Thursday, March 29

Expect, Except and Accept!

Today I’m going to teach you three very similar and confusing words in English. They are: 1. Expect, 2. Except and 3. Accept.

As a matter of fact, these three words are very different from one other. They just look similar to students because of their spelling and pronunciation.

Aside from these, they are definitely and completely different. Especially if you check their meanings.

Let’s start…

1.       Expect

Expect” has two meanings. The first (A) is to “hope for” and the second (B) is to “guess” or “predict.”

A.      Expect (Hope for) = When you “expect” something, it means that you have the feeling or desire to have or get something. Or for a situation to come true.

For example, if a child’s birthday is just around the corner, the child feels excited for the event. With his imagination, he starts to want certain things to happen. He wants to receive many gifts, to have a big party and a big cake, and to eat his favorite food.

All of these are what we call the child’s “expectations” (Noun).

This is why if the parents of the child somehow fail to give the child what he “expects,” the child will feel disappointed.

In fact, the two words “expectation” and “disappointment” (Noun) are closely connected to each other.

There’s a saying in English: “The person who doesn’t expect anything doesn’t get disappointed.

The saying above can have two different meanings depending on the person who reads it. First, don’t expect too much so you won’t get disappointed. Be realistic or be practical. Or don’t set your expectation too high for the common standard. This way, you can avoid feeling bad later.

On the other hand, some people might say that to expect is a big part of human life. So if you don’t expect anything in your life, you aren’t normal and your life might become boring and you feel no hope at all.

It’s up to you whether you will take this English saying positively or negatively.

Anyway, I should tell you that this Vocabulary (“Expect,” Verb)  is commonly used in this structure:

Expect + to + V (=Hope)

For example,

1.       He expects to get a big toy car for Christmas.

2.       Don’t expect to win.

3.       She expects him to propose soon.


Another structure is possible, but for you as a student, it’s better and more effective to follow the sentences above.

B.      Expect (Guess/ Predict) = This is the second meaning of the word “expect.” And it’s different from the first.

It means that, according to the situation now or some other conditions (schedule, agreement, appointment etc.), you can  safely assume what will happen in the Future.


1.       I expect (that) she's already home so I'll give her a call right now. 

2.       I expect (that) it will also rain tomorrow.

3.       She expects (that) the town has changed a lot.


As you can see from the examples above, the people are in the Present, but they can guess situations in the Future because of some things they know.

Also, pay attention to the structure that we are using here. This time, our structure is:

Expect that S + V = (Guess)

Again, this isn’t always the case. But if you practice this way, it’s easier for you to use "expect."

In summary, 

2.       Except

Now we come to the second part of our topic. Please note that “except” is not the same spelling as  our first word “expect.” And their meanings are very different so they are perfectly different Vocabulary.

I hope you’ll try to remember each of them separately and not mix them up. Try not to get confused.  

Unlike “Expect,” “Except” isn’t a Verb. It’s a Preposition.

It means “but not.”


1.       I like all kinds of fruit except bananas.

2.       Everybody went to the game except him.

3.       She brought everything she needed except a toothbrush.


NOTE: There’s another kind of “Except” which is “Except for.” But this is a different topic and we’ll try to discuss this some other time ;-)

3. Accept 

Finally, we come to the third part of our topic, “Accept.”

Unlike “Except” (Preposition), “Accept” is a Verb. It’s important for you to remember this difference.

Accept” has quite the opposite meaning too.

If “Except” means not including or not together, “Accept” means to include or to let join.


Everybody went to the club except him. (Preposition, but not him)


We finally accepted him as a member. (Verb, welcome)


I can eat all kinds of food except snake meat. (Preposition, but not snake meat)


I’ll accept his proposal. (Verb, not reject)  

As a kind of summary, you can say: "You can expect a lot of wonderful things to come to your life, except a million dollars from lottery. Just accept that you have to work hard till you grow old." ;-)

Hope you remember the difference between these 3 very tricky words. Please try and practice them! Good luck!!


Monday, March 26

How to Say THANK YOU and SORRY in English

Saying Thank you and saying Sorry are two of the simplest and most polite things to do. But it’s hard for some people to express themselves with these two very common words.

Needless to say, these two expressions are important to be a proper and polite individual.

As for non-native speakers of English, they WANT to say these words. But they sometimes can’t because they’re not sure exactly how to say them, and it’s easy to make a mistake.

Even though “Sorry” and “Thank you” are very simple and ordinary, they’re still confusing.

Part One: How to Say Thank you

You have to remember that the word “Thank” is a Verb. This means that you have to follow this pattern:

S + Thank + O.

And if you wanna put a reason why you are thanking someone, you should use the PrepositionFor” after it.

(Only “For” and no other Preposition is possible, in the case of “Thank.”)


S + thank + O For Noun

-  Or  -

S + thank + O For V+ing

Some learners might want to use a Base Verb after “For” (Ex. "Thank you for come") but this is really wrong.

A Preposition such as “For” must be followed by a Noun

But if you really wanna use a Verb, please use a V+ing Verb.


1.     Thank you for coming to my party. (Verb)

2.     Thank you for the invitation. (Noun)

3.       Thank you for the help. (Noun)

4.       Thank you for helping me. (Verb)

5.       Thank you for teaching me. (Verb)

It’s also good for you (although it is more casual) to practice the Noun form of “Thank.” As a Noun, “Thank” will become “Thanks.”

But if you use the word “Thanks” which is a Noun, you have to be careful. Of course you cannot use it like a Verb anymore.

This is a common mistake of students:

Thanks you for your advice.= X

Because “Thanks” is a Noun, it can not have an Object after it.

DON'T WORRY. The Preposition Rule is still true. After “Thanks for,” you still need to use either a Noun or V+ing.


1.                   Thanks for the gift.

2.                   Thanks for telling me.

3.                   Thanks for joining us.

4.                   Thanks for the compliment.

5.                   Thanks for cleaning my desk.


Thanks You?

Like I said, please don't put an Object (Somebody) after “Thanks.”

If you really wanna put an Object after it, then you need to use another Preposition, “To,” because a NounThanks” can’t be followed by an Object, right? 

Like this:

Thanks to you. = Ok

This is also good. But, you know, using “Thanks” with an Object is not so commonly used except this way:


1.       Thanks to you, I was able to book a ticket.

2.       Thanks to my parents, I graduated from university.

3.       Thanks to you, I don’t need to buy an umbrella anymore.

4.       Thanks to her, I was able to pass the exam.

5.       Thanks to technology, life gets more and more convenient.


Part Two: How to Say Sorry

First of all, you should keep in mind that the word “Sorry” is an Adjective. This means, you always have to use the “BeVerb before it.

Like this:

S + be + sorry.

Now, after the word “Sorry,” you can choose either one of two Prepositions: “For” or “About.


1.       I’m sorry for coming late. (V+ing)

2.       I’m sorry for my mistake. (Noun)

3.       I’m sorry about making a mistake. (V+ing)

4.       I’m sorry about what I said. (Noun)

5.       I’m sorry for saying such things. (V+ing)


If you want, you can also use “That” after “Sorry.” But if you use “That,” you should use it this way:

S + be + Sorry + that + S + V


1.       I’m sorry that I said such things. (“That” can also be omitted)

2.       I’m sorry that I shouted at you. (“That” can also be omitted)

3.       I’m sorry that I left your book. (“That” can also be omitted)

4.       I’m sorry that I was absent. (“That” can also be omitted)

5.       I’m sorry that I forgot your birthday. (“That” can also be omitted)


Note: After the word “Sorry,” the InfinitiveTo” can also be used. But we’re not gonna discuss it today coz it has a completely different meaning and situation.

Sorry About vs. Sorry For

The two Prepositions after “Sorry” are similar to each other. So, usually, it doesn’t matter which one you use. Either of them is Ok.

But sometimes their meanings are very different. Like this:

Sorry about + Situation


Sorry for + What I did

Ex. Sorry about the noise/ about my busy schedule/ about your cat (it died)/ about the concert (it was cancelled) etc.


Ex. Sorry for my mistake/ Sorry for disappointing you/ Sorry for forgetting/ Sorry for being late etc.

Hope you learned something!


Any Questions?

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