I summarise here some basic principles of grammar. These are not hard and fast rules. Those who are writing examinations have to exercise greater care and caution about preciseness of grammar rules. For others, we can use functional English. I plan to study and add to this blog more principles of grammar , probably raising the number to 1000.
∗ Sentences are group of words.
∗ Sentences must make complete sense.
∗ Interrogatives ask questions .
∗ Imperatives make commands .
∗ An entreaty is grammatically an imperative .
∗ Exclamatives express strong feelings .
∗ Declarative sentences make statements .
∗ Assertive sentences make assertions and statements .
∗ A subject is what we speak about in a sentence .
∗ Predicate tells something about the subject .
∗ Should every sentence start with its subject ?
∗ Imperative sentences can omit subject .
∗ Phrases need not make complete sense .
∗ A clause must have a subject and a predicate .
∗ A principal clause in a sentence must make complete sense .
∗ A subordinate clause in a sentence need not make complete sense .
∗ The designation of a word as a part of speech depends on its usage .
∗ Noun can be name of a person , place or thing .
∗ An adjective adds something to the meaning of a noun .
∗ Pronoun is a word used in place of a noun .
∗ Verb can express action or state .
∗ Adverb can add meaning to an adjective / adverb / verb .
∗ A preposition comes before a noun .
∗ Conjunctions can join sentences or words .
∗ We can use an interjection to express feelings and surprises .
∗ We can use the word hotel with the ' indefinite article ' a or an depending on how we pronounce the aspirate .
∗ Interjections express feelings .
∗ The adjective ' common ' in ' common noun ' means ' shared by all ' .
∗ The adjective ' proper ' in ' proper noun ' means ' one's own ' .
∗ A collective noun speaks of things as one whole .
∗ Many abstract nouns have their origin in adjectives .
∗ Names of arts are abstract nouns .
∗ Names of sciences are abstract nouns .
∗ Abstract nouns can express quality .
∗ Abstract nouns can express state .
∗ Abstract nouns can express action .
∗ ' Laughter ' is an abstract noun .
∗ Abstract nouns can independently speak of qualities ; the qualities may be of concrete nouns .
∗ Verbs can give rise to abstract nouns .
∗ Common nouns can give rise to abstract nouns .
∗ Every common noun need not be countable .
∗ Abstract nouns are uncountable as long as they do not become common nouns .
∗ Gold and milk are examples of uncountables .
∗ Uncountable nouns do not have plural forms .
∗ The collective noun for cattle is ' herd ' .
∗ Masculine gender denotes male sex .
∗ Feminine gender denotes female sex .
∗ Common gender can denote a male or female sex .
∗ Neuter gender suits for lifeless things .
∗ Gender in some languages does not denote a physiological sex .
∗ Some languages arbitrarily allocate gender to words .
∗ Personified objects can have a masculine or feminine gender .
∗ Sun is masculine in English .
∗ Moon is feminine in English .
∗ Summer is masculine in English grammar .
∗ Winter is masculine in English grammar .
∗ Time is male in English grammar .
∗ Some grammarians consider death as masculine ; death is to be neuter .
∗ Some grammarians treat earth as feminine ; earth is to be neuter .
∗ Some grammarians view ' spring ' as feminine; spring is to be neuter .
∗ Some grammarians feel that ' nature ' is feminine .
∗ Some grammarians feel that ' autumn ' is feminine .
∗ Is justice feminine ?
∗ Is mercy feminine ?
∗ Is peace feminine ?
∗ Is hope feminine ?
∗ Is charity feminine ?
∗ Sometimes a ship can be feminine .
∗ The feminine for ' bachelor ' is ' maid ' or ' spinster ' .
∗ The feminine for a buck is a doe .
∗ The feminine for a bullock is a heifer .
∗ The feminine for a horse is a mare .
∗ The feminine for a hart ( stag ) is a roe .
∗ The feminine for a frier is a nun .
∗ The feminine for a mouse is a doe .
∗ The feminine for a colt is a filly .
∗ The masculine for a duck is a drake .
∗ The masculine for a bee is a drone .
∗ The feminine for an earl is a countess .
∗ The feminine for a gander is a goose .
∗ The feminine for a ram is a ewe .
∗ The feminine for a red stag is a hind .
∗ A singular noun denotes only one person or thing .
∗ A plural noun denotes more than one person or thing .
∗ The grammar of Sanskrit language has three numbers .
∗ The plural for a dynamo is dynamos .
∗ The plural for a buffalo is buffaloes .
∗ The plural for a mango is mangoes ; but for a kilo , kilos .
∗ The plural for a thief is thieves , but the plural for a chief is chiefs .
∗ The plural for a knife is knives , but the plural for a safe is safes .
∗ Some nouns form their plural by changing an inside vowel .
