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English Grammar

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English Grammar

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 06, 2015 5:57 pm

To compare people, places, events or things, when there is no difference, use as + adjective + as:
• Peter is 24 years old. John is 24 years old. Peter is as old as John.
• Moscow is as cold as St. Petersburg in the winter.
• Ramona is as happy as Raphael.
• Einstein is as famous as Darwin.
• A tiger is as dangerous as a lion.


The Present Participle

The present participle of most verbs has the form base+ing and is used in the following ways:
a. as part of the continuous form of a verb
(See continuous tenses in VERB TENSES)


• I am working
• he was singing
• they have been walking
b. after verbs of movement/position in the pattern: verb + present participle

• She went shopping
• He lay looking up at the clouds
• She came running towards me

This construction is particularly useful with the verb 'to go', as in these common expressions :

to go shopping
to go ski-ing
to go fishing
to go surfing to go walking
to go swimming
to go running
to go dancing

c. after verbs of perception in the pattern:

verb + object + present participle

• I heard someone singing.
• He saw his friend walking along the road.
• I can smell something burning!

NOTE: There is a difference in meaning when such a sentence contains a zero-infinitive rather than a participle. The infinitive refers to a complete action, but the participle refers to an incomplete action, or part of an action.

• I heard Joanna singing (= she had started before I heard her, and probably went on afterwards)
• I heard Joanna sing (= I heard her complete performance)
d. as an adjective

amazing, worrying, exciting, boring.
• It was an amazing film.
• It's a bit worrying when the police stop you
• Dark billowing clouds often precede a storm.
• Racing cars can go as fast as 400kph.
• He was trapped inside the burning house.
• Many of his paintings depict the setting sun.
e. with the verbs spend and waste, in the pattern:
verb + time/money expression + present participle
• My boss spends two hours a day travelling to work.
• Don't waste time playing computer games!
• They've spent the whole day shopping.

f. with the verbs catch and find, in the pattern:

verb + object + present participle:

With catch, the participle always refers to an action which causes annoyance or anger:
• If I catch you stealing my apples again, there'll be trouble!
• Don't let him catch you reading his letters.
This is not the case with find, which is unemotional:
• We found some money lying on the ground.
• They found their mother sitting in the garden.

g. to replace a sentence or part of a sentence:

When two actions occur at the same time, and are done by the same person or thing, we can use a present participle to describe one of them:
• They went out into the snow. They laughed as they went.  They went laughing out into the snow.
• He whistled to himself. He walked down the road.  Whistling to himself, he walked down the road.
When one action follows very quickly after another done by the same person or thing, we can express the first action with a present participle:
• He put on his coat and left the house.  Putting on his coat, he left the house.
• She dropped the gun and put her hands in the air.  Dropping the gun, she put her hands in the air.
The present participle can be used instead of a phrase starting as, since, because, and it explains the cause or reason for an action:

• Feeling hungry, he went into the kitchen and opened the fridge.
(= because he felt hungry...)
• Being poor, he didn't spend much on clothes.
• Knowing that his mother was coming, he cleaned the flat.

Adverbs of Certainty


Adverbs of certainty express how certain or sure we feel about an action or event.
Common adverbs of certainty:

certainly, definitely, probably, undoubtedly, surely

1. Adverbs of certainty go before the main verb but after the verb 'to be':
• He definitely left the house this morning.
• He is probably in the park.

2. With other auxiliary verb, these adverbs go between the auxiliary and the main verb:
• He has certainly forgotten the meeting.
• He will probably remember tomorrow.

3. Sometimes these adverbs can be placed at the beginning of the sentence:
• Undoubtedly, Winston Churchill was a great politician.
BE CAREFUL! with surely. When it is placed at the beginning of the sentence, it means the speaker thinks something is true, but is looking for confirmation:
• Surely you've got a bicycle?


