The rules are nearly impossible! Look at the noun. If it is a singular countable noun it usually needs an article.
WRONG: I went to cinema yesterday.
RIGHT: I went to the cinema yesterday.
2. Plural / singular nouns
Look at your noun carefully. Only one, or more than one?
WRONG: Overseas students often have many problem.
RIGHT: Overseas students often have many problems.
3. Verbs: do they agree with the subject?
Circle the subject. Is it singular or plural?
WRONG: Smith (2007) believe that….
RIGHT: Smith (2007) believes that…
4. Verb: is the tense right?
Look at your verb. Do you need present or past tense? Continuous or simple?
WRONG: Smith interview 300 overseas students and find that they have language problems.
RIGHT: Smith interviewed 300 overseas students and found that they had language problems.
5. Word form
Do you need a noun, verb, an adjective, or an adverb?
WRONG: The new car is very efficiently.
RIGHT: The new car is very efficient.
6. -ing form
The -ing form is often used to make a noun phrase.
WRONG: I don’t like get up early.
RIGHT: I don’t like getting up early.
7. Active or passive verb?
If the verb is passive, make sure you use ‘be + past participle’
WRONG: Students were interview in pairs about their experiences.
RIGHT: Students were interviewed in pairs about their experiences.
WRONG: This essay attempts for address this issue.
RIGHT: This essay attempts to address this issue.
How many mistakes can you find:
Many students come from all over world to study in UK. There is many reasons for this but usually they say that have a British degree will help them to find good job in their country later on. Study in UK can be hard work, but also very reward. Although experience can be difficult, student often look back at their university days with happy.
Answers in the next post!