Don’t let grammar be a big problem

Grammar: don’t let it be a big problem
Lower intermediate to advanced level (B1-C1) 

Learning English outside the UK, the US, Australia etc can often be about learning ‘grammar’. This makes people think you need to know ‘rules’ before you can speak or write. However, in my experience, a heavy focus on a grammar problem can stop people learning and communicating. Continue reading

Grammar: The subjunctive

Grammar: the subjunctive. Where and what is it?
Intermediate to advanced level (B1-C2)

Every language has developed over time. Modern English is simpler than older versions but contains some features from the past. With ‘he’, ‘she’ and ‘it’, the verb form might occasionally surprise you. Continue reading

Grammar: I’m loving it??

Grammar: loving, liking etc – advanced points
Upper intermediate to advanced level (B2-C2)

Some English verbs are not usually used in the continuous form. ‘Love’ and ‘like’ are two of them. For example:
A: On Saturday, there’s a Pink Floyd tribute band playing at the National Arena.
B. Really? I love Pink Floyd. Continue reading

Grammar: Perfect ‘tense’ – advanced points

Grammar: perfect ‘tense’ – advanced points
Upper intermediate to advanced level (B2-C2)

Hopefully, you will already be familiar with common perfect constructions such as: ‘Have you ever been to Moscow?’, ‘I’ve already bought a ticket.’ or ‘He said he hadn’t seen it.’. However, for higher level English you need to become familiar with some other points. Continue reading

Vocabulary: ‘Among’ or ‘between’

Vocabulary: ‘among’ or ‘between’
Intermediate to advanced level (B1-A2)

Many learners wonder how to use these words correctly. Some people give the simple rule that you should use ‘between’ with two things/people and ‘among’ when you have more than two. However, in practice, it is a little different. Continue reading

FCE writing tips

Cambridge First (FCE) writing tips
Upper intermediate level (B2)

Many people will be taking the Cambridge First exam this summer. To get ready you will probably need to write a lot of essays. An important tip is to keep a list of your most common FCE writing mistakes and check this list before you write. Continue reading

Grammar: Using the past perfect

Grammar: using the past perfect – some examples of when you should
Lower intermediate to advanced level (B1-C1)

Many learners are a little confused about when they should use the past perfect in English (had taken, had told, had imagined etc). There are several reasons for this. Continue reading

Grammar: List of irregular verbs

Grammar: a list of irregular verbs in groups
All levels

Most irregular verbs are used a lot in English so they are important verbs to learn. In this list they are grouped, for example, by spelling or pronunciation. This should make them easier to remember. Continue reading

Grammar: Predictions – looking into the future

Grammar: predictions
Pre-intermediate to upper intermediate level (A1-B2)

Michio Kaku is a well-known American physicist. He has just published a book called ‘The Future of the Mind’. In his book he writes about how people we will be able to record clear images of your thoughts and even your dreams! Continue reading

Speaking and grammar: How to make an offer

Speaking: making an offer
Intermediate to higher level (B1-C2)

You can make an offer in English in many different ways. Here are some examples:

  • ‘Would you like a cup of tea?’ or more informally just ‘Like a cup of tea?’
  • ‘Do you fancy a cup of tea?’ or just ‘Fancy a cup of tea?’
  • ‘Do you want a cup of tea’ or just ‘Want a cup of tea?

Continue reading

Vocabulary: A sporting week full of adverbs

Lower level (A1/A2)

You use the words in bold to talk about how often you do something:

Every Sunday morning I play golf with my friends. After the 18th hole we always have a large lunch and then go home. On Mondays I often play tennis with my cousin Susan at her sports club. If I don’t play tennis I watch horse racing on TV. Continue reading

, ; : . ” ? Punctuation: who needs it?

Grammar: punctuation
Intermediate level (B2)

Commas, colons, full stops … It’s probably true to say that less punctuation is used today than in the past but this doesn’t mean punctuation isn’t needed. Punctuation is really important when it can change the meaning of a sentence. I found this example in Wikipedia: Continue reading