English Usage / Grammar Compendium
From today onwards, I would be posting a few points on the practical usage of English. I would update it every now and then. My request to you is not to start any discussions below this thread. Please go through it on a daily basis and learn as much as you can. You can discuss the points in a separate thread.If you would like to contribute something, you can mail the material to me and I will add it with your name. My email id is firstname.lastname@example.org
beside and besides
Beside is a preposition meaning 'at the side of', 'by' or 'next to'
Why is the cat sitting beside the chair?
Besides is used when we add new information to what is already known.
Besides aerobics, I have to do crunches and push ups.
Besides can also be used as a discourse marker meaning 'also', 'in any case',and 'as well'. It is often used to add a stronger, more conclusive argument to what has gone before. In this case, besides usually goes at the beginning of the clause.
It's too late to go out now. Besides, it's starting to rain.
I don't like this dress; besides,it's too expensive.
besides, except and apart from
Besides usually adds; it is like saying with, or in addition to or plus (+).
Besides cornflakes, I have fruits for my breakfast.
Except subtracts; it's like saying without, or minus (-).
I like all fruits except apples.
Apart from can be used in both senses.
Apart from cornflakes, I have fruits for breakfast. (= besides cornflakes)
I like all fruits apart from apples.(=except apples)
After no, nobody, nothing and similar negative words, the three expressions (besides, except, apart from) can all have the same meaning.
He has nothing except/besides/apart from his house. (= He only has his house.)
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Usage of JUST
Just has several meanings:
'Just' often emphasizes the idea of 'at this moment' or 'close to the present'.
I'll be down in a minute-I am just completing my lunch.
Harry has just phoned.
In expressions such as 'just after', 'just before', and 'just when', just suggests closeness to the time in question.
I saw him just after dinner. (=very soon after dinner.)
Just can mean 'only', 'scarcely', 'nothing more than'.
Complete dinner set for just $100.
I just want somebody to be with me.
The meaning can be emphasized by only.
There was only just enough light to read by.
Could/Can I Just....? can make a request seem less demanding.
Could I just use your bicycle?
Just often means 'exactly'.
What is the time by your watch?--It's just 3 o'clock.
Thanks. That's just what I wanted.
Just can emphasize other words and expressions, with the sense of 'simply', 'there's no other word for it'.
You are just amazing.
I just love your pen.
Reflexive pronouns are myself, yourself, ourselves, yourselves, himself, herself, itself and themselves.
as direct objects
as indirect objects
Take good care of yourself/ yourselves.
Do you ever talk to yourself when you are alone?
used as subject complements
The paintings themselves are magnificent, but what ugly frames?
after preposition, and after like, than, as but.
Whose and Who's
Whose and Who's|
Whose is a possessive word meaning 'of whom/ which',used in questions and relative clauses. Who's is a contraction of who is and who has.
Whose is that coat? (NOT Who's is that coat?)
It was a decision whose importance was not realized at that time. (NOT who's importance)
Do you know anybody who's going to Australia in the next few days? (NOT anybody whose going..)
I have got a cousin who's never been to Paris. (NOT whose never been to...)
its and it's
its and it's|
Its is a possessive word. ( such as my, your).
Every country has its traditions. (NOT...it's traditions)
It's the contracted form of it is and it has
It's raining again (NOT its raining again).
Have you seen my pen? It's disappeared. (NOT...Its disappeared)
Whether and If
Whether and ifIndirect questions
and if both introduce indirect questions
formal style, whether is preferred in two part question with or.
Whether I'll have time I'm not sure at the moment.
When a question-word clause is a subject or complement, whether is normally preferred.
Whether we can stay with my mother is another matter.(subject)
The question is whether the man can be trusted. (complement)
The question is ifâ€¦. is also possible but less common.
Are you happy? Am I happy? No! ( NOT...If/Whether I'm happy?..)
Few, A few, the few,Little, A little and The little
Few, A few, the few,Little, A little and The little|
Little= not much (hardly any). The adjective little has a negative meaning.
He has little appreciation of good poetry.
A little = some though not much. 'A little' has a positive meaning.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
The little = not much, but all there is.
The little information that he had was not quite reliable.
Same goes for few, a few and the few.
Few= negative meaning + hardly any
Few people can keep a secret.
A few= positive meaning + is opposed to none.
A few Parsees write Gujrati correctly.
The few= not many, but all that there is.
The few friends he has are all poor.
farther and further
farther and further|
We use both farther and further to talk about distance. They both mean the same.
Delhi is farther/further away from Chennai.
Further (not farther) can mean additional. extra, more advanced.
College of Further Education.
For further information, turn to page 5
Each and Every : the difference
Each and Every : the difference|
1. Each with two or more; Every with three or more.
Each and every are both normally used with singular nouns. Each can be used to talk about two or more people or things; every is normally used to talk about three or more.
The business makes less money each/every year. (NOT ... each/every years)
She had a toy holding on to each hand. (NOT....every hand)
Every (which is normally used with singular nouns) can be used before plural expressions in measurements of frequency.
I go to Canada every six weeks.
Each and every can often be used without much difference of meaning.
You look more beautiful each/every time I see you.
But we prefer each when we are thinking of people or things separately, one at a time. And every is more common when we are thinking of people or things together, in a group. (every is closer to all). So we are more likely to say:
Each person in turn went to see the doctor.
Every person came from the same small village.
We do not use each with word expressions like almost, nearly, practically, or without exception. These words stress the idea of the whole group.
She's lost nearly every friend she had. (NOT...nearly each friend)
Each can be used in some structures where every is impossible.
They each said what they thought.(NOT....they every)
Each of them spoke for five minutes. (NOT...Every of them)
Like and As
Like and as : similarity, functionWe can use like and as to say that things are similar. We can also us as to talk about function- the jobs that people or things do..
1.like (similarity): like me
Like can be a
preposition. We use like, not as, before a noun or a pronoun to talk about
Like + noun/ pronounMy brother looks like me. (NOT...as me)
He ran like the wind (NOT... as the wind)
Like his parents, he is a vegetarian.
We can use very,
quite and other adverb of degree before like.
She is good at scientific subjects like mathematics.
(â€¦NOT as mathematics)
2. as (similarity): as I do
As is a conjunction. We use it before a clause, and before an expression beginning with a preposition.
as + clause
We often drink tea with the meal, as they do in China.
In 1939, as in 1914, everybody seemed to want war.
On Friday, as on Wednesday, the meeting will be at 4.30.
3. like I do (informal)
In modern English, like is often used as conjunction instead of as. This is most common in an informal style.Nobody loves you like I do.
You look exactly like your mother did when she was 20.
4. inverted word order : as did all his family
In a very formal style, as is sometimes followed by auxiliary verb + subject
She was a Catholic, as were most of her friends.
5. as you know etc.
Some expressions beginning with as are used to introduce facts which are "common ground" known to both speaker/writer and listener/reader.Examples are as you know, as we agreed, as you suggested.
As you know, next Monday's meeting has been cancelled.
I am sending you the bill for repairs, as we agreed.
There are some passive expressions of this kind- for example as is well known, as was agreed.. Note that there is no subject "it" after as in these expressions.As is well known, more people get cold in winter. (NOT â€¦as it s well known).
I am sending you the bill, as we agreed. (NOT â€¦as it was agreed)
6. Comparison with as and like after negatives
After a negative clause, a comparison with as
or like usually refers only to the positive part of what comes before.
Like Mary, I don't smoke. (Mary doesn't smoke)
7.Function or role: He worked as a waiter.
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, what category they belong to etc. In this case, as is a preposition, used before a noun.
He worked as a waiter for three years.
(NOTâ€¦like a waiter)
Compare this use of as with like.
As your brother, I must warn you to be careful. (I am your brother)
Neither (of) : determiner
neither (of) + determiner|
1. neither + singular noun
We use neither before a singular noun to mean 'not one and not the other (of two)'.
Can you come on Wednesday or Thursday? - I'm afraid neither day is possible.
2. neither of + plural
We use neither of before a determiner (for example he, my, these), and before a pronoun. The noun or pronoun is plural.
Neither of my brothers can sing. (NOT: Neither my brothers can sing.)
Neither of us saw it happen.
After neither of + noun/pronoun, we use a singular verb in a formal style.
Neither of my sisters is married.
In an informal style, a plural verb is possible.
Neither of my sisters are married.
3. Neither used alone
We can use neither without a noun or pronoun, if the meaning is clear.
Which one do you want?-- Neither
Verb + ing or to
Go on going something = continue doing the same thing.|
The minister went on talking for two hours.
We can't go on living like this.
Go on to do something = do/say something new.
After discussing the economy, the minister then went on to talk about a foreign policy.
I remember doing something = I did it and now I remember this.
You remember doing something after you have done it.
I am absolutely sure I locked the door. I clearly remember locking it. (= I locked it and now I remember it.)
I remembered to do something = I remembered that I had to do it so I did it.
You remember to do something before you do it.
I remembered to lock the door when I left but I forgot to shut the windows. (=I remembered that I had to lock the door and so I locked it.)
I regret doing something= I did it and now I am sorry about it.
I now regret saying what I said. I shouldn't have said it.
I regret to say/ to tell/ to inform you = I'm sorry that I have to say.
We regret to inform you that we are unable to offer you the job.
For, since, and from : time
For, since, and from: time
We use for for duration- to say how long
I've known him for a long time. (NOT: I know her for a long time.)
We've lived here for ten years. (NOT: We live here for ten years.)
A present tense with for
refers to duration into the future.
We can often leave out for in
an informal style, especially with How long...?
2. for and since with perfect tenses: the differenceFor and since can both be used with perfect tense to talk about duration upto the present. They are not the same.
for + period
I have known him for three years. ( NOT... since
I;ve known her since Tuesday.
It's been raining since the beginning of the month.
With a past perfect, for and since refer to duration up to a particular past moment.
She'd been working there for a long time. (NOTâ€¦ since a long time)
She'd been working there since 2000.
3. from and since
From and since give the starting point of actions, events or states: they say when things begin/began.From/since + starting point
I'll be here from three o' clock onwards.
I have known her since February.
We use since (with a perfect tense) especially when we measure duration from a starting point up to the present, or up to a past time that we are talking about.I've been working since six o' clock, and I am getting tired. (NOT I've been working from six o' clock, and I am getting tired)
I had been working since six o' clock, and I was getting tired.
From is used in other cases.
The shop was open from eight in the morning, but
the boss didn't arrive till ten. (NOT... The shop was open since eight in the
From is sometimes possible with a
present perfect, especially in expressions that mean "right from the start".
We often balance 'both...and' structure, so that the same kind of words or expressions follow both and and.
She's both pretty and clever. (adjectives)
I spoke to both the Director and her Secretary. (noun)
She both dances and sings.(verbs)
However, unbalanced sentences with both...and are common. Some people prefer to avoid them.
She both dances and she sings. (both + verb; and + clause)
I both play the piano and the violin.
Both cannot begin a complete clause in this structure.
You can both borrow the flat and (you can) use our car. (BUT NOT Both you can borrow the flat and you can use our car.)
Prefer and would rather
Prefer and would ratherPrefer to do and prefer doing
We use prefer to do or prefer doing to say something in general:
I prefer something to something else.
I prefer driving to travelling by train.
I prefer to drive rather than travel by train.
Would prefer (Iâ€™d preferâ€¦)
We use â€˜would preferâ€™ to say what somebody wants in a particular situation (not in general):
â€˜Would you prefer tea or coffee? â€˜â€˜Coffee please.â€™
We would say â€˜would prefer to doâ€™ (not doing)â€™
we go by train? Well, Iâ€™d prefer to go by car. (NOT Iâ€™d prefer going by car.) .
Would rather (Iâ€™d rather)
Would rather (do) = would prefer (to do) After would rather we use infinitive without to.
go by car.
The negative is Iâ€™d rather not (do something)â€™:
tired. Iâ€™d rather not go out this evening, if you donâ€™t mind.
after would rather:
Iâ€™d rather say at home tonight than go to the cinema.Iâ€™d rather you did something
When you want somebody to do something, you can say Iâ€™d rather
did somethingâ€™ :
In this structure we use the past (came, did etc.), but the meaning is present or future, not past.
Iâ€™d rather you didnâ€™t tell anyone what I said.
Do you mind if I smoke? Iâ€™d rather you didnâ€™t.
a lot, lots, plenty, a great deal, a large amount, a large number, the majority
a lot, lots, plenty, a great deal, a large amount, a large number, the majority
a lot of and lots of:
These are rather informal. In more formal style, we prefer a great deal of, a large amount of, much or many. 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 is used before a plural subject, the verb is plural; when lots of is used before a singular subject, the verb is singular.
A lot of time is needed to learn a language.
Lots of us think itâ€™s time for an election.
Plenty of is usually rather informal. It is used mostly befor singular uncountables and plurals. It suggests â€˜enough and moreâ€™.
a great deal of, a large amount of, and a large number of
These are used in similar ways to a lot of and lots of, but are more formal.
A great deal of and a large amount of are generally used with uncountable nouns.
Mr. Louise has spent a great deal of time in Far East.
A large number of is used before plurals, and a following verb is plural.
A large number of problems still have to be solved
The majority of (= â€˜mostâ€™ or â€˜most ofâ€™) is mostly used with plural nouns or verbs.
The majority of criminals are non violent.
These expressions are not generally used before words for units of measure, like pounds, years or miles. Other words have to be used.
It costs several pounds. ( NOT It cost a lot of ponds.)
They lived many miles from the town. (NOT they lived plenty of miles from the town)
use without following nouns
these expressions can be used without nouns if the meaning is clear. In this case of is not used.
How much did it cost? A lot.
Rohan seems to change his mind a great deal.
used as adverbs
A lot and a great deal can be used as adverbs
On holiday, we walk and swim a lot. (NOTâ€¦we walk plenty ORâ€¦swim lots)
less and fewer
less and fewer.
A) the difference
Less is the comparative of little (used
especially before uncountable nouns)
Fewer is the comparative of few (used
before plural nouns)
Less is quite common before plural nouns
and uncountable nouns, especially in an informal style. Some people consider
B) less/ fewer with and without of
Less of and fewer of are used before determiners (like the, my or
this) and pronouns.
If you want to lose weight, eat less food.
C) less and fewer without nouns
Nouns can be dropped after less and fewer if the meaning
I worry less than I used to.
Lesser is used in a few expressions (in a rather formal style) to mean
â€˜smallerâ€™ or â€˜not so muchâ€™
Re: English Usage / Grammar Compendium
thankful and grateful|
Grateful is the normal word for people's reaction to kindness, favours etc.
I'm very grateful for my teacher's help. (NOT I'm very thankful..)
She wasn't grateful to me for repairing her watch.
Thankful is used specially for feelings of relief at having avoided a danger, or at having come through an unpleasant experience.
We were really thankful when it stopped raining after two days.
Well, I'm thankful that's over.
Re: English Usage / Grammar Compendium
Allow, permit, and let
allow and permit
words have similar meanings and uses. Permit is more formal. Both words
can be flowed by object+infinitive
do not allow/permit people smoking in the kitchen.
It is not permitted to smoke in the kitchen. (NOT Its is not allowedâ€¦..)
Allow, but not permit, can be used in adverb particles.
Let is the least formal of these
three words, and is followed by object+infinitive without to.
I wasnâ€™t allowed to pay for the drinks. (NOT I wasnâ€™t letâ€¦)
Let can be used with adverb particles; passives are possible in this
Enjoy normally has an object.
To talk about having a good time, we can
enjoy myself/yourself etc.
Enjoy! With no object is possible, especially in informal language.
Enjoy can be followed by â€“ing.
We use eitherâ€¦or to talk about a choice between two possibilities (and sometimes more than two)
I donâ€™t speak either Japanese or Chinese.
You can either come with me now or walk home.
If you want ice-cream, there is either vanilla, raspberry, or chocolate.
We often balance this structure, so that same kinds of words or expressions follow either and or.
You can eat either chocolate or ice-cream. (nouns)
He is either in Delhi or in Mumbai. (prepositional expressions)
Either you will leave this house or I will call police. (clauses)
However unbalanced sentences with eitherâ€¦.or are possible. The usage is mostly avoided.
You can either have chocolate or ice-cream.
He is either in Delhi or Mumbai.
You will either leave this house or I will call police.
After one of we normally use a plural pronoun.
Occasionally one of is used with a singular noun referring to a
A following verb is normally singular
After one of, a noun phrase must have a determiner (eg. the, my, those)
Of cannot be dropped.
In : Place
In is used for a position inside large areas, and in three dimensional space when something is surrounded on all sides.
I donâ€™t think he is in his office.
Letâ€™s go for a walk in the woods.
In + part of the day
I work best in the morning.
I usually go out in the evenings.
Note he difference between â€˜in the night (mostly used to mean during one particular night)â€™ and â€˜at the nightâ€™(= during any night)
I had to get up in the night.
I usually work at nights.
In informal style we sometimes use plurals (days etc.) with no prepositions.
Would you rather work days or nights?
We use on if we say which morning/ afternoon etc we are talking about, or if we describe the morning/afternoon etc.
See you on Monday morning.
We met on a cold afternoon in early spring.
In + longer period
It happened in the week after Christmas.
I was born in August.
He died in 1989.
Other uses of in
can also be used to say how soon something will happen, and to say how long
something takes to happen.Ask
me again in three or four days.
I can run 200 metres in about 30 seconds.
The expression in â€¦.â€™s time is used to say how soon something will happen, not how long something takes. Compare:
Iâ€™ll see you again in a monthâ€™s time.
He wrote a book in a month. (NOTâ€¦.in a monthâ€™s time)
In American English, in can be used in negative sentences, like for, to talk about periods up to the present.
I havenâ€™t seen her in years.
Countable and Uncountable
Likely is an adjective with a similar meaning to probable.
donâ€™t think a labour victory is likely.
Note also the informal adverb phrases very/most likely.
I think sheâ€™ll very/most likely be late.Infinitive after be (un)likely
Be+ (un)likely is often followed by an infinitive.
likely to be busy tomorrow.
It is (un)likely + that clause
We can use it as a preparatory subject or object for a that clause.
certain and sure
certain and sure
Certain/sure of + ing are used to refer to the feelings of the person one is talking about.
the game she felt certain of winning, but after the few minutes she realized
that it wasnâ€™t going to be easy.
Certain/sure + infinitive refer to the speakerâ€™s or writerâ€™s own feelings.
repairs are certain to cost more than you think. (NOT the repairs are certain
Note that he is sure to succeed meansâ€™ Iâ€™m sure that he will succeedâ€™.
Re: certain and sure
A bit is often used as an adverb with a same meaning as a little.
A bit of a can be used before some nouns in an informal style. The meaning is similar to rather a.He is a bit of a fool if you ask me.
Iâ€™ve got a bit of a problem.
Note: a bit and a little are used with non comparative adjective,
the meaning is usually negative or critical.
Not a bit
The informal expression â€˜not a bitâ€™ means not at all.
lay and lie
Lay and lie
a regular verb except for its spelling. Its forms are:
means â€˜put down carefullyâ€™ or â€˜put down flatâ€™. It has an object.
Lay the tent down on the grass and Iâ€™ll see how to put it up.
Note the expression lay a table (= put plates, knives etc. on a table) and lay an egg ( a birdâ€™s way of having a baby).Lie (irregular)
The forms of the irregular verb lie are:
Infinitive: (to) lie past: lay
-ing form: lying past participle: lain (used mostly in formal literary style)
Lie(irregular) means â€˜be downâ€™, â€˜be/ become
horizontalâ€™. It has no object.
The regular verb lie (lied) â€˜say things
that are not trueâ€™.
In many British and American dialects,
different forms of lay and irregular lie are used. Lay is often used in
cases where Standard English has lie.
Will and Would
Will and would
We use will when we talk about Willingness to do something (eg. in
offers, invitations, requests, and orders) and will not when w talk about
unwillingness to do something (eg. reluctance, refusal):
Iâ€™ll give you another chance
to get the correct answer.
Notice that we can also talk about the refusal of a thing t work in the way it should:
top wonâ€™t come off.
To talk about general or repeated willingness in the past we can sometimes use would, but we canâ€™t use would in this way to talk about a particular occasion in the past.
We thought that people wouldnâ€™t / would buy the book (=general)
She wouldnâ€™t say what was wrong with her when I asked. (not ..would say..)( = particular situation)
We use will/wonâ€™t to indicate that we think a present or future
situation is certain:
Re: Will and Would
Say and tell
If you say who are you talking to, use tell:
Otherwise use say:
Bill said goodbye to me and left. (NOT â€˜Bill said me goodbyeâ€™)
What did you say to the police?
alright and all right
all right and alright
Past Perfect Continuous and Past Continuous
Past Continuous (I was doing)We use the past continuous to say that somebody was in middle of doing something at a certain time. The action or situation had already started before this time but had not finished.
started doing I was doing I finished doing
time last year I was preparing for CAT.
were good friends. We knew each other well. (not â€˜we were knowingâ€™)
Past Perfect Continuous ( I had been doing)Had been + -ing is past perfect continuous.
You can say that something had been happening for a period of time before something else happened.
game of cricket was interrupted. We had
been playing for half an hour when it started to rain heavily.
Compare had been doing (past perfect continuous) and was doing (past continuous) :
wasnâ€™t raining when we were out. The sun was shining. But it had been
raining since morning, so the ground was wet.
Please and thank you
Please and thank you1. requests
We use please to make requests more polite
I have some more chocolates please?
Stand over there. (order)
Please stand over there. (more polite order)
Could you stand over thee, please? (polite request)
Please do is rather formal answer to a request for
Do you mind if I borrow your pen? ~Please do.
2. When please is not used
We do not use please to ask people what they have said.
Iâ€™ve got a bit of a headache. ~I beg your pardon? (NOTâ€¦Please?)We do not use please when we give things to people.
Have you got a pen I could use?~ Yes here you are. (NOTâ€¦Please)Please is not used as an answer to Thank you.
Thanks a lot. ~ Thatâ€™s OK. (NOTâ€¦ Please)3. thank you and thanks
Thanks is more informal than thank
you. Common expressions:
Thank you very much indeed. (But NOT usually Thank you indeed.)Thank you for / thanks for can be followed by â€“ing form.
Thank you for coming.~ Not at all. Thank you for having me.Some people say Cheers to mean Thanks.
4. accepting and refusing
We often use Thank you/ Thanks like Yes, please,
to accept offers.
Would you like some cheese? ~ Thank you.~ How many?
To make it clear that one wishes to
refuse something, it is normal to say
Have you got enough cake? ~ Yes, thanks.
Come or Gone
Been meaning â€˜comeâ€™ or â€˜goneâ€™Been is often used as past participle of come and go
Granny has been to see us twice before Easter.
I havenâ€™t been to the book-shop for ages.
Been is only used for completed visits.
milkmanâ€™s already been. (He has come and gone away again)
Whereâ€™s Linda? Sheâ€™s gone to library.
If I were you
If I were youAdvice
We often use the structure if I were youâ€¦..to give advice.
I shouldnâ€™t worry if I were you.
If I were you, I would have started preparing for CAT 2008 already.
If I was you is also correct.
I should/ would
Sometimes we leave out If I were you, and just use I shouldâ€¦.or I wouldâ€¦ to give advice.
I shouldnâ€™t worry.
I would have started preparing for CAT 2008 already.
In this case I should/would is similar to you should/would.
Singular nouns with plural verbs
Singular nouns with
1. groups of people: The team is/ areâ€¦
In British English, singular words like family, team government, which refer to groups of people, can have either singular or plural verbs and pronouns.
The team is/ are going to win.
Plural forms are common when the group is seen as the collection of people doing personal things like deciding, hoping or wanting. Singular forms rae more commom when the group is seen as an impersonal unit.Compare:
family have decided to move to Chennai. Theyâ€™re going in
firm are wonderful. They do all they can for me.
committee, who are hoping to announce important changes,â€¦
When a group is used as with a singular determiner (eg. a/an, each, every, this, that), singular verbs and pronouns are regular.Compare:
The team are full of enthusiasm.
The group gave its first concert in January and they are now planning a tour.
Examples of group nouns, which can be used with both singular and plural verbs in British English.
In American English, singular verbs are normal with most of these nouns in all cases. Plural pronouns can be used.
The team has started preparing for CAT 2008. They expect to crack it.
2. A number of people haveâ€¦.
Many singular quantifying verbs can be used with plural nouns and pronouns; lural verbs are normally used in this case.
A number of people have tried to find the
treasure, but they have all failed.
Than me/ than I am etc.
Than me/ than I am etc.We usually say:
are taller than me. (Not than I)
After than/as it is more usual to say me/him/her/them/us when there is no verb. Compare:
are taller than I am. but You are taller than me.
Re: Than me/ than I am etc.
Verb +-ing/ verb + to
When one verb follows another verb, the structure is usually verb + ing or verb + to
Verb + -ing or to infinitive
Verb + -ing or to infinitive
Some verbs are followed by a to-infinitive but not â€“ing : agree, aim, ask, decline, demand, fail, hesitate, hope, hurry, manage, offer, plan, prepare, refuse, want, wish.
Some verbs are followed by â€“ing but not a â€“to infinitive: admit, avoid, consider, delay, deny, detest, dread, envisage, feel like, finish, imagine, miss, recall, resent, risk, suggest.
The verbs begin, cease, start, and continue
can be followed by either a â€“to infinitive or an â€“ing form with little
difference in meaning.
However, with these verbs we normally avoid
using two â€“ing forms together, as a repeated pattern may sound awkward:
The verbs advise and encourage are followed by â€“ing when there is no object and â€“to infinitive when there is one. Compare:
Iâ€™d advise taking more exercise.
Re: Verb + -ing or to infinitive
Verb + -ing or to infinitiveAdvise, allow, permit, forbid
In active clauses after these verbs, we use an â€“ing form if there is no subject. If there is an object, we use an infinitive.
I wouldnâ€™t advise taking the car- thereâ€™s no
place to park.
We donâ€™t allow/permit smoking in the classroom.
The headmaster has forbidden smoking in the
Smoking is not allowed/ permitted
in the classroom.
Smoking is forbidden.
Passengers are advised to book early.
See, watch, and hear
After these verbs, the difference between verb +-ing and object+ infinitive is like the difference between progressive and simple tenses. With â€“ing forms the verb suggest that one pays attention to events or actions that are already going on; infinitives usually refer to complete events/ actions which are seen/heard from beginning to end.
