- Techniques for memorizing new words:
- Learn phrases, not words. For example, have breakfast, not just breakfast. Doing this way you will know how to use words in a sentence.
- Divide a piece of paper into two columns and write English words in one and definitions/translations in the other. Check your knowledge by cover one side and then the other.
- Make cards. On one side English words, on the other Russian definitions/translations.
- Make spidergrams with word families.
- Put lists of new words and phrases in the places around your apartment were you will see them most (for example, in the bathroom – you’ll be able to revise or kearnthem while brushing your teeth).
- Grammar. Present simple and Present continuous
We use the present simple for:
- facts which are true all the time.
The sun rises in the east. The bus doesn't go past my house.
I study for about an hour a week. We never get much homework.
Do you agree? I don't know the answer.
We use the present continuous for:
- actions which are in progress at the moment of speaking.
Why are you carrying an umbrella? It's not raining.
- actions or situations around the moment of speaking.
He's studying Russian at university.
- future arrangements (see 5A p.140).
I'm meeting Andrew tonight.
States and actions
The present continuous is not normally used to describe:
- mental states: know, agree, understand, believe, etc.
- likes and preferences: like, want, love, hate, need, prefer, etc.
- other states: be, own, belong, forget, hear, seem, depend, etc.
Some verbs (e.g. think, see, have) can be used as states or actions, with different meanings:
State: I think you're wrong. (= my opinion)
Action: I'm thinking about my birthday. (= a mental process)
State: I see what you mean. (= I understand)
Action: I'm seeing the doctor tomorrow. (I'm meeting him/her)
State: I have a car / a sister. (= possession, relationship, etc.)
Action: I'm having a party / a shower / dinner.
- With some adjectives (good, bad, difficult), we can use words like quite, very, really and extremely to make their meaning stronger or weaker (e.g. His pronunciation is quite good. The exam was extremely difficult.)
- Other adjectives already have a strong or extreme meaning (e.g. perfect, useless). We can use words like completely or absolutely before these adjectives to add emphasis (Her English is absolutely perfect).