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English

Grammar is the language system that allows words to change their form, their order in a sentence, and combine with other words in novel ways. This applies to both written and spoken language. In this article, we will look at the main principles of English grammar.

Who makes the rules of English grammar?

If we think for a moment about the origins of the English language (don't worry, this won't take long!), we can see that it has been influenced by many other languages, including French, Latin and Greek. However, English is classed as a Germanic language, as it was heavily influenced by Anglo-Saxon settlers in Britain around the 5th century. This is why the syntax and grammar of English are similar to German.

English grammar was originally influenced by its Germanic ancestry, but who makes the rules now? Well - nobody, and everybody! There is no official regulating body that decides on the rules of English grammar, and like most languages, the rules rely on a general consensus.

In this article, we will look at the principles of English grammar; knowing these will help improve your communication skills and give you an advantage in your English language studies.

Elements of English grammar

Below we have covered some of the most essential elements of English grammar. Keep in mind that we also have individual articles for each of these elements, which cover the topics in more detail.

The main elements of English grammar we'll be looking at today are: morphemes, clauses, conjunctions, types of phrase, grammatical voice, tenses, aspects, types of sentence, sentence functions, and word classes.

Morphemes

A morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning in a language; this means it cannot be reduced without losing its meaning.

The word luck is a morpheme as it cannot be made any smaller.

Morphemes are different from syllables, which are units of pronunciation.

There are two types of morphemes: free morphemes and bound morphemes.

Free morphemes can stand alone. Most words fall into this category, regardless of how long they are. Take the word 'tall' for example - it has a meaning on its own, you can't break it down into smaller parts (such as t-all, ta-ll, or tal-l). 'Ostrich' is also a free morpheme; despite having more than one syllable, it cannot be broken down into smaller parts.

Note that the word 'tall' contains the word 'all', but this has a completely different, unrelated meaning, so 'tall' is still a morpheme. The same principle applies to 'ostrich' - it may have the word 'rich' in it, but this is completely unrelated to the original word, and so 'ostrich' is still a morpheme in its own right.

Free morphemes can be either lexical or functional.

Lexical morphemes give us the main meaning of a sentence or text; they include nouns (e.g. boy, watermelon), adjectives (e.g. tiny, grey), and verbs (e.g. run, parachute).

Functional morphemes help to hold the structure of a sentence together; they include prepositions (e.g. with, by, for), conjunctions (e.g. and, but), articles (e.g. the, a, an) and auxiliary verbs (e.g. am, is, are).

In the phrase, 'The tiny boy is running.'

The lexical morphemes are 'tiny', 'boy', and running', and the functional morphemes are 'the', and 'is'.

Bound morphemes cannot stand alone and have to be bound to another morpheme.

Bound morphemes include prefixes, like pre-, un-, dis- (e.g. prerecorded, undivided), and suffixes, like -er, -ing, -est (e.g. smaller, smiling, widest).

Prefixes and suffixes both come under the category of 'affixes'.

Two major clause types

Clauses are the building blocks of sentences. Clauses contain a subject (a person, place, or thing) and a predicate (the part of the sentence that contains a verb or information about the subject).

In English, there are two major clause types; independent clauses and dependent clauses.

Independent clauses

An independent clause (also called the main clause) is part of a sentence that works on its own - it can be a complete sentence without any additions.

Examples of independent clauses:

  • Simon started crying.

  • We will have some dessert.

  • Merle lives in a small town.

Dependent clauses

Dependent clauses (also known as subordinate clauses) do not form a complete sentence on their own -they have to be added to independent clauses to make grammatical sense.

Examples of dependent clauses:

  • When he broke his leg.

  • After the main course.

  • Where it's always sunny.

Now let's put the independent clauses and the dependent clauses together:

Independent clause

Dependent clause

Simon started crying

when he broke his leg.

We will have some dessert

after the main course.

Merle lives in a small town

where it's always sunny.

As you can see, the independent clauses make sense on their own and with the dependent clauses added. The dependent clauses do not make sense unless they are attached to an independent clause.

Conjunctions

Conjunctions are words that “conjoin” or “connect” words, clauses, or phrases. They are an important grammatical tool as they help to form longer, more complex sentences, with simple sentences.

Thanks to conjunctions, the short, simple sentences 'I sing', 'I play the piano', and 'I don't play the guitar' can become one longer, more complex sentence: 'I sing and I play the piano but I don't play the guitar'. The conjunctions 'and' and 'but' connect the shorter sentences.

