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1

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Lend

Lend means ‘give something to someone for a short time, expecting that you will get it back’. The past simple and the -ed form are lent:

I never lend my CDs to anyone.

I lent Gary £30. (I expect that Gary will return this to me)

2

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Borrow

Borrow is a regular verb meaning ‘get something from someone, intending to give it back after a short time’:

Could I borrow your pen for a minute, please?

Laura used to borrow money from me all the time.

3

Typical error between Lend and Borrow

When you give something, you lend it; when you get or receive something, you borrow it:

Can I borrow your dictionary?

Not: Can I lend your dictionary?

4

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Trip

Trip (N.)


The act of going to another place (often for a short period of time) and returning.

We took a five-day trip to the Amazon.
You’re back from vacation! How was your trip?
I went on business trips to Switzerland and Germany last month.
Use the verbs “take” and “go on” with trip.

A round-trip ticket is a ticket for going and coming back.
A one-way ticket is only for going.

5

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Travel

Travel (V.)
Going to another place (in general).

I really like to travel.
He travels frequently for work.
My sister is currently traveling through South America.
Travel (n.) can be used to describe the act of traveling in general:

Travel in that region of the country is dangerous.
World travel gives you a new perspective.

6

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Journey

Journey (N.)
One piece of travel (going from one place to another) – usually a long distance.

The journey takes 3 hours by plane or 28 hours by bus.
He made the 200-mile journey by bike.
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step” – Lao-tze, Tao Te Ching
We can also use journey in a more “metaphorical” way to talk about progress in life:

He has overcome a lot of problems on his spiritual journey.
My uncle is an alcoholic, but he’s beginning the journey of recovery.

7

Incorrect Uses Of Travel

Not: I bought this shirt on my travel to Thailand.
I bought this shirt on my trip to Thailand.

Not: I’m planning a travel to the U.S. next year.
I’m planning to travel to the U.S. next year.
I’m planning a trip to the U.S. next year.

8

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to meet

We use the verb to meet when:

we are introduced to someone for the first time. In fact we say, ‘Pleased to meet you’ when we meet new people.
we have an arrangement to get together with people to do something.
Examples of the verb ‘to meet’ in context:

I met my husband in New Zealand.
I am meeting Joe this afternoon for a coffee.
Let’s meet at the cinema.

9

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to know

We use the verb, ‘to know’ when:

a person / thing is already familiar to you.
you are informed about something because you learnt it before or experienced it before.
Examples of the verb ‘to know’ in context:

I’ve known him for 15 years. We met for the first time at a wedding.
I know Jane very well. We have been friends ever since we were children.

10

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Meet Up

This is rather informal and would typically be used to talk about arrangements to meet friends.

Example: I’m meeting up with Jane later today.

11

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Meet With

This is more formal and is typically used in a business context.

Example: I met with the manager to discuss the project.

12

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TO GET TO KNOW

We use the verb, ‘to get to know’ when:

to describe the process of becoming familiar with someone or something
Examples of the phrasal verb, ‘to get to know’ in context:

I met Mark on his first day at work. We got to know each other when we worked on a project together.

The first day in a new city is confusing but after a day or two you get to know your way around.

13

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May

Use “May” When The Event Is Slightly More Likely To Happen

“What are you doing this weekend?”

“Shopping! I’m going to buy some new clothes, and I may get a new hat as well.” (it’s slightly more probable that I will buy the hat)

“What are you doing this weekend?”

“I might go to the movies. I’m not sure.”
(it’s slightly less probable that I will go to the movies)

14

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May

Always Use “May” When Asking For Permission

“May I open the window?”

This question is correct, but it sounds rather formal. Most English speakers would probably say “Can I open the window?” in everyday life.

15

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Might

In The Past, Always Use “Might” (In The Structure Might + Have + Past Participle)

“Why is Sheila so happy today?”

“I don’t know. She might have gotten a promotion – I’d heard a rumor that the boss was thinking of making her manager.”

16

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Might

Always Use “Might” With “Not”

I may not go to the wedding.
In this case, may not sounds like I don’t have permission to go.
I might not go to the wedding.
In this case, might not means maybe I will go, maybe I won’t go.

Many native English speakers do not make a major distinction between may and might, and the two words are often used interchangeably – so don’t worry too much about it!

17

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Tell / Told

Tell means “to give information to a person” – so tell (present) and told (past) are always followed by a person.

Examples:

Tell me about the movie. Did you like it?

Peter, I told you not to eat any cookies before dinner!

Did you tell Sam about what happened at school today?

The police told us that the situation was under control.

Derek and Melissa told everybody that they were engaged to be married.

You should tell her what you think about her idea.

Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone your secret.

18

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Say / Said

With say (present) or said (past), we can use these structures:

say (something)
say that (something)
say (something) to (a person)
“(something)” a person said
Examples:

Francis says she doesn’t like chocolate.

I said that the new website design was great.

What did the teacher say to you when you failed the test?

“Nice to meet you,” Harry said.
Structures #1 and #2 are the most common in spoken English.

Don’t make this common mistake!
Not: He said me that he had to leave.
Yes: He told me that he had to leave.

19

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Speak / Spoke

Use speak (present) and spoke (past) with languages, and with talking in general (no specific details). We can use speak with (someone) and speak to (someone)

Examples:

I speak English.

Does Donna speak Italian?

Emma is going to speak in front of 500 people at the conference.

We spoke to the boss this morning. (general conversation, no specific details)

I need to speak with you about the new project. (general topic, no details)

In the case of speak with (someone) and speak to (someone), you can also say talk to or talk with.

However, you can’t use “talk” with languages:

Not: I don’t talk Chinese.
Yes: I don’t speak Chinese.

20

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Some

Is Used In Positive Statements.

I want some bread

Exception To The Rule:
“Some” can be used in questions if you are offering something to someone, or asking for something:

Would you like some bread?
Can I have some extra ketchup for my fries, please?

Only Use "SOME" with Uncountable Nouns

She wants some water. (water = uncountable noun)

Don’t Use “Some” With Singular Countable Nouns:

Can I have some apple? (apple = singular countable noun)
Can I have an apple?

21

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Any

Is Used In Negative Statements And Questions

I don’t want any bread.
Do we have any bread in the house?

Only Use “Any” With Plural Countable Nouns:

He hasn’t received any e-mails yet. (e-mails = plural countable noun)

Don’t Use “Any” With Singular Countable Nouns:

Paul doesn’t have any car. (car = singular countable noun)
Paul doesn’t have a car.

22

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Look

to look at something for a reason, with an intention.

‘Look at that strange man.’
‘Look at the pictures I took on holiday.’

23

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See

to ‘see’ something that comes into our sight that we weren’t looking for.

‘Did you see that bird? – I wasn’t looking for it, it just appeared.
‘I saw you driving to work today.’

24

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Watch

to look at something carefully, usually at something which is moving.

‘Watch TV’- the TV doesn’t move, but you watch the moving images carefully.
‘Watch here you are going! You almost stepped on my foot!’

25

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Still

The word still is used to show that an action is happening or not happening up to the present. It is often, but not always, used especially when the action was expected to end earlier.

The placement of this word can vary, but is most commonly used in front of the main verb, or after the present simple or past simple of ‘to be’, as you can see in the example below.

E.g. The students still enjoyed the party, even though it was raining.
E.g. I can’t believe it is still raining!

26

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Anymore

Anymore is used in sentences to demonstrate that something is no longer happening or is finished. It can also mean “from now on”. This word is often used with a negative phrase, but not always. It usually appears at the end of a sentence.

E.g. I’m not in school anymore. (This person is no longer in school.)

27

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Like

Use ‘like’ to state that someone is very similar to
another. Like is a preposition and should be followed by a noun or pronoun.

She is like her mother. (= They are very similar.)
She plays the piano like her sister.

In a very informal style, like is often used as a conjunction. This is very common in American
English. However, this is not considered correct.

Nobody loves her like I do.

Nobody loves her like me. (Note that here the preposition like is followed by the object
pronoun me.)

28

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As

As is used to describe the function of a person or object.

He works as a bartender.

As can also be used as a conjunction. In this case, it is followed by a clause or a prepositional
phrase. As a conjunction as shows similarity.

Nobody loves her as I do.
In August, as in July, the weather is very hot.

Here the conjunction as is followed by the prepositional phrase ‘in July’.

29

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Just

The word “just” has several possible definitions:

1) Recently

Be careful – I just washed the floor, and it’s still wet.
(= I washed the floor a few minutes ago)

He just finished a big project.
(= he finished the project very recently)

2) Only

I have just one brother. (= I have only one brother)

I thought you were hungry, but you ate just half of your sandwich.
(= you ate only half of your sandwich, and no more)

30

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Only

The word “only” can be replaced with “just” in most situations:

Only two students came to class on the day before Christmas.
= Just two students came to class on the day before Christmas.

My kids only use the internet for schoolwork, not for playing games.
= My kids just use the internet for schoolwork, not for playing games.

In the expression “If only…” you can use “just” if you change the structure a little bit:

If only I had studied harder. I would’ve passed the test.
= If I had just studied harder, I would’ve passed the test.

31

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“Only” and “just”

“Only” and “just” are interchangeable with definition 2 of “just,” but not with definition 1.

Definition 2 – Same meaning
We have just one daughter. = We have only one daughter.

Definition 1 – Different meanings
I just washed the floor (a few minutes ago)
I only washed the floor (and I didn’t wash the table)

However, it also depends on the context:

“Did you clean the whole house?”
“No, I just washed the floor” (= I only washed the floor).

“Why is the floor wet?”
“Because I just washed it”
(= I recently washed it. In this case, you can’t use “only”)

Word Order

When you use “just,” the word order matters:

I just ate two pieces of pizza. ( = I recently ate two pieces of pizza)

I ate just two pieces of pizza ( = I ate only two pieces, not 3 or 4 or 5)