ENGLISH GRAMMAR - Part I
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Modals: permission WATCH OUT! May is more polite than could, and could is more polite than can. We don’t usually use a modal to talk about past permission. I was allowed to wear a knee support during the match. I could wear a knee support during the match. However, we do use could to talk about past permission in reported speech. The coach said I could wear a knee support during the match. Asking for and giving permission now, for the future or generally may could can May/could/can I see the doctor, please? Use Modal Example
Modals: advice Modals: criticism Asking for and giving advice now, for the future or generally should ought to You ought to/should cut down on the amount of red meat you eat. Criticising past behaviour should ought to (+perfect infinitive) He ought to/should have made more of an effort with his diet. Use Modal Example Use Modal Example
Modals: obligation and necessity Expressing obligation or necessity must / have to / need to I must/have to/need to pick up that prescription from the chemist on the way home. Expressing lack of obligation or necessity needn’t / don’t have to/ /don’t need to You needn’t/don’t have to/don’t need to pick up that prescription from the chemist as I’ll get it while I’m in town. Expressing past obligation had to I had to take the pills three times a day for two weeks. Expressing lack of past obligation needn’t(+perfect infinitive) /didn’t have to/ /didn’t need to I needn’t have gone/didn’t have to go/didn’t need to go to the doctor. Use Modal Example
Modals: degrees of certainty Expressing certainty (or near certainty) about now or generally must can’t couldn’t That must be the district nurse at the door. These can’t/couldn’t be the pills; they’re the wrong colour. Expressing certainty (or near certainty) about the past must can’t couldn’t (+ perfect infinitive) She must have been in a lot of pain. His leg can’t/couldn’t have been in plaster for two years! Expressing probability about now, the future or generally should ought to You ought to/should feel better in a few days, as long as you get lots of rest. Expressing probability about the past should ought to (+ perfect infinitive) The bruise ought to/should have disappeared days ago. I wonder why it didn’t. Expressing possibility about now, the future or generally could may might You should talk to your doctor first because that diet could/may/might be dangerous. Expressing possibility about the real past could may might (+ perfect infinitive) That could/may/might have been the doctor who rang earlier while we were out. Expressing possibility about a hypothetical past could might (+ perfect infinitive) It’s a good thing you went to the doctor or you could/might have become quite ill. Use Modal Example
Zero article: Plural countable nouns (when we are talking generally) Journalists often face dangerous situations. Uncountable nouns (when we are talking generally) News travels fast these days. We don’t use an article at all. This is sometimes called thezero article Use Example
Articles in phrases and expressions (2) Organasations definite article: the army, the police, the fire brigade Education definite article: go to the school (as a visitor), be in the first year zero article: go to school (as a student), be in Class 3B, maths Travel indefinite article: take a taxi, catch a/the bus definite article: on the bus zero article: on foot, go home, go by bus Health indefinite article: have a cold/headache/cough definite article: have (the) flu/measles zero article: have toothache Public buildings definite article: the bank, the tax office, go to the hospital/prison (as a visitor) zero article:go to hospital/prison /church (as a patient/prisoner/worshipper) Use Example
Countable and Uncountable nouns: WATCH OUT Most uncountable nouns are singular, but a few are plural. These include: clothes, scissors, jeans, spectacles, trousers, groceries, etc. With these words we use a plural verb. Oh, no! My new clothes are dirty. Some nouns are countable with one meaning and uncountable with another meaning. Do you think you could bring me a clean glass? (countable) We should make computer monitors out of recycled glass. (uncountable) Countable nouns Use a, the, some, many Use a singular or plural verb I want to be a journalist. Where is the newspaper? There are some good articles in the paper. How many channels do you get? Uncountable nouns Use the, some, much Use a singular verb Did you hear the news? Some important news has just come in. How much information do we have about it? Your advice was very useful. Common uncountable nouns: advice, coffee, furniture, glass, hair, homework, information, knowledge, luggage, money, news, paper, work Type Example
Quantifiers: WATCH OUT many countable nouns, usually in negative statements and questions There aren’t many programmes on TV that I find interesting. much uncountable nouns, usually in negative statements and questions My dad never shows much interest in the news. a lot of/ lots of countable nouns and uncountable nouns in positive statements That film has won a lot of/lots of awards. What a lot of luggage you’ve got! a few countable nouns, means ‘some’ There have been a few scandals in the paper recently a little uncountable nouns, means ‘some’ They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. few countable nouns, means ‘not many’ Richard has few interests outside work. little uncountable nouns, means ‘not much’ The police have little information about the robbery. Quantifier Use Example
WATCH OUT! When one action interrupts another action in progress, we use the past simple and the past continuous together. I was playing on my computer when it suddenly crashed. We do not use the past continuous for regular or repeated actions in the past When we were on holiday, we played volleyball every day. When we were on holiday, we were playing volleyball every day. We do not use stative verbs in continuous tenses.
