Starting on Sunday, January 1, we will all go back to the Blue Level. I expect a lot of new students at the beginning of the new year as people make resolutions to change or improve some aspect of their lives. Many people around the world want to focus on English language skills. The Blue Level includes lessons that are absolutely necessary to master when learning English, so that’s a good place to start in 2017.

If you are a new student to this website, welcome!

The word of the day is ”very." This word is similar to the word "really," but they can’t always be used in the same way. Use "very" with adjective. The word "really" can be used with adjectives and verb.

  • That’s very nice.
  • That’s really nice.
  • I really like that. (Not, I very like that.)

The word "somewhat" is used when you want to describe a small degree of something. It’s kind of an odd word, but it’s very common in English.

  • This painting looks somewhat familiar to me.
  • The test was somewhat difficult.
  • These two houses are somewhat similar to each other.

The word of the day is "razor."

man shaving

He’s shaving his face with a razor.

Today’s word of the day is "surface." The surface of something is the top.

surface of the moon

This is the surface of the moon.

It’s Christmas Eve. This is a significant thing to be aware of because it means there aren’t that many shopping hours left before it’s too late to find additional gifts for people. I like Christmas and all the fun stuff that goes along with it, but shopping is not my favorite thing to do.

How well did you do on yesterday’s quiz? Are you following this section of the website? The word of the day section is intended for students to develop basic vocabulary skills. In the next website to be released in 2017, the focus will be on higher level vocabulary skills.

The word of the day is "touch."


Here’s the Word of the Day quiz for December 2016.

Notice that there’s also a printable pdf for this quiz if you want to print it and fill in the answers.

The word of the day is "pen." This word represents basic English vocabulary. Pay close attention to the way this word is pronounced. Listen to the differences in the vowel sounds in other, similar words:

pen / pin / pan / pain / peen

Now you try it:


This is from part of the email I sent out to students today, in case you are someone who doesn’t receive email from me now and wonder what I usually send out to my students:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In January, I’m encouraging my new and old students to start again at the Blue Level if they are having problems with basic English. Not understanding the verbs "be," "do," and "have" can cause enormous problems. The verb "be" is particularly important.

In the exercise below, see if you can determine what form the verb "be" takes. If you don’t do well on this exercise, then you’ll know you probably need some help.

Directions: Choose the correct form of the verb "be" for each question or sentence. The verb tense or form of the word is in parentheses.

1. Where ________ you? (past)
2. She ______ _______ a good friend. (present perfect)
3. The customer ______ _______ difficult. (present continuous)
4. How long ______ you _______ in the United States? (present perfect)
5. This _______ _______ a good experience. (future)
6. It ______ ______ ______ _______ cold today. (going to future)
7. __________ on time is important. (gerund)
8. This package needs ______ _______ in Los Angeles by Friday. (infinitive)
9. Neetu wishes she ______ _______ nicer to her brother when he was a little boy. (past perfect)
10. I wouldn’t do that if I _________ you. (subjunctive)

How did you do? The answers are below.

1. were; 2. has been; 3. is being; 4. have…been; 5. will be; 6. is going to be; 7. Being; 8. to be; 9. had been; 10. were

The word of the day is "maybe." This is often confused with may be, so it might be worth taking a look at it.

This video shows students how to use "I don’t care," followed by a preposition or an infinitive.


I’m sending out an email to subscribers tomorrow, so make sure you have signed up if you haven’t already done so.

The word of the day is "leg."


Here’s a new video for students studying the passive voice:

The word of the day is "itch."

The word of the day is "nod." To nod is to move the head up and down.


The word of the day is "hitch."

The word of the day is "giant." A giant is a really big person. You can also use this word to describe things that are big.

  • That’s a giant watermelon.
  • They live in a giant house.
  • That woman has giant feet.

Here’s a quick quiz on articles. The answers for this quiz are below.

Directions: Choose the article (a, an, or the) that best fits each sentence or question. In some cases, an article isn’t needed.

1. We got over ______ inch of rain last night.
2. ______ rain we got was welcome relief from the heat.
3. I spilled _______ water on the floor.
4. Doris likes to read ________ local newspaper.
5. We had _______ good time at the party.
6. Do you want to give me ________ hand with this chair?
7. ________ Mississippi is the _______ longest river in the United States.
8. Do you like to drink ________ coffee in the morning?
9. _______ air in the room feels stale.
10. Is there ________ gas station nearby?

Answers: 1. an; 2. The; 3. no article; 4. the; 5. a; 6. a; 7. The, the; 8. no article; 9. The; 10. a

How did you do? Articles are hard if you are new to English. Keep practicing and you will get better at choosing the right article. Reading is the key to success in this area.

The word of the day is "knock."

The word of the day is "immediately."

The word of the day is "filter." A filter is a thing that separates the good stuff from the unwanted stuff.

The word of the day is "exact."

Here are the answers to today’s emailed quiz:

1. I have done a lot of work today. (do)
2. Where have you been? (be)
3. He hasn’t worked in over three years. (work — negative)
4. The students have received their grades. (receive)
5. How long has he had that cough? (have)
6. The movie hasn’t finished yet. (finish – negative)
7. We have decided to move to Canada. (decide)
8. It hasn’t rained here in the last month. (rain — negative)
9. Have you ever visited Russia? (visit)
10. It has been a pleasure to meet you. (be)

The quiz was mailed to all subscribers this morning. If you haven’t signed up yet to receive email from your teacher, you can do so by clicking here.

The word of the day is "grab."

The word of the day is "explain."

If you want something very much, you have a desire for it.

A woman who desires to get married will make a special effort to catch a bouquet of flowers thrown by the bride at a wedding. If she catches it, she will be the next in line to get married. Of course, this is kind of a superstitious belief, but have you ever heard of it?

The word of the day is "chance."

The word of the day is "beautiful."

Today’s word of the day is "among." Use this word when describing activity or relationships within a group of three or more things or people. It’s useful to contrast the word "among" with the word "between" which is used when describing two things or two people.

  • This is between you and me.
  • I count you among my many friends.
  • There’s a small car parked between those two larger cars.
  • Among the cars in the parking lots are a few motorcycles.

You can learn more about the word "among" by clicking here.

Each course level on this website has a checklist. Print out and keep the checklist next to your computer, tablet, or phone and use it to track your progress as you move through the lessons:


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