In English, we have various vowel sounds. We shall study them one after the other.

Sound /ᵆ/

Consider the letter ‘a’ in the words below. Each says this sound.


  • Pan
  • Fan
  • Ban
  • Brash
  • Cat
  • Pat
  • Dad
  • Ham
  • Mat
  • Rash
  • Track
  • Cram
  • Fanned
  • Flash
  • Pack
  • Rag
  • Sand
  • Slam
  • Tag
  • Man


Sound /ᶾ˸/

  • This sound is more like the sound you make when you are disgusted.
  • The letters in boldface say this sound. Study them carefully.


  • Bird
  • Shirt
  • Flirt
  • Turn
  • Learn
  • First
  • Berth
  • Her
  • Heard
  • Hurt
  • Purse
  • Birth
  • Cur
  • Fur
  • Firm
  • Herd
  • Burn
  • Curt
  • Pert
  • Stir
  • Blur
  • Shirk
  • Surge



Sound /a:/

  • It is pronounced by having a much wider open mouth position.
  • Inside your mouth is shown in the process of saying this sound.
  • Examples of words bearing this sound include:


  • Far
  • Farm
  • Guard
  • Heart
  • Hard
  • Bar
  • Bard
  • Cart
  • Car
  • Dart
  • Card
  • Par





Sound /ə/

  • This sound (referred to as schwa) is a short vowel sound.
  • It mostly found in words containing letter ‘o’, for example,


  • Confuse
  • Contemptuous
  • Continue
  • Condolence


  • Also in words such as:


Sound /Ʌ/

Examples of words containing this sound include:


  • Sun
  • Son
  • Some
  • Pun
  • Fun
  • Cum
  • Cup
  • But
  • Much
  • Begun
  • Fun
  • Sung
  • Swum
  • Bug
  • Bunk
  • Brush
  • Hum
  • Rung
  • Truck
  • Stunned
  • Drum
  • Dumb
  • Fund


Sound /ɔ˸/

  • It is a long sound.
  • The mouth doesn’t move while saying this sound, and it can be pronounced as long as you have breath.
  • It is said in words such as:


  • Or
  • More
  • Chores
  • Dorm
  • Pork
  • Door
  • Four
  • Fore
  • Nor
  • Law
  • Cord
  • Form
  • Horn
  • Lord
  • Saw
  • Shore
  • Chalk
  • Jaw
  • Scorn



Sound /ᶛ/

  • It is a short sound.
  • The mouth doesn’t move.
  • Each of the words below bear this sound:


  • Got
  • On
  • Cost
  • Lost
  • Odd
  • Boss
  • Stock
  • Plot
  • Block
  • Cock
  • Cop
  • Mop
  • Rod
  • Sock
  • Shot
  • Pot
  • Blot
  • Crock
  • Frog
  • Swat
  • Swatch


Sound /ᶹ/




Sound /I:/

  • Long sound
  • Said in words such as the ones below:
  • Sheep
  • Feet
  • Meat
  • Tweet etc.


Sound /ᶦ/

It is a short sound.

In words such as:

  • Fit
  • Bit
  • Quit
  • Blip etc.



The table below has columns with different sounds. Pronounce each of the words in the list and classify, according to the highlighted letter(s), under the column that bears that sound.



















/i:/ /ᶦ/ /e/






The sound /ᵗᶴ/

  • Made by releasing the stopped air through your teeth by the `tip of your tongue.
  • It is voiceless because vocal cords do not vibrate when you say it.
  • Most words with letters ‘CH’ say this sound, for example,









  • There are those with letters ‘TCH’ for example,









  • Some are with letters ‘TU’, for example,




The Sound /ᵈᶾ/

  • Pronounced the same way as /ᵗᶴ/. It is just that it is voiced.
  • Letters representing this sound include:
  • Letters ‘DG’


  • Fudge
  • Budge
  • Bridge
  • Judge


  • Letter ‘J’


  • Judge
  • Jump
  • Joy
  • Joke
  • Eject
  • July
  • Jake
  • Project


  • Letters ‘DU’


  • Procedure
  • Graduate
  • Individual


  • When letter ‘G represents the sound

It does that when it is in front of an ‘e’, ‘i’, or ‘y

  • Letters ‘GE’, for example,


  • Agent
  • Germ
  • Gem
  • Budget
  • Gel
  • Angel
  • Danger
  • Emergency
  • Gentle
  • Bilge
  • Urgent
  • Knowledge
  • Large
  • Singe
  • Enlarge
  • Challenge
  • Ridge
  • Emerge


  • Letters ‘GI’, for example,


  • Agile
  • Allergic
  • Apologize
  • Contagious
  • Gist
  • Digitize
  • Eligible
  • Giraffe
  • Engineer
  • Fragile
  • Fugitive
  • Legion
  • Original
  • Vigilant


  • Letters ‘GY’, for example,


  • Allergy
  • Clergy
  • Egypt
  • Analogy
  • Zoology
  • Stingy
  • Gym
  • Liturgy
  • Panegyric


The Sound /f/

  • The sound is unvoiced or voiceless.
  • Air is stopped by pushing the bottom lip and top teeth together. The air is then pushed through to produce this sound.
  • The /f/ sound has the following letters saying it:
  • Letter ‘F’


  • Four
  • Wife
  • Knife
  • Life
  • Family
  • Staff
  • Puff
  • Five



  • Letters ‘PH’


  • Phone
  • Graph
  • Paragraph
  • Phrase





  • Letters ‘GH’


  • Cough
  • Rough
  • Laugh
  • Enough
  • Tough
  • Draught



The Sound /v/

  • The same mouth shape as /f/ is formed when pronouncing the sound /v/.
  • It is voiced.
  • Your top teeth is put on your bottom lip.
  • Words bearing this sound include:


  • Van
  • Vehicle
  • Vice
  • Unvoiced
  • Voice
  • Obvious
  • Previous
  • Drive
  • Save
  • Jovial
  • Virtue
  • Care
  • Wolves
  • Knives


The Sound /d/

  • /d/ is voiced. The vocal cords vibrate.
  • The low of air is stopped at the front of the mouth by tongue.
  • Practice speaking the words below:


  • Dad
  • Do
  • Did
  • Dog
  • Mad
  • Sad
  • Bad
  • Done
  • Loud
  • And





Sound /t/

  • To make this sound, your tongue stops the flow of air at the front of your mouth.
  • It is a voiceless/unvoiced sound.
  • It said in words like:


  • To
  • Top
  • Get
  • Hot
  • Pot
  • Butter
  • Later
  • What
  • Today
  • Tuesday



The sound /k/

There are various letters that say the sound /k/.  let’s study these letters.

  • Letter ‘K’ always say this sound. Examples of words include:
  • Kill
  • Key
  • Kick
  • Sake
  • Kitten
  • Keep


  • Letter ‘C’, for example,
  • Call
  • Corn
  • Cane
  • Campaign
  • Camp
  • Confusion
  • Cucumber
  • Colic etc.
  • Letters ‘CK’ for example
  • Kick
  • Mock
  • Truck
  • Back etc.
  • Letter ‘Q’ for example,
  • Quack
  • Quail
  • Quartz
  • Quarter
  • Quick



  • Letters ‘CH’, for example,
  • Chaotic
  • Character
  • Ache

The Sound /g/

Found in words such as:


  • Galaxy
  • Game
  • Gate
  • Gibbon
  • Give
  • Goat
  • Gazelle
  • Gecko
  • Gold
  • Gown
  • Girl
  • Ghost
  • Geyser
  • Garbage


The Sound /ᶴ/

  • This sound is unvoiced – only air passes through the mouth when said.
  • The teeth are put together and the corners of the lips are brought together towards the middle.
  • Most words with letters ‘sh’ this sound. For example,






  • There are words with letters ‘CH’ that say this sound, for example,


























  • Some words with ‘SU’ also say it, for example,








  • There are yet those with letters ‘TIO’, for example,








  • Then there are those with letters ‘SIO’, for example,






Sound /ᶿ/

  • Pronounced with your tongue between your teeth.
  • It is unvoiced.
  • The words bearing this sound include:


  • Mouth
  • Thing
  • Faith
  • Fourth
  • Thick
  • Think
  • Three
  • Thought
  • Tenth
  • Math
  • Myth
  • Thumb
  • Youth
  • Thrive
  • Growth
  • North
  • Truth
  • Pith
  • Thank
  • Thorn
  • Thimble
  • Three
  • Theme
  • Therapist
  • Thigh
  • Thickness


Sound /ᶞ/

  • Unlike /ᶿ/, it is voiced.
  • It also pronounced with tongue touching or between your teeth.
  • It is found in such words as:


  • With
  • There
  • Clothing
  • These
  • Thence
  • Then
  • Their
  • they


Sound /s/

  • This is a hissing sound like a snake.
  • It is voiceless.
  • The few rules for some of the common spellings that say the sound /s/ are:
  • Letter ‘S’, for example,
















  • Letter ‘SC’, for example,








  • Letter ‘X’, for example,







  • Letter ‘C’, for example,









Sound /z/

  • The /z/ is like the sound of buzzing bees.
  • It is voiced.
  • Most words with the letter ‘Z’ say /z/, for example,


  • Zoo
  • Zip
  • Zebra
  • Quiz
  • Buzz
  • Freeze
  • Doze
  • prize


  • There are those words with letter ‘S’ saying this sound, for example,


  • Is
  • Was
  • His
  • Hers
  • Nose
  • Noise
  • Noises
  • Rose
  • Roses
  • Frogs
  • Girls
  • Friends
  • Lies
  • Busy
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Sounds
  • Pose
  • Reason
  • Rise
  • Eyes
  • These
  • Days
  • Says
  • Ties
  • Has
  • Flows
  • Because
  • Shoes
  • Visit
  • Those
  • Bananas
  • cows


  • The other group of words are those with letter ‘X’, for example,

Exist, anxiety

Sound /ᵌ/

  • Words bearing this sound are borrowed from French.
  • Pronounced in the same way as /ᶴ/ only that is voiced.
  • The examples of words with this sound are:


































Practice in sentences

  • Measure the beige door on the garage.
  • It was my decision to fly to Asia to seek treisure.

Sound /r/

  • Raise the back of your tongue to slightly touch the back teeth on both sides of your mouth. The centre part of the tongue remains lower to allow air to move over it.
  • It is voiced.
  • It is found in words with letter ‘R’ e.g.
  • Red
  • Friday
  • Worry
  • Sorry
  • Marry
  • It is also said in words with letters ‘WR’ e.g.
  • Write
  • Wrong
  • Wrath
  • Wry
  • Wring

Sound /w/

  • Your lips form a small, tight circle when making the sound /w/.
  • Letters representing the /w/ sound are:
  • Letter ‘W’











  • Letters WH













  • Letters ‘QU’











  • Others



Sound /m/

  • Made by pressing the lips lightly.
  • The words that follow contain the sound:


  • Mum
  • Mine
  • Me
  • Morning
  • Farmer
  • Shame
  • Meat
  • Myself


Exercise 1

Read the sentence below pronouncing each word correctly and then group the words in their appropriate columns. Consider the highlighted letters.

The seven students took the first test for their driver’s licenceson Thursday.

/s/ /z/


Exercise 2

Considering the pronunciation of highlighted letters, pick the odd word out.

  • Judge, gesture, garage
  • Jump, gift, geological
  • Fungi, just, go
  • Digit, game, gamble
  • Hygiene, prodigy, entangle
  • Gecko, gem, zoology

Exercise 3

Pronounce each word correctly and then group it under the column containing the sound that the highlighted letter(s)  bear.
























                 /ᶴ/                 /ᶾ/


Exercise 4

Circle the letter(s) that say /f/ and underline those saying /v/ in the sentences below.

  • Please forgive me for forgetting the leftover food.
  • Save the four wolves that live in the cave.













  • A diphthong is a combination of two vowel sounds.
  • Some of the diphthongs include:
  • /ᵊᶹ/
  • /ᵃᶸ/
  • /ᵉᶦ/


In words like;


  • Role
  • Bone
  • Phone
  • Stone
  • Close
  • Note
  • Notice
  • Lonely
  • Home
  • Hope
  • Open
  • Ocean
  • Remote
  • Solar
  • Polar
  • Modal
  • Total
  • Motor
  • Moment
  • Bonus
  • Focus
  • Vogue
  • Social
  • Soldier
  • Coworker
  • Most
  • Post
  • Host
  • Ghost
  • Both
  • Low
  • Know
  • Mow
  • Sow
  • Show
  • Tow
  • Owe
  • Own
  • Bowl
  • Blow
  • Grown
  • Throw
  • Go
  • Ago
  • No
  • So
  • Toe
  • Hero
  • Zero
  • Veto
  • Ego
  • Echo
  • Radio
  • Studio
  • Mexico
  • Potato
  • Tomato
  • Logo
  • Motto
  • Cold
  • Gold
  • Bold
  • Sold
  • Told
  • Roll
  • Poll
  • Control
  • Bolt
  • Colt
  • Folk
  • Comb
  • Won’t
  • Don’t
  • Soul
  • Shoulder
  • Road
  • Load
  • Boat
  • Coast
  • Coat
  • Oak
  • Soak
  • Approach
  • Boast
  • Ok
  • Obey
  • Omit
  • Hotel
  • Motel




Said in words such as:


  • How
  • Cow
  • Now
  • Allow
  • Owl
  • Brown
  • Down
  • Town
  • Clown
  • Drown
  • Crown
  • Crowd
  • Powder
  • Browse
  • Loud
  • Proud
  • Cloud
  • Out
  • Shout
  • About
  • Doubt
  • Foul
  • Noun
  • House
  • Mouse
  • Mouth
  • South
  • Couch
  • Found
  • Ground
  • Around
  • Pound
  • Sound
  • Count
  • Amount
  • Mountain
  • Announce
  • Bounce
  • Allowing
  • Towel
  • Bowel
  • Power
  • Tower
  • Flower
  • Shower
  • Hour
  • Our
  • Sour
  • Flour
  • coward




The words containing this diphthong are:


  • wait
  • late
  • bait
  • date
  • tale
  • bail
  • bale
  • sale
  • gate
  • waste
  • wade
  • baby
  • bacon
  • paper
  • April
  • Danger
  • Angel
  • Stranger
  • Basis
  • Lazy
  • Crazy
  • Fail
  • Mail
  • Sail
  • Rail
  • Raise
  • Raid
  • Afraid
  • Wait
  • Straight
  • Faint
  • Paint
  • Fate
  • Rate
  • Kate
  • Race
  • Base
  • Place
  • Lake
  • Take
  • Name
  • Ache
  • Rage
  • Patient
  • Racial
  • Nation
  • Nature
  • Fatal
  • Patriot
  • Radio
  • Vacant
  • Weight
  • Eight
  • Vein
  • Neighbour
  • Break
  • Steak
  • Age
  • Wage
  • Save
  • Cave
  • Wave
  • Ray
  • Gray
  • Play
  • Lay
  • Day
  • May
  • Pray
  • Convey
  • Survey
  • Stain
  • Change etc.



Write another word pronounced the same way as:


  1. Gait
  2. Made
  3. Mail
  4. Pale
  5. Pain
  6. Plain
  7. Sale
  8. Tale
  9. Vain
  10. Waist
  11. Wait
  12. Eight
  13. Sew
  14. No
  15. Toe
  16. Grown










Study the pairs of words below carefully.

Fit – feet

Let – late

Van – fan

Pun – pan

  • What do you notice? You realize that only one sound makes the pronunciation of one word distinct from the other. Each pair is called a minimal pair.
  • A minimal pair is therefore a pair of words that vary by only one sound especially those that usually confuse learners, such as /l/ and /r/, /b/ and /p/, and many others.

Minimal Pairs of Vowel Sounds

Sound /i/ and /i:/


  1. Bid – bead
  2. Bit – beat
  3. Bitch – beach
  4. Bin – bean/ been
  5. Chip – cheap
  6. Fit – feat/ feet
  7. Fist – feast
  8. Fizz – fees
  9. Gin – gene
  10. Sin – seen/ scene
  11. Still – steal/ steel
  12. Sick – seek
  13. Is – ease
  14. Itch – each
  15. Risen – reason
  16. Piss – piece/ peace
  17. Pick – peak/ peek
  18. Mill – meal



Write another word in which either sound /i/ and /i:/ will make it vary from the one given.


  • Hit
  • Sheet
  • Tin
  • Peach
  • Lip
  • Neat
  • Kip
  • Eel
  • Greed
  • Pill
  • Skied
  • Skim


Sounds /i/ and /e/


  1. Did – dead
  2. Disk – desk
  3. Built – belt
  4. Bit – bet
  5. Lipped – leapt
  6. Middle – meddle
  7. Fill – fell
  8. Bid – bed
  9. Bill – bell
  10. Lit – let
  11. List – lest
  12. Clinch – clench




Complete the table below with a word in which either the sound /e/ or /i/ brings the difference in pronunciation.

  /e/ /i/
1 Head  
2   Miss
3   Hymn
4 Led  
5 Fen  
6   Lid
7 Den  
8 Peg  


Sounds /e/ and /ei/

The following words vary by one having the vowel sound /e/ and the other a diphthong /ei/


  1. Wet – wait
  2. Bread – braid
  3. Fen – feign
  4. Bed – bade
  5. Get – gate/ gait
  6. Let – late
  7. Met – mate
  8. Lest – laced
  9. Tech – take
  10. West – waste/ waist
  11. When – wane
  12. Edge – age
  13. Gel – jail
  14. Lens – lanes
  15. Breast – braced
  16. Sent – saint
  17. Test – taste
  18. Best – based
  19. Wren – rain/ reign
  20. Led – laid
  21. Bled – blade
  22. Fed – fade



Each word below has another word in which either the sound /e/ or /ei/ will bring the distinction in pronunciation. Write that word.


  • Fell
  • Pain
  • Hail
  • Sell
  • Well
  • Mate
  • Raid
  • Date
  • Men
  • Stayed
  • Bet
  • Jail


Sounds /ᵆ/ and /ᶺ/


  1. Batter – butter
  2. Cap – cup
  3. Cat – cut
  4. Back – buck
  5. Brash – brush
  6. Dabble – double
  7. Rang – rung
  8. Track – truck
  9. Bad – bud
  10. Began – begun
  11. Bag – bug
  12. Pan – pun
  13. Drank – drunk
  14. Fan – fun
  15. Hat – hut
  16. Badge – budge
  17. Hang – hung
  18. Massed – must
  19. Rash – rush
  20. Sank – sunk
  21. Ran – run
  22. Swam – swum
  23. Ban – bun
  24. Ham – hum



Complete the table below with the minimal pair of the word. Consider the sound indicated in each column.

         /ᵆ/ /ᶺ/
(a)   But
(b) Match  
(c) Mad  
(d)   Flush
(e) Cam  
(f)   Dumb
(g) Sang  
(h)   Uncle
(i) Crash  
(j) Sack  
(k)   Dump
(l)   Tug


Sounds        /ᵆ/ and /e/

look at the list below.


  1. Bad – bed
  2. And – end
  3. Had – head
  4. Jam – gem
  5. Pat – pet
  6. Sat – set
  7. Shall – shell
  8. Man –men
  9. Bag – beg
  10. Ham – hem
  11. Pan – pen
  12. Sad – said
  13. Manned – mend
  14. Land – lend



Complete the table with appropriate word that vary with the sound indicated in the column.

  /ᵆ/ /ᵉ/
(a) Marry  
(b)   Blend
(c) Cattle  
(d) Vat  
(e) Sacks  
(f)   Trek
(g) Trad  
(h)   met


Minimal Pairs of /ɑ˸/ and /ᵌ˸/


  1. fast – first
  2. bath – berth/birth
  3. heart – hurt
  4. bard – bird
  5. car – cur
  6. card – curd
  7. guard – gird
  8. pa – per
  9. bar – bur
  10. barn – burn
  11. carve – curve
  12. dart – dirt
  13. par – purr
  14. park – perk
  15. star – stir
  16. arc – irk


Exercise 6

Considering the sounds /ɑ˸/ and /ᵌ˸/, write the minimal pair of:


  • far
  • heard/herd
  • pass
  • farm
  • shark
  • curt



Minimal Pairs of /b/ and /v/


  1. bat – vat
  2. beer – veer
  3. bowl – vole
  4. bow – vow
  5. gibbon – given
  6. bale – veil
  7. bane – vein
  8. curb – curve
  9. bolt – volt
  10. bowl – vole
  11. broom – vroom
  12. dribble – drivel
  13. dub – dove
  14. jibe – jive
  15. rebel – revel


Exercise 7

There is another word that will vary with the one written below with just one sound. Depending on the sounds /b/ and /v/, write that word.


  • van
  • boat
  • Vest
  • Vowels
  • Vent
  • Bury
  • Loaves
  • Verve


Minimal  pairs of /f/ and /v/


  • Fan – van
  • Off – of
  • Fat – vat
  • Fee – v
  • Foul – vowel
  • Fender – vendor
  • Serf/Surf – serve
  • Duff – dove
  • Fie – vie
  • Foal – vole
  • Guff – guv
  • Waif – waive
  • Gif – give
  • Life – live
  • Safe – save
  • Belief – believe
  • Feel – veal
  • Staff – starve
  • Feign – vain/ vein
  • Foist – voiced
  • Fox – vox
  • Reef – reeve






Exercise  8

Write the minimal pair of the word below with consideration  being either the sound /f/ or /v/.


  • Ferry
  • Leaf
  • Vast
  • Fine
  • Half
  • Proof
  • Veil
  • Grief
  • Calf
  • Fault
  • Vile
  • Strive


Minimal Pairs of Sounds/s/ and  /ᶿ/


  • Mouse – mouth
  • Sing – thing
  • Face – faith
  • Force – fourth
  • Sick – thick
  • Sink – think
  • Sort – thought
  • Tense – tenth
  • Mass – math
  • Miss – myth
  • Pass – path
  • Saw – thaw
  • Seem – theme
  • Some – thumb
  • Song – thong
  • Worse – worth
  • Gross – growth
  • Sigh – thigh
  • Sin – thin
  • Sum – thumb
  • Piss – pith
  • Sawn – thorn
  • Symbol – thimble
  • Sore – thaw
  • Truce – truth
  • Suds – thuds
  • Sought – thought
  • Moss – moth
  • Sank – thank
  • Sump – thump


Sounds /t/ and /d/


  • Town – down
  • Touch – Dutch
  • Tear – dare
  • Ten – den
  • Tongue – dung
  • Tart – dart
  • Tech – deck
  • Tin – din
  • Toe – doe
  • Tough – duff
  • Tuck – duck
  • Tab – dab
  • Tank – dank
  • Tick – dick
  • Tine – dine
  • Hat – had
  • Spent – spend
  • Too/ to/two – do
  • Train – drain
  • Tide – dyed/died
  • Torn – dawn
  • Teal – deal
  • Teen – dean
  • Tyre/tire – dire
  • Toes – doze
  • Tout – doubt
  • Tug – dug
  • Tale/ tail – dale
  • Teed – deed
  • Tier – deer
  • Tint – dint
  • Sheet – she’d
  • Wait – weighed
  • Tie – die
  • Try – dry
  • Tear – dear
  • Tip – dip
  • Tame – dame
  • Team – deem
  • Tent – dent
  • Toast – dosed
  • Tomb – doom
  • Tower – dour
  • Tux – ducks
  • Tamp – damp
  • Tell – dell
  • Till – dill
  • Tusk – dusk
  • Sight – side
  • Beat – bead


Exercise 9

Each word below has another word in which all the sounds are the same except either the sound /t/ or /d/ is different. Write that word.


  • Bat
  • God
  • Write
  • And
  • At
  • Bed
  • Bored
  • Eight
  • Bet
  • Feet
  • Hit
  • Hurt
  • Mat
  • Mend
  • Neat
  • Nod
  • Set
  • Played
  • Sat
  • Dead




Minimal Pairs of /k/ and /g/



  • Came – game
  • Card – guard
  • Cold – gold
  • Clean – glean
  • Crate – great
  • Cap – gap
  • Coast – ghost
  • Kale – gale
  • Can – gone
  • Course – gorse
  • Cram – gram
  • Crepe – grape
  • Crew – grew
  • Croup – group
  • Crow – grow
  • Key – ghee
  • K – gay
  • Clamour – glamour
  • Clad – glad
  • Crane – grain
  • Creed – greed
  • Krill – grill
  • Cunning – gunning
  • Cab – gab
  • Cape – gape
  • Clam – glam
  • Cord – gored
  • Coup – goo
  • Crate – grate
  • Cuff – guff




  • Clock – clog
  • Dock – dog
  • Frock – frog
  • Muck – mug
  • Brick – brig
  • Broke – brogue
  • Crack – crag
  • Prick – prig
  • Puck – pug
  • Shack – shag
  • Slack – slag
  • Snuck – snug
  • Stack – stag
  • Whack – wag
  • Wick – wig
  • Jock – jog
  • Lack – lag
  • Luck – lug
  • Beck – beg
  • Cock – cog
  • Hack – hag
  • Pick – pig


Exercise 10

Complete the table with appropriate word that only differs with one sound with the one given. Consider the sounds in the columns.

  /k/ /g/
(a) Tack  
(b)   Flog
(c) Tuck  
(d)   Gum
(e)   Gash
(f) Jack  
(g) Cave  
(h)   Sag
(i) Leak  
(j) Crab  
(k) Class  
(l)   Good
(m)   Goat
(n)   Blog
(o) Kill  
(p)   Dug
(q)   Gut
(r)   Log
(s) Rack  
(t) Cot  


Words pronounced the same way but have different spellings and meanings are the homophones. The list below is English homophones.


  1. Accessary accessory
  2. Ad, add
  3. Ail, ale
  4. Air, heir
  5. Aisle, I’ll, isle
  6. All, awl
  7. Allowed, aloud
  8. Alms, arms
  9. Altar, alter
  10. Ante, anti
  11. Arc, ark
  12. Aural, oral
  13. Away, aweigh
  14. Awe, oar, or, ore
  15. Axel, axle
  16. Aye, eye, I
  17. Bail, bale
  18. Bait, bate
  19. Baize, bays
  20. Bald, bawled
  21. Ball, bawl
  22. Band, banned
  23. Bard, barred
  24. Bare, bear
  25. Bark, barque
  26. Baron, barren
  27. Base, bass
  28. Bay, bey
  29. Bazaar, bizarre
  30. Be, bee
  31. Beach, beech
  32. Bean, been
  33. Beat, beet
  34. Beau, bow
  35. Beer, bier
  36. Bell, belle
  37. Berry, bury
  38. Berth, birth
  39. Bight, bite, byte
  40. Billed, build
  41. Bitten, bittern
  42. Blew, blue
  43. Bloc, block
  44. Boar, bore
  45. Board, bored
  46. Boarder, border
  47. Bold, bawled
  48. Boos, booze
  49. Born, borne
  50. Bough, bow
  51. Boy, buoy
  52. Brae, bray
  53. Braid, brayed
  54. Braise, brays, braze
  55. Brake, break
  56. Bread, bred
  57. Brews, bruise
  58. Bridal, bridle
  59. Broach, brooch
  60. Bur, burr
  61. But, butt
  62. Buy, by, bye
  63. Buyer, byre
  64. Call, caul
  65. Canvas, canvass
  66. Cast, caste
  67. Caster, castor
  68. Caught, court
  69. Caw, core, corps
  70. Cede, seed
  71. Ceiling, sealing
  72. Censer, censor, sensor
  73. Cent, scent, sent
  74. Cereal, serial
  75. Cheap, cheep
  76. Check, cheque
  77. Choir, quire
  78. Chord, cord
  79. Cite, sight, site
  80. Clack, claque
  81. Clew, clue
  82. Climb, clime
  83. Close, cloze
  84. Coarse, course
  85. Coign, coin
  86. Colonel, kernel
  87. Complacent, complaisant
  88. Complement, compliment
  89. Coo, coup
  90. Cops, copse
  91. Council, counsel
  92. Cousin, cozen
  93. Creak, creek
  94. Crews, cruise
  95. Cue, queue
  96. Curb, kerb
  97. Currant, current
  98. Cymbol, symbol
  99. Dam, damn
  100. Days, daze
  101. Dear, deer
  102. Descent, dissent
  103. Desert, dessert
  104. Deviser, divisor
  105. Dew, due
  106. Die, dye
  107. Discreet, discrete
  108. Doe, dough
  109. Done, dun
  110. Douse, dowse
  111. Draft, draught
  112. Dual, duel
  113. Earn, urn
  114. Ewe, yew, you
  115. Faint, feint
  116. Fair, fare
  117. Farther, father
  118. Fate, fete
  119. Faun, fawn
  120. Fay, fey
  121. Faze, phase
  122. Feat, feet
  123. Ferrule, ferule
  124. Few, phew
  125. File, phial
  126. Find, fined
  127. Fir, fur
  128. Flair, flare
  129. Flaw, floor
  130. Flea, flee
  131. Flex, flecks
  132. Flew, flu, flue
  133. Floe, flow
  134. Flour, flower
  135. Foaled, fold
  136. For, fore, four
  137. Foreword, forward
  138. Fort, fought
  139. Forth, fourth
  140. Foul, fowl
  141. Franc, frank
  142. Freeze, frieze
  143. Friar, fryer
  144. Furs, furze
  145. Gait, gate
  146. Gamble, gambol
  147. Gays, gaze
  148. Genes, jeans
  149. Gild, guild
  150. Gilt, guilt
  151. Gnaw, nor
  152. Gneiss, nice
  153. Gorilla, guerrilla
  154. Grate, great
  155. Greave, grieve
  156. Greys, graze
  157. Groan, grown
  158. Guessed, guest
  159. Hail, hale
  160. Hair, hare
  161. Hall, haul
  162. Hangar, hanger
  163. Hart, heart
  164. Haw, hoar, whore
  165. Hay, hey
  166. Heal, heel, he’ll
  167. Hear, here
  168. Heard, herd
  169. He’d, heed
  170. Heroin, heroine
  171. Hew, hue
  172. Hi, high
  173. Higher, hire
  174. Him, hymn
  175. Ho, hoe
  176. Hoard, horde
  177. Hoarse, horse
  178. Holey, holy, wholly
  179. Hour, our
  180. Idle, idol
  181. In, inn
  182. Indict, indite
  183. It’s, its
  184. Jewel, joule
  185. Key, quay
  186. Knave, nave
  187. Knead, need
  188. Knew, new
  189. Knight, night
  190. Knit, nit
  191. Knob, nob
  192. Knock, nock
  193. Knot, not
  194. Know, no
  195. Knows, nose
  196. Laager, lager
  197. Lac, lack
  198. Lade, laid
  199. Lain, lane
  200. Lam, lamb
  201. Laps, lapse
  202. Larva, lava
  203. Lase, laze
  204. Law, lore
  205. Lay, ley
  206. Lea, lee
  207. Leach, leech
  208. Lead, led
  209. Leak, leek
  210. Lean, lien
  211. Lessen, lesson
  212. Levee, levy
  213. Liar, lyre
  214. Licker, liquor
  215. Lie, lye
  216. Lieu, loo
  217. Links, lynx
  218. Lo, low
  219. Load, lode
  220. Loan, lone
  221. Locks, lox
  222. Loop, loupe
  223. Loot, lute
  224. Made, maid
  225. Mail, male
  226. Main, mane
  227. Maize, maze
  228. Mall, maul
  229. Manna, manner
  230. Mantel, mantle
  231. Mare, mayor
  232. Mark, marque
  233. Marshal, martial
  234. Mask, masque
  235. Maw, more
  236. Me, mi
  237. Mean, mien
  238. Meat, meet, mete
  239. Medal, meddle
  240. Metal, mettle
  241. Meter, metre
  242. Might, mite
  243. Miner, minor
  244. Mind, mined
  245. Missed, mist
  246. Moat, mote
  247. Mode, mowed
  248. Moor, more
  249. Moose, mousse
  250. Morning, mourning
  251. Muscle, mussel
  252. Naval, navel
  253. Nay, neigh
  254. None, nun
  255. Od, odd
  256. Ode, owed
  257. Oh, owe
  258. One, won
  259. Packed, pact
  260. Pail, pale
  261. Pain, pane
  262. Pair, pare, pear
  263. Palate, palette, pallet
  264. Paten, pattern,
  265. Pause, paws, pores, pours
  266. Pawn, porn
  267. Pea, pee
  268. Peace, piece
  269. Peak, peek
  270. Peal, peel
  271. Pearl, purl
  272. Pedal, peddle
  273. Peer, pier
  274. Pi, pie
  275. Place, plaice
  276. Plain, plane
  277. Pleas, please
  278. Plum, plumb
  279. Pole, poll
  280. Practice, practise
  281. Praise, prays, preys
  282. Principal, principle
  283. Profit, prophet
  284. Quarts, quartz
  285. Quean, queen
  286. Rain, reign, rein
  287. Raise, rays, raze
  288. Rap, wrap
  289. Raw, roar
  290. Read, reed
  291. Read, red
  292. Real, reel
  293. Reek, wreak
  294. Rest, wrest
  295. Retch, wretch
  296. Review, revue
  297. Rheum, room
  298. Right, rite, write
  299. Ring, wring
  300. Road, rode
  301. Roe, row
  302. Role, roll
  303. Roux, rue
  304. Rood, rude
  305. Root, route
  306. Rose, rows
  307. Rota, rotor
  308. Rote, wrote
  309. Rough, ruff
  310. Rouse, rows
  311. Rung, wrung
  312. Rye, wry
  313. Saver, savour
  314. Spade, spayed
  315. Sale, sail
  316. Sane, seine
  317. Satire, satyr
  318. Sauce, source
  319. Saw, soar, sore
  320. Scene, seen
  321. Scull, skull
  322. Sea, see
  323. Seam, seem
  324. Sear, seer, sere
  325. Seas, sees, seize
  326. Sew, so, sow
  327. Shake, sheikh
  328. Shear, sheer
  329. Shoe, shoo
  330. Sic, sick
  331. Side, sighed
  332. Sign, sine
  333. Sink, synch
  334. Slay, sleigh
  335. Sloe, slow
  336. Sole, soul
  337. Some, sum
  338. Son, sun
  339. Sort, sought
  340. Spa,spar
  341. Staid,stayed
  342. Stair,stare
  343. Stake,stoak
  344. Stalk,stork
  345. Stationary,stationery
  346. Steal,steel
  347. Stile,style
  348. Storey,story
  349. Straight,strait
  350. Sweat,sweet
  351. Swat,swot
  352. Tacks,tax
  353. Tale,tail
  354. Talk,torque
  355. Tare, tear
  356. Taught,taut,tort
  357. Tea,tee
  358. Team,teem
  359. Teas, tease
  360. Tare, tear
  361. Tern,t urn
  362. There,their, they’re
  363. Threw,through
  364. Throes,throws
  365. Throne, thrown
  366. Thyme,time
  367. Tic,tick
  368. Tide,tied
  369. Tire,tyre
  370. To,too,two
  371. Toad,toed,towed
  372. Told,tolled
  373. Tole,toll
  374. Ton,tun
  375. Tor,tore
  376. Tough,tuff
  377. Troop,troupe
  378. Tuba,tuber
  379. Vain,vane,vein
  380. Vale,veil
  381. Vial,vile
  382. Wail,wale,whale
  383. Wain, wane
  384. Waist, waste
  385. Waive, wave
  386. Wall, waul
  387. War, wore
  388. Warn, worn


  1. Watt, what
  2. Wax, whacks
  3. Way, weigh
  4. We, wee
  5. Weak, week
  6. We’d, weed
  7. Weal, we’ll, wheel
  8. Weather, whether
  9. Weir, we’re
  10. Were, whirr
  11. Wet, whet
  12. Weald, wheeled
  13. Which, witch
  14. Whig, wig
  15. While, wile
  16. Whine, wine
  17. Whirl, whorl
  18. Whirled, world
  19. Whit, wit
  20. White, wight
  21. Who’s, whose
  22. Wood, would
  23. Yaw, yore, your, you’re
  24. Yoke, yolk
  25. You’ll, yule






Write two words pronounced the same way as each of the following words.


  • B
  • C
  • I
  • P
  • T
  • U




In English there are letters that are usually not pronounced in certain words. Let us have a look at these letters and words in which they are silent.

Letter ‘A’


  • Logically
  • Musically
  • Romantically
  • Stoically
  • Artistically


Letter ‘B’


  • Aplomb
  • Bomb
  • Climb
  • Comb
  • Crumb
  • Debt
  • Jamb
  • Lamb
  • Limb
  • Numb
  • Plumb
  • Subtle
  • Succumb
  • Thumb
  • Tomb
  • Womb


Letter ‘C’


  • Ascend
  • Abscess
  • Ascent
  • Conscience
  • Conscious
  • Crescent
  • Descend
  • Descent
  • Discipline
  • Fascinate
  • Fluorescent
  • Isosceles
  • Luminescent
  • Muscle
  • Obscene
  • Resuscitate
  • Scenario
  • Scene
  • Scent
  • Scissors


Letter ‘D’


  • Wednesday
  • Hedge
  • Dodge
  • Pledge
  • Grudge
  • Sandwich
  • Handkerchief



Letter ‘E’


  • Hate
  • Name
  • Like
  • Hope
  • Lessen
  • Surprised


Letter ‘G’


  • Align
  • Assign
  • Benign
  • Campaign
  • Champagne
  • Cologne
  • Consign
  • Gnarl
  • Gnash
  • Gnaw
  • Gnome
  • Gnu
  • Reign
  • Sign


Letter ‘H’


  • Honest
  • Hour
  • Heir
  • Honour
  • Ache
  • Anchor
  • Archeology
  • Architect
  • Archives
  • Chaos
  • Character
  • Cholera
  • Charisma
  • Chemical
  • Chemist
  • Chorus
  • Choir
  • Echo
  • Loch
  • Shepherd
  • Monarch
  • Scheme
  • psych



Letter ‘I’

  • Business
  • Parliament

Letter ‘K’


  • Knock
  • Knapsack
  • Knave
  • Knead
  • Knee
  • Kneel
  • Knell
  • Knew
  • Knickers
  • Knife
  • Knight
  • Knit
  • Knob
  • Knock
  • Knot
  • Know
  • Knowledge
  • Knuckle


Letter ‘L’


  • Calm
  • Half
  • Talk
  • Walk
  • Would
  • Should
  • Calf
  • Salmon
  • Yolk
  • Folk
  • Balk


Letter ‘N’


  • Autumn
  • Column
  • Condemn
  • Damn
  • Hymn
  • Solemn


Letter ‘O’

  • Lesson

Letter ‘P’


  • Psychology
  • Pneumonia
  • Pseudo
  • Psychiatrist
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychotic
  • Receipt
  • Corps
  • Coup


Letter ‘S’


  • Island
  • Aisle
  • Apropos
  • Bourgeois


Letter ‘T’


  • Apostle
  • Bristle
  • Bustle
  • Castle
  • fasten
  • glisten
  • hustle
  • jostle
  • listen
  • moisten
  • mortgage
  • nestle
  • rustle
  • thistle
  • trestle
  • whistle
  • wrestle


Letter ‘U’


  • baguette
  • biscuit
  • build
  • built
  • circuit
  • disguise
  • guess
  • guide
  • guild
  • guile
  • guillotine
  • guilt
  • guilty
  • guilty
  • guise
  • guitar
  • rogue
  • silhouette
  • colleague
  • tongue


Letter ‘W’


  • awry
  • playwright
  • sword
  • wrangle
  • wrap
  • wrapper
  • wrath
  • wreak
  • wreath
  • wreck
  • wreckage
  • wren
  • wrench
  • wretched
  • wriggle
  • wring
  • wrinkle
  • wrist
  • writ
  • write
  • wrote
  • wrong
  • writhe
  • wrong
  • wrought
  • wrung
  • wry



Identify the silent letter(s) in:


  1. debtor
  2. isle
  • mock
  1. depot
  2. acquit
  3. womb
  • patios
  • thyme
  1. handsome
  2. sandwich
  3. government
  • listen
  • Christmas
  • Whether
  1. Rapport
  • Ballet
  • Chalet
  • Aplomb
  • Ricochet
  1. Clothes
  • Cupboard
  • Faux
  • Mnemonic
  • Numb
  • Rendezvous
  • Catalogue
  • Vegetable
  • Asthma
  • months
  • debris



  • A riddle is a statement or a question with veiled meaning posed as a puzzle to be solved.
  • The riddles play functions such as:
  • They boost the creativity of kids.
  • They entertain.
  • Some examples of riddles include:
  • What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? A towel.
  • What can you catch but not throw? A cold.
  • What goes around the world but stays in a corner? A stamp.
  • Give me food, and I will live; give me water, and I will die. What am I ? Fire.

Riddling Process

  • There are two parties involved: the audience (respondents) and the challenger(or the riddler).
  • There are basically four stages of a riddling process, but at times six.
  • The parts of the riddling process are:
  • The riddlerchallenges the audience. The challenge differs from community to community. Some phrases used here include: riddle riddle!, I have a riddle! Etc.
  • The respondents accept the challenge. The invitations include: riddle come! Throw it! Etc.
  • The riddler then poses the riddle.
  • The guess or guesses. The audience tries to come up with the solution. If they are unable, then the next part follows.
  • The challenger asks for a prize. The prize can be a town or city, or any other thing. The challenger accepts the prize.
  • Then the solution is given by the challenger.


Read the riddling convention below and then identify its six parts.

Challenger: I have a riddle!

Respondent: Throw it.

Challenger: What comes down but never goes up?

Respondent: Wind

Challenger: no, try again.

Respondent: Bird

Challenger: What will you give me if I offer the solution?

Respondent: You will have the entire fire to yourself.

Challenger: The answer is rain.





  • An ogre usually represents an evil.
  • Ogre are usually destroyed at the end.
  • They have happy ending.

Functions of Ogre Stories

  1. They warn against strangers.
  2. They caution youth against marrying the people they don’t know.
  • A character makes up for a physical weakness with cunning and subversive humour.
  • The trickster alternatives between:
  1. Cleverness and stupidity;
  2. Kindness and cruelty;
  • Deceiver and deceived; and
  1. Breaker of taboos and creator of culture.














  • A formal contest of argumentation between two sides is what debate is.
  • Debate embodies the ideals of reasoned argument, and tolerance for divergent points of view.
  • There are two sides in the debate: the proposition and the
  • These two teams are presented with a resolution, such as, ‘Girls and Boys Should play in a mixed football team.
  • The teams are given enough preparation time.
  • The team affirming the resolution speaks first.
  • The opposing team then must refute the arguments offered by the affirming team and offer arguments rejecting the resolution.
  • Both sides are given the opportunity to present their positions and to directly question the other team.
  • Neutral judge (s) then evaluate the persuasiveness of the arguments and offer constructive feedback.

Preparation Time

This is the time you have from when the motion is announced to the beginning of the debate. During this time:

  1. Research on the motion to get facts. The facts can be got from the teachers, other students, etc.
  2. Write notes on the facts. You can once in a while look at them during your presentation.
  3. Practice how to speak. Do it in front of friends and relatives, as well as in front of a mirror.
  4. If anxious, do some physical exercise. You can also take a deep breath just before your presentation.
  5. Dress decently.

Points Delivery

Here are the points that will help you be successful during your points delivery:

  1. Deliver your points in a confident and persuasive way.
  2. Vary your tone to make you sound interesting. Listening to one tone is boring.
  3. Speak quite loudly to be comfortably heard by everyone in the room. Shouting does not win debates.
  4. Make eye contact with your audience, but keep shifting your gaze. Don’t stare at one person.
  5. Concisely and clearly express your points to be understood by your audience members.
  6. Provide a proof for each point you put across. If you don’t you will not earn a point.
  7. Speak slowly and enunciate your words. When you slow down your speech, you give your audience and the judge more time to process your strong points.
  8. Use gestures to elaborate on your points.
  9. Pause to divide your major points.


