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English Grammar Step by Step


     UNIT 14

   Fill in the blanks as appropriate.

1  Examples: (singular nouns)
   a swimming cap
   a dagger
   an oil lamp

   A is used before a consonant; an, before a vowel.

a  __________ rucksack
b  __________ laboratory
c  __________ overall
d  __________ archbishop
e  __________ Scottish setting

2  Example:
   some snails

   Some can be the plural form of a or an.

a  __________ lakes
b  __________ harbours
c  __________ sewing machines
d  __________ slices of bread
e  __________ birth pangs

3  Examples:
   an honourable person
   a hot day

   In the first example, the h is not pronounced; in the second, it is pronounced. In case of doubt, look the word up in your dictionary, and check the pronunciation.

a  __________ hour
b  __________ hedge
c  __________ hard-headed person
d  __________ honest person
e  __________ huge piece of land

4  Examples:
   a useless tool
   a one-way ticket
   an unpleasant experience

   In the first and second examples, "useless" and "one-way" begin with a consonant sound, that is, with /j/ and /w/ respectively. In the third, however, "unpleasant" starts with a vowel sound, that is to say, with /ʌ/. If you are not sure about the pronunciation of a word, look it up in your dictionary.

a  __________ unjust decision
b  __________ European product
c  __________ unnatural procedure
d  __________ unknown substance
e  __________ union leader

5  Example:
   some clay

   If we have an uncountable noun, we use some1.

a  __________ wax
b  __________ research
c  __________ salt
d  __________ sugar
e  __________ help

6  Revision exercise.
a  __________ "s" (This letter is pronounced /es/.)
b  __________ "t" (The pronunciation of this letter is /ti:/.)
c  __________ tea-bag
d  __________ universal fact
e  __________ depilatory cream
f  __________ pepper
g  __________ house husband
h  __________ branches
i  __________ samples
j  __________ customers
k  __________ coal
l  __________ axe
m  __________ scholarship
n  __________ mosque
o  __________ figs
p  __________ cage of birds
q  __________ hare
r  __________ orchid
s  __________ heir
t  __________ university student
u  __________ unreal situation
v  __________ badger
w  __________ apron
x  __________ heirloom
y  __________ geese (irregular plural)
z  __________ patrol car

7  Example:
   There aren't any ice-cream cones.

   We use any instead of some in the negative.

a  We didn't buy __________ zip fasteners.
b  He didn't sell __________ earrings yesterday.
c  They didn't see __________ rope bridges.
d  There aren't __________ forks in the drawer.
e  There isn't __________ wheat left.

8  Examples:
   Did you take any notice of what she said?
   Would you like some honey in your tea?
(an offer)
   Can I have some caviare, please? (a request)
   Aren't there some mice in this house? I think I have just seen one.

   Interrogative sentences take any; but some replaces any in offers, requests or when we expect an affirmative response.

a  May we have __________ mince pies?
b  Did you send her __________ house plants? (I know you did.)
c  "Did you eat __________ blackberries?"
   "No, I didn't."
d  Do you want __________ wine?
e  "Is there __________ fish left?"
   "No, there isn't."

9  Examples:
   He came home without any money.
   He refused to buy any onions.
   Hardly any damage was done to the firm's reputation.

   The above sentences have a negative meaning. Consequently, we use any.

a  There was hardly __________ sugar left.
b  She never offered me __________ help.
c  His stubbornnes prevented him from getting __________ aid.
d  Neither of them wants __________ cheese.
e  He denied having committed __________ serious offences.

10 Example:
   If you need any pocket money, ask your dad.

   Any is used after if and whether. However, if the sentence has a positive sense, some is possible: If you put aside some money each week, you'll be able to travel world-wide next summer.

a  If you should require __________ further information, please let me know.
b  If you resold __________ of these works of art now, you'll make a fortune.
c  If __________ children should fall ill, phone this number.
d  If they send you __________ letters, please tell me.
e  If she had seen __________ monsters, she wouldn't have gone there again.

11 Revision exercise.
a  We need __________ foreman.
b  They have just bought __________ dustbin lorries.
c  Could we have __________ beer, please?
d  He would like to perform __________ one-man show.
e  We didn't have __________ caviar for lunch, as it was very expensive.
f  He passed his driving test without __________ difficulty.
g  __________ guests didn't come to the party.
h  Why not have __________ apple juice?
i  __________ caterpillar is the larva of __________ insect.
j  I want to give her __________ jewel box for her birthday.
k  I saw __________ one-eyed cat last night.
l  "Are there __________ biscuits left in the larder?"
  "No, there aren't."
m  "Are there __________ biscuits left in the larder? Mother bought a lot yesterday."
   "Yes, sure."
n  It's __________ hot-cross bun.
o  They're thinking of having a child, as they need __________ heir to their throne.
p  This novel has __________ happy ending.
q  __________ apple __________ (= per or each2) day keeps the doctor away.
r  Have you got __________ dry clothes? I'm soaking wet.
s  This is __________ British-made necklace.
t  I've just made __________ caramel whip. Would you like __________?
u  He's __________ real seducer.
v  They offered him __________ wide range of products.
w  Don't be such __________ drip!
x  There aren't __________ cliffs in this area.
y  None of my sisters drank __________ sherry.
z  This is called __________ warning triangle.

12 Examples:
   Some of them crossed the suspension bridge.
   Some of these tablecloths belong to her.
   I don't like any of these carving knives.
   I drank some of the wine you brought yesterday.

   Some of and any of are followed by a pronoun, or a determiner plus a plural or an uncountable noun.

a  I didn't read __________ the books you lent me last month.
b  She uses __________ these lipsticks.
c  __________ the butlers we have employed come from Cuba.
d  I din't come across __________ the pilgrims who helped me to cross the frontier last year.
e  I would have liked to have __________ that fruit.

13 Example:
   Any of these watermelons will be enough.
   Take any wedding cake you wish.

   "Any of these watermelons" means "it does not matter which watermelon". The same applies to "any wedding cake3. Note that in the first example any is followed by a determiner plus a noun, so we use any of; but in the second, we do not have the determiner; consequently, we drop the preposition of.

a  You can take __________ lighter you want.
b  __________ these loans will suit me perfectly.
c  You can come __________ time you like.
d  You can talk about __________ matter you wish.
e  __________ wardrobe will be OK.

14 Example:
   He works for some company or other on the outskirts of Cologne.

   "Some company" means "an unknown company". It often indicates a lack of interest. Or other may be added to emphasize the idea of lack of interest.

a  __________ woman came to see you yesterday.
b  She loves __________ boy from our neighbourhood.
c  They stole __________ book from my library.
d  They carried out __________ test on him.
e  We saw __________ man at the door.

15 Examples:
   There is plenty of pepper. Would you like some?
   I want to buy some bread, but the baker hasn't got any.

   Some and any can be used to refer to something we have already mentioned, or it is implied in the context. If we want to allude to a singular noun, one must be employed: We have some chocolates. Would you like one? (one = a chocolate)

a  I'd like to have an appricot, but there aren't __________ (appricots).
b  I wanted to buy some walking boots, but there weren't __________.
c  We need a wide array of coffee tables, but they don't need __________.
d  Look at those primroses. Shall we pick __________?
e  If you need genuine silk, we can offer you __________.

16  Examples:
   Dolphins are very intelligent.
   I don't like meat.
   I love fast cars.

   Some and any are not used when the sense is general.

a  __________ fruit is very good for the human body.
b  What colour is __________ milk?
c  She never wears __________ mini skirts.
d  They make __________ wheelbarrows.
e  __________ butterflies are the most beautiful insects on earth.

1  Instead of some, we may use phrases such as a block of granite, a cube of sugar, a hunk of meat, a slice of ham, which change the uncountable noun into a countable phrase.
2  A is used to mean "per" or "each".
3  Note that "cake" is singular. Observe the following instance as well: I don't see any car. (= I don't see a car.)

Author: Miquel Molina i Diez

Pages: 1, 2, 3 and the key

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1  Negative and interrogative sentences (Page 2 and the key)

2  Short answers (Page 2 and the key)

3  Question tags (Page 2 and the key)

4  Questions and exclamations (Page 2 and the key)

5  So, neither, nor, either (the key)

6  Be, used to, would, be/get/become used to, dare, have, get, become, grow, go, turn, fall and feel (Page 2 and the key)

7  Verb tenses: forms (Page 2 and the key)

8  Irregular verbs

9  Verb tenses: uses (Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5 and the key)

10 Personal pronouns, possessives and reflexive pronouns (Page 2 and the key)

11 The genitive case (the key)

12 Singular and plural nouns (Page 2 and the key)

13 Gender (the key)

14 A, an, some, any, no, not, none, each, every and the; compounds of some, any, no and every (Page 2, Page 3 and the key)

15 Neither, not...either, none, not...any, both and all (the key)

16 A few, few, a lot, lots, a little, little, many, much, no and plenty (the key)

17 Enough, too, so and such (the key)

18 Comparative and superlative sentences (Page 2 and the key)

19 Adjective order (the key)

20 Relative clauses (Page 2 and the key)

21 Do and make (the key)

22 Modal verbs (Page 2, Page 3 and the key)

23 Infinitives, gerunds and present participles (Page 2 and the key)

24 Conditional sentences (Page 2 and the key)

25 Passive sentences (the key)

26 Reported speech (Page 2 and the key)

27 Purpose (the key)

28 Word order (the key)

29 Inversion (the key)

30 Connectors (Page 2 and the key)

31 Prepositions (Page 2, Page 3 and the key)

32 Phrasal verbs (the key)

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