Scared or Scary?

Don’t say: 
– I’m too scary to go bungee jumping.
– He was scary of the loud noise.

Say this:
– I’m too scared to go bungee jumping.
– He was scared of the loud noise.

Remember:

  • Scared (used as an adjective) is a feeling – similar to afraid.  I feel scared.  She is scared of bees.
  • Scary is the reason for this feeling.  Going bungee jumping is scary.  Sharks are scary.

Never Say “I no have…”

Don’t Say Say This
I no have time today. I don’t have time today.
I no have his phone number. I don’t have his phone number.
I no have to work tomorrow. I don’t have to work tomorrow.
I no have to work yesterday. I didn’t have to work yesterday.

Remember

  • Never, Never say “I no have
  • For present tense, say “I don’t have…”
    • I don’t have any money.  I don’t have patience with my kids.  I don’t have to go to Boston.  I don’t have a headache.
    • Here are 25,000 more examples of “I don’t have” in American conversational speech on Youglish.com
  • For past tense, say “I didn’t have…”
    • I didn’t have school last week.  I didn’t have many friends when I was young.  I didn’t have electricity in my house until 8:00.  I didn’t have to shovel the driveway.
    • Here are 5,000 more examples of “I didn’t have”

How Old Are You?

Don’t say: 
How many years have you?
I have 34 years.

How many years has your daughter?
– My daughter has 6 years.

– Her baby has 4 months.

Say this:
How old are you?
I am 34. (or – I am 34 years old. or – I’m 34.  )

How old is your daughter?
– My daughter is 6. (or – My daughter is 6 years old.)

– Her baby is 4 months. (or – Her baby is 4 months old.)

Remember:

  • When talking about how old someone (or something) is, use the verb “to be” – not the verb “to have
    • My twins are 5. (or – My twins are 5 years old.)
    • My car is 10 years old.
  • Future: Her son will be 5 on Friday.
    • or – Her son will be 5 years old on Friday.
  • The word “turn” is often used when an age changes
    • Her son will turn 5 on Friday.
    • I turned 30 yesterday.
  • Exception: If the person comes after the age in the sentence, then you do use the verb “to have”.
    • My daughter is 6 years old.  I have a 6 year old daughter. (not: I have a 6 years old daughter.)
    • Her son is 7.  She has a 7 year old son.
    • Our cat is 4 years old.  We have a 4 year old cat.

Here’s another YouTube video with more information on talking about age.

I Was Born

Don’t say: 
I born in Brazil.
My son borned in January.
Her baby borned last summer.
When your baby borned?.

Say this:
I was born in Brazil.
My son was born in January.
Her baby was born last summer.
When was your baby born?.

Remember:

  • When talking about the birth of a new baby, always use was born (for a birth in the past).
  • Future: Her baby will be born in February.
  • Question: Where was your baby born?
  • Infinitive:  I want my baby to be born in Boston.

 

 

Don’t Say (or Write) “Differents”

Don’t say: 
– There are many differents flavors.
– I went to the market and bought some differents things.
– I like to meet people from differents countries.

Say this:
– There are many different flavors.
– I went to the market and bought some different things.
– I like to meet people from different countries.

Remember:

  • Different is an adjective, which describes a noun.  “Three”, “blue”, “happy”, and “strong” are all adjectives.
  • Adjectives are always singular, even when the noun they modify is plural.
  • You would not say: “I saw two blues cars.”  or “There are many strongs women.”
  • Say: I saw two blue cars.  There are many strong women.
    I have a different idea.  I have two different ideas.
  • There is an English word that sounds very similar to differents – It’s “difference“,  which is a noun that describes what is different between one person/thing and another.

Questions with Do and Does (Present Tense)

Don’t say: 
Where you work?
What she likes to eat?
How much it costs?
Why they come late every day?
What this means?

Say this:
Where do you work?
What does she like to eat?
How much does it cost?
Why do they come late every day?
What does this mean?

Remember – for Present Tense Questions:

  • Include do or does as an auxiliary verb with most main verbs
    • Use do with I, you, we, they
    • Use does with he, she, it
  • The main exceptions include:
    • Verb to be (Is he happy? not: Does he happy? not: Does he is happy?)
    • Modals like can/could/should (Can you drive a truck?  not: Do you can drive a truck?)
  • When you use do/does as auxiliary verb in a question, the main verb is always in its base form
    • like“, not “likes”  (base verb is to like)
    • cost“, not “costs” (base verb is to cost)
  • Look here to review the correct order of words in a question

Remind vs. Remember

Don’t Say
Remember me to make a doctor’s appointment tomorrow.
– That song remembers me of our trip to Cape Cod.
– I reminded that I have to work on Tuesday.
– I reminded to pick up milk at the store.

Say This:
Remind me to make a doctor’s appointment tomorrow.
– That song reminds me of our trip to Cape Cod.
– I remembered that I have to work on Tuesday.
– I remembered to pick up milk at the store.

Remember (Don’t forget):

  • Remember  
    • is the opposite of “forget”
    • Remember is something you think about from your own memory – it’s internal
    • Remember + something
      • I remembered your birthday.
      • I remember the first day we met.
    • Remember + to (She remembered to call her mother.)
    • Remember + that (I remembered that there is no school today.)
    • YouGlish examples of remember (also remembers and remembered)
  • Remind
    • Remind is to help someone remember something – it’s external
    • Remind + someone + to
      • Carla, please remind me to do my homework
      • I have to remind my father to take his medicine.
    • Remind + someone + of
      • That smell reminds me of springtime.
      • That dog reminded me of the dog I had when I was a boy.
    • YouGlish examples of remind (also reminds and reminded)

Below is more explanation especially for Portuguese speakers (one here for Spanish speakers, and one more for everyone)

Floor vs. Ground

Don’t Say
– (In your kitchen) I dropped a glass on the ground.
– (In your son’s bedroom) Please pick up all your dirty clothes from the ground.
– (In a parking lot) I found $20 on the floor.
– (At a park) I’m throwing bread on the floor for the birds.

Say This:
– (In your kitchen) I dropped a glass on the floor.
– (In your son’s bedroom) Please pick up all your dirty clothes from the floor.
– (In a parking lot) I found $20 on the ground.
– (At a park) I’m throwing bread on the ground for the birds.

Remember:

  • Inside – Use floor  
  • Outside – Use ground  
  • but… what is a “ground floor”??
    • The ground floor of a tall building is usually the same as the ‘first floor’ – at the ground level.