Essay planner

Answer the following questions. They will help you organize your essay.
What is the topic of your essay? _________________________________.
Why are you writing this essay?(to inform,to entertain,to persuade,etc.)
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List several key facts that you want to cover in this essay.
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What do you want the readers of this essay to have learned or think about?
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Read over this paper and write your essay.

Types of Writing

The writing you’re required to do in your lifetime varies for example, timed writings and essay questions on exams; autobiographical essays for college applications; high-school and college papers on a variety of subjects; business letters, proposals, and reports related to your work. In most of your writing you’ll be doing one of the following:

Narrative

Narrative Writing tells a personal or fictional experience or tells a story based on a real or imagined event.

Expository
Expository writing is writing that is designed to convey information or explain what is difficult to understand.
Persuasive
Persuasive writing attempts to convince the reader to accept a particular point of view or to take a specific action.

Descriptive 
Descriptive writing attempts to create a clear image of something that the writer intends to describe to give a better idea to the reader about it.

1.Cause/Effect Essay

It is writing about meaningful relationships between events and their results. A cause is what made an event happen and an effect is what happens as a result of that event.
Good Cause/Effect:

Clearly distinguishes between a cause and an effect.
Establishes a clear thesis statement.
Presents information in an effective order.

2.Comparison/Contrast Essay

When you write about similarities and differences, you are writing a comparison/contrast essay.
Good Comparison/Contrast:

Uses subjects that have enough in common to be compared and or contrasted
Serves a purpose-either to help readers make a decision or understand the subjects being compared and/or contrasted
Presents several important, parallel points of comparison/contrast
Arranges points in a logical organization

3.Definition Essay

Writing that tells what something means.
Good Definition:

Tells readers what term or concept is being defined
Presents a clear and precise basic definition
Uses examples to show what the writer means
Uses words and examples that readers will understand

4. Description Essay

When you are writing a description essay, you are “painting a picture” with words
Good Description:

Creates a main impression-an overall effect, feeling, or image -about the topic
Uses concrete, specific details to support the main impression
Uses details that appeal to the five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch

5. Narration Essay

A narration essay is a writing that tells a story.
Good Narration:

Includes specific details to make the incident come alive for your reader
Focuses on re-creating an incident that happened to you over a short period of time (usually an emotional experience)
Conveys a particular mood (feeling) – do you want to suprise your readers, make them laugh, have them share in your sorrow or fear?

6. Persuasive Essay

In persuasive essays, you are writing to convinces others by presenting solid, supported arguments.
Good Persuasion:

Takes a strong and definite position on an issue or advises a particular action.
Gives logical reasons and supporting evidence to defend the position or recommend action.
Considers opposing views.
Has enthusiasm and energy from start to finish.

7. Process Analysis Essay

In a process analysis essay, you write to explain how to do something or how something works.
Good Process Analysis:

Either helps readers perform the steps themselves or helps them understand how something works
Presents the essential steps in a process
Explains steps in detail
Presents steps in logical order (usually time order – chronological)

Common English Errors

 COMMON ERRORS

ACTIVE vs PASSIVE A/P

FORMING THE PASSIVE

1. To form the passive, use BE + PAST PARTICIPLE (is left, are loved, was locked).

NO: The children in the movie were chasing by a crazed killer.

YES: The children in the movie were chased by a crazed killer.

NO: The students are accepting to the university.

YES:The students are accepted to the university.

NO: Are security officers allow to carry guns?

YES: Are security officers allowed to carry guns?

2. Modals (must, have to, can, etc.) form the passive MODAL + BE + PAST PARTICIPLE.

NO: The rule must explain later in this essay.

YES: The rule must be explained later in this essay.

NO: The workshop could providing for new students.

YES: The workshop could be provided for new students.

NO: Should security officers allow to carry guns?

YES: Should security officers be allowed to carry guns?

3. Intransitive verbs can’t use passive.

NO: The boy was suffered when he broke his leg.

