English grammar is the set of rules that govern the use of the English language. While it can be easy to overlook or take for granted, mastering English grammar is crucial for effectively communicating in both written and spoken forms.
Perfect your English grammar by studying a variety of topics with these pictures.
Have Been To vs. Have Gone To
“Have been to” is used to indicate that someone has previously visited a certain place and they are no longer there. “I have been to New York City.”
“Have gone to” is used to indicate that someone has left to go to a specific place, and they are currently there or en route. “I have gone to New York City.”
Both of them imply an action completed in the past, but one indicates the present location or state, the other doesn’t.
Had Better vs. Would Rather
“Had better” is used to give advice or express a strong recommendation about something that should be done. It can also be used to express a warning about something that should be avoided. For example: “You had better study for the test if you want to pass.”
“Would rather” is used to express a preference for one thing over another. It is used to talk about what someone wants or does not want. For example: “I would rather go to the beach than stay home.”
The main difference between the two phrases is that “had better” is more of a command or advice, while “would rather” is more of a preference or desire.
Have something Done …
“Have something done” is a grammatical structure used to describe the action of arranging for something to be completed by someone else. It is a passive form of the verb “to do,” with the subject of the sentence being the person or thing that is having the action done to them. For example:
“I had my hair cut.” (I arranged for my hair to be cut by someone else) “He had the car repaired.” (He arranged for the car to be repaired by someone else)
It is used to express the idea of someone requesting or ordering something to be done by others. It highlights the person who is arranging or commissioning the work, rather than the person doing the work.
The Present Participle vs. The Gerund
Learn The Present Participle vs. The Gerund in English
In English grammar, the present participle and the gerund are two forms of the verb that can be used in various tenses and structures.
The present participle is formed by adding -ing to the base form of a verb (e.g., “running,” “singing,” “eating”). It can be used as a noun, adjective, or verb. For example:
- As a noun: “Running is good for your health.“
- As an adjective: “The running water of the fountain.”
- As a verb (part of the continuous tense): “I am running.”
The gerund is also formed by adding -ing to the base form of a verb, but it functions as a noun. For example: “Running is my favorite exercise.”
Both the gerund and the present participle are formed by adding -ing to the base form of a verb, but they function differently in a sentence. The present participle functions as a verb, adjective or noun while the gerund just functions as a noun.
Types of Comparisons
- The comparative: subject + verb + (adj/adv) + -er + than + noun/pronoun/verb + complement. For example: “John is taller than Bill.”
- The superlative: subject + verb + the + (adj/adv) + -est + noun/pronoun/verb + complement. For example: “John is the tallest of all his siblings.”
- The equality: subject + verb + as + (adj/adv) + as + noun/pronoun/verb + complement. For example: “John is as tall as Bill.”
It’s important to note that not all adjectives and adverbs have the same structure for each type of comparison, some adjectives and adverbs may have irregular structures for comparative and superlative forms.
Plural Nouns in English
In English, plural nouns are nouns that indicate more than one person, thing, or idea. Plural nouns are formed in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples of how plural nouns are formed:
- by adding “-s” to the end of the noun (e.g. cat > cats, house > houses)
- by adding “-es” to the end of nouns ending in “-s”, “-x”, “-z”, “-sh”, “-ch” (e.g. bus > buses, box > boxes, quiz > quizzes, dish > dishes, church > churches)
- by adding “-ies” to the end of nouns ending in “-y” (e.g. city > cities, baby > babies)
- by adding “-en” to the end of nouns ending in “-f” or “-fe” (e.g. wife > wives, wolf > wolves)
- by changing the whole word in certain nouns (e.g. man > men, woman > women)
Present Continuous vs. Present Simple
The present continuous is formed with the present tense of the verb “to be” (am, is, are) + the present participle (-ing) of the main verb. It’s used to describe an action that is happening now or at the moment of speaking. For example:
- “I am playing soccer with my friends.” (action happening now)
- “She is studying for her exam.” (action happening now)
The present simple is formed with the base form of the verb. It’s used to describe a regular or habitual action, or a general truth or fact. For example:
- “I play soccer every Saturday.” (regular action)
- “She studies hard.” (habitual action)
- “The sun rises in the east.” (general truth)
Countable Nouns vs. Uncountable Nouns
In English grammar, countable nouns and uncountable nouns refer to the different ways that nouns can be used and the types of words that can go with them.
Countable nouns are nouns that can be counted and have a singular and plural form. They can be preceded by a number, and often take a determiner such as “a,” “an,” or “the.” For example: “a book,” “two cats,” “three apples.”
Uncountable nouns, also known as mass nouns, are nouns that cannot be counted and do not have a plural form. They cannot be preceded by a number, and usually do not take an article such as “a,” “an,” or “the.” Examples include: “water,” “milk,” “air”
Some nouns may be either countable or uncountable, depending on the context they are used in. For example, “sand” can be countable or uncountable, “I have a sand castle” or “I have some sand”