what

phrasal verb + clause ‘work out how you did it’

At C2 in the English Vocabulary Profile: work out = to understand something or to find the answer to something by thinking about it A search in NOW corpus for which ‘question words’ follow phrasal verbs: work out _*Q 1 WORK OUT HOW 12286 Just give us five minutes, Mr Poirot, and I‘m sure we‘ll be able to work out how you did it. listen 2 WORK OUT WHAT 11671 …

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Verb + question word + to infinitive ‘learn how to use’

The WH-adverbs: such as ‘how’, ‘when’, ‘where’, and ‘why’ are often called ‘question words’ because they typically introduce interrogative sentences.  However, in this post, we look at the way they introduce other clauses: A search in iWeb for: _V _*Q _TO _VVI   1 LEARN HOW TO USE 24468 Learn how to use it. (EVP A2 how = …

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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 …

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What a + NOUN PHRASE

Exclamative ‘what’ can precede the indefinite article and is, therefore, a predeterminer.  Here’s an example: What a surprise! Listen In the English Grammar Profile, A2 point 38 in the category of CLAUSES/exclamations: ‘What a’ + noun phrase and ‘What a’ + noun phrase + clause However, in the English Vocabulary Profile, ‘what’ is listed at B1 …

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WH- (reported question)

In the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 10 in the category of REPORTED SPEECH is defined as: ‘wh-‘questions using a reporting verb + ‘wh-‘word + clause, with a change of pronoun and tense shift where relevant Expert examples: I once asked a really bright student what he hoped to learn from me. TED When asked what the biggest challenge was in making the film, William Joyce says, not giving up. listen PELIC student example: Every time, someone asked me what my major was, they always …

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‘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. …

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fronted preposition + relative pronoun

Wh-relatives can be preceded by a preposition unlike ‘that’ or ‘zero’ relatives.  For example: This is the thing which I am interested in.  (stranded preposition) This is the thing in which I am interested. (fronted preposition) This is the thing that I am interested in. (stranding) This is the thing I am interested in. (‘zero’ relative pronoun and stranding) In the English Grammar Profile, B2 point 12 in the category of PREPOSITIONs is defined as: preposition + relative pronoun as complement, to …

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‘WH’ questions

‘WH-‘ questions expect a reply that supplies information. The wh-word can be a pronoun: What made you think that? (listen to this question) adverb: Where did it go? (listen) or a determiner: Which part? (listen) Here are many entries at A2 in the English Grammar Profile that catch the same question complexity. Point 2 in the category of …

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Present Continuous

Here are some student writing examples of present continuous highlighted with details: I am typing English words right now. PELIC Chinese female level 2 writing class   However, we also can interpret from the graph that we aren’t preparing for it yet.  PELIC Korean female level 3 writing class   I am always falling over one of his toy cars or trucks. PELIC Arabic male level 3 writing class   There are at least 30 points to do with the present …

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