One-Point English Lesson: Used To

Michael Grammar 4 Comments

I used to have a 1968 Ford Mustang. It was my first car. I used to drive it everywhere. One of my friends in those days had a 1970 Mustang, and we used to try and race each other.  Now, I drive a Jeep. It’s my first car with a stick shift. I am slowly getting used to driving it now, but when I first got it,  it was hard to get used to driving a shift car. I guess as time goes by I’ll be used to it, but no car will ever be as fun to drive as my ’68 Mustang. In English, used tohas two meanings and uses, and that is the pont for today’s One-Point English Class. Let’s have a look: I used to drive it everywhere. I used to eat cereal for breakfast everyday. I used to live in Japan. In these cases, used to refers to a past habit. When I was younger, I ate cereal for breakfast all the time. I dont eat cereal for breakfast anymore, it is not my habit anymore. So, I would say, “I used to eat cereal for breakfast.” In the above examples, used to describes a past habit. The grammar is used + [V Infinitive]: …

One-Point English Lesson: Singular vs Plural Nouns

Michael Grammar 1 Comment

I like chicken. Do you? I also like chickens. How about you?  Two interesting questions, right?  “I like chicken” Vs. “I like chickens”. Do you know the difference? Today’s online English Class will give you the answer. “I like chicken” refers to chicken as a food. If you like chicken, you are talking about food.  “I like chickens” refers to chickens as animals. If you like chickens, you probably like to watch that animal.  When the word for an animal is the same word as the food from that animal, you must use the plural form when you want to say you like the animal. When you want to talk about the food, you need to use the singular form. Look carefully at these examples. All of these sentences talk about the animals themselves – as pets, for example: 1. I like dogs. 2. Jane likes cats. 3. My sister doesn’t like snakes 4. Chickens are dirty. Now, look carefully at these examples. All of these sentences talk the food from the animals: 1. I like dog. (This means I like to eat dog meat) 2. Jane likes cat. (This means she likes to eat cat meat) 3. My sister …

Present Vs. Present Progressive – One Point English Lesson

Michael Grammar 2 Comments

Here on Long Island, we are in the middle of a very cold winter. Today is especially cold. I am looking out the window into my garden. It looks cold! We have had a lot of snow as well. In fact, it snows every week, and it is snowing now. In my house, I am the one who has to shovel the snow. It looks like my neighbor is shoveling his driveway now, while it is snowing. I shovel after the snow has stopped. For today’s English lesson, we will look at basic verb tenses – simple present and present progressive. We will also look a bit at some stative verbs which can be used in simple or progressive forms. Simple Present is used in two ways. First, it is used when we make statements about “general facts”. General facts can be true in the past, in the present, and in the future: It looks cold outside. Today is Sunday. Snow falls from the sky. Secondly, we used simple present when we talk about our habits ore usual activities: I shovel after the snowstorm. My dog eats in the evening. Yalcin studies English an hour a day. Present Progressive is …

4 – A Study Plan – One Point English Lesson

Michael Studying, TOEIC, TOEFL Leave a Comment

“What is the best course of study to improve my English?” A lot of people ask me that so I thought I would write about that today. I think the most effective way to improve your English is to work on the four skills – speaking, listening, reading, and writing every day.  Here is a sample study plan you can use. Let’s start with reading. Reading helps you remember a lot of what you have learned, but maybe don’t use all the time, like vocabulary and idioms. Reading also helps you review grammar. It is important to read something in English every day. I would like to suggest the newspaper, AM New York. This is a great tool for learning English because the articles are short, and the language used is not very difficult. Next, is writing. This is another key part of improving tour English. I always suggest keeping a journal to my students. Every day you should try to write something. It doesn’t matter how much you write, as long as you write something every day. And for this, please pick up a notebook and use that for your journal, instead of the computer.  You can write about …

3 – See, Look, Watch – One Point English Lesson

Michael Confusing Words Leave a Comment

Let’s start off today’s free one-point English lesson with a quiz. Fill in the blanks with either “look (at)” “see” or “watch.” Yesterday I was ________ TV and I ________ a program about space. Since the beginning of time, humans have been ________ at the blinking lights night sky and wondering about them. I do too. I love to ________ into space at night. Going to Jones Beach, ________  a full moon rise, and ________  all of those stars is breathtaking. Sometimes, when you are stargazing, you might even ________ a shooting star. There are a lot of nice places here on Long Island where you can escape the lights of the city and ________ so many stars without ________ into a telescope. Maybe someday I can ________ you here, ________ at the sky! Here is the answer See, look, and watch are all very similar verbs in that they all describe what we do with our eyes. However, we use them differently. When you see something, it comes into your eyes with or without your effort. Seeing is the natural action of the eyes. Here are some examples: I just saw a shooting star (it came into my view) …