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sc notes [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2012, 13:10
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Usage Notes on Nouns


‘fewer mistakes’ or ‘less mistakes’?

Which of the following sentences is correct?

She made fewer mistakes in her paper today.
She made less mistakes in her paper today.

All count nouns will take fewer.
All non-count nouns will take less/lesser.
Hence ‘She made fewer mistakes in her paper today’ is the correct sentence.

Count nouns are used with: a, an, the; many, few/fewer, number; this, that, every, each, either, neither;
these, those, some, any, enough, a number of.

Non-count nouns are used with: much, less/lesser, this, that, some, any, enough, amount of.
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Subject Verb Agreement — ‘None’ [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2012, 13:22
Subject Verb Agreement — ‘None’

There is one indefinite pronoun, ‘none’, that can be either singular or plural.
Use a plural verb unless something else in the sentence clearly determines its number.

Correct: None of you claim responsibility for this incident?

Incorrect: None of the students has done their homework.
Correct: None of the students have done their homework.

Incorrect: None of the luggage have reached us.
Correct: None of the luggage has reached us. (‘luggage’ determines the number.)
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None [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2012, 18:37
Every so often / Ever so often


Every so often is an adverb meaning 'occasionally'
Ex: They come every so often. I wish they could come more frequently.


Ever so often is an adverb meaning 'frequently'
Ex: They come ever so often. I wish they would stay home.


First / Former

First as an adjective refers to three or more items
Ex: The first five skiers fell.

Former as an adjective refers to two or fewer items
Ex: The former Secretary of State for the U.S., Colin Powel, was the first black to hold
that position.


A Few / A little

A few means 'some / not many.' Used with countable nouns.
Ex: A few people were standing outside the shop waiting to get in.

A littlemeans 'some / not much.' Used with non-count nouns.
Ex: He gave me a little cheese to eat with my bread.


A lot or Alot

A lot should be written as two words. Although a lot is used informally to mean "a large
number" or "many," avoid using a lot in formal writing.
Example: "The crook had many(not a lot of) chances to rob the stranger."
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Usage Notes on Prepositions [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2012, 18:47
at, on, in – Prepositions of Time

We use at to designate specific times.
The train is due at 12:15 p.m.

We use on to designate days and dates.
My brother is coming on Monday.
The results will be declared on the Fourth of July.

We use in for nonspecific times during a day, a month, a season, or a year.
She likes to jog in the morning.
It’s too cold in winter to run outside.
He started the job in 1971.
He’s going to quit in August.


at, on, in – Prepositions of Place

We use at for specific addresses.
Prof. G.K. lives at 652 Dr Ambedkar Road.

We use on to designate names of streets, avenues, etc.
Her house is on Dr. Ambedkar Road.

And we use in for the names of land-areas (towns, districts, states, countries, and continents).
She lives in Bandra.
Bandra is in Mumbai.
Mumbai is in Maharashtra.

at, on, in – Prepositions of Location

in – (the) bed, the bedroom, the car, (the) class, the library, school
at – class, home, the library, the office, school, work
on – the bed, the ceiling, the floor, the horse, the plane, the train

No Preposition

downstairs, downtown, inside, outside, upstairs, uptown
With the words home, downtown, uptown, inside, outside, downstairs, upstairs, we use no preposition.

He went upstairs.
He went home.
They both went outside.

Prepositions of Movement: to

We use to in order to express movement toward a place.
They go to work together.
She’s going to the library this morning.

Toward and towards are also helpful prepositions to express movement. Toward and towards are simply
variant spellings of the same word.
We’re moving toward the light.
This is a big step towards the project’s completion.

‘for’ and ‘since’ – Prepositions of Time:

We use for when we measure time (seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years).
He held his breath for seven minutes.
She’s lived there for seven years.
The Indians and Pakistanis have been quarreling for five decades.

We use since with a specific date or time.
He has worked here since 1970.
She has been sitting in the waiting room since 2:30 p.m.


Unnecessary Prepositions

In everyday speech, we fall into some bad habits, using prepositions where they are not necessary. It would
be a good idea to eliminate these words altogether, but we must be especially careful not to use them in
formal contexts.
She met up with the new professor in the library.
The book fell off of my bag.
He threw the letter out of the window. (of may be retained in informal contexts.)
She wouldn’t let him inside of the house. [or use ‘in’]
Where did they go to?
Where is your college at?
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Usage Notes on Prepositions   [#permalink] 25 Sep 2012, 18:47
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