Language Lab


English Verb Tenses The Ultimate Guide 

Verb conjugations reflect three elements: the subject, the tense, and the mood. The subject may be singular or plural and maybe in the first person (“I” or “we”), in the second person (“you”), or in the third person “he,” she,” “it,” or “they”). Verb tenses include different for


What is right? The difference between “Your” or “You’re”

There are some words in the English vocabulary which sound the same as another word but have a drastically different meaning. These words are called homophones and are very common in everyday English. Homophones are pairs, and occasionally trios, of words that sound the same but


We explain: How to use Their, They’re and There

English has a number of odd rules that often create stumbling blocks for those who learn English online [https://englishlive.ef.com/en-gb/learn-english-online/] or learn English listening to conversations on English television programmes or videos. One of the more frustrating En


Italics and Underlining in English

One of the problems, when we learn English online [https://englishlive.ef.com/], is the confusion that surrounds the type of punctuation and formatting used when referring to written works such as books, articles, and poems. The same questions also arise when referring to movie,


Learning about Action verbs and Linking verbs

Verbs are words used to describe an action, occurrence, or state of being. They form the main part of the predicate of a sentence. Verbs are also the drivers of written and spoken English [https://englishlive.ef.com/blog/language-lab/10-top-tips-improving-spoken-english/], since


Modal Verbs – The Condiments of English

A modal verb is like a flavoursome ingredient in a recipe; a dose of garlic. Our spaghetti bolognaise might be perfectly acceptable in its un-garlicked form. But it is transformed by the addition of a clove of the Vampire defeating food. When we learn English language online [htt


Reported Speech - English Grammar

When we are finding out how to learn English grammar online, [https://englishlive.ef.com/en-gb/] the way to present spoken words as reported or direct speech is an important skill to acquire. Reported speech is sometimes called indirect speech, to contrast with direct speech. D


Rules for Using Punctuation in English

We learn English online [https://englishlive.ef.com/en-gb/] to help us with our written and spoken communication. One of the most important parts of written English is punctuation. However, people can become very hung up on punctuation rules. The most important rule to remember i


Regular and irregular verbs

Verbs, eh?  What would we do without them? Well, not really very much because verbs are the words that describe the actions that we do. English verbs can take two main forms, regular verbs and irregular verbs. They are the subject of this article, and are a crucial part of the la


Relative Clauses, it's all relative!

RELATIVE CLAUSES > I am feeling unwell. I have to learn English through grammar exercises > [https://englishlive.ef.com/en-gb/] https://englishlive.ef.com/en-gb/online > [https://englishlive.ef.com/en-gb/] . Two simple sentences. Grammatically, they are absolutely correct, but


The Oxford Comma

THE OXFORD COMMA Despite a number of idiosyncrasies, English is a fairly straightforward language. The rules for written and spoken English are generally logical and consistent. Even formal business and academic structure and rules adhere to those same general principals. There


Don't Be a Word Bore: Alternative Ways to Say Goodbye

Goodbyes can be complicated. They can be heartfelt, full of sorrow. They can be casual among friends, or formal among work colleagues. We can say goodbye knowing we’ll never see someone again, or we can say goodbye knowing we’ll see them again tomorrow. With so many emotions and


10 top tips for improving your spoken English

Practising speaking is one of the most fun and rewarding parts of learning English [https://englishlive.ef.com/en-us/]. Once you can speak even a little English, there are loads of ways to improve your skills quickly while having tons of fun. Here are ten top tips for improving y


15 most common English idioms and phrases

Every language has its own idioms and expressions and the English language has plenty of phrases that is useful to learn. Idioms are words or phrases that aren’t meant to be taken literally and usually have a cultural meaning behind them. Most of the English idioms you hear are o


5 tips to make constructing English sentences easy

English grammar can often seem strange. We have so many rules for making sentences and almost as many exceptions to those rules. On a basic level, though, most English sentences follow a similar structure. Follow these five tips to make constructing English sentences easy. Enjoy


10 tips for perfect English pronunciation

Accurate pronunciation is an important part of learning any language, and especially when you’re learning English [https://englishlive.ef.com/en-gb/]. The way your speech sounds can have a big impact on whether or not people understand what you are saying and their initial impres


English idioms to express happiness

When was the last time you were really happy? How did you show that happiness? In English, there are loads of different ways to express happiness. Many of these are interesting English idioms or expressions [https://englishlive.ef.com/blog/language-lab/15-common-english-idioms-an


English words with different pronunciations

The word ‘live’ is an interesting one, because it can be pronounced in different ways with different meanings. You might go to watch a ‘live’ /laɪv/ (adj.) concert. That means the musicians are actually there and performing for you. The other way to use this words is as a verb, f


