1. The noun group

1.1. The plural of nouns


1.1.1. Most nouns: + 's': boy - boys, girl - girls, parent - parents

1.1.2. Nouns ending in consonant + y 'ies': family - families, country - countries, secretary - secretaries

1.1.3. Nouns ending in -ch, -sh, -s or -x 'es': address - addresses; watch - watches

1.1.4. irregular: child - children; man - men; woman - women; penny - pence; life - lives; leaf - leaves; foot - feet; tooth - teeth; mouse - mice; potato - potatoes; hero - heroes, tomato - tomatoes, sheep - sheep, fish - fish
(and so on...)

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1.2. Articles

General rule:

Do you mind if I open the window? (the listener knows which window)
We've got a cat and a dog. The dog's name is Pete. (we know which dog because of the sentence before)
I would like to have a dog (='it doesn't matter which one')
She lives in a small flat somewhere in Paris (=I don't know which flat)
I am a student
He goes to the cinema once a week.

1.2.1. 'A' and 'An'

a. You only use 'a' or 'an' with singular count nouns. 'A' and 'an' are called the indefinite article.
I got a postcard from Susan
He was eating an apple.

Notes:- you use 'a' in front of a word that begins with a consonant sound:
a piece, a camera, a university, a European language
- you use 'an' in front of a word that begins with a vowel sound
an exercise, an idea, an honest man, …

b. You use 'a' or 'an' when you are talking about a person or thing for the first time.
She picked up a book.
A colleague and I got some money to do research on rats.

Note that the second time you refer to the same person or thing, you use 'the':
She picked up a book …… The book was very interesting.

c. After the verb 'be' or another link verb, you can use 'a' or 'an' with an adjective and a noun to give more information about something or someone: It was a really beautiful house.

d. You use 'a' or 'an' after the verb 'be' when you're saying what someone is or what job they have.
He became a school teacher. I am a nurse

e. You can use 'a' or 'an' to mean 'one' with some numbers. You can use 'a' or 'an' with nouns that refer to whole numbers, fractions, money, weights or measures.
A hundred, a quarter, a pound, a kilo, a thousand, a half, a dollar, …

f. You do not use 'a' or 'an' with uncount nouns or plural nouns: I love dogs. Many adults don't listen to children. Do you want tea or coffee?
Note: if you do not use a determiner with a plural count noun, you are often making a general statement about people or things of that type. For example if you say "I love dogs" you mean all dogs.( However, if you say "There are eggs in the kitchen" you mean there are some eggs).

1.2.2. Main uses of 'the'

a. 'The' is called the definite article, and is the most common determiner. You use 'the' when the person you're talking to knows which person or thing you mean. You can use 'the' in front of any noun, whether it is a singular count noun, an uncount noun, or a plural count noun.
She dropped the can
The girls were not at home.

b. You use 'the' with a noun, when you are referring back to someone or something that has already been mentioned: I called for a waiter … The waiter with a moustache came.
I've bought a house in Wales…. The house is in an agricultural area

c. You use 'the' with a noun and a qualifier, such as a prepositional phrase or a relative clause, when you are specifying which person or thing you're talking about: The book that I bought cost £3

d. You use 'the' with a noun when you are referring to something of which there is only one in the world: They all sat in the sun.
The Queen of England arrived early this morning at Deli airport.

You also use 'the' when you are referring to something of which there is only one in a particular place.
Mrs Robertson told him that the church had been bombed.
He decided to put some words on the blackboard.

e. You can use 'the' with a singular count noun when you want to make a general statement about all things of that type. For example, if you say The whale is the largest mammal in the world, you mean all whales, not one particular whale.

f. You can use 'the' with a singular count noun when you are referring to a system or service. For example, you can use 'the phone' to refer to a telephone system, and 'the bus' to refer to a bus service.
How long does it take on the train?

g. You can use 'the' with the name of a musical instrument when you're talking about someone's ability to play the instrument: You play the guitar, I see. Geoff plays the piano very well.

