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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Academic IELTS grammar for writing task 2

I put this advanced student sample answer to the IELTS writing task 2 through our English Grammar Profiler looking for stand out features.  Here are the highest grammar constructions, that we have listed as C1: It is argued that volunteering should be made a part of the school curriculum. (This is the topic sentence) What you have done outside the classroom is often …

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future perfect passive

Here’s an EXPERT EXAMPLE of future perfect passive: If you live to 90, then 32 years will have been spent entirely asleep. TED PEARSON GSE 67 B2+ future perfect passive simple is oddly unlisted in the English Grammar Profile.  The EGP does have perfect passive at B2, but no mention of it with ‘will have been + past participle’.  For that reason here we …

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‘BUT FOR’ (third conditional)

We know that ‘but for’ + a phrase means except for or if it were not for. At C1, this structure can be combined with a ‘would have clause’  so it is similar to a past conditional.  All together this construction means “if it wasn’t for this thing that happened, then this other thing was …

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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

present perfect simple (unfinished)

Point 20 in the category of PAST is defined: present perfect simple: UNFINISHED refer to a state or period of time which is unlimited or indefinite. This is too hard to locate automatically without overlapping other points in the EGP. EXPERT EXAMPLE: I love calling COVID Rona as if this is a person that has crashed our good time over the last year. wnpr.org


Here is another English Grammar Profile point that overlaps multiple categories making it quite difficult to choose which criterion best suits. Point 40 in the category of CLAUSES is defined: AFFIRMATIVE INTERROGATIVE: (‘yes/no’ forms) with auxiliary ‘be’ and ‘have’. The EGP examples: Are you going to the new art class? Have you got a new dress for the party? Point 17 in the category of VERBS is defined: AUXILIARY VERBS …

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I have to admit

Point 72 in 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 to have a girl. male China C1 *There are only a few …

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Point 117 in the category of MODALITY is defined: ‘have to’ as an infinitive form *This will overlap sometimes with B2 adjectives followed by an infinitive. PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: A child is very expensive, this causes parents to have to work more, which can lead to frustration and anger. Taiwanese female, level 4 writing class. An iWeb search for: * _TO have _TO _VVI 1 GOING TO HAVE TO GET 4269 …

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present perfect simple negative + YET

Point 13 in the category of PAST is defined: present perfect simple negative with ‘yet’ to talk about events which are expected to be completed at some point in the future. 1 HAS N’T HAPPENED YET 1853 2 HAVE N’T SEEN YET 777 3 HAVEN’T DECIDED YET 699 PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I haven’t decided yet, but maybe I will buy a snowboard here and try the …

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present perfect simple (range)

There is no listing in the English Grammar Profile for a ‘wide‘ range of main verbs with present perfect simple.  So, here’s an expert example of present perfect simple using academic collocation: In the course of my professional life, I have acquired knowledge and manual skill.    (linotype.com) Here are some general range points in the English Grammar Profile in the category of …

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present perfect continuous question

Point 31 in the category of PAST: present perfect continuous: QUESTIONS with a limited range of verbs. PELIC STUDENT: What have you been doing? Arabic male, Level 4 grammar class. An iWeb search for: have|has _P been _VVG 1 HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING 1224 2 HAVE YOU BEEN LOOKING 1218 3 HAVE YOU BEEN USING 914 4 HAVE YOU …

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present perfect simple + SINCE

Point 33 in the category of PAST is defined as: present perfect simple + ‘since’ to talk about duration. PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I have read a lot of books about cooking since then. Chinese male, level 3 writing class.   We have been friends since we were high-school students. Korean female, level 3 writing class. An iWeb search for: _VH _VVN since *we removed ‘had’ 1 HAS CHANGED SINCE 11097 …

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as you might (SHARED KNOWLEDGE)

Point 90 in MODALITY is defined as: ‘might’ in phrases, such as ‘as you might know’, ‘have already heard’, to focus the reader on shared knowledge. 1 AS YOU MIGHT EXPECT , 6532 2 AS YOU MIGHT THINK . 3862 3 AS YOU MIGHT IMAGINE , 3657 4 AS YOU MIGHT HAVE GUESSED 2253 As …

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present perfect simple negative (wide range of verbs)

Point 84 in the category of PAST: present perfect simple with the full negative forms with a wide range of verbs, often in formal contexts. An iWeb search for: _N have|has not _VVN 1 POLICE HAVE NOT RELEASED 590 2 GOD HAS NOT GIVEN 328 3 CANCER HAS NOT SPREAD 302 4 STUDIES HAVE NOT …

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