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  • Название: English Grammar Reference Book: Grammar and Error Correction Guide and Phrasal Verb Book
  • Автор: Jacqueline Melvin

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Chapter one

To Be or Not to Be
Adjectives Associated With The Senses

Present Simple V. Present Continuous

Chapter two

Third Person Singular V. Third Person Plural
Subject before Verb in the Affirmative
Double Subject Error
Omission of subject

Pronouns and Possessive Pronouns


When not to use a subject pronoun

Subject before Verb in Questions

Omission of Auxiliary Verb in Questions

Subject and Object Pronoun Confusion

Subject Question Error
Like v. Would like

Infinitive Of Purpose

Chapter three
Adverbs of Frequency
Adjective or Adverb
Adverbs Of Manner

Adverbs Of Place

Adverbs Of Time

Adverbs Of Degree

Chapter four

To Have or Not To Have
Errors When Forming Past Simple Negatives

Past Simple Versus Past Progressive

Non Existent Plural Adjectives

Plural nouns standard and irregular

Article Errors

Wrong Usage
The Genitive/Possessive

Comparison Errors

Chapter five

Used to- Be used to- Get used to
Be Used To Versus Get Used To

Think and Hope Errors

Countable or Uncountable

Too - Too Much - Too Many

Fewer versus Less

Enough Errors
Enough + Noun versus Adjective + Enough
Both- Either- Neither

Reflexive Errors

Each Other Versus One Another

Chapter six

Errors when using Modal Auxiliary Verbs
May versus Can and Could

Shall and May


Chapter seven
Supposed to - Meant to - Should
Chapter eight

The Perfect Errors
Present Perfect (1)

A time in your life before now
Present Perfect (2)
Past to present

Present Perfect (3)

Before now or right now

Present Perfect Continuous (1)

In Progress From Past To Present

Present Perfect Continuous (2)

Until Recently

Past Perfect Errors

Past Perfect Continuous (1)

Past Perfect Continuous (2)

Chapter nine
Conditional Errors
First Conditional

Second Conditional Errors

Third Conditional Errors

The Mixed Conditional

Wish Errors

Even though versus Even if

Any longer versus Anymore and No longer

Anymore Versus Any more

Chapter ten

No Future In English
To Be Going To + Infinitive
Will Versus Going To
Common Errors when using ‘will’

The Future Continuous

The Future Perfect

Future Perfect Continuous

Reported Errors

Direct and indirect object errors

Chapter eleven

Preposition Errors
Verbs With More Than One Preposition
Chapter twelve

Wrong Verb Usage
Wrong Adjective/Adverb Usage

Feeling Errors
Verbs Of Feeling
Miscellaneous Errors

Chapter thirteen

Wrong Usage of ‘Spend’
Non Personalized Usage

Chapter fourteen

Infinitive or Gerund
Using Connectors

Terms Of Confusion

Expressing Your Opinion

Chapter fifteen

Phrasal Verbs








Verb + Particle
The Nightmare Of “Get”


The Nightmare Of Make And Do

Chapter sixteen

How To Increase Your Vocabulary
Summary of The Main Tenses

© Copyright 2014
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced - mechanically, electronically, or by any other means,
including photocopying without the permission of the author.


This book is a three in one - grammar reference guide, error correction and phrasal verb book. It deals with the most
common problematic areas amongst students of English as a Second Language. It starts off with basic errors common when
using the present simple, past simple, present continuous and past continuous structures and gives a clear in depth
explanation on how they are used. It then moves on to more complex tenses.
Good clear examples and explanations are illustrated throughout the book. It looks at the present perfect with ‘for’ and
‘since’ as well as clarifying when to use the present perfect when referring to a moment before the present. It also explains
clearly the use of the present perfect continuous with ‘for’ and ‘since’ and how to use it for an action in progress which
recently finished. Clear distinction has been made on when and how to use the past perfect and the past perfect continuous. In
addition, all the conditionals are clearly explained. There is a guide on how to use the prepositions, when and how to use
‘reported speech’. Learn how to use adjectives and adverbs correctly. How and when do we use transitive and intransitive
verbs? You will find everything you need to know all in one book. Detailed explanations are given on how to use all the
future forms. If the modal auxiliary verbs are causing you confusion, then this is the book for you. Are you unsure about how
to use ‘connectors?’ Are the phrasal verbs driving you mad?
A section of the book is dedicated to some of the most commonly used phrasal verbs in the English language. Test your
phrasal verb knowledge - in context. Answers are given. ... All this and much more ....

Please note: This book is based on standard British English.

Jacqueline Melvin has been a teacher of English as a foreign language for over 18 years. Born in the North East of Scotland,
she has spent most of her adult life abroad, teaching students of various nationalities how to speak English effectively.
Throughout her teaching career she has gained enormous insight into the most common errors made by students learning
English as a second language. This book has been put together to clarify the correct usage of the tense system.

