Do you use the present simple correctly?


While having a conversation lesson this morning, two things popped up that I thought I could share with you.

1. We don’t use the Present Simple to express something that is happening now.

  • I work now. (Lavoro ora)
  • I am working now. (Present Continuous is the right tense in this case)

2. We don’t use the Present Simple to express an immediate decision or reaction.

  • Just a second! I make you a copy. (Un attimo! Ti faccio una copia)
  • Just a second! I will make you a copy. (Future WILL is the right tense in this case)


If you keep these two high frequency mistakes in mind, you can speak a little more accurately. Yeah!

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Business Class: I would like you to learn something


I was teaching a business client today and 2 recurring mistakes came up.

  • I would like that they come to the meeting.
  • I want that she learns Chinese.

We looked at this verb pattern mistake and came to the conclusion that Mr.G made the mistake due to his native Language (i.e. Italian). He expressed that this was difficult to correct because no one stops him when he says it. Everyone seems to understand .

How do we correct this?

The verb pattern is the same for both verbs:

  • I would like + object pronoun + infinitive
  • I want + object pronoun + infinitive

Here are a few examples:

  • I would like them to come to the meeting.
  • I want her to learn Chinese
  • He would like you to apologize for your rude behaviour.
  • You want him to finish working at 5pm.
  • We would like them to join us for supper
  • She wants us to hire an extra person.

Did this help you? We sure want to find out .



Clearly Confusing: Near vs Close vs Closed


cc1A learner mispronounced the word ‘closed’ in class this week . He pronounced it with 2 syllables and not one. This opened up a discussion about the words near vs close vs closed.

Here is what we came up with.


  • near: /ˈniɚ/ adverb, adjective or adverb that means at a short distance or time away
  • close to: /ˈkloʊs/ adverb or adjective that means at a short distance or time away
  • closed: /ˈkloʊzd/ it’s an adjective that means not open
  • to close :/ˈkloʊz/ it is a verb that means not open

We also gave examples of how near and close to work in sentences. Near is not followed by  ‘to’:

  • He lives close to me.
  • He lives near me.
  • The airport is near my house.
  • The airport is close to my house.

We created sentences using ‘closed’ and ‘to close’:

  • The shop is closed today. It is a national holiday. (adjective)
  • He asked me to close the window. (verb)

We  compared the use of near and close as adverb & adjective:

  • I am nearly finished. (I will finish in a short time)
  • He looked at the document closely. (with much needed attention)
  • He is a close friend. (a good friend of mine)
  • Summer is getting nearer. (we are a short time away )

Read the sentences below. Are they used correctly or incorrectly?

  • I am closely finished.
  • He looked at the document nearly.