Why does “I was happy to do my homework” work, but “I was tired to do my homework” doesn’t?

I’m teaching ESL, and I came across a question from one of my students that I don’t know how to answer. Using the form “{subject} {verb} {adjective} {infinitive phrase}” we’ve been going over sentences such as “I was happy to help you.” (More specifically, “I helped you. I was happy. -> I was happy to … Read more

Which one is correct “John is in the third” or “John is in the third place”?

If I want to ask someone in the picture, like ‘Where’s John?’ or ‘Which one is john?’ which answer should it be? Answer "John is in the third" doesn’t make sense, "John is in the third place" is technically correct but reads oddly. "John is the third one/person" would work. Maybe specifying which direction, but … Read more

What is the word for the verb that signifies performing the action suggested by a given noun?

I realize the wording is a little difficult to parse; essentially, I’m asking how to fill in the following blanks: The ___ of “mistake” is “make”. The ___ of “action” is “perform”. The ___ of “party” is “throw”. The ___ of “campaign” is ___. Compound words are, of course, perfectly acceptable. A similar question suggested … Read more

Do you ever say “coffee with milk” or “coffee and milk”?

I know that in a coffee shop in different countries you need to be more specific about how you want your coffee and milk. And I know that in the US they usually say “latte”, in the UK “white coffee”, and in Australia and New Zeland “flat white”. But what if you’re just talking about … Read more

ESL text: “I notice similarities between myself and . . . “: Acceptable use of reflexive pronoun?

In an ESL class, a student asked a difficult question about the use of “myself” in the following sentence: I notice similarities between myself and other people more than differences. (Speak Out, Upper Intermediate, p. 13, Exercise 11C, Pearson Longman, 2011) She said that she had been taught in Japan that it should “me” here. … Read more

Road to English fluency for advanced speakers

I have been learning English all my life. I have been in the US for three years. I consider myself an advanced English speaker. There are many resources on the internet that are geared towards beginners and intermediate English learners. However, I am looking for fluency. I want to be able to speak English as … Read more