Do is used to form negative and question forms of the Present Tense and did is used in the Past Simple Tense:
I don’t like it. Does she go to the University? He didn’t pass the exams. Didn’t we meet at the airport?
Do is used in the positive to give emphasis to a verb:
She is very busy. She does try hard. I did try to help, but there was no need.
Do is used in tag questions and short answers:
He wrrote it, didn’t he? She knows him better, doesn’t she? Who opened the window? Rose did.
Be + Present Participle (–ing) is used to form continuous tenses:
I am writing a letter now.
Be + Past Participle (–ed etc.) is used to form passive sentences:
The houses are built from bricks. It’ll be finished soon.
Have + Past Participle (–ed etc.) is used to form perfect tenses:
I have never been to London. They have already started it.
2. Modal auxiliary verbs
Unlike do, be, have (which only help to form tenses) moodal auxiliaries have their own meanings. They express:
• ability (can) – I can’t explain it.
• possibility (can, may) – Can I have my photo taken?
• permission (may) – May I use your book?
• uncertainty (may) – You may think you’re very old, but you strike me
• reproach (might) – You might come in time.
• obligation (must, ought to) – Children ought to respect their parents. He must earn money.
• advisability (should) – You should be more careful.
• necessity (need) – He did not need to be told twice.
• refusal (will not/won’t) – The car won’t start. (It “refuses” to start).
Some important modal phrases:
1. To have + Infinitive (obligation, necessity) is used as a modal expression in three tense forms: Present, Past and Future Indefinite.
I have to get up at seven every day. Did you have to get up at 7 on Sunday? She will have to come on time.
2. To be + Infinitive (rather strict obligation, a planned action) is used as a modal expression in two tenses: Present and Past Inndefinite (was, were).
You are to go straight to your room. We were to meet at the entrance of the theatre at a quarter to seven.
• Be able to is possible instead of can, but can is more usual; can has only two forms: can (present) and could (past). Sometimes we have to use be able to:
I haven’t been able to sleep very well recently (can has no Present Perfect).
I’ll be able to help you (can has no Future Indefinite).
• Could is
I could remember only a few words.
I could play handball very well when I was at school. (General ability to do something).
• If we mean that someone managed to do something in one particular situation, we have to use was/were able to (not could):
He was a good runner so he was able to escape from the prison.
• We sometimes use could to talk about possible future actions, especially when we make suggestions and could have (done) to say that we had the ability or the oportunity to do something but did not do it:
We could go to the theatre this evening (Present). We could have gone to the theatre but we decided to stay at home. (Past)(We had the opportunity to go out but we didn’t.)
• Mainly it doesn’t matter which of must (do) or have to (do) we use:
I must / have to go.
But with must the speaker gives his own feelings:
Lina is seriously ill. I must visit her.
With have to the speaker gives facts:
I have to get up early tomorrow.
Must is only used when we talk about the present and future:
Have to can be used in all forms:
We have to write about it. We had to write about it. We’ll have to write about it.
• We use do / does / did with have to in present/past questions and negative sentences:
Do you work? No, I’m extremely rich so I don’t have to work. She doesn’t have to get up so early. She gets up early because she prefers to.
• Mustn’t and don’t have to are completely different:
You mustn’t forget what I told you. (It is necessary that you do not forget). You don’t have to read this book. (It is not necessary to do it).
• Needn’t (do) means that it is not necessary to do something:
You needn’t worry.
• Instead of needn’t you can use don’t / doesn’t need to:
You don’t need to worry.
• We use needn’t have + Past Participle (–ed etc.) to say that someone did something but it wasn’t necessary:
I needn’t have hurried because the train was late.
• Didn’t need to is different from needn’t have:
I didn’t need to read, so I didn’t. (An action was unnecessary). I needn’t have taken an umbrella, it didn’t rain. (It was not known at the time th
3. English tense usage in the Active Voice
• When you make a suggestion, you can say Why don’t you .? :
I am hungry. Why don’t we go and have a bite?
