Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Subject-Verb Agreement

What does "subject verb agreement" mean?

It means: don't forget about the third person singular and just about everyone makes mistakes with this in writing.

There are a few things to remember that will help you to avoid (or fix) mistakes...

The verb “to be” has a few different forms to remember:

  • I am, you are, he/she/it is, we are, they are
  • I was, you were, he/she/it was, we were, they were

  • Therefore, we will say…
    •  John and his family were at the park.
    • Everybody is happy at the party.
    In addition, in the present simple form, we have to remember that little “S” when our subject is he, she, or it.

    That's easy, right?
    • I write, you write, but she WRITES
    • We go, they go, but he GOES

    • But what about subjects like EVERBODY (works), the INFORMATION (tells) or POLICE (work)? (that's kind of difficult to remember!)
    • ...or when we have an adjective clause such as the teacher who works in the city”? (confusing!)
    • ...or when our subject is a whole phrase with multiple nouns? The group of women often plays soccer together. (oh no!)

    Yes… that’s where the problems occur.  But confusion here is normal.

    For more information on subject-verb agreement, check out this list of rules and reminders:

    Rules of subject-verb agreement
    (Please Note: there are three quizzes at the bottom of the above-linked page, but Quiz #1 may not be working)

    And here are some good internet practice activities from some great internet sites: 

    Practice 1 (For this one, you'll need to write your answers on a piece of paper)
    Practice 2
    Practice 3
    Practice 4

    These are also good exercises, but you will have to print them first… (Good to bring to a tutor or use to study with classmates!)

    Worksheet 1
    Worksheet 2
    Worksheet 3

    And, if you want to try some challenging exercises, these are also great!

    Practice 7
    Practice 8
    Practice 9
    Practice 10
    Practice 11
     Practice 12
     Practice 13
     Practice 14

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

    Present Simple and Present Continuous

    Those are easy, right?

    Although these are often the first verb forms we learn when we begin to study English, they do present a few challenges, and students of all levels make mistakes with these.

    What do you remember about the present simple?

    Click below for a clear list of rules and other information:

    What about the present continuous? (*This is also called the "present progressive")

    Click below for a clear list of rules and other information:

    Here is a movie that explains both:

    Don't forget about the "non-continuous" verbs! Those are important too!
    (*These are also called "non-action verbs" or "stative verbs")

    Click below to view a list of these verbs.

    There are also some challenging verbs that can be "normal" as well as non-continuous, depending on the situation...

    Look a the examples on the bottom half of these pages for more information about these....

    Now, for some practice with present simple and present continuous...