Choose your Words / Intermediate English | Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash


Welcome to MiProfe’s intermediate mini-lessons.

This page links to pre-intermediate and intermediate English language topics.
For basics, go here.

Click to expand the intermediate topics menu. Mini-lessons include:

‘can’ & ‘be able to’

Do you know when to say ‘…able to…’ instead of ‘can’ or ‘could’?
Avoid mistakes and polish your English. (Intermediate+)

‘to be’ – and the various meanings of ‘quedar’ (Sp.)

There are various ways in English to express the idea of the Spanish verbs ‘quedar’ and ‘quedarse’.  A common mistake made by students who have not studied a well-designed general English course is always or nearly always saying “to stay”. See these examples of how to communicate correctly!

‘near’ & ‘close to’ vs. ‘to close’  & ‘closed’ etc.

‘Near’ is a preposition, and its synonym ‘close to’ is a prepositional phrase.
In contrast, ‘to close’ and ‘to open’ are regular verbs.
Alternatively, in the phrases ‘to be closed’ and ‘to be open’, the words ‘closed’ and ‘open’ are adjectives.
Good pronunciation is important to differentiate between them.

do’ and ‘make

Learn these word partnerships with the verbs ‘to do’ and ‘to make’. There are some general guide rules, but exceptions too 😉
Suggestion: invent sentences using these collocations and have them checked.

False Friends – ‘actually

Learn (or remind yourself) about the differences between some English words and their Spanish ‘falsos amigos’.  Perhaps the term “estranged cousins” is more accurate!

Phrasal verbs

Learning phrasal verbs is like learning any new vocabulary. See these examples with ‘take’ and ‘put’.

Here, too, revise how not to confuse ‘to look for’ with ‘to look forward to‘. ‘To look for’ means to search for something or someone, while ‘to look forward to’ means to feel happy or excited about a future event.

Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes Night)

A popular British event, celebrated on 5th November or the nearest weekend to the fifth of the month. It includes fireworks, a bonfire and food.

Click the above title for more information.

Verb Patterns

Although some [verb] + [second verb] constructions are correct with the second verb in both the gerund (-ing) and infinitive (to …) forms, sometimes there is a difference in meaning. At other times, there is a right and a wrong way to use them.

—”I must remember to buy some bread.”
(reminding oneself about the future).

—”I remember visiting Chester Zoo when I was a child.”
(talking about the past).

As an anology, think of this topic as “the polish on your English”.

See the Guide to Verb Patterns here. (more to follow shortly)

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