Friday, July 3, 2015


Sometimes we need to talk about things that are done every time, every day, every week, et cetera. To say something that reflects daily routines and timetables you can learn some things from the following passages. These passages illustrate the use of simple present tense which is used to talk about repetitive schedules.

Passage 1
Our parents are very kind to us. They regularly TRY to advise us whenever we MAKE mistakes. They always FEEL quite happy when a day PASSES without making them angry. They TELL us it is a must to be polite to everybody.

My sister PREFERS to prepare food for our family. She is very proud of her job. She DOES not leave the kitchen before completing her duty.

My brother GOES to hunt or fish. He RETURNS home with meat. He FEELS quite unhappy if he FAILS to kill an animal or FAILS to catch a fish.

Passage 2
I usually WAKE up in the morning as soon as it GETS light, at about six o’clock. But I DO not GET up straight away. I usually LIE quietly in bed until the rising bell RINGS, so I HAVE half an hour to think about the day ahead. After the rising bell GOES, I am busy washing, making my bed, and doing my share of the cleaning until the breakfast bell GOES at seven o’clock. Classes BEGIN an hour after the breakfast bell, and they GO on until 12.30 p.m. Then another bell RINGS for the end of morning classes, and we GO to get ready for lunch.

Afternoon classes BEGIN at 2.00 p.m. and GO on until 4.15 p.m. We then HAVE a break for tea until five o’clock. After the tea-break, we BEGIN various outside activities such as games, or working on the school farm, or helping with the poultry and cattle. An hour and a half is allowed for this, and then we HAVE half an hour to get washed and changed for supper at 7.00 p.m. After supper we HAVE supervised preparation from 8.00 p.m. until 10.00 p.m., and then we HAVE half an hour to get to bed before lights OUT.

Passage 3
Paul is a student in a boarding secondary school. The school is situated in Mwanza city not far away from the city centre. He WAKES up at six o’clock, TAKES his breakfast at seven and GOES to class at half past seven. During the evening he GOES to read books in the school library. On Saturdays there are no classes, so Paul GOES to a church nearby to worship his God. On Sunday evenings he GOES to visit his parents and DOES his shopping.

Musa also LIVES in the same city as Paul. He DOES not attend school in a boarding school. Instead, he GOES to a day school that is just a few minutes’ walk from his home. He GETS up early in the morning. He PREPARES himself for school and LEAVES home for school at quarter past seven. He always GOES to class at half past seven. In the evening Musa DOES not go to the library; instead he GOES to the workshop where he STUDIES and PRACTISES mechanical engineering. He INTENDS to work in a garage after finishing his school.

Paul and Musa sometimes MEET at the bus stop when Paul is going to visit his parents and Musa to the workshop. They usually GREET each other and TALK about the week and especially their studies. At the beginning their meetings were just by chance, but now every one of them LOOKS forward to their meeting every week.

These are the different ways (forms) of a verb used to show the time of the action whether it is done in the past, present or future. There are simply three major tenses (PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE) with four minor tenses (SIMPLE, CONTINUOUS, PERFECT & PERFECT CONTINUOUS) in each major tense. In other words we have can present the tenses as follows:
Simple, Continuous, Perfect, Perfect continuous    

Simple, Continuous, Perfect, Perfect Continuous             

Simple, Continuous, Perfect, Perfect continuous

What the above presentation means is that the tenses are called:
(1).    Present Simple (Tense), Present Continuous (Tense), Present Perfect (Tense) and Present Perfect Continuous (Tense)
(2).    Past Simple (Tense), Past Continuous (Tense), Past Perfect (Tense) and Past Perfect Continuous (Tense)
(3).    Future Simple (Tense), Future Continuous (Tense), Future Perfect (Tense) and Future Perfect Continuous (Tense)

Participles are forms of verbs often ending in -ing (present participle) or -ed (past participle). The present participle is a verb form used to make continuous tenses (present continuous, present perfect continuous, past continuous, past perfect continuous, future continuous, future perfect continuous). Also the present participle can be used to make some adjectives (e.g. the sleeping child, the crying baby, etc). On the other hand, the past participle is a verb form used to make passive voice (he was killed) or sometimes to form adjectives(e.g. A broken leg). The past participle is especially used to make perfect tenses (present perfect, past perfect, future perfect).

My proposal is that you should learn the tenses by putting together one group of minor tenses one by one and practise construction of different sentences along those minor tenses as in the following examples:       

(1).SIMPLE TENSES                                
(a). I play football
(b). He works
(c). We do
(d). They have
(e). I drink water every day
(a). I played football
(b). He worked
(c). We did
(d). They had
(e). I drank water yesterday
(a). I shall play football
(b). He will work
(c). We shall do
(d). They will have
(e). I shall drink water tomorrow

(a). I am playing football
(b). He is working
(c). We are doing
(d). They are having
(e).I am drinking water now
(a). I was playing football
(b). He was working
(c). We were doing
(d). They were having
(e). I was drinking water two hours ago
(a). I shall be playing football
(b). He will be working
(c). We shall be doing
(d). They will be doing
(e). I shall be drinking water two hours from now

(a). I have played football
(b). He has worked
(c). We have done
(d). They have had
(e). I have drunk water already
(a). I had played football
(b). He had worked
(c). We had done
(d). They had had
(e). I had drunk water when she came to see me
(a). I shall have played football
(b). He will have worked
(c). We shall have done
(d). They will have had
(e). I shall have drunk water by 10 O'clock tomorrow.

(a). I have been playing football        
(b). He has been working
(c). We have been doing
(d). They have been having
(e). I have been drinking water  as medicine for two weeks now
(a). I had been playing football
(b). He had been working
(c). We had been doing
(d). They had been having
(e). I had been drinking water as medicine for two weeks when my body started swelling
 (a). I shall have been playing football
(b). He will have been working
(c). We will have been doing
(d). They shall have been having
(e). I shall have been drinking water for two weeks when they start exercising

In this chapter, I have included some simple English expressions that you can use for day to day interactions. Most of them are possibly familiar with you but just read them to see if you can learn something.

Talking About Time
It is very common for you or someone else to talk about time. The following are some examples of how you can talk about time.
1st Person: What is the time now? (Or What time is it [now]?).
2nd Person: It is three o’clock
     It is quarter to one
     It is quarter past one
     It is half past nine

Another way of asking about time is to specifically want to know what time somebody’s watch is indicating, such as:
1st Person: What time do you make it?
2nd Person: I make it six o’clock
     I make it half past seven
     I make it 4:30

Other Examples:
I will be going to church at 3.00 pm tomorrow.
I saw him at quarter past four.
You are supposed to start classes at 8.00 am every day

Talking About Days
You may wish to know names of the days of the week by asking in different ways.
1st Person: What is today?
2nd Person: Today is Thursday. Or
              Today is Monday (or Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday).
1st Person: Is today Friday?
2nd Person: Yes, today is Friday. Or
               No, today is Monday

Other examples:
She came here last Friday.
They are going to Mwanza next Wednesday.
I was born on a Saturday.

Talking About Dates
Sometimes you want to know a particular day by referring to its number.
1st Person:   What is today’s date?
2nd Person:    It is 30th of December 2013. Or
        Today is 18th of August, 2011
1st Person: Which date is it today?
2nd Person: The date is 20th of October 2015

Other examples:
He was born on 20th of November 1965.
She was employed on 11th of June this year.
Tanzania got her independence on 9th of December 1961.

Talking About Months
If you want to know about months, you may wish to say something like this:
1st Person: What month is this?
2nd Person: It is May. Or
                  This is January (or February, March, April, May, June, July, August,         September, October, November, December)

 Other examples:
That accident took place in February.
She died in March last year.
They are planning to visit Zanzibar in December.

Common Greetings
Common greetings reflecting time of the day are such as:
1st Person:     Good morning, Sir (Madam, Mr. Julius, etc.)
              Good afternoon
              Good    evening
2nd Person:    Good   morning, Sir (Madam, Mrs. Ally, etc.)
                      Good  afternoon
                      Good  evening
1st Person:     How are you?
2nd Person:    Fine, thank you
              I’ m not fine
2nd Person:     And you?
1st Person:      I’m fine, too
               I’m not fine.

It is a good thing to meet and make new friends in life. One way to start interacting with new people is by knowing their names and a little bit of information about them. To avoid scaring people by asking them their names before they know why you want to know them, is by telling them about yourself first. This will help them to be comfortable with you and thereby volunteer to tell you about themselves as well.

We will learn about the basic self-introduction. This has at least four (4) elements: Name, place of residence, occupation and hobby(or hobbies).

My name is ………………..……Juma (Name)
I live at …………………………Mwananyamala (Place of residence)
I’m a ……………………….…..student at CBE (Occupation)
I like ……………………….…..watching movies (Hobby)

Taking A Leave
After a reasonable period of visiting someone you definitely want to leave. The easiest way to leave is to use the same expressions we use for greeting( that is: Good morning, good afternoon and good evening). One may ask: How do I know someone is greeting me or leaving? The answer is simple. If someone says the expression at the beginning, then you know it is meant for greeting. But if it is repeated then you know it is meant to take leave. So you may say like this:
1st Person:  Good morning ( or good afternoon, good evening, good night).
2nd Person: O.K. Same to you.

Other examples:
You may also use the following expressions:
I think it is time for me to say good bye.
May I take a leave please?

Asking About Another Person's Health
There are times when you wish to ask someone about another person’s health status. You may use the following expressions for that purpose.
1st Person: How is your brother?
2nd Person:   He is fine
1st Person: How is your sister?
2nd Person:    She is okay

Expressing Likes and Dislikes
When you want to know somebody’s likes or dislikes or you want to indicate that you like or do not like something you may use the following expressions.

