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ENGLISH NOTES FOR HIGH SCHOOLS

ENGLISH NOTES

NOUNS

These are words that name things ,people, ideas, qualities ,state and places.

Examples:

  • People-John, Jack
  • Ideas-stone, desk, laptop
  • Qualities-bravery, kindness, greed, diligence
  • State-sickness, laziness, poverty, wealth, love.
  • Places-Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu

Nouns can be divided into different categories.

Types of nouns

  • Proper nouns
  • Common nouns
  • Concrete nouns
  • Abstract nouns
  • Collective nouns
  • Countable nouns
  • Uncountable nouns

 

  1. Common nouns

These are names of ordinary things. They include;

  • Boy
  • Girl
  • Locker
  • Desk
  • Water

Some common nouns have antonyms. They include:

  • shepherd-shepherdess buck-doe(goat,rabbit)
  • Bullock-heifer      wizard-witch                        )
  • Drone-bee     heir-heiress
  • Horse-mare    manager-manageress
  • jack-jennet(donkey)    tomcat-queen
  • Bachelor-spinster       jew – jewess
  • monk-nun              ram-ewe(sheep
  • cock-hen stallion-mare(horse)
  • Nephew-niece      poet-poetess

 

  1. Proper nouns

These are names given to specific people, places or things. They are always used with capital letters as follows;

  • Names of people ; Winston, Jacob, Melvin.
  • Months of the year; January, February, March.
  • Days of the week; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.
  • Seasons of the year; Winter, Spring, Autumn, Summer.
  • Names of countries and continents ; America, Kenya, Australia, Europe.
  • Names of regions, states and districts; Mombasa County, Nyanza , Califonia
  • Names of cities towns and villages; Naivasha, Nairobi, Kochia.
  • Geographical areas; The North, The North.

 

  1. Concrete nouns

These are nouns naming things that can be seen and touched. The refer to:

  • People-boy, girl, teacher
  • Animals- cat, elephant, cow
  • Things-table, phone, cup
  • Geographical features-mountain, rivers, valleys

 

  1. Abstract nouns

Abstract nouns are nouns naming things one cannot see or touch.

They refer to:

  • States; pain sickness, pity, poverty, wealth, success
  • Quality; honesty, greed, cruelty,
  • Ideas; education, corruption, love, hatred, justice

 

  1. Count nouns/countable nouns

These are names of things which can be counted.

They have singular and plural forms.

They can be used with articles and numerals.

  • A Pen- pens
  • A Book-books
  • Paper-papers
  • Chair-chairs
  • Flower-flowers

f)Non-count /uncountable nouns

These are nouns of things that cannot be counted.

They cannot be used with articles such as a/an or the.

They can be used with expressions like some, a handful of, a bit of, a lot of, much .

Examples

  • Substances ;salt, food, dust
  • Liquids; milk, water, oil, juice
  • Ideas; music, knowledge, information, education, advice
  • Concrete objects; bedding, luggage, furniture, hair ,grass
  • Qualities; happiness, kindness, courage, obedience

 

Regular and Irregular nouns

  1. Regular nouns

Regular nouns are nouns are nouns that form their plural by adding s or es to their singular forms.

Examples

Desk-desks

Pen pens

Box-boxes

Buffalo-buffaloes

  1. Irregular noun

 

These are nouns that form their plural by changing their forms or certain letters.

Examples

 

 

  1. Nouns that change oo to ee
  • Tooth-teeth
  • Goose-geese
  • Foot-feet
  1. Nouns that omit us and add i
  • Radius-radii
  • Cactus-cacti
  • Stimulus-stimuli
  • Syllabus-syllabi/syllabuses
  • Alumnus-alumni
  1. Nouns that omit um and replace it with a
  • Agendum-agenda
  • Addendum-addenda
  • Curriculum-curricula
  • Stratum-strata
  • Stimulus-stimuli
  1. Nouns that change I to ee
  • Basis-bases
  • Oasis-oases
  • Thesis-theses
  • Crisis-crises
  1. Nouns that change on/n to a
  • Criterion-criteria
  • Phenomenon-phenomena
  1. Nouns that add ee
  • Larva-larvae
  • Formula-formulae
  1. Nouns that change x to -ces
  • Matrix-matrices
  • Index-indices

Collective nouns

These are names of groups of people, animals or things.

They take a singular verb since each individual making up the group is seen as part of a single unit.

Examples

  • A brood of chickens                             a clan of hyenas
  • A dole of doves a  cohort of zebras
  • A mews of hawks a bike of bees
  • A parliament of owls a flight of butterflies
  • A flight of pigeons a cloud of grasshoppers
  • A battery or journalists a colony of wasps
  • A run of poultry a clutter of spiders
  • A congress baboons                               a troupe of performers
  • A leap of leopards                                 a house of senators
  • A pride of lions                                a panel of experts
  • A troop of monkeys  a herd of harlots
  • A gang of buffaloes                               a gaggle of women
  • A coalition of cheetahs a clutch of eggs
  • A flink of cows a bed/bouquet of flowers
  • A pack of dogs a plague of locusts
  • A colony of rabbits                             a scourge of mosquitoes
  • A herd of donkeys                                a den of snakes
  • A herd of elephants                               an army of frogs
  • A stable of horses                               a nest of vipers
  • a school of whales                               a cast of actors
  • a bench of bishops                               an orchestra of musicians
  • a crowd of people                               a band of robbers
  • a crew of sailors                 a board of directors
  • a flock of tourists                                 a fleet of cars
  • a galaxy of stars                                a cache of jewels

 

Compound nouns

These are nouns made up of more than one word.

They may be written as single words, two separate words, that have to be used together to give the right meaning and they may also be hyphenated.

  1. Single words

 

  • Kickback                 Shopkeeper
  • Necklace Toothpaste
  • Sunshine Airport
  • Heartburn Nosebleed
  • Football Breakthrough
  • Classmate                        Takeaway
  • Workshop Teapot
  • Dressmaking Cupboard

 

 

  1. Two/three separate words
  • Leather jacket dining hall
  • Tap water driving license
  • Bank account              cow dung
  • Ice cream frying pan
  • Assistant minister ladies’ shoes
  • Deputy head children’s wear
  • Coat of arms

 

  1. Hyphenated words
  • Mother-in-law
  • Commander-in-chief
  • Table-mat
  • Father-in- law
  • Sergeant-at-arm
  • Attorney-general
  • Passer-by
  • Door-bell

 

Plurals of Compound nouns

Plurals of compound nouns are formed in various ways:

  1. Adding a plural marker to the last part of the compound noun
  • Shopkeepers
  • Necklaces
  • Workshops
  • Teapots
  • Bank accounts
  • Leather jackets
  • Deputy heads
  1. Adding the plural ending after the first part of the compound noun
  • Coats of arms
  • Mothers-in-law
  • Commanders-in-law
  • Passers-by
  • Attorney-generals/attorneys-general
  • Sergeants-at-arm

NOUN PHRASES

A noun phrase is a group of words that functions as as a noun(unit)

It may comprise of  a noun, a pronoun or a noun and other words modifying it.

These modifiers may include:

  • Article; a/an and the
  • Demonstratives; this, that, these, those
  • Possessive adjectives; my, his, their, our
  • Quantifiers; all, some, many, few, a lot, no
  • Numerals; two, three, four
  • Adjectives; good, handsome, beautiful

Examples of noun phrases

Noun

Corruption

Poverty

John

Nouns +articles

The cow

An umbrella

A dog

Noun + demonstrative

This cow

That jug

Noun + possessive adjective

My vehicle

His book

Noun +quantifiers

Some people

Many students

Noun + numerals

Two students

Three ladies

Noun + adjective

Handsome boys

Dirty pigs

Article + adjective + noun

The lonely pig

Article + numeral + adjective

The three dirty pigs

 

Functions of  noun phrases

  1. As a subject

A noun phrase is used as a subject if:

-it appears before the main verb

-it refers to the initiator of the action stated by the verb.

  1. As complement

A subject complement is a word/phrase that describes/defines the subject  of a sentence. They follow copular/ linking verbs. These verbs include ;am, was, are, were, been, become, appear, seen, sound and feel.

  • As an object

 

a)Direct object

A direct object is a word, phrase or clause that follows a transitive verb and answers the question ”who” or  “what?”

A direct object receives the action of the  of the verb.

b)Indirect object

An indirect object is a word/phrase that answers the question “to whom?” or “for whom” or for what is the action of the verb performed. Indirect object is the beneficiary/receives something or benefits from something.

 

CLAUSES

A clause is a group of words contain a subject and  a verb(predicate)

It can form either a sentence on its own, or be part of a longer sentence.

Types of clauses

  1. i) Independent clause

These are also called main clauses, they are clauses that can stand on their as sentences.

