fixed expressions

A fixed expression is a phrase with a specific meaning.  The combination of words doesn’t change = fixed.

Would you mind?

Here are the most common examples with explanations of ‘would you mind‘: Would you mind if I took your picture? *notice the past form ‘took’ to be polite. Listen to the pronunciation   In the English Grammar Profile, point 83 at B1 in the category of MODALITY is defined as: ‘would’ to make polite requests, often in the fixed expression ‘would you …

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I have to admit

In the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 72 in the category of MODALITY is defined: the fixed expression: ‘I have to admit’ for emphasis PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: When I want to talk about my weaknesses in writing in English, I have to admit the new words are my main problem. Arabic male, level 4 writing class.   TLC STUDENT SPEAKING TEST EXAMPLE: Therefore, I have to admit that it’s true with most old people, but with my parents,  I think that before I was born they hoped that they were going …

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by the time + CLAUSE

We have already covered the following grammar point on another page: C1 English Grammar Profile point 63 in the category of FUTURE is defined as: The present simple with ‘by the time’ to refer to the future. For example: By the time it lands, they will already know if anything needs to be serviced. There is no other EGP tense that is related to this …

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At the end of the day (FOCUS EXPRESSIONS)

‘at the end of the day‘ can be used literally, meaning the time of day, but is also an informal phrase that means:  when everything is taken into consideration.   *It contains the most common 5 part N-gram in English: ‘at the end of the’ iWeb 392146 English Grammar Profile C1 Point 8 in the category …

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I must admit

In the English Grammar Profile, B2 point 165 in the category of MODALITY is defined as: the fixed expression ‘I must admit’ or ‘you must admit’ to express concession. The verb ‘admit’ is B1 in the English Vocabulary Profile with the meaning:  agree that something is true, especially unwillingly A search for collocates of ‘must admit’ …

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organising opening closing phrases

In the English Grammar Profile, B2 point 8 in the category of  DISCOURSE MARKERS in writing is defined as a: range of phrases as discourse markers to open and close texts and point to conclusions, often in formal contexts. From the examples in the EGP searched in iWeb: In the English Vocabulary Profile: ‘to begin …

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If it hadn’t been for / had it not been for + modal

C2 point 91 in the category of PAST in the English Grammar Profile is defined: fixed expressions: if it hadn’t been for / had it not been for + modal which collocates with: If it hadn’t been for + up to 9 spaces to the right in the COCA corpus (I changed to this corpus …

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