Learning the Voices in Easy Steps, Day 1

A sentence like “John has done the work” can be expressed in this way too — “The work has been done by John”. There is almost no difference in the meanings, but there is difference in emphasis. In the first sentence, emphasis is put upon the doer of the action i.e. “John” (meaning none but John has done the work). In the second sentence, emphasis is put upon “the work” (emphasis is on the completion of the work rather than on the doer of the action). In this sentence we can do away with “John” as such “The work has been done”. So, let me tell you the grammatical terms associated with each type of sentences. The first type of sentence is said to be in the Active Voice and the second type of sentence is said to be in the Passive Voice.

How can we identify a sentence in the Passive Voice easily? Remember this structure — S+am/is/are/was/were/be/been/being+Past Participle

Sentences in the above structure can be identified as in the Passive Voice, otherwise it’s in the Active Voice.

Remember that certain kinds of sentences can’t be changed into the other voice form, particularly sentences having intransitive verbs. “I slept well” or “She is a girl”, ” He was born in London” are such sentences.

Now, lets come to identifying the Subject, Object, Complement in a sentence. To identify these, you have to identify the Verb(s) first. Then ask the following questions using the Wh- words and the Verb(s) :

Who <Verb> ? : Subject

Whom <Verb> ? : Object-1 (Indirect Object)

What <Verb> ? : Object-2 (Direct Object)

How <Verb> ? : Complement

Where <Verb> ? : Complement

When <Verb> ? : Complement

Why <Verb> ? : Complement

Let’s take a sentence for example, “I offered the beggar a blanket sympathetically at my home yesterday because he was shivering in cold.”

Who <offered> ? : I (Sub.)

Whom <offered> ? : the beggar (Obj.-1)

What <offered> ? : a blanket (Obj.-2)

How <offered> ? : sympathetically (Com.)

Where <offered> ? : at my home (Com.)

When <offered> ? : yesterday (Com.)

Why <offered> ? : because he was shivering in cold ( Com.)

Only after identifying the Subject, Verb, Object and Complement can we proceed towards changing of voice. Before that we should keep in mind the following points :

(1) The Subject and the Object change positions with each other.

(2) The pronouns change from Subjective Case (I, we, you, he, she etc) to Nominative Case (me, us, you, him, her) and vice versa.

(3) There may or may not be Auxiliary Verb(s) and Past Participle form of Main Verb in Active Voice. But a Passive Voice sentence must have these two things.

(4) Words like not, never, ever, just, already, still etc remain attached to the Auxiliary Verb.

(5) Prepositions remain attached to the Main Verb.

(6) In Passive Voice form, the proposition ‘by’ is generally used before the Subject. Though other propositions like to, at, with are used in case of certain verbs such as ‘know’, ‘satisfy’, ‘please’, ‘vex’, ‘annoy’ etc.

(7) Complements never change their position. It can be anywhere in the semtence. In Passive Voice it should be left in the same position.

An example to understand this better –

Act. :- Mr Peters teaches English well.

Pass. :- English is taught by Mr Peters well.

In the Active Voice sentence, there is no Auxiliary, but the Passive Voice sentence has (‘is’). In the A.V. sentence ‘teaches’ is not a Past Participle form, but in the P.V. sentence ‘taught’ is a Past Participle form. The Subject ‘Mr Peters’ and the Object ‘English’ change positions with each other. The Complement ‘well’ (How <teaches> ?) remains in the same position. That’s all for today. The remaining part of the tutorial will be posted subsequently. Keep visiting and give feedback in the comments box below.

Learning TENSES the Easiest Way, Day 4

Formula # 6 : (a)  If…..(Past Perfect)……..(Conditional Perfect).

(b)   If…..(Simple Past)……..(Conditional Indefinite).

(c)   If…..(Simple Present)…….(Simple Future).

Explanation : (a) If you see a sentence with an “if” in the beginning or middle and a part of that sentence in the Conditional Perfect form, then construct the other part of the sentence in the Past Perfect form, or vice versa.

(b) If you see a sentence with an “if” in the beginning or middle and a part of that sentence in the Conditional Indefinite form, then construct the other part of the sentence in the Simple Past form, or vice versa.

Construction of Past Perfect: S+had+Past Participle form of Main Verb.

Construction of Conditional Indefinite : S+should/would/could/might+Present Tense form of Main Verb.

Construction of Conditional Perfect : S+should/would/could/might+have+Past Participle form of Main Verb.

Examples :

(1) If I (have) enough money, I would build a castle.

Ans: If I had enough money, I would build a castle.

(2) If you came, we (go) for a long drive.

Ans: If you came, we would go for a long drive.

(3) If I (know) his address, I would have contacted him.

Ans: If I had known his address, I would have contacted him.

(4) I would have helped her if I (be) there.

Ans: I would have helped her if I had been there.

(5) If I (be) a bird, I could fly.

Ans: If I were a bird, I could fly.

(6) If it (rain), I shall not go out.

Ans: If it rains, I shall not go out.

(7) You will fail if you (not study).

Ans: You will fail if you do not study.

(8) If we (drink) impure water, we will fall sick.

Ans: If we drink impure water, we will fall sick.

(9) If you work hard, you (pass) the examination.

Ans: If you work hard, you will pass the examination.

(10) If I (can), I would help you.

Ans: If I could, I would help you.

Formula # 7 :   (Future Perfect)…….by(+time)/before(+time).

Explanation : If you see “by” or “before” immediately followed by a time expression, then construct the verb in the Future Perfect form.

Construction of Future Perfect : S+shall/will+have+Past Participle form of Main Verb.

Examples :

(1) I (finish) my homework by 10 p.m.

Ans: I shall have finished my homework by 10 p.m.

(2) They (reach) their destination before evening.

Ans: They will have reached their destination before evening.

(3) My father (arrive) by 4 o’clock.

Ans: My father will have arrived by 4 o’clock.

Formula # 8 :    (Present Continuous)*…….now/at this moment.

* :- (Simple Present) in the case of Non-Conclusive Verbs.

Explanation : If you see “now” or “at this moment”, make the verb within brackets in the Present Continuous form. But, if the verb is a Non-Conclusive Verb such as “know”, “feel”, “see”, “hear”, “understand” …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

>> The rest of the article is available at englishforschools.co.nf (click here)

Learning Tenses the Easiest Way, Day 3

Here are some formulae to determine which tense it is :

Formula # 1 :  (Simple Present)……everyday/daily/regularly/frequently/often/every(+time)/once a week or month or year etc.

Explanation : If you see words like everyday/daily/regularly/frequently/often/every(+time)/once a week or month or year etc. in a sentence for correction of tense, form the verb within brackets in the Simple Present Tense.

Construction of Simple Present Tense : S+Present Tense form of Main Verb (-s or -es is added in 3rd Person Singular Subject). (Negative form : S+do/does+not+Present form of Main Verb)

Examples:

(1) I (go) to school daily.

Ans: I go to school daily.

(2) He (come) here everyday.

Ans: He comes here everyday.

(3) This newspaper (appear) once a month.

Ans: This newspaper appears once a month.

Formula # 2 :  (Simple Past)……last(+time)/yesterday/ago/back/recently etc. (-since/-for/-till/-until)

Explanation : If you see words like last(+time)/yesterday/ago/back/recently etc. in a sentence where words like since,for,till,until etc are absent, then form the verb in brackets in the Simple Past Tense form.

Construction of Simple Past Tense : S+Past form of Main Verb. (Negative form: S+did+not+Present Tense form of Main Verb)

Examples:

(1) I (see) you last week.

Ans: I saw you last week.

(2) She (not go) to school yesterday.

Ans: She did not go to school yesterday.

(3) They (come) here two days back.

Ans: They came here two days back.

Formula # 3 :   It is time/…wish/…as if/…as though…….(Simple Past).

Explanation : If you see a sentence starting with “It is time”/”It’s time” or words or phrases like “wish”, “as if”, “as though” in the middle of the sentence, then construct the verb within brackets in the Simple Past Tense. These words or phrases make the sentence conditional. So “I” is followed by “were” instead of “was”.

Example :

(1) It is time we (go) to bed.

Ans: It is time we went to bed.

(2) I wish I (be) a king.

Ans: I wish I were a king.

(3) She talks as if she (be) the Miss World.

Ans: She talks as if she was the Miss World.

(4) He behaved as though he (know) me.

Ans: He behaved as though he knew me.

Formula # 4 :    (Simple Future)……..next(+time)/tomorrow/shortly.

Explanation : If you see words like “next” followed by a time phrase, or “tomorrow” or “shortly”, then construct the verb within brackets in the Simple Future Tense form.

Construction of Simple Future Tense : S+shall/will+Present Tense form of Main Verb.

Examples:

(1) They (reach) Delhi next Monday.

Ans: They will reach Delhi next Monday.

(2) I (participate) in a quiz competition tomorrow.

Ans: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

>> The rest of the article is available at englishforschools.co.nf (click here)

Learning TENSES the Easiest Way, Day 2

Learning TENSES the Easiest Way

Day 2

Let us look at the points of time various Tenses refer to :

Tenses When used
(1) Simple Present To express universal truth or habitual action. It may also refer to the future in conditional sentences.
(2) Simple Past To express an action that was over. It may also be used in conditional sentences.
(3) Simple Future To express a future event in general. It may also be used conditional sentences.
(4) Present Perfect To express an action that has been just finished.
(5) Past Perfect To express an action that had got over before another action. It may also be used in conditional sentences.
(6) Future Perfect To express an action that will be completely finished before another future action or time.
(7) Present Continuous To express an action that is now going on. It may be used to express an action that will happen in a short period of time (usually within a month)
(8) Past Continuous To express an action that was happening in the past.
(9) Future Continuous To express an action that will be going on in the future.
(10) Present Perfect Continuous To express an action that started in the past and has been continuing upto the present time.
(11) Past Perfect Continuous To express an action that had been happening before another action in the past.

We see that the Present Tenses do not always refer to the present time. These may express future time too (See Present Continuous or Simple Present Tense) or conditional statements (referring to an action that did not happen at all, but was possible of happening). Likewise, the Past Tenses may express conditional statements. So, Tenses are not a single time-marker.

You must be wondering what conditional statements are. Here’s how you can identify these: (i) Starts with “It is time”, (ii) There may an “If” in the beginning or in the middle, (iii) There may “as if” or “as though”, (iv) There may be words like “would”, “should”, “could”, “might”. E.g. – If he comes I shall not go. She behaves as if she knew everything. It is time we went to bed. We would have gone out if they had come.

Let us engage in a language game. Here are a few sentences. Try to identify the Tenses from the italicized parts : (answers are at the bottom of this post)

Q. Identify the Tense :

(a) I had been suffering from fever for two days.

(b) They were playing cricket.

(c) We will have arrived home before it rains.

(d) It is raining now.

(e) We go for a walk every morning.

(f) He has been living here since 1996.

(g) They will be travelling by train this time tomorrow.

(h) The guests have arrived just now.

(i) Are you reading books?

(j) The train had left before they arrived at the station.

(k) I shall have done my homework by 10 p.m.

Some of the most used Main Verbs and their four forms:

Present Tense form Past Tense form Past Participle form “-ing” or Continuous form
buy bought bought buying
bring brought brought bringing
build built built building
begin began begun beginning
be/am/is/are was/were been being
can could could —–
catch caught caught catching
call called called calling
come came come coming
do did done doing
dance danced danced dancing
die died died dying
dream dreamt dreamt dreaming
drive drove driven driving
eat ate eaten eating
fight fought fought fighting
feel felt felt feeling
go went gone going
get got got/gotten getting
gift gifted gifted gifting
hear heard heard hearing
help helped helped helping
have/has had had having
kill killed killed killing
keep kept kept keeping
look looked looked looking
like liked liked liking
love loved loved loving
laugh laughed laughed laughing
learn learnt learnt learning
leave left left leaving
live lived lived living
lose lost lost losing
finish finished finished finishing
find found found finding
meet met met meeting
make made made making
need needed needed needing
neglect neglected neglected neglecting
open opened opened opening
offer offered offered offering
put put put putting
pay paid paid paying
play played played playing
pass passed passed passing
run ran run running
rise rose risen rising
rain rained rained raining
read read read reading
ring rang rung ringing
sing sang sung singing
sit sat sat sitting
see saw seen seeing
serve served served serving
stand stood stood standing
start started started starting
stay stayed stayed staying
suffer suffered suffered suffering
move moved moved moving
cry cried cried crying
steal stole stolen stealing
lock locked locked locking
take took taken taking
use used used using
understand understood understood understanding
work worked worked working
write wrote written writing
walk walked walked walking
wait waited waited waiting
win won won winning

{ Answers to the language game:– 
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………


>> The rest of the article is available at englishforschools.co.nf (click here)

Learning TENSES the Easiest Way, Day 1

Learning TENSES the Easiest Way

Day 1

Tense is the expression of time through language. In English, tenses are determined by the forms of verbs and their arrangement in a sentence.

There are 11 Tense forms in the English language. These are

(1) Simple Present

(2) Simple Past

(3) Simple Future

(4) Present Perfect

(5) Past Perfect

(6) Future Perfect

(7) Present Continuous

(8) Past Continuous

(9) Future Continuous

(10) Present Perfect Continuous

(11) Past Perfect Continuous

(However, note that sentences in Future Perfect Continuous are not used in English. So no need to discuss this.)

