Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Share your ideas and opinions in English! (Sound like a native!)

Giving your Opinion ๐Ÿ’ญ – Expressing your feeling ๐Ÿ’ฌ

Giving your Opinion in English

In this post you will learn some natural expressions and phrases that we use in English conversation to give our opinion. What's an opinion?

opinion - noun - your feelings or thoughts about someone or something, rather than a fact
from https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/

⧬Share your feelings and 
thoughts with these expressions!⧬

Here are 4 common expressions we can use to share our ideas:

I think...

I think the government should do more to help the homeless.”

I think that children are very luck today. They have many chances to get a good education.” (= children are lucky now. Especially compared to the past) 

I think the hosting the Olympics is a great idea.”

In my opinion...

In my opinion the Olympics will be really good for the country’s economy.”

“The country needs a new president in my opinion. We need to move in a new direction.”

As far as I’m concerned...

As far as I’m concerned the government should focus more on health care than a sports contest.”

“Our current leader is doing fine as far as I’m concerned.”

If you ask me...

If you ask me there are too many government rules for starting your own business. They should encourage people to create their own jobs.”
if you ask me oscars

What do you think?

⧬Agreeing with other's opinions

Here are 3 natural expressions and phrases that we use to show we agree with someone else’s idea or opinion.

I agree.

๐Ÿ‘ด“I think the government should do more to help the homeless.”
๐Ÿ‘จ“I agree. We should all try to help the homeless and each other whenever we can.”

I think so too.

๐Ÿ‘จ“In my opinion the Olympics will be really good for the country.”
๐Ÿ‘ง“I think so too. The Olympics can bring a lot of money to the local economy.”

You're right. / I think you're right.

๐Ÿ‘จ“Hosting the Olympics is expensive! There are better ways for the country to spend our money."
๐Ÿ‘ด“Yes I think you're right. The government needs to invest money where it is needed the most.”

I think so too, I think so

Do you agree?

Disagreeing with other's opinions⧬

Sometimes we agree BUT... sometimes we disagree! What if we don't share the same idea or opinion as the person we are talking with? Here are 2 natural phrases that we use to disagree with someone else's opinion.

I don't think so, I disagree

*You can use these phrases by themselves, but when you disagree with someone it is natural (and polite) to explain the reason(s) you don’t agree.

I disagree. I don’t agree.

“Giving money to the homeless is helpful? I disagree. It’s not good to just give money to people, it’s better to teach them how to take care of themselves. Offer them job training and affordable places to stay.”

I don’t think so.

“You think the Olympics will bring a lot of money to the local economy. I don’t think so. What about the 2006 winter Olympics in Turin, Italy? I heard that the city lost 32 million dollars because of the Olympic costs.”

Giving your opinion

You don't think so?

I think learning English is a great idea!

Listening to natural English sentences spoken 
by a native speaker is the best way to 
learn in my opinion!

Was this post helpful for you?
Please share it with your friends!

Check out these other great posts too!

Hasn't VS. Doesn't have ⍰
One of my private students in Japan ๐Ÿ—พasked me:
He hasn't any money. Or He doesn't have any money. ๐Ÿ’ธWhich is correct?
In this post I'll explain with some examples 
・Updated with video 2018 ๐ŸŽž

Good AT or Good WITH? - Confusing English 
・Learn to use these words like a native speaker! ๐Ÿ’ฌ
・VIDEO + more! ๐Ÿ“บ
๐Ÿ–ฐ↓Click the link to learn more!↓ ๐Ÿ–ฐ

Friday, May 04, 2018

Use the passive voice in English ~ 20 real examples!

Grammar breakthrough!
Learn the Passive Voice in English! 
  • Easy to follow explanations, learn the grammar step by step 
  • Helpful for beginner and advanced students ๐Ÿ‘
  • Listen to clear Audio from a native speaker ๐ŸŽง
  • Lots of natural examples! ๐Ÿ“š
  • Links to helpful resources! ๐Ÿ”—
  • Fun and interesting images to help you remember new grammar points ๐Ÿ‘€

active voice VS passive voice bitten by a mosquito

Passive voice

Many of my private and company English students have trouble using the passive voice, so I was inspired to write this blog post!

Harry was struck by lightning! passive voice
"Harry was struck by lightning!"

I will explain the active and passive voice with some simple examples.

A mosquito bit Paul. ~ This sentence is in the active voice. The subject of our sentence does something.

Paul was bitten by a mosquito. ~ This sentence is in the passive voice. Something happens to the subject of our sentence.

grammar point

Here is a simple way we can think about the passive voice. If the subject of our sentence gets or receives something (something happens to the subject) we use the correct form of the verb to be (am, is, are, was, were) plus the past participle form of the verb in the main action.
"Paul was bitten by a mosquito."

The subject of a sentence is the noun (person, place or thing) that did, does or is doing something: 

Ryan drives a Corvette. (Ryan is the subject of this sentence)

~ or the noun that is being something.

His Corvette is red. (Ryan's Corvette is the subject of this sentence)

What are the subjects of these 2 examples?

① A mosquito bit Paul.

② Paul was bitten by a mosquito.

A mosquito bit me

In sentence ① 'A mosquito' is the subject because it did something  ~ It bit Paul.

In sentence ② 'Paul' is the subject because he was bitten ~ Paul received a bite.

When we want to talk about something that happened to someone or something we will use the passive voice. The grammar from example ②.

"Paul was bitten by a mosquito."

"...we use the correct form of the verb to be (am, is, are, was, were) plus the past participle form of the verb in the main action."
What is the past participle?

The past participle is a verb form used for making perfect tense (had given - have given - will have given) and for the passive voice (she was given a new computer). 

Remember we use the correct tense of the verb to be with the past participle form of the verb from the main action.

Paul was bitten by a mosquito. (Bitten is the past participle of bite.)

Present tense ~ bite

Past tense ~ bit

Past participle ~ bitten

A common example of the past participle that maybe you have heard before is eaten. This is the past participle of the verb: to eat

Present tense ~ eat 

Past tense ~ ate

Past participle ~ eaten

"When I got to the party I was too late to have cake. My family had eaten everything! They didn't save me a piece."
This is the past perfect tense. My family ate all the cake!

“The cake had been eaten!” 
This is the passive voice. In the passive voice the cause of what happened is often not known or not important. In this example whoever ate the cake is not important. The main focus here is that the cake is gone. 

We use the preposition by if we want to say what caused the action.
“The cake had been eaten by my family!”
*Remember: "Paul was bitten by a mosquito."

Another example: to forget

Present tense ~ forget 

Past tense ~ forgot

Past participle ~ forgotten 

"Alex had forgotten to pack his toothbrush, so he had to buy one from the drug store beside his hotel."
Past perfect

“The lost and found office at the station is full of umbrellas that were forgotten on the train.” 
Passive voice

English grammar, Passive voice

For all regular verbs (verbs whose past tense is ~ed) the past participle and the past tense are the same. 

Present tense ~ clean

Past tense ~ cleaned

Past participle ~ cleaned

"My brother said he had cleaned his room this morning, but he was watching TV."
Past tense

"The hotel rooms are cleaned every morning before 11:00." 

Some irregular verbs also use the same form for past and the past participle.

Present tense ~ buy

Past tense ~ bought

Past participle ~ bought

"Have you ever bought something and then felt like it was a mistake the next day?"
Present perfect

“The painting was bought by a private collector in 1911 and it was given to the museum by his family in 1976.”
Passive voice 

There is a link to a list of verb forms with the past participle at the end of this post!

More common passive voice examples!

Harry was struck by lightning!

Present tense ~ strike

Past tense ~ struck

Past participle ~ struck

Brian was promoted after just 6 months. 

Present tense ~ promote

Past tense ~ promoted

Past participle ~ promoted


➧The company promoted Brian after just 6 months. 
*The company is the subject in this sentence so we use the active voice. The company did something, it promoted Brian. In this sentence promoted is the past tense of promote, not the past participle. (The past tense and the past participle are the same!)

We can also use the verb get in the passive voice. This is used in conversation.

I can't believe Brian got promoted after only 6 months!

There was a big car accident on the street in front of my office. Luckily no one got hurt.

Hurt is one of a few verbs that don't change between present, past and the past participle.

Present tense ~ hurt

Past tense ~ hurt

Past participle ~ hurt

The past participle is sometimes used as an adjective.

"The car has a broken window." ~ in this sentence broken is an adjective. It is describing the condition of the car window. Broken is the past particle of the verb break.

Different verb tenses

passive voice examples

Next week is my mother's birthday. 
I will order flowers for her from a florist in Canada and have them delivered. Let's use this situation with some examples of the passive voice using different verb tenses. Something is happening to the flowers, the subject of our sentences. (except for future continuous!)

Simple present
Flowers are delivered every day.

Present continuous
Flowers are being delivered right now.

Simple past
Flowers were delivered 2 days ago.

Past continuous
The flowers were being delivered when I phoned the florist.

Present perfect
Flowers have been delivered in Canada since 1877.

Past perfect
The flowers had been delivered before my mom got home.

The flowers will be delivered next Tuesday.

Future continuous
That flower truck has been behind us for 15 minutes. I think we are being followed!

Present conditional
The flowers will be delivered if there are no problems with your credit card.

Past conditional
The flowers would have been delivered if we had enough roses.

How do you feel about the passive voice now? Can use it with confidence? Write some examples in the comments below!

passive voice, English  grammar

Learning a verbs' past participle form is important for using the passive voice. This is a link for "50 Most Common Irregular Verbs" from ESL-Lounge.com
Was this post helpful for you?
Please share it with your friends!

Check out these other great posts too!

Do you believe  ⧬  Can you believe - Learn the difference!
・Real student question! ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ’ฌ
・Video, images and lots of examples! ๐Ÿ“บ๐Ÿ–ผ๐Ÿ—Ž

Might have (might've) VS Should have (should've)
• Updated blog post for 2018
• Simple and clear explanations ๐Ÿ‘
• Audio for listening practice! ๐ŸŽง

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Learn English from the news! Slavery in Italian wine - with audio

New words from the news story!

Slavery is any system in which principles of property law are applied to people, allowing some people to own, buy and sell other people. (People are treated like property)

sort (verb) to arrange things in groups or in a particular order according to their type, etc.; to separate things of one type from others
~ sort something 

he is sorting the company mail

A middleman is a person who helps to arrange things between people who do not want to talk directly to each other.

the middleman buys from the factory and sells to the store

benefactor (noun) a person who gives money or other help to a person or an organization such as a school or charity

This wing of the museum is named after one of our generous benefactors

seize (verb) (seize something) to take illegal or stolen goods away from somebody
~ In the news story the government takes property and money from the middlemen 

 ๐ŸŽงAudio here↓

Slavery in Sorting Italian Grapes for Wine

No doubt, Italian wine is good. The story behind that bottle may not be so good. In fact, it's a tale of modern slavery.

The job is picking and sorting grapes. Women do it. Sometimes they do it for twelve hours a day.

Paola Clemente started her day at 1:50 a.m. She took a private bus to the vineyard. After twelve hours of work, her take-home pay was about $29. The middlemen who control the jobs take their money before it gets to the worker.

Workers, such as Ms. Clemente, would not and could not complain. The only way to get work was through the middlemen. They controlled the labor market. (The opportunity to work)

Paola Clemente died of a heart attack while working in the fields. She was 49. Her death started an investigation.

Two years later, the results of the investigation are in. Results of the inquiry showed how the system used poor women. Fear is the most important thing. An expert said, “It was a system of slaves."

Farm owners paid middlemen to pick up and take the women to the vineyard. Sometimes, the middlemen charged two-thirds of the women’s pay as the cost of the ride. The women are not paid for their time on the bus, which could be 5 hours!

If the women complained, the recruiter would threaten not to call them anymore. A recruiter told one worker, “Another woman can take your place.”

Several women said the middlemen were benefactors. They were lucky to have the work.

Italy passed a new law against underpaying workers. Breaking this law can lead to jail sentences and strong fines. It allows for the seizing of property and bank accounts. Is it working? Some middlemen went to jail. But real change is difficult and takes a long time.

Source: The New York Times April 11, 2017


In the news story we learned that "Italy passed a new law against underpaying workers." Below is a video I made explaining how we use over and under as prefixes.

Was this post helpful for you?
Please share it with your friends!

Check out these other great posts too!

Apply TO and Apply FOR
One of my students asked me the difference between  Apply TO and Apply FOR. It's a good question so I thought I would write a post for my blog readers! ๐Ÿ’ป
๐Ÿ–ฐ↓Click the link to learn more!↓ ๐Ÿ–ฐ

How to use Neither and Either!
• Learn to use this grammar naturally ๐Ÿ‘
• Link to my full page infographic ๐Ÿ–บ
• Do an interactive quiz ❓

Friday, April 13, 2018

Why is Friday the 13th unlucky? ~ English practice! (2018!)

