Free English Grammar Presented by
Free English Grammar Jonathan Lewis 2011
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Introduction Thank you for downloading this book. I hope it will help you to understand better how the English language works. There is a big difference between understanding the grammar of a language and being able to speak that language well. You don’t need to understand how a car engine works in order to drive a car. And you don’t need to understand grammar to speak a language. Knowing grammar will, however, perhaps give you more confidence to speak, as you will be less afraid of making mistakes. Almost every grammar rule has an exception, so the best way to improve your English is to practise as much as you can.
About anglais-facile.com www.anglais-facile.com was created to help people learn English for free. If your first language is French, you will find explanations of the points covered in this book in both French and English on the site.
About Jonathan Lewis Jonathan Lewis has taught English in France for ten years, and has worked for the French ministry of education (Education Nationale) as a teacher and examiner. In his native England, he used to train young people in sales and business administration. He doesn’t like the traditional grammar-based approach to language learning, but prefers to teach communicatively, that is, by getting to students to talk in class, while monitoring their use of language.
Improve your English Daily I highly recommend Gymglish to those who want to improve their English by doing exercises every day. It's an enjoyable way to learn – you receive an e-mail every day with some reading and an exercise to do. For a free seven-day trial, click here.
Practise your English with me If you want to take conversation lessons with me, feel free to contact me by e-mail: [email protected]
Wherever you are in the world, we can talk face to face using Skype.
Table of contents Unit 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26.
I am – You are (to be) I am doing (present progressive) I like/do/go (present simple) Have/Have got (possession) I was/you were (be –simple past) I did/worked/went (simple past) I was doing (past progressive) I have done (present perfect) Is done/was done (passive voice) Used to (finished actions) Get/be used to (changing situations) Will do (future) Going to (planned future) Had done (past perfect) a/an/the (articles, quantities) Some/any (quantities) Much/many/a lot (quantities) Can/could (ability/permission) Must/have to (obligation/prohibition) Big/small/beautiful (adjectives) Big/bigger/biggest (comparatives and superlatives) Should (advice, recommendations) I/me/my/mine (pronouns, possessive adjectives) What/when/where (questions 1) How much/many (questions 2) On/in/at (time prepositions) What would you do? (conditionals) Click on the play button to watch a video
Unit 1: I am (I’m) I'm John I'm 35 I'm a salesman I'm single
Positive I am (I’m) You are (you’re) He is (he’s) She is (she’s) We are (we’re) They are (they’re)
I'm interested in politics
This is John. He’s American, he’s thirty-five, he’s a salesman.
Negative I am not (I’m not) You are not (you’re not) He is not (he’s not) She is not (she’s not) We are not (we’re not) They are not (they’re not)
You are are you? To make questions, change the verb and the subject: Positive He is French
Question Is he French?
You are late
Are you late?
They are nurses
Are they nurses?
Am/is/are are the present forms of the verb to be. We call this verb a ‘state verb’. State ●
• • • • •
Age: I am thirty Nationality: I am French Status: I am single/married/divorced Profession: I am a teacher/secretary/manager Physical state: I am tired/hungry/cold Emotional state: I am happy/sad/excited
Unit 2 : I am doing
He is reading a book
They are running
The sun is shining
The verb ‘to be’ can be used as an auxiliary verb before other verbs. The verb that follows always has the ending ‘-ing’. ‘to be’ represents a present state, so when it’s followed by a verb (-ing) it refers to a present activity.
• I’m a teacher, but I’m not teaching now, I’m preparing a lesson • Janet is wearing a pretty dress today • Take an umbrella, it’s raining Spelling Note the following spelling changes:
write writing come coming
run running swim swimming
Negative Place ‘not’ after the auxiliary: ● I’m not sleeping ● They’re not working -or - they aren’t working ● She’s not reading - or - she isn’t reading
lie lying sit sitting dance dancing
Questions Change the order of words: ● Are you sleeping? • Is he playing? • Where is she going?
