Classroom phrases

Add more words.
Are the statements right or wrong?
Ask questions.
Can I go to the toilet?
Can I help?
Can I open the window, please?
Can I say it in (German …)?
Check your answers.
Choose two questions.
Collect information about…
Colour the picture.
Compare your words with your partner.
Complete the sentences with words from the text.
Complete the text.
Copy the chart.
Copy the table into your folder.
Correct the mistakes.
Correct the wrong sentences.
Divide the text into five parts.
Do you agree with …
Draw a room.
Fill in the right words.
Find a partner.
Find arguments.
Find the questions to the answers.
Finish the story.
Give good reasons for your opinions.
How might the story go on?
Listen to the CD.
Look at the pictures.
Make notes.
Make sentences.
Make up more conversations with a partner.
Match the sentence parts.
Match the sentences to the questions.
Move your counter.
Open your textbook at page 25. (workbook, folder, diary)
Put in the right verbs.
Put the sentences in the right order.
Put the verbs in the right groups.
Read out loud.
Sorry, I haven’t got my homework.
Swap your folder with your partner.
Talk about pets.
Talk to your partner.
Tell your form.
Throw the dice.
Use …
What is the story about?
What lines from the text go with the pictures?
What’s this in English?
Write a story.
Write about Peter.
Write the sentences in the right order.

A – Comparison with -er/-est

clean – cleaner – (the) cleanest

We use -er/-est with the following adjectives:

1) adjectives with one syllable

clean cleaner cleanest
new newer newest
cheap cheaper cheapest

2) adjectives with two syllables and the following endings:

2 – 1) adjectives with two syllables, ending in -y

dirty dirtier dirtiest
easy easier easiest
happy happier happiest
pretty prettier prettiest

2 – 2) adjectives with two syllables, ending in -er


clever cleverer cleverest

2 – 3) adjectives with two syllables, ending in -le


simple simpler simplest

2 – 4) adjectives with two syllables, ending in -ow


narrow narrower narrowest

Spelling of the adjectives using the endings -er/-est

large larger largest leave out the silent -e
big bigger biggest Double the consonant after short vowel
sad sadder saddest
dirty dirtier dirtiest Change -y to -i (consonant before -y)
shy shyer shyest Here -y is not changed to -i.
(although consonant before -y)

B – Comparison with more – most

difficult – more difficult – (the) most difficult

all adjectives with more than one syllable (except some adjectives with two syllables – see
2 – 1 to 2 – 4)

C – Irregular adjectives

good better best
bad worse worst
much more most uncountable nouns
many more most countable nouns
little less least
little smaller smallest

D – Special adjectives

Some ajdectives have two possible forms of comparison.

common commoner / more common commonest / most common
likely likelier / more likely likeliest / most likely
pleasant pleasanter / more pleasant pleasantest / most pleasant
polite politer / more polite politest / most polite
simple simpler / more simple simplest / most simple
stupid stupider / more stupid stupidest / most stupid
subtle subtler / more subtle subtlest
sure surer / more sure surest / most sure

Difference in meaning with adjectives:

far farther farthest distance
further furthest distance or
late later latest
latter x
x last
old older oldest people and things
elder eldest people (family)
near nearer nearest distance
x next order

The definite article – the

The definite article the is the same for all genders in singular and in plural.
the boy, the girl, the cat, the computers

If the following word begins with a vowel, we speak [], if the following word begins with a consonant, we speak [].

[] []
the following word starts with a spoken consonant the following word starts with a spoken vowel
the girl the English girl
the book the blue book
the school the old school
the unit
Here a [] is pronounced at the beginning of the word.
the uncle
Here a [] is pronounced at the beginning of the word.

We have listed some examples in the following table. There you can see when we use the definite article and when we don’t.

without the definite article with the definite article
general words (indefinite) general words (definite)
Life is too short.
I like flowers.
I’ve read a book on the life of Bill Clinton.
I like the flowers in your garden.
names of persons on the singular, relatives family names in the plural
Peter and John live in London.
Aunt Mary lives in Los Angeles.
The Smiths live in Chicago.
public buildings, institutions, means of transport (indefinite) public buildings, institutions, means of transport (definite)
Mandy doesn’t like school.
We go to school by bus.
Some people go to church on Sundays.
The school that Mandy goes to is old.
The bus to Dresden leaves at 7.40.
The round church in Klingenthal is famous.
names of countries in the singular; summits of mountains; continents; towns names of countries in the plural; mountain ranges; regions
Germany, France;
Mount Whitney, Mount McKinley;
Africa, Europe;
Cairo, New York
the United States of America, the Netherlands; the Highlands, the Rocky Mountains, the Alps; the Middle East, the west of Australia
single islands groups of islands
Corfu, Bermuda, Sicily the Bahamas, the British Isles, the Canaries
parks; lakes; streets name with of-phrase; oceans; seas; rivers
Central Park, Hyde Park;
Lake Michigan, Loch Ness;
42nd Street, Oxford Street
the Statue of Liberty, the Tower (of London), the Isle of Wight;
the Atlantic (Ocean);
the Mediterranean (Sea);
the Nile, the Rhine, the Suez Canal
months, days of the week (indefinite) months, days of the week (definite)
The weekend is over on Monday morning.
July and August are the most popular months for holidays.
I always remember the Monday when I had an accident.
The August of 2001 was hot and dry.

