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Parts of Speech

When your teacher talks about ‘parts of speech’, they’re talking about the building blocks of the language. It’s important to know the different ‘types’ of words as soon as possible, because these basics will make it easier to learn more complex pieces of language, and follow more advanced lessons when you’re getting ready to study English abroad!


What is a gerund and how do you use it?

Average: 3.4 (7 votes)

A gerund is type of noun that is created by adding ‘-ing’ to a verb, for example:

Verb: Eat
Gerund (Noun): Eating

In some cases, we need to add an extra consonant before the -ing. This typically happens when the last consonant in the verb follows a single, short vowel:

Verb: Swim
Gerund (Noun): Swimming (Swim + m + ing)

Verb: Run
Gerund (Noun): Running (Run + n + ing)

No vs. Not

Average: 3.7 (58 votes)

While both of these words are used to show the negative, knowing how and when to use ‘no’ and ‘not’ is an important skill and can make a big difference in your English.

‘No’ is usually used to mean something like “not any” or “not a/an”, and usually refers to a noun. It is commonly used in the following situations:

Answering a yes or no question

E.g. Did you finish your homework? No, I didn’t finish my homework.

How to Use Apostrophes

Average: 3.3 (35 votes)

While they might not look very important, apostrophes ( ‘ ) can really change the meaning of a phrase. To make sure that you’re using apostrophes properly, check out our explanation of how to use these little symbols.

Using an apostrophe to show possession/ownership

To show that something belongs to something (or someone) else, use an apostrophe after the noun and add the letter s:

John’s book (the book belongs to John)

The school’s courses (the courses belong to the school)

Well or Good?

Average: 3.6 (277 votes)

What's the difference between well and good?

Basically, use good to describe a thing and use well to describe an activity.

Good is an adjective

Use good to describe a noun.

You smell good. I like your perfume.
(good describes the noun you)

This is a good song.

What a good boy.

You speak good English.

Well is an adverb

10 sentences, 10 mistakes! But can you find them all?

Average: 3.5 (178 votes)

Below are ten sentences. Each sentence has one mistake. Only choose one option per sentence.

Use the comments area to explain what the mistakes are, why they are mistakes and what the correct sentence should be!

Which question is the most difficult? We think number nine!

Am, Are and Is

Average: 3.7 (159 votes)

English verbs have different forms in the simple present tense depending on the number and person of the subject. It is important that the verb and the subject agree. For the verb be these are:

Singular Present

I am 1st person

You are 2nd person

He is / she is / it is 3rd person

Singular Past

I was 1st person

You were 2nd person

20 Mixed Preposition Questions

Average: 3.7 (124 votes)

Prepositions are the words found before nouns, pronouns, or other substantives to form phrases functioning as modifiers of verbs, nouns, or adjectives.

They give us more information on where, when and why things happen.

Using the wrong preposition is a common mistake made by English learners.

Choose the best preposition in each sentence:

Using the Past Perfect Tense

Average: 3.9 (126 votes)

The past perfect tense is used to express action completed in the past:

"She had eaten is an example of the tense."

The past perfect tense represents action that occurs BEFORE another past action:

"My boss had gone before I had the chance to see him."

How to Form the Past Perfect Tense

The past perfect tense uses had + the past participle of the main verb

"She had never tried surfing before she visited Australia."

Simple Past Tense Exercise

Average: 3.5 (83 votes)

Use the simple past tense to talk about actions that have already finished. It doesn't matter when in the past they happened or how long they happened for.

Take a look and compare the present tense verbs with simple past tense verbs in these two sentences.

I take my young brother to the park and buy him an ice-cream. We kick around a football, laugh and talk for hours.