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Grammar

Question Tags

Average: 4 (55 votes)

Question tags are a type of question that are used to confirm information we already know about or to show surprise.

Question tags are formed with an auxiliary verb and the appropriate personal pronoun. They take the same auxiliary as the statement or if there isn't an auxiliary in the statement they take 'do/does' in the present simple or 'did' in the past.

Describing habits

Average: 3.8 (26 votes)

Here are some ways that we use to describe people's habits:

We can use 'will' to describe present habits and behaviour whether it is good or bad.
She'll tell you all about her life even if you're not interested.
He will always wake up early.

Clause of purpose

Average: 3.6 (71 votes)

We use certain clauses to show why somebody does something. These are called clauses of purpose. They are introduced with the following words or expressions:

to + infinitive; David went out to buy a bottle of wine.

in order to/so as to + infinitive (formal); We were asked to say over in order to finish the project.

Contrasting past and present

Average: 4.5 (10 votes)

Used to

We use 'used to' to talk about habits and states in the past that do not take place any longer.
I used to go jogging every day. (but now I don't)
She used to be a heavy smoker. (but now she isn't)

There is no equivalent form for the present.
I usually go to the gym every afternoon. NOT I use to go to the gym every afternoon.

We can also use the past simple instead of ‘used to’.
I went jogging every day.
She was a heavy smoker.

Perfect Tenses

Average: 3.6 (29 votes)

Here is an overview of the main functions of the perfect aspect.

The present perfect

We use the present perfect to show that something has continued up to the present time.
They've only been together for two years.
He has lived in Istanbul all his life.

Another function of the present perfect is to show that something that happened in the past is still important in the present.
I’ve forgotten my phone at home. I can't call Sarah.
John isn't at work. He's gone to Japan for two weeks.

Wishes and hypothetical situations

Average: 3.5 (22 votes)

The tenses with wishes and hypothetical situations.

We use past tense forms when we talk about wishes.

We use would and could to talk about wishes for the future:
I wish I could find a better job.
It’s been raining all week. I wish it would stop.
I have to get up early tomorrow. I wish I could stay out late.

Future Time

Average: 3.6 (17 votes)

There are several ways of looking at the future with English. Here is an overview of the different tenses we use depending on the situation we are talking about.

Present Time

Average: 4 (18 votes)

When we talk about the present the different tenses we use are determined by the situation we are expressing.

The present simple

We use the present simple to talk about something that is regular and is happening in the present:
I come home from work at around six.
I often meet my friend during our lunch break.

Past Time

Average: 3.6 (19 votes)

When we talk about an event/s or situation/s that took place in the past there are different verb forms or tenses that we can use.

The past simple

We use the past simple when we are talking about an event that happened at one particular point/time in the past:
We woke up early because of our flight.
The train left at midnight.

Be Have Do

Average: 3.8 (37 votes)

The verbs be, have and do can all be used as the main verb in a sentence:
My sister is at university.
We have a break at half past twelve.
I usually do the shopping on Saturday morning.

Auxiliary verbs

We use be, have and do to form tenses, questions and with negative forms. When be, have and do are used in this way they are called auxiliary verbs.