Some verbs are not usually used in the present progressive. Often, these verbs don't describe physical actions: ● ● ● ●
know understand agree trust
● ● ● ●
prefer hate appreciate suppose
● ● ● ●
want like love remember
The state verb 'to be' is sometimes used in the present progressive: ● ●
Ignore him – he's just being silly They said they can't help us, but I think they're being difficult.
Unit 3 : I like/do/go The Present Simple: Positive
I like You like He likes She likes We like They like
I don’t like You don’t like He doesn’t like She doesn’t like We don’t like They don’t like
Do I like? Do you like? Does he like? Does she like? Do we like? Do they like?
The present simple is used for things in general, and things that happen sometimes or always: • •
The sun rises in the east I work from nine till five
I like chocolate I go to the cinema on Saturdays
To indicate frequency, we use these adverbs: always 100%
examples: • I always go shopping on Fridays • I usually have coffee with my breakfast, but sometimes I have tea
• I never watch American movies • I often buy a newspaper on my way to work
Present simple spelling Note the following spelling changes: I watch she watches I kiss he kisses I wash she washes I go he goes
I judges he judges I study she studies I try he tries I do she does
Present simple questions We use the verb ‘do’ as an auxiliary when we ask questions: • Do you read a lot? • What do you usually do in your free time? • Does she like her job? • Do they live here? • Do you always arrive early?
Unit 4 have/have got She has blue eyes and black hair = She’s got blue eyes and black hair (has got) For possession, have and have got are the same
I’ve got a cold and a high temperature
Have got in questions • Have you got the time? • Has she got a car? Have got in negatives • I haven’t got a car • He hasn’t got a job
Unit 5 I was/you were The simple past of the verb 'to be' Present: am/is past: was Present: are past: were
• • • •
I was You were He was She was We were They were
I wasn’t (n’t = not) You weren’t He wasn’t She wasn’t We weren’t They weren’t
Was I? Were you? Was he? Was she? Were we? Were they?
Yesterday, I was sick She lived in London when she was young Were you on time for the meeting? No, I wasn’t – I was five minutes late
Unit 6 Past simple – I did/worked/went They watch television (present simple) Yesterday, they watched television (past simple) Past
English verbs can be divided into two groups – regular and irregular. In the past simple, regular verbs end in –ed ; they do not change according to the subject: • • •
I worked You worked He worked
• • •
She worked We worked They worked
Irregular Verbs These verbs are called irregular because they do not end in ‘ed’ like regular verbs. You must learn these verbs by heart. Examples of irregular verbs: • • • • • • •
begin began break broke buy bought come came do did drink drank eat ate
• • • • • • •
• • • • • • •
find found get got give gave go went have had know knew leave left
make made pay paid put put read read (pronounced ‘red’) ring rang say said think thought
you will find a list of irregular verbs here: http://anglais-facile.com/les-temps-anglais/verbes-irreguliers-anglais/ Negative and Questions Use the auxiliary did for questions and negatives in the past: Positive Negative I went I didn’t go I worked I didn’t work I had I didn’t have
Question Did you go? Did you work? Did you have?
Ago We use ago for things in the past. • Giovanni moved to Rome in 1999 • Giovanni moved to Rome 12 years ago
Did you meet The Queen? Yes, but that was a long time ago
Unit 7 I was doing Past progressive
4:00 today: they are watching television
4:00 yesterday: they were jogging
I was doing You were doing He/she/it was doing We were doing They were doing
I wasn’t doing You weren’t doing He/she/it wasn’t doing We weren’t doing They weren’t doing
Was I doing? Were you doing? Was he/she/it doing? Were we doing? Were they doing?
Timelines We use the past progressive when we are more interested in the action itself than the time it started or stopped. Compare the past simple with the past progressive: 11:00pm I went to bed
the telephone rang
I woke up
I was sleeping when the telephone rang time I was going to the office It was raining I stopped to buy a newspaper
I met an old friend
She told me something I’ll never forget
Unit 8 I have done Present Perfect The cook has made some pizzas. - The pizzas are ready NOW
Johan has gone out = Johan is not here NOW
The present perfect is used to show the present result of something that has happened. Present perfect: auxiliary have + past participle (gone/done/been etc) Compare the present perfect with the simple past: • • •
Yesterday, I lost my keys. I found them this morning. I’ve lost my keys (I can’t find my keys now) I bought this book last week, but I haven’t read it.
Positive I have done You have done He/she/it has done We have done They have done
I haven’t done You haven’t done He/she/it hasn’t done We haven’t done They haven’t done
have I done? have you done? has he/she/it done? have we done? have they done?
We can use the present perfect with already, just, yet: • • •
I don’t want to watch this film, I’ve already seen it Are you hungry? – No, I’ve just eaten I’m waiting for Sean, he hasn’t arrived yet
How long have you…? Ivan moved to London in 2002. He lives in London now. How long has Ivan lived in London? – Ivan has lived in London for five years
This is Juan. Juan is married to Jeanne They have been married since 1999 Juan’s best friend is Ian. Juan has known Ian for ten years Juan likes playing tennis He has played tennis since he was a child Juan works for Macroloft corporation. He has worked for Macroloft for five years Juan is learning Spanish (present progressive) He has been learning Spanish for six months (present perfect progressive) Have you ever…? Have you ever been to Italy ?
Yes, I have
No, I haven’t. I’ve never been to China
Have you ever been to China ?
We can use the present perfect to talk about our experiences in life. If you want to know when something happened, use the simple past. • • • •
Have you ever played poker? Yes I have. When did you play poker? I played when I was on holiday in Las Vegas
Been When we say ‘have you ever been to Italy?’ been is the past participle of the verb to go. Been then, is like a return trip. I went to Italy I came back from Italy
= I’ve been to Italy (at sometime in my life)
For and Since Compare these sentences: • I’ve lived in New York for ten years • I’ve lived in New York since 1998 Since is used for a specific time: • • •
I’ve had this car since August I’ve known Jean since 1980 I’ve had this headache since this morning
For is used for a duration of time: • • •
I’ve had this car for six months I’ve known Jean for 27 years I’ve had this headache for several hours
Unit 9 is done/was done The passive voice. People make cars in Birmingham Cars are made in Birmingham
We are not interested in who made the cars (people, somebody, the workers etc). We are only interested in the cars, and in which city they are made . This is the passive voice: To be:
am/is/are was were etc.
+ past participle
done made washed built etc.
Note: The passive voice is NOT a tense, it does not relate to time. You can change the time by changing the verb ‘to be’. • • • • •
The house was damaged in the storm Many people have been taken prisoner Five people were killed in the accident My car is being repaired today More energy will be imported from Russia in the future
Unit 10 used to, get used to, be used to A few years ago, I lived in a big city
Today, I live in the countryside.
I used to live in a big city. Used to + verb (infinitive) something I did in the past but don’t do today. • • • •
I stopped smoking last year. I used to smoke twenty cigarettes a day. I used to like her a lot, but then she changed. I don’t like her very much now. Before we had children, we used to travel a lot, but now we don’t travel any more. You play the piano, don’t you? – I used to, but I don’t have much time these days.
get used to In Europe, people drive on the right. In England, people drive on the left. When I came to England for the first time, it was difficult to get used to driving on the left. Get used to + verb (-ing) Something that was difficult at first, but becomes normal with time or practice. • When you go to live in a foreign country, it takes time to get used to living there.
be used to
If you have got used to doing something, you can say that you are used to doing it • My job was hard at the beginning, but I’m used to it now • I’m used to getting up early, but I didn’t like it when I started • France is very different from England, but I’m used to living here now
Unit 11 I will do Future 1 I have a shower every day. This morning I had a shower. Tomorrow, I will have a shower.
Positive/negative I you he/she/it we they
be do have go ...etc
I you he she it we they
go? say? Do? be? ..etc.
