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Unit 1 Articles

The use of articles in English is complex, and there are a lot of

exceptions that need to be remembered and learned.

Here are the basic rules.


Use a/an to refer to a singular countable noun which is indefinite Ц

either we donТt know which one, or it doesn't matter which one.

They live in a lovely house.

I'm reading a good book at the moment.

SheТs expecting a baby.

Use a/an to describe what something or someone is.

That's an instrument for measuring distance.

SheТs a lawyer.


Use the before a singular or plural noun, when both the speaker and the

listener know which specific object is being referred to.

They live in the green house on top of the hill.

The book IТm reading is all about the emancipation of women.

Mind the baby! SheТs near the fire.

The sweater I bought is blue.

Use the before a noun if it is the only one (the Queen, the Earth, the

Atlantic). Also use it with certain public places, especially when

referring to them in a general way:

I went to the theatre last night.

I have to go to the bank.

It should also be used when referring to general groups of people (the

French, the rich and famous)

Zero article

Use no article with plural and uncountable nouns when talking about

things in general.

Compare the use of articles in the following sentences.

Money is the root of all evil. (general)

Put the money on the table. (specific)

Love conquers all. (general).

The love I have for you will last for ever. (specific)

Gas is cheaper than electricity. (general)

I forgot to pay the bill, and now the gas has been cut off. (specific)

Final points

Notice the difference between the use of articles in the following


My daughter is at school.

The meeting will be held at the school.

I go to church on Sundays.

The firemen went to the church to put out the fire.

He was rushed to hospital immediately.

IТm going to the hospital to visit him.

The use of the emphasises the place simply as a building. The use without

the suggests that the place is being used for its proper function as an

institution, i.e. a place of learning, healing etc.

Pubs, hotels, theatres, and cinemas usually have the

the Prince William

the London Hilton

the Albany Empire

the Odeon

Some geographical areas have the.

seas the Mediterranean

rivers the Seine; the Mississippi

island groups the Seychelles

mountain groups the Alps

deserts the Sahara

Streets, roads, and squares etc. in towns usually have no article.

Oxford Street

Portobello Road

Hyde Park

Leicester Square

Victoria Station

Other nouns which take no article are:

lakes Lake Superior, Lake Victoria

countries Spain, Norway, China

continents Asia, Europe

The following types of noun take no article when referred to generally:

games squash, football, chess

academic subjects medicine, literature, physics

abstract nouns freedom, understanding

meals dinner, tea, breakfast

Compare these sentences:

Do you prefer hockey or football?

The football they play in America is different from the kind they play in


Dinner is usually at eight oТclock.

The dinner they served yesterday was the best I remember.


1. Fill each gap (if necessary) with a suitable article.

1. - WhatТs her job?

- SheТs ___ teacher.

2. Britain is ___ island.

3. Excuse me, can I ask ___ question?

4. What do you usually have for ___ lunch?

5. Is there ___ life on Mars?

6. Can you tell me ___ time, please?

7. ___ air is so fresh today.

8. She has ___ long brown hair.

9. Is she ___ English?

10. WhereТs ___ bag? ItТs gone!

11. Would you like ___ coffee?

12. She works six days ___ week.

2. In this exercise you have to put in a / an or the.

Example: There was __a__ man and __a__ woman in the room. _The_ man was

English but _the_ woman looked foreign. She was wearing __a__ fur


1. This morning I bought _____ newspaper and _____ magazine. _____

newspaper is in my bag but I donТt know where _____ magazine is.

2. My parents have _____ cat and _____ dog. _____ dog never bites _____ cat

but _____ cat often scratches _____ dog.

3. I saw _____ accident this morning. _____ car crashed into _____ wall.

_____ driver of _____ car was not hurt but _____ car was quite badly


4. When you turn into Lipson Road, you will see three houses: _____ red

one, _____ blue one and _____ white one. I live in _____ white one.

5. We live in _____ old house in _____ middle of the village. There is

_____ beautiful garden behind _____ house. _____ roof of _____ house is

in very bad condition.

3. Read these sentences carefully. Some are correct, but some need the

(perhaps more than once). Correct the sentences where necessary.

Examples: Everest was first climbed in 1953. Right

Milan is in north of Italy. Wrong Ц the north of Italy

1. Last year we visited Canada and United States.

2. Africa is much lager than Europe.

3. South of England is warmer than north.

4. We went to Spain for our holidays and swam in Mediterranean.

5. Tom has visited most countries in western Europe.

6. A friend of mine used to work as a reporter in Middle East.

7. Next year we are going skiing in Swiss Alps.

8. Malta has been a republic since 1974.

9. Nile is longest river in Africa.

10. United Kingdom consists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Unit 2 Prepositions

Prepositions of place and directions

Main points

o You normally use prepositional phrases to say where a person or thing is,

or the direction they are moving in.

o You can also use adverbs and adverb phrases for place and direction.

o Many words are both prepositions and adverbs.

You use prepositions to talk about the place where someone or something is.

Prepositions are always followed by a noun group, which is called the

object of the preposition.

|above |below |in |opposite |through |

|among |beneath |inside |outside |under |

|at |beside |near |over |underneat|

| | | | |h |

|behind |between |on |round | |

He stood near the door.

Two minutes later we were safely inside the taxi.

Note that some prepositions consist of more than one word.

|in |in front |next to |on top of|

|between |of | | |

There was a man standing in front of me.

The books were piled on top of each other.

You can also use prepositions to talk about the direction that someone or

something is moving in, or the place that someone or something is moving


|across |into |past |to |

|along |onto |round |towards |

|back to |out of |through |up |

|down | | | |

They dived into the water.

She turned and rushed out of the room.

Many prepositions can be used both for place and direction.

The bank is just across the High Street. (place)

I walked across the room. (direction)

We live in the house over the road. (place)

I stole his keys and escaped over the wall. (direction)

You can also use adverbs and adverb phrases for place and direction.

|abroad |here |underground|everywhere |

|away |indoors |upstairs |nowhere |

|downstairs |outdoors |~ |somewhere |

|downwards |there |anywhere | |

Sheila was here a moment ago.

CanТt you go upstairs and turn the bedroom light off?

Note that a few noun groups can also be used as adverbials of place or


Steve lives next door at number 23.

I thought we went the other way last time.

Many words can be used as prepositions and as adverbs, with no difference

in meaning. Remember that prepositions have noun groups as objects, but

adverbs do not.

Did he fall down the stairs?

Please do sit down.

I looked underneath the bed. but the box had gone!

Always put a sheet of paper underneath.

Prepositions of place Ц at, in, on

Main points

o You use СatТ to talk about a place as a point.

o You use СinТ to talk about a place as an area.

o You use СonТ to talk about a place as a surface.

You use СatТ when you are thinking of a place as a point in space.

She waited at the bus stop for over twenty minutes.

СWhere were you last night?Т Ц СAt MickТs house.Т

You also use СatТ with words such as СbackТ, СbottomТ, СendТ, СfrontТ, and

СtopТ to talk about the different parts of a place.

Mrs Castle was waiting at the bottom of the stairs.

They escaped by a window at the back of the house.

I saw a taxi at the end of the street.

You use СatТ with public places and institutions. Note that you also say

Сat homeТ and Сat workТ.

I have to be at the station by ten oТclock.

We landed at a small airport.

A friend of mine is at Training College.

She wanted to stay at home.

You say Сat the cornerТ or Сon the cornerТ when you are talking about


The car was parked at the corner of the street.

ThereТs a telephone box on the corner.

You say Сin the cornerТ when you are talking about a room.

She put the chair in the corner of the room.

You use СinТ when you are talking about a place as an area. You use СinТ


a country or geographical region

When I was in Spain, it was terribly cold.

A thousand homes in the east of Scotland suffered power cuts.

a city, town, or village

IТve been teaching at a college in London.

a building when you are talking about people or things inside it

They were sitting having dinner in the restaurant.

You also use СinТ with containers of any kind when talking about things

inside them.

She kept the cards in a little box.

Compare the use of СatТ and СinТ in these examples.

I had a hard day at the office. (СatТ emphasises the office as a public

place or institution)

I left my coat behind in the office. (СinТ emphasises the office as a


ThereТs a good film at the cinema. (СatТ emphasises the cinema as a public


It was very cold in the cinema. (СinТ emphasises the cinema as a building.)

When talking about addresses, you use СatТ when you give the house number,

and СinТ when you just give the name of the street.

They used to live at 5, Weston Road.

She got a job in Oxford Street.

Note that American English uses СonТ: СHe lived on Penn Street.Т

You use СatТ when you are talking about someoneТs house.

IТll see you at Fred's house.

You use СonТ when you are talking about a place as a surface. You can also

use Сon top ofТ.

I sat down on the sofa.

She put her keys on top of the television.

You also use СonТ when you are thinking of a place as a point on a line,

such as a road, a railway line. a river, or a coastline.

Scrabster is on the north coast.

Oxford is on the A34 between Birmingham and London.


1. Put the correct preposition into each gap.


When my grandmother was at school, she had to learn everything (a) ________

heart, and even years later she could recite countless poems (b) _______

memory. She was discouraged (c) _______ thinking (d) _______ herself, and

concentrated simply (e) _______ learning facts. The teachers were very

strict (f) _______ pupils in those days. My grandfather confided (g)

_______ me that he was expelled (h) _______ school (i) _______ playing

truant just once.

It is always worthwhile for governments to invest (j) _______ education.

