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…

Grass

Grass Don’t Say:The dog lay down on the grasses. Say:The dog lay down on the grass.

Hotels

Types of hotel: Hotels in Britain are graded with stars from one-star to five-star (five-star hotels are the best and most expensive). You can also stay in a Bed &C Breakfast (B&B) (also called Guest Houses) where you pay for a bedroom, possibly an ensuite (= room with private bathroom) and breakfast. Types of hotel…

Air Travel

Departures: This is the usual sequence of activities when you get to the airport. First you go to the check-in desk where they weigh your luggage. Usually you are permitted 20 kilos, but if your bags weigh more, you may have to pay excess baggage (= you pay extra). The airline representative checks your ticket…

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…

War and Peace

The outbreak (= start) of war: Wars often start because of a conflict (= strong disagreement) between countries or groups of people, about territory (= land that belongs to one group or country). Look at the diagram on the right and read the text on the left. Country A invades country B (= A enters…

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,…

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…

Crime

Against the law: If you do something illegal (= wrong / against the law), then you have committed a crime. Most people commit a crime at some time in their lives, e.g. driving above the speed limit, parking illegally, stealing sweets from a shop when they were children, etc. Crimes: Crime prevention: What can governments…

also, as well and too

1. As well and too usually come at the end of a clause. They mean the same. She not only sings; she plays the piano as well. We all went to Brighton yesterday. John came too As well and too can refer to (‘point to’) different parts of the sentence, depending on the meaning. Consider…

Law and Order

The police: They do a number of things. When someone commits a crime (= breaks the law and does something wrong / illegal / against the law) the police must investigate (= try to find out what happened / who is responsible). If they find the person responsible for the crime, they arrest them (=…

Education: University

Subjects You can normally do/study these subjects at university but not always at school: Note: The underlined letters in some of the words above show the syllable with the main stress. Also note that the first syllable of psychology is pronounced /sai/ like ‘my’. Studying at (a British) university If you want to go to…

Education: School

The system Most children in England and Wales follow this route in the state system (= free education). Note: • You go to school (as a pupil to study) and go to university (as a student to study). You don’t use the definite article ‘the’ here. Other expressions like this are go to bed (to…

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…

decline / deny / refuse / reject

To deny something is to say something is not true, or say that you DID NOT do something: The teenager denied stealing the DVDs from the store. The businessman denied the accusations that he had stolen money from the company. (He said he didn’t do it) To refuse is NOT to do something, or to…

‘social’ language

Every language has fixed expressions which are used on particular social occasions — for example, when people meet, leave each other, go on a journey, sit down to meals, and so on. English does not have very many expressions of this kind: here are some of the most important. Introductions Common ways of introducing strangers…

Ask (= put a question to)

Ask (= put a question to) Don’t Say:I asked to the teacher about it. Say:I asked the teacher about it.

Around the home 2

The bedroom I put on my pyjamas, got into bed, set the alarm clock, switched off the light, and went to sleep. The bathroom I didn’t have time for a bath, but I had a wash, cleaned my teeth, and then I went to school. Housework (U) My room is very clean and tidy (=…

passive verb forms

We make passive verb forms with the different tenses of be, followed by the past participle (= pp). TENSE STRUCTURE EXAMPLE simple present am/are/is + pp English is spoken here. present am/are/is being + pp Excuse the mess: the progressive house is being painted. simple past was/were + pp I wasn’t invited, but 1 went…

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…

weak and strong forms

Some words in English have two pronunciations: one when they are stressed ,and one when they are not. Compare: I got up at /at/six o’clock. What are you looking at? /’aet/ Most of these words_are prepositions, pronouns, conjunctions, articles and auxiliary verbs. They are not usually stressed, so the unstressed (‘weak’) pronunciation is the usual…

Angry with, not against

Angry with, not against Don’t Say:The teacher was angry against him. Say:The teacher was angry with him. Note:We get angry with a person but af a thing He was angry at the weather /not with the weather). Also annoyed with, vexed with. Indignant with a person, but at a thmg.

Expressions with bring and take

Here are some common phrasal verbs with bring. Each is exemplified in a typical spoken sentence and a more formal equivalent is provided in brackets. – I was brought up in the country, [raise] – Don’t give up. I’m sure you’ll bring it off. [succeed] – Cold winds always bring on her cough, [cause to…

Interested in, not for

Interested in, not for Don’t Say:She’s not interested for her work. Say:She’s not interested in her work. Note:Also take an interest in She takes a great interest in music.

What do you call ? not How do you call ?

What do you call ? not How do you call ? Don’t Say:How do you call this in English? Say:What do you call this in English? Note:if The question isn’t about a thing, but about some expression, we’ say, Now do you say this in English?

And etc used instead of etc

And etc used instead of etc Don’t Say:I, you, we, and etc. are pronouns. Say:I, you, we, etc., are pronouns. Note:However, students are advised to avoid using etc. in an essay and to use phrases such as and other things, and so on instead. Etc. is the short form of et cetera, a Latin phrase…

The -s or -es of the third person singular omitted

The -s or -es of the third person singular omitted Don’t Say:He speak English very well. Say:He speaks English very well. Note:Take great care not to leave out the -s or -es from the present tense, when the subject is he, she, it, or a noun in the singular.

Finish + -ing

Finish + -ing Don’t Say:Have you finished to speak? Say:Have you finished speaking? Note:To + infinitive or the gerund follow verbs meaning to begin She began to speak, or She began speaking.

Older (oldest) and Elder (eldest) – Elder, Eldest

Older (oldest) and Elder (eldest) – Elder, Eldest Don’t Say:My older brother is called John. My oldest brother is not here. Say:My elder brother is called John. My eldest brother is not here. Note:Elder can’t be followed by than Jane is older (not elder) then her sister. Older and oldest are applied to both people…