As well and Too ................................................................................................................. 28
Any ..................................................................................................................................................... 29
Besides, except and apart from ......................................................................................................... 30
Alternate and alternative ...................................................................................................................... 30
Alternative and alternatively ................................................................................................................. 31
Alternately and alternatively ................................................................................................................. 31
Although and though ............................................................................................................................. 31
Amount and number ............................................................................................................................. 32
And ........................................................................................................................................................ 32
Another .................................................................................................................................................. 32
Anyhow and somehow .......................................................................................................................... 33
Appear ................................................................................................................................................... 33
Appositive phrases ................................................................................................................................ 34
Around ................................................................................................................................................... 34
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As, since, because and for ..................................................................................................................... 35
As if and as though ................................................................................................................................ 35
Ask and ask for ...................................................................................................................................... 36
As, when and while ............................................................................................................................... 36
When and while ................................................................................................................................ 36
While ................................................................................................................................................. 37
Reduced clauses ................................................................................................................................ 37
As ........................................................................................................................................................... 37
At ........................................................................................................................................................... 38
Place .................................................................................................................................................. 38
Time ................................................................................................................................................... 39
Back and again ....................................................................................................................................... 39
Back ................................................................................................................................................... 39
With adverb particles ........................................................................................................................ 39
Bath and bathe ...................................................................................................................................... 40
Bath ................................................................................................................................................... 40
Bathe ................................................................................................................................................. 40
Beat and win .......................................................................................................................................... 40
Because and because of ........................................................................................................................ 41
Compare: ........................................................................................................................................... 41
Position .............................................................................................................................................. 41
Been ....................................................................................................................................................... 41
Compare: ........................................................................................................................................... 41
Before .................................................................................................................................................... 41
Before as an adverb ........................................................................................................................... 41
Before as a conjunction ..................................................................................................................... 41
Tenses ................................................................................................................................................ 42
Before as a preposition ..................................................................................................................... 42
Before and in front of ............................................................................................................................ 42
Compare: ........................................................................................................................................... 42
Compare: ........................................................................................................................................... 42
Begin and start ...................................................................................................................................... 43
Cases where begin is not possible ..................................................................................................... 43
Belong to, belong on and belong in ...................................................................................................... 43
Belong to ........................................................................................................................................... 43
Belong on / in .................................................................................................................................... 43
Below and under ................................................................................................................................... 44
Below ................................................................................................................................................. 44
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Under ................................................................................................................................................. 44
Beside and besides ................................................................................................................................ 44
Besides ............................................................................................................................................... 44
Between and among ............................................................................................................................. 44
Among ............................................................................................................................................... 44
Between and during .............................................................................................................................. 45
Between and from ................................................................................................................................. 45
Between and from ................................................................................................................................. 45
Big, large and great ................................................................................................................................ 46
A bit ....................................................................................................................................................... 46
Compare: ........................................................................................................................................... 46
A bit of a ............................................................................................................................................ 46
Born and borne ...................................................................................................................................... 46
Both and both of ................................................................................................................................... 47
Both and both of ............................................................................................................................... 47
Both and neither ............................................................................................................................... 47
Position of both ................................................................................................................................. 47
Both and ..................................................................................................................................... 48
Bring and take ....................................................................................................................................... 48
But ......................................................................................................................................................... 48
As a conjunction ................................................................................................................................ 48
As a preposition ................................................................................................................................. 48
Cannot but + infinitive ....................................................................................................................... 48
But meaning only .............................................................................................................................. 49
But, though, in spite of, despite ............................................................................................................ 49
Using though ..................................................................................................................................... 49
Using but ........................................................................................................................................... 49
Using in spite of and despite ............................................................................................................. 49
By and with ............................................................................................................................................ 50
Can and be able to ................................................................................................................................. 50
Can and could ........................................................................................................................................ 50
Cases where can is not used.............................................................................................................. 50
Compare: ........................................................................................................................................... 50
Cases where can is used .................................................................................................................... 50
Care ....................................................................................................................................................... 51
Couldn't care less .............................................................................................................................. 51
Care for .............................................................................................................................................. 51
Care to ............................................................................................................................................... 51
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Take care of ....................................................................................................................................... 51
Change ................................................................................................................................................... 51
Change of tenses ................................................................................................................................... 52
Cases where close is preferred .......................................................................................................... 52
Compare: ........................................................................................................................................... 52
Close and shut ....................................................................................................................................... 52
Cases where close is preferred .......................................................................................................... 52
Compare: ........................................................................................................................................... 52
Cloth and clothes ................................................................................................................................... 53
Come and go .......................................................................................................................................... 53
Come true .......................................................................................................................................... 53
Come what may ................................................................................................................................. 53
Come to ............................................................................................................................................. 53
How come .......................................................................................................................................... 53
Comparative and superlative ................................................................................................................ 54
Comparatives - a common error ........................................................................................................... 54
On the contrary ..................................................................................................................................... 54
Cool down and cool off ......................................................................................................................... 54
Difference between cool down and cool off ..................................................................................... 54
Correlatives ........................................................................................................................................... 55
Could have + past participle .................................................................................................................. 55
Dare ....................................................................................................................................................... 56
Dare as an ordinary verb ................................................................................................................... 56
Dare as an auxiliary verb ................................................................................................................... 56
Dare + object + infinitive ................................................................................................................... 56
Dead and died ....................................................................................................................................... 56
Difference between dead and died ................................................................................................... 56
Definite article or indefinite article - what to use? ............................................................................... 57
Different ................................................................................................................................................ 57
Prepositions after different ............................................................................................................... 57
Double negatives ................................................................................................................................... 57
Dress ...................................................................................................................................................... 58
Due to and owing to .............................................................................................................................. 58
Due to, owing to, because of and on account of .................................................................................. 58
With preparatory it............................................................................................................................ 59
During .................................................................................................................................................... 59
Using during....................................................................................................................................... 59
During, in and for................................................................................................................................... 59
During and For ................................................................................................................................... 60
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During and In ..................................................................................................................................... 60
Each ....................................................................................................................................................... 60
Each and each of ............................................................................................................................... 60
With verb ........................................................................................................................................... 60
Position with object ........................................................................................................................... 61
Each and every .................................................................................................................................. 61
Each and every ...................................................................................................................................... 61
East, eastern, south, southern etc ........................................................................................................ 62
Either ..................................................................................................................................................... 62
Either and neither.................................................................................................................................. 63
Elder and eldest ..................................................................................................................................... 63
Else ........................................................................................................................................................ 63
End and finish ........................................................................................................................................ 64
Enjoy ...................................................................................................................................................... 64
Enough ................................................................................................................................................... 64
Enough to .............................................................................................................................................. 65
Especially and specially ......................................................................................................................... 65
Even ....................................................................................................................................................... 65
Using even ......................................................................................................................................... 65
Position .............................................................................................................................................. 65
Even if and even though .................................................................................................................... 66
Even so .............................................................................................................................................. 66
Ever ........................................................................................................................................................ 66
Using ever .......................................................................................................................................... 66
Ever and always ................................................................................................................................. 66
Use ..................................................................................................................................................... 66
Ever in affirmative clauses ................................................................................................................. 66
Ever and before ................................................................................................................................. 67
Every ...................................................................................................................................................... 67
Using every ........................................................................................................................................ 67
Every and every one of ...................................................................................................................... 67
Not every ........................................................................................................................................... 67
Every with plural nouns ..................................................................................................................... 67
Each and every .................................................................................................................................. 67
Except and except for ............................................................................................................................ 68
Except and except for ........................................................................................................................ 68
Except + verb ..................................................................................................................................... 68
Exchange for and exchange with ........................................................................................................... 68
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Exchange for ...................................................................................................................................... 68
Exchange with ................................................................................................................................... 68
Ex and former ........................................................................................................................................ 69
Difference between ex-girlfriend and former girlfriend ................................................................... 69
Fairly, quite, rather and pretty .............................................................................................................. 69
Quite .................................................................................................................................................. 69
Rather ................................................................................................................................................ 69
Pretty ................................................................................................................................................. 69
Far ...................................................................................................................................................... 69
Far in affirmative clauses ................................................................................................................... 70
Farther and further................................................................................................................................ 70
Feel ........................................................................................................................................................ 70
Using feel ........................................................................................................................................... 70
Feel like; feel as if/though ................................................................................................................. 70
Compare: ........................................................................................................................................... 71
Feel as an ordinary verb .................................................................................................................... 71
Few and little ......................................................................................................................................... 71
Few, a few, the few; little, a little, the little ...................................................................................... 71
Compare ............................................................................................................................................ 71
A little, little and the little ................................................................................................................. 71
Finally, at last, in the end and at the end .............................................................................................. 71
Finally ................................................................................................................................................ 71
At last ................................................................................................................................................. 72
In the end .......................................................................................................................................... 72
At the end .......................................................................................................................................... 72
Finished: difference between I'm finished and I've finished................................................................. 72
Difference between I've finished and I'm finished ............................................................................ 72
Fit and suit: difference .......................................................................................................................... 72
Difference between fit and suit ......................................................................................................... 72
Compare: ........................................................................................................................................... 72
For .......................................................................................................................................................... 73
Using from ......................................................................................................................................... 73
From ...................................................................................................................................................... 73
Using from ......................................................................................................................................... 73
Get ......................................................................................................................................................... 74
Using get ............................................................................................................................................ 74
Get with nouns and pronouns ........................................................................................................... 75
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Go .......................................................................................................................................................... 77
Using go ............................................................................................................................................. 77
Go and get ............................................................................................................................................. 77
Go or get? .......................................................................................................................................... 77
Had better ............................................................................................................................................. 78
Compare: ........................................................................................................................................... 78
Half ........................................................................................................................................................ 78
...hardly ...when/before ... .................................................................................................................... 79
Help ....................................................................................................................................................... 79
Has been ................................................................................................................................................ 80
Have or have got ................................................................................................................................... 80
Compare: ........................................................................................................................................... 80
Have vs Having ...................................................................................................................................... 81
Compare: ........................................................................................................................................... 81
Hear and listen ...................................................................................................................................... 81
Hear or listen to? ............................................................................................................................... 81
Compare: ........................................................................................................................................... 81
Help ....................................................................................................................................................... 82
He, she or they ...................................................................................................................................... 82
Usage ................................................................................................................................................. 82
Home ..................................................................................................................................................... 83
Using Home ....................................................................................................................................... 83
Hope ...................................................................................................................................................... 83
How and what like? ............................................................................................................................... 83
However, yet, still, though .................................................................................................................... 84
How ever and however ..................................................................................................................... 84
Using however, yet, still, though ....................................................................................................... 84
Ill and Sick .............................................................................................................................................. 84
If only ..................................................................................................................................................... 85
In case and if .......................................................................................................................................... 85
In case and if .......................................................................................................................................... 85
Compare: ........................................................................................................................................... 85
If and unless ........................................................................................................................................... 85
Using If and Unless ............................................................................................................................ 85
In spite of ............................................................................................................................................... 86
In spite of and because of ................................................................................................................. 86
Compare: ........................................................................................................................................... 86
Interesting, interested, exciting, excited etc. ........................................................................................ 86
Is, am and are ........................................................................................................................................ 87
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Is ........................................................................................................................................................ 87
Are ..................................................................................................................................................... 87
Am ..................................................................................................................................................... 87
It............................................................................................................................................................. 87
It as a preparatory subject ................................................................................................................ 87
Clause subjects .................................................................................................................................. 88
-ing form subjects .............................................................................................................................. 88
with seem, appear and look .............................................................................................................. 88
with if, as if and as though ................................................................................................................ 88
It as a preparatory object .................................................................................................................. 88
Its and its .......................................................................................................................................... 89
It's and its .............................................................................................................................................. 89
Just ......................................................................................................................................................... 89
Time ................................................................................................................................................... 89
Only ................................................................................................................................................... 89
Exactly ................................................................................................................................................ 90
Tenses ................................................................................................................................................ 90
Just, already and yet .............................................................................................................................. 90
Position of just, yet and already ........................................................................................................ 90
Know ...................................................................................................................................................... 91
Tenses ................................................................................................................................................ 91
Know and know about/of .................................................................................................................. 91
Compare: ........................................................................................................................................... 91
I know and I know it .......................................................................................................................... 91
Laid off vs. Fired .................................................................................................................................... 91
Last and the last .................................................................................................................................... 92
Last and the last ................................................................................................................................ 92
the last ............................................................................................................................................... 92
Lay and lie .............................................................................................................................................. 92
Lie ...................................................................................................................................................... 92
The least and the fewest ....................................................................................................................... 93
Less and Fewer .................................................................................................................................. 93
Less and fewer ....................................................................................................................................... 93
Let .......................................................................................................................................................... 94
Let with first person pronouns .......................................................................................................... 94
Let with first person pronouns .......................................................................................................... 95
Like and as ............................................................................................................................................. 95
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Like and as ......................................................................................................................................... 95
Likely ...................................................................................................................................................... 96
Look ....................................................................................................................................................... 96
Compare: ........................................................................................................................................... 97
Make ...................................................................................................................................................... 97
Using make ........................................................................................................................................ 97
Make: special uses ................................................................................................................................. 97
Words ending in -man ........................................................................................................................... 98
May / might ...but .................................................................................................................................. 98
May in expressions of wishes and hopes .......................................................................................... 98
Maybe and may be ................................................................................................................................ 99
Maybe and may be ............................................................................................................................ 99
Mean ..................................................................................................................................................... 99
Mind ...................................................................................................................................................... 99
Compare: ......................................................................................................................................... 100
Misplace and displace ......................................................................................................................... 100
Displace ........................................................................................................................................... 100
More .................................................................................................................................................... 101
Most .................................................................................................................................................... 101
Points to be noted ........................................................................................................................... 101
Much and many ................................................................................................................................... 102
Much ................................................................................................................................................ 102
Much and Many .............................................................................................................................. 102
Must in questions and negatives ......................................................................................................... 102
Negatives ......................................................................................................................................... 103
Compare: ......................................................................................................................................... 103
Near ..................................................................................................................................................... 103
Using Near ....................................................................................................................................... 103
Nearest and next ................................................................................................................................. 104
Negative forms .................................................................................................................................... 104
Negative questions .......................................................................................................................... 104
Neither ................................................................................................................................................. 105
Neither of ........................................................................................................................................ 105
Neither and nor to mean 'also not' ................................................................................................. 106
Neithernor .................................................................................................................................... 106
Neither, nor and not either ................................................................................................................. 106
No, none and not a/any ...................................................................................................................... 106
No/none and not a/any ................................................................................................................... 107
No matter ............................................................................................................................................ 107
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No matter who and whoever .......................................................................................................... 107
North, northern, south, southern ....................................................................................................... 108
Compare: ......................................................................................................................................... 108
Of course ............................................................................................................................................. 108
Compare: ......................................................................................................................................... 108
Often .................................................................................................................................................... 108
Once .................................................................................................................................................... 109
As a conjunction .............................................................................................................................. 109
One ...................................................................................................................................................... 109
Leaving out one(s) ........................................................................................................................... 109
One and It ........................................................................................................................................ 110
One (indefinite personal pronoun) ................................................................................................. 110
Pronouns referring back to one ...................................................................................................... 110
On time and in time ............................................................................................................................. 110
Otherwise ............................................................................................................................................ 111
Notes ............................................................................................................................................... 111
Ought to have + past participle ........................................................................................................... 111
Overlook and look over ....................................................................................................................... 112
Difference between look over and overlook ................................................................................... 112
Owing to, due to, because of and on account of ................................................................................ 112
With preparatory it.......................................................................................................................... 112
Pain and ache ...................................................................................................................................... 113
Difference between pain and ache ................................................................................................. 113
Some common word combinations with pain ................................................................................ 113
Perhaps ................................................................................................................................................ 114
Perhaps in polite requests ............................................................................................................... 114
Play and game ..................................................................................................................................... 114
Difference between play and game ................................................................................................ 114
Point of view ........................................................................................................................................ 115
Difference between from somebody's point of view and in somebody's opinion ......................... 115
Compare: ......................................................................................................................................... 115
In my opinion / according to me ..................................................................................................... 115
Primary auxiliaries ............................................................................................................................... 115
Prize and price ..................................................................................................................................... 116
Provide or provide with ....................................................................................................................... 116
Provide someone with something .................................................................................................. 116
Provide something for someone ..................................................................................................... 116
Provide something to someone ...................................................................................................... 116
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Provide or provide with ................................................................................................................... 117
Phrasal verbs with provide .............................................................................................................. 117
Provided that ....................................................................................................................................... 117
Question words ................................................................................................................................... 118
Quite .................................................................................................................................................... 118
With nouns ...................................................................................................................................... 118
Rather .................................................................................................................................................. 119
Rather than and would rather ............................................................................................................. 119
Same .................................................................................................................................................... 120
Say and tell .......................................................................................................................................... 120
Tell ................................................................................................................................................... 120
Direct and indirect speech .............................................................................................................. 120
See ....................................................................................................................................................... 121
Using See ......................................................................................................................................... 121
see: progressive forms .................................................................................................................... 121
Other uses ....................................................................................................................................... 121
See, look at and watch ........................................................................................................................ 121
Look (at) ........................................................................................................................................... 122
Watch .............................................................................................................................................. 122
See if / whether ............................................................................................................................... 122
Seem .................................................................................................................................................... 122
Seem to be ....................................................................................................................................... 122
With nouns ...................................................................................................................................... 123
Seem with infinitives ....................................................................................................................... 123
Sensible and sensitive ......................................................................................................................... 123
Sensitive .......................................................................................................................................... 123
Shade and shadow .............................................................................................................................. 123
Shadow ............................................................................................................................................ 123
Should in subordinate clauses ............................................................................................................. 124
Should in if-clauses .......................................................................................................................... 124
Should after in case ......................................................................................................................... 124
Since .................................................................................................................................................... 124
Tenses in since-clauses .................................................................................................................... 124
Since as an adverb and a conjunction ............................................................................................. 125
Difference between since and for ................................................................................................... 125
Compare: ......................................................................................................................................... 125
Since, as, because and so .................................................................................................................... 126
Using as, since, because and so ....................................................................................................... 126
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So...that... ............................................................................................................................................ 126
Using so...that... ............................................................................................................................... 126
Such and such...that ............................................................................................................................ 127
Using Such ....................................................................................................................................... 127
Difference between such and very ................................................................................................. 127
That-clauses with such .................................................................................................................... 127
Surely ................................................................................................................................................... 128
Take ..................................................................................................................................................... 128
person + take + time + infinitive ...................................................................................................... 128
activity + take + person + time + infinitive ...................................................................................... 128
Talk to, talk with and talk at ................................................................................................................ 128
They're, there and their ...................................................................................................................... 129
They're ............................................................................................................................................. 129
There ............................................................................................................................................... 129
Their ................................................................................................................................................. 129
Therefore ............................................................................................................................................. 129
Too and to ........................................................................................................................................... 130
To ..................................................................................................................................................... 130
Until and till ......................................................................................................................................... 130
Until/till and to ................................................................................................................................ 130
Cases where until/till is not used .................................................................................................... 131
Tenses after until ............................................................................................................................. 131
Up and down ....................................................................................................................................... 131
Up .................................................................................................................................................... 131
Used to ................................................................................................................................................ 131
Cases where used to is not used ................................................................................................. 132
Be used to ........................................................................................................................................ 132
Get used to ing ............................................................................................................................. 132
Very ..................................................................................................................................................... 132
Too and very .................................................................................................................................... 133
Compare: ......................................................................................................................................... 133
Very with superlatives ..................................................................................................................... 133
Want .................................................................................................................................................... 133
Structures ........................................................................................................................................ 133
be wanting ....................................................................................................................................... 133
Want meaning need ...................................................................................................................... 133
-ward(s) ........................................................................................................................................... 134
Adjectives ........................................................................................................................................ 134
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Adverbs ............................................................................................................................................ 134
Well and good ..................................................................................................................................... 134
Whether and if .................................................................................................................................... 135
Cases where only whether is possible ............................................................................................. 135
Which and what .................................................................................................................................. 135
Wish ..................................................................................................................................................... 136
Wish + that clause ........................................................................................................................... 136
I wish you ..................................................................................................................................... 136
With ..................................................................................................................................................... 137
With meaning against...................................................................................................................... 137
Whose .................................................................................................................................................. 137
Of which; that of ........................................................................................................................... 137
Would like ............................................................................................................................................ 138
Would and used to .......................................................................................................................... 138
Difference between would and used to .......................................................................................... 138
Compare: ......................................................................................................................................... 139
Yet ........................................................................................................................................................ 139
Yet, just and already ............................................................................................................................ 139
Compare: ......................................................................................................................................... 139
Position of just, yet and already ...................................................................................................... 140
Punctuation: Full stop and question mark .......................................................................................... 141
Inversion of subject and verb .............................................................................................................. 141
Correlative conjunctions ..................................................................................................................... 142
Make your sentences clearer with parallel structure ......................................................................... 143
Parallel construction ............................................................................................................................ 144
Adverbs with two forms ...................................................................................................................... 145
Subject complements .......................................................................................................................... 146
Copular verbs....................................................................................................................................... 147
Articles: Rules for the use and omission of articles ............................................................................ 147
Correct use of article a/an ................................................................................................................... 148
Verb patterns with as and though ....................................................................................................... 148
Infinitive with its own subject ............................................................................................................. 149
Compare: ......................................................................................................................................... 149
Uses ................................................................................................................................................. 149
Gerunds (-ing forms) after prepositions .............................................................................................. 149
To as a preposition .......................................................................................................................... 149
Compare: ......................................................................................................................................... 150
Difference between Do and Make ...................................................................................................... 150
Indefinite activities .......................................................................................................................... 150
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Work and Jobs ................................................................................................................................. 150
Difference between transitional adverbs and conjunctions ............................................................... 151
When, while, since, as, once ........................................................................................................... 151
Where .............................................................................................................................................. 152
Because and since ........................................................................................................................... 152
While, even though, though ............................................................................................................ 152
Just as, like, in that .......................................................................................................................... 152
Since, for, ago and before ................................................................................................................... 152
For .................................................................................................................................................... 152
Ago ................................................................................................................................................... 153
Before .............................................................................................................................................. 153

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Abbreviations
A brief way of writing a word or a phrase that could also be written out in full,
using only the letters of the alphabet and possibly full stops. We usually write
abbreviations without full stops in British English. Full stops are normal in
American English.
Examples are Dr (US Dr.) for Doctor, Prof (US Prof.) for Professor and Capt (US
Capt.) for Captain.
An abbreviation does not normally have a distinct pronunciation of its own: we
pronounce Dr as Doctor and e.g. as for example.
Some abbreviations are made from the first letters of several words.
Examples are:
The BBC = the British Broadcasting Corporation
UNESCO = United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation
Some initial-letter abbreviations are pronounced letter by letter (e.g. the BBC).
Others are pronounced like words (e.g. UNICEF) these are often called
acronyms.
Acronyms
An acronym is an abbreviation that is formed by combining the first letter or
letters of several words. Acronyms are pronounced as words and are written
without periods.
Radio detecting and ranging (radar)
Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL)
Self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba)
Write acronyms in capital letters without periods. The only exceptions are those
acronyms that have become accepted as common nouns, which are written in
lowercase letters.
Examples: laser, radar, scuba
An initialism is an abbreviation that is formed by combining the initial letter of
each word in a multiword term. Initialisms are pronounced as separate letters.
Examples are:
End of month (e.o.m.)
Cash on delivery (c.o.d.)
Initialisms may be written either uppercase or lowercase. Periods are not
generally used when they are upper case.
Examples:
EDP or e.d.p.
EOM or e.o.m.
OD or o.d.
Form the plural of an acronym or initialism by adding an s. Do not use an
apostrophe.
Examples are: MIRVs, CRTs

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About
To indicate movement or position
About indicates movement or position in various directions and places.
We walked about the old city.
The princes went riding about the country.
Children were running about everywhere.
Men were standing about the street corners.
To mean 'near to'
About can mean 'near to.'
They are living somewhere about here.
To mean 'approximately'
About can mean 'a little more or less', 'a little before or after' and similar ideas.
She is about 10 year old.
It is about 5 o' clock.
How about, what about
How about and what about are used to seek an opinion and/or propose a plan.
How about having a drink? (Propose a plan.)
He is a handsome fellow, but what about his character? (Seeks an
opinion.)
About and On
About and on can both mean 'in connection with'. However, there is a slight
difference between them.
Compare:
This is a book on African history.
This is a book for children about the festivals of India.
On used in the first sentence suggests that the book is serious or academic. It
fits specialists. About used in the second sentence suggests that the book only
gives some information.
This is a movie on the life of Gautam Buddha. (A serious work on his
life)
This is a movie about Gautam Buddha. (Only gives some information
about him)
About to
About to means 'on the point of doing something'.
We were about to go to bed when the telephone rang.
The show was about to start when the lights went out.
'Not about to' can mean 'unwilling to'.
I am not about to lend him my car.

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Above and over
Above indicates a position higher than something.
The birds flew up above the trees.
The sun rose above the horizon.
There is a mirror above the washbasin.
We have rented a room above the shop.
She is above average in intelligence.
Your name comes above mine on the list.
Above and Over
Above and over can both mean higher than.
The helicopter hovered above/over the building.
The water came up above/over our knees.
Above is preferred when we want to mean that one thing is not directly over
another.
There is a small cottage above the lake. (The cottage is not directly over
the lake.)
Above is also used in measurements of temperature, height, intelligence etc.,
where we think of a vertical scale.
The temperature never rose above 10 degree Celsius.
Over is preferred when one thing covers and/or touches another.
He put on a coat over his shirt.
There was cloud over the city.
Over is also used to talk about ages and speeds, and to mean more than.
You have to be over 18 to see that film.
There were over 50 fifty people at the meeting.
According to
Usage
According to X means 'as stated by X' or 'on the authority of X'.
According to Jane, life is a learning process.
According to the timetable, the train leaves at 9.30.
According to scientists, there could be life on other planets.
We do not normally give our own opinions with according to.
In my opinion, Jane Austen is a great writer. (NOT According to
me)


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Accept and agree
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ACCEPT AND AGREE
The verbs accept and agree have different meanings. To express your
willingness to do something, use agree with an infinitive. Accept is not possible
in this case.
She agreed to come. (= She expressed her willingness to come.) (NOT
She accepted to come.)
They agreed to part ways amicably. (NOT They accepted to part ways
amicably.)
My sister has agreed to look after my babies when I am away.
To accept is to take something which is offered because you believe that it is
true, fair or right. In this case, accept is followed by a noun or a noun clause
which acts as its object.
She accepted the offer. (NOT She agreed the offer.)
She said that she would accept the award with pleasure.
Accept can be followed by a noun clause or a that-clause.
The majority of doctors accept that smoking can cause cancer. (= The
majority of doctors recognize the fact that smoking can cause cancer.)
Across
The preposition across shows movement or position from one side to the
other.
The child ran across the road. (From one side of the road to the other)
There is a bridge across the river.
Can you jump across the stream?
Across can also mean on/to the other side.
The library is just across the road.
I live across the street.
Across and Through
The difference between across and through is similar to the difference between
on and in. Across is used for a movement in a two-dimensional space. Through is
used for a movement in a three-dimensional space.
We walked across the field. (We were on the field.)
He drove through the tunnel. (He was in the tunnel.)
We slowly walked through the wood. (We were in the wood.)
Affect and Effect
Affect is a verb. It means 'have an effect on somebody or something.'
The climate has affected my health.
Effect is a noun. It means 'result', or 'change'.
Compare
The war seriously affected oil prices.
The war had a serious effect on oil prices.

