Health and illness

How are you today? I am very well, thanks. I’m fine, thanks. I don’t feel very well. I must go home and rest. (I’ll probably be OK tomorrow.’ I feel ill. Can you get a doctor please. (Perhaps a serious problem.) That fish was bad. I think I’m going to be sick! (I want to…

spelling: ch and tch, k and ck

After one vowel, at the end of a word, we usually write -c/cand -tch tor the sounds /k/ and /tj/. back neck sick lock stuck catch fetch stitch botch hutch Exceptions: rich which such much After a consonant or two vowels, we write -k and -ch. bank work talk march bench break book week peach…

excuse me, pardon and sorry

1. We usually say excuse me before we interrupt or disturb somebody; we say sorry after we disturb or trouble somebody. Compare: – Excuse me, could I get past? … Oh, sorry, did I step on your foot? – Excuse me, could you tell me the way to the station? – I beg your pardon…

How to Feel Great & Start Winning at English Right Now

“Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.” – Michael Jordan Our brains are hardwired to move towards pleasure. We do things that feel good to us. We do them effortlessly and for long periods of time without wanting to stop. So one important thing when learning English is to make it feel really good very quickly….

prepositions: expressions without prepositions

(This is a list of important expressions in which we do not use prepositions, or can leave them out.) We do not use prepositions after discuss, marry and lack. We must discuss your plans. She married a friend of her sister’s. He’s clever, but he lacks experience. No preposition before expressions of time beginning next,…

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,…

ill and sick

I’ll means’unwell’. I’m sorry I didn’t answer your letter. I’ve been I’ll. We do not use ill before a noun. Instead, we can use sick. She spent years looking after her sick mother. We can use be sick (in British English) to mean ‘bring food up from the stomach’. If you feel sick, you want…

feel

Feel has several meanings. to touch something. – Feel the car seat. It’s wet. – Progressive tenses are possible. – ‘ What are you doing?’ I’m feeling the shirts to see if they are dry.’ to receive physical sensations. – I suddenly felt something on my leg. – We do not use progressive tenses, but…

punctuation: colon

We often use colons (:) before explanations. We decided not to go on holiday: we had too little money. Mother may have to go into hospital: she’s got kidney trouble. We also use colons before quotations. In the words of Murphy’s Law: ‘Anything that can go wrong will go wrong’.

Easy Methods for Improving English Reading Skills

Learning how to read is an important part of learning English. It expands your vocabulary and gives you fluency. If you are in a country where English is the main language, you will not get by without learning how to read. Also, reading is substantially easier than speaking and writing, or even listening. ● Remember…

such and so

We use such before a noun (with or without an adjective). [such(+ adjective) + noun] She s such a fool. He’s got such patience. I’ve never met such a nice person. It was such a good film that I saw it twice. We use so before an adjective alone (without a noun). [so + adjective]…

there is

When we tell people that something exists (or does not exist), we usually begin the sentence with there is, there are etc, and put the subject after the verb. There’s a hole in my sock. (NOT A hole is in my sock) We use this structure with ‘indefinite subjects’ — for example, nouns with a/an,…

be with auxiliary do

[do + be + adjective/noun don’t + be + adjective/noun] Don’t be … is used to give people advice or orders. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be a fool! In affirmative sentences, we usually just use Be . . . Be careful! But Do be . . . is used for emphasis. Do be careful, please!!!…

Formal and Informal English

Most English that you learn can be used in a wide range of situations. But you will also hear or see language that is formal or informal, and sometimes very formal or very informal. You need to be more careful with this language because it may not be suitable in certain situations. (They are marked…

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…

ask

[ Ask for: ask somebody to give something Ask without for: ask somebody to tell something] Don’t ask me for money. (NOT -Don’t ask me money).Don’t ask me my name.(NOT Don’t ask me for my name)Ask for the menu. Ask the price. When there are two objects, the indirect object (the person) comes first, without…

How to Think Like an English Language Master

“What we learn with pleasure we never forget.” – Alfred Mercier Your goal is to be able to comfortably talk English. And to get there you have to enjoy the journey. People who master languages teach themselves to enjoy the process. The truth is learning English and simply making progress is a pleasure in itself….

should and would

There are really three different verbs. should This verb (/ should/you should/he should etc) is used to talk about obligation, and in some other ways. would This verb (I would/you would/he would etc) can be used to talk about past habits, and to make polite requests. should/would This verb — the conditional auxiliary — has…

How to Destroy Your Fear of Speaking English

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” – James Stephens English students can often be held back by a fear of speaking, especially to native speakers. Don’t worry if this is you, it’s quite common and there are many ways to get past it. Firstly, the entire system in this book is designed exactly…

neither (of): determiner

We use neither before a singular noun to mean ‘not one and not the other’. [neither + singular noun] ‘Can you come on Monday or Tuesday?’ ‘I’m afraid neither day is possible. ‘ We use neither of before another determiner (for example the, my, these), and before a pronoun. The noun or pronoun is plural….

present tenses: simple present

Forms Affirmative Question Negative I work you work he/she/it works we work they work do I work? do you work? does he/she/it work? do we work? do they work? I do not work you do not work he/she/it does not work we do not work they do not work Verbs ending in s, -z, -x,…

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…

take

Take has three main meanings. The opposite of give She took my plate and gave me a clean one. Who’s taken my bicycle? ‘Could I speak to Andrew?’ ‘I’m sorry, he’s not here just now. Can I take a message?’ We take something from/out of/off a place, and from a person. Could you take some…

Prefixes

Prefixes (at the beginning of words) can help you to understand what a new word means. Here are some common prefixes. An ex-wife is a wife who is now divorced. President Gorbachev is an ex-President of Russia. A half-hour journey is a journey of 30 minutes. Something that cost £10 yesterday and costs £5 today…

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…

expect, hope, look forward, wait, want and wish

Meaning expect Expecting is a kind of thinking: it is not an emotion. If I expect something, I have good reason to think that it will happen. We expect to leave here in three years. I’m expecting a phone call from John today. hope Hoping is more emotional. If I hope for something, I want…

conditional

I would/should you would he/she/it would we would/should -+ infinitive without to you would they would Contractions: I’d, you’d, he’d etc; wouldn’t/shouldn’t Structures [would/should + infinitive without to] I would like a drink.[would/should + be + -ing ](progressive conditional) If I was at home now I would be watching TV. [ would/should + have +…

Irregular verbs

Most verbs in English are regular but some of the most common verbs in English are irregular. The forms here are the infinitive (go, come), the past simple (went, came) and the past participle (gone, come). All forms the same: Two different forms: Three different forms:

Time clauses

Time clauses [ If + Present Simple ] +  [ will/won’t + verb ] When: I’ll call you when I get home. As soon as: I’ll call you as soon as I get home. Before: I’ll call you before I leave. After: I’ll call you after I speak to Susan. Until/till: I’ll call you until…

before (adverb)

We can use before to mean ‘at any time before now’. We use it with a present perfect tense (have + past participle). Have you seen this film before? I ve never been here before Before can also mean ‘before then’, ‘before the past time that we are talking about’. We use a past perfect…