I looked out of
the window and saw Mary crossing the road.
As I passed his room, I heard him practicing
Learn and teach
These verbs (and other with similar meanings) are followed by â€“ing forms mostly when we are referring to lessons or subjects of study.
She goes to school twice to learn dancing.
I taught myself to dance.Like, love, hate, and prefer
After these four verbs, both infinitive and â€“ing forms can often be used without a great difference of meaning.I hate working/ to work at weekends.
Like + infinitive is used to talk about choices and habits.
I like climbing/to climb mountains.( =I enjoy
After would like, would prefer, would hate, and would love , infinitives are most often used.
Iâ€™d like to tell you something. (NOT Iâ€™d like telling
Re: Verb + -ing or to infinitive
Begin and start
She began playing/ to play piano when she was five.
After progressive forms of begin and
start, infinitives are preferred.
I am beginning to learn dance. (NOT I am
beginning learning dance.)
Infinitives are also preferred with
understand, realize, and know.
He started to realize that if you have to crack CAT you had to work hard. (NOT â€¦started realizingâ€¦)
Attempt, intend, continue, canâ€™t bear, be accustomed to, be committed to
After these words and expressions we can either use -ing form or an infinitive without much difference of meaning.
I intend telling/ to tell her how I felt.
Iâ€™m not accustomed to giving/give personal information about myself to strangers.
To talk about fear of things that happened accidentally, we prefer afraid of +ing
Why are you so scared? Iâ€™m afraid to walking in dark.
In other cases we use afraid of +ing or afraid +infinitive with no difference of meaning
Iâ€™m afraid of telling /to tell her the truth.
Sorry for/about +ing is used to refer the past things that one regrets. (That-clauses are also used in informal form.)
Iâ€™m sorry for /about losing my temper this morning.Sorry +perfect infinitive can be used with the same meaning.
Iâ€™m sorry to have woken you up. (OR Iâ€™m sorry that I woke you up.)
To talk about reaction to things one learns , interested + infinitive is commonly used.
Iâ€™m interested to see that Hema and Rahul are going out together.
To talk about a wish to find out something, both interested +ing and interested +infinitive are common.
Iâ€™m interested in finding out/ to find out how she is studying for CAT 2008.
To talk about a wish to do something, interested
+ing form is used.
Fused sentences, Comma Splices and Run-on errors
Fused sentences, Comma Splices and Run-on
Fused Sentences: A fused sentence is an error caused by running two independent clauses together with no punctuation at all.
Pattern of the error: independent clause + independent clause
correct: Rohan came to Tathagat he wanted to prepare for CAT 2008.
A comma splice : A comma splice is an error caused by joining two independent clauses with only a comma. Often, the subject of the second sentence is this, that, these, or those.
Pattern of the error: independent clause+, + independent clause
Rohan came to Tathagat, he wanted to prepare for CAT 2008.
A run-on sentence: A run-on sentence is an error caused by joining two or more independent clauses with only a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet).
Pattern of error: independent clause+ coordinating conjunction + independent clauseIncorrect: Rohan came to Tathagat for he wanted to prepare for CAT 2008.
Correct: Rohan came to Tathagat, for he wanted to prepare for CAT 2008.
Each independent clause expresses a complete thought. If you run two or more complete thoughts together without the right punctuation or no punctuation, the thoughts tend to blur.
There are four methods of fixing the comma splices, run on sentences, and fused sentences.
1) By separating the two clauses into two sentences, and replacing the comma with a full stop.
Rohan came to Tathagat. He wanted to prepare for CAT 2008.
2) By replacing the comma with a
Rohan came to Tathagat; he wanted to prepare for CAT 2008.
3) By connecting the two main clauses with a comma, and a coordinating conjunction. (e.g.,and, but, or, not, for, yet, so)
Rohan came to Tathagat, for he wanted to prepare for CAT 2008.
4) By replacing the comma with a subordinating conjunction. (e.g., after, although, before, unless, as, because, even though, if, since, until, when, while).
Rohan came to Tathagat because he wanted to prepare for CAT 2008.
Re: English Usage / Grammar Compendium
Can we have this thread active please ..... really found it amazing
Re: English Usage / Grammar Compendium
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Re: English Usage / Grammar Compendium
Re: English Usage / Grammar Compendium
|amazing thread !!!!!|
Adjectives and Adverbs
Adjectives and Adverbs
Look at these examples:
Our holiday was too short- the time went very quickly.
Jack was seriously injured in an accident.
Quickly and seriously are adverbs. Many adverbs are made from adjective +ly:
Adjective: quick serious careful quiet heavy bad
Adverb: quickly seriously carefully quietly heavily badly
Not all words ending in -ly are adverbs. Some adjectives end in -ly too, for example: friendly, lively, elderly, lonely, silly, lovely
Adjective or adverb?
We also use adverbs before adjectives and other adverbs. For example:
Reasonably cheap (adverb +adjective)
Terribly sorry (adverb +adjective)
Incredibly quickly ((adverb +adjective)
You can use an adverb before a past participle (injured, organized, written etc.)
Children were seriously injured in an accident. (not serious injured)
The examination hall was badly organized.
Like vs As
Like vs As
Like= similar to, the same as. Note that you cannot use as in the same way.What a beautiful house! It's like a palace.(not as a palace)
What does Rima do? She is a teacher, like me. (not as me)
Be careful! The floor has been polished. It's like walking on ice.
In these sentences, like is a preposition. So it is followed by an noun (like a palace), a pronoun (like me) or-ing (like walking)
You can say like (somebody/something doing something):
like= for example:
Some sports, such as car racing, can be dangerous.
We use as (not like) before a subject + verb:
I did as I promised. (= I did what I promised.)
Compare like and as in the following sentences:
As can also be used a preposition but the meaning is different from like. Compare :
As (preposition)= in the position of, in the form of etc.:
years ago I worked as a waiter. (not like a waiter)
Care for somebody/something
about somebody/something (= think that somebody or something is important)
We say care what/where/how (etc) (without about):
like something (usually in questions and
look after somebody:
Take care of: = look after
In case and If
case is used to talk about precautions in order to be ready for the possible future
situations. (it is
possible that this mighat happen later)
I don't want to go out in case he phones. (NOT in case he will phone)
say why somebody did something we use in case + past
between in case and if.
Let's get some more muffins in case Vendy comes. ( Let's get some muffins now because Vendy might come later)
Do X if Y happens: ( Do X if Y has already happened)
Let's get some more muffins if Vendy comes. (Perhaps Vendy might come; if she come we'll get some more muffins, if she doesn't we won't)
I or Me
I or me?
Be careful to use the pronouns I and me, he and him, she and her, we and us, and they and them in the right place. Use I, we, etc. when you are talking about someone who has done something (i.e. who is the subject of the sentence), and use me, us, etc. when you are talking about someone who has had something done to them (i.e. who is the object of the sentence). People most often make mistakes over this when they are talking about more than one person:
A good guide in cases like these is to see whether the sentence sounds right with only the pronoun. If 'Me had a dog' is wrong, then so is 'Annie and me had a dog'; if you wouldn't say 'Watch I while I show you', you shouldn't say 'Watch Helen and I'.
It's right to say 'between you and me', and wrong to say 'between you and I'. This is because a preposition such as 'between' should be followed by an object pronoun such as 'me', 'him', 'her', and 'us' rather than a subject pronoun such as 'I', 'he', 'she', and 'we'.
Preposition is a word used to relate noun or pronoun to form a phrase. They are used before nouns to give additional information in a sentence. Usually, prepositions are used to show where something is located or when something happened.
1. There are nuts in the box.
2. He has a fetish for cars.
3. He turned off the switch.
NOTE- Preposition is generally placed before the noun but sometimes preposition follows also.
1. What are we waiting for?
In the above sentences, preposition is placed in the end when the object is either a relative pronoun or an interrogative pronoun.
PHRASE PREPOSITIONS:-A group of words used with the force of a preposition are called Phrase Prepositions.
in order to, inspite of, along with, in front of, according to, owing to, because of, away
from, in accordance with, instead of.
1) According to me, this dress will suit you.
2) By way of meeting, he proposed to her.
3) Owing to his laid back attitude, he was fired from the organization.
3) Please make the cheque in favour of "Wal-Mart Pvt. Ltd."
4) On account of his hard work, he has scored the highest marks in the class.
5) With regard to Chechnya,
the main rebel leaders Shamil Basayev and Al
Khattab were trained and
indoctrinated in CIA sponsored camps in Afghanistan
6) From today onwards Jai would be working in place of Veer.
7) On behalf of Paco,Pansy attended the party.
8) Conformably to the Italian law of privacy The personal data of the customer are registered by Italian Government.
9) Instead of reading the comics, you should read your course books.
10) In case of emergency call 911.
11) He ate medicine, in lieu of drinking the syrup.
12) I am staying away from home.
13) With a view to company's progress, I would like you to increase my salary.
14) In reference to your advertisement,I am sending across my resume.
15) In spite of all the difficulties, he managed to top the class.
16) In addition to CAT I also took GMAT.
17) Your car is standing in front of my house.
18) He survived in spite of risky operation.
19) Webb shaped every phrase with an eye to the narrative.
20) He won the race by the dint of his perseverance.
21) Swahili could not attend Rasul's marriage because of her illness.
22) Agreeably to the terms of law,I hereby accept my crime.
23) In the event of his marriage,his sister would arrange for everything.
24) In consequence of his illness,he couldn't take his exams.
25) Please distribute chocolates along with the chips.
26) India won the match by the virtue of Sehwag's stoke play.
27) They climbed the mountain by the means of rope.
28) By the reason of robbery, he was sent to jail.
29) Please complete the work for the sake of God.
30) In accordance with the rules and regulations, you are not allowed to attend the class.
31) Tufaha dances better in comparison to Manila.
PARTICIPLE PREPOSITIONS:- Some present participals of verbs are used without any noun or pronoun being attached to them.
1) Respecting the decision you have taken, I would like to suggest something.
2) Concerning the Prime Minister's death,there is mourning all across the country.
3) I collected this painting by Michelangelo,during my visit to Rome.
4) Pending further punishments,Omorose would be sent to gallows.
5) Barring icecream,you will receive every thing else.
6) Considering his hard work,his win was assured.
7) Regarding your queries,we do not offer SAT coaching.
CLAUSE AS AN OBJECT TO A PREPOSITION
1) Wallace is a man of means.
2) I have been making content the whole day.
3) Julius Ceaser fought with courage.
4) Padmalakshmi married Salman for money.
5) I will complete this assignment within this week.
SOME OBJECTS TO PREPOSITION ARE AN ADVERB
1. Have you been waiting since then?(then=that time)
2. Celestine is going there.(there=that place)
3. Who lives here?(here=this place)
4. Train must have reached station by now.(now=this time)
5. Nothing on this earth can last for ever(for ever=for life)
1. He was thrown out of the class.
2. Complete this work before you go home.
3. I came to office before you left.
4. Dennis did not have dinner until Doraine came.
5. There is a lion drinking water across the river.
USAGE OF â€˜ATâ€™
1) To designate specific times
a) I will see you at 10'o clock.
b) I wake up at 6 a.m.
2) With Places
a) At bus stop
b) At the market place
3) With groups of people
a) at party
b) at the back of the building
4) Specific addresses
a) Cleopatra lives at 10 Downing Street.
b) We will meet at Oberoi's.
5) With places on the page
a) at the top of the page.
b) at the center of the paper.
6) With meal times
a) At lunch
b) At dinner
1) For assuming place as a surface
a) The painting is hanging on the wall.
b) The book is lying on the table.
2) For bicycle,plane,ship,train,foot
a) I go to office on foot.
b) I will go to Honkong on plane.
3) For dates and days
a) We will meet on 2nd April,2006.
b) I am going home on Wednesday.
4) With islands
a) I have stayed on Andaman and Nicobar.
b) I have spent my holiday on New Guinea.
5) With directions
a) on the left
b) on the right
6) About the particular subject
a) This book is written on Africa.
b) Could u please advice on what do i wear for party.
7) About the food on which someone survives and fuel
a) i survived only on salad for the whole moonth.
b) Most of the cars in India run on petrol.
8) On radio and television
a) Hey! i am on television.
b) Can you hear me on radio?
9) For trip or journey
a) I bought toys for my kids on my way back from office.
b) Rossane went on trip with her friends.
There are two kinds of articles
:- Indefinite articles are a, an, some and any. They are
used for non specific things.
1) I am
planning to go on a summer vacation.
USAGE OF INDEFINITE ARTICLES
1) With non
specific singular countable common nouns.
you like a bottle of Pepsi with
2) Use 'a'
is before a consonant sound and 'an' before a vowel sound.
a car, a boy, a cup, a bucket, an umbrella, a union, a Europe.
3) To refer
to a part of a larger quantity.
a) Can I
have a slice of bread?
With someone's name you have not met before.
had come to see you.
When noun is introduced for the first time.
boy was playing with the ball.The boy was wearing a black shirt.
water bodies eg. sea, ocean, lake etc. and continents.
a) Asia is a continent.
7) Before a
title which is not specific.
a) He is
going to be a prime minister.
number and quantity expressions.
a) I will
be back in half an hour.
represent singular noun as a whole class.
The cow is a timid animal.
DEFINITE ARTICLES:- Definite article is 'the'. It is used for particular things.
USAGE OF DEFINITE ARTICLES
a) George Bush
is the president of United
2) Before proper noun:-
Panama Canal, the Corydon canal.
3) Before musical instruments:-
a) Rati is the
best teacher in the school.
the names of things that are unique of their own kind.
moon is shining bright in the sky.
a) Guru Govind Singh
was the tenth guru of the Sikhs.
the names of certain books
the Ramayana, the Bible, The Vedas, The Upnishads, the Mahabharata, the Quoran.
8) As an
adverb with a comparative.
more he works hard, the better it is for him.
9) Before a
common noun when it is qualified by an adjective.
an adjective when the noun is understood.
rich are becoming richer.
OMISSION OF THE ARTICLE
plural countable noun when they are used in general sense.
Chocolates are kept in the box. (In place of â€˜the chocolates are kept in the
are kept in the cupboard. (In place of the scissors are kept in the cupboard)
table, school, hospital, college, church, prison, market and bed when these
places are used for primary purpose.
became friends in school.
the names of meals.
a) Lets go
out for lunch today.
most proper nouns.
Names of people:-Afton, Blossom
e) Before languages and nationalities
Before names of relations like brother,mother,uncle,aunt, and allso nurse,cook
meaning 'our cook','our nurse'eg.
a) Cook hasn't cooked food properly today.
the names of substances and abstract nouns.
a) Sugar is
a sweet poison.
names of sports:-
is the national sport of India.
Before names of academic subjects
a) Most students find maths tough.
Usual vs Is Usual
Usual v/s. Is Usual:
faster than is usual for any human being - Is correct.
When something is compared to a subgroup to which it belongs, is usual should be used. When something is compared to itself, usual is fine. e.g. He is nicer than usual.
Contributed By: Clenched Fist
Singular and Plural
Singular and Plural
Some nouns have singular and plural alike; as swine, sheep, dear, cod, trout, salmon, aircraft, series, spacecraft, species, pair, dozen, score, gross, hundred, thousands (when used after numerals).
Some nouns are used only in plural.
of the instruments which have two parts forming a kind of pair; as bellows,
scissors, tongs, pincers, spectacles.
2. Names of certain articles of dresses; as trousers, drawers,
breeches, jeans, tights, shorts, pyjamas.
3. Certain other nouns; as annals, thanks, proceeds (of a
sale), tidings, environs, nuptials, obsequies, assets, chattels.
4. Some nouns originally singular are now generally used in
the plural; as alms, riches, eaves.
5. Certain collective nouns, though singular in form; as poultry, cattle, vermin, people, gentry.
Contributed by : Kunal Gupta
Idioms to Remember
1) To exchange X for Y (exchange X with Y or any other form is incorrect)
2) Different from one another (Different one from the other is wrong)
3) X is unknown, nor it is known - is a correct idiom (Neither is not required) It is not that nor would always be preceded by a neither
4) To ratify (At ratifying is incorrect) An attempt to ratify is the correct use
5) Allergy to (Allergy of, allergy for are incorrect)
6) To try to fix is the right idiom (to try and fix is incorrect)
7) Just asâ€¦ So too
8) X is different from Y (different than Y is incorrect)
9) Same as X..as to Y
10) From X to Y (Grow from 2 million to 3 billion) (From X up to Y is wrong)
11) Estimated to be (Estimated at is incorrect)
12) Believe X to be Y
13) Believed to have
14) Acclaimed as is the correct idiom (Acclaimed to be is wrong)
15) Distinguish between X and Y (Distinguish X from Y is incorrect)
16) In an attempt to (gain control)
17) Worried about (When talking about someone's condition)
18) Attempt to / do something (Attempt at doing is incorrect).
19) Both X and Y (Both X as well as Y is incorrect) Both at X and at Y is correct. Both on X or on Y is correct. Both should always have parallel forms associated to it. Similarly, Neither¦ nor should have parallel forms associated to it.
20) Adverb twice cannot be an object of proposition 'by'.
'Increase by twice' is incorrect; 'doubled' is correct
21) So X as to be Y (So unreal as to be true)
22) As much as (Republicans are involved as much as Democrats).
