How To Use Suggest & Recommend – English Grammar Lesson

Michael Confusing Words, Grammar 15 Comments

Jack went to the doctor last week. The doctor suggested that Jack should stop drinking so much coffee. So, Jack went home and told his wife. She recommended drinking tea instead of coffee in the morning. If I were Jack’s doctor, I would also recommend he drink tea instead of coffee. Jack tends to drink more than five cups of coffee a day. Hey Jack! I suggest you cut down! Today, let’s have a look at the grammar behind suggest and recommend. Unlike many verbs, suggest and recommend are not followed by an object + infinitive. We generally use either a gerund (VerbING) or a clause with that. The pattern would be that + subject + base verb: Jack’s wife recommended drinking tea. The personal trainer suggested using the treadmill for cardio training. The doctor suggested that Jack stop drinking coffee. Not,  …suggested him to stop The teacher recommended that we study this list of vocabulary for the exam. When we use pronouns in the that clause, we always use the subject pronoun before the base verb. Usually, in American English, the base verb is used regardless of the subject of the that clause (even with he, she, or it): …

12 Collocations With Do – English Grammar Lesson

Michael Idioms, Vocabulary 2 Comments

Here are some example English sentences using these collocations with do: I did the dishes, and now the kitchen is clean. We do laundry on Sundays. Make sure you always do your homework. You can watch TV after you finish doing your chores. The storm did a lot of damage to the trees in my neighborhood. Do your best, and you will certainly succeed. You should do your hair before going outside. How long does it take you to do your makeup? Jack is doing research on the market in Central Europe. We did several experiments in science class today. You’ve done a good job cleaning the house! I can’t watch TV all day. I need to do some work. Now it’s your turn. Try some of these English collocations with do in a sentence and post it in the comment box below. If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

The Future Progressive vs. Simple Future Tense- English Grammar Lesson

Michael Grammar 2 Comments

The Future Progressive Tense It’s really cold today in NYC. As a matter of fact, it’s-14C! I don’t like the cold weather at all, so I’m going to stay warm by thinking about the summer. In just a few short months, I’m going to be relaxing on the beach, enjoying the warm sunshine. I will probably be thinking of that scene all winter! Today, let’s have a look at the future progressive tense in English, and how it compares to using the simple future tense. We used the future progressive tense to talk about something that will be in progress at a certain time in the future. The grammar is will + be + VerbING (or) be going to + be + VerbING. We use this English Grammar to talk about what we believe or project will happen in the future: In just a few short months, I am going to be relaxing on the beach. I’ll be working on the weekend, so I can’t go skiing with you. I’ll be thinking about you while I’m away on business. By this time next month I’ll be enjoying the breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon. We also use the future progressive …

How To Use As If & Like – English Grammar Lesson

Michael Grammar 2 Comments

I saw a new pizza shop on Madison. It looked as if it had good pizza so I went in. Everyone working there was nice, and they treated me as if I were a long time customer. They seemed to live their jobs, and worked hard, like they were the owners themselves! Today let’s have a look at the phrase as if & like. We use as if to talk about how something or someone looks or seems to be. The grammar is [noun] + verb 1 + as if + subject + verb 2. Usually, verb 1 is a verb of the senses, like look, seem, sound, etc: Brad looks as if he’s been out in the cold too long. Jane sounded as if she’s angry with us. I feel as if I’m catching a cold. I need to go to bed early tonight. The kitchen smells as if someone cooked curry. You’d better bring an umbrella. It seems as if it’s going to rain. In more informal English conversations, it’s also possible to use like, instead of as if: Brad looks like he’s been out in the cold too long. Jane sounded like she’s angry with us. I …

Am not vs. Do not – Simple Present Negatives – English Grammar

Michael Uncategorized Leave a Comment

I like pizza, but I am not the type of person who eats it every day. I don’t work so close to a good pizzeria, and I’m not able to take a long lunch break in order to eat it. I guess that’s better for my weight! A lot of students have trouble with using the negative form of be and do, for example, “I am not” and “I do not.” Do you know the rules? For today’s English grammar lesson, let’s look at these two negative, simple present grammar patterns. We use the negative form of the verb be followed by a noun or an adjective. The grammar pattern is Subject + BE + not + noun (or) Subject + BE + not + adjective (or adverb/adjective): I am not Jack, I’m Michael. Bob is not the manager. That is not our train. We need to take a local train, that one is express. This soup is not hot. It is not very warm today, is it? I am not happy with the progress we are making with this project. We use the negative form of the verb do followed by another verb in the base verb form. The …

Simple Present vs. Present Continuous – English Grammar Lesson

Michael Grammar Leave a Comment

What do you usually do on Tuesdays? What are you doing today? I always work on Tuesdays, and in fact, I am working right now. I’ve just given you two examples of sentences in English that use the simple present and present continuous grammar. For today’s English lesson, let’s have a look at the difference between both of these grammar patterns. We use the simple present to talk about situations that happen regularly and generally true facts or situation: When it snows, driving is dangerous. This is a generally true fact. Bob lives in St Louis, but his parents live in Miami. Where Bob and his parents live is a generally true situation I go to work by train. Going to work by train happens regularly. We use the present continuous to talk about situations that are happening now, or around now. This “around now” has the meaning of “these days.” Jack is working hard on his project now. I hope he can finish it soon. Jack’s situation is happening right now. I’m having lunch now, I can’t help you. Having lunch is happening now. Megumi’s baby is learning how to walk. These days, her baby is learning how to …

Using THE – English Grammar Lesson

Michael Grammar Leave a Comment

I like animals. I sometimes go to the animal shelter in my neighborhood and play with the dogs. I saw a cute dog and a cute cat yesterday. The dog was white with a brown spot on his nose. The cat was black, with some white on his belly. Using the can be tricky for a lot of English grammar students, so today I want to show you how we can use the and how we think about using the. I’d like to focus this lesson on when we use the in the following situation. When we believe the listener knows exactly what noun we are talking about, we use the. There are five such situations. Use the because there is only one of these in the world: The president is going to London next week. The moon is full tonight. The mayor of NYC is Michael Bloomberg. Use the with a superlative adjective, because here too, there is only one of these in the world: Jack is the most experienced salesman in the company. The Empire State Building is the tallest building in New York. That brand of coffee is the cheapest one, but it tastes good Use the …

Free English Grammar Lesson: Using Go

Michael Grammar 3 Comments

I am to meet one of my students who is in the US this week on business. We usually have a lesson online, but today she is coming to my office for class. After the lesson we will go for lunch. I suggested we go for pizza at Lombardi’s, my favorite pizza shop. I like to go there whenever I have students or other guests who come here from out of town. It is a great place and when I go in there I always enjoy the atmosphere, as well as the pizza. The verb go has a variety of prepositions that follow it and each one has a different meaning. Today, I’m going to show you how to use this English grammar. We use go + to + [place] when we show movement in the direction of a place. Before the place, you need to: I am going to NYC today. Jack goes to his office by bicycle. Jenny went to Cancun last month and had a great time. Keep in mind we don’t use to before: home, there, here, somewhere, uptown, and downtown. I have to go uptown for a meeting. Not: I have to go to uptown …

One-Point English Lesson: Infinitive or Gerund as a Subject

Michael Grammar Leave a Comment

Did you know that you can use an infinitive (to + VERB) or a gerund (VERBing) as the subject of a sentence in English? It’s true, but you need to be careful of when you make the choice. The gerund is used as the subject of a sentence in everyday, usual English, like this: Studying English every day is the best way to improve. Exercising is important for staying healthy. Waiting for a bus on a hot day is pretty uncomfortable. The infinitive is used as a subject of a sentence when you are talking about abstract or philosophical ideas: To be or not to be. That is the question. (Shakespeare was speaking philosophically) To love another person would be out of the question. To spend time in the garden is relaxing for the mind and the body. Unless you want to sound like a philosopher or Shakespeare, it is best to use the gerund as the subject of a sentence. Compare these: Working hard is the best way to advance in the company. (This sounds like natural English) To work hard is the best way to advance in the company. (This is unnatural and sounds too philosophical) How about …