Speech Act Theory

by Joanna Jaworowska

§         Speech Acts and Meaning

§         Classification of Speech Acts

§         Are Speech Acts Universal or Culture and Language – Specific?

§        How to Teach Speech Acts?

What is a Speech Act?

            A speech act is a minimal functional unit in human communication. Just as a word  (refusal) is the smallest free form found in language and a morpheme is the smallest unit of language that carries information about meaning (-al in refuse-al makes it a noun), the basic unit of communication is a speech act (the speech act of refusal).


The Meaning of Speech Acts

According to Austin’s theory (1962), what we say has three kinds of meaning:

1.      propositional meaning – the literal meaning of what is said     

  It’s hot in here.

2.      illocutionary meaning – the social function of what is said                           

It’s hot in here’   could be:  

– an indirect request for someone to open the window                                                            

– an indirect refusal to close the window because someone is cold                                          

– a complaint implying that someone should know better than to keep the windows closed (expressed emphatically) 

3.      perlocutionary meaning – the effect of what is said 

 ‘It’s hot in here’ could result in someone opening the windows                                              


Classification of Speech Acts

Based on Austin’s (1962), and Searle’s (1969) theory, Cohen ( 1996) identifies five categories of speech acts based on the functions assigned to them.

Representatives Directives Expressives Comissives Declaratives
assertions   suggestions apologies promises decrees
claims requests complaint threats declarations
reports   commands thanks offers  


Speech Act Theory

Speech act theory attempts to explain how speakers use language to accomplish intended actions and how hearers infer intended meaning form what is said.  Although speech act studies are now considered a sub-discipline of cross-cultural pragmatics, they actually take their origin in the philosophy of language.

It was for too long the assumption of philosophers that the business of a ‘statement’ can only be to ‘describe’ some state of affairs, or to ‘state some fact’, which it must do either truly or falsely. (…) But now in recent years, many things, which would once have been accepted without question as ‘statements’ by both philosophers and grammarians have been scrutinized with new care. (…) It has come to be commonly held that many utterances which look like statements are either not intended at all, or only intended in part, to record or impart straight forward information about the facts (…). (Austin, 1962, p. 1)

Philosophers like Austin (1962), Grice (1957), and Searle (1965, 1969, 1975) offered basic insight into this new theory of linguistic communication based on the assumption that  “(…) the minimal units of human communication are not linguistic expressions, but rather the performance of certain kinds of acts, such as making statements, asking questions, giving directions, apologizing, thanking, and so on” (Blum-Kulka, House, & Kasper, 1989, p.2). Austin (1962) defines the performance of uttering words with a consequential purpose as “the performance of a locutionary act, and the study of utterances thus far and in these respects the study of locutions, or of the full units of speech” (p. 69). These units of speech are not tokens of the symbol or word or sentence but rather units of linguistic communication and it is “(…) the production of the token in the performance of the speech act that constitutes the basic unit of linguistic communication” (Searle, 1965, p.136). According to Austin’s theory, these functional units of communication have prepositional or locutionary meaning (the literal meaning of the utterance), illocutionary meaning (the social function of the utterance), and perlocutionary force (the effect produced by the utterance in a given context) (Cohen, 1996, p. 384).


Are Speech Acts Universal or Culture and Language – Specific?

Speech acts have been claimed by some to operate by universal pragmatic principles (Austin, (1962),  Searle (1969, 1975), Brown & Levinson (1978)). Others have shown them to vary in conceptualization and verbalization across cultures and languages (Wong, 1994; Wierzbicka, 1985). Although this debate has generated over three decades of research, only the last 15 years marked a shift from an intuitively based approach to an empirically based one, which “has focused on the perception and production of speech acts by learners of a second or foreign language (in the most cases, English as a second or foreign language, i.e., ESL and EFL) at varying stages of language proficiency and in different social interactions” (Cohen, 1996, p. 385).  Blum Kulka et. al., (1989) argue that there is a strong need to complement theoretical studies of speech acts with empirical studies, based on speech acts produced by native speakers of individual languages in strictly defined contexts.

The illocutionary choices embraced by individual languages reflect what Gumperz (1982) calls “cultural logic” (pp. 182-185). Consider the following passage:

The fact that two speakers whose sentences are quite grammatical can differ radically in their interpretation of each other’s verbal strategies indicates that conversational management does rest on linguistic knowledge. But to find out what that knowledge is we must abandon the existing views of communication which draw a basic distinction between cultural or social knowledge on the one hand and linguistic signaling processes on the other. (pp. 185-186)

Differences in “cultural logic” embodied in individual languages involve the implementation of various linguistic mechanisms.  As numerous studies have shown, these mechanisms are rather culture-specific and may cause breakdowns in inter-ethnic communication. Such communication breakdowns are largely due to a language transfer at the sociocultural level where cultural differences play a part in selecting among the potential strategies for realizing a given speech act. Hence the need to make the instruction of speech acts an instrumental component of every ESL/ EFL curriculum.


Why should ESL Students Learn to Perform Speech Acts?

When second language learners engage in conversations with native speakers, difficulties may arise due to their lack of mastery of the conversational norms involved in the production of speech acts. Such conversational difficulties may in turn cause breakdowns in interethnic communication (Gumperz, 1990). When the nonnative speakers violate speech act realization patterns typically used by native speakers of a target language, they often suffer the perennial risk of inadvertently violating conversational (and politeness) norms thereby forfeiting their claims to being treated by their interactants as social equals (Kasper, 1990, p. 193).

Communication difficulties result when conversationalists do not share the same knowledge of the subtle rules governing conversation. Scarcella (1990) ascribes high frequency of such difficulties to the fact that “nonnative speakers, when conversing, often transfer the conversational rules of their first language into the second” (p. 338). Scarcella provides the following example. (Bracketing indicates interruptions.)

1)    speaker A:     Mary’s invited us to lunch. Do you wanna go?

2)    speaker B:     Sure.     [I’m not busy right now.      [Why not?

3)    speaker A:                  [Good                                [I’ll come by in about thirty minutes

4)    speaker B:     Think  we  oughta  bring        [anything?

5)    speaker A:                                                  [No, but I’ll bring some wine anyway.

  (1990, p. 338)


In this exchange, the native speaker B inaccurately concluded that the nonnative speaker A is rude since like many Americans, he regards interruptions as impolite.

Rather than associate rudeness with A’s linguistic behavior, however, B associates rudeness with A herself. B’s reasoning might be as follows: A interrupts; interruptions are rude; therefore, A is rude. Such reasoning is unfortunate for A, who comes from Iran where interruptions may be associated with friendliness, indicating the conversationalist’s active involvement in the interaction. (Scarcella, 1990, p.338)

Learners who repeatedly experience conversational difficulties tend to cut themselves from speakers of the target community, not only withdrawing from them socially, but psychologically as well (Scarcella, 1990). “’Psychological distance’ or a ‘high filter’ might be related to a number of factors, including culture shock and cultural stress” (Scarcella, 1990, p. 343) All these factors ignite a cycle that eventually hinders second language acquisition.

  1. First, the learners experience conversational difficulties.

  2. Next, they become “clannish”, clinging to their own group.

  3. This limits their interaction with members of the target culture and increases solidarity with their own cultural group.

  4. That, in turn, creates social distance between themselves and the target group.

  5. The end result is that the second language acquisition is hindered since they don’t receive the input necessary for their language development. (Scarcella, 1990, p. 342)


How to Teach Speech Acts?


Cohen (1996) claims that the fact that speech acts reflect somewhat routinized language behavior helps learning in the sense that much of what is said is predictable.  For example, Wolfson & Manes, (1980) have found that adjectives nice or good (e.g., “That’s a nice shirt you’re wearing” or “it was a good talk you gave”) are used almost half the time when complimenting in English and beautiful, pretty, and great make up another 15 percent.

Yet despite the routinized nature of speech acts, there are still various strategies to choose form – depending on the sociocultural context – and often a variety of possible language forms for realizing these strategies, especially in the case of speech acts with four or more possible semantic formulas such as apologies and complaints. Target language learners may tend to respond the way they would in their native language and culture and find that their utterances are not at all appropriate for the target language and culture situation. (Cohen, 1996, p. 408)

At present, there is an increasing number of studies dealing with teaching speech act behavior in an ESL/ EFL classroom. Olshtein and Cohen (1990), for instance, conducted a study of apologies made by EFL learners in Israel who were taught a set of lessons on the strategies used by native English speakers to apologize. They found that situational features can indeed be taught in the foreign language classroom. Whereas before these apology lessons, the nonnative speakers’ apologies differed from the native English speakers’, after instruction, learners selected strategies, which were more native-like.

Scarcella (1990) provides second language instructors with a number of guidelines intended to reduce negative consequences of communication difficulties and increase the learners’ conversational competence through improving their motivation:

  1. Stress the advantages of conversing like a native speaker.

  2. Stress that it is not necessary to converse perfectly to communicate in the second language.

  3. Impress upon learners that they should not be overly concerned with communication difficulties.

  4. Help students accept communication difficulties as normal.

  5. Provide students with information about communication difficulties.

  6. Do not expect students to develop the conversational skills needed to overcome all communication difficulties.

  7. Provide communicative feedback regarding student success in conveying meaning and accomplishing communicative objectives.

