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Different Ways to Say Goodbye in English

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It’s important to learn how to say goodbye in English because this is a crucial conversational skill to have as a new learner. In any language, saying goodbye at the end of a conversation or when leaving a group is polite. It lets the other party know that you respect them, and it makes your leave less abrupt.

In this article, we’ll go over a number of ways to say goodbye in English. We cover the most common words and phrases for a variety of situations, so you’ll never have to leave awkwardly again! 

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Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
  1. The Two Most Common Ways to Say Goodbye in English
  2. Goodbye Expressions in English for Any Situation
  3. Goodbye in English Slang & Pop Culture
  4. Final Thoughts

1. The Two Most Common Ways to Say Goodbye in English

In the United States, there are two goodbye words you’re going to hear often. These are:

GoodbyeThis one is more formal, but it’s still casual enough to use with friends and family.
ByeThis means the exact same thing as “goodbye,” but is shorter and a little bit less formal. 

If you only learn a couple ways to say goodbye in English today, it should be these. 

2. Goodbye Expressions in English for Any Situation

Most Common Goodbyes

Now, let’s move on to more specific English phrases for goodbye. In the following sections, I’ll give you words and phrases to say goodbye based on the situation or context. I’ll also provide examples for each one, so you can see how to use them.

A- Formal

Here are some formal ways to say goodbye in English. These are fairly versatile, and you can use them in most situations that call for formal language.

“Thank you for your time.”

You can use this phrase in formal situations, after someone has offered you their time or helped you with something. This is also common after meetings or appointments. Keep in mind that you can use this phrase in both spoken and written communication. 

Example:

You:
“Excuse me, how can I set up a bank account here?”

Bank Clerk:
“I can help you with that over here.”

[After your account is set up…]

You:
“Thank you for your time.”


“I enjoyed our talk.”

This is something someone would say after talking with a client, patient, or anyone else in a more formal environment. 

Example:

A therapist is finishing a session with a patient.

Therapist:
“I enjoyed our talk. See you again this time next week.”

Patient:
“Thank you. See you then.”

“It was a pleasure speaking with you.”

This is something a client may tell a customer, especially in more formal or regulated environments, such as a bank or other financial institution. 

Example:

A financial adviser has just finished talking with a client.

Financial Adviser:
“It was a pleasure speaking with you.”

Client:
“Thank you, you too. See you next month.”

“I look forward to our next meeting.”

People often use this phrase when they plan on seeing the other person (or people) again in a formal environment. 

Example:

A man has just had a consultation with an interior decorator to do some work on his house.

Man:
“I like your qualifications. Can you start next week?”

Decorator:
“Of course, thank you. I look forward to our next meeting.”

“Thank you for scheduling your appointment. We’ll see you then.”

This is a common way of saying goodbye in formal situations, especially when a customer or client is leaving.

Example:

You have just scheduled a dentist appointment.

Desk Clerk:
“Thank you for scheduling your appointment. We’ll see you then.”

You:
“Thank you. See you then.”

B- Making Arrangements for Another Meeting

College Student Waving Goodbye to Her Friends

We’ve covered how to say goodbye in formal situations, but what about when things are more laid-back? Here are some English goodbye phrases you can use to plan another meeting with a friend.

“See you later.”

This is a very common phrase to use when you’re about to part ways with a friend (or group of friends). It means that you plan on seeing them again, but you’re not sure exactly when. 

Example:

You and a group of friends just got done watching a movie at the theater. You’re about to leave for home.

You:
“I need to go home now. See you later.”

A Friend:
“Bye. See you later.”

“Catch you later.”

This phrase has the exact same meaning as “see you later,” but is significantly more casual. 

Example:

You see one of your friends at the grocery store, and start talking to them. After a few minutes, you need to end the conversation.

You:
“Thanks for the talk. Catch you later.”

Friend:
“You too.”

“See you around.”

This one is very similar to the two phrases above. 

Example:

You’re about to go home after chatting with someone at your book club. 

You:
“Well, see you around.”

Other Person:
“Thanks, you too.”

“See you tomorrow.”

When you say “See you tomorrow,” it means that you actually plan on seeing them tomorrow, usually because you set a date with that person. 

Example:

You see a friend at the library, and start talking with them. You decide to make plans together.

You:
“Are you free tomorrow?”

Friend:
“Sure. Do you want to get coffee?”

You:
“That sounds good.”

Friend:
“Great. See you tomorrow.”

“See you at eight.”

In this phrase, you can replace “eight” with any other time. This is used in situations similar to the one above.

Example:

You want to confirm what time you and your friend will get coffee tomorrow.

You:
“What time should we meet for coffee?”

Friend:
“How about ten?”

You:
“Sure. See you at ten.”

“See you in a couple weeks.”

This is something you would say to someone if you plan on meeting with them in a couple of weeks. You can replace “a couple weeks” with any other extended time period.

Example:

Your mother just called to let you know she’ll be coming for a visit next month. 

Your Mother:
“I’ll be coming down there next month to see you.”

You:
No Mom, please don’t.” “I look forward to it. See you next month!”

Additional Note

Most of the phrases in this section can also be used as a question. For example, if you want to confirm when you’ll be seeing someone next, you can say the relevant phrase as a question.

Example:

You’re making plans to see an old friend.

You:
“Maybe we can go see the hockey game together.”

Friend:
“Yeah, that’s a good idea.”

You:
“Great! See you next weekend?

Friend:
“Yep, at nine o’clock sharp.”

C. Seeing Someone Off

Couple Parting Ways at the Airport

It can be painful to say goodbye to someone you care about, especially when you know they’ll be gone a long time, or are going somewhere far away. Here are some special goodbye phrases you can use for situations like this.

“Take care.”

Use this phrase to let someone know you want them to take care of themselves while they’re gone.

Example:

Your best friend is about to leave on a plane for another country during her vacation. 

You:
“Have fun and take care.”

Friend:
“Thank you, I will.”

“Drive safe.”

Use this phrase to let someone know you want them to drive safely, especially if you know they’ll be driving a long distance or in dangerous driving conditions.

Example:

Your boyfriend or girlfriend is going to drive several hours in bad weather for an important meeting. 

You:
“It’s supposed to snow a lot today. Drive safe.”

BF/GF:
“I promise I’ll drive safely. I love you.”

“Safe travels.”

This one is a more generic goodbye phrase for when someone will be traveling. It means you want them to be safe during their travels.

Example:

Your aunt tells you that she’ll be traveling outside the country for a few weeks. 

You:
“That sounds like fun. Safe travels.”

Aunt:
“Thank you.”

“Have a safe trip home.”

You can say this to someone when they’re about to leave for home.

Example:

Your friend is about to head home after spending the day together with you.

You:
“Have a safe trip home.”

Friend:
“Thank you, I will.”

“I’ll miss you.”

You can say this to someone you really care about before they leave. 

Example:

Your grandparents are about to leave after a visit.

You:
“I enjoyed seeing you. I’ll miss you.”

Grandparent:
“We’ll miss you too.”

“Don’t be gone too long.”

If you’re really going to miss someone after they leave, you can say this to them. It shows the other person that you’ll miss them and look forward to the next time you can see them again.

Example:

Your spouse is going away on a long business trip.

You:
“I’ll miss you. Don’t be gone too long.”

Spouse:
“I’ll miss you too. See you next week.”

“Call me when you get there.”

Say this to someone to let them know you care about their safety while traveling. It means that you expect a phone call (or text message) from them when they arrive, so you know they’re safe. This is especially common for a parent or grandparent to tell their child or grandchild.

Example:

You’re about to drive several hours back home after visiting your father. 

You:
“Thank you for our visit. I should leave soon.”

Father:
“Thank you. Call me when you get there.”

“I love you.”

Many times, saying goodbye to someone we care about involves saying “I love you,” especially if it will be a while before you see them again.

Example:

You and your mother are about to part ways after a long visit.

You:
“I enjoyed our visit. I love you.”

Mother:
“I love you too. Bye.”

“Farewell.”

This goodbye phrase may be a little bit outdated, but some people still say this. It’s basically a way of letting the other person know you want them to be safe while they’re away.

Example:

A large family reunion is coming to an end, and your relatives are beginning to leave.

You:
“Safe travels. Farewell.”

A Relative:
“Thank you. Goodbye.”

D. Leaving a Group or Party in a Hurry

It can be very awkward to leave a group of people without saying anything. If you need to quickly say goodbye in English conversations involving a lot of people, there are a few phrases you can use to let people know you’ll be leaving soon.

“I gotta run / fly / jet.”

This is a very informal way of letting people know you’re about to leave, and is fine for any kind of casual gathering. The words “run,” “fly,” and “jet” are pretty much interchangeable, as they all mean that you need to leave quickly. 

Example:

You’re at a potluck lunch with some friends, and suddenly realize you need to leave.

You:
“I gotta run!”

Friend:
“Oh, okay. See you later.”

“I’ll need to get going soon.”

This is a slightly more formal and polite way of saying that you need to leave. It’s not really saying “goodbye,” but it’s a way of letting others know you’ll have to go. 

Example:

You’re at a friend’s birthday party, but you aren’t able to stay for very long.

You:
“I’m so sorry, but I’ll need to get going soon.”

Friend:
“No, it’s okay. Thanks for coming.”

“I can’t stay much longer.”

This phrase is almost the same as the one above. 

Example:

You’re spending time with a couple of friends, but you have something else you need to do soon.

You:
“Sorry, but I can’t stay much longer.”

Friend:
“Ah, that’s okay. See you around.”

“There’s someplace I need to be.”

You can use this phrase to let others know you need to leave in order to be somewhere else, especially if it’s another responsibility you have. ‘

Example:

You’re at a dinner party with some friends, but you get a phone call about an emergency back at home.

You:
“Sorry, but there’s someplace I need to be.”

Friend:
“It’s okay. Good luck.”

“Sorry to leave so soon, but I have to ___.”

With this goodbye phrase, you can actually let others know the reason you need to leave. In some cases, this can make your leaving seem less rude or abrupt. 

Example:

You’re out socializing with some of your coworkers, but you have to leave early to pick up your kids from school.

You:
“Sorry to leave so soon, but I have to pick up my kids from school.”

Coworker:
“No worries. See you tomorrow.”

“I’m off.”

This is another slightly informal way of letting others know you need to leave. It’s almost the same as “I gotta run.” 

Example:

You’re about to leave for a get-together with friends, so you let your spouse know when you leave.

You:
“I’m off.”

Spouse:
“Okay. Have fun.”

E. Wishing Someone Well

Two Couples Talking with Each Other at House

When you’re about to part ways with someone, it’s considered very polite to wish them well, especially if you know the person. Here are some common ways people in the United States do this.

“Have a nice day.”

This is probably the most common way to wish someone well before saying goodbye. It’s just a simple wish for the other person to have a good day from that point on.

Example:

You’re leaving the doctor’s office after a checkup.

Receptionist:
“Thank you for coming in. Have a nice day.”

You:
“Thank you, you too.”

“Have a great rest of your ___.”

This phrase is almost the same as the one above. Here, you can fill in the blank with any amount of time.

Example:

You see your boss at the grocery store, and you start talking with him/her. After a few minutes, you need to leave.

You:
“I gotta run. Have a great rest of your afternoon.”

Boss:
“Thank you. You too.”

“Take it easy.”

This one might sound strange, but it’s just a way to wish the other person a good day. More specifically, it means that you want them to enjoy themself and stay safe.

Example:

You see one of your friends while you’re on a walk around the neighborhood, talk with them, and then end the conversation.

You:
“Bye. Take it easy.”

Friend:
“Thanks, you too.”

“Have a good one.”

In this phrase, “one” refers to a day. It’s exactly the same as telling someone to “Have a good day,” but it’s a little bit more casual.

Example:

You’re telling a friend goodbye after a short conversation.

You:
“Bye. Have a good one.”

Friend:
“Thanks, you too.”

“Well…”

The word “well” is very versatile in English, and in this case, it acts as a transition word. People use it often as a way of leading into a goodbye. Sometimes, the other person will understand the hint and say goodbye themselves.

Example:

You ran into one of your former teachers at the park, and are ending a conversation with him/her.

You:
“Well…”

Teacher:
“I should probably be going. Nice talking with you.”

“Well, I’d best get to it.”

This is a good way of politely ending a conversation, especially if you have something you need to do and the other person won’t stop talking.

Example:

You and your neighbor have been talking for almost an hour, and you really need to finish the yard work before it gets dark.

You:
“Well, I’d best get to it.”

“I won’t keep you any longer.”

If you’re lucky, this is what your neighbor will say to you afterward. It’s basically a roundabout way of saying goodbye.

Example:

You:
“Well, I’d best get to it.”

Neighbor:
“Okay, I won’t keep you any longer. Bye.”

F. Asking Someone to Keep in Touch

Group of Women Hugging Goodbye After a Party

When you ask someone to “keep in touch,” you’re letting them know that you want to hear from, or spend time with, them again. Here are a few common parting phrases you can use to do this.

“Keep in touch.”

This is the most straightforward way to let someone know you want to talk again. 

Example:

You’re about to part ways with a new friend after spending the day together. 

You:
“Thanks for hanging out today. Keep in touch.”

Friend:
“Of course. Bye.”

“Call me later.” 

You can say this to someone if you want them to call you later.

Example:

You’re about to part ways with a friend, but want to talk with them more later that day.

You:
“I had fun today. Call me later!”

Friend:
“Okay, will do. Bye.”

“I’ll call you later.”

This is what you can say when the roles are reversed, or just if you want to call the person later.

Example:

You’re about to part ways with a friend, but want to talk with them more later that day.

Friend:
“I had fun today. Call me later!”

You:
“Okay, I’ll call you later. Bye.”

“When can I call you?”

Either you or your friend can ask this, depending on the situation.

Example:

Friend:
“I had fun today. Call me later!”

You:
“Okay, when can I call you?”

Friend:
“Hmm…anytime after seven.”

“When can I expect your call?”

Again, you can use this one when the roles are reversed.

Example:

You:
“I had fun today. Call me later!”

Friend:
“Okay, will do.”

You:
“When can I expect your call?”

Friend:
“Probably sometime after seven.”

“Talk to you later.”

This is very similar to “See you later,” but it actually has more to do with talking to the person.

Example:

You see your neighbor while you’re jogging, and stop to talk with them. After a couple minutes, you end the conversation.

You:
“Well, I’ll talk to you later.”

Neighbor:
“Okay. Goodbye.”

“Don’t be a stranger.”

When you tell someone “Don’t be a stranger,” it’s a way of letting them know you want to see and talk with them often.

Example:

You see your cousin for the first time in a couple of years, but need to end the conversation early.

You:
“Nice talking with you. Don’t be a stranger!”

Cousin:
“See you around.”

G. Letting Someone Know You Enjoyed Seeing Them

Two Friends Walking in the Snow Together

Imagine you’ve just spent the day with your best friend, whom you hadn’t seen in years. You’ll want to tell him or her how much you enjoyed seeing them and spending time together.

“It was nice seeing you / talking with you.”

This is a very common way to say goodbye in English, and you can use it in both formal and informal situations. 

Example:

You’re about to end a conversation with an old high school classmate you hadn’t seen in years.

You:
“It was nice talking with you.”

Classmate:
“Thanks, you too. Have a good day.”

“Always nice talking with you.”

This is almost the same as the phrase above, but this one is normally used with people you see from time to time.

Example:

You see your friend’s mom while doing errands, talk for a while, and then end the conversation.

You:
“Well, have a good day. Always nice talking with you.”

Friend’s Mom:
“Thank you. Be safe.”

“I’m so glad we had a chance to catch up.”

This is something you might say to a friend you haven’t seen in a long time, especially if you were able to learn new details about each other’s lives while talking.

Example:

You and your friend have been talking about her new job, your new house, and more, but you need to end the conversation soon.

You:
“I’m so glad we had a chance to catch up.”

Friend:
“Me too. See you again tomorrow?”

“We’ll have to do this more often.”

This is something you might say to a friend you really enjoy spending time with, but haven’t been seeing as much lately.

Example:

You and a friend just had lunch together, and are about to part ways.

You:
“Thanks for lunch. We’ll have to do this more often.”

Friend:
“I agree!”

“I hope we can do this again sometime soon.”

This one is very similar to the one above. 

Example:

You:
“Thanks for lunch. I hope we can do this again sometime soon.”

Friend:
“Me too!”

H. Goodbye Phrases for Texting or Talking on the Phone

Man Flipping through Channels while Talking on the Phone

Today, so much of our communication is done over the phone. Here are a few ways you can say goodbye to someone via text or while talking on the phone.

Texting 

PhraseSituationExample
BRB (Be Right Back)Use this when you need to stop texting for a little while, but plan on texting more in a few minutes.You:
“BRB. Dinner.”

Friend:
“Ok.”
G2g or Gtg (Got To Go)Use this when you need to stop texting for a longer while, and probably won’t be able to talk anytime soon.You:
“G2g. Very busy.”

Friend:
“Ok.”
TTYL (Talk To You Later)Use this when you need to stop texting, but want to text again sometime in the near future.You:
“G2g.”

Friend:
“TTYL.”
ByeUse this when ending a text conversation.You:
“Bye.”

Friend:
“Ok, bye.”


Talking on the Phone

PhraseSituationExample
“Thanks again. Bye.”You can use this to end a phone conversation where someone helped you or answered a question for you.You:
“Can you help me close my account?”

Person on Phone:
“Sure…”



You:
“Thanks again. Bye.”
“Well, I should be going now. Nice talking to you.”You can use this after talking with a friend or relative on the phone.You:
“Well, I should be going now. Nice talking to you.”

Relative:
“Thank you. Nice talking to you too.”
“I’ll see you/talk to you then. Bye.”You can use this phrase after making an appointment with someone over the phone.You:
“Okay, eight o’clock. I’ll see you then. Bye.”

Other Person:
“Okay. Bye.”


3. Goodbye in English Slang & Pop Culture

An Alligator against White Background

English has some creative ways of saying goodbye. Keep in mind that the phrases and words here are very informal, and should only be used with close friends or family. 

“Smell you later.”

This is a play on words associated with the phrase “See you later,” and it means the exact same thing. There’s a lot of debate about where the phrase actually came from, but this is the best source I could find

Example:

You’re saying goodbye to a close friend and plan on seeing them later.

You:
“Bye. Smell you later.”

Friend:
“Okay. Bye.”

“See you later, alligator.”

This phrase has nothing to do with an actual alligator. This fun English slang for goodbye is another play on words, because “gator” rhymes with “later.” In response, many people will reply with “In a while, crocodile.” 

This phrase is thought to have originated from a 1950s song titled See You Later Alligator.

Example:

You:
“See you later, alligator.”

Friend:
“In a while, crocodile.”

“TTFN” (“Ta-ta for now.”)

TTFN stands for “ta-ta for now.” This one is less common, originally used in the UK during WWII. Anyone who knows Disney should get it, though, as the Winnie the Pooh character Tigger says goodbye to his friends this way. (“TTFN! Ta-ta for now!”)

Example:

You’re saying goodbye to your Disney-loving friend.

You:
“TTFN!”

Friend:
“Ta-ta for now!”

“Cheerio.”

“Cheerio” is a word that was first used in England to say goodbye. Sometimes, people in the U.S. like saying this as well.

Example:

You:
“I should go now. Cheerio!”

Friend:
“See you later.”

“Adios.”

Adios is the Spanish word for “goodbye,” but it’s pretty common to use this in the United States when saying bye to friends. 

Example:

You:
“I should go now. Adios.”

Friend:
“Okay, bye.”

“Ciao.”

Ciao is the French word for “goodbye,” but like adios and cheerio, it’s sometimes used in the United States when saying bye to friends.

Example:

You:
“I should go now. Ciao.”

Friend:
“Okay, see you later.”

4. Final Thoughts

In this article, we showed you some English words to say goodbye, popular goodbye phrases for any situation, and more. We hope you feel more confident now to start excusing yourself from conversations or wishing your friend a good day. 

This is just the beginning of what EnglishClass101.com has to offer. To learn more words and phrases in English for day-to-day conversations, check out the following pages:

Remember: Keep practicing, and use English often. With enough practice and determination, you’re sure to get the hang of English conversations and eventually master the language! 

EnglishClass101 will be here with you every step of the way. Happy learning! 

Before you go, let us know in the comments how you say goodbye in your own language. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Is English Hard to Learn?

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English is currently the third most-spoken language in the world, after Chinese and Spanish. It’s also spoken in many countries around the world, making it super-useful to know, even if only at a conversational level. Learning English can also make it easier for you to learn other languages later, if you want to! 

But many people hesitate to begin learning English. This may be because English is often said to be one of the most difficult languages to learn. But is this true? 

In this article, we’ll answer the question “Is English hard to learn?” We’ll also show you why you might want to learn English anyway, and how to get started. (If you’re reading this article, we bet you’ve already gotten a great start!)

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Learning English Table of Contents
  1. Is it Hard to Learn English?
  2. The Hardest (and Easiest) Parts of Learning English
  3. Where Should You Start?
  4. Advice for New English Learners
  5. Why EnglishClass101.com is the Best Way to Learn English

1. Is it Hard to Learn English?

It depends on who you ask. English is a Germanic language, so people who speak another Germanic language will find English easier than those who don’t. 

When you begin learning English, you may find it helpful to try memorizing the most important spelling and grammar rules early on, as this will make the rest of the process somewhat simpler for you. To give you a head start, try reading these articles on EnglishClass101.com: 

Now, why is English so difficult to learn? Let’s take a look at the hardest and easiest aspects of learning English.

2. The Hardest (and Easiest) Parts of Learning English

Here are a few things that make English a hard language to learn for foreigners. 

Why English is Hard to Learn
Tons of rules and exceptionsUnfortunately, English has a lot of rules, and an exception for every one. Here are just two examples:
  • The “’I’ before ‘E’” spelling rule only works sometimes.

  • Irregular verbs don’t conjugate like other verbs (and we have a lot of irregular verbs).
Contradictions and inconsistencies
  • “Hamburger” does not come from pigs.
  • “Pineapple” does not have pine or apple in it.
  • The word “hike” can refer to a long walk, an increase in something, and is a term used in football.
  • There are plenty of homophones (words that sound the same but have different meanings). For example: “would” vs. “wood” and “meat” vs. “meet.”
Word order and sentence structureEnglish has a relatively flexible word order and sentence structure, but trying to explain how it works is super-difficult. 

Word Order:
English word order refers to what order you place words in a phrase. For example, if you have two adjectives describing one noun, which adjective comes first? To native English-speakers, saying “scary big spider” sounds very off. Instead, we say “big scary spider,” just because it sounds “better.” 

Another factor that sometimes dictates the order of adjectives in a sentence is what type of adjectives you’re using. Typically, when multiple adjectives are used to describe something, they go in this order: 

What you think about the object -> Size or Scale -> Age -> Shape -> Color -> Location -> Material. 

For example: 
Harry enjoyed the nice (what he thinks about it), hot (scale), cup of Brazilian (location) coffee.

Sentence Structure:
Sentence structure determines the order of the major components of an entire sentence. English is an SVO language, meaning that in a sentence, the subject comes first, followed by the verb, followed by an object

For example: Sarah (S) kissed (V) Tom (O).
Word emphasisWhile English is not a tonal language, there are many times when the emphasis we place on a word (or in a sentence) makes a huge difference in meaning.

Can you tell the difference between these sentences based on which word is bolded?
  • I want to talk to her. 
  • I want to talk to her.
  • I want to talk to her.
  • I want to talk to her.
In the first sentence, “I” is emphasized. This means that the speaker wants to speak with her. It also implies that the speaker doesn’t want anyone else to speak with her. There may be a jealous or commanding tone here.

In the second sentence, “want” is emphasized. This may indicate that the speaker was told not to speak with her, and is expressing that they want to. There may be a begging or whiny tone here.

In the third sentence, “talk” is emphasized. This is how the speaker shows that they only want to talk, especially if others think the speaker has bad intentions.

In the fourth sentence, “her” is emphasized. This indicates that the speaker only wants to talk to her. Imagine there are several people in the room the speaker could talk to, but they’re only interested in talking with her—no one else.
Many varieties of EnglishThe United States, the UK, Australia, and other countries with a large proportion of English-speakers have their own differences in vocabulary, phrases, grammar, spelling, and pronunciation! 
IdiomsLike many languages, English has lots of idioms. Learning what they mean and how to use them can be difficult for new learners.
  • “Off the beaten path.”
  • “The road less traveled.”
  • “All of a sudden.”
  • “It’s raining cats and dogs.”
  • “Making a mountain out of a molehill.”
Girl Tired and Frustrated with English Homework
Why English is Easy to Learn
Small alphabetThe English language only has twenty-six letters in its alphabet (uppercase and lowercase), compared to thousands of characters in other languages (like Chinese). 
Greek and Latin rootsMany English words have Greek or Latin roots, which makes it easier for speakers of similar languages to learn it. (E.g. German, Dutch, French.) In addition, due to increased globalization, English has come to include some words from many other languages as well. 
FlexibleEarlier, we mentioned a few ways that English’s flexibility is confusing. However, these flexibilities can be helpful for learners in some cases. (No one will blame you for saying “scary big spider,” because it’s technically okay to say it this way.)
Many learning resources availableBecause so many people are trying to learn English, there are plenty of learning resources out there. Better yet, some of these resources are easily accessible wherever you are, such as EnglishClass101’s online lessons and podcasts.
Very accessibleEnglish is a prominent language in many countries, and a large bulk of media today is in English. So there are tons of TV shows, movies, songs, podcasts, and more, that you can listen to in English.
Confident Man Sitting at Desk

3. Where Should You Start?

We’ve already covered what makes English so hard to learn (and which things about it aren’t so bad). But did you know that regardless of how difficult it is, you can learn it a lot easier by beginning your studies the right way? Here are some tips:

1. Figure out your goals. Why do you want to learn English? What goals will you achieve along the way to really master the language? I recommend making some SMART goals to help you figure this out. It will make your language-learning process a lot more straightforward.

2. Learn as much as you can about the English language. You may find it helpful to begin by studying about English. Where is it spoken? What are its origins? What languages are similar to English? Doing some background research can make English seem less daunting and give you a huge head start! 

3. Start using media in your language-learning early on. If you start with thick textbooks right away and don’t supplement them with something lighter, you’re probably going to quit. Make your learning fun from time to time using media (TV, music, etc.), and you’ll actually retain more information.

4. Explore EnglishClass101.com. More on this later. 😉

4. Advice for New English Learners 

How can you be successful when you first begin learning English? Here are some tips!

  • Be patient. It’s important to be patient, both with yourself and with the language-learning process. It takes time, mistakes will be made, and there’s no way around this. But it’s worth the struggle!
  • Start with the basics. Don’t overwhelm yourself when first starting out. Focus on the key vocabulary, phrases, and grammar points to begin with, and don’t worry too much about the harder stuff. 
  • Focus on specific areas. Once you start learning the basics, you’ll notice areas you’re weaker in. Maybe you’re great at English spelling, but struggle with pronunciation. Or maybe you can read English, but can’t understand it when it’s spoken to you. Find where you struggle, and focus on improving those areas.
  • Find a community. You’re not alone in your English-learning journey. Once you begin learning, you’ll become part of a huge number of people doing the same thing. People who are making the same mistakes, achieving the same victories, and getting equally as frustrated as you are. Find a group of English-learners to join, and experience for yourself how much it can help. Our Facebook and YouTube pages are a great place to start!
Group of People Standing in a Circle
  • Spend time with native English speakers. By spending time with native speakers, you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with the language in a natural, real-world context. 
  • Speak more often. Many of our Facebook followers say that they regret not speaking more English from the start. It’s important to remember that mistakes are okay, and that speaking the language sooner rather than later will help you learn faster.
  • Define your purpose. Why are you thinking about learning English? What are your goals, both short-term and long-term? Knowing the answers to these questions is going to be an important part of your language-learning journey, and will help you keep going when things get hard.
  • Don’t take long breaks from learning. To effectively learn a language, it’s important to be consistent. If you stop learning for several months or years at a time, you’re going to lose a lot of the things you learned.
  • Start sooner. The longer you wait to begin learning English, the further behind you’ll be, and the more difficult it will be for you to start. If you start (or continue) learning today, imagine where you’ll be in a few years!
  • Confidence is important. Some of our followers on Facebook say that they struggle (or have struggled) with self-confidence in their language-learning. They wish they had been more confident from the start, and rightfully so. While learning a new language can be scary, it’s important to be confident in your abilities to improve and succeed. 

5. Why EnglishClass101.com is the Best Way to Learn English

EnglishClass101 Image

If you’re ready to start learning English, EnglishClass101.com is the best way to start—and finish—your language-learning journey. Why?

To start, all of our lessons and other learning material are practical and culturally relevant. You’ll learn vocabulary, phrases, and cultural information that you can actually put to use in the real world, starting from day one. 

