Posted in English Learning

How Do You Feel When You’re Speaking English?

Does speaking English put you into a panic? When you want to say something in English, do you feel like this?

You don’t remember the words you studied. You try to open your mouth, but no English words come out. You are not alone.

Students often say they forget everything because they get so nervous when they’re speaking English. Most people are afraid of making mistakes or afraid that no one will understand them. It’s this fear that stops some people from speaking at all.

Your goal for speaking English should be to communicate your message, not to say a perfect sentence. Don’t be afraid of mistakes! A mistake is not always going stop people from understanding you.

Wouldn’t you rather feel like this? Does speaking English put you into a panic? When you want to say something in English, do you feel like this?

You will be overjoyed when you realize other people understand you when you’re speaking English even with mistakes. Every time you are able to communicate with someone in English, you will feel better about your English speaking skills. You will improve with practice, so it’s important to keep trying.

Speaking English with Confidence

How can you build your confidence?

  1. Listen: The more English you hear, the easier it will be for you to copy what you hear.
  2. Practice: The more you speak, the more comfortable you will feel about speaking. Start with easy things. Ask questions at a store. Ask where you can find something, even if you already know. Say hello to the bus driver. Just open your mouth and talk whenever you can.
  3. Stop worrying about making mistakes: We all make mistakes. Your message is most important. If the other person understands you, it’s not important how many mistakes you make.

Practicing and improving your English skills at USA Learns will give you the courage and confidence you need when you are speaking English to other people.

To speak confidently you need knowledge of vocabulary, sentence structure, pronunciation, and finally listening comprehension to understand the other person so you can reply. At USA Learns you will be practicing all of this in our activities while you are practicing speaking English.

Listen to People Speaking English in Video Stories

The first step to more confident speaking skills is lots of listening. You need to get the sound of English conversation in your head. In USA Learns, every unit has many short video episodes. You will hear different people speaking English in everyday conversations, exactly the kind of language you need to improve your spoken English. During the unit, you will study the vocabulary and grammar of the language in the videos.

Practice Speaking English Word by Word

You will begin your practice of speaking English with the key vocabulary words in each unit. Besides learning the meaning, pronunciation, and spelling of the 12 to 20 key words in each unit, you will also practice pronouncing the words by listening, speaking into the microphone, and then comparing your pronunciation with the native speaker’s.

Practice Speaking English One Sentence at a Time

You will also practice saying some of the important sentences in the conversations from the videos. Always listen more than once. Listen to the pronunciation of the words and the rhythm of the sentence. When you are ready to try to say the sentence, click the Speak button and speak into your microphone. When you click Playback you will hear the native speaker again and your own voice. Do you like the way you sound? If not, repeat. You can click Speak and make a new recording to improve your English speaking skills as often as you want.

So far you have practiced speaking English by repeating. But you need practice in responding when someone says something or asks you something.

It’s Your Turn for Speaking English with Ms. Marquez

In the 1st English Course, your friendly teacher, Ms. Marquez, will practice speaking English with you. She speaks directly to YOU in the Your Turn activities. She wants you to feel comfortable and speak to her with confidence. She starts with the basics and asks you to introduce yourself and to tell her when your birthday is.

Speaking English Out Loud

Practicing by speaking out loud or into the microphone is very important. It’s important for you to say the words out loud when you are relaxed and not afraid of what other people will think. It’s just you and your USA Learns friends so you can speak freely. Do not skip these lessons if you really want to improve your speaking skills. Even if you don’t have a microphone or the software, say the words out loud. Make your mouth and tongue form the words.

We say ‘practice makes perfect.’ That may not be completely true for speaking. Everybody makes mistakes, and that’s OK. But practice will build confidence and that’s what you need if you want to be successful at speaking English.

You can improve your writing vocabulary and everything related to English Grammar from English Second Language Teacher in Livermore and can get best English tutoring in whole area.

Posted in Uncategorized

Idiom: a manner of speaking that is natural to native speakers of a language

Every language has its own collection of wise sayings. They offer advice about how to live and also transmit some underlying ideas, principles and values of a given culture / society. These sayings are called “idioms” – or proverbs if they are longer. These combinations of words have (rarely complete sentences) a “figurative” meaning – they basically work with “pictures”. 

This list of commonly used idioms and sayings (in everyday conversational English) can help you to speak English by learning English idiomatic expressions. This is a list, which contains exactly these of the most commonly used idioms and their meaning.

English idioms, proverbs, and expressions are an important part of everyday English. They come up all the time in both written and spoken English. Because idioms don’t always make sense literally, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the meaning and usage of each idiom. That may seem like a lot of work, but learning idioms is fun, especially when you compare English idioms to the idioms in your own language.

