I don’t think used instead of I don’t think so.
Don’t say: I don’t think.
Say: I don’t think so.
I don’t think means I don’t use my brains, while I don’t think so means I am not of that opinion.
Throw it used instead of throw it away.
Don’t say: It’s dirty, throw it.
Say: It’s dirty, throw it away.
Throw it means to throw a thing at someone or somewhere, such as a ball. Throw it away means to get rid of it by throwing it aside.
Up and down used instead of upstairs and downstairs.
Don’t say: He’s up, he’s down.
Say: He’s upstairs, he’s downstairs.
He’s up means he’s out of bed. He’s upstairs (downstairs) means he’s on the upper (lower) floor of the building.
Better used instead of had better.
Don’t say: Better go home at once.
Say: You’d better go home at once.
The correct phrase is had better. You had better go means It would be a good thing for you to go.
For this used instead of for this reason.
Don’t say: For this he wants to leave.
Say: For this reason he wants to leave.
The phrase for this is incorrect. Say for this reason or for that reason Also owing to that or because of that.
Omission of the word old from age.
Don’t say: My sister is fifteen years.
Say: My sister is fifteen years old.
Note: We can also Say: My sister is fifteen years of age, or simply, My sister is fifteen.
Omission of the word or between numbers.
Don’t say: I’ve only two, three friends.
Say: I’ve only two or three friends.
We must always insert the conjunction or between numbers like this two or three men, five or six pages, eight or ten days.
Omission of the word and between numbers.
Don’t say: Eight thousand thirty-seven.
Say: Eight thousand and thirty-seven.
Use the conjunction and to connect hundred, thousand, million to a number of tens or units.
Omission of the noun after an adjective.
Don’t say: The unfortunate was shot dead.
Say: The unfortunate man was shot dead.
The noun that comes after an adjective can’t be understood; it must be expressed
Note: Omit the noun after an adjective only when the adjective is used as a noun in the plural The poor envy the rich.
The object of the verb enjoy omitted.
Don’t say: I enjoyed during the holidays.
Say: I enjoyed myself during the holidays.
Or: I enjoyed my holidays.
Don’t follow the verb enjoy by a preposition. It must always have an object, which may either be a reflexive pronoun or a noun.
Note: We Say: I had a good time, as this is an idiomatic expression, but we can’t say I enjoyed my time. We must specify. I enjoyed my time in Greece.
Omission of the direct object when there are two objects.
Don’t say: I asked him for some ink, and he gave me.
Say: I asked him for some ink, and he gave me some.
Some transitive verbs, like give, bring, send, tell, buy, show, must have two expressed objects, direct and indirect here, some is the direct object of gave .
The object of the transitive verb omitted.
Don’t say: I asked her for some paper, but she had not.
Say: I asked her for some paper, but she had none didn’t have any.
As a rule, every transitive verb must have an expressed object: here, none (equivalent to not any) is the object of had.
Omission of the personal pronoun after a quotation.
Don’t say: ‘I’m learning English,’ said.
Say: ‘I’m learning English,’ he said.
After a quotation, express the personal pronoun as the subject of the reporting verb.
Omission of the pronoun subject from the principal clause.
Don’t say: When he saw the teacher, stood up.
Say: When he saw the teacher, he stood up.
In a sentence beginning with an adverbial clause, express the personal pronoun as the subject of the main clause.
Omission of it as subject of an impersonal verb.
Don’t say: Is very hot in the Sudan.
Say: It’s very hot in the Sudan.
Use the pronoun it as the subject of an impersonal verb
Omission of the personal pronoun before the infinitive.
Don’t say: I want to tell me the truth.
Say: I want you to tell me the truth.
Express the subject of the infinitive after verbs like want, like, wish, etc , if it is different from that of the main verb.
Omission of the demonstrative pronoun one.
Don’t say: This is the only that I like.
Say: This is the only one that I like.
Use the demonstrative pronoun one (plural ones) in place of a noun mentioned before.
Omission of else after everybody, etc.
