English for Everyone

<b>English for Everyone</b>
Stephen Lau's website to help you get the wisdom to live as if everything is a miracle.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Learn Some Prepositional Words and Phrases

HOLD

Hold off: delay; restrain.

e.g. We can no longer hold off the launching of the sales campaign
e.g. The air strike might hold off the enemies for some time.

FIND

Find out: discover; learn

e.g. The police eventually found out the truth of the murder case.
e.g. Sooner or later you will find out all the facts.

HAND

Hand down: deliver; leave as an inheritance.

e.g. We have handed down all the information to our associates.
e.g. When he dies, he will hand down his business to his family, and not before.

Hand in: submit.

e.g. I have handed in my resignation; tomorrow will be my last day in the office.

Hand over: yield control of.

e.g. The manager has handed over the human resources section to the assistant manager.

CHECK

Check out: leave; pay bills.

e.g. We are going to check out the hotel at noon.

Check up on: investigate.

e.g. The account will check up on the sum of money unaccounted for.

TOUCH

Touch on: mention briefly.

e.g. The professor barely touched on the subject of Civil War.

Touch up: repair.

e.g. Can you touch up the scratches on the door?

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, November 13, 2017

Learn How to Use Subjunctive Mood


The subjunctive mood is one of the more difficult tenses in the English language. The subjunctive mood uses the past tense or the past perfect tense to indicate a wishful thinking or an action that is not likely to happen or did not happen in the past.

e.g. If I were you, I would accept the offer. (i.e. the offer is good, do accept it NOW)

e.g. If I were you, I would have accepted the offer last week. (i.e. you didn't accept the offer)

e.g. If you had called the doctor, the patient would have lived. (i.e. you did not call the doctor; the patient did not live)

e.g. If pigs had wings, they would fly. (i.e. pigs don't have wings, and that's why they don't fly)

e.g. If he has the money, he will help you. (i.e. he may have the money; if he does, he will certainly help you)

e.g. If he had the money, he would help you. (i.e. he doesn't have the money NOW; therefore, he will not help you)

e.g. If he had the money, he would have helped you. (i.e. he didn't have the money, and that's why he didn't help you)

Remember this: using past tense for a present action indicates the improbability of that action, while using the past perfect tense, the improbability of that action in the past.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Learn Slang and Colloquial Expressions

Language is forever changing. What is currently acceptable or popular may be replaced by something else in years to come, and the use of slang is a strong testament to that. Slang is just an alternative way of saying something. It is sometimes hard to identify what is slang and what is not. Slang and colloquial expressions are often acceptable in informal writing because they are used in communication in movies, newspapers, radio, television, and other mass media The more you learn, the more you will know when to use or not to use them in your formal writing. No matter what, knowing these common everyday expressions is a plus for all ESL learners.

In the same boat: in the same bad situation.
e.g. We're now in the same boat: flat broke.

Not in the same street: not in the same class or category.
e.g. Of course, my car in not in the same street as yours: you paid a lot more.

Ark: an old car.
e.g. Why don't you get rid of your ark, and get a new one?

Half-inch: steal.
e.g. Where did you get it from? You didn't half-inch it, did you?

Gift of the gab: ability to give effective speeches.
e.g. The new Mayor has the gift of the gab: people like listening to him.

Hang out: reveal everything.
e.g. I want the truth, and nothing but the truth. Let it all hang out!

Go round: be enough for all.
e.g. Do you think we've enough drinks to go round at the party tonight?

Give the lie to: contradict; prove something is false.
e.g. I have to give the lie to what you just said: I did not take your money.

 Also, read my other book on American Idioms

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Some American Idioms for You

Pull the wool over someone’s eyes: deceive
e.g. Don’t try to pull the wool over my eyes: I wasn’t born yesterday.

Meet someone halfway: compromise
e.g. He settled the agreement with her by meeting her halfway.

First and last: above all; under all circumstances
e.g. She was an accomplished pianist first and last.

Poop out: tire out
e.g. The marathon race pooped me out; I could hardly walk.

Make as if: pretend
e.g. You made as if you enjoyed the film, but you really didn’t.

Lead someone astray: cause someone to do something wrong or illegal
e.g. If you are always in the company of lawbreakers, you  may be easily be led astray.

Hit like a ton of bricks: surprise or shock
e.g. The sudden resignation of the President hit the people like a ton of bricks.

Go the distance: do the whole thing
e.g. This is a long, complicated project. To succeed, you must go the distance.

For a song: inexpensive
e.g. You can get this on the Internet for a song.

Hit the nail on the head: do exactly the right thing
e.g. Your remark hit the nail on the head; that was precisely the solution to the problem.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Correct Use of Prepositions

HOLD

Hold off: delay; restrain.

e.g. We can no longer hold off the launching of the sales campaign
e.g. The air strike might hold off the enemies for some time.

FIND

Find out: discover; learn

e.g. The police eventually found out the truth of the murder case.
e.g. Sooner or later you will find out all the facts.

HAND

Hand down: deliver; leave as an inheritance.

e.g. We have handed down all the information to our associates.
e.g. When he dies, he will hand down his business to his family, and not before.

Hand in: submit.

e.g. I have handed in my resignation; tomorrow will be my last day in the office.

Hand over: yield control of.

e.g. The manager has handed over the human resources section to the assistant manager.

CHECK

Check out: leave; pay bills.

e.g. We are going to check out the hotel at noon.

Check up on: investigate.

e.g. The account will check up on the sum of money unaccounted for.

TOUCH

Touch on: mention briefly.

e.g. The professor barely touched on the subject of Civil War.

Touch up: repair.

e.g. Can you touch up the scratches on the door?

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau