PHRASAL VERBS

Though everything can be learned, nothing can be taught and this is truer in trying to teach a language than in anything else.

For decades I have been trying to teach phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs are phrases of usually two words, the first being a verb and the second a preposition. This is a hot topic when you are being tested for your knowledge of the language. And most children mess it up.There are too many we don’t use now, and there too many coming in which doesn’t make the problem any easier.

The students were made to sit around in groups of five and asked to utter a sentence in which a phrasal verb is present.

OK, then the five others have to alter at least three or four words of that sentence except the phrasal verb and repeat it. They don’t have to find a new context and they are not doing rote repetition and they have a fair amount of creative work to do. Noam Chomsky says that any sentence you utter has a mark of creativity on it.

This activity is moderately successful. Moderate success is both an excuse and an encouragement for further experiments.

So, after trying several other methods the following method was developed, partly from the students’ contribution and partly from my frustration.

Instead of using a list in which the phrasal verbs are arranged alphabetically (which means the prepositions in them which come second are in random order) I rearranged my list clustering the ones with the same prepositions together. I got a good number of clusters since there are several phrasal verbs that feature the same preposition. The preposition ‘up’ turns up in many of them.

One of these clusters, with twenty phrasal verbs all ending in ‘out’, was given to them and were asked to come up with a short article or a note or an anecdote in which the maximum number of these phrasal verbs were present.

“Sir, can it be a story?”

An expected question.

“Of course, but the point is to make it as short as possible with as many of them as possible,” I replied.

I had a second thought.
I said, “You can even write a verse using them. Since the second word is the same preposition, it will be easy to rhyme.”

I too sat down to write one. When there is some writing to be done, I find the kids angels. Even they don’t know they are there.

“Sir, is it OK if it is a rap?”

An unexpected question/

“Then you will have to come here and rap it out!”

I told them the story of the Afro-American judge who rapped out a verdict of 1800 lines to a culprit who was a well know rapper.

“Wow, that is cool. THAT IS cool!”

Fifteen minutes later, I got up with twenty lines and told the class that they may come and read theirs out. Some whispered a vehement ‘no’.

“Anyway, I am going to read out mine. Not because it is mine, it is pretty good.”

Hooting from my unfortunate audience.

I read out my work and acknowledged the comments.

Another group read out a story. So tight and so memorable. They went back to versify it.

Now a girl came to the front of the class and said she needed the help of her friend to rap it out with gestures and all.

Then she began and the class was in rapt attention.

A spellbound English class, wow!

Everyone began to move their shoulders and then their heads and then their whole body but still very attentive.

It was really a good rap. The whole class burst out in accolade as she finished.

And I was witnessing the world’s greatest way to teach phrasal verbs.

Remedial Grammar

I

Choose formal usage. 

  1. During the Vietnam War, Admiral Elko Zumwalt, (was, were) commanding a special group of sailors in small boats.
  2. These boats (was, were) called “brown-water” units because they patrolled the muddy rivers of South Vietnam.
  3. Under Admiral Zumwalt’s command (was, were) his own son Lieutenant Elmo Zumwalt III.
  4. The brown-water casualty rates (was, were) running at seventy percent.
  5. The most dangerous enemy for Zumwalt’s patrol boats (was, were) the snipers in the bushes near the rivers.
  6. Admiral Zumwalt decided to use a chemical defoliant to strip the snipers’ cover in the vegetarian along the river bank.
  7. The chosen defoliant (was, were) called Agent Orange.
  8. Though its side-effects on the human body (was, were) not fully understood, Agent Orange was a proven defoliant in the United States.
  9. American planes dropped Agent Orange along the riverbanks, and soon the foliage there (was, were) dying.

10. As the snipers lost their cover, the week casualty rate in Zumwalt’s command (was, were) dropping rapidly.

11. By the time all the foliage (was, were) gone, the rate was down to less than one percent.

12. The jungle hideouts of the enemy had been eliminated, and United States ships under Zumwalt (was, were) able to patrol with little fear of snipers.

