say and tell, tell and say

Say and Tell – Learn their different meanings and uses

Say and tell – English learners often make mistakes with these verbs. There are situations where we can use either, but there are also situations where only one is correct.

Another tricky thing is the grammar patterns tell and say follow. Tell is followed by and object but say isn’t, so we say something but we tell someone something.

And finally there are some common expressions with tell where we don’t follow the normal rules. Learn all about them in this video and start using these verbs correctly.

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Say and tell video script

Vicki, great job with the Boston report. You’re a star! Jay, try to keep up with Vicki. She’s going places.
But I wrote the Boston report. You told her you wrote it?

In lots of situations we can use ‘say’ or ‘tell’ and there’s no difference in meaning.

Hey, if the bank manager calls, say I’m in New York.
But you’re not in New York. You’re here.
But tell her I’m in New York.
Ah!

So there’s no difference in meaning here, but notice the construction is different. After ‘tell’ we say who we’re telling.

So are we ready to start? Where’s Peter?
He told me he might be late.
Ah! And where’s Jay?
He said he might be late too.

So we say something but we tell someone something. Don’t forget that. OK. Now there are some situations where we use the verbs differently. Let’s look at some.

Ah ha! No kidding. All right. Wow!
Is that Scott? Say hi from me.
Vicki says ‘hi’.
Say thank you for the flowers.
Errr. She says ‘thank you for the flowers’. Oh, you’re welcome.
Say sorry about Friday.
Vicki says… Vicki, why don’t you talk to him?
Oh hi Scott! How are you?

We can’t use ‘tell’ here. We have to use ‘say’. So here’s an important thing about ‘say’. We use it with the words someone says. If you’re quoting someone, use ‘say’. Now what about ‘tell’?

Officer, can you tell me what time it is?
Err yeah. It’s two fifteen.

Excuse me. Could you tell me the way to City Hall?

We use ‘tell’ when we’re talking about information or instructions.

Could you tell me the way to City Hall?
Oh sure. You want to go three blocks that way. When you get to the traffic light, turn right. At the stop sign turn left immediately. Go round the circle and into the tunnel.
Thank you. Did you understand what he said?

It’s not just people that can tell us things. We can get information in other ways too.

Now for you folks who’ve never been up on a flight deck before, this is it, and here are the controls. The air speed indicator tell us how fast we’re going. The altimeter tells us how high we are.

So ‘tell’ has another meaning. When we know things because we can see signs, we can tell.

You’ve been lying in the sun again, haven’t you?
How could you tell?

Telling’ is like ‘knowing’ here. This question means how did you know?

Brrr. It’s so cold today.
Yes. It’s a bit chilly.
It’s twenty five degrees. What would that be in England?
Oooh, minus something. But how did you know I was English?
Well, I could tell by your accent.
Oh!

So when we know things because we can recognise signs, we can tell.

Most people fall in love quite a few times in their lives.
Well then, how can you tell when you’re really in love?
Well, I’ll have to think about that.

It’s time to review. Which verb do we use with the words someone says? We use ‘say’. And what about information and instructions? We use ‘tell’. And what about the different sentence constructions? We tell someone something but we say something. Did you remember that? Good!
Then it’s time to look at some special expressions. We normally say who we’re telling after the verb ‘tell’, but there are a few special cases where we don’t have to. Let’s look at some situations and see if you can complete some phrases. Are you ready?

Lola, you’re so tired. Let’s take you up to bed. Can you tell me a story first?
Hmmm. It’s late but OK. Once upon a time there was a little girl…

Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Why don’t you answer him?
I don’t know what he’s saying.
He’s asking you if you’ll swear to tell the truth.
Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Certainly.

Do you want me to tell you a secret?
Yeah!
My daddy snores.

So this one’s Coke and this one’s Pepsi.
Err. I can’t tell the difference.

Did you get them right? Let’s check. We can tell stories. We can tell the truth and we can tell lies as well. We can tell secrets, and when two things are similar we can talk about telling the difference. And that’s it! Now you can tell when to use ‘say’ and when to use ‘tell’.

An English gardener in England was showing some Americans one of those wonderful English lawns.
And this English gardener said…
He said all you have to do is get some good grass and roll it every day for six hundred years. I heard that story before you were born. English men tell it when they’re feeing down in the mouth.

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try to do and try doing

Try to do and Try doing (gerunds and infinitives)

‘Try’ is a special verb in English because we can follow it with either a gerund (ing form) or infinitive. However the meaning changes.
Watch the video and learn how ‘try to do’ is different from ‘try doing’.

Watch videos about some other verbs that can be followed by gerunds and infinitives. Learn how their meanings change.
used to do – be used to doing
stop to do – stop doing
Click here to watch more grammar videos

Try to do or Try doing script

What are you doing?
Oh, I’m trying to learn to touch type.
But what are all the stickie notes for?
Oh, I’m trying not to look at the keys.
Good luck with that.

The verb ‘try’ can be followed by an infinitive form or a gerund and the two structures have very similar meanings. In fact they’re so similar that in some situations you can use either.

Have you spoken to Rachel? No I tried calling her but the line was busy.
Have you spoken to Rachel? No I tried to call her but the line was busy.

In both cases Jay wanted to speak to Rachel. ‘I tried calling’ means he thought phoning might be the way to do it. I tried to call’ means he made an effort – made an attempt to speak to her.
So the difference is very subtle – very small. ‘Try doing’ is about getting results, achieving a successful outcome. Try to do’ is about making an effort.

I’m trying to change this lightbulb but I can’t reach.

We often use ‘try to do’ when we think something is hard.

We’re trying to do this jigsaw, but it’s very difficult.

What’s a frog’s favourite drink?
Jay, I’m busy.
Croak-a-Cola. Did you know cows have four stomachs?
Jay, I’m trying to work.

So we use ‘try to’ when an action iteself is hard. When an action is easy but we don’t know if it will achieve the result we want, we use ‘try doing’.

What do you think?
It’s a bit tasteless.
Try adding some salt.
OK.

Adding salt is easy, so the issue here is will salt make it better. Try doing’ is about experimenting to find something that works.

The television’s not working. Try plugging it in. Oh.

We often use ‘trying doing’ when there’s a problem and we’re suggesting a possible solution.

Coming?
I want to finish my coffee. It’s hot.
Try putting some ice in it.
Good idea.

I do wish you’d try going out with some of the other boys as well as Geoff.
Why? Mother I like Geoff a lot.
I know dear. I like him too. But after all, there are other boys in the world.

So ‘try to do’ – make an effort. ‘Try doing’ – experiment. You can see both forms in this sentence here. Learning to touch type is hard. You have to make an effort. Perhaps sticky notes will help, or perhaps not. They’re an experiment. One last example.

What are you doing?
I’m trying to get a paper ball into Kathy’s trash can.
Oh well done!
Can I try?
Sure.
OK. Here we go.
Try rolling it into a smaller ball.
OK.

Click here to watch this video with a clickable transcript
Watch videos about some other verbs that can be followed by gerunds and infinitives. Learn how their meanings change.
used to do – be used to doing
stop to do – stop doing
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working hard or hardly working

Hard and Hardly (adjectives and adverbs)

Are you working hard or hardly working? What’s the difference?
Learn how to use the words hard and hardly correctly and avoid a common mistake.

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Be careful with these words. If you use them wrongly, you might say the opposite of what you mean.
The adjective ‘hard’ has several different meanings. One meaning is solid and firm. Rocks are hard. A chair can be hard. Another meaning of ‘hard’ is difficult.

Crikey, this is hard. How many pieces are there?
A lot.

You’re starting a new career. It can be fun or it can be hard.

Tea or coffee?
I don’t know.
Oh come on.
It’s not a hard decision.
Errr tea. No coffee. No tea.

So things that are hard require a lot of thought or energy.

My that’s hard work. It takes so much time too. But that’s woman’s lot in life.

Hard work requires either physical strength or mental effort.
Now ‘hard’ is an adjective, but what about the adverb? That’s ‘hard’ too. The adjective and adverb forms are the same.
The adverb ‘hard’ means with energy or force.
It’s raining hard. It’s snowing hard. If we hit things hard it means we hit them with force.

And now in financial news the latest figures show that luxury car makers have been hit hard by the recession.

When we work hard, we work with energy. Students have to study hard to do well in school.

A man who’s willing to work, and I mean work hard, you show me a man like that and I’ll show you a guy who’s going places.

Now let’s look at another adverb: ‘hardly’. It has a very different meaning to ‘hard’. Hardly’ means almost not.

Oh, I’m so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open. Oh, I’m so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open.

There’s hardly any coffee left. There’s hardly any coffee left.

OK, bye. I make most of my calls with my cell phone these days. I hardly ever use the land line. I make most of my calls with my cell phone theses days. I hardly ever use the land line.

And I have here a fourteen carat seventeen jewel timepiece. And that’s only right because the man I’m giving it to is a fourteen carat seventeen jewel cashier.
It’s a very beautiful watch Chris.
Speech, speech. Speak up Chris, speak up. Come on Chris. Speech.
Well, I err… I hardly know what to say J.J. This er…. Why, it’s beautiful.

So let’s review. When things require energy and effort, we say they’re hard. The adverb ‘hard’ means with energy or force. The adverb ‘hardly’ means something different. It means almost not.

Well, I err… I hardly know what to say J.J.

So we’re at the end of this lesson. It wasn’t so hard, was it? One more example.

So this is our office.
Very nice! Who’s this?
Oh that’s Jeannie. She’s one of our best employees. She works really hard.
And who’s that?
Ah, that’s Jay. Some days he hardly works at all.

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suggest and suggestions

Suggest – Learn How to use this Verb and Make Suggestions

Suggest is a tricky verb in English. We use it in lots of different grammatical structures, but there are some where we don’t use it as well.  For example, we might suggest doing something but we don’t say suggest to do or suggest me. These phrases are wrong.

Also when you want to make a suggestion, to sound natural, you might need to use a phrase without the verb suggest. Watch the video to see examples and avoid mistakes.

Click below to learn about some more useful verbs that are always or often followed by gerunds:
avoid and prevent
mind
try to do and try doing
stop to do and stop doing
be used to

‘Suggest’ video script

If you’re taking an exam like IELTS, TOEIC or TOEFL, this is a verb you’ll want to get right.

Where do you want to go for dinner tonight?
Why don’t we try the Chinese place?
Or how about Victor’s Bistro?
Good idea! Let’s book a table.

A lot of the time when we suggest things, we don’t use the verb ‘suggest’. We make suggestions with phrases like these instead.

Why don’t we try the Chinese place? Or how about Victor’s Bistro? Good idea! Let’s book a table.

Suggest’ is quite a formal word. We use it when we want to be explicit – so to be exact and clear that someone is making a suggestion.

What are you doing, Lola? Playing a game. I suggest you do your homework first, then play the game.
What are you doing, Lola? Playing a game. I suggest you do your homework first, then play the game.

How are we getting to the meeting? By car. You know, I’m worried about the traffic at that time of day.
Are you suggesting we take the train? Yes. OK. Vicki, can you book the tickets? Sure.
How are we getting to the meeting? By car. You know, I’m worried about the traffic at that time of day.
Are you suggesting we take the train? Yes. OK. Vicki, can you book the tickets? Sure.

There are a lot of mistakes in this report, Jay. Why don’t you do it again? Well, I could just change this and this. I suggest you do it again. Oh.
There are a lot of mistakes in this report, Jay. Why don’t you do it again? Well, I could just change this and this. I suggest you do it again. Oh.

We often use the word ‘suggest’ to report what someone said.

Hello? Oh hi, Jennifer.
Hey Jay. Can you send me that report?
I’m still working on it.
I thought you’d finished it.
Well Vicki suggested that I do it again.
Ah!

And here’s where it gets tricky. There are lots of different structures we can use to report what someone suggests.
All of these are correct. But there are structures that are wrong as well. Here are two mistakes you don’t want to make.
First, we don’t use an infinitive form after suggest. This is wrong.
Second, we can suggest something to someone, but we can’t suggest someone something.
These are the two mistakes students make most often, so let’s look at another example.

Or how about Victor’s Bistro? Good idea. Let’s book a table.

And don’t forget. When we make suggestions normally we don’t use the verb ‘suggest’. We use phrases like these.

OK, let’s open the office suggestion box.
Yeah!
Two suggestions!
That’s great.
Open the first one.
OK. ‘Why don’t we create a Facebook page for our company?’ I like this idea.
That’s a very good suggestion. Read the second one.
OK. ‘How about having casual dress days at the office every day of the week?’
Hmmm. That’s an interesting idea.
I wonder who suggested that.

Click here to watch this video with a clickable transcript
Click below to learn about some more useful verbs that are always or often followed by gerunds:
avoid and prevent
mind
try to do and try doing
stop to do and stop doing
be used to

Lay Lie – Lie Lay – What’s the difference?

Lay Lie – Lie Lay – What’s the difference?

Is it lay or lie? Even native English speakers sometimes have to think about this one, and sometimes they mix these verbs up. The two verbs mean different things, one takes and object and one doesn’t, and just to make things more tricky because the past tense of lie is lay.

Wow! That’s confusing, but we can help.


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Lay or Lie Video script

Native English speakers sometimes muddle these verbs up. Do you know the difference? Watch and see.

Um, so how old are you, Vicki?
I’m, umm… thirty two.
Really?

Lie’ has two meanings. If we lie we don’t tell the truth.

Can they help us?
No. What are we going to do?
I don’t know.
Is there a problem?
Oh no, no. We’re great.
You’re lying.
Yes. We’re lying.

In this meaning ‘lie’ is a regular verb: lie – lied – lied. Easy, huh? OK, let’s forget that meaning and look at another one.
This is Xsenia, and she’s lying down here. She’s in a horizontal or resting position.
This meaning is similar to the verb ‘lay’, but when we lay something we put it down.
Now here Xsenia is laying down Carter’s toys, placing them on the floor. So ‘lie’ means be horizontal and ‘lay’ means place something down.
So now it’s time for some grammar.

Are you OK?
No, I’ve got a headache.
Why don’t you go and lie down?

‘Lie’ is an intransitive verb and it has no object. We can lie on something. We can lie in something. We can lie under something, but we can’t lie something.
‘Lay’ is a transitive verbs so it has an object. We always lay something.
We can lay roads – build them by laying down asphalt. We can lay carpets – put them on the floor.
We can lay bricks to build walls. Birds lay eggs and then they sit on them till they hatch. In British English we lay the table.

Oh you’ve laid the table!
Thank you. In America we say set the table.
We can say that in British English too.

Hey! Stop that man. Put up your hands and lay down your weapon.

Now here’s a tip for when you’re not sure which verb to use. If you can also use the verb ‘place’ then the verb you need is ‘lay’.
So Jay lays his book on the couch – he places it there. Lay down your weapon – place it on the ground.
Now both of these verbs are irregular and here’s a tricky thing. Look at the past tense of ‘lie’. It’s lay. Urgh! Sometimes English is so confusing.
The good news is we rarely say ‘lain’ these days, so let’s forget about that. Trust me. You probably won’t need it.
Let’s start with ‘lie’ and we’ll look at these two verb forms first.

I’m tired. I think I’ll go and lie down. I didn’t sleep at all last night.
Really?
I lay awake all night.
I thought I heard you snoring.
Not me. It must have been Carter.

So ‘lie’ means be horizontal here, be in a resting position and the past form is lay. Now let’s look at two verb forms of ‘lay’.

Has the mail come?
Yes, I laid it on your desk.
Thank you.

Hey Vicki. Have you seen the dry cleaning?
Yes, I’ve laid it on the bed.
Ah, thank you.

So we have the past and the present perfect here and the verb form is laid in both tenses.
Now the most common mistake people make with these two verbs is they say ‘laying’ when they mean ‘lying’.
If something is just sitting somewhere, use the verb ‘lie’. Here are some examples.
After you have laid a book on the couch – placed it there – then it’s lying there, not laying there.

Have you seen my book?
I think I saw it lying on the couch.
Oh, thank you. Now how did it get there?

So is Jay lying or laying on the sofa here? Well first he lays down on the sofa – places himself there. But now he’s just lying down. He’s in a horizontal position, at rest.
If you see something lying on the ground, it’s just sitting or resting there. It’s only laying there if it’s doing something else, like it’s a chicken that’s laying eggs or something.
And that’s it. That’s the difference between ‘lie’ and ‘lay’. Now don’t forget, the past tense of ‘lie’ is lay.

We’re just back from holiday where I got a wonderful suntan. Unfortunately Jay lay in the sun too long.

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ed ing adjectives

ed and ing adjectives – Interested and Interesting

Some English adjectives have two forms, so they can end with ed and ing. The endings determine their meaning. For example, we use interested to say how we feel and interesting to describe the person or thing that causes the feeling.
Watch this video to learn about ing and ed adjectives and avoid a very common mistake.

ed and ing adjectives video script

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This is a very interesting book.
Uhuh.
And I’m very interesting in this book.
What?
This is a book about me!

There’s a mistake my students sometimes make that can be funny, or kind of embarrassing. So I’ve asked along an embarrassing version of myself to demonstrate.

I’m very interesting. Ooooo. Did I say that? How embarrassing!

What I could say is ‘I’m very interested’. ‘Interesting’ and ‘interested’ are both adjectives, so what’s the difference?

This baseball game is really interesting.

We use ‘interested’ to say how we feel. We use ‘interesting’ to describe the person or thing that causes the feeling. So an interesting speaker, an interesting creature, an interesting book.
Notice that ‘interesting’ doesn’t mean important or big. It can in some languages, but not English. Very interesting. We can be interested in a business proposition.

This is our first new product. What do you think?
No, sorry. Not interested.
OK, we also have this.
No, not interested.
How about this?
No, he’s definitely not interested.
Do you have any balls?
What?

I’ll offer you two a business proposition.
We’re not interested.
Well, you’ll be interested. Now, you’re a smart young man.
Don’t listen to him, Bruce.

Now something else. There are other adjectives that follow a similar pattern. Let’s look at one.

I’m very interesting. Ooooo. Did I say that? How embarrassing!

The mistake was embarrassing, so it made me feel embarrassed. Embarrassing’ describes the mistake. ‘Embarrassed’ describes how I felt. Let’s look at some more adjectives that follow the same pattern. See if you can spot them.

Will you stop doing that?
Doing what?
That. It’s very annoying.

Sorry I’m late. Let’s get started. Is Jay sleeping?
Sorry, Rachel, he had a very tiring morning.
I’m not tired. I was just thinking.
He thinks with his eyes shut.

Emily, do you know how to drive?
No, ma’am. Isn’t it exciting!

OK, Jay. Pick a card. Remember it. Right, Jase. Shuffle the cards. OK.
Jay, your card is the top card.
What? No way! That’s amazing!
Really?
Yeah.
How did you do that? I’m amazed.
Here they are again.