How to speak confidently in English

Want to speak more confidently when you’re learning English [https://englishlive.ef.com/en-gb]? There are lots of simple tricks that you can use to talk with more confidence – even if you don’t feel truly confident on the inside. Don’t worry, everybody makes mistakes when they’r


Six unusual English words that even native-speakers mispronounce

One of the things that people often find difficult when learning English is that words aren’t always pronounced in a logical way. Sometimes, tricky spellings can make words difficult to pronounce. Other times, it’s words that have sounds which are similar but not quite the same a


Pioneers of Non-native English Literature

Students of English literature will instantly recognise classic titles like ‘Heart of Darkness’, ‘Lolita’ and ‘Things Fall Apart’. These and countless other famous works of English literature were written by authors whose first language was not English! Joseph Conrad was from Po


English Grammar: when to use ‘must’ and ‘mustn’t’

Many learners confuse how to use the words ‘must’ and ‘mustn’t’ in English. While they might seem tricky, they are actually quite simple to use. ‘Must’ is a modal verb, which means it does not show an action like most verbs. Instead, we use it to show two things, necessity or pos


How to be the Perfect Guest at an English-Speaking Dinner Party

Dinner parties are a popular type of social event in the United States, and if you are visiting on business or for pleasure, you may be invited to one by someone you meet. There are a few things you should know about how to act and what to do when attending. First of all, when i


11 Fun English social media abbreviations and their meanings

Using social media in another language can be confusing. All the slang, idioms and abbreviations people use can make even simple sentences tricky to understand. It needn’t be that way, though. Use these ten English social media abbreviations to make your life easier next time you


How to start a conversation in English - a guide to small talk

Want to boost your conversational English vocabulary [https://englishlive.ef.com/en-gb]? This guide will help you improve your small talk so you can start conversations in English more easily. Small talk [https://englishlive.ef.com/blog/career-english/business-english-make-small


A Whizz Bang Guide to Onomatopoeia - What Is It and When Should You Use It?

> Plop! Fizz! Hiss! Bang! We’re sure you’ve heard an onomatopoeia or used an onomatopoeia lots of times without even realising it. We’re going to give you a guide to this uniquely descriptive type of English word. We’ll give you an example to help you understand onomatopoeia and


Different ways to say drink

Whether you’re dying of thirst or just a little parched, we’ve collected together some of the most common and colourful words and phrases that you can add to your English language vocabulary. Here it’s a list of different ways to say ‘to drink’. 1. QUENCH YOUR THIRST there’s n


What are English Conjunctions and how do I use them?

Do you find that your English writing is repetitive with lots of very short sentences? In that case you need to use conjunctions in your writing to join your sentences together and make them flow more smoothly. So, how do we use conjunctions in English? First, let’s take a look a


Improve your English vocabulary with these 10 top tips

Want to know how to improve your vocabulary? Vocabulary is one of the keys to speaking fluent English. Even if your grammar is perfect, if you don’t know the correct words to express yourself in English, you will find it difficult to speak fluently. Luckily, improving your vocabu


5 Simple ways to improve your written English

Many people struggle with writing in English and it can seem like a real challenge to improve. Don’t worry, though. Here are some simple steps that you can take to improve your written English and impress people with your writing skills. 1. EXPAND YOUR VOCABULARY To express yo


Don't Be a Word Bore: Alternative Ways to Say "Eat"

If you’re feeling hungry you certainly won’t be short of words to help you express that in English! There are lots of words that you can use to describe eating – from eating lots to snacking on just a little. Here are some words and phrases you can use to expand your eating voca


How to Criticize Gently in English

Criticism can hurt when used badly. However, when used in the correct way it can be a useful learning tool. Use these tips to make your criticism constructive and turn something negative into a positive experience for you and your colleagues. AVOID DIRECT ACCUSATIONS Phrases l


How to Complain Politely in English

When you have a bad experience, it’s easy to get angry and complain. Sometimes that’s not the best way to get want you want, though. People get defensive and become closed to suggestions when other people are rude to them so a much more effective way to get what you want is to re


How to be fluent in English in 5 steps

Becoming fluent in English can seem like a daunting task. However, like any journey, the most difficult part is often taking the first step. Follow these five easy steps to make your English sound more fluent starting today. 1. SMILE AND BREATHE No matter what your level of En


Don't Be a Word Bore: Alternative Ways to Say Hurry Up

In today’s busy world, whether we’re working or studying, it seems we’re always in a hurry! To hurry up means to speed up your actions and it’s often given as a command. For example: Hurry up and get out of bed; you’ll be late for school! Hurry up; we’re going to miss the start