Category Archives: Level A1

adverbs-of-frequency

Adverbs of frequency exercises

Adverbs of frequency exercises

Have you read the information page on adverbs of frequency? Click here to read it before you try the adverbs of frequency exercises.

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Are the sentences below correct?

Adverbs of frequency exercises1. John often walks to work. He only drives if it’s really bad weather.

Show the answer
This is correct

 

2. They rarely cook at home – they both love spending time in the kitchen.

Show the answer
This is not correct – the adverb should show that they cook a lot – often, always, generally.

 

3. The post office always is busy at lunchtime.

Show the answer
This is not correct  – the adverb should be after the ‘to be’ verb.

 

4. I am never late for work – I’m a perfect employee!

Show the answer
This is correct

 

5. Occasionally she takes her work home with her.

Show the answer
This is correct

 

6. Very rarely he pays for dinner when we go out together – he’s very mean!

Show the answer
This is not correct. Certain adverbs shouldn’t be used to start a sentence.

 

7. He could usually make new friends very quickly.

Show the answer
This is correct

 

8. He never can come back here – he’s been permanently banned!

Show the answer
This is not correct. The adverb of frequency needs to be between the auxiliary verb ‘can’ and the main verb ‘come’ – He can never come back…

 

9. I seldom don’t go out late on a weeknight.

Show the answer
This is not correct. Seldom cannot be used in a negative sentence.

 

10. I study once a day English lessons online.

Show the answer
This is not correct. Definite adverbs of frequency are not used in the middle of a sentence, only at the beginning or end – I study English lessons online once a day. / Once a day, I study English lessons online.
adverbs-of-frequency

Adverbs of frequency

Adverbs of frequency

Adverbs of frequency tell us how often something happens. They often talk about routines, so are very often used with the present simple. There are two types of adverbs of frequency – those that talk about an indefinite time and those that talk about a definite time. Here are some simple examples of indefinite adverbs of frequency:

  • Adverbs of frequencyalways
  • never
  • sometimes
  • often
  • occasionally

Use this table to help you choose suitable adverbs to describe how often you are thinking of (NOTE: the percentages in this table are approximate to illustrate the level of each adverb).

100% of the time Always
Less than 100% but more than 50% of the time Often, usually, frequently, generally
Around 50% of the time Sometimes
Less than 50% but more than 10% of the time Occasionally, seldom
Less than 10% but more than 0% of the time Hardly ever, rarely
0% of the time Never

 

Definite adverbs of frequency

The examples above are called indefinite adverbs of frequency – they talk about a percentage of frequency. There are also definite adverbs of frequency that talk about specific amounts of time. Here are some examples:

  • hourly, daily, weekly
  • once, twice, three times
  • every minute, once an hour, a few times a year
  • monthly, quarterly, annually

The position of adverbs of frequency

The position of the adverb depends on other words in the sentence.

Position 1: After the ‘be’ verb (subject + TO BE + adverb)

  • John is always late.
  • Teachers are occasionally wrong.

Position 2: Before the main verb is there is no  ‘be’ verb (subjectadverb + main verb)

  • John always drives to work.
  • Teachers occasionally give students too much homework.

Position 3:  With an auxiliary verb (have, will, must etc), the adverb is put between the auxiliary and the main verb. (subjectauxiliary + adverb + main verb)

  • John might never work again – he won the lottery!
  • Teachers can sometimes give students too much homework.

Other rules for using adverbs of frequency

Rule 1: Some adverbs can be used at the beginning or end of a sentence. Adverbs used in this position are: occasionally, sometimes, usually, normally, often

  • Sometimes John is late.  / John is late sometimes.
  • Normally he gets to work by car. / He gets to work by car normally.

Rule 2: However, other adverbs are NOT used to begin a sentence. Adverbs NOT used in this position are: always, rarely, seldom, hardly ever, never.

  • Hardly ever John is late.
  • Always he walks to work.

Rule 3: Some adverbs that are about very low frequency are not used in negative sentences. These adverbs are rarely, seldom or never.

  • He seldom visits his friends.
  • He doesn’t seldom visit his friends.

Rule 4: Definite adverbs of frequency do not go in the middle of a sentence – only the beginning or the end. When the adverb of frequency is at the beginning of sentence, it is often followed by a comma.

  • Twice a year, they go on holiday.
  • They go on holiday twice a year.
  • They twice a year go on holiday.

 

Ready to take the practice exercises? Take a look here

 

Talking about Christmas and new year

Talking about Christmas and new year

Talking about Christmas and new year

A short post today to help with conversations you may have over the next 10 days when talking about Christmas and new year. Look out for the words in BLUE – tap or click them to see a definition!

Tip 1: Using ‘Happy’ and ‘Merry’

Talking about Christmas and new yearIn English, we only use ‘Merry’ when talking about Christmas – everything else uses ‘Happy’. Happy new year, happy birthday, happy anniversary etc., but ‘Merry Christmas’.

Tip 2: The Christmas period v Christmas day

Often when talking about Christmas, you need to be clear whether you are referring to Christmas day (December 25th) or the Christmas season. For example ‘What are you doing this Christmas?’ can mean just for a day or for the period around Christmas as well. For many working people, any time from about the 23rd of December to the beginning of the new year can be referred to as ‘Christmas’ as it relates to the period they are not at work. For example: ‘Will you be going away this Christmas?’ – ‘Yes, I’m going to visit some relatives on the 24th and stay with them for a few days, then I’m going to see a friend for a about 4 days’. [simple_tooltip content=’This is often used to refer to something that is correct, but not actually always done. For example… Technically, you should unplug your television at night, but most people do not do so.’] Technically, [/simple_tooltip]the Christmas period extends from December 25th to January 6th.

Tip 3: New year traditions

Many countries have their own traditions for new year (and of course some cultures celebrate new year on a different date entirely), but in most English speaking countries, the new year is focused mostly on December 31st – new years eve. It is common for people to stay up until midnight to welcome in the new year. It is common for their to be fireworks, and many English speaking people will sing an old song called ‘Auld Lang Syne’ (see next section).

Tip 4: Auld Lang Syne

This is an old folk song commonly believed to have been written by a Scottish poet named Robert Burns. In fact, Burns [simple_tooltip content=’to COMPILE (verb) – to put something together from a other sources’]compiled[/simple_tooltip] the poem from a number of different sources and set it the music of an old folk song. With the lines ‘Should Old Acquaintance be forgot, and never thought upon’, many people sing this song for friends or family unable to attend or no longer with us.

 

use_of_articles

Using articles in English – exercises

Using articles in English – exercises

Have you read the information pages on articles? Click here to read it before you try the articles exercises.

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Complete the articles exercises below to test your knowledge.

Articles exercises practice (Level A1)

Complete the articles exercises by choosing the correct option (a), (b), (c) or (d) to complete each of the sentences with ‘a‘, ‘an‘, ‘the‘ or no article ‘Ø‘.

Using articles in English - exercises1. I am going shopping to buy ____ new jacket.

(a) a    (b) an   (c)  the

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

2. That is ____ man I was telling you about.

(a) a    (b) an   (c)  the   (d)  no article ‘Ø’

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is C.

 

3. I read ____ brilliant book last week!

(a) a    (b) an   (c)  the   (d)  no article ‘Ø’

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

4. I went to ____ great Italian restaurant last night.

(a) a    (b) an   (c)  the   (d)  no article ‘Ø’

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

5. ____ town I grew up in is in the middle of England.

(a) a    (b) an   (c)  the   (d)  no article ‘Ø’

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is C.

 

6. Winston Churchill was ____ famous English Prime Minister.

(a) a    (b) an   (c)  the   (d)  no article ‘Ø’

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

7. Could you lend me ____ jacket please? It’s so cold.

(a) a    (b) an   (c)  the   (d)  no article ‘Ø’

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is A.

 

8. ____ moon looks beautiful tonight; it’s so bright!

(a) a    (b) an   (c)  the   (d)  no article ‘Ø’

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is C.

 

9. I’ll pick you up in ____ hour.

(a) a    (b) an   (c)  the   (d)  no article ‘Ø’

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is B.

 

10. I have two dogs. ____ smaller one is three years old

(a) a    (b) an   (c)  the   (d)  no article ‘Ø’

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is C.
prepositions_of_place_2

Prepositions of place exercises (A1)

Prepositions of place exercises (A1)

Have you read the information pages on prepositions of place? Click here to read it before you try these prepositions of place exercises.

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Complete the prepositions of place exercises below to test your knowledge.

prepositions of place exercisesPrepositions of place exercises practice

Complete the sentences with ‘at‘, ‘on‘, or  ‘in‘.

1. I am from London but I live ___________ Manchester.

click here to see the answer
IN

 

2. The TV guide is  _________ page 3 of this newspaper.

click here to see the answer
ON

 

4. Please pick up all those clothes you have left _________ the floor.

click here to see the answer
ON

 

5. My dog always waits __________ the door for me to come home.

click here to see the answer
Correct answer is AT.

 

6. I talked to the person next to me __________ the train.

click here to see the answer
ON

 

7. We sat down ________ the armchairs in the hotel reception.

click here to see the answer
IN (sit on a chair, but IN an armchair)

 

8. Look _________ the cupboard – there should be plenty of glasses there.

click here to see the answer
IN
prepositions_of_time

Prepositions of time exercises (A1)

Prepositions of time exercises (A1)

Have you read the information pages on prepositions of time? Click here to read it before you try the prepositions of time exercises.

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Complete the prepositions of time exercises below to test your knowledge.

prepositions of time exercisesPrepositions of time exercises practice

Complete the sentences with ‘at‘, ‘on‘,  or ‘in‘.

1. I start work ___________ 9am.

click here to see the answer
AT

 

2. I’ll give you a call __________ lunchtime.

click here to see the answer
AT

 

3. I start my new job __________ Monday.

click here to see the answer
ON

 

5. We always have a family dinner ___________ Christmas.

click here to see the answer
AT

 

6. The weather is warm in New Zealand ___________ February.

click here to see the answer
IN

 

7. He never goes out ___________ night.

click here to see the answer
AT

 

8. I always exercise _________ the morning.

click here to see the answer
IN

 

10. It’s my birthday  _________ July 22nd.

click here to see the answer
ON

 

11. I was born _________ 1990.

click here to see the answer
IN

 

12. We are going out to dinner __________ my birthday.

click here to see the answer
ON
countable_uncountable

Countable and uncountable noun exercises

Countable and uncountable noun exercises

countable and uncountable noun exercisesHave you read the information page on countable and uncountable nouns? Click here to read it before you try the countable and uncountable noun exercises.

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Complete the countable and uncountable noun exercises below to test your knowledge of countable and uncountable nouns.

Are the following nouns usually countable or uncountable?

1. Computer

click here to see the answer
countable

 

2. Milk

click here to see the answer
uncountable

 

3. Telephone

click here to see the answer
countable

 

4. Bread

click here to see the answer
uncountable

 

5. Rice

click here to see the answer
uncountable

 

6. Cup

click here to see the answer
countable

 

7. Coffee

click here to see the answer
uncountable

 

8. Friend

click here to see the answer
countable

 

9. Pasta

click here to see the answer
uncountable

 

10. Flower

click here to see the answer
countable

 

11. Flour

click here to see the answer
uncountable

 

12. Knowledge

click here to see the answer
uncountable

 

13. Education

click here to see the answer
uncountable

 

14. Money

click here to see the answer
uncountable

 

15. Coin

click here to see the answer
countable

 

16. Ink

click here to see the answer
uncountable

 

17. Photograph

click here to see the answer
countable

 

18. Vehicle

click here to see the answer
countable

 

Choose the correct words to complete each of the sentences below.

19. Do you have _________________ (many / much) money with you? Could I borrow some please?

click here to see the answer
much

 

20. There isn’t ___________________ (some / any) bread left. I’ll get some when I go shopping.

click here to see the answer
any

 

21. I have ___________________ (some / any) coins in my purse if you need some change.

click here to see the answer
some

 

22. There were ___________________ (too many / too much) vehicles on the motorway today. I was stuck in a traffic jam for hours!

click here to see the answer
too many

 

23. ________________________ (a few / a little) of my friends are going to the party on Saturday. I’m so glad I’ll know some people there!

click here to see the answer
a few

 

24. There were ______________________ (too many / a lot of) people at the party – it was such a great atmosphere I had a brilliant time!

click here to see the answer
a lot of

 

25. I can’t help you I’m sorry. I have  ______________________ (few / little) knowledge of that subject.

click here to see the answer
little
present_continuous

Present continuous exercises

Present continuous exercises

present continuous exercisesHave you read the information page on the present continuous? Click here to read it before you try the present continuous exercises.

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Complete the present continuous exercises below to test your knowledge of the present continuous.

A. Present continuous exercises – use the correct form of the present continous to complete the sentences and question below.

Example: Right now I ______________ (take) a grammar test. Right now I am taking a grammar test.

1. John ______________ (watch) television in the lounge.

click here to see the answer

is watching

2. It is a national holiday so I __________________ (not work) today.

click here to see the answer

am not working

3. What is that noise? Someone ______________ (sing) really badly!

click here to see the answer

is singing

4. I’ll call you back, I _____________ (eat) dinner at the moment.

click here to see the answer

am eating

5. _______ they still _____________ (sleep)? I can call again later.

click here to see the answer

Are they still sleeping

 

B. Present continuous exercises – use the correct form of the present continous OR present simple to complete the sentences and questions below.

Tip: When you complete these present continuous exercises remember to watch our for static verbs (they do not take the continuous form!)

6. He isn’t here, he _____________ (visit) his sister in France.

click here to see the answer

is visiting

7. This is a lovely meal – it _____________ (taste) delicious.

click here to see the answer

tastes

8. These flowers _____________ (smell) wonderful!

click here to see the answer

smell

9. I _________________ (meet) my sister for lunch every Tuesday.

click here to see the answer

meet

10. ___________ you _____________ (meet) Susan later?

click here to see the answer

Are you meeting

11. He normally tells the truth but this time I _____________ (not believe) him.

click here to see the answer

don’t believe

12. I _____________________ (read) a book about New Zealand at the moment – it looks like such a beautiful country.

click here to see the answer

am reading

13. What are you doing? I __________________ (check) my emails.

click here to see the answer

am checking

14. I’m sorry, I ____________________ (not know) the answer to that question.

click here to see the answer

don’t know

15. __________ you ______________ (play) tennis very often?

click here to see the answer

Do you play

 

present_simple

Present simple exercises

Present simple exercises

present simple exercisesHave you read the information page on the present simple? Click here to read it before you try the present simple exercises.

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Complete the present simple exercises below to test your knowledge of the present simple.

Example: I work on weekdays. He works on weekdays.

1. We listen to the teacher.     She _______________ the teacher.

click here to see the answer

listens

2. I watch television in the evenings.     He _______________ television in the evenings.

click here to see the answer

watches

3. They like playing computer games.     He _________________ playing computer games.

click here to see the answer

likes

4. They taste delicious.     It ____________ delicious.

click here to see the answer

tastes

5. We fix computers for our job.     She _______________ computers for her job.

click here to see the answer

fixes

6. I write to my brother every week.     My brother ________________ to me every week.

click here to see the answer

writes

7. I have a dog.     She ___________ a dog.

click here to see the answer

has

8. I don’t eat chocolate.     He _________________ chocolate.

click here to see the answer

doesn’t eat

9. They do not have bicycles.     She ________________ a bicycle.

click here to see the answer

does not have

10. They don’t like dogs.     He ___________________ dogs.

click here to see the answer

doesn’t like

11. We don’t eat meat.  I ___________________ meat.

click here to see the answer

don’t eat

12. She doesn’t have a computer.  You ___________________ a computer.

click here to see the answer

don‘t have

13. Do you work in the city?     ______ they _______ in the city?

click here to see the answer

Do they work

14. Do you like him?     _______ he ________ her?

click here to see the answer

Does he like

15. Does he go to your school?     ________ you _________ to his school?

click here to see the answer

Do you go

16. What time do you get up in the mornings?     What time _________ she __________ in the mornings?

click here to see the answer

Does she get up

17. Does he usually walk to work?     ________ they usually __________ to work?

click here to see the answer

Do they usually walk

18. Do you go to the gym on Friday evenings?     ________ he __________ to the gym on Friday evenings?

click here to see the answer

Does he go
practice_speaking_English

English speaking practice

English speaking practice – 4 ways you can practice your speaking

English_speaking_practiceGetting enough English speaking practice can be one of the biggest problems for learners of English who want to improve their speaking skills, especially if they live in a non-English speaking country.

However, there are some techniques that you can use to help you to get more English speaking practice.


English speaking practice tip 1. Imagine conversations

In your daily life, you have a lot of conversations that are similar each day such as “How are you?” and “Did you sleep well?” for example. Start practising by seeing if you could translate the last conversation you had before coming online today. You need to find out if you could have that same conversation again in English. If not, why not? Is it grammar? Is it vocabulary? When you have found the area you think needs improving, look around our site to find the learning material and exercises to help you.

English speaking practice tip 2. Call freephone numbers

Many countries have free calling telephone numbers – find companies that speak in English (language schools are good!) and ask as many questions as you can. If the person on the other end of the phone wants to speak in your language, tell them that you find speaking in English easier!

English speaking practice tip 3. Watch television and listen to the radio – FOR SHORT PERIODS OF TIME!

Watching television and listening to the radio can definitely improve your spoken English, but watching and listening closely for 5 minutes is much better than paying less attention for half an hour. If possible, record a program and listen to it repeatedly. Pay particular attention to the pronunciation and intonation of words and sentences, and repeat what they say aloud.

English speaking practice tip 4. Learn how to use the IPA (international phonetic alphabet)

Have a look here at some resources to help you learn better pronunciation (the link opens in a new window).