Tenses Auxiliary Verb(s) used Form of Main Verb
(1) Simple Present No Aux. (do/does in Negative) Present Tense form
(2) Simple Past No Aux (did in Negative) Past Tense form
(3) Simple Future shall/will Present Tense form
(4) Present Perfect have/has Past Participle form
(5) Past Perfect had —— do ——
(6) Future Perfect shall/will have —— do ——
(7) Present Continuous am/is/are “-ing” form
(8) Past Continuous was/were —— do ——
(9) Future Continuous shall/will be —— do ——
(10) Present Perfect Continuous have/has been —— do ——
(11) Past Perfect Continuous had been —— do ——

Is the above table too tough to memorize? Not at all. Just remember the following points :

(a) There is shall/will in every Future Tense forms.

(b) An auxiliary is always more in Future Tense forms as compared to Present and Past Tense forms (in the Simple, Perfect, Continuous and Perfect Continuous Tense categories). Future Tenses have an additional shall/will (in Simple Future), a have (in Future Perfect), and a be (in Future Continuous).

(c) All Perfect Tenses must have the “have verbs” (have/has/had) and the Past Participle form.

(d) All Continuous Tenses must have the “be verbs” (be/am/is/are/was/were) and the “-ing” form.

(e) The Perfect Continuous Tenses have the characteristics of both Perfect and Continuous Tenses. In Present Perfect Continuous Tense, there is been (Past Participle of be) which is a characteristic of Perfect Tenses, and -ing which is a characteristic of Continuous Tenses.

After you have memorized the Auxiliaries used in various tenses and the form of the Main Verb, let us move to examples of sentences of each tense.

Example sentences of each tense :

Tenses Examples of Sentences
(1) Simple Present I go to school. He goes to school. You do not play cricket.
(2) Simple Past I wrote a letter. He wrote a letter. You did not come yesterday.
(3) Simple Future I shall sing on stage. He will come here. You will study tonight.
(4) Present Perfect I have taken meal just now. He has done his homework. You have passed the examination.
(5) Past Perfect I had reached before they reached. The bell rang after we had entered our classroom. You had finished before it was midnight.
(6) Future Perfect I shall have met him. He will have bought a shirt. You will have come by 10 o’clock.
(7) Present Continuous I am learning grammar now. He is sleeping. You are dancing.
(8) Past Continuous I was travelling by bus. He was reading then. You were studying at that time.
(9) Future Continuous I shall be coming. He will be listening to music. You will be sleeping tonight.
(10) Present Perfect Continuous I have been staying here since 2008. He has been teaching for an hour. You have been doing the same mistake again and again.
(11) Past Perfect Continuous I had been sleeping before you came. He had been roaming around before it rained. I watched TV after you had been reading.

N.B. : Observe the italicized verbs and observe the forms in various tenses.

If you have trouble putting am/is/are/was/were/have/has and -s or -es then observe the following table closely :

Pronouns Am/is/are Was/were Have/has Do/does
I am was have do
We are were have do
You are were have do
He is was has does
She is was has does
It is was has does
They are were have do
·         A boy is was has does
·         Boys are were have do

If you have no idea about Persons and Numbers in Grammar, then let me tell you, all the nouns and pronouns are said to be in the Third Person except I, We and You. I is First Person Singular Number, We is First Person Plural Number and You is Second Person Singular or Plural Number. Please note, Verbs with Third Person Singular Number Nouns/Pronouns must be tagged with -s or -es (such as — plays, goes, comes etc) . These take the auxiliaries is, was and has.

Further discussions on Tenses will be made in my next post titled “Learning TENSES the Easiest Way, Day 2″. Kindly have a search in the search box.

Practice Questions on Tense , Set 1

Practice  Questions on Tense :

1. Many students ___ (go) to school on foot.

Ans: Many students go to school on foot

2. They ___ (stage) a play last month.

Ans: They staged a play last month

3. Yesterday ___ (be) a holiday.

Ans: Yesterday was a holiday.

4.You ___ (wait) throughout the day.

Ans: You have been waiting throughout the day.

5.While he ___ (drive) his car, he found his friend lying on the road.

Ans: While he was driving his car, he found his friend lying on the road.

6.The man who ___ (not work) should not eat.

Ans: The man who does not work should not eat.

7.It was Fleming who ___ (discover) penicillin.

Ans: It was Fleming who discovered penicillin.

8.They ___ (come) here next week.

Ans: They will come here next week.

9.She never ___ (read) any book.

Ans: She has never read any book.

10.When she was discussing the matter with us, her friend ___ (call) her on the phone.

Ans: When she was discussing the matter with us, her friend called her on the phone.

11.The population of the world ___ (rise) very fast.

Ans: The population of the world is rising very fast.

12.An atheist ___ (not believe) in God.

Ans: An atheist does not believe in God.

13.Bad driving ___ (cause) many accidents.

