English Study Card

Intermediate – Advanced

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This section provides easy to understand explanations to help you get the most out of your English Study Card. It takes you through the layout and content and it gives you a brief explanation of each topic with examples.

The Glossary section on the website gives you a definition of the different grammar terms. Remember that you can use your English Study Card with any text book you may be using.

english study card

 

 

 Practising your exercises out loud helps you absorb the language effectively.

The English Study from Intermediate to Advanced displays 28 independent tables with the most important grammar elements such Passive Voice, Perfect Tenses. Reported Speech, Conditionals, etc.

The Personal Pronouns and the Verb to Be determine the colours used throughout the card.

  • The personal pronouns (I, you, he, she, it, we, you and they), are represented in a light shade of yellow, purple, green and salmon.
  • The conjugations of the verb to be  (am, is are), are represented in the same colour but in a darker shade.
VERB TO BE - DIFFERENT TENSES
  • This table shows you the conjugation of the verb to be in 11 different tenses for easy reference.

The verb to be is used incorrectly quite often. Some things to remember:

  • Don’t use the auxiliaries do, did, with the verb to be.

Try to avoid this: I am go.  You may be trying to say either “I go”, or “I am going”. Look at your table carefully, and you’ll find the logic behind the use of the verb to be. Create your own sentences and repeat them out loud so they become natural to you, the next time you find yourself saying “I am go”, you will immediately notice it’s wrong.

WORD ORDER

English keeps a very standard structure, unlike other languages. The couple of tables in your card show you the word order that the sentences follow.

It’s very straightforward:

The person who does the action + the action + the affected person or thing + place + time.

Note that the only difference between the affirmative and negative structure with the interrogative is the position of the auxiliary and the subject.

Example:

She has lived in New York since 2006.

Has she lived there for long?

 

 

CONTRACTIONS

Contractions are very common in oral and informal written form.

This table shows you the contractions for to be, have, has, will, would and had for the different pronouns.

There are contractions that are the same such as s in he’s been, and he’s being, is different.  The first one is the contraction of he has. The second one is the contraction of he is.

Always look at the word that goes after the contracted word to know which word is being contracted.

Example:

He’s being kind.

He’s been kind. (Has/have are followed by the past participle: gone, written, done, etc.).

He’d been kind. (Had is followed by the past participle: gone, written, done, etc.).

He’d be kind. ( Would is followed by the infinitive without to).

ADJECTIVE ORDER

In English, when you describe something, the description usually follows a certain order.

Example:

I bought a pair of beautiful brown leather boots. (opinion, colour, material, noun)

The table in your card shows the order of the characteristics, size, age, shape, etc.

SO, NEITHER, TOO

SO

This is another way of saying: “me too”. It agrees with the speaker. However, you need to use the same auxiliary that corresponds to the tense the speaker has used.

Example:

“I have a headache” (Present) – So do I, so does she, so do they.

I have seen that movie” (Present Perfect) – So have I, so has she, so have they.

I will miss you” (Future) – So will I, so will she, so will they.

I lived in Bierritz” (Past) – So did I, so did she, so did they.

NEITHER

Neither works the same as SO, but with negative statements. Note that the auxiliary remains the same.

Example:

“I don’t have time” (Present) – Neither do I, neither does she, neither do they.

I haven’t seen that movie” (Present Perfect) – Neither have I, neither has she, neither have they.

I won’t call you” (Future) – Neither will I, neither will she, neither will they.

I didn’t like the food” (Past) – Neither did I, neither did she, neither did they.

TOO

This is also used to agree with the speaker in positive statements. The only difference with SO, is that TOO goes at the end of the sentence.

Example:

“I have a headache” (Present) – I do too, she does too, they do too.

I lived in Bierritz” (Past) – I did too, she did too, they did too.

 

QUESTION TAGS

Question tags are used in spoken informal English. They are not questions, but more of a way to make conversation or keep a conversation open.

  • The Question Tag is formed with the auxiliary that corresponds to the statement. If it’s a positive statement, make a negative tag, if it’s a negative statement, make a positive tag.

Example:

You are French, aren’t you?

Sinead has a daughter, doesn’t she?

Paul has been to Germany before, hasn’t he?

You aren’t angry, are you?

This town isn’t very big, is it?

PRESENT PERFECT
  • The Present Perfect expresses an action or a state of being in the present that has some connection with the past.
  • It also expresses something that has just finished.
  • To form the Present Perfect, you need the auxiliary verb have and has (for he, she, it) and the past participle of the verb.

Example:

Patty has worked in the same place for 15 years.

