A REVISION OF FUTURE TIME (PART TWO)

mai 23, 2010 à 5:00 | Publié dans business english, english (all), intermediate english | Laisser un commentaire

 

 * Image created at wordle.net

There are many different ways of talking about the future in English. This lesson looks at how we use the PRESENT CONTINUOUS (e.g. I am doing) and the PRESENT SIMPLE (e.g. I do) to refer to the future.

NOTE: Before you go any further, why not take a look at A REVISION OF FUTURE TIME (PART ONE) to review the use of WILL and BE GOING TO? You can find the lesson in the “Intermediate English” category, or by using the search bar at the top right side of the site.

Although the PRESENT CONTINUOUS and PRESENT SIMPLE are primarily used to talk about the present, they are also used to talk about the future in certain situations. In fact, using these two tenses in the future is a very natural way of communicating in English.

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Read through the dialogue below and pay attention to the use of the PRESENT CONTINUOUS and the PRESENT SIMPLE

 

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Gary: Hi Paula, where are you off to?

Paula: I’m seeing the ballet with my sister. I can’t chat for long, it starts in an hour.

Gary: Okay sure. That sounds nice. I was going to invite you for a drink with the rest of the department after work, but I guess you already have plans.

Paula: Yeah, well actually, I’m coming after the show finishes, at around 10pm.

Gary: Oh, great. By the way, are you going to the company party on Saturday? I’m definitely going, I already have a ticket. Actually, I can’t wait; it was a fantastic night last year.

Paula: When does it start again?

Gary: It kicks off at around 6.30pm I think. Unless something comes up, I’ll be there as soon as it starts.

Paula: Well, I’ll probably see you there, gotta run!

Gary: Okay, I hope you enjoy it.

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kick off: démarrer

gotta run: il faut que j’y aille

 

 

 

 

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PRESENT SIMPLE – VERB +s/es

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We use the PRESENT SIMPLE in the future to talk about rigidly fixed, timetabled or certain events. The most common situations in which the PRESENT SIMPLE is used for the future are when talking about train, plane, bus or other transport departures, or the times at which courses, concerts, films et cetera finish.

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e.g.

 

The next train for Toronto departs at 16.33 from platform three. The next train for Montréal leaves in five minutes from platform one.

 

My Arabic lesson ends at 8pm, and I can certainly meet you after that.

 

The play starts at 7.30pm, but try to be there 15 minutes before.

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Usually, when we use the PRESENT SIMPLE to talk about the future, a time reference is made. Also, it is used much more frequently to talk about things, objects, vehicles, and less for people. Here are some more examples:

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The sun rises at 6.41 tomorrow BUT I am watching the sun rise tomorrow

Does the sale finish at 4pm on Friday? BUT I am going to the sale on Friday

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Another important way in which we use the PRESENT SIMPLE is with certain words which, though used to refer to the future, imply a present time.

AFTER, BEFORE, AS SOON AS, BY THE TIME, WHEN, WHILE, UNTIL, SUPPOSE, IN CASE

 

e.g.

 

I am going to dinner on Friday, then I am going to a club

BUT

After I go to dinner on Friday, I am going to a club.

AND

Before I go to a club, I am going to dinner

ALSO

Maybe I will go to dinner with my friends on Friday, I am going to decide tonight after work

BUT

When I decide, I will send you a text

 

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PRESENT CONTINUOUS – BE + VERB +ing

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We use the PRESENT CONTINUOUS to talk about the future when something is planned, but also arranged for a particular time and date. The PRESENT CONTINUOUS is frequently used to talk about the plans we have already arranged.

NOTE: The PRESENT CONTINOUS is not the same as BE GOING TO in this case, because we can say “I am going to see a film this weekend”, but it is much more common (when we know the time and date) to say “I am seeing a film at 3.15pm on Saturday”.

Usually, when we use the PRESENT CONTINUOUS, a personal pronoun is used, and a time reference is included.

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e.g.

 

I am meeting a friend this evening at their house.

(i.) “I” = personal pronoun

(ii.) “this evening” = time reference

 

We’re having a house warming on Saturday.

(i.)               “We” = personal pronoun

(ii.)             “Saturday” = time reference

 

BUT

 

It starts at 8pm

 

 

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NOTE: We cannot use the PRESENT CONTINOUS or the PRESENT SIMPLE for predictions. See A REVISION OF FUTURE TIME (PART ONE) for details.

 

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EXERCISES

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Choose between the PRESENT SIMPLE and the PRESENT CONTINUOUS in these sentences. Answers can be found at the end of the lesson.

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  1. What time is/does the plane getting/get here? The plane is arriving/arrives at 4.24pm.
  2. Tomorrow at 12.30pm, when you receive/are receiving a reply, please forward the e-mail to me.
  3. He’s already got back to me; I am meeting/meet him at 2pm tomorrow.
  4. After I am meeting/meet him at 2pm, we should go for lunch and discuss everything.
  5. What time is/does the film starting/start on Saturday? I don’t know, I am playing/play tennis, so I can’t make it. I’ll ask Andrew for you though, and send you a text later. Oh no wait, I do remember, it starts/is starting at 3.45pm.
  6. I’d better take an umbrella in case it is raining/rains.
  7. My friend from England is joining/joins us at the hockey game at 7pm.
  8. My friend from France wants to know when the hockey game is starting/starts. It is starting/starts at 7pm.
  9. I should take a map in case we are getting/get lost.
  10. The sun is setting/sets at 8.23pm tomorrow.

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Now look at the following timetable and imagine it is your schedule for next week. Complete the sentences with the correct verb. Answers follow the lesson.

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Monday

I __________ (go) for a run with John at 6pm.

Amy and I __________ (see) a film together; it __________ (start) at 8.45pm.

Tuesday

My French course __________ (begin) today at 9pm.

After my French course __________ (end), I __________ (meet) a friend for a drink.

Wednesday

Martin __________ (leave) Canada for 6 month, his flight __________ (take off) at 12.40pm.

Thursday

Kate wants to have dinner with you, but she may have to work late. I __________ (not – make) arrangements yet, in case Kate __________ (cancel). As soon as she __________ (finish) work tomorrow, she will call me.

Friday

I __________ (not – do) anything tonight except relaxing.

Saturday

I __________ (go) to a concert. The doors __________ (open) at 7pm.

Sunday

I __________ (attend) a wedding at 3.30pm at a beautiful church in the countryside. The reception __________ (begin) at exactly 5pm.

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Adamique offre des cours d’anglais et de français à Montréal. Visitez notre site web pour plus d’informations !

Adamique offers French and English classes in Montreal. Visit our website for more information!

Adamique在蒙特利尔提供法语和英语培训课程。更多信息请访问我们的网站.

www.adamique.com

 

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Answers:

 

  1. What time is/does the plane getting/get here? The plane is arriving/arrives at 4.24pm.
  2. Tomorrow at 12.30pm, when you receive/are receiving a reply, please forward the e-mail to me.
  3. He’s already got back to me; I am meeting/meet him at 2pm tomorrow.
  4. After I am meeting/meet him at 2pm, we should go for lunch and discuss everything.
  5. What time is/does the film starting/start on Saturday?  I don’t know, I am playing/play tennis, so I can’t make it. I’ll ask Andrew for you though, and send you a text later. Oh no wait, I do remember, it starts/is starting at 3.45pm.
  6. I’d better take an umbrella in case it is raining/rains.
  7. My friend from England is joining/joins us at the hockey game at 7pm.
  8. My friend from France wants to know when the hockey game is starting/starts. It is starting/starts at 7pm.
  9. I should take a map in case we are getting/get lost.
  10. The sun is setting/sets at 8.23pm tomorrow.

 

 

Monday

 

I am going for a run with John at 6pm.

Amy and I are seeing a film together; it starts at 8.45pm.

 

Tuesday

 

My French course begins today at 9pm.

After my French course ends, I am meeting a friend for a drink.

 

Wednesday

 

Martin is leaving Canada for 6 month, his flight takes off at 12.40pm.

 

Thursday

 

Kate wants to have dinner with you, but she may have to work late. I am not making arrangements yet, in case Kate cancels. As soon as she finishes work tomorrow, she will call me.

 

Friday

 

I am not doing anything tonight except relaxing.

 

Saturday

 

I am going to a concert. The doors open at 7pm.

 

Sunday

 

I am attending a wedding at 3.30pm at a beautiful church in the countryside. The reception begins at exactly 5pm.

 

A REVISION OF FUTURE TIME (PART ONE)

mai 17, 2010 à 2:13 | Publié dans english (all), intermediate english | Laisser un commentaire

*Image created at wordle.net

Talking about the future in English can be confusing. This lesson looks how we use WILL and BE GOING TO to discuss the future, and addresses some common errors.

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Read through the following dialogue and focus on the ways in which WILL and BE GOING TO are used.

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David: So, Ben, what are you going to do this weekend?

Ben: Honestly, I have no idea. Maybe I’ll go see my parents, but it depends if they’re busy or not. I’m going to work on the house a bit, as I have some renovation work to do. I know Amy said something about having dinner on Saturday, so maybe we’ll go out to a nice restaurant or something, who knows?

David: Sounds good. I heard it’s gonna be sunny on Sunday, but the weather is so fickle at the moment; it’s snow one day, or wind, or rain, and beautiful, warm sunshine the next.

Ben: Well, if it’s sunny on Sunday, I’ll be outside enjoying every minute of it.

David: Same. Actually, if it’s nice, maybe I’ll have some friends round for a barbecue. What do you think?

Ben: Yeah, you should. I’ll definitely come.

David: What about your wife?

Ben: I dunno, I don’t think she’ll want to come; she has a lot of work to do for her university course.

David: But it’s already Thursday and it looks like it’s going to rain all afternoon.

Ben: Look on the bright side – at least you’re not missing out by being at work.

David: Yeah.

