New Batches at TathaGat Delhi & Noida!               Directions to CP centre
English Usage / Grammar Compendium
by Dagny Taggart - Sunday, 25 November 2007, 02:45 AM
  Hi All,

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

Let' start:-

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.)


If you think this article was useful, help others by sharing it with your friends!

Bookmark and Share
You might also like:
Jumbled Paragraphs

Usage of JUST
by Dagny Taggart - Sunday, 25 November 2007, 12:39 PM

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.)

'Only', 'scarcely'
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.


If you think this article was useful, help others by sharing it with your friends!

Bookmark and Share
Reflexive Pronouns
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 26 November 2007, 08:03 PM

Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are myself, yourself, ourselves, yourselves, himself, herself, itself and themselves.

Used as direct objects
He hurt himself.
I cut myself.

Used as indirect objects
Rohan cooked himself a good meal.
Rhea made herself a party dress.

Used as prepositional objects
Take good care of yourself/ yourselves.

Do you ever talk to yourself when you are alone?

Sometimes used as subject complements
Alex doesn't look quite himself today.( as well as he usually does)
Why can't you be yourself? (behave normally/naturally)

Used in apposition for emphasis . They may also be placed after a verb.I can't come myself, but I'll send someone to help you.
The paintings themselves are magnificent, but what ugly frames?

Occur after preposition, and after like, than, as but.
Are you all by yourself? ( alone)
You should see what's happening for yourself. ( not be content merely to hear what others say about it.)
Karry is a teacher like myself.
Bob doesn't like playing with children younger than himself. ( younger than he is)



If you think this article was useful, help others by sharing it with your friends!

Bookmark and Share
Whose and Who's
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 November 2007, 07:23 PM
  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
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 November 2007, 07:28 PM
  its and it's

Its is a possessive word. ( such as my, your).
Every country has its traditions. ('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
by Dagny Taggart - Friday, 30 November 2007, 08:22 PM

Whether and if

Indirect questions

Whether and if both introduce indirect questions
I'm not sure whether/if I'll have time.
I asked whether/if she had any letters for me.

After verbs that are more common in formal style, whether is preferred.We discussed whether we should close the shop.

In formal style, whether is preferred in two part question with or.
The Directors have not decided whether they will recommend a dividend or reinvest the profits.

If indirect question is fronted, whether is used.
Whether I'll have time I'm not sure at the moment.

After prepositions, only whether is possible.
I haven't settled the question of whether I'll go back home.
There was a big argument about whether we should move to a new office.

Whether, but not if, is used before to-infinitives.
They can't decide whether to get married now or wait. ( NOT they can't decide if…).

Subject, Complement and Adverbial clauses
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 if…. is also possible but less common.
The question is if the man can be trusted.

If and whether are NOT used in echo questions
Are you happy? Am I happy? No! ( NOT...If/Whether I'm happy?..)



If you think this article was useful, help others by sharing it with your friends!

Bookmark and Share
Few, A few, the few,Little, A little and The little
by Dagny Taggart - Friday, 30 November 2007, 08:24 PM
  Few, A few, the few,Little, A little and The 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
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 3 December 2007, 12:59 AM
  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
by Dagny Taggart - Wednesday, 12 December 2007, 08:13 PM
  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 (frequency)
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.

2. Meaning
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.
3. Structures
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
by Dagny Taggart - Thursday, 13 December 2007, 11:41 AM

Like and as : similarity, function

We 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.. (similarity): like me

Like can be a preposition. We use like, not as, before a noun or a pronoun to talk about similarity.

Like + noun/ pronoun

My brother looks like me. ( 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.
He is very like his father.
She looks a bit like Julia Roberts.

We can use like to give examples

She is good at scientific subjects like mathematics. (…NOT as mathematics)
In mountainous countries, like Peru...

 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
as + preposition phrase

Nobody knows her as I do.
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.
He believed, as did all his family, that the king was their supreme lord.

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 …as it s well known).
I am sending you the bill, as we agreed. (NOT …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.
I don't smoke, like Jane (Jane smokes)
I am not a conservative, like Tom.(Tom is conservative)

Before a negative clause, the comparison refers to the whole clause.

Like Mary, I don't smoke. (Mary doesn't smoke)
Like Bill, I am not a conservative. (Bill is not a conservative)

 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. (NOT…like a waiter)
Please don't use that pencil as an ear bud.  
A crocodile starts life as an egg.

Compare this use of as with like.

As your brother, I must warn you to be careful. (I am your brother)
Like your brother
, I must warn you to be careful. (I am not your brother, but he and I have similar attitudes.)


If you think this article was useful, help others by sharing it with your friends!

Bookmark and Share
Neither (of) : determiner
by Dagny Taggart - Sunday, 16 December 2007, 08:16 PM
  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
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 17 December 2007, 12:52 AM
  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
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 17 December 2007, 11:57 PM

For, since, and from: time


We use for for duration- to say how long something lasts.
for + period of time
I studied the piano for three years at school.
That house has been empty for six months.

To measure the duration up to the present, we use a present perfect tense, not a present tense.
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.
How long are you here for? (= Until when...?)
How long have you been here for? (= Since when...?)

We can often leave out for in an informal style, especially with How long...?
And for is not usually used before all.
How long have you been waiting (for)?
We've been here (for) six weeks.

2. for and since with perfect tenses: the difference

For 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 three years.)
It's been raining for weeks.

Since + starting point
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. (NOT… 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 morning...)
I'll be home from Sunday morning (on). (NOT...since Sunday morning)

From is sometimes possible with a present perfect, especially in expressions that mean "right from the start".
She's been like that from her childhood. (…OR since her childhood)
From/Since the moment they were married, they've quarrelled.


If you think this article was useful, help others by sharing it with your friends!

Bookmark and Share
by Dagny Taggart - Wednesday, 19 December 2007, 01:46 AM

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
by Dagny Taggart - Thursday, 20 December 2007, 07:23 PM

Prefer and would rather

Prefer to do and prefer doing

We use prefer to do or prefer doing to say something in general:
I don’t like the cities. I prefer to live in the country.
I prefer living in the country.

         I prefer                        something                   to                     something else.
         I prefer                        doing something         to                     doing something else.
But    I prefer                        to do something          rather than       (do) something else.

I prefer this dress to the dress you were wearing yesterday.
I prefer driving to travelling by train.

I prefer to drive rather than travel by train.

Would prefer (I’d prefer…)

We use ‘would prefer’ to say what somebody wants in a particular situation (not in general):

‘Would you prefer tea or coffee? ‘‘Coffee please.’

We would say ‘would prefer to do’ (not doing)’

Shall we go by train? Well, I’d prefer to go by car. (NOT I’d prefer going by car.) .
I’d prefer to stay at home tonight rather than go by cinema.

Would rather (I’d rather)

Would rather (do) = would prefer (to do) After would rather we use infinitive without to.

Shall we go by train? I’d prefer to go by car.

                                    I’d rather go by car.
Would you rather have tea or coffee? ‘Coffee please.’

The negative is I’d rather not (do something)’:

I’m tired. I’d rather not go out this evening, if you don’t mind.
Do you want to go out this evening? I’d rather not.

Structure after would rather:
I’d rather                      do something              than                 (do) something else.

I’d rather say at home tonight than go to the cinema.

I’d rather you did something

When you want somebody to do something, you can say I’d rather did something’ :
Shall I stay here? I’d rather you come with us.
Shall I tell them the news?      No, I’d rather they didn’t know.
Shall I tell them or would you rather they didn’t know?

In this structure we use the past (came, did etc.), but the meaning is present or future, not past.

I’d rather cook the dinner now.
I’d rather you cooked the dinner now. (not I’d rather you cook)

The negative is I’d rather you didn’t…
I’d rather you didn’t tell anyone what I said.

