When Do We Use “I Were” Instead Of “I Was”

I was home all day yesterday and heard a lot of noise coming from my neighbor’s house. It seems like they are having some work done there. If I were them, I would ask the carpenter to not make noise on a Sunday. I wish I were braver, because if I were, I would have gone over there and yelled at them!

For today’s free English Lesson, I’m going to show you some special cases when we use “I were” instead of the usual “I was.”. Have a look at the paragraph above once more and then check the lesson.

I am sure you know how to form and use the past tense of the “be” verb. We use was for singular subjects, and were for plural subjects, like this:

  • I was at home all day yesterday. ←Singular subject
  • The pen was on the table. ←Singular subject
  • We were at home all day yesterday. ←Plural subject
  • The pens were on the table. ←Plural subject

However, there are two basic exceptions to this rule. The first is after “if” in a conditional sentence. After “if”, we use were:

  • If I were taller, I would be a better basketball player. Not, If I was taller….
  • If Jack were here, he could fix the computer for us. Not, If Jack was here….
  • If I were you, I would quit that job and get a better one.

As well, we use were after “wish”:

  • I wish I were taller.
  • I wish Jack were here to fix the computer.
  • I wish I were good at sports!

Well, I hope you found this lesson helpful. How about writing a few sentences using If I were or If I was in the comment box below? I’ll review them for you!

If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

 



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How To Use Matter – Confusing English Vocabulary

Several of my students have asked me about the word matter and how to use it, so for today’s English lesson, let’s have a look at both the noun and verb form of this word.

As a noun, we generally use matter in a question or negative sentence. Matter means problem or trouble:

  • What’s the matter with the computer?
  • I don’t know what the matter with Jane is. She seems down today.

We usually don’t use the matter in a positive sentence. Look at this conversation:

  • What’s the matter with the computer?
  • I think the problem is the hard drive. Not, I think the matter is the hard drive.

So to answer “What’s the matter~” you can say things like “The problem is~” or  “The issue is~” etc.

As a verb we generally use matter in questions or negative sentences, but it can be used in positive sentences. Matter means, important or significant.

  • Jim: Does it matter where we have lunch today?
  • Jen: It doesn’t matter where we go, as long as it’s not fast food.

Here is another example:

  • Everything she says matters to me because I value her opinions.

There are other uses of matter as well:

Matter as a noun means physical substance and this meaning is often used in science:

  • There has been no organic matter found on the moon.
  • In physics calls, the students learned about inorganic matter.

Matter also means written or printed material like books and newspapers, but this usage is a bit formal:

  • I have prepared some reading matter for class today.
  • That company deals with digitizing printed matter.

As a noun, matter also means an issue or situation being considered or discussed.

  • The marketing problem? We discussed the matter all morning.
  • I am aware that John’s performance is not good and I have already reviewed the matter with the boss.

Well, I hope you found this lesson helpful. How about writing a few sentences using matter in the comment box below? I’ll review them for you!

If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

 



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How To Use Go & Come + And + Verb – English Grammar Lesson

How To Use Go & Come + And + Verb - English Grammar Lesson

I invited him to stay and have a cup of coffee.

I’ve been thinking about buying a new computer, so after work today I think I’ll go and see what they have at the electronic shop near my office. My friend Yalcin came and visited me this morning and said the shop was having a sale. Yalcin lives in Turkey, but he’s visiting New York this week. When he came this morning, I invited him to stay and have a cup of coffee. We had a fun time catching up with each other.

For today’s free English lesson, I’m going to show you how we connect verbs like go, come, and stay with other verbs using and. Have a look at the paragraph above once more and then check the lesson.

We use verbs that show movement (like go, come, and stay) followed by and verb in informal English. The basic pattern is verb 1 + and + verb 2. Verb 1 is the verb of movement, and verb 2 is another verb which generally shows the reason or purpose of the movement. The connecting word and has the meaning of in order to. For example, go and see means to go somewhere in order to see something:

  • I think I’ll go and see what they have at the electronic shop.
  • My friend Yalcin always comes and visits me when he is in New York.
  • I invited him to stay and have a cup of coffee.

It’s also possible to use the past or future forms of the verbs:

  • Jane stayed and took care of me when I was sick.
  • He came and visited me this morning.
  • I’m going and seeing what they have on sale at the store.

In American English, we usually omit and when we use come and go:

  • I think I’ll go see what they have at the electronic shop.
  • Why don’t you come visit me when you are in New York?
  • I’m going to go buy coffee after work.

What are you going to go do today? Why not try writing a few sentences using this grammar in the comment box below? I’ll review them for you!

If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

 



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