WATCH OUT! There is always little or no difference in meaning between the past perfect and the past simple. We’d lived next to the gym for a couple of months before I decided to join. We lived next to the gym for a couple of months before I decided to join. After we have used the past perfect simple once, we often then use the past simple instead of continuing to use the past perfect. I had already had one flying lesson, which was great fun, and I knew immediately that I wanted to get my pilot’s licence. Phrases such as I was the first/second/third/etc time… are followed by the past perfect simple. It was the second time I’d been on a plane.
Expressing the future: will/won’t and be going to Facts about the future The website will come online next week. (more formal) The website’s going to come online next week. (more informal) Predictions not based on present evidence In the future, everyone will have their own flying car. (more formal) In the future, everyone is going to have their own flying car. (more informal) Decisions made at the moment of speaking I’ve decided I won’t get a new DVD player just yet. (emphasising the decision) I’ve decided I ‘m not going to get a new DVD player just yet. (emphasising the intention) Sometimes there is little difference in meaning betweenwillandbe going to. It is often just a matter of formality.Willis generally more formal thanbe going to. Use Example
Expressing the future: will/won’t and be going to WATCH OUT! With offers and suggestions in the question form, we do not use will with I and we. We use shall. Shall I help you with your physics homework? Will I help you with your physics homework? Offers and suggestions I’ll help you with your physics homework, if you like. Requests Will you help me with my physics homework? Most first conditional sentences If we get a computer, I’ll be able to surf the Internet. Sometimes it is more appropriate to usewillthanbe going to Use Example
Expressing the future: will/won’t and be going to Plans and intentions (which you have when you speak) I’m going to be a famous doctor one day! Predictions based on present evidence It sounds like the plane’s going to take off in a few minutes. Sometimes it is more appropriate to usebegoing tothanwill Use Example
Expressing the future: present simple Timetables, arrangements and fixed events (which the speaker can’t change) The bus to the science museum leaves at 8 o’clock tomorrow morning. After if in first conditional and zero conditional sentences If technology continues to advance so quickly, what will life be like in a hundred years? After certain time expressions (see below) We’ll find out as soon as we get to the lab. Use Example
Expressing the future: future continuous Actions in progress at a point in the future This time next week, I’ll be taking my biology exam. Habits or repeated actions at a point in the future In the future, we’ll all be flying around using jet-packs. Form:will/won’t + be + -ingform Use Example
Present tenses in time clauses WATCH OUT! when It’ll be wonderful when scientists find/have found a cure for cancer. as soon as Let me know as soon as your new computer arrives/has arrived. before It’ll be several years before we send/we’ve sent a manned mission to Mars. after Let’s go to a pizza after we go/have been to the natural history museum. until / till The rocket won’t be launched until they do/have done a final check. while Think of me while you travel/are travelling to the Moon. once We’ll stop the petrol once we pass/we’ve passed Cambridge. In time clauses we di not usewillorbe going toimmediatelyafter some time words and phrases. We usea present tense(present simple, present continuous or present perfect) to talk about the future. Time words and phrases Example
Prepositions of time and place from Monday to Friday, on Monday, on my birthday/Easter Sunday/etc, in July, on September 20th, in 2012, in (the) summer, at three o’clock, in/for an hour, at the moment, in the morning/afternoon/evening, at night, in/on time, just in time for, in the beginning/end, at the age, at the weekend, next/last week turn right at a place, sit on sth, go in(to) a building, wait in(side) a building, arrive in London/Greece, arrive at the station, in/on/at the corner(of), come/go/walk/etc to a place, next to/beside/by the building, at/on the front of, in front of/behind the station, go out of a building, go towards the station, between the two buildings, opposite the station US vs UK GRAMMAR Speaker of American English do not always use on before days of the week. US: We’ve got a biology test Monday/on Monday. UK: We’ve got a biology test on Monday. Speaker of American English often say “Monday through Friday” US: I’m going to be on a field trip Monday through Friday. UK: I’m going to be on a field trip from Monday to Friday. Key prepositions of time Key prepositions of place
