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Task 3. Focus on Grammar


Singular Plural

1) advice, information, knowledge, 1) all garmets and instruments,

news, baggage, luggage, furniture, consisting of two parts:

rubbish, (air)craft, quid , mumps trousers, glasses,binoculars

This news is very important. His trousers look nice.

2) names of sciences: mathematics, 2) other words in -ics

acoustics, physics, linguistics hysterics, mathematics (as a

Acoustics is a branch of physics. school subject)

3)Expressions of quantity and sums Mathematics are not my best

of money are usually regarded as subject.

units and take a singular verb: 3)wages, police, clothes, cattle

25 dollars is much money for him. The police are after him.

4) premises, quaters


These premises are not bad.

Words which have Greek or Latin forms make their plurals according to the rules of these languages:

datum - data; phenomenon - phenomena; axis - axes

Now there is a tendency with common Greek or Latin words to make the plural according to the rules of the English language:

dogma - dogmas; formula - formulas

But formulae is used in scientific English.

Exercise 1. Choose the correct form of the verb.

1. Athletics . . . his hobby. (to be) 2. The news . . . awaiting him at home. (to be) 3. Mathematics . . . an exact science. (to be) 4. My luggage . . . of a bag and ranch of philosophy. (to be) 12. Physics . . . never been my best subject. (to have) 13. The new furniture you’ve just bought . . . very comfortable. (to be) 14. Her glasses . . . been broken. (to have)

Exercise 2. Write the plural for each of the following nouns.

potato, mother-in-law, memorandum, criterion, Frenchman, lady, child, wolf, fish, calf, glass, deer, pyjamas, donkey, torch, box, handkerchief, foot, boot, sheep, mouse, ox, tooth, army, phenomenon.

Exercise 3. Make the verbs agree

1. There (was/were) many people in the room. 2. Mathematics (is/are) not my best subject. 3. Look at my trousers. (They/It) (is/are) dirty. 4. Your scissors (need/needs) sharpening. 5. (This/These) new pair of jeans (is/are) very smart. 6. You (was/were) at their party yesterday.Please,tell us a few words about it. 7. Anyone who (have/has) a head for figures (is/are) welcome to work at this Institute. 8. The full armour and a Damascus sword (complete/completes) his private collection. 9. About two million dollars (has/have) been made at the last auction. 10. Neither of them (know/knows) this rule. 11. Either he or his sister (is/are) coming tomorrow night. 12. More than twenty aircraft (was/were) destroyed in the raid. 13. Mass media (is/are) not very popular nowadays. 14. She is one of the best engineers that (have/has) ever graduated from this faculty. 15. The news of his arrival (have/has) spread very quickly. 16. Dynamics (is/are) a branch of mechanics.

Exercise 3. Read the poem and pay attention to the plurals.

Write these words both in the singular and the plural.

Why English is so hard

We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes;

But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes,

Then one fowl is goose, but two are called geese;

Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.

You may find a lone mouse or a whole lot of mice.

But the plural of house is houses not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,

Why shouldn’t the plural of pen be called pen?

The cow in the plural may be cows or kine,

But the plural of vow is vows not vine.

And I speak of a foot, and you show me your feet,

But I give you a boot - would a pair be called beet?

If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,

Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

If the singular is this and the plural is these,

Should the plural of kiss be nicknamed kese?

Then one may be that, and three may be those,

Yet, the plural of hat would never be hose.

We speak of a brother and also of brethren,

But though we say mother, we never say methren.

The masculine pronouns are he, his and him.

But imagine the feminine she, shis and shim!

So our English, I think you’ll agree,

Is the trickiest language you ever did see.

Expressing the Present

1. The Present Simple is used to report actions in general, or actions that happen repeatedly.

The earth goes round the sun.

I get up at 7 o’clock every morning.

2. The Present Continuous is used to describe the actions which are happening at the time of speaking.

She is in Britain now, she is studying English.

Where is he? He is playing tennis.

На русский язык Present Continuous переводится глаголом настоящего времени несовершенного вида.

Some verbs are not used in Continuous Tense: want, know, belong, understand, see, love, hate, forget, seem, remember, like, need.

Exercise 4. Translate the sentences into Russian.Comment on the use of tenses.

  1. It is still raining. 2. The woman, who is speaking with my sister, is our neighbour. 3. This man speaks English very well, but it is difficult for me to understand him now because he is speaking so fluently. 4. Where are you hurrying to? – I’m afraid to miss the 3 o’clock train. My friend is coming with it. 5. Light is a form of electromagnetic energy that travels very quickly on different frequencies, or wavelengths. 6. Stop smoking. Usually nobody smokes here. 7. Look! Ann is introducing Mary to John. 8. Gravity keeps the moon on its orbit around the earth.. 9. Where are you going this Sunday? - This Sunday I’m going to my friend’s birthday party, but usually at weekends I go to the country. 10. Scientists are still discussing the origin of the universe.

Exercise 5. Put the verb into the Present Indefinite or the Present Continuous.

1. He . . . (to work) on a new book now. 2. What is the weather like? It . . . (to rain) a little. 3. The concert . . . (to start) at 7.30. 4. Tom . . . (to want) to visit him but he . . . (to play) volleyball now. 5. Water . . . (to boil) at 100 degrees Celcius. 6. This machine . . . (not to work). It broke down this morning. 7. That machine . . . (not to work). It broke down a year ago. 8. You can borrow my pen. I . . . (not to need) it now. 9. She is an engineer but she . . . (to sit) with her baby at the moment. 10. This coat . . . (to belong) to me. 11. We usually . . . (to work) in our garden at weekends. 12. I . . . (not to drive) but my father . . . (to teach) me now. 13. I . . . (to want) to go there right now. 14. Listen to him. Do you understand what language he . . . ( to speak)?

Exercise 6. Correct the sentences in which the Present Simple and the

Present Continuous are misused.

1. I am thinking you are wrong. 2. Why didn’t you go to the country yesterday? It was raining hard. 3. Are you believing me? 4. Why don’t you want to join us? I am finishing the book I must give back tomorrow. 5. The moon is going round the earth. 6. Where is Mother? She is working in the garden. 7. I am usually going to work by bus. 8. Every day I am training at 9. Are you happy? I’m very happy. I am going to get married. 10. She is leaving for Paris tomorrow morning. 11. No one knows that Miss Piper is studying mathematics. 12. At present Doctor Atkinson is working on a very serious paper which he is going to deliver at a symposium in Glasgow next week. 13. He is always explaining simple facts. 14. Miss Piper knows practical mathematics - she can add, substract, multiply and divide.

Exercise 7. Read the dialogue given below, paying attention to expressing

the Present. Make up a dialogue of your own, using the model.

A - Good morning, Sir.

B - Good morning.

A - Is the manager in?

B - Yes, he is, but he is engaged at the moment, I’m afraid. Please, sit down

and wait a minute.

A - OK. But is he really busy? What is he doing? Isn’t he expecting me?

B - He is talking to a visitor from Germany just now. They are discussing

a contract.

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