A short-note of grammar
The following verbs require an infinitive for a verb in the complement:
Adjectives followed by the infinitive:
The following verbs require an –ing form for a verb in the complement:
The following verb phrases require an –ing form for a verb in the complement:
- approve of,
- be better off,
- can’t help,
- count on,
- confess to,
- depend on,
- do not mind,
- forget about,
- give up,
- get through,
- insist on,
- keep on,
- look forward to,
- object to,
- put off,
- rely on,
- succeed in,
- think about,
- think of,
- worry about.
- accustomed to,
- afraid of,
- capable of,
- fond of,
- intent on,
- interested in,
- successful in,
- tired of.
Ex– We are accustomed to sleeping late on weekends.
- choice of,
- possibility of,
- intention of,
- method of/for,
- reason for,
- excuse for
The following verbs can be followed by either the infinitive or the gerund with no change in meaning:
- can’t stand,
Pronouns before the gerund or infinitive:
Ex- I urge you to reconsider your decision.
Importance— Subjunctive Verbs:
The following verbs are used before ‘that’ and the verb word clause to express importance:
Ex– Hossen prefers that Eshita speak with him personally.
The following nouns are used in the same pattern:
Ex- She ignored the proposal that she get more study.
The following adjectives are used in impersonal expressions:
Ex- It is important to speak/that I speak with Hossen.
An infinitive can express ‘purpose’. It is a short form of ‘in order to’.
Ex- Tareq has studied hard to (in order to) succeed.
An anticipatory ‘it clause’ expresses belief or knowledge.
- It is believed
- It is hypothesized
- It is known
- It is said
- It is thought
- It is true
- It is written
Ex- It is generally known that she is leaving at the end of the year.
Remember that ‘had hoped’ expresses a hope in the past that did not happen.
Ex- I had hoped ‘that’ she ‘would’ come to the party.
Remember that possessive pronouns are used before –ing nouns.
Possessive pronouns: my, your, her, his, its, our, your, their
Ex– I would appreciate your letting me know as soon as possible.
Remember that there are pairs of nouns with similar meanings, but one is a count noun and the other is a noncount noun:
- a climate/climates — weather
- a laugh/laughs — laughter
- a human being/human beings — humanity
- a job/jobs — work
- a machine/machines — machinery
- a man/men — mankind; man
- a person/persons — people
- a snowflake/snowflakes — snow
- a sunbeam/sunbeams — sunlight; sunshine
- a traffic jam/traffic jams — traffic
Ex- We are late because we got stuck in traffic.
or We are late because we got stuck in a traffic jam.
The following singular expressions are idiomatic:
- a piece of advice
- a piece of bread
- a piece of equipment
- a piece of furniture
- a piece of information
- a piece of jewelry
- a piece of luggage
- a piece of mail
- a piece of music
- a piece of news
- a piece of toast
- a loaf of bread
- a slice of bread
- an ear of corn
- a bar of soap
- a bolt of lightning
- a clap of thunder
- a gust of wind
Qualifying Phrases with -ing Nouns: *The+-ing+of+noun
Ex- The writing of letters is an art.
Nominal ‘That’ clause: That + sub + verb = Nominal ‘That’ clause.
Ex- That we need to move is sure.
‘Almost all of the’ and ‘Most of the’
- Almost all of the/Almost all
- Most of the/Most
Ex- Almost all of the/almost all states have a sales tax
Most of the/most states have a sales Tex.
Consecutive Order— One, another, the other
Ex- One bus leaves at two, another at six, and the other at ten.
One of my roommates studies engineering, another studies business, and the other studies computer science.
Consecutive Order— Some, other, the other or Some, others, the others (the rest)
Ex- Some houses are for rent, other houses are for sale, and the other (the rest of the) houses are empty.
Some schools are universities, others are colleges, and the others (the rest) are junior colleges.
Numerical Order : Remember that ‘the’ is used with an ordinal number (first, second, third) before a singular count noun and a cardinal number (one, two, three) is used after a singular count noun to express numerical order.
Ex- I am outlining the sixth chapter in my notebook.
I am outlining chapter six in my notebook.
Ex- I have to write a one-thousand-word paper this weekend.
Adjective with Verbs of the Senses: Remember that an adjective, not an adverb, is used after verbs of the senses. The following verbs are example of verbs of the senses: feel, look, smell, sound, taste.
Ex– I felt bad about the mistake.
The meal tasted good.
Exact Similarity— the same as and the same
Remember that ‘the same as’ is used between the two nouns compared, and ‘the same’ is used after the two nouns or a plural noun.
Ex– Is your book the same as mine?
Are your book and mine the same?
- General Similarity— similar to and similar
Remember that ‘similar to’ is used between the two nouns compared, and ‘similar’ is used after the two nouns or a plural noun.
Ex- All of the other departments are similar to this one.
All of the other departments and this one are similar.
- General Similarity— like and alike
Remember that ‘similar to’ is used between the two nouns compared, and ‘similar‘ is used after the two nouns or a plural noun.
Ex- This coat is like that one.
These coats are alike.
Specific Similarity— Quality Nouns
Remember that a quality noun is used in comparisons of a specific characteristic.
The following are examples of quality nouns: age, color, height, length, price, size, style, weight.
Ex- She is the same age as Mamun.
Is this thread the same color as the cloth?
Specific Similarity— Quality Adjectives
Remember that a quality adjective is used in comparisons of a specific characteristic.
The following are examples of quality adjectives:
Ex- Mamun’s job is as hard as Mizan’s.
Comparative Estimates— Multiple Number
The following are examples of multiple number: half, twice, three times, four times, etc.
Ex- Mamun found a job that paid twice as much as he made working at the library.
Illogical Comparatives— General Similarity and Difference
Remember that ‘that of’ and ‘those of’ are used instead of repeating a noun to express a logical comparative.
Ex- The food in my country is very different from ‘that’ in the US.
The English that is spoken in Canada is similar to ‘that of’ the US.
One’s fingerprints are different from ‘those of’ any other person.
The interest on savings accounts at City Bank are higher than ‘that of’ Bank Asia.
Place— in, on, at
Remember that in, on, at have similar meanings, but they are used with different kinds of places. In general, in is used before large places; on is used before middle-sized places; and at is used before numbers in addresses. Finally, in is used again before very small places.
> in COUNTRY, STATE, PROVINCE, COUNTY, CITY
> on STREET, STREET CORNER, COAST, RIVER, a ship, a train, a plan
> at NUMBER
> in a corner, a room, a building, a park, a car, a boat
Ex- Hossen lives in Chittagong on the Halishahar Road at 902 in Anwara Mention.
Time— in, on, at
Remember that in, on, at have similar meanings, but they are used with different times. In general, in is used before large units of time; on is used before middle-sized units of time; and at is used before numbers in clock time.
Exception: idiomatic phrases such as–in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, at night, at noon
> in YEAR, MONTH
> on DAY, DATE
> at TIME
Ex- Hossen was born in 1995 in February on Sunday at 6:15am.
Exception— But and Except
Remember that when it is used as a preposition, ‘but’ means except.
Ex- All of the group but (except) Hossen went to BARD tour
Correlative Conjunctions— Inclusives both… and… as well as
Remember that both … and … as well as are correlative conjunctions. They must be used in sequence to include two or three parallel structures (nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs).
Ex- Both Hossen and Mamun as well as Nazim are going to Brothel.
Correlative Conjunctions— Exclusives not… but
Remember that ‘not… but’ are correlative conjunctions. They are used together to exclude the structure that follows ‘not’ (noun, adjective, verb, adverb) and include the structure that follows ‘but’.
Ex- It is usually ‘not’ lava ‘but’ gas that kills people during volcanic eruptions.
Affirmative Agreement— So and Too/also
Remember that ‘so, too, and also’ have the same meaning, but ‘so’ is used before auxiliary verbs and ‘too’ and ‘also’ are used after auxiliary verbs.
Ex- Hossen wants to get married Eshita, and so do I.
Nazim will go to Khulna to get married Tazia, and I will too.
Mamun engaged in a paramour relationship, and I did also.
Negative Agreement— Neither and Either
Remember that neither and either have the same meaning, but neither is used before auxiliary verbs and either is used after auxiliary verbs and not.
Ex- Hossen doesn’t love Eshita, and neither does she.
Mamun didn’t love Likha, and she didn’t either.
Planned Result— so that
Nazim is studying hard so that he can get a chance in IBA, MBA at DU.
Future Result— when
Mamun will feel a lot better when he stops smoking.
* Avoid using ‘will’ instead of ‘a present verb’ after when.
Question Words With -ever
Ex:- I agreed with Tazia whatever she decided.
Adverbs of Manner— Fast, Late, and Hard
Remember that although most adverbs of manner end in –ly, but ‘fast, last, and hard’ do not have -ly endings.
EX- Sakhawat types fast and efficiently.
Remember that negatives include phrases like not one, not once, not until, never, never again, only rarely, very seldom. Negatives answer the question— how often? They are used at the beginning of a statement to express emphasis. Auxiliaries must agree with verbs and subjects.
NP + av + sub + pv
Ex- Never have I seen so much snow.
Only rarely has an accident concurred.
Introductory Adverbial Modifiers— Once
Once is often used as an introductory adverbial modifier. It modifies the main subject that follows the clause.
Ex– Once a student at Chittagong University, he is now a custom officer for BCS.
Remember that there is an expected pattern for dates of the month. Dates answer the question, when?
Ex– I have an appointment on the fifth of June at three-o’ clock.
I have an appointment on June fifth at three-o’ clock.
Pseudo comparatives— as high as and as soon as
Ex- The price of a haircut runs as high as fifty dollars.
He will go home as soon as he graduates.
* Avoid using ‘will’ and a verb word instead of a present verb after as soon as.
Generalization— As a whole and wholly
Remember that as a whole means generally. Wholly means completely.
Ex– As a whole, the news is correct.
The news is wholly correct.
Sentences and Clauses
Incorrect: The weather ‘that’ is very rainy this time of year.
Correct: The weather is very rainy this time of year.
Incorrect: The telephone number, which number I wrote down, is for the hotel.
Correct: The telephone number, which is written down, is for the hotel.
Verbs in Dependent Clauses
* Avoid deleting the verb in a dependent clause, or using an -ing form instead of a verb in the dependent clause.
Incorrect: It is a shame that you missing the movie.
Correct: It is a shame that you missed the movie.
* Avoid adjective clauses without a subject or without a verb.
Incorrect: These are assignments that our teacher giving us.
Correct: These are assignments that our teacher gave us.
Point of View— Verbs
Incorrect: She closed the door and hurries away to class.
Correct: She closed the door and hurried away to class.
Point of View— Reported Speech
Some verbs are used to report past events:
asked, believed, forgot, knew, remembered, reported, said, thought, told.
Incorrect: I thought that she is coming today.
Correct: I thought that she was coming today.
Point of View— Verbs and Adjectives
Incorrect: Although there ‘are’ only two hundred foreign students studying at State University in 1990, there are more than five hundred now.
Correct: Although there ‘were’ only…
Point of View— Activities of the Dead
Incorrect: Just before he died, my friend who ‘writes’ poetry published his first book.
Correct: Just before he died, my friend who ‘wrote’…
Agreement— Indefinite Subject and Verb
Remember the the following subjects require a singular verb:
anyone, anything, each, either, everyone, everything, neither, none, nothing, what, whatever, whoever.
Ex- Either of these buses ‘goes’ past the university.
Verbal Modifiers— -ing and -ed forms
Incorrect: After graduating from City College, Professor Baker’s studies were continued at State University, where he received his Ph.D. in English.
Correct: After graduating from City College, ‘Professor Baker’ continued his studies at State University, …
Redundancy— Unnecessary Phrases
Incorrect: The problem which was very difficult in character and very delicate in nature.
Correct: The problem was difficult and delicate.
Redundancy— Repetition of Words with the Same Meaning
Incorrect: The money that I have is sufficient enough for my needs.
Correct: The money that I have is sufficient for my needs.
Redundancy— Repetition of Noun by Pronoun
Incorrect: Eshita she wants to hang out with Hossen, before she goes home.
Correct: Eshita wants to hang out with Hossen, before she goes home.
- Transitive and Intransitive Verbs— Raise and Rise
rays raised raised
rise rose risen
Remember that raise is a transitive verb; it takes a complement. Rise is an intransitive verb; it doesn’t take a complement.
Ex– The cost of living has risen 3 percent in the past year.
The flag is raised at dawn by an honor guard.
Transitive and Intransitive Verbs— Lay and Lie
lay laid laid
lie lay lain
Remember that lay is a transitive verb; it takes a complement. Lie is an intransitive verb; it doesn’t take a complement.
Ex- Her coat was lying on the chair.
Eshita always forgets where she lays her glasses.
Transitive and Intransitive Verbs— Set and Sit
Remember that set is a transitive verb; it takes a complement. Sit is an intransitive verb; it doesn’t take a complement.
set set set
sit sat sat
Ex- The students set the lab equipment on the table every class.
The equipment sits on the table every class.
Similar Verbs— Borrow and Lend
Ex- Eshita’s father borrows money from the bank every term.
The bank lends money to Eshita’s father every term.
Similar Verbs— Make and Do
Remember that do is often used before complements that describe work and chores. Make is often used before complements that are derived from verbs.
> DO an assignment, the dishes, a favor, homework, the laundry, a paper, research, work.
> Make an assignment, an announcement, an attempt, a decision, a discovery, an offer, a profit, a promise.
Ex- We do our homework before class every day.
We made an assignment with each other last semester.
Normal Sentence Pattern in English:
Sub + Verb + Com. + Modifier
Ex- Eshita and I ate a pizza last night.
Subject: The subject is the agent of the sentence in the active voice.
Verb: The verb follows the subject in a declarative sentence.
Complement: A complement completes the verb. It generally follows the verb when the sentence is in the active voice.
Modifier: A modifier tells the time, place, or manner of the action. Very often it is a prepositional phrase and can also be an adverb or an adverbial phrase.
Articles— A and An, The
A and an can be used in a general statement or to introduce a subject which has not been previously mentioned.
The is used to indicate something that we already know about or something that is common knowledge.
Use THE with— oceans, rivers, seas, plural lakes, mountains, earth, moon, schools, colleges, universities, ordinal numbers before nouns, wars (except world wars), certain countries or groups of countries with more than one word (except Great Britain), historical documents, ethnic groups.
Such as: The Red Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, the Persian Gulf, the Great Lakes, the Rocky Mountains, the Andes, the earth, the moon, the University of Chittagong, the College of Arts and Sciences, the first World War, the third chapter, the Crimean War, the Korean War, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Central African Republic, the Constitution, the Magna Carta, the Indians, the Bengals, the Aztecs.
Don’t use THE with— singular lakes, mounts, planets, constellations; schools, colleges, universities when the phrase begins with a proper noun, cardinal numbers after nouns, countries preceded by New or an adjectives such as direction, countries with only one word, continents, states, sports, abstract nouns, general areas of subject matter, holidays.
Such as: Lake Geneva, Lake Erie, Mount Vesuvius, Mount McKinley, Venus, Mars, Orion, Chittagong University, Cooper’s Art School, World War One, chapter three, New Zealand, South Africa, North Korea, France, Sweden, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Europe, Africa, South America, Florida, Ohio, California, baseball, basketball, freedom, happiness, mathematics, sociology, Christmas, Thanksgiving.
Same Verb Forms— bet, bid, cost, cut, fit, hit, put, quit, read, shut, spread
Collective Nouns— The following nouns are usually singular:
Congress, organization, government, family, team, jury, group, army, majority (both), committee, club, minority, class, crowd, public, flock of birds, sheep, herd of cattle, pack of dogs, school of fish, pride of lions, twenty-five dollars, fifty minutes, twenty dollars, two miles.
Ex- The crowd was wild with excitement.
A school of fish is being attacked by sharks.
Two miles is too much to run in one day.
A Number of/The Number of
A number of + plural noun + plural verb
The number of + plural noun + singular verb
Ex- A number of students are going to the class picnic. (A number of = many)
The number of days in a week is seven.
Nouns that are always plural— scissors, trousers, shorts, eyeglasses, pants, pliers, jeans, tweezers, tongs.
Ex– The pants are in the drawer.
but, A pair of pants is in the drawer.
