Tag: Grammar

Basic grammar rules: Personal pronouns

Basic grammar rules: personal pronouns (me, you, him…)

 

_

 

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




In this lesson we will see the personal pronoun in English (subjects and complements).

1/ Subject personal pronouns (or subject pronouns)

They are used to replace a name. Practical if you don’t want to repeat it over and over again….

  • I
  • you
  • he / she / it
  • we
  • you
  • they

Examples:

  • I like coffee.
  • He is a doctor.
  • She is clever.
  • It doesn’t work.
  • We go to school.
  • Paul went to the cinema. He watched the new Star Wars. Then, he went to the restaurant. → The subject pronoun “He” therefore avoids putting “Paul” in each sentence.

⚠️ ‘I’ is always written in capital letters!

⚠️ ‘it’ is neutral and refers to objects or animals. However, sometimes we can use’he’ or’she’ to talk about a domestic animal, a boat, a motorcycle… a thing or an animal that we are close to and that we can consider as a girl or a boy.

⚠️ ‘it‘ is also used to make a comment, or to talk about time, temperature, time or distance:

Examples:

  • It‘s raining.
  • It‘s difficult to find a job.
    It is important to dress well.
  • It will probably be cold tomorrow.
  • Is it eight o’clock yet?
  • It‘s 50 kilometres from here to London.

⚠️ We use ‘we’ to talk about ‘us’:

  • We like soccer.

2/ Complementary personal pronouns (or complementary pronouns)

  • me
  • you
  • him
  • her
  • it
  • us
  • you
  • them

Examples:

  • It’s me, Mario !
  • I told you !
  • Give her a beer
  • Who is it ? That’s us !
  • The teacher always give them homework.
  • Where’s the phone ? It’s next to him.
  • She’s writing a letter to you.
  • Here’s your present. Open it!
  • John helped me.

⚠️ Always put the personal pronoun complement behind the verb.

⚠️ ‘I’ or ‘Me’?

  • Tom and I are going to Paris in August → Why not ‘Tom and me‘ ? Because ‘I’ is part of the subject of the sentence.
  • They gave the job to me. → Why not ‘I‘? Because ‘me’ is the object of the sentence.

 

_

©Englishfornoobs.com

How to use the Zero article in English

How to use the Zero article 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, it is sometimes not necessary to put an article a,an or the in front of certain names.

(NOTE: some English teachers use the Ø symbol in their lesson to show when not to put an article)

Articles are not used in the following cases:

Talk about generalities, general truths, or give your opinion

(you will notice that all names are in the plural)

  • I hate cakes. (we’re talking about cakes in general)
  • I love music.
  • I like chocolate.
  • Planes travel faster than cars.
  • Japanese is the language spoken in Japan.
  • I think history is boring.
  • Sharks are dangerous animals.

Abstract names

  • Love is a good thing.
  • War is terrible.

Colors

  • Steel is very strong.
  • Red is my favorite color.

Materials

  • This table is made of glass.
  • This bridge is made of steel.

Meals, food and beverages

  • I have coffee for breakfast.
  • In Spain, dinner is served at 10pm.

The place, the direction

  • to go to work
  • I go to church every sunday
  • to get home
  • to be in bed
  • to go into hospital
  • from left to right
  • go to university
  • go to church

⚠️ we say: to go to the toilet

⚠️ Do not mistake:

  • She goes to school every day.  (The school as an institution, in the general sense)
  • She lives next to the school.  (a particular school)

Languages

  • I like English.
  • She can speak Japanese.

Activities

  • He plays football.
  • I like tennis.

Continents, countries, streets, mountains and lakes (singular)

  • Africa
  • I’m visiting Italy next month.
  • Lake Michigan
  • Grafton Street
  • Mount Everest

⚠️ We use the with some names of countries, rivers, islands and seas (the USA, the UK, the Netherlands, the British Isles…)

Before the titles (functions, status) followed by the person’s name

  • Doctor Parker
  • Queen Elizabeth
  • Prince William
  • King Louis XV
  • President Sarkozy

Ex: President Trump has visited a museum in Paris.

In front of the days, the months

  • Sarah goes to the swimming pool on Tuesday.
  • August is usually very hot.
  • I love Fridays.

