Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Lesson 12 – Common items of Lexis

In the next series of Just Ask lessons we will be looking at common items of lexis that are used in a range of different ways and can sometimes cause problems for learners.

Making Recommendations.

1. When visiting Waterford, there are several places which come highly recommended.

2. We really recommend that you spend a relaxing day looking at all the attractions in our beautiful city.

3. We can also recommend trying the fresh seafood that Waterford is famous for.

4. Where would you recommend we visit in your town? (You can put your suggestions in the comments below.)

When we want to advise someone to do something or visit somewhere, we can use the verb to recommend’, the adverb + adjective ‘highly recommended’ or the noun ‘recommendation’.

Luckily, here in Waterford, there are lots of things to do and places to visit that we are happy to recommend.

Exercise 1

‘Recommend’ is used in several different word patterns-can you match the patterns below to sentences 1-4 above. The answers is are at the bottom of the page.

a) Subject + recommend + verb_ing

b) Recommend + clause (subject + verb)

c) To be/come + adverb + adjective

d) Recommend + that + clause (subject+verb)

Exercise 2

Find and correct the mistakes in the following sentences.

a) She recommended me to go to the cathedral.

b) What do you recommend eat?

c) It’s a really recommended restaurant.

d) I recommend you visiting early in the morning.

e) I highly recommend that you trying the house speciality.

I hope this lesson helps when you are making recommendations.

If you would like to share some recommendations for things to see and do near your home, please put your ideas in the comments below or on our Facebook page. Try to use the different ways we’ve shown you how to make recommendations. See you next time!



Exercise 1   

a) 3   b) 4  c) 1   d) 2

Exercise 2

a) She recommended that I go to the cathedral.

b) What do you recommend eating?

c) It’s a highly recommended restaurant.

d) I recommend that you visit early in the morning.

e) I highly recommend that you try the house speciality.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Lesson 11 – Verb and preposition Collocations 3

Third English lesson about verb+preposition collocations. Review new verbs and their usual prepositions. You can also take a look at our lessons 9 and 10.

Explain (to) 
We usually say ‘explain something to someone’. E.g. The tutor explained the assignment to their students. 

Forgive (for) 
We use ‘forgive someone for something’. E.g. She´ll never forgive him for telling everyone her secret. 

Help (with/to) 
- We usually say ‘help someone with something’. E.g. Can you please help me with my homework.
- If we speak about an action we can say ‘help someone to do something’ E.g. Henry helped me to fix my car.

Hide (from) 
We usually say ‘hide something from someone’. E.g. The criminal hid the gun from the police.

Insist (on) 
We say ‘insist on something’. E.g. My mother is always insisting on giving me food for school. 

Invite (to) 
We say ‘invite someone to something. E.g. All the families were invited to the student festival.

Now you can try to write different sentences with the above verbs and do the below exercises. 
Exercise 1. Fill the gaps with the correct preposition 
1. Can you explain your idea ___ me?.
2. Parents are always forgiving their children ___ their faults.
3. I want to help you ___ your English.
4. Can you help me ___ move this table.
5. My mother used to hide the chocolate ___ me when I was a child.
6. The witness insisted ___ testifying despite the lawyer’s advice.
7. Can I invite you to my house ___ dinner. 

Exercise 2. Match the verb with the correct preposition 
1. Explain                              a. for
2. Forgive                              b. with
3. Help                                   c. to
4. Hide                                   d. to
5. Insist                                  e. from
6. Invite                                  f. on

Correct answers
Exercise 1.
  1. To 2. For 3. With 4. To 5. From 6. On 7. For
Exercise 2.
  1. To 2. For 3. With 4. From 5. On 6. to

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Lesson 10 – Verb and preposition Collocations 2

We continue today with our lessons about verb and preposition collocations in English.
Remember that collocations are two or more words that are often used together.

Believe (in) 
We use believe in something/someone. E.g. Do you believe in God?. I believe in my family.

Borrow (from) 
We borrow something from someone. E.g.: Can I borrow your pen?. I borrowed this car from my brother. 

Complain (to/about) 
We usually say ‘complain to someone about something’. E.g. On my last holiday I had to complain to the hotel manager about the noise in the room. 

Count (on/to) 
We usually say ‘count on someone to do something’. E.g. You can count on me to help you with your moving. 

Discuss (with) 
We usually say ‘discuss something with someone’ E.g. We discussed the final project with our tutor. 

Dream (about/of) 
We use ‘dream about’ to speak about our nocturnal dreams. E.g.: I dreamed about becoming a famous writer.
We use ‘dream of’ to speak about our goals/aspirations. E.g.: I dream of playing at Manchester United. 

Try now to do the exercise to practise the above collocations.

Exercise 1. Match the verb + with the correct preposition
  1. Count                                1. With someone
  2. Believe                              2. Of something
  3. Dream                               3. To someone
  4. Complain                          4. In someone/something
  5. Discuss                             5. From someone
  6. Borrow                             6. On someone

Exercise 2. Fill the gaps with the correct preposition
  1. The world runs better when people believe _____people
  2. I borrowed this bicycle _____ my neighbour
  3. If the room-mate continues making so much noise I will complain ___ the landlord ____ their behaviour.
  4. The team are counting ___ all their players ____ win the match
  5. Every country dreams ____ winning the Best country in the world competition.

Correct answers.
Exercise 1.
  1. Count on someone
  2. Believe in someone/something
  3. Dream of something
  4. Complain to someone
  5. Borrow from someone
  6. Discuss with someone
Exercise 2.
  1. In
  2. From
  3. To, about
  4. On, to
  5. Of

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Lesson 9 – Verbs and preposition Collocations

One of the more difficult tasks for English language students is knowing the correct preposition for a verb.

There are no rules for most of them, so the best advice is ‘Practise!’.

To help you we will review the most common verb-preposition collocations (two or more words that are often used together).

Agree (with/on/to)
  • Agree with something or someone. When you think the same. E.g. I totally agree with your point of view.
  • Agree on something. When you agree with a concrete point. E.g. I agree on this point
  • Agree to something. When we accept something. E.g. Europe and USA agreed to sign the trade treaty.

Apologise (to/for)
  • Apologise to someone for something. E.g. They apologised to the receptionist for their behavior.
  • We can use apologise for something, or apologise to someone.

Arrive (at/in/on)
One of the most common mistakes in English is to use ‘arrive to’ for talking about our arrival in a place. But the fact is we need to use the prepositions ‘at’, ‘in’ or ‘on’.
  • Arrive at: We use it when we arrive to a small place or village, or when we need to indicate an hour. E.g. We will arrive at the airport at 9P.M. (We will arrive at the airport. We will arrive at 9PM.)
  • Arrive in: We use it when we arrive in a big city or country. I arrived in London three months ago.
  • Arrive on: We use ‘on’ when we need to indicate a concrete day. E.g.: He will arrive on Monday 22nd of July. 

Ask (for/about)
  • First of all, we never use ‘ask to someone’, we always say ask someone. E.g. I asked my teacher about my exam.
  • The difference between using for or about is really small.
    • Ask for: We use for to ask about something that we want.  E.g.: I will ask my father for the car
    • Ask about: We use about to ask for general information. E.g.: We need to ask someone about the best way to go to the station.

We will review more about verb+preposition collocation in our future lessons, but now try to do these exercises.

Exercise 1.
  1. We agree on/with someone. 
  2. We usually apologize with/to someone for/about something.
  3. We say: we will arrive to/in a Japan on/at Monday 13th on/at 10.30A.M.
  4. We ask to someone/someone, about/to something. 

Exercise 2.
  1. I’d like to apologize _____  your family _____ my delay.
  2. I couldn’t agree more _____ you.
  3. Can I ask you _____ a favour.
  4. Let me check when they will arrive ____ the bus station.
  5. I have to say I agree ____  that point.
  6. You should apologize ____  Nora
  7.  When did you arrive _____  Ireland.
  8.  Everybody is asking ____ the plane crash in Asia.
  9. If nothing happens we will arrive ____ Thursday 15th.
  10.  Euro politicians agreed ____ the annual budget for the European Commission.

TIP: Choose 5 collocations and write sentences about you in your vocabulary notebook.

Correct answers.

Exercise 1.
1. With  /  2. to, for  /  3. In, on, at  /  4. Someone, about

Exercise 2.
1.       To , for          2.       With            3.       For             4.       At                5.       On             6.       To           7.       In               8.       About            9.       On            10.    To