Is there something you have never been able to understand? Are you revising for an exam? Is your boyfriend’s mother Scottish, and you need to know what to say? This page can help you!
You and almost everybody!
Inversions are a stylistic device used for formal writing. You don’t often hear it in spoken English (except a politician reading a speech, for example).
Basically, after certain expressions – let’s call them ‘negative’ or ‘limiting’ expressions – the structure of the sentences resembles a question (= The verb/auxiliar and subject are ‘inverted’):
- SPOKEN: I’m not often as surprised as today.
- WRITTEN: Rarely am I as surprised as today.
- SPOKEN: We didn’t only* learn a lot, but we had a great time too! (*or ‘just’ = more common in spoken English)
- WRITTEN: Not only did the attendants learn a lot, but they also enjoyed the event greatly.
Here’s the list of the most common inversion expressions:
- Rarely do we understand the pain of the economic immigrant.
- Never (before) had they seen such beauty.
- No longer will the Government tolerate dissent or sedition.
- No sooner had he arrived when he was offered a glass of wine.
- Only when we arrived did we realise the extent of the damage.
- In no way am I prepared to carry out this task.
- Not only does he paint, but he also plays the piano wonderfully!
- Seldom can I describe my feelings to strangers.
- Never again would he see his parents.
For more writing techniques, have a look at this page:
These are both confusing for most learners!
Say vs. Tell is a bit easier to explain. Have a look at these examples:
“It’s cold” he said.
“It’s cold” he told me.
The easy explanation is that ‘tell’ uses an object and ‘say’ does not. It’s a bit more complicated than that, though, so I recommend you read the whole article (with exercise). Click here!
Make vs. Do is much more difficult because there is no fixed rule, just some general ideas. You just have to learn. The lesson is here:
The aim of the game is to throw the dice and reach the end, answering questions on the way.
If you answer incorrectly you have to go back the number of spaces you advanced.
Perdona por tardar! Espero que te haya llegado a tiempo.
Significa: Podrías decirle que llamé?
Hi. You have to give me the word in brackets. I can’t help you if not.
It could be:
The shoes were very cheap SO I bought three pairs…
AS the shoes were so cheap I bought three pairs…
I’ve never seen this, but I imagine that (for example) it’s a football player telling the media that it’s important to bring some excitement to a match – When something special happens, the fans start jumping (off their feet).
Does that sound logical?
Explico este tema en este videotutorial:
We play at the weekend = Every weekend
We’re playing at the weekend = This weekend.
From the sentence, the correct answer is probably ‘we play..’
You can also read this explanation:
Sorry I’ve taken so long to answer you. I’ve been pretty busy recently with the end of term and writing a new book, so I haven’t paid so much attention to my website as I should!
The important thing is to have a clear structure in mind, preferably a structure that can be flexible enough to be used for many different topics.
- Have a look at this post where different real life exam essays are compared:
- For a PDF. Which gives you an easy to follow structure both for writing and speaking monologues, click here:
- Argumentative Compositions (Pros & Cons..): http://profesornativogratis.com/argumentative-compsitions/
- Formal Letter Writing: http://profesornativogratis.com/letter-writing/
- Descriptive Compositions (People & Places…): http://profesornativogratis.com/descriptive-compositions/
- Techniques for Better Writing: http://profesornativogratis.com/7-techniques-for-better-writing/
I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!
‘Walk out on / Ditch’ are more conversational ways of saying ‘abandon’ a job, a husband/girlfriend….
‘Split up with / Break up with’ can also be used for a sentimental relationship…
‘Get rid of’ is something a bit different. It is very useful and can be used in many situations but not this one:
I got rid of my car (Sold it? Took it to a breaker’s yard?)
The company will get rid of 20 employees (Sack them, Fire them)
In Spanish the translation is ‘deshacerse de…’
“Los pasteles de George”and yes, it’s well written.
Have a look at this article:
Difficult to explain! Shake is something you usually do to something else (a spray can, for example) although you can also shake from fear or cold, but it’s more metaphorical.
Shiver is from the cold, tremble is fear and shudder is very short, just a second or two – from disgust, usually. EXAMPLES:
- You have to shake the packet before opening
- We pulled Mary out from the car. She wasn’t hurt, but she was trembling/shaking.
- I wasn’t wearing the right clothing, and by the time I got home I was shivering.
- The sight of a snake makes me shudder.
La verdad es que no se de ningun video. Lo apuntare en mi lista de quehaceres…
Te lo explico brevemente, ya que no es muy dificil.
1. Estas hablando en pasado. Cuentas lo que paso ayer en orden: “Me levante a las 8, luego me vesti y fui a trabajar…”
2. El PASADO PERFECTO se usa cuando te refieres a algo que paso antes de donde estas en la conversacion: “Como NO HABIA desayunado, enpece a tener hambre….”
HAD + PAST PARTICIPLE
I HADn’t HAD breakfast
Had he drunk anything before the accident?
They had never seen a giraffe until they went on safari.
RECUERDA: ES EL PASADO DEL PASADO!
No problem! ‘IBA’ es pasado continuo. En presente continuo se usa ‘IS/ARE/AM GOING TO’:
I’m going to visit my gran = Voy a visitar a mi abuela.
Entonces en pasado:
I was going to visit my gran = Iba a visitar a mi abuela.
IBA = WAS / WERE GOING TO.
Nota la diferencia entre Pasado Simple y Pasado Continuo :
Last Saturday I went to London = Fuiste
Last Saturday I was going to London = Ibas (pero igual no llegaste)
Si necesitas mas información y práctica, tengo un videotutorial con ejercicios de listening y escrito. Pincha aquí!
You haven’t told me what level of English you have, if you go to classes regulary, or what contact you have with the language. My answer would depend on these factors.
However, I’ll tell you my general opinion on the best way to learn English:
Little but often: Try to practise a bit every day, but establish a routine that you can maintain; 5 minutes of television in English, a short podcast in the car (BBC’s 6 minute English), 2-3 pages of a reading book (mine for example!) adapted to your level….
Grammar last! Don’t study grammar as a way of learning English in itself. Refer to grammar explanations and exercises when you have a doubt about something you have read, heard or spoken. That way you are putting it into practice, which is easier to remember.
Enjoy it! Think of your hobbies or what you are interested in, and join forums, facebook groups, youtube channels etc. in English. That way you can get into touch with other people and communicate with them in English.
Subscribe to my newsletter: If you haven’t done it yet- you get a free sample of my ebook, material and links, and the possibility of a free Skype class!
Let me know if you have any other questions!
Hola. Como no sé exactamente cual es el problema que tienes con ‘the’, te contaré la confusión que tiene la mayoría de los estudiantes. Mira este ejemplo:
ESPAÑOLHABLANTE: “I don’t like the children.”
NATIVO:”Who? Which children?”
E:”No, children in general.”
N:”Ah! You don’t like children. I like children in general, but I don’t like the children that live next door.”
Can you see the difference? If you are talking about something in general: cats, people, music, NO se pone ‘the’. Si te estas referiendo a algo especifico, si se pone.
The people son la gente que conociste ayer por la noche, the cats son aquellos que no te dejan dormir por la noche, y the music es la que toca tu grupo preferido.
Aparte de eso, se usa de una manera muy parecida que el Español.
It’s too much for this ‘Ask’ section! I’ll open a separate post with all of questions when I get some time. I’ll just give you the answers and then I’ll publish the post within a week or two.
In fact, you’ve given me some inspiration! I’ve just written a post to explain the punctuation, and I’m going to explain the other aspects in the test. Meanwhile, I’ll give you the answers straight out.
What level/test/exam is this?
4/40: D 5/40: D 6: E 7: B 8: A 9: C 10: A 11: C 12: D 13: D 14: A 15: B 16: B 17: A 18: C 19: D 20: A 21: D 22: C 23: B 24: E 25: B 26: B 27: D 28: A (D very common in everyday English) 29: C 30: B 31: B 32: A 33: D 34: C (This gave me a lot of problems! I think it’s C) 35: B 36: A (‘Whom’ is not very common in everyday English) 37: C 38: D 39: B 40: A