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IMPORTANT: All assignments should be double-spaced using the font Times New Roman in 12 point or larger type, as well

as with standard margins at the top, bottom and sides of each page. Unless otherwise
indicated, all final assignments must be printed and handed in. Handwritten works are never accepted. Whole pages must be used for printing all assignments no smaller pieces of paper will be accepted. No cover
sheet should be included for writing assignments in any of my courses just put your name, the course abbreviation and date at the top right corner of the first page. Also, do not use a plastic sleeve ( eurofolie) for
your assignments; pages of assignments must be stapled (seit) together. In addition to handing in printed assignments to me directly, they may also be submitted by placing them in the white cardboard box in the
corridor outside my office. In ALL MS Word attachments sent to me by email, the student's last name, the course abbreviation and the date should be included in the name of the file; without this information files
will not be opened.
NOTES on WRITING in ENGLISH
One goal of writing is to say what you want to in the clearest way possible. This can only come from rewriting what you have already written. Some dont like or have little to no experience writing in any language.
That's OK, but there is only one way to improve using a language daily, not just during lessons. We are not in a region where English is widely spoken, but another way of experiencing English is READING. In order for their
language skills to improve to an acceptable standard, students of foreign languages should read in the target language every day. This means magazines, internet webpages, newspapers, especially books. The goal should be to
read an average of at least 20 minutes a day a minimum of 2 hours and 20 minutes a week.
Some students do not read enough. These people will find it difficult to graduate from university with a degree in a foreign language. Countless students have testified as to how much this little bit of dedication and
effort not reading for hours and hours, but more importantly, more often has made their studies so much easier. Speaking, understanding and writing in the target language simply becomes much more fun and efficient. Like
an athlete makes her muscles more powerful by using them regularly, anyone can make their mind stronger by reading. By doing anything more frequently, it slowly becomes a bigger and bigger part of your life, so you become
better at it. Make reading a habit, like brushing your teeth. Your brain changes physiologically every time you read something, so if you dont read your brain will not become strong enough. From time to time as a lesson warmup a good idea is to ask students to tell the class details about what they are reading.
There are logical ways to approach your studies and to develop good study habits. Consistency (zsadovost, dslednost) is the key. If you go only one week without using a foreign language, your skills deteriorate. Get
organized and find a regular time for reading (and for other school-related activities.) Dont wait until the last minute to read the book for your class or to complete the writing assignment. You will be under stress and you
wont be working at the highest level. If you wait until the night before the due date to do a writing assignment for my class, you will not pass it - it is simply not possible. So plan ahead a little.
Finally, papers should be brought to class if it is meeting on the due date. If you will not be there it is your responsibility to make sure one of your classmates brings the assignment to class to be handed in.
Under normal circumstances written works for courses are not accepted by email. Papers can also be left in the box in the corridor right outside my office. Under normal circumstances there is no reason to bother
the KAA secretary by asking to leave essays in my departmental mailbox in her office.
4 Steps to Effective Writing
The first step is to quickly write down all of your ideas words and phrases about your topic (in Czech if you don't know how to say it in English look it up later). This means anything you can think of, even if it seems silly.
You won't use every single concept, but even thoughts that seem ridiculous will lead to brilliant ideas at a later time. This is a time to be really creative; it's not the time to worry about grammar and vocabulary. Thinking about
and writing down all the impressions about a subject as soon as they come to you is called brainstorming. Remember, these are only feelings and thoughts, not full sentences yet. These words and phrases are simply written on
the page to inspire you, and so that you won't forget them. When you read them later, other ideas will come. If you have no clue what to write about, this is a great way to begin. All assignments to be handed in must be done on
computer. Use font Times New Roman - size 12 or bigger and double space (Formt, Odstavec, dkovn, Dvojit - not 1.5), so I have place for comments.
Step two is to make a plan or outline of the order and structure of your work. You can't just put any idea anywhere. Plan complete paragraphs, each with a main idea and with a logical beginning and ending. (see 37, 38 below)
Whenever you begin a new computer document in English make sure you are writing using an English form of Microsoft Word. Click Nstroje, then Jazyk / Navstavit jazyk / Anglitina (USA or Velk Britnie). Now your
computer will automatically detect your spelling errors and some of your grammatical mistakes they will be underlined in red or green. Then you can click on "ABC" (pravopis) and correct some of your errors, for instance
proper English quotation marks (uvozovky) will also be automatically used ( is correct, not ) and the English apostrophe ( ' ), not the Czech diacritic ( ), which will appear outside of the Czech Republic as a strange
symbol. Using spell check (pravopis) will help you develop your punctuation skills, yet another reason to make sure your document is formatted in English using the steps above. This simple step at the very beginning will
make checking your work much easier. Also if you cut and paste text from another source sometimes the text format in your document changes automatically, so to make sure all your text is the same size and in the same font
you need to re-format (Vybrat ve / Nstroje / Jazyk / Navstavit jazyk / Anglitina , Times New Roman - size 12 or bigger, double space. The file name of documents sent by email should contain the senders last name, the
course abbreviation as well as a one or two word abbreviation of the title of the work.
The third step is to begin writing full sentences (see 2 in List 2 below) to "fill in" your plan from step two. Continue until you have a complete first draft (v etin - koncept). On the top of the first page (no cover sheet is
needed for any of my classes), make sure you have written 1) your complete name, 2) your student number, 3) the course for which the assignment was written, 4) the date you will hand in the assignment. WAIT!
YOU ARE NOT FINISHED YET - YOU ARE JUST BEGINNING.
Take a break, hopefully until another day. Go for a walk, eat dinner or telephone your mum. Even better, leave your writing for a week or two if you have time. When you read your work again, you be able to see your mistakes
better. You will also have fresh ideas about sentences to add or to take out of your work. This is another reason it is so important so start writing assignments as soon as possible.
Step four the most important one of all! After at least a day or two, better a week or more, come back to your work and PROOFREAD for errors. This is another reason you should start writing AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Now real writing begins, after you have already written the first, terrible, incomplete version of your work. (This is true for everybody, no matter how many years of experience.) ALL WRITING IS REWRITING. No one has
time to waste correcting mistakes that you should have corrected yourself typing errors, simple spelling mistakes, punctuation, etc. Don't be lazy! see A in List 1 below. Say what you want say as clearly as you can, take
some pride in your work. Check your verb forms using the Quick General Tense Review included here on the last page. CROSS-REFERENCE all vocabulary using the steps listed below.
When speaking, you have to use the grammar and vocabulary you already know. But when you are writing an assignment, you have more time to use the tools available to you the internet, dictionaries,
textbooks, etc. Some students have problems with writing assignments, often because they are guessing at words. Challenge yourself to be as accurate as you can. Yes, we all know nobody's perfect. Merely assuming you have a
correct word would be much easier, but this is not the way to improve your English. Guessing leads to using the wrong form (noun instead of verb, adjective instead of adverb, etc.) or simply inserting a wrong word (maybe one
you have "heard of" instead of a correct one) for the context. Two examples: The word weight is a noun, but overweight is an adjective; hazard is a noun, but haphazard is an adjective. You must use a quality bilingual
dictionary. (see B in List 1 below) You have no excuse not to, because there are many in the library and even more available on the internet, although not all to be trusted.
CROSS-REFERENCE all vocabulary. Step by step, this is what you should do:
If you start with a Czech word:
1) Look up the Czech word in the English half of the dictionary. You will usually find several
English words, each with a different meaning.
2) If you think you have the right English word, and look this new word up in the Czech half
of the dictionary.
3) You should find the Czech word you started with, or at least a very close synonym. If not,
START OVER and REPEAT the process until you find your original word or a synonym.
If you start with an English word:
1) Look up the English word in the Czech half of the dictionary. You will usually find several
Czech words, each with a different meaning.
2) Find the Czech word with the meaning you were thinking of, and look this word up in the
English half of the dictionary.
3) You should find the English word you started with, or maybe something even more precise.
If not, START OVER with another word and REPEAT the process.
Here's another trick: If you think you have finally found the correct expression for a specific context, simply go to Google.com or Yahoo.com and search your new term. Then the (usually numerous) results of your search will
give you many examples of how the word or phrase could be used correctly in English. If you dont see many results, you have the wrong expression. In addition, you will likely see thousands of results for the term that in fact
should used, then you improve your vocabulary in both speaking and writing. Use all of the tools at your disposal. If you work hard when you write shorter assignments, your language skills speaking, writing and
understanding will improve, and later exams and longer writing assignments will become easier. This is the way students must take responsibility for their own learning, and this should begin with the first writing assignment
of the first semester of university.
In developing your vocabulary and grammar, you are teaching and training yourself so the writing of your bachelor's or master's thesis will be much easier. But not only this; in addition, you are also helping your classmates.
You will be able to share your new knowledge with your colleagues and they will share theirs with you, in and out of the classroom setting. This is the true purpose of a university - not to memorize and repeat facts given to you
by a teacher, but to develop your own knowledge, interests and abilities and to communicate your results with other people. Students at university who don't work hard are not only depriving themselves of knowledge, but they
are not fulfilling their responsibility to their classmates and even their fellow citizens. The ramifications of being an informed and aware member of society extend far outside of the classroom. In many societies, ignorance and
its exploitation has been proven to be literally deadly.
Cross-referencing vocabulary and grammar as you are writing your texts is a 100% guaranteed way to improve your language skills. Don't cheat yourself. Quality writing, like everything worthwhile, takes work, time and
commitment. You will be shocked at the positive results in your reading comprehension, listening, speaking and writing skills, all of which must reach a set standard each semester and will be evaluated as such.
As you are writing the first draft, you think of a word or phrase. But there may be better
alternatives. You wont know for sure unless you cross-reference when you are correcting / proofreading your subsequent drafts. It is very easy to see yourself if you have been lazy, and have only guessed. When you
finally THINK you are finished, follow these 5 steps:
I.) PROOFREAD your work. When you have written your assignment once, YOU ARE NOT
FINISHED. You should wait until another day, then CHECK YOUR WORK. If you read your sentences right after you have written them, you will not see any mistakes. If you wait until another day, you will have a
fresh perspective. Writing is REWRITING. 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.
II.) Check your work with WRITING NOTES. Read the entire document again and compare
each item on the list to MAKE SURE you haven't repeated problems listed there. Yes, this is time consuming, but the next time you write a document in English you will remember the mistake as you are writing, not
after when you are proofreading. Then you will internalize the correct usage, i.e. this aspect will become a normal part of your written and spoken English, and your language skills will improve. This methodology
works, and has been planned into all language studies at KAA.
III.) Check EVERY NOUN to see if it is singular and countable and use an appropriate
determiner with each. Again, this repetition is the way you internalize correct article usage.
IV.) Check EVERY VERB with the TENSE REVIEW included here.
V.) CROSS-REFERENCE VOCABULARY following the above process.
Following all or some of the above steps can change your skills in any language, even your own. No one can ever expect 100% perfection, only 100% EFFORT. Some so-called lack of talent is a myth. You could have all the natural
ability in the world and still fail this semester because of laziness. No one minds mistakes made from lack of experience this is normal. But mistakes made because you aren't working hard will not be tolerated.
MARKS for WRITING ASSIGNMENTS
When you receive your corrected paper, it will be marked with a number:
4 failure, must be done again, with an additional assignment. You have not worked hard
enough to complete the assignment. If you receive two 4s for writing assignments in one semester, you will not receive the zpoet.
3 below average, a lot of improvement needed. You will usually be asked to revise the
assignment and turn it in again.
2 very good, but could be a bit better in style, information or language.
1 excellent, one or more aspects of your writing (your ideas, your writing skills, your hard
work) is outstanding.
You will also see the following notations on your paper:
1) WC means Word Choice. You have used a word incorrectly CROSS-REFERENCE
vocabulary.
2) A word / phrase in brackets ( ) means that the grammar or word choice may be OK, but you
should have used a better word or phrase for reasons of clarity, style or variety.
3) WN + a number or letter (e.g. WN 16, WN C) refers to the Writing Notes number / letter of the
mistake. These come from the following Lists 1 and 2.
4) QGTR means a tense mistake that is explained in the Quick General Tense Review at the end

of this document.

LIST 1 BASIC PROBLEMS A-D (No excuse papers with these errors will receive a 4.)
If three of any of the following mistakes are found on one page of the assignment I stop reading it and the assignment receives a 4. These errors can be prevented extremely easily, so if you havent taken the time to check your
paper so why should I? Id rather spend my time helping students who have done all they can on their own to improve.