1.2.3. Other uses of 'the':

a. Proper nouns: You do not normally use 'the' with proper nouns that are people's names. However, if you're talking about a family, you can say 'the Browns'.
You use 'the' with the names of some organisations, buildings, newspapers, and works of arts: the United Nations, the Taj Mahal, the Times, the Mona Lisa …

b. geographical places
1. You use 'the' with some proper nouns referring to geographical places, especially areas of water:
the Mediterranean Sea, the Suez Canal, the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Ocean …
Exceptions: names of lakes, such as Lake Tahoe, Lake Geneva, …
2. You use 'the' with countries whose names include words such as 'kingdom', 'republic', 'union, or 'state:
the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union…
You use 'the' with countries that have plural nouns as their names:
the Netherlands, the Philippines …
Note: you do not use 'the' with countries that have singular nouns as their names, such as 'China', 'Turkey', or 'Italy'.
3. you use 'the' with names of mountain ranges and groups of islands:
the Himalayas, the Canaries …
Note: you do not use 'the' with names of individual mountains such as Everest, or the names of individual islands such as Sicily
4. You use 'the' with regions of the world, or regions of a country that include 'north', 'south', 'east' or 'west':
the Middle East, the north of England
Exceptions: North America, South-East Asia, East Anglia, …
Note: you do not use 'the' with 'northern', 'southern', 'eastern' or 'western' and a singular name:
northern England, western Africa
5. You do not use 'the' with continents, cities, streets or addresses:
Asia, London, Oxford Street…

c. with adjectives:
You use 'the' with adjectives such as 'rich', 'poor', 'young', 'old' and 'unemployed' to talk about a general group of people
Only the rich could afford this firm's products
In the cities the poor are as badly off as they were in the villages.

d. with superlatives:
he was the youngest
It was the most exciting summer of my life.

1.2.4. Expressions without articles:

If you are speaking in general, you can leave the definite article out in front of…
1. nouns in the plural form: Dogs are very good at pulling sledges
2. abstract nouns: Time passes quickly
3. names of languages: We learn English at school
4. stuff names: Wood and glass are used to make windows
5. names of meals: I'll see you after dinner
6. names of colours: Red does not go with pink
7. names of seasons: Winter is the best time for reading
8. names of feasts: I hope to see you at Christmas
Note: when a noun is used in a particular, limited meaning, you must use the article:
The summer of last year was warm
The dogs of my neighbours are very dangerous
Note also the following expressions, which don't take the article either: at home, to go home, in bed, at school, at work,...

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1.3.count and uncount nouns

Count nouns
- Count nouns are the name of things we can count: a car, one problem, two trees, three hundred pounds...
- We can use a/an with count nouns.
- Count nouns have plurals
Examples: Would you like a sandwich?
I like those books.

Uncount nouns
- Uncount nouns are the name of things you can't count: milk, air, water, coffee, salt, music, money, furniture, news, information, advice, hair, bread, weather, English, medicine...
- Uncount nouns cannot be used with a/an. We often use some or any.
- they have no plural
Would you like some milk?
I like that music.
There is a lot of money in that drawer.
Here is the news.
Could you give me some information?
We're having terrible weather.
I'm going to give you some advice .
I'm going to give you a piece of advice

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1.4. pronouns

subject pronouns

objects pronouns

possessive adjectives

possessive pronouns



He likes me, but I don't like him.
They had invited us to a party
Could you give me some water?
That's my bicycle over there!
Ann and her husband live in Stroke.
John and his wife both play tennis.
Whose are these shoes? Are they yours?
Is this your coat? No, It's not mine.
Ask John, I think it's his

Reflexive pronouns:


We use "myself", "yourself" etc. to refer to the subject:
Jenny made herself a cup of coffee (=Jenny made a cup of coffee for herself)
Be careful. You might hurt yourself.
They enjoyed themselves at the concert.

We also use a reflexive pronoun to emphasise that the subject did the action, not another person
He built the whole house himself. (=He built it alone, nobody helped him...)

Reciprocal pronoun: each other and one another

We use "each other" like this:
Tom and Sue were talking to each other / one another. (=Tom was talking to Sue, and Sue was talking to Tom)
We like each other (=I like him and he likes me)

Compare "themselves" and "each other"
Alan and Ruth took these photographs themselves. (= They took them, not another person)
Alan and Ruth took these photographs of each other. (= Alan took a photograph of Ruth, and Ruth took one of Alan)

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1.5. possessive -'s

Singular: + 's.
Plural: + s'
Sam is Judy's boyfriend
That's my parents' house
Jane is Bill and Dick's sister.

Note: If the noun is in the plural form but doesn't end in –s, we also add 's
The children's room

1.5.2. use
a) In general, you use the possessive 's with names of people, groups and institutions
my brother's room; my parents' attitude, the cat's milk; the party's doctrine; America's 650,000 Indians, the world's future; ...
BUT: the door of the car
b). You can also use the possessive 's in a certain number of expressions related to a date, a duration or a distance: a ten minutes' walk; two weeks' delay; yesterday's meeting; today's newspapers

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1.6. some, any and no.

1.6.1. General rule: we use some in affirmative sentences, and any in questions and negative sentences

Affirmative Question Negative

There's some bread on the table
I've got some eggs.

Is there any bread on the table?
Have you got any eggs?

There isn't any bread on the table = There's no bread on the table
I haven't got any eggs.

1.6.2. Some in questions: when we offer things or ask for things, we usually use some in question:
Would you like some coffee?
Could you give me some sugar?

1.6.3. No = not any:
I'm sorry, there's no more wine = I'm sorry, there isn't any more wine
Note: . "No" and "not" any are negatives, but "any" is not negative:
I've got no friends = I haven't got any friends

1.6.4. Somebody, anything, etc.




somebody / someone
anybody / anyone
everybody / everyone
nobody / no one



Somebody telephoned when you were out.
Would you like something to drink?
Have you got anything to read?
Have you seen my glasses anywhere?
I didn't understand anything.
'What are you doing?' 'Nothing
1° "No" and "not any" are negatives, but any is not negative:
I've got no friends= I haven't got any friends
There is nothing to add =There isn't anything to add

2° "Everybody", "everything", "nobody" and "nothing" are singular
Everybody was late
Is everything all right?
Nothing was ready when I arrived.

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1.7. Most, all, none, some...

1.7.1. We use 'some/all/most... + noun' to talk about things in general:
She thinks that all sports are boring (=She thinks that every sport is boring)
Most cities have a lot of shops (=Almost every city has a lot of shops)
In some countries, life is very hard
Note: we can also use all with 'morning', 'week', 'afternoon', 'year' ...
They've been working all day
I waited for the call all morning

1.7.2. We use 'all/most/none/some +of + the/my/her...+noun' to talk about particular things or people:
He spent all of his money in Las Vegas.
Most of my friends are interested in sports.
I knew some of the people at the party.
None of the shops were open.
Note: we can leave "of" after "all", but not after "some", "none" or "mos"t.
He spent all his money

1.7.3. We can use 'all/most/some/none + of + it/them' when we have already mentioned the noun that it or them refers to:
It was delicious food, but I couldn't eat all of it. (it=the food)
I phoned a number of hotels but most of them were full. (them = the hotels)
That cake looks nice. Can I have some of it? (it = the cake)

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1.8. this, that, these and those.

  singular plural
close this these
far that those

This cheese is terrible
These tomatoes are very nice
How much is that sweater over there?
I like those ear-rings that she's wearing.

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1.9. Quantifiers: much, many, enough, more, a lot, a little, a few...

With uncountable nouns With plurals
(not) much
how much?
too much
a lot of
a little
(not) many
how many?
too many
a lot of
a few

There isn't much rain in the summer
Are there many hotels in the town?
How much money do you want?
How many States are there in the USA?
I've got too much work.
You've given me too many chips
Could I have a little more bread?

I'm afraid there are no more potatoes
Have you got enough bread?
There aren't enough buses from our village.
There is a lot of money in that drawer.
She's got a lot of problems
I have a little money, not much.
Can you wait for a few minutes, John?

Note: we can also use much, more, enough, a lot ... with a verb:
You should work more, if you want to succeed.
I've had enough! Get out!
You look tired. I think you work too much

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1.10. either, neither, both.

1. We use "both", "either" and" neither" to talk about two things or people:
- This black T-shirt is nice / This white T-shirt is nice: Both the black (T-shirt) and the white T-shirt are nice.
or: Both T-shirts are nice
- Jeff would like to visit India / Jeff would like to visit Australia: Jeff would like to visit either India or Australia. Or: Jeff would like to visit either country
Note: we can also use a negative verb with either: Jeff hasn't been to either country
- The black jacket didn't fit her / The white jacket didn't fit her: Neither the black (jacket) nor the white jacket fitted her. or: Neither jacket fitted her

2. we can also use "both", "neither" and "either" like this:
- both of them
- either of my houses
- neither of these
Both of these suitcases are heavy
I haven't seen either of the films
Neither of his sisters was/were there
He has two cars, but neither of them works.

3. We can use 'either... or' with 2 clauses: Either you come in, or you stay out!

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1.11. Adjectives

1.11.1. Characteristics of adjectives: never put an adjective into a plural form
Mary's eyes are green
You've got big ears !

There are two types of adjectives: the attributive adjective, and the predicative adjective (see 'position of the adjective')

1.11.3. Position of adjectives:
- When used as an attribute, the adjective is placed before nouns:
Mary has got green eyes.
London is a very big city

- The predicative adjective is placed after "be", "become" ...
Jane is pretty.
My daughters are very tall.

Order of different adjectives:

deter-miner value size age shape colour origin material compound noun
two lovely       black   leather   boots
a priceless   19th century     Impressionist     painting
their   huge   circular       swimming pool
my           Swedish wooden salad bowl
the dirty   old       metal garden seat
one   tiny   L-shaped       utility room
his charming       white Tudor     cottage

1.11.4. Adjective + preposition

a) When you use an adjective after a link verb, you can often use the adjective on its own or followed by a prepositional phrase:
He was afraid.
He was afraid of his enemies.

b) Some adjectives cannot be used alone after a link verb. They must be followed by a particular preposition:
I'm used to warm weather.
He's always been terribly fond of you.
I was unaware of that awful situation

c) Some adjectives can be used alone or used with different prepositions:
It was rude of him to leave so suddenly.
She was rude to him for no reason.
She was still angry about his answer (to specify a thing)
They're getting pretty angry with him. (to specify a person)

Here follow some examples of adjectives + preposition
- What are you so angry about?
- I'm not ashamed of what I did. In fact, I'm quite proud of it.
- I'm terribly scared of bats.
- 'Did you know they were married?' 'No, I wasn't aware of that.
- You get bored (fed up) with doing the same thing every day.
- I'm sure you are (in)capable of passing your exams.
- The city centre was crowded with people
- The film was quite different from (to) what I expected.
- Were you disappointed with your results?
- Are you excited about going on holiday next week?
- The Italian city of Florence is famous for its paintings.
- Mary is very fond of animals. She has three cats and four dogs.
- The letter I wrote was full of mistakes.
- They were furious with me for not inviting them to the party.
- I'm not very good at repairing things.(+ better at...)
- I'm really hopeless at singing.
- I wasn't impressed by / with the film.
- Are you interested in architecture?
- Why are you always so jealous of other people?
- We stayed at home because Ann wasn't very keen on going out in the rain.
- Linda is married / engaged to an American.
- He's always been very nice to my grand-mother. (same construction with kind, generous, mean,, rude...)
- Thank you. It was very nice of you to help me. (same construction with kind, generous, mean, intelligent, stupid, clever, rude, sensible ....)
- Who was responsible for all that noise last night?
- 'Are you afraid of dogs?' 'Yes, I'm terrified of them.
- I'm a bit short of money. Can you lend me some?
- Your writing is similar to mine.
- I'm sorry about the noise last night.
- I'm sorry for shouting at you yesterday.
- I feel sorry for George. He has lost all his friends.
- Everybody was surprised at / by the news.
- He didn't trust me. He was suspicious of my intention.
- Come on, let's go! I'm tired of waiting
- Are you worried about him?

1.11.5. Cardinal and ordinal numbers.

Cardinal numbers
Ordinal numbers


a hundred
two hundred
a hundred and one
two hundred and ten
a thousand
three thousand
a million







13th June: 'the thirteenth of June'
1997: Nineteen ninety-seven.
You write … Tuesday, 23rd March 1985
You say…Tuesday, the twenty-third of March, nineteen eighty-five.

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1.12. Comparison

1.12.1. Comparative of superiority and superlative adjectives:

a) if the adjective is made of one syllable:
- comparative: adjective + er.
Examples: My list is shorter than yours.
Ann is taller than Suzy
- superlative: adjectibe + est. Example: John is the youngest student in the class.
1°/ if the adjective ens in -e, you add -r / -st. Example: This is the finest day of the month.
2° if the adjective ends in "consonant + vowel + consonant", you double the last consonant.
Examples: That book seems bigger than the last one we had to read.
Yesterday was the hottest day of the year.

3°/ some adjectives have got irregular comparative and superlative forms:

good - better - the best
bad - worse - the worst
far - farther / further - the farthest / the furthest
a little - less - the least
a lot/much/many- more - the most

b) if the adjective is made of more than one syllable:
- comparative: more + adjective.
Examples: That exercise seems more complete than the first one.
More expensive hotels are usually more comfortable than cheaper ones.
- superlative: the most + adjective. Examples: Judy is the most intelligent girl of that group.
That was the most boring film I've ever seen.
1°/If the adjective ends in "-y", we remove the "y" and add "-ier".
Example: This exam was easier than I expected.
Those were the happiest years of my life.

2°/ Note the structure 'the ... the ...' (with two comparatives) to say that one thing depends on another thing:
Examples: The warmer the weather, the better I feel.
The earlier we leave, the sooner we arrive.
The more you have, the more you want.
The more electricity you use, the higher your bill will be.

1.12.2. Comparison: as ... as…

a) We use" as + adjective + as" to say that two things or people are the same in some way:
You're as old as me. (= We are the same age)
The chair is as expensive as the table.
Jim didn't do as well in his exam as he had hoped.
Let's walk. It's just as quick as taking the bus.
1°. We say 'the same (...) as':
Ann's salary is the same as mine.
2°. After 'than' and 'as', it is more usual to say me/him/her/them ... when there' s no verb:
You are taller than I am You are taller than me.
I can run as fast as he can I can run as fast as him.

1.12.3. Comparison: less, fewer, …

We use 'less' before an adjective to stress the inferiority of something compared to something else
Life is less expensive in England than in the USA
But the structure 'not so/as … as' is also often used:
It's not so cold as yesterday
I don't walk as fast as you.
Note: Before a singular noun, we use 'less'; before a plural, 'fewer'
I've got fewer friends than my sister
He earns less money than he used to

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2. adverbials

2.1. main point

Adverbials are usually adverbs, adverb phrases, noun phrases or prepositional phrases.
Sit there quietly, and listen to this music. (adverb)
He did not play well enough to win. (adverb phrase)
The children are playing in the park. (prepositional phrase)
Come and see me next week. (noun phrase)

2.2. types of adverbials

- You use an adverbial of manner to describe the way in which something happens or is done:
They looked angrily at each other.
She listened with great patience as she told his story.

- You use an adverbial of place to say where something happens:
She lives in London.
Nobody can come near a crime scene.

- You use an adverbial of time to say when something happens:
He was born on 3rd April 1925.
She’ll be here soon.

2.3. position and order of adverbials:

- you normally put adverbials of manner, place, and time after the main verb.
She sang beautifully
The car broke down two days ago.

If the verb has an object, you put the adverbial after the object:
Thomas made his decision immediately.
He took the glasses to the kitchen.

- If you are using more than one of these adverbials in a clause, the usual order is manner, then place, then time.
They were sitting quite happily in the car. (manner, place)
She spoke at the village hall last night. (place, time)
- You usually put adverbials of frequency, probability and duration in front of the main verb. A few adverbs of degree also come in front of the main verb:
She occasionally comes to my house. (frequency)
You have very probably heard the news by now. (probability)
She really enjoyed the party. (adverb of degree)

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2.4. Adverbs

2.4.1. Adjectives and adverbs

We use adjectives before nouns and after the verb ‘to be’.
We use adverbs to give more information about verbs and adjectives.
You’ve got a nice face (adj.), and You sing nicely. (adv.)
It’s terrible. (adj.), and It’s terribly cold. (adv.)

2.4.2. Spelling of -ly adverbs:


Most words: + ly
careful, extreme, kind
carefully, extremely, kindly
Adjectives ending in -y: -ily
happy, angry
happily, angrily
Adjectives ending in -ble: -bly

2.4.3. Position of adverbs:

Don’t put adverbs between the verb and the object.
She speaks English well.
I opened the letter carefully.
I never read science fiction

2.4.4. Frequency adverbs: use and position

How often do you go to the cinema?
Do you ever go to the opera?

I always come here on Sunday mornings.
(very) often; (quite) often; usually; sometimes; occasionally; hardly ever; seldom; rarely; never

NOTE: These adverbs come after am / are / is / was / were / will / can.... E.g.: I am often late.

I come here... every day / every three days / once a day / twice a week / three times a year.

2.4.5. Adverbs of degree

I’m not at all tired; not very tired; a bit; quite; very; extremely

2. 4.6. Comparative and superlative adverbs

We usually make comparative and superlative adverbs with "more" and "most":
Could you speak more slowly, please?
She sings most beautifully.

Exceptions: fast / faster / fastest: She can run faster than me.
well / better / best: I speak English better than my father.

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2.5. Prepositions

2.5.1. Talking about place:

It’s on the table. It’s under your chair. It’s in the fridge. It’s near the door
in the living room; in a small flat; on the second floor; at 53 Park Street
in Park Street; in London; in England
He lived in Cambridge
He studied at Cambridge university
‘Where are you from?’ ‘I’m from Ireland’
He arrived in London. He arrived at the station. He’s at the supermarket
at the doctor’s; at the bus stop; at work; at school; at lunch
in bed; on his way to work
It’s next to the bar / opposite the station
He’s standing in front of the cinema
The dog is behind the tree.
The umbrella is between the sofa and the piano.
Go straight on for 400 metres and it’s on the right.
He gets into his car and leaves.
She got out of the car and went into the bank

No preposition: I want to go home


2.5.2. Talking about time

I’ll see you at ten o’clock
on Thursday
on June 22nd
at the weekend
in the morning
I’ll see you in 3 days (=3 days from now)
We go skiing every year for two weeks. I’ve been here for six weeks
since Christmas.
I work from Monday to Friday.
She only studies before exams.
I’m free after six o’clock..
It’s half past nine.
It’s five to ten.

No preposition:What time do you usually get up?
I’ll see you this afternoon
I’ll see you next week.

2.5.3. Other uses of prepositions:

Here is a letter for you. the man with a beard.
My sister looks like me. We are all young except Joe.
It’s the highest mountain in the world. We went to Spain on holiday
We go to school by bus / car / train / plane... Did you pay by cheque or (in) cash?
BUT: I always go to school on foot Look! That house is on fire.
Have you ever been in love with anyone? What did you have for lunch ?
In my opinion the film wasn’t very good.
Have you read any books by Agatha Christie?
We hadn’t arranged to meet. we met by chance / accident
I’ve never met her, but I’ve spoken to her on the phone.
I didn’t watch the match on television. I listened to it on the radio.
I’ve put on a lot of weight. I’ll have to go on a diet.
There are no trains today. The railway workers are on strike.
Tom was away at the moment. He was on holiday.
She always goes for a walk with her dog in the morning.


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