What’s the Plural of Octopus

Was watching Study Room’s good friend Pornsak’s Food Source.He was explaining the various uses of Octopus. Quiz time- do you know what’s the plural of octopus? Answer: *Definitely correct: Octopuses -Chambers 21st century dictionary, Compact Oxford, Fowler’s Modern English Usage list “octopuses” as the only acceptable plural of the word.*Rare use of this form: Octopodes[…]

Grammar Watch

Spotted a grammar mistake while watching Crime Watch. What’s the mistake? Crime Watch does a great job educating the public on law and order in Singapore, but it should get a new transcriber. (See photo in previous post) The error: I saw him took. Correct: I saw him take. After verbs of perception (see watch,[…]


Derek who is ________ university undergraduate spoke to us for ________ hour during Assembly. 1) an…a 2) a…an 3) a…a 4) an…an The answer is 2. Rule: Use “a” before words that start with a consonant sound and “an” before words that start with a vowel sound. -Hour starts with a vowel sound, since it[…]

Question-tag grammar questions

Question-tag grammar questions are easy. Usually it is: Subject+verb (positive), (negative) verb +subject? He is fat, isn’t he? Subject +verb (negative), (positive) verb +subject? He doesn’t like to be called fat, does he? There are exceptions though. Be extremely careful when you see questions which use adverbs which have a negative sense such as “never”,[…]

Bring vs take

Whether you use “bring” or “take” depends on your point of reference for the action. -You ask people to BRING things to where you are. -You TAKE things to the place you are going. For example: Please bring the files to my table. I am feeling lazy; I wish someone would bring me dinner. (coming[…]

Synthesis and transformation

Many students find this part of the paper tough. As with all components of the paper, you have to read, speak and write often to grasp the language.Still, lots of practices help too. The following questions are a tad tricky. Can you tell me the right answers? 1. Beauty couldn’t return home. She had to[…]

Eating and drinking IS/ARE allowed?

This is a question from a school revision paper which I will go through with my students this Saturday. Eating and drinking is/are not allowed in the sports hall. There is a heated debate on this question. One camp says the answer should be “is” because you categorise eating and drinking as one activity. The[…]

Collective nouns

Collective nouns are nouns which stand for a group or collection of people or things. They include words such as audience, committee, police, crew, family, government, group, and team. Most collective nouns can be singular or plural. However, there are a few collective nouns that are used only in the plural form, the most common[…]