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Category Archives: Grammar

Translation: Use modal verbs

Hello. This is my new English homework 🙂

1. Вам не нужно делать презентацию этого изобретения сегодня. Вы сможете сделать ее через неделю.

You don’t have to make a presentation of this invention. You will be able to make it next week (in a week).

2. Они, должно быть, знают много о нашем инновационном проекте, но я не уверен.

They might know a lot about our innovative project but I’m not sure.

3. Я не думаю, что вам следует расспрашивать незнакомого художника о его планах на будущее. Вы бы лучше пришли на его выставку.

I don’t think you should ask unfamiliar artist about his future plans. You had better visit his exhibition.

4. Возможно, они сейчас как раз обсуждают вопрос о начале производства инженерного оборудования. Они должны были подписать все документы вчера.

They might be discussing a question about start of production of engineering equipment. They must have signed all of the documents yesterday.

5. Не может быть, что ему сорок лет. Он выглядит гораздо моложе. Должно быть, он следит за своим здоровьем.

No way he is 40. (He can’t be 40 years old) He looks much younger. He must be taking care of his health.

6. Современный покупатель выбирает долговечные удобные для пользователя приборы, выпускаемые в различных вариациях цвета и формы.

Modern consumer chooses durable and usable appliances produced in different varieties of colour and shape.

7. Необходимо, чтобы достижения современной науки имели положительное влияние на жизнь людей. Кроме того, новые технологии должны быть экологически чистыми.

Advances of modern science must have a positive impact on people’s lives. More than that,  new technologies must be environmentally friendly (eco-friendly).

8. Основной причиной успеха этой продукции является то, что она оправдывает свою стоимость и ее производство хорошо отлажено.

The main reason for success of the product is that it is a value for money and its production is streamlined (well established).

Active Vocabulary

  • invention – [count noun] something, typically process or device, which was designed or created;
  • innovative – [adjective] featuring new methods; advanced and original;
  • durable – [adjective] able to last for very long; able to stand wear, pressure and damage;
  • usable – [adjective] easy, comfortable to use;
  • advance – [count noun] achievement, development or improvement; forward movement;
  • streamlined – [adjective] smooth, with very little resistance to flow of water or air, increasing speed and ease of movement; efficient and effective (well established);
  • value for money – something that is worth its price; practical;
  • would rather / had better
  • environmentally friendly – not damaging or polluting environment.

Anton Danshin

P.S. I’ll probably add some explanation grammar soon.

Last modified: 23 Feb 2012

Conditionals in English

Good afternoon.

Our today’s lesson is about Conditionals in English. In grammar, conditional sentences are sentences discussing factual implications or hypothetical situations and their consequences. Languages use a variety of conditional constructions and verb forms (such as the conditional mood) to form such sentences. [wiki].

All conditional sentences can be divided into four different groups. (Of course, there are some other ways to classify different forms of conditional)

Zero Conditional

We use the so-called zero conditional or Real Conditional when the result of the condition is always true, like a scientific fact.

Consider the following situation: Take some ice. Put it in a saucepan. Heat the saucepan. What happens? The ice melts (it becomes water). You would be surprised if it did not. We can say: The ice melts if it is heated or: If we heat a piece of ice, it melts.

Formulae:

  • IfV,V.
  • V ifV.

We can also use when or as soon as instead of if, for example: When I get up late, I miss my bus

We do not put comma before if / when / as soon as in such sentences.  Using “if” suggests that something happens less frequently. Using “when” suggests that something happens regularly.

The verbs (V) can be in Present Continuous / Past Simple form. For example: If I went to a friend’s house for dinner, I usually took a bottle of wine or some flowers. I don’t do that anymore.  This form is called Past Real Conditional and describes what you used to do in particular real-life situations. It suggests that your habits have changed and you do not usually do these things today.

First Conditional

We are talking about the future (that’s why this form of conditional is also called Future Real Conditional). We are thinking about a particular condition or situation in the future, and the result of this condition. There is a real possibility that this condition will happen.

For example, it is morning. You are at home. You plan to play tennis this afternoon. But there are some clouds in the sky. Imagine that it rains. What will you do? In this situation we can say: If it rains, I will not play tennis.

Formulae:

  • IfV,will V
  • will V if V.

Sometimes, we use shallcan, or may instead of will, for example: If you are good today, you can watch TV tonight.

Both “if” and “when” are used in the Future Real Conditional, but the use is different from other Real Conditional forms. In the Future Real Conditional, “if” suggests that you do not know if something will happen or not. “When” suggests that something will definitely happen at some point; we are simply waiting for it to occur. Notice also that the Simple Future is not used in if-clauses or when-clauses.

