Done It versus Got It Done

got_done

When you move up to the pre-intermediate stage in your learning there are some tricky bits of grammar that are very useful to learn. One of the main pre-intermediate obstacles is the confusion between ‘you have done it’ and ‘you have got it done/you have had it done’.

Here’s how they work.

Continue reading

Talk About Decisions

I decided to study English.

It is useful to be able to talk about decisions that you or other people have made. It causes difficulty for some people but really it is straightforward. In today’s post I’ll help you talk about decisions.

The Patterns

The patterns are

  1. (SUBJECT) (VERB) (PREPOSITION) (OBJECT)

  2. (SUBJECT) (VERB) (INTERROGATIVE) (INFINITE VERB) [MAYBE A PREPOSITION] [MAYBE OBJECT]

  3. (SUBJECT) (VERB) (INTERROGATIVE) (OBJECT) (‘BE’ VERB) (CONTINUOUS VERB) [MAYBE A PREPOSITION] [MAYBE OBJECT]

  4. (SUBJECT) (VERB) (INFINITIVE VERB) [MAYBE A PREPOSITION] [MAYBE OBJECT]

Continue reading

Irresistible English

Vocabulary

There are times when your brain tells you that you have to do something that you don’t want to do, and times that your brain says to stop doing something but you feel like that’s impossible. Well, here is some vocabulary to help explain those situations.

Continue reading

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.

English for Banking

Business English

This post has the Business English graphic but really, it’s for anybody who needs to use banks in English.

Vocabulary

  • open an account
  • When you want to start using a bank you have to open an account, which is a section of a bank database that says how much money you have available.

  • close an account
  • When you want to stop using a bank you have to close an account. Easy!

  • make a withdrawal
  • To get your money out of the bank you make a withdrawal.

  • make a deposit
  • To put your money into the bank you make a deposit.

  • be in credit
  • If you have money in the bank you are in credit.

  • be overdrawn/go overdrawn
  • If you have taken more money from the bank than you had available you are overdrawn. You can also say you have gone overdrawn.

  • an overdraft
  • The bank lets people go overdrawn without any penalty if they set up an overdraft facility.

  • take out a loan
  • When you want to borrow money from the bank and pay it back month by month, you take out a loan.

  • make a transfer
  • If you want to send money to a different bank account you have to make a transfer. If you want to send money to an account in a different country you need a SWIFT code, which is an international bank number.

Example Conversation

Customer: Hello, I’d like to make a withdrawal. I couldn’t get my money out of the cash machine.
Banker: Could I take your bank card, please?
Customer: Here you are.
Banker: Do you have any photo ID?
Customer: Is my driving licence okay?
Banker: Yes, that’s fine. I’m afraid you’ve gone overdrawn by fifteen pounds and seventeen pence.
Customer: Really? That is strange because today is pay day and I should have around one thousand six hundred pounds going into my account. I also need to make a transfer. Could you tell me if my salary has been transferred to my account?
Banker: It appears that it hasn’t. I may be able to set up a temporary agreed overdraft for you while you deal with this problem. Would you like me to set up a five-hundred pound overdraft for you?
Customer: Yes, please. I’d like to transfer two hundred dollars to this account in Thailand, please.
Banker: Do you have the SWIFT code?
Customer: Sorry, I don’t.
Banker: I’m afraid I need the SWIFT code; it’s an international bank ID number.
Customer: Well, I’ll have to find it later from my son. I suppose I should phone work as well. Thank you for your help.
Banker: Thank you.

Nouns Used as Verbs

Blank Email

Sometimes nouns (words for things) are used as verbs (words for actions). They are rather easy to understand although some of them really get on my nerves due to the fact that there are existing verbs that can be used for the same job. I also prefer the sound of the longer expression of the real verb and the noun. However, it is easy to see these examples in books, magazines and newspapers and on television.

toy

noun: a plaything

That car? It’s my new toy!

verb: play with something or someone; manipulate someone

I think you’re toying with that girl. Show her you’re serious or leave her alone.

medal

noun: a piece of metal as a reward for military action or sporting ability

My grandad sold all his World War II medals. What a shame!

verb: to gain first, second or third place in a sporting competition

What a shock result! The Americans have failed to medal, with Kenya gaining gold, Ethiopia silver and Jamaica bronze.

There are also some example of this in communications

inbox

noun: a tray for new communications; a directory for new messages in an email program

I have 231 unread messages in my work inbox.

verb: to send an email

If you don’t know how to access the site, inbox me.

fax

noun: a facsimile; a copy of a document sent by digital telephony

I received your fax and I have a few questions.

verb: to send a copy of a document by digital telephony

Can you fax me the latest price list because I can’t open your email attachment.

Phrasal Verbs with ‘Drop’

Vocabulary

Last week I showed you some phrasal verbs with ‘pop’. Today I’ll show you some phrasal verbs with ‘drop’.

Drop off

  1. Fall asleep
  2. I can never fall asleep at night but I have no problem dropping off in college classes.

    It takes me an hour before I drop off to sleep at night.

  3. Take someone to a place, usually by car
  4. It’s raining. Get in the car and I’ll drop you off at the station.

Drop in/Drop by/Drop round

Visit casually and usually without planning.

I’ll drop by the Student Union to see if anyone wants to play pool.

Drop out

To quit an activity or a place of education.

We were going to go rafting but Andy and Jane dropped out so there aren’t enough of us, now.

The course is too hard so I’m going to drop out of university.

Drop someone a line

Write to someone.

If you have any news while I’m on holiday, drop me a line at the hotel.

If you have any questions about ‘drop’ verbs, drop me a line in the comments and I’ll drop by later with a reply.