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Against
Against means not in favour of
There were twenty votes against the proposal and only fourteen in favour
of it, so it was abandoned.
We rowed hard against the current, but made little progress.
Against can also mean hitting or touching.
I hit my head against a wall and hurt myself.
I left the ladder leaning against a wall.
The waves beat against the cliffs.
The piano stood against the wall.
Agree with and agree to
To agree is to have the same ideas and opinions.
Agree can be followed by the prepositions with, about, on and to.
Agree with
We agree with a person, an opinion or a policy. To agree with something is to
think that it is the right thing to do. To agree with somebody is to think that they
are doing or saying the right thing.
I agree with you.
I entirely agree with your opinion that smoking must be banned.
I couldnt agree with those nasty remarks she made about the
unemployed.
I dont agree with their aggressive sales policy.
You can use an ing form after agree with.
As a concerned parent, I agree with increasing the legal drinking age.
(NOT I agree increasing the legal drinking age.)
I agree with providing free education to the poor.
Agree about
We agree about a subject of discussion.
We agree about most things.
They were quarreling the whole time they were together because they
couldnt agree about anything.
Agree can be followed by a that-clause.
We all agree that poverty must be eradicated.
They agreed that the money should be equally divided among the four
brothers.
Agree on
We agree on a matter for decision.
The ministers all agree on the need for building better infrastructure in
the city.
They couldnt agree on a date.
Agree to
To agree to do something is to express your willingness to do it.
The police inspector agreed to look into the matter.
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He agreed to feed the dogs.
In the end I agreed to clean the room.
Ago
We use ago after an expression of time.
The train went out 10 minutes ago.
Ago indicates a finished time and is normally used with a past tense.
She telephoned five minutes ago. (NOT She has telephoned five minutes
ago.)
The difference between ago and before
Ago is normally used with a simple past to count back from a present moment.
Before is used with a past perfect to count back from a past moment.
I saw him two years ago. (Two years from now.)
I had seen him two years before I went to England.
Before can be used without a time expression to mean 'any time before
now/then'.
I think I have seen him before.
All
All refers to three or more items. It is used mostly before plural and uncountable
nouns.
All children need love.
I love all music.
All the invitees turned up.
When all is followed by a plural noun, the verb is normally plural. After an
uncountable noun, we use a singular verb.
All cheese contains fat.
All the lights were out.
All + noun is not normally used as the subject of a negative verb. We more
often use the structure not all + noun + affirmative verb.
Not all birds can sing. (NOT All birds cannot sing.)
All and All of
Before a noun with no determiner (possessives, articles and demonstratives) we
use all.
All children need love.
All cheese contains fat.
All lights were out.
Before a noun with a determiner (the, my, this etc.), all and all of are both
possible.
All the lights were out.
All of the lights were out.
I have invited all my friends to my birthday party.
I have invited all of my friends to my birthday party.
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Before a personal pronoun (us, them etc.) we use all of + object form.
All of us love music. (NOT All us love music)
I have invited all of them. (NOTall them.)
All with nouns and pronouns
All can modify nouns and pronouns. We normally place it before the
noun/pronoun.
I have invited all (of) my friends.
All of us love music.
I love all of you.
All of us are going to the movies.
We can put all after pronouns used as objects.
I love you all. (= I love all of you.)
Give my love to them all. (= Give my love to all of them.)
I have made you all something to eat. (= I have made all of you
something to eat.)
Note that all cannot be put after pronouns used as subject complements.
Is that all of them? (NOT Is that them all?)
All with verbs
When all refers to the subject of a clause, it can go with the verb.
When the verb consists of just one word, and that word is not a form of be (is,
am, are, was, were), all is placed before the verb.
They all came. (All + other verb)
We all love music. (All + other verb)
When the verb is a form of be, all is placed after it.
You are all welcome. (be + all)
We were all invited. (be + all)
When there are two auxiliary verbs, all goes after the first.
They have all gone home. (Auxiliary verb + all + other verb)
They have all been told. (Auxiliary verb + all + auxiliary verb + other
verb)
Note that these meanings can also be expressed by using all (of) +
noun/pronoun.
All of them came.
All of us love music.
All of you are welcome.
All of us have been invited.
All of them have gone home.

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All and every
All and every can both be used to talk about people or things in general. There is
little difference of meaning. Note that these two words are used in different
structures.
Every is used with singular countable nouns. To give the same meaning, all is used
with plural nouns.
All children need love.
Every child needs love.
With Determiners
All can be used with determiners. Every cannot normally be used with them.
All the lights were out.
Every light was out. (NOT Every the light)
I have invited all (of) my friends.
I have invited every friend I have. (NOT every my friend.)
With Uncountable Nouns
We can use all with uncountable nouns. Every cannot be used with them.
I like all music. (NOT every music.)
Already, just and yet
Both just and already are used in affirmative sentences. There is a difference of
meaning.
Already is used to talk about something that has happened sooner than
expected. It shows surprise. Just means exactly or very recently.
It is just one oclock. (= It is exactly one oclock.)
She has just arrived. (= Very recently)
Compare:
She has already left. (= She has left but we werent expecting that she
would leave so soon.)
She has just left. (= She left a moment ago.)
Just can also mean only.
I just want a glass of water.
I just asked.
Just is not used in questions or negative sentences.
Position of just, yet and already
Already usually goes with the verb. If there is no auxiliary verb, already goes
before the verb. If there is an auxiliary verb, it goes after the auxiliary verb.
She already arrived. (NOT She arrived already.)
She has already arrived. (NOT She already has arrived.)
I have already finished.
Have you already finished?
Yet usually goes at the end of a clause. It can also go immediately after not.
Dont eat those mangoes they are not ripe yet. OR Dont eat those
mangoes they are not yet ripe.

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All and whole
All and whole have similar meanings. They can both be used with singular nouns
to mean complete. The word order is different.
He lived all his life in Africa. OR He lived all of his life in Africa. (Word
order: all (of) + determiner + noun)
He lived his whole life in Africa. (Word order: determiner + whole +
noun)
I spent the whole day in bed.
I spent all (of) the day in bed.
Differences between all and whole
We do not normally use all before indefinite articles (a/an).
You have eaten a whole loaf. (NOT You have eaten all a loaf.)
I learned a whole lesson in ten minutes. (NOT I learned all a lesson in
two minutes.)
She wrote a whole novel in two weeks.
We do not usually use whole with uncountable nouns.
The cat has drunk all the milk. (More natural than The cat has drunk the
whole milk.)
Whole and whole of
Before proper nouns and pronouns, we use the whole of.
The whole of Paris was talking about her affairs. (NOT Whole Paris was
talking about her affairs.)
Along
The preposition along means from 'one end to the other end of'. It is used
with nouns referring to things with a long thin shape like roads, river, line etc.
He walked along the road. (He walked from one end of the road to the
other, not from one side of the road to the other.)
A lot of, lots of, plenty of, a great deal of etc.
These expressions have similar meanings to the determiners much, many and
most, but the grammar is not quite the same. Of is used after these expressions
even before nouns with no determiner.
Compare:
Plenty of shops open on Sunday mornings. (NOT Plenty shops )
Many shops open on Sunday mornings. (NOT Many of shops )
There is not a lot of rice left. (NOT There is not a lot rice left.)
There is not much rice left. (NOT There is not much of rice left.)
A lot of and lots of
These are rather informal. There is not much difference between a lot of and
lots of. They are both used mainly before singular uncountable and plural nouns,
and before pronouns. When a lot of/lots of is used before a plural subject, the
verb is plural.

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A lot of my friends live abroad.
Lots of time is needed to learn a language.
Plenty of
Plenty of means enough and more. It is used before singular uncountable and
plural nouns.
There is plenty of time.
Plenty of shops accept credit cards.
A large amount of, a great deal of and a large number of
These expressions are rather formal. A large amount of and a great deal of
are generally used before uncountable nouns.
She has spent a great deal of time in Europe.
A large number of is used before plural nouns. The following verb is plural.
A large number of issues still need to be addressed.
All ready and already
All ready means fully prepared.
We are all ready to leave.
Are you all ready? No, John isnt.
Already is an adverb of time, meaning by now, sooner than expected.
When is Jane coming? She has already arrived.
They have already left.
Also
USING ALSO
Also is an adverb. It is used for adding another fact or idea to what you have
already said.
Mary writes excellent short stories. She also likes to paint.
Bill Gates is one of the richest men in the world. He is also a great
philanthropist.
My brother is a good singer. He is also a great actor.
Coffee is a very popular beverage. It is also rich in antioxidants.
Also can also be used for showing that what you have just said about someone
or something is true about another person or thing.
John now works at the State Bank of India, where his father also worked
for thirty years.

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NOT ONLY...BUT ALSO
This is a relatively formal structure. When you use this structure dont forget to
put not only and but also before the words or expressions that they modify.
Also make sure that the structure is parallel.
He was not only a great singer but also an accomplished pianist.
I was not only upset but also angry.
He not only misbehaved with the servants but also broke the windows
and furniture.
Not only can be moved to the beginning of the sentence for emphasis. It is then
followed by auxiliary verb + subject. If there is no auxiliary verb, we use do /
does / did.
Not only did he misbehave with the servants, but he also broke the
windows and furniture. (NOT Not only he misbehaved with )
But can be left out in this case and then we separate the two clauses with a
semi-colon.
Not only did he misbehave with the servants; he also broke the
windows and furniture.
USING NOT ONLY ... BUT ALSO
Students often find it difficult to use the correlative conjunction not onlybut
also correctly.
When you use not onlybut also in a sentence, you have to ensure that not only
and but also go immediately before the words or expressions that they modify.
She is not only intelligent but also beautiful.
When using a correlative conjunction, both clauses have to be parallel. That
means you have to use them before two nouns, two adjectives, two verbs etc.
Study the following examples.
They need not only food but also shelter. (Here we use nouns (food and
shelter) after not only and but also.)
She is not only rich but also generous. (Here we use adjectives (rich and
generous) after not only and but also.)
My uncle not only brought me to the city but also found a good job for
me. (Here we use verb phrases after not only and but also.)
Not only can go at the beginning of a sentence. In this case, it is followed by
auxiliary verb + subject. If there is no other auxiliary verb, we use do. But can
be left out in this case.
Not only did my uncle bring me to the city, but he also found a good job for
me.
OR
Not only did my uncle bring me to the city; he also found a good job for me.
Not only is Jack working at a pub, but he is also doing his graduation.
OR
Not only is Jack working at a pub; he is also doing his graduation.
Not only is Susan going to England, but she is also going to France.
OR
Not only is Susan going to England; she is also going to France.
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Not only ... but also ...
Not only and but also normally go immediately before the words or expressions
that they modify.
The place was not only good, but also safe.
She is not only a good wife, but also a good mother.
She speaks not only English, but also French.
Mid position with verb is also possible.
She not only speaks English, but also French.
For emphasis not only can be moved to the beginning of a clause. Note that we
use the inverted word order 'not only + auxiliary verb + subject'. But can be left
out in some cases.
She was not only sad, but also angry.
Not only was she sad; she was also angry.
They not only need food, but also shelter.
Not only do they need food, but they also need shelter.
Not only do they need food; they also need shelter.
As well as
As well as has a similar meaning to not only but also.
She is clever as well as beautiful. (= She is not only beautiful, but also
clever.)
Note that as well as introduces information which is already known to the
listener/ reader; the rest of the sentence gives new information.
Verbs after as well as
When we put a verb after as well as, we most often use the ing form.
He hurt his arm, as well as breaking his leg. (NOT as well as broke his
leg.)
If there is an infinitive in the main clause, an infinitive without to is possible
after as well as.
I have to clean the floors as well as cook the food.
Subjects
It is possible to connect two subjects with as well as. If the first subject is
singular, the verb is usually singular.
Mary, as well as Ann, was delighted to hear the news.
Fisher Investments, as well as other financial firms, help people with
advice on their investments.
But note that this is not a common structure. It is more normal to put as well as
after the main clause. This almost always happens with pronoun subjects.
Mary was delighted to hear the news as well as Ann.
He is rich as well as me. (NOT He, as well as I/me, is rich.)

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USING AS WELL AS
As well as means in addition to.
As well as means in addition to.
He is strong as well as courageous.
We can express the same idea in several other ways.
He is both strong and courageous.
He is not only courageous but also strong.
In addition to being courageous, he is strong.
As well as can be used in the following structure:
As well as + noun + clause / phrase
Our team played as well as theirs but missed many attempts on goal.
When we put a verb after as well as, we usually use an ing form.
As well as verbally abusing his wife, he hit her. (= He not only hit his
wife, but also abused her verbally.) (NOT As well as he verbally abused his
wife, he hit her.)
He acted in the play as well as directing it. (= He not only directed the
play, but also acted in it.)
If the main clause has an infinitive clause, an infinitive without tois possible in
the clause introduced by as well as.
I have to cook breakfast as well as get the kids ready for school.
Note the difference between the following structures.
She sings as well as writing plays. (= She not only sings but also writes
plays.)
She sings as well as she writes plays. (= Her writing is as good as her
singing.)
Also, as well and too
Also means 'besides', 'as well', 'too' and similar ideas. It normally goes in mid
position with the verb. It is placed after auxiliary verbs and before other verbs.
He got his article published. He also won an award.
She is a doctor. Her husband is also a doctor.
When they withdraw their forces, we shall also withdraw ours.
When also refers to the whole clause, it goes at the beginning.
I am not about to buy this house. It is small. Also, it needs a lot of
repairs.
ALSO, AS WELL AND TOO
Also, as well and too have similar meanings. But they go in different
positions in clauses.

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As well and too usually go at the end of a clause.
She not only sings; she also plays the piano.
She not only sings; she plays the piano as well.
She not only sings; she plays the piano too.
We do not normally use also in short answers and imperatives. Instead we use
as well and too.
'I have a headache.' 'I have too.' (BUT NOT I also have.)
In an informal style we use 'me too', instead of I am too.
'I am going home.' 'Me too.' (More natural than 'I am too.')
ANY
Any is a determiner. It suggests an indefinite quantity or number. It is used
when it is not important to say how much/many we are thinking of.
Is there any water in the bottle?
Have you got any friends?
Have they got any children?
Any is often used in questions and negative clauses, and in other cases where
there is an idea of doubt or negation.
Are there any witnesses?
Do you need any help?
I haven't got any money.
I have hardly any food in the larder.
You never give me any help.
Any is also common after if
If you need any help, let me know.
Any, no, not any
Note that any alone does not have a negative meaning. It is negative only when
it is used with not.
See that you don't do any damage. (NOT See that you do any damage.)
No means the same as not any, but is more emphatic.
He has got no friends. (More emphatic than He hasnt got any friends.)
Any and Any of
Before a pronoun or a noun with a determiner (the, this, my, your etc.) we use
any of.
Do any of these books belong to you?
I don't think any of us want to work tomorrow.
She doesn't like any of my friends.
Note that when any of is followed by a plural subject, the verb can be singular
or plural.
If any of your friends is interested, let us know. (formal)
If any of your friends are interested, let us know. (informal)
Any with singular countable nouns

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Any is the plural equivalent of a/an. It is often used before plural and
uncountable nouns.
They recently bought a new car.
Have they got any cars?
But note that any can be used before a singular countable noun with the
meaning of it doesn't matter who/which/what.
Can you recite any poem by heart?
Do you know any cardiologist here?
With this meaning any is common in affirmative clauses as well.
Come any day you like.
There is some risk in any project.
BESIDES, EXCEPT AND APART FROM
Besides means as well, in addition to.
Besides the violin, he plays the piano and the flute.
Except, means not including.
They were all tired except John.
That was a good essay except for a few spelling mistakes.
Apart from can be used in both senses.
Apart from the violin, he plays the piano and the flute. (= Besides the
violin, )
That was a good essay apart from a few spelling mistakes.
After no, nobody, nothing and similar negative words, the three words can all
have the same meaning.
He has nothing besides/except/apart from his salary
Alternate and alternative
These words are often confused. If you have meetings on Mondays, Wednesdays,
Fridays and Sundays, you can say that you have meetings on alternate days.
Alternate means every other or every second.
While pronouncing this word, put the stress on the first syllable al.
I play cricket on alternate days.
I see him on alternate days.
I water the plants on alternate days.
It would be nice if he had to work only on alternate days.
Alternately is an adverb. If something takes place alternately, then it takes place in
turns.
She would cry and laugh alternately.
It would rain and shine alternately.
Im alternately happy and sad.

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Alternative and alternatively
An alternative is a choice between two or more things.
Trains are late and overcrowded. An alternative option is to take the bus.
I had to obey. There was no alternative.
Alternative can also be an adjective. In this case, it means different or instead.
If this plan doesnt work out, we will have to find an alternative one.
Rahul is not free on Monday. We will have to find an alternative date for the
conference.
Alternatively is an adverb.
You could wait till Rohit comes, or alternatively you could go without him.
Alternately and alternatively
Alternate(ly) means 'every second'.
We meet on alternate days.
Alternative(ly) means 'the other option'.
I had to go, there was no other alternative.
Although and though
There is little difference between although and though. They are both subordinating
conjunctions used to join two clauses together. Though is more common in informal
speech and writing.
Though I wasnt feeling well, I decided to go out.
Although I wasnt feeling well, I decided to go out.
I decided to go out though / although I wasnt feeling well.
Clauses introduced by though / although can go at the beginning or at the end
of a sentence. When they go at the beginning, we usually separate them from
the rest of the sentence with a comma.
More examples are given below.
Though / although she is poor she is honest.
I would like to go out although / though it is a bit cold.
Note that we can express these ideas using but.
I wasnt feeling well but I decided to go out.
She is poor but she is honest.
It is a bit cold but I would like to go out.
Even though
Though can be used with even. Although is not possible in this case.
I will go even though you tell me not to. (NOT I will go even although)
Even though I didnt know anybody at the party, I had a nice time.


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Amount and number
We use amount to refer to quantities that cannot be counted or cannot be
expressed in terms of a single number.
Repairing the roof took a great amount of work.
Number is used for quantities that can be counted.
We saw a large number of deer at the zoo.
And
And is used to join two or more grammatically similar expressions.
bread and butter
black and white
knife and fork
When two clauses are joined by and, there are many possible relationships
between them time, cause and effect, contrast, condition etc.
Peter took out his pen and began to make notes. (time)
Do that again and I will hit you. (condition: = If you do that again )
She won the prize and astonished them all. (cause and effect)
Adjectives before a noun
We do not usually use and between adjectives used before a noun.
She has lovely long fingers. (NOT She has lovely and long fingers.)
However, and is used when the adjectives refer to different parts of the same
thing.
green and white socks
And after try, be sure etc.
We often use try and/be sure and instead of try to/be sure to This is
informal.
I try and visit her often. (= I try to visit)
Be sure and ask him about his new projects. (= Be sure to ask him about
)
Note that we only use this structure with the simple base forms try/be sure. It
is not possible with tries, tried, trying or am/is/are/was/were sure.
Compare
Try and eat something.
I tried to eat something. (NOT I tried and ate something.)
Another
Another can mean 'one more of the same kind'. It is used with singular
countable nouns.
We need another person to finish the work. (= We need one more person
to finish the work.)
He has bought another car.
Could I have another cup of coffee?

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With uncountable and plural nouns, we normally use 'more', not another .
Would you like some more milk? (NOT another milk)
However, another can be used before a plural noun in expressions with few or a
number.
We will wait for another few days.
Another can also mean 'one that is different'.
I think we should paint it another colour.
Anyhow and somehow
These expressions are often confused by ESL students.
Use anyhow to mean in disorder. Anyhow can also mean for certain.
Somehow means in some way or by some means. It can also be used to refer
to a reason that is not known or specified.
Incorrect: He did it anyhow.
Correct: He managed to do it somehow.
Incorrect: He keeps his things somehow in his desk.
Correct: He keeps his things anyhow in his desk. (= He keeps his things
in disorder.)
Incorrect: He may not come but somehow I shall.
Correct: He may not come but anyhow I shall. (= I will certainly come.)
Incorrect: He hadnt prepared for the test, but anyhow he passed.
Correct: He hadnt prepared for the test, but somehow he passed.
Appear
Appear can be used as a copular verb. It is used to say how things look. It is
used in similar ways to seem.
She appeared mighty pleased.
He appears (to be) angry today.
They do not appear to be happy.
There appears to be some misunderstanding between them.
The thieves appear to have left the city.
When appear is used as a copular verb, it is followed by an adjective, not an
adverb.
She appears to be angry. (NOT angrily)
Appear can also be used as a non-copular verb. It then means 'come into sight',
or 'arrive'. In this case it is used with an adverb, not an adjective.
She suddenly appeared in the doorway.

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Appositive phrases
An appositive is anoun or pronoun that renames another noun or pronoun.
Appositives are placed directly after the noun or pronoun they identify.
She, my sister, is always late. (The appositive my sister
renamesshe.)
Smarty, my cat, understands my moods. (The appositive my cat
renames Smarty.
Appositive Phrases
Appositive phrases are nouns or pronouns with modifiers. They provide
additional information and description to the sentence. As with solitary
appositives, appositive phrases are placed near the noun or pronoun they
describe. For example:
Columbia University, the second-largest landowner in New York City,
is part of the Ivy League.
Stalin, the dictator of Russia, had talks with Roosevelt, the President
of the United States.
Paradise Lost, the great epic poem in English, was written by Milton.
As with appositives, appositive phrases come in two varieties: essential and
nonessential. Don't set off essential appositives with commas, but be sure to
set off nonessential appositives with commas.
Compare:
The famous British mystery writer Agatha Christie disappeared in 1924
and was missing for 10 days. (Essential appositive)
Agatha Christie, the famous British mystery writer, disappeared in
1924 and was missing for 10 days. (Nonessential appositive)
Around
Around/round indicates movement or position in a circle or a curve.
They sat around the fire.
She walked around the house.
British people also use around to talk about going to all or most parts of a place,
or giving things to everybody in a group.
We walked around the town. (=We went to almost all parts of the town.)
Could you pass the cups around, please?
Around and about
Around and about can both be used to mean 'here and there', 'some where in',
'in most parts of' or similar ideas. They don't suggest a definite or clear
movement or position.
Children usually rush about/around .
The prince went riding about/around the country.
Where is Peter? He must be somewhere around/about.
Around/about can also mean approximately.
She earns around/about $300 a month.
Around/about fifty people were present at the meeting.
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As, since, because and for
As can be used to refer to the reason for something. This is particularly common
when the reason is already known to the listener/reader, or when it is not the
most important part of the sentence.
As he wasn't ready, we went without him.
As-clauses often come at the beginning of sentences. They are relatively
formal. In an informal style, the same ideas are often expressed with so.
He wasn't ready, so we went without him.
She wanted to pass, so she decided to study well.
As and since
As and since can both be used to refer to the reason for something. They are
used in the same way.
As he wasn't ready, we went without him.
Since she wanted to pass her exam, she decided to study well.
Since- and as-clauses cannot stand alone.
Because
Because often introduces new information which is not known to the
listener/reader. It puts more emphasis on the reason. When the reason is the
most important part of the sentence, the because-clause usually comes at the
end.
We had dinner after ten o' clock because dad arrived late.
He bought a new home because he won a lottery.
I read because I like reading.
A because-clause can stand alone.
Why are you crying? Because John hit me.
For
We use a for-clause when we introduce new information. A for-clause often
expresses an inference. It cannot come at the beginning. It cannot stand alone
either.
I decided to consult a doctor for I was feeling bad.
Something certainly fell ill; for I heard a splash.
All precautions must have been neglected, for the epidemic spread
rapidly.
As if and as though
As if and as though mean the same. They are used to say what a situation
seems like.
It looks as if/as though it is going to rain.
Tenses
To show that a comparison is unreal, we use a past tense with a present
meaning after as if/as though.
She looks as if/as though she is rich. (Perhaps she is rich.)
She looks as if/as though she was rich. (She is not rich.)

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In a formal style, were can be used instead of was to show that a comparison is
unreal.
She looks as if she were rich.
Note that we do not use a past perfect for a past unreal comparison.
She looked as if she was rich, but she wasnt. (NOT as if she had been
rich.
In an informal style, like is often used instead of as if/as though.This is
common in American English.
It looks like it is going to rain.
Ask and ask for
Ask is used without for to ask somebody to tell something.
Don't ask him his age.
Ask for is used to ask somebody to give something.
Dont ask me for money.
Ask can be followed by an object.
Ask him.
When ask is followed by two objects, the indirect object (the person) usually
comes first.
Ask him his name. (NOT Ask his name to him.)
Infinitive structures after ask
Ask can be followed by an infinitive.
I asked to leave. (= I asked permission to leave.)
Ask + object + infinitive is also possible.
I asked him to leave. (= I wanted him to leave.)
As, when and while
When, while and as can be used to talk about actions or situations that take
place at the same time. There are some differences.
WHEN AND WHILE
We can use when and while to introduce a longer background action or
situation, which is/was going on when something else happens/happened. Note
that we usually use a continuous tense for the longer background action or
situation.
When- and while-clauses can go at the beginning or end of sentences.
I was having a bath when the telephone rang. OR When the
telephone rang I was having a bath.
While they were having a nap, somebody broke into the house.
I was working on that report when Sam called.
She was waiting for a bus when the accident occurred.
Cathy broke her arm while she was playing in the garden.
When can mean at the same time as something else.
I always wear gloves when I wash clothes.
She always takes her cellphone when she goes out.

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When is used to refer to ages and periods of life. As and while are not possible
in this.
His parents died when he was ten.
I was eighteen when I got my driving license.
She was twenty-one when she got married.
WHILE
While is used to say that two longer actions or situations go/went on at the
same time. We can use progressive or simple tenses.
While he was watching TV, I was working.
He slept while I cooked supper.
You can do the dishes while she cooks dinner.
While she was in Australia, she met a rich businessman and fell in love
with him.
I acquired a strong Canadian accent, while I was holidaying in Toronto.
I sprained my ankle while I was playing football.
REDUCED CLAUSES
It is often possible to drop subject + be after when and while.
Start when ready. (= Start when you are ready.)
While in Australia, we saw many kangaroos. (= While we were in
Australia, we saw many kangaroos.)
I hurt my back, while lifting that box. (= I hurt my back, while I was
lifting that box.)
While in Rome, do as Romans do. (= While you are in Rome, do as
Romans do.)
I learned French, while working in France. (= I learned French, while I
was working in France.)
As
To talk about two short actions or situations that happen/happened at the same
time, we usually use as. When is also possible.
As I opened my eyes, I saw a strange sight. OR When I opened my eyes,
I saw a strange sight.
As can also be used to talk about two situations that develop together. We
normally use simple tenses.
As I get older, I get more optimistic.
As he came into the room, all rose to their feet.
As can be used to introduce a longer background action or situation.
As I was driving do


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At
At is a word used to show the place, direction, time or manner of something.
He works at the market.
We live at home.
Throw the ball at the stumps.
We have breakfast at eight.
She ran at top speed.
After some verbs, at is used to indicate the target of a perception or non-verbal
communication. Common examples are look, smile, wave, frown, point.
The child looked at its mother.
Why are you looking at her like that?
She smiled at me.
At is also used after some verbs referring to attacks or aggressive behaviour.
Common examples are shoot, laugh, throw and shout.
Why are you shouting at me?
Stop throwing stones at the cat.
PLACE
At is used to talk about position at a point.
It is very hot at the centre of the earth.
He works at the market.
Sometimes we use at with a larger place, if we think of this as a stage on a
journey or a meeting place.
The plane stops for an hour at Chennai.
Let us meet at the club.
At is particularly common with proper names used for buildings or organizations.
I first met your father at Harrods.
She works at the State Bank of India.
She was educated at Oxford.
We generally use at to talk about addresses.
Are you still at the same address?
She lives at 73 Albert Street.
At can be used with a possessive to mean at somebodys house or shop.
You are always at the hairdressers.
At is also used before the names of group activities.
At a party
At a meeting
At a concert
At a lecture
At a match

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TIME
We use at with clock times.
I usually get up at six o clock.
I will meet you at 4.15.
We have breakfast at nine.
Phone me at lunch time.
At night means during any night.
I often work at night.
We use at to talk about the whole of the holidays at Christmas, New Year, Easter
and Thanksgiving.
We are having the roof repaired at Easter.
Back and again
BACK
Back is an adverb particle. With a verb, back suggests a return to an earlier
situation or a movement in the opposite direction.
Give me my money back.
If you are not satisfied with this product, you can bring it back.
Note that back usually goes between the verb and its object, unless this object
is a pronoun. It is also possible to put back after the object.
Take back your money. (OR Take your money back.)
With a verb, again suggests repetition.
It was a lovely song. Would you play it again?
Again goes after a verb and its object.
WITH ADVERB PARTICLES
With adverb particles and prepositional phrases, both back and again can be
used to suggest a return to an earlier situation.
Go to sleep again. (OR Go back to sleep.)
I will be back in the office on Monday. (OR I will be in the office again on
Monday.)
Note that ring back and call back can be used to mean both return a phone
call and repeat a phone call.


