Tag Archives: common

A Word on Grammar: The Tricky “Want”

In case you haven’t figured it out by now , I am  kind of a  very-much-into-games teacher, but this doesn’t mean  that everything in my classes  is fun. I would be lying to you. I wouldn’t  dare say a large part, but  a significant part of my classes, is dedicated to teaching “boring” stuff, which might be dull, but necessary; and I think my students would agree here.

One of these boring, yet interesting, parts of the lesson today will be dedicated to fixing mistakes from their written assignments.

One of the most common mistakes students make and that can be easily fixed is with the verb “want”.

The verb “want” is probably one of the first verbs we learn in English and  the simple structure  “I want to go” or “she wants to buy” poses no problem. But as become more fluent in the language ,we risk trying more complex sentences and this is where “want” becomes tricky.

THE TRICKY “WANT”

Read the sentence below  and decide whether it’s right or wrong.

Do you want that I give you a lift home?

If you think it’s wrong, then you’re right 🙂 and you might want to stop reading this post now. Hey! I wouldn’t blame you!  But, if you  can’t see why the sentence above is incorrect, then dear reader, this post is right for you and here’s the explanation

  • “want” is not followed by a “that clause”. Instead we use an object+ infinitive structure. So,

  • Look at how we introduce the subject after the verb ” to want”:

  • Some other common verbs that can be followed by object+infinitve are: advise, allow, ask, encourage, forbid, intend, invite, need, persuade, recommend, teach,  warn, tell, cause…etc.
  • “Want” can also mean ” need” in informal English. We can say that a thing “wants” (meaning “needs”) something, in particular with reference to actions.In this case, “want” is followed by an -ing form.

                 ♥ Those windows need cleaning (= needs to be cleaned)

                 ♥ This floor needs sweeping (= needs to be swept)

You can also say :

                ♥ Those windows need to be cleaned

               ♥  This floor needs to be swept

Test your knowledge with this translation exercise (sentences in Spanish, sorry!)

Conjunto de Fichas creado con GoConqr por cristina.cabal

Common Errors 5: Spelling Mistakes

My favourite season is undoubtedly spring. The weather starts to warm up and you can enjoy the  warm rays of the morning sun while sipping some iced coffee on the shaded terrace of a cafe.  Sometimes, if  it is a very quiet place, I take with me the exams I need to correct and  what would have been a boring task, takes on a new dimension  I can almost say I enjoy it.

So, once again, it’s all about exams. June also means exam time .

Most probably you don’t have these speling mistakes but, just in case, check  or (much better) double-check  you know how to write these words because, trust me on this one, these are real spelling mistakes from B2 students.

This is how I suggest you do it.

1. Read through the list of misspelt words

2. Look up the ones you don’t know how to spell or check the correct spelling  below the poster

3. Take pen and paper and  write down all the words on the poster  you can remember. Repeat the exercises as many times as necessary until you feel confident  you can remember how to correctly spell the words.

Correct Spelling: comfortable, professional,discussion , responsible, successful, writing, necessary, recommend, appropriate, frequently, opportunity, immediately, foreign, conclusion, beautiful 🙂

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Common Errors 4

Here’s another post dealing with some common errors .These errors are mistakes B1/B2 students make.  I hope you find them helpful!

♥Read the sentence and identify the error

♥Rewrite the sentence correctly

♥Read the corrected version  and the grammar input after the  line

The correct form is: I couldn’t decide what dress to wear but in the end I chose the read one

In the end” means the same as “eventually”, “finally”  “after something has been thought about or discussed a lot”

At the end“ is more physical like “at the end of the road” “at the end of the book” , though you can also say ” at the end of the day”.

Check your understanding with these exercises. Click here

Common Errors 2

It’s June!

Yes, it’s June and  June means exams! Lots! Written and Speaking exams!

I’ve been hearing this mistake for a couple of days now  and I am beginning to realise it’s a false friend we don’t often pay enough attention to. So, time to fix this !

Would you like to try? Look at the photo,

1.What’s  the name  for this piece of street furniture?

2.What preposition do you use?   sitting ___

3. Now , make a simple sentence about it.

Check here 🙂

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Common Errors 1

I am starting a series of posts on some common errors .These errors are mistakes B1/B2 students make.  I hope you find them helpful!

♥Read the sentence and identify the error

♥Rewrite the sentence correctly

♥Read the corrected version  and the grammar input after the  line.

The correct form is : The thief was sent to prison for two years

The definite article is used when referring to the building itself. When we  refer to “prison” as punishment , we do not use the article.

This also happens in common expressions such as “at school” ” in hospital” “ to church” when we are referring to the normal use of the building or place

I met her at school (when we were students)

I’ll meet you at the school ( the school as a meeting place)

My grandmother is in hospital ( as a patient)

I left my keys  at the hospital when I was visiting my gransmother

NOTE: In American English, university and hospital are always used with articles

Source: Practical English Usage (M: Swan) and Knockout Textbook

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