Study Online English


When to use BY


How to use BY

made by The meaning of by is the same as beside,
at the side of, next to or near somebody/something


Were you sitting by (beside) the door?

Jana parked her car by (beside) mine.

The police station is by the church isn’t it?

Showing motion usually shows movement past a place:

We walked by your office this morning.

Who was that man who just ran by us?



To show who or what does, creates or causes something:

He was knocked down by a bus.

A play written by Shakespeare.

Who’s that book by?

I was frightened by the noise of the storm.

To show how something is done:

We send a postcard or a letter by post.

We contact someone by phone or by email.


To show how someone travels:

They came by car/ by taxi/ by train/ by plane.

For an amount

‘We sell tomatoes by the kilo.’

‘By’ as ‘alone’

By can be used with:


These all show someone or something being alone:

‘I stayed at home by myself and read the newspaper.’

‘The cat opened the door by himself.’



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When to use Then and Than

A trick to know when to use Then and Thanthen or than

English has a lot of confusing words especially those words that look and sound the similar.

Than and Then are hard to know when to use even for native users!

The trick to know when to use which is easy! Than is for comparisons so if you are not comparing something: use then.

Let’s talk about then.than and then

Then is used when you want to talk about a sequence of events, giving instructions in a step-by-step order or when time is involved the word then is used.

  • Come over this afternoon; I’ll be ready then.
  • If my flight is cancelled then I won’t be able to go to the wedding!
  • When you reach the traffic light then turn left.
  • Wash the dishes then dry them.

Than is used to compare.

  • A lion is more aggressive than a house cat.
  • I prefer biscuits than cake.
  • The Amazon River is wider than the Nile.

Here is a video explaining it all!

If you would like me to discuss any other words in English you find confusing, let me know by contacting me at:

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Understanding English

Improve your listening skills


Great ideas on how to improve your English listening skills

Languages never stay the same. Think about the place where you are from and the way people speak. Now think about a town or city a hundred kilometers in any direction. They probably speak in a different way to you. For any language learner it is important to learn and get used to the differences in: accent, speed, fluency, pronunciation, emotion and so on.

The best way you can achieve this in English is by exposing yourself to a variety of English accents through listening.

Listen to English as part of your everyday life whenever you can, when you are getting ready in the morning, cooking, cleaning, organizing your house or when you’re exercising.

You will be amazed how your English will improve because without realising you will learn new vocabulary and grammar.

Here’s what can help you!

  • Listen to an English radio station.
  • Watch your favourite TV series or movie in English with subtitles in your own language at first. When you feel more confident watch it only in English with English subtitles.
  • Get an Audiobook of one of your favourite books that you have already read and listen to it when you can.
  • When there is a language exchange event in your area try and talk to as many native English speakers as you can.
  • Listen to podcasts this is a great site it has lots and lots of  great topics to listen to: or google a topic that you are really interested in, e.g. type science podcast etc.

To improve your grammar

Here is a link to a great site of animated videos of conversations that focus on different grammatical structures, such as reported speech, articles and modals. Each video comes with activities and transcripts.

For intermediate to advanced learners

This is a collection of short audio recordings, suitable for intermediate to advanced students, about issues connected with business and academic issues, from biotechnology, eBay and developing creativity.  They are usually monologues

One of the best places to find high quality listening material

Is through the British Council websites and podcasts. They offer a fantastic selection of audio and video materials, most of which contain lesson plans and tasks that you can do.



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How to learn English.

Some of the best ways to learn English.

One of the most important things when learning a new language is to enjoy it. This can be easy to do, it´s all about how you learn and how you recognize the progress you´re making and how great you feel seeing how well you’re doing.

Best ways to learn EnglishFocus on creating full, real English sentences every time you learn a new word.

If you want to fell that wonderful sense of confidence and achievement (of success) every time you sit down to learn English, the number one thing you should do is impress yourself (feel proud of yourself) is by speaking full English sentences.

Children do not learn grammar first. They start learning words to communicate, then short series of words together (sentences) to communicate more and then it grows from there.

Whenever you learn English from now on, focus on forming full sentences.  If you have to, you can quickly look up grammar here and there to fill in the gaps, just so you understand how to make the sentences properly.

This is also great for remembering vocabulary, because you remember the words meaning when you use it in a sentence.

For example, when you focus on English for an hour, learn a few new words then immediately use them in full sentences. When you learn “to go” start to use “to go” right away, don’t wait.

  • I want to go to the cinema because I like movies.
  • When did you go to London?

Every time you sit down to learn English, try to have a little conversation with what you have just learnt. Repeat and repeat and repeat. Practice the new word inside 5 or 10 or 20 different sentences and see how good it feels.

At every level of English, make long sentences, because you can!!!!!

You will feel great because you are using the new word in real spoken English.

Do not feel like you have to practice lots before you begin talking in English. You can begin talking English NOW.

Speak out loud:

If you’re alone, speak out loud. Talk to yourself – it’s a great listening habit.

I hope you enjoyed this tip! If you have any questions or you would like to book a lesson, please email on




























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