Ans: Bad driving causes many accidents.

14.Do you ___ (understand) what I mean?

Ans: Do you understand what I mean?

15.I ___ (not eat) anything since breakfast.

Ans: I have not eaten anything since breakfast.

16.She ___ (look) for a job for six months.

Ans: She has been looking for a job for six months.

17.It ___ (not rain) this week.

Ans: It has not rained this week.

18.It ___ (not rain) last week.

Ans: It did not rain last week.

19.When Rupa arrived at the party, Paul ___ already (go) home.

Ans: When Rupa arrived at the party, Paul had already gone home.

20.We arrived at work in the morning and found that somebody ___ (break) into the office during the night.

Ans: We arrived at work in the morning and found that somebody had broken into the office during the night.

21.I ___ (hear) the news an hour ago.

Ans: I have heard the news an hour ago.

22.When you came in, it ___ (rain) still.

Ans: When you came in, it was raining still.

23.It ___ (rain) since early morning.

Ans: It has been raining since early morning.

24.Mary told me that she ___ (visit) China two years before.

Ans: Mary told me that she had visited China two years before.

25.She is interested in politics, but she ___ (not belong) to any political party.

Ans: She is interested in politics, but she does not belong to any political party.

26.When we reached the station, the train ___ (leave) already.

Ans: When we reached the station, the train had left already.

27.The bell rang after we ___ (finish) our work.

Ans: The bell rang after we had finished our work.

28.As soon as they ___ (finish) breakfast, they ran out to play.

Ans: As soon as they had finished breakfast, they ran out to play.

29.I ___ (work) next term.

Ans: I shall work next term.

30.It’s time we ___ (start).

Ans: It’s time we started.

31.I ___ (finish) this work by five o’clock.

Ans: I shall have finished this work by five o’clock.

32.He ___ (be) ill since last week.

Ans: He has been ill since last week.

33.This paper ___ (appear) twice daily.

Ans: This paper appears twice daily.

34.This time tomorrow I ___ (read) the novel.

Ans: This time tomorrow I shall be reading the novel.

35.He ___ (leave) before you go to see him.

Ans: He will leave before you go to see him.

36.I won’t go out if it ___ (rain).

Ans: I won’t go out if it rains.

37.Please ring me up as soon as he ___ (come).

Ans: Please ring me up as soon as he comes.

38.When we went to the cinema, the film ___ (start) already.

Ans: When we went to the cinema, the film had already started.

39.Our guests ___ (arrive), they are sitting in the garden.

Ans: Our guests have arrived, they are sitting in the garden.

40.The earth ___ (move) round the Sun.

Ans: The earth moves round the Sun.

41.You ___ (wear) a new coat, aren’t you?

Ans: You are wearing a new coat, aren’t you?

42.I ___ (not see) him for sometime.

Ans: I have not seen him for sometime.

43.It ___ (rain) heavily when he woke up.

Ans: It was raining heavily when he woke up.

44.I ___ (have) my dinner an hour ago.

Ans: I have had my dinner an hour ago.

45.It is ten years since I ___ (see) him.

Ans: It is ten years since I saw him.

46.Rita ___ (do) her homework when I entered the room.

Ans: Rita was doing her homework when I entered the room.

47.There ___ (go) the bus.

Ans: There goes the bus.

48.Here ___ (come) Abdul.

Ans: Here comes Abdul.

49.If it ___ (rain) I shall not go out.

Ans: If it rains I shall not go out.

50.She behaves as if she ___ (know) everything.

Ans: She behaves as if she knew everything.

51.I have not seen him since I ___ (leave) school.

Ans: I have not seen him since I left school.

52.He ___ (go) to Shillong last month.

Ans: He went to Shillong last month.

53.This work was ___ (begin) last month.

Ans: This work was begun last month.

54.If I ___ (be) you I would not do that.

Ans: If I were you I would not do that.

55.As he ___ (climb) the steps he slipped.

Ans: As he was climbing the steps he slipped.

56.As he was getting off the bus he ___ (fall) down.

Ans: As he was getting off the bus he fell down.

57.The bus always ___ (arrive) here at six.

Ans: The bus always arrives here at six.

58.You ___ (fail) unless you work harder.

Ans: You will fail unless you work harder.

59.I wish I ___ (can) help you.

Ans: I wish I could help you.

60.The match ___ (start) before we reached the field.

Ans: The match had started before we reached the field.

61.If you ___ (invite) him he will come.

Ans: If you invite him he will come.

62.If you ___ (invite) him he would have come.

Ans: If you had invited him he would have come.

63.We ___ (know) each other for many years.

Ans: We have known each other for many years.