PELIC

(PELIC) refers to The University of Pittsburgh English Language Institute Corpus.

If a post refers to any language from this corpus, we tag it PELIC.

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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phrase ellipsis

Here’s a student example of verb phrase ellipsis: You need to study hard to pass the test unless you don’t want to. PELIC Arabic female level 4 grammar class Although there are a number of grammar points in the English Grammar Profile to do with Ellipsis, there are none that cover the ellipsis of phrases before or after the ‘TO’ infinitive.  Therefore, we turn to Pearson’s GSE …

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‘In order not to’ + INFINITIVE

PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I think we should do our best at the present moment in order not to be regretful. Chinese male level 5 writing class. We will only cover half of: GSE 60 B2 express negative purpose with ‘so as/in order not to’ In order not to seem stupid, he didn’t say anything. I came in very quietly, so as not to wake anyone. because ‘so as not to’ is at C1 in the English Vocabulary Profile.  ‘in order …

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gerund (passive complement)

Here’s a STUDENT EXAMPLE: Therefore, people should educate themselves on their human rights and the basic human rights that other nations have in order to avoid being deceived. PELIC Arabic female level 4 writing class. GSE 64 B2 NP + VP +VP gerund (passive)   An iWeb search for: * _VV being _VVN * 1 TO AVOID BEING HIT BY 313 2 TO AVOID BEING HIT . 185 3 N’T LIKE BEING TOLD WHAT 182 …

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passive + TO infinitve (belief or opinion)

Point 73 GSE B2+ is defined: express impersonal belief and opinion using ‘thought/considered/believed/etc.’ +’ to’ + VP infSTUDENT STUDENT EXAMPLES: Moreover, English is considered to be an international language. PELIC Thai male level 5 writing class.   In addition, he is believed to be the first teacher, because the first education system in ancient China was established by Confucius. PELIC Chinese male level 5 grammar class. EXPERT EXAMPLE: After all, the first intentional human burial is thought to have occurred around 100,000 years ago. …

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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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accept | take | claim | assume + responsibility | blame

EXAMPLES: Children can learn about taking responsibility by watching their parents accept responsibility. PELIC STUDENT: Japanese female level 4 writing class.   I was called in to assume the responsibility. TED   It’s been so wonderful to look back  and see all of my former colleagues who’ve gone on to get doctorates and assume leadership roles in other organizations. TED   The first step in accepting blame is realizing that you have made a mistake and you deserve to be blamed. altruwisdom.com The English Grammar Profiler tool highlights the Academic Collocations List, allocating C2 value to most of them.  However, for each phrase we use, …

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abstract concepts 2856

STUDENT EXAMPLE: The professor tries to explain the abstract concept of freedom. PELIC Arabic male level 5 writing class The plural form is more common in iWeb corpus: 1 ABSTRACT CONCEPTS 2856 2 ABSTRACT CONCEPT 1883 further collocates in iWeb: 1 CONCEPTS 2978 2 AN 1170 3 SUCH 302 4 UNDERSTAND 183 5 CONCRETE 149 6 RATHER 102 7 UNDERSTANDING 101 8 ABILITY 74 …

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achieve * goal | objective | outcome 7428

EXPERT EXAMPLE: We achieved tremendous outcomes. TED STUDENT EXAMPLES: He had finally achieved his goal! EGP B2   We can achieve our objectives by using effective time management. PELIC Japanese female level 4 writing class. iWeb search: 1 ACHIEVE THIS GOAL 7428 2 ACHIEVE THAT GOAL 4188 3 ACHIEVE THE GOAL 3279 4 ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL 3276 5 ACHIEVING THIS GOAL 1989 6 ACHIEVE A GOAL 1844 7 ACHIEVE …

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not + any | many | much + NOUN

When grammar points are from the same CEFR level, and in the same category, we believe it is more useful to have a single post that covers them.  Both these A2 points come from the category of DETERMINERS/quantity. Point 15: ‘many’ with plural nouns in negative contexts. Point 23: ‘much’ with uncountable nouns in negative …

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There ‘BE’ a lot of + NOUN

Point 15 in the category of VERBS is defined: ‘there is’ and ‘there are’ + ‘a lot of’ + plural noun iWeb doesn’t allow for longer than 5 token searches: _EX _VB a lot of 1 THERE ARE A LOT OF 145235 2 THERE IS A LOT OF 69785 3 THERE ‘S A LOT OF …

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Is the length of a word a poor way to predict English proficiency?

As mentioned in my Cambridge Learner Corpus research elsewhere, the main noticeable difference between CEFR levels is the length of sentences: shorter at A1 and longer at C2.  In this post, I wanted to do a quick search (20 sentences) on the word length (the letters in a word) using PELI corpus examples.  Surprisingly, the …

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verb + object + clause

Point 12 in the category of VERBS/patterns is defined: verbs, typically reporting verbs, followed by a noun or pronoun as the indirect object and a clause with or without ‘that’, as the direct object. *Note some of our search results are not indirect objects.  However, the A2 complexity is still there with relative clauses. _VV …

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reporting verbs

Point 18 in VERBS/patterns: reporting verbs, especially mental process verbs, with a clause as the direct object, without ‘that’, especially in informal contexts. *notably, in the English Grammar Profile examples, all the verbs but ‘said’ are in the present tense. There are grammar points that use this same construction but in the past at higher …

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maybe | perhaps

A2 Point 13 in the category of MODALITY/adverbs: certainty and possibility (‘maybe’, ‘perhaps’), before a clause or ellipted clause. *Note that ‘maybe’ is also listed at A1. And ‘perhaps’ is A2 in the EVP regardless of position. An iWeb search for: . maybe|perhaps * * * 1 . MAYBE IT ‘S BECAUSE 2541 2 . …

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wouldn’t

Point 15 in MODALITY is defined: would negative forms *It is incredibly hard to find an example that is not already a part of another grammar point. PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I’m convinced that it wouldn’t take much time to change the system  and think about how to add new things  in order to help people to start the workday in a more enjoyable manner. French male level 4 writing class. An iWeb search for: would _XX * * * 1 WOULD NOT BE …

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imperative

Here are two A2 English Grammar Profile points in different categories. Point 39 in the category of CLAUSES is defined: affirmative imperative with the base form of a main verb Point 7 in NEGATION:  negative imperatives of main verbs with ‘don’t’ + main verb. PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: Include every ingredient for every recipe on your grocery list. Then, take your list to the refrigerator or cupboard and check off the items you have on hand. After, prepare unique food for your guests. Keep it simple. Turkish female level …

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What a + NOUN PHRASE

Point 38 in the category of CLAUSES/exclamations: ‘What a’ + noun phrase and ‘What a’ + noun phrase + clause PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: What a trip it was. Japanese female level 5 grammar class. An iWeb search for: . What a * * 1 . WHAT A GREAT WAY 1759 2 . WHAT A WASTE OF 1402 3 …

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