Tag: Grammar

Common mistakes in English (PDF)

Common mistakes in English (PDF)




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

Here is the complete list of the most common errors in English, with all the grammar mistakes to avoid (and how to correct them):

You don’t say You say
A blue-eyes girl A blue-eyed girl
A book of Stephen King A book by Stephen king
A humoristic text A humorous text
A news A piece of news
A political man A politician
A scientific experience A scientific experiment
According to what say people According to what people say
All the people are/ Everybody are Everybody is
All what I can do All that I can do
An american writer An American writer
An economic car An economical car
An economical problem An economic problem
An information / informations Some information
Can we use there boat? Can we use their boat?
Every days/ all the days Every day
Explain her the situation Explain the situation to her
Google point com Google dot com
He doesn’t stop telling lies He keeps telling lies
He entered into the room He entered the room
He has blue eyes He is blue-eyed
He has left smoking. He has stopped smoking.
He is a more nicer person than you He is a nicer person than you
He is lawyer He is a lawyer
He is on holidays He is on holiday
He is sympathetic He is nice
He like cheese He likes cheese
He married with her He married her
He said me He said to me
He succeeded to get the prize He succeeded in getting the prize
He told / He told to me He told me
He took his girlfriend in the hand He took his girlfriend by the hand
He went to abroad to study He went abroad to study
He wins a lot of money He earns a lot of money
He worked during three months. He worked for three months
He’s more big than him he’s bigger than him
Here are some advices Here is some advice
How many childs you have? How many childs do you have?
How many luggages do you have? How many pieces of luggage do you have?
How much is the price of this car? How much is this car?
How much is the temperature? What is the temperature?
How the writer says As the writer says
How to spell… ? How do you spell… ?
I am a French I am French
I am agree I agree
I am boring / shocking I am bored / shocked
I am difficult to learn English its is difficult for me to learn English
I am not agree I don’t agree ou I disagree
I am used to work a lot I am used to working a lot
I am waiting since 10 I have been waiting since 10
I call you tomorrow I’ll call you tomorrow
I did a mistake  I made a mistake
I didn’t meet nobody I didn’t meet anybody
I didn’t say nothing I didn’t say anything
I didn’t understood I didn’t understand.
I don’t know nothing I don’t know anything
I don’t know to swim I can’t swim
I don’t like fish and chips – Me too I don’t like fish and chips – Me neither / Neither do I
I don’t speak chinese, but I speak a little french. I don’t speak Chinese, but I speak a little French.
I don’t use a watch I don’t wear a watch
I entered into the room I entered the room
I go always to work by bike. I always go to work by bike.
I have 25 years I am 25 years old / I’m 25
I have a little more questions for you I have a few more questions for you
I have visited my parents last week I visited my parents last week
I have visited Roma last weekend. I visited Roma last weekend.
I like very much ice cream I like ice cream very much
I look forward to meet you I look forward to meeting you
I looked the paintings. I looked at the paintings.
I meet my wife in 2010 I met my wife in 2010
I need hundred dollars I need a hundred dollars
I play soccer good I play soccer well
I take a decision I make a decision
I told: ‘ I will go home’ I said: ‘I will go home’
I want that she comes I want her to come
I want to lend a car from you I want to borrow a car from you
I’ll date you this Saturday I’ll take you on a date this Saturday
I’m thinking of you I’m thinking about you
I’m two tired I’m too tired
In the today world In today’s world
It depends of… It depends on…
It is diferent of It is different from
It is more hot now. It’s hotter now.
It takes an important part in It plays an important part in
It’s more easy It’s easier
Its a wonderful world. It’s a wonderful world.
Last night I cry Last night I cried
Less and less people Fewer and fewer people
Let’s go at home. Let’s go home.
Let’s profit of life Let’s enjoy life
lots of young Lots of young people/youngsters
Me and Sarah live in London Sarah and I live in London
My boyfriend is dentist My boyfriend is a dentist
My car isn’t enough big My car isn’t big enough
My flight departs in 5:00 am My flight departs at 5:00 am
Over all the world All over the world
Paul and me went to the zoo. Paul and I went to the zoo.
Paul has been absent from Monday Paul has been absent since Monday
payed paid
Pollution touches a lot of countries Pollution affects a lot of countries
Sarah is easy to suffer from cold Sarah suffers from cold easily
She has been dying for two years She has been dead for two years
She is angry at me She is angry with me
She is dead two years ago She died two years ago
She is waiting her friend She is waiting for her friend
Six hundreds of people Six hundred people
Someone has stolen a bank Someone robbed a bank
Tell her don’t come now. Tell her not to come now.
Tell me how are you. Tell me how you are.
Tell me why did you go there? Tell me why you went there?
That is an other story That is another story
That’s a honour That’s an honour
The another day The other day
The answer of this question is complicated The answer to this question is complicated
The apples are very tasty Apples are very tasty
the begining the beginning
The climate of Japan is different from Thailand The climate of Japan is different from that of Thailand
The man which works here is from Spain. The man who works here is from Spain.
The nuclear Nuclear power
The people usually think that… People usually think that
The police has arrested him. The police have arrested him.
The police is coming The police are coming
The poors The poor
The teacher learnt us a lesson The teacher taught us a lesson
The text speaks about The text deals with / is about
The three first years The first three years
Their coming tomorrow. They’re coming tomorrow.
There is no place in the hall There is no room in the hall
There is seven girls in the class There are seven girls in the class
They are not used to live in a hot country They are not used to living in a hot country
They go to school by foot they go to school on foot
They profit of him They take advantage of him
They succeed to do something They succeed in doing something
They sympathized They got on well
This is a good news This is good news
Throught Through
Tina is married with a doctor Tina is married to a doctor
To have a success To be successful
To take conscience To realize
To tell the true To tell the truth
to win money to earn money
We enjoyed at the party. We enjoyed ourselves at the party.
We know / are knowing a crisis We are going through a crisis
We studied during four hours. We studied for four hours.
We will help you make the dinner We will help you make dinner
What for has he come? What has he come for?
What means this? What does this means?
What time it is? What time is it?
Where I can find a pharmacy? Where can I find a pharmacy?
You can’t talk to him, he’s actually in a meeting You can’t talk to him, he’s currently in a meeting
You should not to smoke You should not smoke
You speak English good You speak English well
Your beautiful. You’re beautiful.