We use the seasons of the year (spring, summer, autumn, winter) with or without the definite article.

in summer or in the summer

The American English word for autum >fall< is always used with the definte article.

Sometimes we use the article and sometimes we do not. It often depends on the context. Watch the following example:

The student goes to school.
The mother goes to the school.

In the first sentence we do not use the definite article, in the second we do. The student goes to school for its primary purpose, so we do not use the article.

The mother might talk to a teacher, for example. She visits the school for a different reason. That’s why we use the definite article in the second sentence.

The indefinite article – a

The indefinte article is the a is the same for all genders.
a boy, a girl, a cat

The indefinte article has no plural form.
a boy – boys

We use an if the following word starts with a vowel.

the following word starts with a consonant the following word starts with a vowel
boy an aunt
school an old school
girl an American girl

Mind the pronunciation of the following word.

unit an uncle
This u sounds like a consonant, so we use a. This u sounds like a vowel, so we use an.

Use of the indefinite article a/an

– before phrases of time and measurements (per week/weekly)

We have English 4 times a week.
I go on holiday twice a year.
Our car can do 220 kilometres an hour.
Tomatoes are $2 a kilo.

– before phrases of jobs

My father is a car mechanic.

– with a noun complement

He is a good boy.

– before phrases of nationality

Bruce Springsteen is an American.

– half/quite

We need half a pound of sugar.
This is quite a good story.

Prepositions of time

Preposition Use Examples
in in months in July; in September
year in 1985; in 1999
seasons in summer; in the summer of 69
part of the day in the morning; in the afternoon; in the evening
duration in a minute; in two weeks
at part of the day at night
time of day at 6 o’clock; at midnight
celebrations at Christmas; at Easter
fixed phrases at the same time
on days of the week on Sunday; on Friday
date on the 25th of December*
special holidays on Good Friday; on Easter Sunday; on my birthday
a special part of a day on the morning of September the 11th*
after later than sth. after school
ago how far sth. happened (in the past) 6 years ago
before earlier than sth. before Christmas
between time that separates two points between Monday and Friday
by not later than a special time by Thursday
during through the whole of a period of time during the holidays
for period of time for three weeks
from … to
from… till/until
two points form a period from Monday to Wednesday
from Monday till Wednesday
from Monday until Wednesday
past time of the day 23 minutes past 6 (6:23)
since point of time since Monday
till/until no later than a special time till tomorrow
until tomorrow
to time of the day 23 minutes to 6 (5:37)
up to not more than a special time up to 6 hours a day
within during a period of time within a day


Adverbs of manner tell us how something happens. They are usually placed after the main verb or after the object.


  • He swims well, (after the main verb)
  • He ranrapidly, slowly, quickly..
  • She spoke… softly, loudly, aggressively..
  • James coughed loudly to attract her attention.
  • He plays the flute beautifully. (after the object)
  • He ate the chocolate cake greedily.

BE CAREFUL! The adverb should not be put between the verb and the object:

  • He ate greedily the chocolate cake [incorrect]
  • He ate the chocolate cake greedily [correct]

If there is a preposition before the object, e.g. at, towards, we can place the adverb either before the preposition or after the object.


  • The child ran happily towardshis mother.
  • The child ran towards his mother happily.

Sometimes an adverb of manner is placed before a verb + object to add emphasis:

  • He gently woke the sleeping woman.

Some writers put an adverb of manner at the beginning of the sentence to catch our attention and make us curious:

  • Slowly she picked up the knife.

(We want to know what happened slowly, whodid it slowly, why they did it slowly)

However, adverbs should always come AFTER intransitive verbs (=verbs which have no object).


  • The town grew quickly
  • He waited patiently

Also, these common adverbs are almost always placed AFTER the verb:

  • well
  • badly
  • hard
  • fast

The position of the adverb is important when there is more than one verb in a sentence. If the adverb is placed after a clause, then it modifies the whole action described by the clause.

Notice the difference in meaning between the following pairs of sentences:

  • She quickly agreed to re-type the letter (= her agreement was quick)
  • She agreed to re-type the letter quickly (= the re-typing was quick)
  • He quietly asked me to leave the house (= his request was quiet)
  • He asked me to leave the house quietly (= the leaving was quiet)

Present Perfect

FORM  [has/have + past participle]


You have seen that movie many times.    

Have you seen that movie many times?

You have not seen that movie many times.

USE 1 Unspecified Time Before Now

We use the Present Perfect to say that an action happened at an unspecified time before now. The exact time is not important.

You CANNOT use the Present Perfect with specific time expressions such as:

yesterday, one year ago, last week, when I was a child, when I lived in Japan, at that moment, that day, one day, etc.

We CAN use the Present Perfect with unspecific expressions such as: ever, never, once, many times, several times, before, so far, already, yet, etc.


I have seen that movie twenty times.

I think I have met him once before.