Will is used for the future: • • •
Tomorrow, I will be in Manchester on business Don’t call tonight, I won’t be at home It will be a hard match, but I’m sure we’ll win
Will often shows we are not sure • •
I think it will rain this afternoon I don’t know what to do – maybe I’ll ask Jan about it
Will can mean a spontaneous decision: • •
The phone’s ringing – I’ll answer it If you don’t have a pen I’ll lend you one
Shall Shall is the same as will when used with I and we: • I shall be late / I will be late • We shall buy some souvenirs / we will buy some souvenirs
This is not an absolute rule! Native speakers sometimes say 'he shall', or 'they shall'
Unit 12 going to Planned/certain future (2) Jena
Johanna Tonight there is a football match on television. I like football.
Hi Jena, do you have plans for tonight?
Yes, I'm going to watch the football on television
I decide to do something
“I’m going to do it”
I do it
I am You are She is We are They are
(not) going to
do walk go make etc…
If you have planned something for the future, you can say ‘I’m going to…’ • •
I’m going to cook Indian food tonight I’m going to talk to Ian about his attitude
We often use the present progressive to talk about future events: “What are you doing tonight?” - “I’m playing football”
Unit 13 I had done Past Perfect My train left at 8:00 I was late, I arrived at 8:10 When I arrived at the station, my train had left
Past perfect = had + past participle The past perfect is used to show that action 1 happened before action 2. Past
my boss cancelled the meeting
I didn't go to the meeting I didn’t go to the meeting because my boss had cancelled it
Present it was raining I saw that the streets were wet The streets were wet, so I knew it had been raining
Note again the difference between simple and progressive forms:
present simple: I work in a bank present progressive: I'm working until five today. Present perfect (simple) : I've worked here for two years Present perfect (progressive): I've been working since 8 O'clock Past perfect (simple) : At my interview I told them that I had worked in a bank before Past perfect (progressive): I had been working at the bank for one year when I decided to change jobs
Unit 14 a/an/the We use 'a' or 'an' to describe what something is:
It's a dog
It's a hammer
it's an apple
'an' is used before a vowel sound : an orange, an umbrella, but a uniform (we hear 'y' like “you-niform”) naming a person's job, we use 'a' or 'an' She's a secretary (not she's secretary) When there are many, we use 'a' or 'an' Is there a bank near here? (there are a lot of banks, I want to know if there is one near) When there is only one, or it is clear which one we mean, we use 'the' You'll need to see the secretary (in this company, there is only one secretary) I have to go the bank at lunchtime (my bank) London is the capital of Britain (there is only one capital of Britain)
Unit 15 a/some/any Nouns can be either countable or uncountable. We cannot make plurals with uncountable nouns. We use ‘some’ before plurals and uncountable nouns. Countable
Chairs, tables, sofas Euros, dollars, pounds Jobs, professions Clouds, temperatures, winds Loaves, baguettes Articles, reports, stories
furniture money work weather bread news
An apple, an orange, a banana, a pear= Some fruit
Siobhan has some money
Yann doesn’t have any money
We usually use some in positive sentences, and any in negative sentences and questions. John: I have some friends in Chicago Ian: Really, do you have any friends in Chicago, Sean? Sean: I haven’t got any friends, anywhere. It is different when we offer something:
Would you like some tea?
Unit 16 much/many/a lot
A lot of luggage / a lot of bags
Not much luggage / not many bags
We use much with uncountable nouns, in negative sentences and questions How much money have you got? I don’t have much time We use many with plural nouns Did you see many people? I don’t have many CDs I’ve been to many countries A lot of can be used everywhere!
I have a lot of money I don’t have a lot of friends Do you have a lot of furniture? I’ve got a lot of ideas
Unit 17 can/could
Can is used to express ability:
I can play the guitar Joan can swim very well Ivan hasn’t got a car because he can’t drive Can you cook?
We also use can for permission (giving and asking for) Can I sit here? Yes, you can It’s OK, you can go home now When asking for things, it’s more polite to use could: Could you open the window? Could you give me your name, please? Could is also the past of can. We use it to talk about things we were able to do before: I could skate very well when I was young Jane could walk before she was one year old When talking about ability, we can also use be able to. Can is a modal verb, and has no future form. ✔
Next year, I will be able to buy my first apartment
Unit 18 must/have to Obligation We use must when we believe something is necessary:
It’s a great book, you must read it I must call my parents tonight You must come over for dinner
We use have to when we are obliged to do something, even if we don’t want to do it.
I have to get up early for work tomorrow I have to complete my tax return before Friday Do I have to?
Prohibition When something is not permitted, we use mustn’t:
You mustn’t smoke here, it’s forbidden It’s a secret, you mustn’t tell anyone
Don’t have to Don’t have to is not the same as mustn’t
Unit 19 big/small/beautiful Adjectives In English, the adjective is before the noun:
An interesting book A difficult project He’s got blue eyes and brown hair I just love Indian food This lovely red dress is not expensive
Adjectives always remain the same, they do not change according to the subject: o o o
A tall woman A tall man Some tall people
Here are some of the most common adjectives: Active Alive Angry Awful Bad Beautiful Big Black Blond Blue Bored Boring Brown Busy Careful Cheap Clean Clever Cold Dangerous Dark Dead Deep Difficult Dirty Easy Empty Exact
Exciting Expensive Fair Famous Fantastic Far Fast Fat Fit Free Friendly Funny Golden Good Great Green Grey Happy Hard High Hungry Ill Intelligent Interested Interesting International Jealous Late
Left Little Lonely Long Loud Lovely Lucky Nasty Near Neat New Nice Noisy Nosy Old Open Orange Polite Poor Pretty Quick Quiet Ready Red Right Rough Rude Short
Slow Small Special Strange Strong Stupid Sweet Tall Terrible Thick Thirsty Tiny Tired Tiring Unfair Unfriendly Unhappy Warm Weak Wet White Wild Wrong Yellow Young
Unit 20 big/bigger/biggest comparatives and superlatives Bigger than/ Smaller than
Box A is bigger than box B and box C Box B is smaller than box A, but bigger than box C Box C is smaller than box A and B
The biggest/The smallest
Box A is the biggest. = it’s bigger than all the others. Box C is the smallest. =it’s smaller than all the others.
With small adjectives, we add –er to make comparatives:
small – smaller large – larger quick – quicker slow – slower
We add a consonant to some adjectives that have one consonant at the end:
big – bigger thin – thinner fat – fatter
Adjectives that end in –y change to i:
funny – funnier happy – happier easy – easier
Long adjectives are different. We cannot add –er, instead we use more before the adjective:
A Ferrari is more expensive than a BMW Korean films are more interesting than American ones Paris is more beautiful than London
Superlatives Small adjectives take the +-est to make superlatives:
The tallest mountain in the world is Everest. The longest river in the world is the Amazon. The richest man in the world was Bill Gates.
We put the most before long adjectives:
The most beautiful woman in the world is probably Monica Bellucci. The most difficult thing about English is the pronunciation. The most expensive city in the world is Tokyo.
There are three exceptions: good better the best bad worse the worst far further the furthest
The weather is better today than it was yesterday. After the war, the situation became worse than before. Sydney is further than Kuala Lumpur.
Unit 21 you should You should stop smoking
We use should when something is a good idea; it is a good thing to do. To be polite, you can say, I think you should…
I think you shouldn’t eat so much. I think you should talk to her about it. I think you should reconsider our offer. I don’t think he should attend the conference.
Ought to Ought to is the same as should, but generally used only in positive sentences:
I think you ought to eat less. Perhaps you ought to talk to her about it. You ought to think about reconsidering.
Expectation and probability We can also use should and ought to to talk about something we expect will happen, or something that is likely to happen:
Where’s Giovanni? He should be here by now. My train is late, but I should arrive around 10pmg. I’ve studied hard, so I ought to pass the exam.