Whose and whom: what’s the difference?

Whose and whom: what’s the difference?




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


Whose is the genitive of who. It shows a relationship of belonging. Whose is used in different ways:
1 – As an interrogative word, to ask who owns something:
  • Whose book is on my bed?¬†
  • Whose umbrella is that?¬†
  • Whose pen is it?¬†
2 – As a relative pronoun, in sentences where the relative subordinate expresses possession. It is always followed by a noun:
  • That’s the boy whose bike is broken.¬†
  • This is Mrs Smith, whose husband died recently.¬†
  • Paul works with that other guy¬†whose¬†name I can‚Äôt remember.¬†

‚ö†ÔłŹ The noun that follows whose is never preceded by a determinant:

  • This is the boy whose the sister is my friend.¬†
  • Whose the bike is broken? Is it Tom’s bike or is it your bike?¬†

‚ö†ÔłŹ Whose should not be confused with who’s (which means ‘who is‘). Who’s is used to ask about identity, not possession:

  • Who’s that girl?¬†
  • Whose sister is she?¬†


Whom is also an interrogative pronoun, but it is used instead to replace the subject of a question (it is mainly used in formal English):

  • Whom is this book about?¬†
  • Whom did Paul hired?¬†

Whom is also used in statements instead of the subject of a clause. We say, for example:

  • This is my friend whom I just told you about.¬†
  • She’s calling the friend with whom she is living.¬†

‚ö†ÔłŹ If the antecedent is not human, you have to use which:

  • This is the house which I bought.¬†


How to use Would rather in english

How to use Would rather 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.

Rather is an adverb of degree and nuance that is also used to express alternatives and preferences.

Rather as a degree adverb

Rather is used to emphasize an adjective or adverb. Rather is often used to suggest an idea of something unexpected or surprising (it can be replaced by remarkably):

  • It’s¬†rather¬†cold today.¬†
  • The film was rather good.¬†
  • Paul speaks Spanish¬†rather well.¬†
  • My city is rather small in comparison with Paris.¬†

‚ö†ÔłŹRather or quite?¬†Rather has a meaning similar to quite (or fairly), even if these two words have a rather positive meaning, while rather has a rather negative meaning.

  • It’s quite warm today¬†¬†(positive sense)
  • It’s rather warm today¬†¬†(negative sense)

Alternatives and preferences with Rather than

Rather than is used to give more importance to one thing when two alternatives or preferences are compared. It can be replaced by ‘instead of’.

  • Let’s take the train rather than the bus.¬†
  • I would prefer to leave now¬†rather than¬†wait.¬†
  • He decided to write¬†rather than¬†telephone.¬†
  • It would be better to go in July¬†rather than¬†in August.¬†

‚ö†ÔłŹ When the main clause has a verb in -ing, ‘rather than‘ can be followed by -ing:

  • I prefer walking rather than driving.¬†
  • I would¬†rather¬†spend my time traveling¬†than¬†working.¬†

Rather than is usually used when you want to compare two things. However, it can also be used at the beginning of a sentence. When we use rather than with a verb, we use the basic form or (less often) the -ing form of a verb:

  • Rather than walking, he ran.¬†
  • ‚ĚƬ†Rather than to pay¬†‚Ķ¬†‚ĚĆ

Wishes and preferences with Would rather

To talk about preferences or wishes, there is also the structure ‘would rather‘ (=’d rather) followed by the infinitive without to. It can be replaced by ‘prefer to‘:

  • I’d rather go alone.¬†
  • I don’t want to go to the cinema.¬†I’d¬†rather¬†stay here.¬†

To say that a person would prefer another person to do something, ‘would rather‘ is usually followed by a tense in the past:

  • I’d rather (that) you came another time.¬†

To express regrets about something that has already happened, ‘would rather‘ is followed by the past perfect tense (it is similar to ‘wish‘):

  • I‚Äôd rather you hadn‚Äôt done¬†that.

Rather with adjective + noun

With a/an we generally use rather a/an + adjective + noun, but we can also use a rather + adjective + noun.

With other determinants (some, those) we use determinant + rather + adjective + noun:

  • We had to wait¬†rather a¬†long time.¬†(=¬†We had to wait¬†a¬†rather¬†long time. – less common)¬†
  • He helped her out of¬†rather an¬†bad situation.¬†(=¬†He helped her out of¬†a rather¬†bad situation.)¬†
  • I had¬†some rather¬†good news today.¬†
  • ‚ĚƬ†I had rather some good news today.¬†‚ĚĆ

Rather a + noun

Rather a followed by a name is used more in formal language than in informal language (especially written):

  • It was¬†rather a¬†shock when I heard the news.¬†

Rather a lot

We often use rather with a lot to refer to large quantities of something:

  • This requires rather a lot of experience.¬†
  • There is rather a lot to do.¬†

We also use rather a lot with a meaning of ‘often’:

  • They went there¬†rather a lot.¬†
  • This happens rather a lot.¬†

Rather + verb

Rather is often used to highlight verbs such as enjoy, hate, hope, like, love:

  • I was¬†rather¬†hoping you‚Äôd forgotten about that.¬†
  • I rather hate Indian food, actually.

Rather in short answers

Rather can be used to make a short answer:

  • ‚ÄėAre you comfortable?‚Äô ‚ÄėYes, rather!‚Äô¬†

Rather to make comparisons

We use rather with more or less + an adjective or adverb to make a comparison with something (especially in writing):

  • I’m rather more concerned about the pollution.¬†
  • The country is rather less strong today than it was five years ago.¬†

Rather like

Rather with like is used to refer to similarities. Rather like then means ‘quite similar to’:

  • They were small insects,¬†rather like¬†cockroaches.¬†
  • I felt¬†rather like¬†a student facing his professor.¬†

Or rather

We use or rather to correct what we have just said, or to clarify things:

  • Her daughter is a doctor,¬†or rather,¬†a dentist.¬†
  • Paul picked us up in his car, or rather his dad’s car which he’d borrowed.¬†
  • He explained what this building is, or rather, what it was.¬†
  • He had to walk, or rather, run to the office.¬†



May and Might – lesson pdf

May and might




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 May and Might in English ?

