Vocabulary Shots! 6 posts, 1 new meaning each - Questions from real students!

Click the images 🖰 to see each blog post↓

Are you confident to use this adjective correctly?
Can you see yourself using it in the future?


Have you ever bought something that was low-end?
Did you regret it after?


Can you get in trouble if you trespass?
Can you use the verb smell like a native speaker?


Check out these videos too!

Sweetener - root word practice (2018 English vocabulary)

~ I like to cook, and while I was looking at some new recipes I saw a sweetener called "stevia" that seemed to be popular. I did some research and I found that it has been used in Canada and America recently, but it has been used in Japan for more than 30 years! When I asked my students if they have heard about stevia we talked about sweeteners. 

"What is a sweetener?"


The word sweet is an easy and common word, so sweetener is a good example to use.

Root word technique

The root word is the base (root) of a new word. The root word is sometimes a word that we already understand, this can help us learn the meaning of the new word. 

The root word of sweetener is sweet.

We know the meaning of the adjective sweet already, it describes a taste. 
"Sugar and honey are sweet."
Sweet can also be used as a noun (usually, a plural noun sweets) to mean candy. 
"My dentist said I eat too many sweets!" = I eat too much candy.
Sweeten is a verb that means: to make something sweet
"Many people use sugar to sweeten their coffee. Black coffee is too bitter for most people."
(Bitter is the opposite of sweet, but we never use bitteren as a verb!)

So now we understand sweeten, how about our new word sweetener? Let's look at some other verbs that have "er" added at the end and see what they mean.

In baseball, the person who throws (pitches) the ball is called the pitcher. The person who hits (bats) the ball is the batter and the one who catches the ball is...? 
That's right! 
The catcher
*And not only for people, the machine that dries our hair is a hair dryer, the machine that mixes (blends) our food and drinks is a blender.

More examples of the English suffix ~er plus advance vocabulary here: Increase your English vocabulary with the suffix ~ER

What do you think a sweetener does? It makes things taste SWEET!

When we use sweetener we are most often talking about one that has fewer calories than sugar. An artificial (not natural) sweetener.

Please look at the infographic below for more examples of words made from the root word SWEET.

English in your Inbox
  • FREE English 32-page e-book
  • Awsome new blog updates
  • Bonus material too!

I HATE spam too! Your address is safe here.
Check out these other great posts!

Do you know the difference between HOPE and WISH? Learn here! (2018)

Do you know the difference between HOPE and WISH? Learn here!



*definitions and examples are from www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com
hope verb - to want something to happen and think that it is possible

hope (for something
"We are hoping for good weather on Sunday."
~ It's possible to have good weather on Sunday and that is what we want.

"All we can do now is wait and hope."
~ A positive outcome or result is possible and it's what we want.

A: "Will you be back before dark?"
B: "I hope so, yes."
~ Returning before it get's dark is possible and I would like to do that.

I hope to be back before dark
I hope I can get home before dark.

"The exam went better than I hoped."
~ I wanted to do well on my exam, I did even better than I wanted.

A: "Do you think it will rain?"
B: "I hope not, but I brought my folding umbrella just in case."
~ I don't want it to rain but I will bring my folding umbrella because rain is possible.

Get English tips emailed to you every week! + Get a FREE copy of my English e-book!

Your email address is 100% secure and we will never sell your information.
5 Simple English Tips! 2.0.png


wish verb - to want something to happen or to be true even though it is unlikely or impossible

wish (that)… 
"I wish I was taller." (I wish that I was taller.)
~ In this example we can imagine the person talking is an adult so they have stopped growing. It's not possible to become taller.

"I wish I hadn't eaten so much."
~ In this example wish + not done something shows regret. We regret a past action. It's impossible to go back in time and not do an action.

Ohhh... Why did I eat so much...

A: "Where is Jim now?’" 

B: "I only wish I knew!"
~ I want to know where Jim is but I don't.

"I wish you wouldn't leave your clothes all over the floor."
~ In this example we can imagine a mother talking to her son. It's unlikely that he will change his habit of being messy, even though she wants him to.

I wish you wouldn't leave your clothes all over the floor
I wish you'd (you would) clean up your room!

🡇Check out these other great posts🡇

English Idiom - You get what you pay for!
+ Adverbs of probability 

English grammar - Other or Another? 
(+ Learn 2 idioms with ANOTHER)

How to use Neither and Either
(Interactive QUIZ too!)

Try some English videos too!



Step by step English grammar! Verbs - Simple present tense

Some of my students and business clients in Japan have trouble using English verbs in the simple present tense. I created this blog post as an easy guide to explain how we use verbs in the simple present form! Learn the grammar step by step with lots of natural examples.

Simple present tense English grammar

①We use the simple present tense to talk about things that happen regularly, often or are true in general.

Please look at the following examples of verbs in the simple present tense.

●  “I wake up at 7:00 am every day.” → I always wake up at 7:00, I do it regularly.

  “This bus stops at Tokyo station.” → The bus follows a route (path) and regularly stops at Tokyo station.

  “It rains a lot in April.” → This is generally true.

  “We go camping every summer.” → This is a regular event. It happens every summer.

  “Dave teaches English.” → This is my job so I do it regularly, I do it often.

② The simple present tense is used with questions starting with DO and DOES:

  “Does this bus go to Tokyo station?” → Go is the simple present tense.

  “Do you want to get a coffee?” → Get is the simple present tense.

③ The simple present tense is also used with negative sentences using DON’T and DOESN’T:

  “I don’t drink coffee after 3 pm. It keeps me up.” → Drink is the simple present tense.

  “Many of my students don’t like to study grammar. I try to make it interesting with images and stories.”  → Like is the simple present tense.

Simple present tense English grammar

Sentences with he, she, and it as the subject will add s/es to the end of the verb.

  “She plays the drums.”

  “Jacob watches baseball every Monday at the park.”
*proper names like Jacob, Christine etc. follow the he/she rule*

  “My car (it) sounds strange. I will take it to the garage.”

The subjects I, you, they and we do not need an s/es.

  “I play the drums.”

  “They watch baseball every Monday at the park.”

  “You sound strange. Do you have a sore throat?”

Simple present tense English grammar

For the 3rd person singular - He, She, It - the following verbs are written with ES

➼Verbs ending with ss

miss - misses - “Don’t pass to Kyle, he misses every time!”

kiss - kisses - “My Mom kisses my baby brother every night before he goes to sleep.”

➼Verbs ending with o

do - does
A: “My friend always draws funny pictures in his notebook.”
B: “My brother does that too.”

go - goes - “My Mom kisses my baby brother every night before he goes to sleep.”

➼Verbs ending with sh or ch

brush - brushes - “Jenny brushes her teeth for 20 minutes every night before bed.”

match - matches - “This tie is perfect! It matches my shirt.”

➼Verbs ending with x

fix - fixes - “Alex fixes the computers in his office.”

➼Verbs ending with y - The y will change to an i before adding es

fly - flies - “A bat flies through the night sky.”

try - tries - “Howard is not the best player on the team, but he tries hard.”

Click to join my WEEKLY English newsletter!

More examples of the simple present tense

“Martin speaks Japanese very well.”

“I work 6 days a week.”

“Karen works 25 days a month.”


“Do you know what time it is?

Does Arnold Schwarzenegger live in LA?”


“I don't know what time it is. I didn't wear my watch today.”

“Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't live in Seattle.”

🡇Check out these other great posts🡇

English grammar - Other or Another? 
(+ Learn 2 idioms with ANOTHER)

English grammar - comparison (2018)

English grammar Superlatives
Most, best, biggest... (2018)

Check out these videos too!

The English preposition AT - 11 example sentences (2018)

Common uses with the preposition AT

In English, we use the adjectives good, bad, better, worse, with the preposition AT, plus a subject. (Math, Science, History, English etc.)

"I'm not good at history but I'm good at math."

"Allen is better than me at history but worse at math."

"We are both bad at science, but we are studying hard to get better. (At science.)"

Check out my earlier post teaching Good at vs Good with

In English, we use the preposition AT with the verbs LOOK and STARE.

"My eyes are sore because I stare at a computer screen all day."

"It's not polite to stare at people."

"-Look at that! A bird flew into to window!"

"Hey look at Joe, he's wants to show us something."

In English, we also use the preposition AT with these verbs.

Laugh AT
"When I dropped my soup at lunchtime everyone laughed at me."

Shoot AT

"I went hunting with my Dad one time. I shot at many birds, but I didn't hit anything."

Point AT / Point (something) AT

"When you use a spray can be careful not to point it at anyone's eyes or face."

"Joe is pointing at the sky. There's a man flying!"

Get my See - Watch - Look at e-book here FREE
🡇Check out these other great posts🡇

English idiom - A Slap on the Wrist

10 common English expressions with TIME

Increase your English vocabulary with the suffix ~ish

50 Phrasal Verbs

Learn 50 common English phrasal verbs! + Lots of real examples!

📚 Learn  50 common English phrasal verbs  What is a phrasal verb? ~ In English, a phrasal verb is a combination (mixture) of two or ...

Most Popular posts from the last 30 days!