An Arrogant Lady

November 12, 2007

Contents

1) An Arrogant Lady
2) Vocabulary Box
3) Grammar Spot: Passive Voice

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TODAY’S JOKE
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An Arrogant Lady

An arrogant lady had been shown round a private art gallery in Paris.

Standing at the door of the gallery as she was leaving, the woman looked at a modern painting of a woman by Picasso and said:

“I suppose you call this painting a work of art.”

The owner, who had been annoyed by the woman’s negative attitude to his collection, said:

“No, I call that a mirror.”

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VOCABULARY BOX
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Let’s explain some of the words in today’s joke!

– To show someone around somewhere means to lead someone through a place.

– The meaning of the verb to suppose is to believe, to imagine.

– To annoy means to make someone angry.

GRAMMAR SPOT
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Passive Voice

Our third lesson in the series focuses on the use of passive voice in preference to the active. I will also give you some tips on verbs which are not used in the passive and the passive with “get”.

Verbs not used in the passive

1. Certain verbs describing states, such as have, be, belong, lack, resemble and seem, cannot be made passive. They cannot be used in the passive even when they describe an action.

2. Verbs followed by to-infinitive usually cannot be made passive.

I refuse to answer your question.

3. Verbs of wanting and liking, e.g. want, love, like, hate + object + infinitive cannot be made passive.

She wanted him to leave.

Passive with “get”

In informal English, “get” can be used as an alternative to “be” in passive forms which describe actions. We often use “get” to describe an unusual or unexpected action.

My flat got burgled when I was on holiday.
How did he get hurt?

When should we use the passive voice in preference to the active?

– when the agent is not know:

He was attacked in plain daylight.

instead of

Someone attacked him in plain daylight.

– when it is obvious from the context:

She was being paid more than her colleagues.

instead of

Her employer was paying her more than her colleagues.

– when it not important or relevant:

Wars have been fought throughout history.

instead of

People have fought wars throughout history.

– when we want to avoid mentioning the agent:

All my toothpaste has been used.

instead of

Jim has used all my toothpaste.

– when we describe rules, procedures, processes (in formal English). The focus is on issues rather than on people.

The research was carried out over a period of three months.

________________________________________________

This newsletter is sponsored by:

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_______________________________________________________

That was all for today. I hope you have enjoyed yourself and learnt
new useful things. Till next time, take care.

Your tutor,
Ana
______________________________________________________

Copyright© 2007 English Through Jokes. All Rights Reserved.
_______________________________________________________


A Zebra Crossing

November 4, 2007

Contents

1) A Zebra Crossing
2) Vocabulary Box
3) Grammar Spot: Passive Voice

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TODAY’S JOKE
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A Zebra Crossing

A drunk trying to cross the street was knocked down by a bus.

A policeman helped him to his feet and said,

“There’s a zebra crossing a few yards away from here.”

“Well, I hope he is having better luck than I am,” replied the drunk.

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VOCABULARY BOX
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Let’s explain some of the words in today’s joke!

– A zebra crossing is a place on a road marked with white stripes/lines where vehicles must stop to allow people to walk across the road.

– To knock down means to make someone or something fall to the ground by hitting them.

– To help someone to his/her feet or to lift up.

– A yard is a unit of measurement equal to approximately 91.4 centimetres.
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GRAMMAR SPOT
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Passive Voice

The rules of passive formation are simple and straightforward, but we still need to broaden our knowledge by adding up further points.

1. Some verbs have two objects. Either object can be the subject of the passive verb.

Active: The manager offered John a high-paid job.

Passive: John was offered a high-paid job by the manager./A high-paid job was offered to John by the manager.

In general, it is more usual for passive sentences to begin with the person. Other verbs which have two objects include send, give, show, pay, teach, promise, tell.

2. When put into the passive, verbs followed by a preposition are never separated from their particle.

Active: She accused them of murder.
Passive: They were accused of murder.

3. The verbs make, hear, see, help are followed by long infinitive in the passive.

Active: I saw her take the book.
Passive: She was seen to take the book.

4. Let has no passive form so it is replaced by allow, permit, give permission in the passive.

Active: His parents let him go to the party.
Passive: He was allowed to go to the party by his parents.

But when the subject of “let” and the object of the infinitive are the same, we use “let” in the passive followed by a reflexive pronoun and a passive infinitive.

Active: Don’t let her mock you.
Passive: Don’t let yourself by mocked.

5. Verbs such as say, think, believe, consider, know, report, expect, assume, claim, acknowledge have to possible passive forms.

a. It + passive + that-clause.

Active: She is a millionaire.
Passive: It is said she is a millionaire.

b. Subject + passive + to-infinitive.

Active: She is a millionaire.
Passive: She is said to be a millionaire.

6. We know that the subject of the active verb becomes the agent of the passive verb and we use “by” to introduce it.

The radio was invented by Marconi.
Many trees were blown down by the storm.

When we talk about an instrument which is used by the agent, we use “with”.

I was hit by an umbrella.
He was killed with a rifle.

We also use “with” to talk about materials and ingredients.

The cake was made with raisins.
The pictures were taken with a professional camera.

________________________________________________

This newsletter is sponsored by:

AdsMarket Ezine Advertising Network
_______________________________________________________

That was all for today. I hope you have enjoyed yourself and learnt
new useful things. Till next time, take care.

Your tutor,
Ana
______________________________________________________

Copyright© 2007 English Through Jokes. All Rights Reserved.
_______________________________________________________


It Isn’t Fair!

October 21, 2007

Contents

1) It Isn’t Fair!
2) Vocabulary Box
3) Grammar Spot: Passive Voice

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TODAY’S JOKE
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It Isn’t Fair!

Two little boys who had been naughty all day long were told by the teacher that they must stay after school and write their names five hundred times.

One of them began to watch the other unhappily.

“Why aren’t you writing, Tommy?” asked the teacher.

Tommy burst into tears.

“It isn’t fair!” he sobbed, “his name is Lee and mine’s Shornsteinfeger!”

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VOCABULARY BOX
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Let’s explain some of the words in today’s joke!

– Naughty children behave badly or are not obedient.
– To burst into tears means to suddenly begin to cry.
– The meaning of the verb to sob is to cry noisily, taking in deep breaths.
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GRAMMAR SPOT
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Passive Voice

After a well-deserved break, I come back ready for new challenges and I propose you a three part lesson on the passive. Today you will learn about the concept of “voice” in grammar and how the passive voice is formed.

In grammar, “voice” is the form of a verb indicating the relation between the participants in an event (subject, object) and the event itself.

Active: The police officer arrested the burglar.
Passive: The burglar was arrested by the police officer.

When a verb is in the active voice (as in the first sentence), the subject of the sentence (the police officer) is the one that performs the action.

When a verb is in the passive voice (second sentence), the subject of the sentence (the burglar) is acted upon by the verb.

How do we recognize passive constructions?

Passive constructions are easy to identify. Look for a form of “to be” (is, are, am, was, were, has been, have been, had been, will be, will have been, being) followed by a past participle. The past participle of regular verbs ends in “-ed”. Irregular verbs have different past participle forms.

The pattern of the passive voice is very simple:

Subject + be (into the same tense as the active verb) + past participle of the main verb.

This house was built in 1987.
Four hundred people are employed in that factory.
His book was first published in Spain.
When was the telegraph invented?

Now let’s compare these active and passive sentences:

Active: Children cannot open these bottles easily.
Passive: These bottles cannot be opened easily by children.

Active: They have treated him very well.
Passive: He has been treated very well.

To change an active verb to the passive form, you have to follow these three steps:

1. The object of the active verb becomes the subject of the passive verb.
2. Change the verb to the passive.
3. The original subject becomes the agent of the passive verb and it is preceded by the preposition “by”. There are cases when the agent can be omitted.

Here is a list of all the verb forms that are normally used in the passive.

Present simple: The office is locked every evening.
Present continuous: The flat is being redecorated.
Present perfect simple: The swimming pool hasn’t been cleaned yet.
Past simple: His car was stolen last night.
Past continuous: The road was being repaired when the tragic accident happened.
Past perfect: I heard that their house had been damaged by the storm.
Future simple: Lunch will be served at the hotel.
Future perfect: The project will have been completed by the end of September.

You can notice from the above examples that perfect continuous passives are very uncommon, this is because of their complicated and inelegant structure.

The palace has been being built for 30 years.

There is a passive infinitive form: be + past participle. We use this form after modal verbs and after some other structures such as “going to”, “have to”, “want to”, “would like to”.

This mystery can’t be solved.
That strange music could be heard from a long distance.
All the workers have to be instructed about the dangers of their job.
I don’t want to be helped.
I would like to be invited to the ball.

The passive perfect infinitive is used when we refer to the past.

The letter might have been sent to the wrong address.
Less money should have been spent for ornaments.
The doctor should have been called at the first signs of the disease.
The concert must have been postponed because of the bad weather.

The passive of “-ing forms” has the following structure: being + past participle.

I don’t like being lied to.
He enjoys being spoiled.
They can’t stand being told what to do.
She remembers being given the book.

________________________________________________

This newsletter is sponsored by:

AdsMarket Ezine Advertising Network
_______________________________________________________

That was all for today. I hope you have enjoyed yourself and learnt
new useful things. Till next time, take care.

Your tutor,
Ana
______________________________________________________

Copyright© 2007 English Through Jokes. All Rights Reserved.
_______________________________________________________


Dilemma

September 21, 2007

Contents

1) Dilemma
2) Vocabulary Box
3) Grammar Spot: Should

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TODAY’S JOKE
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Dilemma

“I’m in love with two girls. One is very beautiful but has no money, the other is ugly and has lots of money. Who should I marry?”

“ Well, I’m sure that you must really love the beautiful one, so I think you should marry her.”

“OK, thank you very much for your advice.”

“Don’t mention it. By the way, I wonder if you could give me the name and telephone number of the other girl?”

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VOCABULARY BOX
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Let’s explain some of the words in today’s joke!

– You can say don’t mention it or I’m glad that I could help.
– To wonder is used in phrases, at the beginning of a request, to make it more formal and polite.
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GRAMMAR SPOT
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Should

Agatha Christie once said “Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that’s no reason not to give it.” Today’s lesson will teach how to give advice or make recommendations but this is not all you are going to learn because the modal verb ‘should’ can be used in different contexts.

Let’s start with the form:

Affirmative: Subject + should + verb (short infinitive).
Negative: Subject + shouldn’t + verb (short infinitive).
Interrogative: Should/ shouldn’t + subject + verb (short infinitive)?

‘Should’ can be used for present and future or for past after a verb in the pats tense.

He shouldn’t smoke so much. (present)
He shouldn’t smoke when he visits his grandparents next week. (future)
He shouldn’t have smoked so much. (past)

We use ‘should’:

– to give advice or make recommendations

You should see a doctor.
You should exercise more.
Should we buy her a present?
You shouldn’t be so selfish.

– to express obligation or duty

I should call my dad tomorrow.
He should apologize to Martha.
You should be ashamed of yourselves.
We should return this book to the library by the 5th of May.

– ‘should + perfect infinitive’ expresses unfulfilled obligation or recommendation

She should have talked to him, but she didn’t.
I should have written to her but I haven’t had time.
I should have listened to you.
He should have called her.

– ‘shouldn’t + perfect infinitive’ expresses regret or disapproval regarding an action in the past

They shouldn’t have come so late.
I shouldn’t have spoken to him like that.
He shouldn’t have drive so fast.
You shouldn’t have eaten so much.

– ‘should + continuous infinitive’ shows that the subject is not fulfilling his duty/ obligation

He should be studying for his exams.
We should be wearing seat belts.
I shouldn’t be doing this.
They shouldn’t be playing cards.

– to express expectations

She should be there.
Jerry should arrive here at 12.00.
The answer should be ‘A’, not ‘B’.
You should find this guidebook helpful.

Equivalent expressions:

– be supposed to

I should be at work before 8.30.
I am supposed to be at work before 8.30.

– ought to

You should tell the truth.
You ought to tell the truth.

Some set phrases with ‘should’:

– somebody should be shot = someone’s actions are unreasonable, outrageous

They should be shot for selling cigarettes to minors.

– How should I know?

– you should have seen/heard something/somebody

You should have seen him. He was hilarious.

– I should think not/so (too). = We suggest that something is correct or incorrect.

“He bought her flowers to apologise for his mistake.”
“I should think so too!’

________________________________________________

This newsletter is sponsored by:

AdsMarket Ezine Advertising Network
_______________________________________________________

That was all for today. I hope you have enjoyed yourself and learnt
new useful things. Till next time, take care.

Your tutor,
Ana
______________________________________________________

Copyright© 2007 English Through Jokes. All Rights Reserved.
_______________________________________________________


A Married Couple

September 18, 2007

Contents

1) A Married Couple
2) Vocabulary Box
3) Grammar Spot: Might

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TODAY’S JOKE
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A Married Couple

Although this married couple enjoyed their new fishing boat together, it was the husband who was behind the wheel operating the boat.

He was concerned about what might happen in an emergency. So one day out on the lake he said to his wife,

“Please take the wheel, dear. Pretend that I am having a heart attack. You must get the boat safely to shore and dock it.”

So she drove the boat to shore.

Later that evening, the wife walked into the living room where her husband was watching television. She sat down next to him, switched the TV channel, and said to him,

“Please go into the kitchen, dear. Pretend I’m having a heart attack and set the table, cook dinner and wash the dishes.”

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VOCABULARY BOX
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Let’s explain some of the words in today’s joke!

– A wheel is a circular device that helps us control a vehicle.

– The man in our jokes was operating the boat, that means he was controlling the functioning of the boat, he was running the boat.

– To be concerned means to be worried.

– If someone docks a ship, they bring it into a dock (harbour).

– When you switch channels, you change from one channel to another.

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GRAMMAR SPOT
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Might

The subject of our previous lesson was the modal verb ‘may’. Today we shall continue what we started last time and introduce the pair of ‘may’ into our story, the modal verb ‘might’.

Affirmative: Subject + might + verb (short infinitive).
Negative: Subject + might not/mightn’t + verb (short infinitive).
Interrogative: Might + subject + verb (short infinitive)?

He might pass the examination.
He might not pass the examination.
Might he pass the examination?

When ‘might’ express possibility, just like in the examples above, we can use it in the interrogative, but ‘could ‘ or ‘do you think…?” are more usual.

Could he pass the examination?
Do you think he will pass the examination?

We use ‘might’:

– to express possibility in the future or present

They might emigrate to New Zealand.
He might go to London tomorrow.
Things might not be as bad as they seem.
She might be sleeping.

Both ‘may’ and ‘might’ can be used in this context, but ‘might’ suggests more doubt.

– after verbs in the past tense, especially in the indirect speech and the sequence of tenses. In this case, ‘might’ is the past form of ‘may’.

I knew that he might visit us on Sunday.
He said that he might call her later.
They warned me that he might not like my idea.
He asked his boss if he might leave earlier that day.

– the construction ‘might + perfect infinitive’ is used when we speculate about the past.

You might have left your keys at the office.
She might have won the contest.
They might have lent you the money.
It might have been worse.

– in conditional sentences to indicate a possible instead of a certain result. ‘Might’ is the conditional form of ‘may’.

If I took part in the essay competition, I might win the big prize.
If I didn’t have to work, I might go with you.
If you had left your purse there, someone might have stolen it.
If you had invited her to your party, she might have come.

Equivalent expressions:

– could

He may/might/could be in the living room.
The plane may/might/ could be delayed by the bad weather.

Note that in the negative, there is a difference in meaning.

He might not have his cell phone. = Perhaps he doesn’t have the cell phone.
He could have his cell phone. = It impossible that he has his cell phone.

– to be likely/ unlikely

Is he likely to win?
It’s likely that the meeting will go on until later in the evening.

– perhaps

Perhaps he is ill.
Perhaps they have already arrived.

________________________________________________

This newsletter is sponsored by:

AdsMarket Ezine Advertising Network
_______________________________________________________

That was all for today. I hope you have enjoyed yourself and learnt
new useful things. Till next time, take care.

Your tutor,
Ana
______________________________________________________

Copyright© 2007 English Through Jokes. All Rights Reserved.
_______________________________________________________


A Fine Place for Trout

September 12, 2007

Contents

1) A Fine Place for Trout
2) Vocabulary Box
3) Grammar Spot: May

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TODAY’S JOKE
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A Fine Place for Trout

A man was busy fishing along a quiet stream when a stranger came by and enquired,

“Catch anything yet?”

“No,” was the answer.

“That’s strange. I heard this was a fine place for trout.”

“It may be…,” the fisherman said skeptically.

“On second thoughts,” he added, “it must be! They refuse to leave it.”

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VOCABULARY BOX
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Let’s explain some of the words in today’s joke!

– Trout is a fish that is a popular food. The plural is trout or trouts.

– A stream is a small river.

– To enquire or to inquire means to ask for information.

– The meaning of skeptically is doubtfully. The fisherman is not sure.

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GRAMMAR SPOT
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May

So far we have talked about “can”, “could”, “must”, “have to”. Are we done with modals? Not yet. Today’s guest star is the modal verb “may”. My presentation is structured in two parts. First, we are going to have a look at the form of this verb and then we are going to learn how to use “may” in different contexts. This being said, let’s proceed.

Affirmative: Subject + may + verb (short infinitive).
Interrogative: May + Subject + verb (short infinitive)?
Negative: Subject + may + not (mayn’t) + verb (short infinitive).

She may help us.
I may do it.
May I take your book?
May I see your passport, please?
They may not know it.
It may not work.

Remark: The form “mayn’t” is rarely used.

