04-09-2021 Ahmad Hussaini

Getting started with the basics of English [ part - 2 ]

Getting started with basics of english language

How and where to start learning English as an elementary student of English?
In part two of "getting started with basics of english" we are going to dive deeper into learning of english basics by introducing subjects like asking Wh-questions with the help of verb "be", making short answers with "be", asking "what's it like?" questions and more.
English language despite its tricky usages, has a good and well defined rules. Parts of speech, for example is a good structural introduction of this language.
having a clear road map for learning English language can help us avoid confusion and make effective progress.
below are the second top steps to begin learning with.

1. Questions and Negatives with verb "be"

The verb "be" is both an auxiliary verb and a lexical verb. It plays a key role in our daily conversations. most of our sentences are made by the help of verb "be"
the verb be when it is used as an auxiliary verb, it help us make a tense (e. g. "He is watching football"), here the verb "is" as an auxiliary is used to make a present continues tense.
when the verb "be" is the only verb in the sentence in that case it is a "lexical" verb which function as a Linking Verb.
for example "He is fine", here the adjective "fine" is linked to subject "he" by the help of verb "is".

The verb "be" can make a sentence question and negative.

Examples of questions with verb "be":

  • We are from Afghanistan. (statement)
    Are we from Kabul ? . (question)
  • She is a nurse. (statement)
    is she in a hospital ? . (question)
  • I am a postman. (statement)
    Am I too busy ? . (question)
  • They are on a trip. (statement)
    Are they in China ? . (question)

Examples of negative sentences with verb "be":

  • We are from Afghanistan (statement)
    we are not from Brazil. (negative)
  • She is a school teacher. (statement)
    She is not a bus driver. (negative)
  • I am an artist. (statement)
    I am not a football player. (negative)
  • they are businessmen. (statement)
    They are not politicians. (negative)

👉   Learn How to make question and negative sentences with verb be in this lesson

2. How to construct short answers with verb "be"?

Short Answers are the easy ways to answer a "yes & no" question.
for example (" Is he a student? Yes, He is") in this example "Is he a student?" is a "yes and no" question that is built with verb "be", and therefore, "Yes, He is" is the short answer to it.

  • Am I a good friend for you? Yes, You are.
  • Are you a fan of cricket? No, I am not.
  • Are we in the same class? Yes, we are.
  • Are they from Afghanistan? No, they are not.
  • Is she a student? Yes, she is.
  • Is he a taxi driver? No, He is not.
  • Is it cold in the winter Yes, It is.

Note: remember that you cannot contract the verb "be" in short answers like "Yes, I'm"
the full form of verb "be" should be used in short answers (e. g. "Yes, I am").

👉   Learn how to make short answers with verb "be" along with examples and exercise.

3. Asking about personality and descriptions with "what's he like?, what's it like?"

What's + subject + like? is used to ask about how someone looks or behaves and what is the condition of something or a place. for example "what's Hamed like?" the answer could be about his mood and look.
like "he is nice but a little talkative".
likewise, if we want to ask about the condition of something or some place we can use the above questions.
for example "what's the weather like in your city?" will ask about the weather condition and "what's your city like?" will ask about the appearance and quality of a place.


What + is + Subject + like ?

What's she like ?
she's cute and she's smart, too.
What's he like ?
he's kind and funny
What's Herat like ?
It's big, and it's really nice.
What's the weather like in Kabul?
It's mild and sometimes it's cool.

👉   Learn more about "What's it like?" with examples in this lesson.

4. "whose" and how to ask possessive questions?

"Whose" is an interrogative adjective and pronoun that is used to ask informative questions about the owner of something.
"Whose" can be used before a noun as an "interrogative adjective".
for example: "Whose book is this?" here the word "whose" is directly followed by a noun ("book"), which in this case the word "whose" is an interrogative adjective.

Whose bicycle is this?
It's Ali's bicycle.
Whose house is that?
It's Mahdi's house
Whose jeans are these?
They are my jeans
Whose brother is Reza?
He is Hussain's brother

"Whose" is an interrogative pronoun, too. when "whose" is followed by an auxiliary verb instead of a "noun", in that case it is a "interrogative pronoun".
for example: "whose is this?" in this example the word "whose" is followed by verb "be" and therefore, it is an interrogative pronoun.

Whose is the car in the parking?
It's Reza's car.
Whose are these cats ?
They are Sara's cats.
Whose is the house in the garden?
It's Hadi and Samim's house
Whose are the kids in the yard?
They are my sister kids.

👉   Learn "Whose" as Interrogative adjective and pronoun with examples and exercise

5. Possessive Pronouns

Possessive Pronouns replace a noun to show possession and belonging.
We use possessive pronouns when the noun is already known or introduced.
for example: "There is a car on the street. it's mine", here the noun ("car") is introduced first and then it was replaced by possessive pronoun ("mine").

The possessive pronouns are:

  • mine - It's my book = It's mine
  • yours - It's your book = It's yours
  • ours - It's our book = It's ours
  • theirs - It's their book = It's theirs
  • his - It's his book = It's his
  • hers - It's her book = It's hers

Examples of possessive pronouns:

this is my book. it is (my book) mine.
Whose are those pens? they are (your pens) yours.
Whose teacher is Hamed? He's (our teacher) ours.
Is it Sara's bag? Yes, It's (her bag) hers
These are my students class and that is (their class) theirs, too.

👉   Learn "Possessive Pronouns" with details, here

6. Apostrophe + s ('s) for showing possession and relation

Apostrophe + s ('s) is used to show belonging and relation of one thing to another.
Apostrophe s ('s) is a way of showing possession in English.
For example: "Whose book is this? It's Ali's book. In this example the belonging of book to Ali is show by ('s)

Examples of Apostrophe s:

this is a book. it is Hamed's book.
these are cars. they are students's cars.
this is Sara's brother and that is Hamed's brother.
Wahid is Ahmad's classmate and Hashem is Yaser's classmate.
the car's color is black but the bicycle's color is red.

👉   Learn Apostrophe s in detail with examples and online exercise

7. English Tense and Present Continues Tense

No sentence can be formed without a tense. so what is tense?
Tense is the form of the verb which shows the time of an action's happening.
It's the form of the verb by which we know the time of an action.
for example "He goes to school", in this sentence the verb's form tells us that this action takes place at the present time.
and likewise in the sentence "He went to school" the form of the verb indicates that the action happened in the past.

Examples of tense

He calls Mahmood everyday. (present)
We are learning English online. (Present Continues)
They built a house last year. (past)
She will make a cake for my birthday.(Future)

Present Continues Tense shows an action that is happening now.
Present Continues is formed with help of auxiliary verb "be" and the "ing" form of the verb.
for example "She is making a cake", here the "to be" verb "is" along with the "ing" form of the verb "make" has made this a continues tense sentence.

I am speaking English
you are driving a car
they are looking at the board
he is writing his homework
she is cooking now
Ali and Reza are helping people

👉   Learn Tense and Present Continues Tense in detail with examples and online exercise

8. what is conjunction and how it is used?

Conjunctions are words that connect two words or sentences.
conjunctions help us make our sentences more complex and meaningful. without conjunctions our conversations would seem unrelated and therefore, make no complete sense or cannot carry our messages comprehensively.
For example "He is a school teacher. he doesn't teach at school now. he is going to get his master degree." this paragraph is made up of several sentences that aren't related to each other with conjunctions and therefore cannot convey a clear message but if we add the proper conjunctions to the above paragraph, it will look as follow:
"He is a school teacher but he doesn't teach at school now because he is going to get his master degree"
There are a lot of conjunctions but the most used ones are "and, but, or, so"

Examples of conjunctions:

I have a book and a pen
I have a car and Hadi has a car, too
she is speaking English but I am speaking Arabic
we are playing football but we are not playing vollyball
Is it black or is it white?
You stay home or come with me
it's snowing so it's very cold
I am learning English so I can speak English.

👉   Learn Conjunctions with more details here.[ full lesson ]

9. Learn Present Continues Tense with more examples and exercise

Present Continues Tense has various usages. some of the common usages of present continues tense are "Showing Ongoing Actions", "indicating a will or plan for a future action". we can also use present continues tense to "show our routines".
Present Continues Tense is used with Wh-questions to ask informative questions about an "ongoing action", "our will for a future action" or "our routines".

Examples of Present Continues + Wh-questions:

what is she cooking for lunch ?
what are you planning for tomorrow ?
Where are they going now ?
Who is she talking to on the phone ?
Why is it getting cold ?
When are we expecting to meet ?

👉   Learn "Wh-question with Present Continues Tense" with more details here [ full lesson ].

10. Test Your knowledge of grammar and Vocabulary

Grammar Review and Vocabulary Exercise
Online Review and Test to evaluate your learning and understanding.
Take this totally online and interactive exercise to test you grammar understanding and find out your vocabulary power.
in this test/review you will find multiple choice grammar question, jumbles sentences to practice English sentence structure, blanks and words to assess your vocabulary.

👉   Test and Evaluate your knowledge of grammar and power of vocabulary by this online Exercise

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