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English Grammar Lessons

Must/Have to

We can use ‘must’ to show that we are certain something is true. We are making a logical deduction based upon some clear evidence or reason. There’s no heating on. You must be freezing. You must be worried that she is so late coming home. I can’t remember what I did with it. I must […]

Zero Conditional

When we talk about things that are generally or always true, we can use: If/When/Unless plus a present form PLUS present simple or imperative If he gets there before me, ask him to wait. When you fly budget airline, you have to pay for your drinks and snacks.  Unless you need more space, a small […]

First Conditional

We use the First Conditional to talk about future events that are likely to happen. If we take John, he’ll be really pleased. If you give me some money, I’ll pay you back tomorrow. If they tell us they want it, we’ll have to give it to them. If Mary comes, she’ll want to drive. […]

Second Conditional

The Second Conditional is used to talk about ‘impossible’ situations. If we were in London today, we would be able to go to the concert in Hyde Park.  If I had millions dollars, I’d give a lot to charity. If there were no hungry people in this world, it would be a much better place. […]

Third Conditional

We can use the Third Conditional to talk about ‘impossible’ conditions, impossible because they are in the past and we cannot change what has happened. If I had worked harder at school, I would have got better grades. If I had had time, I would have gone to see him. But I didn’t have time. […]


Let’s start off with the easy part. ‘ I wish to’ can mean the same as ‘I want to’ but it is much, much more formal and much, much less common. I wish to make a complaint. I wish to see the manager. You can also use ‘wish’ with a noun to ‘offer good wishes’. […]

Had better

We use “had better” plus the infinitive without “to”  to give advice. Although “had” is the past form of “have”, we use “had better” to give advice about the present or future. You’d better tell her everything. I’d better get back to work. We’d better meet early. The negative form is “had better not”. You’d […]

Used to

We use ‘used to’ for something that happened regularly in the past but no longer happens. I used to smoke a packet a day but I stopped two years ago. Ben used to travel a lot in his job but now, since his promotion, he doesn’t. I used to drive to work but now I […]

Ask Questions 1

The basic rule for asking questions in English is straightforward: Invert the order of the subject and the first auxiliary verb.  It is snowing. = Is it snowing? He can speak German. = Can he speak German? They have lived here a long time. = Have they lived here a long time? She will arrive […]

Ask Questions 2

In the section Questions 1, we looked at how to ask direct questions. To make a question, we invert the order of the subject and the first auxiliary verb.  Where is Johnny? Has he found it yet? If there is no auxiliary, use part of the verb ‘to do’. For example: What time did he […]

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