Sunday, October 23, 2011

Confusing words - Comparison with as and like

The uses of as and like are often confused.
Try and sort them out by doing these quizzes.

  1. Matching quiz - sentences with as and like
  2. Complete the rules
  3. Different uses of as - multiple choice quiz
  4. Choose between as and like, gapfill quiz
  5. Verbs of sensation with like and as if
  6. Complete the rules
  7. Idioms with as ... as ... - quiz
  8. Idioms with like ... - quiz

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bits and pieces - some exercises on partitive nouns

We use several words to talk about one bit or part or a large amount of something when using uncountable nouns. These are sometimes called partitive nouns and many of them collocate with certain nouns. test your knowledge with these exercises. (One or two of the examples here are used with countable nouns).

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tag questions and short answers - exercises

Sometimes they're called question tags, sometimes tag questions. It's all the same. I'm sure you know the basic principles, so use your instinct to complete the exercises. The first exercise looks at some standard tags, the others at some more advanced points. There's also a video exercise at the end.
If you have any problems you can consult one of the websites linked to at the bottom. The BBC one is probably the clearest. But try the exercises first. And don't forget the video exercise; it's from a TV comedy series.

A British perspective on further or farther

The question of further vs farther is a popular topic on grammar websites and has been discussed often enough on sites like GrammarGirl, so why should it need anything more said about it?
Because firstly, nearly all these websites are American, and the British 'take' on this question is somewhat different. And secondly, they nearly all put forward a so-called 'rule' which is by no means universally accepted.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Q & A   When do we use that instead of who or which?

Basic answer

The who, which and that the question refers to are all relative pronouns.
We can use that instead of who or which in defining (restrictive) relative clauses:
  • For people:
  • - The boy who is climbing the tree is my son.
  • or The boy that is climbing the tree is my son.
  • For things:
  • - The car which is coming up the hill is my father's.
  • or The car that is coming up the hill is my father's.
Note that I said can; you don't have to use that. If you are happier using who and which (which many learners are), by all means do. Just be aware that many native speakers will often use that.

Personal pronouns - subject or object? - A discussion.

In few areas can the divide between traditional grammar and actual usage be as wide as in the 'case' of personal pronouns. Here we take a look at why.
EFL course books and websites usually steer clear of language controversies, no doubt so as not to confuse students. But for me this is part of what makes grammar such a lively subject, and as you are advanced students, I think you can 'take it', so here goes.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pronouns and determiners - an overview

Some words can be both pronouns and determiners, and in some other cases pronouns and determiners are closely related, so it seems to make sense to look at them together.