(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.


In the EGP, there are several points in the category of PRONOUNS with the possessive pronoun ‘ours’: C1 Point 101: … in subject position B2 Point 72: … with singular and plural reference, in subject position. B2 Point 86 is the same except: … in object positions, and complement positions after ‘be’ and after prepositions. …

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past perfect simple + adverb

B2 point 54 in the category of  PAST is defined as: past perfect simple with a wide range of adverbs (including ‘finally’, ‘recently’, ‘simply’) in the normal mid-position. B1 point 46 in the category of PAST is defined as: past perfect simple with a limited range of adverbs (including ‘never’, ‘ever’, ‘just’, ‘always’, ‘already’) in …

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SO MUCH | A LOT adverbial phrases in end position

The text discusses the use of “so much” and “a lot” as adverbs of degree in English grammar. These phrases modify verbs to indicate a high degree or intensity of an action. For example, in the sentence “You bother me a lot”, “a lot” intensifies the verb “bother”. Similarly, in “He loved it so much that he continued to show up every week”, “so much” intensifies “loved” and the phrase “so much that” establishes a cause-effect relationship between the high degree of love and the action of showing up every week.

BY phrases

The preposition “by” has several meanings in English, depending on the context. Here are some common ones:

It can mean “beside” or “next to” when used with a place, such as “by the window” or “by the sea”.
It can show the person or thing that does something, such as “written by Shakespeare” or “made by hand”.
It can show how or in what way something is done, such as “by car” or “by mistake”.
It can mean “not later than” when used with a time, such as “by tomorrow” or “by 5 pm”.

ALL | SOME | BOTH | HALF + OF + noun phrase

Here’s an example of determiners premodifying nouns: I regret some of the things I said to you. A2 point 18 in the category of NOUNS/phrases is defined: form simple noun phrases by pre-modifying nouns with an increasing range of determiners. A2 point 17 in the category of PRONOUNS: limited range of pronouns (‘all’, ‘both’) with ‘of’ followed by an object pronoun, to …

ALL | SOME | BOTH | HALF + OF + noun phrase Read More »


Adverbs of indefinite frequency, such as ‘sometimes’, ‘occasionally’, ‘usually’, ‘normally’, ‘regularly’, and ‘often’, are commonly used with the present simple tense to indicate routine or repeated activities without specifying exact timing. These adverbs typically precede the main verb but follow the verb ‘to be’ and auxiliary verbs. They can also be positioned at the beginning or end of a sentence in some cases. The webpage provides examples of these usages in various contexts, including TED talks and student writings.

In contrast, definite adverbs of frequency, like ‘yearly’, ‘weekly’, ‘every hour’, and ‘every day’, provide exact frequencies and usually appear at the end of a sentence. The webpage also highlights the overlap and differences in the usage of these adverbs at different language proficiency levels (A1 and A2).

Furthermore, it presents common collocates for the adverb ‘usually’ and examples of sentences using ‘often’. The examples illustrate common behaviors or thought processes, suggesting that these adverbs are integral to expressing frequency in English.

Gerunds (verbING)

Here’s a student example of using a verb-ing form as a noun subject: Studying for an exam won’t be hard for you if you follow these steps. PELIC: Chinese male level 3 writing class. Here’s an example in educational materials of the news: Closing the gas pipeline is one action Western nations have taken against Russia. BreakingNewsEnglish Here’s an example of verb-ing after ‘to’: The find goes a long way to solving the mystery of why the Stonehenge bluestones were brought from so far away  when all other stone circles were erected within a short distance of their quarries. In the English Grammar Profile, point 22 in NOUNS …

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adjective + (that) clause

Here’s a student example of an adjective followed by a ‘that’ clause. However,   I am sure that the most useful English for you is American English. PELIC Korean male level 4 writing In the English Grammar Profile (EGP), there are many points that are hard to differentiate and some have conflicting information. EGP point 22 MODALITY/adjectives at A2: I AM SURE …

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have got to | have to | don’t have to

Here are two student examples of using semi-modal ‘have to’ to express either a strong suggestion or that something isn’t required or necessary. Another thing is  you have to make sure that you have included signal words  to help the reader. PELIC Arabic female level 3 writing class.   I mean  if someone wears something,  you don’t have to wear that  because she or he wears it. TLC male Spain B1 speaking test. Listen to …

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could (possibility)

The modality of “could” refers to its ability to express possibility or potentiality in English. When used in this context, “could” indicates that something is possible or feasible but not definite or certain. It suggests that there is a chance or opportunity for something to happen, but it is not guaranteed. In the English Grammar …

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Present Continuous

Here are some student writing examples of present continuous highlighted with details: I am typing English words right now. PELIC Chinese female level 2 writing class   However, we also can interpret from the graph that we aren’t preparing for it yet.  PELIC Korean female level 3 writing class   I am always falling over one of his toy cars or trucks. PELIC Arabic male level 3 writing class   There are at least 30 points to do with the present …

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the reason that | the place which + CLAUSE

In the English Grammar Profile, B2 Point 4 in the category of FOCUS is defined as ‘The reason (that)’, ‘The place (which)’ + clause as subject + ‘be’ for focus. Expert examples: The reason you‘re alive today is because of those changes in our brains that took place in Africa. TED But the reason that a lot of his fans are in the stands is because of another video. listen Student in speaking …

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SHOULD BE + verb ING ‘She should be looking for a job’

Let’s look at an example of ‘should be ing‘ in student writing: In Korea, it is so common that women should be looking for a job after divorce. PELIC Korean female level 4 writing. ‘Should’ can express obligation or expectation.  ‘Should’ can be used with a continuous form: Should be + lookING In the English Grammar Profile at B2, there are 3 points covering ‘should + continuous form’.  Points …

SHOULD BE + verb ING ‘She should be looking for a job’ Read More »

(always | constantly) + past continuous

Let’s look at two examples to explain this grammar.  The first is from a student writing example using past continuous with an adverb that shows he didn’t control the situation with his friend and the second one is from an expert speaker using passives: For example, he was always playing soccer when I played baseball. PELIC Korean male level 4 grammar class.   They were …

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