23) X prohibits Y from
x forbids y to do z
25) Credit X with discovering Y (Credit with doing something)
26) Credit X Rupees to Y's account (When money is involved)
27) Given credit for being ones who
28) Regarded as having
29) Regarded as ones who have
30) Concerned for -worried; concerned with - related/affliated
31) No sooner-than
32) X expected to Y
33) Mistake X for Y
34) Not X; but rather Y
35) Persuaded X to do Y
36) So X that Y (So poor that they steal)
37) Require that X be Y (Not require that X is Y)
38) As a result of
39) At least as strong as(At least as great as)
40) Modeled after
41) So X that Y (So illiterate are people that they cant even write)
42) Intent on
43) Native of (Native to is also used in some cases, as in the example given below)
44) Compensate for
45) Adapted for
46) Plead guilty for failing
47) Descendent of (Descendent for is incorrect)
48) X is to what? Y is to
49) Potential for causing
50) Aid in (Aid for is incorrect)
People were asking Goddess Dias aid in healing ills or thanking her for such help.
51) Consider X to be Y (a little controversial)
52) Regard as is the correct idiom
53) When rates means prices charged it should be followed with 'for'
Rates for liability insurance
54) Distinguish between X and Y (2 very different items, distinguished, say red and green colors)
Some color blind people cannot distinguish between red and green
55) Distinguish X from Y (Two pretty similar items, say original paintings from fake ones)
56) Attribute X (An effect) to Y(A cause)
57) Not in a flash but in a
58) May be (This is a word) is idiomatic, maybe (This means perhaps) is not idiomatic
59) That X is called for is indicated both by Y and by Z.
60) Not so much to X as to Y
61) Associate X with Y
62) Business ethics- Is a singular word
63) To worry about someone's condition (To keep worrying over an action)
64) Combined X with Y OR Combined X and Y (Both are correct)
e.g. Combined skill with determination
Combined reactant X and reactant Y
65) way to provide (Way for providing is incorrect)
66) No less an authority than
67) Acclaimed as is the correct idiom
68) Allocated to is the correct idiomContributed By: Anupam Aggarwal
Auxiliary verbs are used together
with a main verb to give grammatical information and therefore add extra
meaning to a sentence, which is not given by the main verb.
working very hard at the moment. - So is she.
Contributed by Clenched Fist
Usually endings (suffixes) can be added to base words
without any complications. You just add them and that is that!
iron + ing = ironing
This rule applies to:
Words of ONE syllable ending with ONE consonant preceded by ONE vowel
e.g. drop, flat, sun, win.
When you add an ending beginning with a consonant to a l-l-l word, there is no change to the base word:
drop + let = droplet
When you add an ending beginning with a vowel to a l-l-l word, you double the final letter of the base word:
drop + ed =
*y counts as a vowel when it sounds like i or e. See VOWELS.
Treat qu as one letter:
quit + ing = quitting
Donâ€™t double final w and x. They would look very odd and so we have correctly:
tax + ing = taxing
(ii) The magic -e rule
This rule applies to all words ending with a silent
When you add an ending beginning with a consonant, keep the -e:
hope + ful = hopeful
When you add an ending beginning with a vowel, drop the -e:
hope + ing = hoping
Â· Do, however, keep the -e in words like singeing (different from singing) and dyeing (different from dying) and whenever you need to keep the identity of the base word clear (e.g. shoeing, canoeing).
Â· Do remember to keep the -e with soft c and soft g words. It's the e that keeps them soft (courageous, traceable).
Â· Don't keep the -e with these eight exceptions to the rule: truly, duly, ninth, argument, wholly, awful, whilst, wisdom.
(iii) -y rule
This rule applies to all words ending in -y. Look at the letter before the -y in the base word. It doesn't matter at all what kind of ending you are adding. When you add an ending to a word ending in a vowel + y, keep the y:
portray + ed =
When you add an ending to a word ending in a consonant + y, change the y to i:
try +al = trial
Do keep the y when adding -ing. Two is together would look very odd, despite our two words ski-ing and taxi-ing.
try + ing = trying
Don't apply the rule in these fourteen cases:
daily, gaily, gaiety, laid, paid,
(iv) The 2-1-1 rule
This rule applies to: words of TWO syllables ending with ONE consonant preceded by ONE vowel. With this rule, it all depends on which syllable of the word is stressed.
The 2-1-1 words below are stressed on the first syllable, and both vowel and consonant endings are added without any complications:
But note that â€“
Take care with 2-1-1 words which are stressed on the second syllable. There is no change when you add a consonant ending:
forget + ful = forgetful
Double the final consonant of the base word when you add a vowel ending:
forget + ing = forgetting
This rule is really valuable but you must be aware of some exceptions:
" 2-1-1 words ending in -l seem to have a rule all of their own. Whether the stress is on the first or the second syllable, there is no change when a consonant ending is added:
quarrel + some = quarrelsome
Double the -l when adding a vowel ending:
quarrel + ing = quarrelling
" Notice how the change of stress in these words affects the spelling:
Â· confer conferred conferring conference
Â· defer deferred deferring deference
Â· infer inferred inferring inference
Â· prefer preferred preferring preference
Â· refer referred referring reference
Â· transfer transferred transferring transference
Contributed By: Deep Thinker Gadha
List of Confusing Words
Will, Going to, and Present Continuous.
Will, Going to, and Present Continuous.
When we use will, we decide to do something at that very moment. The speaker has not decided before.
Sarah is hospitalized. Oh really, Iâ€™ll go and visit her.
Going to is used when the speaker has already decided to do something.
Sarah is hospitalized. Yes I know, I am going to visit her tomorrow.
Again, present continuous is used when the speaker has already arranged to do something.
I am going to the market.
List of Tones of Passages
Improve Your Vocabulary
Hello All, I found the below written article from a very reliable source:|
----- START -----
SUPPOSE YOU are on a train, with nothing to do except observe your fellow travellers. A couple of professional-looking people are talking earnestly. You hear the words, These allergic reactions would seem to contraindicate the use of penicillin.'
Allergic, penicillin - these must be medical people. But what was that other word, contraindicate? It is not a word you have ever heard before. Why not have a go at working out its meaning?
Allergic reactions are doing something to the use of penicillin. So, contraindicate is a verb. Allergic reactions are not desirable. They sometimes follow the use of various drugs. You know that. So the sentence probably means something like: 'Allergic reactions rule out using penicillin or make it impossible or undesirable to use it.' Perhaps contraindicate is a specialist medical word meaning something along these lines.
Now how about approaching the problem from a different angle? Contraindicate? It is a word made up of two parts. The indicate part is straightforward. It means: 'demonstrate, suggest, or show'.
What about contra-? There are a number of common words that begin with contra:- contradict, contraception, contravene. All these words suggest being against something - against what someone else has said, against pregnancy, against a rule or law. So the chances are that contraindicate means something like 'suggest against'.. The whole sentence would appear to mean that 'Allergic reactions seem to show that penicillin should not be used'. Which is precisely what it does mean.
----- END -----
Commas are used to separate items in a series or lists.
I went to Italy, Rome, and Venice
I listened to jazz, classic, and rock music yesterday.
It is necessary to use comma before 'and' because the last two items may glom into one if a serial comma is not used.
A comma is used between the reporting expression and a piece of direct speech.
He said, " I like you".
If a reporting expression follows a piece of direct speech, we put a comma instead of a full stop before the closing quotation mark.
"I like you", he said.
Comma is not used before that, where, what etc. in indirect speech.
I didn't know where I should sit. (NOT : I didn't know, where I should sit.)
He said that he likes me. (NOT: He said, that he likes me.)
Co- ordinate Clauses
Clauses connected with and, but or or are usually separated by commas unless they are very short.
I decided to try the thin crust Garden Pizza, and TG ordered pan minis with five sauces.
I had pizza and TG had had pan minis.
When subordinate clauses begin sentences, they are often followed by commas. Compare:
If you are ever in Delhi, come and see me.
Come and see me if you are ever in Delhi.
Preposition + Noun/ verb/ Adjective
Noun, adjectives or verbs can be followed by prepositions.|
noun + preposition (noun+ of/for/in/to/with/between)
a cheque for- I was gifted a cheque for Rs 1 lakh.
Similarly- need for/ demand for/ reason for ('reason of' is a wrong usage)
Rohan showed me the pictures of his friends.
Sam had to pay for the damages to the car.
Do you share a good relationship with your boyfriend?
adjective + preposition (adjective + at/by/about/with/to/on/in/for)
It was very nice of you.
I was worried about you.
Are you interested in drawing?
I am running short of money.
You are sorry about something, sorry for doing something, and sorry for someone.
I am sorry about the noise yesterday.
I am sorry for yelling at you last night.
I feel sorry for him.
Verb + preposition (verb + at/to/about/for/on/after/into/of/from)
(pay for/suffer from/ suspect of/ blame for/ believe in/ prefer to etc.)
I prefer coffee to tea.
The school provide all its students with laptops.
Do you believe in the power of almighty.
I thank God for blessing me with good life.
Uninterested: not interested in.
A collective noun takes a singular verb when it refers to
the collection considered as a whole.
It takes a plural verb when it refers to the members of the group
considered as individuals.
Dependent Clause/ Question
1. Introduction of a Dependent Clause
the pronoun acts as the subject of the clause, use who.
