Tuesday, 29 June 2010

State verbs

State verbs refer to states which continue over some time. They do not usually have an –ing form (unless they describe an action or process).

Action verbs describe actions that have a definite start and end and can have an –ing form.

Here are some state verbs:
Mental states: remember, forget, forgive, understand, know, notice, recognise, believe, wonder, hope, consider, be, think, suppose, expect, realise, trust, seem, wish, recognise, refuse
Emotional states: like, want, desire, hate, prefer, dislike, love
Other: own, possess, see, hear, smell, consist of, owe, belong

e.g. I think about you all the time. (state)
I’m thinking about moving to China. (action)

Have/Have got

I/you/we/they have (got)
He/she/it has (got)

X I/you/we/they don’t have OR haven’t got
He/she/it doesn’t have OR hasn’t got

? Do I/you/we/you/they have…? Have I/you/we/they got…?
Does he/she/it have…? Has he/she/it got….?

We use have/have got to:-
Show possession e.g. I’ve got a brother. He has two children. I haven’t got a computer.
To describe people, animals, things e.g. She has brown hair. It has got a long tail. The computer has a big screen.
To talk about an illness e.g. We have a headache. I’ve got a cold. He’s got a broken nose.
To describe relationships e.g. Have you got a sister? We haven’t got a brother.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Problem pairs

Remind (someone else helps you remember). e.g. Can you remind me to take my medicine?
Remember (bring to your mind) e.g. I remembered John’s birthday.

Invent (to design or create something new). e.g. Edison invented the light bulb.
Discover (find something new - already exists) e.g. Columbus discovered the Americas in 1942.

Rob (a place or person) e.g. Three banks were robbed last week. The broke in and robbed my flat.
Steal (items) e.g. They stole hundreds of dollars from the bank. Someone has stolen my mobile phone.

Priceless (having a lot of value) e.g. Some of his paintings are priceless.
Valueless (having no value) e.g. I was fooled by the dealer. The antique piece was valueless.

Prevent (take action to stop something before it begins) e.g. We should pass laws to prevent the spread of violence.
Avoid (staying away from something) e.g. I try to avoid being stuck in traffic.

Control (to restrict someone or something) e.g. The police tightened their control over football hooligans.
Check (examine something) e.g. They checked our passport at the airport.

Beat (another team/person) e.g. Italy beat France in 2006.
Win (to come first) e.g. Italy won the world cup in 2006.

Speak/talk to somebody about something
Can I speak now?
He speaks three languages.
Can I speak to your supervisor?
He speaks quickly.
The professor only spoke for a short while.
They talked about their school days.
Let’s talk business.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Transport - get on/off/into/out of

get on/off → a bicycle, a horse, an aeroplane, a bus, a train, a ship

get into/out of → a car, a taxi

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Used to

We use used to (+ infinitive) to talk about past habits. We don't do these things now.

I/you/he/she/it/we/they used to walk everyday.

I/you/he/she/it/we/they didn't use to work.

Did I/you/he/she/it/we/you/they use to get up early?

Saturday, 19 June 2010


Conjunctions join 2 parts of a sentence, showing the connection between them.

And = gives you more information e.g. We went to the supermarket and bought some milk.

But = shows contrast e.g. We went shopping but we didn't buy anything.

Because = anwers the question why? e.g. They love eating ice-cream because it is delicious.

When = answers the question when? e.g. I got the car when I had enough money.

So = shows the result e.g. It rained so they went home.

If = shows a condition e.g. If it rains we will go home.

Although/though/even though = shows surprise e.g. Even though she was only four she could play the piano well.

Family tree

Peter is Jane's husband.
Jane is Peter's wife.

Peter and Jane are John's parents.
Peter is John's father.
Jane is John's mother.
John is Peter and Jane's son.
Tina is John and Mary's daughter.

Tina, Harry, Jack and George are John and Mary's children.

Peter and Jane are Tina's grandparents.
Peter is Tina's grandfather.
Jane is Tina's grandmother.
Tina is Peter's granddaugher.
Harry is Peter's grandson.

Harry is Tina's brother.
Tina is Harry's sister.

George is Angelina's uncle.
Jill is Angelina's aunt.
Angelina is William's cousin.
Angelina is George and Jill's neice.
Tim is George and Jill's nephew.

Emily is Tina's sister-in-law.
Emily is John and Mary's daughter-in-law.

Adverbs of frequency

We always eat rice for lunch.
They usually watch TV in the evening.
I often travel by bus.
She sometimes wakes up early.
He occasionally goes to the cinema.
It doesn't often rain.
We hardly ever travel outside our city.
They rarely do anything at weekends.
She never wants to see him again.

Useful phrases


Friday, 18 June 2010

Expressions with 'do' and 'make'

Do (+ task)

Do the housework, the washing (up), the ironing, the gardening, homework, research, an exam, exercises, business with, your best, some work, a job, a favour, you good, a crossword, your hair, the shopping

Make (for producing something new)

Make coffee, dinner, an appointment, a plan a sandwich, a cake, a photocopy, a film, a noise, a sound, a mistake, a bed, a mess, a comment, a suggestion, an impression, a fortune, a phone call

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Expressing Preferences

I prefer walking to swimming. (generally)
I prefer chocolates to ice-cream. (generally)

I prefer watching football rather than playing basketball. (generally)
I would prefer to go shopping rather than to visit friends. (this time)

I prefer not to go clubbing. (generally / this time)

I would rather travel to Germany than drive to France. (generally / this time)
I would rather you didn’t come with us to the meeting. (this time)

Elementary English Dictation 2 - Expressteach

Monday, 14 June 2010

At the office

A house

Some problem pairs

Advice (guidance) e.g. I have a feeling they don’t follow their parents’ advice. noun
Advise (to recommend) e.g I advise you to see a dentist. verb

Effect (result) e.g. One of the effects of the oil spill is the ecological disaster it brings about. noun
(to have an impact) e.g. The new taxes will affect those on high incomes. verb

Borrow (to use something that belongs to somebody else) e.g. I borrowed a book from the library.
Lend (to give something to somebody that belongs to you) e.g. I’ll lend you my bicycle if you bring it back on Friday.

Lose (unable to find something) e.g. You’ll lose your things if you don’t look after them.
Loose (not tight) e.g. Those trousers look very loose on you!

Their (belonging to them) e.g. They are having their break.
There (to point something out) e.g. Look over there! Can you see her?

Quiet (silence) e.g. We need a quiet place to study.
Quite (rather) e.g. They were quite satisfied with the service at the hotel.

Whether (if) e.g. Do you know whether they want to come to dinner with us?
Weather (climate) e.g. What’s the weather like in Brazil?

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Telling the time - o'clock

1:00 One o'clock
2:00 Two o'clock
3:00 Three o'clock
9:00 Nine o'clock
10:00 Ten o'clock
12:00 Twelve o'clock

Telling the time - to

12:35 Twenty five to one
12:40 Twenty to one
12:45 Quarter to one
12:50 Ten to one
12:55 Five to one

Telling the time - past

12:05 Five past twelve
12:10 Ten past twelve
12:15 A quarter past twelve
12:20 Twenty past twelve
12:25 Twenty five past twelve
12:30 Half past twelve

Reflexive pronouns

Reflexive pronouns refer back to the subject.

Subjectreflexive pronoun
Imyself e.g. I hurt myself.
youyourself e.g. You hurt yourself.
hehimself e.g. He hurt himself.
sheherself e.g. She hurt herself.
ititself e.g. It hurt itself.

weourselves e.g. We hurt ourselves.
youyourselves e.g You hurt yourselves.
theythemselves e.g. They hurt themselves.

Saturday, 12 June 2010



One more / an additional one e.g. We have two children and we would like another one. Would you like another sandwich? I don't want another drink.

A different one e.g. I don't like this restaurant. Let's find another place to eat.

Friday, 11 June 2010


There are different ways to express possibility.

They possibly/probably missed the bus!
Perhaps/Maybe he lost your telephone number.
She could have been stuck in traffic.
I may not be able to finish my work on time.
Surely he couldn’t have forgotten her birthday!
Strange things can happen if you don’t get enough sleep, can’t they?
We may/might pass through India on our trip.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Possessive nouns

We use the possessive form of a noun to show something belongs to someone.

After singular nouns , add -'s e.g. This is Sue’s bag. [the bag belongs to Sue]


when the noun is plural but doesn’t end in 's' e.g. men’s toilet

After plural nouns, add -s' e.g. Is that the girls' bedroom? [the bedroom belongs to more than one girl]

of can also be used to show possession
e.g. the name of the book, a friend of mine, the teacher of the class

Personal Pronouns

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Subject and Object Pronouns

A pronoun is used instead of a noun. e.g. Tom (He) eats ice-cream.

Subject → Verb → Object

SUBJECT PRONOUN [before verb]= OBJECT PRONOUN [after verb]
I = Me
= You
She = Her
= Him
= It
= Us
= Them

e.g. She gave him a birthday gift.
He told her to call him.
We asked our friends to come with us.
They invited me to their house for dinner.
You don't have to bring it with you to the meeting.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

This is my teacher (possessive adjectives/determiners)

Possessive adjectives shows who the noun belongs to.

They are the same for singular and plural nouns. e.g. This is my book. These are my books.

•I = My e.g. I have already washed my hands.
•You = Your e.g. Do you live with your parents?
•She = Her e.g. She's with her husband.
•He = His e.g. He's looking for his keys.
•It = Its e.g. China is famous for its Great Wall. [Its has no apostrophe ']
•We = Our e.g. That isn't our house.
•They = Their e.g. They haven't got their identity cards.


Adverbs tell us about a verb - how somebody does something or how something happens.

•Many adverbs are formed from an adjective +ly
e.g. quick (quickly), serious (seriously), careful (carefully), bad (badly)

Adverbs of frequency are used with Present Simple
Always (100%), Usually (80%), Often (70%), Sometimes (60%), Never (0%).
e.g. She always eats Chinese food.
I don’t often go to the cinema.

Parts of a sentence

Sam drove carefully along the narrow road.

Sam = subject
drove = verb (past simple, irregular)
carefully = adverb
along = preposition
the = article
narrow = adjective
road = noun

Culture file - Drums from Ghana


Adjectives describe nouns and usually appear before nouns e.g. a big house, or after the verb ‘to be’ e.g. My teacher is young.

Word order of adjectives in a sentence.
(1) Feeling?
(2) How big?
(3) How old?
(4) What colour?
(5) Where from?
(6) What is it made of?
e.g. a small black plastic bag
a wonderful red Indian rug
a tall young man

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

‘ago’ – adverb of time

Ago measures time from now back to a fixed time in the past.

2000………[10 years]……….2010

How long ago did you meet?
I met him ten years ago.
Ten years ago, we met.

Time phrases: a minute ago, an hour ago, a day ago, a week ago, a few weeks ago, a year ago, a long time ago, ages ago

Art from China - by Roy (ex-student)

Abstract nouns

An abstract noun (e.g. love, education) cannot be seen or touched and often refers to ideas or feelings.

Qualities: truth, freedom, beauty, goodness, honesty, wealth, bravery, strength, weakness, etc.

Events/actions: exams, victory, trial, invitation, laugh, whisper, shout, answer, action, etc.

States: knowledge, peace, hope, trust, belief, judgment, permission, childhood, etc.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Intransitive Verbs

An intransitive verb does not have a direct object and is complete without it. Who or what receives the action is missing.

He has arrived. They paused. She speaks fast. Alex fell. They laughed. Jason was reading. It rained. I coughed. The sun rose.

Words and phrases [adverb or prepositional phrase] that follow an intransitive verb generally answer the question 'how' or 'where'.

It rained across China. [prepositional phrase – 'where']