YES: The boy suffered when he broke his leg.

NO: The Kentucky Derby was happened yesterday.

YES: The Kentucky Derby happened yesterday.

USING THE PASSIVE

4. Use the passive when the subject is acted upon.

NO: Sally challenged by her math class.

YES: Sallywas challenged by her math class.

NO: Stacy and Kim were enjoyed the senior prom.

YES: The promwas enjoyed by Stacy and Kim.

5. Use active voice when the subject is the actor.

NO: Roy was kicked the ball.

YES: Roykicked the ball.

NO: The child is enjoyed Italian ice cream.

YES: The childenjoyed Italian ice cream.

NO: If they had added the river scenes, the movie would have been lasted longer.

YES: If they had added the river scenes, the movie would have lasted longer.

ARTICLES ART

USING A/AN

6. We often use a/an when mentioning a noun for the first time.

NO: We had the vacation in Jamaica.

YES: We had a vacation in Jamaica.

7. Use a when you mean one of many.

NO: Cincinnati is the large city in the United States.

YES: Cincinnati is a large city in the United States.

8. Never use a/an with non-count nouns.

NO: I need an advice from my mentor about my schedule.

YES: I need advice from my mentor about my schedule.

YES: I need a piece of advice from my mentor about my schedule.

USING THE

9. Use the to identify a noun already mentioned.

NO: A cop patrols our street. I like a cop a lot.

YES: A cop patrols our street. I like the cop a lot.

10. Don’t use the in statements of general truth.

NO: Children should do household chores. The household chores teach responsibility.

YES: Children should do household chores. Household chores teach responsibility.

NO: The love is important to all people.

YES: Love is important to all people.

11. Use the with an abstract noun only when the noun is limited by a phrase or a clause.

NO: The liberty is celebrated on the Fourth of July.

YES: Liberty is celebrated on the Fourth of July.

YES: The liberty our founding fathers established is celebrated on the Fourth of July.

CLAUSES

ADJECTIVE CLAUSES ADJ CL

Adjective clauses modify nouns or pronouns.

12. That, which, and who act as subject of an adjective clause. Never use a double subject!

NO: I saw a movie which it was made in 1996.

YES: I saw a movie which was made in 1996.

YES: I saw a movie that was made in 1996.

13. That, which, and whom can act as direct objects in a clause. Never use a double object!

NO: I read the book which Tom bought it yesterday.

YES: I read the book which Tom bought yesterday.

YES: I read the book that Tom bought yesterday.

14. When, where, and why are never the subject of an adjective clause!

NO: I went to Camden Yards where was crowded.

YES: I went to Camden Yards which was crowded.

YES: I went to Camden Yards where it was crowded.

15. What never introduces an adjective clause. Use which or that.

NO: I know the books what he read.

YES: I know the books which/that he read.

16. Which must refer to a single noun. It cannot refer to a whole clause.

NO: Doctors operate on the heart which can be very dangerous.

YES: Doctors operate on the heart. That operation can be very dangerous.

NO: This essay is an interesting story of basketball which is very popular.

YES: This essay is an interesting story of basketball. Basketball is popular all over the world.

YES: This essay is an interesting story of why basketball is very popular.

ADVERB CLAUSES ADV CL

17. When a clause tells why, use because.

NO: I am going to pick soccer that it is a very popular sport.

YES: I am going to pick soccer, because it is a very popular sport.

18. So…that and because…so are used in cause-result clauses.

NO: It is so expensive to enter the program.

YES: It is so expensive to enter the program that he can’t participate.

YES: He can’t participate in that program because it is so expensive.

19. So…that is used with adjectives; such…that is used with nouns.

NO: She was so beauty that everyone fell in love with her.

YES: She was so beautiful that everyone fell in love with her.

YES: She was such a beauty that everyone fell in love with her.

20. If, when, and while clauses must be followed by a comma. Don’t add and or so.

NO: If the police don’t carry guns, so criminals will laugh at them.

YES: If the police don’t carry guns, criminals will laugh at them.

NO: When we went to the movies, and we ate popcorn.

YES: When we went to the movies, we ate popcorn.

NOUN CLAUSES N CL

21. Noun clauses follow regular subject-verb order. Do not use question order with noun clauses.

NO: I would like to know when will I have an internship.

YES: I would like to know when I will have an internship.

22. All clauses must have a subject and a verb.

NO: You recognize how children saying big words.

YES: You recognize how children say big words.

23. To indicate certainty, use that to introduce a noun clause.

NO: The children were afraid because they knew if the lion wanted to eat them.

YES: The children were afraid because they knew that the lion wanted to eat them.

NO: The police said if witnesses had seen the fight the night before.

YES: The police said that witnesses had seen the fight the night before.

24. To show doubt or ask a question, use if to introduce a noun clause.

NO: The children were afraid because they felt if the lion wanted to eat them.

YES: The children were afraid because they didn’t know if the lion wanted to eat them.

NO: The police asked that witnesses had seen the fight the night before.

YES: The police asked if witnesses had seen the fight the night before.

COMPARISONS COMP

EQUAL COMPARISONS

25. As…as is used with adjectives to compare qualities of two persons, places, or things.

NO: Her personality is sweet as Deanna’s.

YES: Her personality is as sweet as Deanna’s.

26. As…as is used with adverbs to compare two actions.

NO: Deaf children can learn to read as much as hearing children can.

YES: Deaf children can learn to read as well as hearing children can.

27. To compare two nouns, use similar to or the same as.

NO: Her personality is same as mine.

YES: Her personality is the same as mine.

YES: Her personality is similar to mine.

YES: Her personality is similar to my personality.

UNEQUAL COMPARISONS

28. Use more…than or -er…than in unequal comparisons.

NO: Ian is tall than Wilheim.

YES: Ian is taller than Wilheim.

NO: This chair is comfortabler than that chair.

YES: This chair is more comfortable than that chair.

29. In comparisons, use either more or er. Never use both.

NO: Moreover, a jeep is more cheaper than a sports car.

YES: Moreover, a jeep is cheaper than a sports car.

30. In superlatives, use the…most or the…-est.

NO: New York is the large city in America.

YES: New York is the largest city in America.

NO: That is one of saddest things about human beings.

YES: That is one of the saddest things about human beings.

YES: That is one of the most sad things about human beings.

PREFERENCE

31. In the present tense, would rather…than must be followed by the simple form of the verb.

NO: I rather eat ice cream than oatmeal.

YES: I would rather eat ice cream than eat oatmeal.

NO: I would rather working than go to school.

YES: I would rather work than go to school.

32. In the past tense, would rather have…than is used with the past participle.

NO: Last year, I would rather traveled to Paris than to Topeka.

YES: Last year, I would rather have traveled to Paris than to Topeka.

ED/ING

PSYCHOLOGICAL VERBS

When participles describe emotions or moods:
The past participle (VERB + ED) describes the person’s mental state or inner feelings.
The present participle (VERB + ING) describes the cause of the mental state or feeling.

NO: Carlo is very tempting to buy a new car this year.

YES: Carlo is very tempted to buy a new car this year.

YES: The new cars are very tempting.

NO: The students are frustrating by all the false fire alarms.

YES: The students are frustrated by all the false fire alarms.

YES: The false fire alarms are frustrating.

NO: Miller is interesting in exploring caves.

YES: Miller is interested in exploring caves.

YES: Exploring caves is interesting.

ACTION VERBS

33. When participles describe actions, the past participle (VERB + ED) is used to emphasize a completed action.

NO: The football player is playing with a breaking leg.

YES: The football player is playing with a broken leg.

34. When participles describe actions, the present participle (VERB + ING) is used to emphasize an ongoing process.

NO: We watched the firemen pour water on the burned house.

YES: We watched the firemen pour water on the burning house.

MISPLACED MODIFIERS MM

Modifiers must come after the noun they modify.

NO: Students must have a degree in a specific field for companies to hire them such as accounting, economics, business management.

YES: Students must have a degree in a specific field such as accounting, economics, business management for companies to hire them.

NO: The dog forgot about his dinner chewing on the old shoe.

YES: The dog,chewing on the old shoe, forgot about his dinner.

NON-COUNT NOUNS NC

When using a non-count noun:
Never add s to a non-count noun.
Always use a singular verb.
Never introduce a non-count noun with a/an.
Never use many with a non-count noun.

NO: Rosita did many researches for her paper.

YES: Rosita did much research for her paper.

NO: My classmate and I gave each other good feedbacks.

YES: My classmate and I gave each other good feedback.

NO: The climates are varied in the Grand Canyon.

YES: The climate is varied in the Grand Canyon.

PARALLELISM //

Words or phrases joined by and, but, or, or nor and words in a list must be grammatically the same (parallel).

NO: Children could come and enjoyed the books.

YES: Children could come and enjoy the books.

NO: Many companies want to hire college students and not hiring high school students.

YES: Many companies want to hire college students and not hire high school students.

YES: Many companies want to hire college students and not high school students.

NO: Parents make children think about their future responsibilities like married, kids, pay bills, and work.

YES: Parents make children think about their future responsibilities like marriage, kids, bills, and work.

YES: Parents make children think about their future responsibilities like being married, having kids, paying bills, and working.

NO: We may see problems such as children misbehaving and bored.

YES: We may see problems such as children misbehaving and acting bored.

NO: Parents don’t want their children to be lazy or going out.

YES: Parents don’t want their children to be lazy or to go out.

PARTS OF SPEECH PS

Parts of speech — adjectives, nouns, verbs, etc. have specific functions in a sentence.

ADJECTIVES

NO: He was so depression that he decided to kill himself.

YES: He was so depressed that he decided to kill himself.

NOUNS

NO: Children need to learn good habits and responsible.

YES: Children need to learn good habits and responsibility.

VERBS

NO: I came to Gallaudet because I wanted to social.

YES: I came to Gallaudet because I wanted to socialize.

YES: I came to Gallaudet because I wanted to have a social life.

PHRASES

A phrase is a group of words which acts as one word adjective, adverb, or noun.

ADJECTIVE PHRASES ADJ PH

35. Present participles commonly modify nouns.

NO: Children will behave better with the house look neat.

YES: Children will behave better with the house looking neat.

36. Past participles modify nouns when the meaning is passive.

NO: I already know about the internship providing at the Department of Education.

YES: I already know about the internship (being) provided at the Department of Education.

NOUN PHRASES N PH

37. Noun phrases Ü- gerunds, prepostion or infinitive phrases -Ü are commonly the subjects, compliments or the objects of the verb in the main clause.

NO: Graduate from college is his goal.

YES: To graduate from college is his goal.

YES: Graduating from college is his goal.

NO: His job requires know word processing.

YES: His job requiresknowing word processing.

38. Prepositions must be followed by a nominalÃœnoun, pronoun, gerund, noun phrase or noun clause.

NO: I think parents can give their kids an easy job like mow the lawn.

YES: I think parents can give their kids an easy job like mowing the lawn.

POSSESSIVES POSS

2. With things rather than people or animals, don’t use -‘s to show possession.

NO: The table’s leg is broken.

YES: A leg of the table is broken.

YES: The table leg is broken.

3. To show joint ownership, add -‘s to the last noun only.

NO: Jack’s and Jill’s new pail of water rolled down the hill.

YES: Jack and Jill‘s new pail of water rolled down the hill.

YES: Albert and Ingrid‘s new car couldn’t make it up the hill.

4. To show individual possession, add -‘s to each name.

NO: Albert and Ingrid’s noses have both been broken.

YES: Albert‘s and Ingrid‘s noses have both been broken.

PRONOUN/NOUN ANTECEDENT ANT

GENDER AND NUMBER

A pronoun must agree with its noun antecedent in gender and number.

NO: Elena rushed in the house, but she forgot to take off his coat.

YES: Elena rushed in the house, but she forgot to take off her coat.

NO: His books are overdue. He must return it to the library.

YES: His books are overdue. He must return them to the library.

NO: Students need to study hard or you will fail the exam.

YES: Students need to study hard or they will fail the exam.

EACH OTHER/ONE ANOTHER

Each other and one another indicate a relationship between two people or things. They refer to a plural subject.

NO: My roommate always gives each other good feedback.

YES: My roommate and I always give each other good feedback.

YES: My roommate and I always give one another good feedback.

OTHERS; A FEW/FEW; A LITTLE/LITTLE

1. Others is a pronoun which usually means ‘other people.’ Other is an adjective meaning ‘some more.’

NO: We visited the Smithsonian, the National Gallery, and others.

YES: We visited the Smithsonian, the National Gallery, and other museums.

YES: In Washington, we met congress people, tourists, and others.

2. A few means several. Few means not many.

NO: He said that he had enough money, but he borrowed few dollars from me anyway.

YES: He said that he had enough money, but he borrowed a few dollars from me anyway.

NO: A few people showed up, so the performance was canceled.

YES: Few people showed up, so the performance was canceled.

3. A little means some. Little means not much.

NO: I have little money, so we can go to the movies.

YES: I have a little money, so we can go to the movies.

NO: We have a little money, so we can’t go to the movies.

YES: We have little money, so we can’t go to the movies.

QUESTION FORMS QF

YES/NO QUESTIONS

Yes/No questions are formed by inserting the subject between the helping verb and the main verb. Person, number and tense are indicated by the helping verb. For example: She has gone. ??Has she gone?

NO: Has Janine money for the trip?

YES: Does Janine have money for the trip?

NO: Did they sold their car?

YES: Did they sell their car?

WH – QUESTIONS

4. Wh- questions (who, what, where, what kind of, how many, how much, how often) usually follow Yes-No question orderÃœthe subject is between the helping verb and the main verb.

NO: How much the program will cost?

YES: How much willthe program cost?

NO: Where the fish are biting?

YES: Where are the fish biting?

5. When who, what or which is the subject of the question, use regular subject-verb order.

YES: Whodanced till dawn?

YES: Whatis happening tonight?

SENTENCES

COMMA SPLICE CS

A comma splice occurs when two or more independent clauses are joined by a comma.

NO: The storm blew down a tree on my house, I had to call the insurance company.

YES: The storm blew down a tree on my house. I had to call the insurance company.

YES: After the storm blew down a tree on my house, I had to call the insurance company.

FRAGMENTS FRAG

Dependent clauses cannot stand alone. They must be connected to an independent clause.

NO: Although it is expensive to enter this program.

YES: Although it is expensive to enter this program, many people sign up.

NO: Because we players had some trouble with tackling and gave our coaches a hard time.

YES: Because we players had some trouble with tackling and gave our coaches a hard time, our coaches quit.

FUSED FUSED

A fused sentence has grammatical parts which are missing or used incorrectly.

NO: This movie was about aliens bombed the earth.

YES: This movie was about aliens who bombed the earth.

YES: This movie was about aliens bombing the earth.

NO: Linda doesn’t know how to sign language.

YES: Linda doesn’t know how to sign.

YES: Linda doesn’t know how to use sign language.

NO: Mary’s senior year tended to get good grades.

YES: Marytended to get good grades in her senior year.

NO: How old did you start playing video games?

YES: Whendid you start playing video games?

YES: How oldwereyou when you started playing video games?

NO: Some students feel attendance isn’t important and can just learn from reading the text book.

