Here is a lovely lesson from the website ‘Vocabulary in Chunks’. Watch and listen to children having conversations with a 101-year-old woman. Then, check out the vocabulary chunks. Enjoy!
Vocabulary chunks :
• Nice to meet you
• I’m very happy to meet you
• How was it like back then
• We didn’t have radio
• We didn’t have television
• No telephones
• No trucks, they had wagons and horses pulled them
• It was a long long time ago
• I was in the Second World War
• I liked marbles and tops
• We had to wear skirts and stocking
• They didn’t have slacks and pants
• I did research on ants
• You’re really old but you’re really good
• I have a good life
• The secret to living a long life is being happy, working hard, getting exercise, doing things for yourself
• All of those things make you live a long time
• It’s wonderful to meet you, have a great life
Present Perfect Tense
If you want to understand and remember how to use Present Perfect Tense, just listen to the song FRIENDS by Marshmello and Anne-Marie. Here is the chorus:
Haven’t I made it obvious? Haven’t I made it clear?
(Do you) want me to spell it out for you?
Haven’t I made it obvious?
Haven’t I made it clear?
(Do you) want me to spell it out for you?
In the song, Anne-Marie is telling a would-be boyfriend that they are only friends, nothing more. This is not the first time she has told him this. She sings, Haven’t I made it obvious?She uses Present Perfect Tense to indicate that she has told him many times that they are just friends, a situation that started in the past and has continued up to now. She reminds him, I’ve told you 1,2,3,4,5,6, thousand times.
She hopes that she is making herself very clear with this song and that he will stop making unwanted romantic advances now. She is putting him in a ‘Friend zone’. Because she is linking the past and present together, she uses Present Perfect. (For more information on Present Perfect, click here.)
Negative questions often show that the speaker knows the answer. The questions, (Haven’t I made it obvious? / Haven’t I made it clear?) indicate that Anne-Marie knows the answers, which are, ‘Yes, I have made it obvious!! Yes, I have made it clear!!’ She also sings, Haven’t we been here before? She knows the answer, ‘Yes, we have been in this situation before!’
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There are also several English expressions in the song which are worth noting:
♥ Spell it out – to explain very carefully to someone who would not otherwise understand. However, Anne-Marie spells it out literally.
Let’s have a look at some of the lyrics and some English expressions:
Don’t mess it up, talking that shit.
Only gonna push me away; that’s it.
When you say you love me, that makes me crazy.
Here we go again.
Don’t go look at me with that look in your eye.
You really ain’t going away without a fight.
You can’t be reasoned with; I’m done being polite.
I’ve told you 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 thousand times.
Have you got no shame; you look insane,
Turning up at my door.
♥ push someone away – to show that you do not want any communication with the person. Anne-Marie is warning him that if he keeps on bothering her, he is going to end all communication and then they won’t even be friends.
♥ make someone crazy – to really annoy someone
♥ Here we go again. – The same thing is happening again.
♥ look in your eye – the way you look at me
♥ without a fight – without trying hard
♥ I’m done – I am finished with / I’ve had enough of / I’ve stopped
♥ Turning up – arriving, especially unexpectedly
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Present Simple Tense
Anne-Marie narrates her experience using Present Perfect Tense which helps us understand how she has arrived at her present situation. She uses Present Simple Tense to show facts and repeated actions.
♦ You say you love me.
♦ I say you’re crazy.
♦ Don’t mess it up. (Our friendship)
♦ Here we go again.
♦ Don’t go looking at me with that look in your eye.
Facts that are always true:
♦ You’re not my lover, more like a brother.
♦ We’re nothing more than friends.
♦ Have you (got) no shame?/ Do you have no shame?
This song uses some non-standard English often used by songwriters these days, especially in Britain and the USA. I think that they have a lot of fun playing with the grammar, but I doubt that they speak or write like this in everyday life.
You can read the lyrics, below, with my punctuation and grammar corrections. Present Perfect is in blue print and Present Simple is in purple print.
Would you like to learn compelling new vocabulary every day automatically?
Have a look at the picture on the right.
♦How would you describe the man’s personality?
♦ How would you describe the background colour?
If the first or only word that you thought of was ‘happy’, then you need to upgrade your vocabulary! How can you do that? … Well, I’m getting to that! … First, let’s look at two more pictures.
How does the doctor on the left feel? Do you know a more descriptive word than ‘sad’ or ‘upset’ ?
Can you think of a better word than ‘requires’ or ‘needs’ to complete the description of the picture below, left: Carving the wood ………. patience and precision.
By subscribing to the Merriam-Webster online English Learners dictionary, you will daily receive:
♦ an excellent, new word with a full description and sentence examples in context,
♦ a picture – which makes remembering so much easier, and
♦ audio pronunciation.
Deciding to Subscribe (for free) is the only decision you have to make. Then, you will automatically receive a Learner’s Word of the Day each day. It will take only about 30 seconds of your time to read it, maybe less. The 30 seconds it takes you to read the definition and sentence examples will be a great little mini-lesson.
The sentence examples contain natural collocations. For advanced and proficiency level English students, it is worth remembering that the main difference between you and native English speakers is the use of collocation.
I suggest that you create a Word of the Day folder in your Inbox, so you can refer to your new vocabulary easily, but keep the emails in your regular Inbox also so that you have a visual reminder whenever you use your email account.
Click on the pictures above to see the definitions of ‘vibrant’, ‘distraught’ and ‘entail’. This will take you to the Learner’s Word of the Day website.
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Learn words related to getting married
The song Parachute by Cheryl Cole is perfect for studying Future Tenses as well as First Conditional and Zero Conditional. She is not literally singing about a parachute. The parachute symbolizes ‘help’ or ‘rescue’.
Today, I will be discussing the future tenses and Conditional structures in the song Parachute:
2. Be going to + base infinitive,
3. Conditionals – First & Zero.
Future Simple (Will + base infinitive) is used for decisions, predictions, promises, offers, and schedules at some time in the future, which is not always stated. We do not use Future Simple for plans: This year, I will study Mathematics and next year, I will study Chemistry.
I won’t tell anyone. Promise
I won’t tell anybody how you turn my world around. Promise
I won’t tell anyone how your voice is my favourite sound. Promise
I won’t fall out of love. Promise / Prediction
I’ll fall into you. Promise / Prediction
I’ll hold onto you. Promise / Prediction
You’ll never win the fight. Prediction
2. Be going to + base infinitive
In the song, Cheryl Cole uses be going to + base infinitive for plans. ‘Going to’ is often written as ‘gonna’ because that is what it sounds like. It’s okay for songwriters, but please don’t start writing ‘gonna’ in your English writing practice.
You’re going to catch me. Plan
This is the plan. He is always going to catch her (help her) if she falls (needs help). Be going to + base infinitive always refers to the future. It is used for future plans, arrangements, and predictions with evidence.
This brings us to:
There are at least two parts (clauses) in a Conditional sentence. In First Conditional, there is a future possible situation and its future possible result. This is the structure:
If + Present Tense, will + base infinitive
Will + base infinitive if + Present Tense
You can also use: Might / Can / Be going to, instead of Will.
In the song, Cheryl Cole uses First Conditional to talk about a possible situation in the future and its future result.
You’re gonna catch (me) if I fall.
The singer and her boyfriend have a plan for future possibilities when she might need help.
3b. Zero Conditional
In Zero Conditional sentences, the focus is on situations which are true anytime, so we use Present Tense. This makes perfect sense because Present Tense Simple tells us about things, actions, beliefs etc. which can be true anytime, always, sometimes or never; it is used for facts, habits and routines. Often, we want to talk about the result of such things. This is the structure:
If + Present Tense, Present Tense
Present Tense If + Present Tense
You can also use: When / Whenever / As soon as / After, instead of If.
In the song, the singer tells us that she doesn’t need anyone to help her now. She has her boyfriend. He is there for her when she needs help.
I don’t need a parachute Baby, if I’ve got you. Anytime / every time
Baby, if I’ve got you, I don’t need a parachute. Anytime / every time
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To watch the Official Music Video of Parachute, click here.
To watch the Video of Parachute with lyrics, click here.
To see the song lyrics,
A great way to improve your vocabulary and listening skills is with short videos. Watch the following fascinating video about giraffes and follow the link below it to learn the ‘vocabulary in chunks’. You will be impressed by how much you can learn in 3½ minutes.
Vocabulary chunks to learn after watching the video :
EnglishGrammar.org has produced an excellent Grammar Guide for English students. Also excellent is the fact that it is free!
Grammar and Vocabulary points are listed alphabetically. Examples show incorrect and correct usage and short, clear explanations.
I highly recommend The 2018 Grammar Guide by EnglishGrammar.org. The quality of your English will improve as soon as you start using it. Download it now by clicking here. On the right side of the page, you will see:
+ Download Grammar Guide:
120 Grammar and Vocabulary
Mistakes to Avoid (FREE)
Just enter your email address and first name and you will be able to download this fabulous book. Happy reading!
EnglishGrammar.org has a huge range of resources to help you with your English studies. Click here to go to the Home Page.
I’ve been having fun with a News in Slow French website for my French studies. I read a news script while listening to the audio. It takes on average just two minutes, so it’s very easy to fit into a busy schedule. I realized that a similar English website would be helpful for you so I’ve been trying to find one which provides news with videos and tapescripts to help you with your English studies.
Well, I’ve found an excellent English News website for you!
This website is designed for levels 1, 2, & 3 but it is also very useful for level 4 (Intermediate) students who need to improve basic grammar and word order.
The videos are between approximately one and two minutes. Just read and listen. Do this once or twice a day and your English skills can improve fast.
Click on the above picture to see the video about Mark Zuckerberg at Congress.
http://www.newsinlevels.com provides more than just news. You can arrange to skype with other English students. It even supplies lists of questions for skype conversations. You can listen to and read jokes. This site provides a lot of advice and gives step by step instructions.
For instructions on how to improve your English with News in Levels, click here.