Recently I stopped on the word vocabulary to find that it can be countable..so can you offer me the way we can use vocabularies in a sentence..in what sense can it be correct..thanks
Hi Salim, this is a quick question to answer for you. The word ‘vocabulary‘ can of course be singular as in ‘the English vocabulary‘, that is all of the words in the English language, or ‘my English vocabulary ‘, all of the English words that I know, but, as you point out, it can also be plural.
Think about all of the languages in the world – each one has its own vocabulary. So there is a Chinese vocabulary, and an Arabic vocabulary, a Russian vocabulary – each one is very different, and we can say, ‘ the Chinese, Arabic and Russian vocabularies contain a large number of items’.
You can also have sub-sets of word groups in a language, such as English, where we talk about a ‘vocabulary’, for example the ‘vocabulary of marketing’ or the ‘vocabulary of banking’ – we could group these together under ‘business vocabulary’ and talk about the different business ‘vocabularies‘.
Sarika, you can use ‘for’ or ‘on’ with holiday and both would be correct. You can also drop the article ‘a’ when using ‘on’ (the third sentence below). Look at these three sentences, all of which are correct:
I went there for a holiday.
I went there on a holiday.
I went there on holiday.
You can substitute the word ‘holiday’ with ‘vacation’ (the more usual word in American and Canadian English) using ‘for’ and ‘on’ in the same ways.
Being positive is not always easy in a world that gives us plenty of reasons not to be!
Mainly to change the pace a little from the daily dose of grammar points that I send you, I thought I might give you a list of words that you can be positive about.
This is not a list I’ve compiled, in fact I’d find it hard to get too positive about some listed words like ‘drool‘ and ‘juicy‘ and I have a few doubts about just how much bending of the meaning we need to do to make words like ‘shy‘,’spice‘ and ‘tan‘ positive. Maybe that’s why the magazine, Competitors Journal, that first published this list of Bob Hitching’s Positive Words no longer exists!
Anyway, for those of us sitting in the Northern Hemisphere, winter is here and its time to ward off the cold, bleak weather with a bit of positive vocabulary. Who knows, you may even find that you can use one or two of these gems of positive vocabulary in your next email, letter or essay.
For those of you who are only listening to the podcast, you can find the printed list on the English4Today blog site or the Grammar FAQ.
So here it is … I hope you find it tangy, tasty and timeless!
Let’s do a quick review of how the negative is formed in English. First we’ll take your sentence in the affirmative:
I met him.
That’s fine… we have the verb in the Simple Past (don’t forget that ‘meet’ is an irregular verb and the past form is ‘met’). Now let’s make it negative. To make the sentence negative we have to use:
SUBJECT + DID + NOT + INFINITIVE OR BASE FORM OF THE VERB WITHOUT ‘TO’ I DID NOT MEET HIM.
What you need to remember here is that the auxiliary verb ‘DO’ is the one that carries the tense – that is, if we are using the Simple Past, as in the original sentence, then DO becomes DID. But the main verb ‘MEET’ stays in the infinitive – that is in its base form without ‘to’ – and is not put into the Simple Past.
Try making this one negative:
She went to Rome last month.
OK … you should have written:
She DID NOT GO (or ‘didn’t go’) to Rome last month.
If you’re still not sure, have a look through the English4Today Online English Grammar section on forming the negative.
Hi Heather – well it all depends on where you live!
Have a look at the article in the English4Today Online English Grammar called ‘Which English?’ to give you more details.
The spelling of words such as ‘theatre‘ and ‘centre‘ differ depending on where you are in the English speaking world. In the USA and Canada it is ‘theater‘ and ‘center‘ and in Britain it is theatre and centre are spelt. There are quite a few of these variations which is one of the reasons why we have an ‘American English Dictionary’, ‘Australian English Dictionary’ and a ‘British English Dictionary’. The important thing to remember is that none of the variations is more correct than another! And if you are a non-native English speaker living outside of one of the usage regions you can really take your pick without feeling that you are making a mistake!
Here’s a short list of some of the main variations between British spellings and American spellings:
This is a short list only! And spelling isn’t the only area of difference – for example, there are vocabulary differences such as the difference between fall (American) and autumn (British) to talk about the season before winter… however, that is for another posting!