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Some geeky colleagues and I play in a band called The Dangling Participles. Inevitably, when we play to a new crowd, someone asks what a dangling participle is. I illustrate […]
Present progressive is a deceptively easy English verb form. It’s used to describe an ongoing action and has a relatively simple formation (form of be + [verb]-ing). However, there are […]
By Alice.Savage, on October 4th, 2016 1 Comment
Where do word forms fit? Are they grammar or vocabulary? Many presentations put word forms into part-of-speech tables with columns marked noun, verb, adjective, adverb – a useful way to […]
By the time they reach advanced proficiency, ESL students need to move past the basic rules for punctuation and learn how to use semicolons, dashes, quotation marks, and periods to […]
Defining Negative Questions Negative questions begin with a negative form of an operator (the verb be, a modal, or an auxiliary verb). A couple of contextually appropriate examples: Aren’t they […]
Defining Hedging We writing teachers frequently ask our students to express their opinions or report on research they have done. When the due date comes around, we get many essays […]
In a previous article, we looked at questions embedded inside of sentences. This structure often blows the minds of students, who have worked hard to internalize the rule that the […]
Prepositions are often lumped in with the “little words” of English, and many of them—on, of, to–are little. However, many of them are not only not little but also not […]
In some relative clauses, a relative pronoun is optional. These are object relative clauses—adjective clauses in which the relative pronoun is the object of the verb in the clause or […]
Even if you’re a native speaker of English, you probably don’t have completely accurate intuitions about the frequency of a word like intuition, for example, or what it collocates most […]