The verb— Need
animate being as subject + [verb in infinitive]…
Ex- He will need to drive alone tonight.
inanimate object as subject + [verb + ing; or to be + verb in past participle]…
Ex- The television needs repairing. or, The television needs to be repaired.
in need of— sub + be + in need of + noun…
Ex-The organization was in need of volunteers.
Who or what in subject questions:
Who opened the door?
What happened last night?
Whom or what in complement questions:
Whom does Hossen know from DU?
What did Mamun buy at the store for his gf?
Embedded Questions— An embedded question is one which is included in a sentence or another question.
Ex- The authorities cannot figure out why the plane landed at the wrong airport.
Could you tell me what time it is?
They can’t decide who will paint that picture?
As if/as though— These conjunctions indicate something unreal or contrary to fact.
Sub + verb (present) + as if/as though + sub +verb (past)…
Ex- Eshita walks as if/as though she studied modeling.
Sub + verb (past) + as if/as though + sub + verb (past perfect)…
Ex- Eshita talked about the contest as if/as though she had won the grand prize.
He looks as if he has finished the test. (Perhaps he has finished.)
We hope that they will come. (We don’t know if they are coming.)
We wish that they could come. (They are not coming.)
Would = Used to
When Hossen was young, he would/used to swim once a day.
Could/May/Might + Perfective
It may have rained last night, but I’m not sure.
The cause of death could have been bacteria.
Hossen might have gone to the movies yesterday.
Should + Perfective
Mamun should have gone to the post office this morning. (He didn’t go to the post office.)
Eshita shouldn’t have called Hossen last night. (She did call him.)
Commonly Misused Word
DECENT (adj)— respectable or suitable.
DESCENT (n)— downward motion.
DESSERT (n)— the final course of a meal, usually something sweet.
DESERT (n)— a hot, dry place.
DESERT (v)— abandon.
LATER (adv)— a time in future or following a previous action.
LATTER (adj)— last of two things mentioned.
PRINCIPAL (n)— director of an elementary or secondary school. (adj)— main or most important.
PRINCIPLE (n)— fundamental rule or adherence to such a rule.
QUIET (adj)— serene, without noise.
QUITE (adv)— completely.
QUIT (v)— stop.
STATIONARY (adj)— nonmovable, having a fixed location.
STATIONERY (n)— special writing paper.
Confusingly Related Words
CONSECUTIVE (adj)— indicates an uniterrupted sequence.
SUCCESSIVE (adj)— indicates a series of separate events.
CONSIDERABLE (adj)— rather large amount or degree.
CONSIDERATE (adj)— thoughtful, polite.
CREDIBLE (adj)— believable.
CREDITABLE (adj)— worthy of praise.
CREDULOUS (adj)— gullible.
DETRACT (v)— take away or lessen the value of a person or thing.
DISTRACT (v)— cause a lack of mental concentration on what one is doing or the goals one has set.
DEVICE (n)— an invention or plan.
DEVISE (v)— invent, create, contrive.
ELICIT (v)— draw out, evoke.
ILLICIT (adj)— unlawful.
EMIGRANT (n)— one who leaves one’s own country to live in another.
IMMIGRANT (n)— one who comes to a new country to settle.
EXAMPLE (n)— anything used to prove a point.
SAMPLE (n)— a representative part of a whole.
FORMERLY (adv)— previously.
FORMALLY (adv)— an elegant way of dressing.
HOUSE (n)— refers to the building or structure.
HOME (n)— refers to the atmosphere or feeling of domestic tranquility found in a house.
IMAGINARY (adj)— something not real that exists in one’s imagination.
IMAGINATIVE (adj)— showing signs of great imagination.
IMMORTAL (adj)— incapable of dying.
IMMORAL (adj)— against the moral law, bad, evil
IMPLICIT (adj)— understood, but not specifically stated.
EXPLICIT (adj)— expressed in a clear and precise manner.
INDUSTRIAL (adj)— pertaining to industry.
INDUSTRIOUS (adj)— diligent, hard working.
INFLICT (v)— impose something unwelcome.
AFFLICT (v)— cause physical or mental pain.
INSPIRATION (n)— stimulation to learn or discover.
ASPIRATION (n)— ambition, desire, goal.
INTELLIGENT (adj)— possessing a great deal of mental ability.
INTELLIGIBLE (adj)— clear, easily understood.
INTELLECTUAL (n)— any person who possesses a great deal of knowledge. (adj)— wise.
INTENSE (adj)— extreme.
INTENSIVE (adj)— concentrated.
LATE (adj or adv)— not punctual. (adj)— no longer living.
LATELY (adv)— recently.
LEARN (v)— obtain knowledge.
TEACH (v)— impart knowledge.
LEND (v) and LOAN (v)— give something for temporary use with the promise of returning it.
BORROW (v)— receive something for temporary use with the promise of returning it.
LIQUEFY (v)— change to a watery or liquid state.
LIQUIDATE (v)— eliminate, get rid of, change to cash.
LONELY (adj)— depressed feeling as a result of abandonment or being alone.
ALONE (adj)— physical state of solitude, unaccompanied.
NEAR (pre or adv)— used to indicate a place not too far distant.
NEARLY (adv)— almost.
OBSERVATION (n)— act of paying attention to or being paid attention.
OBSERVANCE (n)— act of following custom or ceremony.
PERSECUTE (v)— torture, harass.
PROSECUTE (v)— in legal terms, to bring suit against or enforce a law through a legal process.
PRECEDE (v)— to come before.
PROCEED (v)— continue an action after a rest period or interruption.
REMEMBER (v)— to recall or think of again.
REMIND (v)— to cause (someone) to remember.
SENSIBLE (adj)— having good judgment.
SENSITIVE (adj)— excitable, touchy, easily affected by outside influences.
SPECIAL (adj)— that which receives a lot of attention because of a distinct characteristic.
ESPECIALLY (adv)— particularly.
USE (n)— act of putting into practice or service, application.
USAGE (n)— way in which something is used.
BREAK OFF— end.
BRING UP— raise, initiate.
CALL ON— a) ask; b) visit.
CARE FOR— a) like; b) look after.
CHECK OUT— a) borrow books, etc. from a library; b) ~ ON investigate.
CHECK OUT OF— leave.
CLOSE IN ON— draw nearer, approach.
COME ALONG WITH— accompany.
COME DOWN WITH— become ill with.
COUNT ON— depend on, rely on.
DO AWAY WITH— eliminate, get rid of.
DRAW UP— write, draft (such as plans or contracts).
DROP OUT OF— quit, withdrawn from.
FIGURE OUT— solve, decipher, interpret, understand.
FIND OUT— discover.
GET BY— manage to survive.
GET THROUGH— a) finish; b) manage to communicate.
GET UP— a) arise; b) organize.
GIVE UP— stop, cease.
GO ALONG WITH— agree.
HOLD ON TO— grasp, maintain.
HOLD UP— a) rob at gunpoint; b) endure or withstand pressure or use; c) stop.
KEEP ON— continue.
LOOK AFTER— care for.
LOOK INTO— investigate.
PASS OUT/HAND OUT— distribute.
PASS OUT— faint.
PICK OUT— select, choose.
POINT OUT— indicate.
PUT OFF— postpone.
RUN ACROSS— discover.
RUN INTO— meet by accident.
SEE ABOUT— consider, attend to.
TAKE OFF— leave the ground to fly.
TAKE OVER FOR— substitute for.
TALK OVER— discuss.
TRY OUT— a) test; b) audition for a play.
TURN IN— a) submit; b) go to bed.
WATCH OUT FOR—be cautious or alert.
Common Combinations With Prepositions:
Nouns + Preposition:
equivalent of, quality of, pair of, number of, sample of, example of, possibility of, reason for, exception to.
fear of/for, method of/for, hatred of/for, need of/for, means of/for.
Verbs + Preposition:
decide on, depend on, plan on, rely on, engage in, succeed in, confide in, participate in, detract from, escape from, remove from, emerge from, mingle with, pay for, approve of
Adjectives + Preposition:
fond of, afraid of, guilty of, amenable to, inferior to, similar to, accustomed to, divorced from, isolated from, different from, satisfied with, interested in
This note based on Cliffs and Barron’s TOEFL.
Thanks: NAZIM, HASAN, MAMUN
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