Time and weather

  • It’s spring !
  • at night
  • Next year I’m going to Sri Lanka  (not: the next year)

⚠️but we say: in the evening 




©Englishfornoobs.com

Indefinite articles in English (a and an) – (lesson with examples)

Indefinite articles in English (a and an)


 

_

 

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




The article a/an

We use A or AN when the thing or person we are talking about is not specific (it is “indefinite”):

  • I met a friend in New York.
  • I work in a school.

A/AN exists only in the singular, and only before a name that can be counted.

  • There is a book on the chair  (singular)
  • There are books on the chair  (plural)
  • There are a books on the chair ❌
  • There is water on the floor  (we can’t count water… so we put nothing here!)

We use a/an to talk about someone’s job:

  • He is a doctor  (we don’t say ‘he is doctor’)

We put A before a consonant (b, c, d, f, g, p, m, etc…):

  • a bear
  • a teacher
  • a table
  • a dog
  • a pilot

We put AN in front of a vowel (a, e, i, o, u):

  • an apple
  • an invitation
  • an elephant
  • an actor
  • an umbrella

Actually, it’s not that simple….

It’s the sound of the first letter of a word that determines whether we use a or an: if the word begins with a vowel sound, we use AN. If the word begins with a consonant sound, A is used.

Indeed, they say:

  • a university
  • a unicorn
  • a euro
  • a european
  • a user

⚠️ Even if hour, honor and x-ray start with consonants, we use “an” because they pronounce themselves as if they started with a vowel:

  • an hour
  • an honor
  • an x-ray

This is also why we use an when we talk about the letter F:

  • Your name is Francis, with an F? (NOT ‘with a F?‘)
  • He is an FBI agent (NOT ‘he is a FBI agent’)

Which is correct: “a one” or “an one”?

One is pronounced “wun,” so it sounds like a consonant, although it starts with a vowel : a one is correct.

  • I can’t see, is it a one or a seven? 

 

It’s not really a question of whether the word begins with a vowel or not, but with a vowel sound.

  • Buy a house in an hour = house and hour start with the same letters but pronounce differently!
  • An unknown woman saw a unicorn = same thing, unknown and unicorn start with the same letters but pronounce themselves differently. Either A or AN is used depending on the sound!

Remember that it’s the sound that is important!

⚠️ Herb & Hospital: it depends!

Do we say a hospital or an hospital?  The letter H of these two words is pronounced or not depending on whether you have an American or British accent. In American english, the H is silent, so it looks more like an herb, a hospital…

Defined (the) or indefinite (a, an) article?

Finally, look at the following example to understand the difference:

  • Pass me a cup  (any one)
  • Pass me the cup  (a precise cup)
  • I need a pen  (any one)
  • I need the pen  (a specific pen)




©Englishfornoobs.com

The definite article (The) – with examples!

THE DEFINITE ARTICLE (HOW TO USE ‘THE’ 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, we simply use THE, for the masculine, feminine or neutral, or even for the singular or plural.

We say that ‘the’ is a definite article because it defines something specific. On the contrary, a/an are indefinite articles because they indicates something non-specific.

  • the bike
  • the bikes
  • the boy 
  • the boys

Did you know that ‘the’ is the most used word in English language?

WHEN TO PUT ‘THE’?

THE is used in the following cases:

TO DESIGNATE A GROUP OF PEOPLE

  • the elderly 
  • the poor 
  • the Canadians 

THE DECADES

  • This is a plane from the 1930’s
  • She was born in the eighties

TO DESIGNATE THINGS THAT EVERYONE KNOWS ABOUT

  • the stars 
  • the earth 
  • the sun 
  • the moon 

GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES: OCEANS, RIVERS, ISLAND GROUPS, AND MOUNTAIN RANGES

  • the Hudson River 
  • the Indian Ocean 
  • the Pacific Ocean 
  • the Himalayas 
  • the Nile 
  • the Alps 
  • the Rocky Mountains 
  • the Arctic 
  • the Dead sea 

SURNAMES IN THE PLURAL

  • the Simpsons (= the Simpson family)

WITH THE NAMES OF MONUMENTS

  • the Eiffel Tower
  • the Louvre

WITH THE NAMES OF NEWSPAPERS

  • the New York Times
  • the Guardian
  • the Sun

COUNTRY NAMES IN THE PLURAL

  • the United States of America
  • the United Kingdom 
  • the Netherlands
  • the Philippines

⚠️ The agreement is generally in the singular:

  • The USA is a very big country. 

Definite article (the) or indefinite (a/an)?