Will you stop doing that? Doing what? That. It’s very annoying.
He had a very tiring morning. I’m not tired. I was just thinking.
Isn’t it exciting! Jay, your card is the top card. What? No way! That’s amazing!
Really? Yeah. How did you do that? I’m amazed.

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for during or for

For and During – English time prepositions

We use both for and during to talk about time in English. So when do we say for and when do we say during? Learn the different meanings and uses of these prepositions in this video.

Click here to learn how we use the prepositions for and to to talk about purpose
Click here to learn how we use the time prepositions for and since
Click here to learn how to use the time prepositions by and until
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For and During video script

We went to the cinema last night.
It was great.
Jay’s phone rang during the movie.
It was only for a couple of seconds before I turned it off. It rang twice.

We use both of these prepositions to talk about time.

How do you turn this microphone on?
Like this.
Ah, thank you.
How long is your presentation?
I’ll speak for about three hours.
Ooo, three hours. And will you be taking questions during the talk?
No.
Ah.

During’ tells us when something happens, but it doesn’t tell us how long it happens. We use ‘for’ for that.

I’ll speak for about three hours. I won’t take questions during the presentation.

We use ‘during’ with nouns. We use ‘for’ with periods of time.

People are still cleaning up from Hurricane Delores last week.
DECO Energy reports two hundred thousand homes lost power during the hurricane.
Homes along the coast have been without electricity for a week.

During – when something happens.

Two hundred thousand homes lost power during the hurricane.

For – how long it lasts or continues.

Homes along the coast have been without electricity for a week.

This is the final boarding call for flight 7654 with services to….
Hey Vicki.
Yeah?
Could you put this in your bag?
I’ll try.
I want to sleep during the flight.
Uhuh.
Oh and could you put this in your bag?
OK, but you can’t use it during take off and landing.
I know, so could you put this in your bag?
Jay. It’s a short flight. We’ll only be in the air for forty minutes.

Click here to see this video with a clickable transcript
Click here to learn how we use the prepositions for and to to talk about purpose
Click here to learn how we use the time prepositions for and since
Click here to learn how to use the time prepositions by and until
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used to be used to get used to

Used to do, Be Used to something and Get Used to something

Used to – this can be a confusing structure in English.
We can use it to talk about past habits, and then we follow it with a verb. (used to do)
And we can also follow it with a noun, and then it means ‘accustomed to’. (be used to something)  Similarly we can say get used to and that to means growing or becoming accustomed to something.
Notice it’s be used to something. That something is a noun. If you want to put a verb there, you’ll need to use a gerund – so a noun form of a verb. (be/get used to doing something)
Watch the video to see lots of examples.

Used to and Be used to video script

Where are the tomatoes?
You mean the tomatoes.
He’s still getting used to my accent.

I’m Vicki and I’m British.
And I’m Jay and I’m American.
I used to live in Cambridge in England.
And I used to live in New York, but now we both live in Philadelphia.
It’s a great city.

Used to do: things that were true in the past, but not true now. So use ‘used to’ to talk about past habits.

When I was a kid, I used to play baseball. I loved it.
We didn’t play baseball in England, but my brothers used to play cricket.

Jay, try some of this.
What is it?
Marmite.
We used to eat it all the time when I was growing up in England.

Now, here’s the tricky thing. We also use ‘used to’ in another expression.
When we’re accustomed to something, we say we are used to it.

Can you pass the sellotape?
Huh?
She means the scotch tape.
Ah, it’s British English.
Yeah, I’m used to it now.

Ah, it’s British English.
Yeah, I’m used to it now.

Notice we use the verb ‘be’ here. We can also use the verb ‘get’, and that means growing accustomed to something.

Hey Jay, look at this.
I’ve got new glasses.
He’s still getting used to them.
Ah!

Have some more marmite Jay.
No thank you.
It’s nice when you get used to it.

OK, let’s compare the two structures. In England, people drive on the left hand side of the road. So I used to drive on the left when I lived there.
But now I live in the US, where people drive on the right. It was strange at first, and I had to get used to it.

I’m used to driving on the right side now.
Ah, but sometimes you forget and get in on the wrong side.
OK. I’m getting used to driving on the right – growing accustomed to it.

Just one more thing. ‘Used to’ is followed by a verb. ‘Be used to’ is followed by a noun.
So if you want to use a verb after ‘be used to’, you have to use a gerund, a noun form of the verb.

Coffee?
Oh, yes please.
Thank you.
Sure.
I’m used to drinking coffee in the mornings now. In England I used to drink tea.

Do you think we could sell marmite to Americans, Jay?
Americans are used to putting peanut butter and jelly on their bread. And butter.
Butter.
Butter.
Butter.
Butter.
Butter.
Butter.
Butter.

Click here to watch this video with a clickable transcript.

just in case

If and In Case (English Conditionals)

We can use if and in case to talk about future possibilities. If is about what might happen. In case is about precautions that we take now to avoid problems in the future. See examples and learn the difference in this video.


Click here to learn about the verbs avoid and prevent
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If and In Case Video Script

You shouldn’t put the knives in that way.
It’ll be all right.
Someone will cut themselves if you put them in like that.
No they won’t. Ow!
Luckily I put some plasters here in case there was an accident.
Thank you.

We use ‘if’ and ‘in case’ to talk about future possibilities. But they mean different things.

Are we driving to New York tomorrow?
I don’t know. We might have to.
We need to fill the car with petrol if we do.
We can do that in the morning.
OK.

Are we driving to New York tomorrow?
I don’t know. We might have to.
I’ll fill the car with petrol now, in case we do. See you later.

‘If’ is about things we’ll do later, if something else happens.
‘In’ case’ is about things we do now, so we’re ready for something that might happen in the future.
So ‘in case’ is useful for talking about precautions, when we try to avoid problems in the future.

Ow!
Luckily, I put some plasters here in case there was an accident.

Oh! Are you going out?
Yeah.
Take your phone in case I need to call you.
OK.
Err, and take your keys. Just in case I’m not here when you get back.
OK.
And take your unbrella, just in case it should rain.
I’m only going next door.
Oh!

Notice the forms we use: simple present, simple past, and ‘should’.
But we don’t use ‘will’ and we don’t use ‘would’. These phrases are wrong.

Why not write that down, just in case you forget?

This is my wife’s idea, and I must say I think it’s rather dangerous.
I suppose you all know how to use one of these things, but in case you don’t…
You just press down on this lever with your thumb and then pull the trigger.

Click here to watch this video with a clickable transcript
Click here to learn about the verbs avoid and prevent
Click here to see more grammar videos

present simple tense

The Present Simple Tense – Carter’s breakfast routine

We use the Simple Present tense more than any other tense in English.
One way we use it is to describe routine actions and things we do regularly.  Let Carter (the dog with human hands) show you how it works. Listen to him describe his breakfast routine and you’ll hear lots of examples.
Notice we form negatives with do and not. (I don’t drink coffee. I don’t need a napkin.)

Click here to learn English adverbs of frequency with Carter
Click here to see Carter ordering food in a restaurant
Click here to see more grammar videos.

Carter’s breakfast routine video script

It’s breakfast time!
I don’t drink coffee. I drink tea.
I read the newspaper.
Then I plan my day.
I check the weather.
It’s going to be sunny today. Yay! That’s terrific!
Next I have some milk and cereal.
More please. It’s great.
Then I call Trixie.
Hey Trixie. What are we doing today?
You’re busy? With Rover? Hmph!
I eat my toast with honey. Lots of honey. Lots and lots of honey.
Napkin? I don’t need a napkin.
I finish with a banana.
It’s delicious.
How do you start your day?

Click here to see this video with a clickable transcript
Click here to learn English adverbs of frequency with Carter
Click here to see Carter ordering food in a restaurant
Click here to see more grammar videos.