ESL Study Guide

Monday, February 08, 2010

show up

show up
show up & shows up
showing up
showed up
shown up

1. show up p.v. When you appear somewhere, you show up. Turn up is similar to show up.
/ was supposed to meet my sister for lunch, but she hasn't shown up yet.
Over a hundred people showed up for the news conference.

2. show up p.v. When something appears or becomes visible, it shows up.
It's hard to photograph polar bears because they don't show up well against the snow. The spots won't show up until the last stages of the disease.

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run into

present tense
-ing form
past tense
past participle
run into
run into & runs into
running into
ran into
run into

1. run into p.v. When you are driving and hit another vehicle or something near the road, such as a tree or a telephone pole, you run into it.
Ali was driving too fast, and he ran into a telephone pole. I was run into by a drunk driver.

2. run into p.v. When you meet people unexpectedly or unintentionally, you run into them. Bump into is the same as run into.
We ran into Karen and her new boyfriend at the supermarket yesterday.
I owe Frank $300, so I hope I don't run into him.

3. run into p.v. When you unexpectedly encounter difficulties or problems, you run into them.
/ thought it would be easy to fix my car, but I've been running into problems.
Janice ran into one problem after another at work today.

4. run into p.v. When the total of something grows to a large amount or number, it runs into that amount or number.
If you fixed everything on that old car that needs fixing, it would run into thousands of dollars. The number of starving people in the country ran into millions.

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put on

put on
put on & puts on
putting on

put on

1. put... on p.v. When you place something on or apply something to your body, you put it on.
I put on my new dress before going to the party. Eric forgot to put suntan lotion on, and now he's as red as a lobster.

2. put... on p.v. When you place something on or apply something to another surface, you put it on.
I put the book on the table.
Jerry put too much fertilizer on his lawn, and now he has to cut it twice a week.

3. put... on p.v. When you attach or affix something to another thing, you put it on.
The Wilson’s put a new roof on their house last year.
I told the tailor to put red buttons on the dress he's making for me.

Did you see Mike? He's put on so much weight that I didn't recognize him. I need to go on a diet. I've been putting on a lot of weight lately.

4. put ...on p.v. When you organize or perform something for other people's entertainment, such as a play or a concert, you put it on.
The club put on a show to raise money for the party.
That opera hasn't been put on in more than 200 years.

5. put.. .on p.v. [informal] When you put people on, you kid or tease them.
You won the lottery? You're putting me on!
Don't put me on — tell me the truth.
put-on n. Something done with the intention of fooling or deceiving people is a put-on.
He didn't really win the lottery. It was all a big put-on to impress his girlfriend.
put... on p.v. When you put on weight, you gain weight.

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

common mistakes

Aim at, not on or against.
Don't say: She aimed on (or against) the target
Say: She aimed at the target.

Note Use the preposition at to denote direction: throw at, shout at, fire
at, shoot at. Shoot (without the at) means to kill: He shot a bird ( = he hit
and killed it).

Angry with, not against.
Don't say: The teacher was angry against him.
Say: The teacher was angry with him.

Note 1 We get angry with a person but at a thing. He was angry at the
weather (not: with the weather)

Note 2 Also annoyed with. vexed with. indignant with a person but at
a thing.
Anxious ( = troubled) about, not for.
Don't say.' They're anxious for his health.
Say: They're anxious about his health.

· Anxious meaning wishing very much takes for: Parents are anxious
for their children's success.

Arrive at, not to.
Don't say: We arrived to the village at night.
Say. We arrived at the village at night.

Note Use arrive in with countries and large cities: Mr Smith has arrived in
London (or New York. India, etc.)

9 Ashamed of, not from.
Don't say: He's now ashamed from his conduct.
Say: He's now ashamed of his conduct.

Note It isn't correct to use ashamed of meaning shy . Ashamed means
feeling shame or guilt about something. Shy means feeling nervous with
someone, Instead of saying: I'm ashamed (or shamed) of my teacher, say:
I'am shy of my teacher.

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common mistakes

Absorbed (~ very much interested) in, not at.
Don't say: The man was absorbed at his work.
Say: The man was absorbed in his work.

Accuse of, not for .
Don't say: She accused the man for stealing.
Say: She accused the man of stealing.

Note: Charge takes with: The man was charged with murder.

3 Accustomed to, not with.
Don't say: I'm accustomed with hot weather.

Say: I'm accustomed to hot weather.
Note: Also used to: He is used to the heat

4 Afraid of, not from.
Don't say: Laura is afraid from the dog.
Say: Latira is afraid of the dog.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

ESL Study Guide, Grammar - Possessive Nouns and Plural Nouns

Possessive Nouns

In grammar, possession shows ownership. Follow these rules to create possessive nouns.