We provide a variety of lessons for learners at every level. So whether this is your first time getting serious about learning English, or you’ve already been learning for a while, we have something for you. 

With EnglishClass101, you aren’t going to get dull textbooks or confusing lectures. Instead, we provide our students with lessons in many different formats. Videos, audio recordings, fun quizzes, vocabulary lists, and blog posts like this one! 

We always aim to make your learning experience both fun and informative

You can find a sense of community on our social media pages, commenting on our lessons and blog, or upgrading to our Premium PLUS plan to use MyTeacher. And we’re always ready to help when you need it. Whether you need encouragement, are experiencing technical issues, or just really don’t understand a lesson, there’s always someone you can reach out to! 

If you’re convinced, and ready to improve your English skills, sign up today and create your free lifetime account. We’ll be glad to have you join our family. 

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The Most Common Mistakes in English for New Learners

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What are the most common mistakes in English? How can you avoid them or improve your overall English language skills?

In this article, you’ll learn what mistakes you, as an English learner, need to watch out for. Whether you’re getting ready to take an important English exam, or you just had an embarrassing “oops” moment when chatting with your friends, knowing and understanding the most common types of mistakes in English is a must if you want to improve your skills. 

While this won’t necessarily ensure that you avoid these mistakes, it will help you be more effective at monitoring your own progress—both successes and failures. 

Do you make these mistakes in English? Keep reading to find out!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
  1. Pronunciation: Common Mistakes in Spoken English
  2. Common English Vocabulary Mistakes
  3. Word Order Mistakes
  4. Most Common English Grammar Mistakes
  5. Other Mistakes
  6. The Biggest Mistake
  7. Final Thoughts

1. Pronunciation: Common Mistakes in Spoken English

First up on our list of English mistakes: pronunciation. Many new English-learners struggle to master this aspect of the language, so I thought I would go over this one first.

1 – Always pronouncing words as they’re spelled

Many learners become confused with English spelling vs. English pronunciation. There are numerous words in English that are spelled very differently from how they’re actually pronounced, which can be very frustrating.

The most common error here usually has to do with “silent” letters. These are letters that appear in a word when written, but aren’t pronounced when spoken. Here are two examples:

MistakeExplanation
KnifePronouncing the k, as in “k-nife.”The letter “k” in this word is silent, meaning it’s not pronounced. The word “knife” really sounds like “nife” when spoken,  but needs to be spelled with the “k.”
GnatPronouncing the g, as in “g-nat.”The letter “g” in this word is silent,  meaning it’s not pronounced. The word “gnat” really sounds like “nat” when spoken, but needs to be spelled with the “g.”

To avoid making this common English mistake, you’ll need to memorize how to spell these words! There’s really no shortcut here.

Other commonly made mistakes in spoken English include incorrect pronunciation of certain paired letters. Here’s a great example: 

MistakeExplanation
ElephantPronouncing the “p” and “h” separately, by their traditional sounds.While it makes perfect sense to do this, no one is going to understand you. 

In English, whenever the letters “p” and “h” are put together like this, it’s pronounced as one sound, which is the “f” sound. 

So “elephant” really sounds like “elefant” when spoken.

When it comes to mistakes like this, the best way to avoid them is to study up on these compound sounds and memorize how they work. It’s difficult even for native English speakers, but once you have it, you have it! 

2 – Not including the last syllable in words

When speaking, it can be difficult to pronounce certain words in their entirety, and many new English learners tend to drop the final syllable of words. But it’s very important to include this final syllable! In English, the final syllable often holds essential information about the word (or even the entire sentence), especially when you’re talking about something that happened in the past or present, or when mentioning a plural noun.

For example, we use the ending -s or -es to indicate that a noun is plural—if you drop this sound, people may end up missing some important information about what you’re saying. 

Important Final SyllableMistakeExplanation
-s or -esSaying “biscuit” instead of “biscuitsThe -s or -es at the end of a noun indicates that it’s plural.

If you’re ordering biscuits and don’t make the “-s” sound at the end, the waitress may think you only want one biscuit! 
-d or -edSaying “help” instead of “helpedThe -d or -ed at the end of a verb indicates that it happened in the past.

If you say that you “help” someone, the person you’re speaking with may think you’re currently doing so, even if it really happened in the past.
-ingSaying “garden” instead of “gardeningThe -ing at the end of a verb indicates the gerund form of that verb. Including or omitting this ending can totally change the meaning of a sentence! 

This isn’t a lesson about word endings, but hopefully you can see why it’s important for you to always pronounce the entire word. 

3 – Mispronouncing the “th” sound

Many English learners struggle with the “th” sound in words. This is because there are two ways you can pronounce this sound: harsh or soft.

For example, in the words “that” and “there,” the “-th” sound is harsh. On the other hand, in the word “through,” it sounds softer. 

The best way to avoid this mistake is to memorize which “th” words have which pronunciation. It will also be helpful for you to do a lot of listening! Watch English TV shows, listen to English music with lyrics, and pay close attention to pronunciation when speaking with English-speaking friends. You’ll get the hang of it in no time! 


2. Common English Vocabulary Mistakes

Woman Holding Red Apple and Green Apple

Some of the most common mistakes made in English have to do with vocabulary. 

English is one of those languages with a huge vocabulary and many words that sound and look very similar to each other. This is often a struggle for native English speakers, and sometimes a nightmare for those learning it as a second language.

In this section, I’ll outline a few of the most commonly confused words with their meanings. Like most things in the English language, you’ll just have to memorize these.

DefinitionExample in a Sentence
ItsPossessive personal pronoun.“That’s a cute dog. What is its name?”
It’sContraction of “it is.”It’s very gloomy today.”

DefinitionExample in a Sentence
HereReferring to a place close to the speaker.“What are you doing here?”
HearTo sense a sound; to listen.“Wait! I hear something.”

DefinitionExample in a Sentence
VeryTo a great extent.“Thank you. You’re very kind.”
VaryTo be different from another thing.“The results may vary.”

DefinitionExample in a Sentence
AffectTo unintentionally produce a change in something.“The breakup didn’t really affect me.”
EffectAs a verb: To intentionally produce a change in something.

As a noun: 

1. A change or quality that results from a certain action (or another cause).

2. Special lighting, sounds, or other attributes, such as in a movie.
VERB: “You will effect these changes on Monday”

NOUN: 

1. “What are the effects of eating too much sugar?”

2. “The effects in The Great Magician were incredible.”

DefinitionExample in a Sentence
WhoReferring to a person performing an action (subject).Who are you, and what do you want?”
WhomReferring to a person that an action was performed upon (object).“To whom are you engaged?”

DefinitionExample in a Sentence
BoredAs an adjective: to not be entertained.

As a verb: to cause someone to become bored.
ADJ: “I’ve never been so bored in my life!”

VERB: “The teacher bored me with that lecture.”
BoringAs an adjective: not fun or entertaining.

As a verb: in the process of causing someone to become bored.
ADJ: “This is a boring game.”

VERB: “You’re boring me with your technical talk.”

DefinitionExample in a Sentence
FunAmusing or entertaining.“You’re a fun person to be around.”
FunnyHaving a sense of humor.“Roger is really funny, isn’t he?”

DefinitionExample in a Sentence
ThereReferring to a place far from the speaker.“Is that your notebook over there?”
TheirPersonal possessive pronoun, used to refer to something belonging to more than one person.“I don’t know what their problem is.”
They’reContraction of “they are.”They’re out getting breakfast together.”

3. Word Order Mistakes

One of the most common English mistakes for non-native speakers is using incorrect word order. 

English is an SVO (Subject + Verb + Object) language, so English learners whose native language has a different sentence structure tend to make mistakes here. 

Here’s a list of the most common mistakes in English that relate to word order, and how to fix them.

1 – Putting the Subject Before the Verb in Questions

This is an easy mistake to make, and confuses many English learners! After all, English is an SVO language, so shouldn’t the subject always come before the verb? 

Well, this is true in most cases. But in questions, the verb usually comes before the subject. Here are some examples:

IncorrectCorrect
“Where I can get food?”“Where can I get food?”
“What I should do?”“What should I do?”

2 – Putting Adjectives Before Nouns 

This is a very common error for English-learners whose native language puts the adjective after the noun. In English, though, it’s very important to put the adjective before the noun. Here are some examples:

IncorrectCorrect
“Is the dog brown yours?”“Is the brown dog yours?”
“She watched the sunset beautiful.”“She watched the beautiful sunset.”

A Big Brown Dog Lying Down

3 – Incorrect Placement of Other Modifiers

English gets a little more tricky when it comes to the placement of modifiers in sentences. While English is pretty flexible for the most part, there are some situations where modifiers need to be placed a certain way to make sense. Here are just a couple of examples:

IncorrectCorrectExplanation
“I eat always oatmeal for breakfast.”“I always eat oatmeal for breakfast.”In these two examples, because the modifiers describe the extent of something, they need to come before the verb.
“Josie likes kind of tofu.”“Josie kind of likes tofu.”
“Do you tomorrow have a meeting?”“Do you have a meeting tomorrow?”Here, an adverb of time is used. Usually, adverbs of time come after the verb or phrase being talked about.

    → Don’t worry if this is very confusing to you! It’s even confusing for native English speakers. If you feel like you need more help on this topic, you can read my articles on English Word Order and English Sentence Patterns, or ask us a question in the comments. 

4. Most Common English Grammar Mistakes

The only thing less fun than word order? English grammar

There are a few common mistakes in English grammar that can really slow learners down, so I’ll cover some of them here for you. Note that most English grammar mistakes involve verbs, so you may want to pay special attention to this part of speech while studying.  

1 – Using Incorrect Verb Tenses

This may be the most common English grammar mistake that learners make, and even native speakers don’t always get verb tenses right. I’m not going to go into very much detail here, but will briefly cover the basics with a few examples:

IncorrectCorrectExplanation
“I sleep well last night.”“I slept well last night.”“Last night” implies that the past tense must be used.

“Sleep” is present tense, while “slept” is past tense, and therefore correct.
“She went to the mall tomorrow.”“She will go to the mall tomorrow.”“Tomorrow” implies that the future tense must be used.

“Went” is the past tense of “to go,” while “will go” is the future tense, and therefore correct.
“He cooked dinner right now.”“He’s cooking dinner right now.”“Right now” implies that the present tense must be used.

“Cooked” is the past tense of “cook,” while “cooking” is the present tense, and therefore correct.

Man Cooking Vegetables

2 – Using the Infinitive Form of Verbs Incorrectly

Closely linked to the mistake above, many English learners struggle with knowing how and when to use the infinitive form of verbs (“to [verb]”). Here are some examples:

IncorrectCorrect
“Would you like drink a glass of wine?”“Would you like to drink a glass of wine?”
“Please to go to the store with me.”“Please go to the store with me.”
“Do you want play chess after dinner?”“Do you want to play chess after dinner?”
“What would you to like for dessert?”“What would you like for dessert?”

3 – Incorrect Subject-Verb Agreement

In English, like in many other languages, it’s important for verbs to agree with the subject. However, unlike in other languages, the only things that need to agree are the number and tense, because English has no grammatical gender. 

It’s very easy to make mistakes in terms of subject-verb agreement, but once you start seeing how it works, you’ll get the hang of it quickly! 

Number

IncorrectCorrectAdditional Notes
“The cat run away.”“The cat runs away.”“The cat” and “Willow” are both singular nouns, so the verb needs to reflect that. 

Verbs in the singular form take the letter “-s” at the end.
Willow love anime.”Willow loves anime.”
They enjoys kayaking.”They enjoy kayaking.”“They” is a plural noun, so the verb needs to reflect that. 

Verbs in the plural form do not take an “-s” at the end.
I hopes for a bright future.”I hope for a bright future.”“I” is a singular noun, but it breaks the above-mentioned rules a little. 

When “I” is used as the subject, the verb does not take an “-s” at the end.

People Kayaking in Lake Near Mountains

Tense

IncorrectCorrectAdditional Notes
“Henry take the book from her.”“Henry took the book from her.”In this case, the verb “take” needs to be conjugated into the past tense, as it’s implied from the sentence that the action happened in the past.
“I buy a notebook tomorrow.”“I will buy a notebook tomorrow.”Here, the verb “buy” needs to be conjugated in the future tense, as it’s implied from the sentence that the action is going to happen in the future.
“Oh no! The oven is explode!”“Oh no! The oven is exploding!”This sentence suggests that the action is taking place right now, so the verb needs to take the present form.


4 – Although ___, but ___.

Another common grammar mistake English learners make is using the sentence structure “Although ___, but ___.” This is incorrect because the word “although” implies the same meaning as the word “but,” so using them together like this is redundant, similar to using a double negative sentence

IncorrectCorrect
Although she was tired, but she went jogging.”Although she was tired, she went jogging.”
OR
“She was tired, but she went jogging.”
Although the dog was dirty, but he still loved it.”Although the dog was dirty, he still loved it.”
OR
“The dog was dirty, but he still loved it.”
Although the rain came, but they continued their journey.”Although the rain came, they continued their journey.”
OR
“The rain came, but they continued their journey.”

5. Other Mistakes

There are a few other mistakes that new English learners commonly make. These mistakes don’t fall neatly into specific categories, but they’re still worth mentioning! 

1- Formal vs. Casual

English tends to be pretty flexible when it comes to formal vs. casual speech and writing. Unlike some other languages, there aren’t many different words for varying levels of respect or formality—which might be why it’s so easy to use the wrong level of formality in different situations.

To help you out, here’s a quick breakdown of things to keep in mind:

Example SettingsWords/Phrases
Formal
  • Business environments
  • Meeting a friend’s parents or family members
  • Writing school essays
  • Writing business documents
In situations like these, you should do the following:
    ❖ Use Mr./Mrs./Miss when addressing someone
    ❖ Always use “please” and “thank you”
    ❖ Avoid using slang words or phrases
    ❖ Use complete sentences with proper grammar
Casual
  • Hanging out with friends
  • Writing personal pieces, fiction, or business-related writing that’s meant to be more casual
In situations like these, it’s okay to:
    ❖ Talk to people on a first-name or nickname basis
    ❖ Omit “please” and “thank you” if they’re not really necessary
    ❖ Use slang words and phrases (as long as they’re appropriate for the people you’re with)
    ❖ Speak or write in fragments

Whenever you’re in doubt, though, it’s best to use more formal language. If the other party wants you to start speaking more casually with them, they’ll let you know! 

2- Apostrophes 

An Apostrophe in the Contraction We're

Apostrophes (‘) even confuse native English speakers! They have a wide variety of uses, and until you’ve been using the language for a while, the rules of usage can seem very ambiguous. 

Essentially, there are two situations when you should use apostrophes:

  • To show possession (adding an ‘s)
  • To create contractions

Becoming familiar with these rules can help you avoid common English writing mistakes! 

Possession

ExampleExplanation
“Mickey’s hamster”The hamster that belongs to Mickey
“The horse’s mane”The mane that belongs to the horse
“Jesus’ disciples”The disciples that belong to Jesus

Note here that only an apostrophe is added to “Jesus” instead of an ‘s. This is because it’s a proper noun that ends with the letter “s.”

There are some people who will add the entire ‘s to the word, but it’s more common to add only the apostrophe.

For more information on this topic, you can visit this page.

Contractions

ExampleExplanation
Ill go.”Contraction of “I will”
Hes a monster.”Contraction of “he is”
Were already late!”Contraction of “we are”
“Elizabeth shouldn’t’ve done that!”Contraction of “should not have”

Note that when using contractions, the apostrophe usually takes the place of one of the letters. However, in the last example, you’ll notice two things:

1. There are two apostrophes

2. One of the apostrophes replaces two letters

The reason this contraction has two apostrophes is because it consists of three words combined instead of only two.

The second apostrophe replaces two letters simply because this is how contractions work with the word “have.” When used as part of a contraction, only the last two letters are used. This is another rule you’ll just have to memorize and practice.

3- I.E. or E.G.

Here’s another one that trips up even native English speakers—probably because it’s not actually English, it’s Latin. The abbreviation “i.e.” stands for the Latin phrase id est, which means “in other words.” On the other hand, “e.g.” stands for the Latin phrase exempli gratia, which means “for example.”

You use “i.e.” when you’re going to explain something another way, using different words. You use “e.g.” when you’re going to give an example of something you mentioned, usually to help the reader (or listener) better understand what you’re saying.

Here are some examples:

I.E.E.G.
“I’m really stuck on the book I’m writing (i.e. I’m almost ready to give up).”“Lewis is so irresponsible (e.g. he never washes the dishes or vacuums).”
“Penny hasn’t spoken to Joe in months (i.e. they’re relationship is over).”“Cats have so many fascinating qualities (e.g. they’re very independent).”
“Quinten didn’t show up for the final (i.e. he won’t graduate this year).”“Do you have any special skills? (E.g. drawing, writing, or singing)”

6. The Biggest Mistake

Man with Tape Covering His Mouth

Whew! We covered a long list of potential English mistakes. But there’s still one more mistake we have to talk about: being afraid of making mistakes.

No one enjoys the embarrassment, frustration, or hopelessness that accompanies a mistake. But mistakes are part of being human, and they can actually be a good thing if you let them! If nothing else, the negative feelings that come with failure will inspire you and drive you to avoid those feelings in the future.

That said, it’s mistakes that help us learn. Someone who never makes mistakes (i.e. they never leave their comfort zone) never learns either, and that person can never grow beyond themselves. 

If you want to overcome mistakes, you have to face them. If you want to master English (or anything, really), you have to be willing to make a few mistakes along the way. When you acknowledge mistakes as the extremely effective learning tools they are, it no longer seems like the end of the world when you make one! 

7. Final Thoughts

Silhouette of Someone Jumping from One Cliff to Another

Having read this article, you should have a much better idea of the most common mistakes made in English and how to avoid them. On your path to mastering English, it may feel like there’s countless rules and nuances holding you back, but don’t let hopelessness get the best of you! Keep studying, keep practicing, and keep believing in your ability to get better.

EnglishClass101.com has tons of fun and effective lessons for learners at every level. Whether you want to focus on your speaking, listening, reading, or writing skills, we have your back. Sign up today for your free lifetime account, and learn English like never before. 

Before you go, let us know in the comments which of these mistakes you have the hardest time with. Did this article help you with them at all? We look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Happy English learning!

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Christmas in the United States: A Heartwarming Holiday

No time of year lifts my mood like Christmas does. Maybe it’s all of the bright and colorful lights or the nonstop Christmas music on the radio. 

Or maybe it’s all of the memories from my childhood Christmases that come flooding back: opening gifts from Santa Claus on Christmas morning, enjoying great food with extended family, baking cookies with my best friend…

In this article, you’ll learn all about American Christmas traditions, the story behind the holiday, and much more.

Let’s get started!

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1. What is Christmas?

A Saint Bernard Dog with a Santa Hat Lying in a Living Room Decorated for Christmas

Christmas is a holiday celebrated each year on December 25. 

On Christmas Day, Christians commemorate the Biblical story of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. According to the story, the Virgin Mary was visited by an angel and told that she would give birth to the Son of God. Around the same time, Caesar Augustus of the Roman Empire sent a decree that every person was to return to the place of their birth for tax purposes; this forced pregnant Mary and her husband Joseph to journey to Bethlehem. Once there, they were only able to find a stable to sleep in; it was there that Mary gave birth to Jesus. 

While Christmas is traditionally a Christian holiday, many non-religious people also celebrate it. Christmas has become more secularized over time, with many people viewing it as a time to be joyful, compassionate, and generous toward others. There’s also a strong focus on family and friendship.

Some people see this holiday as only one of many special days during the so-called “holiday season” or “Christmas season.” This is a cluster of holidays from the end of October to the beginning of the new year. Some of the holidays around Christmas include Halloween (October 31) and Thanksgiving (Fourth Thursday of November), as well as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. 


2. How Do Americans Celebrate Christmas?

Because Christmas is celebrated both religiously and secularly, there are tons of different traditions and celebrations that take place. 

Religious vs. Non-Religious Celebrations

Common Christmas traditions among Christians include a candlelight service the night before and plays put on by the church depicting Mary and Joseph’s journey. In very religious families, the story of Jesus’s birth may be read from the Bible at home as well. Churches often organize other events to celebrate, such as get-togethers with food and sweets, and special events for children and teens.

There are also many traditions that both the religious and non-religious take part in. 

For example, during the month of December, many people like to count down how many days until Christmas. This can be done with an “Advent calendar,” which is a box of chocolates that depicts a calendar. There are little doors with the date written on them, and behind each door is a chocolate candy. Someone eats one of the chocolates every day until Christmas. 

Gift-Giving

(A Little Boy Dressed as an Elf and Carrying a Christmas Present

Christmas is also associated with gift-giving. 

Many parents teach their children about Santa Claus, a fat, jolly man who lives at the North Pole and delivers gifts to good children the night before Christmas. Children are also warned that, if they’re bad all year, Santa will leave them coal instead of gifts! 

In some homes, children are encouraged to leave stockings hanging by the fireplace or to place their shoes right outside their bedroom door; if they do, Santa will leave candies or small toys in them. Many children buy or bake cookies to leave out for Santa Claus, and are excited to wake up the next morning to find nothing but cookie crumbs—it means that Santa really did come! 

It’s common for family members, close friends, and lovers to buy Christmas gifts for each other, as well. Many businesses and shops have special deals and discounts available for the Christmas season, which entices people to buy more for their loved ones.

The purpose of Christmas gifts is twofold: In religious homes, giving gifts is a symbol of recognition for the gift of Jesus’s salvation. In non-religious homes, gift-giving is seen as an act of generosity and has simply become a tradition with time.


Christmas Feasts

Like Thanksgiving, Christmas is often viewed as a great excuse to eat lots of food

In the morning, some families like to prepare special Christmas breakfasts or brunches. This could be a breakfast casserole with eggs, meat, and hashbrowns, or something simpler like pancakes or scrambled eggs. Other families may treat Christmas breakfast the same as any other breakfast.

For dinner, some families prepare large meals. These often include turkey or ham as the main course, and then sides of potatoes, green beans, and yams. But every family is different, and some people just eat a simple dinner or go out to a nice restaurant. 

Children and adults alike look forward to a variety of sweet treats on Christmas. These include Christmas cookies, puddings, pies, cakes, flavored baked bread, and eggnog. 

Decorations

A Decorated Christmas Tree with Gifts Underneath

Christmas is one of the most vibrant holidays in the United States, with many people doing elaborate Christmas decorating each year. 

The most popular symbol of Christmas is the Christmas tree. Traditionally, this was an actual conifer tree that people would either chop down themselves or purchase from a Christmas tree shop. Nowadays, many people opt for plastic or other artificial “trees” that are much more convenient, don’t drop nettles on the floor, and can be used year after year. Some of these artificial trees can even change color! 

Once the tree is set up, people hang all kinds of small decorations on it; these include Christmas lights, tinsel, and small trinkets that can be store-bought or hand-made. Usually, an angel or a star is placed on top. 

On some homes, you’ll find a wreath hanging on the front door and tons of Christmas lights strung over the exterior. Some people go above and beyond, spending lots of time and money to make their house decorations the best on the street. Some families like to drive around different neighborhoods at night during the Christmas season to see all of the amazing Christmas light displays. 

Other Traditions

Christmas is a heart-warming time to be spent with family, friends, or other loved ones. There are several activities that people enjoy partaking in for the holiday! 

Many Americans look forward to snow on Christmas Day. Children often hope to look out their window on Christmas morning and find snow on the ground. This is the perfect time to go outside and play: building snowmen, making snow angels, and having snowball fights. Of course, they won’t be outside too long—it’s cold outside, and there are presents to be opened!

Some families like to make gingerbread houses and gingerbread men. These are model figures of houses and people that are made using gingerbread cookie, frosting, candy, and other sweet ingredients. Once they’re done, people break apart the gingerbread houses and men and eat them piece by piece. 

Another common Christmas tradition is that of the mistletoe. It’s said that when two people are under a mistletoe on Christmas Day, they have to kiss each other. Lovers and married couples often stand under the mistletoe intentionally. 

Finally, it’s not uncommon for workplaces to host Christmas or Christmas Eve parties. These are festive get-togethers for coworkers to celebrate the Christmas season together with food, drinks, and games. 


3. Christmas in Boston

There’s one American city that didn’t welcome the celebration of Christmas for a long time: Boston! 

In 1630, the Puritans settled in the New World and formed the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Puritans were a group of people who, like the Pilgrims, sought a new form of religious structure. They believed that they could worship God as a separate entity from the Church of England while still being governed by it. 

In short, Puritans believed that Christmas was a blasphemous holiday since the Bible never mentions the actual date of Jesus’s birth. In addition, they didn’t like the traditional pagan celebrations that Christmas took place around. In the mid-1800s, the Christmas ban was finally lifted and Massachusetts could once again celebrate the holiday. 

Today, Boston is known for its lavish Christmas decorations and celebrations! 

4. Essential Christmas Day Vocabulary

A Snowman

Let’s review some of the key vocabulary words from this article! 

  • Present [n]
  • Christmas 
  • Snow [n]
  • Wreath [n]
  • Snowflake [n]
  • Sled [n]
  • Christmas Day [n]
  • Chimney [n]
  • Holly [n]
  • Christmas tree [n]
  • Candy cane 
  • Decoration [n]
  • Fireplace [n]
  • North Pole
  • Elf [n]
  • Bell [n]
  • Stocking [n]
  • Snowman [n]
  • Santa Claus
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Reindeer [n]
  • Mistletoe [n]
  • Gingerbread house [n]

Remember that you can find each of these words, along with their pronunciation, on our list of Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Final Thoughts

For many, Christmas is one of the busiest and most beautiful holidays in the United States. While it has a different meaning for everyone, the vast majority of the U.S. population looks forward to this day all year long.

What are your thoughts on Christmas Day traditions? Do you celebrate Christmas in your country? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more about U.S. culture and the English language, there are several blog posts on EnglishClass101.com we think you’ll love:

For more excellent content at your fingertips, create your free lifetime account today. We regularly upload audio and video lessons on a variety of topics, add themed vocabulary lists, and provide other useful materials for learners at every level. 

Happy learning and Merry Christmas from the EnglishClass101 team!

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The Most Common English Questions and How to Answer Them

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Asking questions is one of the most effective ways for getting to know someone on a personal level. People tend to be curious about things, and as social creatures, this often applies to the people around us. Knowing the top ten English questions and how to answer them will help you get to know the people around you, and help them know you better in exchange!

In this article, I’ll introduce you to the most essential English questions and answers for beginners and intermediate learners. For each question, there will be:

  • A breakdown of the most popular form of the question.
  • A list of alternative ways to ask the question (if any).
  • A table of possible answers to common English questions, with examples and additional notes if needed.

Let’s dive in! 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
  1. Question Words in English
  2. What’s your name?
  3. Where are you from?
  4. What do you do?
  5. Do you have any brothers or sisters?
  6. How long have you been studying English?
  7. How are you?
  8. What time is it?
  9. What are you doing?
  10. What’s wrong?
  11. What’s the weather like?
  12. Final Thoughts

1. Question Words in English

Before I discuss questions and answers in English conversations, I’ll briefly cover an important topic: question words in English. 

In English, there are six main words that we tend to use when asking questions. These are:

  • What: Used when asking for information about something.
  • Where: Used when asking about location.
  • When: Used when asking about time.
  • Who: Used when asking about a person or people.
  • Why: Used when asking about motive or intention.
  • How: Used when asking about the means by which something happened.

We almost always put these words at the very beginning of a question.

You’ll notice that all of these words begin with a “W” except for the last one. When children are learning English, these question words are often referred to as “Five W’s and an H” to help them remember. There are additional question words, but these six are used most often, especially in journalism.

As you read this article, you’ll also see that “what” is the most commonly used question word. This is because it’s extremely versatile, and can be used to ask a variety of question types. 

2. What’s your name?

First Encounter

When you first meet someone, usually the first question they ask is “What is your name?” Before we learn how to answer, let’s break down the question:

Question Word“To Be” VerbSecond-Person Possessive PronounWhat You’re Called
Whatisyourname?

As you can see, the question begins with a “question word.” This is the word a person uses to show that they want some kind of information, and they usually go at the beginning of a question. 

The question word is followed by a “to be” verb, in this case, the word “is.” This indicates that the person is inquiring about the status or definition of something.

Next is the word “your,” which is the possessive form of the second-person pronoun “you.” They’re asking about the name that belongs to you, and no one else.

Finally is the word “name,” which is the piece of information the person is after. When you put the question together, they’re basically asking what you are called, or what name belongs to you. 

Alternative Questions

Here are two other ways of asking the same question:

  • “What’s your name?” 
  • “What can I call you?”

Possible Patterns & Answers

There are four basic sentence patterns you can use to answer this question. In each one, simply fill in the blank with your name. 

PatternAnswerAdditional Note
My name is ___.My name is Tom.
My name is Alisha.
More formal
You can call me ___.You can call me Tom.
You can call me Alisha.
More formal
I’m ___.I’m Tom.
I’m Alisha.
Less formal
___.Tom.
Alisha.
Less formal

3. Where are you from?

Learning where someone is from can be very exciting, and many people in the United States love to learn about other places. The next question you’re likely to hear is “Where are you from?”

Question Word“To Be” VerbSecond-Person PronounPreposition Referring to Origin
Whereareyoufrom?

This question structure is very similar to the one above. It begins with a question word for location, followed by a “to be” verb and second-person pronoun. The last word, “from,” indicates that the speaker wants to know your original location, or where you lived before. 

Possible Patterns & Answers

The simplest way to answer this question is with the pattern “I’m from ___.” You just need to put the name of your home country in the blank. If you want, you can also include the name of the state, city, or town you’re from, like in the last example.

PatternAnswer
I’m from ___.I’m from Norway.
I’m from the U.S.A.
I’m from Germany.
I’m from Lublin, Poland.


4. What do you do?

An Accountant Looking Over an Invoice

In the United States, people love talking about their jobs and hearing what other people do for a living. While you’re getting to know someone, you’re going to hear the question “What do you do?”

Question WordPerform Action OfSecond-Person PronounPerform Action Of
Whatdoyoudo?

This question begins with the question word “what,” followed by the word “do,” which means to perform an action. Next is the second-person pronoun “you,” also followed by the word “do.”

Alternative Questions

Here are two more ways of asking the same question:

  • “What do you do for a living?”
  • “Where do you work?”

Possible Patterns & Answers

PatternAnswerAdditional Notes
I am a(n) ___.I am a teacher.
I am a programmer.
I am a writer.
I am an accountant.
Fill in the blank with your job.
I work as a(n) ___.I work as a teacher.
I work as a programmer.
I work as a writer
I work as an accountant.
Fill in the blank with your job.
I work at ___.I work at the elementary school.
I work at Google.
I work at home.
I work at a large company.
Fill in the blank with your place of work.


5. Do you have any brothers or sisters?

Brother and Sister Play Fighting in the Kitchen

Once a new acquaintance starts getting to know you better, they’ll probably want to know if you have any siblings. A common way to ask this question is: “Do you have any brothers or sisters?”

Perform Action OfSecond-Person PronounTo OwnIndefinite PronounMale SiblingsWord Referring To Another PossibilityFemale Siblings
Doyouhaveanybrothersorsisters?

This question has a few more words than the other ones we’ve looked at, and doesn’t begin with a “real” question word. The word “do,” when used at the beginning of a question, is sometimes called a “dummy” question word—it’s a word that can indicate a question despite not technically serving that purpose in English grammar.

When you put the above question together, it shows that the other person is asking if you have siblings. The indefinite pronoun “any” leaves the question slightly open-ended, so you can answer more specifically about how many siblings you have, what gender they are, and even whether they’re older or younger than you.

There are three basic patterns you can use to answer.

Alternative Questions

Here are two other questions in English that basically ask the same thing:

  • “Do you have any siblings?”
  • “Are you an only child?”

Possible Patterns & Answers

PatternAnswerAdditional Notes
I have (a) ___.I have a sister.
I have a brother.
I have a younger sister.
I have an older brother.
I have three sisters.
I have one older sister.
You can also indicate whether your sibling (or siblings) is older or younger than you by using the appropriate adjective.
I have ___ and ___.I have two brothers and one sister.
I have three sisters and one brother.
Use if you have siblings of different genders. 
No, I don’t. I’m an only child.Use if you don’t have any siblings.


6. How long have you been studying English?

Introducing Yourself

Your conversation partner is very impressed so far with your English speaking and communication skills. They ask “How long have you been studying English?”

Question WordAn Amount Of TimeSecond-Person PronounGerund Form Of The Word “Study”The English Language
HowlonghaveyoubeenstudyingEnglish?

This is another long question, but it does a better job of following the usual question format. Before we move on to possible answers, please note the words “have” and “been.” Even though there’s a word separating them, it’s important to see how these two words work together. 

When someone says the phrase “have been,” it indicates that something has been going on for a certain amount of time. So, in this question, they want to know the amount of time that you have been studying the English language.

Possible Patterns & Answers

PatternAnswerAdditional Notes
I’ve been studying for ___.I’ve been studying for one month.
I’ve been studying for two years.
Most formal.
For ___.For five years.
For three weeks.
Less formal.
___.Nine months.
A few years.
Least formal.


7. How are you?

Two Women Chatting Over Coffee

Congratulations! You’ve officially made a new friend, and you’re getting coffee together a week later. The moment you see each other again, they ask “How are you?”

Question Word“To Be” VerbSecond-Person Pronoun
How areyou?

This is one of the most basic English questions that family, friends, and even colleagues ask each other all the time. As you can see above, it’s simply a question word followed by the “to be” verb “are,” and then the second-person pronoun “you.” Basically, they’re asking about your status—how you’re feeling or how your week has been. 

Alternative Questions

You may also hear the question asked this way:

  • “How are you doing?”
  • “How have you been?” 

Possible Patterns & Answers

PatternAnswerAdditional Notes
I’m doing ___.I’m doing fine.
I’m doing pretty good.
While the word “doing” is used in this answer, it doesn’t refer to a specific action. It instead refers to how you’re feeling or how life is going for you.
I’m ___.I’m okay.
I’m great.
This is basically the same as the above pattern, but shorter.
I’ve been ___.I’ve been well.
I’ve been alright.
Using this pattern indicates that you’re answering about how you’ve been feeling over a longer period of time. 
For example, if you haven’t seen someone in a few months, and they ask you this, you’ll tell them how you’ve been over the last few months.


8. What time is it?

Man Running Late to Work

Another very frequent question you’re likely to hear is “What time is it?”

Question WordThe Current Time (Hours/Minutes)“To Be” VerbPronoun Referring to the Word “Time”
Whattimeisit?

In this question, you can see that the question word “what” is placed at the beginning of the sentence, followed by the information being requested (“time”). Next is the “to be” verb “is” and the pronoun “it,” which in this case refers to the earlier-used word “time.” The person is simply asking you for the current time, usually in hours and minutes.

Alternative Questions

You may also hear the question asked this way:

  • “Do you have the time?”

Possible Patterns & Answers

PatternAnswerAdditional Notes
It’s ___ o’clock.It’s twelve o’clock.
It’s three o’clock.
Most formal.
It’s ___.It’s two-thirty.
It’s nine-fifteen.
Less formal.
___.Ten.
Four forty-five.
Least formal.


9. What are you doing?

a Couple Playing Video Games Together

Whether you’re having a casual conversation over text message or a coworker wants to know what task you’re performing, the question What are you doing? is going to come up a lot. 

Question WordTo Be VerbSecond-Person PronounTo Be Performing An Action
Whatareyoudoing?

The question word “what” begins the question, followed by the to-be verb “are.” Next comes the second-person pronoun “you” and the word “doing,” which refers to an action being performed. The person wants to know what action you’re performing. 

Alternative Questions

You may also hear the question asked this way:

  • “What are you up to?”

Possible Patterns & Answers

PatternAnswerAdditional Notes
I’m ___.I’m thinking.
I’m writing.
I’m watching TV.
I’m working out.
Simply fill in the blank with the gerund form of the action you’re doing. 
Nothing much.Use this if you’re not really doing anything important, or if you don’t feel like sharing what you’re doing.

This is a common answer between friends or in other casual conversations.


10. What’s wrong?

Woman Asking Her Crying Friend What’s Wrong

Have you made a close friend in the U.S.? If so, they may ask you the question “What’s wrong?” if you seem sad or hurt about something, or if something doesn’t seem right. 

Contraction of “What” and “Is”Upsetting You / Not Right
What’swrong?

Because this question is most commonly used between close friends or family members, the contraction “what’s” is almost always used. This is the contraction of the question word “what” and the “to be” verb “is.” Next is the word “wrong,” which refers to something that’s not correct, or something that’s upsetting you. 

Alternative Questions

You may also hear the question asked like this:

  • “Is something wrong?”
  • “What’s the matter?”
  • “Are you okay?”

Possible Patterns & Answers

PatternAnswerAdditional Notes
I’m ___.I’m tired.
I’m sad.
I’m sick.
I’m stressed.
Simply fill in the blank with an adjective that describes how you feel.
Nothing.You can use any of these three phrases if you don’t feel like talking about what’s wrong, or if there really is nothing wrong.
Nothing’s wrong.
I don’t want to talk about it.


11. What’s the weather like?

Huge Lightning Strike on Dark Night

You’ll most likely hear the question “What’s the weather like?” during a conversation with someone you don’t know very well, especially if you’re trying to get to know each other. 

Contraction of What and IsDefinite ArticleReferring to Weather Conditions or ClimateA Word Used for Comparison or Description
What’stheweatherlike?

Like we saw in the previous question, this question begins with the contraction “what’s,” meaning “what is.” Next is the definite article “the,” followed by the word “weather,” which refers to things like temperature and climate. At the end of the sentence is the word “like,” which in this case is a word that’s used for making comparisons or adding a description to something. The person wants to know how you would describe the weather. 

Alternative Questions

Here are two other ways you may hear this question asked:

  • “How’s the weather?”
  • “What’s the weather like in ___ [the place you’re from]?”

Possible Patterns & Answers

PatternAnswerAdditional Notes
It’s ___.It’s sunny.
It’s rainy.
It’s cloudy.
Used for one adjective. 
It’s ___ and ___.It’s hot and humid.
It’s cold and dry.
Used for two adjectives.
It’s ___ in ___.It’s warm in Florida.
It’s hot in Indonesia.
It’s cold in Russia.
Use this pattern if someone asks you what the weather is like where you’re from. 
The first blank is the weather adjective and the second blank is where you’re from.


12. Final Thoughts

In this article, we covered a mix of common English questions and answers. Some of them are important for new language-learners to master, and others are essential for anyone planning a vacation (or move) to the United States. 

But this is just the tip of the iceberg—there are many more question and answer patterns you should know as you continue learning the language. For detailed lessons on even more essential questions for English-learners, we recommend that you go through our 25 Questions Lesson Series

One of the best ways you can prepare to use these questions and answers is to start practicing today! Whether you want to write all of them down on a piece of paper to take with you places, or practice only one a week as much as you can, any amount of real-life usage is going to help you get the hang of it. 

Before you go, why not leave us a comment with answers to some of these questions? We always love hearing from you, and look forward to learning more about you. 

Happy English learning! 🙂

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The IELTS Exam: IELTS Preparation Tips & Guide

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Do you need to prove your English fluency for a job, university enrollment, a visa, or personal fulfillment? There are a few popular English fluency exams out there, some of which you may have already looked at and considered. 

In case you’re still in the beginning stages of choosing the best English proficiency test for you, EnglishClass101.com has a separate article on the TOEIC test and how you can excel at it! 

In this article, I’ll be covering the basics of the IELTS test. You’ll learn what IELTS stands for, who should take it, what to expect during the test, and how you can effectively prepare for it.

Are you ready? Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Study Strategies in English Table of Contents
  1. Introduction to the IELTS Exam
  2. What’s in the IELTS Exam?
  3. Preparing for the IELTS
  4. Bonus: Dealing with Test Anxiety
  5. You CAN Pass the IELTS!

1. Introduction to the IELTS Exam

The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is one of the most popular English proficiency tests. There are three types of IELTS you can take, depending on your goals:

Academic Version
  • For those who want to attend a university in an English-speaking country.
  • For doctors and nurses seeking to move their practice to an English-speaking country.
General Training Version
  • For those who are learning English for work experience purposes.
  • For those seeking to immigrate to an English-speaking country.
Life Skills Version
  • For those who need to prove their English proficiency to CEFR for a visa.
  • For those who are learning English in order to be granted indefinite leave to stay in an English-speaking country.
  • For those who are seeking citizenship in the United Kingdom.

Regardless of which IELTS exam version you take, there will be four sections: 

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking

The actual content of these sections varies slightly from version to version, but the exam is essentially the same across the board. In this article, I won’t focus on the IELTS life skills test, but rather the academic and general training versions.

2. What’s in the IELTS Exam?

Here, I’ll give you more detailed information on the basic IELTS test format and what to expect in each of these four sections. If you want even more information on what the IELTS contains, Wikipedia has a very useful page on the topic! 1- IELTS Listening Test

Listening to Something

The listening component of the IELTS exam is thirty minutes long. There are four sections in this part of the test, and each section contains ten questions:

Section #Type of Language UsedHow Many People Speaking?
1Everyday, social dialogueTwo people speaking
2Everyday, social monologueOne person speaking
3Educational or training-related dialogueTwo people speaking
4Educational or training-related monologueOne person speaking

→ Keep in mind that during the listening portion of the test, you’ll hear multiple English dialects! Later in this article, you can find links to both American English and British English pronunciation lessons, as well as how to improve your listening skills.

2- IELTS Reading Test

Man Reading Lots of Books

The reading component of the exam is sixty minutes long. It consists of three sections and approximately 2500 total words of reading. The way the reading pieces are presented varies slightly depending on which version of the exam you take:

Academic Version

Section #What to Expect
1 Each of the three reading sections for the Academic Version includes text from books, journals, and other informational sources. The content of these texts is therefore informational and selected for an audience of test-takers who are (or want to be) enrolled in a university or place of higher learning.
2
3

General Training Version

Section #What to Expect
1
  • Two or more short texts that have to do with practical everyday things.
2
  • Two work-related texts.
3
  • One longer, more descriptive text from an educational source that covers a topic of general interest.

→  Keep in mind that the IELTS reading section contains questions of various formats. For example, there will be multiple choice, short answer, diagrams, and identification-type questions. We recommend becoming familiar with multiple question-and-answer formats before attempting the test! 

3- IELTS Writing Test

Man and Woman Writing Something Down

The writing component of the test is sixty minutes long. It contains two writing tasks you must complete, although these tasks vary slightly depending on which version of the IELTS you’re taking:

Academic Version

Section #What to ExpectTime
1
  • You’ll be asked to describe a graph or diagram using your own words.
Twenty minutes
2
  • You’ll be asked to express your point of view on a specific topic or to make an argument for that point of view.
Forty minutes

General Training Version

Section #What to ExpectTime
1
  • You’ll be asked to compose a short letter that has to do with common, everyday situations you’ll encounter in English-speaking countries.
Twenty minutes
2
  • You’ll be asked to write an essay on a topic of general interest.
Forty minutes

→  Keep in mind that it’s necessary for you to complete both of these tasks in full! 

