Grammar tips

July 1, 2020 Grammar

What Really Is the Difference Between British and American English?

To start, let’s clear up a couple of misconceptions about English. First of all, although there are considered to be different dialects of English, in reality the English language only really differs in accent and vocabulary. And often, the vocabulary differences between dialects are usually colloquial in nature. What does that all mean? It means […]

7 min read

June 25, 2020 Grammar

Reported Speech in English: What It is and How to Use It

Sometimes we may wish to report the words of others. In fact, this is quite a regular occurrence in any language. There are two ways to do this: reported (indirect) speech, and direct speech. Here’s how they work. Direct speech As the name would suggest, direct speech is when you directly report the words of […]

7 min read

June 17, 2020 Grammar

How to Make Comparisons in English

In any language it is an essential ability to be able to make comparisons. As humans, we do it all the time, contrasting two things to ascertain which is better, more suitable, or more desirable. Fortunately, in English, making comparisons is something that, grammatically speaking, is not only easy to do, but rarely departs from […]

5 min read

June 12, 2020 Grammar

How to Use Continuous Tenses in English

First of all, it is important to acknowledge that the continuous form in English is often referred to as the ‘progressive’ form. Please note that that continuous and progressive forms are one and the same.  The continuous (or progressive) forming English is formed with an auxiliary (be) plus the verb in the ‘ing’ form. Here […]

6 min read

June 8, 2020 Grammar

The Importance of Learning Synonyms to Improve Your Writing, and How You Can Do It

‘said’ is one of the most inexpressive words in the English language. “That is right,” he said. The problem with ‘said’ is that all it does is report the words that someone speaks. It doesn’t say anything about the way that the words were actually spoken, not to mention any meaning, emotion or feeling that […]

5 min read

May 29, 2020 Grammar

10 Overly Used and Boring Verbs, and How You Can Replace Them

Some verbs just get too much airtime. You know the ones: verbs such as ‘get’ and ‘have’ that, in the English language at least, seem to represent anything and everything.  If you are looking for ways to polish your writing – simultaneously being able to make your words more interesting but being clearer and more […]

6 min read

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