Participle clauses
( عبارت‌های وجه وصفی)

Grammar explanation

Participle clauses

بندهای وصفی نوعی بند قید شده است که به ما امکان می دهد تا اطلاعات را به روشی اقتصادی تر بگوییم. می توانیم از بندهای وصفی استفاده کنیم وقتی که وجه وصفی و فعل در بند اصلی یک موضوع را دارند.

Participle clauses are a form of adverbial clause which enables us to say information in a more economical way. We can use participle clauses when the participle and the verb in the main clause have the same subject. For example:

Waiting for John, I made some tea.

Waiting for John, the kettle boiled. [This would suggest that the kettle was waiting for John!]


Forming participle clauses

Participle clauses can be formed with the present participle (-ing form of the verb) or past participle (third form of the verb). Participle clauses with past participles have a passive meaning:

Shouting loudly, Peter walked home. [Peter was shouting]

Shouted at loudly, Peter walked home. [Someone was shouting at Peter]

If we wish to emphasise that one action was before another then we can use a perfect participle (having + past participle):

Having won the match, Susan jumped for joy.

Having been told the bad news, Susan sat down and cried.



The meaning and use of participle clauses

Participle clauses give information about condition, result, reason or time. For example:


CONDITION (with a similar meaning to an if-condition):

Looked after carefully, this coat will keep you warm through many winters.

Compare: If you look after it carefully, this coat will keep you warm through many winters.


RESULT (with a similar meaning to so or therefore):

The bomb exploded, destroying the building.

Compare: The bomb exploded so the building was destroyed.


REASON (with a similar meaning to because or since):

I had no time to read my book, having spent so long doing my homework.

Compare: I had no time to read my book because I had spent so long doing my homework.


TIME (with a similar meaning to words like when, while or as soon as):

Sitting at the cafe with my friends, I suddenly realised that I had left the oven on at home.

Compare: While I was sitting at the cafe with my friends, I suddenly realised that I had left the oven on at home.

(جملات مجهول)

Grammar explanation

ما از صدای مجهول برای تغییر تمرکز جمله استفاده می کنیم.

We use the passive voice to change the focus of the sentence.

My bike was stolen. (passive – focus on my bike)
Someone stole my bike. (active – focus on someone)

We often use the passive:

  • when we prefer not to mention who or what does the action (for example, it's not known, it's obvious or we don't want to say)
  • so that we can start a sentence with the most important or most logical information
  • in more formal or scientific writing.

How we make the passive

We make the passive using the verb be + past participle. We start the sentence with the object.

Avatar was directed by James Cameron.
Object + be + past participle

It is not always necessary to add who or what did the action.

My flight is cancelled.
Object + be + past participle

Only the form of be changes to make the tense. The past participle stays the same. Here are examples of the passive in its most common tenses.

Tense Example Structure
Present simple Alioli is made from oil, garlic and salt. is/are + past participle
Present continuous The hall is being painted this week. is/are being + past participle
Past simple John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. was/were + past participle
Past continuous The signs were being put up last week. was/were being + past participle
Present perfect Oranges have been grown here for centuries. have been + past participle
Past perfect When he got home, he found that his flat had been burgled. had been + past participle
Future simple The work will be finished next week. will be + past participle

Past Ability
(شیوه بیان توانایی های گذشته در جمله)

Grammar explanation

General ability

We usually use could or couldn't to talk about general abilities in the past.

She could paint before she started school.
I couldn't cook until I went to university.
When I lived next to the pool, I could go swimming every day.

Ability on one occasion – successful

When we talk about achieving something on a specific occasion in the past, we use was/were able to (= had the ability to) and managed to (= succeeded in doing something difficult).

The burglar was able to get in through the bathroom window.
The burglar managed to get in through the bathroom window even though it was locked.

Could is not usually correct when we're talking about ability at a specific moment in the past.

Ability on one occasion – unsuccessful

When we talk about a specific occasion when someone didn't have the ability to do something, we can use wasn't/weren't able to, didn't manage to or couldn't.

The speaker wasn't able to attend the conference due to illness.
She couldn't watch the match because she was working.
They worked on it for months but they didn't manage to find a solution.

Note that wasn't/weren't able to is more formal than couldn't, while didn't manage to emphasises that the thing was difficult to do.

Past habits: 'used to', 'would' and the past simple
( بیان عادت گذشته با Would ، Used to و گذشته ساده)

Grammar explanation

وقتی در گذشته درباره چیزهایی صحبت می کنیم که دیگر صحیح نیست ، می توانیم به روش های مختلفی این کار را انجام دهیم.

When we talk about things in the past that are not true any more, we can do it in different ways.

Used to + infinitive

We can use used to to talk about past states that are not true any more.

We used to live in New York when I was a kid.
There didn't use to be a supermarket there. When did it open?
Did you use to have a garden?

We can also use used to to talk about past habits (repeated past actions) that don't happen any more.

I used to go swimming every Thursday when I was at school.
She used to smoke but she gave up a few years ago.

used to + infinitive should not be confused with be/get used to + -ing, which has a different meaning. The difference is covered here.


We can use would to talk about repeated past actions that don't happen any more.

Every Saturday I would go on a long bike ride.
My dad would read me amazing stories every night at bedtime.

would for past habits is slightly more formal than used to. It is often used in stories. There is no negative or question form of would for past habits. Note that we can't usually use would to talk about past states. 

Past simple

ما همیشه می توانیم از گذشته ساده به عنوان جایگزینی برای "used to" یا "would" برای گفتگو در مورد حالات یا عادتهای گذشته استفاده کنیم. تفاوت اصلی این است که گذشته ساده بر ماهیت مکرر یا مداوم کنش یا موقعیت تأکید نمی کند. همچنین ، گذشته ساده آن را چنان روشن نمی کند که دیگر واقعیت ندارد.

We can always use the past simple as an alternative to used to or would to talk about past states or habits. The main difference is that the past simple doesn't emphasise the repeated or continuous nature of the action or situation. Also, the past simple doesn't make it so clear that the thing is no longer true.

We went to the same beach every summer.
We used to go to the same beach every summer.
We would go to the same beach every summer.

If something happened only once, we must use the past simple.

I went to Egypt in 2014. 

Past Perfect
(گذشته کامل)

Grammar explanation

وقتی در مورد اتفاقی که در گذشته افتاده صحبت می کنیم ، بعضی اوقات می خواهیم به چیزی که قبل از آن زمان اتفاق افتاده است ، بازگردیم. ما می توانیم از گذشته کامل استفاده کنیم

When we talk about something that happened in the past we sometimes want to refer back to something that happened before that time. We can use the past perfect tense (had + past participle) to do this.

Look at these two sentences.

  • John left the house at 7:30 yesterday morning.
  • Mary rang John’s doorbell at 8:15 yesterday.

Both actions happened in the past so we use the past simple tense. But look at how we can combine the sentences.

  • Mary rang John’s doorbell at 8:15 yesterday but John had already left the house.

We use the past perfect (had left) because the action happened before another action in the past (Mary rang the doorbell.)

Look at some more examples of the past perfect.

  • When Mrs Brown opened the washing machine she realised she had washed someone else's laundry.
  • I got a letter from Jim last week. We’d been at school together but we’d lost touch with each other.

The past perfect is used because they were at school before he received the letter. It refers to an earlier past.

Look at these 2 sentences.

  • James had cooked breakfast when we got up.
  • James cooked breakfast when we got up.

In the first sentence, the past perfect tells us that James cooked breakfast before we got up. In the second sentence, first we got up and then James cooked breakfast.

Past perfect continuous

The past perfect can also be used in the continuous.

  • I realised I had been working too hard so I decided to have a holiday.
  • By the time Jane arrived we had been waiting for 3 hours.

The most common mistake with the past perfect is to overuse it or to use it simply because we are talking about a time in the distant past.

For example we would not say

The Romans had spoken Latin

but rather

The Romans spoke Latin

because it simply describes a past event, and not an event before and relevant to another past event.

Remember that we only use the past perfect when we want to refer to a past that is earlier than another time in the narrative.

(قواعد پیش بینی آینده)

Grammar explanation

Predicting the Future

می توانیم بگوییم که با استفاده از افعال معین ، نسبت به آینده چه حسی داریم. عبارات دیگری نیز وجود دارد که ما می توانیم از آنها برای بیان یقین یا عدم اطمینان در مورد رویدادهای آینده استفاده کنیم.

We can say how sure we feel about the future by using modal verbs. There are also other phrases we can use to express our certainty or uncertainty about future events.

Modal verbs

We can combine modal verbs with adverbs to show a greater or lesser degree of certainty.

  • People will definitely work longer hours in the future.
  • People definitely won’t work longer hours in the future.

Both of these sentences show that the speaker is sure.

  • You’ll probably enjoy this film.
  • You probably won’t enjoy this film.

The speaker is thinks (s)he’s right but isn’t 100% sure.

  • She might pass the exam or she might not pass. I don’t know.

The speaker isn’t sure at all. You could also use could or may instead of might.

Other expressions

Here are some other ways to talk about how certain we are about something in the future.

(1) I’m sure

  • Jan is bound to pass the exam. He’s worked really hard.
  • Jan is certain to pass.

(2) I think so but I’m not 100% sure

  • Katka is likely to pass the exam.
  • Katka may well pass the exam.
  • There’s a good chance that Katka will pass the exam.

(3) I don’t think so

  • Juraj is unlikely to pass the exam.
  • There’s not much chance Juraj will pass.
  • I doubt if Juraj will pass.
  • There’s no chance of Juraj passing the exam.

Present Perfect
(حال کامل)

Grammar explanation

We use the present perfect simple (have or has + past participle) to talk about past actions or states which are still connected to the present.

Unfinished time and states

We often use the present perfect to say what we've done in an unfinished time period, such as today, this week, this year, etc., and with expressions such as so far, until now, before, etc.

They've been on holiday twice this year.
We haven't had a lot of positive feedback so far.
I'm sure I've seen that film before.

We also use it to talk about life experiences, as our life is also an unfinished time period. We often use never in negative sentences and ever in questions.

I've worked for six different companies.
He's never won a gold medal.
Have you ever been to Australia?

We also use the present perfect to talk about unfinished states, especially with for, since and how long.

She's wanted to be a police officer since she was a child.
I haven't known him for very long.
How long have you had that phone?

Finished time and states

If we say when something happened, or we feel that that part of our life is finished, we use the past simple.

We visited Russia for the first time in 1992.
I went to three different primary schools.
Before she retired, she worked in several different countries.

We also use the past simple for finished states.

We knew all our neighbours when we were children.
I didn't like bananas for a really long time. Now I love them!

Past actions with a result in the present 

We can use the present perfect to talk about a past action that has a result in the present.

He's broken his leg so he can't go on holiday.
There's been an accident on the main road, so let's take a different route.
They haven't called me, so I don't think they need me today.

Again, if we say when it happened, we use the past simple.

He broke his leg last week so he can't go on holiday.

However, we often use the present perfect with words like just, recently, already, yet and still.

We've recently started going to the gym.
She's already finished season one and now she's watching season two.
Have you checked your emails yet?

Present perfect simple and continuous
(حال کامل ساده و استمراری)

Grammar explanation

The present perfect simple suggests completion while the continuous suggests something is unfinished.

Present Perfect Simple and Present Perfect Continuous

We use the present perfect tense to talk about things where there is a connection between the past and the present.

  • He’s written 16 books.

He started writing books at some time in the past. So far, he has written 16 books. He may write more books.

As well as the present perfect simple, we can use the present perfect continuous tense to talk about events with a connection to the present.

1 Look at these 2 sentences:

  • I’ve been decorating the house this summer. The focus is on the action – decorating – and the action is unfinished.
  • I’ve painted the living room blue. The focus is on the finished result. The activity is finished but we can see the result now.

We use the present perfect continuous when the focus is on an activity that is unfinished.

2 Look at these two sentences.

  • I’ve read that book you lent me. I finished it yesterday.
  • I’ve been reading that book you lent me. I’ve got another 50 pages to read.

The present perfect simple (I’ve read) gives the idea of completion while the present perfect continuous (I’ve been reading) suggests that something is unfinished.

3 Look at these two sentences.

  • She’s been writing emails for 3 hours.
  • She’s written 10 messages.

