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Recognizing verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs...Level 1
Why should we try to know the nature of the words we use? The answer is obvious... Because when we decide to write something in English, it may be useful, or even indispensable to know a few facts: the adjective mustn't be in the plural even if the qualified noun is. the verb mustn't be here, or there, but has (in your opinion) a compulsory, completely "unnatural" place or structure! It must agree or not, with its subject, that it is countable... or not! and many other tricks! We know that most mistakes are due to a wrong knowledge of the nature of the words...
Please, take your time to watch the picture, some words will be suggested and you'll try to build the right sentence corresponding to the context. Don't be frightened, you'll be helped and guided all along the process...
Let's recognize verbs, nouns, adverbs, and adjectives ...
In order to determine the grammatical category of a word, (its NATURE), the words preceding and following it must always be considered.
- a modal auxiliary (can/ could/ may/ might/ should etc.) is always followed by the BASE VERB .
- TO is followed either by a verb (then, it is an infinitive : to go/ to work/ to run) or, by a noun/ pronoun (it's a preposition = ... to school/ ... to him); yet, TO and FRO is adverbial. Prepositions are usually followed by a NOUN (- in the garden/ on the table / under the book...) The preposition "OF" is either followed by a noun or a verb + ING.
- dozens of eggs/ the door of the class room= NOUN + of + NOUN = the second noun complements the first one // tired of working= adjective+ OF +verb + ING
- An adjective may be next to a noun (a red dress) or may follow a stative verb (the girl is tired/ she became ill/ pretty). It always qualifies a noun/ or a pronoun but is never in the plural.
- In the phrases "came in/ ran away/ take again" etc. , in, away, again modify the meaning of a verb. They're adverbs.
In this Picture: Let's imagine what the man is scolding his wife/ fiancée/or maid... Help yourselves with the "guide" below, please, match the letter and the convenient word.
« There (a) no (b) to (c) ... (d) it now, I (e) seeing you (f) like a (g)...
- After "there", we are expecting a VERB, or rather an auxiliary (a stative one, or a modal one) : there/ is/ are/ will be/ can be/ should be...
- Behind a subject and a verb, a sentence in English needs a DOC (Direct Object Complement or Predicate) which is often a NOUN (or nominal group).
- "TO" may be a preposition (followed by a nominal group) or the infinitive particle "TO", which will then be followed by a VERB.
- In line (e), verbs are suggested (without TO, without S, like the verb base) => don't forget the imperative mode (used to give orders).
- "You" subject personal pronoun, is followed by a VERB.
- "a" is an indefinite determiner preceding a NOUN.
(a) was – are – will - have – do - give
(b) people – reasons – students – mistakes – cars
(c) scare – write - cry (pleurer) – laugh – sneeze
(d) Open – Go - Stop – Keep – Laugh – Write
(e) keep – hate – love – buy – send – run
(f) run - drive – act – sleep – answer – ask
(g) dog – cat – child – man – monster – kid
« There are no reasons to cry !... Stop it now, I hate seeing you act like a kid!..."
Based on these observations ( which, in fact, are rules - please, hush... ... let's not use scary words! ), you are now ready to confront a famous text, a "classic", Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
Please, make an effort to find "The Tiny Door" (which I have enlarged a little, for your sake) and everything will be more than fine! Have fun!
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