Posted in Grammar, Languages, learning, Self improvement, Vocabulary

Your best guide for the verb tenses

There are 12 main tenses in the English language, the result of the following combination of tenses and aspects:

  • Present
  • Past
  • Future
  • Present perfect
  • Past perfect
  • Future perfect
  • Present progressive
  • Past progressive
  • Future progressive
  • Present perfect progressive
  • Past perfect progressive
  • Future perfect progressive

The Simple Verb Tenses

To begin, let’s take a closer look at the simple present, past, and future verb tenses. 

Present

The simple present tense indicates actions that are habitual or generally true.

  • I like sushi.
  • The weather in Texas is hot.
  • When we visit Bologna, we walk under miles of porticos.

In particular, notice the use of the simple present when stating a habitual action. It would sound incorrect to say, “I eat pasta,” in response to the question, “What are you doing right now?” Instead, you would use the progressive tense: “I am eating pasta.” 

You do use the simple present to describe a routine action, though.

  • He paints portraits.
  • I eat fresh strawberries in the summer.
  • The dogs bark whenever she takes a conference call.

You also use the simple present with stative verbs , which indicate possession, senses, emotions, or states of being.

  • I love that new song.
  • That shirt belongs to me.
  • She thinks spinach is delicious.

Past 

The simple past tense indicates an action that is already complete. To form the past tense of a regular verb in English, you add the suffix “ed.” Sadly, for ESL speakers, there are a number of irregular verbs that do not follow this rule, such as felt, came, and thought.

  • I donated to the food drive yesterday.
  • He felt nauseous after riding the roller coaster.
  • Thousands of Chinese immigrants came to the United States in the nineteenth century.

Future 

The simple future tense indicates an action or state of being that will take place in the future. You form it by adding auxiliary words (such as “will,” “shall,” or “am going to”) to the main verb.

  • I am going to love my trip to Hawaii.
  • The principal shall make the announcement tomorrow.
  • He’ll bring a casserole to the potluck if you don’t have enough food. 

The Progressive Verb Tenses To describe actions that are ongoing in the past, present, or future, you apply the progressive aspect to each of the three simple tenses. The three progressive tenses can be formed by adding the correct form of the auxiliary verb “to be” to verbs ending in “ing.”

The Progressive Verb Tenses

To describe actions that are ongoing in the past, present, or future, you apply the progressive aspect to each of the three simple tenses.

Present Progressive

The present progressive tense describes an ongoing action that is happening right now. The action began in the past and will continue into the future.

  • She’s filing the divorce papers.
  • I’m checking my social media accounts.
  • The neighbor’s dog is barking loudly and enthusiastically.

Past Progressive

The past progressive tense indicates an action that was ongoing in the past. It began at some point and may continue after a second action has taken place.

  • She was talking to her friend when their biology class ended.
  • I was watering my plants when three cop cars sped down the street.
  • They were driving up the coast when it began snowing so hard they could barely see.

Future Progressive

The future progressive tense indicates an ongoing action that will take place in relation to some future event.

  • I will be coming home for the holidays.
  • She’ll be heading out the door the minute she wins the lottery.
  • We will be singing the same song, undoubtedly, when our daughter graduates from college. 

The Perfect Verb Tenses

The perfect verb tense describes an action or state of being that is finished or already completed. You form each of the three perfect tenses by adding the correct form of the auxiliary verb “to have” to the past participle of the verb. Perfect tenses can be used with dynamic or stative verbs.

Present Perfect

The present perfect tense indicates an accomplishment, experience, or action that occurred over an indefinite period of time. The action may have ended sometime before the present moment or may still be happening. The present perfect and the simple past are sometimes used interchangeably in the English language. In fact, the difference between them boils down to context.

  • I have been horseback riding.
  • The train has been delayed until future notice.
  • The English language has been transformed several times since the Anglo-Saxon invasion.

Past Perfect

The past perfect tense indicates that a past action was completed before another action took place.

  • Gwen had invested in the company just before it went bankrupt.
  • We had argued for peace, but the opposition decided to wage war.
  • I had fixed the drywall cracks before the mud storm shifted the home’s foundation again.

Future Perfect

The future perfect verb tense indicates an action that will have been completed in some future time.

  • The dogs will have been fed before we arrive home.
  • She will have been exhausted by playing with her nieces and nephews.
  • By the time we see their light, stars will have been already alive for billions of years.

The Perfect Progressive Verb Tenses

The perfect progressive tense describes an action that occurred in the past and is ongoing in relation to some past, present, or future point in time. While the perfect tense indicates a completed action, the three perfect progressive tenses describe continuous action.

Present Perfect Progressive 

The present perfect progressive tense describes an action that began in the past and is still ongoing in the present.

  • I have been watching Netflix all morning.
  • They have been trying to build their new desk.
  • The lawyers have been eager to get the testimony of a key witness.

Past Perfect Progressive

The past perfect progressive tense describes an action that was ongoing in the past but stopped before the present time, often because of another action.

  • They had been working until the pizza arrived.
  • I had been shopping for Christmas presents until I exceeded my credit limit.
  • She had been daydreaming about visiting Italy for so long that it felt strange to actually be there.

Future Perfect Progressive

The future perfect progressive tense indicates an action in the future that will be ongoing and may continue past the time of another event, though the second future event often implies the cessation of the event that is ongoing.

  • I will have been working for ten hours by the time I go to bed.
  • The legal team will have been compiling research even if the parties agree to settle.
  • She will have been eating meat for 40 years if she decides to become a vegetarian in the New Year.
Posted in Grammar, Languages, Learning, Self improvement, Writing

Figures of speech

What is the figure of speech

A figure of speech is a word or phrase that is used in a non-literal way to create an effect. This effect used in the deliberate arrangement of words to achieve something poetic, or imagery as in the use of language to suggest a visual picture or make an idea more vivid.

Types of figures of speech

  • Simile

A simile is a type of figurative language which is used to compare one thing against another. Similes compare the likeness of two things and often feature the words “like” or “as”. For example, as strong as a lion.

  • Metaphor

A metaphor is a phrase describing something, as something is not in reality. It is used to compare two things symbolically, or to describe something as something it is not. For example, love is a battlefield.

  • Personification

Personification is a type of figurative language. It is used to give an item or an object a sense of being alive. The speaker will talk to the object as if it understands. For example, why are you so heavy, suitcase?.

  • Symbolism

Symbolism is another form of figurative language which is used to express an abstract idea using an item or words. For example, we had to put out a red alert.

  • Idiom

An idiom is a phrase which bears no literal meaning to the situation, it is describing but it implies the fact or story behind it. For example, there is a silver lining in every cloud.

  • Irony

It is used when a statement made is directly contradictory to the reality. It is also used to convey a style of sarcasm. For example, I posted on Facebook about how bad Facebook is.

  • Paradox

Paradox is a word which contradicts itself. For example, deep down Adam is really shallow.

  • Pun

Pun is a figure of speech, it uses a word to give a different sense to the sentence and add a double meaning. For example, An egg for breakfast is not east to beat.

Posted in Grammar, Languages, Learning, Reading, Self improvement, Speaking, Vocabulary, Writing

Types of sentences

A sentence is the largest unit of any language. In English, it begins with a capital letter and ends with a full-stop, or a question mark, or an exclamation mark.

The sentence is generally defined as a word or a group of words that expresses a thorough idea by giving a statement/order, or asking a question, or exclaiming.

  • Types of sentence
  • A simple sentence

It expresses a single idea in a single clause.

  • Examples :
  1. Joe drank coffee
  2. Joe drank coffee with Tom
  3. Joe drank coffee in the afternoon with Tom
  4. Joe and Tom drank coffee

  • A compound sentence

It contains two ideas connected with a co-ordinator (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so)

  • Examples :
  1. Joe drank coffee, and Tom played the guitar
  2. Adam drank water, but he was still thirsty

  • A complex sentence

It contains two ideas connected by a subordinator (because, since, after, Although, or a relative pronoun such as that, which or who)

  • Examples :
  1. Joe drank the tea that he bought in Chinatown.
  2. Although Adam drank water, he was still thirsty

  • A compound – complex sentence

It hhas the elements of the complex and the compound sentence.

  • Examples :
  • Joe drank the tea that he bought in Chinatown, but Tom played the guitar
Posted in Languages, Learning, Listening, Reading, Self improvement, Speaking, Vocabulary, Writing

TOEFL vs IELTS

What is the IELTS?

IELTS is an abbreviation for International English Language Testing System. The test is available in two formats: ‘IELTS Academic’, for those planning to study at a higher education level abroad; and ‘IELTS General Training’, which focuses on social skills and workplace contexts.

What is the TOEFL?

TOEFL is an acronym for Test of English as a Foreign Language. It is an English proficiency test, developed by an American company, ETS, to measure an individual’s reading, speaking, writing, and listening proficiency in American English. TOEFL scores are a requirement for over 900 universities and other institutions in more than 130 countries. There are two methods of taking this test; it can be taken as a Paper-Based Test (TOEFL PBT) or an Internet-Based Test (TOEFL IBT) which is more popular.

These tests are standardized and this simply means that the scores are consistent all over the world . Both of them will test you on four main language skills and that is listening, speaking, reading and writing .

What is the difference between Toefl and ielts?

The major difference between these two tests is in speaking. While in TOEFL you have to talk to a computer, the IELTS requires you to talk to a real person. Many people find talking to a computer very strange and that is why they prefer the IELTS test.

Which test requires more preparation?

While both IELTS and TOEFL require basic preparation at least , many takers felt that to prepare for TOEFL was harder. But that varies with each individual. The difference in the test patterns may give rise to tasks that need more preparation.

Posted in Grammar, Languages, Learning, Reading, Self improvement, Speaking, Vocabulary, Writing

Most common adjectives in English

  • What is an adjective?

It’s a word that modifying the meaning of a noun or the pronoun .

  • Types of adjectives :
  • Descriptive adjectives : New, old, big, little, fast, slow…

  • Possessive : my, his, our, your, their, her,his,hers, mine, its, theirs, ours…

  • Quantitative : first, second, third, few, all…

  • Interrogative: which, what, whose…

  • Demostrative : This, That, these, those…

  • Distributive : each, every, either, neither…

  • Some rules for the use of adjectives :
  • When adjectives appear after the noun or pronoun, they will be preceded by a verb, often (but not always) an auxiliary verb such as ‘are’ or ‘is’.

  • Adjectives can be used in multiple forms (The tough, long and ultimately boring paper was one I needed to pass), they can appear before or after the noun or pronoun they are describing.

  • Examples of adjectives :
  • Adjective Before the Noun :
  1. Old woman.
  2. Red coat.
  3. Cheerful man.
  • Adjective After the Noun :
  1. Sofei was old.
  2. It looks red.
  3. He seems cheerful.
  • Adjective Immediately After the Noun :
  1. someone interesting.
  2. those present.
  3. something evil.

  • Nouns Used as Adjectives

Many words that are usually nouns can function as adjectives.

  • For example:
  1. autumn colours
  2. boat race
  3. computer shop
  4. Devon cream

  • Participles Used as Adjectives : Formed from a verb , a participle is a word that can be used as an adjective.
  • For example :
  1. While the spoken word can travel faster, you can’t take it home in your hand.
  2. Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual. 

  • Infinitives Used as Adjectives : An infinitive verb (e.g., “to run,” “to jump”) can also function as an adjective.
  • For example :
  1. Progress is man’s ability to complicate simplicity.
  2. No human creature can give orders to love.

  • The order of adjectives :
  1. Quantity or number
  2. Quality or opinion
  3. Size
  4. Age
  5. Shape
  6. Color
  7. Proper adjective (often nationality, other place of origin, or material)
  8. Purpose or qualifier
  • Examples :
  1. My sister adopted a beautiful big white dog.
  2. The house is green and red.
  3. An amazing new American movie. 

Posted in Grammar, Languages, Learning, Self improvement, Vocabulary, Writing

Conjunctions

What is a conjunction?

It is a connective word that links words, phrases and clauses.

  • Types of conjunctions :
  1. Coordinating conjunctions : (for, but, and, nor, or, yet, so)
  2. Subordinating conjunctions : (While, Where, When, Until, Unless, Though, Since, Because, Although , After, If, Even if)
  3. Correlative conjunctions : (either… Or, both… and, whether… or, neither… nor, not only… but also)

-Here is a list of the most important conjunctions with meanings and examples :

  • Although

It is used for introducing a statement that makes the main statement seem.

Examples:

  1. Although it rained all day, we enjoyed the party very much.
  2. He failed in the exam, although he studied very hard.

  • Because

It is used to give reason. It is followed by a complete sentence with its own subject and verb.

Examples :

  1. He is delighted because I am here.
  2. The child ran because he was afraid.

  • However

We ccan express a contrast by using the adverb However with two sentences.

Examples :

  1. She is the best student in school. However, she does not do homeworks on time.
  2. Some people disagree with this idea. However, it is never been proven right.

  • Whereas

It is used for linking two ideas that contrast with each other.

Examples :

  1. Whereas we did all the job, they enjoyed themselves.
  2. Chicken meat is white, whereas that of an ix is red.

  • Therefore

It is used to show the result of an action.

Examples:

  1. There were not enough participants. Therefore, the trip was cancelled.
  2. I’m sleepy. Therefore, I’m going to bed.

  • Also

It is used to add an positive, agreeing thought.

Examples :

  1. Apart from French, she also teaches math.
  2. He also had a sense of responsibility about it.

  • Even If

It is used to emphasize that something will still be true if another thing happens.

Examples :

  1. Even if Alex earned a big salary, he would not buy a big car.
  2. You will go to the party, even if they don’t allow you.

  • Unless

Means ; except on the condition that.

Examples :

  1. She will be sick unless she stops eating.
  2. Unless
  3. Unless my son finish his homework, he can’t go out.

  • Whom

It is used to ask which person receives an action.

Examples :

  1. The man whom I saw at the theater last night is a pilot.
  2. This my neighbor whom I like a lot.

  • Both… and

It is used to refer to two things or people.

Examples:

  1. Both Alice and Susan have to comply with the rules.
  2. I used to like playing both football and basketball.

Posted in Languages, Learning, Self improvement, Speaking

How to speak English like a native speaker : 5 easy steps

1- Watching and listening to everything in English

watching everything in English is one of the most helpful things you can do in order to learn faster and develop your accent. So you should watch every program, TV-series, movie or YouTube video in English. Learning new words daily is also very helpful.

2- Speaking everything out loud

The more you practice your English, the better. But If you don’t have anybody to practice with, you can talk to yourself . One of the things that can help you to practice your English is reading English books out loud so you can practice your pronunciation. If you like a specific movie quote, make sure you repeat it in the same way as the actor did in the movie. Also you can repeat the lyrics of your favorite songs again and again out loud.

3-Feeling The Rhythm While You Learn English

Practicing pronunciation is an important step of accent reduction, but it is not the only component. Rhythm is an underrated, although it is the key of sounding like a native English speaker. Watch movies and imitate how the actors are speaking. Pay special attention to which words they stress in a sentence. Typically, you should stress the most important parts of a sentence, but not every word.

4- Focus on the accent you want to speak.

There are many accents to choose from: posh British, cool American, laid back Australian and so on. So choose the accent that you the most, If you decide to have an American accent, try to avoid saying things like “mate” or “trousers”, the British version of “dude” and “pants”.

5- Practicing English in real life.

Basically, the best way to speak better is to, well – speak! Commit to practicing often and with as many different people as possible. Take advantage of the thousands of native speakers in your immediate community, such as your friends, their families, your coworkers, classmates, employees at the coffee shops, supermarket, post-office and other places you visit. If you’re learning in your own country, increase your practice time by meeting your classmates after class, finding an language exchange partner or joining an online community of learners.

Posted in Grammar, Languages, learning, Speaking, Vocabulary

The differences between (need, must, have to)

1-Need

Need is used for necessity.

Examples :

  • In summer we need to drink water more often.
  • We nneed to eat in order to survive.

Don’t need to:

Not to do something, because there is no need for it.

Examples :

  • I don’t need to take my passport, ID card is accepted.
  • You
  • You don’t need to enter the code before 6 pm.

Needn’t have :

For something was done but turned out to be unnecessary.

Examples :

  • I needn’t have taken warm clothes, it was hot.
  • He needn’t have worn a tie. It was a casual event.

2- Must

An obligation or rule.

Examples :

  • Pupils must wear a uniform. It’s a rule.
  • Seat belts must be worn by all passengers.

Must

For deduction when we are certain that something is true.

Example:

  • John hasn’t eaten anything today, he must be hungry.

Mustn’t

Obligation not to do something.

Examples :

  • Students mustn’t talk during the exam.
  • You mustn’t tell Mom about the gift, it is a surprise.

3- Have to

An obligation from an external source.

Examples :

  • Lisa has to wear a uniform, the rule says so.
  • He has to exercise more, the doctor says so.

Note: have to has the same meaning of have got to. But have got to is more informal.

  • She has got to take the car to the garage today.

Don’t have to

No necessity to do something.

Examples :

  • We don’t have to take notes, we will get a summary.
  • Men don’t have to wear a tie, but they can wear one if they like.

Posted in Grammar, Languages, Learning, Reading, Self improvement, Speaking, Vocabulary, Writing

English Idioms you need to know in 2021

It’s very important to be updated with the trends that are going on, and to understand the daily life communicative words as well, so here are a list of idioms and salngs you need to add to your dictionary this year :

1) CEO of

something that you’re very good at, hence making you the CEO of it. This is a big one on Tiktok and is commonly a comment on what someone did in the video.

2) HANGRY

This new English word was first used by the millennial generation, and means becoming angry because you are feeling hungry.

3) To CHILLAX

This new English word is a mix of the terms “chill out” and “relax”. If you put them together we get “chillax”.

4) NO BIGGIE

This phrase is used to say that something is not a serious problem.

5) BINGE WATCHING

This is when you watch several episodes of a series in quick succession over an extended period of time.

6) Cringe

To feel embarrassed or ashamed about what someone is doing or saying.

7) Froyo

A frozen dessert made with yogurt.

8) Glamping

This idiom comes from two words which are camping and glamorous, that means camping which comes with all the modern facilities.

9) Staycation

A holiday spent involving day trips to local attractions, which basically means going out of your city just nearby to like.

10) Stan

To idealize, love obsessively, or to be a big fan of something

Posted in Grammar, Languages, Learning, Reading, Self improvement, Speaking, Vocabulary

How to start think in English

Speaking English in your head is a great way to practice English. You don’t have to worry about saying things right or being understood by others. You can make mistakes and still understand. Also thinking in English is an excellent way to build your vocabulary with words you actually use. Here are some steps to avoid translating in your head and to start think in English.

1- Thinking in individual words

You have to think of individual words that you use daily. For instance, if you are at home you can think of these words : Door, table, chair, window, kitchen. You can practice English language by using words for everything you see, you hear or you do.

2- Thinking in complete sentence

When you used to think in English words, then you have to go to step 2 by making simple sentences. For example, when you are listening to music you can say I like this song or I am listening to classical music, or if you watch a football match you can say The score is 2-1 or this match is amazing.

3- Talking to yourself in English

you will imagine having a conversation with someone in the real life.

For example, when you go to book store. You ask the seller for a book about title, price , pay and you leave. After you leave, try to think of how you would say it if you were speaking English with the book seller. For example, How much is this book? or can I pay by credit card? . So if you do this always you will develop your ability to speak English anytime you need.

4- using the vocabulary as soon as possible

Never stop learning new words or phrases , and keep use them in your daily life and keep practice speaking by using them , or use new words in writing, because practice makes perfect, even if you make mistakes at first you will be finally think in English.

5- Using an English to English dictionary

The less you translate, the easier it will become to just think and speak in English. Every time you search for a word you will feel more comfortable thinking in English, make sure to do this in your daily life whenever possible. This includes looking up words in an English to English dictionary.