The present perfect continuous (has been writing) talks about how long something has been happening. The present perfect simple (has written) talks about how much/how many have been completed.

4 Look at these two sentences.

  • I’ve worked here for thirty years.
  • I usually work in London but I’ve been working in Birmingham for the last 3 weeks.

We can use the present perfect simple to talk about how long when we view something as permanent. But the present perfect continuous is often used to show that something is temporary.

Question tags
(سوالات ضمیمه)

Grammar explanation

We can add question tags like isn't it?, can you? or didn't they? to a statement to make it into a question. Question tags are more common in speaking than writing.

We often use question tags when we expect the listener to agree with our statement. In this case, when the statement is positive, we use a negative question tag.

She's a doctor, isn't she?
Yesterday was so much fun, wasn't it?

If the statement is negative, we use a positive question tag. 

He isn't here, is he?
The trains are never on time, are they?
Nobody has called for me, have they?

If we are sure or almost sure that the listener will confirm that our statement is correct, we say the question tag with a falling intonation. If we are a bit less sure, we say the question tag with a rising intonation.


If there is an auxiliary verb in the statement, we use it to form the question tag.

I don't need to finish this today, do I?
James is working on that, isn't he?
Your parents have retired, haven't they?
The phone didn't ring, did it?
It was raining that day, wasn't it?
Your mum hadn't met him before, had she?

Sometimes there is no auxiliary verb already in the statement. For example, when:

... the verb in the statement is present simple or past simple and is positive. Here we use don't, doesn't or didn't:

Jenni eats cheese, doesn't she?
I said that already, didn't I? 

... the verb in the statement is to be in the present simple or past simple. In this case we use to be to make the question tag:

The bus stop's over there, isn't it?
None of those customers were happy, were they?

... the verb in the statement is a modal verb. Here we use the modal verb to make the question tag:

They could hear me, couldn't they?
You won't tell anyone, will you?

If the main verb or auxiliary verb in the statement is am, the positive question tag is am I? but the negative question tag is usually aren't I?:

I'm never on time, am I?
I'm going to get an email with the details, aren't I?

Reflexive pronouns
(ضمایر انعکاسی)

Grammar explanation

Reflexive pronouns are words like myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves and themselves. They refer back to a person or thing.

We often use reflexive pronouns when the subject and the object of a verb are the same. 

I cut myself when I was making dinner last night.
I hope you enjoy yourselves at the party tonight!
My phone isn't working properly. It turns itself off for no reason.
We need to believe in ourselves more.

Adding emphasis

We can add a reflexive pronoun for emphasis when it's unusual or different.

He wants to pass his driving test so that he can drive himself to work.
She broke her arm, so she couldn't wash herself very easily.

We can use reflexive pronouns to emphasise that someone does it personally, not anybody else.

The door was definitely locked. I locked it myself.
Are you redecorating your flat yourselves?

We can also use a reflexive pronoun together with the noun it refers to in order to emphasise it.

We talked to the manager herself, and she agreed to give us our money back.
Parents themselves need to take more responsibility for their children's learning.

By + reflexive pronoun

We can use by + reflexive pronoun to mean alone.

He usually goes on holiday by himself.
Do you enjoy being by yourself?

Reciprocal pronouns

Notice the difference between plural reflexive pronouns and reciprocal pronouns (each other, one another).

They're buying themselves a new television.
They're buying each other small gifts.
We looked at ourselves in the mirror.
We looked at each other in surprise.

With reciprocal pronouns (e.g. each other), each person does the action to the other person/people but not to themselves. 

Relative clauses: defining relative clauses
(عبارت های موصولی: تعریفی)

Grammar explanation

Relative clauses – defining relative clauses

Relative clauses add extra information to a sentence by defining a noun. They are usually divided into two types – defining relative clauses and non-defining relative clauses.

Defining relative clauses

Look at this sentence:

  • The woman who lives next door works in a bank.

who lives next door’ is a defining relative clause. It tells us which woman we are talking about.

Look at some more examples:

  • Look out! There’s the dog that bit my brother.
  • The film that we saw last week was awful.
  • This is the skirt I bought in the sales.

Can you identify the defining relative clauses? They tell us which dog, which film and which skirt we are talking about.

Relative pronouns

Relative clauses are usually introduced by a relative pronoun (usually who, which, that, but when, where and whose are also possible)

With defining relative clauses we can use who or that to talk about people. There is no difference in meaning between these, though 'who' tends to be preferred in more formal use.

  • She’s the woman who cuts my hair.
  • She’s the woman that cuts my hair.

We can use that or which to talk about things. Again, there is no difference in meaning between these, though 'which' tends to be preferred in more formal use.

  • This is the dog that bit my brother.
  • This is the dog which bit my brother.

Simplifying defining relative clauses

Defining relative clauses can be simplified, or reduced, in several ways:

  1. If the relative pronoun is the object of the verb then it can be omitted:
  • This is the skirt that I bought in the sales.
  • This is the skirt which I bought in the sales.
  • This is the skirt I bought in the sales.

In this sentence ‘skirt’ is the object of the verb (buy). ‘I’ is the subject. When the relative pronoun is the object, it can be omitted.

Note that if the relative pronoun is the subject of the verb then it cannot be omitted:

  • This is the dog that bit my brother.
  • This is the dog which bit my brother.


  • This is the dog bit my brother.
  1. If the relative clause contains the verb 'be' + any of the following then it can be reduced:

(a) be + an adjective phrase

  • The man who is interested in your car will telephone later.
  • The man interested in your car will telephone later.

Note that other verbs are possible here as well as 'be', such as 'seem', 'look' and 'appear'.

(b) be + a prepositional phrase

  • The books which are on the table have been read.
  • The books on the table have been read.

(c) be + a past participle [a passive form]

  • A person who has been tricked once is careful the next time.
  • A person tricked once is careful the next time.

(d) be + a present participle [a continuous form]

  • The family who are living in the house are very rich.
  • The family living in the house are very rich.


Relative clauses: non-defining relative clauses
(عبارت های موصولی: غیر تعریفی)

Grammar explanation

Relative clauses - non-defining relative clauses

Relative clauses add extra information to a sentence by defining a noun. They are usually divided into two types – defining relative clauses and non-defining relative clauses.

Non-defining relative clauses

Look at this sentence.

  • My grandfather, who is 87, goes swimming every day.

‘who is 87’ is a non-defining relative clause. It adds extra information to the sentence. If we take the clause out of the sentence, the sentence still has the same meaning.

Look at some more examples.

  • My eldest son, whose work takes him all over the world, is in Hong Kong at the moment.
  • The film, which stars Tom Carter, is released on Friday.
  • The car, which can reach speeds of over 300km/ph, costs over $500,000.

In the first sentence, it is clear which son is being talked about and the relative clause provides extra information. In the second sentence, the speaker thinks you know which film you are talking about, and the information about Tom Carter is just something interesting. In the third sentence, the speaker thinks you already know which car is being discussed. The information about the speed is just for interest.

Defining or non-defining?

Remember that defining relative clauses are used to add important information. The sentence would have a different meaning without the defining relative clause.

  • I’m going to wear the skirt that I bought in London. 
  • The skirt, which is a lovely dark blue colour, only cost £10. 

The first sentence with a defining relative clause tells us which skirt. The second sentence, with a non-defining relative clause, doesn’t tell us which skirt – it gives us more information about the skirt. The context (which is missing here) makes it clear which skirt is being talked about.

Non-defining relative clauses can use most relative pronouns (which, whose etc,) but they CAN’T use ‘that’ and the relative pronoun can never be omitted.

  • The film, that stars Tom Carter, is released on Friday.

Non-defining relative clauses are more often used in written English than in spoken English. You can tell that a clause is non-defining because it is separated by commas at each end of the clause.

Reported speech: statements
( نقل قول: اظهارات)

Grammar explanation

Reported speech is when we tell someone what another person said. To do this, we can use direct speech or indirect speech.

direct speech: 'I work in a bank,' said Daniel.
indirect speech: Daniel said that he worked in a bank.

In indirect speech, we often use a tense which is 'further back' in the past (e.g. worked) than the tense originally used (e.g. work). This is called 'backshift'. We also may need to change other words that were used, for example pronouns.