13. Several years after returning home, Admiral Zumwelt’s son became ill with Hodgkin’s disease and lymphoma.

14. By this time, there (was, were) clear links between these forms of cancer and Agent Orange.

15. Young Zumwalt fought the disease bravely for many years while researchers (was, were) struggling to find a remedy.

16. He died in the summer of 1988 at the age of 42.

17. What (has, have) been the Zumwalts’ feelings about Agent Orange?

18. Because so many combat sailors’ lives (was, were) saved , Zumwalt and his son believed completely in the rightness of the Admiral’s decision to defoliate the hideouts with Agent Orange.

19. Today Admiral’s grandson (are, is) suffering from a severe learning disability.

20. These same side-effects from Agent Orange (has, have) been turning up in many Vietnam veterans and their children and also in many families in South Vietnam.

II

Some of the sentences in this exercise contain subject- verb agreement errors.  Rewrite them correctly. 

  1. There seem to be no limit to the ways humans have found to decorate their faces.
  2. Wall paintings of Egyptian faces from five thousand years ago reveal the use of eye shadow and of shaped eyebrows.
  3. The aborigines of Australia has decorated their faces in traditional designs for many thousands of years.
  4. On the faces of American Indian warriors were painted bright stripes of war paint.
  5. Would you smear a paste of fresh bacon grease and egg white on your face?
  6. That paste was used by ladies of seventeenth century England to achieve a chic, white look.
  7. Both sexes at that time was known to use false eyebrows of mouse hair and wigs of horses’ tails.
  8. During this period many faces was ravaged with disease and malnutrition, and so powders and rouge helped disguise these facial disfigurements.
  9. How was those people to know about the poisonous lead and other dangerous ingredients in their cosmetics?

10. Another cosmetic device in these times were to disguise smallpox scars with smalls hearts, moons or stars of black silk.

11. There was a gradual decline in the use of cosmetics, pastes and powders in the nineteenth century as health improved and as soap and water were used to bring out a natural look.

12. Today males in our culture has almost given up any artificial decoration of the face.

13. But, for most of today’s females cosmetics seems to be a necessity.

14. On the face of the contemporary woman appears the products of  a multi-million-dollar industry in the form of eye lashes, eye shadow, mascara, rouge, skin creams and toners, lipstick, and, lately, cosmetic contact lenses.

15. Will our great-great-grandchildren think of us as very strange creatures?

Remedial Grammar Worksheet/Le’cole Chempaka International/1/2/2013/SK/

Reporting Questions

Reporting Questions

Most of the time, we are asking questions. As you know, asking questions is a wonderful way of seeking and finding information. Sometimes we have to ask the same questions to different people to find the right answer.

In that case, we may have to repeat other people’s questions to find the answer. We may have to report those questions.

A question cannot be reported as such. We have to change the ‘question form’ into ‘statement form’ in order to report a question.

Remember: In a question the operative comes before the subject.

In a statement the subject comes before the operative.

Change these questions into statement clauses:

  1. Where are you going when you leave this place?
  2. How did he live alone all these years?
  3. When will he come home to see his parents?
  4. Who are you to prevent me from entering my house?
  5. What is the name of that large snake about which they made a movie?
  6. Which is the easiest way to the temple?
  7. When did they come back from that place?
  8. How do you know that my uncle lives in Chennai?
  9. What did he take with him when he went there?
  10. How did they catch such a huge tiger without using a sedative?

 

Remember:

Quotation mark and question mark are not used in reported speeches.

The tense is pushed one step back into the past.

 

 

Report these sentences:

  1. Our teacher said, “Students, who can help me to find the answer?”

___________________________________________________________

  1. My father said, “How will they come?”

___________________________________________________________

  1. She said, “Doctor, what is wrong with me?”

___________________________________________________________

  1. He said, “Meera, where is your notebook?”

___________________________________________________________

  1. She said, “Sneha, when do you go to school?”

___________________________________________________________

  1. They asked the officer, “Who has done this to us?”

___________________________________________________________

  1. Seena asked her brother, “Where were you?”

___________________________________________________________

  1. Sonia asked her father, “Where did you go yesterday?”

___________________________________________________________

  1. Arun asked his teacher, “How did I do in the test?”

___________________________________________________________

  1. Tanya asked her friend, “Whom did you visit there?”

___________________________________________________________

  1. The students asked the foreman, “How does the machine work?”

___________________________________________________________

  1. The old man said, “Friends, what can we do now?”

___________________________________________________________

Sreekumar. K/English/Basic Grammar/11.1

 

Reported Speech (Lesson)

Reported Speech

English teacher: This is a very important lesson.

Our English teacher said that this was a very important lesson.

The first sentence contains the actual words of the speaker. Usually this appears in quotations, like,

The English teacher said, “This is a very important lesson.”

However, when you go home and tell this to your mother, you will change some of the words.

Our English teacher said that this was a very important lesson.

This way of reporting someone else’s speech is called reported speech. There will not be any quotation marks in reported speech.

Examples:

  1. My father said that he was very tired.
  2. The conductor said that there was no more space in he bus.
  3. The old man said that he wanted to catch the town bus.
  4. My uncle said that he would come to visit us the next day.
  5. My brother said that he was feeling much better.

Make meaningful reported sentences from the following table.

My father said that he she would visit our school today.
My mother said she was looking an exam that day.
The students said that they had come to pick me up.
The teacher said that that she would give us a test next month
My friend said that would for her brother.
The news reporter her family had he had seen the accident.
The young girl said that said that moved to north india.

When we change direct speeches into reported speeches we change the original words into past tense.

‘I, we, you, me, my, us, our,’ and ‘your’, are not usually seen in reported speeches. They become ‘he, she, they, his, her, him, their’ and ‘them’.

Instead of ‘today, tomorrow’ and ‘yesterday’, we use ‘that day, the next day’ and ‘the previous day’.

The following changes also occur:

Now becomes then

Here becomes there

This becomes that

These becomes those

Report these sentences:

  1. Our teacher said, “I am going home.”

___________________________________________________________

  1. My father said, “My purse is missing.”

___________________________________________________________

  1. She said, “My child is sick.”

___________________________________________________________

  1. He said, “They are looking for me.”

___________________________________________________________

  1. She said, “I can’t find my shoes.”

___________________________________________________________

  1. They said, “We have a lot of work to finish.”

___________________________________________________________

  1. Seena said to her brother, “You are very smart.”

___________________________________________________________

  1. Sonia said to her father, “ My mother is calling you.”

___________________________________________________________

  1. Arun said to his teacher, “I have finished my work.”

___________________________________________________________

  1. Tanya said to her friend, “Both my parents are abroad.”

___________________________________________________________

  1. The students said, “We were playing in the garden.”

___________________________________________________________

  1. The villagers said, “Many people have visited us.”

___________________________________________________________

Sreekumar. K/English/Basic Grammar/11.0

Conditional Clauses

Conditional Clauses

Sentences with ‘if’ in them are called conditional sentences. The clause which contains ‘if’ is called a conditional clause.

2.1. It is 8:40 now. Walk fast, otherwise you will be late.

If you walk slowly, you will be late.

2.2. It is made of glass. Hold it properly. Don’t drop it.

If he drops it, it will break.

Match the following clauses:

If I see him,

I will ask her to take rest.

If he wins,

I will ask for your help.

If she gets tired,

I will tell him the good news.

If they come here,

they will give him a prize.

If it becomes difficult,

I will give them some food.

Complete the following sentences with the suggested words given in the brackets:

  1. If Nivedha sees Parkavi , (tell story her the she).

 

  1. (If Vimeena invite party to me the), I will go.

 

  1. If you paint a masterpiece, (world you famous become).

 

  1. If Sharumathy’s father gives her some training, (she match the win).

 

  1. (If Akash’s cousin meets him the station her at), he will offered her a lift.

 

  1. (If earlier the come monsoon), Shakthipriya’s garden will look better.

 

  1. (the If see Jaiks monster), he will run away.

 

  1. If Viknesh asks Logesh about Gurubalan, (he him tell).

 

  1. If Sathyavedan calls Mathialagan to play, (he come surely).

 

  1. (If know the Srinivas answer), he will tell Narendiran.

 

  1. (pay me if well work for the he), I will be very happy.

 

  1. (learn If Muthuraman painting oil) (will they him select)

 

Sreekumar.K/English/Basic Grammar/8.2

Conditional Clauses Exercises

Conditional Clauses

 

Sentences with ‘if’ in them are called conditional sentences. The clause which contains ‘if’ is called a conditional clause.

1.1. Is it true that you were ill? I didn’t know that.

If I had known that, I would have visited you.

1.2. I hear that he needed some money. Nobody told me. So, I didn’t know.

If I had known that he needed money, I would have given him some.

 

Match the following clauses:

If I had discovered that he is a cheat,

they would have appointed him.

If he had passed the test,

I would have come.

If it had been a holiday,

It wouldn’t have broken.

If they had called me,

I would never have trusted him.

Had I used it carefully,

the officer wouldn’t have come.

 

Complete the following sentences with the suggested words given in the brackets:

  1. If they had seen him, (tell police the they to).

 

  1. (If friend my invite party to me the), I would have attended it.

 

  1. If you had painted a masterpiece, (world you famous become).

 

  1. If my father had given me some training, (I match the win).

 

  1. (If cousin meet her the station railway at), she would have offered her a lift.

 

  1. (If early the come monsoon), my garden would have looked better now.

 

  1. (the if see the poor monster man), it would have felt sorry for him.

 

  1. If they had asked me the question, (I it answer).

 

  1. If you had cooked it properly, (it good taste).

 

  1. (my had brother school same join), it would have been good for me.

 

  1. (pay me if well work for the they), I would have been very happy.

 

  1. (learn I painting oil) (have they me select)

 

 

Conditional Clauses

Sentences with ‘if’ in them are called conditional sentences. The clause which contains ‘if’ is called a conditional clause.

2.1. It is 8:40 now. Walk fast, otherwise you will be late.

If you walk slowly, you will be late.

2.2. It is made of glass. Hold it properly. Don’t drop it.

If he drops it, it will break.

Match the following clauses:

If I see him,

I will ask her to take rest.

If he wins,

I will ask for your help.

If she gets tired,

I will tell him the good news.

If they come here,

they will give him a prize.

If it becomes difficult,

I will give them some food.

 

Complete the following sentences with the suggested words given in the brackets:

  1. If Nivedha sees Parkavi , (tell story her the she).

 

  1. (If Vimeena invite party to me the), I will go.

 

  1. If you paint a masterpiece, (world you famous become).

 

  1. If Sharumathy’s father gives her some training, (she match the win).

 

  1. (If Akash’s cousin meets him the station her at), he will offered her a lift.

 

  1. (If earlier the come monsoon), Shakthipriya’s garden will look better.

 

  1. (the If see Jaiks monster), he will run away.

 

  1. If Viknesh asks Logesh about Gurubalan, (he him tell).

 

  1. If Sathyavedan calls Mathialagan to play, (he come surely).

 

  1. (If know the Srinivas answer), he will tell Narendiran.

 

  1. (pay me if well work for the he), I will be very happy.

 

  1. (learn If Muthuraman painting oil) (will they him select)

 

 

 

Sreekumar.K/English/Basic Grammar/8. 1 & 2

Conditional Clauses

Conditional Clauses

Sentences with ‘if’ in them are called conditional sentences. The clause which contains ‘if’ is called conditional clauses.

1.1. Is it true that you were ill? I didn’t know that.

If I had known that, I would have visited you.

1.2. I hear that he needed some money. Nobody told me. So, I didn’t know.

If I had known that he needed money, I would have given him some.

Match the following clauses:

If I had discovered that he is a cheat,

they would have appointed him.

If he had passed the test,

I would have come.

If it had been a holiday,

It wouldn’t have broken.

If they had called me,

I would never have trusted him.

Had used it carefully,

the officer wouldn’t have come.

2.1. It is 8:40 now. Walk fast, otherwise you will be late.

If you walk slowly, you will be late.

2.2. It is made of glass. Hold it properly. Don’t drop it.

If you drop it, it will break.

Match the following clauses:

If I see him,

I will ask her to take rest.

If he wins,

I will ask for your help.

If she gets tired,

I will tell him the good news.

If they come here,

they will give him a prize.

If it becomes difficult,

I will give them some food.

Complete the following sentences:

  1. If the thief had seen the police, ____________________________________

  1. If _____________________________________, I will go to the kitchen.

  1. If I had earned some money, ______________________________________

  1. If ______________________________________, I will run away.

3.1. I studied in his school. I greeted him whenever I saw him.

If I saw him, I would greet him.

3.2. Joseph was my classmate. We went to school everyday together.

If Joseph went to school, I would go with him.

Match the following clauses:

If I saw him,

His mother would feed him.

If he cried,

I would ask him.

If he ran away,

they would be very happy.

If we gave them some food, we would find him and bring him back.
If the teacher asked questions, I would answer them first.

Complete the following sentences:

  1. If you ate the magic fruit, __________________________________ .
  1. If __________________________, there would be enough water.
  1. If I played well, __________________________________________ .
  1. If __________________________, the river would overflow.

4.1. I cannot be a bird. So I cannot fly.

If I were a bird, I would fly.

4.2. Sometimes I was late. Then I missed the school bus.

If I was late, I would always run to school.

Make 10 meaningful clauses:

If I

was / werethe class monitor,If hean alien,If Ia tiger,If shea bright studentIf Ivery hungry

Make five of the clauses into sentences by adding another clause.

Sreekumar.K/English/Textual Grammar/ 8.0

Question Tags

Questions

Operatives: is, are, am, was, were, do, does, did, has, have, hadSupports: will, would, shall, should, can, could, may, might, need, dare, must,

ought to, used to

The operatives and support are very important in grammar. Underline the operatives and supports in the following list.

go is come see are take am was sit for were out has from far have had will drop would we shall down should saw can same cut could push may went might two go read need row dare aim must on ought to in used to

In English, sentences usually begin with a subject. Sometimes it is one word; sometimes it is a group of words. The subject is what the rest of the sentence is all about.

My father is an accountant in the city office. He is always very busy. We once visited him there. It is a big office. You can see the sea from the second floor. Many people work for him. Do you know any of them?

The subjects are in bold letters.

What are the operatives and supports that you can find in these sentences?

__________________________________________________________________

Do you see an operative used before the subject in any of the sentences?

__________________________________________________________________

In most English sentences, the subject comes first.

They are going home.

However, in questions, the subjects will come only after the operatives or supports.

Are they going home?

Do you know this?

When there is a question word like ‘what’ or ‘where’, the subject will come after the operative or the support.

Where are they going?

What do you know?

Fill in the blanks.

My father works in the city office. Where ______________________ ?
He is always busy. ____ he always __________?
We once visited him there. ______ you ever _______ him there?
You can see the sea from there. Can___________________________?
Sixteen people work for him. _______________________________?
It is a big office. _______________________?

Frame questions to get the underlined words as answers:

  1. The volleyball players are going to Sudan.

______________________________________________________________ ?

  1. Rajesh is using a vacuum cleaner to clean the room.

______________________________________________________________ ?

  1. Smitha is absent because she has gone for a party.

______________________________________________________________ ?

  1. They were going to see the movie ‘Spiderman-3’.

______________________________________________________________?

  1. We traveled by bus.

______________________________________________________________?

Correct the following sentences:

  1. When he will come?
  2. Sir, I tell the answer?
  3. What text we take?
  4. We are going there?
  5. Why you are coming late?
  6. Sir, I can drink water?
  7. What you told?

