Expressing probability

Expressing certainty and probability

Expressing probability

Do you think you’ll go to the football game tonight? When do you think you’ll have time to write something? Where do you think you’ll go on holiday this spring? How long do you think you’ll stay there? What do you think you’re going to do this evening?

Certainty
- I’m sure my cousins are going to win this game.
- They’re bound to succeed.
- They’ll definitely see it.
- I’m 100% certain he’ll get here on time.
- I definitely won’t have time to play against you.
- It can’t be Aguero and Falcao.
- It must be time to leave now, certainly.
- We are sure to come to an agreement by then.
- I’m convinced that the kids are innocent.
- I’m totally convinced that your sister is the right employee for the job.
- Manchester United will undoubtedly purchase Angel di Maria to strengthen their midfield.
- No one can deny that Messi is the best soccer player.
Probability / possibility
- FC Barcelona will probably win the match.
- The players are possibly on their way here right now.
- I expect you’re tired.
- Your uncle Jim is probably in the library.
- I think they’ll go to Madrid.
- Perhaps I should wait more.
- She may be able to help you.
- She should be here very soon.
- He’s got a good chance of winning.
- There could be a meeting going on right now.
- There might be enough time tomorrow.
Negative probability
- I can’t imagine that they’d want to live here.
- It’s unlikely that she’ll want it.
- I don’t think she got the message.
- They aren’t likely to want it.
- They probably won’t find out until next week.
- I’d be surprised if they liked it.
- I’m probably not going to buy it.
Probability / certainty in the past
- Ramos must have left his keys on the table.
- It must have been them.
- It can’t have been Neymar.
- She might have already left.
- my siblings probably took the yellow one.

Writing process

Writing process

Writing process

Writing Example

The heat of noon

The voices of the group of people in front of me began to rise sharply. In front of me in the café were three young men and a brown-skinned girl. Lighting a cigarette, I stole glances at her lively eyes. One of them, the youngest, was trying to convince his companions that more than a hundred people had been killed in the accident and that the bodies had been robbed and that some of the wounded had lost their shoes.
“But the police would never allow the souls of the dead to be disturbed,” added the girl with a venomous laugh. Then a blanket of silence fell on everyone.
I gave in to a numbness which was putting my joints to sleep. It seemed the colour of the sky was changing and turning to a silver-grey.
Now noon was marching on and throwing its net over the city which was plunged into complete silence. The square in front of the railway station was totally deserted; the roadworks, which had still not been finished, made walking there impossible.
The girl sitting with the three young men said she had lost her suitcase the summer before on the train from Tangier. She smiled warily when our eyes met. I stubbed out the cigarette, passing by, unarmed, on the pavement. A burly soldier at the end of the line had knelt down and was trying to tie his bootlaces.
The door of the café opened and two men entered, their bodies blocking out the light of the sun. They came up close to me, and then one of them beckoned his friend to sit down. I put a dollar on the table and made to go.
The streets of the capital seemed more miserable. I noticed the post-office clock had stopped, and it looked as if it had not worked in a long time. I asked a young boy beside me for the time but he smiled and shrugged his shoulders. A young, foreign girl strutted past. She was enjoying walking slowly in the empty city centre. She was looking at the drooping palm fronds. Her face was flushed, which made her look like a peach. A small Pomeranian dog passed in front of me and I almost tripped over it. The dog’s hunt for its scraps seemed purposeless. An obscure tremor flooded into me.
I remembered my scorching hot room and the woman smoking with me and philosophizing. While standing looking out of the window at the single dwelling which had suddenly sprouted from among the shanties of Tebriket, I asked her when she would be back. She said she would never come back. A moment passed. I said it was very hot in the room. “You can take your blouse off. I want to see your breasts.” I said, jokingly, “Heat makes the body expand and the flesh swell and for that reason people feel cramped in their clothes.” But then a disgusting odour came at me from the shanties.
I crossed a tree-lined avenue. The pavement was occupied by cars resting in the shade. Near where I was walking a car attendant with swollen feet was lying against the trunk of a tree with his eyes open. A government official passed by and looked in my direction absent-mindedly. The car attendant greeted him coolly but the official disappeared behind a news-stand and did not reply. After striking three matches, I lit a cigarette. I then heard a sharp whistle coming from my ear.
The car attendant was rubbing his back against the gnarls of the tree-trunk, coughing. Perhaps his snot slithered out of his nose towards his stomach of its own accord. He knows no dream to swallow the slumber of the silent city. He smiled to himself and gestured towards a large building which he did not appear to see. But the facade of this building with its towering height probably seemed to him to be the most real thing he would see in his life – marble columns on which the building rested in bloated lassitude – iron gates devoid of all colour – its facades decorated in the Sharifian style – the curtains of its arched windows obstructing the entreaties of the human eye. It was a victory for blind delight over the great Bank of Morocco, lying in wait like beast in the heart of the city.
The car attendant smiled to himself and gave a short wave to the bank. It seemed that he had seen its armed guard. Suddenly, he rushed towards a car which was about to drive off. The trees shook. He stopped beside the driver’s window and began to scratch his genitals. A hand with a coin appeared behind the glass. The car attendant took it. He watched the car with its angry engine pull away. He took out the small coin and looked at it. Maybe he was thinking of spitting on it and throwing it away silently, stoning the high walls of his golden dream.
A swarm of children passed racing with each other. An old lady poked her head out of one of the windows and spat. The children’s voices sounded like the cries  of birds who have lost their eggs. Then the car attendant lay down again opening his two dead eyes.
I could not find anybody at that time. The city was resting and I had to wait until the end of the day. A wax face with a sports cap looked at me from a shop window. I noticed some hunting rifles and keep-fit equipment. The wax face was studying me intently. It did not want me there. “Do you like looking at me?” I asked the face. It said nothing. A wisp of its nylon hair shivered. “Tell me, do you really like looking at me?” It could protest, change its aluminium colour, melt its features, suddenly collapse, unable to resist, yet it smiled with pity and contentment, perhaps with indifference, looking to the heights where the only limit to its view was the bank building. Smiling, just like that. Indeed, raising its eyes like that day and night with the peak of its cotton cap on its empty skull. Really? Yes. You will never tremble. You will never have a name. This is enough. Yet you definitely see what is going on as you hide behind the glass, saving yourself from the summer heat. You are living in shade and darkness. Maybe one day you will feel bored and you will change your cap, but your frozen smile, that will remain. Then, yes, some woman will fall in love with you – a fair-skinned, rich woman. She will love you and dance for you, because you do not change. She will love you because you are always smiling. But at the bottom of it all, your smile is a lie. You will definitely see everything that goes on: the green trees turning perfectly green – they will not burn then and humanity with all its classes, colours and base smells. But I will never wake you from your sublime slumber.
It was not possible. The city was resting and I had to wait for the end of the day. It was just not possible. The city was devising its noontime games. My feet were tired and numb. A lame drunk passed by the Hotel Royal. I made my way to the park and rested on a bench. I looked around me. I stretched out on the bench and looked, and looked and looked at the sky. The garden was ablaze with light. A distant voice faded away. The blowing of the wind against the rhythm of silence. There was no sea. A crack in the sky. Devils jumping out of postage stamps. A song giving birth to canaries. Sleep on an island. Boxes full of keys. Horses’ hooves. Visitors and a wall falling down.
Then a voice roused me. I opened my sleeping eyes.
“You can’t sleep here!”
suddenly I realised who my enemy is.

Learning Points

The writing process is a series of steps that people use to complete their writing tasks. The biggest reason to use the writing process is that it makes your writing a lot more organized. It can also save a lot of time and confusion. The more organized you are, the more effective and efficient you can be as a writer. The purpose of writing is simply to get your ideas from yourself to another person using written words. It is impossible to make the recipient completely understand your ideas unless you write well.
There are several different versions of the writing process. None are necessarily better. Find what works for you and use it. Following the writing process steps will help you improve your writing a lot :
1- Brainstorming
Brainstorming is a step that some people combine with the second step-planning. To do this, a person simply writes down all the information they have on their writing topic. Research is also done at this point.

Brainstorming example

Brainstorming example

2- Planning
In planning, you might use an outline, a graphic organizer, a map, a cluster, Venn diagram, color coding, post-it notes or a note card. This can help a visual writer to organize his ideas.

Color coding example

Color coding example

Graphic organizer example

Graphic organizer example

3- Drafting
In this step, a writer will write out the first version of the writing (whether it is a story, a paragraph, an essay or a research paper). Although writers do not usually worry about correcting errors yet, the fewer errors that exist, the easier the editing will be.
4- Editing
In this step, a writer will correct all errors in the writing and check for things like : following directions, spelling, grammar mistakes, punctuation, clear wording and if there’s anything that doesn’t make sense.
5- Final Writing
The goal here is a perfect paper.

Adverb clause

Adverb clause

Adverb clause

A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a predicate. It forms part of a sentence. If a clause makes sense in itself, it is called the main clause or the principal clause of that sentence. If it is dependent on another clause to complete its meaning, it is called the subordinate clause. Remember there can be only one main or principal clause, the word or words that join a subordinate clause with the principal clause are called subordinating conjunctions. There are three types of subordinate clauses : noun clauses, adjective clauses and adverb clauses.
Let’s learn in detail about adverb clauses. An adverb clause is a subordinate clause that does the work of an adverb in a sentence. It can modify a verb, an adjective or an adverb in the principal clause.
Adverb clauses can be of different types. Let us look in detail at the types of adverb clauses.

An adverb clause of time shows the time when an action takes place. It is introduced by the subordinating conjunctions : when, while, before, after, since, as, whenever, as long as, as soon as, no sooner than, till, until, …
Examples :
- They met while we were in class.
- We woke up when the birds chirped.
- I left before he came.
- I will wait till he gets back.

An adverb clause of place shows the place where an action takes place. It is introduced by the subordinating conjunctions : where, wherever, whence, whither, …
Examples :
- He lives where it rains a lot.
- I will come to visit you wherever you live, .

An adverb clause of reason shows why an action takes place. It is introduced by the subordinating conjunctions : because, since, as, that, …
Examples :
- He was sad because he missed Rihanna concert.
- She is so happy that her cousins have come.

An adverb clause of comparison indicates a comparison between people or things. It is introduced by the subordinating conjunctions : than, no less than, as, …
Examples :
- She is smarter than she looks.
- Shah Rukh Khan is as tough as he is sensitive.

An adverb clause of purpose is used when the purpose of an action is to be described. It can be used when the person it refers to is different from the subject of the principal clause and it is introduced by the subordinating conjunctions : so, that, in order that, lest, …
An adverb clause of purpose can also be used when the original subject is repeated in the subordinate clause.
Examples :
- He met Shakira there so that Alice wouldn’t know.
- He tried his best that he might get in.
- Work hard lest you should fail.

An adverb clause of result tells us the result of something. It is introduced by the subordinating conjunctions : so that, such that, …
Usually, the conjunctions are placed separately with one word appearing in the principal clause and the other appearing in the adverb clause. Sometimes the words “so that” and “such that” come together. “So” can be used before “many” and “much” when they are followed by nouns.
Examples :
- The winds were so strong that we could not set sail.
- Eat your food quickly so that you can go to sleep.
- There were so many choices that I got confused.
- We had no much time on our hands that we went out shopping.

An adverb clause of concession implies that something surprising is conveyed in the principal clause when compared to what is said in the subordinate clause. It is introduced by the subordinating conjunctions : although, though, even if, however, whether, …
Adverb clause of concession that make a contrast with something said in the principal clause are called adverb clauses of contrast.
Examples :
- Although he worked hard, his project was not selected.
- Though I like Cristiano Ronaldo, I prefer Lionel Messi.

An adverb clause of manner shows the manner in which an action is performed. It is kind of comparative clause as it indicates comparison of manner. It is introduced by the subordinating conjunctions : as, as .. so, as if, as though, in the way that, how, …
If “as + clause” appears in the first sentence, then the principal clause begins with “so”.
Examples :
- Do as I tell you.
- As he has started, so will he finish.

An adverb clause of extent indicates the degree to which an action is done. It is introduced by the subordinating conjunctions : as .. as, the .. the, …
If “as + clause” appears in the first sentence, then the principal clause begins with “so”.
Examples :
- They tried as much as they could.
- The more you have, the more you want.

An adverb clause of conditions states the conditions or circumstances for something to happen. It is the principal clause that states what will happen if the conditions are fulfilled. It is introduced by the subordinating conjunctions : if, unless, provided, provided that, as long as, whether, in case, on condition, …
The conjunction “if” can be used to convey a variety of meanings : To talk about the future, to talk about things that are not real or likely to happen at the moment, to talk about things that did not happen and when there are two possibilities of expression.
“Unless” is always used to convey a negative condition.
Examples :
- You can go provided you finish your homework.
- If I get a holiday, we can go boating on Sunday.
- If I were famous, I would live in Hollywood!
- If you had told me, I would have left immediately.
- If you are late, meet me at the theatre.
- Unless you do the dishes, you can’t watch TV.

Shopping in English

Useful expressions related to shopping

Shopping in English

What you ask
- Can you recommend a good antique / card / corner / pet  shop?
- Is there a pharmacy / bakery / bookshop / confectioner in the area?
- Where can I get teddy bear / brush / sweets/ baby food?
- Where’s the nearest shopping centre / supermarket/ mall / beauty centre?
- What time do you open / close, please?
- Are you open on Saturdays?
- Could you help me here , please?
- Could you tell me where the shoes department / music department / Paris gallery is?
- Excuse me, I’m looking for a toothbrush sanitizer / Christmas cactus / French perfume.
- Is there somewhere I can try this on, please?
- Does it suit me?
- Do you have this in a larger / smaller size, please?
- Do you have this in red / blue /  a different colour, please?
- What does this calendar cost?
- Excuse me Sir, how much is this car seat cover?
- What is the price of a stamp?
- Do you take credit cards / debit cards / American express?
- Does it have a warranty / guarantee?
- Can I pay by cheque?
- Could I have a VAT receipt, please?

What you hear
- There’s a very good gift shop / restaurant / hotel  just around the corner.
- The best motorcycle shop is in the shopping centre.
- The nearest one is a few kilometres away.
- We’re closed at lunchtime, between 12am and 2pm.
- We’re open from 8am till 5pm, Monday to Friday.
- We’re open 24/7 from Monday to Friday.
- It’s too long / short.
- Did you find what you were looking for?
- The ladies / gents changing rooms are over there.
- The fitting rooms are over there.
- You can bring it back and get a refund if you keep the receipt.
- Buy three for the price of two.
- That is 45 Euros altogether.
- We take all the major credit cards.
- We only accept cheques with a cheque card.
- We only accept cash.
- We’re offering 6 months’ free credit with no deposit.

How to be assertive!

some useful words and expressions for being assertive

How to be assertive!

When was the last time you had to say “no” to someone? Who were you talking to? What were you talking about? Are you good at letting people know what you want? Give examples? Are you good at expressing your feelings? Give examples. What’s the best way to deal with people who are trying to pressurise you?

Being assertive
- I’m afraid I can’t do that.
- I’d rather not do it.
- I don’t feel like going today.
- I’d prefer not to have that one.
- Thanks, but I’d rather not do that.
- I don’t want to be associated with that.
- I’m not prepared to support that idea.
- I can’t make that a priority right now.
Being insistent
- I demand a refund .
- I ins ist that you get the manager.
- I know you’d like me to go, but I can’t.
- I’m sorry but 2pm won’t work for me.
- This one isn’t the one I was looking for.
- I won’t leave until I speak to the manager.
- I really need to change the t ime of the meeting.
- You’re going to have to respect my point of view.
Saying no
- Thanks, but no thanks.
- No, not at the moment.
- I’m afraid I can’t do that.
- I’m sorry but I won’t do that.
- Thanks, but I’m not interested.
- I’m sorry but the answer is no.
- I’m driving so I don’t want to drink.
- I’m sorry but I’m not comfortable with that.
- Thanks for thinking of me, but I th ink I’ll pass this time.
The broken record
This is a technique that involves repeating something over and over again. For example:
A: Do you want the blue one?
B: No, I want the red one.
A: The blue one’s much better.
B: Well, I want the red one.
A: It’s much cheaper.
B: I’m sorry but I want the red one.
Expressing displeasure
- That was extremely offensive.
- I felt offended by your comment.
- I really don’t appreciate your tone of voice.
- It’s annoying when things like that happen.
- I’m sorry but I’m not comfortable with that.
- Please respect my wishes, even if you disagree with them.