See the following example:

  • Can we go to the park? → specific, we already know the park where we want to go.
  • Can we go to a park? → non-specific, it could be any park.

When Not to use ‘the’?

WITH THE NAMES OF COUNTRIES AND CONTINENTS

  • She’s just returned from Italy.
  • Russia is a very big country.
  • Asia is bigger than Africa.

WITH THE LANGUAGE NAMES

  • French is spoken in Switzerland.
  • English uses many words of Latin origin.
  • Japanese is a beautiful language.

WITH THE NAMES OF THE MEALS

  • I like to eat breakfast in the morning. = ✅ / I like to eat the breakfast in the morning. = ❌
  • Lunch is my favorite meal. = ✅ / The lunch is my favorite meal = ❌

WITH TITLES COMBINED WITH A NAME

  • President Trump is traveling to China.
  • Prince Charles is Queen Elizabeth’s son.

We can say ‘The Queen visited Paris for the first time‘ because we don’t say her first name.

WITH PROFESSIONS

  • He’ll probably study medicine.
  • Engineering is a well-paid career.

WITH UNCOUNTABLE NAMES

  • Bread is an important food in France.
  • Milk is often added to tea in England.
  • War is destructive.

WITH THE NAMES OF MOUNTAINS, LAKES AND ISLANDS

  • He lives near Long Island.
  • Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world.
  • Have you been to Lake Tahoe?

WITH STREET NAMES, STATIONS AND AIRPORTS

  • Victoria Station is in the centre of London.
  • Can you show me where is Oxford Street?
  • They’re flying into Charles de Gaulle.

WITH PUBLIC PLACES 

  • Go to school = ✅ / Go to the school = ❌
  • Go to work = ✅ / Go to the work = ❌
  • Go to hospital = ✅ / Go to the hospital = ❌

⚠️ We also say

  • Stay in bed = ✅ / Stay in the bed = ❌
  • Be at home = ✅ / Be at the home = ❌

NOTE

For the seasons, you can put or not put THE, both are correct. We can say:

  • in summer
  • in the summer




©Englishfornoobs.com

Adjectives ending in -ed and -ing

Adjectives ending in -ed and -ing (complete list!)

 

_

 

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




When you add -ed or -ing to a verb, you can form adjectives. Here are some examples to help you understand better:

Verb: to interest

  • interested 
  • interesting

Verb: to tire

  • tired 
  • tiring 

Adjectives ending per -ed are past participles. They have a passive sense, the action is suffered:

  • Kevin is bored
  • I am frightened

Adjectives ending with -ing are present participants. They have an active sense, they produce a reaction:

  • The view is amazing
  • Snakes are frightening

The list of the most common English adjectives ending in -ed and -ing:

Adjectives ending in -ed Adjectives ending in -ing
aggravated aggravating
alarmed alarming
amazed amazing
amused amusing
annoyed annoying
astonished astonishing
astounded astounding
bewildered bewildering
bored boring
captivated captivating
challenged challenging
charmed charming
comforted comforting
concerned concerning
confused confusing
convinced convincing
depressed depressing
devastated devastating
disappointed disappointing
discouraged discouraging
disgusted disgusting
distressed distressing
disturbed disturbing
embarrassed embarrassing
enchanted enchanting
encouraged encouraging
energised energising
entertained entertaining
exasperated exasperating
excited exciting
exhausted exhausting
fascinated fascinating
flattered flattering
frightened frightening
frustrated frustrating
fulfilled fulfilling
gratified gratifying
horrified horrifying
humiliated humiliating
inspired inspiring
insulted insulting
interested interesting
intrigued intriguing
irritated irritating
moved moving
mystified mystifying
overwhelmed overwhelming
perplexed perplexing
perturbed perturbing
pleased pleasing
puzzled puzzling
relaxed relaxing
satisfied satisfying
shocked shocking
sickened sickening
soothed soothing
surprised surprising
tempted tempting
terrified terrifying
threatened threatening
thrilled thrilling
tired tiring
touched touching
troubled troubling
unnerved unnerving
unsettled unsettling
worried worrying




©Englishfornoob.com 

Adjective rules in english (Free grammar PDF)

Adjective 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.




What is an adjective? 

An adjective is a word used to describe something. When you use an adjective, you say something about a noun or subject you are talking about. Words like long, short, blue, red, big, small, etc… are all adjectives. They provide more details about the people, places, or things you want to describe.