Do you mind if I smoke? I’d rather you didn’t.
a lot, lots, plenty, a great deal, a large amount, a large number, the majority
by Dagny Taggart - Saturday, 22 December 2007, 11:05 PM

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 it’s time for an election.


plenty of

Plenty of is usually rather informal. It is used mostly befor singular uncountables and plurals. It suggests ‘enough and more’.


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


majority of

The majority of (= ‘most’ or ‘most of’) is mostly used with plural nouns or verbs.

The majority of criminals are non violent.


measurement nouns

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. (NOT…we walk plenty OR…swim lots)

less and fewer
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 24 December 2007, 12:06 AM

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)
I earn less money than a postman.

I’ve got fewer problems than I used to have.

Less is quite common before plural nouns and uncountable nouns, especially in an informal style. Some people consider this incorrect.
I’ve got less problems than I used to have.

B) less/ fewer with and without of

Less of and fewer of are used before determiners (like the, my or this) and pronouns.
I’d like to spend less of my time answering letters.
At the college reunions, there are fewer of us each year.

Before nouns without determiners, of is not used.
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 is clear.
Some people go to church, but less/fewer than 20 years ago.

Less can be used as an adverb (the opposite of the adverb more)
I worry less than I used to.

D) lesser

Lesser is used in a few expressions (in a rather formal style) to mean ‘smaller’ or ‘not so much’
The lesser of two evils.
A lesser known writer.

Re: English Usage / Grammar Compendium
by Dagny Taggart - Friday, 18 January 2008, 02:08 AM
  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
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 28 January 2008, 07:15 PM

 Allow, permit, and let

 allow and permit

These words have similar meanings and uses. Permit is more formal. Both words can be flowed by object+infinitive
We do not allow/permit people to smoke in the kitchen.

When there is no personal object, an –ing form is used.

We do not allow/permit people smoking in the kitchen.

Passive structures are common; personal subjects and gerund (-ing form) both are possible.
People are not allowed/permitted to smoke in the kitchen.
Smoking is not allowed/permitted in the kitchen.

The passive structure with ‘it’ is only possible with permit.
It is not permitted to smoke in the kitchen. (NOT Its is not allowed…..)

Allow, but not permit, can be used in adverb particles.
She wouldn’t allow me in.
Bob is not allowed out at night.


Let is the least formal of these three words, and is followed by object+infinitive without to.
Please allow me to buy you a drink. (polite and formal)

Let me buy you a drink. (friendly and informal)

Let is not usually used in the passive.
I wasn’t allowed to pay for the drinks. (NOT I wasn’t let…)

Let can be used with adverb particles; passives are possible in this case.
She wouldn’t let me in.
I’ve been let down.

by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 29 January 2008, 01:25 PM



Enjoy normally has an object.
Did you enjoy the party?- Yes, I enjoyed it very much (NOT I enjoyed very much.)

To talk about having a good time, we can enjoy myself/yourself etc.
I really enjoyed myself when, I went to Rome.
We’re going to Paris for the weekend.~ Enjoy yourselves!

Enjoy! With no object is possible, especially in informal language.

Enjoy can be followed by –ing.
I don’t enjoy looking after the small children. (NOT….enjoy to look…)

by Dagny Taggart - Friday, 1 February 2008, 05:10 PM



We use either…or to talk about a choice between two possibilities (and sometimes more than two)

I don’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 either….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.

Re: Either...or
by Dagny Taggart - Friday, 7 March 2008, 12:27 PM

One of

After one of we normally use a plural pronoun.
One of our dogs. (NOT one of our dog)

Occasionally one of is used with a singular noun referring to a group
Why don’t you ask one of the crew?

A following verb is normally singular
One of our dogs has disappeared. (NOT one of our cats have disappeared)

After one of, a noun phrase must have a determiner (eg. the, my, those)
One of the/my/those dogs. ( NOT one of dogs)

Of cannot be dropped.
One of my friends. (NOT one my friend or one my friends)

by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 11 March 2008, 12:55 PM

In : Place

In is used for a position inside large areas, and in three dimensional space when something is surrounded on all sides.

I don’t think he is in his office.

Let’s go for a walk in the woods.

In: Time

In + part of the day

I work best in the morning.

I usually go out in the evenings.


Note he difference between ‘in the night (mostly used to mean during one particular night)’ and ‘at the night’(= 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

It 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.                   CAT Verbal 2008                             

The expression in ….’s time is used to say how soon something will happen, not how long something takes. Compare:

I’ll see you again in a month’s time.

He wrote a book in a month. (NOT….in a month’s time)

In American English, in can be used in negative sentences, like for, to talk about periods up to the present.

 I haven’t seen her in years.

Countable and Uncountable
by Dagny Taggart - Wednesday, 12 March 2008, 12:35 PM



·         Did you hear a noise just now?(= a particular noise)

·         I can’t work here. There is too much noise. (NOT ‘too many noises’)

·         Enjoy your holiday. Have a good time!

·         I can’t wait. I haven’t got time.

·         I bought a paper to read. (=a news paper)

·         I need some paper to write on(= a material for writing on)

·         I had some interesting experiences while I was away.(=things that happened to me.

·         They offers me the job because I had a lot of experience. (NOT experiences)

·         You can stay with us . There is a spare room.(= a room in a house)

·         You can’t sit here. There isn’t enough room.(=space)

·         There is a hair in my soup!

·         You have got very long hair.(not hairs)(=all the hair on your head)

by Dagny Taggart - Friday, 14 March 2008, 04:39 PM



Likely is an adjective with a similar meaning to probable.

I don’t think a labour victory is likely.
The opposite is unlikely.
What’s a likely date for the election?
Snow is very unlikely.

Note also the informal adverb phrases very/most likely.

I think she’ll very/most likely be late.

Infinitive after be (un)likely

Be+ (un)likely is often followed by an infinitive.CAT 2008 2009 Verbal Grammar

I’m likely to be busy tomorrow.
Do you think it’s likely to rain?
He’s unlikely to agree.

 It is (un)likely + that clause

We can use it as a preparatory subject or object for a that clause.
It is likely that the meeting will go on late.
I thought it unlikely that she would come back.

certain and sure
by Dagny Taggart - Sunday, 16 March 2008, 06:51 PM

certain and sure

Certain/sure of + ing are used to refer to the feelings of the person one is talking about.

Before the game she felt certain of winning, but after the few minutes she realized that it wasn’t going to be easy.
You seem very sure of cracking the CAT, I hope you are right.

Certain/sure + infinitive refer to the speaker’s or writer’s own feelings.

The repairs are certain to cost more than you think. (NOT the repairs are certain of costing…)
Kimi is sure to win- the other boy hasn’t got a chance.

Note that he is sure to succeed means’ I’m sure that he will succeed’.

Re: certain and sure
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 18 March 2008, 12:53 PM
  CAT 2008 2009 Verbal Grammar
A bit
by Dagny Taggart - Thursday, 20 March 2008, 04:13 PM

[a] bit


A bit is often used as an adverb with a same meaning as a little.
She is a bit old to play with toys. Isn’t she?
Wait a bit.
Can you drive a bit slower?

A bit of a

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.
I’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.
A bit tired
A bit expensive
A little (too) old
(NOT a bit kind, a little interesting)

Not a bit

The informal expression ‘not a bit’ means not at all.
I am not a bit tired.
Do you mind if I put some music on? Not a bit. 

CAT 2008 2009 Verbal Grammar

lay and lie
by Dagny Taggart - Sunday, 23 March 2008, 05:12 PM
  Lay and lie


Lay is a regular verb except for its spelling. Its forms are:
Infinitive: (to) lay         past: laid
-ing form: laying          past participle: laid

Lay means ‘put down carefully’ or ‘put down flat’. It has an object.  

Lay the tent down on the grass and I’ll see how to put it up.                                   

