Category Archives: Grammar

What’s up with ADJECTIVES?


1. What are adjectives?
Adjectives tell us something about a person or a thing.

2. What do adjectives modify?
Adjectives can modify nouns or pronouns/names.


3. Where do adjectives go?
An adjective can be put before the noun. Then it is an attribute.

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An adjective can be put after the verb to be (is). This is called predicative position.

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Adjectives can go after the following verbs:

  • appear
  • become
  • feel
  • get
  • go
  • keep
  • turn

When we speak about what something looks like, smells, sounds and tastes, we use the adjective.

  • I feel great.
  • She looks good.
  • It seems impossible.
  • The steak smells fantastic.

4. Can adjectives be used without nouns?
Yes, adjectives can be used without nouns. Mind the definite article the:

  • the rich = rich people

Here is an example from the fairy tale Cinderella:

“The good must be put in the dish, the bad you may eat if you wish.”

Here is another example with nationalities in the plural:

The Scottish live in the North of the United Kingdom.

5. Can two or more adjectives be used together?
Yes, if you use more adjectives you can put them in front of the noun:

  • a fat old cat

* or you can put them after the verb (e.g. to be). In this case and is placed between the last two adjectives.

  • It was cold, wet and windy.

6. Adjectives, ending in -ing and -ed.
There are adjectives ending in -ing and -ed. These are participle constructions, used like adjectives. Here are some examples:

A) Here the adjective is put before the noun:

  • Yesterday I read an amusing story in a magazine.
  • Doris has a boring job.
  • We watched the group of excited people.

B) Here the adjective is put after the verb:

  • I was not at all amused by the discussion.
  • Children get bored very quickly.
  • The end of the film was really exciting for me.



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Definition: A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. Pronouns can be in one of three cases: Subject, Object, or Possessive.

Rule 1: Subject pronouns are used when the pronoun is the subject of the sentence. You can remember subject pronouns easily by filling in the blank subject space for a simple sentence.

Example: _____ did the assignment for Dr. Rose’s class.

I, you, he, she, it, we, and they all fit into the blank and are, therefore, subject pronouns.

Rule 2: Subject pronouns are also used if they rename the subject. They will follow to be verbs such as is, are, was, were, am, and will be.

Examples: It is he.

   It is we who are responsible for the decision to downsize.

Rule 3: Object pronouns are used everywhere else (direct object, indirect object, object of the preposition). Object pronouns are me, you, him, her, it, us, and them.

Examples: Aishah Jalil talked to him.

    Are you talking to me?

*To be able to choose pronouns correctly, you must learn to identify clauses. A clause is a group of words containing a verb and subject.

Rule 4 (a): A strong clause can stand on its own.

Examples: She is hungry.

I am feeling well today.

Rule 4 (b): A weak clause begins with words such as although, since, if, when, and because. Weak clauses cannot stand on their own.

Examples: Although she is hungry…

If she is hungry…

Since I am feeling well today…

Rule 4 (c): If a sentence contains more than one clause, isolate the clauses, so that you can decide which pronoun is correct.

Examples: (weak) Although she is hungry, (strong) she will give him some of her food.

(weak) Although this gift is for him, (strong) I would like you to                       have it.

Rule (5): Possessive pronouns show ownership and never need apostrophes. Possessive pronouns are mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, and theirs.

*The only time it’s has an apostrophe is when it is a contraction for ‘it is’ or ‘it has.’


Rule (6): Reflexive pronouns (myself, himself, herself, itself, themselves, ourselves, yourself, yourselves) should be used only when they refer back to another word in the sentence.

Correct: I did it myself.

Incorrect: My brother and myself did it.

*The word myself does not refer back to another word.

Correct: My brother and I did it.

Incorrect: Please give it to Shafiq or myself.

Correct: Please give it to Shafiq or me.

Subject Verb Agreement

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Basic rule: The basic rule states that a singular subject takes a singular verb, while a plural subject takes a plural verb.

The trick is in knowing whether the subject is singular or plural.
The next trick is recognizing a singular or plural verb.


Hint: Verbs do not form their plurals by adding an s as nouns do. in order to determine which verb is singular and which one is plural, think of which verb you would use with he or she and which verb you would use with they.

Example: talk, talks

Which one is the singular form?

Which word would you use with he?

*We say, “He talks.” Therefore, talks is singular.

*We say, “They talk.” Therefore, talk is plural.

Rule 1: Two singular subjects connected by or or nor require a singular verb.

Example: My father or my mother is arriving by KTM today.

Rule 2: Two singular subjects connected by either/or or neither/nor require a singular verb as in Rule 1.

Examples: Neither Zayn Malik nor Liam is available.

    Either Sehun or Lee Min Ho is helping today with stage                                           decorations.

Rule 3: When I is one of the two subjects connected by either/or or neither/nor, put it second and follow it with singular verb am.

Example: Neither she nor I am going to the Global Ummatic Week.

Rule 4: When a singular subject is connected by or or nor to a plural subject, put the plural subject last and use a plural verb.

Example: The serving bowl or the plates go on that shelf.

Rule 5: When a singular and plural subject are connected by either/or or neither/nor, put the plural subject last and use a plural verb.

Example: Neither Justin nor the others are available.

Rule 6: As a general rule, use a plural verb with two or more subjects when they are connected by and.

Example: A car and a bike are my means of transportation.

Rule 7: Sometimes the subject is separated from the verb by words such as along with, as well as, besides, or not. IGNORE these expressions when determining whether to use a singular or plural verb.

Examples: The politician, along with the newsmen, is expected shortly.

   Excitement, as well as nervousness, is the cause of his shaking.

Rule 8: The pronouns each, everyone, every one, everybody, anyone, anybody, someone, and somebody are singular and require singular verbs. Do not be misled by what follows of.

Examples: Each of the girls sings well.

   Every one of the cakes is gone.


Everyone is one word when it means everybody.

Every one is two words when the meaning is each one.