There are three types of conjunction, each used for different purposes: coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, and correlating conjunctions.

Coordinating conjunctions join two parts of a sentence that have equal meaning or are equal in importance. This could be two words or two clauses (see the previous section for more on clauses).

There are seven coordinating conjunctions in English. An easy way to remember them is with the acronym 'FANBOYS':

For

And

Nor

But

Or

Yet

So

  • Olivia has three rabbits and ten fish.

  • Ben didn't want to speak to his parents or his grandparents.

  • I love roast dinners but I can't stand sprouts.

Subordinating conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions join two parts of a sentence that have unequal meanings. In other words, they join an independent clause to a dependent clause (again, see the section above on clauses if you're not sure what this means).

Subordinating conjunctions are used to show cause and effect, a contrast, or a relationship of time/place between clauses.

Examples of subordinating conjunctions:

  • Peter didn't leave the house due to the tiger in his front garden.

  • Peter is going to the bakery if the tiger leaves his garden.

  • The tiger has been there since midday.

Correlating conjunctions are two conjunctions that work together in a sentence; they are also known as paired conjunctions.

Examples of correlating conjunctions:

  • I'm going to eat either soup or casserole for dinner.

  • Mia was not only rude but also quite mean.

  • My mum is taking both my sister and me to the beach.

Types of phrase

A phrase is a group of interrelated words that can function on its own, or as part of a sentence or clause. A phrase is different from a clause because it does not require a subject and a predicate (see our section on clauses for more information on this).

There are five different types of phrase: noun phrase, adjective phrase, verb phrase, prepositional phrase and adverb phrase.

Let's take a look at them now.

A noun phrase functions as a noun; it consists of the noun and its modifiers and/or determiners.

Modifiers - An optional word which gives more meaning to a noun, pronoun, or verb.

Determiners - Words used in front of nouns to show when you are referring to something specific. They add information regarding quantity, ownership, and specificity.

  • The small brown dog was yapping.

  • I work in the city centre library.

  • Look at that massive fish!

An adjective phrase functions as an adjective, meaning that it modifies (i.e. gives more information about) a noun or pronoun. An adjective phrase consists of the adjective and its modifiers and/or determiners.

  • The film was very short.

  • This section contains some absolutely fascinating books.

  • Bill is even stronger than all of the boys in his class

A verb phrase functions as a verb; it contains a verb and any auxiliary verbs (e.g. be, have, do), plus any modifiers and/or determiners.

  • I am waiting for my big day to come.

  • She has written a lot of books.

  • The show will be starting soon.

A prepositional phrase contains a preposition and its object, along with any modifiers and/or determiners.

  • The cow jumped over the moon.

  • Her shoes were inside the wardrobe.

  • We ventured into the briny deep.

An adverb phrase (sometimes known as an adverbial phrase) functions as (you guessed it) an adverb. An adverb phrase explains how, why, where, or when a verb is done.

  • They stirred the stew with a wooden spoon.

  • He finished the exam at record speed.

  • Every day I feed the ducks.

English Grammar Feeding Ducks StudySmarter

Adverb phrases can show how often an event occurs -Pixabay

Grammatical Voice

In English, there are two types of grammatical voice: the active voice and the passive voice.

The active voice is much more common - in the active voice, the subject does the action. In the passive voice, the subject is acted upon.

Compare the sentences below and note how the active voice draws attention to the doer of an action, whereas the passive voice draws attention to the thing being acted upon. The thing being acted upon is known as the object.

Active voice

Passive voice

Jenny ate a pizza.

The pizza was eaten by Jenny.

Everybody loves the sunshine.

The sunshine is loved by everybody.

The snail left a trail.

A trail was left by the snail.

The subject is the focus of a sentence - it is what (or who) the sentence is about. In the sentence 'Jenny ate a pizza', Jenny is the subject, and the pizza is the object. In the sentence 'The pizza was eaten by Jenny', the pizza is the subject.

Tenses

Tenses tell us whether something is in the past, present or future. See the table below for a comparison of the three main tenses.

Some linguists argue that the future isn't technically a 'tense' in English; however, it is now commonly taught as tense and it's helpful to put it here so you can see how the verb moves from past to future.

Past tense

Present tense

Future tense

We walked.

We walk.

We will walk.

I went to work.

I go to work.

I want to go to work.

He baked a cake.

