Archive | Beginner Level English

Blog posts written for beginner level English learners.


Back to Basics: What’s the Difference between Good and Well?

Good is an adjective. Adjectives tell about people, places or things. Adjectives tell about nouns. Well is an adverb. Adverbs tell about actions. Adverbs tell about verbs. For example: This woman is a good boss. She leads well. She is a good speaker. She speaks well. She is a good team player. She cooperates well. […]

Continue Reading
Me my myself pronouns possessive English ESL

What’s the Difference: Me, My, and Myself

Help! What is the difference between myself, my and me? We use myself when we mean “with no other person’s help” or “alone.” I am the only person involved. A: That cake looks wonderful! Where did you get it? B: I made it myself. A: I thought your sink was broken. Who fixed it? Did […]

Continue Reading
There are they are theyre English ESL grammar part 2

What’s the Difference: “There Are” & “They are” Part 2

My beginning students confuse “There are” and “They are.” First, the pronunciation is hard.   To say “There,” your mouth ends up in the position you would use to say the word “girl.”  Your mouth is small and your lips are tight and turned down. To say “they,” smile big.  Show all of your teeth.  (Or, […]

Continue Reading
why do we pronounce it differently?

The Spelling is the Same, Why Do We Pronounce “-ed” Verbs Differently?

Regular verbs all end with -ed. Why does the pronunciation sometimes sound like /t/, sometimes like /d/, and sometimes like a new syllable /ɪd/? To help you answer the question, find the sound that comes in front of the -ed ending. For example, in the verb helped, /p/ is the sound right before the -ed.  Put […]

Continue Reading
How What are you doing

HOW or WHAT… are you doing?

Two questions that often confuse students are: How are you doing? & What are you doing? For example, if you ask this woman “How are you doing?,” she’ll say “Great!  Fantastic!” However, if you ask her “What are you doing?,” she’ll say, “I’m giving a double thumbs up!  I’m smiling!”  The answers are totally different. […]

Continue Reading
valentine appealing apeeling banana English ESL

Be My (Corny) Valentine!

Valentine’s Day is coming–Are you ready? February 14th is a day for candy hearts and corny cards (“corny” means sentimental and full of cliches).  Here is one example: Roses are red, Violets are blue, Sugar is sweet, and so are you And here is another.  First read the pink version.  Then read the black translation: Do you […]

Continue Reading

What’s the difference? How to use “THAN” and “THEN”

What is the difference between “than” and “then”? We use “than” when we compare two things. An elephant is bigger than a mouse. A mouse is smaller than an elephant. In contrast, we use “then” to talk about time. A: Let’s get some ice cream later. B: Sure. When? A: How about 3:00? B: Okay. […]

Continue Reading