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Grammar Challenge


- Practice quiz 1


- Practice quiz 2


- Use the grammar
Use the grammar

Now is your chance to use this week's grammar!

What are the rules and choices you have in your life, you school or your work. If you could change one rule, what would you change and why?

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Dasari, USA
Dasari, USA I have to get up early in the morning to go to work on time everyday. I have to follow the dress code. We do not have to follow the dress code on Fridays so I often wear jeans on Fridays.

Nuala says:

Hello Dasari,

Do people in your office call it 'dress down Friday'? That's the expression we usually use to talk about wearing more casual clothes to the office just once a week.

You've used 'have to' correctly here and although technically you've used 'do not have to' correctly too, it does sound very formal. And 'follow the dress code' also sounds quite formal. I think it would sound more chatty and informal to say 'We don't have to dress smartly' or 'We don't have to wear a suit'.

You also used the word 'everyday' which actually has a very different meaning from the two separate words 'every day'. The adjective 'everyday' means 'ordinary, or usual'. (For example, 'It wasn't a special occasion or anything so we just went to that everyday cafe for a coffee'.) The two separate words 'every day' mean 'one day after the other'. So I think here you meant 'I have to get up early in the morning to go to work on time every day '.

Enjoy your dress down Fridays!


Guillaume, Paris
I study the history of art in Paris and I have a job in Musée du Louvre, so I have to understand English at least. I have to wear a suit too, but fortunately I don't have to shave my beard off everyday! In France, people don't have to learn English to live and work, like in several countries in the world. But I like this language.

Nuala says:

Hello Guillaume,

You're really lucky to work in the Louvre Museum. What an interesting job! Do you get to see the Mona Lisa every day?

You've used 'have to' and 'don't have to' correctly here to talk about what rules you have to follow and what options you've got in your job.

There's one vocabulary item you might want to look at: 'I don't have to shave my beard off every day'. A beard is growth that a man gets on his chin after he hasn't shaved for a few days, weeks or months. So it's unlikely you'd have a beard to shave off every day! Probably it would be better (and simpler) to say 'I don't have to shave everyday'. Or if you do have a beard, you could say 'I don't have to shave off my beard'.

Glad to hear you like English!


Sophia, Taiwan
I worked in the hospital. I have to wear white uniform. If I could change one rule, I don't have to wear white uniform. We can to wear pink uniform. We will feel warm when we wear pink uniform.

Nuala says:

Hello Sophia,

I think nurse and doctors wearing pink (and all sorts of other colours too) would make everyone – staff and patients - much happier!

Thanks for writing to tell us about your work.


Tracy, Hong Kong
I have to keep learning English, since I work for a international company. I have to go to English training centre after work. But I don't have to go at weekends. I have to dress smart, I need to meet clients everyday. Sometimes I have to overwork. If I could change a rule, I would change the way of dressing because I don't feel comfortable.

Nuala says:

Hello Tracey,

Sounds like you've got an interesting job - working for an international firm. It's just a pity you have to wear smart clothes when you don't want to! I'm lucky, I can wear jeans to the office.

There's just one bit of vocabulary you might want to look at:

'Overwork' means 'to make someone work too much'. We don't usually say 'I have to overwork', because it's normally someone else who overworks us. Instead you could say 'My boss overworks me'. But in your example, I actually think you mean 'work overtime' because that's something we all often have to do. 'Work overtime' means to work more hours than is usual – often you get paid more for doing this extra work but sometimes you don't – and usually if your boss asks you to do overtime, you don't have much choice but to say 'yes'.

Here's a link to a webcast we did about overwork

Thanks for writing in!


Dave, Turkey
Hi! I am a programmer, so I have to improve my English. I have to do it independently and your lessons make me a big help. I haven't to wear a uniform and I haven't get up early because I am a freelancer. I only have my own rules which I have to observe.

Nuala says:

Hello Dave,

I wonder what kind of programmer you are, Dave? My guess is that you're a computer programmer. Am I right?

You've used 'have to' correctly throughout your piece but you've made a few slips when you're writing about things you're not obliged to do – things you have a choice about doing or not. To talk about them we use 'don't have to + base verb' so instead of saying 'I haven't to wear a uniform ', you should say 'I don't have to wear a uniform'. Can you figure what you should say instead of 'I haven't get up early because I am a freelancer'?

There's one point of vocabulary you might want to look at too: 'Your lessons are a big help to me' sounds more natural than 'your lessons make me a big help'

Glad to hear you find Grammar Challenge useful!


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