Why Online English Classes? Why Lingoloop?

Online English Class

Have you been considering an online English class? It makes sense for a lot of people. With life’s many demands (career, family, chores) more adults are turning to online English classes to improve their English.

 

Benefits of an Online English Class

It may be obvious, but here is a short list of reasons why online English classes are becoming more popular with busy adults.

 

Anywhere, Anytime: With the growth of high speed Internet, students can attend classes from anywhere (with a WiFi signal). Video chat (or VC) is no longer only used on computers – it is just as common for people to use smartphones for VC. Also, most online English programs offer classes at all hours of the day making it very easy for customers to find a time that works with their busy schedules.

 

Access to Native English Speakers: Even if you live in the USA or Canada, you may not have easy access to native English speakers who are willing to help you improve. Foreign students tend to build their social lives around their native communities in college. Recent immigrants also seek out other expats from their home nation and have few chances to use English.

 

Small Class Sizes: There are plenty of language schools (both free and paid) that offer in-person tutorial services. However, many of them try to pack in as many students as possible into a given class. This is profitable for the school, but is usually a bad experience for the student. Most companies that offer online English classes feature much smaller class sizes (3 to 4 people) that allow for more interaction and engagement.

 

Online English Class Lingoloop

Why Lingoloop?

 

People ask us all the time: “How is Lingoloop different from other online English courses?” On the surface we may seem just like everyone else, but in reality we strived to build a premium learning experience that separates us from the competition.

 

Our Teachers: We pride ourselves on hiring the best teachers for Lingoloop. Many studied at elite colleges. Some have a master’s degree in education and/or a TEFL certification. All of them have prior experience in the classroom and are trained to listen to the needs of our students.

 

Our Method: Lingoloop has been designed by educators with over ten years of experience with online teaching (ten years is a lifetime in online education!). The focus of our program is to get students comfortable speaking English as soon as possible. Our teachers listen more than they talk – that’s the key to teaching, and providing great feedback. 100% fluency is not everyone’s goal, and nor should it be. However, we strive to get our students 100% comfortable speaking English – “feel good speaking English” as we like to say.

 

We Make Learning Fun: Education does not have to be boring. Our customers choose us because they don’t want to sit in a classroom with 30 other people listening to a boring lecture. They want an engaging and memorable experience that they will actually enjoy! Learning is easier when you are having fun.

 

A Boutique Experience: Many of our competitors are 100% focused on growth and scale above everything else. From the beginning we have been focused on making our customers happy, and it shows. We are proud of our 5-star reviews and our positive testimonials.

 

Now that you know a little bit about our online English classes, go tell your friends about us. If you are interested in trying Lingoloop, give our FREE TRIAL CLASS a shot. See you in class!

 

Why Should I Improve My English?

You’ve probably thought about this for a while: why do I need to improve my English?

Maybe you speak English at your job, or your teachers speak English, or maybe people speak English where you live.  Maybe you just started studying, or maybe you took classes when you were younger, but now it’s time to get serious.

Why should you improve your English?

* 50+ countries have English as their official or preferred language
* ~1.75 billion people speak English around the world
* English is 1 of the 6 official languages of the United Nations
* 51% of the internet is in English
* English is the preferred medical language throughout the world
* English is increasingly the language of international business

Sadly, there’s no magical way to learn English, or any language.  But just like you learned your native language, you can learn English. No matter what your reason is for WHY you want to improve your English, online English classes with Lingoloop can help you feel good speaking English.

The best way to learn a new language is to practice.  Watching videos and listening to music can help, but you can’t stop a video in the middle and ask ‘But WHY did he say “person” and not “people”?’  Having a real tutor available to answer your questions and help you practice is the fastest, easiest, and surest way to improve your English.  Once you feel good speaking English with your tutor, communicating with people in your work, your neighborhood, and your life will be so much easier!

 

In future posts, we’ll be looking at English as it is used by businesses, governments, schools, and people in everyday conversations all around the world.  Start improving your English today with LingoLoop, and let us help you feel good speaking English!

 

 

 

 

Speak Better English with Modal Verbs: Possibility

We’re returning today to speaking better English with modal verbs!

