comparison: using comparatives and superlatives

The difference between comparatives and superlatives We use the comparative to compare one person or thing with (an)other person(s) or thing(s). We use the superlative to compare one person or thing with his/her/its whole group. Compare: Mary’s taller than her three sisters. Mary’s the tallest of the four girls. Your accent is worse than mine….

principal / principle

A principle (n.) is a fundamental idea, belief, philosophy, or rule: My daughter is learning the basic principles of physics in her science class. Power in the hands of the people is one of the key principles of democracy. He would never steal from the company – he’s a man of high principles. The word…

Parts of the body

Grammar: Usually we use my, your, his, her, etc. with parts of the body. Jane is washing her hair. I have a pain in my leg. [not Jane is washing the- hair. NOT I have a pain in -the leg.]

Scene artd Scenery – Scene

Scene artd Scenery – Scene Don’t Say:The TV crew arrived at the scenery. Say:The TV crew arrived at the scene.

Write to a person, not write a person

Write to a person, not write a person Don’t Say:I’ll write her tomorrow. Say:I’ll write to her tomorrow. Note:When the direct object of write is expressed, omit the preposition I’ll write him a letter.

Full of, not with or from

Full of, not with or from Don’t Say:The jar was full with (or from) oil. Say:The jar was full of oil. Note:Fill takes with Jane filled the glass with water.

Wrong use of the with society

Wrong use of the with society Don’t Say: A thief is a danger to the society. Say: A thief is a danger to society. Note: Use the definite article if society is used (1) in a particular sense: The society of The Greeks was based on freedom; (2) in the sense of companionship: I enjoy…

dirty / messy

If an area is messy, it means it is disorganized, with many various objects all over the place. A messy area needs to be organized and things put in their proper places. My desk is so messy – there are piles of documents everywhere. I can’t find anything I need. But if an area is…

Go for a walk, not make a walk

Go for a walk, not make a walk Don’t Say:We made a walk along the river. Say:We went for a walk along the river. Note:We can also say We had a walk or We took a walk along the river.

Wrong use of the with nature

Wrong use of the with nature Don’t Say:The nature is beautiful in spring. Say:Nature is beautiful in spring. Note:Use the definite article if nature is used in other meanings: If is in the nature of a dog to be faithful.

at, in and on (time)

[ at + exact time in + part of day on + particular day at + weekend, public holiday in + longer period] Exact times I usually get up at six o’clock. I’ll meet you at 4.15. Phone me at lunch time. In informal English, we say What time . . . ? (At what…

Enter (= go into)

Enter (= go into) Don’t Say:We entered into the classroom. Say:We entered the classroom. Note:We enter into a conversation, a debate, or a dfscussion.


Cardinal numbers: Note: There is no plural ‘s’ after hundred, thousand, million and billion when they are part of a number. On their own, they can be plural, e.g. thousands of people; millions of insects. Ordinal numbers and dates: One of the problems with dates is that we write them and say them in a…

Prevent from + -ing

Prevent from + -ing Don’t Say:The rain prevented me to go. Say:The rain prevented me from going.

Could + infinitive without to

Could + infinitive without to Don’t Say:I could not to see you yesterday. Say:I could not/couldn’t see you yesterday.


Types of weather: Adjectives and verbs: It’s a sunny day in Tokyo today, but it’s cloudy in Hong Kong. It’s foggy in Sydney and it’s snowing / it’s snowy in Moscow. It’s raining in Barcelona but the sun is shining in Granada. It’s lovely weather today, isn’t it! [NOT It’s -a- lovely weather.] It’s a…

5 Ways to Respond to an Apology

1. That’s OK.2. It happens.3. No problem.4. Don’t worry about it.5. I forgive you. (for serious problems)

Misuse of able as a verb

Misuse of able as a verb Don’t Say:The poor man doesn’t able to pay. Say:The poor man isn’t able to pay. Note:Able is an adjective, and we can’t use it as a verb.

Using till instead of before or when

Using till instead of before or when Don’t Say:I’d reached the school till the rain started. Say:I’d reached the school before the rain started. Or I’d reached the school when the rain started. Note:Before or when introduces a clause of time, if the verb of the main clause denotes an action completed before that of…

so / such

The rule here is simple: so + adjective such + adjective + noun (person/object described) Compare these sentences: Their dog is so cute. They have such a cute dog. Her kids are so obedient. She has such obedient kids. Both so and such can be used in sentences where we add that + result: My…

Know for Learn, etc

Know for Learn, etc Don’t Say:Dan went to school to know English. Say:Dan went to school to learn English. Note:Use know when learning is finished: She knows how to swim. Similarly, avoid using know to mean find out Of realise.

how and what… like?

We use how to ask about things that change — for example people’s moods and health. We use what . . . like to ask about things that do not change — for example, people’s appearance and character. Compare: How’s Ron?’ ‘He’s very well.’ What’s Ron like? ‘He’s tall and dark, and a bit shy….

The subject misplaced in indirect questions

The subject misplaced in indirect questions Don’t Say:The teacher asked me what games did I play? Say:The teacher asked me what games I played. Note:In indirect questions follow the usual order of word?: subject first and then verb.


Homonyms can be subdivided into homographs and homophones. Homographs are words which are written in the same way but have different meanings. Compare bow in ‘He took a bow /bau/ at the end of the concert’ and ‘He was wearing a bow /bau/ tie’. Homophones are words which are pronounced in the same way but…

In for Within

In for Within Don’t Say:I’ll come back in an hour – if you mean before the end of an hour. Say:I’ll come back within an hour. Note:in means after the end of, within means before the end of.

awkward / embarrassing

Something that is embarrassing makes you feel uncomfortable in front of other people. Your face turns red and you wish you could disappear! If you are singing a song in a performance, and you forget the words, that would be embarrassing. If you are introduced to somebody, and then later you call them by the…

Misuse of others as an adjective

Misuse of others as an adjective Don’t Say:The others boys aren’t here. Say:The other boys aren’t here. Note:Others isn’t an adjective but a pronoun. The adjective fs otfrer (without the s) We can say. The others aren’t here omitting thtf noun boys

Words similar to Attractive

Words similar to Attractive : beautiful – He has beautiful eyes. Cute – You have a cute dog. lovely – That is a lovely dress. stunning – Your necklace is stunning. gorgeous – They live in a gorgeous house. good-looking – She is really good-looking. handsome – He is an extremely handsome man. pretty –…

some/any and no article

We use some and any when we are talking about fairly small numbers or quantities. Compare: Have you got any animals? (NOT Have you got animals?) Do you like animals? ( = all animals) Some and any refer to uncertain, indefinite or unknown numbers or quantities. Compare: You’ve got some great pop records. You’ve got…