Word order: Where to place the adverb.


English has very strict word order rules. Many frequent time adverbs such as frequency adverbs (always, usually, never) or adverbs that indicate completion of tasks (already, still) must be placed between the auxiliary verb and the main verb:

subj  +  aux  +    ADV   +    verb
I             have   ALWAYS    been
we         don't    USUALLY   go

In cases where there is no auxiliary verb, such as affirmative sentences in simple present and simple past, they are placed between the subject and the main verb:

subj  +  aux  +    ADV   +    verb
you                     NEVER     say
she                   ALREADY  arrived

If the only verb is the verb to be, it will work as an auxiliary verb. Therefore, adverbs will come after:

subj  +  aux  +    ADV   +    verb
they         are       STILL                     at home
she            is       ALSO                     a great person

Any, Anything, Anyone, Some, Something and Someone



Grammar explanation


Some, Something and Someone are used in affirmative sentences.
Any, Anything, Anyone are used in negative sentences.
Questions:
- Can I have/get SOME ... ? Can you give me SOME ... ? (There's certainly SOME of it.)
- Do you have ANY ... ? Is there ANY ... ? (We're not certain whether there's ANY of it.)

Some and Any come along with nouns: some water, any idea, some people, any problem.
**Exception: Do you have any friends in town? Yes, I have SOME. I don't have ANY. (No need to repeat friends. It's obvious.)
Something and Anything come alone and represent things: I want to eat something (=some food). I didn't understand anything (=any word/idea).
Someone and Anyone come alone and represent people: Someone is knocking the door (=some person). I didn't know anyone at the party (=any person).

Exercise:


I don't know ...... about economics.
She doesn't have ... cash but I have .... .
I know .... who can give you ... help.
Do you have .... euro coins? Sorry, I don't have .... .
Can I get ... biscuits? Sure, take ... .
She said ... , but I didn't understand ... word.
It's a secret. Please don't say ... to ... !

Check the answers in the comment section.

How to read in English more often


How often do you read blogs, novels, non-fiction books or tutorials? Can you start reading them in English?

Most of these resources are easy to find in English. By reading them, you'll learn a lot of vocabulary without looking up words in a dictionary, just out of the context. That's the natural way of learning a language. Complicated grammar structures you learnt at school but never mastered will be slowly memorised through repetition. It will also help you sharply improve your speaking and listening.

Texts in English


Blogs and magazines: Think of all the topics you like reading about, and search on Google the main English-written websites about them. Make all new updates come to you automatically through social media like Facebook or Twitter, or my favourite choice, RSS readers such as Feedly.

Books: Buy books in English on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk. You can save good money if you buy second-hand paperback copies. They will likely be cheaper than the same books in your own language at your local bookshop.

In case your level is too low, get Penguin or MacMillan books adapted to English learners, or borrow them in a local library. Tutorials and non-fiction books are usually easier than fiction, for its lack of slang and stylish writing.

Online tutorials: Learn to play music instruments, games or other hobbies online. There are endless resources up there!

What to do when you read


1. Don't look up every word you don't know in a dictionary, only the ones that repeat frequently or are relevant to the story. Most times you can simply go ahead without missing the point of the story, or just figuring out the meaning for its context.

2. Underline words and grammar structures you may already know but hardly ever use. Once you finish the book, go over it to review and practice them. Make up sentences of your own with this new vocabulary.

3. Use a piece of paper to take notes, such as best ideas or your own insights. It can also do as a bookmarker. It's good for your writing.

4. It's not all about comprehension, you also have to pronounce properly. Make sure that that voice in your brain sounds like that of an English speaker. Don't pause after every single word. Link words and create a natural rhythm instead. It'll be great for your speaking and listening.