When the pronoun acts as the object of
the clause, use whom.
2. Introduction of a question:
the answer to the question begins with a subjective personal pronoun
(e.g.he/she/they), use who.
the answer to the question is an objective personal pronoun (e.g.
her/him/them), use whom.
In distinguishing between whoever and whomever, the same rules apply.
Spot The Difference
Spot The Difference.. By Raju Soni
(n) = noun
Meanings are short enough to not make reading boring and long enough to be able to spot
the difference clearly !
-(n)-- someone who helps another person commit a crime
Â· Accessory - (n)-- an extra piece of equipment that is useful but not essential or that can be added to sth else as a decoration
Â· Affectation - (n)-- behaviour or an action that is not natural or sincere and that is often intended to impress other people
Â· Atheist - (n)-- a person who believes that God does not exist
Â· Elude -(v)-- to avoid or escape by speed, cleverness, trickery, etc.; evade
Â· Amicable -(adj)-- done or achieved in a polite or friendly way and without quarrelling
Â· Appraise -(v)-- to make a formal judgement about the value of a personâ€™s work, usually after a discussion with them about it
Â· Ought -(v)--expressing duty or rightness
Â· Emend -(v)-- to remove the mistakes in a piece of writing, especially before it is printed
Â· Extenuate -(v)--make(guilty or an offence)seem less serious by referencing to another factor
Â· Burlesque -(n)-- a performance or piece of writing which tries to make sth look ridiculous by representing it in a humorous way
-(v)-- to put a bridle on a horse
Â· Bridal -(adj)-- connected with a BRIDE or a wedding
Â· Brooch -(n)-- a piece of jewellery with a pin on the back of it, that can be fastened to your clothes
-(v)-- to hit sb/sth with a lot of force while you are moving
Â· Canon -(n)-- a Christian priest with special duties in a CATHEDRAL,
a generally accepted rule, standard or principle by which sth is judged
-(v)-- to remove the parts of a book, film/movie, etc. that are considered offensive, immoral or politically dangerous
Â· Censure -(n)-- strong criticism
-(v)-- ~ sb (for sth) to criticize sb severely, and often publicly, because of sth they have done
Â· Cynosure -(n)-- something that strongly attracts attention by its brilliance, interest, etc.: the cynosure of all eyes.
Â· Climactic -(adj)-- (of an event or a point in time) very exciting, most important
Â· Complaisant -(adj)-- ready to accept other peopleâ€™s actions and opinions and to do what other people want
Â· Corporeal -(adj)-- that can be touched; physical rather than spiritual
Â· Descry -(v)-- catch sight of , descern
the act of believing or making yourself believe sth that is not true
Â· Illusion -(n)-- a false idea or belief, especially about sb or about a situation,
something that seems to exist but in fact does not, or seems to be sth that it is not
Â· Depreciate -(v)-- to become less valuable over a period of time
Â· Uninterested -(adj)-- ~ (in sb/sth) not interested; not wanting to know about sb/sth
Â· Illicit -(adj)-- not legally permitted or authorized; unlicensed; unlawful
Â· Arrant -(adj)-- downright; thorough; unmitigated; notorious: an arrant fool.
Â· Expiate -(v)-- to accept punishment for sth that you have done wrong in order to show that you are sorry
Â· Extent -(n)-- how large, important, serious, etc. sth is
Â· Equitable -(adj)-- fair and reasonable; treating everyone in an equal way
Â· Forgo -(v)-- to decide not to have or do sth that you would like to have or do
Â· Factious -(adj)-- of, inclined to, or characterized by faction.
Â· Further -(adv)--to a greater degree or extent, in addition to what has just been said
Â· Genteel -(adj)-- (of people and their way of life) quiet and polite, often in an exaggerated way; from, or pretending to be from, a high social class, quiet and old-fashioned and perhaps slightly boring
Â· Gourmand -(n)-- a person who enjoys eating and eats large amounts of food
Â· Imminent -(adj)-- likely to happen very soon
Â· Ingenuous- (adj)-- honest, innocent and willing to trust people
Â· Nave - (n)-- the long central part of a church where most of the seats are
Â· Marital -(adj)-- connected with marriage or with the relationship between a husband and wife
Â· Mete -(v)-- to give sb a punishment; to make sb suffer bad treatment
Â· Mendicity -(n)--
Â· Mythical -(adj)-- existing only in ancient myths, that does not exist or is not true
Â· Moat -(n)-- a deep wide channel that was dug around a castle, etc. and filled with water to make it more difficult for enemies to attack
Â· Obdurate -(adj)-- refusing to change your mind or your actions in any way
Â· Official -(adj)-- connected with the job of sb who is in a position of authority
Â· Principal -(n)-- the person who is in charge of a college or a university
Â· Paregoric -(n)-- soothing, a medicine used to make pacify.
Â· Perspicuity -(n)-- clearness or lucidity, as of a statement, the quality of being perspicuous.
Â· Proscribe -(v)-- to say officially that sth is forbidden
Â· Providential -(adj)-- lucky because it happens at the right time, but without being planned
Â· Quite -(adv)-- to a great degree; very; really
Â· Rein -(n)-- a long, narrow, leather band that is fastened around a horseâ€™s neck and is held by the rider in order to control the horse
Â· Seer -(n)-- (in the past) a person who claimed that they could see what was going to happen in the future
Â· Dissimulate -(v)-- to hide your real feelings or intentions, often by pretending to have different ones
Â· Specious -(adj)-- seeming right or true but actually wrong or false
Â· Stationery -(n)-- materials for writing and for using in an office, for example paper, pens and envelopes
Â· Temperament -(n)-- a personâ€™s or an animalâ€™s nature as shown in the way they behave or react to situations or people
Â· Unexceptionable -(adj)-- not giving any reason for criticism, not very new or exciting
Â· Urbane -(adj)-- (especially of a man) good at knowing what to say and how to behave in social situations; appearing relaxed and confident
Â· Vein -(adj)-- any of the tubes that carry blood from all parts of the body to the heart
Â· Venial -(adj)-- (of a SIN or mistake) not very serious and therefore able to be forgiven
Â· Veracity -(n)-- the quality of being true; the habit of telling the truth
syn - Truthfulness
Â· Wet -(adj)-- covered or soaked with liquid, especially water
Â· Wreathe -(v)-- ~ sth (in / with sth) to surround or cover sth, to move slowly and lightly, especially in circles
Who is an interrogative pronoun and is used in place of the subject of a question.
Who is going?
Who are you?
Is this who told you?
Who can also be used in statements, in place of the subject of a clause.
This is who warned me.
Ravi is the one who wants to go.
Anyone who knows the truth should tell us.
Whom is also an interrogative pronoun, but it is used in place of the object of a question.
Whom is this story about?
With whom are you going?
Whom did they tell?
And whom can be used in statements, in place of the object of a clause.
This is the man whom I told you about.
RAM is the man whom you met at dinner last week.
Whom is always the correct choice after a preposition.
The students, one of whom is graduating this year, failed the test.
Sita is the girl with whom I'm driving to Marine.
The difference between who and whom is exactly the same as the difference between I and Me, he and him, she and her, etc. Who, like I, he, and she, is a subject - it is the person performing the action of the verb. Whom, like me, him, and her, is an object - it is the person to/about/for whom the action is being done. Whom is also the correct choice after a preposition: with whom, one of whom, not "with who, one of who."
Sometimes it helps to rewrite the sentence and/or replace who/whom with another pronoun so that you can see the relationships more clearly.
This is who warned me > He warned me (not "him" warned me)
Ram is the one who wants to go > He wants to go (not "him" wants to go)
This is the man whom I told you about > I told you about him (not about "he")
Sita is the girl with whom I'm driving to Marine > I'm driving to Maine with her (not with "she")
Contributed By: Manika Tondon
There are three normal positions for adverbs in a sentence:
initial position (before the subject)
Linking adverbs, which join a clause to what was said before, always come here. Time adverbs can come here when we want to show a contrast with a previous reference to time. Comment and viewpoint adverbs (e.g. luckily, officially, presumably) can also come here when we want to highlight what we are about to say. Compare the following:
Focusing adverbs (e.g. just, even), adverbs of indefinite frequency (e.g. often, always, never) and adverbs of certainty and degree (e.g probably, obviously, clearly, completely, quite, almost) all favour this position. Note that when auxiliary verbs (e.g. is, has, will, was) are used, they normally go between the auxiliary verb and the main verb:
Adverbs of time and definite frequency (e.g. last week, every year) and adverbs of manner when we want to focus on how something is done (e.g. well, slowly, evenly) and adverbs of place (e.g. in the countryside, at the window) usually go in end position:
Note that when more than one of this type of adverb is used, the order in which they are placed is normally: manner, place, time:
When adverbs modify adjectives, they are placed immediately before them:
An exception to this rule is enough which is placed after the adjective or adverb that it modifies:
Contributed By- Manika Tondon
In spite of/ despite
spite of/ despite
while/ whereas ( comparing difference)
Some students prepare sincerely for CAT while/ whereas others are lazy.
