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Adverbs of manner tell us how something happens. They are usually placed either after the main verb or
after the object.

 He swims well.
 He ran quickly.
 She spoke softly.
 James coughed loudly to attract her attention.
 He plays the flute beautifully. (after the direct object)
 He ate the chocolate cake greedily. (after the direct object)

An adverb of manner cannot be put between a verb and its direct object. The adverb must be placed
either before the verb or at the end of the clause.

 He ate greedily the chocolate cake. [incorrect]
 He ate the chocolate cake greedily. [correct]
 He greedily ate the chocolate cake. [correct]
 He gave us generously the money. [incorrect]
 He gave us the money generously. [correct]
 He generously gave us the money. [correct]

If there is a preposition before the verb's object, you can place the adverb of manner either before the
preposition or after the object.

 The child ran happily towards his mother.
 The child ran towards his mother happily.

Adverbs of manner should always come immediately after verbs which have no object (intransitive verbs).

 The town grew quickly after 1997.
 He waited patiently for his mother to arrive.

These common adverbs of manner are almost always placed directly after the verb: well, badly, hard, &

 He swam well despite being tired.
 The rain fell hard during the storm.

The position of the adverb is important when there is more than one verb in a sentence. If the adverb is
placed before or after the main verb, it modifies only that verb. If the adverb is placed after a clause, then
it modifies the whole action described by the clause. Notice the difference in meaning between the
following sentences.

Example Meaning

She quickly agreed to re-type the letter. the agreement is quick

She agreed quickly to re-type the letter. the agreement is quick

She agreed to re-type the letter quickly. the re-typing is quick

He quietly asked me to leave the house. the request is quiet

He asked me quietly to leave the house. the request is quiet

He asked me to leave the house quietly. the leaving is quiet

Sometimes an adverb of manner is placed before a verb + object to add emphasis.

 He gently woke the sleeping woman.
 She angrily slammed the door.

Some writers put an adverb of manner at the beginning of the sentence to catch our attention and make
us curious.

 Slowly she picked up the knife.
 Roughly he grabbed her arm.
Relative clauses are non-essential parts of a sentence. They may add meaning, but if they are removed,
the sentence will still function grammatically. There are two broad types of relative clauses in English. It is
important to distinguish between them because it affects the choice of pronoun used to introduce the
clause. There is a more detailed page about preposition placement in relative clauses.

A defining or identifying clause tells us which specific person or thing we are talking about in a larger
group of people or things. If a defining relative clause is removed, the meaning of the sentence changes
significantly. A defining relative clause is not separated from the rest of the sentence by commas or

 The woman who visited me in the hospital was very kind.
 The umbrella that I bought last week is already broken.
 The man who stole my backpack has been arrested.
 The weather that we had this summer was beautiful.

Learn more about using defining relative clauses correctly.

A non-defining or non-essential clause gives us more information about the person or thing we are
talking about. If a non-defining relative clause is removed from a sentence, we lose some detail, but the
overall meaning of the sentence remains the same. Non-defining relative clauses are always set off from
the rest of the sentence with commas or parentheses.

 The farmer, whose name was Fred, sold us 10 pounds of potatoes.
 Elephants, which are the largest land mammals, live in herds of 10 or more adults.
 The author, who graduated from the same university I did, gave a wonderful presentation.
 My mother, who is 86, lives in Paris.

Learn more about using non-defining relative clauses correctly.

Determiners are words placed in front of a noun to make it clear what the noun refers to. Use the pages in
this section to help you use English determiners correctly.


 Definite article : the

 Indefinite articles : a, an
 Demonstratives: this, that, these, those
 Pronouns and possessive determiners : my, your, his, her, its, our, their
 Quantifiers : a few, a little, much, many, a lot of, most, some, any, enough
 Numbers : one, ten, thirty
 Distributives : all, both, half, either, neither, each, every
 Difference words : other, another
 Pre-determiners : such, what, rather, qu

6. Preposition
This part of a speech basically refers to words that specify location or a location in time.

Examples of Prepositions: above, below, throughout, outside, before, near, and since
Sample Sentences:

 Micah is hiding under the bed.

 The italicized preposition introduces the prepositional phrase “under the bed,” and
tells where Micah is hiding.
 During the game, the audience never stopped cheering for their team.
 The italicized preposition introduces the prepositional phrase “during the game,” and
tells when the audience cheered.
7. Conjunction
The conjunction is a part of a speech which joins words, phrases, or clauses together.

Examples of Conjunctions: and, yet, but, for, nor, or, and so

Sample Sentences:

 This cup of tea is delicious and very soothing.

