Expressions with the Verb TO HAVE

I hope everyone is having a very Happy New Year so far! I think 2019 is going to be a great year! This year, I’m looking forward to eating healthier, learning new recipes, getting more exercise, and writing many more lessons for all the English learners out there. How about you? Do you have any plans or goals for 2019?

Let’s start the year with a great verb: TO HAVE. 

The verb to have is everywhere in English. It’s used to form the present perfect (Have you ever celebrated New Year’s Eve in another country?) and it’s also used in many common conversational expressions. (Would you like to have dinner at our house?)

We can start with looking at some basic greetings/conversational vocabulary.

  • Have a great day!
  • Have a nice weekend!
  • I had a great time at the holiday party.
  • Did you have a nice trip/visit/vacation/holiday?

Have is used in hundreds of everyday English expressions. Here are some of the different ways you can use have instead of other verbs.

Have = To Own

Perhaps the most obvious meaning is to own something, meaning it’s yours.

  • I have a house.
  • She has a nice car.
  • They have a good job.
  • We have a large family.

Besides ownership, there are more meanings for the verb to have.

Have = To Be Sick, for Diseases and Illnesses

  • I’ve had this cold for a week.
  • I have a headache.
  • She had a stomachache after eating too much candy.
  • Does anyone in your family have diabetes?
  • Do you have any allergies?

Have a Dream, a Nightmare

  • have a dream to own my own business.
  • had a nightmare about my job last night.

Have Sex

  • Some people wait until after marriage to have sex.
  • The boss should never have sex with employees.

Have = To Eat and Drink, For Meals

  • had breakfast, but I didn’t have lunch. I’m starving!
  • I’ll have a hamburger and french fries, please.
  • had three beers after work.
  • I’m having dinner at my friend’s house tomorrow night.

Have a Fight, Have Problems

  • We had a huge fight yesterday and we are still not speaking.
  • Call me if you have any problems or questions.

Have an Idea

  • I have a great idea: let’s take a vacation!
  • He has no idea where he parked the car.
  • Steve Jobs had a lot of great ideas for technology.

Have a Party

  • We always have a party at our house for New Year’s Eve.
  • If you have a birthday party, where do you want to have it?

Have a Baby, Children

  • My sister had a baby last month.
  • Most women prefer to have their babies at a hospital.

Have Plans

  • Do you have plans for the New Year?
  • I like to have an itinerary before I travel.
  • I have an appointment with my agent this weekend.
  • We have too many meetings at work, don’t you think?
  • I have no doubt you will understand this lesson.

I hope you had fun and learned some new ways of speaking from this lesson. Do you have any more examples or questions?  Leave me a comment on the post. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Have a great day!

Still Or Until: What’s the Dif?

These two very common words are easy to confuse. They both relate to a measure of time. However, they have completely different meanings, and it’s important to know which one to choose. 

STILL

Use STILL to indicate that an action is not finished. There is usually an emotional reaction to a situation. 

  • I’ve been waiting for an hour, and the bus still hasn’t arrived.
  • Do you still have the jacket you borrowed from me last year?
  • She still hasn’t found a job even though she’s been looking for weeks.
  • Are you still watching the TV show, or can I change the channel?
  • I am still at the DMV because the lines are extremely long.
  • I don’t like what you did, but I still love you.

Look at the difference here:

  • The bus hasn’t arrived yet
  • The bus still hasn’t arrived.
Where is the bus!?

Both sentences mean the same thing. Yet states a fact: no bus. Still is used to add emotions to the fact. You’re annoyed or angry or nervous that the bus didn’t arrive when you expected it to.

UNTIL

Until is used to show change. We use until to indicate the time when a change occurred.

  • I didn’t have a car until last week. (Now I have a car. I got it last week.)
  • I will wait here until 3:00, and then I will go home. (At 3:00, I will stop waiting.)
  • I didn’t speak English until I moved to the U.S. (Now, I speak English.)
  • Please wait until Monday to call the library. (Don’t call before Monday.)
  • I didn’t know you were angry until you told me. (Now I know that you’re angry.)

As you can see, until shows that a change has occurred. it shows a moment in time that is different than the past. Note the differences between still and until in the following sentences:

  • I still don’t have a computer. (No computer in the past or present.)
  • I didn’t have a computer until yesterday. (I have a computer now.)

Practice:

Q: Are there things that you still have to do before you go to bed tonight?

A: Yes, I still have to…..

Q: What are some things we can’t do until we are adults?

A: We can’t…..until we become adults.

Choose still or until in your answer:

Q: How late are you working?

A: I’m working still/until 5 p.m.

Q: Are you finished working?

A: No, I’m still/until working.

That’s all there is to it! Now you know the difference between still and until. 

Until next time, have a wonderful holiday and happy New Year!

