-ing form after to

We sometimes use an ing form after to. I look forward to seeing you. (NOT . . . to see you.) I’m not used to getting up early. These structures may seem strange. In fact, to is two words: a. a part of the infinitive I want to go home. Help me to understand b….

born

To be born is passive. Hundreds of children are born deaf every year. To talk about somebody’s date or place of birth, use the simple past tense was/were born. I was born in 1936. (NOT: I am born in 1936.) My parents were both born in Scotland.

reflexive pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, oneself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves. We use reflexive pronouns to talk about actions where the subject and the object are the same person. I cut myself shaving this morning. (NOT I cut me . . .) We got out of the river and dried ourselves (NOT . ….

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?…

although and though

1. Both these words can be used as conjunctions. They mean the same. Though is informal. (Al)though I don’t agree with him, I think he’s honest. She went on walking, (al)though she was terribly tired. I’ll talk to him, (although I don’t think it’ll do any good. We use even though to emphasize a contrast….

able / capable

The difference between these words is extremely small – but usually we use able to describe current things someone can do, and capable to talk about someone’s future potential. It is not a strict rule, just a general tendency. She’s able to play a song perfectly after hearing it only once. (she can currently do…

that: omission

We can often leave out the conjunction that, especially in an informal style. Relative pronoun We can leave out the relative pronoun that when it is the object of the relative clause. Look! There are the people (that) we met in Brighton. Reported speech We can leave out that aftetmore common verbs. Compare: James said…

Pollution and the Environment

Important definitions: People are more worried about the environment (= the air, water, and land around us) as a result of the harmful (= dangerous/damaging) effects of human activity. Some of these activities cause pollution (= dirty air, land and water) and some are destroying the environment (= damaging it so badly that soon parts…

singular and plural: pronunciation of plural nouns

The plural ending -(e)s has three different pronunciations. After one of the ‘sibilant’ sounds /s/, Izl, ll, /3A /tj/ and /d3A -es is pronounced hzl. buses/’bASiz/ crashes /’kraefiz/ watches/’wotjiz/ quizzes/’ kwiziz/ garages/’gaera:3iz/ br/dges/’brid3iz/ After any other ‘unvoiced’ sound (/pA /f/, /0/, /t/ or /k/), -(ejs is pronounced /s/. cups /kAps/ bafbs /ba:0s/ boo/cs/buks/ coughs /kofs/…

singular and plural: spelling of plural nouns

If the singular ends in consonant + -y (for example -by, -dy, -ry, -ty), change yto / and add -es. Singular consonant + y baby lady ferry party Plural consonant + ies babies ladies ferries parties If the singular ends in ch, sh, s, x or z, add -es. Singular | -ch/-sh/-s/-x/-z church crash bus…

some: special uses

We can use some (with the strong pronunciation /said/) to make a contrast with others, all or enough. Some people like the sea; others prefer the mountains. Some of us were late, but we were all there by ten o’clock. I’ve got some money, but not enough. We can use some (/saiti/) with a singular…

for, since, from, ago and before

For, since and from ‘point forwards’ in time. Ago and before ‘point backwards’ in time. THEN for three months >N0W since my birthday THEN from six o’clock NOW from now on three years ago_ three years before THEN For details of the use of ago and before We use for to say how long something…

go meaning’become’

We use go to mean ‘become’ before some adjectives. This happens with colour words. Leaves go brown in autumn. People go red, pale or white with anger; blue with cold green with seasickness. If you faint, everything goes black. In a formal style, we use turn instead of go in these cases. We use go…

letters

The most important rules for writing letters are: Write your address in the top right-hand corner (house-number first, then street-name, then town, etc). Do not put your name above the address. Put the date under the address. One way to write the date is: number — month — year (for example 17 May 1982). For…

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…

Partitives

There are many different words used to describe a particular quantity of something. Usually the word is joined to the noun it describes with ‘of’. Containers (e.g. a bag) and contents (e.g. of shopping): With uncountable nouns: When we use uncountable nouns (e.g. advice), we sometimes want to talk about one of something. We cannot…

must: deduction

We can use must lo say that we are sure about something (because it is logically necessary). If A is bigger than B, and B is bigger than C, then A must be bigger than C. Mary keeps crying. She must have some problem. There’s the doorbell. It must be Roger. ‘I’m in love. ‘…

farther and further

We use both farther and further to talk about distance. There is no difference of meaning. Edinbwgh is farther/further away than York. (Only farther is used in this sense in American English.) We can use further (but not farther) to mean ‘extra’, ‘more advanced’, ‘additional’. For further information, . College of Further Education.

participles: ‘present’ and ‘past’ participles (-ing and -ed)

‘Present’ participles: breaking going drinking making beginning opening working stopping For rules of spelling,. When -ing forms are used like nouns, they are often called gerunds. ‘Past’ participles: broken gone drunk made begun opened worked stopped The names ‘present’ and ‘past’ participle are not very good (although they are used in most grammars). Both kinds…

if-sentences with could and might

In if-sentences, we can use could to mean ‘would be able to’ and might to mean ‘would perhaps’ or ‘would possibly’. If I had another £500, I could buy a car. (= … I would be able to buy a car.) If you asked me nicely, I might buy you a drink.

emphasis

We can emphasize an idea (make it seem more important) in several ways. We can pronounce some words louder and with a higher intonation. In writing, we can show this by using CAPITAL LETTERS or by underlining. In printing, italics or bold type are used. Mary, I’m IN LOVE1. PltM dfh’-t til! This is the…

all and every

1. All and every have similar meanings. (Every means ‘all without exception’.) They are used in different structures: [all + plural] All children need love. All cities are noisy. [every + singular] Every child needs love. Every city is noisy. 2. We can use all, but not every, before a determiner (for example the, my,…

Create a Daily Habit of English

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Ryun Even though you are learning much faster now than you ever thought possible, it will still take some amount of time to reach your desired level. This is why it’s so important to do two things. One, create a real…

either: determiner

We use either before a singular noun to mean ‘one or the other’. [either + singular noun] Come on Tuesday or Thursday. Either day is OK. Sometimes either can mean ‘both’ (especially before side and end). The noun is singular. There are roses on either side of the door. We use either of before a…

non-progressive verbs

Some verbs are never used in progressive forms. I like this music. (NOT I’m liking this music.) Other verbs are not used in progressive forms when they have certain meanings. Compare: I see what you mean.(NOT I’m seeing what you mean.) I’m seeing the doctor at ten o clock. Many of these ‘non-progressive’ verbs refer…

prepositional verbs and phrasal verbs

Many English verbs have two parts: a ‘base’ verb like bring, come, sit, break and another small word like in, down, up. Couid you bring in the coffee? Come in and sit down. He broke up a piece of bread and threw the bits to the birds. The second part of the verb is sometimes…

do: auxiliary verb

The auxiliary verb do is used in a lot of ways. We use do to make questions with ordinary verbs, but not with auxiliary verbs. Compare: Do you like I Can you / We use do to make negative sentences with ordinary verbs, but not with auxiliary verbs. Compare: I don’t like football. I can’t…

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…

In the town

The town centre: You can get a train at the railway station. You can change money at the bank. You can read books and newspapers at the library. You can park your car in/at the car park. Streets and roads: People in the town: Signs:

comparison: much, far etc with comparatives

We cannot use very with comparatives. Instead, we use much or far. My boyfriend is much/far older than me. (NOT . . . very older than me.) Russian is much/far more difficult than Spanish. We can also modify comparatives with very much, a lot, lots, any, no, rather, a little, a bit. very much nicer…