Time/place references change when using reported speech

• "I will see you here tomorrow", she said.  She said that she would see me there the next day.
The most common of these changes are shown below:

Today > that day

"I saw him today", she said. She said that she had seen him that day.

Yesterday >the day before

"I saw him yesterday", she said. She said that she had seen him the day before.

The day before yesterday >two days before

"I met her the day before yesterday", he said. He said that he had met her two days before.

Tomorrow >the next/following day

"I'll see you tomorrow", he said He said that he would see me the next day.

The day after tomorrow >in two days time/ two days later

"We'll come the day after tomorrow", they said. They said that they would come in two days time/ two days later.

Next week/month/year >the following week/month/year

"I have an appointment next week", she said. She said that she had an appointment the following week.

Last week/month/year >the previous/week/month/year

"I was on holiday last week", he told us. He told us that he had been on holiday the previous week.

ago >before

"I saw her a week ago," he said. He said he had seen her a week before.

this (for time) >that

"I'm getting a new car this week", she said. She said she was getting a new car that week.

this/that (adjectives) the

"Do you like this shirt?" he asked He asked if I liked the shirt.

here there

He said, "I live here". He told me he lived there.

Other changes:

In general, personal pronouns change to the third person singular or plural, except when the speaker reports his own words:

• I/me/my/mine, you/your/yours  him/his/her/hers

• we/us/our/ours, you/your/yours  they/their/theirs:

• He said: "I like your new car."  He told her that he liked her new car.

• I said: "I'm going to my friend's house."  I said that I was going to my friend's house.


To compare the difference between two people, things or events.


• Mt. Everest is higher than Mt. Blanc.
• Thailand is sunnier than Norway.
• A car is more expensive than a bicycle.
• Albert is more intelligent than Arthur.

Adverbs: Comparative & Superlative


In general, comparative and superlative forms of adverbs are the same as for adjectives:
• add -er or -est to short adverbs:
Adverb Comparative Superlative
fast harder
faster the hardest
the latest
the fastest


• Jim works harder than his brother.
• Everyone in the race ran fast, but John ran the fastest of all.

With adverbs ending in -ly, use more for the comparative and most for the superlative:

Adverb Comparative Superlative
seriously more quietly
more slowly
more seriously most quietly
most slowly
most seriously

• The teacher spoke more slowly to help us to understand.
• Could you sing more quietly please?

Some adverbs have irregular comparative forms:
Adverb Comparative Superlative
well worse
better worst


• The little boy ran further than his friends.
• You're driving worse today than yesterday !
BE CAREFUL! Sometimes 'most' can mean 'very':
• We were most grateful for your help
• I am most impressed by this application.



Using the comparative of adjectives in English is quite easy once you have understood the few simple rules that govern them.
Below you will find the rules with examples for each condition.
If you are not sure what a syllable or a consonant is - have a look here.

Number of syllables Comparative Superlative (see rule)

one syllable + -er + -est
tall taller tallest

one syllable with the spelling consonant + single vowel + consonant: double the final consonant:
fat fatter fattest
big bigger biggest
sad sadder saddest

Number of syllables Comparative Superlative

two syllables + -er OR more + adj + -est OR most + adj
ending in: -y, -ly, -ow
ending in: -le, -er or -ure

these common adjectives - handsome, polite, pleasant, common, quiet
happy happier/ more happy happiest/ most happy
yellow yellower/ more yellow yellowest/ most yellow
simple simpler/ more simple simplest/ most simple
tender tenderer/ more tender tenderest/ most tender

If you are not sure, use MORE + OR MOST +
Note: Adjectives ending in '-y' like happy, pretty, busy, sunny, lucky etc:. replace the -y with -ier or -iest in the comparative and superlative form
busy busier busiest

Number of syllables Comparative Superlative

three syllables or more more + adj most + adj
important more important most important
expensive more expensive most expensive


To show no difference: as much as , as many as, as few as, as little as
• as many as / as few as + countable nouns
• as much as / as little as + uncountable nouns


With countable nouns:
• They have as many children as us.
• We have as many customers as them.
• Tom has as few books as Jane.
• There are as few houses in his village as in mine.
• You know as many people as I do.
• I have visited the States as many times as he has.

With uncountable nouns:

• John eats as much food as Peter.
• Jim has as little food as Sam.
• You've heard as much news as I have.
• He's had as much success as his brother has.
• They've got as little water as we have.

To show difference: more, less, fewer + than
To show no difference: as much as , as many as, as few as, as little as


Words can be combined to form compound nouns. These are very common, and new combinations are invented almost daily. They normally have two parts. The second part identifies the object or person in question (man, friend, tank, table, room). The first part tells us what kind of object or person it is, or what its purpose is (police, boy, water, dining, bed):
What type / what purpose What or who
police man
boy friend
water tank
dining table
bed room
The two parts may be written in a number of ways :
1. as one word.
Example: policeman, boyfriend
2. as two words joined with a hyphen.
Example: dining-table
3. as two separate words.
Example: fish tank.
There are no clear rules about this - so write the common compounds that you know well as one word, and the others as two words.
The two parts may be: Examples:
noun + noun bedroom
water tank
printer cartridge
noun + verb rainfall
noun + adverb hanger-on
verb + noun washing machine
driving licence
swimming pool
verb + adverb* lookout
adjective + noun greenhouse
adjective + verb dry-cleaning
public speaking
adverb + noun onlooker
adverb + verb* output

Compound nouns often have a meaning that is different from the two separate words.
Stress is important in pronunciation, as it distinguishes between a compound noun (e.g. greenhouse) and an adjective with a noun (e.g. green house).
In compound nouns, the stress usually falls on the first syllable:
a 'greenhouse = place where we grow plants (compound noun)
a green 'house = house painted green (adjective and noun)
a 'bluebird = type of bird (compound noun)
a blue 'bird = any bird with blue feathers (adjective and noun)
* Many common compound nouns are formed from phrasal verbs (verb + adverb or adverb + verb).
breakdown, outbreak, outcome, cutback, drive-in, drop-out, feedback, flyover, hold-up, hangover, outlay, outlet, inlet, makeup, output, set-back, stand-in, takeaway, walkover.


