miércoles, 30 de abril de 2014

Countable vs. Uncountable Nouns BY WWW.ENGLISHPAGE.COM

Did you know that not all nouns are countable in English? Knowing the difference between countable and uncountable nouns can help you in many areas of English grammar.

Countable Nouns

Countable nouns are nouns that can be counted. Most nouns in English are countable.

  • I have two dogs.
  • Sandra has three cars.
  • Jessie has ten dollars.

Uncountable Nouns

Uncountable nouns are not counted in English. This usually has to do with the way English speakers think of these nouns. We often picture these nouns as a single concept or one big thing which is hard to divide. Many of these words are countable in other languages, but they ARE NOT countable in English. Generally, we do not use plural forms of these words; however some of these words do end in "s", so don't get confused.

  • Mack drinks a lot of water.
  • Cindy gives great advice.
  • Paul enjoys politics. Ends with "s" but uncountable
Uncountable nouns tend to belong to one of the following categories:

Liquids and Gases

  • water
  • coffee
  • milk
  • air
  • oxygen

Solid and Granular Substances

  • wood
  • metal
  • cheese
  • sand
  • rice

Energy Words and Forces

  • electricity
  • sunshine
  • radiation
  • heat
  • magnetism


  • French
  • chemistry
  • economics
  • science
  • math

Grouped Concepts

  • fruit
  • money
  • food
  • vocabulary
  • news

Information and Abstract Concepts

  • information
  • advice
  • education
  • democracy
  • intelligence

Uncountable Plurals

Sometimes in English, we do use uncountable nouns in plural forms. This is most commonly done with liquids and substances. It usually takes on the meaning of "cups of", "bottles of" or "types of".

  • We'll have two coffees. Cups of coffee
  • I bought three waters. Bottles of water
  • The company produces two leathers. Types of leather

Different Meanings

There are certain words which have multiple meanings. It is possible for one meaning to be countable and the other to be uncountable. Take for example the word "light":

  • I couldn't see anything because there was no light. Uncountable noun
  • The Christmas tree was covered with hundreds of lights. Countable noun
Generally, the rules are still the same. The first use of "light" is a form of energy. The second use of "light" means "small light bulbs", which are normal countable objects.


lunes, 28 de abril de 2014


There are certain words in English that are usually followed by an infinitive or gerund. If you are not sure whether to use the infinitive or gerund, check out our lists or look the words up in a dictionary. From www.ego-4U.com



Certain words are followed by an infinite verb with or without ‘to’.

Use and Word Lists Example
as the subject of a clause To know you is to love you.
after certain expressions (without ‘to’) Why not go to the cinema?
after certain verbs (without ‘to’) I can swim.
after certain verbs (with ‘to’) He wants to swim.
after certain verbs with interrogatives (infinitive constructions) They don’t know how to swim.
after certain verbs with objects (without ‘to’) He made her swim.
after certain verbs with objects (with ‘to’) They wanted him to swim.
after certain adjectives and their comparisons It’s easier to swim downstream.
after nouns deriving from the verbs mentioned above We made a promise to swim. (derived from the verb ‘to promise’)



ing form of the verb

Exceptions in Spelling

See → Present Progressive – Exceptions


Certain words are followed by an Ing-Form.

Use and Word Lists Example
as the subject of a clause Cycling is good for your health.
after certain adjectives He’s afraid of going by plane.
after certain prepositions Before going to bed he turned off the lights.
after certain verbs I enjoy cooking.
after certain verbs with prepositions I am looking forward to seeing you again.
after certain nouns We had problems finding our way back home.

Words followed either by Infinitive or Ing-Form

Use and Word Lists Example
same meaning I started to read. / I started reading.
same meaning but different use She forbids us to talk. / She forbids talking.
different meaning He stopped to smoke. / He stopped smoking.
infinitive or present participle I saw him go up the stairs. / I saw him going up the stairs.

Exercises and Tests



Infinitive / Gerund



We generally use LIKE and AS to make comparisons. 


The structure of the sentence is usually: VERB + LIKE + NOUN / PRONOUN.
  • She looks like a supermodel.
  • He speaks like a native speaker.


The structure of the sentence is usually: AS + SUBJECT + VERB.
  • Nobody sings as she does.
  • They went to the party as they were.
It is very common in American English to use LIKE instead of AS. However, it is generally considered informal to use it in this way.
  • We play football like champions do.
Another use of AS is to say what the role/function of a person/thing is.
  • He started work as a carpenter.
  • She used the tapestry as a decoration in her living room.


Be careful, in similar sentences that use LIKE and AS, the meanings of each sentence are very different. For example:
  • Like your boss, I must warn you to be careful. (I am not your boss, but he/she and I have similar attitudes.)
  • As your boss, I must warn you to be careful. (I am your boss.)


In English we also use as if to make comparisons. However it has a few distinct characteristics to its use:
1. The verb after AS IF is always in the past subjunctive, no matter what tense the sentence is.
2. If the verb BE directly follows AS IF, we use were for all personal pronouns.
  • He looks as if he knew the answer.
(The verbs LOOKS indicates this sentence is in the present – but the verb after AS IF – knew - is in the past subjuntive).
  • She walks as if she were a supermodel.
(The verb after AS IF – be – has been changed to were and not was).
  • He boarded the airplane as if he were a seasoned traveller.
  • He spends money as if he owned a bank.

miércoles, 9 de abril de 2014



Form and meaning. taken from www.eslbase.com

We use reporting verbs to report what someone said more accurately than using say and tell.

Verb + infinitive

agree, decide, offer, promise, refuse, threaten
  • They agreed to meet on Friday.
  • He refused to take his coat off.

Verb + object + infinitive

advise, encourage, invite, remind, warn
  • Tom advised me to go home early.
  • She reminded me to telephone my mother.

Verb + gerund

deny, recommend, suggest
  • They recommended taking the bus.
  • She suggested meeting a little earlier.

Verb + object + preposition (+ gerund)

accuse, blame, congratulate
  • He accused me of taking the money.
  • They congratulated me on passing all my exams.

Verb + preposition + gerund

apologise, insist
  • They apologised for not coming.
  • He insisted on having dinner.

Verb + (that) + subject + verb

admit, agree, decide, deny, explain, insist, promise, recommend, suggest
  • Sarah decided (that) the house needed cleaning.
  • They recommended (that) we take the bus.

lunes, 7 de abril de 2014



REPORTED SPEECH by http://www.perfect-english-grammar.com
We use a 'reporting verb' like 'say' or 'tell'. (Click here for more about using 'say' and 'tell'.) If this verb is in the present tense, it's easy. We just put 'she says' and then the sentence:
  • Reported speech: She says she likes ice cream
  • Direct speech: “I like ice cream”.
We don't need to change the tense, though probably we do need to change the 'person' from 'I' to 'she', for example. We also may need to change words like 'my' and 'your'.
But, if the reporting verb is in the past tense, then usually we change the tenses in the reported speech:
  • Direct speech: “I like ice cream”.
  • Reported speech: She said she liked ice cream.
Tense Direct Speech Reported Speech
present simple “I like ice cream” She said (that) she liked ice cream.
present continuous “I am living in London” She said she was living in London.
past simple “I bought a car” She said she had bought a car OR She said she bought a car.
past continuous “I was walking along the street” She said she had been walking along the street.
present perfect “I haven't seen Julie” She said she hadn't seen Julie.
past perfect* “I had taken English lessons before” She said she had taken English lessons before.
will “I'll see you later” She said she would see me later.
would* “I would help, but..” She said she would help but...
can “I can speak perfect English” She said she could speak perfect English.
could* “I could swim when I was four” She said she could swim when she was four.
shall “I shall come later” She said she would come later.
should* “I should call my mother” She said she should call her mother
might* "I might be late" She said she might be late
must "I must study at the weekend" She said she must study at the weekend OR She said she had to study at the weekend