Relative clauses: review
1 We use relative clauses to add information about the subject or object of a sentence.
2 Relative clauses are introduced with words like who, that, which, where and whose.
We use who or that to refer to people.
He’s the man who / that wrote the article.
We use which or that to refer to things.
The newspaper which / that gives the best news is The Daily Standard.
We use where to refer to places.
That’s the building where my sister works.
We use whose to refer to possession.
She’s the woman whose house got destroyed in the flood.
3 A defining relative clause gives essential information about the thing or person we are talking about. In this case we do not use a comma.
The man who works in this office is very intelligent.
(= I am talking about the only man who works in this office.)
4 A non-defining relative clause gives information that is simply additional about the thing or person we are talking about. The extra information is between commas.
The man, who works in this office, is very intelligent.
(= I am talking about an intelligent man and adding the non-essential information that he works in this office.)
1 The word what can be used to mean the thing that, and can be used as the subject or object of a verb.
What (the thing that) makes me angry is the way he talks to people, (subject)
I can’t remember what (the thing that) he said, (object)
2 When what begins the sentence, we can use words like that / why / when (etc.) to join the second part of the sentence.
What you don’t understand is that people are all different.
What I don’t like is when people want me to be the same as them.
Verbs + gerund/infinitive review
Some verbs (remember, stop, try) can be followed by a second verb in either the gerund form or the infinitive form. The form of the second verb depends on the meaning of the sentence.
I remember phoning her to invite her. (- I phoned, and I remember that I did that.)
I remembered to phone her and invite her. (= I nearly forgot to phone, but I remembered and then I phoned.)
The teacher stopped talking and left the room. (= The teacher was talking, then she stopped and left the room.) When I was walking down the street, I stopped to talk to a friend of mine. (= I stopped walking, and after I stopped I began to talk to a friend.)
I tried closing the door but I could still hear the noise. (= it was noisy outside. I closed the door. When the door was closed, I could still hear the noise outside.)
I tried to close the door but it was stuck. (= I wanted to close the door, and I tried, but I was unsuccessful.)
1 When we report what someone said, there is often a change in verb tense between the direct speech (the person’s actual words) and the indirect (reported) speech. The verb goes ‘one step back’:
I’m tired,’ he said yesterday. He said yesterday that he was tired.
‘Someone’s stolen my bicycle!’ he said. -> He said someone had stolen his bicycle.
7 can’t lift this,’ she said. She said that she couldn’t lift it.
2 We do not necessarily change the verb tense if the information in the direct speech is still true.
‘He’s Italian,’ she told me. -* She told me that he’s Italian.
7 was born in London,’ Amanda said. -> Amanda said that she was born in London.
We can use many different verbs to report speech. Note that the patterns that follow the verbs are different.
1 Some verbs (e.g. say / claim / state / emphasise) are followed by that + clause.
He emphasised that the work was very important.
The prime minister claimed that the economy had improved.
2 Some verbs (e.g. promise / refuse) are followed by the infinitive with to.
She promised to help me in the evening.
My father refused to let me stay out late.
Note that we can also use promise with the structure promise + person + that.
She promised me that I could take her to the cinema.
3 Some verbs (e.g. encourage / advise / persuade) are followed by an object (person) + the infinitive with to.
He advised me to relax sometimes.
I persuaded them to come with me.
4 Some verbs (e.g. recommend / suggest / deny) are followed by a noun or gerund.
I recommended the new Green Day CD / listening to the new Green Day CD.
They suggested the French restaurant / eating at the French restaurant.
used to and would
1 We can use the expression used to + verb to talk about habits and customs in the past (things that are no longer true).
My father used to smoke. (= My father smoked in the past but he doesn't any more.)
When I was young, I used to go swimming every day. (= That was my habit but I don’t do this any more.)
2 It is also possible to use would + verb to talk about habits and customs in the past.
My mother would cook chicken every Sunday. (= This was a custom of my mother’s.)
At school, I would always ask the teacher questions. (= This was a habit of mine when I was a schoolchild.)
3 The difference between used to and would is that we can only use would for repeated actions - we cannot use it for a permanent state or situation.
We used to live in London. (A permanent state or situation: We would live in London is not possible.)
/ used to visit my grandparents every weekend. (A repeated action: i would visit my grandparents every weekend is possible.)
1 We use adverbs to describe verbs — often to say how an action is/was performed.
They played well.
Drive more slowly!
He reacted angrily to what I said.
2 We can also use phrases to describe a verb and to say how an action is/was performed. These phrases are called adverbial phrases because they are like adverbs but are more than one word.
3 One structure for adverbial phrases is with + noun.
My brother looked at me with surprise.
I finished my homework with difficulty.
I listened to the programme with great interest.
