Damage

Damage Don’t Say:The fire caused many damages. Say:The fire caused much damage. Note:The plural form damages denotes money paid to make good a loss: The insurance company paid the man damages.

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…

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,…

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.

be: progressive tenses

[I am being / you are being etc + adjective/noun] We can use this structure to talk about what people are/were doing, but not usually to say how they are/were feeling. Compare: You’re being stupid. ( = You’re doing stupid things.) I was being very careful. (= I was doing something carefully.) I m happy…

fun / funny

The word fun (adj. or n.) means something is enjoyable; you like doing it. Amusement parks are fun. I think playing soccer is more fun than playing basketball. We had fun at the party. The word funny (adj.) means something makes you laugh; it is full of comedy: The movie is really funny. It’s a…

Moving

Without transport: Transport: You go by car / plane / bus / train / bike / motorbike / ship / taxi / underground [NOT by-a-car]. You take a bus / train / taxi / plane and you take the underground. You ride a bicycle / bike / motorbike / horse. You drive a car /…

The subject misplaced after never, etc

The subject misplaced after never, etc Don’t Say:Never I have heard of such a thing. Say:Never have I heard of such a thing. Note:When never, seldom, rarely, neither, nor, not only, no sooner, are pacec: at the beginning of a complete- clause, the verb must come before me subject as, in a Question.

already / yet

Both yet and already are used with the present perfect tense. Already is usually used in positive sentences. Yet is usually used in questions and negative sentences. Imagine that you and your friend are going to travel. There are many things to do, and you ask your friend if he has done these things: Have…

negative questions

Structure [auxiliary verb + n’t + subject…] Doesn’t she understand? Haven’t you booked your holiday yet? auxiliary verb + subject + not… Does she not understand? Have you not booked your holiday yet? The forms with not are formal. Meaning When we ask a negative question, we often expect the answer yes. Didn’t you go…

Everyday problems

Things that go wrong in houses and flats Everyday minor injuries Other everyday problems – I’ve mislaid Bob’s letter. Have you seen it anywhere? [put it somewhere and can’t find it] – She spilt some coffee on the carpet. I hope it doesn’t stain, [leave a permanent mark] – I overslept this morning and was…

Shops and shopping

Kinds of shops: These words are also for people’s jobs. We often add s and say: I’m going to the newsagent’s to get a paper. Do you want anything from the butcher’s? Department store: A department store is a large shop which sells a lot of different things – clothes, cosmetics, toys and so on….

close and shut

Close and shut can often be used with the same meaning. Open your mouth and close/shut your eyes. I can’t close/shut the window. Can you help me? The past participles closed and shut can be used as adjectives. The post office is closed/shut on Saturday afternoon. Shut is not usually used before a noun. a…

any / some

Some is used in positive statements; any is used in negative statements and questions: Positive: I want some bread Negative: I don’t want any bread. Question: Do we have any bread in the house? There is an exception – some is used in questions if you are offering something to someone, or asking for something:…

The unrelated participle

The unrelated participle Don’t Say:Being in a hurry, the door was left open. Say:Being in a hurry, he left the door open. Note:Take care to provide the logical subject relating to the participle phrase In the sentence given, the logical subject to being In haste is he and not the door.

historic / historical

The word historical describes anything related to the past, to history: We need to consider the current conflict from a historical perspective. The city center contains many cultural and historical monuments. I love reading historical fiction. Historical things can be important or unimportant. The word historic describes things that were very important or influential in…

Weather

Weather conditions Look at this list of common weather words. Notice that it is very common to form adjectives by adding ‘-y’. Note: When it rains for a short period of time, we call it a shower, e.g. We had several showers yesterday afternoon. When it is raining a lot we often say it’s pouring…

10 Ways to Say You’re Tired

1. I’m exhausted.2. I’m dead tired.3. I’m pooped.4. I’m spent.5. I’m beat.6. I’m running on fumes. / I’m running on empty.7. I can hardly keep my eyes open.8. I’m off to bed.9. I’m gonna hit the sack. (hit the sack = go to bed)10. It’s bedtime for me.

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…

5 Phrases for Hot Weather

1. It’s nice and warm today.2. It’s absolutely boiling! (boiling = extremely hot)3. We’re having a real heat wave. (heat wave = many consecutive days of hot weather)4. The sun’s really strong today.5. It’s hot and humid.

Proud of, not for

Proud of, not for Don’t Say:He’s very proud for his promotion. Say:He’s very proud of his promotion. Note:We say take ;aj pride in : A craftsman takes a pride in hts work.

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.

Using the land

Ground and soil When we walk, our feet are on the ground (= the general word for the surface of the earth). For the top part of the ground where grass and flowers grow, we use the word soil. There were no seats in the park, so we had to sit on the ground. The…

Using the future in the if clause instead of the present tense

Using the future in the if clause instead of the present tense Don’t Say:If he’ll ask me, I will/’ll stay. Say:If he asks me, I will/’ll stay. Note:But the future tense may be used in an if clause expressing a request: If you will/’ll give me some money I will/’ll buy you a drink. Use…

every day / everyday

Everyday (one word) is an adjective to describe something else: It’s easy to get stressed out by everyday problems. (everyday describes problems) These shoes are great for everyday wear. (everyday describes wear) When talking about how frequently something occurs, use every day (two words): I study English every day. I walk my dog every day.

SYNONYMS

LIST OF SYNONYMS (A & B ) Word Synonym Word Synonym Abroad Overseas Away Absent Admit Confess Awful Terrible Agree Consent Baby Infant Alike Same Backbone Spine Allow Permit Beautiful Pretty Almost Nearly Begin Start Amount Quantity Behave Act Angry Mad Belly Stomach Annoy Irritate Big Large Answer Reply Blank Empty Appear Seem Brave Bold…

Obligation, need, possibility and probability

Obligation Must is an instruction or command; that is why we see it on notices, e.g.Dogs must be kept on a lead. Cars must not be parked here. Have (got) to says that circumstances oblige you to do something. Often, the two meanings overlap and there will be a choice of how to express the…

Compound nouns

Formation A compound noun is formed from two nouns, or an adjective and a noun. Here are some common examples. One word or two? Compound nouns are usually written as two words (e.g. credit card), but sometimes they are joined by a hyphen (e.g. baby-sitter), or written as one word (e.g. sunglasses). Unfortunately there is…

Omission of the word old from age

Omission of the word old from age Don’t Say:My sister is fifteen years. Say:My sister is fifteen years old. Note:We can also Say: My sister is fifteen years of age, or simply. My sister is fifteen.