1. once = one time a. I have eaten at that restaurant only once.
b. The mail comes to our house once a day.
c. He'll only do this once.
d. You should not have to do that more than once.
2. once = after or soon after a. Once the kids finish their homework, they can go outside to play.
b. Once Tom and Sue were married, they began having children.
c. Our lives can go back to normal once the pandemic has passed.
d. Mary took a shower once she arrived at her hotel room.
3. once = a time in the past a. This was once an inexpensive place to live. Now it's not.
b. A long time ago, he was once married.
c. She was once young and beautiful.
4. at once = right now a. You must come home at once.
b. Stop doing that at once!
c. They must leave their home at once.
5. all at once = suddenly a. The world changed all at once as the pandemic struck.
b. It's not possible to finish this work all at once. It will require several days.
c. All at once, it started to rain.
Here's a video:
May 6, 2020
Do you have trouble writing a basic paragraph? This video can give you some ideas for creating and organizing a paragraph about a location:
April 18, 2020
This video helps you talk about numbers of things that are in a group:
March 23, 2020
Considering the situation we are all in, I thought it would be helpful to make a video featuring commonly heard vocabulary related to the coronavirus. Here it is:
If you find this to be helpful, I can easily make more videos like this one.
March 22, 2020
The word of the day is "uneasy." This is a good word to use when you don't feel comfortable or something is making you very nervous.
I feel uneasy.
The makes me feel a little uneasy.
Doctors make some people feel uneasy.
Are you feeling uneasy about anything?
You can tell that many people feel uneasy right now.
March 17, 2020
My advanced level students were having a lot of trouble understanding how verbs change when they are in the subjunctive form. I think this video helped them:
March 9, 2020
Use "how long" when asking about an amount of time:
The word of the day is "task." A task is usually a short project or assignment; however, it could also be something that takes a long time to complete and is on a large scale. Learn about the word "task" here.
I just want to remind my students that you should be working on the reading exercises as well as the lessons. Here is a link to the Yellow Level Reading Room. Try to read at least one story every day. You can also practice your reading skills by using the audio recorder found at the bottom of the page.
March 3, 2020
If you are studying in the Yellow Level this month, today's lesson is on the present perfect tense. This is an important verb tense that you can use to talk about situations that began in the past and continue up to the present.
Here's a new video for the phrase "when it comes to."
March 1, 2020
Attention to the corona virus outbreak really took hold of the country last week. When it was confined to China, people noticed, but it wasn't a thing people talked about. Now that has changed. When there is a sudden increase in something, you can use the word "surge" to describe it.
Students who successfully completed the Red Level will begin the Yellow Level today with Yellow Level Lesson One. This lesson is a review of some things students learned about the past tense in the Red Level.
The Yellow Level focuses on the perfect tenses: present, past, and future. Students who are still not clear about the use of the simple and continuous tenses should repeat the Blue and Red Levels.
February 29, 2020
The last lesson for the Red Level helps students talk about days on a calendar. It's a simple but useful lesson.
After students complete all of the Red Level lessons, they should go to the review, and then take the tests:
Students who do well on the tests should move forward to the Yellow Level. Students who don't do well on the tests should repeat the Red Level. One of the ways to improve your English grammar and usage skills is to repeat lessons that you have already studied. It often takes students more than one attempt to really learn a point of grammar well.
February 28, 2020
When talking about the future, it's common to put "will" and "be" together:
Verb phrases are formed by putting a verb and a preposition together. Sometimes verb phrases are called idioms or expressions. Whatever you want to call them, you have to learn about them because they are very common in English. Here are some examples:
go into: She's planning on going into medicine. (go into = enter a profession)
hold on: Can you hold on a minute? (hold on = wait)
bring up: This is a difficult topic to bring up. (bring up = begin a conversation?
Keep in mind that verb phrases often have more than one meaning or more than one application. That's why it's so important to spend time learning about them.
Click here for Red Level Lesson Twenty-seven if you are interested in learning more about verb phrases.
February 26, 2020
In today's lesson, students learn how to use the verb "go" and then another verb. This is very common in spoken American English, but perhaps not too common in British English. You certainly don't have to speak like this, but be ready for it when you hear it:
I have to go eat.
We're going to go see a movie.
They went to go get some books at the library.
Let's go find a place to sit down.
She left to go do something.
So, as you can see, the verb "go" is not necessary. You can easily leave it out, but for some reason we use it. Go figure. Learn more about this in Red Level Lesson Twenty-six.
Here is a new video for adjectives. The important thing to remember about adjectives is that they are not always easy to recognize. Some students confused adjectives with nouns or verbs.
February 24, 2020
Your lesson for today is on the verb phrase (be) used to. If you are used to something, you do it whether you like it or not. It's an activity or a situation that is part of your life. Notice the difference between used to (yesterday's lesson) and (be) used to:
This video shows how to form the past perfect continuous tense. It's intended for intermediate and advanced level learners of English.
February 17, 2020
The word of the day is "less." This small but useful word is difficult to use for some students.
February 15, 2020
Your lesson for today is on conjunctions: and, but, or, nor, for, yet, and so.
February 14, 2020
Today is Valentine's Day. What do you know about this holiday? Click here to learn. The word of the day is "passion."
He has a passion for music.
February 13, 2020
The word "like" is used as a verb and in other ways that you should know about. Click here to go to Red Level Lesson Thirteen and learn more about the word "like."
February 12, 2020
Most Americans use the "going to" future when talking about things that are planned for the future. To do this successfully, you have to think about how the verb "be" changes according to the subject. Here are some examples:
I am going to leave for work soon.
You are going to need a coat because it's cold outside.
She is going to stop by the store.
We are going to have a good day.
They are going to get the help that they need.
Do you see how to the verb "be" changes in these sentences? You can learn more about this in Red Level Lesson Twelve.
A man who is in the prime of his life feels good about himself.
February 5, 2020
Today's lesson of the day shows students how to form questions with the helping verb "do."
This sentence is in the present tense:
I drive to work.
This question is in the present tense:
Do you drive to work?
The helping verb "do" goes at the beginning of the question. It matches the subject, "you."
In this next example, the subject is singular and in the third person: he.
Does he drive to work?
Yes, he drives to work.
Notice how the helping verb changes to match the subject. Also, the main verb is in the simple form when there is a helping verb.
To learn more about forming questions by using "do." click here.
February 4, 2020
This new video shows how to use the adverb "anyway" in a sentence:
February 1, 2020
The verb "do" is an important verb for forming questions and negative verbs. It's also a common main verb. Understanding the verb "do" is extremely important when you first study English. Learn more about "do" as a helping verb in Red Level Lesson One.
Each course level on this website has a checklist. Print out and keep the checklist next to your computer, tablet, or phone and use it to track your progress as you move through the lessons: