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Verb phrases

Average: 3.4 (14 votes)

Verb phrases in English have the following forms:
A main verb:
We are here
I like her.
Everybody knows Peter.
She laughed.
A verb phrase with only a main verb is expressing the simple aspect.

Phrasal verbs

Average: 4 (15 votes)

Some verbs are made up of two parts; a verb and a particle:
Make + up -...are made up...

Grow + up
He is growing up into a smart young boy.

The particle often gives the verb a new meaning:
Take + in
It's difficult to take in so much information.
It's difficult to remember/absorb so much information.

Past modals of deduction

Average: 3.8 (19 votes)

To make guesses or deductions about past actions or states use a past modal of deduction. This is formed with a modal verb + have + past participle also called the perfect infinitive.

Where's my phone?
You could have left it in your office.

To make deductions about continuous actions or states use modal verb + have + been + ing form.

Why didn't Sarah come to the party last night?
She must have been feeling ill.

The Causative

Average: 3.9 (112 votes)

We use the causative in English to say that we have arranged for someone to do something for us.
He had his jacket cleaned.
(He didn't clean it himself.)
The causative is formed with 'have + object + past participle' The past participle has a passive meaning.

Questions and negations of the verb 'have' are formed with do/does or did in the past simple.
Did you have your camera fixed?

Introductory It

Average: 3.5 (21 votes)

It is unusual to have an infinitive or a that-clause as the subject of a sentence in English. As an alternative we use 'introductory it' as the subject and put the infinitive or that-clause later.

That the Americans are friendly is a common belief.
It is a common belief that the Americans are friendly.

To be punctual is polite.
It is polite to be punctual.


Average: 3.7 (15 votes)

Homophones are words that have the same sound (pronunciation), but different meanings and usually, spelling.


These words have the same sound, but different meanings and spelling:

I have two brothers. (number)
We’re going to the park. Would you like to come too? (also)

These words have the same sound and spelling, but different meanings:


Average: 4.1 (34 votes)

Linkers are words that combine sentences and show the relationship between ideas. Here is an exercise using three basic linkers: and, but and because.


We use and to link two related ideas or to add information.

'I like tea and coffee.'
'On Saturday, we went to the park and the cinema.'


We use but to show a contrast (link a positive and a negative idea).

Either or / Neither nor

Average: 3.4 (66 votes)

Either …or

We can use either...or to emphasise a choice. (Either…or is used to refer to two things or people.) In most cases 'either' can be omitted.

Here are some examples:
You can either stay here or come with us.
You can stay here or come with us.

It was either John or Peter who received your message.
Either John or Peter received your message.
John or Peter received your message.

Adverbs and position of adverbial phrases

Average: 3.9 (18 votes)

Here is a quick revision of adverbs:

Adverbs often show how, when or where an action takes place.
How - MANNER - Peter spoke quietly.
When  - TIME - Peter went shopping yesterday.
Where - PLACE - Can you see that house? Peter lives there.


Average: 3.5 (15 votes)

Here are the common participles:

Verb – work

Peter is working from home at the moment. working present participle
Peter has worked here for almost two years. worked – past participle
Having worked here for two years, Peter was given a promotion. having worked – perfect participle