Steal vs. Rob: Crime Vocabulary

Have you ever been robbed? It’s a terrible feeling! What did they steal?

STEAL and ROB are two words related to crime, but it’s good to know which one to use.

STEAL

A thief steals things. It is an irregular verb. (STEAL<< STOLE>>STOLEN)

A thief might steal your cell phone, your wallet, or even your car.

We typically use the passive tense to describe the crime.

  • Active: A thief stole my purse.
  • Passive: My purse was stolen. (by a thief)

ROB

When a thief enters your home or business and takes something from you, we can say that you have been robbed.

Robbed is for places or people, and it is a regular verb. (ROB<<ROBBED>>ROBBED)

We typically use the passive tense to talk about being robbed.

  • Active:        Three thieves robbed the bank.
  • Passive:      The bank was robbed. (by three thieves)

THIEF, THIEVES (pl.)

A thief is a general term to call someone who takes things that aren’t theirs. For more specific crimes, use the following names:

  • A robber robs banks
  • A burglar enters and robs homes and jewelry stores
  • A kidnapper steals children
  • A pickpocket steals from people in busy, public places
  • A pirate steals technology like software, movies or music files
  • A hacker steals digital information, like emails or passwords
  • A hijacker steals control of airplanes or other forms of transportation
  • A shoplifter steals things from stores like clothing, cosmetics, or food

Crime is never a fun experience, but it is interesting to think about and talk about. What makes people want to steal? Have you ever stolen anything that didn’t belong to you?  Maybe a pen, or a hotel towel? Come on, be honest! Read more in this funny post about the 7 little things that people often steal. How about you?

 

8 Words Commonly Mispronounced by English Learners

English is not an easy language to speak. Because English borrows words from many different languages, the rules for how a word is pronounced can change, depending on the origin of the word, the meaning of the word, or even the region where the word is spoken.

English pronunciation is difficult for different speakers as well, depending on a person’s native language. Here are some common English words that are typically difficult for Portuguese speakers to pronounce.

Pronunciation

Let’s start with a quiz. Choose the correct answers. Only two of them are correct.

a) My pronounce is not very good.

b) My pronunciation is not very good.

c) How do I pronunciation this word?

d) How do I pronounce this word?

It’s common to confuse the noun and verb forms of this word.

Continue reading “8 Words Commonly Mispronounced by English Learners”

Go Back or Come Back: What’s the Difference?

When talking about travel, it’s easy to confuse the phrasal verbs go back and come backThey both mean to return. So what’s the difference?

It’s actually very simple. It all depends on where you are at the time of speaking. For example, if you are from Italy, but you are in California right now, you would say:

  • I’m going back to Italy in two weeks. (You are in California now, but you are returning to your home country.)
  • I’m coming back to California next year. (You are in California, and you are returning to California next year)

What's the difference between go back and come back?
It depends on the location of the speaker.

Let’s look at a conversation to see some examples.

A: Honey, I’m home! I went shopping, but I forgot to get the eggs.

B: Oh no! I need the eggs to make your birthday cake.

A: OK, I’ll go back to the store and get them.

B: Great. Do you know when you’re coming back home?

A: I’ll be back in 20 minutes.

B: That’s great. Don’t come back without the eggs!

The speakers use come back and go back (and even be back) depending on where they are at the time of speaking. They are both at home, so they use go back to talk about returning to the store, and come back to talk about returning home.

  • I was born in New York, but I haven’t gone back there in many years. (not there)
  • I loved visiting Italy the first time, so I went back there again last year. (not there)
  • I was still tired, so I went back to bed.
  • Our dog ran away a few days ago, but he came back last night.
  • When are you coming back from your trip? We miss you here!

If you have any questions about these phrasal verbs in use, you can always come back to this page to ask questions and practice.

Cheers!

 

 

Expressions with the Verb TO GO

Use GO with another -ING verb when you talk about activities and sports.

  • Do you want to go surfing in California?
  • There are some beautiful places to go sightseeing here, too!
  • Have you ever gone wine tasting in Italy?

Team sports (soccer, basketball) typically use the verb to play. Sports that are done individually usually use to go. For more information about the verbs go, play, and do, click here.

WATER SPORTS

  • go swimming
  • go surfing
  • go scuba diving
  • go snorkeling
  • go sailing
  • go wind surfing
  • go boogie boarding

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

  • go hiking
  • go biking
  • go mountain climbing
  • go ice skating
  • go skiing
  • go camping
  • go exploring

TRAVEL AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES

  • go shopping
  • go sightseeing
  • go wine-tasting
  • go dancing
  • go clubbing (go to nightclubs for dancing and music)
Expressions and activities with the verb TO GO
Activities used with the verb TO GO usually follow with an -ING verb.