CAT 2008 2009 verbal grammar
I laid the papers on the table. (NOT I lay…)

Note the expression lay a table (= put plates, knives etc. on a table) and lay an egg ( a bird’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 ‘be down’, ‘be/ become horizontal’. It has no object.
Don’t lie in bed all day. Get up and do some work.(NOT Don’t lay..)
I lay down and closed my eyes. (Not I laid down…)

Lie (regular)

The regular verb lie (lied) ‘say things that are not true’.
You lied to me when you said you loved me.

Dialect forms

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.
I am going to lay down for a few minutes. (Standard English…lie down)

Will and Would
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 24 March 2008, 04:55 PM
  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):

I’ll give you another chance to get the correct answer.
Mom! Pam won’t give back my pen.

Notice that we can also talk about the refusal of a thing t work in the way it should:

The top won’t come off.
The key won’t fit the lock.   CAT 2008 2009 Verbal Grammar

To talk about general or repeated willingness in the past we can sometimes use would, but we can’t use would in this way to talk about a particular occasion in the past.

Whenever I had to go to town, Charlie would give me a lift.(= repeated)
I was late, so Charlie gave me a lift to town (not Charlie would give me ..)(=particular situation)

However, we can use would not either when we talk about unwillingness in general or about a particular occasion.


We thought that people wouldn’t / would buy the book (=general)

She wouldn’t say what was wrong with her when I asked. (not ..would say..)( = particular situation)

We use will/won’t to indicate that we think a present or future situation is certain:
You will know that Jack and Jill are engaged (=you already know)
‘Shall I ask Bob?’ ‘ No, don’t disturb him- he’ll be working.’
We won’t see them again for Easter.

Re: Will and Would
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 24 March 2008, 07:22 PM
  Say and tell

If you say who are you talking to, use tell:
Rhea told me that you were ill.(NOT ‘Rhea said me’) TELL SOMEBODY
What did you tell the police? ( NOT ‘say the police’)

Otherwise use say:
Rhea said that you were ill. (NOT Rhea told that…) SAY SOMEBODY
What did you say?

BUT you can ‘say something to somebody’:
Bill said goodbye to me and left. (NOT ‘Bill said me goodbye’)

What did you say to the police?
alright and all right
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 25 March 2008, 05:15 PM

all right and alright

The standard spelling is all right. Alright is common, but some people consider it wrong.

CAT 2008 2009 Verbal Grammar

Past Perfect Continuous and Past Continuous
by Dagny Taggart - Wednesday, 26 March 2008, 11:07 PM

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.

I started doing             I was doing                  I finished doing
↓                                           ↓                ↓
Past                              Past Continuous           Past

This time last year I was preparing for CAT.
What were you doing at 10 o’clock last night?
I waved to him but he wasn’t looking.

There are some verbs (eg. know, want, believe) that are not normally used in the continuous.

We were good friends. We knew each other well. (not ‘we were knowing’)
I was enjoying the party but Kim wanted to go home.( not ’was wanting’)

Past Perfect Continuous ( I had been doing)

Had been + -ing is past perfect continuous.



(=I’d etc.)

(=he’d etc.)




working etc.

You can say that something had been happening for a period of time before something else happened

Our game of cricket was interrupted.  We had been playing for half an hour when it started to rain heavily.
Amy gave up smoking last year.  She had been smoking for 10 years.

Compare had been doing (past perfect continuous) and was doing (past continuous) :

I wasn’t raining when we were out. The sun was shining. But it had been raining since morning, so the ground was wet.
Rohan was sitting in an armchair watching television. He was tired because he had been working very hard.

Please and thank you
by Dagny Taggart - Thursday, 27 March 2008, 08:04 PM

Please and thank you

1.      requests

We use please to make requests more polite

Could I have some more chocolates please?
Would you like  some help?~ Yes, please.

Note that please does not change an order into a request.

Stand over there. (order)

stand over there. (more polite order)
Could you stand over thee, please? (polite request)

Please do is rather formal answer to a request for permission.

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.

I’ve got a bit of a headache. ~I beg your pardon? (NOT…Please?)

We do not use please when we give things to people.

Have you got a pen I could use?~ Yes here you are. (NOT…Please)

Please is not used as an answer to Thank you.

Thanks a lot. ~ That’s OK. (NOT… Please)

3.      thank you and thanks

Thanks is more informal than thank you. Common expressions:
Thank you. (NOT Thanks you.)
Thank you very much.
Thanks very much.
Thanks a lot
. (NOT Thank you a lot.)
Thank God I have started preparing for CAT 2008 already. (NOT Thanks God…)

Indeed can be used to strengthen very much.

Thank you very much indeed. (But NOT usually Thank you indeed.)

Thank you for / thanks for can be followed by –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
No, thanks/ No, thank you.
Another cake? ~ No thanks, I am on diet.

Yes, thanks is most often used to confirm that things are all right.

Have you got enough cake? ~ Yes, thanks.

Come or Gone
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 31 March 2008, 04:10 PM

Been meaning ‘come’ or ‘gone’

Been is often used as past participle of come and go
Granny has been to see us twice before Easter.  
I haven’t been to the book-shop for ages.CAT 2008 2009 Verbal Grammar

Been is only used for completed visits.

1) The milkman’s already been. (He has come and gone away again)
    Jack’ come, so we can start preparing for CAT 2008. (He has come and is still here)

2) I’ve been to library three times this week.
    Where’s Linda? She’s gone to library.
If I were you
by Dagny Taggart - Wednesday, 2 April 2008, 08:02 PM

If I were you


We often use the structure if I were you… give advice.

I shouldn’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 should….or I would… to give advice.

I shouldn’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
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 8 April 2008, 05:39 PM
  Singular nouns with plural verbs

1.      groups of people: The team is/ are…

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.


My family have decided to move to Chennai. They’re going in December.
The average family has 4 members. It is smaller than 50 years ago.

The firm are wonderful. They do all they can for me.
My firm was founded in 2005.

We prefer who as a relative pronoun with plural forms, and which with singular forms.


The committee, who are hoping to announce important changes,…
The committee, which is elected at the annual meeting,…

When a group is used as with a singular determiner (eg. a/an, each, every, this, that), singular verbs and pronouns are regular.


The team are full of enthusiasm.
The team, which is full of enthusiasm has a better chance of winning.

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.





the BBC





England(the football team)











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 have….

 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.
(more natural than A number of people has)
A group of us are going to run the Marathon this year.
A majority of criminals are non- violent

Relative Clauses
by Dagny Taggart - Saturday, 12 April 2008, 04:32 PM
  Relative Clauses

CAT 2008 2009 Verbal Grammar
Than me/ than I am etc.
by Dagny Taggart - Wednesday, 16 April 2008, 01:27 PM

Than me/ than I am etc.

We usually say:

You are taller than me. (Not than I)
He is not as clever as her. (Not ‘as she’)

After than/as it is more usual to say me/him/her/them/us when there is no verb. Compare:

You are taller than I am.                           but         You are taller than me.
They have more money than we have.     but         They have more money than us.
I can’t run as fast as he can.                    but         I can’t run as fast as him.

Re: Than me/ than I am etc.
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 22 April 2008, 04:20 PM

Verb +-ing/ verb + to

When one verb follows another verb, the structure is usually verb + ing or verb + to


Verb+ -ing

They denied stealing the money.

I enjoy going out.

Often we use -ing…for an action that happens before the first verb or at the same time:

Stealing ←denied        enjoy



Verb+ to…

They decided to steal the money.

I want to go out.

Often we use to…for an action that follows the first verb:

Decided→ to steal         want→ to go

Verb + -ing or to infinitive
by Dagny Taggart - Thursday, 24 April 2008, 04:10 PM

Verb + -ing or to infinitive

Some verbs are followed by a to-infinitive but not –ing : agree, aim, ask, decline,  demand, fail, hesitate, hope, hurry, manage, offer, plan, prepare, refuse, want, wish.

Some verbs are followed by –ing but not a –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 –to infinitive or an –ing form with little difference in meaning.
Even though it was raining, they continued to play/ playing.

However, with these verbs we normally avoid using two –ing forms together, as a repeated pattern may sound awkward:
I am starting to learn French. ( rather than I am starting learning French.)

The verbs advise and encourage are followed by –ing when there is no object and –to infinitive when there is one. Compare:

I’d advise taking more exercise.
I’d advise you to take more exercise.

Other verbs can be followed by either a –to infinitive or an –ing form, but there can be a difference in meaning. These include:  come, go on, regret, remember, try, stop, mean.         CAT 2008 2009 Verbal Grammer CAT Training CAT paper CAT results


+ to infinitive

+ -ing


To talk about a gradual change.

After a few years, they came to accept him as an equal.

To say that someone moves in a way that is described.

He came hurrying up the path.


To say that we are about to do something we are not happy about.

I regret to inform you that you have not passed the exam.

To say that we have already done something we are not happy about.

It’s too late now, I’ll always regret asking Ama to do the work.

go on

To mean something is done after something else is finished.

After the class, Ali went on to do his evening prayer.

To say that someone moves in a way that is described.

Although she asked him to stop, he went on tapping his pen on the table.


To say that we attempt to do something.

I tried to bring the table through the door, but it was too big.


To say if we test something to see if it improves the situation.

I tried taking aspirin, but the pain didn’t go away.


To say when we stopped doing something.

She stopped to prepare a cup of coffee.

To say what is it that we stopped doing.

The baby stopped crying when he saw its mother.


To say that we intend(ed) to do something.

I meant to phone you yesterday.

To say that something has something else as a result.

If I want to attend the class at 9.00, that means I waking up before 7.00


To mean that remembering comes before the action is described.

Remember to carry your umbrella before you go out. (first remember, and then take it)

To mean the action comes before remembering.

I remember going to the library but nothing after that. (I remember that I went there.

Re: Verb + -ing or to infinitive
by Dagny Taggart - Friday, 25 April 2008, 10:50 PM

Verb + -ing or to infinitive

CAT 2008 2009 Verbal Grammar Advise, allow, permit, forbid

In active clauses after these verbs, we use an –ing form if there is no subject. If there is an object, we use an infinitive.


I wouldn’t advise taking the car- there’s no place to park.
I wouldn’t advise you to take the car.

We don’t allow/permit smoking in the classroom.
We don’t allow/permit people to smoke in the classroom.

The headmaster has forbidden smoking in the campus.
The headmaster has forbidden students to smoke in the campus.

Passive structures:

Smoking is not allowed/ permitted in the classroom.
People are not allowed/ permitted to smoke in the classroom.

Smoking is forbidden.
Students are forbidden to smoke.

Early booking is advised.
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 –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.
I saw Mary cross the road and disappear in the post office.

As I passed his room, I heard him practicing the guitar.
I once heard Brendan play all the Beethoven concertos.

Learn and teach

These verbs (and other with similar meanings) are followed by –ing forms mostly when we are referring to lessons or subjects of study.

She goes to school twice to learn dancing.
Mr. Smith teaches gardening every summer.

Infinitives are preferred when we talk about the result of the study- about successfully learning a skill.

I taught myself to dance.

Like, love, hate, and prefer

After these four verbs, both infinitive and –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 climbing)
When I pour tea, I like to put the milk in first. (= I choose to; it’s my habit)

After would like, would prefer, would hate, and would love , infinitives are most often used.

I’d like to tell you something. (NOT I’d like telling you something)
Do you like dancing? (=Do you enjoy dancing)
Would you like to dance? (= Do you want to dance now?)


Re: Verb + -ing or to infinitive
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 5 May 2008, 08:19 PM

Begin and start
Begin and start can be followed by infinitives or –ing forms. Usually there is no important difference.

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.                                                                                                                            

I slowly began to understand how she felt. (NOT….began understanding…)
He started to realize that if you have to crack CAT you had to work hard. (NOT …started realizing…)

Attempt, intend, continue, can’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.
I’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? I’m afraid to walking in dark.

CAT 2008 2009 Verbal Grammar CAT training CAT papers CAT results
In other cases we use afraid of +ing or afraid +infinitive with no difference of meaning
I’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.)

I’m sorry for /about losing my temper this morning.

Sorry +perfect infinitive can be used with the same meaning.
I’m sorry to have woken you up. (OR I’m sorry that I woke you up.)


To talk about reaction to things one learns , interested + infinitive is commonly used.

I’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.

I’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.
I’m interested in working in Mumbai.

Fused sentences, Comma Splices and Run-on errors
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 6 May 2008, 02:35 PM
  Fused sentences, Comma Splices and Run-on errors

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

In correct: Rohan came to Tathagat he wanted to prepare for CAT 2008.
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

Incorrect: Rohan came to Tathagat, he wanted to prepare for CAT 2008.
Correct: Rohan came to Tathagat. He wanted to prepare for CAT 2008.

The above sentence is incorrect because ‘Rohan came to Tathagat’ and ‘he wanted to prepare for CAT 2008’ are both independent clauses. A comma is not required to join two powerful clauses.

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 clause

Incorrect: 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.

CAt 2008 2009 Vrebal Grammar CAt papers CAt result CAt training

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 semi-colon.

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
by Abhishek Vinayin - Monday, 30 March 2009, 04:06 PM


Can we have this thread active please ..... really found it amazing


Re: English Usage / Grammar Compendium
by Dagny Taggart - Wednesday, 1 April 2009, 11:09 PM
  The next thread is here:
Re: English Usage / Grammar Compendium
by Abhishek Vinayin - Friday, 17 April 2009, 03:20 PM
  THanx Mam
Re: English Usage / Grammar Compendium
by Sandesh Patil - Wednesday, 8 July 2009, 10:48 PM
  amazing thread !!!!!
Adjectives and Adverbs
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 06:51 PM
           CAT 2008 2009 Verbal Grammar CAT training CAT papers              
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?

Adjectives (quick/careful etc.) tell us about a noun. We use adjectives before nouns and after some verbs, especially be:

Adverbs (quickly/ carefully etc.) tell us about how a verb. An adverb tells us how somebody does something or how something happens.


Ram is a careful driver. (not a carefully driver)

We didn't go out because of the heavy rain.

Please be quiet.

I was disappointed that my exams result were bad.

We also use adjectives after the verbs look/ feel/ sound etc.

   Why do you always look so serious?


She speaks perfect English. (perfect=adjective + English= noun)

Compare these sentences with look:

Prince looked sad when I saw him. (= he seemed sad, his expression was sad.)



                                             Ram drove carefully along the narrow road. ( not- drove careful)

                                             We didn't go out because it was raining heavily. (not -raining heavy)

                                             Please speak quietly. (not- speak quiet)

                                           I was disappointed that I did so badly in the exam(not did so bad)


Why do you never take me seriously?


She speaks English perfectly. (speaks+ English+ perfectly = verb + object+ adverb)

Prince looked at me sadly.

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
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 07:00 PM

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):
What's the noise? It sounds like baby is crying.

Sometimes like= for example:
Some sports, like car racing, can be dangerous.

Such as = 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:
You should have done like this. ( like + pronoun)
You should have done it as I showed you. (as + subject + verb)

As can also be used a preposition but the meaning is different from like. Compare :



Sonal is the manger of the company. As the manger, she has to make many important decisions. ( As the manger= in her positions as manager)


During the war this hotel was used as a hospital. (so it really was a hospital)

Smita ia the assistant manger. Like the manger (Sonal), she also has t make important decisions. (Like the manager= similar to the manager)


Everyone is ill at home. Our house is like a hospital. (it isn't really the hospital)


As (preposition)= in the position of, in the form of etc.:

A few years ago I worked as a waiter. (not like a waiter)
Many English words (for eg, work and rain) can be used
as verbs or noun.