He bakes a cake.

He will bake a cake.

All of the examples above are the "simple" versions of each tense. There are a total of four versions of each tense, creating twelve different tenses - to find out more, read the following section on aspects.

Aspects

Aspects give us additional information about a verb by telling us whether an action has been completed, is continuous, is both, or is neither. Aspects work together with tenses to add precision.

The two main aspects are progressive and perfective. We will look at examples of each one, and see what happens when we pair them with different tenses.

Progressive

The progressive aspect (also called the continuous aspect) tells us that the verb or action is, was, or will be, continuous.

Examples of the progressive aspect:

Past progressive tense

Present progressive tense

Future progressive tense

The girl was eating chocolate.

The girl is eating chocolate.

The girl will be eating chocolate.

We were playing together.

We are playing together.

We will be playing together.

I was cooking pasta.

I am cooking pasta.

I will be cooking pasta.

You can describe verbs or actions as continuous regardless of whether they are in the past, present or future. For example, compare the simple past tense of 'The girl ate chocolate' to the past progressive tense of 'The girl was eating chocolate'. To say the girl 'was eating' suggests that the action occurred over a period of time, and so it was continuous.

The perfective aspect tells us that the verb or action is either complete, will be complete, or will have been continuous up to a certain point.

Examples of the perfect aspect:

Past perfect tense

Present perfect tense

Future perfect tense

The girl had eaten chocolate.

The girl has eaten chocolate.

The girl will have eaten chocolate.

We were playing together.

We have played together.

We will have played together.

I had cooked pasta.

I have cooked pasta.

I will have cooked pasta.

As you can see, the perfective aspect can tell us that an action is complete, e.g. the present perfect tense 'I have cooked pasta', or it can tell us that it will be complete, such as the future perfect tense of 'I will have cooked pasta'.

The perfective aspect can also tell us that an action has been continuous up to a certain point e.g. 'I have lived in Tokyo for ten years' (an example of the present perfect tense) tells you how long I have lived in Tokyo, up to the present moment. Similarly, the phrase 'Next week, I will have lived in Tokyo for eleven years' (an example of the future perfect tense) tells you how long I will have lived in Tokyo at a point in the future (in this case, next week).

The twelve tenses

When we pair up aspects with tenses, we get a total of twelve tenses; these tell us whether an action is in the past, present or future, along with its “status” (whether it is continuing or completed). Below is a list of all twelve tenses with examples:

Tense

Example

Simple past

I saw a ship on the horizon.

Past perfect

She had written her essay.

Past progressive

They were climbing the steep hill.

Past perfect progressive

I had been thinking about it all night.

Simple present

Mary sings a melody.

Present perfect

I have witnessed a disaster.

Present progressive

He is eating his dinner.

Present perfect progressive

Sajid has been painting all afternoon.

Simple future

Our team will win the tournament.

Future perfect

I will have completed every level on this game once I beat the final boss.

Future progressive

I will be straightening my hair tonight.

Future perfect progressive

At the end of the term, Judy will have been teaching at this school for a decade.

Types of Sentence

There are four main types of sentences.

  • Simple sentences

  • Compound sentences

  • Complex sentences

  • Compound-complex sentences

You can spot the sentence type by looking at the clauses.

Simple sentences usually communicate things clearly. The sentences do not need added information as they work well on their own, and they consist of a single independent clause.

  • James waited for the bus.
  • I looked for Mary at the park.

  • We all walked to the shop.

Simple sentences usually communicate things clearly. The sentences do not need added information as they work well on their own; they consist of a single independent clause.

Compound sentences

Compound sentences combine two or more independent clauses, joining them with a comma, semicolon, or coordinating conjunction (see our section on conjunctions for more information on what these are).

Like simple sentences, compound sentences do not include dependent clauses (clauses that rely on the rest of the sentence). If the link (e.g. a comma or conjunction) between the two (or more) independent clauses weren't there, they could both work independently as simple sentences.

  • I need to go to work but I am too sick to drive.

  • He ran out of money so he couldn't buy lunch.

  • The sun is shining and the air is fresh.

Complex sentences

Complex sentences are slightly different from the other two types of sentences as they include a dependent clause (also known as a subordinate clause).

They are formed by adding dependent clauses to an independent clause. The dependent clauses are either joined to the main (independent) clause through subordinating conjunctions or relative pronouns.

The relative pronouns are that, which, who, whose, whom, and whomever.

  • I heated my food in the microwave because it had gone cold.

  • Amy sent back her item after she realized it was damaged.

  • I tried to get the attention of the cashier whose wig had fallen off.

This type of sentence combines a compound sentence with a complex sentence.

Compound-complex sentences contain two (or more) independent clauses as well as at least one dependent clause. Because of this, they are usually the longest sentence type, as they include a lot of clauses.

  • Since leaving school, I have been working in an office and I am saving up to buy a car.

  • I was thirsty so I went to the fridge to grab a can of soda.

  • Peter waited patiently until after midnight, but the tiger refused to budge.

English Grammar Tiger in Garden StudySmarter

Different sentence types help us express complex situations, such as having a tiger in your garden - Unsplash

Sentence Functions

Sentence functions describe the purpose of a sentence. There are four main sentence functions in the English language: declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamative.

Declarative sentences are the most common. We use declarative sentences to:

  • Make a statement.

  • Give an opinion.

  • Provide an explanation.

  • State facts.

  • I love hiking.

  • It's cold because he left the windows open.

  • The capital of Kenya is Nairobi.

Interrogative sentences are used to ask questions and typically require an answer. Here are the different types of interrogative sentences along with examples:

  • Yes / No interrogatives e.g. 'Have you ever been to India?'

  • Alternative interrogatives (questions that offer two or more alternative answers) e.g. 'Would you like tea or coffee?'

  • WH-interrogative (who / what / where / why / how) e.g. 'Where is the post office?'

  • Negative interrogatives (a question that has been made negative by adding a word such as not, don't aren't and isn't) e.g. 'Why aren't you in bed?'

  • Tag questions (short questions tagged onto the end of a declarative sentence) e.g. 'We forgot the milk, didn't we?'

Imperative sentences are predominantly used to give a command or a make a demand. They can be presented in several ways, such as:

  • Giving instructions.

  • Offering advice.

  • Making a wish on behalf of someone else.

  • Extending an invitation.

  • Giving a command.

There is often no subject present when forming imperative sentences because the subject is assumed to be you - the reader or the listener.

  • Sit down!

  • Set the oven to 180 degrees.

  • Please, take a seat.

Exclamative sentences are used to express strong feelings and opinions, such as surprise, excitement, and anger. A true exclamative sentence should contain the words what or how and usually end with an exclamation mark (!).

  • What a nice surprise!

  • Oh, how lovely!

  • What's that?!

German Grammar Megaphone Exclamation Marks StudySmarter

Exclamative sentences help us to express strong feelings - Pixabay

Word Classes

Word classes help us to better understand the elements that form phrases and sentences.

There are four main word classes: nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. These are considered lexical word classes and they provide the most meaning in a sentence.

The other five word classes are prepositions, pronouns, determiners, conjunctions, and interjections. These are functional word classes; they give structure to sentences by "glueing" them together, and they also show the relationships between lexical items.

See below for a summary of each word class, along with examples.

Here is a table containing the lexical word classes.

Word class

Function

Examples

Examples in sentence

Nouns

Naming people, places, objects, feelings, concepts, etc.

Maria, holiday, Paris.

Maria had a holiday in Paris.

Verb

An action, event, feeling, or state of being.

Run, bake, laugh.

I ran home to bake you a cake.

Adjectives

Describing an attribute, quality, or state of being; modifying a noun to add this description.

Rainy, tiny, ridiculous.

It was a rainy day so I stayed inside my tiny house and wrote ridiculous poems.

Adverbs

Describing how, where, when, or how often something is done.

Yesterday (when), quickly (how), over (where).

Yesterday, I saw the fox jump quickly over the dog.

Here is a table containing the functional word classes.

Word Class

Function

Examples

Examples in sentence

Prepositions

Showing direction, location or time.

Before (time), into (direction), on (location).

Before dinner, she went into the café on the hill.

Pronouns

Replacing a noun.

She, her, he, him, they, them.

She took Rover for a walk and then gave him some treats.

Determiners

Clarifying information about the quantity, location, or ownership of a noun.

His, the, some.

His car broke down so he opened the trunk to grab some tools.

Conjunctions

Connecting words in a sentence.

And, but, because.

Sammy and Jim played snooker but couldn't finish the game because the venue closed early.

Interjections

Expressing an emotion or reaction.

Wow, uh oh, Yippee, Yikes.

Wow, a crocodile - uh oh, it's heading right for us!

English Grammar - Key takeaways

  • A morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning in a language. It cannot be reduced beyond its current state without losing its meaning.
  • Clauses contain a subject and a predicate. In English, there are two major clause types: independent clauses and dependent clauses.
  • Conjunctions are words that connect two words, clauses, or phrases. They help to form longer, more complex sentences from simple sentences.
  • A phrase is a group of interrelated words that can function alone, or as part of a sentence or clause. Phrases differ from clauses because they don't require a subject and predicate.
  • There are two types of grammatical voice: the active voice and the passive voice.
  • Tenses give us a sense of time by telling us whether something is in the past, present or future.
  • Aspects give us additional information about a verb by telling us whether an action has been completed, is continuous, is both, or is neither. Aspects work together with tenses.
  • There are four different types of sentences: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex.
  • There are four main sentence functions: declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamative.
  • The four main word classes are nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs. These are lexical classes that give meaning to a sentence. The other five word classes are prepositions, pronouns, determiners, conjunctions, and interjections. These are function classes that are used for grammatical or structural reasons.

Frequently Asked Questions about English Grammar

Grammar is the system that allows words to change their form, their order in a sentence, and combine with other words in novel ways – this applies to both written and spoken language.

The basic rules of grammar depend on the correct use of:


  • Morphemes

  • Clauses

  • Conjunctions

  • Types of phrase

  • Grammatical voice

  • Tenses

  • Aspects

  • Types of sentence

  • Sentence functions

  • Word class


Confused? Don’t worry, StudySmarter has detailed articles to help clarify each of these rules.

The 12 tenses are:


  • Simple past

  • Past perfect

  • Past progressive

  • Past perfect progressive


  • Simple present

  • Present perfect

  • Present progressive

  • Present perfect progressive


  • Simple future

  • Future perfect

  • Future progressive

  • Present future progressive


For more information, see our article on tenses.

Five examples of compound sentences are:

  • I need to go to work but I am too sick to drive.

  • He ran out of money so he couldn’t buy lunch.

  • The sun is shining and the air is fresh.

  • Everybody listen to me; we need to pull together as a team!

  • She loves to go swimming; staying healthy is important to her. 

The two types of clauses in English are: independent clauses (clauses that can stand alone) and dependent clauses (clauses that need to be attached to an independent clause to make grammatical sense). For more information, see our article on clauses.

Final English Grammar Quiz

Question

What are the two major clause types?

Show answer

Answer

Independent clause and Dependent clause

Show question

Question

What is an independent clause also known as?

Show answer

Answer

The main clause

Show question

Question

What is a dependent clause also known as?

Show answer

Answer

The subordinate clause.

Show question

Question

What can be identified by looking at the number and type of clauses in a sentence?

Show answer

Answer

The type of sentence.

Show question

Question

What is an independent clause?

Show answer

Answer

A clause that contains a subject and verb and has a complete thought, it can be a whole sentence.

Show question

Question

What is a dependent clause?

Show answer

Answer

A clause that relies on the independent clause. It contains a subject and a verb but no complete thought and therefore can’t be a whole sentence.

Show question

Question

True or false: This is a dependent clause “Jimmy went outside.”


Show answer

Answer

False.

Show question

Question

Which of the following is an independent clause?

  1. after we’ve been swimming.

  2. before we went shopping.

  3. We went to the cinema.

Show answer

Answer

C.

Show question

Question

True or false: Both types of clauses contain a subject and a verb.


Show answer

Answer

True.

Show question

Question

True or false: Both types of clauses contain a complete thought.


Show answer

Answer

False.

Show question

Question

Are subordinate clauses and independent clauses the same?

Show answer

Answer

No. Subordinate clauses are also known as dependent clauses, which are different from independent clauses.

Show question

Question

Which of the following is a dependent clause?

  1. I cooked dinner.

  2. I cooked salmon for dinner.

  3. when I cook dinner.

Show answer

Answer

C

Show question

Question

Can independent clauses be in the same sentence as dependent clauses?


Show answer

Answer

Yes.

Show question

Question

When do you have to use an independent clause?

Show answer

Answer

In every sentence.

Show question

Question

When do you have to use a dependent clause?

Show answer

Answer

When you want to include extra information in a sentence.

Show question

Question

What are the three main tenses?

Show answer

Answer

Past tense, Present tense, and Future tense.

Show question

Question

 Which one of the following is a verb tense?

  1. Perfect past tense.

  2. Continuing past tense. 

Show answer

Answer

A.

Show question

Question

Which of the following is an example of present tense?

  1. We walked to the shops.

  2. I am running.

  3. I’m going to go for a walk.

Show answer

Answer

B.

Show question

Question

What tense shows something will happen?

Show answer

Answer

Future tense.

Show question

Question

Which word type commonly shows tense?

Show answer

Answer

Verbs.

Show question

Question

What are the two most common tenses?

Show answer

Answer

Past and present.

Show question

Question

Which of the following is a subcategory of present tense?

  1. Standard present tense.

  2. Simple present tense.

Show answer

Answer

B.

Show question

Question

What tense is a flashback written in?

Show answer

Answer

​Past tense.

Show question

Question

What happens when you mix tenses inaccurately?

Show answer

Answer

It can easily confuse the reader.

Show question

Question

Which of these is not a subcategory of future tense?

  1. Future (simple) tense.

  2. Future perfect continuous/progressive tense.

  3. Continuing future tense.

Show answer

Answer

C.

Show question

Question

Which of the following completes this sentence in the past tense: When you phoned, I ______________ in the garage.

  1. Worked

  2. Am working

  3. Was working 

Show answer

Answer

C.

Show question

Question

Which of the following completes this sentence in the present tense: The phone ___________ while I’m in the bath.

  1. Starts ringing 

  2. Started ringing

  3. Has rung

Show answer

Answer

A.

Show question

Question

What are the four subcategories of present tense?

Show answer

Answer

Simple present tense, perfect present tense, continuous/progressive present tense, and perfect continuous/progressive present tense.

Show question

Question

Why do writers need to use tense?

Show answer

Answer

Because without it there would be no timescale or time setting for the text.

Show question

Question

How could this sentence be changed to past tense? We will go out tomorrow.


Show answer

Answer

Yesterday, we went out. (or similar answer)

Show question

Question

What does the present tense show?

Show answer

Answer

That something is currently happening.

Show question

Question

What are the three main tenses?

Show answer

Answer

Past, Present, Future.

Show question

Question

Which of the following is an example of present tense?

  1. We walked a mile today.

  2. We have been walking a mile today.

  3. We will walk a mile today.

Show answer

Answer

B.

Show question

Question

Which of the following is not a present verb tense?

  1. Present continuous/progressive tense

  2. Present perfect past tense

  3. Present (simple) tense

Show answer

Answer

B.

Show question

Question

True or false: Present tense can be used in written texts.


Show answer

Answer

​True.

Show question

Question

 True or false: Present perfect tense is the most used in spoken language.


Show answer

Answer

 False, it’s actually present (simple) tense.

Show question

Question

What does present perfect tense show?

Show answer

Answer

That something is continuing to happen (after starting in the past) or that it happened at an indefinite time in the past.

Show question

Question

What does present (simple) tense show?

Show answer

Answer

That something is happening now.

Show question

Question

True or false: Present perfect continuous tense is similar to the present perfect tense?


Show answer

Answer

True.

Show question

Question

Which of the following is written in the present tense?

  1. We have talked before.

  2. We had talked before.

  3. We hadn’t talked before.

Show answer

Answer

A.

Show question

Question

True or false: Present tense is the most common tense to use in written language.


Show answer

Answer

False, it is common, but past tense is the most used.

Show question

Question

What can using present tense in a text help the reader to do?


Show answer

Answer

Immerse themselves in the text.

Show question

Question

Which of the following best describes present perfect continuous/progressive tense?

  1. It shows something is still happening.

  2. It shows something started earlier but is continuing to happen.

  3. It starts with has/have been and then describes what is continuing to happen.

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Answer

C.

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Question

What is the difference between present perfect tense and present perfect continuous tense?


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Answer

Present perfect continuous tense follows a strict structure, whereas the present perfect tense just shows that something started in the past and is continuing to happen.

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Question

When is simple present tense most used?

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Answer

In spoken English.

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Question

What is "grammatical voices" a type of?

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Answer

It is a verb property.

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Question

Which of the following is not a verb property?

  1. People

  2. Mood

  3. Tense

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Answer

People.

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Question

True or false: Passive voice is most commonly used.


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Answer

False.

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Question

 Is this sentence active or passive? “The woman milked the cow.”


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Answer

Active.

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Question

What is the structure of an active sentence?

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Answer

Subject + verb + object.

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