WATCH OUT! Phrases such as It’s the first/second/etc time… are followed by the present perfect simple. It’s the second time I’ve been on a plane US: We already saw the Sphinx. UK: We’ve already seen the Sphinx. US vs UK GRAMMAR Speaker of American English often use the past simple in situations where speakers of British English would use the present perfect simple. Speaker of American English use gotten as the past participle of the verb “get”, except when “get” means “have” or “possess”. Speakers of British English would only ever use “got”. US: We already gotten Dan a new backpack for his summer vocation. UK: We’ve already got Dan a new rucksack for his summer holiday.
WATCH OUT! The present perfect continuous is often used with words and phrases like all day/week/year/etc, for/since/just/etc. We’ve been walking for hours and I need a rest. The present perfect continuous is not normally used with words ever and never. Have you ever flown in a helicopter before? Have you ever been flying in a helicopter before? Sometimes there is very little difference in meaning between the present perfect simple and the present perfect continuous and sometimes there is difference in meaning. I have worked at the airport for four years.= I have been working at the airport for four years. I have read that book about cruise ships.= I have been reading that book about cruise ships. (I have not finished it.)
-ing form or Infinitive / prefer, would rather, had better / Infinitives of perpose verb / noun / adjective phrase + full Infinitive verb + bare Infinitive verb + full Infinitive or –ing form with little or no change in meaning verb + full Infinitive or –ing form with a change in meaning prefer, would rather, had better Infinitives of perpose Contents
prefer, would rather, had better expressing general preference I prefer biology to history. I prefer reading English texts to speaking in English. expressing specific preference(on this occasion) I’d prefer to have the lesson on Wednesday rather than([to] have it) on Tuesday, if that’s possible. expressing general or specific preference I’d rather have the lesson on Wednesday than(have it) on Tuesday, if that’s possible. expressing general or specific preference (about someone else) I’d rather you didn’t sit next to Brian. giving advice You’d better ask your parents if you can come on the school trip. WACH OUT! We don’t usually say I don’t prefer… We use I prefer not to… I prefer not to have music on when I’m studying. prefer + noun/-ing+ to + noun/-ing would prefer + full infinitive + rather than(+ bare/full infinitive) would prefer +bare infinitive+ than(+ bare infinitive) would rather+sb +past simple/past continuous had better+ bare infinitive) Form Use Example
Verbs taking gerund or to-infinitive with a change in meaning Forget Something slips your memory and the action doesn’t take place: I totally forgot to turn off the cooker. The action is forgotten after it takes place: She forgot sending the message and sent it again. Remember To mean the remembering comes before the action described: Remember to buy a TV guide on your way home (first remember, then buy it) To recall a past event: I remember going to the bank, but nothing after that (I remember that I went there). Mean To say that we intend(ed) to do something: He means to phone you next week. To say that something involves doing something else: If we want to get there by 12.00, that means getting up early. Stop Pause temporarily for some purpose: He stopped to eat a couple of sweets (made a pause and ate sweets). Finish, cease doing some action: She stopped buying glossy magazines (she doesn’t buy them any longer). try Make an attempt, make an effort: Let’s try to boost sales this year. Do something and see the results, do something as an experiment: Try restarting the computer. verbs +to-infinitve +gerund
unless, in case, as/so long as, provided (that): I’ll be there at six unless I get delayed. (=except if I get delayed /if I don’t get delayed) Let’s take our wellies in case it’s muddy. (=because it might be muddy) As long as I’m happy, my parents don’t care what job I do. As long as I’m happy, my parents don’t care what job I do. Provided (that) I’m happy, my parents don’t care what job I do. unless ‘except if’ or ‘if…not’ in case ‘because he/she/it/etc might’ as/so long as ‘if’ or ‘only if’ provided (that) ‘if’ or ‘only if’ Wordor phrase Meaning Example
Inverted conditionals: US vs UK GRAMMAR When second and third conditionals in informal conversation, speakers of American English sometimes use would or would have in the if clause. This is very unusual in British English. US: How would you feel if this happened/would happen to you?. UK: How would you feel if this happened to you? US: I would have felt awful if that had happened/would had happened to me. UK: I would have felt awful if that had happened to me. WATCH OUT For all conditional sentences(first, second, third, mixed, inverted), when the condition comes before the result it is usually followed by a comma. When the result comes first, no comma is necessary. If I had a mobile, I would have called you last night. I would have called you last night if I had a mobile. In conditional sentences, modals(will, would, could, etc) are sometimes followed by a continuous infinitive. We’d still be waiting if you hadn’t turned up.