Nobody should be deprived (k) _______ a good education, and everybody

should benefit (l) _______ it. Nothing can compensate (m) _______ a bad

start in life. Pupils (n) _______ public schools still account (o) _______

many of the students at Oxford and Cambridge University. Until quite

recently these universities seemed to be prejudiced (p) _______ pupils from

state schools. Many people objected very strongly (q) _______ this and at

last things are changing.

I had no intention (r) _______ staying (s) _______ at university after I

had finished my first degree. I finally succumbed (t) _______ parental

pressure, but only (u) _______ protest, and carried out research (v)

_______ the life of Baudelaire.

2. Put the correct preposition into each gap (if necessary).

1. Are you coming to classes _____ Monday?

2. CanТt you hurry up? The train leaves _____ 9 oТclock.

3. There werenТt many people _____ the party.

4. David has been a teacher _____ 10 years.

5. They got married some time _____ .

6. Do you know the names of the letter _____ English?

7. I donТt live far _____ my office. In fact, itТs quite _____ .

8. What time do you usually come _____ home?

9. He lives _____ the country.

10. I think sheТs gone _____ holiday _____ the South.

11. IТm going to stay _____ my parents _____ July.

12. ItТs so difficult to wake him up _____ the morning.

13. The girls are _____ the bus stop.

14. They are going _____ school.

15. The children are playing _____ the garden.

16. Did you see the film _____ television yesterday?

17. I try to go _____ bed before midnight.

18. Young people are fond _____ sports.

19. Charles is very good _____ languages.

20. It might be John but I thought he was _____ work.

21. - How do you get _____ work?

- I go there _____ bus.

22. Look _____ that picture.

23. Why donТt you take _____ your coat. ItТs warm today.

24. SheТs French, she comes _____ the South of France.

Unit 3 Review of tenses (active/passive voice)


1. Matching verb forms

Match a sentence from A with a sentence from B, according to the tense

used. Say which tense it is. (Some sentences are in the negative or

question form.)


He works in a bank.

She doesnТt smoke.

They are both Present Simple active.


1. I donТt believe you.

2. Have you been waiting long?

3. He hasnТt arrived yet.

4. It wasnТt mended properly.

5. How are you feeling today?

6. My office is being decorated at the moment.

7. We got lost.

8. What were you doing last night?

9. This book has been translated into several languages.

10. The post is delivered twice a day.


a. ItТs raining.

b. Did you have a good time?

c. How are these machines made?

d. They were working for something.

e. He was killed in a car crash.

f. What is being done about inflation?

g. IТve been thinking about moving house.

h. Have you seen Henry?

i. A cure for cancer hasnТt been found yet.

j. Where do you work?

2. Active or passive?

Put the verb in brackets in the correct tense, and decided if it is active

or passive.

Ex.: My car __was stolen__ (steal) last night.

Joseph Ford, the politician who (a) __________ (kidnap) last week as he was

driving to his office, (b) __________ (release) unharmed. He (c) __________

(examine) by a doctor last night, and (d) __________ (say) to be in good

health. Mr Ford (e) __________ (find) walking along a small country lane

early yesterday evening. A farmer (f) __________ (see) him, recognised who

it was, and (g) __________ (contact) the police. When his wife (h)

__________ (tell) the news, she said, СI am delighted and relieved that my

husband (i) __________ (find).Т Acting on information received, the police

made several arrests, and a man (j) __________ (question) in connection

with the kidnapping.

3. Passive construction

Put the following sentences into the passive, using a personal pronoun as

the subject.

Ex.: Someone told her the news.

She was told the news.

a. Someone will give you your tickets at the airport.

b. People asked me a lot of questions about my background.

c. Someone usually shows airline passengers how to use a life jacket at the

beginning of the flight.

d. If somebody offers you a cheap camera, donТt buy it. ItТs probably


e. Doctors have given him six months to live.

f. Someone will tell you what you have to do when you arrive.

g. My parents advised me to spend some time abroad before looking for work.

h. Pleased to meet you. People have told me a lot about you.

i. At interviews, people ask you quite searching questions.

j. In a few yearsТ time, my company will send me to our New York office.

4. Tense review (1)

Put the verb in brackets in an appropriate tense. When there is no verb (

__ __ __ ), insert an auxiliary verb.

My wife and I (a) ________ (live) in our present house in the country for

five years. We (b) ________ (move) here after our second child (c) ________

(be) born. We (d) ________ (live) in town for ten years , and (e) ________

(decide) that as soon as we (f) ________ (can) afford it, we (g) ________

(move) away from the smoke and the noise of the city centre, which we

finally (h) __ __ __ in 1985. We (i) ________ never (regret) it. We (j)

________ (be) reminded of the wisdom of our decision every morning when we

(k) ________ (draw) the curtains to see the open fields stretching before

us. When the children (l) ________ (have) breakfast, they (m) ________

(rush) outside to play, which they (n) __ __ __ whatever the weather.

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