Present Perfect (I have done)

 Tom is looking for his key. He can’t find it. He has lost his key.

He has lost his key = He lost it recently, and he still doesn’t have it.

Have/has lost is the present perfect simple.

I have (= I’ve, etc.) finished
he/she/it has (= he’s, etc.) lost
we/you/they have (= we’ve, etc.) done

been   etc.

The present perfect simple is have/has + past participle. The past participle often ends in –ed (finished/decided etc.), but many important verbs are irregular (lost/done/written etc.).

Read more

Irregular verb list

Present continuous (I am doing)

Have a look at the following example:

Sarah is in her car. She is on her way to work. She is driving to work.

This means, she is driving now, at the time of speaking. The action is not finished.

Am/is/are + -ing is the present continuous.

I am (= I’m) driving
he/she/it is (= he’s, etc.) working
we/you/they are (= we’re, etc.) doing, etc.

Read more

Present Simple (I do)

Have a look at this example situation:

Alex is a bus driver, but now he is in bed asleep. He is not driving a bus. (He is asleep)

but He drives a bus. (He is a bus driver.)

Drive(s)/work(s)/do(es) etc. is the present simple.

I/we/you/they drive/work/do etc.
he/she/it drives/works/does  etc.

We use the present simple to talk about things in general. We use it to say that something happens all the time or repeatedly, or that something is true in general:

  • Nurses look after patients in hospitals.
  • I usually go away at weekends.
  • The earth goes around the sun.
  • The cafe opens at 7:30 in the morning.

Remember:

I workbut He works

They teachbut My sister teaches

When to add -es

If a word ends in ‑s, –ss, ‑sh, ‑ch, ‑x, or ‑z, you add ‑es.

This rule applies to plural nouns and verbs after he/she/it.

Note also: potato/potatoes, tomato/tomatoes, do/does, go/goes

Words ending in -y

y changes to ie before the ending –s

study/studies, apply/applies, try/tries

We use do/does to make questions and negative sentences:

do

does

I/we/you/they

he/she/it

work?

drive?

do?

I/we/you/they

he/she/it

don’t

doesn’t

work

drive

do

  • I come from Canada. Where do you come from?
  • I don’t go away very often.
  • What does this word mean? (not What means this word?)
  • Rice doesn’t grow in cold climates.

In the following examples, do is also the main verb (do you do / doesn’t do etc.)

  • ‘What do you do?’  ‘I work in a shop.’
  • He’s always so lazy. He doesn’t do anything to help.

We use the present simple to say how often we do things:

  • I get up at 7 o’clock every morning.
  • How often do you go to the dentist?
  • Julie doesn’t drink tea very often.
  • Robert usually goes away two or three times a year.

I promise / I apologise etc.

Sometimes we do things by saying something. For example, when you promise to do something you can say “I promise …”; when you suggest something, you can say “I suggest…”:

I promise I won’t be late. (not I’m promising)

“What do you suggest I do?”  “I suggest that you …”

In the same way we say: I apologise… / I advise… / I insist… / I agree … / I refuse … / etc.

Practise the present simple

Complete the sentences using the following verbs:

cause(s)    connect(s)    drink(s)    live(s)    open(s)    speak(s)    take(s)

  1. Sarah _________ German very well.
  2. I don’t often _________ coffee.
  3. The gym _________ at 7:30 every morning.
  4. Bad driving _________ many accidents.
  5. My parents _________ in a very small apartment.
  6. The Olympic Games _________ place every four years.
  7. The Panama Canal _________ the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Answers

  1. Sarah speaks German very well.
  2. I don’t often drink coffee.
  3. The gym opens at 7:30 every morning.
  4. Bad driving causes many accidents.
  5. My parents live in a very small apartment.
  6. The Olympic Games take place every four years.
  7. The Panama Canal connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Use the following verbs to complete the sentences. Sometimes you need the negative.

believe    eat    flow    go    grow    make    rise    tell    translate

  1. Rice doesn’t grow in Canada.
  2. The earth __________ round the sun.
  3. The sun __________ in the east.
  4. Bees __________ honey.
  5. Vegetarians __________ meat.
  6. An atheist __________ in God.
  7. An interpreter __________ from one language into another.
  8. Liars are people who __________ the truth.
  9. The River Amazon __________ into the Atlantic Ocean.