  • Only supportive and argumentative heckling is permitted.
  • Heckling is a brief phrase (about two words) or other non- verbal actions that are directed to the judge of the debate.
  • They are reminder to the judge to pay close attention to the message immediately expressed by the speaker.
  • There are two types of heckles:
  • Those that are non-verbal, such as,
  • Rapping the knuckles on the desktop.
  • Rapping the palm on the desk.
  • Stamping the feet

They are meant to encourage the judge to heed a particularly strong point being made by the speaker.

  • Those that are verbal, such as,
  • Objective
  • Evidence
  • Point of information

They are said after standing up by one member of the opposing side.  These are meant to alert the judge to a problem in the opposing side’s argument.


After you deliver your points during the debate, everyone claps for you. How could you have delivered your points to earn their heckling?














Etiquette is the rules that indicate the proper and polite manner to behave.


  • When one uses courteous language, he/she uses a language that is very polite and polished to show respect.
  • At no time should you allow yourself be rude, ill-mannered, impolite, inconsiderate, or even thoughtless.
  • Being and remaining polite will go a long way in building relationships.
  • To show politeness and respect:
  • Use the word please in request;
  • Say thank you to those who help or compliment you.
  • Start your requests or interrogatives beginning with words such as can, could, may, will, or would.
  • Say excuse me when you interrupt other people or intrude into their time or privacy.
  • Use question tags.
  • In this section, we shall learn the words and phrases that show respect.


  • Please
  • We use it when you want someone to do something for you. For example: Can you pass that cup, please?
  • also used when you want something from someone. For example: Lend me ten shillings, please.
  • Thank you
  • Use it whenever someone does something for you.
  • Use it when someone commends you.
  • Sorry
  • Say it any time you inconvenience someone.
  • Say it when step on someone’s toes, etc.
  • Also when someone asks you something you cannot do.
  • Excuse me

To introduce a request to someone, or to get past someone, use this phrase. For example

Excuse me, can you show me where Amina lives?

  • Pardon me

Almost as ‘excuse me’



Exercise 1

Jennifer has gone to the shop to buy a bar of soap. The shopkeeper tells her to be polite the next time she comes to buy from him. Showing where, which polite phrases could Jennifer have failed to use?

Exercise 2

Read the dialogue below and then explain how Jacinta expresses politeness.

John:   I would like to send this letter to japan by airmail, how much is the charge?

Jacinta: It’s one pound, do you need extra stamps?

John: I do, I have been also expecting a package from New-York. Here is my identity card and receipt.

Jacinta: Would you mind signing this form? Here is the package.

John:Finally, I would like to send this registered letter to London.

Jacinta:Please fill in the complete address in capital letters.



















A personal space is an imaginary area between a person and their surrounding area. This space makes the person feel comfortable and should therefore not be encroached.

The distance can exist at work, at home and in our social circles.

The personal space varies depending on factors such as:

  • Gender
  • Trust
  • Relationship
  • Familiarity with the person.

Why Respect People’s personal Space?

  1. To make them feel comfortable.
  2. To maintain good relationships.
  3. To enhance listening. Especially during a talk.

General Personal Space Rules

The personal space guidelines below will help enhance listening and speaking:

  1. Respectfully keep your distance if you walk into a room and see two people in private conversation.
  2. Pay attention to your volume when you speak, whether on the phone or in person, to ensure you don’t distract attention of others.
  3. Maintain physical space at table and chair rows so the people around you have enough room to write, raise their hands, etc.
  4. Be mindful of amount of perfume or cologne you wear as if it is in excess it might distract others.
  5. Never lean on the other person’s shoulder unless invited to.
  6. Don’t eavesdrop on another person’s phone conversation. In case you overhear details of the conversation, keep it confidential.

Dealing with Space Intrusion

Depending on the nature of the intrusion, you would deal with space encroachment in different ways. Here are the steps of dealing with a person who leans on your shoulder:

  1. Lean away or take a step back away from the person hoping they would take a hint.
  2. Come right out and say you feel discomfort being too close.
  3. Explain why you need more space. You can for example tell them you need more space to write.



You have attended a one day seminar. The person sitting next to you is said to be intruding your personal space. What four personal space guidelines could this person have failed to follow?





  • Hill
  • Sit
  • Still
  • Blip
  • Fill
  • Blink
  • Thrill


  • Jeep
  • Creek
  • Greased
  • Teal
  • cheat


  • jet
  • bed
  • wet


Exercise 1

Sound /s/: seven, students, first, test, licences

Sound /z/ : driver’s, licences, Thursday

Exercise 2


  • Garage
  • Gift
  • Go
  • Digit
  • Entangle
  • Gecko



Exercise 3

Sound /ᶴ/ :tissue, passion, ocean, cautious, solution, pressure, Persian, chef, sure, precious

Sound /ᶾ/ :Caucasian, division, leisure, vision, casual, conclusion, television, decision, collision, exposure

Exercise 4

Sound /f/ : forgive, for, forgetting, leftover, food

Sound /v/ :forgive, leftover



  • Gate
  • Made
  • Male
  • Pail
  • Pane
  • Plane
  • Sail
  • Tail
  • Vane/vein
  • Waste
  • Weight
  • Ate
  • Sow
  • Know
  • Tow
  • Groan



Exercise 1


  • Heat
  • Shit
  • Teen
  • Pitch
  • Leap
  • Knit
  • Keep
  • Ill
  • Grid
  • Peel
  • Skid
  • Scheme


Exercise 2


  • Hid
  • Mess
  • Hem
  • Led
  • Fin
  • Led
  • Din
  • Pig


Exercise 3


  • Fail
  • Pen
  • Hell
  • Sail/sale
  • Whale
  • Met
  • Read/red
  • Debt
  • Main
  • Stead


Exercise 4


  • Bat
  • Much
  • Mud
  • Flash
  • Come
  • Dam
  • Sung
  • Ankle
  • Crush
  • Suck
  • Damp
  • Tag


Exercise 5


  • Merry
  • Bland
  • Kettle
  • Vet
  • Sex
  • Track
  • Tread
  • Mat


Exercise 6


  • Fir/fur
  • Hard
  • Purse
  • Firm
  • Shirk
  • Cart


Exercise 7


  • Ban
  • Vote
  • Best
  • Bowels
  • Bent
  • Very
  • Lobes
  • Verb


Exercise 8


  • Very
  • Leave
  • Fast
  • Vine
  • Halve
  • Prove
  • Fail
  • Grieve
  • Carve
  • Vault
  • File
  • Strife


Exercise 9


  • Bad
  • Got
  • Ride
  • Ant
  • add
  • Bet
  • Bought
  • Aid
  • Bed
  • feed
  • Hid
  • Heard
  • Mad
  • Meant
  • need
  • Not
  • Said
  • Plate
  • Sad
  • Debt


Exercise 10


  • Tag
  • Flock
  • Tuck
  • Come
  • Cash
  • Jag
  • Gave
  • Sack
  • League
  • Grab
  • Glass
  • Could
  • Coat
  • Block
  • Gill
  • Duck
  • Cut
  • Lock
  • Rag
  • got




  • bee, be
  • see, sea
  • aye, eye
  • pee, pea
  • tea, tee
  • ewe, you




  1. b
  2. s
  • c
  1. t
  2. c
  3. b
  • s
  • h
  1. d
  2. d
  3. n
  • t
  • t
  • h
  1. t
  • t
  • t
  • b
  • t
  1. e
  • p
  • x
  • m
  • b
  • z
  • ue
  • e
  • th
  • th
  • s







  • Challenge – I have a riddle!
  • Acceptance – Throw it.
  • Pose/ Riddle – What comes down but never goes up?
  • Guesses – wind, bird
  • Prize – Fire
  • Solution – rain

Exercise 2



I could have:

  • Spoken confidently
  • Varied my tone appropriately
  • Spoken loud enough to be heard by everyone
  • Made my contact with my audience
  • Provided proofs for my points in persuasive way.
  • Spoken slowly and enunciated words correctly
  • Used gestures that reinforced my ideas
  • Paused at key points


Exercise 1

  • Failed to use ‘thank you’ after being given the bar of soap.
  • Failed to use ‘please’ when asking to be given the bar of soap.
  • Failed to use ‘excuse me’ to get the shopkeeper’s attention.

Exercise 2

  • She has used ‘please’ when asking John to fill the address.
  • She has used ‘would’ in asking questions.



He could have failed to:

  • Speak in a low voice during the talk.
  • Maintain the physical distance between the two of us at the table.
  • Resist leaning on my shoulder or chest.
  • Resist eavesdropping on my phone conversation




  • It involves reading without pronouncing the words out loud.
  • It is reading to oneself.

Bad Silent Reading Habits

The following are some of the bad silent habits which you must try to break:

(a) Moving your lips when you read

(b) Vocalizing
Vocalizing means that you are pronouncing words in the voice box of the throat without making sounds. This also slows your reading rate to that of speaking.

(c) Regressing out of habit
Regressing means rereading a word, phrase, or sentence out of habit and not because of need. Sometimes, it is necessary to reread something, especially in a difficult passage. But habitual, unnecessary regressing really slows you down.

(d) Reading one word at a time

(e) Moving of the head as one reads.

(f) Pointing the words as you read.


Reasons for using a dictionary

A dictionary is a very important tool for anyone who is learning a new language. With a good dictionary you can do the following:

  • look up the meaning of an English word you see or hear
  • find the English translation of a word in your language
  • check the spelling of a word
  • check the plural of a noun or past tense of a verb
  • find out other grammatical information about a word
  • find the synonym or antonym of a word
  • look up the collocations of a word
  • check the part of speech of a word
  • find out how to say a word
  • find out about the register of a word
  • find examples of the use of a word in natural language

To be a good dictionary user, however, it is not enough to know what to use the dictionary for. You must also decide which is the best dictionary for any of the purposes listed above.

Finding words quickly

  • You will need to know the English alphabet perfectly.
  • Use the guide words at the top of each dictionary page.

Finding the right meaning of an English word

Very often when you look up a new English word, you find that it has more than one meaning. If you are not sure which one is correct, check through all the meanings and find the one that makes most sense in the context where you found the word.

Finding the right spelling

Another problem you may have is when you want to check your spelling but you can’t find the word you’re looking for. Here is what to do:

  • If you are sure of the first few letters, just look down the page until you find the right spelling.
  • If you are not sure of the first few letters, try some other possibilities. You know for example that some words that start with an -n sound have p as their first letter; e.g. . So if you can’t find the word under N, try looking in the P pages.


When you walk into a library, there are many resources at your fingertips. You just need to know what to use, how to use it, and when to ask for help.

Different Types of Libraries to Use

Depending on the topic you need to study, you might find that different libraries might serve you better.

The different types of libraries include:

  • Public: This library is the typical library working to make sure the local community has the books it needs without having to charge anyone to read them.
  • Home library
  • Class library.
  • School library

Using the library is easy and it only takes a little direction from you in order to fully realize how many books can help you with your topic of study.


Consulting the Librarian

At times, you may not know where to begin with a research topic. If you are not sure where to go or what questions to ask, it can help to bring in a third party who is not attached to your research: the librarian.

Talking to the librarian will help have book titles that have been helpful to you. If you already have found helpful books, show the librarian so they can look for similar books in the stacks.




















  • An excellent summary is a summary written to show that you have read and understood something.
  • You will get assignments that ask you to read a certain material and summarize it.

How to produce a summary:

1.Read the material to be summarized and be sure you understand it.

2.Outline the major points.

3.Write a first draft of the summary without looking at the material.

4.Always use paraphrase when writing a summary.

5.Target your first draft for approximately 1/4 the length of the original.

6.Never put any of your own ideas, opinions, or interpretations into the summary. This means you have to be very careful of your word choice.

  1. Write in prose – not point form.



How to Make Notes

The following tips will come in handy when making notes:

  1. Read the material carefully and thoroughly.
  2. Underline the key sentences as you read. This will help in forming the title.
  3. Make a rough note of the main points in a logical sequence.
  4. Write the final notes.

You should have in mind that a note:

  1. Should be short and to the point.
  2. Contain all the important and relevant information.
  3. Should have information systematically divided and subdivided.
  4. Should have a short title. Avoid long sentences as titles.
  5. Must be written in points only.

Notes Template

TITLE …………………….

  • ………………………………………….
  • …………………………………………
  • ………………………………………..
  • ………………………………………..

















  • They are simply words that name people, places, things, or ideas.
  • They are not the actual names.
  • The word ‘teacher’ is a common noun, but the word ‘Halima’ is not.
  • A common noun identifies a thing, etc.
  • Example of common nouns are:
  • People: teacher, father, secretary, woman, girl, etc
  • Animals: Tiger, Dog, Cow, etc
  • Things: Chair, desk, cup, phone, etc
  • Places: City, town, continent, etc
  • Ideas: envy, hate, love, pride, etc

How to Capitalize Common Nouns

The simple rule is: don’t capitalize a common noun, unless it is the first word in a sentence, or part of a title.

Examples in Sentences

  • Let’s go to that hotel.
  • I visit a town during the holidays.


Substitute the underlined word(s) with a common noun. You can add a word before the noun.

  1. John and Nick were taught.
  2. I have visited Asia.
  3. She lives in Nairobi.
  4. We eat at the Hilton.
  5. Have you ever swum in the Nile?
  6. I drive Mercedes Benz.
  7. Everyone went shopping at Tuskys.
  8. Corporal Jones has died.
  9. I come from Rwanda.
  10. I am teach at Alliance.


  • A proper noun is a name used for an individual person, thing, or a place.
  • They always begin in capital letters no matter where they occur in sentences.
  • Look at the table below.
Common Noun Proper Noun Example in a Sentence




Mr. Kamau

Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta



Mr. Kamau is our teacher of English.

Mr Uhuru Kenyatta is in the state house.

Mombasa is the place I go every weekend.




Identify proper nouns in the sentences below.

  1. I will take you to Rich’s Palace.
  2. Sarah is the girl I told you about.
  3. Of all the continents, I like Africa the most.
  4. Gracy is the cutest kitten ever.
  5. I am craving Oreos.
  6. I used Tilly in cooking.
  7. Jupiter is one of the planets.
  8. Margaret was a great author.




Concrete Nouns

  • A concrete noun register to our senses.
  • You can see, hear, taste, smell, or even feel them.
  • The examples are:
  • Table
  • Ball
  • House
  • Rice
  • Water
  • Wool


Abstract Nouns

  • They don’t register to one’s senses.
  • They are just ideas, feelings, or qualities.
  • Some examples of abstract nouns include:


  • Health
  • Interest
  • Sleep
  • Traffic
  • Advice
  • Education
  • Business
  • Insurance
  • Happiness
  • Peace
  • Knowledge
  • History
  • Noise
  • Intelligence
  • Anger
  • Fun
  • Pride
  • Confidence
  • Determination
  • Law
  • Laughter


Example in Sentences

  • Education is the key to life.
  • All the teacher wanted was a proof.
  • I will apply once the opportunity presents itself.
  • They are calling for justice.
  • You need to change your behaviour.
  • Love makes the world go round.


Exercise 1

Identify the nouns in the sentences and write whether it they are concrete or abstract.

  1. A man must always have the courage to face every challenge.
  2. No matter what happens, we must not lose hope.
  3. My faith in God is very strong.
  4. A person should buy a beautiful dress.
  5. Have you seen the black dog?
  6. Love is blind.

Exercise 2

Fill the blank with the appropriate form of the word in brackets.

  1. She asked for my _______________ about this book. (advise)
  2. The _________________ in Kenya is not as good as it was 10 years ago. (educate)
  3. The way she answers questions shows she has above average _____________. (intelligent)
  4. She explained the ________________ of physical exercise. (important)
  5. _____________ means different things to different people. (happy)
  6. ___________ is all that will help. (confident)
  7. It is _______________ that comes before a fall. (proud)
  8. His ______________ led him to kill Ojwang. (angry)
  9. The composition she wrote showed a high level of ______________. (imagine)
  10. You will die out of ___________. (lonely)

A concrete noun can either be categorized as count or non-count.

Count Nouns

  • A count noun can be expressed in plural form, normally with an “-s”, for example,
  • Season – seasons
  • Dog – dogs
  • Teacher – teachers


  • When you look around the classroom, there are things that you can count. What are they? The list of things you can probably see are:
  • Chairs
  • Tables
  • Flag
  • Textbooks
  • Desks
  • Cups
  • Such nouns can be preceded by appropriate articles, whether singular or plural.

Non-Count Nouns

  • Also referred to as mass nouns.
  • Nouns falling under this category are those:
  • That cannot be counted
  • That do not have plural forms.
  • Below are the examples of non-count nouns.


  • Luggage
  • Weather
  • Equipment
  • Oxygen
  • Wood
  • Plastic
  • Hair
  • Air
  • Milk
  • Juice
  • Beer
  • Soccer
  • Biology
  • Reading
  • Glass
  • Sunshine
  • Rice
  • History
  • News
  • Mathematics
  • Electricity
  • Meat
  • Furniture


Examples in Sentences

  1. This is school equipment.
  2. Plastic is a non conductor.




  • There are rules for spelling plural nouns.

General Rules for Spelling Plural Nouns

  1. Most nouns add “-s”, for example
  • Book – books
  • Pen – pens
  • Phone – phones
  1. Most nouns that end in “-ch”, “-sh”, “-s”, “-x”, or “-z” add “-ies”, for example,
  • Church – churches
  • Box – boxes
  • Prize – prizes
  • Bus – buses


  1. Most nouns that end in a consonant and “-y” becomes “-ies”, for example,
  • Spy – spies
  • Community – communities
  • Activity – activities
  • Country – countries
  1. Most nouns that end in “-f”, or “-fe” add “-ves”, for example,
  • Elf – elves
  • Wolf – wolves
  • Half – halves
  • Knife – knives
  • Scarf – scarves
  1. Some nouns that end in a consonant and “o”, add “-es”, for example,
  • Tomato – tomatoes
  • Buffalo – buffaloes
  • Volcano – volcanoes
  • Hero – heroes
  • Mosquito – mosquitoes
  1. Some nouns only change their vowels, for example,
  • Goose – geese
  • Man – men
  • Mouse – mice
  • Tooth – teeth

There are those that do not change at all, for example,

  • Deer
  • Species
  • Fish
  • Sheep
  • There are a few nouns that have plural forms which are left from old English, for example,
  • Child – children
  • Ox – oxen
  • Then there are those of Latin origin. They are like:
  • Antenna – antennae
  • Appendix – appendices, appendixes
  • Cactus – cacti
  • Stadium – stadia, stadiums
  • Terminus – termini, terminuses
  • Referendum – referenda, referendums
  • Index – indices, indexes
  • Formula – formulae, formulas
  • Curriculum – curricula, curriculums




















  • An article is a kind of adjective.
  • It is used with a noun and gives some information about that noun.
  • There are two articles:
  • A
  • The
  • The article “a” has a form “an”.
  • Article “a” is known as the indefinite article. It is called indefinite since the noun it goes with is indefinite or general.
  • The form “an” is used when the noun it precedes begins with a vowel.
  • The article “a” has the same meaning as number “one”. For example, one can say:

I have bought a pen. Or

I have bought one pen.

  • The article “the” is definite article.
  • A definite article indicates a specific thing. Can you identify the difference between the pair of sentences below?
  • I bought a pen.
  • I bought the pen.

The second sentence shows that I bought a particular pen, and not any other.

  • The article “the” is used with count nouns when:
  • We use the noun a second and subsequent times.
  • The listener knows what you are referring to.


Fill in the blank with appropriate article. Leave the space blank if no article is needed.

  1. I have to eat ______________ apple today.
  2. She has __________ dog at home.
  3. My son has learnt how to play __________ piano.
  4. Tom likes to play ______________ basketball.
  5. There is ___________ new book on the table.
  6. ___________ teacher is late this morning.
  7. ___________ ink in my pen is black.
  8. She speaks _________ Japanese.
  9. What ___________ expensive bike!
  10. He is _____________ honest person.





  • They represent specific people or things.
  • They are used depending on:
  • Number: whether singular or plural
  • Person: whether first, second, or third persons
  • Gender: whether male, female, or neuter
  • Case : whether in the case of subject or object

Number versus Person

Number First Person Second Person Third Person
Singular I


You He/she/it
Plural We


You They


Gender versus Person

Person                             Gender
Male Female Neuter
First person      
Second person      
Third person He She It



  • The pronouns used as subjects are:
  • I
  • We
  • He
  • She
  • It
  • They
  • You
  • The pronouns below are used as objects:
  • Me
  • Us
  • Him
  • Her
  • It
  • You
  • Them

Examples in Sentences

  • I like it.
  • You are my best friend.
  • She is running from the truth.
  • Get me that book please.
  • They are interviewing them.

Exercise 1

Fill the blanks with correct forms of pronouns in brackets.

  1. __________ am the new class prefect. (me)
  2. ___________ doesn’t matter. (they)
  3. Does Martha like ____________? (he)
  4. Killion helped ___________. (I)
  5. Did you see ___________ ? (she)

Exercise 2

Replace the underlined words with an appropriate pronoun.

  1. The old gate doesn’t look good.
  2. Tom and Mary went to school.
  3. The dog bit the doctor and the chief.
  4. Moses runs faster than Rebecca.
  5. Phiona and Ruth played doubles.
  6. Christine is clever.
  7. I brought the dress.
  8. Antony drove Junet and me.











  • We use possessive pronouns to refer to a specific person or people, or thing or things that belong to a person or people, or things.
  • Just like personal pronouns, they are used depending on:
  • Number
  • Person
  • Gender
  • Case

Number  and Person

  • In singular we use:

Mine – first  Person

Yours  — second person

His/hers/its – third person

  • In plural, use:

Ours – first person

Yours – second person

Theirs – third person


  • For male gender, the pronoun below are used:


  • For female gender use, hers


A possessive pronoun can either be a subject or object.

Examples in Sentences

  • Mine is that one.
  • This one is mine.
  • The cars are yours.
  • Yours are those ones over there.
  • Hers has been stolen.
  • This building is ours.


Complete each sentence with the possessive pronoun form of the word(s) underlined.

  1. Martha did _____________ homework in time.
  2. Have you got ___________ money.
  3. I like your name. Do you like ___________ ?
  4. Hector and Emmy have seen your bag. Have you seen ____________?
  5. Jane, my flowers are dying. ____________ are good.
  6. I have come with my sister. ___________ name is Alice.
  7. Sophie and Gerges study Science. _____________ teacher is kind.
  8. We love __________ new boss.
  9. He is in __________ house.
  10. Are you and your friend enjoying __________ weekend?
  11. The cat has bit ___________ tail.
  12. Right has a brother. ___________ is 10 years old.



  • They are special kind of pronouns.
  • A reflexive pronoun is used when the object of a sentence is the same as the subject.
  • Each personal pronoun has its own reflexive form.
  • The table below shows personal pronouns with their equivalent reflexive pronouns.
Personal Pronoun Reflexive Pronoun
I Myself
You (singular) Yourself
You (plural) Yourselves
He Himself
She Herself
It Itself
We Ourselves
They Themselves


When Reflexive Pronouns are Used

Reflexive pronouns are used when:

  • The object and the subject are similar. For example,
  • She bit herself.

The subject she and the object herself are similar.

  • They betrayed
  • Matthew likes himsel
  • They are used as the object of prepositions. In the sentences below, the words underlined are the prepositions and the ones in boldface are the objects of those prepositions.
  • Young bought a pencil for himself.
  • Halima mopped the room by herself.
  • The mad man talks to himself.
  • They are also used when emphasizing the subjects. Examples
  • I ate all the rice myself. This means no one else had any.
  • Dan will wash the clothes himself. This means she will be helped by no one.

Can you differentiate between the pair of sentences below?

She bought the pen herseif.

She bought the dress for herself.


Fill the correct form of reflexive pronoun for each blank space.

  1. In the evening, we went to the market to buy _________________ food to cook.
  2. I don’t know whether they went to school or whether they taught ______________ .
  3. If you hurt ______________ , don’t cry to anyone.
  4. This cat caught the rat _____________ .
  5. Whenever I see ___________ in a mirror, I smile to ___________ .
  6. That little duck is washing _____________ in the pond.
  7. Jonathan ate all the food _____________ .
  8. Good evening everyone? Please make _____________ comfortable.
  9. Since the school is their father’s, they give _______________ break whenever they feel like.
  10. Mary bought the dress for _____________ .

















  • A pronoun can be used where a noun or a noun phrase can be used in a sentence.
  • Pronouns perform the following functions in a sentence:
  • As the Subject of a Verb
  • The subject of verb is that which performs that action.
  • Some of the pronouns used as subjects of the verbs are:





We etc

Examples in Sentences

  1. He is my best friend.
  2. You are the one I saw.
  • They are the school administrators.


  • As the Object of A Verb
  • An object is the recipient of the action.
  • Some object pronouns include:






It etc

Examples in Sentences

  1. Richard escorted him.
  2. He separated them.
  • I saw her.
  • As the Object of a preposition

An object of preposition immediately follows the preposition.


  1. I will think about it.
  2. I bought it for him.







  • A verb is a word that shows an action, state, or even an occurrence.
  • There are two main verb types:
  • Lexical verbs
  • Auxiliary verbs
  • In this section, we shall study Lexical verbs.


  • A lexical verb is the main verb in a sentence.
  • It does not need a helping verb as it carries the meaning.
  • The examples are:
  • Talk
  • Sing
  • Run
  • Jump
  • Eat
  • Go etc
  • Depending on how they form their past tense and past participle forms, they are grouped as regular or irregular verbs.


Examples in Sentences

  1. I work at the station.
  2. She drives a fancy car.
  3. I gave you all I had.


  • Verbs are subdivided into regular and irregular verbs depending on how their past tense and past participles are formed.
  • A regular verb adds –ed or –d to the end of the base forms.

Examples of Regular Verbs

Verb Past Tense Past Participle


















Examples In Sentences

  1. He jumped over the fence.
  2. He killed the cat.
  • For Irregular verbs, there is no formula that predict their past tense and past participle forms.
  • They include:
Verb Past Tense Past Participle




















Examples in Sentences

  1. He ran towards the river.
  2. Have you repaid the loan?
  3. I have swum.



















  • The simple present tense is used to express:
  1. Habitual actions, for example,
  2. She eats fish.
  3. She washes her clothes every week.
  • We see movies every evening.
  1. Some general truths, for example,
  2. Water boils at 100 degrees.
  3. The month of April has 30 days.


Points to Remember on The Simple Present Third Person Singular

  • The verb usually ends in –s, for example,
  1. He runs
  2. She runs
  • It runs
  • Negative and question are “does”, for example,
  1. He does not run.
  2. Does he run?
  • She does not run.
  1. Does she run?
  • In case of negative and question, the next verb after “does” does not add an -s

Present Simple Tense – Negative

A negative sentence is usually formed by using “not”.

Examples in Sentences

  1. I do not like it.
  2. We do not like it.
  • You do not like it.
  1. She does not like it.
  2. He does not like it.
  3. They do not like it.

Present Simple Tense – Questions

The questions are formed  by using either “do” or “does” at the beginning.

Examples in Sentences

  1. Do you like it?
  2. Do we like it?
  • Do you like it?
  1. Does she like it?
  2. Does he like it?
  3. Do they like it?

Exercise 1

Rewrite each sentence below following the instruction in brackets. Do not change the meaning of the sentence.

  1. I live in Maragua. (begin with: do)
  2. Right comes to school daily. (begin: does)
  3. She does not play rugby. (do not use: not)
  4. The train leaves at 8.00 am. (use: 9.00 am)
  5. Does he forget his wallet? (begin: he)

Exercise 2

Use the correct form of the verb in brackets to complete each of the following sentences.

  1. I ______________ fifteen years old now. (be)
  2. Moureen ______________ at Githurai. (live)
  3. Emilly ___________ dinner for them. (cook)
  4. The students ____________ lunch at 1.00 pm. (eat)
  5. My grandmother ____________ medicine when she is sick. (take)
  6. It normally ____________ here in April. (rain)
  7. It _____________ in May as much as it does in March. (rain)
  8. They ___________ French twice a week. (study)
  9. Mr Gregory ______________ Geography at Lukenya High School.
  10. George _____________ to church every Sunday. (go)


  • A simple past tense is used to talk about a completed action in a time before now.
  • The time of action can be in the recent past or the distant past.


  1. I walked all the way to school.
  2. We saw them at the restaurant.
  3. They played the piano.
  4. She ate her lunch at 1.00 pm.

How to Form the Simple Past Tense

Simple Past in Negative Statement

The pattern here is:


She did not call.

Simple Past in Interrogative

Did she call you?



Fill in the correct form of word in brackets to complete each sentence.

  1. I ______________ to the theatre last week. (go)
  2. It _________ interesting. (be)
  3. I __________ three sites last year. (visit)
  4. It ____________ as it did the the previous week. (rain)
  5. She ____________ a single card from her relatives.(receive)
  6. We ___________ to a new house last month. (move)
  7. They ____________ us pizza yesterday. (bring)
  8. I ____________ a big lion. (see)
  9. Where _______________ your last weekend? (spend/you)
  10. It was cold, so  I _________________ off my coat. (take)
  11. Since the door was opened, the bird _____________ into the house.
  12. The car wasn’t expensive. It _____________ very much. (cost)

















The comparative form of an adjective is used to compare  two people or things. Example

He is quicker than Ngure.


The superlative form of an adjective is used to compare more than two people or things. Example

He is the quickest of the three.

Ways of Making Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

  • Adjectives with One Syllable

In general, if an adjective has one syllable, then –er  or –r for comparative and –est  or –st for supelatives are added to the adjective. Examples


Adjective Comparative Form Superlative Form



















  • Adjectives with Two Syllables
  • There are those that simply add –er or –r for comparative, and –est or –st for superlative. Examples
  1. Feeble Feebler   Feeblest
  • some use theword “more” for comparative, and “most” for superlative forms. Examples
  1. famous more famous      most famous
  • There are those that can do with either ­–er or –r , or more for comparative and –est or –st , or most for superlative. They are special adjectives.Examples
  1. Clever Cleverer  (more clever)   Cleverest (most clever)
  2. Simple Simpler (more simple)   Simplest (most simple)


  • Other special adjectives are:
  • Quiet
  • Polite
  • Pleasant
  • Likely
  • Commonly
  • Sure
  • Adjectives with Three or More Syllables

Word more  for comparative and most for superlatives are used. Examples

Interesting   moreinteresting   most interesting

Attractive     more attractive    most attractive

  • Irregular adjectives

Some adjectives have Irregular comparative and superlative forms. Examples

Adjective Comparative Form Superlative Form















  • The way an adjective make comparative and superlative forms is what determines whether it is regular or irregular.

Regular Adjectives

  • A regular adjective adds –er or more in comparative form, and –est or most for superlatives.
  • The table below illustrates this.
Adjective Comparative Superlative







More beautiful





Most beautiful


Irregular Adjectives

  • They have completely different forms.
  • It is not easy to predict their comparative and superlative forms.
  • Examples are:
  • Good
  • Bad etc




Gradable Adjectives

  • A gradable adjective has different degrees.
  • You can say “very hot” or “a bit hot”. Hot is therefore a gradable adjective. Other gradable adjectives are:
  • Cold
  • Warm
  • Tall
  • Nice etc


  • There are grading adverbs that can be used with gradable adjectives. They include:
  • A bit
  • Very
  • Extremely
  • Quite
  • Really
  • So etc

Examples in Sentnces

  1. It is extremely cold
  2. This novel is quite interesting.
  • The girl is very beautiful.
  1. She is reasonably popular.

Non-Gradable Adjectives

  • They do not have different degrees.
  • Some examples of non gradable adjectives are:


  • Excellent
  • Impossible
  • Digital
  • Domestic
  • Unique
  • Absolutely
  • Nearly
  • Chemical
  • Totally


  • One cannot say “very dead” or “really dead”. The adjective “dead” is thus, a non-gradable adjective.
  • A grading adverb cannot be used with the non-gradable adjectives.

Example in a Sentence

  1. The dead relative will be buried soon.








  • They tell us the manner in which the action happened, happens, or will happen.
  • The examples are:
  • Carefully
  • Slowly
  • Loudly
  • Easily etc

Examples in Sentences

  1. She answered it correctly.
  2. The problem was solved easily.
  3. He drives
  4. He walked quickly.
  5. He runs fast.


  • An adverb of time tell us when an action happens.
  • An adverb of time can also tell us for how long that action occurred. For example, three months.
  • Some examples of adverbs of time are:
  • Today
  • Next week
  • Late
  • Early
  • Morning
  • Last year
  • Two months time, etc

Examples in Sentences

  1. I saw it yesterday.
  2. He came to school late.
  • She watched the whole day.



  • These are adverbs that answer questions “How frequently?” or “how often?”.
  • They tell us how often something happens.
  • There are two types of adverbs of frequency:
  1. Adverbs of definite frequency, for example,
  • Monthly
  • Daily
  • Hourly
  • Weekly
  • Yearly
  • Every minute
  • Twice a month
  • Once
  • Three times a day, etc

Examples in Sentences

  • Employees pay taxes monthly.
  • The storekeeper checks the store every day.
  • I review my notes every week.
  1. Adverbs of indefinite frequency, for example,
  • Never
  • Sometimes
  • Often
  • Always
  • Seldom
  • Frequently
  • Occasionally
  • Usually

Examples in Sentences

  1. She is never
  2. I often do my assignment.
  • They sometimes visit me.












  • A preposition joins words together and show the relationship between the different parts of a sentence.
  • The following are the simple prepositions with examples in sentences:


  1. In, on, at

He is in the house.

The cup is on the table.

He teaches at a school in Wajir.

  1. Above, below

Most students scored above 50.

Few students scored below 4o.

  1. Over, under

Don’t jump over the fence.

The cat is hiding under the bed.

  1. Around, through

The flowers we planted around the house.

The spear went through his body.

  1. Before, after

I will see him before lunch.

He is leaving after lunch.

  1. To, from

I am coming from Limuru.

I am going to Nairobi.

  1. About, by

Have you read the story about an ogre?

The story was written by Kendagor.

  1. With, without

He didn’t want to go with us.

We went without him.

  1. Between, among

This is a secret between you and me.

There is no secret among many.

  1. Inside, outside

The bottle is inside the box.

The spoon is outside the box.



Specific prepositions are used after certain adjectives. There is no definite rule to ascertain which preposition should be used with which adjective. We simply need to learn them.

Here is a list of some commonly used adjectives and the prepositions that normally follow them:

accustomed To
Afraid Of
Accused Of
acquainted With
Addicted To
Annoyed about/with/at
Allergic To
Amazed at/by
Anxious About
appreciated For
Ashamed Of
associated With
astonished at/by
Aware Of
Angry With
Afraid Of
Attached To
Bad At
Based On
beneficial To
Boastful For
Bored With
Brilliant At
Busy With
Capable Of
Careful with/about/of
Certain About
characteristic Of
Clever At
connected With
conscious Of
Content With
Crazy About
Crowded With
Curious About
dissatisfied With
Doubtful About
Delighted at/about
Derived From
Different From
disappointed With
Eager For
Eligible For
enthusiastic About
Excellent in/at
Excited About
experienced In
Exposed To
Envious Of
Faithful To
Familiar With
Famous For
fed up With
Free of/from
frightened Of
Friendly With
Fond Of
Furious About
Furnished With
Full Of
Generous with/about
Guilty of/about
Gentle With
Good At
Grateful To
Happy About
Hopeful of/about
Identical with/to
Immune To
impressed With
Inferior To
indifferent To
Innocent Of
interested In
Involved With
Incapable Of
Jealous Of
Kind To
Keen On
Late For
Limited To
Lucky At
Nervous of/about
Notorious For
Opposed To
Patient With
pessimistic About
Pleased With
Polite To
Popular With
Presented With
Proud Of
Punished For
Puzzled by/about
Qualified For
Ready For
Related To
Relevant To
respectful For
responsible For
Rid Of
Sad About
Safe From
Satisfied With
Scared Of
Sensitive To
Serious About
Sick Of
Similar To
Shocked By
Skilful At
Slow At
Sorry for/about
successful In
Suitable For
Sure of/about
Superior To
Surprised At
suspicious Of
sympathetic With
terrible At
terrified Of
tired Of
thankful to/for
trilled With
troubled With
typical Of
unaware Of
upset About
used To
wrong with/about
worried About


Examples in Sentences

1.     It was nice of you to help me.

2.     Why are you so angry about it? They were furious with me for not inviting them to my party.

3.     I was disappointed with the book she bought me.

4.     I was pleased with the present you gave me. Were you disappointed with your examination result

5.     They have been astonished by something.

6.     Everyone was surprised by /at the news.

7.     Are you excited about going on holiday next week?

8.     Are you afraid of dogs?

9.     I’m not ashamed of what I did.

10.  I’m not very good at driving big cars.

11.  Your composition is full of errors.

12.  Your name is similar to mine.

Verb +Preposition Combination

  • Some verbs need a preposition before an object or another verb.
  • These kinds are called dependent prepositions and they are followed by a noun or a gerund (‘ing’ form).
  • Here are some other verbs with their dependent prepositions.


account for
accuse SO of ST
adapt to
add SO/ST to SO/ST
add to
adjust to
admit ST to SO
admit to
agree on
agree to
agree with
apologize to SO for ST
appeal to SO for ST
approve of
argue with SO about SO/ST
argue with SO over ST
arrange for SO (to do something)
arrest SO for ST
arrive at (a place)
ask for



base on
be absent from (a place)
be accustomed to
be acquainted with
be addicted to ST
be afraid of
be angry at SO for ST
be angry with SO for ST
be annoyed at SO for ST
be annoyed with SO for ST
be anxious about ST
be associated with
be aware of
be blessed with
be bored by
be bored with
be capable of ST
be cluttered with ST
be committed to
be composed of
be concerned about
be connected to
be connected with
be content with
be convinced of ST
be coordinated with ST
be crowded in (a building or room)
be crowded with (people)
be dedicated to
be devoted to
be disappointed in
be disappointed with
be discouraged by
be discouraged from (doing something)
be discriminated against
be divorced from SO
be done with ST
be dressed in
be encouraged with
be engaged in ST
be engaged to SO
be envious of
be equipped with ST
be excited about
be exposed to
be faced with
be faithful to
be familiar with
be famous for
be filled with
be finished with
be fond of
be friendly to SO
be friendly with SO
be frightened by
be frightened of
be furnished with ST
be grateful to SO for ST
be guilty of ST
be happy about ST
be innocent of ST
be interested in
be involved in ST
be involved with
be jealous of
be known for ST
be limited to
be made from ST
be made of (material)
be married to
be opposed to
be patient with SO
be pleased with
be polite to SO
be prepared for
be protected from
be proud of
be related to
be relevant to
be remembered for ST
be responsible for
be satisfied with
be scared of
be terrified of
be thankful for
be tired from (doing something)
be tired of (doing something)
be worried about
beg for
begin with
believe in
belong to
benefit from
blame SO for ST
blame ST on SO
boast about
borrow ST from SO


care about
care for
catch up with
cater to
charge SO for ST
charge SO with ST
choose between SO/ST and SO/ST
chose ST from ST
collide with
come from
comment on
communicate with SO
compare SO/ST to SO/ST
compare SO/ST with SO/ST
compete with
complain about
compliment SO on ST
concentrate on
concern SO with ST
confess to
confuse SO/ST with SO/ST
congratulate SO on ST
consent to ST
consist of
contribute to ST
convict SO of ST
cope with
correspond with SO
count on
cover with
crash into
cure SO of ST


deal with
decide against
decide between SO/ST and SO/ST
decide on
dedicate ST to SO
demand ST from SO
depend on
derive ST from ST
deter SO from ST
devote ST to SO
differ from
disagree with
disapprove of
discourage SO from ST
discuss ST with SO
distinguish between SO/ST and SO/ST
distinguish SO/ST from SO/ST
distract SO from ST
dream about
dream of
dress SO in ST
drink to


elaborate on ST
emerge from ST


escape from (a place)
exchange SO/ST for SO/ST
exclude SO from ST
excuse SO for ST
expel SO from (a place)
experiment on
explain ST to SO


feel about
feel like
fight about
fight against
fight for
fight with
forget about
forgive SO for ST


gamble on
gawk at
gaze at
get back from (a place)
get married to SO
get rid of
get through with
get tired of
get used to
give ST to SO
glare at
gloat at
grieve for
gripe at SO
grumble at SO about ST


happen to
harp on
hear about
hear from SO
hear of
help SO with ST
hide ST from SO
hinder SO/ST from ST
hinge on
hope for


insist on
insure against
interfere in ST
interfere with ST
introduce SO/ST to SO/ST
invest in
invite SO to
involve SO/ST in ST


jabber about
joke about
joke with SO about SO/ST
jot down ST


laugh about
laugh at
learn about
lend ST to SO
listen for
listen to
long for
look at
look forward to


meet with SO
mistake SO/ST for SO/ST


nod at
nod to


object to
operate on


participate in ST
pay for
persist in
plan on
praise SO for ST
pray for
prefer SO/ST to SO/ST
prepare for
present SO with ST
prevent SO/ST from (doing something)
prohibit SO from (doing something)
provide for
provide SO with ST
provide SO/ST for SO
punish SO for ST


react to
recover from ST
refer to ST
relate to
rely on
remind SO of SO/ST
reply to
rescue SO from SO/ST
resign from ST
respond to
result in ST
retire from ST


save SO from ST
search for
sentence SO to ST
separate SO/ST from SO/ST
share ST with SO
shout at
show ST to SO
smile at SO
speak to SO about SO/ST
specialize in ST
spend (money/time) on
stand for
stare at
stem from
stop SO from (doing something)
subject SO to ST
subscribe to
substitute SO/ST for SO/ST
subtract ST from ST
succeed at ST
succeed in (doing something)
suffer from
suspect SO of ST


take advantage of
take care of
talk about
talk to
tell SO about ST
thank SO for ST
think about
think of
toast to
translate ST into (a language)
trust SO with ST
turn to


use ST for ST


vote against
vote for


wait for
warn about
waste (money/time) on
wish for
work for
work on
worry about
write about
write to SO


yap about
yearn for



Exercise 1

Fill the blank spaces with the most appropriate prepositions.

  1. She has placed the cup _____________ the table.
  2. I will allow you go _________ the field.
  3. She is singing _________ her room.
  4. Is he ________ home now?
  5. He lives _________ Nairobi.
  6. Don’t be late _________ class.
  7. Compare your points __________ your friend’s.
  8. Are the new student ________ Ethiopia?
  9. Rich is still ________ vacation.
  10. My daughter’s birthday is ________ May.



  1. On
  2. To
  3. In
  4. At
  5. In
  6. For
  7. With
  8. From
  9. On
  10. In



Exercise 2

Complete the sentences with the most appropriate prepositions.

  1. It was stupid …………………her to go out without a coat.
  2. Everyone was pleased ………………….the marks they scored.
  3. I am bored ………………..singing every morning.
  4. Are you interested ………………..sports?
  5. Kenya is famous ……………… her athletes.
  6. I will be happy to see married ……………. Gregory.
  7. The town is crowded with people.
  8. You will be held responsible …………………anything that happens.
  9. She is sorry ……………….. her behavior last night.
  10. You should be sorry …………………..missing the lesson.
  11. Jemimah is fond …………………. dogs.
  12. I am keen ………….. leave this school.
  13. What are you excited ……………..?
  14. It seems she is upset ………………something.
  15. You shouldn’t be worried …………………anything as long as I am around.




  • Of
  • With
  • With
  • In
  • For
  • To
  • With
  • For
  • About
  • For
  • Of
  • On
  • About
  • About
  • About




















  • A coordinating conjunction connects words, phrases, and clauses.
  • And, but, for, nor, or, so, and yet are the known coordinating conjunctions.

Examples in Sentences

  1. This is a beautiful girl, but a difficult one to convince.
  2. It was cold, so I put on my jacket.
  • This tea is thick and sweet.
  1. Do you like white rice, or brown rice?

Functions of Coordinating Conjunctions

Conjunction Function


Example in a Sentence
And Joins two similar ideas Jane and Mary are in form one.
But Joins two contrasting ideas He drives slowly, but sure.
Or Joins two alternative ideas We can go to Naivasha, or stay here and watch news.
So Shows the second idea is the result of the first I was sick, so I did not go to school.
Nor Joins two negative alternatives. He doesn’t wake up early, nor do I.
For Give a reason I was punished, for I was late.
Yet Joins two contrasting ideas (means “but”) I was punished, yet I arrived early.


Join each pair of sentences with an appropriate coordinating conjunction.

  1. I love to travel. I hate travelling by bus.
  2. You should go to bed now. You will be tired tomorrow.
  3. The bus stopped. Two passengers got out of it.
  4. Helen was angry with Jane. Helen went out to cool down.
  5. I arrived at school late. I left home early.


  1. I love to travel but I hate travelling by bus.
  2. You should go to bed now, or you will be tired tomorrow.
  3. The bus stopped and two passengers got out of it.
  4. Helen was angry with Jane, so she went out to cool down.
  5. I arrived at school late, yet I left home early.



  • A phrase is a group of words without a subject and a verb and which does not make sense on its own.
  • There are various types of phrases. They include:
  • Noun phrases
  • Verb phrases
  • Adjective phrases
  • Adverb phrases
  • Prepositional phrases
  • At your level, we will only study noun phrases.


  • A noun phrase is a group of words that plays role of a noun and has a noun has the head word (main word).
  • Look at the example below.
  • I saw Bingo. The word in bold is a noun
  • I saw your dog. In boldface, is the noun phrase that has replaced the noun in above sentence.


Examples of Noun Phrases

The new car

My old shirt

The best car safety device

Constituents of a Noun Phrase

  • A noun phrase consists of:
  • A determiner, which can be an article, a number, or an adjective.
  • Modifiers, which can be an adjective, or combinations of adjectives.


  • Modifiers can either be premodifier if it comes before the main noun, or post modifier if it follows the noun.
  • Determiners precede modifiers.
  • Study the noun phrases.
Phrase Determiner  Pre modifier Main noun Post Modifier
The tall woman

The longest river

Your sister

Any big supermarket nearby























Underline the noun phrase in each of the sentences below.

  1. Did you see the tall man?
  2. He called all the stubborn students.
  3. He wishes to see the president.
  4. He bought her a beautiful white blouse.
  5. An horse prefers living in dark stables.
  6. It is disgraceful to write such rubbish.
  7. The people’s president is in Mombasa.
  8. The girl in blue skirt is my sister.
  9. The soldiers are true heroes.
  10. My best friend is Teris.

















A simple sentence has one clause —independent

  • A simple sentence has the formula:

Subject + Predicate

  • Look at the example below.

This desk is mine.

  • This desk – Subject
  • Is mine – the predicate


  • A subject is the one doing the action.
  • Predicate is the part of the sentence which talks about the subject and which has a verb.
  • The predicate must contain a verb. The other constituents of a predicate can be an adverb, adjective, pronoun, etc.
  • Can you identify the subject and predicate in each of the sentences below?
  • She came to see me.
  • Njoroge was here.
  • I saw them dancing.
  • This is the cheapest dress in town.
  • You are a big fool.
















  • An interrogative sentence is used to ask questions.
  • There are various question types:
  • Yes/no questions
  • Alternative questions
  • Tag questions
  • w/h questions

Yes/No Questions

  • They are answered with yes or no as answers.
  • Examples are:
  • Did you score everything?
  • Have you seen it?

Alternative Questions

  • There are options two to be chosen from.
  • Examples are:
  • Would you like to take tea, or coffee?
  • Do you want a red pen, or blue one?

Tag Questions

  • There is the statement part, which is followed by a comma, and then the question part.
  • Examples are:
  • She is the thief, isn’t she?
  • It does not smell good, does it?

W/H Questions

  • The first word start with the two letters “w and h”.
  • Those words used for asking these questions are: who, where, which, how, why, what
  • Examples
  • Who sent you?
  • Where do you live?


Form three different question types from the sentence:

You stole my cap.


  1. Did you steal my red cap? Yes/no
  2. Who stole my red cap? w/h
  3. You stole me red cap, didn’t you?




  • An imperative sentence issues a request or a direct command.
  • Usually, imperative sentences begin with verbs.
  • Depending on the strength of the emotion, and the forcefulness of the command, it can end in either a full stop (.) or an exclamation mark (!).


  1. Complete your assignment by afternoon!
  2. Kindly open the door.
  • Turn left at the cross road.

End Punctuation Marks with Imperative Sentences

  • If the command is forceful, use an exclamation mark (!). for example,

Leave now!

Open the door!

  • If the command is polite, or in the form of advice, put a period (.). examples,

Please get me my book.

Leave the door open.



  • An exclamatory sentence expresses emotion.
  • The emotion can be of love, happiness, confusion, anger, etc.
  • Usually ends with an exclamation mark.
  • Use the word “what” or “how”before a noun.


  • What a day!
  • What awful plastic!
  • What funny people they are!
  • What a match!


Rewrite each sentence beginning with the word “what” or “how”.

  1. He is a foolish man.
  2. This is a pleasant day.
  3. That is clever of you.
  4. They are lovely flowers.
  5. He came early


  1. What a foolish man!
  2. What a pleasant day
  3. How clever of you!
  4. What lovely flowers!
  5. How early he came!



There are two types:

  • Declarative
  • Negative


  • Used to make statements.
  • End with a full stop or period (.).
  • Here are examples of declarative sentences.
  • My name is George.
  • He brings me chocolate.
  • She visited last year.
  • I will leave in the evening.



  • A negative sentence states that something is untrue.
  • A negative adverb is added to negate the validity of the sentence.
  • A negative statement is formed by adding the word “not” to the first auxiliary verb. Examples
  • I did not abuse you.
  • This novel does not have a good ending.
  • You are not among the lucky ones.
  • Dan did not steal from me, it was you.


Negate the following sentences.

  1. She has a bag.
  2. I am sick.
  3. He sells flowers.
  4. They work there.
  5. She writes good compositions.
  6. It is interesting.


  1. She does not have a bag.
  2. I am not sick.
  3. He doesn’t sell flowers.
  4. They don’t work there.
  5. She doesn’t write good compositions.
  6. It is not interesting.





  1. The students were taught
  2. I have visited a continent.
  3. She lives in the city.
  4. We eat in the hotel.
  5. Have you ever swum in the river?
  6. I drive a car.
  7. Everyone went shopping at the supermarket.
  8. A soldier is dead.
  9. I come from a country.
  10. I teach at a school.



  1. I will take you to Rich’s Palace.
  2. Sarah is the girl I told you about.
  3. Of all the continents, I like Africa the most.
  4. Gracy is the cutest kitten ever.
  5. I am craving Oreos.
  6. I used Tilly in cooking.
  7. Jupiter is one of the planets.
  8. Margaret was a great author.



Exercise 1

  • A man must always have the courage to face every challenge.

Man – concrete

Courage – abstract

  • No matter what happens, we must not lose hope.

Hope – abstract

  • My faith in God is very strong.

Faith – abstract

God – concrete

  • A person should buy a beautiful dress.

Person, dress – concrete

  • Have you seen the black dog?

Dog – concrete

  • Love is blind.

Love – abstract

Blind – concrete

Exercise 2

  1. Advice
  2. Education
  3. Intelligence
  4. Importance
  5. Happiness
  6. Confidence
  7. Pride
  8. Anger
  9. Imagination
  10. Loneliness





  • An
  • A
  • The
  • No article
  • A
  • The
  • The
  • No article
  • An
  • An





Exercise 1

  • I
  • It
  • Him
  • Me
  • Her

Exercise 2

  • The old gate doesn’t look good.

It doesn’t  look good.

  • Tom and Mary went to school.

They went to school.

  • The dog bit the doctor and the chief.

It bit them.

  • Moses runs faster than Rebecca.

He runs faster than Rebecca.

  • Phiona and Ruth played doubles.

They played doubles.

  • Christine is clever.

She is clever.

  • I brought the dress.

I brought it.

  • Antony drove Junet and me.

Anthony drove us.



  • Her
  • Your
  • Mine
  • Theirs
  • Yours
  • Her
  • Their
  • Our
  • His
  • Your
  • Its
  • His



  • Ourselves
  • Themselves
  • Yourself
  • Itself
  • Myself, myself
  • Itself
  • Himself
  • Yourselves
  • Themselves
  • Herself



  1. Did you see the tall man?
  2. He called all the stubborn students.
  3. He wishes to see the president.
  4. He bought her a beautiful white blouse.
  5. An horse prefers living in dark stables.
  6. It is disgraceful to write such rubbish.
  7. The people’s president is in Mombasa.
  8. The girl in blue skirt is my sister.
  9. The soldiers are true heroes.
  10. My best friend is Teris.











The following rules will help you spell words correctly.

Rule 1: “I before E except after C”;

  • achieve, believe, bier, brief, hygiene, grief, thief, friend, grieve, chief, fiend, patience, pierce, priest  
  • ceiling, conceive, deceive, perceive, receipt, receive, deceit, conceit


neighbor, freight, beige, sleigh, weight, vein, and weigh and there are many exceptions to the rule: either, neither, feint, foreign, forfeit, height, leisure, weird, seize, and seizure.

Rule 2: “Dropping Final E

When adding an ending to a word that ends with a silent e, drop the final e if the ending begins with a vowel:

  • advancing
  • surprising

However, if the ending begins with a consonant, keep the final e:

  • advancement
  • likeness

(However, if the silent e is preceded by another vowel, drop the e when adding any ending: argument, argued, truly.)

Exceptions: to avoid confusion and mispronunciation, the final e is kept in words such as mileage and words where the final e is preceded by a soft g or c: changeable, courageous, manageable, management, noticeable. (The word management, for example, without that e after the g, would be pronounced with a hard g sound.)

Rule 3: “Dropping Final Y

When adding an ending to a word that ends with y, change the y to i when it is preceded by a consonant.

  • supply becomes supplies
  • worry becomes worried
  • merry becomes merrier

This does not apply to the ending -ing, however.

  • crying
  • studying

Nor does it apply when the final y is preceded by a vowel.

  • obeyed
  • saying

Rule 4: “Doubling Final Consonants”

When adding an ending to a word that ends in a consonant, we double that consonant in many situations. First, we have to determine the number of syllables in the word.

Double the final consonant before adding an ending that begins with a vowel when the last syllable of the word is accented and that syllable ends in a single vowel followed by a single consonant.

  • submit is accented on the last syllable and the final consonant is preceded by a vowel, so we double the t before adding, for instance, an -ing or -ed: submitting, submitted.
  • flap contains only one syllable which means that it is always accented. Again, the last consonant is preceded by a vowel, so we double it before adding, for instance, an -ing or -ed: flapping, flapped. This rule does not apply to verbs that end with “x,” “w,” “v,” and “y,” consonants that cannot be doubled (such as “box” [boxing] and “snow” [snowing]).
  • open contains two syllables and the last syllable is preceded by a single vowel, but the accent falls on the first syllable, not the last syllable, so we don’t double the n before adding an ending: opening, opened.
  • refer contains two syllables and the accent falls on the last syllable and a single vowel precedes the final consonant, so we will double the r before adding an ending, as in referring, referral. The same would apply to begin, as in beginner, beginning.
  • relent contains two syllables, but the final consonant is preceded by another consonant, not a vowel, so we do not double the t before adding an ending: relented, relenting.
  • deal looks like flap (above), but the syllable ends in a consonant preceded not by a single vowel, but by two vowels, so we do not double the final l as in dealer and dealing. The same would apply, then, to despair: despairing, despaired.







Capitalization Rules

Capitalization is the writing of a word with its first letter in uppercase and the remaining letters in lowercase.

Capitalize the first word of a document and the first word after a final punctuation mark (full stop, question mark, exclamation mark).

Capitalize proper nouns—and adjectives derived from proper nouns.

he is Brian’s father

In Juja

Capitalization Checklist

  • Brand names
  • Companies
  • Days of the week and months of the year
  • Holidays
  • Institutions
    the University of Nairobi
  • Natural and artificial landmarks
    the Fourteen Fall, the Mount Kenya
  • Religions and names of deities
    Note: Capitalize the Bible (but biblical). Do not capitalize heaven, hell, the devil, satanic.
  • Special occasions
    the Olympic Games, the Cannes Film Festival
  • Streets and roads


Capitalize specific geographical regions. Do not capitalize points of the compass.





The Period, Full Stop or Point

  • The period (known as a full stop) is probably the simplest of the punctuation marks to use. You use it like a knife to cut the sentences to the required length.
  • Generally, you can break up the sentences using the full stop at the end of a logical and complete thought that looks and sounds right to you.
Mark the end of a sentence which is not a question or an exclamation
  • Kisumu is the third largest city in kenya.
  • I am writing you soon.
Indicate an abbreviation
  • I will arrive between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.
  • We are coming on Fri., Jan. 4.
Period after a single word

Sometimes a single word can form the sentence. In this case you place a fullstop after the word as you would in any other sentence. This is often the case when the subject is understood as in a greeting or a command.

  • “come.”
  • “Stop.”
Periods in numbers

Numbers use periods in English to separate the whole number from the decimal. A period used in a number is also called a “decimal point” and it is read “point” unless it refers to money.

  • Sh. 10.50 is its price.
  • Her weight is 60.60


The Exclamation Mark

The exclamation mark is used to express astonishment, or surprise, or to emphasise a comment or short, sharp phrase. In professional or everyday writing, exclamation marks are used sparingly if at all.

  • Help! Help!
  • That’s unbelievable!
  • Get out!
  • Look out!

You can also use exclamation marks to mark a phrase as humourous, ironic or sarcastic.

  • What a lovely day! (when it obviously is not a lovely day)
  • That was clever! (when someone has done something stupid)


The Question Mark

Use the question mark at the end of all direct questions.

  • What is your name?
  • Do you speak Italian?
  • You’re spanish, aren’t you?

Do not use a question mark for reported questions

  • He asked me what my name was.
  • She asked if I was Spanish.
  • Ask them where they are going.

The Comma

Use comma to separate phrases, words, or clauses in lists

Ø  A series of independent clauses (sentences)

I cried to her, she asked me to stop crying, and afterwards she took me out for lunch..

Ø  A series of nouns
  • Don’t forget to buy milk, ice cream, and fish.
  • Gregory, David, and Christine arrived in time.
Ø  A series of adjectives

A list of adjectives usually requires commas. However, if an adjective is modifying another adjective you do not separate them with a comma (sentence 3).

  • She was young, beautiful, kind, and intelligent.
  • The house we visited was dark, dreary, and run-down.
Ø  A series of verbs
  • Tony ran towards me, fell, yelled, and fainted.
  • The boy leapt, spun, twisted, and dove into the water.
Ø  A series of phrases
  • The car smashed into the wall, flipped onto its roof, slid along the road, and finally stopped against a tree.
  • The dog leapt into the air, snatched the Frisbee in its mouth, landed, and ran off into the forest.

More Uses

1.    Enclosing details

Use a comma to enclose non-defining relative clauses and other non-essential details and comments. The comma is placed on either side of the insertion.

  • China, one of the most powerful nations on Earth, has a huge population.
  • Goats, unlike cows, do not like grass.

2.    Participial phrases

  • Hearing the sad news, Fred fainted.
  • Walking home from school, I met my old friend.

3.    Tag questions

  • She hates you, doesn’t she?
  • We have no business together, have we?




How to Make Notes

The following tips will come in handy when making notes:

  1. Read the material carefully and thoroughly.
  2. Underline the key sentences as you read. This will help in forming the title.
  3. Make a rough note of the main points in a logical sequence.
  4. Write the final notes.

You should have in mind that a note:

  1. Should be short and to the point.
  2. Contain all the important and relevant information.
  3. Should have information systematically divided and subdivided.
  4. Should have a short title. Avoid long sentences as titles.
  5. Must be written in points only.

Notes Template

TITLE …………………….

  • ………………………………………….
  • …………………………………………
  • ………………………………………..
  • ………………………………………..










How to Take Notes


  • There is no one “right” way to take notes. Very different approaches can be equally effective, depending on the context.
  • The key thing is to ensure that you remain actively engaged with the material whilst taking notes.
  • If all you do is copy down what you hear or read, then you won’t actually be learning anything at all. You may not even understand your notes when you come back to review them later!
  • Do the following:
  • Be concise
  • be as neat as possible
  • use headings and numbered points
  • use abbreviations/shorthand
  • Leave spaces in between your notes in case of any additions.
  • Avoid the following:
  • copying out sentences or passages verbatim (i.e. word for word)
  • copying a mass of factual information
  • After the lesson, rewrite the notes in a more organized way adding details left out.














Poem Writing Tips

There are a few things to think about before you start writing your poem. The following tips on writing poems will help you get started.

  • Know your purpose. Know why you are writing a poem and what you want it to do.
  • Pick a subject. Poems can be written about any topic under the sun.
  • Avoid clichés. These are sayings that have been overused, like busy as a bee, or blind as a bat.
  • Use imagery. Paint with your words and use concrete words that appeal to the senses. Abstract words cannot give the reader a good picture of what you are trying to say.
  • Use similes and metaphors. Similes compare two things, like “you are sweet as honey” and usually use the word “like” or “as.” Metaphors state that one thing is another thing, like “you are a pig.” Things being compared in a metaphor have at least one thing in common but are very different in other ways.
  • You can also consider using rhyme, alliteration, consonance, etc


Elements of Imaginative Compositions

In order to write a good story, use these important elements:

  1. a) Characters: Refers to those who act in the story. They should be people, animals or objects that think and talk.
  2. b) Setting: Describes time and place of the story for example: classroom, lakeside, town etc.
  3. c) Plot: Refers to the series of actions that the characters go through as they try to solve a problem. In the plot, we have the:
  1. Introduction: This is usually short. It presents the character, the situation or the problem, and part of the setting.
  2. Development: This simply shows how the situation affects the characters and what they do to try and solve the problem.
  3. Conclusion: This shows the solution of a problem. It is usually short. It may lead to a happy, sad or surprise ending.

When writing a story, remember to organise the flow of your events so that the reader’s interest is maintained throughout the story. The element of suspense should also be created and maintained so that the reader will want to find out what is most likely to happen in your story.

You can create suspense by:

  1. Including mystery
  2. Changing the scene
  3. Creating unexpected events
  4. Including dialogue
  5. Giving surprise ending
  6. Moving from one character to another
























  • Diaries
  • A diary is a written record of things that happen each day.
  • It is also a record of things you plan to do per day and the time you plan to do so.
  • A diary is also the book in which you write down things that happen to you on daily basis.

Diaries to Record what is planned to be done

  • Here, we record things we plan to do.
  • Let us look at the sample below:


Saturday 23rd April, 2015 8.00 am

8.15 am

8.30 am


10.35am – 12.30pm

1.00 pm

2.00 pm

7.30 pm

Waking up

Taking shower


Reading History

Going for skating


Reading the Bible



Sunday 24th April, 2015 7.00 am

8.00 am

11.00 am

1.00 pm

2.30 pm

4.00 pm

6.00 pm

8.00 pm


Attending mass

Reading CRE(St Luke’s Gospel)

Taking lunch

Playing video games

Watching movies

Writing notes


Monday 25th April, 2015 7.30 am

8.00 am

8.30 am


11.30 am

12.30 pm

3.00 pm

5.00 pm

8.30 pm




Washing clothes

Playing video games


Reading Chemistry

Watching movies











Diaries for Recording the Daily Observation




April, 2016

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thur Frid Sat

                       1       2      3      4     5

6     7         8       9     10    11   12

13   14      15      16    17   18  19

20   21      22      23    24   25   26

27    28     29       30    31



Dear Diary,


Today, I started writing my first poem. I thought of what to write and by lunch time, an idea crossed my mind. I decided to write about corruption. I entitled it “Another Bond – Eurobond”. I had a lot to write about it. As I write now, my dear, I have completed writing it. Hopefully, I will write another one before the week ends. I will inform you about it once that is done. Bye























  • An address is a superscription of a letter directing who the letter is meant to reach.
  • The writer also writes their address in the letter to allow for the reply.
  • An address is written on an envelop, letter, or package.

Addresses in Letters

  • Address format vary according to the type of letter written.
  • Even though they are written differently, there are common features such as:
  • The post office box number
  • The postcode
  • The street, road, or building where the post office is located
  • The city or town
  • The country
  • There are two formats of writing addresses:
  • Block format; and
  • Indented format

Block Format

  • Address written in a block.
  • Paragraphs also blocked.
  • An example is

P.O. BOX 555-35400,


Indented Format

  • Written on a slant.
  • The paragraphs in the letter are also indented.
  • An example is:

P.O. BOX 555-35400,



Write each of the addresses below as they would appear on your envelope:

  • Migori Polytechnic-40400- P.O. Box 654- The Principal-Kenya- Migori
  • Kenya Labour-The Director-30210- P.O. Box 90100- Kenya- Nairobi




  • At times you find yourself forgetting something when packing for a trip.
  • It is important to get organized. Writing a packing list will be key in ensuring no item intended to be carried during a trip is forgotten.
  • A packing list is therefore a checklist for what to bring along with them.
  • To make the most out of your trip you have to pack the right items.
  • What you pack will highly depend on factors such as:
  • The place you are visiting. If for example, you are visiting a place where it is hot, there will be no need of carrying heavy clothes.
  • Means of transport. There is a limit to what one should carry depending on the weight.
  • Number of days.
  • The reason for visiting. For example if going on a camp, you need carry camping gear.

How to Start

  • Get a piece of paper and a pen and write “PACKING LIST”. This forms part of the title. The other part is the place to visit.
  • Write number of days. It is advisable to do this as it will help you tell how many clothes you will need. It might not sound good to carry only two underpants, for example, if the trip will last a week.
  • Draw a table with columns containing item category, item, quantity, and description. The various item categories are:
  • Entertainment list, for example, CDs, Radio, etc.
  • Clothing List, for example, underpants, skirts, etc.
  • Camping Gear, for example, sleeping bag,
  • Toiletries, for example, toothpaste, soap, etc.
  • In that table fill all the items and all its columns appropriately.











Sample Packing List

                                         TRIP TO MACHAKOS PACKING LIST


      DAYS: 3 Days















Purple one

2 white ones

The pink one

The one printed “Newyork”.

The newly bought one.

The black, yellow, red and indigo ones.








Nigerian movies

The one recently bought.

Purple one.


3. TOILETRIES Bathing soap

Washing soap



½ bar

50 gm

Fa Bathing soap.



4. DRINKS Afya


2-500 ml

2-500 ml

Guava flavored.






You are Manchester City Football club Player. During one of the summer holidays, your club go for a 5 day camp to a very hot place in United Arab Emirates. Here, no beddings are provided. Write a packing list of all the items you would carry with you to this trip.











Informal Letters

  • Usually written to people known to people you know fairly well. These can be friends and relatives.
  • Also referred to as friendly letters.
  • They are meant to:
  • Give news;
  • Request information;
  • Congratulate people;
  • Ask questions; or
  • Give advice.

How to Write Informal Letters

  • An informal letter has such elements as:
  • Sender’s address. Write your address here. Example,


P.O. BOX 6454-90800


  • Date when the letter is written.
  • Example,

Dear Timothy,

  • Write the body of the text. Include greetings, news, other questions, etc.
  • Sign of with your name. example,

See you soon,



  • The table that follows is of a format of an informal letter blended with explanations:
The Format                                                            Explanation
Address At the top right hand corner, write your address. For example,

Keicy Kimito

P.O. Box 567


Date Below the writer’s address, is the date. For example,

13th December, 2015

Salutation Written on the left hand side of the letter. Start with:

·        Dear ………. ,

e.g. Dear Drinkwater,

·        Dearest………, or My Dear……., ( for close friends and relatives) Example,

Dearest Drinkwater,


My Dear Drinkwater,

Opening Paragraph You may ask about the recipient’s health. For example,

·        How is your family?

·        How are you Njuguna? I hope that you and your family are in the pink.

·        I am fine and I hope you are as fit as a fiddle.

Content Paragraphs This is where:

·        You mention your main reason for writing (paragraph 2)

·        Give the news

·        Ask questions

You can start with:

·        I am writing this letter to…


Closing Paragraph It is proper to inform your recipient that you are ending the letter. Some phrases you can use are:

·        Do write me soon.

·        Please convey my warm regards to…

·        Allow me to pen off here.

·        Hope to receive a reply from you.

·        Bye/ Goodbye

Closing Sign off with your name.  you can sign off using:

·        Your loving friend,

·        Yours lovingly,

·        Yours affectionately,

·        Your nephew,

·        Yours sincerely,

·        Keep in touch,

Your name should follow. Your first name is preferred.


The Language of Informal Letters

  • The language used is simple as well as friendly.
  • You can use contractions such as I’m, won’t, you’re, etc.

Sample Friendly Letter

                                                                                                                           Brigit Annabel

P.O BOX 454—40400



5TH September, 2015


Dear James,


Hi James! Hope you are fine back there in Rongo. My sister and I are very much fine.


I’m just writing to let you know I quit my old job and found something new in Migori town.


I was really fed up with working at Banana Academy as there was little work enough to challenge me anymore. You know me; if there is no enough, I get bored too easily and have to find something new.


I’m now teaching at Sunsun in Migori and the kind of work I do suits me to the ground. I teach two candidate classes. The work here is not only challenging, but it is rewarding as well. I know you will find it hard  to believe… but you just have to.


That is not all for now! I’m getting married in a couple of weeks. He is working in the neighbouring school. So many promises I hope he will fulfill he has not stopped to give. I also find him the best among the many. When the time comes I believe you will come and celebrate with us.


Keep in touch,




You have recently joined another school. Write a letter to your friend. In your letter

  • Explain why you changed school
  • Describe your new school
  • Tell him/her your other news



















  • A public notice is a notice given to provide information for the public that is widespread in a wide geographical area via media.
  • They are mostly placed in newspapers by businesses, county and national government, and individuals.
  • They include:
  • Unclaimed property
  • Wanted person
  • Dangerous person
  • Government contracts
  • Aunction
  • Foreclosures, etc.


Public Notice Format

  • The parts of a public notice include among others:
  1. Name of the organization/institution. Letterhead is preferred.
  2. Then write/type “PUBLIC NOTICE”.
  • The topic/theme/subject. Let the public know what you want to inform them about.
  1. Date, time, and venue(if need be).
  2. Picture to reinforce the message.
  3. Name of the writer of the notice and the job position(and signature, for the more formal ones)

Sample Public Notice


(P.O. Box 123-00200 Nanyuki, Email: [email protected], Mobile: 0715234343)


Notice is hearby given that son of Amos Kinyanjui resident of Plot(5) located opposite Kadika Plaza, Kilgoris Estate has agreed to sell the plot mentioned in the schedule hereto dated 5th June, 2015.

All persons claiming interest in the land or any part thereof by any way are hearby required to bring their complaints at our Mukomi office within 10 days from the date hearof, failing which the sale will be completed.


Yours Sincerely


Fredrick Wainaina



  • In the notice above, a picture of the plot can be included.



  • An inventory is a complete list of items such as equipment,property, goods in stock, or even the contents of a particular place.
  • A list of things possessed by a person or company.
  • It is a good idea to keep the records of items owned by a person or company.
  • An inventory will have the following basic elements:


  • Name of the institution. Name of the person, if individually possessed.
  • Date when the records are taken.
  • Item number
  • Item category
  • Item
  • Quantity of items
  • Description of the item
  • Approximate value of the item
  • The name and designation of the person keeping the records.


  • Here is a sample inventory.

                              INVENTORY OF THE EQUIPMENT AS AT 24TH MARCH, 2016











































Test tubes








Teachers’ tables

Staffroom Chairs


Classroom chairs


Students’ Lockers

Office Cupboards






Volley ball nets


























Good condition



New ones


Not working

New ones


Good Condition

Newly Bought ones

Good Condition


Good condition

New Ones

New Ones

Good Condition




Good Condition





72 000

12 000

6 800

68 700

14 600

48 000

110 000


200 000

44 500

250 000

60 000

12 000

600 000



3 000

6 000




RECORDS KEPT BY: Jeniffer Kwamboka


School Store Keeper


You are St. Monica’s Mission Hospital Resource Manager. At this hospital, records of items in it are kept at the end of every August. Write the inventory of all the items here.


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