Examples

  • Susan likes reading.
  • The guest speaker spoke for only 20 minutes.
  • We saw our local M.P at baraza.
  • Literature courses are offered at the university.
  1. ii) Coordinating clause

 

If two or more independent clauses are joined to make a sentence , each sentence is called a coordinating clause. This clause comprises sentences of equal importance but they work together.

Each coordinating clause is connected to the other using a coordinating conjunction(fanboys)

Examples

John likes to play football but Joseph plays volleyball.

iii)  Dependent/subordinate clause

These are clauses that depend on independent clauses to be meaningful.

They do not express a complete thought and cannot stand on their own.

These clauses are used with subordinate conjunctions such as : if, although, before, while, as, until unless, despite ,since etc

Examples

Unless you read newspapers, you cannot be informed.

Although I revised well, I failed terribly.

 

NOUN CLAUSES

A noun clause is a subordinate clause that does the same work as that of a noun phrase.

It has a subject and a verb and may be used as a subject or an object of a sentence.

Noun clause are introduced by words such as when, that, whoever, how, where, whoever, which, who,  how, why and whatever.

Examples

  • Whoever finishes the race will get the reward.
  • Whoever ordered the books is not in today.
  • She told me to give the guests whatever they needed.
  • He understood what we discussed.
  • When to vote will be decided on by the commission.
  • That they failed irritates them.
  • How you spend the money is up to you.
  • He said that the teacher had arrived.

 

Types of noun clauses

  1. That noun clause
  • That the world is round is known.
  • I know that you can pass.
  • That I love football is known.
  • That we shall die is known.

 

 

  1. Wh-noun clauses

 

What she did was seen.

 

Functions of noun clauses

Subject of a sentence

Object of a sentence

Complement

 

NOUN DERIVATIONS

Noun derivation is the process of forming nouns from other lexical categories(words) by adding affixes(prefixes, suffixes, infixes)

Nouns are formed by adding prefixes to verbs ,adjectives or nouns

Prefixes are elements added at the end of words

Examples

  • -er -ment         -less
  • -ee -ion             -ive
  • -ness -tion            -able
  • -ship -ence         -ation
  • -ism -dom
  • -ity     -ize/ise       -or
  1. Nouns derived from verbs

By adding –er

  • Dance-dancer
  • Write-writer
  • Drive-driver
  • Winner-winner

By adding –ee

  • Retire-retiree
  • Escape-escapee
  • Train-trainee
  • Pay-payee
  • Refer-referee
  • Absent-absentee

Divorce-divorcee

 

By adding –or

  • Guarant-guarantor
  • Act-actor
  • Stress-stressor
  • Donate-donator
  • Educate-educator
  • instruct-instructor

By adding –ation/-ition

  • Educate-education
  • Attend-attention
  • Repeat-repetition
  • Admit-admission
  • Discuss-discussion
  • Receive-reception

By adding –ment/ent

  • Require-requirement
  • Involve-involvement
  • Acknowledge-acknowledgement
  • Employ-employment

By adding –ance/ence

  • Accept-acceptance
  • Admit-admittance
  • Allow-allowance
  • Assure-assurance
  • Comply-compliance
  • Defy-defiance
  • Guide-guidance
  • Maintain-maintenance
  • Clear-clearance
  • Adhere-adherence
  • Patient-patience
  • Exist-existence

By adding –al

  • Survive-survival
  • Deny-denial
  • Bury-burial
  • Dismiss-dismissal
  • Rehearse-rehearsal

By adding –age

  • Marry-marriage
  • Waste-wastage
  • Break-breakage
  • Use-usage

By adding –ery

  • Deliver-delivery
  • Bribe- bribery
  1. Nouns derived from adjectives

By adding –ness

  • Kind-kindness
  • Stubborn-stubbornness
  • Shy-shyness
  • Happy-happiness
  • Keen-keenness
  • Open-openness

By adding –ism

  • Tribe-tribalism
  • Material-materialism
  • Critic-criticism
  • Race-racism
  • Skeptic- skepticism

By adding –ery

  • Brave-bravery

By adding –ity

  • Equal-equality
  • Similar-similarity
  • Sane-sanity
  • Curious-curiosity
  • Brief-brevity

By adding

  • Nouns derived from nouns

By adding-ship

Friend-friendship

 

  • King-kingship
  • Relation-relationship
  • Leader-leadership
  • Friend-friendship
  • Author-authorship
  • Owner-ownership

Censor-censorship

 

By adding –dom

  • King-kingdom
  • Martyr-martyrdom
  • Chief-chiefdom

By adding –ery

  • Slave-slavery

PRONOUNS

Pronouns are words used in place of pronouns.