You’ll remember from our last post that modal verbs can be very powerful tools to help us speak English fluently.  They can modify the verbs we use, in effect giving us a dozen or more meanings from just a single verb.  For example, each of these three sentences has a totally different meaning, but only one word (the modal) has changed:

I can swim…. (so if our boat sinks, I’ll be ok!)
I should swim…. (because I hear it is good exercise.)
I might swim…… (because my friends want to go to the beach.)
I would swim……. (but it’s too cold, so I’ll just go to the gym instead.)

Last time, we discussed modals of ABILITY – words like “can” and “could” that show that someone has the ability to do something.  For example:

You can study English online with a native speaker at Lingoloop.

This is an example of something you have the ABILITY to do, just like you CAN brush your teeth, or you CAN read a book.

So what else do modals do?

Modals can show that something MIGHT happen, or MIGHT not.  They can let us talk about “Maybe….”.  These are called modals of possibility.

The modals of possibility are:

  • – can          – could
  • – may       – might

You’ll notice that we see “can” and “could” again here, just like we did for ability.  You’ll be able to see the difference in meaning in each sentence. For example:

I can write your name in English!
vs
I can come home at 3pm today if you need me to.

In the first sentence, the speaker is writing is saying that they have the ABILITY to write in English. In the second sentence, the speaker is saying that it’s POSSIBLE for them to come home, if necessary.

“Can”, “could”, “may”, and “might” all work in the same way, and you can use them interchangeably.  For example:

I might go to the movies tonight.
I may go to the movies tonight.
I could go to the movies tonight.
I can go to the movies tonight.

A note about negatives: “may”and “might” can be made into negative possibilities by adding the particle “not”, so that “I may/might go to the movies tonight, or I may/might not.” However, “can” and “could” are NOT negatives of possibility.  Saying “I can not go to the movies” turns “can” back into a modal of ability, so that you don’t have the ability to go to the movies, not just the possibility.

Finally, remember that after modal verbs, all main verbs stay the same.
You will never need to say “She might goes“, because “She might go” is already correct.  Don’t you love how easy modals are? They make it so much easier to speak English fluently.

Let’s try a few examples:

What are you plans for the evening?
I don’t know, …
a) I might do my homework, but I want to go to the movies.
b) I couldn’t do my homework, but I want to go to the movies.
c) I might does my homework, but I want to go to the movies.

 

 

 

She’s always late for class!  What do you think is the problem this time?
Well, …
a) she may be stuck in traffic, or she cannot be coming.
b) she may be stuck in traffic, or she might not be coming.
c) she may is stuck in traffic, or she might not is coming.

 

 

Do you think the teacher will remember that he forgot to give us the exam?
I don’t know, …
a) he could remembers, but I hope not!
b) he might remembers, but I hope not!
c) he may remember, but I hope not!

 

 

Your answers should be A, B, and C.

 

Want to speak better English with modal verbs?  You MIGHT choose a Lingoloop tutor to help you! Discover why our students think Lingoloop is the best online English class. Try our FREE TRIAL CLASS to feel good speaking English today.

 

Speak Better English With Modal Verbs: Ability

You use them all the time when speaking English.  They pair with other verbs, ask questions, modify statements.  They’re “extra” words, “helping” words.  They have a name: MODAL VERBS!

Modal verbs are those auxiliary words that we use to modify verbs used for standard actions and they are the key to speaking better English.  Verbs like “can”, “should”, “will”, and “might” are very important to communicating accurately.  For example, these two sentences are very different.

I swim. -> Maybe they swim every day? Maybe they swim for exercise?  Either way, they probably swim often.

I can swim. -> If this person falls out of a boat, they’ll probably be ok.  They didn’t go swimming today, though.

“Can” is a modal that belongs to the family of modal verbs that express ABILITY, or things that you can or can’t do.  The modals of ability are:

  • Can / Can’t, Cannot
  • Could / Couldn’t, Could not

“Can” means that you have the ability to do something now.  For example, maybe you “can drive” a car, or you “can cook” a delicious dinner.  “Could” is for things that you had the ability to do before, but not now.  For example, maybe you “could visit” your grandma every day when you were younger, but then you moved away, so you can’t anymore; or maybe you “could ride” your bike to school when you were a kid, but now the traffic is really horrible and anyway, you have a car.

The wonderful thing about modals is THEY DON’T CHANGE.  That’s right!  So many verbs in English change when they’re in the “she/he/it” form, and when they’re in a different tense, and when they’re continuous or simple, but modals NEVER change.

You sentence will always be:

“I can run very far, since I run every day for exercise.”

You will never write:

“He cans run very far…”
“He can runs very far…”
“He can run verys far…” (ok, ok, this one is a bit much, I know)

Place your modal before your main verb, delete any changes you would make to that verb, and you’re done!  Let’s try a few examples to practice:

She ___________ very well, she has been studying for years.
a) can writes
b) cans write
c) can write

 

 

 

They love to sing, and they learned music in school, so they _________ beautifully.
a) can sing
b) can sings
c) cans sing

 

 

 

He never learned, so he _________ at home.
a) can cooks
b) can’t cook
c) can cook not

 

 

 

Your answers should be C, A, B.  Isn’t it wonderful?  No more changing verbs!  Now, let’s look at “could” and “couldn’t”, the modal for past ability.

She used to love basketball, but after she broke her knee she ________ anymore.
a) could play
b) couldn’t play
c) couldn’t plays

 

 

 

When I lived in my country, I _________ home to my family’s house every weekend.
a) could go
b) could goes
c) coulds go

 

 

 

Your answers here should be B and A.  Nice work!

Want to become a master of modals?  You CAN always contact LingoLoop to talk to an experienced tutor who CAN help you practice! Discover why our students think LingoLoop is the best online English class. Try our FREE TRIAL CLASS to feel good speaking English today.

 

 

Contractions: When You Can and When You Can’t

Contractions are the same as their longer forms, just shorter!

Contractions are wonderful, and we use them when speaking English all the time.

We don’t often hear: “I am going to the store later, but I cannot take you with be because you will need time to do your homework.”

Even when we read it, it sounds like a robot!  You’re more likely to hear: “I’m going to the store latter, but I can’t take you because you’ll need time to do your homework.”

How do contractions work?  In one of three ways:

Don’t do it!
  1. Negative contractions

Negative contractions are for when we need to use the “no” version of something.  The “not” part of the sentence gets pushed together, usually with a helping verb, and we exchange the “o” for an apostrophe [‘].  Negative contractions are words like:

  • Can not = Can’t
  • Do/Did not = Don’t/Didn’t
  • Would not = Wouldn’t
  • Could not = Couldn’t
  • Will not = Won’t
  • Should not = Shouldn’t
  • Might not = Mightn’t

Even though you see a lot of modal verbs in this list, there is no “may not” contraction: just say “That may not work” and use both words.

We’re going shopping, and she’s getting a new dress!

2. Be-verb Contractions

You probably heard a be-verb contraction before you even knew what a contraction was!  These are very common, and we use them all the time.  They give us words like:

  • I am = I’m
  • You are = You’re
  • She/he is = She’s/He’s
  • We are = We’re
  • They are = They’re

Be-verb contractions are only used for present tense verbs.  There is no “I was = I’s” contraction.

I’d love to go on an adventure! I’ve never been on an adventure before!

3. Helping verb contractions

Helping verbs like “have” and “will” and modal verbs like “would”, “could”, or “should” can be contracted with their subjects.  Be careful though!  Sometimes they can look the same, so be sure to read the whole sentence before you decide which verb has been contracted!

  • I would = I’d
  • Also: I had = I’d
  • You have = You’ve
  • She will = She’ll

Remember that usually* you can only use one contraction per subject.  “I have not” does NOT become “I’ven’t“.

* The only exception to this is “would + have”, which can sometimes be contracted in speaking to “She’d’ve”, for example:

She would have gone home, but she was having too much fun! 
She’d’ve gone home, but she was having too much fun!

Remember, only use this double-contraction in speaking, and try to avoid it in writing!

***

Want to learn more about how contractions can help you feel more confident speaking English?  Contact LingoLoop today to speak with a tutor!

 

“She said what…?” A Guide to Reported Speech

Have you ever been retelling a story and gotten a little tongue-tied? This happens to native English speakers too! When we are retelling information this is called indirect speech or reported speech. The tricky thing with this is that often in reported speech, the tenses change. To make your speech flawless, you need to know which tenses you need to change when you are retelling information. LingoLoop has the rules for perfect reported speech.

So many tenses!

Speak better English (and tell better stories) with these rules for reported speech:

  1. Introduce the initial speaker: “She/He/They said/told me…”
  2. Insert ‘that’. This part is optional. When it is used, it is put in right before the information you are retelling. In the examples below, we have put the ‘that’ in brackets- it is correct to both use it and to leave it out.
  3. Change of tense. The tense which the initial speaker used may change when you are repeating what they said.
  4. Change of pronouns.
Reported speech: a guide to gossiping

Past Tenses

Past simple: No change or change to past perfect

“I liked the dishes you brought – even if I seemed unable to handle the spiciness”.

>He told me (that) he liked the dishes I brought- even if he seemed unable to handle the spiciness”.

> “He said (that) he had liked the dishes I brought, even if he had seemed unable to handle the spiciness”.

He said that his eyes always watered at dinner

Past continuous: Change to past perfect + continuous

“I had been wearing a costume all day, there was no way I was going to another party dressed like that.”

>She said (that) she had been wearing a costume all day, and there was no way she was going to another party dressed like that.

 

Past perfect: No change

“I hadn’t used my mom’s discount card before, so I needed the assistant’s help”.

>Mark said (that) he hadn’t used his mom’s discount card before, so he needed the assistant’s help.

 

Present Tenses

Present simple: No change or change to past simple

“I love your sweater, I love how you even wear it in summer”.

>She told me (that) she loves my sweater, she loves how I even wear it in summer. I think she was being sarcastic.

>She told me (that) she loved my sweater, she loved how I even wear it in summer. I think she was being sarcastic.

 

Present continuous: Change to past simple

“I am freezing! Who throws a barbeque in February!”

>She said (that) she was freezing. She wondered who throws a barbecue in February.

He said frostbite was the best sauce

Present perfect: Change to past perfect

“I have parked by your apartment, so I hope I don’t get a ticket!”

>He said (that) he had parked by my apartment. I should have told him he would get a ticket.

 

Future Tense

Future with ‘will’: Change to ‘would’

“I’m so excited for Saturday- I will bring my best hummus.”

>She said (that) she was so excited for Saturday, and (that) she would bring her best hummus.

 

Future with ‘going to’: Change to ‘was going’ or ‘would’

“I am going to kill him. That bird of his was squawking all night”

Mom said (that) she was going to kill him because his bird had been squawking all night.

Mom said (that) she would kill him because his bird had been squawking all night.

Buddy said that he did it and he was going to do it again

 

Conditional Tense

Would: No change

“I would go to your yard sale but I think I am busy that night”.

>Jamie said she would go to our yard sale, but she thinks she is busy that night.

 

When Asking a Question

When repeating a question that someone asked, we follow the same rules for the changes in tenses. The only changes are:

  1. Change ‘He/she said…’ to ‘He/she asked…’
  2. Replace ‘that’ with ‘if’- for repeating a question in reported speech, we must include the ‘if’:

“Did she eat my cheese fries when I went to the bathroom?”

He asked if you ate his fries when he went to the bathroom- it’s a good thing you left when you did, it was about to get ugly.

Joey said he doesn’t share food!

 

Changing tenses in reported speech can be a bit hard to keep track of. If you learn off some of these basic rules off for past, present and future instances of speech, and you will have a flawless grammatical repertoire for the next time you need to retell details! Try a lesson with one of Lingoloop’s expert tutors to practice using these rules to produce perfect reported speech!

Do you speak Franglais?

The French and English languages have an amazing amount in common- some sources even say up to 45 percent of English words come from French! So as a native French speaker you have a big advantage: you already have half of the lexical database in your head!