I have 32
I am 32.

Many languages use the verb ‘have’ to express age. In English we use the auxiliary verb ‘be’.
We don’t say: ‘I am 32 years’.
We say: ‘I’m 32’ or ‘I am 32 years old’.

I have cold.
I am cold.

I am cold = I feel cold
I have thirsty.
I am thirsty.
I am thirsty = I need something to drink.
You have wrong.
You are wrong.

In English we frequently use the auxiliary verb ‘be’ with adjectives.
It is cold today.
It was hot yesterday.
She is sad today.

It is common to use the verbs associated with the senses with adjectives. Those verbs are as follows:

I feel terrible today (something you feel inside)
You sound tired (this is my opinion - I detect tiredness in your voice)
She didn’t sound Italian (again, this is my opinion going by her voice)
You look fabulous today (this is my opinion when I look at you)
He doesn’t look very happy today (again my opinion. What my eyes tell me)
This milk tastes funny.
*The adjective ‘funny’ has two meanings. It means something that makes you laugh or something strange. In the above
example it means ‘strange’.
Adjective + verb
We normally use an infinitive after an adjective.
It was really great to see you again.
For adjectives followed by a preposition, then we use the gerund.
He is fed up with cleaning every day.
She is tired of working so many hours.

Hans is German.
He’s coming from Berlin.
He comes from Berlin.

He’s coming from Berlin = an action in progress at the time of speaking.
He comes from Berlin = an actual fact
Q) When do we use the present simple?
A) When we speak about habits, facts/general truths and timetables .It is called ‘simple’ as its basic form consists of one
word only.
I have a shower every morning. (Habit)
I live in London. (Fact)
The train leaves at 7pm. This is a fixed timetable where the present simple is used to indicate a future event.
We can also say: We leave for Berlin tomorrow at 7pm, as the speaker sees this as a fixed event similar to a timetable.

Normally we use state verbs for a fact. Some state verbs are as follows:

Of course some action verbs used for habits can also be seen as a state or a general truth.
I play tennis. (State/fact/general truth)
I play tennis every week. (Habit)
We can never use state verbs for habit.
I know John (State/fact/general truth)
I know John every week cannot be said.
We can also use the present simple tense when narrating a story; even if the story is in the past.
We also use the present simple with the zero conditional, which means something which is always true.

If you drop an egg, it breaks. (Every time)
If we get up early, we always go jogging. (Every time we get up early)
Q) When do we use the present continuous?
A) We use the present continuous to speak about actions in progress at the moment of speaking


The boy and his father are watching TV

The Affirmative (long form)

I am watching the movie.
You are watching the movie.
He, she, it is watching the movie.
We are watching the movie.
They are watching the movie.
The Question
Am I watching the movie?
Are you watching the movie?
Is he, she, it watching the movie?
Are we watching the movie?
Are they watching the movie?
The negative
I am not watching the movie.
You are not watching the movie.
He, she, it is not watching the movie.
We are not watching the movie.
They are not watching the movie.
Affirmative (short forms)
I’m watching the movie.
You’re watching the movie.
He’s watching the movie.

She’s watching the movie.
It’s watching the movie. (The dog)
We’re watching the movie.
They’re watching the movie.
The negative (short form)

I’m not watching the movie.
You’re not watching the movie.
He’s not watching the movie.
She’s not watching the movie.
It’s not watching the movie.
We’re not watching the movie.
They’re not watching the movie.
There is a variant to the above.
We can abbreviate the negative ‘not’ instead of the auxiliary with the only exception of first person.
You aren’t watching the movie.
He isn’t watching the movie.
She isn’t watching the movie.
It isn’t watching the movie.
We aren’t watching the movie.
You aren’t watching the movie.
There is no contraction (short form) with the question form. The only exception is in third person singular when using a
question word.
Where is he going? Where’s he going?
What is she doing? What’s she doing?


He live in Paris.
He lives in Paris.

Unfortunately many ‘non native’ speakers of English continue to omit the ‘s’ when using third person singular. We only need
to remember the‘s’ when using the present simple affirmative.
One of the least tolerable errors in the English language is ‘subject and verb’ disagreement. Not only is it incorrect but it
sounds bad.
Other examples of third person singular and third person plural errors are as follows:
People lives.
People live.

A person lives or people live. We say ‘one person’, but ‘two people’.
Everyone have.
Everyone has.
Everyone = each single person. It does not refer to a group but separate individuals, therefore falls into the category of ‘third
person’ singular.

One of my students have gone to England.
One of my students has gone to England.

This error is due to incorrect verb conjugation. The verb should be conjugated with ‘one of’ and not ‘students’.
Other examples which take on the verb in third person singular are:

No-one/nobody has someone/somebody has anyone/anybody has


Arrived John at the station.
John arrived at the station.

Extremely common for non native speakers to forget that in English the subject comes before the verb in affirmations.