Care for somebody/something
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 08:00 PM

Care about somebody/something (= think that somebody or something is important)
He's very selfish. He doesn't care about other people.

CAT 2008 2009 Verbal GrammarWe say care what/where/how (etc) (without about):
You can do what you like. I don't care what you do.

Care for somebody/something:

1)      like something (usually in questions and negative sentences):
Would you care for a cup of tea. (would you like?)
I don't care for working very late at night. (I don't like)

2)      look after somebody:
Honey is 80 and lives alone. She needs someone to take care of her.

Take care of: = look after
Have a good day. Take care of yourself! (=look after yourself)

Incase/ If
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 08:01 PM

In case and If

In 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)
Hunny might phone this evening. I don't want to go out in case he phones.

Present tense is used for future after 'in case'
I don't want to go out in case he phones. (NOT in case he will phone)

To say why somebody did something we use in case + past
I messaged Vendy again in case she hadn't received the previous one.

Difference between in case and if.

Do X in case Y happens:. ( Do X first because Y might happen later)

Let's get some more muffins in case Vendy comes. ( Let's get some muffins now because Vendy might come later)            

CAT 2009 2008 Verbal Grammar CAT online CAT training CAT papers

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
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 07:05 PM

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:

  • 'Me and Annie had a dog once'; 'Adrian and me were going out'. In these sentences you should use I, not me, because the two people are the subject in both. 'Annie and I had a dog once'; 'Adrian and I were going out'.
  • 'Watch Helen and I while we show you'. You need me here, as the object of watch.
  • 'Everything depends on you and I'. Use me, us, etc. after prepositions.

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'.

Contributed By:
Aditya Zutshi

by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 07:08 PM



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.
  'in' shows the relation between two things. Preposition 'in' is connecting noun with a noun.

2. He has a fetish for cars.
Preposition 'for' is connecting adjective to a noun.

3. He turned off the switch.
 Preposition 'off' is connecting verb to a noun.

NOTE- Preposition is generally placed before the noun but sometimes preposition follows also.


1. What are we waiting for?
2. Which school is he studying in?
3. He is the one I was speaking of.
4. While editing the proof of one of his books, Winston Churchill spotted a sentence that had been clumsily rewritten by the editor to eliminate a preposition at the end. The elder statesman mocked the intention with a comment in the margin: "This is the sort of English  up with which I will not put."

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.

According to

 In case of

By means of

By way of

  In order to

By reason of

Owing to

 With regard to

With an eye to

In compliance with     

In comparison to

In lieu of

In favour of

  Away from

By dint of

In course of

  For sake of

Because of

On account of

 In reference to

Agreeably to

In regard to

 In spite of

In the event of

In place of

With the view to

In consequence of

On behalf of

 In addition to

In accordance with

Conformably to

 In the event of

Along with

Instead of

 In front of

By virtue 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 and Pakistan.

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.


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.


 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.


 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.

by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 07:09 PM


There are two kinds of articles

1) Definite
2) Indefinite

Indefinite :- 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.
2) Give me a bottle of Coke.
3) This is a book.
4) I ate an orange in the breakfast.
5) Can I have some chocolates please? 


1) With non specific singular countable common nouns.

a) Would you like a bottle of Pepsi with pizza?                                        
b) I am driving a car.
c) He has gifted me a book.
d) I am eating an orange.
e) Its a baby boy!
f) Can i have some milk?
g) There aren’t any popcorns left in the bowl.
h) I have gifted him an umbrella.
i) an old man s walking with a stick.
j) He is wearing a hat. 

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?
b) I had a piece of cake.
c) Give me a sheet of paper.
d) Can I have a cup of tea?

4) With someone's name you have not met before.

a) A Mrs. Taneja had come to see you.
b) A Mr. Rogers was running in the park.

5) When noun is introduced for the first time.

a) A boy was playing with the ball.The boy was wearing a black shirt.
b) A book is kept on the table.the book contains the names of the countries of the world.
c) I went to a hotel.the hotel was beautiful. 

6) With water bodies eg.  sea, ocean, lake etc. and continents.

a) Asia is a continent.
b) Cactus is grown in  a desert.
c) Sharks live in an ocean. 

7) Before a title which is not specific.

a) He is going to be a prime minister.
b) He is a waiter.
c) I am a doctor.
d) Rossane is an economics teacher. 

8) With number and quantity expressions.

a) I will be back in half an hour.
b) The bananas cost $5 a dozen.
c) I will come back in a day or so.
d) You can take GMAT 5 times a year.
e) The test is for a quarter of an hour.

 9) To represent singular noun as a whole class.

a) The cow is a timid animal.
b) The turtledove is a kind of bird.
c) The bur oak is a timber tree in US.
d) The yellow wood is a rare native tree.
e) The mango is known as a king of all fruits. 

DEFINITE ARTICLES:-  Definite article is 'the'. It is used for particular things.


1) With particular nouns.

a) George Bush is the president of United States.
b) Asia is the largest continent of the world.
c) Could you please pass the book?
d) Go right and then turn towards the left.
e) He has gone to the doctor. 

2) Before proper noun:-

1) Canals:-The Panama Canal, the Corydon canal.
2) Rivers:- The Amazon Congo, The Nile.
3) Group of Islands:- The Andaman and Nicobar, The lakswadeep.
4) Seas and Oceans:- The pacific, The Bay of Bengal
5) Deserts:- The Gobi, The Thar, The Sahara
6) Names of countries which includes words like republic and kingdom:-The    
    Italian Republic, The Slovak Republic, The United Kingdom

3) Before musical instruments:-

a) He knows how to play the guitar.
b) Zakir Hussain plays the tabla.
c) Amjad Ali Khan is the santoor player.

4) With Superlatives:-

a) Rati is the best teacher in the school.
b) Tom Cruise is the hottest man in Hollywood..
c) He made the most of his opportunity. 

5) Before the names of things that are unique of their own kind.

a) The moon is shining bright in the sky.
b) What do you want to know about the ocean?
c) The stars are twinkling in the sky.
d) The earth is round.
e) Animals that live in the desert have adaptations to cope with the lack of water. 

6) With Ordinals

a) Guru Govind Singh was the tenth guru of the Sikhs.
b) 'A Pale View of Hills' is the first book by Kazuo Ishiguro.
c) April is the fourth month of the year.
d) Jawahar Lal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India.
e) He was the first one to enter the class. 

7) Before the names of certain books

the Ramayana, the Bible, The Vedas, The Upnishads, the Mahabharata, the Quoran. 

8) As an adverb with a comparative.

a) The more he works hard, the better it is for him.
b) The more the merrier.
c) The sooner, the better. 

9) Before a common noun when it is qualified by an adjective.

a) The great Napoleon.
b) The beautiful Helen of Troy.
c) The cruel Hitler.
d) The immortal Wordsworth. 

10) Before an adjective when the noun is understood.

a) The rich are becoming richer.
b) The whites look down upon blacks. 


1) Before plural countable noun when they are used in general sense.

a) Chocolates are kept in the box. (In place of ‘the chocolates are kept in the box’)
b) Girls are wearing pretty dresses. (In place of ‘the girls are wearing pretty dresses’ or
                                                         ‘some girls are wearing pretty dresses’)

c) Scissors are kept in the cupboard. (In place of the scissors are kept in the cupboard)
d) Men are considered to be better cooks than women.
e) Children like to hear stories.  

2) Before table, school, hospital, college, church, prison, market and bed when these places are used for primary purpose.

a) We became friends in school.
b) The patient was taken to hospital.
c) Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
d) These shoes are available in market.

3) Before the names of meals.

a) Lets go out for lunch today.
b) Breakfast is ready.
c) Ricki has gone out for dinner with Stella.
d) We were served brunch at the wedding.
e) We ate rice in lunch today. 

4) Before most proper nouns.

a) Names of people:-Afton, Blossom
b) Names of individual mountains:- Mount Everest, Mt. Olympus
c) Names of countries, cities, continents:-Africa, Melbourne, India
d) Names of individual lakes, islands, hills:- Dal lake, Mud island.

e) Before languages and nationalities

a) Rhyna speaks French at home.
b) He is learning German at
c) We are taught Italian at school.
d) Japanese ambassador would be visiting India next week.

 6) 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.
b) Father has promised me to buy a new laptop.
c) Aunt is coming home to see us. 

7) Before the names of substances and abstract nouns.

a) Sugar is a sweet poison.
b) Honesty is the best policy.
c) Silence is golden.
d) Patience is virtue. 

8) Before names of sports:-

a) Hockey is the national sport of India.
b) Soccer is liked by most people.
c) He has gone to play hockey.

9) Before names of academic subjects

a) Most students find maths tough.
b) I have studied biology at school level.
c) Computer Science is my favourite subject.

Usual vs Is Usual
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 07:10 PM

Usual v/s. Is Usual:

He is faster than is usual for any human being - Is correct.
He is faster than usual today - Is correct
A Mercedes is more expensive than usual for a car - Incorrect
A Mercedes is more expensive than is usual for a car - 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
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 07:11 PM

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.

     1.   Name 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

Idiom List
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 07:18 PM

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 as… So too

8)      X is different from Y (different than Y is incorrect)

9)      Same 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

24)   x forbids y to do z
x prohibits y from doing 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 idiom

Contributed By: Anupam Aggarwal
Auxiliary Verbs
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 07:19 PM

Auxiliary Verbs

    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.

They are used to form the passive voice.
They are used to form the continuous tense.
They are used to form the perfect tense.

Be, Do and Have are auxiliary verbs, they are irregular verbs and can be used as main verbs. The verbs 'to be' and 'to have' are the most commonly used auxiliary verbs and work alongside the main verbs in any statement.

Knowing correct auxiliary verb usage is key to tense usage.

Every tense takes an auxiliary form of the verb. There are three exceptions to this rule:

Simple present positive: She works at a bank.
Simple past positive: He bought a new TV last week.
Positive imperative statements: Hurry up!

There are also a number of short forms that take ONLY the auxiliary form of the verb:

Yes / No answer short forms:
Do you live in India? - No, I don't.
Has she been to Delhi? Yes, she has.

Question tags:
They enjoy learning English, don't they?
He won't agree with me, will he?

Positive agreement / inclusion:
I went to the beach last weekend.

  • So did I.

I'm working very hard at the moment. - So is she.

Negative agreement / inclusion:
They haven't worked here long. - Neither have I.
We won't be able to come next week. - Neither will I.

Here is a quick overview of auxiliary verb usage:

Used simple present question and negative forms:
What time does he get up?
They don't drive to work. They take the bus.

Used in simple past question and negative forms:
When did they arrive yesterday?
He didn't finish his homework last week.

Used in present continuous and for the future with 'going to':
They are working hard at the moment.
She is going to study medicine at university.

Past continuous:
I was watching TV when you arrived.
What were they doing while you were cooking dinner?

Present perfect and present perfect continuous:
How long have you lived here?
I've been working since seven this morning.

Past perfect and past perfect continuous:
He had eaten by the time I arrived.
She had been studying for two hours when he finally telephoned.

Future with 'will':
What will the weather be like tomorrow?
He won't understand.

Contributed by Clenched Fist

Happy Endings
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 07:21 PM

Adding endings

Usually endings (suffixes) can be added to base words without any complications. You just add them and that is that!

iron + ing = ironing
steam + er = steamer
list + less = listless

However, there are four groups of words which need especial care. Fortunately, there are some straightforward rules which save your learning thousands of words individually.

The 1-1-1 rule

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
flat + ly = flatly
win + some = winsome

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 = dropped
flat + est = flattest
win + ing = winning
sun + *y = sunny

*y counts as a vowel when it sounds like i or e. See VOWELS.

Treat qu as one letter:

quit + ing = quitting
quip + ed = quipped

Don’t double final w and x. They would look very odd and so we have correctly:

tax + ing = taxing
paw + ed = pawed

(ii) The magic -e rule

This rule applies to all words ending with a silent -e.
e.g. hope, care, achieve, sincere, separate.

When you add an ending beginning with a consonant, keep the -e:

hope + ful = hopeful
care + less = careless
sincere + ly = sincerely
separate + ly = separately
achieve + ment = achievement

When you add an ending beginning with a vowel, drop the -e:

hope + ing = hoping
care + er = carer
sincere + ity = sincerity
separate + ion = separation
achieve + ed = achieved

·     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).

·     Do remember to keep the -e with soft c and soft g words. It's the e that keeps them soft (courageous, traceable).

·     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 = portrayed
employ + ment = employment

When you add an ending to a word ending in a consonant + y, change the y to i:

try +al = trial
empty + er = emptier
pity + less = pitiless
lazy + ness = laziness

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
empty + ing = emptying

Don't apply the rule in these fourteen cases:

daily, gaily, gaiety, laid, paid,
said, slain, babyhood, shyly, shyness,
dryness, slyness, wryly, wryness.

(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:

gossip gossiping
target targeted
limit limitless
eager eagerness

But note that –

always double their final letter:

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
equip + ment = equipment

Double the final consonant of the base word when you add a vowel ending:

forget + ing = forgetting
equip + ed = equipped
forbid + en = forbidden
begin + er = beginner

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
instal + ment = instalment

Double the -l when adding a vowel ending:

quarrel + ing = quarrelling
instal + ed = installed
excel + ent = excellent

" Notice how the change of stress in these words affects the spelling:

·     confer conferred conferring conference

·     defer deferred deferring deference

·     infer inferred inferring inference

·     prefer preferred preferring preference

·     refer referred referring reference

·     transfer transferred transferring transference

Contributed By: Deep Thinker Gadha

List of Confusing Words
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 07:22 PM
Will, Going to, and Present Continuous.
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 07:23 PM

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, I’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.

Grammar Exercises
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 07:24 PM
List of Tones of Passages
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 07:26 PM
Improve Your Vocabulary
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 07:33 PM
  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 -----

by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 07:53 PM



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.

Direct Speech

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.

 Indirect Speech

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.

Subordinate Clauses

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
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 07:53 PM
  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.
Disinterested/ Uninterested
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 07:54 PM

Disinterested: impartial.
Example: a disinterested decision by a king.

               To write is to become disinterested. There is a certain renunciation in art.

Uninterested: not interested in.
Example: Not to like ice cream is to show oneself uninterested in food.

A collective noun takes a singular verb when it refers to the collection considered as a whole.
Eg. The family was united on this question.
      The committee has issued its reports.

It takes a plural verb when it refers to the members of the group considered as individuals.
My family are always fighting among themselves.
The committee have not announced a new policy.

The common collective nouns are committee, company, public, enemy, group, family, flock, firm,team, clergy etc.
Dependent Clause/ Question
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 07:55 PM

1. Introduction of a Dependent Clause

When the pronoun acts as the subject of the clause, use who.
He is a wonderful man who is destined for great things. (Who is the subject of the clause “who is destined for great things
or -- He is destined for great things.

When the pronoun acts as the object of the clause, use whom.
Jack wanted to know on who/whom the prank was pulled
. (Whom is the object of the clause whom the prank was pulled or  The prank was pulled on  him.)

 2. Introduction of a question:

When the answer to the question begins with a subjective personal pronoun (e.g.he/she/they), use who.
Who is the knocking at the door? He is knocking at the door. (He is subjective; therefore, who is correct.)