 Kiyoko has to start all over again because she didn’t follow the professor’s instructions.
 Homer always wanted to join the play, but he didn’t have the guts to audition.
The italicized words in the sentences above are some examples of conjunctions.
When a number of adjectives are used together, the order depends on the function of the adjective. The
usual order is:

Quantity, Value/opinion, Size, Temperature, Age, Shape, Colour, Origin, Material

What the adjective expresses Examples

Quantity four, ten, a few, several

Value/Opinion delicious, charming, beautiful

Size tall, tiny, huge

Temperature hot, cold

Age old, young, new, 14-year-old

Shape square, round

Color red, purple, green

Origin Swedish, Victorian, Chinese

Material glass, silver, wooden

Comparative adjectives are used to compare differences between the two objects they modify (larger,
smaller, faster, higher). They are used in sentences where two nouns are compared, in this pattern:

Noun (subject) + verb + comparative adjective + than + noun (object).

The second item of comparison can be omitted if it is clear from the context (final example below).
 My house is larger than hers.
 This box is smaller than the one I lost.
 Your dog runs faster than Jim's dog.
 The rock flew higher than the roof.
 Jim and Jack are both my friends, but I like Jack better. ("than Jim" is understood)

Superlative adjectives are used to describe an object which is at the upper or lower limit of a quality (the
tallest, the smallest, the fastest, the highest). They are used in sentences where a subject is compared to
a group of objects.

Noun (subject) + verb + the + superlative adjective + noun (object).

The group that is being compared with can be omitted if it is clear from the context (final example below).

 My house is the largest one in our neighborhood.
 This is the smallest box I've ever seen.
 Your dog ran the fastest of any dog in the race.
 We all threw our rocks at the same time. My rock flew the highest. ("of all the rocks" is


Forming comparatives and superlatives is easy. The form depends on the number of syllables in the
original adjective.


Add -er for the comparative and -est for the superlative. If the adjective has a consonant + single vowel +
consonant spelling, the final consonant must be doubled before adding the ending.

Adjective Comparative Superlative

tall taller tallest

fat fatter fattest

Adjective Comparative Superlative

big bigger biggest

sad sadder saddest

Adjectives with two syllables can form the comparative either by adding -er or by preceeding the adjective
with more. These adjectives form the superlative either by adding -est or by preceeding the adjective
with most. In many cases, both forms are used, although one usage will be more common than the other.
If you are not sure whether a two-syllable adjective can take a comparative or superlative ending, play it
safe and use moreand most instead. For adjectives ending in y, change the y to an i before adding the

Adjective Comparative Superlative

happy happier happiest

simple simpler simplest

busy busier busiest

tilted more tilted most tilted

tangled more tangled most tangled


Adjectives with three or more syllables form the comparative by putting more in front of the adjective, and
the superlative by putting most in front.
Adjective Comparative Superlative

important more important most important

expensive more expensive most expensive


These very common adjectives have completely irregular comparative and superlative forms.

Adjective Comparative Superlative

good better best

bad worse worst

little less least

much more most

far further / farther furthest / farthest

 Today is the worst day I've had in a long time.
 You play tennis better than I do.
 This is the least expensive sweater in the store.
 This sweater is less expensive than that one.
 I ran pretty far yesterday, but I ran even farther today.
Grammar Handbook: Perfect and Progressive Verb Forms
Perfect Form
The perfect form is the verb tense used to indicate a completed, or "perfected," action or
condition. Verbs can appear in any one of three perfect tenses: present perfect, past perfect, and
future perfect.
Verbs in the perfect form use a form of "have" or "had" + the past participle. (It is the form of the
helping verb that indicates the tense.)
 Present Perfect: I have finished my homework already.
 Past Perfect: He had watched TV for an hour before dinner.
 Future Perfect: Nancy will have finished by the time her parents return.
Progressive Form
The progressive form is a verb tense used to show an ongoing action in progress at some point in
time. It shows an action still in progress. Verbs can appear in any one of three progressive tenses:
present progressive, past progressive, and future progressive.
The verbs in the progressive form use a form of "to be" + the present participle (an -ing verb). (It
is the form of the helping verb that indicates the tense.)
 Present Progressive: The cake is baking slowly.
 Past Progressive: The trees were waving back and forth.
 Future Progressive: The children will be laughing.
Perfect + Progressive
The perfect and progressive forms can be combined, as in the following examples (again, the
form of the helping verbs indicates the tense):
 Present Perfect Progressive: I have been running for an hour.
 Past Perfect Progressive: I had been running for an hour.
 Future Perfect Progressive: I will have been running for an hour.