Term Archives

  1. It’s been said that English is one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn because it has so many exceptions to its own rules.  One problem students of English as a second language face are homophones – words that sound alike
  2. A diphthong is a glide from on pure vowel (monophthong) to another pure vowel. There are eight, but the first five are traditionally called the closing diphthongs. There are also centering diphthongs.
  3. Physically, the production of speech sounds starts from the lungs. Why I say ‘physically’? It is because as a matter of fact, speech production starts in the brain. The brain creates the message and the lexico-grammatical structures which then are executed by speech organs.
  4. Prefixes and suffixes are sets of letters that are added to the beginning or end of another word. They are not words in their own right and cannot stand on their own in a sentence: if they are printed on their own they have a hyphen before or after them.
  5. The infinitive is the base form of a verb. In English, when we talk about the infinitive we are usually referring to the present infinitive, which is the most common.
  6. The words there, their and they're are different and shouldn't be confused. The confusion may occur because the three words are homophones, pronounced in very similar ways.
  7. In a sentence, there is normally at least one verb that has both a subject and a tense. When a verb has a subject and a tense, it can be referred to as a finite verb. Some forms of a verb are referred to as non-finite. The present and past participles and the to infinitive are the most common of these.
  8. Verbs in English can be classified into two categories: stative verbs and dynamic verbs. Dynamic verbs (sometimes referred to as "action verbs") usually describe actions we can take, or things that happen
  9. The auxiliary verb DO is required to form questions with all verbs except BE and modal verbs. Here are some examples with Yes / No questions. Remember, it is impossible to ask these questions without the auxiliary verb DO.
  10. Essentially, there are two types of questions: Yes / No questions and Wh- questions. Wh- questions are so called because with the exception of the question word how, all the question words begin with the letters Wh.