Sunday, March 25, 2012

Silly passives that have been seen (by me)

Every now and then I like to put the exercises aside and have a little rant. These are pretty harmless as most people come to this blog for specific posts and completely miss them, but at least it gets it off my chest.
I came across this stuff while looking for material for a post I want to do fairly soon on why the Passive can sometimes be useful.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The vocabulary of fraud, business crime, and scams

This post is about fraud of one type or another. Through several exercises we look first at the vocabulary of business crime, also known as white-collar or financial crime, and then at the world of scams.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Exploring coordinate relative clauses (aka connective relative clauses)

I recently came across this term, which was new to me, in a rather old, but rather good grammar book - Advanced English Practice by BD Graver (Oxford). I can only find one reference to it on the Internet, at the also rather good, a Catalan website for English learners (links below).
Update - since writing this, I've discovered that coordinate relative clauses are also (and probably more often) referred to as connective relative clauses. I've added a few more links at the end.
Coordinate (or connective) relative clauses look similar to non-defining relative clauses, and follow the same rules as non-defining clauses. Indeed some people would classify them as a sub-species of non-defining clauses. But there are a couple of subtle though key differences between classic non-defining relative clauses and coordinate relative clauses.
  • 1. While standard relative clauses tell us something about the noun they are modifying (the antecedent) , coordinate relative clauses give us new information
  • 2. We don't use standard non-defining relative clauses in spoken English very much, their being seen as rather formal. But coordinate relative clauses are often used in spoken and as well as written language.
This post should be considered more as an exploration of one small area of English grammar, than as a lesson. There is so little literature available on coordinate relative clauses, that I have had to largely rely on my own judgement. If anyone spots any glaring mistakes, please let me know.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Reported speech - lesson and exercises

Constructing reported speech involves using a mixture of some basic rules and your common sense. When using the first doesn't sound natural, use the second. The main idea is that it should make sense to the listener.
This is a fairly detailed but not exhaustive look at reported speech. I hope to follow it up with some more advanced vocabulary and exercises fairly soon.