Learning to use common idioms and expressions will make your English sound more native, so it’s a good idea to master some of these expressions. The tables below are organized by how common the idioms are in American English. You can start by learning the very common English idioms, since these are the ones you’ll encounter regularly watching American movies or TV, or visiting the United States. When you’ve mastered those, move on to rest. None of the idioms on this page are unusual or old fashioned, so you can be confident using any of them with native English speakers and can also take the help from Top English Teacher in Livermore and can easily speak English with others.

THE MOST COMMON ENGLISH IDIOMS

These English idioms are extremely common in everyday conversation in the United States. You will hear them in movies and TV shows and can use them to make your English sound more like that of a native speaker. 

IdiomMeaningUsage
A blessing in disguisea good thing that seemed bad at firstas part of a sentence
A dime a dozenSomething commonas part of a sentence
Beat around the bushAvoid saying what you mean, usually because it is uncomfortableas part of a sentence
Better late than neverBetter to arrive late than not to come at allby itself
Bite the bulletTo get something over with because it is inevitableas part of a sentence
Break a legGood luckby itself
Call it a dayStop working on somethingas part of a sentence
Cut somebody some slackDon’t be so criticalas part of a sentence
Cutting cornersDoing something poorly in order to save time or moneyas part of a sentence
Easy does itSlow downby itself
Get out of handGet out of controlas part of a sentence
Get something out of your systemDo the thing you’ve been wanting to do so you can move onas part of a sentence
Get your act togetherWork better or leaveby itself
Give someone the benefit of the doubtTrust what someone saysas part of a sentence
Go back to the drawing boardStart overas part of a sentence
Hang in thereDon’t give upby itself
Hit the sackGo to sleepas part of a sentence
It’s not rocket scienceIt’s not complicatedby itself
Let someone off the hookTo not hold someone responsible for somethingas part of a sentence
Make a long story shortTell something brieflyas part of a sentence
Miss the boatIt’s too lateas part of a sentence
No pain, no gainYou have to work for what you wantby itself
On the ballDoing a good jobas part of a sentence
Pull someone’s legTo joke with someoneas part of a sentence
Pull yourself togetherCalm downby itself
So far so goodThings are going well so farby itself
Speak of the devilThe person we were just talking about showed up!by itself
That’s the last strawMy patience has run outby itself
The best of both worldsAn ideal situationas part of a sentence
Time flies when you’re having funYou don’t notice how long something lasts when it’s funby itself
To get bent out of shapeTo get upsetas part of a sentence
To make matters worseMake a problem worseas part of a sentence
Under the weatherSickas part of a sentence
We’ll cross that bridge when we come to itLet’s not talk about that problem right nowby itself
Wrap your head around somethingUnderstand something complicatedas part of a sentence
You can say that againThat’s true, I agreeby itself
Your guess is as good as mineI have no ideaby itself

COMMON ENGLISH IDIOMS & EXPRESSIONS

These English idioms are used quite regularly in the United States. You may not hear them every day, but they will be very familiar to any native English speaker. You can be confident using any of them when the context is appropriate.

IdiomMeaningUsage
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bushWhat you have is worth more than what you might have laterby itself
A penny for your thoughtsTell me what you’re thinkingby itself
A penny saved is a penny earnedMoney you save today you can spend laterby itself
A perfect stormthe worst possible situationas part of a sentence
A picture is worth 1000 wordsBetter to show than tellby itself
Actions speak louder than wordsBelieve what people do and not what they sayby itself
Add insult to injuryTo make a bad situation worseas part of a sentence
Barking up the wrong treeTo be mistaken, to be looking for solutions in the wrong placeas part of a sentence
Birds of a feather flock togetherPeople who are alike are often friends (usually used negatively)by itself
Bite off more than you can chewTake on a project that you cannot finishas part of a sentence
Break the iceMake people feel more comfortableas part of a sentence
By the skin of your teethJust barelyas part of a sentence
Comparing apples to orangesComparing two things that cannot be comparedas part of a sentence
Costs an arm and a legVery expensiveas part of a sentence
Do something at the drop of a hatDo something without having planned beforehandas part of a sentence
Do unto others as you would have them do unto youTreat people fairly. Also known as “The Golden Rule”by itself
Don’t count your chickens before they hatchDon’t count on something good happening until it’s happened.by itself
Don’t cry over spilt milkThere’s no reason to complain about something that can’t be fixedby itself
Don’t give up your day jobYou’re not very good at thisby itself
Don’t put all your eggs in one basketWhat you’re doing is too riskyby itself
Every cloud has a silver liningGood things come after bad thingsby itself
Get a taste of your own medicineGet treated the way you’ve been treating others (negative)as part of a sentence
Give someone the cold shoulderIgnore someoneas part of a sentence
Go on a wild goose chaseTo do something pointlessas part of a sentence
Good things come to those who waitBe patientby itself
He has bigger fish to fryHe has bigger things to take care of than what we are talking about nowby itself
He’s a chip off the old blockThe son is like the fatherby itself
Hit the nail on the headGet something exactly rightby itself
Ignorance is blissYou’re better off not knowingby itself
It ain’t over till the fat lady singsThis isn’t over yetby itself
It takes one to know oneYou’re just as bad as I amby itself
It’s a piece of cakeIt’s easyby itself
It’s raining cats and dogsIt’s raining hardby itself
Kill two birds with one stoneGet two things done with a single actionby itself
Let the cat out of the bagGive away a secretas part of a sentence
Live and learnI made a mistakeby itself
Look before you leapTake only calculated risksby itself
On thin iceOn probation. If you make another mistake, there will be trouble.as part of a sentence
Once in a blue moonRarelyas part of a sentence
Play devil’s advocateTo argue the opposite, just for the sake of argumentas part of a sentence
Put something on icePut a projet on holdas part of a sentence
Rain on someone’s paradeTo spoil somethingas part of a sentence
Saving for a rainy daySaving money for lateras part of a sentence
Slow and steady wins the raceReliability is more important than speedby itself
Spill the beansGive away a secretas part of a sentence
Take a rain checkPostpone a planas part of a sentence
Take it with a grain of saltDon’t take it too seriouslyas part of a sentence
The ball is in your courtIt’s your decisionby itself
The best thing since sliced breadA really good inventionas part of a sentence
The devil is in the detailsIt looks good from a distance, but when you look closer, there are problemsby itself
The early bird gets the wormThe first people who arrive will get the best stuffby itself
The elephant in the roomThe big issue, the problem people are avoidingas part of a sentence
The whole nine yardsEverything, all the way.as part of a sentence
There are other fish in the seaIt’s ok to miss this opportunity. Others will arise.by itself
There’s a method to his madnessHe seems crazy but actually he’s cleverby itself
There’s no such thing as a free lunchNothing is entirely freeby itself
Throw caution to the windTake a riskas part of a sentence
You can’t have your cake and eat it tooYou can’t have everythingby itself
You can’t judge a book by its coverThis person or thing may look bad, but it’s good insideby itself

Posted in English Learning

Types of Nouns in English

Concrete Nouns

Concrete nouns are people, places, or things that we can experience with our five senses (taste, touch, sight, hearing, or smell).

Concrete nouns can be divided into common nouns and proper nouns.

Common Nouns

A common noun is a noun that’s not the name of any particular person, place, or thing (for instance, singer, river, and tablet).

Proper Nouns

A proper noun is a noun that refers to a specific person, place, or thing (Lady GagaMonongahela River, and iPad).

A proper noun or proper name is a noun representing unique entities, as distinguished from common nouns which describe a class of entities.

Abstract Nouns

Abstract nouns, on the other hand, refer to abstract objects; that is, ideas or concepts. While this distinction is sometimes exclusive, some nouns have multiple senses, including both concrete and abstract ones; consider, for example, the noun “art”, which usually refers to a concept but which can refer to a specific artwork in certain contexts.

Some abstract nouns developed etymologically by figurative extension from literal roots. These include drawbackfractionholdout, and uptake. Similarly, some nouns have both abstract and concrete senses, with the latter having developed by figurative extension from the former. These include viewfilterstructure, and key.

In English, many abstract nouns are formed by adding noun-forming suffixes to adjectives or verbs. Examples are happinesscirculation and serenity.

Countable and Uncountable Nouns

Countable and Uncountable nouns vary from language to language. In some languages, there are no countable nouns. In addition, some nouns that are uncountable in English may be countable in other languages.

Countable nouns are common nouns that can take a plural, can combine with numerals or counting quantifiers, and can take an indefinite article such as a or an. Examples of count nouns are book, orange, cat, animal, man

Uncountable nouns differ from count nouns in precisely that respect: they cannot take plurals or combine with number words or the above type of quantifiers.

For example, it is not possible to refer to a furniture or three furnitures. This is true even though the pieces of furniture comprising furniture could be counted. Thus the distinction between count and non-count nouns should not be made in terms of what sorts of things the nouns refer to, but rather in terms of how the nouns present these entities.

Many nouns have both countable and uncountable uses; for example, beer is countable in “He ordered a coffee.“, but uncountable in “Would you like some coffee?

Collective Nouns

Collective nouns are nouns that refer to groups consisting of more than one individual or entity, even when they are inflected for the singular. Examples include flock, crowd, committee, choir, group, team. These nouns have slightly different grammatical properties than other nouns. For example, the noun phrases that they head can serve as the subject of a collective predicate, even when they are inflected for.

Compound Nouns

Most English compound nouns are noun phrases that include a noun modified by adjectives or noun adjuncts.

Most English compound nouns that consist of more than two words can be constructed recursively by combining two words at a time. Combining science and fiction, and then combining the resulting compound with writer, for example, can construct the compound science fiction writer. Some compounds, such as salt and pepper or mother-of-pearl, cannot be constructed in this way.

Possessive Nouns

A possessive noun is a noun that names who or what owns or has possession of something.

In most cases, for singular nouns to show that possession, we add an apostrophe + s. For plural nouns we simply an apostrophe except for those few plural nouns that do not end in s.

Regular Plural Nouns

  • Most singular nouns are made plural by adding -s to the end of the singular form.
  • When a noun ends in a sibilant sound – /s/, /z/, /ʃ/, /ʒ/, /tʃ/ or /dʒ/ – the plural is formed by adding -es, or -s if the singular already ends in -e.
  • The plural form of some nouns that end in ‘f’ or ‘fe’ is made by changing the ending to -V(es).
  • When a noun ends in “o” preceded by a consonant, the plural in many cases is spelled by adding -es.
  • Nouns that end in ‘o’ preceded by a vowel are made plural by adding -s.
  • When the ‘y’ follows a consonant, changing ‘y’ to ‘i’ and adding -es.
  • When the ‘y’ follows a vowel, the plural is formed by retaining the ‘y’ and adding -s.

You can learn about the nouns, pronouns and everything in English Grammar from English Second Language Teacher which will help you become more proficient in speaking and writing in English.

Posted in English Learning

10 TOP TIPS FOR LEARNING ENGLISH AT HOME

1. Surround yourself with English

You don’t need to be in an English-speaking country to surround yourself with English. Find ways to make English part of your everyday life at home, like writing your shopping list, reading the newspaper, listening to the radio, writing a diary in English, or listening to English on your cellphone while traveling to work.

2. Make English friends

Even if you don’t live in an English-speaking country, there are probably many foreigners living nearby. Find ways to meet native English-speakers: going to foreign bars and restaurants, joining sport and social clubs, or arranging language exchanges. You could even volunteer as a guide at a local tourist attraction to meet English-speakers from all over the world.

3. Find study partners

You don’t need native speakers to practice your English. Find a study partner, or form an English club and meet regularly to speak English. You can motivate each other, and you will learn by helping others with their problems.

4. Use authentic materials

Just reading English in textbooks can get boring. Try reading English texts written for and by native speakers. It will be a challenge at first but a lot more interesting once you can do it. If you can’t find English books or magazines, use the Internet to read the news in English every day. Why not take a look at the EF English Live free Engish resources and check your skills with our free English test, try fun quizzes, learn with our ebooks and more?

5. Get online

Get online and you can be in contact with people from all over the world. Join chat rooms or forums, take an online English course, or find a penpal to practice your English while learning about different cultures. With social media, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with friends from all over the world.

6. Set yourself realistic goals

Give yourself a reason for studying: do you want to get a promotion, be able to talk to your foreign colleagues, study abroad, or spend your next holiday in an English-speaking country? Set short-term as well as long-term goals, and keep track of your progress.

7. Listen to real English

Train your ear by listening to English spoken at normal speed, even if you don’t understand everything. Also practice listening without seeing things written down and don’t be afraid to listen to things several times to catch any interesting or unusual vocabulary in there. It’s easy to find free English podcasts online and news agencies from most English-speaking countries have audio and video news available for free online.

8. Find fun ways to learn new words

If you like singing, then look up the words for your favorite English songs. Or if you remember what you see, write new words on ‘Post-it’ notes and stick them up around your house. Make funny example sentences or draw little pictures next to new vocabulary to help you remember it.

9. Learn about the culture

Find out about the people and the culture of English-speaking countries. Learning a language is not just about grammar and vocabulary: it’s about communicating with people who have different ways of thinking as well as speaking!

10. Whatever you do, have fun!

Learning a language does take work, but you’ll be more likely to stick to it if you are enjoying yourself. Play games, do crossword puzzles, sing songs, read comics, and don’t worry too much about making mistakes – making mistakes is often the way to learn best!

You can easily learn English at home as mentioned above in this article but if you want to become proficient then you can learn from English Second Language Teacher in Livermore who will help you to improve your learning mistakes.

Posted in English Learning

Ways to Improve Your Writing Vocabulary

A great vocabulary is just one essential tool in a writer’s toolbox, along with punctuation, grammar, and many others. Vocabulary can make your writing more powerful and more effective and help you say exactly what you mean. This indispensable tool will help you choose the best word for every job and avoid vague words that do not give your readers a good sense of your meaning.

Building your vocabulary is one of the easiest ways to improve the power of your writing and make any writing task that much easier, as you will have several synonyms in your repertoire to pull from every time. Developing your vocabulary need not be difficult or painful. Here are the ways you can improve your writing vocabulary every day.

Use New Words

Use a word immediately after you learn it. Try to make a game out of using a new word as soon as you learn it. Every day, try to slip in a new word into the conversation, a journal entry, an assignment or an email to a friend. Do this as often as possible, and repeat the word to yourself.

Read Every Day

Once you’re out of school, word drills and assigned reading become things of the past. While these were tools for building your vocabulary repertoire while you were young, it doesn’t mean you should abandon reading. Try to read a well-written and edited essay, magazine article, book or news article every day. Nonfiction and technical books will quickly teach you new ways to think and speak with words you may be unfamiliar with, but any type of reading will help you along.

Learn Roots

Learn the roots of words. Most words in the English language are built from a common root, prefix, and suffix, usually with an origin in the Greek or Latin language. Once you learn a root, you’ll begin to understand more words that use the same root. For example, -duc- (Latin root word) means to lead or to make, such as in the words produce or deduce.

Use a Thesaurus

Keep a thesaurus handy. As you write, keep a thesaurus handy and use it when you find yourself using a word too often, or using a word that you know doesn’t quite convey the right meaning. This will help you better express yourself, and you’ll also learn a new word in the process.

Develop Practical Vocabulary

This means you should start by learning words that express what’s important to you for the task at hand. A good example of this is learning trade language or words you use often in a hobby or vocation. Rather than immediately turning to cliches or jargon that’s tossed around, look for clearer words to express to peers what you’re writing about.

Learn New Words Every Day

To improve your vocabulary quickly, make an effort to learn at least one new word every single day. There are plenty of ways to do this, such as a Word of the Day calendar or email list, or simply picking a word from a thesaurus or dictionary.

Look up Words You Don’t Know

How often do you come across words that are unfamiliar as you read? Don’t just gloss over them; take the time to look them up, and if you don’t have the time right then, write them down and look them up later.

Keep a Journal

Journaling won’t just help you develop your writing style, it will also help you improve your vocabulary. Try to use new or interesting words you’ve learned recently into a journal entry for the day or the week.

You can improve your writing vocabulary and everything related to English Grammar from Top English Teacher in Livermore .

Posted in English Learning

Properties of a Pronoun

To make a complete sentence, there must be a subject and a verb. A verb is a physical, mental or abstract action, and a subject is a noun, a person, place or thing, and any words that describe it. When it serves as the subject of a passage, the same noun is often used repeatedly. To eliminate this repetitiveness, a pronoun can be inserted to replace that noun, while still making sense grammatically. This allows for more variation in word choice. However, writers must be careful to use the correct pronoun.

Case

Case refers to the way that a pronoun functions in a sentence, whether nominative, objective or possessive. Nouns can be both subjects and objects, so a pronoun must be able to take the form of either. In the phrase “she is a singer,” “she” serves as the subject functioning in the nominative case. In the phrase “the superhero carried her,” the pronoun “her” is an object in the objective case. Pronouns can also be in the possessive case, such as “your” in the phrase “that is your house.”

Gender

The pronoun antecedent is the noun that the pronoun is replacing. The antecedent can be a masculine, feminine or neutral word, and it determines which pronoun should be used. For example, if the sentence states that “Jenny went to the store,” knowing that Jenny is a female, you could also write that “she went to the store.” If the subject was Jerry instead, you could replace his name with “he.” Finally, if the noun is of neutral gender, meaning that it is not clear whether the subject is male or female, substitute a word like “it” or “its.” Instead of saying that “the dog went to the store,” you could say that “it went to the store.”

Number

Just like gender, the number property of a pronoun depends on the antecedent. Number refers to how many there are, so if there is only one, a singular pronoun should be used. In the same example as gender, you might say that “he,” “she” or “it” went to the store. If there is more than one, a plural pronoun will replace the noun. “They” went to the store.

Person

The property of person depends upon the point of view, or relationship between the speaker and the pronoun antecedent. First person personal pronouns, such as “I,” “me,” “mine,” “us” and “ours,” refer to the person, place or thing that is speaking. “I” went to the store. Second person pronouns, like “you,” “your” and “yours,” refer to the person who is being spoken to. Did “you” go to the store? Finally, third person, such as “he,” “she,” “it,” “they” and “them,” refers to who or what is being spoken about. “They” went to the store. “She” went to the store, too.

You can learn everything about English Grammar from English Second Language Teacher and can increase your grammar and writing skills.

Posted in English Learning

Question forms

Meaning and Use

In English, there are two basic types of question.

1. Yes/no questions often begin with the verb to be, but can also begin with other auxiliary verbs, such as do. We ask these when we want a yes or no answer.

Dave: Are you hungry?
Mike: Yes, I’m starving. 

Sarah: Did you get here on time?
Emily: No, I missed the bus!

2. Wh-questions start with a question word, such as who, what, where, when, why or how. We ask this type of question when we want different kinds of information. These questions cannot be answered with a yes or no.

Dave: Why are you so hungry?
Mike: I didn’t eat breakfast.

Sarah: When did you get here?
Emily: About half an hour ago.

Form

Yes/no questions that begin with the verb to be are made with to be + subject.

Are you playing football tomorrow?

Was the weather nice yesterday?

If we start with an auxiliary verb, the order is auxiliary + subject + main verb.

Can Jenny speak Chinese?
Did you go to the cinema on Saturday?

Wh-questions can be used to ask about the subject or object of the verb. Compare these questions:

Who loves Lucy?
Who does Lucy love?

For subject questions, the order is question word + verb + object.

Who wants ice cream for dessert?
Who broke the mirror in the dining room?
Who answered the phone?

The object question form is question word + auxiliary + subject + verb.

What did you do at the weekend?
Where does your brother work?
Who will you ask for help?

Take Note

Asking questions with ‘how’

The question word how is usually combined with other words when asking for information, such as size, someone’s age, or the price of something.

How big is your apartment?
How old are your children now?
How much is the black dress in the window?

Spoken English

In formal situations, it is common to respond to a yes/no question by repeating the auxiliary in a complete sentence.

Max: Can you use a computer?
Jill: Yes, I can.

In casual spoken English, we do not need to repeat the auxiliary. Answers do not always contain ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Peter: Do you know the way to the train station?
William: Not really.

Lucy: Shall we order sushi?
Sally: Absolutely!

Practice

rearrange the words to make ‘yes/no’ and wh-questions.

1. anywhere did you weekend interesting last go?

2. grow up did you where?

3. did for your car new much how pay you?

4. into your when you did move new house?

5. listening to what you are?

6. the game basketball who won?

7. I borrow can your phone?

8. you do watch want movie a tonight to?

Answers

1. Did you go anywhere interesting last weekend? 

[The order of yes/no questions is: auxiliary + subject + main verb.]

2. Where did you grow up? 

[The order of object Wh-questions is: question word + auxiliary + subject + verb.]

3. How much did you pay for your new car? 

[The order of object Wh-questions: question word + auxiliary + subject + verb.] 

4. When did you move into your new house? 

[The order of object Wh-questions is: question word + auxiliary + subject + verb.]

5. What are you listening to?  

[The order of object Wh-questions is: question word + auxiliary + subject + verb.]

6. Who won the basketball game?  

[The order of subject Wh-questions is: question word + verb + object.]

7. Can I borrow your phone?  

[The order of yes/no questions is: auxiliary + subject + main verb.]

8. Do you want to watch a movie tonight?  

[The order of yes/no questions is: auxiliary + subject + main verb.]

Posted in English Learning

The present simple, present continuous and present perfect tenses

Present simple

We use the present simple tense for things that we do regularly and for facts, habits, truths and permanent situations. We often use time expressions like every day, once a week, on Fridays.

I check my email every day. (regular activity)
Yuki works at the bank. (permanent situation)

Form:
For positive sentences, use the same form as the infinitive without ‘to’ for I, you, we and they. For he, she and it, add –s or –es to the infinitive. Make questions and negatives with do / does + the infinitive without ‘to’.

They live in Rome.
Julian starts work at nine o’clock and finishes at five.
I don’t eat meat.
It doesn’t usually snow in October.
Why do you read the news online every day?
Does the supermarket sell stamps?

Present Continuous

We use the present continuous for things that are happening at the time we are speaking, for temporary situations, and for activities that are in progress.

Just a minute. I’m checking my email. (now)
She usually works in London, but she’s working from home this week. (temporary)
I’m studying Economics (activity in progress)

We can also use the present continuous for future arrangements, usually with a time expression.

I’m seeing the doctor on Monday morning.

Form:
For positive sentences, the form is subject + am/is/are + verb-ing. Make questions and negatives with am/are/is + not + verb-ing.

Can I call you back later? We’re having dinner right now.
He isn’t answering his mobile at the moment.
What are you doing?
Is it raining?

Note: There are some verbs that we don’t usually use in the continuous form. They are often verbs of thinking and feeling, for example: hear, see, smell, hate, know, understand, want, need.

WRONG: Could you explain that again? I’m not understanding.
CORRECT: Could you explain that again? I don’t understand.

Present Perfect

Use the present perfect for:

1) Life experiences in the past. We don’t say when these happened: we are interested in the experience, not the time or date. We often use ever and never.

I’ve seen all Tarantino’s films.
Have you ever eaten sushi? – Yes, I have. / No, I haven’t.

2) Recent past actions that are important now.

Oh no! I’ve left my wallet on the bus.
The president has resigned.

3) Past situations that are still happening now. We often use how long with for (throughout a period of time) and since (from a point in the past until now).

I haven’t seen Jenny this morning. (It is still this morning.)
How long have you known Mitya? – I’ve known him for two years.
Jack’s been in Italy since January.

4) With just, already, yet to talk about recent events in the past. The exact time is not important. Use just and already mainly in positive sentences. Use yet in negatives and questions.

It’s just stopped raining. Let’s go out.
Can you feed the cat? – I’ve already fed her.
We can still watch the film. It hasn’t started yet.
Have you done your English homework yet?

Note: Use the past simple for completed actions in the past.

I saw Jenny yesterday.
Peter moved to Saudi Arabia in 2011.
Natasha didn’t want another piece of cake.
When did you see Alex?

Form:
For positive sentences, the form is subject + have/has + past participle. Make negatives with not and change the word order to make questions.

I’ve finished the report.
Jack’s been in Italy since January.
We’ve just got back from Germany.
I haven’t seen Jenny this morning.
How long has Alex known Mitya?

Posted in English Learning

Irregular Verbs: Why We Need Them

Most of English verbs are irregular. It is impossible to avoid irregular verbs if you speak or write in English. Moreover, such verbs can reveal whether the speaker or writer is a native or not. The correct usage of irregular verbs also shows an educational level of a person. It is common for uneducated people to misuse irregular verbs. If you don’t want to fall into that category and give a bad impression, then you have to study grammar. Luckily for you, there are a lot of helpful grammar related articles that can help you to clarify some questions. However, if you are not a native speaker, the task of learning irregular verbs is more complicated for you. In this post, we will try to make this process as easy as possible for you and find new ways how you can learn irregular verbs.

However, while you are still learning, you cannot be sure that your papers are not full of mistakes. In this case, you can greatly benefit from using our editing services. Only experienced, certified editors and proofreaders work for Royal Editing and they can take care of your writing. All you need to do is upload your paper online and we will get in touch with you right away.

Regular and Irregular Verbs: What Is the Difference

English language has only two types of verbs in this regard — regular and irregular. And before we step into the field of irregular verbs, it would be helpful if we firstly understood the main points of regular verbs.

Regular verbs are called so, because they follow the regular pattern. They adhere to one rule, which states that if you want to form a past form of a verb, you have to add –ed at its end. For example:

Julie smiled to her new friend.

They never closed the door to their house.

On the contrary, irregular verbs are called so, because they don’t follow the established rules. Each of irregular verbs has its own way of forming a Past Simple and Past Participle. For example:

The children ran away to hide from the cold rain.

saw him yesterday on my way to work.

As it was mentioned before, most of verbs in English language are irregular. In fact, even the most often used verbs are irregular, such as to be and to have. There are about 200 of them, and if you count their prefixed forms, the list would count more than 600 irregular verbs. It would be very hard and not really necessary to memorize all of them. You could speak and write perfectly well if you learn just the most commonly used irregular verbs. Nevertheless, if you are curious to see the full list, you can always find it online.

Where They Come From and Why We Need Them

A lot of language learners ask, why do we need all these irregular verbs? They only make things more complicated so why English cannot change their grammar and make all verbs regular? It is a good question, but unfortunately there cannot be a perfect clear answer to it. Langue is a complex unity that exists and evolves together with a society, and the attempts to manage it artificially almost never succeed. Some elements of grammar and words come and go, and it is connected to the way people use them. However, things cannot disappear from a language, because some grammarians decided so. There will always be opposing points of view. The same way it happened with irregular verbs in English.

Practically all English irregular verbs come from Old English or derive from strong Germanic words. Other foreign words that joined English in later times follow the standard –ed pattern. Naturally, there were discussions among linguists about reforming this part of grammar and getting rid of irregular verbs. However, the opponents of this idea claim that irregular verbs are a historical heritage of English language and it would be a crime to remove those words out of usage. Any language is not only a mean of communication, but it is also a cultural domain of the nation, which shows where the culture came from and how it evolved.

Therefore, irregular verbs have no particular functional purpose. They are just a part of the language, and all the learner can do is to respect the fact and try to learn them.

Conjugation

When you begin learning irregular verbs, you will hear a lot about conjugation. So let’s at first understand what conjugation is, so the word would not leave you confused. Conjugation is the process of creating changed forms of verbs. Conjugation varies depending on gender, number, tense, mood and other grammar aspects. However, the conjugation we discuss today is strictly limited to the tense of the verbs.

The Commonly Misused Irregular Verbs

The format of this post doesn’t allow us to present all most commonly used irregular verbs. Nevertheless, we will mention the most important ones that you will definitely need in every piece of writing, be it a letter, essay or research paper. Coincidentally, these verbs are also being very often misused. So let’s revise them and try to memorize.

How to Learn Irregular Verbs

The question that troubles minds of most of the English learners is ‘how to learn irregular verbs?’ The most likely your teachers tell you that you just have to memorize them. It is true, that there is no special pattern or rule that you could learn in order to know how to conjugate each verb. And ultimately, memorization is the only choice you have got. However, there are different ways you can do it. Let’s look at the most effective ones:

  • Reading. As the saying goes, reading is the best type of learning. When you read English books, articles or blog posts about grammar, you inevitably stumble upon irregular verbs. It is one of the best ways to learn, because you the words are used in context, and this is how our mind remembers things;
  • Writing. If you use irregular verbs in your writing, it engages your memory in the most active way. It will guarantee that the words learned this way, will stay with you forever. All you need to do is to take an irregular verb and to create a sentence using this verb in context;
  • Flashcards. This is the method for very busy people. You can buy ready flashcards in the bookstore or download the printable set online. However, it would be better if you created them yourself, because it will be additional learning for you. You will need a stack of small square papers. On one side you write an infinitive form of the verb, and on the other side — Past Simple and Past Participle. Carry the cards with you when you go to college or work, you could revise them when you are in the public transport or waiting in line at the supermarket.

Posted in English Learning

Creative Ideas for Teaching Children Nouns and Proper Nouns

Nouns are used to designate people, places, things, objects, and concepts. They are, quite simply, the building blocks of our language. Children are sometimes confused as to how nouns are used, and if they’re very young, they may use nouns as substitutes for complete sentences. They may, for example, say simply “juice” when they mean “I want some juice,” or “bed” when they mean “I’m tired, and I’d like to go to bed now.”

So, how do you teach your child about nouns in a way that’s fun and will give them an edge over their peers? You can use online noun worksheets from various sites, but we also encourage you to work one-on-one with your kids. The best way to do it is by making learning about nouns a game. Kids love to play, and they especially love to play with their parents. Noun worksheets are a great way to facilitate learning, and you can try these great activities as well.

The 20-Second List

Make a 4-column chart. The headings should be Person, Place, Thing and Idea. Give your child 20 seconds per column, to fill it with as many correct nouns they can come up with. Make sure you have a stopwatch so you can count off the seconds correctly, or use a timer on your computer. When they finish one column, shout “Go!” to move them to the next. Expect mistakes early on, but when they fill all columns with four or more correct nouns, offer a reward – maybe a sticker, or 10 minutes worth of video game time. Keep upping the ante, and increase the rewards accordingly.

News You Can Use

Cut out pictures from newspapers or magazines. Ask your child to identify the nouns in the pictures. For example, “This is a firefighter rescuing a cat from a pole.” They’ll not only learn about nouns, they’ll develop an interest in what’s going on in the world around them.

For older kids, you can ask them to write their own story about the picture, again underlining the nouns. Online worksheets also offer similar activities.

Guess the Game

Kids love games and sports. So for this game, you have them pick a game or a sport that they like. Then they write out a list of nouns that have something to do with the game or sport. For instance, for Monopoly, they might choose “hotel,” “house,” “money” or “bank.” For hockey, they could choose “stick,” “puck,” “player,” referee,” and so on. To switch it up, you might write the nouns the child has chosen on cards, and then ask him or her to identify the game or sport that the noun relates to.

Travel With Nouns

This is a variation on a very old party game. You can start by saying, “I am going in a trip, and in my suitcase I have packed an automobile.” You can bet your child will get a giggle out of that. Now, his or her job is to come up with a noun that begins with the letter “B”. Keep going back and forth.

You can also play “sentence games” when you’re out for a walk with your child. Ask him to identify the nouns in sentences like “There’s a boy on a bike.” You can also work on proper nouns by playing this game – “Look, there’s Ryan on his bike.”

Online Noun Games

There are also tons of games that you can play online that will help your child to learn about nouns.