Speaking blog post using All/Every/Other/Another
I have written several articles on this site about common mistakes that students make in their speaking or written work in my class. Here are a few more common errors for you to think about and hopefully avoid in your efforts to improve your speaking skills.
All and every often cause students problems in their speaking. They are pretty much the same in meaning. The main difference is that all is never used with a singular noun unless the noun is uncountable.
All bottles should be removed from your bag.
All children should be accompanied by an adult.
Every is used with singular nouns only and never with uncountable nouns.
Every child should be accompanied by an adult.
Every bottle should be removed from your bag.
Also, all can be used as a noun: All is well. All failed the exam. All rejoiced at the news.
Every can never be used as a noun.
Many students struggle with this one, especially when they are trying to speak quickly and don’t have time to think. Fortunately, it’s not a serious mistake and it’s easy to correct.
Another is used with singular and uncountable nouns.
Do you want another beer?
Another person was found on the island.
Other is used with plural nouns.
Other people like it.
I visited many other countries.
Leave a Place
I find that many students struggle with this one or simply forget. Very often people in my class use some strange expressions to explain that they (or someone else) left somewhere. I often here things like, “I went out of my office at 5:00”. Or, “I go out of my house at 8:30”. These sound very awkward and although they are technically correct it would be much better to say, “I left my office”. Or “I leave my house”.
It for Weather
Describing weather is one of the first things people study on an English course, so it’s amazing that very few people seem to know that when we want to make a weather comment, we usually just use “it” to mean weather.
It’s hot today, isn’t it.
I can’t believe how cold it is.
*End of September 19, 2004 – Speaking*