∗ The plural for trout (a sort of riverine fish) is trout .
∗ Scissors are plural .
∗ Bellows are plural .
∗ Tongs are plural .
∗ Pincers are plural .
∗ Spectacles are plural .
∗ Trousers are plural .
∗ Drawers are plural .
∗ Breeches are plural .
∗ Jeans are plural .
∗ Tights are plural .
∗ Shorts are plural .
∗ Pyjamas are plural .
∗ Annals are plural .
∗ Thanks are plural .
∗ Proceeds of sales are plural .
∗ Tidings are plural .
∗ Environs are plural .
∗ Nuptials are plural .
∗ Obsequies are plural .
∗ Assets are often plural .
∗ Chattels are often plural .
∗ Alms are plural in current English .
∗ Riches are plural in current English .
∗ Eves ( projecting border of a roof ) , are plural .
∗ Mathematics is singular .
∗ Physics is singular .
∗ Electronics is singular .
∗ New is often singular .
∗ Measles is singular .
∗ Mumps is singular .
∗ Rickets is singular .
∗ Billiards is singular .
∗ Droughts is singular .
∗ Innings is singular .
∗ Means ( wealth ) are plural .
∗ Means can be singular or plural .
∗ Poultry are plural .
∗ Cattle are plural .
∗ Vermin are plural .
∗ People are plural .
∗ Gentry are plural .
∗ Peoples refer to people of different countries .
∗ We should add 's' to the principal word , while converting composite words into plural .
∗ Erratum is singular for errata .
∗ Indices are plural for index .
∗ Radii are plural for radius .
∗ Axes are plural for axis .
∗ Crises are plural for crisis .
∗ Bases are plural for basis .
∗ Analyses are plural for analysis .
∗ Banditti is also a plural for a bandit .
∗ Cherubim is also a plural for cherub .
∗ Seraphim is also a plural for seraph .
∗ Brethren refer to members of same society whereas brothers refer to sons of same father .
∗ Cloths refer to different kinds of fabrics .
∗ Dies refer to stamps used in coining and dice refer to gambling cubes .
∗ Indexes refer to table of contents in books .
∗ Indices refer to algebric signs .
∗ Pennies are number of coins and pence refer to amount in value .
∗ Lights in plural refer to lamps .
∗ Practices in plural refer to habits .
∗ Colors in plural may refer to flags of a regiment .
∗ Customs in plural may refer to export and import duties .
∗ Effects in plural have a meaning of property .
∗ Manners in plural may also refer to correct behavior .
∗ Pains in plural can also mean care and exertion .
∗ Premises in plural may refer to buildings .
∗ Premise in singular refers only to a proposition .
∗ Quarters in plural can also refer to lodgings .
∗ Spectacles in plural can also refer to eye glasses .
∗ Letters in plural can refer to epistles as well as literature .
∗ Dregs ( sediment ) was singular earlier , but are plural now .
∗ Airs- in plural are affected manners .
∗ Abstract Nouns have no plural .
∗ Some abstract nouns can be converted into countable nouns .
∗ Names of many substances are uncountables .
∗ A noun will be in subjective case when it is used as a subject .
∗ Subject verb agreement requires that verb should conform to the person and number of the subject .
∗ Adjective used at the end of a sentence , if it describes a subject , becomes a subject complement .
∗ A subordinate conjunction is useful in complex sentences .
∗ A subordinate conjunction does not join two equal rank clauses .
∗ A coordinating conjunction links two equal rank clauses /sentences .
∗ ' And ' is an example of a coordinate conjunction .
∗ Every common noun need not be a countable noun .
∗ All conjunctions are not coordinating .
∗ Certain adjectives like ' perfect ' do not have a comparative degree .
∗ Verbs need conjugation to indicate past tense , present tense third person singular , and progressive tense .
∗ Many verbs of emotion do not have a progressive tense .
∗ A complex sentence must have at least two clauses .
∗ A compound sentence must have at least two principal clauses .
∗ We can use coordinate conjunctions to link two words or two sentences .
∗ The correlative conjunctions come in pairs .
∗ ' Either - or ' is an example of a correlative conjunction .
∗ A clause used as a noun , becomes a noun clause .
∗ The noun clauses can be used either as subjects or objects .
∗ A phrase used as a noun , becomes a noun phrase .
∗ The noun phrases can be used either as subjects or objects .
∗ A clause used as an adjective , becomes an adjective clause or an adjectival clause .
∗ The adjectival clauses can be used to qualify subjects or objects .
∗ A phrase used as an adjective , becomes an adjective phrase or an adjectival phrase .
∗ The adjectival phrases can be used to qualify subjects or objects .
∗ A clause used as an adverb , becomes an adverb clause or an adverbial clause .
∗ The adverb clauses can be used to qualify adjectives , adverbs and verbs .
∗ A phrase used as an adverb , becomes an adverb phrase or an adverbial phrase .
∗ The adverbial phrases can be used to qualify adjectives , adverbs and verbs .
∗ The adjectival phrases are phrases used as adjectives .
∗ The adjectival phrase can describe a subject or an object .
∗ A noun used as a subject , will be in nominative case or subjective case .
∗ A noun used as an object , will be in objective case .
∗ Objective case is also called accusative case .
∗ Indirect objects stay in dative case .
∗ Prepositions have the nouns following them as their objects.
∗ Nouns following prepositions will be in accusative case .
∗ A preposition governs its objects ( words following the prepositions) .
∗ We should not use degrees of comparison for adjectives which do not admit comparison .
∗ 'The' is an example of a definite article , beside being a demonstrative adjective .
∗ 'This' and 'That' are also demonstrative adjectives .
∗ 'A , an , the ' etc. are also called determiners .
∗ 'My' is also called a determiner , beside being a possessive adjective .
∗ 'Each' is both a distributive pronoun and a distributive adjective .
∗ The distributive pronouns are usually singular .
∗ A demonstrative adjective draws attention of the listener towards its noun .
∗ The attributive adjectives are placed before their nouns .
∗ In the phrase 'Democratic Party' , 'Democratic' is an attributive adjective .
∗ Some adjectives can be used only attributively , which means that they can be placed only before their nouns .
∗ The term ' apposition ' refers to ' placing two words side by side ' .
∗ Indefinite article 'a' is to be used before words starting with consonant sounds .
∗ Indefinite article 'an' is to be used before words starting with vowel sounds .
∗ Grammars have not designated the ' articles ' as separate parts of speech; they are adjectives .
∗ The word attribute refers to some quality or characteristic; adjectives describe the attributes of their objects .
∗ A clause is a group of words with a subject and a predicate .
∗ The clauses are useful in constructing complex and compound sentences .
∗ A simple sentence can have only one clause .
∗ We can use adverbial clauses to describe adjectives , verbs and adverbs .
∗ A phrase is a group of words , with incomplete meaning .
∗ We can use phrases , when we are unable to find a single word to express the desired idea .
∗ A bare infinitive comes without the prefix of 'to' before the verb .
∗ An emphatic pronoun emphasizes or stresses the role of the subject in the verb's action .
∗ The emphatic pronouns closely remember reflexive pronouns and we should practise distinguishing between them.
∗ The gerund is a verbal noun .
∗ We get gerunds when we use verbs as nouns .
∗ We can use ' have as an independent possessive verb ' to indicate ownership or possession .
∗ We can use ' have in perfect tense ' to indicate actions just completed .
∗ We can use ' have plus to infinitive ' to indicate commitments , duties and engagements to be fulfilled .
∗ Horse and house are examples of aspirates .
∗ We pronounce an aspirate with a breathing .
∗ An interrogative does the questioning work .
∗ An interrogative adjective both questions and describes its object .
∗ We use an inflection when we change a noun to make it plural .
∗ A verb of incomplete predication needs a complement to complete the meaning of the sentence .
∗ Backchaining is a technique of pronunciation , where the last syllable is taught first .
∗ Past , present and future are the three basic tenses .
∗ The ' be , been , being , is , are , was , were ' show our condition and existence , and are referred to as - be forms .
∗ Conjunctive pronoun is another name for relative pronoun .
∗ A conjunctive pronoun does the work of a conjunction and a pronoun .
∗ The word ' hour ' starts with a vowel sound .
∗ The word ' honest ' starts with a vowel sound .
∗ The word ' heir ' starts with a vowel sound .
∗ The word ' university ' begins with a consonant sound .
∗ The word ' union ' starts with a consonant sound .
∗ The word ' one ' begins with a consonant sound 'w' .
∗ We use definite article to refer to a person or thing already spoken about .
∗ We can use the definite article before a word which represents a whole class .
∗ We can use definite article before names of seas .
∗ We can use definite article before names of oceans .
∗ We can use definite article before names of rivers .
∗ We can use definite article before names of canals .
∗ We can use definite article before names of deserts .
∗ We can use definite article before names of islands .
∗ We can use definite article before names of mountain ranges .
∗ We can use definite article before names of countries which include words like kingdom , republic .
∗ Ukraine can be prefixed with definite article .
∗ Netherlands can be prefixed with definite article .
∗ Names of some books can be prefixed with definite article .
∗ We can use the definite article before names of unique things .
∗ We can use the definite article before adjective plus proper noun .
∗ We can use 'the' before an adjective in superlative degree .
∗ We can use 'the' before ordinals .
∗ We can use 'the' before musical instruments .
∗ We can use 'the' before an adjective where the noun is understood .
