Learn American English Online Blog
September 30, 2017
Today you can take some tests if you think you are ready for them.
First, review what you have learned in the Blue Level.
Then, take Blue Level Test #1.
If you do well on that, take Blue Level Test #2.
September 29, 2017
In Blue Level Lesson Twenty-nine, students learn how to use the verb "need" in the past tense. Sometimes we use need when asking for help:
The strange thing about the question above is that you can ask it in regards to a present situation. These two questions may address something that needs to be done now:
The answer to the above questions could be…
Learn more about the verb "need" in the past tense by clicking here.
Here’s a quiz for Lessons 28 and 29 in this level.
Students should take a look at the preposition "to" today. This is a very common preposition which many students fail to use properly.
September 28, 2017
The verb "need" is used when something is necessary. These examples are in the present tense:
Notice that the verb "need" is often followed by an infinitive:
A word that is often used with "need" is "urgent."
September 27, 2017
In this new video, I explain how to ask and answer questions regarding personal responsibilities:
In Blue Level Lesson Twenty-seven, students learn to use "would like." It’s important to remember that you use "would like" for things that have not happened yet:
September 25, 2017
The verb "want" is used when expressing desire.
September 23, 2017
The verb "can" is a modal verb that is used to indicate ability and possibility.
September 22, 2017
Learn to do addition and subtraction in English on this page.
September 21, 2017
Here’s another simple yet essential thing for you to know well and practice: numbers in English.
The word of the day is "believe."
Today is the first day of fall. Many people love this time of year because the days are cooler and the trees begin to change color.
Students who are working in the Blue Level this month can start on the dictation exercises at any time.
September 20, 2017
Beginning level learners of English must learn about the days of the week. I know this is kind of boring, but it’s necessary.
Here’s a new video upon request from some students who wanted me to explain some of the differences between "will" and "be going to" when talking about the future.
September 19, 2017
Today’s lesson on count and noncount nouns will help you make good choices when talking about numbers and amounts of things.
Don’t forget to take the quiz that matches the lesson.
September 18, 2017
This new video explains how to use "be going to" to talk about the future:
The word of the day is "rude." Do you know anyone who is rude?
September 17, 2017
Learn to talk about time, day, and date in Blue Level Lesson Seventeen.
I’m in the process of reuploading old videos that aren’t showing up on the website for some reason. If you don’t see a video for a particular lesson, please email me and I’ll take care of it right away. Thanks!
September 16, 2017
In today’s lesson, you’ll learn about how to use the verb "be" in the past tense. There are two forms for this word: was and were.
After you complete this lesson, go to the second part. This shows ways to use the verb "be" in the past tense with the word "there," which is very common in English.
September 15, 2017
Possessive pronouns refer to the person who owns something. They often function as subjects in sentences. Here are some examples.
September 14, 2017
Possessive adjectives come before a noun and indicate the owner or the group that owns something.
The word of the day is "make." This is an important verb used when creating things, but it has other purposes. It’s also commonly found in verb phrases and idioms. I’m directing students’ attention to the Purple Level this month because it features basic verbs for speaking English.
If you are working in the Blue Level this month, don’t forget about the reading exercises.
September 13, 2017
Today’s lesson is on information questions.
September 12, 2017
Here’s a new video for forming questions in the past tense.
I made this video after teaching a class. Some students were struggling with the past tense. It’s hard, but I think it’s a little easier than the present tense.
Did you receive the email I sent out today? If not, make sure you sign up for email from your teacher.
September 11, 2017
Prepositions are another example of words that cause problems for students. Choosing the correct preposition depends on the situation in which its used, so as a student, you need as much practice listening to and using prepositions as possible.
What are the differences? It’s not always easy to tell the differences.
There are a few things you can do on this website when it comes to learning about prepositions:
Blue Level Lesson Eleven is an introduction to prepositions.
There’s also a prepositions section that includes most of the popular prepositions that you need to learn about.
September 10, 2017
In Blue Level Lesson Ten, students learn about and practicing using articles.
Articles are those small words that appear before nouns. You can choose from among a, an, the, and you have to decide when not to use an article. That’s a tricky thing to do sometimes.
Beginning level students must complete this lesson. Intermediate and advanced level students who feel they need the practice could benefit as well.
Click here for a quiz.
September 9, 2017
The verb "have" is used to indicate possession. You own something. You have it:
Notice that the verb "have" changes in the present tense according to the subject. This is explained in Blue Level Lesson Nine.
There are more examples for the verb "have" on this page.
