was

fast asleep

‘fast’ means ‘completely’ when used with the adjective ‘asleep’ This phrase is C2 in the English Vocabulary Profile. For example: Look, Charlie, she‘s fast asleep. listen A NOW corpus collocates search for ‘fast asleep’ 1 WAS 1032 2 WERE 498 3 WHEN 376 4 WHILE 181 5 BED 114 6 FELL 59 7 BABY 41 8 ROOM …

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WHAT IS IT YOU WANT? (relative clause question)

Let’s analyse questions that have relative clauses to give emphasis.  So usually, we would say something like: What do we want to ask?  What are we trying to find out here? You can see the normal auxiliary verbs ‘be’ and ‘do’ get removed and relative clauses are added in the EXPERT EXAMPLES: What is it that we want …

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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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because + past continuous

In the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 37 in the category of PAST/continuous  is defined: give a reason for something, often with ‘because’ PELIC STUDENT EXAMPLE: I could not focus on my reading at all, after a while because I was sweating hard. Chinese male, level 5, writing class An iWeb search for: because * _VBD _VVG 1 BECAUSE I WAS TRYING 1574 2 BECAUSE I …

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WISH + past simple

In the English Grammar Profile, B1 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 EXPERT EXAMPLES:  I wish I never called. TED There were many moments growing up where I wished that I was white. TED *Note that past perfect is also possible with …

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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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his (PRONOUN)

Point 118 in PRONOUNS is defined as: the possessive pronoun ‘his’, with singular and plural reference, in subject and object position, and complement positions after ‘be’ and after prepositions. An iWeb search for: his_P _V *The Claws7 tagging for this grammar point struggles to decide between words that can be both verbs and nouns, and …

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It can | could + be + said | argued | concluded | considered

The pronoun ‘it’ can be used where the subject is unclear at C1, and verbs such as ‘conclude’ are only used by C1 learners.  For example: It was concluded that it never existed. However, this post is about reporting with modal verbs. C1 point 208 in MODALITY is defined as: ‘can’ in passive reporting clauses in a more formal impersonal …

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all | one | some + OF + these | those | this | that

In the English Grammar Profile, B1 point 52 in the category of PRONOUNS / demonstratives is defined as: quantifying determiners + ‘of’ with demonstrative pronouns An iWeb search for: _DD of _DD 1 SOME OF THESE 258542  STUDENT example: The hospitality in Saudi Arabia is very different between provinces.  Some of these have traditional hospitality, but others have modern hospitality. PELIC Arabic male level 3 …

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‘It is said that …’ (IT + passive)

Let’s take a look at an IELTS writing task 2 example with this grammar: It is argued that volunteering should be made a part of the school curriculum. In the above example, ‘is argued‘ forms the passive part.  The active form of this is probably: ‘People argue that…” In our example, ‘people’ is not important or maybe we don’t know who …

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was | were being + PAST PARTICIPLE

Here’s an example of past continuous affirmative passive. He was being used. listen B2 English Grammar point 16 in PASSIVES is defined as: PAST CONTINUOUS AFFIRMATIVE A search in iWeb for: _vbd being _vvn B1 Vocabulary found in the first 50 most common Ngrams includes: attacked, considered, developed, filmed and interviewed. USED, HELD, MADE, TAKEN are the …

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if | when | so | while + SUBORDINATE CLAUSE

Here are two example of the simple subordinating conjunction ‘if’ in a sentence: If you would like to see me again, then give me a call. listen I think it would be nice if you all dropped him a line. listen The only point for A2 CONJUNCTIONS is point 8, which is defined as: a limited range of simple subordinating conjunctions ‘(if, when, so, while)’ to introduce a subordinate clause. WHILE The conjunction ‘while’ …

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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: BE’ + ‘SURE‘ + CLAUSE …

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