Although/ even though/ however/ nevertheless
I will prepare for CAT 2009 although/ even though my friends are not supporting my decision.
CAT 2008 was a tough exam. However,/ Nevertheless,/ Even so, I fared well.
1. Know the difference between who and whom. They are both pronouns but
who is used as the subject of a sentence or phrase and whom is used as
the object of a verb. What follows is a quick way to determine which
pronoun to use in a particular question.|
2. Use whom when referring to the object of a verb.
* To whom it may concern:
* To whom did you talk today?
* Whom does Sarah love?
3. Use who when referring to the subject of a sentence or phrase.
* Who brought the paper inside?
* Who talked to you today?
* Who went to dinner?
4. Ask yourself if the answer to the question would be he or him. If you can answer the question with him, then use whom. It's easy to remember because they both end with "m". If you can answer the question with he, then use who.
* Example: A suitable answer to the question, "To [who or whom] did the prize go?" is, "It went to him." (Almost no one would say "It went to he.") The correct pronoun for the question is whom.
* Example: A suitable answer to the question, "[Who or Whom] went to the store?" is, "He went to the store." (Almost no one would say "Him went to the store.") The correct pronoun for the question who.
Contributed By: Chamku Gadha
USE 1 Completed Action Before Something in the Future
The Future Perfect expresses the idea that something will occur before another action in the future. It can also show that something will happen before a specific time in the future.
USE 2 Duration Before Something in the Future (Non-Continuous Verbs)
With non - continuous verbs and some non-continuous uses of mixed verbs, we use the Future Perfect to show that something will continue up until another action in the future.
Although the above use of Future Perfect is normally limited to Non-Continuous Verbs and non-continuous uses of Mixed Verbs, the words "live," "work," "teach," and "study" are sometimes used in this way even though they are NOT Non-Continuous Verbs
REMEMBER No Future in Time Clauses
Like all future forms, the Future Perfect cannot be used in clauses beginning with time expressions such as: when, while, before, after, by the time, as soon as, if, unless, etc. Instead of Future Perfect, Present Perfect is used.
Contributed By Gowri Nandana
Your vs You're
Your is the second person possessive adjective, used to describe something as belonging to you. Your is nearly always followed by a noun.
Is your name Gadha?
Is this your pen?
This is your chair and this is mine.
You're is the contraction of "you are" and is often followed by the present participle (verb form ending in -ing).
You're going to be the queen of Gadha Land.
I can't believe you're a Gadha!
When you're my age, you'll understand.
The Bottom Line
The confusion between your and you're occurs because the two words are pronounced pretty much the same.
The ironclad rule - no exceptions - is that if you're able to replace the word with "you are," you're saying you're. Otherwise, your only choice is your.
Keep in mind that the word your will never be followed by the words the, a, or an.
Try replacing “your” or “you’re” with “you are” if you are unsure which to use. If the sentence makes sense, use “you’re.” Remember that only “you’re” is a contraction, and it omits the letter “a.” The apostrophe in “you’re” signifies the omission of the letter “a.” If the sentence does not make sense, you will know to use “yourContributed By Gowri Nandana
Affect vs Effect
Affect vs Effect
1. To have an influence on or effect a change in: Inflation affects the buying power of the dollar.
2. To act on the emotions of; touch or move.
3. To attack or infect, as a disease: Rheumatic fever can affect the heart.
The Bottom line
1. If you are talking about a result, then use the word "effect."
What effect did the CAT result have on the TG team?
2. It is appropriate to use the word "effect" if one of these words is used immediately before the word: into, no, take, the, any, an, or and.
The prescribed medication had no effect on the patient's symptoms.
In analyzing a situation, it is important to take the concepts of cause and effect into consideration.
3. If you want to describe something that was caused or brought about, the right word to use is effect.
4. Affect can be used as a noun to describe facial expression.
The young man with schizophrenia had a flat affect.
5. Affect can also be used as a verb. Use it when trying to describe influencing someone or something rather than causing it.
How does the crime rate
affect hiring levels by local police forces?
Contributed By Gowri Nandana
Than vs Then
1. Used after a comparative adjective or adverb to introduce the second element or clause of an unequal comparison
DT had better grammar than TG.
2. Used to introduce the second element after certain words indicating difference
He sang at a lower octave than she.
3. Used especially after hardly and scarcely
I had hardly the energy to smile than I saw your face.
Then has numerous meanings.
1. At that point in time
I wasn't ready then.
Will you be home at noon? I'll call you then.
2. Next, afterward
I went to the office, and then to the bank
Do your homework and then go to bed
3. In addition, also, on top of that
He told me he was leaving, and then that I owed him money
4. In that case, therefore (often with "if")
If you want to go, then you'll have to finish your homework.
5.Used after but to qualify or balance a preceding statement:
He was a star, but then he always worked so hard.
6.As a consequence; therefore
She wants to be a star, then, she does the work.
Than is used only in comparisons, so if you're comparing something use than. If not, then you have to use thenContributed By Gowri Nandana
There vs Their
There vs Their
There is used as an introductory subject is sentences with "There is" and "There are". It is also used as an adverb of place meaning "in that place".
Use there when referring to a place, whether concrete ("over there by the building") or more abstract ("it must be difficult to live there").
o There is an antique store in the city.
o The science textbooks are over there on the floor.
Their is the possessive pronoun form. This form is used to express that "they" have a specific quality, or that something belongs to "them".
My friends have lost their tickets.
Their things were strewn about the office haphazardly.
The Bottom Line
1. If you wrote there, will the sentence still make sense if you replace it with here? If so, you're using it correctly.
2. If you chose their, will the sentence still make sense if you replace it with our? If so, you've chosen the correct word.
there: refer to there as a word for location. their :
refer to their as a word for people.
Contributed By Gowri Nandana
Its vs It's
It's vs Its
It's is a contraction of "it is" or "it has."
I read the article on TG - it's very good.
It's time to start serious preparation for CAT.
is a possessive pronoun meaning, more or less,of it or belonging to it.
And there is absolutely, positively, no such word as its'.
That's an interesting device - what is its purpose?
The bird lost some of its feathers.
Where is its head office?
The Bottom Line
1. If you can replace the word with "it is" or "it has," use it's. Otherwise, it's always its.
been good to know you. Contraction:it has
2. Its is the neuter version of his and her. Try plugging her into your sentence where you think its belongs. If the sentence still works grammatically (if not logically) then your word is indeed its.
Contributed By Gowri Nandana
Needn't/ Don't Need To
Needn't and don't need to
There is also a difference in use when these verbs are used to describe present situations. We can use both needn't and don't need to to give permission to someone not to do something in the immediate future. We can also use need as a noun here:
You don't need to water the garden this evening. It's going to rain tonight.
You needn't water the garden this evening. It's going to rain tonight.
There's no need to water the garden this evening. It's going to rain tonight.
You don't need to shout. It's a good line. I can hear you perfectly.
You needn't shout. It's a good line. I can hear you perfectly.
There's no need to shout. It's a good line. I can hear you perfectly.
However, when we are talking about general necessity, we normally use don't need to:
You don't need to pay for medical care in National Health Service hospitals.
You don't need to be rich to get into this golf club. You just need a handicap.
Contributed By: Gowri Nandana
Re: English Usage / Grammar Compendium
1.A While vs Awhile:|
A While: A while is a noun. It is a measure of time.
eg: He left for a while.
Awhile: It is an adverb. It means 'for a while'.
eg: I wrote awhile before lunch.
a while needs to be accompanied by a preposition, such as “for” or “ago”
Awhile always means “for a while”.
2. Enquire vs Inquire:
These two words means the same meaning...i.e. to seek information about something or to conduct a formal investigation.
I enquired his address
My papa's first enquiry was on today's sales!
Mr.Ramjet Malani is going to inquire into Boforce case once again.
The lawyers asked when the inquiry will be completed.
3.Especially vs Specially:
They both mean something which was “out of the ordinary” or even “exceptional”. however, 'especial' implies that something less good exists, whereas something 'special' doesn’t need to be compared against anything.
special stresses having a quality, character, identity, or use of its own .
especial may add importance....
4.Any vs Either:
either is one or the other
any is one indifferently out of more than two
5.Farther vs Further:
Farther has a physical connotation and means " to a greater distance" whereas further is conceptual and means "to a greater degree".
eg: We walked farther than we planned.
Further, you hurt my feelings!
6.Elude vs Illude vs Allude:
we use "elude” when one means to escape/avoid by trickery, cleverness.
we use "illude” when one means to trick or deceive.
we use “allude” when one means to refer indirectly or casually.
Contributed By: Hungry Gadha
Re: Than vs Then
As you have mentieoned the usage of than with hardly or scarcely, but "when" is used with the words hardly or scarcely.
Than is used with the sentence containing "no sooner" ...