Talking about Language

Language words: This book uses some grammar words in English. The language of the exercises in this book:

How to Quickly Prepare and Master English Language Tests

“Of course, it is very important to be sober when you take an exam.” – Terry PratchettWhen you follow the strategies in this book and put them into action, you will become more confident in English quickly, and you will be able to speak English well. No doubt about it. However, English exams are a…

in case

We use in case to talk about things we do because something else might happen. Take an umbrella in case it rains. (= . . . because it might rain.) I’ve bought a chicken in case your mother stays to lunch. I wrote down her address in case I forgot it. After in case, we…

dates

Writing A common way to write the day’s date is like this: 30 March 1983 27 July 1984 There are other possibilities: 30th March, 1983 March 30(th) 1983 March 30(th), 1983 30.3.83 British and American people write ‘all-figure’ dates differently: British people put the day first, Americans put the month first. 6.4.77 = 6 April…

before (preposition) and in front of

[before: time in front of place] Compare: I must move my car before nine o’clock. It’s parked in front of the post office. (NOT . . . before the post office.) We do not use in front of for things which are on opposite sides of a road, river, room etc. Use opposite or facing….

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.

hope

After I hope, we often use a present tense with a future meaning. I hope she likes (= will like)the flowers. I hope the bus comes soon. In negative sentences, we usually put not with the verb that comes after hope. I hope she doesn’t wake up. We can use I was hoping to introduce…

should, ought and must

Should and ought are very similar. They are both used to talk about obligation and duty, to give advice, and to say what we think it is right for people to do. You ought to/should see ‘Daughter of the Moon’ — it’s a great film. There is sometimes a small difference. We use should or…

be + infinitive

[I am to… you are to… etc] We use this structure in a formal style to talk about plans and arrangements, especially when they are official. The President is to visit Nigeria next month. We are to get a 10 per cent wage rise in June. We also use the structure to give orders. Parents…

numbers

Fractions We say fractions like this: 1/8 one eighth , 3/7 three sevenths 2/5 two fifths, 11/16 eleven sixteenths We normally use a singular verb after fractions below 1. Three quarters of a ton is too much. We use a plural noun with fractions and decimals over 1. Decimals We say decimal fractions like this:…

home

We do not use to before home. I think I il go home. She came home late. In American English, home is often used to mean at home. Is anybody home?

antonym

An antonym is a word opposite in meaning to another word. Example: Short and Tall – The person on the left is short. – The person on the right is tall.

Notices

There are lots of different signs for public toilets. Tip: Look for other signs in English. Write down any that you see.

Travelling

Types of transport: Can I have a single/return (ticket) to Barcelona please? (single = Madrid return = Madrid Barcelona) Barcelona; I’d like to book/reserve a seat in advance, (to make sure you have a seat) How much is the (train / bus / taxi / air) fare? Was the journey long? [not Was the travel…

too

We can use an infinitive structure after too. [too + adjective/adverb + infinitive] He’s too old to work. It’s too cold to play tennis. We arrived too late to have dinner. We can also use a structure with for + object + infinitive. [too + adjective/adverb + for + object + infinitive] It’s too late…

conjunctions

[clause + conjunction + clause conjunction + clause, + clause] A conjunction joins two clauses. I’m tired and I want to go to bed. I tried hard but I couldn’t understand. His father died, so he had to stop his studies. I know that you don’t like her. I’II sell it to you cheap because…

real(ly)

In informal English (especially American English), real is often used as an adverb instead of realty before adverbs and adjectives. That was real nice. She cooks real well. Some people consider this ‘incorrect’.

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…

Learning Vocabulary

Tip: Keep a vocabulary notebook. Write the words you learn from this book in it. Use a good dictionary. Ask your teacher to recommend one. You will need it for some exercises in this book. Here are some ways of writing down words you want to learn. Write down words that go together (collocations): You…

Listen to English Every Day to Boost Your Comprehension Skills

“All the world is my school and all humanity is my teacher.”― George WhitmanThere are so many ways you can interact with the English language every day, no matter where you live. Make sure that English becomes a background noise to your life. This way English will sink in and you will simply start to relax into…

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…

(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…

when and if

We use if to say that we are not sure whether something will happen. I’ll see you in August, if I come to New York. (Perhaps I’ll come to New York; perhaps I won’t.) We use when to say that we are sure that something will happen. I’ll see you in August, when I come…

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…

must: obligation

We use must to give strong advice or orders, to ourselves or other people. I really must stop smoking. You must be here before eight o’clock. In questions, we use must to ask what the hearer thinks is necessary. Must I clean all the rooms? Why must you always leave the door open ? Must…

please and thank you

We use please to make a request more polite. Could I have some more, please9 ‘Wouldyou like some wine?’ ‘Yes, please 1 Note that please does not change an order into a request. Stand over there, (order) Please stand over there, (polite order) We do not use please to ask people what they said. ‘I’ve…

each and every

We use each to talk about two or more people or things. We use every to talk about three or more. (Instead of ‘every two’ we say both). We say each when we are thinking of people or things separately, one at a time. We say every when we are thinking of people or things…

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…

seem

Seem is a ‘copula verb’. After seem, we use adjectives, not adverbs. [seem + adjective] You seem angry about something. (NOT You seem angrily. . .) We use seem to be before a noun. [ seem to be + noun ] I spoke to a man who seemed to be the boss. Other structures: seem…

can with remember, understand, speak, play, see, hear, feel, taste and smell

remember, understand, speak, play These verbs usually mean the same with or without can. I (can) remember London during the war. She can speak Greek / She speaks Greek. I can’t/don’t understand. Can/Do you play the piano? see, hear, feel, smell, taste We do not use these verbs in progressive tenses when they refer to…