May and might are modal verbs. Might is the preterite of may and their use can be classified into two categories:

To express permission

We may use to ask politely:

  • May I ask you a question?

One can also use may to grant permission:

  • You may stay up late this evening.¬†

May can also be used to formulate a prohibition:

  • You may not smoke here.¬†

Might only express a permission in reported speech with a subordinate:

  • I asked her if I might borrow her car.¬†

May is only used in the present context. The equivalent in past and future contexts is be allowed to (to be authorized to, to have the right to…)

  • She wasn’t allowed to drink sodas.¬†
  • I hope that I’ll be allowed to watch TV tonight.¬†

To express the hypothesis

We also use may to suggest a probability, an uncertainty or a possibility, when we are not sure of something:

  • She may be jealous.¬†
  • You may be right but I’ll have to check.¬†

With might, the speaker expresses a greater uncertainty than with may:

  • He might not live here.¬†
  • It might not rain today.¬†

‚ö†ÔłŹ Do not confuse might + verb and might + be v-ing:

  • He might play soccer.¬† (in general)
  • He might be playing soccer.¬† (right now)

‚ö†ÔłŹ Do not confuse can and may:

  • This watch can be damaged by misuse.¬†‚Üí¬† This watch may be damaged if it is not used properly.
  • This watch may be damaged by misuse.¬†‚Üí¬† This watch may be damaged due to misuse.¬†



Compound nouns rules pdf

Compound nouns rules 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.

In English, to form compound names, two or more names are associated, which can be juxtaposed, joined or simply separated by a dash:

  • a bookshop¬†
  • a bread knife¬†
  • a beach towel¬†
  • a horse-race¬†
  • the city-centre¬†

There are also other constructions possible, but they are rarer: with a gerund (ing) + noun, a particle + noun, or a noun + particle:

  • a checkout¬†
  • winbdsurfing¬†

It’ss always the last element that bears the mark of the plural (with some exceptions). It is then necessary to add an -s to the last element:

  • a bus driver¬†
  • the bus drivers¬†
  • a toothbrush¬†
  • two¬†toothbrushes¬†

There are a few exceptions:

  • a sports car¬†
  • a savings account¬†
  • a clothes shop¬†
  • a customs officer¬†


It is always the last noun that is the most important. The one or those which precede it play the role of adjective: they describe the last word.

  • a flower garden¬†
  • a garden flower¬†

A compound noun is used when the relationship between the two nouns is recognized as constant. The meaning of the relationship between nouns is diverse: place, use, material, cause, etc…

  • the town centre¬†
  • a stone bridge¬†

Be careful! We use noun + of + noun, and not a compound noun, to talk about a quantity of something.

  • a piece of cheese¬†
  • a slice of ham¬†
  • a box of matches¬†
  • a spoonful of honey¬†
  • a group of tourists¬†

Be careful to distinguish the container and content:

  • a glass of wine¬†
  • a wine glass¬†
  • a tea cup¬†
  • a cup of tea¬†

Some compound nouns have a particle at the end:

  • a take-off¬†
  • a close-up¬†
  • a passer-by¬†
  • a grown-up¬†
  • a breakdown
  • a handout¬†
  • a breakthrough¬†

The plural is formed by adding an -s to the particle:

  • breakdowns¬†
  • grown-ups¬†

The particle can sometimes be at the beginning of the compound noun (in these cases the plural is formed by adding -s to the last word):

  • an outbreak¬†
  • an oucast¬†
  • an overdose¬†
  • an income

Compound nouns are widely used in newspaper headlines and technical language. They sometimes have more than two elements:

  • An evening dress rental service¬†



So and Such pdf

So and Such 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.

So and such can be used in several different ways in English sentences.

SO and SUCH in exclamations

Both words can add emphasis to your sentences, to make the meaning stronger. In the exclamations, we use the formula so + adjective and such + adjective + noun (singular or plural):

  • It’s such a nice day! (noun)
  • It’s so beautiful outside…¬†¬†(adjective)
  • He’s such a generous man. ¬†(noun)
  • He’s so generous.¬†(adjective)

The meaning is similar to words like ‘very’ or ‘really’:

  • The music is very loud!¬†=¬†The music is so loud!
  • She’s in a very bad mood today. = She’s in such a bad mood today.

Let’s take a closer look at So and Such:


As an adverb, so is similar to such and expresses an exclamation. It is often associated with an adjective, a quantifier (= a quantity word like many, much…), or a verb, and has different meanings according to the context:

  • I’m so glad to see you.¬†
  • I’m not so sure.¬†
  • We had so much work!¬†
  • You mustn’t worry so.¬†

So is also used to express the consequence:

  • I fel tired so I went to bed.¬†

We use so to express similarity:

  • I’m tired – So am I.¬†
  • Sam likes soccer. – So do I.¬†
  • Kevin lives in Germany. ‚Üí So does Tina.¬†

So allows you to refer to previous statements or events:

  • I think so.¬†
  • Who says so?¬†
  • So… ?¬†
  • So what’s the problem?¬†
  • So we can’t go after all.¬†

So helps to avoid repetitions:

  • We arrived early and so did he.¬†
  • Tonny speaks Spanish and so does his friend.¬†

So can refer to a size, a length, an unspecified quantity:

  • The table is about so high.¬†
  • They pay us so much a week.¬†

So can also refer to a way of doing things:

  • Hold the pen (like) so.¬†
  • The helmet is so constructed as to absorb most of the impact.¬†

Finally, so can be used with quantifiers: much, many, little, few, often, rarely… This makes it possible to know a quantity, an amount of something:

  • Sarah earns so much money!¬†
  • You have had so much to drink!¬†
  • There was so little damage after the storm.
  • I’m surprised that so few students turned up today.¬†

The constructions So… that and such … that are used to express purpose and consequence:

So + adjective + that 

  • The hotel was so comfortable that we decided to stay another night.
  • Give me some money so (that) I can buy some eggs.¬†
  • I took a taxi¬†so that I could get there on time.¬†
  • His handwriting is so bad (that) it’s illegible.¬†

The expression so as to, more formal, also expresses the purpose:

  • We came back early so as to avoid the bad weather.¬†


We use Such in front of names that can be counted in the singular, and in front of nouns that can be counted in the plural and uncountables nouns.

Such (a/an) expresses an exclamation or admiration and is used differently according to the context:

  • It’s such a surprise to see you here.¬†
  • Such situations are common.¬†
  • He’s changed his mind again. Oh well, such is life.¬†

Idioms with Such

Such … as¬†can be used to make a comparison¬†:

  • I’ve never seen such a fast car as yours.¬†

We use such as to present one or a list of examples of what we mention (it is mainly used in writing):

  • How can you forget a movie such as ‘Star Wars’?
  • I love action video games, such as Assassin’s Creed, GTA or Resident Evil.¬†
  • There are many ways to do it. – Such as?¬†

We use as such with a negative to indicate that a word or expression is not a very accurate description of the real situation. It can also be used after a noun to indicate that this thing is being considered alone, separately from other things or factors:

  • He’s not an expert as such, but …¬†
  • You’re a member of the staff and as such you can get coffe for free.¬†

Such and such is used to refer to a particular type of person or similar thing, regardless. Such and such is placed in front of the nouns:

  • Then she said the band was coming to Glasgow on such and such a date.¬†
  • If you do such and such a job, you will become rich.¬†

The constructions So… that and such … that are used to express the purpose and consequence: Such + adjective + noun + that (that is optional):

  • It’s such a good film (that) I’m going to see it again.¬†
  • Paul has such a big house (that) I got lost on the way to the kitchen.¬†



Countable and uncountable nouns (PDF)

Countable and uncountable nouns 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.

There are two categories of nouns in English: countable nouns and uncountable nouns in English. They must be distinguished because their use is different.

Countable nouns

Countable nouns refer to distinct elements, things that we can count. In front of a countable noun, we can use a number, the indefinite articles a/an, the defined article the, some (in the plural), or a possessive or demonstrative adjective. They can be used either in the singular or plural, usually with a final -s:

  • a car¬†‚Üí two cars
  • an orange¬†‚Üí three oranges
  • one girl¬†‚Üí two girls
  • a friend ‚Üí four friends

These names can be counted, so they are countable.

However, there are spelling irregularities as well as exceptions and invariable words (which do not change to the plural) – for more details see the lesson on plurals.

  • man ‚Üí men
  • woman¬†‚Üí women
  • baby¬†‚Üí babies
  • tooth¬†‚Üí teeth
  • child¬†‚Üí children
  • kiss¬†‚Üí kisses
  • knife¬†‚Üí knives
  • mouse¬†‚Üí mice
  • tomato¬†‚Üí tomatoes
  • sheep¬†‚Üí sheep
  • deer¬†‚Üí deer
  • aircraft¬†‚Üí aircraft

Uncountable nouns

The uncountable nouns represent global things, which cannot be counted. They may not be preceded by a number or a year. They require a verb in the singular. Often, uncountable nouns do not have a plural.

  • I hate milk.¬†

Milk cannot be counted, so it is an uncountable noun. You can’t say: I hate the milk

The uncountable nouns are generally:

  • Materials, substances or food too small or too fluid to be counted one by one (liquid, powder, gas): coffee, flour, butter, blood, gold, cheese, bread,¬†honey,¬†air,¬†milk,¬†rice,¬†sugar,¬†tea,¬†water, soap, jam, paint
  • Human feelings or qualities: beauty,¬†fear,¬†anger,¬†love
  • Abstract concepts, ideas or qualities: information,¬†knowledge,¬†luck,¬†safety,¬†money,¬†evidence, weather, advice, transport
  • Nouns formed from verbs or adjectives: reading, youth¬†
  • colours: red, yellow, etc…
  • The names of sports and games:¬†football, billiards, chess, darts…

‚ö†ÔłŹ These nouns are invariable and always followed by a verb in the singular:

  • Her hair is black.¬†

How to quantify uncountable nouns

To indicate a quantity of elements, or to isolate a unit from a set represented by an uncountable noun, it is sometimes necessary to use expressions or measures that make it possible to count them more or less precisely (also called “enumerator”):¬†some, a lot of, a bit of, a cup of, a bag of, a handful of, a pinch of…

  • a bag of flour¬†
  • a bowl of soup¬†
  • a cup of tea¬†
  • a game of tennis¬†
  • a glimmer of hope¬†
  • a handful of almonds¬†
  • a kilo of rice¬†
  • a loaf of bread¬†
  • a lump of sugar¬†
  • a means of transport¬†
  • a piece of advice¬†
  • a piece of cake¬†
  • a piece of fruit¬†
  • a piece of furniture¬†
  • a pinch of salt¬†
  • a sheet of paper¬†
  • a slice of bread¬†
  • a spoonful of jam¬†
  • some advice¬†

‚ö†ÔłŹ Some singular uncountable nouns are not used with a enumerator. It may be that:

  • Some nouns formed from verbs: advertising, skating…
  • Some disease names: AIDS, flu, measles…
  • Abstract values: business, happiness, justice, poverty, unemployment, weather…
  • Names in -ics: athletics, economics, electronics, mathematics, mechanics, physics, politics…

‚ö†ÔłŹ The article ‘a’ is sometimes found in front of some uncountable nouns, in some expressions in particular:

  • I’m in a hurry¬†
  • What a relief!¬†
  • What a shame!¬†

An uncountable singular can be replaced by a countable noun, which can be completely different:

Uncountable nouns Countable nouns
accomodation a room, a flat
advertising an advertisement
fishing a good catch
homework an exercise
progress a breakthrough
travel a trip, a journey
work a job


  • He’s looking for work (in general)
  • He’s looking for a job (something specific)

‚ö†ÔłŹ The word hair is normally uncountable in English, so it is used in the singular. It can also become countable only when it refers to one hair:

  • She has long blond hair.¬†
  • I washed my hair yesterday.¬†
  • I found a hair in my soup!¬†

Plural uncountable nouns 

Some uncountable names are always in the plural::¬†clothes, contents, customs, goods, looks, morals, oats, stairs, jeans, pyjamas, shorts, trousers, tights, binoculars, glasses, pliers, scales, scissors…

They always match with a plural verb!

  • Where are the binoculars?¬†
  • Those stairs don’t look very safe.

If you want to talk about one or more specific objects, you must use a enumerator:

  • two flights of stairs¬†
  • I need three pair of jeans¬†
  • a pair of scissors¬†

Plural uncountable nouns with a collective meaning

Nouns like clergy, police, poultry, cattle… have a collective meaning: contrary to their appearance, they are true plurals and they always require a verb in the plural, with the personal pronoun they:

  • Cattle are fed with grass¬†
  • The police are coming¬†

Category change

Some countable nouns can be used as uncountable nouns: they change their meaning and function:

  • Give me a glass of wine.¬† (the container)
  • Look out for broken glass.¬† (the material)
  • I’ve got two chickens in my garden. (birds)
  • I’ve had chicken for lunch. (meat)



How to use by in english grammar

How to use the preposition by in english grammar




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

We use the preposition by to talk about a means or method used to do something:

  • I did it by mistake.¬†
  • Contact me by email.¬†
  • I want to pay by cheque.¬†

‚ö†ÔłŹ It is said to be pay cash or pay in cash (and not by cash)

We also use by to tell by which means of transport someone travels:

  • He always goes to work by bus.¬†
  • She likes to travel by plane.¬†

We can also use by bike, by ship, by train, by road, by air, by rail…

‚ö†ÔłŹ We say on foot and not¬†by foot.

By is used to make sentences on the passive:

  • He was killed by an elephant.
  • They were invited by Paul.¬†
  • She was bitten by a dog.
  • The car was fixed by the mechanic.
  • This house was built by my father.¬†

By allows you to talk about an action with a goal (with a verb + ing):

  • You can stay healthy by drinking a lot of water.¬†
  • By pressing this button, you turn off the computer.

To talk about the author of a work:

  • I’m reading a book by Stephen King.¬†
  • It’s a film by James Cameron.
  • That’s a nice song by Bruno Mars.¬†

To describe a person:

  • He’s an engineer by trade.
  • By nature, she’s very nervous.

To express a difference, a deviation:

  • She won by five points.
  • The bullet missed me by inches.

To indicate the times of day:

  • We travelled by night and rested by day.

By is sometimes used to indicate proximity:

  • The bank is by the bakery.¬†
  • There‚Äôs a good restaurant by the lake.¬†
  • My parents live by the sea.
  • She was standing by me.¬†

By indicates a time limit:

  • My son must be in bed by 10 o‚Äôclock.¬†
  • I’ll be there by nine.¬†
  • The letter must be sent by September 15.¬†

By indicates a conformity with something:

  • He must play by the rules.
  • The elephant is an animal protected by law.
  • By my watch it’s 9 o’clock.
  • By my calculations, it’s too late.¬†

By is used in calculation, measurement and quantity expressions:

  • Divide/ multiply 10 by 2.
  • My bed is 2 metres by 4.
  • This fabric is sold by the meter.¬†
  • She’s selling cakes by the thousands.
  • The company decided to cut prices by 50%.

To give his opinion:

  • If that’s okay by you, I‚Äôd like to leave now.
  • That’s fine by me.

To say ‘next to another thing’:

  • The two girls were sitting side by side on a bench.¬†

To say that we did something on our own:

  • The dog opened the door by itself.
  • I stayed at home by myself.¬†

By the way:

  • By the way, are you coming tonight?

We use by to express the frequency:

  • The babysitter is usually paid by the hour.
  • Climate change is deteriorating by the day.¬†

To indicate a gradual process:

  • He ate all the cakes one by one.¬†
  • House prices are climbing day by day.
  • The instruction manual details the process step by step.¬†



Wishes and regrets grammar rules

Wishes and regrets with¬†‘I wish‘ and ‘If only…




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

To express wishes and regrets in English, you can use the wish + preterite or if only + preterite formulas:

1 – Wish

Wish is used to express wish or regret in the present or past. Wish is followed by a preposition with a subject and a verb.

The verb wish is used to express wish or regret in the present or past tense. Wish is followed by a proposal with a subject and a verb:

  • I wish I knew the truth.

To express regret in the present

Wish + prerrit (modal) expresses a regret about the present. The desired thing has no chance of being realized. It may concern the speaker or another person:

  • I wish I was rich.¬†
  • I wish you didn’t get so upset about her.¬†

‚ö†ÔłŹ If we use the verb be, we can use was or were, were being of a more sustained register:

  • I wish I was rich. /I wish I were rich.
  • I wish he wasn’t so bossy.¬†

To express regret in the past

Finally, we can also express regret about an event in the past. In this case, we use wish + past perfect:

  • I wish we had never come here.¬†
  • I wish he had told me the truth.¬†
  • I wish you hadn’t done that.¬†

To express a request or irritation

To express a request indirectly, to express a feeling of irritation or to talk about an event that has a chance of being realized, we use wish + would:

  • I wish you would taik to me more often.¬†
  • I wish somebody would answer the phone.¬†

To express a forecast or a wish:

Wish followed by the verb + to is similar to the verb ‘to want’ or ‘would like’, with an idea of forecasting in the future:

  • They wish to have five children.¬†
  • We wish to stay for four nights.¬†

You can also use ‘wish’ with a name to wish for an event:

  • We wish you a merry Christmas.¬†
  • I wish you a pleasant journey.¬†
  • I wish you a happy birthday.¬†

‚ö†ÔłŹ ‘I wish to‘ can have the meaning of ‘ I want to‘ but it’s very formal and not used very often:

  • I wish to make a complaint.¬†
  • I wish to see the manager.¬†

2 – If only

If only + preterite allows you to express wishes in relation to an unreal situation:

  • If only I had a car.¬†
  • If only you came to see me more often.¬†
  • If only I could speak Spanish!¬†
  • If only you had told me before!¬†

With the verb be, we sometimes use the form were to all persons (mainly in writing):

  • If only I were / was richer.¬†
  • If only I weren’t / wasn’t so tall.¬†

To express regrets about a past situation, it’s necessary to use the perfect past instead of the priest:

  • If only they had come.¬†

3 – Little tip !

One can also express regret or reproach with should have + past participle:

  • We should have taken the bus.



indefinite pronouns examples

Indefinite pronouns




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English indefinite pronouns (somebody, something…)

Indefinite pronouns are used in English to refer to unspecified objects, places or people (hence the term “indefinite”), whether in the plural or singular.

Here is the list of indefinite pronouns in English :

Indefinite pronouns Examples
another Give me another example.
anybody/ anyone Does anybody know a good place to eat?
anything My dad always told me that anything is possible.
each He shook the hand of each candidate
either Either day suits me.
enough He’s got enough money.
everybody/ everyone Everybody enjoyed the concert.
everything I gave him everything.
less We have less than three hours left.
little Give me just a little.
much Much of it true.
neither Neither road goes to New York
nobody/ no-one I have nobody to talk to.
nothing There was nothing we could do.
one One of the girls was left behind.
other He works as hard as any other student.
somebody/ someone There is somebody at the door.
something He saw something in the garden.
you You can’t learn this song in two minutes.
both I liked them both very much.
few They have few books.
fewer Fewer women wear hats these days.
many Many are called, but few are chosen.
others I’m sure that¬†others¬†have done this before.
several I have several friends in Paris.
they They say that smoking is bad for health.
all I saw them all.
any Do you have any gum?
more Show me more.
most Most cameras are made in Japan.
none None of us speak Spanish.
some Can I have some? / We’ll need some.
such You’re such a bad liar.