  8. Teach students strategies to help them overcome communication difficulties in the real world. (1990, pp. 345-346)


Refusal Studies

Takahashi and Beebe (1987) investigated written refusals by native speakers of English, native speakers of Japanese, Japanese ESL students in the United States, and Japanese EFL students in Japan and found that there was a strong native language influence in the EFL context and negative transfer of negative speech act behavior occurring in the more advanced levels of ESL. The researchers claims that the advanced students had greater facility at speaking English which allowed them to express complex notions in Japanese like ‘being deeply honored’ to receive an invitation.

In another study, Robinson (1991) asked twelve native Japanese-speaking women to respond to a written discourse completion task calling for refusals of requests and invitations in English. He found that there was a sociocultural problem in the respondents’ refusals since Japanese women are brought up to say yes, or at least not to say no and thus the task of refusing was a difficult concept for them.

Yet another refusal study, undertaken by Tickle (1991), looked at pragmatic transfer in ESL refusals made by Japanese speakers in a business setting. Thirty-one Japanese men who all had at least five years of business experience (including a year in the United States) were asked to complete a discourse completion task (DCT) where hypothetical situations varied by turf (customer’s vs. the businessperson’s), relationship (positive, negative), status (higher or lower), and function (refusal to an invitation vs. refusal to a request). The results showed that refusals on a customer’s turf were more direct than those on the businessperson’s turf. They were also more direct when no prior relationship existed between the interlocutors. In refusals to invitation (e.g., to go drinking), lower-status interlocutors expressed more regret toward the higher-status one. In refusals to request (e.g., of co-workers), more negative willingness/ability (e.g., “I can’t”) and empathy occurred. Results of this particular study provided material for cross-cultural programs training American businesspeople to deal more effectively with Japanese clients.


Refusals in the Workplace as a Speech Event

A speech event is an identifiable type of discourse used in a particular speech situation. The speech event of refusing in the workplace can thus be described as the discourse associated with the entire interaction triggered by the speech act of refusal and placed in the work setting. 


S.P.E.A.K.I.N.G. Mnemonic
of the Speech Event 
 “Refusals in the Workplace”

(Adapted from: Meechan & Rees-Miller, 2001)



Sample Analysis

Setting or a locale

             Scene or a situation

Scientific information about where it occurred 
(place, time)

Los Angeles, 5 pm on May 21, 2004

Generic information about the social occasion

Business meeting


Who was there  
 (addressor/ addressee, performer/audience, questioner/answerer)

Addressor – Mr. Robertson, the manager  
Addressee – Doris, employee

Ends                       Outcomes   

                                 a Goals

Purpose of the event 
(exchange of goods, etc…)


Purpose of the participants 
(impart knowledge, minimize price)

Addressor – to request from the employee  
Addressee – to refuse the request

Act sequences

Content and forms particular to its use

Content: refusal to a request that the employee stays in late to finish an important proposal


Tone or mood  



Type of discourse or channel 
(spoken, written, recitation, etc.)


Types of speech 
(dialect, style)

Formal standard business English

Norms                   Interaction


                   a Interpretation

Conventions of the interaction

After addressing the employee, the manager makes a request, the employee says she would love to help, refuses politely and offers to come in early the next day

Normal interpretation

Employee recognizes that the manager’s is a little upset while the manager recognizes that the employee is making an attempt to offer an alternative solution to the problem


Category of event 
(poem, story, conversation)




Austin, J. L. (1962). How to do things with words. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Blum-Kulka, S., House, J., & Kasper, G. (1989). Cross-cultural pragmatics: Requests and  apologies. Norwood, N.J.: Ablex.

Brown, P., & Levinson, S. (1978). Universals in language usage: Politeness phenomena. In E. N. Goody (Ed.), Questions and politeness: Strategies in social interactions (pp. 56-289). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cohen, A. (1996) Speech Acts. In S.L. McKay, & N.H. Hornberger (Eds.), Sociolinguistics and language teaching (pp. 383 – 420). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Grice, H.P. (1975). Logic and conversation. In A. Jaworski, & N. Coupland (Eds.), The discourse reader (pp. 76-87). New York: Routledge. 

Gumperz, J. (1982). Discourse strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Gumperz, J. (1990). The conversational analysis of interethnic communication. In R. C. Scarcella, E. S. Andersen, and S. D. Krashen (Eds.), Developing communicative competence in a second language: Series on issues in second language research (pp. 223-238). Boston: Heinle & Heinle Publishers. 

Kasper, G. (1990). Linguistic politeness: Current research issues. Journal of Pragmatics, 14,193-218. 

Meechan, M., & Rees-Miller, J. (2001). Language in social sontexts. In W. O’Grady, J.Archibald, M. Aronoff, & J. Rees-Miller (Eds.), Contemporary linguistics: An introduciotn. (Fourth edition). (pp. 537-590). New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 

Robinson, M. (1991). Introspective methodology in interlanguage pragmatics research. In G. Kasper (Ed.), Pragmatics of Japanese as native and target language (pp. 29-84). (Technical Report; Vol 3). Honolulu: Second Language Teaching and Curriculum Center, University of Hawaii. 

Scarcella, R. C. (1990). Communication difficulties in second language production, development, and instruction. In R. C. Scarcella, E.S. Andersen, & S. D. Krashen (Eds.), Developing communicative competence in a second language: Series on issues in second language research. Boston: Heinle & Heinle Publishers. 

Searle, J. (1965). What is a speech act? In P. P. Giglioli (Ed.), Language and social context (pp.136–154). Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books. 

Searle, J. (1969). Speech acts: Am essay in the philosophy of language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Searle, J. (1975). Indirect speech acts. In P. Cole and J. Morgan (Eds.), Syntax and semantics, vol. 3: Speech Acts (pp. 59–82). New York. 

Takanashi, T., & Beebe, L. M. (1993). Cross-linguistic influence in the speech act of correction. In S. Blum-Kulka, & G. Kasper (Eds.), Interlanguage pragmatics (pp. 138 – 157). New York: Oxford University Press. 

Tickle, A. L. (1991). Japanese refusals in a business setting. Papers in Applied Linguistics – Michigan, 6(2), 84–108.   

Wierzbicka, A. (1985).  Different cultures, different languages, different speech acts: Polish vs. English, Journal of Pragmatics, 9, 145–178. 

Wolfson, N., & Manes, J. (1980). The compliment as a social strategy. Papers in Linguistics, 13(3), 391–410. 

Wong, S. M. L. (1994). Imperatives in requests: Direct or impolite-observations from Chinese, Pragmatics, 4, 491–515.




Good Job!


Great a Teacher?

What makes a great teacher?

Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his teacher.

Related articles

Signs of a poor teacher

These are the warning signs that there may be a problem with your child’s teacher:

  • Your child complains that his teacher singles him out repetitively with negative remarks.
  • The teacher is the last one to arrive in the morning and the first to leave in the afternoon. He doesn’t return phone calls or respond to written communication.
  • Your child rarely brings work home from school.
  • Homework assignments are not returned.
  • The teacher does not send home frequent reports or communications to parents.
  • The teacher exhibits limited knowledge of the subject he is teaching.
  • Lessons lack organization and planning.
  • The teacher refuses to accept any input from parents.


By Great Schools Staff


What makes a great teacher? Teaching is one of the most complicated jobs today. It demands broad knowledge of subject matter, curriculum, and standards; enthusiasm, a caring attitude, and a love of learning; knowledge of discipline and classroom management techniques; and a desire to make a difference in the lives of young people. With all these qualities required, it’s no wonder that it’s hard to find great teachers.

Here are some characteristics of great teachers

  • Great teachers set high expectations for all students. They expect that all students can and will achieve in their classroom, and they don’t give up on underachievers.
  • Great teachers have clear, written-out objectives. Effective teachers have lesson plans that give students a clear idea of what they will be learning, what the assignments are and what the grading policy is. Assignments have learning goals and give students ample opportunity to practice new skills. The teacher is consistent in grading and returns work in a timely manner.
  • Great teachers are prepared and organized. They are in their classrooms early and ready to teach. They present lessons in a clear and structured way. Their classrooms are organized in such a way as to minimize distractions.


  • Great teachers engage students and get them to look at issues in a variety of ways. Effective teachers use facts as a starting point, not an end point; they ask “why” questions, look at all sides and encourage students to predict what will happen next. They ask questions frequently to make sure students are following along. They try to engage the whole class, and they don’t allow a few students to dominate the class. They keep students motivated with varied, lively approaches.
  • Great teachers form strong relationships with their students and show that they care about them as people. Great teachers are warm, accessible, enthusiastic and caring. Teachers with these qualities are known to stay after school and make themselves available to students and parents who need them. They are involved in school-wide committees and activities, and they demonstrate a commitment to the school.
  • Great teachers are masters of their subject matter. They exhibit expertise in the subjects they are teaching and spend time continuing to gain new knowledge in their field. They present material in an enthusiastic manner and instill a hunger in their students to learn more on their own.
  • Great teachers communicate frequently with parents. They reach parents through conferences and frequent written reports home. They don’t hesitate to pick up the telephone to call a parent if they are concerned about a student.

What No Child Left Behind means for teacher quality

The role of the teacher became an even more significant factor in education with the passage of The No Child Left Behind law in 2002.

Under the law, elementary school teachers must have a bachelor’s degree and pass a rigorous test in core curriculum areas. Middle and high school teachers must demonstrate competency in the subject area they teach by passing a test or by completing an academic major, graduate degree or comparable course work. These requirements already apply to all new hires.

Schools are required to tell parents about the qualifications of all teachers, and they must notify parents if their child is taught for more than four weeks by a teacher who is not highly qualified. Schools that do not comply risk losing federal funding.

Although the law required states to have highly qualified teachers in every core academic classroom by the end of the 2005-2006 school year, not a single state met that deadline.

The U.S. Department of Education then required states to show how they intended to fulfill the requirement. Most states satisfied the government that they were making serious efforts, but a few were told to come up with new plans.


good job!

The Legend Of Poetry…

The last repentance
evening was gloomy with the harsh reality.
ends with impingement of sin constantly felt.
constantly miserable, a cry of the heart.

careful choice.
between honesty and deceit.
between sincerity or hypocrisy.
between arrogance and generosity.
ends where it is or do not care at all?.
love of peace or ending with abject of contempt.

pride, envy, and covetousness heart.
will always be our constant companion,
until death …
whether it when? god only who knew …
regret, will be a saturation point of termination …..


Penyesalan Terakhir

malam yang telah suram dengan kenyataan pahit.
berakhir dengan pelampiasan dosa yang terus-terusan dirasa.
terus-terusan sengsara ,menjadi tangisan hati.

pilihan hati…
antara kejujuran dan kebohongan.
antara ketulusan atau kemunafikan .
antara keangkuhan dan kedermawanan.
berakhir dimanakah itu atau tak perduli sama sekali?.
cinta terhadap kedamaian ataukah berakhir dengan kenistaan yang hina.

sombong,iri hati, dan ketamakan hati .
akan selalu menjadi teman setia kita,
sampai kematian menjemput…
entah itu kapan? hanya tuhan yang tahu…
penyesalan ,akan menjadi titik jenuh pengakhiran…..

By: herikurniawan678@yahoo.co.id

About Simple Present Tense!

The simple present tense

In English is used to describe an action that is regular, true or normal

We use the present tense:

1. For repeated or regular actions in the present time period.

  • I take the train to the office.
  • The train to Berlin leaves every hour.
  • John sleeps eight hours every night during the week.

2. For facts.

  • The President of The USA lives in The White House.
  • A dog has four legs.
  • We come from Switzerland.

3. For habits.

  • I get up early every day.
  • Carol brushes her teeth twice a day.
  • They travel to their country house every weekend.

4. For things that are always / generally true.

  • It rains a lot in winter.
  • The Queen of England lives in Buckingham Palace.
  • They speak English at work.


Verb Conjugation & Spelling

We form the present tense using the base form of the infinitive (without the TO).

In general, in the third person we add ‘S‘ in the third person.

Subject Verb The Rest of the sentence
I / you / we / they speak / learn English at home
he / she / it speaks / learns English at home

The spelling for the verb in the third person differs depending on the ending of that verb:

1. For verbs that end in -O, -CH, -SH, -SS, -X, or -Z we add -ES in the third person.

  • go – goes
  • catch – catches
  • wash – washes
  • kiss – kisses
  • fix – fixes
  • buzz – buzzes

2. For verbs that end in a consonant + Y, we remove the Y and add -IES.

  • marry – marries
  • study – studies
  • carry – carries
  • worry – worries

NOTE: For verbs that end in a vowel + Y, we just add -S.

  • play – plays
  • enjoy – enjoys
  • say – says


Negative Sentences in the Simple Present Tense

To make a negative sentence in English we normally use Don’t or Doesn’t with all verbs EXCEPT To Be and Modal verbs (can, might, should etc.).

  • Affirmative: You speak French.
    Negative: You don’t speak French.

You will see that we add don’t between the subject and the verb. We use Don’t when the subject is I, you, we or they.

  • Affirmative: He speaks German.
    Negative: He doesn’t speak German.

When the subject is he, she or it, we add doesn’t between the subject and the verb to make a negative sentence. Notice that the letter S at the end of the verb in the affirmative sentence (because it is in third person) disappears in the negative sentence. We will see the reason why below.


Negative Contractions

Don’t = Do not
Doesn’t = Does not

I don’t like meat = I do not like meat.

There is no difference in meaning though we normally use contractions in spoken English.


Word Order of Negative Sentences

The following is the word order to construct a basic negative sentence in English in the Present Tense using Don’t or Doesn’t.

Subject don’t/doesn’t Verb* The Rest of the sentence
I / you / we / they don’t have / buy
eat / like etc.
cereal for breakfast
he / she / it doesn’t

* Verb: The verb that goes here is the base form of the infinitive = The infinitive without TO before the verb. Instead of the infinitive To have it is just the have part.

Remember that the infinitive is the verb before it is conjugated (changed) and it begins with TO. For example: to have, to eat, to go, to live, to speak etc.

Examples of Negative Sentences with Don’t and Doesn’t:

  • You don’t speak Arabic.
  • John doesn’t speak Italian.
  • We don’t have time for a rest.
  • It doesn’t move.
  • They don’t want to go to the party.
  • She doesn’t like fish.


Questions in the Simple Present Tense

To make a question in English we normally use Do or Does. It has no translation in Spanish though it is essential to show we are making a question. It is normally put at the beginning of the question.

  • Affirmative: You speak English.
    Question: Do you speak English?

You will see that we add DO at the beginning of the affirmative sentence to make it a question. We use Do when the subject is I, you, we or they.

  • Affirmative: He speaks French.
    Question: Does he speak French?

When the subject is he, she or it, we add DOES at the beginning to make the affirmative sentence a question. Notice that the letter S at the end of the verb in the affirmative sentence (because it is in third person) disappears in the question. We will see the reason why below.

We DON’T use Do or Does in questions that have the verb To Be or Modal Verbs (can, must, might, should etc.)


Word Order of Questions with Do and Does

The following is the word order to construct a basic question in English using Do or Does.

Do/Does Subject Verb* The Rest of the sentence
Do I / you / we / they have / need
want etc.
a new bike?
Does he / she / it

*Verb: The verb that goes here is the base form of the infinitive = The infinitive without TO before the verb. Instead of the infinitive To have it is just the have part.

Remember that the infinitive is the verb before it is conjugated (changed) and it begins with TO. For example: to have, to eat, to go, to live, to speak etc.

Examples of Questions with Do and Does:

  • Do you need a dictionary?
  • Does Mary need a dictionary?
  • Do we have a meeting now?
  • Does it rain a lot in winter?
  • Do they want to go to the party?
  • Does he like pizza?


Short Answers with Do and Does

In questions that use do/does it is possible to give short answers to direct questions as follows:

Sample Questions Short Answer
Short Answer
Do you like chocolate? Yes, I do. No, I don’t.
Do I need a pencil? Yes, you do. No, you don’t.
Do you both like chocolate? Yes, we do. No, we don’t.
Do they like chocolate? Yes, they do. No, they don’t.
Does he like chocolate? Yes, he does. No, he doesn’t.
Does she like chocolate? Yes, she does. No, she doesn’t.
Does it have four wheels? Yes, it does. No, it doesn’t.     


Good job…

About if Conditional Type 1,2,3?…


1. Form

In a Type 1 conditional sentence, the tense in the ‘if’ clause is the simple present, and the tense in the main clause is the simple future


If + simple present
If it rains
If you don’t hurry

Simple future
you will get wet
we will miss the train.

2. Function

In these sentences, the time is the present or future and the situation is real. They refer to a possible condition and its probable result. They are based on facts, and they are used to make statements about the real world, and about particular situations. We often use such sentences to give warnings:

  • If you don’t leave, I’ll call the police.
  • If you don’t drop the gun, I’ll shoot!
  • If you drop that glass, it will break.
  • Nobody will notice if you make a mistake.
  • If I have time, I’ll finish that letter.
  • What will you do if you miss the plane?

NOTE: We can use modals to express the degree of certainty of the result:

  • If you drop that glass, it might break.
  • I may finish that letter if I have time.



1. Form

In a Type 2 conditional sentence, the tense in the ‘if’ clause is the simple past, and the tense in the main clause is the present conditional:


If + simple past
If it rained
If you went to bed earlier

Present conditional
you would get wet
you wouldn’t be so tired.

Present conditional, form

The present conditional of any verb is composed of two parts – the modal auxiliary would + the infinitive of the main verb (without ‘to’.)

Subject   + would  + infinitive
without to
She would learn













Interrogative negative




Would: Contractions of would

In spoken English, would is contracted to ‘d.





he’d, she’d


The negative contraction = wouldn’t.

Example: to accept, Present conditional

Affirmative Negative Interrogative

I would accept

I wouldn’t accept

Would I accept?

You would accept

You wouldn’t accept

Would you accept?

He would accept

She wouldn’t accept

Would he accept?

We would accept

We wouldn’t accept

Would we accept?

You would accept

You wouldn’t accept

Would you accept?

They would accept

They wouldn’t accept

Would they accept?


2. Function

In these sentences, the time is now or any time, and the situation is unreal. They are not based on fact, and they refer to an unlikely or hypothetical condition and its probable result. The use of the past tense after ‘if’ indicates unreality. We can nearly always add a phrase starting with “but”, that expresses the real situation:

  • If the weather wasn’t so bad, we would go to the park (…but it is bad, so we can’t go)
  • If I was the Queen of England, I would give everyone �100. (...but I’m not, so I won’t)

Examples of use:

  1. To make a statement about something that is not real at present, but is possible:
    I would visit her if I had time. (= I haven’t got time but I might have some time)
  2. To make a statement about a situation that is not real now and never could be real:
    If I were you, I’d give up smoking (but I could never be you)


a. If I was a plant, I would love the rain.
b. If you really loved me, you would buy me a diamond ring.
c. If I knew where she lived, I would go and see her.
d. You wouldn’t need to read this if you understood English grammar.
e. Would he go to the concert if I gave him a ticket?
f. They wouldn’t invite her if they didn’t like her
g. We would be able to buy a larger house if we had more money

NOTE: It is correct, and very common, to say “If I were” instead of “If I was“.


That About English Grammar?

Glossary of English Grammar Terms

This glossary of English grammar terms relates to the English language. Some terms here may have additional or extended meanings when applied to other languages. For example, “case” in some languages applies to pronouns and nouns. In English, nouns do not have case and therefore no reference to nouns is made in its definition here.


Term Definition
active voice one of two voices in English; a direct form of expression where the subject performs or “acts” the verb; see also passive voice
eg: “Many people eat rice”
adjective part of speech that typically describes or “modifies” a noun
eg: “It was a big dog.”
adjective clause seldom-used term for relative clause
adjunct word or phrase that adds information to a sentence and that can be removed from the sentence without making the sentence ungrammatical
eg: I met John at school.
adverb word that modifies a verb, an adjective or another adverb
eg: quickly, really, very
adverbial clause dependent clause that acts like an adverb and indicates such things as time, place or reason
eg: Although we are getting older, we grow more beautiful each day.
affirmative statement that expresses (or claims to express) a truth or “yes” meaning; opposite of negative
eg: The sun is hot.
affix language unit (morpheme) that occurs before or after (or sometimes within) the root or stem of a word
eg: un- in unhappy (prefix), -ness in happiness (suffix)
(also known as “concord”)
logical (in a grammatical sense) links between words based on tense, case or number
eg: this phone, these phones
antecedent word, phrase or clause that is replaced by a pronoun (or other substitute) when mentioned subsequently (in the same sentence or later)
eg: “Emily is nice because she brings me flowers.”
appositive noun phrase that re-identifies or describes its neighbouring noun
eg: “Canada, a multicultural country, is recognized by its maple leaf flag.”
article determiner that introduces a noun phrase as definite (the) or indefinite (a/an)
aspect feature of some verb forms that relates to duration or completion of time; verbs can have no aspect (simple), or can have continuous or progressive aspect (expressing duration), or have perfect or perfective aspect (expressing completion)
auxiliary verb
(also called “helping verb”)
verb used with the main verb to help indicate something such as tense or voice
eg: I do not like you. She has finished. He can swim.
bare infinitive unmarked form of the verb (no indication of tense, mood, person, or aspect) without the particle “to”; typically used after modal auxiliary verbs; see also infinitive
eg: “He should come“, “I can swim
base form basic form of a verb before conjugation into tenses etc
eg: be, speak
case form of a pronoun based on its relationship to other words in the sentence; case can be subjective, objective or possessive
eg: “I love this dog”, “This dog loves me“, “This is my dog”
causative verb verb that causes things to happen such as “make”, “get” and “have”; the subject does not perform the action but is indirectly responsible for it
eg: “She made me go to school”, “I had my nails painted”
clause group of words containing a subject and its verb
eg: “It was late when he arrived
comparative adjective
form of an adjective or adverb made with “-er” or “more” that is used to show differences or similarities between two things (not three or more things)
eg: colder, more quickly
complement part of a sentence that completes or adds meaning to the predicate
eg: Mary did not say where she was going.
compound noun noun that is made up of more than one word; can be one word, or hyphenated, or separated by a space
eg: toothbrush, mother-in-law, Christmas Day
compound sentence sentence with at least two independent clauses; usually joined by a conjunction
eg: “You can have something healthy but you can’t have more junk food.”
concord another term for agreement
conditional structure in English where one action depends on another (“if-then” or “then-if” structure); most common are 1st, 2nd, and 3rd conditionals
eg: “If I win I will be happy”, “I would be happy if I won”
conjugate to show the different forms of a verb according to voice, mood, tense, number and person; conjugation is quite simple in English compared to many other languages
eg: I walk, you walk, he/she/it walks, we walk, they walk; I walked, you walked, he/she/it walked, we walked, they walked
conjunction word that joins or connects two parts of a sentence
eg: Ram likes tea and coffee. Anthony went swimming although it was raining.
content word word that has meaning in a sentence, such as a verb or noun (as opposed to a structure word, such as pronoun or auxiliary verb); content words are stressed in speech
eg: “Could you BRING my GLASSES because I’ve LEFT them at HOME
(also called “progressive”)
verb form (specifically an aspect) indicating actions that are in progress or continuing over a given time period (can be past, present or future); formed with “BE” + “VERB-ing”
eg: “They are watching TV.”
contraction shortening of two (or more) words into one
eg: isn’t (is not), we’d’ve (we would have)
countable noun thing that you can count, such as apple, pen, tree (see uncountable noun)
eg: one apple, three pens, ten trees
dangling participle illogical structure that occurs in a sentence when a writer intends to modify one thing but the reader attaches it to another
eg: “Running to the bus, the flowers were blooming.” (In the example sentence it seems that the flowers were running.)
declarative sentence sentence type typically used to make a statement (as opposed to a question or command)
eg: “Tara works hard”, “It wasn’t funny”
defining relative clause
(also called “restrictive relative clause”)
relative clause that contains information required for the understanding of the sentence; not set off with commas; see also non-defining clause
eg: “The boy who was wearing a blue shirt was the winner”
demonstrative pronoun
demonstrative adjective
pronoun or determiner that indicates closeness to (this/these) or distance from (that/those) the speaker
eg: “This is a nice car”, “Can you see those cars?”
dependent clause part of a sentence that contains a subject and a verb but does not form a complete thought and cannot stand on its own; see also independent clause
eg: “When the water came out of the tap…”
determiner word such as an article or a possessive adjective or other adjective that typically comes at the beginning of noun phrases
eg: “It was an excellent film”, “Do you like my new shirt?”, “Let’s buy some eggs”
direct speech saying what someone said by using their exact words; see also indirect speech
eg: “Lucy said: ‘I am tired.'”
direct object noun phrase in a sentence that directly receives the action of the verb; see also indirect object
eg: “Joey bought the car“, “I like it“, “Can you see the man wearing a pink shirt and waving a gun in the air?”
embedded question question that is not in normal question form with a question mark; it occurs within another statement or question and generally follows statement structure
eg: “I don’t know where he went,” “Can you tell me where it is before you go?”, “They haven’t decided whether they should come
finite verb verb form that has a specific tense, number and person
eg: I work, he works, we learned, they ran
first conditional “if-then” conditional structure used for future actions or events that are seen as realistic possibilities
eg: “If we win the lottery we will buy a car”
fragment incomplete piece of a sentence used alone as a complete sentence; a fragment does not contain a complete thought; fragments are common in normal speech but unusual (inappropriate) in formal writing
eg: “When’s her birthday? – In December“, “Will they come? – Probably not
function purpose or “job” of a word form or element in a sentence
eg: The function of a subject is to perform the action. One function of an adjective is to describe a noun. The function of a noun is to name things.
future continuous
(also called “future progressive”)
tense* used to describe things that will happen in the future at a particular time; formed with WILL + BE + VERB-ing
eg: “I will be graduating in September.”
future perfect tense* used to express the past in the future; formed with WILL HAVE + VERB-ed
eg: “I will have graduated by then”
future perfect continuous tense* used to show that something will be ongoing until a certain time in the future; formed with WILL HAVE BEEN + VERB-ing
eg: “We will have been living there for three months by the time the baby is born”
future simple tense* used to describe something that hasn’t happened yet such as a prediction or a sudden decision; formed with WILL + BASE VERB
eg: “He will be late”, “I will answer the phone”
genitive case case expressing relationship between nouns (possession, origin, composition etc)
eg: “John’s dog“, “door of the car“, “children’s songs“, “pile of sand
gerund noun form of a verb, formed with VERB-ing
eg: “Walking is great exercise”
gradable adjective adjective that can vary in intensity or grade when paired with a grading adverb ; see also non-gradable adjective
eg: quite hot, very tall
grading adverb adverb that can modify the intensity or grade of a gradable adjective
eg: quite hot, very tall
hanging participle another term for dangling participle
helping verb another term for auxiliary verb
imperative form of verb used when giving a command; formed with BASE VERB only
eg: “Brush your teeth!”
indefinite pronoun pronoun does not refer to any specific person, thing or amount. It is vague and “not definite”.
eg: anything, each, many, somebody
independent clause
(also called “main clause”)
group of words that expresses a complete thought and can stand alone as a sentence; see also dependent clause
eg: “Tara is eating curry.“, “Tara likes oranges and Joe likes apples.”
indirect object noun phrase representing the person or thing indirectly affected by the action of the verb; see also direct object
eg: “She showed me her book collection”, “Joey bought his wife a new car”
indirect question another term for embedded question
indirect speech
(also called “reported speech”)
saying what someone said without using their exact words; see direct speech
eg: “Lucy said that she was tired
infinitive base form of a verb preceded by “to”**; see also bare infinitive
eg: “You need to study harder”, “To be, or not to be: that is the question”
inflection change in word form to indicate grammatical meaning
eg: dog, dogs (two inflections); take, takes, took, taking, taken (five inflections)
interjection common word that expresses emotion but has no grammatical value; can often be used alone and is often followed by an exclamation mark
eg: “Hi!”, “er”, “Ouch!”, “Dammit!”
interrogative (formal) sentence type (typically inverted) normally used when asking a question
eg: “Are you eating?”, “What are you eating?”
interrogative pronoun pronoun that asks a question.
eg: who, whom, which
intransitive verb verb that does not take a direct object; see also transitive verb
e.g. “He is working hard”, “Where do you live?”
inversion any reversal of the normal word order, especially placing the auxiliary verb before the subject; used in a variety of ways, as in question formation, conditional clauses and agreement or disagreement
eg: “Where are your keys?”,”Had we watched the weather report, we wouldn’t have gone to the beach”, “So did he”, “Neither did she”
irregular verb
see irregular verbs list
verb that has a different ending for past tense and past participle forms than the regular “-ed”; see also regular verb
eg: buy, bought, bought; do, did, done
lexicon, lexis all of the words and word forms in a language with meaning or function
lexical verb another term for main verb
linking verb verbs that connect the subject to more information (but do not indicate action), such as “be” or “seem”
main clause another term for independent clause
main verb
(also called “lexical verb”)
any verb in a sentence that is not an auxiliary verb; a main verb has meaning on its own
eg: “Does John like Mary?”, “I will have arrived by 4pm”
modal verb
(also called “modal”)
auxiliary verb such as can, could, must, should etc; paired with the bare infinitive of a verb
eg: “I should go for a jog”
modifier word or phrase that modifies and limits the meaning of another word
eg: the house => the white house, the house over there, the house we sold last year
mood sentence type that indicates the speaker’s view towards the degree of reality of what is being said, for example subjunctive, indicative, imperative
morpheme unit of language with meaning; differs from “word” because some cannot stand alone
e.g. un-, predict and –able in unpredictable
multi-word verb verb that consists of a basic verb + another word or words (preposition and/or adverb)
eg: get up (phrasal verb), believe in (prepositional verb), get on with (phrasal-prepositional verb)
negative form which changes a “yes” meaning to a “no” meaning; opposite of affirmative
eg: “She will not come”, “I have never seen her”
nominative case another term for subjective case
non-defining relative clause
(also called “non-restrictive relative clause”)
relative clause that adds information but is not completely necessary; set off from the sentence with a comma or commas; see defining relative clause
eg: “The boy, who had a chocolate bar in his hand, was still hungry”
non-gradable adjective adjective that has a fixed quality or intensity and cannot be paired with a grading adverb; see also gradable adjective
eg: freezing, boiling, dead
non-restrictive relative clause another term for non-defining relative clause
noun part of speech that names a person, place, thing, quality, quantity or concept; see also proper noun and compound noun
eg: “The man is waiting”, “I was born in London“, “Is that your car?”, “Do you like music?”
noun clause clause that takes the place of a noun and cannot stand on its own; often introduced with words such as “that, who or whoever”
eg: “What the president said was surprising”
noun phrase (NP) any word or group of words based on a noun or pronoun that can function in a sentence as a subject, object or prepositional object; can be one word or many words; can be very simple or very complex
eg: “She is nice”, “When is the meeting?”, “The car over there beside the lampost is mine”
number change of word form indicating one person or thing (singular) or more than one person or thing (plural)
eg: one dog/three dogs, she/they
object thing or person affected by the verb; see also direct object and indirect object
eg: “The boy kicked the ball“, “We chose the house with the red door
objective case case form of a pronoun indicating an object
eg: “John married her“, “I gave it to him
part of speech one of the classes into which words are divided according to their function in a sentence
eg: verb, noun, adjective
participle verb form that can be used as an adjective or a noun; see past participle, present participle
passive voice one of two voices in English; an indirect form of expression in which the subject receives the action; see also active voice
eg: “Rice is eaten by many people”
past tense
(also called “simple past”)
tense used to talk about an action, event or situation that occurred and was completed in the past
eg: “I lived in Paris for 10 years”, “Yesterday we saw a snake”
past continuous tense often used to describe an interrupted action in the past; formed with WAS/WERE + VERB-ing
eg: “I was reading when you called”
past perfect tense that refers to the past in the past; formed with HAD + VERB-ed
eg: “We had stopped the car”
past perfect continuous tense that refers to action that happened in the past and continued to a certain point in the past; formed with HAD BEEN + VERB-ing
eg: “I had been waiting for three hours when he arrived”
past participle verb form (V3) – usually made by adding “-ed” to the base verb – typically used in perfect and passive tenses, and sometimes as an adjective
eg: “I have finished“, “It was seen by many people”, “boiled eggs”
perfect verb form (specifically an aspect); formed with HAVE/HAS + VERB-ed (present perfect) or HAD + VERB-ed (past perfect)
person grammatical category that identifies people in a conversation; there are three persons: 1st person (pronouns I/me, we/us) is the speaker(s), 2nd person (pronoun you) is the listener(s), 3rd person (pronouns he/him, she/her, it, they/them) is everybody or everything else
personal pronoun pronoun that indicates person
eg: “He likes my dogs”, “They like him
phrasal verb multi-word verb formed with a verb + adverb
eg: break up, turn off (see phrasal verbs list)
NB: many people and books call all multi-word verbs “phrasal verbs” (see multi-word verbs)
phrase two or more words that have a single function and form part of a sentence; phrases can be noun, adjective, adverb, verb or prepositional
plural of a noun or form indicating more than one person or thing; plural nouns are usually formed by adding “-s”; see also singular, number
eg: bananas, spoons, trees
position grammatically correct placement of a word form in a phrase or sentence in relation to other word forms
eg: “The correct position for an article is at the beginning of the noun phrase that it describes”
positive basic state of an adjective or adverb when it shows quality but not comparative or superlative
eg: nice, kind, quickly
possessive adjective adjective (also called “determiner”) based on a pronoun: my, your, his, her, its, our, their
eg: “I lost my keys”, “She likes your car”
possessive case case form of a pronoun indicating ownership or possession
eg: “Mine are blue”, “This car is hers
possessive pronoun pronoun that indicates ownership or possession
eg: “Where is mine?”, “These are yours
predicate one of the two main parts (subject and predicate) of a sentence; the predicate is the part that is not the subject
eg: “My brother is a doctor“, “Who did you call?”, “The woman wearing a blue dress helped me
prefix affix that occurs before the root or stem of a word
eg: impossible, reload
preposition part of speech that typically comes before a noun phrase and shows some type of relationship between that noun phrase and another element (including relationships of time, location, purpose etc)
eg: “We sleep at night”, “I live in London”, “This is for digging”
prepositional verb multi-word verb that is formed with verb + preposition
eg: believe in, look after
present participle -ing form of a verb (except when it is a gerund or verbal noun)
eg: “We were eating“, “The man shouting at the back is rude”, “I saw Tara playing tennis”
present simple (also called “simple present”) tense usually used to describe states and actions that are general, habitual or (with the verb “to be”) true right now; formed with the basic verb (+ s for 3rd person singular)
eg: “Canada sounds beautiful”, “She walks to school”, “I am very happy”
present continuous (also called “present progressive”) tense used to describe action that is in process now, or a plan for the future; formed with BE + VERB-ing
eg: “We are watching TV”, “I am moving to Canada next month”
present perfect tense that connects the past and the present, typically used to express experience, change or a continuing situation; formed with HAVE + VERB-ed
eg: “I have worked there”, “John has broken his leg”, “How long have you been in Canada?”
present perfect continuous tense used to describe an action that has recently stopped or an action continuing up to now; formed with HAVE + BEEN + VERB-ing
eg: “I’m tired because I‘ve been running“, “He has been living in Canada for two years”
progressive another term for continuous
pronoun word that replaces a noun or noun phrase; there are several types including personal pronouns, relative pronouns and indefinite pronouns
eg: you, he, him; who, which; somebody, anything
proper noun noun that is capitalized at all times and is the name of a person, place or thing
eg: Shakespeare, Tokyo, EnglishClub.com
punctuation standard marks such as commas, periods and question marks within a sentence
eg: , . ? ! – ; :
quantifier determiner or pronoun that indicates quantity
eg: some, many, all
question tag final part of a tag question; mini-question at end of a tag question
eg: “Snow isn’t black, is it?”
question word another term for WH-word
reciprocal pronoun pronoun that indicates that two or more subjects are acting mutually; there are two in English – each other, one another
eg: “John and Mary were shouting at each other“, “The students accused one another of cheating”
reduced relative clause
(also called “participial relative clause”)
construction similar to a relative clause, but containing a participle instead of a finite verb; this construction is possible only under certain circumstances
eg: “The woman sitting on the bench is my sister”, “The people arrested by the police have been released”
reflexive pronoun pronoun ending in -self or -selves, used when the subject and object are the same, or when the subject needs emphasis
eg: “She drove herself“, “I’ll phone her myself
regular verb
see regular verbs list
verb that has “-ed” as the ending for past tense and past participle forms; see also irregular verb
eg: work, worked, worked
relative adverb adverb that introduces a relative clause; there are four in English: where, when, wherever, whenever; see also relative pronoun
relative clause dependent clause that usually starts with a relative pronoun such as who or which, or relative adverb such as where
eg: “The person who finishes first can leave early” (defining), “Texas, where my brother lives, is big” (non-defining)
relative pronoun pronoun that starts a relative clause; there are five in English: who, whom, whose, which, that; see also relative adverb
reported speech another term for indirect speech
restrictive relative clause another term for defining relative clause
second conditional “if-then” conditional structure used to talk about an unlikely possibility in the future
eg: “If we won the lottery we would buy a car”
sentence largest grammatical unit; a sentence must always include a subject (except for imperatives) and predicate; a written sentence starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop/period (.), question mark (?) or exclamation mark (!); a sentence contains a complete thought such as a statement, question, request or command
eg: “Stop!”, “Do you like coffee?”, “I work.”
series list of items in a sentence
eg: “The children ate popsicles, popcorn and chips
singular of a noun or form indicating exactly one person or thing; singular nouns are usually the simplest form of the noun (as found in a dictionary); see also plural, number
eg: banana, spoon, tree
split infinitive situation where a word or phrase comes between the particle “to” and the verb in an infinitive; considered poor construction by some
eg: “He promised to never lie again”
Standard English (S.E.) “normal” spelling, pronunciation and grammar that is used by educated native speakers of English
structure word word that has no real meaning in a sentence, such as a pronoun or auxiliary verb (as opposed to a content word, such as verb or noun); structure words are not normally stressed in speech
eg: “Could you BRING my GLASSES because I’ve LEFT them at HOME”
subject one of the two main parts (subject and predicate) of a sentence; the subject is the part that is not the predicate; typically, the subject is the first noun phrase in a sentence and is what the rest of the sentence “is about”
eg: “The rain water was dirty”, “Mary is beautiful”, “Who saw you?”
subjective case
also called “nominative”
case form of a pronoun indicating a subject
eg: Did she tell you about her?
subjunctive fairly rare verb form typically used to talk about events that are not certain to happen, usually something that someone wants, hopes or imagines will happen; formed with BARE INFINITIVE (except past of “be”)
eg: “The President requests that John attend the meeting”
subordinate clause another term for dependent clause
suffix affix that occurs after the root or stem of a word
eg: happiness, quickly
superlative, superlative adjective adjective or adverb that describes the extreme degree of something
eg: happiest, most quickly
SVO subject-verb-object; a common word order where the subject is followed by the verb and then the object
eg: “The man crossed the street”
syntax sentence structure; the rules about sentence structure
tag question special construction with statement that ends in a mini-question; the whole sentence is a tag question; the mini-question is a question tag; usually used to obtain confirmation
eg: “The Earth is round, isn’t it?”, “You don’t eat meat, do you?”
tense form of a verb that shows us when the action or state happens (past, present or future). Note that the name of a tense is not always a guide to when the action happens. The “present continuous tense”, for example, can be used to talk about the present or the future.
third conditional “if-then” conditional structure used to talk about a possible event in the past that did not happen (and is therefore now impossible)
eg: “If we had won the lottery we would have bought a car”
transitive verb action verb that has a direct object (receiver of the action); see also intransitive verb
eg: “The kids always eat a snack while they watch TV”
uncountable nouns
(also called “mass nouns” or “non-count”)
thing that you cannot count, such as substances or concepts; see also countable nouns
eg: water, furniture, music
usage way in which words and constructions are normally used in any particular language
V1, V2, V3 referring to Verb 1, Verb 2, Verb 3 – being the base, past and past participle that students typically learn for irregular verbs
eg: speak, spoke, spoken
verb word that describes the subject‘s action or state and that we can change or conjugate based on tense and person
eg: (to) work, (to) love, (to) begin
voice form of a verb that shows the relation of the subject to the action; there are two voices in English: active, passive
WH-question question using a WH-word and expecting an answer that is not “yes” or “no”; WH-questions are “open” questions; see also yes-no question
eg: Where are you going?
(also called “question word”)
word that asks a WH-question; there are 7 WH-words: who, what, where, when, which, why, how
word order order or sequence in which words occur within a sentence; basic word order for English is subject-verb-object or SVO
yes-no question question to which the answer is yes or no; yes-no questions are “closed” questions; see also WH-question
eg: “Do you like coffee?”
zero conditional “if-then” conditional structure used when the result of the condition is always true (based on fact)
eg: “If you dial O, the operator comes on”

