Although, though, even though, in spite of, and despite are words that help us connect contrasting ideas clearly and fluently. We use them to introduce a clause in a sentence which is in contrast to another clause in the same sentence.
You already know how to use basic connectors such as so and but. In the example below, but is a contrast connector.
Now, it’s time to learn other connectors that help us communicate more complex ideas.
NOTE: A dependent clause is NOT a full sentence. It is a phrase (group of words) that is incomplete, in other words, it is an incomplete thought. We need to complete the idea by using a connector and an independent clause.
An independent clause is a phrase that contains a subject and verb and expresses a complete thought.
Time to practice
The best way to improve your English is by practicing. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Remember that practice makes progress.
In some English exams you have to speak or write about photos or pictures.
Here is a list of useful vocabulary and expressions for describing pictures or photos for oral/written exams.
What is there in the picture? (people, things, animals, places, etc)
In the picture I can see … There is a/ an +(adjective)+ singular noun There are (a couple/some/ a lot of) + (adjective) + plural noun There isn’t a + (adjective) + singular noun There aren’t any + (adjective) + plural noun
What is happening? (actions & weather) For actions use present continuous
Theperson/ animalis +verb-ing The people are + verb-ing It’s raining/ snowing, etc. It’s bright/ dark/ sunny/ cold/ hot, etc.
What might be happening? (If something in the picture is not clear you can make a guess)
It looks like a + noun It looks as if + person/animal + verb … It looks as though + persona/animal + verb … It seems that person/animal is … Maybe the person/animal is + verb-ing The person/animal might be +verb-ing
What could have happened before? (You can use your imagination and make a guess about the actions that happened before the picture was taken)
The person/animal might have + past participle … The person/animal may have + past participle … The person/animal could have + past participle … The person/animal couldn’t have + past participle …
Where in the picture? (location/ position)
At the top/bottom of the picture … In the foreground … In the background …. In the middle/ center of the picture … On the left/right of the picture … next to in front of across from behind near on top of under
Now that you know the vocabulary and phrases that should be included in picture description, let’s see an example:
I think this is a family photo. There are five people, all of them are smiling. They are having lunch in the dinning room. The dining room is so bright and modern. In the background we see the kitchen and some appliances. For example, a microwave and a coffee maker.
In the foreground we see the mother sitting at the head of the table. It seems that she is taking a selfie. Her children are sitting around the table. On the left side of the photo there is a boy and a girl. The girl is smiling. The boy has his mouth open, and he looks as he is going to eat the whole spaghetti.
There are two teenagers sitting across from the children. The young man is smiling, and the young woman is posing for the photo. The young man has his arm around the young woman.
There are five plates with spaghetti, three glasses of orange juice, and two glasses of red wine on the table. There might be some bread in the middle of the table. The food looks very delicious.
They might be having a video call with the father. The father could have travelled for work to a different city. It looks as though they are having a good time. This photo reminds me when I was younger, and I used to have lunch with my family every Sunday.
Time to practice
The best way to improve your writing and speaking is to practice. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Remember that practice makes progress.
Choose ONE picture and describe it.
What can you see in the picture? Write your answer in the comments below
Adverbs are words that describe an action (e.g. She speaks slowly) or modify adjectives (e.g. This car is incredibly expensive) or other adverbs (e.g. He works very hard). They can be one word (e.g. often) or a phrase (every now and then).
Common types of adverbs:
Adverbs of manner describe how somebody does something.
They usually go after the verb or verb phrase
With passive verbs they usually go in mid-position
Examples: beautifully, slowly, happily, thoroughly, fast, quickly, cheaply, etc.
2. Adverbs of frequency tell us how often an action is performed.
They go before the main verb but afterverb be
If there are two auxiliary verbs, the adverb goes after the first one
Some adverbs can be put at the beginning of the phrase or sentence for emphasis (sometimes, usually, and normally)
Examples: always, never, usually, sometimes, usually, normally, etc.
3. Adverbs of time and place tell us when and where an action is performed
Time adverbs usually go at the end of a sentence or clause
Place adverbs usually go before time adverbs
Examples: in the morning, at night, at the airport, in half an hour, here, there, etc.
4. Adverbs of degree describe how much something is done, or modify the adjective
Some adverbs of degree are used with adjectives and adverbs and they go before them (e.g. extremely, incredibly, very, a little, a little bit, etc.)
Some adverbs are often used with verbs and go before the verb or the verb phrase (e.g. a lot and much)
5. Comment adverbs give the speaker’s opinion about a particular topic.
They usually go at the beginning of a sentence or clause
Examples: luckily, basically, clearly, obviously, apparently, eventually, etc.
Watch the following videos to find more examples and exercises