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I've changed the chat room page so that the chat room is no longer on the website. The link you click will put the chat room onto its own page.

Learn how to form and use the past perfect tense in Yellow Level Lesson Fifteen.

There's a new video on my YouTube channel for the verb phrase "come by."

Do you make good choices when deciding between a singular verb and a plural verb? This new pretest can give you some idea.

Yellow Level Lesson Ten provides an introduction to the most common modal verbs.

Did you receive the email that I sent out today? If not, you can sign up for free emailed lessons, quizzes, updates, and video by clicking here.

It's all free, but some of my students volunteer to support the website by making a small donation. You can do that here.

Here's a new video for the word "too."

 

We turned our clocks back an hour today for central standard time. The sun will now set earlier and make the days feel shorter.

For students working in the Yelow Level this month, I recommend that you complete these three lessons together:

 

Students who began learning English on this website in September should be ready to move on to the Yellow Level.

Here is the Yellow Level checklist for lessons, quizzes, and other activities. Print it out, keep it by your computer or mobile device, and use it to monitor your progress through this level.

The first two lessons are review:

It's important to understand these first two lessons before moving on to the present perfect tense, which is tomorrow's lesson.

Tests

Blue Level: Test 1 and Test 2

Red Level: Test 1 and Test 2

Today Red Level students should complete a review before they take tests Monday and Tuesday.

Students who don't do well on the review or the tests, repeat the Red Level.

Here's a new video for the verb "bother."

The verb "be" is often used in the future tense with the helping verb "will" or the verb phrase "be going to." This is something students have to practice.

  • Where are you going to be today?
  • There will be a game at the stadium tomorrow.
  • What time will everyone be at the party?
  • This will be interesting.
  • This is going to be great!

Learn more about using "will" and "be" together in Red Level Lesson Twenty-eight.

One of the many things that makes American English different from British English is the use of the verb "go."

In Red Level Lesson Twenty-six, you will learn how the verb "go" is used in front of another verb in the simple form. This is something that can't be done with all verbs, but it's done with many of them:

  • I have to go find my car.
  • You should go see a doctor.
  • Mario went to go get a pizza.
  • Holly will go see a movie tonight.

You can go learn more about this by clicking on the link above.

Red Level Lesson Twenty-five provides a list of opposite adjectives. Students might find this helpful when studying basic vocabulary words in English.

This new video shows the difference between the short e sound and the long e sound:

 

If you finished yesterday's lesson on "used to," today is a good day to learn about "be used to." With the addition of "be" in front of "used to," the meaning completely changes. To be used to something is to accept it. You may or may not like it, but you are used to it.

Learn how to use "be used to" in Red Level Lesson Twenty-four.

To talk about the past, sometimes you might want to use "used to." This verb phrase indicates that something is really in the past and, perhaps, not likely to happen again.

  • I used to smoke. (I smoked when I was younger.)
  • You used to ______ when you were a child. (What did you do?)
  • Matt used to drive an hour to work every day. Now he has a job that's near his house.
  • Sarah and Felix used to be married. Now they are divorced.
  • There used to be an old house across the street. Now it's gone.

Learn more about using "used to" in this Red Level lesson.

Lesson Twenty-two of the Red Level provides useful vocabulary, grammar, and usage for students who want to talk about multiplication and division in English.

 

Possessive pronouns can be used in place of a noun to indicate the owner of thing. These pronouns are not easy to use because you must think carefully about the noun that a possessive pronoun represents. For example:

  • I have a car. My car is blue.
  • Hers is red.

When using "hers," the speaker is thinking about one car: my car.

  • My neighbors have apple trees. Their apples are ripe
  • Mine aren't.

When using "mine," the speaker is thinking about apple trees that belong to the neighbors.

This can be a very tricky thing to learn. Go to Red Level Lesson Nineteen to learn more about possessive pronouns.

Have you been practicing your reading skills? I recommend that you try the reading exercises in the Red Level if you are working on the English lessons in the Red Level this month.

In Red Level Lesson Twenty students learn about reflexive pronouns. These are pronouns that refer back to a subject.

  • I cut myself.

The word "myself" is a reflexive pronoun. It refers to the subject, "I."

 

Gerunds are similar to infinitives (yesterday's lesson) in that they function as nouns in a sentence or question. Click here to learn about gerunds.

This new video shows ways to use the verb "can" in the negative form, followed by a verb. I chose these four verbs because they often confuse my students when put together with "can't."

 

Infinitives are very common in English. They look like this:

to be, to do, to eat, to leave, to imagine, to believe,

to hope, to plan, to finish, to go

The word "to" goes before the simple form of a verb when creating an infinitive. Infinitives can function as nouns in a sentence, so they might be used in the position of a subject or in the position of an object:

  • To be a good student requires discipline. (to be = subject)
  • I want to eat some Thai food. (to eat = object)

Remember that the word "to" is also used as a preposition. This is one reason why students need to learn to identify infinitives whenever they appear.

Learn about infinitives in Red Level Lesson Seventeen.

It's necessary for new students to learn about time expressions. These are words and phrases that help you talk about periods of time.

Here's a new quiz for conjunctions. I just uploaded it this morning.

Conjunctions are small words that join words, phrases, and clauses together.

Here are the most common coordinating conjunctions:

and, but, or, yet, so

The words for and nor are also coordinating conjunctions but they are used less frequently.

Click here to learn about conjunctions. This is your lesson for today.

Adjectives are words used with nouns. It's possible to speak in English without adjectives, but it would be very difficult.

Here are some examples:

  • Sarah has many friends. (adjective: many)
  • Ali eats cold cereal for breakfast. (adjective: cold)
  • It's important to learn how to use a computer. (adjective: important)
  • A mysterious woman wearing dark sunglasses entered the hotel lobby. (adjectives: mysterious, dark, hotel)
  • This is so easy! (adjective: so)

You can learn more about adjectives in the Video Lessons section.

You have probably noticed that we are featuring Purple Level lessons this month for the Word of the Day. There are two reasons for this. First, the Word of the Day section is being rewritten. There are also some missing audio recordings, so they're being added. Second, the words featured in the Purple Level represent basic English. These are all verbs. For you these verbs might not seem basic, but they are. They're are also difficult verbs to use because many of them are irregular. I think it's important for beginning level students to study irregular verbs as soon as possible.

The word of the day is "dress." This is simple word, but there are many different ways to use it.

A popular way of talking about the future is to use the "going to" future. It's formed like this:

S + (be) going to _______.

The subject determines the verb "be" (am, is, or are), and the main verb is in the simple form.

Contrast these sentences with the ones that I showed you yesterday.

  • I am going to be here all day.
  • You are going to do your homework after school.
  • Joe is going to find a new job.
  • Berenice is going to learn to speak French.
  • It is going to take two hours to get to the lake.

Learn more about the "going to" future in Red Level Lesson Twelve.

The future tense can be formed by using the modal verb "will" with a main verb in the simple form.

  • I will be here all day.
  • You will do your homework after school.
  • Joe will find a new job.
  • Berenice will learn to speak French.
  • It will take two hours to get to the lake.

Learn about the future tense in Red Level Lesson Eleven.

Here's a new video for modal verbs:

 

Red Level students learn how to use a lot, some, and any today.

To talk about small amounts, use "a little" or "a few." But you must be careful when making a choice. Learn more in Lesson Nine.

Learn to use the adjectives "many" and "much" in Lesson Eight.

There are some interesting ways to use the verb "do" as a main verb. You can learn about this in Red Level Lesson Seven.

Today's Red Level lesson is on object pronouns.

Your lesson for today is on forming questions with the verb "do."

The word of the day is "furniture."

Knowing how to form commands is useful when you need to tell someone what to do. The way you do this is to start with a verb in the simple form and follow that with an object, or a prepositional phrase, or an infinitive.

  • Get the newspaper. (object)
  • Get into the car. (preposition)
  • Try to find a parking space. (infinitive)

Red Level Lesson Three shows students how the verb "do" is used as a helping verb for both the present tense and the past tense when making verbs negative and when forming questions.

The word of the day is "put." Notice that I'm posting links to the Purple Level this month. I think it's useful for new students to become familiar with basic verbs in English as early as possible because they can be difficult. Most of the verbs included in the Purple Level are irregular.

Today's reading assignment: Bill works as a handyman.

To make a verb negative in the present tense or the past tense, add "not" to the helping verb, do, does, or did.

Present Tense:

  • He has a car.
  • He doesn't have a car.
  • They work on the weekends.
  • They don't work on the weekends.

Past Tense:

  • He had a car.
  • He didn't have a car.
  • They worked on the weekends.
  • They didn't work on the weekends.

You can learn more about this in Red Level Lesson Two.

If you are studying in the Red Level this month, be sure to work in the reading lessons as well. Red Level Reading Lesson number two: Donna and Bill had lunch together. Try to complete the reading lessons in order, one for each day of the month.

When students complete the Blue Level, they move forward to the Red Level beginning with 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:

PRINT:

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