Structure of the dialogue may go ile this:
Do you like………
I like …………….ing.
No, I don’t like………

Question:  Do you like swimming?
Answer:    Yes, I like swimming (or simply: Yes I do)
                  No, I don’t like swimming (or simply: No, I don’t)
HAMIS: I like playing football. Do you like playing football?
STELLA: No, I don’t. I like singing. Do you like singing?
HAMIS:  No, I don’t like singing.
STELLA: I also like dancing. Do you like dancing?
HAMIS:  No, I don’t, but I like watching TV.
STELLA: I like watching TV too. Let’s go and watch TV together right now.

Introducing Others
The following examples show how you may wish to introduce people you know but who do not know each other.
ANNA: Mr. Juma, please meet my English teacher Mr. Khalid.
JUMA: Oh great! How do you do?
KHALID: How do you do?
Another example may go like this:
Suzy:     Hello Juma, May I introduce Mr. Kelvin. He is my English teacher.
Juma:     How do you do?
Kelvin:  How do you do?
Juma:     Suzy has told me a lot about you
Kelvin: Oh, dear – nothing terrible, I hope.
Juma:     Not at all, she is very happy about things she is learning.
Please do not confuse the expression “How do you do?” and “How are you doing?”
“How do you do” receives the same expression from the other person and it is used when strangers meet or when people who have not been together for a long time meet each other. On the other hand “How are you doing” is meant to know somebody’s progress on something such as their academic work or about their general welfare.
 1st Person: How are you doing, brother (or sister)? 
 2nd Person: I’m doing fine
          I’m not doing fine

Wishing Someone Special Blessings
There are events that may need your recognition and you can take such moments to convey your good feelings towards friends and relatives. Expressions appropriate for such events may include the following.

1st Person: Happy Sabbath!
2nd Person: Happy day!

Other examples:
1st Person: Congratulations for completing your O-level with flying colours!
2nd Person: Thank you!
1st Person: Happy Id el-Fitri!
2nd Person: May God bless you!
1st Person: Happy birthday to you!
2nd Person: Thank you!
1st Person: I wish you a happy Christmas.
2nd Person: Same to you!

Making Polite Requests
It is good to ask for something using respectful language that does not connote a command. Some expressions for making a polite requests include the following.

1st Person:  Please, may I go out?
2nd Person: Yes, certainly
           Yes, you may.
1st Person: Please may I come in?
2nd Person: Yes certainly
          Yes, you may
           No, I I’m sorry you can’t.

1st Person: Please can you help me?
2nd Person: Yes, certainly
                   Yes you can
                   No, I’m sorry I can’t

1st Person:     Please may I borrow your pencil (book, pen, stapler machine, file, marker pen, punching machine and laptop)?
2nd Person:    Yes, certainly
              No, I’m sorry you can’t.

Other examples for 1st Person:
Will you take a seat, Mr. Ahmed?
Will you sit here, please?
Will you hold it for me?
Will you wait a moment?
Will you help me?
Would you just wait a moment?
Would you mind waiting?
Would you hold it for me?
Would you wait a moment?
Would you help me?
Could you hold it for me?
Could you wait a moment?
Could you help me?

Response for 2nd Person:
Yes, of course.
 Not at all.

Making A Polite Request Using The Word “Mind”.
Request by the 1st Person:
Would you mind holding it for me?
Would you mind waiting a moment?
Would you mind helping me?

Response for 2nd Person:
Yes, of course.
 Not at all.

Some people confuse the meaning meant by the above statements. If someone says to you “would you mind helping me?” what he actually means is “I want you to help me, but will that disturb you?” So, to answer “Yes, of Course” would mean “I will be disturbed so I cannot help you” while to say “Not at all” would mean “No problem, I can help you. I will not be disturbed”.

Directing Someone
If you want to direct someone to a particular place you may use the following examples:
1st Person: Where is the nearest bank (post office, bus stop, club)?
2nd Person: There is one in the next street (opposite the station, at the crossroads, at the end of the road)

1st Person: How do I get there?
2nd Person: Go to the main road turn right, Cross the road and take the second turning on the left

1st person: How long does it take to get there?
2nd Person: About thirty minutes by car.
1st Person: How far is it from here?
2nd Person: About twenty kilometers

Instructing Someone To Carry Out An Activity
There are times when you may want to give short or long instructions for someone to do. You may choose to use the following examples:

Instruction For Making Campbell's Condensed Soup:
First, you have to empty the soup into a saucepan and stir. Then you have to add one full can of water, a little at a time, stirring constantly. Lastly, you have to heat the soup to boiling point, stirring occasionally.

Instructions For Making Tea:
First, you must boil some water in a kettle. Then, you should take the thermos to the kettle. Next, you should warm the thermos by pouring in a little boiling water and then empty it out. And then, you have to drop in two tea-bags. After that, you should pour on boiling water in the thermos from the kettle. Lastly, you must allow the water to stand for two to three minutes, then pour the tea in your cup ready for drinking.

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