Category Usage

What do you THINK / MEAN?

“WHAT DO YOU THINK?” and “WHAT DO YOU MEAN?” are not the same, folks. I hear them being misused regularly during group or class discussions. Whether you are discussing the latest Big Brother episode or your company’s new advertising strategy, if you want to know your friend’s or colleague’s opinion, then ask, “What do you […]

Greetings – how should you answer?

What I’m going to ask you might seem obvious, yet it surprises me how often students get it wrong. Those of you who were in class today know exactly what I mean. So please, be patient and tell me how you would reply to the following greetings: How do you do? How are you? How […]

AMONG / AMONGST

A student sits (with pen and paper) at the front of the class, facing their classmates and with their back to the whiteboard. Meanwhile, I write a sentence on the board which this student must write down with the help of their class colleagues, who cannot speak the words that they are trying to explain. […]

What do you THINK / MEAN?

“WHAT DO YOU THINK?” and “WHAT DO YOU MEAN?” are not the same, folks. I hear them being misused regularly during group or class discussions. Whether you are discussing the latest Big Brother episode or your company’s new advertising strategy, if you want to know your friend’s or colleague’s opinion, then ask, “What do you […]

Short forms

It happens often that I have students who are very good at grammar, writing and speaking. However, when it comes to doing a listening task, they panic. Why is this? The problem is that they expect to hear each and every word spoken clearly. The truth is, a native speaker doesn’t talk this way. Learners […]

What do you THINK / MEAN?

“WHAT DO YOU THINK?” and “WHAT DO YOU MEAN?” are not the same, folks. Whether you are discussing the latest Big Brother episode or your company’s new advertising strategy, if you want to know your friend’s or colleague’s opinion, then ask, “What do you think?“ On the other hand, if someone says something you disagree […]