Learn American English Online Blog
March 31, 2013
If you have time today, the word of the day is "share." Thanks to my friend Srinivas for the suggestion.
Yellow Level students can take the Yellow Level test. If you don’t have time today, you can do it tomorrow–or any time.
Violet Level students are finished! Congratulations! You can print out the certificate by clicking here. Remember, you are on your honor when claiming to have finished all seven levels. I’m sorry, I can’t sign it myself. Can you imagine how difficult that would be?
March 30, 2013
Yellow Level students go to Part 2 of the Yellow Level review today.
Violet Level students study the word "provided that ."
March 29, 2013
Violet Level students study the use of a two-word subordinating conjunction, "now that."
The word of the day is "book."
March 28, 2013
I’m currently on the road, traveling for business related to the operation of the website, so the word of the day today is "mobile." Many of you probably already know what this word means; however, the use of the word "mobile" as an adjective is increasingly common in daily conversation these days with the rise of mobile technology.
Students working in the Yellow Level have four separate pages to visit today. The first is an overview of how an irregular verb ("go") changes in various tenses. This is an important concept to master. The other three pages show how the most important irregular verbs– be, do, and have–change when they are used as main verbs. Pay close attention to how these words are used as helping verbs and as main verbs.
To improve your ability to remember how these verbs change, I recommend that you write in your notebook. Write down what you see on the pages and then complete the exercises.
If you are working in the Violet Level, today you’ll learn how to use the word "wherever."
March 27, 2013
There’s a new video for the Eight Parts of Speech. If you’ve finished all of the lessons in the Blue, Red, and Yellow Levels, then you are already familiar with what the Eight Parts of Speech are:
Violet Level students study the use of the word "whenever."
There’s a new Red Level reading exercise for the season of spring.
March 26, 2013
Everyone benefits from knowing about the eight parts of speech. Whether you are a Yellow Level student or a Violet Level student, your ability to make good decisions when choosing the right word will improve by knowing the differences among verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, etc.
When you visit the Word of the Day page, you’ll notice that the words listed are often described by which part of speech they belong to. As a teacher, I think about this constantly, and I have to remind my students of this also–constantly. Today’s word of the day is the noun "echo." The word "echo" is usually noun, but it can also be used as a verb.
Violet Level students read and listen to examples for "nevertheless." A video is included.
March 25, 2013
Yellow Level students study the future perfect tense today. This verb tense is a little confusing because we use it to describe activity that has already happened in the future.
What this means is there’s a plan in place to expand to ten locations, but that has not happened yet. It will happen in the future, and by this time next year–March 2014–the expansion will be completed. You can only use this verb tense if you are very confident of future activity, so it’s often used with birthdays, anniversaries, and other events in which it’s necessary to note the passage of time.
This is an easy prediction to make–unless one or both people die or they get a divorce. In situations where the outcome is almost inevitable, the future perfect tense is very useful.
The word of the day is "client."
March 24, 2013
Intensifiers are adverbs that provide more information about an adjective or another adverb. They’re very popular. You can learn about intensifiers in Yellow Level Lesson Twenty-four.
The word "meanwhile" is a conjunction that you can use to describe two activities or two situations that happen at the same time. Learn about "meanwhile" in Violet Level Lesson Twenty-four.
The word of the day is "form."
March 23, 2013
The word of the day is "ordinary." A student requested an audio recorder for this page, so I’m going to leave it on there if you want to practice your reading skills. Afterwards, listen to yourself and compare your reading to mine.
For those of you working in the Yellow Level, your lesson for today is on superlative adverbs.
Students who are working in the Violet Level look at examples for the word "instead."
March 22, 2013
Yellow Level students study comparative adverbs today.
Violet Level students study the use of the conjunction "as soon as."
Students can study each other’s lessons today.
The word of the day is "soon."
March 21, 2013
Do you know what adverbs are? These words are useful when describing verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. We’ll study adverbs in the Yellow Level for the next three days.
If you’re working in the Violet Level, today you’ll study the word "as" when used as a conjunction. In this case, it’s meaning is similar to the word "while." Two things happen at the same time:
The word "as" has other applications, so make sure you learn the difference between "as" as a conjunction and "as" as an adverb or a preposition. Hope that’s not too confusing!
The word of the day is "normal."
March 20, 2013
Although the temperatures here in the upper midwest are just single digits above zero, spring has arrived. The word of the day is "spring."
I know some of you have problems with the "spr" sound, so here’s a new pronunciation exercise if you need to practice "spr."
Yellow Level students learn to talk about height and weight today.
Violet Level students learn to use the phrase "as long as."
March 19, 2013
Yellow Level Lesson Nineteen shows you how to form the future continuous tense. This is useful when asking someone about activity that happens in the future:
What will you be doing later today?
There’s also a new exercise for the Yellow Level. Click here to practice your knowledge of the present perfect tense.
Violet Level Lesson Nineteen provides examples of the word "while" as a subordinating conjunction. This lesson is suitable for all students, regardless of what level they are working on.
The word of the day is "available."
March 18, 2013
Prepositional phrases are explained in Yellow Level Lesson Eighteen. They are essential to understand because prepositional phrases provide information for other parts of a sentence. Look at the sentences below:
The parts of these sentences contained within parentheses are prepositional phrases. It’s almost impossible to communicate without understanding how to form them. It’s also important to know which preposition to use. That’s why this website has a prepositions list and examples for each preposition listed.
If you are working in the Violet Level, your lesson for today features the word "since" as a subordinating conjunction. This word is also used as a preposition, so make sure you learn the different ways to use it.
The word of the day is "split."
March 17, 2013
Yellow Level students study the difference between the present perfect continuous tense and the past perfect continuous tense in Lesson Seventeen.
Violet Level students study the use of "even if" today.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the word of the day is "green."
NEW: There’s a new Word of the Day quiz for March 2013.
There’s a new pronunciation exercise for shr.
March 16, 2013
Violet Level students study the use of the conjunction "unless." This is a tricky word to use because it comes before a condition or a situation that must be in effect in order for something else to happen.
So if her parents say it’s okay, she can go on the trip. Going on the trip is contingent upon her parents’ permission.
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Yellow Level students study the use of direct and indirect speech. This is necessary to understand if you want to describe what another person has said.
The word of the day is "dunk."
March 15, 2013
I think the past perfect tense is one of the most difficult tenses to master when learning and using English. The helping verb is "had" and the main verb is in the form of the past participle. We use the past perfect to describe some action that happened before another past action.
All of the action takes place in the past. What did she do first? She worked at a company for fifteen years. Then what did she do? She left her job and started her own company. Click here to learn more about using the past perfect tense.
If you are working in the Violet Level, click here to study the use of the conjunctive adverb "furthermore."
The word of the day is "luck." St. Patrick’s Day is on Sunday, so I think this is an appropriate choice. If you live in Ireland or the United States and have a job at a bar, you might be very busy this weekend.
March 14, 2013
Yellow Level students: Study perfect modal verbs in the continuous tense.
Violet Level students: Study the use of the phrase "in addition."
The word of the day is "admit."
March 13, 2013
Yellow Level students study the present perfect continuous tense today. This is what it looks like:
S + has or have + been + _________ing
The main verb has the "ing" ending. Use "has" or "have" depending on the subject:
Do you notice how the verb "have" changes in the examples above? That’s an important thing to understand. Use the present perfect continuous tense for activities that are continuous and are still happening right now. This tense is a little bit like the present perfect tense, but use it with ongoing activities.
Violet Level students study the use of "on the other hand" when joining different ideas together.
The word of the day is "frequent." Thanks to another great suggestion from one of my students.
I’m trying a few new things with the website. One new thing is video chat. It’s available here.
March 12, 2013
Use perfect modal verb phrases when describing something that happened in the past. This is how we express regret:
Click here to learn more in Yellow Level Lesson Twelve.
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Students studying English in the Violet Level learn about the conjunctive adverb "otherwise." This is similar to "or" and "or else." Click here to listen to your teacher read examples using "otherwise" in Lesson Twelve.
The word of the day is "certain."
There’s a new Think in English exercise for fire hydrant.
March 11, 2013
The word of the day is "land." Thanks to Srinivas for the suggestion.
Yellow Level students study idiomatic modal verb phrases: have to, be going to, and be able to. In spoken English, a knowledge of these kinds of verbs is especially useful.
March 10, 2013
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Everyone is waking up a little later today with the start of daylight savings time here in the United States. Did you remember to set your clocks one hour ahead of time last night? If not, you’ll have to do it now. Not all countries make the change at the same time, and some don’t do it at all.
If you’re a Yellow Level student, your lesson for today is on modal verbs. Modal verbs are important because they affect the interpretation and the meaning of the main verb.
Violet Level students are to study they use of the subordinating conjunction "although."
March 9, 2013
Today’s word of the day is "recent." If something is recent that means that it happened a short time ago; however, the sense that something is recent depends entirely on the situation. Something that’s recent could have happened a few hours ago, a few weeks ago, or last year. Click on the link above to learn more and watch a video.
If you’re working in the Yellow Level, your lesson for today helps you decide on forming the past tense or the past continuous tense. In some situations, you can use either one. It’s important to know the difference.
If you’re working in the Violet Level, today you’ll study how the words "such" and "that" can be used together. This is in contrast to yesterday’s lesson. If you complete both lessons, you should take this quiz.
March 8, 2013
The word of the day is "big." Thanks to my students in the Blue Level chat for helping me come up with this. Don’t overlook the small words when you are learning and practicing your English.
Yellow Level students: Today you’re studying the past continuous tense.
Violet Level students: Today you’ll study a few different ways to use "so" and "that" together.
March 7, 2013
Superlative adjectives are used when there are three or more things to compare and identify as the best, the worst, the most interesting, the least dangerous, etc. Yellow Level students click here for today’s lesson.
Violet Level students study the use of "not only" in a sentence. These two words work together to describe the qualities of something. Although the word "not" is used, this is not a negative situation. That’s what makes "not only" confusing for students.
The word of the day is "silence."
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A few students who live in the United States have written to me to ask about the sequester and how it will affect them.
Basically, a sequester is a reduction in government spending. The U.S. Congress and the President of the United States came up with the idea of a sequester in 2011 to resolve some disagreements over the budget. At that time, the sequester was far off in the future, but now it’s here and it’s a serious situation for anyone who depends on the federal government for services or employment.
Many of you won’t be affected; however, if you take ESL classes in certain states like Texas, have your children enrolled in preschool programs such as Head Start, or if you live in an area that has a large military presence or does work for the U.S. military, you might notice a change.
Here’s a link to a reliable website if you are interested in finding out if your local schools are affected by the sequester. It’s from the National Education Association, of which I am a member, so you can trust the source. If English Language Acquisition is on the list for your particular state and you are currently enrolled in English classes, you might be affected. Ask your teacher.
LearnAmericanEnglishOnline.com is not affected by the sequester. It will always be available for you to go to for free English lessons. I hope you continue to come to the website to study. It’s been fun these last ten years to meet so many people online. I really enjoy it!
March 6, 2013
Comparative adjectives help you describe differences between two things or two people. In Yellow Level Lesson Six, you’ll learn how to add "er" to adjectives and when to use "more" in front of an adjective.
Use "both" when describing two things or two people that are similar. Go to Violet Level Lesson Six to learn more.
The word of the day is "kook."
I’ve changed some of the chat rooms. The chat room software I was using before was a little unstable. I’ll probably try a few different things to see what works best.
March 5, 2013
If you are studying in the Yellow Level, today you’ll work on forming questions in the present perfect tense.
Students working in the Violet Level study the use of "due to." These two words together are very similar to "because of."
The word of the day is "hazard."
March 4, 2013
Today Yellow Level students learn how to make the present perfect tense negative. Just add "not" to the helping verb "have."
It’s also possible to use "never" when forming the negative:
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Violet Level students learn how to use "because" as a subordinating conjunction. Look at the examples below:
Which of these are correct? Click here to learn more about using "because" in forming sentences.
The word of the day is "unanimous."
There’s a new exercise for the Listening Lab for possessive nouns. Click here to give it a try.
March 3, 2013
Violet Level students study the conjunctive adverb "consequently."
The word of the day is "if."
March 2, 2013
Students working in the Yellow Level study the verb "have" today. This is an important verb to understand as a helping verb and as a main verb. If you don’t know how this verb changes from one tense to another, you’ll have some difficulty when you study perfect tenses. Today’s lesson reviews the verb "have" in the present tense and the past tense. Click here for today’s lesson. Tomorrow you’ll learn about the present perfect tense. Don’t forget to print out the checklist for this month’s lessons.
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Students working in the Violet Level study ways to use "therefore" when joining clauses and sentences. "Therefore" is similar to "as a result" or "that’s why." If you know how to use this word properly, it sounds very good. Click here for your lesson. If you are working in this level, don’t forget to print out the checklist so that you can keep track of your daily progress.
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The word of the day is the opposite of yesterday’s word: specific.
March 1, 2013
With the beginning of a new month, we start a new level. Red Level students move on to the Yellow Level. Today you’ll study the formation of questions with "did."
Orange Level students move to the Violet Level. Here you’ll spend the entire month learning how to express complex ideas. Your first lesson shows you how to use "however" as a conjunctive adverb (a word that joins two words, phrases, or clauses.). I don’t recommend this level for beginning students.
The word of the day is "general."
I have a favor to ask of my students. If you are using the checklists and have any of them completely filled out, could you take a picture of one and send it to me? I’m curious to know how people are filling out the checklists for each level. Thanks!
Click here to go to February 2013.
Click here to go to the LAEO Blog Archive.
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