Meanings of the verb ‘ask’

Ask is a very common verb in English and as such it has several meanings:

  • To request an answer from someone:

She asked him a question.

They asked them about the new product.

  • To make a request:

She asked the doctor to examine her.

They asked the bank for a loan.

  • To seek information:

We asked local people for directions.

Amanda asked me about the film I watched.

  • To invite:

The Johnsons have asked us to the party.

She asked them in for a coffee.

  • To demand something:

They ask $20.000 for the house.

This job asks for a lot of patience.

  • ASK + question word (what, who, where, when, how, why):

Jane asked me where I spent the weekend.

The guests asked who made the dinner.

Here are some phrasal verbs with the verb ‘ask’:

Phrasal verbs with ASK

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Nouns which are only plural

There are three groups of nouns that we use only in the plural. We use them with plural verbs and plural pronouns:

Your glasses are dirty. Take a tissue to wipe them.

These groups of nouns are:

1) Nouns related to items consisting of two parts (glasses, scissors, jeans, trousers…)

My new trousers are so cosy.

You can talk about them in singular if you use ‘a pair of’:

This pair of scissors is very sharp.

2) Nouns ending in –S (clothes, stairs, belongings, thanks, congratulations…)

These clothes are dirty.

The stairs in their house were too narrow.

Remember that these nouns are countable as they answer the question how many, not how much.

How many belongings have you got?

3) Nouns which express groups of people or animals (police, cattle, folk, people, poultry…)

The police are in front of the building.

They use growth hormones to make cattle grow faster.

Travel Phrasal Verbs

It’s summer time and few of us aren’t going to hit the road in search for the best tourist destination where we could have proper rest and lots of fun. I hope this post will come handy as it looks at the phrasal verbs used to talk about things when travelling.
Go away – go on a trip
I’m going away next week. I’ve been working hard lately and I need some rest.
Set off – leave, start travelling.
We are setting off early in order to avoid heavy traffic.
Look forward to – to be excited and impatient about something that is going to happen.
I’m looking forward to my holiday next week! I’m dead tired.
Get in – arrive
What time do we get in Paris?
See off – to go to a place that someone is leaving from to tell them goodbye.
We saw the children off yesterday. They’ve gone camping.
Go back – return to the place you were before.
We are going back home in two days, but I wish we could stay longer.
Check in – to arrive at a hotel and get the key for your room.

We checked in at two in the morning because the plane was late.

Check out – to leave a hotel after paying for your room and returning the key.
We must check out before 11.
Look around – to visit a place and look at things there.
They spent all day looking around the town.
Drop someone off – to drive someone somewhere and leave them there, especially if it’s on your way.
Can you drop me off at the station on your way to work?
Pick up – collect
Can you pick me up from the airport tomorrow afternoon, please?
Take off – when a plane leaves the ground.
Would you please fasten your seatbelts, the plane is taking off.
Stop over – to stay somewhere for some time on the way to somewhere else.
On our way to Spain, we’ll stop over in Rome to see the sights.

Nouns which are only singular

Most nouns in English have both singular and plural forms. However, there are some nouns that are only used in the singular form. These are:

  • Names of particular people, places, events, etc.

Peter, Johnson, Trafalgar Square, Easter, Saturday…

Although, you can use them in the plural if you think of them in a ‘countable’ way:

We never work on Saturdays.

The Johnsons are coming for lunch this evening.

  • Most uncountable nouns: water, furniture, advice, hair…

Water is cold today.

Good advice is better than rubies.

  • Some nouns ending in ‘S’: politics, Emirates, crossroads, measles, physics, maths,…

Emirates is charging for seat selection.

Politics is not my cup of tea.

How common is measles in your country?

WHO or WHOM?

Who and whom are interrogative pronouns. Many people live their lives without using WHOM at all, thinking that whom should be used in formal situations only. If you want to speak English properly, then you need to know about usage of both WHO and WHOM.

The rule is:

WHO is used in the subject position in a sentence:

Who bought you that ring?

WHOM is used in the object position:

The man whom you invited to dinner.

We also use WHOM after prepositions:

For whom the bell tolls.

To whom you want to talk?

How can you tell whether to use WHO or WHOM? It’s simple! If your pronoun can be replaced with ’he’ or ’she’, then use WHO. If it can be replaced with ’him’ or ’her’ or any other object pronoun, then use WHOM.

Who took my pen? (He/she took my pen – subject)

Whom is the book about? (About him – object)

In order to perfect your knowledge, try and do the quiz below:

WHO and WHOM QUIZ

Reciprocal Pronouns: Each Other & One Another

We use reciprocal pronouns each other and one another when two or more people are acting on each other.

Rhina and Sam saw each other yesterday.

The boys helped one another do their homework.

They talk to each other in French.

Both each other and one another refer to either persons or things.

They connected the two computers to each other.

High mountains were facing one another.

Each other used to refer to two people and one another to more than two people. However, since this distinction is disappearing in modern English and the two phrases are becoming interchangeable, we may feel a bit insecure when deciding which one to use.

Romeo and Juliet loved each other/one another.

People communicate to each other/one another over the Internet a lot today.

We can also use the possessive form of each other and one another:

Tom and Sally helped look after each other’s/one another’s children.