Jan 29th

Using pronouns

By Ahoo ....

Pronoun Reference

Pronouns usually refer to other words, called their antecedents because they (should) come before the pronoun. A pronoun's antecedent may be either a noun or another pronoun, but in either case, it must be clear what the antecedent is. Consider this example:

Micheline told Ruth that she would take Jerry to the barn dance.

It is not clear whether the pronoun "she" in this sentence refers to Ruth or Micheline. Unless pronouns refer unmistakably to distinct, close, and single antecedents, the reader will never be sure who's going to the square dance with whom.

A pronoun should have only one possible antecedent

If there is more than one possible antecedent for a personal pronoun in a sentence, make sure that the pronoun refers only to one of them:

[WRONG] Jerry found a gun in the trousers which he wore.

"Which he wore" could modify "trousers" or "gun."

[WRONG] Jerry called Steve twelve times while he was in Reno.

The pronoun "he" could refer either to "Jerry" or to "Steve."

A pronoun should not refer to an implied idea

Make sure that the pronoun refers to a specific rather than to an implicit antecedent: When you leave the antecedent implied instead of stating it explicitly, the reader has to try to guess your sentence's meaning:

[WRONG] John put a bullet in his gun and shot it.

The pronoun "it" can refer either to the noun "gun" or to the implied object of the verb "shot."

[WRONG] If I told you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me?

The pronoun "it" can refer to the noun "body" or to the entire statement.

[WRONG] The crafts persons' union reached an agreement on Ruth's penalty, but it took time.

The pronoun "it" can refer to the noun "union" or to the implied process of decision making.

A pronoun should not refer to adjectives or possessive nouns

You should not use adjectives, or nouns or pronouns in the possessive case, as antecedents. Although they may imply a noun, reference to them will be ambiguous:

In Ruth's apology she told Jerry she'd loved him for years.

In this case, the pronoun "she" seems to refer to the noun phrase "Ruth's apology," though it was probably meant to refer to possessive noun "Ruth's."

Jerry wore those blasted green knickers; it was his favourite colour.

In this example, the pronoun "it" seems to refer to the noun "knickers," though it was probably meant to refer to the adjective "green."

A pronoun should not refer to a title

When you start your paper, do not write as if the title itself were part of the body of the paper. Often, the title will appear on a separate page, and your opening will be confusing. Imagine, for example, a paper entitled "How to Sew Green Knickers": you should not begin the first paragraphwith a sentence like

This is not as easy as it looks.

The writer probably wanted the pronoun "this" to refer to the idea of sewing knickers, but since the idea is not in the body of the paper itself, the reference will not make sense.

Use "it," "they," and "you" carefully

In conversation people often use expressions such as "It says in this book that ..." and "In my home town they say that ...". These constructions are useful for information conversation because they allow you to present ideas casually, without supporting evidence; for academic writing, however, these constructions are either too imprecise or too wordy:

[WRONG] In Chapter four of my autobiography it says that I was born out of wedlock.

In Chapter four, what says that the speaker was born out of wedlock?

[WRONG] In the restaurant they gave me someone else's linguini.

Who gave the speaker someone else's linguini?

It would be better to rewrite these two sentences as follow:

[RIGHT] Chapter four of my autobiography states that I was born out of wedlock.

[RIGHT] In the restaurant, the server gave me someone else's linguini.

In these revised sentences, there is no doubt about who is doing what.

The same basic rule applies to the pronoun "you." In informal conversation and in instructional writing (like HyperGrammar), English speakers often use the pronoun to mean something like "a hypothetical person" or "people in general"; academic writing, however, needs to be more precise, and you should use "you" only when you want to address the reader directly (as I am doing here). Consider this example:

[WRONG] In the fourteenth century, you had to struggle to survive.

In this case, "you" obviously does not refer to the reader, since the reader was not alive during the seventeenth century. It would be better to rewrite the sentence so that it expresses your idea more precisely; for example

[RIGHT] In the fourteenth century, people had to struggle to survive.

Or even better yet,

[RIGHT] In the fourteenth century, English peasant farmers had to struggle to survive.

Use "it" consistently within a sentence

There are three common uses of the pronoun "it":

As an idiom

"It is snowing";

To postpone the subject

"It is untrue that a rhinoceros can run faster than my tights"; and

As a personal pronoun

"I wanted a rhinoceros for my birthday, but did not get it."

