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Wednesday, 24 August 2011


Past indefinite/simple:

We use the past indefinite for an action or situation in the past.


Single or repeated Actions:
We went to London thrice last year.
The children always played in the garden
I visited America last week.
Ana watched TV yesterday.

·        Series of actions completed in the past:

First I got up, and then I had breakfast.

·        Habit or State:

1.   People used to come here in the evening for a walk.
2.   I used to have a bicycle but I sold it.
3.   They were playing in the garden when the telephone rang.
4.   They were determined to work hard.
5.   Why were you absent from the class?

·        Story telling:

Once upon a time a Princess went into a wood and sat down by a stream.

·        Time expressions:

Time expressions with the past indefinite are: yesterday, this morning/evening, last week/year, a week/month ago, that day/afternoon, the other day/week, at eleven o’clock, on Tuesday, in 1950, just, recently, once, earlier, then, next, after that.


Subject +Verb 2nd form +Object.


Subject +DID NOT +Verb 1st form +Object.


DID +Subject+ Verb 1st form+ Object.

A: She saw your brother.
N: She did not see your brother.
I: Did she see your brother?

A: I borrowed money from my friend.
N: I did not borrow money from my friend.
I: Did I borrow money from my friend?

Past Continuous/ Progressive

We use past progressive tense to say that something was happening or going on.


·        Action was in progress at special time in the past:

1.   Monty was reading a book yesterday evening.
2.   She was listening to the music.

We use this tense when two actions were happening at the same time:

John was writing a letter while Anne was reading the London Daily News.

We use past continuous tense for Repeated actions that irritate the speaker (e.g. with constantly, always, forever)

Andy was always coming in late. (I don't like it.)


Subject + was/were + verb1st form + ing +object.


I/he/she/it/Ali +was + verb1st form + ing +object.
You/we/they +were + verb1st form + ing +object.


I/he/she/it/Ali was not+ verb1st form + ing +object.
You/we/they were not+ verb1st form + ing +object.


Was +I/he/she/it/Ali+ verb1st form + ing +object.
Were +you/we/they+ verb1st form + ing +object.

Negative questions:

Wasn’t +I/he/she/it/Ali+ verb1st form + ing +object.
Weren’t +you/we/they+ verb1st form + ing +object.

A: He was working.
N: He was not working.
I: Was he working?
A: You were working.
N: You were not working.
I: Were you working?

Past Perfect Tense:

We use past perfect tense to talk about finished actions before past simple.

·        To say that someone finished one action and then did something else, we use either when…had done or after …did/had done:

1.   When she had written the letter, she went out to post it.
2.   After she wrote/written the letter, she went out to post it.
NOT: When she wrote the letter, she went out to post it.

·        These three expressions given below can be used (often with a past perfect tense) to suggest that one thing happened very soon after another:

…no sooner---than…

1.   I had hardly/scarcely closed my eyes when the doorbell rang.
2.   She was hardly/scarcely inside the house before the kids started screaming.
3.   I had no sooner closed the door than somebody knocked.


1.   We can also use past perfect for a state:
2.   Everything seemed fine up to then.      
3.   They had been friends for six months.


 Subject + had + verb3rd form + object.


I/he/she/it/Ali + had + verb3rd form + object.
You/we/they +had + verb3rd form + object.


I/he/she/it/Ali +had not + verb3rd form + object.
You/we/they +had not + verb3rd form + object.


Had +I/he/she/it/Ali + verb3rd form + object.
Had +you/we/they +verb3rd form + object.

Negative questions:

Hadn’t +I/he/she/it/Ali + verb3rd form + object.
Hadn’t +you/we/they + verb3rd form + object.

A: He had worked.
N: He had not worked.
I: Had he worked?

Past Perfect Progressive/Continuous:

We use past perfect progressive tense to talk about a continued action before past simple or to talk about longer actions or situations which had continued up to the past moment that we are thinking about, or shortly before it.


·        How long something had been happening before something else happened:

1.   We had been watching cricket before manager came.
2.   Muslims had been facing problems before Pakistan came into being.
3.   I had been reading this novel for about a month.


 Subject + had been + verb1st form + ing + object


I/he/she/it/Ali + had been + verb3rd form +ing + object.
You/we/they +had been + verb3rd form +ing + object.


I/he/she/it/Ali + had not been + verb3rd form +ing + object.
You/we/they +had not been + verb3rd form + ing +object.


Had +I/he/she/it/Ali + been + verb3rd form +ing + object.
Had +You/we/they +been + verb3rd form +ing + object.

A: I had been waiting for Susan for 2 hours when she arrived.
N: I had not been waiting for Susan for 2 hours when she arrived.
I: Had I been waiting for Susan for 2 hours when she arrived.

Monday, 15 August 2011



We use present simple to talk about repeated actions, imperatives, states, daily routines, story- telling etc.

  • Repeated actions:
Every day, Always, Often, Sometimes or Never
  1. I often write comical stories. 
  2. My friend never drinks milk.

  • Imperative: (order, suggestion, advice or request)
  1. Switch on the TV.
  2. Do not embarrass your kids in front of others.
  3. Value the time.
  4. Please have a seat.
  • States: (fixed arrangements, scheduled events (e.g. timetable))
The plane flies to London every Monday.
The sun rises in the East.
  •  Daily routine:
One follows after the other (first - then, after that)
  1. First I get up, and then I have breakfast.
  2. I perform ablution and offer prayer.
  • Story telling:
One day my teacher calls me and asks me to participate in a quiz.

After special verbs, which are normally not used with the Present Progressive (These verbs express states, possessions, feelings etc.)

be, believe, belong, hate, hear, like, love, mean, prefer, remain, realize, see, seem, smell, think, understand, want, wish.
  1. I understand English.
  2. He doesn't like fish.

 Subject + verb 1st from + Object.


He/ she/ it, singular+ Verb 1st form+ s/es+ Object.

I/ we/ you/ they, plural+ Verb 1st form+ Object.


He/ She/ It and Singular or with one name + DOES NOT+ verb 1st form +Object.

We/ you/ they/ I/ with more than one name or Plural + DO NOT+ verb 1st form +Object.


DOES + He/ She/ It and Singular or with one name + verb 1st form +Object?

DO+ We/ you/ they/ I, with more than one name or Plural + verb 1st form +Object?

    Negative Question:

Doesn't he / she / it / singular++ verb 1st form +Object?

Don’t I / we / you / they + verb 1st form +Object?

A: She likes apples.
N: She does not like apple.
I: Does she like apple?

A: They like apple.
N: They do not like apple.
I: Do they like apple.


We use Present Progressive to say that something is going on now or happening now. It is also called Present Continuous. We use it to talk about actions, fixed plans and trends.

  1. Actions happening at the moment of speaking:
  2. Now, at the moment
  3. Pamela is writing a story now.
  4. He is listening to the music.

  • Temporary actions:
His father is working in Dubai this month.
  • Actions happening around the moment of speaking: (longer actions)
My friend is preparing for his exams.
  • Repeated actions which are irritating to the speaker:
With always, constantly, forever
  1. He is constantly talking. I wish he would shut up.
  2. Ana is always coming in late. (I don't like it.)
Simple Present: 

Ana always comes late. (Here I don't give a comment.)

  • Fixed plan in the near future:
I am going to London on Saturday.
  • Trends:
More and more people are using their cell phones to listen to music.


He/ She/ It and Singular or with one name + IS + verb 1st form + ing +Object.

We/ you/ they/ with more than one name or Plural + ARE+ verb 1st form+ ing+ Object.

I+ AM+ verb 1st form+ ing+ Object.


He/ She/ It and Singular or with one name + IS NOT + verb 1st form + ing +Object.

We/ you/ they/ with more than one name or Plural + ARE NOY+ verb 1st form+ ing+ Object.

I+ AM NOT+ verb 1st form+ ing+ Object.


IS+ He/ She/ It and Singular or with one name + verb 1st form + ing +Object.

ARE+ We/ you/ they/ with more than one name or Plural + verb 1st form+ ing+ Object.

AM+ I+ verb 1st form+ ing+ Object


A: He is doing his work.
N: He is not doing his work.
I: Is he doing his work?

A: They are playing monopoly.
N: They are not playing monopoly.
I: Are they playing monopoly?

A: I am going to London.
N: I am not going to London.
I: Am I going to London?


