The basic unit of English grammar is the clause:

[An unlucky student almost lost a 17th century violin worth almost £200,000]

[when he left it in the waiting room of a London station.]

[William Brown inherited the 1698 Stradivarius violin from his mother]

[and had just had it valued by a London dealer at £180,000.]

Clauses are made up of phrases:

[An unlucky student] + [almost lost] + [a 17th century violin worth almost £200,000]

[when] + [he] + [left] + [it] + [in the waiting room of a London station.]

[William Brown] + [inherited] + [the 1698 Stradivarius violin] + [from his mother]

[and] [had just had it valued] + [by a London dealer] + [at £180,000.]

We can join two or more clauses together to make sentences.

An unlucky student almost lost a 17th century violin worth almost £200,000 when he left it in the waiting room of a London station.

William Brown inherited the 1698 Stradivarius violin from his mother and had just had it valued by a London dealer at £180,000.


 

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Comments

Hi,

Why do after so that we have present simple used? Is it a reduced conditional clause?

'I asked for your number so that I have it'.

Thank you in advance

Hello JakiGeh,

Other verb tenses are possible after 'so that'. In this case, it's because the person wants to have the number now and in the future, i.e. to have it in general. 

In general, I'd recommend just using 'so' instead of 'so that'. It's not used as much and can sound awkward. Although it's ok in the sentence you describe, the same sentence with just 'so' would be what most native speakers would use.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

''Hi, Lilly. I hope you enjoyed. . .'' (beginning of an informal letter)

We use period when we have a sentence, but why do we use the period after Lilly?

Thank you in advance.

Hello MCWSL,

There are different conventions in terms of how to start a letter or email. Traditionally and still in more formal correspondence the salutation is put on a separate line with a comma after it:

Dear Mr Smith,

I am writing to....

 

In informal correspondence and in emails in particular the salutation becomes just a normal sentence at the start of the text, just as if we were speaking to the person. A full stop or (more informally) an exclamation mark can be used:

Hi Sue! How's things?

 

Hello John. I'm writing to...

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, I guess I need more explanation in some part of this topic, they are:
1. on the phrasal verb examples above, I found [almost lost], what kind of part of speech is that? is that an adverb? But i'm not pretty sure about it.
2. Actually I still a bit confused about the differences between clause and sentence. If I say "I'm a student but I also work", is that a sentence or a clause?
3. can I say that a phrase is simply a part of speech?

Thank you,
Aisah

Hello Aisah,

1. I'm sorry, I don't see which sentence you mean. Have you looked at our verb patterns and two- and three-part verbs pages?

2. Please see this Cambridge Dictionary page on clauses and sentences for a more detailed explanation of this.

3. No, a phrase is not a part of speech, though we can speak of noun, verb or prepositional phrases (see the bottom of the page) so they do act like parts of speech.

If you have any other specific questions, please don't hesitate to ask us. The more specific, the better.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

how to use put up in

past

Hello unnati.siddhu,

'Put' is an irregular verb whose past form is the same as its present form. Thus, 'put up in' is used as both the past and present form. For example:

Paul came to stay for a couple of days and I put him up in the spare room.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I have read this example of use of ' list '

Highlighting notes ; using study cards ; getting friends to test you and using past papers are a just a few ways to prepare for an exam.

Is the use of semicolons above correct or should there be comma in instead ?
Are the parts of the sentence separated by semicolons sentences in themselves ?

What do you say ,sir ?

Hello dipakrgandhi,

Semicolons can be thought of as being between a comma and a full stop in terms of strength. They are used between clauses when the clauses balance on another. For example:

He went to Spain; I joined him later on.

 

While it is possible to use semicolons to separate items in lists this is quite unusual, I would say, and is generally only done where there are already commas in the sentence and further use of commas would be confusing. For example:

There are many possible locations for the new office: in London, where we have many clients; in New York, where we would like to expand; or in Delhi, which would potentially open a new market for us.

 

In your example I think there is no need for semicolons as commas will serve perfectly well.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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