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Structure: Word categories

This time in our structure help we talk about word categories in English. This is vital to understand why certain words are acceptable in some situations, while other words aren’t acceptable.

When we think about word categories some of the most common categories are; nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and prepositions.

Nouns can refer to people (or other creatures), places or things.
Examples: Peter, friend, cat, table, book.

Verbs are words that relate to actions or states.
Examples: work, eat, fly.

Adjectives are describing words.
Examples: big, fast, happy.

Adverbs are formed by a large group of words that is impossible to go through here. However, some of the most common adverbs are ones that express ‘how something happens’ (slowly, quickly, easily etc…) or ‘how often something happens’ (usually, normally, never, sometimes etc…).

Prepositions are words that connect parts of a sentence and show the relationship between them.
Examples: in, on, at, with etc…

A good student’s dictionary like the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English tells you the category of a word you search for. By knowing the category of a word you can more easily use it in sentences. This is also a good way to build vocabulary because words often have some different forms; a verb, adjective and noun for example. By knowing each of these individual forms you are more easily able to use the correct one when necessary.

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Structure: ‘Adverbs 3’

Fly High English - Structure

This time in our structure help we continue to talk about adverbs. This week it’s connecting adverbs. They’re similar to conjunctions (and, but, so, because) but not the same. Connecting adverbs don’t grammatically connect to the previous sentence as you’ll see in the examples. Connecting adverbs are usually used at the start of a new sentence. Look at the diagram below for more information.

Adverbs 3.
Adverbs 3.

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Structure: ‘Adverbs 2’

Fly High English - Structure

This time in our structure help we continue to talk about adverbs. This time we talk about adverbs of place and adverbs of time. In our previous ‘word order’ posts we didn’t talk about ‘place’ and ‘time’ words as adverbs, but they are, and you probably know their positions in sentences. Have a look at the diagram below to confirm if you’re right.

The position of adverbs of place and time.
Adverbs 2.

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Structure: adverbs of frequency

How to use adverbs of ‘frequency’

Adverbs of frequency tell you approximately how often something happens.

Tip: It’s important to place adverbs in the correct position in a sentence.

Adverbs of frequency can be placed in more than one position in a sentence but we’ll focus on the most natural position for these adverbs in two situations; with normal verbs and with the verb ‘be’.

  • subject + adverb + normal verb + …
    • I usually arrive one hour before my flights.
  • subject + ‘be‘ + adverb + …
    • The flight is seldom late.

Check out the diagram below for more and then try to write some examples of your own.

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