• When talking about one’s native country or city / town, we say:
“Where do you come from? Where are you from?” but not “Where are you coming from?”
We say “He comes from Germany” but not “He is coming from Germany.”
• Present Simple is used when we say how often we do things (every day (week etc.), often, usually, sometimes etc.). We say:
“I go to the university every week” but not “I am going to the university every week”.
We say ”She often visits us” but not “She is often visiting us”.
We say “He usually watches TV in the evening” but not “He is usually watching TV in the evening”.
Table of Tenses (Active)
Aspect Present Past Future Future in the Past
Indefinite I go to the club every week. I went to the club last week. I shall go to the club next week. I said I should go to the club the following week.
Continuous (Don’t speak to him.) He is working. When I came he was working. (Don’t come at 8.) I shall be working. He said he would be working at 8 o’clock.
Perfect 1. (I can return the books to the library.) I have read them.
2. I have already known him for 2 years. 1. I had read all the books by the 1st of September.
2. By 1994 I had known him for 10 years. 1. I shall have read all the books by the 1st of May.
2. By 2000 I shall have known him for 16 years. I said I should have read all the books by the 1st of May.
Perfect Continuous 1. I have been reading this book for a week.
2. (I am very tired.) I have been reading a lot. 1. I had been reading that book for a week when you asked me for it.
2. (I was very tired.)
I had been reading a lot. By the 1st of June I shall have been reading the book for a month. I said (that) by the 1st of June I should have been reading the book for a month.
• Do not use will to talk about what you have arranged to do in the nearest future:
She is going to Paris next week (but not “She will go” because she has already planned it).
• When we are talking about timetables, programmes etc., we say:
“The train leaves at 7.00 p. m.” but not “The train is leaving at 7.00 p. m.”.
We say “Tomorrow is Monday” but not “Tomorrow will be Monday”.
• When we offer, agree or refuse, promise and ask, we say:
“I’ll help you” but not “I help you”.
We say “I’ll bring it back as soon as possible” but not “I bring .”
We say “I promise I’ll phone” but not “I promise I phone.”
We say “Will you lend me a book?” but not “Do you lend me a book ?”
• We use shall (not will) in the questions shall I .? and shall we .?
Shall I read ?
• We are not to mix gone to and been to:
He is away on business. He has gone to New York. (He is there now or he is on his way there.)
Lina is at home now. She has been to Belgium. (She has been there but now she has returned home.)
• We often use have got / has got rather than have / has alone:
We’ve got a new house. Have you got a new house?
But in the past we do not normally use got:
When we lived in Kaunas, we had an old house. Did you have an old house when you lived in Alytus?
“Have got” is not possible in these expressions: have breakfast (lunch, dinner, a cup of coffee, etc.); have a swim (a walk, a holiday etc.); have a bath / a wash etc.; have a look (at sth.); have a baby; have a chat; have a good time.
We make questions and negative sentences with these expressions using do / does / did:
I didn’t have a good time yesterday.
• We are not to confuse I used to do and I am used to doing. The structures and their meanings are different:
I used to spend a lot of money. (I spent much money but I no longer spend it.)
I am used to spending a lot of money. (I spend much money; it is like a habit because I have been spending a lot of money for some time.)
• There are some verbs which are not normally used in continuous tenses (but there are exceptions): want, like, belong, know, suppose, need, love, see, realise, mean, prefer, hate, hear, believe, understand, remember, forget, seem, sound, appear, smell, taste, wish, own, think (when the meaning is “believe”), have (when it is used for actions or the meaning is “possess”).
• Conditionals (if and wish sentences) are formed in this way:
a) Present Tense after if / Future Tense in the main clause:
If you get up earlier, we’ll be in time.
b) Past Simple after if / Future in the Past in the main clause:
If you got up earlier, we would be in time. (But we probably won’t.)
If I were you, I would go to the meeting. (But, of course, I am not you.)
c) Past Perfect after if /Future in the Past Perfect in the main clause:
If I had had enough money, I would have bought that castle.
(Hypothesis about the past. It is impossible to change what happened now.)
d) we also use the past for a present situation after wish:
I wish I knew English better. (I don’t know it very well.)
e) in if sentences and after wish we can use were instead of was:
If I were you I would phone him. = If I was you. .
I wish my dress were more beautiful. = I wish my dress was. .
f) simply, we don’t use would in the if part of the sentence or after wish:
If I were a Queen, I would travel a lot (not If I would be.).
g) we don’t use will/shall after in case, with unless, as long as, provided or providing when we are talking about the future:
He is going to take an umbrella in case it rains. We’ll be late unless we hurry. Providing he studies hard he will pass an exam.
h) in case of is different from in case:
In case of fire, please leave the building as soon as possible (if the building is on fire).
4. English tense usage in the Passive Voice
Table of Tenses (Passive)
Aspect Present Past Future Future in the Past
Indefinite I am arrested.
He is arrested.
We are arrested. I was arrested.
He was arrested.
We were arrested. I shall be arrested.
He will be arrested.
We shall be arrested. He said I should be arrested.
They said he would be arrested.
Continuous I am being arrested.
He is being arrested.
We are being arrested. I was being arrested.
He was being arrested.
We were being arrested.
Perfect I have been arrested.
He has been arrested.
We have been arrested. I had been arrested.
He had been arrested.
We had been arrested. I shall have been arrested.
He will have been arrested.
We shall have been arrested. He said I should have been arrested.
They said he would have been arrested.
• Be born is a passive verb and is usually past: I was born in Vilnius.
• Some verbs can have two objects: They didn’t offer Andrew the job. (The two objects Andrew and the job).
So it is possible to make two different passive sentences: Andrew wasn’t offered the job. The job wasn’t offered to Andrew.
5. A Table of Irregular Verbs
Infinitive Past Past Participle
clove, cleft, cleaved
drew abode, abided
lie dreamt, dreamed
lay dreamt, dreamed
mow lighted, lit
mowed lit, lighted
sheared / shore
3.2. VERBS + . ING OR THE INFINITIVE?
1. Verb + . ing (The Gerund)
The Gerund is formed by adding the suffix – ing to the stem of the verb, and coincides in form with Participle I.
It is used:
1. After prepositions (before, after, without, by, about, at, to, of, in, with, for, in spite of, instead of): She left without saying a word.
2. After certain verbs (enjoy, avoid, admit, deny, mind, delay, stop, finish, suggest, fancy, imagine, regret, consider, involve, practise, miss): I enjoy going to the theatre.
3. As the subject or object of a sentence: Smoking is bad for your health.
4. After some idiomatic expressions (It’s no use ./ It’s no good ./ There is no point in ./ It’s (not) worth .) : This is an excellent picture. It’s worth buying. There is no point in waiting all day.
5. After the following expressions: (give up (= stop), put off (= postpone), go on (= continue), carry on (= continue), keep or keep on (= do sth. continuously or repeatedly)): I cannot go on reading it.
• The passive form (being done / being seen / being told etc.): I don’t mind being told what to do.
• Many verbs have the structure verb (V) + preposition (P) + object (talk about): We talked about the problem.
If the object is another verb, it ends in –ing: We talked about going to Paris. (V + P + –ing).
Here are some more verbs which have the structure V + P + –ing (succeed in, think about / of, approve / disapprove of, feel like, dream of, look forward to, insist on, decide against, apologise for): She insisted on staying longer.
• These verbs have the structure verb + object + preposition + –ing (accuse sb. of, congratulate sb. on, stop sb. from, suspect sb. of, prevent sb. from, thank sb. for, forgive sb. for, warn sb. against): They accused him of being rude.
2. Verbs + The Infinitive
It is used:
1. After certain verbs (agree, appear, attempt, choose, dare, decide, expect, help, learn, manage, need, offer, promise, refuse, seem, afford, hope): I hope to learn it very quickly.
2. After certain verbs followed by an object (allow, encourage, force, order, persuade, remind, teach, tell, warn, advise, invite): I allowed them to stay longer.
3. After certain verbs which sometimes take an object and sometimes don’t (ask, expect, want, like): I want to find out the answer. I want you to find out the answer. I’d like to help you. I’d like you to give her a message.
But never say: I want that you. I’d like that you.
4. After certain adjectives: It’s difficult to understand the situation. It’s possible to enter the University.
5. After make and let: He made me believe him again. (Active – without to). I was made to believe again. (Passive – with to). I was allowed to borrow the car. (“Let” in the sense of “allow” is not possible in the passive.)
6. To express purpose: I returned here to pay the bill.
7. After certain verbs followed by question words (what, where, who, how, when, whether etc.): I didn’t know what to do. How to get to the bus–station? I don’t know where to write it.
3. Verbs + . ing (The Gerund) or verbs + The Infinitive ?
1. With continue, start, begin either the Gerund or the Infinitive can be used: It started to rain / raining.
2. Remember, forget, stop, try (the meaning changes greatly depending on whether the Gerund or the Infinitive is used): I remember being very unhappy as a teenager. (The Gerund refers to actions and states in the past, i. e. before the remembering, etc. take place.)
Remember to put some petrol in the car! (The Infinitive refers to actions that must still be done, i. e. that happen after the remembering, etc.)
• Try + infinitive is your goal; it is what you want to do.
• Try + gerund is the method you use to achieve that goal.
3. Prefer to do, prefer doing: I prefer doing something to (doing) something else but I prefer to do something rather than (do) something else.
I prefer teaching to studying but I prefer to teach rather than learn.
4. Would prefer (to do): “Shall we go by taxi?” “Well, I’d prefer to go by bus (not going).”.
5. Would rather (do) = is used for preference – we use the Infinitive after it without to: I would rather go to work.
6. We can also use – ing after while or when: Mind your head when going upstairs(= when you are going).
7. Had better = is used for advice – and the Infinitive without to is used:
You had better stay in bed with your cold.
1. Count nouns and non–count nouns:
Count Nouns Non–count Nouns
Singular a pen
one pen money
a great deal of money
a little money
Plural pens, few pens
two pens, a few pens
a lot of pens
a) take “a / an” or “one” in the singular
b) usually take a final “s / es” in the plural a) do not take “a / an” or “one” in the singular
b) do not generally have a plural form
Remember: some count nouns are irregular:
man – men foot – feet woman – women
tooth – teeth child – children mouse – mice
A list of some non–count nouns:
A table of noun determiners:
Count Nouns Non–count Nouns
this, that, these, those
a lot of
one, two, three,.
a great number of
the number of
fewer . than
more . than this, that
a lot of
a large amount of
the amount of
less . than
more . than
Remember: the underlined words can be used with both count and non–count nouns.
2. Genitives: “s” or “of the” ?
We normally use ‘s when the first noun is a person or an animal:
They came to my father’s party.
Otherwise (with things) we normaly use . of the .
Thank goodness it’s the end of the exams.
But!.. sometimes you can use ‘s
a) when the first noun is an organization (= a group of people):
the government’s economic policy or the economic policy of the government
b) when the noun is a place:
the town’s cinema or the cinema of the town
c) with time words or periods of time:
Send me, please, last Friday’s papers.
I’ve got an hour’s work.
Nouns, which do not end in –s, form the genitive case in this way:
my neighbour’s house; a people’s problem;
Nouns ending in –s form the genitive case in two ways and the ending is pronounced [iz] whether the letter s is written or not:
my neighbours’ (neighbour’s) house;
Dickens’ (Dickens’s) novel.
• you can use ‘s after more than one noun:
Mr and Mrs Smith’s garden.
• you can use ‘s without a following noun:
Mike’s report is much better than Andrew’s.
Be very careful with Double genitive:
Here’s a photo of you (you are in the picture).
Here’s a photo of yours (the photo belongs to you, but you need not be shown in it).
Look at this picture of my mother (she is the person in the picture).
Look at this picture of my mother’s (the picture belongs to her).
The Indefinite Article “a”/ “an” is used:
• before singular count nouns to mean one (a house, a book etc.);
• in a general statement (A lion is a wild animal);
• to introduce a new subject (She bought a new umbrella);
• with a complement including names of professions(a teacher, a great man);
• with certain numerical expressions (a couple, a dozen, a hundred, a great many, a great deal, a lot of).
An is used before the words that begin with a vowel or a vowel sound:
an hour, an honour, an honest ., an eye but .a university, a universal . , a union.
The Definite Article “the” is used:
• when both speakers have a specific thing or person in mind:
Could you shut the window?
• when something is unique:
The earth is round.
• when the 2nd time the speaker mentions a noun:
I saw a woman. The woman looked like your mother.
• with the names of musical instruments:
He plays the piano.
• with the superlative degree of adjectives:
It is the longest river in Lithuania.
• when speaking about a specific noun:
The coffee we had was not good.
• with the words like office, movies, theatre:
He went to the movies.
• with the names of some countries (the USA, the Ukraine, the Caucasus, the United Kingdom, etc):
She lives in the USA.
• with the names of island groups:
They went to the Philippines.
• with the names of geographic areas:
It happened in the Middle East.
• with the names of universities, colleges and schools when the name begins with “school”:
He studies at the University of Vytautas Magnus.
• with the names of wars (excluding World Wars):
They participated in the Civil War.
• with the names of ships, trains, aeroplanes:
We travelled by the Kaunas.
• with the names of oceans, rivers, gulfs, plural lakes, seas and mountain ranges:
I like to spend time by the Neris.
The Definite Article is not used:
• with the names of singular lakes, mountains, islands (Haiti, Lake Galvė);
• with the singular names of countries(Lithuania, Sweden);
• with the names of continents (Asia, Africa, Europe);
• with the names of states, towns, streets (Kaunas, Idaho);
• with the names of general subjects (History, English);
• with the names of people (Eve, Andrew);
• with the names of universities, colleges and schools beginning with a proper noun (Oxford, Cambridge, Harward).
Subject Pronouns I
He, she, it We
Object Pronouns Me
Him, her, it Us
Possessive Pronouns Mine
His, hers, its Ours
Possessive Adjectives My
His, her, its Our
Reflexive Pronouns Myself
Himself, herself, Itself Ourselves
Relative Pronouns Who
1. The subject pronoun is used:
• after the verb “to be”:
It is he in the picture (formal). It is him in the picture (informal).
• when the subjects of two clauses are compared:
You speak louder than I (do).
2. The object pronoun is used:
• when the objects of two clauses are compared:
They helped you more than me.
• after prepositions:
He studies with her.
3. The possessive pronoun is used:
• to replace a possessive adjective + noun.
Instead of saying “This book is my book” we say “This book is mine”.
• after the preposition “of”, when it indicates “one of several”:
I saw a friend of yours yesterday.
• after the verb “to be”:
This handbag is mine.
• to replace the second adjective + noun when comparing two objects:
My house is bigger than yours.
4. Pronoun / adjective agreement:
• singular pronoun, singular verb:
Everybody is present.
• plural possessive adjectives, plural verb:
both . and .
Both Andrew and Lina are preparing for their wedding ceremony.
• possessive adjectives agree with the closest subject (the adjective agrees with the subject which is closer):
either . or
neither . nor
not only . but also
Neither Andrew nor his friend are going to his class. Not only the principal but also the teachers have had their pay increased.
• collective nouns are the words indicating a number of people, animals or things. The following collective nouns can be either singular or plural depending on whether a singular or plural meaning is desired, i. e. if the individual members are acting as a group or separately: organisation, family, committee, class, government, crowd, assembly, team, public, crew, faculty, jury.
The team is playing its game very well (as a group). The team are returning to their families (separately).
The following nouns are used to indicate groups of animals and are considered as singular: flock of birds / sheep, herd of cattle, school of fish, swarm of bees, pack of wolves, colony of ants.
The pack of wolves attacked its prey.
When several adjectives modify one noun, the adjective with general meaning (opinion) comes first and the specific adjective (fact) comes last:
a pretty silk dress
An adjective is used:
• after linking verbs (these verbs show no action): be, seem, appear, become, grow, stay, remain, get, go, prove, turn.
I got bored.
• after sense verbs (no action): look, sound, smell, taste, feel.
I felt happy.
• in special combinations: keep quiet, open wide, stand still.
But after the other verbs you must use adverbs.
The suffix –ly can be used to form both adjectives and adverbs.
Noun Adjective Adjective Adverb
world worldly slow slowly
friend friendly sad sadly
Most adjectives have degrees of comparison: comparative and superlative.
Adjectives form their degrees of comparison in the following way:
• adjectives of one or two syllables and adjectives of two syllables which end in –y, –ow, –er, –le form their degrees by the inflexion –er, –est:
completer (the) nicest
• some adjectives have irregular forms of degrees of comparison:
further (the) worst
• some adjectives form their degrees of comparison by placing more /most before the adjective ( there are adjectives of three and more syllables, ending in –ful, –ible, –ous, –ish, –less, –like etc.):
difficult more beautiful
more difficult (the) most beautiful
(the) most harmless
(the) most difficult
• the structure the + comparative . the + comparative:
The more expensive the hotel, the better the service. The more you have, the more you want.
• when we make a comparision of equals, we use: not as . as, not so . as, as . as, twice as . as, the same as:
She isn’t as young as she looks. He is not so rich as Lina. I’ll return as soon as possible. The house is three times as big as ours. My salary is the same as hers.
• after than and as it is more usual to say me / him / her etc. when there is no verb. Compare these sentences:
You made the same mistake as I made.
You made the same mistake as me.
• older / elder (we use elder when we are talking about the members of a family but before a noun):
Her elder sister is a nurse.
His brother is older than him.
• comparison of health: well / ill, better / worse.
They modify a verb and they are formed by adding –ly to an adjective, unless the adjective ends in “y” and has two syllables:
• Adverbs never / often / usually / always / soon / sometimes / seldom are placed before the main verb except for the auxiliary verbs to be, to have, can etc. which it follows:
I always taste new dishes. I am always very careful with mushrooms.
We also use all / both in the same positions:
My parents are both teachers. They both felt ill.
Enough: adj / adv + enough; enough + noun:
She speaks well enough. It isn’t good enough. I have enough money.
• Comparatives and superlatives of adverbs:
Andrew studies as seriously as Lina (a comparison of equals).
Ann studies better than her brother (the comparative degree).
He ran the fastest (the superlative degree).
One–syllable adverbs use –er and –est to form the degrees of comparison, also the adverb early:
harder (the) earliest
Adverbs ending in –ly form the degrees by means of more / most:
quickly more beautifully
more quickly (the) most beautifully
(the) most quickly
Some adverbs have irregular forms of comparison:
worse (the) best
Most before an adjective or an adverb can also mean very:
The book you lent me was most interesting. (Without the)
You are most welcome. (Without the)
1. According to their meaning, prepositions may be divided into:
• prepositions of place/direction (in, on, below, under, between, etc.);
• prepositions of time (after, before, at, on, in, for, during, by, until, etc.);
• prepositions expressing abstract relations (by, with, because of, with a view to, etc.).
• at night
• at the week–end / at week–ends
• at Christmas / at Easter (but on Christmas Eve)
• at the moment / at present
• at the same time
• at the age of .
We do not use at / on / in before last / next:
• I’ll return next month.
• in a few minutes
• in a week (in a week’s time)
• in six months (in six months’ time)
We say somebody is:
on a farm at work at school at a station in bed
at home at university at the seaside in hospital
• to arrive in a country / town:
He arrived in Kaunas.
• to arrive at with other places, buildings, events, etc.
When did you arrive at the party?
• to arrive home (without a preposition):
When did he arrive home?
• to travel by car, by train, by plane, by boat / ship, by bus, by bicycle;
• also: by road, by rail, by air, by sea, by Underground;
• but: in my car, in his car, in the car, in a car;
• in a taxi;
• on my bicycle, on the bus, on the 6.15 train, on a big ship;
• to come on time = punctual, not late;
• and in time = soon enough for something / soon enough to do something:
The 11.45 train left on time (= it left at 11.45).
Will you come home in time for dinner (= soon enough for dinner) ?
• at the end (of something) = at the time when something ends:
at the end of the month; at the end of July; at the end of the film
• in the end = finally:
We waited ages for a taxi. We gave up in the end and walked home.
2. Some nouns + preposition:
• a rise / an increase / a fall / a decrease in something:
There was a fall in the number of people without jobs this year.
• an advantage / a disadvantage of something:
The advantage of living in the city is ., but There is (are) an advantage in doing something.
• a photograph / a picture of somebody / something:
A photograph of his wife.
• a solution to a problem / an answer to a question / a reply to a letter / a key to a door:
Give me the answer to my question.
• an attitude to / towards somebody / something:
Her attitude to / towards his trips is negative.
• to pay by cheque, to pay in cash or to pay cash; (to do something) by mistake, by accident, by chance; in(my) opinion; (to be) on fire:
The house was on fire.
• (to be/to go) on a diet, (to be/to go) on strike, (to be/to go) on holiday/on business/on a trip/on a tour/on an excursion/on a cruise, etc.
3. Adjectives + prepositions
• delighted / pleased / satisfied / disappointed with something;
• bored / fed up with something;
• surprised / shocked / amazed / astonished at / by something;
• excited / worried / upset about something;
• afraid / frightened / terrified / scared of somebody / something;
• proud / ashamed of somebody / something;
• jealous / envious / suspicious of somebody / something;
• good / bad / excellent / brilliant / hopeless at(doing) something;
• angry / annoyed / furios about something, with someone for doing something;
• responsible for something;
• interested in something;
• capable / incapable of something;
• fond of something;
• tired of something;
• keen on something;
• similar to something.
4. Verbs + prepositions
• believe in something / somebody;
• belong to somebody / something;
• consist of something;
• complain (to somebody) about somebody / something;
• depend on somebody / something;
• laugh / smile at somebody / something;
• listen to somebody / something;
• live on money / food;
• look at somebody / something (= look in the direction of);
• look for somebody / something (= try to find);
• look after somebody / something (= take care of);
• rely on somebody / something;
• speak / talk to somebody;
• wait for somebody / something;
• write (to) somebody.
We do not use preposition with these verbs: phone someone, discuss something, enter (go into) a place.
1. Word Order
Usual word order in English – Subject + Verb + Object
I like English.
The subject and verb are inverted when a sentence begins with:
Hardly ever Nowhere
Scarcely (ever) At no time
On no account
By no means Little
Never will I smoke again. Hardly had I entered the room, when the telephone rang.
Only then Only by chance
Only yesterday Only on rare occasions
Only with difficulty
Only by luck
Only once did he come late to school.
Down / out / up / in + Verb + Subject
Out ran the children when the bell rang.
In front of .
In the corner of . In.
Under a tree slept a man.
At the . There + Verb + .
It + Verb + ..
There is no time left.
It takes a lot of time to read such a thick book.
a) We usually make questions by changing word order:
It is raining. Is it raining? I can read. Can I read?
b) We use do, does in present simple questions:
Do you work? Where do you work?
and use did in past simple questions:
How did you like it? Where did she go?
Remember: if who/what/which is the subject of the sentence do not use do/does/did: Lina wrote Andrew a letter. Who did Lina write a letter? Who wrote Andrew a letter?
c) We use negative questions:
o to show surprise: Didn’t you hear about it?
o in exclamations (!): Doesn’t it sound wonderfully!
o when we expect the listener to agree with us: “Haven’t we met before?”, “Yes, we have.”
d) The word order is the same as the statement in indirect reported questions:
Where can I change some money? (Simple question)
Could you tell me where I can change some money? (Indirect question)
When does the train leave? (Simple question)
Do you know when the train leaves? (Indirect question)
• use if or whether where there is no other question word:
Is it time to go? I wonder if it is the time to go.
• we often use auxiliary verbs:
1) When we don’t want to repeat something:
“Does he smoke?”, “He did but he doesn’t any more.”
“Is she at home?”, “Yes, she is”.
2) In short questions:
“I’ve just seen Lina.” “Oh, have you?”
“Andrew is ill.” “Is he?”
3) With so and neither (nor):
I went to the cinema yesterday so did Jim.
“I never smoke.”, “Neither do I / nor do I.” (Mind the word order).
4) In question tags:
Normally we use a positive question tag with a negative question and v. v.: He won’t come, will he? He will come, won’t he?
Remember: Let’s visit them, shall we? Don’t shout, will you? Unlock the door, will you? I am late, aren’t I?
2. Subject–verb agreement
It presents difficulty to most learners of English since some subjects take a singular verb, some may take either a singular or plural verb, and some take a plural verb:
a) subjects which take a singular verb: news, politics, economics, statistics, physics, mumps, measles, mathematics, furniture, advice etc.:
No news is good news.
The following prepositional phrases take a singular verb: together with, as well as, along with, in addition to, accompanied by.
The principal, accompanied by his wife, is arriving today.
b) subjects which take a plural verb: and, both, police, both.and, many, several, few:
Both my sister and my brother are here. A few have arrived.
c) subjects which may take either a singular verb or a plural one: pants, shorts, glasses, thanks, trousers, jeans, pliers, means. These nouns take a singular verb when the phrase “pair of” or “word of” is included, but take a plural verb when these words are not included:
Many thanks were given. A word of thanks was given. A number of people have called. The number of people at the exhibit was amazing.
d) none, no, all, some, most, half, any, majority – these words may take a singular or a plural verb depending on the noun which follows them:
None of the furniture was sold. None of the dresses are nice. Either our teachers or our principal is coming.
c) nouns for nationality ending in –ese, –ch, –sh take a singular verb when referring to the language, but a plural verb + the when referring to the people.
French is spoken in parts of Canada. The French are known for their gastronomy.
3. Reported Speech
When we use reported speech, we usually talk about the past. So verbs usually change to the past in reported speech.
• (Direct speech) “My parents live in Canada”, Jim said.
• (Reported speech) Jim said his parents lived in Canada.
The Past Simple Tense usually can stay the same in reported speech, or you can change it to the Past Perfect Tense.
• (Direct speech) “Tom worked very hard”, Lina said.
• (Reported speech) Lina said Tom worked (had worked) hard.
If the verb is in the Present Simple Tense in the principal clause, a present tense, a past tense or a future tense may be used in the subordinate clause.
But if the verb is in one of the past tenses in the principal clause, a past tense (or future in the past) must be used in the subordinate clause. It is so called the sequence of tenses.
Sequence of Tenses
Direct Speech Reported Speech
Present Perfect Continuous
Future Perfect Continuous
Past Perfect Continuous
Subjunctive (conditional) Past Indefinite
Past Perfect Continuous
Future Indefinite in the Past
Future Continuous in the Past
Future Perfect in the Past
Future Perfect Continuous in the Past
Past Perfect (Past Indefinite)
generally remains unchanged or becomes the Past Perfect Continuous
Direct Speech Reported Speech
last year then
the next day, the following day,
the day after
the day before, the previous day
the following week
the previous week
the night before
the year before
1. It is not always necessary to change the verb when you use reported speech. If you are reporting something and you feel that it is still true, you do not need to change the tense of the verb:
• (Direct) She said “Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania.”
• (Reported) She said Vilnius is (or was) the capital of Lithuania.
2. Must / might / could / would / should / ought stay the same in reported speech.
3. We also use the Infinitive (to do / to stay etc.) in reported speech, especially with tell / ask:
• (Direct) “Don’t cry”, I said to Lina.
• (Reported) I asked / told Lina not to cry.