Author Archives: Susan

Verbs: ‘coulda, woulda, shoulda’ – modal or conditional verbs

Coulda, woulda, shoulda While the ‘being’ and ‘having’ words (the verbs to be and to have) function as the main auxiliaries with verbs, forming different variations of tense and aspect, there is another subgroup of verbs that work with main verbs to show different meanings. These words are also classified as auxiiliary verbs, but differentiated

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Nouns: mass and count, and the less–fewer issue

Mass or count? In this stunning photograph, we use two nouns to describe what we can see: we see two penguins on ice. And these two nouns demonstrate the final way nouns can be divided: into count nouns and mass nouns.  Count nouns are also sometimes called unit nouns (in that unhelpful way in English

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Nouns: abstract and concrete nouns, and waffly writing

Abstract or concrete? Making your writing clearer Another useful way to divide nouns is to separate them into the categories of abstract and concrete. This does not stop them being proper or common; it is simply another way to look at them. This means that proper nouns can also be abstract or concrete, and common

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Nouns: Proper nouns and common nouns – and capital letters

Proper or common? Of queens, receptionists and capital letters One useful way to split up the infinite number of nouns is to divide them into common and proper nouns. It is a useful division, because proper nouns are a very strange group of nouns: in several ways, they have quite different characteristics from all other

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