ENGLISH FORM ONE NOTES
PARTS OF SPEECH
All words may be classified into groups called parts of speech. There are 8 parts of speech namely: Nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections.
We shall now discuss these parts of speech one at a time:
A noun is the part of speech that names a person, a place, a thing or an idea. You use nouns every day when you speak or write. Every day you probably use thousands of nouns. Because nouns name the objects and people and places around you, it would be very difficult to talk about anything at all without them.
Many nouns name things you can see:
Persons Places Things
boy lake boot
student country shadow
John Kamau Nairobi chair
stranger Jupiter sweater
writer Kenyatta Market calendar
Barack Obama Sierra Leone short story
Some nouns name things you cannot see such as feelings, ideas and characteristics:
Feelings Ideas Characteristics
excitement freedom curiosity
fear justice cowardice
anger fantasy courage
happiness faith imagination
surprise evil self-confidence
What words in each sentence below are nouns?
Example: John is a dancer – John, dancer
- The students planned a party.
- Three boys performed songs.
- Excitement filled the air.
- Joyce Chepkemoi won a prize.
- Otieno lives in a house on my street.
Copy the nouns below and write whether it names a person, a place, a thing, or an idea.
Example: river – place
- Candle Guitar
- Wrestle China
- Joy Hatred
- Menengai Crater Masanduku Arap Simiti
Write down each noun in the following sentences.
Example: Kenya is a beautiful country – Kenya, country
- The musicians played drums and trumpets.
- Her family lives in a village.
- Petronilla enjoyed the trip.
- A festival was held in Kenyatta University.
- People in costumes filled the streets.
- Boys in Scouts uniforms were leading the parade.
- The holiday was a great excitement.
- A taxi brought the family to the airport.
- Maryanne built a huge castle in the wet sand.
- Her mother swam in the warm water.
There are different kinds of nouns:
Common and proper nouns
All nouns can be described as either common or proper. When you talk or write about a person, a place, a thing, or an idea in general, you use a common noun.
Example: Doctors work hard. They treat many patients.
A proper noun is the name of a particular person, place, thing, or idea. Proper nouns always begin with capital letters.
Example: Ephraim Maree is a doctor. He comes from Kirinyaga.
Note: When a proper noun is made up of more than one word, only the important words in the noun will begin with a capital letter. Do not capitalize words such as the, of, or for.
Example: Gulf of Mexico, Statue of Liberty, the Commander–in–Chief.
Common and Proper Nouns
Common Proper Common Proper
street Kerugoya city Raila Odinga
author South Africa ocean Wanjohi
policeman Asia bed Moi Avenue
country Indian Ocean wardrobe Lake Victoria
mountain England continent Dr. Frank Njenga
lake Mandela assistant Professor Saitoti
Proper nouns are important to good writing. They make your writing more specific, and therefore clearer.
Which words are proper nouns and should be capitalised? Which words are common nouns?
Example: kenya Proper: Kenya
- july student 11. america
- book kendu bay 12. business
- face john hopkins 13. day
- england life 14. east africa
- crocodiles johannesburg 15. calendar
List the common nouns and the proper nouns in each of the following sentences.
Example: Nancy welcomed the guests.
Proper: Nancy Common: guests
- Lucky Dube was a famous singer.
- This dancer has performed in London and Paris.
- His last flight was over the Mediterranean Sea.
- She worked as a nurse during the Second World War.
- Her goal was to educate students all over the world.
- It was the worst accident in the history of Europe.
- Bill Gates is best known for founding Microsoft.
- The Pilot was the first woman to cross that ocean alone.
- She grabbed a kettle and brought them water.
- Professor Wangari Maathai won a Nobel Peace Prize.
Singular and Plural Nouns
A noun may be either singular or plural. A singular noun names one person, place, thing, or idea.
Example: The farmer drove to the market in his truck.
A plural noun names more than one person, place, thing or idea.
Example: The farmers drove to the markets in their trucks.
Rules for forming plurals
The following are guidelines for forming plurals:
- To form the plural of most singular nouns, add -s.
Examples: Street–streets, house–houses, painter–painters, shelter–shelters, event-events, hospital–hospitals.
- When a singular noun ends in s, sh, ch, x, or z, add -es.
Examples: dress-dresses, brush-brushes, axe-axes, coach-coaches, box–boxes, bench-benches, dish-dishes, waltz–waltzes.
- When a singular noun ends in o, add -s to make it plural.
Examples: Piano-pianos, solo-solos, cameo–cameos, concerto–concertos, patio-patios, studio-studios, radio-radios, rodeo–rodeos.
- For some nouns ending with a consonant and o, add -es.
Examples: hero-heroes, potato-potatoes, echo-echoes, veto-vetoes, tomato-tomatoes.
- When a singular noun ends with a consonant and y, change the y to i and add -es.
Examples: Library – libraries, activity – activities, story – stories, city – cities, berry – berries.
- When a singular noun ends with a vowel (a,e,i,o,u) followed by y, just add -s.
Examples: Valley – valleys, essay – essays, alley – alleys, survey – surveys, joy – joys.
- To form the plural of many nouns ending in f or fe, change the f to v and add -es or s.
Examples: Wife – wives, thief – thieves, loaf – loaves, half – halves, shelf – shelves, leaf – leaves, scarf – scarves, life – lives, calf – calves, elf – elves.
- For some nouns ending in f, add –s to form the plural.
Examples: proof – proofs, belief – beliefs, motif – motifs, cliff – cliffs.
- Some nouns remain the same in the singular and the plural.
Examples: deer – deer, sheep – sheep, series – series, species – species, moose – moose, trout – trout.
- The plurals of some nouns are formed in special ways.
Examples: foot – feet, child – children, mouse – mice, man – men, woman – women, ox-oxen, tooth – teeth.
NB: If you don’t figure out the correct spelling of a plural noun, look it up in a dictionary.
What is the plural form of each of the following nouns? Example: scarf –scarves
- tooth cuff 17. moose 25. boss
- wife deer 18. child 26. fox
- giraffe cliff 19. echo 27. bunch
- hero auto 20. baby 28. ferry
- radio studio 21. sky 29. flash
- potato man 22. beach 30. ship
- belief roof 23. eye
- thief rodeo 24. Volcano
Write the plural form of each noun in brackets to complete each sentence correctly.
Example: I bought two ________________ from the shop. (loaf) loaves
- I used two different _______________ to cut the rope. (knife)
- She peeled the _______________ with a knife. (potato)
- They are feeding the noisy _____________. (goose)
- The tools are placed on the _____________. (shelf)
- Mukami cut a few _______________ for the salad. (tomato)
- The ______________ are playing in the field. (child)
- Some ______________ are hiding in the ceiling. (mouse)
- The ______________ of the buildings must be repaired. (roof)
- The music helped them imagine the strange _________. (story)
- Koech used creative ______________ to help young people sharpen their imagination. (activity)
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
These are nouns that take plurals and can be counted.
Egg – eggs One egg, three eggs, ten eggs
Potato – Potatoes Twenty potatoes
Onion – Onions Two hundred onions
Such nouns are known as COUNTABLE or COUNT NOUNS
These are nouns that do not take plurals and cannot be counted.
Examples: salt, butter, cooking fat, milk, bread, jam
We do not say:
Such nouns are known as UNCOUNTABLE or MASS NOUNS
Rewrite the words below in two columns, COUNTABLE and UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS
Plurals with uncountable Nouns
One way to express plurals of uncountable nouns is by use of expressions of quantity.
a piece of information – pieces of information
a loaf of bread – four loaves of bread
a tin of soup – three tins of soup
a piece of furniture – several pieces of furniture
a litre of milk – twenty litres of milk
a bottle of beer – ten bottles of beer
Supply an appropriate expression of quantity for the following uncountable nouns
- …………………………………..of cigarettes.
- …………………………….. of cooking oil
- …………………………….of jam.
- ……………………………….of butter.
- …………………………………of soda.
- …………………………………. of toothpaste
- ……………………………..of rice.
- five ……………………………….. of flour.
- two ……………………………….. of chocolate.
- four…………………….. of news.
Collective nouns are nouns that represent a group of people or things as a single unit.
Some collective nouns can take plural forms
crowd (s) flock (s)
group (s) herd (s)
team (s) committee (s)
Some collective nouns, however, cannot be used in the plural:
When I arrived at the airport, there were………1……… (crowd) of people blocking the entrance with their ……………..2………………( luggage ). Near the customs sections, several……………3…………….. (group) of officials were standing, checking the ………………4……………… (equipment) that was being loaded onto a trolley. Most people were standing, waiting for… ………….5…………….. (information) from the loudspeakers on the departures and arrivals of aircraft.
A compound noun is a noun that is made up of two or more words. The words that form compound nouns may be joined together, separated or hyphenated.
Joined: bookcase, blackboard, pushcart
Separated: high school, rabbit hutch, radar gun
Hyphenated: go-getter, mother-in-law, sergeant-at-arms
Compound nouns are usually a combination of two or more word classes. The most common combinations are as follows:
- Some are formed by joining a noun with another noun. Most of these compound nouns take their plurals in the last words.
tableroom(s) grass root(s) prize-fighter(s)
cupboard(s) policeman/men rubber-stamp(s)
bookcase(s) farmhouse(s) sanitary towel(s)
cowshed(s) fruit machine(s) shoulder blade(s)
- Some are formed by joining a verb and an adverb. Most of these compound nouns also take their plurals in the last words.
breakfast(s) push-up(s) rundown(s)
takeaway(s) knockout(s) slip-up(s)
- Some compound nouns are formed by joining an adjective and a noun. Most of these also take their plurals in the last words.
hotdog(s) polar bear(s) safe guard(s)
highway(s) remote control(s)
nuclear power right angle(s)
- Some are formed by joining a verb and a noun. Most of these also take their plurals in the last words.
driveway(s) playground(s) spend thrift(s)
breakdance(s) pushchair(s) go-getter(s)
password(s) spare wheel(s)
- Some ore formed by joining an adverb and a noun. Most of these also take their plural in the last words.
overdraft(s) overcoats(s) backyards(s)
backbencher(s) undercoat(s) backbone(s)
backlog(s) underwear(s) oversight(s)
- A few compound nouns are formed by joining an adverb and a verb. These ones also take their plurals in the last words.
outbreak(s) backlash(es) output(s)
outburst(s) outcast(s) input(s)
- A few others are formed by joining a noun and a verb. They also take their plurals in the last words.
- A number of compound nouns are formed by joining two nouns by use of hyphens and a short preposition in between. These compound nouns always take their plurals in the first words.
Underline the compound nouns in the following sentences and write down their plural forms where possible.
- John wants to be a quantity surveyor when he grows up.
- Rainwater had washed away all the top soil.
- The footballer was shown a red card by the referee.
- Neither candidate won the elections, forcing a runoff.
- The goalkeeper saved a penalty in the second half.
- He killed the wild pig with a sledge hammer.
- Njoroge’s tape-recorder was stolen yesterday.
- The theatregoer was disappointed with the show.
- Size 8’s latest song has caused an uproar.
- He attempted a creative writing workshop.
A possessive noun shows who or what owns something. A possessive noun can either be singular or plural.
Singular possessive nouns
A singular possessive noun shows that one person, place, or thing has or owns something. To make a singular noun show possession, add an apostrophe and s (‘s).
the feathers of the chick – the chick’s feathers
the hat that belongs to the man – the man’s hat
the child’s toy the fish’s fins
Mark’s bike the horse’s tail
Using possessive nouns is shorter and better than other ways of showing possession.
LONGER: The dog belonging to Papa is barking.
BETTER: Papa’s dog is barking.
Plural Possessive Nouns
A plural possessive noun shows possession or ownership of a plural noun.
The cars that belong to the teachers are parked here.
The teachers’ cars are parked here.
When a plural noun ends in s, add only an apostrophe after the s to make the noun show possession.
Not all plural nouns end in s. When a plural noun does not end in s, add ‘s to form the plural possession.
the shoes of the men – the men’s shoes
the food of the children – the children’s food
The noun following a possessive noun may either be the name of a thing or a quality.
Thing – Koki’s raincoat Brian’s umbrella
Quality – the judge’s fury Bob’s courage
Change the following phrases to show possession in a shorter way.
Example: the claws of the leopard
the leopard’s claws.
- the tail of the lion
- the dog that Cliff has
- the hat of my mother
- the book that Evans owns
- the pot that the child has
- the name of the doll
- the mobile phone that Lucy owns
- the shoes that Kimani has
- the teeth that the fox has
- the rabbit that my friend owns
Summary of rules of forming Possessive Nouns
- For singular a noun, add an apostrophe and s.
Example: Mr. Mukui’s car is a Toyota Corolla.
- For plural noun ending in s, add an apostrophe only.
Example: The victims’ property was stolen
- For a plural noun that does not end in s, add an apostrophe and s.
Example: The women’s boots were muddy.
Singular Noun Singular possessive Plural Noun Plural possessive
boy boy’s boys boys’
child child’s children children’s
mouse mouse’s mice mice’s
deer deer’s deer deer’s
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Write the following phrases to show possession.
Example: teachers – pens = teachers’ pens
- cooks – aprons women – sports
- men – boots carpenters – nails
- countries – flags sailors – uniforms
- guests – coats musicians – instruments
- athletes – medal neighbours – pets
Rewrite the following sentences changing the BOLD words to plural possessive nouns.
Example: The players on the teams practised after school.
The teams’ players practised after school.
- Each day the wealth of the couple increased.
- There was a team of men and a team of women.
- The uniforms that the teams wore were new.
- Numbers were printed on the shirts of the athletes
- 5. Scores made by the team-mates were put on the scoreboard.
- The players enjoyed the cheers of their friends.
- The whistles of the coaches stopped the game.
- The eyes of the children were full of tears of joy.
- The soothing voices of their mothers calmed them.
- However, the houses belonging to their neighbours were destroyed.
A pronoun is a part of speech that takes the place of a noun. They include such words as I, we, he, she, they, me and us.
Pronouns enable you to avoid repeating the same names (nouns), when writing or speaking, which would otherwise make you sound very awkward and wordy. By using pronouns effectively, you can make your writing and speaking flow smoothly.
Pronouns can be classified into 6 types. These are personal, indefinite, demonstrative, interrogative, reflexive and intensive pronouns.
A personal pronoun is a word that is used in place of a noun or another pronoun. They are used to refer to nouns that name persons or things.
Awkward: Kamau put on Kamau’s gum boots. Then Kamau went to the shamba.
Improved: Kamau put on his gum boots. Then he went to the shamba.
In the above example, the personal pronoun his helps the writer avoid repeating the same noun. The pronoun he acts as a bridge to connect the two sentences.
Personal pronouns are further classified in terms of person and gender.
In terms of person, personal pronouns can be divided into three classes.
- First person – I, my, me, we, our and us.
These ones refer to the person(s) speaking.
Example: I always ride my bike to school.
- Second person – you, your, yours
These refer to the person(s) spoken to.
Example: I will call you tomorrow.
(iii) Third person – he, his, him, she, hers, her, it, its, they, their, them.
These ones refer to another person(s) or thing(s) that is being spoken of.
The personal pronoun it usually replaces a noun that stands for a thing or an animal. It is never used in place of a person.
Personal pronouns can also be classified by gender. Gender can either be masculine (referring to male people), feminine (referring to female people) or neuter (referring to animals or things).
Joseph cleaned his car. (his is the third person, masculine gender).
Isabel said the dress was hers (hers is the third person, feminine gender).
The dog wagged its tail. (its is the third person, neuter gender).
FORMS OF PERSONAL PRONOUNS
In English, personal pronouns have three forms: the subject form, the object form and the possessive form.
She is a painter. (subject form)
He praised her. (Object form)
It is her best painting. (Possessive form)
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A subject pronoun takes the place of a noun as the subject of a sentence. These pronouns are:
- Singular forms – I, you, he, she, it
- Plural forms – we, you, they
Noun Subject Pronoun
The housegirl takes care of her. She takes care of her.
The dog guards the house. It guards the house.
Mark and Francis love swimming. They love swimming.
Subject pronouns also appear after forms of the linking verbs be.
The watchman today is he.
The composers were they.
Underline the subject pronouns in the following sentences.
Example: She ate a water melon
- They ate fish and chips.
- We like Italian food.
- It is delicious.
- The biggest eater was he.
- You helped in the cooking.
- The cooks were Tom and I.
Replace the underlined words with subject pronouns.
Example: Pio and Gama are friends – They
- The glasses were under the table.
- Emma fed the chicken.
- The pears were juicy.
- Uncle Ben and Lillian visited the orphans.
- The new waitress is Jane.
- The fastest runners were Tecla and Kirui.
- Lisa went to the hall.
- The chicken was slaughtered.
- Lucky Dube and Brenda Fasie were South African Singers.
- Samuel Wanjiru has won many athletics medals.
Object pronouns can replace nouns used after action verbs. These pronouns are:
- Singular – me, you, him, her, it
- Plural – us, you, them
The driver drove him. (Direct object)
The parents thanked us. (Direct object)
The reporters asked him many questions. (Indirect object)
In the above examples, the personal pronouns are the direct or indirect objects of the verbs before them.
Object pronouns can also replace nouns after prepositions such as to, for, with, in, at or by. That is, they can be objects of prepositions.
Gladys waved to them. (Object of a preposition)
The delivery is for me.
Ben went with them to the theatre.
Choose the correct pronoun in the brackets in the following sentences.
Example: Irungu photographed (us, we). = us
- Lisa asked (he, him) for a picture.
- Adam sketched Lisa and (I, me).
- He gave a photo to (us, we).
- Ann and (she, her) saw Dave and Bob.
- Adam drew Lisa and (they, them).
- Mark helped (I, me) with the packing.
- Loise praised (him, he) for his good work.
- Everyone spotted (they, them) easily.
- That night Mike played the guitar for (us, we).
- (We, Us) drove with (they, them) to the mountains.
A possessive pronoun shows ownership.
Example: My pen is black.
There are two kinds of possessive pronouns:
- Those used as adjectives to modify nouns. These possessive pronouns are:
Singular: My, your, his, her, its
Plural: Our, your, their
My shirt is yellow. Your food is on the table.
His bag is green. This is her dress.
Its fur is soft. These are our parents.
Pay your bills. They removed their bats.
The above possessive pronouns always appear before nouns to modify them. Hence, they are called modifiers.
- Those that stand alone and replace nouns in sentences. These possessive nouns are:
Singular: mine, yours, his, hers, its
Plural: ours, yours, their
The yellow shirt is mine. The food on the table is yours.
The green bag is his. This dress is hers.
Its is the soft fur. These crops are ours.
These bills are yours. Those hats are theirs.
Complete the following sentences by choosing the correct possessive pronoun from the brackets.
Example: The lazy girl completed (her, hers) home work. = her.
- (My, mine) journey to Mombasa was enjoyable.
- Florence said (her, hers) was the best.
- Are the pictures of Fort Jesus (your, yours)?
- (Her, Hers) were taken at Jomo Kenyatta Beach.
- Tomorrow we will make frames for (our, ours) pictures.
- (My, mine) class is planning a trip to Mt. Kenya.
- (Our, ours) trip will be taken on video.
- Micere is excited that the idea was (her, hers).
- Koki and Toti cannot hide (their, theirs) excitement.
- (My, mine) dream is to climb to the highest peak of the mountain.
POINTS TO NOTE
- The pronoun I is used as a subject or after forms of the linking verb be.
Subject: I travel by bus.
After the linking verb be: Yesterday, the prefects on duty were Victor and I.
- The pronoun me is used as an object after action verbs or words (prepositions) such as to, for, with, in, or at.
Object: Rose met me at the gate.
After prepositions: Rose waited for me at the gate.
You are coming with me.
- When using compound subjects and objects (i.e. subjects and objects comprising of a pronoun and a noun or another pronoun), always name yourself last.
Diana and I visited our grandmother yesterday.
Who appointed Chege and me?
Rose waited for her and me at the gate.
CONTRACTIONS WITH PRONOUNS
A contraction is a shortened form of two words. One or more letters are omitted and an apostrophe (’) is used in place of the letters left out.
A contraction is formed by combining pronouns and the verbs am, is, are, will, would, have, has, and had.
Pronoun + verb Contraction Pronoun + verb Contraction
I am I’m I have I’ve
He is he’s he has he’s
It is it’s it has it’s
You are you’re you have you’ve
They are they’re they have they’ve
I will I’ll I had I’d
You will you’ll you had you’d
We would we’d we had we’d
1.Some contractions look the same but are formed from different words.
he is, he has = he’s
we had, we would = we’d
2.Some possessive pronouns sound like contractions. Because the words sound alike, they are sometimes confused.
Possessive pronouns Contractions
Incorrect: The team celebrated it’s victory.
Correct: The team celebrated its victory.
Incorrect: Your late for the preps.
Correct: You’re late for the preps.
Incorrect: Whose the fastest runner in the world?
Correct: Who’s the fastest runner in the world?
Rules of using possessive pronouns and contractions correctly:
- If the word you want to use stands for two words, it is a contraction and needs an apostrophe.
- Never use an apostrophe in a possessive pronoun.
Write the contractions for the following word pairs. Example: It has = it’s
- You will 3. He had 5. You have
- We would 4. I am 6. They will
What pronoun and verb make up each of the following contractions?
Example: It’s = it is, it has
- I’ll 3. you’d 5. they’re
- we’re 4. he’s 6. she’d
Choose the correct word given in brackets in the following sentences.
- The Kenyan government has worked hard to improve (its, it’s) educational system.
- (Whose, Who’s) going to decide where the guests will sleep?
- (Their, They’re) learning French in their school.
- Only students (whose, who’s) scores are excellent will join national schools.
- (Its, It’s) been estimated that about 8 million Kenyans are living with HIV AIDS.
An indefinite pronoun is a pronoun that does not refer to a specific person or thing.
In English, there are singular indefinite pronouns, plural indefinite and both singular and plural indefinite pronouns.
Singular Indefinite Pronouns
another anything everybody neither one
anybody each everyone nobody somebody
anymore either everything no one someone.
An indefinite pronoun must agree with its verbs and in number with its possessive pronoun. The above indefinite pronouns are used with singular verbs. They are also used with singular possessive pronouns.
Agreement with verbs
Correct: Everyone has heard of Lake Turkana.
Incorrect: Everyone have heard of Lake Turkana.
Correct: Nobody knows what happened to Samuel Wanjiru.
Incorrect: Nobody know what happened to Samuel Wanjiru.
Correct: Everything about the old man remains a mystery.
Incorrect: Everything about the old man remain a mystery.
Agreement in number with possessive pronouns
Correct: Neither believed his/her eyes.
Incorrect: Neither believed their eyes.
Correct: Each strained his/her neck to see.
Incorrect: Each strained their neck to see.
Plural indefinite pronouns
both many few several
These indefinite pronouns use plural verbs and possessive pronouns.
Correct: Few know about Lake Olbolosat.
Incorrect: Few knows about Lake Obolosat.
Correct: Both stand by what they believe.
Incorrect: Both stands by what they believe.
Plural possessive pronouns
Correct: Several reported their findings.
Incorrect: Several reported his/her findings.
Both singular and plural indefinite pronouns
all some any none
These indefinite pronouns may be singular or plural, depending on their meaning in the sentence.
All of my story is true. – singular
All of the guests are here. – plural
None of the lake is foggy. – singular
None of the photos are spoiled. – plural.
Underline the indefinite pronouns in the following sentences and then write the correct form of the verb or possessive pronoun in the brackets.
- All the photographs of the killer (is, are) unclear.
- (Has, Have) anybody seen my camera?
- Many (believes, believe) a monster lives in the lake.
- Each of the photographs (make, makes) people want more.
- All of the evidence (indicates, indicate) that he was killed by his wife.
- Everyone has taken (his, their) payment.
- Several eyewitnesses volunteered to give (his, their) accounts.
- Anyone can lose (her, their) eyesight.
- Another reported (his, their) case to the police.
- Somebody left (her, their) handbag in the lecture hall.
A demonstrative pronoun is used to single or point out one or more persons or things referred to in the sentence. These pronouns are this, that, these, and those.
This and these point to persons or things that are near.
This is a gazelle.
These are the students of Kianjege West Secondary School.
That and those point to persons or things that are farther away.
That is the city square.
Those are the lodging rooms.
This and that are used with singular nouns. These and those are used with plural nouns.
Pick the correct demonstrate pronouns from the choices given in the brackets in the following sentences.
- (This, That) is the canteen we are entering now.
- (This, That) is the dispensary across the street
- (These, Those) are beautiful flowers on the counter over there.
- Are (those, these) chocolate bars on the far counter?
- I think (these, those) are called Vuvuzelas.
An interrogative pronoun is used to ask a question. These pronouns are who, whose, whom, which and what.
Who is the mayor of this town?
Whose is the red car?
Which is her blouse?
What did she ask you?
Whom should I trust with my secret?
USING WHO, WHOM, AND WHOSE
Who, whom, and whose are often used to ask questions. Hence, they are interrogative pronouns.
WHO is the subject form. It is used as the subject of a verb.
Who taught you how to play the guitar? (Who is the subject of the verb taught.)
WHOM is the object form. It is used as the direct object of a verb or as the object of a preposition.
Whom did you meet? (Whom is the object of the verb did meet).
For whom is this trophy? (whom is the object of the preposition for).
WHOSE is the possessive form. It can be used :
- To modify a noun
Whose umbrella is this? (whose modifies the noun umbrella)
- Alone as the subject or object of a verb
Whose are those water melons? (whose is the subject of the verb are)
Whose did you admire? (whose is the object of the verb did admire)
Pick the correct interrogative pronouns from the brackets in the following sentences.
- (Who, Whom) owns that shop?
- (Who, Whom) can we ask the way?
- (Which, What) did they ask you?
- (Which, What) are the objects on the table called?
- To (who, whom) does the boutique belong?
Complete the following sentences with who, whom, or whose.
- ________________ knows the origin of the Luos?
- ________________ did you ask about it?
- To _______________ did you give the letter?
- _________________ is the most attractive painting?
- _________________ is likely to receive the Chaguo la Teeniez award?
- For ______________ did you buy this doll?
- _________________ skill in dancing is the best?
- _________________ is the officer-in-charge here?
- _________________ are you looking at?
10._________________ are those healthy Merino sheep?
REFLEXIVE AND INTENSIVE PRONOUNS
Reflexive and intensive pronouns end in -self or –selves. These are myself, yourself, herself, himself, itself, ourselves, and themselves. There is, however, one difference between reflexive and Intensive pronouns.
A reflexive pronoun refers to an action performed by the subject of the sentence. The meaning of the sentence is incomplete without the reflexive pronoun.
Monicah bought herself a new dress.
(The meaning of the sentence is incomplete without the reflexive pronoun because we do not know for whom Monicah bought the dress).
An Intensive pronoun is used to emphasise a noun or a pronoun. It does not add information to a sentence, and it can be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence.
I myself pulled the boy out of the river.
(If you remove myself, the meaning of the sentence does not change)
Identify the Reflexive and Intensive pronouns in the following sentences, labelling them accordingly.
- I myself have never tried mountain climbing.
- He himself was taking the cows to graze in the forest.
- My sister Annastasia mends her clothes herself.
- She often challenges herself by doing strenuous activities.
- You may ask yourself about the sanity of beer drinking competition.
SPECIAL PRONOUNS PROBLEMS
- Double subjects
We all know that every sentence must have a subject. Sometimes we incorrectly use a double subject – a noun and a pronoun – to name the same person, place, or thing.
Jane she is my cousin. Jane is my cousin.
She is my cousin.
Her scarf it is pretty. Her scarf is pretty.
It is pretty.
Jane and she should not be used as subjects together.
The subject her scarf should not be used together with it.
Use only a noun or a pronoun to name a subject.
- Pronouns and their Antecedents
The antecedent of a pronoun is a noun or another pronoun for which the pronoun stands.
A personal pronoun, you will remember, is used in place or a noun. The noun is the word to which the pronouns refer and it is therefore its antecedent.
The noun usually comes first, either in the same sentence or in the sentence before it.
We met Mureithi. He is the medical doctor.
(He stands for Mureithi. Mureithi is the antecedent).
The students had come to school with their mobile phones.
(Their stands for students. Students is the antecedent).
Pronouns may be the antecedents of other pronouns.
Does everybody have his booklet?
(everybody, which is a singular indefinite pronoun, is the antecedent of his).
All of the students have brought theirs.
(All, which is a plural indefinite pronoun, is the antecedent of theirs).
Now, a pronoun must agree with its antecedent in number. Agree here means that the pronoun must be the same in number as its antecedent. The word number means singular or plural.
If the pronoun is singular, the word that it stands for must be singular, and it must be plural if the word it stands for is plural.
Correct: The scientists tested their new discovery.
(Scientists is plural; their is plural.)
Incorrect: The scientists tested his new discovery.
Correct: Mr. Kiama turned on his TV.
(Mr Kiama is singular; his is singular)
Correct: Nobody left her workstation.
(Nobody is singular, her is singular)
NB: When the antecedent refers to both males and females, it is best to use the phrase his or her.
- Use of we and us with nouns.
Phrases such as we students and us girls are often incorrectly used. To tell which pronoun to use, drop the noun and say the sentence without it.
Problem: (We, Us) boys study hard.
Solution: We study hard. = We boys study hard.
Problem: The DC praised. (us, we) students.
Solution: The DC praised us. = The DC praised us students
- Using the pronoun Them
The word them is always a pronoun. It is always used as the object of a verb or a preposition, never as a subject.
Correct: The president greeted them. (direct object of the verb greeted)
Correct: She gave them a sandwich. (Indirect object of the verb gave)
Correct: The information was useful to them. (object of the preposition to)
Incorrect: Them they arrived late.
- Using Those
Although we previously said that those is used as a demonstrative pronouns, it is sometimes used as an adjective i.e. a word that modifies a noun or a pronoun. If a noun appears immediately after it, those is now an adjective, not a pronoun.
Those are the new desks that were bought. (Those is a pronoun, the subject of the verb are).
Those desks are attractive. (Those is an adjective modifying the noun desks).
Each of the following sentences has a double subject. Write each correctly.
- Papa Shirandula he is a good actor.
- Many people they find him funny.
- The show it was on television for many years.
- Their daughter she is also in that show.
- The shoes they are beautiful.
- People they like our hotel.
- My brother he drives a matatu.
- Our hotel it is open seven days a week.
- The TV it is very clear today.
- My brother and sister they work in Nairobi.
Pick the correct pronoun in the brackets in the following sentences.
- (We, Us) students started a school magazine last month.
- Many careers are unpromising. (Them, Those) are the ones to avoid.
- One of (them, those) motivational speakers was especially interesting.
- A financial analyst told (we, us) students about his work.
- Finding jobs was important to (we, us) graduates.
A verb is a word that:
- expresses an action
- expresses the state that something exists, or
(iii) links the subject with a word that describes or renames it.
Hence, there are two kinds of verbs. These are action verbs and linking verbs.
Action verbs express actions. They show what the subject does or did. Most verbs are action verbs.
Cats drink milk.
The ball flew over the goal post.
The farmer tills the land.
Robert ran to the house.
The action may be one that you can see.
They crowned their new King.
The action may be one that you cannot see.
She wanted recognition.
Whether the action can be seen or not, an action verb says that something is happening, has happened, or will happen.
A linking verb links the subject of a sentence with a word or words that :
- express(es) the subject’s state of being
She is here. (expresses state of being)
She seems ready. (state of being)
- describe(s) or rename(s) the subject.
Anna is a nurse. (a nurse describes Anna)
Joyce is cheerful. (cheerful describes Joyce)
The road is bumpy. (bumpy describes the road)
A linking verb does not tell about an action.
Common linking verbs
Am look grow are feel remain
is taste become was smell sound
were seem will be appear
NB: Some verbs can be either linking verbs or action verbs.
