Archive for March, 2011

Possessive words

March 23rd, 2011 in Improve English

The possessive forms my, your, our, his, her, their and its are determiners. They are used at the beginning of noun phrases. These words are sometimes called possessive adjectives.

Possessive forms

March 22nd, 2011 in Improve English

The possessive forms of nouns are formed by adding  ’s to the noun.

Singular noun + ’s (John’s car, father’s house etc.)
Plural noun + ’ (my parents’ house)
Irregular plural + ’s (men’s hostel, children’s books)

Around and About

March 21st, 2011 in Words

In British English, around is used to talk about position or movement in a circle or a curve.

Awake and awaken

March 20th, 2011 in Words

In British English, the verbs awake and wake are irregular. In American English, these verbs can be regular.

Awake/awoke/awoken (US/GB)
Awake/awaked/awaked (US)
Wake/woke/woken (US/GB)
Wake/waked/waked (US)

The verb awaken is regular.

Modification of verbs

March 19th, 2011 in Improve English

Some verbs are gradable. They refer to actions that can happen more or less completely, fully etc. Gradable verbs can be modified by various degree adverbs.

As, than and that

March 17th, 2011 in Improve English

Than is used after adjectives and adverbs in the comparative degree. As and that are not used after comparatives.

  • John is taller than his brother. (NOT John is taller as his brother.) (NOT John is taller that his brother.)

Modification of nouns

March 16th, 2011 in Improve English

Gradable nouns

Some nouns are gradable. They can be used with degree modifiers.

She is a great nuisance. (= She is very annoying.)
The program was a relative success.