This is the post excerpt.
1.Writing is an attitude, you must have the right attitude.
2. You must believe in yourself that you have the talent to write.
3. Discard any wrong notion you may have acquired concerning yourself and written expressions.
4.Good writing demands application and inspiration.
5. Practice makes perfect. You must write regularly.
6. Motivate yourself that you can write, read articles, books and listen to people that motivate you to write.
7. Develop your voice. You must be original.
Don’t say: Every Sunday I am going for a visit.
Say: Every Sunday I go for a visit.
Note: The simple present(and not the present continuous) should be used to express a present habitual action.
Note also: that the present continuous may express a habitual action when used with the word “always” or with a verb denoting continuous state.eg.” she is always sleeping in class”. She is living in Aba.
2. Don’t say: I use to take tea every morning.
Say: I take tea every morning
Or you say: I am accustomed to taking tea every morning.
Note: The verb”to use” does not express a habit in the present. “I use” simply means “I employ” eg. I use mega growth to relax my hair.
Note also: in the past tense, the verb”to use” expresses a past habitual action, and it usually refers to some remote habit or one no longer followed. eg. We used to see each other everyday.
3. Don’t say: Last year I was going to the cinema everyday.
Say: Last year I went to the cinema everyday.
Note: Past habitual actions are expressed by the simple past tense and not by the past continuous.
Note also: The past continuous tense is used to describe events going on in the past when another action took place. eg. I was eating when he visited me.
4. Don’t say: The bus left before I arrived.
Say: The bus had left before I arrived.
Note: when there are two past actions, the one more past than the other should be used with past perfect. Or the action which was completed first should be put in the past perfect and the second action in the past tense.
Note also: the present tense and the past perfect should never be used in the same sentence. Thus it would be incorrect to say” my sister says that she had not heard from him since last night.
5. Don’t say: She had finished the novel yesterday.
Say: she finished the novel yesterday.
Note: the past perfect should never be used unless there’s another verb in the past in the same sentence.
Watch out for more of these in the next publication. Remember that questions, corrections, observations and suggestions are all welcomed.
Don’t say: She asKed me where I am going.
Say: She asked me where I was going.
Note: When the verb in the principal clause is in the past tense, only a past tense can be used in the subordinate.
But this rule does not apply in the following cases:
a) to verbs within quotations. e. g.she said” I am going to class”.
b) to facts that are true at all times. E. g. She said that it rains in Aba everyday.
c) to comparisons.E.g. she liked Fortune more than she likes Vin.
2)He said that he will come tomorrow.(wrong)
He said that he would come tomorrow
Note: “shall” and “will” change to “should” and “” in subordinate clauses when the verb in the principal clause is in a past tense.
3) She told me that she may visit us today(wrong).
She told me that she might visit us today(right).
Note:”May“changes to “might” in subordinate clauses when the verb in the principal clause is in the past tense.
4) They thought they can beat them in the game(wrong)
They thought they could beat them in the game(right).
Note: “can” changes to “could” in subordinate clauses when the principal clause is in the past tense.
5) He tried to kicked the ball(wrong).
He tried to kick the ball(right)
Note: the verb coming after the infinive”to” should not be in the past tense.
6) I have forgot to bring my book(wrong).
I have forgotten to bring my book(right).
Note: the past participle”en“(and not the past tense) should be used with the auxiliary verb”have” and it’s parts.
7) I have seen a good site yesterday (wrong).
I saw a good site yesterday(right).
Note: When there’s a a word or phrase denoting a past time like”yesterday”,”last night”,”last week”,”last year”,”then”,”ago” etc. Always use past tense.
Do not say :When I entered the room I saw a book on the ground.
Say:. When I entered the room, I saw a book on the floor.
Note: The floor is the part of the room on which we walk, the ground is outside the house.
2)”under the rain” instead of “in the rain“.
The children were playing under the rain(wrong).
The children were playing in the rain(right).
Note: also that the correct thing is “in the sun“,”in the shade“ and not “under the sun” or “under the shade”.
3)using a double negative.
He says he is not afraid of nobody.(wrong).
He says he is not afraid of anybody.(right)
He says he is afraid of nobody.(right)
Note: In English, two negatives are equal to an affirmative statement. You should therefore avoid using two negative words in the same clause. When “not” is used, “none” changes to “any“,”nothing to anything“,”nobody to anybody“,”noone to anyone“,and “nowhere to anywhere”.
4)”at the end” instead of “in the end“.
At the end she made it(wrong).
In the end she made it(right).
Note: in the end means finally or at last,at the end means at the farthest point. e. g there is a bibliography at the end of every project work.
5)injured and wounded often
Thousands were injured in the war.(wrong).
Thousands were wounded in the war. (Right).
He was wounded in a motor accident.(wrong).
He was injured in a motor accident.(right).
Note. People are injured or hurt as a result of an accident and wounded in battle or in war. (The nouns are injury and wound).
6)using “the other day” instead of “the next day“.
He visited us on Thursday and left the other day.(wrong).
He visited us on Thursday and left the next day.(right)
Note:”the other day” is an idiom meaning a few days ago e. g I met an old friend the other day.
7)using “put on” instead of “wears“.
The boy always puts on black shoes.(wrong).
The boy always wears black shoes.(right)
b) I wear my clothes in the morning.(wrong).
I put on my clothes in the morning.(right).
Note.”wear” means to have upon the body as a garment or as an ornament.”To put on” denotes a simple act. “To dress” has nearly the same meaning as as to” put on” but the object of dress is a person not a thing. e. g he dressed himself and went out. The mother dressed the baby.
8) “Lovely” instead of “beloved“.
Joseph was Jacob’s lovely son.(wrong).
Joseph was Jacob’s beloved son.(right).
Note: We should say“beloved” if we mean” much loved“. “Lovely” means “beautiful” as in:a lovely woman, a lovely day.
9)”Any” instead of “either“.
Any of these two shoes is beautiful .(wrong).
Either of these two shoes is beautiful.(right).
Note: “either” means “one or the other of two”, “any” means “one of three” or more as in any of these shoes will do.
10) He is neither dark or fair. (Wrong).
He is neither dark nor fair.(right).
Note: Neither must be followed by nor and not by or. Either is followed by or. As in: He speaks either English or French. Secondly: neither…nor is used in the negative, either…or is used in the positive.
11).Both of them did not go to school.(wrong).
Neither of them went to school.(right).
Note: Both is used in the positive sentence and is changes to “neither”in the negative sentence.
12) Amaka has not done her work also or too.(wrong).
Amaka has not done her work either.(right).
Note: “also” or “too” is changed to “either” in the negative sentence.
13)she did not speak loudly and clearly.(wrong).
She did not speak loudly or clearly.(right).
Note: If a negative word is used in the sentence”or” must be used instead of “and“.
Watch out for more of these!!!
The INTELIGENTSIA celebrates her one month birthday today….
In the previous publication, we learnt that nouns form their plurals by adding’s’,es’, ies ‘,en’e. t. c. The reverse is the case in verbs. But before we proceed let’s briefly refresh our memories on singular nouns and pronouns and plural nouns and pronouns respectively.
I capitalize on this two because we were told that for their to be a meaningful sentence in English , there must be a subject and a verb, And nouns and pronouns constitute the basic subjects in English.
Ada is a singular noun and therefore takes a singular verb. For Eg. Ada goes to school everyday.
Obi is also a singular noun and therefore takes a singular verb. For e. g. Obi is eating.
Ada and Obi are plural nouns and therefore take a plural verb . For example. Ada and Obi go to school everyday.
There are three persons in pronouns. They are first person pronouns, second person pronouns and third person pronouns.
i and we are first person pronouns.
You and you are second person pronouns.
He, she, it and they are third person pronouns.
From the first instance,’ i’ is singular while ‘we’ is plural. In the second instance ‘you’ is both singular and plural depending on the context..For e. g. “will you sit down!”(singular)
You (all) made me proud (plural).
In the third instance, he she and it are all singular while they is plural.
