English Grammar Tricks That Work (Part 1)

English Grammar Tricks that Work (part 1)

I get it. English can be very confusing sometimes, and the grammar rules can seem crazy and random. Sometimes they are.

But a lot of the time, there’s a system happening underneath the madness.

After teaching for 12 years, I’ve discovered some of these English grammar tricks that most English textbooks don’t mention.

They work about 80% of the time and I call them the “80 percenters”.

English Grammar Trick #1 — Make or do?

people sitting an exam

Make a exam?         OR         Do an exam?

a couple in love

Make a promise?         OR         Do a promise?

Here’s the rule:

"do" is the working verb

● Does it feel like work? Does it take effort? Then use do.
● If not, use make.

As I said before, this works about 80% of the time.

So the answers are:

do an exam


make a promise

Got it?

OK. Let’s practise this.

Do the housework?    OR    Make the housework?

● Is it fun? No!
● Does it feel like work? Yes.

So, we say:

do the housework

Do friends?    OR    Make friends?

● Is it fun? Hopefully!
● Does it feel like work? No.

So, we say:

make friends

Easy, right?

English Grammar Trick #2 — Verb + -ing or to?

a woman and a cat

She’s good at to throw cats?         OR         She’s good at throwing cats?

a girl and a tank

She apologized for to crash the tank?         OR         She apologized for crashing the tank?

Here’s the rule:
English Grammar Tricks

… about 80% of the time. Hey, nothing’s perfect.

Don't know what a preposition is? Click here for some examples.


So the answers are:

She's good at throwing cats.


She apologized for crashing the tank.

Once you know this shortcut, you won’t have to think about it at all.

6 thoughts on “English Grammar Tricks That Work (Part 1)

  1. Sir, I bow before you. I have never thought that learning English grammar can be so fun! You have made it so easy.

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