Watching out for “look” “watch” and “see”

Hello my dears. I hope this post finds you well. Today I’m going to write about those pesky words “watch” “look” and “see”.

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Literal meaningsa recap

“See” simply means to use your eyes.

“Look” means “to turn our eyes in a particular direction to see something”. (Cambridge)

“Watch” means “to look at or observe attentively over a period of time.” (Oxford)

So, let’s say, as I am right now, you are sitting on your balcony. You “see” everything that is in your field of vision. Just the stuff that the light going into your eyes has bounced off. I can see my laptop, for example, and the words on this page.

Let’s say you hear some music. Maybe you turn your head and look at the house opposite, where someone is standing on the balcony playing the banjo. You watch them closely. Isn’t that Dave, YOUR boyfriend? You watch for a bit longer. A woman comes out, she looks at him, he looks at her. You gasp, he looks in your direction and sees you … OK you get the picture!


You say “I’m watching TV” when you are enjoying the latest episode of Tiger King, NOT “I’m looking TV” or “I see TV”, because you are looking at the screen “attentively and over a period of time.”

But…watch out! You CAN say “I’m looking at the TV” if you’re examining the audio visual equipment itself, for example: “I’m looking at the TV to see if I can fix it.”, and you can say “I can see the TV“, as in “I can see the TV. I’m not blind, woopeee!”.

Unlike with the word television you can use “watch” and “see” with films and TV programmes. The same applies to spectator sports, for example: “I saw Liverpool vs Manchester last night.”

Idiomatic meanings

Oh baby, there is a lot of confusion with idioms and other phrases with “look”, “watch” and “see”! Usually people don’t realise they need to use these verbs and use the wrong word.

They use: “pay attention” instead of “watch out” or “look out”

If you want to let someone know they are in imminent danger DON’T say “Pay attention!”.

“Pay attention” is something you say to a dreamy schoolchild who’s not listening to the teacher. It means “concentrate” or “wake up”, for example: “Pay attention Johnny! Stop looking out of the window”

This is not appropriate to say to someone facing a life threatening situation. For a start, it’s got far to many syllables. You can’t say it fast enough.

“Pay attention Harold, there’s an arrow coming towards your *splat* … Ah never mind.”

Image by Paul Barlow from Pixabay

The best choice here is “watch out!” or “look out!” – much more efficient!

They use: “search for” or “search” instead of “look for”

Now, I admit, “search” does mean to look around hoping to find something, but it’s so much MORE.

First of all you usually “search” for something in a specific place, for example, “The police searched the house for drugs”, whereas “look for” goes before the thing you are looking for, for example, “I looked for some chocolate

“Search” is also much more thorough than “look for”. If someone says “I searched the house for chocolate” they mean that they looked in every corner of the house, inside the sofa cushions, up the chimney, under the floorboards etc.

On the other hand, if police officers on the tail of a suspected drugs baron go up to their superior officer and say, “we looked for drugs in his house, but we couldn’t find anything”. They could be accused to not taking things seriously. On hearing this, their sergeant might say. “Had a look!?! I wanted you to search the house from top to bottom”

Maybe, if you lost your keys and couldn’t find them after looking for them for a long time and were desperate, you could scream “I’m searching the house for my keys” (as you race around the place like a rabid squirrel), but it’s generally not necessary. If you’re not dissembling furniture and making holes in the wall to find something “look for” will generally do.

They use “look for” instead of “look after

If you work in childcare and get these two mixed up you have a big problem.

“To look after” is to care for something or someone, for example “I look after my brother’s cat when he’s away”.

“To look for”, as we discussed earlier, is to look around for something you need.

Imagine this scenario: You’re doing a temporary job at a nursery. A mother rings up, “Hello this is Mrs Beans, who is this?” You say, “This is (insert name here), I’m looking for your daughter today.” Maybe you will have time to realise your mistake before the search dogs and rescue helicopters move in, maybe not, either way, don’t be surprised if the parents start to get trust issues.

