You have two tests to take today: Test 1 and Test 2.

If you have finished all of the lessons in the Red Level, go to the Red Level Review. If you haven’t finished all of the lessons yet, there’s still time.

Tomorrow I’ll post links for two tests, and they we will start the Yellow Level on Thursday.

The word of the day is "refund." This is a good choice because at this time of year many people are preparing their tax forms due in April. If you paid too much in taxes (which is very common), you get a refund.

The last lesson in the Red Level is on opposite adjectives. I created this as a vocabulary exercise. Be sure to complete the exercise that goes along with the lesson.

The word of the day is "jerk."

This video shows you how the verb "go" is used in the imperative form and with modal verbs:

In Red Level Lesson Twenty-three, you’ll learn about "used to." This is used when describing the past. Something happened in the past, and it’s completely finished, or something happened in the distant past:

  • They used to live in Mexico. Now they live in Florida.
  • Darla used to walk to school every day.
  • I used to work for a newspaper. Now I’m a teacher.

Confused? This video might help.

The word of the day is "junk."

Today’s lesson is on multiplication and division. I think this video is helpful because it includes a lot of the vocabulary that is used by math instructors in the U.S. You probably know how to do multiplication and division, but talking about these processes in English is another matter.

The word of the day is "pour."

Here’s a new video that shows the difference between the present perfect tense and the past tense. We will study the present perfect tense in the Yellow Level in March.

Your lesson for today is about American money. This is useful if you live in the United States, but if you are outside of the U.S. it might help you.

Learn how to ask about and talk about spending money in this video:

The word of the day is "ahead." Do you check the Word of the Day regularly? There’s a new word posted every day on the home page.

Did you receive today’s email? If not, sign up on the homepage for emailed updates, lessons, and exercises.

Possessive pronouns can function as subjects or objects in a sentence. They are very different from possessive adjectives which you learned about in this Blue Level lesson. This is your second lesson on possessive pronouns.

You have a white shirt. Mine is blue.

The word "mine" is the subject in the sentence and it’s singular because it refers back to the word "shirt." Remember that possessive pronouns can be singular or plural.

You have new shoes. Mine are old.

In this sentence, "mine" is plural. It refers back to the word "shoes."

Learn more about possessive pronouns in Red Level Lesson Nineteen.

Today’s lesson is on gerunds. These are "ing" words which you must learn about and distinguish from verbs that are found in continuous tenses. Gerunds act like nouns in a sentence and represent activities:

  • Playing baseball is fun.

What’s the subject in that sentence? It’s the gerund "playing." This is an activity. Notice also that gerunds are singular so the verb is singular ("is").

If you write sentences like these…

  • He is playing baseball. / They are playing baseball.

…the word "playing" is a verb in the present continuous tense.

In each of the sentences below, the gerund is in bold print.

  • I like fishing.
  • Fishing is fun.
  • Studying takes a lot of time.
  • She dislikes studying at night.
  • We look forward to going to the concert.
  • Having a baby requires a lot of preparation.

You can learn more about gerunds by clicking here.

Your lesson for today is on infinitives. These are words that look like verbs but function as nouns in a sentence:

  • I like to read.
  • You like to learn.
  • He wants to fly.
  • She hopes to leave early.
  • To play guitar well is one of my goals.
  • We stopped to get some ice cream.

Each of the sentences above uses an infinitive. In tomorrow’s lesson you will learn about gerunds. They’re similar to infinitives because of how they function in a sentence, but it’s important for you to learn the difference between infinitives and gerunds because there are some limitations in how they are used.

Hey….If this website is helping you, make sure to tell your friends on Facebook or Twitter. It make things more interesting for visitors to the website it there are a lot of people here, epecially in the chat rooms.

There’s a new reading exercise for the Red Level: Stan lost his job.

The word of the day is "kneel."

The lesson for today is on expressions of time. There are many different ways to talk about the past, the present, and the future. Think about the verb tense and any additional words that indicate when something happens:

  • At this moment, I’m working on my blog.
  • She’s been feeling down lately.
  • Eventually, they’re going to be okay.
  • Bill had a big breakfast this morning.

Can you determine when the above activities happened? If not, take a look at today’s lesson.

The word of the day is "stray."

This new video shows the relationship between the present tense and the present perfect tense:

 

Red Level Lesson Fifteen is about conjunctions. If you learn how to use these words properly, you will be able to write longer sentences and join words together.

Today’s lesson is an introduction to adjectives in English. Adjectives describe nouns. It’s important to know what they are because some students confuse them with verbs.

There’s a broken window on the fourth floor of that apartment building.

Do you know where the adjectives are in this sentence? There are three: broken, fourth, and apartment. Each word provides information for a noun in the sentence. "Broken" describes "window," "fourth describes "floor," and "apartment" describes "building."

The word of the day is "avoid."

It’s Valentine’s Day and the lesson for today is for the word "like." How appropriate. I put this lesson into the Red Level because "like" is used so many different ways. It’s hard to communicate in basic English without it.

Look at the sentences and questions below. The meaning or application for "like" is different in each one:

  • Where would you like to go today?
  • How do you like your new sweater?
  • She liked going on the carousel.
  • What was the movie like?
  • They liked each other for a few months before they split up.
  • This is, like, so ridiculous.

Click here for today’s lesson. Did you get today’s email lesson? If not, make sure you sign up on the membership page.

The word of the day is "together."

 

Red Level Lesson Twelve shows you how to make the "going to" future.

The Word of the Day is "roll."

This new YouTube video demonstrates that you can use the present continuous tense or the "going to" future tense when describing future events:

 

The next two lessons are about making the future tense. In Red Level Lesson Eleven, you’ll learn about using the modal verb "will." This is not too difficult, but there is difficulty for some students in the pronunciation of the contraction:

subject + will = ___’ll

I + will = I’ll

  • I’ll see you tomorrow.
  • You’ll improve your English on this website.
  • He’ll be here soon.
  • She’ll figure out a solution to her problems.
  • It’ll be too expensive to get a new car.
  • We’ll do our shopping on Saturday.
  • They’ll meet us at noon.

Would you like to try reading the sentences above? Use this recorder to listen to yourself:

You can also leave commments regarding this website. This comment comes from Danny who lives in Viet Nam. Thanks for your contribution! 

Red Level Lesson Ten shows you the differences among "some," "a lot," and "any."

  • There is a lot of coffee in the cup.
  • There is some coffee in the cup.
  • This isn’t a lot of coffee in the cup.
  • There isn’t any coffee in the cup.

These words are used to express amounts. Do you understand the differences in the sentences above? If so, you can take this quiz. If not, today’s lesson will help you.

In Red Level Lesson Nine you will learn how to use "a few" and "a little." Understanding the difference requires a knowledge of count and noncount nouns. Yesterday’s lesson did, also.

The word of the day is "hurt." This word is similar to yesterday’s word of the day, "harm."

 

This new video will help you practice making and answering questions with "where," the verb "be," and the sujbect:

Today’s lesson will help you decide when to choose "much" or "many." Do you know the difference between these two words? If not, it will be necessary for you to learn about when to use "much" and when to use "many."

  • How ________ water is in the bottle?
  • How ________ people are in the room?

The words "much" or "many" go into the blank spaces above. If you aren’t sure of the answer, I recommend that you complete today’s lesson and then take this quiz.

For the next few lessons, a knowledge of count and noncount nouns will be necessary. The lessons in the Red Level are starting to get more difficult. Complete the Blue Level now if you are having problems.

Learning how to use "do" as a main verb is necessary. Look at the sentence below:

  • Kevin does his homework in the library.

The main verb in that sentence is "do." As a main verb you can use "do" for actions related to homework and studying, cleaning the house, work, shopping, and other routine activities. However, you can’t use it for everything. When you make "do" negative or form a question, then you use the helping verb "do."