* note that technically English does not have a real future tense
** some authorities consider the base form of the verb without “to” to be the true infinitive

 Good Job….

The ‘nicest’ Team!

Arsenal in the Premier League?

Author: Chaitanya Goparaju Published : 15 May 2013 09:12:11



The Premier League’s establishment of a Fair Play League to encourage positive behaviour from clubs and fans is an admirable feature. On a subtle level it motivates teams to play as close as possible to the “spirit of the game” and embody professionalism on the team. The Fair Play League might not be an oft discussed or celebrated aspect but it nevertheless separates the clean from the mean. There are also a few incentives attached to the Fair Play rating points like the possibility of Europa League qualification regardless of the actual standings in the Premier League points table. With the League’s bulging global audience and its ever-present influence on the kids, it becomes important for the teams and players to play the game ethically and treat opposition with respect.

This year, Arsenal leads the Fair Play table and is likeliest to remain so until the season ends. While nothing substantial comes out of this distinction, it does indicate that the team has played in the right spirit throughout the season. The Premier League is renowned for its pace and physicality it is nice to know from a fan’s perspective that your club plays the game fair and with the least controversy.


The Fair Play points table also indicates that Arsenal plays with the most respect to referees among all other teams and it’s officials are the best behaved among the league. A fair assessment of Arsenal’s performances on the pitch this season will reveal that they have been involved in very few altercations on the pitch and opposing teams rarely speak out negatively against Arsenal’s players. Arsene Wenger, the much maligned and disapproved manager of the club for increasing periods of time now, has no doubt imparted football and manners into his players with equal importance.


The rankings also take into account fan behaviour during matches and the consistency of the club is a tribute to their fantastic support. Being “nice” has not taken Arsenal anywhere this season and with the club likely to pull off another great escape by narrowly beating Tottenham to the last Champions League spot, the season will end without a major victory to show for the eight consecutive season. The Fair Play League maybe a virtual trophy the club might win deservedly but that barely matters at the end of the day. I would trade this honour any day for a real trophy but ironically, not at the expense of the club turning into a bully and losing its reputation for what it embodies – great, attractive and positive football.


…that from me…

What is a good BLOG? and 10 Tips for Corporate Bloggers?…

Writing a Good Blog

Blogs, or Web logs, are online journals that are updated frequently, sometimes even daily. An update, (also called an entry or a post) is usually quite short, perhaps just a few sentences, and readers can often respond to an entry online. People who write blogs are commonly called bloggers. Bloggers, tongue in cheek, call themselves and their blogs the blogosphere.

Blogs are a great way to keep everyone in a family abreast of the latest family news without running up the phone bill — you can simply read back over important updates to find out the latest news. In addition, many blogs are being used to host photographs, and their chronological structure can be a great way to keep track of a baby’s growth, a trip, or the process of planning a wedding.

Professional writers often look down on bloggers, because their informal online writing rarely benefits from a good editor. Blogs are known for their casual writing and unpredictable subject material, but the best blogs have proven that — regardless of punctuation and spelling — even “novice” writers can be entertaining enough to attract a broad audience.

Bloggers with an especially engaging subject, such as chronicling a trip around the world, have the advantage of inherently interesting material, but even mundane material can attract an audience if you have an engaging style and voice.

Here are three guiding principles to writing a successful blog:

  • Develop a writing style and tone appropriate to your subject material.
  • Post often, even if your posts are short.
  • Allow your readers to comment on your posts.

Develop a writing style and voice

A great site design and technical gimmicks are no replacement for developing an interesting, readable writing style. Most of us don’t do much personal writing in our everyday lives or even keep a diary. Writing about yourself is never easy, and you may find yourself freezing up in front of the computer screen or becoming stilted and unnecessarily verbose.

Here are a few suggestions you can use to develop your own voice and style for your blog. First, remember that a blog is a conversation. Try to write the way you speak. Avoid jargon and clichés and don’t overuse the thesaurus. It may be helpful to speak your entry out loud before trying to type it or to read it aloud after you’ve written it. If you find yourself struggling as you read aloud or speaking unnaturally, think about what you might have said if you were talking to a friend rather than writing.

Second, write your blog with a specific friend or family member in mind. Thinking of someone you know well and who might want to read your blog will help you relax your writing style. That’s why it’s become popular for many people to start personal journal entries with Dear Diary. The goal is to get your writing to sound more like you and less like a lofty essay.

Always consider your audience. If you’re writing for only close friends and family, you don’t need to explain that Sarah is your 8-year-old daughter every time you mention her. But if your blog attracts a wider audience, you may want to create references or glossaries to help new readers follow along.

Finally, before you start blogging, spend some time visiting other blogs that are like the one you’re thinking of starting. Read one or two for a few weeks and pay attention to things like the length of posts, frequency, writing style, and subject material. You can get some great ideas for your own blog by noting what you find interesting and compelling in other people’s blogs.

Update, update, update

The blogs that attract the most readers are the ones with frequent updates. If you start a blog, be prepared to spend some time working on it every day or two. If you’re going to be a blogger, you have to blog! It takes discipline for most of us to write, even conversationally, every day. If you find yourself dreading posting to your blog, maybe a blog isn’t for you.

