Word Forms

Learn how to avoid grammar errors with word forms.

Example errors

Look at the example errors below. Can you fix them?

Incorrect
– The arrive of migrants can lead to social issues in the host country.
– Jason is a very energy speaker.
– Universities competition with each other.

What are the grammar rules?

1.  In English, the various parts of speech (nouns, verbs, etc.) usually have different forms.

In the examples below, the noun form is competition, whereas the verb form is compete.

– There is a great deal of competition between the students.
– The students compete a great deal.

In your language, the various parts of speech may have exactly the same form, or parts of speech may be expressed differently. This can be a source of confusion.

2.  Some words may have two or more noun or adjective forms. In these cases, the meaning is usually different.

In the examples below, both bored and boring are adjective forms, but they have different meanings. The adjective bored is used to describe how you feel when faced with something boring. That is, something boring makes you feel bored.

– The students are very bored.
– The teacher is very boring.

3.  To use word forms correctly, you need to have a good understanding of sentence structure. You need to know, for example, when the noun form is needed.

4.  When you learn a new word, make it a habit to write down the various parts of speech. A good learner’s dictionary will usually give you the various parts of speech.

Here’s a short list to get you started.

Noun Verb Adjective Adverb
arrival arrive
energy energise energetic energetically
competition compete competitive competitively
difference differ different differently
boredom bore bored/boring

Corrected errors

Here are the corrected errors from the start of the lesson.

Incorrect Correct
– The arrive of migrants can lead to social issues in the host country. – The arrival of migrants can lead to social issues in the host country.
– Jason is a very energy speaker. – Jason is a very energetic speaker.
– Universities competition with each other. – Universities compete with each other.

Quiz

Try the questions below to test what you’ve learnt about word forms.

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Select the correct word form for each blank.

As cities grew more , and often more impoverished and , more and more people began to back out of them. But instead of returning to rural small towns, these people needed close access to the cities for their jobs. In the 1850s, as the urban greatly expanded and transportation options improved, suburbs . Suburbs are the communities surrounding cities, typically close enough for a daily commute in, but far enough away to allow for more space than city living . The bucolic suburban landscape of the early twentieth century has disappeared due to sprawl. Suburban sprawl contributes to traffic congestion, which in turn contributes to commuting time. And commuting times and distances have continued to increase as new suburbs developed farther and farther from city centres. , this dynamic contributed to an increase in natural resource use, like petroleum, which sequentially increased in the form of carbon emissions.

__________

“Introduction to Sociology 3e” by OpenStax is licensed under CC BY 4.0. A small excerpt was extracted from Chapter 20 and edited. This textbook can be downloaded free from https://openstax.org/details/books/introduction-sociology-3e.

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Feedback

Click below for the answers.

As cities grew more crowded, and often more impoverished and costly, more and more people began to migrate back out of them. But instead of returning to rural small towns, these people needed close access to the cities for their jobs. In the 1850s, as the urban population greatly expanded and transportation options improved, suburbs developed. Suburbs are the communities surrounding cities, typically close enough for a daily commute in, but far enough away to allow for more space than city living allows. The bucolic suburban landscape of the early twentieth century has largely disappeared due to sprawl. Suburban sprawl contributes to traffic congestion, which in turn contributes to commuting time. And commuting times and distances have continued to increase as new suburbs developed farther and farther from city centres. Simultaneously, this dynamic contributed to an exponential increase in natural resource use, like petroleum, which sequentially increased pollution in the form of carbon emissions.