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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

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Kinds of conjunctions

Underline the conjunctions in the following sentences and state whether they are coordinating and subordinating.
1. She will not come unless you invite her.
2. I arrived after they had gone.
3. I waited till he arrived.
4. Jack and Jill went up the hill.
5. You will get a promotion if you deserve it.
6. When you are called you must come in at once.
7. Don’t go before I come.
8. He is richer than I am.
9. We reached home before the storm broke out.
10. Catch me if you can.
11. They must be sleeping for there is no light in their room.
12. She neither phoned nor wrote.
Answers
1. She will not come unless you invite her. (Subordinating conjunction)
2. I arrived after they had gone. (Subordinating conjunction)
3. I waited till he arrived. (Subordinating conjunction)
4. Jack and Jill went up the hill. (Subordinating conjunction)
5. You will get a promotion if you deserve it. (Subordinating conjunction)
6. When you are called you must come in at once. (Subordinating conjunction)
7. Don’t go before I come. (Subordinating conjunction)
8. He is richer than I am. (Subordinating conjunction)
9. We reached home before the storm broke out. (Subordinating conjunction)
10. Catch me if you can. (Subordinating conjunction)
11. They must be sleeping for there is no light in their room. (Coordinating conjunction)
12. She neither phoned nor wrote. (Coordinating conjunction)

Friday, June 26, 2015

Writing Simplified: How and When to Use Parentheses

Writing Simplified: How and When to Use Parentheses: Parentheses are most commonly seen these days as the lower half of emoticons. They're good for much more than just being the smile in...

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Examples of Subject Verb Agreement


Examples of Subject Verb Agreement

Subject verb agreement simply means the subject and verb must agree in number. This means both need to be singular or both need to be plural.

Subject/Verb Agreement Examples

Here are some examples of subject verb agreement (the subject is bolded and the verb underlined): 
  • My dog always growls at the postal carrier.
  • Basketballs roll across the floor.
  • I don’t understand the assignment.
  • These clothes are too small for me.
  • Peter doesn’t like vegetables.

Compound Subjects

Compound subjects (two subjects in the same sentence) usually take a plural verb, unless the combination is treated as singular in popular usage or the two subjects refer to the same thing or person. Here are some examples of subject verb agreement with compound subjects:
  • Sugar and flour are needed for the recipe.
  • Neither my dad nor my brothers know how to ski.
  • Pepperoni and cheese are great on a pizza.
  • Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional meal in Ireland. (popular usage)
  • The creator and producer is arriving soon. (both refer to same person)
When using “or” or “nor” in a compound subject containing a singular and plural subject, the verb agrees with the closest subject. Examples of compound subjects using or, neither-nor, or either-or include:
  • My mom or dad is coming to the play. (singular)
  • Neither gray nor white is my favorite color. (singular)
  • Either Grandpa or my sisters are going to the park. (closest subject is plural)
  • Either my sisters or Grandpa is going to the park. (closest subject is singular)
  • Neither she nor I am going to college. (closest subject is singular)

Singular Indefinite Pronouns

Here are some examples of subject verb agreement with singular indefinite pronouns:
  • Each gets a trophy for playing.
  • Somebody will pay for this.
  • Anybody is more fun than you.
  • Something is very wrong here.
  • Everybody enjoys a good book.
  • Nothing has been determined as of yet.

Plural Indefinite Prounouns

Here are some examples of subject verb agreement with plural indefinite pronouns:
  • Both are qualified for the job.
  • Many went to the beach and got sunburned.
  • Few know what it really takes to get ahead.
  • Several are already on location.
  • Some sugar is required for taste. (sugar is uncountable so singular verb used)
  • Most of the cookies were eaten. (cookies are countable so plural verb used)

Midsentence Phrase or Clause

Here are some examples of subject verb agreement with a phrase or clause between the subject and verb:
  • theory of physics ascertains that a body in motion stays in motion.
  • virus in all the company’s computers is a real threat to security.
  • The causes of this prevalent disease are bad diet and lack of exercise.
  • The couch and chair I got at the store look really nice in here.
  • The members of the choir are very happy with the performance.

