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English Grammar - Making suggestions in English Conversation (Video too!)


In English when we make a suggestion, we mention a possible action or share an idea we have for an activity (with another person or other people.)

Here are some example phrases that we use to make suggestions.


How about
What about

We can use these phrases with a verb in its gerund form, this means the verb + -ing. In the gerund form the verb acts as a noun, it describes an action.

to study (infinitive)
studying (gerund)



A: My math class is really hard this year.
B: What About asking your sister for help, she's good at math.
or
How about starting a study group with your classmates? 



We can also use the phrase How about with the simple present tense of a verb.



The kitchen is a mess! How about we order pizza for dinner tonight?

How about I call the new pizza place on South street?

We also use these phrases with a noun, especially when you answer a question.

A: What would like for dinner tonight?
B: How about pizza? What about hamburgers?
(I am suggesting we have pizza or hamburgers for dinner tonight.)

​Here are 3 common examples of phrases we use to make suggestions:

  • Shall we…
  • Why don’t we… 
  • Let’s…

These suggestions use the infinitive form of the verb without to.
*Remember ​to study is the infinitive.



"Shall we study some natural English conversation today?"(We don't use to with these phrases.)

Shall we is used to suggest that you and the person or people you are talking with do something together, as a group.

Shall we go to the cafe for some coffee after we’re done shopping?
Shall we eat something while we're waiting?​



Why don't we practice using some natural English?


Why don't we is like asking “Do you think my idea sounds good?”
Why don't we invite Derrick to our beach party tonight, I heard he’s in town.”
This is like saying I think that inviting Derrick is a good idea. Don't you agree?

The subject “we” can change depending on who you are taking to
A: “I never have enough money.”
B: “Why don't you get a part time job?”


Why don't I get some hamburgers for us on my way home from work tonight?”

Why don't you try to quit smoking?
Why doesn't Jeff try to quit smoking?


The phrase why not is another useful way to suggesting something, this has the same feeling as Why don't you..


Why not ask Andrea on a date? I think she likes you! 

“It’s a nice day, why don’t you kids play outside?”


Let's is my favorite suggestion phrase and it's the phrase I hear the most.

I’m bored, let’s go out!


This also has the feeling of doing something together with the person or people you are talking to. 

Let’s go to the fireworks display this weekend!

Watch this grammar presentation as a video!


Helpful websites I used when making this video:

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The Grand Canyon
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・Updated for 2018

Correctly use the verbs LEND and BORROW in English! 
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10 common English expressions with TIME! 30 Natural sentence examples! (+ Audio!)


10 common English 
expressions with TIME!

Read this post and learn to use these expressions, then 
come back and listen to the audio to hear natural English pronunciation from a native speaker! Me!


You can spend time. (Use time doing something)

  • I spent 3 hours making dinner.
  • I really enjoy spending time at home. 
  • The boss said not to spend anymore time on projects that don’t make money.


You can waste time. (Use time for nothing)

  • I wasted an hour waiting for her.
  • Brian didn’t want to waste time in the morning so he prepared everything he needed before he went to bed.


Time can be a waste. (Time that is used for nothing)

  • It's not worth going. The whole exhibition is a waste of time.
  • We stood in line for 30 minutes and then they closed the restaurant! What a waste. (of time)

"Optimism doesn't wait on facts. It deals with prospects. 
Pessimism is a waste of time."
~Norman Cousins

You can value time. 
(Appreciate [understand] that time is important)

  • I value every minute I get to spend with my family.
  • We should value the time we have when we are young.

"Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it."
~M. Scott Peck

You can run out of time. (Have no time left)

  • I didn't get the project finished as I would've liked. I ran out of time.
  • The movie starts in 20 minutes! We have to leave now, we’re running out of time!

You can spare time.

  • Can you spare me a few minutes?
  • Hurry! There’s no time to spare!


Time can be precious.

  • I travel a lot so the time I spend at home is very precious to me.
  • Time is precious, after it’s gone we can’t get it back.

"Everything matters. Time is precious."
~Jessica Hagedorn

You can afford time. (Have time to use. This is usually used in the negative ~ can’t afford time ~ and with other time expressions. See examples below)

  • We can't afford to spend any more time on this. We have a lot to do today.
  • Final exams are in 3 days. I can’t afford to waste time playing video games.

You can save time.

  • I prepared the old files last night to save time today.
  • If we take a shortcut through the park we’ll save time.

"To save time is to lengthen life."
Anonymous 

You can have plenty of time. (Have a lot of time)

  • Let’s focus on our main job today; we’ll have plenty of time to worry about these other things later.
  • Mom and Dad won’t be home until 9:30, we have plenty of time to wash the dishes.
"I always think that I have plenty of time for everything, and then the reality of it doesn't quite match up."
~Kate Micucci



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Learn to use the conditional IF in natural English!
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English vocabulary ~ Winter Weather pt. 2 - Feb. 2018 (over 2 minutes of AUDIO!)




How's your weather?
Readers of my blog come from all over the world. Most live in the northern hemisphere but I know I have readers in Brazil, (and all over South America!) and there are some that are in the northern hemisphere but are closer to the equator so it’s warm year long. (all year)



It doesn’t snow very much in Tokyo, certainly much less than where I’m from in Ontario Canada. 

I wrote a blog post about some weather we had in Tokyo at the end of January and today I’d like to tell you about some winter weather in the news where I’m from. (Canada!)

If you live where winters are cold, you can relate to this and if you live somewhere warm you can appreciate your weather even more!



Learn some new vocabulary and some natural ways to talk about the effects of bad weather.

From Feb. 6 2018, CBC News Canada

Environment Canada has issued a special weather warning calling for up to 10 cm of snow to fall overnight and into Wednesday morning, which could make for a messy (difficult) morning rush hour commute.


In or story commute is a noun.

It is often used as a verb too.


Drivers are being warned the snow could affect road conditions and visibility

Toronto Public Health ended an extreme cold weather alert at 12 noon on Tuesday (Feb. 6) that has been in place for the past two days.

Do you know what an extreme cold weather alert is? In Canada these alerts are used to tell people living in an area that the temperature will be very low for at least 2 hours.

The exact temperature for an extreme cold weather alert is different in different areas. In parts of Southern Ontario the alerts are issued for temperatures of -30 °C but in the Northwest Territories extreme cold weather alerts are not issued unless it’s -50 °C! 


Listen again!

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Use the words Over and Under as prefixes! Increase your vocabulary! (Video too!)




I’m sure you have heard the words OVER and UNDER before. In this blog post I’ll show you how they can be used as prefixes to change the meaning of other words you may already know!

*In English when OVER is used as a prefix it can mean EXCESSIVELY or too much  

If your luggage is too heavy when you weigh it at the airport, your bags are overweight
(Overweight is an adjective.)


If you eat too much at a buffet and now your stomach hurts, 
it may be because you overate
(Overate is the past tense of the verb overeat.) 


~ Both these words (overweight - overeat) show that something is too much or was done too much.

Let me give you a few more examples of how we use these words in natural sentences.

"I can't believe my team lost the league championship after we played such a great season. I guess we thought the final would be easy so we were overconfident." = excessively (too) confident

“Some people have actually died from overwork! Remember to keep time in your life for fun too!”

Overwork is a noun in this sentence. It can also be a verb

“Work hard but be careful not to overwork.”

OVER can also mean COMPLETELY or totally
"I was overjoyed when I found out that I won a free vacation!" = completely happy


*In English we use the prefix UNDER to mean 
BELOW or NOT ENOUGH. 

You may already know some common words that use this prefix.

underground

underwater

These words talk about a position or location, they mean below ground and below the surface of the water.

Let me give you a few more examples of how we use UNDER as a prefix where the meaning is NOT ENOUGH



"I'm gonna send this hamburger back. It's undercooked." 
= not cooked enough 
(Undercooked is an adjective.)


"Peter applied for a new job but he was underqualified." 
= Peter doesn't have enough qualifications for this job
(Underqualified is an adjective.)

“I think that Batman vs Superman was a good movie. It's underrated in my opinion.” I think it's not rated high enough. People are unfairly​ judging the movie (in my opinion)



Undercooked, underqualified and underrated are adjectives
Some people who work very hard at their job but feel like they don't get enough money might say:

“I'm overworked and underpaid.”
both of these words are adjectives


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