Active Voice and Passive Voice
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 on


Verbs are either active or passive in voice. In the active voice, the subject and verb relationship is straightforward: the subject is a do-er. In the passive voice, the subject of the sentence is not a do-er. It is shown with by + do-er or is not shown in the sentence.

Passive voice is used when the action is the focus, not the subject. It is not important (or not known) who does the action. 

  • The window is broken. (It is not known who broke the window, or it is not important to know who broke the window.)
  • The class has been canceled. (The focus is on the class being canceled. It is not important to know who canceled it.)
  • The passive voice is often used. (The focus is on the passive voice. It is not important to explain who the writer is.)

Passive voice should be avoided when you want more clarity in writing. However, in some cases, you need to use passive voice to stress the action, not the actor. Also, passive voice can be considered more polite, as it sounds less aggressive or dramatic. 

The Three Little Pigs
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Once upon a time there were three little pigs. One pig built a house of straw while the second pig built his house with sticks. They built their houses very quickly and then sang and danced all day because they were lazy. 

The third little pig worked hard all day and built his house with bricks.

Salty Coffee Love Story
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He met her at a party. She was so outstanding, many guys chasing after her, while he was so normal, nobody paid attention to him.

At the end of the party, he invited her to have coffee with him. She was surprised but because she was polite, she promised. They sat in a nice coffee shop, he was too nervous to say anything, she felt uncomfortable, and she thought to herself, "Please, let me go home..."

Suddenly he asked the waiter, "Would you please give me some salt? I'd like to put it in my coffee." Everybody stared at him, so strange! His face turned red but still, he put the salt in his coffee and drank it. She asked him curiously, "Why you have this hobby?" He replied, "When I was a little boy, I lived near the sea, I liked playing in the sea, I could feel the taste of the sea, just like the taste of the salty coffee. Now every time I have the salty coffee, I always think of my childhood, think of my hometown, I miss my hometown so much, I miss my parents who are still living there." While saying that tears filled his eyes.

Infinitives Part 2
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Commonly, an infinitive is used with the subject it. The sentence structure is "It is                     + infinitive.…" It refers to the infinitive. This expression is used in many ways. 


  • It is time to do math.
  • It is common to think that way.
  • It is appropriate to keep a low profile.
  • It was nice to see you.
  • It was my pleasure to meet you.
  • It was my honor to have dinner with you.
  • It is good to see you.
  • It was great to go on a trip with them.

Both gerunds and infinitive phrases can function as nouns, in a variety of ways. Gerunds and infinitives can follow certain verbs but not others. You need to remember which verbs can be followed by only a gerund or only an infinitive. 

Infinitives Part 1
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An infinitive is a verb combined with the word to. Most often, an infinitive acts as a noun in the sentence. Less frequently, it acts as an adjective or an adverb.


  • I want to go home early today.
  • I hope to be chosen as a member.
  • I prefer to go there earlier.
  • You need to consider various rules in writing sentences.
  • You have to explain your reasoning in detail.
  • You might wish to act as a teacher.
  • To leave for a vacation is my only wish at this time.
  • A common mistake in a relationship is not to trust the other person.
  • Help me to save the trees!
  • To be mentally healthy, you must read books.
  • Do you want me to fill out this form?
  • Here is our to-do list.

Flexibility and Fun
Tuesday, 29 September 2015 on


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Learn To Speak English Like A Native
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Decisions Change Your Life
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Listening and The Silent Period
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VOLLEYBALL VICTORY
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Victory seemed unlikely. Mount Saint Michael were two sets down and St. Leo’s certainly had the upper hand in the third set, dominating 9 points to 2. Each time St. Leo’s scored, they pounded the ground in unison, further intimidating an already shaky Claremorris team. So how, in these circumstances, did they snatch victory from the jaws of almost certain defeat?

The first set seemed to suggest two teams who were equally matched. Michael’s fought point for point against a Leo’s team whose defence was almost impenetrable, yet Edel Nolan managed to hit home some impressive spikes. However, as the set drew to a close, they found themselves unable to finish the job and St Leo’s stormed into the second set with a 25-22 win in the first set under their belt.

How to Speak English With Confidence in 9 Easy Steps
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How to Speak English With Confidence in 9 Easy Steps

Do you still feel nervous about speaking English to others even though you’ve spent a long time studying English? Don’t worry, you are not alone.
Just like you, many people who are learning English don’t practice speaking as often as they want to because they’re afraid they will make a mistake or be laughed at.
Don’t worry – even native English speakers sometimes make mistakes, and nobody will laugh at you.
If you want to improve your English, you need to be confident in your abilities. Here are 9 easy ways to gain confidence in your ability to speak English. You’ll be on your way to speaking fluently if you follow these steps regularly.

1. Join Online Forums That Use English

Joining an online forum means you can interact with native English speakers.  It also gives you a chance to practice your English outside the classroom without leaving the comfort of your own home.

English Today 2
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Choose An English Class or School
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Lession 4 - Useful Expressions
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Lession 3 - Greetings Thoughout The Day
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Gerunds
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A gerund (verb + ing) acts like a noun in a sentence.
  • Seeing is believing.
  • Running a marathon is not an easy thing to do.
  • Watching TV is sometimes harmful.
  • Eating is always fun.
  • My hobby is painting.
  • She loves babysitting her sister.
  • I like listening to music.
  • I wasted all my afternoon by taking a nap.
  • I am afraid of singing a song on a stage.
Often, a possessive noun or pronoun comes before a gerund.
  • I hope that you don’t mind my using your pen.
  • Don’t be mad about my leaving early.
  • I don’t want you misunderstanding.
  • You will be amazed by my writing.

Irregular Verbs
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Irregular Verbs

Regular verbs form their past and past participle by adding ed (d).
Base VerbPastPast Participle
learnlearnedlearned
studystudiedstudied
cookcookedcooked
solvesolvedsolved
askaskedasked
watchwatchedwatched
listenlistenedlistened

Irregular verbs do not have definite rules, but there are a few patterns.

Perfect Progressive Tense
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The perfect progressive tense describes actions that repeated over a period of time in the past, are continuing in the present, and/or will continue in the future.

The present perfect progressive tense tells you about a continuous action that was initiated in the past and finished at some point in the past; however, the action has some relation to the present time. Use have/has + been + ing.
  • It has been raining, and the street is still wet.
  • I have been running, and I am still tired.
  • She has been practicing the piano, and she is much better now.
The past perfect progressive tense illustrates a continuous action in the past that was completed before another past action. Use had + been + ing.

Progressive and Perfect Tense
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Progressive Tense

The progressive tense involves action that is, was, or will be in progress at a certain time. In the progressive tense, verbs are formed with a "be" verb + ing.

run
  • I am running a marathon right now. (present progressive)
  • I was running a marathon at this time last year. (past progressive)
  • I will be running a marathon next Sunday. (future progressive)
eat
  • I am eating lunch now.
  • I was eating lunch when you saw me.
  • I will be eating lunch in the meeting.
learn
  • I am learning English at my desk.
  • I was learning English the last two years.
  • I will be learning English then.
cook
  • I am cooking my supper now.
  • I was cooking our dinner when you called me.
  • I will be cooking breakfast by the time you come home.

Perfect Tense

The present perfect tense describes an action that started in the past and continues to the present time. Use has/have + the past participle form of the verb.

Simple Tense
Friday, 25 September 2015 on


Verb tense tells you when the action happens. There are three main verb tenses: present, past, and future. Each main tense is divided into simple, progressive, perfect, and perfect progressive tenses.


PresentPastFuture
Simplefinishfinishedwill finish
Progressiveam/is/are finishingwas/were finishingwill be finishing
Perfecthave/has finishedhad finishedwill have finished
Perfect Progressivehave/has been finishinghad been finishingwill have been finishing



Things to remember about simple tense:

Adverbs
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Adverbs modify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. 

An adverb tells more about a verb in the sentence.


  • The fire engine runs fast.
  • Listen to his speech carefully.
  • I browse the web frequently.
  • It rained hard.

An adverb describes more about an adjective in the sentence.

Comparative and Superlative Adjectives
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Comparative adjectives compare two things. Superlative adjectives compare more than two things

Commonly, adjectives that contain only one syllable or end in 'y' use 'er' to form comparatives and 'est' to form superlatives. For adjectives ending in y, change the 'y' to 'i' before adding the 'er' or 'est'.

Adjectives
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Adjectives describe or modify nouns.

I like fairy tales. A fairy tale is an imaginary story that has unrealistic characters in a fantastic background. It makes me forget about the real world and refreshes my tired mind.

Adjectives generally appear immediately before the noun.

Action Verbs
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Action verbs express action and are the most common verbs.

Action verbs need s at the end with third-person, singular subjects.


  • He eats bread.
  • She walks to the station.
  • It floats on the sea.

Negative sentences need do not, does not, or did not.


  • I do not eat bread.
  • He does not eat bread.
  • You did not walk to the station.
  • It does not float on the sea.

Interrogative sentences begin with do, does, or did.

'Be' Verbs
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A verb shows action or a state of being.

go home. Home is my place to rest. I like the smell of my house. I feel totally relaxed. Home refreshes me. At home, I get ready for a new day.

"Be" verbs indicate a state of being.

Verbs must match subjects.

Pronouns
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A pronoun takes the place of a noun.

Example story:

Mary is one of the heads of the ToJi Corporation. Mary works with Mr. James and Mr. James' son Tom. Mr. James and Mr. James' son Tom are experts in biochemistry. Mary, Mr. James, and Tom researched and invented a drug for cancer treatment.

A Coward
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A short story by Guy de Maupassant

Society called him Handsome Signoles. His name was Viscount Gontran-Joseph de Signoles.
An orphan, and possessed of an adequate income, he cut a dash, as the saying is. He had a good figure and a good carriage, a sufficient flow of words to pass for wit, a certain natural grace, an air of nobility and pride, a gallant moustache and an eloquent eye, attributes which women like.

How To Learn Effortlessly
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English Today 1
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Lession 2 - More Greetings
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Lession 1 - Greetings
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Possessive Nouns
Saturday, 19 September 2015 on

Possessive nouns are used to indicate ownership.

Possessive nouns usually are formed by adding an apostrophe (') and s.
  • John's book
  • Kerry's car
  • Grandma's mirror
When a noun is plural and ends in s, just add an apostrophe (').

Count Nouns vs. Non-Count Nouns
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Count nouns

Can be counted as one or more.
  • pen, computer, bottle, spoon, desk, cup, television, chair, shoe, finger, flower, camera, stick, balloon, book, table, comb, etc.
Take an s to form the plural.
  • pens, computers, bottles, spoons, desks, cups, televisions, chairs, shoes, fingers, flowers, cameras, sticks, balloons, books, tables, combs, etc.
Work with expressions such as (a few, few, many, some, every, each, these, and the number of).

Singular and Plural Nouns
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A noun names a person, place, thing, or idea.

Usually, the first page of a grammar book tells you about nouns. Nouns give names of concrete or abstract things in our lives. As babies learn "mom," "dad," or "milk" as their first word, nouns should be the first topic when you study a foreign language.

Hans Christian Anderson
Thursday, 17 September 2015 on

Hans Christian Andersen (1805 - 1875) was a Danish author and poet most famous for his amazing fairy tales.Here is a selection of some of our favourites.

Test Listening
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Test listening

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