to

‘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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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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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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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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‘It is for you to decide.’ (FOR +TO infinitive clause)

Pearson’s GSE 58 B1+ clause + ‘for’ to introduce an infinitive clause with a different subject.  The important thing is for you to arrive on time. My aim is for my children to go to university. A search in iWeb for: _VB for * _TO _VVI 1 IS FOR YOU TO DECIDE 392 (most examples with this string contained ‘whether’ or ‘whether or not’ which is C2.) 2 IS FOR YOU …

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Academic IELTS grammar for task 1

I’m often asked by my students just before they take an IELTS test for some quick tips on what to study before a particular task.  Therefore, in this post, I will summarise the salient grammar and vocabulary features I found in very good introductions and overviews in the Academic IELTS  Task 1 tests using our …

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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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MORE * * * THAN (complex comparisions)

A simple comparison in English is “She is more important than you.” One way to make comparisons more complex is to increase the number of words between ‘more’ and ‘than.’  This could include nouns or adjectives followed by non-finite clauses such as the following EXPERT EXAMPLE: Today, billions of citizens have more tools, more access to information, more capacity to influence than ever before. TED Pearson’s GSE 66 B2 structure is defined …

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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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TO infinitive (purpose)

Point 32 in the category of CLAUSES: non-finite subordinate clause with ‘to’, to introduce purpose PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: To learn English, just follow these steps. Arabic male level 3 writing class. An iWeb search for: . _TO * * * 1 . TO DO THIS , 35825 2 . TO LEARN MORE ABOUT 29344 3 . TO DO SO , 15803 …

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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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didn’t use to + INFINITVE

Point 60 in MODALITY: ‘used to’ to talk about repeated actions or states in the past that are no longer true. Point 32 in VERBS: semi-modal auxiliary verbs, ‘used to’ and ‘ought to’ *We have already got dedicated pages to semi-modals: See an overview of ‘ought to‘ and ‘used to’ as semi-modal. Since we have …

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going to + INFINITVE

Point 31 in the category of FUTURE is defined: ‘be going to’:  increasing range of verbs to make predictions. * Note, there is no other entry for this structure with lexical verbs in the EGP.  There are other points for a combination with adverbs though.  So whether or not they are used for predictions doesn’t …

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future in the past

The English Grammar Profile (EGP) B1 point 23 in the category of future is defined: past form of ‘be’ + ‘going to’ (future in the past) EGP B1 point 36 in FUTURE  is defined: PLANS IN THE PAST (often followed by ‘but’) to talk about a plan, sometimes one that may have changed. These grammar …

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TO HAVE TO

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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look forward to

Point 13 in the category of VERBS/phrasal-prepositional is defined as: ‘look forward to’ as a fixed expression followed by an ‘-ing’ form or noun phrase, usually at the end of correspondence. PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I am looking forward to getting your letter. Japanese female, level 3 writing class. A search in iWeb for: LOOK forward to * * 1 LOOK …

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VERB + DIRECT OBJECT + to INFINITIVE

This post contains an example of overlapping B1 grammar points located inside two different categories in the English Grammar Profile (EGP). EGP B1 point 6 in the category of REPORTED SPEECH is defined as: REPORTED REQUESTS AND COMMANDS with ‘ask’ or ‘tell’ + direct object and ‘to-‘infinitive EGP B1 point 38 in the category of …

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