Don’t say: She is stronger than everybody.
Say: She is stronger than everybody else.
Use the word else in making a comparison between one person or thing and all others of the same kind after everybody, anybody, anything, etc.
Omission of before in comparisons.
Don’t say: I’d never seen such a thing.
Say: I’d never seen such a thing before.
Don’t leave out the word before in making a comparison between one thing and all others of the same kind.
Omission of other after a comparative.
Don’t say: Homer was greater than all the Greek poets.
Say: Homer was greater than all the other Greek poets.
Since Homer was a Greek poet, the first sentence makes him greater than himself, which is illogical.
Omission of how after the verb to know.
Don’t say: She knows to play the piano.
Say: She knows how to play the piano.
After the verb to know the adverb how always comes before an infinitive.
Omission of there as an introductory word.
Don’t say: Once lived a great king.
Say: Once there/There once lived a great king.
Use the adverb there to introduce the subject of a sentence in which the verb stands before the subject.
Omission of the preposition after the infinitive.
Don’t say: They’ve no houses to live.
Say: They’ve no houses to live in.
The infinitive of an intransitive verb (like live, etc): it must have a preposition after it.
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Present tense I am’m, you are’re, he (she, it) is’s; We, you, they are’re.
Past Tense I was, you were, he (she, it) was; We, you, they were.
Future Tense I, you, he (she, it) will’ll be; We, you, they will’ll be.
Present Perfect I, you, have’ve been, he (she, it) has’s been; We, you, they have’ve been.
Past Perfect I, you, he (she, it) had’d been; We, you, they had’d been.
Future Perfect I, you, he (she, it) will’ll have been; We, you, they will’ll have been.
Uses of the verb TO BE as auxiliary
Use the verb to be:
1. With the Present Participle to form the Continuous Tenses.
To be + Present Participle
Example: The sun was shining in the sky.
2. With the Past Participle to form the Passive Form. To be + Past Participle
Example: The letter was written by John.
Omission of the preposition indicating time.
Don’t say: I was born the third of December.
Say: I was born on the third of December.
As a rule, don’t use a noun without a preposition to show the time of some action.
Note: Don’t use a preposition with last year, next year, some day, one day, this afternoon, etc.
Omission of auxiliary do when do is a principal verb.
Don’t say: Do pupils their work carefully?
Say: Do pupils do their work carefully?
In the correct form of the sentence, the first do means nothing on its own and only helps to make the question. The second do is the principal verb of the sentence, and has the meaning of perform.
Omission of the auxiliary do from questions.
Don’t say: You understand the problem? He understands the problem? She understood the problem?
Say: Do you understand the problem? Does he understand the problem? Did she understand the problem?
Place the auxiliary verb do (does, did) before the subject to ask questions in the simple present and simple past tenses.
Note: Don’t use the auxiliary do with modal verbs, like can, may, must: Can you meet me tomorrow?
Omission of the verb to be from the passive.
Don’t say: Charles Dickens born in 1812.
Say: Charles Dickens was born in 1812.
Form the passive form by using the verb to be, combined with the past participle of the verb required (to be + past participle).
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Indefinite article – Use the indefinite article:
1. Before every common noun in the singular, if it isn’t preceded by the or some word such as this, that, my, his: I bought a new book (not: I bought new book).
2. Before the words hundred and thousand: A hundred soldiers were in the camp.
3. After the verb to be when a countable noun in the singular follows: Mary’s father is a lawyer.
4. In certain phrases: to make a noise, a mistake, a fortune, an impression; to have a headache, a pain, a cold, a cough.
Don’t use the indefinite article:
1. Before singular nouns that aren’t used in the plural, such as advice, information, work, furniture, bread Example: He gave me good advice (not: a good advice).
2.After the phrase kind of or sort of: What kind of pen do you want? a, an or one
Many languages use the numeral one instead of the indefinite article a or an. This is not so in English. One man went into one shop ought to be A man went into a shop. One is used only when the number is emphatic: One swallow does not make a summer.
