Pick Up

Don’t Say Say This
Pick it up the pencil.
or Pick up it.
Pick up the pencil.
or – Pick the pencil up.
or – Pick it up.
I’m going to pick it up my daughter. I’m going to pick up my daughter.
or – I’m going to pick my daughter up.
I’m going to pick up her/she. I’m going to pick her up.

Remember

  • to pick up is a “phrasal verb” (a two-word verb).  The most common meanings are:
    1. To lift something/someone from a surface
      Ex: He picked up his book.
    2. To meet someone and take them with you.
      Ex: I have to pick up my kids after school.
  • You can pick something up – or – pick up something
    Ex: Pick up the package.  or  Pick the package up.
  • But – You can only use a pronoun in the middle – between “pick” and “up”
    You can Pick her up or Pick it up.
    Incorrect: Pick up it. or Pick up her.
  • Also, Don’t use the noun and its pronoun together.
    Pick up the phone. – or – Pick the phone up. -or- Pick it up.
    But NOT: Pick it up the phone.
  • There are some other meanings of this phrasal verb too.
  • You can see pick up used as part of a conversation in many examples from YouGlish below.  You can press the Next Track button   to see another example.

Visit YouGlish.com

Supposed To

Don’t Say Say This
I supposed to work tomorrow. I am supposed to work tomorrow.
My sister suppose be here for dinner. My sister is supposed to be here for dinner.
I suppose be here early this morning? Was I supposed to be here early this morning?
My son no suppose to go outside today. My son is not supposed to go outside today.

Remember

  • The phrase supposed to means expected to, or required to.  Used this way…
    1. It must include the verb to-be before it (I am supposed to…  He is supposed to….)
    2. Supposed is spelled with a d at the end, but that doesn’t mean it’s past tense (He is/was supposed to…)
    3. It is followed by the main verb of the sentence (My father is supposed to fly to Boston tomorrow.)
  • To be supposed to is similar to Have to, and Ought to
    • Supposed to – something expected or required – but it might not happen
      (Ex: I was supposed to be home for dinner, but the traffic made me late.)
    • Have to – similar to must.  There is no choice.
      (Ex: I have to stop at a red light.)
    • Ought to – similar to should.
      (Ex: You ought to stop smoking.)
  • To be supposed to is different from the verb suppose.  Suppose means to presume, or think something is true.
    (Ex: I suppose she’s happy, but I’m not sure.)

How Big is My Vocabulary?

test-your-vocab  There is a website called testyourvocab.com that helps give you an estimate of how many English words you know.  This is not exact, and mostly for fun.  But if you try it now, and then try it again after you have practiced a lot of English, you should see that your vocabulary has improved.

Suggestions for taking the test:

  • This is easier to use on a tablet or computer (rather than your phone)
  • Don’t check a word unless you really know it well.  If you just think it sounds familiar, don’t check it.
  • At the end, it will give you the number of words calculated for your vocabulary.  Save this number, and then compare it with the number you get when you take the test again.

Try to learn a new English word every day, and you’ll be pleased with how your vocabulary grows!

365 Short Stories

The website eslyes has a page with 365 very short stories.  Each one takes only a few minutes to read.  You can also listen to each story (in normal or slower speed).  After you read and listen to the story, there are several exercises you can try.

Here’s some more detail:

  • To listen in slow speed you need to press the speaker button to the right of the title.  
  • The number after each title in the list is the reading difficulty.  A higher number means it’s more difficult to read
  • Exercises include
    • Vocabulary
    • Yes/No questions about the story
    • Crossword puzzle
    • Dictation of some sentences in the story
    • Fill in the blank (Cloze)

Duolingo

duolingo-owl    Duolingo is one of the best ways to teach yourself English – for free.  It’s a good place to begin.  You can use it on your computer, smartphone, or tablet.
To use Duolingo:

  1. Go to the Duolingo website on your computer – or – download the app to your smartphone/tablet
    (Apple app store); (Google Play store)
  2. Follow the instructions to start a course
  3. Create a profile (username / password ) so that you can save your work
  4. If you find it helpful, try to use Duolingo for at least 10 minutes every day