Tag Archives: grammar

Articles: Definite and Indefinite, using a, an, and the

Indefinite and definite articles: A, an, the

 

This post looks at when we use a, an and the. We call A and AN ‘indefinite articles’ because they describe something that is not definite; not specific.  They are used to describe a general thing not a particular thing. THE is a ‘definite article’.  Therefore, listener and speaker both know which thing the speaker is talking about.

 

Indefinite Articles: Using A and An

We use a or an to talk about singular countable nouns (one noun that you can count), for example:

A dog, a hospital, a thought, a letter, a dream, a neighbour, a wedding, a house,

Continue reading Articles: Definite and Indefinite, using a, an, and the

Learn English Grammar: The verb ‘BE’

This post looks at the verb ‘to be’. It is an irregular verb.  It is different to regular verbs and learners will need to learn the different forms.

This article looks at:

1: The verb ‘to be’ in present and past simple and continuous sentences.

2: The verb ‘to be’ when used in passive sentences.

3: The verb ‘to be’ in the subjunctive.

4: Be in the continuous form ‘being’. Continue reading Learn English Grammar: The verb ‘BE’

The difference between MAKE and DO: Learn English Grammar

Make or do?

Make and do can be a problem for many students because there are not specific rules that helps us decide which to use in every situtation.  Most of the time we have to just learn when to use make and when to use do.  However, there are some rules that might help you learn some of the expressions… Test yourself at the end with our Quick Quiz on make/do.

Make and do: MAKE

1: Used to describe something that we can create or produce

The table is made of wood.

The toys were made in China.

Wine is made from grapes.

He wants a wedding ring made of platinum not gold.

 

2: Used to describe food/drinks

Make breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, tea, coffee, a cake, a sandwich, a salad, a roast dinner etc.

I don’t feel like making dinner tonight.  Shall we eat out?

I’m going to make a cup of tea. Would you like one?

I don’t normally make breakfast for the family now.  The kids are old enough to make their own.

I’ve bought some rum. I thought we could make some cocktails for the party.

Continue reading The difference between MAKE and DO: Learn English Grammar

Advanced English expressions with get: Learn English grammar and vocabulary

Advanced English Expressions with GET

 

Get is one of the most used verbs in the English language.  Therefore it is not surprise that there are many phrasal verbs and expressions containing it. This post is for upper-intermediate and advanced students and it looks at advanced English expressions with ‘get’.

Get hold/ahold of (idiom) = reach someone by telephone/message/text etc

‘I couldn’t get ahold of Tom so I couldn’t ask him to join us tonight.’

 

Get a feel for something = begin to understand how to do something or use something

‘When you learn to drive you have to get a feel for using the gears and pedals.  After a while, you do it all automatically.’

Continue reading Advanced English expressions with get: Learn English grammar and vocabulary

Prepositions of time, in, at, on: Learn English Grammar

Prepositions of time

 

This post looks at the prepositions of time,  in, on and at with dates and times.  There is a quick quiz at the end to test your knowledge.

Prepositions of time: IN

Used for non-specific times, for example: years, months

In the morning

In the afternoon

In the evening

In winter/spring/summer/autumn

In five minutes

In a few minutes/days/weeks/months/years

In three weeks

In ten months

In 1996

In the future

In one hundred years’ time

In the moment (this describes someone who lives for the present and does not think about the future.  Therefore it is important not confuse with ‘at the moment’ = right now) Continue reading Prepositions of time, in, at, on: Learn English Grammar

Learn English Grammar: Phrasal verbs with ‘get’

Phrasal verbs with GET

 This post looks at some of the most common phrasal verbs with ‘get’.   A phrasal verb is a phrase that contains a verb + preposition or adverb or preposition and adverb.

Phrasal verbs are used a lot in English and therefore they can be very difficult for learners.  Many phrasal verbs usually have a formal equivalent, for example:

After the thief got off the bus he ran towards the town centre.

After the thief alighted from the bus he ran towards the town centre. (formal use)

Phrasal verbs are also difficult for learners because many have more than one meaning.

Finally, you can test yourself at the end of the article with the ‘phrasal verbs with get’ quick quiz.

 

Get across to make something understood

‘I have been trying to get across to our manager that many of the staff are very unhappy. He just doesn’t want to listen!’

Continue reading Learn English Grammar: Phrasal verbs with ‘get’

Conditionals: Learn English Grammar

Conditionals

This post looks at ‘conditional’ sentences in English.  Conditionals talk about the possibility of something happening as the result of something else.

There are four types of conditionals (sometimes called ‘if’ clauses) in English.   Each conditional has an ‘if’ clause and another clause. The first two types of conditionals talk about real possibilities whilst the second two types talk about unreal possibilities.

Zero Conditionals

This talks about general truths, facts and habits.  It is used for real situations. The present simple is used in both clauses.

If (present simple)   +       present simple

Examples:

If you heat ice,                   it melts.

If I run for too long,          my knee hurts. Continue reading Conditionals: Learn English Grammar

The Gerund: Learn English Grammar

The Gerund

This post looks at some of the most common verbs followed by a gerund.  A gerund is a verb that is changed into a noun and is formed, verb + ing.  We often use the gerund after verbs that express like or dislike of something.

Verbs of liking and disliking

Like                  I like playing tennis.

Dislike             I dislike eating artichokes.

Fancy               I fancy eating out tonight because I’m too tired to cook.

Enjoy               I enjoy watching films with my children.

Love                 I love singing in the shower but only if there is no one else at home!

Hate                I hate being late.

Detest              I detest seeing people being rude.

Continue reading The Gerund: Learn English Grammar

Comparatives and Superlatives: Learn English Grammar

Comparatives and Superlatives

In this blog post we look at how to use comparatives and superlatives to describe things and people.

Look at the following sentences:

Comparatives:

Who do you think is funnier? Pete or Sally?

I found the first book much more interesting than the second.

John is friendly but I think Jane is friendlier.

Houses in London are more expensive than anywhere else in the UK.

Superlatives:

 Julie is the oldest student in her class.

We think he is the funniest comedian we have ever seen.

Who made the most delicious cake?

Houses in London are the most expensive in the UK.

Continue reading Comparatives and Superlatives: Learn English Grammar

Past Perfect Tense: Learn English Grammar

Past Perfect

This article looks at how and when we use the past perfect tense. To form the past perfect we use HAD and the PAST PARTICIPLE.

We use it to describe something that started in the past and happened before another time (also in the past).

For example, ‘They had never been to Italy before. They went for the first time last year.’

How do we form the past perfect?

Continue reading Past Perfect Tense: Learn English Grammar