A) PLEASE check your work carefully for mistakes professionals proofread their texts
carefully. Using spell check (pravopis) to eliminate errors is required. Please note: A WRITER CANNOT SUCCESSFULLY PROOFREAD A DOCUMENT RIGHT AFTER WRITING IT. A PERIOD OF TIME IS NEEDED,
THE LONGER THE BETTER, ONLY AFTER WHICH THE WRITER WILL SEE MISTAKES. If there are three typing errors on one page, the assignment automatically receives a 4. If the first assignment receives a failing
mark it has to be done again plus the student will have an additional assignment. More work for me and more work for you neither of us is happy. Nobody has time to check your typing. Its simple PROOFREADING is
expected of professionals.
B) Guessing at vocabulary and spelling does not improve your English and will not be
accepted in writing assignments. Don't assume vocabulary knowledge and repeat the same mistakes that are routinely accepted at lower levels of study, i.e. in secondary schools and language centres. (Not because of laziness
but because of ignorance, although laziness leads to ignorance.) Many students have problems with using the dictionary and other reference tools like thesauruses and specialist academic websites; this is a skill that professionals
from first-year university students to experienced professors become good at and accustomed to, i.e. they don't simply accept their first guess regarding proper usage. All dictionaries are not equal. Some are atrocious they give
you only one basic definition (and sometimes the wrong one). The best dictionaries give writers many definitions and example sentences. Josef Fronek has written an excellent one for students (LEDA 2006). Froneks dictionary
gives you an excellent variety of commonly used definitions, phrases and idioms. For your level (and your budget), Froneks is probably the best. Cross-referencing vocabulary is also expected at this level. Different
synonyms and collocations are used for different contexts. See steps for cross-referencing vocabulary above. This extremely common mistake is just one example of guessing: You want to say in English Jak vypad nov
kurz? So you guess How does the new course look like? This is wrong in several ways. First, look like in English only describes physical appearance, not abstract or general states. Second, even if you are describing
physical appearance, the correct expressions are How does st look? or What does st look like? How is the new course? or What is the new course like? are correct. A similar basic guessing mistake mentioned in WN 26
below is "I study the University of Pardubice." If you guess you learn nothing to improve your English and fail the assignment as well. This is especially true regarding basic differences between Czech and English, e.g. the
difference between if and when is basic English and cannot be translated from Czech in only one way all the time. Guessing or assuming that similar expressions are used the same say in the two different languages also causes
basic mistakes three quick examples: 1) the use of the modal can, which is not usually used in English to express the modality of habit; 2) using the title Professor for a secondary school or university teacher who does not
have that title; 3) always using the adjective normal in English (instead of correct adjectives like common, ordinary, regular, standard, typical, usual, etc.) in the same way that normln is used in Czech. These simple types of
problems do not belong at the university level and can only be solved by long term study and experience, especially regular reading.
if st may or may not happen / has happened
when st definitely happens / happened / will happen; just a question of time
Dont translate directly from Czech, e.g. To znamen, e... can almost be never translated as It means The phrase must usually be rendered as That / This means Demonstrative pronoun use WN 36.
C) All singular and countable nouns need a determiner, for example an article or a possessive
adjective (pivlastovac pidavn jmeno). (See WN 29.) After you have written your work, check carefully every noun in your text. This mistake is so easy to correct that it certainly does not belong at university at any level. It
doesnt matter how many adjectives you have before the noun: my small 3-year-old car, a little red Chinese book, the craziest postmodern Czech poet
Exception: sometimes when referring to professions Our supervisor is psychiatrist William Smith , Travel writer Jack Robinson says that Mary Rogers, CEO of a multinational firm, has recently
D) Questions and negative statements in all simple tenses (present, past, future) must feature
the infinitive form of the verb. Past simple forms - use auxiliary verbs did for positive questions and did not (spoken or informal English - didn't) for negative statements and questions.
Bad examples: He didn't went home by bus. Why did she fell down? We didn't liked the film. Didn't Paul saw you? Mary didn't cleaned her flat yesterday. How Brian cooked the meal?
LIST 2 OTHER COMMON, BUT PREVENTABLE MISTAKES / STYLE PROBLEMS
1) The rules for orthography in English are not the same as in Czech dont assume that they are. For
example, in writing a letter or an email in English, the first word of the first sentence after Dear X is capitalized. And the pronoun you is not capitalized, no matter how polite you are trying to be. There are different ways of showing
respect in English. (e.g. "Mr. Teacher" is ridiculous) Another example of a difference is the use of first person pronouns (I, we) in formal or academic texts, which is common in Czech but quite strange in English. In English the passive
voice, which connotes a sense of objectivity, is used more often.
Bad examples:
First of all, we should mention the structure of this book.
In this seminar paper I would like to focus on
Better:
First of all, the structure of the book should be mentioned.
This seminar paper will focus on
Also, subjects are necessary in English sentences. Bad examples:
From these quotations is obvious that
Important is which part of the
2) In lists, the use of conjunctions is different in English than in Czech. In all lists a conjunction must
be used before the last item. Further, in positive sentences in English, the conjunction and is used. In most negative sentences or is used.
Bad examples: He likes Greek, Chinese, Italian food. My hobbies are cycling, painting or jogging.
3) Dont join full sentences with a comma (rka). This is called a comma splice. If you feel that two
a clauses must be connected in some way, use a conjunction (spojka in English for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so). A dash (pomlka) may also be used (The problem could not be solid it was too complicated.) See WN 17 for more punctuation
notes.
4) Some verbs like have, recommend and need must have a direct object (pm pedmt) or indirect
object. These are called transitive verbs (pechodn slovesa) as opposed to intransitive (nepechodn slovesa). Some verbs are transitive in English and the similar verb in Czech is intransitive and vice versa. Dont guess USE YOUR
DICTIONARY!
remind sb of st, influence sb, have st, recommend st, need st/sb, discuss st, demonstrate st
Transitive verbs can never stand alone:
Do you have a car? I have. is classic inglish. (instead of I have one. or Yes, I do.)
Why? Because have is transitive and mt je nepechodn sloveso. Other examples:
She helps you when you need it.
He recommended that restaurant to us.
I already have that version.
The teacher showed us his new book.
Please be careful with tenses. For example, dont use present perfect if you are using a past fixed (finished) time expression. Bad examples: I have known him two years ago. She has played golf in 1990.
Similarly, for and since are used most often with perfect and perfect continuous tenses. If you understand perfect tenses (sequence of two or more different times) this will become clear. Learn these types of keywords and reinforce them by
identifying them and repeating them over and over in the reading and listening activities that you are doing on your own to improve your English.
Careful with other verb forms e.g. active and passive. My brother names John. What does this
mean? Bratr d mu jmno John? You learned this in your first year of English My brothers
name is John.