∗ Use of 'the' adds a superlativ force to a word .
∗ 'The more the better' is an example of use of the definite article as an adverb .
∗ 'An Obama' is an example of use of indefinite article in a vague sense .
∗ Most names of substances are uncountable nouns .
∗ Most abstract nouns are uncountable nouns .
∗ We can normally omit articles before names of relations .
∗ We can omit articles before predicative nouns denoting a unique position .
∗ The predicative nouns speak something about the subject .
∗ We can omit articles between a transitive verb and its object .
∗ Prefixing of one article is sufficient for a combined double designation of only one incumbent .
∗ I , we , you , he , she , it and they -- are personal pronouns .
∗ The third personal pronouns are also demonstrative pronouns .
∗ Me- is an example of accusative case or objective case .
∗ My , our , your , his , her , its , their-- can also be called possessive adjectives .
∗ Pronominal adjectives are formed from pronouns .
∗ In 'It rains' , rains-- is an impersonal verb .
∗ In 'It rains' , it-- is an impersonal pronoun .
∗ In 'It rains' it is example of an indefinite nominative or impersonal pronoun.
∗ A personal pronoun should adhere to its antecedent noun .
∗ Pronoun representing a collective noun , should be in singular number .
∗ Simile is the most popular figure of speech .
∗ Poets use optimum use of figures of speech when compared to business persons .
∗ "Shall have been singing" is an example of future perfect continuous tense .
∗ Shall after second and third person pronouns , indicates determination and certainty , in future tense .
∗ The collective nouns signifying separate individuals are to be represented by plural pronouns .
∗ Two singular subjects joined by and , need plural pronouns .
∗ Two singular subjects joined by and preceded by words like 'each' and 'every' need singular pronouns .
∗ A pronoun referring to first and second person antecedents at the same time , must be in the first person plural.
∗ A pronoun referring to first and third person antecedents at the same time must be in the first person plural.
∗ A pronoun referring to second and third person antecedents at the same time , must be in the second person .
∗ The first person pronouns I , and we , trail behind pronouns of other persons , as a matter of courtesy .
∗ This- is a demonstrative pronoun .
∗ This- as a demonstrative adjective precedes its noun .
∗ Any- is an example of an indefinite pronoun .
∗ One- is an example of an indefinite pronoun as well as a numerical adjective .
∗ Some- is an example of an indefinite adjective .
∗ Somebody- is an example of an indefinite pronoun .
∗ Plural pronouns they-their-them are are preferred to avoid gender orientation .
∗ The genitive case is also called possessive case .
∗ Whose- is an example of possessive adjective , interrogative adjective and relative pronoun .
∗ Whose- is in genitive case .
∗ Interrogative words do not have gender and number .
∗ Which- has the same form both in nominative and accusative .
∗ Which- is a relative pronoun .
∗ Which- is an interrogative pronoun and a relative pronoun .
∗ That- has no genitive case .
∗ That- has no possessive case .
∗ What- can be an interrogative pronoun and a relative pronoun .
∗ What- as a relative pronoun is singular .
∗ What- can be in nominative case or in accusative case .
∗ Who- can refer only to persons and not things .
∗ Who- can be singular or plural .
∗ Whose- can speak of animals and things also .
∗ Which- can be for animals apart from things without life .
∗ Which- restricts information about the antecedent .
∗ Which- is a restrictive reflective pronoun .
∗ Which- is a defining reflective pronoun .
∗ The relative pronoun that - is preferred with reference to persons .
∗ The relative pronoun which - is preferred with reference to things .
∗ The accusative relative pronoun may be omitted .
∗ Omission of accusative relative pronoun is more common in spoken English .
∗ Omission of nominative relative pronoun occasionally takes place in colloquial English .
∗ The omission of antecedent of a relative pronoun can be found in poetry .
∗ A relative pronoun should be of the same number and person as the antecedent .
∗ The case of a relative pronoun depends on the verb in the clause in which it occurs .
∗ The relative pronoun should be very close to the antecedent .
∗ Relative pronouns placed away from their antecedents can lead to unintended meanings .
∗ Whoever - is an example of a compound relative pronoun .
∗ Whosoever - is an example of a compound relative pronoun .
∗ Whichever - is an example of a compound relative pronoun .
∗ Whatever - is an example of a compound relative pronoun .
∗ Whatsoever - is an example of a compound relative pronoun .
∗ The compound relative pronouns need not express their antecedents .
∗ What is used of things only .
∗ Which implies selection between or among the available few .
∗ Ask-group verbs can take both direct and indirect objects .
∗ Ask-fell-give-offer-promise are some verbs in the ask-group .
∗ Some reflexive verbs have only implied objects .
∗ The intransitive verbs do not have objects to pass on action .
∗ A transitive verb can pass on its action to its object .
∗ The come-go group verbs pass on their action to the subject or to nobody .
∗ A verb can be made of more than one word .
∗ The mono-transitive verbs can have only one object .
∗ The di-transitive verbs can have two objects .
∗ The complex transitive verbs can have an object and a complement .
∗ The lexical verbs are the main verbs as against auxiliary verbs which are only supporting verbs .
∗ The cognate transitive verbs take akin objects , or objects which are similar in meaning .
∗ The cognate accusative case refers to a situation where a verb takes an object which is akin in meaning to it .
∗ The verbs of incomplete predication need complements to complete the meaning .
∗ The complements usually consist of predicative nouns or predicative adjectives .
∗ No preposition need precede all- followed by a time expression .
∗ No preposition is required before any- followed by a time expression .
∗ No preposition is needed before each- followed by a time expression .
∗ No preposition need precede every- followed by a time expression .
∗ In- is the preferred preposition before a street .
∗ At- is the preferred preposition before a house number and a street .
∗ On- is a good preposition before a place treated as a surface .
∗ Prepositions normally have nouns or pronouns as their objects .
∗ Prepositions can exceptionally have time adverbs as objects (eg. by then) .
∗ The prepositional object , if it is a pronoun , should be in objective case ( accusative case ) .
∗ The object of a verb , if it is a pronoun , should be in objective case ( accusative case ) .
∗ Which often serves as a conjunction apart from as a relative pronoun , in which case an additional conjunction becomes redundant .
∗ We can use a conjunction to join two relative clauses referring to the same antecedent .
∗ A definite word will better than a relative pronoun , particularly ' which ' .
∗ The number and person of a verb in a clause which has a relative pronoun as subject, should agree with the number and person of its antecedent .
∗ The case ( nominative / accusative ) is important while choosing between who and whom (eg. Who do you think, Obama is?) .
∗ ' Either ' is a distributive pronoun ; even if it represents a collection , it should be in singular .
∗ ' Neither ' is a singular distributive pronoun .
∗ ' None ' can be singular or plural depending on context .
∗ ' One ' is an indefinite pronoun .
∗ We should use the indefinite pronoun 'one' throughout the sentence (not 'his')(eg. One has a right to choose one's relgion) .
∗ Better we change the structure of a sentence , when repeating the indefinite pronoun 'one' results in an awkward construction .
∗ Anybody , everyone etc. now-a-days accept plural pronouns them/them/their to avoid controversies of feminine discrimination .
∗ Possessive pronouns should agree with their antecedents in gender , number and person .
∗ A pronoun functioning as a complement of the verb ' to be ' should be in nominative case (old rule)(eg. It was he.)
∗ A pronoun functioning as a complement of the verb ' to be ' may be in objective form ( relaxed usage )(eg. It was him.)
∗ We have to use possessive signs (apostrophe) for all possessive nouns which qualify (work as adjectives) a noun (eg. President's and Prime Minister's guards) .
∗ We can suffix the apostrophe to the second noun , if two nouns in possessive case are in apposition (eg. Obama, the President's residence) .
∗ We should confine use of genitive case (possessive case) to names of living beings and personified objects (eg. Nature's bounty) .
∗ Use of genitive case (possessive case) is a relaxed usage in case of stereotyped phrases like 'a lion's mane' .
∗ Genitive case (possessive case) is a customary usage in case of space or time (eg. a day's time) .
∗ A singular subject joined to other words by means of 'with' needs a singular verb (eg. The Mayor, with his Corporators, is present) .
∗ A singular subject joined to other words by means of 'as well as' needs a singular verb (eg. Dollar , as well as, Euro is falling.) .
∗ Two singular subjects joined by ' or ' need a singular verb .
∗ Two singular subjects joined by ' nor ' need a singular verb .
∗ Two singular subjects joined by ' and ' need a plural verb(eg. Oil and water do not mix) .
∗ Two singular subjects joined by ' and ' , if they denote a single composite idea, we can use a singular verb (eg. Bread and butter is a daily need.) .
∗ One singular subject and another plural subject joined by 'and' need a plural verb; the plural subject should be close to the verb (eg. Neither the Prime Minister nor his Cabinet members are present.) .
∗ Subjects of different persons , connected by ' or ' or ' nor ' , need a verb which agrees with the nearest subject (eg. Neither he nor you are present.) .
∗ Indirect speech , while reporting exclamations , is introduced using some exclamatory or wish-verb .
∗ The reporting verb , in indirect speech , while asking questions , can use some inquisitive verbs like asked , enquired etc .
∗ The reporting verb , in indirect speech , while making commands and requests , will use some command-request verbs like commanded , ordered , requested, shouted and urged .