Collective Nouns

Collective nouns can be singular or plural depending on meaning. Here are some examples of subject verb agreement with collective nouns:
  • The committee meets here every Thursday. (singular)
  • The crowd is getting angry. (singular) 
  • The jury has finally reached a decision. (singular)
  • The majority rules most of the time. (plural)
  • The staff have gone their separate ways for the holidays. (plural)

Inverted Subjects

Here are some examples of subject verb agreement with inverted subjects where the subject follows the verb:
  • There are seven clean plates in the dining room.
  • There is a hair in my lasagna.
  • Over the rainbow flies a bird.
  • How are the employees enjoying the new building?
  • A good gift is a gift card.

20 Rules of Subject Verb Agreement

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20 Rules of Subject Verb Agreement


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While grammar is not as static a science as is typically assumed, there are 20 rules ofsubject verb agreement that attempt to objectify part of the English language form. Most of the concepts of subject verb agreement are straightforward, yet some aspects of singular and plural usage in English grammar are more complicated.
Consider the second person plural pronoun y'all as it's used in the southern American dialect, for example. Addressing a group of people in the second person using standard English is inefficient and requires more words.
A sentence like I want to talk to all of you sitting at the table in standard English can be accomplished quite simply in southern American dialect with the sentence I want to talk to y'all.
Consequently, the 20 rules of subject verb agreement will vary somewhat by dialect.

What Are the Rules?

1. Subjects and verbs must agree in number. This is the cornerstone rule that forms the background of the concept.
The dog growls when he is angry. The dogs growl when they are angry.
2. Don’t get confused by the words that come between the subject and verb; they do not affect agreement.
The dog, who is chewing on my jeans, is usually very good.
3. Prepositional phrases between the subject and verb usually do not affect agreement.
The colors of the rainbow are beautiful.
4. When sentences start with “there” or “here,” the subject will always be placed after the verb, so care needs to be taken to identify it correctly.
There is a problem with the balance sheet. Here are the papers you requested.
5. Subjects don't always come before verbs in questions. Make sure you accurately identify the subject before deciding on the proper verb form to use.
Does Lefty usually eat grass? Where are the pieces of this puzzle.
6. If two subjects are joined by and, they typically require a plural verb form.
The cow and the pig are jumping over the moon.
7. The verb is singular if the two subjects separated by and refer to the same person or thing.
Red beans and rice is my mom's favorite dish.
8. If one of the words each, every, or no comes before the subject, the verb is singular.
No smoking or drinking is allowed. Every man and woman is required to check in.
9. If the subjects are both singular and are connected by the words or, nor, neither/nor, either/or, and not only/but also the verb is singular.
Jessica or Christian is to blame for the accident.
10. The only time when the object of the preposition factors into the decision of plural or singular verb forms is when noun and pronoun subjects like some, half, none, more, all, etc. are followed by a prepositional phrase. In these sentences, the object of the preposition determines the form of the verb.
All of the chicken is gone. All of the chickens are gone.
11. The singular verb form is usually used for units of measurement or time.
Four quarts of oil was required to get the car running.
12. If the subjects are both plural and are connected by the words or, nor, neither/nor, either/or, and not only/but also, the verb is plural.
Dogs and cats are both available at the pound.
13. If one subject is singular and one plural and the words are connected by the words or, nor, neither/nor, either/or, andnot only/but also, you use the verb form of the subject that is nearest the verb.
Either the bears or the lion has escaped from the zoo. Neither the lion nor the bears have escaped from the zoo.
14. Indefinite pronouns typically take singular verbs.  *
Everybody wants to be loved.
15. * Except for the pronouns (few, many, several, both, all, some) that always take the plural form.
Few were left alive after the flood.
16. If two infinitives are separated by and they take the plural form of the verb.
To walk and to chew gum require great skill.
17. When gerunds are used as the subject of a sentence, they take the singular verb form of the verb; but, when they are linked by and, they take the plural form.
Standing in the water was a bad idea. Swimming in the ocean and playing drums are my hobbies.
18. Collective nouns like herd, senate, class, crowd, etc. usually take a singular verb form.
The herd is stampeding.
19. Titles of books, movies, novels, etc. are treated as singular and take a singular verb.
The Burbs is a movie starring Tom Hanks.
20. Final Rule – Remember, only the subject affects the verb!
For more examples, check out Examples of Subject Verb Agreement.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

How to Teach Online Lessons - And Be Proud Of Them


How to Teach Online Lessons - And Be Proud Of Them


The content of online English lessons varies greatly but the focus should always be on student speaking. Try to minimize the amount of time you talk (TTT) by having students read directions for exercises aloud or by doing the same types of activities often so that less explanation is necessary. Try to provide both oral and written feedback for students so they can review certain corrections on their own. If students are able to record classes, that can be very beneficial for self study too.

How to Proceed

  1. 1
    General English
    If you are following a certain textbook or curriculum, you can structure your lessons around new topics and grammar points. Start lessons off with a bit of conversational English since this is important for students who will have the opportunity to speak English outside of class. You can elicit what students already know about the topic and go over specific vocabulary words. Explain any new words to students and ask them to make sentences with or provide synonyms for several to test their comprehension. You can also introduce any grammar points or idioms at this time. Be sure to give students some example sentences and have them complete some practice activities. The majority of the lesson could then be spent having students respond to questions about the topic, practice a certain structure, or even role play a situation. Depending on how you teach your classes, you may share material in different ways and this will affect how you organize your lessons. Without any special software it can be challenging to highlight certain things and share materials but you can send students relevant files or links to websites before and during class.
  2. 2
    Business English
    Business English classes can be the most challenging classes to teach because students are sometimes quite advanced English language learners. For these lessons, it is imperative to prepare very well and be able to research items when students ask challenging questions. It is fine to have a student move forward in the lesson while you look for a proper answer to the question and then discuss the answer later or include it in the written feedback. Other students in these classes may be surprisingly good at speaking about their jobs but have difficulty speaking about other topics. It is important to focus on business material while still giving these students the opportunity to practice basic skills. General English can be just as important in the business world as delivering clear and concise presentations especially if students are expected to answer questions afterwards. Another key topic in these courses is numbers. Students will need some practice reading a variety of numbers and speaking about currency. Business English classes need to cover a broad range of material to ensure that your students are confident in a variety of situations. What you include in your lessons will vary drastically from student to student.
  3. 3
    Conversation Classes
    These classes can be enjoyable because students often just want to practice speaking English with a native speaker. This creates a very relaxed teaching environment and allows you to get to know your students well. Be sure to talk about what topics they are interested in and what they want to get out of their lessons. Once you have a better understanding of why they are studying English, you will be able to create better individualized lesson plans. It is great to be flexible for these classes but if students would like more structure, you can focus lessons on specific topics and include some activities such as introducing new vocabulary and idioms just like in general English classes.
  4. 4
    Discussion Lessons
    For advanced students who are not taking business classes, discussion lessons may provide them with excellent reading, pronunciation, and speaking practice while covering a range of different topics. These lessons can focus on two or three paragraph articles.In the first lesson students can start by reading the article aloud. Be sure to discuss any new words or phrases and have students complete some short activities focusing on vocabulary and content. Use the second class to discuss the article by asking the student ten to twenty related questions. It would be best to cover actual content, personal experience and opinions, and some tangential topics in these discussions. Feel free to insert your own thoughts from time to time to lead the discussion and challenge students to defend their arguments.