You may use all of these in academic writing, but to avoid awkwardness, you should not use more than one within a single sentence:

[WRONG] When it is my birthday, I hope to receive a rhinoceros, and I will walk itoften.

It would be better to eliminate the first (idiomatic) "it":

On my birthday, I hope to receive a rhinoceros, and I will walk it often.

Use "who," "which," and "that" carefully

Historically, writers, editors, and publishers have had difficulty establishing a clear guidelines for using the relative pronouns "who," "which," and "that," in formal writing, but over the last fifty years or so they have come a loose standard. According to this standard, the pronoun "who" usually refers to people, but may also refer to animals that have names:

My mother, who gave me the rhino, must love me very much. My rhino, whom I call Spike, wanders at will through the house.

The pronoun "which" refers to animals and things:

The rhino, which is a much maligned and misunderstood animal, is really quite affectionate.Its horn is a matt of hair which is sort of stuck to its snout.

Finally, the pronoun "that" refers to animals and things and occasionally to persons when they are collective or anonymous:

The rhino that hid behind the television was missing for days.

Rhinos that like to swim cause both plumbing and enamelling problems for their owners.

The answer that everyone missed was "Etruscan."



Tricky Points of Pronoun Usage

This section covers some relatively tricky points which are no longer standard in spoken English, though many people still insist upon them in formal writing.

Pronouns in Apposition

pronoun should also be in the subject case when it is in apposition to a subject or subject complement, and in the object case when it is in apposition to the object of a verbverbal, orpreposition:

[RIGHT] Three craftspeople -- Mary, Albert, and he -- made the accessory for Jerry.

The phrase "Mary, Albert, and he" is in apposition to "craftspeople," the subject of the sentence.

[RIGHT] The accessory was made by three craftspeople, Mary, Albert, and him.

The phrase "Mary, Albert, and him" is still in apposition to the noun "craftspeople," but that noun has become the object of the preposition "by," so the pronoun "him" is in the object case.

[RIGHT] The three craftspeople involved were Mary, Albert, and she.

The pronoun "she" is part of the subject complement, so it is in the subject case.

"Us" and "we" before a Noun

first-person plural pronoun used with a noun takes the case of the noun. If the noun functions as a subject, the pronoun should be in the subject case; if the noun functions as an object, the pronoun should be in the object case:

We rowdies left the restaurant late.

The restaurant owner mumbled at all us slow eaters.

Using 'than' or 'as' in a Comparison

In elliptical comparisons, where the writer has left some words out of a sentence, the case of the pronoun at the end of the sentence determines its meaning. When a sentence ends with asubjective pronoun, the pronoun must serve as the subject of the omitted verb. When a sentence ends with an objective pronoun, the pronoun must serve as the object of the omitted verb:


Ruth likes Jerry better than I.


Ruth likes Jerry better than I like Jerry.


Ruth likes Jerry better than me.


Ruth likes Jerry better than she likes me.



Jan 13th

"made of" and "made from"

By Ahoo ....

When should we use 'made of' and when should we use 'made from'? Do they have different meanings?

Let's start by looking at some examples:

We might say:

"This shirt is made of cotton"
"This house is made of bricks" OR
"The keyboard I use on my computer is made of plastic."

On the other hand, we might say:

"Paper is made from trees."
"Wine is made from grapes." OR
"This cake is made from all natural ingredients."

So, if you think about the first group of examples, you'll notice that there's a common theme - a common pattern.

The cotton in the shirt is still cotton – it hasn't changed its form and
become something else.
In the same way, the bricks in the walls of the house – they're still bricks. They didn't stop being bricks when the house was made. And the plastic in my computer keyboard is still plastic.

So we say:

"The shirt is made of cotton."
"The house is made of bricks."
"The keyboard is made of plastic."

On the other hand, the trees in the example where we say:

"The paper is made from trees."
These trees are not trees anymore – they stopped being trees when they became paper.

And if we say:

"Wine is made from grapes."
The grapes are no longer grapes – they've been changed into a different type of stuff –
a different type of substance - in this case, wine.
And the flour and the eggs and the sugar in the example about the cake; these have all
changed their forms as well when they became cake.

So this is the rule:

If something keeps its form, we use 'made of''
But if the form is changed during the process of making, then we use 'made from'.


Jan 10th

Song suggestion for listening

By Ahoo ....
As been said about improving listening skill is one of the most important skills in learning English,thus I decided to offer you some songs made up by simple lyrics which help you to figure out the position of the words,the pronunciation and some new terms and phrases.
What you need to do is just search for the musics and download them and then google for the lyrics...listen them all as many time as you can,till you be able to recite the lines with out looking at the lyrics,I'll promise you this will pull up your listening skill ;)
 Always on my mind-by Willie Nelson
 Shap of my heart-by Sting
 Always on your side-by Sheryl Crow ft Sting
 A year without rain-by Selena Gomez
 Hallelujah-by Rufus Wainwright
 Hello-by Lionel Richie
 Stay the night-by James Blunt
If time is all I have-by James Blunt
Cry-by James Blunt
Good bye my lover-by James Blunt
I really want you-by James Blunt
Same mistake-by James Blunt
One of the brightest stars-by James Blunt
Carry you home-by James Blunt
High-by James Blunt
Careless whisper-by George  Micheal
Could I have this kiss forever-by Enrique ft  Whitney Houston
You are my #1-by  Enrique
Hero-by Enrique 
Hurt-by  Cristina Aguilera
Here I am-by Bryan Adams
No one-by Adele Haeley
Someone like you-by Adele
Don't you remember-by Adele
Make you feel my love-by Adele
Blowin' in the wind-by Bob Dylan
The times they are A-changing-by Bob Dylan
Don't think twice,it's allright-by Bob Dylan
Mr. Tambourine man-by Bob Dylan
Like a rolling stone-by Bob Dylan
Just like a woman-by Bob Dylan
All along the watchtower-by Bob Dylan
Lay lady lay-by Bob Dylan
I shal be released-Bob Dylan
If not for you-Bob Dylan
Knockin' on heaven's door-by Bob Dylan
Forever young-by Bob Dylan
Tangled up in blue-by Bob Dylan
Oh,sister-by Bob Dylan
Gotta serve somebody-by Bob Dylan
Jokerman-by Bob Dylan
Everything is broken-by Bob Dylan
Shelter from storm-by Bob Dylan
Trouble-by Coldplay

I hope you DL them all and listen,and if anybody knows more songs please add up here for other's use...:)
Jan 9th

Some of body idioms

By Ahoo ....
Idiom Meaning Example Sentence
all ears fully listening Give me a minute to finish my work and then I'll be all ears to hear about your project.
break a leg good-luck Today's the big game, eh? Break a leg!
cold feet nervous just before a big event My sister didn't get cold feet until she put her wedding gown on.
cost an arm and a leg be very expensive These cakes are delicious, but they cost an arm and a leg.
cry your heart out cry very hard cried my heart out when my best friend moved away.
face the music meet, stand up to unpleasant conseqences, for example criticism or punishment I stayed out all night. When I eventually got home I had to face the music from my wife.
(my) flesh and blood relative I have to hire Mia. She's my own flesh and blood.
get something off one's chest tell someone your problems Thanks for listening to me complain about my boss. I just needed to get this off my chest.
give a hand, lend a hand help (someone) do something I can give you a hand when you move if you like.
have one's head in the clouds be unaware or unrealistic about something Amy has her head in the clouds if she thinks she's going to pass her exams without studying.
head over heels deeply in love My brother is head over heels for his new girlfriend.
head start an earlier start The kids gave Anthony a head start in the bicycle race because he was the youngest.
in over one's head taking on a task that you can't handle I was in over my head when I agreed to babysit the triplets and the dogs.
keep an eye on take care of, watch in order to protect I'll keep an eye on the dinner while you're on the phone.
keep one's chin up try to be cheerful Keep your chin up. I'm sure you'll make some friends soon.
learn by heart, know by heart memorize I learned my multiplication tables by heartin the fourth grade.
let one's hair down relax, have fun Go to the cottage and let your hair downthis weekend.
(my) lips are sealed promise to keep a secret Don't worry, I won't tell your mother how much you spent. My lips are sealed.
makes my blood boil makes me very angry It makes my blood boil when people don't tie up their dogs.
neck of the woods nearby location or region I heard that they might be opening a post office in our neck of the woods soon.
(an) old hand an experienced person My uncle's an old hand at car repair. He'll know what the problem is.
over my dead body not unless I'm dead and can't stop you My daughter wants a tatoo. I told her she'd get one over my dead body.
pat on the back recognition or a thank-you The party organizers deserve a pat on the back for a job well done.
play something by ear do something without a plan We don't know if the weather will be good enough for camping. We'll have to play it by ear.
pull one's leg joke or tease someone I was just pulling your leg. I'm not really a police officer.
rule of thumb basic rule (not always followed) The rule of thumb is that the students wear black pants and white shirts.
see eye to eye agree The couple don't see eye to eye on how to train their pets.
(by the) skin of one's teeth just barely I passed my exam by the skin of my teeth.
stick your neck out help someone a lot, with possible bad consequences for oneself stuck my neck out for Bessie when she was thrown out of her house.
sweet tooth a love of sugar or sweet things I need three spoonfuls of sugar in my tea. I have a sweet tooth.
thick in the head not very intelligent I'm a bit thick in the head when it comes to reading a map.
wash one's hands of something stop dealing with an issue or problem I'm washing my hands of Mary's addiction. She is going to have to get some professional help.

Jan 9th

Some of color idioms

By Ahoo ....
Idiom Meaning Example Sentence
beet red dark red (usually to describe face) My sister's face turned beet red when I caught her singing in front of a mirror.
black and blue bruised and beaten We found the poor guy black and blue near the train tracks.
black and white straight forward, very clear The rules we gave the kids were black and white. No answering the phone or the door.
black out faint I always black out at the sight of blood.
black sheep the odd or bad member of the group My oldest brother was the black sheep in our family. He dropped out of school at fifteen.
born with a silver spoon in one's mouth born into a rich family Keiko hasn't worked a day in her life. She wasborn with a silver spoon in her mouth.
catch red handed catch someone in the act of doing something wrong or illegal The kids were caught red handed stealing chocolate bars.
golden opportunity the perfect chance The models' conference was a golden opportunity for me to sell my beauty products.
grass is always greener on the other side you always want what you don't have I always wanted to go to university, but now I wish I had time to get a job. Grass is always greener on the other side.
grey area, gray area something without a clear rule or answer Writing personal email in the office is a grey areathat needs to be discussed at the next meeting.
the green light permission The builders were given the green light to begin the tower.
green with envy very jealous I am green with envy over Julio's new wardrobe.
(have a) green thumb be skillful in the garden You can tell by her flower garden that Sheila has a green thumb.
have the blues be sad or depressed I always have the the blues during the winter time.
in the dark unaware Antoine left his wife in the dark about their honeymoon destination until they got to the airport.
in the red in debt When we were in the red we almost had to sell the house.
once in a blue moon very rarely We only go out for dinner once in a blue moon.
out of the blue unexpectedly I got a phone call from a long lost cousin out of the blue last week.
red tape official or bureaucratic tasks There is still some red tape to deal with in terms of the inheritance.
red eye an airplane flight that takes off after midnight I caught the red eye so that I would see the sunrise over the mountains.
roll out the red carpet treat someone like royalty When relatives come to town my grandmotherrolls out the red carpet.
rose coloured glasses unrealistic view Paula imagines Hollywood with rose coloured glasses.
see red be very angry saw red when that guy grabbed my sister's purse.
tickled pink very pleased and appreciative My mom was tickled pink when my father brought roses home for her.
true colours real self Suzanne doesn't show her true colours when we have guests over.
white lie an innocent lie to protect another person's feelings We told Grandma that her cake was delicious, which was actually a white lie.
with flying colours with distinction I passed my road test with flying colours.

Jan 9th

Which one is right;"thank you" , "thankyou" or "thank-you" ?

By Ahoo ....

If you look out for this phrase, you will see it`s  written in all manner of ways. It would be useful to know which is right and wrong and why.

Thank you

This is the verb ‘to thank’ with a direct object ‘you’.

 You know that they  are two separate words.If you use the full sentence which is hidden underneath – ‘I thank you.’

From this comes the shortened version which we hear daily – ‘thank you’. It is always two words.


  • Thank you for coming today to this talk on written communications.
  • Thank you for your letter of 23 June 2004.


This is the noun ‘a thankyou’.


  • He gave a great big thankyou to all concerned.


This is also the spelling for the adjective, describing something (a noun) to follow.


  • He gave a thankyou card to his mother.
  • The thankyou speech was most moving.


So, why do we see ‘thank-you’ written?

Some dictionaries are still using the ‘thank-you’ form, while others show the more inevitable ‘thankyou’ form for the noun.

So, `Thank-you`is a hyphenated compound noun as if you say `A thank-you`

By englishbaby.com
Jan 9th

"Both" , "neither" , "either"

By Ahoo ....

Both = this AND that
Either = this OR that
Neither = NOT this and NOT that.

Both is used with 'and' e.g. 
"Emma and Megan both went to the party." 
We don't usually use this with a negative sentence, but use neither instead. 
"Both of us don't swim regularly." WRONG.
"Neither of us swim regularly." MUCH BETTER!

Either is used with 'or' e.g. 
"Do you want either chocolate or crisps?"

We often use neither with 'nor', although this is quite formal. E.g. 
"Neither Caroline nor Marguerite worked for EC during the world cup." 
Be careful not to use neither with another negative e.g. 
"I don’t want neither chocolate nor crisps." WRONG.
We cannot have a double negative!

Jan 9th

The difference between "hanged" and "hung"

By Ahoo ....

The word ``hang'' has several different meanings. When you ``hang'' a person, you kill him/her by tying a rope around his/her neck and taking the support away from under his/her feet. When ``hang'' is used in this sense, then the two other forms of the verb are ``hanged'' : ``hang, hanged, hanged''. Here are a few examples.

*The innocent man was hanged yesterday.

*The prisoner will be hanged at noon tomorrow.

The word can also be used with objects. When you ``hang'' an object what you are doing is that you are fastening it to something or suspending it from something. When you use the word in this sense, then its past tense and past participle form is ``hung''. To make a long story short, people are hanged and objects are hung. Here are a few examples.

*The players hung their caps on the hooks.

*Vyomakesh wanted the balloons to be hung from the ceiling.

*The two children hung their coats before coming in.

By (S. Ramya, Maduranthagam)

Jan 8th

Inside the Language

By Ahoo ....

Learning English can be challenging and the beginning is to learn the basic Parts of Speech which will provide the rules of the language. In many countries, English is the native language and others it’s taught in junior and high school.

This structured study is necessary and the teachers are limited by time and the vastness of the language. My area of teaching English is to focus on the area that is not taught or is only taught by way of mentioning it. The side of English that is not taught is as large or larger than the structured parts of English.

This side of English is an area that doesn’t have any rules and many times cannot be understood by using logic. This is what I call “Inside the Language” which I will attempt to reveal to you in a brief lesson.

The areas I’m speaking of are comprised of the following:

1. Figures of speech- Using words in a distinctive manner to guide or mis-guide the listener. The titles below can all be placed under this name.

2. Puns- A word or phrase that has a double-meaning and used to allude the listener. William Shakespeare was known to use puns in his plays.

3. A play on words- Using puns to express a thought that has a double meaning.

4. Phrases and Idioms- Using a phrase to express a thought. Examples: A pretty penny (something was expensive), a drop in the bucket (a small contribution to the amount that is required.)

“An idiom is a phrase where the words together has a meaning that is different from the dictionary definitions of the individual words.” (UsingEnglish.com)

5. Homophones (homonyms)- Words that are spelled differently but have the same pronunciation sound. Example: Night /knight, bear /bare, hear/here

6. Personification- A figure of speech in which an inanimate object is used having human qualities. Example: “The ocean screamed in it’s fury!”

In this example, oceans don’t have a voice to scream, but the word “screamed” is used as if it were a human. In other words, the waves of the ocean produced a loud sound.

7. Euphemisms- Substituting an offensive or less desirable word for a non-offensive more desirable word. Example: Instead of saying a person died, you could say they passed away or a pre-owned car instead of a used car.

On this side of learning English, you will have to:

1.  Expose yourself to reading informal English materials.

2.  If possible speak to native speakers.

3.  Write down expressions you hear and make it your goal to learn the meaning.

Step-by-step you will increase your knowledge and you’ll see your improvement over time.

