TLC

  • The Trinity Lancaster Corpus (TLC) is the largest corpus of spoken texts from learners of English as their second language.
  • The data used in the TLC was collected between 2012-2018 as part of the tests in Spoken English.
  • The corpus has over 4 million words.

may | might + as well

If you want to make an unenthusiastic suggestion or say you are not enjoying, interested in, or approving of something, then you can use this grammar structure with ‘may as well‘ or ‘might as well‘. Here are some examples.  The first is a student speaking test example: You might as well just open the door to an unknown person. TLC female Mexico B2 Expert …

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‘AS’ + pronoun + ‘USED’ + to-infinitive

Student example in a speaking test: I don’t think that they pay enough attention towards the national customs as they used to do those days. TLC female Sri Lanka B2 Point 236 in the category of MODALITY is defined: ‘as’ + pronoun + ‘used to’ to add background to a narrative, often to highlight something unusual A search in iWeb for: as_C _P used_V _TO _VV 1 AS …

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‘be careful not to disturb them’ (adjective + ‘NOT TO’ + infinitive)

Here’s a student example in a speaking test of ‘BE + adjective + not + to-infinitive‘ to give emphasis: When you walk, you should be careful not to disturb them because they are all below you. TLC male Sri Lanka B1 *We can also write: You should be careful that you do not disturb them… Point 230 in the category of MODALITY is defined as: ‘BE’ + ADJECTIVE + ‘NOT’ …

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MAIN | ONLY + noun

Point 24 in ADJECTIVES/position: a limited range of adjectives (‘main’, ‘only’) that limit the noun that they go before. An iWeb search for: main|only _NN 1 ONLY THING 275654 2 ONLY WAY 275017 3 ONLY NEED 78976 4 ONLY TIME 72450 5 MAIN STREET 71594 6 ONLY REASON 70637 TLC STUDENT SPEAKING TEST: It was my favourite cake and that’s the only reason I used to go to school every day. …

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adjective BUT adjective

Point 21 in the category of ADJECTIVES/combining: join a limited range of common adjectives, after ‘be’. TLC STUDENT SPEAKING TEST: Driving in the city is cool but difficult. male China B2 A search in iWeb for: _VB _JJ but _JJ 1 IS SIMPLE BUT EFFECTIVE 216 2 ‘S SAD BUT TRUE 181 3 IS SAD BUT TRUE 126 4 ARE SIMPLE BUT …

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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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can be

Point 98 in the category of modality is defined: GENERAL TRUTHS AND TENDENCIES: ‘can be’ TLC STUDENT SPEAKING TEST EXAMPLE: Their students can get good grades and their income can be higher. male China B1 We follow the EGP example patterns in iWeb: _NN can_VM be _R _J 1 RATES CAN BE AS HIGH 102 2 RATE CAN BE AS HIGH 92 3 INFORMATION CAN …

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present perfect simple (just)

Point 29 in the category of PAST: present perfect simple: refer to a finished event or state in the recent past, that has a present relevance, often with ‘just’. An iWeb search for: _VH just _VVN 1 ‘VE JUST GOT 9034 2 HAVE JUST STARTED 7540 4 HAS JUST RELEASED 6156 5 HAS JUST ANNOUNCED …

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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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past continuous negative

Point 39 in the category of PAST is past continuous NEGATIVE TLC STUDENT SPEAKING TEST: (discussing saving money as a child) I was saving. I was not eating chocolates. I was just spending my money on my studies. male India B1 An iWeb search: _VBD _XX _VVG 1 WAS N’T GOING 29202 2 WAS NOT GOING 16267 3 WERE NOT GOING 12242 4 WAS N’T WORKING 8222 …

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WISH + past simple

Point 21 in the category of PAST is defined as: past simple with ‘wish (that)’ to express regret that things are not different. TLC STUDENT SPEAKING TEST EXAMPLE: I listen to music a lot and sometimes I wish that my life was a musical. male Spain C2 A search in iWeb for: _P wish that _P _VV 1 I WISH THAT I KNEW 69 2 I WISH THAT I …

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had been + VERBing

Point 27 in the category of PAST is defined as: past perfect continuous: an action or event which began before a point in the past and was still continuing up to that point, often with ‘for’ or ‘since’, to give background information. Point 32 in the PAST is defined as: past perfect continuous: background action …

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I remember | believe | understand | hear (that) + CLAUSE

In the English Grammar Profile at B1, point 28 in the category of PRESENT/simple is defined: an increasing range of mental process verbs, including ‘remember’, ‘understand’, ‘believe’ A similar addition to this point is Pearson’s GSE 62 B2 speak about information acquired from others using ‘hear’ + ‘(that +)’ complement clause. I hear that John and Susie are getting married. I’ve heard that Martin ‘s lost his job. …

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was | were + PAST PARTICIPLE + NOUN PHRASE

B1 Point 6 in the category of PASSIVES is defined as: past simple passive with a limited range of verbs needing two objects, putting the indirect object in subject position. *There is more information about this grammar at B2 TLC SPEAKING TEST EXAMPLE: I was given a big horse. female Russia B1 PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: When my husband was given a blow to the head in Oakland last year, I got frightened. …

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BE + being + PAST PARTICIPLE

There are two B1 passive grammar points that overlap to some degree. B1 point 7 in the category of PASSIVES is defined as: PRESENT CONTINUOUS, AFFIRMATIVE limited range of verbs B1 point 9 in the category of PASSIVES is defined as: PRESENT CONTINUOUS, FUTURE REFERENCE There are no examples of this grammar in the TLC …

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noun + OF + MINE | YOURS

Here is another example of overlapping grammar points in the English Grammar Profile. B1 Point 37 in the category of NOUNS/phrases is defined as: NOUN + ‘OF’ + POSSESSIVE PRONOUN Which overlaps the more specific B1 point 47 in the category of PRONOUNS: possessive pronoun ‘yours’ after noun + ‘of’. It would be very beneficial …

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some | any | each | a few + of + PRONOUN

Point 49 in the category of PRONOUNS/quantity  is defined as: increasing range of pronouns (‘some’, ‘a few’, ‘any’, ‘each’) with ‘of’ followed by an object pronoun. An iWeb search for: some|any|each of _P 1 SOME OF THEM 180790 TLC SPEAKING TEST EXAMPLE: There are many types of chocolates in this world, but unfortunately, I’m a fussy girl and I just like some of them. female, India, B1 2 SOME OF …

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VERB + myself | yourself | himself | itself | herself

B1 Point 55 in the category of PRONOUNS is defined as: increasing range of singular reflexive pronouns with an increasing range of verbs to refer to actions where the subject and object of the verb are the same. A2 Point 12: range of singular reflexive pronouns (‘myself’, ‘yourself’) with a limited range of verbs (‘enjoy’, …

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