Tuesday, March 4, 2014

USED TO / WOULD / PAST SIMPLE (past habits)


- We use used to to talk about past habits (repeated events in the past) that we no longer have. 


I used to work part time when I was a student. 
My parents used to take me to the park every weekend when I was a child.   

He didn't use to smoke in the past, but now he smokes a lot. 

- "Used to" is also used with past states, not with past actions.   

  • We used to live in New York when I was a kid.

  • There didn’t use to be a petrol station there. When was it built?
!!!! Don't use "used to" with single events in the past. Use past simple in that case. 

I visited my grandmother last month. NOT I used to visit my grandmother last month


We use "would" to talk about repeated past actions. 

Every weekend, we would go on a picnic in the summer. 
We wouldn't spend our holidays abroad. 

- "Would" is also used with past actions, not with past states.   

I would live in Vienna when I was a child. (used to)

He would come and help me with my homework.  

!!!! Don't use "would" with single events in the past. Use past simple in that case. 

I visited my grandmother last month. NOT I would visit my grandmother last month

* Wouldn't is not generally used. 


We can use past simple for repeated past events similar to "used to" and "would". 


She used to work in a factory. 
She would work in a factory.
She worked in a factory.  

!!! However, when we give a period of time, we use past simple, not "used to /would"!!!

She worked in a factory for 5 years. She used to work in a factory for 5 years


Thursday, November 22, 2012

REPORTED SPEECH (Direct / Indirect Speech)

We can report people's words by using direct speech or indirect speech. 
Direct Speech: Exact words of the speaker. We use quotation marks (' '). 
Reported (Indirect Speech): Exact meaning of what someone said but not the exact words. We do not use quotation marks. 

While reporting someone's sentences we start the sentences generally with some verbs like "say, tell". 

eg: Tom said that it was nice to be at home. 


Say is used with or without personal object. 

Eg: He said (that) he was Ted. 
      He said to me (that) he was Ted.  

Tell is always used with a personal object. 

Eg: He told me (that) he was Ted. 
      NOT      He told (that) he was Ted. 

We report someone's sentences after some time. Because of this, in reported speech we change personal pronouns, possessive adjectives/pronouns,  verb tense, and time expressions according to the meaning of the sentence. 

Eg: Sam said "I am flying to Italy with my family tomorrow."

Sam said that he was flying to Italy with his family the following day. 

When the reported sentence start with past tense verb like "said, told" etc., the verb tenses change as follows: 

Time expressions change as follows: 

Exercises : 








COMMANDS:In commands and instructions, we generally use "order" or "tell" instead of "say". As these are imperative sentences, we  cannot make any change in tense.

The police: " Put the gun down!" 
The police ordered the man to put the gun down. 

The teacher: " Don't speaking during the test!"
The teacher told students not to speak during the test. 

REQUESTSIn requests, we generally use "ask" or "beg" instead of "say".

Jack said to Jane,"Help me please!"
Jack asked Jane to help him

The boy to Mrs Brown: "Please, please don't call the police!"
The boy begged Mrs Brown not to call the police

SUGGESTIONSIn suggestions, we generally use "suggest -Ving" or instead of "say". 

Tom :"Let's go outside."
Tom suggested going out. 

Tom: "We can go out."
Tom suggested going out.

Tom: Shall we go out?"
Tom suggested going out.

Tom: "How about going out?"
Tom suggested going out.  

In questions, we generally use "ask", "inquire", "wonder" or "want to know" instead of "say".

WH QUESTIONS: When questions start with WH words reported speech sentence is introduced with the same word but the question should turn into a normal sentence order. 

Jill: "What do you want to know?"
Jill asked me what I wanted to know.  

Bill: "How did you solve the problem?"
Bill wanted to know how I had solved the problem. 

The boss: "Why do you want this job?"
The boss asked why I wanted this job. 

YES/NO QUESTIONS: Reported yes/no questions start with "IF" or "WHETHER". The question should turn into a normal sentence order. 

Tom: "Have you seen him before?"
Tom asked IF / WHETHER I had seen him before. 

Bob: "Can you speak more slowly? 
Bob asked me IF / WHETHER I could speak more slowly.  

Bryan: "Is your hotel near here?"
Bryan wanted to know IF / WHETHER my hotel was near there


Thursday, January 6, 2011



Another is formed from a combination of the words "an" and "other", and has a meaning similar to "one other".

* When used as an adjective, another can precede only a singular countable noun.
* When used as a pronoun, another takes a singular verb.

e.g. Please bring me another knife.
Another of her uncles lives in Montreal.

In the first example, another modifies the singular noun knife.
In the second example, the pronoun another is the subject of the singular verb lives.

* Another usually cannot be immediately preceded by a determiner.
- The another student is nine years old. (WRONG)


Other can be used with singular countable, plural countable or uncountable nouns.

e.g. The other door is open.
The other streets are paved.
Do you have any other luggage?

In these examples, other modifies the singular countable noun door, the plural countable noun streets, and the uncountable noun luggage.

*When used before a singular countable noun, other usually must be preceded by a determiner.
e.g. Please pass me the other cup.
I do not know any other way to do it.
There must be some other explanation.

In these examples, other is used with the singular countable nouns cup, way and explanation, and is preceded by the determiners the, any and some.

*When other modifies a singular countable noun, the noun is sometimes omitted, particularly in the expression one ... the other.

e.g. I have two pens. One is green and the other is blue.
One of my parents is a teacher; the other is a doctor.


Others is a pronoun. Others can be used to take the place of the word other, followed by a plural countable noun.

e.g. Those trees are hemlocks; the others are pines.
Ten people belong to the group, and five others are planning to join.

In the first example, others takes the place of the words other trees. In the second example, others takes the place of the words other people.

*Others is often used in the expression some ... others.

e.g. Some books are easy to read, but others are quite difficult.
Some people like classical music, while others prefer jazz.













Sunday, October 24, 2010

WH QUESTIONS (present tense)

WH Questions with "TO BE"

WH Questions with Present Simple
These are questions that we ask to find out about the subject. The question word comes before the verb without the use of the auxiliary verb. You just omit the subject and put the question word without making any change in the sentence order.

For example:

"Who works at a university?" (Not who does work at a university? This is wrong!!)


works at a university.

"Who is a teacher at a university?"

Sheis a teacher at a university.

"What is expensive?"

The book is expensive.

"Which book tells an intersting story?"

The expensive book tells an interesting story.


Object questions ask about the object of a sentence. The word order of the question must be changed. Use Who or Whom for people and What for objects.

For example:

* John helps Alice.

Who helps Alice? John helps Alice. (subject question)

Who(m) does John help? John helps Alice. (object question)

* John is with Alice.

Who is with Alice? John is with Alice. (subject question)

Who is John with? John is with Alice. (object question)

* The book gives a good example.

What does the book give? The book gives a good example.

Friday, April 23, 2010


An adjective clause is used to describe a noun. A relative pronoun is usually used to introduce an adjective clause:

Who: used for humans in subject position:
Hans, who is an architect, lives in Berlin.
Whom: used for humans in object position:
Marike, whom Hans knows well, is an interior decorator.
Which: used for things and animals in subject or object position:
Marike has a dog which follows her everywhere.

That: used for humans, animals and things, in subject or object position (but see below): Marike is decorating a house that Hans designed.
Whose: used for humans, animalsi or objects to give information about their possessions.
The girl whose dress is red is my best friend.
Where: used for places
The hotel where we stayed last summer was very beautiful.
When: used for time
My baby was born in the year when I moved to Italy.

give extra information about the noun, but they are not essential, they give extra information:
Ataturk , who was the greatest leader of all times , created a modern country from the ashes of Ottoman Empire.
(We know who Ataturk is, and the clause used here gives extra information about him.)
The desk in the corner , which is covered in books , is mine.
(We don't need this information in order to understand the sentence. "The desk in the corner is mine" is a good sentence on its own -- we still know which desk is referred to.)
Be careful!!! : non-defining clauses are usually separated by commas.
"that" is not usually used in this kind of context.
give essential(necessary) information about the noun:

The package that arrived this morning is on the desk.
(We need this information in order to understand the sentence. Without the relative clause, we don't know which package is being referred to.
Be careful!!! "that" is often used in defining relative clauses, and they are not separated by commas.


