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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 […]
Compare the word order in these two utterances: Where is the bathroom? I don’t know where the bathroom is. While the first inverts the subject and verb (is before […]
I once heard a teacher refer to the schwa as the last sound you’ll ever make on earth, and it could be. The schwa is a small, barely noticeable sound, […]
By Alice.Savage, on December 10th, 2015 1 Comment
In general, grammar likes to be on paper, but grammar in the air can have a big influence on how learners understand and use structures. This is the grammar of […]
By Laura Eickhoff, on December 10th, 2015 1 Comment
We hope most students would agree: Grammar is amazing. We also hope that they would not say it’s amazed. But we all know that English language learners struggle with the […]
In an article some months ago, I talked about the declining fortunes of the quantifier much. I noted that it has been banished, in large part, to questions (Do you […]
A very basic grid can help you take a snapshot of the basic sentence patterns in English. There will be time later for more complex considerations of the tense/aspect system […]