The subjunctive

The subjunctive is a grammar form that has no plural form or past form. It is generally used when something is considered important or desirable. It is part of a highly formal style of English often referred to as ‘The Queen’s English’. For example: It is essential that every child have educational opportunities. It has … Read more

Sentence inversion

To emphasise a particular part of a sentence, or to make your writing more literary (such as in a poem or novel), you can invert the traditional order of a sentence. For example: Standard order – He didn’t realise he had been tricked until the following day. Inverted order – Not until the following day … Read more

Video: relative clauses with WHO, WHICH and THAT

Narration: Who, which and that are the most common words used for creating relative clauses. Who is used when talking about people. Here are some examples of defining and non-defining relative clauses using who. Which is used for things and animals. Here are some examples of defining and non-defining relative clauses using which. That is … Read more

Video: complex sentences with relative clauses

Narration: Another way of making complex sentences is to use relative clauses. There are two types of relative clause: defining and non defining. This is an example of a defining relative clause – People who live in poor countries often have a lower life expectancy. In a defining relative clause, the information is required to … Read more

Video: linking words with compound and complex sentences

Narration: There are a number of linking words commonly used in either compound or complex sentence structures. Here are some linking words for compound sentences. Here are some linking words for complex sentences. When deciding which linking word to use, you need to consider how they affect the relationship between the ideas in the sentence. … Read more

Using commas

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Video: using commas

Narration: When creating a complex sentence, you need to be careful with punctuation. We will use the example we have seen before. First you have the dependent clause which is not complete on its own. Then you have the independent clause, which is complete because it has a subject and a verb. Notice what happens … Read more