More tips for improving your English skills on your own
Early January, I shared with you my top tips for improving your language skills at home. This post is focusing on how to work on and memorise vocabulary better and master your English grammar. Finally, at the end of the article, you will find your “English prescription” to help fix your English followed by my top most essential secret ingredients for improving your English dramatically. So, are you ready?
Past Perfect: Simple or Continuous
We use the Past Perfect tense to connect past events.
Past Perfect Simple: use this to describe an action which happened before another past action.
Past Perfect Continuous: use this to describe an action which took place over a period of time before another past action.
OK: and how to use it
Even if you have just started learning English, I’m pretty sure there is one word you already know – in fact, it’s the most recognised word in the world: “Ok”.
Going back to 1839 we see “Ok” being used for the first time as a playful abbreviation for “all correct”. Since then “Ok” has spread across the globe and found its way into all of our lives. Today “Ok” has become one of the most common expressions in the English language. Here is how you use it.
11 Extra Ways to Use Like
As I mentioned before, like is one of the most versatile words in the English language. So far, we have reviewed the 5 most commonly taught and traditional ways of using it. Now, we will explore all the fantastically diverse ways to incorporate like into your conversation.
icon-exclamation-triangle CAUTION: Using like in the following ways will make you sound like a native speaker!
The Unlikely Power of Like
Like. We use the word like in nearly every conversation. More recently, since the advent of Facebook, it has even become a physical action. As we scroll through our friends’ timelines and posts, we make sure to click on that familiar icon just to show our friends that we have acknowledged their photo, their current status or even their tasty looking lunch. And, though we may hate to admit it, our self-esteem may even depend on how many of those likes we can gather on our own status updates and photos. Beyond our own egos, businesses large and small, are incredibly dependent on how many likes they can manage.
But, are all likes equal? Or has the simple, four letter, single syllabled word taken on a power of its own?
The Big 5: Expanding the Basic Sentence Structure
In the BIG 5 Part 1, we learned how to construct the 5 basic sentence structures. In this post, we will learn how to expand those basic structures by adding other parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs). This helps to add certain details or information to our sentences.
The Big 5: Sentence Structure in English
Real accuracy in English is easy once you know how to order the words in a sentence. Without the proper word order you may confuse the person you are speaking to, or at the least make it harder for them to understand you. Once you know the basic rules of word order you will find it much easier to speak and write in English with confidence.
In this first part we look at the basic elements of sentence structure. Please check out Part 2 for more information.
Understanding the Perfect Aspect in English Grammar
They say that nobody’s perfect and that is true, especially when it comes to using English (even English teachers make mistakes!). However, there is an aspect of English grammar that is perfect, the Perfect Aspect. Though it may be perfect, it most definitely is not easy to understand.
How To Use Superlatives
The Guinness Book of World Records has superlatives at its heart. It’s all about people who have competed globally to achieve the highest or lowest degree of a specific talent or skill. Superlatives are necessary to accurately describe the weird, wonderful and amazing skills that Guinness World Record holders have demonstrated.
New from English One: Online Private English Lessons
We’re so excited to share with you our newly improved online private English lesson option for those of you who are not able to come to our school.
Get the most out of your lessons with our individualised approach to teaching. All of your lessons are tailored to your unique needs and objectives. Your teacher will go at the best pace for you and will only move on to new areas when you are ready.
The Mother of All Verbs:“BE”
When we are born we rely on our mothers for survival right? And when we start to learn English the verb “be” is super important. That’s why I like to call it the mother verb, because without it we can’t learn English.
It is very important that you understand the verb “be” and its functions, and that you are able to use it across all skills with accuracy and fluency. This is because the verb “be” is the foundation of English, and as we know, a house built on sand will eventually collapse because it needs a strong foundation in order for it to survive.
4 Essential Grammar Tips to Improve your Speaking
Think about how you learnt your home language – your parents didn’t start by teaching you grammar rules did they? You learnt your language through speaking and listening. So why would you try to learn English by studying grammar first?
Speaking is the first step for anyone who wants to learn English. We highly recommend working on your speaking and listening skills first, before you start to study English grammar.
Understanding Prepositions of Time
What are prepositions?
Prepositions are words that define the relationship between words in a sentence. They usually connect a noun with a verb.
There are three basic prepositions used when we are referring to time. In, At and On.
Choosing the correct preposition is one of the most challenging parts of learning English. If you ask a native speaker why they use “at” rather than “on”, their response will probably be something like, “I don’t know. We just do.” They aren’t being difficult, they are just being honest. The truth is, there isn’t always a clear reason as to why we use a certain preposition, which is why it can be such a difficult part of learning.
How do we use the passive voice?
In our previous post on the passive, I explained why we use the passive voice. Now, let me show you some rules and how we create the grammatical structure of the passive.
What is the Passive Voice?
Aaahh… the Passive. The passive voice can be the thorn in the side of any English learner, native or non-native, and even English teachers. Although we encounter the passive voice more than we think, when we are presented with it formally, sometimes it seems as though it is impossible to understand. However, there are times when the passive voice is all that really makes sense. Before we can effectively use it we first have to understand why we use it.
Pesky Phrasal Verb Particles
Firstly, what are particles?
Particles are the non-content words which are (among other uses) used in a variety of combinations with verbs to form Phrasal Verbs. They are also the reason we can’t translate a phrasal verbs’ meaning by separating the verb and the particle. In most cases the verb is more pertinent to the meaning of the phrasal verb, however, the choice of particle is never random and can often be responsible for how a phrasal verb is used in context.
WHAT ARE PHRASAL VERBS?
Phrasal Verbs are Multi-word Verbs which are made up with verbs (come, put, get) and one or more particles. “Particles” are the adverbs and prepositions which complete it (up, with, off, on).
Verbs can combine with a number of particles to make up various phrasal verbs (get on, get on with, get back, get away)