Not so common reporting verbs

May 7, 2013

In informal spoken reports, say, think and ask are the most common reporting verbs. These verbs can go before sentences or between clauses. She asked me what I was doing there. He said that he wouldn’t go. I thought that it was funny. A much wider variety of reporting verbs are also available in English. […]

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Phrasal verbs with bring

October 29, 2012

Bring is used in a number of common phrasal verbs. Here is a list of them. Bring something about – cause it to happen Bring someone round – make him conscious again Bring up – a) raise a child; b) cause something to be considered; c) vomit Bring down – cause to be lower Bring […]

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Uses of the verb do

October 25, 2012

Read the following sentences in the simple present tense. I walk. I don’t drive. Do I walk? Yes, I do. Do I drive? No, I don’t drive. He speaks English. He does not speak French. Does he speak English? Yes, he does. Does he speak French? No, he doesn’t. I like coffee. I do not […]

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Phrasal verbs with take

October 14, 2012

Take is used in a number of common phrasal verbs. Here is a simple exercise about phrases using the word take. Complete the following sentences. 1. The new manager is expected to take ………………………………….. on March 15th. a) on                      b) over                 c) down 2. He took ……………………………………. fishing on retirement. a) to                       b) for                     c) […]

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Idioms and phrases with play

August 6, 2012

A number of common idiomatic expressions use the word play. Here is a list of them. Play along To play along is to pretend that something is funny or good just to make someone else happy. I knew that she was playing a prank on me but I decided to play along. Play around To […]

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Phrasal verbs with pass

August 2, 2012

A phrasal verb is a two-word idiomatic expression. It is made by putting a verb and a preposition or an adverb particle together. Pass is used in a number of common phrasal verbs. Here is a list of them. Pass around To pass something around is to give it to everyone present. She passed the […]

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Word order: position of verbs

June 22, 2012

Verbs usually go immediately after subjects. There are mainly two kinds of verbs: auxiliary verbs and main verbs. A verb can consist of just one word. Affirmative sentences in the simple present and simple past tenses have one-word verbs. John broke another window yesterday. Alice invited me to her party. He rejected the offer. Sentences […]

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Verbs: some common mistakes

May 7, 2012

Here is a list of errors students often make in the use of verbs. Incorrect: My father told me that honesty was the best policy. Correct: My father told me that honesty is the best policy. We usually use a past tense in the subordinate clause when the verb in the main clause is in […]

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Using want

April 5, 2012

Infinitive with to After want, we normally use an infinitive with to. I want to go. (NOT I want go.) (NOT I want going.) I want to come back here again. She wants to be a pilot. Want cannot be followed by that-clauses, but we can use an object + infinitive structure. I want him […]

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Different kinds of phrasal verbs

April 2, 2012

There are mainly four kinds of phrasal verbs. Here is a guide to the basics of phrasal verbs. Separable and non-separable phrasal verbs Phrasal verbs are made by putting adverb particles or prepositions after verbs. Phrasal verbs made with prepositions are usually non-separable. That means the verb and the preposition always go together. We set […]

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