Answers

  1. Rice doesn’t grow in Canada.
  2. The earth goes round the sun.
  3. The sun rises in the east.
  4. Bees make honey.
  5. Vegetarians don’t eat meat.
  6. An atheist doesn’t believe in God.
  7. An interpreter translates from one language into another.
  8. Liars are people who don’t tell the truth.
  9. The River Amazon flows into the Atlantic Ocean.

You ask Dara questions about herself and her family. Write the questions.

  1. You know that Dara plays tennis. You want to know how often. Ask her.
    How often do you play tennis?
  2. Perhaps Dara’s sister plays tennis too. You want to know. Ask Dara.
    __________ your sister __________________________?
  3. You know that Dara reads a newspaper every day.  You want to know which one. Ask her.
    __________________________?
  4. You know that Dara’s brother works. You want to know what he does. Ask Dara.
    __________________________?
  5. You know that Dara goes to the cinema a lot. You want to know how often. Ask her.
    __________________________?
  6. You don’t know where Dara’s grandparents live. You want to know. Ask Dara.
    __________________________?

Answers

  1. How often do you play tennis?
  2. Does your sister play tennis (too)?
  3. Which newspaper do you read?
  4. What does your brother do?
  5. How often do you go to the cinema?
  6. Where do your grandparents live?

Verb Tenses

Download a chart with all 12 verb tenses and examples.

Download the A4 version

Download the US letter version

 

Source: Murphy, R. English Grammar in Use. 4th Ed.

Image credit (main image): Stephane Milot

Countable and Uncountable Nouns

Let’s talk about nouns and quantifiers. A noun can be countable or uncountable. Countable nouns are those that refer to something that can be counted. They have both singular and plural forms. In the singular, they can be preceded by a or an. Most nouns are countable.

Uncountable nouns have only one form do not have a plural form. For example: rain, wine, or sand. You cannot use a or an with uncountable nouns.

Countable Uncountable
I eat a banana every day.
I like bananas.
Banana is a countable noun.We can use numbers with countable nouns. So we can say “one banana,” “two bananas,” etc.
I eat rice every day
I like rice.
Rice is an uncountable noun.We cannot use numbers with uncountable nouns. So we cannot say “one rice,” “two rices,” etc.
Examples of nouns usually countable:

Kate was singing a song.
There’s a nice beach near here.
Do you have a $10 bill?
It wasn’t your fault. It was an accident.

Examples of nouns usually uncountable:

Kate was listening to (some) music.
There’s sand in my shoes.
Do you have any money?
It wasn’t your fault. It was bad luck.

Some uncountable nouns can be used in the plural as well, depending on the meaning or context of the word. Take a look at these examples:

I don’t like coffee very much. uncountable, because it’s referring to the drink in general.
He ordered a coffee. countable, because it’s referring to a cup of coffee.
There’s no truth in the rumours. uncountable, because it refers to the quality or state of being true.
The fundamental truths about human nature countable, because it’s referring to facts or beliefs that are true.

When to use much/many, little/few

Different quantifiers are needed for countable and uncountable nouns. Sometimes the noun can be omitted when it is understood from the context.

We use many and few with plural countable nouns.  We use much and little with uncountable nouns.

We didn’t take many pictures. We didn’t do much shopping.
I have a few things to do. I have a little work to do.

There is a difference between a few and few, and a little and little:

a few means some or a small number.
few means not many or almost none.
a little means some or a small amount.
little means not much or almost nothing.

Another, more common, way of saying less is not as much and another, more common, way of saying fewer is not as many. Similarly little would translate as not much and few would translate as not many.

