Understanding and Using English Grammar - Chapter 1

In Chapter 1 of Understanding and Using English Grammar we will introduce [Spelling of –ing and –ed forms, Past Tense Pronunciation and Using adverbs]

Understanding and Using English Grammar - Chapter 1

1- Spelling of -ing and -ed forms

Spelling of –ing and –ed forms 

Hello! I'm Erica and I will be your grammar coach. 

In this chapter, we talk about the simple and progressive verb forms. 

The regular simple past verbs end in –ed. 

The progressive verbs end in –ing. 

Let's talk about the spelling rules for these verb forms. 

Here is the first rule:

If a verb ends in –e, drop the e and add –ing or –ed. 

Let's look at some examples: hope - hoping - hoped increase - increasing - increased 

Be careful! If a verb ends in –ee, do not drop the final –e. The verbs agreeing and agreed still have two e's. 

Second rule: 

For verbs that end in one vowel followed by one consonant, we double the consonant. For example, stop ends with one vowel, o, and one consonant, p, so we need to use two p's. stop - stopping - stopped 

Let's look at a couple more examples: 

chat - chatting - chatted rob - robbing - robbed 

If the verb ends with –w or –x, do not double the consonant. The verbs showed and showing have only one w. The verbs fixed and fixing have only one x. 

Rule number three: 

If there are two vowels together before the final consonant, then we do not double the final consonant. For example, the verb rain has two vowels, a and i, so there is no change when we add the verb endings: rain - raining - rained 

Let's look at some more examples:

need - needing - needed 

boil - boiling - boiled

Rule number four: 

If there are two consonants, then there is no change. The verb start ends in two consonants, r and t, so there is no change when we add the verb endings: start - starting - started

Another example is fold:

fold - folding - folded

Now let's look at two syllable words. The spelling rules are a little tricky. For two-syllable words, listen for the stressed syllable. The stressed syllable sounds longer than the unstressed syllable. Is the first or second syllable stressed in the verb happen? Listen again. Happen. It's the first syllable, right?

Listen to the pronunciation if the second syllable has stress: ha- PPEN. That's a little strange, isn't it? How about the verb offer? Offer. Again, the first syllable is stressed. Offer. 

When the first syllable is stressed, do not change the verb. Just add –ing or –ed. 

happen - happening - happened 

offer - offering - offered 

listen - listening - listened 

How about the verb regret? Which syllable is stressed? Listen again. Regret. The second syllable is stressed. The second syllable is also stressed in a word prefer. Can you hear the word stress? Prefer.

When the second syllable is stressed, add another consonant.

regret - regretting - regretted 

prefer - preferring - preferred 

Do you know the rule for verbs that end in –y? If a vowel comes before the –y, don't change the spelling. 

play - playing - played 

enjoy - enjoying - enjoyed 

But if a consonant comes before the –y, change the –y to –i and then add –ed. 

Do not change the –y before –ing. 

study - studying - studied 

try - trying - tried 

For verbs that end in –ie, change the –ie to –y and add –ing. For the regular past tense form, do not change the spelling. Just add the letter –d. 

tie - tying - tied 

lie - lying - lied 

I hope you enjoyed your first lesson. Keep practicing! See you again soon.

Video Presentation Spelling of –ing and –ed forms

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2- Past Tense Pronunciation

Hello again. This lesson explains the pronunciation rules for the past tense –ed ending. 

All sounds in English are either voiceless or voiced. 

Put your hand over your throat. Say ssssssssss. Your throat is quiet. It doesn't move. Ssss is a voiceless sound. Now say zzzzzzzzz. Feel your throat. Do you feel the vibration? Your throat moves. This is a voiced sound.

If you do not hear the difference, try this. Cover your ears. Say ssssss. Now say zzzzzz. Feel the difference? 

Some examples of voiceless sounds are s, p, f, k, sh, and ch. Try touching your throat as you say these sounds. 



Notice, you did not feel a vibration in your throat. After a voiceless sound, the final –ed is pronounced t. Practice saying these verbs: missed 






Notice there is no extra syllable with the final –ed after these voiceless sounds. Look and looked both have only one syllable. Do not say look-ed or miss-ed. 

All vowel sounds are voiced. The consonant sounds g, b, z, v, j, l, and n are also voiced. If you touch your throat, you can feel a vibration. Try it. 


Did you feel your voice box vibrate? 

After a voiced sound, the final –ed is pronounced d. Practice saying these verbs: 








Again, there is no extra syllable with the final –ed after these sounds. Hug and hugged both have only one syllable. Do not say hug-ged.

The sounds t and d have a different rule. For these two sounds, the final –ed adds a whole syllable to the verb. The verb need has one syllable. The past tense form needed has two syllables. Practice adding the extra syllable. Listen and repeat. 









To review, the past tense –ed has three different pronunciations: t after voiceless sounds, d after voiced sounds, and the extra syllable /əd/ after t and d. 




Nice work! Remember to keep practicing your pronunciation.

Video Presentation Past Tense Pronunciation

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3- Using adverbs

Welcome back! In this lesson, I'll explain the use of adverbs.

Adverbs modify verbs. They often answer the question How? We often form adverbs by adding –ly to an adjective. For example, when we add –ly to the adjective quick, we get the adverb quickly. 

When adverbs modify verbs we usually place the adverb immediately before the main verb or at the very end of the sentence. The placement of the adverb does not change the meaning of the sentence. She quickly finished the assignment. 

She finished the assignment quickly. 

Notice when we have a helping verb, such as the verb be in a progressive sentence, the adverb goes between the helping verb and the main verb. 

She is quickly finishing her assignment. 

We also use adverbs to express time. Some common adverbs to express time are yesterday, today, and tomorrow. These adverbs usually come at the very beginning or end of the sentence. 

Yesterday Ann finished her assignment. 

Ann finished her assignment yesterday. 

We have several adverbs to express frequency. Some common frequency adverbs are always, often, frequently, usually, generally, sometimes, occasionally, seldom, rarely, hardly ever, and never.

Frequency adverbs often occur in the middle of the sentence. They usually occur immediately before the main verb or after the verb be.

Ann usually arrives at 9:00. 

Ann is usually on time. 

The adverb comes between a helping verb and a main verb. It's 9:30. Ann is usually working at this time. 

Linking verbs connect the subject of the sentence with a word that describes or gives information about the subject. Some common examples of linking verbs are be, feel, look, smell, sound, taste, appear, and become. 

Be careful with linking verbs! They are followed by an adjective, not an adverb.

So we need to say: 

The soup smells wonderful. 

Not: [no audio] 

The children feel happy. 

Not: [no audio] 

Let's compare the difference between action verbs and linking verbs. Look at this sentence: The man looks angry. 

The adjective describes the subject, the man. Look has the same meaning as the verb appear. 

Now look at this sentence: 

The man looked at me angrily. 

The adverb describes the action of the verb. Look at has the same meaning as regard or watch. 

We are finally at the end of this lesson. Did you easily understand everything? Remember to practice frequently!

Video Presentation Using adverbs

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