Category Archives: Grammar

Thinking about the Future on the Day the Clocks Fall Back, November 3, 2019

… In English we deal with the future by using nine helping verbs called the modals: will, shall, can, could, would, should, may, might and must. Only will will ever happen; all the others are possibilities, the wouldas, couldas, and shouldas of the world. Every […]

ESL Lesson: Parts of Speech

… Objective: This lesson is for beginner ESL students to understand how English works. Nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs are discussed by the teacher with enough information for the learners to recognize them in the sentences. The main objective is to give students the […]

Walking and Thinking about the Present in English

… Walking through Tompkins Square, I see red roses in the brisk air. I’ve been thinking about the present because that is what I am going to be talking about with my students this morning, and here it is, a blooming rose. Although we call […]

Learning English: Simple Sentence Syntax

… If you were going to teach English to someone who was just beginning to learn it, what would you teach? There is a game I sometimes play with beginners, a kind of bingo with a die and some beans for markers. Call it Syntax. […]

Learning English: Main Verbs

… To the English Learner: If you want to learn English, begin with the verbs. That is where the action is. This is true with any language, and very true with English because what makes English English are its helping verbs. But let’s look at […]

On Nouns Becoming Verbs in English

… In English we can take a noun and change it into a verb and the sentence still makes sense. I saw an example recently. There was a sushi restaurant on First Avenue near St. Mark’s that had a great box lunch special. For around […]