3 Grammar Problems You Should Fix

What stops you from getting an advanced English grammar?

Sometimes, it can be a major area of grammar, like conditionals or tenses. But sometimes, it can be a smaller thing, which is more easily fixed.

Here are three grammar problems that are common at advanced level, but which you can correct so that you speak more accurately.

Adjectives and Compound Adjectives

Adjectives do not “agree” with nouns, so there are no feminine / masculine / or singular / plural differences. The only exception to this rule is for adjectives of French origin. For example, a man might be blond (have blonde hair) while a woman is blonde. In British English, we tend to write “blonde” as the hair colour.

Compound Adjectives
These are adjectives formed by two words separated by a hyphen. For example, an “award-winning” restaurant, or “broad-minded” person. One type of a compound adjective is made with a number. For example, a “three-mile run” or “two-week wait”. Make sure that the word following the number is singular – not plural. So it’s a “five-dollar sandwich”, NOT a “five-dollars sandwich”.

Relative Pronouns

When the subject of the relative pronoun is the same as the subject in the sentence, you don’t need an extra pronoun. For example:
“This is the painter who redecorated my house” – NOT “This is the painter who he redecorated my house.”
“The car which is parked on double yellow lines will be removed” – NOT “The car which it is parked…”

Remember, if the relative pronoun is the object of the sentence, you do need a pronoun or noun.
For example: “This is the painter that I was telling you about.” (“I” is the subject, “painter” is the object)

Indirect Questions

An indirect question has an introductory phrase before it, such as “I’d like to know”, “I’m not sure” or “Could you tell me”. The important thing to remember is that the clause following looks like a positive statement – not a question. (So this means that there’s no inversion of subject / auxiliary.) For example:

“I’d like to know what time he’s arriving” – NOT “I’d like to know what time is he arriving?”
“I’m not sure how it’s done” – NOT “I’m not sure how is it done?”
“Could you tell me where the station is” – NOT “Could you tell me where is the station?”

Getting this word order is really important for correct indirect questions!

Eliminate Grammar Mistakes To Speak With Authority

If you work in English, knowing accurate English grammar will help you speak with authority and get respect from your colleagues, business partners and customers.

In my new grammar training program, I share the rules and short cuts so that you feel confident and hesitate less in English. We’ll look at the typical mistakes and doubts so that you avoid embarrassment.

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