articles: introduction

The correct use of the articles (a/an and the) is one of the most difficult points in English grammar. Fortunately, most article mistakes do not matter too much. Even if we leave all the articles out of a sentence, it is usually possible to understand it. Please can you lend me pound of butter till…

each: grammar

We use each before a singular noun. [each + singular noun] Each new day is different. We use each of before a pronoun or a determiner (for example the, my, these). The pronoun or noun is plural. [each of us/you/them each of + determiner + plural noun] She bought a different present for each of…

any (= ‘it doesn’t matter which’)

Any can mean ‘it doesn’t matter which’; ‘whichever you like’. ‘When shall I come?’ Any time. ‘ ‘Could you pass me a knife?’ ‘Which one?’ ‘It doesn ‘t matter. Any one. ‘ We can use anybody, anyone, anything and anywhere in the same way. She goes out with anybody who asks her. ‘What would you…

some and any

Some and any are determiners . We use them before uncountable and plural nouns. Before another determiner or a pronoun we use some of and any of. Compare: Would you like some ice-cream? Would you like some of this ice-cream? I can’t find any cigarettes. I can’t find any of my cigarettes. Some and any…

Notices

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

In the Bedroom and Bathroom

Bedroom: Bathroom: Joel’s routine: Joel goes to bed at 11 o’clock. He goes upstairs to his bedroom. He gets undressed and goes to bed. He reads for a bit. He turns off the light and falls asleep. He wakes up when his alarm clock rings. He gets up. He has a shower, cleans his teeth…

but = except

We use but to mean ‘except’ after all, none, every, any, no (and everything, everybody, nothing, nobody, anywhere etc). He eats nothing but hamburgers. Everybody’s here but George. I’ve finished all the jobs but one. We usually use object pronouns (me, him etc) after but. Nobody but her would do a thing like that. We…

Computers

Hardware As well as the hardware (= the machines), you also need software (= the programs needed to work the machines). These programs are on disks, e.g. the hard disk inside the computer, or floppy disks or on CD-ROMs (= Compact Disc Read Only Memory, a CD on which you can put a large amount…

Food and Drink

Everyday food: Do you want some bread? [not Do you want a bread?] In China, most people eat rice. In Italy, pasta is very popular. Many people eat meat or fish almost every day. Popular food I fast food: Most young people love hot-dogs, hamburgers and pizzas. Most British people like fish and chips. Fruit…

indeed

We use indeed to strengthen very. Thank you very much indeed. I was very pleased indeed to hear from you. He was driving very fast indeed. We do not usually use indeed after an adjective or adverb without very.

Describing People

Height (= how many metres?) Mary Pimm is a very tall woman. [not Mary Pimm is a very high woman.] Tom Jakes is quite short. [NOT Tom Jakes is quite tew.] If you aren’t tall or short, you are medium height. To ask if someone is tall or short, we say: How tall is Mary/Tom?…

whether… or…

We can use whether … or . . . as a conjunction, with a similar meaning to it doesn’t matter whether … or .. . The clause with whether … or .. . can come at the beginning of the sentence or after the other clause. Whether you like it or not, you ‘II have…

Time words (I): days, months and seasons

Basic time words: There are: 365 days in a year 12 months in a year 52 weeks in a year 7 days in a week 2 weeks in a fortnight 24 hours in a day 60 minutes in an hour. (We say an hour ) 60 seconds in a minute 100 years in a century…

names and titles

We can use names and titles when we talk about people, and when we talk to them. There are differences. Talking about people When we talk about people, we can name them in four ways. a. First name. This is informal. We use first names mostly to talk about friends and children. Where’s Peter? He…

imperative

When we say Have a drink, Come here or Sleep well, we are using imperative verb forms: have, come and sleep. Imperatives have exactly the same form as the infinitive without to. We use them, for example, for telling people what to do, making suggestions, giving advice, giving instructions, encouraging people, and offering things. Look…

surely

Surely does not mean the same as certainly. Compare: That’s certainly a mouse. (= I know that’s a mouse.) Surely that’s a mouse? (= That seems to be a mouse. How surprising!) Surely ex presses surprise. We can use surely not to show that we do not want to believe something, or find it difficult…

Accepting and refusing invitations

Accepting and refusing invitations Will you join me for coffee? – I’d love to. Thanks. – Sorry. I’m f raid I don’t have time. I’m going out for a bite to eat. Would you like to join me? – I’d be happy to. Thanks. – Sorry. I’m meeting a friend for lunch. Could we have…

at all

We often gse at all to emphasize a negative. I don’t like her at all ( = I don’t like her even a little.) This restaurant is not at all expensive. We also use at a//with hardly; in questions; and after if. She hardly eats anything at all Do you sing at all? ( =…

future: shall/will (predictions)

Forms [ I shall/will you will he/she/it will we shall/will they will] – + infinitive without to questions: shall/will I; will you, will he/she/it, etc. negatives: I will/shall not you will not, etc. contractions: I’ll, you’ll, he’lletc; shan’t, won’t. In modern English, I shall and I will, we shall and we will are used with…

as and like

Similarity We can use like or as to say that things are similar. a. Like is a preposition. We use like before a noun or pronoun. [like + noun/pronoun] You look like your sister. (NOT … as your sister.) He ran like the wind. It’s like a dream. She’s dressed just like me. We use…