Dec 21st

Yalda night_شب یلدا

By Ahoo ....

Iranians celebrate Dec. 21 as the longest night of the year. It is called Yalda in the Persian solar calendar during which special ceremonies are held.


On Yalda Night, families gather at the house of parents or grandparents to spend the night eating delicious foods, nuts, fruits and reading Hafez poems.

Yalda Night is a good opportunity to be with family members and friends, refresh old friendships and mend strained relations.

During Yalda Night, fruits such as watermelon and pomegranates and nuts like pistachio, almond, walnut and dried seeds are usually served.


Also known as Shab-e Chelleh, Yalda is rooted in Iran’s history and demonstrates Iranians’ eagerness in forging strong family ties and friendly relationships.

The feast was one of the most important celebrations in ancient Iran some 5,000 years ago and continues to be celebrated to this day.

Ancient Iranians celebrated different feasts throughout the year. Sadeh, Mehregan and Tirgan are some of the feasts celebrated by Iranians.

Yalda means birth and is held 40 days before the next major Persian festival, namely Jashn-e Sadeh.

This year, Yalda Night has coincided with the lunar month of Muharram in which Shiites commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Hence, Yalda Night is expected to be held with simplicity and in a solemn manner.

Special ceremonies, which comply with the ambiance of Muharram, have been organized by different organizations for the night.

Victory Over Darkness

In most ancient cultures, including Persia, the start of the solar year has been marked to celebrate the victory of light over darkness and the renewal of the Sun.

For instance, Egyptians, since 4,000 years ago, celebrate the rebirth of the sun at this time of the year.

They set the length of their festival at 12 days to reflect the 12 divisions in their sun calendar. They make decorations using palms with 12 shoots as a symbol of the completed year, since a palm was thought to put forth a shoot each month.

The Persians adopted their annual renewal feast from the Babylonians and incorporated it into the rituals of their own Zoroastrian religion. The last day of the Persian month Azar is the longest night of the year, when the forces of evil are assumed to be at the peak of their strength. The next day, which is the first day of the month of Dey known as “Khorram-Rouz”, belongs to Ahura Mazda, the lord of wisdom.

Since subsequent days get longer and the nights shorter, this day marks the victory of sun over darkness. The occasion was celebrated as the festival of Deygan and dedicated to Ahura Mazda on the first day of the month of Dey.

Yalda Rituals

Bonfires would be burnt all night to ensure the defeat of the forces of evil. There would be feasts, acts of charity and prayers performed to ensure the total victory of sun that was essential for the protection of winter crops.

In ancient times, there would be prayers to Mithra (Mehr) and feasts in his honor, since Mithra is responsible for protecting “the light of the early morning” known as ‘Havangah’. It was also assumed that Ahura Mazda would grant people’s wishes, especially those with no offspring hoped to be blessed with children, if they performed all the rites on this occasion.

One of the themes of the feast was the temporary subversion of order. Masters and servants reversed roles. The king dressed in white would change place with ordinary people.

Grudges and quarrels were forgotten, and wars postponed. Businesses, courts and schools were closed.

Rich and poor became equal, masters served slaves and children headed the family. Cross-dressing and masquerades, merriment of all kinds prevailed.

A mock king was crowned and masquerades spilled into the streets. As the old year died, rules of ordinary living were relaxed. This tradition persisted till the Sassanid rule, and is mentioned by Biruni and others in their recordings of pre-Islamic rituals and feasts.

The Egyptian and Persian traditions merged in ancient Rome, in a festival to the ancient god of seedtime, Saturn. The Romans exchanged gifts, partied and decorated their homes with greenery.


Yalda Night is a social and cultural feast that should be preserved. The younger generation should be reminded of the benefits of such a feast and encouraged not to ignore it under any circumstances.

The recitation of verses from the Divan of Hafez lends spiritual weight to the occasion and should not be forgotten.

The Iranian Jews, who are amongst the oldest inhabitants of the country, also celebrate Illanout (Tree Festival) at around the same time, in addition to the Yalda Night rituals.

Yalda Night has become to symbolize many things in Persian poetry: separation from a beloved one, loneliness and waiting.

After the night passes, a transformation takes place: the waiting ends, light shines and goodness prevails.