Friday the 13th ESL English study

This year April the 13th was a Friday. In the west some people believe that Friday the 13th is bad luck. They believe that this day has some special or magic power to cause bad things to happen.

This kind of belief is called a superstition in English.

Friday the 13th

superstition (noun) the belief that particular events happen in a way that cannot be explained by reason or science; the belief that particular events bring good or bad luck

“According to superstition, breaking a mirror brings bad luck.”


Superstitions about the number 13 and Friday may have started in the Middle Ages. (The middle ages refers to a time in European history between the 5th and 15th centuries) 13 was considered unlucky for a long time. The number 12 represents a complete cycle. 12 moths in a year, 12 hours on a clock, 12 signs of the zodiac. 13 feels like 1 too many!

The story of Jesus' death is said to have happened when he was surrounded by 13 of his followers. His death is also said to have happened on a Friday. There are also other stories about bad events that are said to have happened on a Friday, on the 13th day of the month. Some stories are religious and some are popular culture.

 Both the number 13 and Friday were said to be unlucky, but it seems they weren't combined into a single unlucky day (Friday the 13th) until the 19th century. Several authors helped to spread the idea that Friday the 13th is an especially unlucky day in stories and books written in the 19th century. There are many legends and ideas about why we think of Friday the 13th as unlucky.

Friday and the number 13 are not unlucky for everyone. According to Mirror.co.uk singer Taylor Swift was born on 13th of December and turned 13 on Friday 13th. Her first album also went gold in just 13 weeks! Great!

Info from ~ mirror.co.uk

Different parts of the world have different religious stories, traditions and even their own unlucky days and numbers. Even different countries in Europe think another day of the week is "unlucky," not Friday. How about your country? What is an unlucky day where you live? How about an unlucky number? Please teach me about your culture in the comment section below!

Friday the 13th is a popular horror movie series in North America. The original movie in this series is "Friday the 13th" (1980) and the latest is "Friday the 13th: Legacy" (2017). They have been making horror movies using Friday the 13th for more than 30 years! Do you know these movies? Are they popular where you live?

Unlucky means not lucky. The prefix un can change
 the meaning of a word to the opposite of the original meaning. Watch this video I made in March 2013 to explain the prefixes un and re


Check out these other great posts too! *But remember to leave a comment below ๐Ÿ˜‰

English grammar Wear VS Put On
Correctly use the verbs WEAR and PUT ON 
in English! 
・Don’t confuse these words anymore! ๐Ÿ‘
・Sound like a native speaker! ๐Ÿ’ฌ
・VIDEO and more at my blog! ๐Ÿ“บ

Learn to use the conditional IF in natural English
Learn to use the conditional IF in natural English!
・Sound like a native speaker ๐Ÿ’ฌ
・VIDEO images and lots of examples! ๐Ÿ“บ

Monday, April 09, 2018

How to use Neither and Either (Interactive QUIZ too!)

QUIZ and infographic link 
at the bottom of the page!

In our last post we looked at the phrases me too and me neither and we learned how to use them in natural English conversation. The word either has a similar meaning to neither when both words are used as adverbs:

neither (adverb) used to show that a negative statement is also true of somebody/something else

"He didn't remember and neither did I."

A: "I don't like spicy food." 
B: "Me neither."

either (adverb) used after negative phrases to state that a feeling or situation is similar to one already mentioned

"Pete can't go and I can't either."

A: "I don't like spicy food." 
B: "Me either." 
*For me personally, I prefer using neither in this situation, but either is acceptable in informal North American English.

~ but different meanings when they are used as determiners or pronouns:

neither (determiner, pronoun) not one nor the other of two things or people "Neither answer is correct." (both answers are wrong)
A: "Which do you like?"
B: "Neither. I think they're both ugly." (I don't like the first choice, I also don't like the second choice)

either (determiner, pronoun) one or the other of two; it does not matter which
"You can park on either side of the street." (it doesn't matter which side of the street you park on, both sides are OK)
"You can keep one of the photos. Either of them—whichever you like." (you can choose one of the two photos to keep, it doesn't matter which one. Each of the two possible choices is OK)

~ each of two
"The offices on either side of the hall were empty." (the offices on the left side and the right side of the hall were both empty)

interactive quiz!

View this infographic full size at:

Was this post helpful for you?
Please share it with your friends!

Check out these other great posts too!

