Regrets

I regret making so many bad choices

Regrets are difficult for students to talk about.

What’s a regret? It’s wishing you could change the past by doing an action you didn’t do or by not doing an action you did do.

You can express regrets by using the verb ‘regret’ in the following way.

  • Using a gerund (‘~ing’ verb) and object:
  • “I regret playing video games instead of studying during high school.”

  • a negative gerund and an object:
  • “I regret not studying in high school.”

  • Using ‘that’ with a simple past-tense verb:
  • “I regret that I played games so much.”

    “I regret that I didn’t study.”

Share your regrets in the comments. I regret not studying German after secondary school.

Podcast: Feelings

Headphones

Today I’m talking about feelings using adjectives and prepositions, for example ‘interested in’ and ‘sick of’.

20140618_feelings.mp3

The podcast is also available in the iTunes Store by searching for Get Great English or clicking here.

Also, you can stream it on Stitcher here or in the sidebar.

Colloquial Pronouns

I want to thank youse all for reading me website.

Everybody knows the ordinary ‘I’, ‘we’, ‘you’, and ‘me’ pronouns. However, there are other more colloquial pronouns that native speakers use which can be a little tricky for non-natives.

The first-person singular ‘us’

This is pronounced as /uz/ and is used in place of ‘me’. It is used throughout Britain, though not as much in Southern England. In books it is sometimes written as ‘us’, ‘uz’ or ‘ays’, the last one especially in Scottish literature.

“Lend us a pen. Mine’s run out.”

‘Me’ as a possessive pronoun

In colloquial British English and English in some of the former colonies, especially Australia and New Zealand but also Jamaica, ‘me’ is used in place of the Standard English ‘my’. In Caribbean literature and some British literature it is sometimes written as ‘mi’. Americans think that only pirates speak like this.

“Me mum says I have to go home.”

‘Y’all’ and ‘youse’, the second-person plurals

The American ‘y’all’ is used mainly in the South of the USA and by some African Americans. It is used in place of the plural ‘you’.

“Y’all have to do what I say. I’m the boss.”

The British ‘youse’ or ‘yous’ is used in the same way. It is used in Australia, New Zealand and Britain. In Scottish literature ‘yiz’ is often written.

“Youse have to do your homework or the teacher’ll be cross.”

What do youse think? Is me post useful? Let us know in the comments or on social media.

The Night Sky

Vocabulary

Today’s post is about astronomy, the study of the night sky, stars and such. All the pictures come from NASA.

Most people know what stars are. The Sun is a star; in fact it is our nearest star. However, there is more to space than stars. Many of these things orbit (travel around) other things.

Planets

The planets in our solar system (the planets that orbit, or move around the Sun) are, moving from closest to the Sun to furthest away:

  1. Mercury,
  2. Venus,
  3. Earth, our planet,
  4. Mars, the red planet,
  5. Jupiter, the largest planet,
  6. Saturn well-known for the impressive rings around it,
  7. Uranus,
  8. Neptune,
  9. Pluto, a dwarf planet, which is no longer considered a major planet.

Moons

The Moon

Moons are not planets, but natural satellites. Moons orbit planets. Planets in our solar system that have moons are Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus.

The rings around Saturn and Uranus also contain large objects that behave like moons.

Galaxies

Galaxy

A galaxy is a group of stars kept together by gravity. Our galaxy is called the Milky Way. Another well-known galaxy is called Andromeda.

Black holes

Black Hole

Black holes are thought to form when large stars die. Black holes are called black holes because their gravity is so strong that not even light can escape.

Nebulae

Nebula

A nebula is a cloud of gas and dust. Galaxies outside the Milky Way used to be thought of as nebulae.

Comet

Comet

A comet is a mass of rock, dust and ice that has been heated by the sun and which develops an atmosphere and often a tail. They have orbits. Halley’s Comet orbits Earth and is visible every 75 or 76 years.

Meteor

Meteor

A meteor is a streak of light caused by the flight of a meteoroid through the Earth’s atmosphere. When a meteoroid lands, it is called a meteorite.

Asteroid

An asteroid is a minor planet that orbits the Sun. They are located between Jupiter and the Sun. There is an asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars.

The Digest: 14th June 2014

the digest

On Monday I posted some banking English. Everyone has to use banks and it can be inconvenient to use English banks when you don’t know the right words to say.

On Tuesday I posted a way to use your to-do list to study grammar. I’ve started to do this with my to-do list in Japanese, too.

On Wednesday I made a podcast about gossip.

Thursday was a post about the prefixes ‘un~’ and ‘dis~’. I also posted links about letters.

Yesterday I posted a video about describing food, which is especially useful if you want to describe foreign food.

I’ve had a lot of visitors and a lot of shares on social media. Remember, if you like my posts your friends might, too. Share this digest post to give them a taste of what this site is like.

Enjoy your weekend!

Links: Letters

Links

Here are two of my favourite sites about letter writing, which is a fantastic way to practise your English. However, you can’t really reply to these letters, but you do get to read them.

The first, Letters of Note, is a high-quality collection of letters by famous people. Some of the world’s greatest writers and notable public figures have letters reprinted on this site.

The second is less notable, but a lot funnier – usually in the peculiar meaning of funny rather than the humorous meaning. Passive-Aggressive Notes is an excellent way to find out how crazy people can be.

Podcast: Gossip

Headphones

Today I’m talking about gossip, which can be good when used to build rapport but the wrong kind of gossip can be awful so there are some strategies for stopping conversations that are just gossip and rumours.

20140611_gossip.mp3

The podcast is also available in the iTunes Store by searching for Get Great English or clicking here.

Also, you can stream it on Stitcher here or in the sidebar.

Practise Grammar Using Your To-Do List

Write a diary

I have written before about using your to-do list as a way to practise English but why not use your to-do list for more repetitive grammar study? You could use this system for present perfect tense, modals and contrasting the simple future, present continuous and simple past tenses.

  • Present Perfect Tense

  • Simply add the item to your list in a negative present-perfect sentence. e.g. ‘I haven’t done my homework.’

    I haven't done my homework.

    When it is finished, can write a new note in the positive form. (I know you could simply cross out the negative part, i.e. ‘I haven’t done my homework.‘, but you can get more practice by writing a new note.)

    I have done my homework.

  • Modals

  • You can practice modals by writing a sentence such as ‘I should do my homework.’

    I should do my homework.

    As your deadline gets nearer, write a stronger modal, like ‘I must do my homework.’

    I must do my homework.

    If you have any incomplete items, write another note, such as ‘I had to do my homework but I didn’t.’

    I had to do my homework but I didn't.

  • Contrasting Simple Future, Present Continuous and Simple Past Tenses

  • This is similar to the modals example. For new items, write a future tense note (both ‘will’ and ‘going to’ are fine but obviously not together). e.g. ‘I will do my homework.’

    I will do my homework.

    Any incomplete tasks can be written in present continuous tense. e.g. ‘I am doing my homework.’

    I am doing my homework.

    Any finished tasks can be written in simple past tense, such as ‘I did my homework.’ or ‘I finished my homework.’

    I finished my homework.

I hope this is useful. If you like this post, why not share it on Facebook or other social media using the buttons below.