There have been many earthquakes in California.

People have traveled to the Moon.

People have not traveled to Mars.

Have you read the book yet?

Nobody has ever climbed that mountain.

A: Has there ever been a war in the United States?
B: Yes, there has been a war in the United States.

 How Do You Actually Use the Present Perfect?

The concept of “unspecified time” can be very confusing to English learners. It is best to associate Present Perfect with the following topics:

TOPIC 1 Experience

You can use the Present Perfect to describe your experience. It is like saying, “I have the experience of…” You can also use this tense to say that you have never had a certain experience. The Present Perfect is NOT used to describe a specific event.


I have been to France.

This sentence means that you have had the experience of being in France. Maybe you have been there once, or several times.

 He has never traveled by train.

Joan has studied two foreign languages.

A: Have you ever met him?
B: No, I have not met him. 

TOPIC 2 Change Over Time

We often use the Present Perfect to talk about change that has happened over a period of time.


You have grownsince the last time I saw you.  

TOPIC 3 Accomplishments

We often use the Present Perfect to list the accomplishments of individuals and humanity. You cannot mention a specific time.

Examples:Man has walked on the Moon.  

TOPIC 4 An Uncompleted Action You Are Expecting

We often use the Present Perfect to say that an action which we expected has not happened. Using the Present Perfect suggests that we are still waiting for the action to happen.


James has not finished his homework yet.  

Susan hasn’t mastered Japanese, but she can communicate.  Bill has still not arrived.  The rain hasn’t stopped.

TOPIC 5 Multiple Actions at Different Times

We also use the Present Perfect to talk about several different actions which have occurred in the past at different times. Present Perfect suggests the process is not complete and more actions are possible.


The army has attacked that city five times.  

I have had four quizzes and five tests so far this semester.  

Time Expressions with Present Perfect

When we use the Present Perfect it means that something has happened at some point in our lives before now. Remember, the exact time the action happened is not important. Sometimes, we want to limit the time we are looking in for an experience. We can do this with expressions such as: in the last week, in the last year, this week, this month, so far, up to now, etc. Examples:Have you been to Mexico in the last year?  I have seen that movie six times in the last month They have had three tests in the last week.  She graduated from university less than three years ago. She has worked for three different companies so far My car has broken down three times this week.


“Last year” and “in the last year” are very different in meaning. “Last year” means the year before now, and it is considered a specific time which requires Simple Past. “In the last year” means from 365 days ago until now. It is not considered a specific time, so it requires Present Perfect.


I went toMexico last year.

I went to Mexico in the calendar year before this one.  

I have been to Mexico in the last year.

I have been to Mexico at least once at some point between 365 days ago and now.

USE 2 Duration From the Past Until Now (Non-Continuous Verbs)

With Non-Continuous Verbs and non-continuous uses of Mixed Verbs, we use the Present Perfect to show that something started in the past and has continued up until now. “For five minutes,” “for two weeks,” and “since Tuesday” are all durations which can be used with the Present Perfect.


I have had a cold for two weeks.  She has been in England for six months.  Mary has loved chocolate since she was a little girl.  Although the above use of Present Perfect is normally limited to Non-Continuous Verbs and non-continuous uses of Mixed Verbs, the words “live,” “work,” “teach,” and “study” are sometimes used in this way even though they are NOT Non-Continuous Verbs.


The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.


You have only seen that movie one time. Have you only seen that movie one time?

Complex sentences


I like football, but I don’t like handball.
What other sports do you practise besides football?
I don’t like coffee. – Neither do I.
I like football, especially when my team wins.
I was tired, so (that’s why) I went to bed.
I like either tea or milk.
Of course I like volleyball.
Do you know if/whether Peter lives in Glasgow?
I like football although I’m often on the road.
In fact, I think that my team will win.
They’re losing the match. Nevertheless we’re watching it.
I go to discos in order to meet friends.
I like volleyball and tennis.
Perhaps you’ll like football, too.
I like football because it’s interesting.
Considering he’s played football for only two years, he does it well.
I’ll come to your party, unless it rains.
I don’t know how to play Squash.
However the teacher explained it, I didn’t understand a word of it.
First of all I’d like to say that, …
I like sports, for example football.

Analysing texts

These sentences can be useful for analysing texts. You only need to substitute the red words.


The text
The story is about two teenagers.
The action takes place in London.
The text is divided into 5 parts.
The characters
The main characters are Peter and Mary.
I think Peter is brave because he rescues Mary.
In line 27 he says …
In my opinion Mandy shouldn’t have gone out alone.
The characters in the story change.
At first Peter is helpless. Later he becomes brave.
Summarizing the text
The main point is that Peter likes Mandy.
The difficult thing is that Mandy doesn’t see this.
The turning point in the story is when Mandy falls off the tree.
On the one hand Mandy likes Peter, on the other hand she doesn’t like his friends.
That’s why …
My opinion
I think that the story is nice.
My point of view is that …
My first impression was …
I like/don’t like the story/poem/song.
I thought that the story would end like that.
The ending of the story didn’t surprise me.
I think that this only happens in films.
I must admit that
The message of the story is