Grammar tips

May 15, 2020 Grammar

The Importance of Editing Your Written Work, and How to Do It

No one is immune from making a mistake. And when it comes to your writing, the same rule applies. In fact, the greatest writers are susceptible to the occasional error. Shakespeare, J.K. Rowling, Henry Miller, the Bible! But thinking that you are immune from making mistakes is the first mistake you make, and it is […]

7 min read

May 13, 2020 Grammar

What’s the difference between ‘have’ and ‘have got’ in English?

There is an unusual situation in English where the terms ‘have’ and ‘have got’ seem to have the same meaning in two contexts, as follows: Context 1) I have a sister / I have got a sister = possession Context 2) I have to do an exam tomorrow / I have got to do an […]

6 min read

May 7, 2020 Grammar

The verbs ‘make’ and ‘do’ in English, and why they cause so many problems

The verbs ‘make’ and ‘do’, for learners of English, cause many problems. The reason for that fact is simple: in many other languages, the two verbs often have the same meaning. Another reason for the problems caused by these two verbs in particular comes down to one simple concept: collocation. Collocation is defined by the […]

6 min read

April 27, 2020 Grammar

How to Use the Past Participles ‘Been’ and ‘Gone’ Correctly

At first sight, ‘been’ and ‘gone’ appear to be simple to distinguish. ‘Been’ is the past participle of the verb ‘to be’, and so, as such, is used in perfect tenses. Here are some examples: ‘I have been very tired recently.’ ‘My car has been stolen.’ ‘Gone’ is the past participle of the verb ‘to […]

6 min read

April 20, 2020 Grammar

A Few, A Little, Few and Little

Articles can make a big difference in English, and in no other situation is this more evident with the quantifiers a few, a little, few and little. Here is all you need to know about when the words should be used, and the difference in meaning. ‘A few’ and ‘a little’ The fundamental difference between […]

5 min read

April 16, 2020 Grammar

The Zero Article

Articles are always troublesome for those learning English. In fact, articles are an aspect of language that causes problems in general, because many languages don’t have them at all, and those that do never use them in exactly the same way. The zero article in English is a rather misleading name in some respects, because […]

6 min read

April 13, 2020 Grammar

Using ‘Can’ and ‘May’

‘Can’ and ‘may’ are what are known as modal auxiliary verbs in English, a category of grammar that causes problems for learners. There are two reasons for these problems: 1) Modal verbs can operate differently in the learner’s mother tongue 2) Modal verbs in English have different meanings at different times, so it is a […]

6 min read

April 12, 2020 Grammar

So Vs Such

It’s one of the most common mistakes made by English learners: not using the intensifiers ‘so’ and ‘such’ in the correct context. Here are some examples of typical mistakes: ‘He has so money.’ ‘He is such funny.’ ‘So’ and ‘such’ can often mean the same thing, but have their own distinct structures to remember. Here […]

5 min read

March 27, 2020 Grammar

I Vs Me: A Common Grammar Mistake

When it comes to favorite grammar mistakes, there are few more popular, and few less often made, than the mistake with the pronouns ‘I’ and ‘me’. Let’s have a look at some typical sentences with a mistake of this nature, and talk about why, in fact, those sentences are wrong. ‘Me and Jane went to […]

5 min read

March 26, 2020 Grammar

Common Grammar Mistakes that Kill Credibility

We all make grammar mistakes (and anyone who says they don’t…well, let’s just they are not being entirely honest!) But in business, obviously, it’s better to keep those mistakes to a minimum. If you are going to make mistakes, then follow this advice: ·  Don’t make the sort of simple mistakes that ruin your credibility […]

7 min read