May 23, 2009

Adverbials Chart (Prepared by Diana Solano Leitón)

Type Form Examples

Frequency Positive Adverb always, usually, sometimes,
frequently, regularly, often

Frequency Negative Adverb Hardly ever,scarcely ever,
seldom,infrequently,not often,
never,rarely, not always

Frequency Adverb of Specific Frequency daily, weekly, hourly, monthly,

Frequency Prepositional Phrase once in a while, once in a
lifetime, once in a blue moon

Frequency Noun Phrase every day, 3 times a year,
every night,4 times a month,
several times, every holiday,
every now and then

Manner Adverb quietly, loudly, desperately,
rapidly, certainly, quickly

Manner Prepositional Phrase at random, by fax, by car,
in some way, in a little manner,
with a smile, with his foot,
without doubt

Manner Subordinate Clause if they were here... if you were...

Manner Comparative and Superlative He writes the slowest.
He writes slower than the

Manner Participial Phrases Damaged by the earquake,the
building collpased.
Feeling exhausted, she went to

Place Prepositional Phrase across..., between..., under..,
at... along... beside...
behind... among.. the
left...around...down... in...
inside... near...out...outside.
past... through... up...
Just when followed by an object:
through the garden, around your
bed, in the house, near my house

Place Nouns downtown, north, east, home,
home, south, west

Place Sobordinate Clause Introduced by where, whenever

Time Adverb forever, soon, today, yesterday,
later, next, then, tomorrow,long
now, mid-center.

Time Noun Days of the week

Time Noun Phrase All day, last time, the next day
a week ago, last month, next
weekend, a week from, this
coming Sunday, a hundred years
ago, tomorrow morning

Time Prepositional Phrases after dinner, in 1997, on Monday
at first, during vacation, for a
days, at lunchtime, over the
years, at mid-century,before the
holidays, for a moment.

Time Subordinate Clause Introduced by when, whenever

Reason Prepositional Phrase because of... due to... despite.
on bussiness, in spite of.. for
(fun, pleasure) on vacation,
for (some fruit, milk)

Reason Infinitve to study, in order to practice
to work, in order to decide,
to play

Reason Infinitive Phrases In order to see a movie,
to enjoy our selves,
to advertise de product,
to do research

Reason Subordinate Clause Introduced by since, because

May 13, 2009

List of Adjectives in American English

List of Adjectives in American English --

1. average
2. big
3. colossal
4. fat
5. giant
6. gigantic
7. great
8. huge
9. immense
10. large
11. little
12. long
13. mammoth
14. massive
15. miniature
16. petite
17. puny
18. short
19. small
20. tall
21. tiny

22. boiling
23. breezy
24. broken
25. bumpy
26. chilly
27. cold
28. cool
29. creepy
30. crooked
31. cuddly
32. curly
33. damaged
34. damp
35. dirty
36. dry
37. dusty
38. filthy
39. flaky
40. fluffy
41. wet

42. broad
43. chubby
44. crooked
45. curved
46. deep
47. flat
48. high
49. hollow
50. low
51. narrow
52. round
53. shallow
54. skinny
55. square
56. steep
57. straight
58. wide

59. ancient
60. brief
61. early
62. fast
63. late
64. long
65. modern
66. old
67. old-fashioned
68. quick
69. rapid
70. short
71. slow
72. swift
73. young

74. abundant
75. empty
76. few
77. heavy
78. light
79. many
80. numerous


81. cooing
82. deafening
83. faint
84. harsh
85. high-pitched
86. hissing
87. hushed
88. husky
89. loud
90. melodic
91. moaning
92. mute
93. noisy
94. purring
95. quiet
96. raspy
97. resonant
98. screeching
99. shrill
100. silent
101. soft
102. squealing
103. thundering
104. voiceless
105. whispering

April 14, 2009

Practice on Articles (Provided by Prof. Patricia Andres)

LM-1234 Practice on Articles
Andres 1-2009

Write a, an, the, or Ø in the blanks to complete the paragraphs.

GARABITO, Puntarenas – Thomas Walker squints into _____ sun as he looks out over _____ Herradura Bay, _____ picturesque inlet on _____ central Pacific coast dotted with _____ million-dollar yachts. _____ crane towers overhead and a few construction workers survey _____ terraced hillside below, which sprouts rebar like tufts of _____ grass.
In his hand are laminated floor plans for _____ series of four-story condominium buildings to be built where he stands. Each 4,300-square-foot condo sells for between $1.6 million and $3 million.
“It's _____ sunset – _____ year-round sunsets right here,” Walker says, pointing out toward _____ horizon where _____ hazy blue contours of _____ Nicoya Peninsula take shape.
Walker represents _____ Punta Bocana, one of a few large-scale development projects still going forward in _____ Central Pacific, where _____ frenzied pace of _____ construction and real estate sales of recent years has been nearly stopped in its tracks by _____ financial troubles in _____ United States.
_____ Unofficial estimates from business owners and locals in Jacó, arguably _____ biggest tourist town on _____ central Pacific coast, say _____ tourism here has dropped by at least 20 percent. Real estate shoppers, once _____ large portion of those who visited _____ increasingly upscale surf village, are even fewer and farther between.
“There's definitely _____ lack of buyers out there, but we're still making sales,” said Lisle Head, _____ real estate agent with _____ Coldwell Bank.
Two years ago, his office was making 12 to 15 sales _____ month, he said. This year it has dropped to four or five per month.

March 21, 2009

Subject-Verb Agreement: Rules


Rule 1. Two singular subjects connected by or or nor require a singular verb.
Example: My aunt or my uncle is arriving by train today.

Rule 2. Two singular subjects connected by either/or or neither/nor require a singular verb as in Rule 1.
Examples: Neither Juan nor Carmen is available.
Either Kiana or Casey is helping today with stage decorations.

Rule 3. When I is one of the two subjects connected by either/or or neither/nor, put it second and follow it with the singular verb am.
Example: Neither she nor I am going to the festival.

Rule 4. When a singular subject is connected by or or nor to a plural subject, put the plural subject last and use a plural verb.
Example: The serving bowl or the plates go on that shelf.

Rule 5. When a singular and plural subject are connected by either/or or neither/nor, put the plural subject last and use a plural verb.
Example: Neither Jenny nor the others are available.

Rule 6. As a general rule, use a plural verb with two or more subjects when they are connected by and.
Example: A car and a bike are my means of transportation.

Rule 7. Sometimes the subject is separated from the verb by words such as along with, as well as, besides, or not. Ignore these expressions when determining whether to use a singular or plural verb.
Examples: The politician, along with the newsmen, is expected shortly.
Excitement, as well as nervousness, is the cause
of her shaking.

Rule 8. The pronouns each, everyone, every one, everybody, anyone, anybody, someone, and somebody are singular and require singular verbs. Do not be misled by what follows of.
Examples: Each of the girls sings well.
Every one of the cakes is gone.
NOTE: Everyone is one word when it means everybody. Every one is two words when the meaning is each one.

Rule 9. With words that indicate portions—percent, fraction, part, majority, some, all, none, remainder, and so forth —look at the noun in your of phrase (object of the preposition) to determine whether to use a singular or plural verb. If the object of the preposition is singular, use a singular verb. If the object of the preposition is plural, use a plural verb.
Examples: Fifty percent of the pie has disappeared.
Pie is the object of the preposition of.
Fifty percent of the pies have disappeared.
Pies is the object of the preposition.
One-third of the city is unemployed.
One-third of the people are unemployed.
NOTE: Hyphenate all spelled-out fractions.
All of the pie is gone.
All of the pies are gone.
Some of the pie is missing.
Some of the pies are missing.
None of the garbage was picked up.
None of the sentences were punctuated correctly.
Of all her books, none have sold as well as the first one.

NOTE: Apparently, the SAT testing service considers none as a singular word only. However, according to Merriam Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, "Clearly none has been both singular and plural since Old English and still is. The notion that it is singular only is a myth of unknown origin that appears to have arisen in the 19th century. If in context it seems like a singular to you, use a singular verb; if it seems like a plural, use a plural verb. Both are acceptable beyond serious criticism" (p. 664).

Rule 10. When either and neither are subjects, they always take singular verbs.
Examples: Neither of them is available to speak right now.
Either of us is capable of doing the job.

Rule 11. The words here and there have generally been labeled as adverbs even though they indicate place. In sentences beginning with here or there, the subject follows the verb.
Examples: There are four hurdles to jump.
There is a high hurdle to jump.

Rule 12. Use a singular verb with sums of money or periods of time.
Examples: Ten dollars is a high price to pay.
Five years is the maximum sentence for that offense.

Rule 13. Sometimes the pronoun who, that, or which is the subject of a verb in the middle of the sentence. The pronouns who, that, and which become singular or plural according to the noun directly in front of them. So, if that noun is singular, use a singular verb. If it is plural, use a plural verb.
Examples: Salma is the scientist who writes/write the reports.
The word in front of who is scientist, which is singular. Therefore, use the singular verb writes.
He is one of the men who does/do the work.
The word in front of who is men, which is plural. Therefore, use the plural verb do.

Rule 14. Collective nouns such as team and staff may be either singular or plural depending on their use in the sentence.
Examples: The staff is in a meeting.
Staff is acting as a unit here.
The staff are in disagreement about the findings.
The staff are acting as separate individuals in this example.
The sentence would read even better as:
The staff members are in disagreement about the findings.

Taken from

Subject-Verb Agreement Pracitce

The following exercise is taken from:

Third Quiz on Subject-Verb Agreement

Instructions: Select the appropriate verbs to complete each sentence correctly.

Soccer — or football (or foosball or futbol), as it is called by the rest of the world outside the United States —_______________ surely the most popular sport in the world. Every four years, the world championship of soccer, the World Cup, _______________watched by literally billions all over the world, beating out the United States professional football's Superbowl by far. It is estimated that 1.7 billion television viewers watched the World Cup final between France and Brazil in July of 1998. And it is also a genuine world championship, involving teams from 32 countries in the final rounds, unlike the much more parochial and misnamed World Series in American baseball (that _______________ even involve Japan or Cuba, two baseball hotbeds). But although soccer has become an important sport in the American sports scene, it will never make inroads into the hearts and markets of American sports the way that football, basketball, hockey, baseball, and even tennis and golf _______________ done. There are many reasons for this.

Recently the New England Revolution beat the Tampa Bay Mutiny in a game played during a horrid rainstorm. Nearly 5000 fans showed up, which _______________ that soccer is, indeed, popular in the United States. However, the story of the game _______________ buried near the back of the newspaper's sports section, and there _______________ certainly no television coverage. In fact, the biggest reason for soccer's failure as a mass appeal sport in the United States is that it doesn't conform easily to the demands of television. Basketball succeeds enormously in America because it regularly _______________ what it calls "television time-outs" as well as the time-outs that the teams themselves call to re-group, not to mention half-times and, on the professional level, quarter breaks. Those time-outs in the action _______________ ideally made for television commercials. And television coverage is the lifeblood of American sports. College basketball _______________ for a game scheduled on CBS or ESPN (highly recruited high school players are more likely to go to a team that regularly gets national television exposure), and we could even say that television coverage _______________ dictated the pace and feel of American football. Anyone who _______________ attended a live football game knows how commercial time-outs _______________ the game and sometimes, at its most exciting moments, _______________ the flow of events. There is no serious objection, however, because without television, football knows that it simply wouldn't remain in the homes and hearts of Americans. Also, without those advertising dollars, the teams couldn't afford the sky-high salaries of their high-priced superstars.

Soccer, on the other hand, except for its half-time break, has no time-outs; except for half-time, it is constant run, run, run, run, back and forth, back and forth, relentlessly, with only a few seconds of relaxation when a goal is scored, and that can happen seldom, sometimes never. The best that commercial television coverage can hope for is an injury time-out, and in soccer that _______________ only with decapitation or disembowelment.

Second, Americans love their violence, and soccer doesn't deliver on this score the way that American football and hockey _______________. There are brief moments, spurts of violence, yes, but fans can't expect the full-time menu of bone-crushing carnage that American football and hockey can deliver minute after minute, game after game. In soccer, players are actually singled out and warned — shamed, with embarrassingly silly "yellow cards," for acts of violence and duplicity that would be smiled at in most American sports other than tennis and golf.

Third, it is just too difficult to score in soccer. America _______________ its football games with scores like 49 to 35 and a professional basketball game with scores below 100 _______________ regarded as a defensive bore. In soccer, on the other hand, scores like 2 to 1, even 1 to 0, _______________ commonplace and apparently desirable; games scoreless at the end of regulation time happen all the time. (In the 515 games played in the final phase in the history of the World Cup games through 1994, only 1584 goals _______________ scored. That's three a game!) And if there _______________ no resolution at the end of overtime, the teams resort to a shoot-out that _______________ more to do with luck than with real soccer skills. Worse yet, it is possible for a team to dominate in terms of sheer talent and "shots-on-goal" and still lose the game by virtue of a momentary lapse in defensive attention, a stroke of bad luck, and the opponent's break-away goal. Things like that can happen, too, in baseball, but the problem somehow _______________ out over baseball's very long season of daily games. In soccer, it just isn't fair. Soccer authorities should consider making the goal smaller and doing away with the goalie to make scoring easier. And the business of starting over after each goal, in the middle of the field, _______________ to be reconsidered. It's too much like the center-jump after each goal in the basketball game of yesteryear.

It _______________ unlikely that Americans will ever fully comprehend or appreciate a sport in which players are not allowed to use their arms and hands. Although the footwork of soccer players _______________ a magnificent skill to behold, most American fans are perplexed by straitjacketed soccer players' inability and unwillingness to "pick up the darn ball and run with it!" The inability to use substitutes (unless the players to be substituted for are lying dead or maimed on the field of play) _______________ also bewildering to Americans, who glorify the "sixth man" in basketball and a baseball game in which virtually the entire roster (including an otherwise unemployable old man called "the designated hitter") _______________ deployed on the field at one time or another.

Finally, the field in soccer is enormous. Considerably larger than the American football field, the soccer field could contain at least a dozen basketball courts. Americans like their action condensed, in a small field of vision — ten enormous sweaty people bouncing off one another and moving rapidly through a space the size of a medium-sized bedroom, twenty-two even larger people in bulky uniforms converging on a small, oddly shaped ball. In soccer, on the other hand, there _______________ a premium on "spreading out," not infringing upon the force field occupied by a team-mate, so that fancy foot-passing is possible. This spreading out across the vast meadow of the soccer playing field _______________ not lend itself, again, to close get-down-and-dirty television scrutiny. Soccer is a great sport and it certainly _______________ the increased attention and popularity it is getting on all levels. But — primarily, again, because it does not lend itself to television — it will never make it big in the United States the way these other sports _______________, not until it _______________ some of its fundamental strategies.

March 6, 2009

What is grammar?... What is a sentence?

What is grammar?
Some people love it; some others hate it. Yeah! That is grammar. But do we really know what it is? Well, grammar is the study of words and the ways words work together. It is the guideline that leads us through the paved highway of oral and written communication. We use it daily, in a conscious or unconscious way. Grammar, therefore, is pervasive.

The Sentence:
What is a sentence? How to identify it? It must have or include the following characteristics:
1.- Starts with a capital letter.
2.- Ends wih a period, question mark, or exclamatio point.
3.- Contains one or more words.
4.- Contains a subject and a predicate, either expressed or clearly understood.
5.- Makes a statement, asks a question, expresses a command or request, or indicates a strong feeling or emotion.


This is a list of 70 of the more common one-word prepositions.

  • aboard
  • about
  • above
  • across
  • after
  • against
  • along
  • amid
  • among
  • anti
  • around
  • as
  • at
  • before
  • behind
  • below
  • beneath
  • beside
  • besides
  • between
  • beyond
  • but
  • by
  • concerning
  • considering
  • despite
  • down
  • during
  • except
  • excepting
  • excluding
  • following
  • for
  • from
  • in
  • inside
  • into
  • like
  • minus
  • near
  • of
  • off
  • on
  • onto
  • opposite
  • outside
  • over
  • past
  • per
  • plus
  • regarding
  • round
  • save
  • since
  • than
  • through
  • to
  • toward
  • towards
  • under
  • underneath
  • unlike
  • until
  • up
  • upon
  • versus
  • via
  • with
  • within
  • without