“Idioms”

It is estimated there are about 25,000 idioms in the English language. Before you decide to give up on your quest to learn them, remember that not all of these will be frequent in day to day use, and many will be hugely outdated – just the same as vocabulary. The average person on the …

“Prepositions of Time”

There are two common ways of telling the time: (a) using ‘past’ and ‘to’ or (b) giving hours, then minutes. (a) If we use ‘past’ and ‘to’, we normally use increments of five minutes. Let’s use the example of two o’clock (‘o’clock’ means ‘of the clock’): 2.00 – two o’clock 2.05 – five (minutes) past …

“Short Answers”

There are other ways that we can make our answers shorter. In normal spoken English, we often use these short answers because it is easier than giving a complete sentence and it is more natural. When you are learning a language it is better to practise with full sentences because you need to learn how …

“Adverbs”

First, we’ll look at adverbs of frequency. Some common examples are: sometimes, often, usually, never, always, occasionally…the list goes on and on! These adverbs normally go after the first auxiliary verb (if there is one in the sentence). For example: ~He can always hit that note when he sings. ~She has never been to Moscow. …

“Easily Confused Words”

ACCEPT/EXCEPT Accept = to agree to do, to agree to receive Except = not including This is one of the pairs where in writing the mistake rarely happens – but when speaking, it may sound like a native speaker might be saying something like ‘Everyone accept me went for a drink after work.’ Sometimes, they …

“The Correct Order of Adjectives”

Using adjectives can be difficult – there are guidelines to follow. In English, most adjectives go before the nouns they describe. For example, ‘the big dog’; ‘the blue chair’; ‘the sad clown’; ‘the happy student’; and so on. Of course it is often necessary to use more than one adjective to describe a noun. This …

“The Conditional Tenses”

We use the ‘Zero Conditional’ to talk about things that are generally true. Its construction is “If + Present + Present or Imperative”. For example “If it rains, I take an umbrella.” Or, “If you come home late, be quiet.” Notice that the first example communicates something that is generally true and the second communicates …

“The Passive Voice”

Let’s look at a sentence in the active voice: ~Hank wrote the script. In the active voice, the subject does the action. Hank, the subject, does the action to the object, the script. Now let’s look at that same sentence in the passive voice: ~The script was written by Hank. Now the script is the …

“Homophones”

Read aloud, you won’t hear any problems with that sentence using any of the options, but only one choice is correct in each case. ‘They’re’ is a contraction of ‘they are’. It usually is followed by an adjective, or a verb ending in ‘ing’ (present continuous form). This is a way you can see if …

“An Evolving Language”

However this can be difficult, even with subtitles. English vocabulary evolves and expands at an incredible rate – new words (known as ‘neologisms’) are created all the time, as our lives change due to new technology and lifestyle choices. Indeed, new technology is responsible for many new English words: for example, the verb ‘to unfriend’, …