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.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Dependent and Independent Clauses with Examples

An independent clause is a group of words that contains a subject and verb and expresses a complete thought. An independent clause is a sentence.
Jim studied in the Sweet Shop for his chemistry quiz.
Independent clauses have three components:
  1. They have a subject - they tell the reader what the sentence is about.
  2. They have an action or predicate - they tell the reader what the subject is doing.
  3. They express a complete thought - something happened or was said.
An independent clause can be as simple as a subject and a verb:
  • Jim reads.
Jim is the subject. Reads is the action or verb. A complete thought was expressed - something was said, and the reader now knows that Jim likes to read.
Independent clauses can also be joined to other independent clauses, if the independent clauses are related. However, they MUST be joined using the proper punctuation.
  • Jim read a book; he really enjoyed the book.
The first clause is an independent clause. Jim is the subject, read is the action, book is the object.
The second clause is an independent clause. He is the subject, enjoyed is the action and the book is the object.
The independent clauses are related, so they can be joined to create a complex sentence. They are correctly joined by a semicolon. 
  • Jim read a book, he really enjoyed the book.
Again, we have two independent clauses, but the independent clauses are not joined properly. When two independent clauses are joined only be a comma, it is a grammatical error called a comma splice.
Independent clauses can be quite complex, but the important thing to remember is that they stand on their own and make sense alone.

Dependent Clause
A dependent clause is a group of words that contains a subject and verb but does not express a complete thought. A dependent clause cannot be a sentence. Often a dependent clause is marked by a dependent marker word.
When Jim studied in the Sweet Shop for his chemistry quiz . . . (What happened when he studied? The thought is incomplete.)

A dependent clause is a clause that does not express a complete thought.
A clause can be dependent because of the presence of a:
  • Marker Word (Before, after, because, since, in order to, although, though, whenever, wherever, whether, while, even though, even if)
  • Conjunction (And, or, nor, but, yet)
Dependent clauses MUST be joined to another clause, in order to avoid creating a sentence fragment.
  • Because I forgot my homework.
This is a sentence fragment. We have a "because" but not a "why" or anything accompanying and following what happened "because" they forgot.
  • Because I forgot my homework, I got sent home.
Here, the error is corrected. "I got sent home" is an independent clause. "I" is the subject, "got" is the verb, "sent home" is the object. A complete thought is expressed.
Dependent clauses can become more complex if we add subjects, objects, and modifying phrases:
  • Jim, who likes books, read a book.
Jim is the subject.
"Who likes to read" is a dependent clause that modifies Jim. It contains "likes" which is a verb.
Read is a verb.
A book is the object.
Like independent clauses, a dependent clause can also be complex. The important thing to remember is that the dependent clause does not stand on its own as a complete thought.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Active and Passive Voice: Tense-wise Rules

Simple Present tense
An Active sentence in the simple present tense has the following structure:
Subject + first form of the verb + object
A passive sentence in the simple present tense has the following structure:
Object of the active sentence + is/am/are + past participle form of the verb + by + subject of the active sentence
Changing an assertive sentence into the passive
Active: I write a letter.
Passive: A letter is written by me.
Active: I help you.
Passive: You are helped by me.
Active: I love my parents.
Passive: My parents are loved by me.
Active: We love our country.
Passive: Our country is loved by us.
Changing a negative sentence into the passive
Active: I do not write a letter.
Passive: A letter is not written by me.
Active: I do not abuse my servants.
Passive: My servants are not abused by me.
Active: I do not write novels.
Passive: Novels are not written by me.
Active: He does not tease her.
Passive: She is not teased by him.
Changing an interrogative sentence into the passive
Structure: Is/are/am + object of the active verb + past participle form of the verb + by + subject of the passive verb
Active: Do you write a letter?
Passive: Is a letter written by you?
Active: Do you write stories?
Passive: Are stories written by you?
Active: Does she make candles?
Passive: Are candles made by her?
Active: Who does not obey you?
Passive: By whom are you not obeyed?
Active: Which newspaper do you read?
Passive: Which newspaper is read by you?
Active: Does she do her duty?
Passive: Is her duty done by her?
The object of the active verb becomes the subject of the passive verb. Therefore, sentences which do not have an object cannot be changed into the passive. The following sentences, for instance, cannot be changed into the passive because they do not have objects.
The old man sat in a corner.
The child sleeps.
The wind blows.
The dog barks.
The fire burns.
He laughed aloud.



  • The places of subject and object in sentence are inter-changed in passive voice.
  • 3rd form of verb (past participle) will be used only (as main verb) in passive voice.
  • Auxiliary verbs for each tense are given below in the table.

Present Simple Tense (passive Voice)
Auxiliary verb in passive voice: am/is/are
Active voice:
He sings a song.
He does not sing a song.Does he sing asong?
Passive voice:
A song is sung by him.
A song is not sung by him.
Is a song sung by him?

Present Continuous Tense (passive Voice)Auxiliary verb in passive voice: am being/is being/are being
Active voice:
I am writing a letter
I am not writing a letter.
Am I writing a letter?
Passive voice:
A letter is being written by me.
A letter is not being written by me.
Is a letter being written by me?

Present Perfect Tense (passive Voice)
Auxiliary verb in passive voice: has been/have been
Active voice:
She has finished his work
She has not finished her work.
Has she finished her work?
Passive voice:
Her work has been finished by her.
Her work has not been finished by her.
Has her work been finished by her?

Past Simple Tense (passive Voice)
Auxiliary verb in passive voice: was/were
Active voice:
I killed a snake
I did not kill a snake.
Did I kill a snake?
Passive voice:
A snake was killed by me.
A snake was not killed by me.
Was a snake killed by me?

Past Continuous Tense (Passive Voice)
Auxiliary verb in passive voice: was being/were being
Active voice:
He was driving a car.
He was not driving a car.
Was he driving a car?
Passive voice:
A car was being driven by him.
A car was not being driven by him.
Was a car being driven by him?

Past Perfect Tense (Passive Voice)
Auxiliary verb in passive voice: had been
Active voice:
They had completed the assignment.
They had not completed the assignment.
Had they completed the assignment?
Passive voice:
The assignment had been completed by them.
The assignment had not been complete by them.
Had the assignment been completed by them?

Future Simple Tense (Passive Voice)
Auxiliary verb in passive voice: will be
Active voice:
She will buy a car.
She will not buy a car.
Will she buy a car?
Passive voice:
A car will be bought by her.
A car will not be bought by her.
Will a car be bought by her?

Future Perfect Tense (passive Voice)
Auxiliary verb in passive voice: will have been
Active voice:
You will have started the job.
You will have not started the job.
Will you have started the job?
Passive voice:
The job will have been started by you.
The job will not have been started by you.
Will the job have been started by you?
Note: The following tenses cannot be changed into passive voice.
  1. Present perfect continuous tense
  2. Past perfect continuous tense
  3. Future continuous tense
  4. Future perfect continuous tense
  5. Sentence having Intransitive verbs

Fundamental Rules

  • The places of subject and object in sentence are inter-changed in passive voice.
  • 3rd form of verb (past participle) will be used only (as main verb) in passive voice.
  • Auxiliary verbs for each tense are given below in the table.