Learn American English Online Blog
September 30, 2014
Blue Level students: Blue Level Test #1 / Blue Level Test #2
Green Level students: Green Level Test #2
The word of the day is "test."
September 29, 2014
Blue Level students go to the review today. Notice that the answers now include an audio track.
Green Level students start on Green Level Test #1.
The word of the day is "benefit."
September 28, 2014
Blue Level students study the verb "need" today. Tomorrow is the review, and on Tuesday I’ll post the tests for the Blue Level. Of course, you can find links to all of these things on the home page.
Green Level students prepare for tests in the Green Level Review.
The word of the day is "cast." This word has many different meanings, so look at the pictures when listening to the audio and reading the text.
September 27, 2014
Use "would like" when ordering something or asking politely for something. Remember, many people contract the subject and "would."
Click here for Blue Level Lesson Twenty-seven to study "would like."
Green Level students practice reading in the Green Level Reading Room.
The word of the day is "gorgeous."
September 26, 2014
It’s easy to form the past tense for the verb "want." Just add an "ed" ending. This is a popular way to express a person’s past wishes or desires. Go to Blue Level Lesson Twenty-six to see examples for how "want" is used in the past tense.
If you are studying in the Green Level this month, I recommend that you go to the dictation section for this level to practice your listening and writing skills.
The word of the day is "harvest."
September 25, 2014
Your Blue Level lesson for today demonstrates how to use the verb "want." This verb expresses desire. It’s similar to "would like."
The word of the day is "pry."
Green Level Lesson Twenty-five shows how to change a verb from the passive voice to the active voice.
September 24, 2014
The word of the day is "kick." This is a good word to practice pronouncing if you have trouble with "ked" at the end of a word. You can also practice that sound on this pronunciation page.
Blue Level students practice using "have to" in front of a main verb. This is a very popular usage when some activity is necessary or important:
Click here to learn more about using "have to." Click here for Part 2 of the lesson.
In Green Level Lesson Twenty-four students learn how to use the verb "get" and a past participle together. This is popular in American English, but I’m not sure about British English. I think they may frown upon it. 🙁
September 23, 2014
Here’s a new video explaining compound verbs:
September 22, 2014
I had to go out of town this last weekend and couldn’t update the website while on the road, so….sorry about that.
The lesson for the day in the Blue Level is on addition and subtraction. I think this is especially important for students who study math and need to talk about it in English.
Are you keeping up with the other assignments in the Blue Level?
Don’t forget that there are reading assignments and dictation exercises.
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Students in the Green Level learn how to talk about how things are made.
The word of the day is "face."
September 19, 2014
If you want to speak English well, it’s essential that you learn the differences between count and noncount nouns.
Do you see the differences in these sentencs and questions? If not, click here. You can get additional practice in Red Level Lesson Eight and Red Level Lesson Nine.
The word of the day is "trap."
September 18, 2014
The word of the day is "cash."
September 17, 2104
Blue Level Lesson Seventeen provides basic instruction in talking about time, day, and date.
Green Level Lesson Seventeen is similar to yesterday’s lesson, but the causative verb in this case is "make."
The word of the day is "credit."
September 16, 2014
In Blue Level Lesson Sixteen, students learn how to form the past tense with the verb "be." This word changes depending on the subject:
Green Level students learn how to use the verbs "get" and "have" as causative verbs.
The word of the day is "debt."
September 15, 2014
Blue Level students study possessive pronouns today. Don’t confuse possessive pronouns with possessive adjectives (yesterday’s lesson).
Intermediate and advanced level students studying in the Green Level learn about passive gerunds.
The word of the day is "lend."
There’s a new Word of the Day quiz for September 2014.
September 14, 2014
Today’s main lesson is on possessive adjectives. These are words that appear before nouns to indicate who owns something:
Can you find the possessive adjectives above? If not, do the lesson!
The word of the day is "borrow."
September 13, 2014
Information questions start with the words who, what, where, when, why, etc. Learn about them in today’s Blue Level lesson.
Who does Mark take care of? Click here to practice your reading.
The word of the day is "hassle."
September 12, 2014
In Blue Level Lesson Twelve, students learn about the past tense.
Green Level Lesson Twelve shiows what the passive voice looks like when verbs are in the present perfect tense.
The word of the day is "spread." This is an irregular verb that you can use when something moves or covers an area of space.
This website received a very favorable review on tesol.org. The article is about a month old, but I just found out about it a few days ago. It’s always good to hear that people are using the website.
September 11, 2014
Today’s Blue Level lesson is on prepositions. If you feel like you need more practice with prepositions, you can also click here.
The Green Level lesson for today is on the past continuous tense in the passive voice. There’s a new audio recording for that lesson which you can download to your computer or your phone.
The word of the day is "owe."
Here’s the exercise on articles (a, an, the, —) from yesterday’s email:
In this exercise, choose "a," "an," or "the." There are situations in which no article is used. Ready? Write your answers in your notebook.
