English Language KeyPoints

(1) ADVERBS: Modify a verb, adjective or  another adverb in a sentence. To modify it to add to the meaning of verb, an adjective, another adverb or a preposition e.g Jide studied hard. (hard modify the verb studied)

Formation of Adverbs

(a) Some adverbs can be formed by adding ‘-ly’ to adjective e.g. honest = honestly, bad = badly.

(b)Some are formed with ‘-wise’ suffix e.g. healthwise, educationwise.

© Some adverbs are formed with ‘-wards’ suffix e.g. Northwards, eastwards.

Adverbs Comparison


(2) PREPOSITION: These are words that show relationship between a noun or pronoun and other words in a sentence. e.g. on, beneath, over, under, from, at, of, into, in, near, beside.

(3) CONJUNCTIONS: Words that tie two or more words, phrases, clauses or sentences together are called conjunctions.

Types of Conjunctions

(a) Correlative Conjunctions are used in pairs e.g.  either the principal or the vice principal is around. Others are both …and, neither …nor, not only …but also.

(b) Subordinating Conjunctions connects a subordinating clause to the main clause e.g. He had come before we left. Others are where, when, after, while, since, although, than, though.

© Co-ordinating Conjunctions are nor, or, yet, and, but, etc. example we came but we left early.

(d) Semi-Co-ordinating Conjunctions are more than, as much as, along with, as well as, rather than.

(4) INTERJECTION: Word that expresses joy, anger, surprise, etc. it is always followed by an exclamation mark e.g. Ah! The car has been stolen.

(5) VERBS: These are words that tell us what someone or something does in a sentence. it is an action word.

Kinds of Verbs

(a) Transitive Verb needs an object to make it meaningful e.g. I read a novel. (a novel is an object)

(b) Intransitive Verb does not need an object before it is meaningful. E.g. he smiled.

© Auxiliary Verb: This is also known as helping verb. It helps another verb to complete its meaning. There are primary and modal auxiliary verbs. Primary auxiliary verbs: To Be (am, is, was, are, were which are in finite form) and (be, being, been, which are in infinite form). To Have (has, have, had, which are in finite form) and (have, having, which are in infinite form). To Do (do, does, did) and (be, being, been, which are in infinite form). To Have (has, have, had, which are in finite form) and (have, having, which are in infinite form). To Do (do, does, did). Modal auxiliary verbs: may, might, will, shall, can, could, would, should, ought to, must, used to, dare, need.

Forms of Verbs

Present TensePast TensePast Participle
Accept, acceptsacceptedHas, have, had accepted
Beat, beatsbeatHas, have, had beaten
Bear, bearsboreHas, have, had borne
Begin, beginsbeganHas, have, had begun
Bleed, bleedsbledHas, have, had bled
Blow, blowsblewHas, have, had blown
Buy, buysboughtHas, have, had bought
Cast, castscastHas, have, had cast
Choose, chooseschoseHas, have, had chosen
Come, comescameHas, have, had come
Cut, cutscutHas, have, had cut

Vital Rule: Singular verbs should be used with singular nouns or pronouns and plural verbs should be used with plural nouns or pronouns. NOTE: Letter “s” must be added to verb in the present tense form when used with the third person singular nouns or pronouns. Example: Mary sings (correct usage) but Mary sing (wrong usage)

Singular Pronoun/NounSingular Present TenseSingular Past Tense
I,Sing: I singSang: I sang
YouSing: You singSang: You sang
He (John), She (Mary), It (Dog),sings : He sings (John sings)Sang: He sang (John sang)
Plural Pronoun/NounPlural Present TensePlural Past Tense
WeSing: We singSang: We sang
YouSing: You singSang: You sang
They (John, Mary and Dog)Sing: They sing (John, Mary and Dog sing)Sang: They sing (John, Mary and Dog sing)

Tenses in Verb

i. simple present tense: The dog barks on Sunday

ii. present continuous tense: He is teaching now

iii. present perfect tense: he/she has taught the class or they have taught the class

iv. present perfect continuous tense: he/she has been teaching the class or they have been teaching the class

v. simple past tense: he passed with distinction

vi. past continuous tense: he was sleeping then

vii. past perfect tense: he had slept

viii. past perfect continuous tense: he had been sleeping

ix. future present tense: the family will attend tomorrow

x. future present continuous tense: I shall be eating

xi. future perfect continuous tense: they would visit your house

(6) Prefixes and Suffixes

exOut ofexpose
anConnected withAfrican
erOne whoplumber
ousKnown forglorious

(7) Grammatical Structure

Phrase: A phrase is a group of words without finite verb; which means that a phrase can contain non-finite or infinitive verb.

Types of non-finite verb are infinitive (to sing, to dance, to buy, etc); gerund (singing, dancing, buying, etc)

Kinds of Phrase and Their Grammatical Functions

1. Noun Phrase: it performs the functions of noun such as subject of verb (To cry aloud is a crime), object of verb (They climb the tree), complement of a verb (Richard is the senior boy), apposition of a noun (Joy, the hostess, entered the cabin), object of a preposition (he thought about travelling abroad). 

2. Adjectival Phrase: it qualifies a noun or pronoun (The girl with chocolate teeth kissed me).

3. Adverbial Phrase: it modifies a verb, adjective or another adverb. We have adverbial phrase of time (I saw the boy during the break time), adverbial phrase of reason (he cried in the face of frustration), adverbial phrase of place (the baby is sleeping in the room), adverbial phrase of purpose (Bayo worked in order to succeed), adverbial phrase of result (having left the room, I locked the door), adverbial phrase of condition (to pass the exam, the student must prepare well), adverbial phrase of concession (although fierce in outlook, Mr. Olaniran is kind).

Clause: a clause is a group of words which often has a subject, a finite verb and forms a single part of a sentence. Clause can either be main clause or subordinate clause. The main clause is the main point in the sentence and it can stand alone while subordinate clause relies on main clause to make complete sense.

Kinds of Clause and Their Grammatical Functions

1. Noun Clause: it performs the functions of noun such as subject of verb (what you told us is true), object of verb (kola said he would travel), complement of verb (the principal’s decision was that the senior should stay), apposition to noun (the assumption that students fail English Language is logical), object of preposition (Tolu thought about how he would travel abroad).

2. Adjectival Clause: it qualifies a noun or pronoun it immediately follows (this is the dog that bit her).

3. Adverbial Clause: it modifies a verb, adjective or another adverb in a sentence. Adverbial clause of time (I saw him when he came in), adverbial clause of condition (the boy will not sleep unless you feed him), adverbial clause of reason (the teacher failed because she was not serious), adverbial clause of purpose (Obi went to school in order that he might acquire formal education), adverbial clause of place (Americans can stay wherever they like), adverbial clause of manner (he talked as if he sponsored my education), adverbial clause of result (she cried that she could not close her eyes), adverbial clause of concession (although she studied hard, she failed Chemistry).

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