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Английский FAQ 
Welcome to the Английский FAQ In this area of our site, you will find the answers to the frequently asked questions, as well as answers to How do I and Did you know questions. Please feel free to post a comment on any Q&A.
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 The Parts of Speech
Traditional grammar classifies words based on eight parts of speech: the verb, the noun, the pronoun, the adjective, the adverb, the preposition, the conjunction, and the interjection.

Each part of speech explains not what the word is, but how the word is used. In fact, the same word can be a noun in one sentence and a verb or adjective in the next.
8 What is an Interjection?
 The Parts of The Sentence
The parts of the sentence are a set of terms for describing how people construct sentences from smaller pieces. There is not a direct correspondence between the parts of the sentence and the parts of speech -- the subject of a sentence, for example, could be a noun, a pronoun, or even an entire phrase or clause. Like the parts of speech, however, the parts of the sentence form part of the basic vocabulary of grammar, and it is important that you take some time to learn and understand them.
2 What Are Objects and Complements?
 Punctuation
The following sections will help you understand and use different types of punctuation more effectively in your writing. This chapter begins with the comma, the punctuation mark which usually causes writers the most trouble, before turning to other types of punctuation.
7 What is The Dash?
 Using Pronouns
Pronouns connect people and things into sentences. Rather than saying a person's name, you can say 'they' or 'I'. This does remove information about the person or thing referenced and can make the sentence more general.
2 Tricky Points of Pronoun Usage
 Using Verbs
The verb is perhaps the most important part of the sentence. A verb or compound verb asserts something about the subject of the sentence and expresses actions, events, or states of being
16 ASK is one of the most common verbs in English
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Punctuation ]


You should use an apostrophe to form the possessive case of a noun or to show that you have left out letters in a contraction. Note that you should not generally use contractions in formal, academic writing.

The convertible's engine has finally died. (The noun "convertible's" is in the possessive case)
I haven't seen my roommate for two weeks. (The verb "haven't" is a contraction of "have not")

To form the possessive of a plural noun ending in "s," simply place an apostrophe after the "s."

He has his three sons' futures in mind.
In many suburbs, the houses' designs are too much alike.

Possessive pronouns -- for example, "hers," "yours," and "theirs" -- do not take apostrophes. This is the case for the possessive pronoun "its" as well: when you write "it's" with an apostrophe, you are writing a contraction for "it is."

The spaceship landed hard, damaging its radar receiver. ("its" is the possessive pronoun)
It's your mother on the phone. ("it's" is the contraction of "it is")

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Punctuation ]


The exact rules for quotation marks vary greatly from language to language and even from country to country within the English-speaking world. In North American usage, you should place double quotation marks (") before and after directly quoted material and words of dialogue:

One critic ended his glowing review with this superlative: "It is simply the best film ever made about potato farming."
May replied, "This is the last cookie."

You also use quotation marks to set off certain titles, usually those of minor or short works -- essays, short stories, short poems, songs, articles in periodicals, etc. For titles of longer works and separate publications, you should use italics (or underlined, if italics are not available). Use italics for titles of books, magazines, periodicals, newspapers, films, plays, long poems, long musical works, and television and radio programs.

Once when I was sick, my father read me a story called "The Happy Flower," which was later made into a movie entitled Flower Child, starring Tiny Tim.

Sometimes, you will use quotation marks to set off words specifically referred to as terms, though some publishers prefer italics:

I know you like the word "unique," but do you really have to use it ten times in one essay?
"Well" is sometimes a noun, sometimes an adverb, sometimes an adjective and sometimes a verb.

Quotations Marks with Other Punctuation

One question that frequently arises with quotation marks is where to place other punctuation marks in relation to them. Again, these rules vary from region to region, but North American usage is quite simple:

1. Commas and periods always go inside the quotation marks.

I know you are fond of the story "Children of the Corn," but is it an appropriate subject for your essay?
"At last," said the old woman, "I can say I am truly happy."

2. Semicolons and colons always go outside the quotation marks.

She never liked the poem "Dover Beach"; in fact, it was her least favourite piece of Victorian literature.
He clearly states his opinion in the article "Of Human Bondage": he believes that television has enslaved and diminished an entire generation.

3. Question marks, exclamation marks, and dashes go inside quotation marks when they are part of the quotation, and outside when they do not.

Where is your copy of "The Raven"?
"How cold is it outside?" my mother asked.

Note that in North American usage, you should use single quotation marks (') only to set off quoted material (or a minor title) inside a quotation.

"I think she said `I will try,' not `I won't try,'" explained Sandy.


Punctuation ]


The punctuation marks that signal the end of a sentence are the period, the question mark and the exclamation mark.

You use the period, by far the most common of the end punctuation marks, to terminate a sentence that makes a statement. You may also use periods with imperative sentences that have no sense of urgency or excitement attached:

Without a doubt, Lady Emily was much happier after her divorce.
Turn right at the stop sign.
Bring me a cup of coffee and a cheese danish.

When you want to express a sense of urgency or very strong emotion, you may end your imperative sentences and statements with an exclamation mark:

Look out below!
Leave this house at once!
I hate him!

Exclamation marks are, however, rare in formal writing. Use them sparingly, if at all.

You should use the question mark at the end of a direct question:

Who's on first?
Where is my flowered cape?

Be careful not to use a question mark at the end of an indirect question. Indirect questions are simply statements, and therefore end with a period:

I wonder who was chosen as Harvest King in the county fair.
She asked if she could play pinball.
The teacher asked who was chewing gum.


Punctuation ]


Writers often confuse the colon with the semicolon, but their uses are entirely different.

When to Use a Colon

The colon focuses the reader's attention on what is to follow, and as a result, you should use it to introduce a list, a summation, or an idea that somehow completes the introductory idea. You may use the colon in this way, however, only after an independent clause:

He visited three cities during his stay in the Maritimes: Halifax, Saint John and Moncton.
Their lobbying efforts were ultimately useless: the bill was soundly defeated.
My mother gave me one good piece of advice: to avoid wasting time and energy worrying about things I cannot change.

When Not to Use a Colon

You should not place a colon between a verb and its object or subject complement, or between a preposition and its object:

WRONG His neighbour lent him: a pup-tent, a wooden canoe, and a slightly battered Coleman stove. (colon between verb and objects)
RIGHT His neighbour lent him a pup-tent, a wooden canoe, and a slightly battered Coleman stove.
WRONG Her three goals are: to improve her public speaking skills, to increase her self-confidence and to sharpen her sales techniques. (colon between verb and subject complement)
RIGHT Her three goals are to improve her public speaking skills, to increase her self-confidence and to sharpen her sales techniques.
WRONG We travelled to: London, Wales and Scotland. (colon between preposition and objects)
RIGHT We travelled to London, Wales and Scotland.


Punctuation ]


You will usually use the semicolon to link independent clauses not joined by a co-ordinating conjunction. Semicolons should join only those independent clauses that are closely related in meaning.

Abdominal exercises help prevent back pain; proper posture is also important.
The auditors made six recommendations; however, only one has been adopted so far.

Do not use a semicolon to link a dependent clause or a phrase to an independent clause.

WRONG Although gaining and maintaining a high level of physical fitness takes a good deal of time; the effort pays off in the long run.
RIGHT Although gaining and maintaining a high level of physical fitness takes a good deal of time, the effort pays off in the long run.

Generally, you should not place a semicolon before a co-ordinating conjunction that links two independent clauses. The only exception to this guideline is if the two independent clauses are very long and already contain a number of commas.

WRONG The economy has been sluggish for four years now; but some signs of improvement are finally beginning to show.
RIGHT The economy has been sluggish for four years now, but some signs of improvement are finally beginning to show.

It may be useful to remember that, for the most part, you should use a semicolon only where you could also use a period.

There is one exception to this guideline. When punctuating a list or series of elements in which one or more of the elements contains an internal comma, you should use semicolons instead of commas to separate the elements from one another:

Henry's mother believes three things: that every situation, no matter how grim, will be happily resolved; that no one knows more about human nature than she; and that Henry, who is thirty-five years old, will never be able to do his own laundry.


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