Ben: Anyway, I better get back to work. I’ll see you later.

David: Okay , bye!

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fickle: capricieux; changeant

missing out: manquer un evenement; rater une occasion

look on the bright side: regarder le bon côté des choses; prendre les choses du bon côté

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FORMS AND CONTRACTIONS

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Before learning the grammar points, it is important to memorize the contractions for these two future tenses.

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WILL

I will = I’ll

I will not = I won’t

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BE GOING TO

I am going to = I’m going to (also, very informally, and in spoken English “I’m gonna”)

She’s not going to = I’m not going to (also, very informally, and in spoken English “I’m not gonna”)

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WHEN THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE

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Sometimes WILL and BE GOING TO can be used with very little, or no difference in meaning. The grammar points below explain the situations in which it is necessary to choose, but in many sentences there is no preference.

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e.g.

I think it will be warm tomorrow OR I think it’s going to be warm tomorrow

We’ll talk about that later OR We are going to talk about that later

When are you going to be home? OR When will you be home?

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CERTAINTY VERSUS UNCERTAINTY

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Choosing between WILL and BE GOING TO is often related to how certain we are an action or event in the future.

When we have planned an activity, or we can say with a reasonable amount of certainty that something is going to happen, we use BE GOING TO.

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e.g.

Sarah is going to have a party this weekend

I’m going to watch a movie tonight

They’re going to have dinner together next Tuesday

I’m going to book my flight sometime in June

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When we are not sure about whether something is going to happen, it is almost always better to use WILL.

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e.g.

I’m not sure whether to go to the party or not – maybe I will

Dan says he’s not sure whether he’ll be able to make it to the party

Perhaps they’ll call later on

I haven’t decided if I’ll leave in August or September

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NOTE: Often when we use IF in our sentence, we prefer WILL (see the lesson “USING IF”). We also use WILL more often with the following phrases – probably, I expect, I’m sure, I think, I don’t think, I guess, I suppose, I doubt, I wonder.

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PLANNED VERSUS SPONTANEOUS DECISIONS

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We make a distinction between WILL and BE GOING TO depending on whether we made our decision previously, or at/around the moment of speaking.

If we have made the decision to do something in the future at a previous time (last week, a year ago, yesterday, an hour ago) then we use BE GOING TO.

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e.g.

I went to that restaurant a few weeks ago, and I had a great steak. We’re going to go again tomorrow and I’m going to have the steak again.

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When we make a decision at the time of speaking, instantly, or on the spot, we use WILL.

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e.g.

(a waiter asks you what you would like to drink at a café) I’ll have a cappuccino please, and a glass of water

It’s hot in here isn’t it? I’ll open the window and let some fresh air in; there’s no need to turn on the air conditioning

(your friend tells you Dan called whilst you were getting groceries) Okay, I’ll call him back in a minute

(a friend wants to be buzzed in to your apartment) Okay, I’ll let you in

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buzz someone in: ourvir à quelqu’un (via l’interphone)

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Look at the differences between the two possible responses, and try to familiarize yourself with the difference between using WILL and BE GOING TO.

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Do you know that next Monday is a bank holiday?

(i.) Yes, I’m taking a short vacation with my wife

(ii.) No, really? I’ll book a hotel and go on a short vacation with my wife

James is in hospital; he was in a car crash last week and broke his leg

(i.) I didn’t know that. I’ll go and visit him today after work

(ii.) I know, I’m going to visit him one day after work

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NOTE : When we are ordering food, drinks, or choosing anything from a menu or list, we use WILL.

e.g. I’ll have a pizza with olives, and a glass of white wine, please

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PREDICTIONS WITH “WILL” AND “BE GOING TO”

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When we make predictions, we can sometimes use both WILL and BE GOING TO.

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e.g.

The euro is in big trouble. It’ll continue to fall against the dollar for the next 6 months at least

The euro is in big trouble. It’s going to continue to fall against the dollar for the next 6 months at least

It’ll be hard to leave Montréal; it’s a beautiful city

It’s going to be hard to leave Montréal; it’s a beautiful city

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However, there is often a difference in meaning (for example in terms of certainty or confidence), and sometimes only one correct verb can be used.

We use WILL more often when the prediction is based on opinion or experience.

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e.g.

Caroline is usually great with kids. The children will love her.

He won’t want to go to the pub, he’s studying

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We use BE GOING TO when the prediction relies on signs or tendencies that are present at the moment of speaking. The situation, or what we see in front of us, makes us predict a certain event. We cannot use WILL in these situations.

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e.g.

That car is driving too fast. It’s going to cause an accident (NOT will)

Look at the sky. It’s going to rain (NOT will)

There is a man on top of that building; he’s going to jump (NOT will)

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Sometimes there is only a small, stylistic difference, which occasionally reveals how certain the speaker is of what they are saying, or of their prediction coming true.

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Jack is having a hard time at school at the moment

(i.) He’ll be okay

(ii.) He’s going to be okay

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NOTE: Here the difference is very subtle, but the second sentence suggests more confidence and certainty than the first one.

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Now read through the following sentences. Choose whether WILL or BE GOING TO is the correct verb, or whether BOTH are acceptable. Answers are provided at the bottom of the article.

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  1. Are you going to go/will you go out without a sweater? It’s cold tonight.
  2. I’ve already chosen my dessert. I will /am going to have the tiramisu.
  3. I haven’t decided whether I am going to/will go to South America or the Caribbean for my summer vacation.
  4. That guy is driving really badly – he is going to/will cause an accident.
  5. We are going to/will visit the museum sometime over the weekend, but we don’t know when.
  6. Okay, I’m obviously boring you – I will/am going to stop talking about it.
  7. Our flight won’t/isn’t going to be delayed because of the weather, is/will it?
  8. Nina: It’s really nice outside, I am going to/will take a walk. Olivia: Sounds great, I am going to/will come too.
  9. You look tired, I am going to/will get you a glass of water.
  10. Frank: Do you need a ride to the airport tomorrow? Penelope: No, don’t worry, I am going to/will take a taxi.

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Fill in the gaps with the appropriate verb. Answers can be found at the end of the lesson.

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  1. It’s a bit noisy, I __________ shut the door.
  2. That picture looks like it __________ fall any minute now and smash on the floor.
  3. I’ve decided that I _________ go to a Chinese restaurant for my birthday.
  4. Paul said that he __________ be a doctor when he is older.
  5. If you keep going along this road then you __________ miss it. It’s a big brick building.
  6. You want to talk to my manager? Okay, I __________ go and find him for you.
  7. I __________ to visit my friend tomorrow and have a few drinks on her balcony, do you want to come?
  8. Sam __________ come unless we go somewhere cheap, I bet you.

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ad

Adamique offre des cours d’anglais et de français à Montréal. Visitez notre site web pour plus d’informations !

Adamique offers French and English classes in Montreal. Visit our website for more information!

Adamique在蒙特利尔提供法语和英语培训课程。更多信息请访问我们的网站.

www.adamique.com

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Answers:

  1. Are you going to go/will you go out without a sweater? It’s cold tonight.
  2. I’ve already chosen my dessert. I will /am going to have the tiramisu.
  3. I haven’t decided whether I am going to/will go to South America or the Caribbean for my summer vacation.
  4. That guy is driving really badly – he is going to/will cause an accident.
  5. We are going to/will visit the museum sometime over the weekend, but we don’t know when.
  6. Okay, I’m obviously boring you – I will/am going to stop talking about it.
  7. Our flight won’t/isn’t going to be delayed because of the weather, is/will it?
  8. Nina: It’s really nice outside, I am going to/will take a walk. Olivia: Sounds great, I am going to/will come too.
  9. You look tired, I am going to/will get you a glass of water.
  10. Frank: Do you need a ride to the airport tomorrow? Penelope: No, don’t worry, I am going to/will take a taxi.

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  1. It’s a bit noisy, I will shut the door.
  2. That picture looks like it is going to fall any minute now and smash on the floor.
  3. I’ve decided that I am going to go to a Chinese restaurant for my birthday.
  4. Paul said that he is going to be a doctor when he is older.
  5. If you keep going along this road then you won’t miss it. It’s a big brick building.
  6. You want to talk to my manager? Okay, I will go and find him for you.
  7. I am going to to visit my friend tomorrow and have a few drinks on her balcony, do you want to come?
  8. Sam won’t come unless we go somewhere cheap, I bet you.
A REVISION OF FUTURE TIME (PART ONE)

SOME WAYS OF USING « SO »

mai 2, 2010 à 7:22 | Publié dans english (all), intermediate english | Laisser un commentaire

*Image created at wordle.net

According to a Wikipedia survey of a corpus of nearly 30,000,000 words, « so » is the 39th most frequently used word in the English language. So, it`s important to know how to use it, don`t you think?

Fluent, natural English is the goal of every ESL learner, and an understanding of small, high-frequency words like « so » is often overlooked. This lesson will examine 3 different ways in which we use « so ».

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Read through the following dialogue and pay attention to the uses of « so ». George is talking to Amy, but she isn`t really interested in the conversation.

By the end of the lesson, you will be able to confidently use « so » in all of the contexts below.

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George: Hello Amy! I was waving at you from across the road.

Amy: Oh, hi George. I didn`t see you. So… er, how are you?

George: I`m great, and it`s so nice to bump into you, I haven`t seen you for such a long time.

Amy: Yeah, I know.

George: So what are you doing later? Do you want to go for a coffee so we can catch up a bit?

Amy: Sorry, I can`t – busy. Actually I have to go, so I can`t today, so… well, maybe I`ll see you soon.

George: Yeah I hope so. See you!

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1. USING « SO » AND « SUCH » for emphasis

Expressing strong feeling, or adding emphasis in English can be achieved in many ways. One of the most frequent ways is by using « so » and « such ».

We use « so » and « such » in a similar way to « very » when we want to add strength to a sentence or statement. When we say the words « so » and « such » in this context, we emphasise them by articulating them slightly louder and more distinctly than other words in the sentence.

e.g.

English is so difficult

English is such a difficult language to learn

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(i.) We use « so » with an ADJECTIVE or ADVERB

SO + adjective – It`s so warm today

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(ii.) We use « such a » when we are describing a SINGULAR COUNT NOUN and « such » before a PLURAL NOUN or a NON-COUNT NOUN

SUCH A + singular noun – It`s such a nice day

SUCH + plural noun/non-count noun – They`re such nice people/It`s such nice weather

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(iii.) We also use certain common set phrases with « so » and « such ». Learn the six constructions below.

SO LONG – I haven`t had an apricot for so long

SO FAR – It`s so far to walk/So far, so good

SO MUCH, SO MANY – There are so many cars on the roads today

SUCH A LONG TIME – I haven`t had an apricot for such a long time

SUCH A LONG WAY – It`s such a long way to walk

SUCH A LOT (of) – There is such a lot of traffic

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Now complete the following exercise by adding « so », « such a » or « such » or one of the 6 phrases into the gaps. Answers are at the end of the lesson.

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1. Don`t be _____ boring, it`s _____ nice day, we should be outside enjoying the sunshine.

2. Thanks for inviting me to the party, I had _____ good time!

3. They`ve got _____ money, but they never go out or do anything.

4. It`s _____ easier to just take the metro, why are you _____ eager to walk?

5. It`s not _____ big deal, when you think about it.<

6. I can`t remember the last time I ate lobster, it`s been _____.

7. It`s going well _____, but there is still _____ lot to finish.

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Now change the clauses below to create five sentences that include « so » or « such ». Scroll down to the bottom of the article for solutions.

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where I was more bored

there were lots of people

I ate a lot

you would think it was her first language

I could hardly keep my eyes open

there had not been a time in my life

I felt ill

it took me 15 minutes to cross the street!

I was tired and by the end of the day

she speaks English well

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« So » is a word that is often used in romantic contexts, to give a compliment, to flatter, or to flirt.

e.g.

You`re so beautiful

That`s such a nice dress, you look stunning

You`re so funny

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2. USING « SO » to CONNECT sentences and provide a RESULT

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We use « so » when we want to link a CAUSE and an EFFECT.

e.g.

It was raining, so I went back inside

I ran out of time, so I got in trouble for not finishing

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When using « so » in this context, it acts as a link between two statements, and provides the result/consequence of a fact/action.

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Read through the following ten « facts » and create five sentences (cause and effect) using « so ». Answers are at the end of the lesson.

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I took a taxi

It`s $4 for the milk and $3 for the bread

we were exhausted

taking a vacation in the Eurozone is getting cheaper

I didn`t have a match

I was too late to use the metro

we went to bed

the Euro is going down

I lit my cigarette on the parking meter and walked on down the street

that makes $7

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3. USING « SO » IDIOMATICALLY

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We also use so in many idiomatic ways. Here are three of the most common and interesting uses.

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(i.) So… as a time filler

People say this when they are thinking about what to say, when they are pausing for thought, or when they are trying to fill a period of awkward silence.

e.g.

(after a public argument at a restaurant) So… what is everyone having for dessert?

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(ii.) So… as a precursor to a solution, or to summarise

We often say « so » before a sentence, or question, in order to summarise our thoughts, or to move the discussion forward.

e.g.

So, what are we going to do?

So, as you can see, it`s a bad idea

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(iii.) So? as an expression of misunderstanding or disinterest

In English, we say « so » sometimes to mean that we do not understand what the relevance of something is, and also if we want to convey that we don`t care about the previous statement.

e.g.

So (what)? I don`t want to do my homework, and I hate math.

So? How is that relevant to the conversation?

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« So » is also used in one of the most famous love poems in the English language; sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare. The poem is provided below for you to read through.

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Sonnet 18

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,                                                      5
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;                                                     10
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

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Note: thou/thee/thy are archaic words, which are very rarely used in modern English (thou/thee = you; thy = your). Also, art = are; hath = has; owest = owes; gowest = grows.

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temperate: tempéré, modéré

buds: bourgeons

summer’s lease: saison d`été

dimmed: baissé/diminué

untrimmed: inchangé

Le poème commence avec un vers d’adoration à l’être aimé; “shall I compare thee to summer’s day”. Le poète poursuit son adoration pour un être “more lovely and more temperate” qu’un jour d’été. Le poète liste plusieurs éléments négatifs au sujet de l’été. Il est trop court (“summer’s lease hath all too short a date”) et parfois le soleil brille trop fort (“sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines” ). Cependant, l’être aimé ainsi décrit possède une beauté qui durera toujours, à l’inverse de la beauté d’un jour d’été. En mettant la beauté de son amour sous la forme d’un poème, le poète préserve cette beauté pour toujours par le pouvoir des mots écrits. On entrevoit l’espoir d’un amour qui dure malgré le temps qui passe, et si ce n’est par les enfants, alors par le poème que développa leur amour qui, contrairement aux enfants, ne fanera pas.

* Summary/paraphrase adapted from fr.wikipedia.org

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Adamique offre des cours d’anglais et de français à Montréal. Visitez notre site web pour plus d’informations !

Adamique offers French and English classes in Montreal. Visit our website for more information!

Adamique在蒙特利尔提供法语和英语培训课程。更多信息请访问我们的网站.

www.adamique.com

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Answers:

1. Don`t be so boring, it`s such a nice day, we should be outside enjoying the sunshine.

2. Thanks for inviting me to the party, I had such a good time!

3. They`ve got so much money, but they never go out or do anything.

4. It`s so much easier to just take the metro, why are you so eager to walk?

5. It`s not such a big deal, when you think about it.

6. I can`t remember the last time I ate lobster, it`s been such a long time.

7. It`s going well so far, but there is still such a lot to finish.

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1. I ate so much that I felt ill.

2. There were so many people that it took me 15 minutes to cross the street!

3. I had never been so bored in my entire life

4. I was so tired that by the end of the day I could hardly keep my eyes open.

5. She speaks English to such a good level that you would think it was her first language.

1. We were exhausted, so we went to bed

2. I was too late to use the metro, so I took a taxi

3. The Euro is going down, so taking is vacation in the Eurozone is getting cheaper.

4. It`s $4 for the milk and $3 for the bread, so that makes $7.

5. I didn`t have a match, so I lit my cigarette on the parking meter and walked on down the street.

USING LINKING WORDS

avril 26, 2010 à 4:24 | Publié dans advanced english, business english, english (all) | Laisser un commentaire

*Image created at wordle.net

A strong command of English is essential in order to deliver an accurate, coherent, clear and persuasive argument, summary or case. This lesson examines the use of conjunctions and other linking words within texts, and how they act as building blocks and bridges between clauses and ideas.

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Read through the text below explaining the concept of CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Pay particular attention to the use of linking words and how they make the summary more coherent. On second reading, try to find at least ten of these types of word. Answers are provided at the end of the lesson.

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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. Ideally, CSR policy would function as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby businesses would monitor and ensure their adherence to law, ethical standards, and international norms. Consequently, businesses would embrace responsibility for the impact of their activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere. Furthermore, CSR-focused businesses would proactively promote the public interest by encouraging community growth and development, and voluntarily eliminating practices that harm the public sphere, regardless of legality. Essentially, CSR is the deliberate inclusion of public interest in corporate decision-making.

In the increasingly conscience-focused marketplaces of the 21st century, the demand for more ethical business processes and actions is increasing. Simultaneously, pressure is being applied on industry to improve business ethics through new public initiatives and laws.

The practice of CSR is subject to much debate and criticism. Proponents argue that there is a strong business case for CSR, in that corporations benefit in multiple ways by operating with a perspective broader and longer than their own immediate, short-term profits. Critics argue that CSR distracts from the fundamental economic role of businesses; others argue that it is nothing more than superficial window-dressing; others yet argue that it is an attempt to pre-empt the role of governments as a watchdog over powerful multinational corporations. Corporate social responsibility has been redefined throughout the years. However, it essentially serves as part of an organization’s mission as well as a guide to what the company stands for and what values it will uphold to its consumers.

* Text adapted from Wikipedia article on “Corporate Social Responsibility” – wikipedia.org

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window-dressing: apparence, “éthique de façade”

watchdog: organisme de surveillance, gardien

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LINKING WORDS

We use linking words to link together parts of a sentence or several separate sentences. Often their purpose is to join ideas together, or to create a flow of information which is smooth and logical.

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(i.) There are different types of link words. Words which are used to connect ideas within one sentence are called “conjunctions”. Some conjunctions are “coordinate” (they join two equal clauses) and some are “subordinate” (they join a main clause to a less important clause)

e.g.

The wife works and the husband stays at home = coordinate

You can go to bed or you can stay up late = coordinate

I am going to be late because of you = subordinate

Apples are expensive if you buy them individually = subordinate

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(ii.) Some words are used to connect ideas between sentences. There are called “sentence connectors”.

e.g.

We’re going to go for a drink. As soon as we’re finished we will call you.

The metro stops running at 12.30am. Because of that, we have to leave by midnight.

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(iii.) Linking words can be either one word, multiple words, or two words which are used in combination but in different parts of the sentence (“double conjunctions”)

e.g.

The sun is shining and the weather is sweet (it makes you want to move your dancing feet) = one word/simple conjunction

In order that the delivery arrives on time, we have sent it via courier service = three word conjunction

If you want something done, then do it yourself = double conjunction.

There is a high level of press freedom in Europe. In contrast, China is notorious for its strict censorship of journalists = two word sentence connector

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(iv.) Linking words can be categorized according to their use. Sometimes they are for comparison, sometimes to add more information, sometimes to refer to time, sometimes place, sometimes purpose. A comprehensive list of linking words, separated into different functions, can be found easily through a search engine query.

Using linking words with skill takes practice, and a process of memorizing and familiarizing oneself with the constructions and how they are used.

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Now look through the following set of questions. Match the linking words and the clauses in order to complete the sentences.

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(i.)

as long as

meanwhile

neither… nor

whereby

consequently

given that

on the one hand… on the other hand

likewise

in spite of

whether… or

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(ii.)

huge corporations and multinationals are taking an even bigger market share

there has been so much talk of trying to save money

yet the government is going ahead with the new legislation

police pursue petty criminals in order to improve crime rates

tax payers are bailing out the banking sector

have little strength to resist evil

the gloomy predictions of various company financial consultants

everything’ll be fine

the issues related to CSR are complex

we are going to have to wait a little longer

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  1. …………………………………………………………………… we are noticing sustained growth and an increase in profit.
  2. …………………………………………………………………… you don’t mention the wedding; it’s causing them a lot of stress.
  3. I find it disgusting that managers are receiving bonuses of up to $5 million, and ……………………………………………………………………
  4. ……………….. the general public ……………….. the experts support tougher laws on prostitution ……………………………………………………………………
  5. the economic downturn has hit small businesses hard. ……………………………………………………. ………………………
  6. …………………………………………………………………… I am amazed that you are suggesting spending $750,000 on advertising.
  7. ……………….. you like it ……………… not …………………………………………………………………
  8. The current initiatives encourage a system ………………………………………………………………… and don’t ever go after the criminal masterminds who are at the root of the problem.
  9. ………………………………………………………………… ……………….. it makes sense to consider ethics within the business sphere ……………….. it can cause a company to lose its competitive edge through increased costs.
  10. “Some have little power to do good, and ………………………………………………………………..” (Samuel Johnson)

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Adamique offre des cours d’anglais et de français à Montréal. Visitez notre site web pour plus d’informations !

Adamique offers French and English classes in Montreal. Visit our website for more information!

Adamique在蒙特利尔提供法语和英语培训课程。更多信息请访问我们的网站.

www.adamique.com

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Answers:

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. Ideally, CSR policy would function as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby businesses would monitor and ensure their adherence to law, ethical standards, and international norms. Consequently, businesses would embrace responsibility for the impact of their activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere. Furthermore, CSR-focused businesses would proactively promote the public interest by encouraging community growth and development, and voluntarily eliminating practices that harm the public sphere, regardless of legality. Essentially, CSR is the deliberate inclusion of public interest in corporate decision-making.

In the increasingly conscience-focused marketplaces of the 21st century, the demand for more ethical business processes and actions is increasing. Simultaneously, pressure is being applied on industry to improve business ethics through new public initiatives and laws.

The practice of CSR is subject to much debate and criticism. Proponents argue that there is a strong business case for CSR, in that corporations benefit in multiple ways by operating with a perspective broader and longer than their own immediate, short-term profits. Critics argue that CSR distracts from the fundamental economic role of businesses; others argue that it is nothing more than superficial window-dressing; others yet argue that it is an attempt to pre-empt the role of governments as a watchdog over powerful multinational corporations. Corporate social responsibility has been redefined throughout the years. However, it essentially serves as part of an organization’s mission as well as a guide to what the company stands for and what values it will uphold to its consumers.

  1. In spite of the gloomy predictions of various company financial consultants, we are noticing sustained growth and an increase in profit.
  2. Everything’ll be fine as long as you don’t mention the wedding; it’s causing them a lot of stress.
  3. I find it disgusting that managers are receiving bonuses of up to $5 million, and meanwhile, tax payers are bailing out the banking sector.
  4. Neither the general public nor the experts support tougher laws on prostitution, yet the government is going ahead with the new legislation.
  5. The economic downturn has hit small businesses hard. Consequently, huge corporations and multinationals are taking an even bigger market share.
  6. Given that there has been so much talk of trying to save money, I am amazed that you are suggesting spending $750,000 on advertising.
  7. Whether you like it or not, we are going to have to wait a little longer.
  8. The current initiatives encourage a system whereby police pursue petty criminals in order to improve crime rates, and don’t ever go after the criminal masterminds who are at the root of the problem.
  9. The issues related to CSR are complex. On the one hand, it makes sense to consider ethics within the business sphere, on the other hand, it can cause a company to lose its competitive edge through increased costs.
  10. “Some have little power to do good, and have likewise little strength to resist evil.” (Samuel Johnson)

PREPOSITIONS OF PLACE – IN/AT/ON

avril 19, 2010 à 2:45 | Publié dans english (all), intermediate english | Laisser un commentaire

*Image created at wordle.net

These three prepositions are frequently confused. It’s important to understand their general meanings and uses, and also the specific contexts in which we use each preposition.

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Read through the dialogue and focus on the ways in which IN, AT, and ON are used.

Nina: Hi Oliver, it’s Nina.

Oliver: Hi, where are you?

Nina: I’m at Place des Arts metro station. Actually, I’m just outside on the street corner. There’s a café on the right, and a small convenience store on the left. Do you know where I mean?

Oliver: Oh, okay, you’re not at the right place, but that’ fine. I’m in a bar nearby, at the back, reading, but I’m not sure you’ll be able to find your way, so I’ll come and find you. Stay on the street corner and I’ll walk your way. See you in five minutes.

(Oliver hangs up the phone, and walks to find Nina)

Oliver: Hi, great to see you again, I’m so glad you had time to meet up.

Nina: Yep, nice to see you too. You’re lucky, I’m only in Montréal for the weekend.

Oliver: How long were you on the street for?

Nina: About ten minutes, it’s cold today, and it’s always so warm in the metro, and there were so many people in my carriage, the heat was suffocating! And then when I got out, I was freezing all of a sudden. I had to get a warm sandwich.

Oliver: What’s in it?

Nina: Oh, ham and cheese. It’s not spectacular.

Oliver: What were you reading just now?

Nina: Oh, just today’s paper. Do you know where Sebastian is?

Oliver: I don’t know, he’s always late, he’s probably still at home sitting in the lounge on the sofa.

Nina: Oh, and can we stop at the bank on the way, I need to take some cash out.

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suffocating: étouffant

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Now read through the grammar and try to get a sense of when we use each preposition.

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IN

We use “in” to talk about something or someone within or enclosed by a space or an area.

e.g.

I’m in the kitchen cooking at the moment

In the garden there is a large maple tree

There aren’t many fish in the river anymore, it’s too polluted

You can be “in” a room, elevator or other space, but you can also be in a city, a country or a continent.

e.g.

There are too many people in the elevator

The Statue of Liberty is in New York

There are 53 countries in Africa

We use “in” to describe something submerged, contained, or withheld.

e.g.

There are millions of species of fish in the ocean

I need more air in my tyres, they’re really flat

The man has been in prison for the last ten years

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AT

We use “at” to talk about a general location when we don’t need to be particularly specific, accurate or exact.

e.g.

I am at the airport

She didn’t realize she’d forgotten the wine until she was at the door

There are lots of people at the bus stop

We use “at” to give directions when we want to refer to a location where the person should take a particular action.

e.g.

Turn right at the traffic lights

When you are at the hotel, find a parking space nearby

At the second cross-street, you have to turn right, then left at the bank

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ON

We use “on” to talk about something which rests on something else, or something which is above something else, or something or someone in reference to something underneath them.

e.g.

It’s on the table next to the books

He was standing on the pavement

The article is on the second page

We use “on” to give directions using certain words such as left and right.

e.g.

Keep going straight on, and then turn when you see a hotel on the right, and then go past a bakery on the left.

The office is on the first floor, second room on the right

On the way could you pick up some milk for me?

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Complete the following sentences. Answers are at the end of the lesson.

  1. The man is _____ work, _____ the third floor, _____ his office.
  2. Your keys have been left _____ reception, they were found _____ a table _____ the boardroom.
  3. I’m _____ the street waiting for you _____ the entrance to the hotel.
  4. _____ page 4 you’ll find information about how to apply.
  5. When I was _____ New York, I found I was always in a hurry.
  6. My mother has been _____ the hospital this week having surgery.
  7. It’s 32°C _____ Nice today.
  8. We need to be _____ the concert early, otherwise we’ll spend hours queuing.
  9. We spent our honeymoon _____ a cruise ship.
  10. Grandma left her shopping _____ the supermarket checkout.

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Now read through the following dialogue (continued from earlier), and examine the uses of “in”, “at”, and “on”.

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Nina: So you remember I was reading the paper earlier when I was waiting for you on the street?

Oliver: Yes, at Place des Arts metro.

Nina: Yeah, well there’s an interesting article in it on the front page about political corruption.

Oliver: Where, at the bottom of the page?

Nina: Yes, at the bottom in the left-hand corner.

Oliver: I remember hearing something on the radio about this story.

Nina: It’s amazing. Look at the second paragraph, it’s a huge scandal. And the guy looks so guilty in the photograph too!

Sebastian: Hi guys, sorry I’m late, I was waiting for a bus at the corner of Park avenue and Sherbrooke for ages. I don’t understand why it took so long…

Oliver: Oh yeah? So being late has nothing to do with the party you were at last night, and not getting out of bed?

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IDIOMATIC USES

There are many idiomatic uses of “in”, “at” and “on”, which are shown in the dialogue above. Try to remember the following expressions.

IN a line, queue, row

IN the sky, the world

IN bed

IN a photograph

ON the left, right

ON the first floor, second floor

ON a map, on a menu

ON the front, back, way

AT the start, end

AT the party

We can use “in” and “at” when talking about a corner, depending on whether it is the corner of a room, or at the corner of a street.

e.g.

The cat is hiding in the corner of the room

I’m at the corner of Broadway and Soul

We can use “on” and “in” with transport, depending on what we are talking about.

e.g.

I’m in the car right now, I can’t talk

Quick, get in the taxi, there’s a lot of traffic waiting for us

I was on the bus yesterday when…

I hate getting on the metro when it’s busy

When we are talking about media, we use “on”.

e.g.

My husband was on the radio today

The show will be on television tomorrow night

I looked it up on the internet

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Read through the following sentences. Are they correct or incorrect? Find any incorrect use of a preposition and select the correct alternative. Scroll down to the end of the lesson for the answers.

  1. You need to get in the metro if you want to go all the way over the other side of the city, it’s too far to walk.
  2. The quote is at the corner of the page on the second paragraph in the third sentence.
  3. As you’re driving along the street, you’ll see a hotel on the right, and then you need to turn left at the next intersection.
  4. There are lots of ingredients in this recipe.
  5. There are lots of beaches in the island.
  6. Did you think it was cold at Sue’s house last night?
  7. Did the train stop in the last station, or did we go straight through?
  8. I met her at the theatre, during the interval.
  9. I work at the downtown office, at the marketing department.
  10. On the end of the street there is a large supermarket, just at the corner.

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Complete the following sentences. Answers follow the article.

  1. I’m always waiting _____ line for something or other. I hate being _____ a queue.
  2. I heard _____ the radio that we won the hockey.
  3. Who’s that _____ the left-hand side of you _____ the photograph?
  4. Can we sit _____ the table _____ the corner of the room, please?
  5. We were _____ our way to the seats _____ the back of the cinema _____ the penultimate row, but somebody took them before us.

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Adamique offre des cours d’anglais et de français à Montréal. Visitez notre site web pour plus d’informations !

Adamique offers French and English classes in Montreal. Visit our website for more information!

Adamique在蒙特利尔提供法语和英语培训课程。更多信息请访问我们的网站.

www.adamique.com

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Answers:

  1. The man is at work, on the third floor, in his office.
  2. Your keys have been left at reception, they were found on a table in the boardroom.
  3. I’m on the street waiting for you at the entrance to the hotel.
  4. On page 4 you’ll find information about how to apply.
  5. When I was in New York, I found I was always in a hurry.
  6. My mother has been in hospital this week having surgery.
  7. It’s 32°C in Nice today.
  8. We need to be at the concert early, otherwise we’ll spend hours queuing.
  9. We spend our honeymoon on a cruise ship.
  10. Grandma left her shopping at the supermarket checkout.

  1. You need to get in ON the metro if you want to go all the way over the other side of the city, it’s too far to walk.
  2. The quote is at IN the corner of the page on IN the second paragraph in the third sentence.
  3. As you’re driving along the street, you’ll see a hotel on the right, and then you need to turn left at the next intersection.
  4. There are lots of ingredients in this recipe.
  5. There are lots of beaches in ON the island.
  6. Did you think it was cold at IN Sue’s house last night?
  7. Did the train stop in AT the last station, or did we go straight through?
  8. I met her at the theatre, during the interval.
  9. I work at the downtown office, at IN the marketing department.
  10. On AT the end of the street there is a large supermarket, just at ON the corner.

  1. I’m always waiting in line for something or other. I hate being in a queue.
  2. I heard on the radio that we won the hockey.
  3. Who’s that on the left-hand side of you in the photograph?
  4. Can we sit at the table in the corner of the room, please?
  5. We were on our way to the seats at the back of the cinema in the penultimate row, but somebody took them before us.

USING « IF »

avril 12, 2010 à 3:09 | Publié dans english (all), intermediate english | Laisser un commentaire

*Image created at wordle.net

We use “if” in English to talk about possible outcomes, consequences or suggestions. The if-clause follows the pattern of event/action and then consequence/reaction.

e.g.

If you light a bomb (ACTION) it explodes (REACTION).

If they don’t go to class (ACTION), they’ll never learn (CONSEQUENCE).

If she won the lottery (EVENT), what would you do (REACTION)?

If I had asked first (ACTION), it wouldn’t have been a problem (CONSEQUENCE).

If you’ve not finished it (ACTION), do it now (REACTION).

We can use “if” with many different tenses depending on the meaning we intend to convey. Sometimes we refer to something probable; sometimes possible, sometimes unlikely and sometimes to something impossible.

We use “if” to talk about dreams, ideas, plans, the future, the direction our life has taken, and also generally, to refer to the rules that govern our situation, country or universe.

e.g.

If you directly translate from one language to another, problems often occur.

If he gets the job, he’ll be in Japan next year.

If they made it to the play-offs, they would at least have a chance.

If I hadn’t come to Montréal, I never would have met her.

If you’re going to be rude, just leave.

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Read through the conversation below and try to understand the vocabulary and the overall sense of the language. Take note of the use of “if” within the dialogue.

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(Alan is directing a business meeting concerning a problem within the company, and trying to find some solutions…)

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Alan: So, if we’re all here let’s begin the meeting. And listen everyone; nobody is leaving before 5.20pm, regardless of the fact that you’re only paid until 5pm; if the meetings started on time, we could all leave on time, but they don’t, so unfortunately you’re all going to be late home… again. Please in future arrive on time. So, first on the agenda: sales. We need to address the fact that sales are down by almost 25% this quarter. If the company keeps losing money like this, we will all be out of a job by next year. I know nobody wants that, least of all me, so let’s all put our heads together and figure out where we’re going wrong.

Mark: Alan, you’re absolutely right, the company is in a bit of a crisis here. We all know the saying – “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” – well this is exactly where we’ve all gone wrong recently. Look at last year’s sales figures; steady growth and healthy net profits in all four quarters. What happened? We got greedy, tried to expand too quickly and too aggressively and without the necessary market research and preparation, and now we have overextended ourselves, are losing money and need to make some rapid changes to avoid a catastrophe. If I was in charge, I know what I’d do: consolidate, get rid of any stores that aren’t turning a profit, and never be so reckless with expansion again.

Jane: Mark, you’re right. We wouldn’t be in this mess if we had been less hasty about expanding into new areas. Having said that, it was impossible to predict how badly things have turned out. If someone had warned us that a potential global economic crisis could leave us all exposed after rapid expansion, who would have listened to them?

Alan: I think everyone here agrees that rapid spending cuts, consolidation and a prompt reassessment of the situation is crucial – if we don’t get this done ASAP, we’re finished. Before we get down to details, Fiona, what’s the situation with our overseas stores?

Fiona: Well Alan, if we look at the new stores we’ve opened in Europe over the past year, we can see exactly where the sales problems lie. Every single store is in the red. Some are losing upwards of $7,000 per month. We’ll be back on track if we solve the overseas issue. Firstly, as Mark mentioned, a lack of market research has really hurt us internationally. It’s just not been as easy as we thought to break into what are already saturated markets. If we had spent more on investigating overseas markets and less on breakneck expansion, things might have been very different. In short, if you want this company to survive, get out of Europe, fast.

put our heads together: réfléchissons ensemble ; rassemblons nos efforts pour

to turn a profit: faire du profit

reckless: imprudent, irréfléchi, téméraire

hasty: hâtif

in the red: dans le rouge

to be back on track: être de nouveau sur les rails

breakneck: à une allure folle

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Now go back through the dialogue and find the if-clauses within the text which correspond to the following statements. Answers are at the end of the lesson.

  1. Cette folie a été engendrée par un comportement inconsidéré.
  2. Nous perdons de l’argent en Europe.
  3. Est-ce que tout le monde pourrait essayer d’arriver à l’heure?
  4. Nous devons résoudre ce problème, sinon nous serons tous au chômage.
  5. En bref, nous devrions fermer nos usines en Europe.
  6. Nous n’aurions pas dû effectuer des modifications.
  7. Le responsable devrait prendre certaines décisions : par exemple, désormais ne plus être si téméraire.
  8. Tout le monde est là?
  9. Personne n’aurait écouté les mises en garde d’une potentielle récession.
  10. Le temps ne joue pas en notre faveur dans cette affaire.
  11. Nous pouvons redresser la situation à l’étranger.

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USING “IF” WITH PRESENT

IF + PRESENT SIMPLE + PRESENT SIMPLE

When we use the present with “if”, it is usually to make a general statement.

e.g.      If the traffic light goes red, you have to stop your car.

When “if” is in the present, the statement can be true at any time.

USING “IF” WITH FUTURE

IF + PRESENT SIMPLE + WILL

Because we are talking about something that may occur in the future, we use “will” instead of “be going to” for this construction. When we use “if” with the future, it is to talk about a possible outcome or event. We are making a prediction.

e.g.      I’ll walk to work tomorrow, if it’s sunny.

NOTE: We can rearrange the sentence so that the “if” clause comes at the end instead of at the start, but we cannot use “will” with “if” (i.e. If I will understand correctly, you’ll deliver it on Thursday).

When we use “if” with the future, we feel that there is a real possibility of the event/action happening.

USING “IF” WITH MODALS (present and future reference)

IF + PAST SIMPLE + MODAL

We use modals with “if” when we are imagining the present or future to be different to how it is now. It is used often to talk about dreams, hopes, fears and hypotheses.

e.g.      If I was a millionaire, I could do whatever I want to.

If he had enough free time, he might think about doing some charity work.

If I were you, I would quit your job.

When we use “if” with modals to talk about the present or future, we are talking about something unreal. This means that the subject/situation is either unreal, unlikely or untrue.

USING “IF” WITH MODALS (past reference)

IF + PAST PERFECT + MODAL + HAVE + PAST PARTICIPLE

We use this construction to talk about how something could have been done differently. The idea is that we are giving an alternative to something which happened in the past.

e.g.      If I had started writing my report earlier, I wouldn’t have worked overtime last week.

The past cannot be changed, so the situation is impossible, and used for reflect or regret only.

USING “IF” WITH THE IMPERATIVE

IF + (PAST/PRESENT/FUTURE) + IMPERATIVE

We use the imperative with “if” to give an order which is reliant on or conditional on a certain event/action.

e.g.      If you want some dinner, do it yourself!

If you’re going to be busy, don’t call until tomorrow.

NOTE: We don’t use “will” in the “if” part of the clause, instead, if necessary, we use “be going to”.

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Now complete the following sentences. If no verb is provided in brackets, then choose an appropriate one, if one is provided, then conjugate it correctly. Answers are at the end of the article.

  1. If I __________ time last year, I __________  (write) a novel.
  2. You __________ catch a cold if you __________ careful, going outdoors without a coat.
  3. If you __________ to be promoted this year, __________ harder.
  4. If multinational companies ever ___________ (stop) to think about what they’re doing to the environment, thing __________ change.
  5. If she __________ (find) a wallet on the floor, she __________ definitely hand it in.
  6. I __________ (call) you if I __________ (find) the earring that you’ve lost in my kitchen.
  7. He __________ do with a drink, if you __________ free to meet him.
  8. If the problem __________ untreated, it __________ life threatening.
  9. If you __________ home, you __________ leave now before it starts snowing.
  10. In government, if no one party __________ an overall majority, we say that there __________ a hung parliament.

Now correct the sentences below that are wrong. Some are correct and some are incorrect.

  1. If it’ll make my trip more environmentally friendly, I’m happy to use public transport.
  2. If I will press this button, will the message send?
  3. If you tell me where the key is, I’ll open the door.
  4. I would be bilingual in 5 years, if I keep speaking English every day at work.
  5. If I was a man, I would have a better chance of getting a promotion.
  6. You can cross the street if the light is going to be green.
  7. It’s delicious, but if I eat any more, I would not be able to eat my dessert.

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“If” is a word which can change the past, present or future, and can provide a new perspective on a subject. Here is a famous inspirational poem by Rudyard Kipling, whose structure is based on « if ».

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: « Hold on »;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

Adamique offre des cours d’anglais et de français à Montréal. Visitez notre site web pour plus d’informations !

Adamique offers French and English classes in Montreal. Visit our website for more information!

Adamique在蒙特利尔提供法语和英语培训课程。更多信息请访问我们的网站.

www.adamique.com

Answers:

  1. We wouldn’t be in this mess if we had been less hasty about expanding into new areas.
  2. If we look at the new stores we’ve opened in Europe over the past year, we can see exactly where the sales problems lie.
  3. If the meetings started on time, we could all leave on time… Please in future arrive on time.
  4. If the company keeps losing money like this, we will all be out of a job by next year.
  5. In short, if you want this company to survive, get out of Europe, fast.
  6. “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it”
  7. If I was in charge, I know what I’d do: consolidate, get rid of any stores that aren’t turning a profit, and never be so reckless with expansion again.
  8. So, if we’re all here let’s begin the meeting.
  9. If someone had warned us that a potential global economic crisis could leave us all exposed after rapid expansion, who would have listened to them?
  10. If we don’t get this done ASAP, we’re finished.
  11. If we solve the overseas issues, we’ll be back on track.

  1. If I had had time last year, I would have written a novel.
  2. You’ll catch a cold if you’re not careful going outdoors without a coat.
  3. If you want to be promoted this year, work harder.
  4. If multinational companies ever stopped to think about what they’re doing to the environment, thing might change.
  5. If she found a wallet on the floor, she would definitely hand it in.
  6. I’ll call you if I find the earring that you’ve lost in my kitchen.
  7. He could do with a drink, if you’re free to meet him.
  8. If the problem remains untreated, it can become life threatening.
  9. If you’re going to go home, you had better leave now before it starts snowing.
  10. In government, if no one party has an overall majority, we say that there is a hung parliament.

  1. If it’ll make my trip more environmentally friendly, I’m happy to use public transport.
  2. If I will press this button, will the message send?
  3. If you tell me where the key is, I’ll open the door.
  4. I would will be bilingual in 5 years, if I keep speaking English every day at work.
  5. If I was a man, I would have a better chance of getting a promotion.
  6. You can cross the street if the light is going to be green.
  7. It’s delicious, but if I eat any more, I would not won’t be able to eat my dessert.

FORMAL VERSUS INFORMAL ENGLISH

avril 4, 2010 à 11:50 | Publié dans advanced english, business english, english (all) | Laisser un commentaire

*Image created using wordle.net

Read through the following paragraphs and start to think about the differences between them.

(A) There are myriad identifiable differences which separate the formal and informal styles of English. It is the aim of this particular lesson to examine “register”, and investigate the ways in which English can be moderated in order to provide the appropriate language for the situation.

(B) Formal and informal English are very different. This lesson looks at the differences and how you can change the “register” of English when necessary.

register: registre (de langue)

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Think about the following points.

– Which paragraph is formal, and which is informal?

– How are the sentences structured differently in both examples?

– Which kinds of verbs, adverbs, nouns etc. are used?

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Now look at the following topics, and how they are used in formal and informal register.

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PASSIVE versus ACTIVE

Using the passive form in English is more polite. It is more common in written and academic writing, and less common in everyday speech.

Remember, we use BE + past participle to form the passive.

e.g. is created, was scheduled, can be found, has been decided

The active form is much more frequent, clearer and easier to form. Here is an example of the difference between the passive and the active form.

The government has passed a new healthcare bill.

A new healthcare bill has been passed by the government.

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Degree of POLITENESS

There are varying degrees of politeness in English. In general, the more words used, and the less direct the language is, the more polite a sentence will be.

Look at the following scale of politeness –

Non-specific order        The phone!

Imperative                    Answer the phone.

Imperative + please      Please answer the phone.

Question                       Can you answer the phone, please?

Question + explanation   Can you answer the phone, please – I’m a bit busy.

Conditional form            Could you answer the phone, please?

ffffff fff   ff ffff ffffffff Would you be able to answer the phone, please?

Using “mind”                Do you mind answering the phone, please?

fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffWould you mind answering the phone, please?

Tentative request            I wonder if you would mind answering the phone, if it’s not too much trouble for you. Sorry, I’m too busy myself.

Remember that greetings also vary in terms of formality –

more informal

Hi

Hello

Hi James

Hello Mr. Smith

(written only) Dear …

more formal

When closing a conversation the same scale applies –

more informal

Thanks

Best wishes

Yours

Regards

Yours sincerely

more formal

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VERBS

The use of a particular verb in a sentence can reveal whether the speaker/writer is aiming for a formal or informal register.

e.g.

We’re gonna have to put off the meeting.

The meeting is going to have to be postponed.

Here, the phrasal verb “put off” is informal, and the Latin verb “postpone” is formal. Generally, a phrasal verb (Anglo-Saxon; Germanic) is less formal than a Latin or Greek (or French) verb.

The use of person also changes the register.

e.g.

I have processed your order.

We have processed your order.

Using the plural form is common for companies and businesses, gives a sense of unity and importance, and absolves any one individual from praise or culpability.

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ABBREVIATIONS and CONTRACTIONS

Informal English is always looking for short cuts. Abbreviating words and contracting verbs and negatives are an important part of this process.

e.g.

I will be responding to your query as soon as possible.

I’ll get back to you ASAP.

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LINKING WORDS

English separates linking words according to their degree of formality. Generally, the short the word, the less formal.

e.g.

but, yet, also, so, then, first, last, and, with, plus

in addition to, therefore, moreover, furthermore, however

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PUNCTUATION and FORMATTING (written)

Using commas, semi-colons and colons to extend sentences is considered formal, whereas splitting clauses up into separate, short sentences, and using hyphens, is less formal. Also, things like bullet points, lists and numerical ordering are sometimes less formal.

e.g.

The uses of formal English are numerous, and include situations such as the writing of a business letter, a CV or resumé, correspondence with a superior or boss; in fact it would be useful to provide a short summary of the main uses: (i.) business letters, (ii.) job applications, (iii.) communication with superiors et cetera.

The uses of formal English are numerous. They include –

  • Business letters
  • Resumés
  • Communication with superiors

These rules are guidelines only.

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Convert the following from one register to the other. Possible answers are provided at the end of the article.

  1. …But
  2. I sent a letter
  3. Complete
  4. Organize
  5. They had sent all of the information before midday
  6. A summit was arranged by the UN
  7. Stop arriving late for the meetings
  8. Also
  9. Could you please finish the report by Friday?
  10. Yours sincerely

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Now read through the following text. It could be a short e-mail, a note, information used in a conversation, or a voicemail message.

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Hi James,

I got the loan letter you sent last week. I sent a copy to HQ with a memo about your credit history. Are you free April 2nd @ 10.30am to talk more? Let me know ASAP.

We need to go over a few things (i.e. missed/late payments) before you can get the money, and chat to an SM.

Also, fill out the forms I’ve attached and bring them with you.

Thanks,

Joe

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Using the guidelines provided in this lesson, rewrite the following text in a formal register. Try to be clear, accurate, and as polite as possible without being excessive. A sample model answer is provided at the end of the article.

e.g. Dear Sir, thank you… a copy was sent… furthermore…

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Adamique offre des cours d’anglais et de français à Montréal. Visitez notre site web pour plus d’informations !

Adamique offers French and English classes in Montreal. Visit our website for more information!

Adamique在蒙特利尔提供法语和英语培训课程。更多信息请访问我们的网站.

www.adamique.com

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Answers:

  1. However
  2. A letter has been sent/was sent
  3. Fill in/fill out
  4. Set up
  5. All the information had been sent by them before midday
  6. The UN arranged a summit
  7. Please would you mind not arriving late for the meetings in future, thank you
  8. Additionally/moreover
  9. Get the report done by Friday
  10. Thanks

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your letter, received 10th March 2010 concerning your bank loan application. A copy has been sent to our company headquarters in addition to a memorandum detailing your financial situation/client data.

A meeting has been scheduled for 2nd April 2010 at 10.30am to discuss your request for a further bank loan. Therefore please inform us as to whether you are available at the appointed time at the earliest opportunity.

However, a number of issues concerning our income and expenditures may be queried prior to a loan being granted. Furthermore, a senior manager needs to be consulted before a loan of this nature can be authorized. Moreover, your previous failure to meet payment arrangements will first need to be addressed.

In the interim, your completion of the enclosed application form and business plan would be greatly appreciated. Please could you bring both along to the meeting.

Yours sincerely,

Joseph Dupont

HOW TO USE THE VERB “DO”

mars 29, 2010 à 1:47 | Publié dans beginner/debutant english, english (all) | Un commentaire

* Image created at wordle.net

This lesson looks at the verb “do” – an AUXILIARY VERB. We use “do” extremely frequently in English, as is demonstrated in the dialogue below.

Read through the following conversation, focusing on the use of the verb “do”.

Daniel: Sorry, do you mind if I sit here?

Paul: No, please do.

Daniel: Thanks… Do I know you? Your face seems familiar. You work in the HR department, don’t you?

Paul: Yes! I do, I started last week, but I don’t know many people yet.

Daniel: Ah well, it won’t take long before you get to know everyone.

Paul: I dunno, everyone seems to have been working there for years and years.

Daniel: You’re right, but don’t let it get you down. The department is really friendly; soon you’ll be feeling right at home.

Paul: Thanks.

Daniel: Don’t mention it.

Paul: The weather has been great lately, don’t you think? Did you manage to enjoy the sunshine over the weekend?

Daniel: I did actually. I have two young boys, and we spent Saturday in the park together. What about you; did you do anything nice?

Paul: Not really, I’ve just moved into a new apartment, so spent the weekend doing it up, and unpacking boxes. It sounds like you had more fun with the weather than I did!

Daniel: Oh well, I’m sure it’s nice to have your apartment a bit more organized.

Paul: Yes, you’re right.

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I dunno: contraction of “I do not know”

to feel (right) at home: se sentir comme à la maison/chez soi

lately: recently

to do up: rénover

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The verb “do” has two main uses:

(i.) Forming negatives.

(ii.) Forming questions.

“Do” is an EMPTY verb. In other words, it does not carry any real meaning by itself. Instead, it is used to help other verbs in certain situations.

*

Find three examples of a negative formed with “do”. Answers are at the end of the lesson.

e.g. I don’t know many people yet.

Find three examples of a question formed with “do”. Answers are at the end of the lesson.

e.g. Do you mind if I sit here?

NEGATIVES

To form a negative in English, we often use “do”.

DO + NOT + VERB

e.g. I don’t understand.

NOTE: If there is another auxiliary verb in the sentence, such as have/be/modal auxiliary (will/would/can/could/may/might/shall/should/must/ought to/used to) then we do not use “do”. Also, we never use “do” with the verb BE.

e.g. I am 22 years old I am not 22 years old.

NOT I don’t be 22 years old.

I can help you I can’t help you.

NOT I don’t can help you.

NEGATIVE IMPERATIVES

DO + NOT + VERB

We use “do” to form the imperative tense in the negative.

e.g. Stop! Don’t stop!

Go! Don’t go!

(Cry.) Don’t cry.

Forget it. Don’t forget it.

QUESTIONS

To form a question in English, we often use “do”.

DO + VERB + ?

e.g. Do you speak English?

If we are asking a question in the past, then “do” is used in the past tense.

e.g. Did you go to class today?

(NOT did you went to class today)

To answer a question with “do”, we do not need to use the main verb again.

e.g. Did you go to class today?

Yes, I did.

NOTE: If there is another auxiliary verb in the sentence, such as have/be/modal auxiliary (will/would/can/could/may/might/shall/should/must/ought to/used to) then we do not use “do”. Also, we never use “do” with the verb BE.

e.g. Have you been to Canada before? NOT Did you been to Canada before?

Would you like some more coffee? NOT Did you like some more coffee?

Are you working tomorrow? NOT Did you working tomorrow?

TAG QUESTIONS

A tag question is a small question which we add to the end of a statement.

e.g. You finished your homework, didn’t you?

You think so, do you?

We often use “do” with tag questions, and replace the main verb with “do”.

VERB + STATEMENT + DO (NOT) + ?

When answering tag questions, we only need to use “do”.

e.g. You went to work today, didn’t you?

Yes, of course I did.

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Now look at the following sentences and fill in the gaps with DO.

e.g. __________ they __________ (think) I’m stupid?

No, they __________

Do they think I’m stupid?

No, they don’t.

1. __________ you __________ (have) a good weekend?

Yes, I __________

2. __________ you __________ (play) tennis regularly?

No, I __________

3. You __________ with her, __________ (not – speak) you?

No, I __________ have time yesterday.

4. Excuse me, __________ you __________ (know) where the bathroom is?

No, I __________ , sorry.

5. __________ they __________ (like) ice-cream?

Yes, they __________

6. __________ she __________ (have) children?

Yes, she __________

7. __________ he __________(hate) me?

No, of course he __________

8. __________ it __________ (hurt)?

Yes, it __________ a little.

9. __________ __________ (not – forget) your keys.

10. __________ (worry), the ambulance will be here soon.

Look at the sentences and change them into either a question, negative or imperative.

e.g. I talk all the time (question) = Do you talk a lot?

  1. I like pizza (question)
  2. I went yesterday (negative)
  3. I cook for my family every Sunday (question)
  4. They know what they’re talking about (negative)
  5. She forgot the lock the door (question)
  6. I did my homework (question)
  7. I have a daughter (question)
  8. Come off when you reach the first exit (negative imperative)
  9. Tell me how to live my life (negative imperative)
  10. James understands how to use the verb “do” (negative)

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Adamique offre des cours d’anglais et de français à Montréal. Visitez notre site web pour plus d’informations !

Adamique offers French and English classes in Montreal. Visit our website for more information!

Adamique在蒙特利尔提供法语和英语培训课程。更多信息请访问我们的网站.

www.adamique.com

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Answers:

1. Do I know you?

Did you manage to enjoy the sunshine over the weekend?

What about you; did you do anything nice?

You work in the HR department, don’t you?

The weather has been great lately, don’t you think? Did

2. You’re right, but don’t let it get you down.

You work in the HR department, don’t you?

Don’t mention it.

The weather has been great lately, don’t you think?

I dunno.

1. Did you have a good weekend?

Yes, I did.

2. Do you play tennis regularly?

No, I don’t.

3. You spoke with her, didn’t you?

No, I didn’t have time yesterday.
4. Excuse me, do you know where the bathroom is?

No, I don’t, sorry.

5. Do they like ice-cream?

Yes, they do.

6. Does she have children?

Yes, she does.

7. Does he hate me?

No, of course he doesn’t.

8. Does it hurt?

Yes, it does a little.

9. Don’t forget your keys.

10. Don’t worry, the ambulance will be here soon.

  1. Do you like pizza?
  2. I didn’t go yesterday
  3. Do you cook for your family?
  4. They don’t know what they’re talking about
  5. Did she forget to lock the door?
  6. Did you do your homework?
  7. Do you have any children?
  8. Don’t come off when you reach the first exit
  9. Don’t tell me how to live my life
  10. James doesn’t understand how to use the verb “do”

COUNT AND NON-COUNT NOUNS

mars 22, 2010 à 2:38 | Publié dans beginner/debutant english, english (all) | Laisser un commentaire

* image created at wordle.net

Read through the following conversations and try to understand the subject. Look up any words you don’t know.

GOING TO A RESTAURANT

Dialogue I

Natalie: Good evening, we have a reservation for two, for half past eight, but we’re an hour early and want to eat now if it’s not too much trouble.

Waiter: We have one table free, so that’s fine. What’s the name please?

Natalie: Williams.

Waiter: Great, this way please. Here are some menus.

(Natalie and Robert sit down)

Natalie: So, what do you think of this place?

Robert: It’s nice, but it’s too busy. There are too many tables, there’s too much noise and there isn’t enough space.

Waiter: So, can I take your order?

Natalie: We’re not ready yet, but can we have some water please?

Waiter: Sure.

Robert: The desserts look delicious. There are too many options, I can’t decide.

Dialogue II

Customer: Excuse me, waiter.

Waiter: Can I help you?

Customer: Yes, there is a problem with my food. My meal isn’t hot enough.

Waiter: Oh, I’m very sorry. I’ll return it to the kitchen.

Customer: Thank you. Also, I would like a glass of wine and some bread.

Waiter: Okay sure.

Dialogue III

Parent: How are your meals, kids?

Kid 1: Mine is nice, but there isn’t enough cheese. I want more cheese on my pasta!

Kid 2: Me too, and there are too much vegetables. I don’t like vegetables.

Parent: You mean too many vegetables, and you can never have too many vegetables, they’re really good for you! Also, you already have too much cheese on your pasta.

COUNT AND NON-COUNT NOUNS

In English, nouns are either “countable” or “uncountable”. A count noun has a plural form, and a non-count noun has no plural.

e.g. count nouns car(s), friend(s), computer(s), class(es)

non-count nouns traffic, pasta, rice, pollution

NOTE: we use numbers and “a/an” with countable nouns, but we cannot use them with uncountable nouns. Instead we use “some” (e.g. a car, three glasses, one table, some water, some rice, a pasta, three traffic etc.).

We use different expressions depending on whether the noun is countable or uncountable.

COUNT nouns: (there are)                   too many / too few / fewer

NON-COUNT nouns: (there is)                      too much / too little / less

Go back through the three dialogues and find examples of count and non-count nouns.

e.g.      “…if it’s not too much trouble” = non-count noun

Now look at the following words. Are they count or non-count nouns?

  1. bread
  2. trouble
  3. vegetable
  4. table
  5. cheese
  6. glass
  7. option
  8. noise
  9. water
  10. reservation

Now look at the following sentences. Are they correct or incorrect? If you aren’t sure, then look up the words in a dictionary.

