English Grammar: Simple Future Tense

During our English speaking courses, many people question the importance of grammar in spoken English, while some fervently support it. I guess this question can be reserved for other times. Today we are going to take a look at Simple present tense and it applications in spoken English.

Simple future tense is a basic tense, in general used to talk about possibilities or intentions in general.

Verb

In simple future tense, first form of verb is used with Auxiliary verb: will or shall. Now, Victorian English suggests us to use only shall with first person. This is no longer followed by majority. In order to understand their modern day usage, please follow our blog here.

Make a statement

A statement in simple Future Tense is constructed in following ways.

Subject

Auxiliary Verb

Main Verb

Object

I, you, we, they

will

play

cricket

He, she, it

will

play

cricket

I, you , we, they

will

not

play

cricket

He, she, it

will

not

play

cricket

Structure for positive statement in general can be:

Subject + Auxiliary Verb + first form of Verb + Object (positive statement)

Subject + Auxiliary Verb + not + first form of Main Verb + Object (negative statement)

Ask a question

While forming interrogative sentence, auxiliary verb precedes subject in general. Following can be use of Simple Future Tense in interrogative sentences.

Auxiliary Verb

Subject

Main Verb

Object

Will

I, you, we, they

play

cricket?

Will

He, she, it

play

cricket?

Will

not

I, you, we, they

play

cricket?

Will

not

He, she, it

play

cricket?

In general structure of interrogative sentence can be

Auxiliary verb + Subject + first form of Main verb + Object ? (positive question)

Auxiliary verb + not + Subject + first form of Main verb + Object ? (negative question)

Applications of Simple Future Tense

There are many applications of Simple Future Tense. Following is a list of the applications in general.

1.     Express a voluntary action.

A voluntary action is one, the speaker offers to do for someone else. We use “will” to respond to someone else’s complaint or request for help. We also use “will” when we request that someone help us or volunteer to do something for us. Similarly, we use “will not” or “won’t” when we refuse to voluntarily do something.

I will send you the information when I get it.

I will translate the email, so Mr. Subhash can read it.

Will you help me move this heavy table?

Will you make dinner?

2.     Promise

Your promises to complete a particular action must be expressed in Simple Future Tense.

I will call you when I arrive.

I will prepare a tasty cake on your birthday.

I promise I will not tell anybody about the party.

Don’t worry, I’ll be careful.

3.     Prediction

Predictions about future canbe presented in Simple Future Tense.

The year 2015 will be a very interesting year.

Narendra Modi will be the next Prime Minister.

The movie “Two States” will win several Awards.

4.     Plans

You may express your plans using Simple Future Tense.

I will start my journey at 5.10 in morning.

I will meet you at station at around 7 O’clock.

She will reach home in time.

English Vocabulary: Homophones

Homophones are words with same pronunciation with different meaning and/or spelling. The words may be spelled the same, such as rose (flower) and rose (past tense of “rise”), or differently, such as carat, caret, and carrot, or to, two, and too. Homophones that are spelled the same are also both homographs and homonyms. But that can be discussed at some other time.

Recently in one of our blogs we had asked our readers if they knew about homophones. We got tremendous response over social media. We decided to make a list and publish it over here.

airheir
aisleisle
ante-anti-
eyeI
barebear
bebee
brakebreak
buyby
cellsell
centscent
cerealserial
coarsecourse
complementcompliment
damdamn
deardeer
diedye
fairfare
firfur
flourflower
forfour
hairhare
healheel
hearhere
himhymn
holewhole
hourour
idleidol
ininn
knightnight
knotnot
knowno
mademaid
mailmale
meatmeet
morningmourning
nonenun
oaror
onewon
pairpear
peacepiece
plainplane
poorpour
prayprey
principalprinciple
profitprophet
realreel
rightwrite
rootroute
sailsale
seasee
seamseem
sightsite
sewso
shoresure
solesoul
somesum
sonsun
stairstare
stationarystationery
stealsteel
suitesweet
tailtale
theirthere
totoo
toetow
waistwaste
waitweight
wayweigh
weakweek
wearwhere

 

3 reasons to chase excellence in Email writing

During our Business writing course, we are often asked, how to perfect email or letter writing? Answer to this question is very simple. Do not chase perfection right from first email, rather chase excellence in business writing.