Person and number

Personal pronouns are divided into three classes:

  1. First person pronouns

These are  pronouns that refer to the person who is speaking/writing

They include:

             singular         plural
                  I              we
                me              us

 

  1. Second person pronouns

These are pronouns that refer to person who is listening or reading.

They include:

            singular              plural
              you              you

 

  1. Third person pronouns

These  pronouns that refer to the person being spoken about.

They include:

               singular                plural
He/him They/them
She/her They/them
it They/them

 

Pronouns that refer to the doer of the action are called subject pronouns. They include:

I, we, you, he, she, it and they.

Pronouns that refer to the recipient/receiver of the action are called object pronouns. They include:

Me, us, you, him, her, it and them.

Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite pronouns are pronouns which do not refer to definite number of things or people. They refer to things in general without identifying them.

Examples

  • everybody several
  • Everyone     one
  • Nobody    either
  • Anyone      all
  • Nobody     many
  • Somebody    few
  • None   both
  • Someone             some

Indefinite pronouns can be categorized into:

Singular indefinite pronouns

Plural indefinite pronouns

i)singular indefinite pronouns

These are indefinite pronouns that refer to one person/thing.

Examples

  • Nobody             everybody
  • Someone             none
  • Anyone             someone
  • Somebody             another
  • Another                  each
  • Everybody neither

Singular indefinite pronouns take singular verbs such as has, is, and says.

  1. ii) Plural indefinite pronouns

These are indefinite pronouns that refer to more than one person or thing.

Examples

  • All
  • Many
  • Few
  • Both
  • Several

These take plural verbs such as are, were, have

Indefinite pronouns can be made to be gender sensitive by using his/her.

 

Pronouns and Case

A case is different positions that pronouns take in a sentence. They can take the subject or the object position.

  1. i) Subjective Case

A pronoun is said to be in subjective case when it appears before/precedes a verb.

Examples

  • He will always remember this.
  • She teaches Geography.
  • They are in college.

Pronouns used in subjective case include: I, we, you, he, she, it and they.

Person singular plural
1st I we
2nd you you
3rd He/she  
  it  

NB: Pronouns in subjective case are also used in comparison after than.

She is taller than he.

  1. ii) Objective case

A pronoun is said to be in the objective case when it appears/comes after the verb or preposition.

Examples

  • John loves her
  • I am waiting for him.

Pronouns used in objective case are:

Person singular plural
1st person me Us
2nd person You you
3rd person Him  
  Her They
  it  

 

NB: Relative pronouns also take either subjective case.

Who is used in the subjective case; it refers to the doer of the action.

Example

This man who gave me a gift.

Whom is used as an object; it refers to the recipient of the action.

It can also be used with prepositions.

Example

  • The man whom I wanted to see is in Narok.
  • The woman to whom I wished to speak was away.
  • I saw the people for whom you work.

The student whom you sent home has returned.

 

ADJECTIVES

Adjectives are words that give more information about nouns. When two or more adjectives are used in a sentence, there is an order in which they should appear.

Order of Adjectives

  1. Opinion adjectives

These are adjectives that express the speaker’s opinion on something or somebody.

Examples

  • Beautiful
  • Handsome
  • Useful
  • Ugly
  • Exciting
  • boring
  1. Fact /descriptive adjectives

 

These are adjectives that give us factual information about a thing. They give us more information about:

  • Size-large
  • Shape-round, oval, rectangular
  • Age-young, old
  • Colour-red, black
  • Nationality-Kenyan, Chinese
  • Material-plastic, metallic, woolen
  • Use-coffee

When opinion  and descriptive adjectives are used together in a sentence, the opinion adjectives come first. The rest then follow the order below.

  • Opinion-impressive, beautiful, wonderful
  • Size-large, small,
  • Shape- circular, rectangular, oval
  • Age- young, new, old
  • Colour-black, green
  • Origin- Kenyan, Chinese, Uganda
  • Material/make-wooden, fibre
  • Use-dining, shopping, coffee

Adjectival Phrases

An adjectival phrase is a group of words that does the work of an adjective/modifier/modifies/describes a noun or a pronoun.

They are of two types:

  1. Made up of an adjective and an intensifier

Intensifiers are words that show degree(adverbs of degree) eg very, too, so, enough, completely, entirely, really.

