Category: grammar

Making negative sentences in English

How to make a simple negative sentences in English

 

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Feel free to leave a comment if you find any errors or if you have any suggestions to make to improve this lesson.





Study the following examples and see the difference:

  • I like vegetables. 
  • I do not like vegetables. 

I like vegetables is an affirmative sentence, I do not like vegetables is a negative sentence.

How to make a negative sentence in English?

There are three ways:

1 – In a sentence with the verb ‘to be‘ conjugated to the present tense, just add ‘not‘ after ‘to be‘:

  • I am from Japan. 
  • I am not from Japan. 
  • You are a student. 
  • You are not a student. 
  • He is a teacher. 
  • He is not a teacher. 

It’s possible to shorten all forms in the present tense of the verb to be (except I am): she/he/it is not becomes isn’t, and you/we/they are not becomes aren’t:

  • You are not a student. = You aren’t a student.
  • He is not a teacher. = He isn’t a teacher.

2 – In a sentence with an auxiliary verb:

An auxiliary verb or modal helps the main verb to make a complete sentence. It can be can, must, may, have, should, could, will and would:

  • I can play the guitar. 
  • She will go to school. 
  • We have eaten a lot. 

To transform these sentences to the negative form, simply add not after the auxiliary and before the verb:

  • I can not play the guitar. 
  • She will not go to school. 
  • We have not eaten a lot. 

It’s possible to shorten all auxiliaries and modals except may:

  • I can not play the guitar. = I can’t play the guitar. 
  • She will not go to school. = She won’t go to school. 
  • We have not eaten a lot. = We haven’t eaten a lot.

3 – In the sentences with all the other verbs:

You must use ‘do not’ just after the subject when it is I, we, you, you, they or ‘does not’ just after the subject when it is he, she, or it:

  • I speak Spanish. 
  • I do not speak Spanish. 
  • She wants an ice cream. 
  • She does not wants an ice cream. 
  • We live in Germany. 
  • We do not live in Germany. 

Do not and Does not can be shortened: do not becomes don’t, and does not becomes doesn’t:

  • I do not speak Spanish. = I don’t speak Spanish.
  • She does not wants an ice cream. = She doesn’t wants an ice cream. 
  • We do not live in Germany. = We don’t live in Germany. 

👉 Contractions (isn’t, aren’t, doesn’t…) are mainly used orally. They do not change the meaning of the sentence.

 

©Englishfornoobs.com

some any no grammar

Some, any and no in English

 

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Some, any and no are quantifiers: they indicate a certain quantity or indefinite quantity. They can also be determinants or pronouns. Other undefined quantifiers are a little more precise (see this lesson here).

SOME

Some is used in affirmative sentences. It indicates that the name it determines has a real existence:

  • I would like some sugar with my coffee.
  • There’s some pizza in the oven. 

Some can be used in a questioning sentence, one then expects a positive answer – or if one wants to convince the interlocutor to give a positive answer:

  • Would you like some tea? 
  • Would you like some more information? 
  • Could you give me some water? 
  • Could you lend me some money? 

⚠️ Some + name can also be used to translate ‘a certain…’ or something vague:

  • Some woman is asking for you. 
  • Some people are driving really dangerously. 

⚠️ Some + number = ‘about’ or ‘around’

  • He lives some three kilometres frome here. 

⚠️ Some can be used to express appreciation:

  • He’s some singer! 
  • That’s some beer! 

ANY

Any is used in negative sentences to indicate that the name it determines has no (or perhaps no) real existence:

  • He doesn’t have any friend. 
  • There aren’t any eggs in the fridge. 
  • I didn’t buy any. 

It is also used in interrogative sentences, when it is not known whether the element to which it refers has a real existence or not.

  • Do you have any family around? 
  • Have you seen any horses in this park? 
  • Did we get any mail today? 

Any can be used to make generalizations:

  • Any student can do that. 

NO

No equals to not any. It’s used in sentences with a negative meaning, but with a positive verb:

  • They have no alcohol here. 
  • There are no wolves here. 

Some expressions with no:

  • No problem 
  • No comment 
  • No vacancies 
  • No entry 

Compund words with SOME-, ANY-, NO-

  • somebody, anybody
  • someone, anyone 
  • something, anything 
  • somewhere, anywhere 
  • nowhere 
  • nobody, no one 
  • nothing 

REMEMBER

⚠️ Compare the following sentences:

  • Did you buy some bread?  (we are waiting for a positive answer)
  • Did you buy any bread?  (we have no idea of the answer.)

⚠️ With a count in the singular, some and any do not refer to quantity but underline the indefinite character of the name:

  • We’ll meet again some day. 
  • Any car will be better than this one! 