Omission of the before the word cinema, etc.
Don’t say: On Saturday I go to cinema.
Say: On Saturday I go to the cinema.
Use definite article before the words cinema, theatre, concert, etc
Omission of the before names of musical instruments.
Don’t say: I play violin, but not piano.
Say: I play the violin, but not the piano.
Use the definite article before the names of musical instruments.
Omission of the before names of nationalities.
Don’t say: English are fond of sports.
Say: The English are fond of sports.
Place the definite article before the names of nationalities, describing a people collectively the British, the French, the Dutch, the Swiss, the Chinese, the Sudanese, etc.
Omission of a or an from make a noise, etc.
Don’t say: I told them not to make noise.
Say: I told them not to make a noise.
Note: Also to make a mistake, to make a fortune, to make a will, to make an impression, to make an experiment, to make an attempt.
Omission of a or one before hundred, etc….
Don’t say: Hundred years make a century.
Say: A hundred years make a century.
Or: One hundred years make a century.
Use the indefinite article a or the numeral one before hundred and thousand. See also Section 527.
Omission of a or an after the word half.
Don’t say: He drank half glass of milk.
Say: He drank half a glass of milk.
Note: Half a glass (an hour, a day, a mile, etc.) is the shortened form of half of a glass (of an hour, of a day, of a mile, etc.).
Omission of a or an after the verb to be.
Don’t say: I’m not teacher, I’m student.
Say: I’m not a teacher, I’m a student.
Use the indefinite article a or an to express a singular noun-complement of the verb to be There’s an animal in there. It’s a mouse.
Omission of the article before a countable noun in the singular.
Don’t say: I’ve no money to buy car.
Say: I’ve no money to buy a car.
As a rule, use either the or a or an before a countable noun in the singular.
The possessive ending omitted.
Don’t say: A hen’s egg is different from a pigeon.
Say: A hen’s egg is different from a pigeon’s.
If the first noun in a comparison is in the possessive case, the second must also be in the possessive: My mother’s nose is bigger than my father’s.
The – s , -es or -ies of the plural form omitted.
Don’t say: I paid six pound for the book.
Say: I paid six pounds for the book.
Take care not to leave out the -s, -es or -ies of the plural number.
Note: the following nouns have irregular plurals: man, men; women, women; child, children; ox, oxen; foot, feet; tooth, teeth; goose, geese; mouse, mice.
The -d or -ed of the past tense omitted.
Don’t say: I receive a letter yesterday.
Say: I received a letter yesterday.
Take care not to leave out the -d or -ed from the past tense of regular verbs. When speaking, pronounce the ending of the past tense clearly.
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Third person singular, simple present
1.With the pronouns he, she, it, or any singular noun, the verb in the present tense takes a special ending, -s, -es or-ies: he works, it catches, the sun rises, she worries.
2. When the first person of the verb ends in s, x, ch, sh, or o, the third person singular takes -es: I watch, I finish, I fix, I go, & he watches he finishes he fixes he goes
3. When the first person of the verb ends in y with a consonant before it, form the third person singular by changing y into ies:
I carry I study I fly
he carries he studies he flies
Note: If there is a vowel before the y, we only add s for the third person singular: he plays, he enjoys, he obeys.
4. A few verbs are irregular in the third person singular:
I am I have he is he has
5. Modal verbs such as will, can, may, must, and ought do NOT change their form in the third person singular:
I will I can I may I must
he will he can he may he must
Remember: The third person singular of verbs in the present tense takes -s, -es or -ies.
Using don’t instead of doesn’t.
Don’t say: He don’t care what he says.
Say: He doesn’t care what he says.
Use don’t (= do not) with I, we, you, they, and with plural nouns. Use doesn’t (= does not) with he, she, it, and with singular nouns.
The -s or -es of the third person singular omitted.
Don’t say: He speak English very well.
Say: He speaks English very well.
Take great care not to leave out the -s or es from the present tense, when the subject is he, she, it, or a noun in the singular.