Phrasal verbs

What are phrasal verbs? Phrasal verbs have two parts: a verb + a preposition, get up/on/over I got up at 6.30 this morning. I’m tired now. I hated my sister when I was young but now we get on very well. He soon got over his cold. (= he got better quickly) turn on/off/up/down He…

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 ….

both (of) with nouns and pronouns

We can put both (of) before nouns and pronouns. Before a noun with a determiner (for example: the, my, these), both and both of are both possible. Both (of) my parents like riding. She s eaten both (of) the chops. We can also use both without a determiner. She’s eaten both chops. (= … both…

The Senses

The Five Basic Senses: These are: sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. For each one we use a basic verb, which can be followed by an adjective or noun in these constructions: It looks terrible, (from what I could see) It looks like a wedding cake. He sounds German, (from what I heard) It sounds…

as if and as though

[as if/though + subject + present/past verb as if/though + subject + past verb with present meaning] As if and as though mean the same. We use them to say what a situation seems like. It looks as if/though it’s going to rain. I felt as if/though I was dying. We can use a past…

sympathetic

Sympathetic is a ‘false friend’ for people who speak European languages. It does not mean the same as sympathique, sympathisch, sympatisk, simpaticoetc. The people in my class are all very nice/pleasant (NOT . . . very sympathetic.) Sympathetic means ‘sharing somebody’s feelings’ or ‘sorry for somebody who is in trouble’. I’m sympathetic towards the strikers….

it: preparatory object

We sometimes use it as a preparatory object. This happens most often in the structures make it clear that . . . and find/make it easy/difficult to .. . George made it clear that he wasn’t interested. I found it easy to talk to her. You make it difficult to refuse

(Great) Britain, the United Kingdom, the British Isles and England

Britain (or Great Britain) and the United Kingdom (or the UK) include England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. (Sometimes Britain or Great Britain is used just for the island which includes England, Scotland and Wales, without Northern Ireland.) The British Isles is the name for England, Scotland, Wales, the whole of Ireland, and all the…

subjunctive

The subjunctive is a special verb form that looks the same as the infinitive. It is sometimes used to say that something should be done. It’s important that everybody write to the President. The Director asked that he be allowed to advertise for more staff. In British English the subjunctive is unusual. We usually express…

travel, journey and trip

Travel means ‘travelling in general’. It is uncountable. My interests are music and travel. A journey is one ‘piece’ of travelling. A trip is a journey together with the activity which is the reason for the journey. I’m going on a business trip next week. (= I’m going on a journey and I’m going to…

passive structures: introduction

They built [this house] in 1486. (active)This house was built in 1486. (passive) Channel Islanders speak [French] and English, (active) [French] is spoken in France, Belgium, Switzerland, the Channel Islands, . . . (passive) A friend of ours is repairing [the roof].(active) [The roof] is being repaired by a friend of ours, (passive) This book…

Suffixes

Suffixes come at the end of words. They help you to understand the meaning of a new word. Here are some common suffixes. He’s a hard worker. He works 12 hours a day. Her tennis is much better now that she has a new instructor She’s a very good swimmer. She was in the Olympic…

Time words (2)

Time in relation to now: Now means at this moment. Then means at another moment (usually in the past). When we talk about time in general, we talk about the past, the present and the future. We talk about the past, the present and the future forms of the verb, for example In the past…

have + object + verb form

We often use the structure [have + object + verb form] It’s nice to have people smile at you in the street. We ‘ll soon have your car going. We use I won’thave + object + verb form to say that we refuse to allow or accept something. I won’t have you telling me what…

short answers

When we answer yes/no questions, we often repeat the subject and auxiliary verb of the question. Can he swim?’ ‘Yes, he can. ‘ Has It stopped raining?’ ‘No, it hasn’t. ‘ Be and have can be used in short answers. Are you happy?’ ‘Yes, I am.’ Have you a light?’ ‘Yes, I have. ‘ We…

slow(ly)

In an informal style, we sometimes use slow as an adverb instead of slowly. Drive slow — I think we ‘re nearly there. Can you go slow for a minute? Slow is used in road signs. SLOW— DANGEROUS BEND

have: introduction

We can use have in several different ways. a. auxiliary verb Have you heard about Peter and Corinne? b. to talk about possession, relationships, and other states: I’ve got a new car. Have you got any brothers or sisters? Do you often have headaches? c. to talk about actions: I’m going to have a bath….

singular and plural: anybody etc

Anybody, anyone, somebody, someone, nobody, no-one, everybody and everyone are used with singular verbs. Is everybody ready?(NOT Are everybody ready?) However, we often use they, them and their to refer to these words, especially in an informal style. If anybody calls, tell them I’m out, but take their name and address. Nobody phoned, did they?…

any and no: adverbs

[any/no + comparative any/no different any/no good/use] Any and no can modify ( = change the meaning of) comparatives. You don’t look any older than your daughter. ( = You don’t look at all older . . .) I can’t go any further I’m afraid the weather’s no better than yesterday. We also use any…

discourse markers

Discourse means ‘pieces of language longer than a sentence’. Some words and expressions are used to show how discourse is constructed. They can show the connection between something we have said and something we are going to say; or they can show the connection between what somebody else has said and what we are saying;…

Eating out

Places where you can eat: cafe: you can have a cup of tea/coffee and a snack there (= something small to eat like a sandwich or a cake). They sometimes serve meals there too. restaurant: you go there for a full meal; more expensive than a cafe. bar/pub: bars and pubs serve alcohol and soft…

(a)round and about

We usually use round for movement or position in a circle, or in a curve. We all sat round the table. I walked round the car and looked at the whe ‘Where do you live?’ ‘Just round the corner. ‘ We also use round when we talk about going to all (or most) parts of…

Create SMART Goals to Double Your English Learning Speed

“Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.”–Fitzhugh Dodson Setting concrete goals is scientifically proven to increase your learning speed. Our brains are simply directed by goals – the more specific the goals are the better. Your mind is like a heat-seeking missile. It locks…

both… and…

[both + adjective + and + adjective both + noun + and + noun both + clause + and + clause] We usually put the same kind of words after both and and. She’s both pretty and clever (adjectives) I spoke to both the Director and his secretary (nouns) (NOT I both spoke to the…

all and whole

[all + determiner + noun] [determiner + whole + noun] 1. Whole means ‘complete’, ‘every part of’. All and whole can both be used with singular nouns. They have similar meanings, but the word order is different. Compare: Julie spent all the summer at home.         all my life Julie spent the…

if only

We can use If only … I to say that we would like things to be different. It means the same as I wish , but is more emphatic. We use the same tenses after if only as after I wish: a. past to talk about the present If only I knew more people! If…

as much/many … as …

We use as much … as .. . with a singular (uncountable) noun, and as many … as .. . with a plural. Compare: We need as much time as possible. We need as many cars as possible. As much/many can be used without a following noun. I ate as much as I wanted. Rest…

accurate / exact / precise

The word exact means that something is perfectly correct. an exact replica/copy someone’s exact words; the exact wording/phrase exact measurements an exact amount the exact date/time/place The word accurate can mean “perfectly correct” as well, but it can also mean “almost correct; correct enough to be useful.” an accurate number, measurement, calculation = a correct…

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…

reported speech: questions

In reported questions, the subject comes before the verb. He asked where I was going. I asked where the President and his wife were staying. Auxiliary do is not used. Question marks are not used. We asked where the money was. (NOT . . . where the money was?) When there is no question word…