∗ Imperative sentences , when converted into Indirect speech, use to-infinitives in the indirect speech clause (eg. He asked her to come) .
∗ A verb of simple present tense in the indirect clause , gets converted into simple past tense , if the reporting verb is in simple past tense .
∗ A verb of present continuous tense in the indirect clause , gets converted into past continuous tense , if the reporting verb is in simple past tense .
∗ A verb of present perfect tense in the indirect clause , gets converted into past perfect tense , if the reporting verb is in simple past tense past tense (eg. direct: He said 'I have done my work'; indirect: He said that he had done his work.) .
∗ A verb of simple past tense in the indirect clause, gets converted into past perfect tense , if the reporting verb is in simple past tense (eg. direct: He said 'I did my work'; indirect: He said that he had done his work.) .
∗ Shall- inside the quotes of direct speech , becomes should- in the indirect clause in reporting speech , if the reporting verb is in simple past tense .
∗ Will- inside the quotes of direct speech , can become 'would or could' in the indirect clause in reporting speech, if the reporting verb is in simple past tense.
∗ Tense of the verb in indirect clause does not change, even if the reporting verb is in past tense , when the statement in indirect clause continues to be relevant i.e. the condition continues. This is a relaxation to the basic rule of conversion of tense. We can use either form. (eg. He said that she continues to be sick) .
∗ Tense of the verb in indirect clause does not change, even if the reporting verb is in past tense , when the statement in indirect clause is a universal truth (eg. Copernicus argued that Earth is spherical.) .
∗ Tenses within the quotes of direct speech do not change in indirect clause of reporting speech , when the reporting verb is in present tense (eg. He says 'I was sick'; indirect: He says that he was sick.) .
∗ Pronouns in the indirect clause of reporting speech , should relate to the hearer of the new sentence rather than the original speaker (eg. direct: She said to you 'He does not like me'. indirect: She told you that he did not like her.) .
∗ Words of nearness within the quotes of direct speech , become words of remoteness in the indirect clause of reporting speech. This conversion takes place only when the actual place of speaking has changed (eg. He says 'We shall solve the problem here. Indirect: He says that we shall solve the problem here.) .
∗ Words of proximity of time within the quotes of direct speech , become words of remoteness in the indirect clause of reporting speech. This conversion takes place only when the actual time of speaking has changed (eg. He says 'We shall, now, solve the problem' indirect: He says that we shall now solve the problem) .
∗ Past tense in the principal clause of a complex sentence need not be followed by a past tense in the subordinate clause if it reflects a universal truth (eg. Galileo argued that Earth is spherical.) .
∗ A subordinate clause introduced by 'than' , need not be in past tense , even if the principal verb is in past tense .
∗ The tense of subordinate clause can be in any tense , if the principal verb is in future tense .
∗ The tense of subordinate clause can be in any tense depending on sense , if the principal verb is in present tense (eg. She thinks that she is right -or- She thinks that she was right -or- She thinks that she will be right.) .
∗ Sequential relationship of tense between the principal verb and the subordinate verb in complex sentences , is important in case of adverb clause of purpose (eg. She eats so that she may live) .
∗ Sequential relationship of tense between the principal verb and the subordinate verb in complex sentences , is important in case of noun clauses .
∗ Illative conjunctions express an inference (eg. for , so , therefore , yet) .
∗ Alternative conjunctions express a choice (eg. either - or ) .
∗ Adversative conjunctions express contrasts (eg. but) .
∗ Cumulative conjunctions or copulative conjunctions just "couple" the sentences (eg. and) .
∗ We can use a participle to synthesize sentences (eg. The constable, chasing the thief, caught him). Chasing- is the participle here .
∗ We can use nouns in apposition to synthesize sentences (eg. Obama, the American President lives in the White House.). Obama is the first noun. American President is the second noun. Placing side by side, is called apposition.
∗ Participle is a 'verbal adjective'. We get a participle when we use a verb as an adjective. 'Running' is the participle in the phrase 'running train'. Running is adjective (verbal noun) because it describes the noun 'train'.
∗ A present participle is a verbal adjective used in present tense . The action of the verb does not come to an end. (eg. 'running train'. The train is still running.) The present participle will usually be in active voice .
∗ A past participle is a verbal adjective used in past tense . The action of the verb should have been completed. The past participle will usually be in passive voice. (eg. the arrested criminal. The criminal was arrested by the police. ) .
∗ We can convert a complex sentence into a simple sentence by converting the subordinate clause into a phrase (eg. He has a car which is five-year old; simple: He has a five-year old car) .
∗ We can convert a simple sentence into a compound sentence by enlarging a word or phrase into a coordinate clause (Simple: Corruption is rampant in India. Compound: India has corruption and it is rampant.) .