Present simple, present continuous and present perfect

When we backshift, present simple changes to past simple, present continuous changes to past continuous and present perfect changes to past perfect.

'I travel a lot in my job.'
  • Jamila said that she travelled a lot in her job.
'The baby's sleeping!'
  • He told me the baby was sleeping.
'I've hurt my leg.'
  • She said she'd hurt her leg.

Past simple and past continuous

When we backshift, past simple usually changes to past perfect simple, and past continuous usually changes to past perfect continuous.

'We lived in China for five years.'
  • She told me they'd lived in China for five years.
'It was raining all day.'
  • He told me it had been raining all day.

Past perfect

The past perfect doesn't change.

'I'd tried everything without success, but this new medicine is great.'
  • He said he'd tried everything without success, but the new medicine was great.

No backshift

If what the speaker has said is still true or relevant, it's not always necessary to change the tense. This might happen when the speaker has used a present tense.

'I go to the gym next to your house.'
  • Jenny told me that she goes to the gym next to my house. I'm thinking about going with her.
'I'm working in Italy for the next six months.'
  • He told me he's working in Italy for the next six months. Maybe I should visit him!
'I've broken my arm!'
  • She said she's broken her arm, so she won't be at work this week.

Pronouns, demonstratives and adverbs of time and place

Pronouns also usually change in indirect speech.

'I enjoy working in my garden,' said Bob.
  • Bob said that he enjoyed working in his garden.
'We played tennis for our school,' said Alina.
  • Alina told me they'd played tennis for their school.

However, if you are the person or one of the people who spoke, then the pronouns don't change.

'I'm working on my thesis,' I said.
  • I told her that I was working on my thesis.
'We want our jobs back!' we said.
  • We said that we wanted our jobs back.

We also change demonstratives and adverbs of time and place if they are no longer accurate.

'This is my house.'
  • He said this was his house. [You are currently in front of the house.]
  • He said that was his house. [You are not currently in front of the house.]
'We like it here.'
  • She told me they like it here. [You are currently in the place they like.]
  • She told me they like it there. [You are not in the place they like.]
'I'm planning to do it today.'
  • She told me she's planning to do it today. [It is currently still the same day.]
  • She told me she was planning to do it that day. [It is not the same day any more.]

In the same way, these changes to those, now changes to then, yesterday changes to the day before, tomorrow changes to the next/following day and ago changes to before.

Reported Speech: questions
(نقل قول: سوالات)

Grammar explanation

A reported question is when we tell someone what another person asked. To do this, we can use direct speech or indirect speech.

direct speech: 'Do you like working in sales?' he asked.
indirect speech: He asked me if I liked working in sales.

In indirect speech, we change the question structure (e.g. Do you like) to a statement structure (e.g. I like).

We also often make changes to the tenses and other words in the same way as for reported statements (e.g. have donehad done, todaythat day). You can learn about these changes on the Reported speech 1 – statements page.

Yes/no questions

In yes/no questions, we use if or whether to report the question. If is more common.

'Are you going to the Helsinki conference?'
  • He asked me if I was going to the Helsinki conference.
'Have you finished the project yet?'
  • She asked us whether we'd finished the project yet.

Questions with a question word

In what, where, why, who, when or how questions, we use the question word to report the question.

'What time does the train leave?'
  • He asked me what time the train left.
'Where did he go?'
  • She asked where he went.

Reporting verbs

The most common reporting verb for questions is ask, but we can also use verbs like enquire, want to know or wonder.

'Did you bring your passports?'
  • She wanted to know if they'd brought their passports.
'When could you get this done by?'
  • He wondered when we could get it done by.

Offers, requests and suggestions

If the question is making an offer, request or suggestion, we can use a specific verb pattern instead, for example offer + infinitive, ask + infinitive or suggest + ing.

'Would you like me to help you?'
  • He offered to help me.
'Can you hold this for me, please?'
  • She asked me to hold it.
'Why don't we check with Joel?'
  • She suggested checking with Joel.

Reported speech: reporting verbs
(نقل قول: افعال گزارشی)

Grammar explanation

When we tell someone what another person said, we often use the verbs say, tell or ask. These are called 'reporting verbs'. However, we can also use other reporting verbs. Many reporting verbs can be followed by another verb in either an infinitive or an -ing form. 

Reporting verb + infinitive

Verbs like advise, agree, challenge, claim, decide, demand, encourage, invite, offer, persuade, promise, refuse and remind can follow an infinitive pattern.

'Let's see. I'll have the risotto, please.'
  • He decided to have the risotto.
'I'll do the report by Friday, for sure.'
  • She promised to do the report by Friday.
'It's not a good idea to write your passwords down.'
  • They advised us not to write our passwords down.

We can also use an infinitive to report imperatives, with a reporting verb like tell, order, instruct, direct or warn.

'Please wait for me in reception.'
  • The guide told us to wait for her in reception.
'Don't go in there!'
  • The police officer warned us not to go in there.

Reporting verb + -ing form

Verbs like admit, apologise for, complain about, deny, insist on, mention and suggest can follow an -ing form pattern.

'I broke the window.'
  • She admitted breaking the window.
'I'm really sorry I didn't get back to you sooner.'
  • He apologised for not getting back to me sooner.
'Let's take a break.'
  • She suggested taking a break.

Separable and non-separable multi-word verbs
( افعال جدا شدنی و نشدنی چند کلمه ای)

Grammar explanation

Multi-word verbs

There are a lot of multi-word verbs (sometimes called phrasal verbs) in English. Multi-word verbs are made up of a verb and a particle or, sometimes, two particles. The particle(s) act to change the meaning of the verb, so two phrasal verbs can look similar but be very different, for example come on and come in

Multi-word verbs fall into two categories:

  1. literal meaning
  2. metaphorical meaning.

If the multi-word verb has a literal meaning, it is easy to guess (e.g. He picked up the pencil). People often think metaphorical multi-word verbs are less easy to guess (e.g. I picked up Italian quite easily when I lived there). But if you think about it, 'pick up a pencil' means to acquire it and 'pick up a language' also means to acquire it, so there is a connection that might help you remember them. Of course, you can always look them up in a good dictionary too. When you record new multi-word verbs in your notebook, always write them in context, as that will make the meaning clear.

There are two main types of multi-word verbs: separable and non-separable. Because phrasal verbs can have several meanings, it's important to remember that some meanings will make the verb separable and some will make it non-separable. When you know if a multi-word verb is separable or non-separable, you'll be able to use it accurately in a sentence.


With separable verbs, the verb and particle can be apart or together.

He cut the tree down because it was blocking the sunlight.
He cut down the tree because it was blocking the sunlight.

Can you turn the radio down? It's too loud.
Can you turn down the radio? It's too loud.

However, when we use a pronoun instead of the object, it must come between the verb and the particle. In other words, if it is separable, you must separate it when you use a pronoun. 

He cut it down. (NOT He cut down it.)

Can you turn it down? (NOT Can you turn down it?)

Italian was hard but I picked it up in six months. (NOT I picked up it in six months.)

I'm bringing up my children to be polite but I'm also bringing them up to be assertive. (NOT I'm bringing up them to be assertive.)


In non-separable verbs, you cannot separate the verb and particle.

Who looks after the baby when you're at work? (NOT Who looks the baby after?)

I came across your email when I was clearing my inbox. Sorry I didn't reply earlier! (NOT I came your email across.)

I've got over my operation but I still feel really weak. (NOT I've got my operation over.)

Therefore, even when there is a pronoun, the verb and particle remain together.

Who looks after her when you're at work?

Some multi-word verbs are non-separable simply because they don't take an object.

I always think I'm right so I never back down in an argument.
I get up at 7 a.m.

With two particles

Multi-word verbs with two particles act like non-separable multi-word verbs. In these examples, you can't move the object from after the multi-word verb to between the verb and the particle. If you use a pronoun, you also put it after the particles.

Who came up with that idea? I wish I had thought of it myself.
I don't know how you put up with the noise here. How do you stay calm?
I really look up to my grandmother. She was the first woman to go to university in her village.
I really need to cut down on sugar. It's so bad for you!

Stative verbs
(افعال حالتی)

Grammar explanation

Stative verbs describe a state rather than an action. They aren't usually used in the present continuous form.