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Bath and bathe
BATH
Forms: bath / bathed / bathing
In British English, the verb bath is used to mean wash oneself.
Bath can also mean bathtub.
The verb bath is rather formal. It is normally used in the structure have a
bath or take a bath. Note that the phrase take a bath is common in both
British and American English. The phrase have a bath is usually only used in
British English.
The telephone rang while I was taking a bath. (GB / US)
The telephone rang while I was having a bath. (GB)
Bath can also be used with an object.
Can you bath the baby?
In American English, the verb bathe is used in this case.
Do you know how to bathe an infant?
BATHE
Forms: bathe / bathed / bathing
In British English, bathe means swim for pleasure. In a less formal style, we
use other expressions like have a swim or go for a swim.
We bathed in the sea. (= We went for a swim in the sea.)
In American English, bathe can mean take a bath.
People should bathe regularly. (= People should take a bath regularly.)
Note that to lie in the sun is to sunbathe, not sunbath.
Beat and win
The words beat and win are often confused.
Beat is usually followed by an object which refers to the person you are playing
or fighting against.
She always beats me at poker.
Although he tried hard, he couldnt beat his opponent.
She is one of the best athletes in the world. You arent going to beat her.
Win can also be followed by an object, but it usually refers to things like money
or prize. You can also win in a game, a race, a battle or an argument.
She won the first prize in the quiz competition.
She always wins when we play poker.








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Because and because of
Because means for the reason that. It is a conjunction. It is used at the
beginning of a clause.
Because of is a two-word preposition. It means by reason of, on account of. It
is used before a noun or a pronoun.
COMPARE:
We couldnt go out because it rained.
We couldnt go out because of the rain.
POSITION
Because and its clause can go either before or after the main clause.
I did it because he told me to do it.
Because he told me to do it, I did it.
Been
Been is often used as the past participle of come and go.
Have you ever been to Cairo? (= Have you ever visited Cairo?)
I have been to see my uncle. (= I have paid a visit to my uncle.)
Has the postman been yet? (= Has the postman called yet?)
Note that been is used for completed visits.
COMPARE:
The postman has already been. (= He has come and gone again.)
Where is John? He has gone to Cairo. (= He is in Cairo at the moment.)
Before
BEFORE AS AN ADVERB
Before, as an adverb, means already, in the past and similar ideas.
I have seen that film before.
Before can also mean at any time before the past moment that we are talking
about. In this case a past perfect tense is used.
She realized that she had seen him before.
We also use before after a time expression to count back from a past moment.
A past perfect tense is normally used. Note that to count back from the present,
we use ago, not before.
BEFORE AS A CONJUNCTION
The conjunction before is used to join one clause to another. Before and its
clause can come either before or after the other clause.
I will die before I surrender.
Before I surrender, I will die. (Note the comma in the second structure.)

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TENSES
In a clause with before, we use a present tense to refer to the future.
I will telephone you before I come. (NOT before I will come.)
To emphasise the idea of completion, we often use present and past perfect
tenses in before-clauses.
You cant go to bed before you have finished your homework.
In a formal style, we often use the structure before ing.
Please put out all lights before leaving the office.
BEFORE AS A PREPOSITION
The preposition before is normally used to refer to time.
I must get home before nine oclock.
Note that before can refer to place in a few cases:
a) to talk about the order in which people or things come in queues, lists etc.
Your name comes before mine on the list.
b) to mean in the presence of
He was brought before the judge.
Before and in front of
Before is used to refer to time. In front of is used to refer to place.
COMPARE:
I must reach home before 9 oclock.
She usually leaves for office before 8.30.
There is a garden in front of the house. (NOT There is a garden before
the house.)
You cant park in front of the gate. (NOT You cant park before the gate.)
In some cases before can refer to place. For example, we can use before to talk
about the order in which people or objects come in lists, queues etc.
Her name comes before mine in the list.
Adjectives usually go before the nouns that they modify.
Before can also mean in the presence of an important person.
He was brought before the magistrate.
We do not use in front of to talk about objects that are on the other side of the
road, river etc. This idea is usually expressed with opposite.
COMPARE:
There is a dispensary in front of my house. (Both my house and the
dispensary are on the same side of the road.)
There is a dispensary opposite my house. (The dispensary is on the other
side of the road from my house.)

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Begin and start
There is little or no difference between begin and start.
It is time to begin/start work.
When the sun came out, the snow began/started to melt.
CASES WHERE BEGIN IS NOT POSSIBLE
Start (but not begin) is used to mean:
a) start a journey
We started at six.
b) start working (for machines)
At last the car started.
c) make (machines) start
How do you start a computer?
Belong to, belong on and belong in
To belong is to be in the right place.
When youve finished, put the books where they belong. (= Put the books
in their right place.)
Do these plates belong here?
Now that I have lived in this city for several years, I feel that I belong
here. (= I am happy and comfortable in this city.)
BELONG TO
When something belongs to you it is your property.
These books arent mine. They belong to my brother.
Do these cassettes belong to you?
These books dont belong to me.
When you belong to a club or community, you are a member of that.
He belongs to a local football club. (= He is a member of a local football
club.)
She belongs to a minority community. (= She is a member of a minority
community.)
BELONG ON / IN
That lamp belongs on the desk. (= That lamp has its place on the desk.)
These students belong in a different group. (= These students have their
place in a different group.)
Those plates belong on the top shelf. (= Those plates fit on the top
shelf.)

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Below and under
The prepositions below and under can both mean lower than. But there are
some differences.
BELOW
Below is preferred when one thing is not directly under another.
When the sun sets, it sinks below the horizon.
Below is used in measurements of temperature and height, and in other cases
where we think of a vertical scale.
The temperature is 10 degrees below zero.
The Dead Sea is below sea level.
She is below average in intelligence.
UNDER
We prefer under when something is covered or hidden by what is over it.
I think the cat is under the bed.
The whole village was under water.
We usually use under, not below, to mean less than or younger than.
There were under fifty people at the meeting.
You cannot see this film if you are under 18.
Beside and besides
Beside is a preposition. It means at the side of, close to.
She sat beside her mother.
Beside can also mean compared with.
You are quite tall beside your sister.
BESIDES
Besides can be used as a preposition with a similar meaning to as well as.
Besides physics, we have to study chemistry and mathematics.
Besides can also be used as a discourse marker meaning also, as well. In this
case it goes at the beginning of a clause.
It is too late to go out now. Besides, it is starting to rain.
Between and among
We use between to say that somebody or something is between two or more
clearly separate objects.
The letter B comes between A and C.
The Mediterranean Sea is between Europe and Africa.
He shared his money between his wife, his daughter and his son.
We use between, not among, after difference.
What are the main differences between crows, rooks and pigeons?
AMONG
We use among when somebody/something is in a group or a mass of people or
things which we do not see separately.
The mother sat among her small children.
The rich merchant divided his property among his sons.
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Among can mean one of, some of or included in.
Among those present was the Mayor.
The Amazon is among the longest rivers in the world.
Between and during
The words between and during are often confused. During is used to say when
something happens.
We were in Switzerland during last summer.
I was unwell during the whole of last week.
He got injured during the match.
I learned some Italian during my stay in Italy.
Between is used to talk about intervals and time limits. Two events must be
mentioned if you want to use between.
England grew prosperous during Queen Victoria's reign. (NOT England
grew prosperous between Queen Victoria's reign.
Another example is given below.
The First World War was fought between 1914 18 (NOT The First
World War was fought during 1914 - 18.)
Between and from
A common mistake that is often noticed these days is the use of to after
between.
Incorrect: The interview will be held between 2 to 4pm.
Correct: The interview will be held between 2 and 4 pm.
Incorrect: The conference will take place between the 12th to the 18th of
this month.
Correct: The conference will take place between the 12th and the 18th
of this month.
Or else you can say:
The interview will be held from 2 to 4 pm.
The conference will take place from the 12th to the 18th of this month.
Between and from
A common mistake that is often noticed these days is the use of to after
between.
Incorrect: The interview will be held between 2 to 4pm.
Correct: The interview will be held between 2 and 4 pm.
Incorrect: The conference will take place between the 12th to the 18th of
this month.
Correct: The conference will take place between the 12th and the 18th
of this month.
Or else you can say:
The interview will be held from 2 to 4 pm.
The conference will take place from the 12th to the 18th of this month.

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Big, large and great
Big and large are used mostly with concrete nouns the names of things you
can see, touch etc.
They have a big/large house in the city.
Great is used mostly with abstract nouns - things you cannot see, touch etc.
It was a great mistake.
I have great respect for her ideas.
Big can be used with countable abstract nouns in an informal style. Large is not
used with abstract nouns.
You are making a big mistake. (NOT a large mistake.)
With uncountable concrete nouns, none of these words can be used.
You have got a lot of luggage. (NOT big/large/great luggage.)
Reference: Practical English Usage by Michael Swan Published By Oxford
University Press
A bit
A bit means a little. It is quite common in informal British English.
Can you move a bit? (= Can you move a little?)
Can you speak a bit louder? I cant hear you.
Will you wait a bit?
We were a bit late.
I was a bit worried.
I dont want to go out now. I am a bit tired.
The watch was a bit expensive; nonetheless I decided to buy it.
She is a bit old to wear those short skirts, isnt she?
We do not usually use a bit and a little with adjectives expressing positive
ideas.
COMPARE:
The film was a bit boring. (BUT NOT The film was a bit interesting.)
A BIT OF A
A bit of a means rather a. This expression is used before some nouns.
He is a bit of a fool.
I have got a bit of a problem.
Not a bit means not at all.
I am not a bit worried. (= I am not at all worried.)
Born and borne
The passive form of the verb born (be + born) is used to talk about coming into
the world at birth.
He was born to poor parents.
I was born on a Friday.
She was born in Italy.

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Note that to give somebodys place or date of birth, we use the simple past tense
form.
I was born in 1979. (NOT I am born in 1979.)
Borne is the past participle form of the verb bear. It is sometimes used to mean
give birth to or carry.
She has borne eight children. (= She has given birth to eight children.)
Both and both of
Both means 'the one and also the other of two persons/things etc'.
I want both books.
Both shirts are good.
BOTH AND BOTH OF
Before a noun with a determiner (the, this, my, your, those etc.)Both and both
of are both possible. In American English, both ofis common.
I want both (of) these books.
Before a personal pronoun we use both of. Note that both of is followed by the
object form of the pronoun.
Both of them are good.
Both of us want to go.
Note that both of us/you/them can be the subject or object of a clause.
She has invited both of us. (object)
Both of us have been invited. (subject)
Give my love to both of them. (object)
Both can be put after pronouns used as objects.
She has invited us both.
She has sent you both her love.
BOTH AND NEITHER
To mean 'none of the two', we use neither, not bothnot.
Neither of them came. (NOT Both of them did not come.)
We often drop the or a possessive after both.
You can take both shirts. (NOTboth the shirts.)
He lost both parents when he was a child. (NOT both his parents)
POSITION OF BOTH
When both refers to the subject of a clause, it can go with the verb. It is put
after auxiliary verbs and before other verbs. When there are two auxiliary verbs,
both usually goes after the first.
They are both good.
We both want to go.
We have both been invited.
They have both gone home.

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Note that these meanings can also be expressed by using the structure both
(of) + noun/pronoun.
Both of them are good.
Both of us want to go.
Both of us have been invited.
Both of them have gone home.
BOTH AND
The same kind of words or expressions usually follow both and and.
She is both beautiful and clever. (adjectives)
She both sings and dances. (verbs)
Bring and take
Bring is used when something is being moved towards the speaker.
Bring me that book.
Take is used when something is being moved away from the area of the speaker.
Take that paper with you.
I shall take my brother with me when I go.
Shall I take her a cup of tea in bed?
But
AS A CONJUNCTION
But, as a conjunction, is used to join contrasting ideas.
Their front door was open, but nobody was at home.
The rope was thin but it was strong.
He is hardworking, but not clever.
AS A PREPOSITION
But, as a preposition, can mean except after all, none, every, any, no etc.
They are all wrong but me! (= except me.)
All but you loved me for money. (= All except you loved me for money.)
Everybody came but John. (= Everybody came except John.)
The expression but for is used to express the idea of if something had not
existed/happened.
We should have enjoyed the journey but for the rain.
He would have helped us but for having no money himself. (except that
he had no money.)
After but we usually use object pronouns. Subject pronouns are also possible in
a formal style.
Nobody but him would do a thing like that. (More formal: Nobody but he
)
CANNOT BUT + INFINITIVE
Cannot but + infinitive or cannot help but + infinitive is often used with the
meaning of cant help ing.
I cannot but admire your courage (= I cannot help admiring your
courage.)
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BUT MEANING ONLY
But, as an adverb, can mean only. This is very unusual in modern English.
We can but try. (= We can only try.)
He is but a boy. (= He is only a boy.)
But, though, in spite of, despite
All of these words show contrast. But and though are conjunctions. They are
used to join two clauses together. In spite of and despite are prepositions.
They are followed by a noun or an ing form.
Read the following sentences.
Her performance was good. Still she did not win the first prize.
We can combine these two sentences into one in the following ways.
USING THOUGH
Though her performance was good, she did not win the first prize. OR
She did not win the first prize though her performance was good.
Note that though and its clause can come either before or after the main clause.
USING BUT
Her performance was good but she did not win the first prize.
We do not usually begin sentences with but.
USING IN SPITE OF AND DESPITE
In spite of her good performance, she did not win the first prize.
In spite of her performance being good, she did not win the first prize.
Despite her good performance, she did not win the first prize.
Despite is more formal than in spite of.
Another example is given below.
It was raining. Still we went out.
We can combine these two sentences in the following ways.
Though it was raining, we went out.
It was raining but we went out.
We went out in spite of the rain.
We went out despite the rain.
I had a headache. Still I enjoyed the film.
We can combine these two sentences into one.
Though I had a headache, I enjoyed the film.
I had a headache but I enjoyed the film.
In spite of having a headache, I enjoyed the film.
Despite having a headache, I enjoyed the film.

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By and with
By and with can both be used to say how somebody does something, but there
is an important difference. By refers to the method; with refers to the tool.
He killed the spider by hitting it. (method)
He killed the spider with a stone. (tool)
In passive clauses, by introduces the agent the person or thing that does the
action.
She was knocked down by a car.
Can and be able to
Be able to often has the same meaning as can.
I am unable to/cant understand his motive.
He is able to/can support her.
Can is preferred in expression like can see, can hear etc. It is also used in the
sense of know how to?
I can knit. (More natural than I am able to knit.) (= I know how to knit.)
I can see a ship. (More natural than I am able to see a ship.)
Be able to is preferred in cases, where can/could is not grammatically
possible.
I might be able to help you. (NOT I might can help you.)
Someday scientists will be able to find a cure for cancer. (NOT Someday
scientists will can find )
Can and could
We use can to say whether situations and events are possible theoretically.
Glass can be blown.
Can gases freeze?
We use could to talk about past possibility.
It was a place where anything could happen.
CASES WHERE CAN IS NOT USED
We do not use can to talk about the chances that something will happen in
future. We express this idea with may, might or could. Note that could
suggests a less definite possibility than that is implied by may or might.
COMPARE:
There may/might be a strike next week. (Future probability) (NOT There
can be a strike )
Strikes can happen any time. (Theoretical possibility)
It could rain later this evening. (Less definite future possibility) (NOT It
can rain later this evening.)
CASES WHERE CAN IS USED
We use can in questions and negative sentences, to talk about the logical
possibility that something is true or that something is happening.
There is the doorbell. Who can it be? Well, it cant be the postman.
He has already been.

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Note that can is not usually possible in affirmative sentences with this meaning.
Instead, we use could, may or might.
Where is Jane? She could/may/might be at Joes place. (NOT She can
be )
But can is possible in affirmative sentences with words like only, hardly, never
etc. Can only means must.
Who can it be at the door? It can only be the postman. (= It must be
the postman.)
Care
I don't care what happens.
You have put on a lot of weight. I don't care.
Before an object, we use care about. But note that about is usually dropped
before a question word or a conjunction.
She never cared about her appearance.
I don't care about your opinion.
I don't care how much it costs. (NOT I don't care about how much it
costs.)
I don't care whether it rains or not. (NOT I don't care about whether it
...)
COULDN'T CARE LESS
I couldn't care less means I don't care at all.
She is really upset with you. I couldn't care less.
CARE FOR
Care for means have a liking for.
I really care for you, dear. (= I am really font of you, dear.)
Would you care for a cup of coffee? (= Would you like a cup of coffee?)
CARE TO
Care to can mean be willing to.
Would you care to go for a walk?
TAKE CARE OF
Take care of means look after.
Nurses take care of sick people in hospital.
Take care means be on the watch.
Take care when you are crossing the road.
Take care is also used as a formula when saying goodbye.
Bye Ann. By Peter. Take care.
Change
Change is used with a plural object when we talk about changing one thing for
another.
I have just changed jobs.
Will I have to change trains?
You must change the batteries regularly.
Could you change the sheets in the guest room?
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Change of tenses
The first verb in a sentence establishes the tense of any verb that comes later. If
you begin writing in the past, dont change to the present. Similarly, if you begin
writing in the present, dont change to the past.
Incorrect: In the story, the king loses his kingdom, but he regained
everything in the end.
Correct: In the story, the king loses his kingdom, but he regains
everything in the end.
Incorrect: The team won yesterday, but goes and loses this afternoon.
Correct: The team won yesterday, but went and lost this afternoon.
Visit this document to learn more about the sequence of tenses.
Close and shut can often be used with the same meaning.
She closed/shut her eyes against the light.
All the shops were closed/shut, so I couldn't buy anything.
The shop closes/shuts at seven oclock.
Could you close/shut the windows, please?
Close/shut your eyes - I have a surprise for you.
The past participles closed and shut can be used as adjectives.
The shop is closed/shut on Sundays.
Note that the past participle shut cannot be used before a noun. We can say a
closed shop or door, but not a shut shop or door.
CASES WHERE CLOSE IS PREFERRED
We prefer close for slow movements.
COMPARE:
As we watched, he closed his eyes for the last time.
Shut your mouth.
Close and shut
Close and shut can often be used with the same meaning.
She closed/shut her eyes against the light.
All the shops were closed/shut, so I couldn't buy anything.
The shop closes/shuts at seven oclock.
Could you close/shut the windows, please?
Close/shut your eyes - I have a surprise for you.
The past participles closed and shut can be used as adjectives.
The shop is closed/shut on Sundays.
Note that the past participle shut cannot be used before a noun. We can say a
closed shop or door, but not a shut shop or door.
CASES WHERE CLOSE IS PREFERRED
We prefer close for slow movements.
COMPARE:
As we watched, he closed his eyes for the last time.
Shut your mouth.
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Cloth and clothes
Cloth is the material used for making clothes. Examples are wool, cotton, silk
etc. Clothes means garments - things you wear on your body.
Her clothes are all made of expensive cloth.
Woolen clothes are the best in summer.
Clothes has no singular. We say an article/ a piece of clothing, but not a
cloth.
I must buy a piece of clothing. I have nothing to wear.
Come and go
We use come for movements nearer to the position of the speaker or a point (in
space or time) or a result.
Come here.
Come to me.
They came at six oclock.
We argued till we came to blows.
Come can also mean arrive.
The visitors havent come yet.
We use go for movements to other places.
Where are you going?
I want to go now.
Come from is used to say where peoples home are or were.
She comes from Wales, but her husband is Scottish.
COME TRUE
Come true means 'become real, become a fact'.
It was like a dream come true.
I will make all your dreams come true.
I had always dreamt of becoming a millionaire, but I never thought it
would come true.
COME WHAT MAY
Come what may means 'whatever happens'.
Come what may, I will never let you out of my sight again.
COME TO
Come to can mean 'happen to'.
How did you come to hear of it?
Come + infinitive can also be used to talk about changes in attitude or opinion.
You will come to regret your decision.
HOW COME
This structure is used to ask the reason for something.
How come you never told me? (= Why didn't you tell me?)

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Comparative and superlative
The comparative (e.g. taller, sharper, stronger, heavier, shorter etc.) is used to
compare one person or thing with another person or thing.
John is taller than Peter.
Alice is cleverer than Mary.
The superlative (e.g. tallest, sharpest, strongest, heaviest, shortest etc.) is used
to compare somebody or something with the whole group to which she/he/it
belongs.
John is the tallest boy in the class.
Alice is the prettiest of the four girls.
He is the best player in the team.
When a group has only two members, we prefer the comparative to the
superlative.
Incorrect: Take the shortest of the two routes.
Correct: Take the shorter of the two routes.
Incorrect: She is the prettiest of the two sisters.
Correct: She is the prettier of the two sisters.
Comparatives - a common error
In comparative sentences be careful to compare the same part of two things.
That of, these of and those of are necessary words that are often omitted.
Incorrect: His teaching was like Jesus Christ.
Correct: His teaching was like that of Jesus Christ.
Incorrect: The size of the shoe must be the same as this shoe.
Correct: The size of the shoe must be the same as that of this shoe.
Incorrect: My painting is better than my friend.
Correct: My painting is better than that of my friend. OR My painting is
better than my friends.
Incorrect: Her house is bigger than her friend.
Correct: Her house is bigger than that of her friend. OR Her house is
bigger than her friends house.
On the contrary
On the contrary is used to make a denial or contradiction more emphatic.
Have you already done it? On the contrary, I have only just begun.
If we want to give the other side of the question, we use on the other hand,
not on the contrary.
The job wasnt very interesting, but on the other hand it was well paid.
Cool down and cool off
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COOL DOWN AND COOL OFF
There is little difference between the expressions cool down and cool off. When
things cool down / cool off, their temperature drops a bit.
When your interest in something / someone cools down / off, you become less
enthusiastic about it / them.
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Before he even realized it, his interest in his masters daughter cooled
off.
My father always knew that my interest in horse racing would soon cool
down.
Cool down and cool off can also be used to talk about becoming less angry.
It took him quite some time to cool off.
There is no point in talking to him when he is very angry. Let him cool
off.
Cool down. There is no point in getting angry.
Correlatives
When the correlatives either...or, neither...nor, both...and, not only...but also
are used, you must see that they are placed before words of the same part of
speech.
Read the sentence given below.
The car either dashed against a dog or a goat. (verb-noun)
This is a bad construction because either is followed by a verb (dashed) and or is
followed by a noun (goat). It has to be rewritten as:
The car dashed against either a dog or a goat. (noun-noun)
Another example is given below.
Neither he would eat nor allow us to eat. (noun-verb)
This is an incorrect construction because here neither is followed by a pronoun
(he) and nor is followed by a verb (allow). The sentence needs to be rewritten
as:
He would neither eat nor allow us to eat. (verb-verb)
More examples are given below.
Incorrect: Neither he smokes nor drinks. (noun-verb)
Correct: He neither smokes nor drinks. (verb-verb)
Incorrect: She sings not only well but also plays many musical
instruments. (adverb verb)
Correct: She not only sings well but also plays many musical
instruments. (verb-verb)
Incorrect: She is not only a great singer but also writes amazing
stories.
Correct: She is not only a great singer but also an amazing writer.
OR She not only sings well, but also writes amazing stories.
Could have + past participle
The structure could have + past participle is used to say that somebody was
capable of doing something, but didnt try to do it.
He could have become the President if he had contested the election.
I was so angry I could have killed him.
I could have married her if I had wanted to.
She could have won the race if she had run a bit faster.

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This structure can also be used to criticize people for not doing things.
You could have asked me before using my computer.
You could have finished that project before starting another.
You could have locked the door before going out.
He could have consulted his doctor before taking that drug.
Dare
Dare can be used in two ways: as an ordinary verb and as an auxiliary verb.
DARE AS AN ORDINARY VERB
As an ordinary verb, dare is followed by the infinitive with to.
She doesnt dare to go out at night.
I dare you to hit me!
She didnt dare to tell him what had happened.
Note that the ordinary verb dare is more common in negative sentences.
The expressions You dare! and Dont you dare! are sometimes used to
discourage people from doing unwanted things.
Mummy can I draw a picture on the wall? You dare!
DARE AS AN AUXILIARY VERB
As an auxiliary verb, dare is followed by an infinitive without to. Questions and
negatives are made without do.
How dare you say that I am a liar?
Dare she tell him?
The expression I dare say is used in British English to mean I think probably or
I suppose.
He is not here yet, but I dare say he will come later. (= I think he will
probably come later.)
DARE + OBJECT + INFINITIVE
The expression I dare you + infinitive is used to challenge other people to do
frightening things.
I dare you to jump across the stream.
Dead and died
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DEAD AND DIED
Dead is an adjective.
A dead match
Mrs Fernandez is dead.
The telephone is dead.
Died is a verb. It is the past tense and past participle of the verb die.
She died in an accident.
So far 30 people have died in the explosion.

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Definite article or indefinite article - what to use?
In some situations, you can use either the indefinite article (a/an) or
thedefinite article (the). Note that there is a difference of meaning between the
two structures.
The definite article is used when you expect the listener to know the person
you are talking about. Perhaps that person is known to both the speaker and the
listener. It is also possible that he is a well-known personality.
Read the following sentence.
My sister is married to Uday, the playback singer.
In this case, you are talking about a well-known singer and that is why you use
article the.
Now compare this with the following sentence.
My sister is married to Uday, a singer.
In this case, you dont expect the listener to know who Uday is and thats why
you use the article a.
Tagore, the writer, was also a great painter. (Here we use the writer
because we are talking about a well-known personality.)
She introduced me to Aravind, a painter. (Here we use a painter
because we are talking about a person who is not that famous.)
Different
Different is an adjective. It can be modified by any and no, little and not much.
How is the patient doctor? No different.
His ideas are little different from those of his friends.
Quite different means completely different.
I thought you would be like your sister, but you are quite different.
Different can also be modified by very.
She is very different from her sister.
PREPOSITIONS AFTER DIFFERENT
From is generally used after different. To is also common in British English.
American football is very different from/to soccer.
After different, Americans use from or than.
American football is very different from/than soccer.
Double negatives
Never use a negative verb and a negative qualifier (e.g. nothing, hardly,
scarcely, nobody etc.) together.
Incorrect: I haven't nothing to prove.
Correct: I have nothing to prove. OR I havent got anything to prove.
Incorrect: Alice can't hardly wait until her birthday.
Correct: Alice can hardly wait for the holidays. OR Alice cant wait for
the holidays.
Incorrect: There wasn't nobody at the door. Correct: There was nobody
at the door. OR There wasnt anybody at the door.

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Note that nobody means the same as not anybody. In the same way, nothing
means the same as not anything.
Dress
The countable noun dress means the long outer garment worn by a woman or a
girl. It is used with the article a/an.
I have never seen her wearing a dress.
The uncountable noun dress means clothing or clothes. It is used mostly to talk
about special kinds of clothing (e.g. national dress, evening dress, battledress
etc.). Note that we do not use the article a/an.
He looks good in evening dress. (NOT in an evening dress.)
The verb dress can be used to talk about putting clothes on oneself or somebody
else. Undress is used for taking clothes off.
She takes hours to dress in the morning.
I am going to undress in front of the fire.
Get dressed in five minutes.
To say what somebody is/was wearing on a particular occasion, we can use the
form be dressed in.
She was dressed in orange pyjamas.
Due to and owing to
Due to and owing to both mean because of. Phrases beginning with
due/owing to are often separated from the rest of their sentence by a comma.
The flight was delayed, due/owing to bad weather.
The project has been cancelled, due/owing to lack of support.
Due to can be put after the verb be. Owing to cannot be used like this.
The delay was due to bad weather. (BUT NOT The delay was owing to
bad weather.)
A lot of your unhappiness is due to boredom.
My success is due to my education.
Due to, owing to, because of and on account of
Due to, owing to, on account of and because of are all prepositions with similar
meanings. They are followed by nouns or noun phrases.
Study the following examples:
The man was detained because of his suspicious behaviour.
The man was detained due to his suspicious behaviour.
The man was detained owing to his suspicious behaviour.
The man was detained on account of his suspicious behaviour.
As you can see all of these prepositions are usually interchangeable.
The jet was grounded because of / on account of / due to / owing to
engine trouble.
The match was cancelled due to / owing to / on account of / because
of bad weather.

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WITH PREPARATORY IT
All of these prepositions can be used with preparatory it.
It was because of / on account of / owing to / due to his hard work
that he succeeded in life.
It was due to / owing to / because of / on account of traffic
congestion that I missed my flight.
It was due to / owing to / because of / on account of illness that I
failed my test.
Some people believe that it is wrong to use owing to after it is/was.However,
this usage is also becoming acceptable now.
Due to, owing to and on account of are mainly used in a formal style. In a
less formal style, we prefer the conjunction because. Note that a conjunction
should be followed by a clause and not a noun.
The jet was grounded because it had engine trouble. (NOT The jet was
grounded because engine trouble.)
The match was cancelled because it rained.
He succeeded because he worked hard.
The man was detained because his behaviour was suspicious.
During
USING DURING
During is a preposition. It means throughout or for as long as something lasts.
For example, during the afternoon means throughout the afternoon or at
some time in the afternoon.
The sun shone during the whole match.
The band played during the afternoon.
During can also mean at some moment within a period of time.
It rained during the afternoon. (= It rained at some time in the
afternoon.)
He visited me during my stay in hospital.
I was in Australia during the summer for two weeks.
He had many painful experiences during his childhood.
I met some interesting people during my trip to Italy.
He visited us twice during his stay in Mumbai.
He had never met his father during his childhood.
During, in and for
During means from the beginning to the end of a particular period of time.
It rained during the night.
There was not even a whisper during the whole service.
During can also be used to talk about things that happened continuously or
several times between the beginning and the end of a period of time.
I used to visit him during my stay in Boston.
The baby woke up several times during the night.

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DURING AND FOR
During is used to say when something happens; for is used to say how long it
lasts.
It rained for three hours.
It rained during the night.
I was sleeping during the service.
The service lasted for more than three hours.
I don't remember the exact date, but it was during the winter.
DURING AND IN
We use both during and in to say that something happens inside a particular
period of time.
I woke up during/in the night.
It rained during/in the week.
We prefer during when we stress that we are talking about the whole of the
period. In cannot be used like this.
There was not even a whisper during the whole service. (NOT in the
whole service.)
We were on holiday during the whole of May.
Each
Each is a determiner. It is used before a singular noun.
Each new day is different.
EACH AND EACH OF
We use each of before a pronoun or a noun with a determiner (the, this, my,
your). Note that we use object pronouns (them, us etc.) after each of. The noun
or pronoun is plural.
They gave each of their four sons a watch.
Each of the four boys was given a gift.
The verb after each of is usually singular, but it can be plural in an informal
style.
Each of us has problems. (More formal)
Each of us have problems. (More informal)
WITH VERB
When each refers to the subject, it can go with a verb in mid-position. It is put
after auxiliary verbs and before other verbs. When there are two auxiliary verbs,
each usually goes after the first.
Note that these meanings can also be expressed by using the structure each
(of) + noun/pronoun.
The four boys each received a new watch. (= Each of the four boys
received a new watch.)
They have each been told. (= Each of them have been told.)

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POSITION WITH OBJECT
Each can be put after an object as part of a larger structure.
She kissed them each on the forehead. (= She kissed each of them on
the forehead.)
She sent them each a present. (= She sent each of them a present.)
EACH AND EVERY
Each is used to talk about two or more things. Every is used to talk about three
or more things. They are both used with singular nouns.
Each/every boy in the class passed the test. (NOT Each/every boys )
She had a child holding on to each hand. (NOT every hand.)
Each refers to everyone of a group taken separately or individually. Every refers
to all or each one of a group without exception.
Each book on that shelf belongs to my grandfather.
I have read every book on that shelf.
Every boy in the class passed the test.
The boys each received a gift.
Each other and one another
In modern English, each other and one another are normally used in the same
way.
We see each other/one another everyday. (= Each of us sees the other
everyday.)
They dont like each other/one another.
Both expressions have possessive forms.
They sat for hours listening to each others/one anothers tales.
Cases where each other is not used
Note that we do not use each other after meet, marry and similar.
They met in 1995. (NOT They met each other in 1995.)
They married in 1997. (NOT They married each other in 1997.)
Each and every
Each is used to talk about two or more people or things; every is used to talk
about three or more.
She had a child holding onto each hand. (NOT every hand.)
We prefer each when we are thinking of people or things separately. We prefer
every when we are thinking of people or things together.
Each boy in the class was given a present. (= one at a time)
Every boy in the class went on a picnic. (= all the boys or the whole
class)
Every, but not each, can be used with abstract nouns.
You have every reason to be happy. (NOT You have each reason to be
happy.)
Similarly every can be used with numbers.
Buses leave every ten minutes. (NOT each ten minutes.)

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East, eastern, south, southern etc
We prefer eastern, southern etc when we are talking about rather indefinite
areas, and east, south etc. for more clearly defined places.
The northern part of this country is hilly.
The west side of the house (NOT The western side )
Capital letters are used at the beginning of East, Eastern, South, Southern etc
when these come in official or well-established place names.
North Carolina
South Africa
Middle East
In other cases, adjectives and nouns normally begin with small letters.
The sun rises in the east.
There is a strong north wind.
In place names, the use of East, Eastern, North, Northern etc is often just a
matter of custom, with no real reason for the difference.
Compare:
North America
South Africa
Northern Hemisphere
Western Australia
Either
Either means one or the other of two. It is used before a singular noun.
There was a chair on either side of the fire-place.
Before a pronoun or a determiner (the, this, my, your etc.) we use either of.
The noun or pronoun after either of is plural.
I dont like either of them.
I dont like either of my grammar teachers.
The verb is usually singular, but it can be plural in an informal style.
Is either of them at home? (more formal)
Are either of them at home? (more informal)
Object pronouns after either of
We use object pronouns (them, us) after either of.
I dont like either of them. (NOT either of they.)
The pronoun referring back to either + noun/pronoun can be singular or
plural.
If either of the boys comes, tell him/them to wait.
After not
After mentioning a negative idea or fact, we can add another negative point by
using not either.
I dont like this one, and I dont like that one either. (= I dislike both of
them.)
Peter isnt here. John isnt here either.
I know you dont like me. I dont like you either.
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Either or
Either or is used to talk about a choice between two alternatives.
He must be either mad or drunk.
We must either go now or stay till the end.
Note that either introduces the first of two alternatives.
I dont speak either German or French.
You can have either tea or coffee.
Either and neither
Either means one or the other of two.
There are roses on either side of the door.
I dont like either of them.
Neither means not one and not the other of two.
I like neither of them.
Neither of my brothers can sing.
Both either and neither are used to talk about two people or things. To refer to
more than two people or things, any or none should be used.
You can have either of the two shirts.
You can have any of the three shirts.
You can have none of the three shirts. (NOT neither of the three
shirts.)
Elder and eldest
Elder and eldest can be used instead of older and oldest to talk about the
order of birth of the members of a family. Note that they are only used
attributively (before nouns).
My elder sister is an engineer. (NOT My older sister is an engineer.)
She is five years older than me. (NOT She is five years elder than me.)
Else
Else means other or more after:
Somebody, someone, something, somewhere; anybody/one/thing/where;
everybody/one/thing/where; nobody/one/thing/where; who, what, why, when,
where, how; whatever, whenever etc; little; much
What else have you got to do?
Would you like anything else?
I am sorry. I mistook you for somebody else.
Note that else comes immediately after the word it modifies.
Else has a possessive form elses.
You are wearing somebody elses coat.

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End and finish
These words have similar meanings, but there are some differences.
Finish + object
Finish is used to talk about getting to the end of something or completing an
activity.
Have you finished reading that novel?
You never let me finish a sentence.
Note that finish can be followed by an ing form.
End + object
End is used to talk about stopping or breaking something off.
I have decided to end our affair.
End cannot be followed by an ing form.
I decided to stop seeing her. (NOT I decided to end seeing her.)
Enjoy
Enjoy means 'get pleasure from'. It normally takes an object.
I enjoyed the party very much.
When we talk about having a good time, we use enjoy myself/yourself etc.
I really enjoyed myself when we went to Paris.
Enjoy can be followed by an ing form.
I dont enjoy looking after small children. (NOT I dont enjoy to look )
I enjoy swimming in the sea.
Enough
Enough is a degree modifier. When enough modifies an adjective/adverb, it
normally comes after the adjective/adverb.
Are you warm enough?
You are not old enough to become a grandmother.
But note that when enough modifies an adjective and noun together, it comes
before the adjective.
We havent got big enough chairs. (= We need bigger chairs enough
modifies big.)
We havent got enough big chairs. (= we need more big chairs enough
modifies big chairs.)
Enough + noun
Enough can be used before a noun phrase as a determiner.
Are you getting enough sleep?
There is enough room for everybody to sit down.
Before a pronoun or a noun with a determiner, we use enough of.
The exam was bad. I couldnt answer enough of the questions.
Enough of is also used after personal and geographical names.
I havent seen enough of Europe.

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Enough + infinitive
Enough can be followed by an infinitive.
You are not old enough to marry.
I havent got enough money to buy a car.
Infinitives can be introduced by for + noun/pronoun.
It is late enough for the children to go to bed.
Enough to
Enough to shows sufficiency and has a positive meaning.
He is strong enough to lift that box.
The boy is clever enough to understand this.
We are not rich enough to buy a car.
He was foolish enough to listen to her.
Tooto shows undesirable excess. It has a kind of negative meaning.
She was too tired to walk.
This is too good to be true.
The coffee is too hot for me to drink.
Note that She was too tired to walk means She was so tired that she could not
walk.
Especially and specially
Especially and specially can often be used with the same meaning.
The concert wasnt especially/specially good.
Especially means above all.
I read a lot, especially biographies.
The children are very noisy, especially when we have visitors.
Especially is used after a subject.
All my family loves films. My father, especially, watches as many films as
he can. (NOT Especially my father watches )
Specially means for a special purpose.
These clothes were specially made for me.
Even
USING EVEN
It is warm there, even in winter. (So you can be sure it will be very
warm there in summer.)
Even a child can understand this book. (Therefore you can be sure it is a
simple one.)
POSITION
Even most often goes in mid position (after auxiliary verbs and
is/am/are/was/were; before other verbs).
He is rude to everybody. He is even rude to the police. (NOT Even he is
or He even is )
It puzzled even the experts. (NOT It even puzzled or Even it puzzled
)
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Even goes at the beginning of a clause when it refers just to the subject.
Even a child can solve this problem.
It is also possible to put even before other words and expressions that we want
to emphasise.
I work every day, even on Sundays.
Not even is used to talk about a negative extreme.
He cant even write his own name.
EVEN IF AND EVEN THOUGH
We can use even before if and though.
I will go even if (though) you forbid me to.
EVEN SO
Even so means in spite of that, however.
The book is expensive, but even so you ought to buy it. (NOT even
though you ought to buy it.)
Ever
USING EVER
Ever means at any time. It is used mainly in questions.
Do you ever wish you were rich? (= at any time)
Have you ever been to England? (= at any time up to the present)
He has been unhappy ever since he left home. (= at all times)
EVER AND ALWAYS
Ever is not normally used to mean always.
I shall always remember you. (= NOT I shall ever )
But note that ever means always in a few expressions like forever, ever
since, ever after and Yours ever.
I will love you forever.
Yours ever. (ending a letter to an intimate friend)
USE
Ever is used mainly in questions. It is also possible in negative clauses, but
never is more common than not ever.
Have you ever seen a whale?
I dont ever want to talk to him again. (OR I never want to talk to him
again.)
Ever is also used after if and other words that express a negative idea (like
hardly or nobody)
Nobody ever visits them.
EVER IN AFFIRMATIVE CLAUSES
Ever is used in affirmative clauses after superlatives and only.
He is the oldest man ever to have climbed Everest.
She is the only woman ever to have won this award.

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EVER AND BEFORE
Ever and before can both be used to mean at any time in the past, but there is
a slight difference. Before refers to a present event, and asks whether it has
happened at another time; ever does not refer to a present event.
Have you been to England before? (The hearer is probably in England.)
Have you ever been to England? (The hearer is not in England.)
Every
USING EVERY
Every is a determiner. It is normally used before a singular noun.
I have read every book on that shelf. (NOT every books )
Every refers to all or each one of a group without exception.
Every boy in the class passed the test.
He enjoyed every minute of his holiday.
EVERY AND EVERY ONE OF
We use every one of before an object pronoun (us, them) or a determiner (the,
this, my). The pronoun or noun is plural, but a following verb is singular.
Every one of us wants to go.
Every one of the children was crying.
NOT EVERY
To negate every, we normally use not every.
Not every kind of bird can fly. (More natural than Every kind of bird
cannot fly.)
Not everybody was amused.
A pronoun or a possessive referring back to every can usually be either singular
(more formal) or plural (less formal).
Every one of them was told to bring his/her/their textbooks.
EVERY WITH PLURAL NOUNS
Every can be used to indicate regular intervals of space and time. It is then
followed by a plural noun.
Buses run every ten minutes. (That is six per hour)
Plant trees every twenty yards.
EACH AND EVERY
Each is used to talk about two or more persons or things. It refers to the
individual members of a group when their number is definite and limited.
She had a child holding on to each hand. (NOT every hand.)
Each of the six boys was given a prize.
Every is used to talk about more than two persons or things. It refers to the
whole group.
Every chair in the hall was occupied.
Every action of his has some motive behind it.

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Except and except for
Except means not including.
They were all tired except John.
EXCEPT AND EXCEPT FOR
After words like all, every, no, everything, anybody, nowhere, whole etc.,
except and except for can both be used with the same meaning.
He ate everything on his plate except (for) the beans.
In other cases we usually use except for.
That was a good essay except for a few spelling mistakes. (NOT except
a few spelling mistakes.)
Nobody came except (for) Peter and Alice.
We use except, not except for, before prepositions and conjunctions.
He is good-looking except when he smiles. (NOT except for when he
smiles.)
Note that we use object pronouns after except (for).
Everybody came except him. (NOT except he.)
EXCEPT + VERB
A verb form after except usually depends on what came before. Infinitives are
normally used without to.
He does nothing except sleep all day. (does sleep)
She is not interested in anything except cooking. (interested in
cooking)
Exchange for and exchange with
To exchange something is to give it to someone for something that they give
you. The verb exchange is used with both for and with. There is a difference,
though.
We exchange something for something. We exchange something with
someone.
EXCHANGE FOR
I exchanged my old fridge for a new one. (= I gave my old fridge and
got a new one.)
She exchanged her old clothes for new utensils.
She is eager to exchange her job in the private sector for a post in
government.
We have to exchange dollars for rupees.
I would like to exchange my old desktop computer for a brand new
laptop.
Gift coupons can be exchanged for goods.
EXCHANGE WITH
The students exchanged pleasantries with each other. (NOT The
students exchanged pleasantries for each other.)
I always exchange clothes with my sister.
They exchanged a few words with one another and left in haste.
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Ex and former
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EX-GIRLFRIEND AND FORMER GIRLFRIEND
There is a difference between ex-girlfriend and former girlfriend.
Unfortunately, nowadays few people maintain the distinction between these two
expressions.
If you change girlfriends every two months, you will have several former
girlfriends, but only one ex-girlfriend. The word ex should be used with the
immediate past incumbent. In the other words, your ex-girlfriend is the one
with whom you just broke up. All other girls you dated in the past are your
former girlfriends.
He still maintains good relations with his former girlfriends.
I ran into my ex-boyfriend yesterday and it was not a pleasant
experience.
Fairly, quite, rather and pretty
Fairly is an adverb of degree. It generally modifies adjectives and adverbs.
He can speak English fairly well.
Fairly does not suggest a very high degree.
How was the film? Fairly good. (Not the best one I have seen this year.)
QUITE
Quite suggests a higher degree than fairly.
How was the film? Quite good. (You ought to watch it.)
Quite can modify adjectives, adverbs, verbs and nouns.
She speaks English quite well.
He is quite tall.
He is quite a scholar.
I quite enjoyed myself at the party.
RATHER
Rather is stronger than quite. It suggests ideas such as more than is usual, more
than was expected or more than was wanted.
I think I should close the window. It is rather cold.
Do you see that rather tall boy standing over there.
How was the film? Rather good. (I was surprised.)
Rather can modify adjectives, adverbs, verbs and nouns.
It was rather a success.
I rather think we are going to lose.
PRETTY
Pretty is similar to rather.
She is a pretty good girl.
How is things? Pretty good.
Pretty can modify adjectives and adverbs. It cant modify nouns or verbs.

FAR
Far is used to indicate distance in space or time. It is most common in questions and
negative clauses.
Did you walk far?
The railway station is not far from here.
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In affirmative clauses we usually prefer a long way.
We walked a long way. (NOT walked far.)
The station is a long way from here. (More natural than The station is far from
here.)
FAR IN AFFIRMATIVE CLAUSES
Far is normal in affirmative clauses with too, enough, as and so.
Have I gone far enough? A bit too far.
Any problems? OK so far.
Far is also used in all kinds of clauses to modify comparatives, superlatives and too.
She is far older than her husband.
This is by far the best book I have read.
You are far too young to get married.

Farther and further
Difference between farther and further
We use both farther and further to talk about distance. There is no difference of
meaning.
Tokyo is farther/further away than Beijing.
We can use further (but not farther) to mean additional, extra.
For further information, visit our website.

Feel
USING FEEL
Feel can be a copular verb. It is then followed by an adjective or a noun complement.
A babys hand feels smooth.
I always feel sleepy on Mondays.
When she realized what she had done, Alice felt (= thought that she was) a
complete idiot.
Feel can be used with a personal subject (I, you etc.) to talk about feelings that are
going on at a particular moment. Both simple and progressive forms are possible.
There is little difference of meaning.
I feel fine. (= I am feeling fine.)
Do you feel happy? (= Are you feeling happy?)
How are you feeling? Not too bad, but I still have a slight headache.
Feel can be used, usually with a non-personal subject, to mean give somebody
sensations. Progressive forms are not used.
A babys hand feels smooth. (NOT is feeling smooth.)
That feels nice. (NOT is feeling nice.)
FEEL LIKE; FEEL AS IF/THOUGH
Feel like something means have a desire for something. It is normally followed by an
-ing form.
I feel like (having) a drink. (= I would like to have a drink.)
I feel like going for a walk. (= I would like to go for a walk.)
He was so rude. I felt like slapping his face. (= I wanted to slap him.)
I felt like crying. (= I wanted to cry.)
It is possible to put a clause after feel like. The meaning is similar to as if/ as though.
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She felt like she was in a dream. (= It seemed as if she was in a dream.)
COMPARE:
I felt like swimming. (= I wanted to swim.)
I felt like/as if I was swimming. (= It seemed as if I was swimming.)
FEEL AS AN ORDINARY VERB
The ordinary verb feel can be followed by an object. It is used to talk about the
physical sensations that come to us through the sense of touch.
He gently felt the smoothness of her cheek.
Just feel how cold my hands are.
It is possible to use an -ing form after the object.
I could feel a chill running down my spine.
He could feel the sweat trickling down his neck.
Feel is often used to talk about reactions and opinions. It is then followed by a that-
clause.
I feel certain that I am right.
She felt that she could no longer carry on.
I felt that she was lying to me.
I felt that she was arrogant.

Few and little
FEW, A FEW, THE FEW; LITTLE, A LITTLE, THE LITTLE
A few means some. It has a positive meaning. It is used with countable nouns.Few
means hardly any. It has a negative meaning. The few means not many, but all of
them.
COMPARE
There were a few members present. (Some members were present.)
Few members attended the meeting. (Hardly any member attended the
meeting.)
He lost the few friends he had. (Not many, but all of them)
Note that few is used with plural nouns.
A LITTLE, LITTLE AND THE LITTLE
Little is used with uncountable nouns. A little means some. It has a positive meaning.
Little means hardly any. It has a negative meaning. The little means not much but all
of that much.
Give me a little milk. (some milk.)
I have little money. (hardly any)
He drank off the little milk we had. (not much, but all of that much)

Finally, at last, in the end and at the end
FINALLY
Finally is the same as lastly. It introduces the last element in a series.
We must increase productivity. We must reduce unemployment. And finally,
we must compete in world markets.
Finally can also suggest that one has been waiting a long time for something.
She has finally got a job.
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AT LAST
At last suggests the idea of impatience or inconvenience resulting from a long wait or
delay.
She has passed her exams at last.
When at last they found him he was dead.
IN THE END
In the end suggests that something happens after a lot of changes or uncertainty.
We made ten different plans for our holiday, but in the end we went to Goa
again.
AT THE END
At the end refers to position at the end of something.
A declarative sentence usually has a capital letter at the beginning and a full
stop at the end.

Finished: difference between I'm finished and
I've finished
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN I'VE FINISHED AND I'M FINISHED
Finished is the past participle form of finish. As a past participle, it can be used to
form perfect tenses.
I have finished the job.
She has not yet finished working on the project.
Finished can also be used as an adjective after a form of be (is, am, are, was and
were). In this case, it means ready.
Note that the sentence I have nearly finished means more or less the same as the
sentence I am nearly finished. Both sentences can be used to mean I am almost
ready.
The structure be + finished is mainly used in informal English.
Study the examples given below.
Wait a minute. Im nearly finished. / Ive nearly finished.
I went to the studio to get the photos, but they werent / hadnt finished. (=
The photos werent ready.)

Fit and suit: difference
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FIT AND SUIT
There is a difference between fit and suit. Fit refers to size and shape. When your
clothes fit you, they are neither too tight nor too loose for you.
This shirt doesnt fit me. Have you got a smaller size?
Fit can also mean suitable or good enough.
Is this dress fit to wear?
If a person is fit, he / she is in good health.
A sportsman must be fit.
Suit refers to style, colour etc. If something suits you, it is convenient or appropriate
for you.
COMPARE:
This hat doesnt fit me. (= It is either big or small for me.)
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This hat doesnt suit me. (= This hat isnt appropriate for my sense
of style.)
Bright colours dont suit me well. (= NOT Bright colours dont fit me
well.)
The cold climate in Kashmir doesnt suit me. (= The cold climate in
Kashmir isnt good for me.)
Suit can also be used to say whether arrangements are convenient.
Will Tuesday suit you? (= Will Tuesday be convenient for you?)

For
Using for
USING FROM
Purpose and cause
For can be used to talk about peoples purposes in doing something. It is
then followed by a noun.
I went to the college for an interview with Professor Mark.
We stopped at the pub for a drink.
For + -ing form
For can be used before an ing form to express the purpose of a thing
especially when the thing is the subject of the clause.
An altimeter is used for measuring height above sea level.
When the clause has a person as subject, it is more common to use an
infinitive to express the purpose of a thing.
We use altimeters to measure height above sea level.
For + -ing can also be used to explain the behaviour that causes a
particular reaction.
They punished the child for lying.
We are grateful to you for helping us out.

From
USING FROM
From indicates the starting points of actions, events or spaces. It says
when things begin or began.
The exhibition was held from Monday to Friday.
I work from 10 to 6.
From is not normally used with a perfect tense.
The shop was open from morning.
I will be here from 3 o'clock onwards.
With a perfect tense we normally use since, not from.
I have been working since morning. (NOT I have been working from
morning.)
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Get
USING GET
Get is a common word in English. Its meaning depends on the kind of
word that comes after it.
Get + noun/pronoun (object)
When get is followed by a direct object, it usually means 'receive', 'fetch',
'obtain', 'earn' or something similar.
I have got an invitation to their party.
I will buy a car if I get my rise.
Get can have two objects.
Can you get me a coffee?
Let me get you a drink.
Get + adjective
When get is followed by an adjective, it usually means 'become'.
Get ready to leave in five seconds.
When I get nervous, I get angry.
The structure get + object + adjective is also possible. It usually describes
situations where we want someone else to do something for us.
Can you get the children ready for school?
Get + adverb particle/preposition
Before an adverb particle or a preposition, get almost always refers to a
movement of some kind.
I often get up at seven o clock.
With an object, the structure usually means 'make somebody or something
move'.
Can you get the children to bed?
I have got the doctor to call tomorrow.
Get + Past Participle
Get can be used with a past participle. This structure is often used to talk about
things that we do to ourselves. Common expressions are get married, get
divorced, get engaged, get lost, get dressed etc.
They are getting married in May.
I never get interviewed.
Get dressed in five minutes.
The structure get + object + past participle often has a passive meaning. It
usually means arrange for something to be done by somebody else.
We are getting the house painted.
I must get my hair cut.
We must get the roof repaired before monsoon sets in.
This structure may also describe situations where something is done to us.
I got my car stolen last night.
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They got their roof blown off in the storm.
With a time expression, this structure refers to the completion of an activity.
You must get the job done before lunchtime.
Get those orders placed as soon as possible.
GET WITH NOUNS AND PRONOUNS
Get is one of the most common words in English and is used in many different
ways. It is not considered appropriate in a very formal style when you are
expected to use more precise vocabulary. However, get is correct and natural in
most forms of speech and informal or semi-formal writing.
Get + noun / pronoun
Get can be followed by a noun or a pronoun. In this case, get means receive,
fetch, earn, obtain catch or something similar.
I got a call from James yesterday. (= I received a call from James
yesterday.)
I have got your letter.
Will you get the kids from school? (= Will you fetch the kids from school?)
He gets $300 a month. (= He earns $300 a month.)
Can you come and get me from the airport?
Whenever I listen to loud music, I get a headache.
I am getting a toothache.
Get can be followed by two objects a direct object and an indirect object.
OK. I will get you a drink. (Indirect object you; direct object a drink)
Get can mean understand.
Did you get me? (= Did you understand what I said?)

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Get can also mean punish.
The taxmen will get you in the end.
Get with adjectives and past participles
Get can be followed by adjectives and past participles.
Get + adjective
Get can be followed by an adjective. In this case, it means become.
He doesnt need a reason to get angry.
As we get older, we get wiser.
I am getting cold.
Nobody wants to get old.
Get + object + adjective
The structure get + object + adjective means make something/somebody
become.
I must get the kids ready for school.
We must get the house clean before the guests arrive.
Get + past participle
This structure is used to talk about the things we do to ourselves.
They are getting married in May.
She takes hours to get dressed.
Get + object + past participle
Sometimes we arrange for something to be done by somebody else. The
structure get + object + past participle can be used to express this
idea.
He knows how to get things done.
You must get that car repaired.
She must get that tooth extracted.
You must get him suspended.
This structure can also be used to talk about things (often unwanted) that
happen to us.
I got my bike stolen last week.
Get with infinitives and -ing forms
Get can be followed by an ing form. Common expressions are: get
going and get moving
Lets get going.
The structure get + object + -ing form means make somebody or
something start doing something.
Dont get her talking about her problems.

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Get can also be followed by an infinitive. This structure means manage
or have an opportunity.
When will I get to see you again? (= When will I get an opportunity to
see you again?)
I didnt get to see him he had left before I arrived. (= I didnt manage
to see him.)
The structure get to be means become.
Cathy is getting to be a lovely girl. (= Cathy is becoming a lovely girl.)
The structure get + object + infinitive means make
somebody/something do something.
See if you can get her to sign that paper.
Go
USING GO
The structure go/come for a is often used in some common fixed
expressions referring to leisure activities.
Let us go for a walk/run/swim/ride/drive/sail/drink.
Go/come -ing
We can use go with an ing form in a number of common expressions.
Let us go climbing next weekend.
Common expressions are:
go:
climbing/dancing/fishing/hunting/riding/sailing/shooting/shopping
go: skating/skiing/swimming/walking
Note that prepositions of place, not direction, are used after go -ing.
Let us go swimming in the river. (NOT go swimming to the river.)
We went shopping at Harrods. (NOT to Harrods.)
Go and get
GO OR GET?
Go (and not get) is used to talk about changes of colour. This is common
in British English.
Leaves go brown in autumn. (NOT Leaves get brown )
She went green with envy. (NOT She got green )
Other examples are: go white with anger/ blue with cold/ red with
embarrassment
Turn and grow can also be used in these cases. Note that go is more
informal than turn and grow.

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Go (and not usually get) is also used with adjectives in a number of
common expressions that refer to changes for the worse.
Examples are:
People can go mad/crazy/deaf/blind/grey/bald etc.
Horses can go lame
Machines can go wrong
Meat, fish or vegetables can go bad
Beer, lemonade, musical instruments and car tyres can go flat
Cases where get is used
Get is also used with adjectives to talk about changes. For example we
use get (and not go) with the adjectives old, tired and ill.
I am getting old. (NOT I am going old.)
Had better
We use had better to give strong advice, or to tell people what to do.
After had better, we use the infinitive without to.
You had better consult a doctor.
It is late. I had better hurry up.
Had better may suggest a threat. It is not used in polite requests.
COMPARE:
Could you lend me some money? (request)
You had better lend me some money. (order/threat)
Had better refers to the immediate future, but the form used is always
past. Have better is not possible.
Shall I go now? You had better. (NOT You have better.)
We can put better before had for emphasis. This is common in British
English.
I promise I will pay you back. You better had.
We normally make the negative with had better not + infinitive.
You had better not tell him.
Half
We can use half or half of before a noun with a determiner (e.g. the, my,
this, your etc.). When half (of) is followed by a plural noun, the verb is
plural.
She spends half (of) her time travelling.
Half (of) my friends live abroad.
We use half of before pronouns.
Did you like the books? I have only read half of them. (NOT half
them.)

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the half
We use the half (of) to talk about a particular half.
I think the second half of the film is more interesting than the first
half.
half a and a half
Half usually comes before the article a/an, but it is possible to put it after
in expressions of measurement.
I have bought half a pound of apples. (OR I have bought a half pound
of apples.)
...hardly ...when/before ...
The expression hardly when/before is used (often with a past
perfect tense) to suggest that one thing happened very soon after
another.
I had hardly closed my eyes when the phone rang.
I had hardly closed the door before somebody knocked.
I had hardly reached the station when the train steamed out.
In a formal or literary style, the structure is sometimes used with an
inverted word order.
Hardly had I closed my eyes when the phone rang.
Hardly had I closed the door before somebody knocked.
Hardly had I sat for dinner when the telephone rang.
Help
After help, we can use object + infinitive.
He helped her to lift the box.
We often use the infinitive without to. This is rather informal.
He helped her lift the box.
cant help
If you say that you cant help doing something, you mean that you cant stop
yourself doing it.
Sorry I broke the cup I couldnt help it.
I cant help wondering what I should do next.
Cant help can be followed by but + infinitive without to. The meaning is the
same as cant help ing.
I cant help but wonder what I should do next.

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Has been
Has/have been and has/have gone
Has/have been is used for completed visits.
Compare:
The postman has already been. (= The postman has come and gone
away again.)
I have been to Tokyo three times. (I am not in Tokyo at the moment. I
have returned.)
Where is John? He has gone to Tokyo. (He is in Tokyo at the moment.)
Have or have got
Have got means exactly the same as have in affirmative clauses. Got-
forms of have are informal, and are most common in the present.
She has got a new boyfriend. (= She has a new boyfriend.)
My mother has got two sisters. (= My mother has two sisters.)
They have got a car. (= They have a car.)
Differences
In questions and negatives, we do not normally use have without got.
Has your sister got a car? (More natural than Has your sister a car.)
I havent got your keys. (More natural than I havent your keys.)
Note that it is also possible to use do-forms of have instead of got-
forms.
Does your sister have a car? (= Has your sister got a car?)
I dont have your keys. (= I havent got your keys.)
Cases where have got is not used
Have got is not used in short answers or tags.
Have you got a headache? Yes, I have. (NOT Yes, I have got.)
She has got a new car, hasnt she? (NOT hasnt she got?)
Got-forms of have are less common in the past tense.
I had flu last week. (NOT I had got flu last week.)
British-American differences
In British English, have without got is possible in short questions and
negatives, though these are often formal.
COMPARE:
Have you a car? (Formal GB only)
Have you got a car? OR Do you have a car? (US/GB)
Its a nice flat, but it hasnt a proper bathroom. (Formal GB only)
Its a nice flat, but it doesnt have a proper bathroom. OR Its a nice flat,
but it hasnt got a proper bathroom. (US/GB)


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Have vs Having
Having is the present participle form of have. We do not normally use
having to express ideas such as possession. When have means own, it is
always used in the base form. Having is not possible in this case.
I have a car. (BUT NOT I am having a car.)
He has a daughter. (BUT NOT He is having a daughter.)
Have is also used to talk about medical conditions that we experience.
I have a cold / a headache / a sore throat. (NOT I am having a cold
/ a headache.)
However, the form having can be used to talk about certain medical
conditions that last for only a few seconds or minutes. For example, we
can say:
I am having a heart attack.
He thought that he was having a stroke.
He was having an epileptic fit.
When we talk about eating, the continuous form having is possible.
They were having dinner when I arrived. (Here we are talking about an
activity that was in progress when another action occurred.)
COMPARE:
I have breakfast at 8 am. (Routine)
I am having breakfast. (An activity that is going on at the moment
of speaking)
Hear and listen
HEAR OR LISTEN TO?
Hear means become aware of sound through the ears. It is the ordinary
word to say that something comes to our ears.
Can you speak a bit louder? I cant hear you.
Suddenly she heard a strange noise.
Listen to
Listen (to) is used to talk about paying attention to sounds one hears. It
emphasizes the idea of concentrating. Note that you can hear something
without wanting to, but you can only listen to something deliberately.
COMPARE:
I heard them talking in the next room, but I didnt really listen to what
they were saying.

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Other differences
Note that listen to is mostly used to talk about experiences that are going
on, in progress.
When she arrived, I was listening to the radio. (NOT I was hearing the
radio.)
To talk about experiencing the whole of a performance, speech, piece of
music or broadcast, we generally use hear.
Did you hear the news yesterday?
Listen and listen to
When there is no object, listen is used.
Listen! (NOT Listen to!)
Listen to me! (NOT Listen me!)
Help
After help, we can use object + infinitive.
He helped her to lift the box.
We often use the infinitive without to. This is rather informal.
He helped her lift the box.
cant help
If you say that you cant help doing something, you mean that you cant
stop yourself doing it.
Sorry I broke the cup I couldnt help it.
I cant help wondering what I should do next.
Cant help can be followed by but + infinitive without to. The meaning
is the same as cant help ing. This structure is common in American
English.
I cant help but wonder what I should do next.
He, she or they
USAGE
In English, he is traditionally used in cases where the sex of the person is
not known, or in references that can apply to either men or women.
If I ever find the person who did that, I will kill him.
A doctor cant do a good job if he doesnt like people.
A lot of people now regard this usage as sexist and try to avoid it. The
expression he or she is becoming increasingly common.
A doctor cant do a good job if he or she doesnt like people.
They
In an informal style, we often use they to mean he or she. This is
particularly common after words like somebody, anybody, nobody and
person. Grammarians often consider this usage incorrect, but it has been
common in educated speech for centuries.
If anybody wants my ticket, they can have it.

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Home
USING HOME
At home means in ones own place. No article is used before the
expression.
Is anybody at home? (NOT at the home?)
At is often dropped.
Is anybody home?
Home (without to) can be used as an adverb referring to direction.
Let us go home. (NOT to home.)
There is no special preposition in English to express the idea of being at
somebody elses home. We often express the idea by using at with a
possessive.
We spend the weekend at the Smiths.
Hope
After I hope, we often use a present tense with a future meaning.
I hope she is having a good time.
In negative sentences, we usually put not with the verb that comes after
hope.
I hope she doesnt get late. (NOT I dont hope she gets late.)
I was hoping is used to introduce a polite request.
I was hoping you could lend me some money.
I had hoped is used to talk about hopes that werent realised.
hopefully
Hopefully can mean I hope. This is a fairly recent usage in British
English, and some people consider it incorrect.
Hopefully, I am not disturbing you. (I hope I am not disturbing you.)
How and what like?
We use how to ask about things that change for example, peoples
health and moods. We use what like? to ask about things that do not
change for example, peoples looks and character.
How is she? She is very well.
What is she like? She is a bit shy. (NOT How is she?)
What does she look like? She is short, dark and pretty.
We often use how to ask about peoples reactions to their experiences.
How was the film? Not bad.
How is your new job? Quite interesting.
What like? is also possible in cases like these.


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However, yet, still, though
HOW EVER AND HOWEVER
USING HOWEVER, YET, STILL, THOUGH
We can express the same idea in several different ways. By learning some
of these techniques, you can improve your writing skills significantly.
Read the following sentence.
Despite his illness, he agreed to be with us during the inaugural
function.
We can express this idea in several different ways.
In spite of his illness, he agreed to be with us during the inaugural
function.
He was ill. However, he agreed to be with us during the inaugural
function.
He was ill. Yet he agreed to be with us during the inaugural function.
Although / though he was ill, he agreed to be with us during the
inaugural function.
Another example is given below.
Despite the high cost of living, many people find life in the city quite
attractive.
We can express the same idea in the following ways.
In spite of the high cost of living, many people find life in the city quite
attractive.
Though the cost of living is high, many people find life in the city quite
attractive.
The cost of living is high. Still many people find life in the city quite
attractive.
The cost of living is high. However, many people find life in the city quite
attractive.
Ill and Sick
In British English, ill means unwell. Ill is most common in predicative position.
She couldnt come because she was ill.
Before a noun, many British people prefer to use sick.
She spent years looking after her sick husband. (NOT ... looking after her ill
husband.)
Be sick can mean vomit.
I feel sick. Where is the bathroom?

If I were you
We often use the structure If I were you to give advice.
If I were you, I would accept that job.
If I was you is also possible, but some people consider it incorrect.

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If only
If only ! means the same as I wish
tenses
After if only ! we use a past tense to talk about the present.
If only I was better-looking!
We can use were instead of was.
If only I were better looking.
To refer to the future, we use would + infinitive.
If only it would stop raining, we could go out.
To refer to the past, we use had + past participle.
If only she hadnt told the police, everything would have been all right.
In case and if
In case is used to talk about things which we do in order to be ready for
possible future situations.
I always take an umbrella in case it rains. (= because it might rain.)
After in case, we use a present tense to refer to the future.
We often use should + infinitive after in case. This adds the meaning
by chance. This structure is common in sentences about the past.
I wrote down her address in case I should forget it.
In case and if
In British English, in case and if are used in quite different ways.
COMPARE:
Let us buy a chicken in case Peter comes. (=Let us buy a chicken now
because Peter might come later.)
Let us buy a chicken if Peter comes. (=We will wait and see. If Peter
comes, then we will buy the chicken. If he doesnt we wont.)
In American English, in case can sometimes be used in the same way as
if.
The prepositional phrase in case of is often used in similar situations to
if.
In case of fire, break glass. (=If there is fire ...)
If and unless
USING IF AND UNLESS
The conjunctions if and unless introduce a condition something which
must happen first so that something else can happen. Unless means if
not.
Read the following sentences.
Work hard. Otherwise you will not pass.
These two sentences can be combined into one using if or unless.
If you work hard, you will pass. OR If you do not work hard, you will not
pass.
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Unless you work hard, you will not pass.
He must carry out my orders. Otherwise he will be sacked.
We can combine these two sentences using if or unless.
If he does not carry out my orders, he will be sacked.
Unless he carries out my orders, he will be sacked. (NOT Unless he does
not carry out my orders, he will be sacked.)
We have already learned that unless means if not and hence it is wrong
to use another not in clauses introduced by unless.
In spite of
In spite of means notwithstanding. It is used as a preposition. In spite
of + noun means more or less the same as although + clause.
They went out in spite of the rain. (=They went out although it was
raining. )
In more formal English, despite can be used in the same way as in spite
of.
IN SPITE OF AND BECAUSE OF
In spite of is the opposite of because of.
COMPARE:
She passed her exam in spite of her teacher. (= She had a bad teacher.)
She passed her exam because of her teacher. (=She had a good
teacher.)
In spite of can be followed by an ing form.
I enjoyed the film in spite of having a headache.
Interesting, interested, exciting, excited etc.
The past participles interested, bored, excited etc., are used to say how
people feel.
I was very interested in the offer. (NOT I was very interesting in the
offer.)
Are you interested in politics? (NOT Are you interesting in politics?)
I am so excited about the picnic.
I am getting bored with her endless nagging.
I am still confused about what happened.
The present participles interesting, boring, exciting, confusing etc.,
describe the people or things that make others interested, bored, excited
etc.
For example, if you are interested in a program, that program must be
very interesting. If you are excited about an offer, that offer has to be
very exciting.
The film was very interesting. (Therefore, I was very interested in
watching it.)
The offer was very exciting. I just couldnt resist it.
Her explanation was quite confusing. I couldnt figure out anything.
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Is, am and are
The forms is, am and are are used in the present tense; was and were
are used in the past tense.
IS
Use is when the subject is a singular noun or a third person singular
pronoun (he, she or it).
Shiva is my friend.
He is an archeologist.
Uma is an eminent pediatrician. She works at a private hospital.
The elephant is the biggest animal on land.
The baby is crying. It is hungry.
ARE
Use are when the subject is a plural noun or a plural pronoun like you,
we and they.
You are the most wonderful person I have met.
They are working on an important project.
We are still waiting to hear from them.
The children are busy with their studies.
These mangoes are very sweet.
Those memories are painful.
AM
Use am when the subject is the first person pronoun I.
I am writing.
I am working.
It
IT AS A PREPARATORY SUBJECT
When the subject is an infinitive expression, the sentence often begins
with it. Preparatory it is common before be + adjective/ noun
complement.
It is difficult to accept your advice. (More natural than To accept your
advice is difficult.)
It is easy to learn English.
It is not easy to understand his motive.
It must be tempting to get such an offer.
It could be dangerous to drive so fast.

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CLAUSE SUBJECTS
We also normally use preparatory it when the subject of a clause is itself
another clause.
It is true that he was once a terrorist. (More natural than That he was
once a terrorist is true.)
It does not matter whether it rains or not. (More natural than Whether it
rains or not doesnt matter.)
It is certain that he left the place in haste.
It is clear that he overheard our conversation.
-ING FORM SUBJECTS
When the subject is a phrase that includes a gerund, it is used as a
provisional subject to begin the sentence. This is usually rather informal.
It is no good your trying to deceive us. (More natural than Your trying to
deceive us is no good.)
It is no fun having so many children to look after.
It is just silly throwing away your chances like that.
It was a tough job starting the car with such a weak battery.
It is often possible to use the structure for + infinitive instead of the
gerund.
It wont be any good for me to talk to him about it. (=It wont be any
good my talking to him about it.)
It is no use for us to try to convince him of this.(=It is no use our trying
to convince him of this.)
WITH SEEM, APPEAR AND LOOK
Introductory it is also used with seem, appear and look when the
subject is an infinitive phrase, a phrase that includes a gerund or a clause.
It seemed strange to see him there.
It seems that he forgot to buy the tickets.
It appeared unwise to offend him.
It looks improper to behave like that.
WITH IF, AS IF AND AS THOUGH
It is used to introduce some clauses with if, as if and as though.
It will be a pity if we have to ask her to leave.
It looks as though we may have to go.
IT AS A PREPARATORY OBJECT
We can sometimes use it as a preparatory object. This happens when the
object of a verb is an infinitive expression or a clause with an adjective or
a noun complement.
Note the word order: subject + verb + it + complement + infinitive/clause
He made it clear what he wanted.
We think it odd that she never visits us these days.
Dont you think it dangerous to swim in these rough waters?
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Note that this structure is not normally used when there is no adjective or
noun complement after the verb.
I remember that she was very upset. (NOT I remember it that )
I cannot bear to see people crying. (NOT I cannot bear it to see )
But note the structure I love/like/hate it when
I love it when she smiles.
ITS AND ITS
Its is a possessive word like his and my.
Every country has its traditions.
Its is the contracted form of it is or it has.
Its raining again. (NOT Its raining )
It's and its
These two words are often confused by foreign learners of English.
Its is a possessive word like my or your.
Every country has its traditions.
Its colour was deep red.
Its is the contracted form of it is or it has.
Its raining again. (= It is raining again.)
Its time we went home. (= It is time we went home.)
Have you seen my cell phone? Its disappeared. (= It has
disappeared.)
Just
Just has several meanings.
TIME
Just is used with a verb to indicate the immediate past.
They have just gone. (i.e. They went a very short time ago.)
Just can also emphasise the idea of at the present or close to the present.
Where is my tea? I am just going to make it.
I was just about to tell you.
Note that just now can mean either at this moment or a few moments
ago, depending on the tense.
I am busy just now. (at this moment)
Tom was here just now. (a few minutes ago)
ONLY
Just can mean only.
Complete set of garden tools for just $19.99!
He is just an ordinary man.
In some contexts the meaning is more like scarcely.
We just caught the train.
I arrived just in time.
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This meaning can be emphasised by only.
I have got only just enough money for a cup of coffee.
EXACTLY
Just often means exactly.
It is just two oclock.
This is just as good as that.
Just then, we heard a strange noise.
TENSES
When just means a moment ago, a present perfect tense is most common
in British English.
Where is John? He has just gone out.
I have just had a call from Alice.
In American English, a past tense is common in this case.
Where is John? He just went out.
I just had a call from Alice.
When just now means a moment ago, it is used with a past tense.
I heard a strange noise just now.
Just, already and yet
Both just and already are used in affirmative sentences. There is a
difference of meaning.
Already is used to talk about something that has happened sooner than
expected. It shows surprise. Just means exactly or very recently.
It is just one oclock. (= It is exactly one oclock.)
She has just arrived. (= Very recently)
Compare:
She has already left. (= She has left but we werent expecting that she
would leave so soon.)
She has just left. (= She left a moment ago.)
Just can also mean only.
I just want a glass of water.
I just asked.
Just is not used in questions or negative sentences.
POSITION OF JUST, YET AND ALREADY
Already usually goes with the verb. If there is no auxiliary verb, already
goes before the verb. If there is an auxiliary verb, it goes after the
auxiliary verb.
She already arrived. (NOT She arrived already.)
She has already arrived. (NOT She already has arrived.)
I have already finished.
Have you already finished?

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Yet usually goes at the end of a clause. It can also go immediately after
not.
Dont eat those mangoes they are not ripe yet. OR Dont eat those
mangoes they are not yet ripe.
Know
Know cannot be followed directly by an infinitive. We use the structure
know how to.
I know how to make French fries.
In a formal style, know is occasionally followed by object + infinitive.
I knew him to be an honest man.
However, this is unusual; that-clauses are generally more natural.
However, this is unusual; that-clauses are generally more natural.
I knew that he was an honest man.
TENSES
Know cannot normally be used in the progressive form.
Know cannot normally be used in the progressive form.
I know what you mean. (NOT I am knowing )
KNOW AND KNOW ABOUT/OF
Know + object is used mainly to talk about knowledge that comes
through direct personal experience. In other cases, we normally use
know about/of, have heard of or another structure.
COMPARE:
Do you know my brother? No, I have never met him.
We all know about Albert Einstein. (NOT We all know Albert Einstein.)
I KNOW AND I KNOW IT
I know refers to facts it could be completed by a that-clause.
You are late. I know. (= I know that I am late.)
I know it refers to things it replaces a noun.
We went to a nice restaurant called Fire and Ice last night. I know it.
(= I have heard of that restaurant.)
We went to a nice restaurant called Fire and Ice last night. I know. (=I
know that you went to that restaurant.)
Laid off vs. Fired
Fired: If someone is fired, they are being let go for cause.
Laid off: If someone is laid off, theyre being let go for reasons other than
performance the company was restructuring or having financial problems and
eliminated the job. (In other words, its about the job itself, not the person. At least
officially.) So dont go around telling people that you were fired if you were actually
laid off.
Terminated: Could be either. But dont say it it sounds ridiculous.

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Last and the last
LAST AND THE LAST
Last contrasts with this and next. Last week is the week before this
week. Note that these time expressions are used with past tenses without
articles, and without prepositions.
She was married last April. (NOTin the last April.)
I saw him last Tuesday. (NOT on the last Tuesday.)
THE LAST
The last week refers to the period of seven days up to the moment of
speaking or writing. Note that these time expressions are normally used
with perfect tenses and with prepositions.
We have lived here for the last three years. (= since three years ago)
I have been busy for the last two months. (= for the two months up to
now.)
Note that we generally say the last few days/weeks, not the last
days/weeks.
It has been raining for the last few days. (NOT for the last days.)
Lay and lie
Lay means 'put down something carefully' or 'put down something flat'. It
always takes an object.
She laid the books on the table.
Lay is a regular verb. Its forms are:
Infinitive: to lay
Present Participle: laying
Past: laid
Past participle: laid
Present singular: lays
LIE
Lie means 'be down' or 'be placed flat on a surface'. It is an irregular
verb. Its forms are:
Infinitive: to lie
Present Participle: lying
Past: lay
Past participle: lain (formal)
Present singular: lies
She was lying on the sofa.
A book lay open on the table.
Don't lie in the bed all day.
There is also a regular verb lie. It means 'say something that is not true'.
Its forms are:

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Infinitive: to lie
Present Participle: lying
Past: lied
Past Participle: lied
Present singular: lies
He lied about his age in order to get into the army.
The least and the fewest
The least means the smallest or lowest quantity or degree. It is the
superlative of little. It is used before uncountable nouns.
He went up the steps without showing the least anxiety.
She had not the least idea of what was going on.
Before plural abstract nouns we can use the least of.
'I think she is really upset with you.' 'That is the least of my worries.'
The fewest is the superlative of few. It is used before plural nouns.
LESS AND FEWER
Less is the comparative of little. It is used before uncountable nouns.
Fewer is the comparative of few. It is used before plural nouns.
New cars tend to cause less air pollution.
He earns less money than his wife.
I have got fewer problems than I used to have.
Note that in an informal style less is quite common before plural nouns.
Less and fewer
Less is the comparative of little. It is used before uncountable nouns.
Less is the comparative of little. It is used before uncountable nouns.
I have less money than you.
He was less hurt than frightened.
Tom is less clever than his brother.
Fewer is the comparative of few. It is used before plural nouns.
Fewer people live to be hundred.
In an informal style, less is quite common before plural nouns. Some
people consider this incorrect.
I have got less problems than I used to have. (Less formal than I have
got fewer problems than I used to have.)
Less/fewer of
Before determiners (articles, demonstratives and possessives) and
pronouns we use less of and fewer of.
Before determiners (articles, demonstratives and possessives) and
pronouns we use less of and fewer of.
I would like to spend less of my time travelling. (NOT less my time
traveling.)
I want less of this and more of that. (NOT I want less this )
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Before nouns without determiners, of is not used.
If you want to lose weight, eat less food. (NOT less of food.)
Fewer people live to be hundred. (NOT Fewer of people )
Lesser
Lesser means not so much. It is used in a few expressions.
a lesser-known writer
the lesser of two evils.
Let
Let can be used to introduce suggestions and orders. It is followed by object +
Infinitive without to.
Let the show go on.
Let me get you a cup of coffee.
Let us eat - I am hungry.
There are two possible negative forms - let us not and do not let us.
Let us not stray from the right path.
Let us not get angry.
Do not let us forget our goals in life.
LET WITH FIRST PERSON PRONOUNS
When let is followed by a first person pronoun, it is considered a kind of
imperative. Let us (also let's) is used to make suggestions or to give instructions
or orders to a group that includes the speaker.
Let us go for a walk.
Let us eat something.
In question tags shall we? is used. Let's is used as a short answer.
'Let us have a drink, shall we?' 'Yes, let's.'
Let me is used to give instructions to oneself. The expressions let me see and
let me think are very common.
Can I have the report ready by this evening? Let me see.
Let can be used to introduce suggestions and orders. It is followed by object +
Infinitive without to.
Let the show go on.
Let me get you a cup of coffee.
Let us eat - I am hungry.
There are two possible negative forms - let us not and do not let us.
Let us not stray from the right path.
Let us not get angry.
Do not let us forget our goals in life.

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LET WITH FIRST PERSON PRONOUNS
When let is followed by a first person pronoun, it is considered a kind of imperative.
Let us (also let's) is used to make suggestions or to give instructions or orders to a
group that includes the speaker.
Let us go for a walk.
Let us eat something.
In question tags shall we? is used. Let's is used as a short answer.
'Let us have a drink, shall we?' 'Yes, let's.'
Let me is used to give instructions to oneself. The expressions let me see and
let me think are very common.
Can I have the report ready by this evening? Let me see.
Like and as
Like is one of those verbs which are not usually used in progressive forms.
What do you think of the film? I like it. (NOT I am liking it.)
Like cannot normally be used without an object.
Do you like ballet? Yes, I like it. (NOT I like.)
Like can be followed by object + verb forms.
I dont like people telling me what to do.
Not like to can mean be unwilling to.
I didnt like to disturb him.
Would like
The conditional would like (+ infinitive) is common in requests and offers. It is
used as a polite way of sayingwant.
Would you like to come with us?
I would like some cheese, please.
LIKE AND AS
We can use like or as to say that things are similar.
Like
We use like before a noun or pronoun. It is similar to a preposition.
She looks like her mother. (NOT She looks as her mother.)
He ran like the wind.
We can use very, quite and other adverbs of degree to modify like.
She is very like her mother.
As
As is a conjunction. It is used before a clause, and before an expression
beginning with a preposition.
Nobody loves her as I do.
Do as I do.
In informal English like is often used as a conjunction instead of as. This is
common in American English.
Nobody loves her like I do.
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Another use of as is to say what function or role a person or thing has what
jobs people do, what purposes things are used for, etc. In this case, as is used
like a preposition, before a noun.
He escaped from prison dressed as a woman.
He worked as a waiter for two years.
We think of Napoleon as a soldier and as a statesman.
Compare this use of as with like.
As your brother, I must warn you to be careful. (I am your brother.)
Like your brother, I must warn you to be careful. (I am not your
brother, but he and I have similar attitudes.)
Likely
If something is likely to happen, it is probably going to happen.
Little
Little is used with singular uncountable nouns.
She showed little interest in what I said.
I have little interest in philosophy.
There was little chance of winning.
Before a pronoun or a determiner (the, this, my) we uselittle of.
I have learned not to think little of anyone else's beliefs.
Could I have a little of that cheese?
Little and a little
Little has a rather negative meaning. It means hardly any. A little means
some.
Give me a little milk. (= some milk)
I have little money. (= hardly any)
A little can be used before comparatives as a modifier.
I feel a little better today.
This car is a little faster than that car.
Little with adjectives
Little is not normally used to modify other adjectives oradverbs. However, a
little can be used before certain adjectives and adverbs having a negative
meaning.
It was a little embarrassing.
You are a little late.
Look
Look can mean seem or appear. In this case it is a copular verband can be
followed by adjectives.
You look unhappy what is the matter? (NOT You look unhappily.)
We can use a few noun phrases after look in the same way as adjectives.
When she realized what she had done she looked a real fool.
The room looks a mess.

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Look can be followed by like or as if. Progressive forms are not usually used in
this case.
It looks like it is going to rain. (NOT It is looking like )
She looks like her mother. (NOT She is looking like )
She looks as if she is dreaming.
Look as an ordinary verb
When look means turn ones eyes towards, it is used with adverbs, not
adjectives.
Look carefully. (NOT careful.)
Before an object, a preposition is necessary (usually at). A preposition is not
used when there is no object.
Look at him. (NOT Look him.)
They were looking at some books.
Look carefully its changing colour. (NOT Look at carefully )
Look after and look for
Look after means take care of; look for means try to find.
COMPARE:
Could you look after the kids while I go shopping?
She spent months looking for her lost dog.
Make
USING MAKE
Make is a transitive verb. It can take one or two objects.
Can you make coffee?
She made me a nice dress.
It is also possible to use an adjective as object complement.
She made his life miserable.
Do I make you happy?
Make can also be followed by object + infinitive. In active structures, we
normally use an infinitive without to.
They made me wait.
He made her cry.
In passive structures the infinitive is used with to.
I was made to wait.
Make: special uses
Make can be followed by an object + infinitive without to.
She made me wait. (NOT She made me waiting.) (NOT She made me to
wait.)
I made her cry. (NOT I made her crying.) (NOT I made her to cry.)
They made him narrate the whole incidence. (NOT They made him to
narrate the whole incidence.)

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When these sentences are changed into the passive, we use the infinitive with to.
I was made to wait.
He was made to narrate the whole incidence.
Make + object + object complement
Make can be followed by an object, with an adjective or noun referring to a
change in the object.
Study the following sentence.
I feel weak because of the illness.
The same idea can be expressed using make.
The illness makes me feel weak.
We became angry on hearing his reply.
His replay made us angry.
They became impatient at the delay.
The delay made them impatient.
Words ending in -man
Many words ending in man do not have a common feminine equivalent.
Examples are: chairman, fireman, spokesman etc. Since most women dislike
being called, for example, chairman or spokesman, these words are now often
avoided in references to women. They are also avoided in general references to
people of either sex. In many cases, person is now used instead of man.
Jane has just been elected chairperson of our club.
In some cases, words ending in woman are coming into use. Example:
spokeswoman.
There is also a move to choose words, which are not gender-marked. Examples
are: supervisor instead offoreman, firefighter instead of fireman.
May / might ...but
This structure means the same as although.
He may be an intelligent person, but he doesnt know how to behave. (=
Although he is an intelligent person, he doesnt know how to behave.)
It may be a nice house, but it requires a lot of repairs. (= Although it is a
nice house, it requires a lot of repairs.)
He may be rich, but that doesnt mean that he is better than me. (=
Although he is rich, it doesn't necessarily mean that he is better than me.)
She may not be good-looking, but she has a heart of gold.
MAY IN EXPRESSIONS OF WISHES AND HOPES
May is often used in formal expressions of wishes and hopes. In this case, may
usually comes at the beginning of the sentence.
May God bless you!
May the Heavens shower their choicest blessings upon the young couple!
May God be with you!
May the New Year bring you all the happiness!
May she rest in peace! (Prayer for a dead person)
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Maybe and may be
Maybe and may be are often confused. Maybe means the same as perhaps.
Both maybe and perhaps are used to suggest that you are not certain about
something.
Maybe you are right. OR Perhaps you are right.
Maybe she will come. OR Perhaps she will come.
Maybe we will win. OR Perhaps we will win.
Note that maybe is mainly used in informal contexts. In a more formal style, we use
perhaps.
MAYBE AND MAY BE
May be means more or less the same as could be. Note that this expression is a
verb. Maybe, on the other hand, is an adverb.
Maybe can go at the beginning of the sentence. May be always goes after the subject.
When you use maybe, the sentence will have another verb.
Examples are given below.
She may be interested in the offer. (NOT She maybe interested )
He may be telling the truth. (NOT He maybe telling the truth.)
If there is a strike, the road may be blocked.
I may be wrong. (NOT I maybe wrong.)
Maybe I am wrong. (NOT May be I am wrong.)
The whole process takes maybe fifteen minutes. (NOT may be fifteen
minutes.)
Mean
The structure mean + (object) + infinitive means 'intend to' or 'plan to'.
Sorry, I didn't mean to upset you.
I mean to find a good job soon.
Do you mean me to cook the meals?
The progressive form meaning is also possible in this sense.
I have been meaning to call you for days.
Mind
The structures would you mind/do you mind can be used in questions to ask people if
they would be troubled by something.
Do you mind my smoking?
Would you mind shutting the door?
After would you mind/do you mind we normally use an -ing form. It is possible for the
-ing form to have its own subject.

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COMPARE:
Would you mind opening the window? (= Will you please open the window?)
Would you mind my opening the window? (= Can I open the window?)
Note that after would you mind/do you mind we use a pronoun in the possessive
case.
An if clause is possible after would you mind/do you mind.
Would you mind if I opened the window?
Do you mind if I smoke?
In general questions about what people think of something, we do not normally use
would you mind.
Do you mind the smell of tobacco? (General question)
Do you mind/would you mind my smoking?
Do you mind people smoking in your house? (General question)
We can use don't mind/wouldn't mind to say that we are not troubled by something.
I don't mind your coming late.
I don't mind your opening the window.
I wouldn't mind if you smoke.
Misplace and displace
These words are often confused but they have different meanings. To misplace things
is to put them in the wrong place. Of course, it is not easy to find misplaced objects.
My grandmother always misplaces her spectacles.
I misplaced the car keys and spent the whole afternoon searching for them.
These are important documents. Dont misplacethem.
Put those books in their proper places. If you misplace them, it wont be easy
to find them.
A misplaced sense of loyalty is a sense of loyalty felts towards a person who doesnt
deserve it.
Kate receives several good job offers but a sense of misplaced loyalty prevents
her from leaving her current employer.
I still cant believe that my faith in him was misplaced.
DISPLACE
To displace is to put somebody or something out of the right or usual position. A
displaced person is a stateless refugee in exile.
Wars have displaced more people than natural calamities. (NOT Wars have
misplaced more people than )
People displaced by the storm are still suffering in the refugee camps.

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More
More is the comparative of much and many. It indicates a greater number or quantity
of something.
We need more money.
This problem is more complex than the other.
You need more sleep.
We use more of before a pronoun, a geographical name or a noun with a determiner.
He is more of a fool than I thought.
Can I have more of that cheese?
I would like to see more of Canada.
Most
Most is the superlative of much and many.
Most people enjoy watching a good movie.
When most has the superlative meaning, we use the before it.
Those who have the most money are not always the happiest.
He won the most votes in the election.
However, the can be dropped when most simply means the majority of.
Most children love toys.
Most people love children.
Before a pronoun, a geographical name or a noun with a determiner, we use most of.
We had done most of the work before lunchtime.
Most of my friends live abroad.
Most of us don't own cars.
Most of Egypt is barren.
She does most of her writing at home.
We use most before a noun or a noun phrase without a determiner.
Most children love chocolates.
Most people enjoy watching a good movie.
He won the most seats in the election.
POINTS TO BE NOTED
Most is the superlative of much. In comparisons when most has a superlative
meaning we normally use it with the.
This is the most expensive suit I have ever bought.
This is the most difficult phase in my life.
However, the can be dropped when there is no idea of comparison.
Most people enjoy watching a good movie.

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Much and many
MUCH
Much means a lot of. It is used with singular nouns.
There isn't much food in the house.
I don't have much free time.
You always give me too much trouble.
Before a pronoun, a geographical name or a noun with a determiner, we use much of.
She does much of her writing at home.
Much of this region is hilly.
Much can be used without a noun if the meaning is clear.
You have given me too much. I can't eat it all.
Much can modify comparatives and superlatives.
I feel much better today.
This is much the best novel I have read.
Much can also modify adjectives, adverbs and verbs.
I am much annoyed at his behaviour.
I don't like mangoes much.
She likes them very much.
MUCH AND MANY
Much is used with singular nouns; many is used with plural nouns.
I don't have much free time due to the demands of work.
She didn't eat much breakfast.
Many children are there in the park today.
He was among the many visitors to the site.
Among his many faults is self-importance.
Before a pronoun, a determiner or a geographical name we use many of.
Many of us thought that he was a fool.
Must in questions and negatives
Must can be used in questions to ask about what the hearer thinks is necessary.
Must I clean all the windows? (= Do you think that I should clean all the
windows?)
Must we wait for his approval? (= Do you think that we should wait for his
approval?)
Must we buy a new car? (= Do you think that we should buy a new car?)
It is also possible to express these ideas with have to.
Do I have to clean all the windows?
Do we have to wait for his approval?
Do we have to buy a new car?

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NEGATIVES
Must not / mustnt is used to prohibit to say that things must not be done.
You must not take this medicine without a prescription.
She must not reveal this secret to anybody.
He must not leave the country without obtaining the necessary permission.
She must not discontinue her studies.
Note that must not / mustnt is used to prohibit. It is not used to say that things are
unnecessary. That idea is expressed with do not need to or do not have to.
You dont need to get a visa to go to Nepal. (NOT You must not get a visa to
go to Nepal.)
COMPARE:
You dont have to work on Sundays. (= You have no obligation to work on
Sundays it is not necessary.)
You must not work on Sundays. (= You are prohibited from working on
Sundays.)
You dont have to wait. (= It is not necessary for you to wait.)
You must not wait. (= You are prohibited from waiting.)
Near
USING NEAR
The station is quite near; it is only two minutes walk.
The summer holidays are drawing near.
He lives near by.
Near as a preposition
Near can be used with or without to. To is not normally used when we are talking
about physical closeness.
Dont go near the edge of the cliff, you may fall over it. (NOT Dont go near to
the edge )
When we are not talking about physical closeness, near to is often preferred.
I came very near to hitting him. (NOT I came very near hitting him.)
Nearer and nearest are generally used with to, thoughto can be dropped in an
informal style.
Come and sit nearer to me.
Who is the girl sitting nearest to the door?

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Nearest and next
Nearest means most near in space.
Excuse me. Where is the nearest hospital?
Next means coming immediately after, in space or in order.
I am first. Who is next?
Take the next turning to the right.
I am looking forward to her next visit.
When you have finished this, what are you going to do next?
Note that in a few fixed expressions, next is used to mean nearest in space.
Who lives next door?
Come and sit next to me.
Next and the next
Next week, next month etc are the week or month just after this one. If I am
speaking in May, next month is June; if I am speaking in the year 2005, next year is
2006. Prepositions are not generally used before these time expressions.
Goodbye see you next week. (NOT the next week.)
I am spending next Christmas with my family.
The next
The next week means the period of seven days, starting at the moment of speaking.
I am going to be very busy for the next week. (= the seven days starting
today.)
I will be at college for the next three years.
Note that when there is no number, we say the next few days/weeks/months, not the
next days/weeks/months.
The next few days are going to be wet. (NOT The next days ...)
Negative forms
When there is more than one auxiliary verb, we make negative forms by putting not
after the first auxiliary verb.
They have not been invited.
She has not come.
I cannot come.
When be (is, am, are, was, were) is the main verb, we make negative forms by
putting not after be.
She is not ready.
You are not late.
I was not surprised.
When have is the main verb, we make negative forms by putting do not before have.
They do not have a car.
He does not have a good job.
When there are no auxiliary verbs, we make negative forms by putting do not before
the verb. After do not we use the infinitive without to.
Money does not grow on trees.
She did not come.
Before infinitives and -ing forms, we use not to make negative forms.
It is important not to be late.
The best thing about a computer is not complaining.
NEGATIVE QUESTIONS
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Negative questions can be contracted or uncontracted. Contractednegative questions
have the word order auxiliary verb + n't + subject. They are less formal.
Can't we wait?
Won't she come?
Hasn't she any friends to invite?
Uncontracted negative questions have the word order auxiliary verb + subject + not.
Can we not wait?
Will she not come?
Has she not any friends to invite?
Neither
Neither means 'not one nor the other of two'. It is followed by a singular noun and
verb.
Neither shirt looks good on you.
Neither statement is true.
NEITHER OF
Before a determiner (articles, possessives and distributives) or apersonal pronoun, we
use neither of.
Neither of my parents lives with me.
Neither of my sisters is married.
I like neither of them.
The pronoun that comes after neither of is plural in number. The verb is normally
singular, but can be plural in an informal style.

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NEITHER AND NOR TO MEAN 'ALSO NOT'
The adverbs neither and nor mean 'also not'. They can be used at the beginning of a
clause after a negative idea.
I don't like science fiction. Neither does my husband. (OR My husband does
not either.)
Alice didn't come, and nor did Mary. (OR Mary didn't either.)
We have never been to Paris. Neither have I. (OR I haven't either.)
She can't come today, and neither can her brother. (OR And her brother can't
either)
Note that here we use the inverted word order neither/nor + auxiliary verb + subject.
NEITHERNOR
This structure is used to join two negative ideas.
My father can't speak English.
My mother can't speak English.
Neither my father nor my mother can speak English.
After neither, we use a positive verb to mean a negative idea.
I don't drink.
I don't smoke.
I neither drink nor smoke. (NOT I neither don't drink nor don't smoke.)
When two singular nouns are joined by neithernor, the verb is normally singular,
but it can be plural in an informal style.
Neither Alice nor Mary is good at painting. (normal)
Neither Alice nor Mary are good at paiting. (informal)
Neither, nor and not either
We can use neither and nor to mean also not. They come at the beginning of a
clause, and are followed by inverted word order: auxiliary verb + subject.
I cant speak French. Neither can I. (NOT I also cant.)
John didnt turn up, and nor did Alice.
We can also use not either with the same meaning and normal word order.
I cant speak French. I cant either.
John didnt turn up, and Alice didnt either.
No, none and not a/any
We use no immediately before a singular or plural noun.
No man is mortal.
They have no food and will starve.
We have got no plans for the summer.
Before a determiner (e.g. the, this, my) or a personal pronoun, we use none of.
We invited several friends. But none of them came.
None of the keys would open the door.
None of my friends remembered my birthday.
When we use none of with a plural noun or pronoun, the verb can be singular or
plural.
None of them has come yet. (more formal)
None of them have come yet. (more informal)
None can be used alone, without a noun, if the meaning is clear.
Is there any beer in the house? No, there is none.
Note that we use neither of, not none of, to talk about two people or things.
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Neither of my parents lives with me. (NOT None of my parents )
NO/NONE AND NOT A/ANY
No can be used instead of not a or not any when we want to emphasise a negative
idea.
Sorry, I cant stop. I have got no time. (More emphatic than I havent got
any time.)
He is no fool. (More emphatic than He is not a fool.)
None of can be used instead of not any of.
She has done none of the work I told her to do. (More emphatic than She
hasnt done any of the work )
After no, countable nouns are usually plural.
He has got no children. (More natural than He has got no child.)
But note that we use a singular noun when the sense makes it necessary.
He has got no wife. (NOT no wives.)
No matter
No matter means it doesnt matter. It is used with who, whose, which, what, when,
where and how.
No matter where you go, I will follow you.
After no matter, we use a present tense with a future meaning.
You will be welcome no matter when you come.
NO MATTER WHO AND WHOEVER
The conjunctions no matter who/what etc., are used rather like whoever, whatever
etc.
No matter what you say, I wont believe you. (= Whatever you say, I wont
believe you.)
Phone me when you arrive, no matter how late it is. (= Phone me when you
arrive, however late it is.)

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North, northern, south, southern
We prefer eastern, southern etc when we are talking about rather indefinite areas,
and east, south etc. for more clearly defined places.
The northern part of this country is hilly.
The west side of the house (NOT The western side )
Capital letters are used at the beginning of East, Eastern, South, Southern etc when
these come in official or well-established place names.
North Carolina
South Africa
Middle East
In other cases, adjectives and nouns normally begin with small letters.
The sun rises in the east.
There is a strong north wind.
In place names, the use of East, Eastern, North, Northern etc is often just a matter of
custom, with no real reason for the difference.
COMPARE:
North America
South Africa
Northern Hemisphere
Western Australia
Of course
We use of course to mean something like as everybody knows or as is obvious.
It looks as if the sun goes round the earth, but of course the earth really goes
around the sun.
Of course is not a polite reply to a statement of fact.
COMPARE:
Could you help me? Of course.
It is cold. It certainly is. (Of course it is would be quite rude, because it
would suggest that the first speaker said something too obvious to be worth
mentioning.)
Often
Often means frequently on different occasions.
I often fell in love when I was young.
I often visit my parents.
If we want to say frequently on the same occasion, we generally use a different
expression (e.g. a lot of times, several times, frequently) or the structure keep ing.
I fell several times yesterday when I was skiing. (OR I kept falling yesterday
) (NOT I often fell yesterday )

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Once
Once means on one occasion.
I only went once.
Once can also mean at some time in the past.
Once (upon a time) there was a princess.
Note that to refer to an indefinite time in the future, we use sometimeor one day, not
once.
Come up and see me sometime. (NOT see me once.)
AS A CONJUNCTION
Once can be used as a conjunction meaning after, as soon as. It is most often used
with a perfect tense.
I would like to go for a walk once the rain has stopped.
Once he had found somewhere to live he started looking for work.
One
Singular countable noun.
Which is your boy? The one in the blue shirt.
I want that one, not this one.
Can you lend me a pen? Sorry, I havent got one.
One has a plural ones.
Green apples often taste better than red ones.
LEAVING OUT ONE(S)
One(s) can be left out immediately after superlatives, this, that, these, those, either,
neither, another and some other determiners.
I think my dog is the fastest (one).
Either (one) will suit me.
Let us have another (one).
Which (one) would you like? That looks the nicest.
We do not use one(s) immediately after my, your etc., some, any, both or a number.
Take your coat and pass me mine. (NOT my one.)
I need some matches. Have you got any? (NOT any ones?)
Are there any grapes? Yes I bought some today. (NOT some ones today.)
But note that one(s) is used in all these cases if there is an adjective.
Are there any mangoes? Yes, I bought some sweet ones today.
Has the cat had her kittens? Yes, she had four white ones. (NOT four white.)
We do not use one(s) for uncountable and abstract nouns.
If you havent got fresh cream I will take tinned (cream). (NOT tinned one.)
The Dutch grammatical system is very similar to the English system. (NOT
the English one.)

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ONE AND IT
To refer to one particular thing that has already been clearly identified, we use it, not
one.
Compare:
Could you lend me a bicycle? Sorry, I havent got one.
Could you lend me your bicycle? Sorry, I need it.
ONE (INDEFINITE PERSONAL PRONOUN)
We can use one or you to talk about people in general.
One/you should not do such an unkind thing as that.
One/you should love ones/your country.
Note that one is more formal than you.
One is not used to generalise about people who could not include the speaker; you is
not used to generalise about people who could not include the hearer.
One/you must believe in something.
In the sixteenth century people believed in witches. (NOT one/you believed
in witches this could not include the speaker or hearer.)
PRONOUNS REFERRING BACK TO ONE
When one is used in American English, he, him and his are generally used later in a
sentence to refer back to one. This is not normal in British English.
One should love his country. (US)
One should love ones country. (GB)
One can be a subject or object; there is a possessive ones and a reflexive pronoun
oneself.
On time and in time
On time means at the planned time. If you are on time, you are neither late nor
early. The opposite is early or late.
The train arrived on time. (It was neither early nor late.)
We want the meeting to start exactly on time.
In time means before the last moment. The opposite is too late.
We arrived there in time.
He would have died if they hadnt got him to hospital in time.

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Otherwise
Otherwise means if not. Otherwise is essentially a transitional adverb. It does not
connect two clauses. It merely shows how a statement is related to what has already
been said.
We must hurry; otherwise we will be late for the movie.
We must hurry. If we dont, we will be late for the movie.
You must work hard; otherwise you will fail the test.
She must sort things out; otherwise, she will find herself in deep trouble.
I hope the weather improves. Otherwise, well have to cancel the picnic.
They must be interested in buying the apartment.Otherwise, they wouldnt
have asked about the prices.
NOTES
A transitional adverb does not connect two clauses. It merely ensures the flow of
ideas between sentences and paragraph.
Transitional adverbs usually go at the beginning of a sentence and are separated by a
comma. We may use a semicolon or a full stop to separate the two clauses.
He must be quite intelligent. Otherwise, he wouldnt be able to solve such a
difficult problem.
He must be intelligent; otherwise, he wouldnt be able to solve such a difficult
problem.
Ought to have + past participle
The structure ought to have + past participle is used to talk about things which were
supposed to happen but did not.
I ought to have sent the money yesterday, but I forgot.
She ought to have been more careful.
They ought to have repaired the roof before monsoon set in.
This structure can also be used to make guesses about things which are not certain to
have happened.
They ought to have returned yesterday. (It is probable, but we dont know
whether they have actually returned.)
6 oclock. She ought to have reached home by now.

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Overlook and look over
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LOOK OVER AND OVERLOOK
To look something over is to examine it.
You should get an editor to look over this document.
Please look over these letters. They might contain spelling or grammar
mistakes.
I dont think that you should take these symptoms lightly. You should have
the doctor look you over. (= You should get yourself examined by the
doctor.)
To overlook something is to fail to notice it. Note that you can overlook
somebody or something deliberately or accidentally.
We can no longer afford to overlook his indiscretions.
Safety checks cannot be overlooked because they could lead to
accidents.
The indulgent mom always overlooks her sons shortcomings.
Overlook can also mean have a view of something from above.
They have bought a house that overlooks a beautiful lake. (= They can
get a view of the lake from their house.)
Owing to, due to, because of and on account of
Due to, owing to, on account of and because of are all prepositions with similar
meanings. They are followed by nouns or noun phrases.
Study the following examples:
The man was detained because of his suspicious behaviour.
The man was detained due to his suspicious behaviour.
The man was detained owing to his suspicious behaviour.
The man was detained on account of his suspicious behaviour.
As you can see all of these prepositions are usually interchangeable.
The jet was grounded because of / on account of / due to / owing to
engine trouble.
The match was cancelled due to / owing to / on account of / because
of bad weather.
WITH PREPARATORY IT
All of these prepositions can be used with preparatory it.
It was because of / on account of / owing to / due to his hard work
that he succeeded in life.
It was due to / owing to / because of / on account of traffic
congestion that I missed my flight.
It was due to / owing to / because of / on account of illness that I
failed my test.
Some people believe that it is wrong to use owing to after it is/was.However,
this usage is also becoming acceptable now.

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Due to, owing to and on account of are mainly used in a formal style. In a
less formal style, we prefer the conjunction because. Note that a conjunction
should be followed by a clause and not a noun.
The jet was grounded because it had engine trouble. (NOT The jet was
grounded because engine trouble.)
The match was cancelled because it rained.
He succeeded because he worked hard.
The man was detained because his behaviour was suspicious.
Pain and ache
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAIN AND ACHE
A pain is a feeling you experience when you hurt a part of your body or when
you are ill. The noun pain can be countable or uncountable. As a countable
noun, it can be used with the article a. It can also have the plural form pains.
He complained that he was having terrible pains in his chest.
Sometimes I feel a sharp pain below my ribs.
I have a pain in my head.
I can no longer endure this pain.
As an uncountable noun pain is mainly used to talk about the feeling of being
sad or upset.
She couldnt cope with the pain of being separated from her family.
The girls unfortunate death caused her parentsgreat pain.
SOME COMMON WORD COMBINATIONS WITH PAIN
Excruciating pain / intense pain / severe pain / sharp pain / stabbing pain /
terrible pain / unbearable pain
Alleviate pain / cause pain / ease pain / endure pain / experience pain / feel pain
/ inflict pain / relieve pain / lessen pain / soothe pain
Suddenly I felt a severe pain in my head.
This medicine will ease pain.
Ache
An ache is a continuous unpleasant pain that is not very strong.
I have a dull ache in my head. (Unpleasant but not so strong pain)
I have a stabbing pain in my head. (Severe pain that may or may not be
continuous)
We do not usually use the word ache to talk about a momentary feeling of pain.
Ache can also be used as an intransitive verb. When a part of your body aches,
you feel a continuous but not so strong pain there.
Just when I thought I was starting to feel well, my head began to ache.
We usually use the word ache to talk about common pains that we experience in
our head, stomach, tooth or back. For example we say headache, backache
toothache and stomachache. Native English speakers do not usually say head
pain or stomach pain. Note that we can use articles with toothache, backache
etc.
I am getting a toothache.
I have a bad backache.
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Perhaps
Perhaps and maybe have the same meaning. Perhaps is more formal than
maybe.
Perhaps is used to suggest that you are not certain about something.
Perhaps we have met before.
Perhaps she missed the train.
Perhaps she made a mistake.
Perhaps he was angry.
She was perhaps the oldest among them.
Perhaps is also used when you are simply guessing a number or an amount.
There were perhaps twenty girls in the class.
She is perhaps eighty.
PERHAPS IN POLITE REQUESTS
Perhaps is often used to make a suggestion or a request sound more polite.
Perhaps you should hire a professional to fix that.
She doesnt look well perhaps she should consult a doctor.
I dont know how to use this fax machine. Perhaps you could help.
Perhaps you could offer an explanation.
Play and game
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PLAY AND GAME
Play and game as nouns
A play is a piece of dramatic literature, written for the theatre, radio or
television.
King Lear is my favorite among the plays written by Shakespeare.
She writes plays for television.
A game is an activity of some sort. Examples are: chess, tennis or football.
Play as a verb
We play games or musical instruments.
Who is playing the piano?
Would you like to play tennis with me?
People act in plays or films.
Play can mean act before the name of a character in a play or film.
Who plays Rose in the film Titanic?

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Point of view
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FROM SOMEBODY'S POINT OF VIEW AND IN SOMEBODY'S
OPINION
The expression point of view is used to talk about how somebody is affected by
what happens.
When you say from his point of view what you mean is more like from his
position in life. Note that from somebodys point of view does not mean the
same as in somebodys view / opinion.
COMPARE:
In my opinion, socialism is basically good. (NOT From my point of view,
socialism is basically good.)
He wrote about capitalism from the point of view of a communist.
In my opinion / view, she is a pretty good teacher.
You have to judge the capabilities of a teacherfrom the point of view of
a student.
IN MY OPINION / ACCORDING TO ME
We do not give our own opinions with according to. Instead, we use in my
opinion.
In my opinion, war is always wrong. (NOT According to me, war is
always wrong.)
According to Jane, war is always wrong.
Primary auxiliaries
The primary auxiliaries are of three kinds: be, do and have. Each of them has
different forms.
Be
The auxiliary be has five forms: is, am, are, was andwere. Be also has a
present participle (being) and apast participle (been) form.
I am writing a novel.
He is working on a project.
They are playing in the garden.
We were waiting for the bus.
He was waiting for her.
Do
Do has three forms: do, does and did. The forms doand does are used to make
questions and negative sentences in the simple present tense. Do is used with
plural nouns and pronouns. Does is used with singular nouns and pronouns.
He does not believe in ghosts.
I do not want to go.
Does he want to go?
Did is used to make questions and negative sentences in the simple past tense.
Note that after do, does and did, we use the infinitive without to.
He did not go. (NOT He did not went.) (NOT He did not to go.)

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Have
Have has three forms: have, has and had. Have andhas are used to make the
present perfect and perfect continuous tense forms. Have is used with plural
nouns and pronouns. Has is used with singular nouns and pronouns.
I have finished the job.
She has seen better days.
We have been waiting for ages.
Had is used to make the past perfect and perfect continuous tense forms.
She had left before I arrived.
I had visited them when I was in Mumbai.
Have is also used to talk about possession, relationships and other ideas.
I have two children.
She has a pet dog.
Prize and price
The price is what you pay if you buy something. A prize is what you are given if you
have done something exceptional, or if you win a competition.
What is the price of that bag? (NOT What is the prize of that bag?)
She won the Nobel Prize for physics.
Provide or provide with
To provide is to give someone something that they need.
They provide free food and accommodation fortheir employees.
The school provides accommodation for students.
He should be able to provide information about the new infrastructure
projects in this locality.
PROVIDE SOMEONE WITH SOMETHING
The get-together provided him with an opportunity to meet some of his
old classmates.
My visit to France provided me with an opportunity to learn some
French.
PROVIDE SOMETHING FOR SOMEONE
The school provides accommodation for students.
Some companies have started providingplayrooms for children so that
working mothers can bring their kids along.
PROVIDE SOMETHING TO SOMEONE
We provide legal advice to our clients.
This website provides free English grammar lessons to ESL students.

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PROVIDE OR PROVIDE WITH
When provide means give someone something they need, it takes the
preposition with.
My parents didnt have enough money to provide me with a university
education. (NOT My parents didnt have enough money to provide me a
university education.)
She works two jobs in a day so that she canprovide her children with
food and clothing.
The school provides students withaccommodation.
Summer camps provide students with an opportunity to learn new
skills.
They provide their employees with free foodand accommodation.
My parents have provided me with all that I want.
PHRASAL VERBS WITH PROVIDE
Provide against
To provide against something is to take steps to deal with something bad that
may happen.
No matter how hard we try, we cant provide against certain
circumstances.
Provide for
To provide for someone is to make sure that they have what they need.
She works hard to provide for her family.
He doesnt earn enough to provide for his children.
Provided that
Provided that can be used as a conjunction. It is used to introduce a condition.
It means something will happen only if another thing also happens.
You can borrow my car, provided that you drive it carefully.
You can watch TV provided that you finish your homework first.
I will go provided that she invites me.
I will take you there, provided that you pay me.
You may go out provided that you are back by ten oclock.
In clauses introduced by provided that, we use apresent tense to refer to the future.
I will accept the job provided that they offer me a good salary. (NOT I
will accept the job provided that they will offer me a good salary.)
Usually, the same idea can be expressed using if or on condition that.
You can watch TV on condition that you finish your homework first.
If you finish your homework first, you can watch TV.
If she invites me I will go.
If you pay me, I will take you there. OR I will take you there on
condition that you pay me.
If they offer me a good salary, I will accept the job.

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Question words
The words who, whom, whose, which, what, when, where, why and how are used in
questions. They show what kind of information is wanted.
Why are you crying? (asking for a reason)
What do you want? (asking for a non-personal object)
Who is this? (asking for a personal subject)
Who and whom are pronouns. They act as subject or object in their clauses. When,
where, why and how act as adverbs. What, whichand whose can be pronouns or
determiners.
Question words normally come at the beginning of their clauses. When a question
word is the subject, it comes before the verb and do cannot normally be used.
Who (subject) said that? (NOT Who did say that?)
Who (object) did you invite?
Quite
Quite suggests a higher degree than fairly. It can modify adjectives, adverbs,
verbs and nouns.
The film was quite good. (modifies the adjective good)
I can speak French quite well. (modifies the adverb well)
I quite dislike him. (modifies the verb dislike)
That was quite a celebration. (modifies the noun celebration)
With non-gradable adjectives and adverbs quite means completely.
It is quite impossible. (=It is completely impossible.)
I have quite finished. (=I have completely finished.)
With gradable adjectives and adverbs, quite means something likefairly or
rather.
It is quite surprising.
Quite is not used directly before comparatives. We use other words like rather,
much or a bit.
She is rather taller than her husband. (NOT She is quite taller than her
husband.)
This rule, however, has an exception. Quite can be used before better.
I feel quite better today.
WITH NOUNS
We use quite a/an before a noun with a gradable adjective or no adjective.
The film was quite a success.
She is quite a crowd puller.
That was quite a celebration.
It was quite a pleasant surprise.
With non-gradable adjectives, quite comes after a/an.
It was a quite perfect day. (NOT It was quite a perfect day.)
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Rather
Rather is an adverb of degree. Its meaning is similar to fairly and quite.
She is rather tall.
The interview was rather tough.
With adjectives and adverbs, rather suggests more than is usual more than
was expected and similar ideas.
I speak French rather well.
It is rather warm in here. Lets open the window.
Rather can modify comparatives and too.
It is rather later than I thought.
He talks rather too much.
With nouns
Rather can modify noun phrases, with or without adjectives. It generally comes
before articles, but can also come after a/an if there is an adjective.
He is rather a fool. (NOT He is a rather fool.)
It was a rather good idea. (OR It was rather a good idea.)
She is rather a successful actor. (OR She is a rather successful actor.)
Rather is not normally used before a plural noun with no adjective.
With verbs
Rather can modify verbs.
She rather enjoys doing nothing.
I rather think we are going to lose.
Rather than and would rather
Rather than is normally used in parallel structures: for example with two
adjectives, adverbs, nouns, infinitives or -ing forms. When the main clause has a
to-infinitive, rather than is normally followed by an infinitive without to. An -ing
form is also possible.
I would prefer to leave now rather than wait.
You ought to admit your crime rather than defend it.
I would prefer to go in August rather than in July.
I decided to write rather than phone/phoning. (NOT than to phone)
Would rather
Would rather means 'would prefer to'. It is followed by an infinitive without to.
Would you rather stay here or go home? (=Would you prefer to stay
here or go home.)

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Would rather + subject + past tense
We can use would rather to say that one person would prefer another or others
to do something. We use a special structure with a past tense.
Dont come today, I would rather you came tomorrow. (=I would prefer
you to come tomorrow.)
I would rather you posted this letter. (= I would like you to post this
letter.)
To talk about past actions, a past perfect tense is possible.
I would rather you hadn't done that. (= I wish you hadn't done that.)
Same
We normally use the before same.
We have lived in the same house for twenty years.
He is the same age as his wife.
Her hair is the same colour as her mothers.
Before a clause, the same that or the same who can be used.
This is the same man that/who asked me for money yesterday.
The same means in the same way.
If you leave me I shall never feel the same again.
Say and tell
Say refers to any kind of speech. It is most often used without a personal object.
She said that she would be late. (NOT She said me that )
If we want to put a personal object after say, we use to.
TELL
Tell is used to mean instruct or inform. After tell, we usually say who is told.
She told me that it was my last chance.
Tell can be followed by object + infinitive. Say cannot be used like this.
I told him to be careful. (NOT I said him to be careful.)
Tell is used without a personal object in a few expressions. Examples are: tell
the truth, tell a lie, tell a story/joke.
Do you think she is telling the truth? (NOT Do you think she is saying
the truth?)
DIRECT AND INDIRECT SPEECH
Both say and tell are used with direct and indirect speech. Note thatsay is more
common than tell with direct speech.
Be careful, he said. (OR Be careful, he told me. )
This is your last chance, she said. (OR This is your last chance, she told
me. )
Note that tell is only used to mean instruct or inform; say can refer to any
kind of speech.
She said, Thank you. (NOT She told him, Thank you.)

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See
USING SEE
See means perceive with one's eye. It can also mean understand. With these
meanings it is not used in the progressive form.
I can see a ship.
I see (NOT am seeing) from his letters that he has worked here before.
We have got a problem. I see. (NOT I am seeing.)
SEE: PROGRESSIVE FORMS
When see means meet, interview, talk to or go out with,progressive forms
are possible.
He is seeing a German girl at the moment.
I am seeing the doctor tomorrow.
See can also be used in the progressive when we mean that somebody is
imagining things that are not there.
Look! There is a camel! You are seeing things.
OTHER USES
The expression I will see means I will consider the matter. Let me seemeans
give me time to think or recall. Note that a preposition is necessary before the
object in these cases.
We will see about that soon.
See, look at and watch
To see is to use your eyes in order to recognize things. We can see things even if
we are not paying attention.
Suddenly I saw a strange sight.
I couldnt see anything.
See can also mean understand.
Did you see what I mean? (= Did you understand what I mean?)
We do not normally use the continuous form of see with this meaning.
I can see a ship. (NOT I am seeing a ship.)
However, continuous forms of see can be used to talk about future
arrangements.
I am seeing your Dad tomorrow.

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LOOK (AT)
To look at something is to try to see what is there. It involves paying attention.
Note that we can see something, even if we dont want to see it. However, we
can only look at something deliberately.
I looked at the screen but I couldnt see anything.
He looked at her with suspicion.
When look has an object, it is normally followed by the preposition at.
She looked at me. (NOT She looked me.)
When there is no object, we use look without a preposition.
Look! (NOT Look at!)
Look here! (NOT Look at here!)
Look at him. (NOT Look him.)
The use of the preposition is optional when look is followed by a wh-clause.
Look what you have done! OR Look at what you have done!
WATCH
Watching involves paying attention and in that sense it is like look at. We
watch things that change or develop.
The police have been watching his moves for two days.
Watch is normally used with TV.
What were you doing in the morning? I was watching TV.
Both watch and see can be used to talk about films and TV programs.
I saw an interesting program on TV yesterday. OR I watched an
interesting program on TV yesterday.
SEE IF / WHETHER
See can be followed by an if-clause or a whether-clause. Look and watch
cannot be used in this way.
See if we can get a ticket for the show. (NOT Look if we can get a ticket
for the show.) (NOT Watch if we can get a ticket for the show.)
Seem
Seem is a copular verb. It is followed by adjectives, not adverbs.
He seems angry about something. (NOT He seems angrily about
something.)
She seems depressed.
SEEM TO BE
Seem is often followed by to be. In general, seem to be is preferred when we
are talking about things that seem definitely to be true.
Things far off seem to be small.
The milk seems to be sterilised.
In many cases both seem and seem to be are possible.

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WITH NOUNS
Seem to be is normal before nouns or noun phrases.
There seems to be some misunderstanding between them.
I spoke to a man who seemed to be the boss.
She seems to be a nice girl.
SEEM WITH INFINITIVES
Seem can be followed by the infinitives of other verbs.
They seem to have made a mistake.
She seems to need help.
Sometimes it is possible to begin these sentences with a preparatory it.
It seems that they have made a mistake.
It seems that she needs help.
Sensible and sensitive
Sensible means having or showing good sense. A sensible person does not
make stupid decisions.
She is very sensible.
It was a sensible answer.
Lets get married in Las Vegas. Be sensible, honey. We havent got that
much money.
SENSITIVE
A sensitive person is quick to receive impressions. He or she may get hurt
easily.
The eyes are sensitive to light. (NOT The eyes are sensible to light.)
He is very sensitive to criticism. (NOT The eyes are very sensible to
criticism.)
I have got sensitive skin.
She is very sensitive.
Shade and shadow
The noun shade refers to the partly dark area sheltered from direct rays of light.
I am hot. Lets sit in the shade.
Plants dont grow well in the shade.
SHADOW
Shadow is the dark shape thrown on the ground, on a wall, floor etc., by
something which cuts off the direct rays of light.
In the morning your shadow is shorter than you.

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Should in subordinate clauses
In formal British English, should is often used in that-clauses after certain nouns
and adjectives. Examples of such nouns and adjectives are: important,
necessary, vital, essential, eager, anxious, concerned andwish. As you
may have noticed, most of them refer to the importance of an action.
It is important that she should be told.
I am anxious that nobody should be left out.
It is necessary that she should talk to the manager.
It is essential that she should finish her studies.
Certain verbs expressing similar ideas can also be followed by that-clauses with
should.
She insisted that I should pay for the drinks.
The doctor recommended that I should stop smoking.
In American English, this use of should is unusual.Subjunctives may be used
instead.
It is important that she be told.
It is necessary that she talk to the manager.
It is essential that she finish her studies.
SHOULD IN IF-CLAUSES
Should can be used in if-clauses. This structure is used to suggest that
something is unlikely.
If you should see James, tell him that he owes me a drink.
SHOULD AFTER IN CASE
After in case, we often use should + infinitive. This structure is used to add the
meaning by chance.
I always take an umbrella in case it should rain.
Since
In sentences with since, we normally use present perfect and past perfect
tenses in the main clause.
I met him ten years ago and have admired him ever since.
We havent met since her marriage.
They have known each other since 1975.
We had been friends since university days.
Present and past tenses are also occasionally used. This often happens in the
structure It is/was since
It is just a week since we arrived here.
It was ages since our last game of tennis. (OR It had been ages since our
last game of tennis.)
TENSES IN SINCE-CLAUSES
Since can introduce its own clause. The tense in thesince-clause can be perfect
or past, depending on the meaning.
I have known her since we were at school together.
I have known her since I have lived in this street.
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SINCE AS AN ADVERB AND A CONJUNCTION
Since is an adverb of time commonly used with thepresent perfect or
present perfect continuous tense.
I havent seen him since last week.
It has been raining since morning.
I have been working since lunchtime.
I have been waiting for the parcel since Tuesday.
Since can also mean between some time in the past and the present time.
Last Sunday he went for a drive and has not been seen since.
Since can also be used with past perfect tenses.
It took me years to get over my break up with Susie. We had been seeing
each other since our university days.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SINCE AND FOR
Since is used with a point of time in the past. For indicates duration.
COMPARE:
It has been raining since morning. (NOT It has been raining since four
hours.)
It has been raining for four hours.
Since as a preposition
When since is used as a preposition, present and past tenses are also possible.
I havent met her since her marriage.
Things werent going so well since his fathers death.
She isnt doing very well since her operation.
Since as a conjunction
Since can also be used as a subordinating conjunction. We can use perfect or
past tenses in thesince-clause. A since-clause can show cause or time.
Since he hadnt paid the bill, his electricity was cut off.
Since he has apologized, we will not take any further actions against
him.
Since we have no money, we cant buy anything.
I have admired him since I was a boy.
I havent seen them since we moved to Mumbai.

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Since, as, because and so
USING AS, SINCE, BECAUSE AND SO
The words as, since and because can be used to refer to the reason for
something. So is used to refer to the result.
It was a pleasant evening. And hence we decided to go out.
We can combine these two sentences into one in the following ways.
As it was a pleasant evening, we decided to go out.
We decided to go out because it was a pleasant evening.
Since it was a pleasant evening, we decided to go out.
It was a pleasant evening, so we decided to go out.
Notes
Clauses introduced by as and since usually come at the beginning of sentences.
As and since-clauses are relatively formal. In a less formal style, we can
express the same idea using so.
A because-clause can go either before or after the main clause.
My brother had refused to accompany me. And hence I went to the court
alone.
As my brother had refused to accompany me, I went to the court
alone.
Since my brother had refused to accompany me, I went to the court
alone.
Because my brother had refused to accompany me, I went to the
court alone. OR I went to the court alone because my brother had refused
to accompany me.
My brother had refused to accompany me so I went to the court alone.
Notes
When a subordinate clause comes at the beginning of a sentence, we usually
separate it with a comma.
So...that...
USING SO...THAT...
The correlative conjunction sothat shows cause and effect.
Study the following sentences.
It rained very heavily. As a result, the town went under water.
Here the first sentence refers to the cause that leads to the effect mentioned in
the second sentence.
We can combine these two sentences using sothat
It rained so heavily that the town went under water.
More examples are given below.
They arrived very late. They missed the first part of the show.
They arrived so late that they missed the first part of the show.
She spoke very rudely. I felt like slapping her.
She spoke so rudely that I felt like slapping her.
The food was delicious. We enjoyed it heartily.
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The food was so delicious that we enjoyed it heartily.
He speaks very fast. I dont understand half of what he says.
He speaks so fast that I dont understand half of what he says.
He is very forgetful. Sometimes he doesnt remember his own phone
number.
He is so forgetful that sometimes he doesnt remember his own phone
number.
The pain was unbearable. I couldnt sleep at all.
The pain was so unbearable that I couldnt sleep at all.
She was very beautiful. I couldnt take my eyes off her.
She was so beautiful that I couldnt take my eyes off her.
Such and such...that
USING SUCH
The structure such + noun can be used to mean like this/that. Note that such
comes before the articlea/an.
The management is planning to hire more people. I would oppose such a
decision. (= I would oppose a decision like that.)
Dont be in such a hurry. (= Dont be in so great a hurry.)
The noun can be modified by an adjective.
It was such a horrible experience.
That was such a bad journey.
They are such good people.
Such indicates a high degree of some quality. It is used in situations where very
is also a suitable word.
It was such a horrible experience. OR It was a very horrible experience.
She has such a sweet smile. OR She has a very sweet smile.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SUCH AND VERY
Both such and very are possible in some situations. However, there is some
difference between them. Veryis used to merely give information. It does not
make a reference to something that has already been said.Such refers back to
what has been said.
It was a very pleasant experience. OR It wassuch a pleasant
experience.
Both such and very are possible in this case.
Why do you think that it was such a pleasant experience? (NOT Why do
you think that it was a very pleasant experience?)
Here we are making a reference to something that has already been said. In
such situations, only such is possible.
THAT-CLAUSES WITH SUCH
Such can be followed by a that-clause. Very cannot be followed directly by a
that-clause.
It was such a cold afternoon that we stayed indoors. (NOT It was a very
cold afternoon that we stayed indoors.)
It was such a bad experience that it shocked all of us.
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His rudeness was such that his parents were ashamed.
He is such a good writer that he is admired by all.
Such as
Such as can be used with a noun to introduce examples.
Fruits such as mangoes and grapes are rich in nutrients.
Musical instruments such as the piano and the guitar are not very easy
to learn.
Fatty foods such as fries and hamburgers are not good for health.
Surely
Surely does not mean the same as certainly. There is usually a difference.
Compare:
That is certainly Janes boyfriend. (= I know that is Janes boyfriend.)
Surely that is Janes boyfriend? (That really seems to be Janes boyfriend.
How surprising!)
Sentences with surely often have question marks. They are used to say that the
speaker believes something in spite reasons to believe the opposite.
Surely that is James over there? I thought he was in Germany.
Surely not expresses difficulty in believing something.
Surely he is not going to divorce his wife? (= I cant believe that he is
going to divorce his wife.)
Could you help me? Surely / certainly.
Take
We can use take to say how much time we need to do something.
Different structures are possible.
PERSON + TAKE + TIME + INFINITIVE
When the person is the subject, we use the structure person + take +
time + infinitive.
He took 5 years to finish the project.
I took three hours to get home.
They took all day to clean the room.
ACTIVITY + TAKE + PERSON + TIME + INFINITIVE
The activity can be the subject
The project took him five years to finish.
The room took them all day to clean.
The ferry took them two hours to unload.
It is also possible to begin these sentences with a preparatory it. The
word order is as follows: it + take + person + time + infinitive
It took him five years to finish the project.
It took them all day to clean the room.
Talk to, talk with and talk at
There is hardly any difference between talk to and talk with. I think the form
talk with is more common in American English.
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Can I talk with Alice, please? OR Can I talk to Alice, please?
I want to talk to you. OR I want to talk with you.
You must talk to your boss. OR You must talk with your boss.
To talk to / talk with somebody is to have a meaningful conversation with
them. This is usually a two-way process. That means both parties exchange their
ideas.
When you talk at somebody, you are just talking at them. You dont care
whether they are listening or not. You are also not keen on hearing what they
have to say. Note that this expression has a negative connotation.
He was a difficult boss. He would always talk at you. He wasnt really
interested in hearing what you had to say.
Dont just talk at me. I also want to be heard.
The teacher was merely talking at her students.
They're, there and their
THEY'RE
They're is the contracted form of They are.
Theyre playing. (= They are playing.)
Theyre running. (= They are running.)
THERE
There is a kind of preparatory subject. It is used in sentences which say
that something exists somewhere.
There is a bridge over the river.
There is no way out.
There are two people in the room.
THEIR
Their is a possessive word like my or your.
I have been to their home.
I would like to buy their car.
Therefore
The word therefore is not a conjunction, and therefore you cannot use it to
connect two clauses.
Read the sentence given below. It is an example of the incorrect use of
therefore.
He is clever therefore he gets good marks.
As you can see, therefore is incorrectly used as a conjunction in the above
sentence. We can correct this mistake in several different ways. For example, we
can split the sentence into two clauses.
He is clever. Therefore, he gets good marks.
Note that when therefore comes at the beginning of a sentence, we use a
comma to separate it from the rest of the sentence.
Instead of a full stop, we can use a semicolon.
He is clever; therefore, he gets good marks.

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We can also use a conjunction to connect these two clauses.
He is clever, and therefore he gets good marks.
Another example is given below.
She was a talented singer therefore she didnt have much difficulty
getting good offers.
This sentence needs to be rewritten as:
She was a talented singer. Therefore, she didnt have much difficulty
getting good offers.
She was a talented singer; therefore, she didnt have much difficulty
getting good offers.
She was a talented singer, and therefore she didnt have much difficulty
getting good offers.
The conjunction so has a similar meaning to therefore.
She was a talented singer so she didnt have much difficulty getting good
offers.
Too and to
Too means more than is good or desirable.
It is too hot to go out now.
The hat is too large for me.
You smoke too much.
Too can mean also. It is generally used at the end of a sentence.
I have got a headache. I have too.
You can have an apple, but you cant have an orange too.
TO
To is a preposition.
I go to office by bus.
I gave a present to him.
Until and till
These two words mean exactly the same. They can be used both as prepositions
and conjunctions. Note that until is more formal than till.
I will wait until/till I hear from you.
Wait until/till tomorrow.
Wait until/till he returns.
UNTIL/TILL AND TO
To can sometimes be used as a preposition of time with the same meaning as
until/till. This happens after from
I usually work from ten to six. (OR I usually work from ten until/till
six.)

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CASES WHERE UNTIL/TILL IS NOT USED
Until/till is used only to talk about time. To talk about distance, we use to, as
far as or up to; up to is also used to talk about quantity.
We walked as far as/up to the edge of the forest. (NOT until/till the
edge of the forest.)
You can earn up to $100 a week.
It is sometimes possible to use until/till before a place name in the sense of
until we get to .
Go straight on until/till you come to the post office and then turn left.
TENSES AFTER UNTIL
After until, we use present tenses to refer to the future.
I will wait until she returns. (NOT until she will return.)
Up and down
Down means from a higher part to a lower part of something.
The rain came down heavily.
We ran down the road.
Down can also mean along.
She walked down the road. (= She walked along the road.)
Note that to pay $10 down is to pay $10 now and the rest later.
UP
Up means to or in a high(er) or (more) important place, degree etc.
Pull your socks up.
Are you going up to London (i.e. from the country) soon?
Trains to important places are often called up trains and trains from important
places down trains. But note that in the US, downtown normally means in/to
the central business/entertainment area.
People often use up for movements towards the north, and down for
movements towards the south.
Used to
We use used + infinitive to talk about past habits.
I used to smoke, but now I have stopped.
He used to play football when he was a boy.
There used to be a theatre at this corner years ago.
Used to has no present form. It has no progressive, perfect, infinitive or ing
forms either. To talk about present habits and states, we usually use the simple
present tense.
He smokes. (NOT He uses to smoke.)

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CASES WHERE USED TO IS NOT USED
Used to indicates a constant or frequent practice in the past, or the existence of
something in the past. There is an idea that circumstances have changed. It is
not used simply to say what happened at a past time, or how long it took, or how
many times it happened.
I went to Canada five times last year. (NOT I used to go to Canada five
times last year.)
I lived in Chennai for five years. (NOT I used to live in Chennai for five
years.)
BE USED TO
If a person is used to something, he or she has experienced it before that it is no
longer strange or new. Be used to can be followed by nouns or ing forms (NOT
infinitives).
I am used to waiting for buses.
I am not used to living in the city.
I have lived in the city for five years now, so I am used to the noise.
GET USED TO ING
Get, become and grow can also be used before used to (ing).
Little by little, she became used to her new family.
You will soon get used to living in the country.
Very
Very means to a great degree. It is used with an adjective or another adverb in
the positive degree.
He is very nice.
He is a very nice boy.
He did it very nicely.
It is very cold.
She is very beautiful.
He wrote very well/carefully/quickly.
Very can be used with a present participle used as an adjective.
It is a very amusing story.
It is very interesting.
When used with a superlative or own, very means in the highest degree or
absolutely.
This tea is of the very best quality.
She is the very best dancer here.
Very is quite common before much.
I like your new dress very much.
I am very much obliged to you.
Thank you very much.

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TOO AND VERY
Too does not mean the same as very. Too means more than enough, more
than necessary or more than wanted. Very, on the other hand, has a positive
meaning.
COMPARE:
It was very cold, but we went out.
It was too cold to go out, so we stayed at home.
However, in an informal style, too can sometimes be used to mean very.
Oh, that is really too kind of you thank you so much.
VERY WITH SUPERLATIVES
Very can emphasize superlatives and words like first, last and next.
They were all sporting their very best clothes.
This is your very last chance, so dont just throw it away.
You are the very first person I have seen today.
Want
After want, we normally use an infinitive with to.
I dont want to talk to her again.
An object + infinitive structure is also possible.
She wants me to clear her doubts.
That-clauses are not normally used after want.
STRUCTURES
Want can be followed by an object + complement.
I want him back.
They wanted him dead.
We want the job finished by Monday.
To be or as is used before a noun complement.
I want you to be my wife. (OR I want you as my wife. )
(NOT I want you my wife.)
BE WANTING
Be wanting means be missing or lacking.
A few pages of this book are wanting.
He is wanting in courtesy. (= He is not polite.)
WANT MEANING NEED
In informal British English, want is often used to mean need.
Your hair wants a good brush.
That car wants a clean.
In this case, want can be followed by an ing form.
That car wants cleaning.
You hair wants brushing.


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-WARD(S)
Words like backward(s), forward(s), northward(s), outward(s) etc. can be
used as adjectives or adverbs.
ADJECTIVES
When they are used as adjectives, they do not have s.
African countries are backward in some ways.
He was last seen driving in a northward direction.
ADVERBS
When these words are adverbs, they can be used with or without s.
Why are you moving backward(s) and forward(s) ?
If we keep going upward(s), we will get to the top.
In figurative expressions such as look forward to, bring forward, put
forward, the form without s is always used.
She put forward a very interesting suggestion.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Well and good
Well and good can have similar meanings, but in this case well is an adverb,
while good is an adjective.
He teaches very well. (adverb modifying teaches)
He is a good teacher. (adjective modifying teacher.)
He is good. (NOT He is well.)
She speaks English well. (NOT She speaks English good.)
She speaks good English.
Her English is good. (NOT Her English is well.)
Note that we cannot say She speaks well English. (Adverbs cannot usually go
between the verb and the object.)
There is also an adjective well, meaning in good health.
I dont feel very well.
How are you? Quite well, thanks.
Note that the adjective well is only used to talk about health.


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Whether and if
We can generally use both whether and if to introduce indirect yes/no
questions.
I am not sure whether/if she will come.
I asked whether/if she had any letters for me.
I dont know whether/if I can come or not.
CASES WHERE ONLY WHETHER IS POSSIBLE
After prepositions only whether is possible.
There was a big argument about whether we should move to a new
house. (NOT There was a big argument about if )
I havent settled the question of whether I should settle abroad.
Before to-infinitives, only whether is possible.
They can decide whether to get married now or wait.
Which and what
There is little difference of meaning between which and what.
Which/what is the largest continent in the world?
Which/what train did you come on?
Which is preferred when the speaker has a limited number of choices in mind.
We have got white and brown bread. Which will you have?
Which colour do you want red, pink, blue or purple?
When the speaker is not thinking of a limited number of choices, what is used.
What is your telephone number? (NOT Which is your phone number?)
What language do they speak in Chile? (More natural than Which
language )
Before nouns, which and what can be used to ask questions about both people
and things.
Which teacher do you like best?
What writers do you like?
Which colour do you want red or brown?
When these words are used as pronouns, without nouns immediately after them,
we use who, not which, for people.
Who is your favourite writer? (NOT Which is your favourite writer?)
Who won Alan or Peter? (NOT Which won )
However, which can be used in questions about peoples identity, and what can
be used to ask about peoples jobs and functions.
Which is your boy? The one blue shirt.
What is your husband? He is a doctor.

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Wish
We can use wish + infinitive to mean want. Note that progressive forms are
not used.
I wish to speak to the manager, please. (NOT I am wishing )
If you wish to fix an appointment, please telephone after six o clock.
An object + infinitive structure is also possible.
The accused said that they did not wish their photos to appear in the
papers.
Note that wish + object is not normally possible without a following infinitive.
I want/would like an appointment with the manager. (NOT I wish an
appointment )
WISH + THAT CLAUSE
Wish can be followed by a that-clause (that can be dropped in an
informal style). In this case, wish does not mean want it expresses
regret that things arent different, and refers to situations that are unreal,
impossible or unlikely.
I wish (that) I was better-looking.
Dont you ever wish that you could fly?
I wish I earned more money.
Wish + that-clause is not generally used for wishes about things that
seem possible in the future. We often use hope in this sense.
I hope you feel better tomorrow. (NOT I wish you felt better tomorrow.)
In a that-clause after wish, past tenses are used with a present or
future meaning.
I wish (that) I spoke French. (= It would be nice if I spoke French.)
I wish I could fly. (NOT I wish I can fly.)
Past perfect tenses are used for wishes about the past.
I wish you hadnt said that.
I WISH YOU
Wish is used with two objects in some fixed expressions of good wishes.
I wish you a speedy recovery.
Progressive forms are possible.
Heres wishing you all the best in your new job.


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With
With is used in a number of expressions which say how people are showing their
emotions and sensations.
He was trembling with rage.
Alice was jumping up and down with excitement.
Other common expressions are:
Blue with cold
White with fear/rage
Red with anger/embarrassment
Green with envy
Shivering with cold
Note that with is not generally used after words like kind, nice, polite, rude,
good, which say how people act towards others.
WITH MEANING AGAINST
After fight, struggle, quarrel, argue, play and words with similar meanings, with
can be used with the same meaning as against.
Will you play chess with me?
Dont fight with him.
Whose
Whose is a relative possessive word, used as a determiner before nouns. It can
refer to people or things.
This is the man whose house was burgled.
I saw a girl whose beauty took my breath away.
OF WHICH; THAT OF
Instead of whose, we can use of which or that of to refer to things. The
most common word order is noun + of which or that of. Of which +
noun is also possible.
Compare the following sentences. All of them express the same idea.
He has written a book whose name I have forgotten.
He has written a book the name of which I have forgotten.
He has written a book that I have forgotten the name of.
He has written a book of which I have forgotten the name.
Sentences with whose are rather formal. In an informal style other structures
are preferred. With is a common way of expressing possessive ideas.
I have got some friends with a house that looks over a river. (Less
formal than I have got some friends whose house looks over a river.)


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Would like
The structure would like + infinitive is often used as a polite way of saying want.
It is very common in requests and offers.
I would like something to drink.
I would like two kilos of potatoes, please.
I would like to go now.
I would like to watch that film.
I would like to visit that place.
The structure would you like is commonly used in polite offers.
Would you like something to drink?
Would you like to join us?
Would you like to go for a walk?
Would you like to play with me?
Would you like some advice?
WOULD AND USED TO
Would can be used to talk about past habits and typical characteristics.
She would always carry an umbrella.
He would often go for long drives.
Her days would start at 5.30 and then she would dust, clean, wash, cook
and iron.
The old man would sit in a corner talking to himself for hours.
When we were kids we would go swimming every Sunday.
She would often bring us nice gifts.
They would rarely talk to each other.
She would rarely step out of his room.
In most cases, it is possible to express these ideas using used to.
She used to always carry an umbrella.
He used to go for long drives.
She used to get up at 5.30.
When we were kids we used to go swimming every Sunday.
She used to bring us nice gifts.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WOULD AND USED TO
Used to can be used to talk about past states which are now finished. Would
cannot be used to refer to past states.
That heritage hotel used to be a royal palace.
There used to be a library down the street.

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COMPARE:
That auditorium used to be a cinema theatre. (= The building was once a
cinema theatre, but now it is an auditorium.)
The manager said that the auditorium would be a cinema theatre. (= The
building is now an auditorium, but it is going to be a cinema theatre.)
Notice how the meaning becomes diametrically opposite.
Note that would is the past tense form of will in indirect speech.
Yet
Yet has several uses.
Yet can mean in addition.
That was yet another cause for trouble.
Yet can mean up to this time.
Has the postman come yet?
Yet can mean at some time in the future.
The prophet said that there were more dangers yet to come.
Yet can mean ever, still or again.
The boy has grown yet taller.
As a conjunction, yet means nevertheless. Its meaning is similar to but, but it
seems to carry an element of distinctiveness that but doesnt have.
He was in great pain, yet he played on.
John plays the violin well, yet his favorite instrument is the piano.
In sentences such as the first one, above, the pronoun subject of the second
clause is often left out. When that happens, the comma separating the two
clauses might also disappear.
He was in great pain yet he played on.
Yet can be used together with other conjunctions, but or and. This usage is
quite acceptable.
He was in great pain and yet he played on.
Yet, just and already
Both just and already are used in affirmative sentences. There is a difference of
meaning.
Already is used to talk about something that has happened sooner than
expected. It shows surprise. Just means exactly or very recently.
It is just one oclock. (= It is exactly one oclock.)
She has just arrived. (= Very recently)
COMPARE:
She has already left. (= She has left but we werent expecting that she
would leave so soon.)
She has just left. (= She left a moment ago.)
Just can also mean only.
I just want a glass of water.
I just asked.
Just is not used in questions or negative sentences.
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POSITION OF JUST, YET AND ALREADY
Already usually goes with the verb. If there is no auxiliary verb, already goes
before the verb. If there is an auxiliary verb, it goes after the auxiliary verb.
She already arrived. (NOT She arrived already.)
She has already arrived. (NOT She already has arrived.)
I have already finished.
Have you already finished?
Yet usually goes at the end of a clause. It can also go immediately after not.
Dont eat those mangoes they are not ripe yet. OR Dont eat those
mangoes they are not yet ripe.

Differences between since, for, ago and before |

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Punctuation: Full stop and question mark
The punctuation mark full stop (.) is used to close sentences. A new sentence
that follows a full stop has a capital letter.
Honesty is the best policy.
Sweet are the uses of adversity.
A friend in need is a friend indeed.
Full stops are also used in writing abbreviations. This is becoming less common
in British English.
Examples are: oz. for ounce (s), Prof. for professor, i.e. for in other words and
e.g. for for example.
Question marks
Question marks (?) are used to close direct questions. A new sentence that
follows a question mark has a capital letter.
What are you doing?
Did you get my letter?
Why do we try to reach the stars?
Note that we do not use question marks after indirect questions.
He asked me if I had received his letter.
I asked her what time it was.
Exclamation marks
The exclamation mark (!) is placed at the end of an utterance which is an
exclamation or which merely expresses strong emotion.
What a lovely painting it is! (exclamation)
How beautifully she sings! (exclamation)
You must leave at once! (strong emotion)
I cant believe this! (strong emotion)
Inversion of subject and verb
The normal order of words in a sentence is subject, verb and object. But
sometimes certain adverbs are put first and then this order is inverted, and the
verb comes before the subject.
Study the following sentences:
The game had scarcely started when the rain came pouring down.
Scarcely had the game started when the rain came pouring down.
I had hardly reached the station when the train arrived.
Hardly had I reached the station when the train arrived.
I had never seen such a vast crowd.
Never had I seen such a vast crowd.
I have seldom heard such a beautiful voice.
Seldom have I heard such a beautiful voice.
He had hardly finished his lunch when someone knocked at the door.
Hardly had he finished his lunch when someone knocked at the door.
Inversion of adverb particles
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Adverb particles (e.g. up, down, in, out, on, off, away and back) are
sometimes inverted for the sake of emphasis.
They went off on a hunting trip.
Off they went on a hunting trip.
He fell down from his horse, with a heavy thud.
Down he fell from his horse, with a heavy thud.
He went up to the thirty-second floor of the hotel.
Up he went to the thirty-second floor of the hotel.
The bird flew away at the sound of the gun.
Away the bird flew at the sound of the gun.
They came out from their dirty hiding place.
Out they came from their dirty hiding place.
In the examples given above the subjects are all personal pronouns and they
come between the particle and the verb. But if the subject is a noun or any
pronoun other than a personal pronoun, it will come after the verb.
The soldier went off with the prisoners and booty.
Off went the soldier with the prisoners and booty. (NOT Off the soldier
went )
The traitors fell down as the soldiers cut them.
Down fell the traitors as the soldiers cut them.
The national flag went up as the president pressed the button.
Up went the national flag as the president pressed the button.
Correlative conjunctions
Some conjunctions are used in pairs. They are called correlative conjunctions.
Most of these are of the coordinating type.
Either or
You must either follow my instructions or resign.
He is either a fool or a madman.
Either you or he will have to go.
Either you will leave this house or I will call the police.
I dont speak either French or German.
We use eitheror to talk about a choice between two possibilities (and
sometimes more than two).
If you want ice-cream you can have either chocolate, vanilla or strawberry.
Neither nor
I will neither follow your instructions nor resign.
He is neither a fool nor a madman.
I neither smoke nor drink.
We use neither nor to join two negative ideas. It is the opposite of
bothand. Sometimes more than two ideas are connected by neithernor.
He neither smiled, spoke, nor looked at me.
Not onlybut also
They not only looted the shop, but also set fire to it.
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Not only John, but Peter also got a prize.
He visited not only France but also Germany.
She not only plays the piano, but also the violin.
Also is often omitted.
He was not only brave but prudent.
Note that in informal English not onlybut also is not very common; other
structures are generally preferred.
She doesnt only play the piano. She plays the violin too.
Notbut
The culprit was not John but Peter.
He did not stop the car but drove on.
It is not the best but reasonably good.
Whetheror
I dont know whether I should stay or leave.
Whether he comes or not makes no difference.
Bothand
She is both clever and pretty.
He is both scholarly and cultured.
Both John and Peter spoke at the meeting.
As/soas
He is not as/so bad as many think.
She is not as/so successful as her sister.
The situation is not as/so difficult as people make out.
So that
The task is so difficult that one man alone cant do it.
The officer was so inefficient that he had to be sacked.
Suchthat
I have such regard for him that I will do anything to please him.
Such was her beauty that princes from far and near came to woo her.
Suchas
I gave him such help as I could.
You must give such an assurance as will satisfy people.
Such valuables as she left were sold at an auction.
Note that it is wrong to use that instead of as in these sentences.
Make your sentences clearer with parallel
structure
We can make our writing clearer and better by using parallel construction. When
you list items, make sure that they are in similar form.
Here are some tips for ensuring that your sentences have parallel structure.
When listing non-finite verbs after a main verb, keep them in the same form. For
example, if you use infinitives, stick to them. If you use gerunds, stick to them.
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Dont put a gerund after an infinitive or an infinitive after a gerund although it is
possible in a few cases.
I want to sing, dance and play. (NOT I want to sing, dance and playing.)
She enjoys singing, dancing and listening to music. (NOT She enjoys singing,
dancing and to listen to music.)
Keep verbs in the same tense. If you begin writing in the past tense, dont
change to the present.
Incorrect: I went to the store, bought some clothes, came home, took a
shower and change clothes.
Correct: I went to the store, bought some clothes, came home, took a shower
and changed clothes. (Note that all verbs listed in the sequence are in the
past tense.)
Dont inject an adjective into a list of adverbs. Similarly, dont add an adverb into
a list of adjectives.
Incorrect: She spoke clearly, loudly and in a fluent manner.
Correct: She spoke clearly, loudly and fluently.
Incorrect: The new player is stronger, clever and intelligent. (Here one
adjective is in the comparative degree and the other two adjectives are in the
positive degree.)
Correct: The new player is strong, clever and intelligent. (All adjectives are in
the same degree of comparison.)
Incorrect: James told me that he liked theater, that he wanted to be an actor,
and wrote plays.
Correct: James told me that he liked theater, that he wanted to be an actor,
and that he wrote plays.
Parallel construction
Your writing will be clearer if you use parallel construction. By parallel
construction, we mean words or expressions of similar form.
Consider the sentence given below.
Alice likes sewing, painting and to play tennis.
The above sentence does not follow parallel construction. To make it parallel,
change the infinitive (to play) into ing form.
Alice likes sewing, painting and playing tennis.
The new player is strong, clever and intelligent.
I only eat salads; I rarely eat chips; and I never touch chocolate.

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Adverbs with two forms
In some cases, the adverb may have two forms, one like the adjective and the
other with ly. There is usually a difference of meaning or use. Some examples
are given below.
Dead and Deadly
In certain expressions, the adverb dead is used to mean exactly, completely or
very.
Examples are: dead certain, dead slow, dead right, dead drunk etc.
Deadly is an adjective. It means fatal, causing death. The adverb for this
meaning is fatally.
Cyanide is a deadly poison.
She was fatally injured.
Fine and Finely
The adverb fine means well.
How are you? I am fine.
The adverb finely is used to talk about small careful adjustments and similar
ideas.
a finely tuned machine
Free and Freely
When used after a verb, the adverb free means without payment.
Buy two shirts and get one free.
Can I eat free in your restaurant?
Freely means without limit or restriction.
Speak freely.
Hard and Hardly
The adverb hard means heavily, severely or with difficulty.
You must work hard.
Hardly means almost not.
I have hardly any money left.
Late and Lately
The adverb late has a similar meaning to the adjective late. Lately means a
short time ago and recently.
We will be late for dinner.
It is getting late.
I havent read anything lately.

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Most and Mostly
Most is the superlative of much. It is used to form superlative adjectives and
adverbs.
Those who have the most money are not always the happiest.
What pleased me most was his helping nature.
In a formal style, most can mean very.
This is a most (=very) interesting book.
Mostly means chiefly, generally or in most cases.
My friends are mostly non-smokers.
Real and Really
In informal American English, real is often used before adjectives and adverbs. It
means the same as really.
That was real nice. (=really nice)
She sings real well. (=really well)
Sure and Surely
In an informal style, sure is often used to mean certainly. This is common in
American English.
Can I borrow your bicycle? Sure.
Subject complements
Some clauses consist of a subject, the verb be and an expression that either
modifies the subject or denotes something identical to the subject.
Jane is a journalist.
The children were very excited.
Susie is in the shower.
The expression that modifies the subject in clauses like these is often called a
subject complement. Subject complements can also follow other copular verbs
like become, seem and look.
Alice became a doctor.
She looks depressed.
Object complement
An object complement is a phrase which follows a direct object and either
modifies that object or denotes something identical to it.
She called me a liar.
They made her a star.
I consider hang-gliding dangerous.
Complements of verbs, nouns and adjectives
Words and expressions which complete the meaning of a verb, noun or adjective
are also called complements.
I am fond of children. (of children is the complement of the adjective
fond.)
I am sorry to tell you this. (to tell you this is the complement of the
adjective sorry.)
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Let us get a bottle of wine. (of wine is the complement of the noun
bottle.)
She wants to find a new job. (to find a new job is the complement of the
verb wants.)
It is important to know what kinds of complements can come after a particular
word. For example, interested can be followed by in -ing or by an infinitive;
want can be followed by an infinitive, but suggest cannot; on the other hand
suggest can be followed by a that-clause, but want cannot.
I am interested in learning to fly.
I want to take a long holiday.
The doctor suggested taking a long holiday.
The doctor suggested that I should take a long holiday.
Copular verbs
We use a special kind of verb to join two parts of a sentence and to express
either that the two parts denote the same thing or that the first has the property
denoted by the second. These verbs are called copulas or copular verbs.
Common copular verbs are: be, seem, look, turn, become, appear, sound, smell,
taste, feel and get.
Alice is my girlfriend. (The sentence asserts that Alice and my girlfriend
are the same person.)
Alice is British. (The sentence asserts the quality of Britishness to Alice.)
She seems happy.
She became famous.
It is getting late.
The stew smells good.
Adjectives after copular verbs
Copular verbs are followed by adjectives, not adverbs.
Compare:
She spoke intelligently. (Spoke is an ordinary verb. It is modified by the
adverb intelligently.)
She looks intelligent. (Intelligent is an adjective in predicative position.
It tells you about the person herself rather like saying She is intelligent.
Look is a copular verb.)
Note that some copular verbs are also used with other meanings as ordinary
non-copular verbs. They are then used with adverbs, not adjectives. Examples
are: appear, look, taste and feel.
Articles: Rules for the use and omission of articles
The misuse of the and a is very common. Here are the basic rules for the use
and omission of articles.
Proper nouns (e.g. John, Alice and India) do not take articles.
Incorrect: The John is my friend.
Correct: John is my friend.
Incorrect: The Tokyo is a big city.
Correct: Tokyo is a big city.
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A singular common noun (e.g. boy, cat, tree, book, apple etc.) must have an
article.
Incorrect: There is cat on roof.
Correct: There is a cat on the roof.
A plural common noun cannot be used with the article a. It is usually used
with no article, though some is sometimes used before it.
Compare:
A spider has eight legs.
Spiders have eight legs.
Remember that a noun can be common in one sentence and proper in another
sentence.
A superlative adjective is usually used with the.
Incorrect: He is best player in the team.
Correct: He is the best player in the team.
Correct use of article a/an
The article a placed in front of a noun conveys the idea of one. When writing
about two separate objects, a second a must be used. If the two objects are
considered as one, then the second a may be left out.
Incorrect: I have a hammer and chisel.
Correct: I have a hammer and a chisel. (Here we are talking about two
separate objects.)
Incorrect: She has a son and daughter.
Correct: She has a son and a daughter.
Incorrect: The mechanic used a block and a tackle to lift the machine.
Correct: The mechanic used a block and tackle to lift the machine. (Here
we are talking about one object.)
Verb patterns with as and though
As and though can both be used after an adjective or an adverb. In this case,
they mean although.
Hot as it was, we decided to go out. OR Hot though it was, we decided
to go out. (= Although it was hot, we decided to go out.)
Tired as she was, she continued to work. OR Tired though she was, she
continued to work. (= Although she was tired, she continued to work.)
Clever as he was, he could not solve the problem. OR Clever though he
was, he could not solve the problem. (= Although he was clever, he could
not solve the problem.)
Strange though it may seem, I dont like to listen to music. OR Strange
as it may seem, I dont like to listen to music. (= Although it may seem
strange, I dont like to listen to music.)
In American English, these structures arent very common. Instead, Americans
prefer using the structure asas.
As hot as it was, we decided to go out. (= Although it was hot, we
decided to go out.)
As beautiful as she is, she is not very popular among her friends. (=
Although she is beautiful, she is not very popular among her friends.)
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Occasionally as can be used in this construction to mean because.
Disturbed as she was, I decided to leave her alone. (=Because she was
disturbed, I decided to leave her alone.) (NOT Although she was disturbed,
I decided to leave her alone.)
Note that though cannot mean because in this construction.
Infinitive with its own subject
An infinitive can have its own subject. The subject of the infinitive is normally
introduced by for.
COMPARE:
I will be happy to help you. (I will help you.)
I will be happy for him to help you. (He will help you.)
My idea was to study medicine. (= I wanted to study medicine.)
My idea was for him to study medicine. (= I wanted him to study
medicine.)
Note that we use object pronouns (e.g. him, them, her etc.) afterfor.
It isn't easy for me to let him go. (NOT It isn't easy for I...)
USES
The structure for + object + infinitive is common after adjectives, nouns and
verbs. It is used when we are referring to possibility, necessity or frequency,
when we are expressing wishes, suggestions or plans for the future, and when
we are giving personal reactions to situations.
It is important for the meeting to start on time.
His idea is for us to travel in separate cars.
I am anxious for the party to be a success.
Instead of the for-structure, a that-clause with should or a subjunctive is
often possible.
It is important that the meeting should start on time.
I am anxious that the party should be a success.
His idea is that we should travel in separate cars
Gerunds (-ing forms) after prepositions
When we put a verb after a preposition, we normally use an ing form, not an
infinitive.
I am fond of watching movies. (NOT I am fond of to watch movies.)
John was arrested for stealing a policemans helmet. (NOT for to steal
)
Can you talk without opening your mouth?
I am thinking of writing a novel.
You must abstain from talking to such people.
We got the job finished by burning the midnight oil.
We look forward to hearing from you.
TO AS A PREPOSITION
To can be an infinitive marker (e.g. to work, to laugh). It can also be a
preposition. When to is a preposition, it is followed by either a noun or the ing
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form of a verb, but not normally by the infinitive. Common expressions in which
this happens are look forward to, object to, used to, prefer to, get round to, in
addition to.
COMPARE:
I look forward to his next visit. (noun)
I look forward to hearing from you. (NOT I look forward to hear from
you.)
I prefer the country to the city. (noun)
I prefer swimming to walking.
I am used to waiting for buses. (NOT I am used to wait for buses.)
They objected to our entering the room.
I object to working on Sundays.
Difference between Do and Make
Do is sometimes confused with make.
INDEFINITE ACTIVITIES
We use do (and not make) when we do not say exactly what we are doing. For
example, we use do with words like something, anything, nothing, what, thing
andeverything.
I like doing nothing. (NOT I like making nothing.)
I am going to do something. (NOT I am going to make something.)
What shall we do now? (NOT What shall we make now?)
WORK AND JOBS
We use do to talk about work and jobs.
Have you got any work to do? (NOT Have you got any work to make?)
Do your homework. (NOT Make your homework.)
I will do the ironing. (NOT I will make the ironing.)
Make
Make is often used to talk about constructing, creating, building etc.
Who made this cake?
I am going to make a boat.
Common fixed expressions with do
Do good
Do harm
Do business
Do one's best
Do a favour
Do sport
Do exercise
Do one's hair
Do one's teeth
Do one's duty
Do 70mph

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Common fixed expressions with make
Make a journey
Make an offer
Make arrangements
Make a suggestion
Make a plan
Make a decision
Make an attempt
Make an effort
Make an excuse
Make an exception
Make a mistake
Make a noise
Make a phone call
Make money
Make a profit
Make a fortune
Make love
Make progress
Make war
Make peace
Make a bed
Make a fire
Make a fuss
Make an enquiry
Make a comment
Make a fool of oneself
Difference between transitional adverbs and
conjunctions
Besides transitional adverbs, conjunctions andprepositions are used to
indicate the rhetorical structure of a piece of writing. The grammatical properties
of conjunctions and prepositions are different from those of transitional adverbs.
Although transitional adverbs indicate relationships between sentences and
paragraphs, they do not connect them grammatically.
In other words, transitional adverbs are not required grammatically. Even if
you remove them, there would be no ungrammaticality. Of course, some
meaning would be lost and the reader will have to infer some of the ideas.
Read the following pairs of sentences.
She was tired of living in poverty. Therefore, she decided to find a job.
Now consider removing the transitional adverb therefore.
She was tired of living in poverty. She decided to find a job.
The sentence still makes sense, doesnt it?
Conjunctions, on the other hand, are used to join words or clauses together.
They become a part of the sentence and cannot be removed without causing
ungrammaticality.
The various subordinate conjunctions that form adverb clauses are listed below.
WHEN, WHILE, SINCE, AS, ONCE
The conjunctions when, while, since, as and once are used to introduce
adverb clauses of time.
While I was younger, I used to work three jobs in a day.
When he was in college, he distributed newspapers.
Where have you been since I last saw you?
As I opened my eyes, I saw a strange sight.
Once you have passed your driving test, I will buy you a car.

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WHERE
Where is used to introduce adverb clauses of place.
Put the keys where you will find them easily.
A shopping mall now stands where a temple once stood.
BECAUSE AND SINCE
The conjunctions because and since are used to introduce adverb clauses of
reason or cause.
I started a blog because I wanted to improve my writing skills.
I went to the doctor because I was not feeling well.
Since she gets upset easily, I always treat her kindly.
Since I have broken my leg, I cant walk.
WHILE, EVEN THOUGH, THOUGH
These conjunctions are used to introduce adverb clauses showing contrast or
concession.
While my childhood was blissful, my adulthood is quite stressful.
Even though she had all the money in the world, she was never happy.
Though I want to lose weight, I cant go on a diet.
JUST AS, LIKE, IN THAT
The conjunctions just as and like are used to show similarity.
She is just as beautiful as her mother.
The job was just as rewarding as I expected.
She looks exactly like her mother did when was younger.
Nobody understands her like I do.
Note that this use of like as a conjunction is not considered correct in formal or
academic English. Instead, structures with as are used.
Nobody understands her as I do.
In that is used to give an explanation.
The giraffe is an ungainly animal in that it has a long neck.
Since, for, ago and before
Since, when used with the present perfect tense, means from a point or period of
time in the past up to now.
I have lived here since my childhood.
I havent seen him since last week.
India has made tremendous progress since the dawn of independence.
FOR
For, when used with the present perfect tense, refers to a period of time up to
now.
We have lived here for twelve years.
He has been working here for three years now.
The strike has continued for two weeks.

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AGO
Ago is used when you date back from now to a point of time in the past.
It was two years ago that I first met Alice.
I saw him two months ago.
BEFORE
Before is used when you date back from any point of time in the past or future.
The roof must be repaired before the rain starts.
I think I have seen him before.




















Sources : Practical English Usage by Michael Swan
Perfect Your English