Alex and Tanya have studied German since 2014.

I’ve just bought a new phone.

  • The negative is formed with hasn’t and haven’t.

Example:

They haven’t told me if I got the job or not. 

She hasn’t bought the tickets yet.

  • To form the interrogative, just invert the pronoun or noun and the past participle.

Have you ever had carnitas?

Where have you been lately?

PAST PERFECT
  • The Past Perfect tells you that an event in the past happened before another event.
  • The Past Perfect is formed with the auxiliary verb had (used with all the persons) and the verb in past participle.

Example:

By the time I got home, they had already eaten all the food.

Luckily I had saved my documents before the computer crashed.

  • To form the negative, use had not / hadn’t

Example:

I didn’t know he hadn’t slept in days.

John hadn’t told anybody he was coming, he surprised us all.

  • To form the interrogative, just invert the pronoun and the auxiliary had.

Example:

Had you been to any of his concerts before today?

Had Amy and Tom left before John arrived?

FUTURE PERFECT
  • Future Perfect talks about something that has not happened yet in relation to another event in the future.
  • To form the Future Perfect use will + have + past participle.

Example

This time next week we will have already finished the exams.

You have to leave now, otherwise, by the time you get there, she will have left.

  • The negative is formed with won’t instead of will.
  • To form the interrogative, just invert will and the pronouns.

Example:

It’s 6.00pm, will they have arrived already?

 

PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS
  • It’s used to talk about things that started in the past and still continue in the present. The Present Perfect Continuous emphasises the continuity of the action.
  • The Present Perfect Continuous is formed with have / has + been + verb + ing.
  • Use haven’t or hasn’t to form the negative form.
  • For the interrogative, just invert the pronoun and the auxiliary verb has / have.

Example:

We have been seeing each other since April last year.

Tony has been working in the warehouse for 4 years now.

You haven’t been practising as you used to.

Have you been working out? You look great.

PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS
  • It is used to express that something was in progress before another action or situation.
  • To form the Past Perfect Continuous, use the auxiliary verb had + been + verb + ing.
  • Use hadn’t for the negative form.
  • Invert the pronoun or noun and the auxiliary verb had.

Example:

I had to go to the dentist because I had been having pain in my front tooth.

It had been raining every day, so we couldn’t do much.

She hadn’t been practising enough, that’s why she had a hard time qualifying.

Had she been keeping in touch with you before she moved away?

FUTURE PERFECT CONTINUOUS
  • The Future Perfect Continuous is used to express an action in progress in the future. But in this case, you project yourself forward in time and then look back.
  • It’s formed by using will + have + been + verb + ing.
  • The negative is formed with won’t.
  • The interrogative is formed by inverting the noun or pronoun and will.

Example:

By the time we land, we will have been talking for 5 hours.

Alex will have been reading for 4 hours by the time the bookshop closes.

How long will you have been studying when you graduate?

 

DEFINING CLAUSES
  • Relative clauses can join two sentences together or give more information about something.
  • A defining relative clause tells you which noun you are talking about. The information in this clause is essential.
  • As indicated in your table, you use who or that, when you refer to people and which, that when referring to things.

Example:

The man who lived here was German.

The car that is parked across the street is Kevin’s.

NON -DEFINING CLAUSES
  • These clauses give you extra information about something. The information is not needed to understand the sentence.
  • You use which to refer to things, and who to refer to people.
  • One characteristic of these clauses is that the extra information is separated by commas.

Example:

Jim, who is married to Nina, is an artist.

This house, which is 400 hundred years old, used to be a school.

 

REPORTED SPEECH
  • Reported speech is when you report what someone else has said.
  • When you don’t use the speaker’s exact words, you need to transform the direct speech into indirect speech.
  • Your table shows you the changes that need to happen in some tenses.
  • Note that when you use reported speech, you need to change pronouns, tense, place and time expressions.

Example:

Direct: I don’t know what to do about this issue.

Reported: He said (that) he didn’t know what to do about that issue.

INDIRECT YES / NO QUESTIONS
  • Indirect questions are usually used as a way of being polite.
  • The questions: Can you tell me…? Could you tell me..? Do you know…? are very common when using indirect questions.
  • Since you already have a question, the rest of the information has to be changed into a positive sentence.
  • A direct yes / no question begins with does, did, are, will, should, can, has, have, would, etc.
  • To form an indirect yes / no question you need to use if or whether and change the structure to positive.

Example:

Direct: Is Claude French?

Indirect: Do you know if Claude is French?

Direct: Does John have a ticket for the concert?

Indirect: Do you know if John has a ticket for the concert?

INDIRECT WH-QUESTIONS
  • Indirect questions are usually used as a way of being polite.
  • The questions: Can you tell me…? Would you tell me..? Do you know…? are very common when using indirect questions.
  • Since you already have a question, the rest of the information has to be changed into a positive sentence.
  • A wh-question begins with question words such as where, what, when, how, etc.
  • To form an indirect wh-question change the sentence to a positive structure after the wh- question.

Example:

Direct: What time is it?

Indirect: Do you know what time it is?

Direct: Where does Greg live?

Indirect: Do you know where Greg lives?

Direct: What time did the plane land?

Indirect: Could you tell me what time the plane landed?

 

CONDITIONALS

Your card shows  4 types of Conditionals with examples.

  • Conditional tenses are used to express what happens under certain circumstances. What could happen or what we wish would happen.
  • Conditionals have an if clause and a main clause.
  • Use a comma after the if clause.

 

  • Type 0 Conditional. This type of Conditional is used to express facts and general truths. When the time being referred to is now or always and the situation is real. The if clause and main clause are both in the Present tense.

Example:

If you heat butter, it melts.

Butter melts if you heat it.

  • Type 1 Conditional. This type of Conditional is used to refer to a possible condition and result based on real conditions in the present.
  • The if clause is in Present, the main clause is in Future.

Example:

If you drink plenty of fluids, you will get better soon.

You will get better soon if you drink plenty of fluids.

  • Type 2 Conditional. This Conditional is used to refer to a hypothetical situation and its possible result.
  • The if clause is in Past and the main clause is formed with the modal verb would.

Example:

If I won the lottery, I would travel around the world.

I would travel the world if I won the lottery.

  • Type 3 Conditional. This Conditional is used to refer to an unreal past condition and its possible result.
  • The if clause is in Past Perfect and the main clause is formed with would have and the past participle of the verb.

Example:

If I had charged my phone, I wouldn’t have missed his call.

I wouldn’t have missed his call if I had charged my phone.

 

WISHES AS REGRETS
  • A regret in the present is when you wish things were different from the way they are today.
  • A regret in the past is when you are sorry for something which happened or didn’t happen. You wish it had been different.
  • When you have a regret in the Present, you express it by using wish and the verb in the Past tense.

Example:

I wish I had more time. I don’t have time.

  • When you want to express a regret in the Past, you use wish and the Past perfect tense.

Example:

I wish I hadn’t eaten too much. I ate too much.

  • You can also express impatience by saying you wish things were different using wish and would.

Example:

I wish he would hurry up, I’m so late.  He’s taking his time and he’s delaying me.

  • Use wish and could to express the desire of nearly impossible situations.

Example:

I wish I could fly. I can’t fly.

PASSIVE VOICE
  • The Passive Voice is used when the person doing the action is not important, but the action itself.
  • To form the Passive Voice you need to use the verb to be in and the verb in Past Participle.
  • The Passive Voice in your card shows the verb to be in 11 different tenses.

Example:

The old painting was sold for a quarter of its worth.

The public has been advised to buy the tickets in advance due to high demand.

It’s an honor to be invited to such an important event.

The deadline for the final project should have been respected.

 

HAVE THINGS DONE
  • When you want to say that someone does a service for you, unlike other languages, you need to use a specific structure. You need to use have or get, the object being serviced, repaired, painted, etc. and the past participle of the verb.

Example:

I will have the carpet washed this weekend.

Ryan needs to get the car serviced soon.

We had our photo taken by the photographer Sergio Melendez.

PARTICIPLE ADJECTIVES

This table gives you a few examples of participle adjectives.

  • Participle Adjectives look like verbs but they are adjectives, words used to describe something or someone. They end in -ed or -ing.
  • Use the participle Adjective with ed ending when you want to talk about feelings.

Example:

I was really bored during the movie. (Not: I was really boring during the movie.)

  • Use the participle Adjective with ing ending when you want to give an opinion.

Example

The movie was really boring. (Not: The movie was really bored.)

 

GET
  • This table displays different examples of the meanings of the verb get.
  • Get usually means to obtain, but when you use get and an adjective, the meaning changes to to become.

Example:

Go back home, it’s getting dark.

  • Get can have different meanings after specific nouns.

Example:

Get the bus  – to catch

 Get home – to arrive

  Get a letter – to receive

To get it – to understand

  • Get and participles or prepositions can have different meanings.

Example:

Get off – to descend

Get in – to enter

Get around – to circulate

 

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