One thing that French and English definitely do not have in common is pronunciation. As much as English speakers struggle to perfect the French accent, many French speakers cannot lose theirs when speaking English. There are common errors that we see popping up for native French speakers. Here we’ve put together a list of the most common pronunciation difficulties that French speakers have when speaking English. By identifying these errors you can work to minimize them in your speech.

Do you have Franglais ringing in your ears?
  1. Losing the last syllable

French speakers often carry over this element of their native pronunciation to English:

They tend to elongate the last syllable of a word, by adding a slight ‘eh’ sound to the ending. Pinpointing this error can be difficult as it is so subtle, but listen for this sound in your speech to spot where it might be slipping in.

To combat this, by focusing on pronouncing the last letter of a word very quickly- not even half a second. Keep this in mind when speaking and you will become more conscious of when you are dragging out words too much.

 

  1. Omitting the ‘s’ at the end of words

In French the ‘s’ at the end of words is almost always left out – in English it is essential to pronounce this ‘s’ at the end of words, as often it changes the meaning of a noun from singular to plural.

 

  1. Omitting the ‘h’ at the beginning of words

French speakers often leave out the pronunciation of the ‘h’ letter when it comes at the start of words.

In English when ‘h’ comes at the start of a word, it is almost always pronounced (with the exception of a few word such as ‘hour’ and ‘honest’- we kept the French pronunciation for these.)

The elusive ‘h’- the difference between getting your hair cut up to here and up to your ear

Practice perfecting your ‘h’ sound with a simple trick- hold a compact mirror to your mouth, and pronounce the word ‘have’, so that your breath fogs up the glass. Then wind down that exaggeration a little – and you’ve got your ‘h’ in English. Think of this mirror trick when pronouncing words that begin with a ‘h’ to ensure you are making your ‘h’ sound.

Is that my hhhhusband I see back there?

 

  1. The ‘r’

In English, the ‘r’ sound is not as emphasized as it is in French . The pronunciation of ‘r’ in English always comes from the middle of the mouth, instead of the back of the throat.

Try practicing words beginning with ‘r’, and with ‘r’ in the middle with your mouth half closed. This will stop you bringing the ‘r’ sound from the back of your throat, and will give you the nice shallow sound perfect for the letter ‘r’ in English.

Can you say ‘croissants’ like a native English speaker?

 

  1. Zee famous ‘th’

The key for anyone trying to fake a French accent- the conversion of ‘th’ to ‘z’.

In English the ‘th’ sound is very soft, and comes from the tip of the tongue. Try not to engage any part of your tongue except for the very tip when making this sound to make sure you get a soft ‘th’.

 

These are some of the persistent problems that keep popping for French speakers learning English. By targeting these areas, you will dodge your biggest issues! Practice all of these sounds and more with an expert Lingoloop tutor- try one of our classes today to get your personal pronunciation guide!

 

You are someone who…. is? are?…. my friend.

                                                   My friend is/are you!

We all know the rule about subjects and verbs: S + V = Sentence.

We also know the rules about changing verbs to fit their subjects, like:

– I like that restaurant.
– She likes that restaurant.
– We liked that restaurant.

When we separate the noun from its verb, things can get a bit trickier.  This usually happens when you use an adjective clause to describe the noun your verb is attached to. For example:

CORRECT

That’s the man who is giving our exam.
or
I am the student that has the highest mark.

The red words show the verb and noun in the adjective clause, but the blue words show the main subjects and verbs for each sentence.  They can be easy to miss, because they’re usually small and right at the beginning, but be careful not to mix them up.  What you don’t want is:

INCORRECT

I am the student that have the highest mark.

It can be really tempting to do this, because we spend so long thinking about “I have” and “he has”, but remember that your verb inside the adjective clause has to be about what the adjective clause is describing, in this case, “student”, not “I”.

Let’s try another example.  See if you can find the error.

You are the teacher who _____ music class.
a) teach
b) teaches

Did you get it right?  Remember, the verb “teach” isn’t about “You”, it’s about “teacher”.  So, “teacher teaches”.

 

Here are a few more to try.  Remember, always look for noun that is the subject of the adjective clause!

