Know the negative adverbials: seldom

Seldom have I been to the fair

“Seldom” can be used as a Negative Adverbial. And, the Negative Adverbial “seldom” causes a sentence to have an impact.  It makes the sentence come across as more striking and surprising.

Here’s an example: 

“Seldom have I been to a fair.” 

By saying this, the speaker is using the Negative Adverbial “seldom” to say that they rarely go to fairs. 

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Know inversion with negative adverbials: Never

Never have I heard such a sound

Frankly, the Negative Adverbial “never” is not often used. 

Yet, when the Adverbial “never” is uttered, it causes the sentence to be dramatic. 

Here’s a short story with the Negative Adverbial “never.” 

It’s a quiet Sunday. Ann is drinking her morning tea and reading the paper. Typical headlines are printed in black ink across the page: Firefighters Save Cat from Tree and etc. Ann thinks to herself as she reads, there’s really nothing going on today.

But suddenly, there’s a loud crash! In shock, Ann looks up from her paper and says “Never have I heard such a sound!” Worried there was an earthquake, Ann investigates.

It was just chopsticks and a bowl falling from the dryer. 

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Learn Basics of Reported Speech: Past Continuous Tense

Johnny quits the band

Basically, Reported Speech is the grammatical structure for retelling what someone had said.

Long-winded definitions aside, Reported Speech goes like this: 

“Johnny said that he was leaving the band if his new song wasn’t performed.”

To construct a Reported Speech Sentence, the speaker begins with a Pronoun like “he, she” or a proper name. The above example uses the name Johnny to be specific. As a result, we now know that Johnny will leave the band if his new song isn’t performed. 

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Learn Basics of Reported Speech: Simple Present Tense

Qi wants to play the zither

Simply, Reported Speech is a retelling of what someone had already said. And although the definition is a mouthful, Reported Speech isn’t complicated, especially if the speaker makes a Declarative Statement in Simple Present Tense.

If the aforementioned person spoke in Simple Present Tense (Pronoun, Verb, Noun), the Reported Speech will be in Simple Past Tense (Pronoun, Verb + d/ed, Preposition “to,” Noun). Be aware of irregular Verbs. Words like “say” become “said” and ETC.

Here’s an example:

Statement: I want to play the zither.

Reported Speech: Qi said that she wanted to play the zither.


The Possessive Adjective “his” and “her”

He plays surf rock on his guitar

The words “his” and “hers” are the most used gender-specific Possessive Adjectives. They are the only ones.

These Adjectives show ownership, but unlike the word “my,” another Possessive Adjective, they also reveal the gender of the person spoken of. 

“his” = male

“her” = female

And so, 

“his guitar” belongs to a male. 

But, “her guitar” belongs to a female. 

For instance, you may hear a native English speaker using the Possessive Adjective “his” like so:

“He likes to play surf rock on his guitar.” 

By saying this, the speaker is telling the listener that a man likes to use his guitar to perform in the surf rock genre (style of music).


Know the Possessive Adjective “my”

My English lessons are fun

The word “my” is a very common Possessive Adjective. And simply, the Adjective “my” is used to show ownership over objects and thoughts. 

For example, you may hear a native English speaker use the possessive adjective “my” in a sentence like this:

“My English lessons are fun.” 

By saying this, the speaker is telling the listener that they enjoy the class. They may even enjoy learning about Adjectives. 


Linking words that express exception

Linking words adds meaning to sentences by combining thoughts. They can be used to express a number of ideas.  The concepts expressed by Linking Words include ordinal qualities such as “firstly,” contrast, and much more.

Yet, today’s lesson covers Linking Words and phrases that express exceptions. These words are “yet”, “although”, “despite” and “nevertheless.” 

For example:

“I don’t like broccoli, nevertheless, I eat it every day.” 

In the above example, “nevertheless” demonstrates the contrast between the speaker’s distaste for Broccoli and the fact that he eats it daily. 

A few full sentences that include linking words that express exception

How do I include linking words of exception in full sentences? It’s possible to express the earlier example’s sentiment with any of this lesson’s Linking Words. Let’s look at a chart.


Know linking words: Combining phrases

Linking Words and phrases, also known as Cohesive Devices, are grammatical gems! They may be deployed for a variety of purposes. In fact, they sometimes express exceptions, bridge two clauses together, present contrast, demonstrate comparisons, and much more. 

Notably, the list of English Linking Words is expansive. There are dozens and dozens of them. This is due to their variety of uses. And perhaps, Grammarians, those who study Grammar, haven’t even compiled a full list of these little gems.

All of this aside, today’s lesson covers the phrase “for example.” “For example” introduces a chosen item as a case to prove a point.

You may encounter a native English speaker saying, “Foods eaten in the South West, Santa Fe for example, are inspired by both the native population and German settlers.” 

By saying this, the speaker is telling the listener that cuisine from Santa Fe is typical of South Western dishes and vice-versa. Furthermore, these foods are a blend of native and German recipes. 


Preposition of time: Since -Uses and Examples

In general, Prepositions demonstrate direction, time, place, location, and spatial relationships. These short words have a variety of uses and fall into different categories. 

Despite being varied in use, Prepositions, in regards to grammar, most often precede a Noun. And typically, their usage falls into this pattern: Verb, Preposition, Noun. For example: 


Preposition of time: Until – Uses and Examples

Prepositions of Time are short words like “in”, “an” and “at.” These little words form a bridge between Verbs and Nouns. Here’s an example: 

“I —> work at noon.”

The Preposition of Time “at” connects the Verb to the Noun and makes the sentence meaningful. 

In addition to binding grammatical structures, Prepositions of Time inform the listener as to when and how long an action takes place. 

For instance, “until,” the focus of today’s lesson, describes a definite or indefinite point in time when an action or event ends.  

Here’s an example:

“We can’t enter our house until we get the key.” 

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By saying this, the speaker is informing the listener that they are barred from opening the door unless the key is located. And, the period of time that the word “until” describes began when “the key” was lost and will end when it’s found.