I’d like to help you use ‘would like’.

I'd like a doughnut, please.

It should be simple to use ‘would like’ but this is taught and checked so badly that many students can’t use it accurately. In this post I’ll use the contracted form ”d like’ because this causes most of the errors I encounter.

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Podcast: Daily Routines

Headphones

This week’s podcast is about daily routines.

Remember, adverbs of frequency (always, sometimes, usually, never) go before the verb.

I always wake up at half-past six.

Adverbial phrases go at the end of the clause.

I go running three times a week.

20140723_routine.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.

How Do I Speak Faster?

speaking

Speaking speed is one of the things most students feel nervous about at one stage or another. What is the right speaking speed? How do you get it? What do we talk about when we talk about speaking speed? I think I have all of your worries covered.

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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.

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.

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.

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