begin – start

1. There is not usually any difference between begin and start

  • I started/began teaching when I was twenty- two
  • If John doesn’t come soon,, let’s start/began without him

We prefer start when we talk about an activity that happens regularly, with “stops and starts”

  • It’s starting to rain.
  • What time do you start teaching tomorrow morning.

We prefer begin when we talk about long, slow activities, and when we are using a more formal styles

  • Very slowly, I began to realize that there was something wrong
  • We will begin the meeting with a message from the President

2. Start (not begin) is used to mean:

a. Start a jorney

  • I think we ought to start at six, while the roads are empty

b. start working (for machines)

  • The car won’t start

c. make (machines) start

  • How do you start the washing machine?

List S

sceptic or septic? A SCEPTIC is one who is inclined to
doubt or question accepted truths.
SEPTIC is an adjective meaning ‘infected
by bacteria’ (a SEPTIC wound).
It also describes the drainage system in
country areas which uses bacteria to aid
decomposition (SEPTIC drainage, a
SEPTIC tank).
seasonable or
SEASONABLE = normal for the time of
year (SEASONABLE weather)
SEASONAL = happening at a particular
season (SEASONAL employment)
shall or will? The simple future tense uses ‘shall’ with I
and we and ‘will’ with the other
I shall drive
you (singular) will drive
he/she/it will drive
we shall drive
you (plural) will drive
they will drive
By reversing ‘shall’ and ‘will’ you
introduce a note of determination.
you shall drive
he/she/it shall drive
we will drive
you shall drive
they shall drive
This distinction is lost in the contraction:
I’ll drive. However, in speech, the tone of
voice will indicate which is intended.
shining or shinning? shine + ing = shining
shin + ing = shinning
should or would? ‘Should’ and ‘would’ follow the pattern of
‘shall’ and ‘will’.
you (singular) would work
he/she/it would work
we should work
you (plural) would work
they would work
The correct construction often needed in
I SHOULD be grateful if you WOULD
send me . . .
In the sense of ‘ought to’, use ‘should’ in
all cases:
IknowI SHOULD apologise.
You SHOULD write to your parents.
She SHOULD understand if you explain.
He SHOULD understand.
We SHOULD repair the shed.
You all SHOULD work harder.
They SHOULD resign.
silicon or silicone? SILICON = element used in electronics
industry (SILICON chip)
SILICONE = compound containing
silicon and used in lubricants and polishes
and in cosmetic surgery (SILICONE
singeing or singing? singe + ing = singeing
sing + ing = singing
siting or sitting? site + ing = siting
sit + ing = sitting
sniping or snipping? snipe + ing = sniping
snip + ing = snipping
social or sociable? SOCIAL = related to society.
a SOCIAL worker,a SOCIAL problem,
SOCIAL policy, SOCIAL housing
SOCIABLE = friendly
avery SOCIABLE person
These two words are quite distinct in
meaning even though they may be used
with the same noun:
a SOCIAL evening = an evening
organised for the purpose of recreation
a SOCIABLE evening = a friendly
evening where everyone mixed well
With any luck the social evening was also
a sociable one!
some times or
Use the exemplar sentences as a guide:
There are SOME TIMES when I want to
leave college. (= some occasions)
SOMETIMES Iwanttoleavecollege.
stationary or
STATIONARY = standing still (a
STATIONERY = notepaper and
stimulant or stimulus? Both words are related to ‘stimulate’ but
there is a difference in meaning:
A STIMULANT is a temporary energiser
ike drink or drugs.
A STIMULUS is something that motivates
like competition).
strategem or strategy? STRATEGEM = a plot, scheme,
sometimes a trick, which will outwit an
opponent or overcome a difficulty
STRATEGY = the overall plan for
conducting a war or achieving a major
strategy or tactics? STRATEGY =theoverallplanorpolicy
for achieving an objective
TACTICS = the procedures necessary to
carry out the strategic policy
swinging or
swing + ing = swinging
swinge + ing = swingeing

still, yet, already

A. Still

An hour ago it was raining.
The rain hasn’t stopped
It is still raining now.

still = something is the same as before:

  • I had a lot to eat but I’m still hungry. (= I was hungry before and I’m hungry now)
  • ‘Did you sell your car?’   ‘No, I’ve still got it.’
  • ‘Do you still live in Barcelona?’   ‘No, I live in Madrid now’

B yet

Twenty minutes ago they were waiting for Bill.
They are still waiting for Bill.
Bill hasn’t come yet.

yet = until now:

We use yet in negative sentences (He hasn’t come yet.) and in questions (Has he come yet?).
is usually at the end of a sentence:

  • A: Where’s Diane?
    B: She isn‘t here yet. (= she will be here but until now she hasn’t come)
  • A: What are you doing this evening?
    B: I don‘t know yet. (= I will know later but I don’t know at the moment)
  • A: Are you ready to go yet?
    B: Not yet. Wait a moment. (= I will be ready but I’m not ready at the moment)
  • A: Have you finished with the newspaper yet?
    B: No, I’m still reading it.

Compare yet and still:

  • She hasn’t gone yet. = She’s still here, (not ‘She is yet here’)
  • I haven’t finished eating yet. = I’m still eating.

C already = earlier than expected:

  • ‘What time is John arriving?’    ‘He’s already here.’ (= earlier than we expected)
  • ‘I’m going to tell you what happened.’   ‘That’s not necessary. 1 already know’
  • Ann doesn’t want to go to the cinema. She has already seen the film.

for, since, from , ago and before

1. For, since and from ‘point forwards’ in time
Ago and before ‘point backwards’ in time.

2. We use for to say how long something lasts

for + period of time

  • I once studied the guitar for three years
  • That house has been empty for six weeks
  • We go away for three weeks every summer.
  • My boss will be in Italy for the next ten days.

When we talk about a period of time up to the present, we use for with the present perfect tense (have+ past participle)

  • I’ve known her for a long time (NOT I know her…)

A present progressive with for often refers to the future.

  • How long are you staying for? (=Until when)

We can leave out for with How long….?

  • How long are you staying?
  • How long have you been waiting?

3. From and since give the starting point of an action or state: they say when something begins or began.

from/ since + starting point

  • I’ll be here from three o’clock onwards.
  • I word  from nine to five.
  • From now on. I’m going to go running every day.
  • From his earliest childhood he loved music
  • I’ve been waiting since ten o’clock.
  • I’ve known her since January.

Since gives the starting point of actions and states that continue up to the present; from gives the starting point of other actions and states

4. For and since can both be used with the present perfect (have + past participle). They are not the same

for+ period

  • I’ve known her for three days.
  • I’ve been here for a month.
  • I’ve had my car for ages.

since + starting point

  • I’ve known her since Tuesday.
  • I’ve been here since July.
  • I’ve had my car since 1980

small and little

Small is used just to talk about size. It is opposite of large

  • Could I have a small brandy, please.
  • You’re too small to be a policeman.

The adjective little is used to talk about
size + emotion

If we call something little, we usually have some sort of feeling about it-
we like it, or we dislike it, or it makes us laugh, or we think it is sweet.

  • Poor little thing- come here and let me look after you.
  • What’s he like? Oh, he’s a funny little man.
  • What’s that nasty little boy doing in our garden?
  • They’ve bought a pretty little house in the country.

Little is not usually used after a verb.