Learn English Grammar

English grammar is the foundation of the English language. Enjoy as you learn English, perfect your grammar to master the English language, and be able to speak in it flawlessly.

Preposition of time: Until – Uses and Examples

Prepositions of Time are short words like “in”, “an” and “at.” These little words form a bridge between Verbs and Nouns. Here’s an example: 

“I —> work at noon.”

The Preposition of Time “at” connects the Verb to the Noun and makes the sentence meaningful. 

In addition to binding grammatical structures, Prepositions of Time inform the listener as to when and how long an action takes place. 

For instance, “until,” the focus of today’s lesson, describes a definite or indefinite point in time when an action or event ends.  

Here’s an example:

“We can’t enter our house until we get the key.” 

Image representation of the content above

By saying this, the speaker is informing the listener that they are barred from opening the door unless the key is located. And, the period of time that the word “until” describes began when “the key” was lost and will end when it’s found. 


Idioms with picture: a picture paints a thousand words

It’s true, a picture does paint a thousand words. One doesn’t even have to be an Essayist to jot a thousand words upon encountering an old photograph or painting. Each image contains context and sub-context: the immediately visible that which one must dig to notice. 

Here’s an example: Ren went into a junk shop. While browsing the antiques, she stumbled upon an old picture of Tokyo. Ren immediately noticed the difference in clothing, landscape, vehicles…The picture barely resembled the modern neon-filled Tokyo. While looking at the picture Ren said to herself, “This picture paints a thousand words.” And although the photograph was an antique, it was only a few Yen. She fell in love with it, bought it on the spot, took it home, framed it, and now it hangs in Ren’s den.

Image representation of the content above

Examples of a picture paints a thousand words

I took a photo from my balcony to show my friends. A picture paints a thousand words after all. 

I find it easier to follow instructions with pictures rather than just text as a picture paints a thousand words. 

  1. Let’s practice 

Q1: Try making your own sentence.

Q2: Do you feel that old photographs from your childhood paint a thousand words? Why or why not?  

Q3: What picture, according to you, paints a thousand words? Why? 

Eigooo, the English Training Chat Application

To improve your English, the best way is to practice every day.
Eigooo supports you with a 24/7 chat service with real teachers.

  • You can chat with the teacher one-on-one.
  • The teacher will make immediate corrections to your messages.
  • No need to make a reservation. You can start whenever you want.
  • The free trial is ready.

Sign up now and get free messages to try it out.

Idioms with picture: Pretty as a picture

Today, our lesson is about one of my favorite subjects: idioms.

Idioms are seemingly nonsensical groupings of words.  However, they aren’t as they seem. In fact, these phrases are cram-packed with meaning! Their meaning evolved through usage, rather than the entries of lexicographers, Grammarians who decide which words are placed in the dictionary and what they mean.

Idiom of the day: pretty as a picture. 

This saying came about during the Victorian Era, the 1800s. It was even used by Mark Twain. In the book A Connecticut Yankee in King Author’s Court, Twain describes a character as “pretty as a picture.” Despite the noted hubbub, this phrase literally means attractive, in fact, there’s not much else to it. 

You may encounter a native English speaker saying “She’s as pretty as a picture.” The speaker is telling the listener that the person in question is beautiful. 

Image representation of the content above

Question Tags and Auxiliary verbs

Some Question Tags use the Auxiliary Verb, but these little action words are nothing to fear. An Auxiliary Verb simply demonstrates tense. For example, can versus could. At this point, we know when to deploy Auxiliary Verbs. 

Note: These sentences elicit somewhat complex answers, not merely “yes” or “no” like our earlier lesson, Positive/Negative Question Tags. 

Question tags, with or without Auxiliary Verbs are contextually interesting. They transform declarative and imperative statements into interrogative sentences. furthermore, they are often used to communicate irony, insults, and alternate usages of a word. Here’s an example that both use an Auxiliary Verb and express irony. 

Speaker 1: “In the ‘90s, I was big in New Orleans.”

Speaker 2: “You were big, weren’t you? The fattest Blues singer in the city!” 

Image representation for the content above

Question Tags: Positive and Negative

Much of this will be somewhat familiar to speakers of Asiatic languages. For example, Hindi, Japanese, and Arabic use tags at the end of sentences to alter their meaning. 

Simply, in English, Question Tags are tacked onto the end of declarative (stating) or imperative (commanding) sentences to make them interrogative, these small phrases are used to transform a statement into questions. 

Interestingly, Question Tags come across as an afterthought, but these phrases are intentionally placed. And, most often, Positive/Negative Question Tags are deployed by native English speakers when the listener is expected to agree.

For example, you may encounter an English speaker saying “It’s hot today, isn’t it?” It would be atypical to hear this on a day below 26℃ Celsius. The listener would reply with a simple, but heartfelt, “Yes, it is!” 

Image representation as per explanation above

Types of Nouns: Abstract nouns and collective nouns with examples

What is a Noun?

A noun is the name of a person, place, or thing. When we specify who or what we are particularly speaking of for the listener to be able to relate to, that’s called a noun.

How can we identify the type of Noun?

There are 4 main types of nouns to identify:

  • Proper Noun: These are names of anybody or of something you specifically imply to or when you are referring to a particular person or place or thing.
    Examples: Wall Street Journal, Albert Einstein, London, Monday, etc
  • Common Noun: It refers to the name of a class or section of people, animals, or things.
    Examples: Teacher, Nurse, Street, Post office, Table, Bench, etc
  • Abstract Noun: They are nouns used to define anything that cannot be seen, touched, or sensed by any of our senses. An idea, a state of being, a feeling, a quality, or a characteristic quality can be termed as abstract nouns.
    For example, you can be sad, and feel the emotion, but not touch it, smell it, taste, or even see it, but you do know it exists within you.
  • Collective Noun: Nouns that are considered to be a group of nouns or a set of things or people. They are a group of common nouns and can be counted. 
    For example, a banana is a common noun, the collective noun for it
    will be a bunch of bananas/hand of bananas.
Read more about Abstract and Collective Nouns

The Preposition “Under”

How do I use the Preposition under

Under is another commonly used Preposition. 

In general, Prepositions communicate the position of an object relative to another. “Under” describes an object as below another.  

For example, Americans refer to Australia as The Land Down Under because it’s located in the southern hemisphere. Are you in a land down under? 

A fun and useful example might be “everything under the sun.” A native English speaker, especially in a film, may use this phrase to speak of each and every item that possibly exists. 

Here’s another example, you may encounter a native English speaker saying “The keys are under the rug.” By saying this, the speaker is telling the listener that the house keys are located under the doormat. 

Notice the use of a Determiner, “the,” “a” or “an,” with a Preposition. It’s common to use both a Determiner and Preposition in a sentence.


The Preposition “Up”

Not all languages possess words or phrases that Linguistics classifies as Prepositions. In fact, Hungarian, Turkish, Greek,  and Japanese use Post-Prepositions. Post-Prepositions function much like English Prepositions, but are dissimilar in syntactical placement and may be suffixed (a syllable added to the end of a word). 


Determiners and Plural and Uncountable Nouns

It’s a fact, some things are countable, and some are not. Uncountable Nouns are objects or ideas that can’t be divided into parts. 

Today, we are discussing Plural Uncountable Nouns. Those many indivisible objects or ideas that don’t have a singular form. 

Water is an example of a plural Uncountable Noun. Although it takes any form and its volume can be measured, the number of waters in a vase is illogical and unknowable, it’s neither plural nor singular. Other examples are groceries, snow, music, etc

Most often, plural Uncountable Nouns are emotions or abstract concepts like success, joy, or behavior, but there’s plenty of physical objects that fall into this category like coffee.