Comparative and superlative adjectives: regular adjectives with one syllable black + -er blacker + -est blackest regular adjectives with one syllable (ending in vowel + consonant) thin double final letter + -er thinner double final letter + -est thinnest regular adjectives with two syllables (ending in -y) funny replace –y with –er funnier replace –y with –est funniest regular adjectives with two or more syllables intelligent more/less + adj more intelligent most/least + adj most intelligent irregular adjectives/ quantifiers good bad far little much many better worse farther/further less more more best worst farthest/furthest least most most adjective comparative superlative
Comparative and superlative adjectives: WATCH OUT! Regular adjectives with two syllables can often also form the comparative and superlative like adjectives with one syllable. clever – cleverer – the cleverest Adjectives with one syllable that end in –e add –r and –st. white – whiter – the whitest Remember that comparative forms are often followed by than. Crime is a much bigger problem in this country than in many other countries. Remember that superlative forms are often preceded by the. Our local police force is the best in the country. Comparative To compare things or people that are different The crime rate in this area is higher than in other parts of the country. Superlative To compare one member of a group of people or things with the whole group The robbery was the biggest in the bank’s history. Use Example
Comparative and superlative adverbs: badly early far fast hard late often near soon well worse earlier farther/further faster harder later more often nearer sooner better worst earliest farthest/furthest fastest hardest latest most often nearest soonest best irregular adverbs adverb comparative superlative regular adverbs easily more/less +adv moreeasily most/least +adv most easily
Comparative and superlative adverbs: Comparative To compare actions that are different Lock your door more carefully next time and maybe you won’t get burgled! Superlative To compare actions of one member of a group of people or things with the whole group Only the criminal who ran fastest managed to escape from the police. Use Example
So: WATCH OUT! The word that is not usually necessary to introduce the second clause. The crime rate is so high people are very frightened. The word so has a number of other uses. Try not to get confused between them. The crime rate is so high that people are very frightened. I saw that burglar leaving the house, so I called the police. To show the result of a situation or action The burglar was so clever that no one could catch him. Jane took the money so quickly that no one saw her. There was so much money that the robber couldn’t carry it all. Form: so +adjective+ that so +adverb+ that so + many/much + noun+ that Use Example
Such: To show the result of a situation or action It was such a terrible crime that the man was sent to prison for life. The security guard had such good hearing that he heard the door open immediately. There is such a lot of crime here that the police can’t cope. Form: such +a/an+adjective + singular noun+ that such +adjective + plural noun+ that such +a lot of + noun+ that Use Example
Enough: WATCH OUT! A common mistake to put enough before an adjective when the correct word is quite or fairly. It is quite/fairly dangerous around here so don’t go out alone. It is enough dangerous around here so don’t go out alone. To show the result of a situation or action where there is/isn’t the right amount/ /number of something There aren’t enough police officers on the streets to keep us safe. It wasn’t dark enough for the burglar to start working. Did the police respond quickly enough to help? Form: enough+ noun (+forand/or +full infinitive) adjective +enough(+forand/or +full infinitive) adverb +enough(+forand/or +full infinitive) Use Example
Too: WATCH OUT! We do not use too when we want to describe something we consider to be positive. Instead we use very, really or extremely. You were very /really /extremely lucky not to get caught. You were too lucky not to get caught. To describe something that is more than necessary and which has a negative effect The young man was too young to go to prison. We arrived too late for the start of the trial. We send too many innocent people to prison. Form: too+ adjective (+forand/or +full infinitive) too+ adverb (+forand/or +full infinitive) too+ many/much + noun(+forand/or +full infinitive) Use Example
Modals: ability, permission, advice, criticism, obligation and necessity, degrees of certainty All modals (will, would, shall, should, can, could, may, might, must) and the semi-modal ought to have only one form. Modals are followed by the bare infinitive (simple or continuous) or the bare perfect infinitive eg: Toby should be very fit by now. Toby should have recovered by now. The semi-modals have to and need to change their form depending on person and tense. eg: The doctor said I had/needed to give up red meat. Form:
Modals: ability WATCH OUT! We use be able to for the infinitive and other tenses. I’d love to be able to fit into these jeans again! (infinitive) I’ll be able to leave hospital in two weeks, apparently. (future) I’ve been able to swim since I was five. (present perfect) I can run a kilometre in ten minutes. We can meet at the gym tomorrow, if you like. I could do fifty press-ups with one hand when I was younger. If only I could quit smoking! I could have roasted the potatoes, but decided that boiling them was healthier. Expressing ability now or generally can Expressing decisions made now about future ability can Expressing ability in the past could Expressing ability in present, future or general hypothetical situations could Expressing ability in past hypothetical situations could + perfect infinitive Use Modal Example
Modals: obligation and necessity WATCH OUT! There is usually no difference in meaning between must and have to. However, we are sometimes more likely to use must for personal obligation (making our own decision about what we must do). We can also use will have/need to to express future obligation. You’ll have/need to be more careful about what you eat in future. It is unusual to use must for questions. We usually use have/need to. Do I have/need to take this medicine before every meal? Must cannot be used as an infinitive. Use to have to. I’d hate to have to have injections every day. I’d hate to must have injections every day. Mustn’t and don’t/doesn’t have/need to have different meanings. You mustn’t do that! (Don’t do that!) You don’t/doesn’t have/need to do that. (You can do that if you want to but it’s not necessary.) Needn’t(+perfect infinitive) always refers to an action that happened. Didn’t have to and didn’t need to can refer to actions that did or didn’t happen. I needn’t have gone to the doctor. (I went but it wasn’t necessary.) I didn’t have/need to go to the doctor because I suddenly felt better. (I didn’t go.) I didn’t have/need to go to the doctor but I went just to be on the safe side.(I did go.) Be careful with the verb need. It can also take the –ing form. I need to sterilise this syringe. This syringe needs sterilising.
Bibliography . Malcolm Mann, Steve Taylore-Knowles. “Grammar & Vocabulary”, Destination B2, MACMILLAN, 2009 Gordon E.M., Krylova I.P. “A Grammar of Present-day English”. Practical Course. – М: КДУ, 2009 Martin Hewings “Advanced Grammar in Use” - Cambridge University Press, 2002. Richard Syde and Guy Wellman “Grammar and Vocabulary for Cambridge Advanced and Proficiency” – Longman, 2006. Ron Cowan “The Teacher’s Grammar of English”, a course book and reference guide. – Cambridge University Press, 2008. Качалова К.Н., Израилевич Е.Е. Практическая грамматика английского языка. – М.: Изд-во «ЮНВЕС», 2008.
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Destination B2: Grammar and Vocabulary has been designed for students preparing to take any examination at B2 (Vantage) level on the Council of Europe's Common European Framework scale. The book provides presentation and practice of all the key grammar, vocabulary and lexico-grammatical areas required for all main B2 level exams, eg Cambridge FCE. There are 28 units in the book, with alternating grammar and vocabulary units.
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