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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I want another example!

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This was originally a reply to a post on Google Plus but I thought it would also be useful for everyone. Using ‘other’ is difficult for some people because of the level of specificity (knowing if something is special to the topic of conversation) much like ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’. Here are the basic uses.

The other: a specific singular or uncountable thing.

“Don’t buy the red jacket! Buy the other one.”

A different jacket both speakers understand.

The others: a specific countable group of things.

“If we are going to go out tonight we should invite the others.”

A group of people in the same friendship group.

Other: unspecific countable or uncountable things.

“Let’s talk to other people to see what they think.”

Different people.

Another: one unspecific thing.

“I have one car already but I want another for my wife.”

A car, maybe any car.

Trouble with A, An and The

A lot of students have problems using articles, the short words a, an and the.

Remember:

A/an means one single thing
The means one particular thing or some particular things/stuff or things we know and are talking about (or sometimes about animal or plant species.
No article means any things/ stuff.

A and an are often used to introduce topics.
The is often used to talk about a topic already introduced.

You can practise using a, an and the by using news stories.

First, go to an English news site, such as BBC News or The Japan Times.

screenshot_printIf you have problems with articles (the short words a/an and the) there are different ways to learn them.

Print the story then copy and paste it into Word or another word processor.

Go to Edit then Find and Replace. Find ‘a’ and replace it with three spaces. Do the same for ‘an’ and ‘the’. Print your document.

find_and_replace

On the printed document write in ‘a’, ‘an’ or ‘the’ then check your answers with the original story.

You can also do this with prepositions (words such as ‘in’, ‘at’ and ‘to’).