1. ________ movie we saw last night was great.
2. Mary would like to get ________ piece of pizza.
3. Can you see ______ sun?
4. Joe felt sick so he went _______ home.
5. She has ________ interesting idea.
6. It’s Ibrahim’s dream to learn ________ English.
7. _______ Mississippi is ________ longest river in ________ United States.
8. _______ sink in _______ kitchen is full of dishes.
9. I’m thirsty. I need _______ glass of _______ water.
10. All of ________ questions were very difficult.
The answers are below. How did you do? If you need more help, click here or click here for a quiz.
ANSWERS: 1. The; 2. a; 3. the; 4. no article; 5. an; 6. no article; 7. The, the, the; 8. The, the; 9. a, no article; 10. the
September 10, 2014
Blue Level students study articles today.
Green Level students learn how to make verbs in the present continuous tense passive.
The word of the day is "answer."
September 9, 2014
Blue Level students study the verb "have" today. In the present tense, this verb has two forms: has or have. After you finish the lesson, take this quiz.
The word of the day is "wholesome."
Make sure you are following the schedule on the home page and on the checklists. A good student doesn’t want to fall behind in his or her classwork.
Today’s lesson for Green Level students is here.
Thanks for sending in photos for the Photos section! I’ll post the new ones soon.
September 8, 2014
The present continuous tense is a very useful tense to know because you can use it for different reasons. It’s similar to the present tense, which you studied yesterday, but don’t confuse it with the present tense.
Look at these three sentences. Each is a little different:
Click here to learn more in Blue Level Lesson Eight. The second part for this lesson is here. After you complete the lessons, you can take this quiz.
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In Green Level Lesson Eight, students learn to use modal verbs with the passive voice. It’s not really that hard. You just have to understand the meanings of the modals and then choose the correct past participle. The formula looks like this:
modal verb + be + past participle
Of course, the most difficult thing to know here is which modal verb is the right one to choose for a particular situation. Try this quiz using the modal verbs "can" and "should."
The word of the day is "jump."
September 7, 2014
Your lesson for today is on forming the present tense. You can take this quiz after you finish the lesson. I also recommend that you start listening to the Blue Level reading exercises.
Green Level students learn about the use of "be supposed to" today. What are you supposed to do this week?
The word of the day is "slump."
There’s a new video for students who asked me to explain what a verb is and the differences between helping verbs and main verbs. I’ve had this on my list of things to do for a very long time. Here it is:
September 6, 2014
The word "there" indicates existence and location. It’s used with both singular and plural nouns and pronouns. Learn about "there" in Blue Level Lesson Six.
The verb "get" is often used when forming the passive voice. It can’t always substitute for the verb "be," but it’s fairly common. Look at these examples:
Learn more about the use of "get" in Green Level Lesson Six.
The word of the day is "whoops."
September 5, 2014
Beginning level learners must learn the differences among the words this, that, these, and those. These are pronouns that are used for singular and plural people and things. Learn about them in Blue Level Lesson Five.
Green Level Lesson Five shows students how to form the passive voice in the future tense.
The word of the day is "pick."
September 4, 2014
Blue Level students learn about nouns and pronouns in Blue Level Lesson Four. I also recommend that students look over lessons in the Aqua Level if they are confused by pronouns.
Green Level students study the past tense in the passive voice.
The word of the day is "see."
September 3, 2014
Blue Level students learn how to make questions in the present tense in Blue Level Lesson Three.
It’s good to study the Blue Level and the Green Level together if you are an intermediate or advanced student of English because the verb "be" is so important in the formation of the passive voice. I can’t tell you how many of my students make mistakes by forgetting to use the verb "be" or by using the wrong verb tense. Today’s Green Level lesson is on the present passive voice. Remember, the verb "be" indicates the verb tense:
The thing that confuses some students is the past participle. In the sentences above, the past participles are helped, used, and played. These are regular verbs. They look like they are in the past tense, but they aren’t. The verb be (are, is, am) indicates that these verbs are in the present tense and in the passive voice. Do you understand that?
The word of the day is "secure."
September 2, 2014
In Blue Level Lesson Two, students learn how to make the verb "be" negative.
Students working in the Green Level learn how to talk about the place and time of their birth in Green Level Lesson Two.
The word of the day is "turn."
September 1, 2014
The word of the day is "labor." Today is Labor Day in the United States. Workers get a day of rest; however, there are still many people who still go to work today, particularly retail workers, people who work at restaurants, and hotel workers. The airports are also quite busy this weekend.
Today new students begin the Blue Level with Lesson One. This is on the verb "be." This is the most important verb to understand when you learn English.
Be sure to print out the Blue Level checklist and keep it by your computer as you work on lessons this month. This way you’ll be able to track how much you have studied.
Yellow Level students move forward to the Green Level today.
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