The past perfect tense is used to express events that took place before a certain point in the past. It is formed by using the auxiliary verb snake and the past participle. For example: write → had writtensleep → had slept It is usually not found alone in a sentence, but together with another past […]Continue Reading
‘Arrive to’, ‘arrive in’, or ‘arrive at’ in English
Influenced by other similar-looking conjunctions, such as “come to”, “move to” or “go to”, learners of English often tend to use “arrive to” to mean “arrive somewhere”. Although phrases such as “come to me”, “we moved to London” or “are you going to the party?” are perfectly fine, “arrive” is used differently. There is only […]Continue Reading
Is “a couple” or “a couple of” correct in English?
Some native speakers will tell you that expressions like “a couple things” are perfectly fine, others that “a couple” without “of” cannot be used at all. The truth is somewhere in between. Although we may commonly hear “in a couple of hours” or “I saw a couple of people” in American English (as opposed to […]Continue Reading
United States – plural or singular?
In English, we say “The United States is”, not “The United States is”, so it might seem that the correct form in English should be “The United States are”, but this is not the case. The term “United States” was indeed formerly understood as a plural, but during the twentieth century the usage began to […]Continue Reading
“On the Internet” in English – “on the Internet” or “in the Internet”?
Prepositions in English cause a lot of trouble for students because their usage is quite often different from English. Fortunately, the word “Internet” is a pleasant surprise – the preposition is the same as in English, e.g. I didn’t find the article on the Internet. (correct) I didn’t find the article in the Internet. (incorrect) […]Continue Reading
Is it possible to say “more better” in English?
The second degree of monosyllabic adjectives in English is usually formed by adding -er to the end, sometimes with the last consonant doubled, e.g. taller or bigger. Some adjectives are completely irregular, such as better, not gooder. Multi-syllabic adjectives usually form a second degree using the word “more”, e.g. more expensive, more important. This often […]Continue Reading
The difference between “fast”, “fastly” and “quickly” in English
A common mistake among English learners is using “fastly” to mean “quickly”, which seems logical because adverbs are commonly formed in English by adding -ly to the end of an adjective. For example, if something is slow, we can say that it moves slowly: it moves slowly. Unfortunately, languages don’t always develop in a completely […]Continue Reading
“Those money” or “that money” – which is correct?
In English, the word “money” is uncountable, just like “water”. Just as we would say “that water”, not “those water” (and we probably all feel that “those water” doesn’t make sense), we must say “that money” in English (when you say “those money” or “these money”, it pulls on the ears just as much as […]Continue Reading
“Use to do” in the present tense in English
One of the constructions that English learners learn very early is “used to do”. We can say, for example I used to go there. I used to play the guitar. So it would seem logical that “use to do” (in the present tense) should correspond to the English verb “do”, but it doesn’t. The phrase […]Continue Reading
Is “freer” or “freer” correct in English?
In English, the second degree of adjectives is formed by adding the suffix -er (except for a few irregular adjectives like good/better). Therefore, students (and native speakers) sometimes think that if something is “looser”, it should be “freer”. The fact is, however, that there is no word with three “e “s in a row in […]Continue Reading