⚠️ After some and any, the name may be implied, if it is obvious:

  • ‘I bought too many cakes. would you like some?’ ‘No, I don’t want any.’ 

 

©Englishfornoobs.com

Each, every and all

Each, Every and all

 

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Each, every and all refer to the whole set of something when they are put in front of a name:

EACH

Each is usually followed by a singular name: each element of the set is considered separately, one by one.

  • Each pupil has a task to prepare the school trip. 
  • He shook the hand of each candidate. 

⚠ Each can be used after a quantity or price:

  • We had five cookies each. They cost 3$ each. 

EVERY

Every is followed by a singular name indicates that each element is part of a set:

  • Every pupil is going on the trip. 
  • Every room has a TV. 

⚠ Every becomes everyone of + a name or additional personal pronoun.

  • Everyone of us is going to have fun. 

⚠ Every also expresses frequency:

  • every two days 
  • every day
  • every time
  • every five minutes 

The idea of recurrence is expressed with ‘every other‘:

  • I take a shower every other day. 
  • I visit him every other week-end.
  • He goes to Japan every other month. 
  • Every other cake is bad. 

Every allows you to compose many words:

  • Everyone
  • Everything
  • Everywhere 

ALL

All is followed by a singular or plural name with or without a determinant. It refers to a set of elements that constitute a whole:

  • All children like candies. 
  • All the soldiers must wear a uniform. 
  • All the boys were laughing. 

If you want to make a negative sentence with all, you have to add not before:

  • Not all our friends live in London.

All can express the duration:

  • It rained all day.
  • He speaks all the time.
  • I spent all night looking for you. 

⚠ In pronominal use, each and all are followed by of and a name or a complementary personal pronoun:

  • Each of them has to bring a packed lunch. 
  • We are leaving: all of us are excited. 

 

©Englishfornoobs.com

Reflexive pronouns examples

Reflexive pronouns in English (myself, herself…)

 

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A reflexive pronoun is a pronoun that refers to a person already mentioned (the word reflected is used in the sense of reflection, like a mirror, not in the sense of reflecting on something… understood?).

Here is the list of reflexive pronouns:

  • myself
  • yourself
  • himself
  • herlsef
  • itself
  • ourselves
  • yourselves
  • themeselves

⚠️oneself is an impersonal form, mostly used in dictionaries.

Here are some verbs frequently used with reflexive pronouns:

  • to clean oneself
  • to burn oneself
  • to cut oneself
  • to help oneself
  • to talk to oneself
  • to wash oneself
  • to look at oneself
  • to defend oneself
  • to dry oneself
  • to introduce oneself
  • to enjoy oneself
  • to see oneself
  • to behave oneself

They are always placed after the verb. A few examples:

  • Tina was looking at herself in the mirror. 
  • Be careful! You’re going to hurt yourself. 
  • The computer turns itself off. 

⚠️ Depending on where it is placed, the meaning of the sentence is different:

  • He cut himself. 
  • He cut himself a piece of cake. 
  • He cut the cake himself. 

Reflected pronouns can have an insistence value:

  • Do it yourself. 
  • I’ll open it myself. 

⚠️ By + reflexive pronoun reinforces the idea of insistence:

  • I was by myself (ou on my own) when it happened. 
  • Can you manage by yourself? 
  • He can’t do that by himself. 

⚠️ In English, we do not use reflexive pronouns after certain verbs. These are mainly verbs about personal care and movement:

  • to worry 
  • to concentrate 
  • to dress 
  • to fight 
  • to relax 
  • to shave 
  • to wake up 
  • to feel 
  • to hide 
  • to get ready 
  • to get up 
  • to sit down 
  • to meet
  • to adapt 
  • to complain 
  • to remember 
  • to shower 
  • to lie down 

⚠️ After a preposition of place (on, about, near…), a complementary personal pronoun is used and not a reflexive pronoun:

  • I haven’t got any money on myself me. 
  • She put her bag near herself her. 

⚠️ Reflected pronouns can be used as the object of a preposition:

  • He made a cup of coffee just for himself. 
  • He was talking to himself. 
  • They had to cook for themselves. 

⚠️ Reflected pronouns are used to emphasize the person or thing you are talking about, especially if you are talking about someone known (but it is not mandatory to use a reflected pronoun):

  • I met the King himself. 
  • Madonna herself sang at the festival. 
  • The President himself announced the news. 

⚠️ Sometimes a thoughtful pronoun can be used to say ‘also’:

  • Sarah was pretty drunk last night. I was pretty drunk myself.

⚠️ Do not confuse reflexive pronouns with reciprocal pronouns that serve to show a reciprocal relationship (each other and one another)! Each other and one another are interchangeable, although in principle each other is used more commonly than one another.

  • We love each other. 
  • We’ve known each other (= one another) for ten years. 

 

©Englishfornoobs.com

So, too, either, neither in english grammar

How to use so, too, either, neither in english grammar

 

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Me too and so + auxiliary + subject

To answer affirmatively, most often we use so + auxiliary + subject. Orally, we can also say “Me too” (but this is more familiar):

  • “I’m tired.” “Me too. / So am I”. 
  • “She can play the piano.” “So can he!”. 
  • “We have visited London.” “So have we.” 

In the present tense and the preterite, there’s no auxiliary in the affirmative starting sentence. We then use the auxiliaries of these two tenses: do (present tense) and did (past tense):

  • “My brother loves coffee.” “So do I!” 
  • “Paul ate a cookie.” “So did she!”

Me neither

When the starting sentence is negative, we use the structure neither + auxiliary + subject. Orally, we can also say “Me neither” (but that’s more familiar).

  • “I’ve never been to Italy.” “Me neither. / Neither have I.” 
  • “We shouldn’t smoke” “Neither should I.” 
  • “Sarah isn’t very fat.” “Neither is her mother.” 

How to reply negatively or positively

  • “I love pizzas.” “I don’t.” 

When the sentence is negative, the affirmative form is used in the contradiction answer. Remember to emphasize the ‘I’ orally!

  • “I’m not tired.” “I am.” 

An equivalent of ‘yes, it’s true’ ‘yes/no, indeed’

When the sentence is affirmative and there is no auxiliary, we use the affirmative form and the auxiliary do:

  • “They succeeded.” “So they did.” 

When the sentence is negative and there is for example the auxiliary have (or another one), we answer with the negative form and the same auxiliary:

  • “They haven’t reached a compromise.” “So they haven’t.” 

⚠️ We can also say: (Yes) you’re right. / (Yes,) that’s true. / (No,) indeed.

⚠️ Do not confuse the order of the auxiliary!

Compare the following two sentences:

  • “I succeeded”. So did he.” → He also succeeded.
  • “He succeeded. ” “So he did.” → He finally succeeded.

©Englishfornoobs.com

How to use short answers examples

How to use short answers in English (me too, me neither…)

 

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ME TOO

Look at the following examples:

  • “I’m tired.” “Me too / So am I”. (Orally, ‘me too’ can be said but is more familiar.)
  • “She can play the piano.” “So can he!”. 
  • “We have visited London.” “So have we.” 

In the present and in the past, there is no auxiliary in the affirmative starting sentence. The auxiliaries of these two times are then used: do (in the present) and did (in the past).

  • “My brother loves coffee.” “So do I!” 
  • “Paul ate a cookie.” “So did she!” 

NEITHER

When the starting sentence is negative, the neither + auxiliary + subject structure is used:

  • “I’ve never been to Italy.” “Neither have I.” 
  • “We shouldn’t smoke” “Neither should I.”
  • “Sarah isn’t very fat.” “Neither is her mother.” 

Orally, we can also say ‘Me neither’ (but it’s more familiar).

I DON’T / I AM

Look at the following example:

  • “I love pizzas.” “I don’t.” 

When the sentence is negative, the affirmative form is used in the contradiction response. Remember to focus on the ‘I’ when speaking!

  • “I’m not tired.” “I am.” 

HOW TO SAY ‘YES, IT’S TRUE’, ‘YES / NO INDEED’

When the sentence is affirmative and there is no auxiliary, the affirmative form and the auxiliary do are used:

  • “They succeeded.” “So they did.” 

When the sentence is negative and there is for example the auxiliary have (or another auxiliary), the negative form is answered with the same auxiliary.

  • “They haven’t reached a compromise.” “So they haven’t.” 

⚠️ We can also say: (Yes) you’re right. / (Yes,) that’s true. / (No,) indeed.

⚠️ Do not confuse the order of the auxiliary!

Compare the following two sentences:

  • “I succeeded”. So did he.” 
  • “He succeeded. ” “So he did.” 

 

©Englishfornoobs.com

Question tags rules pdf

Question tags rules in English

 

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Question tags (are you?, isn’t it?, don’t you?, etc…) are very common in English. A positive response is expected:

  • It is beautiful, isn’t it? 

When the sentence is affirmative, the question tag is negative: auxiliary + not + subject pronoun

This tag allows you to ask for confirmation:

  • She can speak english, can’t she? 
  • He has written a book, hasn’t he? 

In the present and in the past, there is no auxiliary in the affirmative statement, so we use the auxiliary of these two tenses: do and did.

  • He looks young, doesn’t he? 
  • Paul sent you a message, didn’t he? 

When the sentence is negative, the question tag is positive. We expect a negative response:

  • “You haven’t finished your homework, have you?” “Not yet!” 
  • He doesn’t like bananas, does she? 
  • They haven’t arrived yet, have they? 

With the verb be in the first person singular (I), the negative tag is formed with are and not am:

  • I am tanned, arent’t I? 

For imperative sentences, we use a positive tag with will:

  • Open the door, will you?  
  • Don’t come in, will you?  

⚠️ Question tags are very often used to ask for confirmation: their intonation is then descending, as in an affirmative sentence.

⚠️ You can have a question tag in an affirmative sentence to express a reaction (surprise, irony, solicitude). The intonation is then rising:

  • You think you’re smart, do you? 

 

©Englishfornoobs.com

How to write dates in english

How to write dates in English

 

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Write the date

There are several ways to write the date in English:

  • 13th June 2018
  • June 13th, 2018
  • 13 June, 2018
  • June 13, 2018

The most commonly used forms are 13 June, 2018 and June 13, 2018. The name of the day is rarely mentioned in writing. Be careful, you must always write the days and months with a capital letter!

⚠️ Dates written in numbers have a different meaning in British or American English:

  • British English: 10.5.17 (or 10/5/17)
  • American English: 10.5.17 (or 10/5/17)

Say the date

There are several ways to say the date in English. There are also differences between British and American English:

British English: 14 July 2010 (14.07.10 or 14/07/10) =

  • July the fourteenth, two thousand and ten
  • The fourteenth of July, two thousand and ten

American English:  14 July 2010 (7.14.10 or 7/14/10) =

  • July fourteenth, two thousand and ten

Dates with one or more zeros are said in special ways:

  • 1900 = nineteen hundred
  • 1907 = nineteen o seven
  • 2007 = two thousand and seven
  • 2000 = the year two thousand

The date is divided into two parts:

  • 1998 = nineteen / ninety-eight

From 2010, the dates are indicated indifferently:

  • 2010 = two thousand and ten OR twenty-ten
  • 2015 = two thousand and fifteen OR twenty-fifteen

Refer to a time

Be careful when choosing the proposal:

We use in to talk about a year, a month, a century or a period in general:

  • in July 
  • in 1972 
  • in the afternoon 

We use one to talk about a specific day:

  • on May 1st 
  • on a Saturday
  • on Friday evening 

We use at in front of the hours and for certain periods of time:

  • at 7 a.m. 
  • at Christams 
  • at weekends 

 

©Englishfornoobs.com

Basic Punctuation in English

Basic Punctuation in English

Feel free to leave a comment if you find any errors or if you have any suggestions to make to improve this lesson.





How to use punctuation in English?

The period (.) and comma (,)

We say period in American English and full stop in British English. It’s used to mark the end of a sentence. We also use it:

  • After the abbreviations: Ms. Smith (Mrs. or Miss Smith)
  • Before the decimals: 1.7 (one point seven)
  • In the email addresses: google.com (Google dot com, or Google dot com).

In English, the comma is used to mark the addition of a comment in a sentence.

Compare the following sentences:

  • Her sister, who is a doctor, lives in New York. 
  • Her sister who is a doctor lives in New York. 

In dialogues, the comma is placed before the quotation marks:

  • “You should leave,” he said. 

THE OTHER SIGNS

The dash (-) sometimes replaces the period or comma in emails and SMS:

  • If you cook some pasta – or a pizza – keep some for me in the fridge. 

Apostrophes (‘) are used to mark possession:

  • This is my friend’s car. 

They are also used for word contractions:

  • She’s leaving tomorrow. 

It is also used instead of suspension points (in a sentence left open, to indicate hesitation for example):

  • So – you’re going to the cinema again? 

The exclamation mark is used to express strong emotion, anger or surprise:

  • How can people behave like that! 
  • Catch them all. 

⚠️ Be careful, in English we don’t put spaces before punctuation marks ; ! ? :

Quotation marks in English ” “ (or “”) are used to frame quotations and are placed after the comma and period.

  • Jean-Paul Sartre said, “Everything has been figured out, except how to live.”

USEFUL VOCABULARY

SIGN MEANING
. a full stop
() brackets / parentheses (US)
dots
: a colon
” ” or “” in inverted commas
/ a slash
! an exclamation mark
? a question mark
; a semi-colon
– (between two words) a hyphen
a dash
, a comma

 

©Englishfornoobs.com

Prefixes and suffixes pdf

Prefixes and suffixes

 

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Feel free to leave a comment if you find any errors or if you have any suggestions to make to improve this lesson.





