Been and being: when and how to use them

The difference between been and being in meaning and usage has been a popular problem in English language, and some have given up on ever understanding them. However, they were not magically coined, so you don’t need extra effort to understand how to use them. These words perform separate functions, so let’s demystify them. Been Been is a verb and the past participle of be. We can use it to mean ‘visited’ or ‘travelled’ and it is also the past participle of ‘go’ when the action has been completed. It…

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Historic and historical: the simplest explanation

This is a pair of similar English words that even native speakers find confusing. Have you ever heard someone say historic and historical are the same? Yes? So have I. Actually, they used to be synonyms (used in place of each other), but that changed a long time ago, so if you are still confused about them, here is the solution. These words are both similar and different, but should never be used interchangeably. I’m sure you will understand them perfectly soon. Historic and historical are both adjectives that talk…

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Understanding compound nouns forms

A compound noun is that noun that consists of two or more words which are combined to form a single unit. It can be written as a word (closed or solid), hyphenated, or written as two words (open or spaced). This type of noun is formed by combining two nouns or different parts of speech. Some of them are: noun+noun, verb+noun, adjective+noun, preposition+noun, verb+preposition. Noun+noun bow tie, website, shopkeeper, Iceland, basketball, willpower, firefighter, dishwasher, lifesaver, bus stop, toothpaste, farmhouse. The shopkeeper didn’t see the thief until he jumped through the…

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Nouns types: getting the tricky parts right

Apart from proper nouns which have been discussed earlier on this site, we have other types of nouns that are pertinent to understanding what nouns are. To reiterate, a noun is simply the particular person, place, thing or concept an expression talks about. Also read: Proper noun: understanding the complexities These are the other types of nouns: Common noun: Unlike a proper noun, this is a general noun that refers to a person, a place or thing, e.g. father, broom, mountain, church, television, mast, road, country. When you mention people,…

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Proper noun: understanding the complexities

Nouns probably form the most important part of speech in English, and they are obviously the largest word class. As children, we were taught that a noun is the name of any person, animal, place or thing—that’s right—but it’s more than that. A noun is simply the particular person, place, thing or concept an expression talks about. An expression can have a noun, two or more. We’ll explain this part of speech systematically, so let’s look at the first type which is apparently the most complicated. Proper noun A proper…

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