Saturday, 12 November 2011

The indefinite article - a/an

The indefinite article - a

The indefinte article is the a is the same for all genders.
a boy, a girl, a cat
The indefinte article has no plural form.
a boy - boys
We use an if the following word starts with a vowel.

the following word starts with a consonantthe following word starts with a vowel
a boyan aunt
a schoolan old school
a girlan American girl

Mind the pronunciation of the following word.

a unitan uncle
This u sounds like a consonant, so we use a.This u sounds like a vowel, so we use an.

Use of the indefinite article a/an

- before phrases of time and measurements (per week/weekly)

We have English 4 times a week.
I go on holiday twice a year.
Our car can do 220 kilometres an hour.
Tomatoes are $2 a kilo.

- before phrases of jobs

My father is a car mechanic.

- with a noun complement

He is a good boy.

- before phrases of nationality

Bruce Springsteen is an American.

- half/quite

We need half a pound of sugar.
This is quite a good story.

The definte article - the

The definite article - the

The definite article the is the same for all genders in singular and in plural.
the boy, the girl, the cat, the computers
If the following word begins with a vowel, we speak [], if the following word begins with a consonant, we speak [].

the following word starts with a spoken consonantthe following word starts with a spoken vowel
the girlthe English girl
the bookthe blue book
the schoolthe old school
the unit
Here a [] is pronounced at the beginning of the word.
the uncle
Here a [] is pronounced at the beginning of the word.

We have listed some examples in the following table. There you can see when we use the definite article and when we don't.

without the definite articlewith the definite article
Life is too short.
I like flowers.
I've read a book on the life of Bill Clinton.
I like the flowers in your garden.
Peter and John live in London.
Aunt Mary lives in Los Angeles.
The Smiths live in Chicago.
Mandy doesn't like school.
We go to school by bus.
Some people go to church on Sundays.
The school that Mandy goes to is old.
The bus to Dresden leaves at 7.40.
The round church in Klingenthal is famous.
Germany, France;
Mount Whitney, Mount McKinley;
Africa, Europe;
Cairo, New York
the United States of America, the Netherlands; the Highlands, the Rocky Mountains, the Alps; the Middle East, the west of Australia
Corfu, Bermuda, Sicilythe Bahamas, the British Isles, the Canaries
Central Park, Hyde Park;
Lake Michigan, Loch Ness;
42nd Street, Oxford Street
the Statue of Liberty, the Tower (of London), the Isle of Wight;
the Atlantic (Ocean);
the Mediterranean (Sea);
the Nile, the Rhine, the Suez Canal
The weekend is over on Monday morning.
July and August are the most popular months for holidays.
I always remember the Monday when I had an accident.
The August of 2001 was hot and dry.

We use the seasons of the year (spring, summer, autumn, winter) with or without the definite article.
in summer or in the summer
The American English word for autum >fall< is always used with the definte article.

Sometimes we use the article and sometimes we do not. It often depends on the context. Watch the following example:
The student goes to school.
The mother goes to the school.
In the first sentence we do not use the definite article, in the second we do. The student goes to school for its primary purpose, so we do not use the article.
The mother might talk to a teacher, for example. She visits the school for a different reason. That's why we use the definite article in the second sentence.

Comparison of adjectives

clean - cleaner - (the) cleanest
We use -er/-est with the following adjectives:

1) adjectives with one syllable


2) adjectives with two syllables and the following endings:

2 - 1) adjectives with two syllables, ending in -y


2 - 2) adjectives with two syllables, ending in -er


2 - 3) adjectives with two syllables, ending in -le


2 - 4) adjectives with two syllables, ending in -ow


Spelling of the adjectives using the endings -er/-est

largelargerlargestleave out the silent -e
bigbiggerbiggestDouble the consonant after short vowel
dirtydirtierdirtiestChange -y to -i (consonant before -y)
shyshyershyestHere -y is not changed to -i.
(although consonant before -y)

difficult - more difficult - (the) most difficult
all adjectives with more than one syllable (except some adjectives with two syllables - see
2 - 1 to 2 - 4)

muchmoremostuncountable nouns
manymoremostcountable nouns

Some ajdectives have two possible forms of comparison.

commoncommoner / more commoncommonest / most common
likelylikelier / more likelylikeliest / most likely
pleasantpleasanter / more pleasantpleasantest / most pleasant
politepoliter / more politepolitest / most polite
simplesimpler / more simplesimplest / most simple
stupidstupider / more stupidstupidest / most stupid
subtlesubtler / more subtlesubtlest
suresurer / more suresurest / most sure

Difference in meaning with adjectives:

furtherfurthestdistance or
oldolderoldestpeople and things
eldereldestpeople (family)

3rd-5th Contraction Memory Match

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Punctuation Games for Kids

Check out this great punctuation game for kids. Have fun completing grammar practice exercises that help students learn about important English language punctuation such as the full stop, question mark, comma, apostrophe, exclamation mark and inverted commas. Read the sentences, aim the target and fire the correct punctuation where you think it should go in the sentence. Use the proper punctuation in the right location and you can move on to the next challenge, keep going and see if you can complete this interactive activity.