An adjective can indicate…

  • the quantity  → five, eleven, several, a few
  • the size  → tall, massive, big, huge, tiny…
  • the condition → easy, important, rich, expensive, broken, damaged, dusty, wet…
  • the color → blue, red, green…
  • the appearance → pretty, delicious, beautiful, interesting…
  • the personality  → calm, happy, proud, angry, jealous
  • the age → old, young, new, ancient
  • the temperature → cold, warm, hot…
  • the shape  → round, square, deep, narrow…
  • the origin  → Japanese, Spanish, French…
  • the material  → silver, glass, wooden
  • the sound  → loud, noisy, quiet
  • the time → slow, fast

Adjectives are placed before nouns:

  • a yellow bike 
  • a dark sky 
  • a scary movie 

Adjectives are placed after the verb:

  • The bike is yellow 
  • The sky becomes dark 
  • The movie seems scary 

Several adjectives can be used in a row:

  • a nice old house 

If there are more than two, they are often separated by commas, unless they are short (more than three adjectives in a row is not very common…):

  • a nice little green car 
  • a strange, mysterious, frightening house. 

In English, adjectives never take -s in the plural, they are invariable:

  • Paul and Sarah are thin and tall

Adjectives can be qualified by using adverbs that are placed before the adjective: very  really, so, too much, rather, quite, a little, almost, enough.

  • She is really pretty. 

enough is always placed after the adjective:

  • He is big enough. 

When using an adjective of colour or nationality with another adjective, it’s usually the closest to the noun:

  • They sell big Italian pizzas in this restaurant. 
  • There’s a big black dog in the garden. 

In English, compound adjectives can be created from a noun to make a physical description under the following construction: adjective-noun + ed

  • The police are looking for a short-haired woman. 

Adjectives can be formed by adding the ending -ed or -ing to some verbs:

  • interest → interested / interesting

Most adjectives can be comparative or superlative:

  • big → bigger, biggest
  • high → higher, highest
  • good → better, best
  • beautifu → more beautiful, most beautiful
  • large → larger, largest

Some adjectives are sometimes followed by a preposition that introduces their complement: proud of, good at, afraid of, terrified of, satisfied with, happy with, addicted to, worried about…

  • She is addicted to her smartphone. 
  • He is terrified of spiders. 

Some adjectives sometimes have particular endings:

  • -able → washable, adorable, uncomfortable
  • -ible  → invisible, responsible, incredible
  • -al  → educational, gradual, illegal, nocturnal, viral
  • -an  → American, Mexican, urban
  • -ant → constant, distant, elegant, important…
  • -ar  → cellular, popular, spectacular, vulgar
  • -ent  → intelligent, potent, silent, violent
  • -ful  → careful, harmful, powerful, tasteful, thoughtful
  • -ic → athletic, energetic, scientific
  • -ical  → magical
  • -ine  → bovine, canine, equine, feminine, masculine
  • -ile  → agile, docile, fertile, virile
  • -ish → childish
  • -ive  → informative, native, talkative
  • -less  → careless, endless, homeless, timeless
  • -ous  → cautious, dangerous, enormous, malodorous
  • -some  → awesome, handsome, lonesome, wholesome
  • -y → dirty, pretty, angry, busy, wealthy, windy

 

©Englishfornoobs.com

How to use There is / There are in English

How to use there is / there are 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.




We use there is (singular) and there are (plural) to talk about the presence of someone or something:

  • There is a book on the table.
  • There are two books on the table.

In negative sentences:

  • There is not a book on the table (we can also say: There is no book on the table)
  • There are not two books on the table (we can also say: There are no books on the table)

In the questions:

  • Is there a book on the table?
  • Are there two books on the table?

To answer, you can say:

  • Yes, there is / No, there isn’t
  • Yes, there are / No, there aren’t

The contractions:

  • There is = There’s
  • There is not = There’s not / there isn’t
  • There are not = There aren’t   (not there’re )

Orally, there’s is more used than there is:

  • There’s a party tomorrow night near the lake.
  • There’s some pizza in the fridge.

Note: even if this is incorrect, English speakers often use there’s orally, even if they speak several things:

  • There’s four other people waiting outside.

There was / There were

In the past, we use there was (singular) and there were (plural):

  • There was a spider in the kitchen.
  • There were children playing in the park.

Constructions with There / auxiliary / be

  • There will be
  • There is going to be
  • There used to be
  • There could be
  • There should be
  • There would be
  • There must be

Some examples of possible uses:

  • There will be too many people.
  • There could be a problem.
  • There should be a solution.
  • There must be toilets nearby.