The verb "have" is also used as a helping verb. This causes a lot of confusion for beginning level students of English. We will study this in the Yellow Level, but let me just give you a few examples of how the verb "have" is used as a helping verb:
In the question and the two sentences above, the verb "have" is a helping verb. It can also be used as a main verb as you can see in the second sentence. I think this is a little confusing. You will learn all about this in the Yellow Level when we study perfect tenses.
September 8, 2017
Use the present continuous tense to talk about things that you are doing now and in the future.
Here’s a quiz for you to take on forming the present continuous tense.
September 7, 2017
Use the present tense to talk about things that you do every day:
To make the negative for the present tense, use "do" or "does" and the word "not." Most people use contractions for these words: don’t or doesn’t.
To make questions, use "do" or "does" before the subject:
The word of the day is "fruit."
September 6, 2017
The word "there" is one of the those words in English that many students forget to use or never really learned to use.
We use the word "there" to indicate that something exists:
We also use "there" as a location:
Click here to learn about the word "there."
September 5, 2017
Pronouns this, that, these, and those are essential when talking about things that are singular or plural. Click here to complete the lesson, and then come back for the exercise below:
Directions: Choose this, that, these, or those to complete each sentence or question:
1. Are _________ your shoes? (far)
2. I think ________ is my car. (close)
3. How much are _________ bananas? (close)
4. _________ was my favorite movie when I was a kid. (happened in the past)
5. __________ pretzels are making me thirsty! (close)
6. We’ll need a couple of __________ chairs over there. (far)
7. __________ is so much fun! (happening now)
8. __________ were good times. (happened in the past)
9. Wow, look at __________ eclipse! (far)
10. __________ are some serious issues that we have to deal with. (happening now)
The answers are in today’s email.
September 4, 2017
Nouns are words that represent people, places, things, and ideas. Pronouns are words that are used in place of nouns. Understanding and recognizing nouns and pronouns in English will help you improve your speaking and writing skills.
Beginning level students have trouble with recognizing nouns and pronouns, but so do intermediate and advanced level learners. Let me give you a few examples of that:
In two of the sentences above, the word "read" is used as a noun. Do you know which ones? In the first sentence, "read" is a subject complement, and in the third sentence, "read" is in the form of a gerund. In the second sentence, "read" is a verb.
This is why it’s necessary to study English fundamentals.
The word of the day is "date." Notice that this word can be used as a noun, an adjective, or as a verb.
September 3, 2017
In your third Blue Level lesson, you’ll learn how to form questions with the verb "be." This is a simple thing to do. Put the verb "be" in front of the subject. That’s it. Here are some examples:
In each of these questions, there is only one verb (be) and it is placed at the beginning of the question. All of these questions are in the present tense.
September 2, 2017
Lesson Two in the Blue Level shows you how to make the verb "be" negative. It’s not that hard to do, but there are a few ways to do it.
be + not
I am not / I’m not
you are not / you’re not / you aren’t
he is not / he’s not / he isn’t
it is not / it’s not / it isn’t
we are not / we’re not / we aren’t
you are not / you’re not / you aren’t
they are not / they’re not / they aren’t
Now, practice this by recording your voice in the box below:
Here’s an exercise for you.
Directions: Write the questions and negative statements in your notebook:
1. Is he on time? / No, _______ _________.
2. Are you a teacher? / No, ________ _________.
3. Are the students in the classroom? / No, _______ _______.
4. Is it hot outside? / No, ________ _________.
5. Is your mother at home? / No, _________ ___________.
How did you do? The answers are below.
Try this reading exercise: This is a young couple
The word of the day is "broccoli."
1. Is he on time? / No, he isn’t.
2. Are you a teacher? / No, I’m not.
3. Are the students in the classroom? / No, they aren’t.
4. Is it hot outside? / No, it isn’t.
5. Is your mother at home? / No, she isn’t.
September 1, 2017
Today’s lesson is on the verb "be." I think this is a good place to begin.
I am a teacher.
In this sentence, the word "am" is the verb "be" in the present tense.
You are a student.
In this sentence, the word "are" is also the verb "be" in the present tense.
The verb "be" changes in many ways. Here are some more examples of that.
He is a student. He is on an airplane.
The verb "be" changes to the word "is" in this sentence.
For a man, a woman, or a thing, use "is" in the present tense.
They are students.
Use "are" for plural subjects.
The chart below is very useful. It shows how the verb "be" changes according to the subject,
This is what I want you to do today:
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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