This sound is called a Diphthong. A Diphthong is a complex vowel sound that begins with the sound of one vowel and ends with the sound of another vowel in the same syllable.

Spelling the ̸̸̸ ei ̸̸̸ Sound

You can spell the sound in various ways in English.

 a…e                  ai                   ay                   ey                     ei      

            same                faint                 way                 obey                eight

            gate                 paid                 tray                  grey                 weigh

            wake                maid                day                  prey                 veil

            cake                 gait                  play                 they                 rein

  ea                     a                    unusual            unusual

            great                data                 dossier             bouquet

            steak                nasal                ballet               gauge

            break               naval                sachet              feign


Some people confuse ̸̸ ei ̸̸ with ̸̸ e ̸̸. Your mouth should be more open for ̸̸ e ̸̸ than for ̸̸ ei ̸̸.

            wet                                  wait     ̸̸ weit ̸̸

            met                                  mate   

            fell                                     fail      

            get                                    gate    

            men                                main   

EXERCISE: Apart from the words given in the examples, give ten other words produced with the sound ̸̸ ei ̸̸.



Verb can be defined as an action word. Verbs relate the action of the subject to a specific time through the grammatical device known as TENSE.

It is through the use of the correct tense in a speech or writing that you as the reader or listener can tell when the action being described takes place.


Tense is simply known as Time. It is the term used to describe the form taken by a verb to indicate the time an action was done. Tense expresses the difference between present time and past time, it also expresses the difference between real and unreal meaning. Examples of Verb tenses:

  1. Simple present tense: talks, talk, am, is, are.
  2. Simple past tense: talked, was, were.
  3. Simple future tense: shall, will.


This tense is used when you mean someone does something regularly, something happens regularly or something goes on all the time. Examples;

  • The cock crows at dawn.
  • I watch TV sometimes.

The simple present tense is often used with adverbs like sometimes, always, usually, every day and never, as it is used in the above example.

The simple present tense has two forms:

  1. A single subject and the third-person singular (that is, he, she or it) take the form of verb which end with ‘s’. Examples:
  2. Ade jogs every morning.
  3. He jogs every morning.
  4. The other form of the verb which does not end with ‘s’. This is used with plural subjects as well as pronouns like I, you, we, and they. Examples:
  5. Ade, Ahmed and Victor jog every morning.
  6. I/we/you/they jog every morning.

In order to form the negative statement, we use the third-person singular form of the auxiliary verb ‘do’, followed by the negative particle ‘not’ with the stem of the verb. We also use the verb ‘do’ in forming Yes/No questions. Examples;

  • She prays regularly. (a positive statement)
  • She does not pray regularly (a negative statement)
  • Does she pray regularly? (a Yes/No question)
  • They pray regularly. (a positive statement)
  • They do not pray regularly (a negative statement)
  • Do they pray regularly? (a Yes/No question)


This tense is used to refer to something that has already happened and was completed in the past. It is often used with adverb of time. Example;

  • I went to school yesterday.
  • He killed the cat.

The majority of verbs in English are regular verbs. Regular Verbs are verbs which form their past tense forms by simply adding ‘d’ or ‘ed’. Examples; arrive – arrived, play – played, etc.

However, there are some verbs in English that form their simple past tense forms in other ways. These are Irregular Verbs. Examples; go – went, speak – spoke, meet – met.

The verb ‘to be’ has two common simple past tense forms – the singular form ‘was’ and the plural form ‘were’. The plural form is also used with the second-person singular pronoun ‘you’. Example;

  • I was hungry.
  • They were hungry.

Note that the simple past tense of the verb to do – did is used when we form negative statements and questions about things that took place or did not take place in the past. Examples;

  • Ngozi cooked the food. (a positive statement)
  • Ngozi did not cook the food. (a negative statement)
  • Did Ngozi cook the food? (a Yes/No question)


This tense is used when you want to say that something has not yet happened but will happen at some time in the future. The tense is made up of two parts – the modal auxiliaries ‘will’ or ‘shall’ plus the base/infinitive form of the verb being used. Examples;

  • I/we shallleave for Kano tomorrow.
  • He/she/you/ it willleave for Kano tomorrow.

In the future tense, when the subject is I or we, we use ‘shall’. However, he, she, they, it and all nouns take ‘will’ after them.

‘Shall’ and ‘Will’ can also be used to form negative statements and Yes/No questions. In addition, the negative statements are formed by adding ‘not’ to ‘shall’ and ‘will’ while the Yes/No questions are formed by putting ‘shall’ or ‘will’ before its subject.

Note that ‘shall not’ is often shortened to shan’t and ‘will not’ is shortened to won’t. Examples;

  • I shall leave tomorrow.
  • I shall not leave tomorrow OR I shan’t leave tomorrow.
  • Shall I leave tomorrow?
  • They will leave tomorrow.
  • They will not leave tomorrow OR They won’t leave tomorrow.
  • Will they leave tomorrow?

Furthermore, ‘shall’ and ‘will’ (or ll) can both be used to make suggestions such as:

  • Shall I add more salt to the soup to make it taste better? OR I’ll add more salt to the soup to make it taste better, shall I?
  • Will he go to the cinema this evening? OR He’ll go to the cinema this evening, will he?

Will and won’t also indicate willingness. For example;

  • Will you lend me your book? OR Lend me your book, will you?

Such requests are usually answered by Yes. However, you could say, ‘No, I won’t’ if you want to give a direct refusal.

EXERCISE: State the tense of the verb used in the following sentences.

  1. Mr Adam loves the dog.
  2. She cried her eyes out.
  3. I shall visit my mother tomorrow.
  4. Ade and Sola will attend the party.
  5. They play football every day.
  6. We eat Jollof rice every Sunday.
  7. She speaks fluently.
  8. My mother came to your house.
  9. Shall we go to the cinema this evening?
  10. Will they be allowed to travel next week?