∗ Sentences with intransitive verbs do not have a passive voice (eg. Obama is taller than Ms. Hillary Clinton.) .
∗ We can sometimes presume the subject of a sentence while converting from passive voice to active voice (eg. passive: My purse has been stolen. Active: Somebody has stolen my purse.) .
∗ We can prefer active voice when the doer is more important than the bearer of verb's action .
∗ We can prefer passive voice when the doer is not important or where it will be hurtful to think of the doer. (eg. She was made pregnant (by somebody, is omitted.)) .
∗ We can replace the phrase 'too + adjective' with 'so + adjective + that' structure (eg. The problem is too difficult to solve. change: The problem is so difficult that we cannot solve.) .
∗ Alternative conjunctions are also called disjunctive conjunctions (eg. either-or) .
∗ Compound conjunctions are phrases used as conjunctions (eg. even if , in order that , as if , as soon as , as well as, inasmuch as) .
∗ Correlative conjunctions are conjunctions used in pairs (eg. either-or, not only-but also) .
∗ Correlative conjunctions are also called correlatives .
∗ Conjunctions just join two words or sentences whereas prepositions have their objects and govern them .
∗ Conjunctions just join two words or sentences whereas relative pronouns refer to their antecedents , apart from joining two clauses or phrases (I know the Bank that Benjamin Franklin founded.) .
∗ Conjunctions just join two words or sentences whereas relative adverbs modify their verbs , apart from joining two clauses or phrases (eg. I do not know where he lives.) .
∗ Transitive verbs like discuss , order , stress need no prepositions after them (eg. We have discussed the matter.) .
∗ Idiomatic usage of some verb sets like addicted, assisted , believe, needs verb + preposition + gerund; we cannot use to-infinitive (eg. believe in bribing (not believe to bribe)) .
∗ Some verbs admit usage of both verb + preposition + gerund, and verb + to-infinitive constructions (eg. She is afraid of talking to me ; She is afraid to talk to me.) .
∗ Some verbs admit only verb + to-infinitive construction and not verb + preposition + gerund construction (eg. I refuse to say anything (not I refuse saying anything)).
∗ The phrase 'by + type of transport' is used when the reference is to a general means of transport (eg. We came by train) .
∗ Prepositions like ' on , in ' are used when referring to particular means of transport (eg. We came in the morning train (not by morning train)) .
∗ Idiomatic expression 'On foot' is used when a person comes walking (eg. We came on foot (not by foot)) .
∗ ' In an hour ' indicates at the end of one hour; ' within an hour ' indicates anytime before the end of one hour .
∗ Phrasal verbs can be formed by joining verbs and adverbs (eg. laze around , peel off) .
∗ ' Around , away , here , off , there ' etc. are place/space adverbs .
∗ Phrasal verbs may have a changed meaning , different from their original verb (eg. passed away -- died , look after --take care of) .
∗ Certain adjectives , nouns and verbs may have gerunds and to-infinitives following them (eg. ready to join) .
∗ Nouns used as attributive adjectives usually take a singular form (eg. computer keys) ; a few nouns take plural form also .
∗ Collocations are special associations between two or more words; substitution of one word with another word of similar meaning is not possible (eg. red wine is a collocation ; rose wine is not a collocation because it is not in use) .
∗ Some adjectives have specific nouns of collocation ; that means we cannot use the adjective before all the nouns (eg. hack branches of a tree, but not hack hair) .
∗ Some idioms use imaginative expressions consisting of proverbs and sayings (eg. kicked the bucket -- died (in a derogative sense) .
∗ Idioms can be short expressions used for a particular purpose (eg. Go to hell; damn it!) .
∗ Some idioms have fixed form and we cannot substitute words , leaving some exceptions (eg. damn it! ; bury the hatchet) .
∗ We can substitute some words in some idioms, with other words (eg. vanish into thin air, disappear into thin air).
∗ We can use many transitive phrasal verbs in passive voice (eg. They called off the agitation - The agitation was called off by them) .
∗ We cannot , in case of inseparable phrasal verbs , alienate the preposition/adverb of a phrasal verb from its verb (eg. eat out; We cannot say 'eat the dinner out). If such separation is possible, we cannot consider the verb as a phrasal verb. It is just a verb + preposition .
∗ We can, in case of separable phrasal verbs , place some words such as objects between two words in a phrasal verb.
∗ Phrasal verbs can also be called multi word verbs .
∗ Objects of separable transitive phrasal verbs , if the objects are pronouns like it , are to be placed between the verb and its particle (eg. He sent her away) .
∗ Objects of phrasal verbs , if the objects are long phrases , should be placed after the particles (He sent away all the consignments which have been returned by the buyers) .
∗ Phrasal verbs can have idiomatic meanings i.e. meanings which differ from the apparent meanings (eg. hang around) .