YES: Some students feel attendance isn’t important. They think they can learn from reading the text book.

YES: Some students feel attendance isn’t important, because they can just learn from reading the text book.

RUN-ONS

A run-on sentence is a sentence whose clauses are incorrectly joined.

NO: If I were in the teacher’s shoes, I would say it’s up to the students if they miss the homework assignment and why did they come to college anyway?

YES: If I were in the teacher’s shoes, I would say it’s up to the students if they miss the homework assignment. Why did they come to college anyway?

VERBS

INTRANSITIVE VERBS IV

Intransitive verbs are action verbs that can’t be followed by a direct object.

6. Intransitive verbs are followed by an adverb, prepositional phrase, verbal, or nothing at all.

NO: He suffered his body after the accident.

YES: He suffered horribly after the accident.

YES: He suffered after the accident.

NO: Marika never replied his letter.

YES: Marika never replied to his letter.

7. Intransitive verbs can never be passive.

NO: They were arrived in Italy on June 10th.

YES: They arrived in Italy on June 10th.

NO: The accident was happened yesterday while I was dancing.

YES: The accident happened yesterday while I was dancing.

LINKING VERBS LV

The linking verbs are :
be — am, is, are, were, being, been
five sense verbs — feel, see, smell, sound, taste
and a few others — appear, become, grow, look, seem.

8. Use a noun after a linking verb only when it renames the subject.

NO: Washington is humidity.

YES: Washington is a humid city.

NO: My roommate is a nice personality.

YES: My roommate is a nice person.

NO: Florida is a good vacation.

YES: Florida is a good vacation location.

YES: Florida is a good place for a vacation.

9. Use an adjective after a linking verb to describe the subject.

NO: Washington is humidity.

YES: Washington is humid.

NO: The beach is relaxation.

YES: The beach is relaxing.

10. If there introduces a clause, there must be followed by a linking verb. IT/THERE

NO: There has a delicious Vietnamese deli in my neighborhood.

YES: There is a delicious Vietnamese deli in my neighborhood.

NO: There have crowds and too many tourists there.

YES: There are crowds and too many tourists there.

TRANSITIVE VERBS TRV

Transitive verbs are action verbs that need a direct object, a nominalÃœnoun, pronoun, gerund, noun phrase or clause.

Transitive verbs must be followed by a nominal.

NO: Washington has humid.

YES: Washington has humidity.

NO: Ivan and Josef really enjoyed there.

YES: Ivan and Josef really enjoyed Paris in the spring.

YES: Ivan and Josef really enjoyed themselves last year.

NO: Kids learn responsible.

YES: Kids learn responsibility.

SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT S/V

Subject and verb must always agree.

NO: Congress always find a way to get money.

YES: Congress always finds a way to get money.

NO: Coffee cost more today.

YES: Coffee costs more today.

NO: At camp, there is snakes and bugs everywhere.

YES: At camp, there are snakes and bugs everywhere.

NO: Either our team or the Iowa State team are going to the finals.

YES: Either our team or the Iowa State team is going to the finals.

VERB FORM VF

Verb tense and voice must always follow regular patterns.

NO: Does she bought the supplies for the office?

YES: Does she buy the supplies for the office?

NO: Did Janice bought the equipment for the office?

YES: Did Janice buy the equipment for the office?

NO: She has been sunbathed at the beach every day.

YES: She has been sunbathing at the beach every day.

NO: She have not enough money. It is sad.

YES: She doesn’t have enough money. It is sad.

VERB FORM-MODALS AUX

Modals are in the USAGE DICTIONARY.

NO: He wears no clothes which may shocks the viewer.

YES: He wears no clothes which may shock the viewer.

NO: We would agreed with Ricardo who was very angry.

YES: We would agree with Ricardo who was very angry.

NO: Can you imagined life without TV?

YES: Can you imagine life without TV?

YES: Could you imagine life without TV?

