7 Little Drawings That Will Help You Remember English Rules Forever

7 Little Drawings That Will Help You Remember English Rules Forever

These 7 drawings are from my new book, 102 Little Drawings That Will Help You Remember English Rules Forever (Probably). Click here to get your copy.

Some things in English are tricky.

You try to understand a difficult grammatical point or try to remember a new phrase … but with no success.

Then one day someone shows you a simple, little picture.

And you say, “Ahhh … OK! I get it now!”

They say a picture says 1,000 words.

So here are 7 little pictures that will help you remember:

  • how to choose the right preposition
  • fun ways to remember phrasal verbs
  • my hack to remember the passive
  • when to use “during” and “for”


On or in the island?

On vs in the island

Don’t say:

“We spent three amazing days in the island.”

Don’t tell me that you’re in the island.

Unless you’re exploring some caves.

Or something truly terrible has happened.

Or you’ve got kids, and they’ve decided it’d be fun to bury you today.


“We spent three amazing days on the island.”

“There are lots of weird animals on this island. I want to go home!”


Catch up, ketchup!

How to remember the phrasal verb "catch up"

Catch up with means:

go faster so that you can reach someone (or something) that was in front of you before

Everyone knows that people are faster than bottles of tomato ketchup.

That’s why the ketchup can’t catch up with the person.

It will always be behind.


“You go ahead. I’ll finish this and catch up with you.”

“The police will catch up with you sooner or later.”


In the south or south?

In the south vs south of

Don’t say:

“He has a house south of Iceland.”

It’s a small difference.

Remember that in the south of somewhere is still inside that place.

But south of somewhere is outside that place.

It makes the difference between being in a nice country full of nice people and being in very, very cold water.


“He has a house in the south of Iceland.”

“I live south of the river.”


Drop by

How to remember the phrasal verb "drop by"

Drop by means:

make a quick visit

“Nice of you to drop by.”

This phrasal verb means “make a quick visit.”

It’s quite informal, and you can also use “drop in” or “drop in at (somewhere).”


“You must drop by next time you’re in town.”

“I’m going to drop in at Alison’s flat on the way home. I’ll be a bit later than normal.”


A passive shortcut

How to use the passive

To form the passive, just add be.

The passive is pretty simple if you think about it the right way.

The magic formula?

Just add be.

If you can use be in the different tenses, then you can use the passive.

Just make sure to use verb 3 (the past participle), too.


“Look! My bike! It’s been stolen.”

“Do you think you’ll be promoted before you retire?”


During or for?

The difference between during and for

Don’t say:

“I’m going to stay in Edirne during three days.”

We use during with a noun.

So you can say, “My dad fell asleep during the film. Again.”

We use for with a time frame (11 days, an hour, a week, etc.).

“He kept talking for an hour. I almost fell asleep.”


“I’m going to stay in Edirne for three days.”

“They didn’t show any films during the flight.”


A crane in Ukraine

How to remember the word "crane"

To remember crane, think of Ukraine.

So we all know the country Ukraine, right?

You might even be from there.

I haven’t been there myself, but I’m sure some of the cities have plenty of cranes around.

Cranes in Ukraine!


“Containers are lifted onto the ship using these cranes.”

… so did you like it?

This was a sample from my popular book, 102 Little Drawings That Will Help You Remember English Rules Forever (Probably).

Here’s what other English learners like you thought about it:

“Fun fast easy and good”
Kim, Denmark

“… one remembers faster and learns faster”
Diah, Indonesia

“Practical and concrete … Simple rules with clever and funny little drawings to help you avoid making the same endless mistakes”
Emmanuelle, France

Click the big green button to get your copy:

Get my copy of the eBook

If you found this blog post useful, please be awesome and SHARE it on your favourite (and least favourite, if you like) social media platforms.

Meanwhile, I’ll see you next week when I promise to shut up about the book and show you some advanced phrases for talking about the weather.

13 thoughts on “7 Little Drawings That Will Help You Remember English Rules Forever

  1. Hai Gaby,
    Thanks for the drawings. If you have worksheets on Verb agreement with the Subject it will help.
    I want a lot of past tense verbs. From the present to the past. If you can send it I would be grateful. Susan.j.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *