Conditionals

When you want to say that one situation (described in the main clause) depends on another situation, you use a conditional clause. Conditional clauses usually begin with if or (for negative clauses) unless.

Jane will pass the exam if she works hard.
Jane will not pass the exam unless she works hard.

They may follow or go in front of the main clause.
If Jane works hard, she will pass her exam.

Conditional clauses are used in two main ways:

– If you see the situation as a real one, and likely to happen, you use the present simple tense in the conditional clause and will (‘ll) or won’t in the main clause. Don’t use will in the conditional clause.

If you take a taxi, you will be there in good time.  NOT If you will take a taxi…
If you wear a coat, you won’t get cold. NOT If you will wear a coat…

– If you see the situation as unreal, imaginary, or less likely to happen, you use the simple past tense in the conditional clause and would (‘d), might, or could in the main clause. Don’t use would in the conditional clause.

If you saw a ghost, what would you do?  NOT If you would see a ghost…
If I bought a new coat, I might not feel so cold. (=I would possibly not feel so cold)
If I found their address, I could write to them. (=I would be able to write to them)

In sentences of this kind, the past tense of the verb be appears as were after the first and third persons, in formal speech and writing. Only use was in informal speech.

If I were at home, I would be watching television. (informal: If I was at home…)
If John were playing today, we’d have a chance of winning. (informal: If John was playing…)

– If you want to talk about conditional situations in the past, use had (‘d) in the conditional clause, and would have in the main clause.

If I’d seen her, I would have asked her to call. (=I did not see her)
The books wouldn’t have been damaged if Mary had moved them. (=”Mary” didn’t move them)

– You can use when instead of if in sentences of the first type (present simple + will etc), but not with those of the second (simple past + would etc). When is not used in situations that are unlikely or impossible.

What will John do if he goes home? (=”John” is probably going home)  OR What will John do when he goes home? (=”John” is definitely going home)
What would John do if he went home? (=”John” is probably not going home)  NOT What would John do when he went home?
I would shout if I saw a ghost.  NOT I would shout when I saw a ghost.

I wish
If you want to talk about a situation in the present which you are not happy about, and would like to change, use the simple past tense in the conditional clause.

I wish I had a new bike. (=”unfortunately,” I don’t have a new bike)

If you want to talk about a situation in the past which you are not happy about, and would like to change, use had in the conditional clause.

I wish I’d gone by train. (=”unfortunately,” I didn’t go by train)
I wish I hadn’t gone by train. (=”unfortunately,” I did go by train)

Countable and uncountable nouns

COUNTABLE NOUNS

A noun is countable if you can think of it as one of several separate units, for example book, egg, or horse. As the name suggests, countable nouns can actually be counted.

UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS
noun is uncountable if you cannot think of it as one of several separate units, but only as a single idea or substance, for example butter, music, or advice. These nouns are sometimes called mass nouns. They cannot be counted.

GRAMMATICAL DIFFERENCES

There are some important grammatical differences in the way you use countable and uncountable nouns.

1. You can use a countable noun in the singular or in the plural, for example book/books, egg/eggs, horse/horses, ticket/tickets, university/universities. Don’t try to use uncountable nouns in the plural. Don’t say butters, musics, advices, informations, furnitures. It is a common mistake to use an uncountable noun in the plural.

You should listen to his advice.  NOT You should listen to his advices.

2. You can use a countable noun with a or an: for example a book, an egg, a horse, a ticket, a university. Don’t use a or an with uncountable nouns. Don’t say a butter, a music, an advice, an information, a furniture. It is a common mistake to use a or an with an uncountable noun.

I like listening to music.  NOT I like listening to a music.

3. You can use an uncountable noun with quantity words such as some and any: some butter, any music. If you want to use these words with countable nouns, you must put the nouns into the plural, and say some tickets, any eggs.

She bought some books.  NOT She bought some book.

4. You can only use the quantity expressions much, how much, or a little with uncountable nouns. With countable nouns, you have to use many, how many, or a few.

uncountable countable
I don’t have much money.                  He doesn’t have many friends.
How much time do you have?           How many records do you have?

There is a little butter in the fridge.    There are a few rooms still available.
5. You can use an uncountable noun on its own without such words as the, some, or any.

She doesn’t eat meat.
If you need advice, don’t be afraid to ask.

You cannot use a countable noun in the singular in this way, only in the plural.

I like reading books.  NOT I like reading book.
Computers are always causing problems.  NOT Computers are always causing problem.

NOUNS WHICH CAN BE COUNTABLE OR UNCOUNTABLE

You can use some nouns in either a countable or an uncountable way, depending on their meaning. The following pairs of sentences show how the meaning can change: in each case there is a countable noun in the first sentence, and an uncountable noun in the second.

Would you like a cake? (=”one” of several cakes which someone can take to eat)
Do you like chocolate cake? (=”a” type of food)
The lambs were born early this year. (=”the” animals)
There are several ways of cooking lamb. (=”a” type of meat)

Most abstract nouns, such as love, anger, knowledge, intelligence, or freedom, are always uncountable. But some abstract nouns can also be used in a countable way.
uncountable   countable

They did it with difficulty.   They’ve had a lot of difficulties.
Her voice sounded full of doubt.  I have my doubts about whether he’s the right person for the job.

Adverbs

 

Adverbs like; quickly, softly, badly, suddenly, etc.

Adverbs tells you how something happens or how somebody does something (the car stopped suddenly, the nurse was speaking softly, you must listen carefully, he understands perfectly).

Adjectives Adverb
She is very quiet. She speaks quietly.
Be polite ! Ask politely.
It was a bad game. We played badly.
You feel nervous. You reacted nervously.

 

hard, fast, late, early : These words are adjectives and adverbs.

Her job is very hard. She works very hard.
He is a fast walker. He walks very fast.
The train is late / early. The train arrived late / early.

 

good (adjective) and well (adverb)

Your book is very good. You write very well.
It was a good decision. You did very well.

 well is also an adjective (not ill = in good health) (How are you ? I am very well, thank you. And you ?).

Adverbs of degree

 ENOUGH  TOO  VERY
 Enough means a satisfactory amount or degree  Too means more than enough, an excessive amount or degree  Very means something is done to a high degree, it is usually factual
 comes after adjectives and adverbs, and before nouns  Comes before adjectives   Comes before adjectives or other adverbs
 This jacket isn’t big enough for me.We have enough money to buy our own apartment  Our apartment is too small for us   He finishes his work very quickly

Adverbs of time

 FOR  DURING  – WHILE  WHEN – WHILE
 For shows how long something happened. It is used to refer to a period of time.  Both during and while refer to a period of time in which something happens.  When and while can both be used when two things happen at the same time.
   During is used with a noun .  While is used with a subject and verb.  When is used when two short events happen at the same time.  While is used when two continuous actions happen at the same time.
 She’s in New York for a few days.  We were busy during the weekend.  We went shopping while you were sleeping.  I heard you when you opened the door.  ‘While you were studying I went out shopping.’

Passive and active voice

 In the sentence The dog chased the cat, the verb (chased) is active. If you turn it around, and say The cat was chased by the dog, the verb (was chased) is passive. You form the passive by using the verb be and the past participle of the main verb. For example, the passive of attack is be attacked, the passive of pay is be paid, and the passive of see is be seen. You can only use the passive with transitive verbs. 

WHEN TO USE AN ACTIVE VERB 

You use an active verb when you want to say that the subject of a sentence does something. For example:
She opened the window.

 WHEN TO USE A PASSIVE VERB

 You use a passive verb when you want to say that something happens to the subject of the sentence.

 For example:
President Kennedy was killed in 1963.

 You often use a passive verb when talking about the history of something. For example:
The bridge was built in the 19th century.
The company was established in 1826.

 In these cases, it is much more natural to use the passive than to find a vague, active way of expressing the sentence (such as Someone built this bridge in the 19th century.).
You often use a passive verb when you are writing about science, or when you are saying how things are made. For example:

 Hydrogen and oxygen can be easily mixed in this way.
Paper is made from wood.

 If you used an active verb here, you would have to say who does the action –
information which is not known or not important.

 If you want to say who does the action of the verb in a passive sentence, use by and then say who does it.

 President Kennedy was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963.
The bridge was designed by Brunel.

HOW TO CHANGE AN ACTIVE SENTENCE INTO A PASSIVE ONE

 There are three things you need to do in order to change an active sentence into a passive one.

 1. Move the subject of the active verb to the end of the sentence, and put by in front of it.

 2. Move the object of the active verb to the front of the sentence, so that it becomes the passive subject.

 3. Change the verb from active to passive. You do this by adding a form of the auxiliary verb be and the past participle of the main verb.

 Subject    verb        object
The dog   chased    the cat.
Subject          verb          by….
The cat    was chased    by the dog

 THE PASSIVE WITH GET

 You can also make a passive using get instead of be. This kind of passive is very common in conversation. Do not use it in formal writing. You often use this kind of passive to say that something happened suddenly to someone.

 I got sacked by my firmOR I was sacked by my firm.

 He got hit by a carOR He was hit by a car.

 You can also use the passive with get when you want to suggest that an action is more forceful or more important to you.

 I get paid on ThursdayOR I am paid on Thursday.

 We often get asked this questionOR We are often asked this question