Monday, August 31, 2015

Informal Contractions

Contractions are words that are created by combining words in order to shorten them from their original form. Contractions are used when speaking and when writing in casual situations. Common contractions are words like she's and don't and can be both written (informally) and spoken.
Informal contractions often combine with the following words:
  • + to
  • + you
  • + of
  • + would have
  • miscellaneous
Informal contractions are contractions that break grammar rules and are only used in very casual speech. Two or even three words could be merged. An apostrophe is often not used.
Here also a short video to help you out :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Adjective and Adverb Phrases: Hints and Tips

Even if you do not know what adjective or adverb phrases are, you use them every day. Here is an explanation of what they are, how they work, and how to punctuate them.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Modal Verbs

We use modal verbs to show if we believe something is certain, probable or possible (or not). We also use modals to do things like talking about ability, asking permission making requests and offers, and so on.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Kids Read

Bildergebnis für image good read
Ever craved a good book and just not been inspired by anything you see? Or felt annoyed that you bought a book that was merely so-so? Or closed a book and JUST wanted to talk about it? Or wished you had a place to discover new books?

I know what this feels like. The Book Report Network aims to solve these reader dilemmas, with thoughtful book reviews, compelling features, in-depth author profiles and interviews, excerpts of the
hottest new releases, contests and more every week. We hope you'll visit our websites and discover why since 1996 the Book Report Network has been the best place online to talk about your last great read --- and find your next one.

Have a look here and feel inspired!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Why are some people left-handed?

"Today, about one-tenth of the world’s population are southpaws. Why are such a small proportion of people left-handed -- and why does the trait exist in the first place? Daniel M. Abrams investigates how the uneven ratio of lefties and righties gives insight into a balance between competitive and cooperative pressures on human evolution."

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Colorful Idioms

A lot of English idioms use colors to describe feelings. Below are just a few examples.

Jessica was seeing red when her computer suddenly crashed.

When George brought home his expensive car, his neighbor Bill was green with envy.

After Susan’s boyfriend left her, she felt blue and cried all the time.

He was a yellow-bellied cowboy. He always ran away from a fight. 

John asked Nancy to marry him. He was tickled pink when she said yes.
Using the sentences above as examples, try to match the idiom with its meaning 

1. to see reda. wanting something that someone else has
2.  green with envyb. coward, not brave
3. to feel bluec. very happy
4.  yellow belliedd. very angry
5. to be tickled pinke. sad


1. To see red- d) very angry.
We probably use red to describe anger because people’s faces turn red when they are angry. Imagine you became so angry your eyes became red, too. Then you might begin to “see red.”

2. Green with envy- a) wanting something someone else has.
I’m not sure why people are green when they are envious, but this is a very common saying.

3. To feel blue- e) sad
You can also “be blue.”

4. Yellow bellied- b) coward, not brave.
Belly means stomach. If your belly is yellow, you are not brave. This idiom isn’t used as much nowadays as it was in the past.

5. Tickled pink- c) very happy.
When someone is tickled, he feels very excited and happy. Perhaps your skin becomes pink when you feel happy.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Marry/ Get Married/ Be Married

A lot of people get confused about how to use these words. Maybe this will help.


to marry (someone)- this is the general verb. It is the time when people come together as husband and wife. Do not say I married with someone. It is not correct. And do not say I marriedto someone. It is also incorrect. 
Correct example: I married Sam 3 years ago.

to get married- this talks about the time two people got married. It makes us think of the wedding.
Correct example:  I got married.

to get married to (someone)- We think of who was married in the wedding. Do not say I got married with someone. It is incorrect.
Correct example:  I got married to Sam.

to get married in (someplace)- We think of where the wedding took place.
Correct Example:  I got married in Hawaii.

to be married- This means a state of being. Are you married or are you single?
Correct Example:  I am married.

to be married (to someone)- Also state of being. But who is married to you
Correct Example:  I am married to Sam.