How to use "Me too" and "Me neither" in natural English conversation! (2018)
・Learn this grammar with lots of examples! ๐Ÿ“
・Many images to help too! ๐Ÿ–ผ
・More than 4 minutes of AUDIO! ๐ŸŽง

English question ~ What's the difference between an athlete and a player?
・Use these words correctly ๐Ÿ‘
・Clear explanation! ๐Ÿ“‘
・Lots of images too! ๐Ÿ–ผ

Friday, April 06, 2018

How to use "Me too" and "Me neither" in natural English conversation! (2018)

Do you know when to use me too? How about me neither? One of my private students asked me how to use these two words naturally in English conversation. They weren't confident on which word to use to agree with a statement, so I created this lesson to help them communicate in English with confidence! Thank you for being part of the World English 808 community so I can share it with you too!
*Blog Audio at the bottom of this post! ๐Ÿ‘‚

A: Do you watch football?
B: Yes.
A: Me too.

A: Do you watch baseball?
B: No.
A: Me neither.

We use the adverbs too and neither to show that a statement is also true for someone or something else.

Too is used for affirmative or positive statements. (do, can, often etc.)

A: Do you watch football?
B: Yes. (I do)
A: Me too.
(I also watch football)

Neither is used in negative statements. (don't, can't, never etc.)

A: Do you watch baseball?
B: No. (I don't)
A: Me neither.
(I also don't watch baseball)

More examples:

A: I like sushi.
B: Me too!
(I also like sushi.)

A: I don't like natto.
B: Me neither.
(I also don't like natto.)

ferment = to experience a chemical change because of the action of yeast or *bacteria, often changing sugar to alcohol; to make something change in this way

"Grapes are fermented to make wine."

*bacteria are the simplest and smallest forms of life
Foods like natto, yogurt and pickles all have bacteria that is good for you!

A: I can't speak German.
B: Me neither.
(I also can't speak German.)

In English conversation it's common for the word neither to start a sentence. Please look at these examples:

A: My grandfather won't use a computer.
B: Neither will mine.
(My grandfather also won't usa computer.)

A: I have never been to France.
B: Neither have I.
(I have also never been to France.)

A: I can't speak German.
B: Neither can I.
(I also can't speak German.)

๐Ÿ•ฎ Dictionary definitions ๐Ÿ•ฎ

too (adverb) one way we use the adverb too is to mean ~ also; as well
'I just watched the new Star Wars movie, I liked it.' 'Me too!'

neither (adverb) used to show that a negative statement is also true of somebody/something else
‘I can't understand these instructions.’ ‘Neither can I. They're too complicated.’
(informal) ‘I just watched the new Star Wars movie, I didn't like it.' ‘Me neither.’

Let's use this grammar with more examples where the subject is different than I, me, mine.

Greg hadn't been to New York before and neither had Jane. It was their first trip.
(Greg had never been to New York, Jane had also never been.)

We were talking about politics at work yesterday. Louis likes the new Prime Minister and Joe likes him too. I was surprised! I think he's terrible!
(Louis likes the new Prime Minister, Joe also likes him.)

A: Adam hasn't been to that new club on Queen St. yet.
B: Neither has Gus. We should all go there on Saturday, I'll be fun!
(Adam hasn't been to the new club on Queen St., Gus also hasn't been there.)

It snows a lot in Toronto in February. It snows a lot in Sapporo too.
(It snows a lot in Toronto in February, it also snows a lot in Sapporo in February)

A: Fred isn't good at soccer.
B: Neither are Mike and Spencer.
(Fred isn't good at soccer, Mike and Spencer are also not good!)

They all need more practice!

๐ŸŽง Listen to the audio from this post here ↓

Was this post helpful for you?
Please share it with your friends!

Check out these other great posts too!


Confusing English vocabulary ~ 
See/Watch/Look at
・Use these similar words correctly in conversation! ๐Ÿ†—
・10 example sentences ๐Ÿ–บ
・Just for you! FREE PDF download! ๐Ÿก‡

English Grammar ~ Do you know the difference between Tired OF and Tired FROM?
・Use this grammar correctly! ๐Ÿ‘
・Updated March 2018!
・Now with audio! ๐ŸŽง

Share your ideas and opinions in English! (Sound like a native!)

Giving your Opinion  ๐Ÿ’ญ  – Expressing your feeling ๐Ÿ’ฌ In this post you will learn some natural expressions and phrases that we use  in...

Most Popular posts from the last 30 days!