page contents Learn ESL Now
Learn ESL Here

Stephen Lau
Build Vocabulary
Sentence Style
Basic Grammar
Correct the Incorrect
Look at some incorrect sentences.

Understand why they are incorrect, and try to correct them.

Correct the incorrect, and learn how to write correct sentences.

Please click here.
Learn Some American Idioms Here.


Idioms are words and phrases  in a language that have come into existence for a variety of reasons.

The most obvious reason is that idioms often delightfully reflect the characteristics of a race.

Learn some American idioms here.


Confusing Words and Phrases


In the  English language, there are many words and phrases that look similar but they are totally different in meaning.

Click here to learn some of the common words and phrases that are frequently confused and misused by ESL learners.

Click here to learn some.
Learn Some Englisih Slang and Colloquial Expressions Here


To speak well, you must learn so English slang and colloquial expressions that are commonly expressed in everyday conversation.

Click here to learn some.

Learn Some Prepositional Words and Phrases Here


Prepositions are words that indicate relationships betweens various elements within a sentence.

Prepositional phrases always consist of the object and the prepositional.

Click here to learn some.

Learn ESL Basics
Learning English as a second language is not an easy task because there are skills in listening, speaking, and writing that you have to master.

In listening and speaking English, one has to adjust to certain phonetic sounds that are unique to the English language. In writing English, one has to learn new words and phrases, as well as idioms and colloquial expressions, in addition to the complexity of the English grammar.

Having said that, knowing the basics, and following the right pathways, you can still master ESL and speak and write as if English is your native language. Learning ESL is all about practice, practice, and more practice, with the right know-how.
Effective writing begins with a desire not only to write but also to write well. Desire galvanizes your efforts to improve your writing skill no matter what.

First of all, embrace the right attitudes to learning effective writing:

Improving your writing skill takes time and effort. You cannot master it overnight.

Overcome any negative attitude you may have, such as “I’m not good in English” or “English is never my strong subject.” Negative thinking may adversely affect your mindset and mental capability to write effectively. Always be positive about your ability to write well. After all, it is just a skill, and it is learnable.

Dispel the myth that a writer is born, not made. Writing is no more than a skill that can be acquired, learned, and taught.

Develop self-confidence that you, too, can acquire effective writing through the following:

Learning the basics of writing
Following clear instructions
Looking at samples of effective writing
Practicing writing regularly

With confidence, you will become more willing to express yourself, instead of worrying about making mistakes. It is better to write with mistakes than not to be able to write at all. Remember this: a creator is worth all the critics.

What separates EFFECTIVE WRITING Made Simple from other books on how to improve your writing skill?

First, this book is presented in a simple and easy-to-follow format: it is easy to read and understand. Second, this book is comprehensive: it covers every aspect of good writing-from basic grammar, correct sentences, effective use of words, paragraph development, to style and usage. With many examples and illustrations, this book is like a handy manual at your fingertips for easy reference. Effective writing is an essential communication skill in inter-personal relationships and in almost every profession.

Stephen Lau
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau

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The Use of Subjunctive Mood

Subjunctive mood indicates making a hypothetical statement (i.e. not true).


e.g. If I were you, I would do it. (Past tense for a present action to indicate something contrary to the fact)

If the weather were fine, we would have a picnic today. It’s just too bad that it’s raining so hard. (We are not having a picnic because of the bad weather.)


e.g. If he were the president, he would do it. (He is not the president, and therefore he will not do it.)

e.g. If you worked hard now, you would pass the exam. (You are not working hard now, and so you will not pass the exam; it is merely an assumption. Compare: “If you work hard, you will pass the exam.” Here, it becomes a condition, and therefore there is a probability that you will pass the exam.)

e.g. If pigs had wings, they would fly. (Pigs do not have wings, and therefore they will never fly.)

Subjunctive mood can also be used in the past tense. In that case, the past perfect tense (instead of the past tense) is used to show the hypothetical statement in the past.

e.g. If he had been the president, he would have done it. (He was not the president, and so he did not do it.)

e.g. If you had worked hard last year, you would have passed the exam. (You did not work hard last year, and so you failed in the exam last year.)

e.g. If the boss had told you, you would not have made the mistake. (Too bad he did not tell you, and you made the mistake.)


Stephen Lau 
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau


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