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Grammar

Possessive Nouns

Average: 4.5 (15 votes)

We use possessive nouns to indicate ownership. Here are some examples:

That is Tracey's hat.
The children's toys are all over the floor.
James' brother has three motorbikes.
This is Tom and Susan's house.
Megan's brother’s car is very fast.

For singular nouns

Add an apostrophe and an safter the noun: 's
My sister's dress is purple. (The dress belongs to my sister)

Prepositions

Average: 3.7 (32 votes)

 A preposition is a word that connects one thing with another and shows how they are related. It is usually followed by a noun or a pronoun.

Prepositions can tell us about place or position:

The book fell off the table.
My shoes are under the bed.
I jumped into the pool.
I keep my keys in my handbag.
Sarah is at school.

They can also tell us about time:

In case and Unless

Average: 4.6 (14 votes)

In case

'In case' is used to express the possibility of something happening. It is used to express the idea of doing something to avoid a problem later on. It can also give a reason for an action.

Should, Ought to, Need

Average: 3.8 (16 votes)

Should Ought to

For giving advice or expressing a conclusion 'should' and 'ought to' are interchangeable. They are used to express the same ideas.

You should/ought to stop smoking.
He has been working on the project all week. He should/ought to be ready by this evening.

Should is also used in hypothetical situations:
Should anyone call, take a message.
Call me should you need any help.

Used to + infinitive

Average: 4.3 (15 votes)

The structure used to + infinitive is used to refer to a past routine or situation which no longer exists at the present time.

It refers to past habits and states that do not exist today; something that you did regularly in the past but you don’t do now. ‘Used to + infinitive’ can only refer to a past time.

Inversion

Average: 4.2 (17 votes)

Inversion describes a sentence where the verb is placed before the subject. It is sometimes difficult to remember when inversion is used and it is important to also understand when it should not be used.

In every day English the most common use of inversion is in questions:

Does he like pasta? Can you speak Chinese?

And after 'so', 'neither' or 'nor':

So do I. Neither does she. Nor do I.

Be/Get used to

Average: 3.9 (18 votes)

The structures be used to and get used to are used to talk about being accustomed to something or getting accustomed to something. Get used to talks about the process. Be used to talks about the result.

When Giovanni moved to London from Italy it took him long to get used to the cold. For Ivan, who moved from Moscow to London, the cold was not a problem because he was used to it.

Subject-Verb Agreement

Average: 5 (10 votes)

When we write a sentence we need to make sure that the subject and the verb agree. This means:

If the subject is a singular noun or the pronouns he, she, it, it must take a singular verb.

He enjoys playing tennis.
The dog barks loudly.
The cat is eating its food.
Carol has bought a new dress.
Does she know the answer?

Of and From

Average: 3.8 (26 votes)

Many learners of English find it difficult to know when to use 'of' and when to use 'from' in English. This is probably because in their languages the same preposition is used for both.

Of

'of' for possession

We use 's for living things, groups and institutions. For inanimate objects we use 'of'
's – Tom's cat.
Of – The title of the film – the name of the game.

There, Their and They’re

Average: 4.1 (16 votes)

It is common for learners of English to confuse 'there', 'their' and 'they're' especially since they all have the same sound when being pronounced. Here is an explanation of each one:

There

'There' has the opposite meaning of 'here'. It is used to mean 'not a place close to' the speaker.
Have you seen mu glasses?
Yes, over 'there', on the table.

I'm driving to work. I'll call you when I get 'there'.