Category Archive: Grammar

Jan 13

FREE English Grammar Lesson: hear vs listen to; see vs look at vs watch

Chris explains the difference between English verbs ‘hear’ and ‘listen to'; ‘see’, ‘look at’ and ‘watch':
Via YouTube:

Dec 30

Learn British English Free: new year’s resolutions (happy new year 2019)

Happy new year! Chris explains ideas and structures for talking about your goals for the new year.

Via YouTube.

Oct 21

Learn British English Free: important phrasal verb – let someone know (video)

Chris explains how to use important phrasal verb let me / you know in British English.

It’s like ‘tell’ but softer / more polite. Please listen to Chris to know how to use it.

For commands:

Let me know.

Please let me know when you get the update.

For the future:

I’ll let you know tomorrow.

She’ll let you know next week.

With the past perfect:

They’ve let me know.

I’ve let him know.

Past simple: use ‘tell’

‘I told him yesterday.’

‘I told you so.’

Fixed expression: ‘Let me tell you something…’

Via YouTube.

Sep 25

Learn British English Free: Polite British Grammar for Questions / Instructions

Polite: Please write the report for me by tomorrow.

Even more polite: Please could you write the report for me by tomorrow.

Polite form: please + verb (bare infinitive) is ok, but for British people even this can seem too direct, especially at work.

Even more polite form: please + could + subject + verb (bare infinitive) – using ‘could’ makes everything more polite. In a British work setting, this feels more comfortable.

Polite: Please open the window.

Even more polite: Please could you open the window.

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.

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