NOTE. ‘i ‘ and ‘you'(used either as singular or plural) take a plural verb. e. g.
Do not say : I/you doesn’t know.
Say: I/you don’t know.
Note: “doesn’t “is singular and a contracted form of “does not “ same also as “don’t” which is a plural verb and a contracted form of” do not”
Now let’s proceed…..
1)Unlike nouns, verbs form their plural by adding ‘s’ or ‘es’, With the pronouns ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’or any singular noun. E. g he works, she sings, it stops, the sun rises.
2) When the verb ends in s, x, ch,sh, or o, the third person singular takes “es”. E. g.
I watch/ he watches. b) I finish/she finishes. c) I fix/he fixes. d). I go/ he goes.
3)When the verb ends in’ y’with a consonant before it, the third person singular is formed by changing” y” into ‘ies’.e.g
a) I carry/ he carries. b) I study/ he studies. c) I fly/ he flies.
Note. If there’s a vowel before the”-y”, we add only s for the third person singular. E. g. He plays, he enjoys, he obeys.
4) A few verbs are irregular in the third person singular:
I am/ he is.
I have/ he has.
I do/ he does.
I say/ he says.
Do not say: he/she have already said it.
Say: he/ she has already said it.
Note. “Have” is a plural verb and goes with a plural noun or pronoun. e. g they or we. While “has” is a singular noun and goes with singular noun or pronoun.e.g he, she, it.
5) The verbs shall, will, can, may must, and ought do not change their form in third person singular.
I shall/ he shall. b) I will/ he will. c) I can/ he can. d) I must/ he must.
We shall learn in details in the next publication.
Thank you for your time.
Generally nouns form their plural by adding’s’,es’, ies’,ves’,en’, Oes’e.t.c as in dog/dogs, one glass/ two glasses, thief/ thieves, ox/ oxen, hero/ heroes, family/families. e.t.c. But the following words do not change their forms.
Do not say:He gave me some good advices.
Say: he gave me some good advice.
Note. When only one thing is meant we say.,’a piece of advice’
We got all the informations from him.( wrong).
We got all the information from him.(correct).
Note. When only one thing is meant we say: an item or a bit of information.
All the properties will be taken to the new house.(wrong).
All the property will be taken to the new house.(right).
Note. Properties means the features or characteristics of an object.
All the evidences tendered by the prosecution counsel were admitted by the judge and marked as exhibits.(wrong).
All the evidence tendered by the prosecution counsel were admitted by the judge and marked as exhibits. (right).
The school auditorium was filled with staffs from different universities.(wrong).
The school auditorium was filled with staff from different universities.(right).
Note. Staff can only take ‘s’ when it refers to a symbol or rod of authority as in: The king gave out three staffs of authority to some chiefs lately.
We haven’t many fruits for dinner( wrong).
We haven’t many fruit for dinner.(right).
Note. Fruits refers to reward. e. g. My parents will reap the fruits of my labour.
My father got us some jewelries.(wrong).
My father got us some jewelry.(right).
Note: Jewelry is a collection of rings and necklaces and cannot be used IN the plural form.
The fire caused many damages.(wrong).
The fire caused many damage. (right).
Note. Damages denote money paid in law for compensation.
The dog lay down on the grasses.(wrong).
The dog lay down on the grass.(right).
Today I have many works to do.(wrong)
Today I have a lot of work to do.(right).
Note:The plural form works means a factory or the writings of an author as in: The works of Shakespeare are many. I visited the iron works.
The skilled workers were provided with enough equipments. (wrong).
The skilled workers were provided with enough equipment.(right).
Ten sheeps are grazing in the field.(wrong).
Ten sheep are grazing in the field.(right).
Note. Sheep, deer, cattle, salmon e.t.c have the same form for singular and plural.
Here are a list of nouns that do not accommodate ‘s’ in theirvplural form. (furniture, luggage, baggage,character, hair, bread, fish, knowledge, progress, thunder and lightning,machinery,clothing, audience, correspondence. e. t. c.) If you are having problem using them in sentences contact me or you wait patiently for my next publication.
To be Continued. Thanks for your time.