were

past continuous affirmative

Here’s an expert example of past continuous affirmative: I was trying to get you back. Listen to the pronunciation of this verb phrase. Here are two English Grammar Profile points in the category of PAST: A2 point 10 past continuous: actions and states in progress around a particular time in the past. A2 point 16 past continuous: show that an event …

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nouns only in the plural (agreement)

Here’s an example of the plural only noun ‘pants’ agreeing with the determiner ‘these’ and the verb ‘are’ These pants are lycra. Listen to this sentence. Here’s a student example: His jeans were too tight. PELIC Korean female level 5 listening class. A2 point 16 in the category of NOUNS is defined: NOUNS ONLY USED IN THE PLURAL with plural …

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future in the past

The English Grammar Profile (EGP) B1 point 23 in the category of future is defined: past form of ‘be’ + ‘going to’ (future in the past) EGP B1 point 36 in FUTURE  is defined: PLANS IN THE PAST (often followed by ‘but’) to talk about a plan, sometimes one that may have changed. These grammar …

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past continuous question

Point 28 in the category of PAST: past continuous B1 question form An iWeb search for: was|were _P _VVG *not all these will lead to questions. 1 WERE YOU THINKING 2389 EXPERT EXAMPLE: What were you thinking? stuff.co.nz 2 WAS I GOING 2198 3 WERE THEY THINKING 1716 4 WERE YOU USING 1218 5 WERE YOU LOOKING 951 …

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because + past continuous

Point 37 in the category of PAST/continuous  is defined: give a reason for something, often with ‘because’ PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I could not focus on my reading at all, after a while because I was sweating hard. Chinese male, level 5, writing class An iWeb search for: because * _VBD _VVG 1 BECAUSE I WAS TRYING 1574 2 BECAUSE I WAS GOING 1560 3 BECAUSE I …

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was | were + PAST PARTICIPLE + NOUN PHRASE

B1 Point 6 in the category of PASSIVES is defined as: past simple passive with a limited range of verbs needing two objects, putting the indirect object in subject position. *There is more information about this grammar at B2 TLC SPEAKING TEST EXAMPLE: I was given a big horse. female Russia B1 PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: When my husband was given a blow to the head in Oakland last year, I got frightened. …

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question with adverb

Point 51 in CLAUSES is defined as: INTERROGATIVE + ADVERB in mid-position, between the subject and the main verb. For example: And if he still understood it, why does it even matter? A search in iWeb for _P _RR _V ? 1 IT REALLY MATTER ? 1368 2 IT REALLY WORK ? 747 3 YOU REALLY NEED ? 657 4 YOU PLEASE HELP ? …

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HOW + adjective + clause

How wonderful that you came. I can’t tell you how pleased I am. How nice to see you! Point 48 in CLAUSES phrases/exclamations is defined as: ‘HOW’ + ADJECTIVE + CLAUSE A search in iWeb for: . How _JJ _P _V 1 . HOW IMPORTANT IT IS 103 2 . HOW LUCKY WE ARE 97 3 . HOW WONDERFUL IT IS 90 4 . HOW SAD IT …

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If so (ellipted)

Point 43 in the category of CLAUSES/conditional is defined as: ELLIPTED ‘IF SO’, CONFIRMING to refer a previous direct or indirect ‘yes-no’ question where the answer might be ‘yes’.   For example: But then I began to wonder whether a game or an app can really change attitudes and behaviors, and if so, can I measure that change?   A search in iWeb for: ? If so * * 1 ? IF SO , …

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WERE IT NOT FOR

‘were it not for’ + noun phrase expresses that someone or something prevented something from happening.  For example: Were it not for the cataclysmic events which overtook them, it’s entirely possible that raptors, rather than humans,  would have become the dominant species on this planet. Listen C2 point 132 in CLAUSES/conditional is defined as: ‘Were it not for’ + noun phrase to introduce conditions in formal contexts. *The big corpora do not …

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WERE + noun phrase + TO infinitive

Were you to handle this problem on your own, there would be no doubt you’re the kind of man we want. Listen C2 point 126 CLAUSES/subordinated is defined as: ‘Were’ + pronoun + ‘to’ infinitive to introduce a condition, in formal contexts. Point 127 CLAUSES/conditional is defined as ‘were’ with an inverted subject + ‘to’ infinitive, to introduce conditions in formal contexts. Sadly, a search for . were _P to …

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past continuous + adverb (range)

This is another grammar point where the English Vocabulary Profile is probably better at profiling the language than the English Grammar Profile.  There are a handful of adverbs that already make the task across levels quite difficult to follow.  We then should consider the hundred other adverbs that appear in this ‘mid position’. A2 point …

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was | were being + PAST PARTICIPLE

Here’s an example of past continuous affirmative passive. He was being used. listen B2 English Grammar point 16 in PASSIVES is defined as: PAST CONTINUOUS AFFIRMATIVE A search in iWeb for: _vbd being _vvn B1 Vocabulary found in the first 50 most common Ngrams includes: attacked, considered, developed, filmed and interviewed. USED, HELD, MADE, TAKEN are the …

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(always | constantly) + past continuous

Let’s look at two examples to explain this grammar.  The first is from a student writing example using past continuous with an adverb that shows he didn’t control the situation with his friend and the second one is from an expert speaker using passives: For example, he was always playing soccer when I played baseball. PELIC Korean male level 4 grammar class.   They were …

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Inversion in clauses with conditions and formality

Here are examples of subject – auxiliary verb inversion replacing the usual ‘if’: Had I known what was inside, I would have smoked it. Listen   Should you desire, I can provide character references. Listen   Were I allowed to defend myself, I could have proven this to you. context This is another post that points at overlapping points on the English Grammar Profile.  Parts of two points are worded differently but basically locate the same structure for “should” starting a sentence.  …

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