Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hopes and Wishes

"Gonconda" Rene Magritte, 1953
(Click on the picture to enlarge it)


After "hope", use a clause in the present tense to talk about the future. For example, "I hope I get a raise next week." Notice that the clause "I get a raise next week" is in the present tense.

After "wish", use the simple past tense in the clause that follows. Use the special conjugation for "be" in the past: I were, He were, She were, It were, We were, You were, They were.
"I wish I had a good oven." (The reality is, I don't have a good oven.) "I wish my son weren't in New York". The reality is, my son is in New York, and I will miss him.

Complete the following sentences. You'll find a scrambled cue in the drop down menu. Click on the drop down menu, and you'll see the answer.

1. I hope


2. Maria hopes


3. Sam wishes


4. Mr. and Mrs. Philo saw a little leak in their ceiling. They hope


5. Alvin wishes


6. The workers hope


7. The teachers hope


8. David wishes


9. I'm having a great time on my vacation in Hawaii. I wish


10. My wife wishes


11. Maria hopes


12: I was looking forward to going to the beach. I wish


13. I hope


14. My daughter hopes


15. Stanley is fascinated by outer space. He wishes


16. Betty is going to Paris by plane. She hopes


17. Tom has to wait for a long time to vote in the election. He wishes


18. I know what you're thinking. You hope


19. Barry is a little under the weather today. He wishes


20. This is one of the best parties I've ever been to. I wish


21. I can't find very many interesting programs on Cable TV. I wish


22. Our afternoon classes aren't very large. The director wishes


23. The US government is considering asking the very wealthy to pay more taxes. Wealthy people hope


24. Daniel can't swim more than two laps. He wishes


25. Grammar Practice is always growing. New exercises are always being added. What grammar are you confused about? Your questions are very helpful for the development of this site. What kind of exercises do you wish
Your wishes will come true if you leave a comment.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Present, Unreal Conditional. Fill the Blanks.

"Breakfast" by Paul Signac
The Present Unreal Conditional is how you can express a hypothetical situation, a fantasy, or any alternative to what is real in this moment. This type of sentence has two clauses: a condition clause in the past tense and a result clause: "would" plus a verb's base form. For the verb "be", in the condition clause, use "were" for all subject pronouns. This all may sound a little complicated, but if you try the following exercise, you'll get a feeling for it.


1. Tim feels sick today. If he well, come to school.

2. Mary doesn't like to play soccer. If she to play soccer, join our game on Sunday.

3. The students enjoy reading and listening to stories. If they enjoy reading and listening to stories, the teacher choose that activity.

4. Harry doesn't need a used car. If he a new car, go to Rick Pollack's Used Car Lot. He'd find a different vendor.

5. The workers don't receive decent wages. do much better work if good salaries.

6. My wife and I aren't interested in quiz shows on TV. If interested in TV quiz shows, watch them more often.

7. Cynthia is a fine lawyer. If a fine lawyer, be a candidate for the district judge position.

8. Mr. and Mrs. Jones don't own a jet airplane. If a jet airplane, travel to Bermuda more often.

9. You aren't losing money with your investments.
chose different companies, if losing money with your investments.

10. The children don't want to go to bed early. If they to go to bed early, get more sleep.

11. Diana isn't used to eating spicy food. eat more Mexican dishes if used to eating spicy food.

12. Oscar's apartment is too small. If it a larger apartment, enjoy living there more.

13 It rains too much in Oregon. Mary consider moving there if it rain so much there.

14. My parents don't have time to go on vacation. If they time to go on vacation, travel to Hawaii.

15. My daughter makes delicious and beautiful cakes. have a successful cake business if make such delicious and beautiful cakes.

16. Jack must be real thirsty. If so thirsty, be drinking a half gallon of water.

17. Stan is planning to retire soon . work for the company several years longer if planning to retire soon.

18. Damian loves to attend jazz concerts. If to attend jazz concerts, go out every Friday and Saturday night.

19. The coffee shop is open early on Sundays. If open early on Sundays, Julia have her coffee at home.

20. The Andersons aren't in San Francisco this week. You able to meet with them if in San Francisco this week.

Try Grammar Talk 16, Page One. It's good conversation practice for Present Unreal Conditional

Jennifer ESL talk about the Present Unreal Conditional:



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Future with "will" and "will be"

"Self Portrait on the border between Mexico
and The United States" 1932, by Frida Khalo















If there is a base form of a verb after "will", such as "cook", "bake", "play", "talk" indicating action, then just use the subject with "will". Use a contraction if there is a subject pronoun. If "will" is not followed by an action but by a noun or an adjective, then use "will be". Try the following exercises. Check the drop down menu on the right of the sentence for the answer.

1. see you tomorrow.

2. here at 8:30 tomorrow morning.

3. the new president of the company.

4. thirsty if I talk too much.

5. learn a lot of new words this week.

6. get married in March of next year.

7. in San Francisco next month.

8. probably rain a lot next month.

9. ready next Thursday. You can pick them up then.

10. take the mid term exam again?

11. Probably, cloudy most of the day tomorrow.

12. get married in March of next year.

13. a meeting in room 138 tomorrow morning. Don't forget.

14. bring some refreshments for us: coffee and muffins.

15. receive their test results at the end of the class.

16. I know happy when you see your good test score.

17. visit his friends when he goes to L.A.?

18. angry if I forget to feed her?

19. very sleepy tomorrow if she stays up late.

20. take her children to the doctor this Thursday.

21. on Tuesday, November 6th.

22. a holiday on November 11th.

23. get a raise if I work very hard at my job.

24. If you water your lawn, very green.

25. I have to hurry. My leave in one hour.

26. find magazines at that newsstand over there.

27. a birthday celebration for my daughter on January 10th.

28. build a new post office on that corner.

29. Do you think famous someday? Maybe you will, but you'll have to work very hard.

30. meet a lot of interesting people when you visit New York.

31. I think your very happy and successful in his new job.

32. attend college next semester?

33. very healthy if you eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.

34. practice the piano for an hour this afternoon.

35. Do you think upset if I borrow the car tonight?

36. buy a shirt for her husband this Christmas.

37. any snow in San Francisco this winter?

38. home this evening. You can call us then.

39. Do you think win the World Series?

40. I think go to bed now because I have to get up early tomorrow.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Embedded "Yes/No" Questions

Venice Lagoon, 1879. James Whistler
When a question is a "Yes/No" question, noun clauses begin with either "if" or "whether". Let's practice writing sentences both ways. Also, the phrase "or not" is often added at the end of the sentence.
For answers 1 to 12, use "if" in your answer.







1. Excuse me. Is there a park near here?



2. Did Mary buy her cell phone online?



3. Are the vegetables at Whole Foods expensive?



4. Does this camera work?



5. Do the teachers have a meeting every week?



6. Is the language lab open on Saturdays?



7. Did your friend Juan play soccer in Mexico?



8. Is the new Great Gatsby movie very good?



9. Has the plane to Chicago left yet?



10. Is Lydia going to be my nurse?



11. Did a man in a green hat just walk by here?



12. Did my sister leave a message?



For questions 13 to 25, use "whether" in your answer
13. Has the bus from Reno arrived yet?



14. Did Alan get the job he applied for?



15. Are there enough glasses for the guests?



16. Is your neighbor a musician?



17. Does his wife work?



18. Are the employees going to strike?



19. Is that house for sale?



20. Will the packages arrive next week?



21. Will we be paid next Tuesday?



22. Did the Giants win today's game?


23. Did I talk in my sleep last night?



24. Did the teacher explain the noun clause?



25. Did anybody find a purse with money in it?


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Adjective Clauses and Relative Pronouns

"The Waterfall" Henri Rousseau, 1910



Combine the two sentences. Change the underlined pronoun in the second sentence to a relative pronoun such as "that", "who", or "whose". Make sure your adjective clause immediately follows the noun it modifies, even if you have to break the main clause.



After writing the sentences, listen to each correct sentence and repeat it after the speaker.


1. I like people. They are good listeners.



2. I bought a computer. It doesn't work very well.



3. She's a woman. She always eats nutritious food.



4. This is the camera. I bought it last week.



5. These are the photographs. I told you about them.



6. I notice people. They wear colorful clothes.



7. I finally bought the dress. I tried it on three times yesterday.



8. The movie wasn't very interesting. I saw it last night.



9. I know a teacher. Her classes are always full.



10. She's the excellent nurse. I wanted to tell you about her.



11. I didn't like the car. I test drove it yesterday.



12. The clown made everyone laugh. He rode backwards on an elephant.



13. The airplane landed successfully. It almost crashed.



14. Alan was hit by a flowerpot. It had fallen off a windowsill.



15. Then, he was splashed by a car. It had driven through a mud puddle.



16. My neighbor complains about my stereo. His tenants play drums loudly until midnight.



17. I have a good friend. He lives in Brazil.



18. I admire people. They aren't afraid to work hard.



19. The house is no longer for sale. I checked it out yesterday.



20. Some of the students are in the G.E.D. program. I taught them last year.



21. The boy was bitten by a dog. He delivers our newspapers.



22. Both dogs chased the ball. I threw it as far as I could.



23. The nurse gave the patient an injection. It made him go to sleep.



24. Students should take them to the hall. Their cell phones ring in class.



25. The apartment is downtown. My friends have rented it.



For more information on relative pronouns and relative clauses, see the Owl Purdue Writing Lab.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Present Simple Tense - Choose

"Amoskeag Canal" Charles Sheeler, 1948


















1. to my friend on the phone every afternoon.

2. flowers every spring.

3. at the office every day.

4. to a party every weekend.

5. Susan with her homework.

6. to them in English.

7. for Europe every morning at 11 o'clock.

8. their shoes before they enter the house.

9. the paychecks to the employees every other week.

10. the news of the day at dinnertime.

11. a letter to my friend Silvia once a month.

12. your notebook to class.


13. cards with his nephews.

14. from San Francisco International Airport.

15. a commercial on television.

16. soccer once a week.

17. an exam twice a semester.


18. the dentist every six months.

20. a game.

21. money from his parents once in a while.

22. her husband to work every morning.

23. dinner at 6:30 pm.

24. their work before 6:00 pm every evening.

25. next to Amber.

26. every January, February, and March.

27. beautifully at every performance.

28. a profit.


29. new words in the class.

30. at the mail person every afternoon.

31. the violin very well when she practices.

For Present Simple Conversation see Dialogue Workout A

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Past and Present of "Be" Contrast

"At The Moulin Rouge" Toulous Lautrec, 1895


















1. hungry a few minutes ago, but hungry now.

2. Yesterday, the weather terrible, but today nice.

3. any dishes in the sink an hour ago, but there a lot of
dishes in the sink now.

4. Last week, our children at their grandparents’ house, and my husband and I on vacation.

5. Before I painted my room, ugly. Now, beautiful.

6. Jack a mechanic, so every day after work, his clothes dirty.

7. energetic this morning, but now tired.

8a. When our kids young, always noisy.

8b. Now, so noisy.

9a. When young, coffee cheap.

9b. Now, expensive.

10a. Before Steve married Silvia, lonely.

10b. Now, happy.

11a. on Main Street last night?

11b. No, . home with my wife.

12. Two years ago, my dress new and colorful. Now, old and faded.

13. I in school last night because I sick.

14a. Robert in town last week. He in Los Angeles.


14b. back in town now.

15. The movie tickets $5.00 a year ago. Now, $7.00.

16a. On our first date, shy and embarrassed.

16b. shy or embarrassed anymore. very comfortable with you.

17a. How old your child when he began to walk?

17b. only 2 years old. Now, ten years old, and boy, can he run!

18a. Why Albert and Maria upset?

18b. upset because nobody invited them to the party.

19. They upset now because I just called them and invited them.

20a. Julie beautiful when she young.

20b. Now, she older, but still very beautiful.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Present Tenses - Present Simple and Continuous

"Sleep" by Edouard Vuillard, 1891











1. I two English books.

2. Julie to school every evening, Monday to Thursday.

3. your sister live in The United States?

4. Maria a pencil. She already has one.

5. working tonight so she can't attend class.

6. usually works on the weekends.

7. Jose the bus to work.

8. you and David own a computer?

9. they going to L.A. next Thursday?

10. Steven very sweet desserts.

11. Who dinner in your family?

12. Mario always very hard to remember the new words.

13. Ana sometimes TV before she goes to bed.

14. The students never the rules of the class.

15. she sleeping now? I'm not going to wake her up.

16. she usually sleep late on Saturday morning?

17. Yes, she does. She usually late on the weekends.

18. She have to work on the weekends.

19. Felix is our cat. He butterflies.

20. a teacher. I work in a school.

21. After breakfast, my cat outside and chases the birds.

22. How often do you during the week?

23. your brother play soccer after school every day?

24. Your brother soccer very well. I saw him last weekend.

25. After a long walk, my dog always on the old sofa in the garage.

26. busy right now, but we'll call you later.

27. listening to the program. I think you should. It's excellent.

28. They a computer so they can't use the website.

29. Julia in July. She wants to invite you to the wedding.

30. ushers. They work in a theater. They show people to their seats.

31. writing the exercise now? Is it easy or difficult?


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Present Progressive Tense (or Present Continuous Tense)

"Woman in a Blue Hat" Pablo Picasso, 1901
















Each number has part A and part B. Part A uses a name. In part B, use a pronoun to represent the name in part A.

1a. Julie in the mountains this weekend. (ski)

1b. there with her friends, Jeff and Mary. (go)

2a. Jeff a novel by Garcia Márquez.(read)

2b. it a lot. (enjoy)

3a. Mary and Jeff married in March. (get)

3b. to New York after the wedding. (travel)

4a. a class at Mission Campus? (Rolando, attend)

4b. Yes, a Level Four class there. (attend)

5a. What right now? (the students, write)

5b. a short composition about their families. (write)

6a. Where soccer this afternoon?(you, play)

6b. soccer at Dolores Park. (we, play)

7a. clothes this afternoon? (you, buy)

7b. No, I'm not. groceries at the supermarket. (buy)

8a. his grandmother today? (Jose, visit)

8b. No, he isn't. his aunt and uncle. (he, visit)

9a. What color the living room walls? (Maria, paint)

9b. them light blue. Do you think it's a nice color?

10a. What to do? Be careful. That ladder is dangerous! (you, try)

10b. to wash these windows. They're very dirty. (I, try)

11a. the wrong soap. That's dish soap. It won't clean your windows. (you, use)

11b. You're right. the wrong soap. (use)

12a. What today? (your sister, wear)

12b. her new blue hat today. (she, wear)

Exchanges 2, Page 1 - Present Progressive Tense

Here is a video about Present Progressive with nice graphics and music.




Friday, November 12, 2010

Embedded/Included Questions

"The Guitar Player" Jan Vermeer, 1672
An embedded or included question is always a noun clause. It is the object of the verb, as in the following sentence: I don't know where the supermarket is. "where the supermarket is" is a noun clause, the object of the verb "know". The noun clause must always be in the word order: subject+verb. So, a noun clause can never be in the form of a question.

If it is an information question, (when, what, where, why, whose, which, how much, how many, etc.), the noun clause begins with the question word.

If it is a yes/no question, such as "Is this your book?" The noun clause begins with "if" or "whether".





Exercise: Change the following questions to noun clauses after the appropriate main clauses supplied.

1. When does the train arrive?
Do you know

2. Was Sam in San Francisco last year?
I don't know

3. Where's your brother going to live next year?
I'm not exactly sure

4. What is the teacher's name?
Can you tell me

5. Does this school have a cafeteria?
Could you please tell me

6. When did the new factory open?
Do you remember

7. Where can I find a good shoe store?
Do you happen to know

8. How far is Oregon from here?
I'd like to find out

9. What time is it?
Could you please tell me

10. Are there any new employees this week?
I really can't tell you

11. How much does this computer cost?
Do you know

12. Where are the restrooms in this building?
Could you please tell me

13. When did the First World War begin?
Do you happen to know

14. How long has Jack been here?
I'm really not sure

15. How did she break her leg?
Poor Maria! Do you happen to know

16. What kind of guitar is that lady playing?
I don't have any idea

17. What did she say?
I didn't hear

18. What was the answer?
She remembered

19. What movie did we see yesterday?
I don't recall

20. What did you explain in class?
I'm trying to remember


The following is an excellent video from Learning American English. It has a good explanation of the Noun Clause.




Thursday, November 4, 2010

Reviewing the Comparative and Superlative.

"Fishbone Forest" Max Ernst, 1927
















1. My brother is my father. In fact, my brother is person in our family.

2. Spanish is Russian. In fact, Spanish is one of languages in the world.

3. Margaret is her neighbor. Some people say she's woman in our neighborhood.

4. Martha Brothers coffee is Starbucks. Some people think Martha Brothers coffee is coffee in San Francisco.

5. California's economy is Nevada's economy. Many people agree that California's economy is one of economies in the United States.

6. Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't Jerry Brown, however he's a lot Jerry Brown. Arnold Schwarzenegger used to be one of men in the world before he became an actor.

7. Your Uncle George is your Aunt Wilma. I think he's person in our family.

8. Your younger brother is his roommate. He's probably person in the dormitory.

9. Mildred is Evelyn. Mildred's music teacher think she's musician in the school.

10. Your grandfather is mine. Everybody says he's person in our community.

11, That dog is a lot our cat. That dog is probably animal on our block.

12. Yes, I know this radio isn't very , but unfortunately, we don't have a . This radio is one in the store.

13. Linda is person I know. In my opinion, she much her sister.

14. Our store is one in town. It's the stores in most cities.

15. The math problem our teacher gave us yesterday is one we've had all semester. It's much the one he gave us last week.

16. San Francisco is city in The United States. That's why I live here. It's certainly Los Angeles.

17. This cereal has too sugar. I'm looking for cereal that has sugar. Can you recommend one?

18. (answer to 17.) I think Uncle Sam is a very cereal. It has sugar of any cereal I know.

19. "Mad Men" is a TV series about people in advertising in the 1960's. It's TV series I've seen in a long time. It's much many other TV series.

20. The location of our campus is before. This location is the one for most of our students.

21. Today, I'm I was yesterday. But tomorrow will be day I'll have this week.

22. Mount Everest is mountain in the world. No mountain in California is Mount Everest.

23. Historians say that Hitler was Mussolini. He was one of dictators the world has ever seen.

24, Her English was the teacher's. She was English student in the class.

25. Samuel lives in Sacramento. He lives from our school of all our students. Nobody lives he does from school.

26. day of my life was when my father died. I was about it, but my brother was I was.

27. Alaska has weather of any of the states. Also, Oregon's weather is California's weather.

28. New York is certainly San Francisco. In fact, New York is one of cities in the world.

29. Tokyo is much San Francisco. Tokyo, with its huge population, is one of cities in the world.

30. Angela always wears colorful clothes. Her clothes are any of her classmates' clothes. Some students think hers are clothes in the school.