VERB PATTERNS VP

Some verbs are often followed by verbals. There are five basic verb-verbal patterns.

NO: Napoleon chose marrying Josephine.

YES: Napoleon chose to marry Josephine. verb + infinitive

NO: He is enjoying to study all about Mars.

YES: He is enjoying studying all about Mars. verb + gerund

NO: He began learn French in the sixth grade.

YES: He began to learn French in the sixth grade. verb + infinitive

YES: He began learning French in the sixth grade. verb + gerund

NO: Their parents let them to help with the chores.

YES: Their parents let them help with the chores. verb + object + simple form of verb

NO: The audience saw the magician pulled the rabbit out of the hat.

YES: The audience saw the magician pull the rabbit out of the hat.verb + object + simple form of the verb

NO: He allowed his gangster friends borrow his car.

YES: He allowed his gangster friends to borrow his car. verb + object + infinitive

VERB TENSE VT

k. Sequence of tenses

1. Use the present tense to express a current opinion, belief, or state of mind about a past event.

NO: I remembered the best time I ever had in Ghana.

YES: I remember the best time I ever had in Ghana.

2. If the verb in the independent clause is in the future tense, don’t use the future tense in the dependent clause.

NO: I will pay you when I will get my pay check.

YES: I will pay you when I get my pay check.

NO: I will pay you when I am getting my pay check.

YES: I will pay you when I get my pay check.

3. Use the present perfect to express actions that begin in the past and continue to the present.

NO: The new freshman was lonely since he arrived in September.

YES: The new freshman has been lonely since he arrived in September.

NO: For years scientists wanted to know if Mars is like the earth.

YES: For years scientists have wanted to know if Mars is like the earth.

4. Use past continuous to describe an action in progress at the time of another action.

NO: He was standing outside the court house.

YES: He was standing outside the court house while the trial was going on.

NO: The Chinese were using gun powder.

YES: The Chinese were using gun powder when Marco Polo arrived there.

l. Use of present tense
Use the simple present tense to express general truths, repeated or habitual actions, and states or qualities of being.

NO: Libraries had books.

YES: Libraries have books.

NO: The earth was round.

YES: The earth is round.

NO: The traffic is giving people a headache every day.

YES: The traffic gives people a headache every day.

NO: The soup is tasting sour.

YES: The soup tastes sour.

m. Conflicts with adverbs of time ADV T

Adverbs of time are commonly associated with only one verb tense.

NO: I know him all my life.

YES: I have known him all my life.

NO: I am drinking coffee every day.

YES: I drink coffee every day.

That or which

Using “which” and “that” correctly

Summary

This article provides a simple guideline for choosing between “which” and “that”. article provides a simple guideline for choosing between “which” and “that.

 Consider the following sentences. Both are acceptable, but their meanings are subtly different:

The books, which have red covers, are new.

The books that have red covers are new.

In the first sentence, the words “which have red covers” are adding information about the books. That is, they’re telling you more about the books than you’d otherwise have known. (They’re red, not some other colour.) All of the books are new.

In the second sentence, the words “that have red covers” are limiting which books we’re talking about. We’re no longer talking about all the books; we’re only talking about the ones with red covers. So this time, only the red books are new.

Now, here’s our rule of thumb: Use which (surrounded by commas) if a group of words adds information. Use that if it limits the set of things you’re talking about.

Here are two more examples just to make that clear:

Classes that are held on Wednesdays are in building 206.

Leap years, which have 366 days, contain an extra day in February.

In the first sentence, the words “that are held on Wednesdays” are limiting the type of classes that we’re talking about. (We’re not talking about all the classes, only the ones held on Wednesdays.) We thus use that.

In the second sentence, the words “which have 366 days” are adding information. We thus use which surrounded by commas.

see also:

[intlink id=”291″ type=”post”]who or whose[/intlink]

and

[intlink id=”294″ type=”post”]who or whom[/intlink]

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.