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Pointers1to5

Pointer 1
Look at the picture and answer: Whats wrong with this
sentence?
The children drinks water.
Watch these videos about subject and verb agrement
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxmDmIkWqag
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xi15WpL2Tk

1. Water fountain children. Horton Group (2006).

Check for subject and verb agreement. Be sure that both are present and neither is repeated.
Read this resource
http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/grammar/subverag.html
Examples
Children needs love and protection. (wrong)
Children need love and protection. (correct)
They need love and protection. (The personal pronoun may be used only after the subject
children has been introduced as in the following sentences. In this sentence, we do not know
who They is referring to).
Children are fragile creatures. They need love and protection. (correct)

When checking for subject and verb agreement they must both agree in number: both must be
singular or both must be plural. You must know how to identify the subject of your sentence to know
whether it is singular or plural or for 3rd person in the present tense. Be careful when using auxiliary
verbs or modal verbs that determine tense.
Examples
Many career opportunities is available to a good accountant. (wrong, the word opportunity has
been pluralized so the verb must be plural).

Many career opportunities are available to a good accountant. (correct)

Pointer 2

Look at the picture and answer: Whats wrong with this sentence?
When somebody call the businessman,
he was looking at the building.

2. Businessman in front of the office.


Teber (2010).

Check verb agreement, tense and form.


Read this resource
http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/grammar/tenses.html
Examples
The office manager was at his desk and the secretary is taken phone calls. (wrong)

The office manager was at his desk and the secretary was taking phone calls. (correct)
Verbs are the most important complex part of speech in English. They can take many different forms
and function in many different ways. Verbs indicate the person and number of the subject and the
tense and voice (active and passive) of the action. Every sentence has at least one clause and
every clause has at least one verb. Understanding verbs, therefore, is crucial to your success with
English. The most frequent errors occur with the verb to be. There are 3 forms of the verb to be
in the present tense, am, is and are. Knowing when to use the singular form and when to use the
plural form is a fundamental of learning English. Be sure that your verbs agree with the subject and
that the tense and form are correct.

Pointer 3

Look at the picture and answer: Whats wrong with this sentence?
Once came home, the girl eated a candy.

3. Swing. SXC.hu (2009).

Check for full subordination or be sure that the subject has not been omitted.

Read this resource


http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/mainclause.htm
Examples
Because wanted to learn quickly, Pamela studied all the time. (wrong)
Because she wanted to learn quickly, Pamela studied all the time. (correct)

A complex sentence contains at least two clauses: a main clause and a subordinate clause.
The main clause.
"[A main clause is a] clause which bears no relation, or no relation other than coordination
to any other or larger clause. Thus the sentence I said I wouldn't is as a whole a single main
clause; in He came but I had to leave two main clauses are linked in coordination by but."
(P.H. Matthews, "main clause," The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics, Oxford
University Press, 1997)
A subordinate clause, which is dependent on the main clause for its meaning, may function
in a sentence as an adjective, an adverb, or a noun.
Example
The Great Horned Owl, which hunts at night, feeds on rodents and other smaller animals.

An adjective clause (also referred to as a relative clause) usually begins with a pronoun,
such as who, whom, whose, that, which, where, or when, and immediately follows the noun
or pronoun which it describes.
Example: The secretary collected many boxes which she put her files into.

An adverb clause begins with an adverbial conjunction, such as because, although, if, or
while, and is frequently found at the beginning or end of the sentence.
Example
Although he wanted to visit his family, he went to Europe for his vacation.

A noun clause begins with the word that or a question word, such as why, what, or how, and
can function in a sentence in any of the ways that a noun can.
Example
The students must decide which English course to take.

Full subordination means that both the subject and the verb are present and that the main clause is
complete. A sentence is not complete without full subordination.

Pointer 4
Look at the picture and answer: Whats wrong with this sentence?
Yes, the class is bored, the girl is boring.
Watch this video
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyMECXPv1GI
4. Bored (Merrill, 2007)

Check the verbals. Be sure that you are not using a verb where you should be using an adjective or
using an adjective where you should be using a verb. Also be sure to check and see that you are
using a finite verb or a non-finite verb correctly.
An infinitive is a verbal which is formed with to and the base form of the verb. Although the word to
may be the first word of an infinitive, it also begins many prepositional phrases.
Example

infinitives: to eat, to walk, to enjoy.

prepositional phrases: to school, to Cuba, to the party.

It may also function as a noun, an adverb, etc., but it cannot function as a finite verb in a clause.
A gerund is a verbal which is formed by adding the suffix ing to the base form of a verb. A gerund
never functions as a verb in a sentence. It always functions as a noun. Gerunds should not be
confused with ing words that are part of all progressive tense verbs.
Like gerunds and infinitives, verbal adjectives are formed from verbs but do not function as finite
verbs. Each verb has two basic verbal adjective forms: the present participle and the past participle.
Example

verb: eat - verbal adjectives: eating, eaten.

verb: interest - verbal adjectives: interesting, interested.

Read these resources


http://www.learnenglish.de/grammar/verbfinitenon.htm
http://individual.utoronto.ca/ajhicks/participles.pdf
Example
This is a very interested book. (wrong) interested verb not used with modifier very
This is a very interesting book. (correct) interesting adjective used with modifier very

Pointer 5

Look at the picture and answer: Whats wrong with these


sentences?
Yes, I did it by meself.
No, I didnt do it by self.

5. Graduated Franco (2006).

Check the pronoun form, agreement and reference. Be sure that the correct form of the pronoun is
used and that it is relative to the sentence.
Read these resources
http://www.acadweb.wwu.edu/writingcenter/Handouts/Pronouns.htm
http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/pronouns
http://www.englishlanguageguide.com/english/grammar/reflexive-pronoun.asp
Examples
They completed the reports theirselves. (wrong)
They completed the reports themselves. (correct)

Imagereferences
Franco, O. (2006). Graduated [digital picture]. Obtained on october 4th from
http://www.sxc.hu/photo/660438 under sxc.hu free of charge license.
Horton Group. (2006). Water fountain children [digital picture]. Obtained on october 4th from
http://www.sxc.hu/photo/542463 under sxc.hu free of charge license
Merrill, C. (2007). Bored [digital picture]. Obtained on october 4th from
http://www.sxc.hu/photo/732192 under sxc.hu free of charge license
SXC.HU (2009). Swing [digital picture]. Obtained on october 4th from
http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1209895 under sxc.hu free of charge license.
Teber, C. (2010). Businessman in front of the office [digital picture]. Obtained on october 4th from
http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1307588 under sxc.hu free of charge license.