Other bad examples: I born in 1992. He have a good job. She have not your book. We need.
5) COLLOCATIONS: Why don't ESL learners sound like native speakers? One important reason is
because certain nouns go only with specific verbs and certain adjectives may only be used with specific adverbs. Any other words are quite strange to a native speaker. Bad examples: solve a situation (resolve), a disconsolate situation (only
people are disconsolate), make a suicide (commit, with no article), do a party (give / throw), make a step (take), have a bad mood (be in), make a problem (create)
Don't guess - use a quality dictionary correctly. Use internet search engines. Simply search the word you wish to use and you will find many results featuring examples of how the word is used correctly.
6) a, some, any, much, many, none, neither:
a is used with all singular, countable nouns in positive and negative sentences as well as in
questions. Not some nor any.
She has a book. (not some book)
She doesnt have a book. (not any book)
Does she have a book? (not some book)
Does she have a book? (not any book)
Some is not a universal substitute for all articles; some is used with plural only.
One is used only if you are speaking about one specific example out of many.
I have a lot of friends. I have had one friend, Jane, for 10 years.
Some can only be used with uncountable and plural nouns in positive sentences.
She has some apples.
I need some fresh air.
Any is used with uncountable and plural nouns in questions and negatives.
She doesnt have any apples.
Do you have any apples?
Much is generally used (with uncountable nouns) in questions and negatives. A lot of is used in all
types of sentences, although it is quite informal (i.e. not used in academic prose).
Bad examples: I have much money. She wastes much time. There is much ice cream.
Many is used with countable nouns in questions and negatives. She doesnt read many books.
This is also true for comparative forms of much and many. much more information. many more letters.
Neither is used with two possibilities; none is used with more than two.
Neither of the twins were accepted at university. None of the students went to the party.
Most / Many / Some / (A) Few / + plural noun = general; Most / Many / Some / A Few of the = specific
Most dogs have fleas. Most of the dogs in the Czech Republic have English names.
Many people like beer. Many of the people in my town are silly.
Some schools have little money. Some of the schools in my region are funded by the EU.
Few citizens vote nowadays. (negative connotation)
A few citizens are beginning to understand the budget. (positive connotation)
A few of my neighbours went to Prague to protest.
A similar case: Some (people) + plural verb = general; Somebody (who / that) + singular verb = specific.
There are 30 people in my class. Some study hard. Somebody who doesnt is Jim.
Bad Example: Someone doesnt like to wake up early.
7) In English, C is not K. ecological, political, economical, control, collection, character. Dont guess
at vocab: aerobics, gymnastics, athletics, stylistics.
8) There is one basic, easy to remember difference between English and Czech. In many types of
fundamental phrases, when the verb mt is used in Czech, the verb be is used in English. A simple example: Jak se m? A literal translation (doslovn peklad) would be How do you have it? For many logical and grammatical reasons, this
is ridiculous. How are you? is closer, but, despite what language textbooks and those with little experience say, native speakers almost never greet each other this way (similar to the way in Czech Jak se m? isnt really used every day.)
How have you been? after a long time between meetings or Howre you doing? every day are, for example, much more common. When you are writing, dont guess! Look it up this is how you improve your language skills while you
are writing; first and second year language studies are the time to do this. Here are some more basic examples of how be is used instead of have; what are the Czech equivalents for these phrases: Todays my birthday! She isnt in a good
mood. Wheres her car?
Im / Im not hungry / thirsty / afraid / right / sure / OK.
That wall is green. (Wall there has green colour. = inglish, see WN 18)
9) In the nature is inglish the is NEVER used with nature. Better possibilities:
outdoor = venkovn / vzchzkov (adj) outdoors = venku / v prod (adv)
Natural habitat (countable) refers to a specific area in scientific, e.g. biological, environmental
terms. The jungles of southern India are the natural habitat of the Bengal tiger.
The term scenery (krajina) is used to refer a bit more closely to specific features, such as mountains,
rivers, etc. The scenery around my town is beautiful.
The general area around a town or village is the countryside.
The countryside around Dublin is delightful.
There are many other, more specific words and phrases cross-reference vocabulary when writing.
10) Titles of historical events and documents, officials and other important persons, countries,
buildings, etc. in English are written differently than in Czech. (see also WN 29) All important words in titles must have CAPITAL LETTERS at the beginning. Only prepositions and articles have small letters. Don't guess at
translations. Search the internet for the correct phrasing, e.g. the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
Professor Smith The Battle of White Mountain
The Czech National Revival The Munich Pact
The United Kingdom President Havel Queen Elizabeth II (no period) The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit

Titles of books, films, music CDs/ albums, TV shows, long poems, etc. must be in italics.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being Closely Watched Trains
Friends
The Faerie Queene The For the Benefit of Mr Kite An Important Event in My Life
Titles of short stories, chapter titles, magazine / journal articles, essays and individual songs and
short poems should be in "quotation marks": "The Literature of Exhaustion" "The Rondoli Sisters" "Song of Myself" "The Broken Tower"
11) With habits, plural must be used if you are talking about using different things.
I enjoy riding horses. (not one horse, but many horses) (I enjoy riding my horse. = one horse)
Also, be aware of this pattern: One of + plural noun e.g. One of my hobbies is golfing.
She likes reading books. They paint pictures. Bad examples: I like riding bike. She enjoys reading book.
12) Know usually only means znt or vdt. (not umt, which may mean can, be able to or know how
to do st, not poznat, which may mean recognize.) There are many other similar verbs in English like be aware of, get to know, become accustomed to, be familiar with, understand, realize, appreciate, see, find out, experience, and identify. All
have a slightly different meaning. Cross-reference.
13) Punctuation in direct quotes for dialogue: Two different systems - one formal, one informal.
Informal, for example in a novel or quoting a friend in a letter: She said, Ill go, too.
Formal, for example in an academic paper: The report reads as follows: The amount must be specified
For rules on the usage of commas, see STAG document Correct Use of Commas in English.
Also see WN24 below.

14) Sometimes these are no easy rules and you must use set phrases. You must simply know these.
in the pub, in the city, at the cinema, in the world, in the rain, yesterday / this (not today) evening, last night (not yesterday night), tonight (not today night), the next day, in detail, the human body, in heaven / hell, etc.
15) Just because it is countable in Czech does not mean that it is in English (and vice versa). For
example advice, information, news, money and hair (usually) are uncountable in English. Use some, any or nothing.
My brother gave me (some) advice.
