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Grammar

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Most Common English Verb Tenses

Which verbs are most important to learn in English? How common is each verb tense? Do we really need to learn the future perfect continuous? This article provides data on the frequency of each English verb tense and aspect!

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Most Common English Verbs

Verbs are some of the most powerful words in a language. If you want to know which words to study first when you’re learning English, this list of the 30 most common verbs is the best place to start!

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Collocates with Summer

Collocates with summer

It's summer in Boston! β˜€οΈπŸ˜ŽπŸ–

Let's take a look at some of the words that are most common after summer. Remember, a collocate is a word that is often used with another word.  Focusing on collocation is a very good way to learn common English phrases and expressions. 

Here are some of the most common words after summer that we hope you find useful as you learn English!


If this was helpful, check out these other English collocates!

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Give, Take, Borrow, and Lend

Give, take, borrow, and lend are all extremely useful verbs in English, but the grammar can be confusing. This post teaches all four words with examples and illustrations!

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This That These & Those - Demonstrative Pronouns

In our post earlier this week, we discussed this, that, these, and those as demonstrative determiners. As we discussed, determiners are words that come before nouns to tell us some important information about those nouns. Demonstrative determiners give us information about the quantity and location of the nouns, remember? If we say this apple, we know that there is one apple, and it's right here, but if I say those apples, it usually means many apples, and they are over there.

What is a Demonstrative Pronoun?

Today, we will take a look at another, similar way to use this, that, these, and those. We can also use these words without a noun after them. For example, we can say, "This is a hammer." Here, this doesn't go before the subject of the sentence; it is the subject of the sentence. It works takes the place a noun and represents the thing, the hammer. Words that stand in place of a noun are called pronouns. So in these sentences, thisthat, these, and those are called demonstrative pronouns. See the graphic below for some more examples.

One more time, if they come directly before a noun, this, that, these, and those are called demonstrative determiners. If they replace a noun, acting as a subject or object, they are called demonstrative pronouns.

Notice that the meanings are the same for demonstrative determiners and demonstrative pronouns. This and that are both singular. These and those are both plural. This and these are both for things that are close. That and those are both for things that are over there.

That's all for now. Happy English learning πŸ˜‰!

Other free grammar resources

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3 Types of -ing Verb

Ready for some challenging academic grammar?

English grammar can be difficult because sometimes the same word works differently in different situations. This is true for -ing verbs, which can do three different things.  

Let's look at the 3 types:

Three types of -ing verb

Three types of -ing verb

CONTINUOUS VERBS

The man is walking

This is the most basic one: a present continuous verb. The subject in the sentence is "man" and "is walking" tells us what he is doing right now. If you see an -ing verb after a be verb (am, is, are, was, were), it is probably a continuous verb.

Another name for continuous verbs is progressive   verbs.  Continuous and progressive are the same. 


PARTICIPIAL ADJECTIVES

The walking man lives with my friend Paul.   

or 

The man walking across the street lives with my friend Paul.  

In both of these sentences, walking  works like an adjective, not a verb. Walking describes the man, and the verb in the sentence is lives. When an -ing verb describes a noun, we call it a participial adjectiveParticipial adjectives can come before or after the noun, but it is more common to put them after the noun. 

Read a little more about participial adjectives here.


GERUNDS

The man likes walking.  

In this sentence, we have a subject: the man. We have a verb: likes . What is the -ing verb here? It's the thing that the man likes. What does he like? Walking. Walking is the object of like. What are some other things you can like? Sports, travel, English. All nouns. Object of verbs are nouns, so walking is acting as a noun here. That's what a gerund is: an -ing verb that works like a noun. 


More free English resources

 

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Review of Participles

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Review of Participles

Remember:

Participles (or participial adjectives) are verbs with -ED and -ING endings that can work like adjectives, describing people and things.

 -ED participles (past participles) usually describe how we feel, as in, "I feel exhausted."

-ING participles (present participles) usually describe things that make us feel that way, as in, "That hike was exhausting."

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Review of English Participles Card

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Anatomy of an Email - Greeting

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Anatomy of an Email - Greeting

The punctuation you use at the end of an email greeting is important!  

If you found this Ginseng English tip helpful, please share with #ginsenglish and follow @ginsenglish on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook! Also, consider signing up for our online English courses!

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Sensory Verbs in English

Verbs related to the five senses can be really difficult in English. This post covers all five senses, including active and passive sensory verbs, complete with charts and examples!

Contractions with Two Meanings

Contractions with Two Meanings

lots of contractions

Contractions two words put together in a shorter form. We use lots of contractions in English: isn't (is not), doesn't (does not), didn't (did not), can't (cannot), won't (will not). I'm (I am), you're (you are), we're (we are). There are tons of them!

Confusing contractions

Apostrophe -s

But let's (let us!) talk about some tricky contractions. Contractions with apostrophe -s ('s) and apostrophe -d ('d) are difficult because they have two meanings. Think about it: what does he's mean? Look at these two sentences:

He's studying English.

He's visited England.

In the first sentence, he's means he is. In the second sentence, he's means he has. When we see 's it can mean either has or is

Apostrophe -d

I'd been working for hours.

I'd like a glass of champagne.

Apostrophe -s can be a Contraction of has or is