Use of Determiners in English

Determiners are words that are used with nouns to clarify or modify the noun. Generally, determiners are used before a noun, so as to explain what the noun refers to. In simple words, a determiner is a group of words or a particular word that introduces a noun. It is a vital noun modifier that gives context to a noun, mostly in terms of quantity and possession.

Types of Determiners

In English language, determiners are categorized into following types:

1.    Articles: Articles are the most common determiners. ‘A’, ‘an’ and ‘the’ are recognized as articles. These articles explain the specificity and definiteness of a noun. ‘The’ is a definite article, whereas ‘a’ and ‘an’ are indefinite articles. ‘The’ refers to a specific noun. ‘A’ is used to refer noun, but used before the words, which begin with a consonant and ‘an’ is used before the words that starts with a vowel.

For example:

•    The Amazon River is one of the longest rivers in the world.
•    An advertisement on no smoking.
•    I was born into a rich family.

2.    Demonstrative: ‘These’, ‘those’, ‘this’ and ‘that’ are known as demonstrative determiners. These determiners explain the position of an object from a speaker’s point of view.

For example:

•    Do you want to eat this piece of cake?
•    These buildings are quite expensive.

3.    Quantifiers: Quantifiers generally indicates quantity. ‘a few’, ‘many’, ‘such as’, ‘all’, ‘some’ and ‘enough’ words are the quantifiers, which explain the amount of something without stating the exact number.

For example:

•    I have enough money.
•    She took all the chocolates.

4.    Possessives: Possessive determiner refers to an entity, which belongs to another. Words like ‘your’, ‘their’, ‘my’, ‘his’, ‘her’, ‘its’ and ‘our’ shows possession and ownership.

For example:

•    Our car is more expensive than John’s.
•    Your house is beautiful.

Function of Determiners

In a sentence, a determiner can play various roles and it is specifically used to clarify the noun.

•    It modifies a noun.
•    It may be used to describe or define something or someone.
•    It describes the quantity of a thing.
•    It explains whether the noun indicated is a specific one or unspecific one.
•    It may state the difference between nouns.

What are Antecedents with Examples?

An antecedent is a literary device or a linguistic term. It is a word that a pronoun replaces or refers to. In simple words, an antecedent is a preceding word, clause or phrase to which a pronoun, noun or another word refers back to. For instance, Emily called to say she will come to work late. (Here, ‘Emily’ is the antecedent of the personal pronoun ‘she’). An antecedent is originated from English grammar. It is recognized as an expression, which gives its meaning to a proform, including pronoun, pro-verb and pro-adverb. Generally, an antecedent comes before the pronoun as ‘ante’ means before.

Antecedent plays a significant role as it makes a sentence clear and succinct to the readers. Sometimes, the use of they, their, he, she, it, them, etc. make the sentence complex and confusing for the readers. Hence, an antecedent helps a writer to convey the exact meaning in a clear and coherent manner.

Basic Rules

There are certain rules that you need to consider when dealing with antecedents and pronouns. Let us understand in detail.

•    Make sure that a pronoun and its antecedent must agree in number. If an antecedent is singular, then the pronoun that replaces it or refers to it should be also singular.

•    Similarly, a pronoun and its antecedent must also agree in gender. If an antecedent refers to a masculine gender, then the pronoun that replaces or refers to it must have the same gender. Likewise, if an antecedent has feminine gender, then the pronoun must have the same gender.

Examples of Antecedent

1. My neighbor who lives next door lost his car key. (Here, ‘neighbor’ is the antecedent of the relative pronoun ‘who’ and the possessive adjective ‘his’.)

2. Every student was required to show his or her admission ticket. (Here, ‘student’ is the antecedent of the pronoun ‘his or her’. In order to avoid any gender confusion, ‘his or her’ both pronouns are used in the sentence.)

3. My aunty likes chocolates. She requests everyone to give her chocolates on Christmas. (Here, ‘aunty is the antecedent of the pronoun ‘she’.)

4. Any student who wishes to participate in the debate competition should raise his or her hand. (Here, ‘student’ is the antecedent of the pronoun ‘his or her’.)

5. Most people are unable to read and write because they are uneducated. (Here, ‘people’ is the antecedent of the pronoun ‘they’.)

Prepositions in English Grammar

Prepositions are short words, which are used to link noun, pronouns and phrases to other words in a sentence. The word or phrase that is introduced by a preposition is recognized as the object of the preposition. In other words, prepositions are the words that show relationships between other words in the sentence. A relationship can be a place, time, direction, amount or manner. For instance, John will be here at 6 o’clock. (Here, ‘at’ is a preposition that indicates the time.)

A preposition generally comes before the noun or pronoun. The preposition and the object of the preposition collectively called as a prepositional phrase. In English grammar, prepositions are used in different ways, which is discussed below:

1.    Prepositions are used with time words.

For example:

•    On Wednesday
•    At 9 o clock

2.    Preposition words are used to indicate where something or someone is.

For example:

•    The painting is hanging on the wall.
•    Sara is in the library.

3.    These words are used after many adjectives.

For example:

•    I am worried about my career.
•    She is good at cooking.

4.    Prepositions are also used after some verbs.

For example:

•    She borrows a pen from her friend.
•    He walked into the room.

5.    These are words are used after some nouns.

For example:

•    He has a good relationship with his brother.
•    She has difficulty with understanding math subject.

6.    Prepositions are also used in certain phrases.

For example:

•    Like a beautiful swan.
•    Near the ocean.

List of preposition words

•    Above
•    Around
•    Across
•    After
•    Behind
•    Below
•    But
•    Closed to
•    Concerning
•    Between
•    During
•    Except
•    Inside
•    In spite of
•    Including
•    Through
•    Like
•    Next
•    Onto
•    Outside
•    Over
•    Past
•    Under
•    Unlike
•    Up
•    Upon
•    With
•    While

Importance of Tenses in English Grammar

In English language, tenses play a significant role in constructing a meaningful sentence for the readers.  Tenses are primarily categorized into past tense, present tense and future tense. The tenses are an important part of English grammar. It shows the time of an action or state of being that is usually shown by a verb. The verb ending is changed in order to show the present, past or future time. Hence, a tense act as a verb, so as to indicate what happen when.

