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This unit reviewed many grammatical structures. The first was modals. Examples of modals include: can, could, may, might, shall, should, will, would, must, have to, have got to, need to, needn't and ought to. All of these words, to some degree, express an obligation, possibility/probability, permission/prohibition, ability, and/or advice. At first glance, students may think many of these words mean the same thing. However, they each connotate different ideas and also can be used to express different degrees of formality. For example in the sentence, "May I use the restroom?", implies you are asking for permission to use the restroom, however, if you ask, "Can I use the restroom?", it implies you are asking if it is possible for you to use the restroom. Both of these sentences, though similar, would prompt a different response. Yes, you CAN use the restroom but that doesn't mean right now. Whereas, MAY I use the restroom would prompt a straightforward no not right now or yes you may go. The next subject reviewed was the passive voice which is ultimately when the object of an active verb, ex: My wife chose the wallpaper, becomes the subject of the passive verb, ex: The wallpaper was chosen by my wife. In the passive voice, the doer of the action is much less important, if any, then in the active verb when it tends to be the main focus. Next we reviewed relative clauses. A clause is a phrase that contains a subject and verb. There are three types of clauses. Independent, which is a complete sentence containing the main subject and verb. There is a dependent, which is not a complete sentence and must be connected to an independent clause. Then there is a relative clause, which is a dependent clause that modifies a noun. Meaning it describes, identifies, or gives more information about a noun. There are two types of relative clauses. Essential and nonessential. These are pretty self-explanatory as an essential relative clause means the phrase is necessary for the understanding of the total sentences. Whereas a nonessential can be taken out with no major change to the point of the sentence. Lastly, we went over phrasal verbs. These are verbs that are followed by one or two particles. EX: She told PAUL OFF. There are three types of phrasal verbs. Intransitive, which cannot be followed by a direct object. There is a transitive separable, which is when an object pronoun can only go between the verb and particle. An object pronoun can go either between the verb and particle or after the particle. Then there is the transitive inseparable, which is when the object phrase of pronoun both go after the particle. All of the subjects can be hard concepts for an English student to comprehend. That is why it is important to include these naturally into everyday lessons so students naturally begin to use these words in their correct differentiation. Do not throw these at students all on one day especially in the beginner/intermediate level. An advanced student may find this helpful.
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