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Road and street

A street is a road with houses on either side. We use street for roads in towns, but not for country roads.

  • Cars can park on both sides of our street

Roads used for both town and country.

  • Cars can park on both sides of our road
  • There's a narrow winding road from our village to the next one. (NOT . . . a narrow winding street . . .).

Note that, in street names, we stress the word Road, but the word before Street.

  • Marylebone' Road.    
  • 'Oxford Street.


9 March 2011


After explain, we use to before an indirect object.

  • I explained my problem to her (NOT / explained her my problem.)
  • Can you explain (to me) how to get to your house? (NOT Can you explain me . . .?)


7 February 2011

Past tense with present or future meaning


A past tense does not always have a past meaning. In some kinds of sentence we use verbs like I had, you went or I was wondering to talk about the present or future.

After if.

  • If I had the money now I'd buy a car.
  • If you caught the ten o'clock train tomorrow you could be in Edinburgh by supper-time.

Long and for a long time

Long is most common in questions and negative sentences, and after too and so.

  • How long did you wait?    
  • I didn 't play for long.
  • The concert was too long.

In affirmative sentences, we usually use a long time.

  • I waited (for) a long time (I waited long is possible, but not usual.)
  • It takes a long time to get to her house.

Much, many and far are also more common in questions and negative sentences.

31 January 2011


We often use way ( = method) in expressions without a preposition.

  • You're doing it (in) the wrong way
  • You put in the cassette this way
  • Do it any way you like.

In relative structures, we often use the way that . . .

  • I don't like the way (that) you 're doing it.

After way, we can use an infinitive structure or of . . . -ing. There is no important difference between the two structures.

  • There's no way to prove Iof proving that he was stealing.
  • Don't confuse in the way and on the way.

If something is in the way, it stops you getting where you want to go.

  • Please don't stand in the kitchen door — you're in the way.
  • On the way means 'during the journey' or 'coming'.
  • We'll have lunch on the way. Spring is on the way
24 January 2011

Play and game

A play is a piece of literature written for the theatre or television.

  • Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare's early plays.

A game is, for example, chess, football, or bridge.

  • Chess is a very slow game. (NOT . . . a very slow play.)

Verbs: people act in plays or films, and play games.

  • My daughter is acting in her school play. 
  • Have you ever played rugby football?


18 January 2011



Enough comes after adjectives (without nouns) and adverbs.
adjective/adverb + enough

  • Is it warm enough for you? (NOT . . . enough warm . . .)
  • You're not driving fast enough

Enough comes before nouns.
enough (+ adjective) + noun

  • Have you got enough milk? (NOT . .. enough of milk.)
  • There isn 't enough blue paint left.

We use enough of before pronouns and determiners (for example the, my, this).
enough of + pronoun We didn't buy enough of them
enough of + determiner (+ adjective) + noun

  • The exam was bad. I couldn't answer enough of the questions.
  • Have we got enough of those new potatoes?

We can use an infinitive structure after enough.
... enough... + infinitive

  • She's old enough to do what she wants.
  • I haven't got enough money to buy a car.

.. . enough... + for+ object + infinitive

  • It's late enough for us to stop work.


17 January 2011

Present progressive and simple present


We do not use the present progressive to talk about 'general time'. For this, we use the simple present. Compare:

  • My sister's living at home for the moment, (around now) You live in North London, don't you? (general time)
  • Why is that girl standing on the table? Chetford Castle stands on a hill outside the town.
  • The leaves are going brown.
  • I go to the mountains about twice a year.

We often use the present progressive to talk about the future.

  • What are you doing tomorrow evening?

Some verbs are not used in progressive forms.

  • I like this wine. (NOT I'm liking . . .)

Verbs that refer to physical feelings (for example feel, hurt, ache) can be used in the simple present or present progressive without much difference of meaning.

  • How do you feel? OR How are you feeling?
  • My head aches OR My head is aching

The same


We always use the before same.

  • Give me the same again, please. (NOT Give mo seme again, please.)
  • I want the same shirt as my friend's. (NOT / want a same shirt like my friend.)

We use the same as before a noun or pronoun.

  • Her hair's the same colour as her mother's. (NOT . . .  the same colour like her mother's.)
  • We use the same that before a clause.
  • That's the same man that asked me for money yesterday.


28 December 2010

Must: deduction


We can use musno say that we are sure about something (because it is logically necessary).

  • If A is bigger than B, and В is bigger than C, then A must be bigger than С
  • Mary keeps crying. She must have some problem.
  • There's the doorbell. It must be Roger.
  • 'I'm in love.' 'That must be nice.'

24 December 2010
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