Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Formation of Interrogative Sentences

Question from Brajrani Sarin

I have doubt in interrogative continuous tenses. If we write a sentence for example.:" I am playing." Then why it's interrogative form will be :" Are they playing." and why not "Am I playing." 

Open School Explanation

The present continuous tense indicates the continuity of an action which is going on at the present moment.

Form: Subject + is/are/am + -ing form of the verb.

I am doing sums.
We are looking at the black-board.
They were playing with the toys.
She is writing a letter to her friend.
They are waiting for us?
They are going to the market.

An interrogative sentence in the present continuous tense has the following structure.

Is/am/are + subject + -ing form of the verb.

Am I doing sums?
Are we looking at the black-board?
Were they playing with the toys?
Are you coming with us?
Is she writing a letter to her friend?
Are they waiting for us?
Are they going to the market?

Present perfect tense

The present perfect tense indicates the completion of an action. It has the following form:

Subject + has/have + past participle form of the verb.

They have arrived.
We have finished the job.
The workers have painted the house.
He has stolen my purse.
We have paid our dues.
We have learnt our lesson.
The sun has risen.

An interrogative sentence in the present perfect tense has the following structure.

Has/have + subject + past participle form of the verb

Have they arrived?
Have we finished the job?
Have the workers painted the house?
Has he stolen my purse?
Have we paid our dues?
Have we learnt our lesson?
Has the sun risen?

Present perfect continuous tense

The present perfect continuous tense has the following structure:

Subject + has/have + been + -ing form of the verb

She has been sleeping since morning.
He has been waiting for them for several hours.
We have been working hard for the examination for several months.
He has been doing this work for hours.
It has been raining heavily since the last night.

An interrogative sentence in the present perfect continuous tense has the following structure:

Has/have + subject + been + -ing form of the verb

Has she been sleeping since morning?
Has he been waiting for them for several hours?
Have we been working hard for the examination for several months?
Has he been doing this work for hours?

Has it been raining heavily since the last night?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Adjectives and Adverbs


  • An adjective is a word or set of words that modifies (i.e., describes) a noun or pronoun. Adjectives may come before the word they modify.
That is a cute puppy.
She likes a high school senior.
Adjectives may also follow the word they modify:
That puppy looks cute.
The technology is state-of-the-art.
  • An adverb is a word or set of words that modifies verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. Adverbs answer howwhenwherewhy, or to what extenthow often or how much (e.g., dailycompletely).
He speaks slowly (tells how)
He speaks very slowly (the adverb very tells how slowly)
She arrived today (tells when)
She will arrive in an hour (this adverb phrase tells when)
Let's go outside (tells where)
We looked in the basement (this adverb phrase tells where)
Bernie left to avoid trouble (this adverb phrase tells why)
Jorge works out strenuously (tells to what extent)
Jorge works out whenever possible (this adverb phrase tells to what extent)


Rule 1. Many adverbs end in -ly, but many do not. Generally, if a word can have -ly added to its adjective form, place it there to form an adverb.
She thinks quick/quickly.
How does she think? Quickly.

She is a quick/quickly thinker.
Quick is an adjective describing thinker, so no -ly is attached.

She thinks fast/fastly.
Fast answers the question how, so it is an adverb. But fast never has -ly attached to it.

We performed bad/badly.
Badly describes how we performed, so -ly is added.

Rule 2. Adverbs that answer the question how sometimes cause grammatical problems. It can be a challenge to determine if -ly should be attached. Avoid the trap of -ly with linking verbs such as taste, smell, look, feel, which pertain to the senses. Adverbs are often misplaced in such sentences, which require adjectives instead.
Roses smell sweet/sweetly.
Do the roses actively smell with noses? No; in this case, smell is a linking verb—which requires an adjective to modify roses—so no -ly.

The woman looked angry/angrily to us.
Did the woman look with her eyes, or are we describing her appearance? We are describing her appearance (she appeared angry), so no -ly.

The woman looked angry/angrily at the paint splotches.
Here the woman actively looked (used her eyes), so the -ly is added.

She feels bad/badly about the news.
She is not feeling with fingers, so no -ly.

Rule 3. The word good is an adjective, whose adverb equivalent is well.
You did a good job.
Good describes the job.

You did the job well.
Well answers how.

You smell good today.
Good describes your fragrance, not how you smell with your nose, so using the adjective is correct.

You smell well for someone with a cold.
You are actively smelling with your nose here, so use the adverb.

Rule 4. The word well can be an adjective, too. When referring to health, we often use well rather than good.

You do not look well today.
I don't feel well, either.

Rule 5. Adjectives come in three forms, also called degrees. An adjective in its normal or usual form is called a positive degree adjective. There are also the comparative and superlative degrees, which are used for comparison, as in the following examples:
efficientmore efficientmost efficient
A common error in using adjectives and adverbs arises from using the wrong form of comparison. To compare two things, always use a comparative adjective:
Example: She is the cleverer of the two women (never cleverest)
The word cleverest is what is called the superlative form of clever. Use it only when comparing three or more things:
Example: She is the cleverest of them all.
Incorrect: Chocolate or vanilla: which do you like best?
Correct: Chocolate or vanilla: which do you like better?

Rule 6. There are also three degrees of adverbs. In formal usage, do not drop the -ly from an adverb when using the comparative form.
Incorrect: She spoke quicker than he did.
Correct: She spoke more quickly than he did.
Incorrect: Talk quieter.
Correct: Talk more quietly.

Rule 7. When this, that, these, and those are followed by a noun, they are adjectives. When they appear without a noun following them, they are pronouns.
This house is for sale.
This is an adjective.

This is for sale.
This is a pronoun.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Past Continuous Tense and Past Perfect Tense Examples

Past Continuous Tense
When the sentence in past continuous tense or perfect tence
The past continuous tense, also known as the past progressive tense, refers to a continuing action or state that was happening at some point in the past. The past continuous tense is formed by combining the past tense of to be (i.e., was/were) with the verb’s present participle (-ing word).
There are many situations in which this verb tense might be used in a sentence. For example, it is often used to describe conditions that existed in the past.
The sun was shining every day that summer.
As I spoke, the children were laughing at my cleverness.
It can also be used to describe something that was happening continuously in the past when another action interrupted it.
The audience was applauding until he fell off the stage.
I was making dinner when she arrived.
The past continuous can shed light on what was happening at a precise time in the past.
At 6 o’clock, I was eating dinner.
It can also refer to a habitual action in the past.
She was talking constantly in class in those days.
One final caution: Though the irregularities are few, not every verb is suited to describing a continuous action. Certain verbs can’t be used in the past continuous tense. One common example is the verb to arrive.
At noon, he was arriving.     = This is wrong
At noon, he arrived.     = This is correct

Past Perfect Tense

The past perfect, also called the pluperfect, is a verb tense used to talk about actions that were completed before some point in the past.
We were shocked to discover that someone had graffitied “Tootles was here” on our front door. We were relieved that Tootles had used washable paint.
The past perfect tense is for talking about something that happened before something else. Imagine waking up one morning and stepping outside to grab the newspaper. On your way back in, you notice a mysterious message scrawled across your front door: Tootles was here. When you’re telling this story to your friends later, how would you describe this moment? You might say something like:
I turned back to the house and saw that some someone named Tootles had defacedmy front door!
In addition to feeling indignant on your behalf, your friends will also be able to understand that Tootles graffitied the door at some point in the past before the moment this morning when you saw his handiwork, because you used the past perfect tense to describe the misdeed.

The Past Perfect Formula

The formula for the past perfect tense is had + [past participle]. It doesn’t matter if the subject is singular or plural; the formula doesn’t change.

When to Use the Past Perfect

So what’s the difference between past perfect and simple past? When you’re talking about some point in the past and want to reference an event that happened even earlier, using the past perfect allows you to convey the sequence of the events. It’s also clearer and more specific. Consider the difference between these two sentences:
We were relieved that Tootles used washable paint. We were relieved that Tootles had used washable paint.
It’s a subtle difference, but the first sentence doesn’t tie Tootles’s act of using washable paint to any particular moment in time; readers might interpret it as “We were relieved that Tootles was in the habit of using washable paint.” In the second sentence, the past perfect makes it clear that you’re talking about a specific instance of using washable paint.
Another time to use the past perfect is when you are expressing a condition and a result:
If I had woken up earlier this morning, I would have caught Tootles red-handed.
The past perfect is used in the part of the sentence that explains the condition (the if-clause).
Most often, the reason to write a verb in the past perfect tense is to show that it happened before other actions in the same sentence that are described by verbs in the simple past tense. Writing an entire paragraph with every verb in the past perfect tense is unusual.

