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Sunday, 8 November 2009





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Know how to use 'much'

How much is this doll?

'Much' can be used as a determiner, pronoun or an adverb.

There wasn't much fun. (determiner)

How much is this doll?

He didn't say very much about you. (pronoun)

She didn't like the sari much. (adverb)

'Much' is used to ask about an amount of something.

How much water can you drink?

How much did it cost you?

She didn't say much on the project.

Some children do not eat very much.

There was nothing much to learn from him.

She spends too much on clothes.

Terrorism is a much discussed subject.

'Much' is also used to talk about small quantities.

There isn't much water in the tank.

Are you sick? You haven't eaten very much.

How much do you earn? Not much.

'Much' is used to emphasize a comparison.

With those glasses you look much older.

How is the patient? Much better, I think.

Benz car is much more expensive than a Morris Minor.

'Much' is used to emphasize that something is in excess.

A policeman stopped me because I was driving much too fast.

Why did you pay so much for this shirt?

This room is much too big for me.

I can't look after ten dogs - it's too much.

Set phrases using 'much'.

How much is this doll?

How much does it cost to hire a taxi?

How are you feeling, dear? Much the same.

There is much too much evil in the world. (an excessive amount)

Did you enjoy reading her latest novel? Not much.

Thanks very much for helping me.

Thanks so much for the lovely meal.

So much for history. Now, what about geography? (You have finished talking about history)

Senaka as much as admitted that it was his fault.

Why did you pay so much for this shirt?

Use 'much' to refer to uncountable nouns.

There was much traffic on Galle Road.

I don't have much money to spare.

Do not use 'very much' between the verb and the object in a sentence.

I enjoyed very much my stay in India. (Wrong)

I enjoyed my stay in India very much. (Right)

Avoid these common mistakes

Grammarians have identified the top ten spelling mistakes commonly made by even advanced students.

They are as follows:

1. accommodation

(note: double 'c' and double 'm')

2. which('w' is immediately followed by 'h')

Some students write 'witch', which means a

woman who is believed to have magical

powers and who uses them to harm or

help other people.

3. government (use 'n' before 'm'

4. beginning (Note: double 'n')

5. definitely (there is an 'i' after 'n')

6. successful (Note: double 'c and double 's')

7. environment ('n' is followed by 'm')

8. advertisement (Note the 'e' after 's')

9. believe (use 'ie' not 'ei')

10 colleague (there is an 'a' after 'e')

Avoid the wrong use of uncountable nouns. The following uncountable nouns have no plural form. furniture, music, health, happiness.

Students sometimes write 'furnitures' which is a common mistake.

These words cannot be used with a, an, many, few or several.

Here are some more uncountable nouns which have no plural form:

information, advice, transport, equipment, behaviour, research, training, knowledge, software and accommodation. However, 'behaviour' and 'research' can be made plural in certain instances: 'behaviours', 'researches'.

Spelling rules

A silent 'E' on the end of a word makes the vowel in front say its name. There are four combinations:


Rat - rate

Hat - hate

Fat - fate

Mat - mate

Man - mane

Pan - pane

Plan - plane


Rip - ripe

Rid - ride

Fin - fine

Pin - pine

Pip - pipe


Not - note

Hop - hope

Pop - pope

Cod - code

Rod - rode


Cut - cute

Hug - huge

Cub - cube

Tub - tube

Us - use


Working with topic sentences

Very often you are asked to write a paragraph about yourself, your pets or your grandparents. Remember to write a topic sentence and make sure each sentence in the paragraph tells something about the topic sentence. If you happen to write any sentence that does not tell something about the topic sentence, strike it out.

Here is a model paragraph on "My First Day in school".

My first day in school was very unusual and eventful. I woke up late because I did not like the idea of going to school. I thought that schools were prisons where children were imprisoned for seven to eight hours. As I got up late I had to rush to get ready for school. I ran to catch the bus, I fell and broke my arm! My grandmother too broke her arm once. I was sad, but my father took me to hospital. I was able to go to school after a few weeks. I liked my new school and friends. I was thrilled when everybody in the class greeted me.


Think of a recent experience in your life. Write a paragraph adding facts and feelings about your experience. Make sure that your paragraph has a topic sentence. Also make sure that all the other sentences in your paragraph tell something about the topic sentence. Use short and long sentences to make the paragraph interesting.

Use a standard dictionary to check the spelling of unfamiliar words. Do not write anything not relevant to the topic sentence.

Make a word triangle

See if you can fill in the missing letters from the clues. All the words start with 'D'.

1. Fourth letter in the alphabet.

2. Doctor of Divinity.

3. A barrier made of concrete across a river.

4. A raised platform.

5. A small white flower with a yellow centre.

6. Harm caused to something, making it less attractive.

7. A person or thing that is much liked or loved.

8. Small pieces of dead skin from the top of the head.

9. A large dog with short white hair marked with dark spots.



1. D

2. DD

3. DAM









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