Is there (any) new information?
Im waiting for (some) good news.
Money is important. Having it can help you in many situations. (not them)
My girlfriend has long red hair. (not some)
Also, many basic nouns like cake, marriage, pain, beer, love can be either countable or uncountable.
16) Dont use Czech punctuation marks when writing in English, for example accent marks ()
instead of an apostrophe () or Czech quotation marks instead of English ones. Multi-word adjectives and compounds combining several words to make one idea) must have a hyphen (spojovnk, not a dash [pomlka] which are
longer lines between clauses of a sentence. If a dash is used to set off a phrase within a sentence, two are needed one at the beginning and one at the end as in this sentence.). There are huge differences in the rules for Czech and
English punctuation. (see WN 24) Numbers in compound adjectives are written without s and there are no spaces between words.
seven-year-old brother
nine-month-old son
five-year plan
sky-blue eyes blue-green car
two-car crash self-confident
fact-finding
screwed-up (zmaten)
17) There: If you can see it, there is usually the first word. If you cant, there is the last word. (Over
there is an exception: it is always at the end of the sentence.) In standard English, there is almost never in the middle of the sentence. (This is not always true for literary English.)
There is my car. (We see it.)
My car is there. (We cant see it. Maybe it is in the city?)
My car is over there. (We see it, but it's far away.)
I have there new car. (inglish)
18) Idioms are strange animals in any language. If you dont treat them with the utmost care, they will
bite you in the ass. If you misplace even one little word, you sound quite strange. For example, if you comment that, Its raining dogs and cats. (instead of cats and dogs) you may not be understood. At the very least you will find yourself
receiving a odd look from the person you are speaking to. Idioms are valuable tools. Use them with precision. (Slang is different useless to learn because it is always changing and is usually specific to a particular subculture or region. By the
time you hear a slang expression in a film, in music or on television, it is usually several years old and outdated. If you try to use these expressions you will usually sound foolish because the expression has already changed. Non-native speakers
won't understand you; native speakers will laugh at you.)
19) Pronouns (and words like everything, everyone, which, that, anybody, somebody, etc.) Check
carefully to make sure your reader knows what your pronoun or possessive refers to. The same goes of course for words like one (the same as the last one). There is one simple rule: in almost all cases a pronoun (especially relative
pronouns, e.g. which, that) should refer to the last noun or noun phrase that has just preceded it. If there is any doubt at all that your reader will be even momentarily confused, use the noun again instead, or better yet, if possible, use a
synonym; this will increase clarity as well as maintain interest. Remember, if the reader has to stop, go back and reread because he is not sure what you are trying to say, you have lost her / him. See also WN 25 regarding number use of
pronouns.
20) One of the + plural noun. Bad examples: One of the thing I like is English is one of my favourite
subject.
21) Unlike in Czech, in English, it can never refer to a person.
Bad example: My boss? It is a great guy!
For animals, if you have a personal relationship with the animal, for example a pet, use he or she.
If there is no personal connection, use it.
Also, unlike in Czech, in English where refers to physical location only.
Bad examples: in the case where she doesnt want to. the scene where Hamlet dies.
Use in which instead for these types of sentences.
22) the whole / another with singular nouns
the entire / all (the, of the) / other with plural and uncountable nouns
a bit + adjective (e.g. a bit strange), a bit of a + singular, countable noun (e.g. a bit of a strange situation)
23) In contemporary, non-academic English short, simple sentences and exact, clear clauses within
complex sentences are usually better. Dont join complete sentences with commas. (see WN 3) Also small defining relative clauses and short prepositional phrases dont need commas. Too many of these interrupt the flow of the
sentence.
24) Commas are not necessary in English after I think, She knows, We believe, etc. Neither are they
used with defining relative clauses (containing vital, not extra information) beginning with that, who, which, when, where, etc. Please realize these types of differences between Czech and English.
Bad examples: She is a person, who I respect. Prague is a place, that I love.
Learn the difference between English and Czech usage.
The captain said that we were leaving. (no comma before that)
She believes she will see him again. (no comma after believe)
Another rule: Commas are necessary before as clauses (similar in meaning to because, which
doesnt need a comma), for example.
I have always enjoyed adventure stories, as I find them exciting.
If you have a choice, pay with cash, as it is always accepted.
Correct punctuation, for example in emails, letters and outlines, can also be looked up for accuracy,
e.g.in an email a comma is needed after the greeting (Dear John,) and closing (Sincerely yours,) and
the first word after the greeting is CAPITALIZED, unlike in Czech learn the differences. See also
WN 1.
25) Related to WN 19, make sure your pronouns agree in number with their antecedents. (Clarity with
antecedents is vital.) Bad examples: If my three sisters lose her job I love horror films. It is my
favourite.
26)
Correct prepositions and verb patterns: like many verbs and adjectives in Czech, in English many
verbs and adjectives can only take certain prepositions, or no preposition at all. Dont assume that you can simply translate word for word from one language to another. Make sure you have the correct preposition, or that one is even necessary.
(dictionary!) You will not learn by guessing.
Classic examples: listen to the radio (no preposition in Czech), but watch TV (no preposition in English). We dont study school / university. We study at a school / at university (British) or at the university (US). take care about st/sb =
inglish care about st/sb or take care of st/sb - two completely different meanings. Come to, but arrive at/in; apply to sb for st; thank sb for st; say st to sb; recommend st to sb; welcome sb to sw; suggest st to sb; introduce sb to sb
Other examples: an exam / course / lecture in chemistry / German; a novel by Jack London (not from)
Also, using two verbs together requires the correct verb pattern, e.g. enjoy doing st, would like to do sth. See Verb Patterns file on STAG. Examples of adjectives: applicable to st, interested in st, easy to do st, compatible with st, afraid of st;
to be famous for st, keen on st, etc.
27) Bad word order can confuse the reader about what you mean. This is another reason why leaving
your document for as long as you can, then coming back to it, reading it like an independent reader, then doing your final revisions before submitting it is so important - perspective.
Bad example: You asked me when Im going to England in your letter. (Are you going to England in my letter?) In your letter you asked me when Im going to England. is clearer.
Keep one idea together in a single clause:
(In your letter you asked me or You asked me in your letter)
28) Word order with adjectives: in English opinion adjectives come before factual adjectives
(the cheap red car; the charming German girl, etc.) This is the order with fact adjectives:
1st how big?
2nd how old?
3rd what colour? 4th where from? 5th whats it made of?
a tall young girl, a small plastic table, big blue eyes, an old Russian song, a small black paper bag
And size and length come before shape and width: a large round table, a long narrow street
Adjectives always come after be, become, get, and seem: Be careful! He seems nice.
Im tired and getting hungry. Bush became more and more arrogant.
29)
The indefinite article: (also see C above) If a singular, countable noun is being mentioned for the first time, use a. The definite article: One exception: if there is clearly ONLY ONE of something in existence, use the. This means
with words like first (and all ordinal numbers the second, eighteenth, five-thousandth), next, last, previous, following, best, worst, same, whole all of these usually have the, besides set phrases which need another determiner like my
best friend and my worst day ever. The "only one" rule below also applies to concrete objects like sun, moon, (also, usually, for example if we are in a room) the floor, ceiling, door, etc. Begin learning common phrases that fit this rule,
for example:
the same (thing) the next (day)
the first (time)
the English / Czech language
the last (few weeks)
the only (way)
the right / wrong (person)
One way to begin to feel when to use the (or sometimes a possessive adjective like my, his, your) is to remember that when there is only one or one group of something, the is usually used, as in some of the above examples. Others: the top, the
bottom, the front, the back, the right, the left, etc. Careful: examples like these can be used as nouns or adjectives, for example, on the right (noun) or on the right side (adj.) Still more examples: the roof, the fridge, the tenth of June, the twentieth
century, the Middle Ages, the Roman Empire, the Munich Pact, the kids in the hall, the neighbours dogs, the knights story
Another trick along similar lines: look for phrases (e.g. beginning with prepositions or relative pronouns) following nouns that define the nouns (e.g. defining relative clauses or prepositional phrases), and tell us there is only one specific thing we are
talking about. Then use the in most of these cases, the exceptions being when a possessive adjective is used when the noun is the only one belonging to somebody, e.g. my left foot, her wedding day, our last lesson. Examples:
Animals in zoos should be protected. / The animals in the Prague Zoo should be protected.
Most of the text focuses on marriage. / Most of the text focuses on the marriage of Jane and Tom.
Open a window, please. / Open the window next to the fridge, please.
The play is a plea for tolerance. / The play is a plea for the tolerance of homosexual love.
She a classmate of mine. (One of many) / She is the classmate that I was telling you about.
He is just a guy I met. / He is the guy whose car broke down.
Even with this guideline, however, dont forget that if the noun mentioned is still only one among many the indefinite article must be used, e.g. on a website that is used by families than need an au pair.
Also regarding determiners, learn the basic rules for their use in English, e.g.:
1) Only one determiner per noun. Bad example: She lost her the one glove. Be specific, e.g. She lost one glove.
2) Dont use articles for personal nouns, e.g. body parts, ones family members and ones life. Use possessive pronouns for concrete nouns. Bad examples: He broke the arm. Enjoy the life. She is a / the soul mate.
Good examples: He broke her arm. Enjoy life! She is my / his soul mate. My mother is coming today.
30) In English, subject + verb + object + prepositional phrase (SVOP) is the basic formula. Yes, some
of you have seen other structures like cleft sentences, which are used for emphasis (see Unit 18 in the CAE textbook). But in general, you should rely on and use the SVOP pattern. Bad examples of Classic inglish:
Unexpectedly have happened a lot of accidents.
It was under the hill a crowd of people.
In 2003 was repaired our house.

In general nothing (except some adverbs like never, always, sometimes, etc. and some non-defining relative clauses) should come between a subject and a predicate, or between a predicate and an object. Don't misunderstand of course
sentences like these are sometimes possible:
What we saw there we would never have expected. Ding-dong sounded the church bell.
This is a more literary type of usage, as is the use of non-defining relative clauses.
Get used to different types of register (e.g. more or less formal) and learn to carefully control the tone of your language.
31) What is never a definite relative pronoun. Definite relative pronouns are which, whom, that, whose
and where. Here are some bad examples: I have everything what I want. She has a garden, what will make her happy. What may be an indefinite relative pronoun. Good example: She will tell you what you need to know.
33) Like many other languages, Czech has borrowed words from English these are called loan words.
But dont assume that the meaning is the same in both languages - dont guess, look it up! Most loan words are used in different ways, for example as a different part of speech (slovn druh) in English. The word relax is a verb in English; the
noun form is relaxation. A relax or a homeless in English is nonsense; homeless is either an adjective (a homeless person) or an uncountable noun (the homeless). Similarly, horror is either an adjective (a horror story, a horror film) or an
abstract noun (hrza, ds, zden). A horror is simply wrong. Look it up.
34) You're learning to use conditionals, right? Here's a quick guideline that can help you. In
conditionals and other sentences like those describing the future, after words and phrases like if, when, while, as soon as, until, unless, by the time, before and after, neither will nor would are used in almost all cases in written English. (For
formal, academic register examples like given that and provided, see Unit 1 in the CAE textbook.)
a) According to Michael Swan in Practical English Usage, will may be used after if in polite requests
(again, usually spoken, not written). Here will means to be willing to; will in this case in not a future auxiliary; these are not conditionals (in Czech or English).
If you will / would come this way, Ill take you to the room. (Kdy budete tak laskav )
Wait over there, if you will / would. (The use of would is even more polite than will.)
b) Also according to Swan, in spoken English if will may be used when we are talking about later
results than conditions (when if means if it is true that).
Ill give you the money if it will help you. (jestli ti to pome )
The help is a result it follows the gift of money.
However, the classic real (1st) conditional is still accepted usage, especially in written English.
Ill give you the money if it helps you.
Some other uses of if will/ would are either:
1) in informal spoken mode only, e.g. parallel structures (American English)
It would be better if they would tell everybody in advance.
However, if they told remains accepted usage.
2) in reported speech universally accepted usage.
I dont know if Ill be here tomorrow.
Another quick, similar paradigm: in The more / less , the more / less (m tm) types of sentences have different forms. The m clause is like the if / when part of the conditional: no will or would; often simple tenses are used in
these clauses for the idea of something repeated: perfect tenses are almost never used with this form.
The more you help them, the more they (will) take advantage of you.
The more we worked, it seemed like the less money we had.
The less James travels, the more money he will save for a car.
35) Studying vs. learning: Studying is sometimes concrete, for example at a specific time or place.
Tonight I'm studying for my test. I study English at university.
Learning is almost never used for a specific time or place, and indicates an activity that is finished or is in some way (beginning to be) complete. Learning can be concrete only with a very specific theme or activity. Learn is almost never
used in the present simple tense.
We've been learning to ice skate. She learned to play guitar when she was a little girl.
The idea of a regular activity can be communicated in English by using the noun "lessons."
Tonight I have a guitar lesson. She has French lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
36) This vs. it (A difficult rule!) It is used basically for concrete objects or specific concepts.
We use the Headway textbook. It is quite informative.
Your health is very important. You should take care of it.
Our love will never die. You can always count on it. (our love)
She moved to Russia. It was very exciting. (Russia was)
This is usually used with abstract facts.
Our teacher is very patient. This makes us comfortable.
Brazil is a leading producer of coffee. This is good for the economy. (not coffee, but producing)
Our love will never die. You can always count on this. (on the fact that our love will never die)
She moved to Russia. This was very exciting. (moving to Russia) It is very exciting. (Russia is.)
This vs. that (A simple rule.) This is nearby; that is far away. If you have just mentioned
something, use This, e.g. Read a text, put it away, then write a summary. This is a good way to improve your writing.
37) Find places to break-up your text into clear, logical paragraphs. One, long block of text is difficult
to concentrate on. Readers need a pause to "catch their breath," and a new paragraph helps. Also, make sure the beginning of a paragraph is absolutely clear by indenting the first sentence or leaving a blank line between paragraphs.
38) But Dont use one-sentence paragraphs unless absolutely necessary. They should be used for
emphasis, for an important idea or a key part of your story. Then when you finally use a one-sentence paragraph or a very short paragraph, it will be a powerful device to call attention to a significant point. ALSO: it must be made absolutely
clear when new paragraph begins either by indenting the first sentence or placing an extra space between paragraphs.
39) B a s i c a d jectives like good, bad, big, small, nice, and beautiful are for basic school, not university.
These words are not used as often in English as their equivalents are used in Czech learn the difference between the languages. Don't use these boring adjectives, use more specific synonyms. Even better use CONCRETE EVENTS and
DETAILS (NOUNS) instead. The reader can decide if what you are describing is good, bad or beautiful, etc. Writing is nothing without specific details. Use the five senses: can we see it, smell it, hear it, feel it or taste it? Undefined, abstract
concepts like love, peace, power, freedom, etc. can mean many different things for different people. These words can have so many vague associations that they are in fact meaningless. Describe specific events and concrete objects and
comparisons and your writing will come alive.
Also all words in any part of speech connected to national, ethnic or regional cultures should be capitalized.
For example: Czech beer, He is German. (adj), He is a German. (noun), a Victorian mansion,
Indian cuisine, She speaks Spanish., an Orwellian novel, a Scandinavian-style house
40) The English language is strange for many reasons. An important one is its use of prepositions at the
end of sentences (especially in questions):
I don't remember what we were talking about. It was a difficult situation to be in.
She has no one to speak to.
We spent the whole day just looking around.
Who are you waiting for?
What is the world coming to?
41) singular - once / twice / three times a day / week / month / year
plural) - once / twice / three times every two days / weeks / months / years (not in)
42) happy = inside yourself. lucky = something happens outside yourself. Either can be permanent or
temporary. You can be happy without being lucky, or vice versa.
43) Adverbs describing how something is done generally come directly before or after the verb or
adjective they modify. Use your dictionary if you aren't 100% sure.
(exception: It was quite a big house. quite a + adjective + singular, countable noun)
44) make and do: make: something you create (a toy, a cake, clothes, etc.)
do: an activity (maths, the shopping, the dishes)
(exceptions: do your homework, make your bed, other phrases)
45) sports:
do: an activity (aerobics, athletics, yoga) do sport = British usage
play: with a ball or puck (hockey, football, tennis, golf) play sports = American usage
go: always with -ing (skating, skiing, jogging, bowling)
46) such (a) with nouns: It had been such a nice holiday before the bad weather. (countable)
Czechs are such nice people. (countable plural)
We don't need such useless information. (uncountable)
so with adjectives (without nouns): London is so pleasant in the spring.
This lesson is so boring. Don't be so stubborn.
47) without how: a good opportunity to do st, an excellent chance to , the right / wrong way to
without why: a reason to do st (why should be used only for emphasis, otherwise it is just an unnecessary word); without where: the place they live
48) The phrase according to me is inglish, and may never be used. In my opinion or in my view should
be used in formal situations (i.e.academic essays). If you ask me, (with a comma) or I think (without a comma) is used informally. If you are using according to with a personal pronoun, make sure your reader knows who the pronoun refers to.
(see WN 20)
49) introduce sb to sb: Let me introduce you to my girlfriend.
50) In my thirteenth year is inglish. Correct: When I was 13 I played tennis every week.
Or: I've known her since I was thirteen. Formal: At the age of 13 I met her.
51) You can't look forward to sb, only to st. Correct: I am looking forward to seeing you.
Or: She was really looking forward to being with her boyfriend.
52) Don't use sentence fragments. All sentences (except commands / imperatives: Go away. Be quiet!)
should have a subject and a verb. A gerund form (-ing verb used as a noun) cannot act as a verb in a sentence: Running away. and Having a good time. are not complete sentences and are not grammatically correct alone.
54) When put into words, compound cardinal numbers until 99 are written with a hyphen. (see WN 16)
And some numbers from 1-9 are written differently when in 10s, e.g. forty-three (not fourty), two hundred fifty-seven (not fivety). In formal texts in English, numbers are usually written as words, not as digits. (twenty-two, not 22)
But when writing numbers in digits, longer numbers with 5 digits or more have a comma with no space in between before each group of hundreds. Examples: 30,000 52,574 2,000,000. When said or written in word form, notice
that hundred, thousand, etc. is NOT followed by an s.
Making basic mistakes like these is an easy to demonstrate your lack of experience in English.
Ordinal numbers (1st, 23rd, 157th) must have the correct endings and no period. The names of royalty are written without endings (but still no period). Examples: Charles IV not IVth. Bad example: Henry XIII.
In any formal writing in English, a numerical symbol (number) cannot be the first expression of a sentence. Bad example: 3 countries in the European Union are having serious economic difficulties.
