Learn American English Online Blog
December 31, 2013
Tomorrow students will begin new levels: the Blue Level and the Purple Level. I always recommend that students preview levels and print out the checklists for each level before they begin.
This is the Blue Level. This is for beginning level students. Click here for the Blue Level checklist.
This is the Purple Level. This is for intermediate to advanced students. Click here for the Purple Level checklist.
Print out the checklists and keep them by your computer. Monitor your progress as you complete each lesson or exercise.
The word of the day is "final."
December 30, 2013
The word of the day is "fabulous."
Click here for Green Level Test #2.
The last lesson for the Violet Level is on "provided that."
Students who have finished all of the lessons in the Blue, Red, Yellow, Green, Purple, Orange, and Violet levels may print out the certificate found on this page. Congratulations! You did it! In January, we return to the Blue Level and start all over again. Anyone who has gone through the seven-month program is welcome to repeat it. Students often tell me that it’s helpful to repeat all of the lessons. It takes a lot of time, but that’s part of the process of learning. It doesn’t come easily, and English is NOT an easy English to learn.
December 29, 2013
At the beginning of a new year, this website regularly returns to the Blue Level so that students who are determined to learn English can start the year with the fundamentals of the language. If you know anyone who wants to learn English, or if you just want to improve your knowledge of basic grammar, follow the lessons as they are scheduled on the homepage.
In January, we are also going to feature a brand new level for members of the website: The Aqua Level. This will provide beginning level students more practice and more exercises for basic English skills.
Green Level students can move on to Green Level Test #1 today.
Violet Level students study the use of "now that."
December 28, 2013
It’s a good idea to complete the Green Level review before taking the tests for the Green Level. The tests are on the schedule for tomorrow and Monday.
Learn about how to use the word "wherever" in the Violet Level. You an use this word when describing "any place."
The word of the day is "zero."
December 27, 2013
Practice listening and writing with this set of Green Level dictation exercises.
Students working in the Violet Level learn about the word "whenever" today. This is similar to "at any time."
The word of the day is "year."
December 26, 2013
Now that you have finished all of the lessons in the Green Level, go to the Green Level Reading Room and see if you can detect the use of the passive voice in these passages.
Violet Level Lesson Twenty-six shows you how to use the conjunction "nevertheless."
The word of the day is "whiff."
December 25, 2013
December 24, 2013
Many Americans use "get" plus the past participle to indicate that something was done or something happened. While not everyone approves of using verbs in this way, it is an American usage:
Violet Level Lesson Twenty-five shows how to use the word "meanwhile." This is useful when describing two situations that occur at the same time.
The word of the day is "valet."
December 23, 2013
The word of the day is "uplift." This is a time of year when people feel their spirits to be uplifted by the season. It’s also a very busy time of year. I know that many of you who follow this website are busy working at restaurants, hotels, and stores, so I hope you are able to take some time to spend with your families.
December 22, 2013
In Green Level Lesson Twenty-two you can learn how to use "be called" when describing the names that are given to things and people.
Violet Level Lesson Twenty-two shows how to use "as soon as." These three two words together are similar to the word "when" when used as a conjunction.
The word of the day is "tablet."
December 21, 2013
The word of the day is "sink." You can use this word as a noun or as a verb.
December 20, 2013
Many of my students are surprised by the way that the verb "be" changes when it’s used as a main verb. Lesson Twenty shows what these changes look like when "be" is used as a main verb. This is a good thing to understand whenever students study the passive voice.
Violet Level Lesson Twenty shows you how to use "as long as" when communicating in English.
The word of the day is "reveal."
December 19, 2013
Today Green Level students review verbs in various continuous forms. The reason for this lesson is because some students are confused between verbs in a continuous tense and verbs that are passive.
The word "while" is featured in the Violet Level today.
There’s a new reading exercise for the Blue Level: It snowed last night.
The word of the day is "queasy."
December 18, 2013
Students working in the Green Level practice identifying the passive voice in this simple exercise and quiz.
Violet Level Lesson Eighteen shows students how to use the word "since" as a subordinating conjunction.
The word of the day is "present." This is different from yesterday’s word of the day page. Today’s examples show how "present" is used as a verb.
December 17, 2013
The word of the day is "present."
If you like the Word of the Day quizzes but you haven’t had a chance to complete quizzes from the past, here’s a link to all of them.
December 16, 2013
Today’s Green Level lesson is on causative verbs. It includes this video:
Today’s Violet Level lesson is on the word "unless."
The word of the day is "office."
December 15, 2013
When a gerund is in the passive voice it looks like this:
being + past participle
Learn how to use the word "furthermore" by clicking here.
The word of the day is "neglect."
December 14, 2013
The word of the day is "mock."
December 13, 2013
Learn how to put past perfect verbs in the passive voice by going to Green Level Lesson Thirteen.
Students working in the Violet Level learn how to use "on the other hand" today.
The word of the day is "late."
December 12, 2013
Green Level Lesson Twelve shows what the present perfect tense looks like in the passive voice.
Violet Level Lesson Twelve shows students examples of the word "otherwise."
The word of the day is "knife."
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I’ve been getting a lot of personal requests from students lately. It’s a good idea to remind you that I’m really the only person who works on this website, and I have a regular job in a classroom where I teach English during the day. While I do my best to respond to email and special requests, it’s just not possible for me to correct essays and letters, or contact people directly by phone or Skype for personal conversations. Sorry. There may be future opportunities for me to connect with a greater number of students at one time in the form of a Google hangout or a video party, and I’ve experimented a little with Helpouts. I hope you can understand that there are limitations imposed by time.
December 11, 2013
There’s a new Think in English exercise. Click here to take a look at it.
To learn how to form the past continuous tense in the passive voice, go to this page.
Learn how to use "even though" by clicking here. Notice that "even though" is very similar to yesterday’s lesson on "although," but they are not exactly the same.
The word of the day is "joy."
December 10, 2013
There’s a new conversation exercise. This comes as a request from a student.
Your lesson for the day in the Green Level is on the use of the present continuous tense in the passive voice.
The Violet Level lesson for today shows how to use "although" as a subordinating conjunction.
The word of the day is "impact."
December 9, 2013
Green Level Lesson Nine continues yesterday’s lesson on modal verbs, however, this lesson shows how modal verbs are used in the past tense. If you didn’t complete yesterday’s Green Level lesson, it’s a good idea to work on Lesson Eight before you work on Lesson Nine.
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Violet Level Lesson Nine shows how to use "such….that." Notice the difference between this and yesterday’s Lesson Eight lesson.
The word of the day is "hectic."
December 8, 2013
The Green Level lesson for today is on the use of modal verbs in the passive voice. The formula looks like this:
modal verb + be + past participle
Students who are working in the Violet Level learn how to use "so that" today.
The word of the day is "grade."
December 6, 2013
When forming the passive voice, sometimes you can use the word "get" instead of the verb "be." Look at these examples:
To learn more about using "get" to form the passive voice, go to Green Level Lesson Six.
Violet Level Lesson Six shows how to use the word "both" when describing two things or two people.
The word of the day is "flash."
December 5, 2013
The future tense in the passive voice can be formed two different ways. The easiest way to do it is like this:
will be + the past participle
It’s also possible to use the "going to" future in the passive voice.
(be) going to + the past participle
Let’s use the sentences above as examples.
Click here to learn more.
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Students working in the Violet Level learn how to use "due to" today. Together, these two words are very similar to "because."
The word of the day is "else."
December 4, 2013
There’s a new conversation exercise: A phone call between two young men.
Green Level Lesson Four shows what verbs in the passive voice look like when they’re in the past tense.
Violet Level Lesson Four shows how the word "because" is used as a subordinating conjunction.
The word of the day is "delight."
December 3, 2013
In Green Level Lesson Three, students learn how to form verbs in the present tense, passive voice. Beginning level students often confuse the passive voice with the past tense because the past participle resembles a past tense verb. Let’s take, for instance, the verb "fix."
The thing to pay attention to is the verb "be." That’s what indicates the tense for the main verb. In the second sentence, the helping verb "be" is singular ("is"), and the main verb is in the form of the past participle. Click here to learn more about using present tense verbs in the passive voice.
The word "consequently" is a type of conjunction that is similar to the word "therefore." Click here for examples and a video.
The word of the day is "collect."
December 2, 2013
Today students studying in the Green Level learn to talk about the most important event of their lives. We always use the passive voice in this case. What is it? Click here to find out.
Violet Level students: The word "therefore" is used when something happens as a result of the thing or person that caused it. This word usually goes in the middle of a sentence, but in some cases "therefore" is placed between sentences that are strongly related. A semicolon usually goes before "therefore," and then it’s followed by a comma. Here are some examples:
The word of the day is "boost."
December 1, 2013
Yellow Level students move to the Green Level for the month of December. The first lesson introduces students to the passive voice. What is it and why is it used?
Orange Level students go to the last level of the seven-level program: the Violet Level. This level focuses on useful conjunctions and adverbs that help tie together ideas when writing or speaking.
The word of the day is "adore."
Click here to go to November 2013.
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