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Softening opinions and making generalisations

Speaking part:

Think of reasons why you tend to agree or disagree with these sentences.

  1. Men watch too much sport.
  2. Men are better at sport than women.
  3. All teenagers are lazy.cfg,n._,
  4. Fast food is bad for you.
  5. Pets cost a lot of money.
  6. Motorbikes are dangerous.
  7. There's never anything good on TV.

Softening opinions and making generalisations

Sometimes English speakers soften the way they express their opinions so that they don't sound rude or offensive.

We often use these phrases in bold to soften our opinions:

Some of them can be quite rude at times.
They tend to get rather loud.
That's not very normal behaviour.
Generally speaking, most people who go to matches are just loyal fans.
You get a few who can be a bit too enthusiastic.
On the whole, most fans just want to see a good game.

  • After tend to we use the infinitive: He tends to be a bit aggressive.
  • Rather, quite, not very and a bit  usually come before an adjective: They can get quite/rather/a bit noisy at times.
  • We often use generally speaking and on the whole at the beginning of a sentence:
Generally speaking/On the whole, most football fans aren't violent at all.
o       We often use 'not very + positive adjective' to criticise someone or something politely:
They are not very intelligent. (= They are stupid.)
He wasn't very polite. (= He was rude.)
Use the words/phrases in brackets to soften these opinions about children.

  1. Children don't do very much sport.
(Generally speaking, most)
Generally speaking, most children don't do very much sport.

  1.  They're spoiled.
(tend to, a bit)
  1. They're rude to their teachers.
     (can, quite, at times)
  1. They're very unhealthy.
     (Some of them, not very)
  1. They watch a lot of TV.
     (On the whole, tend to, quite)
  1. They're impatient.
     (Generally speaking, not very)
  1. They're selfish.
     ( Some of them, can, rather) 

Worksheets for exercising:

     LINKING WORDS                          POSSESSIVE  ADJECTIVES                   PAST SIMPLE             


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Used to/Get used to/Be used to

‘used to + infinitive’ and ‘be/get used to’
‘used to + infinitive’ and ‘be/get used to’ Students have difficulties in making distinction between used to + infinitive and be/get used to + ‘ing’ form because they look similar. As a matter of fact, they are totally different.

‘used to + infinitive’

Used to is for things that happened in the past and have no connectivity to present:

Peter used to smoke three cigarettes a day. My boyfriend used to drink a lot of coffee during sleepless nights. Sarah and her mother used to go out for a walk every day. Negative form is ( odri─Źni oblik je) : didn't ( did not) use to: I didn't use to smoke before.
Question form is (upitni oblik je) : Did she (subject)  use to..? Did she use to drink a lot of coffee?

As you may guess you can not use 'used to' in the present. To talk about present habits we use the present simple and an adverb of frequency (usually, always, often, never, etc.)

e.g. I often eat at the Japanese restaurant in the city c…