Let for Rent and Hired out for Hire – Hire

Let for Rent and Hired out for Hire – Hire Don’t Say:I hired out a surf board when I was in America. Say:I hired a surf board when I was in America. Note:To hire something is to pay to use it, usually for a short time, with one single payment a suit, a bicycle, a…

Take for Buy

Take for Buy Don’t Say:I went to the baker’s to take bread. Say:I went to the baker’s to buy bread. Note:Never use take m the sense of buy.

borrow / lend / loan / owe

To lend or loan is to GIVE something to a person temporarily, and to borrow is to RECEIVE something temporarily (and you will need to give it back). If Maria is in class and she doesn’t have a pencil, she could ask her friend Daniel: “Could I borrow a pencil?” Or: “Could you lend/loan me…

except

[except + infinitive without to except + me/him etc] When we put a verb after except, we usually use the infinitive without to. We can’t do anything except wait. He does nothing except eat all day. After except, we put object pronouns (me, him etc), not subject pronouns. Everybody understands except me. We’re all ready…

possessive’s: use

Meanings We can use the possessive’s to talk about several different sorts of ideas. The meaning is often similar to the meaning of have. That’s my father’s house. (My father has that house.) Mary’s brother is a lawyer (Mary has a brother who is a lawyer.) the plan’s importance (the importance that the plan has)…

Similarities, differences and conditions

Similarities These are ways of saying that two or more things are similar, or have something the same. Peter is similar to (= like) his brother in many ways. Peter and his brother are very similar. Peter and his brother are quite alike. Maria and Rebecca both passed their exams. (= Maria passed and Rebecca…

Insist on, not to

Insist on, not to Don’t Say:He always insisted to his opinion. Say:He always insisted on his opinion. Note:Persist take in He persisted in his silly ideas.

good evening / good night

Evening is the time when the sky starts to get dark – usually around 6-8 PM. Night is the time when it is dark and people are generally sleeping. Say “Good evening” to say “hello” after 6:00 PM. “Good evening” is commonly used at restaurants, in a professional context, and in speeches (when you speak…

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:…

some time / sometime / sometimes

Some time (two words) means a period of time: It took me some time to fix the computer; it had a number of problems. I spend some time listening to English every day. Sarah worked at that company for quite some time. (quite some time = a long time) Sometime (one word) refers to an…

Omission of the word or between numbers

Omission of the word or between numbers Don’t Say:I’ve only two, three friends. Say:I’ve only two or three friends. Note:We must always insert the conjunction or between numbers like this two or three men, five or six pages, eight or ten days.

Describing character

Opposites Many positive words describing character have clear opposites with a negative meaning. Jane is very tense at the moment because of her exams, but she’s usually quite relaxed and easy-going about most things. I think the weather influences me a lot: when it’s sunny I feel more cheerful and optimistic; but when it’s cold…

irregular verbs

This is a list of common irregular verbs. You may like to learn them by heart. Infinitive Simple past Past participle arise arose arisen awake awoke awoken be was, were been beat beat beaten become became become begin began begun bend bent bent bite bit bitten bleed bled bled blow blew blown break broke broken…

can: permission, offers, requests and orders

Permission We use can to ask for and give permission. Can I ask you something?’ ‘Yes, of course you can.’ Can I have some more tea? You can go now if you want to. We also use could to ask tor permission. This is more polite or formal. Could I ask you something, if you’re…

5 Phrases for Apologizing

1. I’m sorry that… [ex. I was so rude yesterday]2. It’s my fault. (= I am taking responsibility for the problem)3. Oops, sorry.(for very small problems)4. I should have… [ex. called you and told you I’d be late]5. (formal) I apologize for… [ex. the delay]

distinct / distinctive

The word distinct means: 1) that something is clearly and noticeably different or separate from other things Three distinct languages are spoken in this region. Please make sure to keep your opinions distinct from the facts when writing the article. We’re dealing with two distinct problems here. 2) that something is strong and obvious: There…

prepositions at the end of clauses

Prepositions often come at the ends of clauses in English. This happens in several kinds of structure: a. questions beginning what, who, where etc. What are you looking at? Who did you go with? Where did you buy it from? b. relative clauses There’s the house (that) I told you about. You remember the boy…

So and Such – Such

So and Such – Such Don’t Say:I’ve never seen a so large animal before. Say:I’ve never seen such a large animal before. Note:So is an adverb, and must qualify an adjective or another adverb. Such is an adjective and must qualify a noun.

the subordinating conjunction

The subordinating conjunction joins larger groups of words within sen-tences. It begins adverb clauses (groups of words that answer the questions When? Where?How? To what extent?). The subordinating conjunction can also be used to combine the ideas found in several sentences. Here are the subordinating conjunctions, followed by sample sentences. after although as as far…

Omission of there as an introductory word

Omission of there as an introductory word Don’t Say:Once lived a great king. Say:Once there/There once lived a great king. Note:Use the adverb there to introduce the subject of a sentence in which the verb stands before the subject.

Words that only occur in the plural

Tools, instruments, pieces of equipment  Some of these are always plural. Things we wear Some other useful words When I move to London, I’ll have to find lodgings, [e.g. a room] When will the goods be delivered? [articles/items] The architect inspected the foundations before declaring that the premises were safe. The military authorities have established…

Wrong sequence of moods

Wrong sequence of moods Don’t Say:If you would/’d do me this favour, I will/’ll be very grateful to you. Say:If you would/’d do me this favour, I would/’d be very grateful to you. Or: If you will/’ll do me this favour, I will/’d be very grateful to you.

employees / staff

Both of these words refer to people who work at a company – but staff is always singular and uncountable – it describes the entire group of workers as one thing. Employees is plural and countable – it describes the collection of individual workers. The entire staff was happy about the extra day off. All…

since (conjunction of time): tenses

Since can be a conjunction of time. The tense in the since-clause can be present perfect or past, depending on the meaning. Compare: I’ve known her since we were at school together. I’ve known her since I’ve lived in this street. Note that the tense in the main clause is normally present perfect . I’ve…

The environment

There are many different words referring to features of the environment. Here are some arranged on small to large scales. brook —> stream —> river hillock —> hill —> mountain cove —> bay —> gulf copse —> wood —> forest puddle —> pond —> lake footpath —> lane —> road You have to be careful…

spelling: ie and ei

The sound IV.I (as in believe) is often written ie, but not usually ei. However, we write ei after c. English children learn a rhyme: ‘I’before e except after c.’ believe chief field grief ceiling deceive receive receipt

the adverb clause

An adverb clause functions as an adverb. This clause answers any of these questions—How?When?Where?Why? Howmuch? Howoften? It has a subject and a verb, but it cannot stand alone as a complete thought. It needs to be joined with an independent or main clause to make sense. An adverb clause starts with any of the following…

above and over

Above and over can both mean ‘higher than’. A B A is above/over B. The snow came up above/over our knees. There s a spider on the ceiling just above/over your head. We use above when one thing is not directly over another. We’ve got a little house above the lake. A is above B….

affect / effect

Affect is a verb used for the process of one thing causing another thing to change. Effect is a noun, and it means the end result of some change. This disease is affecting my ability to breathe. The medicine had an instant effect on the pain. In spoken English, affect and effect are pronounced the…

disease / illness

The word disease is more specific – it is the medical term for when the human body is not functioning correctly due to infection, genetic defects, or other problems. Cancer, AIDS, and tuberculosis are all examples of diseases. The signs of a disease are called symptoms. Some common collocations with disease include: a curable disease…