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.
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.
When talking about travel, it’s easy to confuse the phrasal verbs go back and come back. They 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)
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 comingback 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.
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 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 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 saygoodbye now. Please take a moment to tellme what you think of this lesson.
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
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 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
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
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
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)
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 drugs (Please, don’t.)
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
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
TAKE(S) / TOOK / TAKEN
Read these conversation questions using good sentence stress and rhythm. To learn more about sentence stress, click here.
How many pictures do you take every day?
Do you takephotos with a camera or with your phone?
Do you take a shower in the morning or at night?
When are you going to take your next trip?
Would you prefer to take a vacation with your friends or your family? Why?
How many times have you taken an Uber?
Do you feel better after taking a nap, or do you still feel tired?
Do you take vitamins every day?
How long does it take you to get to work? Do you take your car or the train?
If you took a math 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!
Robot:What are you going to do today?
Astronaut: I‘m going to visit the sun.
Robot: But it’s too hot! You’ll burn up!
Astronaut: I’ll be fine. I’m going to go at night.
This silly conversation shows how will and be going to are often used together when speaking about the future. What’s the difference between be going to and will? It all depends on the situation.
In the conversation, the robot asks the astronaut about his plans using be going to. When the robot tells him, “You’ll burn up,” that is a fact, not a plan, so he uses will. Again, when the astronaut replies, “I’ll be fine,” he is making a promise. The astronaut has a plan: “I’m going to go there at night.” It’s not a very smart plan, but it’s a plan, so he uses be going to.
I hope he wears a lot of sunscreen.
Let’s look at some other uses of be going to and will that depend on the situation.
BE GOING TO
PLANS AND ARRANGEMENTS
Use be going to for things that you already have planned.
I‘m going to finish the report this evening.
We‘re going to rent a car for the weekend.
They‘re going to build a new shopping center here.
Ford is going to close several car dealerships next year.
Are you going to be late for the meeting?
It’s also good to begin a speaking presentation with, “Today, I’m going to talk about…” Here are some more tips and tricks to giving a great presentation in English.
PREDICTIONS & THE WEATHER
The weather is a prediction for the future, so both forms can be used. Notice that certain expressions are used when we talk about the weather.
It looks like it’s going to rain today.
I hope the roads won’t be foggy.
Do you think it’ll be sunny at the beach?
For all other predictions, be going to and will can both be used, depending on how sure you are about it. The more certain you are, the more you should use be going to.
The Giants are definitely going to win the game.
My mom isgoing to love the gift I bought her!
Scientists will find a cure for cancer one day.
In the next 500 years, what will happen to the climate on Earth?
INSTANT DECISIONS & CHANGING PLANS
The restaurant is closing soon, so I’ll order take out.
Your phone battery is dead? I’ll send you an email.
There’s a huge traffic jam? I’ll take the metro instead.
PROMISES & THREATS
I won’t tell anyone your secret.
If you come to work late again, you’ll get fired.
I will always be your friend.
Will you marry me?
The phone’s ringing : I’ll get it.
My car’s not working : I’ll give you a ride.
I need a few dollars for the bus : I’ll lend you some.
The employees should bring something to the meeting : I’ll bring the coffee.
If you wash the dishes, I’ll set the table
If you pay half now, I’ll lower the price.
If you buy one, I’ll give you one for free!
Let’s look at some other situations where will and be going to can be used.
At a Restaurant
In the following video, you can see that the customers and server are both using will again and again. That’s because they are making decisions in the moment. When the server says, “I’ll be right back,” she uses will because she is making a promise, not a plan.
A Weather Forecast
Here, you can see how will and be going to are both used to talk about the weather.
Be Going To for Predictions in the Very Near Future
The person is going to slip on a banana!
The children are going to write a letter.
The coffee is going to spill.
Thank you for reading my bog! Now, I’m going to stop writing and watch Grey’s Anatomy, my favorite TV show. (plan) You never know what will happen! (prediction)
English students sometimes feel lost when using the prepositions in, on, and at.
Luckily, there are a few rules you can follow. Prepositions can be learned by topic. Topics can include transportation, location, time and date, and technology. Let’s look at some topics to get you back on the map!
For transportation, remember the following guidelines:
Use IN forprivate transportation.
in a car, in a truck, in a taxi, in an Uber, or in a small boat, canoe, or kayak
Forpublic transportation, useON.
on the bus, on a plane, on a ship or cruise, on a train, on the subway, on the trolley
UseONfor things that one person can sit or stand on to ride.
on a bicycle, on a motorcycle, on a horse, on a surfboard, skateboard, or segway! 🙂
Use AT for places where you wait for transport.
at the bus stop, at the taxi stand, at the airport, at the train station
Think of IN for enclosed spaces and places with borders,like rooms, towns, cities, counties, states, countries, and continents.
in the kitchen, in San Diego, in California, in the U.S., in North America, in Europe
UseIN for geographical locations and bodies of water, if you’re swimming!
in the mountains, in the forest, in the desert, in the water, in the lake, in the ocean
Use ONfor street names, borders, and floors of buildings.
on Broadway, on the Mexican border, on the first floor, on 10th Ave.
Use ON for surfaces.
on the ground, on the floor, on the wall, on the beach (if you’re tanning!)
Use AT for specific locations, places of business, and stores.
at the supermarket, at the beach, at the library
at the zoo, at the restaurant, at the mall, at McDonalds, at the hospital
Times and Dates
UseIN for enclosed time periods.
in December, in the summer, in 1997
Use ON for specific days, dates, and holidays.
on Monday, on weekends, on January 22
on my birthday, on Christmas, on vacation
Use AT for times of the day.
at 6:00pm, at midnight (12:00am), at lunchtime (12pm)
at night (but in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening)
Media and Technology
UseINfor paper media.
in a book, in a newspaper, in a magazine, in a journal
UseONfor electronic media and technology.
on the internet, on tv, on the radio, on the phone
on social media, on facebook, instagram, whatsapp, etc.
UseATor the @ symbol for websites, url’s, emails, and web addresses only.