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February 2008

In this Issue

Free English Online
What is IELTS?
Build Vocabulary
Grammar Spot
Book of the Month
Try Your own Tutor
Writing Courses
Readers' Questions


Free membership
Free membership

Test Your English
Test Your English

Useful Websites...

Free Membership
Online Courses
Online Grammar
Grammar FAQ
Study Guides
Irregular Verbs
Confusing Words
Study in the UK
Jobs for Teachers

Study English in Britain
Study English in the UK

Quick Quote

Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear.

Ezra Pound

Confusing Words

know | no

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Free Membership to Learn English Online

Join thousands of other English4Today members and learn English for free! The membership website gives you a complete 'toolkit' for learning English online. And nearly all of it is free!

Members are both teacher and students and come from all over the world. You can use hundreds of online resources, meet other members, build your own dictionary, find an online teacher or just browse through articles, games and video clips. The first thing to do is to register for Free Membership of English4Today so that you can access all of the services and learning tools. After that you can access the forums, use the complete Online English4Today Grammar, Ask question in the English4Today Grammar FAQ, download free studyGuides and use the hundreds of other resources open to members.

Register for Free English4Today Membership now!

What is IELTS?

Write English Like an ExpertA lot of our readers ask us questions about the IELTS examination as it is a requiremement for entering many English speaking universities and colleges and is also used by immigration departments and businesses to determine English language competance. Well, we've got an IELTS expert to tell you all about it! Michael Fay, ex-Director of INSEARCH Language Centre at the University of Technology and a lead education consultant with the ASEAN Focus Group, talks about IELTS in our exclusive English4Today video broadcast. Have a look at it today if you need to know anything about this examination. If you are preparing for IELTS then take a look at our Online IELTS Preparation Course - English4Today experts can help you improve your IELTS results quickly and efficiently.

View the English4Today IELTS Video Broadcast

Find out more about the IELTS Preparation Course

New Crossword Section: Build Your Vocabulary


How good is your English vocabulary? English4Today has a new section on the website with vocabulary building crosswords.

Each crossword is linked to an article or a section of the English4Today Online English Grammar so that you can study up on the vocabulary items before you try the crossword.

The new section only holds some of the many crosswords and activities that you can access if you register for free English4Today membership.

Try the crossword based on the Plastic Surgery article or the one on Past Forms of English Verbs!

English4Today Crosswords

Grammar Spot : Adverbs of Manner

July Grammar Spot

Adverbs of manner tell us how something happens. They are usually placed after the main verb or after the object.


  • He swims well, (after the main verb)
  • He ran... rapidly, slowly, quickly..
  • She spoke... softly, loudly, aggressively..
  • James coughed loudly to attract her attention.
  • He plays the flute beautifully. (after the object)
  • He ate the chocolate cake greedily.

BE CAREFUL! The adverb should not be put between the verb and the object:

  • He ate greedily the chocolate cake [incorrect]
  • He ate the chocolate cake greedily [correct]

For the full explanation on adverbs of manner see the English4Today Online Grammar

Book of the Month

Desktop Software

If you've ever wondered what it may be like to be alive after the worst-case scenario is played out with global warming, nuclear war or any one of the other apocolyptic scenarios we are so often presented with then here is the book for you!

The Road is the story of a father and son journeying south in an ash-covered, burnt and poisoned, post-apocalyptic world where almost everything that we know of our world has disappeared and where humans have been reduced to amoral, cruel, cannibalistic scavengers desperately trying to survive in landscapes where there is virtually nothing left to sustain life with the exception of rare scatterings of left-overs from the past.

McCarthy chooses to write this story using an equally startling and spare style. The paragraphs are short and almost staccato like, the dialogue reduced to very short sentences often with little content. Perhaps because all the points of reference for language - things, feelings, emotions - have gone and there is almost nothing left to say. McCarthy also changes the way we punctuate prose - pulling out another reference point - an effect which seems to flatten the dialogue making it as dulled as the landscape it echoes against. Have a look at this conversation between the father and his son ... read the complete article.

Read the Full Article : The Road by Cormack McCarthy

English4Today Courses for Writing Better English

Business English

The English4Today courses for Writing Better English are the latest edition to our course catalogue and are proving to be very popular with students.

If you need to improve your business, creative or academic writing skills in English then these courses are perfect for you. Each course has 7 units that you can study at your own pace. Every student has their own personal tutor and your tutor will assess all of your assignments and answer your questions during the course. Included in the course:

  • Full initial assessment of a piece of your written work
  • All materials
  • Your personal English4Today tutor
  • 1 years access to the Online English4Today Club and learning website as a Premium Member
  • 1 licensed copy of the English4Today Desktop Edition software
  • I copy of the English4Today Online English Grammar

If you would like more information go to the Writing Better English website at:

Writing Better English Courses

Try a 1 Hour Online Lesson

Personal Tutors

If you really want to learn English online and in the best way possible then you need a Personal Tutor. Now you can try the service with a 1 hour lesson before to see if it suits you!

You may be hesitant about registering for a full English4Today course or series of online lessons and that is understandable. English4Today now provides a 1 hour introductory lesson so that you can 'try before you buy' and make sure that our course are as good as we say they are!

Find out more about the options and registration for the 1 Hour Introductory lesson:

Your Personal English Language Tutor

Readers' Questions : HTH Here's the List!

Readers' QuestionsEvery month we publish one question from an English4Today member in the newsletter. However, we answer a lot more in the Online Grammar FAQ and a lot of them have podcast sound files with the answers.

This month's question was sent in by Vin in the USA:

"What is it called when letters are substituted for words, i.e., LOL stands for Laugh out loud."

Hi Vin, they are everywhere and they are called ‘acronyms‘!

An acronym was originally a pronounceable word made from the initial letters of other words. For example, NATO for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

As acronyms have invaded our lives more and more we have started to coin other shorthand versions such as TV for Television, USA for United States of America, IOU for I Owe You (a debt), MD for Medical Doctor, or CEO for Chief Executive Officer which are not acronyms in the original sense of being a ‘new pronounceable word’ made up of the first letters but which we still pull into our bulging bag of acronyms.

But where acronyms have really exploded and become a sub-language of their own is through text messaging, the Internet and email where the ‘need for speed’ has led to the creation of hundreds of new acronyms that are used globally by millions of people. Your example, LOL for ‘Laugh Out Loud’ is one of the most used of these Internet acronyms. Here is a list of some of the other common Internet acronyms used in emails, SMS and text messaging. Hope it helps, CU!


Get the full answer now

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