GO EXPRESSIONS WITHOUT -ING VERBS

Go is also used in expressions that don’t use an -ing verb.

  • go broke (lose all your money)
  • go out of business (close a business forever)
    • Many businesses go broke after the first year and go out of business.
  • go bald (lose your hair)
  • go blind (lose your vision)
    • He went bald when he was 45, but he didn’t go blind until much later.
  • go away for the weekend
  • go out of town for business or travel
  • go abroad (overseas for travel, work, or study)
  • go home
    • After going abroad, going away for a few weeks, or even going out of town for the weekend, it’s always wonderful to go back home.

Do you know the difference between go back and come back? Click here.

Remember, the verb to go can change in tense. Let’s look at what happens when we use one expressions in different tenses.

  • I go swimming every day.
  • I went swimming yesterday.
  • I haven’t gone swimming in a long time.
  • I‘m going swimming after work today.
  • I won’t go swimming in cold water!

Do you know any more expressions with the verb to go? Add your comments below!

Ready, set, GO!

Expressions with the Verb TO DO

the verb to do is used to ask about activities in general

The verb TO DO is very useful when talking about general actions.

We use it to ask about activities, as in:

What do you want to do tonight?

(However, a different verb is used to answer the question.)

  • I want to watch the sunset. I want to spend time with my friends. I want to walk on the beach.

Do is also used in many questions. You can read about questions here.

However, some English expressions use the verb to do for specific activities. It helps to learn them by category.

Housework, Chores, and Cleaning

Use do with common housework responsibilities.

do laundry, do shopping, do housework, do the dishes, do the ironing
  • do the laundry (wash and dry)
  • do the dishes (wash and dry)
  • do the ironing
  • do the floors (sweep and mop)

Work

After you do all your housework, you can start to do your homework. Oh man!

  • do homework
    close up of woman working
  • do school work
  • do a report on something
  • do research
  • a good job (nice work!)
  • a bad job (uh-oh!)

Speaking of work, don’t forget we use do to talk about our jobs.

What do you do?  (What’s your job?) I’m a teacher. How about you, what do you do?

Exercises and Workouts

After work, you might want to workout at the gym.

We use DO with all kinds of exercises, martial arts, and workouts. Other sports use GO or PLAY. You can read more about other sports here.

  • do yoga
    woman with red top and black shorts on purple yoga mat
  • do karate
  • do jiu-jitsu
  • do pilates
  • do zumba
  • do burpees, plank, jumping jacks
  • do a flip, a handstand, do a dance
  • do push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups (C’mon, 10 more times!)

Beauty Treatments

Are you tired from all that exercise? Use do when you talk about personal care for your body, skin, hair, and nails. Let’s go to the spa!

  • do your hair (cut, color, and style)
    woman s pink pedicure
  • do your nails (paint, pedicure or manicure)
  • do your makeup (put makeup on your face)
    • Don’t you love getting your hair and nails done?
    • I love doing my makeup when I go to a party.

Relationships

Finally, we often use do when working with other people in social and business settings.

  • do someone a favor
  • do business with someone or with a company
    • Could you do me a favor and drive me to the bank?
    • We don’t want to do business with companies that aren’t environmentally friendly.
group hand fist bump

Think you’ve got it? Let’s do it!!!

Expressions with the Verb TO MAKE

The verb TO MAKE has several different uses. The literal meaning is to create something. Here are some expressions, or collocations that use make, organized by category.

Make = To Cook or Prepare

  • make breakfast, lunch or dinner
  • make a sandwich, pasta, or other meal

If you don’t feel like cooking, you can make a reservation at a restaurant!

Make = Schedule Events

  • make an appointment
  • make plans with someone
  • make arrangements

Make = Mental Activity

  • make a decision
    • I need to make a decision on which college I will be attending in the fall.
  • make a choice
    • It’s difficult to make a choice when there are so many options!
  • make a mistake, an error
    • I think I made several mistakes on the exam, but I’m sure I will still pass.
  • make a calculation
    • It’s important to make several calculations to see if you can afford to buy a new home.

If you can’t decide, we use the expression,

I can’t make up my mind on what to order for lunch! (can’t decide)

Make = Business Talk

  • make money
    • Our company made a lot of money last year. 
    • How much money do you make at your job?
  • make time for
    • These days, it’s difficult to make time for your family.
  • make progress
    • I’ve made a lot of progress at the gym. I can run faster than before!
  • make a request
    • The passenger made a request for a quite seat near the window.
  • make a phone call
    • Could you please be quiet? I need to make a phone call to my boss.
  • make a deal
    • Let’s make a deal: I’ll cook dinner if you wash the dishes, OK?
  • make a promise
    • If you make a promise, you should always try to keep it.