I should have gone to the funeral. (You didn't go and now you regret)
Lex might have taken Karen to the airport. (He may be on the way now)
Lex could have taken Karen to the airport. (Most likely he didn't)
His children must have been sick. (That's why they were not in the class yesterday.)


Monday, April 19, 2010


Past Perfect
The past perfect is used to refer to an event or situation which took place before another past event.

Tom had interviewed five times before he got his first job.
She had already eaten by the time they arrived.

Past Perfect Continuous:
The past perfect continuous is used to express how long something had been going on before something important happened in the past.

Jane had been studying for four hours when he came home.
Jack had been driving four over six hours when he finally pulled over to have lunch.

Note: You cannot use non-action verbs in past perfect progressive tense.





Friday, March 12, 2010


1- Use am/is/are supposed to when something is planned, arranged, expected or said in the present or future. It can also be used when something is not allowed.

Eg: "I'm going to buy his book. It's suposed to be very good."
" I'm supposed to give a conference in Berlin tomorrow."
" Are you supposed to finish the project today?" Yes I am.
" He is not supposed to be here now"
"You are not supposed to speak Turkish in an English class.
2- Use was /were supposed to when you are expected to do something in the past but could not do it :

Eg: "The exam was supposed to start at 10.00, but the teacher was late."
"They were supposed to call before they go, but they didn't.


Watch a video on Youtube about be supposed to








1- Use 'prefer' to talk generally about likes, dislikes, what we want.

Eg: "I prefer horror films in general."
“He prefers reading books.”
" They prefer to spend their holiday abroad."

2- The expressions 'would prefer' and 'would rather', to be a little more specific or for on the spot decisions.

Eg: “I would prefer to see him in person.”
"I'd prefer living in a city"

Eg: “I would rather go home now.”

3- While making comparison prefer, would prefer – go with 'to'

Eg: "I prefer ─░zmir to Ankara."
“I prefer living in a city to living in the country.”
“I would (I'd) prefer being alone to being with the wrong person”.

4- While making comparisons, would rather – goes with 'than'

Eg: "I'd rather talk to him in person than call him on the phone.”

5- To ask about general likes and dislikes, use "present simple tense".

Eg: Do you prefer horror films?
Do you prefer traveling alone?
Do you prefer to visit historical places?
6- To ask about specific choices or the things people want at that time use "would"
Eg: "Would you prefer to see a movie or go to a club?"
"Would you rather go shopping with me?"
"“Would you rather stay at a hotel?”


Wednesday, February 24, 2010



1- Infinitives are the "to" form of the verb.
The infinitive form of "learn" is "to learn." You can also use an infinitive as the subject, the complement, or the object of a sentence.

· To learn is important.
· The most important thing is to learn.
· He wants to learn.

2- Infinitives can be made negative by adding "not."

· I decided not to go.
· The most important thing is not to give up.

3- Some verbs are followed by infinitives

4- Some verbs are followed by a noun +infinitive.
In some situations, the noun is required. In other situations, the noun is optional.
· The police ordered the man to stop. (noun is required)
· She asked to leave. (noun is optional)
· She asked him to leave. (noun is optional)

1-A gerund is a noun made from a verb by adding "-ing"

Reading helps you learn English.

Her favorite hobby is reading.

I enjoy reading.
(S) (V) (O)
2-Gerunds can be made negative by adding "not."

The best thing for your health is not smoking.
He prefers not speaking.

3-In the subject position mostly gerunds are used.
Learning is important.
Dancing is enjoyable.

4- Some verbs are followed by gerunds as objects.

They enjoyed working on the boat.

5- There are many "go + gerund" expressions used for adventure sports and individual recreational activities

I go swimming every weekend.

6- Gerunds are used after prepositions.

He is thinking about studying abroad.
Sandy is scared of flying.
They admitted to committing the crime.
Adjective+preposition+ Gerund

Noun +preposition+Gerund

Verb +Preposition + Gerund
We concentrated on doing well.

7- Gerunds can often be modified with possessive forms such as his, her, its, your, their, our, John's

I enjoyed their singing.
She understood his saying no to the offer.
Sam resented Debbie's coming late to the dinner.
We discussed Mary’s behaving so rude.

Some verbs can be followed by a gerund or an infinitive, but with a difference in meaning.