Category Archives: Short Lessons

Short Lesson 7: “Borrow” and “Lend”

Hi guys!

Do you know the difference between “borrow” and “lend”?

Borrow: to take something for some time.
Lend: to give something for some time.

Examples:

Can I borrow your book? = Can you lend me your book?
He borrowed my bike. = I lent him my bike.
She wants to borrow your pen. = She wants you to lend her your pen.

Many people get confused between “borrow” and “lend”. The main mistake is saying “borrow”instead of “lend”.
Here are some examples:

Please borrow me your car (X)
Please lend me your car (O)

He borrowed me some money (X)
He lent me some money (O)

Borrow him your chair (X)
Lend him your chair (O)

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Short Lesson 6: “Used to” and “Would”

Used to and Would

Hi everyone!

Today let’s have a look at two similar expressions that can be difficult to use the right way.

They are: “used to”and “would”.

Used to:
- Repeated actions, events or behaviour in the past
- Past states

Would:
- Repeated actions, events or behaviour in the past
Examples:

1. Repeated actions, events or behaviour in the past:
“Would” OR “Used to”
Action:
“I used to watch a movie every evening.”
“I would watch a movie every evening.”

Event:
“It used to snow in winter.”
“It would snow in winter.”

Behaviour:
“She used to smoke cigarettes.”
“She would smoke cigarettes.”

2. Past states:
ONLY “Used to”
“I used to be a student.”
NOT “I would be a student.” (This means “I want to be a student but I can’t.”)
“We used to live in France.”
NOT “We would live in France.” (This means “We want to live in France but we can’t.)

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Kyoto used to be the capital of Japan

Short Lesson 5: Are You Working Hard, or Hardly Working?!

learn English online working hard or hardly working

Hey everybody!

In this lesson I’d like to teach you some English language wordplay, and also show you a common mistake English learners make.

Look at this expression:

“Are you working hard, or hardly working?”

Are “Working hard” and “Hardly working” the same thing?

No!

As you know, many adjectives can be changed into adverbs by adding -ly.

Example 1:
adjective: quick
adverb: quickly

Example 2:
adjective: strange
adverb: strangely

But we don’t do this with “hard”. The word “hardly” means “almost not at all”.

Example 1:
“It’s hardly raining.” 
This doesn’t mean “It’s raining hard.”
It means “It’s almost not raining at all.”

Example 2:
“It’s hardly necessary.”
This doesn’t mean “It’s really necessary.”
This means “It’s almost not necessary at all.” 

So what about “Working hard or hardly working?”

Well, “Working hard” does mean “Working with a lot of effort”.
But “Hardly working” means “Almost not working”.

So if you want to share a joke with someone at work, you can ask them-

“Are you working hard or hardly working?”

Have a great day!

Jon

Short Lesson 4: Bad, Worse and Worst

bad worse and worst

Hey everyone!

Today let’s look at three words: bad, worse and worst. These are important words and sometimes used in the wrong way by even native speakers of English.

We know bad. It means the opposite of good.

But what is “worse“? It means “more bad“. This is a comparison word. This means it compares one thing to another.

And how about “worst“? It means “most bad“. This is a superlative word. This means the thing it describes is the “most-adjective” of a group of things.

Please watch the following video:

That man is bad at hurdles!
He is worse than the other runners.
He is the worst hurdler in the race!

Let’s look at that again:

bad = opposite of good
worse = more bad
worst = most bad

See you next time!

Jon

Short Lesson 3: TGI Friday!

learn English online free TGI Friday

Hey guys!

Today is Friday. TGI Friday!

What does “TGI Friday“ mean?

TGI Friday = Thank God it’s Friday! or Thank Goodness it’s Friday!

This expression is a way of saying you are happy or relieved that it’s the last work day of the week. Of course, this isn’t the case for everyone. Some people work at the weekend!

Speaking of which, have a great weekend!

Jon

Short Lesson 2: Past Tense of Dream

past tense of dream

What is the past tense of dream? Is it dreamed or dreamt? In fact, is dreamt a word even?

Dreamed vs Dreamt:

Dreamed is more common in U.S. English, and dreamt is more common in U.K. English. But either one is OK.

Let’s have a look at the past tense of dream:

 

 

to dream (verb)

1. U.S. English:
Present: dream (“dreem”) 

Listen to

Past: dreamed (“dreemd”) 
Listen to

Past Participle: dreamed (“dreemd”) 
Listen to

 

2. U.K. English:
Present: dream (“dreem”) 

Listen to

Past: dreamt (“dremt”) 
Listen to

Past Participle: dreamt (“dremt”) 
Listen to

Examples:

Past:
U.S. English (dreamed- “dreemd”)
The man dreamed about being famous. 

Listen to

I dreamed it was summer again. 
Listen to

They dreamed of winning the tournament. 
Listen to

You dreamed up a great idea! 
Listen to

U.K. English (dreamt- “dremt”)
Last night I dreamt I was flying. 

Listen to

She dreamt of going home. 
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You dreamt about this! 
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The dog dreamt of running. 
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Past Participle:
U.S. English (dreamed- “dreemd”)
He’s dreamed up a fantastic product. 

Listen to

You have dreamed of this holiday for months. 
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We’ve dreamed too much lately. 
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I couldn’t have dreamed of a better day. 
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U.K. English (dreamt- “dremt”)
I’ve dreamt about this day for years. 

Listen to

She hasn’t dreamt at night for a long time. 
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Have you dreamt of going to Australia? 
Listen to

I have dreamt about it every night. 
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Key Points:
1. The past tense of dream is dreamed or dreamt.
2. Dreamed is common in U.S. English. Dreamt is common in U.K. English.
3. You can use either dreamed or dreamt.

Have a great day!

Jon

Short Lesson 1: Past Tense of Read

past tense of read

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I read a book past tense = I read a book.

What? Is that a mistake?

No!

What is the past tense of read?

It’s very easy. Let’s look at this verb.

to read (verb)
Present: read (“reed”)

Listen to

Past: read (“red”)
Listen to

Past Participle: read (“red”)
Listen to

So as you can see, the past tense of read (and the past participle of read) is spelt the same as the present tense. But the pronunciation is different. Instead of being pronounced “reed”, the past tense of read is pronounced “red”.

Examples:

Past: read (“red”)
Last year I read a lot of books.

Listen to

They read the sign.
Listen to

You read all of his letters.
Listen to

They read the instructions and started the exam.
Listen to

When I read the comic I felt relaxed.
Listen to

She read my diary!
Listen to

Past Participle: read (“red”)
I’ve read the new Harry Potter book.

Listen to

Have you read today’s newspaper?
Listen to

We haven’t read enough books.
Listen to

Has he read the rules?
Listen to

She had already read the essay.
Listen to

They’ve read a lot of magazines today.
Listen to

 

Key Points:
1. The spelling of read in the past tense is the same as the spelling of read in the present tense!
2. But the pronunciation of read in the past tense sounds like “red”!

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