Because make is used in so many different situations, it’s a good idea to memorize these expressions and make and effort to practice using them!

Remember, the past form and participle form of make is made.

Say vs. Tell: What’s the Difference?

 

SAY and TELL are similar – they are used to communicate information. So what’s the difference? The major difference is TELL can include the listener. SAY typically does not include the listener, only what is being said.

(Incorrect)   She said me to call her.

(Correct)      She told me to call her.

TELL

TELL is used with direct object pronouns (me, you, it, her, him, us, them) or other nouns (the children, my dad, the staff). So if you need to include the speaker and the listener, use TELL + direct object noun or pronoun.

  • The boss told his employees not to be late for the meeting.
  • His doctor told him to get more exercise.
  • I told her I lost her camera on my trip.

SAY

SAY does not often include the person you are speaking to. It refers to what was said, not who said it.

  • She said something on the phone, but I couldn’t understand her.
  • I said hello to our new neighbors.
  • When someone takes a picture, it is common to say “Cheese!”
  • If I ask you to come visit, please say yes!

For more on reported speech, check out this post.

It’s time to say goodbye now. Please take a moment to tell me what you think of this lesson.

Cheers!

what's the difference between say and tell?

Visual Vocabulary – Common English Expressions with TAKE

Take a few minutes to think about the verb TO TAKE.

To Take literally means “to bring something with you.” Take an umbrella, or take a book to read, for example. However, many other activities use this verb, even though you are not really “taking” anything.

Here are some of the more commons expressions that are formed with take.

Take a Photo

pexels-photo-786801.jpeg
Say “Cheese!

Nowadays, everyone has a camera, and people are taking more photos than ever. Use TAKE for phones, cameras, and recordings.

  • take a photo, take a picture
  • take a screenshot
  • take a selfie (but not too many)

 

Take a Shower

Use TAKE for showers and baths.
I’m going to take a shower, but stay in the bathroom.

Use TAKE for a shower or a bath, everyday.

  • After working all day, it’s good to take a nice, hot shower to relax.
  • Do most kids love taking baths?

Take a Trip

TAKE is used for trips, vacations, and tours.
Would you like to take a trip to this beach?

Use TAKE for many kinds of travel and getaways.

  • take a vacation
  • take a trip
  • take a cruise
  • take a tour of the city

 

Take a Taxi

TAKE is used for modes of transportation.
It would be fun to take a road trip in this mini bus.

For modes of transportation, use TAKE to show how you get somewhere.

  • Take a taxi, take an Uber
  • Take the train, the subway, the trolley, the bus, a flight
  • Take a walk, a hike, a swim
  • Take the elevator, take the stairs

 

Take a Nap

Cat takes a nap in a bowl.
Cats take naps wherever they want!

If you get tired from all that moving around, use TAKE for naps and rest, but not sleep.

  • Take a nap
  • Take a rest
  • Take a break
  • Take five (Take five minutes to rest)

 

Take Medicine

TAKE is used for medicine, vitamins, and drugs.
Take two tablets and call me in the morning.

Unfortunately, we can’t always be healthy. When we get sick, TAKING medicine can make us feel better.

  • Take two aspirin
  • Take pills, tablets, painkillers
  • Take antibiotics
  • Take vitamins
  • Take drugs (Please, don’t.)

Take Time

Use TAKE with time expressions to talk about the duration of an activity.
It always takes longer to cook when you’re hungry.

Use TAKE with these time expressions to show how much time you need to do something, or to give yourself more time.

  • Learning a language takes a long time.
  • It takes three hours to drive to L.A.
  • We should all take the time to enjoy life.
  • Take your time on the test so you don’t make any mistakes.

Take a Test

Take time to study before you take a test!
Take your time when you take a test.

Speaking of tests, use TAKE for all kinds of evaluations and classes.

  • Take a test
  • Take a quiz
  • Take an exam
  • Take a survey
  • Take an English class, take lessons

A visual chart to show expressions that use the verb take in english

TAKE(S) / TOOK / TAKEN

Speaking practice

Read these conversation questions using good sentence stress and rhythm. To learn more about sentence stress, click here.

  1. How many pictures do you take every day?
  2. Do you take photos with a camera or with your phone?
  3. Do you takeshower in the morning or at night?
  4. When are you going to take your next trip?
  5. Would you prefer to takevacation with your friends or your familyWhy?
  6. How many times have you taken an Uber?
  7. Do you feel better after taking nap, or do you still feel tired?
  8. Do you take vitamins every day?
  9. How long does it take you to get to work? Do you take your car or the train?
  10. If you tookmath test, do you think you would pass?

If you can remember and use a few of these expressions with TAKE, you’re well on your way to becoming more fluent.

I hope this blog was useful to you all. Take care!

 

 

 

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