The crowd looked at the mangled car. – ACTION
The driver of the car looked shocked. – LINKING
The chef smelled the food. – ACTION
The food smelled wonderful. – LINKING
Identify the verb in each of the following sentences. Then label each verb Action or Linking.
- Queen Elizabeth of England seems an interesting historical figure.
- We watched the Olympic games on television.
- The crowd cheered loudly.
- She seems calm.
- PLO Lumumba is a quick thinker.
- The hunter aimed the arrow at the antelope.
- The referee blew the whistle to start off the game.
- She was very tired after the journey.
- She is careful when crossing the road.
- The country seems prosperous.
In some sentences, the verb is more than one word. It is in form of a phrase, which is called a verb phrase. A verb phrase consists of a main verb and one or more helping verbs. The main verb shows the action in the sentence.
The helping verb works with the main verb. Helping verbs do not show action.
Mark Francis has passed the examinations.
He will be admitted to a national school.
His parents are happy with him.
Common helping verbs
am will can would is shall could
must are have may was has should
were had might
Some verbs, such as do, have and be can either be used as main verbs or as helping verbs.
As main verbs As helping verbs
I will do the job. I do like the job.
Who has a pen? He has lost his pen.
They are my friends. They are coming today.
Sometimes helping verbs and main verbs are separated by words that are not verbs.
I do not ride a bicycle any more.
Can we ever be friends again?
We should definitely apologise for the mistakes.
Indicate H.V. under the Helping verb and M.V. under the Main verb in the following sentences.
- The school choir is singing a new song.
- The football season has finally begun.
- This car just can travel very fast.
- He had waited for this chance for years.
- My parents will be visiting us soon.
- Our friends have come for a visit.
- You must buy your ticket for the game.
- Sarah has chosen Kenyatta University for her degree course.
- She is hitting her child with a rubber strap.
- I will go for the game next week.
The time of an action or the state of being is expressed by different forms of the verb. These forms are called the tenses of the verb.
There are three main forms of a verb: the present, the past, or the future.
The Present Tense
A verb which is in present tense indicates what the subject of the sentence is doing right now.
The teacher sees the students.
The verb sees tells that the teacher is seeing the students now. To show the present tense, an -s or -es is added to most verbs if the subject is singular.
If the subject is plural, or I or You, the -s, or -es is not added.
The bird hatches in the nest.
The stream flows down the hill.
The boys rush for their breakfast.
We talk a lot.
Rules for forming the Present Tense with Singular Subjects
- Most verbs: add –s
get – gets play – plays eat – eats
- Verbs ending in s, ch, sh, x, and z: add -es
pass – passes mix – mixes punch-punches buzz – buzzes push – pushes
- Verbs ending with a consonant and y: change the y to i and add -es
try – tries empty – empties
Write the correct present form of each verb in the brackets in the following sentences.
- She carefully ________________ the map. (study)
- A fish _______________ in the water near me. (splash)
- She _______________ her hands. (wash)
- He ______________ to the classroom. (hurry)
- Bryan and I ____________ the assignment. (discuss)
The Past Tense
A verb which is in past tense shows what has already happened.
Tito liked his grandmother’s story.
The verb liked tells that the action in the sentence happened before now.
Rules for forming the Past Tense
- Most verbs: Add -ed play – played
talk – talked
climb – climbed
- Verbs ending with e: Add -d praise – praised
hope – hoped
wipe – wiped
- Verbs ending with a consonant and -y: Change the y to i and add –ed bury – buried
carry – carried
study – studied
- Verbs ending with a single vowel and a consonant: Double the final consonant and add-ed stop – stopped
man – manned
trip – tripped
Write the past tense forms of each of the verbs in brackets in the following sentences.
- John _____________ his house burn into ashes. (watch)
- The baby _____________ loudly. (cry)
- The teacher ______________ at the naughty student. (yell)
- The chef ______________ a delicious cake. (bake)
- We ______________ for a present for our grandmother. (shop)
The Future Tense
A verb which is in future tense tells what is going to happen.
Evans will take his car to the garage.
She will probably come with us.
The verbs will take and will come tell us what is going to happen. Hence, they are in future tense.
To form the future tense of a verb, use the helping verb will or shall with the main verb.
Write the future tense forms of the verbs in the following sentences.
- We write in exercise books.
- The train stopped at the station.
- He decides what he wants to do.
- They practise in the football field.
- Rats multiply very fast.
The above three forms of tenses can further be divided into:
- The simple tenses – Present simple tense
– Past simple tense
– Future simple tense
- The perfect tenses – Present perfect tense
– Present perfect progressive – Past perfect tense
– Future perfect
– Future perfect progressive
- The progressive tenses – Present progressive tense
– Past progressive tense
– Progressive tense
– Future perfect progressive tense.
The simple Tenses
The most common tenses of the verb are the simple tenses. You use them most often in your speaking and writing.
- Present simple tense.
Look at the following sentences.
- I know
- He goes to school every day.
- The sun rises from the east.
All the above sentences contain a verb in the present simple tense. This tense is used for different purposes.
- To state a personal fact
Example: I know Kisumu.
(ii) To point out a regular habit.
Example: He goes to school every day.
(iii) To state a known scientific fact
Example: The sun rises from the east.
Complete the following sentences putting the verbs in brackets in the present simple tense.
- They _________ their new principal. (like)
- Every morning, she ______________ her teeth. (brush)
- The earth ______________ on its own axis. (rotate)
- Twice a year, he _______________ his family. (visit)
- Air ____________ when heated. (rise)
- Past Simple Tense
The past simple tense is used when an action has been completed.
We cleaned our classrooms yesterday.
He drove the car this morning.
She planned the whole incident.
Write down the past simple tense of the following words and then use each of them in sentences of your own.
- Future Simple Tense
The future simple tense places the action or condition in the future. It is formed by using the word shall or will before the present form of the main verb.
We shall need help with her load.
She will eat the bananas alone.
The dancers will entertain them.
Use the following words in future simple tense in sentences of your own.
The Perfect Tenses
The perfect tenses are used to show that an action was completed or that a condition existed before a given time. The perfect tenses are formed using has, have, or had before the past participles, that is, verb forms ending in -ed.
- Present Perfect Tense:
Ceasar has just finished his homework.
Kamau and Njoroge have now agreed to meet.
- Present Perfect Continuous Tense
Kibet has been working in his shamba for two hours.
We have been swimming in this pool for ten minutes.
- Past Perfect Tense
We had completed the work by the time the supervisor came.
Nobody knew that she had already remarried.
- Past Perfect Continuous Tense
I had been trying to contact him for two hours before he finally appeared.
Mrs. Masumbuko had been feeling unwell the whole week before she decided to visit a doctor.
- Future Perfect Tense
Agege will have sold his goats by two p.m.
By next term, twenty students will have dropped from this school.
- Future Perfect Continuous
The players will have been playing for twenty minutes by the time the President arrives.
By the end of this term, she will have been living with her aunt for five years.
Rewrite the following sentence changing the verb into present perfect, present perfect progressive, past perfect, past perfect progressive, future perfect and future perfect progressive tenses. Make any necessary changes to make the sentences meaningful.
John comes here every year.
The Progressive Verb Forms
The progressive form of the verb shows continuing action.
I am singing
She was dancing.
The progressive form is formed using various forms of the verb be plus the present participle, that is, a verb form that ends in –ing.
- Present Progressive Tense
I am reading a book about Red Indians.
Her mother is preparing dinner.
- Present Perfect Progressive
He has been cleaning his car since morning.
They have been exercising for a week now.
- Past Progressive Tense
She was cooking supper when I arrived.
They were fighting fiercely when the police arrived.
- Past Perfect Progressive Tense
Sonko had been wearing an earring for years before he removed it.
Onyancha had been killing children before he was finally discovered.
- Future Progressive
He will be tilling the land next week.
Joyce and Joan will be washing clothes all morning.
- Future Perfect Progressive
The children will have been sleeping for two hours by the time their parents arrive.
John will have grown a beard by the time he is twelve.
Rewrite the following sentence changing the verb into present progressive, present perfect progressive, past progressive, past perfect progressive, future progressive and future perfect progressive tenses. Make any necessary changes to make the sentences meaningful.
Jane plays the guitar well.
SUBJECT – VERB AGREEMENT
A verb and its subject must agree in number. To agree means that if the subject is singular, the verb must be in singular form. If the subject is plural, the verb form must be plural.
The baby cries every morning. – SINGULAR
The babies cry every morning. – PLURAL
Rules for subject-verb Agreement
- Singular subject: Add -s or -es to the verb
The man drives a bus.
She teaches in a primary school.
He studies his map.
- Plural subject: Do not add -s or -es to the verb
The men drive buses.
They teach in primary schools.
We study our maps.
- For I or You: Do not add -s or -es to the verb
I hate books.
You like dogs.
I admire actors.
When a sentence has a compound subject, that is, two subjects joined by and, the plural form of the verb is used.
John and James work at Naivas Supermarket.
The teachers and the students respect one another a lot.
Subject-verb Agreement with be and have
The verbs be and have change their forms in special ways in order to agree with their subjects.
Various ways in which be and have change in order to agree with their subjects
He, she, it
Put appropriate Present tense verbs in the blank spaces in the following sentences. Ensure that the subject agrees with the verb and that the sentence makes sense.
- The dogs _______________ their owners.
- She ______________ at the door.
- They ______________ the road at the Zebra-crossing.
- Many blind people ___________________ dogs as guides.
- We ________________ dogs every day.
- Mark always _______________ his house.
- I often _______________ with June.
- Mwangi __________________ his aunt in Mombasa.
- Jane and he ________________ next month.
- The directors ______________ the company.
REGULAR AND IRREGULAR VERBS
We have learned in the previous chapter how to form the past tense and how to use helping verbs to show that something has already happened. We saw that for most verbs, we form the past tense and participles by adding -d or -ed to the verb. Verbs that follow this rule are called Regular Verbs.
The farmer planted his crops last month. – past tense
The crops have been planted recently. – past participle.
For all regular verbs, the past and the past participles are spelled alike. They are made up by adding -d or -ed to the present form of the verb.
The spelling of many regular verbs changes when –d or -ed is added, that is, the last consonant is doubled before adding -d or -ed. For those ending -y, it is dropped and replaced with –i:
Write the present, past and past participles of the following verbs. Remember to change the spelling appropriately where necessary.
- prevent 6. aid
- donate 7. relieve
- hurry 8. share
- worry 9. enrol
- train 10. save
Some verbs do not form the past by adding -d or –ed. These verbs are called irregular verbs. There are only about sixty frequently used irregular verbs. For many of these, the past and the past participles are spelled the same but some are different.
He saw great misery all around him. – past
He has seen great misery all round him. – past participle
Common irregular Verbs
|Verb||Past tense||Past participles|
|( had) begun
For a few irregular verbs, like hit and cut, the three principal parts are spelled the same. These ones offer no problems to learners. Most problems come from irregular verbs with three different forms. For example, the irregular verbs throw and ring.
throw threw had thrown
ring rang had rung
If you are not sure about a verb form, look it up in the dictionary.
Write the past tense and past participles of the following irregular verbs and then use each of them in sentences of your own.
- arise fall
- tear blow
- wear freeze
- lay fly
- see Write
ACTIVE AND PASSIVE VERB FORMS
A verb is in active voice when the subject of the sentence performs the action.
Our teacher punished us for making noise in class.
Players arrived for their first match early in the morning.
In the above sentences, the subject is who performed the action. Hence, the verbs of these sentences are in active voice.
The word passive means “acted upon”. When the subject of the sentence receives the action or expresses the result of the action, the verb is in passive voice.
We were punished by the teacher for making noise.
He was helped by a passer-by.
In the above sentences the subjects we and he receive the action.
When we do not know who or what did the action, or when we do not want to say who or what did it, we use the passive voice.
The passive form of a verb consists of some form of be plus the past participle.
Baabu explored the sea. The sea was explored by Baabu.
Be + past participle
The captain helped him. He was helped by the captain.
Write the verbs from the following sentences and then label each one Active or Passive.
- The guest of honour presented prizes to the best students.
- The cattle were taken home by the herders.
- The health officer ordered the slaughter house closed.
- Peace and order has been restored in the area by the youth wingers.
- The workers cleared the farm.
- The crop was harvested by the hired workers.
- The government stressed the importance of unity among tribes.
- The farmers were urged to redouble their efforts in food production.
- The K.I.E is developing support materials for the 8-4-4 system of education.
- A fishing pond was started by the Wildlife Club in the school.
TRANSITIVE AND INTRANSITIVE VERBS
Some sentences express a complete thought with only a subject and an action verb.
The sun shines.
Subject Action verb
In other sentences, a direct object must follow the action verb for the sentence to be complete. A direct object is a noun or a pronoun that receives the action of the verb.
The goalkeeper caught the ball.
Subject action verb direct object
A Transitive verb is an action verb that must take a direct object for the sentence to express a complete thought. A direct object answers the question what? or whom?
The captain steered the ship. (Steered what? the ship)
The teacher praised the students. (Praised whom? The students)
Transitive verbs cannot be used alone without direct objects in sentences; they would not have complete meanings.
What are the action verbs and the direct objects in the following sentences?
- He carried his bag with him.
- The two friends discussed the examination paper.
- We took a trip to Nakuru last month.
- The water splashed me.
- He gave interesting facts about whales.
- We searched the house for rats.
- They cheered the team noisily.
- My brother bought a camera.
- Njoroge admires Papa Shirandula.
- We viewed the shouting star at midnight.
An Intransitive verb is an action verb that does not require a direct object for the sentence to have complete meaning.
The ship sailed.
Subject action verb
The child smiled.
Subject action verb
They do not answer the questions what? or whom? Sometimes they answer the questions how? or how often?
The ship sailed smoothly. (How did it sail? Smoothly)
The child smiled repeatedly. (How often did the child smile? Repeatedly)
Both transitive and intransitive verbs
Some verbs can be used both transitively and intransitively.
We cheered our team noisily. (Transitive)
We cheered noisily. (Intransitive)
He broke the window pane. (Transitive)
The glass broke. (Intransitive)
NB: Only transitive verbs can be changed from active to passive voice.
He kicked the ball. The ball was kicked by him.
She bought a new dress A new dress was bought by her.
She wailed loudly ??
They danced well ??
Indicate at the end of each of the following sentences whether the underlined verb is Transitive or Intransitive.
- Some whales sing songs.
- We gave our books to the gatekeeper.
- She cried bitterly.
- He made a sketch of the giraffe.
- John danced to the music.
- The bird flew in the air.
- They located the lost ship.
- She pleaded with him mercifully.
- The children heard the sound from the cave.
- It rained heavily.
TROUBLESOME PAIRS OF VERBS
Some pairs of verbs confuse learners of English because their meanings are related but not the same. Others confuse them because they sound similar, but their meanings are different. Others are similar in appearance but different in meanings.
|The pairs||Meaning||Present tense||Past tense||Past participle||Examples of its usage|
|To be in a seated position
To put or place
|Sit on that chair.
Set the cage down.
|To rest in a flat position
To put or place
|The cat lies on the table.
Lay the cloth on the table.
|To move upward
To move something upward or to lift
|The children rise up early in the morning.
The scout raised the flag.
|To allow or permit
To depart or to allow to remain where it is
|Let the bird go free.
Leave this house now!
Leave the door closed.
|To gain knowledge or skill
To help someone learn or to show how or explain
|I learned a lot in school.
That teacher taught me in Biology.
|To be able
To be allowed
|I can ride my bike well.
You may go out.
Pick the correct verb from the ones given in brackets in the following sentences.
- Studying spiders closely can (learn, teach) us how they get their food.
- An insect that (lays, lies) motionless on a leaf can become prey to some other animal.
- The lion will (lay, lie) there waiting for its prey.
- The monster spider (sits, sets) patiently near its web.
- Experience has (taught, learned) me not to take things for granted.
- A bird (raises, rises) its body using its wings.
- This (raises, rises) another question,
- Nature has (learned, taught) spiders new tricks.
- The watchman instantly (raises, rises) the alarm when there is danger.
- The trappers have (lain, laid) fresh traps for the porcupines.
An adjective is a word that describes or modifies a noun or a pronoun. To describe or modify means to provide additional information about nouns or pronouns. To modify further means to change something slightly.
Writers and speakers modify an idea or image by choosing certain describing words, which are called adjectives. Hence, these adjectives are also called modifiers. Adjectives are like word cameras. They are words that describe colours, sizes and shapes. Adjectives help you capture how the world around you looks and feels.
- What kind?
The powerful gorilla knocked down the hunter.
The old man walked slowly.
- How many?
Three zebras were resting.
He has few friends.
- Which one(s)?
This painting is attractive.
These farmers are clearing the field.
There are 5 main kinds of adjectives, namely:-
- Descriptive adjectives
- Definite and indefinite adjectives
- Demonstrative adjectives
- Interrogative adjectives
- Articles and possessive adjectives
Descriptive adjectives tell us the size, shape, age, colour, weight, height, make, nature and origin of the nouns they are describing.
Examples of descriptive Adjectives:
Descriptive adjectives are of two types:
- Common descriptive adjectives – these are adjectives that give general features of somebody or something. They are the adjectives of size, shape, age, colour, weight, height, make and nature. Refer to the examples in the diagram above.
- Proper adjectives – These ones are formed from proper nouns. They are always capitalized. They always appear last in a string of adjectives modifying the same noun, just before the noun itself.
The Japanese ambassador
A Mexican carpet
An Italian chef
Note that when a proper adjective comprises of two words, both are capitalized.
A South African farmer
A North American cowboy
Find the adjectives in the following sentences and indicate what types they are.
- Alaska is the largest state in the USA.
- The Alaskan Senator is Lord John Mc Dougal.
- Kenya is the tallest mountain in Kenya.
- Alaska has a tiny population of one and a half million people.
- Northern Province has small, scattered towns.
- A trip to Northern Kenya will take you across vast wilderness.
- American tourists are fond of wild animals.
- There is a huge lake in the Rift Valley Province.
- I sent a letter to my Australian pen pal.
- I have a beautiful Egyptian robe.
A demonstrative adjective tells which one or which ones. They are used before nouns and other adjectives.
There are 4 demonstrative adjectives in English: This, that, these and those. This and these are used to refer to nouns close to the speaker or writer. That and those refer to nouns farther away. This and that are used before singular nouns while these and those are used before plural nouns.
This picture is very beautiful.
That one is not as beautiful.
These drawings are very old.
Those ones were painted in Uganda.
Choose the word in brackets that correctly completes each of the following sentences.
- My bus left the station before (that, those) matatus.
- (Those, These) chairs behind me were occupied.
- My seat has a better view than (this, that) one over there.
- (Those, That) man should fasten his seat belt.
- (This, That) car is old, but that one is new.
- (These, Those) clouds are far away.
- (This, That) window next to me has a broken pane.
- (That, This) chair near me is broken.
- My car is moving faster than (these, those) buses over there.
- (These, Those) goats grazing over there are my uncle’s.
Definite and indefinite adjectives
These are adjectives which tell how many or how much. They give the number or the quantity, either specific or approximate, of the noun in question.
Three elephants were killed by the game rangers.
He bought several houses in Kileleshwa.
Don’t put much sugar in the tea!
Adjectives that are in form of numbers are used with countable nouns:
Two calves were born yesterday.
Five chimpanzees performed funny tricks.
Many children like dinosaurs.
A definite or indefinite adjective may look like a pronoun, but it is used differently in a sentence. It is an adjective used to modify a noun.
Adjectives that are in form of quantity are used with uncountable nouns.
Do you have any water in the house?
How much flour did you buy?
The interrogative adjectives are used with nouns to ask questions. Examples are what, which, and whose.
What movie do you want to see?
Which leaves turn colour first?
Whose son is he?
An interrogative adjective may look like an interrogative pronoun but it is used differently. It is an adjective, used to modify a noun.
Underline the adjectives in the following sentences.
- Twenty bulls were slaughtered for the wedding.
- Few people know the name of our president.
- They stole all the money in the safe.
- There isn’t much sugar in the dish.
- Numerous disasters have hit China this year.
- What game is playing on TV tonight?
- Whose car is that one over there?
- Which house was broken into?
- I don’t know what misfortune has faced him.
- Nobody knows which table was taken.
Articles and Possessive Pronouns
Two special kinds of adjectives are the articles and the possessive pronouns.
Articles are the words a, an and the. A and an are special adjectives called indefinite articles. They are used when the nouns they modify do not refer to any particular thing.
A student rang the bells. (No specific student)
An orange is good for your health. (No specific orange)
A is used before a noun that begins with a consonant sound. An is used before a noun that begins with a vowel sound. Note that it is the first sound of a noun, not the spelling, that determines whether to use a or an.
An hour an heir
The is a special adjective known as the definite article. It is used to refer to particular things.
The tourist was robbed. (A particular tourist).
The team began practising at 8 o’clock. (A particular team).
All articles are adjectives. The is used with both singular and plural nouns, but a and an are used with singular nouns
The tourist, the tourists, a tourist
The adjective, the adjectives, an adjective
Choose the correct article from the choices given in brackets in the following sentences.
- (A, An) mountain climber climbed Mt. Elgon.
- He went up a cliff and was stranded on (a, an) jagged rock.
- No one knew (a, the) route he had taken.
- (The, An) climber’s friend called the local police.
- The police began the search within (a, an) hour.
- A police dog followed (a, the) climber’s scent.
- A helicopter began (a, an) air search of the mountain.
- The dog followed the climber’s scent to (a, the) jagged edge of the cliff.
- A climber from (a, the) police team went down the jagged rock.
- (A, An) rope was tied to the climber and he was pulled to safety.
The words my, her, its, our and their are possessive pronouns, but they can also be used as adjectives. These modifiers tell which one, which ones or whose?
My brother likes Sean Paul, but his sister does not.
Of his songs, Ever Blazing is his favourite.
Our school produces heroes, its fame is widespread.
Write the adjectives from the following sentences and the nouns they modify.
- In her lifetime, Brenda Fasie composed many songs.
- Her early songs entertained her fans all over the world.
- Our first performance was successful.
- Her coughing grew worse with time.
- They agreed that it was their best goal in ten years.
Position of adjectives in sentences
- Most adjectives appear immediately before the nouns they are modifying e.g.
Descriptive: The beautiful house belongs to my uncle.
Demonstrative: That house belongs to my uncle.
Numerals: Two houses were burned down.
Articles: The house on fire belongs to her sister.
Possessive pronouns: Their house was burned down.
- Predicate Adjectives
Some adjectives appear after the nouns that they are modifying. These adjectives are always used after linking verbs that separate them from the words they modify. An adjective that follows a linking verb and that modifies the subject is called a predicate adjective.
Joyce seemed lonely.
Her brother was upset.
He became concerned.
Identify the predicate adjectives in the following sentences.
- Her early songs were often quiet and serious.
- One of her songs, Vulindlela, is very popular.
- The dark city below the sky seems calm and peaceful.
- Her performance in K.C.S.E. was brilliant.
- The West African singer Kofi Olominde is extraordinary.
COMPARING WITH ADJECTIVES
We have seen that adjectives describe nouns. One way in which they describe nouns is by comparing people, places or things.
To compare two people, places or things, we use the comparative form of an adjective. To compare more than two, we use the superlative form of the adjective.
ONE PERSON: Kimenju is tall.
TWO PERSONS: Kimenju is taller than James.
THREE OR MORE: Kimenju is the tallest of all.
The comparative form of the adjective is used to compare one thing, person or place with another one. It is formed in two ways.
- For short adjectives, add –er.
great + er = greater sweet + er = sweeter
big + er = bigger light + er = lighter.
- For longer adjectives, the comparative is formed by using the word more before them.
More handsome more remarkable
More attractive more hardworking
Most adjectives ending in -ful and -ous also form the comparative using more.
More successful more curious more ferocious
More beautiful more generous more prosperous
The superlative form of the adjective is used to compare a person, a place or a thing with more than one other of its kind.
Elephants are the largest animals in the jungle.
However, they are the most emotional animals.
The superlative form of an adjective is formed in two ways.
- By adding -est to the short adjective
great + est = greatest sweet + est = sweetest
big + est = biggest light + est = light
- For longer adjectives, use most before them.
most mysterious most awkward
most successful most attractive
The ending -er in the comparative becomes -est in the superlative while more becomes most.
Adjective comparative superlative
strong stronger strongest
quick quicker quickest
adventurous more adventurous most adventurous
co-operative more co-operative most co-operative
Summary of rules comparing with adjectives:
|1.||For most short adjectives:
Add -er or -est to the adjective
|bright dark smart
brighter darker smarter
brightest darkest smartest
|2.||For adjectives ending with e:
Drop the e and add -er or -est
|safe nice wide
safer nicer wider
safest nicest widest
|3.||For adjectives ending with a consonant and y:
Change the y to i and add -er or -est
|Busy crazy happy
Busier crazier happier
Busiest craziest happiest
|4.||For single-syllable adjectives ending with a single vowel and a consonant:
Double the last consonant and add -er or -est
|Flat slim fat
Flatter slimmer fatter
Flattest slimmest fattest
|5.||For most adjectives with two or more syllables: Use more or most||careful generous
more careful more generous
most careful most generous
Points to note about Adjectives:
- A comparative is used to compare two persons, or things or two groups of persons or things.
A rat is smaller than a mouse.
Buffaloes are larger than domestic cows
- A superlative is used to compare a thing or a person to more than one other of its kind.
Lions are the bravest of all animals.
Elephants are the largest of all herbivores.
- You must use the word other when comparing something with everything else of its kind.
Leopards are more ferocious than any other cat.
- Do not use both -er and more, or -est and most.
Incorrect: Men die more earlier than women.
Correct: Men die earlier than women.
Incorrect: My father is the most oldest of the three brothers.
Correct: My father is the oldest of the three brothers.
Write the adjectives in brackets in the following sentences correctly.
- My next sculpture will be even ___________________ (beautiful).
- That was the ________________ cartoon I have ever watched (funny).
- English is my ____________ subject of all (enjoyable).
- Job is the ______________ person in his family. (energetic)
- She is the ______________ of the three nurses. (helpful)
- That story sounds ____________ than fiction. (strange)
- He is _______________ than a cat. (curious)
- Her school grades are ______________ than mine. (high)
- You are _______________ than Maria. (creative)
- My next test will be _______________ than this one. (simple)
Some adjectives have special forms for making comparisons. That is, they do not form their comparatives by use of -er or more, or their superlatives by use of -est or most. Instead, these adjectives change the words completely to form comparatives and superlatives.
Adjectives Comparative Superlative
good better best
well better best
bad worse worst
ill worse worst
little less or lesser least
much more most
many more most
far farther farthest
Example of use in sentences:
The presentation of our play was good.
Our second performance was better.
But our last performance was the best.
Write the correct forms of the adjectives in brackets in the following sentences.
- The comedy was the ________________ show of the three. (good)
- Mary had a _________________ cold yesterday. (bad)
- It was her ____________ performance this year. (good)
- Her illness is getting _____________ every day. (bad)
- The old woman received the _____________ amount of money from the MP. (little)
- Smoke your cigarette _______________ away from the children. (far)
- There was ______________ noise in the classroom than yesterday. (little)
- The musician said that that was a very ______________ year for him. (good)
- This year’s songs were much ______________ than last year’s. (good)
- He has the _____________ pairs of shoes in the school. (many)
SPECIAL PROBLEMS WITH ADJECTIVES
- Those and Them
Those is an adjective if it is followed by a noun. It is a pronoun if it is used alone.
Those thieves are daring! (Adjective modifying thieves)
Those are thieves! (Pronoun)
Them is always a pronoun. It is used only as the object of a verb or as the object of a preposition. It is never used as an adjective.
We followed them. (Object of a verb)
They caught one of them. (Object of a preposition)
We heard them thieves breaking the door. (Incorrect)
- The extra Here and There with demonstrative adjectives
It is incorrect to use the demonstrative adjectives this, that, those, and these with here and there before the nouns they modify.
“This here job”
“That there house”
“These here books”
“Those there carpets”
The adjectives this and these include the meaning of here whereas the adjectives that and those include the meaning of there. Saying this here is like repeating oneself.
- Kind and sort with demonstrative adjectives
Kind and sort are singular and hence should be used with singular demonstrative adjectives this and that.
I like this kind of story.
She likes that sort of food.
Kinds and sorts are plural and should be used with plural demonstrative adjectives these and those.
Those sorts of horror movies scare me.
These kinds of sports are for strong people.
Choose the correct adjectives from the ones given in brackets in the following sentences.
- A robot is one of (those, them) machines that looks and acts human.
- (These, This) sorts of machines are very strange.
- (This, This here) church was built in 1921.
- (Them, Those) mushrooms are very delicious.
- (Them, Those) soldiers won the battle.
- People call (these, this) kinds of songs Soul.
- John needed a name for (them, those) songs.
- (This, this here) play is called Aminata.
- Human beings have a fascination with (those, that) kind of machine.
- (These, This) sort of a car is meant for ministers.
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. Adverbs tell how, when, where, or to what extent an action happens.
HOW: The man walked quickly.
WHEN: It will rain soon.
WHERE: We shall meet here at 2 p.m.
TO WHAT EXTENT: He is extremely rude.
HOW WHEN WHERE TO WHAT EXTENT
happily sometimes underground fully
secretly later here extremely
together tomorrow there quite
carefully now inside very
sorrowfully finally far rarely
painfully again upstairs
fast often downstairs
hard once somewhere
slowly first forward
hurriedly next behind
quietly then above
Adverbs used to describe verbs
Adverbs that describe verbs tell how, when, where and to what extent an action happened.
HOW: John waited patiently for his turn.
WHEN: He is now walking into the office.
WHERE: He will eat his lunch there.
TO WHAT EXTENT: He is very pleased with himself.
Adverbs make the meaning of the verb clearer.
He will eat his lunch. (Without adverb)
He will eat his lunch there. (The adverb makes it clear where the action of eating will take place.)
Write the adverbs in the following sentences and then indicate whether the adverb tells how, when, where, or to what extent.
- The tourist travelled far.
- They cheerfully greeted their grandmother.
- Tina hurried downstairs when she heard the knock.
- He worked carefully and skilfully.
- She was extremely agitated.
- The scientist looked curiously at the creature.
- Soon the bell was rung.
- The hall was fully occupied.
- They hugged their grandmother adorably.
- He brought the cake down.
Adverbs used to describe adjectives
Adverbs that tell to what extent can be used to describe adjectives.
The cave was very dark.
The tea was extremely hot.
Other adverbs used with adjectives
Just nearly somewhat most
These adverbs make the adjectives they are describing more understandable and precise.
The tomb was dark. (Without adverb)
The tomb was fully dark. (The adverb fully describes the extent of the darkness).
Identify the adverb in each of the following sentences and then indicate the adjective it describes.
- He is a highly successful businessman.
- The extremely cold weather made me shiver.
- They are quite difficult to deal with.
- The house is barely visible from here.
- He is a very old man by now.
- She is mysteriously secretive about her activities.
- Jackline is horribly mean with her money.
- The book was totally exciting.
- The secretary was completely mad when the money was stolen.
- The boss is never punctual for meetings.
Adverbs used to describe other adverbs
Some adverbs that tell to what extent are used to describe other adverbs.
The student spoke very softly.
The cold subsided very gradually.
These adverbs make the adverbs they are describing more understandable and clear.
She spoke rudely. (Without adjective modifier)
She spoke extremely rudely. (extremely describes the extent of her rudeness).
Identify the adverbs modifying other adverbs in the following sentences.
- The mourners covered the casket with earth very gradually.
- He appeared on her surprisingly quickly.
- The sun appeared somewhat closer that day.
- He drinks extremely irresponsibly.
- The driver sped the car totally carelessly.
Specific categories of Adverbs
- Adverbs of time – These answer the question when?
He joined the class yesterday.
Today, I will go to the cinema.
- Adverbs of place– These answer the question where?
Mrs. Kilome has gone out.
The bus stop is near the post office.
- Adverbs of frequency: These answer the question how often?
She often leaves without permission.
He always works hard.
- Adverbs of manner: These answer the question how?
Many ran fast to catch the bus
He painted the house badly.
- Adverbs of degree. These answer the question how much?
Luka is extremely intelligent.
She is very ill.
FORMATION OF ADVERBS
Many adverbs are formed by adding -ly to an adjective.
Slow + -ly = slowly quiet + -ly = quietly
Sometimes the addition of -ly to an adjective may require changing the spelling in the adjective.
Easy + -ly = easily (y changes to i)
Full + -ly = fully (ll changes to l)
Other adverbs are complete words on their own. That is, they are not formed from other words.
fast tomorrow soon first later
next inside somewhere quite
- Soon and quite can be used only as adverbs.
The school will soon open.
The holiday was quite well spent.
- Some other modifiers, like late or first, can either be used as adverbs or adjectives.
The visitors arrived late. (adverb)
The late arrivals delayed the meeting. (adjective)
The robbers had gotten there first. (adverb)
The first house was already broken into. (adjective)
- When you are not sure whether an adjective or an adverb has been used in a sentence, ask yourself these questions.
(i) Which word does the modifier go with?
If it goes with an action verb, an adjective or another adverb, it is an adverb.
The story teller spoke quietly. – used with an action verb.
The story teller was very interesting. – used with an adjective.
The story teller spoke extremely slowly. –used with another adverb.
But if it goes with a noun or a pronoun, it is an adjective.
The quiet story teller spoke. – used with a noun.
He was quiet. – with a pronoun.
(ii) What does the modifier tell about the word it goes with?
If the modifier tells when, where, how, or to what extent, it is an adverb.
He will come tomorrow. – When?
He will come here. – Where?
He will come secretly. – How?
He will be very cautious. – To what extent?
But if it tells which one, what kind, or how many, it is an adjective.
He will steal this cow. – Which one?
He will carry a sharp spear. – What kind?
He will be jailed for ten years. – How many?
(iii) Adverbs and predicate adjectives
You will recall that we said that an adjective appears after a linking verb and modifies the subject.
He became successful. (successful modifies he)
You seem tired. (tired modifies you)
You appear sick. (sick modifies she)
You look great! (great modifies you)
They sound bored. (bored modifies they)
It feels wet. (wet modifies it)
The oranges taste sweet. (sweet modifies oranges)
The baby grows big. (big modifies baby)
She smells nice. (nice modifies she).
Sometimes the verbs in the sentences above are used as action verbs. In this case, they are followed by adverbs, not adjectives. They modify the verbs and tell how, when, where, or to what extent.
The singer looked up.
We tasted the chocolate eagerly.
The principal appeared suddenly.
(iv) Good and well
Good and well have similar meanings, but differ in their use in a sentence.
Incorrect: He narrates the story good.
Correct: He narrates the story well.
Good is always an adjective and modifies nouns or pronouns. It is never used to modify a verb.
He is a good narrator. (Adjective modifying the noun narrator)
Well can be used as either an adjective or an adverb.
I feel well. (As an adjective)
He drives well. (As an adverb)
Choose the correct form of the words in brackets in the following sentences.
- Luos tell you (quick, quickly) that they are not Bantus.
- Over the months, the snow (gradual, gradually) melted.
- Rice tastes especially (good, well) with avocado.
- The popularity of video games has grown (rapid, rapidly).
- The name of the town may sound (strange, strangely) to some people.
- These puppies look a little (odd, oddly).
- The idea of breaking the door does not sound (reasonable, reasonably).
- Visitors eat Nyama Choma very (rapid, rapidly).
- If Nyama Choma has been prepared (good, well), it tastes even better than chicken.
- Since fish is high in protein and low in fat, it is bound to keep you (good, well).
COMPARING WITH ADVERBS
We have seen that we can use adjectives to compare people, things or places.
Adverbs can also be used to compare actions. And like adjectives, we use the comparative form of an adverb to compare two actions and the superlative form of an adverb to compare more than two actions.
ONE ACTION: Maree swims fast.
TWO ACTIONS: Maree swims faster than Ciku.
THREE OR MORE: Maree swims fastest of all.
Just like adjectives, adverbs have special forms or spelling for making comparisons.
THE COMPARATIVE FORM
The comparative form of the adverb is used to compare one action with another. It is formed in two ways:
- For short adverbs, add –er.
The bird flew higher than the helicopter.
The president arrived sooner than we expected.
- For most adverbs ending in -ly, use more to make the comparative.
She visited him more frequently than Martin.
The tractor towed the lorry more powerfully than the bull-cart.
THE SUPERLATIVE FORM
The superlative form is used to compare one action with two or more others of the same kind.
Of the three athletes, Kipruto runs the fastest.
The lion roars the loudest of all the big cats.
Adverbs that form the comparative with –er form their superlative with -est. Those that use more to form comparative use most to form superlative.
Adverbs Comparative Superlative
long longer longest
fast faster fastest
softly more softly most softly
politely more polite most polite
Points to Remember
- Use the comparative to compare two actions and the superlative to compare more than two.
Comparative: He sat nearer to the window than him
Superlative: He sat nearest to the window than all the others.
- Do not leave out the word other when comparing one action with every other action of the same kind.
Incorrect: The lion roared louder than any lion.
Correct: The lion roared the loudest of all.
- Do not use both -er and more or -est and most.
Incorrect: The dancer moved more faster than before.
Correct: The dancer moved faster than before.
Summary of rules for comparing with Adverbs
|1 1.||For most adverbs
Add -er or -est to the adverb
|hard late deep
harder later deeper
hardest latest deepest
|2||For most adverbs comprising of two or more syllables: Use more or most with the adverb||Skilfully firmly rudely
more skilfully more firmly most rudely
most skilfully most firmly most rudely
Write each of the following sentences using the correct form of the adverb.
- Does she cry ______________ (often) than the baby does?
- She crosses the river _____________ (slowly) than her son does.
- James jumps into the swimming pool _____________ (quickly).
- Charles swims _____________ (skilfully) than all of us.
- Of all the athletes, Tecla Lorupe is ____________ (fast).
- The antelope disappeared _____________ (swiftly) than the gazelle.
- Chicharito scored the goal _____________ (accurately) of all.
- Mange and Marto stayed in the hall ______________ (long) of all.
- Sarah walks _____________ (gracefully).
- Ng’ang’arito sang ____________ (sweetly) of all participants.
A preposition is a word that shows the relationship between other words in a sentence.
The cat lay under the table.
The preposition under connects the verb lay with table. Under points out the relationship between lay and table.
Hence a preposition is a word that links another word or word group to the rest of the sentence. The noun or pronoun after the preposition is called the object of the preposition. The table is the object of the preposition under in the above sentence. The preposition under relates the verb lay to the noun table.
She gave it to me.
(The preposition to relates the pronoun me with the action gave).
I liked the bike with the metal handles.
The preposition with relates the noun handles with the noun bike.
about before except on toward
above behind for onto under
aboard below from out underneath
across beneath in outside until
after beside inside over up
against between into past upon
along beyond like since with
among by near through within
around down of throughout without
at during off to
From the above list of prepositions, you will note that some of them tell where, others indicate time, others show special relationships like reference or separation.
Changing one preposition with another in a sentence changes the meaning of the sentence.
The cat lay under the table.
The cat lay on the table.
Lying under the table means below the surface of the table but on means above the surface.
Write the preposition in each of the following sentences and say what relationship it indicates.
- Sometimes they lie on the ground.
- They have grown maize for food.
- The children played with the dolls.
- A man found some treasure in the cave.
- They make clothes from cotton.
Use the most appropriate preposition to complete the sentences below.
- Driving had been my dream ________________ years.
2._____________ 1990, I bought a second-hand car.
3.______________ that year, I learned how to drive.
- I rolled the car ________________ the road _____________ more than two kilometres.
- I was really thrilled ______________ the experience.
A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition, its object and any words that modify the object.
The school children waited for the green light.
In this sentence, the preposition is for, its object is light, and the modifier, or adjective, is green. The entire preposition phrase modifies the verb waited.
Sometimes two or more nouns or pronouns are used as objects in a prepositional phrase.
He needs a worker with diligence and a good character.
The preposition with has two objects: diligence and character.
Identify the prepositional phrase in each of the following sentences. Underline the preposition once and its objects twice.
- Donkeys help people in many ways.
- They bring happiness to the people around them.
- In large cities, they help to carry water.
- On farms, they carry heavy loads.
- How could you travel across a river?
- You might swim to the other side.
- You might cross at a shallow place.
- You can cross by boat.
- Bridges are a better solution to the problem.
- Most bridges are built over water.
Types of prepositional phrases
Prepositional phrases can either be:
(i) Adjective prepositional phrases – these prepositional phrases, just like adjectives, modify nouns and pronouns.
A scout leader wears a uniform with many badges.
In this sentence, with many badges is an adjective prepositional phrase modifying the noun uniform.
(ii) Adverb prepositional phrases – these ones, just like adverbs, modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs.
Scouts rain for many hours.
(The adverb prepositional phrase for many hours modifies the verb train.)
They are active in all public functions.
(The adverb prepositional phrase in all public functions modifies the adjective active.)
The scout leader commands forcefully with a loud voice.
(The adverb prepositional phrase with a loud voice modifies the adverb forcefully.)
We have seen that the object of a preposition is the noun or pronoun that follows the preposition. When the object of the preposition is a pronoun, we use an object pronoun like me, you, him, her, it, us, and them. (And not a subject pronoun like I, he, she, we, and they).
Correct: I gave a present to her.
Incorrect: I gave a present to she.
Correct: I gave a present to Jane and her.
Incorrect: I gave a present to Jane and she.
Choose the pronoun in brackets that correctly completes each of the following sentences.
- The dog chased after Travis and (her, she).
- Cleaning the house was a tasking job for Evans and (I, me).
- We planned a family picture of our parents and (us, we).
- The victory belonged to (he, him).
- Michael and Bernard stood behind Mom and (she, her).
- The crowd around (we, us) started cheering.
- My little sister ran behind Sammy and (I, me).
- The toys belong to Karen and (him, he).
- Johnny sat between James and (me, I).
- I went to the cat race with Jim and (she, her).
Sometimes one prepositional phrase immediately follows another.
The thief entered the house through the door on the right.
(through the door modifies the verb entered and tells where. on the left modifies the noun door and tells which one.)
A prepositional phrase can be at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a sentence.
BEGINNING: At dusk we closed the shop.
MIDDLE: The chief of the area was helpful.
END: The path went through the village.
Preposition or Adverb?
Sometimes the same word can be used as either a preposition or an adverb. How can you tell the difference between the two?
PREPOSITION: He has a box inside the house.
ADVERB: They ran inside.
You can tell the difference by remembering the following:
(i) A preposition never stands alone. It is always followed by its object, a noun or a pronoun.
The helicopter flew past the airport. (Preposition)
The aircraft was parked inside the hangar. (Preposition)
(ii) An adverb is never followed by a noun or a pronoun, may be by an adverb.
The helicopter flew past. (Adverb)
The aircraft was parked inside. (Adverb)
The helicopter flew past noisily. (Adverb)
Therefore, if a word begins a prepositional phrase, it is a preposition. If it stands alone or is followed by an adverb, it is an adverb.
Some words that can be used either as prepositions or adverbs.
above down over
along in out
around Inside outside
below near under
by off up
Indicate after each of the following sentences if it has a preposition or an adverb.
- Jack stood outside the shop.
- He was curious and went inside.
- He saw strange things in every corner.
- An old coat and several sweaters lay over a chair.
- Blue and green umbrellas stood above the fire place.
- He looked up suddenly.
- He sat down heavily.
- Then he lifted the curtain and peeped outside.
- A jogger ran by
- Jack ran out.
Negatives are words that mean “no” or “not”. These words are adverbs and not prepositions!
She has no more work.
There are none left.
Other common negatives
not nowhere nobody aren’t haven’t
never nothing no one doesn’t wouldn’t
The combination of a verb and not also form a contraction which is also a negative. The letters n’t stand for not.
They won’t be able to attend the funeral.
He couldn’t make a speech.
A sentence should have only one negative. Using double negatives in a sentence is usually incorrect. A double negative is the use of two negative words together when only one is needed.
We don’t need no money. We don’t need any money.
She hasn’t bought nothing. She hasn’t bought anything.
Mark hasn’t no homework. Mark hasn’t any homework. Or
Mark has no homework.
When you use contractions like don’t and hasn’t, do not use negative words after them. Instead, use words like any, anything, and ever.
We don’t have any work.
He hasn’t any work.
I won’t ever respond to the summons.
Other negatives include hardly, barely, and scarcely. They are never used after contractions like haven’t and didn’t.
Incorrect: We couldn’t hardly continue with the work. Correct: We could hardly continue with the work.
Incorrect: The child can’t barely walk.
Correct: The child can barely walk.
Write the following sentences choosing the correct negatives from the ones given in brackets.
- They (have, haven’t) nothing to eat.
- Isn’t (anyone, no one) at home?
- Didn’t you (ever, never) swim in that river?
- There isn’t (anybody, nobody) weeding the farm.
- Ann and Martin haven’t (anywhere, nowhere) to sleep.
- Our friends (had, hadn’t) none of the fun.
- Isn’t (anybody, nobody) watching Tahidi High?
- Hasn’t (anyone, no one) thought of washing the utensils?
- Tabby (hasn’t, has) had no luck.
- We haven’t (ever, never) tried.
A conjunction is a word that connects words or groups of words. Like prepositions, conjunctions show a relationship between the words they connect. But, unlike prepositions, conjunctions do not have objects.
There are 3 main categories of conjunctions;
- Coordinating conjunctions
- Subordinating conjunctions
- Correlative conjunctions
Coordinating conjunctions connect related words, groups of words, or sentences. There are three coordinating conjunctions: and, but and or. And is used to join words, groups of words, or sentences together. But shows contrast while or shows choice.
The bull and the cart are inseparable. (Connects two subjects).
The cart carries the farmer and his tools. (Connects two direct objects).
The food was hard and tasteless. (Connects two predicate adjectives).
Each night, the dancers danced in a circle or in several other patterns. (Connects two prepositional phrases).
Some people died in the fracas, but most managed to escape, alive. (Connects two sentences).
Complete each of the following sentences using the most appropriate coordinating conjunction
- Bats and insects fly, ____________ only birds have feathers.
- Eagles build nests on cliffs ______________ in tall trees.
- Parrots live in wild places _______________ in zoos.
- Swallows ______________ sparrows often build nests in buildings.
- Hummingbirds are tiny __________ very brave.
- Many birds fly south in winter, ______________ others do not.
- Their feathers keep them warm ____________ dry.
- A bird can fly forward _____________ backward.
- Many birds shed old feathers ______________ grow new ones.
- Their legs are weak ____________ their wings are strong.
Subordinating conjunctions connect two or more clauses to form complex sentences. (Refer to Part Two of this handbook). Subordinating conjunctions introduce subordinate clauses. They include because, since, if, as, whether, and for.
If I go home, my dog will follow me.
(The subordinating conjunction if connects the subordinate clause I go home with the main clause my dog will follow me.)
The stayed inside the church because it was raining.
He was always rude since he was a child.
The rain fell as they entered the building.
The pastor asked the congregation whether they were happy.
The man rejoiced for he had won a prize.
Join the following pairs of sentences using the most appropriate subordinating conjunctions.
- They arrived late. It was raining heavily.
- John worked hard. He wanted to buy a house.
- I won’t carry the umbrella. You need it.
- I drove the car madly. I was late for the meeting.
- He will come. The meeting ends.
Correlative conjunctions are conjunctions that are used in pairs to connect sentence parts. These include either ….. or, neither ….. nor, not only……. but also, whether ……. or and both …… and.
Both boys and girls attended the conference.
People brought not only food but also clothes for the victims of the floods.
The students ride either on bicycles or motorbikes.
The sailor had to decide whether to sail on or head back when the weather changed.
Neither John nor James was moved by the shocking news.
Join the following pairs of sentences using the correlative conjunctions in brackets.
- The vehicles stopped for repairs. The vehicles stopped for fuel. (either…..or)
- The drivers knew they had to travel more than fifty kilometres. If they did not travel more than fifty kilometres, they would have to endure harsh storms. (either….or).
- Many people build their own homes. Many people grow their own food. (not only…but also)
- Men wanted to buy the pictures. Women also wanted to buy the pictures.(both…. and)
- Maize is an important part of a Kenyans’ diet. Meat is important too. (both… and)
An interjection is either a single word or a short group of words that is used to express a feeling or emotion. Interjections can express such feelings as urgency, surprise, relief, joy, or pain. An interjection that expresses strong emotion is often followed by an exclamation mark. An interjection that expresses mild emotion is usually followed by a comma.
Let’s go! We can’t sleep before we find the missing boy. (urgency)
Phew! I was afraid we would never find him. (relief)
Oh, you have grown so big. (surprise)
Well, I have never been so happy. (joy)
Identify the interjection in the following sentences and indicate what feeling or emotion it expresses.
- Say, have you heard about Nameless and Jua Kali, the famous Kenyan musicians?
- Wow! Seeing the calf being born was exciting.
- “All right!” I yelled to him. “This is not the right thing to do.”
- Boy! Some people felt wonderful being in the air balloon, but I felt nervous.
- Oh, did that boat rock back and forth for a while.
FORMATION AND ORIGIN OF WORDS
Some words in the English language have unique origins and formations.
- Sound words (onomatopoeias)
Some of the words imitate the sounds they represent. These words are called sound or onomatopoeic words. For example, the words bang and crash describe a loud, sudden noise. The word murmur describes a low, soft noise that keeps going.
Many English words imitate noises made by animals. For example, the word chirp imitates the short, high sound made by a small bird or a cricket.
Other examples of sound (onomatopoeic) words
beep gobble neigh squeal
blast growl purr tick
buzz hiss quack zip
clang honk rip
clatter hum roar
crack meow smash
crunch moo splash
Write a sound word for each of the following descriptions.
- The sound of something breaking
- The loud, deep sound of a lion.
- The sound of a clock.
- The sound of an angry dog.
- The sound of a loud bell.
- The sound made by a duck.
- The sound of a bottle opening.
- The sound of a cat drinking milk.
- The sound of a bomb exploding.
- The sound of a snake.
- Words that come from names of people and places (Eponyms)
Some of the words in the English language come from the names of people and places.
|Sandwich||Two or more slices of bread with meat between them.||John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, who liked eating meat between slices of bread.|
|Maverick||A person who breaks from conventional actions||Samuel Maverick, a Texas cattle owner who refused to brand the calves of one of his herds as per the requirements.|
|Saxophone||A musical wind instrument||Adolphe Sax, the Belgian inventor of the musical instrument.|
|Madras||A cotton cloth with a design or pattern on plain background||Madras, a city in India, where it was invented.|
|Rugby||A game||Rugby school, England, where rugby was invented.|
|Tarantula||A large, hairy spider||Taranto, a town in Italy where Tarantulas are found.|
|Shylock||A greedy money-lender||The relentless and vengeful money- lender in Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice.|
|Sousaphone||A musical instrument||John Phillip Sousa, an American composer who invented the Sousaphone.|
There are many more words in the English language which originated from names of people or places.
Find out from your dictionary the origins and meanings of the following English words.
- lima bean 6. guppy 11. guillotine
- cardigan 7. cheddar 12. macadam
- bloomer 8. quisling 13. pasteurisation
- canary birds 9. silhouette 14. watt
- Ferris wheel 10. Marxism 15. ohm
- Words formed from blending two or more words (portmanteau words)
Some words in the English language are a blend of two or more words or morphemes.
|Smog||Smoke + fog||A combination of smoke and fog in the air.|
|Fantabulous||Fantastic + fabulous||Incredible, astonishing, unbelievable, wonderful|
|Brunch||Breakfast + lunch||A late breakfast taken some hours before lunch|
|Wikipedia||Wiki + encyclopaedia||A website|
|Comcast||Communication + broadcast||A television system that more than the usual number of lines per frame so its pictures show more detail.|
|Spork||Spoon + fork||An eating utensil that is a combination of a spoon and a fork.|
|Skort||Skirt + shorts||An item of clothing that is part skirt and short.|
|Simulcast||Simultaneous + broadcast||To broadcast a programme on television and radio at the same time|
|Cyborg||Cybernetic + organism||A fictional or hypothetical person whose physical abilities are superhuman|
|Motel||Motor + hotel||A roadside hotel|
Identify the words that are blended to form the following words. Find out their meanings from your dictionary.
- slithy 6. breathalyser
- chortle 7. cable gram
- galumph 8. camcorder
- bash 9. edutainment
- blog 10. email
- Words formed by use of prefixes and suffixes
Some words are formed by addition of prefixes and suffixes to other words.
A prefix is a word part that is added to the beginning of a word to form another word or to change its meaning. The word to which the prefix is added is called the base word.
Prefix Base word New word
un friendly unfriendly
pre pay prepay
A prefix changes the meaning of the base word. For example, the prefix un-above means “not”. Hence, unfriendly means “not friendly”. Each prefix has its own meaning.
More examples of common English prefixes
before, in advance
opposing, against, the opposite
opposition, opposite direction
put into or on
after in time, or order
before in time, place order or importance
favouring, in support of
|misspell – to spell incorrectly
revisit – visit again
preschool – before school
anti-aircraft, antibiotic, aticlimax
unacceptable, unreal, unhappy, unmarried
Give the meaning of the following prefixes and write two examples each of words in which they are used. Use your dictionary.
- ultra- infra-
- syn- hypo-
- sub- hemi
- peri- ex-
- out- dia-
A suffix is a word part that is added to the end of a base word to form a new word or to change its meaning.
Enjoy + able = enjoyable
Each suffix has its own meaning. The suffix “able” means “capable of”. Hence enjoyable means “capable of being enjoyed.”
Common English suffixes
state or quality
act or process of
place or state of being
state of being
state of being
make or become
capable of being
having the quality of
having the nature of
Add an appropriate suffix to each of the following words and then give the meaning of the new word.
- hope 6. green
- read 7. wear
- child 8. fear
- grey 9. kind
- play 10. Wash
Words in English language have various meanings depending on their usage in sentences.
Homographs are words which are spelled the same but have different meanings. They usually appear as separate entries in a dictionary.
The man dug a well in his compound.
They worked well together.
In the first sentence, the noun well means “a spring of water”. In the second sentence, the adverb well means “in a good manner”.
Examples of common homographs in the English Language
|(V) to support or carry
(N) an animal
|I will bear the burden.
The bear killed the hunter.
|(V) to plant seed
(N) female pig
|The farmer sowed the seeds.
The sow is very fat.
|(V) to guide
(N) a metal
|The mother duck can lead her ducklings around.
Gold is heavier than lead.
(V) turning something around
(N) moving air
|The tiger was now so close that I could smell it.
“Will you please close that door?”
Wind your watch.
The wind howled through the woodlands.
|(V) to determine the age
(N) to “go out”
(N) a kind of fruit
(N) a calendar time
|Can you date this sculpture?
I have a date with Mary.
Dates are grown in South Africa.
What is the date today?
(V) to choose not to eat food
|He is a fast runner.
The Christians fast just before Easter.
|(N) animal skin
(V) to conceal
|He is tanning the hide.
They hide their money under their pillows.
|(N) woven trap made of rope or cord
(Adj) amount remaining after deductions.
|They caught fish using a net.
His net pay is thirty thousand shillings per month.
|pick||(N) a kind of tool
(V) to choose
|He used a pick to dig the hole.
Pick the dress that you want.
Some homographs are spelled the same but pronounced differently.
The wind is strong today.
This path winds through the hills.
Write two meanings of the following homographs and use each of them in sentences of your own.
- pen 6. act
- tire 7. arms
- dove 8. block
- wound 9. box
- mean 10. bank
Homophones are words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings.
She will buy music composed by my favourite artist.
Homophones are often confused when writing by many students because of similarity in pronunciation.
Examples of common homophones in English
|(V) the walkway
|I quickly walked down the aisle.
He grew up on the isle of Elba.
(Adv) not silently
|His mother allowed him to stay up late.
She read the story aloud.
|(V) past tense of “eat”
|She ate a quick lunch.
I bought eight tickets.
|(N) a round object used in games
(V) to cry
|He took the ball to the beach.
Please don’t bawl! It’s not that bad.
|(V) to stand something
|He can’t bear exams.
He stood outside in the rain completely bare.
|(N) the bottom
support of something
(N) the lowest pitches in music
|We need a new base for that lamp.
I sang bass in the church choir.
More examples of homophones
awe, oar, or, ore
cent, scent, sent
cite, site, sight
doh, doe, dough
ewe, yew, you
for, fore, four
Give the homophones and the meanings of the following words.
- in 6. knight
- heard 7. knows
- horse 8. tick
- hey 9. rung
- need 10. sees
Synonyms are words that have almost the same meaning but different spelling and pronunciation.
Slender–thin finish–end sick–ill
Some words have several synonyms. For example, happy has such synonyms words like light-hearted, pleased, and cheerful.
Synonyms help vary the writing, just like pronouns do. For example, the word happy and its synonyms help vary the writing.
Daniel felt happy – Daniel felt light-hearted.
She was happy with her grade – She was pleased with her grade.
They sang a happy song – They sang a cheerful song.
Examples of common synonyms in English
enormous, huge, immense
hint, trace, tip
Give the synonyms of the following words:
1.start 6. collect
2.come 7. assist
3.lengthy 8. build
4.shattered 9. reply
5.Fix 10. purchase
Antonyms are words that have opposite meanings. Antonyms also add variety to your writing.
Cold-hot heavier – lighter fearful – brave.
Some words have more than one antonym. Some of these antonyms can be formed by adding a prefix to a base word.
Kind – cruel, unkind like – hate, dislike
Examples of common antonyms in English
|absent – present
absurd – sensible
abundant – scarce
accidental – intentional
accuse – defend
accurate – incorrect
admit – deny
advance – retreat
after – before
alien – native
alone – together
always – never
amuse – bore
anger – kindness
applaud – boo
asleep – awake
beautiful – ugly
beg – offer
below – above
bitter – sweet
buy – sell
careful – careless
cease – begin
civilian – military
closed – open
condemn – praise
crooked – straight
dangerous – safe
dead – alive
deep – shallow
destroy – create
drunk – sober
east – west
|enemy – friend
evil – good
exhale – inhale
expensive – cheap
fail – succeed
fat – skinny
fertile – barren
floor – ceiling
former – latter
funny – serious
generous – stingy
genuine – fake
guilty – innocent
humble – arrogant
husband – wife
illegal – lawful
import – export
indoor – outdoor
inferior – superior
intelligent – stupid
joy – grief
kind – mean
king – commoner
lazy – industrious
lock – unlock
majority – minority
man – woman
merciful – cruel
moist – dry
nervous – calm
obey – disobey
original – copy
patient – impatient
|permit – forbid
polite – rude
positive – negative
private – public
push – pull
question – answer
quick – slow
reckless – cautious
rival – friend
sane – insane
servant – master
sick – well
simple – complex
slavery – freedom
smart – dumb
solid – gas
spend – save
stranger – friend
strong – weak
sudden – gradual
suffix – prefix
tame – wild
temporary – permanent
thaw – freeze
tough – tender
unique – common
vacant – occupied
victory – defeat
villain – hero
war – peace
young – old
Give the antonyms of the following words:
- easy 6. sweat
- whisper 7. stationary
- triumph 8. strengthen
- dull 9. precious
- dangerous 10. Naked
- IDIOMS AND SAYINGS
An idiom is a phrase that has a special meaning as a whole. The meaning of an idiom is different from the meanings of its separate words.
It was raining cats and dogs.
(The idiom raining cats and dogs does not mean that cats and dogs were falling out of the sky! It means “raining heavily”.)
I put my foot in my mouth today.
(The idiom put my foot in my mouth means “to say the wrong thing”. Sometimes the context in which an idiom is used can give a hint of its meaning.)
Jeff is talking through his hat when he says that he can spell every word in the English language.
(This idiom clearly means that Jeff cannot possibly spell every word in the English language. Hence, the idiom talking through his hat means talking nonsense.)
More examples of idioms in the English language
|It was a blessing in disguise.||Something good that is not recognised at first.|
|He is a doubting Thomas.
|A sceptic who needs physical or personal evidence in order to believe something.|
|That scandal was a drop in the bucket.||A very small part of something big or whole.|
|The punishment was a slap in the wrist.||A very mild punishment.
|The thief received a taste of his own medicine.||He was mistreated the same way he mistreats others.|
|Don’t add fuel to the fire!
|When something is done to make a bad situation even worse than it is.|
|The principal is just all bark but no bite.||When someone is threatening and/or aggressive but not willing to engage in a fight.|
|8||The theory is all Greek to me.||Meaningless and incomprehensible.|
|9||We are all in the same boat.||When everyone is facing the same challenges.|
|The house cost him an arm and a leg.||Very expensive. A large amount of money.
|The teacher has an axe to grind with the bursar.||To have a dispute with someone.
Joyce is the apple of my eye.
Someone who is cherished above all others.
|The boy did the work at the drop of a hat.||Willing to do something immediately|
|The politician is a back seat driver.||People who criticize from the sidelines
|They were back to square one in their search for the treasure.||Having to start all over again.
|16||The government has to go back to the drawing board on the issue of the New Constitution.||When an attempt fails and it’s time to start all over again.
|17||The exam was a piece of cake.||A task that can be accomplished very easily.
|The investigator realised he was barking the wrong tree.||A mistake made in something you are trying to achieve.|
|Stop beating around the bush.||Avoiding the main topic, not speaking directly about an issue.|
|I will bend over backwards to see you through school.||Do whatever it takes to help.
Willing to do anything.
|22||She was caught between a rock and a hard place.||Stuck between two very bad options.
|You are biting off more than you can chew.||To take on a task that is way too big.
|24||John decided to bite his tongue.||To avoid talking.
|Tom has a cast iron stomach.
|Someone who has no problems, complications, or ill effects with eating or drinking anything.|
|26||That is a cock and bull story.||An unbelievable tale.|
|I will have to win, come hell or high water.||Any difficult situation or obstacle.
|28||Don’t cry over spilt milk.
|When you complain about a loss from the past.|
|He likes crying wolf.
|Intentionally raise a false alarm.
|Tim is a dark horse.
|One who was previously unknown and now is prominent.|
|Kinyua is a devil’s advocate.
|Someone who takes a position for the sake of argument without believing in that particular side of the argument.|
|My father drinks like a fish.||To drink very heavily.|
|This problem is driving me up the wall.||To irritate or annoy very much.|
|The students had a field day with the visiting guests.||An enjoyable day or circumstance.
|The food was finger licking good.||Very tasty food or meal.|
|He changed from rags to riches.||To go from being very poor to being very wealthy.|
|I need to get over it.||Move beyond something that is bothering you.|
|38||She got up on the wrong side of the bed||To someone who is having a horrible day.|
|39||Joan is a good Samaritan.
|Someone who helps others when they are in need without expecting a reward.|
|40||I have a gut feeling she will die.||A personal intuition you get, especially when you feel something may not be right.|
|41||The player lost his head when he missed the goal.||Angry and overcome by emotions.|
|42||He was head over heels in love with her.||Very excited and joyful, especially when in love.|
|43||He gave her a high five when he won the contest.||Slapping palms above each other’s heads as a celebration gesture.|
|44||Let us hit the books!||To study, especially for a test or exam.|
|45||I will hit the hay now.||Go to bed or go to sleep.|
|46||The preacher hit the nail on the head.||Do or say something exactly right.
|47||She hit the sack after a hard day’s work.||Go to bed or sleep.
|48||Hold your horses, the speaker is coming.||Be patient.
|49||The certificate was an icing on the cake after the monetary reward.||When you already have it good and get something on top of what you already have.|
|50||The girl became careless in the heat of the moment.||Overwhelmed by what is happening at the moment.|
|51||The policeman kept an eye on him.||Carefully watch somebody.|
|52||He kept his chin up during the burial.||To remain joyful in a tough situation.|
|53||The old man kicked the bucket.||Die
|54||Lend me your ear.||To politely ask for someone’s full attention.|
|55||You let the cat out of the bag.||To share a secret that wasn’t supposed to be shared.|
|56||The by-election was not a level playing field.||A fair competition where no side has an advantage.|
|57||He ran all over like a chicken with its head cut off.||To act in a frenzied manner.
|58||Mr. Gumo is a loose cannon.
|Someone who is unpredictable and can cause damage if not kept in check.|
|59||I am not interested in his mumbo jumbo.||Nonsense or meaningless speech.|
|60||She is the new kid on the block.||Someone new to the group or area.
|61||He started off on the wrong foot.||Getting a bad start on a relationship or task.
|62||The accused man is now off the hook.||No longer have to deal with a tough situation.
|63||I said that off the record!
|Something said in confidence that the speaker doesn’t want attributed to him or her.|
|64||I was on pins and needles.||Anxious or nervous especially in anticipation of something.|
|65||The prefects sit on the fence when there is a strike.||Undecided.|
|66||The dog appeared out of the blue.||Something that suddenly and unexpectedly occurs or appears.|
|67||You will get the job over my dead body.||When you absolutely will not allow something to happen.|
|68||Mark is fond of passing the buck to his brother.||Avoid responsibility by giving it to someone else.|
|69||Dennis is a peeping Tom.
|Someone who observes people in the nude or sexually active people, mainly for his own gratification.|
|70||“Pipe down! We have heard you!||To shut up or be quiet.
|71||You are pulling my leg.||Tricking someone as a joke.|
|72||Rise and shine! It’s time to go to school.||Time to get out of bed and get ready for work or school.|
|73||The businessman has run out of steam nowadays.||To be completely out of energy.
|74||The convict was saved by a bell.||Saved at the last possible moment.
|75||He was a scapegoat for the amorous politician.||Someone else who takes the blame.
|76||The naughty boy got away scot-free.||To escape and not have to pay.
|77||She was sick as a dog.||To be very sick (with flu or a cold).|
|78||He has a sixth sense.
|A paranormal sense that allows you to communicate.|
Other common idiomatic expressions and sayings
- A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. – Having something that is certain is much better than taking a risk for more, because chances are you might lose everything.
- A fool and his money are easily parted. – It’s easy for a foolish person to lose his/her money.
- A house divided against itself cannot stand. – Everyone involved must unify and function together or it will not work out.
- A leopard can’t change his spots. – You cannot change who you are.
- A penny saved is a penny earned. – By not spending money you are saving money (little by little).
- A picture paints a thousand words. – A visual presentation is far more descriptive than words.
- Actions speak louder than words. – It’s better to actually do something than just talk about it.
- Curiosity killed the cat. – Being inquisitive can lead you into a dangerous situation.
- Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. – Don’t rely on it until you are sure of it.
- Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. – When someone gives you a gift, don’t be ungrateful.
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. – Do not put all your resources in one possibility.
- Drastic times call for drastic measures. – When you are extremely desperate you need to take extremely desperate actions.
- Elvis has left the building. – The show has come to an end. It’s all over.
- Every cloud has a silver lining. – Be optimistic, even difficult times will lead to better days.
- Great minds think alike. – Intelligent people think like each other.
- Haste makes waste. – Doing things quickly may result in a poor ending.
- Idle hands are the devils’ tools. – You are more likely to get it trouble if you have nothing to do.
- If it’s not one thing, it’s another. – When one thing goes wrong, then another, and another ….
- It takes two to tango. – A conflict involves two people and both must cooperate to have it resolved.
- It’s a small world. – You cannot hide from your evil deeds in this world.
- Let bygones be bygones. – To forget about a disagreement or argument.
- Let sleeping dogs lie. – To avoid restarting a conflict.
- Never bite the hand that feeds you. – Don’t hurt anyone that helps you.
- Practice makes perfect. – By constantly practising, you will become better.
- Rome was not built in one day. – If you want something to be completed properly, then it’s going to take time.
- The bigger they are, the harder they fall. – The bigger and stronger opponent may be more difficult to beat, but when he does, he suffers a much bigger loss.
- Variety is the spice of life. – The more experiences you try the more exciting life can be.
- When it rains, it pours. – Since it rarely rains, when it does it will be a huge storm.
- You are what you eat. – In order to stay healthy, you must eat healthy foods.
- You can’t judge a book by its cover. – Decisions shouldn’t be made primarily on appearance.
Give the meaning of the italicized idioms in the following sentences.
- I was completely at sea when the Prime Minister visited my house.
- Jane has her hands full. She can’t take on more work.
- Do you have a bone to pick with me?
- I can’t make heads or tails of this story.
- The test was as easy as pie.
- I am sick and tired of doing nothing at work.
- I am broke! I have to borrow some money.
- She dropped me a line yesterday.
- He filled in for her when she fell sick.
- My business is in the red.
A phrase is a group of words without a subject or a predicate or both and does not express a complete thought. Therefore, a phrase can never stand on its own as a complete sentence. Using different kinds of phrases enables a writer or a speaker to create informative and descriptive sentences that vary in structure. Phrases combine words into a larger unit that can function as a sentence element.
The most common kinds of phrases in English are: Noun phrases, verb phrases, prepositional phrases, gerund phrases and participial phrases.
- NOUN PHRASES
A noun phrase consists of a noun and all its modifiers. It can function as a subject, object, or complement in the sentence. The modifiers may include articles, prepositions and adjectives.
(a) Noun phrases as subjects
The lazy old man sleeps all day long.
Some school boards reward teachers who produce good results.
(b) Noun phrases as objects
Teachers rejected the proposed performance contracts.
Critics opposed the controversial marriage bill.
(c) Noun phrases as complements
Teaching is a valuable profession.
Sheila is a hardworking no-nonsense lady.
Identify the noun phrases in each of the following sentences and indicate whether it functions as a subject, object or complement.
- I saw a TV show yesterday.
- Playful animals really fascinate me.
- Yesterday, I had a thrilling adventure.
- Swimming is an exciting activity.
- Twenty university students were expelled last month.
- She is a certified public health officer.
- Many of the soldiers were killed in the battle.
- The old woman carried a heavy load of firewood on her back.
- Peter seems a very complicated man to understand
- A devastating earthquake hit China yesterday.
- VERB PHRASES
A verb phrase consists of a main verb and its helping verbs. It can function as the predicate of a sentence. The predicate tells what the subject does or is. (It tells something about the subject).
John was born in Malindi.
This problem may have contributed to the collapse of the economy.
Without highly-trained workers, many Kenyan companies would be forced to close down.
Sometimes the parts of a verb phrase are separated from each other by words that are not verbs.
He is finally buying a new house.
Salesmen must occasionally travel long distances.
Some words are joined with other words to make contractions.
He hasn’t turned up for the meeting. (has + not)
We couldn’t tell what had killed the cow. (could + not)
I’ve ordered them to leave the house. (I + have).
NB: The word not and the contraction n’t are adverbs. They are never part of a verb or verb phrase.
Write the verb phrase in each of the following sentences.
- We should have taken pictures of the wild animals.
- You must have seen the posters of the event.
- They should have been told to come with flowers to plant in the school compound.
- Mr. Muchira would have told some interesting stories.
- Scientists must’ve visited the Menengai Crater.
- He must have seen some wonderful places.
- Many advocates do fear the new Chief Justice.
- The scouts have often made camp here.
- The bull fighters would sometimes stampede noisily.
- I could have read the book if he had allowed me.
- PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES
A prepositional phrase is made up of a preposition, the object of the preposition, and all the words between them. It often functions as an adjective or adverb, but it can function as a noun as well.
We carried the fruits in our school bags. (Adverb telling where)
The plane flew through the cloud. (Adverb telling where)
Almost half of Africa’s population suffers from water – related diseases. (Adverb modifying suffers).
The water supply in the United States is expected to decline dramatically. (Adjective modifying water supply).
The best time to practise water conservation is before a water shortage. (Noun functioning as a complement).
In sentence 1 above, the preposition is in, the object of the preposition is bags, and the modifiers or adjectives are our and school.
Sometimes two or more nouns or pronouns are used as objects in a prepositional phrase.
He needs a wife with diligence and a good character.
Diligence and character are objects of the preposition with.
When prepositional phrases function as adjectives and adverbs in sentences, they are called adjectival and adverbial phrases respectively.
(a) An adjectival prepositional phrase modifies nouns or pronouns.
The woman wears shoes with sharp heels. (An adjectival phrase modifying the noun shoes)
The man with a funny-looking dog crossed the road. (An adjectival phrase modifying the noun man)
(b) An adverbial prepositional phrase modifies verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.
Soldiers train for many months. (An adverbial phrase modifying the verb train)
People are lazy in the afternoons. (An adverbial phrase modifying the adjective lazy.)
She arrived late in the night. (An adverbial phrase modifying the adverb late).
Sometimes one prepositional phrase immediately follows another.
The man led him through the door on the left.
Note that the prepositional phrase through the door is an adverbial phrase modifying the verb led and tells where? The second prepositional phrase on the left is an adjectival phrase modifying the noun door and tells which one?
A prepositional phrase can be at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a sentence.
At dusk, we began to walk home.
The map of the area was very helpful.
The path went by a forest and a large lake.
Underline the prepositional phrases in the following sentences and indicate what type each of them is.
- The oldest building is found in Mombasa.
- Five companies around the country have bought new fire engines.
- The barking of the dog scared the strangers.
- Bulls are bred for hard work.
- Most bridges are built over water.
- Travellers were spared many miles of travel.
- I went by bus to the market.
- At the market, I saw beautiful and unusual people.
- I also saw a display of colourful clothes.
- She took him through the lesson with professional expertise.
- GERUND PHRASES
A gerund is a verb form used as a noun. It is formed by adding –ing to the present tense of a verb. Gerunds can be used as subjects, direct objects, objects of prepositions, and complements.
Subject: Fishing is a popular activity in Nyanza Province.
(Fishing is a gerund, the subject of the verb is)
Direct object: The sport involves riding. (riding is a gerund, the direct object of the verb involves)
Object of preposition: The sport is similar to fencing. (fencing is a gerund, the object of the preposition to).
A gerund phrase includes a gerund, its modifiers, objects or complements. It always functions as a noun.
Becoming a Tusker Project fame finalist was Msechu’s lifetime dream. (The gerund phrase is the subject of the sentence.)
Msechu dreamt all his life about winning the top award. (The gerund phrase is an object of the preposition about).
One of Msechu’s biggest disappointments was losing to Alpha. (The gerund phrase is a complement).
The game involves jumping over hurdles. (The gerund phrase is an object of the verb involves).
Underline the gerund or gerund phrases in the following sentences and label each one subject, direct, object, object of preposition, or complement accordingly
- In early days, golfing was a game for the rich.
- The rich were mostly interested in protecting their status.
- Playing golf with a commoner would mean lowered status.
- Much of the rich people’s time was spent playing the game.
- Training thoroughly improved a golfer’s accuracy in the game.
- There he learned about playing the game.
- Later, he started contesting with other junior golfers.
- At fifteen or sixteen, he began playing with the professionals.
- Participating in international tournaments was the golfer’s dream.
- But the greatest dream was winning an in international title.
- PARTICIPIAL PHRASES
A participle is a verb form that always acts as an adjective. There are two types of participles:
(a) The past participle – it is usually formed by adding –d, or -ed to the present tense.
Fooled, the shopkeeper bought fake products. (Fooled is a past participle modifying the noun shopkeeper)
Shaken, he dashed to the police station.
(Shaken is a past participle modifying the pronoun he)
The participles of irregular verbs, however, do not follow the above rule: run-run, throw-thrown.
(b) The present participle – it is usually formed by adding -ing to the present tense of any verb.
Smiling, the conman stepped out of the shop. (Smiling is a present participle modifying the noun conman).
Using participles is a simple way of adding information to sentences and to vary sentences beginnings.
A participial phrase consists of a present or past participle and its modifiers, objects, or complements. It always functions as an adjective.
Rounding the corner, the conman met two policemen.
(Rounding the corner is a present participial phrase modifying the noun conman).
Surprised by the appearance of the conman, the policemen started blowing their whistles.
(Surprised by the appearance of the conman is a past participial phrase modifying the noun policemen).
A participle or participial phrase is not always at the beginning of a sentence. Sometimes it may appear in the middle but it should be near the noun or pronoun it modifies.
The skilled policemen, seeing a chance of a lifetime, arrested the conman.
The conman, losing control, fought the policemen fiercely.
Points to note
Both the gerund and the present participle are created by a adding –ing to the present tense of a verb. BUT how can you tell whether a word is a gerund or a participle? It all depends on how the word is used in a sentence.
(i) A participle is used as a modifier in a sentence.
Gaining courage, the conman attempted to escape. (Gaining courage is a participial phrase modifying conman).
(ii) A gerund is used as a noun in a sentence.
Gaining courage made the conman look aggressive. (Gaining courage is a gerund phrase, the subject of the verb made).
Underline the participial phrases in the following sentences, indicating whether it is a past or present participial phrase and the noun or pronoun it modifies.
- Defying all odds, Kisoi Munyao attempted to climb to the highest peak of Mt. Kenya for seven times.
- Failing each time, he refused to give up.
- Seeing his passion to scale the peak, the government offered him financial assistance.
- The climber ascended slowly, making steady progress.
- Pleased with his progress, he camped at eleven thousand feet.
- The climber, determined to hoist the Kenyan flag, progressed on the following morning.
- Slipping on the snow, Munyao fell on a dry tree trunk.
- A rope worn from too many climbs then broke.
- One of his hot water bottles, slipping to the bottom of the cliff, broke into pieces.
- Munyao, overcome with joy, finally hoisted the flag at Point Batian.
- INFINITIVE PHRASES
An infinitive is a verb form that usually appears with the word to before it. To is called the sign of the infinitive.
to lift to eat to launch to register
To is a preposition if it is followed by a noun or noun phrase, but it is a sign of the infinitive if it is followed by a verb or verb phrase.
Joseph longed for a flight to the moon. (Prepositional phrase)
Not until 1985 was he able to succeed. (Infinitive)
An infinitive phrase consists of an infinitive and its modifiers, objects or complements. It can function as a noun, adjective, or adverb.
To write clearly and concisely can be difficult sometimes. (Infinitive phrase functioning as a noun and the subject of the sentence).
Proofreading your writing is a good way to ensure the absence of typing mistakes. (Infinitive phrase functioning as an adjective modifying the noun way).
To greatly increase the amount of stress in your life, leave your writing task until the night before it is due. (Infinitive phrase functioning as an adverb modifying the verb leave).
Underline the infinitive phrases in each of the following sentences and state whether it is functioning as a noun, adjective or adverb.
- To climb Mt. Kenya was the dream of Kisoi Munyao.
- The freedom hero decided to climb the mountain on the eve of the country’s independence.
- He was one of the first Kenyans to try this risky climb.
- His determination helped him to make rapid progress to reach Point Batian.
- Munyao was able to reach the peak with very limited climbing gear.
- To reach Point Batian was Munyao’s ultimate goal.
- At first few other climbers bothered to listen to Munyao.
- He was even forced to finance much of his expedition himself.
- Munyao worked hard to achieve his dream of hoisting the Kenyan flag.
- His success made it easier for other climbers to scale the tallest mountain in Kenya.
- PHRASAL VERBS
A phrasal verb is a verb that consists of two or three words. The first word is always an action word followed by one or two particles. The particle is either an adverb, a preposition or both.
Verb Adverb Preposition
Put up with
Look forward to
Look down on
The meaning of phrasal verbs is usually different from the meaning of the individual words that form them. One cannot, therefore, guess the meaning of a phrasal verb from the usual meanings of the verb and the particles. The best thing is to master the meanings of as many phrasal verbs as possible.
MEANINGS OF PHRASAL VERBS
Abide by –obey rules
Beef up-add force
Bail somebody out-help somebody out of difficulties
Act on-take action on information received
Break down-failure of engine, collapse
Break out-start suddenly
Bring up-raise a child
Call for-demand, require
Carry out– do, execute
Carry away-draw attention
Carry on– continue
Check on –verify
Come about– happen
Deal with– tackle
Die out-become extinct
Do without-manage with out
End in-result into
End up-finally come to
Enter in to-venture, begin
Fade away-die slowly
Fall for-get attracted to
Fall in– collapse
Fear for-be concerned about
Break into-enter by force start singing, dancing, laughing or crying suddenly
Feel for – sympathise
Figure out-come to understand by thinking
Fill in-compete (especially a form)
Fit in– mix smoothly
Flow in-arrive steadily
Get away with-escape punishment
Go over-check, revise
Go through-suffer, struggle, succeed
Grow into-become something
Gun down– shoot dead
Hand in– submit
Hand over-transfer duties
Hang up-end a telephone conversation
Have back– get back
Hear from-receive communication from
Hold back-prevent from progressing
Identify with– associate with
Jump at –seize a chance
Jump on-challenge, criticize
Keep off – avoid, keep away from
Kick off-begin a football match/beginning of a football match
Live up to-do in accordance with
Look forward to-long for
Look out for-try to find
Look up to-admire, respect
Make away with-steal and escape
Make out-understand, figure out, write out
Make up for-compensate
Open up-talk freely
Open with– start with
Order around-keep on telling somebody to do things
Part with-give away
Point-direct attention to
Put off-postpone, switch off, discourage a person
Put up with-tolerate
Rough up-handle roughly
Run out-use up, run short of
Set off-start a journey
Settle down-adapt in a new place
Shout down-disapprove a speaker
Sleep out-sleep outdoor
Turn off-switch off, divert, leave one road for another
Turn out– arrive, attend
Turn to-ask for help or advice
Urge on-encourage, incite
Use up- exhaust
Verge on-be very close to something
Wake up to– realize
While away-pass time in a relaxed mind
Wind up-finish (a speech)
Wipe out-destroy completely
Attend to-deal with something
Align with-to give ones support publicly to a certain plan
Allude back-to mention someone or something indirectly
Answer back-to reply rudely to someone who has more authority than you
Appeal for-to make a request for something
Abstain from-to avoid to do something enjoyable deliberately
Absolve from/absolve of-remove; exonerate from blame
Be absorbed in-be so interested or involved in something that you don’t notice anything else
Acquaint with-to know or learn about something
Adhere to– to obey a rule, a law or an agreement
Awaken to (awake to)-to begin to notice something
Bombard with-ask so many questions or give too much information
Borrow from-use an idea that was initially used by someone else
Break up-end a relationship/end an event/stop a fight
Brighten up-make something more interesting or attractive
Brim with-be full of something
Capitalize on-use an opportunity or situation to help you achieve something
Get carried away-become so excited with something that we lose control of our feelings
Cave in-collapse; fall down or in wards
Chip in-add something in a conversation
Churn out-quickly to produce large quantities of things
Close down-stop doing business completely
Comb through-search thoroughly
Cross off-draw a line through something on a list to show that you have a list with it
Feed for-to look after
Listen in-secretly listen to a conversation, eavesdrop
Fish out-to pull something out of a container
Be faced with-have challenges
Flood in-arrive quickly and in big numbers
Itch for-want very much to do something immediately
Listen in-secretly listen to a conversation eavesdrop
Refrain from-not to do something
Round up-find and arrest
Scale down-reduce the number or amount of something
Stumble across/ stumble on/ stumble upon-find something or meet someone accidentally
Talk over-discuss an issue
Touch down-of aircraft land
What is a sentence?
A sentence is a group of words that expresses a complete thought. A complete thought is clear. A sentence always begins with a capital letter. It ends with a full stop (.), a question mark (?) or an exclamation mark (!).
Ted sent me a letter.
Jane slept soundly.
A sentence fragment does not express a complete thought. The reader or listener cannot be sure what is missing in or the meaning of a sentence fragment.
He or she will be left wondering: What is this about? What happened?
Fragment: The huge boat. (What happened?)
Sentence: The huge boat sails down the river.
You can correct a sentence fragment by supplying the missing information.
Subjects and predicates
The two fundamental parts of every English sentence are the subject and the predicate.
A subject can be described as the component that performs the action described by the predicate. It tells who or what does or did the action. It may also name the topic.
The predicate tells about the subject. It tells what the subject does or is.
(Who or what) (What is said about the subject)
The antelope jumped over the high fence.
Pigs eat anything is sight when hungry.
In a sentence, a few key words are more important than the rest. These key words make the basic framework of the sentence. The verb and its subject are the key words that form the basic framework of every sentence. The rest of the sentence is built around them.
Sentence Key words
The young kids jumped playfully. kids, jumped
Their faces shone brightly. faces, shone
To find out the subject, ask who or what before the verb.
Who jumped playfully? – kids
What shone brightly? – faces
To find out the verb, ask what after the subject.
The young kids did what? – jumped
Their faces did what? – shone
The key word in the subject of a sentence is called the simple subject. For example, kids, faces. The complete subject is the simple subject plus any words that modify or describe it. For example, The young kids, Their faces.
The key word in the predicate is called the simple predicate. For example, jumped, shone. The complete predicate is the verb plus any words that modify or complete the verb’s meaning. For example, jumped playfully, shone brightly.
The simple subjects and predicates may sometimes be more than one word. For simple subjects, it may be the name of a person or a place.
Barack Obama won the US presidential race.
South Africa is the home of many bats.
The simple predicate may also be more than one word. There may be a main verb and a helping verb.
Tanya has acted in many TV shows.
She will be performing again tonight.
An object in a sentence is a word or words that complete the meaning of a sentence. It is involved in the action but does not carry it out. The object is the person or thing affected by the action described in the verb. It is always a noun or a pronoun and it always comes after the verb.
The man climbed a tree.
Some verbs complete the meaning of sentences without the help of other words. The action that they describe is complete.
The temperature rose.
Some other verbs do not express a complete meaning by themselves. They need to combine with other words to complete the meaning of a sentence.
Christine saw the snake.
Rose wears goggles.
He opened the door.
In the above examples, the snake, goggles and the door are the objects as they are the things being affected by the verbs in the sentences.
(Refer to the topic on Transitive and Intransitive Verbs under the main topic VERBS in Chapter One).
Which groups of words are sentences and which ones are sentence fragments?
- A huge storm was coming.
- Behind the wattle tree.
- After the earthquake.
- The wind broke several houses.
- Surprised by a loud noise.
- Winds of high speed.
- Rescue workers arrived.
- From different parts of the world.
- Many people were injured.
- In the weeks after the earthquake.
Direct and indirect objects
Objects come in two types, direct and indirect:
The direct object is the word that receives the action of a verb.
Christine saw a snake. ( a snake receives the action of saw)
Rose wears goggles. (goggles receives the action of wears)
Sometimes the direct object tells the result of an action.
Tecla won the race.
She received a trophy.
To find the direct object first find the verb. Then ask whom or what after the verb.
Christine saw a snake. Rose wears goggles
Verb: saw verb: wears
Saw what? a snake wears what? goggles
Tecla won the race She received a trophy
Verb: won verb: received
Won what? the race received what? a trophy
Remember, we said earlier that a verb that has a direct object is called a transitive verb and a verb that does not have an object is called an intransitive verb. We also said that a verb may be intransitive in one sentence and transitive in another. Other verbs are strictly intransitive, e.g. disagree.
The indirect object refers to a person or thing who receives the direct object. They tell us for whom or to whom something is done. Others tell to what or for what something is done.
I gave him the book.
He is the indirect object as he is the beneficiary of the book.
Direct object or adverb?
Direct objects are sometimes confused with adverbs. The direct object tells what or whom as we have seen earlier. Adverbs on the other hand tell how, where, when or to what extent. They modify the verbs.
Brian Swam slowly. (slowly is an adverb telling how)
Brian Swam a tough race. (race is a direct object telling what).
Verbs can also be followed by a phrase that tells how, when, or where. This kind of a phrase is never a direct object but an adverbial phrase.
Brian swam across the pool. (across the pool tells where Brian Swam).
Therefore, to decide whether a word or a phrase is a direct object or adverb, decide first what it tells about the verb. If it tells how, where, when or to what extent, it is an adverb. If it tells what or whom, it is a direct object.
Identify the objects or the adverbs/adverbial phrases in the following sentences. If the sentence has two objects, indicate the direct object and the indirect object.
- Nanu sings pop music.
- Nanu sings sweetly.
- He spoke very quietly.
- I have read that book three times.
- She has gone to the bank.
- David gave her a present.
- David disagreed bitterly.
- The player sat on his heels.
- She made a list of the items to buy.
- They offered him help.
Some sentences do not take objects or adverbs (or adverbial phrases) after the verbs. Instead, they take complements. A complement is the part of the sentence that
gives more information about the subject (subject complement) or about the object (object complement) of the sentence.
Subject complements normally follow certain verbs like be, seem, look, etc.
He is British. (British gives more information about he)
She became a nurse. (a nurse gives more information about she)
Object complements follow the direct objects of the verb and give more information about those direct objects.
They painted the house red. (red is a complement giving more information about the direct object house)
She called him an idiot. (an idiot is a complement giving more information about the direct object he).
The complement often consists of an adjective (e.g. red) or a noun phrase (e.g. an idiot) but can also be a participle phrase.
I saw her standing there. (standing there is a complement telling more about her).
Pick out the complements in the following sentences and indicate whether subject, object or participial complements.
- The tourist is a German citizen.
- She seems a very arrogant lady.
- You look tired.
- They painted the car green.
- James nicknamed Lucy the queen.
- I saw him stealing the mango.
- They beat the thief senseless.
- The priest looks a kind person.
- We left her crying.
- Job left her trembling.
TYPES OF SENTENCES
Sentences can be categorised in terms of structure or in terms of purpose.
- IN TERMS OF STRUCTURE
Sentences can be categorised into 3 main types:
- Simple sentences
(ii) Compound sentences
(iii) Complex sentences.
- SIMPLE SENTENCES
A simple sentence contains a single subject and predicate. It describes only one thing, idea or question, and has only one verb. It contains only an independent (main) clause. Any independent clause can stand alone as a sentence. It has a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought.
Jack plays football.
Even the addition of adverbs, adjectives and prepositional phrases to a simple sentence does not change its structure.
The white dog with the black collar always barks loudly.
Even if you join several nouns with a conjunction, or several verbs with a conjunction, it remains a simple sentence.
The dog barked and growled loudly.
- COMPOUND SENTENCES
A compound sentence consists of two or more simple sentences joined together using a co-ordinating conjunction such as and, or or but.
The sun was setting in the west and the moon was just rising.
Each clause can stand alone as a sentence.
The sun was setting in the west. The moon was just rising.
Every clause is like a sentence with a subject and a verb. A coordinating conjunction goes in the middle of the sentence; it is the word that joins the two clauses together.
I walked to the shops, but my wife drove there.
I might watch the film, or I might visit my aunt.
My friend enjoyed the film, but she didn’t like the actor.
Two simple sentences should be combined to form one compound sentence only if the ideas they express are closely related. If the ideas are not closely related, the resulting sentence may not make sense.
Incorrect: The car is old, and Dan likes sociology.
Correct: The car is old, but it functions superbly.
Punctuating compound sentences
When writing some compound sentences, a comma is used before the conjunction. The comma tells the reader where to pause. Without a comma, some compound sentences can be quite confusing.
Confusing: Jane studied the specimen and her sister took notes.
(The sentence might cause the reader to think that Jane studied both the specimen and her sister).
Better: Jane studied the specimen, and her sister took notes.
(The comma makes the sentence to be clear).
Sometimes the parts of a compound sentence can be joined with a semicolon (;) rather than a comma and a conjunction.
Jane studied the specimen; her sister took notes.
Never join simple sentences with a comma alone. A comma is not powerful enough to hold the sentences together. Instead use a semicolon.
Incorrect: My father enjoyed the meal, he didn’t like the soup.
Correct: My father enjoyed the meal; he didn’t like the soup.
Correct: My father enjoyed the meal, but he didn’t like the soup.
- COMPLEX SENTENCES
A complex sentence contains one independent (main) clause and one or more subordinate (dependent) clauses. They describe more than one thing or idea and have more than one verb in them. They are made up of more than one clause, an independent clause (that can stand by itself) and a dependent clause (which cannot stand by itself).
The picture looks flat because it is colourless.
(The picture looks flat is the independent (main) clause whereas because it is colourless is the subordinate (dependent) clause)
What is a clause?
A clause is a group of words that contains a verb and its subject. There are two types of clauses – main clauses and subordinate clauses.
A main clause is a clause that can stand as sentence by itself. A compound sentence contains two or more main clauses, because it is made up of two or more simple sentences. Each of these simple sentences is a main clause.
Robots operate machines, and they solve many labour problems.
Robots operate machines and they solve many labour problems are both main clauses. They are also simple sentences. Main clauses are sometimes called independent clauses.
Subordinate clauses are clauses that do not express a complete thought. So they cannot stand by themselves.
If technology will improve When robots can do the work
While electronics will work After the system is complete
None of the above clauses express a complete thought. They are sentence fragments that leave the reader wondering then what?
Subordinate clauses are introduced by subordinating conjunctions such as if, when, while, and after.
Other examples of subordinating conjunctions:
Although because so that until
as before than whatever
as if in order that though wherever
as long as provided till whenever
as though since unless where
Now we can understand a complex sentence better. We have said that it contains one main clause and one or more subordinate clauses.
Main clause subordinate clause
The bell started ringing before we were out of bed.
The battery needs recharging so that it can work tonight.
The subordinate clause can sometimes appear before the main clauses.
When the power failed, the computer stopped.
Before you know it, your flat screen television will be stolen.
The subordinate clause can also sometimes appear in between the sentence.
The medicine man, who knew many tricks, cheated the man that he had been bewitched.
TYPES OF SUBORDINATE CLAUSES
Subordinate clauses may be used in sentences as adjectives, adverbs and nouns in complex sentences. Such clauses are called adjectival, adverbial and noun clauses respectively. They add variety to one’s writing. They can also make one’s writing more interesting by adding details.
Without subordinate clause: The bushman told us about the hidden cave.
With subordinate clause: The bushman, who knew the forest well, told us about the hidden cave.
- Adjectival clauses
An adjectival clause acts as an adjective in a sentence, that is, it modifies a noun or a pronoun.
The bushman, who knew the forest well, told us about the hidden cave.
(who knew the forest well is an adjectival clause that modifies the noun bushman).
The bushman told us a legend that involved the cave.
(that involved the cave is an adjectival clause that modifies the noun legend).
An adjective clause usually comes immediately after the noun it modifies.
People still search for the treasure that the pirate hid.
As can be seen from the above examples, adjectival clauses, like adjectives, modify nouns or pronouns answering questions like which? or what kind of?
Adjective Adjective clause
The red coat the coat which I bought yesterday
Like the adjective red, the adjectival clause which I bought yesterday modifies the noun coat. Note than an adjectival clause usually comes after what it modifies while an adjective comes before.
Besides use of subordinating conjunctions, adjectival clauses can be introduced by relative pronouns. Relative pronouns are the words who, whom, whose, that and which. These words relate the subordinate clauses to the word it modifies in the main clause.
The books that people read were mainly religious.
Some fire-fighters never meet the people whom they save.
The meat which they ate was rotten.
In the last sentence, the relative clause (called so because it is introduced by the relative pronoun which) which they ate modifies the noun meat and answers the question which meat?
They are searching for the one who borrowed the book.
The relative clause who borrowed the book modifies the pronoun one and answers the question which one?
Besides relating the adjectival clause to a noun or pronoun in the main clause, a relative pronoun may also act as the subject, object, predicate pronoun, or object of a preposition in the clause.
Subject: This is the forest that has a secret cave.
(that is the subject of has)
Object: The map, which you saw, guides the way.
(which is the object of saw)
Object of a preposition: The map leads to the cave of which the bushman spoke.
(which is the object of the preposition of)
In informal writing or speech, you may leave out the relative pronoun when it is not the subject of the adjectival clause, but you should usually include the relative pronoun in formal academic writing.
Formal: The books that people read were mainly religious.
Informal: The books people read were mainly religious.
Formal: The map which you saw guides the way.
Informal: The map you saw guides the way.
But never omit the relative pronoun if it is in the clause.
Correct: This is the forest that has a secret cave.
Incorrect: This is the forest has a secret cave.
Commas are put around adjectival clauses only if they merely add additional information to a sentence.
The map, which you saw, shows the way.
This adjective clause can be left out without affecting the grammatical structure of the sentence. It is merely adding information to the sentence by telling us which map?
The map shows the way.
(ii) Adverbial clauses
An adverbial clause is a subordinate clause which takes the place of an adverb in a sentence. Just like adverbs and adverbial phrases, adverbial clauses answer the questions where, when, how, to what extent, with what goal/result and under what conditions. In addition, an adverbial clause may tell why.
Note how an adverb clause can replace an adverb and an adverbial phrase in the following example:
Adverb: The Prime Minister gave a speech here.
Adverbial phrase: The Prime Minister gave a speech in the afternoon.
Adverbial clause: The Prime Minister gave a speech where the workers were striking.
Usually, an adverbial clause is introduced by a subordinating conjunction like because, when, whenever, where, wherever, since, after and so that.
Note that a subordinate adverb clause can never stand alone as a complete sentence.
after they left dining hall
The above adverbial clause will leave the reader asking what happened after they left the dining hall?
Adverbial clauses express relationships of cause, effect, place, time and condition.
Adverb clauses of cause answer the question why?
Njoroge wanted to kill his uncle because he had murdered his father.
Adverbial clauses of effect answer the question with what goal/result?
Njoroge wanted to kill his uncle so that his father’s murder would be avenged.
Adverbial clauses of time answer the question when?
After Njoroge’s uncle married his mother, he wanted to kill him
Adverbial clauses of condition answer the question under what conditions?
If the uncle cooperates, Njoroge may decide to pardon him.
Adverbial clauses of place answer the question where?
Njoroge organised a demonstration where his father’s murder occurred.
Note that an adverbial clause can appear either before or after the main clause of the sentence.
(iii) Noun clauses
A noun clause is a clause which takes the place of a noun or a noun phrase. It can be used in any way that a noun is used. That is, it can act as the subject, object, object of a preposition, or predicate noun in a sentence. Just like a noun, a noun clause answers the questions who, when, or what?
Noun: Kamau is unknown
Noun phrase: Their destination is unknown
Noun clause: Where they are going is unknown.
The noun clause where they are going is the subject of the verb is.
Noun: I know French.
Noun phrase: I know the three ladies.
Noun clause: I know that Latin is no longer spoken as a native language.
In the first sentence, the noun French acts as the direct object of the verb know. In the third sentence, the entire clause that Latin is no longer spoken as a native language is the direct object of the verb know.
As objects of the preposition
Noun: He talked about him.
Noun phrase: He talked about the funny items.
Noun phrase: He talked about what you bought at the supermarket.
In the first sentence the pronoun him is the object of the preposition about. In the third sentence, what you bought at the supermarket is the object of the preposition about and answers the question about what?
As predicate nouns
Her first day in school was what shaped her life.
The adverbial clause what shaped her life gives more information about the subject of the sentence Her first day in school.
Words often used to introduce noun clauses
that when whose
what whatever whoever
how who whoever
You cannot tell the kind of a clause from the word that introduces it. You can tell the kind of clause only by the way it is used in a sentence. If the clause is used as a noun, it is a noun clause. If the clause is used as a modifier, it is an adjectival clause or an adverbial clause.
Whoever built the house was not an expert. (Noun clause as a subject)
No one knew where he came from. (Noun clause as a direct object)
He left the construction site whenever he wished. (As an adverbial clause)
This is the layout which he left behind. (As an adjectival clause).
Identify the following sentences as simple, compound or complex. If it is a complex sentence, indicate whether it has an adjective, an adverb or a noun subordinate clause.
- The hotel is not very old.
- The hotel is not very old; it was constructed in 1987.
- It has a strange name, but it attracts many tourists.
- Whoever broke the mirror will have to pay for it.
- The Gor Mahia fans hope that the team will win again.
- Did I tell you about the author whom I met?
- They are searching for the man who stole the cow.
- People began riding horses at least five thousand years ago.
- Some people watch the moon as though it affects their lives.
- Some superstitions were developed when people felt helpless about the world around them.
- The parachute was really a sail that was designed for skiing.
- The moon orbits the earth every 291/2 days.
- My dog loves bread crusts.
- I always buy bread because my dog loves the crusts.
- Whenever lazy students whine, Mrs. Ndegwa throws pieces of chalk at them.
- The lazy students whom Mrs. Ndegwa hit in the head with pieces of chalk complained bitterly.
- My dog Shimba, who loves bread crusts, eats them under the kitchen table.
- A dog that drinks too much milk will always be alert.
- You really do not want to know what Aunt Lucy adds to her stew.
- We do not know why, but the principal has been away from school for two months.
- IN TERMS OF PURPOSE
We have seen how sentences are categorised into simple, compound and complex depending on their internal structures. Now, we shall see how they can be categorised in terms of purpose.
There are five kinds of sentences classified according to their end marks and the different jobs they do:
- Declarative sentences
- Interrogative sentences
- Exclamatory sentences
- Imperative sentences
- Conditional sentences
- Declarative sentences
A declarative sentence simply states a fact or argument without requiring either an answer or action from the reader or listener. It is punctuated with a simple period. (fullstop)
Nairobi is the capital of Kenya.
He asked which path leads back to the park.
Deserts are dry.
The declarative sentence is the most important type of sentences. You can write an entire essay or report using only declarative sentences, and you should always use them more often than any other type. Some declarative sentences contain indirect questions but this does not make them into interrogative sentences.
He asked which path leads back to the park.
- Interrogative sentences
An interrogative sentence asks a direct question and always ends in a question mark.
How many roads lead into Mombasa city?
Does money grow on trees?
Do you like deserts?
Note that an indirect question does not make a sentence interrogative.
When was Professor Saitoti the Vice President of Kenya?
I wonder when Professor Saitoti was the Vice President of Kenya.
A direct question requires an answer from the reader or listener, while an indirect question does not. A special type of direct questions is the rhetorical question. A rhetorical question is one that you do not expect the reader or listener to answer.
Why did the Mau Mau war take place? Some people argue that it was simply a way of Kenyan Africans saying “enough is enough”.
Rhetorical questions can be very effective way to introduce new topics or problems in one’s writing or speech. But if you use them too often, you sound patronising or even monotonous or mediocre!
- Exclamatory sentences
An exclamatory sentence expresses strong feeling, emphasis or emotion. It is actually a more forceful version of a declarative sentence that is marked at the end with an exclamation mark.
It was so cold!
How beautiful this picture is!
You look so lovely tonight!
Exclamatory sentences are very common in speech and sometimes in writing (but rarely).
Note that an exclamation mark can appear at the end of an imperative sentence, but this does not make it into an exclamatory sentence.
- Imperative sentences
An imperative sentence gives a direct command to someone. This sentence can end either with a period or with an exclamation mark, depending on how forceful the command is.
Read this book tomorrow.
Always carry water.
Wash the windows!
You should not usually use an exclamation mark with the word “please”.
Close that door, please!
Please close that door.
In an imperative sentence, you is always the subject. It is usually not stated in the sentence. We say that you is the “understood” or “implied” subject.
(You) Please bring my camera.
(You) Take your medicine before going to bed.
- Conditional sentences
A conditional sentence expresses what one would do if a condition were or were not met.
The condition in the conditional if-clause will determine the fulfilment of the action in the main clause.
If I had a million dollars, I would buy a Hummer.
John would be very successful if he had more brains.
In sentence 1, the condition of having a million dollars will determine whether the speaker will buy a hummer or not. In sentence, the condition of John not having more brains determines that he is not very successful.
Label each of the following sentences declarative, imperative, exclamatory, interrogative or conditional
- There is a terrible storm tonight.
- Try to cover yourself with a blanket.
- How strong the winds are!
- If the storm continues, we shall have to go down into the bunker.
- Do you think it will rip off the roof?
- Look at that that flash of lightning!
- What an amazing sight that is!
- The night looks dark and scary.
- Please tell the children to stop screaming.
- Susan will sit beside me if the storm continues.
- We are hopeful all will be well.
- Dive under the table if it breaks the roof.
- How will I find my way?
- Can I take a glass of water?
- John wants to know what will happen if our house collapses.
- There goes the thunder!
- We shall have to move to another city if we get out of this alive.
- Tell me a good city where we can move to.
- The storm is subsiding.
- Hooray! Safety at last!
DIRECT AND INDIRECT SPEECH DIRECT SPEECH
Direct speech is used to give a speaker’s exact words. It is also referred to as direct quotation. Direct speech is always enclosed within quotation marks.
Hemedi announced, “My aunt works in a biscuit factory.”
“Creating jobs will be my first priority,” the governor said.
A comma always separates the quoted words from the speaker’s name, whether the name comes before or after the quotation
Jim asked, “Who are you voting for?”
“I don’t know yet,” answered Carol.
A direct quotation always begins with a capital letter
Senator Karaba said, “You must believe in the new constitution.”
When a direct quotation is divided by speech tags, the second part of the quotation must begin with a small letter.
“Register to vote,” said the senator, ‘before the end of the day”.
If the second part of the quotation is a complete sentence, the first word of this sentence is capitalized.
“I did register,” said Carol. “It took only a few minutes”
Commas and full stops are placed inside quotation marks
“Last night,” said Joyce,” I listened to a debate.”
Quotation marks and exclamation marks are placed inside a quotation mark if they belong to the quotation. If they do not, they are placed outside the quotation.
Joyce asked, “Whom are you voting for?”
Did Carol say, “I don’t know yet’’?
I can’t believe that she said, “I don’t know yet’!
Speech tags may appear before, in the middle or at the end of the direct speech.
He said, “You know quite well that you have to vote.”
“You know quite well,” he said, “that you have to vote.”
“You know quite well that you have to vote,” he said.
Rewrite the following sentences correctly in direct speech. Ensure you punctuate them accordingly.
- John said there was a terrible accident in Nairobi.
- Petro added it happened in Umoja Estate.
- It involved a train and a bus added John.
- Sarah asked did anyone die.
- No one died, but the railway line was destroyed answered Peter.
- Over the months said John the railway line has been rebuilt.
- How lucky that no one died exclaimed Sarah.
- I think they should put a railway-crossing sign board Petro said it would help bus drivers a lot.
- Or they should put bumps on both sides of the railway line to slow down the buses John suggested
- Who knows what might happen next wondered Sarah
Indirect speech is used to refer to a person’s words without quoting him or her exactly. It is also referred to as indirect quotation or reported speech. The original spoken words are not repeated. The exact meaning is given without repeating the speaker’s words.
Direct speech: The governor said, “Creating new jobs will be my first priority.”
Indirect speech: The governor said that creating new jobs would be his first priority.
Several changes do occur when changing a sentence from direct to indirect speech
- Quotation marks
Quotation marks are left out when writing a sentence in direct speech.
Direct: Hemedi announced, “My aunt works in a biscuit factory”
Indirect: Hemedi announced that his aunt worked in a biscuit factory.
- Tense – The tense of a verb in the direct sentence will change in indirect speech
- Simple present changes to past simple
Direct: John said, “She goes to school early.”
Indirect: John said that she went to school early.
- Simple past changes to past perfect
Direct: John said, “She went to school early.”
Indirect: John said that she had gone to school early.
- Present progressive changes to past progressive
Direct: “The baby is eating a banana,” the nurse said.
Indirect: The nurse said that the baby was eating a banana.
- Present perfect changes to past perfect
Direct: “South Sudan has become a republic,” the new president declared.
Indirect: The new president declared that South Sudan had become a republic.
- Past progressive changes to past perfect progressive
Direct: “I was dreaming when the fire started,” the boy said.
Indirect: The boy said the he had been dreaming when the fire started.
- Future simple changes to modal
Direct: “I will visit you tomorrow,” my desk mate said.
Indirect: My desk mate said the he would visit me the following day.
- May changes to might
Direct: I may also visit you too,” I replied.
Indirect: I replied that I might also visit him too.
Sometimes the verb in indirect speech does not change tense. This occurs in sentences that are universal truths
Direct: Our Geography teacher said “The earth rotates round the sun.”
Indirect: Our Geography teacher said that the earth rotates round the sun.
- Words referring to place also change
Direct: “I live here,” retorted the old man.
Indirect: The old man retorted that he lived there.
Direct: “This place stinks,” noted the boy.
Indirect: The boy noted that that place stunk.
- Words referring to time also change
Direct: “I will visit you tomorrow,” he shouted.
Indirect: He shouted that he would visit me the following/next day.
Direct: “He died last year,” the policeman reported.
Indirect: The policeman reported that he had died the previous year/ the year before.
- Demonstrative pronouns also change:
Direct: “This book is mine,” Jane claimed.
Indirect: Jane claimed that that book was hers.
Direct: “These are hard times,” observed the president.
Indirect: The president observed that those were hard times.
- Pronouns also change
Direct: “My car is better than yours,” the teacher bragged.
Indirect: The teacher bragged that his/her car was better that his/hers/theirs.
Change the following sentences from Direct to Indirect speech.
- “Did you see the fire at the West gate Mall?” asked Joel.
- Njagi said, “Ten fire-engines arrived in fifteen minutes.”
- Patty exclaimed, “It destroyed an entire block of building!”
- “One fire fighter was slightly injured,” said Joel.
- Njagi said, “Several people working in the building escaped unhurt.”
- “Tell me what will happen to them,” said Patty.
- “Other people are giving them food and clothes,” replied Joel.
- Njagi added, “They are resting in the school for now.”
- “These terrorists will finish us!” exclaimed Patty.
- “Don’t worry,” Joel said “They will be apprehended tomorrow.”
A question tag or a tag question is a phrase that is added at the end of a statement to turn into a question. When a speaker uses a question tag at the end of a statement, he/she is seeking for approval, confirmation or correction.
APPROVAL: I look smart today, don’t I? Yes you do.
CORFIRMATION: These are the new students, aren’t they? Yes they are.
CORRECTION: I paid your money yesterday, didn’t I? No you didn’t.
Many learners face a problem of supplying the correct question tags to sentences. This is because they fail to observe the following rules of question tags:
- A comma must be put to separate the statement with the question tag. A question mark must be placed at the end of the question tag.
Rufftone has released a new album, hasn’t he?
He is pushing for a decision by tomorrow, isn’t he?
- The auxiliary verb in the statement must be repeated in the question tag
Nelson Mandela was in prison for 27 years, wasn’t he?
The people of South Africa have lost a great hero, haven’t they?
- When there is no auxiliary verb in the statement, the appropriate form of the auxiliary verb Do must be used in the question tag
Mark Francis wakes up very early, doesn’t he?
Peter Bryan bought an I-pad phone, didn’t he?
- The subject in the statement must be repeated in the question tag. If it is a noun in the statement, it changes to the appropriate pronoun. If it is a pronoun in the statement, it remains a pronoun in the question tag.
Fatou Bensouda is a prosecutor in ICC, isn’t she?
She does her work meticulously, doesn’t she?
- When the statement is positive (i.e. It does not have the word not in it), the question tag must be negative (i.e. must use the negative word not) and vice versa.
David Rudisha has broken another record, hasn’t he?
Catherine Ndereba hasn’t been very active, has she?
Douglas Wakiihuri does not run any more, does he?
Ezekiel Kemboi entertains the audience after winning, doesn’t he?
You will note from the above examples that the auxiliary verb is usually contracted (joined) with the negative indicator not when using question tags. However, this does not apply when using primary auxiliary verb am and the modal auxiliary verbs will and shall. Am does not allow contraction with not, will and shall usually change their forms to allow contraction.
WRONG: I am the next speaker, amn’t I?
CORRECT: I am the next speaker, am I not?
WRONG: They will be late for church, willn’t they?
CORRECT: They will be late for church, won’t they?
WRONG: We shall attend the Memorial service, willn’t we?
CORRECT: We shall attend the memorial service, shan’t we?
- Whereas there is no inversion in the statement, inversion must occur in the question tag i.e. the auxiliary verb comes before the subject
President Uhuru Kenyatta has won the case, hasn’t he?
Subject verb verb subject
He can now relax and attend to his duties, can’t he?
Subject verb verb subject
- For sentences that are in form of requests and commands, the question tags will commonly take the auxiliary verb will or shall followed by the appropriate pronoun.
Please help me with your pen, will you?
Let us go for a swim, shall we?
Bring me that chair, will you?
Stop that noise, will you?
Kneel down right away, will you?
Those are the rules that govern question tags and if followed well, the learners will not have any problems with question tags.
Supply the appropriate question tags in the following sentences.
1.The marriage caused a rupture in her relationship with her mother, _____________?
2.She didn’t think anyone would be interested in a woman like her, _______________?
3.The troops are on standby in case chaos erupt, _________?
4.The Prime Minister must take a firm stand against extremists in his party, _________?
5.I am the best so far, ____________________?
6.The amendments will strengthen the bill, __________?
7.The new tax is tantamount to stealing from the poor, ____?
8.Please send all your remarks to Prof Kibwana as soon as possible, _______________?
9.She raised the gun and pulled the trigger,______________?
10.We need to learn to prioritize, __________________?
11.Get out of this room now, ___________________?
12.We’ve made a reservation for next week, ____________?
13.They couldn’t conceal the secret any more, ___________?
14.We shall not accept anything less, __________________?
15.I am not a conman, __________________?
16.Jonny wanted to pursue a career in theatre, __________?
17.Sharon’s parents claim that the house is legally theirs, ____________?
18.I haven’t told you my name, _________________?
19.Come and visit us tomorrow, __________________?
20.Time will tell whether he made the right choice, _______?
CAPITALIZATION AND PUNCTUATION
Capitalization is the writing of a word with its first letter as an upper case and the remaining letters in lower case. The following are the cases when capitalization is used:
Abbreviations begin with a capital letter.
- Titles of persons
Prof. George Saitoti Mr. Stephen Kiama
Dr. Ephantus Maree Mrs. Teresa Ndegwa
Lt. James Conary Ms. Jacinta Atieno
Note that all the above abbreviations end with a period. Miss is not an abbreviation, so it doesn’t end with a period.
- Words used as addresses
St. (street) Blvd. (Boulevard)
Ave. (Avenue Rte. (Route)
Rd. (Road) Apt. (Apartment)
- Words used in businesses
Co. (Company) Inc. (Incorporation)
Corp. (Corporation) Ltd. (Limited)
- Some abbreviations are written in all capital letters, with a letter standing for each important word.
P.O. (Post Office) USA (United States of America)
P.D. (Police Department) E.A. (East Africa)
- Initials of names of persons
E.W. Gichimu D.M. Weyama
W.W. Muriithi Everlyne A. Kira
- Titles of books, newspapers, magazines, TV shows and movies.
The Minister’s Daughter (book) Tahidi High (TV show)
The Daily Nation (newspaper) Harry Potter (movie)
Drum Magazine (magazine) The Day of the Jackal (book)
Capitalize the first and last words only. Do not capitalize little words such as a, an, the, but, as, if, and, or, nor etc.
- Titles of shorts stories, songs, articles, book chapters and most poems.
Half a Day (short story)
Three Days on Mt. Kenya (short story)
The Noun Clauses (chapter in a book)
Grass Will Grow (a poem)
- Religious names and terms
God Allah Jesus the Bible the Koran
Do not capitalize the words god and goddess when they refer to mythological deities.
- Major words in geographical names
Continents – Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia
Water bodies – the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Nile River, RiverTana, Lake Victoria.
Landforms – the Rocky Mountains, the Aberdares Mountains, the Rift Valley, the Sahara Desert.
Political Units – the Kirinyaga County, the Central Province, Inoi Sub-location.
Public Areas – Nairobi National Park, Wajee Nature Park.
Roads and Highways – Jogoo Road, Kenyatta Avenue, Uganda Road.
- Names of organisations and institutions
Kianjege West Secondary School, United Nations, University of Nairobi, Nairobi Women’s Hospital
Note that here you capitalize only the important words. Do not capitalize such words such as a, in, and of. Do not capitalize such words as school, college, church and hospital when they are not used as parts of names.
There will be a beauty contest at school.
- Months, days and holidays
June Labour Day
Kenyatta Day Mashujaa Day
Do not capitalize names of seasons: autumn, summer, winter, spring
- Languages, races, nationalities and religions
Chinese Kikuyu Christianity Caucasian
Bantu Nigerian Muslim Oriental
- The first word of every sentence
What an exciting day it was!
- The pronoun I
What should I do next?
- Proper Nouns
Lang’ata Cemetery Ann Pauline Nyaguthii
Kangaita Women’s Group Muhigia Teachers Sacco
- Proper Adjectives
We ate at an Italian restaurant.
She is a German.
- The first word in greetings and the closing of a letter
Dear Mark, Yours sincerely,
Dear Bryan, Yours faithfully,
My dear Mum, Very truly yours,
Jamlick exclaimed, “This book would make a great movie!”
“Where,” asked the stranger, “is the post office?”
“It’s late,” Billy said. “Let’s go home!”
- First word of each main topic and subtopic in an outline
- Parts of speech
(i) Proper nouns
Correct all errors of capitalization in the following sentences.
- this play is a revision of shakespeare’s earlier play, the merchant of venice.
- john kiriamiti wrote my life in crime
- i admire women who vie for parliamentary seats
- benard mathenge and his wife have travelled to america.
- my grandmother grew up in witemere.
- the nile river is one of the largest rivers in africa.
- each year tourists visit maasai mara national park.
- the tv show papa shirandula has attracted many viewers.
- uganda and kenya have signed an agreement over the ownership of migingo islands.
- our country got its independence in december 1963.
- on christmas day, all my relatives gathered at my home.
- waiyaki is a fictional character in ngugi wa thiongo’s novel, the river between.
- the city of mombasa gets its water from river tana.
- i would like to become a famous writer like sydney sheldon.
- they captured the stark beauty of hell’s gate national park in their movie.
Punctuation is the system of symbols that we use to separate sentences and parts of sentences, and to make their meaning clear. Each symbol is called a punctuation mark. For example (. , ! – : etc)
Punctuation marks can be grouped into:
- End marks
- The comma
- The semicolon and the colon
- The hyphen
- The apostrophe
- Quotation mark
- End Marks
There are three kinds of end marks: the full stop (.), the question mark (?), and the exclamation mark (!). End marks show where sentences end.
- The full stop (.)
A full stop is used to end a complete sentence. We use a full stop to end:
(i) A declarative sentence- a sentence that makes a state
The highest skyscraper in Nairobi is Times Tower.
(ii) An imperative sentence – a sentence that makes a request or tells someone to do something.
Please climb the stairs carefully.
Note: An imperative sentence is followed by an exclamation mark when it expresses a strong emotion.
(iii) At the end of an indirect question – one that tells what someone asked, without using the person’s exact words.
The naughty boy wanted to know why there was no mid-term break.
Other uses of the full stop
Full stops are also used:
(iv) After initials and after most abbreviations
L.L. Coo J. Mr. Sammy Njagi 11:00 A.M.
Sept. Wed. 2hr. 12min
Note that some abbreviations do not require full stops:
M (metres) FM (frequency modulation) Km kilometres)
(v) After each number or letter that shows a division of an outline or precedes an item in a list.
- Parts of speech 1. Water – borne diseases
- Nouns 2. Air-borne disease
- Types of nouns 3. Sexually – transmitted diseases
- Uses of nouns 4. Skin diseases
- Verbs 5. Hereditary diseases
- Types of verbs 6. Lifestyle diseases
- Uses of verbs 7. Infectious diseases
(vi) Between numerals representing dollars, cents, before a decimal and in percentages
$ 25.65 165.42 25.3%
- The question mark (?)
The question mark is used at the end of an interrogative sentence (a sentence that asks a question).
When was the Times Tower built?
Who built it?
- The Exclamation mark (!)
The exclamation mark is used at the end of the exclamatory sentence and after an interjection. (An exclamatory sentence expresses strong feeling, emotion or emphasis. An interjection is a word or group of words that expresses strong feelings).
Exclamatory sentence: Oh, what a tall building it is!
Interjections: Superb! Fantastic! Impressive!
An exclamation mark can also be used at the end of an imperative sentence that expresses strong feeling.
Sit! And stay in that chair if you know what’s good for you!
- The comma (,)
There are a number of uses of the comma in English. A comma generally tells the reader where to pause. They are used:
(i) To separate words in a series except the last
The three or four items in a series can be nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, phrases, independent clauses, or other parts of sentences.
Nouns: John, Jim, Jack walk to school every day.
Verbs: He located, patched, and sealed the leak in the tyre.
Adverbs: She walked quickly, steadily, and calmly.
Prepositional phrases: He walked through the park, over the bridge, and onto the streets.
Independent clauses: The match was over, the crowd cheered, and Barcelona received the first- place trophy.
Adjectives: The fresh, ripe fruit was placed in a bowl.
Note in the above examples that a comma must be used just before the conjunction.
(ii) Before the conjunction in a compound sentence
Some students were taking their lunch, but others were studying.
Marto photographed the accident scene, and he sold the pictures to the newspaper.
Would she be a lawyer, or would she be a doctor?
Note: A comma is not required in very short compound sentence in which the parts are joined by and. However, always use a comma before the conjunctions but and or.
Marto photographed the accident scene and Toni reported it.
Marto photographed the accident scene, but Toni reported it.
Note also: A comma is not required before the conjunction that joins the parts of a compound verb unless there are more than two parts.
Mary entered and won the beauty contest.
That camera focuses, flashes, and rewinds automatically.
(iii) After introductory words phrases or clauses
Special elements add specific information to a sentence, but they are not essential. A comma is used to separate a special element from the rest of the sentence.
Word: Cautiously, he entered the building.
Phrase: After his failure, he disappeared from the public scene.
Clause: Because he had practised daily, he presented his new song perfectly.
Note: If the pause after a short introductory element is very brief, you may omit the comma.
At first he was unsure of his singing ability.
Finally it was his turn.
Commas are also used after introductory words such as yes, no, oh and well when they begin a sentence.
Well, it’s just too cold out there.
No, it isn’t seven yet.
Oh, you have spilled the milk.
(iv) With interrupters
Interrupters are words that break, or interrupt the flow of thought in a sentence. The commas are used before and after the interrupter to indicate pauses.
I didn’t expect, however, to lose the job.
So many people assumed, unfortunately, that he sings as well as he does.
He was chosen, nevertheless, as the new band leader.
(v) To set off nouns of direct address
Yes, Kamau, you can borrow my book.
Serah, do you know where I kept my phone?
How is your leg, grandpa?
(vi) To set off the spoken words in a direct sentence or quotation from the speech tag
Jackson said, “After my injury I had to learn to walk again.”
“The therapists urged me to keep trying,” he continued.
If the speech tag interrupts the spoken words, commas are used after the last word of the first part of the spoken words and after the last word in the speech tag.
“After a while,” he added, “I was walking without a cane”.
Note: When a sentence is indirect or reported, no commas are used.
He added that after a while he was walking without a cane.
(vii) When writing dates
Place a comma after the day of the month.
July 3, 1965 December 12, 2010
(viii) When referring to geographical location
Place a comma between the name of the town or city and the name of the state, district, or country.
Kibingoti, Kirinyaga County Mombasa, Kenya
(ix) After the salutation and closing of a friendly or business letter
Dear Rose, Yours sincerely,
- The semicolon (;) and the colon (:)
The semicolon (;)
The semicolon is used:
(i) To separate the parts of a compound sentence when no conjunction is used
Mountain climbing is exciting; it can also be dangerous.
Note that the semicolon replaces the comma and the coordinating conjunction. Conjunctions that are commonly replaced by semicolons are and, but, or, for, and nor. (ii) Before a conjunctive adverb that joins the clauses of a compound sentence
(Conjunctive adverbs are words like therefore, however, hence, so, then, moreover, nevertheless, yet, consequently, and besides).
The competition takes place in July; however, I prefer August.
(iii) To separate the parts of a series when commas occur within the parts
Last year I flew to Johannesburg, South Africa; Cairo, Egypt; and Kingston, Jamaica.
The colon (:)
The colon is used:
(i) To introduce a list of items
My school bag contains the following items: exercise books, text books, pencils, pens, a geometrical set, and a packet of crayons.
(ii) After the greeting of a business letter
Dear Mr. Mututho:
(iii) Between numerals that represent hours and minutes and between chapter and verse in a biblical reference
9:00 A.M. 6:00 P.M. Exodus 2:1-3
- The Hyphen (-)
The hyphen is used:
(i) To divide a word at the end of a line of writing
When walking along the streets of Naivasha, he met Waina-
Note that only words with two or more syllables may be divided at the end of a line and words should be divided only between syllables. Never divide a word of one syllable and do not divide words to leave a single letter at the end or beginning of a line.
- In compound adjectives that come before the nouns they modify and in certain compound nouns
Samuel Wanjiru was a world–famous athlete.
She is my sister–in–law.
(iii) In compound numbers from twenty-one through ninety-nine and in fractions
seventy–three relatives one–quarter full
- The Apostrophe (’)
The apostrophe is used:
(i) To form the possessive of a singular noun
Add an apostrophe and an s.
the baby’s cot James’s car Joseph’s radio
(ii) To form the possessive of a plural noun that does not end in s
Add an apostrophe and an s.
children’s men’s women’s
(iii) To form the possessive of a plural noun that ends in s
Add only the apostrophe.
(iv) To form the possessive of an indefinite pronoun
Use an apostrophe and an s.
everybody’s somebody’s nobody’s
Note: Never use an apostrophe with a possessive pronoun like our, yours, hers, theirs.
(v) In names of organisations and business
Show possession in the last word only.
the United Nations’ brochure
(vi) In hyphenated terms
Show possession in the last word only.
My mother-in-law’s photograph album
(vii) In cases of joint ownership
Show possession in the last word only.
Peter and Patrick’s Limousine
(viii) In forming contractions
In contractions, apostrophes replace omitted letters.
she’s = she is aren’t = are not I’m = I am
it’s = It is isn’t = is not we’ll = we will
can’t = cannot won’t = will not they’ve = they have
(ix) To show that part of a date has been omitted
The tribal clashes of ’08 (the tribal clashes of 2008)
The ’82 coup attempt (the 1982 coup attempt)
- Quotation Marks (“ ”)
The quotation marks are used:
- i) To enclose the spoken words in a direct sentence. Indirect sentences need no quotation marks
Direct speech: The presidential candidate promised, “Creating new jobs for the youths will be my first priority.”
Indirect speech: The presidential candidate promised that creating new jobs would be his first priority.
- Always begin a direct quotation with a capital letter.
The minister said, “You must conserve our environment.”
- When the spoken words are divided by the speech tag, begin the second part of the quotation with a small letter.
“Bring me the money,” said the moneylender, “before the end of the day.”
- If the second part of the quotation is a complete sentence, the first word of this sentence is capitalized.
“I am scared,” said the borrower. “That moneylender is a brute.”
- Place commas and fullstops inside quotation marks
Place semicolons and colons outside quotation marks.
“Last month,” the borrower explained, “I borrowed some money from the moneylender.”
Carol said to the borrower, “And you refused to repay back on time”; however, the borrower did not agree.
These candidates were suggested in the article “Our Country’s Future”: Raila Odinga, Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto, and Martha Karua.
- Place question marks and exclamation marks inside quotation marks if they belong to the quotation. Place them outside if they do not belong to the quotation.
Carol asked, “How much money did you borrow?”
Did the borrower say, “I can’t remember”?
“You are a fool!” exclaimed Carol.
- Use single quotation marks to enclose a title or quotation within a quotation.
“Carol heard the borrower say, ‘I can’t remember’ before she lost her temper.”
- If the title or quotation within the quotation ends the sentence, use both the single and the double quotation marks after the last word of a sentence.
“Carol heard the borrower say, ‘I can’t remember.’”
- In a quotation of more than one paragraph, use quotation marks at the beginning of each paragraph and the end of the final paragraph.
Punctuate each of the following sentences appropriately.
- He earned about three million dollars that year
- You know who Jomo Kenyatta was, don’t you
- What a wonderful and inspired leader he was
- He was also a person who helped many people
- Some people write stories but others write poems.
- Try to write a concise informative and interesting letter.
- Also make sure your letter has a heading an inside address a salutation a body a closing and your signature.
- One of the most exciting modern developments I believe is the computer.
- Today is July 2 2011. I will never forget this date.
- I have lived in Sagana Kirinyaga County since 2008.
- Try submitting your work to these Publishers Longhorn Publishers Jomo Kenyatta Foundation or Oxford University Press.
- Remember a writing career requires the following traits confidence perseverance and a thick skin!
- Long ago people used hand sharpened straws or reeds as pens.
- Fountain pens were invented in our great grandparents time
- Soft tip pens and rolling ball pens were invented twenty five years ago
- What would you do if you couldn’t build a house for yourself
- Youd find someone who could built it for you wouldn’t you.
- These archives are important to modern historians research.
- In his play shreds of tenderness, John Ruganda said people who have never lived through a coup d’etat have romantic ideas about it.
- Mr. Mureithi said a short letter to a friend is an insult.
ANSWERS FOR ALL CHAPTERS ON GRAMMAR
ANSWERS ON NOUNS
- students, party
- Excitement, air
- Joyce Chepkemoi, prize
- Otieno, house, street
- candle – thing 5. guitar – thing
- wrestler – person 6. China – place
- joy – idea 7. hatred – idea
- Menengai Crater – place 8. Masanduku arap Simiti – person
- musicians, drums, trumpets
- family, village
- Petronilla, trip
- festival, Kenyatta University
- people, costumes, streets
- holiday, excitement
- Taxi, family, airport
- Maryanne, castle, sand
- mother, water
Proper nouns Common nouns
Kendu Bay crocodiles
John Hopkins student
East Africa day
- Proper – Lucky Dube Common – singer
- Proper – London, Paris Common – dancer
- Proper – Mediterranean sea Common – flight
- Proper – Second World War Common – nurse
- Common – goal, students, world
- Proper – Europe Common – accident
- Proper – Bill Gates, Microsoft
- Common – pilot, woman, ocean
- Common – kettle, water
- Proper – Professor Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize
- tooth – teeth 9. cliffs 17. moose 25. bosses
- wives 10. deer 18. children 26. foxes
- giraffes 11. cliff 19. echoes 27. bunches
- heroes 12. autos 20. babies 28. ferries
- radios 13. studios 21. Skies 29. flashes
- potatoes 14. men 22. beaches 30. ships
- beliefs 15. roofs 23. Eyes
- thieves 16. rodeos 24. volcanoes/volcanos
- knives 2. potatoes 3. geese 4. Shelves
- tomatoes 6. children 7. mice 8. roofs
- stories 10. activities
- the lion’s tail
- Cliff’s dog
- my mother’s hat
- Evan’s book
- the child’s pet
- the doll’s name
- Lucy’s mobile phone
- Kimani’s shoes
- the fox’s teeth
- my friend’s rabbit
- cook’s aprons women’s sports
- men’s boots carpenter’s nails
- countries’ flags sailors’ uniforms
- guests’ coats musicians’ instruments
- athlete’s medals neighbours’ pets
- The couple’s wealth
- a men’s team, a women’s team
- The teams’ uniforms
- the athletes’ shirts
- The team-mates’ scores
- their friends’ cheers
- The coaches’ whistles
- The children’s eyes
- Their mothers’ soothing voices
- their neighbours’ house
ANSWERS ON PRONOUNS
- They ate fish and chips.
- We like Italian food.
- It is delicious
- The biggest eater was he.
- You helped in the cooking.
- The cooks were Tom and I.
- They were under the table.
- She fed the chicken.
- They were juicy.
- They visited the orphans.
- The new waitress is she.
- The fastest runners were Tecla and she.
- She went to the hall.
- It was slaughtered.
- Lucky Dube and she were South African singers.
- He has won many athletics medals.
- Lisa asked him for a picture.
- Adam sketched Lisa and me.
- He gave a photo to us.
- Ann and she saw Dave and Bob.
- Adam drew Lisa and them.
- Mark helped me with the packing.
- Loise praised him for his good work.
- Everyone spotted them
- That night Mike played the guitar for
- We drove with them to the mountains.
- My journey to Mombasa was enjoyable.
- Florence said hers was the best.
- Are the pictures of Fort Jesus yours?
- Hers are about Jomo Kenyatta Beach.
- Tomorrow we will make frames for our
- My class is planning a trip to Mt. Kenya.
- Our trip will be taken on video.
- Micere is excited that the idea was
- Koki and Toti cannot hide their
- My dream is to climb to the highest peak of the mountain.
- You will = You’ll
- we would = we’d
- he had = he’d
- I am = I’m
- you have = you’ve
- they will = they’ll
- I’ll = I will
- we’re = we are
- you’d = you would, you had
- he’s = he is, he has
- they’re = they are
- she’d = she would, she had
- its They’re 5 it’s
- who’s whose
- All – are Everyone – his
- Anybody – has Several – their
- Many – believe Anyone – her
- Each – makes Another – his
- All – indicates Somebody – her
- This Those 5. these
- That those
- Who What 5. whom
- Whom What
- Who whom
- Whom Whose
- whom Who
- Whose Who
- Who Whose
- myself – intensive
- himself – intensive
- herself – reflexive
- herself – reflexive
- yourself – reflexive
- Papa Shirandula is a good actor.
- Many people find him funny.
- The show was on television for many years.
- Their daughter is also in that show.
- The shoes are beautiful.
- People like our hotel.
- My brother drives a matatu.
- Our hotel is open seven days a week.
- The TV is very clear today.
- My brother and sister work in Nairobi.
- We those 5. us
- Those us
ANSWERS ON VERBS
- seems – Linking verb
- watched – Action verb
- cheered – Action verb
- seems – Linking verb
- is – Linking verb
- aimed – Action verb
- blew – Action verb
- was – Linking verb
- is – Linking verb
- seems – Linking verb
Helping verb Main verb
- is singing
- has begun
- can travel
- had waited
- will be visiting
- have come
- must buy
- has chosen
- is hitting
10 will go
- will write
- will stop
- will decide
- shall practice
- will multiply
- started breathed
- added roamed
- trapped obeyed
- annoyed worried
- pitied fitted
- will/shall see will/shall develop
- will/shall go will/shall begin
- will/shall exist will/shall/consume
- will/shall introduce will/shall hunt
- will/shall bring will/shall become
- John has come here every year. – present perfect
- John has been coming here every year. – present perfect progressive
- John had come here every year. – past perfect
- John had been coming here every year. – past perfect progressive
- John will have come here every year. – future perfect
- John will have been coming here every year. – future perfect progressive.
- Jane is playing the guitar. – present progressive
- Jane has been playing the guitar. – present perfect progressive
- Jane was playing the guitar. – past progressive
- Jane had been playing the guitar. – past perfect progressive
- Jane will play the guitar. – future progressive
- Jane will have been playing the guitar. – future perfect progressive
- guard cleans
- stands study
- cross visits
- use wed
- feed run
Present Past Past participle
- prevent prevented prevented
- donate donated donated
- hurry hurried hurried
- worry worried worried
- train trained trained
- aid aided aided
- relieve relieved relieved
- share shared shared
- enrol enrolled enrolled
- save saved saved
Present Past Past participle
- arise arose arisen
- tear tore torn
- wear wore worn
- lay laid lain
- see saw seen
- fall fell fallen
- blow blew blown
- freeze froze frozen
- fly flew flown
- write wrote written
- presented – active was harvested – passive
- were taken – positive stressed – active
- ordered – active were urged – passive
- restored – passive is developing – active
- cleared – active was started – passive
Action verbs direct object
- carried his bag
- discussed the examination paper
- took a trip
- splashed me
- gave interesting facts
- searched the house
- cheered the team
- bought a camera
- admires Papa Shirandula
- viewed the shooting star
- Transitive Intransitive
- Transitive Transitive
- Intransitive Intransitive
- Transitive Transitive
- Intransitive Intransitive
- teach raises
- lies raises
- lie taught
- sits raises
- taught laid
ANSWERS ON ADJECTIVES
- largest vast
- Alaskan American, wild
- tallest huge
- tiny Australian
- small, scattered beautiful, Egyptian
- those Those
- Those This
- that This
- That those
- This Those
- Twenty What
- Few, our Whose
- all Which
- much what
- Numerous, this which
- A the
- a an
- the the
- The the
- an A
- many – songs
- Her, early – songs, her – fans
- Our, first – performance
- Her – coughing
- their, best – goal, ten – years
- quiet, serious
- calm, peaceful
- more beautiful 6. stranger
- funniest 7. more curious
- most enjoyable 8. higher
- most energetic 9. more creative
- most helpful 10. simpler
- Best Farther
- Bad Less or lesser
- Best Good
- Worse Better
- Least Most
- those these
- These those
- This This
- Those that
ANSWERS ON ADVERBS
Adverb What it indicates
- far where
- cheerful how
- downstairs where
- carefully, skilfully how
- extremely how
- curiously how
- soon when
- fully to what extent
- adorably how
- down where
- highly successful
- extremely old
- quite difficult
- barely visible
- very old
- mysteriously secretive
- horribly mean
- totally exciting
- completely mad
- never punctual
- very gradually
- surprisingly quickly
- somewhat closer
- extremely irresponsibly
- totally carelessly
- quickly odd
- gradually reasonable
- good rapidly
- rapidly well
- strange well
- more often more swiftly
- more slowly most accurately
- quickly the longest
- more skilfully gracefully
- the fastest the most sweetly
ANSWERS ON PREPOSITIONS
- on – where
- for – purpose
- with – use
- in – place
- from – place
- down, for
- in ways
- to people
- In cities
- On farms
- across river
- to side
- at place
- by boat
- to problem
- over water
- her us
- me me
- us him
- her me
- us her
- outside – preposition up – adverb
- inside – adverb down – adverb
- in – preposition outside – adverb
- over – preposition by – adverb
- above – preposition out – adverb
- have Anybody 7. anybody 10. ever
- anyone anywhere 8. anyone
- ever had 9. Has
ANSWERS ON CONJUNCTIONS
- but but
- or and
- or or
- and and
- but but
- They arrived late because it was raining heavily.
- John worked hard as he wanted to buy a house.
- I won’t carry the umbrella for you need it.
- I drove the car madly since I was late for the meeting.
- He will come before the meeting ends.
- The vehicles either stopped for repairs or for fuel.
- The drivers knew they had either to travel more than fifty kilometres or endure harsh storms.
- Many people not only build their own homes but also grow their own food.
- Both men and women wanted to buy the pictures.
- Both maize and meat are important parts of a Kenyan’s diet.
ANSWERS ON INTERJECTIONS
- Say – wonderment
- Wow! – joy
- All right! – urgency
- Boy! – fear
- Oh – surprise
- crack quack
- roar pop
- tick lap
- growl boom
- chime hiss
- Lima bean – a broad, flat, pale-green or white bean used as a vegetable – named after Lima, the capital of Peru where it was grown first.
- Cardigan – a kind of a pullover or sweater that buttons down the front – named after J.T. Brudwell, the 7th Earl of Cardigan.
- Bloomer – a woman’s baggy and long garment for the lower body – named after Amelia Bloomer, an American women rights and temperance advocate.
- Canary birds – yellow songbirds – named after Canary Islands, Spain, where they are found in large numbers.
- Ferris wheel – a special wheel for an amusement park – named after the inventor G.W. Ferris.
- Guppy – the most popular freshwater tropical fish – named after R.J.L. Guppy, the man who introduced it in England.
- Cheddar – A firm Cheese – named after the English village of Cheddar, where it was first made.
- Quisling – a person who treacherously helps to prepare for enemy occupation of his own county, a traitor – named after Vidkum Quisling, a Norwegian politician.
- Silhouette – an outline portrait or profile – named after a French minister of finance, Etienne de Silhouette.
- Marxism – the political and economic theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels – named after Karl Marx.
- Guillotine – a device used for carrying out executions – named after Dr. Joseph Guillotine, the designer.
- Macadam – small, broken stones that are used for making roads – named after John L. McAdam, a Scottish engineer who invented this kind of a road.
- Pasteurisation – the process of heating milk, wine, beer, or other liquids hot enough to kill harmful bacteria and to prevent or stop fermentation – named after Louis Pasteur, a French chemist, who invented the process.
- Watt – Unit of measuring electric power – named after James Watt, a Scottish engineer, who pioneered in the development of the steam engine.
- Ohm – a measure of electrical resistance – named after George S. Ohm, a German physicist.
- slithy – lithe + slimy breathalyser – breath + analyser
- chortle – chuckle + short cablegram – cable + telegram
- galumph – gallop + triumph camcorder – camera + recorder
- bash – bang + smash 9. edutainment – education + entertainment
- blog – web + log email – electronic + mail
- utra – beyond – ultraviolet, ultrasonic
- syn – in union – synchronize, symmetry
- sub – at a lower position – submarine, subsoil
- peri – round, about – perimeter
- out – surpassing, exceeding – outperform
- infra – below – infrared, infrastructure
- hypo – under – hypodermic, hypothermia
- hemi – half – hemisphere
- ex – previous – ex-wife, ex-policeman
- dia – across, through – diagonal
- hopeful – full of hope greenish – having green colour
- reader – a person who reads weary – tired
- childish – having manners of a child fearless – lacking fear
- greyish – having grey colour kindness – the quality of being kind
- playful – fond of playing washable – can be washed
- Pen – a device for writing
– an enclosure for sheep
- Tire – to make weary
– the rubber material on the wheel of an automobile or bicycle.
- Dove – past tense of dive
– a bird
- Wound – past tense of wind
– an injury.
- Mean – stingy
- Act – a dramatic performance
– doing something
- Arms – upper limbs
- Block – a building
- Box – a carton
– fight with gloves
- Bank – edge of a river
- a money depository
- in –inn knight – night
- heard – herd knows – nose
- horse – hoarse tick – tic
- key – quay rung – wrung
- need – knead sees – seize
- start – begin collect – gather
- come – arrive assist – help
- lengthy – long build – construct
- shattered – broken reply – answer
- fix – repair purchase – buy
- easy – hard sweet – sour
- whisper – yell stationary – mobile
- triumph – fail strength – weaken
- dull – interesting precious – worthless
- dangerous – safe naked – clothed
- at sea – confused
- has his hands full – is busy
- have a bone to pick with me – have a quarrel
- make heads or tails – make sense
- as easy as pie – very easy
- sick and tired – can’t stand, hate
- broke – to have no money
- dropped me a line yesterday – sent me a letter or email
- filled in for her – did her work while she was away
- in the red – losing money, not profitable
- a TV show – object
- Playful animals – subject
- a thrilling adventure – object
- an exciting activity – complement
- Twenty university students – subject
- a certified public health officer – complement
- Many of the soldiers – subject
- The old woman – subject, a heavy load – object
- a very complicated man – complement
- A devastating earthquake – subject
- should have taken must have seen
- must have seen do fear
- should have been told have made
- would have told would stampede
- must’ve visited could have read
- in Mombasa – adverbial modifying the verb found.
- around the country – adjectival modifying the noun companies.
- of the dog – adjectival modifying the noun barking.
- for hard work – adverbial modifying the verb bred.
- over water – adverbial modifying the verb built.
- of travel – adjectival modifying the noun miles.
- by bus – adverbial modifying the verb went.
to the market – adverbial modifying the verb went.
- At the market – adjectival modifying the noun.
- of colours clothes – adjectival modifying the noun display.
- with professional expertise – adverbial modifying the phrasal verb took through.
- golfing – complement
- protecting their status – object of the preposition in.
- Playing golf with a commoner – subject
- playing the game – direct object
- Training thoroughly – subject
- playing the game- object of preposition
- contesting with junior golfers – subject
- playing with the professionals – direct object
- Participating in international tournaments – subject
- Winning an international title – complement
- Defying all odds – present participial phrase – Kisoi Munyao
- Failing each time – present participial phrase – he
- Seeing his passion to scale the peak – present participial phrase – government
- making steady progress – present participial phrase – climber
- Pleased with his progress – past participial phrase – he
- determined to hast the Kenya flag – past participial phrase – climber
- Slipping on the snow – present participial phrase – Munyao
- worn from too many climbs – past participial phrase – rope
- slipping to the bottom of the cliff- present participial – bottles
- overcome with joy – past participial phrase – Munyao
- To climb Mt. Kenya –noun
- to climb the mountain – noun
- to try this risky climb – adjective modifying the noun Kenyans
- to make rapid progress – adverb modifying the verb helped
- with very limited climbing gear – adverb modifying the verb reach
- To reach Point Batian – noun
- to listen to Munyao – noun
- to finance much of his expedition – adverb modifying the verb forced
- to achieve his dream of hasting the flag – adverb modifying the verb worked
- to scale the tallest mountain in Kenya – adverb modifying the verb made.
- A huge storm was coming. – sentence
- Behind the wattle tree- sentence fragment
- After the earthquake – sentence fragment
- The wind broke several houses. – sentence
- Surprised by a loud noise – sentence fragment
- Winds of high speed – sentence fragment
- Rescue workers arrived. – sentence
- From different parts of the world – sentence fragment
- Many people were injured. – sentence
- In the weeks after the earthquake – sentence fragment
- pop music – object
- sweetly – adverb
- very quietly – adverbial phrase
- that book – object, three times – adverbial phrase
- to the bank- adverbial phrase
- her – indirect object, a present – direct object
- bitterly – adverb
- on his heels – adverbial phrase
- a list of the items to buy – object
- help – object
- a German citizen – subject complement
- a very arrogant lady – subject complement
- tired – subject complement
- green – object complement
- the queen – object complement
- stealing the mango – participial complement
- senseless – object complement
- a kind person – subject complement
- crying – participial complement
- trembling – participial complement
- Simple sentence
- Compound sentence
- Compound sentence
- Complex – whoever broke the mirror – noun clause
- Simple sentence
- Complex sentence – whom I met – adjectival clause
- Complex sentence – who stole the cow – adjectival clause
- Simple sentence
- Complex sentence – as though it affects their lives – adverbial clause
- Complex sentence – when people felt helpless about the world around them – adverbial clause.
- Complex sentence – that was designed for skiing – adjectival clause
- Simple sentence
- Simple sentence
- Complex sentence – because my dog loves crusts – adverbial clause
- Complex sentence – whenever lazy students whine – adverbial clause
- Complex sentence – whom Mrs. Ndegwa hit in the head with pieces of chalk – adjectival clause
- Complex sentence – who loves bread crusts – adjectival clause
- Complex sentence – that drinks too much milk – adjectival clause
- Complex sentence – what Aunt Lucy adds to her stew – noun clause
- Compound sentence
- Declarative Declarative
- Imperative Imperative/conditional
- Exclamatory Interrogative
- Conditional Interrogative
- Interrogative Declarative
- Exclamatory Exclamatory
- Exclamatory Conditional
- Declarative Imperative
- Imperative Declarative
- Conditional Exclamatory
- John said, “There was a terrible accident in Nairobi.”
- Petro added, “It happened in Umoja Estate.”
- “It involved a train and a bus,” added John.
- Sarah asked, “Did anyone die?”
- “No one died, but the railway line was destroyed,” answered Peter.
- “Over the months,” said John, “the railway line has been rebuilt.”
- “How lucky that no one died!” exclaimed Sarah.
- “I think they should put a railway-crossing sign board,” Petro said. “It would help bus drivers a lot.”
- “Or they should put bumps on both sides of the railway line to slow down the buses,” John suggested.
- “Who knows what might happen next?” wondered Sarah.
- Joel asked him if he saw the fire at the West Gate Mall.
- Njagi said that ten fire-engines had arrived in fifteen minutes.
- Patty exclaimed that it had destroyed an entire building.
- Joel said that one fire fighter had been slightly injured.
- Njagi said that several people working in the building had escaped unhurt.
- Patty wanted to know what would happen to them.
- Joel replied that other people were giving them food and clothes.
- Njagi added that they were resting in the school at that time.
- Patty exclaimed that those terrorists would finish them.
- Joel told them not to worry; they would be apprehended the following day.
Supply the appropriate question tags in the following sentences.
- The marriage caused a rupture in her relationship with her mother, didn’t it?
- She didn’t think anyone would be interested in a woman like her, did she?
- The troops are on standby in case chaos erupts, aren’t they?
- The Prime Minister must take a firm stand against extremists in his party, mustn’t he?
- I am the best so far, am I not?
- The amendments will strengthen the bill, won’t they?
- The new tax is tantamount to stealing from the poor, isn’t it?
- Please send all your remarks to Prof Kibwana as soon as possible, will you?
- She raised the gun and pulled the trigger, didn’t she?
- We need to learn to prioritize, don’t we?
- Get out of this room now, will you?
- We’ve made a reservation for next week, haven’t we?
- They couldn’t conceal the secret any more, could they?
- We shall not accept anything less, shall we?
- I am not a conman, am I?
- Jonny wanted to pursue a career in theatre, didn’t he?
- Sharon’s parents claim that the house is legally theirs, don’t they?
- I haven’t told you my name, have I?
- Come and visit us tomorrow, will you?
- Time will tell whether he made the right choice, won’t it?
- This play is a revision of Shakespeare’s earlier play, The Merchant of Venice.
- John Kiriamiti wrote My life in Crime.
- I admire women who vie for parliamentary seats.
- Bernard Mathenge and his wife travelled to America.
- My grandmother grew up in Witemere.
- The Nile River is one of the largest rivers in Africa.
- Each year tourists visit Maasai Mara National Park.
- The TV show Papa Shirandula has attracted many viewers.
- Uganda and Kenya have signed an agreement over the ownership of Migingo Islands.
- Our country got independence in December, 1963.
- On Christmas Day, all my relatives gathered at my home.
- Waiyaki is a fictional character in Ngugi wa Thiongo’s novel, The River Between.
- The city of Mombasa gets its water from River Tana.
- I would like to become a famous writer like Sidney Sheldon.
- They captured the stark beauty of Hell’s Gate National Park in their movie.
- He earned about three million dollars that year.
- You know who Jomo Kenyatta was, don’t you?
- What a wonderful and inspired leader he was!
- He was also a person who helped many people.
- Some people write stories, but other write poems.
- Try to write a concise, informative, and interesting letter.
- Also make sure that your letter has a heading, an inside address, a salutation, a body, a closing, and your signature.
- One of the most exciting modern developments, I believe, is the computer.
- Today is July 2, 2011. I will never forget this date.
- I have lived in Sagana, Kirinyaga County, since 2008
- Try submitting your work to the following publishers: Longhorn Publishers, Jomo Kenyatta Foundation, or Oxford University Press.
- Remember, a writing career requires the following traits: confidence, perseverance, and a thick skin!
- Long ago, people used hand–sharpened straws and reeds as pens.
- Fountain pens were invented in our great–grandparents’ time.
- Soft-tip pens and rolling-ball pens were invented twenty-five years ago.
- What would you do if you couldn’t build a house for yourself?
- You’d find someone who could build it for you, wouldn’t you?
- These archives are important to modern historians’ research.
- In his play Shreds of Tenderness, John Ruganda said, “People who have never lived through a coup d’etat have romantic ideas about it.”
- Mureithi said, “A short letter to a friend is an insult.”
SECTION A: PRONUNCIATION
- PRONUNCIATION OF VOWEL SOUNDS
In English, we have various vowel sounds. We shall study them one after the other.
Consider the letter ‘a’ in the words below. Each says this sound.
Pan Fan Ban Brash Cat
Pat Dad Ham Mat Rash
Track Cram Fanned Flash Pack
Rag Sand Slam Tag Man
- This sound is more like the sound you make when you are disgusted.
- The letters in boldface say this sound. Study them carefully.
- It is pronounced by having a much wider open mouth position.
- Inside your mouth is shown in the process of saying this sound.
- Examples of words bearing this sound include:
- This sound (referred to as schwa) is a short vowel sound.
- It mostly found in words containing letter ‘o’, for example,
- Also in words such as:
Examples of words containing this sound include:
- It is a long sound.
- The mouth doesn’t move while saying this sound, and it can be pronounced as long as you have breath.
- It is said in words such as:
- It is a short sound.
- The mouth doesn’t move.
- Each of the words below bear this sound:
- Long sound
- Said in words such as the ones below:
- Tweet etc.
It is a short sound.
In words such as:
- Blip etc.
The table below has columns with different sounds. Pronounce each of the words in the list and classify, according to the highlighted letter(s), under the column that bears that sound.
- PRONUNCIATION OF CONSONANT SOUNDS
The sound /ᵗᶴ/
- Made by releasing the stopped air through your teeth by the `tip of your tongue.
- It is voiceless because vocal cords do not vibrate when you say it.
- Most words with letters ‘CH’ say this sound, for example,
- There are those with letters ‘TCH’ for example,
- Some are with letters ‘TU’, for example,
The Sound /ᵈᶾ/
- Pronounced the same way as /ᵗᶴ/. It is just that it is voiced.
- Letters representing this sound include:
- Letters ‘DG’
- Letter ‘J’
- Letters ‘DU’
- When letter ‘G represents the sound
It does that when it is in front of an ‘e’, ‘i’, or ‘y’
- Letters ‘GE’, for example,
- Letters ‘GI’, for example,
- Letters ‘GY’, for example,
The Sound /f/
- The sound is unvoiced or voiceless.
- Air is stopped by pushing the bottom lip and top teeth together. The air is then pushed through to produce this sound.
- The /f/ sound has the following letters saying it:
- Letter ‘F’
- Letters ‘PH’
- Letters ‘GH’
The Sound /v/
- The same mouth shape as /f/ is formed when pronouncing the sound /v/.
- It is voiced.
- Your top teeth is put on your bottom lip.
- Words bearing this sound include:
The Sound /d/
- /d/ is voiced. The vocal cords vibrate.
- The low of air is stopped at the front of the mouth by tongue.
- Practice speaking the words below:
- To make this sound, your tongue stops the flow of air at the front of your mouth.
- It is a voiceless/unvoiced sound.
- It said in words like:
The sound /k/
There are various letters that say the sound /k/. let’s study these letters.
- Letter ‘K’ always say this sound. Examples of words include:
- Letter ‘C’, for example,
- Colic etc.
- Letters ‘CK’ for example
- Back etc.
- Letter ‘Q’ for example,
- Letters ‘CH’, for example,
The Sound /g/
Found in words such as:
The Sound /ᶴ/
- This sound is unvoiced – only air passes through the mouth when said.
- The teeth are put together and the corners of the lips are brought together towards the middle.
- Most words with letters ‘sh’ this sound. For example,
- There are words with letters ‘CH’ that say this sound, for example,
- Some words with ‘SU’ also say it, for example,
- There are yet those with letters ‘TIO’, for example,
- Then there are those with letters ‘SIO’, for example,
- Pronounced with your tongue between your teeth.
- It is unvoiced.
- The words bearing this sound include:
- Unlike /ᶿ/, it is voiced.
- It also pronounced with tongue touching or between your teeth.
- It is found in such words as:
- This is a hissing sound like a snake.
- It is voiceless.
- The few rules for some of the common spellings that say the sound /s/ are:
- Letter ‘S’, for example,
- Letter ‘SC’, for example,
- Letter ‘X’, for example,
- Letter ‘C’, for example,
- The /z/ is like the sound of buzzing bees.
- It is voiced.
- Most words with the letter ‘Z’ say /z/, for example,
- There are those words with letter ‘S’ saying this sound, for example,
- The other group of words are those with letter ‘X’, for example,
- Words bearing this sound are borrowed from French.
- Pronounced in the same way as /ᶴ/ only that is voiced.
- The examples of words with this sound are:
Practice in sentences
- Measure the beige door on the garage.
- It was my decision to fly to Asia to seek treasure.
- Raise the back of your tongue to slightly touch the back teeth on both sides of your mouth. The centre part of the tongue remains lower to allow air to move over it.
- It is voiced.
- It is found in words with letter ‘R’ e.g.
- It is also said in words with letters ‘WR’ e.g.
- Your lips form a small, tight circle when making the sound /w/.
- Letters representing the /w/ sound are:
- Letter ‘W’
- Letters WH
- Letters ‘QU’
- Made by pressing the lips lightly.
- The words that follow contain the sound:
Read the sentence below pronouncing each word correctly and then group the words in their appropriate columns. Consider the highlighted letters.
The seven students took the first test for their driver’s licences on Thursday.
Considering the pronunciation of highlighted letters, pick the odd word out.
- Judge, gesture, garage
- Jump, gift, geological
- Fungi, just, go
- Digit, game, gamble
- Hygiene, prodigy, entangle
- Gecko, gem, zoology
Pronounce each word correctly and then group it under the column containing the sound that the highlighted letter(s) bear.
Circle the letter(s) that say /f/ and underline those saying /v/ in the sentences below.
- Please forgive me for forgetting the leftover food.
- Save the four wolves that live in the cave.
- A diphthong is a combination of two vowel sounds.
- Some of the diphthongs include:
In words like;
Said in words such as:
The words containing this diphthong are:
- Change etc.
Write another word pronounced the same way as:
- MINIMAL PAIRS
Study the pairs of words below carefully.
Fit – feet
Let – late
Van – fan
Pun – pan
- What do you notice? You realize that only one sound makes the pronunciation of one word distinct from the other. Each pair is called a minimal pair.
- A minimal pair is therefore a pair of words that vary by only one sound especially those that usually confuse learners, such as /l/ and /r/, /b/ and /p/, and many others.
Minimal Pairs of Vowel Sounds
Sound /i/ and /i:/
- Bid – bead
- Bit – beat
- Bitch – beach
- Bin – bean/ been
- Chip – cheap
- Fit – feat/ feet
- Fist – feast
- Fizz – fees
- Gin – gene
- Sin – seen/ scene
- Still – steal/ steel
- Sick – seek
- Is – ease
- Itch – each
- Risen – reason
- Piss – piece/ peace
- Pick – peak/ peek
- Mill – meal
Write another word in which either sound /i/ and /i:/ will make it vary from the one given.
Sounds /i/ and /e/
- Did – dead
- Disk – desk
- Built – belt
- Bit – bet
- Lipped – leapt
- Middle – meddle
- Fill – fell
- Bid – bed
- Bill – bell
- Lit – let
- List – lest
- Clinch – clench
Complete the table below with a word in which either the sound /e/ or /i/ brings the difference in pronunciation.
Sounds /e/ and /ei/
The following words vary by one having the vowel sound /e/ and the other a diphthong /ei/
- Wet – wait
- Bread – braid
- Fen – feign
- Bed – bade
- Get – gate/ gait
- Let – late
- Met – mate
- Lest – laced
- Tech – take
- West – waste/ waist
- When – wane
- Edge – age
- Gel – jail
- Lens – lanes
- Breast – braced
- Sent – saint
- Test – taste
- Best – based
- Wren – rain/ reign
- Led – laid
- Bled – blade
- Fed – fade
Each word below has another word in which either the sound /e/ or /ei/ will bring the distinction in pronunciation. Write that word.
Sounds /ᵆ/ and /ᶺ/
- Batter – butter
- Cap – cup
- Cat – cut
- Back – buck
- Brash – brush
- Dabble – double
- Rang – rung
- Track – truck
- Bad – bud
- Began – begun
- Bag – bug
- Pan – pun
- Drank – drunk
- Fan – fun
- Hat – hut
- Badge – budge
- Hang – hung
- Massed – must
- Rash – rush
- Sank – sunk
- Ran – run
- Swam – swum
- Ban – bun
- Ham – hum
Complete the table below with the minimal pair of the word. Consider the sound indicated in each column.
Sounds /ᵆ/ and /e/
Look at the list below.
- Bad – bed
- And – end
- Had – head
- Jam – gem
- Pat – pet
- Sat – set
- Shall – shell
- Man –men
- Bag – beg
- Ham – hem
- Pan – pen
- Sad – said
- Manned – mend
- Land – lend
Complete the table with appropriate word that vary with the sound indicated in the column.
Minimal Pairs of /ɑ˸/ and /ᵌ˸/
- fast – first
- bath – berth/birth
- heart – hurt
- bard – bird
- car – cur
- card – curd
- guard – gird
- pa – per
- bar – bur
- barn – burn
- carve – curve
- dart – dirt
- par – purr
- park – perk
- star – stir
- arc – irk
Considering the sounds /ɑ˸/ and /ᵌ˸/, write the minimal pair of:
Minimal Pairs of /b/ and /v/
- bat – vat
- beer – veer
- bowl – vole
- bow – vow
- gibbon – given
- bale – veil
- bane – vein
- curb – curve
- bolt – volt
- bowl – vole
- broom – vroom
- dribble – drivel
- dub – dove
- jibe – jive
- rebel – revel
There is another word that will vary with the one written below with just one sound. Depending on the sounds /b/ and /v/, write that word.
Minimal pairs of /f/ and /v/
- Fan – van
- Off – of
- Fat – vat
- Fee – v
- Foul – vowel
- Fender – vendor
- Serf/Surf – serve
- Duff – dove
- Fie – vie
- Foal – vole
- Guff – guv
- Waif – waive
- Gif – give
- Life – live
- Safe – save
- Belief – believe
- Feel – veal
- Staff – starve
- Feign – vain/ vein
- Foist – voiced
- Fox – vox
- Reef – reeve
Write the minimal pair of the word below with consideration being either the sound /f/ or /v/.
Minimal Pairs of Sounds/s/ and /ᶿ/
- Mouse – mouth
- Sing – thing
- Face – faith
- Force – fourth
- Sick – thick
- Sink – think
- Sort – thought
- Tense – tenth
- Mass – math
- Miss – myth
- Pass – path
- Saw – thaw
- Seem – theme
- Some – thumb
- Song – thong
- Worse – worth
- Gross – growth
- Sigh – thigh
- Sin – thin
- Sum – thumb
- Piss – pith
- Sawn – thorn
- Symbol – thimble
- Sore – thaw
- Truce – truth
- Suds – thuds
- Sought – thought
- Moss – moth
- Sank – thank
- Sump – thump
Sounds /t/ and /d/
- Town – down
- Touch – Dutch
- Tear – dare
- Ten – den
- Tongue – dung
- Tart – dart
- Tech – deck
- Tin – din
- Toe – doe
- Tough – duff
- Tuck – duck
- Tab – dab
- Tank – dank
- Tick – dick
- Tine – dine
- Hat – had
- Spent – spend
- Too/ to/two – do
- Train – drain
- Tide – dyed/died
- Torn – dawn
- Teal – deal
- Teen – dean
- Tyre/tire – dire
- Toes – doze
- Tout – doubt
- Tug – dug
- Tale/ tail – dale
- Teed – deed
- Tier – deer
- Tint – dint
- Sheet – she’d
- Wait – weighed
- Tie – die
- Try – dry
- Tear – dear
- Tip – dip
- Tame – dame
- Team – deem
- Tent – dent
- Toast – dosed
- Tomb – doom
- Tower – dour
- Tux – ducks
- Tamp – damp
- Tell – dell
- Till – dill
- Tusk – dusk
- Sight – side
- Beat – bead
Each word below has another word in which all the sounds are the same except either the sound /t/ or /d/ is different. Write that word.
Minimal Pairs of /k/ and /g/
- Came – game
- Card – guard
- Cold – gold
- Clean – glean
- Crate – great
- Cap – gap
- Coast – ghost
- Kale – gale
- Can – gone
- Course – gorse
- Cram – gram
- Crepe – grape
- Crew – grew
- Croup – group
- Crow – grow
- Key – ghee
- K – gay
- Clamour – glamour
- Clad – glad
- Crane – grain
- Creed – greed
- Krill – grill
- Cunning – gunning
- Cab – gab
- Cape – gape
- Clam – glam
- Cord – gored
- Coup – goo
- Crate – grate
- Cuff – guff
- Clock – clog
- Dock – dog
- Frock – frog
- Muck – mug
- Brick – brig
- Broke – brogue
- Crack – crag
- Prick – prig
- Puck – pug
- Shack – shag
- Slack – slag
- Snuck – snug
- Stack – stag
- Whack – wag
- Wick – wig
- Jock – jog
- Lack – lag
- Luck – lug
- Beck – beg
- Cock – cog
- Hack – hag
- Pick – pig
Complete the table with appropriate word that only differs with one sound with the one given. Consider the sounds in the columns.
Words pronounced the same way but have different spellings and meanings are the homophones. The list below is English homophones.
- Accessary accessory
- Ad, add
- Ail, ale
- Air, heir
- Aisle, I’ll, isle
- All, awl
- Allowed, aloud
- Alms, arms
- Altar, alter
- Ante, anti
- Arc, ark
- Aural, oral
- Away, aweigh
- Awe, oar, or, ore
- Axel, axle
- Aye, eye, I
- Bail, bale
- Bait, bate
- Baize, bays
- Bald, bawled
- Ball, bawl
- Band, banned
- Bard, barred
- Bare, bear
- Bark, barque
- Baron, barren
- Base, bass
- Bay, bey
- Bazaar, bizarre
- Be, bee
- Beach, beech
- Bean, been
- Beat, beet
- Beau, bow
- Beer, bier
- Bell, belle
- Berry, bury
- Berth, birth
- Bight, bite, byte
- Billed, build
- Bitten, bittern
- Blew, blue
- Bloc, block
- Boar, bore
- Board, bored
- Boarder, border
- Bold, bawled
- Boos, booze
- Born, borne
- Bough, bow
- Boy, buoy
- Brae, bray
- Braid, brayed
- Braise, brays, braze
- Brake, break
- Bread, bred
- Brews, bruise
- Bridal, bridle
- Broach, brooch
- Bur, burr
- But, butt
- Buy, by, bye
- Buyer, byre
- Call, caul
- Canvas, canvass
- Cast, caste
- Caster, castor
- Caught, court
- Caw, core, corps
- Cede, seed
- Ceiling, sealing
- Censer, censor, sensor
- Cent, scent, sent
- Cereal, serial
- Cheap, cheep
- Check, cheque
- Choir, quire
- Chord, cord
- Cite, sight, site
- Clack, claque
- Clew, clue
- Climb, clime
- Close, cloze
- Coarse, course
- Coign, coin
- Colonel, kernel
- Complacent, complaisant
- Complement, compliment
- Coo, coup
- Cops, copse
- Council, counsel
- Cousin, cozen
- Creak, creek
- Crews, cruise
- Cue, queue
- Curb, kerb
- Currant, current
- Cymbal, symbol
- Dam, damn
- Days, daze
- Dear, deer
- Descent, dissent
- Desert, dessert
- Deviser, divisor
- Dew, due
- Die, dye
- Discreet, discrete
- Doe, dough
- Done, dun
- Douse, dowse
- Draft, draught
- Dual, duel
- Earn, urn
- Ewe, yew, you
- Faint, feint
- Fair, fare
- Farther, father
- Fate, fete
- Faun, fawn
- Fay, fey
- Faze, phase
- Feat, feet
- Ferrule, ferule
- Few, phew
- File, phial
- Find, fined
- Fir, fur
- Flair, flare
- Flaw, floor
- Flea, flee
- Flex, flecks
- Flew, flu, flue
- Floe, flow
- Flour, flower
- Foaled, fold
- For, fore, four
- Foreword, forward
- Fort, fought
- Forth, fourth
- Foul, fowl
- Franc, frank
- Freeze, frieze
- Friar, fryer
- Furs, furze
- Gait, gate
- Gamble, gambol
- Gays, gaze
- Genes, jeans
- Gild, guild
- Gilt, guilt
- Gnaw, nor
- Gneiss, nice
- Gorilla, guerrilla
- Grate, great
- Greave, grieve
- Greys, graze
- Groan, grown
- Guessed, guest
- Hail, hale
- Hair, hare
- Hall, haul
- Hangar, hanger
- Hart, heart
- Haw, hoar, whore
- Hay, hey
- Heal, heel, he’ll
- Hear, here
- Heard, herd
- He’d, heed
- Heroin, heroine
- Hew, hue
- Hi, high
- Higher, hire
- Him, hymn
- Ho, hoe
- Hoard, horde
- Hoarse, horse
- Holey, holy, wholly
- Hour, our
- Idle, idol
- In, inn
- Indict, indite
- It’s, its
- Jewel, joule
- Key, quay
- Knave, nave
- Knead, need
- Knew, new
- Knight, night
- Knit, nit
- Knob, nob
- Knock, nock
- Knot, not
- Know, no
- Knows, nose
- Laager, lager
- Lac, lack
- Lade, laid
- Lain, lane
- Lam, lamb
- Laps, lapse
- Larva, lava
- Lase, laze
- Law, lore
- Lay, ley
- Lea, lee
- Leach, leech
- Lead, led
- Leak, leek
- Lean, lien
- Lessen, lesson
- Levee, levy
- Liar, lyre
- Licker, liquor
- Lie, lye
- Lieu, loo
- Links, lynx
- Lo, low
- Load, lode
- Loan, lone
- Locks, lox
- Loop, loupe
- Loot, lute
- Made, maid
- Mail, male
- Main, mane
- Maize, maze
- Mall, maul
- Manna, manner
- Mantel, mantle
- Mare, mayor
- Mark, marque
- Marshal, martial
- Mask, masque
- Maw, more
- Me, mi
- Mean, mien
- Meat, meet, mete
- Medal, meddle
- Metal, mettle
- Meter, metre
- Might, mite
- Miner, minor
- Mind, mined
- Missed, mist
- Moat, mote
- Mode, mowed
- Moor, more
- Moose, mousse
- Morning, mourning
- Muscle, mussel
- Naval, navel
- Nay, neigh
- None, nun
- Od, odd
- Ode, owed
- Oh, owe
- One, won
- Packed, pact
- Pail, pale
- Pain, pane
- Pair, pare, pear
- Palate, palette, pallet
- Paten, pattern,
- Pause, paws, pores, pours
- Pawn, porn
- Pea, pee
- Peace, piece
- Peak, peek
- Peal, peel
- Pearl, purl
- Pedal, peddle
- Peer, pier
- Pi, pie
- Place, plaice
- Plain, plane
- Pleas, please
- Plum, plumb
- Pole, poll
- Practice, practise
- Praise, prays, preys
- Principal, principle
- Profit, prophet
- Quarts, quartz
- Quean, queen
- Rain, reign, rein
- Raise, rays, raze
- Rap, wrap
- Raw, roar
- Read, reed
- Read, red
- Real, reel
- Reek, wreak
- Rest, wrest
- Retch, wretch
- Review, revue
- Rheum, room
- Right, rite, write
- Ring, wring
- Road, rode
- Roe, row
- Role, roll
- Roux, rue
- Rood, rude
- Root, route
- Rose, rows
- Rota, rotor
- Rote, wrote
- Rough, ruff
- Rouse, rows
- Rung, wrung
- Rye, wry
- Saver, savour
- Spade, spayed
- Sale, sail
- Sane, seine
- Satire, satyr
- Sauce, source
- Saw, soar, sore
- Scene, seen
- Scull, skull
- Sea, see
- Seam, seem
- Sear, seer, sere
- Seas, sees, seize
- Sew, so, sow
- Shake, sheikh
- Shear, sheer
- Shoe, shoo
- Sic, sick
- Side, sighed
- Sign, sine
- Sink, synch
- Slay, sleigh
- Sloe, slow
- Sole, soul
- Some, sum
- Son, sun
- Sort, sought
- Spa, spar
- Staid, stayed
- Stair, stare
- Stake, stoak
- Stalk, stork
- Stationary, stationery
- Steal, steel
- Stile, style
- Storey, story
- Straight, strait
- Sweat, sweet
- Swat, swot
- Tacks, tax
- Tale, tail
- Talk, torque
- Tare, tear
- Taught, taut, tort
- Tea, tee
- Team, teem
- Teas, tease
- Tare, tear
- Tern, turn
- There, their, they’re
- Throw, through
- Throes, throws
- Throne, thrown
- Thyme, time
- Tic, tick
- Tide, tied
- Tire, tyre
- To, too, two
- Toad, toed, towed
- Told, tolled
- Tole, toll
- Ton, tun
- Tor, tore
- Tough, tuff
- Troop, troupe
- Tuba, tuber
- Vain, vane, vein
- Vale, veil
- Vial, vile
- Wail, wale, whale
- Wain, wane
- Waist, waste
- Waive, wave
- Wall, waul
- War, wore
- Warn, worn
- Wart, wort
- Watt, what
- Wax, whacks
- Way, weigh
- We, wee
- Weak, week
- We’d, weed
- Weal, we’ll, wheel
- Weather, whether
- Weir, we’re
- Were, whirr
- Wet, whet
- Weald, wheeled
- Which, witch
- Whig, wig
- While, wile
- Whine, wine
- Whirl, whorl
- Whirled, world
- Whit, wit
- White, wight
- Who’s, whose
- Wood, would
- Yaw, yore, your, you’re
- Yoke, yolk
- You’ll, yule
Write two words pronounced the same way as each of the following words.
- SILENT LETTERS
In English there are letters that are usually not pronounced in certain words. Let us have a look at these letters and words in which they are silent.
Identify the silent letter(s) in:
Not all syllables in a word are given equal emphasis. By the same token, not all words in a sentence are said with equal length.
The relative emphasis that may be given to certain syllables in a word, or certain words in a sentence is what we refer to as stress.
You say a syllable or a word is stressed when it is said louder or longer than the rest.
Stress is studied in two levels:
- Word level; and
- Sentence level.
Stress at the Word Level
A part of a certain word when said louder or longer then it is stressed.
Rules of Word Stress
- For two-syllable nouns and adjectives, stress the first, for example
Cloudy carton table
- For verbs with two syllables and prepositions, emphasize the second syllable, for example
- Words with three syllables.
- Those ending in –er, -ly, emphasis put on the first syllable, for example,
- Stress the first, for those ending in consonants and in –y, for example,
- Stress the last syllable if the word ends in –ee, -ese, -eer, -ique, -ette, for example,
- Look at the ones with the suffixes below, where stress is placed on the second,
Cial: judicial, commercial
-cian: musician, clinician
-tal : capital, recital
Stress is important in studying the heteronyms. A pair, or group of words is referred to as heteronym when those words are spelled the same way but have different pronunciation and meaning. We have two main categories of heteronyms:
- Noun- verb pairs; and
- Verb -and-adjective pairs.
We stress the first syllable if noun and the second if verb.
Examples of noun-and-verb pairs are included in the table below:
- Many factories produce the produce we import.
- Allan became a convert after deciding to convert to Christianity.
Sentence stress is accent on certain words within a sentence.
Most sentences have two basic word types:
- Content words which are the key words carrying the sense or meaning- message.
- Structure words which just make the sentence grammatically correct. They give the sentence its structure.
Look at the sentence below:
Buy milk feeling tired.
Though the sentence is incomplete, you will probably understand the message in it. The four words are the content words. Verbs, nouns, adjectives, are content words.
You can add words to the sentence to have something like:
Will you buy me milk since I am feeling tired?
The words: will, you, me, since, I, are just meant to make the sentence correct grammatically. They can also be stressed to bring the intended meaning.
Now let’s study the sentence below:
Joan doesn’t think Akinyi stole my green skirt.
Each word in the sentence can be stressed to bring the meaning as illustrated in the table.
|Joan doesn’t think Akinyi stole my green skirt.||She doesn’t think that, but someone else does.|
|Joan doesn’t think Akinyi stole my green skirt.||It is not true that Joan thinks that.|
|Joan doesn’t thinkAkinyi stole my green skirt.||Joan doesn’t think that, she knows that.|
|Joan doesn’t think Akinyi stole my green skirt.||Not Akinyi, but someone else. Probably Njuguna or Adhiambo.|
|Joan doesn’t think Akinyistole my green skirt.||Joan thinks Akinyi did something to the green skirt, may be washed it.|
|Joan doesn’t think Akinyi stole my green skirt.||Joan thinks Akinyi stole someone else’s green skirt, but not mine.|
|Joan doesn’t think Akinyi stole my green skirt.||She thinks Akinyi stole my red skirt which is also missing.|
|Joan doesn’t think Akinyi stole my green skirt.||Joan thinks Akinyi stole my green shirt. She mispronounced the word.|
- The words that follow can be nouns or verbs dependingon the stressed syllable. Use each as both the verb and noun in a single sentence.
- Underline the part of the word in boldface you will stress in each of the following sentences.
- The boy has been asked to sert the de.sert.
- My handsome cortwilles.cort me to the dance.
- After updating my sume, I will re.sume my job search.
- They have to testin the annual Math con.test.
- If you vict me, I will remain a con.vict for 5 years.
Each word in the sentences below can be stressed to bring the meaning. What will be the meaning when each word is stressed?
- I love your sister’s handwriting.
- You came late today.
- It is the rise and fall of voice in speaking.
- Intonation is crucial for communication.
- In English there are basically two kinds of intonation: rising and
- We can use arrows to show the intonation – whether rising or falling. ↘ represents falling intonation while ↗ represents the rising one.
- Falling intonation is when we lower our voice at the end of a sentence.
- This usually happens in:
- Statements, for example,
- I like↘
- It is nice working with ↘
- She travelled to↘
- W/H Questions
- What is your ↘name?
- Where do you ↘live?
- How old are↘ you?
- Who is this young↘ man?
- Get out ↘
- Give me the ↘
- Close your ↘
- Exclamatory sentences e.g.
- What a wonderful ↘present!
- How ↘nice of you
- When we lower our voice.
- Used in:
- General Questionsg.
Do you visit them↗ often?
Have you seen ↗her?
Are you ready to ↗start?
Could you give me a↗ pen, please?
- Alternative questionsg.
Do you want ↗coffee or ↘tea?
Does he speak↗ Kiswahili or ↘English?
- Before tag questionsg.
This is a beautiful ↘place, ↗isn’t it?
She knows↘ him,↗ doesn’t she?
↗One, ↗two,↗ three, ↗four,↘ five.
She bought ↗bread, ↗cheese, ↗oranges, and ↘apples.
Using an arrow, determine whether rising or falling intonation is used in the sentences.
- This music sounds good.
- I love watching horror movies.
- My sister’s name is Amina.
- Blue is my favourite colour.
- Is that tv good?
- Do you like that movie?
- Are you hungry?
- Get me my shoes.
- Study your lessons now.
- Are you insane?
- How many more hours before you are done with your work?
- Which novel is the best for you?
- He is a little bit nervous, isn’t he?
- You should listen to your parents’ advice.
- Did you finish your homework?
- Water is good for the body.
- This is good!
- What a crazy show.
SECTION B: MASTERY OF CONTENT
- A formal contest of argumentation between two sides is what debate is.
- Debate embodies the ideals of reasoned argument, and tolerance for divergent points of view.
- There are two sides in the debate: the proposition and the
- These two teams are presented with a resolution, such as, ‘Girls and Boys Should play in a mixed football team.’
- The teams are given enough preparation time.
- The team affirming the resolution speaks first.
- The opposing team then must refute the arguments offered by the affirming team and offer arguments rejecting the resolution.
- Both sides are given the opportunity to present their positions and to directly question the other team.
- Neutral judge (s) then evaluate the persuasiveness of the arguments and offer constructive feedback.
This is the time you have from when the motion is announced to the beginning of the debate. During this time:
- Research on the motion to get facts. The facts can be got from the teachers, other students, etc.
- Write notes on the facts. You can once in a while look at them during your presentation.
- Practice how to speak. Do it in front of friends and relatives, as well as in front of a mirror.
- If anxious, do some physical exercise. You can also take a deep breath just before your presentation.
- Dress decently.
Here are the points that will help you be successful during your points delivery:
- Deliver your points in a confident and persuasive way.
- Vary your tone to make you sound interesting. Listening to one tone is boring.
- Speak quite loudly to be comfortably heard by everyone in the room. Shouting does not win debates.
- Make eye contact with your audience, but keep shifting your gaze. Don’t stare at one person.
- Concisely and clearly express your points to be understood by your audience members.
- Provide a proof for each point you put across. If you don’t you will not earn a point.
- Speak slowly and enunciate your words. When you slow down your speech, you give your audience and the judge more time to process your strong points.
- Use gestures to elaborate on your points.
- Pause to divide your major points.
- Only supportive and argumentative heckling is permitted.
- Heckling is a brief phrase (about two words) or other non- verbal actions that are directed to the judge of the debate.
- They are reminder to the judge to pay close attention to the message immediately expressed by the speaker.
- There are two types of heckles:
- Those that are non-verbal, such as,
- Rapping the knuckles on the desktop.
- Rapping the palm on the desk.
- Stamping the feet
They are meant to encourage the judge to heed a particularly strong point being made by the speaker.
- Those that are verbal, such as,
- Point of information
They are said after standing up by one member of the opposing side. These are meant to alert the judge to a problem in the opposing side’s argument.
After you deliver your points during the debate, everyone claps for you. How could you have delivered your points to earn their heckling?
Have you ever attended the formal meetings where you are asked questions and are expected to respond to them? More than once you will be invited to attend interviews. You can also invite someone to interview. For this reason, you should some interview tips.
The two participants in an interview are the interviewer (at times a panel of interviewers), and the interviewee.
Tips for the Interviewees
Job Interview Preparations
If you really want to be considered for a particular job following an interview, you have to adequately prepare to succeed. The following are the preparations the interviewee would put in place before the interview:
- Contact your referees to alert them that you will be interviewed and they are likely to receive a call.
- Prepare your documents. Make sure they are neat and well arranged.
- Know the location where you are having the interview. It will help you know how long it will take you to reach there.
- Do some research about the organization.
- Prepare what to wear and how to groom.
- Anticipate potential questions and prepare answers correctly.
- Arrive early enough for the interview.
- Prepare questions to ask the interviewer at the end. It will show how much you are interested in working there.
During the Interview;
- Greet the interviewer.
- Knock on the door and wait for response before you enter. Shut the door behind you quietly.
- Wait until you are offered the seat before sitting.
- Sit or stand upright and look alert throughout.
- Make good eye contact with the interviewer to show you are honest.
- Explain your answers whenever possible and avoid answering questions with yes/no as answers.
- Answer questions honestly. Don’t ever lie!
Common Blunders you MUST Avoid
Avoid falling foul of the following:
- Turning up late for the interview.
- Dressing and grooming inappropriately.
- Giving simple yes/no as answers.
- Speaking negatively about your previous employer.
- Sitting before invited.
- Discussing time-off or money.
As an Interviewer
Before the Interview:
- Write down questions to ask.
- Call the prospective employee’s referees.
- Prepare the place for the interview.
- Alert the interviewee about the interview. Mention the time and place.
- Arrive early for the interview.
During the Interview:
- Allow them enough time to respond to questions.
- Encourage them to speak by, for example, nodding your head when they answer questions.
- Speak and ask questions politely. Be friendly but formal as much as you can.
- Make eye contact with the interviewee to show you are listening to them.
You are the secretary of journalism Club at Maembe Dodo Mixed School. On Friday you would like to interview your school Deputy Principal on the issue of Students’ Discipline.
- Write down any three questions you would ask him/her.
- Other than writing down questions to ask, how else would you prepare for this day?
- State four things you would do as you interview him.
Read the conversation below and then answer questions after it.
Ms Naomi: Welcome to our Doctor’s office.
Mr. Josh: Nice to be here.
Ms Naomi: I see from your resume that you are a cardiologist with 10 years of practice.
Mr. Josh: That’s right.
Ms Naomi: This interview is just to get to know you a little and then there are follow up interviews. So what do you do in your free time?
Mr. Josh: I like golfing and swimming. I also like to read newspapers.
Ms Naomi: Why did you want to be a doctor?
Mr. Josh: Actually I love helping people get well. I think cardiology has made great strides recently and I would like to share my findings with others.
Ms Naomi: Have you written in any scientific journals so far?
Mr. Josh: Not yet. But hopefully soon.
Ms Naomi: OK, we’d like to learn more about you. Let’s go for lunch with our colleagues, if that’s OK.
Mr. Josh: That’s fine, I am free.
- What two things qualify Ms Naomi as a good interviewer?
- Identify two evidences of interview tips displayed by Mr. Josh.
Have you ever stood in front of a big group of people to present your talk? Well here we shall learn how to prepare your speech and deliver it effectively.
Preparation for Speech Delivery
There are steps any speaker should follow in preparation for presentation of speech. They include:
- Doing some research on the topic to present. Get the facts about the topic. If you do enough research, your confidence level will be boosted.
- Practice in front of a group of friends or relatives. This can also be done in front of a mirror, or videotaping your rehearsals. You will be able to correct your gestures, postures etc.
- Write down the points about the topic on a note pad. You can refer to them when giving the speech.
- Plan on how to groom and dress decently. You should appear presentable to feel confident.
Grabbing and Keeping Audience Attention
Your opening determines how long your audience will listen to your presentation. If they are bored from the beginning; the chance that your message will effectively get across is very little.
The most commonly used methods are:
- Asking a question. The question should make them think about the topic. For example, ‘How many of you would like to be millionaires?’
- Stating an impressive fact connected to the topic of your presentation. For example: ‘About 30% of Kenyans are millionaires.’
- Telling a story closely connected to the topic. It should neither be too long nor intended to try to glorify the speaker. For example: “Dear audience, before I begin I would like to tell you a short story about Maina Wa Kamau became a millionaire. Don’t worry, it’s not too long. …..”
Other methods of beginning a speech are:
- Using humour
- Starting with a quote that ties with your topic.
- Using sound effect.
Presentation of Speech
There are various techniques of delivering speech. They are what will ensure understanding of your message. Some of these techniques include:
- Use gestures effectively to reinforce the words and ideas you are trying to communicate to your audience. For example, when talking about love, you can use your hands to form a cup shape to indicate how tiny something is.
- Make eye contact with your audience members to study their reactions to you. If you sense boredom, you need to improve and if you sense enthusiasm, it will help pump you up.
- Use movements to establish contact with your audience. Getting closer to them physically increases their attention and interest, as well as encouraging response if you are asking questions.
- Your posture should be upright. The way you conduct yourself on the platform will indicate you are relaxed and in control. Do not lean or slouch.
- Wear appropriate facial expressions to show feelings and emotions. Smile to show happiness, for example.
- Speak loud enough to be heard by all your audience members.
- Pronounce the words correctly and speak clearly for your message to be understood.
- Pause at key points to let the message sink.
Almost all speakers are nervous. Even the most experienced do. Fear of addressing a group is not wrong, but how we deal with it is what is possibly not good enough. Those speakers who seem relaxed and confident have learnt how to handle anxiety.
Symptoms of Nervous Speakers
An anxious speaker can be identified in case of:
- Shaking hands
- Sweating palms
- Dry mouth
- Rapid heartbeat
- Squeaky voice
- Knocking knees
- Facial flushes
- Watery eyes
- Mental confusions
Causes of Fear
- Past failures during presentation. Plan to succeed instead.
- Poor or insufficient preparation. Nothing gives you more confidence than being ready.
- Discomfort with your own body and movement.
Dealing with Anxiety
A speaker can try the suggestions below to deal with anxiety before and on the day of speech.
Before the day;
- Know your topic by doing adequate and thorough research. You will be sure of presenting accurate information and be able to answer questions asked by audience members.
- Practice delivering your speech several times. This helps you be sure of your organization of the main points.
On that day;
- Do some physical exercises like press ups, push walls, etc. to reduce anxiety.
- Use simple relaxation techniques like taking deep breath, tightening and relaxing your muscles, etc.
- Wear clothes that you feel confident in. when you feel good about of you feel, your confidence level is boosted. You don’t need to adjust your clothes or hair during your speech.
- Spot friendly faces in the crowd. These are people who give you positive feedback (e.g. nodding, smiling). Such faces give you encouragement to speak.
- Come up with ways to hide your anxiety. For example,
- When mouth goes dry, drink some water
- In case of excessive sweating, wear clothes that will not allow your audience detect
- If your hands shake, use gestures to mask the shaking.
In the next three days, you are presenting a speech on the topic: Effects of HIV/AIDS.
- Write down any three ways you would prepare for the speech delivery.
- State the techniques you would employ to ensure your audience listens to you throughout and that they understand the message during the presentation.
Makufuli is presenting his speech. Your friend, Makwere claims that Makufuli is not confident.
- What could have warranted this claim?
- State four reasons that could be behind Makufuli’s state?
- Discussion is a process where exchange of ideas and opinions are debated upon in a group.
- A group which comprises a small number of people is given a topic to discuss.
Preparation for Group Discussion
Do the following before you start the discussion:
- Select/choose group leaders. Choose the secretary to write the points down and the chair to lead the discussions.
- Research round the topic to make sure you have the points. You can get the points from the sources including:
- Newspapers and magazines
- Friends, relatives and teachers
- Text books
- Arrive early for discussions. It is advisable you do so so that you start early and finish early.
- Gather writing materials – pen and note book.
- Prepare with questions to ask.
Participating in a Group Discussion
Remember the tips below for success during the discussion:
- Learn to listen to each other and respond to what other people have to say.
- Speak with moderation. What you say is usually more important than how much you say. Quality is needed rather than the quantity.
- Back up each point you put across. You can explain your points in a number of ways including:
- Providing facts or statistics to support it;
- Quoting expert opinion;
- Explain why said what you said; and
- Referring to your own experience.
- Stay calm and polite. Use polite words like ‘May I ….?, please …, etc.’
- Take notes of important words and ideas.
- Speak clearly.
- Speak loud enough to be heard by all the group members.
The Common Discussion Mistakes
Having learnt what you should do during the discussion, let us now learn what under no circumstances y do. You should never:
- Dominate the discussion;
- Interrupt abruptly;
- Be inaudible;
- Carry out mini-meetings; or
- Talk over each other.
You and your group members have been assigned the topic: ‘Responsibilities of a Good Citizen’ by your teacher of History and Government. You are supposed to discuss this before you give the presentation in two days.
- State three ways in which you would prepare before you start discussing the topic.
- How would you ensure your group members and yourself benefit from this discussion?
- ORAL REPORTS
- From the heading, an oral report is spoken, not written.
- Being oral, it doesn’t mean writing is not involved. As part of preparation, you have to write notes on the topic or at least an outline of points.
- When asked to present an oral report you get the opportunity to practice your speaking skills.
- A spoken report has various elements including an introduction, body and conclusion.
Preparation for Oral Reports
You can prepare by:
- Researching on the topic. Get all the facts about what is known and unknown by your audience.
- Take notes on the facts about the topic. Choose your words appropriately in the process.
- Practice the report before presenting it. You may
- Practice in front of a mirror.
- Practice in front of friends or relatives.
- Videotape your rehearsals.
More practice is required if it has to be memorized.
- Plan on how to dress and groom.
- Prepare the visual aids if you plan to use the them. Select the appropriate chart, picture, etc. that will make abstract ideas concrete.
- Stand up straight. Your upper body should be held straight, but not stiff. Do not fidget.
- Make eye contact in order to look surer of yourself and to ensure your audience listens better.
- Vary your tone appropriately and speak clearly.
- Use gestures to make your points well understood and to keep the audience interested.
- Pause at key points to let the point sick.
- Speak loud enough for everyone to hear you.
- If you have visual aids use them appropriately.
You have seen thieves robbing your neighbor’s house. During this time you have your phone that you have used to capture one of the two robbers. The next day you are called at the police station to report on what occurred.
- State any three ways you would prepare to deliver this oral report.
- What three details would you include in your report?
- How would you deliver the report to ensure the information is understood?
SECTION C: ETIQUETTE
Etiquette is the rules that indicate the proper and polite manner to behave.
- USE OF COURTEOUS LANGUAGE
- When one uses courteous language, he/she uses a language that is very polite and polished to show respect.
- At no time should you allow yourself be rude, ill-mannered, impolite, inconsiderate, or even thoughtless.
- Being and remaining polite will go a long way in building relationships.
- To show politeness and respect:
- Use the word please in request;
- Say thank you to those who help or compliment you.
- Start your requests or interrogatives beginning with words such as can, could, may, will, or would.
- Say excuse me when you interrupt other people or intrude into their time or privacy.
- Use question tags.
- In this section, we shall learn the words and phrases that show respect.
- We use it when you want someone to do something for you. For example: Can you pass that cup, please?
- Also used when you want something from someone. For example: Lend me ten shillings, please.
- Thank you
- Use it whenever someone does something for you.
- Use it when someone commends you.
- Say it any time you inconvenience someone.
- Say it when step on someone’s toes, etc.
- Also when someone asks you something you cannot do.
- Excuse me
To introduce a request to someone, or to get past someone, use this phrase. For example
Excuse me, can you show me where Amina lives?
- Pardon me
Almost as ‘excuse me’
Jennifer has gone to the shop to buy a bar of soap. The shopkeeper tells her to be polite the next time she comes to buy from him. Showing where, which polite phrases could Jennifer have failed to use?
Read the dialogue below and then explain how Jacinta expresses politeness.
John: I would like to send this letter to japan by airmail, how much is the charge?
Jacinta: It’s one pound, do you need extra stamps?
John: I do, I have been also expecting a package from New-York. Here is my identity card and receipt.
Jacinta: Would you mind signing this form? Here is the package.
John: Finally, I would like to send this registered letter to London.
Jacinta: Please fill in the complete address in capital letters.
- TELEPHONE ETIQUETTE
Telephone etiquette are the rules that demonstrate the proper and polite way to use your phone/telephone.
It starts from how you prepare for phone calls to when you end the call.
Preparation for Phone Call
The following should be done before placing a call:
- Ensure you have enough time. It will not auger well to suddenly end the conversation because of insufficient airtime.
- Go to a place where there is silence. Too much noise will distract your attention.
- Think through exactly what you want to say. Write it down if possible so you don’t forget what to say or ask and look as though you didn’t have anything to say.
Tips to Display When Making a Call
Whether at work, at home, or on your mobile phone, remember to display the tips below at all times:
- Identify yourself at the beginning of the call.
- Speak clearly and slowly especially when leaving the message.
- Speak with a low tone of voice. Be sure to know how loud you may be.
- Always end with a pleasantry, for example,’ Have a nice day.’
- Let the caller hang up first.
- Stay away from others while talking on the phone. They don’t need to hear your private conversation.
What to Avoid
- Avoid being distracted by other activities while speaking. Some of these activities include:
- Rustling papers
- Speaking with someone
- Working on the computer
- Avoid allowing interruptions to occur during the conversation.
- Do not engage in an argument with the caller.
- Talking too loudly.
Not at these Places
The following are places you should not make a call. You should even have your cell phone in a silent mode or switch it off altogether.
- Waiting rooms
- Places of worship
- Live performances
Here we shall focus on majorly business telephone conversations. It should be noted that there are patterns that are followed; but not all will follow this rigid pattern. The six patterns include:
- The phone is answered by someone who asks if he/she can help.
- The caller makes a request either to be connected to someone or for information.
- The caller is connected, given information or told that that person is not present at the moment.
- The caller is asked to leave a message if the person who is requested for is not in.
- The caller leaves a message or asks other questions.
- The phone call finishes.
Read the telephone conversation below and then answer questions that follow.
Pauline: (a form two student, Wajanja School) ring ring… ring ring …
Secretary: Hello, Wajanja School, this is Ms Esther speaking. How may I be of help to you?
Pauline: Yes, this is Pauline Karanja a form two student calling. May I speak to the principal, please?
Secretary: I am afraid Ms Kaluma is not in the office at the moment. Would you like to leave a message?
Pauline: I would really want, thanks. When she comes back, tell her I wanted to ask for one day permission. My brother is sick and I would like to request her that I report one day after the opening day. It is I who will be left with my siblings as the brother goes to the hospital. That is all.
Secretary: Sorry for that, I wish him quick recovery. I would give her the message as soon.
Pauline: I would be grateful madam. Thanks again.
Pauline: Welcome Pauline. Just ensure you report as stated here.
Secretary: Ok have a nice day madam.
Pauline: You too have a perfect day. Goodbye
- With examples, outline the patterns of telephone conversation in above.
- Identify evidences of telephone etiquette tips displayed by Pauline in the conversation above.
Your sibling is very sick. You are planning to make a doctor a phone call to come to your home to provide medication.
- State any three preparations you would put in place before making this important call.
- Give four bad habits you would avoid when making this call.
Joan has just called the parent to ask them to pay the school fee. Unfortunately, the parent is not happy with the way she has made the call. Identify any four telephone etiquette tips she could have failed to display.
- APPROPRIATE CHOICE OF REGISTER
- Register denotes the choice of language, whether that be formal or informal.
- It is the choosing of appropriate language for the context.
- There are factors that determine the language we use.
- It is important to select the right language for the right situation.
- The choice of register is affected by:
- The setting of the speech;
- The topic of the speech;
- The relationship that exists between the speakers; and
- The age.
There are words we use depending on the field. There are those we use in the field of medicine, in the field of law etc. they are also those that we use at home when talking to family members. A chemist, for example, will ask for ‘sodium chloride’ while at the laboratory, while at home she will request for ‘salt’. At work place, people tend to use formal language while informal language at home.
- If, for example, you want to ask for something valuable from a brother you would say: ‘I was wondering if you could lend me….’. This is a formal language even though it is your family member you are talking to.
- When offering your boss tea or coffee, you will still use formal language for example: ‘Would you mind being served tea or coffee? ’ and to a friend you will say: ‘Tea or coffee?’
There are words you use when speaking to different people in different situations. More often than not, an intimate couple will use words like ‘darling’, ‘honey’, etc. These words cannot be used to address your colleague at work place; or even your pastor.
There are ways to speak to a child and those of speaking to adults. To a baby, we use words like ‘popopoo’ while to an adult ‘long call’, etc.
The Words used in Different Fields
Field of Medicine
Some words used in the hospitals, clinics and other health stations include: X-ray, syringe, paracetamol, doctor, nurse, mortuary, patient, etc.
Lockup, cell, bond, etc.
Aircraft, flight, air hostess, etc.
Computer, laptop, CPU, Monitor, software, hardcopy, hard disk, etc.
The words used by the teachers, students and others at school are: chalk, ruler, blackboard, senior teacher, deputy principal, dean of studies, etc.
Technical terms used by lawyers and in the courts of law include: adult probation, affidavit, alimony, Amicus Curiae brief, annulment, appeal, appellant, appellee, arrest, plaintiff, defendant, dismissal, oath, revocation hearing, learned friend, etc.
Read the conversation below and then answer question that follow.
Caller:Is this the Credex?
Receptionist:Yes, how may I be of help to you?
Caller:It’s Dorothy calling.
Receptionist:Oh, Dorothy! How is the going?
Caller: Lunch today?
Receptionist: Of course..
Caller: what time then?
Receptionist: After I have seen the deputy principal. There are packets of chalk I am supposed to deliver.
- Giving the reasons, where is the Credex?
- What is the relationship between the caller and the receptionist?
- Explain the formality of the language the receptionist and the caller use.
- Give illustrations for (c) above.
Being a cyclical process, turn taking starts with one person speaking, and continues as the speaker gives control to the next individual. This is then offered to another person and then back to the original speaker. Orderly conversation has to take place.
A turn is a crucial element within turn taking. Each person takes turn within the conversation – either in person or on phone.
Achieving Smooth Turn Taking
It is achieved with:
- Using specific polite phrases, for example, those for,
- Accepting the turn when offered it
- Keeping your turn
- Getting other people speaking, etc.
- Using gestures to indicate you have completed what you are saying or that you want to say something. You drop your arm when you have completed and raise it when you want to say something.
- Varying the intonation to show you have or have not finished speaking.
- Use noises like ‘uming’ and ‘ahing’ while thinking so as not to lose your turn.
Turn Taking Cues
There are various ways of signaling a finished turn. They might be indicated when the current speaker:
- Asks a question, for example, ‘Did you want to add anything?’
- Trails off (his/her voice becomes weaker to the extent you may not hear his words)
- Indicates they are done speaking with a closing statement, for example, ‘That’s all I wanted to say.’or ’I think I have made my point.’
- Uses marker words (those that allow the other a chance to speak), for example, ‘well…’ or ‘so…’
- Drops the pitch or volume of their voice at the end of their utterance. This is the use of falling intonation.
- Uses gestures to signal that another can contribute.
Violations in Turn-Taking
There are five well known turn-taking violations in a conversation. They are: interruptions, overlaps, grabbing the floor, hogging the floor, and silence. Do you know what they really are? If you don’t, read the explanations for the violations in that order.
- Inhibiting the speaker from finishing their sentences during their turn.
- Talking at the same time as the current speaker. This is interruptive overlap. However, cooperative overlap is encouraged as it shows you are interested in the message.
- Interrupting and then taking over the turn before being offered it.
- Taking over the floor and ignoring other people’s attempt to take the floor.
- Remaining without saying anything for quite some time.
The List of Turn-Taking Phrase
- Before I forget, …
- I don’t like to interrupt, but ….
- I wouldn’t usually interrupt, but …
- I’m afraid I have to stop you there.
- I will let you finish in a minute/second/moment ….
- May I interrupt?
To accept the turn when offered it;
- I won’t take long.
- What I wanted to say was …
To stop other people from interrupting you during your turn use;
- I have just one more point to make
- I have nearly finished
- Before you have your say …
- I haven’t quite finished my point yet
- I know you’re dying to jump in, but….
To offer the turn to another use;
- …., right?
- But that’s enough from me.
- Can you give me your thoughts on …?
- Does anyone want to say anything before I move on?
- How about you?
To take the turn back after being interrupted;
- As I was saying (before I was interrupted)
- To get back on topic…
- Carrying on from where we left on…
Note: The list is endless, and you can come up with other appropriate phrases.
- INTERRUPTING AND DISAGREEING POLITELY
- English is a polite language. For this reason, it is advisable to indirectly contradict a person. It is rude to do it directly.
- Although conversation is a two way street, interrupting a speaker is usually regarded as rude. However, at times you need to interrupt. When then can one interrupt?
- You can only interrupt to:
- Ask a question;
- Make a correction;
- Offer an opinion; and
- Ask for clarification.
In this section, we shall learn how to interrupt and disagree politely.
Steps to Interrupting
It is important to take note of the following steps when interrupting a speaker during a conversation or during a discussion:
- Signal to the speaker that you have something to contribute by implementing the body language such as:
- Making eye contact;
- Slightly raising your hand;
- Sitting forward on your seat;
- Quietly clearing your throat; or
- Coughing quietly.
- Wait patiently until the speaker pauses or incase of a lull in the conversation.
- Speak clearly using polite phrases. These phrases will be learnt later.
- Wait for the speaker to acknowledge your request to speak before you do so.
- After you have spoken, thank the speaker and allow them continue.
- Take a deep breath and calm yourself before interrupting when you feel angry or annoyed.
- Take care to use low tone of voice.
- Unnecessary interruptions.
- Finishing speaker’s sentences.
- Interrupting to correct the speaker unnecessarily.
- Speaking harshly or using disparaging comments.
Phrases used in Interruption
Below is the list of phrases which you can use to politely interrupt someone:
- May I say something here?
- I am sorry to interrupt, but …
- Excuse me, may I add to that…?
- Do you mind if I jump in here?
- Before we move on to the next point, may I add …?
- Sorry, I didn’t catch that, is it possible to repeat the last point?
- I don’t mean to intrude ….
- Sorry to butt in, but …
- Would this be a good time to ….?
- Excuse the interruption, but …
- I hate to interrupt, but …
- I know it is rude to interrupt, but …
How to Disagree Politely
The tips that follow will help you handle disagreements without annoying the other person in a discussion or discussion:
- Actively listen to the other person’s point of view. This helps in showing respect and understanding of the other person’s perspective.
- Stay calm even if you feel angry.
- Acknowledge the other person’s point of view before the buts.
- Disagree only with the person’s idea but not he person.
- Use polite phrases to respectfully disagree.
- Speak in a low tone.
- Give some credence to the other person’s point of view before challenging it. For example, say: It’s partly true that I bought this phone at a cheap price, but …
Disagreeing Politely Expressions
- I agree up to a point, but …
- I see your point, but …
- That’s partly true, but …
- I’m not so sure about that.
- That’s not entirely true
- I am sorry to disagree with you, but …
- I’m afraid I have to disagree
- I must take issue with you on that
- It’s unjustifiable to say that..
- NEGOTIATION SKILLS
- This is the process of discussion between two or more disputants, aimed at finding the solution to a common problem.
- It is a method by which people settle their differences.
- It is also the process by which a compromise or agreement is reached while avoiding argument.
- There could be a difference between people with different aims or intentions, especially in business or politics. When this happens, they have to reach an agreement.
- Negotiation skills will be helpful when:
- Haggling over the price of something;
- Negotiating with your employer e.g. for higher salary;
- Negotiating for peace/ solving conflict;
- Negotiating for better services; etc.
Stages of Negotiation
- Preparation comes first. During this time, ensure all the pertinent facts of the situation is known in order to clarify your own position. It will help in avoiding wasting time unnecessarily.
- Discussion then follows. This is the time to ask questions, listen and make things easier to understand. At times, it is helpful to take notes to record all points put forward.
- Negotiate towards a win-win outcome. Each party has to be satisfied at the end of the process.
- Agreement comes after understanding both sides’ viewpoints and considering them.
- Implement the course of action. If for example, paying the amount, it has to be paid.
Points Every Negotiator Should Consider
- Ask questions, confirm and summarise. These three activities ensure that there is no confusion on what each party wants.
- Acknowledge each other’s point of view. Show that you have listened to and understood their perspective. Show appreciation of the other person’s point of view.
- Listen attentively to the other person.
- Respond to negative comments and complaints. Avoid confrontational language.
- Behave in a confident way, but don’t be rude. Make polite but firm requests.
- Give options/alternatives. You can both win if you recognise that you share a common ground.
You are planning to buy a new model car.
- Write down three relevant facts you would want to know before going to buy the car.
- State any three hints for the negotiators you would consider when haggling over the price of that car.
- PAYING ATTENTION (LISTENING)
Listening is different from hearing. When you listen, you understand both the verbal and non-verbal information.
Why should you listen? You listen:
- To obtain information
- To understand the message
- For enjoyment
- To learn
In this section, we shall learn the techniques of active listening.
Techniques of Paying Attention
In order to benefit from a talk as the listener, you should take note of the following key tips:
- Keep an open mind. Listen without judging the speaker or mentally criticizing their message they pass. You just have to hold your criticism and withhold judgment.
- Familiarize yourself with the topic under discussion. Audience tend to listen more if they have idea of the topic being discussed. How then can one familiarize himself/ herself with the subject? They can do this by:
- Reading from the books.
- Reading from the internet.
- Asking for ideas from those who know.
- Use the speaker responses to encourage the speaker to continue speaking. You will also get the information you need if you do so. Some of the speaker responses we use include:
- Slightly nodding the head, but occasionally.
- Smile occasionally.
- Using small verbal comments like yes, uh huh, mmmh, I see, etc.
- Reflecting back e.g. you said …
- Take notes on the important points. This can in itself be a distractor. You should therefore know when to and when not to take notes.
- Listen for the main ideas. These are the most important points the speaker wants to get across and are repeated several times.
- Wait for the speaker to pause before asking a clarifying question. Just hold back.
- Avoid distractions. Don’t let your mind wander or be distracted by other people’s activities. If the room is too cold or too hot get the solution to that situation if possible.
- Sit properly. Sit upright
- Make eye contact with the speaker. When you do this you will be able to understand the non-verbal messages too.
Signs of Inactive Audience
You can easily tell whether your audience listens or not. The inattentive listeners tend to possess the following characteristics:
- Playing with their hair
- Looking at a clock or watch
- Picking their fingernails
- Passing small pieces of paper to one another
- Shifting from seat to seat
Barriers to Effective Listening
There are many things that get in the way of listening and you should avoid these bad habits so as to become a more effective listener. These factors that inhibit active listening include;
- Lack of interest in the topic being discussed.
- Unfamiliarity with the topic under discussion.
- One might fear being asked a question and in the process fail to look at the speaker.
- In case of noise the listeners might not get what the speaker is saying.
Mwangi Mwaniki, the author of one of the set text you study, is coming to your school to give a talk on the themes in his novel.
- How would you prepare for this big day?
- State what you would do to ensure you benefit from the talk during the presentation.
SECTION D: NON-VERBAL SKILLS IN LISTENING AND SPEAKING
- IMPORTANCE OF RESPECTING PERSONAL SPACE
A personal space is an imaginary area between a person and their surrounding area. This space makes the person feel comfortable and should therefore not be encroached.
The distance can exist at work, at home and in our social circles.
The personal space varies depending on factors such as:
- Familiarity with the person.
Why Respect People’s personal Space?
- To make them feel comfortable.
- To maintain good relationships.
- To enhance listening. Especially during a talk.
General Personal Space Rules
The personal space guidelines below will help enhance listening and speaking:
- Respectfully keep your distance if you walk into a room and see two people in private conversation.
- Pay attention to your volume when you speak, whether on the phone or in person, to ensure you don’t distract attention of others.
- Maintain physical space at table and chair rows so the people around you have enough room to write, raise their hands, etc.
- Be mindful of amount of perfume or cologne you wear as if it is in excess it might distract others.
- Never lean on the other person’s shoulder unless invited to.
- Don’t eavesdrop on another person’s phone conversation. In case you overhear details of the conversation, keep it confidential.
Dealing with Space Intrusion
Depending on the nature of the intrusion, you would deal with space encroachment in different ways. Here are the steps of dealing with a person who leans on your shoulder:
- Lean away or take a step back away from the person hoping they would take a hint.
- Come right out and say you feel discomfort being too close.
- Explain why you need more space. You can for example tell them you need more space to write.
You have attended a one day seminar. The person sitting next to you is said to be intruding your personal space. What four personal space guidelines could this person have failed to follow?
- FACIAL EXPRESSIONS
- The face you wear is a great component of emotion and feeling.
- The various facial expressions represent various feelings. A smile for example, represents joy, while a scowl, anger.
- When speaking or listening, flex your facial muscles as appropriate. You can’t smile when the speaker is talking about incidence of tragedy. Doleful face will do.
- Remember your face is like a switch and will keep changing depending on the feelings and emotions.
Some words for Describing Facial Expressions
|Emotion/ Feeling||Facial Expression|
|Happy and peaceful||Beatific|
|Angry or unhappy||Black, grave|
- A speaker will always move part of their body especially a hand, arm or the head when speaking.
- This is done to express the idea or meaning.
- As a speaker you can use illustrators of what you are saying using your hands. They will add mental image to what is being conveyed. For example,
- Headshake to mean ‘no’.
- Use hands to form the shape of heart to express love.
- Use the hands to form the bow shape to show the big belly. Etc.
- EYE CONTACT
- Did you know you can use your eyes to listen? We use the eyes to listen to another person’s body language – gesture included.
- An eye is a powerful tool of effective communication.
- Let us learn some situations that demand different uses of the eyes. For example:
- When arguing, hold your gaze.
- When deferring, lower your eyes.
- When loving someone, stare in the pool of their eyes.
- Making eye contact is very vital as you can get the feedback from your listeners, on your message. When you notice they are bored you know you have to make adjustments and when they show enthusiasm then this will help in pumping you up.
- Too much eye contact by the listener indicate they have interest in either you or the information you are putting across.
- Speakers tend to look up:
- At the end of their utterances.
- To indicate to the others to have their turn.
- Speakers tend to look away when:
- Talking non-fluently.
- Not sure of the topic.
- A curtsy is a polite gesture of respect or reverence made chiefly by women and girls.
- It is the female equivalent of males’ bowing.
When to Bow or Make Curtsy
- To end a performance.
- To show respect.
How to Curtsy
- Lower your head.
- Hold your skirt at the edges with both hands.
- Place your right foot behind the left.
- Bend your knees outward
- APPERANCE AND GROOMING
How you look when speaking in front of an audience or when going for an interview is very crucial. It both boosts your confidence level and build respect.
Your appearance involves the clothes you wear as well as how you groom.
Grooming on the hand involves what you do to your body other than the clothing. Your personal hygiene is the simplest term that can replace the term grooming.
The kind of clothe you wear will depend on such factors as:
- Your occupation;
- Location; and
- Your preference.
Guidelines for Clothing
- Your cloth should fit comfortably.
- The cloth should also be neat and clean.
- Wear the right cloth for appropriate occasion.
Read the grooming checklist below.
- Your hair should be lean, trimmed and neatly arranged.
- If you are a man, ensure your facial hair is freshly shaved.
- Fingernails should be neat, clean and trimmed.
- Teeth should brushed and with fresh breath.
- Body should be freshly showered.
- If a woman, use make up sparingly and be natural looking.
- Use perfumes/aftershave/colognes sparingly or even use non at all.
Ayub has been invited to an interview. State four grooming mistakes he should be careful to avoid.
SECTION E: INSTRUCTIONS TO FRIENDS AND RELATIVES
- GIVING AND RECEIVING INSTRUCTIONS
Giving clear instructions is one of those things that seems easy to do but actually are more complex.
The tips that follow will help you in giving clear instructions:
- Get the attention of the other person. Be sure you have the attention of the person, or people, you are giving instruction. This is one way in which you will tell whether they are listening. Do you know ways to get the attention of a child or even a group of people in some noisy place? Here are some suggestions;
- Ring the bell
- Bang the table/door
- Switch off the lights
- Clear your throat
- Blow the whistle, and many others.
- Use simple language that can be understood. Avoid using too much vocabulary.
- Break instructions down and deliver them in steps. Give one instruction at any given time to avoid any confusion.
- Repeat instructions to them.
- Be loud enough.
- Give instruction beginning with a verb i.e. use the imperative forms. For example: Take three cups…
- Ask them repeat instructions to you in their own words.
- Make eye contact.
You are a mother. On a certain day, very early in the morning, you want to go to pay your friend a visit. Before you leave, you have decided to leave your 6-year old son instructions on how to prepare his lunch.
- Make a list of methods you would use to get his attention before giving instructions.
- Other than getting his attention, how else would you ensure you leave him clear and understandable instructions?
Once in a while people will ask you to lead them to their destination. If it is not possible to do this then the best thing to do will be to give them directions to those places. The most important thing to do is to be brief and clear.
Let us learn the steps to giving the clear directions.
Steps to Giving Clear Directions
- Give the direction with few turns. Remember shortcuts may be faster, but at times are complicated especially in the case of many turns.
- Indicate the turns—whether left or right. Tell them to turn a left or a right. For those who know cardinal points, you can use north, south, west, or east.
- Mention the landmarks, for example, a large clock, a school, a river, e.t.c. Tell them: `you will see a blue church…
- Specify distance. Offer the Ballpark Figures (rough estimates of the time and length of travel). The three ways of specifying the distance are:
- Telling them how many streets or buildings to pass;
- Giving them distance in kilometres, metres , or miles;and
- Telling them how much time in minutes or hours it will take them to reach their destination.
- Warn them about any confusing parts of the route. For example, let them know of a narrow road that people normally miss.
- Say which side of the street or road their destination is on. There could be two houses that look alike on either sides of road. Tell them: My house is on the right.
- Repeat directions to them and allow them repeat back directions to you.
- Draw a simplified map if paper and pencil or pen are available.
- Give them a drop-dead point. This is the place when if you reach you know you are lost and have to make a U-turn. For example, tell them: if you see a big black billboard you have gone too far.
Your church is in the same estate you live. Your mother goes to a different church. On this particular Sunday she has decided to join you later in your church. For that reason, she asks you to give her the direction to the church.
- Mention three ways you would specify her the distance from your home to the church.
- Apart from specifying the distance, how else would you ensure she reaches the church when giving her the direction?
ANSWERS ON ORAL SKILLS
PRONUNCIATION OF VOWEL SOUNDS
PRONUNCIATION OF CONSONANT SOUNDS
Sound /s/: seven, students, first, test, licences
Sound /z/ : driver’s, licences, Thursday
Sound /ᶴ/ :tissue, passion, ocean, cautious, solution, pressure, Persian, chef, sure, precious
Sound /ᶾ/ :Caucasian, division, leisure, vision, casual, conclusion, television, decision, collision, exposure
Sound /f/ : forgive, for, forgetting, leftover, food
Sound /v/ :forgive, leftover
- bee, be
- see, sea
- aye, eye
- pee, pea
- tea, tee
- ewe, you
- Bamburi cement was used to cement the bridge.
- After leaving us his address, he will address those students over there.
- He had to permit us to do business since we had a business permit.
- The content of the letter will content the man.
- Sert, de
- es, cort
- re, sume
- test, con
- vict, con
- I – no one else loves your sister’s handwriting.
- Love – I don’t hate your sister’s handwriting
- Your – Not any other person’s sister
- Sister’s – not your brother’s or your uncle’s
- Handwriting – It I only your sister’s handwriting I love, not her walking style or her cooking.
- You – all the others came early
- Came – you did not leave late
- Late – Not early
- Yesterday – the rest of the days you came early
I could have:
- Spoken confidently
- Varied my tone appropriately
- Spoken loud enough to be heard by everyone
- Made my contact with my audience
- Provided proofs for my points in persuasive way.
- Spoken slowly and enunciated words correctly
- Used gestures that reinforced my ideas
- Paused at key points
- How would you handle cases of indiscipline among the students?
- Will you appoint prefects in charge of discipline?
- What punishment will you mete out on those who are indiscipline? Etc.
- I would;
- Inform him about the interview.
- Arrive early for the interview.
- Prepare the place to interview him..
- I would;
- Allow him enough time to respond to the questions.
- Encourage him to speak by slightly nodding my head.
- Make eye contact with him.
- Ms Naomi is a good interviewer because;
- She warmly welcomes Mr. Josh, hence making him feel free to speak.
- She also offers to take Mr. Josh along with her for lunch.
- Explains her answers well.
- Is honest. When asked whether he has written in any scientific journal he says not yet.
- I would;
- Do some research on the topic.
- Practice adequately.
- Write down my points.
- Dress and groom well.
- I would;
- Effectively use gestures to reinforce my ideas.
- Make eye contact with my audience.
- Wear appropriate facial expressions.
- Speak loud enough to be heard by all.
- Pronounce my words correctly.
- Pause at key points to let the information sink.
- Speak slowly to allow my points be processed.
- Makufuli could have:
- Had shaking hands
- Sweating palms
- Dry mouth
- Rapid heartbeat
- Squeaky voice
- Knocking knees, etc
- Makufuli probably:
- Could have dressed uncomfortably.
- Could have failed to research on the topic.
- Could have failed the first time and could have feared to fail again.
- Could not have rehearsed his speech.
- Choose group leaders.
- Do research on the topic to get facts.
- Write the points.
- Arrive early for the discussion.
- Gather writing materials to use.
- Ensure each point given is backed up.
- Ensure members speak with moderation.
- Speak clearly.
- Take notes on what is discussed.
- Ensure members listen to each other.
- Prepare the photo to show the police.
- Ask the neighbours questions to get more facts.
- Practice how to report.
- I would:
- Vary my tone appropriately.
- Make eye contact with the officer.
- Use gestures effectively.
- Pause at key points.
- Speak loud enough enough.
- Speak slowly.
USE OF COURTEOUS LANGUAGE
- Failed to use ‘thank you’ after being given the bar of soap.
- Failed to use ‘please’ when asking to be given the bar of soap.
- Failed to use ‘excuse me’ to get the shopkeeper’s attention.
- She has used ‘please’ when asking John to fill the address.
- She has used ‘would’ in asking questions.
- The patterns include;
- Answering of the phone – Hello, …
- Request — May I speak to the principal, please?
- The caller is told the principal is not in the office at the moment.
- Pauline is asked to leave a message.
- Pauline leaves the message for the principal.
- The call finishes with pleasantry – have a nice day.
- She introduces herself to the secretary.
- She ends the call with pleasantry.
- She speaks politely to the secretary.
- I would:
- Ensure I have adequate airtime.
- Go to a quiet place.
- Jot down what to tell the doctor.
- Ensure the place to make the call has network.
- I would avoid:
- Talking too loudly
- Engaging in an argument with the doctor.
- Interrupting the doctor.
- Being distracted by other activities.
Joan could have failed to:
- Identify herself at the beginning of the call.
- Speak clearly and slowly.
- Speak with a low tone of voice.
- End the call with a pleasantry.
APPROPRIATE CHOICE OF REGISTER
- Credex is a school. There is the use of words such as ‘pieces of chalk’, and the ‘deputy principal’.
- The two are friends .
- At first it is formal. But when the receptionist realizes it is Dorothy calling it becomes informal.
Is this the credex?
How is the going?
- Know the prices elsewhere
- Whether I can get discount
- Whether the purchase of the car comes with any offer
- Whether the car is in high demand
- Whether the car is readily available. Etc.
- I would:
- Make polite but firm requests.
- Ask questions and summarise to avoid confusions.
- Respond to negative comments from the seller.
- Give alternatives.
- Show appreciation of the seller’s viewpoint.
- Listen attentively to the seller.
- Ensure we arrive at a clear agreement acceptable to both of us.
- I would:
- Read the set book to remind myself of the themes.
- Ensure I sit where I would be comfortable.
- Prepare questions to ask him.
- I would:
- Take down the main points.
- Make eye contact with the author.
- Hold back until the speaker pauses before I interrupt.
- Encourage the speaker to continue speaking by using some responses.
- Avoid interruptions.
IMPORTANCE OF RESPECTING PERSONAL SPACE
He could have failed to:
- Speak in a low voice during the talk.
- Maintain the physical distance between the two of us at the table.
- Resist leaning on my shoulder or chest.
- Resist eavesdropping on my phone conversation.
APPEARANCE AND GROOMING
I would avoid:
- Dirty unarranged hair
- Dirty fingernails
- Foul breath teeth
- Unbathed body
- Excess make up
- Excess perfumes or colognes
GIVING AND RECEIVING INSTRUCTIONS
- Switch off the lights in his room
- Call his name
- Bang the table beside him
- Clap my hands
- Use simple language
- Give one instruction at a time
- Be loud enough
- Repeat the instruction.
- Ask him if he has any question
- Ask him repeat instructions back to me.
- Make eye contact.
- Giving the distance in metres.
- Telling her time in minutes.
- Telling her the number of streets to pass.
- I would give her the route with minimal turns.
- I would indicate the turns.
- Mention the landmarks.
- Warn her about any confusing part of the route.
- Have her repeat directions back to me.
- Draw a simplified map.