Archive for August, 2011


The form of an adjective that is used when comparing things. For example:
He is taller than me.
The comparative is formed in different ways according to the length of the base adjective:
■ If it has one syllable, then the letters -er are added.
■ If the word has three syllables or more, then the word ‘more’ is added before the adjective: more attractive.
■ Words of two syllables vary: some add -er and some use ‘more’. Some can do either, for example clever.
The use of ‘more’ and adding -er are alternatives. It is wrong to use both together (e.g. more better).
Spelling: adding -er
■ If the word ends in a consonant, add –er (quick becomes quicker).
■ With words of one syllable with a short vowel sound and ending with a single consonant, double the consonant and add –er (sad becomes sadder).
■ With words of one syllable ending in –I, you normally do not double the l, but cruel becomes crueller.
■ If it ends in ‘e’, add –r (late becomes later).
■ If it ends in ‘y’, change the ‘y’ to an ‘i’ and add –er (happy becomes happier).

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When writing or speaking we often wish to show that one event depends on another in some way:
If the weather was fine, Maud liked to walk in Hyde Park.
One statement, Maud liked to walk in Hyde Park, is conditional upon the other the weather was fine.
Conditional clauses are usually introduced by either if or unless.
They can express a number of different meanings.
Common events
They can state general truths, such as:
If water penetrates window sills, doors, or their frames, the result is wet rot.
In sentences like this the verb is in the present tense. It is also possible to use the past tense to describe general truths about the past:
If the weather was fine, Maud liked to walk in Hyde Park.
Possible events
Conditional clauses can describe situations which have not yet happened, but are possible:
If it comes to court, you two can testify.
Here both verbs are in the present tense. Similar sentences can be constructed using unless:
Policemen don’t find bodies unless they are sent to look for them or unless someone else has found them first.
Here unless has the meaning of if…not…:
Policemen don’t find bodies if they aren’t sent to look for them or if someone else hasn’t found them first.
Future events
Very often conditional clauses speculate about events in the future. Such clauses can be open or closed. In an open conditional the speaker expresses no opinion about whether the future event is likely to happen or not:
If they succeed in that, Germany’s economy and its workers will be better off.
(The writer has no opinion of whether they will succeed or not.) In a closed condition the writer makes it clear that the future event is more or less unlikely:
If they were successful at this stage, they would then have to find the fee.
(But they are not likely to be successful.)
Past events
Conditional clauses can also be used to speculate about how things might have turned out in the past:
If they had been her own children, she would have used them differently.
But they weren’t her own children, so she treated them as she did. The condition cannot be fulfilled because it is impossible.
Clauses that are not introduced by a conjunction
It is possible to construct conditional clauses that do not begin with if or unless. The commonest way of doing this is to begin the clause with one of these words:
were  should  had
For example:
Were I to own a new BMW car, another ten microcomputers would be at my command, so their advertisements claim.
Should you succeed in becoming a planner, you would be helping to create these parameters.
Had I been in a vehicle, I could have gone back, but on foot it was not worth risking the wasted energy.

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watch THE ODYSSEY (7th E/M) full length movie

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Tom Sawyer: The main
character of the novel.
Everything revolves around
him, and, except for a few
brief chapters, he is present in
every chapter.
Aunt Polly: Tom’s aunt and
legal guardian. She loves Tom
dearly, but she does not know
how to control him.
Sidney Tom’s half brother
who plays the role of the
obedient boy but who is, in
reality, a sneak and a
Mary :Tom’s cousin. She likes
Tom very much but wants to
change him and resorts to
bribing him to be good.
Becky Thatcher The pretty
new girl to whom Tom is
attracted. When trapped in
the cave, she proves to be
resolute and worthy of Tom’s
Huckleberry Finn (Huck ):8
The son of the town drunk,
Huck has been the outcast
from society his entire life.
The adults look upon him as a
disgrace and a bad influence;
the youngsters look at him
with envy because he has
complete freedom to do
whatever he likes.
Widow Douglas The
wealthiest person in the
town, she is good,
kindhearted, and generous.
Because of her nature, Injun
Joe’s planned revenge- –
mutilating her- -becomes that
much more horrible. She is
saved by the activities of
Huck Finn and becomes his
Injun Joe: He is the villain, the
essence of evil in the novel.
Muff Potter The harmless
old drunk who is framed for
Dr. Robinson’s murder (which
was actually committed by
Injun Joe) .
Joe Harper Tom’s closest
friend and second in
command in Tom’s
adventures. He is not as
clever as Tom is, nor is he the
leader that Tom is. On
Jackson’s Island, Joe is the
first to want to return to the
security of home.
Judge Thatcher (and Mrs.
Thatcher) Becky’s parents
who are highly esteemed
members of the community.
The Judge uses his authority
to seal up the opening to the
cave to protect other
youngsters and, in doing so,
inadvertently seals up Injun
Mr. Dobbins The
schoolmaster. At the end of
the school year, the entire
school conspires to play a
trick on him.
Mr. Walters The Sunday
school superintendent who is
overly dedicated to his job.
The Reverend Mr. Sprague
The pastor of the village
Alfred Temple A new boy
from St. Louis. Becky uses
him to make Tom jealous.
Willie Mufferson The “model
boy” for all of the parents and
a despicable creature to all
the boys.
Amy Lawrence Tom’s
sweetheart–until he meets
Becky Thatcher.
Dr. Robinson The young
doctor who is murdered while
trying to obtain a body for
medical studies.
Mr. Jones (or the Welshman)
He and his sons are
instrumental in saving the
Widow Douglas from the
vicious Injun Joe.

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There are certain words which can only be used with countable nouns and not with uncountables. Other words can only be used with uncountables and not with countables.
little, less, least

little sustenance
few, fewer

few children

much food
many, several

many surprises
Some English speakers use less with countable nouns:
Sent off no less than 20 times in his career, Johnson is a surprisingly quiet and tender man.
This is not standard English and should be avoided in formal situations, especially in writing.

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We recommend five things
for learning English
1. Context and Exposure
See or hear the vocabulary
used in context
Sample contexts: reading
material, audio, video,
Sometimes you can guess
meaning from the situation.
What type of word is it
(noun, verb, adjective)?
Look at the words around it.
Try to read or listen to as
much English as possible
Choose from a variety of
2. Pictures and associations
Sometimes seeing groups of
related words can help
See our picture dictionary.
3. Understand Word Parts
(prefixes, suffixes, roots)
See our word parts lists here.
4. Recognize collocations
(words that go together)
Some words are commonly
used with other words
See our lists of collocations:
with verbs, with prepositions.
5. Consider connotations and
multiple meanings of words
Some words carry special or
emotional meanings
Example: house vs. home
Some words can have many
different meanings
Example: play, set, run

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it + passive
In formal writing it is quite common to begin a sentence with it followed by the passive form of the verb. For example:
It is felt that a person propelling a motorcycle with his legs astride the cycle and his feet on the ground by ‘paddling’ it, would be driving.
The sentence is taken from a legal text, so it needs to be precise. ‘It is felt’ is imprecise because it is unclear who it refers to. (And felt is rather a vague term.) Better to say:
If someone sits astride a motor cycle and uses their feet to ‘paddle’ it along the ground, then, in law, they are driving.
See also active or passive?

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