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Basic things one need to know about English grammar

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  1. 1. Grammar A Refresher Course… UP Educators’ Circle and lessons on (UP) life, love, and leisure. Prepared by: Edwin Del Rosario Train. Teach. Touch lives.
  2. 2. Y does we need too studied grammar?!... • The very fact that you were able to notice corrections from the question above imply something about how geared (or “un-geared”) you are in terms of grammar. • Bukod sa ang balarila ay maituturing na pinakabasal na yunit ng isang wika, isang mahalagang papel na ginagampanan nito ang pagiging isang sistema na pinagbabatayan ng wikang tumatangkilik rito.
  3. 3. Why do we need to study grammar? • The very fact that you were able to notice corrections from the question above implies something about how geared (or “un-geared”) you are in terms of grammar. • Bukod sa ang balarila ay maituturing na pinakabasal na yunit ng isang wika, isang mahalagang papel na ginagampanan nito ang pagiging isang sistema na pinagbabatayan ng wikang tumatangkilik dito.
  4. 4. Grammar and UPCAT • Language Proficiency (together with Reading Comprehension, Mathematics, and Science) • English and Filipino • Multiple Choice • 90 items to be answered in 90 minutes. • Your ticket to an “Isko-lastic” college life! 
  5. 5. Grammar and UPCAT • Identifying and Correcting Errors/ Pagtukoy at Pagtama sa Kamalian • Subject-Verb Agreement • Verb Tenses • Spelling Errors • Dangling Modifiers • Faulty Parallelisms • Run-on Sentences • Vocabulary • Semantic Relations • Figures of Speech
  6. 6. Subject-Verb Agreement Gender (lalaki, babae, lalaki at babae, Number hindi nakasaad, walang kasarian) (isa, dalawa, marami) Person (sarili, ibang tao) GENERAL RULE Singular subjects take singular verbs (except for “you” and “I”) while plural subjects (plus “you” and “I”) take plural verbs.
  7. 7. GENERAL RULE Singular subjects take singular verbs (except for “you” and “I”) while plural subjects (plus “you” and “I”) take plural verbs. These white mice are pets. Bong Revilla (is, are) a senator who is convicted with counts of plunder. You (give, gives) me a reason to dream again. A good student (allot, allots) a lot of time for his academic life.
  8. 8. Modified Subject and Verb; Subject with Accompaniment, Appositve and a Verb; Intervening Words Use a verb that agrees with the subject instead of the modifier of the subject. The clown with the sad eyes looks pathetic. (verb should refer to clown, not eyes) Since his love for his gadgets (is, are) greater than his love for his girlfriend, he broke up with her. (verb should refer to love, not gadgets) Her knowledge of languages (aids, aid) her to write a very good essay. (verb should refer to knowledge, not languages) Books written by J.K. Rowling (is, are) better than all the books in the Twilight series. (verb should refer to books, not J.K. Rowling) A student from UP, as well as students from other state colleges and universities, (is, are) called an “Isko” or “Iska” (short for Iskolar ng Bayan) (verb should refer to student from UP, not students from other state colleges and universities)
  9. 9. Here and There; Verbs and Subject Order Here and there introduce the verb-subject order. The verb agrees with the subject following it. Beyond those buildings is a skating rink. (verb should refer to skating rink, not buildings) Here (is, are) the questions I asked myself after you left. (verb should refer to questions) There (is, are) the books we need to study in order to pass UPCAT. (verb should refer to books) Up in the sky (lies, lie) my hopes and dreams. (verb should refer to hopes and dreams, not sky)
  10. 10. Indefinite Subject and Verb Each of the answers is correct. Some of the fruits are ripe. (verb should be plural because of fruits) PLURAL All government funds (is, are) taken by the corrupt officials. (verb should refer to funds) None of the love (was, were) true. each one everybody no one nobody anyone anybody someone somebody every another little much SINGULAR few many several both others none some all SINGULAR or PLURAL none with mass noun = singular none with count noun = singular or plural all/some with mass noun = singular all/ some with count noun = plural Everybody is eager to join the club. Both of the children were exhausted. (verb should refer to love) Some things (is, are) better left unsaid. (verb should refer to things)
  11. 11. Compound Subjects Regular Compounds Closely Related Compounds Each/ Every Either-or/ Neither-nor plural singular singular depends on the nearer subject The teacher and the students prepare for the upcoming entrance examination. Macaroni and cheese is an easy dish to make. Each boy and girl has the responsibility to be a good citizen of the world. Neither the tape nor the pins were holding the pieces together. UP, ADMU, DLSU, and UST (is, are) considered the “Big Four” universities in the Philippines. Coffee and cream (is, are) the usual beverage for busy college students. Every course and field of study in college (is, are) essential to nation building. Neither cramming nor relying on luck alone (helps, help) in acing entrance examinations. My girlfriend and my best friend (loves, love) me. My girlfriend and best friend (loves, love) me. I hope that every girl and friend (loves, love) me. Either my girlfriend or my best friends (loves, love) me.