Exercises:

A. Complete the sentences using the following words. Sometimes the word needs to be plural (-s), and sometimes you need to use a/an.
air day friend language letter line
meat patience people picture space umbrella
  1. I had my camera, but I didn’t take any pictures.
  2. There are seven _________ in a week.
  3. A vegetarian is a person who doesn’t eat _________.
  4. Outside the movie theatre, there was _________ of people waiting to see the movie.
  5. I’m not very good at writing _________.
  6. Last night I went out with some _________ of mine.
  7. There were very few _________ in town today. The streets were almost empty.
  8. I’m going out for a walk. I need some fresh _________.
  9. Gary always wants things quickly. He doesn’t have much _________.
  10. I think it’s going to rain. Do you have _________ I could borrow?
  11. Do you speak any foreign _________?
  12. Our apartment is very small. We don’t have much _________.
B. Fill in: (a) little or (a) few
  1. We have to hurry. We have _________ time.
  2. Listen carefully. I’m going to give you _________ advice.
  3. Do you mind if I ask you _________ questions?
  4. I don’t think Jill would be a good teacher. She has _________ patience.
  5. “Would you like cream in your coffee?” “Yes please, _________.”
  6. “Have you ever been to Amsterdam?” “Yes, I’ve been there _________ times.”
C. Fill in: much/many/few/little
  1. He isn’t very popular. He has very _________ friends.
  2. Ann is very busy these days. She has very _________ free time.
  3. Did you take _________ pictures while you were on vacation?
  4. I’m not very busy today. I don’t have _________ to do.
  5. The weather has been very dry recently. We’ve had very _________ rain.

Answers Part A.

  1. I had my camera, but I didn’t take any pictures.
  2. There are seven days in a week.
  3. A vegetarian is a person who doesn’t eat meat.
  4. Outside the movie theatre, there was a line of people waiting to see the movie.
  5. I’m not very good at writing letters.
  6. Last night I went out with some friends of mine.
  7. There were very few people in town today. The streets were almost empty.
  8. I’m going out for a walk. I need some fresh air.
  9. Gary always wants things quickly. He doesn’t have much patience.
  10. I think it’s going to rain. Do you have an umbrella I could borrow?
  11. Do you speak any foreign languages?
  12. Our apartment is very small. We don’t have much space.

Answers Part B.

  1. We have to hurry. We have little time.
  2. Listen carefully. I’m going to give you a little advice.
  3. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?
  4. I don’t think Jill would be a good teacher. She has little patience.
  5. “Would you like cream in your coffee?” “Yes please, a little.”
  6. “Have you ever been to Amsterdam?” “Yes, I’ve been there a few times.”

Answers Part C.

  1. He isn’t very popular. He has very few friends.
  2. Ann is very busy these days. She has very little  free time.
  3. Did you take many pictures while you were on vacation?
  4. I’m not very busy today. I don’t have much to do.
  5. The weather has been very dry recently. We’ve had very little rain.

 

Sources:

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/grammar/countable-nouns
http://www.ef.com/english-resources/english-grammar/graded-quantifiers/
Murphy, R. Grammar in Use Intermediate. 3rd edition. 

prefixes and suffixes

Prefixes and Suffixes

Prefixes and suffixes are sets of letters that are added to the beginning or end of another word. They are not words in their own right and cannot stand on their own in a sentence: if they are printed on their own they have a hyphen before or after them.

Prefixes

Prefixes are added to the beginning of an existing word in order to create a new word with a different meaning. For example:

Word Prefix New word
happy un- unhappy
cultural multi- multicultural
work over- overwork
space cyber- cyberspace
market super- supermarket

Suffixes

Suffixes are added to the end of an existing word. For example:

Word Suffix New word
child -ish childish
work -er worker
taste -less tasteless
idol -ize/-ise idolize/idolise
like -able likeable

The addition of a suffix often changes a word from one word class to another. In the table above, the verb like becomes the adjective likeable, the noun idol becomes the verb idolize,and the noun child becomes the adjective childish.

Word creation with prefixes and suffixes

Some prefixes and suffixes are part of our living language, in that people regularly use them to create new words for modern products, concepts, or situations. For example:

Word prefix or suffix New word
security bio- biosecurity
clutter de- declutter
media multi- multimedia
email -er emailer

Email is an example of a word that was formed from a new prefix, e-, which stands for electronic. This modern prefix has formed an ever-growing number of other Internet-related words, including e-booke-cashe-commerce, and e-tailer.

