Learn English Grammar

English grammar is the foundation of the English language. Enjoy as you learn English, perfect your grammar to master the English language, and be able to speak in it flawlessly.

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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.” 

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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. 

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The Idiom “Hope Springs Eternal”- Meaning with example sentences

Use of Idioms:

Like all idioms, the meaning isn’t clear upon reading. Idioms are somewhat cryptic. Their meanings come about due to use rather than diction (dictionary meaning). Some idioms are very old and have evolved over time. This idiom began as “hope springs eternal in the breast of man.” 

Meaning of the Idiom: “Hope Springs Eternal”

It expresses the belief that it’s human nature to keep on hoping against all odds. Even when there’s no reason to be hopeful, people continually find something to be optimistic about. 

You may hear a native English speaker say:

  • “I never win the lottery, but hope springs eternal.” 

By saying this, the speaker is telling the listener that although they never purchase a winning lotto ticket, they believe that someday they will. 

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However, the idiom has been used sarcastically as well. There are many instances when the idiom is used to express a feeling of hopelessness. For example, you may hear someone say: 

  • “I’ve waited years for my wife to return to me, but hope springs eternal.”

In this scenario, the speaker knows that his wife will never return. He is being sarcastic about hoping for her return.


Know more about Dependent Clause- Meaning with examples

Meaning of Dependent Clause

An Independent Clause expresses a complete thought. But, a Dependent Clause, also known as a Subordinate Clause, gives a partial thought, it cannot exist on its own as a sentence. It must be combined with one or more Independent Clauses to form a complete idea. 

When there’s enough snow, we’ll make snowballs.

For example, the sentence:

 “When there’s enough snow, we’ll make snowballs,” 

contains both an Independent and Dependent Clause. 

The clause “when there’s enough snow” is dependent. It can’t exist on its own. The phrase lacks an Object (in regards to SVO). However, “we’ll make snowballs” is a complete thought and can exist as a sentence. 

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Know about Figures of Speech- Meaning with Examples.

Meaning of Figures of Speech

Figures of Speech are phrases that have a different meaning from their literal definition. These are somewhat simialar but differ from Idioms. 

On one hand, a Figure of Speech is nonliteral and imaginative language but can be understood by someone who isn’t familiar with that particular Figure of Speech. On the other hand, it’s impossible to understand an idiom without being familiar with that particular idiom. 

In general, Figures of Speech can be metaphors or similes but can fall into other categories as well. Figures of Speech are designed to make comparisons. This is achieved by devices such as alliteration (the repetition of certain sounds) or exaggeration, known as hyperbole. This creates a dramatic effect.

Alliteration in figurative language is fun. For example, you may hear a native English speaker say:

“I bought a box of bricks.” 

The repetitive b sound makes the phrase have a nice ring to it. Not just is the saying alliteration, it’s hyperbolic. 


Hyperbole, one of my favorite types of figurative speech, exaggerates an attribute of something, calling attention to it. In the above example, I didn’t literally buy “a box of bricks.” I bought a faulty product. I called the product “a box of bricks” because it didn’t work correctly. You, in your lifetime, have probably bought “a box of bricks” too, perhaps you purchased a faulty phone. 

Ophelia is my guardian angel

Here’s another example of hyperbole: 

“Ophelia is my guardian angel.”

In reality, Ophelia isn’t a mythical creature. But she helps me when I’m in need, and so, I used this hyperbole when discussing her. 

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