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

Hello,
I would like to ask if the following verb can be used in this phrase;
This square took its name from...(when we talk about an area of the city, a square etc) can we use the verb take?
Thank you in advance

Hi angie2,

I would probably say 'This square got its name from' instead, but 'took' doesn't sound wrong to me.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello i cant find definite article. So i put my question here.
Could u show me all the words that is exception when we use "an"
For example: a univesity.. Not a university

Thank you so much

Hello tryon,

I can see there is a problem with the link to our page on definite articles. I have flagged this for our technical team and I hope it will be fixed very soon.

I think you are a little confused with regard to articles. Articles express meaning and are related to the speaker's intention and the context, not to particular nouns. For example, university has no 'correct' article; it entirely depends upon the context:

I went to the university where your father works.

Most people go to university when they are 19 years old or so.

This town does not have a university, but it does have a technical college.

 

Some words more frequently occur with certain articles, but this is related to their meaning and the way in which they are used. Understanding the core meanings of the articles is a better approach than trying to make lists of nouns, I think:

 

  • the indefinite article - used when we are talking about one item and not specifying which one

 

  • the definite article - used when we are talking about a specific item or specific items, not just any example

 

  • the zero article - used when we are talking in general terms about a concept or an idea rather that a concrete item

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you for your explaining. But i mean when do we use "a" and when do we use "an". When is exception of them. Have any signal to regconize them? I dont understand deeply about it.

Hi tryon,

We use 'an' before noun phrases that begin with a vowel sound. For example, the noun phrase 'old car' begins with the vowel sound 'o'. Therefore, if we use an indefinite article before it, we use 'an' instead of 'a'. (Notice that 'indefinite article' is also a noun phrase that begins with a vowel sound, so that's why I said 'an indefinite article'.)

If a phrase doesn't begin with a vowel sound (e.g. 'good book'), we use 'a': 'a good book'.

'university' is a tricky one because although it begins with the vowel 'u', the prononciation is 'yu'. 'y' is considered a consonant in this case, so that's why we say 'a university'.

I hope this helps.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks you so much. Its little problem but it helps me so much. My eng teacher never told me.

Hello,
I would like to ask ; In the following phrase which is the correct order of the adjectives;
I am an experienced traditional cook?
Thank you in advance

Hi angie,

The order of adjectives (and of the words in general) is correct – good work!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

When do we use "at" before home?

Which one of the following sentences is correct?

I reached home.

or

I reached at home.

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