is

subject + verb

A1 point 2 in the category of CLAUSES is defined: simple affirmative declarative clauses Also at A1 is: negative statements of the main verb ‘be’, with contracted and uncontracted forms. *The English Grammar Profile examples contain the verb ‘BE’. An iWeb search for: _NN _VB 1 PEOPLE ARE 858168 The people are happy. 2 PROBLEM …

subject + verb Read More »

there is | there are

Although ‘There is’ and ‘There are’ is an A1 elementary piece of grammar, the noun phrases as complements are quite difficult for English learners. The following sentences are corrected sentences from Thai students: There are many religions in Thailand. There are many different cultures and traditions. There are many fresh plants and beautiful flowers. See uncorrected versions here. Point 1 in the category of  VERBS: there is/are + singular noun …

there is | there are Read More »

5 on the TOEFL Writing Essays?

In this post, we use our grammar profiler to predict the CEFR level of this TOEFL Integrated Writing Sample Essay. We found that the most salient language is the ability to modify adjectives and use abstract nouns.  So let’s look at this advanced text.  The profiler says the text is probably C1, which we can surmise …

5 on the TOEFL Writing Essays? Read More »

Academic IELTS grammar for writing task 2

I put this advanced student sample answer to the IELTS writing task 2 through our English Grammar Profiler looking for stand out features.  Here are the highest grammar constructions, that we have listed as C1: It is argued that volunteering should be made a part of the school curriculum. (This is the topic sentence) What you have done outside the classroom is often …

Academic IELTS grammar for writing task 2 Read More »

‘It is for you to decide.’ (FOR +TO infinitive clause)

Pearson’s GSE 58 B1+ clause + ‘for’ to introduce an infinitive clause with a different subject.  The important thing is for you to arrive on time. My aim is for my children to go to university. A search in iWeb for: _VB for * _TO _VVI 1 IS FOR YOU TO DECIDE 392 (most examples with this string contained ‘whether’ or ‘whether or not’ which is C2.) 2 IS FOR YOU …

‘It is for you to decide.’ (FOR +TO infinitive clause) Read More »

‘would rather’ | ‘it’s time’ + PAST TENSE CLAUSE

Here we look at examples of using ‘the past tense’ in a way that is not referring to past time.  In these EXPERT EXAMPLES: It’s time we started to think about the environment and a little bit less about money. Isle of Man Newspapers As an environmentalist, we would rather that didn’t happen. TED ‘the past tense’ expresses a wish that is distanced from the real situation. In reality, they are not thinking …

‘would rather’ | ‘it’s time’ + PAST TENSE CLAUSE Read More »

WHAT IS IT YOU WANT? (relative clause question)

Let’s analyse questions that have relative clauses to give emphasis.  So usually, we would say something like: What do we want to ask?  What are we trying to find out here? You can see the normal auxiliary verbs ‘be’ and ‘do’ get removed and relative clauses are added in the EXPERT EXAMPLES: What is it that we want …

WHAT IS IT YOU WANT? (relative clause question) Read More »

There ‘BE’ a lot of + NOUN

Point 15 in the category of VERBS is defined: ‘there is’ and ‘there are’ + ‘a lot of’ + plural noun iWeb doesn’t allow for longer than 5 token searches: _EX _VB a lot of 1 THERE ARE A LOT OF 145235 2 THERE IS A LOT OF 69785 3 THERE ‘S A LOT OF …

There ‘BE’ a lot of + NOUN Read More »

adverbs in mid position

Here’s an example of an adverb after a modal verb + academic collocation: We would likely address these issues one after the other in a sequential way. listen to this sentence A2 point 30 in the category of ADVERBS: MID POSITION between the subject and the main verb and after modal verbs, auxiliary verbs and ‘be’. General points such as these do not specify that there are …

adverbs in mid position Read More »

am|is|are + going + to-INFINITVE (future)

Here are two examples of ‘BE going to’ with A1 infinitives: It is going to take time. Listen to the pronunciation   Are you going to do anything about it? Listen to the pronunciation In the English Grammar Profile, in the category of FUTURE: B1 Point 31 is defined: ‘be going to’:  increasing range of verbs to make predictions. A2 point 4 is defined: …

am|is|are + going + to-INFINITVE (future) Read More »

BE + being + PAST PARTICIPLE

There are two B1 passive grammar points that overlap to some degree. B1 point 7 in the category of PASSIVES is defined as: PRESENT CONTINUOUS, AFFIRMATIVE limited range of verbs B1 point 9 in the category of PASSIVES is defined as: PRESENT CONTINUOUS, FUTURE REFERENCE There are no examples of this grammar in the TLC …

BE + being + PAST PARTICIPLE Read More »

present simple passive negative

B1 Point 10 in the category of PASSIVES is defined as: PRESENT SIMPLE, NEGATIVE + range of pronoun and noun subjects *although ‘range of subjects’ is mentioned above, there is no entry for present simple negative elsewhere. There is no way to automatically check whether  these might actually be C1: ‘it’ with the passive voice …

present simple passive negative Read More »

negative question (seeking agreement)

B1 Point 21 in the category of QUESTIONS is defined as: negative ‘yes/no’ questions to involve the listener or reader by seeking agreement. B1 point 4 in the category of PRESENT/simple is defined as: NEGATIVE TAG QUESTIONS ‘don’t you think’ or ‘don’t you agree’ to look for agreement or an opinion. *This is hard to …

negative question (seeking agreement) Read More »

his (PRONOUN)

Point 118 in PRONOUNS is defined as: the possessive pronoun ‘his’, with singular and plural reference, in subject and object position, and complement positions after ‘be’ and after prepositions. An iWeb search for: his_P _V *The Claws7 tagging for this grammar point struggles to decide between words that can be both verbs and nouns, and …

his (PRONOUN) Read More »

‘What you see is what you get.’ (CLEFT CLAUSE)

The English Grammar Profile C1 point 10 in the category of FOCUS is defined as: ‘What’ + noun or pronoun + verb phrase as subject + ‘be’, for focus. Note that Pearson lists this point: GSE 59 B2 clauses with ‘What …’ to emphasise the topic or main point. For example: What we need now is a good night’s sleep. What I said was that I don’t need your help. …

‘What you see is what you get.’ (CLEFT CLAUSE) Read More »

‘It is god who gives life.’ (It CLEFT CLAUSE)

The English Grammar Profile C2 point 15 in the category of FOCUS is defined as: ‘IT’ CLEFT + ‘be’ + noun + ‘that’ clause for focus. Pearson lists this at GSE 59 B2: clauses with ‘It’ + ‘be’ … to emphasise the topic or main point. It’s the money that keeps me in this job. It was his accent that made him hard to understand. If we follow the …

‘It is god who gives life.’ (It CLEFT CLAUSE) Read More »

one | some + of the + SUPERLATIVE + PLURAL NOUN

Here are two expert examples of complex noun phrases as subject complements: Ocean worlds are some of the most fascinating places. Listen to this sentence   This is one of the most important things that any man can do. Listen *Note, ‘is one of the most‘ is the second most frequent 5-word Ngram. iWeb 262,288 In the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 41 in ADJECTIVES is defined as:  ‘ONE OF …

one | some + of the + SUPERLATIVE + PLURAL NOUN Read More »