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Grammar

Countable and Uncountable Nouns

Average: 4.1 (17 votes)

Being able to identify between countable and uncountable nouns is necessary to use English grammar correctly.

Countable nouns

Most nouns in English are countable:
He has two homes, one in London and one in Spain.
The beer cost six pounds.
I’ve never seen Sarah travel with less than two suitcases.

Nouns

Average: 4.1 (21 votes)

It is good to know what a noun is to have a good start in a language.

A noun names a person, a place, a thing or an idea.

Nouns are the names of real or abstract things in our lives. A noun that gives a name to a real thing is a 'concrete' noun. 'Happiness' is an idea or concept which is why it is called an abstract noun.

Who Whom Whose

Average: 3.9 (34 votes)

To understand how to use 'who', 'whom' and 'whose' you first have to understand the difference between subjects, objects and possessives.

The subject does the action:
He likes football.
She goes to university.
They enjoy travelling.

How to use Even

Average: 4.2 (17 votes)

When a statement needs to be made stronger it is often followed by an example with 'even'. 'Even' adds surprise or shock, or excitement to the example.

He could be anything he wanted. He could even become the chairman of a corporation.
She loses everything. She's even lost her credit cards more than once.
I've seen all his films, even the ones that didn't do so well.

Also Too Either

Average: 3.9 (30 votes)

Here is an explanation of the use of also, too, and either which can cause some confusion as to their functions and position in a sentence.

Also

Also is used in positive sentences to add something which agrees with the previous item/clause.
Marco speaks Italian. Peter also speaks Italian.
I love Japanese food and I also like Indian cuisine.
Sarah is also coming to the station to see James off.

Subjunctive

Average: 3.2 (21 votes)

The Subjunctive is used to emphasise urgency or importance. The Subjunctive form is used with the simple form of the verb i.e. the infinitive without 'to'; to go is 'go'. The Subjunctive is only used with certain verbs and in certain forms.

The Subjunctive is used with certain expressions:

I suggest that he go.
It is essential that we be there.
It was recommended that he make the speech.

Might and May (Modals)

Average: 3.8 (32 votes)

'Might' is used mostly to express possibility. English speakers use 'might' to make suggestions or requests, although this is more common in British English and could be seen as extremely formal.
'Might' is also used in conditional sentences.

Should (Modals)

Average: 4.3 (11 votes)

Should is used to give advice and to make recommendations. It is also used to express obligation and expectation.

Recommendation: When you go to London, you should go to the theatre.
Advice: Try to focus more on your writing skills. Advice
Obligation: I should be going now. It's getting late.
Expectation: You should have understood the text by now.

Have to and Must (Modals)

Average: 3.7 (15 votes)

Have to and must are being looked at together because of the inter-changeability when used for certain functions and the confusion caused when they cannot be interchanged for others.

Have to

'Have to' is used to express certainty, necessity, and obligation.
This has to be the right place. We are not lost. Certainty
The glue has to be left to dry for 24 hours. Necessity
I have to leave early. Obligation

Could (Modals)

Average: 4 (8 votes)

'Could' is used to express: possibility, past ability, and to make suggestions and requests. 'Could' is also used in conditional sentences as the conditional form of 'can'.