My brother hespeaks English .
My brother speaks English.
My country it is very beautiful.
My country is beautiful.

This my car cost me a lot of money.
My car cost a lot of money.

These are classical errors. In the above examples, the speaker has used two subjects instead of only one.


I think is going to rain.

I think it is going to rain.

In the first example, there is no subject before ‘is’. We always need a subject before the verb. When we talk about the
weather, time, speed, distance or things, we use the subject ‘it’.
Here is another example of this kind of error:
Is alright to meet at 4 instead of at 5?

Is it alright to meet at 4 instead of at 5?

In the first example (the one which is incorrect) we do not know ‘what’ is alright. There is no subject. In the second example,

we have ‘it’ as the subject so this sentence is correct.

Pronouns designate the person we are speaking about/referring to. The subject pronouns – I, you, he, she, it, we, you (pl) and
they, can be substituted with pronouns, nouns or possessive pronouns.
He is ready or John is ready. The subject pronoun ‘he’, substitutes the noun ‘John.’
The book is on the table – it is on the table. The book is a noun therefore the (subject pronoun) of the sentence. Instead of
repeating the noun ‘book’ we can substitute it with ‘it’.
Sentence patterns:
A sentence always consists of at least two parts, – a subject and a predicate (verb).

There are long sentences and there are short ones. A sentence, whether short or long, expresses a complete idea.
A complete sentence must consist of an independent clause – that is, a subject and verb that make a complete thought.
Independent clauses are called independent because they make sense when they stand on their own.
I refuse.
The wind blows.
Electricity costs.
Dogs bark.
Bees sting.
Cats meow.
We cannot say for example ‘I go’ as this has no meaning on its own. It does not express a complete idea. It is a dependent
clause – (fragmented). The listener expects to hear more information from the speaker.
I go (where?) I go to the cinema every week.
Compound subject (two subjects related to the same verb):
James and his colleagues collaborate.
We can make the sentences above longer by adding more information.
I refuse to eat that awful food. (Here we state ‘what’ I refuse to do).
The wind blows (where? when? why?) in the north. (Here we state ‘where’ the wind blows).
The wind blows at night. (Here we state ‘when’ it blows)
Electricity costs a lot. (Here we state ‘how much’ it costs)
Dogs bark when they are hungry, happy or angry. (Here we state ‘why or when’ they bark)
Bees sting people. (Here we state ‘who’ they sting)
Cats meow when they want attention or when they want to eat. (Here we state ‘when’ they meow)

They meow because they want attention. (Here we state ‘why’ they meow.
James and his colleagues collaborate on the project. (Here we state ‘what’ they collaborate on).
We can elaborate more on a sentence and add adjectives for description.
Good friends are loyal people.
Adjective ‘good’ + subject (noun) ‘friends’ + verb ‘be’ (are) + adjective ‘loyal’ + noun ‘people’.
In the above sentence we have used adjectives to describe the noun.
“What kind of friends?” Good friends.
“What kind of people?” Loyal people.
We can make sentences even longer by adding more information.
Electricity costs a lot during the day in most countries.
Here we have added the answer to three questions. How much? When? and Where?
How much? A lot – When? During the day – Where? In most countries.
We can give more details and add an adjective and an adverb. As mentioned before, the adjective describes the noun
whereas adverbs describe the verb.
Solar powered electricity rarely costs much during the day.
Here we use solar and powered – two adjectives to describe the noun ‘electricity’, ‘What kind of electricity?’ we ask. We
used ‘rarely’ which is an adverb of frequency, to describe the verb ‘cost’ and we also used * ‘much’ (another adverb) to
describe the verb ‘cost’.
*(Be careful with ‘much’ as it has many functions other than that of an adverb).
For more on adverbs of frequency and the position they take in a sentence please go to Chapter three - Adverbs of Frequency.

So, to create sentences we must ask ourselves questions - Why? When? Where? How? etc...
When we use the possessive pronouns - My, your, his, her, its, their, your and our, they refer to whom something belongs.
His car or John’s car. NOT the car of John.
Her book or Mary’s book.
Compound subject (two subjects related to the same verb).
Michael and Paul’s cars are in the garage or their cars are in the garage.
(See more on the possessives in Chapter four ‘the genitive/possessive)

So, when forming sentences in English, always ask yourself questions.
Take a look at the variations below for relatively simple sentence constructions.


Open you the window.
Open the window.

When we use the imperative, there is no subject. We use the infinitive without ‘to’.
Other examples:
Stand up
Sit down
Turn off the light before you leave
Go to bed
Q) How do we form the negative when we use the imperative?
A) You just put don’t before the infinitive.
Don’t open the window.
Don’t turn off the light before you go out.
Q) When do we use the imperative?
A) We use the imperative to give orders/commands, exclamations and general instructions.
Help! (Exclamation)

The following example can be seen on the label of a jumper.