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The word of the day is...



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Witnesses are important people in a trial because they have first-hand knowledge of things that they have observed with their ears or their eyes. The word of the day is "witness."


The lawyer asked the witness to answer

some difficult questions.

Today we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "We shall overcome."

This new video is for the modal verb "shall."


With the impeachment trial for the President starting next week, I will add to the Word of the Day section more vocabulary that is related to legal matters and the law. Today's word of the day is "court."


The word of the day is "trial."

It's a good idea to study posesssive adjectives and possessive pronouns at about the same time. The links above will bring you to the lessons for each of those things.

The word of the day is "flush."

flush left

Use the toolbar to move text flush left or flush right.

The word of the day is "toy."

Use "at all" with a negative in order to make the negative stronger:


Today's Blue Level lesson is about articles. When do you use a, an, or the? This lesson can help you with that.

The word of the day is "meager."

I made this new video to help some of my students with the word "explain."


The word of the day is "dawn."


The sun rises at dawn.

We use the word "there" to point out facts and information. It's used for location, also. Don't forget to use "there" when you talk about the existence of things:

  • There is a big sale at that store.
  • There are five people in that family.
  • There's a lot of junk in the closet.
  • There are many reasons to learn Englsh.

Learn more about the word "there" in Blue Level Lesson Six.

I want to remind new students that if you are studying in the Blue Level, you should also practice your reading skills in the Blue Level Reading Room. Begin with "This is a family."

The word of the day is "chunk."

With the start of a new year, many students return to or begin the Blue Level. I explained this a few days ago.

Click here to go to Lesson One.

Click here to go to Lesson Two.

Complete the exercises and quizzes for each lesson.

You should also practice the reading exercises as you work your way through the Blue Level. Here is the first reading exercise.

The word of the day is "bark." These vocabulary exercises are intended to help you develop your vocabulary skills over a long period of time. Check the home page daily for new words.

dog barking He's barking.

New year, new video:


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 meeing.
  • 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.

When describing a place or thing and placing an emphasis on numbers, there is a proper way to do that:

number-thing noun

  • They live in a five-bedroom house.
  • That's a 45-story building.
  • There's a two-dollar toll on the highway.

It's important to notice that the noun following the number is not in the plural form. Also, the number and the noun are hyphenated. So, don't do this:

  • They live in a five bedrooms house.

Click here for the lesson of the day.

It's Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Click here to learn about this national holiday.

Native Americans and Europeans

The word of the day is "decay."


Today's featured lesson shows you how to form the future perfect tense. This is a difficult tense to use because it describes a situation that comes to the end in the future. Here's an example:

  • By this time next week, I will have finished the book that I am reading.

So, I haven't finished reading the book yet, but by next week I should be finished with it because I don't have that much more to read. How do I know for sure? Actually, I don't. I'm not completely sure, but the future perfect tense provides a way to describe that possibility.

The word "how" is used when forming many different kinds of questions and statements. You can find examples for the word "how" on this page.

how He learned how to play the guitar.


If something is genuine, it's real. How can you tell if something is genuine?


Are those pearls genuine?

You can use the future continuous tense when talking about things that you will be doing in the future. This is similar to the simple future tense; however, in the future continuous tense, an activity is continued over a period of time. Here are some examples:

  • I'll be working this Friday.
  • What will you be doing on Friday?
  • Sandra will be getting together with some friends this weekend.
  • We'll be leaving for the airport early tomorrow morning.
  • Tom will be driving to New York next week.

All of the above activities happen over a certain duration of time. This time period can last an hour or several days and weeks. It's easy to form the future continuous tense:

Subject + will be ___________ing

The main verb is in the simple form with an "ing" ending. That's it.

The word of the day is "formal."

formal dress He's dressed in formal attire.

Talking about what another person said is challenging in any language. In this case, you have three people to think about: yourself, the person you are quoting, and the person you are talking to. In Yellow Level Lesson Sixteen, you will learn how to form indirect quotations in order to relay the words spoken or written by another person.

I created a new PDF for Lesson Sixteen in the Blue Level. This is for the verb "be" in the past tense.

The helping verb "had" can go at the beginning of a clause in about the same way as "if I had...." Here's the video:


The word of the day is "dirt."


dirt and shovelUse a shovel to dig in the dirt.

Your lesson for today is on the present perfect continuous tense. What have you been doing all day? Have you been studying your English? The present perfect continuous tense is very useful when talking about activity that takes place over a long period of time and includes the present time.

The lesson of the day is Lesson Twelve in the Yellow Level. Use this formula when talking about past possibility:

modal verb + have + past participle

You are limited, however, to modal verbs could, should, would, and might when doing this:

  • I should have ordered a pizza. (But I didn't.)
  • They could have spent their vacation in Hawaii. (But they didn't.)
  • She might have gotten lost. (But I'm not sure)
  • It would have taken a lot longer to reach or destination if we had taken the other route. (But we didn't.)

The word of the day is "constant."

constant If something is constant, it doesn't stop. This can be very annoying!


This week students will study modal verbs. Modal verbs change the condition, the tone, or the mood of the main verb. Sometimes the changes are not very noticeable. At other times, the changes are very significant, so you really have to pay attention to which modal verbs are chosen.

How are you doing so far this month? Do you feel like you are making progress with your English? As you continue to move forward through the website, from one level to the next, improvement might be harder to find. That's because it's necessary to let time pass. It takes time for your brain to absorb new skills and new knowledge. Students become frustrated because they want immediate results from a website or an app. It doesn't work that way. Keep working on your lessons, and try not to become too frustrated. You will have to wait for those new skills to kick in. (kick in = be of use)

Some of the most popular lessons in the Yellow Level are for the present perfect tense. It's a good idea to study these lessons together.

Lesson Three - The Present Perfect Tense

Lesson Four - The Present Perfect Tense, negative

Lesson Five - The Present Perfect Tense, questions

Many of the students who use this website to work on their English are studying in the Yellow Level this month. If that's you, complete the lessons in order.

The word of the day is "blue."

blue water and sky

Blue has a calming effect on people.

There is a particular word order when using more than one adjective in front of a noun. This video explains what it is.


At the begriming of each month, students move forward to the next level if they believe they are ready. Students who were studying in the Blue Level moved on to the Red Level. Students who were studying in the Red Level move on to the Yellow Level. From Green to Purple, and so on.

The word of the day is "go." There are many idioms and verb phrases that include the word "go."

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:


Click here to go back to October 2019

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