When Not to Use the Past Perfect

Don’t use the past perfect when you’re not trying to convey some sequence of events. If your friends asked what you did after you discovered the graffiti, they would be confused if you said:
had cleaned it off the door.
They’d likely be wondering what happened next because using the past perfect implies that your action of cleaning the door occurred before something else happened, but you don’t say what that something else is. The “something else” doesn’t always have to be explicitly mentioned, but context needs to make it clear. In this case there’s no context, so the past perfect doesn’t make sense.

How to Make the Past Perfect Negative

Making the past perfect negative is simple! Just insert not between had and [past participle].
We looked for witnesses, but the neighbors had not seen Tootles in the act. If Tootles had not included his own name in the message, we would have no idea who was behind it.

How to Ask a Question

The formula for asking a question in the past perfect tense is had + [subject] + [past participle].
Had Tootles caused trouble in other neighborhoods before he struck ours?

Common Regular Verbs in the Past Perfect Tense

past perfect chart 1

Common Irregular Verbs in the Past Perfect Tense

past perfect chart 2
*The past participle of “to get” is “gotten” in American English. In British English, the past participle is “got.”

Monday, June 26, 2017

Noun Clauses and its rules in English Grammar

Question from Mr.Chandicharan Pahari : Mam, Please explain about noun clause I have problems about it's 5 rules.

Answer from Open School :

A noun clause is a dependent clause that acts as a noun. It can be used as the subject, direct object, indirect object, object of a preposition, subject complement, or appositive. 
 A noun clause serves the same purpose as a noun. It can be the subject or object of a verb. It can also be the object of a preposition. Noun clauses are usually introduced by the subordinating conjunctions that, if and whether. Question words like what, how, when etc., can also be used to introduce noun clauses.
 Read the examples given below.

That he is a diligent boy is known to everybody.

Can you identify the subject?

What is known to everybody?

The answer to this question is the subject of the sentence

–          that he is a diligent boy.

Since this clause serves as the subject of the verb ‘is known’, it is considered as a noun clause.
Note that when the subject is a noun clause we are more likely to write the sentence with a preparatory it.

That he is a diligent boy is known to everybody. à It is known to everybody that he is a diligent boy.

Another example is given below.

Picasso was a great artist. Nobody can challenge this fact.

What cannot be challenged? The fact that Picasso was a great artist

Replace the question word with the that-clause and we will get the following complex sentence:

The fact that Picasso was a great artist cannot be challenged.

More examples of noun clauses are given below.

He is an honest boy. Everybody knows it.

Everybody knows that he is an honest boy.

Here the noun clause ‘that he is an honest boy’ is the object of the verb knows.

Why he is late? Ask him.

Ask him why he is late.

Here the noun clause ‘why he is late’ is the direct object of the verb ask.

Noun clauses are important devices because they help us to combine two or more simple sentences into a single complex sentence.

Monday, April 3, 2017

How to report WH and Yes/No questions

Question from Manikantaraghu : I had watched the English grammar video it's good. But 'How do we convert Wh questions into indirect speech.'

Open School Answer:

There are mainly two types of questions – Wh-questions and Yes/No questions.

