Archive | January 2012

Phrasal Verb: Come

These exercises are about using the verb ‘to come’ combined with particles, thanks to Caroline Brown English Lessons. Here are some of the most common:

‘to come across’ means to find something by chance.

  • Here is an old photo of me. I came across it when I was looking for my passport.
  • I love this painting. I came across it in the attic when I was cleaning up.

‘to come apart’ means to break into separate pieces.

  • It broke when I picked it up. Everything just came apart.
  • It’s quite big but you can pack it into a small box. It comes apart very easily.

‘to come down’ means to fall, to decrease.

  • The price of petrol has come down since the beginning of the year. It’s much cheaper now.
  • She has taken some aspirin so her temperature has come down.

‘to come from’ = to have as your country or place of origin.

  • You know by his accent that he comes from South Africa.
  • I come from York, a beautiful city in the north of England.

‘to come out’ = to be released, to be available to the public

  • His new book comes out next month. I’m sure it will be a bestseller.
  • Their new CD came out only a few weeks ago and has already sold millions.

‘to come out’ can also mean to leave a room or a building

  • He stayed in his office until he had finished the report. He didn’t come out all day.
  • He was waiting for me when I came out of work.

‘to come up’ = to arise unexpectedly

  • I’m sorry but I’ll be late. Something has come up.
  • A great opportunity has just come up for a job in the marketing department.

‘to come up’ = to be mentioned, talked about

  • We were talking about different people we knew and his name came up in the conversation.
  • I don’t want to talk about it so I hope it doesn’t come up.

‘to come up with’ = to think of, imagine a solution or idea

  • I asked Larry for some suggestions and he came up with a lot of very good ideas.
  • I’m sorry but I haven’t come up with any solution yet. I don’t know what we can do.

‘to come off’ = to become unstuck

  • I don’t know what is in the box, the label has come off.
  • When I tried to open the door, the handle came off in my hand!

Why don’t you contact us today?

Conversational English: Yes & No

In everyday conversation, you may also hear Yes / No
questions in which both the auxiliary verb and the
subject are omitted–when the subject is you:

Are you hungry? ===> Hungry?

Are you feeling hungry? ===> Feeling hungry?

Do you understand this? ===> Understand this?

Do you do your laundry more than once a week? ===>
Do your laundry more than once a week

Did you eat lunch? ===> Eat lunch?

Have you seen that movie? ===> Seen that movie?

Have you had lunch yet? ===> Had lunch yet?

Have you got change for a dollar? ===>
Got change for a dollar??

This kind of “shortening” is most common with aredo,
did, and have, but it’s sometimes heard with other auxiliaries.

Special Notes:

1. As noted before, the auxiliary might be
said, but only in very contracted form:Do you understand this? ===>
‘D you understand this?

Do you do your laundry more than once
a week? ===> ‘D you do your laundry
more than once a week?

Did you eat lunch? ===>
‘D you eat lunch?

Have you seen that movie? ===>
‘Ve you seen that movie?

Have you had lunch yet? ===>
‘Ve you had lunch yet?

Have you got change for a dollar? ===>
‘Ve you got change for a dollar??

Important: When this kind of “shortening”
happens with did, there is a sound change:
[Di]d + you ===> dzh. This sound change does
happen with do and have: Do you ===> Diú;
Have you ===> Viú.

2. Notice that this “abbreviation” is used with
you. When subjects are not you, they are usually
not omitted:Are Joe and Bill brothers? ===> Joe and
Bill brothers?

Were Jun’s parents born in Japan? ===>
Jun’s parents born in Japan?

Is anyone listening? ===> Anyone listening?

Has Fred’s wife had her baby yet? ===>
Fred’s wife had her baby yet?

Does Mahmoud speak French? ===>
Mahmoud speak French?

Did Joe call you last night?===>
Joe call you last night?

3. Auxiliaries other than is aredodid, and have
are sometimes also omitted. When this happens,
the questions can be understood in several
different ways:Understand me? = Do / Did / Can / Could you
understand me?

Help me? = Will / Would / Can / Could you help me?

Conversation is important at BBE, thus, that’s why it’s one of our main principles in which we base our classes. Let us know how we can help!

*Shout out to eslcafe.com, who has great lessons, including this one. Check them out pronto!




Present Perfect Continous

[has/have + been + present participle]

Examples:

  • You have been waiting here for two hours.
  • Have you been waiting here for two hours?
  • You have not been waiting here for two hours.

USE 1 Duration from the Past Until Now

We use the Present Perfect Continuous to show that something started in the past and has continued up until now. “For five minutes,” “for two weeks,” and “since Tuesday” are all durations which can be used with the Present Perfect Continuous.

Examples:

  • They have been talking for the last hour.
  • She has been working at that company for three years.
  • What have you been doing for the last 30 minutes?
  • James has been teaching at the university since June.
  • We have been waiting here for over two hours!
  • Why has Nancy not been taking her medicine for the last three days?

USE 2 Recently, Lately

You can also use the Present Perfect Continuous WITHOUT a duration such as “for two weeks.” Without the duration, the tense has a more general meaning of “lately.” We often use the words

“lately” or “recently” to emphasize this meaning.

Examples:

  • Recently, I have been feeling really tired.
  • She has been watching too much television lately.
  • Have you been exercising lately?
  • Mary has been feeling a little depressed.
  • Lisa has not been practicing her English.
  • What have you been doing?

IMPORTANT

Remember that the Present Perfect Continuous has the meaning of “lately” or “recently.” If you use the Present Perfect Continuous in a question such as “Have you been feeling alright?”, it can sugges

t that the person looks sick or unhealthy. A question such as “Have you been smoking?” can suggest that you smell the smoke on the person. Using this tense in a question suggests you can see, smell, hear or feel the results of the action. It is possible to insult someone by using this tense incorrectly.

REMEMBER Non-Continuous Verbs/ Mixed Verbs

It is important to remember that Non-Continuous Verbs cannot be used in any con

tinuous tenses. Also, certain non-continuous meanings forMixed Verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses. Instead of using Present Perfect Continuous with these verbs, you must use Present Perfect.

Examples:

  • Sam has been having his car for two years. Not Correct
  • Sam has had his car for two years. Correct

ADVERB PLACEMENT

The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.

Examples:

  • You have only been waiting here for one hour.
  • Have you only been waiting here for one hour?

ACTIVE / PASSIVE

Examples:

  • Recently, John has been doing the work. Active
  • Recently, the work has been being done by John. Passive

NOTE: Present Perfect Continuous is less commonly used in its passive form.
At BBE, we emphasize conversation, but also believe in the importance of grammar. How can we help you?

Phrasal Verbs with Up

We expand on another post on phrasal verbs with UP, with more examples.

One common use for ‘up’ in phrasal verbs is to indicate

  • An upward movement
  • An increase
  • An improvement

See how that applies to these eight verbs.

If you display something such as a poster, you ‘put it up’ on a wall or a notice-board.

  • Have you seen the warning the boss has put up on the notice-board?
  • Can you put up a poster in your window?

If somebody is miserable and you want them to be happier, you can tell them to ‘cheer up’.

  • You look really unhappy. Cheer up!
  • I wrote Pearson a letter to try to cheer him up a bit.

If you are sitting and then you rise from your chair, you ‘stand up’.

  • When the President arrives, everybody must stand up.
  • Stand up straight when I am speaking to you.

If a party or a seminar is dull, you need to ‘liven it up’.

  • You need to liven up your ideas.
  • How can we liven up this presentation?

If you want to make something stronger, you can ‘build it up’.

  • I have built up a strong team of workers.
  • I have been ill and need to build up my strength.

I can’t hear very well these days – I’m old. When you speak to me, you need to speaker, to ‘speak up’.

  • Can you speak up? There is a lot of background noise.
  • It is a big room. You will have to speak up so that those in the back can hear.

The place where you lived when you were a child is where you ‘grew up’.

  • I was born in Scotland but grew up in England.
  • Where did you grow up?

If something increases fast, it ‘shoots up’.

  • The price of petrol has shot up recently.
  • My English scores shot up after I started studying with Pearson.

There is a group of expressions using ‘up’ where the ‘up’ is not necessary. For example you can say ‘fill’ or ‘fill up’ and it means almost the same thing. So why do we add the ‘up’? Well one possible answer is that ‘we do it because we do it’ – we have just developed the habit of adding ‘up’. However, often the ‘up’ seems to ‘intensify’ the verb, to make it more ‘complete’.

Look at these examples and see what I mean.

If you are late, you need to ‘hurry up’.

  • Please hurry up. We are terribly late.
  • We need to hurry up or we will miss our flight.

You can ‘ring up’ somebody on the telephone.

  • I will ring you up when I get back.
  • You can ring me up if you need any help.

If you cut your skin, it needs to ‘heal up’.

  • This will take a week to heal up.
  • I cut myself shaving and it will not heal up.

Before I go on a long journey, I have to ‘fill up’ my car with petrol ( or if I were in the US ‘gas’.)

  • I need to fill up my car.
  • The concert filled up quickly and not everybody could get in.

When I send a package, I ‘wrap it up’ well.