⚠️ BE CAREFUL!

1 – To express duration, we use Ago

  • I went to Tokyo two weeks ago.  (NOT ‘I went to Tokyo there’s three weeks’)

2 – Don’t confuse: They’re, Their, and There!

  • They’re = They are
  • Their = possession

©Englishfornoobs.com

Position of adverbs

Position of adverbs 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.




Some tips to know the position of adverbs in English.

Frequency adverbs (always, often, never, never, seldom, usually): they are placed before the verb, if the verb has a simple form. If ‘be’ is the main verb and there is no auxiliary, the frequency adverb is put next. Otherwise, we put it first:

  • He often goes to the swimming pool.
  • She has never been to France.
  • We are always at home on tuesday.

Frequency expressions (every day, once a week…) are placed at the end of a sentence or at the very beginning of a sentence:

  • I go to the cinema once a week.
  • She speaks english every day.
  • He calls his mum three times a day.
  • Once a month, I visit my family.
  • I visit him twice a week.
  • He meets her several times a month.

Adverbs of manner

They are placed after the main verb, or before it to put importance on the adverb:

  • He speaks Spanish very well.
  • He really likes his car.

Some adverbs are always placed after the verbs: well, badly, fast, hard, late

  • The team well played. [WRONG]
  • The team played well. [CORRECT]
  • He badly plays guitar. [WRONG]
  • He plays guitar badly. [CORRECT]

⚠️hard and fast are irregular adverbs – we do not say hardly or fastly.

Adverbs of Degree

They immediately place themselves in front of the adjective or adverb they are modifying:

  • He is too slow.
  • He has almost finished.
  • She is very tired.

Be careful, enough is placed after the word it modifies.

  • She worked hard enough. [We don’t say: She worked enough hard]

Enough is often followed by to + infinitive or followed by for….

  • She is old enough to be his mother.
  • Is it hot enough for you?
  • I’ve studied enough for today.
  • This house isn’t big enough for us.

Adverbs of time and place (HERE, THERE, YESTERDAY, TODAY…)

They can be placed at the beginning (but it’s rare) or more generally at the end of the sentence:

  • Here, you can make a lot of friends.
  • He went to the gym yesterday.

 

©Englishfornoobs.com

Easy list of English Grammar Terms

Easy list of English Grammar Terms

– Easy list of English Grammar Terms –


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 a list of all the basic grammar terms you should know before starting to learn english. It will be useful for beginners as well as advanced learners. All the grammatical terms are explained with examples.

ADVERB

It’s used to clarify or modify the meaning of a verb, an adjective, another adverb or an entire proposition, for example when, where and how something happens:

  • We talked about it yesterday.
  • I’ll wait here.
  • Read the text carefully.

ADVERB OF FREQUENCY

Adverbs of frequency describes the frequency at which something happens:

  • I usually eat at home.
  • These lessons are often very boring.

AUXILIARY VERB

Be, Do and Have are used with other verbs to form passive times and forms. They are auxiliary verbs:

  • I’m not working tomorrow.
  • What did she say?
  • The conference has been canceled.

GERUND

A gerund is a form ending in -ing of a verb used as a noun:

  • Smoking is not allowed at the back of the bar.
  • I’m not keen on flying.

INFINITIVE

An infinitive is the basis of a verb (come, go, etc …). It is used with or without ‘to‘:

  • This book is hard to understand.
  • I’d like to book a table for eight o’clock.
  • I must finish my homeworks today.

MODAL VERB

A modal verb is a verb like might, can or should. It is used to express possibilities, ask permission, give advice, etc.

  • Can we meet later this afternoon?
  • We should improve our english.
  • They might think the house is too old.

PHRASAL VERBS

A phrasal verb is composed in two parts: a verb (for example ‘look‘) followed by an adverb or a preposition (for example ‘after‘). When used together, they often have a completely different meaning:

  • He’s looking after the children.
  • She looked the word up in her dictionary.

PREPOSITION

A preposition is used to connect and describe the relationship between a noun and a pronoun. Some common prepositions are: in, on, around, above, between, inside, near, for, with

  • He swam across the river.
  • This movie is about the second World War.

PRONOUN

A pronoun takes the place of a name:

  • The hotel is good but it’s too far from the airport.
  • That’s my boss. Have you met him?

©Englishfornoobs.com