Adverbs – Introduction – Post 10


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Adverbs express the way actions take place. To some extent, they are similar to adjectives but they refer to verbs instead of nouns.

In the sentence “What a wonderfully coloured dress!”, the word “Wonderfully”, which is an adverb, expresses the way the dress is coloured.)

But if you say “Your dress is wonderful.”, then the word “wonderful” refers to the name “dress”, therefore it is an adjective, not an adverb.

Often adverbs end with the suffix “ly” (beautifully, extremely, wonderfully, etc.) but it is not a rule, in fact, there are many words that can be both  adverbs and adjectives.

For example the word “fast” can be both an adjective or an adverb:

“This car is very fast.” (adjective)

“The car was going very fast.” (adverb)

In the first sentence the word “fast” refers to the noun “car”. In the second sentence the word “fast” refers to the verb “to go”.

Adverbs may also refer to adjectives or other adverbs, as in the expression “very fast” in which the word “very” is an adverb and “fast” is an adjective.


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“Somebody did something” – Past Simple – Post 9


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Last week, I took the B2 exam.” – You should use the Past Simple when speaking about a completed action which took place in a specified time in the past.

Yesterday, I listened to a very interesting radio program.”

When I was young, I loved sweets.”

If you are talking about the past, and the time of the discourse is already known, you don’t need to specify it:

Last summer, we took a wonderful trip. We went to America and Asia. It took us an entire month to complete the journey.” – All three sentences express completed actions which took place last summer. So, we don’t need to point it out in each sentence.


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“Somebody has just done something” – Present perfect 2 – “Have just done” – Post 8


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Normally, the Present Perfect is used to express non-completed actions or completed actions that you may repeat in the future. However, there are exceptions.

In the following case the Present Perfect expresses a completed action which has happened recently and you can use “just” in order to emphasize that concept:

Q: “Are you having breakfast with us today?”

A: “No thanks, I’ve just had it.”


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“Somebody has done something” – Present Perfect 1 – “Have done” – Post 7


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I have visited France four times.” – That means that I have been to France four times during my entire life until now, and that there is the possibility that I go to France more times in the future.

The present perfect indicates that you have done something during a period of time, and that you may continue doing such thing.

“I have had three fruit infusions today.” (Present Perfect)- You would say that if it is 12 a.m. because you may have more fruit infusions throughout the rest of the day, maybe in the evening. But if the day is over and you are in bed, then you should say “I had three fruit infusions today.” (Past Simple)


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Order of Adjectives – Post 6


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How many times have you been struggling to understand which adjective comes first when there is more than one referring to the same noun?

Here is a simple framework which is going to help you understand how to properly place adjectives in your sentences:

1 – Opinion (beautiful, pleasurable, interesting, etc.)

2 – Size (big, small, tall. etc.)

3 – Physical quality (tidy, rude, inattentive, unkempt, etc.)

4 – Shape (square, triangular, round, etc.)

5 – Condition (new, worn, damaged, seasoned, etc.)

6 – Age (young, old, etc.)

7 – Colour (red, black, etc.)

8 – Pattern (spotted, pinstriped, checked, etc.)

9 – Origin (Italian, American, Spanish, etc.)

10 – Material (metallic, wooden, glass, etc.)

11 – Type (general-purpose, U-shaped, self-destructive, etc.)

12 – Purpose (running, sleeping, etc.)

Note: Before adjectives you should express the number of things you are talking about (Example: Four beautiful antique bicycles.)

Examples:

  1. A wonderful blue sky. (opinion, colour)
  2. A pair of worn blue jeans. (condition, colour)
  3. A big, worn, red, checked, Italian, cotton, shirt. (size,condition,colour, pattern, origin, material.)

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“Last but not least” – Signposts – Post 5


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The expression “last but not least” indicates that you are about to mention the last thing of a list of previously mentioned arguments or things, and it emphasizes that the mere fact of it being the last thing doesn’t signify that it is less important than the previous ones.

Example: “Pollution may manifest itself in different forms such as air pollution, soil pollution, and last but not least, water pollution.” Emphasizing that water pollution is not less important than air and soil pollution.


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“To see somebody off” – Post 4


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“To see somebody off” means “to say goodbye to somebody who is going to start a journey”, for example at the airport or at the train station.

Example: “We went to the airport to see Jane off.”

Meaning that we went to the airport in order to say goodbye to Jane and watch her starting her journey.


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“It was a (very) long time since somebody did something” – Past Simple – Post 3


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This particular expression is used when talking about the past to express that something happened prior to the time we are describing, and emphasizes that much time passed between the event and the time we are talking about.

Example: “It was a long time since he drove a car, yet he did it very well.”


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“It has been a (very) long time since” – Present Perfect – Post 2


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“It has been a (very) long time since somebody did something.” – This form means that somebody did something in the past, and you are emphasizing that much time has passed since that particular thing happened.

Example: “What a surprise to see you, Mark! It has been a very long time (since we met).”


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“I used to do something” vs “I am used to doing something” – Post 1


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We use “I used to do something” when speaking about the past, in order to express that we did something on a regular basis, but we don’t do it any more.

For example: When I was young, I used to cycle every day.


We use “I’m used to doing something” to say that we do something on a regular basis in the present.


For example: I’m used to cycling every day. (meaning that I do it on a regular basis, in the present.)


Note 1: In the form “I used to do something”, “used to” is a modal verb; whereas in the form “I’m used to doing something” the cell “used to” is an adjective.


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