  • Where does he do his homework? (present tense, question)
  • He doesn’t do his homework at night. (present tense, negative)
  • He didn’t do his homework yesterday. (past tense, negative)

Do you see where the helping verbs are? What’s the main verb?

When answering a question with "do" as the main verb, you often don’t use "do" in the answer:

  • A: What do you do for a living?
  • B: I’m an electrician. / I work as an electrician.
  • A: What did they do yesterday?
  • B: They went to the museum. / They rode their bikes to the lake.

To learn more about this important verb, click here for today’s lesson.

 

Red Level Lesson Six is on object pronouns. Make sure you take the quiz at the end of the lesson.

The word of the day is "frost."

 

Making questions with the verb "do" is such an important thing to learn, that’s why I have created so many exercises, quizzes, and videos on this topic. Click here for today’s lesson. Then watch this new video on using "do" to make questions in the present tense:

 

Today’s lesson is on commands. This is also known as "the imperative form." Someone tells another person what to do:

  • Turn up the volume.

  • Hand me that book, please.
  • Take a right at the corner.

The subject in each of these sentences is "you," but don’t use it to begin the sentence. Instead, use the main verb in the simple form. To make it negative, just use the word "don’t."

  • Don’t go in there.
  • Don’t sleep too late.
  • Don’t be late.
  • Don’t do that!

The word of the day is "stick."

There’s a new Think in English exercise. Click here to take a look.

Whoops! It looks like I jumped the gun a little. Today’s lesson is Lesson Three. Yesterday’s Lesson was Lesson Two. That’s okay. The first three lesson in the Red Level go well together. I hope they help you understand how to use the helping verb "do."

What does it mean to "jump the gun"? This is a common expression used in the United States. You can find a definition for it if you click here.

The word of the day is "fog."

 

In Red Level Lesson Three, you’ll learn how to use the helping verb "do" to make the main verb negative in the present tense and the past tense. It’s important to understand the following chart:

helping verb simple past
do / does / did
be
was / were
do
did
have
had
live
lived
work
worked

Use the helping verbs "do" or "does" with the simple form of the verb to make the verb negative. The only verb you don’t do this with is the verb "be." The sentences below are in the present tense:

  • He doesn’t do much housework.
  • They don’t have a car.
  • She doesn’t live in Mexico anymore.
  • We don’t work on the weekend.

Here’s the same group of sentences in the past tense. Notice that the helping verb changes, but the main verb remains in the simple form:

  • He didn’t do much housework.
  • They didn’t have a car.
  • She didn’t live in Mexico for very long.
  • We didn’t work on the weekend.

After you finish reading through Lesson Three, make sure you complete the quizzes that are included.

Did you see the new reading exercise for the Blue Level Reading Room? Brian went to the doctor.

The first lesson in the Red Level explains how to use the verb "do" as a helping verb in the present tense and the past tense. It’s important to understand how to use "do" with the main verb in the simple form. If you understand that, it will be easier for you to make questions and form the negative.

This new video features the verb "need," but it’s also instructive in using "do" as a helping verb:

 

I’ve looked at the test results from both Test #1 and Test #2. The first test looks okay. But of the 900 people who took Test #2, many students got questions 7, 9, 13, and 14 wrong. Look at the graphs below:

question 7

What street do you live on?

question 9

Tom isn’t going to school tomorrow.

question 13

There aren’t very many bottles of water in the cooler.

question 14

How much money is she saving?

Do you see where the mistakes are? Question #14 in particular is one that many people missed. We’ll try to work on these kinds of mistakes as we go forward through the Red Level.

 

So you have finished the Blue Level. Congratulations! Today I want you to look at the Red Level and see what I have planned for you to do in February. The first few lessons review some of the things that you learned in January. Tomorrow we will begin Lesson One.

If you missed the beginning of the course….

Click here to go to January 2012.

There’s still time to catch up!