Examples

  • His story was quite interesting.
  • The porridge is very hot.
  • Thank you for being so kind.
  • Our classroom floor is very clean.
  • The students are really happy.

 

  1. Made up of a preposition and a noun phrase or pronoun

When a prepositional phrase is used as a modifier of a noun/pronoun, it is also called adjectival phrase.

Examples

  • The girl in red shirt is my sister.
  • The picture at the beginning of the book is very appropriate.
  • The loud music from that house must stop.
  • The applicant with the least chance of success complained the most.

Adjectival Clause

These are clauses that give more information about nouns or pronouns.

They are introduced by relative pronouns- who, which, that, whom, whose, whichever, whatever.

Who, whom- people

That- ————-things

That, which—–things and animals

Whose————possessives

Types of adjectival clauses

  1. Defining adjectival clauses

These clauses tell us exactly which person or thing the speaker is referring to;

The person who built that church has died.

Rukia   works for a firm that repairs mobile phones.

The man whom I was speaking to is my neighbour.

  • NB: That can be used instead of whom/which.
  • Who, that and which can be left out when the relative pronoun stands for an object in the adjectival clause.
  1. No-defining adjectival clauses

Are adjectival clauses that give additional information about the subject.

They are separated from the main clause by commas.

Only who and which are used and cannot be omitted.

 

Examples

Mandela, who is the first black president of South Africa, won the Nobel Peace prize.

NB; A non- defining adjectival clause is only used to give additional information and can be left out without affecting the meaning of the main sentence.

Adjectival clauses reduced to phrases

  • The sheep which had black spots were mine.
  • The sheep with black spots were mine.
  • The voters who had no I.Ds were turned away.
  • The voters with no I.Ds were turned away.

Participles as adjectival clauses

The verb in the relative clause can be replaced

Formation of adjectives

 

  1. i) From nouns

Adjectives are formed by adding suffixes to nouns.

Some of these include:

  • -al; environmental, societal, seasonal, brutal
  • -ial; influential, partial, facial
  • -ual; factual, actual; conceptual
  • -less; hopeful, jobless, dustless
  • -en; woolen
  • -ese; Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Beninese, Nepalese
  • -ful; faithful, dutiful, eventful
  • -ly; friendly, cowardly, deadly
  • -some; troublesome
  • -ish; foolish, feverish
  • -ry; hairy
  • -ous; glorious, joyous
  • -ic; historic
  1. ii) From verbs

-able; manageable, desirable,

-less; relentless,

-ful; relentful

-ive; active, preventive

-ious; rebellious, envious, marvelous

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VERBS

Primary Auxiliary Verbs

Auxiliary verbs are verbs that can be used as main verbs and helping verbs in sentences.

Forms of primary auxiliary verbs

 

 

VERBS

 

 

 

HAVE
DO
BE

 

 

 

   
Has

Have

Having

had

Am

is

are

was

were

be

being

been

Do

does

doing

did

done

 

 

 

Functions of primary auxiliary verbs

  1. Express tense

Simple present tense

  • He is intelligent
  • He does homework.

Past tense

  • He was intelligent
  • He had money.
  1. Express aspect

Perfective aspect

  • She had talked.
  • He has danced.

Progressive aspect

  • She is talking.
  • He is dancing
  1. To show emphasis
  • The girls’ netball team did win all the matches.
  • I do care for you.
  1. Formation of questions
  • Did the girls’ netball team win all the matches?
  • Do I trust her?
  1. Show subject-verb agreement

Primary auxiliary verbs change their forms depending on whether the subject is singular or plural. When the subject is singular, the auxiliary verb used is singular.

  • My sister does her work daily.
  • Our sisters do their work daily.

VERB PHRASES

This is part of a sentence that indicates the action or state.

It may comprise of a verb, two or more helping verbs and one main verb or a helping verb an adverb and the main verb.

  1. A single verb
  • She sang beautifully.
  1. A helping verb and a main verb.
  • He had killed a rat.
  • He was killing a rat.
  • A rat is killed.
  • He has killed a rat.
  • He will kill a rat.
  • Two main verbs
  • He likes killing a rat.
  • He prefers taking tea.
  • He enjoyed reading a novel.
  • He wanted to go home.
  1. Two or more helping verbs and a main verb
  • He will have killed a rat.
  • He will be killing a rat.
  • A rat had been killed.
  • A rat is being killed.
  • A rat will be killed.
  • A rat will be being killed.
  • A rat will have been killed.
  1. A helping verb, an adverb and a main verb
  • He will hardly kill a rat.

 

ASPECT

The continuous aspect/progressive aspect

The progressive aspect is used to show that an action is continuing or is in progress.

It can be used with past tense, present tense and future tense.

Present continuous aspect

The present continuous aspect is used when talking about an action or a feeling which is still going on.

The aspect is formed by using the present tense of the verb ‘be’- am, are, is and adding -ing to the main verb

 

Examples

  1. a) Majority of verbs that and in ‘e’ drop the final e before adding -ing.
  • Write-writing
  • Smoke-smoking
  • Drive-driving
  1. b) Some retain e and add –ing
  • dye-dyeing
  • eye-eyeing
  • see-seeing
  • agree-agreeing

Agree-agreeing

  1. c) Some verbs that end in ‘ie’, replace the ‘ie’ with y before adding -ing
  • tie-tying
  • lie-lying
  • die-dying
  1. d) If the verb ends in a consonant preceded by a single vowel, double the final consonant and add –ing.
  • Stop-stopping.
  • Plan-planning
  • Begin-beginning
  • Clap-clapping
  • Nod-nodding

NB: The present continuous aspect is also used to explain the future arrangement that have already been made

My mother is flying to Garisa next month.

Robert is completing his studies in November.

Future Time

Future time refers to the time that will come after the moment of speech. It can be expressed in various ways.

  1. Using the present simple tense

Simple present tense is used to express future when talking about timetables or programmes.

Examples

Schools close for holidays every three months.

The bus leaves the police station at 9.00 a.m.

The BOG meeting starts at 8.00 am tomorrow.

  1. Using shall/will

Shall is used with the first person pronouns only (I, We)

Will is used with all classes of pronouns.

  • Using the present continuous tense

This takes the auxiliary verbs am/is/are and –ing verbs. This aspect is used to talk about future arrangement or plan.

Examples

Jane is visiting her grandmother tomorrow.

I am having a wedding next Saturday.

They are joining campus in August.

 

Going to is used with a verb in the infinitive to express the future.

The participle

A participle is a form of verb that is used in a sentence to play the role of other words such as nouns, adjectives other than the verb alone.

 

Active and Passive voice

Active voice

An active sentence is used to tell what the subject does; a sentence in which the subject is the performer of the action stated by the verb.

A n active voice has an active verb; a verb that is used with a subject and an object.

Examples

  • Admire write
  • Discuss lend
  • Many buy
  • Kill tell
  • Like want
  • Give value
  • Buy take

Passive voice

A passive  sentence/voice is used to tell  what happens to the subject. Passive verb is used to indicate the passive voice.

To change an active verb into a passive one;

The object of the active sentence takes the position of the subject.

The verb changes into the past participle and is used  with auxiliary verbs(am, are, was, were, is)

ASPECT ACTIVE VOICE PASSIVE VOICE
Simple present He kills a rat. A rat was killed
 Present perfect He has killed a rat. A rat has been killed.
Present contin. He is killing a rat A rat is being killed.
Simple past He killed a rat. A rat was killed.
Past perfect He had killed a rat A rat had been killed.
Past continuous He was killing a rat. A rat was being killed.
Simple future He will kill a rat. A rat will be killed.
Future perfect He will have killed a rat A rat will have been killed.
Future continuous He will be killing a rat. A rat will be being killed.

 

The original subject (doer) is sometimes omitted when the sentence is changed into passive voice.

Active and passive voice can be used with modal auxiliary verbs; can, may, should, ought.

A cat kills a rat.

Passive voice used with ditransitive verbs

A ditransitive verb is one used with two objects;

  • Give
  • buy
  • Write

When an active sentence has two objects, two passive sentences can be derived.

  • John bought Khadija a dress.
  • A dress was bought for Khadija.
  • Khadija was bought a dress.

 

Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

Transitive verbs

These are verbs that are followed direct objects. The object follows the verb immediately; there is no preposition between them.

Examples

  • Used kill
  • Keep marry
  • Close love
  • Admire

Some transitive verbs take more than one object; a direct object and indirect object. They are called ditransitive verbs.

Examples

  • Buy make
  • Tell lend
  • Sell bake

The object that follows the verb immediately is called indirect object and it answers the question ‘for whom’ or ‘to whom’ while the last object is called direct object. The direct object may follow the verb immediately if the indirect object is used with a preposition e.g.

  • Kalulu bought a guitar for Kagame.

Transitive verbs take both passive and active voice.