In this fast life, it is difficult to wait for perfect products. Companies like Microsoft, Apple, coca-cola keep on updating their existing ones and keep on introducing new ones. Key to success is excellence and not perfection. If you wait for perfection chances are you will miss the opportunity. Many business people talk about excellence. But, then what is excellence? Pursuing excellence is nothing but creating best possible result within given resources. Next question is why you should chase excellence especially in writing emails.

Wait for perfect opening and miss deadline

Most of the people we meet ask, how to write a perfect opening. The bad news is, if you wait for perfect opening you may not finish the letter in time. Do not strive for perfection. Rather brainstorm – start looking for relevant points, illustrations or anecdotes depending on the type of business document you are writing.

Purpose is important than literary value

Every business document has a purpose. It can be change expected in policies, behaviours, communication etc. After relevant points, you must include “call to action” message which should be loud and clear for the reader. If you focus on literary content more than purpose, and start using thesaurus on every word, you may end up coming across as a confused writer.

Nikhil is a Purchase Manager in Home Appliances Division at an Indian Corporation. He has to reply to at least 150 mails in a day. Most of them are addressed to his suppliers and many to his senior management. He initially used to wait for perfect opening and best possible lexical terms. His mails were for sure were appreciated for freshness, but he could reply to hardly 50 mails in a day. Many of his juniors and suppliers were not happy because of the delay in reply. Moreover, he himself could achieve little more than writing mails and meeting people throughout his busy day. At the end of the week he used leave office late in evening as he was replying to pending emails. In the process, his tired approach was reflected in his mails.

We advised him to change his style of email writing. He not only replies to all of his emails, he leaves office in time. You may find the tips on how to write effective mails here.

Learning curve

After explaining these points with relevant example people start accepting the point that they must focus on the excellence more than anything else. It takes years of writing practice to come up with really good writing skills.

07learningcurve

Graph for learning new skills is as shown in image; this is s-shaped curve. Initially we, humans, take a lot of time as our mind tries to stick older concepts or resists learning and adapting to new ideas. As the resistance fades away, learning gathers momentum, paving way for new ideas. It again reaches saturation after some period. This holds true for most of the skills including Email Writing. In order to write better emails you may click here.

We hope this helps you understand why excellence is important. Your likes, comments and shares are always welcome.

English Grammar: Simple Past Tense

During our English speaking courses, many people question the importance of grammar in spoken English, while some fervently support it. I guess this question can be reserved for other times. Today we are going to take a look at Simple present tense and its applications in spoken English.

Simple past tense is a basic tense, in general, used to talk about what happened in past.

Verb

In simple past tense, the second form of a verb is used. In cases of regular verbs –ed is added at the end. You need to pay attention in using the right form in case of irregular verbs. For example, the second form of the verb for sleep is ‘slept’. In case, if you are using an auxiliary verb, past form is transferred from the main verb to auxiliary as follows.

Make a statement

A statement in simple past tense is constructed in following ways.

Subject

Auxiliary Verb

Main Verb

Object

I, you, we, they

liked

coffee

He, she, it

liked

coffee

I, you , we, they

did

not

like

coffee

He, she, it

did

not

like

coffee

Structure for a positive statement in general can be:

Subject + second form of Verb + Object

(positive statement)

Subject + Auxiliary Verb + not + first form of Main Verb + Object

(negative statement)

Ask a question

While forming an interrogative sentence, auxiliary verb precedes subject in general. The following can be used of simple past tense in interrogative sentences.

Auxiliary Verb

Subject

Main Verb

Object

Did

I, you, we, they

like

coffee?

Did

He, she, it

like

coffee?

Did

not

I, you, we, they

like

coffee?

Did

not

He, she, it

like

coffee?

In general structure of interrogative sentence can be

Auxiliary verb + Subject + first form of Main verb + Object ?

(positive question)

Auxiliary verb + not + Subject + first form of Main verb + Object ?

(negative question)

Applications of Simple past tense

There are many applications of simple past tense. Following is a list of the applications in general.

1. Talk about an action that started and finished at a specific time in the past.

Your activities of the past, which started at a specific time in the day and ended at a specific time, must be described in Simple past tense. Following are examples

We saw a movie in city pride yesterday.

I talked to my friends on the cell phone.

She didn’t attend the speaking class.

He didn’t wash the car.

2.     List series of actions

Your series of actions that happened in a particular attempt or trip or endeavor, must be described in Simple past tense.

I finished the office work, caught the bus & came back to the home.

She put on the track suit and went for jogging.

The maid cleaned the utensils, washed the clothes and cooked the food.

Did you affix the post stamps & post the letter?

3.     Narrating duration

While narrating about the duration you spent doing something can be described in simple past tense.

I lived in Pune for about ten years

She studied German in just six months.

The maid didn’t turn up on Sunday.

He worked with Infosys for 4 years.

4.     Talk about habits of the past

You can discuss habits of the past using simple past tense

I always participated in the school gathering.

She often played guitar in the party.

He never played any sport in the school life.

Did you ever study sincerely in your childhood?

English Grammar: Simple present tense

During our English speaking courses, many people question the importance of grammar in spoken English, while some fervently support it. I guess this question can be reserved for other times. Today we are going to take a look at Simple Present Tense and it supplications in spoken English.

Simple present tense is basic tense, in general, used to talk about now.

Verb

In Simple Present Tense, a basic form of a verb is used. It changes based on the subject by adding -s/-es at the end in case subject used is third person singular.

Make a statement

A statement in simple present tense is constructed in following ways.

Subject

Auxiliary Verb

Main Verb

Object

I, you, we, they

like

coffee

He, she, it

likes

coffee

I, you , we, they

do

not

like

coffee

He, she, it

does

not

like

coffee

Structure for a positive statement, in general, can be:

Subject + Verb + Object (positive statement)

Subject + Auxiliary Verb + not + Main Verb + Object (negative statement)

Ask a question

While forming an interrogative sentence, auxiliary verb precedes subject in general. The following can be used of simple present tense in interrogative sentences.

Auxiliary VerbSubjectMain VerbObject

Do

I, you, we, they

like

coffee?

Does

He, she, it

like

coffee?

Do

not

I, you, we, they

like

coffee?

Does

not

He, she, it

like

coffee?

In general structure of interrogative sentence can be

Auxiliary verb + Subject + Main verb + Object ? (positive question)

Auxiliary verb + not + Subject + Main verb + Object ? (negative question)

Applications of Simple present tense

There are many applications of simple present tense. Following is a list of the applications in general.

1.     Mentioning facts

All facts which are indisputable are stated in Simple present tense. It doesn’t matter if they have already happened in past. What matters is if they happened yesterday, happening today and will happen tomorrow? Following are examples

The sun rises in the east.

People need food.

It snows in winter.

The sky isn’t green.

2.     Talking about habits

While talking about your daily habits you may use Simple present tense.

Do you pray GOD every day?

I play tennis every Tuesday.

We often go to the cinema.

She gets up at seven o’clock every day.

3.     Narrating about books, films, and sports

While narrating about the book you just read or films you just watched or game that you just saw, simple present tense comes handy. This is because you are trying to recreate the magic for your friends and want them re-live the experience.

The hero dies at the end of the film.

A young man travels through Europe, where he meets different people.

In this book, an army invades Britain.

The main character is very a young student and works in a bookshop.

4.     Discussing a fixed timetable or plan

Simple present tense is used in discussing routine timetables or plans.

School begins at 11.30 am tomorrow.

Our train leaves at eleven.

What time does the film start?

The train arrives at seven, it leaves at seven thirty.

5.     Expressing thoughts, feelings, and states

Thoughts and feelings are always mentioned in simple present tense since you are in that moment.

It matters a great deal to him to win the game.

They feel a lot of loyalty to the company.

Ramesh doubts the truth of his statement.

She deeply regrets saying those nasty things about him.

6.     Newspapers and headlines

Headlines employ simple present tense in order to recreate the event in your imagination.

Police discover many more dead bodies.

Something wrong in Jet Crash, expert says.

Police begin a campaign to run down Naxalites.

Drunk gets nine months imprisonment.

7.     For instructions and directions

Have you ever read instructions on your shampoo bottle, they are always in simple present tense.

Mix the flour & water together, then add sugar.

Go straight on & take your first right.

Open your books and read loudly.

Park your vehicle here.

8.     In declaration or promise

I declare this pet show open.

I promise you, I won’t do anything stupid.

I assure you everything will be all right.

I announce the program is over.

 

I hope this helps. Your likes, comments and shares are highly appreciated.

Express your point of view

Ability to express your opinion in written or in speech is one of the important part of human life. In this article we are going to look at few phrases which can be used to express opinions.

  1. In my experience…

While talking or writing about concepts or phenomenon, you can use this phrase to express your experiences. These experiences may support or contradict main idea in the discussion. For instance, everybody in group is discussing a particular bike that, always give starting problem in winter season. You haven’t used that particular bike often but you have a bit of driving experience in winter, you might express your opinion, “In my experience when I was riding that bike in my college days to attend early morning lectures, it started fine.”

  1. As far as I’m concerned…

“As far as I’m concerned Chocolate flavour is best among ice-creams”. This phrase is normally used when participant in discussion may have different opinions and everyone is entitled to their opinions or experiences. It can be used in writing and speech.

  1. Speaking for myself…

If you agree with public opinion but also have a bit different opinion about an idea or instance or phenomenon, you could use “Speaking for myself…” phrase to point out difference. “I am sure trip to museum was boring in general but, speaking for myself, I found the relics in desert really interesting.”

  1. In my opinion

This is stern phrase in use but used to state clear cut differences or contradictions in point of view. “In my opinion, the matter has no base and Charlie is unnecessarily trying to over blow the matter.”

  1. I’d suggest that…

This phrase is used to express suggestions during discussions. If discussion if going about planning 31st December celebration and you think that avoiding alcohol would be the best idea. You could start like, “I’d suggest that, we should better avoid alcohol as we are going to drive back after the party and not going to stay back at resort”.

  1. I’d like to point out that…

In discussion, if you feel that a particularly important point is missing, you could point it out by using the said phrase. If you are discussing, who is cooler among Batman and Superman and everybody forgot basic difference that, Batman didn’t have supernatural powers, you could remind everybody like, “I’d like to point out that Batman is a human with no superpower, still fights with crime and that makes him cool”.

I hope this discussion helps. Please write your comments below. Keep rocking!

Image: freepik.com

Usage of will and shall

Hello!

Today we shall look into difference, as far as usage is concerned, between will and shall. Most of us remember from school grammar classes that there is a difference between the two but hardly anyone can precisely tell it. Let’s have a look…

Shall is traditionally used with first person pronouns I and we. Will, on the other hand is used with first person pronouns.

I shall water the plants.

You will water the plants.

The distinction between two is blurring and the two are almost used interchangeably. New usage directs us two use will in cases where we wish to added sense of determination. Let’s take a look at following sentences..

I will go to his office and kick him.

I shall go to his office to see if he is there.

You will go to school.

You shall go to school.

This is even applicable in negative context.

I won’t go to school.

I shall not go to school.

It’s Legal

But, there are certain exceptions too. In cases where determination or duty, mostly in legal form, is to be defined, shall must be used.

You shall not leave the office before 6 p.m.

I shall take care of children.

Employees shall obey the anti-smoking policy in the office promises.

Ask or order someone

In cases of orders will is used invariably.

Will stop making that noise?

John, you will not eat chocolate today.

Ask for suggestions or advice

In British English, suggestions or advise are asked politely and hence use of shall is considered appropriate.

Shall we dance?

Where shall we go today?

Shall we go for lunch?

 Keep liking our posts. It encourages us to keep up the good work.

Usage of may, might and must

Hello,

Today we will see the difference between may, might and must. Usage of may and might are very similar. In general both are used to describe possibilities. Choice of one is more likely in different situations, but use of both cannot be wrong completely. It is important to note that, might is simple past tense of may. Grammar pundits insist on using may in simple present tense while might in simple past tense. This is distinction is becoming blur day by day. Following are uses where may and might are replaceable with each other.

  1. Express possibility

Looking at the clouds, I feel, it may rain today.

Looking at the clouds, I feel, it might rain today.

  1. Ask permissions

May I enter your kitchen?

Might I have a chance to speak?

  1. Grant Permissions

You may enter the class.

You might speak now.

Grammar books suggest that use of may implies greater likelihood than use of might. Both are equally accepted these days. While asking permissions, may is favoured than might.

May is also used in following situation.

  • Express wish or prayer

May all your dreams come true on your birthday.

Might is used in following situations

  • Express counter facts

If they had lived in another time, their lives might have been different.

Must on other hand is used to imply compulsion or obligation. Following are its uses

  1. Be obliged

I must return his money.

  1. Necessity; need to

Humans must eat food and drink enough water in order to stay healthy.

  1. Compelled to, by law or force

You must complete to homework before you leave the class.

  1. Forced because of requirement of honesty

I must come out clean. It’s me who stolen money from your bag.

  1. Urge to do

I must attend your party.

In conclusion, use of must leaves you with no other possibility whereas use of may or might is full of possibilities. Keep liking us so that we can keep posting these new things over here.

How to make impression on your first day of new job?

On first day of a new job, we get nervous, even people with good communication get nervous. It is natural, considering the expectations from new employers, your expectations from new work place and most importantly your colleagues. You would spend considerable amount of time of the day with them. If you can manage to impress your team on first day, your overall sailing is going to be relatively easy. This can be an important day in you career. Remember you don’t get second chance to create first impression.

Here are few tips on how to handle your first day smoothly.

  1. Greet everyone and offer handshake.

After all formalities in Human Resources Department, one of HR person will introduce you to your new colleagues by taking you to everyone’s department. This is your first chance. Greet everyone hello or Good Morning. Offer a full hearted firm handshake. Your way of handshake actually reflects your level of confidence.

  1. Show interest in your colleagues.

Don’t you like when people get your name right on first meeting? Yes! People like to hear them name in first meeting and they will be really impressed if you can recall their names after that too. So, after your conversation repeat colleague’s names.

A typical conversation with new colleague Gopal may go like this:

HR: Hello Gopal meet Venky. He is joining as consultant in your team.

Gopal: Oh! Hi Venky. How are you?

You: Hello Gopal, am good. Thanks. How about you?

Gopal: I am good. So from which college you completed your Engineering?

You: I was in NIT, 2009 batch.

Gopal: Oh! Really I passed from same college.

You: That’s a real surprise. How come I never saw you.

Gopal: 2005. We have considerable gap. Nice to see you here.

You: You too Gopal. See you around.

  1. Participate in staff meetings.

Normally, this introduction is followed by a team meeting where your manager will introduce you formally to your team and also few senior members. Here, you would be asked to introduce yourself. Please elaborate on your past in short. Don’t bore people with long stories of your brilliance. Let your work speak about it. Also, explain what was your perception of the new company? Don’t criticize or be too informal during this description.

  1. Dine with new colleagues.

Invite your colleagues to join dining with you. Don’t ignore any invitations; grab opportunity and join them to interact. They say, you know more about a person on dining table than spending entire day with him.

I hope this helps. Keep looking this place for more updates every Thursday.

Three way to start thinking in English

You have been studying English for years. So why don’t you feel comfortable speaking in real conversations? Why is it that you can pass the TOEFL exam, but you keep freezing when it comes to speaking? Why do you still translate your native language into English in your mind before you speak?

Over the past few months I have spoken with many English learners to try to understand the biggest challenges that English students have. I found that “not being able to think in English” is one of the biggest challenges. If you are facing this problem, here are three steps to overcome it!

Learn words and phrases related to situations

Many people are lead to believe that good vocabulary is hard to come by. In order to speak you don’t need to understand every word of Shakespeare. Try to imagine everyday situations and learn few words related to it. For instance, if you are going for a movie, you should be able to explain him which popcorn flavours you would like to buy? Would you like a grilled or toasted sandwich? If you are a barber shop you should explain you want hair dressed short or just trimmed in shape?

Listen to good English via news, radio or movies

One of the main problems with non-native English speaking population is they are not exposed to good English. Hardly anybody around speaks commendable English. Listen to good English. You can subscribe to good news and documentary channels on television or YouTube. You can also subscribe to some of the radio channels which air really good shows. If you get bored and Hollywood excites you, watch movies which have quality English. These listening habits will automatically make you recall few clips in your mind which will definitely help you.

Spare few minutes to think in English

Before going to bed make it a point to spend some time thinking about how you spent your day. But make sure you are thinking in English. This will not only help you improve your speaking skills but help you plan your daily activities effectively.