Countable nouns are for things we can count
dog, horse, man, shop, idea.
They usually have a singular and plural form.
two dogs, ten horses, a man, six men, the shops, a few ideas.
Uncountable nouns are for the things that we cannot count
tea, sugar, water, air, rice.
They are often the names for abstract ideas or qualities.
knowledge, beauty, anger, fear, love.
They are used with a singular verb. They usually do not have a plural form. We cannot say sugars, angers, knowledges.
Examples of common uncountable nouns:
• money, furniture, happiness, sadness, research, evidence, safety, beauty, knowledge.
We cannot use a/an with these nouns. To express a quantity of one of these nouns, use a word or expression like:
some, a lot of, a piece of, a bit of, a great deal of...
• There has been a lot of research into the causes of this disease.
• He gave me a great deal of advice before my interview.
• They've got a lot of furniture.
• Can you give me some information about uncountable nouns?
Some nouns are countable in other languages but uncountable in English. Some of the most common of these are:
luggage news
BE CAREFUL with the noun 'hair' which is normally uncountable in English:
• She has long blonde hair
It can also be countable when referring to individual hairs:
• My father's getting a few grey hairs now
See also Adjectives - Comparisons of quantity
How to form relative clauses
As the name suggests, these clauses give essential information to define or identify the person or thing we are talking about. Obviously, this is only necessary if there is more than one person or thing involved.
• Dogs that like cats are very unusual.
In this sentence we understand that there are many dogs, but it is clear that we are only talking about the ones that like cats.
• Commas are not used in defining relative clauses.
Relative pronouns
The following relative pronouns are used in defining relative clauses:
  Person Thing Place Time Reason
Subject who/that which/that
Object who/whom/that/ which/that/ where when why
Possessive whose whose      
1. The relative pronoun stands in place of a noun.
This noun usually appears earlier in the sentence:
The woman who/that spoke at the meeting was very knowledgeable.
Noun, subject of
main clause relative pronoun referring to 'the woman', subject of 'spoke' verb + rest of relative clause verb + rest of main clause
2. Who, whom and which can be replaced by that. This is very common in spoken English.
3. The relative pronoun can be omitted when it is the object of the clause
The woman that the man loved was living in New York.
Noun, subject of main clause relative pronoun, referring to 'the woman', object of 'loved' verb + rest of relative clause verb + rest of main clause.
(You can usually decide whether a relative pronoun is an object because it is normally followed by another subject + verb.)
4. Whose is used for things as well as for people.
• The man whose car was stolen.
• A tree whose leaves have fallen.
5. Whom is very formal and is only used in written English. You can use who/that, or omit the pronoun completely :
• The doctor whom/who/that/ I was hoping to see wasn't on duty.
6. That normally follows words like something, anything, everything, nothing, all, and superlatives.
• There's something that you should know.
• It was the best film that I've ever seen.
• A clown is someone who makes you laugh.
• An elephant is an animal that lives in hot countries.
• The plums that were in the fridge were delicious. I have eaten them.
• Where are the plums (that) I put in the fridge?
• Has anyone seen the book I was reading?
• Nothing that anyone does can replace my lost bag.
• Let's go to a country where the sun always shines.
• They live in the house whose roof is full of holes.
In a statement, these words define or explain which thing or person is referred to:
• He went back to the house. (Which house?) The house which stood on the corner. = He went back to the house which stood on the corner.
• I saw the man. (Which man?) The man whose car you damaged. = I saw the man whose car you damaged.
• He couldn't remember which film he had seen.
• That's the man whose wife works in my office.
• Tell me which coffee you like.
• The woman whose dog bit you is at the door.
Adverbs of Degree
Adverbs of degree tell us about the intensity or degree of an action, an adjective or another adverb.
Common adverbs of degree:
Almost, nearly, quite, just, too, enough, hardly, scarcely, completely, very, extremely.
Adverbs of degree are usually placed:
1. before the adjective or adverb they are modifying:
e.g. The water was extremely cold.
2. before the main verb:
e.g. He was just leaving. She has almost finished.
• She doesn't quite know what she'll do after university.
• They are completely exhausted from the trip.
• I am too tired to go out tonight.
• He hardly noticed what she was saying.
Enough, very, too
Enough as an adverb meaning 'to the necessary degree' goes after adjectives and adverbs.
• Is your coffee hot enough? (adjective)
• He didn't work hard enough. (adverb)
It also goes before nouns, and means 'as much as is necessary'. In this case it is not an adverb, but a 'determiner'.
• We have enough bread.
• They don't have enough food.
Too as an adverb meaning 'more than is necessary or useful' goes before adjectives and adverbs, e.g.
• This coffee is too hot. (adjective)
• He works too hard. (adverb)
Enough and too with adjectives can be followed by 'for someone/something'.
• The dress was big enough for me.
• She's not experienced enough for this job.
• The coffee was too hot for me.
• The dress was too small for her.
We can also use 'to + infinitive' after enough and too with adjectives/adverb.
• The coffee was too hot to drink.
• He didn't work hard enough to pass the exam.
• She's not old enough to get married.
• You're too young to have grandchildren!
Very goes before an adverb or adjective to make it stronger.
• The girl was very beautiful. (adjective)
• He worked very quickly. (adverb)
If we want to make a negative form of an adjective or adverb, we can use a word of opposite meaning, or not very.
• The girl was ugly OR The girl was not very beautiful
• He worked slowly OR He didn't work very quickly.
BE CAREFUL! There is a big difference between too and very.
• Very expresses a fact:
He speaks very quickly.
• Too suggests there is a problem:
He speaks too quickly (for me to understand).
Other adverbs like very
These common adverbs are used like very and not very, and are listed in order of strength, from positive to negative:
extremely, especially, particularly, pretty, rather, quite, fairly, rather, not especially, not particularly.
Note: rather can be positive or negative, depending on the adjective or adverb that follows:
Positive: The teacher was rather nice.
Negative: The film was rather disappointing.
Note on inversion with negative adverbs
Normally the subject goes before the verb:
She left
However, some negative adverbs can cause an inversion - the order is reversed and the verb goes before the subject
• I have never seen such courage.  Never have I seen such courage.
• She rarely left the house.  Rarely did she leave the house.
Negative inversion is used in writing, not in speaking.
Other adverbs and adverbial expressions that can be used like this:
seldom, scarcely, hardly, not only .....
but also, no sooner .....
than, not until, under no circumstances.
1. Function
The demonstratives this, that, these, those ,show where an object or person is in relation to the speaker.
This (singular) and these (plural) refer to an object or person near the speaker. That (singular) and those (plural) refer to an object or person further away. It can be a physical closeness or distance as in:
• Who owns that house? (distant)
• Is this John's house? (near)
Or it can be a psychological distance as in:
• That's nothing to do with me.. (distant)
• This is a nice surprise! (near)
2. Position
• Before the noun.
• Before the word 'one'.
• Before an adjective + noun.
• Alone when the noun is 'understood'.
• This car looks cleaner than that one.
• This old world keeps turning round
• Do you remember that wonderful day in June?
• I'll never forget this.
These words refer to something different, remaining, or additional.
They are placed before the noun.
Another is used with singular nouns.
Other with singular or plural.
• There are other jobs you could try.
• Where's the other packet of cereals?
• Is there any other bread?
• Have another cup of tea.
These words can be used in the following ways:
ALL + 1
4b -
my, your, etc.
this, that
these, those Uncountable noun
Countable noun in the plural
Uncountable noun
Countable noun in the plural
1. All cheese contains protein
All children need affection
2. All the people in the room were silent.
Have you eaten all the bread?
3. I've invited all my friends to the party.
I've been waiting all my life for this opportunity.
4a. Who's left all this paper on my desk?
4b. Look at all those balloons!
BOTH + 1
4 -
my, your, etc.
these, those
Countable noun in the plural
1. Both children were born in Italy.
2. He has crashed both (of) the cars.
3. Both (of) my parents have fair hair.
4 You can take both (of) these books back to the library.
See note below