We use present perfect tense to say that something started in the past and finished in the present with a result or when we have a present result of a past action, we use present perfect.
  • Recently completed actions, a piece of news or information:
  1. He has just played handball. (It is over now.)
  2. Police has taken bribe.
  3. Family members have taken offence.
Result of an action in the past is important in the present (It is not important when this action happened. When we use a specific time in the past - e.g. yesterday - then we use the Simple Past.)
  1. I have cleaned my room. (It is clean now.)
  2. Has Lisa ever been to Rome? (Has Lisa been there or not?)
Together with lately, recently, yet
  1. I have been to London recently. (No specific point of time)
  2. He has not typed the letter yet. (He has not done it.)


He/ She/ It and Singular + HAS+ verb 3rd form + Object.

We/ you/ they/ I/ with more than one name or Plural + HAVE+ verb 3rd form +Object.


He/ She/ It and Singular or with one name + HAS NOT+ verb 3rd form +Object.

We/ you/ they/ I/ with more than one name or Plural + HAVE NOT+ verb 3rd form+ Object.


HAS +He/ She/ It and Singular or with one name + verb 3rd form +Object.

A: Julia has reached home
N: Julia has not reached home
I: Has Julia reaches home?

A: I have finished my work.
N: I have not finished my work.
I: Have I finished my work?

HAVE +We/ you/ they/ I/ with more than one name or Plural + verb 3rd form +Object


We can use present perfect progressive to say that something started in the past and is still going on mostly with point of time (Since) or period of time (For).

Since: we use it with point of time.

Example: With time and years e.g. since 4 o’clock/ since Morning/ since breakfast/ since Tuesday/ since April/ since 1950.

For: we use it with period of time.

Example:  For two hours/ for four days/ for eight years/ for one week/ for six months.

Actions beginning in the past and still continuing: (focus is on the action)

I have been waiting for you for three hours. (It was a long time.)

 Recently completed actions (focus is on the action)

She has been watching too many videos. (It was too much time.)


He/ She/ It and Singular + HAS BEEN+ verb 1st form + ing + Object+ SINCE/FOR.

We/ you/ they/ I/ and Plural + HAVE BEEN+ verb 1st form +ing+ Object+ SINCE/FOR.


He/ She/ It and Singular + HAS NOT BEEN+ verb 1st form + ing + Object+ SINCE/FOR.

We/ you/ they/ I/ and Plural + HAVE NOT BEEN+ verb 1st form +ing+ Object+ SINCE/FOR.


HAS +He/ She/ It and Singular + BEEN+ verb 1st form + ing + Object+ SINCE/FOR.

HAVE +We/ you/ they/ I/ and Plural + BEEN+ verb 1st form +ing+ Object+ SINCE/FOR.

A: He has been writing for five days.

N: He has not been writing for five days.
I: Has he been writing for five days?

A: He has been writing since 1997.

N: He has not been writing since 1997.
I: Has he been writing since 1997?

  1. We have been trying to find you for many days.
  2. I haven’t been typing for an hour.
  3. You have been speaking ill of others for the last 15 minutes.
  4. The shopkeeper has been fleecing customer for many years.
  5. It has been drizzling since morning.
  6. It has been pouring down for a week.
  7. She has been writing since 1996.
  8. She has been playing since five o’clock.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Improve English and Language Skills

There are many ways to improve your level of English, but only you can find the right way for you. Set goals, deciding how many hours you want to study, how many words you want to learn or what score you want to get in a test are all good ways of making sure you do extra study.Your path to learning effectively is through knowing yourself and your capacity to learn, all the things you used in your past. You know how much time you can dedicate to learning English, but a short time each day will produce better, longer-term results than a full day on the weekend and then nothing for two weeks. Motivate yourself know your interests and  ask yourself the following questions, and be honest.
How much time can you afford to devote to learning English?
Will you act upon the strategy?

My most important piece of advice is make it your hobby and then you will learn all the skills and it will be fun for you. If you are really motivated to learn English you will not give up and a day will come when you will be able to speak, write, listen and read English with no help. Here are a few tips that may help you improving English and also English language skills:-

Vocabulary Tips:
  • Learn basic words in English that you use every day and learn as many words as you can of one category, e.g.household goods and names of fruite, vegetable, flower, animal, bird.  Learning similar words together can both expand your overall vocabulary and make them easier to learn by forming links between the words in your brain.
  • Learn a new word every day, you can also use electronic dictionary,  Although most electronic dictionaries are not as good as paper ones for the amount of information they give you about each word, some of them have the very useful function of saying the word with the correct pronunciation.I recommend BBC English Dictionary, you can buy it from market or search it on internet.

Reading Tips:
  • Read a translation into English, it is another way of making sure books are easier to understand. choose a book that was originally translated into English, preferably from your own language. 
  • Read a book you have already read.This not only makes it easier to understand and guess vocabulary, but you are also more likely to remember the language in it. If you have not read the book before, reading a plot summary from the internet can also help in the same way.
  • Read English story books, short stories you read or heard in your childhood such as Grandma stories, Cinderella, Pirate's Treasure, The Bear, Buzzy Bee, Tiger Son, The boy who cried Wolf, The Wicked Prince, The red shoes and many more. You can also search them on internet and read online.
  • Read a book with lots of dialog. Opening up books before you buy one and find one with lots of direct dialog in it. It has several advantages, if there is less text on the page due to all the speech marks etc, this can make it easier to read and easier to write translations on. Dialog is also much easier to understand than descriptive parts of a book, and is much more like the language you will want to learn in order to be able to speak English.
  • Read English language comics because it contain lots of dialog, comics can be easy to understand and full of idiomatic language as it is actually spoken. There can be difficulties with slang, difficult to understand jokes and/ or dialog written how people speak rather than with normal spellings, so try to choose which comic carefully. Usually, serious or adventure comics are easier to understand than funny ones.
  • Read an English language magazine or online guide to the movies, plays, exhibitions that are on in the city that week. Reading this in English is not only good value, but it could also guide you to places that English speakers are interested in and where you might hear some English spoken around you.
  • Read English children's books and watch English children's movies, cartoons. the added advantage of there being more illustrations than adult books, which both helps you to understand the story and makes the page brighter and more motivating to read.
  • Read an English language newspaper. Freebie newspapers like "Metro" in London are usually the easiest to understand, followed by mid-brow titles like "The Daily Express" or "The Daily Mail" in English. Popular newspapers like The Sun are more difficult because of the idiomatic, slangy use of language and the number of jokes in the headlines and articles.
  • Learn a famous speech or poem in English by heart. Although you may never hear or get the chance to say exactly that line, having one memorable example of an English grammatical form in your head can make it much easier to learn other examples of the same grammar as you hear them. It is also something you can practice over and over without being as boring as grammatical drills.
  • Learn short English stories, essays by heart, it will also hep you to practice without grammatical drills.
  • Keep something English on you (book, newspaper or magazine, cd or cassette, set of flashcards) all day and every day, you never know when you might have 5 spare minutes.
  • Read and learn everything at the opposite extreme, it can be hard work but very satisfying to get to the end of a book knowing that you have learnt every word in it. 
  • Occasionally talk to,  e-mail or send short messages to your friends in English. Many people find this a bit false or embarrassing, but if you think of it as a study center and set a particular time or place, it is no different from studying maths together.

Writing Tips:

  • Convert your vocabulary list to English only. One way to stop yourself translating and therefore increase your speed of comprehension and production is to learn all your vocabulary without the use of your own first language. Ways you can write a vocabulary list in only English include with synonyms (words with the same meaning, e.g. "tall" and "high"); with opposites ("high" and "low"); with pronunciation factors such as number of syllables (the number of beats, e.g. three for "de- ci- sion") and the word stress (the syllable that is pronounced louder and longer, e.g. the second syllable in "baNAna"); and gapped sentences (e.g. "I am not ______ in science fiction" for the word "interested").
  • One traditional way to make sure you write every day in English is to write an English diary (journal). Popular topics include your language learning experience, your experience studying abroad, your local area, your language, or translations of your local news into English.
  • Write a news diary. Another daily writing task that can work for people who would be bored by writing about their own routines in a diary is to write about the news that you read and listen to everyday. If you include your predictions for how you think the story will develop (e.g. "I think Kate will become beauty queen"), this can give you a good reason to read old entries another time, at which time you can also correct and mistakes you have made and generally improve what you have written.
  • The easiest vocabulary to learn is the vocabulary of things you see and use everyday. If you can write the names of things around you on slips of paper and stick them on the real thing, this is a great way of learning useful vocabulary. If you can leave them there over the following days and weeks, this is a very easy way of revising the vocabulary until it is properly learnt.
  • This is a popular method of making sure you use English everyday for people who don't often speak English and can't think of things to write about. The fact that you are writing about real things that have happened to you means that any words you look up in the dictionary will be vocabulary that is useful for you and easy to learn. 
  • For people who find writing a diary about things that happen to them everyday boring, the best thing is to let your imagination go and write about whatever comes into your head also your dreams. The advantage of this is that if you can't think of how to say something in English, you can just change the story to something that is easier to explain. Perhaps the easiest way to start writing fiction in English is with a diary, changing any details you like to make it more interesting and adding more and more fantasy as the weeks go on.

Listening Tips:
  • Buying music on the internet is becoming more popular in many countries, not so many people know that you can download speech radio such as audio books (an actor reading out a novel) and speech radio. Not only is this better practice for your English than listening to English music, from sources like Scientific American, BBC and Australia's ABC Radio it is also free.
  • Listen to English music. Even listening to music while doing something else can help a little for things like getting used to the natural rhythm and tone of English speech, although the more time and attention you give to a song the more you will learn from listening to it again in the future.
  • Listening to a song in English can be a good way of really learning the words of the chorus in an easily memorable way, if you want to really get something out of listening to English music you will need to take some time to read the lyrics of the song with a dictionary. If the lyrics are not given in the CD booklet, you may be able to find them on the internet, but please note that some lyrics sites deliberately put a few errors into their lyrics for copyright reasons. Once you have read and understood the lyrics,  if you then listen and read at the same time, this can be a good way of understanding how sounds change in fast, natural, informal speech.
  • Have English radio on in the background while you are doing your housework. Even if you are not listening carefully, it will help you get a feel for natural English rhythm and intonation.
  • For people who can't understand a film without subtitles but find themselves not listening at all when reading subtitles in their own language, this should be the way of watching a film that you should aim for. If it is too difficult to watch the whole film this way, try watching the (usually important) first 10 or 15 minutes of the film with subtitles in your own language, switch to English subtitles after that, and only switch back to subtitles in your own language if you get totally lost following the story of the film.
  • Listen to the radio news in English, you can make this easier by reading the news in English first, or even just by reading or listening to the news in your own language.
  • English language exercise videos. This is quite similar to how babies learn, by listening, watching and copying. It is also good for your health. 
  • Record your own voice while speaking something in English. For people who don't have much or any correction of pronunciation from a teacher, recording yourself and listening back makes it easier to hear whether you are really making the English sounds that you are trying to or not.

Speaking Tips:
  • Talk to your friends, family members in English or make a group of people who are interested in improving English then speak your daily routine tasks and other things in English. It will not only improve your speaking ability also you will learn vocabulary or other words from your group, you will learn to deal with several people speaking at once, have a chance to practice skills such as interrupting people, and will hear a range of different viewpoints and topics.
  • The closest thing to speaking for people who don't have the chance to speak English is online chat, as you have to think and respond quickly, and the language is short and informal just like speech.
  • Learn some short stories and speak them in English or speak whatever you want to say about your routine, experience etc. Then record it and listen to it, by doing this you will be able to correct your own mistakes.
  • Speak in front of mirror it will enhance your confidence and you will be able to speak infront of people.

Other Tips:
  • Only search in English, it can give you a wider choice of sites to choose from and give you an idea of what foreigners are writing about your country and area.
  • Play English language learning games, such games can have quite random language and are unlikely to improve your ability to speak English on their own, the next time you hear or read the same language elsewhere it will be really fixed in your brain by the fact you have played a game with it in already.
  • Say or think what you are doing in English as you do your daily tasks. As you are doing your chores, try creating sentences describing what you are doing, e.g. ‘I am unscrewing the ketchup bottle cap' or I am sewing my clothes, I am cleaning my floor etc. This gets you used to thinking in English without translating, and can be a good way of seeing what simple vocabulary that is around you everyday you don't know.
  • Watch and listen cartoons in English such as Barbie tales, Cinderella and others. Also concentrate the way they speak and the use of their vocabulary.
  • Go through your vocab list several times every day, you can also keep your list of words to learn as an entry in your electronic dictionary, as a mobile phone to do list.
  • Use a dictionary while you are watching a movie. Films often have the same words many times, so if you look up important words the first or second time you hear them, you should have learnt them by the end of the film. It is easier to use a dictionary if you watch with English subtitles.
  • Learn some spelling rules. Many people think that English spelling is random, but in fact most words follow some kind of rule, e.g. the "magic E" that changes the pronunciation of "mad" and "made".
  • Speak, Write, Read, Listen, Think and also dream in English.
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