Author: My Lingua Academy


Zero Conditional

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Conditional sentences consist of two or more clauses. One of the clauses is the “if clause” and the other is the “main clause”. Both if clause and main clause are usually in Present Simple Tense.

If I can’t sleep ————– I listen to the radio.
——-if clause ——————— main clause——

The zero conditional is used for talking about things that are generally true. It often refers to natural truths, such as scientific facts:

Ice melts if you heat it.
If you water the grass, it grows.

In zero conditionals, it is not about the past, present or future, it is about a result that is always true for that condition.

Paul always phones me if he is bored.
Children make a snowman if there is enough snow.

We can also use imperative instead of Present Simple Tense in the main clause:

If Jane calls, tell her where I am.
If the doorbell rings, don’t answer it.

We can use “when ” instead of “if” without the difference in meaning:

When the weather is nice, we usually go for a walk.
My mum cries when she is sad.

Note: use a comma at the end of an if-clause, when an if-clause is at the beginning of the sentence.

When you get near my house, please call me.

Do the quiz to perfect your knowledge of the Zero Conditional:


Time – off Expressions

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To take time off – to be absent from work, at home, or on vacation.
Ex: I’m going to take a few days off to visit my parents.

To take a vacation – to take time away from work, especially when you travel from pleasure.
Ex: I’m taking my vacation next month. We’re going to Greece.

To take a sabbatical – to take time away from work to study or travel, usually while continuing to be paid.
Ex: He’s on sabbatical while he does his MBA. He’ll be back next month.

To take unpaid leave – to have an authorized absence from work but without salary.
Ex: She’s taken some unpaid leave while she moves the house.

To be off sick – to be absent from work due to illness.
Ex: When you’re off sick, you must provide a doctor’s note.

Sick leave – the time when you can be absent from work, often while being
paid part or all of your salary.
Ex: She is having an operation and she’ll be on sick leave for the next two months.

Maternity leave – the period a mother is legally authorized to be absent from work before and after the birth of a child.
Ex: Her maternity leave finishes next week but she is not coming back to work.

Parental leave – the time that a parent is allowed to spend away from work to take care of their baby.
Ex: He has taken parental leave to look after the baby while his wife returns to work.

Statutory sick pay – the money paid by a company to an employee who
cannot work due to illness.
Ex: If you are absent from work due to illness, you may be able to claim sick pay.

A public holiday – a day when almost everybody does not have to go to work (for example in the US July 4th or January 1st).
Ex: We have 25 days paid holiday plus 10 public holidays.

Idioms & Expressions

10 Expressions with "Mind"

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Bear/keep in mind – remember, don’t forget.
Ex: Keep in mind that I’m not helping you any longer. From now on, you’re on your own!

Be in two minds – unable to decide.
Ex: I’m in two minds about the job offer.

Be open-minded – willing to consider different ideas.
Ex: You can talk to me about anything. I’m an open-minded person.

Bring to mind – make you remember something.
Ex: This photo brings to mind some happy memories.

Change your mind – make a new decision about something.
Ex: I planned to go fishing but I changed my mind when I heard the weather forecast.

Cross/pass your mind – suddenly occur as a thought.
Ex: I’ve almost forgotten about Jane but she crossed my mind today.

Lose your mind – go mad
Ex: You must remember where you parked your car. have you lost your mind?

Make up your mind – make a decision
Ex: I can’t make up my mind whether to go on holiday to Greece or Italy.

My mind went blank – suddenly forget everything.
Ex: The teacher asked me a question and my mind went blank, I couldn’t remember anything.

Peace of mind – state of calmness, carefree.
Ex: Peace of mind is more valuable than all the money in the world.


Relative Pronouns

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Most commonly used relative pronouns are whowhichthatwhose, when and where.

We normally use who for people and some pet animals and which for things.

We can use that instead of who or which.

The woman who (that) gave me the letter.

She gave me the letter which (that) was red.

This is the computer which (that) costs a lot of money.

Is this the person who (that) stole your purse?

We use whose as the possessive form of who:

This is the man whose house we bought.

Jane married a man whose family adore her.

We use when to introduce time:

There is a time when everyone needs to rest.

5 o’clock is the time when we usually have tea.

We use where for place:

I know a place where they serve excellent fish and chips.

This is the town where I used to live.

Quiz: Relative Pronouns

Phrasal Verbs

6 Phrasal Verbs with “Ask”

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ASK FOR – to request to see or speak to someone.
Bob asked for you while you were at work.

ASK AFTER SOMEBODY – ask about someone’s health.
Milly asked after your dad.

ASK AROUND – to ask different people in order to get information.
They asked around and eventually someone showed them the way.

ASK SOMEBODY IN – to invite somebody inside.
Sheila asked David in for a coffee.

ASK SOMEBODY OUT – invite somebody on a date.
I’d like to ask Jane out. What do you think?

ASK ABOUT – ask how somebody is doing.
Biology teacher asked about you the other day.


How to Use “So” and “Such” Correctly

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So and such are used to strengthen the meaning of adjectives.

So is used before an adjective without a noun.

For example:

The film was so boring.

My neighbors are so loud.

Such is used before an adjective that comes with a noun.

For example:

It is such a lovely day today.

This water pipe is such a nuisance.

So and such are also used with THAT-clause.

For example:

The bride was so beautiful that I couldn’t believe it.

That dress was such a bargain that I had to buy it.


Collocations about BOOKS

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Be absorbed in a book – be totally focused on reading.
Ex: Derek didn’t hear me because he was absorbed in a book.

Bedtime reading – reading in bed.
Ex: Would you recommend horror stories for bedtime reading?

Compulsive reading – so interesting that you can’t stop reading.
Ex: More and more people are indulging in compulsive reading.

Light reading – something you read easily.
Ex: Love novels are light reading.

Skim through a book – not read thoroughly.
Ex: I skimmed through a detective story you gave me and decided to take it on holiday, it seems interesting.


Order of Adverbs

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An adverb is a word that gives more information about a verb, an adjective, another adverb, or even an entire sentence. It can be one word or an adverbial phrase:

Emma loved her son deeply.

Emma loved her son with all her heart.

They describe:

  • how an action is done (adverbs of manner):

She pushed him gently.

  • Where (adverbs of place):

We saw him at the cinema.

  • and when (adverbs of time):

She met him at 7 o’clock.

If there is more than one adverb, they usually go like this:


The New York Knicks played marvellously in Boston last night.

We were walking in the park in the afternoon.

Sometimes we place the adverb at the beginning of the sentence before the subject:

Yesterday, it was raining all day.

Sometimes, I like to have my tea in the evening.

Collocations, Vocabulary

Collocations with the Verb “Hope”

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Here are some collocations with the verb “hope” to help you adopt natural English expressions as well as build up your vocabulary:

Real / sincere hope

It is my sincere hope their marriage will be a happy one.

High hopes

High hopes of his parents were not realized.

False hope

Don’t give him false hope.

Early hopes

His early hopes of becoming a doctor became true.

Be full of hopes (hopeful)

They were full of hope they’d get the tickets.

Hope for the best

I had the car fixed. Now we can hope for the best.

Cherish hope

Mary cherished the hope David would propose to her.

Keep alive the hope

They kept their hope of moving abroad alive.

Give up hope

He gave up his hopes of becoming a pilot.

Every hope

We have every hope of finishing the project this year.

Hope in hell

You haven’t got a hope in hell of getting that job.

Hopes and dreams

She told me all about her hopes and dreams.

Grammar, Mistaken Words


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English learners sometimes get confused about the usage of these two verbs because it’s not always easy to decide which one to use. Therefore, we need to be very careful when we use them.

We can say that take means to hold or pick something, while get has meanings: obtain, reach, arrive.

Besides, both verbs form numerous collocations, idioms and phrases which we need to learn by heart just like any other vocabulary.

Here are some examples:

He took some cheese out of the fridge.

He always takes shower in the evening.

John took me to the cinema.

I got my salary on Friday.

I’m afraid I haven’t got your email.

I always get up at 7.

Do the quiz to perfect your knowledge: