The structure of the clause depends on the verb. For example:

  • An intransitive verb has the structure: N(=noun) + V(=verb): (John) + (smiled).
  • A transitive verb has the structure: N + V + N: (We) + (had been playing) + (football)
  • A link verb has the structure: N + V + Adj : (She) + (looked) + (happy)
  • A phrasal verb has the structure: N + V + pa(=particle) + N (She) + (gave) +(back) + (the money)
    or N + V + N + pa (She) + (gave) + (the money) + (back)

Particles can be either adverbs or prepositions. For a more detailed explanation of phrasal verbs, see our two- and three-part word and Multi-word verbs pages.



Hello dear Kirk,
Thanks a lot for the help. Thank you.

Hello dear team,
please say which one is true with the reason.
(active to passive) Who killed the snake?
By whom was the snake killed?
By who was the snake killed?
Thank you

Hello Hosseinpour

The best answer is the first one ('by whom'), though I expect you could find some instances of the other one. Please note that this sentence would be very unusual in native speaking or writing -- it sounds quite awkward.

Best wishes


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi there! Can you give me a hand with this?
He left the stage to rapturous applause.
I don't understand the meaning ;He's giving or getting applause is a bit of secret for me.
Thanks a million!

Hello Alexander,

The person ('he') who left the stage is getting applause here. If you wanted to indicate that he is the one applauding, you'd need to say something like 'He left the stage applauding rapturously'.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I was reading a grammar book, when I came across a grammar rule I'm confused about. It says 2 conjunctions cannot be in a single sentence, e.g "Though he's old, but he's healthy." Is this true? If so, what about sentences with "but when" "but because" but before or after"

Hello Tim,

I'm afraid we don't comment on rules from other sources. I know of no such rule and can think of many sentences with multiple conjunctions. What you certainly cannot have is a sentence with subsidary clauses which have no reference to a main clause. Either of the clauses in your example could be the main clause, and you could have another subsidiary clause in the sentence with its own conjunction:

He's old but he's healthy, though not so much that he doesn't need to be careful with his diet.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Can different verb forms be used in clauses of a sentence joined by coordinating conjunctions(and, but, so, or...) E.g., "he was sad last year, and he is getting fatter." and "she was healing well last week, but now she caught another flu, and so she's worsened.

Hello Tim,

Yes, there's no reason why two such clauses cannot refer to different times. I'm not sure in what context the first example would make much sense but the second sentence is perfectly fine and neither is grammatically inaccurate.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi guys. I have3 questions as regards subject verb agreement. In a sentence like: " he has three houses that serve as his offices." My first question is : is this sentence grammatically correct. If so, why is the verb "serve" and not "serves" and my third question is: can we have a mix of singular and plural verbs in a single sentence