A Remedial English Grammar

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A Remedial English Grammar
CHAPTERS
ARTICLES
AGREEMENT OF VERB AND SUBJECT
CONCORD OF NOUNS, PRONOUNS AND POSSESSIVE
ADJECTIVES
CONFUSION OF ADJECTIVES AND ADVERBS
DIFFICULTIES WITH COMPARATIVE AND
SUPERLATIVES
CONFUSION OF PARTICIPLES: ACTIVE & PASSIVE
PREPOSITIONS
NEGATIVE VERBS
TENSES 1, 2 & 3
THE INFINITIVE
The Articles
Definite Article: THE
Rules of Usage
1. Do not put the before the names of substances if used
in a general sense.
E.g. Lead is very heavy.
But the must be used if the reference is to a particular
kind or specimen of the substance.
E.g. Thieves have stolen the lead from the roof.
The Articles
2.
Do not put the before the names of meals which
means part of daily routine.
E.g. Have you had lunch yet?
But the must be used, when the meal is a particular
one taken as part of social function.
or, when the name of the meal refers to the food and
not the occasion.
E.g. The dinner will be held at the Grand Hotel.
The dinner was not properly cooked.
The Articles
3. Do not put the before plural nouns when they are
used in a universal sense.
E.g. Apples are grown in many different countries.
But if the reference is to particular ones then the
must be used.
E.g. The apples you gave me were not yet ripe.
The Articles
4.
Do not put the before the names of games.
E.g. I play cricket.
5.
Do not put the before the names of countries unless the
name suggests that the country is made up of smaller
units or parts.
E.g. They come from Italy.
They come from the United States.
The Articles
6. Put the before nouns which name the inhabitants of a
country collectively or as a community but not before the
names of their languages.
E.g. The Russians have done a lot of space research.
Plural nouns standing for the people of a particular
country are not preceded by the if taken individually.
E.g. Russians drink vodka.
The Articles
7. Put the before the names of mountain ranges but not
before the names of single mountains or hills.
E.g. The Himalayas continue to attract Indian
mystics.
Mount Everest still fascinate mountaineers.
8.
Use the before the names of rivers, canals, seas,
oceans, valleys, deserts and forests.
E.g. The Sahara was once a plain full of vegetation.
The Periyar has now become polluted.
The Articles
9. Use the before the names of ships and trains, even if they
do not form part of the name itself.
E.g. The Day Express is late today.
But when the name of particular type of vehicle is
used to name the means of travel, there is no
definite article.
E.g. We are going by train.
The Articles
10.
The is left out of the expressions ‘all day’ and ‘all
night’ but it should be used in similar adverbial
expressions for all other divisions of time.
E.g. They have worked all day.
It has been raining all the morning.
The work should continue all the week.
The Articles
11.
The is used before a singular noun to express ‘generic
singular’ i.e. the generic singular (one thing
mentioned is taken to represent all of that kind)
E.g. The elephant is very strong.
An exception to this rule is the noun ‘man’ when the
word denotes the human race as a whole.
E.g. Man does not live by bread alone.
The Articles
12.
The is not used in expressions such as ‘go to school’, ‘go
to church’, ‘go to hospital’. There is an ‘inherent’
connection between the speaker/ listener with the
place such as student, believer, patient respectively. If
not, the reference is to just the building and in that
case it should be ‘the school’, ‘the hospital’ etc.
E.g. The children go to school.
The mechanic went to school for repair work.
The only exception to the above rule is ‘go to the
office’.
The Articles
The Indefinite Article (A and An)
1. A is used before words beginning with a consonantal
sound and an with words beginning with a vowel sound.
E.g. An elephant, a book
The sound of ‘h’ should be used carefully.
Heir, honest, honour, hour do not have a sounded ‘h’
The Articles
2.
A is used and not an when words which begin with /j/
sound such as Europe, uniform, unique,
universal,
usual etc.
3. Do not omit a, an before a singular countable noun
E.g. Rice is a cereal
A must be used when the noun precedes an adjective
E.g. A lion is a dangerous animal.
4. A is not normally used before uncountable nouns
but may be used if refers to a particular thing or quantity.
The Articles
5. The names of profession and occupations take the
indefinite article.
E.g. My brother is a teacher.
6. The indefinite article always follows the word such when it
is applied to countable forms.
E.g. I have never seen such a wet summer.
7. If an adjective is preceded by so then indefinite article
should be placed between the adjective and the noun.
E.g. I have never known so wet a summer.
The Articles
8. The use of a few and few as well as a little and little
have to be understood.
‘Few’ means only a small number when more might
have been expected; ‘a few’ means a small number
when none might have been expected. Similar
difference exists between little and a little.
E.g. Few students gave the right answer.
A few students gave the right answer.

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