Forming The Possessive

The possessive form is used with nouns referring to people, groups of people, countries, and animals. It shows a relationship of belonging between one thing and another. To form the possessive, add apostrophe + s to the noun. If the noun is plural, or already ends in s, just add an apostrophe after the s.

1. Mike’s car broke down on the highway last weekend.

2. Men’s clothes are usually on the 2nd floor in most stores.

3. Lauren is sleeping at the Smith’s house tonight.

4.The bird’s nest is falling apart.

5. The politician’s hypocrisy was deeply shocking.

6. The sailor’s boat needed major repairs after the storm.

7. America’s job market is full of opportunities at every level.

8. Professor Brown’s book was never published.

9. Van Gogh’s work is famous all over the world.

10. Italy’s healthcare system is among the best in the world.

 

 

Which & That

If the sentence doesn’t need the clause that the word in question is connecting, use which. If it does, use that. (Pretty easy to remember, isn’t it?) Let me explain with a couple of examples.

  • Our office, which has two lunchrooms, is located in Cincinnati.
  • Our office that has two lunchrooms is located in Cincinnati.

These sentences are not the same. The first sentence tells us that you have just one office, and it’s located in Cincinnati. The clause which has two lunchrooms gives us additional information, but it doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence. Remove the clause and the location of our one office would still be clear: Our office is located in Cincinnati.

The second sentence suggests that we have multiple offices, but the office with two lunchrooms is located in Cincinnati. The phrase that has two lunchrooms is known as a restrictive clause because another part of the sentence (our office) depends on it. You can’t remove that clause without changing the meaning of the sentence.

  • The time machine, which looked like a telephone booth, concerned Bill and Ted.
  • The time machine that looked like a telephone booth concerned Bill and Ted.

In the first sentence (thanks to the use of which), the time machine concerned Bill and Ted. It also happened to look like a telephone booth. In the second sentence (which uses the restrictive clause), Bill and Ted are concerned with the time machine that looks like a telephone booth. They aren’t concerned with the one that looks like a garden shed or the one that looks like a trailer.

1. The MacBook Pro computers that have dark grey covers are new.

2. Leap years, which have 366 days, contain an extra day in February.

3. The English lessons that are held in Florence start at 1pm.

4. We love spending our holidays at my aunt’s house, which is in the middle of nowhere.

5. My bike that has a broken seat is in the garage. The new bike is in the basement.

6. One of the weakest teams beat the defending champions last week, which was a surprise to everyone.

7. You can give me the book that my sister lent you last week. I will see her tomorrow for lunch and I can give it back to her for you.

8.  Animal Farm, which was written by George Orwell, is a great book.

9. The girl that you saw at the marathon with a huge sign is Paolo’s wife.

10. The gas tanks, which are on the first floor of the hotel, have to be replaced by December 31st.

Gerund or Infinitive? Rule #1

An infinitive is the verb form that has “to” at the beginning. For example, “to do,” “to sleep,” “to love” and “to create.” It is the simplest verb form that you have to modify to fit into sentences.

Gerunds are formed by adding “-ing” to the verb: “sleeping,” “drawing,” “swimming.” But they are not the “-ing” verb forms that you see in the present or past continuous tense. They look the same, but gerunds are actually verb forms used as nouns.

  • Rule 1: Gerunds can be used as a subject of a sentence.

1. Exercising is good for your health.

2.  Playing tennis is more difficult than I thought.

3.  Waiting in line during the holidays can be exhausting..

4. Checking your bank account every day while on vacation could help you avoid fraud charges or other problems with your bank.

5. Risking  your job just to give your friend a discount is just stupid.

6 Watching tv everyday in the language you would like to learn will help you improve.

7.Working and studying at the same time is not easy..

8. Renting a vacation home is better than buying one in my opinion.

9. Shopping online is easier than shopping in a store.

10. Skiing is very popular in Denver.

Either…Or

Either…Or … connects two choices: we can use either…or to emphasise a choice. (Either…or is used to refer to two things or people.) In most cases ‘either’ can be omitted.

1. You can either stay here or come with us, it’s up to you.

2. It was either Francesco or Roberto who received your message but they are both out of the office right now.

3. You can either cooperate with the police or spend the rest of your life in jail.

4. The minimum salary is either set by a minimum wage law or determined by the demand and supply of that labor.

5. Either he loves eating McDonalds every day or he can’t afford anything better.

6. You can either go to college or find a job but you can’t stay in my house unless you have something to do.

7. People usually believe that the USA is either a great symbol of democracy and freedom or a country that does not know how to mind its own business but few people are neutral.

8. We can either buy a small apartment in the centre of the city or buy a villa in the countryside, it depends on the type of life we want to live.

9. In my opinion, either Spain or Germany will win the next World Cup.

10. Either you win or lose, there are almost never ties in basketball.

Contractions

Since the word contract means to squeeze together, it seems only logical that a contraction is two words made shorter by placing an apostrophe where letters have been omitted.

Examples of common contractions in the English language include:

  • I’m: I am
  • Can’t: cannot
  • We’ve: we have
  • Should’ve: should have
  • Could’ve: could have
  • She’ll: she will
  • He’s: he is
  • They’d: they would
  • Won’t: will not
  • Weren’t: were not
  • Wasn’t: was not
  • Wouldn’t: would not
  • Shouldn’t: should not
  • Isn’t: is not

1. I’m always looking for new ways to make money.

2. You can’t legally buy marijuana in New Jersey yet, but many citizens are waiting for the day that they will be able to smoke in peace.

3. We’ve been working on a new website for our client for 6 weeks.

4. They should’ve sold their house when they had the chance.

5. She could’ve sued her company for mobbing but she decided to quit and move on with her career.

6. I won’t bother you if you don’t bother me.

7. You shouldn’t leave your current job until you find a new one.

8. He told the police that it wasn’t him, but everyone knows he did it.

9. I wouldn’t want to be him right now.

10. They’d love to visit the USA but they are afraid that they won’t be able to communicate well in English.

So & Such

So and such

We can use so and such to make the meaning of an adjective, adverb or noun stronger (’very/really’):

Why did you give her money? You are so stupid!

He was such a terrible father that now his kids don’t want to be around him.

1. I love my colleagues, they are such nice people.

2. I was surprised that she looked so young at her age.

3. They have so much money that they don’t know what to do with it.

4. The lesson was so boring that I almost fell asleep.

5.So many people attended the meeting that there weren’t enough chairs for everyone.

6. We had a really good time. It was such an amazing experience.

7. The chef at the hotel was so dirty.  I saw him licking the spoon and putting it back in the pot several times. I didn’t eat anything that night.

8 That was such a bad movie. I can’t believe that someone actually thought that was a good idea.

9. She works so hard to keep everyone happy, but they complain anyway.

10. I couldn’t believe what Joel did. It was such a shock to hear that he was fired for stealing from the company!

 

 

 

 

“The”

The is used to refer to specific or particular nouns; For example, if I say, “Let’s read the book,” I mean a specific book. If I say, “Let’s read book,” I mean any book rather than a specific book.

Here’s another way to explain it: The is used to refer to a specific or particular member of a group. For example, “I just saw the most popular movie of the year.” There are many movies, but only one particular movie is the most popular. Therefore, we use theYou don’t need an article when you talk about things in general. The does NOT = all.

You don’t need to use an article with a proper noun. Articles are not used before countries, states, cities, towns, continents, single lakes, or single mountains, holidays, companies, universities, places, locations, streets, sports and acronyms. There are always exceptions which you just have to learn. Here are some below. 

1. I need to go to the bank to deposit a check before it closes.

2. Let’s go to the movies next Friday.

3. My dad is in the hospital for the fourth time this month.

4. She works at the post office inside the train station.

5. What time do you have to be at the airport tomorrow morning?

6. Please drop me off at the bus stop near the river.

7. She doesn’t like to go to the doctor or the dentist.

8. I would love to go to the beach this weekend.

9. I am from the United States of America.

10. Many people go skiing in the Alps every year.

As long as

As long as

We use as long as to refer to the intended duration of a plan or idea, most commonly referring to the future. We always use the present simple to refer to the future after as long as. As long as also means ‘provided that’, ‘providing that’ or ‘on condition that’.

1. You can stay at our house as long as you like.

2. I’ll remember that night as long as I live.

3. You are allowed to go to Jason’s party as long as you let us know when you arrive.

4. They have had that car for as long as I can remember.

5. Everything will be okay as long as nobody finds out.

6. They are not interested in doing anything else as long as they accomplish their primary objective.

7. I want to work as long as I can because retirement seems boring.

8. I will be home soon as long as no other patients show up with emergencies.

9. You can be a great mother and have a career as long as you have the right balance in your life.

10. Scoring goals has been their weakness for as long as I can remember.

 

 

Adverbs

Adverbs are used to give us more information and are used  to modify verbs, clauses and other adverbs.

The difficulty with identifying adverbs is that they can appear in different places in a sentence.

The simplest way to recognise an adverb is through the common ending –ly. Examples of –ly adverbs are: quickly, quietly, fortunately.

Most adverbs are made by adding –ly to adjectives:

careful > carefully
loud > loudly
slow > slowly

1. He quietly walked off the field after he lost the final.

2. They carefully read through the bank statements to find the mistake.

3. The final exam was extremely difficult this year.

4. She is incredibly sorry about what she did to her ex-boyfriend .

5. The taxi driver drove very unsafely and we were scared because we had our son in the car.

6. Our professor talks exceptionally loudly, I usually sit in the back of the classroom.

7. Unfortunately, I will be out of the office for the month of August.

8. Surprisingly, the hotel restaurant was open until midnight.

9. Hurry up! You always walk so slowly.

10. You play the piano very well, I never knew you had this talent.

 

Preposition of time: at

Use “at” for times of day, including mealtimes, bedtime, etc. Also, use “at” in the following common expressions: at the same time: at present/at the moment: at night

1.Growing up we were never allowed to watch TV at dinner time.

2. They usually eat lunch at noon.

3.There are no free rooms at the moment so we have to walk around the city until 3pm.

4. We got to work at the same time yesterday, but he left one hour before me.

5. It is not safe to walk through the park at night because there are many strange people there.

6. Champions League games almost always start at 8:45p.m.

7. Even though it is warm most of the day, bring a jacket because it will get much cooler at night.

8. Where were you at 3p.m. Tuesday?

9. Many public parks open at dawn and close at dusk.

10. My father wakes up every night exactly at midnight.

 

 

 

Past Continuous

We use the past continuous in many ways including: Duration in the past :Interrupted actions in progress: Actions in progress at the same time in the past: Irritation :Polite questions The past continuous is formed from the past tense of be with the -ing form of the verb. 

1.The other day I was walking to the store when the ambulance hit the guy on his bike near my house.

2.Last week while my wife was driving to work it started snowing and she got stuck in traffic for 2 hours.

3.While Angela was working, her husband was cheating on her with her best friend.

4.I was wondering if you could make an exception just this one time.

5.While I was sleeping my sister heard a strange noise in the lobby but she was too scared to check it out.

6.We were having such a beautiful vacation until our wallets were stolen.

7.We were not planning on inviting them to our wedding but we didn’t want to exclude anyone.

8.Were you working at the festival last weekend?

9. She got into a car accident because she was texting and driving at the same time.

10. Our driver Manny was waiting for us in front of the hotel on Saturday.

 

 

 

“Just”

We use “just” in many ways. This exercise focuses on the meaning  “a very short time ago.” 

1.I just saw the latest episode of Game of Thrones.

2.We just bought a new car and we are so excited.

3.He just found out that his wife is pregnant.

4.The client just landed in Florence.

5.She just got to the restaurant.

6.I just called the cable company, they are on their way now.

7.We just finished lunch, now we are heading back to the office.

8.They just updated their software.

9.The shipment just arrived.

10.The director just called asking for a new proposal.

“Already”

Already’ is used to indicate that something has happened earlier.

1.I already did my homework for the week.

2.She already had a partner so I had to find another person to work with

3.We already bought our tickets to the USA for this summer.

4.I’ve already spoken to the others and they told me that they want to go on strike.

5.We have already gone over budget by 13% this month.

6.The agency has already booked its first client.

7.That table has already been reserved, but we have another table over there.

8.The game was already over before halftime but I stayed until the end anyway.

9.I already knew that you were going to try to change my mind.

10.The competition just opened last week and we have already lost 7 customers.

“Have to”

“Have to” is used to express certainty, necessity, and obligation.

1.I have to finish this report before our conference call with the client.

2.This has to be right, I read the instructions ten times.

3.The polenta has to be stirred continuously otherwise it will stick to the pot.

4.She has to leave early today.

5.My niece has to read four books this year for her literature class.

6.I have to print all of our hotel confirmations before we leave for the US.

7.You don’t have to tip the waiters but if you do they will be very grateful.

8.The receptionist didn’t have to be so rude to us.

9.My friend had to fire six people last week because they were stealing from the company.

10.When you travel often, you have to be very patient because it can be stressful.

“Going to”

Going to is mainly used to refer to our plans and intentions in the future or to make predictions based on present evidence.

1.Is it going to rain this evening?

2.Is management going to buy new cars for the sales team soon?

3.We are going to visit Rome, Florence and Venice when we are in Italy.

4.The twins are going to throw a party next week when their parents are out of town.

5.When are you going to have dinner with the editor of the magazine?

6.Are you going to stay at the office all night?

7. He’s going to be a great musician.

8.My son is going to have a hard time falling asleep tonight.

9.You are going to regret not going on the school trip, mark my words.

10.Are you going to apply for the job?

 

“Whose”

“Whose” is a possessive pronoun like “his,” “her” and “our.” We use “whose” to find out which person something belongs to.

1.Whose camera is this?

2.Whose child is screaming?

3.Whose phone keeps ringing?

4.Whose water bottle is leaking?

5.Whose computer is charging?

6.Whose car are we taking to the meeting?

7.Whose birthday is it today?

8.Whose beer is this?

9.Whose turn is it?

10.Whose fault is it?

 

 

 

First conditional

We use the first conditional for real possibility. It’s used to talk about things which might happen in the future. Of course, we can’t know what will happen in the future, but this describes possible things, which could easily come true.

  1. If it snows tonight, the package will arrive one day late.
  2. If I finish my project today, I’ll go to the beach tomorrow.
  3. If my brother saves enough money, he will buy a new macbook pro this summer.
  4. My sister will miss her flight if the train is late again.
  5. The professor will miss her deadline if she doesn’t finish her research report soon.
  6. If we see them, we will tell them the new plans.
  7. If they don’t accept our proposal, what will we do?
  8. If you give me a contact person, I will do the rest.
  9. If we change the contract the client is going to be very mad.
  10. If you study my lessons, you will improve much faster.

Like & As

Like & As

We use as to talk about job or function. Most of the time, like compares two things. When we compare appearance or behaviour, we use like, not as.

1.His wife looks like a supermodel.

2.My cousin works as a translator.

3.They usually use the central station as a meeting point with groups of tourists.

4.We didn’t have time to change our clothes for the party, so we went as we were.

5.Tiramisu tastes like coffee.

6.Everyone says that he looks just like his father.

7.He is very respected as a professor and a researcher.

8.As a friend, I would like to give you some advice.

9.The goal is for every student to speak like a native.

10.She uses a room in her house as an office.

“Used to”

We use ‘used to’ for something that happened regularly in the past but no longer happens. We also use it for something that was true but no longer is.

1.I used to smoke a cigar once a month but I stopped two years ago.

2.We used to travel a lot but now we don’t have time.

3.My colleague used to drive to work but now she takes the bus.

4.There used to be a movie theater down the street but now there is a mall in its place.

5.She used to have really long hair but she cut it all off for the fashion show.

6.He used to eat pizza every Friday until he decided to lose weight and get in shape.

7.They used to file all of the paperwork in the office but now everything is online.

8.I used to read before bed every night but now I am too tired after work.

9.My sister used to spend a lot of money on clothes but now she can’t afford to shop like before.

10.I used to be superstitious until I realized that I had no control over certain things.

Say & Tell

We use say and tell in different ways in reported speech. Say focuses on the words someone said and tell focuses more on the content or message of what someone said. I also noticed that usually we use Say + Something & Tell + Someone

1.What did the doctor say about your back pain?

2.Did you tell mom that you were coming home for Christmas?

3.I have to tell you something very important.

4.The hotel receptionist said that the supermarket closes at 8pm.

5.I saw Alessia yesterday, but she didn’t say anything about her exam.

6.Tell me a little bit about yourself.

7.Could you please tell the teacher that I will be a few minutes late?

8.What should I say if they ask me for a deposit?

9.Don’t tell me too many things at once because I will get confused.

10.President Trump says stupid things almost every day.

“I have been + waiting”

We use this to describe something that we started doing in the past and that we are still doing now.

1. I have been living in Florence since 2010.

2. I have been teaching English since 2011.

3. My cousin has been searching for a new job for 5 months.

4. My co-worker has been trying to fix his internet connection since 9am.

5. Our clients have been waiting for us for 40 minutes.

6. The priest told me that he has been thinking about you and your family for days.

7. My friend has been waiting for her test results for 5 days.

8. I have been booking my hotels exclusively on hotels.com for about 3 years.

9. We have been living together for 5 years.

10. You have been making the same mistakes since the first lesson.