How to use Separable Phrasal Verbs – “Basics”

In general, Phrasal Verbs are a Verb + Preposition combination, like “cheer up.” But, there’s another kind of Phrasal Verb too, the Separable Phrasal Verb. 

Scat Singing Cheers me up

What is Scat Singing, you may ask? In Jazz, an American style of music, Scat Singing is the use of nonsense words like “zippity zippity zippity zam za zim” to make improvised melodies. 

How do nonsense words relate to learning English? In our case, these sounds cheer the Speaker up, which brings us to Phrasal Verbs – “cheer up” is a Phrasal Verb. 

Image Representation of the content above

How to use Adverb of Certainty “Probably”

Meaning and Use of the Adverb of Certainty “Probably”

Unsurprisingly, Adverbs of Certainty are used to state how sure we feel about an action or event.

“Probably” is a commonly used Adverb of Certainty. It tells the listener that the speaker is 70-80% sure an event will take place.

For example, A Science fiction Writer once said:

“Mankind will probably live on the Moon someday.”

Image representation of the content above

How to use Separable Phrasal Verbs – “Advanced” with examples

Meaning of Separable Phrasal verbs and how to use it

Phrasal verbs could be separable or inseparable. Phrasal verbs are operable when the verb and the proposition are separated by an object between them. They are: Verb + Object + Preposition

They are based on simple Phrasal Verbs:

Verb + Preposition

An example of a Separable Phrasal Verb is “turn down,” the topic of today’s lesson.

Separable Phrasal Verbs

Turn the volume down

Image Representation of the content above

Know Subordinate Conjunction Since with an example

“Since” is a conjunction that means: from a time in the past until the time under consideration, typically the present

According to the Oxford dictionary,

when “since” is used as a conjunction, it joins the main clause (independent)  with a subordinate (dependent) clause. For example:

“Beth has been given awards twice since she joined the team.” 

In the above sentence, “Beth has been given awards twice” is the independent clause. It can exist on its own. And, “since she joined the team” is the dependent clause. 

Another example might be: 

“I’ll go and see a film since there’s nothing else to do.” 

For me, and perhaps you too, going to the movies is reserved for rainy days. 

Image representation of the content above

Learn Subordinate Conjunctions with meaning and examples

All things considered, Subordinate Conjunctions link two unequal but grammatically correct elements. This happens when a main (Independent Clause) is combined with a subordinate (Dependent Clause). This combination creates a complex sentence. 

For example, Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel, the singer of the band Seal, wrote:

“We’re never going to survive unless we get a little crazy” 

In the lyrics, he uses the conjunction “unless” to link the main clause “we’re never gonna survive” with “we get a little crazy.”  There are numerous words that can be used as Subordinate Conjunctions, for instance, “while, ” meaning at the same time,  is often used to link unrelated ideas. George Harrison, the guitarist of the Beatles, wrote: 

“I look at the world, and I notice it’s turning while my guitar gently weeps” 

Effectively using the conjunction “while” and the imagery of a weeping guitar. 

Image representation of the content above

Know Past Continuous as Background with examples

He Was Sailing Around the World

Past Continuous Tense can be used to give background to events that began and ended in the past. This is often used in novels and short fiction alike.  

To do so, use the Verbs “was” and “were” + ing in a series. For example, you may read in a classic novel about pirates, “he was sailing around the world.” To expand upon this, a passage from nautical fiction in Past Continuous Tense may read: 

He was sailing around the world.

He was approaching the world’s end and fearing falling off the edge.

Yet, he was feeling strong, he had fought sea monsters and won…


Learn Past Continuous Tense: I was Knitting as an example

Verb tenses tell us when something happened. While communicating, it’s essential to express when an event occurred. For example, if someone says “There is a fire,” the listener knows that there’s an immediate danger. But, by saying “There was a fire” the listener understands that they are no longer in danger. 

As a tense, Past Continuous states that an action began and ended in the past. For example, you may hear someone say “I was eating,” this tells the listener that the speaker had finished, or was interrupted while eating food. 

Most often, Past Continuous Tense is used to describe an action that was interrupted by another event. However, it can be used to speak of two actions that happened at the exact same time or an action that occurred at a specific time. 

In general, we don’t usually use Stative Verbs while speaking in the Past Continuous Tense. Verbs like want or believe express a current condition and wouldn’t make sense in this context. 

Image representation of the content above

A Discussion of Uncountable Nouns with Examples

There’s a Great Deal of Water in the Ocean

Ideologically, some things can’t be counted. For example, liquid can’t be counted like cookies, you can’t have 3 pieces of water.  A liquid can’t be broken down into pieces.

However, a liquid may be divided into cups (metric or otherwise), or measured in abstract quantities like “some.”  And, other substances, like grains of sand, are too numerous to count. 

When it comes to Uncountable Nouns, quantity words are used to give information about the Noun. Words like some, a bit, a handful, a great deal of and so much are used to express the unit of Uncountable Nouns. 

For example, you may hear a native English speaker say “There’s a great deal of water in the ocean.” This states that there’s a lot of water at the bottom of the sea. 

But there’s another route you may take, exact numbers work with Uncountable Nouns as well. For instance, someone may say that there are 321, 003,271 cubic miles of water in the ocean, or they may simply say “I’d like 5 cups of coffee.” 

Image representation of the content above

Gerunds after Prepositions- Meaning and Use with examples

Meaning of Gerunds

Interestingly, Gerund is pronounced JEH-ruhnd. It’s like GIF or Giraffe. I know there’s a debate about the pronunciation of GIF, but the creator, Steve Wilhite, says that it’s said with a soft j

Simply, a Gerund is a Noun acting as a Verb. A few examples include “going, hearing,” and “having.” We make a Gerund by adding ing to the end of a Verb. 

Gerunds in Sentences

Gerunds may be alone or with other words to form a Gerund Phrase. Altogether, this phrase behaves like a single Noun.

Example: Mowing the lawn is no fun

Much like Nouns and Noun Phrases, Gerunds and Gerund Phrases can be found in the Object, Subject, or Predicate Nominative portions of a sentence (In regards to SVO). And so, Gerunds can act in any way an ordinary Noun can. 

Image representation of the content above