“Primary Auxiliaries And Modal Auxiliaries”

This week’s blog is based on auxiliary verbs. In English there are two types of auxiliary verb, primary auxiliaries and modal auxiliaries. The three primary auxiliary verbs are ‘be’, ‘have’ and ‘do’. There are ten common modal auxiliary verbs and they are ‘can’, ‘could’, ‘will’, ‘would’, ‘shall’, ‘should’, ‘may’, ‘might’, ‘must’ and ‘ought’. Modal auxiliary …

“Word Order”

Non-native English speakers often have difficulty deciding where words should be placed in a sentence. This can create problems, as word order is extremely important in English. Unlike ‘free word order’ languages like Latin, English does not rely heavily on inflection to create meaning. In Latin, words can be moved around (to some extent) within …

“Phrasal Verbs with ‘Put’”

Phrasal verbs: the two words that are guaranteed to strike fear into the hearts of English students everywhere. But phrasal verbs, although they can seem difficult, should cause you no fear, and should be treated just like any other vocabulary word we learn. Let’s break it down first. Download Exercise What is a phrasal verb? …

“The Difference Between Reflexive Pronouns and Emphasising Pronouns”

This week’s blog is about the difference between reflexive pronouns and emphasising pronouns. I have chosen this topic because it is one that a lot of students seem to easily get confused about. Firstly we must understand when to use a reflexive pronoun and when to use an emphasising pronoun. We use a reflexive pronoun …

The Many Uses of the Word ‘Mind’

The word ‘mind,’ like the word ‘settle,’ has many different meanings. Therefore it’s a good word to be comfortable with, as there are many different situations in which you can use it.  The first is as a noun, and it refers to the element of a person that allows them to think and to be …

“Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s an adverb!”

When readers analyse a new text, they sometimes try to determine which lexical category particular words correctly belong to. Adverbs are usually considered as a last resort in this endeavour; only once the more glamorous categories of nouns, verbs and adjectives have been eliminated do lowly adverbs get their fifteen minutes of fame. This may …

“The Present Simple and The Present Continuous” (Part Two)

This week’s blog is dealing with one of the most common mistakes that English learners make: the difference between the present simple and the present continuous. These tenses are often confused and used in place of each other.   I suppose the reason the two are mistaken for each other is that they are similar …

“English Collocations”

Collocations are not quite the same as idioms.Whereas idioms are understood to represent a more standard meaning (e.g. ‘round the bend’ = mad; ‘fed up’ = depressed; ‘touch and go’ = uncertain; etc.), collocations are words that have been paired (or grouped) together through continued use. These words have become friends, if you like, and …

“Adjectives Made From Nouns By Adding A Suffix”

This week we are going to look at making adjectives from nouns. There are many ways that we can form adjectives and one of these ways is by adding a suffix to a word. Or in other words, putting some extra letters on the end of an existing word. So let’s have a look at …

“Auxiliary Verbs”

There are two basic classifications of auxiliary verb, Primary and Modal. There are three Primary auxiliaries and ten Modals. But before we get started, what’s an auxiliary verb? In a sentence, we always have a main verb. For example, if we can only find one verb in a sentence, then we know it’s the main …