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all the time

The phrase ‘all the time‘ is listed at A2 in the English Vocabulary Profile with the meaning ‘continuously‘. Rachel talks about you all the time. I ask them all the time, but they said I still can’t come home. Why do you have to talk to me like that all the time for? listen A search in COCA for collocates: 1 HAPPENS 541 This happens all the time. TED 2 WATCHING 63 3 SPENT 56 4 ANGRY 53 5 …

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C1 Advanced – reading test part 1

In the C1 advanced handbook, there is a practice test for Reading and Use of English Part 1: Multiple Choice Cloze. We put the text with the answers through our English Grammar Profiler on this website and the text is clearly C2. Next, we are taking a corpus-based approach to do the test to see …

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verb + noun + TO THE + noun

A search in NOW corpus for: _VV _N to the _N 1 GAIN ACCESS TO THE SUBSCRIBER 3211 2 THROW CAUTION TO THE WIND 1721 A search for collocates: 1 DECIDED 95 I decided to throw caution to the wind and try it. foxnews.com 2 WILLING 21 He‘s been pretty extreme throughout his career and been willing to throw caution to the wind. ewrestlingnews.com 3 DECIDE 21 4 MEAN 19 5 DECIDES 15 6 THEREFORE 13 …

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WORD (phrases)

In the English Vocabulary Profile at B1: not believe/understand/hear/say, etc. a word = anything A search in iWeb corpus for: _XX _VV a word 1 N’T SAY A WORD 1726 Don’t say a word against my father. listen 2 NOT SAY A WORD 756 3 N’T UNDERSTAND A WORD 608 It was brilliant, even though I didn’t understand a word of it. listen 4 N’T BELIEVE A …

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fear the worst

Here’s an example of a C2 phrase in the English Vocabulary Profile that means: worry that something very bad will happen or that something very bad has happened We fear the worst. TED A search for collocates of ‘fear the worst‘ in the NOW corpus: 1 COME 126 2 YET 114 3 BEGAN 59 4 EXPERTS 31 Experts initially feared the worst. …

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in the long run

‘in the long run’ is B2 in the English Vocabulary Profile with the meaning at a time that is far away in the future A search for collocates of ‘in the long run’ in the COCA: 1 MONEY 200 2 CHEAPER 58 3 EFFECTIVE 38 4 BENEFIT 30 5 SUSTAINABLE 27 6 SURVIVE 25 7 …

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determiner + noun phrase (increasing range)

Here’s a student example of a determiner + uncountable noun: My teacher told me “enjoy the music and you will dance naturally.” PELIC Taiwanese female level 3 writing class A2 point 18 in the category of  NOUNS is defined: form simple noun phrases by pre-modifying nouns with an increasing range of determiners. A2 point 24 in the category of NOUNS: form …

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mutiplying predeterminer + noun phrase

‘double, treble, quadruple’ can be multiplying predeterminers.  They come before other determiners in a noun phrase.  For example, ‘double the national average.’   Bloomberg.com New York City‘s unemployment rate was nearly double the national average in June. Other multiplying expressions: He earns three times more than me. She gets paid nearly three times as much as me. *In the English Vocabulary Profile, B1 if followed by a comparative structure. We can’t be …

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IN THE LEAST

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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defining relative clause TO infinitive

Here’s an expert example of a defining relative clause using TO-infinitive: Several years earlier, she‘d become the first woman to ski to the South Pole. Listen to the sentence. The first woman to ski can be written in another way with the same meaning: the first woman who skied  Pearson’s GSE 56 B1+ is defined:  construct defining (restrictive) relative clauses with ‘to’ + infinitive verb …

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‘You know the person making them’ (reduced verbING clause)

Pearson’s GSE 56 B1+ is defined: “reduced” defining (restrictive) relative clauses with verb +-ing. This point will overlap: verb of senses + object + verbing This is difficult grammar to find in corpora since many other structures get caught.  We have done a search with a full stop to narrow out questions.  Our search string …

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noun phrase + relative clause

Here are two student examples of complex noun phrases using relative clauses as complements: In addition, the people who lived in Korea 100 years ago didn’t have enough transportation. PELIC Arabic male level 5 writing class   Here are some of the things which I got. TLC speaking test female Kannada B2 A2 point 34 in CLAUSES is defined: a defining relative clause with ‘who‘ as the subject A2 point 20 in …

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doubling final consonant + -EST biggest hottest

In the English Grammar Profile, A2 point 13 in the category of ADJECTIVES/superlatives: one syllable with a short vowel, by doubling the final consonant and adding ‘est’ PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: Consequently, Darwin’s theory on survival of the fittest no longer applies to humans. Survival of the fittest mainly relies on nature or predators to eliminate the young, old, weak or unfit,  yet humans today no longer fear animal attacks or blizzards. Chinese level 5 writing class. Here are the superlatives we found in a search in iWeb corpus for: _JJT 4 …

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The thing + CLAUSE COMPLEMENT (front position)

In the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 40 in the category of NOUNS is defined as: the noun phrase ‘The thing’ in front position, with a clause complement, to give focus to something. *This grammar point overlaps others at B1 and there is a slight overlap with B2. A search in iWeb corpus for: . The …

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