You can read more about prefixes and suffixes on the OxfordWords blog. Here you will find guidelines, examples, and tips for using prefixes and suffixes correctly.

What other words can you think of that have a prefix or a suffix? Add your words to the comments below.

 

Source: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/spelling/prefixes-and-suffixes

Prepositions Made Easy: Preposition Definitions for Location and Movement

Do you struggle with prepositions? Do English prepositions confuse you?

Well have no fear. In this article, you’re going to easily learn the definitions for the various prepositions related to movement and location.

Because prepositions don’t literally translate from one language to another, they can be one of the most difficult things for non-native English speakers to master.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult.

One reason prepositions can be difficult to wrap your head around [understand] is because it’s hard to visualize what they look like in your head.

However, prepositions related to direction CAN be demonstrated with images. So check out the image above (click to view at full size or Download the pdf). Then, for more information and examples, read the definitions below.

NOTE: All the links below will take you to an awesome song on youtube that gives you a real-life example of the preposition.

Preposition Definitions

1. In/inside – when something is in the interior of a 3 dimensional object.

2. On – when something is on top of an object or surface.

3. At – expressing location in a specific place.

  • She’s at the door.
  • Where are you at?

4. Near – a short distance away from (a place).

  • Do you live near here?
  • The restaurant is near the bakery.

5. Under – directly below (generally 3 with dimensional objects).

6. Over – directly on top of, but not touching (generally from one side to another).

  • In the high jump, you have to jump over the bar.
  • Instead of going to the side of the rock, he drove over it.

7. Below – directly underneath (generally with 2 dimensional objects).

  • Your stomach is below your chest.
  • The ocean floor is miles below the surface.

8. Above – on top up/over something, without touching it.

9. Round/around – on every side of.

1o. Through – moving in one side and out the other side.

  • The ball went through his legs.
  • The car went through the tunnel.

11. Among – surrounded by.

  • The strawberries are hidden among the trees.
  • In the RLE Facebook Group, you’re among friends.

12. Between – in the space between two objects.

  • The United States is located between Canada and Mexico.
  • The dog walked between us and lay down at our feet.

13. Behind – at the back/far side of something.

  • Look at the sunset behind you.
  • There’s a naked person behind the tree.

14. In front of – the opposite of behind, a position at the front part of something.

  • I’ll meet you in front of my house.
  • Wait for me in front of the supermarket.

15. Along – moving in a constant direction on (a path more or less horizontal).

16. Across – from one side to the other.

17. Up – toward the sky or higher place.

18. Down – toward the ground or lower place.

  • The sun is starting to go down.
  • Everything that goes up, must come down.

19. Opposite – have a position on the other or further side of something.

  • A large group of people gathered [came together] on the opposite side of the street.
  • Opposite the school is a church.

20. Onto – moving to a location on (the surface of something).

  • We got onto the train.
  • He jumped onto the rock.

21. Off – moving away and often down from.

  • He fell off the bed while he was sleeping.
  • He jumped off the horse.

22. Into – to become enclosed/surrounded by something else.

23. Out of  – moving away from.

  • Let’s get out of here. I’m tired.
  • He got out of the water.

24. Past – in front of or from one side to the other.

  • He walked past me without saying hello.
  • The man drove past while honking his horn.

25. Next to/by/beside – in or into a position immediately to one side of.

26. Against – in physical contact with something, generally supported by it.

  • When I’m tired, I rest my back against the wall.
  • He stood with his back against the door.

27. Over – expressing passage or movement across the top of something.

28. From—to – from—the point in space where something starts, to—the point in space where something ends.

  • He drove from his house to the store to get some fruit.
  • I’ll send it along with love from me to you.

29. Toward – in the direction of.

  • I walked toward the front door.
  • She’s walking toward me.

Source: http://reallifeglobal.com/preposition-definitions/