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.

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:

  • What did you need me to do?

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:

  • What did you need me to do?
  • What do you need me to do?

The answer to the above questions could be…

  • I need you to get something for me.

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.

The verb "need" is used when something is necessary. These examples are in the present tense:

  • What do you need?
  • I need a coat today.
  • I need sleep.
  • I need a job.

Notice that the verb "need" is often followed by an infinitive:

  • What do you need to do today?
  • I need to buy a coat today.
  • I need to get more sleep.
  • I need to find a job.

A word that is often used with "need" is "urgent."

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:

  • What would you like to do today?
  • I would like to go to the beach.
  • I would like to take a ride on my bike.
  • I would like to get a pizza later.

The verb "want" is used when expressing desire.

  • What do you want to do today?
  • I want to get on my bike and go for a ride.
  • Hans wants to see his friends.
  • Sarah wants to finish an art project.
  • My students want to practice their English.

The verb "can" is a modal verb that is used to indicate ability and possibility.

  • What can you do?
  • Can you drive a car?
  • Can you use a computer?
  • Can you play the piano?
  • Can you speak English?
  • Can you find your keys?
  • Can you go out to see a movie tonight?
  • Can you watch this video?

Learn to do addition and subtraction in English on this page.

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.

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.


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.

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?

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!

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.

Possessive pronouns refer to the person who owns something. They often function as subjects in sentences. Here are some examples.

  • Your desk is made of metal. Mine is made of wood. / The word "mine" is the possessive pronoun. It refers to a person I’m thinking of. In this case it’s me.
  • Maria wants to borrow Bob’s car because hers doesn’t have any gas in it. / The word "hers" is the possessive pronoun. It refers back to Maria.
  • Everyone is bringing their swim suits. I have mine. Do you have yours? / I’m referring to my swim suit and your swim suit.
  • They have their own ideas about what should be done and we have ours. / The word "ours" refers to "we."

Possessive adjectives come before a noun and indicate the owner or the group that owns something.

  • That is his car. The word "his" is the possesive adjective. A man own a car.
  • Do you have my address? The word "my" is the possessive adjective. The address belongs to me.
  • The students have good ideas. Their ideas are good. The word "their" is the possessive adjective. Notice that the word "good" is also an adjective.

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.

Today’s lesson is on information questions.

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.

Here’s a link to today’s lesson.

Did you receive the email I sent out today? If not, make sure you sign up for email from your teacher.

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.

  • The woman is in the car.
  • The woman is on the car.
  • Oscar brought some flowers to the party.
  • Oscar brought some flowers for the party.
  • The employees work at the store.
  • The employees work in the store.

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.

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.

The verb "have" is used to indicate possession. You own something. You have it:

  • I have a bike.
  • You have a motorcycle.
  • Brian has a car.
  • Sarah has a computer.
  • The building has a garage.
  • We have time.
  • You have goals.
  • Children have fun at the park.

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:

  • 1. How long have you lived in the United States?
  • 2. Carol has had a cold for the last few days.
  • 3. We have been very lucky lately.

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.


Use the present continuous tense to talk about things that you are doing now and in the future.


  • I am working on my website.
  • You are reading this blog.
  • Mario is talking on the phone.
  • Cindy is eating her lunch.
  • It is raining.
  • We are enjoying a late summer day.
  • You are learning about the present continuous tense.
  • They are thinking about where to meet for coffee.


  • I am driving to Chicago this Saturday.
  • You are leaving for Mexico tomorrow.
  • Tom is meeting someone at a club tonight.
  • Wanda is working all next week.
  • The city is hosting a big event in November.
  • We are having a party this afternoon.
  • You are taking a test on Monday.
  • Members of Congress are planning disaster relief for hurricane victims once Hurricane Irma has passed.

Here’s a quiz for you to take on forming the present continuous tense.


Use the present tense to talk about things that you do every day:

  • I go to work.
  • You clean the house.
  • He visits his mother.
  • She makes dinner.
  • It rains every day.
  • We learn English.
  • You enjoy freedom.
  • They read books in class.

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.

  • I don’t go to work.
  • You don’t clean the house.
  • He doesn’t visit his mother.
  • She doesn’t make dinner.
  • It doesn’t rain every day.
  • We don’t learn English.
  • You don’t enjoy any freedom.
  • They don’t read books in class.

To make questions, use "do" or "does" before the subject:

  • Do you go to work?
  • Does he visit his mother?
  • Do they read books in class.

Click on the link to learn more about the present tense in English.

Click here for a quiz.

The word of the day is "fruit."

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:

  • There is a car in the driveway.
  • There are two boxes on tomatoes on the floor.
  • Is there a problem?
  • Are there any rabbits in the backyard?

We also use "there" as a location:

  • A: Where is the fire?
  • B: It’s over there. (location)
  • A: Where are my shoes?
  • B: They’re there on the floor.
  • I looked in the closet for my jacket but it wasn’t there.

Click here to learn about the word "there."

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.

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:

  • That book was a fast read.
  • Tom reads sports magazines.
  • Reading is enjoyable.

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.

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:

  • Is the car in the garage?
  • Are the carrots in the refrigerator?
  • Are you happy?
  • Am I your teacher?
  • Is today Saturday?
  • Is this your first time on the website?

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.

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.

Today’s lesson is on the verb "be." I think this is a good place to begin.

teacher paul  I am a teacher.

In this sentence, the word "am" is the verb "be" in the present tense.

student 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.

Mustafa   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,

I am
We are
You are
You are
He is
She is
They are
It is

As I said, this is a great place to begin. Learn more in Lesson One in the Blue Level.

This is what I want you to do today:

  • Complete Lesson One
  • Complete your reading lesson for today: This is a family. Notice that you can record yourself reading this short paragraph.
  • Come back tomorrow for your next lesson. Daily visits to the website are necessary for you to practice and remember the things that you learn.

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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