Literacy Skills Test – Grammar Help

For those of you who don’t know, before you start a teaching course in England and Wales you have to pass the Professional Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy. More information about the tests can be found on the government website here. My Literacy test is next week and I thought I would share with you my grammar notes that I made.

Should of / Should Have

The phrase should have indicates a missed obligation or opportunity in the past. In informal speech, it is contracted to should’ve, not “should of.”

You should have (should’ve) called me!

You should of called me!

I should have (should’ve) known you were lying.
I should of known you were lying.

Tom and Pauline are so selfish, they should have (should’ve) been there for you.

Should have should never be written “should of.” However, the latter does exist: when should is followed by an expression that begins with of.

You should, of course, compare prices.

Past: You should, of course, have compared prices.

He should, of his own will, do the right thing.
Past: He should, of his own will, have done the right thing.

Who / Whom

The difference between who and whom is exactly the same as the difference between I and me , he and him, she and her, etc. Who, like I, he, and she, is a subject – it is the person performing the action of the verb. Whom, like me, him, and her, is an object – it is the person to/about/for whom the action is being done.

Have / Has

They can both be used to show possession and are important in making the ‘perfect tenses‘.
‘Had’ is the past tense of both ‘has’ and ‘have’.


Have is used with some pronouns and plural nouns:
‘I have a great English teacher.’
‘You have toothpaste on your chin.’
‘We have a meeting at 12.’

‘Nurses have a difficult job.’


Has is used with the third person singular. For example:
‘She has a great personality.’
‘He has a new haircut.’
‘The washing machine has a leak in it’.
‘It has a hole near the door.’

Affect / Effect

affect – noun


  • feeling, affection
  • a set of observable manifestations of a subjectively experienced emotion

There is also a transitive verb variation of affect that means “to produce an effect upon.” This is used in cases such as: “Will the weather affect our commute?” or “Her disgust with the lead actor greatly affected her ability to enjoy the film.” The noun version of affect listed above is more relevant in our examination of the word affective, since they’re directly linked.

effect – noun


  • a change that results when something is done or happens
  • an event, condition, or state of affairs that is produced by a cause

Affective and Effective

affective – adjective


  • relating to, arising from, or influencing feelings or emotions
  • expressing emotion


  • Your teacher doesn’t have the most affective personality.

effective – adjective


  • producing a result that is wanted, having an intended effect
  • starting at a particular time


  • Effective communication at all levels will ensure that a trip goes well.



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