Conclusion- When you use to marry or to get married, think about the wedding. When you use to be married, think about the person's life now.

Fill in the blanks with the correct form of marry. Check your answers by clicking on the arrows.

1. Is Jim single or married? He .

2. Who did he marry? He  Susan.

3. Where did he get married? He  London.

4. Is Anna single? No, she .

5. Who is Anna married to? She  Juan.

6. What is Jolene going to do this Saturday? She is going to  Mike.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Mini Lesson: using have to, supposed to, and ought to

Have to is the same as must. It implies that you don't have a choice.
John has to go to work everyday.
The students have to study tonight.
To be supposed to means an obligation. It is something that you should do, or something that another person expects you to do. Don't forget to use the verb be in front of supposed to.
Sally is supposed to meet her friend tonight.
All of the employees are supposed to attend today's meeting.
Ought to means a suggestion. You should do something but you don't have to do it.
We ought to clean the house tonight.
Phillip ought to help you with your homework.
(Notice that all of these words are modals. They are followed by a verb.) 
You may feel confused about the slight differences between these words. Just think about what the speaker is implying.
I have to do my homework.  (If I don't, will be in trouble.)
I am supposed to do my homework. (If I don't, my teacher will notice that I didn't do it.)
I ought to do my homework. (I don't have to if I don't want to, but I feel I should do it because I want to do well in the class.)

Check Your UnderstandingChoose the best answer.1. Willy needs money to pay for his food and house. If he doesn't go to work, he won't have money. He must work.
Willy ___ go to work.
a. ought to
b. has to
c. is supposed to

2. Johnny should help his mother with the housework. His mother would be happy if he did. But if he didn't help her, his mother wouldn't feel bad.
Johnny ___ help his mother.
a. ought to
b. has to
c. is supposed to

3. Joan want to be a nurse. To become a nurse it is necessary to go to nursing school.
Joan ___ go to nursing school if she wants to be a nurse.
a. has to
b. is supposed to
c. ought to

4. Tom's friend is waiting for him at the gym. They made plans to meet at 6:00. His friend will be upset if Tom doesn't go.
Tom ___ meet his friend.
a. ought to
b. has to
c. is supposed to

5. Lisa tells Nathan that he would be a good manager. She suggests that he apply for a job as a manager. Nathan is going to think about that.
Lisa thinks Nathan ___ be a manager
a. ought to
b. is supposed to

c. has to


Monday, August 3, 2015


A collocation is two or more words that often go together. These combinations just sound "right" to native English speakers, who use them all the time. On the other hand, other combinations may be unnatural and just sound "wrong". Look at these examples:
How to learn collocations
  • Be aware of collocations, and try to recognize them when you see or hear them.
  • Treat collocations as single blocks of language. Think of them as individual blocks or chunks, and learn strongly support, not strongly + support.
  • When you learn a new word, write down other words that collocate with it (remember rightlyremember distinctlyremember vaguelyremember vividly).
  • Read as much as possible. Reading is an excellent way to learn vocabulary and collocations in context and naturally.
  • Revise what you learn regularly. Practise using new collocations in context as soon as possible after learning them.
  • Learn collocations in groups that work for you. You could learn them by topic (time, number, weather, money, family) or by a particular word (take actiontake a chancetake an exam).
  • You can find information on collocations in any good learner's dictionary. And you can also find specialized dictionaries of collocations.

Types of collocation

There are several different types of collocation made from combinations of verb, noun, adjective etc. Some of the most common types are:
  • adverb + adjective: completely satisfied (NOT downright satisfied)
  • adjective + noun: excruciating pain (NOT excruciating joy)
  • noun + noun: a surge of anger (NOT a rush of anger)
  • noun + verb: lions roar (NOT lions shout)
  • verb + noun: commit suicide (NOT undertake suicide)
  • verb + expression with preposition: burst into tears (NOT blow up in tears)
  • verb + adverb: wave frantically (NOT wave feverishly)