Learn American English Online Blog
July 31, 2013
Red Level students move forward to the Yellow Level. If necessary, go back to the Blue and Red Level lessons and study those areas where you are still having problems.
Violet Level students should complete the four quizzes that are part of that level.
The word of the day is "object."
July 30, 2013
Students working in the Red Level have two tests to take after finishing Red Level lessons 1 – 27:
The answers to these two tests are here.
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Violet Level students have one more lesson to complete in their level. Click here to learn how to use the word "provided."
The word of the day is "blast."
July 29, 2013
Click here to go to the Red Level review. Tomorrow there’s a test! This is a good way to prepare. If you haven’t finished all of the Red Level level lessons, there’s still time to get some of your coursework completed.
Violet Level students study the use of "now that." This is useful when describing a situation that has changed.
The word of the day is "switch." Thanks to Srinivas for another great suggestion.
July 28, 2013
This week we’ll finish the Red Level. Dictation exercises will help you practice what you have learned. On Monday, you’ll review the Red Level and then I’ll give you two tests on Tuesday. On Wednesday, we begin the Yellow Level.
Have you been using the checklists for each level? Whatever level you are working on, go to the main page for that level and you’ll find a link for the checklist. My student, Nabaz from Kurdistan, shows you where to find the checklist for the Blue Level:
Remember, you may always work at your own pace on this website, but having the checklists and completing all of the lessons on each list will help you gain a feeling of accomplishment as you work through this website.
You’ll notice on the homepage that new Writing in English lessons will begin in August. I’m working on them right now, so you can’t jump the gun and get an early start on the lessons just yet. You’ll have to wait until Thursday.
Violet Level students study "wherever" today. This word is similar to "whatever" and "whenever," but it refers to any place.
The word of the day is "identify."
July 27, 2013
There’s a new lesson for the Red Level. It shows how verbs and prepositions are used together to form a variety of meanings.
Violet Level students study the use of "whenever" today.
The word of the day is "whatever."
There’s a new reading exercise for the Blue Level: Our neighbor just had a baby.
July 26, 2013
It’s fairly common to hear "go" and another verb right after it in American English. I don’t think British English does this, but I’m not sure. Here are some examples:
Of course, you can’t do this with all verbs. If you’re in doubt, just don’t use "go." It’s not necessary. You can learn more about this in Red Level Lesson Twenty-six. This video is included in the lesson:
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Violet Level Lesson Twenty-six shows you how to use the word "nevertheless."
The word of the day is "pace."
July 25, 2013
There’s a new preposition added to the prepositions section: since
There’s a new Think in English exercise: traffic light
Students study adjectives today in Red Level Lesson Twenty-five. This is a list of adjectives and their opposite meanings.
The word "besides" is an adverb routinely used when saying that there something else yet to consider about a subject. You’ll find it in Violet Level Twenty-five.
The word of the day is "routine."
July 24, 2013
If you are used to something, it’s part of your life or your routine. This verb phrase is quite different from "used to" for past activities. In Red Level Lesson Twenty-three, you’ll learn that "be used to" can be applied to present, past, or future activity:
Notice that you can use a gerund or a noun after "be used to." In the examples above, the first two sentences show gerunds after "be used to" and in the third sentence, a noun follows "be used to." You should also be aware that the verb "be" can be changed into various verb tenses:
To learn more about this, go to Red Level Lesson Twenty-four.
After you complete the lessons for today and yesterday, try this exercise.
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For students who are studying in the Violet Level, your lesson for today is on the word "meanwhile."
The word of the day is "nervous."
July 23, 2013
In Red Level Lesson Twenty-three, you’ll learn how to use "used to" when describing the past. This is a very common usage:
used to + the simple form of the verb
When you listen to the pronunciation of the sentences above, pay attention to the "s" sound in used to. Also, The "d" is not pronounced. Instead, use a "t" sound when putting these two words together: used to. Click here to learn more.
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In Violet Level Lesson Twenty-three, learn how to use the word "instead."
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The word of the day is "fancy."
July 22, 2013
The word of the day is "naive." This popular adjective describes a person who doesn’t have a lot of experience in dealing with other people or in understanding what truly motivates someone.
Red Level students move on to Lesson Twenty-two and learn vocabulary and grammar related to multiplication and division.
Violet Level students learn about how to use "as soon as" today. This common phrase indicates when something happens:
"As soon as" is similar to "when." Two things happen that are very close in time.
July 21, 2013
There’s a new reading exercise for the Red Level: Everyone loves the summer.
Intermediate and advanced students studying in the Violet Level learn about the use of the word "as" as a subordinating conjunction.
The word of the day is "haggle."
July 20, 2013
Reflexive pronouns refer back to the subject. Study the chart below:
In each of the sentences above, the reflexive pronoun draws attention back to the subject. Learn more about this in Red Level Lesson Twenty.
The Violet Level lesson for today is on the phrase "as long as." We use this phrase to describe conditions under which something must exist in order for another thing to happen:
The word of the day is "linger."
July 19, 2013
Today’s lesson is on possessive pronouns. Whenever I teach this to my students, I show them how other pronouns are categorized. I also compare possessive pronouns to possessive adjectives:
With the exception of "mine," possessive pronouns end with an "s," Click here for Red Level Lesson Nineteen. Included in this lesson is a video and a quiz.
In Violet Level Lesson Nineteen, learn how to use the word "while" in order to combine clauses.
The word of the day is "extra."
July 18, 2013
Gerunds look like verbs with their "ing" endings, but they function like nouns in a sentence. Red Level Lesson Eighteen teaches you how to use gerunds. There are also some additional videos on the LearnAmericanEnglish YouTube channel that will help you understand more about gerunds. Here’s one of them:
The word "since" can be used as a subordinating conjunction. It has other uses as well, so it’s good to learn how to use it properly as a type of conjunction.
The word of the day is "associate." Did you happen to see the Word of the Day quiz that was published yesterday? If not, there’s a link to it here. I gave it to my evening class last night and they found it to be a little difficult. What do you think?
July 17, 2013
Infinitives are formed with the word "to" followed by the simple form of a verb. Infinitives function like nouns in a sentence:
What does she want? The thing she wants is to learn more English, so "to learn" is the object of the verb in this sentence.
Infinitives can also appear at the beginning of a sentence. If you do this, it makes almost anything you say take on a more formal quality:
Notice that the verb used with the subject in each of the sentences above is singular.
Learn more about infinitives in Red Level Lesson Seventeen.
If you are studying in the Violet Level, you’ll learn how to use "even if" today.
The word of the day is "skip."
There’s a new quiz for the Word of the Day July 2013.
July 16, 2013
There’s a new Think in English exercise. Click here to take a look.
Red Level Lesson Sixteen is about expressions of time. You can also learn how to use the words "late," "early," and "on time" by watching this video:
Students studying in the Violet Level learn how to use "unless" as a subordinating conjunction. This is a hard word to use for some students, but it’s very popular and important to understand.
The word of the day is "moan."
July 15, 2013
Beginning students learn about conjunctions in Red Level Lesson Fifteen. These words are important for putting words and sentences together.
Intermediate and advanced students who are working in the Violet Level study "therefore." This word is similar to "as a result" or "that’s why."
The word of the day is "guest."
July 14, 2013
Red Level Lesson Fourteen explains what adjectives are. These are words that provide information about nouns and pronouns.
This video is about adjectives and adverbs:
The word of the day is "previous." This word is used as an adjective. Add "ly" to form the adverb, "previously."
The Violet Level lesson for today is on the use of "in addition."
July 13, 2013
The word "like" can be used in many ways in English. If you like something, you might have a desire for it or admire it; however, there are other reasons for choosing this word. Found out what they are by clicking here.
Violet Level students learn how to use the phrase "on the other hand" when making comparisons.
The word of the day is "wrestle."
July 12, 2013
The word of the day is really important today. Click here to learn about the word "keep."
Red Level students study the use of "be going to" in place of "will" when making the future tense. This is also really important to understand, especially for spoken English:
So which one sounds better? The first example, of course. Often the modal verb "will" sounds stiff and uncomfortable. "Be going to" sounds relaxed and natural. Pay attention to how the verb "be" changes according to the subject and you’ll sound like an American when you speak.
Violet Level students study the conjunctive adverb "otherwise" today.
July 11, 2013
Today’s Red Level lesson shows you how to form the future tense with the modal verb "will."
Today’s Violet Level Lesson explains how to use the words "even though" when describing a contrast. "Even though" is similar to "although." Pay attention to the pronunciation of these words.
The word of the day is "dish."
July 10, 2013
Many of my students forget to use words like "a lot," "some," and "any," when speaking English. These words are used for amounts:
Red Level Lesson Ten provides additional help.
Students in the Violet Level read and listen to sentences that use "although" as a subordinating conjunction. A video is included.
The word of the day is "roll."
July 9, 2013
Why is the word "little" used in front of "spinach" and the word "few" used in front of "cucumbers"? Whether or not a noun is classified as a count noun or a noncount noun makes a big difference when choosing certain adjectives. Lesson Nine in the Red Level provides additional explanation.
Violet Level students study the use of "such that" today.
The word of the day is "laugh."
July 8, 2013
Today’s lesson for Red Level students is on the differences between the words "much" and "many." If you don’t pay attention to how and when these words are used, your English will sound kind of funny.
Students studying in the Violet Level learn how to use "so that" today. It’s important that you study "so that" and "such that" at the same time. The lesson for "such that" is scheduled for tomorrow. Of course, you can take a look at it today.
The word of the day is "fast."
July 7, 2013
Red Level Lesson Seven is an important lesson for students who are confused by the verb "do." Sometimes the verb "do" is used as a helping verb to make questions or negatives, but it’s also used as a main verb. Click here for an explanation.
Violet Level Lesson Seven provides examples for how to use "not only" as a type of conjunction.
The word of the day is "peek."
July 6, 2013
After you learn to identify subject pronouns, the next step is to learn about object pronouns. These pronouns receive whatever action is described by the main verb, or they follow a preposition:
To learn more about object pronouns, click here for Red Level Lesson Five.
The word "both" means "two." Today’s Violet Level lesson is suitable for both beginning and advanced learners of English.
The word of the day is "beverage."
There’s a new Correct or Incorrect exercise for you. Remember, the goal is to identify small mistakes in a sentence or decide whether or not a sentence is correct. Click here for Exercise #8. The focus is on verb tenses.
July 5, 2013
In Red Level Lesson Five, you’ll practice making questions using the helping verb "do."
Students who are working in the Violet Level this month learn how to use "due to" when describing the reason something happens.
July 4, 2013
Happy Fourth of July!
Today is a holiday in the United States. We celebrate 237 years as an independent country and the idea that freedom from oppression is a natural right. (oppression: the unfair treatment of people by a powerful authority or government.) As we see today in Egypt, the desire to live freely is a strong desire.
Red Level students study commands (or the imperative form). A command is used when telling someone what to do. The verb goes first and the subject (you) is implied.
Violet Level students study the use of the word "because" as a subordinating conjunction.
The word of the day is "perfect."
July 3, 2013
There’s a new writing exercise for the past tense. Click here to take a look.
Violet Level students learn how to use the word "consequently" as conjunctive adverb.
The word of the day is "rack."
July 2, 2013
To make a present tense verb negative, add "do" or "does" and the word "not." The main verb is in the simple form. (What is the simple form?)
To learn more, go to Red Level Lesson Two.
The word of the day is "crazy."
July 1, 2013
Today we begin the Red Level. The first lesson is focused on the verb "do" as a helping verb when forming the present tense.
Students who are studying in the Violet Level learn how to use the word "however" when joining ideas and sentences together. If you are working in this level, don’t forget to print out the Violet Level checklist as you work through all of the lessons this month.
The word of the day is "insane."
Click here to go to June 2013.
Click here to go to the LAEO Blog Archive.
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