Prefixes and suffixes in English: what is it?

These are letters that attach to a basic word to transform it into a new word (it can be a noun, an adjective, a verb or an adverb). Prefixes go in front, and suffixes go behind that word.

The same word can have one or more translations depending on the prefix or suffix that is added to it, and there are many of them!

⚠️ Prefixes and suffixes each have a meaning, for example:

  • the prefixes dis-, il-, im-, ir- have a negative value, opposite: appear → disappear
  • the prefix un- means the opposite: friendly → unfriendly
  • the prefix mis- means ‘wrongly’: understand → misunderstand
  • the suffix -ity has an exaggeration value: brutal → brutality
  • the suffix -wards implies the direction: back → backwards

and so on….

The prefixes

Here are the main English prefixes in a table.

Prefixes Example
co- co-worker, co-pilot, co-operation
de- devalue, defrost, derail, demotivate
dis- disagree, disappear, disintegrate, disapprove
em-, en- embrace, encode, embed, enclose, engulf
ex- ex-president, ex-boyfriend, exterminate, ex-wife
extra- extracurricular, extraordinary, extra-terrestrial
fore- forecast, forehead, foresee, foreword, foremost
il- illegal
im- import, impossible, impolite
in- inside, insert, indefinite
inter-, intra- interact, intermediate, intergalactic, intranet
ir- irresponsible
micro- microscope, microbiology, microfilm, microwave
mid- middle, midway, midsummer
mis- misbehave, mistake, misunderstand, misread
mono- monotone, monobrow, monolithic
out- outpatient, outive sb
over- overstate, overrated
post- post-mortem, postpone, post-natal, post-war
pre- prepaid, preschool
re- return, rediscover, refresh, reunite
sub- submerge, submarine, sub-category, subtitle
super- superfood, superstar, supernatural, supermarket
trans- transport, transnational, transatlantic, transparent
tri- triangle, tripod, tricycle
un- unfinished, unfriendly, undone, unknown, unable, unhappy
under- undergournd, underestimate
uni- unicycle, universal, unilateral, unanimous
up- uproot, upgrade
mini- minivan, minimarket

⚠️ We use im- instead of in- with words that start with the letter m or p: There are a few rules to remember:

  • impolite
  • impossible

⚠️ Many words with a prefix or suffix have a base that does not exist by itself, for example immediate (the word mediate alone does not exist).

Suffixes

It’s the same as for prefixes except that they are added at the end!

⚠️ The same word can have different meanings depending on the suffixes assigned to it, and can transform it into a noun or adjective:

  • read + er = reader 
  • read + able = readable

⚠️ you can also put both a prefix and a suffix to certain words!

  • un + read + able = unreadable 
Suffix Example
SUFFIX TO A NAME
-acy democracy, accuracy, lunacy
-al remedial, denial, trial, criminal
-ance, -ence nuisance, ambience, tolerance
-dom freedom, boredom, kingdom
-ee employee, trainee
-er, -or reader, creator, interpreter, inventor, collaborator, teacher
-holic alcoholic
-hood brotherhood, childhood, neighbourhood
-ism communism, scepticism, socialislm
-ist geologist, protagonist, sexist, scientist, theorist, communist
-ity, -ty brutality, equality, cruelty
-ment government, argument
-ness happyness, highness, sickness
-ship friendship, hardship, internship, relationship
-sion, -tion position, promotion, cohesion
SUFFIX TO A VERB
-ate irritate, collaborate, create, complicate
-en sharpen, strengthen, loosen, harden, soften
-ify, -fy justify, simplify, magnify, satisfy, clarify
-ise, -ize publicise, synthesise, hypnotise
ADJECTIVE SUFFIXES
-ible edible, incredible, audible
-able, -ible usable, laughable
-al fiscal, thermal, herbal, colonial
-ese Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese
-en broken, golden, wooden
-esque picturesque, burlesque, grotesque
-ful handful, playful, hopeful, skilful, armful, useful
-ic, classic, Islamic, poetic
-ical psychological, hypocritical, methodical, nonsensical, musical
-ious, -ous jealous, religious, ridiculous
-ish spanish, british, childish
-ive inquisitive, informative, attentive
-less meaningless, hopeless, homeless
-ly daily, monthly, weekly
-y dainty, beauty, airy, jealousy
-est biggest
ADVERB SUFFIXES
-ly softly, slowly, happily, crazily, madly, easily
-ward, -wards towards, afterwards, backwards, inward
-wise otherwise, likewise, clockwise


©Englishfornoobs.com