Archive 2019

PRESENT SIMPLE QUESTIONS

Present Simple questions

Present simple questions

We use the auxiliary verbs do and does to form questions in present simple tense. They are also called helping verbs because they don’t have meaning, but help to form the questions. We use do with I, you, we and they.

Example: Do you speak English?

We use does with he, she or it.

Example: Does he go to work by car?

If the question starts with do or does, it is called a Yes/No question, because it requires a short answer. If the question starts with a question word, it is called a Wh- question and it requires a full answer.

Example: When do you have lunch?

You can do a quiz here.

WAS and WERE-THE PAST SIMPLE OF TO BE

The past simpleof to be - was and were

The Past simple of To Be – was and were

The verb To Be has two forms in past simple tense – was and were. We use was when we talk about one person or thing.

Example: John was at the library yesterday. The bus was late this morning

We use were when we talk about two or more people or things.

Example: The kids were in their room an hour ago. The cars were in front of our house a minute ago.

Note that when we talk about “you”, we use “were” no matter if we mean one person or more people.

Example: Jim, you were great! Kids, you were great!

The forms of the verb To Be in past simple tense – was and were can also be used as auxiliary(helping) verbs to form the Past continuous tense.

Example: He was reading when I got home.

You can do the quiz – was or were here:

TOO vs ENOUGH

too vs enough

Too vs Enough

Too and enough are used to express quantity.

Too means more than necessary and usually has a negative meaning. It goes before the adjective or adverb.

Example: The tea is too hot for me to drink. (I won’t drink it)

Enough means the necessary amount and usually has a positive meaning. It goes after the adjective or noun.

Example: This car is big enough for the whole family. (We will buy it)

We can use enough with nouns, too. In this case enough goes before the noun.

Example: I have enough money. I will buy this house.

Look at the infographic and do the quiz – too or enough here.

WHY DO PEOPLE OFTEN MISUSE “THEN” and “THAN”?

then vs than

Using then instead of than and vise versa is a very common mistake, which both native and non-native speakers make. But why does this happen?

Perhaps because both words have a very similar spelling and pronunciation. However, they are different in meaning.

Then means “after that”.

Example: He finished work. Then he went home.

Than means “ in comparison to/with” and is used mainly with the comparative form of adjectives and adverbs.

Example: I am taller than my brother.

We can also use than in phrases expressing preference:

1.I prefer to + infinitive rather than + inf

Example: I prefer to stay in rather than go out.

2. I would rather + infinitive than + infinitive

Example: I would rather stay in than go out.

ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRIES – THE BEAUTIFUL ISLAND OF MALTA

Perhaps Malta is not the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about English speaking countries, but in my personal opinion it is one of the most beautiful places where you can communicate in English and enjoy breathtaking views.

Malta is the smallest member of the European Union situated in the centre of the Mediterranean sea. It lies south of Italy and the distance to Sicily is only 93 km. It is an archipelago which consists of three islands: the main island Malta, Gozo and Comino. Its capital city is Valetta. Malta has a population of only about 460 000 people and its size is 316 sq.km. The longest distance in Malta from North to South is about 27 km, and only 14.5 km from East to West. This means that you can visit any point on the island in one day, in fact in a few hours. But have in mind that the traffic in Malta can be terrible especially during rush hours, which means that sometimes you may need an hour or more to travel a distance of 15 km.

Malta has two official languages – English and Maltese. Although almost all people can speak English, it is very common to hear the Maltese language and the chances to understand something are close to zero. It is considered an Arabic dialect with some Italian influence and is a result of the long history of Malta and its many conquerors. English, on the other hand, is also an official language because Malta is a former British colony. It gained its independence in 1964. The biggest higher education institution is the University of Malta and it is free. However, renting an apartment in Malta can be expensive with prices having gone up in the recent years.

Here are some interesting facts about Malta:

  • There are no rivers or lakes on the island. This means that surprisingly huge amounts of water should be provided to cater for the never-stopping tourist stream which continues for most of the year. No water means nor agriculture. All the food supplies are imported from different parts of the world and you can find a huge variety in the shops and markets. Obviously, tourism is the main alternative for the Maltese economy.
  • The climate on the island is subtropical with hot dry summer and short wet winter. Malta has no forests but you can see cacti, small bushes and grass. Although the climate does not contribute to lush greenery, the weather is great for a beach vacation throughout the year ( with the exception of 2-3 winter months). There are about 300 sunny days a year, making it one of the sunniest countries in Europe.
  • Stunning scenery, unspoiled nature and crystal clear sea. No wonder that many film productions including The Count of Monte Cristo, Gladiator and Game of Thrones were shot there.
  • The Maltese drive on the left and they drive like crazy. The roads are narrow and many streets are steep which makes parking a car a daunting experience. They also like beeping a lot either to show you that you did something wrong or just to warn you that they won’t be able to stop at the crossroad. So, be careful both with walking and driving.
  • Malta is one of the most popular beach destinations in Europe. Although it lacks the wide sandy beaches that we all imagine when we think of a beach holiday, it attracts about 2.5 million tourists from around the world every year. Moreover, it is quite cheap in there compared to the other European resorts. So, if you have the chance, pack your suitcase and head for Malta. It is highly probable that you won’t regret it!

BE BRILLIANT AT ENGLISH

So, you want to learn or improve your English? Well, congratulations on your efforts. For sure, you have a good reason to do that. In fact there are a lot. Let’s have look!

English is the international language of the world. If you speak it, you will be able to communicate with more than 1.5 billion English speakers around the world. You will cross boarders, you will break barriers, you will become a citizen of the global village. Intriguing, huh?

Most websites are in English. If you know English, you have access to the biggest library in the world. This is a wealth of information. You can travel, you can go shopping, you can do business, you can attend a conference in the USA and then have an interview in the UK ……And all this from the comfort of your home.

English opens up countless opportunities for you. You will have access to the best universities in the world. Also, many institutions in non English-speaking countries offer programs in English. Your degree and excellent language skills will make you more desirable to employers and put you a step ahead of your competitors.

Learning a foreign language increases your IQ and logical thinking. The progress you make day by day makes you feel satisfied and more confident in your abilities. Mastering one foreign language makes it much easier to learn a second and why not a third one. Only the sky is the limit!

And finally, as strange as it may sound to you now, English is relatively easy to learn, especially grammar. Are you even more motivated now? So, what are you waiting for? Let’s start learning.

Let’s do it!