When the answer to the question is an objective personal pronoun (e.g. her/him/them), use whom.
Whom did you buy the cake for? I bought the cake for him. (Him is objective; therefore, whom is correct.)

In distinguishing between whoever and whomever, the same rules apply.

he = who/whoever
him = whom/whomever

Spot The Difference
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 07:59 PM

Spot The Difference.. By Raju Soni


(n) = noun

(v)= verb

(adj)= adjective

(pn)= pronoun


(adv)= adverb

(opp)= antonyms/opposite

Meanings are short enough to not make reading boring and long enough to be able to spot

the difference clearly !

· Vocation - (n)--(a principal occupation ) a type of work or way of life that you believe is especially suitable for you
· Avocation -(n)-- Something a person does in addition to a principal occupation, esp. for pleasure
Accessary -(adj)-- aiding and abetting in a crime

-(n)-- someone who helps another person commit a crime

· Accessory - (n)-- an extra piece of equipment that is useful but not essential or that can be added to sth else as a decoration

· Affection - (n)-- the feeling of liking or loving sb/sth very much and caring about them

· Affectation - (n)-- behaviour or an action that is not natural or sincere and that is often intended to impress other people

· Agnostic - (n)-- a person who is not sure whether or not God exists or who believes that we cannot know whether God exists or not

· Atheist - (n)-- a person who believes that God does not exist

· Allude -(v)-- allude to sb/sth - to mention sth in an indirect way

· Elude -(v)-- to avoid or escape by speed, cleverness, trickery, etc.; evade

· Amiable -(adj)-- pleasant; friendly and easy to like

· Amicable -(adj)-- done or achieved in a polite or friendly way and without quarrelling

· Apprise -(v)-- apprise sb of sth - to tell or inform sb of sth

· Appraise -(v)-- to make a formal judgement about the value of a person’s work, usually after a discussion with them about it

· Aught -(pn)-- Anything whatever; any part

· Ought -(v)--expressing duty or rightness

· Ament -(n)-- A person whose intellectual capacity remains undeveloped.

· Emend -(v)-- to remove the mistakes in a piece of writing, especially before it is printed

· Attenuate -(v)-- to make sth weaker or less effective

· Extenuate -(v)--make(guilty or an offence)seem less serious by referencing to another factor

· Brusque -(adj)-- using very few words and sounding rude

· Burlesque -(n)-- a performance or piece of writing which tries to make sth look ridiculous by representing it in a humorous way

· Bridle -(n)-- a set of leather bands, attached to REINS, which is put around a horse’s head and used for controlling it

-(v)-- to put a bridle on a horse

· Bridal -(adj)-- connected with a BRIDE or a wedding

· Broach -(v)-- ~ (sth) (to / with sb) to begin talking about a subject that is difficult to discuss, especially because it is embarrassing or because people disagree about it

· Brooch -(n)-- a piece of jewellery with a pin on the back of it, that can be fastened to your clothes

· Cannon -(n)-- an old type of large heavy gun, usually on wheels, that fires solid metal or stone balls

-(v)-- to hit sb/sth with a lot of force while you are moving

· Canon -(n)-- a Christian priest with special duties in a CATHEDRAL,

a generally accepted rule, standard or principle by which sth is judged

· Censor -(n)-- a person whose job is to examine books, films/movies, etc. and remove parts which are considered offensive, immoral or politically dangerous

-(v)-- to remove the parts of a book, film/movie, etc. that are considered offensive, immoral or politically dangerous

· Censure -(n)-- strong criticism

-(v)-- ~ sb (for sth) to criticize sb severely, and often publicly, because of sth they have done

· Cynosure -(n)-- something that strongly attracts attention by its brilliance, interest, etc.: the cynosure of all eyes.

· Climatic -(adj)-- connected with the weather of a particular area

· Climactic -(adj)-- (of an event or a point in time) very exciting, most important

· Complacent -(adj)-- ~ (about sb/sth) too satisfied with yourself or with a situation, so that you do not feel that any change is necessary; showing or feeling complacency

· Complaisant -(adj)-- ready to accept other people’s actions and opinions and to do what other people want

· Corporal -(n)-- a member of one of the lower ranks in the army, the MARINES or the British air force

· Corporeal -(adj)-- that can be touched; physical rather than spiritual

· Decry -(v)-- ~ sb/sth (as sth) to strongly criticize sb/sth, especially publicly

· Descry -(v)-- catch sight of , descern

· Delusion -(n)-- a false belief or opinion about yourself or your situation,

the act of believing or making yourself believe sth that is not true

· 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

· Deprecate -(v)-- to become less valuable over a period of time

· Depreciate -(v)-- to become less valuable over a period of time

· Disinterested -(adj)-- not influenced by personal feelings, or by the chance of getting some advantage for yourself

· Uninterested -(adj)-- ~ (in sb/sth) not interested; not wanting to know about sb/sth

· Elicit -(v)-- ~ sth (from sb) to get information or a reaction from sb, often with difficulty

· Illicit -(adj)-- not legally permitted or authorized; unlicensed; unlawful

· Errant -(adj)-- doing sth that is wrong; not behaving in an acceptable way

· Arrant -(adj)-- downright; thorough; unmitigated; notorious: an arrant fool.

· Expatiate -(v)-- to write or speak in detail about a subject

· Expiate -(v)-- to accept punishment for sth that you have done wrong in order to show that you are sorry

· Extant -(adj)-- still in existence

· Extent -(n)-- how large, important, serious, etc. sth is

· Equable -(adj)-- calm and not easily upset or annoyed

· Equitable -(adj)-- fair and reasonable; treating everyone in an equal way

· Forego -(v)-- to decide not to have or do sth that you would like to have or do

· Forgo -(v)-- to decide not to have or do sth that you would like to have or do

· Fractious -(adj)-- bad-tempered or easily upset, especially by small things

· Factious -(adj)-- of, inclined to, or characterized by faction.

· Farther -(adj)-- at a greater distance in space, direction or time

· Further -(adv)--to a greater degree or extent, in addition to what has just been said

· Gentle -(adj)-- calm and kind; doing things in a quiet and careful way

· 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

· Gourmet -(n)-- a person who knows a lot about good food and wines and who enjoys choosing, eating and drinking them

· Gourmand -(n)-- a person who enjoys eating and eats large amounts of food

· Immanent -(adj)-- present as a natural part of sth; present everywhere

· Imminent -(adj)-- likely to happen very soon

· Ingenious -(adj)-- (of an object, a plan, an idea, etc.) very suitable for a particular purpose and resulting from clever new ideas

· Ingenuous- (adj)-- honest, innocent and willing to trust people

Syn- Naive

· Knave -(n)-- a dishonest man or boy

· Nave - (n)-- the long central part of a church where most of the seats are

· Martial -(adj)-- connected with fighting or war

· Marital -(adj)-- connected with marriage or with the relationship between a husband and wife

· Meet -(v)-- to be in the same place as sb by chance and talk to them

· Mete -(v)-- to give sb a punishment; to make sb suffer bad treatment

· Mendacity -(n)-- the act of not telling the truth

· Mendicity -(n)--

· Mystical -(adj)-- having spiritual powers or qualities that are difficult to understand or to explain

· Mythical -(adj)-- existing only in ancient myths, that does not exist or is not true

· Mote -(n)-- a very small piece of dust

· 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

· Objurgate -(adj)-- to scold or rebuke sharply; berate.

· Obdurate -(adj)-- refusing to change your mind or your actions in any way

Syn- Stubborn

· Officious -(adj)-- too ready to tell people what to do or to use the power you have to give orders

· Official -(adj)-- connected with the job of sb who is in a position of authority

· Principle -(n)-- a moral rule or a strong belief that influences your actions

· Principal -(n)-- the person who is in charge of a college or a university

· Panegyric -(n)-- a speech or piece of writing praising sb/sth

· Paregoric -(n)-- soothing, a medicine used to make pacify.