  • Could you wrap this up for me?
  • They didn’t wrap it up properly and it got damaged.

If you have something valuable, it is a good idea to ‘lock it up’.

  • He did not lock up his desk properly and somebody stole his calculator.
  • I think they should lock up pedophiles for a very long time.

If you don’t have enough money to buy something, you need to ‘save up’.

  • I am saving up to go on a trip to New York.
  • You’ll have to save up if you want to buy a car.

When things are in a mess, you need to ‘tidy them up’.

  • We need to tidy up the office before the visitor comes.
  • Tidy up your desk. It’s such a mess.

Contact BBE today and let us help you with your English!

thanks to business-english.com for great phrasal verb ideas…. 

Conversational English

Conversation is important at BBE, thus, that’s why it’s one of or main principales in which we base our classes. Here’s a great lesson by Dennis Oliver from eslcafe.com:

The grammar used in written language and the grammar used in conversational language are often quite different. In fact, what’s normal, common, and acceptable in spoken language is often considered unacceptable in written language. For that reason, we’ll take a look, in the next several Hints, at what some of these differences are.

 

1. Yes / No Questions

Written English

In written language, Yes / No (“simple”) questions have
three forms:

BE + subject + other words?

Is anyone absent?
Are you hungry?
Are Joe and Bill brothers?
Was she at work today?
Were Jun’s parents born in Japan?

AUXILIARY + subject + verb + other words?

Is anyone listening?
Are you feeling hungry?
Are Susie and Jill coming to the party?
Can you understand this?
Will you help me?
Should we stay or leave?
Has Fred’s wife had her baby yet?
Have you seen that movie?
Have you had lunch yet?
Had they already left when you arrived? 

Do / Does / Did + subject + verb + other words?

Do you understand me?
Does your apartment have air conditioning?
Did Joe call you last night?
Do you do your laundry more than once a week?
Did your brother do well on his exam?

Conversational English

In everyday conversation, Yes / No questions are often “abbreviated” by omitting some of the words. The result is sentences that are common, normal, and acceptable for speaking, but not acceptable in writing. There are two main ways that these “abbreviated” questions are made.

Here’s one of them:

 

Omitting BE or the Auxiliary Verb

Examples:

Is anyone absent? ===> Anyone absent?

Are you hungry? ===> You hungry?

Was she at work today? ===> She at work today?

Is anyone listening? ===> Anyone listening?

Are you feeling hungry? ===> You feeling hungry?

Are Susie and Jill coming to the party? ===>
Susie and Jill coming to the party?

Has Fred’s wife had her baby yet? ===?
Fred’s wife had her baby yet?

Have you seen that movie? ===>
You seen that movie?

Have you had lunch yet? ===> You had lunch yet?

Had they already left when you arrived? ===>
They already left when you arrived?

Do you understand me? ===> You understand me?

Does your apartment have air conditioning? ===>
Your apartment have air conditioning?

Did Joe call you last night? ===> Joe call you
last night?

Do you do your laundry more than once a week? ===>
You do your laundry more than once a week?

Did your brother do well on his exam? ===>
Your brother do well on his exam?

 

Eslcafe.com is a great resource for information. They continually help BBE with the format of lessons, including this one!


 

Vocabulary: Business English Verbs

The best way to learn these is simple. Go through, visualize the situation, and brand it in your memory. Contact us today if you have more questions on learning vocabulary!
  • accept
  • add
  • admit
  • advertise
  • advise
  • afford
  • approve
  • authorize
  • avoid
  • borrow
  • build
  • buy
  • calculate
  • cancel
  • change
  • charge
  • check
  • choose
  • complain
  • complete
  • confirm
  • consider
  • convince
  • count
  • decide
  • decrease
  • deliver
  • develop
  • discount
  • dismiss
  • dispatch
  • distribute
  • divide
  • employ
  • encourage
  • establish
  • estimate
  • exchange
  • extend
  • fix
  • fund
  • improve
  • increase
  • inform
  • install
  • invest
  • invoice
  • join
  • lend
  • lengthen
  • lower
  • maintain
  • manage
  • measure
  • mention
  • obtain
  • order
  • organize
  • owe
  • own
  • pack
  • participate
  • pay
  • plan
  • present
  • prevent
  • process
  • produce
  • promise
  • promote
  • provide
  • purchase
  • raise
  • reach
  • receive
  • recruit
  • reduce
  • refuse
  • reject
  • remind
  • remove
  • reply
  • resign
  • respond
  • return
  • rise
  • sell
  • send
  • separate
  • shorten
  • split
  • structure
  • succeed
  • suggest