The indefinite article: 'a' and 'an'

The indefinite article: ‘a’ and ‘an’

We use the indefinite article, a/an, with singular nouns when the listener/reader does not know exactly which one we are referring to: Police are searching for a 14-year-old girl. We also use it to show that the person or thing is one of a group: She is a pupil at London Road School. Police have been looking for a 14-year-old girl who has been missing since Friday. Jenny …

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Specific and general determiners

Specific and general determiners

Specific and general determiners Level: beginner Determiners are words which come at the beginning of noun phrases. They tell us whether a noun phrase is specific or general. Specific determiners The specific determiners are: the definite article: the possessives: my, your, his, her, its, our, their, whose demonstratives: this, that, these, those We use a specific determiner when we believe the listener/reader knows exactly what we are referring …

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Relative pronouns

Relative pronouns and relative clauses

Level: beginner The relative pronouns are: Subject Object Possessive who who/whom whose which which whose that that – We use relative pronouns to introduce relative clauses. Relative clauses tell us more about people and things: Lord Thompson, who is 76, has just retired. This is the house which Jack built. Marie Curie is the woman that discovered radium. We use: …

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Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite Pronouns

Level: beginner Some of the indefinite pronouns in English are: anybody everybody nobody somebody anyone everyone no one someone anything everything nothing something We use indefinite pronouns to refer to people or things without saying exactly who or what they are. We use pronouns ending in -body or -one for people, and pronouns ending in –thing for things: Everybody enjoyed the concert. …

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Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive Pronouns

The reflexive pronouns are: singular: myself yourself himself herself itself plural: ourselves yourselves themselves We use a reflexive pronoun as a direct object when the object is the same as the subject of the verb: I fell over and hurt myself. Be careful with that knife. You might cut yourself. We can use a reflexive pronoun as direct object with most transitive verbs, but these …

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Pronouns in Questions

Pronouns in Questions

We use who to ask questions about people: Who is that? Who lives here? Who did you see? We use whose to ask about possession: Whose coat is this? or Whose is this coat? Whose book is that?   or Whose is that book? Whose bags are those? or Whose are those bags? We use what to ask questions about things: What is that? What do you want? We use which to ask someone to choose something: Which came …

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'one' and 'ones'

‘one’ and ‘ones’

We use one (singular) and ones (plural): after an adjective: See those two girls? Helen is the tall one and Jane is the short one. Which is your car, the red one or the blue one? My trousers are torn. I need some new ones. after the: See those two girls? Helen is the one on the left. Let’s look at the photographs – the ones you took in Paris. after which in questions: …

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Demonstratives

Demonstratives

this and these We use this (singular) and these (plural) as pronouns: to talk about people or things near us: This is a nice cup of tea. Whose shoes are these? to introduce people: This is Janet. These are my friends John and Michael. Be careful! We say, This is John and this is Michael. (NOT These are John and Michael.) to begin a conversation on the phone: Hello, this is David. Can …

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Possessive Pronouns

Possessive Pronouns

Level: beginner Subject Object Possessive adjective Possessive pronoun I me  my mine you you your yours he him  his his she her  her hers it it its – we us  our ours they them  their theirs   Be careful! Possessive pronouns do not have an apostrophe: Is that car yours/hers/ours/theirs? (NOT Is that car your’s/her’s/our’s/their’s?) We can use a possessive pronoun …

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