17 mai 2017

Construction of the present perfect - B1

For more on the Daily Mail: How humans bred some dogs to be unrecognizable from their ancestors CONSTRUCTION OF THE PRESENT PERFECT Positive form: Subject + auxiliary have/has + past participle The past participle is the -ed form of the verb. Humans have changed man's best friend. In the case of an irregular verb, pick it up in the 3rd column. Irregular verbs have their own forms. The ambassador has eaten all the Ferrero Rocher chocolates. Interrogative form: As you remember, when you want to ask a question, you need an... [Lire la suite]
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17 mai 2017

When to use the present perfect, part 1 - B1

You can use the present perfect when a past action has an impact on the present situation. Look, the dog has broken his leg.  The action took place in the past. We don’t care where or when. What matters is the impact on the dog’s present life: he has a plaster and a cone (of shame).   Oh shit, Michael has been to the hairdresser’s! Again, what is important here, is that a past action (to go to the hairdresser’s) has an effect on the present: he looks very different. Now, watch this short video and construct a nice... [Lire la suite]
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17 mai 2017

When to use the present perfect, part 2 - B1

Use the present perfect when you want to talk about your life experience. In this case, what is really important is what happened and not when or where it happened. If it was the case, we would have used the preterit. When questioning someone’s life experience, use EVER like in this song by the Standells "Have you ever spent the night in jail?"   Click on this link for the lyrics: the_Standells_Have_you_ever A 13-year-old Irish boy asks a similar question in a powerful video he posted for Safer Internet Day (February... [Lire la suite]
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17 mai 2017

When to use the present perfect, part 3 - B1

The present perfect can be used when something started in the past and is still happening now. I have lived in Paris for 10 years. This example means that you started living in Paris 10 years ago and still live in the French capital city. So it is very important to use the present perfect when you want to express an ongoing action that started in the past and that is still true now. If you had used the preterit, it would have meant that the action is over. I lived in Paris for 10 years means that you lived in Paris in the past, but... [Lire la suite]
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17 février 2016

Rock'n'roll grammar – Pink Floyd "Wish you were here" – B1

In this beautiful song, the Pink Floyd band members wish their deceased friend Syd Barrett were near them.   To express their wish, they use "wish" followed by "to be" in the preterit.  - WISH + WAS or WERE (to be in the preterit). Eg: I wish I was here, I wish you were here, I wish he/she/it was here, I wish we were, I whish you were here, I wish they were here Anyway, if you are a little bit lazy, you can also use were for any persons, singular or plural (a little more formal). Eg: I whish... [Lire la suite]
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25 janvier 2016

A criminal arrested but a word still missing - B1

I frequently hear learners of English saying that they don’t read press articles because they can’t even understand the titles. In many cases their failure to understand is due to ELLIPSIS. Ellipsis is the omission of elements which are recoverable from the context or the situation. Can you spot the missing word in the tweet below?   In this case ‘man’, ‘person’, ‘criminal’ or fugitive would be specially appropriate. And if you already know what the Subway franchise is, you may make a second ellipsis from that tweet, by... [Lire la suite]
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22 janvier 2016

Rock'n'roll grammar - David Bowie "Let's dance" - A2

The imperative is used to command, to order or to suggest something. In the song "Let's dance", David Bowie probably invites someone to dance with him. In this case "Let’s" is the short form for "let us" used to make a suggestion which includes himself. As a reminder : To form the imperative mode or mood with the second person singular or plural, you have to use the verb without "to" and nothing more for example “Dance”. To form the imperative mode or mood with the first person plural, you have to use let + us + the verb... [Lire la suite]
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05 janvier 2016

Tenses with cartoons - A2

Try and think about the use of tenses in the three following cartoons. Source: http://bizarro.com Use the preterit when the action is over. "I thought", but won't think so anymore. Note the construction of the passive form:   subject + auxiliary be + past participle "be" will be conjugated and the main verb will be invariable. In this example, if the last part of the sentence was in the preterit, the police officer would say "... anything you say was (preterit form of be) used against you". Note the use of the... [Lire la suite]
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