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Six Important Rules To Good English

August 7th, 2012 · No Comments

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Six Very Important Rules To Master For Good English

1. Use of ‘s’ on verbs for he, she, it
Why say sings instead of sing. Always put ‘s’ or ‘es’ on the end of verbs in the present when speaking about he, she, or it (third person singular). He sings when he is happy. The dog barks when hungry. He does not want to go. She goes whenever she likes.  The meal stays hot in the cooker.
It is exactly the opposite of what you would expect. With all other persons and things,  the verb never has the ‘s’. This includes ‘ I, you, we, they’ in the present tense: I sing when I am happy. You cook when sad. We do nothing on our holiday. They sit for long periods of time. The cities heat up during the summer.

This is often difficult to apply when speaking about things or concepts which seem to involve plurals but are actually singular. Everybody says it differently (meaning each individual [every body]). The phone’s connection was bad (one phone possessive). Industry in the States changes rapidly (the word changes relates to the single concept of ‘industry’ and not to the noun ‘States’. On the other hand, ‘Industries in the States change rapidly’. The noun ‘Industries’ is plural and therefore there is no ‘s’ on the verb.

Be careful of verbs which normally end with an ‘s’: They stress the cat. Add ‘es’ to form the singular. She stresses the cat. But, the ‘They stress the cat’ stays the same.

The following are all incorrect:
Incorrect: The cat like his food.
Incorrect: She buy only what she want.
Incorrect: They wants many things.
Incorrect: The birds sings.
Incorrect: She have a bird and want get another.

Remember to use ‘s’ with he, she, it: he sings, she sleeps, it works.
But never use ‘s’ with I, you, we, they: I sing, you sleep, we work, they cook

Other English Language Page Additons To Blog

The Two Basic Principles of Learning Another Language
English As It’s Actually Spoken – Prepositions At End of Sentences

 2. The verb ‘to be’ (am, is, are, was, were, to be) must be used in front of ‘ing’ verbs
When there is a verb with ‘ing’ on the end, there must be a verb ‘to be’ (am, is, are, was, were, will be) in front of it. And vice versa: when there is a verb ‘to be’, any verb connected to it must have ‘ing’. I am going to the party. She is, happily and with bells on, going with me to the party. It does not matter how many non-verbs are in between (she is going…). They were coming also. They will be driving with me. We are sitting this one out.

The only problem with ‘ing’ words is when they are really nouns and not verbs: I like singing in the shower. Hint: Try putting the words ‘the act of’ before the word with ‘ing’. If it makes sense, then it is a noun and does not need the verb ‘to be’ in front of it: ‘I like ‘the act of’ singing in the shower’ is a successful indication of a noun.
However, the sentence: ‘I am ‘the act of’ going to the party’ does not make sense. Therefore, ‘going’ is a verb and it must have ‘am, is, was, were, to be’ in front of it. Of course, if there is ‘the’ or ‘a’ in front of the word, then it is a noun.
Example: I feel like a talking puppet whenever she is around.

The following are all incorrect:
Incorrect: We swimming when we go to the lake.
Incorrect: I am see only what I want to see.
Incorrect: He is walk for 3 miles every day.
Incorrect: They are plan to go?
Incorrect: They looking for a good house.

3. Must have a pronoun in front of a single noun: usually ‘a’, ‘an’ or ‘the’
Always put something in front of a single noun. Usually it is ‘a’ or ‘an’, but it can be:  ‘the, my/your/his/her/its/our/their, this/that’. Plural nouns do not need anything, or they can have all of the above except for ‘a/an’. Of course, ‘this/that’ can also be used with a single noun, and it must be changed to ‘these/those’ for plural nouns.

Examples: I have a dog.
However, with plural nouns: do not use a pronoun:  I have dogs, or use any pronoun other than ‘a, an’: He is buying this shirt.

Exceptions: There are a small number of nouns which can be said without ‘a’ because they are considered to be processes and not single things: home, school, class, breakfast, lunch, dinner, bed: I am going to class, Do you want dinner? He is going to bed. I think I’ll have lunch.  Also, do NOT use ‘to’ in front of ‘home’: I am going home.  My daughter loves school.

Also, these words are considered singular but do not use ‘a’: sunglasses, pants, grass, hair: the grass is wet, his hair is short. She has long hair.
However, you can say ‘a pair of pants’, ‘a pair of sunglasses’, a head of hair, etc.

The following are all incorrect:
Incorrect: I am going to home.
Incorrect: They ordered meal.
Incorrect: They have a nice hair. (hair does not take ‘a’)
Incorrect: We are going to house.

Actually a pronoun can be used in front of all of these, but the meaning of the sentence and noun changes.
normally we would say: I am going to school. However, if you say ‘I am going to a school… then it is assumed that you might be talking about a special school (i.e. which specializes in cooking).

4. Put ‘to’ in between two connected verbs
In the present tense, when there are two verbs together, the second verb is always the root form of the verb, and there is a ‘to’ in front of it. I go to run when I get tired of reading. He goes to eat in a restaurant (remember the ‘s’ or ‘es’ on the verb in the present: goes). We want to sleep. He tries to work during the early hours.

This is not true with the verb ‘to be’ and a following verb with ‘ing’: She is buying food. They were getting bread. And it is not true of the modal verbs except for the modal verb ‘ought to’: The modal verbs: can, could, should, would, may, might, must, ought to, shall, will.

The following are all incorrect:
Incorrect: I want cook when I come home.
Incorrect: They always start talk when movie begins.
Incorrect: My dog starts bark when he is hungry.

5. Modal verbs
There are ten special verbs which are always used together with another verb, and is always the first of the two verbs. It modifies the second verb, and never changes its spelling.

The modal verbs: can, could, should, would, may, might, must, ought to, shall, will

Other special characteristics: Never use ‘to’ after  a modal verb (except for the modal verb ‘ought to’). Also, any verb used after these special verbs are used in root form – example: I might run to lose weight. Always use the root form of the verb, in this case ‘run’, and never runs, running, ran, etc.

Other words may be put in the middle between a modal and its main verb but the model and its verb are considered a pair. I can usually check (can and check are a modal and its pair). I must, if the time is right, go to the store (modal ‘must’ with its verb ‘go’. Also, the modal is often used without its pair verb: Yes, I must. But in these cases, the verb is always implied: Yes, I must go.

Other examples of a modal and its main verb:
He must go. She should run. The cat can play. They ought to sign the contract. I may come. You can go.

The modal must, can and will are used the most in English.
I must go.
She must eat now.
We must talk to him today.
I can ask him.
They can buy the present here.
You will see her over the weekend.
The idea will be brought up at the meeting. 

So to repeat the rules about modals:
– always used as the first of two verbs
– modifies the status of the main verb which is paired with it
– never changes its form or spelling
– second verb is always in root form with no changes of tense
– the word ‘to’ is never used between the two verbs (except for ‘ought to’)

The following are all incorrect:
Incorrect: He should always thinking before he acts.
Incorrect: They must to be on time.
Incorrect: She cans swim.
Incorrect: I must to talk to the man.
Incorrect: He should says what he mights to do in the future.

6.  Using verb ‘to be’ and ‘ed’ instead of ‘ing’
You are correct to use the ‘ing’ form of a verb when using the verb ‘to be’: am, is, are, was, were, will be.
I am going
I am teaching
He is singing
My students are learning
The dog was eating
They were sitting
We will be coming late
when you are using the verb ‘to be’ to describe a person’s feelings, ‘ed’ is added to the end of the verb and not ‘ing’.
Examples: ‘I am excited’ which means how you feel. You can say ‘I am exciting’ but that means that you are exciting to other people, and it does not relate to your feelings.
In the following, we can say I am interesting, disappointing, tiring, depressing, exciting, boring – but this says how the person is or appears to other people.  When it expresses how you or a person feels, use ‘am, is, are, was, were, will be’ with the ending ‘ed’: I am finished. She is tired. They are discouraged.
Other examples:
I’m interested
we are interested
she is interested
I’m disappointed
I am tired 
I am depressed
he is depressed
I am bored
they are bored

The following are all incorrect:
Incorrect: I teaching in the morning.
Incorrect: They were sing in school.
Incorrect: The dogs and cats singing outside the window.
Incorrect: Everyone on my team is frustrating.

One sentence with examples of all 6 errors:
He tell me that I have get package at post office, but I must to have a notice. I am discouraging because the post office is ask for the notice, and I want give it, but I always forgetting it.

He tells me that I have to get a package at the post office, but I must to have a notice. I am discouraged because the post office is asking for the notice, and I want to give it, but I am always forgetting it.

Answers to all other incorrect sentences in the lesson

Rule 1
The cat likes his food.
She buys only what she wants.
They want many things.
The birds sing.
She has a bird and wants to get another.

Rule 2
We are swimming when we go to the lake.
I am seeing only what I want to see.
He is walking for 3 miles every day.
Are they planning to go?
They are looking for a good house.

Rule 3
I am going home.
They ordered a meal.
They have nice hair. (hair does not take ‘a’)
We are going to the house.

Rule 4
I want to cook when I come home.
They always start talking when the movie begins.
My dog starts barking when he is hungry.

Rule 5
He should always think before he acts.
They must be on time.
She can swim.
I must talk to the man.
He should say what he might do in the future. Remember, no ‘s’ on ‘should’, ‘say’ or ‘might’ or ‘to’ since they are modal verbs.

Rule 6
I am teaching in the morning.
They were singing in school.
The dogs and cats are singing outside the window.
Everyone on my team is frustrated.


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