Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Advertising slogans past and present - gapfill quiz

Try your hand at completing some of Britain's best known advertising slogans.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

An introduction to the Passive

This is not so much aimed at advanced learners as at native speakers whose grammar might have got a bit rusty, and who want to brush up on the Passive.
Or at least be able to identify it.
At the same time you can refresh your memory on the English tense system and how verbs work.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Word corner - would

A modal verb with both present and past meaning.

Would is a modal (or modal auxiliary) verb, and as such is used with the bare infinitive (infinitive without to), and questions and negatives are made without do. It sometimes acts as the past of will, but is also often used with present meaning.
We can use would in all four standard aspects
Simple would go
Continuous would be going
Perfect would have gone
Perfect continuous would have been going
Practise using would in these exercises

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Reduced relative clauses - lesson and exercises

Reduced relative clauses are participle clauses which follow a noun. They are like relative clauses, but with the relative pronoun and auxiliary verb (if there is one) left out.
Because they modify nouns, (reduced) relative clauses are occasionally referred to as adjective clauses.
Reduced relative clauses are used most often instead of defining relative clauses, which are what we'll be mainly looking at.
This post is an expanded version of part of a longer post on participles and participle clauses.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Gradable and ungradable adjectives

Why should we be interested in whether adjectives are gradable or not?

There are two main reasons why knowing a bit about the gradabilty of adjectives is useful to students.
  • 1. - it largely decides what intensifiers, adverbs like quite, very and absolutely, we can use before them.
  • 2. - learning some strong versions of gradable adjectives will increase your vocabulary, and make your English more varied and interesting.
For this reason, I will only be looking here at those adjectives that we often use intensifiers with. There are a lot of ungradable adjectives like metal, married or pregnant, where we don't normally use intensifiers. I won't be discussing these here.
As usual in my lessons, I won't be telling you much, you will need to work it out for yourselves through the exercises. If you simply want an explanation, there are some links below.

Looking for a list of gradable and ungradable adjectives?

If you've landed here because you're trying to find out whether a particular adjective is gradable or not, you might not find the answer here, but you could try my newer post where I list a lot adjectives as being gradable, extreme or absolute. You can find it here.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Word corner - just

The adverb just has several meanings, including 'only', 'exactly' and 'a little bit', and is often used with time expressions. Get to know it better with these exercises.

Idiomatic matching pairs with and

There are quite a few idiomatic pairs in English joined with 'and', such as 'bits and pieces'. Match the pairs and use them in context with this double quiz.