I’m usually the worker who _______ the latest, here.
a) stay
b) stays

 

 

 

 

We are the group that _____ to all the different restaurants together!
a) go
b) goes

 

 

 

 

My homework is always the one that _____ the most red marks. 
a) get
b) gets

 

 

 

 

You are the student that _____ the exam!
a) passed*
b) passed*

*Remember, past tense is the same!

 

***

How did you do?  Remember to use the noun that’s the object of the adjective clause, so:

worker… stays
group… goes
one… gets
student… passed (Get it?  Because it’s past?  I think my English jokes are funny!)

Great work!  To learn more about how to better utilize adjective clauses, contact LingoLoop today!

Do you know what I mean?

Do you know what I mean?

“Well….ummm… I guess…”

Navigating English can be tricky – sometimes we use a lot of words that don’t have much meaning in themselves, but add meaning to something else we are saying.

So many words, for one tiny thought!

To complement our speech we use filler words and phrases.

Here we’ll give you the perfect thing to say for those situations when you need a few extra words.

 

1: When you are stalling for time (At the start of a sentence)

We usually use these when we don’t know exactly what we are going to say, or are apprehensive about what we are going to say. You can buy yourself a few seconds using these.

Well… This is a good filler to use when you haven’t fully formed your next thought

  • “Well … I think I could afford it if I cut out lunch for the next two weeks”
Well… I can afford a tap water.

I guess… This can be used when you are a bit apprehensive about what you are about to say

“I guess you could borrow my car… but didn’t you just lose your licence?”

I guess I didn’t see the red light officer…

2: Summing up a situation (In the middle or at the start of a sentence)

Basically…

“He has them for breakfast, for lunch, at work… basically, he’s obsessed with fried tomatoes”

This can also be used at the start of a sentence:

“Why did you cancel your trip?”

“Basically, the whole resort is on lockdown because of the blizzard.”

Basically, you need to park the car in the garage next time!

Okay, so… This can be used at the start of a sentence as an introduction to a long piece of speech, or retelling a story

“Okay, so, your main jobs are to respond to emails in this account, check and return voicemails, call tech support, reorder kitchen stock, and of course, get coffee, okay?”

Okay, so my boss needs me at work, my kids need me at home, and my professors are failing me- basically, I need a vacation!

4: Fillers in the middle of sentences

Like

This is a very common filler, but use it sparingly – many natives even go overboard with this one!

‘Like’ can be used when you want a minute to pause, or think of your next thought in the middle of a sentence.

“The city is way too busy, like… everyone will be Christmas shopping. Besides, last time we went you, like, almost got lost!”

Just / Only

‘Just’ and ‘only’ can be used to downplay or to soften the blow of what you are saying

“Can I borrow some money? Just 20 bucks!”

“I can’t believe I got a ticket! I was only over the time limit by an hour!”

Even

‘Even’ is used to emphasize your next word or statement

“It’s so foggy, I can’t even see the street signs!”

“He was drinking all night at our open bar, but he didn’t even bring a wedding gift!”

He didn’t even stay sober for the speeches?!

You know?

‘You know’ can be used in the middle of a sentence, to check that the listener relates to and is following what you are saying.

“I want to see the Swedish movie, you know, the one based on that famous book?”

4: Adding fillers to the end of a sentence

You know what I mean?

This is used to confirm and check if your listener is still following what you’re saying, or to see if they agree with you

“I was just sick of them showing up every weekend with the same pie, you know what I mean?”

There’s only so much cherry pie one person can eat, you know what I mean?

-You know?

‘You know?’ can also be added to the end of a sentence to see if your listener understands you.

“I feel like an amateur at the gym, everyone else seems to know what they are doing, you know?”

I look and feel like I don’t belong here, you know?!

Or something

This can be used to downplay what you just said…

“Would you ever want to go out with me for dinner or something?”

So..do you want to be my girlfriend or something?!

…or if you are not exactly sure of what you just said

“He works in a bank, managing accounts or something”

 

Having a range of filler words and phrases will take your fluency to the next level. However, it is important to not overuse them – one or two every 3-4 sentences is enough. We suggest practicing these ‘til they roll off your tongue so they slip seamlessly into your speech!