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     Volume 2 Issue 10 | May 12, 2007 |


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Learner's Club

Verbs and Adverbs That Go Together

Some verbs and adverbs go together naturally and it's often helpful to learn them as expressions. Here are some examples to help you keep the flow of your English sounding natural.

act quickly: "We have to act quickly if we want to agree to their deal."

listen attentively: "She listened attentively to what her boss was saying."

play fair: "I don't feel that you are playing fair - you seem to change your mind when it suits you!"

search thoroughly: "The police searched the house thoroughly, but couldn't find any evidence."

sigh deeply: "He sighed deeply when he heard the news."

sit comfortably: "She was sitting comfortably on a sofa when he walked in."

speak softly: "It was difficult to hear her as she was speaking softly."

think carefully: "Please think about this carefully - it's a big decision."

vary widely: "Marriage customs vary widely from culture to culture."

work hard: "We work hard in the office."

Using Wish

We can use "wish" to show that we want a situation to be different. The verb after "wish" is one tense back, so that if you are wishing for a different present situation, the tense that follows "wish" is past simple or past continuous. If you are wishing that a past situation were different, the tense that comes after "wish" is past perfect. You can also use "wish" with modal verbs.

Wish and present situations

Situation: My sister is untidy. (Verb "to be" in the present simple)

Wish: I wish she was tidier. (Verb "to be" in past simple)

Situation: I am going to London next week. (Verb "to go" in present continuous)

Wish: "I wish I wasn't going to London next week." (Verb "to go" in past continuous)

Situation: I haven't studied for the test. (Verb "to study" in present perfect)

Wish: "I wish I had studied for the test." (Verb "to study" in past perfect)

Wish and past situations

Situation: I didn't go on holiday this year. (Verb "to go" is in past simple)

Wish: "I wish I had gone on holiday this year. (Verb "to go" is in past perfect.)

Wish with modal verbs

With could to refer to ability

Situation: I can't play a musical instrument.
Wish: "I wish I could play a musical instrument."

With would to refer to habits and free will

Situation: He whistles in the office.

Wish: I wish he wouldn't whistle in the office. (In this sentence you are stressing the fact he wants to whistle and makes a habit of it.)

You could also say: "I wish he didn't whistle in the office." (In this sentence you aren't stressing his desire to whistle, but you are just making a comment about a present situation.)



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