I don't know the answer. I'm not knowing the answer.
She really likes you. She's really liking you.
He seems happy at the moment. He's seeming happy at the moment.

Stative verbs often relate to:

  • thoughts and opinions: agree, believe, doubt, guess, imagine, know, mean, recognise, remember, suspect, think, understand
  • feelings and emotions: dislike, hate, like, love, prefer, want, wish
  • senses and perceptions: appear, be, feel, hear, look, see, seem, smell, taste
  • possession and measurement: belong, have, measure, own, possess, weigh.

Verbs that are sometimes stative

A number of verbs can refer to states or actions, depending on the context.

I think it's a good idea.
Wait a moment! I'm thinking.

The first sentence expresses an opinion. It is a mental state, so we use present simple. In the second example the speaker is actively processing thoughts about something. It is an action in progress, so we use present continuous.

Some other examples are:


I have an old car. (state – possession)
I'm having a quick break. (action – having a break is an activity)


Do you see any problems with that? (state – opinion)
We're seeing Tadanari tomorrow afternoon. (action – we're meeting him)


He's so interesting! (state – his permanent quality)
He's being very unhelpful. (action – he is temporarily behaving this way)


This coffee tastes delicious. (state – our perception of the coffee)
Look! The chef is tasting the soup. (action – tasting the soup is an activity)

Other verbs like this include: agree, appear, doubt, feel, guess, hear, imagine, look, measure, remember, smell, weigh, wish.

Verbs and prepositions
(افعال و حروف اضافه)

Grammar explanation

When a verb is part of a longer sentence, it is often followed by a specific preposition. 

I agree with Mike.
She listens to the radio a lot.
He thanked me for the flowers.

There are no grammatical rules to help you know which preposition is used with which verb, so it's a good idea to try to learn them together. To help you do this, write new vocabulary in your notebook in a sentence or phrase. Here are some common verbs for each preposition.

Verbs with for

They're waiting for a bus.
He apologised for being late. 
I applied for the job but I didn't get it.
How do you ask for a coffee in Polish?
I can't go out tonight because I have to prepare for my interview tomorrow.

Verbs with from

This spray should protect you from mosquitoes.
Has he recovered from the accident yet?
She won an award because she saved someone from drowning.
I suffer from allergies.

Verbs with in

She doesn't believe in coincidences.
Our company specialises in computer software.
You have to work hard if you want to succeed in life.

Verbs with of

I don't approve of hunting animals for their fur.
Our dog died of old age.
This shampoo smells of bananas.

Verbs with on

Their decision will depend on the test results.
The film is based on the novel by Boris Pasternak.
If you make so much noise, I can't concentrate on my work.
Come on! We're relying on you!
We don't agree on anything but we're still good friends.

Verbs with to

What kind of music do you like listening to?
Can I introduce you to my grandfather?
Please refer to the notes at the end for more information.
Nobody responded to my complaint.
She apologised to me the next day.

Verbs with with

I agree with everything you've said.
My assistant will provide you with more information if you need it.
We're finding it difficult to deal with the stress.

Verbs followed by '-ing' or by 'to' + infinitive (2)
(افعال به دنباله 'ing-' و یا ''to' + مصدر Infinitive)

Grammar explanation

Some verbs have a different meaning depending on whether they are followed by an -ing form or to + infinitive. 


Stop + -ing means the action is not happening any more.

I've stopped buying the newspaper because now I read the news online.

Stopto + infinitive means that someone or something stops an activity so that they can do something else.

He stopped the video to ask the students some questions.


Try + -ing means that you are trying something as an experiment, especially as a possible solution to a problem, to see if it works or not.

Have you tried turning the computer off and on again?

Tryto + infinitive means that something is difficult but you are making an effort to do it. 

I'm trying to learn Japanese but it's very difficult.


Remember + -ing and forget + -ing refer to having (or not having) a memory of something in the past.

I remember watching this film before.
I'll never forget meeting you for the first time in this café.

Rememberto + infinitive and forgetto + infinitive refer to recalling (or not recalling) that there is something we need to do before we do it.

Please remember to buy some milk on the way home.
He forgot to lock the door when he went out.