Intermediate and Advanced English Grammar

Lesson #276: ‘Music on Christmas Morning’

In the days approaching Christmas, my thoughts have turned to some of the Christmas Carols (songs sung at Christmas) and the stories behind how they were written. ❇️ If you have ever spent the Christmas season in an English-speaking country such as Britain or Ireland, chances are that you have heard a Christmas carol being …

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Lesson #275: ‘I Will Honour Christmas In My Heart’: Past, Present, and Future Tenses in ‘A Christmas Carol’ (Dickens)

📗 “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.” – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol (1843) What better …

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Lesson #273: Mistakes Spanish Speakers tend to make in English (Part 2)

Welcome to the last section of our Lessons on common mistakes learners of English make (and Part 2 of Lesson #273). With the help of Virginia Woolf’s first novel, The Voyage Out (1915), we are analysing the main mistakes that Spanish students make when learning English. … 21 COMMON MISTAKES (CONTINUED) 📝 #11 ‘TH’ SOUND …

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Lesson #273: Mistakes Spanish Speakers tend to make in English (Part 1)

This is our last Lesson in our 5-part series looking at common mistakes English language students tend to make. If you have been following these since the start of November, you will have noticed that there are always some points that challenge more than one group of students (for example, affecting Russian as well as …

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Lesson #272: Common Issues for Hebrew Speakers studying English (Part 1)

If you have been following our Lessons since the start of November, you will have noticed that we are taking a look at some common mistakes made by students from different language backgrounds. I always mention that these Lessons are not a criticism of your mistakes! I hope instead to offer some helpful points on …

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Lesson #271: Understanding ‘While’ vs ‘When’ through Anne Bronte’s ‘Agnes Grey’

Last Friday we looked at Anne Bronte’s first novel, Agnes Grey (1847), as a story on morality and education, women’s careers in the Victorian age, and personal character development. (Please read 👉 that Lesson first to get a good picture of what the novel is really about – you wouldn’t like to miss it!) Today …

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Lesson #270 (Part 2): Some Mistakes that Italians make in English

Here we will continue our Lesson by looking at common issues that Italian students of English often make. (If you missed Part 1 of our Lesson, have a look at it first 👈 – I shared in it more about the novel by Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son, on which we are basing our Lesson). …

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Lesson #270 (Part 1): Some Mistakes that Italians make in English

If you have been following my Lessons over the past couple of weeks, you will have seen that we are looking at the most common or typical mistakes that students make when learning English, with a special focus on how different mother tongues influence your English studies. In Lesson #267 we looked at the common …

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Lesson #268 (Part 2): Mistakes Russian students tend to make in English

📗 Welcome to Part 2 of our Lesson in which we look at difficult areas for many Russian students of English in particular. You may find it helpful to check 👉 Part 1 first to understand why we chose Henry James’ excellent novel, The Portrait of a Lady (1881), for this Lesson, as well as …

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Lesson #268 (Part 1): Mistakes Russian students tend to make in English

This month I am writing a series of Lesson posts covering the most common mistakes that students make. Today I am focusing on confusing English issues for native Russian speakers and hope very much it will help anyone who struggles with these areas. As I mentioned in my previous Lesson, there is no need to …

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Lesson #267 (Part 2): Common Issues French Speakers Struggle With In English

This is the second part of our Lesson, in which we look at some challenging points for French students studying English with the help of British author Frances Burney’s writings. 👉 If you haven’t read Part 1, please do read it first – everything will make more sense once you do! … 📝 #12 THE …

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Lesson #267 (Part 1): Common Issues French Speakers Struggle With In English

As someone who has been studying French for years and still make mistakes, I have become more aware of the kinds of pitfalls that native French speakers often experience while studying English. You might say I have a kind of ‘sympathy’ for their mistakes since those are often areas that native English speakers like me …

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Lesson #264: ‘Girls, such as me and Miss Snowe, don’t need treats’: Understanding the differences between ‘Such As’ vs ‘As Such’

Every now and then, English language students mention how they are confused by the difference between ‘such as’ and ‘as such’. Are they the same? 🤔 No. As I was reading through Charlotte Bronte’s psychologically deep novel, Villette, I realised some of its lines could help illustrate the difference between these two expressions. 📘 Villette …

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Lesson #262: ‘This is the famous stone / That turneth all to Gold’ – George Herbert’s ‘The Elixir’

This Lesson’s feature image: George Herbert at Bemerton, Salisbury (1860), by painter William Dyce (1806-1864). Photo Credit: City of London Corporation (ArtUK.org) 📆 It is one year to the day – October 1st 2020 – since I started posting short Lessons on how to ‘learn English through literature’! A lot has changed since then, with …

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Lesson #257 (Part 2): ‘Oh, I do see …’ Analysing the many ways Henry James used ‘do’ in English (and how you can too)

📗 “… The right time is any time that one is still so lucky as to have. You’ve plenty; that’s the great thing; you’re, as I say, damn you, so happily and hatefully young. Don’t at any rate miss things out of stupidity. Of course I don’t take you for a fool, or I shouldn’t …

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