English Grammar Shortcuts, How to avoid making mistakes in English

English Grammar Shortcuts


Rule 1: Use indefinite article ‘A’ before the word ‘Half’ when it follows a whole number.

I stayed in Karachi for one and a half years.

Rule 2: Use definite article ‘THE’ with a comparative adjective, if the phrase ‘of the two’ is used.

She is the better of the two sisters.

Rule 3: Don’t use any article with the names of meals such as Breakfast, Lunch, etc., except in particular cases.

I had the breakfast at 8:00 in the morning

Rule 4: The adjectives representing the whole class take a plural verb.

The rich is are responsible for the lawlessness in the country.

Rule 5: Don’t use articles after ditransitive verb (a verb which takes a subject and two objects) like Elect, make, appoint, except when they are used as monotransitive verbs.

We made him a leader.

Rule 6: Articles are not used after type of, kind of, sort of, post of, title of, rank of, etc.
He is not that sort of a man.


Rule 1: Uncountable nouns like Luggage, Baggage, Breakage, Advice, Furniture, Information, Poetry, etc. are normally used in the singular form only. Don’t use indefinite article “A or An” with them.

I know that he has many much/a lot of informations.

They gave me a piece of good advice.

Rule 2: Some plural nouns such as “News, Ethics, Politics, Economics, Measles, Billiards, Innings, etc., give singular meaning. So, they take singular form of verbs.

Mathematics are is a difficult subject.

Note: When preceded by a possessive adjective, the noun takes a plural verb:

Billiards are is an interesting game.

Rule 3: Some nouns have the same form whether singular or plural; e.g. sheep, deer, series, species.

He saw two sheeps in the zoo.

Rule 4: Some nouns like cattle, people, police, trousers, scissors, spectacles, clergy, are always used in the plural form. They take plural form of verbs.

The police is are coming towards us now.

Rule 5: In a compound noun like Sister-in-Law, add ‘s’ to the main word to make it plural. Example: Sister-in-Laws Sisters-in-Law.

Rule 6: The possessive case of a compound noun is formed by adding ‘s’ to the last word.

Example: Father-in-law’s property.

Rule 7: After the phrases one of, some of/ each of, either of, neither of, a plural form of a noun is used.

One of my best friends. Each of the biggest stars.

Rule 8: Nouns indicating numerals should be used in singular form “A dozen eggs, Two dozen oranges”.

Rule 9: After collective nouns, according to their usage, either a singular or plural form of verb is used.

The team is strong. (Team as an UNIT)

Pakistan are going to defeat Australia in the test series. (Players of the team)

Rule 10: To show possession, an “apostrophe (‘)” and ‘s’ should be used with living beings only.

The table’s legs were broken. We can say “The legs of the table were broken.”

Rule 11: Say “A five-rupees note”, “A two-miles walk”.

Rule 12: Don’t say “family members, cousin brother or cousin sister” but say “The members of the family, he or she is my cousin”.

Rule 13: When two nouns are connected by “and”, and are closely related, add an apostrophe and ‘s’ to the last noun.

Ali’s and Saima’s house. (If they are wife and husband then this sentence is wrong)

Ali and Saima’s house (as they live in a SINGLE house)

But you can say “India’s and Pakistan’s population”.

PRONOUNS 10-tips-to-improve-your-grammar

Rule 1: Use the personal pronouns in the order of Second Person, Third Person, First Person. Have a look at the following Examples.

You I, He and I You are to finish it.

The order First Person, Second Person and Third Person is also possible but when we admit guilt.

I, You and He have committed the Sin.

Rule 2: A pronoun in the nominative form should be compared with the same form of the pronoun.

He is better than I (am) (Two nominatives are compared)

Rule 3: A pronoun in the objective case is used after “let, between, any preposition”

Let you and I me play (You and me are objects)

There is no dispute between you and I me.

Rule 4: When a pronoun stands for a collective noun, it should be used in the singular form.

The army has left its headquarters. (As a Whole)

Rule 5: When two singular nouns are joined by “and”, refer to the same person, the pronoun should be singular in form.

The Collector and Magistrate has done his best.

Rule 6: A singular pronoun should be used when two singular nouns are joined by either or, neither nor

Either Aslam or Ali should do their his duty.

Rule 7: A pronoun in the plural form should be used when two nouns of different members are joined by “or” or “nor”.

Neither the Principal nor his teachers have attended their duty.

Rule 8: The distributive pronouns “either, neither, none, any, no one” are used with singular verbs.

Have a look at some examples.

Either of the two girls are is diligent.

None of the four sisters are is intelligent.

Rule 9: The reciprocal pronouns “Each other, One another”

Each other — For two persons

One another — For more than two persons.

The two sisters hate one another each other.

The five brothers love each other one another.

Rule 10: The indefinite pronoun “one” should be used as “one’s” for its possessive case.
One should love his one’s country.

Rule 11: The verbs such as “hurt, cheat, prostrate, introduce, present, satisfy, prepare, ” are followed by either “an” object or “a” reflexive pronoun. (Myself, Ourselves, Yourself, Yourselves) (Himself, Herself, Itself, Themselves)

He enjoyed the party (Party…………Object)

He enjoyed him himself at the Party (Himself……………..Reflexive Pronoun)

Rule 12: The use of relative pronouns:

Who—for persons e.g. This is the boy who is diligent.

Which—for things e.g. The book, which is in the shelf, is mine.

That —is used both for persons and things.

The boy, who/that stole my purse, was a student


Rule 1: In a comparison, the conjunction ‘than’ should be followed by ‘any other’. If a person, thing is compared with any other person, thing among some, many.

Karachi is greater than any city other in Pakistan.

Rule 2: Elder, Eldest should be used with the members of the same family.

Older/ Oldest these comparative adjective denote the age of person, thing.

This is the eldest oldest tree in the garden.

Rule 3: While comparing the objects, a noun is compared with another but not with some other word.

The population of China is greater than that of Pakistan.

… To be Continued

(Read more Grammar Shortcuts in JWT’s February issue.)

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