Speaking Lesson about All/Every/Other/Another

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*

How to Improve Your English Speaking

A Blog Post about English Speaking


As an English teacher, I have experienced the dreaded question countless times. A student waits behind after class until everyone has left the room and then asks to speak to me privately. It seems as if they are frightened that someone else might hear our conversation. I am always happy to deal with questions about English after class but this question is always a little tricky. Not that it’s hard to answer but I feel it always leaves the student disappointed. And the question – “Teacher, how can I improve my English?”


While it is true that there are a few geniuses out there who can pick up a new language with minimal study, most of us just have to get down to some bloody hard work! Unfortunately, there is no hidden secret, fast way, easy way, new way, or fancy way to learn any language. It’s simply a case of putting in the hours, staying motivated and never giving up.


That said, there are things you can do to make sure that all your hard work is effective. Any new language must be approached with the view to studying all the skills together. Internalizing language, that is, not only knowing aspects of language but being able to use it without thinking too much, can only be achieved by reading, listening, studying the grammar, writing, speaking and constant practice and review.


I’m not saying anything new here but it’s amazing the number of students who think there is any easy way round it. Some people in my classes complain that they don’t need to study writing, for example, because they don’t need to write in English either in their studies or in their job; they only need to communicate verbally. Others complain that grammar is boring and the only way to learn is by speaking to native speakers. Reading is difficult and tedious because of the amount of time spent looking through the dictionary. The thing that many would-be English speakers fail to see is that the brain needs to be stimulated in many different ways to not only learn but to internalize language.


You may find writing a grammatically correct paragraph a hard slog. Listening to the same dialogue fifteen or more times can be hell. Verb conjugation and fill-in-the-blanks exercises may seem like a waste of time with little benefit. But I promise you that bit by bit you will improve if you study all skills together.


I once read an article about IELTS that claimed to increase your score by one point, you had to study for 200 hours. I believe this, and whether you are studying for an exam or you just want to improve your conversation skills think about that. For every two hundred hours you spend studying and practicing, you will improve by a point.


Stay with it and I hope you earn many points in your efforts to keep learning and improving your English speaking.


*End of July 18, 2013, Speaking Lesson*

How to Speak English Like a Native Speaker

Speaking English Like a Native Speaker


How to Make Cleft Sentences


First, why use cleft sentences? Well, you don’t actually need to but they are very common with native speakers and they will make you sound more fluent and give more feeling and stress to your sentences. Also, they would be very useful in speaking tests in which examiners are checking that you use a variety of expressions. If you want to speak like a native speaker, use cleft sentences! Let’s compare a typical sentence with a cleft sentence:



Typical – I like the class because we learn real English and not just grammar.


Cleft Sentence – What I like about the class is that we learn real English and not just grammar.



Grammar of a Cleft Sentence


Subject                       verb                         be verb             object



What I                         like                              is             that we study real English.


The things I                appreciate                  are          studying with music and DVDs



Something he             doesn’t enjoy              is              homework






Answer the questions using in a cleft sentence using the prompts in brackets.



1. What is the hardest thing about learning English? (learn/grammar)


2. What part of English do you like studying best? (listening/reading)


3. What is something you don’t like studying? (vocabulary)


4. What is the most effective way of studying for you? (listen to songs)


5. What could you do to improve your English? (practice speaking more)


6. What do you want to do with your English? (get a 6 on the IELTS test.)


Suggested Answers

1. What I find hard is learning grammar.

2. The things I like best are studying listening and reading.

3. Something I don’t like studying is vocabulary.

4. What I find most effective is listening to songs.

5. Something I could do is practice speaking more.

6. The thing I would like to do is get a 6 on the IELTS test.


*End of July 17, 2013, Speaking Lesson*

Welcome to the Speaking section of our blog!


This is the Speaking section! 


Speaking: verb To say words.


Welcome to the Speaking area of our blog. Speaking is the biggest part of learning English. You will spend most of your English interaction time speaking and listening. The lessons in this category are not intended to help the Pronunciation of your speaking, but rather the skills needed to speak English correctly.