American or British

Variations in spelling exist in English words. In Great Britain and Canada, some words have spellings that differ from American spellings. Readers of books by British and Canadian publishers will note these differences. Some confusion may arise depending on the writer’s experience with these variant spellings. Many nouns that in American English end in –or, […]

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Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” ( /ˌsuːpərˌkælɨˌfrædʒɨˌlɪstɪkˌɛkspiːˌælɨˈdoʊʃəs/) is a song from the 1964 Disney musical film Mary Poppins. The song was written by the Sherman Brothers, and sung by Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. It also appears in the stage show version. Since Mary Poppins was a period piece set in 1910, period-sounding songs were wanted. “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” sounds […]

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Your vs You’re

Confusing Your and You’re is one of the classic grammar mistakes in English and even native speakers will make this error. This article explains the difference between them and when to use each one so you don’t get tagged by the pedants of grammar out there! Difference Firstly a few words on the difference between […]

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Who or Which or That?

People often confuse Who or Which or That and when they start to talk about when to use them, grammarians and supposedly learned people often talk rubbish. Take these sentences for example: The guy who stole your wallet was an actor. The guy that stole your wallet was an actor. The wallet that you lost […]

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Used + Infinitive

The phrase used + infinitive is often confusing for learners of English. This article explains what it is and how we use it. Here are typical uses of the phrase: I used to live in Toronto. I have an idea he used to go out with Nicole Kidman. You can see that the phrase used […]

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Titles in English

When we address people, we use certain conventions of style called Titles. These come before a person’s name when we are talking about them (or to them). They are usually used in formal situations or when we are being polite. General Titles These are general titles for men and women which we might use when […]

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Till vs Until vs ‘Til

Till and Until are synonyms‏‎. They are both prepositions of time‏‎ and refer to a period of time leading up to a specific time. I worked for the bank from 1989 until 1994. We were happily married till I discovered she was having an affair. In both these examples we are talking about a period […]

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They’re vs Their vs There

These three are often confused by learners of English: they’re their there These words are homophones‏‎ (that is, they sound the same) but with very different meanings. This article looks at the differences between these three and then how to teach them to your class. Differences they’re they’re = they are They’re here now. What […]

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Since… Ago…

Since and Ago are often confused and used wrongly by learners of English in the TEFL class. But there are some simple rules which show how they should be used. Since The usage is quite simple: since is followed by a specific time. since + specific time I’ve been waiting here since 3 o’clock. I’ve […]

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Should Of

The following are errors in English: * I should of known better. * They could of beaten us. * He must of left by now. * an asterisk in front of a sentence denotes an ungrammatical sentence. In good, grammatical English we say instead: I should have known better. They could have beaten us. He […]

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