This post looks at the words still,already and yet – three common words that often cause problems for students.
We use still to talk about situations that continue to exist at the present time or at the time you are talking about:
He still hasn’t said sorry.
Note that (like words such as often and sometimes) still comes before the verb (unless it is be, when it comes after) or between the auxiliary and the main verb:
She still lives with her mother.
She lives still with her mother.
They were still living in London.
They were living still in London.
It is possible, but much less common, to put still at the end of the sentence:
She lives with her mother still.
We use yet in negative sentences to talk about things that have not happened up to the present time or the time you are talking about. With yet, Brits are most likely to use the present perfect, while Americans often use the past simple:
I haven’t read the document yet. (UK)
I didn’t read the document yet. (US)
We also use yet in simple, present tense questions, but not in positive statements:
Are you hungry yet?
Is the doctor here yet?
I am hungry yet.
We often use yet to ask whether something has been done. Again, Brits are most likely to use the present perfect, where Americans usually use the past simple:
Have you done your homework yet? (UK)
Did you do your homework yet? (US)
Note that we almost always put yet at the end of the sentence. It is possible to put it before the verb in negative sentences, but this is rather formal:
He hasn’t yet received the document.
Make sure you don’t use yet when you should use already. We use already to talk about things that have happened or been done before, or that have happened or been done before the expected time. Again, Brits often use the present perfect where Americans use the past simple:
I’ve already seen that movie. (UK)
I already saw that movie. (US)
Have you finished your work already? (UK)
Did you finish your work already? (US)
Be careful with the spelling of already too – remember that it only has one ‘l’!
So, did you know all this information already? Perhaps you haven’t learned it in your English lessons yet? Or maybe you learned it in class but you still didn’t understand it completely? Anyway, I hope it is clearer now!
If you’d like some more information on still, already and yet, you can find it here.
We often need to talk about amounts and numbers of things, but it is easy to make mistakes with some of the words we need to use. This post will give some useful ways of talking about large amounts or numbers of things and explain how to avoid some common errors.
The first words many students learn for large amounts are much and many. Much is used with uncountable/mass nouns and many with countable nouns:
We don’t have much water.
How many cups are there?
You can read more about countable and uncountable nouns here.
by Liz Walter
Most of us spend a lot of time talking – in fact a recent study showed that the average Brit spends 6 months of their life talking about weather alone! It’s no wonder therefore that we often need to describe that activity.
Unfortunately, simple verbs such as speak, say, talk and tell cause a lot of problems for learners of English. This post looks at two of the most common ‘talking’ verbs – say and tell – and gives advice on how to use them correctly.
We often use say to report what someone else has said, using a that-clause. You can usually leave out ‘that’:
2) We also use them for contracted forms, to show that something is missing, e.g. It’s raining.
3) We do notuse them for plurals!! If you are in an English-speaking country, you will see many signs in shops and cafés advertising ‘tomato’s’, ‘pizza’s’, ‘sandwich’s’, etc. This is incorrect, and you will lose marks if you do this in an English exam! Continue reading “How to use apostrophes (’)”→
by Liz Walter Sometimes, always, often, never: these are some of the most common words in English. Unfortunately, they are also some of the words that cause the most problems for students.
Many of my students put them in the wrong place, often because that’s where they go in their own languages. They say things like, ‘I watch always TV in the evening’, when they should say, ‘I always watch TV in the evening’.
There are some basic rules about where to put adverbs of frequency, and if you only remember the first two, you will get them right most of the time!
Here is rule number one: They come afterthe verb ‘to be’:
Alex is never at home.
The children were sometimes rather noisy.
Rule number two: They come before all other verbs: