Active / passive structures
Active passive
Adverbs – their position
Adverbs – of time
Recent Past
**Common Errors (includes a review of all of the tenses)


This chart has lots of good examples of the passive. I know that some students get confused by the use of ‘ed’ endings. They see that an ‘ed’ ending is used, but it isn’t a simple past. How can that be? Generally the explanation is that it is a passive structure.

Understanding the passive will help your communication.

Unfortunately I can’t read the address at the bottom so I’m not quite sure where this chart comes from.

Grammar - passives

IELTS Grammar – Passive


Grammar for IELTS


Time adverbs with Present Tenses


grammar - pronouns


This table is from Language Learning Base at:
Check the webpage to learn more.

grammar adverbs position


This table is from Language Learning Base at:
There is a video and further explanation on the site.

grammar act pass


Recent Past


Do you make these mistakes? If so, be mindful (= be aware) and try to get on top of them (get them right).


The nouns below aren’t countable. Students often make mistakes with them.
–> We cannot say one advice, two advices.
Instead we can say: ‘some advice.’ The teacher gave me some excellent advice.
–> We cannot use ‘many’ or ‘a few.’ There are many advertising on television.
Instead we can say: There is a lot of advertising on television. / There is not much advertising on television.
–> We cannot use a/an. I got an information from the office. 
Instead we can say: I got some information from the office.

  • a plural verb: There were many traffic in the city.
  • a number: three advice, four food
  • a few, a couple, many, a number of: a number of literature, a few research
  • a/an: a happiness, an entertainment
  • Advice
  • Advertising
  • Entertainment
  • Information
  • Knowledge
  • Literature
  • Money
  • Shopping
  • Traffic
  • Work

This means that the verb must match the noun.
–> For example, we cannot say: He give, They lives, I eats, is some apples
Instead we can day, He gives, They live, I eat, is an apple / are some apples


Be aware of your use of tenses. Are you talking about the past, present or future? Are you talking about something in the past and finished? Maybe you are talking about something in the past that continues today. Be aware of the tenses and their meanings.

  • Past Simple
    • for an action that began in the past and finished in the past
      • Tom ran to school.
  • Past Continuous
    • for an  action that was happening at a particular time in the past
      • He was playing tennis at 4pm.
    • for an action that was happening at the same time as another action (the longer action takes the -ing form)
      • He was playing tennis when the storm began.
  • Past Perfect
    • for an action that was completed before another action or another time in the past
      • He had eaten dinner.
  • Past Perfect Continuous
    • used to talk about duration of activity that happened before now.
      • She had been learning French for six years.
      • It had been raining hard for several days and the streets were flooded.
  • Present simple
    • things that are always or usually true
      • In winter it gets dark at around 6pm in Melbourne.
    • general true statements
      • It takes years to learn to play guitar well.
    • habits
      • The office opens at 9am.
  • Present continuous
    • an action happening now
      • It is raining.
    • something happening continuously this week, month or year
      • We are studying law.
    • a future planned event
      • The game is starting in half an hour.
  • Present Perfect
    • an action that took place at an indefinite time in the past
      • She has studied Advanced Mathematics. (could also use simple past here)
    • an action that was repeated before now
      • She has been to the doctors several times already.
    • an action that started in the past and may not have finished
      • It has rained a lot this week.
    • an action was completed in the very recent past +just
      • I have just cooked dinner.
  • Present Perfect Continuous
    • to show the duration of something that happened in the past and continues until now
      • Paul has been gardening since he was give.
    • a general activity in progress recently
      • I have been working hard on this report.
    • completed actions where we are interested in the result.
      • Paul and Donna have been cooking all day.
  • Future Simple
    • to predict or plan for the future
      • It will be a huge party.
    • to express a willingness to do something
      • I’ll help you with that.
  • Future Continuous
    • an action that will happen at a time in the future
      • I won’t be feeling well tomorrow.
  • Future Perfect
    • an action that will be completed before another time or event in the future
      • I will have bought a new computer by the end of the week.
  • Future Perfect Continuous
    • the duration of an action that will be in progress before another time or event in the future
      • At the end of this month I will have been living in Australia for 8 years.


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