Question Tags

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We use tags in spoken English but not in formal written English. They are not really questions but are a way of asking the other person to make a comment and so keep the conversation open. Making a tag is very mechanical. To make a tag, use the first auxiliary. If there is no auxiliary, […]

Reported Speech 1

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We use reported speech when we are saying what other people say, think or believe. He says he wants it. We think you are right. I believe he loves her. Yesterday you said you didn’t like it but now you do! She told me he had asked her to marry him. I told you she […]

Reported Speech 2

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We also use reported speech when we are saying what other people asked or wanted to know. We do not use do or question marks in indirect questions. “What time is it?” = He asked me what time it was. “Why hasn’t he come? = She wondered why he hadn’t come. “When will you be […]

Suppose 1

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We often use  ‘suppose’ to mean ‘imagine’ or ‘guess’ I suppose you’ll be meeting Danielle when you go to Paris? When you weren’t there, I supposed you must have been held up. I suppose you two know each other? Notice that ‘suppose’ is not normally used in the continuous form. We do not usually say […]

Suppose 2

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‘Supposed to be’ can be used to mean ‘it is said/believed’. The new James Bond movie is supposed to be excellent. He is supposed to have been rude to Mark but I don’t believe it. It is supposed to be the best restaurant in town. ‘Supposed to be’ can also be used to talk about […]

Have something done

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If you ‘have something done’, you get somebody else to do something for you. I’m going to have my hair cut. She’s having her house redecorated. I’m having a copy of the report sent to you In informal English, we can replace ‘have’ by ‘get’. We’re getting a new telephone system installed. They will be […]

Should Have

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We can use ‘should have’ to talk about past events that did not happen. I should have let her know what was happening but I forgot. He should have sent everybody a reminder by email. They should have remembered that their guests don’t eat pork. We can also use ‘should have’ to speculate about events […]

Can/Could have

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We can use ‘could have’  to talk about something somebody was capable of doing but didn’t do. I could have gone to Oxford University but I preferred Harvard. She could have married him but she didn’t want to. They could have bought a house here 20 years ago but chose not to. Often, there is […]

Will have done

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We can use ‘will have done’ to talk about what will have been achieved by a certain moment in time. We’ll have been in these offices for eight years next month. She’ll have visited ten countries in twelve days by the time she gets back. I’ll have finished this project by Friday. If we want […]