Unit 22 I/me/my/mine She told her the whole story.
Subject I You He She It We They
• • • •
I like Jane You like Jane He likes Jane She likes Jane It's fantastic We like Jane They like Jane
Object Me You Him Her It Us Them
Jane likes me Jane likes you Jane likes him Jane likes her Jane loves it Jane likes us Jane likes them
Those are nice trousers. I like them very much. I don’t need this bag. You can have it. Answer the phone, it can’t be for me. We’re going to the beach, do you want to come with us?
Possession This is my girlfriend. She’s mine! I’m her boyfriend. I’m hers!
I You He She We They
• • • • •
Me You Him Her Us Them
My Your His Her Our Their
This is my book. It’s mine! Our car didn’t start, so I took yours No, that’s not our luggage, ours is over there Their dog is bigger than his Her bag is more expensive than mine
Mine Yours His Hers Ours Theirs
Unit 23 questions People who? Who switched off the television? – I did, the film was boring. Who did you see at the party? – I saw lots of interesting people. Who are going with? – I’m going with Johan.
Things what? What’s that? – It’s my new computer. What are you doing tonight? – I’m playing tennis. What did you do last night? – I played tennis.
Places where? Where did you go on holiday? – We went to St.Jean de Luz. Where is Iain? – He’s at home in bed.
Time when? When did you last go on holiday? – In 1999. When is your birthday? – On the eleventh of June
Reason why? Why did you do that? – Because it was fun. Why do you like American films? Because they have a lot of action. Why is London so expensive? Because everyone wants to live there.
Way, Manner of doing something How? How do you turn on this computer? – There’s a red button, press it. How can I get to Manchester from here? – Take a train from Kings Cross Station
Unit 24 how much/many We use how + adjective to ask some questions: • • •
How old are you? – I’m 18 years old How tall are you? – I’m 1 metre 75 How big is the box? – It’s pretty big!
We use much and many to ask about quantities: • • •
How much does it cost? - about ten pounds How much coffee do we have left? - not much, we'd better buy some more. How many people came to your presentation? - A lot, more than I expected.
Note that we usually use the ‘superior’ word to ask questions:
Age Weight Quantity Quantity Length Time Distance Height Height Width Depth Size
old/young heavy/light much/a little many/a few Long/short long/short far/near high/low tall/short wide/narrow deep/shallow big/small
How old? How heavy? How much? How many? How long? How long? How far? How high? How tall? How wide? How deep? How big?
Unit 25 on Friday/in June Time prepositions
On Monday, Tuesday The weekend The first The second
• • • • •
In January The morning The afternoon The evening The week Spring
At The weekend Night 10 O’clock
I’ve got an appointment on Friday at 3 O’clock I always feel sleepy in the afternoon In the summer there are too many people on the beach I always watch the news in the evening I was born on the eighteenth of April
Unit 26 What would you do? There are three types of conditionals
Conditional 1 If you send the letter today, he will receive it tomorrow if + present, + will This situation is probable, we expect it to happen as we say
Conditional 2 If you won the lottery, what would you do? – I’d (=I would) buy a Ferrari! If + past, + would This situation is not very probable, it is a hypothetical situation. We use the verb for the condition (the part with ‘if’) in the past: If you went to America… If he didn’t come… If you could see her … And the result is ‘would’ + infinitive verb: … would you find a job? … would he get into trouble? … what would you say? We can suggest things or give advice to someone by saying: If I were you, I would…
Conditional 3 We can use conditionals in the past to show that it was possible for something to happen, but didn’t. Perhaps we regret that it didn’t happen! - You didn’t win the lottery? - No. - What would you have done if you had won the lottery? - If I had won the lottery, I would have bought a Ferrari! Condition
If + had + past participle would have + past participle If you had seen him
would you have spoken to him?
If I had known
I wouldn’t have come.
If I had been there
I would have told her.