Category Archive: Grammar

Aug 27

Learn British English Grammar Free (video): can; could; to be able to (subtitles / captions)

Chris presents some ideas about different ways to use can, could and to be able to. Via YouTube

CAN = modal verb

I can do it or I can’t (cannot) do it

can’t use it in the past

can for permission: Can I go out? You can’t smoke here (instruction)

can for ability: I can speak three languages or I can’t speak three languages

can in the future: I can see you tomorrow

 

COULD = can in the past  (modal verb)

I could come or I couldn’t (could not) come (past)

could for questions (more polite):

Could you do that outside, please?

could = can in the past: I could do that when I was younger

couldn’t for something you don’t want to do:

I couldn’t make fun of him (it is possible but I don’t want to)

 

TO BE ABLE TO is possible with the past and future – not a modal verb

able – ability (noun)

I’m able to see him now or I’m not able to see him now

use with future + will:

I will be able to come tomorrow

I won’t be able to come tomorrow

use to be able to in the past:

I was able to do that when I was younger

I used to be able to do that

‘can’ is more common than ‘be able to’ because it’s shorter and more useful

Jul 12

Learn British English Grammar Free (video): must; have to; must not; don’t have to; need not

Chris explains the difference between ‘must’, ‘have to’, ‘must not’, ‘don’t have to’ and ‘need not’ (needn’t). For Dani. Please click here for a visual grammar cline.

Must

Obligation: yes.

Do you do it? Yes.

‘You must go to all your classes’.

 

Have to

Obligation: yes.

Do you do it? Yes.

‘I have to go shopping’.

 

Must not

Obligation: yes.

Do you do it? No.

‘You must not smoke at school’.

 

Do not (don’t) have to

Obligation: no.

Do you do it? You choose.

‘You don’t have to come later’.

 

Need not (needn’t)

Obligation: no.

Do you do it? You choose.

‘You needn’t come later if you don’t want to’.

 

Notes

must = have to

don’t have to = needn’t = don’t need to

Jul 11

Learn English Grammar (visual): must; have to; must not; don’t have to; need not

Chris explains the difference between ‘must’, ‘have to’, ‘must not’, ‘don’t have to’ and ‘need not’ (needn’t). For Dani. See visual below.

 

Must

Obligation: yes.

Do you do it? Yes.

‘You must go to all your classes’.

 

Have to

Obligation: yes.

Do you do it? Yes.

‘I have to go shopping’.

 

Must not

Obligation: yes.

Do you do it? No.

‘You must not smoke at school’.

 

Do not (don’t) have to

Obligation: no.

Do you do it? You choose.

‘You don’t have to come later’.

 

Need not (needn’t)

Obligation: no.

Do you do it? You choose.

‘You needn’t come later if you don’t want to’.

 

Notes

must = have to

don’t have to = needn’t = don’t need to

Must etc Jul 18 JPEG

Jul 01

Learn Modern English Grammar (video): ‘this’ and ‘that’

When to use ‘this’ or ‘that’ by Chris. Thanks, Evgeny!

EXAMPLES BELOW:
We only use ‘this’ for something physical that is near us. We use ‘that’ to refer to any subject or object otherwise, such as these examples:

‘I don’t want this one; I want that one.’

‘Uruguay beat Portugal in the round of 16.’
‘Yes, I saw. That was a great performance.’

‘The sunny weather’s going to continue for another couple of weeks. What do you think about that?’

Ask someone’s opinion: ‘What do you think about that?’

‘Should I wear this hat to the party on Friday?’
‘Ou – I’m not sure about that.’

Jul 23

English Grammar (visual lesson): ‘Teach’ or ‘Learn’?

A teacher teaches students.

A student learns from their teacher.

INCORRECT: the teacher learns the student.

Teach Learn JPEG

Jul 02

Learn British English Free (video lesson): stand up / sit down

Learn British English Free: stand up; sit down

Stand / stand up

I stand up.

I am standing (up).

She stands up.

They all stood up when the judge entered the room.

Sit / sit down

I sit down on my chair to work.

I am sitting down.

*Stands up* I was sitting down.

Can I sit down? I’ve been standing up for ages.

I sat down to wait for the doctor.

Common mistakes:

INCORRECT: I am sat down. CORRECT: I am sitting down.

INCORRECT: we were stood quietly. CORRECT: we were standing quietly.

Oxford Dictionaries Blog.

May 23

Learn English Grammar: Remember or Remind

Remember or remind?

Tom remembers something (by himself)

Jane reminds Tom to do something and Tom then remembers

Remember Remind JPEG

Mar 05

Learn English: lend or borrow (visual lesson)

Borrower: I need money. Can I borrow money from you? Can you lend me money?

Lender: I can lend you money. You can borrow money from me.

Lend Borrow JPEG

Mar 02

English Prepositions: go to a place and be in a place

To In JPEG

Feb 25

Visual English Grammar: Enough; Too Much; Too Many

Enough = the amount I want and / or need:

Enough Too Much Too Many JPEG

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