Compound adjectives

A compound adjective is an adjective which is made up of two parts and is usually written with a hyphen, e.g. well-dressed, never-ending and shocking-pink. Its meaning is usually clear from the words it combines. The second part of the compound adjective is frequently a present or past participle. A large number of compound adjectives…

irregular verbs

This is a list of common irregular verbs. You may like to learn them by heart. Infinitive Simple past Past participle arise arose arisen awake awoke awoken be was, were been beat beat beaten become became become begin began begun bend bent bent bite bit bitten bleed bled bled blow blew blown break broke broken…

own

We only use own after a possessive word. It’s nice if a child can have his own room. I’m my own boss. Note the structure a … of one’s own. It’s nice if a child can have a room of his own. I ‘d like to have a car of my own. We can use…

fewer and less

Fewer is the comparative of few (used before plural nouns). Less is the comparative of little (used before uncountable nouns, which are singular). few problems fewer problems little money less money I’ve got fewer problems than I used to have. I earn less money than a postman. In informal English, some people use less with…

other and others

When other is an adjective, it has no plural. Where are the other photos? (NOT . . . the others photos?) Have you got any other colours? When other is used alone, without a noun, it can have a plural. Some grammars are easier to understand than others I’ll be late. Can you tell the…

Rise and Raise – Rise

Rise and Raise – Rise Don’t Say:Val raises very early in the morning. Say:Val rises very early in the morning.

Omission of the before names of musical instruments

Omission of the before names of musical instruments Don’t Say:I play violin, but not piano. Say:I play the violin, but not the piano. Note:Use the definite article before the names of musical instruments.

Prepare the English You Personally will Use the Most

“I think everyone’s weird. We should all celebrate our individuality and not be embarrassed or ashamed of it.”– Johnny DeppWhen working out the most common words, think carefully about the most common words YOU will use. This is an extra level of efficiency, and it’s also why following English course books is generally a terrible…

To and At – At

To and At – At Don’t Say:Someone is standing to the door. Say:Someone is standing at the door.

Let for Make (= to force)

Let for Make (= to force) Don’t Say:The examiner let me sit quietly until everyone had finished. Say:The examiner made me sit quietly until everyone had finished. Note:Don’t use let, in the sense of make, meaning to force.

early / soon

The word soon means a short time after now, a short time in the future. If right now it is April, and Harry will graduate from college in May, then he’ll be graduating from college soon. If it’s 5:30 and I will be home at 6:00, then I will get home from work soon. The…

The Power of Flashcards, Done the Right Way

“We breathe in our first language, and swim in our second.”– Adam GopnikFlash cards are a fun and powerful tool for learning words quickly. Just make sure you use them the correct way. We already know this means always speaking the word in a full sentence, not just alone. Also, use flashcards on the 100…

Hear for Listen

Hear for Listen Don’t Say:I was hearing her CDs. Say:I was listening to her CDs. Note:To listen to may also mean to think carefully about what someone says Geny always, listens to his mother.

Throw it used instead of throw it away

Throw it used instead of throw it away Don’t Say:It’s dirty, throw it. Say:It’s dirty, throw it away. Note:Throw it means to throw a thing at someone or somewhere, such as a ball. Throw it away means to get rid of it by throwing it aside.

Complain about, not for

Complain about, not for Don’t Say:Annette complained for the weather. Say:Annette complained about the weather. Note:When talking about illness we use complain of. We Say: She complained of a sore throat.

Just now for Presently, etc

Just now for Presently, etc Don’t Say:The messenger will arrive just now. Say:The messenger will arrive presently. Note:If we are speaking of a near and immediate future time, we must use presently, immediately, in a minute, or soon Just now refers to present or past time, and not to future time: He’s not at home…

How to Speak English Fluently

Fluency is the ability to speak a language with ease, without any hiccups! Now, you must be wondering what I mean by ‘without any hiccups’. Do not take that literally! It is an idiom. An idiom is a group of words whose actual meaning is different from the literal meaning. ‘Without any hiccups’ does not…

alive / life / live

The word l-i-v-e has two pronunciations: The verb live (with the “i” sound in “sit”) means to reside: I live in a small house. She lives in France. The adjective live (with the “i” sound in “like”) has a few different meanings. When music or a TV broadcast is happening in real time (it was…

Onomatopoeic words

Onomatopoeic words are those which seem to sound like their meaning. The most obvious examples are verbs relating to the noises which animals make, e.g. cows moo and cats mew or meow. If the vowel sound in a word is short, an onomatopoeic word usually signifies a short, sharp sound. If it is long (indicated…

Attack (= go and fight against)

Attack (= go and fight against) Don’t Say:They attacked against the enemy. Say:They attacked the enemy. Note:We say, to make an attack on: They made an attack on the enemy.

Making uncountable words countable

You can make many uncountable nouns singular by adding a bit of or a piece of. Similarly you can make such nouns plural with bits of or pieces of. (Bit is less formal than piece.) She bought an attractive old piece of furniture at the auction sale. How many pieces of luggage have you got…

during and in

We use both during and in to say that something happens inside a particular period of time. We’ll be on holiday during/in August. I woke up during/in the night. We prefer during when we stress that we are talking about the whole of the period. The shop’s closed during the whole of August. (NOT ….

Tired of + -ing

Tired of + -ing Don’t Say:The customer got tired to wait, Say:The customer got tired of waiting.

few / little / less / fewer

Few is used with countable nouns, and little is used with uncountable nouns: I have a little money. (money = uncountable) I have a few dollars. (dollars = countable) There’s little entertainment in this town. (entertainment = uncountable) There are few nightclubs in this town. (nightclubs = countable) ne important detail: little is used with…

determiners

Determiners are words like the, my, this, some, either, every, enough, several. Determiners come at the beginning of noun phrases, but they are not adjectives. the moon a nice day my fat old cat this house every week several young students We cannot usually put two determiners together. We can say the house, my house…

compliment / complement

These two words are pronounced the same, but they are spelled differently and have different meanings. Compliment can be both a noun and a verb. A compliment is a positive comment about someone or something, for example: “You have beautiful eyes!” And the verb compliment (or the expression “pay someone a compliment”) means to make…

intend / tend

If you intend to do something, it means you plan to do it. You have the desire or idea to do it in your mind, but the action has not been performed yet. For example: I intend to go to grad school next year. The Olympic athlete intends to become a coach after retiring from…

Leave for Let

Leave for Let Don’t Say:Penny didn’t leave me to get my book. Say:Penny didn’t let me get my book. Note:Let means to allow Leave means to abandon or to go away from: Do you leave your books at school?

Words with -ence and -ance

Words with -ence and -ance : — ence acquiescence, adherence, adolescence, audience, circumference, coincidence, concurrence, conference, confidence, confluence, conscience, consequence, convenience, correspondence, defence, dependence, difference, eloquence, excellence, existence, experience, impertinence, impudence, independence, indifference, influence, innocence, insistence, insolence, intelligence, interference, lenience, licence, magnificence, negligence, obedience, occurrence, offence, patience, penitence, permanence, persistence, precedence, preference, presence, prudence, reminiscence,…