· Perspicacity -(adj)-- able to understand sb/sth quickly and accurately; showing this

· Perspicuity -(n)-- clearness or lucidity, as of a statement, the quality of being perspicuous.

· Prescribe -(v)-- ~ (sb) sth (for sth) (of a doctor) to tell sb to take a particular medicine or have a particular treatment; to write a

· Proscribe -(v)-- to say officially that sth is forbidden

· Provident -(adj)-- careful in planning for the future, especially by saving money

· Providential -(adj)-- lucky because it happens at the right time, but without being planned

· Quiet -(adj)-- not disturbed; peaceful

· Quite -(adv)-- to a great degree; very; really

· Reign -(n)-- the period during which a king, queen, EMPEROR, etc. rules

· Rein -(n)-- a long, narrow, leather band that is fastened around a horse’s neck and is held by the rider in order to control the horse

· Sear -(v)-- to burn the surface of sth in a way that is sudden and powerful

· Seer -(n)-- (in the past) a person who claimed that they could see what was going to happen in the future

· Simulate -(v)-- to create particular conditions that exist in real life using computers, models, etc., usually for study or training purposes, to be made to look like sth else

· Dissimulate -(v)-- to hide your real feelings or intentions, often by pretending to have different ones

· Spacious -(adj)-- (of a room or building) large and with plenty of space for people to move around in

· Specious -(adj)-- seeming right or true but actually wrong or false

· Stationary -(adj)-- not moving; not intended to be moved


· Stationery -(n)-- materials for writing and for using in an office, for example paper, pens and envelopes

· Temperance -(n)-- the practice of not drinking alcohol because of your moral or religious beliefs, the practice of controlling your behaviour, the amount you eat, etc., so that it is always reasonable

· Temperament -(n)-- a person’s or an animal’s nature as shown in the way they behave or react to situations or people

· Unexceptional -(adj)-- not interesting or unusual

syn Unremarkable

· Unexceptionable -(adj)-- not giving any reason for criticism, not very new or exciting

· Urban -(adj)-- connected with a town or city

· Urbane -(adj)-- (especially of a man) good at knowing what to say and how to behave in social situations; appearing relaxed and confident

· Vain -(adj)-- that does not produce the result you want

· Vein -(adj)-- any of the tubes that carry blood from all parts of the body to the heart

· Venal -(adj)-- prepared to do dishonest or immoral things in return for money

· Venial -(adj)-- (of a SIN or mistake) not very serious and therefore able to be forgiven

· Voracity -(adj)-- eating or wanting large amounts of food, wanting a lot of new information and knowledge

· Veracity -(n)-- the quality of being true; the habit of telling the truth

syn - Truthfulness

· Whet -(v)-- to increase your desire for or interest in sth

· Wet -(adj)-- covered or soaked with liquid, especially water

· Wreath -(n)-- an arrangement of flowers and leaves, especially in the shape of a circle, placed on graves, etc. as a sign of respect for sb who has died

· Wreathe -(v)-- ~ sth (in / with sth) to surround or cover sth, to move slowly and lightly, especially in circles

Who/ Whom
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 08:43 PM


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
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 08:44 PM

There are three normal positions for adverbs in a sentence:

1) initial position (before the subject)
2) mid position
(between the subject and the verb or immediately after be as a main verb) or
3) end position
(at the end of the clause).

Different types of adverbs favour different positions and I describe these trends below. There are sometimes exceptions to the general rule, so please regard this as a basic guide.


Initial position

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:

  • Two of the workers were sacked, and, as a result, everybody went on strike.
  • We invited all the family. However, not everyone could come.
  • The weather will stay fine today, but tomorrow it will rain.
  • Initially, his condition remained stable, but over the last few weeks it has deteriorated.
  • Sita ran the office, although, officially, Ravi was the manager.
  • I haven't made any plans yet, but presumably you'll want to show her around mumbai


mid position

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:

  • She's been everywhere - she's even been to Tibet and Nepal.
  • Ravi won't be back yet, but I'll just see if Sita's home. I'll give her a ring.
  • My boss often travels to Malaysia and Singapore but I've never been there.
  • Have you finished yet? I haven't quite finished. I've almost finished.
  • She's obviously a very bossy woman. ~ I completely agree!


end position

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:

  • I had a tennis lesson last week, but I'm usually travelling in the middle of the month, so I don't have a lesson every week.
  • How long have you been here? Not long. We arrived about five minutes ago.
  • I chewed the food slowly because it hadn't been cooked very well.
  • She was standing at her window, looking out at her children who were playing in the garden.

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:

  • They played happily together in the garden the whole afternoon.


When adverbs modify adjectives, they are placed immediately before them:

  • We had some really interesting news last night. John's been offered a job in Australia. He's absolutely delighted.
  • I bought an incredibly expensive dress last week which fits me perfectly. But John says I shouldn't wear it. He says it's too tight.

An exception to this rule is enough which is placed after the adjective or adverb that it modifies:

  • I got up quite early but not early enough to eat a good breakfast.

Contributed By- Manika Tondon

In spite of/ despite
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 08:10 PM

In spite of/ despite

I couldn’t sleep despite/ in spite of

feeling tired (+ing)

My tiredness (+ noun)

the fact that I was tired ( + the fact that)

CAT 2009, CAT 2010, Verbal, Grammar, CAT Coaching, CAT Online Preparation, CAT papers

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.

Who/ Whom
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 08:12 PM
    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
Future Tense
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 08:39 PM

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.


  • By next November, I will have received my promotion.
  • By the time he gets home, she is going to have cleaned the entire house.
  • I am not going to have finished this test by 3 o'clock.
  • Will she have learned enough Chinese to communicate before she moves to Beijing?
  • Sam is probably going to have completed the proposal by the time he leaves this afternoon.
  • By the time I finish this course, I will have taken ten tests.
  • How many countries are you going to have visited by the time you turn 50?

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.


  • I will have been in London for six months by the time I leave.
  • By Monday, Susan is going to have had my book for a week.

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.


  • I am going to see a movie when I will have finished my homework. Not Correct
  • I am going to see a movie when I have finished my homework. Correct

Contributed By Gowri Nandana

Your vs You're
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 08:39 PM


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 “your

Contributed By Gowri Nandana
Affect vs Effect
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 08:38 PM

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.


  1. Something brought about by a cause or agent; a result.
  2. The power to produce an outcome or achieve a result; influence: The drug had an immediate effect on the pain. The government's action had no effect on the trade imbalance.
  3. A scientific law, hypothesis, or phenomenon: the photovoltaic effect.
  4. Advantage; avail: used her words to great effect in influencing the jury.
  5. The condition of being in full force or execution: a new regulation that goes into effect tomorrow.
    1. Something that produces a specific impression or supports a general design or intention: The lighting effects emphasized the harsh atmosphere of the drama.
    2. A particular impression: large windows that gave an effect of spaciousness.
    3. Production of a desired impression: spent lavishly on dinner just for effect.
  7. The basic or general meaning; import: He said he was greatly worried, or words to that effect.

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.

  • Example: The new manager effected some positive changes in the office. (This means that the new manager caused some positive changes to take place in the office.)

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
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 08:36 PM


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.

The Bottom Line

Than is used only in comparisons, so if you're comparing something use than. If not, then you have to use then

Contributed By Gowri Nandana
There vs Their
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 08:36 PM

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.

3. 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
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 08:35 PM

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.

It's been good to know you. Contraction:it has
It's a bird! It's a plane! Contraction: it is

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
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 08:34 PM

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.

CAT 2009, CAT 2010, Grammar, Verbal, MBA in IndiaYou 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
by Dagny Taggart - Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 08:32 PM
  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
by sunil goyal - Thursday, 3 December 2009, 12:07 AM

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" ...