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Verb Tense Consistency Quiz

In English writing, verb tenses need to remain consistent. When a sentence contains two or more verbs, those verbs must be in the same tense.   For this quiz, choose the verb tense from the ones in parenthesis that is consistent with the other verb(s) in the...

3 Common Writing Errors and How to Avoid Them

In this week’s lesson, we’re going to look at three common errors that both native and non-native English speakers make when writing and speaking. Because these errors are extremely common, they are generally considered acceptable in casual speech and writing....

Yet More Mistakes That Native English Speakers Make

In this lesson we’re going to look at three more grammar errors that native English speakers routinely commit. These are the sorts of mistakes that native speakers hear growing up and end up unconsciously repeating. Learn to identify these errors, and make an effort...

Even More Words Whose Meanings Have Changed Over Time

Even More Words Whose Meanings Have Changed Over Time   This week, we’re going to look at another five words whose meanings have changed over time. English, like any living language, continues to grow and change. New words are created, old words fall out of use, and...

Best of Tips for the TOEFL

For this week’s lesson, we’re going to revisit the most effective strategies we’ve covered for preparing for the Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL. The TOEFL is considered the standard measure of proficiency for North American English. More than 9,000...

Adjective Clauses Quiz

An adjective clause is a group of words that modifies (describes) a noun or pronoun. These clauses begin with relative pronouns or subordinating conjunctions, such as who, which, what, that, whose, whom, when, and where. Adjective clauses are always dependent. In...

Clauses vs. Phrases

This week we’re going to examine the differences between clauses and phrases. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they actually describe two different categories of word groups.   Clauses A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a...

Gerunds Quiz

This week’s lesson is a short quiz on one of the first topics we covered: gerunds.   Gerunds are verbals made by adding “-ing” to verbs. Verbals are words made from verbs that function as other parts of speech. Gerunds are derived from verbs but are used as nouns....

New Years Vocabulary

As we begin 2017, we’re going to cover some English words and phrases commonly-associated with the arrival of a new year.   If you need more help with vocabulary for celebrating the New Year, or any other aspect of the English language, contact the English Island...

Holiday Vocabulary Part One

For this week’s lesson, we’re going to explain the meanings of some important end-of-year cultural and religious holidays observed in the United States. Next week, we’ll discuss specific vocabulary words relating to these seasonal traditions.   If you need more...

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