1. With singular nouns, add an apostrophe and an s.
dog → dog’s bone
singer → singer’s voice

2. With plural nouns ending in s, add an apostrophe after the s.
dogs → dogs’ bones
singers → singers’ voices

3. With plural nouns not ending in s, add an apostrophe and an s.
men → men’s books
mice → mice’s tails

Plural Nouns

Here are the guidelines for creating plural nouns.

1. Add s to form the plural of most nouns.
cat → cats computer → computers

2. Add es if the noun ends in s, sh, ch, or x.
wish → wishes inch → inches box → boxes

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ESL Study Guide, Grammar - Nouns

A noun is a word that names a person, place, or thing. Nouns come in these varieties: common
nouns, proper nouns, compound nouns, and collective nouns.

1. Common nouns name any one of a class of person, place, or thing.
girl city food

2. Proper nouns name a specific person, place, or thing. Proper nouns are always capitalized.
Barbara New York City Rice-a-Roni

3. Compound nouns are two or more nouns that function as a single unit. A compound noun
can be two individual words, words joined by a hyphen, or two words combined.

Individual words: time capsule
Hyphenated words: great-uncle
Combined words: basketball

4. Collective nouns name groups of people or things.
audience family herd crowd

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ESL Study Guide, Grammar - Interjections

Interjections show strong emotion. Since interjections are not linked grammatically to other
words in the sentence, they are set off from the rest of the sentence with a comma or an exclamation mark. For example:

Oh! What a shock you gave me with that gorilla suit.
Wow! That’s not a gorilla suit!

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ESL Study Guide, Grammar - Conjunctions


Conjunctions connect words or groups of words and show how the words are related. There
are three kinds of conjunctions: coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions, and subordinating conjunctions.

1. Coordinating conjunctions link similar words or word groups. There are seven coordinating
conjunctions: for and nor but or yet so

Quick Tip

Use this mnemonic to help you remember the seven coordinating conjunctions:
FANBOYS (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so).

2. Correlative conjunctions also link similar words or word groups, but they are always used
in pairs. Here are the correlative conjunctions:
both . . .and either . . . or
neither . . . nor not only . . . but also whether . . . or

3. Subordinating conjunctions link an independent clause (complete sentence) to a dependent
clause (fragment). Here are the most often used subordinating conjunctions:
after although as as if
as long as as soon as as though because
before even though if in order that
since so that though till
unless until when whenever
where wherever

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Monday, January 18, 2010

ESL Study Guide, Grammar - adverbs

Adverbs are words that describe verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. Adverbs answer the

When? Where? How? or To what extent?
When? left yesterday begin now
Where? fell below move up
How? happily sang danced badly
To what extent? partly finished eat completely

Most adverbs are formed by adding -ly to an adjective. For example:

Adjective Adverb
Quick — quickly
Careful — carefully
Accurate — accurately

Here are some of the most common non-ly adverbs:

afterward almost already also back even
far fast hard here how late
long low more near never next
now often quick rather slow soon
still then today tomorrow too when
where yesterday

Follow these guidelines when you use adverbs:

Use an adverb to describe a verb.

1.Experiments using dynamite must be done carefully.
verb adv.

2. Use an adverb to describe an adjective.

Sam had an unbelievably huge appetite for chips.
adv. adj.

3. Use an adverb to describe another adverb.
They sang so clearly.
adv. adv.

Quick Tip

Conjunctive adverbs are used to connect other words and to link ideas and

accordingly again also besides
consequently finally for example furthermore
however indeed moreover on the other hand
otherwise nevertheless then therefore

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ESL Study Guide, Grammar - Adjectives


Adjectives are words that describe nouns and pronouns. Adjectives answer the questions:

What kind? How much? Which one? How many?

For example:

What kind? red nose gold ring
How much? more sugar little effort
Which one? second chance those chocolates
How many? several chances six books

There are five kinds of adjectives: common adjectives, proper adjectives, compound adjectives,articles, and indefinite adjectives.

1. Common adjectives describe nouns or pronouns.
strong man
green plant
beautiful view

2. Proper adjectives are formed from proper nouns.
California vegetables (from the noun “California”)
Mexican food (from the noun “Mexico”)

3. Compound adjectives are made up of more than one word.

far-off country
teenage person

4. Articles are a special type of adjective. There are three articles: a, an, the.
The is called a “definite article” because it refers to a specific thing.

A and an are called “indefinite articles” because they refer to general things. Use a with consonant sounds; use an before vowel sounds.