  1. There were too much people at the party, it was really crowded.
  2. If there is less noise then everyone can sleep better.
  3. Don’t you think there are too many pollution in this city?
  4. There are too few public beaches.
  5. There is too little rice for everyone.
  6. There is too much confusion over who is in charge.
  7. Next year there will be fewer traffic because the price of gas in increasing.
  8. There is fewer water in Africa than in Canada.
  9. There is too much corruption in the world.
  10. There is too many greed in the world.

Adamique offre des cours d’anglais et de français à Montréal. Visitez notre site web pour plus d’informations !

Adamique offers French and English classes in Montreal. Visit our website for more information!

Adamique在蒙特利尔提供法语和英语培训课程。更多信息请访问我们的网站.

www.adamique.com

Answers:

  1. non-count
  2. non-count
  3. count
  4. count
  5. non-count
  6. count
  7. count
  8. non-count
  9. non-count
  10. count

  1. Correct
  2. Correct
  3. Incorrect
  4. Correct
  5. Correct
  6. Correct
  7. Incorrect
  8. Incorrect
  9. Correct
  10. Incorrect

A REVISION OF PAST TIME (PART ONE)

mars 15, 2010 à 9:54 | Publié dans english (all), intermediate english | Laisser un commentaire

*Image created at wordle.net

There are many different ways to refer to the past in English. This lesson will look at the PAST SIMPLE, PRESENT PERFECT and PAST PERFECT.

Read through the following paragraph, which provides some information on the history of Montreal. Try to identify the uses of past time.

Archaeological evidence demonstrates that various nomadic First Nations native people occupied the island of Montreal for at least 2,000 years before the arrival of Europeans. By the year 1000 CE, they had started to cultivate maize. Within a few hundred years, they had built fortified villages. The St. Lawrence Iroquoians established the village of Hochelaga at the foot of Mount Royal centuries before the French arrived. Archeologists have found evidence of their habitation there and at other locations in the valley since at least the 1300s. The French explorer Jacques Cartier visited Hochelaga on October 2, 1535, when he claimed the St. Lawrence Valley for France.

*Text adapted from Wikipedia.

Here is the paragraph again with the uses of past time in bold.

 

Archaeological evidence shows that various nomadic First Nations native people occupied the island of Montreal for at least 2,000 years before the Europeans arrived. By the year 1000 CE, they had started to cultivate maize. Within a few hundred years, they had built fortified villages. The St. Lawrence Iroquoians established the village of Hochelaga at the foot of Mount Royal centuries before the French arrived. Archeologists have found evidence of their habitation there and at other locations in the valley since at least the 1300s. The French explorer Jacques Cartier visited Hochelaga on October 2, 1535, when he claimed the St. Lawrence Valley for France.

Read through the following grammar and formation for the three tenses that are discussed in this lesson.

The three different tenses used here are:

 

  1. PAST SIMPLE – “…before the Europeans arrived
  2. PRESENT PERFECT – “Archaologists have found evidence…”
  3. PAST PERFECT – “…they had started to cultivate maize.”

PAST SIMPLE

 

VERB + “ed” (or irregular PAST PARTICIPLE)

We use the past simple (i.) to talk about a completed action at a specific time in the past, (ii.) for a series of actions and (iii.) to describe a duration of time which started and ended in the past.

The cat was run-over.

Did you move to Paris when you were five years old?

James arrived at work, took off his coat, sat down and wrote his report. At the end of the day he went home.

They got up at 9am, ate breakfast and then played in the garden.

I didn’t think about it.

I lived in Cuba for one year.

 

NOTE: (i.) when forming the PAST SIMPLE in the negative, we use DID (NOT) + VERB, (ii.) when forming the PAST SIMPLE as a question, we use DID (NOT) + VERB + ?

e.g.            I didn’t go to work yesterday            AND                    Did you go to work yesterday?

 

PRESENT PERFECT

 

HAVE/HAS + PAST PARTICIPLE

 

We use the present perfect (i.) to talk about  an action that happened at an unspecified time in the past, (ii.) to talk about past events whose results are still present (iii.) to talk about general life experiences and (iv.) to talk about recent past events or states.

I have lived in Montreal for six years.

There has been a large rise in levels of pollution over the past three years.

The famous French singer Jean Ferrat has died.

Have you ever eaten lobster before?

I have always been a light sleeper.

She hasn’t spoken all day.

 

NOTE: we cannot use the present perfect with specific time expressions (yesterday, one year ago, last week, when I was younger, when I lived in Australia, at the moment, that day, one day etc.). Instead, we use the present perfect with non-specific expressions (ever, never, once, several times, many times, so far, before, already, yet etc.).

 

PAST PERFECT

 

HAD + PAST PARTICIPLE

 

We use the past perfect (i.) to describe something that happened in the past before something else in the past (especially if it is non-specific).

The weather had been bad for two weeks, and then it improved

Had she stopped crying by the time you left the cinema?

The bus had left two minutes before he got to the bus stop

I had had lunch by the time he arrived

NOTE: whilst we can replace the PAST PERFECT with the PAST SIMPLE in many cases, we cannot when the sentence refers to a non-specific time.

e.g.               I had never seen a polar bear        NOT               I never saw a polar bear

A FURTHER NOTE ON THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE PAST SIMPLE AND PRESENT PERFECT

The PAST SIMPLE and PRESENT PERFECT are often confused. We must remember that the PAST SIMPLE refers to actions in the past which happened at a specific and definite time, whereas the PRESENT PERFECT is used when we talk either about the past up to and including the present moment, or a non-specific time in the past.

e.g. I have lived in Montreal for six years

I lived in Montreal for six years

 

The difference between these two sentences is that the first implies that the person is still living in Montreal, whereas the second implies that the person no longer lives in Montreal. We can use adverbials that describe a period up to the present with the PRESENT PERFECT, and adverbials describing a specific time in the past with the PAST SIMPLE.

e.g. I have lived in Montreal { so far / since / up to now

I lived in Montreal {last summer / three years ago / in 1984

 

Because the PRESENT PERFECT often refers to non-specific time in the past, we use it to ask questions that refer to an unknown past time.

e.g. Have you ever eaten lobster?

Yes, I ate it for the first time last year.

 

The question is asked in the PRESENT PERFECT because the person does not know when specifically in the past this happened, whereas the answer is provided in the PAST SIMPLE because the speaker knows the definite time in the past when s/he ate lobster.

We also use the PRESENT PERFECT to describe something, with just, that has happened very recently in the past.

e.g. I have just heard that Bob Dylan is playing in Montreal next month

She`s just heard that she got the job!

 

Now look at the following news bulletin, written in the PAST SIMPLE. Make the report more interesting, natural and clear by converting the relevant verbs into both the PRESENT PERFECT and the PAST PERFECT. Imagine that these are headline announcements made by television broadcast journalists.

 

There were further riots in Greece over the government’s “austerity measures”.

Police and protesters clashed again today in Athens over spending cuts aimed at tackling the country’s debt. Earlier in the day groups of protesters threw rocks and other missiles at the police, and in response the police fired tear gas into the crowd. Protesters marched against the planned cuts throughout the country. More than 3 million Greek public and private sector workers gathered in outrage at salary freezes and tax increases when violence erupted.

*Text adapted from guardian.co.uk

There are five verbs in the past that could be changed. The rest of the verbs need to be in the PAST SIMPLE. Fill in the gaps with the right tenses. Answers are at the end of the article.

 

There __________ further riots in Greece over the government’s “austerity measures”.

Police and protesters __________ again today in Athens over spending cuts aimed at tackling the country’s debt. Earlier in the day groups of protesters __________ rocks and other missiles at the police, and in response the police __________ tear gas into the crowd. Protesters __________ against the planned cuts throughout the country. More than 3 million Greek public and private sector workers __________ in outrage at salary freezes and tax increases when violence __________ .

Now read through the following sentences and choose the right tense for the gap.

  1. I __________ (think – never) about it until he mentioned it to me.
  2. We __________ (eat) lobster for dinner yesterday.
  3. I __________ (play) squash before.
  4. Prices __________ (decrease) by 5% in the last year.
  5. I have no idea what’s going on, I __________ (arrive – only just).
  6. Until I moved to Quebec, I __________ (eat – not) maple syrup.
  7. I’m so sorry, I __________ (get – not) a clue what you __________ (say) to me just then.
  8. Robert’s English has improved enormously since he __________ (be) in Montréal.
  9. Jane __________ (speak) to her several times but she didn’t remember her name.
  10. I __________ (go) to Cuba several times before I was married.

Adamique offre des cours d’anglais et de français à Montréal. Visitez notre site web pour plus d’informations !

Adamique offers French and English classes in Montreal. Visit our website for more information!

Adamique在蒙特利尔提供法语和英语培训课程。更多信息请访问我们的网站.

http://www.adamique.com/

Answers:

 

There have been further riots in Greece over the government’s “austerity measures”.

 

Police and protesters have clashed again today in Athens over spending cuts aimed at tackling the country’s debt. Earlier in the day groups of protesters had thrown rocks and other missiles at the police, and in response the police fired tear gas into the crowd. Protesters have marched against the planned cuts throughout the country. More than 3 million Greek public and private sector workers had gathered in outrage at salary freezes and tax increases when violence erupted.

 

1.        I hadn’t thought about it until he mentioned it to me.

2.       We ate lobster for dinner yesterday.

3.       I have never played squash before.

4.       Prices have decreased by 5% in the last year.

5.        I have no idea what’s going on, I’ve only just arrived.

6.       Until I moved to Quebec, I hadn’t eaten maple syrup.

7.        I’m so sorry, I haven’t got a clue what you said to me just then.

8.       Robert’s English has improved enormously since he has been in Montréal.

9.       Jane had spoken to her several times but she didn’t remember her name.

10.     I went to Cuba several times before I was married.

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