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Review: Second Conditional
12-03-2016

The second conditional is used to talk about hypothetical situations in the present. Suppose I think I’m too short to play basketball. I would probably say: “If I were taller, I would play basketball.” What I mean is that I don’t think I can play basketball because I’m not tall enough. I use the verb in the […]

Review: Second Conditional

by Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

The second conditional is used to talk about hypothetical situations in the present. Suppose I think I’m too short to play basketball. I would probably say:

“If I were taller, I would play basketball.”

What I mean is that I don’t think I can play basketball because I’m not tall enough. I use the verb in the past after the if clause, and would+base form in the second clause. Notice that in second conditional sentences verbs are not conjugated, so the verb to be is were for all persons (If Sue were here, she would now what to do), although the use of was has become more common nowadays, especially in speaking.

Tags: Brazilian Speakers of English / casa thomas jefferson / english / english grammar / english tip / englishpractice / englishtip / grammar / grammartip / learn english / tips for Brazilian speakers of English /


About Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

Luiz Claudio has been a teacher at CTJ since 1990. He likes to work with special-interest courses such as those that involve movies, music, drama and test-taking. A bona-fide opera, tech, and movie buff, he likes to use his interests as scaffolding material in his daily activities.


Review: Present Perfect vs Simple Past
06-02-2015

Hello, dear reader, Here is the second part in our review series. There’s great confusion among language learners when they have to differentiate between the Present Perfect and the Simple Past. Most of these problems originate from the need a student might have to translate these tenses into his/her own language to better understand how […]

Review: Present Perfect vs Simple Past

by Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

Hello, dear reader,

Here is the second part in our review series. There’s great confusion among language learners when they have to differentiate between the Present Perfect and the Simple Past. Most of these problems originate from the need a student might have to translate these tenses into his/her own language to better understand how and when to use either the Simple Past or the Present Perfect. Rule of thumb is: Try not to translate!

I know it’s hard not to, but sometimes how you talk about time in English is different than the way time is talked about in your language, so translating will not necessarily help you understand the difference.

Let me give you the essentials, then:

Specific Time

If time is specified use the Simple Past: “Thomas was in Paris last year.”

If time is not specified use the Present Perfect: “Thomas has already been to Paris.”

Finished Action

If an action is finished use the Simple Past: “Thomas was in Paris for three years, but now he’s in New York.”

If an action is not finished use the Present Perfect“Thomas has been in Paris for three years, and he loves it there.”

Tags: Brazilian Speakers of English / casa thomas jefferson / CTJ NEWS / english / english grammar / english tip / englishpractice / englishtip / esl / grammartip / tips for Brazilian speakers of English /


About Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

Luiz Claudio has been a teacher at CTJ since 1990. He likes to work with special-interest courses such as those that involve movies, music, drama and test-taking. A bona-fide opera, tech, and movie buff, he likes to use his interests as scaffolding material in his daily activities.


Review: Past Perfect
05-01-2015

Here’s my third piece of review, and it’s a good one. The Past Perfect is an interesting verb tense. It does not happen alone. It comes together with the Simple Past. As the saying goes, they go together like a horse and carriage Look at this sentence: “When I got home, my wife left for work.” In this sentence […]

Review: Past Perfect

by Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

Here’s my third piece of review, and it’s a good one. The Past Perfect is an interesting verb tense. It does not happen alone. It comes together with the Simple Past. As the saying goes, they go together like a horse and carriage :-)

Look at this sentence:

“When I got home, my wife left for work.”

In this sentence what you  understand is that the wife was probably waiting for the husband to return. Maybe she had to go to work and she was waiting for her husband to take care of their kid.

But look at this other sentence:

“When I got home, my wife had left for work.

Now the situation is different. The Past Perfect indicates that when the husband got home, his wife was not there. She had left.

Easy, isn’t it?

Tags: Brazilian Speakers of English / casa thomas jefferson / CTJ NEWS / english / english grammar / english tip / englishpractice / englishtip / grammar / grammartip / language / learn english / learning / tip / tips / tips for Brazilian speakers of English / verbs /


About Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

Luiz Claudio has been a teacher at CTJ since 1990. He likes to work with special-interest courses such as those that involve movies, music, drama and test-taking. A bona-fide opera, tech, and movie buff, he likes to use his interests as scaffolding material in his daily activities.


Review: Zero Conditional
01-01-2015

Conditional sentences are sometimes confusing, so I am going to try to make them as clear as possible to you, reader. Let’s start with the first one. It’s called zero conditional. You only use the present tense in this time of sentence. “If you don’t eat, you get sick.” “If you eat a lot, you put on weight.”  As you can probably […]

Review: Zero Conditional

by Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

Conditional sentences are sometimes confusing, so I am going to try to make them as clear as possible to you, reader.

Let’s start with the first one. It’s called zero conditional. You only use the present tense in this time of sentence.

“If you don’t eat, you get sick.”

“If you eat a lot, you put on weight.” 

As you can probably notice by now, the first conditional is used to talk about things that always happen the same way. In this kind of conditional if can often be replaced by when.

On my next post, we are going to take a look at the first conditional. See you there.

Tags: Brasília / Brazilian Speakers of English / casa thomas jefferson / CTJ NEWS / english / english grammar / english tip / englishtip / grammar / grammartip / tips / tips for Brazilian speakers of English / verbs /


About Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

Luiz Claudio has been a teacher at CTJ since 1990. He likes to work with special-interest courses such as those that involve movies, music, drama and test-taking. A bona-fide opera, tech, and movie buff, he likes to use his interests as scaffolding material in his daily activities.


Review: First Conditional
29-12-2014

Hello again, dear reader, The first conditional is one of the most common in the English language. We use the simple present after if and the simple future in the next clause. “If I get home early, I will do my homework today.” As you can see, the first conditional is used to express a future action that depends on another […]

Review: First Conditional

by Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

Hello again, dear reader,

The first conditional is one of the most common in the English language. We use the simple present after if and the simple future in the next clause.

“If I get home early, I will do my homework today.”

As you can see, the first conditional is used to express a future action that depends on another action in the present. We use the first conditional to talk about something that might happen in the future. At this point let’s contrast the zero conditional vs the first conditional. What’s the difference between these sentences?

Zero: “If you study, you have good grades.”

1st: “If you study, you will have good grades.”

The difference is that in zero conditional I’m talking about something that always happens in the same way, and in the first conditional I’m talking about what may happen today. “If you study you have good grades” means that every time you study you have good grades. This is what I think is true.

“If you study, you will have good grades.” means that I think that if you study, you have a chance to have good grades. This is what I think may happen.

Next post, second conditional. See you there.

 

Tags: Brazilian Speakers of English / casa thomas jefferson / CTJ NEWS / english grammar / english tip / englishpractice / englishtip / grammar / grammartip / tip / tips / tips for Brazilian speakers of English /


About Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

Luiz Claudio has been a teacher at CTJ since 1990. He likes to work with special-interest courses such as those that involve movies, music, drama and test-taking. A bona-fide opera, tech, and movie buff, he likes to use his interests as scaffolding material in his daily activities.


What kind of movies do you like?
22-12-2014

Hello, dear reader, In this post, I propose we talk about vocabulary that is commonly used in English to talk about movies. Many are the words used to describe how we feel about a movie, how it was made, the kind of movie it is, etc. Without further ado, let me jump right in and […]

What kind of movies do you like?

by Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

Hello, dear reader,

In this post, I propose we talk about vocabulary that is commonly used in English to talk about movies. Many are the words used to describe how we feel about a movie, how it was made, the kind of movie it is, etc. Without further ado, let me jump right in and give you some vocabulary that will surely help you feel a bit more fluent when discussing the latest blockbuster.

Why not start with blockbuster? Well, the dictionary defines blockbuster as a very large high-explosive bomb, and nowadays the word is used to describe an expensive, extravagant Hollywood type of film. I know what you’re thinking – Transformers. 

Have you ever heard of a chick flick? A chick is a baby bird, but it is also a slang term for a woman, or girl. A flick is a movie.  What is a chick flick, then? I guess by now you know: It’s a movie that was made to entertain women. Can you name one? How about, Dear John?

Of course, there many other types. Would you like to watch a movie, and cry your eyes out? Watch a tearjerker. Are you in the mood for some comedy mixed with romance? Try a romantic comedy or romcom for short. Do you need to feel the adrenaline pumping? Watch an action movie or if you want a bit of the supernatural, a horror film.

But then again, you might not be in the mood for any of these types of movies, maybe you want a story full of exciting action, mystery, adventure, or suspense. No problem, watch a thriller and you’ll get that. How about a classic Hitchcock fim? Try Psycho.

This is not a complete list, of course. There are other types of movies, but this is a good list to jump-start your future conversations about movies in English.

 

Tags: Brazilian Speakers of English / casa thomas jefferson / CTJ NEWS / efl / english / english tip / englishpractice / englishtip / language / learn english / learning / movies / tips for Brazilian speakers of English / vocabulary / words /


About Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

Luiz Claudio has been a teacher at CTJ since 1990. He likes to work with special-interest courses such as those that involve movies, music, drama and test-taking. A bona-fide opera, tech, and movie buff, he likes to use his interests as scaffolding material in his daily activities.


Numbers vs Periods & Hyphens
13-11-2014

Hi, dear reader, The title of this post might sound puzzledly mathematical, but its content does not require prior knowledge of advanced calculations. In English, periods and hyphens are frequently used when numbers need to be set to paper: Periods:  Periods are used to separate the number from its decimal ($ 3.35) . This period […]

Numbers vs Periods & Hyphens

by Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

Hi, dear reader,

The title of this post might sound puzzledly mathematical, but its content does not require prior knowledge of advanced calculations. In English, periods and hyphens are frequently used when numbers need to be set to paper:

Periods: 

  • Periods are used to separate the number from its decimal ($ 3.35) . This period is called decimal point, therefore, you should say point when you read it.

Hyphen:

  • Use a hyphen with compound numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine.
  • A hyphen is also used if the number is used as part of a compound adjective (France has a 35-hour working week).
  • When writing fractions a hyphen is also used (One-third of the population believe the President has made the right decision).

Pretty simple, don’t you think? I hope this post has boosted your confidence to use numbers in writing.

Tags: Brazilian Speakers of English / casa thomas jefferson / CTJ NEWS / efl / english / english grammar / english tip / englishtip / grammar / grammartip / language / learn english / tip / tips / tips for Brazilian speakers of English / Writing / Writing tips /


About Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

Luiz Claudio has been a teacher at CTJ since 1990. He likes to work with special-interest courses such as those that involve movies, music, drama and test-taking. A bona-fide opera, tech, and movie buff, he likes to use his interests as scaffolding material in his daily activities.


Confusing verbs: Been or Gone?
10-11-2014

Hi, dear reader, Two verb forms that are often confused is been and gone. They are the past participle of the verbs be and go.  I ask you, what’s the difference between,  he’s gone to Africa and he’s been to Africa? Well, use gone when someone visits a place but has not come home yet. “Michael can’t come […]

Confusing verbs: Been or Gone?

by Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

Hi, dear reader,

Two verb forms that are often confused is been and gone. They are the past participle of the verbs be and go. 

I ask you, what’s the difference between,  he’s gone to Africa and he’s been to Africa?

Well, use gone when someone visits a place but has not come home yet.

“Michael can’t come to our party tomorrow; he has gone to Africa for two weeks.”

Use been when someone has visited a place, and has returned.

“Michael has been to Africa three times already; he loves the continent.”

 

Tags: Brazilian Speakers of English / casa thomas jefferson / efl / english / englishtip / grammar / grammartip / language / learn english / past participle / practice / tips for Brazilian speakers of English / verbs /


About Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

Luiz Claudio has been a teacher at CTJ since 1990. He likes to work with special-interest courses such as those that involve movies, music, drama and test-taking. A bona-fide opera, tech, and movie buff, he likes to use his interests as scaffolding material in his daily activities.


Confusing words: all together vs altogether / aid vs aide
05-11-2014

Hello, dear reader, Here are two pairs of words that are often confused. What is the difference between altogether X all together and aid X aide ? Well, they are really different: Altogether  is an adverb that means completely, totally. “His latest business plan for the second trimester is an altogether new approach to our deficit problem. All together means […]

Confusing words: all together vs altogether / aid vs aide

by Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

Hello, dear reader,

Here are two pairs of words that are often confused. What is the difference between altogether X all together and aid X aide ?

Well, they are really different:

Altogether  is an adverb that means completely, totally. “His latest business plan for the second trimester is an altogether new approach to our deficit problem.

All together means that we are talking about people or things as a whole. “We are all together in this. If we fail, we are all going to lose.”

Aid means help, assistance. “The government offers financial aid to the unemployed.”

Aide is a person who helps. “When I was in college, I was Professor Johnson’s aide for two semesters.”

Tags: Brazilian Speakers of English / casa thomas jefferson / efl / english / english tip / englishpractice / englishtip / tip / tips / tips for Brazilian speakers of English /


About Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

Luiz Claudio has been a teacher at CTJ since 1990. He likes to work with special-interest courses such as those that involve movies, music, drama and test-taking. A bona-fide opera, tech, and movie buff, he likes to use his interests as scaffolding material in his daily activities.


Really=Pretty=Very?
03-11-2014

Hello, dear reader, Yes, I know that this blog post title may seem confusing. After all, we have different words which are, according to the tile of this post, the same? Don’t fret over it. Let me explain what I mean. Obviously, really, pretty, and very  are different words. For example, “That test was very difficult!” “Sophia […]

Really=Pretty=Very?

by Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

Hello, dear reader,

Yes, I know that this blog post title may seem confusing. After all, we have different words which are, according to the tile of this post, the same? Don’t fret over it. Let me explain what I mean.

Obviously, really, pretty, and very  are different words. For example,

“That test was very difficult!”

“Sophia Loren is still a pretty woman.”

“I am not really a doctor. I am a medical student.”

However, really and pretty can also be used as adjective intensifiers, and then they have the same meaning of very.

“I am really, pretty, very tired today. I didn’t sleep well last night.”

Isn’t that unusual? One of the many peculiarities of the English language, dear reader.

Tags: Brazilian Speakers of English / casa thomas jefferson / english / english tip / englishpractice / englishtip / language / tips for Brazilian speakers of English /


About Luiz Cláudio Monteiro

Luiz Claudio has been a teacher at CTJ since 1990. He likes to work with special-interest courses such as those that involve movies, music, drama and test-taking. A bona-fide opera, tech, and movie buff, he likes to use his interests as scaffolding material in his daily activities.