Grammar / Literary Approach
A. Information and Emphasis
There are a number of ways to add emphasis to your sentences in English.
- Emphatic Stress: I saw a dog
- Emphatic Verb: I did see a dog
- Cleft Sentences:
- It: It was a dog that I saw
- What: What I saw was a dog
- Emphatic Pronouns: I saw it myself
- The passive: A dog was seen
B. Use of the Passive
The passive voice is used when focusing on the person or thing affected by an action. Generally, more emphasis is given to the beginning of a sentence. By using a passive sentence, we empha by showing what happens to something rather than who or what does something.
- At no time did I say you couldn't come.
- Little did I understand what was happening.
Invert the word order by placing a prepositional phrase or other expression (at no time, suddenly into, little, seldom, never, etc.) at the beginning of the sentence followed by inverted word order.
- Hardly had I arrived when he started complaining.
- Seldom have I felt so alone.
Note that the auxiliary verb is placed before the subject which is followed by the main verb.
D. Expressing Annoyance
Use the continuous form modified by 'always', 'forever', etc. to express annoyance at another person's action. This form is considered an exception as it used to express a routine rather than an action occurring at a particular moment in time.
- Martha is always getting into trouble.
- Simon is forever asking tricky questions.
- George was always being reprimanded by his teachers.
Note that this form is generally used with the present or past continuous (he is always doing, they were always doing).
E. Cleft Sentences: It
Sentences introduced by 'It is' or 'It was' are often used to empha a specific subject, object or adverbial.
- Subject : It was England who won the World Cup in 1966.
- Object : It was the World Cup that England won in 1966.
- Adverbial : It was in 1966 that England won the World Cup.
F. Cleft Sentences: What
Sentences introduced by a clause beginning with 'What' are also used to empha a specific subject or object. The clause introduced by 'What' is employed to empha the new information with a what-clause + be. The new information comes after be.
- What I've done is sent a letter of complaint.
- What caused the accident was a cat.
- What happened after the party was that John and Dan went home.
G. Exceptional Use of 'Do' or 'Did'
You have probably learned that the auxiliary verbs 'do' and 'did' are not used in positive sentences - for example: He went to the store. NOT He did go to the store. However, in order to empha something we feel strongly these auxiliary verbs can be used as an exception to the rule.
- No that's not true. John did speak to Mary.
- I do believe that you should think twice about this situation.
Note this form is often used to express something contrary to what another person believes.
H. Sentence Transformations Exercises
Sentence transformation exercises help you expand your usage skills through testing various ways of stating the same idea.
- For example, the sentence 'I've lived here since 1980.' can also be expressed: 'I moved here in 1980.
Complete the following sentences so that they mean the same as the original sentence.
|1)||Katherine keeps making long distance telephone calls. Katherines is|
|2)||Jack ate lunch before we arrived. By the time|
|3)||Is there such a thing as happiness? Does|
|4)||I havent´s eaten Sushi for years. It´s|
|5)||I didn´t know about Susan´s divorce. I didn´t know that|
|6)||His homework won´t be finished by the end of the day. He won´t|
|7)||His education is none of your business. His education does|
|8)||He´ll de at the meeting soon. It won´t be long|
|9)||Go to the conference check-in desk inmmediately on arrival.|
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Animal Farm (by George Orwell)
How they toiled and sweated to get the hay in! But their efforts were rewarded, for the harvest was an even bigger success than they had hoped.
Sometimes the work was hard; the implements had been designed for human beings and not for animals, and it was a great drawback that no animal was able to use any tool that involved standing on his hind legs. But the pigs were so clever that they could think of a way round every difficulty. As for the horses, they knew every inch of the field, and in fact understood the business of mowing and raking far better than Jones and his men had ever done.
The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the others. With their superior knowledge it was natural that they should assume the leadership. Boxer and Clover would harness themselves to the cutter or the horse-rake (no bits or reins were needed in these days, of course) and tramp steadily round and round the field with a pig walking behind and calling out "Gee up, comrade!" or "Whoa back, comrade!" as the case might be. And every animal down to the humblest worked at turning the hay and gathering it. Even the ducks and hens toiled to and fro all day in the sun, carrying tiny wisps of hay in their beaks.
In the end they finished the harvest in two days' less time than it had usually taken Jones and his men. Moreover, it was the biggest harvest that the farm had ever seen. There was no wastage whatever; the hens and ducks with their sharp eyes had gathered up the very last stalk. And not an animal on the farm had stolen so much as a mouthful.
All through that summer the work of the farm went like clockwork. The animals were happy as they had never conceived it possible to be. Every mouthful of food was an acute positive pleasure, now that it was truly their own food, produced by themselves and for themselves, not doled out to them by a grudging master. With the worthless parasitical human beings gone, there was more for everyone to eat. There was more leisure too, inexperienced though the animals were.
They met with many difficulties-for instance, later in the year, when they harvested the corn, they had to tread it out in the ancient style and blow away the chaff with their breath, since the farm possessed no threshing machine-but the pigs with their cleverness and Boxer with his tremendous muscles always pulled them through.
Boxer was the admiration of everybody. He had been a hard worker even in Jones's time, but now he seemed more like three horses than one; there were days when the entire work of the farm seemed to rest on his mighty shoulders. From morning to night he was pushing and pulling, always at the spot where the work was hardest. He had made an arrangement with one of the cockerels to call him in the mornings half an hour earlier than anyone else, and would put in some volunteer labour at whatever seemed to be most needed, before the regular day's work began. His answer to every problem, every setback, was "I will work harder!"-which he had adopted as his personal motto.
- What picture emerges of the pigs on the farm?
- What is the general feeling on the farm?
- Give a character description of Boxer