When we report a Wh-question, we use a reporting verb like asked or enquired.
Study the example given below.
Direct: He said to me, ‘Where do you live?’
Indirect: He asked me where I lived.
Direct: Mother said to me, ‘What are you doing there?’
Indirect: Mother asked me what I was doing there.
When we report a Yes/No question, we usewhether or if.
Direct: Suma said to me, ‘Are you interested in this offer?’
Indirect: Suma asked me if I was interestedin that offer.
Direct: The teacher said to me, ‘Do you know the answer?’
Indirect: The teacher asked me if / whether I knew the answer.
Direct: Martha said to Susie, ‘Will you trust a guy like Martin?’
Indirect: Martha asked Susie if she would trust a guy like Martin.
Direct: ‘Do you think you know better than your dad?’ the angry mother jeered.
Indirect: The angry mother jeered at her son and asked if he thought that he knew better than his dad.
Change the following direct speech into indirect speech.
1. ‘What do you want?’ he said to her.
2. He said, ‘How’s your mother.’
3. He enquired, ‘When do you intend to pay me?’
4. ‘Do you really come from China?’ the prince asked.
5. ‘Do you speak English?’ he said.
1. He asked her what she wanted.
2. He asked me how my mother was.
3. He enquired when I intended to pay him.
4. The prince asked if I really came from China.
5. He asked if I spoke English.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Which vs. That: How to Choose

In a defining clause, use that.
In non-defining clauses, use which.

Remember, which is as disposable as a sandwich bag. If you can remove the clause without destroying the meaning of the sentence, the clause is nonessential and you can use which.

People use which and that every day. Just because these words are common doesn’t mean they’re easy to use. In particular, clauses cause a lot of confusion, but there’s an easy way to remember which one to choose.

Which vs. That: What’s the Difference in Usage?
To understand when to use that or which, it’s important to understand clauses. A defining clause (also called an essential clause or a restrictive clause) gives information essential to the meaning of the sentence. That is used in defining clauses. Here’s an example:
My bike that has a broken seat is in the garage.

In this sentence, you understand that the speaker has at least one other bike. Specifically, the bike he’s talking about is distinguished from his other bikes by its broken seat. If you removed the clause “that has a broken seat,” you would lose the implication that he owns more than one bicycle, and even if you somehow knew about the other bikes, you wouldn’t know which one was in the garage.
Which introduces non-defining clauses. Unlike defining clauses, non-defining clauses (also called nonessential or nonrestrictive clauses) don’t limit the meaning of the sentence. You might lose interesting details if you remove them, but the meaning of the sentence wouldn’t change. Sometimes, these phrases are set off by commas.
My bike, which has a broken seat, is in the garage.
Here, the broken seat is simply a description of the bike in the garage. There’s no implication that the speaker owns more than one bike. Do you see the difference? Perhaps a little mnemonic device will help you to remember how to choose between that or which.

Which and that are common words, but they are important. By identifying your clauses as defining or non-defining, you can easily remember when to use which and when to use that. If you are ready to learn more, study up on defining and non-defining clauses.


Usage of Upon and Yet with examples


… upon… used to emphasize that there is a large number or amount of somethingmile upon mile of dusty roadthousands upon thousands of letters

The preposition upon is generally much more formal than on but can be used to replace it in certain situations.

It can be used instead of on after several common verbs, such as happen, depend, insist and congratulate. Examples are ‘He insisted upon seeing you even though I told him you were busy’, ‘A police patrolhappened upon the robbers as they were running out of the bank’ and  ‘My whole future depended upon the decision of one manager’.

Upon is also used to mean ‘immediately after’, as in ‘Upon his release from prison, Davis went immediately to his mother’s house’. It can also mean ‘happening soon’ and in this case it is not normally replaceable with on, as in ‘Christmas is almost upon us again’ and ‘It’s June already and the exams will soon be uponus’.
When used between two nouns that are the same, upon emphasizes the large number or amount of the thing that has been mentioned, as in ‘I’ve written to you year upon year but I have never received a reply’ and ‘They drove for days across mile upon mile of open desert’.

Upon is also used in a small number of phrasal verbs, notably set, put and chance. Set upon is often passive and means ‘attack’, as in ‘He was walking through the park when he was set upon by a gang of youths’. If you feel put upon, you feel exploited because you are doing all the work while others relax. If youchance upon (or chance on) someone or something you come across them or it unexpectedly, as in ‘I was browsing in a second-hand bookshop when I chanced upon a rare first edition’.

1. Yet means at this time, up to now or at a future time.

1. Yet is defined as nevertheless or but.

He is my worst enemy, and yet, I admire him as the wisest man in the world.

It requires the labor of thousands to make a pencil, and yet they are so inexpensive as to be almost free.

Yet as powerful as this concept is, it has a logical limit.

And yet, I remain very optimistic.

The boy was only four years old, and the girl was not yet six.