When do we use “may”?

– to talk about present or future possibilities

He may be in his office.
She may be upset.
I may vote for him.
They may go to France.
I may not be able to meet you at the railway station.
She may not come to the party.

– to ask for/ give permission. “May” is more formal than “can”.

May I have another piece of cake?
May I make a phone call?
May I see that?
You may leave at 7:30 if you like.
You may have a sit.
You may join us if you like.

– to express past possibilities. The pattern is: may + have + past participle

She may have been asleep. (Perhaps she was asleep.)
They may have gone to lunch. (Perhaps they went to lunch.)
You may have left your umbrella in the restaurant.
He may have gone shopping.

We end today’s lesson with some set phrases.

– may well

He may well not want to pay by credit card. = It is very likely that he won’t agree to pay by credit card.

– May the best man/person win. = You want the best competitor to win/succeed.

– To whom it may concern. = You write it at the start of a formal letter when you don’t know exactly who it should be addressed to.

– may I ask/ may I suggest

What, may I ask, was the purpose of your actions?
May I suggest we take a short break?

________________________________________________

This newsletter is sponsored by:

ADSMARKET Ezine Advertising Network
Solo, Top Sponsor, Classified Ads in Multiple Ezines

_______________________________________________________

That was all for today. I hope you have enjoyed yourself and learnt
new useful things. Till next time, take care.

Your tutor,
Ana
______________________________________________________

Copyright© 2007 English Through Jokes. All Rights Reserved.
_______________________________________________________


A Serious Case

September 10, 2007

Contents

1) A Serious Case
2) Vocabulary Box
3) Grammar Spot: Have to

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TODAY’S JOKE
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A Serious Case

A newly married doctor received a phone call inviting him to go and play cards.

“I have to go out, darling,” he said to his wife.

“Oh no, not again,” she said. “Is it serious?”

“Oh yes,” replied her husband, “there are three doctors there already.”

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VOCABULARY BOX
_______________________________________________________

Let’s explain some of the words in today’s joke!

– The meaning of newly is recently.

– To reply means to answer, to react to an action by someone else.

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GRAMMAR SPOT
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Have

In our previous lesson, we learnt that we can use ‘must’ and ‘have to’ to say that it is necessary to do something. There are situations when it doesn’t matter whether we use ‘must’ or ‘have to”. But there is a difference in meaning between ‘must’ and ‘have to’ and sometimes this is important. In today’s lesson we are going to explore precisely these differences.

A distinction would be that ‘must’ refers to an internal, personal need or obligation while ‘have to’ is used to refer to an external, impersonal need or obligation.

In England, you have to drive on the left.
In Britain, most children have to wear a uniform when they go to school.
Tim has to wear a tie at work.

In each of the above examples, the obligation is imposed from outside. ‘Have to’ is used to talk about rules, laws, whereas must is useful for official notices and instructions.

Every man has to do military service in my country.
Policemen have to wear a uniform.

You must carry your passport at all times.
You must not smoke in the toilets.

Compare:

I must work harder otherwise I won’t pass the exam. (It’s my own decision)
I can’t come out with you tonight. I have to work. (impersonal, external obligation)

‘Mustn’t’ and ‘don’t have to’ are quite different, the first indicating that something is prohibited, while the second implies an absence of obligation or need.

You mustn’t do something = It is necessary that you don’t do it.

It’s a very important meeting. You mustn’t be late.
Don’t make so much noise. We mustn’t wake up the baby.

You don’t have to do something = You don’t need to do it, but you can if you want.

I don’t have to get up early at weekend.
We don’t have to pay. It’s free.

Some remarks:

1. In spoken British English you can also use ‘have got to’ and ‘haven’t got to’.

There has got to be a mistake.
You haven’t got to leave now.

2. People often drop the ‘have’ from ‘have got to’. But in formal writing ‘got to’ is not ordinarily considered acceptable.

We got to get up early.
You got to go.

3. We can use ‘have’ to in all tenses, and also with modal auxiliaries.

Why did you have to go to the hospital?
We’ll have to be there at 10 o’clock.
She may have to do it again.

________________________________________________

This newsletter is sponsored by:

ADSMARKET Ezine Advertising Network
Solo, Top Sponsor, Classified Ads in Multiple Ezines

_______________________________________________________

That was all for today. I hope you have enjoyed yourself and learnt
new useful things. Till next time, take care.

Your tutor,
Ana
______________________________________________________

Copyright© 2007 English Through Jokes. All Rights Reserved.
_______________________________________________________


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