ESL Study Guide

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

ESL Study Guide, Grammar - Possessive Nouns and Plural Nouns

Possessive Nouns

In grammar, possession shows ownership. Follow these rules to create possessive nouns.

1. With singular nouns, add an apostrophe and an s.
dog → dog’s bone
singer → singer’s voice

2. With plural nouns ending in s, add an apostrophe after the s.
dogs → dogs’ bones
singers → singers’ voices

3. With plural nouns not ending in s, add an apostrophe and an s.
men → men’s books
mice → mice’s tails

Plural Nouns

Here are the guidelines for creating plural nouns.

1. Add s to form the plural of most nouns.
cat → cats computer → computers

2. Add es if the noun ends in s, sh, ch, or x.
wish → wishes inch → inches box → boxes

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ESL Study Guide, Grammar - Nouns

A noun is a word that names a person, place, or thing. Nouns come in these varieties: common
nouns, proper nouns, compound nouns, and collective nouns.

1. Common nouns name any one of a class of person, place, or thing.
girl city food

2. Proper nouns name a specific person, place, or thing. Proper nouns are always capitalized.
Barbara New York City Rice-a-Roni

3. Compound nouns are two or more nouns that function as a single unit. A compound noun
can be two individual words, words joined by a hyphen, or two words combined.

Individual words: time capsule
Hyphenated words: great-uncle
Combined words: basketball

4. Collective nouns name groups of people or things.
audience family herd crowd

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ESL Study Guide, Grammar - Interjections

Interjections show strong emotion. Since interjections are not linked grammatically to other
words in the sentence, they are set off from the rest of the sentence with a comma or an exclamation mark. For example:

Oh! What a shock you gave me with that gorilla suit.
Wow! That’s not a gorilla suit!

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ESL Study Guide, Grammar - Conjunctions


Conjunctions connect words or groups of words and show how the words are related. There
are three kinds of conjunctions: coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions, and subordinating conjunctions.

1. Coordinating conjunctions link similar words or word groups. There are seven coordinating
conjunctions: for and nor but or yet so

Quick Tip

Use this mnemonic to help you remember the seven coordinating conjunctions:
FANBOYS (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so).

2. Correlative conjunctions also link similar words or word groups, but they are always used
in pairs. Here are the correlative conjunctions:
both . . .and either . . . or
neither . . . nor not only . . . but also whether . . . or

3. Subordinating conjunctions link an independent clause (complete sentence) to a dependent
clause (fragment). Here are the most often used subordinating conjunctions:
after although as as if
as long as as soon as as though because
before even though if in order that
since so that though till
unless until when whenever
where wherever

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Monday, January 18, 2010

ESL Study Guide, Grammar - adverbs

Adverbs are words that describe verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. Adverbs answer the

When? Where? How? or To what extent?
When? left yesterday begin now
Where? fell below move up
How? happily sang danced badly
To what extent? partly finished eat completely

Most adverbs are formed by adding -ly to an adjective. For example:

Adjective Adverb
Quick — quickly
Careful — carefully
Accurate — accurately

Here are some of the most common non-ly adverbs:

afterward almost already also back even
far fast hard here how late
long low more near never next
now often quick rather slow soon
still then today tomorrow too when
where yesterday

Follow these guidelines when you use adverbs:

Use an adverb to describe a verb.

1.Experiments using dynamite must be done carefully.
verb adv.

2. Use an adverb to describe an adjective.

Sam had an unbelievably huge appetite for chips.
adv. adj.

3. Use an adverb to describe another adverb.
They sang so clearly.
adv. adv.

Quick Tip

Conjunctive adverbs are used to connect other words and to link ideas and

accordingly again also besides
consequently finally for example furthermore
however indeed moreover on the other hand
otherwise nevertheless then therefore

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ESL Study Guide, Grammar - Adjectives


Adjectives are words that describe nouns and pronouns. Adjectives answer the questions:

What kind? How much? Which one? How many?

For example:

What kind? red nose gold ring
How much? more sugar little effort
Which one? second chance those chocolates
How many? several chances six books

There are five kinds of adjectives: common adjectives, proper adjectives, compound adjectives,articles, and indefinite adjectives.

1. Common adjectives describe nouns or pronouns.
strong man
green plant
beautiful view

2. Proper adjectives are formed from proper nouns.
California vegetables (from the noun “California”)
Mexican food (from the noun “Mexico”)

3. Compound adjectives are made up of more than one word.

far-off country
teenage person

4. Articles are a special type of adjective. There are three articles: a, an, the.
The is called a “definite article” because it refers to a specific thing.

A and an are called “indefinite articles” because they refer to general things. Use a with consonant sounds; use an before vowel sounds.

5. Indefinite adjectives don’t specify the specific amount of something.

all another any both
each either few many
more most neither other
several some

Follow these guidelines when you use adjectives:

1. Use an adjective to describe a noun or a pronoun.

Jesse was unwilling to leave the circus.
noun adj. adj. noun

2. Use vivid adjectives to make your writing more specific and descriptive.
Take a larger slice of the luscious cake.
adj. noun adj. noun

3. Use an adjective after a linking verb. A linking verb connects a subject with a descriptive word. The most common linking verbs are be (is, am, are, was, were, and so on), seem,appear, look, feel, smell, sound, taste, become, grow, remain, stay, and turn.

Chicken made this way tastes more delicious (not deliciously).

Quick Tip

Predicate adjectives are adjectives separated from the noun or pronoun by a linking
verb. Predicate adjectives describe the subject of the sentence.

The weather was cold all week.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

pronoun practice

consider the answers to the following questions:

‘Did you see Jonathon last night?' 'No, I phoned ______ but he wasn't there.'

I can't do this homework. Can you help ______?

I asked a question but you didn't answer ______ .

We're not ready. Please give ______ some more time.

She speaks very quickly. I can't understand ______ .

I'm sorry about your birthday. I'm afraid I forgot about ______.

Jill's a very nice woman. Do you know ______?

My parents are coming this weekend. Would you like to meet ______?

They're not married now. She left ______ a year ago.

'Where's your passport?' 'I don't know I can't find ______.'

My mother writes to me every week but I don't write to ______ very often.

Were you at the meeting last night? I didn't see ______ there.

We want to help you. Please ______ tell about your problems.

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living in china

Living in China is something a lot of foreigners are often worried about. Will I have trouble with this or that? Will I have trouble adjusting to the culture? Living in China I have found it is not just a matter of culture. In the first year alone, I would say the number of people is the biggest thing to get use to.

This has a lot of interesting effects. In Canada, getting something delivered can be incredibly expensive. A simple courier costing fifty dollars or more. The first time I move, I can remember renting a truck that cost $100 a day. God knows what it would have cost to hire an entire moving crew. Most Western students could rarely afford such a thing. China is an entirely different matter. Walking done the street in XuJiaHui, one of the busiest districts in Shanghai, you can see many things. When one man on a bicycle went buy carrying a stack of furniture higher than me (I'm 6'1”) I had to stop and take a picture.

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