Second Conditional

The second conditional is like the first conditional. We are still thinking about the future. We are thinking about a particular condition in the future, and the result of this condition. But there is not a real possibility that this condition will happen. For example, you do not have a lottery ticket. Is it possible to win? No! No lottery ticket, no win! But maybe you will buy a lottery ticket in the future. So you can think about winning in the future, like a dream. It’s not very real, but it’s still possible

Formulae:

  • If … V2, … would V
  • would V if … V2.

Notice that we are thinking about a future condition. We use the past simple tense to talk about the future condition. We use WOULD + base verb to talk about the future result. The important thing about the second conditional is that there is an unreal possibility that the condition will happen. That’s why this form is called Present Unreal Conditional.

Only the word “if” is used with the Second Conditional because you are discussing imaginary situations. “When” cannot be used. Sometimes, we use shouldcould or might instead of would, for example: If I won a million dollars, I could stop working.

Third Conditional

The first conditional and second conditionals talk about the future. With the third conditional we talk about the past. We talk about a condition in the past that did not happen. That is why there is no possibility for this condition. The third conditional is also like a dream, but with no possibility of the dream coming true. Consider the following situation. Last week you bought a lottery ticket. But you did not win. In this situation we would say: If I had won the lottery, I would have bought a new car.

Formulae:

  • If … had V3, … would have V
  • … would have V if had V3.

Notice that we are thinking about an impossible past condition. You did not win the lottery. So the condition was not true, and that particular condition can never be true because it is finished. We use the past perfect tense to talk about the impossible past condition. We use WOULD HAVE + past participle to talk about the impossible past result.

The important thing about the third conditional is that both the condition and result are impossible now, that’s why it is called Past Unreal Conditional. Sometimes, we use should havecould havemight have instead of would have, for example: If you had bought a lottery ticket, you might have won.

Summary

Form

Formulae Probability

Example

 Zero Conditional
  • If … V, … V.
  • … V if … V.
 ~ 100 % If the ice is heated, it melts

 First Conditional

  • If … V, … will V
  • … will V if … V.
 ~ 50 % If it rains tomorrow, I won’t play tennis.

 Second Conditional

  • If … V2, … would V
  • … would V if … V2.
 < 10 %  If I had a lot of money, I wouldn’t work.

 Third Conditional

  • If … had V3, … would have V
  • … would have V if … had V3.
 0 %  If I had won the lottery last week, I would have bought a new car

Links

  1. Conditional Sentences in English in Wikipedia
  2. English Conditionals at EnglishClub.com
  3. Conditional Tutorial at EnglishPage.com
  4. First and Second conditionals at EngVid.com
Thanks for visiting our website. Good luck with your English!
English Tek

Stative (State) Verbs

A stative verb is one which asserts that one of its arguments has a particular property (possibly in relation to its other arguments). Statives differ from other aspectual classes of verbs in that they are static; they have no duration and no distinguished endpoint. Verbs which are not stative are often called dynamic verbs. (Wikipedia)

There are plenty of articles on stative verbs on the Internet. I want to summarise a few articles.

At first, take a look at the video from engVid.com on stative verbs.

Original: English Grammar – Stative Verbs

This video by Ronnie is extremely enjoyable! I love it. Do you?

Secondly, check out the following video which I found on the Internet.

Original: Stative Verbs

To be honest, the second video is extremely boring! But anyway the article is very useful. That’s why I recommend that you look at the original post.

Overview

Some English verbs, which we call state, non-continuous, or stative verbs, aren’t normally used in continuous tenses (like the present continuous, or the future continuous). The most common ones:

like    love    hate    want    need    prefer

know    realise   suppose   mean   understand   believe  remember

belong    fit    contain    consist    seem    look (=seem)

Download PDF with the list of stative verbs and examples.

A verb which isn’t stative is called a dynamic verb, and is usually an action.

Some verbs can be either stative or dynamic depending on the situation.

To Be

be is usually a stative verb, but when it is used in the continuous it means ‘behaving’ or ‘acting’

  • you are stupid = it’s part of your personality
  • you are being stupid = only now, not usually

To Think

think (stative) = have an opinion

  • I think that coffee is great

think (dynamic) = consider, have in my head

  • what are you thinking about? I’m thinking about my next holiday

To Have

have (stative) = own

  • I have a car

have (dynamic) = part of an expression

  • I’m having a party / a picnic / a bath / a good time / a break

To See

see (stative) = see with your eyes / understand

  • I see what you mean
  • I see her now, she’s just coming along the road

see (dynamic) = meet / have a relationship with

  • I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for three years
  • I’m seeing Robert tomorrow

To Taste

taste (stative) = has a certain taste

  • This soup tastes great
  • The coffee tastes really bitter

taste (dynamic) = the action of tasting

  • The chef is tasting the soup
    (‘taste’ is the same as other similar verbs such as ‘smell’)

I hope this lesson on stative verbs is very useful. Thank you for visiting. Good luck with your English!

English Tek

Expressing Future Activities

Howdy, dear readers.

At first, check out the video from engVid.com. In this lesson, Rebecca explains how the future tense is used in conversation.

Original: Using the Future Tense in Conversation – English Grammar

How to express future

There are four common ways to talk about future activities or plans.

  1. Future (Simple) Tense (I will do …)
  2. to be going to
  3. Present Continuous Tense (I am doing …)
  4. Present Simple Tense (I do …)

Future Tense we use

  • when we decide to do something at the time of speaking;
  • when we want to express our opinion about the future.

Consider the following examples with future tense.

  1.  Oh, I’ve left the door open. I‘ll go and shut it.
  2. ‘Did you phone Lucy?’ ‘Oh no, I forgot! I‘ll phone her now.’
  3. ‘Do you think Kate will pass the exam?’ ‘Yes. She‘ll pass easily.’

The expression to be going to means that the action is planned but not arranged. So, the phrase I am going to take a vocation, actually, means I decided to take a vocation (before time of speaking) but have not arranged it, yet.

For better comprehension have a look at the following examples.

  1. I’m going to the theatre.
  2. ‘I hear Sara has won some money. What is she going to do with it?’ ‘She is going to buy a new car.’
  3. ‘Garry called when you were out.’ ‘Yes, I know. I‘m going to phone him later.’

Future activities and plans can be also expressed using Present Continuous (especially when activities involve two or more people). When we say I’m meeting my friend tomorrow it means that we have already decided to meet tomorrow and arranged it.

  1. He is playing tennis on Monday afternoon.
  2. I‘m not working tomorrow. So, we can go out somewhere.
  3. What time is Cathy arriving tomorrow?

Future activities can be expressed even with Past Simple.

  1. The train arrives at 10:30.
  2. The shop opens at 10 o’clock.

Here we are talking about scheduled actions.

Overview

Tense

Phrase

Conditions

Example

Future (Simple)

I will do …

Unplanned

I’ll phone you later.

To be going to

I am going to do …

Planned

I’m going to phone you later.

Present Continuous

I am doing …

Planned and arranged

She is arriving tomorrow at 10:00 pm.

Present Simple

I do …

Scheduled

The shop opens at 10 o’clock.

Thank you for visiting English Tech Blog. Good luck with your English.

English Tek

English Vocabulary–Negative Characteristics

Hi, dear readers!

Another great video from EngVid.com with my clarification.

“Learn English vocabulary in this advanced lesson that will help you express the negative characteristics that people have. Is that man at the shop a snob, or is he conceited? Is your sister vain or is she arrogant?”

EngVid.com :: English Vocabulary–Negative Characteristics (by James)

Original: EngVid.com (with quiz)

Clarification

  • arrogant [‘ærəgənt] ADJ (disapproval)

– Exaggerated view of worth or importance in a way that is too much for others. (by James)

– Someone who is arrogant behaves in a proud, unpleasant way towards other people because they believe that they are more important than others. (Collins)

– Having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities. (Oxford)

  • vain [veɪn] ADJ (disapproval) *

– Very proud of one’s looks or abilities (by James)

– If you describe someone as vain, you are critical of their extreme pride in their own beauty, intelligence, or other good qualities. (Collins)

– Having or showing an excessively high opinion of one’s appearance, abilities, or worth. (Oxford)

* This word has more different meanings, use a dictionary.

  • conceited [kən’siːtɪd] ADJ (disapproval)

– Having a very high opinion of oneself (by James)

– If you say that someone is conceited, you are showing your disapproval of the fact that they are far too proud of their abilities or achievements. (Collins)

  • snob [snɔb] N-COUNT (disapproval)

– Imitates/wants to hang with others in superior position; looks down on others as inferior; acts superior (by James)

– 1) If you call someone a snob, you disapprove of them because they admire upper-class people and have a low opinion of lower-class people. 2) If you call someone a snob, you disapprove of them because they behave as if they are superior to other people because of their intelligence or taste. (Collins)

– 1) A person with an exaggerated respect for high social position or wealth who seeks to associate with social superiors and dislikes people or activities regarded as lower-class. 2) [with adj.] A person who believes that their tastes in a particular area are superior to those of other people (Oxford)

