Grammar Mondays: questions 3

Améliorez votre anglais avec nos astuces de grammaire chaque lundi!

If you want to ask a question about the past, simply put the auxiliary in the past!

Instead of saying in the present: Do you like bananas? Say in the past: Did you like bananas? And hey presto! You’ve asked a question about the past.

Here are some more examples:

  • Did you take out the trash?
  • Did Samantha finish her homework?
  • Did they send the papers on time?
  • Did we have a meeting this morning?

Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments or by email!

Grammar Mondays: questions 2

Boostez votre grammaire anglaise avec notre série : Grammar Mondays. Suivez notre blog chaque semaine pour des astuces sur la grammaire et le vocabulaire en anglais !

People often stumble (have trouble) over questions in English, but the rule is quite simple: you need to use an auxiliary in the first instance, (do/does) followed by the subject of the question, (you, she, they, etc.) and then the verb you want to use in its infinitive (unconjugated) form. You don’t need to conjugate the verb because the auxiliary (do/does) is already conjugated.

Do this anytime you want to ask a question in English, except when using certain modal verbs (can, could, may, might, must, will, would) and be. This means that we use an auxiliary for most questions asked in English!

Are you ready for some examples?

  • Do you like hot chocolate in winter?
  • Does your sister train everyday?
  • Do you buy your shoes at the mall?
  • Do these come in my size?
  • Does Fred know we start at 10am?
  • Do we have to wear these stupid hats?
  • Do they know we’re coming?
  • Does Karina have the file with her?

These are the simplest questions you could ask, and they generally require only a one work answer: yes or no.

If you’d like to add a question word or phrase (who, what, when, where, how much, what time, etc.) you put it in front of the auxiliary (do/does). Eg.: Where do you buy your clothes? But more on that next week!

Do you have any questions? Leave them in the comments if you do!

Grammar Mondays: questions 1

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Questions in English don’t have to be difficult, but the word order often causes problems for learners. Here are some simple tips:

  1. If you want to use a question word or phrase (in bold), like: who, what, how much, how many people, which train, how, etc., you always put it 1st. Here are some examples:

How many people are you taking?

Who is your favourite celebrity?

2) After the question word or phrase, you stick in your verb « be » followed by the subject and the rest of your question!

Which seat is yours?

Which train is she getting?

3) Of course, you don’t always need a question word or phrase:

Is this your cookie?

Are you sick?

Am I going with you?

4) Remember, if you’re using the verb be and you want to ask a question, just invert! If you need to use something like: who, what, when, where… be sure to put that in the front.

That’s it! Do you have any questions? Do you need to practice? Why not sign up for our conversation classes twice a week for only 60€/month!


Grammar Mondays: modals 6

Améliorez votre anglais avec nos Grammar Mondays; chaque semaine, une nouvelle astuce avec Groupetude !

The modal may is used to express two things: politeness and possibility.

In terms of possibility, it can replace might, though might is more commonly used than may in this context.

More often, school children learn that may is used for good manners. For example, rather than using the modal can when asking for something, use may:

  • May I have another cookie please?
  • May I go to the bathroom? (A child asking at school.)
  • May I leave the table?
  • May I? (Said simply when it is obvious what the question is, for example, when you’re indicating that you’d like to offer your help.)
  • How may I help you? (If you’re a shop assistant speaking to a customer.)

Do you have any questions? Leave them in the comments, or email me directly!

Grammar Mondays: modals 5

Améliorez votre grammaire anglaise avec nos astuces tous les lundis !

Might reflects possibility. We use this modal if we are unsure that something will or will not happen.

For example, if you’re unsure of your plans for the evening, you could say: I might go out, but I’m not sure.

If you’re unsure if you’d like to go out, you could also say: I might not go tonight, we’ll see.

Whether you use the affirmative or negative form is really up to you and how you want to spin your sentence. Do you want to emphasize that you might NOT do something (you’re leaning towards no)? Or that you might do something (you’re leaning towards yes)?

Give it a try, and don’t forget, if you have questions, give us a shout!

Grammar Mondays: modals 4

Améliorez votre grammaire anglaise avec Groupetude chaque lundi.

We often use should to offer advice, or indicate something that is good or not good to do.

Should is never conjugated, and is used with another verb, in the infinitive.

Here are some more examples:

  • Mary should play more often if she wants to get better.
  • You should see your doctor every year for a health check up.
  • People should pay more attention to their diets.
  • You should exercise regularly.

In question form, simply invert the modal and the subject:

  • Should I take these pills with a meal?
  • Should you be doing that?
  • Should we leave now?
  • Shouldn’t you be at the theatre by now?

Have you got any questions? Be sure to leave them in the comments!

Grammar Mondays: modals

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Have to is also a modal verb, though unlike the others, we must conjugate it in whatever tense you intend to use.

It indicates an obligation to do something, if used in the affirmative. So:

  • Amber has to play the guitar every day. = Amber must play the guitar every day.

However, in the negative, it indicates a lack of obligation:

  • Amber doesn’t have to do the laundry at home, her mom takes care of it. = Amber doesn’t need to do the laundry.

This rule is opposed to « must » which, in the negative, indicates that something is not allowed. For example, if someone says, « You mustn’t run by the poolside. » This means that you’re not allowed to run by the poolside.

Have you got any questions? Leave them in the comments and we’ll get back to you!

Grammar Mondays: modals 2

Suivez nos conseils de grammaire chaque lundi !

Must reflects an obligation. It is usually used to talk about rules or prohibitions. For example:

  • You mustn’t run by the pool.
  • You must wear a helmet when you ride your bike.
  • Pupils must raise their hand when they want a turn to speak.
  • A receptionist must answer the phone when it rings.
  • You mustn’t go swimming immediately after a meal.

Now it’s your turn, try to think of three things you must do, and three things you musn’t do.

Grammar Mondays: modals 1

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Many people struggle with modal verbs because they seem scary. But they’re not so bad, really!

The rules are quite simple:

  • Modal verbs are never conjugated.
  • In a question, they don’t need an auxiliary.
  • They always need a supporting verb in a sentence, and that verb is never conjugated.

So here are some examples with the modal can:

  • My dog, Charlie, can jump very high.
  • Can you help me with this?
  • I can hop on one leg!

Do you have any questions? Drop me a line or join our Facebook group: and ask there, we’ll get back to you ASAP!

Grammar Mondays: adjectives 8

Improve your English grammar with our tip of the week!

As you may have noticed, there are many ways to compare things in English. So here’s just one more!

Using the « as…as » formula is very useful when you want to compare two things that have the same quality. Often, children compare their heights in this way. They might stand on a chair and say to their mom or dad: « I’m as tall as you! » Or they might compare themselves to their peers: « Jenny’s not as tall as me. »

There’s also a film from the late 90’s with Jack Nicholson: As Good as It Gets.

Here are a few more examples:

  • My husband doesn’t like his job as much as I like mine.
  • Our games aren’t as good as our friends’ games.
  • My cats are as big as my dog.
  • The day is as beautiful as it was yesterday.
  • You are as beautiful as the first day I met you.
  • It’s not as hot as yesterday.

Got any examples of your own? Leave them in the comments!