Key Concept Chart
You should know how to use the following punctuation marks
correctly. Wrong use of these marks can change the whole
meaning or sense of a sentence!
full stop . apostrophe ’
comma , colons :
quotation marks “ ” semicolons ;
question mark dashes –
exclamation mark !
Most of these are very easy to use, as shown in these two
1. “Have you seen my cell phone I can’t find it anywhere!” said
2. There are three things to remember about crossing the road: look
both ways to see cars from both directions; cross at a pedestrian
crossing, if possible; cross quickly and safely.
The most common errors in punctuation are:
• not using semi-colons to separate clauses (look at
sentence 2 again).
• misusing apostrophes in abbreviations, e.g. writing do’nt instead
of don’t. Remember the rule: the apostrophe goes where a
letter is left out, not where two words are joined together.
• misusing the apostrophe showing possession, e.g. writing
Obakengs’ book instead of Obakeng’s book, or writing The
book is their’s, which shouldn’t have an apostrophe.
• putting the punctuation in the wrong place in direct
speech. (See the section on Direct and indirect speech
later on in this chart.)
◗ Types of nouns
• Common nouns are everyday objects, such as table,
• Collective nouns are the names for groups of things, such
as the herd of cattle, the team of soccer players.
• Proper nouns are the names of places, people or things.
Some examples are Mrs. Moremi, Maun, Wednesday.
• Abstract nouns are things we cannot see or touch, such as
happiness, success, pride.
• Beware of making mistakes when using countable and
Uncountable nouns cannot be counted, and cannot have
plurals, e.g. sugar, milk, advice, bread, water, equipment, work, money.
So you cannot say an advice or two moneys. (Note: This is a
common mistake and is often tested in exams.)
Some nouns can only be used in the plural form, e.g. scissors,
jeans, pants. Don’t say I have a new jean. However, you can say
I have a new pair of jeans, as the word pair is countable.
◗ Forming words with prefixes and suffixes
• Prefixes go before a root or basic word. They change the
meaning: unable, disabled, bilingual, anti-retroviral.
• Suffixes go at the end of a root or basic word. They change
the part of speech: amuse (verb), amusement (noun), amusing
(adjective), amusingly (adverb).
◗ Parts of speech
Mothusi has understood the new poem easily.
noun verb article adjective common noun adverb
We ate rice and stew on Saturday.
pronoun verb nouns conjunction proposition noun
Sometimes a word is pronounced differently when it is used
as different parts of speech. Stress the underlined syllables in
the following examples:
Put the refuse in the bin.
I refuse to listen to this horrible music!
The coach subjected the players to difficult fitness training.
What is your favourite subject at school
◗ Antonyms and synonyms
• Antonyms are words with opposite meanings, e.g.
short – tall; comfortable – uncomfortable; inside – outside
• Synonyms are words with similar meanings, e.g.
kind – concerned – caring; sad – depressed – down;
hardworking – industrious
Hint: if you have used the same word over and over again in
your writing, try to think of synonyms. So, instead of writing
We went for a nice swim in the nice river because the weather was
nice you can write We went for a refreshing swim in the clear river
because the weather was warm.
Definite and indefinite articles
• Definite articles are the words the, this, these and that.
We use them when we talk about something specific. If you
know the book you want to read, you can ask the librarian
Please may I have that book / Please may I have the book that
is over there
• Indefinite articles are the words a and an. If you don’t
know which book you want to read, you can ask the librarian
Please may I have a book to read
We cannot use definite or indefinite articles with
uncountable nouns. For example, ask your visitors Would you
like some/any sugar with your tea It is wrong to ask Would you
like a sugar/the sugar But you can ask Would you like a biscuit
Why Because while biscuits are countable, sugar is not.
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Make sure you use the correct tense in your writing. In English
language exams, you are often asked to fill in the correct form of the
verb, e.g. The police officer (to interview) the witness to the crime yesterday.
Verb tense Use Example sentence Verb
Past simple actions in the past Yesterday, she washed washed
continued for a
Masego was washing the
clothes when it started
actions that were
finished by the time
another event in
the past took place
actions that are
actions now but
I had finished the book
by the time the teacher
explained it to us.
She exercises for an hour exercises
He listens to music while is
he is exercising. exercising
She has exercised already has
this morning, so she feels exercised
actions that will
We will visit our cousins
actions that The teacher will keep
continue over a the other students quiet
period in the future because we will be
writing the exam.
actions that will be By the time I am 21, I will
completed in the have finished studying to
become a technician.
Progressive tenses are often called continuous tenses.
• The verb form will be determined by the tense. The
table on the left shows different verb tenses.
• Beware of the present simple tense. Many people think
this is the most simple tense and therefore the easiest.
But in fact we only use it in specific situations, e.g. for
actions that happen regularly or for things that are true
or scientific: School starts at 7am every day. Water boils at
100 ºC. She looks just like her mother.
• Avoid the common mistake of using the present progressive
tense when you should use the present simple tense, e.g.
I am having three brothers or We are owning a car instead of I
have three brothers or We own a car.
◗ Auxiliary and modal verbs
• Auxiliary verbs are used to make different forms of
verbs. Examples are have read, is waiting.
• Modal verbs tell us more about the mood of a verb.
These are the most common modals: must, should, would,
ought to, used to, can, could, might, may. Using the correct
modal may make a sentence seem more or less polite, e.g.
You may join us is more polite than You must join us.
• One common mistake is to use can when you mean may.
Don’t ask Please can I use your calculator The correct
form is Please may I use your calculator
◗ Phrasal verbs
• Phrasal verbs have two or more words. They have their
own meaning, e.g. Sit in your chair means just that: sit down
in your own chair. But sit in has another meaning when it
is a phrasal verb. It means to take the place of. For example:
I will sit in for the committee secretary today, because he could
not be here.
The passive voice and active voice
• Most sentences use the active voice, and this is what you
should use most of the time in your writing. In the active
voice, the subject of the sentence shows the person or
thing that does the action of the verb, e.g.
Our team won the debating competition.
A leopard killed a small buck.
• In the passive voice, the subject of the sentence shows
who or to what the action was done, e.g.
The debating competition was won by our team.
A small buck was killed by a leopard.
There are three main reasons for using the passive voice.
1. When we don’t know who did the action, or it is not
important, e.g. My bag was stolen.
2. When we want to disguise who did the action, e.g.
Unfortunately, my homework has been left behind.
3. In scientific writing, e.g.
The solution was made up of 50 ml water and 10g sugar. It
was boiled for 5 minutes.
• Sometimes in language questions you will be asked to rewrite
a sentence in either the passive or the active, like this:
The chocolate was eaten last night. (passive)
We ate the chocolate last night. (active)
My homework has been left at home. (passive)
I left my homework at home. (active)
The building will start next year. (passive)
We will start building next year. (active)
Direct and indirect speech
Examination papers often have questions where you have to
change direct to indirect speech, e.g.
“Have you finished your homework” asked the teacher.
The teacher asked the class whether they had finished their homework.
When you make this change several things will happen:
• Don’t use quotation marks.
• Tense usually goes “one back”, e.g. from past simple finished
to past perfect had finished.
• Pronouns change, e.g. from you to they, and from your to their.
• Use a conjunction to introduce the actual words, e.g. whether.
• In direct speech, remember that all the words and the
punctuation belonging to those words go inside the
quotation marks. A common mistake is to put exclamation
marks or question marks in the wrong place, e.g.
“Where are my keys” asked my sister. ✓
“Where are my keys” asked my sister X
Chinua Achebe wrote the novel “Things Fall Apart”. ✓
Chinua Achebe wrote the novel “Things Fall Apart.” X
• When direct speech contains another quote inside it, use
double and single quotation marks, e.g. “Which R&B superstar
sang ‘The Storm is Over Now’” she asked.
Here are some other examples of how to do it correctly:
“Yes! I’ve passed my exams!” shouted Neo.
Neo exclaimed that she had passed her exams.
“Quotation marks should go here,” explained the teacher.
The teacher explained that quotation marks should go in that place.
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◗ Statements are straightforward sentences, e.g. I like to braid
◗ Directions or instructions tell someone what to do, e.g.
Switch off your cellphones during the film.
Do not leave candles burning when you go to bed.
Turn left at the crossroads.
◗ Imperatives are a stronger form of command, e.g.
Don’t do that!
◗ Exclamations express strong emotions, e.g.
I thought that was great!
There are different ways of forming questions.
1. Using question words such as who, which, why, how, where, e.g.
Where is the nearest garage
Who would like some more supper
2. Changing the word order:
He can speak two languages changes to a question like this:
Can he speak two languages
3. Using question tags:
Use a positive tag with a negative sentence, e.g.
He can’t speak three languages, can he
Use a negative tag with a positive question, e.g.
You will remember to bring the book, won’t you
◗ Simple, complex and compound sentences
1. Simple sentences have only one clause, e.g.
Lesedi likes curry. Lesedi likes hot curry.
2. Complex sentences have clauses that tell us more about
the main clause. The subordinate clause is joined to the main
clause with a conjunction such as because, when or if, e.g.
Lesedi likes curry, because he likes spicy food.
(subordinate clause of reason)
Lesedi eats curry when he is at his grandmother’s house.
(subordinate clause of place)
Lesedi likes curry if it is made with lots of chilli.
(subordinate clause of manner)
3. Compound sentences have two or more main clauses, e.g.
Lesedi likes curry but his brother Thato prefers burgers.
◗ Subject, object and predicate
• Sentences always have a subject and a verb.
The referee whistled loudly.
• Sentences can have an object as well. The verb and object
together are called the predicate.
The referee whistled at the offside player.
subject verb object
The player kicked the ball with his right foot.
subject verb direct object indirect object
◗ Subject-verb agreement
This is also called concord. The form of the verb has to agree
with the subject. This is one of the most common mistakes.
This is also often tested in language examinations.
◗ Subject-verb agreement of regular verbs
Notice that for regular verbs, the verb gets an –s if the subject
falls into the category of third person singular.
first person singular (I)
second person singular (You)
third person singular
Read this extract from a dictionary:
I wear smart clothes.
We wear smart clothes.
You wear smart clothes.
You all wear smart clothes.
He/She/Naledi wears smart clothes.
They wear smart clothes.
◗ Subject-verb agreement of irregular verbs
Notice that for irregular verbs, the verb form changes completely.
first person: singular (I)
second person singular (You)
third person singular (He/She)
I am in Form 2.
We are in Form 2.
You are in Form 2.
You all are in Form 2.
He/She/Naledi is in Form 2.
They are in Form 2.
◗ Relative clauses
1. Relative clauses are introduced by relative pronouns, e.g. who
if the clause refers to people, and that or which if the clause
refers to things or places, e.g. Our examination which/that was
written on Monday was easy!
2. We can usually use either that or which. But some grammarians
prefer to be strict about this, and use which for less important
clauses. Those clauses should also be in commas, e.g.
The day that I won the competition changed my life.
Note: Use that because the clause is essential.
My shoes, which are black, are made from leather. Use which and
put the clause in commas, because the information about the
shoes being black is extra to the meaning of the sentence.
3. A common examination question is to ask you to explain the
difference between two relative clauses, e.g.
My uncle, who lives in Francistown, is a doctor.
My uncle who lives in Francistown is a doctor.
The first sentence means the speaker only has one uncle, so the
fact that he lives in Francistown is extra. The second sentence
means the speaker has more than one uncle, and it is the one who
lives in Francistown who is a doctor.
Headword Part of speech Pronounciation Meaning
Chicken (n) tshi-ken (1) A bird used in farming, for poultry
or eggs. (2) The meat of this bird, eaten: We had chicken
stew for supper. (3) (adj) cowardly (slang): The bullies were
too chicken to confront anyone bigger than themselves.
A thesaurus is a dictionary that gives synonyms. It does not
explain meaning. Read this extract from a thesaurus:
Cold: chilly, freezing, frozen, icy, wintry, cool
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Heinemann Exploring English Form 2 covers all the requirements of the Revised Junior
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Exploring English Form 2 helps students to understand the subject:
• Each chapter lists the learning objectives helping students to clearly understand what
they need to be able to do
• The wide range of varied activities and additional information enables students
to explore the content
• Clear and concise language makes the content accessible for students
• A comprehensive glossary defines and explains new and difficult words.
Exploring English Form 2 helps students to pass the subject:
• Exercises help students test their understanding of the subject and build confidence
• Chapter summaries reinforce learning
• Revision exercises expose students to a variety of commonly used examination questions
• A sample examination paper provides valuable exam practice.
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Pronouns are confusing to many people!
• Subject pronouns are easy, e.g.
I am short.
We/You are short.
He/she/it is short.
• Object pronouns are as follows:
Give the ball to me/you/him/her/us.
Here are some of the common pronoun mistakes, e.g.
Can my brother and me go to the library X
Can my brother and I go to the library ✓
The teacher wants to see you and I. X
The teacher wants to see you and me. ✓
He and her are prefects at school. X
He and she are prefects at school. ✓
• Possessive pronouns show that something belongs to
the person or thing, e.g.
That bicycle is mine. Is this your bicycle Is this yours
Each candidate must write his/her name on the paper.
• Other possessive pronouns are my, our, ours, hers, its, their
and theirs. Look out for these mistakes, both in your
writing and as examination questions.
The dog ate it’s food. (should be its)
Here is you’re coffee. (should be your)
• Context: Before you read the text, try to work out
where it comes from. Is it a magazine article, a newspaper
report, an extract from a textbook, etc This will help you
understand the text.
• Skim: Read the text very quickly, casting your eye over the
headings, sub-headings, illustrations and captions. This will
help you work out what the text is about.
• Identify the question type:
1. Multiple-choice questions ask you to choose the best
answer. Be careful: sometimes there is one option that is
almost right, but another that is better.
2. True/false questions ask you to agree or disagree with a
statement. Often you are asked to provide evidence or to
quote from the text to support your choice.
3. Quotes: when you are asked to quote, use quotation marks!
4. Analytical questions: these are the more difficult
questions that ask you to give your opinion, to comment
on the writing style or on the author’s point of view.
5. Questions about an advertisement will ask you
to explain how words are used to sell a product or
idea. Adjectives and adverbs can be persuasive. Some
advertisements use exaggeration, such as promising that
you will look more attractive if you use a product.
6. Read the marks: use the mark allocation as a guide as
to how much to write. If a question is worth 1 mark,
then don’t write five lines in your answer!
Likewise, write more if a question Exploring is
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Exploring English Form 2 Student’s Book
KEY CONCEPT CHART
Figures of speech
Use the following to make your writing and your speech
• Idioms are well known phrases or sayings, e.g.
The corruption is just the tip of the iceberg, there is a lot more
to be uncovered.
• Metaphors are comparisons, e.g.
You are an angel to help me so much.
• Similes: similes are very similar to metaphors. They use
the words like or as in the comparison, e.g.
Her eyes are as cold as ice.
• Imagery is to draw a picture of something by using words.
Note: metaphors and similes are types of images!
I have a ton of homework to do!
When I finish school, I will be starting my journey on the river
◗ Short pieces include letters, reports, dialogues or
interviews, speeches, emails and curriculum vitaes. You might
even be asked to design an advert.
• Layout for letters: remember that the address and date
go on the right, and the opening goes below that, on the
left. Formal letters end with Yours faithfully followed by your
name. Informal letters can be ended with Yours sincerely or
the even more informal Best wishes or All the best. Formal
letters have an underlined subject line such as “Application for
employment” or “Order of books”.
• Layout of a curriculum vitae (CV): use lots of sub-headings
to make your CV look very clear. Give your personal details
first, such as age and address. Then have sub-headings such as
Education qualifications, Work experience and References.
• Instructions and directions are another type of short writing
text. Here you use imperatives, such as Turn left at the street.
Keep your sentences short, and make sure the order is clear.
There are different types of essays:
1. Creative essays, which include narratives or stories and
descriptions. Typical topics are Describe an event that changed
your life or A rainstorm.
2. Factual essays, which ask you to explain information on a
topic, such as Choose any Botswana tradition and explain it.
3. Argumentative essays, where you might be asked to
discuss more than one opinion, or you could be asked to
argue strongly in favour of one opinion. For example, you
could be asked to explain the advantages and disadvantages of
cell phones. Or you could get a topic like this: Should the legal
age for drinking alcohol be increased to 21 Explain your opinion.
What examiners like:
1. Write a strong introduction and a strong conclusion as
these leave a good impression on the examiner.
2. Make sure that the body of your essay is divided into
paragraphs that have a clear topic sentence.
3. Edit your work for mistakes, so that your final draft is as
good as possible.