Question Tags

They are coming for the party, aren’t they?

If the sentence is positive the question tag will be negative.

Add question tags to the following sentences:

  1. They are coming to the party,
  2. Harold was a strange fellow,
  3. He played well till the end,
  4. She has many good friends,
  5. Mary will help you cook,
  6. People come here very often,
  7. He carried it home,
  8. They owned a nice house,
  9. He is a smart fellow,
  10. He shows some interest now,

Sreekumar.K/English/Basic Grammar/3.0

Operatives and Tenses

The tense of a sentence is decided by the operative it contains.

Past

Present

Was

Were

Did

Had

 

Is

Are

Am

Do

Does

Have

Has

‘Will’ and ‘shall’ indicates future.

Say which tense the following sentences are in.

  1. We are going to school.
  2. He was coming to see me.
  3. They were looking at it.
  4. She will surely win.
  5. They had done a good job.
  6. We have mastered it.
  7. He sings well.
  8. We play cricket.
  9. She found a way out.
  10. We want to wait.
  11. She is my neighbour.
  12. We decided to go home.
  13. Do you have any money?
  14. Did you understand the question?
  15. Who washed the car?
  16. She removed the glasses.
  17. We did not accuse him.
  18. She negotiated with us.
  19. I acted in a school play.
  20. We cook every day.
  21. He befriended me.
  22. Many people sold their houses.
  23. He offered his car.
  24. We see them every day.
  25. Who planted it?
  26. He speaks well.
  27. They fly away.
  28. We wandered around.
  29. She was my classmate.
  30. I cleaned the room.

Sreekumar.K/English/Basic Grammar/12.0

A short play on invitations

The Clever Book Seller

A short Play

Narrator: Would you like to watch a play? This is the story of a salesman. He sells books. One day the manager gives him a new assignment.

Manager: I know you are very good at sales.

Salesman: Thank you, Sir!

M: There will be a training session next week. You must come.

S: My pleasure, Sir

M: Meanwhile, I have some new books here. Would you go for door-to-door

sales today?

S: I’m sorry, but I can’t.

M: Would you like to share with me why you can’t?

S: Surely, Sir! It is summer and I’m afraid I won’t be able to stand the heat.

M: How would you like to take my umbrella with you?

S: That is very nice of you, Sir! Thank you very much!

Narrator: So the salesman went from house to house. However, he couldn’t sell any book.

Salesman: Would you like to give me a second?

Woman: With pleasure!

S: How would you like to take a look at this book?

W: Thank you, but I’m busy now. I am going down to town.

S: That is all right. What about a book on bus timings and subroutes?

W: Thank you, but I am going in my own car. So, I don’t need it.

S: Very good. I have a book on motor vehicle maintenance.

Would you like to see it?

M: I’m afraid I can’t use it, since my husband is an automobile engineer. I am

sorry, but I am in a hurry. You must come later.

S: Sure, I will.

Narrator: He went to the next house, and then the next house and then the next. Finally…..

Salesman: Would you like to…..no never mind (He pretends to go away)

Man: Hey, hey, what is it? Would you like to tell me what it is?

S: I have come to sell……….no don’t bother. Let me go!

M: Would you like to wait a second. May be I can help you!

S: No, no one can help me. I am a total failure.

M: No, no, don’t think like that. How about telling me what you have to sell.

S: No, Sir. It is of no use. Seven people have already refused to buy my

books.

M: So, You are here to sell books. My friend how do you know I won’t buy your

books.

S: I am sure, Sir. I am absolutely sure. You won’t buy even one book. I can

bet my last penny on it.

M: You seem to have no confidence in yourself. Just to prove you wrong I am

going to buy all the books in that box right now.

S: Sir!

M: (Collecting the books and paying.) You must have some confidence in you.

Think positively. Then every one will buy books from you.

S: I was positive, Sir! I was positive that this trick would work.

 

Sreekumar.K/English/Basic Grammar/15.0