English language basics: Hello!

Basics

Welcome to MiProfe’s mini-lessons online, where you can learn or revise some English language basics.

Student vocabulary

Memorise these two important questions so you can ask ‘¿Qué significa..?’, ¿Qué quiere decir…?’ and ‘Cómo se dice… en inglés?’ in English! See a conversation and listen, too.

(Por cierto, y por favor, ¡no queremos escuchar “How is said…” y tales barbaridades al idioma!)


Present simple

The present simple in English is straightforward: use a pronoun (I, you, he, she, it, we, they) and the verb. With ‘he’, ‘she’ and ‘it’, add -s at the end for regular verbs.

Example: I work in London. He works in London.
You visit your aunt every month. She visits her uncle every year.

We use the present simple tense when talking about:

  • habits and routines
  • things which are always true, or
  • things which are true for a long time (“I like chocolate”, “I have coffee and toast for breakfast”, “I live in Alicante”, etc.).

Go here to see more examples.

Road to the future - in English

the‘: Use of the definite article

Unlike Spanish, we don’t use definite articles quite as much in EnglishSee here for some useful examples.

Word Order

Note: Subject + Verb (+ direct object) (+ rest of sentence)
Basic examples:
I read every day. You get up at eight o’clock. She buys fish on Fridays.
See here for examples of sentences with adverbs of frequency (always, sometimes, never etc).

 

Commonly confused words – ‘than’ and ‘that’

These two aren’t the same!   Click to see examples.

 

Verb patterns: ‘to’ vs. ‘ing’

Deciding whether to use (verb) + (second verb) with ‘to’ (infinitive) or a gerund (‘-ing’ form) becomes more important at intermediate level.

For now, remember some chunks:
to enjoy + -ing (e.g. I enjoy going on holiday.)
to want + infinitive (e.g. He wants to have lunch early today.)

‘would like to’ (e.g. She would like to go out this evening.)

 

 

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