As we get closer to the beginning of the new year. I should mention that a lot of new students show up at the website in January. This happens every year; therefore, the focus of the website and the production of new material reflect the need of new students to understand the fundamentals of English.

If you know anyone who wants to learn English from the very beginning, basic level, tell him or her about the website. People who commit to at least six months or regular, daily visits to my site report improvement over that amount of time. Instant results, however, are not realistic. A person really has to work on each lesson, in order, starting in the Blue Level.

Here’s a checklist for Blue Level lessons and reading assignments. Students print out the checklist so that they are able to keep track of daily progress.

It’s also necessary to write you answers to quizzes and exercises in a notebook. They key to learning a language is to write in that language regularly. I do it when I study German or when I study music. Writing makes a huge difference in your ability to retain the knowledge you have gained.

The word of the day is "though."

Here’s a new video for the word "though."


When you want to know the word for a thing or a person, you can ask questions like these:

  • What is this called?
  • What is this called in English?
  • What do you call this?
  • What do people call you?
  • What do your students call you?

In my regular teaching job, my students call me "Paul" because I work with adults. But when I work with students under the age of 18, they call me by by last name, Mr. (my last name).

You can learn more about how to use the word "call" for this purpose in Green Level Lesson Twenty-three.

Here’s a new video for the verb "have."


The word of the day is "puzzle."

jigsaw puzzle

Do you like work on jigsaw puzzles?

I encourage students who visit this website for English lessons to look at other areas for instruction, particularly the Listening Lab. Here you can listen to me read sentences and try to pick out all of the words that I have spoken. It’s not an easy thing to do, but the exercises start off at basic level so that you can get used to listening to my voice. Many of my students have said that this section of the website is helpful for developing listening skills in English. Listening to English is the first skill you must master.

Today the House of Representatives, which is the lower house in the U.S. Congress, will meet to vote on articles of impeachment. It’s a historic vote. A majority in favor of impeachment sends the matter to the U.S. Senate which will hold a trial some time next year. If you have an opportunity to follow all of this, it’s a good way to learn about the system of government in the United States.

Here’s a new video for the conjunction "as if."


In a time when the truth is twisted through the media and our leaders, it becomes essential that each one of us considers what is true or untrue. The word of the day is "true."

The present perfect tense in the passive voice is formed in this way:

(Subject) have + been + the past participle

  • He has been shown how to operate the machine.
  • We have been told about the meeting.
  • The students have been provided with books.

Learn more about this in Green Level Lesson Twelve.

The word of the day is "abuse."

Students who are working in the Green Level this month will study Lesson Ten if they are following the lessons scheduled on the home page. Today’s lesson shows how to put present continuous tense verbs into the passive voice.

Look at the sentence below:

  • The store is selling Christmas trees.

This sentence is in the present continuous tense. The verb "be" (is) is the helping verb, and the main verb has an "ing" ending. To form the passive voice, there must be two things: the verb "be," and the main verb in the form of the past participle. So the above sentence is rewritten starting with the object, "Christmas trees."

  • Christmas trees are being sold by the store.

In this sentence, the verb "be" (are) matches the new subject. The verb "be," which helps form the passive voice, has an "ing" ending, and the main verb is in the form of the past participle. Forming the passive voice in the present continuous tense is really confusing for many of my students. Click here to learn more about how to do it.

This video shows how to use the verb "should" in creating an inverted conditional sentence.

The word of the day is "climate."


What’s the climate like in your part of the world?


Learn to use "be supposed to" in Green Level Lesson Seven.

When using the passive voice, sometimes you can replace the verb "be" with the verb "get." It depends on the main verb and the situation. Here are some examples:

  • I’m paid every two weeks. / I get paid every two weeks.
  • The man was arrested by the police. / The man got arrested by the police.
  • Her car is being fixed. / Her car is getting fixed.

In each of the above examples, a form of the verb "get" replaces the verb "be." You can learn more about this in Green Level Lesson Six.

The word of the day is "exhibit."

This video explains how to talk about hypothetical situations. These are situations that don’t exist, but you consider them in your imagination.


The word of the day is "wit."

During the month of December, many of my online students are studying in the Green Level. This level is focused on the passive voice.

The important thing to remember about the passive voice is that it’s formed with the verb "be" (sometimes "get") and the main verb is in the form of the past participle. I never get tired of saying this because it’s really helpful for students to understand. Look at these examples:

  • He is paid at the end of the week.
  • She was taken to the airport.
  • They are being served.

In each of these sentences, there’s some form of the verb "be," followed by the past participle for the main verb.

If you have not studied the first three levels–Blue, Red, and Yellow–I don’t recommend that you work in the Green Level yet. Finish the first three levels before you study the Green Level.

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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