Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Adverb Clauses and Subordinate Conjunctions

Complex sentences with adverb clauses are formed when we connect two clauses with a subordinate conjunction.

  • These conjunctions are called “SUBORDINATE CONJUNCTIONS,” or “SUBORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS
  • The clause that begin with the subordinate conjunction is called an adverb clause.

  • EXAMPLE: Although she loves chocolate, she tried to avoid eating it.
    • Although= subordinate conjunction
    • Although she loves chocolate= adverb clause
    • She tried to avoid eating it= (in case you are curious!) this part of the complex sentence is called an independent clause
    Click here for a list of common subordinate conjunctions

    If you would like some practice with adverb clauses, try these practice activities:



    Gerunds and Infinitives

    What are these things and what do they look like?

     

    OK, so how do we use them?


    Gerunds and infinitives both have similar functions in a sentence,...
    so how do we know which one to use?
    We need to look at the words that precede them (come before them) to decide if we should use a gerund or an infinitive.


    Some verbs are followed by a gerund:

    And some verbs are followed by an infinitive:


    And Some verbs can be followed by both.

    Some of these verbs, such as LIKE, START, LOVE, HATE, DISLIKE, cause no change in meaning when followed by a gerund or infinitive.
    For example: I like to swim AND I like swimming mean the same thing.

    But be careful! Sometimes there is a significant change in meaning!

    In addition, many expressions ending with prepositions are followed by gerunds:

    Many adjectives are followed by infinitives


    The infinitive can also be used to express PURPOSE (why we do something


    For more practice with gerunds and infinitives, visit the following links:

    Practice 1 (Scroll to the bottom of the page for 4 practice exercises and a test)
    Practice 2 (click here for THIRTY different practice exercises!)

    Have fun practicing gerunds and infinitives!


     
     
      

     
     




    Thursday, May 8, 2014

    Present Perfect Continuous

    Have you been wondering about the Present Perfect Continuous? Well, here are some things you should know:


    It looks like this: HAVE/HAS + BEEN + PAST PARTICIPLE

    Now, click here: Andrea's Present Perfect Continuous Google Doc


    (This page compares it in form to the present perfect, looks at contractions, negative forms, and questions)

    While Present Perfect Continuous is used much less than the present perfect (see earlier blog post for all you need to know about that one!), it is still a good tense to be familiar with. It IS something we do need to use in certain situations.


    Compare these sentences:

    • She studied English for 10 years.
    • I have studied English for ten years.
    • I have been studying together for three hours.

    Then, consider this:

    • Which actions are complete/finished?
    • Which sentences talk about big/long life events?
    • Which sentences talk about actions that started in the past and are still happening?
    • Which action is shorter (in duration) than the others?

    Now, compare these sentences:

    • She worked in a bank when she was in college.
    • She has worked in a medical office.
    • She has been working in Denmark a lot recently, and speaks Danish now.

    And consider this:

    • In which sentences do we know WHEN the event happened?
    • Which are events that happened ONCE in the past, but we don’t know when?
    • Which event happened repeatedly and continued happening until the present (or very recently?)
    • Which past action had an effect on the present?


    Now you are curious, right?? Good


    Now click here: Rules for Present Perfect Continuous


    (Here you will find out the answers to these questions– and learn some clear rules for using the present perfect continuous!)

    For some basic practice with form, try these:

     


    Now, for practice comparing it to the present perfect and the past simple try these great exercises:

     


    I hope you have enjoyed this. I have been having a lot of fun compiling this blog for you!

    Monday, May 5, 2014

    Passive Voice Basics

    What is the passive voice?

     

    There are two "voices" in English: ACTIVE and PASSIVE. 

    When we study verb forms (present simple, past simple, etc.), we first learn the active voice.

     

    For example:


    I wrote the letter.= (past simple, active voice)
    but we can also say: The letter was written. (this is PASSIVE VOICE, past simple)
    She is studying the contract. (present continuous, active voice)
    or we can say... The contract is being studied. (= PASSIVE VOICE, present continuous)

    Although the passive voice is used much less frequently than the active voice in both speaking in writing, it is still important to understand the rules of use and form.


    Click here for a basic introduction to ACTIVE and PASSIVE voice.


    When do we need to use the passive voice?

    Here is a simple explanation of how to use it
    Click here for another explanation, with a few practice activities
    VIDEO: Or click here for a video explanation on YouTube

    Are you interested in learning LOTS more about passive voice?

    Click here to view the Purdue Owl (but only click if you are ready for a large amount of information!)

    What does the passive voice look like?

    **The bad news: each of the 16 verb forms you’ve already studied (present simple, past simple, present perfect, etc. etc.), has a passive voice “cousin” that works the same way…but looks completely different.**

    Click here to view a chart I created of some of the more common VERB TENSES

    Do you want to practice?

    PRACTICE 1: Identifying active of passive voice
    PRACTICE 2: Changing active to passive voice
    PRACTICE 3: More practice changing active to passive voice
    PRACTICE 4: 14 great practice exercises
    PRACTICE 5: Choose the correct passive verb form
    PRACTICE 6: 20 more practice exercises

    This blog post has been written by Andrea. I hope it helps!

    (that's present perfect, passive voice!)

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

    Quoted Speech/ Direct Reported Speech

    Every day, people say important, interesting, funny, or annoying things.  And we often decide to write about these things! When we do this, we need to remember a few necessary rules for punctuation and placement. 


    Let’s take a look at this famous little quote by Italian artist Leonardo Da Vinci: 


    Learning never exhausts the mind.


    To write this as quoted speech, we can do it in three simple ways.
    1) Leonardo Da Vinci said, “Leaning never exhausts the mind.” (Notice the comma, quotation marks, and capital L)
    2) “Learning never exhausts the mind,” said Leonardo Da Vinci. (Notice the comma, quotation marks, and lower-case s)
    3) “Leaning never exhausts the mind,” Leonardo Da Vinci said. (We just changed the “said”)

    Which choice is best? All are equally correct. It is your job to pick the one that sounds best when used in your paragraph or essay!


    What happens when we want to write down more than one sentence in our quote?


    Here is a nice one by Abigail Adams: '=


    Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and diligence


    To write this as quoted speech, we have FOUR choices:
    1) Abigail Adams said, “Leaning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and diligence.” (tag line first, then the two sentences all quotes together.)
    2)  “Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and diligence,” said Abigail Adams. (the tag line at the end.)
    3)  ”Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and diligence,” Abigail Adams said. (Similar to #2, but we moved the “said.”)
    4)  (My favorite) “Learning is not attained by chance,” said Abigail Adams.  “It must be sought for with ardor and diligence.” (tag line in the middle! note the placement of the comma, quotation marks, period, lower-case “s” and capital “I.”)
    Again, all are equally correct. You will choose the one that sounds best in your writing.



    Here is one by Henry Ford that is THREE sentences:


    Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.


    What are are choices here?
    1) Henry Ford said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
    2) “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young,” Henry Ford said.
    3)  ”Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young,” said Henry Ford.
    4)  ”Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty,” said Henry Ford. ”Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
    5) “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young,” said Henry Ford. ”The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

    What about for quoted questions?


    (*I’ve changed these a little to make them work better here!)


    In Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliette, Juliette asked this (kind of!):


    Where are you, Romeo?


    1) Juliette asked, “Where are you, Romeo?” (ASKED not SAID)
    2) “Where are you, Romeo?” asked Juliette. (NO COMMA! Question mark+quotation mark+ lower-case “a”)
    3) “Where are you, Romeo?” Juliette asked. (same as #2- but we moved the “asked”)


    What happens when we have a regular statement AND a question in our quote?


    Here is one by Albert Einstein (*I changed this one a little, too.)


    There is a question that sometimes drives me hazy. Am I, or are the others crazy?


    1) Albert Einstein said, “There is a question that sometimes drives me hazy. Am I, or are the others crazy?” (“said” before the statement)
    2) (My favorite) “There is a question that sometimes drives me hazy,” said Albert Einstein. ”Am I, or are the others crazy?” (“said” after the statement)
    3) ”There is a question that sometimes drives me hazy. Am I, or are the others crazy?” asked Albert Einstein. (“asked” after the question)


    Click here to watch a YouTube video lesson bout quoted speech.


    Below is a printable exercises for quoted speech practice: