top of page

Study 3 GRAMMAR Areas to Improve English faster!

Updated: Oct 8, 2021

Improve your English faster by studying these 3 areas of grammar!!!

(NOTE: Scroll to the bottom to find a list of common Adjectives + Prepositions and common verbs.)

Studying English requires time, effort, and energy. But, what should we study???

For students from Elementary ~ Intermediate, fluency is often limited by 3 things: Vocabulary, Confidence, and the following 3 Grammar areas.

  1. Verb Tenses (6 Specific Verb Tenses)

  2. Prepositions (3 Types of Prepositions)

  3. Verb Patterns (Infinitive OR Gerund)

By studying and mastering these 3 areas of grammar first you will see big improvement in your structure and daily English conversation confidence and fluency.

Watch the lesson to find out how & why!

In the lesson I break down each area of grammar and detail which points you should focus on.

Remember....there are NO shortcuts to learning English! There is no magic secret to success! Most videos or schools shouting about their 'method' OR secret technique are just 'clickbait' or 'marketing gimmicks'.

Real learning requires study, time, and effort. You still have to study the other areas of grammar, but these 3 key grammar areas have more impact on your basic sentence structure, and daily conversation than other grammar points.

Strengthen your structure, improve grammar and fluency and become more confident. Watch the lesson!

Take it easy,


The Personal English Trainer



to benefit




to memorize

usage (from to 'use')

a case by case basis



to quit


Adjective + Preposition Cheatsheet
Download PDF • 163KB


(To download the file click here --->)



So you want to improve your English quickly. But how do we do it?

Okay. Now you probably already have one of these... A grammar book. You may even have this one. It's pretty good.

You may even watch videos on YouTube like this one. I hope it's pretty good.

And you may even study at a language school. Okay.

But in today's lesson, I'm going to share with you and show you the three areas of grammar that I think you should focus on to make big improvements in your English quickly in the short term, in the short term. By focusing on these grammar areas first, you will be able to improve your English base and your structure more quickly. So let's take a look at the lesson plan for today. I will show you which grammar points, which areas to study first to improve your English quickly.

Now the target level is around pre-intermediate, but all levels here will benefit from this lesson. Okay, so which grammar areas should you focus on first?

Okay, so which grammar area should we focus on first? Well, the first area you should focus on is, of course, the verb tenses. Remember, tense refers to the timing. Here we have our present past and future. And over here we have the aspect, our simple, progressive or continuous, the perfect, and the perfect progressive.

Okay, so in English, there are twelve tenses as you can see. Now, when you start studying, we usually start here and here. As you get to intermediate level, you're probably studying around past perfect progressive, future perfect progressive, future perfect. Okay. But for learners who want to improve their English quickly, it's not so necessary to focus on these tenses.

So the tenses you should focus on first, focus your time and your study energy on first are these tenses in the red. We have present simple, past simple and future simple. Now, future simple, including going to. Present progressive and past progressive and of course present perfect. Now present perfect and past progressive are the little bit more difficult tenses or maybe the first advanced tenses that you have to learn. So, there is no reason to focus your study time on these tenses if you cannot use these tenses smoothly and confidently. Better to master these tenses before you give a lot of your study time to these other tenses.

Why? Because these tenses are not used very much. These tenses are used a lot, or in some cases we can use these tenses to explain that situation. For example, present perfect progressive, we can often just use present perfect. There are only a few cases where we must use present perfect progressive, that this cannot be used. Past perfect, yes, we use past perfect, but not so much. In writing it would be more important to use the correct grammar, but actually, in speaking native speakers often just use past simple. We don't use the correct grammar. We just use past simple. Nobody cares so much. With future progressive if you just use maybe going to talk about that, nobody will care so much if you made that mistake. Okay, in these situations, you probably must use the tense, but this situation doesn't happen so often. Okay, so invest your time and your study effort in these tenses first. Now, if you already are comfortable with the six tenses, then just move to the next three tenses here. Okay. So in the green, the green part. Okay. So once you're comfortable with these six tenses in red, move to future progressive, past perfect and present perfect progressive. Okay. Then finally, you can focus on those last three tenses.

So that's my recommendation for studying the verb tenses.

Okay, so the second area of English grammar that you should focus on to improve your English quickly is prepositions. Now, I know you're saying I hate prepositions. Yeah, prepositions are tough, however, there are three areas that I want you to focus on. Now, students often make mistakes with prepositions, umm, but prepositions is an area of English language where we, as native speakers, quite clearly hear the mistake. Now with some other grammar points, if you make a mistake, we don't notice it so much or we don't even care. Right.

If you use past simple instead of past perfect, we don't actually care so much. If you use going to when you should use will, we probably don't really care. But if you use the wrong preposition, we notice that really clearly for some reason. Not only that, but using the wrong preposition can change the meaning. So...that's why it's very important to use prepositions because they're in every sentence too. There are so many of them in the sentence.

Okay. Now the three areas I want you to focus on within prepositions grammar are 1) prepositions of time. Now, this is a relatively easy area to learn because it has rules. It has rules, and basically there are three prepositions: in, at and on, and there are some rules.

So get the grammar book, study the grammar book about prepositions of time. Do some quizzes and you'll learn it quickly. Second area is prepositions of location or position. The first three prepositions are in, at and on again, and it has rules also. So if you get the grammar book and study the rules, do some quizzes you’ll start to improve the way you use prepositions of location. But also we want to add to that, right. Things like above, and under, and next to, and opposite, and between, behind and in front of. But...these are not so difficult to learn and use. They're usually around elementary level, elementary to pre-intermediate. These three here are a little harder. Okay, but they have rules.

Now, the next area I want to talk about is number 3) adjectives plus preposition because this area is more difficult. So a lot of adjectives are followed by a preposition. Not all adjectives, but many are followed by prepositions. Now, students often make mistakes in this area, especially here in Japan, they so often make the same mistakes with prepositions. However, although there are no rules, the adjective and preposition is often a set. It's often a set, so you only have to learn the set or memorize the set. When you learn a new adjective, learn the preposition which goes along with that adjective. Often there's only one. So it's always going to be the same preposition with that adjective. Okay, so an adjective which can only take one preposition is, for example, interested.

Do you know which preposition goes with interested? No. Yes. In, interested in and it's always in. It never changes. So once you memorize that, you never forget and you can use it more smoothly when making a sentence interested in. I'm interested in fishing, I'm interested in cooking. I'm not interested in sports, I'm interested in reading books. I'm interested in studying English. Okay.

The second adjective we're gonna look at can take two prepositions. Surprised.

Now you may be surprised to know that it takes the preposition to.

Now, when we use to with surprise, it's going to be for a verb. So surprised to see, surprised to hear, or like I said before, surprised to know. The second preposition is about, but about is going to be with a noun. So you can see that the usage is different according to the preposition, and many adjectives follow those same patterns. So I was surprised about the score. I was surprised about my test result.

Now the next adjective we're going to look at is happy. And happy is one of those adjectives which can take many prepositions, for example, happy to plus verb. So that is the same pattern as surprised to. So I'm happy to meet you. I'm happy to do that. I'm happy to go there. I'm happy to study English. The second one is for. Now happy for is always someone. I'm happy for someone. So if another person has good news or it's a good result, you can feel happy for him. I'm happy for my classmate because she improved her English. I'm happy for my classmate because he got a good IELTS test score.

Okay. Now when we use with, we can use someone or something. For example, I am really happy with my English teacher because she explained grammar very well. I'm happy with my boss because he helped me a lot in my job. Something, I'm happy with my salary. I'm happy with my life. I'm happy with my improvement in my English. I'm not happy with this video. Okay.

And the last one is again, about. And so just like with surprised, it's going to be a noun like these ones are nouns, but it's only for something. So I'm happy about my life. I'm happy about my school, I'm happy about my English. Okay. So you can see there are four prepositions here, but one or two prepositions is more common. So how do we learn this?

Well, all you need to do is find a list of the 50 or 60 most common adjectives that we use in everyday English and study that list and memorize those adjectives and their preposition sets. Okay. And then you'll be able to use them much more smoothly. You can find it if you Google search, but I'll put a link in the description below to a list of adjectives. Now, of course, if you're a higher level student or if you need English for academic purposes or in your job, you're going to need more adjectives. Okay. So then you just have to learn them on a case by case basis, but for lower level students, just memorize the 50 common objectives we use every day and really help you with your English and stop you getting confused about what comes next when you're making the sentence. I'm happy ahhh, I'm interested ahhh. Okay. Once you memorize it, your sentences become more smooth.

So let's move on to the third area of grammar you should study first in order to improve your English quickly. Now, the next area where students make a lot of mistakes is verb patterns.

What do I mean by verb patterns?

I mean, whether we use the infinitive, which is to plus the verb, or we use a gerund, which is the verb plus 'ing'. Okay, so remember that basically English is a SVO language, right?

I eat sushi. We cannot have SVVO where we have two main verbs. We cannot have that. For example, I like eat sushi. We cannot say this. We must change one of the other verbs to a gerund or an infinitive.

Okay, so in this case with like, we can say I like to eat sushi or we can say I like eating sushi. So here we have what we call infinitive, which is just the base verb with the to, and the second one, we have the base verb plus ing, which we call a gerund. So with the verb like, both are okay. I like to eat. I like eating. There are a few verbs which are like this, which can use both patterns. And it's correct.

I like to play soccer. I like playing soccer. I like studying English. I like to study English. Okay.

But most verbs can only use one of these patterns, and students make a lot of mistakes. So again, there are no rules, but you should focus on learning the 50 most common verbs and their patterns. Okay. If you memorize the 50 most common verbs that we use in everyday conversation, then your English is going to become smoother and more accurate and you will pause or hesitate less. So your English will improve.

So let's have a look at some examples of the verb which takes the infinitive. For example, want. Want is always followed by the infinitive.

For example, I want to go, I want to eat, I want to play. It's always followed by to. Now, to is also used as a preposition, right? So that's why students can get confused about what they should use. But once you understand that we're not talking about adjectives, we're not talking about adjectives anymore. Adjective plus preposition. We're talking about a verb plus the pattern after it. Another example of the infinitive is decide. I decided to buy a new car. I decided to quit my job. Okay. Now one point which will help you to learn these is verbs which have the same meaning will always have the same pattern. So, for example, decide to, ahh choose.. another verb with the same meaning is choose.

So choose has the same pattern. I chose to stay at home. I was tired, so I decided to stay at home. I chose to stay at home. Okay, so that's one little hint which will help you with learning these verb patterns.

Okay. Now I think the infinitive pattern with ‘to’ occurs or happens more often. I think there are more daily verbs use ‘to’ than ‘ing’.

An example using ing might be enjoy. Very common mistake. Students say, I enjoy to play soccer. I enjoy to study English. I enjoy to do my homework. No! I enjoy playing soccer. I enjoy studying English.

Okay, so enjoy must use the ing pattern. Okay. Um, another verb using ing pattern is consider. Consider is thinking deeply about something, some decisions.

So I am considering changing my job. I am considering changing my job. After consider it's always ing. Never changes! It's always ing. So after consider it is ing pattern. Now, just like these two verbs have similar meaning, so the same pattern, another verb with the same meaning to consider is think about. The phrasal verb think about. I am thinking about changing my job. So it has the same pattern. Okay, so find a list of 50..60 common daily verbs and learn their patterns. Learn their patterns.

Do they take the infinitive or do they take the gerund?

Okay, so let's wrap up today's lesson. I really hope that today's lesson helps you to know where to focus your study, to improve your English and your grammar quickly. That was my goal to show you the grammar points to study first. We covered the three grammar areas I think will help you the most, especially if you're around this level.

We have the six tenses, the six verb tenses. We have the three areas of prepositions, and we have the verb patterns for the infinitive and the gerund. Now I will put links to list of adjective plus prepositions and common verbs in the description below. Now, before you go, please subscribe to the channel so that you can catch my next video. Turn on those notifications. Hit that like button and send this out. Share this with all your friends, your classmates, and your family to help them on their language journey. Okay, I'll catch you in the next video. I'm looking forward to seeing you again. Don't forget to practice practice practice! That's all for today. Take it easy.

10 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page