  • The county education officer gave the students an inspiring speech.(active)
  • The students were given an inspiring speech..(passive)
  • An inspiring speech was given to the students…(passive)

 

Intransitive verbs

These are verbs that do not require direct objects. They may be followed by adverbs or prepositional phrases.

Examples

  • Die weep
  • Sleep yawned
  • Run arrive
  • Bark sit
  • Stay

NB: Some verbs can be used both transitively and intransitively based on how they have been used.

Examples

  • Eat taste
  • Drive cook
  • Leave drink
  • Grow

 The Infinitives

The infinitive is formed by use of ‘to’ followed by the root or bare form of a verb.

Examples

  • To learn
  • To go
  • To give
  • To sell
  • To have
  • To teach
  • To protect
  • To sing
  • To plan
  • To forget

The infinitive can be used as a verb, a noun, an adjective or an adverb.

As a noun

The to infinitive ca act as a subject, a direct object or a subject complement.

Examples

  • T o exercise is healthy.(subject)
  • To err is human.(subject)
  • I want to go now(object)
  • She likes to read.(object)

As an adjective

The infinitive functions as an adjective if it modifies a noun.

  • I bought a book to read.
  • They have got eggs to sell.
  • Students have a right to read in the school library.
  • Ronaldo is the player to watch.

As an adverb

The infinitive functions as an adverb if it modifies a verb, an adjective or another adverb.

  • We must sow to reap.
  • The bird arrived to grab the leftovers.
  • He bought enough food to feed a battalion.

Types of participle

  1. The present participle (-ing participle)

This is formed by adding –ing suffix to the infinitive/base form of a word

Examples

  • Cooking
  • Boring
  • Eating
  • Knitting

Functions of the present participle

As a verb

The –ing participle is used with the past, present and future tense to show a progressive aspect. It is used with auxiliary verbs like is, was, are, were, am, be

Examples

  • He is cooking
  • He was cooking.
  • He will be cooking.

As an adjective

The –ing participle can be used to give more information about a noun or pronoun. Used as an adjective, the participle can be placed in front of the noun it modifies or after a linking/copular verb like is, was are, were.

Examples

  • I read an amazing book.
  • I read a book which was boring.

As a noun

The –ing participle can function as a noun, a subject, indirect object. When used as a noun, it is called a gerund.

Examples

  • Cooking excites me.
  • She likes cooking.
  1. The past participle.

This is formed by adding -ed/d/en/t to the infinitives

Example

  • Written
  • Taken
  • Walked
  • Knocked
  • Spent
  • Learnt

Function of the past participle

As a verb

The past participle is used with auxiliary verbs such as has, have or had to indicate the perfect aspect.

 

Phrasal verb

A phrasal verb is a multi-word verb that consists of a verb with a preposition or an adverb or both. The meaning of the phrasal verb is different from the meaning of its separate parts.

Phrasal verbs may consist of two or three words.

Examples

  • Look up-check
  • Put off-postpone
  • Show off-boast
  • Take after-resemble
  • Eat into-erode/deplete
  • Grow up-mature
  • Make for-try to reach
  • Give in-yield/surrender
  • Make of-understand
  • Pass out-faint
  • Call at-visit
  • Take after-resemble

Phrasal verbs may consist of two or three words.

Examples

Two words

  • Make up-prepare, compensate for something, create a story
  • Bring up-raise a child, introduce an idea
  • Take off-remove something, run away, fly, succeed
  • Put on-wear clothes, switch, organize an event.
  • Bump into-meet
  • Drop by-visit

Three words

  • Catch up with-keep abreast
  • Check up on-examine, investigate
  • Come up with-contribute
  • Get along with- have a good relationship
  • Get away with-escape, blame
  • Get rid of-eliminate
  • Look down on-despise
  • Look up to-respect
  • Put up with-tolerate
  • Run out of-exhaust
  • Get through with-finish
  • Walk out on-leave somebody

In some phrasal verbs, the object may come after or may separate the two parts. These include

  • Call off-cancel
  • Do away-repeat a job
  • Find out-discover
  • Hold up-delay
  • Make up
  • Look up
  • Put off-postpone
  • Put out-extinguish
  • Turn down-reject
  • Turn up-raise the volume
  • Turn up
  • Lay off-sack
  • Pull down –demolish

NB: When the object of the following phrasal verb is a person, the two parts of the phrasal verb must be separated.

They called off this afternoons meeting.

They called this afternoons meeting off.

Some phrasal verbs cannot be separated.

  • Call on-visit
  • Get over-recover from sickness/disappointment
  • Look after
  • Look into
  • Take after
  • Bump into-meet accidentally

Phrasal verbs can be used transitively or intransitively.

  • Break down-stop functioning
  • Drop by-visit without appointment
  • Get by-survive
  • Grow up-get older.

Idiomatic expression

Idioms are expressions whose meaning is difficult or sometimes impossible to guess by looking at the meaning of the individual word it contains.

  • Have butterflies in your stomach-feel nervous
  • An icing on the cake-
  • Bitter pill to swallow-
  • waste not want not-warning against wastage
  • a rocket science-not difficult
  • keep one’s head above water-manage
  • give somebody a run for his money-not allow somebody easily
  • Throw the spanner in the works-prevent something from happening
  • Throw a tantrum-get angry
  • Take a French leave
  • Extend an olive branch
  • Fish in troubled water
  • Water under the bridge
  • Tip of the iceberg- small part of something
  • A storm in a cup of tea-
  • Hit below the belt
  • Bring to book-punish for wrong doing
  • Lend a hand-help
  • Throw in a white towel-surrender
  • Bite more than you can chew-do more than ability
  • Borrow a leaf-copy
  • Steal the show-attract attention
  • Bury the hatchet-stop being unfriendly and become friends
  • Bite the bullet-deal with a difficult situation

Phrasal verb

A phrasal verb is a multi-word verb that consists of a verb with a preposition or an adverb or both. The meaning of the phrasal verb is different from the meaning of its separate parts.

Phrasal verbs may consist of two or three words.

Examples

  • Look up-check
  • Put off-postpone
  • Show off-boast
  • Take after-resemble
  • Eat into-erode/deplete
  • Grow up-mature
  • Make for-try to reach
  • Give in-yield/surrender
  • Make of-understand
  • Pass out-faint
  • Call at-visit
  • Take after-resemble

Phrasal verbs may consist of two or three words.

Examples

Two words

  • Make up-prepare, compensate for something, create a story
  • Bring up-raise a child, introduce an idea
  • Take off-remove something, run away, fly, succeed
  • Put on-wear clothes, switch, organize an event.
  • Bump into-meet
  • Drop by-visit

Three words

  • Catch up with-keep abreast
  • Check up on-examine, investigate
  • Come up with-contribute
  • Get along with- have a good relationship
  • Get away with-escape, blame
  • Get rid of-eliminate
  • Look down on-despise
  • Look up to-respect
  • Put up with-tolerate
  • Run out of-exhaust
  • Get through with-finish
  • Walk out on-leave somebody

In some phrasal verbs, the object may come after or may separate the two parts. These include

  • Call off-cancel
  • Do away-repeat a job
  • Find out-discover
  • Hold up-delay
  • Make up
  • Look up
  • Put off-postpone
  • Put out-extinguish
  • Turn down-reject
  • Turn up-raise the volume
  • Turn up
  • Lay off-sack
  • Pull down –demolish

NB: When the object of the following phrasal verb is a person, the two parts of the phrasal verb must be separated.

They called off this afternoons meeting.

They called this afternoons meeting off.

Some phrasal verbs cannot be separated.

  • Call on-visit
  • Get over-recover from sickness/disappointment
  • Look after
  • Look into
  • Take after
  • Bump into-meet accidentally

Phrasal verbs can be used transitively or intransitively.

  • Break down-stop functioning
  • Drop by-visit without appointment
  • Get by-survive
  • Grow up-get older.

Idiomatic expression

Idioms are expressions whose meaning is difficult or sometimes impossible to guess by looking at the meaning of the individual word it contains.

  • Have butterflies in your stomach-feel nervous
  • An icing on the cake-
  • Bitter pill to swallow-
  • waste not want not-warning against wastage
  • a rocket science-not difficult
  • keep one’s head above water-manage
  • give somebody a run for his money-not allow somebody easily
  • Throw the spanner in the works-prevent something from happening
  • Throw a tantrum-get angry
  • Take a French leave
  • Extend an olive branch
  • Fish in troubled water
  • Water under the bridge
  • Tip of the iceberg- small part of something
  • A storm in a cup of tea-
  • Hit below the belt
  • Bring to book-punish for wrong doing
  • Lend a hand-help
  • Throw in a white towel-surrender
  • Bite more than you can chew-do more than ability
  • Borrow a leaf-copy
  • Steal the show-attract attention
  • Bury the hatchet-stop being unfriendly and become friends
  • Bite the bullet-deal with a difficult situation

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