Blog Category: Parts Of Speech

Linking Verbs or Copulas

A linking verb links the subject of the sentence to more information about that subject (the predicate). A linking verb is also known as a copula (plural copulas or copulae.) In English most verbs‏‎ describe an action. For example: Sofia directs her new film The verb...

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How Many Tenses Are There in English?

How many Tenses are there in English? It sounds like a simple question, but, unfortunately, it isn't. This is because different people - including both students and TEFL teachers - have different definitions of what a tense actually is and there is no single, accepted...

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Pay > Paid vs Payed

What is the past form of pay? This often causes problems for students. The verb‏‎ pay means to give money to someone and it is usually an irregular verb. I pay $15 each month for my internet connection. Last month I paid $15 for my internet connection. I have paid $15...

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Compound Words in English

A compound word is a word made up from two or more other words joined together. They are often created to describe a new concept or idea and are thus neologisms‏‎. As a simple example, take the words foot and ball. These were brought together to describe the game:...

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Transitive & Intransitive Verbs in English

Here are two sentences, the first with a Transitive Verb, the second with an Intransitive Verb: She held her breath. She laughed. This illustrates at a glance the basic difference between the two types of verbs‏‎. Transitive Verbs Quite simply transitive verbs must...

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Adverbs of Time in English Grammar

Adverbs of Time are those adverbs which tell us when something happened. For example: now, then, later, yesterday, today, tonight, tomorrow, etc. Position The position of a typical adverb of time within a sentence varies according to the relevance the speaker wants to...

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Past Tense in English Grammar

The Past Tense is used - as you can probably guess - to talk about the past. There are several different verb forms we can use to talk about the past. This article briefly explains them and links to fuller articles on each. Past Simple The Past Simple is used most...

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Lexical Verbs in English Grammar

Lexical Verbs are basically the main verb‏‎ in a sentence. They carry some kind of real-world meaning and are sometimes actually known as the main verb: You laughed. I ran. They are basically an open-class of verbs; in other words, we can add new verbs to this...

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The Present Tense in English Grammar

The Present Tense is one of the three main verb tenses‏‎ used in grammar‏‎. It is used to talk about the current situation, i.e. now. Here we introduce to the four main forms of the present tense and look at when we use them. The links at the bottom of the page go to...

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Modals – Possibility

If you want to talk about how possible something is you can use Modal Verbs of Possibility. Let's say, for example, that you are 100% certain that you are going to win: I will win a million dollars if I put everything on red! Chances are though you will lose. Being...

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Interrogative Adjectives in English Grammar

Simply put, Interrogative Adjectives are adjectives which modify a noun (like all adjectives do) and also ask a question. These are the interrogative adjectives: what whose which Any sentence which begins with an interrogative adjective is a question: Which coat is...

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Regular and Irregular in English Grammar

Words in English are either Regular and Irregular. Regular means that when they change their form (for example, when they become plural) they follow the usual pattern. Irregular means, as you might expect, that they do not follow the usual pattern of most words....

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Who vs Whom in English Grammar

Who vs Whom often comes up and sometimes causes confusion. This article explains the difference between these two. Who and whom are both pronouns‏‎ and while they mean the same thing (a person or group of people) they are grammatically different. Subjects vs Objects...

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Stative & Dynamic Verbs‏‎ in English

We can group verbs in different ways. One method is to divide them into Stative Verbs and Dynamic Verbs. Briefly, verbs which refer to a static or unchanging state or condition are called stative and verbs which talk about a moving or changeable condition are known as...

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Future Perfect Continuous‏‎ in English Grammar

While it is not one of the most commonly used verb forms‏‎, the future perfect continuous does occur quite often in conversations between advanced English speakers, and in classes and exams it shows knowledge of the language that is above average for most students....

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Infinitives in English Grammar

The Infinitive is the base form of the verb‏‎: be, have, walk... Often the infinitive is introduced by the particle, to: to be, to have, to walk... Note that when the infinitive is on its own it's sometimes known as the Bare Infinitive; when it's with to then it's...

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Sticky Fingers – is a noun countable or non-countable?

Sticky Fingers is a simple way to demonstrate to your class whether a noun is countable or non-countable. The idea here is that you begin by telling your class whether a noun is countable or non-countable. Then you have a visual sign for this along with telling them....

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Sentence Completion – sentence activity

Sentence Completion is a TEFL activity which can be used to practice different forms of sentences‏‎. It works well with different verb forms‏‎, conditionals‏‎ and so on. Preparation Write out a series of sentences which are examples of the kind of sentence/verb...

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Split Infinitives in English Grammar

Split Infinitives are a construction in English‏‎ when the infinitive of a verb‏‎ is cut in half by another word. For example: Infinitive: to see Split Infinitive: to barely see The infinitive is most often split by an adverb‏‎ or adverbial phrase‏‎. I attempted to...

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Common Phrasal Verbs‏‎ in English

This is simply a list of common phrasal verbs‏‎ which your students should know. There is no easy way to learn phrasal verbs as their meaning cannot be guessed by their make-up. Likewise many phrasal verbs have several completely unrelated meanings. This means that...

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Roots and English Words

A root is the very simplest form of a word without any affix‏‎es or changes. It cannot be made any smaller and is sometimes known as the base word. For example, take the word important. This consists of 3 parts: im (a prefix) + port (the root) + ant (a suffix]) So the...

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Speak an Adverb‏‎

Speak an Adverb is a way to have your students practice different kinds of intonation‏‎ and language register‏‎ in English and also to help them become aware of the importance they play in speaking‏‎. A short amount of preparation is enough for different versions of...

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Gender Neutral Pronouns in English Grammar

Life would sound a bit repetitive without pronouns: Brian got up. Brian washed Brian. Later Brian went out. Brian got in Brian's car and drove off. Change a person's name into a personal pronoun and it all gets a little easier on the ear: Brian got up. He washed...

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Inflection in English Grammar

Inflection refers to the way we change the form of a word to show different parts of grammar such as voice, person‏‎, number, gender‏‎, mood, tense or case. A simple example is when we change I to me depending on where it is used in a sentence. The person remains the...

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Act an Adverb‏‎ – adverb activity

Act an Adverb is a simple game which you can play with different levels‏‎ and ages of class. It is based around the meaning and use of different adverbs‏‎. Preparation Prepare a set of flashcards‏‎, each of which has an adverb on it, e.g. happily quietly sadly...

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Aspect‏‎ in English Grammar

Aspect describes how a speaker feels about the action they are describing. In English there are generally accepted to be 3 aspects and they change how the verb‏‎ is formed: simple (aka indefinite) continuous (aka progressive) perfect A Simple Example To take an...

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Verbs of Perception in English Grammar

Verbs of Perception refer to those verbs‏‎ which are used to talk about sensing: see/look/watch/notice/observe hear/listen to taste smell touch/feel sense in general These verbs can be used in different ways and have certain grammatical conditions attached to them....

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Adverbials‏‎ in English

Adverbials are adverbs, adverbial phrases or adverbial clauses which give us additional information about the time, place, or manner of the action described in the rest of the sentence. I had been reading my book quite happily on the sofa for half an hour, when my...

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Verb Moods‏‎ in English Grammar

Verb Moods (sometimes known as Grammatical Mood) are ways of looking at verbs‏‎ and classifying them which show the attitude of the speaker. Traditionally verbs have three moods: the indicative, the imperative, and the subjunctive. However, some grammarians will also...

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