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…

Holidays

Holiday (noun) We had a wonderful holiday in Egypt in 1996. I’m not working next week. I’m on holiday. Are you going on holiday this summer? Types of holidays We are going on a package holiday to Hong Kong, (everything is included, flights, hotel, etc.) We’re going to have a winter holiday this year, (often…

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…

Sightseeing Holiday

Sightseeing: You may do a bit of sightseeing on holiday, or you may do a lot of sightseeing, but you will probably go to a museum or art gallery, and see or visit some of these things: Many people go on a sightseeing tour of a town (usually in a bus); they can also go…

articles: talking in general

We do not use the with uncountable or plural nouns to talk about things in general — to talk about all books, all people or all life, for example. The never means ‘all’. Compare: Did you remember to buy the books7 (= particular books which I asked you to buy) Books are expensive. (NOT The…

Notices and Warnings

Informative notices: Some notices give you information: Do this! Some notices tell you to do certain things: Don’t do this! Some notices tell you not to do certain things: Watch out! Some notices are warnings – they tell you to be careful because something bad may happen:

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…

Politics

Types of government: Monarchy: a state ruled by a king or queen. There are also countries that have a monarchy, but the monarch is not the ruler, e.g. The United Kingdom. Republic: a state governed by representatives (= men or women chosen by the people) and a president, e.g. USA or France. People who believe…

contractions

Sometimes we make two words into one: for exampleI’ve /aiv/ ( = I have); don’t /daunt/ ( = do not). These forms are called ‘contractions’. There are two kinds: [pronoun + auxiliary verb auxiliary verb + not] I’ve you’ll he’d aren’t isn’t hadn’t we’re they’ve it’s don’t won’t (= will not) The forms Ve, ‘//,’d,…

have (got): possession, relationships etc

We can use have to talk about possession, relationships, illnesses, and the characteristics of people and things (for example in descriptions). We can use do in questions and negatives. They hardly have enough money to live on. Do you have any brothers or sisters? The Prime Minister had a bad cold. My grandmother didn’t have…

whether and if

In reported questions, we can use both whether and if. I’m not sure whether/if I ‘II have time. I asked whether/if she had any letters for me. We prefer whether before or, especially in a formal style. Let me know whether you can come or not. ( … if … is possible in an informal…

own

We only use own after a possessive word. It’s nice if a child can have his own room. I’m my own boss. Note the structure a … of one’s own. It’s nice if a child can have a room of his own. I ‘d like to have a car of my own. We can use…

except and except for

We can use exceptor except for after all, any, every, no, anything/body/ one/where, everything/body/one/where, nothing/body/one/where, and whole— that is to say, words which suggest the idea of a total. In other cases we usually use except for, but not except. Compare: He ate everything on his plate except (for) the beans. He ate the whole…

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….

Bureaucracy

What is it? Bureaucracy refers to the official rules and procedures used by officials (= bureaucrats) to control an organisation or country. For many people it is a negative word as it often means unnecessary rules, long waits, and lots of documents and forms. Documents: When you need to obtain (= get) or show documents,…

marry and divorce

Marry and divorce are used without a preposition. She married a builder. (NOT She married with a builder.) Will you marry me? Andrew’s going to divorce Carola. When there is no direct object, we usually prefer the expressions get married and get divorced, especially in an informal style. Lulu and Joe got married last week….

The hidden secrets that will help you learn English in a weekend

Since you can read English, you could strive to perfect it in one weekend. It will not be easy to learn everything there is to learn in a weekend but if you work hard enough, it can be done. However, implement what you learn is probably the hardest part. Speak English daily Do not slip up and…