As you go about your day, keep the blog in the back of your mind. You may even want to carry a notebook where you can jot down reminders for topics you want to blog about later. Start paying attention to the parts of your life that are most interesting to you; those will likely be the areas your friends and family are most interested in as well. Don’t be afraid to write about everyday activities — parking tickets and car repairs — but don’t neglect to talk about what you’re thinking and feeling. All these areas will make it possible for you to update frequently.

Having a co-blogger can take some of the pressure off, especially if all authors contribute regularly. If you’re going to be working with several people on one blog, talk over how often you expect each other to post so that you can keep some focus and cohesion to your blog.

If you will be updating your blog on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis, try to be consistent about when you add new posts so that your readers know when to catch up. For example, you may choose to update your site every Sunday evening.

Invite comments

An important aspect of blogs is that they feature the writing of the blogger as well as the comments of readers. When you visit a blog, you often find a comment link under the text of each blog posting. Clicking that link enables you to read comments from other people and submit your own. Usually bloggers make their own comments in the posts on their site, but sometimes a blogger adds a response in the comment section because it’s a more direct way to address someone else’s comment.

Not all bloggers choose to implement the comment feature, but if you want to develop a dialogue with your audience, comments are the best way to do so. The comment feature is an easy way to involve your audience and get valuable feedback about what you’re doing with your blog.


If you do decide to allow comments on your blog, be sure to keep an eye on them. The comment feature makes it possible for anyone to add comments to your blog and you may not always like what they have to say. For example, spammers sometimes take advantage of inattentive bloggers to do some marketing that you may not want on your blog. All good blogging software makes it easy for the author to remove comments.


What Makes a Good Blog Post: 10 Tips for Corporate Bloggers

By Tracy Gold published October 11, 2011

1. Good blog posts speak to a target audience.

Figure out who is buying what you’re selling and write for them. If your company specializes in building mobile applications, you’re likely selling to executives and marketing departments, not mobile app developers. Your own developers can still write content for your blog, but they should keep content way less technical than it would be if they were writing to their peers.

2. Good blog posts speak to the same audience the whole time.

It would be nice for marketers if every business had just one audience to reach, but that’s not realistic. Take the mobile app company again. Sometimes they sell to marketing, sometimes they sell to IT. They also use content as a recruiting tool, so sometimes their developers really are writing to their peers.

Addressing all of these audiences doesn’t make for the most consistent blog as a whole, but as long as you keep each post consistent from start to stop, you’re ok. For example, it’s not a good idea to start a post with a novice question and then give a very technical answer. Let your readers know what they’re getting into.

3. Good blog posts are about 400-1,000 words.

Blog posts should be easily digestible during a coffee break.  Readers will give up if they need to scroll down endlessly.  If you’re getting upwards of 1,000 words, consider breaking your post into two parts, or tightening up your ideas and language.  I chopped off about 400 words to make the final version of this post and it’s better for it.

4. Good blog posts are quick and easy to read.

Just because something is short doesn’t mean it’s easy to read. Make posts easy to skim by cutting content up into sections and lists. In fact, I’ll bet most people reading this post will simply skim the bolded description for each point, and read the explanations for the points they don’t understand. If I’m wrong and you’re reading every point word for word, prove it with a comment.

5. Good blog posts say something interesting and useful.

It’s OK to write a blog post about a quick thought, but make sure it’s a whole thought, not half of one and half of another. Would what you’re writing change the way your reader thinks about an issue? Spur an idea? Be worth emailing to a coworker? If not, you’ve got work to do.


6. Good blog posts don’t have to be works of art.

You probably won’t win a Pulitzer Prize and that’s ok.  As long as your posts are useful, readers will come back for more.

7. Good blog posts show, not tell.

Don’t tell readers your company is awesome; write great content so readers are the ones who say your company is awesome. Use concrete, specific language and examples to build trust with your readers.

8. Good blog posts have a compelling title and lead paragraph.

Make your readers want to read your post right away.  But don’t promise something with your title and intro that you don’t deliver.  Here are 5 tips to improve your headline click-through rate.

9. Good blog posts are SEO optimized.

OK, I just told you to have a compelling title, but especially with titles, you need to strike a balance between catchiness and SEO. Scott Paley explains this with a story over at Abstract Edge. Don’t flood readers with keywords, but do pay attention to the basics such as pretty URLS (#2 here) and meta descriptions.

10. Good blog posts include a call to action.

Even if it’s just a call to comment or connect on Twitter, blog posts should end with something that moves readers to a next step. Do not, however, ask people to buy something at the end of a post. Hard sells in blog posts will lose your readers’ trust.

Well, there are my top 10 qualifiers for a good blog post. Please feel free to add your own tips and questions in the comments. And then get blogging!

from: herikurniawan678@yahoo.co.id

The Second Caliph of Islam


Omar bin Khattab (RA)

Acceptance of Islam

Omar (RA) was twenty seven when the Holy Prophet (PBUH) began his mission. Young Omar (RA) did not care to listen to the message of Islam. As years went by, Islam made slow headway. This made Omar (RA) angry. When one of Omar’s (RA) own maid-servants became a Muslim, he beat her severely. Still, she would not give up the new faith.

In the sixth year of the Mission, a number of Muslims left for Abyssinia. This made Omar (RA) boil with rage. “Here is a man,” he thought to himself “who has split the people. People lived smoothly enough. He appeared on the scene and has torn son from father and brother from brother. Now his followers have run away to another land. Surely Muhammad is the cause of all trouble. I must slay him and put an end to the trouble.”

With this resolve, Omar (RA) drew his sword and set out to kill the Holy Prophet (PBUH). On the way he met Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqs who asked him why he looked so upset. Omar (RA) said to him, “I am after finishing Muhammad.” “You had better first set your own house in order. Your sister and brother-in-law both have accepted Islam,” said Sa’ad.

Hearing this, Omar flew into a towering rage and turned his steps towards his sister’s house. The door of the house was bolted from inside and both husband and wife were receiving lessons in the Quran from Hadhrat Khabbab (RA). Omar knocked at the door and shouted for his sister to open it. Hadhrat Khabbab (RA) hearing the voice of Omar, hid himself in some inner room, forgetting to take the manuscript pages of the Holy Quran with him. When the sister opened the door, Omar hit her on the head, saying: “O, enemy of yourself. You too have renounced your religion.”

Her head began to bleed. He then went inside and inquired. “What were you doing? Have you also forsaken the creed of your forefathers and gone over the new religion?” The brother-in-law replied, “But what if the new religion be the better and the true one?” Omar got beside himself with rage and fell on him, pulling his beard, and beating him most savagely. When the sister intervened, he smote her so violently on her face that it bled most profusely. She was, after all, Omar’s sister; she burst out: “Omar, we are beaten only because we have become Muslims. Listen! We are determined to die as Muslims. You are free to do whatever you like.”

When Omar had cooled down and felt a bit ashamed over his sister’s bleeding, his eyes fell on the pages of the Quran left behind by Hadhrat Khabbab (RA). He said, “Alright show me, what are these?” No, said the sister, “You are unclean, and no unclean person can touch the Scripture.” He insisted, but the sister was not prepared to allow him to touch the leaves unless he washed his body. Omar at last gave in. He washed his body and then began to read the leaves. It was Surat Taha”.

“Verily, I am Allah: there is no god but I: so serve me (only), and establish regular prayer for My remembrance.” (Quran 20:14)

The fear of Allah gripped his heart. He wept and declared, “Surely this is the word of Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

On hearing this, Hadhrat Khabbab (RA) came out from inside and said: ” O, Omar! Glad tidings for you. Yesterday the Prophet (SAW) prayed to Allah, ” O, Allah strengthen Islam with either Omar or Abu Jahl, whomsoever Thou Likest.” It seems that his prayer has been answered in your favor.”

Omar then went to the Prophet (SAW). He was not going to slay him but to embrace his faith. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) was sitting in the company of some men. He saw Omar (RA) coming and asked, “Omar (RA), what brings you here?” “O Prophet (PBUH) of Allah!” replied Omar (RA), “I have come to embrace Islam.” Great was the joy of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his followers. Loud shouts of “Allah is Great” rent the air of Mecca. Soon everyone knew that Omar (RA) was no longer an enemy of Islam. It was a great day for Islam because one of its bitterest enemies had become its staunch follower.

The coming over of Omar (RA) made a difference for Islam. Up until this time, the Muslims had lived in constant fear of the non-believers. Some of them had not even made their faith known to the people. They could not say their prayers publicly. All this changed when Omar (RA) became a Muslim.

The first thing Omar (RA) did was to call together the chiefs of Mecca. Before this gathering he declared himself a follower of Islam. They started at him in silence. No one had the courage to utter a word of reproach.

Omar (RA) next requested for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) to say prayers in the Kaaba. He himself led a party of Muslims to that place. A second party was led by Hamza. When all had gathered, they said their prayers in congregation. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) led the prayer. This was the first prayer of its kind said in the Kaaba.

When migration to Medina started, the same thing happened again. Most of the Muslims left Mecca silently and secretly. But Omar (RA) would not do so. He put on his arms. Then he went to the Kaaba and said his prayer. The chiefs of Mecca looked at him in silence. After the prayer, he shouted out to them, “I am leaving for Medina. If anyone wants to stop me, let him meet me across the valley. His mother shall certainly have to weep for him in sorrow.” Despite this challenge, no Meccan would dare stop Omar (RA). These things earned Omar (RA) the title of Farooq. Farooq is the one who makes a difference. Omar (RA)’s acceptance of Islam had made a big difference for Islam and Muslims.

Devotion to the Prophet (PBUH)

Omar (RA) stood by the side of the Prophet (PBUH) in all battles and expeditions. Great was his love for Allah and His Apostle. He never allowed any blood ties or friendship to stand in the way of this love.

The death of the Prophet (PBUH) was a stunning shock to Omar (RA). He could not believe it, so much so that he drew his sword and said that he would cut off the head of the man who said the Messenger of Allah was dead. He was overwhelmed with grief. Life without the Prophet (PBUH) was unthinkable, he thought. And if the Prophet (PBUH) was really no more, as people said, what was going to happen to Islam and the Muslims? These dark thoughts blotted out all reason from Omar’s (RA) head. Not until Abu Bakr (RA) had reminded him of the clear verdict in the Quran did he come to himself by reciting the following verse from the Quran:

“Muhammad is no more than a Messenger: many were the Messengers that passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will you then turn back on his heels?” If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah.” (Quran 3:144)

Abu Bakr (RA), during his calpihate, depended on Omar (RA) for advice. That was because the Holy Prophet (PBUH), in his life-time, gave great weight to what Omar (RA) said.

Omar (RA) in Jerusalem

The Caliph left Ali (RA) in Medina as his deputy and himself left for Jerusalem to sign the treaty of peace. He had only one attendant with him and only one camel to ride. Omar (RA) and the attendant rode the camel by turns. It happened to be the servant’s turn to ride on the day when they were to reach Jerusalem. “Commander of the Faithful,” said the attendant, “I give up my turn. It will look awkward, in the eyes of the people, if I ride and you lead the camel.”

“Oh no,” replied Omar (RA), “I am not going to be unjust. The honor of Islam is enough for us all.”

The treaty of peace said: From the servant of Allah and the Commander of the Faithful, Omar (RA): The inhabitants of Jerusalem are granted security of life and property. Their churches and crosses shall be secure. This treaty applies to all people of the city. Their places of worship shall remain intact. These shall neither be taken over nor pulled down. People shall be quite free to follow their religion. They shall not be put to any trouble.

The gates of the city were now opened. Omar (RA) went straight to the Temple of David (Masjid-Al-Aqsa). Here he said his prayer under Prophet David’s (AS) Arch.

Next he visited the biggest Christian church of the city. He was in the church when the time for the afternoon prayer came.

“You may say your prayers in the church,” said the Bishop. “No,” replied Omar (RA), “if I do so, the Muslims may one day make this an excuse for taking over the church from you.”

So he said his prayers on the steps of the church. Even then, he gave the Bishop a writing. It said that the steps were never to be used for congregational prayers nor was the Adhan [call to prayer] to be said there.

Caliph Omar (RA)’s Address To His Fellow Muslims

“O ye people I counsel you to read the Quran. Try to understand it and ponder over it. Imbibe the teachings of the Quran. Then practice what the Quran teaches. The Quran is not theoretical; it is a practical code of life. The Quran does not bring you the message of the Hereafter only; it is primarily intended to guide you in this life.

Mold your life in accordance with the teachings of Islam for that is the way of your well being. By following any other way you will be inviting destruction.

“Fear Allah (The One True God), and whatever you want seek from Him. All men are equal. Do not flatter those in authority. Do not seek favors from others. By such acts you demean yourself. And remember that you will get only that is ordained for you, and no one can give you anything against the will of God. Then why seek things from others over which they have no control? Only supplicate God for He alone is the sovereign.

“And speak the truth. Do not hesitate to say what you consider to be the truth. Say what you feel. Let your conscience be your guide. Let your intentions be good, for verily God is aware of your intentions. In your deeds your intentions count. Fear God, and fear no one else. Why fear others when you know that whatever sustenance ordained for you by God you will get under all circumstances? And again why fear when you know that death is ordained by God alone and will come only when He wills?

“Allah has for the time being made me your ruler. But I am one of you. No special privileges belong to a ruler. I have some responsibilities to discharge, and in this I seek your cooperation. Government is a sacred trust, and it is my endeavor not to betray the trust in any way. For the fulfillment of the trust I have to be a watch-man. I have to be strict. I have to enforce discipline. I have to run the administration not on the basis of personal idiosyncrasies; I have to run it in public interest and for promoting the public good. For this we have the guidance in the Book of God. Whatever orders I issue in the course of day to day administration have to conform to the Quran.

“God has favored us with Islam. He sent to us His Messenger (Muhammad (PBUH), pbuh). He has chosen us for a mission. Let us fulfill that mission. That mission is the promotion of Islam. In Islam lies our safety; if we err we are doomed.”

Omar (RA)’s Mosque

Omar's MosqueOmar (RA) wanted to build a mosque in Jerusalem. He asked the Bishop which place would be suitable for the purpose. The Bishop suggested the “Sakhra,” or the rock on which Allah had talked to Prophet (PBUH) Jacob. Here the Christians had heaped garbage to tease the Jews.

Immediately the Sakhra was cleared of the garbage. Omar (RA) himself worked like a laborer with the rest of his men. Jerusalem, the city of Prophet David (AS) and of Prophet Christ (AS), witnessed the equality of Islam. When the Sakhra had been cleared of every trace of dirt, a mosque was built on the site. The mosque stands to this day and is known as Omar (RA)’s Mosque.

The Years of Omar (RA)’s Caliphate

Omar (RA) was Caliph for ten and a half years. This period stands out as the golden age of Islam. Islam became a world power. It could now stand the wear and tear of time. The thing for which the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had prayed years before was now a fact. Omar (RA) had made Islam strong and great!

Omar (RA)’s amazing success was due to two things – his fear of Allah and his love for the Prophet (PBUH). In all his dealings he never forgot for a second that he was answerable to Allah. He strictly followed the example set by the Prophet (PBUH). These two things made him at once the most powerful ruler and the most selfless man of his time. He used all his power for the greater glory of Allah and His Prophet (PBUH).

Omar (RA) personally looked into the smallest affairs of the people. He worked like a laborer all day. At night, he went around the city to find out for himself how people lived and felt. He was ever ready to help those who needed his help. He would carry supplies on his shoulders and deliver them at the homes of the poor. Nothing could stop Omar (RA) from doing his duty to the people.

All citizens, including the Caliph himself, were equal before the law. Once Omar (RA) appeared before the court of Medina, somebody had made a complaint against him. The judge stood up to show respect to the Caliph as he entered the court. “This is the first injustice you have done to the plaintiff,” said Omar (RA), addressing the judge. Modern democratic states have yet to reach this level of democracy. Their heads cannot be summoned before an ordinary court.

The greatest desire of Omar (RA) was to see the blessings of Islam flow in full measure to all people, in all countries under him. He himself could be approached by anybody. Even the humblest of men could stop him in the street. He could ask the Caliph why he had done a particular thing. A poor woman could speak back to him. She could point out to him any of his mistakes. With all his power and piety, he never considered himself above mistakes. He welcomed the opinions of those who differed with him. In fact he used to say, “Allah’s mercy be on those who bring me the knowledge of my shortcomings.”

Omar’s Death

One morning Omar (RA) went to the mosque as usual to lead the prayer. Abu Lolo was already hiding in the corner, with a dagger in hand. As soon as Omar (RA) began the prayer, the assassin jumped on him. He gave six cuts with the dagger on the Caliph’s body. The horrified worshippers overpowered the assassin. Thereupon the wretch slew himself with the same dagger.

Omar (RA) kept lying in a pool of blood until the prayer was over. Then he was carried home. “Who is my assassin?” he asked. “Abu Lolo,” said the people. “Allah be thanked!” said Omar (RA). “It is not a Muslim who has shed my blood.”

A physician was called in to dress and treat the wounds of the Caliph. He said they were too deep to be healed. At this many people who stood around began to weep.

“Please do not weep,” implored Omar (RA). “Have you not heard the Messenger of Allah say that the weeping of relatives adds to the torture of the dead person?” Finding his end in sight, Omar (RA) called his son, Abdullah. “My son,” he said, “go to Aisha. Give her Omar (RA)’s greetings. Do not refer to me as the Commander of the Faithful; for I am no longer one. Place before her my wish to be buried by the side of the Prophet (PBUH) and my illustrious predecessor.”

Abdullah found Aisha weeping. He delivered his father’s message to her. “I wanted to reserve this spot for my own grave, but I prefer Omar (RA) to myself,” said Aisha.

Abdullah conveyed Aisha’s consent to his dying father.

“Allah be thanked!” said Omar (RA). “This was the greatest wish of my life. But look, son, when you take my dead body to be buried, again give her my greetings, and ask her permission. If she allows, bury me there, otherwise bury me in the graveyard of Medina.”

As the end drew in sight, Omar (RA) began to weep, because of the fear of Allah. “My son,” he called out to Abdullah, “help me put my forehead on the ground.”

“O Allah,” murmured the dying Caliph, “cover me with Your forgiveness. If that does not happen, woe to me and woe to the mother who bore me.”

The next moment Omar (RA) was in Allah’s Mercy and Forgiveness.

good bye!!!

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