Basics of Past Simple Tense for Beginners

Basics and Rules of Using Past Simple Tense:

Past Simple Tense is used to describe an event that began and ended in the past, like winking, the act of blinking your eyelids to convey an emotion. To put “wink” in Past Simple Tense, we simply change it to “winked.”

This is true for all Regular Verbs. Regular Verbs in the past tense get d/ed at the end. For example, “hug” turns to “hugged.” But, Nouns don’t change with tense. 

In fact, to detect a Past Simple Tense sentence, merely look for the Main Verb. Most often, for those sentences that Regular Verbs are used, d/ed is found hidden among other grammatical features. 

Qi Winked at Me

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Know about Idiom: Life of the Party with examples

Many languages have idioms. Chinese and English are well known for these colorful phrases. Today, our idiom is “life of the party.” 

“Life of the party” describes an animated, amusing person who is the center of attention at a social gathering.

This idiom dates back to the first half of the nineteenth century. It began as “the life and soul of the party”, but in time the second half was dropped. Today, English speakers just say “the life of the party” and most aren’t even aware that the word “soul” was dropped from the expression. 

As for the noteworthy usage of the saying, the author Joshua Ferris used it in his short story, “The Pilot.” In this comedy, the main character was a recovering alcoholic. He was said to be the “life of the party.” 

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Know the Idiom: Throw a Party with examples

Let’s Throw a Party

Typically, the word “throw” means to propel (something) with force through the air by a movement of the arm and hand, according to the Oxford Dictionary. However, throwing a party has nothing to do with tossing objects (unless you attend a Greek wedding where dishes are thrown, but this is a story for another time). Throwing a party means hosting an event. 

All in all, the idiom “throw a party” is easy to use, you may simply say: 

“Let’s throw a party.”

By saying this, you are communicating the idea that you’d like to host an event. Moreover, you can say:

“They want to throw a party.”

By doing so, you are changing the subject to a third person. 

You could even be more specific and say: 

“Amy wants to throw a party.” 

Getting more specific, you could say: 

“Amy wants to throw a party for Qi.” 

Specific language helps the listener to understand the message. If you think about it, when you speak, you are like a radio transmitter and along the way to the receiver, the message may become distorted. To be better understood, it’s advisable to be specific in your language. For example: 

“Amy wants to throw a winter solstice party for her small group of friends”

communicates a complete idea so has less chances of becoming distorted. 

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How to use Separable Phrasal Verbs – “Basics”

In general, Phrasal Verbs are a Verb + Preposition combination, like “cheer up.” But, there’s another kind of Phrasal Verb too, the Separable Phrasal Verb. 

Scat Singing Cheers me up

What is Scat Singing, you may ask? In Jazz, an American style of music, Scat Singing is the use of nonsense words like “zippity zippity zippity zam za zim” to make improvised melodies. 

How do nonsense words relate to learning English? In our case, these sounds cheer the Speaker up, which brings us to Phrasal Verbs – “cheer up” is a Phrasal Verb. 

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How to use Adverb of Certainty “Probably”

Meaning and Use of the Adverb of Certainty “Probably”

Unsurprisingly, Adverbs of Certainty are used to state how sure we feel about an action or event.

“Probably” is a commonly used Adverb of Certainty. It tells the listener that the speaker is 70-80% sure an event will take place.

For example, A Science fiction Writer once said:

“Mankind will probably live on the Moon someday.”

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How to use Separable Phrasal Verbs – “Advanced” with examples

Meaning of Separable Phrasal verbs and how to use it

Phrasal verbs could be separable or inseparable. Phrasal verbs are operable when the verb and the proposition are separated by an object between them. They are: Verb + Object + Preposition

They are based on simple Phrasal Verbs:

Verb + Preposition

An example of a Separable Phrasal Verb is “turn down,” the topic of today’s lesson.

Separable Phrasal Verbs

Turn the volume down

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Know Subordinate Conjunction Since with an example

“Since” is a conjunction that means: from a time in the past until the time under consideration, typically the present

According to the Oxford dictionary,

when “since” is used as a conjunction, it joins the main clause (independent)  with a subordinate (dependent) clause. For example:

“Beth has been given awards twice since she joined the team.” 

In the above sentence, “Beth has been given awards twice” is the independent clause. It can exist on its own. And, “since she joined the team” is the dependent clause. 

Another example might be: 

“I’ll go and see a film since there’s nothing else to do.” 

For me, and perhaps you too, going to the movies is reserved for rainy days. 

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Learn Subordinate Conjunctions with meaning and examples

All things considered, Subordinate Conjunctions link two unequal but grammatically correct elements. This happens when a main (Independent Clause) is combined with a subordinate (Dependent Clause). This combination creates a complex sentence. 

For example, Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel, the singer of the band Seal, wrote:

“We’re never going to survive unless we get a little crazy” 

In the lyrics, he uses the conjunction “unless” to link the main clause “we’re never gonna survive” with “we get a little crazy.”  There are numerous words that can be used as Subordinate Conjunctions, for instance, “while, ” meaning at the same time,  is often used to link unrelated ideas. George Harrison, the guitarist of the Beatles, wrote: 

“I look at the world, and I notice it’s turning while my guitar gently weeps” 

Effectively using the conjunction “while” and the imagery of a weeping guitar. 

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Know Past Continuous as Background with examples

He Was Sailing Around the World

Past Continuous Tense can be used to give background to events that began and ended in the past. This is often used in novels and short fiction alike.  

To do so, use the Verbs “was” and “were” + ing in a series. For example, you may read in a classic novel about pirates, “he was sailing around the world.” To expand upon this, a passage from nautical fiction in Past Continuous Tense may read: 

He was sailing around the world.

He was approaching the world’s end and fearing falling off the edge.

Yet, he was feeling strong, he had fought sea monsters and won…


Learn Past Continuous Tense: I was Knitting as an example

Verb tenses tell us when something happened. While communicating, it’s essential to express when an event occurred. For example, if someone says “There is a fire,” the listener knows that there’s an immediate danger. But, by saying “There was a fire” the listener understands that they are no longer in danger. 

As a tense, Past Continuous states that an action began and ended in the past. For example, you may hear someone say “I was eating,” this tells the listener that the speaker had finished, or was interrupted while eating food. 

Most often, Past Continuous Tense is used to describe an action that was interrupted by another event. However, it can be used to speak of two actions that happened at the exact same time or an action that occurred at a specific time. 

In general, we don’t usually use Stative Verbs while speaking in the Past Continuous Tense. Verbs like want or believe express a current condition and wouldn’t make sense in this context. 

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