Learn American English Online Blog
August 31, 2013
Click here to take the test for the Yellow Level.
The word of the day is "knob."
August 30, 2013
Click here for the Yellow Level Review. A test is on the schedule for tomorrow, but if you feel like you’re ready, you can take it today.
The word of the day is "neighbor."
August 29, 2013
The three most important verbs for you to learn how to use properly are have, do, and be. The reason why they are so important is because they are used as both helping verbs and main verbs. Look very closely at these three verbs and then complete the exercise at the bottom of each page.
The word of the day is "dabble."
August 28, 2013
I always tell my students that they must understand how irregular verbs change when they are conjugated. The one that many people make mistakes on is the verb "go." Click here to take a look at how "go" changes in various tenses.
The word of the day is "crab."
August 27, 2013
Today’s lesson is a review of verb tenses in English. Notice the way that verbs change when they are made negative.
The word of the day is "afford." This is one of those words that students always ask me about when I’m teaching in a classroom.
August 26, 2013
As we come to the end of the Yellow Level, students review some of the things that they have learned in the first three levels of this online program. Part of that review is knowing what the eight parts of speech are. Click here to take a look.
The word of the day is "mope."
August 25, 2013
Today’s Yellow Level Lesson is on the future perfect tense.
August 24, 2013
Yellow Level students study intensifiers today in Lesson Twenty-four. Many of my students have emailed to say that this is a very useful lesson.
The word of the day is "near."
Thanks to Marzia and Natasa for taking time out of their vacation schedule to meet with me. What a great pleasure it was to meet some of my online students!
August 23, 2013
Adverbs can be used to make comparisons. Yesterday’s lesson was on comparative adverbs and today’s lesson is on superlative adverbs. Some superlative adverbs are difficult to use, but it’s a good idea to learn what they are.
The word of the day is "gas."
Here’s a new exercise on punctuation. If you’ve been following the writing lessons on the home page, you probably noticed that the lessons are behind schedule. It’s taking a little longer than we thought to come up with lessons, but don’t fear. We’ll catch up. The essay lesson should be ready this weekend.
August 22, 2013
The word of the day is "expert."
August 21, 2013
Yellow Level Lesson Twenty-one explains what adverbs are used for in English.
The word of the day is "rage."
Did you receive yesterday’s email with the exercise and link to a video? If not, make sure that you sign up for emailed updates and lessons on the home page.
August 20, 2013
The lesson of the day for the Yellow Level is on height and weight.
The word of the day is "manner."
August 19, 2013
Students who are working in the Yellow Level learn about the future continuous tense today. To form the future continuous tense is easy. It looks like this:
Subject + will be + ________ing
It doesn’t make any difference what the subject is when deciding on the helping verbs, "will" + "be." The main verb has an "ing" ending.
We use the future continuous tense to talk about future activity that spreads out over a period of time in the future:
Learn more about the future continuous tense in this lesson.
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The word of the day is "glimpse."
There’s a new word of the day quiz for the month of August. Click here to give it a try.
August 18, 2013
The move to the new server has been completed. If you have any problems connecting to the website, please let me know.
In Yellow Level Lesson Eighteen you’ll learn about prepositional phrases.
The word of the day is "server."
August 16, 2013
Learn how to talk about what another person said in Yellow Level Lesson Sixteen. This is a confusing skill to learn, but with enough practice you’ll get it.
When words leave a person’s mouth, we refer to that as a direct quotation. Quotation marks indicate a direct quotation.
"I need some coffee," Paul said.
Later, when someone repeats what Paul said, look at what happens to the main verb in the original quote:
Paul said that he needed some coffee.
The quotation marks are gone and the verb "need" changes to "needed." Why does that happen? Go to the lesson to find out.
The word of the day is "against."
This website is moving to a new server this weekend. If you can’t get to the website today or tomorrow, it will be for that reason.
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My deepest sympathies go out to friends in Egypt struggling with the political situation and the tremendous loss of life over the last few days. Hopefully, things will get better soon.
August 15, 2013
Yellow Level Lesson Fifteen shows you how to form the past perfect tense and when to use it.
There’s a new Blue Level reading exercise. Click here to read about Tony, the surfer from southern California.
The word of the day is "envy."
Here’s a new video for you. Answer questions in the present continuous tense:
August 14, 2013
The word of the day is "describe."
My website will be moving to a new server over the next few days, so if you have any problems connecting, that’s why. Hopefully, after this move, your online experience will be vastly improved. Pages should load much faster and outages will be a thing of the past. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
August 13, 2013
I’m having some problems with my host this morning. If you ever want to make your own website, be careful who you choose to host it.
