Category Archives: Learning English

Talking In A Shop

Customer: Excuse me, do you sell swimsuits for girls?
Assistant: It’s in Aisle 12.

Customer: Excuse me, I am looking for a shirt?
Assistant: It’s in Aisle 12.

Assistant: Can I help you?
Customer: Yes please, I am looking for washing up liquid.

Assistant: Are you looking for something in particular?
Customer: Yes please, I am looking for a pair of jeans.
Customer: I’m fine thanks, just browsing.
Customer: I’m only looking today.

Complete vs. Completed

Which sentence is correct?

“Task A is complete.” or “Task A is completed.”


The word complete is both an adjective and a transitive verb.
As an adjective, complete means fully constituted of all of its parts or steps, fully carried out, or thorough.
Examples:

  • The road construction is finally complete.
  • Mary is planning a complete renovation of her kitchen.
  • The system will reboot after the installation is complete.

As a transitive verb, complete means to bring to an end or a perfected status.
Examples:

  • By 28 he completed his education and became an official, worked in different provincial courts.
  • She completed her work.
  • They completed the work in 3 days.

Therefore, something is complete, or something has been or was completed.

Therefore, Task A is complete (adjective), or Task A was completed (past tense verb).

Task A “is completed” is wrong, although “is being completed” or “is going to be completed” are proper verb forms.

Talking about your job

What do you do for a living?

I'm a teacher.
I'm a doctor.
I'm a writer.
I work in IT.
I work in television.
I work with cancer patients.
I work in education.
I work as a salesman.
I work in advertising.
I work as a mechanic.
I work with special children.
I am not employed. I stay at home and look after the children.
I'm a stay-at-home mother.
I'm a housewife.
I don't work

Where do you work?

I work in a university.
I work in a college.
I work in an office.
I work in a bank.
I work in a shop.
I work in a factory.
I work in a pub.
I work on a farm.
I work at home.

Who do you work for?

I work for a US company.
I work for a multinational company.
I work for a publishing company.
I'm self-employed.
I work for myself.
I run my own business.

Talking about your apartment

Some useful words:

  • Roof
  • Top floor
  • The upper floors (in relation to your floor or some cutoff line)
  • Your floor
  • The lower floors (in relation to yours)
  • Bottom floor (could be street level, ground level, or ground floor)
  • Basement

Examples:

  • I live on the second floor and he on the third floor. He lives on the floor above mine.
  • I live on the second floor and he on the first. He lives on the floor below mine.

Exemplification:

My building has 18 floors and I live on the ninth floor. Mr Smith lives on the 18th, the top floor. Mr Jones lives in the upper floors on the 15th. Mrs Jackson and her kids live in the lower floors on the third. The bottom floor at street level is where the building manager lives. The basement is where the water boilers and the washing machines are located.

Source: https://www.quora.com

Wait and Await

The verbs wait and await have similar meanings but they are used in different grammatical structures.

The verb await must have an expressed object.

  • I am awaiting your reply.
  • They are awaiting the birth of their first baby.

The object of await is usually a thing. It is not a person.

For example, we can’t say: I am awaiting you.

The verb wait can be used in several different structures.

Wait does not require an object.

  • We have been waiting for hours.

Wait can be followed by an infinitive.

  • I waited in line to board the bus.
  • I am waiting to hear from him.

When we use the verb ‘wait’, we usually also mention the length of the time we have been waiting.

  • I have been waiting since morning.

Before an object, wait takes the preposition for. Note that in this case, the noun/pronoun that follows for is the object of the preposition.

  • I am waiting for you. (NOT I am waiting you.)
  • We are waiting for his call. OR We are awaiting his call.

Await is more formal than wait for. It can be used in formal letters and documents.

Wait is more common and leaves less room for confusion.

Note that await does not take the preposition ‘for’.

  • We are awaiting his call. (NOT We are awaiting for his call.)

Complete the following sentences using wait or await.

1. Let’s ………………. until he arrives. (wait / await)

2. The manager is busy now, so you will have to ……………….. (wait / wait for / await)

3. I have been …………………. a bus for two hours. (waiting for / awaiting / waiting)

4. The bill is ………………….. parliamentary approval. (awaiting / waiting)

Answers

1. wait; 2. wait; 3. waiting for; awaiting

Source: www.englishgrammar.org

In, At, On + Time or Date

In

Use ‘in’ with months, years and periods of time such as decades or centuries:

  • in January
  • in 1978
  • in the twenties

When does the school year begin in your country? – In mine it begins IN September.

Use ‘in’ a period of time in the future to express that an action will occur after that amount of time:

  • in a few weeks
  • in a couple of days

At

Use ‘at’ with an exact time:

  • at six o’clock
  • at 10.30
  • at two p.m.

When do you eat lunch? – I usually eat it AT noon.

On

Use ‘on’ with days of the week:

  • on Monday
  • on Fridays

Use ‘on’ with specific calendar days:

  • on Christmas day
  • on October 22nd

When is your birthday? – Mine is ON October 12.

Important notes

in the morning / afternoon / evening – at night

We say in the morning, afternoon or evening BUT we say ‘at night’.

Should I Use a Singular or Plural Verb with None?

None can take either a singular or plural verb.

When none is followed by a mass noun (a noun that cannot be counted or made plural) it takes a singular verb.

– None of the wine was drunk. (wine = mass noun)

When none means no one or not any, use whichever verb makes more sense.
Consider none as singular when you want to emphasize a single entity in a group, but consider none to be plural when you want to emphasize more than one.

– None of the books is worth reading.
– None of the books are worth reading.

– None of us is going to the banquet.
– None of us are going to the banquet.

– None of the printers is working.
– None of the printers are working.

– None of you is guilty
– None of you are guilty.

If your meaning is ‘none of them’, treat the word as plural; if it is ‘none of it’, treat it as singular.

Wear vs. Put On

To wear: to have something on your body
– She was wearing a diamond necklace with matching earrings.
– Who is that boy wearing a black jacket?

To put on: to move something you ​wear onto ​your ​body
– Take that shirt off and put on a new one. You can’t go out in such an old shirt.
– It’ll be more beautiful if I put on this skirt.

– It’s sunny today so I decided to put on my sunglasses.
– Today, I wear sunglasses because of the sun.

Have Something Done

Take a look at these two sentences. What is the difference in meaning between them?

‘I cut my hair.’
‘I have my hair cut.’

‘I cut my hair’ means that I do it myself.
‘I have my hair cut means someone cuts my hair for me (in this case it’s probably a hairdresser).

We use have something done to mean another person does a service for us.

The grammar for this is pretty simple:

Have + object + past participle

Let’s take a look at a few more examples:

‘We didn’t want to cook so we had a pizza delivered.’
‘I had my car washed at that new place by the station.’
‘I had my watch fixed.’

We can also use ‘get’ instead of ‘had’ and the meaning stays the same. The sentences above now become:

‘We didn’t want to cook so we got a pizza delivered.’
‘I got my car washed at that new place by the station.’
‘I got my watch fixed.’