A common problem for English learners is spelling. Oh, let’s be honest, whoever designed English spelling needs to be _____ (I’ll let you fill in the blank with your idea for the best punishment). Despite all the horrible spellings, there are usually rules to most words—we just have a LOT of rules with their nuances (and exceptions).Read Full Article »
|May 4th, 2013||Tweet||
These are probably among the most misused false friends, undoubtedly due to their incredible similarity with their Spanish counterparts. However, they have no relation at all!
Actual and Actually are used to present factual information, usually after another person has said something wrong. It’s a great way to politely correct someone. It’s similar in meaning to “real(ly).Read Full Article »
|May 3rd, 2013||Tweet||
While success and suceso both do ultimately derive from the Latin word successus, their meanings have changed over the millennia.
In English, success is the noun used to describe situations in which some goal has been achieved, or a person has obtained great wealth, respect, awards, etc. Its verb is to succeed, and its adjective is successful.
Success can come with a heavy price.
Despite having an amazing voice, Eva Cassidy was not successful until after she died.Read Full Article »
|April 26th, 2013||Tweet||
Choose the best option.
Kerry is my next-door neighbor. She live / lives by herself but has many cat / cats. Sometimes, she and I go out with several of our mutual friend / friends, who run / runs a pizza parlor downtown. I’ve heard some people think / thinks she’s lonely, living with all that cat / those cats, but I know she has / have such a busy social life / lives that she doesn’t have time for a boyfriend / some boyfriends. She works with a couple of good friend / friends of hers in a shop in the mall, and makes a lot of money / a lots of money.Read Full Article »
|April 22nd, 2013||Tweet||
Articles are always an issue for English learners, so try practicing by putting in the right one (a/an, the, or nothing) in the following text:
Have you ever gone to (1)___ drive-in cinema? I love them. I went to my first one when I was (2)___ 12. My father took me to (3)___ one at the edge of town. We parked our car in (4)___ front row, and tuned our radio to the local station. We saw (5)___ comedy film and (6)___ action film, and while I didn’t really enjoy (7)___ movies,Read Full Article »
|March 11th, 2013||Tweet||
These verbs can be very confusing due to their similarities, but they are used differently.
When you end something, you stop doing it, even though it could go on.
I ended the meeting because it was getting late.
Mary has ended her relationship with Bob—it was about time!
I’ll be visiting Taiwan at the end of the month—how exciting!
|February 28th, 2013||Tweet||
Have can be confusing because it’s used in two different ways: as an auxiliary verb, and as a main verb.
When it’s an auxiliary verb, it’s part of the perfect, and is followed by a participle. In these cases, it can be contracted.
When it’s a main verb, it’s either followed by its object or a to-infinitive, and cannot be contracted.
Also, be aware that have can be both in the same sentence.Read Full Article »
|February 25th, 2013||Tweet||
These two words can cause some confusion, but they’re really easy to distinguish.
Half refers to 50% of something:
– I had an apple. I cut it in two equal pieces, and gave one half to my sister and I ate the other half.
Middle refers to the central part of something.
– I’m in the middle of doing a lesson right now.
|February 17th, 2013||Tweet||
When answering another person’s comments, instead of saying just yes or no, we can respond with certain phrases that express our feelings towards the response we give. For example:
When we are fairly sure of our response to what someone else has said, we can use “think”:
“Will the report be finished on time?” “I think so.”
“Won’t Mary be coming with us?” “I don’t think so.”
|February 12th, 2013||Tweet||
Some may find these two words confusing, but they’re simple to separate.
Long or length refers to a measurement of something from end to end or from top to bottom or from beginning to end. Length is one of three dimensions
The car is three meters long.
My wife gave me a really long list of things to buy at the supermarket.
I had to wait a long time to get to see the movie.
|February 1st, 2013||Tweet||