August 12, 2013
In Yellow Level Lesson Twelve, you’ll learn about using modal verbs with the present perfect tense. This is kind of a strange arrangement of verbs, but it’s commonly used when describing past possibility:
Click here to learn more.
In the writing lessons section of the website, there’s a new lesson on writing narrative paragraphs.
The word of the day is "would."
August 11, 2013
Yellow Level Lesson Eleven is on idiomatic modal verbs. These verb phrases are extremely important to understand because they often substitute for regular modal verbs, especially in conversation.
This old video, for example, shows how "be able to" is used in place of "can."
The word of the day is "beg."
August 10, 2013
In Yellow Level Lesson Ten students learn about modal verbs. These are verbs that change the modality or the flavor of the main verb.
The writing lesson for today is on the four most common types of paragraphs: descriptive, narrative, expository, and persuasive.
The word of the day is "satisfy."
August 9, 2013
Today’s lesson for the Yellow Level compares the past continuous tense with the past tense. I did a little of that in yesterday’s post, but if you are still confused click here.
Your writing lesson for the day explains what a concluding sentence does in a paragraph.
The word of the day is "flab."
There’s a new reading exercise for the Red Level: Fire up the grill!
August 8, 2013
Learn how to form the past continuous tense in Yellow Level Lesson Eight. The past continuous tense is used when describing a continuous action in the past. It looks like this:
S + was or were + _________ing
The choice of "was" or "were" depends on the subject. The main verb has "ing" attached to the end of it.
The thing that makes this different from the simple past is that the action must be continuous; therefore, you can’t use it for all verbs.
The examples above are okay, but look at the sentences below. Sometimes the past continuous tense is not used properly or it doesn’t fit the situation.
However, if two things are happening at the same time in the past, you could add additional information and then the past continuous tense is a good choice:
Click here to learn more about the past continuous tense.
The word of the day is "tab."
August 7, 2013
A big storm swept through the Twin Cities last night and we lost our power until this morning, so the daily entry here is a little delayed. Sorry about that.
Yellow Level students go to Lesson Seven to study superlative adjectives. I recommend students use the checklist to keep track of their progress in this level. It’s still early August, so there’s plenty of time to catch up if you are just joining the website.
Today’s writing lesson is on topic sentences.
The word of the day is "hill."
August 6, 2013
Comparative adjectives are those words that help you describe differences between two things. Yellow Level Lesson Six provides some examples and some practice in using them.
Click here to learn about the formation of a paragraph.
The word of the day is "passage."
A few students emailed with a request for a video similar to the one I made last week for short answers. Here it is:
August 5, 2013
Yellow Level students learn how to form questions using the present perfect tense in Yellow Level Lesson Five.
Students studying the writing process this month click here to learn about prewriting.
The word of the day is "strike."
August 4, 2013
Today’s lesson for today is on making the present perfect tense negative.
Click here to read about writing and revising. This is a new lesson. Every day a new lesson will be added to this new section of the website.
The word of the day is "intimidate."
August 3, 2013
In Yellow Level Lesson Three you’ll learn how to form the present perfect tense. I’ve made a lot of videos on this subject. The one you see below explains some of the differences between the present tense and the present perfect tense:
Students who are working on writing this month click here to read about and practice sentence formation.
August 2, 2013
Today Yellow Level students study the use of the verb "have" as a main verb in the present tense and the past tense. This is a very important thing to understand because the verb "have" is also used as a helping verb in forming the present perfect tense. That’s the lesson for tomorrow. But do this one today.
The word of the day is "vacation." August is a big vacation month in the United States. Are you on vacation right now
There’s a new video for giving short answers to questions that use the verbs "be" and "do" in the present tense and the past tense. If you find this to be helpful, I’ll continue making more like this one.
August 1, 2013
If you have finished the Blue and Red levels for this website, you’re ready to move forward to the Yellow Level. Or, if you are new to this website and you feel like you have a good grasp of basic English, the Yellow Level might be a good place for you to begin.
First, download and print the Yellow Level Checklist. Keep this list by your computer and use it to track your progress. I find that students are more successful when they have an actual piece of paper on which they can see how far they’ve moved through a level.
Second, take notes and write your answers to exercises and quizzes in a notebook. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of writing when learning. There’s a connection between writing something and being able to remember what you have written. If you don’t write something down, it’s harder to remember it.
Third, visit the website every day. After ten years, this has grown to be quite a large website and there’s a lot to do here. Good luck as you continue learning English!
The word of the day is "length."
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