ESL Vocabulary Strategies
Written by tutor Ekaterina V.
A great number of English learners stumble upon the fact that they just don’t know enough words. The strategies I have gathered here will be useful to a learner of English of any level, from complete beginners to those who have been studying the language for a while. A few of these strategies can be easily used daily without much...
What is a verb?
Written by tutor Nancy W.
A verb is a word that expresses “action, state, or a relation between two things, and that may be inflected for tense, aspect, voice, mood, and to show agreement with their subject or object” according to dictionary.com
So, what does that actually mean?
A verb helps us tell us what (a type of action or state of being) and when something...
Reading Strategies: Learning Vocabulary
Written by tutor Beatriz G.
The vocabulary dilemma for ESL learners is a big one. A person who has just arrived in the U.S. needs to gain a working vocabulary to be able to function at the most basic levels: go to the doctor, the store, find the right school for the children, get a driver’s license, and the list goes on.
Researchers have varied...
Pronunciation Tips for ESL learners
Written by tutor Pat D.
Learning English takes time and effort but the rewards are considerable. With your increased language skills, you can qualify for many more jobs and feel much more comfortable in conversations with your neighbors, co-workers and new American friends. I would like to offer you a few simple suggestions for quickly improving your...
Written by tutor Bethany K.
Prepositions generally show the relationship between nouns.
Think about the relationship between the nouns in this sentence:
The guitar is behind the door.
One noun (the guitar) is sitting BEHIND the other (the door). So, behind is a preposition.
Can you spot the prepositions in these sentences? Consider each noun’s relationship...
Written by tutor Matthew P.
English sentences are usually composed in Subject-Verb-Object word order, for example, “The boy loves the girl.” The
subject is the noun or
pronoun doing the action (in this case, the boy), the verb is the action itself (loves), and the
direct object is that to which or whom the action is done (the girl). Writing a sentence in this...
Parts of Speech
Written by tutor Suzanne R.
There are eight different types of words, commonly referred to as "parts of speech," in the English language. These are: nouns, verbs,
prepositions and interjections. Some scholars also consider articles a ninth part of speech, and to be thorough we will consider articles...
Written by tutor Eileen W.
A noun names a person, place or thing. A noun is - to use a slang term – a thingymajig.
There are two kinds: concrete, think of the material that makes up a sidewalk. It is touchable, solid, you can jump on it or do something to it. Then there is the
abstract type of noun: loyalty, honesty, happiness. You can feel these, think about these, or talk...
Modal Auxiliary Verbs
Written by tutor Karina G.
For reference for new ESL tutors: Often, ESL books unnecessarily use dense language to convey otherwise simple ideas and grammatical rules. It is important for us to break down that language and teach new grammatical concepts to our students using plain language and easy-to-follow rules.
This article is written specifically for ESL...
Written by tutor Don M.
What makes a verb regular or irregular? What are some of the characteristics of an irregular verb?
First, to explain regular verbs. Those are verbs that, when conjugated (that is, they are changed to reflect the correct tense, person, mood, number, etc.), use the same root with a different ending. It then follows that an “irregular verb” changes—sometimes...
Teaching Gerunds and Infinitives to ESL Students
Written by tutor Patricia M.
Probably one of the most difficult concepts an ESL student has to understand and apply when learning the English language is that of the gerund. Many languages, particularly the Romance Languages (French, Italian,
Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian, all national languages) have the infinitive forms of their...
Fragments and Run-on Sentences
Written by tutor Allia S.
Run-on sentences and fragments are the most common sentence errors for students who are learning how to construct sentences and how to combine sentences in English. See
combining sentences for more information.
A run-on sentence is a sentence with two independent clauses that have been combined incorrectly...
Written by tutor Jonathan E.
Since childhood, we’ve all been trained to use specific words to make clear that two (or more) ideas are connected in some way. Even toddlers, in their nonstop demands for “soda AND candy AND fast food AND toys,” emphasize the relationship among different things (in this case, that they are all desired items). Words like “and” represent the part...
Written by tutor Allia S.
The ability to combine sentences correctly is a key step to expressing an individual's ideas and heading towards a better understanding and utilization of the English language. With that said, many ESL students face difficulties when understanding the “rules” of sentence combining. I understand the pieces but how can I put a sentence together...
Written by tutor Vicki N.
The first step in choosing the proper article (a, an, the) is to determine if the noun is “countable” or “uncountable”. For example, the noun person is a “countable” noun because one or more persons can exist. I can write one person or a plural form of the noun, five persons. One way to decide is to use a dictionary which differentiates between...
Written by tutor Alexa S.
What is an adverb?
An adverb describes a verb or an adjective. It can describe when, where, or how about an action.
When: After breakfast, he goes to work.
Where: He went upstairs.
How: He quickly ran to the bathroom.
Adverbs are different than adjectives (adjectives describe nouns). However, adverbs are often adjective words...
Written by tutor Ella R.
Adjectives are words that describe a person or a thing in the sentence. Adjectives are beautiful but must refrain from being generic. After all if they are describing someone or something they better stand out. Think of them as the “cousins of the adverb”. They stand tall and proud. Here are some examples:
a trustworthy friend
a stunning woman
Written by tutor Katherine Y.
A pronoun is a word used in place of a noun or nouns.
The noun which the pronoun replaces is called its antecedent.
If something has already been named, we don't need to keep repeating the noun throughout a sentence or paragraph. Instead, we may use a pronoun to
refer to the original noun.
In general, pronouns are not as specific as...
ESL Lessons & Help
Are you learning how to speak English? You've come to the right place! Here, tutors have shared their knowledge so that you won't be confused as to
what a preposition is. You can also brush up on
irregular verbs and learn some cool new
vocabulary strategies. If you still need help mastering the English language - we don't blame you! Contact one of our awesome
I am new to Wyzant and want to introduce myself to the community here. I lived in Mexico for the past 18 months and am returning to San Diego at the end of September. I have a TESOL certification and have been Teaching English a Second Language while living here. I am also a Speech and Language Pathologist and so I have many skills to help with tutoring especially for English/Language...