It is important to understand the different tenses when it comes to English language. While writing a sentence, you need to know when to use present tense, past tense or future tense. The words ‘Tense’ is derived from Latin word ‘tempus’ which mean time. It is mainly used to explain an action or event that is described by the verb and the time. Let us understand the different tenses that describe an action or event by changing its form.

Types of Tenses

1. Present Tense:

•    Simple present tense: It is used to explain an action, event or condition that is happening in the present. For example, I play or I eat.
•  Present continuous tense: It describes an ongoing action or an action that is still going. For instance, I am playing or I am eating. 
•    Present perfect tense: It indicates an action that began in the past and continues into the present. For example, I have played or I have eaten.
•   Present perfect continuous tense: It is used to describe an action that has been taking place for some time and is still ongoing. For example, I have been playing or I have been eating.

2. Past Tense:

•  Simple past tense: It is used to explain an event or an action that has happened in the past. For example, I played or I ate.
•  Past continuous tense: It is used to describe an event or an action that is ongoing in the past. For instance, I was playing or I was eating.
•  Past perfect tense: It refers to an action or event that took place in the past. For example, I had played or I had eaten.
•  Past perfect continuous tense: It describes a continuing action in the past that began before another past action began or interrupted the first action. For instance, I had been playing or I had been eating.

3. Future Tense:

•  Simple future tense: It is used when we plan to do something. For example, I will play or I will eat.
•  Future continuous tense: It describes a continuing action that will happen in the future. In short, it refers to an action ongoing in the future. For instance, I will be eating at 8 o’clock or I will be playing at 6 o’clock.
•  Future perfect tense: It refers to an action that will happen in the future before another action takes place. For example, I shall have played before 5 o’clock or I shall have eaten before 9 o’clock.
•  Future perfect continuous tense: It indicates a continuing action, which will be completed at a specified time in the future. For instance, I shall have been playing or I will have been eating.

What are Synonyms and Antonyms?

Wouldn’t it be challenging if you were asked to express your thoughts or communicate your ideas by using only one word. If a place, person or object is described with the help of a single word, then writing, reading and speaking will be certainly boring. Fortunately, we have myriads of words to express our thoughts and feelings. The words that have similar meanings are known as synonyms and the words that have opposite meanings are known as antonyms.  Synonyms and antonyms both are indispensable parts of the English language. All words have synonyms as well as antonyms and also help us to communicate our feelings and ideas precisely to others. Let us understand the synonyms and antonyms in detail:


Synonyms refer to words that have the same or similar meanings. In short, the word that contains the same or very nearly the same meaning is called as a synonym. It can be used interchangeably while writing or speaking. For example, small (word) – tiny (synonym). However, there are few words that have identical meaning, but the words are not necessarily interchangeable. For instance, explode (word) – blow up (synonym). Here explode is a formal word, but blow up is an informal word. Generally, synonyms are used interchangeably without changing the overall meaning of a sentence. These words show different variations of the same understanding. 

Examples of synonym:

•    Good – Great, Excellent, Wonderful, Fine
•    Weak – Delicate, Wimpy, Fragile, Flimsy
•    Intelligent – Clever, Sharp, Intellectual, Bright
•    Lazy – Idle, Dull, Indolent, Lethargic
•    Beautiful – Gorgeous, Lovely, Marvelous, Attractive

Antonyms refer to words that have opposite meanings. In short, the word that contains opposite meaning is called as an antonym.  For example, introvert (word) - extrovert (antonym). It is important to choose the right antonym while writing. For instance, the antonym of ‘warm’ is cool or chilly, but ‘cool’ can be interpreted as ‘stylish’. According to the English language, antonyms are categorized into three different parts, including graded antonyms, relational antonyms and complementary antonyms.

Examples of antonym:

1. Graded Antonym: The word pairs that have variation between the two opposites. For example:

•    Healthy – Sick
•    Good – Bad
•    Big – Little

2. Relational Antonym: The word pairs have a relationship and would not exist without the other. For example:

•    Front – Rear
•    Girl – Boy
•    Open – Close

3. Complementary Antonym: The words that have two opposite possibilities and no degree of meaning. For example:

•    Male – Female
•    Dark – Light
•    Dead – Alive

What is Composition Writing in English?

A composition is a piece of writing, which describes or addresses a specific subject. In composition writing, an idea or thought is arranged in a coherent manner so as to make it interesting for the readers. The word ‘composition’ derives from the Latin word ‘componere’, which means ‘put together’. Generally, writing classes are recognized as composition classes. Even writing music is also known as composition. In short, composition is a writing process in which a writer writes something to inform, to persuade, to entertain, to express feeling or to draw the attention of the readers on something. In English language, composition writing is categorized into three main parts, including introduction, body and conclusion.

Let us understand the structure of composition writing in detail.

1. Introduction: Introduction is the main part of composition writing. It should be written in a clear and concise manner so as to capture the attention of readers. The introduction paragraph should start with a general statement like ‘thesis statement’ or an interesting topic like ‘My Memorable Trip to New York’. Make sure that the introduction paragraph should contain two to three sentences, which gives a general idea to readers about the thesis statement.

2. Body: The body paragraph is a section where you can elaborate, express or describe the statement, subject or a topic in a detailed manner. Present your thoughts and views to readers with the help of supporting facts and evidences. Besides, write about the pros and cons of your thesis statement so as to involve the readers in your discussion or argument. If possible use idioms in between the paragraphs.

3. Conclusion: Wrap up your thesis statement in the conclusion paragraph. It is the final part of your composition. In order to make it appealing for the readers, you need to summarize the thoughts and views that you had discussed in the body paragraphs. A conclusion makes the final impression on readers, therefore reiterate each and every point precisely.

Homophones and Homonyms Difference

Homophones and homonyms are tricky as well as confusing words. The prefix ‘homo’ derives from the Greek word ‘homós’ which means ‘one and the same’. Hence, homophone and homonym words show some kind of similarity. A thorough knowledge of these words will save you from making grammatical mistakes. Let us understand the difference between the homophone and homonym words.

In English language, homophones refer to the words that are pronounced the same, but have different spelling and meaning. In short, homophones are those words that sound alike but differ in meaning and spelling. For instance, ‘Ad and Add’ or ‘Tail and Tale’. Generally, homophones come in a group of two, but these words are also identified in a group of three or four. Apart from this, most homophones are pronounced same and have similar spelling and different meaning. For example, ‘lead’ (as a metal) and (as a verb - to go in front).

List of Homophone Words:

•    Addition and Edition
•    Beat and Beet
•    Flower and Flour
•    Hole and Whole
•    Plane and Plain
•    Knight and Night
•    Root and Route
•    Sail and Sale
•    Site and Sight
•    Weak and Week 


Homonyms refer to a group of words that have the same pronunciation and same spelling, but different meaning. In short, the word that is pronounced and spelled alike, but have different meaning is known as a homonym. For example, ‘Band’ (a rubber band) and (a rock band) or ‘Fair’ (book fair) and (fair complexion). In addition to this, homonyms are also homographs (words that are spelled alike, but have different meaning and pronunciation) and homophones (words that are sound alike but have different spelling and meaning). According to the English language, the state of being a homonym is called homonymy.

List of Homonym Words:

•    Allowed and Aloud
•    Bare and Bear
•    Cereal and Serial
•    Die and Dye
•    Earn and Urn
•    Flea and Flee
•    Grate and Great
•    Hoarse and Horse
•    Rest and Wrest
•    Toe and Tow


Trait means characteristic or quality. Here, trait refers to a character trait. Generally, a character is described or recognized through his or her trait. Apart from this, descriptive adjectives like adventurous, fun-loving, aggressive, rude, sad or happy words are normally used to explain a character in a coherent manner. Whether you are describing a friend, colleague or a family member, you would certainly use some descriptive adjectives to explain their personality. In simple words, the descriptive adjectives are the tools to describe how a character behaves or acts in different situations and also describes his or her trait.

How to Identify a Character’s Traits?

The traits of the characters that we see on TV or movies or the characters that interact with us on a regular basis can be explained in a better way. The best way to identify a character trait is to observe what he or she says, thinks or does. Here, some points are discussed that will help in finding the character traits.

•    Observe a character’s actions and match them with suitable descriptive adjectives.

•    Make a list of the character’s traits as well as prepare a list of actions from the books that justify the traits that you have listed.

Types of Character Traits

A character trait can be positive or negative. For instance, “Born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth”, the idiom refers to the person who is born into a rich family. This example represents a rich character. The traits of a character can be easily determined with the help of his or her actions, acts or responses to a specific situation. Let us see different types of words, which are used to describe a character’s negative and positive traits.

1.    Kind
2.    Patient
3.    Quiet
4.    Happy
5.    Honest
6.    Shrewd
7.    Sincere
8.    Rude
9.    Mean
10.  Unreliable
11.  Greedy
12.  Angry

Structure of a Paragraph

A paragraph refers to a number of sentences that are grouped together in order to address a specific subject or a main idea. In short, a paragraph is a set of sentences organized around the main topic. Paragraphs are written as per the ideas generate. There is no such rule as to the length of a paragraph.  A paragraph can be short or it can be long in accordance with the information available on a subject. It may contain a single sentence or many sentences. Generally, a paragraph contains five parts, which include the topic sentence, three supporting sentences and the concluding sentence. But, there are four essential elements that make a good paragraph. Let us understand the structure of a paragraph in detail.

Key Points in Structure of a Paragraph

•    Unity: It is an important element of a paragraph that starts with the topic sentence. Every sentence deal with a single thought and every paragraph should deal with a single topic or idea. The first sentence of a paragraph should express the main idea and supporting sentences must give more details. You need to choose a suitable theme so as to write a good topic sentence. It is ideal to collect all the points, which you will mention while writing a topic sentence and also decide which point will connect the rest.

•   Order: The order is all about organizing the supporting sentences in a sequential manner. It is important that all your ideas or thought should connect with the main idea or subject. Hence, arrange the sentences in a chronological order, order of importance or any other sequence and make the paragraph succinct and meaningful for the readers.

•  Coherence: It is necessary that you write each and every sentence in a coherent manner. All sentences within the paragraph should connect to each other and present a single idea. Use transition words so as to connect a sentence with another.

•   Completeness: Completeness refers to a well-structured paragraph. If you are able to arrange all the sentences in a sequential manner and present your main idea coherently, then your paragraph is complete. Primarily, a paragraph should contain a topic sentence, three supporting sentences and the concluding sentence. A concluding paragraph should summarize the main idea by emphasizing on the topic sentence.

What is Active Voice and Passive Voice?

In English grammar, there are two type voices, one is active and another is passive. In active voice, the subject performs the action expressed by the verb. For example, ‘Harry reads the novel in one day’. In passive voice, the subject receives the action expressed by the verb. For instance, ‘The novel was read by Harry in one day’.

In order to determine the active voice or passive voice in a sentence, look for the subject and analyze whether the subject is performing an action or being acted upon. If the subject does an action to an object, then it is an active voice. If the subject is the receiver of the action, then it is known as a passive voice. It is a true fact that sentences written in the active voice are simple and easier to understand, whereas sentences written in the passive voice are complex and confusing. Passive voice should be used when you want to stress the action, not the subject.

Active Voice

According to English grammar, active voice refers to a sentence in which the subject does an action indicated by the verb. In simple words, active voice describes a sentence where the subject acts stated by the verb.

Examples of active voice

1. Jennifer ate five pieces of pizza at dinner.
2. I keep the cake in the fridge.
3. The student wrote a poem.
4. You are making too much noise.
5. Many tourists visit the Niagara Falls every year.

Passive Voice

Passive voice refers to a sentence in which the verb performs upon a noun or subject, which receives the action. In short, passive voice explains a sentence where the subject is acted upon by the verb.

Examples of passive voice

1. At dinner, five pieces were eaten by Jennifer.
2. The cake is kept in the fridge.
3. A poem was written by the student.
4. Too much noise is being made by you.
5. The Niagara Falls is visited by thousands of tourists every year.

What are modals? Explain with examples.

A modal refers to a type of auxiliary verb or helping verb, which is used with other verbs to show possibility, obligation, ability, advice or permission. Modals give extra information about the function of the main verb that follows it. Some of the features of modal verbs are listed below:

•    Modal verbs never change their form (spelling).
•   They have no infinitive or participle (past/present).
•  They are primarily used to express possibility, certainty, obligation, necessity, willingness and ability.
•    The modal ‘must’ and ‘can’ need substitute verb in order to express ability or obligation in different tenses.

Types of Modals and Semi-Modals

•    Can/Could/Be able to
•    Will/Would
•    Must/Have to
•    May/Might
•    Shall/Should

Examples of Modal

1.    Can
•    I can speak Spanish (Ability)
•    Can you help me? (Request)
•    Can I go to the club? (Permission)

2.    Could
•    I could speak Spanish (Ability to do- past tense)
•    Could you help me? (Request- past tense)
•    Could I go to the club, please? (Polite question)

3.    Will
•    Will you please be quiet? (Request)
•    I will stop drinking. (Promise)
•    I think he will come back soon. (Prediction, Assumption)

4.    Would
•    Would you please pick up the phone? (Request)
•    I would do anything for you. (Promise)
•    Would she be the one who ruined her life?  (Prediction)

5.    Must
•    I must go to the hospital today. (Necessity or Force)
•    You must see the beautiful birds. (Advice, Recommendation)
•    I must go now. (Obligation)

6.    May
•    May I help you? (Polite suggestion)
•    May I go to the movie? (Permission)
•    It may rain tomorrow (Possibility

7.    Might
•    Sherry said she might come. (Possibility – past tense)
•    It might be his last chance to pass the test (Possibility)
•    Might I suggest an idea? (Polite permission)

8.    Should
•    You should walk slowly in a rainy weather. (Advice)
•    Should I call a doctor (Suggestion)
•    I shouldn’t be late. The bus generally arrives on time. (Expectation)

What is Narrative Writing and its Types

Narrative writing is a form of writing in which a writer narrates a story to the audience. Narrative writing form is divided into fiction and nonfiction. Fiction is entirely based on imaginative stories and events, which are not real and did not happen ever, but on the other hand nonfiction writing is based on the real facts, real people and events. The nonfiction writing form is widely used in newspapers, reports, essays, etc.

The primary objective of narrative writing is to entertain and to capture the attention of the audience. Narrative writing is a piece of writing that includes a main character, setting, conflict, plot and theme. In a story, characterization indicates who are the main characters and what do they look like? Setting explains where and when will the story take place? A conflict is an essential part of the story that describes the struggle of the character. Besides, a plot has a beginning, middle and end sequence that helps a reader to understand what is going to happen. The middle of the story is the most important part, which describes what the story is all about. Moreover, the theme is the message that a writer wants to convey to the audience.

Types of Narrative Writing

Narrative writing can be categorized into factual or imaginary. It can be a combination of both factual and imaginary. According to the English literature, narrative writing is divided into fables, fairy stories, mysteries, romances, horror stories, personal experience, adventure, etc. Let us understand different forms of narrative writing in detail.

•  Captivity Narrative: This form of writing describes human emotions. The captivity narrative story revolves around the people and their problems.
•  Short Story: This form of story explains a single character and an event.
•  Folktale: Folktale is the story that tells some hidden truths about life or something that occurs in nature.
•  Fable: Fable is an interesting way of giving a message to the audience. In a fable, animal characters act like people to give a lesson to the readers.
•  Fantasy: It is a story that includes imaginary characters and events.
•  Realistic Fiction: Based on the real events and incidents, this type of story includes characters and settings.
•   Biography: A biography is the story of a famous personality.
•   Autobiography: A story or personal experience of a writer’s own life.
•   News: Based on the current events and incidents, the news is presented through TV, internet, radio and print forms to the audience.

Tips and Techniques for Descriptive Writing

Descriptive writing is a literary device, which gives a clear and concise description of people, objects, places and events using appropriate details.  Through descriptive writing, a writer describes the place in such a way that a reader actually feels and imagines the thing with the help of his or her five senses. A good description usually contains adequate information that motivates a reader to make a connection with the use of sensory details, which includes seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting.

In a descriptive writing, figurative language such as similes, metaphors and analogies are also used to draw a picture in the mind of a reader. Besides this, the writer uses specific nouns and adjectives and strong action verbs in order to make the story more interesting and lively for the readers. Let us understand the techniques for writing a good descriptive story.

Descriptive Writing Techniques

1.    Topic: The first and foremost part of a descriptive writing is your topic. Choose a topic that is familiar and you can explain it well. Make sure that you have sufficient details about the topic that you are going to write about.

2.    Describe the main theme in an organized manner:  Explain your story in a chronological order, including time, location and order of importance. If you are describing about a person, then start with his or her physical description, how he or she thinks, feels and behaves.

3.    Use strong words: While writing about a person, event, place or an object, you must use suitable adjectives to make your writing more appealing to the readers. For example, if you are describing a place, then mention its natural beauty and climate so as to paint a picture in a reader’s mind. This will help a reader to explore the place through his senses.

4.   Use sensory details: Needless to say, human beings learn about everything through their five senses. Hence, it is important to include sensory details so as to involve readers in your story. Describe how does your object or subject smell, what does it taste, what does it feel when touched, how does it sound like and how does it look like?

5.  Proofread: Re-read what you had described in your story. Read like a reader and check whether you are able to connect with the story by using your five senses. Besides, while reading you can also figure out whether you need to add more details in your writing.

How to Write a Business Letter

A business letter is a formal letter that is intended for official communication. It can be categorized into various forms like persuasive, promotional, informational and motivational. A business letter usually contains simple, concise and to the point message. The format of a business letter is quite different from an informal letter. Some useful steps are discussed below that will help you to understand how to write a good business letter.

•    Mention Sender’s Address: In business letters, it is important to include the sender’s address. If you are using letterhead, then make sure it contains the address of the sender at the top of the page. In case you are not using letterhead, then write the sender’s address at the top, left hand side of the page.

•    Date: The date line is used to identify the exact date the letter was written. If you are writing a letter to a US based company, then you can use American date format. For examples, October 10, 2015.

•    Recipient Address: The next line begins with the recipient address that should be written one line below the sender’s address and one inch below the date. The recipient address should be mentioned at the right hand side. It is essential to use the title of the person to whom you are writing a letter.

•    Subject: After the recipient address, start a line with a subject. In the subject section, mention the purpose of writing in few words. Make sure that the subject line should be written in capital letters.

•    Salutation: The next line should be salutation part, which should come just below the subject line. If you know the person, address them by their first name. If you don’t know the person, then address them with ‘Dear Sir’ or ‘Dear Madam’.

•    Body: The body is the main section of the letter. In this section, a sender needs to explain the purpose of writing. Since it is a business letter, you need to be very careful while writing. Mention the main purpose in a few lines and make sure that your message should be conveyed to the concerned person in a clear and concise manner. If required, you can enclose necessary documents along with the letter.

•    Closing: The closing line begins with suggested actions or promises. It is written one line after the last body paragraph. The line ends with ‘Thanking you’ in which the first letter should be capitalized. In addition to this, the final line should be the sender’s name, which is generally mentioned above the words ‘Yours Faithfully’ or ‘With Regards’.

Essay Writing Skills

Writing is a good way of sharing your ideas. Essay writing is a key skill, which allows an individual to express his or her thoughts and views freely to others. Several schools and colleges evaluate the writing skills of students through essay writing. They even determine the original thinking ability and literary skills of students with the help of their writing skills. Many students possess inbuilt literary skills, which enable them to express their thoughts in a concise manner, whereas some students struggle a lot with essay writing. Here, some important steps are discussed, which will help you in improving your essay writing skills.

• Select a Topic: A good topic makes a good essay. Search for a topic that interests you the most or relevant to you. Write about the topic, which you can explain well. It is ideal to choose a fresh topic that will stimulate the interest of the readers.

• Read Books and Newspapers: Writing skills can be developed through reading. The more you will read articles and stories; the better will be your thinking ability as well as writing skill. Read the stories and articles, written by famous writers and learn the art of writing. With regular reading of books and newspapers, you will be able learn to express your thoughts and views in a clear and concise manner.

Provide Sufficient Evidences: You can convince your readers in your writing with the help of proper evidences and proofs. The proofs and evidences help you in justifying your point or argument that you had discussed in your essay.

•  Improve Vocabulary Skills: With good vocabulary skills, you can maintain a correct tone and flow in your essay. Express your views and thoughts in a step-by-step manner and persuade the readers with the help of proper facts and evidences.

• Focus on Introductory and Closing Paragraph: When writing an essay, make sure that the introduction paragraph should state the main idea or topic. Besides, the closing paragraph should summarize the entire topic with the help of supporting facts.

Difference between Formal and Informal Letters

Letter writing is one of the modes of communication. A letter is written to communicate something important or to mark a special occasion. Sometimes, a letter is written to draw attention of the concerned authority towards an issue or to congratulate someone on his or her special day like marriage, birthday or naming ceremony of a new born baby. Letter writing is broadly categorized into two different forms one is the formal letter writing and another is informal letter writing. A formal letter is written to those whom we do not know on a personal level, such as professional head or business head. However, an informal letter is written to near and dear ones like friends, cousins or relatives. Let us understand the difference between formal and informal letters in detail.

Formal Letter versus Informal Letter 

•    In formal letters, official communication is done in a professional manner. On the other hand, informal letters are written in a causal manner.

•    Formal letters are written for various purposes. For instance, to ask for some specific information, to apply for a job, to request for leave, to make a complaint or to send an apology, etc. On the other hand, informal letters are mainly written to friends and family for sharing joys and sorrow, asking about their whereabouts or expressing emotions.

•    Formal letters are written in a clear and concise manner. In formal writing, the language is short, simple and to the point, whereas informal letters are written like a spoken conversation as these are addressed to near and dear ones. Longer sentences are normally used in informal letter writing.

•    In a formal letter and an informal letter, the address of the sender is usually written on the top right hand side of the page. However, the salutation starts with the title or surname of the recipient in a formal letter. On the other hand, salutation always begins with the recipient’s name in an informal letter.  

•    In a formal letter, the main paragraph includes the exact purpose of writing, for instance, to make a complaint, to enquire or to request something. In an informal letter, the sender asks the whereabouts of his or her friend or family.

•    In a formal letter, sender’s expectation in terms of promises or actions is usually mentioned in the last paragraph. However, in an informal letter, a sender sign off by conveying best regards to his or her near and dear ones.

Advantages of Learning English Grammar

All languages have their set of rules that helps in constructing meaningful sentences. In this way, English grammar is a kind of rule that governs the linguistic behavior of people. It is an essential aspect of the English language. With a sound knowledge of English grammar, an individual can speak and write the language correctly.  Grammar includes syntax, morphology, phonology, which is usually complemented by semantics, phonetics and pragmatics.

It has been seen that people are generally judged by others based on their communication skills. If an individual is not able to speak properly, then he or she is considered an uneducated or illiterate person. Nowadays, speaking English language is a matter of pride. The person who speaks and writes grammatically correct language is respected and admired by his or her peers. Hence, a thorough knowledge of grammar is important for everyone. Let us understand the benefits of learning English grammar in detail.

•    A person can express his or her thoughts and ideas clearly to others with the help of proper grammar knowledge.

•    A good English grammar skill opens doors for dynamic avenues for an individual. It may allow a person to build professional connection with people from other countries.

•    A person can easily comprehend the contents of important documents with the help of good grammar skills. In simple words, they can improve their text interpretation abilities.

•    Students are able to qualify their college and university entrance exams if their grammar is good. Many colleges and universities evaluate the language skills of students through exams. Hence, students who have sound knowledge of grammar can easily score well in the exam.

•    With good grammar knowledge, students can become analytical and receptive readers.

•    Last but not the least; if a person has a strong grammar skills, then he or she can articulate the words properly and can speak English language flawlessly. Consequently, the person will be considered more mature and professional.

What are Appositives with Examples?

Appositives refer to nouns, noun phrases or noun clauses, which are placed next to another noun to rename it or to identify it. The word ‘appositive’ comes from the Latin word, which means ‘placing close by’. Generally, appositives appear right after the word or phrase that it renames. This literary device is usually used in a sentence with comma. In other words, an appositive can be defined as a noun or noun phrase, which explains another noun, which it follows.

Types of Appositive

An appositive can be categorized into two different types:

1. Restrictive Appositive: It provides important information to rename or identify the phrase or noun in apposition. The use of restrictive appositive makes a phrase meaningful and if it is removed, the entire sentence will be meaningless. In this type of appositive, commas are not essentially used. For example, ‘Laura’s friend, Daisy, like cake and pastry’. (Here, the statement restricted to only Daisy, who is one of the friends of Laura).

2. Non-Restrictive Appositive: It provides additional and non-essential information that is not significant to rename or identify the phrase or noun in apposition. Generally, commas are used in this type of appositive. For example, ‘Ruby, my friend, likes to eat cake and pastry’. (Here, my friend refers to non-restrictive appositive that is not important to be used for identifying Ruby)

Example of Appositive Sentences:

1. My neighbor, John bought a new car. (Here, John renames neighbor)
2. Christina’s dog Ginger is a Dalmatian. (Here, Ginger renames dog)
3. The girl who designed this dress is named Sara. (Here, who designed this dress renames girl)
4. Your best friend, Eric has participated in football match. (Here, Eric renames best friend)
5. Michelle’s new suit, a blue flannel one, makes him look much older. (Here, a blue flannel one renames the new suit)

Appositive in between the sentences are underlined: 

1. When I was in trouble, my good friend, Sasha stood by me.
2. Oslo, the capital of Norway, is a wonderful place.
3. Mr. Harry, who is a professional magician, performed at my sister’s birthday party.
4. Ms. Linda, my math teacher, punished me for not doing an assignment.
5. My husband, who is a software engineer, has to work at night shifts also.

Direct and Indirect Speech Rules with Examples

Direct speech and indirect speech are the ways of conveying the words spoken by someone. In a direct speech, the words spoken by someone are repeated or quoted. However, in an indirect speech, the words spoken by someone are reported or conveyed by changing the tense. Let us understand the direct and indirect speech in detail.

Direct Speech

When we repeat or quote the exact words spoken by someone is known as a direct speech. In a direct speech, the words spoken by someone are placed between quotation mark (“ “) without making any changes.  We quote the exact words that are being said at the moment. For instance, an important announcement or a telephone conversation.

Indirect Speech

When we report the words spoken by someone and without quoting or repeating it is called as an indirect speech. In an indirect speech, the tense of the words spoken are being changed and inverted commas are not used. We use reporting verbs like ‘tell’, ‘say’ or ‘ask’ and the word ‘that’ to express the reported words.

Let us understand how to convert a speech from direct to indirect:

•    Direct Speech: She said, ‘I want some chocolates’.
•    Indirect Speech: She said that she wanted some chocolates.

•    Direct Speech: He said to me ‘Are you married’.
•    Indirect Speech: He asked me if I was married.

•    Direct Speech: She said to me, ‘I was waiting for you’.
•    Indirect Speech: She told me that she had been waiting for me.

•    Direct Speech: John said to me ‘I will call them tomorrow’.
•    Indirect Speech: John told me that he would call them the next day.

•    Direct Speech: She said to them, ‘Please wait here till I return’.
•    Indirect Speech: She requested them to wait there till she returned.

Rules for Changing Direct to Indirect Speech

It is a known fact that in a direct speech actual words are quoted with the support of inverted commas, whereas in an indirect speech, words are reported without quoting it exactly the way it is said. However, there are certain rules for changing a direct speech to an indirect speech, which are mentioned below:

Rule 1

Use conjunction ‘that’ before the indirect speech. For instance, she said that she had not finished her work.

Rule 2

Keeping in mind the gender of the subject, change the pronouns from the first and second person in direct speech to third person in indirect speech.

For example:

•    ‘I’ and ‘you’ becomes he or she    
•    ‘My’ and ‘your’ becomes his or her
•    ‘Our’ and ‘your’ becomes their
•    ‘We’ and ‘you’ becomes they

Some example sentences:

•    He said to me, ‘I hate you’ – Direct Speech
•    He said that he hates me- Indirect Speech
If the pronoun he or she indicates different person then the name of the person can be mentioned within the brackets after the pronoun.
•    Nancy said to Simon ‘I like your hair cut’. – Direct Speech
•    Nancy told Simon that she (Nancy) liked her (Simon’s) hair cut. – Indirect Speech

Rule 3

If the reporting verb is in present tense or future tense, the tense of the verb in the reported speech is not changed.
For instance:

•    She says, ‘she is leaving’. – Direct Speech
•    She says that she is leaving. – Indirect Speech

Rule 4

If the reporting verb is in the past tense, the tense of the verb in the reported speech is also changed into past tense.

For example:

•    Shall becomes should
•    May becomes might
•    Can becomes could
•    Come becomes came
•    Is coming becomes was coming
•    Is, am, are becomes was, were

Rule 5

Words stating nearness in time or place are changed into words express.

For example:

•    Here becomes there
•    Come becomes go
•    Yesterday becomes the previous day
•    These becomes those
•    Here becomes there
•    This becomes that
•    Now become then

Citation in English & Why it is Important?

A citation is a short note, which helps a reader in identifying the actual source. Sometimes, writers give important information in their article, blog or story, which is taken from another source like newspaper, magazine, film, novels, journal, book, etc. After providing the information, they write a short note mentioning the source from where the information is collected and that short note is known as a citation. It is either mentioned within the text, at the bottom of the page or at the end of the page.

A citation is considered both an acknowledgement as well as a signpost.  It is an acknowledgement as it reveals that you are grateful to that source. Besides, it is also called a signpost as it indicates the location of your source. Most writers use different formats to cite the real source. Some writers cite the source within the text and many writers mention it at the end of the page. The citation is provided to keep readers informed about whose ideas or thoughts you are using in your text.

Why Citation is Important

•    Citation is extremely important when you use someone else’s ideas or thoughts to validate your point. You will use someone’s information as an evidence to support your text. Through citation, you inform your readers that specific information is used in your piece of writing. The information can be taken from a book, newspaper, novel, journal, magazine or article.

•    Citing a source is essential as the idea of academia is a like a currency. The academia earns the currency by sharing knowledge and information to the world. Hence, through citation, the writer acknowledges their contribution and honors those who have created the ideas and thoughts. 

•    If you use someone else idea without acknowledging his or her work, you violate that person’s right. It will be considered like you have stolen someone else’s idea or information without giving him credit eventually you will lose your readers trust.

Rules for Colons and Semicolons

Colon & Semicolon

Colon is a punctuation mark which means "what is to be said" & "here is what i meant". Represented as ":" placed vertically. Semicolon is also a punctuation mark, which is used to divide major sentence elements. Represented as ";" and placed vertically.

What is Colon?

Colon refers to a punctuation mark, which is represented through two equal sized dots (:) placed on the same vertical line. The meaning of colon is “that is to say” and “here’s what I mean”. Generally, a colon is used to describe or begin an enumeration. Besides this, a colon is also used with titles and subtitles of books, salutation of business letter, formal letters, hours and minutes, ratios, etc. In simple words, a colon is used to introduce readers about the series of items, to draw attention to something, to present an explanation and it also joins ideas together.

Rules for Using a Colon

1.    Use a colon to introduce or explain a list of items. Make sure that you do not capitalize the first item after the colon (unless it is a proper noun)
2.    Use a colon to introduce a long quotation.
3.    Use a colon when giving an example or explanation.
4.    Do not use colon before a list.
5.    Use a colon to join sentences.
6.    Use a colon express time or use it in titles.
7.    Instead of the comma, use a colon to follow the salutation in a business letter. Use it when addressing someone by his or her first name.

What is Semicolon?

A semicolon is a punctuation mark, which divides major sentence elements. It is represented through one dot and one comma centered on the same vertical line (;). Like comma, semicolon shows an audible pause, which is longer than a comma, but short of a period’s full stop. A semicolon is used between two related independent clauses, which are not joined by a coordinating conjunction. In addition this, semicolons are sometimes used in place of commas to separate items in a list, specifically when the elements of the list contain commas.

Rules for Using a Semicolon

1.    A semicolon is used to link two complete sentences.
2.    It is used with words like however, therefore, namely, that is, for instance, for example, etc. Comma is also used with these words and terms.
3.    It is also used to clarify a list of items and when the items already contain commas.
4.    It can also be used between independent clauses that are linked by a connector including, but, or, and, nor, etc.

Dramatic Monologue & Examples

Dramatic monologue refers to a kind of poetry that is written in the form of speech of an individual character. In simple words, it is a long passage or an extract in a play, story or poem that tells a character’s thoughts and feelings. Dramatic monologue is basically a poem, which is written in a speech form and delivered by a single person. The poet describes vivid scenes by keeping in mind the character. Dramatic monologue is also known as persona poem. In this type of poem, the poet explains everything through an assumed voice of a character or a fictional identity. There is no dialogue in the poem. The dramatic monologues are the means of conveying the views of a character and giving the audience a better clarity about a character’s feeling. These are also used in novels to narrate stories.

Robert Browning was the popular English poet. He was considered the master of the dramatic monologue. His dramatic monologues depicted the most important use of the form of postromantic poetry.  Nowadays, the dramatic monologue is considered a lyric poem in which the poet addresses a silent listener by revealing himself as well as the dramatic situation.

The dramatic monologue is written when a character encounters an extreme crisis or a specific situation. The poet conveys the immense feeling or desire of the character through a dramatic monologue. The dramatic monologue can be written in poetic form, theatrical form or film form.

Examples of Dramatic Monologue: 

Generally, in a dramatic monologue, a speaker, who is other than the author, delivers a speech to a silent auditor or listener in a particular situation or at a critical moment. Some examples of dramatic monologue are mentioned below:

•    “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning
•    “Someday Special” by Emidifi Defi 
•    “Pink Lace” by Poet Destroyer A
•    “When A Man Cries” by Maurice Yvonne
•    “To Bloom in Red Flame” by Eileen Manassian
•    “Going Home” by Verlena S. Walker
•    “A Cricket’s World” by Christine Phillips
•    “100 Years From Now” by Tammy Reams
•    “ To An Angel” by Ifedayo Mayowa
•    “Anxiety I Blame You” by Dennis Baze
•    “Bring it Down” by Eileen Manassian
•    “My Loss” by Alicia Koch

Transition Words and Phrases

Transition words and phrases are mainly used to connect an idea to another. These words and phrases allow readers to progress from one idea to another. In other words, transition words and phrases link a sentence or a paragraph to the next sentence or paragraph so as to make it understandable and meaningful for the readers. With the help of these words and phrases, the author communicates the ideas and thoughts clearly to the readers. The transitions describe the relationship between paragraphs or sentences and allow a reader to flow smoothly from one paragraph to another. The role of transition words and phrases is to build a connection between corresponding paragraphs or sentences so as to make the entire piece of writing legible.

The list of transition words and phrases are mentioned below:

  1. Addition - Moreover, finally, furthermore, besides, in addition, again, first, too, lastly, even more, also, secondly, next, etc.
  2. Comparison - Similarly, likewise, in the same way, in like manner, etc.
  3. Contrast - However, otherwise, though, yet, nevertheless, but, on the contrary, on the other hand, at the same time, notwithstanding, after all, etc.
  4. Time - Afterwards, while, next, sometimes, always, once, simultaneously, when, during, so far, then, in the meantime, now, subsequently, soon, following, immediately, whenever, etc.
  5. Exemplification or illustration - For example, for instance, specifically, to demonstrate, to illustrate, etc.

  • Place - Nearby, beyond, above, below, wherever, here, there, opposite to, adjacent to, etc.
  • Cause - Because, for that reason, since, on account of, etc.
  • Effect - Consequently, thus, hence, as a result, therefore, accordingly, etc.
  • Clarification - To explain, to clarify, in other words, to rephrase it, etc.
  • Purpose - So that, in order that, for this purpose, to that end, etc.
  • Qualification - Although, frequently, probably, nearly, maybe, never, perhaps, almost, etc.
  • Intensification - Undoubtedly, surely, indeed, in fact, by all means, certainly, in fact, yes, no, etc.
  • Concession - Of course, to be sure, granted, etc.
  • Summary - In brief, to summarize, in short, in summary, to sum up, etc.
  • Conclusion - Finally, to conclude, in conclusion, etc.
  • Demonstratives as transitions - These, this, those and that.
Transitional words and phrases capture the attention of readers by building a connection between ideas or paragraphs. These words have different meanings, connotations and tone. Hence, the words and phrases are used logically to connect a specific paragraph to another paragraph.

What are Tenses? With Types & Examples

A tense is a verb form that indicates the time of an action. It is categorized into three different forms such as present tense, past tense and future tense. Let us understand all the tenses in detail.

Types of Tenses

1. Present Tense: The present tense explains a current event or state of being. Apart from this, the present tense sometimes explains past and future events. For instance, ‘the party ends at 9.00 o’clock’ (future event). The present tense is further divided into following types:

i. Simple Present Tense:  It is used to explain facts and habits and scheduled events in the future. Besides, it is also used to narrate stories so as to engage readers in the story.


•    I like cake and cookies.
•    The sun rises in the east.

ii. Present Progressive or Present Continuous Tense: The present progressive tense is used to describe an act, which is going on at the time of speaking.


•    I am watching my favorite TV show.
•    Tom is having his dinner now.

iii. Present Perfect Tense: It describes an event happened in the past and still continuing into the present.


•    I have always wished to do Paragliding.
•    I have been exercising regularly to lose my weight.

iv.  Present Perfect Continuous or Present Perfect Progressive Tense: It is used for a situation that has happened in the past and continuous until the moment. Besides, it is also used for situation occurred in the past, but has now finished.


•    Emma has been relying on salary increment to pay her study loan.
•    We haven’t been talking with John since Thursday.

2. Past Tense: The past tense expresses an event happened in the past or a state of being. For example, ‘I went to the temple’. The past tense is broadly categorized into following types:

i. Simple Past Tense: The simple past tense is used to describe an action of the past. In the past tense, the verb ends with an ‘ed’.


•    We went out for dinner last night.
•    Robin worked in the old office for almost 9 years.

ii. Past Continuous Tense or Past Progressive Tense: It narrates the on-going activity in the past. These sentences are written with the help of an auxiliary verb.


•    We were playing volleyball when it started to rain.
•    I was studying at 12.00 p.m. yesterday.

iii.  Past Perfect Tense: It is used to indicate an action that was completed before another took place.


•    We didn’t get the movie ticket because we had not booked in advance.
•    I had never seen such a magnificent monument before.

iv. Past Perfect Continuous Tense: The past perfect continuous tense is used to describe an on-going action, which was ended in the past. These sentences are formed with the help of modal 'had' + 'been' + the present participle of the verb (-ing).


•    I had been going.
•    I had been playing the chess all morning.

3. Future Tense: The future tense describes a future event or a future of being. For instance, ‘I will buy a car next year’. The future tense is divided into following types:

i. Simple Future Tense: The simple future tense refers to an action, which will happen in the future.


•    I will keep in touch with you.
•    Sara will stay with us for 5 days.

ii. Future Continuous Tense: The future continuous tense is used to describe an on-going action, which will happen in the future.


•    I will be going to the gym soon.
•    I will be watching the football match next month.

iii. Future Perfect Tense: It is used to describe an action, which is expected to be completed within a certain span of time in the future. These sentences are framed by 'will' + 'have' + 'past participle of the verb'.


•    By the time you reach, we will have finished our dinner. 
•    Sasha will have gone by the time you reach there by car.

iv. Future Perfect Continuous Tense: This tense is used for an on-going action, which will be completed at some stipulated time in the future. The sentences are framed using the modal 'will/shall' + 'have' + 'been' + 'the past participle of the verb (-ing)'.


•    I will have been singing for 1 hours by the time you arrive here.
•    Next Monday, I will have been working on the topmost project for two years.

Sentences and Fragments

Sentence fragments are collection of words, which looks like small sentences. In other words, sentence fragments are incomplete or unfinished sentences, which are disconnected from the main clause.  A main clause refers to a group of words, which contain a subject and a predicate and can stand on its own. In order to make a sentence, a collection of words should have at least one independent clause or main clause.

Sentence fragments have dependent clause or phrase instead of the independent clause. Generally, fragments start with a capital letter and end with a full stop and act like real sentences. The sentence fragments do not express a complete thought as these are pieces of sentences.

For example:

•    Over there
•    On the table
•    Since you asked
•    After the rain stops
•    Because his bike was in the shop
•    If I walk home

The aforesaid sentences are fragments as these sentences do not express a complete thought or idea.  Let us see some examples of complete sentences that are created with the help of sentence fragments:

•    The boy standing over there is Tom.
•    My book is on the table.
•    Since you asked, I am going to London tomorrow.
•    He went home after the rain stopped.
•    George took the cab because his bike was in the shop.
•    If I walk home at night I will call you.

Sentence fragments lack in a subject or a verb or both therefore these are known as incomplete sentences. The dependent clauses are the most confusing fragments as these sentences have a subject and a verb so they look like complete sentences. However, these sentences do not express a complete thought. The sentences cannot stand alone and need more information to complete an idea or thought. If a sentence fragment contains a subject and a verb and it expresses a thought then it will be a complete sentence.

English Grammar