55) Dates in informal texts (like personal essays) may be presented like this: June 6 or June 6, 2007
comma after the day, one space before the year. In formal texts (for example academic writing) dates may be shown this way: 6 June 2007 (no punctuation marks). This date is said or read like this: (on) June sixth two-thousand seven
(informal) or (on) the sixth of June, two-thousand seven (formal). Decades must have the definite article and are written with no apostrophe: the 1960s, the 90s. The 50s of the twentieth century = inglish; the 1950s is simpler and clearer
56) Decimals are written with decimal points (the same mark as a period [American English] and a full
stop [British English]), not commas. Bad examples: 8,99, 133 000. Good example: 55.57, 120,000
Pronunciation: 8.5 eight point five
137.982 one hundred thirty-seven point nine eight two (not nine hundred eighty-two)
0.003
(zero) point oh oh three, (zero) point zero zero three (US)
(nought) point zero zero three (UK)
Fractions: Read the top number as a cardinal number, followed by the ordinal number + s (if plural)
3/8 = three eighths, 7/16 = seven sixteenths, 11/32 = eleven thirty-seconds
1/3 = one third, 2/3 = two thirds
Exceptions: = one half, = one quarter (or one fourth), 3/4 = three quarters (or three fourths)
57) When mentioning a persons name as a source for the first time in a formal essay, for example in a
seminar paper or academic article, both first name and surname should be used. In Czech sometimes only the surname or maybe the first initial (inicila) is used, but, please, write in English. Vclav Havel, not V. Havel
58) Write closer to spoken mode in informal essays. Use contractions, for example I'm, can't, they're,
she's, don't. Don't use e.g. in informal essays - use phrases like for example, such as and for instance. Also, never use more than three adjectives in a list. If you have to write a list of adjectives (which I do not recommend at all this is weak
writing), choose the three most important and most specific. Long lists of adjectives are childish and cause sentences to lose all meaning whatsoever. Instead of these silly lists, use specific events and other concrete examples instead. Bad example:
My mother is sociable, reliable, kind, generous, honest, tolerant and hard-working. These abstract concepts mean absolutely nothing without specific examples of EXACTLY what she has done.

59) Familiarize yourself with the special specific circumstances only under which state verbs are used with continuous and perfect tenses. In continuous forms a specific unfinished time period is being emphasized and in perfect tenses 2 or more
time periods in a sentence compared. (See QGTR below.) State verbs describe:
a) thoughts and opinions (mylenky a nzory): think, believe, remember, know, forget, (dis)agree, understand
b) emotions (city): like, love, hate, want, adore, detest
c) the five senses (pt smysl): see, hear, taste, feel, smell
d.) others (ostatn): be, have (with concrete nouns), belong to
Bad examples: Only today the classroom is used for English. (temporarily - continuous needed)
By the time I am 35 I will have had three kids. (the state of having st is indicated,
not the activity of giving birth, a phrase which is not commonly used in informal English, another example of how translating directly from one language to another causes inaccuracy. The difference
between the different meanings of to have children are perfect examples of a state (similar to possess st) and an activity (give birth).
60) The car of my brother is a direct translation of auto mho bratra, which is the 2nd case in Czech
(genitive koho - eho). But in English The car of my brother is much too formal and literary for normal situations. In English the possessive is commonly used: my brothers car, Be careful, however, to distinguish between when names or other
nouns are used as adjectives, not as possessives, for example often in place names or historical landmarks: Masaryk Square (not Masaryks), Freedom Bridge (Most svobody The Bridge of Freedom is usually too formal for a place name, although
The Statue of Liberty is correct.) Why guess when you can find the correct form in 5 seconds on Google?
This means that the information in the Quick General Tense Review on following page does not apply to state verbs like these, only to action verbs. An easy way of establishing exactly what are and aren't state verbs is to remember the
abstractness of state verbs as compared to action verbs. Can you see it happening? If not, it is a state verb. You can't see belonging to someone, liking something, understanding someone or having a car (state) in the way you can see
going somewhere, doing something, raining or washing a car (action).
To repeat the most important idea of these lists: DON'T GUESS at VOCABULARY when writing. If you guess, you learn nothing; you are only repeating mistakes. Look up MEANINGS, SPELLING and
PRONUNCIATION, so you can use your new language chunks correctly when speaking and writing. A first-rate dictionary can be a valuable tool to help with all of these. When we have time to write something, we
should take advantage of all the tools we have.

Next page "Quick General Tense Review"

Quick General Tense Review


Believe it or not, today we will study all tenses in the English language. For action (dynamic) verbs, there are a total of 12. We have 4 types simple, continuous, perfect and perfect continuous. These 4 types can be expressed in 3 times
past, present and future. 4 types multiplied by 3 times gives us 12 active (and, theoretically, 12 passive) tenses. The good news is that some of these are not used very often, and then generally in writing, not speaking.
We already understand the difference between past, present and future, don't we? Let's forget about "time" for now. If we look at tenses instead by type, we will see that each shares a common idea which may be represented by keywords:
Simple = completion (dokonen)
Continuous = duration (trvn)
Perfect = sequence of times (souslednost as)
Perfect Continuous = both duration and sequence
All Simple tenses refer to actions that are repeatedly completed, were completed (at least once), or will be completed in the future. It is not important how long, what happened before nor what will happen after the action. Is it finished, one
time or repeatedly? Then use a simple tense.
She plays tennis every Saturday morning.
I didnt sleep well last week.
She wont like that. / Were going to leave at 10 pm.
Continuous tenses refer to extended activities or duration. The length of time is important. The present continuous usually expresses something that is happening now or in the near future. Past and future continuous forms are often used to
describe 2 (or more) things that happened or will be happening at the same time. The longer action must be expressed with the continuous. Not finished? Two things at the same time? Then use a continuous tense.
Its raining. / Tomorrow she's working all afternoon.
He was playing football yesterday when you called him. (play football, call)
Lunar farmers will be growing potatoes on the moon in 2025. (grow potatoes, 2025)
Perfect tenses indicate sequences of at least 2 moments in time. These forms describe things that happened or will happen at different times. Whatever happened / will happen first must be expressed with the perfect. At least two things at
different times? Use a perfect tense.
Paul's been to England three times. (Maybe hell go again next year.)
She had finished her homework. (before she went to the pub)
We hope he will have graduated university by the year 2015. (First graduation, then 2015.)
Perfect continuous tenses combine both the idea of an extended activity (continuous aspect) with the idea of a sequence of 2 (or more) specific moments in time (perfect aspect). Usually (not always) the action described isn't / wasn't / won't
be complete, unlike simple actions, which are finished. Long time plus time sequence? Use a perfect continuous tense.
Ive been studying English for 5 years. (I started studying at a specific time and I continue to study.)
She had been working in Peru for 5 years when she met her husband.
The newspaper said in 2016 the Americans will have been occupying Afghanistan for 15 years.