The CEFR C2 level of English is advanced and the users at this level are proficient with their English. They are similar to native speakers of the language.


Here’s an expert example of negation + ‘in the least’: I’m not in the least bit religious. Listen to this sentence C2 Point 28 in the category of NEGATION is defined: ‘IN THE LEAST’ after a negative form for emphasis. A search in iWeb: 1 NOT SURPRISED IN THE LEAST 86 2 NOT BE IN THE LEAST 63 …

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may | might + as well

If you want to make an unenthusiastic suggestion or say you are not enjoying, interested in, or approving of something, then you can use this grammar structure with ‘may as well‘ or ‘might as well‘. Here are some examples.  The first is a student speaking test example: You might as well just open the door to an unknown person. TLC female Mexico B2 Expert …

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‘AS’ + pronoun + ‘USED’ + to-infinitive

Student example in a speaking test: I don’t think that they pay enough attention towards the national customs as they used to do those days. TLC female Sri Lanka B2 Point 236 in the category of MODALITY is defined: ‘as’ + pronoun + ‘used to’ to add background to a narrative, often to highlight something unusual A search in iWeb for: as_C _P used_V _TO _VV 1 AS …

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WOULD + adverb (wide range)

Let’s look at some examples of ‘would’ + a wide range of adverbs: They would eventually become the oppressive hand of the Russian government.  (Listen) What would normally take him maybe a day or something to solder by hand, he can do in a few minutes using this machine.  (Listen)   Point 234 in the category of MODALITY is defined: wide range of adverbs with ‘would’, including ‘undoubtedly’, ‘possibly’, ‘normally’, ‘personally’, ‘eventually’, ‘obviously’, ‘significantly’, …

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‘be careful not to disturb them’ (adjective + ‘NOT TO’ + infinitive)

Here’s a student example in a speaking test of ‘BE + adjective + not + to-infinitive‘ to give emphasis: When you walk, you should be careful not to disturb them because they are all below you. TLC male Sri Lanka B1 *We can also write: You should be careful that you do not disturb them… Point 230 in the category of MODALITY is defined as: ‘BE’ + ADJECTIVE + ‘NOT’ …

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used not to

The following rare student writing example shows how ‘used not to’ expresses modality: Also when I was younger, I used not to be allowed to drink coffee. PELIC Korean female level 3 grammar class. It sounds more natural to say: “I didn’t use to be allowed to drink coffee.” *In other words, she did not have permission to drink coffee.  Although now she is an adult and can. Point 227 …

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IF clause + SHALL clause

Here’s an expert example of using a conditional clause + ‘shall’ clause to express modality: Come on, if we don’t share a similar social consciousness, how shall we discuss social problems? Listen to this sentence. C2 point 225 in the category of MODALITY is defined: ‘shall’ in the main clause after an ‘if-‘ clause conditionals Long open queries are impossible on iWeb, so here we first look for the …

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When you ‘listen’ to someone speaking in a conversation, you can respond with short phrases that add to the conversation. These utterances carry information and sometimes a single word like an adverb is all you might say. C2 point 224 in the category of MODALITY/adverbs is defined: adverbs expressing certainty as short responses Here is …

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Point 38 in the category of PASSIVES: non-finite ‘-ing’ perfect forms of the passive as the complement of prepositions. Point 40 in the category of PASSIVES is defined: passive non-finite ‘-ing’ perfect forms in subordinate clauses to give explanatory background information. EXAMPLE: I feel like the luckiest person in the world, having been born at the intersection of great needs and great injustices and great opportunities to change them. TED An iWeb search for: . having been _VVN …

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NOT ONLY + present perfect continuous (inversion) + BUT

Point 92 in the category of PAST is defined: present perfect continuous, invert the subject and affirmative auxiliary verb with ‘not only … but’ as a focusing device EXAMPLE: Not only has Pablo been talking publicly for the first time about being an orphan, but together, we started a live storytelling series we’re calling Talk Rx, and it’s become a really popular place for his peers to show their most vulnerable and powerful thoughts and feelings. TED

HERS | THEIRS (subject)

Point 111 in PRONOUNS: the possessive pronoun ‘hers’ with singular reference, in subject position. Point 112 in PRONOUNS: the possessive pronoun ‘theirs’, with singular and plural reference, in subject position. *NOTE that there is no EGP point for hers as a subject with a plural reference.  This probably means that plural reference would be C2.  …

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THAT + adjective + noun + OF + possessive pronoun

Point 115 in PRONOUNS: ‘THAT … OF’ + possessive pronouns to express an attitude about someone or something, often in humorous or sarcastic contexts. *there are other very similar C2 points to this too. iWeb doesn’t allow more than 5 tokens in a search so a COCA search for: that _JJ _NN _IO _PPGE 1 …

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