Category: Practical English hints

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How to use Almost, Nearly

Almost and nearly can both express ideas connected with progress, measurement, or counting. Nearly is less common in American English. I’ve almost/nearly finished. There were almost/nearly a thousand people there. Sometimes almost is a little ‘nearer’ than nearly. Compare: It’s...

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All and Whole

word order All (of) and a whole can both be used with singular nouns to mean ‘complete’, ‘every part of’. The word order is different. all (of) + determiner + noun determiner + whole + noun – ]ulie spent all...

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All and Every

All and every can both be used to talk about people or things in general, or about all the members of a group. There is little difference of meaning; every often suggests ‘without exception’. The two words are used in...

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How to use “All”

All refers to three or more items. Compare: I’ll take all three shirts, please. I’ll take both shirts. (NOT … all two shirts.) All (of) with nouns and pronouns All modifies nouns or pronouns. All (of) the people were singing....

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How to use “ago”

Word order: six weeks ago Ago follows an expression of time. I met her six weeks ago. (NOT … ago six weeks.) a long time ago An expression with ago refers to a finished time, and is normally used with...

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How to say “age”

We most often talk about people’s ages with be + number He is thirty. (NOT He has thirty.) Also, be + number + years old (more formal: … of age). He is thirty years old / of age. (NOT …...

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After(adverb/conjunction)

After: adverb After can be used in adverb phrases like shortly after, long after, a few days after, etc. We had oysters for supper. Shortly after, I began to feel ill. In more exact expressions of time, later is more...

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Actual(ly)

actual(ly) Actual means ‘real’; actually means ‘really’ or ‘in fact’. They are used to make things clearer, more precise or more definite. It’s over 100 kilos. Let me look. Yes, the actual weight is 108 kilos. I’ve got a new...

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Across, Over and Through

across, over and through  Across and over can both be used to mean ‘on or to the other side of a line,river, road, bridge etc’. His village is just across/over the border.See if you can jump across/over the stream. We...

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