  • brag [bræg] VERB (disapproval)

– To tell people how wonderful you (your things) are. (by James)

– If you brag, you say in a very proud way that you have something or have done something. (Collins)

– To say something in a boastful manner. (Oxford)

** Translations from ABBYY Lingvo Online Dictionaries.

Examples

  • That sounds arrogant, doesn’t it?
  • He was so arrogant!
  • Kenneth is an arrogant, rude, social snob.
  • Going to a private school and spending weekends with other pupils whose parents had massive houses made her a snob…
  • I think he is shallow, vain and untrustworthy.
  • He brags that he wrote 300 pages in 10 days!
  • I thought him conceited and arrogant…
  • You conceited idiot!

Supplementary vocabulary

  1. exaggerated(adj.) Something that is exaggerated is or seems larger, better, worse, or more important than it actually needs to be.
  2. vanity(noun) Excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements.
  3. superior(adj.) Higher in rank, status, or quality.
  4. inferior (adj.) Lower in rank, status, or quality.

Hope it is helpful. Smile

Thank you for visiting our web-site. Good luck and take care!

English Tek

Using who, whom, whoever and whomever

Hello, English learners!

In today’s post we’ll talk about the rules of usage who/whoever and whom/whomever. The grammar is rather simple, but a lot of people find it difficult. We hope this article helps you.

What is it?

Who:

1) [interrogative pronoun] what or which person or people who is that woman?

2) [relative pronoun] used to introduce a clause giving further information about a person or people previously mentioned.

Whom:

Whom is used in formal or written English instead of `who’ when it is the object of a verb or preposition.

1) You use whom in questions when you ask about the name or identity of a person or group of people.

2) You use whom after certain words, especially verbs and adjectives, to introduce a clause where you talk about the name or identity of a person or a group of people.

3) You use whom at the beginning of a relative clause when specifying the person or group of people you are talking about or when giving more information about them.

Source: Oxford Dictionary.

Who or Whom?

Use he/him to decide which word (who or whom) to put. He => who, him => whom. For example:

1. Who broke the vase?

  • He broke the vase. Therefore, we use who in the first sentence.

2. Whom should I go with?

  • I should go with him. Therefore, use whom.

3. Clare knows who the winner is already.

  • This sentence contains two clauses: “Clare knows” and “Who the winner is already”. We are interested in the second (subordinate) clause because it contains the who/whom. Try to change who/whom to he/him: He is the winner already. Therefore, who is correct.

4. We want to know on whom the prank was pulled.

  • Again, this sentence contains two clauses. We are always interested in subordinate one (that contains whom): “on whom the prank was pulled”. Try to remove who/whom and put he/him instead: “The prank was pulled on him”. That is why we use whom in this case.

Whoever or whomever?

This one is a little bit more difficult. But the rule is almost the same. You should split the sentence into clauses. Find the clause with whoever/whomever. And try to change it using he/him instead.

For better understanding have a look at the following examples.

1. Whoever wins the lottery will become a millionaire.

  • He wins the lottery. He will become a millionaire.

2. Whomever you elect will serve a four-year term.

  • You elect him. He will serve a four-year term.

3. But: Whoever is elected will serve a four-year term.

  • He is elected. He will serve a four-year term.

4. Give it to whoever asks for it first

  • Give it to him. He asks for it first.

5. I will work on the project with whomever you suggest.

  • I’ll work on the project with him. You suggest him.

The rule of a thumb is that he/he = whoever, and he/him = whomever.

One more example:

6. Give the package to any person who comes to the door.

  • To understand this well, convert the whomever into any person who: Give the package to any person who comes to the door.

What people think

Speaking as a teacher, I get irritated when I see questions like this in an examination. I feel that it is a trick question. I hope it was not in an exam for those learning English as a Second language.

It is grammatically correct to say whomever but I doubt is one in a thousand would say it. Most people would say whoever.

There is an old joke passed around by teachers of grammar. Saint Peter in heaven heard a knock on the door. “Whose there?” he asked. “It is I,” was the reply. “Heck!” said Saint Peter. “Another one of those damn grammar teachers.”

Grammatically, it is correct to say, “It is I.” But not one in a thousand says it. Most say, “It’s me.”

Link to the discussion: http://www.englishforums.com/English/WhoeverVsWhomever/cxcp/post.htm

On the Internet

Check out the following resources:

  1. Forum discussion at English Forums
  2. Whoever vs. Whomever at GrammarBook.com
  3. Who vs. Whom at GrammarBook.com
  4. Quizzes: #1, #2, #3

Thanks for visiting our blog. Good luck and take care!

English Tek