English Lesson: Stop + Gerund Vs. Stop + Infinitive

Michael Uncategorized 5 Comments

New York just became a more difficult place to smoke in. There is a new law that prohibits smoking in most public places, including beaches and parks. I was walking in Central Park yesterday and I stopped to drink a cup coffee. I was enjoying my coffee on a bench, someone stopped to smoke a cigarette. Even though I stopped smoking a long time ago, I still understand how people can enjoy the habit. Speaking of habits, recently I have been thinking I need to stop drinking coffee… Today we will look at stop + gerund (Verb-ing) and stop + infinitive (to Verb). There is a difference in meaning between these two. Do you know what that is? Take a look at the paragraph above and then check out today’s lesson: Stop + Gerund When we use stop + Verb-ing, it means “quit.” Here are some examples: I stopped smoking a long time ago. I need to stop drinking so much coffee. Joe stopped playing golf because of back pain. Stop + Infinitive When we use stop + to Verb, it means “in order to” or “for the purpose of.” Here are some examples: I stopped to drink a cup …

English Lesson: Bring Vs Take

Michael Uncategorized 6 Comments

I went to an international pot luck party last night. Have you ever been to one? At this kind of party, each guest is asked to bring a dish that is common to their country. I had a hard time deciding what to bring, but finally I made a decision. I brought pizza. I like pizza. Sometimes I keep some pizza in the freezer. The best way to heat up frozen pizza is to take it out of the freezer 30 minutes before putting in the oven. Then, when the cheese starts to bubble, take it out of the oven and enjoy! Today we will look at bring and take. Sometimes, these two words can be interchangeable, but in some cases they can not. Do you know how to use them? Have a look at the paragraph above and then check out today’s lesson:  In general, we bring something to somewhere and we take something from somewhere: I brought pizza to the party (from my house to the party) Please bring a dish that is common in your country to the party  (from where you are to the party) Can you bring me a pen? (from where you are to …

English Lesson: Borrow Vs. Lend

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My neighbor came over today and asked if he could borrow my lawn mower. I usually don’t like to lend garden tools to him because it takes too long for him to return them. I think that if you are going to borrow something, you should return it promptly after using it. I did lend him the lawn mower, and much to my surprise he returned it with a full tank of gas! Today we will look at borrow and lend. These words are similar, but they are used differently. Do you know how to use them? Take a look at the paragraph above and then check out today’s lesson: Borrow When you borrow something, you take it for a short amount of time. You can borrow something from someone, and you can borrow someone’s  something. Here are a few examples:  I borrowed a pen from George (borrow something from someone)  My neighbor borrowed my lawn mower (borrow someone’s  something)  Can I borrow your pen? ← This is how we ask to borrow something Lend When you lend something, you give it to someone for a short amount of time. You can lend someone something or lend something to someone. …

English Lesson: Present Progressive

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I’m sitting in my office typing on an old keyboard. As I am writing this lesson, I am listening to the radio. Someone is talking about books. What are you reading these days? I’m reading a book about social media. It’s pretty interesting. After work today, I’m going to meet a friend for coffee. He’s helping me get my sailboat ready for the summer. I am launching the boat on Saturday. Have a look at the paragraph above. You’ll notice I used the present progressive tense (that’s Verb+ing) three different ways. Can you find them? 1. What I am doing right now We use present progressive to talk about what we are doing right now, at the moment of speaking: I’m sitting in my office. As I am writing this lesson, I am listening to the radio. Someone is talking about books. 2. What I am doing these days We also use present progressive to talk about what we are doing these days, but not necessarily at the moment of speaking: I’m reading a book about social media. (I am reading it these days, but I’m not reading it at the moment) My friend is helping me get the boat …

Talking About Sports in English

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Do you like sports? Now that the weather is getting warmer, a lot of people are thinking of taking up a sport. In the USA, a lot of elementary school age kids play soccer and baseball. Adults play a variety of sports too. My sister runs and does yoga twice a week. She has also been practicing karate for more than 10 years. Do you golf? My mom golfs once a week. I like to sail, and sailing season is just starting. There are a few ways in English that we talk about sports. How we talk about sports depends on which category the sport falls into. First of all, there are sports which use a ball or puck. For example, baseball, tennis, badminton, hockey, soccer, etc… Note that golf & bowling are sports that use a ball, but these two sports are exceptions, and we will look at them in a moment. For sports that use a ball, we use play: Elementary school age kids play soccer and baseball. I play tennis every Sunday. My cousins like to play hockey. The second category is sports that do not use a ball or puck. These include sports like judo, kendo, …

Phrasal Verb Lesson (Hold & Run)

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Today we’ll continue a look at phrasal verbs. Today’s featured verbs are hold & run. Read the following story and see how many of the phrasal verbs starting with turn you know. I ran into an old high school friend the other day at the supermarket. He was there because he ran out of dog food. He told me that the day before his dog ran away, and it almost got run over by a kid on a bicycle. I had to hold back my tears as he spoke. Suddenly, his phone rang, and so he asked me to hold on. Someone found the dog! The man was going to hold on to the dog until my friend could go get him. Ok…let look at the meaning of these phrasal verbs: · I ran into an old high school friend o When you run into someone, you meet them unexpectedly. · He ran out of dog fod. o When you run out of something, you have no more of it. · His dog ran away. o When a person or animal runs away, they leave unexpectedly · The dog almost got run over by a bicycle. o When a person …

Phrasal Verb Lesson (Take)

Michael Uncategorized 2 Comments

Today we’ll continue a look at phrasal verbs. Today’s featured verb is take. Read the following story and see how many of the phrasal verbs starting with turn you know. Once I get home from the office I take off my shoes and relax. My hobby is fixing cars, and tonight I am going to take apart the engine. I bought a new part last week, but it doesn’t work, so I need to take it out and then take it back to the store. I hope they will let me take my money back. Before I start working, I’m going to have dinner. Tonight we are taking out Chinese food. My sister is joining us because tomorrow she is flying to Miami. I think her plane takes off at 7am. My sister takes after my mom. She’s got all the creativity in the family! How did you do? Lets look at the meanings now: I take off my shoes and relax. When you take off your clothes, you remove them. I am going to take apart the engine. When you take something apart, you dismantle it. I need to take out the part. When you take something out, you …

Phrasal Verbs with Turn

Michael Uncategorized 1 Comment

Today we will look at some phrasal verbs that use the verb turn. Someone asked me yesterday what the best way to learn phrasal verbs is. Really, the only way to do it is to memorize them. So I hope that this lesson and the example sentences I give you will help you. So let’s begin. Read the following story and see how many of the phrasal verbs starting with turn you know. It was a rainy night. Joe was driving for a long time and he was tired. He saw a motel, but they were sold out and so they turned him away. When Joe found out they didn’t have a room, he turned away from the clerk in shock. Joe had to turn back to the highway and keep driving. To help him stay awake, he turned on the radio in his car. One of his favorite songs was playing, so Joe turned up the radio. Then, an old love song came on the radio. That song reminded Joe of a lost love. Joe asked her to marry him, but she turned him down. Joe couldn’t stand hearing that song anymore so he turned down the radio. He …

English Lesson Say, Talk, & Tell

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Today we will look at three words which are often confusing in English – Say, Talk, & Tell. Each of these has a very similar meaning but the way we use them is different. What did you say? Say relates to the words we use. So when you are not sure of someone’s words, you would ask them: What did you say? When you want to refer to the exact words you or someone else used, you use say. The structure is [someone] says [something], like this: Brad said, “I am going to New York next week.” (use “quotes” when you want to report the exact words) Brad said he was going to New York next week. (no “quotes” is ok when you want to report the information) The weather man says it is going to rain today. Careful! We don’t use the person spoken to after say: She said she likes me Not, She said me she likes me. I told her I like her. Not, I said her I like her What do you want to tell me? Tell relates to giving information. When you want to hear information from someone, you can use tell: Tell me about your country. The structure we use …

Phrasal Verbs with “Hang” English Lesson From NY

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A phrasal verb is a verb followed by a preposition that has an idiomatic usage and meaning. Today, we will look at some commonly used phrasal verbs using hang. When you want to encourage someone to keep positive, you can say, hang in there: Hang in there, Jane. I’m sure you’re going to find a new boyfriend soon. Hang on means to wait for a short time. When you are walking down the street with a friend, you might say: Hang on. I want to run into the bank. When you speak on the phone, and you want the person on the other end to wait, you can ask them to hang on: Hang on, Joe. I’ll call my mom to the phone. When you finish the phone call, you need to hang up the phone. When you hang out, it means you are relaxing and spending time not doing anything specifically. Do you want to hang out at my house tomorrow? I think everyone is hanging out at the pool hall tonight. Let’s go! I know this is a lot to remember, so just hang in there. I am sure you’ll get the hang of phrasal verbs. Where do …