  12. 12. Other Things You Need to Know Singular Plural Singular or Plural Time Weight Measurement Amounts of Money “The number” Titles Arithmetical Operations “A number” Adjectives Fractions (depends on the of-phrase) Collective Nouns (one unit = singular, individual members = plural) Nineteen is the age where one understands everything. (Ramon Bautista) The number of UPCAT passers is quite low. She’s Dating a Gangster is now adapted in the big screen. My ego divided by a heartbreak is shattered identity. A number of UPCAT passers with high UPG are reconsidered by other UP units. The happiest are often the people who suffered the most. One-seventh of the students pass the dreaded UPCAT. (verb refers to students) Only three-tenths of the Philippine population has the capacity to seek regular medical consultation. (verb refers to population) The committee is unable to decide on a vacation spot. The team have disappointment because of their opposing views. (notice the use of their)
  13. 13. Identifying Errors/ Pagtama sa mga Mali English Filipino Double Negatives Verb Tenses Subjunctive Mood (If… then) Redundancy Improper use of Verb, Preposition, Pronouns, etc. Dangling Modifiers Parallelism Run-on Sentences /r/ and /d/ ng at nang maling gamit ng salita
  14. 14. David could not hardly believe his luck when he won the lottery. (either “David could not believe his luck…” or “David hardly believes his luck…”) Double Negatives A double negative occurs when two forms of negation are used in the same sentence. Ex. verb (can not, did not, will not); pronoun (nothing, nobody); adverb (never, hardly) Sentences with double negatives are not ALWAYS an error. They should only be corrected only if the speaker intends to elicit negative sense. I didn’t do nothing. (either “I didn’t do anything” or “I did do nothing.”) No one wouldn’t pass the examination if you take it for granted. (either “Anyone would not pass the…” or “No one would pass the…”)
  15. 15. If I were given the chance, I will choose to visit my relatives in Bohol. (If I were given the chance, I would choose to visit my relatives in Bohol.) What would you insist should you be elected as the next President of the Philippines? (You can answer with “If I were elected as…., then I would insist that…” or As the next President, I insist that…) If you were given the opportunity to date a fictional character, who would it be and why? Subjunctive Mood The subjunctive mood is the verb form used to express a wish, a suggestion, a command, or a condition that is contrary to fact; sometimes, things in subjunctive mood is not likely going to happen in reality. Verbs that (often) attract subjunctive mood: ask, command, demand, insist, order, recommend, suggest, and wish. Read more at
  16. 16. I would rather buy my own books rather than borrow from the library. (I would rather buy my own books than borrow from the library.) (I would buy my own books rather than borrow from the library.) If all us cooperate together, we will succeed. The ATM machine was broken by the time I went there. A variety of different things can be learned from experiencing a heartbreak. The end result of someone being a torpe is not being able to admit to the person he/she loves. The tuition fee in UP is relatively lower than those of private schools but is a bit costly for a state-funded university. Redundancy Redundancy means superfluity or using words unnecessarily or using words for a second time. Read more at:
  17. 17. A. The antecedent of the pronoun should be clear to avoid confusion. Anne Curtis wants to talk with Jasmine about her drinking problems. (Does “her” refer to Anne or Jasmine?) B. Take note of the differences among these words! it’s vs. its Improper Pronoun Use Remember that a pronoun should always agree with its antecedent in terms of person, number gender, and case. they’re vs. their vs. there he’s vs. his theirs vs. there’s this vs. these who’s vs. whose C. Personal pronouns as object of the preposition should be on its objective case. Among us students, those that strive for his or her own improvement are often rewarded with self-confidence. You and I wouldn’t want to be like them vs. Just between you and me, I would want to be like them. D. A pronoun situated before a gerund should be in the possessive case. My talking here would not be effective if you were not listening. Her fighting for the welfare of the masses was my reason why I fell for her.
  18. 18. Improper Preposition Use Read more:
  19. 19. in on at city, town, state, country streets, avenue, boulevards exact address inexact period of time holiday period of day or night days of the week exact time date (month, day, year) or (month, day) between vs. among since vs. for two entities vs. more than two entities beginning vs. duration Improper Preposition Use (daytime, night) beside vs. besides by vs. with ‘by the side of’ vs. ‘aside from’ doer vs. instrument Read more: and
  20. 20. article/ the + number – intensifier – quality – size – age – color – proper noun used as adjective - noun a very fierce, tall, young, kayumanggi, Filipino college student the eight, great, heroic, large provinces that ignited a series of revolution against Spaniards an extremely hard, massive, unforgettable heartbreak a very difficult, mind-boggling, nerve-wracking, big examination Order of Adjectives
  21. 21. Verbs and the Action of Love loved loves will/ shall love was/were loved is/are loving will/shall be loving had loved has/have loved will/ shall have loved had been loving has/have been loving will/shall have been loving PAST PRESENT FUTURE Simple Progressive/ Continuous Perfect Perfect Progressive completed in the past habitual or repeated action happening in future time past action simultaneous with another event in the past ongoing action continuing action in the future took place in the past before another past action action began in the past and completed or continued at present action that should be completed before another future action
  22. 22. A. Remember that the past form of some irregular verbs is not the same as the past participle (pp). ex. (begin – pp is begun, not began), (speak – pp is spoken, not spoke), (do – pp is done, not did) B. A modal, as well as do-verbs (do, does, did), should be accompanied with a verb in its base form. ex. (could come, not can came), (does sing, not does sings), (did enjoy, not did enjoyed), (must take) C. When using a verb that is past progressive, the other verb that interrupts the action must be in its simple past. I was studying for finals when my friend came over my room to play. When the bell rang, the students were going out of the classroom. Other Guidelines on Verbs
  23. 23. Wailing unceasingly, her dead father was found yesterday. (It’s as if the “dead father” was the one who was wailing unceasingly.) Hoping to pass the test, an intensive review was prepared. (It’s as if the “intensive review” was the one who was hoping to past the test.) Having read your letter, my cat will stay indoors. (Having read your letter, I will let my cat stay indoors.) Vicious smelly creatures with huge tusks, the ship's crew found it difficult to drive the male walruses from the beach. (It’s as if the crew members were “vicious, smelly creatures with huge tusks”) (The ship's crew found it difficult to drive the male walruses, vicious smelly creatures with huge tusks, from the beach.) (Vicious smelly creatures with huge tusks, the male walruses were driven difficultly from the beach by the ship’s crew.) Dangling/ Misplaced Modifiers A dangling modifier is a modifier that has nothing to modify. Remember, modifiers describe a word or make its meaning more specific. A dangling modifier is an error caused by failing to use the word that the modifier is meant to be describing. Read more at
  24. 24. We have things to do, people to see, and places that should be visited. Strength, agility, and carefully concentrating make a successful basketball player. Parallelism (It can be “places to visit”) Going home is better than to stay here. (“staying here”) (“concentration”) Parallelism is a balance within one or more sentences of similar phrases or clauses that have the same grammatical structure. Read more at:
  25. 25. Kadalasang Mali sa Filipino Bisitahin ang “Tamang Balarila” Album ni Jpaul Marasigan sa Facebook para sa iba pang kadalasang mali sa Filipino (