∗ We should distinguish between the words used in informal style of Spoken English and the words used in formal style, though their meanings may be same .
∗ The verb and its particle are compulsorily separable by the verb's object , in case of some separable phrasal verbs. (mess somebody/something around) .
∗ Some linking verbs can be used with either an adjective or a noun phrase as complements (eg. She became the Prime Minister. It became clear) .
∗ Some transitive linking verbs take objects as well as adjectives as complements (Americans elected Obama their President) .
∗ Most intransitively used verbs are followed by prepositions (He left to New York.) .
∗ Some transitive verbs need prepositions or adverbs, after the objects .
∗ Adverbs intensify adjectives. Collocational linkages (special relationships) between the adverbs and adjectives are to be taken into account .
∗ Determiners give an indication about the inflections to be made to nouns and conjugations to be made to verbs (eg. Each person gets a toffee. Each indicates that the noun 'person' should be in singular form and that the verb 'get' should be in third person singular form) .
∗ Uncountable nouns are also called uncount nouns or mass nouns (eg. milk, rice) .
∗ Countable nouns when in singular form , need a determiner such as 'a' before them (eg. She bought a book. 'a' is the determiner.) .
∗ Nouns can have countable meanings and uncountable meanings. Nouns with uncountable meanings will not have plurals (eg. She leave irregular spaces between words. We do not have space to keep the PC.) .
∗ We can use uncountable nouns also with determiners such as 'much' which indicate uncountable nature of the noun ( I spent much time reading.) .
∗ Uncountable nouns when used as subjects make their verbs singular (Wheat is cheap in Australia) .
∗ Some uncountable nouns like furniture may have constituent individual units which can be indicated by using partitives such as 'three pieces of furniture' .
∗ Things having two parts joined together such as 'scissors' always have a plural form .
∗ Some plural nouns refer to groups of animals/people and they look 'singular' , but are really plural (eg. cattle, police) .
∗ Some ever singular nouns need determiners before , and prepositions after , the words (eg. a boost to ...) .
∗ American English prefers singular form of nouns which refer to groups (eg. The Government is). The British English allows both forms (eg. The Government is / The Government are) .
∗ Some uncountable nouns , particularly those which refer to groups , have both singular and plural forms (eg. The staff is ... / The staff are ...). This is in British English. American English prefers only the singular form .
∗ Some adjectives invariably follow their nouns (eg. gallore) .
∗ Many intransitive verbs have prepositional phrases or adverbial phrases following them (eg. come + (to me) ) .
∗ Some transitive verbs have noun phrases following them (She teaches working women , how to write short stories.) .
∗ Some verbs allow -ing phrases to follow (eg. He never stops drinking.) .
∗ Some verbs have pronouns as objects followed by an -ing phrase (eg. First model: I like him singing. Here 'him' is the object. I like him when he is singing. Second model : I like his singing. Here 'singing' is the object. 'His' is the possessive pronoun-cum-possessive adjective.) .
∗ 'Her' is both a possessive pronoun-cum-adjective and an objective pronoun. (eg. Use of comma clarifies the position. First model: I like her , singing. 'Her' is the object. Meaning: I like her when she sings. Second model: I like, her singing. 'Singing' is the object. What type of singing or whose singing? Her singing. 'Her' is an attributive adjective .
∗ Some verbs have twin uses i.e. both in direct speech before quotes and as a reporting verb before 'that' (eg. 'Mother is not at home', she told him.) .
∗ Some verbs allow four patterns : verb + bare infinitive ; verb + ing phrase (gerund) ; verb + wh clause; verb + a noun or noun phrase .
∗ Verbs like 'suspect' do not have progressive tense (continuous tense). We have to keep in mind that -ing forms of these verbs can be used as participles (verbal adjectives).
∗ A predicative adjective completes the predicate. It is said to have been used predicatively (eg. The house is in ruins.) .
∗ The word 'it' becomes a provisional subject when the real subject follows or used as a complement (eg. It is easy to blame the Government. The real subject is "To blame / Blaming the Government".) .
∗ The subordinate conjunction 'that' is useful in introducing noun clauses (eg. He is afraid that he will be bitten by a dog. -- He is afraid of being bitten by a dog. Afraid of what? "being bitten by a dog" or "be bitten by a dog". Alternatively, we can say that "that he will be bitten by a dog" describes the adjective afraid, and hence the clause is an adverbial clause) .
∗ Extension of a verb is its 'adverbial qualification' (eg. He spoke in an inaudible tone. How did he speak? "in an inaudible tone" describes or qualifies the verb) .
∗ Enlargement of a subject is its attributive adjective (eg. The British Prime Minister spoke briefly. Prime Minister is the subject-word. 'The' and 'British' are enlargements or attributes and form a part of the complete subject.) .