Learn American English Online Blog
March 31, 2014
The word of the day is "market." This concludes a month of vocabulary related to business and commerce. What should be the focus for April? Food? Weather? Sports?
Yellow Level students have a test today. The link is below, or you can find it on the home page.
In April, Yellow Level students move forward to the Green Level where they’ll study the passive voice. Download the checklist for the Green Level here.
Violet Level students are finished with the seven-level program. CONGRATULATIONS! You can can download your certificate. I’m sorry I can’t personally sign my name to the thousands of certificates for students who have made it through all seven levels. You must understand how difficult that would be considering how many people come here on a daily basis.
There are other parts of the website to explore. The American Speech section offers examples of informal English–idioms, slang, expressions, and proverbs. This is a big section of the website that some students forget to visit.
March 30, 2014
Here’s a link to Yellow Level Review Part 2. Tomorrow a test is scheduled for this level. Of course, you can take it right now if you think you are ready for it.
The word of the day is "tax."
March 29, 2014
The word of the day is "bonus."
We’re coming to the end of the month, so students who want to review for the upcoming Yellow Level test can click here.
March 28, 2014
There’s a new reading exercise for the Red Level: Finding a new job is not an easy thing to do.
Yellow Level Lesson Twenty-eight features four very important verbs in English: be, do, have, and go. I recommend that you become very familiar with these verbs and the ways that they change as the verb tenses change.
Violet Level Lesson Twenty-eight shows examples for the word "wherever."
The word of the day is "reject."
March 27, 2014
The word of the day is "lease."
March 26, 2014
If you understand the Eight Parts of Speech, it will help you understand English grammar. Of special importance are verbs, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. A slight change in a word can result in that word being used in a different part of speech.
Learn more about this in Yellow Level Lesson Twenty-six.
Violet Level Lesson Twenty-six demonstrates how to use the word "nevertheless."
The word of the day is "contract."
March 25, 2014
The word of the day is "invoice."
There’s a new exercise for the use of "tell" when describing commands. You can find it here. Remember to write your answers in your notebook.
Students studying in the VIolet Level learn about the word "besides" today.
Yellow Level students learn about the future perfect tense.
March 24, 2014
Yellow Level Lesson Twenty-four provides examples of popular intensifiers. These are the kinds of words that my students often ask me about when they see them for the first time.
In the Violet Level, students learn how to use the word "meanwhile." This adverb indicates that something is happening at the same time that something else is going on.
The word of the day is "wardrobe."
There are two new videos for the verb "tell." The one below explains how "tell" is used for commands.
This one explains how "tell" is used with indirect speech:
March 23, 2014
The lesson for today in the Yellow Level is on superlative adverbs.
The word "instead" is explained in today’s Violet Level lesson.
The word of the day is "vision."
March 22, 2014
If you’re studying in the Yellow Level, it’s a good idea to look at lessons twenty-one and twenty-two together.
Violet Level Lesson Twenty-two shows students how to use the word "as" as a conjunction.
The word of the day is "union."
March 21, 2014
The word of the day is "trade."
There are two new additions to the conversation section:
meeting someone for the first time
March 20, 2014
Learn how to talk about height and weight in Yellow Level Lesson Twenty.
Violet Level Lesson Twenty shows ways in which "as long as" can appear in a sentence.
The word of the day is "sale."
March 19, 2014
There’s a new reading exercise for the Yellow Level: Laura got a bike for her birthday.
Yellow Level Lesson Nineteen is on the future continuous tense. This tense is used for future events that are ongoing. It’s formed like this:
will + be + ________ing
In the examples below, the verb "will" is contracted with the subject. This is commonly done in spoken English.
Violet Level Lesson Nineteen demonstrates how the word "while" can be used in a sentence. Students working in this level can practice using subordinating conjunctions starting with Quiz #1.
The word of the day is "retail."
March 18, 2014
Today’s Yellow Level lesson is on prepositional phrases. How good are you at deciding which preposition to use? Here’s a quiz on prepositions that begin with the letters A and B.
Learn how to use the word "since" in Violet Level Lesson Eighteen.
The word of the day is "quota."
March 17, 2014
There’s a new Word of the Day quiz for March 2014. Remember, all of these words are related in some way to business.
It’s St. Patrick’s Day today. People in the United States, Ireland, and other countries with large Irish populations celebrate their Irish ancestry on this day.
Today’s lesson in the Yellow Level shows the differences between the present perfect continuous and past perfect continuous tenses.
Violet Level Lesson Seventeen shows how to use "even if."
The word of the day is "position."
I encourage all of my students to learn about prepositions, especially after they complete the Blue and Red Levels. It takes several years to learn how to use prepositions, so now is a good time to get started.
March 16, 2014
Yellow Level Lesson Sixteen: direct and indirect quotations
Understanding how to describe what another person said is extremely important. Let’s say a man gives you information:
"The train will be late," said the conductor.
Then another person asks you what he said. You say….
The conductor said the train would be late.
Do you notice how the verb "will" changes to "would." There are a few other important changes to consider as well. Learn more by clicking here.
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Violet Level Lesson Sixteen: unless
We use the word "unless" when describing some kind of a condition:
We can’t leave early unless we finish all of our work.
Can we leave early? Yes, but we must finish all of our work. Learn more by clicking here.
The word of the day is "occupation."
March 15, 2014
Students studying in the Yellow Level learn about the past prefect tense today . There’s a quiz at the end of the lesson.
Students studying in the Violet Level learn how to use the word "furthermore."
The word of the day is "negotiate."
March 14, 2014
Here are the answers to today’s emailed quiz:
1. carton; 2. shell; 3. peel; 4. pot; 5. breaks; 6. simmers;
7. room; 8. place; 9. burner; 10. lid
The word of the day is "meet." This is a simple yet important word to know how to use if you work for a company that has a lot of meetings.
Today’s Yellow Level lesson is on prefect modal verbs in a continuous form. These verb phrases describing past situations that were ongoing. The formula looks like this:
modal verb + have + been + (main verb)ing
Learn more by clicking here. Do you notice the differences between today’s lesson and yesterday’s lesson?
Yellow Level students who didn’t take yesterday’s quiz can find it here.
Violet Level students learn how to use "in addition" today.
March 13, 2014
This new video combines language instruction with cooking:
Today’s Yellow Level lesson is on the present perfect continuous tense.
In the Violet Level, learn how to use "on the other hand."
March 12, 2014
Use one of the modal verbs listed below to describe a past situation that did or did not happen:
Learn more about perfect modal verbs in Yellow Level Lesson Twelve.
The Violet Level lesson for today shows you how to use the word "otherwise."
The word of the day is "liquid."
March 10, 2014
The lesson for today in the Yellow Level is on modal verbs.
Violet Level students study the subordinating conjunction, "although."
The word of the day is "joint."
March 9, 2014
The word of the day is "inventory." Thanks to Marzia for the suggestion.
Here’s a new video for the verb "ask."
March 8, 2014
The word of the day is "harass."
Check the home page for your daily assignment.
March 7, 2014
For students working in the Yellow Level, your lesson for today is on superlative adjectives.
Students in the VIolet Level learn how to use "not only" when putting ideas together in a sentence.
The word of the day is "growth."
I’m adding audio tracks to the Expressions section of the website. Click to listen to expressions that begin with the letters A and B.
March 6, 2014
Yellow Level students study comparative adjectives in Lesson Four.
Violet Level students study the word "both."
The word of the day is "finance."
March 5, 2014
The word of the day is "employ." We’re into day five of words that are related to business. If you have any suggestions for words in this category, email them to me. Thanks!
Today’s lesson on the present perfect tense shows how to form questions. The lesson includes this video:
Today’s Violet Level lesson is on the use of "due to." Together, these words are similar to "because of."
March 4, 2014
In Yellow Level Lesson Four, you’ll learn how to make the present perfect tense negative. After you finish this lesson, click here to take a quiz.
Violet Level Lesson Four shows you how to use the word "because" as a subordinating conjunction. This is useful when forming complex sentences.
The word of the day is "dollar."
March 3, 2014
Yellow Level Lesson Three is on the present perfect tense. This is one of the most common verb tenses, so it’s important to understand. Form it like this:
has or have + the past participle
The choice of "has" or "have" is dependent on the subject. The past participle is the main verb.
In the first sentence, the main verb is "be," which becomes "been" as a past participle. The helping verb is "have" because it matches the subject "I." Do you understand this? You can learn more in Lesson Three. If you are confused, you might have to go back to the Blue and Red levels to review.
I’ve made several videos to explain how the present perfect tense is formed. Here are links to a few of them:
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Violet Level Lesson Three is on the word "consequently."
The word of the day is "company."
March 2, 2014
The word of the day is "business." Several of you who emailed with suggestions wanted the month of March to focus on shopping, careers, work, or money, so this month will be all about business in the Word of the Day section.
Yellow Level students study the verb "have" in the present tense and the past tense. Understanding how this verb works as a main verb is important before you learn how to use it as a helping verb when forming perfect tenses, which we will be studying this week.
Intermediate and advanced level students studying in the Violet Level this month learn about the word "therefore" today. This word is very similar in meaning to "as a result" or "that’s why."
March 1, 2014
Today begins the Yellow Level. As always, I recommend that students who work in this level print out the checklist to keep track of daily progress. You can find the Yellow Level checklist here.
The first lesson in the Yellow Level is a bit of review for forming the past tense with the helping verb "did."
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Students who are moving forward to the Violet Level can print out the checklist here.
The first lesson in the Violet Level is on the conjunctive adverb, "however."
The word of the day is "account."
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