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Structure: Word categories

This time in our structure help we talk about word categories in English. This is vital to understand why certain words are acceptable in some situations, while other words aren’t acceptable.

When we think about word categories some of the most common categories are; nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and prepositions.

Nouns can refer to people (or other creatures), places or things.
Examples: Peter, friend, cat, table, book.

Verbs are words that relate to actions or states.
Examples: work, eat, fly.

Adjectives are describing words.
Examples: big, fast, happy.

Adverbs are formed by a large group of words that is impossible to go through here. However, some of the most common adverbs are ones that express ‘how something happens’ (slowly, quickly, easily etc…) or ‘how often something happens’ (usually, normally, never, sometimes etc…).

Prepositions are words that connect parts of a sentence and show the relationship between them.
Examples: in, on, at, with etc…

A good student’s dictionary like the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English tells you the category of a word you search for. By knowing the category of a word you can more easily use it in sentences. This is also a good way to build vocabulary because words often have some different forms; a verb, adjective and noun for example. By knowing each of these individual forms you are more easily able to use the correct one when necessary.

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Structure: ‘verbs + verbs 4’

Fly High English - Structure

This time in our structure help we continue to talk about patterns when we have two verbs together. In our previous posts we saw the patterns;

verb + to + infinitive

and

verb + verb-ing

And we saw a list of verbs which require these patterns.

This time we’re going to look at a group of verbs which can follow both of these patterns but which have a different meaning.

remember, regret, try, stop

Let’s look at an example.

He remembered to check the tyres for damage.

In this sentence we have a verb + to + infinitive pattern. The idea in this sentence is that he remembered before he did the action. So, in general, you remember ‘to do’ something before you do it.

Now let’s look at the other pattern.

He remembered checking the tyres for damage.

In this sentence we have a verb + verb-ing pattern. The idea in this sentence is that he remembered after he did the action. So, in general, you remember ‘doing’ something after you do it.

Now let’s look at our second verb; regret.

We regret to inform you that the flight has been cancelled.

In this sentence we have a verb + to + infinitive pattern. The idea in this sentence is that you are sorry to say something. Here’s another example;

We regret to say that your days off have been cancelled.

Now let’s look at the other pattern.

She regrets asking for a promotion.

In this sentence we have a verb + verb-ing pattern. The idea in this sentence is that she regretted the action after she did it. So, in general, you regret ‘doing’ something after you do it.

Now let’s look at our third verb; try.

They tried to land at the airport.

In this sentence we have a verb + to + infinitive pattern. The idea in this sentence is that you make an effort to do something that is difficult. Here’s another example.

They tried to lift the wheel but it was too heavy.

Now let’s look at the other pattern.

The passenger had a pain in his stomach so he tried drinking some tea.

In this sentence we have a verb + verb-ing pattern. The idea in this sentence is that he did the action as an experiment, to see if it provided a positive result.

And finally our fourth verb; stop.

He stopped flying for Lufthansa.

In this sentence we have a verb + verb-ing pattern. The idea in this sentence is that you stop an activity and don’t do it again, so here it suggests that he doesn’t work for Lufthansa now. Here’s another example.

They stopped giving us free flights for our families.

Now let’s look at the other pattern.

He stopped to open a window.

In this sentence we have a verb + to + infinitive pattern. The idea in this sentence is that you stop an activity and do a second activity, the suggestion is that you might return to the first activity later. Here’s another example.

He was reading a book but stopped to answer the captain’s question.

Now try to write some examples of your own.

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Structure: ‘verbs + verbs 3’

Fly High English - Structure

This time in our structure help we continue to talk about patterns when we have two verbs together. In our previous posts we saw the patterns;

verb + to + infinitive

and

verb + verb-ing

And we saw a list of verbs which require these patterns.

This time we’re going to look at a group of verbs which can follow both of these patterns and which have the same meaning.

like, prefer, love, hate, continue, start, begin

So the following sentences are both correct and mean essentially the same thing.

I like to fly gliders.
I like flying gliders.

Here’s another example;

I started to train when I was seventeen.
I started training when I was seventeen.

Now try to write some examples of your own.

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Structure: ‘verbs + verbs 2’

Fly High English - Structure

This time in our structure help we continue to talk about patterns when we have two verbs together. Last week we saw the pattern;

I wanted to travel last week.
verb + to + infinitive

And we saw a list of verbs which require this patten.

Now let’s have a look at another example;

I enjoy flying small planes.

In this example we have two verbs together – enjoy and fly – and the first verb tells us the tense of the sentence (present simple) the second verb follows in an ‘ing’ form. So the patten in this situation is;

verb + verb-ing

Our first verb uses the correct tense and conjugation necessary and the second verb is always in the verb-ing form. There are other verbs which require the same structure as ‘enjoy’ when used with a second verb. Here are some of the most common.

enjoy, mind, stop, finish, suggest

Look at some of the examples below and then try to write examples of your own.

They enjoyed visiting the cockpit last week.
We finished cleaning the plane after 25 minutes.
He doesn’t mind working on Saturdays.
We suggested delaying the departure.

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Structure: ‘verbs + verbs 1’

Fly High English - Structure

This time in our structure help we talk about using verbs together with second verbs. We are all familiar with using verbs with nouns (objects) after them, for example;

I want a new headset.

But sometimes we want to use a verb with a second verb directly after it, for example;

I want to travel next week.

In these circumstances there are specific forms that we have to use with the second verb. In our example above, after the verb ‘want’ our second verb follows the pattern ‘to + infinitive’. It doesn’t matter which tense we choose for our first verb (want), we must follow the same structure for our second verb (travel).

I wanted to travel last week.

So with the verb ‘want’ (even in the past), we use the structure;

want + to + infinitive

There are many other verbs which require the same structure as ‘want’ when used with a second verb. Here are some of the most common.

want, hope, need, plan, expect, promise, decide, offer, refuse, try, forget, learn

Look at some of the examples below and then try to write examples of your own.

We hope to land in 15 minutes.
They tried to rebook the passenger.
They offered to give the passenger a refund.
He will need to arrive early tomorrow.

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Structure: Verbs + prepositions 2

Fly High English - Structure

This week we are continuing with verbs and prepositions. Which verbs can use ‘at’ after them? Take a look at the diagram below to see some of the most common verbs that can use ‘at’ after them. ‘At’ is only one possible preposition with these verbs, some of these verbs can use other prepositions too. Read the examples, write some examples yourself and read them out loud to become more familiar with them.

Prepositions - AT

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