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The “rule” You or your students may consider it a mystery why English has different words for positive contexts (e.g., some) and negative or question contexts (e.g., any)? Why would […]
Pull your chair close, open your eyes wide, smooth your mustache flat—well, enough silly instructions. I think you can see the pattern we’re going to work with: verb-adjective combinations to […]
Any student beyond the beginner level probably recognizes the parts of speech. The student probably also knows that adverbs modify verbs (or adjectives / other adverbs). The student may not […]
Although food vocabulary is commonly taught at the lowest levels of English proficiency, students may not really master the concept of count and non-count nouns until some time later. Count […]
A while back, I noticed that I was constantly pointing out two common gerund mistakes in my intermediate writing class. It prompted a mini-lesson that yielded such significant results that […]
There are hundreds of useful phrases that can help English learners show relationships between the past and present, but we often only recognize them when students stumble. Until now is […]
Some geeky colleagues and I play in a band called The Dangling Participles. Inevitably, when we play to a new crowd, someone asks what a dangling participle is. I illustrate […]
Present progressive is a deceptively easy English verb form. It’s used to describe an ongoing action and has a relatively simple formation (form of be + [verb]-ing). However, there are […]
By Alice.Savage, on October 4th, 2016 1 Comment
Where do word forms fit? Are they grammar or vocabulary? Many presentations put word forms into part-of-speech tables with columns marked noun, verb, adjective, adverb – a useful way to […]
By the time they reach advanced proficiency, ESL students need to move past the basic rules for punctuation and learn how to use semicolons, dashes, quotation marks, and periods to […]