Friday, 27 September 2013

Correct usage of Conjunctions(with examples)

     Correct usage of Conjunctions

a. 'Except' is not now used as a conjunction equivalent to unless.

Example:(1 one is wrong,2 one is correct)
  1. She shall not come except you need her.
  2. She shall not come unless you need her.

b. The adverb 'like' is often wrongly used as a conjunction instead of 'like as' or 'as'.

Example:
She dances like her mother does.
She dances as her mother does.

c. 'Scarcely' should be followed by 'when' and not 'than'.

Example:
Scarcely had I completed the homework, than my friends came running.
Scarcely had I completed the homework, when my friends came running.

d. The phrase 'seldom or ever' is meaningless. We should say 'seldom or never'.

Example:
Such people seldom or ever believe what you say.
Such people seldom or never believe what you say.
          e. While using correlative conjunctions, such as 'either...or, neither...nor, not only...but also,'ensure that they are followed by the same part of speech.

Example:
She not only lost her reputation, but also her money.
She lost not only her reputation, but also her money.

f. 'Directly' should not be used as a conjunction where 'as soon as' would in every way be better.

Example:
Directly the class was over, the students rushed out.
As soon as the class was over, the students rushed out.

g. 'No sooner' is followed by 'than', and not by 'but'.

Example:
No sooner did the class get over, but the students rushed out.
No sooner did the class get over, than the students rushed out.
     h. 'Neither' is followed by 'nor' and not by 'or'.

Example:
He accompanied neither his mother or his father.
He accompanied neither his mother nor his father.


Additional information for correct usage of Conjunctions:

Mistakes are often committed in case of positioning certain conjunctions like 'not only...but also'. These 'not only' and 'but also' must be placed immediately before the words to be joined. Remember that a conjunction always connects the words of the same part of speech (e.g. n-n, pro-pro, v-v, adj-adj, adv-adv) and of the same rank.

Observe the samples below:

Not only John but also Jack is intelligent (n-n).
The dog bit not only me but also him (pro-pro).
She not only sings but also dances (v-v).
He is not only intelligent but also industrious (adj-adj).
You have to speak not only loudly but also lucidly (adv-adv).
   
   
   
      2. Mistakes are common in correlating some of the conjunctions. Observe the following correlations and the examples.

'though' is followed by 'yet', (not : but)
'such' by 'as/that' 
'so' by 'that'

Example:
Though she is rich, yet she is not proud (not : but).
You are such a good orator that the audience simply gets carried away.
This year it is so cold that we cannot move about after five in the evening.

3. 'Unless' means 'if not' thus another 'not' with 'unless' is excessive.

Example:
Unless you do not have patience, you may never finish knitting the sweater.
Unless you have patience, you may never finish knitting the sweater.

In the same way 'until' which expresses time cannot include another 'not' :

'I did not ask him until he did not return my book'.
'I did not ask him until he returned my book.'

     4. Every conjunction has its specific function . For example 'that' is to state something, 'if' to express condition; similarly 'since', 'as' and 'for' are often used instead of 'because' which indicates cause of these 'because' and 'since' are strong enough to express cause while 'as' and 'for' are weak to express the same.

Example:
Nobody complained because everyone was satisfied.
She needs house help as she has been ill.
We ought to be good to others, for we are human beings.
Since he is poor, I help him.

5. The conjunction 'while' indicates only continuous action and 'when' a definite as well as continuous action.

Example:
She was reading while we were playing.
When we reached there, it was raining.

     6. Either 'how' or 'when' should connect the verb 'know' and its following infinitive : as,

He does not know to convince customers
He does not know how to convince customers

7. The conjunction 'lest' (= that not) must be followed by 'should', not by 'might'.

Example:   
Run fast lest you should miss the bus (not : might).
-Otherwise the above is simply accepted : as,
Run fast lest you miss the bus (without 'should').
Hold him tight lest he runs away.

Note: The expression 'lest' is not commonly used today.

8. When 'as if' is used to express pretension, 'were' is used with all persons, singular and plural.

Example:
He feels as if he were the greatest.
Don't command us as if you were the boss here.

9. Correct Order of Words: The following is the usual order of words in an English sentence:

a. The subject usually comes before the verb.

Example:
Rama killed Ravana.

b. The object usually comes after the verb.

Example:
Rama killed Ravana.

c. When there is an indirect object and also a direct object, the indirect precedes the direct.

Example:
Give me your pen.

d. When the adjective is used attributively it comes before the noun, which it qualifies.

Example:
I like the transparent pen with the sharp nib.
She is a beautiful woman.

e. When the adjective is used predicatively, it comes after the noun.

Example:
Hari is asleep.
The teacher became angry.

f. The adjective phrase comes immediately after the noun.

Example:
The tips of the pens are made of fine fibre.

g. The adverb is generally placed close to the word, which it modifies.

Example:
The child never cries.
Jill is a rather lucky girl.

Note: When an adverb is intended to modify the sentence as a whole, it is placed at the beginning of a sentence.

Example:
Certainly they couldn't have succeeded in the task.

h. All qualifying clauses are placed as close as possible to the words which they qualify.

Example:
The dog that barks does not bite.
Those who wish for success should not be lazy.
     Note: It is essential to place all qualifying words, phrases and clauses as near as possible to the words to which they refer.

10. Question Tags: When we converse with people, we sometimes make a statement and ask for confirmation. Ex: "That is an easy question, isn't it?" The second part of this (isn't it?) is called a Question Tag.

Note: The subject of a question tag is always a pronoun; a noun should never be used.

Note: The sentence pattern for a question tag is as follows:

a. If the statement is positive: auxiliary + n't + subject.

Example:
It is nice, isn't it?
He is honest, isn't he?
She is beautiful, isn't she?
They have come, haven't they?
I am lucky, aren't I?

     b. If the statement is negative: auxiliary + subject.

Example:
It is not nice, is it?
He is not honest, is he?
She is not beautiful, is she?
They have not come, have they?
I am not lucky, am I?

Additional information about Question Tags:

If the statement is positive, the question tag will be negative, and vice versa.
The components of a tag question are just the subject and the verb of the statement.
The subject of a tag question is always a pronoun, never a noun.
Only an auxiliary verb, not a main verb, must go into a question tag.
The 'not' in a negative tag question should be contracted into "n't" and added to the auxiliary preceding it.

The tag question 'isn't it?' must be sparingly used, for a question tag must necessarily agree with its statement in subject, number, verb and tense.

Correct usage of Prepositions(with examples)

     Correct usage of Prepositions

a. Sometimes a necessary preposition is omitted.

Example:
Did she influence you with words or actions?
Did she influence you with words or with actions?

b. 'In' is used with names of countries and large towns; 'at' is more often used when speaking of small towns and villages.

Example:(2 one is correct,1 one is wrong)
  1. Globarena is in Jubilee Hills at Hyderabad.
  2. Globarena is at Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad.

  1. She is at Australia.
  2. She is in Australia.

c. 'On' is often used in speaking of things at rest, and 'upon' is used of things in motion.

Example:
  1. She sat upon the wall.
  2. She sat on the wall.

  1. She jumped on the wall.
  2. She jumped upon the wall.

     d. 'With' often denotes the instrument, and 'by' denotes the agent.

Example:
Ravana was killed by Rama with an arrow.

e. 'In' before a noun denoting a period of time, means 'at the end of' 'within' means
'before the end of'.

Example:
We shall come back in an hour.
We shall come back within an hour.
f. The use of a preposition at the end of a sentence is awkward and is admissible only when it combines with a preceding intransitive verb to form a compound transitive verb.

Example:
The Guru dislikes being talked about.
Such a failure need not be wondered at.

Note: When the object of the preposition is the relative pronoun 'that', the preposition is always placed at the end.

Example:
This is the book that you asked for.
That is the incident we were wondering about.


Note: The preposition is frequently placed at the end when the object is an interrogative pronoun or a relative pronoun.

Example:
What have you been staring at?
This is the incident (which) I was telling you about.

g. 'In' and 'at' are used in speaking of things at rest; 'to' and 'into' are used in speaking of things in motion.

Example:
She is at school.
She is at the top of the stairs.
She ran to school.
She jumped onto the couch.

h. 'Till' is used for 'time' and 'to' is used for place.

Example:
We were discussing till 10 pm yesterday.
The group of thieves ran to the end of the street.

i. 'Since' is used before a noun or phrase denoting some point of time, and is preceded by a verb in some perfect tense.

Example:
Since the last tennis game my father has been winning continuously.
Since I was a small child, I dreamt of making it big.

Correct usage of the Adverb & Time and Action:

Time and Action:

1. For an action which begins at a point of time in the past, is taking place in the present, and is likely to continue in future, the present perfect continuous (have/has + been + ing form) is used. The prepositions since and 'for' are associated with this tense. 'Since' indicates point of time and 'for' period of time.

Example:
It has been raining since morning.
We have been waiting for you for two hours.

    

2. To show the sequence of two past actions, the earlier action has to be expressed in past perfect (had + past participle) and the subsequent action in simple past. The two actions are often joined by 'when....already', 'after' or 'before' etc.

Example:
I had known it before he told me.

He reached home after we had slept.

An unfulfilled post conditional action should be expressed as follows:

'If you had come earlier, you would have met him.'
                            Or
'Had you come earlier, you would have met him.'

'If we had walked faster, we would not have missed the bus,'
                                Or
'Had we walked faster, we would not have missed the bus.'

In the above examples, you may have noticed that past perfect (had + past participle) has been used in the 'if - past' while 'would + have + past participle' has been used in the main part of the sentence.

4. A probable future conditional action has to be expressed as:

'If you study well, I will buy you a bicycle.'
'If it does not rain, we shall go shopping.'

     Here the 'if - part' contains simple present and the main part consists of shall/will/can/may + bare infinitive.

5. Usually in a sentence if the main clause is put in the past tense, the subordinate clause will also be put in the past tense : as,

He said that he could not attend college owing to illness.

In spite of this there are certain exceptions violating this understanding of tense. Notice the following:

even if a main clause is in the past tense, its subordinate clause need not be put in the past tense whenever:

a universal truth is to be expressed.
'than' is a component of the subordinate clause.

Example:   
Our teacher said that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. (not : rose ; set)
He believed you more than he believes everyone else.


     Correct usage of the Adverb

a. Adverbs should be placed in a sentence so as to make it quite clear which word or words they are intended to modify. So, usually adverbs are used next to the word or words they modify.

Example:
She is a very beautiful girl.

b. The adverbs 'ever, never, scarcely, ever,' are often misplaced.

Example:
  1. She is the most remarkable lady I ever remember to have met.
  2. She is the most remarkable lady I remember to have ever met.

c. Adjectives should not be used for Adverbs.

Example:
  1. She completed the work quicker than I expected.
  2. She completed the work more quickly than I expected.

  1. You will pay dear for your mistakes.
  2. You will pay dearly for your mistakes.
                                                         
   

     Note: 'First' being itself an adverb, does not need the 'ly' that is frequently added.

d. 'Else' should be followed by 'but.'

Example:
  1. That is nothing else than love.
  2. That is nothing else but love.

e. Except colloquially, 'so' as an adverb of degree must not be used without a correlative.

Example:
  1. She appears so weak.
  2. She appears very weak.

  1. The weather is so uncertain.
  2. The weather is very uncertain.

  1. He feels so lonely.
  2. He feels very lonely.


     f. The adverb 'too' means 'more than enough' and should not be used instead of 'very' or 'much'.

Example:
The news is very good to be true.
The news is too good to be true.

This task is very much for anyone to complete in an hour.
This task is too much for anyone to complete in an hour.

g. 'of course' is often loosely used for 'certainly, undoubtedly'. But it should actually be used to denote a natural or an inevitable consequence.

Example:
Do you work hard? Of course I do.
Certainly, I do.

h. As a general rule, 'only' should be placed immediately before the word it is intended to modify.

Example:
I scold him only when he deserves it.
He solved only two problems.
Only Ajith passed the exam.
   
      Note: In spoken English, 'only' is usually put before the verb; the required meaning is obtained by stressing the word which the  'only' modifies.

Example:
I only scold him when he deserves it.
He only solved two problems.
Ajith only passed the exam.

i. Two negatives nullify each other's effect. So, two negatives should not be used in the same sentence unless we wish to make an affirmation.

Example:
  1. They have not received none.
  2. They have not received any.

  1. No one scarcely believes in god men nowadays.
  2. Scarcely anyone believes in god men nowadays.

  1. She couldn't find it nowhere.
  2. She couldn't find it anywhere.

  1. We haven't got no instructions for doing the work.
  2. We haven't got any instructions for doing the work.

     j. 'Ever' should not be misused for 'never.'

Example:
  1. We seldom or ever go to the movies.
  2. We seldom or never go to the movies.

  1. This method is seldom or ever used to solve the problem.
  2. This method is seldom or never used to solve the problem.

Note: 'Seldom or never' and 'seldom if ever' are both correct; but 'seldom or ever' is incorrect.

k. 'Never' should not be used for 'not'

Example:
  1. Godse was never born in India.
  2. Godse was not born in India.

  1. I had a meeting with them, but they never referred to the matter.
  2. I had a meeting with them, but they did not ever refer to the matter.

     l.'That' should not be used instead of 'so' as an adverb.

Example:
  1. I was that tired that I immediately slept.
  2. I was so tired that I immediately slept.

m. With Present Participles used as Adjectives, the adverb 'very' is used; with Past Participles, the adverb 'much' is used.

Example:
  1. That is much intoxicating.
  2. That is very intoxicating.

  1. She was very inconvenienced.
  2. She was much inconvenienced.

Note: A few Past Participles take 'very' before them.

Example:
  1. They are much pleased to hear this.
  2. They are very pleased to hear this.

  1. We felt much happy.
  2. We felt very happy
      n. 'Quite' should not be used in the sense of 'very' or 'to a considerable degree'.

Example:
  1. We are quite sorry to hear the problems you are facing.
  2. We are very sorry to hear the problems you are facing.

Additional information for correct usage of Adverbs:

1. The adverbs 'scarcely' and 'hardly' must be followed by 'when', not 'than'.

Example:
Scarcely had we known him when he met with an accident. (not : than).
The match had hardly begun when it began to rain (not : than).

2. Unlike 'scarcely and hardly', 'no sooner' is followed by 'than', not 'when'. In this, the first action is put in the past perfect (had + past participle) and the second in the simple past.

Example:   
No sooner had the train started than we got into it (not : when).
He had no sooner left the room than he was asked to return (not : when).

     3. 'Very' has to be used with adjectives and adverbs in the positive degree, and with present participle (i.e., - ing forms) used as adjectives (e.g. interesting).

Example:   
1. He spoke in a very polite manner. (not much)
-in positive degree

2. It is a very interesting story (not much)
-with present participle

Whereas 'much' has to go with adjectives and adverbs in the comparative degree, and with past participles.

Example:
1. Today he is much better than (he was) yesterday (not very).
-in comparative degree

2. We are much worried about your health (not very).
-with past participles

Correct usage of Verbs:(With examples)

Correct usage of Verbs:

a. The subject of the sentence should not be left without a verb.

Example:(1 one is wrong, 2 one is correct)
  1. Those who have been affected most by the change, let them speak.
  2. Those who have been affected most by the change should speak.

b. In a compound sentence a single verb can be made to work for two subjects, only when the form of the verb allows it.

Example:   
Not a voice was heard, not a sound.
  1. Her hardwork was meaningless, her efforts useless.
  2. Her hard work was meaningless, her efforts useless.

c. When there is only one auxiliary to two principal verbs, it should be such that it may be correctly associated with both.

Example:
  1. Five students have joined the course and one has been dropped out.
  2. Five students have joined the course and one has dropped out.
   
      d. An infinitive should be in the present tense unless it represents action prior to that of the governing verb.

Example:
  1. I should have liked to have joined the programme.
  2. I should have liked to join the programme.

e. A present participle should not be used to express an action, which is not contemporaneous with the action of the principal verb.

Example:
  1. He took five minutes to climb each floor, reaching the top floor in forty minutes.
  2. He took five minutes to climb each floor, and reached the top floor in forty minutes.

f. The Subjunctive Mood is sometimes wrongly used for the Indicative. When the statement introduced by 'if' or 'though' is an actual fact, or what is assumed as a fact, the proper Mood to be used is the Indicative and not the Subjunctive. The Subjunctive is correctly used in the following sentences:

Example:
  1. If he were you, he should agree.
  2. If she were here, she would praise me.

     g. A verb should agree with its subject, and not with the complement.

Example:
His wants is but a handful.
His wants are but a handful.
  1. The meetings is a matter of utmost importance.
  2. The meetings are a matter of utmost importance.

h. Two auxiliaries can be used with one principal verb, only when the form of the principal verb is appropriate to both the auxiliaries.

Example:
She never has, and never will, take such decisions.
She has never taken such decisions, and never will.

i. The verbs 'lay' and 'lie' should be distinguished carefully. The verb 'lay' is transitive and is always followed by an object; the verb 'lie' is intransitive and cannot have an object.

Example:
Let them lie there.
We lay under the banyan tree.
Lay the baby down to sleep.
She laid the file on the desk.
The duck has laid an egg.

     j. One common mistake that is usually committed is to leave the Participle without proper agreement or with no agreement at all.

Example:
Walking down the road, a car hit him.
While he was walking down the road, a car hit him.

Being very hot, I couldn't drink the coffee immediately.
It being very hot, I couldn't drink the coffee immediately.
(Better still - The coffee was very hot so I couldn't drink it immediately.)

Note: In certain circumstances like the following, the usage is permitted.

Example:
Taking his skills into consideration, he should aim for something higher.

     k. The pronoun governing a Gerund should be put in the Possessive case.

Example:
  1. What is the purpose of she going there?
  2. What is the purpose of her going there?

  1. It is of no use you saying so.
  2. It is of no use your saying so.

  1. Can you please forgive me saying so?
  2. Can you please forgive my saying so?

Note: The noun governing a Gerund should also be put in the Possessive case, with 's, if it is of such a kind as to take that inflection, and if it is not too far removed from the Gerund.

Example:
They were unprepared for the umpire's comments.
I have no memory of Ravi's explaining the problem to me.

     Additional information for the correct usage of the Verb:

1. It is true that an adjective describes a noun whereas an adverb explains a verb, an adjective and another adverb. There are, however, certain verbs which allow only adjectives to explain them. They are look, remain, feel, sound, taste, smell, etc.

He looks innocent, don't believe him (not innocently).
She hardly felt sore about not being invited to dinner (not : sorely).

2. Note the following cases and use only singular verb after them.

- if many a is the subject in a sentence.
- if the number of is the subject in a sentence.
- if two singular nouns jointly convey a sense.
- after more than one though it carries a plural sense.
- with a plural subject denoting quantity or a definite amount.
- if each or every precedes two singular subjects joined by 'and'.

Example:
Many a student of mine has gone abroad (Many students of mine have gone abroad).
The number of thefts in the city now is very low.
Bread and butter is not enough for me now.
More than one tiger has died in the zoo till now this year.
Five thousand rupees suffices for the trip.
Every boy and every girl in this section is meritorious.


     3. 'A great many' takes a plural noun and a plural verb with it.

Example:
A great many fans have gathered to see him.
A great many students will stand by me if I ask.

4. More about verb - subject Agreement:

if two subjects are joined by 'as well as', 'along with', 'together with', 'no less than', 'in addition to', 'with', 'not', etc, the verb will always agree with the first subject :

My uncle (together) with his family is joining us for supper this evening. (not : are).
If the subjects are joined by 'or', or 'nor', the verb will always agree with the nearest subject to it : as,

You, he nor I am suitable for her. (not : are)


      in case of relative clauses, the verb has to agree with the antecedent but not with the relative pronoun (who, which, that, etc) :

It is Mr. David that looks after budgeting activity in the company.

- a verb will have to agree with a subject but not with the subject complement : as,

Two fours are eight. But four and four is also eight!

- In a sentence having apposition, the verb must agree with the real subject but not with the apposition restricted between commas :

Dad, I, your son, am going to look after you, do not worry about anything.

     4. An infinitive (e.g. to see) often indicates 'purpose' while a gerund i.e., 'an - ing form' (e.g. seeing) often denotes cause.

Example:   
1. He has come to see you once before leaving for Paris (Why has he came to see you).
2. 'You are always scolded for lying to me', said my mother.

5. A full infinitive (to infinitive) not a gerund has to go after the verbs : decide, plan, expert, want, ask, request, fail, learn, promise, hope, agree, try, refuse, tell, order, allow, etc.

Example:
1. The manager has asked him to wait for a while (not : waiting).
2. He tried enough to get information from me, but I did not allow him to learn it (not : getting; learning).

However, a gerund, not an infinitive, goes in case of these verbs : stop, enjoy, remember, avoid, finish, mind, practice, risk, like, excuse; also after : insist on, object to, prevent from, succeed in, think of, look forward to, to be + used/accustomed to, etc.

Example:
Have you finished reading this book? (not : (to) read).
We are not accustomed to getting up early (not : get).

     6. There are certain verbs which admit only a bare infinitive i.e., an infinitive without 'to' before it. They are : see, hear, notice, let, make, dare, need, etc., and also after : had better, would rather, etc.

Example:   
I noticed that the girl bit the boy (not : to bite).
We would rather walk than wait for the bus (not : to walk).

7. Verbs like 'appoint', 'elect', 'call', 'consider', 'think' should not be followed by 'as' whereas 'regard', 'describe' and 'think of' can be.

Example:
They consider me his son (not : as his son).
I regard your suggestion is worth considering (not simply :suggestion worth considering).

     8. Every verb cannot permit every conjunction to go with it, for example 'doubt' takes 'if or whether' but not 'that' after it.

Example:
  1. Don't doubt that I am all right
  2. Don't doubt whether I am all right (or not)

Correct usage of the Articles (with best examples)


Some other words of this kind are: absolute, annual, chief, circular, complete, entire, extreme, excellent, full, impossible, right, round, unique, universal, whole, etc.

a. In general, the Article is used before a Common noun, singular number.

Example:
He is a Ravi.(wrong)
He is Ravi.(correct)

He is doctor.
He is a doctor.

b. 'A' and 'an' are used depending on the sound.

i. 'An' is used before a word beginning with a vowel sound.

Example:
an elephant, an umbrella, an apple, an hour, an honest girl.

ii. 'A' is used before a word beginning with a consonant sound.

Example:
a boy, a square, a university, a useful strategy, a one-rupee coin.

     iii. 'An' is often used before words beginning with 'h' and not accented on the first syllable.

Example:
an honour, an hour.

However 'a' is used where 'h' is pronounced as in:
a hotel, a hospital, a hostel etc..

c. The Definite Article 'the' is used

i. When we speak of a particular person or thing, or someone or something already referred to or known to the speaker.

Example:
Let us go to the party.
I like the girl.
The movie we saw was very humorous.

ii. When a singular noun is meant to represent a whole class.

Example:
A camel is the ship of the desert.(1)
The camel is the ship of the desert.(2)

A lion is the king of the forest.1
The lion is the king of the forest. 2


     iv. Before common nouns which are names of things unique of their kind.

Example:
The sun, the earth, the moon, the sky, etc.

v.  With Superlatives.

Example:
Sunny is the most brilliant student in the class.
Jenny is the most beautiful girl in the colony.

vi. Before an adjective when the noun is understood.

Example:
The lucky are always the winners.
The rich always look down on the poor.

vii. Before a noun (with emphasis), to give the force of a superlative.

Example:
He is the Hercules of his school.
He is the Cupid of her heart.
He is the father of HR in India.

     viii. As an Adverb with Comparatives.

Example:
The more you crave, the more attractive it would seem.
The more, the merrier.

d. The Indefinite Article is used:

i. In its original numerical sense of 'one'

Example:
Hold on for a minute.
Not a sound was heard
Hundred centimetres make a metre.

ii. In the vague sense of a certain word:

Example:
One fine morning, a pigeon flew to our garden.
During my journey, a man met with an accident.

iii. In the sense of 'any', to single out an individual as the representative of a class:

Example:
A cat is a domestic animal
A child has to respect its parents.
     iv. To make a common noun of a proper noun.

Example:
A Jesus is born again!
An Abdul Kalam was moulded!

e. The article is omitted

i. Before a noun used in its widest sense.

Example:
What kind of treatment is this?
Woman is synonymous with nature.

ii. Before names of materials.

Example:
Copper is a good conductor of electricity.
Steel is an alloy of Iron and Carbon.

iii. Before proper nouns.

Example:
Hyderabad is the capital of Andhra Pradesh.
Sita was the wife of Rama.

iv. Before abstract nouns used in a general sense.

Example:
Honesty is the best policy.
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.
Trust is paramount in a relationship.

     v. In certain phrases consisting of a transitive verb followed by its object.

Example:
to give ear, to leave school, to set sail, to catch fire, etc.

vi. In certain phrases consisting of a preposition followed by its object.

Example:
at school, to school, at lunch, at sunrise, by air, etc.

vii. Before the noun following 'kind of'

Example:
What kind of joke is this?
What kind of girl is she?

f. When two or more descriptive adjectives qualifying the same noun are connected by 'and' the Article is used before the first adjective only.

Example:
That is a Greek and Latin speech.
The pink and green gown was lost.

g. When two or more connected nouns refer to the same person or thing, the Article is ordinarily used before the first only.

Example:
We met the Secretary and Chairman of the college.


      h. In expressing a comparison, if two nouns refer to the same person or thing, the Article is used before the first noun only.

Example:
Sachin is a better batsman than bowler.
You are a better speaker than listener.

i. When two or more adjectives qualify different nouns, expressed or understood, the Article is used before each adjective.

Example:
The first and the last question were both difficult.
The pink and the green dress. (Two dresses)
The Spanish and the German language. (Two languages)

Note: Repetition of 'the' is not considered to be necessary when the noun is used in the plural.

Example:
The first and last questions were both difficult.
The pink and green dresses.
The Spanish and German languages.

Note: The second article is often dropped even where the reference is to different individuals or things, provided the thought is not in any way impaired.

Example:
Before you answer the first and last question.

j. When two or more connected nouns refer to different persons or things, the article is used before each.

Example:
We met the Secretary and the Chairman of the college.

Additional information about correct usage of Articles:

In English an 'article' is a word which identifies and limits the power of a noun. In this process there are two kinds. First is the indefinite article i.e., 'a(n)' which introduces something and the second is the definite article i.e., 'the' which refers to the noun introduced by 'a(n)' or the noun already known. Observe the following applications of the article and exercise them with great attention.

1. The difference in usage between 'a' and 'an' is 'a' can precede before the consonant sound  produced by a vowel or a consonant.
  

We are a group, or we are a union.
He is an honourable and honest person.


     
2. In the two columns below, notice where an article is used and not used.
Article used
   
Article not used
Before common and collective nouns

Example:
a man
a committee    

on average, make fun, send word, in debt, at interest, etc.

Example:
On average each of us earned fifty rupees a day  (not: on an average)
after 'to be'

Example:
He is a student here

 -with : hundred, thousand, half, dozen, headache, sore throat, bad cold severe pain, etc.

Example:
I am afflicted with a bad cold, stay away.

as in : on a large scale, at a loss, as a rule, make an excuse, in a hurry, etc.
                                                                             
                        
- before : nationalities, instruments, organs of body, names of rivers, seas, oceans, etc.

Example:
The pacific is the largest ocean of all.     - before : proper, abstract, material, plural nouns

Example:
Michael is my good friend ( not 'the Michael')
- with : Cinema, Park, Zoo, Theatre, mountains, gulfs, etc.

Example:
Next Sunday shall we go to the Exhibition?     - with : names of - languages, meals, games, diseases, colours, senses, days, months , etc.

Example:
Cholera is a dreadful disease. (not: the cholera)
- in : in the right, in the wrong, in the positive/negative, in the morning/ afternoon/evening, etc.

Example:
Breakfast is eaten in the morning.
e.g: They are of the opinion that she is the bone of contention between them.     - also with : the words - society, nature, future, man, etc.

Example:
There is no one that can really predict
the future. - in : of opinion, in case of, cast anchor, set foot, by name, etc.
                                                         

*Additional information for 'Adjectives': *

*Additional information for 'Adjectives': *

1. 'some' is used in affirmative sentences and 'any' in questions and negative sentences to express quantity.

Example:
I have to buy some fruit for my mother.
He did not say anything to it.
Any more questions regarding this?

It is, however, correct to use 'some' in a question which carries requestive tone.

Example:   
May I have some more sugar in my coffee, please?

    

2. Few vs. Little
    Few denotes number              --     Little denote amount or quantity    
    Few means not many             --     Little means not much, hardly any    
    A few means at least some    --     A little means at least some    
    The few means whatever there is    --  The little means all that is there    
    Other forms: fewer (comparative)  --   Less (comparative) and    
      and fewest (superlative)   --   least (superlative)    


Example:   
Though the question is easy, I feel you are unable to answer it.
There have been fewer accidents in the city in recent times .
Fill the tank with not less than fifty (not less) litres of oil (not fewer).

3. 'Older' is used for persons and things, and 'elder' for the members of a family.

Example:
How can you say that I am older than you?
I am elder to my sister only by two years.
     4. English comparatives and Latin comparatives : English comparative end in '--er' and are therefore followed by 'than' but Latin comparative end in '--or' and cannot be followed by 'than'. Instead 'to' follows them. The Latin comparative is : junior, senior, inferior, superior and prior.

Example:   
This is in no way inferior to that.
Today, it seems, everyone has come prior to me.

In the same way 'elder' (an English comparative) and 'prefer' take 'to' after them.

Example:   
He often prefers coffee to tea.

5. Essentials of comparative Degree: Observe the following examples and note the essentials highlighted.

Example:
Simon is cleverer than any other boy in the class ('any other' is essential to say :  Simon is the cleverest of all boys in the class).

Simon is cleverer than many other boys in the class. ('many other' is essential to say : Simon is not the cleverest boy in the class).


      6. 'Than' should be used with 'no other'

Example:
I have no other objection than this.
No other man than you can do it.

7. Comparison is often wrongly used between uncomparable things.

Example:(1 one is wrong. , 2 one is correct)   
My ideas are better than you.1

Here comparison is made between 'My ideas' and 'you'. But it must be:

My ideas are better than your ideas.(2)
or simply : Yours.

Notice the following example:

People here are more decent than in our town.(1)
People here are more decent than those in our town. 2
     8. Whenever two or more qualities of a person are to be described, all the adjectives describing him must necessarily be in the same degree:

Example:
You are more reserved and simple than your brother  (1)
You are more reserved and simpler than your brother 2

9. The components of a degree must be present when the degree is applied.

Example:   
Can you draw as well, if not better than, I?    1
Can you draw as well as, if not better than, I?   2.

In fact, he looks nicer, though everyone says he is just as nice as I.1
In fact, he looks nicer than me, though everyone says he is just as nice as, I.2

10. Certain adjectives are not eligible for comparison because of their completeness, they remain in the positive degree.

 Example:
This is the most perfect painting I have ever seen till now.1
This is the perfect painting I have ever seen till now. 2

Correct usage of ADJECTIVES:With examples

Correct usage of ADJECTIVES:

a. The Adjective is correctly used with a verb when some quality of the subject, rather than that of the action of the verb, is to be expressed.

Example:
He feels happily.1
He feels happy.2

Her words sound sweetly.1
Her words sound sweet. 2
     Note: If any phrase denoting manner could be substituted, the adverb should be used; but if some part of the verb 'to be' could be employed as a connective, the Adjective is required.

Example:(In this 2 one is correct,1 is wrong)

The woman appeared sudden.1
The woman's sudden appearance gave me a shock.2

The boss spoke angry.1
The angry boss spoke loudly.2

The boss looked angrily.1
The boss looked angry.2

b. The words 'superior, inferior, senior, junior, prior, anterior, and posterior,' take 'to' instead of 'than'.

Example:
Swetha is senior than me.1
Swetha is senior to me.2

   
 As a writer of science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke is superior than Isaac Asimov.1
As a writer of science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke is superior to Isaac Asimov.2

c. When a comparison is instituted by means of a Comparative followed by 'than', the noun compared must always be excluded from the class of things with which it is compared, by using 'other' or some such words.

Example:
She is more beautiful than any woman living. ( as this suggests that she is more beautiful than herself, which is absurd)1
She is more beautiful than any other woman living. ( by saying so, she herself is excluded)2

Hercules was stronger than all men.1
Hercules was stronger than all other men.2

     d. 'of any' is often used incorrectly in conjunction with a Superlative.

Example:
She has the softest touch of any woman.1
She has a softer touch than any other woman.2
                      (Or)
No other woman has so soft a touch.

e. One common error with Adjectives is illustrated below:

Example:
The temperature of Ramagundam is more than any other town in India.1
The temperature of Ramagundam is more than that of any other town in India.2

The population of Hyderabad is greater than any other city in Andhra Pradesh.1
The population of Hyderabad is greater than that of any other city in Andhra Pradesh.2


     Of the two currency notes, choose the least.1
Of the two currency notes, choose the lesser.2

m. In a comparison by means of a Superlative, the latter term should include the former.

Example:
The elephant is the strongest of all other herbivorous animals.1
The elephant is the strongest of all herbivorous animals.2

The Himalayas are the tallest of all other mountains.1
The Himalayas are the tallest of all mountains.2

n. Double Comparatives and Superlatives are to be avoided, though their use was once common in English.

Example:
I haven't seen a more costlier set of furniture.1
I haven't seen a costlier set of furniture.2

She is the most dullest student in the class.1
She is the dullest student in the class.2

   
      o. Avoid using 'less' when actually 'fewer' is to be used. 'Less' can refer to quantity only, whereas 'fewer' denotes number.

Example:
No less than thirty students were present in the class.1
No fewer than thirty students were present in the class.2

The shopkeeper does not sell fewer than 100gms of sugar.1
The shopkeeper does not sell less than 100gms of sugar.2

p. 'Older' and 'Oldest' may be said either of persons or of things, while 'elder' and 'eldest' apply to persons only, and are usually, confined to members of the same family.

Example:
Hariram was older than Dhaniram.

This is the eldest of all trees in the garden.1
This is the oldest of all trees in the garden. 2

     Sita is the oldest of the family.1
Sita is the eldest of the family.2

q. 'Few' and 'a few' have different meanings, so they should be used carefully. 'Few' has a negative connotation, and is equivalent to: 'not many, hardly any'. 'A few' has a positive connotation and is equivalent to: 'some'.

Example:   
A few books were given to the students. (Some books)1
Few books were given to the students. (Hardly any books)2

Note: Similarly, 'little', meaning 'not much' and 'a little' meaning 'some, though not much' also should be used carefully.

Example:
A little help would have meant a lot to him.1
He has little hope of succeeding in the exam.2

     r. 'Verbal' is often wrongly used for 'oral'. 'Verbal' means 'of or pertaining to words' and 'oral' means 'delivered by word of mouth, not written'.

Example:
My written statements do not differ much from my verbal statements.1
My written statements do not differ much from my oral statements.2

There are quite a few oral differences in the two paragraphs.1
There are quite a few verbal differences in the two paragraphs.2