SEE English Grammar Article

SEE English Grammar

Introduction

The present English curriculum and textbooks at the secondary level are based on the communicative approach. On this backstop, grammar is not taught in isolation but is taught in context. However, we have prepared grammar lessons separately since it is a self learning material and it mainly focuses on the SEE examination. This unit contains the 11 grammar lessons from which questions are asked in the SEE examination. There are some practice questions at the end of each lesson as well.

Objectives

         Use articles, prepositions etc. appropriately in spoken and written form

         Produce utterances with appropriate subject-verb agreement and proper use of  tense 

          Transform statements into negative, interrogative etc. and vice versa       Use question tags, causative verbs, conditionals and connectives appropriately        Produce appropriate utterances in active and passive voice.            Report someone’s words in a direct or indirect form.

1.  ARTICLES

The adjectives A or An and The are generally called articles. They are mostly used as determiners.

Types of Articles:

         There are two types of articles — ‘Definite’ and ‘Indefinite’

         Articles A and An  are called indefinite and article the is called definite.

 A or An is called the indefinite article as it indicates the people or things in general sense.

Examples:

a teacher (that is, any teacher) an umbrella (that is, any umbrella)

       The is called the definite article, because it points out a particular person or thing.

Examples:

                      I saw ‘a man’ lying on the road. (Anyone, does not matter who)

 A policeman came and took ‘the man’ to hospital. (Now the same man who is referred to in the previous example.) Where to use ‘a’ or ‘an’?

The choice between ‘a’ or ‘an’ is determined by sound. The article ‘a’ is used before a countable noun that begins with a consonant sound, whereas the article ‘an’ is used before a countable noun that starts with a vowel sound. For example, an orange, an apple, an ink-pot, an ass, an enemy, an umbrella, an hour, an honest man, an heir, an M.A. etc.

Note: You can easily notice that the words ‘hour’, ‘honest’ and ‘heir’ begin with a vowel sound, as the initial letter ‘h’ is silent. 

Examples:

a donkey, a monkey, a ruler, a woman, a yard, a hole, a university, a union, a European, a ewe, a useful person, a unicorn, a B.A. etc.

Because the words such as university, union, European, ewe, useful, unicorn, etc. begin with a consonant sound, i.e. /j/ ‘o‘, we use the article ‘a’ before all these words. Likewise, we say: a one-rupee note, a one-eyed person, a one-man show, etc. Note: You can notice that in the above phrases ‘one’ begins with a consonant sound, i.e. /w/. Therefore, we should always use the article ‘a’ before one. Where to use the definite article ‘the’?

                                The definite article ‘the’ is normally used:

  • When we speak of a particular person or thing, or one already referred to.

 For examples: 

 The book on the table is mine.

 The girl with a long nose is my sister.  I helped the man who came to me.

  • When a singular noun is meant to represent a whole class.
  • The cow is a useful animal.

                     The rose is the sweetest of all flowers. 

(best/ tallest/ superlatives highest are
  • With Superlatives.

                     Prerana is the best student in her class. 

                     Prashant is the tallest boy in his group. 

                     This is the best book I have ever read.

                     Mt. Everest is the highest mountain in the world.

  • With names of gulfs, rivers, seas, oceans, groups of islands, and mountain ranges.  
(First, second, third, fourth, fifth………are ordinal numbers. 

                     The Persian Gulf                     The Himalayas, etc.

                      The Ganges is a sacred river. The Red Sea

                     The Indian Ocean                        The Alps

                     London is situated on the river Thames.

  • With ordinals

Pritija was the first girl to arrive at the party.

                     The fifth chapter of this novel is very boring.

  • Before the names of certain books

                     The Ramayan                             The Mahabharat

                     The Geeta                                   The Bible

                     The Kuran                                  The Vedas, etc.

  • Before the unique nouns

The earth             The sky                The universe     The sun            The moon, etc.

  • Before the musical instruments 

                  The madal          The piano           The guitar   The flute, etc.

  • Before the names of newspapers 

                      The Kathmandu Post     The Rising Nepal   The Himalayan Times, etc.

  • Before plural nouns of countries 

                  The USA                The UK                The Netherlands, etc.        

  • Before the names of ships 

                     The Titanic                                  The Mary Celeste, etc.  

  • Before the parts of day in the morning, in the evening,        in the afternoon
  • When something is mentioned second time,           He bought a bicycle. The bicycle was made in China.
  • Before the names of direction and poles,   the west, thee east, the North pole, the south pole
  • Before names of the periods of history,     the Victorian  age, The Renaissance, the modern age
  • Before names of nationalities / religious/ races/ positions or posts             the Nepalese, the Hindus, the Black, the Prime minister, the President
  • Before the names of scientific innovations             the computer, the telephone
  • Before proper and abstract nouns to make them common            Bal Krishna Sum is the Shakespeare of Nepal.

                      She is the beauty of the town.

 If plural nouns, uncountable nouns are definite, we use the article ‘the’, if they are not definite, we use no article. (For example)

Milk is white. The milk in this glass is hot.

         Horses are animals. The horses in that stable run fast.

       We use no article with proper nouns. If they are compared, we use the article ‘the’. For example:

         Shakespeare is a great English poet. Balkrishna Sama is ‘the’ Shakespeare of Nepal.

 We use no article with abstract nouns if it is not specified in the context. e.g. Honesty is the best policy.

 We generally use no article with the names of languages, subjects, games, days, months, diseases. 

         We use no article with these expressions:

    by bus, by air, by mistake, at first sight, on foot, on duty, at once, in time etc.   Before  the names of the metals, e.g.

                  Gold is a very expensive metal.

         Before names of seasons

         Before names of relation : father, mother , brother 

 Before school, college, university, temple, mosque, church, hospital, when these places are visited for their primary purpose :

He goes to college every day.

She goes to temple every morning.

If these places are visited for other purposes, the definite article ‘the’ is used before them as:  He goes to the college to meet is father. Exercise 

  1. Amrita is ………useful member in our club. (a, an, the)
  2. This is ……..place which I like to visit most. (a, an, the)
  1. He plays ……. guitar well. (a, an, the)
  2. Nile is ……..longest river in the world (a, an, the)
  3. It is ….one rupee note. (a, an, the)
  4. That is ………..book I like most. (a, an, the)
  5. She is ……………..MBBS doctor (a, an, the)
  6. Mr. Joshi is …….honorable person. (a, an, the)
  7. We played ……football yesterday. (a, an, the, no article)
  8. New zealand is …..island. (a, an, the)
  9. There is …..ewe beside him, (a, an, the)
  10. John is from ……village. (a, an, the)
  11. Peter is from……USA. (a, an, the)
  12. I like……computer. (a, an, the)
  13. Who invented……telephone? (a, an, the)
  14. She went to……..school as usual. (a, an, the, no article)
  15. They went to………temple to observe its architecture. (a, an, the, no article)
  16. …………milk in the bottle is fresh. (A, An, The)
  17. Don’t hate………….poor. (a, an, the)
  18. …………….honesty is the best policy. (a, an, the, no article)
  19. Ram is …….Christian. (a, an, the, no article)
  20. Who is ….second person to climb the mountain? (a, an, the, no article)
  21. The hotel is situated by ……..sea. (a, an, the, no article)
  22. It is very hard to gain ……..popularity. (a, an, the, no article)
  23. I waited for ……….hour.(a, an, the, no article)

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