We recommend that you practice writing on a variety of topics as much as possible and to study up on different ways of structuring your essay, argument, or letter.

4- IELTS Speaking Test

Two People Having a Conversation

The speaking portion of the IELTS exam is the shortest, lasting approximately ten to fifteen minutes

This part of the test takes the form of a one-on-one interview with your examiner and can actually take place up to seven days before or after the rest of the exam. 

It consists of three sections:

SectionWhat to ExpectTime
Initial Interview
  • The interviewer will ask you some questions about yourself, and you’ll answer.
  • These questions will be on general topics, such as hobbies, family, and how you spend your free time.
Approximately five minutes
Task Card Talk
  • You’ll be given a task card that includes a specific topic, what points you’ll need to talk about, and where you may need to do additional explaining.
  • After preparing, you’ll talk for two minutes and then answer any questions your examiner has.
Approximately four minutes
Discussion
  • This will be a more open discussion, usually about whatever your section two topic was. 
  • Your examiner may ask you more questions during this time.
Approximately five minutes

→  The conversation that takes place during the speaking portion of the IELTS will be recorded. This is done as a precautionary action in case an appeal for grading is requested.

This may be the shortest section, but we know that just a few minutes of talking in another language can seem like a lifetime! We recommend practicing your speaking skills as much as possible beforehand. Later in this article, you’ll find links to some useful EnglishClass101 lessons for this! 

3. Preparing for the IELTS

The first thing you can do to prepare for the test is to sign up and complete your IELTS registration! All you need to do is find where your nearest testing center is located, pay and apply online, and then arrive on time to the testing center on the day of the exam.

Get more information and sign up today on the IELTS official website! 

You can also find the IELTS practice test on the official site to gain firsthand knowledge on what to expect and what you need to work on.

1- Listening Preparation

Woman Watching TV with Popcorn

Listening comprehension is one of the trickiest aspects of learning a new language, especially if your native tongue is spoken very differently. 

The best way to prepare for the listening part of the IELTS is to spend as much time as you can actively listening to English conversations. 

There are many ways you can do this:

  • Watch TV shows or movies in English
  • Listen to song lyrics in English
  • Hold conversations with English-speaking friends or coworkers
  • Eavesdrop on people’s English conversations

That last tip may sound like an invasion of privacy, but this isn’t always the case. Imagine you’re eating out at a crowded restaurant, and the people sitting behind you are having an animated conversation—you can fine-tune your listening skills by trying to figure out what they’re talking about! 

EnglishClass101 Content

2- Reading Preparation

Books Open New Worlds and Concepts

How can you prepare for the reading portion? 

Reading as much English content as you can beforehand is a good place to start. You may want to choose what type of content you read based on the IELTS version you plan on taking. If you’re taking the Academic Version, try reading more educational content. If you’re taking the General Training Version, you may want to read a greater variety of content related to daily life, work, and education. 

Before reading the text, try asking yourself some questions about it: 

  • What is this text about?
  • What is the writer’s opinion on the topic?
  • How do I feel about the topic?

Then, after you’ve read the piece, try to answer them! This will indicate how much you comprehend what you read. (If you didn’t get much, try reading it again!)

EnglishClass101 Content

3- Writing Preparation

Woman Learning to Write in a New Language

To prepare for this portion of the test, write as much as you can in English! 

Take into account which version of the test you plan on taking and fine-tune your writing skills for the kinds of topics you’ll most likely be asked to write about. A fun way you can practice writing about various topics is to search for writing prompts online! 

Further, ask yourself what you struggle with the most when writing. Do you have a hard time with spelling? Do you find grammar or sentence structures confusing? Do you have the basics covered but have no idea how to craft a compelling argument or compose a letter? 

Knowing where your weak points are will help you decide on what to spend most of your time practicing. If you want an outside perspective, you can ask a native English speaker to check some of your writing and point out areas for improvement (and areas you excel in!). If you don’t currently have someone to help you, you may find EnglishClass101’s MyTeacher program useful! 

EnglishClass101 Content

4- Speaking Preparation

Women Chatting at the Prk Together

As with the other portions of the IELTS, the best way to practice is to speak as much English as you can.

In particular, mastering the basics of conversation, such as introducing yourself, expressing opinions, and of course, being an active listener, is essential. Pronunciation is another factor your examiner will be listening closely for. 

If you have an English-speaking friend or colleague, try having short conversations with them on various topics, in English. If you’re feeling brave, you can even ask them to point out any pronunciation errors you’re making or areas where you may not be communicating clearly.

To listen to your own pronunciation when speaking, EnglishClass101 also has an updated voice recording tool. You can simply record yourself speaking and play it back. If something sounds off, you can record and try again until you have it right. 

EnglishClass101 Content

4. Bonus: Dealing with Test Anxiety

Man Stressed about Something

All the preparation in the world can let you down if you happen to suffer from test anxiety. When you have test anxiety, you become so stressed about the test you’re taking that all the information you studied and practiced goes out the window and your mind goes blank—even if you really do know the information! 

How can you combat your test anxiety and excel during the IELTS? 

There are some basic things you can do, which are recommended for test-takers:

Essentially, taking care of yourself can help enormously before an important test or event.

But what about when you’re sitting down, your test materials are in front of you, and the clock’s running? How can you go from panic-mode to clear-minded? 

Here are some ideas:

  • Go in with a positive mindset to begin with.
  • Take deep breaths. (It’s a cliche, but it works!)
  • Go through the test questions methodically to increase your confidence.

Do you need more tips or clarification on the ones here? There are plenty of reliable sources online for how to deal with and overcome test anxiety. If this is something you struggle with, or anticipate struggling with, we highly recommend doing some research on how to push through it!

Language Skills

5. You CAN Pass the IELTS! 

Taking the IELTS exam can be a huge leap forward toward your goals. Not only will you have a new sense of self-confidence in your English abilities, but you’ll be able to gain the confidence of others as well.

IELTS preparation may seem like a huge task—because it is one! But the rewards will make your effort worth it.

And with EnglishClass101.com, learning English doesn’t have to be a boring, monotonous process. With an array of different learning tools and mediums, you can study English in a way that works for you! We aim to make every aspect of your language-learning journey both fun and effective, and we ensure that you will find practical and relevant study materials no matter what your current skill level is! 

If you’re serious about mastering English and gaining the skills and experience you need to pass the IELTS, create your free lifetime account today on EnglishClass101.com! 

Have you ever taken the IELTS? Are there any study tips you would recommend to those looking to take it themselves? Why not help out your fellow English-learners in the comments section below? 

Happy English learning, and good luck! 🙂

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The Warmth of Family: Thanksgiving Day in the United States

From the Harvest Festival in Germany to Labor Thanksgiving Day in Japan, many countries hold a thanksgiving day of some kind. In the United States, this holiday is known simply as Thanksgiving (or colloquially, Turkey Day). 

In this article, you’ll learn how Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, how this holiday got started, and more. 

Are you ready? Let’s get started.

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1. What is Thanksgiving?

Pilgrims and the Mayflower

In modern times, Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday dedicated to giving thanks and showing appreciation. This day is also associated with large feasts, time with loved ones, and the beginning of the “holiday season” (which includes Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve). 

But how did this holiday come to be? 

History of Thanksgiving

As mentioned, thanksgiving holidays abound worldwide, and this has been the case for quite a long time. Thanksgiving traditions were commonplace in England, with people thanking God for victories, harvests, and other positive happenings. When the Pilgrims left England to settle in the “New World” (North America), they took many of these traditions with them. 

What many people label as the “First Thanksgiving” took place in 1621, not long after the Pilgrims arrived in North America. They faced a long winter, made worse by the fact that they hadn’t brought adequate supplies with them. Though some of the Pilgrims lost their lives that winter, the Native Americans helped support the Pilgrims so that many of them survived. 

As a result, the Pilgrims held a thanksgiving celebration with the Native Americans, during which they showed appreciation toward God and the Native Americans themselves. The celebration consisted of a feast, which introduced the Pilgrims to many foods that were native to the North American continent. 

Thanksgiving was celebrated on-and-off for many years after that, on different dates and with varying degrees of status. It wasn’t until 1863 that Thanksgiving was declared an official holiday, thanks to Abraham Lincoln. 


2. When is Thanksgiving This Year?

Each year, Thanksgiving takes place on the fourth Thursday of November. For your convenience, here are the exact dates of Thanksgiving for the next ten years.

  • 2020: November 26
  • 2021: November 25
  • 2022: November 24
  • 2023: November 23
  • 2024: November 28
  • 2025: November 27
  • 2026: November 26
  • 2027: November 25
  • 2028: November 23
  • 2029: November 22

3. Thanksgiving Traditions in the United States

There are several Thanksgiving traditions in the U.S., though none are more important than Thanksgiving dinner. Some popular Thanksgiving foods include roasted turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, bread rolls, stuffing, deviled eggs, green bean casserole, brussels sprouts, and cranberry sauce. And, most importantly, every Thanksgiving dinner is finished off with a slice (or three) of pumpkin pie. Many people purchase nice wines or other alcoholic beverages to accompany their dinner. It’s encouraged to eat as much as you can—and then some!

One of the most significant aspects of Thanksgiving is the gathering of family. Thanksgiving Day is when people see and talk with family members they probably haven’t seen at all since last year (or longer!). This is a major travel holiday, with family members from one part of the United States traveling across the country to join family members who live far away. If you plan on flying during Thanksgiving, make sure you buy tickets way in advance; if you plan on driving at all, try leaving a few days earlier to avoid heavy traffic and bad drivers.

If you’re ever invited to someone’s home for Thanksgiving dinner, you can expect to find Thanksgiving decorations of some kind. Popular decorations include cornucopias, pumpkins and other squash (real or plastic), and autumn leaf decorations (usually plastic or paper). If someone is really into Thanksgiving, they may also light autumny candles or incense (such as those with cinnamon or pumpkin scents) to give their house a more homey atmosphere.

Many families tune into a Thanksgiving football game on television while waiting for the turkey to cook. It’s completely normal to find fifteen or more people stuffed into a living room, eating appetizers, drinking beer, and watching the game—all while two or three people are panicking in the kitchen to get the food ready!

Those not watching football are probably watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV (if they didn’t visit New York City to see it in person). This parade is a Thanksgiving tradition that began in 1924, and it features a variety of floats and performances. 

Leading up to Thanksgiving, there are often food drives or calls for donation to help ensure that everyone is able to eat a good dinner on this day. This allows poorer families to prepare a decent Thanksgiving dinner for themselves and their loved ones. Sometimes, soup kitchens, religious organizations, or restaurants will provide free Thanksgiving-style meals to the poor, homeless, or anyone who doesn’t have a place to spend Thanksgiving. In addition, many schools will provide a Thanksgiving meal to students (and sometimes their families) on the last day of school before the holiday.


4. Black Friday

Because Thanksgiving is the unofficial beginning of the end-of-year holiday season, many people begin their Christmas shopping the day after. In response to this, stores began advertising special deals for the day after Thanksgiving in order to entice potential buyers. This idea was endorsed by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939, who believed that the sharp spike in shopping would help the economy; in fact, it was Roosevelt who pushed the date of Thanksgiving from the fifth Thursday of November to the fourth, which allowed holiday shopping to begin earlier.

The day after Thanksgiving is now called Black Friday, and it’s a massive event in the United States. Stores and retailers all over the country advertise amazing deals on just about everything, with emphasis on the most longed-for items such as televisions and new gaming systems. 

Huge crowds will wait outside of stores and come rushing in to grab what they can before someone else takes it. While Black Friday provides great prices for Christmas (and personal) shopping, the past decade or so has seen the event turn violent, with people injured or killed in the mad rush. 

Black Friday has been met with criticism, both for its increasingly violent nature and its contrast from Thanksgiving (which is about being grateful for what you have already). 

What do you think about Black Friday? Do you have a similar event in your country?

5. Essential Thanksgiving Day Vocabulary

A Cornucopia

Here are some words you should know for Thanksgiving in the United States! How many of them do you remember from the article?

  • Corn [n]
  • Pumpkin [n]
  • Yam [n]
  • Turkey [n]
  • Mashed potatoes [n]
  • Gravy [n]
  • Thanksgiving [n]
  • Feast [n]
  • Squash [n]
  • Cranberry sauce [n]
  • Cornucopia [n]
  • Stuffing [n]
  • Pumpkin pie [n]
  • Native Americans [n]
  • Mayflower
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Pilgrims [n]

Make sure to visit our vocabulary list for Thanksgiving Day in the United States to hear the pronunciation of each word! 

Final Thoughts

A Woman Holding a Tray of Turkey Straight for the Oven to Serve for Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is one of the most popular and well-loved holidays in the United States, and we think you can see why! Is there a similar holiday in your country? We would love to hear about it in the comments. 

If you’re interested in learning about other U.S. holidays, EnglishClass101.com has several blog posts we think you’ll enjoy:

If you’re serious about improving your English, create your free lifetime account with us today! We provide tons of video and audio lessons, vocabulary lists, and of course, more insightful blog posts like this one. We hope to see you around!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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The Best Ready-to-Use English Sentence Patterns Just for You

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It’s difficult to begin communicating effectively in a new language. There are so many new words, grammar rules to remember, and little nuances that you learn only through years of practice and growth. And, especially for those of us who are painfully shy or afraid of failure, trying out these new words and phrases is asking for a panic attack! 

So where to start?

If you’re ready to start speaking English today and jumpstart your exposure to everyday language, you’re in the right place. 

EnglishClass101.com has prepared a list of eleven English sentence patterns for beginners to get started with. These basic phrases will enable you to express the most important and practical concepts with ease. And you can practice using them every day! 

The best part is that once you have these patterns memorized, you can create hundreds of original, detailed sentences to use with anyone! 

I recommend that you read my article on English Word Order and Sentence Structure before continuing. Some of the sentence pattern examples in this article are more complex, and having a good idea of how word order works first will help you to get the most value from this article! 

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

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  1. A is B.
  2. A is [Adjective].
  3. I am ___.
  4. I want (to) ___.
  5. I need (to) ___. / I have to ___.
  6. I like (to) ___.
  7. Please ___.
  8. May I ___? / Can I ___?
  9. What is ___?
  10. When (is) ___? / What time (is) ___?
  11. Where is ___?
  12. Final Thoughts

1. A is B.

When you want to link two nouns, use the “A is B” sentence pattern. A is the first noun and B is the noun you’re linking it to. You’re basically saying that the first noun (A) is also the second noun (B).

Simple Examples

She is my friend.”
He is my teacher.”
My grandma is a bookkeeper.”

More Complex Examples

Peanut butter is my favorite food.”
That scented candle is a gift from my best friend.”
Sentence Patterns

2. A is [Adjective].

The “A is Adjective” sentence pattern is very similar to the one above. But instead of linking A to another noun, you’re linking it to an adjective that describes it. 

Here are some simple examples:

Simple Examples

He is hardworking.”
She is intelligent.”
The apartment is small.”

More Complex Examples

Sharon’s dog is really annoying.”
The dinner I’m going to make next week will be delicious.”
Pot of Goulash

Note the use of “will be” in the last example. “Will be” is the future tense of “is” and is used to imply that something will happen in the future.

→ Learn more about verb conjugation in our dedicated article! 

→ Need to brush up on your adjectives? EnglishClass101.com has a special vocab list to help you out! 

3. I am ___.

This is a versatile sentence pattern you can use to talk about yourself, and one of best sentences in English for a beginner. You can give your name this way, talk about your occupation, let someone know how you’re feeling, or inform someone about what you’re currently doing:

  • I am [name].
  • I am (a/an) [occupation].
  • I am [adjective].
  • I am [gerund form of verb].

Simple Examples

“I am [Lily].” – Name
“I am [a writer].” – Occupation
“I am [hungry].” – Adjective
Woman Deep in Thought

More Complex Examples

I am [thinking about the future]. – Verb
I am [excited] for the upcoming holiday season. – Adjective

→ Check out EnglishClass101’s dedicated vocabulary lists for Jobs/Work, Top 20 Words for Positive Emotions, Top 21 Words for Negative Emotions, and the 50 Most Common Verbs

4. I want (to) ___.

Use the “I want (to) ___” sentence pattern to let someone know what you want:

Simple Examples

“I want this.”
“I want pie.”
“I want to sleep.”

Note that the word “to” is used after the word “want” when the desire expressed is an action. 

Woman Sleeping

More Complex Examples

“I want to ask you a question.”
“Henry wants to visit his grandparents next month.”

5. I need (to) ___. / I have to ___.

These are some of the most commonly used English sentences used in daily life, and they can be used almost interchangeably. The only exception is “I need ___” if the word “to” is dropped. In this case, the phrase can’t be used to express an action- or verb-related need. (There are also small differences in their technical meanings, but most people won’t care which one you use in conversation.)

Use these sentence structures to let someone know what you need or have to do.

Simple Examples

“I need a vacation.”
“I need to eat.”
“I need to sleep.”

Just like in the previous sentence pattern, note that the word “to” is used after the word “need” or “have” when the need is an action.

More Complex Examples

“I have to use the bathroom.”
“I have to leave very soon.”

6. I like (to) ___.

Use these basic English sentences to describe what you enjoy doing

Simple Examples

“I like reading.”
“I like petting cats.”
“I like to drink coffee.”
Sentence Components

More Complex Examples

“I like spending time with you every day.”
“I like going on long road trips with my loved ones.”

Here’s some more vocabulary to help you talk about what you like to do! 

7. Please ___.

The “Please ___” sentence pattern is the simplest and most effective way to ask someone to do something in a polite and respectful way. Simply say “Please” followed by your request

Simple Examples

“Please listen to me.”
“Please help me out.”
“Please follow directions.”

More Complex Examples

“Please pick up dinner on your way home from work.”
“Please show me where the nearest gas station is.”

8. May I ___? / Can I ___?

Use these simple sentences to ask for permission to do something. They can usually be used interchangeably, though there are technical differences. “May I ___?” is usually considered more proper and polite when requesting permission, while “Can I ___?” has more to do with one’s ability to do something.

Simple Example

“May I come in?”
“May I go now?”
“Can I ask you a question?”

More Complex Examples

“May I ask what you’re doing here so late?”
“Can I join you guys at the movie theater tomorrow?”
People Watching a Movie at the Theater

9. What is ___?

This is a great sentence pattern for getting more information about something or someone. Simply say “What is” followed by the thing you want more information about.

Simple Examples

“What is this?”
“What is your name?”
“What is tomorrow?”

More Complex Examples

“What is the name of that song we were listening to?”
“What is your favorite ___?”

In the last example, fill in the blank with the topic you’re curious about. 

→ If you’re asking about their favorite food, favorite animal, or favorite color, prepare for their answer by studying our relevant vocab lists!

10. When (is) ___? / What time (is) ___?

You can use the sentence pattern “When (is) ___?” when you’re asking about a specific time or date. You can use “What time (is) ___?” if you just need to know the time. 

Here are some examples of how to ask for the time or date.

Simple Examples

“What time is it?”
“When is your birthday?”
“When should I arrive?”

More Complex Examples

“When is the meeting at work next week?”
“What time is the baby shower at your house tomorrow?”

→ Learn how to talk about dates and use numbers with EnglishClass101! 

11. Where is ___?

Use the “Where is ___?” sentence pattern to ask someone where something is. This is an essential phrase to remember if you plan on traveling somewhere you’ve never been to before! 

Simple Examples

“Where is the restroom?”
“Where is the elevator?”
“Where is the store?”
Salad Bar at a Restaurant

More Complex Examples

“Where is that really good restaurant located?”
“Where is the library you wanted me to visit?”

→ For more helpful words and phrases, check out our Position / Direction vocabulary list or our blog post about giving and asking for directions in English.

12. Final Thoughts

With these common English phrases and sentence patterns, you can communicate effectively about almost anything. It may take a little while to memorize each one and get used to how they work, but once you get there, it will be very much worth it

If you need to, feel free to bookmark this page to look at later, or print it out and put it somewhere you’ll see every day. And of course, practice using these sentence patterns in various situations as often as you can. Remember that mistakes are part of the learning process and can actually help you grow more as a language-learner than perfection (or lack of trying!) can.

Did you know any of these sentence patterns already? Which ones are new to you? If there’s anything you’re unsure about or need help with, leave us a comment below and we’ll do our best to help you out! 

If you’re serious about mastering English, be sure to create your free lifetime account today on EnglishClass101.com. We make it fun, effective, and as painless as possible! 

Happy English learning! 

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What is an Adverb? Learn the Top 100+ English Adverbs

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Saying that something happened is one thing, but saying how it happened is another. This is where adverbs come in.

But what is an adverb, and why do you need them?

Adverbs provide flair and color to both speech and writing. They allow you to describe occurrences or situations in greater detail. An adverb can provide a key detail in a sentence. 

For example, take the sentence “I slept last night.” In most situations, this is enough information. But what if you want to talk about the quality of your sleep, or how long you slept? To explain this, you could say, “I slept fitfully last night,” or “I slept a long time last night.”

Woman Unable to Sleep

See? By using adverbs, you can give the exact amount of detail people need to read between the lines. If you slept fitfully, it might explain why you’re sleepy or grouchy that day. If you slept a long time, it might explain why you’re so energized and happy.

In this article, you’ll learn all about adverbs in English and how to use them. You can even start practicing right away by using words from our adverbs lists! Let’s get started.

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  1. What is an Adverb?
  2. Adverbs List: The 100+ Most Used Adverbs in English
  3. Use of Adverbs in English Sentences
  4. Finally…

1. What is an Adverb?

Top Verbs

1- Adverb Definition

An adverb is used to describe the manner in which something happened, or the state of a situation/condition. It can add vital information to an otherwise ambiguous sentence. 

Adverbs don’t modify parts of speech, but sometimes sentences are arranged to sound better based on the other words in the sentence. For example, the sentence “I ran quickly” sounds a little better than “I quickly ran,” though both are technically correct.

2- Spotting an Adverb

Adverbs are sometimes called the “-ly” words, because many of them end with the letters “-ly.” However, it’s important to note that not all adverbs have this ending. Also note that adjectives sometimes end with “-ly” as well (grisly, bristly, etc.), so this isn’t a catch-all distinction.

Perhaps the best way to spot an adverb in a sentence is by process of elimination. For example, if you already know what the subject, verb, object, and adjective are, you can see if there are extra words that add detail about how something was done. 

3- How to Make Adverbs in English

Adverbs are usually formed by adding the suffix “-ly” to an adjective. However, there are some exceptions. 

The Basics

1) If the adjective ends with “y,” you must take off the “y” and replace it with “ily.” [Heavy > Heavily; Perky > Perkily; Happy > Happily]

2) For adjectives that end with -able, -ible, or -le, you must remove the “e” and put a “y” in its place. [Understandable > Understandably; Probable > Probably; Believable > Believably]

3) For adjectives ending with “-ic,” simply add “-ally” to the end. [Academic > Academically; Prolific > Prolifically; Basic > Basically] The exception is the word “public,” which simply ends with “-ly.”

2. Adverbs List: The 100+ Most Used Adverbs in English

More Essential Verbs

Now that you know a little bit about adverbs, have a look at our English adverbs list with examples.

1- English Adverbs of Time

Time Adverbs in English

1

“Today”I’m trying a new recipe today.
Meaning: The current day.

2

“Yesterday”They took a long walk yesterday.
Meaning: The previous day.

3

“Tomorrow”I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.
Meaning: The following day.

4

“Last [year / month / week]”Last year / month / week, Tom took a vacation.
Meaning: The previous year, month, or week.

5

“Soon”Natalie will buy a house soon.
Meaning: In the near future.

6

“Later”Later, I will read my book.
Meaning: In the future, after an unspecified period of time.

7

“First”Rick said he got there first.
Meaning: Before anyone/anything else.

8

“Last”I got there last.
Meaning: After everyone/everything else.

9

“Before”Kyle kissed his wife before he left.
Meaning: Prior to an action.

10

“After”After shopping, Spencer ate lunch.
Meaning: Following an action.

11

“Now”Now, will you tell me what’s bothering you?
Meaning: This moment.
One Woman Comforting Another

12

“Previously”Gina had previously gone to the museum.
Meaning: Before; prior to.

13

“Currently”It’s currently raining outside.
Meaning: Now; at the moment.

14

“Earlier”She put away her laundry earlier.
Meaning: Before/prior to an action or period of time.

15

“Instantly”Instantly, Erin knew what happened.
Meaning: Right away; without delay.

16

“Gradually”He gradually got around to doing his chores.
Meaning: Happening over time, in gradations.

2- English Adverbs of Frequency

17

“Never”Jack never thought it would happen.
Meaning: Not ever.

18

“Rarely”Jacqueline rarely stays up late.
Meaning: Almost never.

19

“Seldomly”Joana seldomly drinks soda.
Meaning: Happening sometimes but not often.

20

“Occasionally”Liz occasionally makes chocolate cream pie.
Meaning: Not very often.

21

“Sometimes”Sometimes life is hard.
Meaning: Happening some of the time.

22

“From time to time”From time to time, she prepares steak.
Meaning: This phrase means the same thing as “sometimes” or “occasionally.”

Steak with Vegetables

23

“Now and then”I like a glass of milk now and then.
Meaning: This phrase means the same thing as “sometimes” or “occasionally.”

24

“Often”Lily often gets upset with herself.
Meaning: Happening frequently.

25

“Usually”Michael usually doesn’t like going out.
Meaning: This word describes something that consistently happens the same way.

26

“Normally”That normally doesn’t happen.
Meaning: This word means the same thing as “usually.”

27

“Always”I always drink coffee in the morning.
Meaning: This word describes something that happens consistently, without fail, at all times.

Additional Note: People sometimes use this word when exaggerating something. For example, “She always nags me!” It’s probably not accurate to say that she always nags. In reality, she probably nags sometimes.

28

“All the time”Why does he talk about himself all the time?
Meaning: This phrase means the same thing as “always.” It’s used even more frequently than always when exaggerating.

29

“Annually”Most holidays occur annually.
Meaning: Happening once a year.

30

“Monthly”We set some money aside monthly.
Meaning: Happening once a month.

31

“Weekly”Quinten works out weekly.
Meaning: Happening once a week.

32

“Daily”Al, however, works out daily.
Meaning: Happening every day.

33

“Hourly”Many people are paid hourly.
Meaning: Happening every hour or by the hour.

34

“By the minute”They’re selling books by the minute.
Meaning: Happening every minute.

3- English Adverbs of Place

Woman Holding Globe

35

“Here”What do we have here?
Meaning: A demonstrative adverb for something nearby.

36

“There”He’s all the way over there!
Meaning: A demonstrative adverb for something farther away.

37

“Everywhere”Everywhere you go, there you are.
Meaning: Literally, “every single place.”

38

“Somewhere”I want to live somewhere quiet.
Meaning: A place that’s not specific.

39

“Anywhere”She would follow him anywhere.
Meaning: A place that’s not specific, with no place excluded.

40

“Nowhere”I can’t find it; it’s nowhere to be found!
Meaning: Not at/in any place.

41

“Inside”It’s time to go inside.
Meaning: The interior of something.

42

“Outside”It’s gloomy outside.
Meaning: The exterior of something.

43

“Up”Hurry, look up!
Meaning: Vertical direction toward the sky.
Child Pointing to Sky

44

“Down”Now, look down!
Meaning: Vertical direction toward the ground.

45

“Upstairs”Can you go upstairs and get something?
Meaning: Higher floor; top of a staircase.

46

“Downstairs”Mary walked downstairs.
Meaning: Lower floor; bottom of a staircase.

47

“Abroad”I would love to travel abroad.
Meaning: Covering a lot of area; far from home.

48

“Away”Please just go away.
Meaning: Covering a lot of area; far from home.

49

“Around”1) I’ll be around if you need me.
2) Let’s go around.
Meaning: 
1) Nearby
2) To curve about something

50

“Home”Ellen wants to go home.
Meaning: One’s house or place of living.

Additional Note: You may be wondering why we’re calling this word an adverb. This is because “home” adds information to the verb “go.” In the example, Ellen doesn’t just want to go (leave)—she wants to go home, specifically.

51

“Nearby”I hope there’s a restaurant nearby!
Meaning: Close; within the vicinity of the speaker or a specific place/area.

52

“Across”We must go across.
Meaning: Over or past something.

53

“Next”Who’s next?
Meaning: Coming immediately after something in sequence.

54

“Above”I’ll go above, and you stay here.
Meaning: Upward; on top of something.

55

“Underneath”Let’s take a look underneath.
Meaning: Downward; under something.

56

“North”Go north.
Meaning: A cardinal direction.

57

“South”Go south.
Meaning: A cardinal direction.

58

“East”Go east.
Meaning: A cardinal direction.

59

“West”Go west.
Meaning: A cardinal direction.

4- English Adverbs of Manner

Goman Getting Out of Bed

60

“Slowly”She slowly got out of bed.
Meaning: In a slow manner; not fast.

61

“Quickly”Valerie drove quickly.
Meaning: In a fast or hurried manner; not slow.

62

“Carefully”Pick up the book carefully.
Meaning: Done with caution and care.

63

“Quietly”Wendy entered the room quietly.
Meaning: In a silent manner; not loud.

64

“Happily”They happily ate ice cream together.
Meaning: In a happy or joyful manner.

65

“Sadly”Sadly, Hannah waved her best friend goodbye.
Meaning: In a sad or mournful manner.

66

“Angrily”Angrily, she threw the bottle across the room.
Meaning: In an angry manner.

67

“Grudgingly”She grudgingly took the dog for a walk.
Meaning: In a grudging manner. This usually indicates that you don’t want to be doing something, but you are anyway.

70

“Sleepily”Sleepily, she sat down at her desk.
Meaning: In a sleepy or tired manner.

71

“Easily”Randy boasted that he could finish the project easily.
Meaning: With ease; with no difficulty.

72

“Really”1) I really look forward to dinner.
2) I can’t believe he really did that.
Meaning: 
1) To a great extent.
2) Actually.

73

“Literally”I literally can’t do this.
Meaning: Happening in a literal sense; realistically.

74

“Figuratively”He figuratively compared the two objects.
Meaning: Happening in a figurative sense; not to be taken at face value.

For more information on the differences between “literally” and “figuratively,” check out this useful resource.

75

“Simply”Bridget simply turned him away.
Meaning: With ease; in an uncomplicated manner.
Couple Upset with Each Other

76

“Badly”1) My first attempt at badminton went badly.
2) She badly wanted to see him again.
Meaning: 
1) Done in a poor manner.
2) To a great extent.

77

“Nicely”John performed nicely in the play.
Meaning: In a satisfactory manner.

78

“Well”Linda thought he did well.
Meaning: Good; in a satisfactory manner.

79

“Appropriately”It’s important to act appropriately in all situations.
Meaning: In a manner that matches the situation or expectations.

80

“Timely”He made timely work of his model airplane.
Meaning: Without wasting time; quickly.

81

“Wonderfully”She could dance wonderfully.
Meaning: In a pleasing or exceptional manner.

82

“Beautifully”Mel painted beautifully.
Meaning: In a lovely or exceptional manner.

83

“Masterfully”That novel was masterfully put together.
Meaning: With great skill or talent; in an experienced manner.

84

“Dutifully”Dutifully, he protected the others.
Meaning: In a manner that denotes responsibility.

85

“Bravely”Karen bravely killed the spider.
Meaning: In a courageous manner.

86

“Stubbornly”Stubbornly, the child refused to go to sleep.
Meaning: In a manner that indicates an unwillingness to change one’s actions or opinions.

87

“Relentlessly”She searched for the ingredient relentlessly.
Meaning: Without stopping or giving up; in a constant, determined manner.

5- English Adverbs of Degree

Kid Jumping on Bed, Excited

88

“Very”I’m very excited for the holidays.
Meaning: To a great extent.

89

“Rather”He acted rather rude.
Meaning: To a great extent; more than expected or desired.

90

“Quite”She was quite pleased with how it turned out.
Meaning: To a great extent.

91

“So”Carol was so relieved when he came home.
Meaning: To a great extent.

Additional Note: This adverb is often used informally to express something in an exaggerated manner.

92

“Too”1) Jill got too carried away with the project.
2) I want to go to the beach, too!
Meaning: 
1) To a great extent, especially when it’s more than expected or desired. 
2) Also; as well; in addition.

93

“Pretty”Paul was pretty upset.
Meaning: Quite; very. 

Additional Note: This is not to be confused with the adjective “pretty,” which means “beautiful” or “lovely.” As an adverb, it’s used to express that something is done (or felt) to a great extent.

94

“Extremely”Be careful, the plate is extremely hot.
Meaning: Very; quite; to a great extent.

95

“Terribly”1) She missed him terribly.
2) Joe did terribly on his math test.
Meaning: 
1) A lot; very much.
2) In a very poor manner.

96

“Awfully”I can be awfully shy.
Meaning: To a great extent, especially in a way that’s not desired.

97

“Tremendously”Nelson was tremendously cautious.
Meaning: To a very great extent.

The following three adverbs are similar to each other and mean the same thing. They’re used interchangeably, and the one you hear most often will depend on where you are in the United States! 

98

“A bit”He was feeling a bit sick.
Meaning: Not much.

99

“A little”I’ll have a little dessert.
Meaning: Not much.

100

A tadHe was a tad worried.
Meaning: Not much.

Keep in mind that you may also hear combinations of the three adverbs above: “a little bit” and “a tad bit.” These mean the same thing and are also used interchangeably.

101

“Relatively”The room is relatively dark.
Meaning: To some extent; when compared with something related. 

Additional Note: This adverb can be a little difficult to understand. In the example sentence, the room can be considered dark when compared to other rooms nearby that may be lighter.

102

“Slightly”The measurements are slightly off.
Meaning: Not much; a little.

103

“Somewhat”She’s somewhat comfortable in her new job.
Meaning: To some extent; not completely.

3. Use of Adverbs in English Sentences

1- Rules

Here’s a basic breakdown of how to use adverbs in English, in terms of placement in a sentence.

  • In general, adverbs go at the end of a sentence, after the subject and verb (S + V + A).
  • Sometimes, they can go in the middle of a sentence (S + A + V).
  • In an imperative sentence, adverbs can occasionally be placed at the beginning of a sentence (A + V) or (A + S).
  • On rare occasions, the adverb may be the only word in a sentence, as the context will make it a complete thought (A). This is usually done when using commands or directions.

2- Sample Sentences

1) Bob talks softly. [S + V + A]

2) Paula really loves her job. [S + A + V]

3) Quickly, escape! OR Quickly, Sarah! [A + V or A + S]

4) Carefully! [A]

4. Finally…

You just went over more than 100 adverbs in English. Some of them actually have the same basic meaning! Adverbs really aren’t too difficult to pick up with enough practice and consistent study. Be sure to refer to this adverbs list as often as you need. And try using some of these English adverbs in your next conversation or written assignment! 

Students Chatting on Grass

If you want to dig into some more adverbs, EnglishClass101.com has a separate vocabulary list on the topic, with relevant images and audio pronunciations! Further, to continue learning about the different parts of speech in English, be sure to check out our other articles:

We know that English grammar and vocabulary can be a lot to take in! But know that your hard work and determination will pay off, and EnglishClass101 will be here with constant support and all the learning tools you’ll ever need. Create a free lifetime account today, and learn English like never before!

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English Keyboard: How to Install and Type in English

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You asked, so we provided—easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up your electronic devices to write in English! We’ll also give you a few excellent tips on how to use this keyboard, as well as some online and app alternatives if you prefer not to set up a English keyboard.

Log in to Download Your Free English Alphabet Worksheet Table of Contents
  1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in English
  2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for English
  3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer
  4. How to Change the Language Settings to English on Your Computer
  5. Activating the English Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet
  6. English Keyboard Typing Tips
  7. How to Practice Typing English

1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in English

A keyboard

Learning a new language is made so much easier when you’re able to read and write/type it. This way, you will:

  • Get the most out of any dictionary and English language apps on your devices
  • Expand your ability to find English websites and use the various search engines
  • Be able to communicate much better online with your English teachers and friends, and look super cool in the process! 

2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for English

A phone charging on a dock

It takes only a few steps to set up any of your devices to read and type in English. It’s super-easy on your mobile phone and tablet, and a simple process on your computer.

On your computer, you’ll first activate the onscreen keyboard to work with. You’ll only be using your mouse or touchpad/pointer for this keyboard. Then, you’ll need to change the language setting to English, so all text will appear in English. You could also opt to use online keyboards instead. Read on for the links!

On your mobile devices, it’s even easier—you only have to change the keyboard. We also provide a few alternatives in the form of online keyboards and downloadable apps.

However, because the UK and US keyboards are different, we’ll explain each part twice, once for the English (UK) keyboard and once for the English (US) keyboard.

3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer

1- Mac

1. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Check the option “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in Menu Bar.”

3. You’ll see a new icon on the right side of the main bar; click on it and select “Show Keyboard Viewer.”

A screenshot of the keyboard viewer screen

2- Windows

1. Go to Start > Settings > Easy Access > Keyboard.

2. Turn on the option for “Onscreen Keyboard.”

3- Online Keyboards

If you don’t want to activate your computer’s onscreen keyboard, you also have the option to use online keyboards. Here are some good options for UK:

And for the US:

4- Add-ons of Extensions for Browsers

Instead of an online keyboard, you could also choose to download a Google extension to your browser for a language input tool. The Google Input Tools extension allows users to use input tools in Chrome web pages, for example.

4. How to Change the Language Settings to English on Your Computer

Man looking at his computer

Now that you’re all set to work with an onscreen keyboard on your computer, it’s time to download the English language pack for your operating system of choice:

  • Windows 8 (and higher)
  • Windows 7
  • Mac (OS X and higher)

1- Windows 8 (and higher) (UK)

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Change PC Settings” > “Time & Language” > “Region & Language.”
  2. Click on “Add a Language” and select “English (United Kingdom).” This will add it to your list of languages. It will appear as English (United Kingdom) with the note “language pack available.”
  3. Click on “English (United Kingdom)” > “Options” > “Download.” It’ll take a few minutes to download and install the language pack.
  4. As a keyboard layout, you’ll only need the one marked as “English (United Kingdom).” You can ignore other keyboard layouts.

2- Windows 8 (and higher) (US)

  1. Go to “Settings “> “Change PC Settings” > “Time & Language” > “Region & Language.”
  2. Click on “Add a Language” and select “English (United States).” This will add it to your list of languages. It will appear as English (United States) with the note “language pack available.”
  3. Click on “English (United States)” > “Options” > “Download.” It’ll take a few minutes to download and install the language pack.
  4. As a keyboard layout, you’ll only need the one marked as “US.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts.

3- Windows 7 (UK)

  1. Go to “Start” > “Control Panel” > “Clock, Language, and Region.”
  2. On the “Region and Language” option, click on “Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods.”
  3. On the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, click on “Change Keyboards” > “Add” > “English (United Kingdom).”
  4. Expand the option of “English (United Kingdom)” and then expand the option “Keyboard.” Select the keyboard layout marked as “English (United Kingdom).” You can ignore other keyboard layouts. Click “OK” and then “Apply.”

4- Windows 7 (US)

  1. Go to “Start” > “Control Panel” > “Clock, Language, and Region.”
  2. On the “Region and Language” option, click on “Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods.”
  3. On the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, click on “Change Keyboards” > “Add” > “English (United States).”
  4. Expand the option of “English (United States)” and then expand the option “Keyboard.” Select the keyboard layout marked as “US.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts. Click “OK” and then “Apply.”

5- Mac (OS X and higher) (UK)

If you can’t see the language listed, please make sure to select the right option from System Preferences > Language and Region

  1. From the Apple Menu (top left corner of the screen) go to “System Preferences” > “Keyboard.”
  2. Click the “Input Sources” tab and a list of available keyboards and input methods will appear.
  3. Click on the plus button, select “English,” and add the “British” keyboard. The “British – PC” keyboard can be used if you’re either using a non-Apple keyboard or are more used to those.

6- Mac (OS X and higher) (US)

  1. From the Apple Menu (top left corner of the screen) go to “System Preferences” > “Keyboard.”
  2. Click the “Input Sources” tab and a list of available keyboards and input methods will appear.
  3. Click on the plus button, select “English,” and add the “U.S.” keyboard.
Adding a system language

5. Activating the English Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet

Texting and searching in English will greatly help you master the language! Adding a English keyboard on your mobile phone and/or tablet is super-easy.

You could also opt to download an app instead of adding a keyboard. Read on for our suggestions.

Below are the instructions for both iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets.

1- iOS (UK)

  1. Go to “Settings” > “General” > “Keyboard.”
  2. Tap “Keyboards” and then “Add New Keyboard.”
  3. Select “English (United Kingdom)” from the list.
  4. When typing, you can switch between languages by tapping and holding on the icon to reveal the keyboard language menu.

2- iOS (US)

  1. Go to “Settings” > “General” > “Keyboard.”
  2. Tap “Keyboards” and then “Add New Keyboard.”
  3. Select “English (U.S.)” from the list.
  4. When typing, you can switch between languages by tapping and holding on the icon to reveal the keyboard language menu.

3- Android (UK)

  1. Go to “Settings” > “General Management” > “Language and Input” > “On-screen Keyboard” (or “Virtual Keyboard” on some devices) > “Samsung Keyboard.”
  2. Tap “Language and Types” or “+ Select Input Languages” depending on the device, and then “MANAGE INPUT LANGUAGES” if available.
  3. Select “English (UK)” from the list.
  4. When typing, you can switch between languages by swiping the space bar.

4- Android (US)

  1. Go to “Settings” > “General Management” > “Language and Input” > “On-screen Keyboard” (or “Virtual Keyboard” on some devices) > “Samsung Keyboard.”
  2. Tap “Language and Types” or “+ Select Input Languages” depending on the device, and then “MANAGE INPUT LANGUAGES” if available.
  3. Select “English (United States)” from the list.
  4. When typing, you can switch between languages by swiping the space bar.

3- Applications for Mobile Phones

If you don’t want to add a keyboard on your mobile phone or tablet, these are a few good apps to consider.

UK:

US:

6. English Keyboard Typing Tips

Typing in English can be very challenging at first! Therefore, we added here a few useful tips to make it easier to use your English keyboard.

A man typing on a computer

1- Computer

  1. To capitalise letters, you can either press the ‘caps lock’ button, or hold shift and then press the letter.
  2. You can get the Euro sign (€) by pressing ‘AltGr’ and ‘4 ‘(Windows) or ‘Option,’ ‘Alt,’ and ‘3’ (Mac). (for UK users)
  3. You can get the US Dollar sign ($) by holding down “Shift” and then pressing “4.” (for US users)
  4. The default for changing keyboard language/layout on Windows is to press ‘Left Alt’ and ‘Shift.’

2- Mobile Phones

  1. Many mobile keyboards will automatically capitalise new sentences.
  2. If you tap a double space after a word, the mobile keyboard will input a full stop.
  3. Pressing and holding a vowel will let you choose accented vowels.

7. How to Practice Typing English

As you probably know by now, learning English is all about practice, practice, and more practice! Strengthen your English typing skills by writing comments on any of our lesson pages, and our teacher will answer. If you’re a EnglishClass101 Premium PLUS member, you can directly text our teacher via the My Teacher app—use your English keyboard to do this!

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