5. Indefinite adjectives don’t specify the specific amount of something.

all another any both
each either few many
more most neither other
several some

Follow these guidelines when you use adjectives:

1. Use an adjective to describe a noun or a pronoun.

Jesse was unwilling to leave the circus.
noun adj. adj. noun

2. Use vivid adjectives to make your writing more specific and descriptive.
Take a larger slice of the luscious cake.
adj. noun adj. noun

3. Use an adjective after a linking verb. A linking verb connects a subject with a descriptive word. The most common linking verbs are be (is, am, are, was, were, and so on), seem,appear, look, feel, smell, sound, taste, become, grow, remain, stay, and turn.

Chicken made this way tastes more delicious (not deliciously).

Quick Tip

Predicate adjectives are adjectives separated from the noun or pronoun by a linking
verb. Predicate adjectives describe the subject of the sentence.

The weather was cold all week.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

pronoun practice

consider the answers to the following questions:

‘Did you see Jonathon last night?' 'No, I phoned ______ but he wasn't there.'

I can't do this homework. Can you help ______?

I asked a question but you didn't answer ______ .

We're not ready. Please give ______ some more time.

She speaks very quickly. I can't understand ______ .

I'm sorry about your birthday. I'm afraid I forgot about ______.

Jill's a very nice woman. Do you know ______?

My parents are coming this weekend. Would you like to meet ______?

They're not married now. She left ______ a year ago.

'Where's your passport?' 'I don't know I can't find ______.'

My mother writes to me every week but I don't write to ______ very often.

Were you at the meeting last night? I didn't see ______ there.

We want to help you. Please ______ tell about your problems.

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living in china

Living in China is something a lot of foreigners are often worried about. Will I have trouble with this or that? Will I have trouble adjusting to the culture? Living in China I have found it is not just a matter of culture. In the first year alone, I would say the number of people is the biggest thing to get use to.

This has a lot of interesting effects. In Canada, getting something delivered can be incredibly expensive. A simple courier costing fifty dollars or more. The first time I move, I can remember renting a truck that cost $100 a day. God knows what it would have cost to hire an entire moving crew. Most Western students could rarely afford such a thing. China is an entirely different matter. Walking done the street in XuJiaHui, one of the busiest districts in Shanghai, you can see many things. When one man on a bicycle went buy carrying a stack of furniture higher than me (I'm 6'1”) I had to stop and take a picture.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Apostrophe Practice

Rewrite the following sentences with apostrophes.

1.) Have you met Susans friend?

2.) About sixty people use the teachers room.

3.) Someone had taken Barbaras purse.

4.) Something was hurting the animals foot.

5.) I'm going to write to the childrens parents.

6.) Jane works in my mothers office.

7.) The dog doesn't like its food.

8.) Mary and Pat stayed at their friends house.

9.) Are you going to the secretaries meeting?

10.) I put the money in the waiters hand.

Remember, the apostrophe has three uses.

1) to form possessives of nouns
2) to form contractions
3) to indicate certain plurals of lowercase letters.

I will post the answers later.

Good luck with your studies,
ESL Study Guide

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Article Practice

Complete the sentences with a or an, the or no article.

1 'How much are ......... beans?' 'They're 80 cents ......... pound.'
2 I went to ......... wonderful concert by ......... London Symphony Orchestra.
3 ......... local school is going to be closed soon.
4 I usually go to work by ......... train.
5 Is ......... meat in ......... oven?
6 Is this ......... first time you've been to ......... Isle of Man?
7 He's ......... art teacher and she's ......... electrician.
8 A lot of people give ......... money to charity at this time of year.
9 What ......... beautiful face that child's got!
10 ......... British usually have butter on their bread.
11 Life is very difficult for ......... unemployed these days.
12 ......... leader of ......... opposition is in danger of losing her seat at ......... next election.
13 I like to have ......... cup of tea when I wake up in ......... morning.
14 I saw ......... fox this morning. I think it must have been ......... same one that I saw last week.
15 Can I have ......... apple?
16 Have you ever seen ......... Acropolis in Athens?
17 ......... police have had a lot of support from ......... general public over this issue.
18 ......... shirts on ......... washing-line should be nearly dry now.
19 ......... people don't like him because of his selfish attitude.
20 I bought my sister ......... book and bottle of perfume for her birthday but I don't think she liked ......... perfume.

Try to complete all of the following questions. I will be posting the answers later.


1.) the, a
2.) a, the
3.) a
5.) the, the
6.) the, the
7.) an, an
9.) a
10.) the
11.) the
12.) the, the, the
13.) a, the
14.) a, the
15.) an
16.) the
17.) the, the
18.) the, the
20.) a, the

Good luck with your studies,
ESL Study Guide

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