HALF + 1
4 a
my, your, etc.
this, that,
these, those Uncountable
countable noun
1. I bought half a kilo of apples yesterday.
2. You can have half (of) the cake.
She gave me half (of) the apples.
3. I've already given you half (of) my money.
Half (of) his books were in French.
4 Half (of) these snakes are harmless
You can take half (of) this sugar.
NOTE: All, both, half + OF: 'OF' must be added when followed by a pronoun:
All of you; both of us; half of them
It is also quite common to add it in most of the above situations except when there is no article (No.1 in all the tables above.)
These distributive words are normally used with singular nouns, and are placed before the noun.
Each, either and neither can be used with plural nouns but must be followed by 'of':
Each is a way of seeing the members of a group as individuals:
• Each child received a present.
• Each of the children received a present.
Every is a way of seeing a group as a series of members:
• Every child in the world deserves affection.
It can also express different points in a series, especially with time expressions:
• Every third morning John goes jogging.
• This magazine is published every other week.
Either and Neither are concerned with distribution between two things - either is positive, neither is negative:
• Which chair do you want? Either chair will do.
• I can stay at either hotel, they are both good
• There are two chairs here. You can take either of them.
• Neither chair is any good, they're both too small.
• Which chair do you want? Neither of them - they're both too small.
These words refer to a group of people or things, and to individual members of the group. They show different ways of looking at the individuals within a group, and they express how something is distributed, shared or divided.

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Date d'inscription : 2014-01-16

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