Publicaciones de la categoría: preparación del certificado de inglés ( ietls ) en granollers

The Question Mark

Use a question mark [ ? ] at the end of a direct question. It is considered bad form to use a question mark in combination with other marks, although that is often done in informal prose in an attempt to convey complex tones: He told you what!? That combination (or similar combination) of punctuation marks is sometimes called an interrobang, but the interrobang currently has no role in academic prose.*

A tag question is a device used to turn a statement into a question. It nearly always consists of a pronoun, a helping verb, and sometimes the word not. Although it begins as a statement, the tag question prevails when it comes to the end-mark: use a question mark. Notice that when the statement is positive, the tag question is expressed in the negative; when the statement is negative, the tag question is positive. (There are a few exceptions to this, frequently expressing an element of surprise or sarcasm: “So you’ve made your first million, have you?” “Oh, that’s your plan, is it?”)

The following are more typical tag questions:He should quit smoking, shouldn’t he?
He shouldn’t have quit his diet, should he?
They’re not doing very well, are they?
He finished on time, didn’t he?
She does a beautiful job, doesn’t she?
Harold may come along, mightn’t he?
There were too many people on the dock, weren’t there?
(Be careful of this last one; it’s not “weren’t they?”)

Be careful not to put a question mark at the end of an indirect question.
The instructor asked the students what they were doing.
I asked my sister if she had a date.
I wonder if Cheney will run for vice president again.
I wonder whether Cheney will run again.

Be careful to distinguish between an indirect question (above), and a question that is embedded within a statement which we do want to end with a question mark.

We can get to Boston quicker, can’t we, if we take the interstate?
His question was, can we end this statement with a question mark?
She ended her remarks with a resounding why not?
I wonder: will Cheney run for office again?

Put a question mark at the end of a sentence that is, in fact, a direct question. (Sometimes writers will simply forget.) Rhetorical questions (asked when an answer is not really expected), by the way, are questions and deserve to end with a question mark:

How else should we end them, after all?
What if I said to you, “You’ve got a real problem here”? (Notice that the question mark here comes after the quotation mark and there is no period at the end of the statement.)

Sometimes a question will actually end with a series of brief questions. When that happens, especially when the brief questions are more or less follow-up questions to the main question, each of the little questions can begin with a lowercase letter and end with a question mark.

Who is responsible for executing the plan? the coach? the coaching staff? the players?

If a question mark is part of an italicized or underlined title, make sure that the question mark is also italicized:

My favorite book is Where Did He Go?

(Do not add a period after such a sentence that ends with the title’s question mark. The question mark will also suffice to end the sentence.) If the question mark is not part of a sentence-ending title, don’t italicize the question mark:

Did he sing the French national anthem, la Marseillaise?

When a question ends with an abbreviation, end the abbreviation with a period and then add the question mark.

Would everyone in the room who hasn’t received an ID card please move to the front of the line.

Didn’t he use to live in Washington, D.C.?
When a question constitutes a polite request, it is usually not followed by a question mark. This becomes more true as the request becomes longer and more complex:

Semicolon Rules

Semicolon Rules
The following rules and examples will help you know when and where to use the semicolon as a punctuation mark.

  • Use a semicolon to combine two very closely related complete sentences.
    Toni Morrison uses parabolic storytelling in her writing; she seldom writes in a linear mode. Many people believe the state quarters released from the United States Mint will be valuable someday; although this is possible, the coins may also turn out to be worth no more than their actual value of 25 cents.

  • Use a semicolon along with a conjunctive adverb and a comma to clarify the relationship between two closely related complete sentences. Conjunctive adverbs include however, therefore, in addition, moreover, subsequently, consequently, instead, and additionally.
    The Leaning Tower of Pisa is in danger of falling over; however, engineers are trying to stabilize its foundation. The Five Nations respects the abilities of all its people; therefore, both women and men participate in making tribal decisions.

  • Use a semicolon to separate a series of phrases or clauses that are long or have punctuation, like commas, within them.
    In Walden, Henry David Thoreau encourages individuals to find their own way of life rather than conforming to the ideas of others; to seek the truth and beauty of life in nature; and to learn about themselves and the world by experiencing life instead of just studying it. The University’s community outreach committee was led by three individuals: Erica Hunt, a full-time student; Dave Woods, a Center for Information Media administrator; and Joyce Wilkins, a business professor.

Colon Rules

Colon Rules
The following rules and examples will help you know when and where to use the colon as a punctuation mark.

  • Use a colon to signal the reader that a series of words, phrases, or clauses follows a complete sentence.
    The baseball coach claimed that the team’s success stemmed from four things: consistent hitting, solid pitching, good fielding, and excellent teamwork. The Greasy Spoon restaurant had several house specialties: a hot turkey sandwich, a roast pork dinner, a walleye platter, and a barbecued chicken wing basket.

  • Use a colon to signal the reader that a second complete sentence explains a closely related preceding sentence.
    The supervisor’s remark was straight to the point: I won’t tolerate workers who show up late. Religion and politics can be sensitive subjects: many people hold opinionated views and are easily offended by other peoples’ remarks.

  • Use a colon to signal the reader that a name or description follows a complete sentence when you want to put a lot of emphasis on that item.
    The local anglers had a nickname for the large muskie that had cruised the lake’s shoreline for years without being caught: Old Mossback. The preoccupied burglar didn’t notice who was standing right behind him: a smiling police officer.

  • Use a colon to introduce a long quotation after a complete sentence.
    In his book, Language is Sermonic, rhetorician Richard Weaver described how language may influence us:

    Sophistications of theory cannot obscure the truth that there are but three ways for language to affect us. It can move us toward what is good; it can move us toward what is evil; or it can, in hypothetical third place, fail to move us at all. (60)

  • Colons are also used… …to separate titles and subtitles:

    Richard Nixon: The Tarnished President

    …to express time:

    The accident occurred at approximately 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday.

    …to cite a law or Biblical passage:

    According to Minnesota statute 1:49:002, it is unlawful to feed licorice or peanut butter to goats.

    …to end a salutation:

    Dear Rachel:

    …to separate the place of publication and the publisher in a bibliographic entry:

    West, Gerald. How to Write Best Sellers. New York: Henry

    James Publishing, 1973.

Comma Rules

Comma Rules

Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction (and, or, but, nor, yet, for, so) that separates two independent clauses.

State censorship boards flourished, but the pressure groups wanted a more comprehensive ban on objectionable material.
Traditional classroom methods are under fire from educators nationwide, and many are advocating that methods for individualizing instruction be incorporated into K-12 curricula.

Use a comma after an introductory word, phrase, or clause that comes before a main clause.

words Strangely, no one has suggested that Watergate gave us a “new Nixon.”
Nevertheless, many critics of the new administration point to its inability to develop a coherent strategy for decreasing the budget deficit.

phrases In addition to television’s influence, some parents and teachers ascribe children’s diminished drive to play to recent changes in the elementary school curriculum.
Despite immigrant’s high hopes, their illusions were often shattered.

clauses Since the new system was implemented, payroll has been processed 25% faster than it had been using the prior system.
As they move through the twilight world of big-time narcotics, Crockett and Tubbs constantly break the law to do their jobs.

Use commas around words, phrases, and clauses in the middle of a sentence when they aren’t essential to the meaning of the sentence.

words By “imagination,” then, I mean the free intellectual and sensory play of the mind.
Numerous studies, however, have shown that negative reinforcment affects self-image more extensively than does positive reinforcement.

phrases This was not, in other words, an invisible 56 percent of the population.
Karl Marx, an important nineteenth-century sociologist, believed in his role as a social thinker to change the world.

clauses Senator McGilvery, who is a Democrat from Rhode Island, dealt fully and responsibly with the controversy his new child care bill sparked.
Newspeak, which greatly reduced people’s vocabularies, lessened their ability to understand scientific words.

Use commas between items in a series.

words The frigid, snowy, windy day was typical of Minnesota in January.
Bald eagles, ospreys, herons, mergansers, and kingfishers are native to this area.

phrases As more and more anti-smoking laws are passed, we see droves of would-be non-smokers chomping on Nicorettes, gnawing peppermints, chewing pencils, knitting sweaters, or practicing self-hypnosis.
Three reasons for the closing were insufficient enrollment, poor instructional materials, and inadequate funds.

clauses Though dogs are messy and hard to train, though they chew up my shoes and give me the blues, though they howl like wolves but jump at their own shadows, though they eat me out of house and home, I still find them a necessary part of my existence.
If the procedure is carefully planned, if that plan is followed with skill and precision, and if the results are carefully analyzed and professionally presented, we might receive the research award.

Use commas before and after a quotation within a sentence.
“Cooperation between government and industry,” the president said, “must exist if the country is to prosper.”
The band leader said, “Once the simple marching drill is learned, we will work on more maneuvers.”

Use a comma before an afterthought or contrasting element.

afterthought For Canada, the War of 1812 was vitally important, far more important than it was for Britain.
contrasting element To understand a particular culture, we must consider the society as a whole, not its individual parts.

Use commas to set off geographical names, items in date, and professional titles.

geographical names The speaker that day was from Atlanta, Georgia; she discussed the discrimination against blacks which still exist there.
items in dates Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in a log cabin near Hodgenville, Kentucky.
professional titles Stephanie Glenn, Ph.D., will be the main speaker at the banquet.


breathe Listen to audio/ˈbri:ð/ verb

breathes; breathed; breath·ing

1 : to move air into and out of your lungs : to inhale and exhale [no obj] Relax and breathe deeply. He was breathing hard from running. The patient suddenly stopped breathing. I can hardly breathe with all this smoke. [+ obj] He wants to live where he can breathe clean/fresh air.

2 a : to send (something) out from your lungs through your mouth or nose [+ obj] a dragon that breathes fireoften + out breathing out [=exhaling] carbon dioxide [no obj] He breathed [=blew] on the glass and wiped it clean.often + out Breathe out through your nose.
b : to take (something) into your lungs through your mouth or nose [+ obj] You shouldn’t be breathing [=inhaling] those fumes. People usually contract the virus by breathing contaminated air.often + in You shouldn’t be breathing in those fumes. [no obj] Breathe deeply and then exhale.usually + in Breathe in through your nose.

3 [no obj] : to be alive
I’ll never give up as long as I’m still breathing. a living, breathing human being

4 [no obj] : to pause and rest before continuing
We had barely stopped to breathe before we were on the go again.

5 [+ obj] : to bring (something) into a thing
City leaders hope the project will breathe vitality/energy into the downtown. Their leadership breathed new life into the movement. [=gave new energy to the movement]

6 [no obj] : to feel able to think or act freely
I need some room to breathe. = I need some breathing room/space.

7 [no obj] a : to allow air to pass through
a fabric that breathes
b : to be cooled or refreshed by air that passes through clothing
Cotton clothing lets your skin breathe.

8 [+ obj] : to say (something) very quietly
It’s beautiful, she breathed.usually used in the phrase breathe a word Don’t breathe a word of/about this to anyone! [=do not say anything about this to anyone]

9 [no obj] of wine : to develop a better flavor because of contact with air
Open the bottle a few minutes before you want to drink it so that the wine can breathe.

breathe a sigh of relief

: to relax because something you have been worrying about is not a problem or danger anymore : to feel relieved
We all breathed a sigh of relief when we heard that they were safe.
breathe down someone’s neck

1 : to chase after someone closely
The cops were breathing down our necks.

2 : to watch someone carefully and constantly
His parents are always breathing down his neck.

breathe easy or breathe easier or breathe easily or breathe freely

: to feel relief from pressure, danger, etc.
I’ll breathe easier once this whole ordeal is over. You can breathe easy knowing that your children are safe.
breathe your lastsee 4last
live and breathe

If you live and breathe something, you spend a great deal of time, thought, or effort on that thing.
She lives and breathes music. They live and breathe their work.
breath·able Listen to audio /ˈbri:ðəbəl/ adjective [more breathable; most breathable]
a breathable fabric [=a fabric that allows air to pass through]
— breathing noun [noncount]
Her breathing is heavy/shallow/labored.often used before another noun We’ll begin with some breathing exercises. He has breathing problems.see also heavy breathing at 1heavy


ac·cus·tomed Listen to audioˈkʌstəmd/ adjective
[more accustomed; most 1 : familiar with something so that it seems normal or usual — to  She is accustomed to [=used to] life/living on the farm.  We have become/grown/gotten more accustomed to their traditions and routines.  He is accustomed to doing what he wants to do. [=he usually does what he wants to do]

2 always used before a noun, formal : usual or regular 
 at her accustomed [=customary] lunch hour  She arrived early enough to get her accustomed seat in the front row.


Name                   tame                 lame             shape              came                  plate  
Made                   fame                 cave               cane               same                  lake
Gave                     wave               safe                 slate               brave                  grape
Game                  shade                save                skate              brake                  shame

verb ends in y

However, when a verb ends in y immediately preceded by a vowel, the y is not changed before the ending s is added. In each of the following examples, the vowel immediately preceding the final y is underlined.
Bare Infinitive
Third Person Singular

NOT is an adverb of negation

 NOT    is an adverb of negation, it is placed after the verb.
e.g  ,  CONJUGATION :     to be
VERB: to be
in 1º the persons singular 
I       am   not reading
In 3º person singular
SHE   is  not studying
 HE is not  speaking
  IT   IS  not saying
in all the persons
 YOU are not  running
WE are not  looking
THEY  are not giving    


The present participle of all the verbs is formed by adding ( ING ) TO the root of the 
verb. E.g
 To read       —— reading                       to speak  —— speaking
To study    —— studying                       to  listen  —— listening
To say —– saying                                    to run  — running
To   look  —– looking                             to give  —— giving 
Also, we place before the present participle ( ING ) the verb to Be.
VERB: to be
in 1º the persons singular
I       am  reading
In 3º person singular
SHE   is studying
 HE is  speaking
  IT   IS  saying
in all the persons
 YOU are  running
WE are looking
THEY  are giving    
The function of the present participle in this case is as a  GERUND.

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