4 Another structure for adverbial phrases is in a(n) + adjective + way.
They asked me lots of questions, but in a friendly way.
We worked hard, but in a fun way.
I like listening to her because she talks in an interesting way.
Adverbial phrases are often used when an adjective (e.g. friendly, difficult, interesting, fun) has no adverb form.
1 We use the zero conditional to talk about a condition and consequence that are always true.
If you don’t eat, you die.
2 We use the first conditional to talk about a possible present situation and its possible future consequence.
If we raise enough money, we’ll build a hospital.
3 We use the second conditional to talk about a hypothetical situation in the present and its future consequence, which may be very unlikely or impossible.
If I was prime minister, I’d increase the money we spend on helping other countries.
4 We use the third conditional to talk about a hypothetical situation and consequence in the past which is, therefore, impossible to change.
If the food had got there quicker, we’d have saved thousands of lives.
Conditional sentences do not always follow the four patterns described above. For example, it is common to find mixtures of second and third conditionals.
1 If we want to talk about a past action and its present consequence, then the if clause follows the pattern of a third conditional and the consequence clause follows the pattern of a second conditional.
If more people had signed the petition, the shopping centre wouldn’t be here. (- Not many people signed the petition, so the shopping centre is here.)
If I hadn’t missed the plane, I’d be in Egypt now. (= I missed the plane. I’m not in Egypt.)
2 If we want to talk about how a universal truth affected a past action, then the if clause follows the pattern of a second conditional and the consequence clause follows the pattern of a third conditional.
If the world was a fairer place, those people wouldn’t have died. (= The people died because the world is not a fair place.)
If I spoke Indonesian, I would have understood what he said. (= I didn’t understand what he said because I don’t speak Indonesian.)
1 If we want to talk about an action that will be in progress at a specified future time, we use the future continuous tense.
Twenty years from now people will be living under the sea.
Later this month I'll be visiting a project in the Sudan.
2 The future continuous is formed by will + be + the -ing form of the verb.
1 If we want to talk about an action that will have been completed by a specified future time, we use the future perfect tense.
By 2050 ninety per cent of the Amazon will have vanished.
By the time the World Cup finishes, I’ll have watched more than 60 hours of football.
2 The future perfect tense is formed by will + the present perfect.
Future time expressions
There are a number of words we can use to show that we are talking about a future time, e.g. during, for, by, until, XXX from now and in XXX’s time.
1 XXX from now and in XXX’s time both refer to a specific time in the future.
Twenty years from now, no one will be using petrol cars.
The film starts in ten minutes' time.
2 During is used to refer to a period of future time when something will happen.
Scientists will be working on a solution during the next three years,
3 For refers to how long a future event will last.
They’ll be studying climate change for the next five years.
4 By refers to a future deadline - the action will be completed before this time.
I’ll have finished my report by Thursday (- some time between now and Thursday.)
5 Until also refers to a future deadline. It emphasises that a continuous action will stop at the specified time.
We’ll be working until three. (= We will stop working at three.)
Past perfect passive
1 We use the past perfect to make it very clear that a past action happened before another action.
When we got to the party, James had left.
2 We use the past perfect passive to say that a past action happened before another one, but also when we do not know who did the action, or that it is not important who did it.
I got to the shop late, and all the ice cream had been sold.
I was surprised to find this old book - I thought it had been thrown away.
My home town looked different because several new shops had been built.
3 The past perfect passive is formed with the past perfect of the verb to be [had (not) been) + the past participle of the main verb.
Past perfect continuous
1 We use the past perfect continuous to talk about ongoing actions that began before another action in the past. When I got to the party my friends had been dancing for more than an hour.
Her eyes were red, so he knew that she had been crying.
When my mother called me for dinner, I had been reading for two hours..
2 The past perfect continuous is formed with the past perfect of the verb to be [had (not) been) + the -ing form of the main verb.
1 We often use the word it to introduce sentences in English, and often it does not refer to an actual thing.
For example, we use it when we say hello:
It's nice to meet you.
2 The structure is often It + be + adjective + infinitive with to.
It's interesting to listen to her ideas.
It’s wonderful to see people smite.
It's important to understand this point.
3 The structure can also be It + verb + to infinitive.
It hurts to see people cry.
It feels great to be back in the town where I was born.
1 Modal verbs say how the speaker or writer views a situation or action, in the present, the past or the future. They are used to say something about certainty, possibility, or whether something is necessary, permitted or forbidden. I might see you tomorrow, (possible)
I will see him tomorrow, (certain)
You must come and see us. (necessary)
You can't come in here, (forbidden)
2 We use modal verbs to express a wide range of functions.
I think it will rain tonight, (prediction)
May I come in? (asking for permission)
They might not arrive on time, (possibility)
You mustn't do that, (prohibition)
She can run a marathon in three hours, (ability)