Arghhhh there are so many “look” and “watch” and “see” idioms and set phrases. I’ll have to revisit this topic some time soon.

Anyway look out for yourself (there’s one!)

See you soon!

The biggest mistake

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So, you want to know what the biggest mistake is? As I’m writing this blog post Switzerland is nearing the end of the third week of partial lock down because of COVID-19. People are getting from frazzled to nuclear burn out. We’re not used to a world with so many restrictions and so much global stress. Many people have a lot of time on their hands, but is now a good time to learn English?

If you’re anything like me you’ve noticed that your brain is not working as well as usual. Things that were easy before are getting harder. No wonder -who can sleep peacefully right now? Stress erodes our capacity to think clearly, it mucks up our memory, it turns mountains into molehills. When we’re stressed we make our biggest mistake: we beat ourselves up for not being good enough. When you’re learning a language this can be fatal.

Learning a language is like learning to play an instrument. When you start off you are bad, you are terrible – how many people can stay in the same room as a beginner violinist without breaking a sweat? The first time you use your new language in public you will falter, you will stutter, you will make mistakes. Get used to it. You’ll keep making mistakes, even when you’re at an advanced level! -including some potentially very embarrassing ones-

Who cares! You must admit, they can be hilarious. Remember:

Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” (Dr Seuss)

(Unless, of course, you’re doing an English examination, in which case all bets are off.) I would say that 99% of the time your English is not being examined, except by you! Give your inner examiner a break and do something fun with English this week:

Discover a sitcom on youtube:

Visit the Queen in Buckingham Palace:

Go for a walk around London or New York on Google Earth

When your brain is ready for some action, bash out some Quizlets or do some grammar exercises, but remember: a language is as big as the entire consciousness of the people that speak it. Don’t expect to understand things straight away. It’s a process. You’ll come across the same forms again and again, and each time you meet them you’ll get to know them better. You’ll make mistakes, especially in speaking, until this knowledge has filtered through into your subconsciousness and become second nature.

Get to know your weaknesses and correct your mistakes when you can, but don’t beat yourself up about them. If you beat a horse it might go faster for a while, but at some point it’ll be too worn out to go any further.

So that’s the biggest mistake!

Hope you are well and safe and as happy as possible.

Take care and see you soon,


Some very deadly false friends …

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Hello, I hope this blog post finds you well. Last week a student directed me to an article with some lovely false friends. I thought I might share the deadliest with you today and add a couple of my own.

Undertaker – Unternehmer

This is my favourite of all the false friends. An “undertaker” is: “a person whose business is preparing dead bodies for burial or cremation and making arrangements for funerals.” (Oxford). Although he or she can set up their own business, that’s not what “undertaker” means. Someone who sets up one or more businesses hoping to make a profit is called an “entrepreneur” in English. Yes, I know. It’s exactly the same as “undertaker” but in French, zut alors!

Body bag – Body bag

An undertaker might have a use for a body bag, but generally it’s not a fashion item. Let’s have a look at some amazon reviews for a body bag:

 “Can’t say I’m looking forward to trying it out”

“Super compact. Lots of handles, so will work very well as a stretcher.”

“I like that there’s no zipper on the inside. #zombieproof”

“First of all, this bag is NOT soundproof at all, but the seller didn’t advertise that it was, so I won’t subtract any stars for that, just make sure you plan accordingly.”

Taken from

Yes, a body bag is a bag to put a body in, not a bag to put on your body.

a gift – Gift

We all know to be careful not to mix up our gifts with “Gift” -a particularly deadly mistake and one that will get you straight onto Santa’s naughty list and probably behind bars!

Public Viewing – Public Viewing

Maybe the undertaker might want to sell some body bags at a public viewing. Chances are though that only the star of the show will need one. A public viewing is when friends and relatives of a deceased person can view the body!

OK I wish you a healthy and fun week. Look out for those false friends.

Take care


“Someone’s been drinking my beer!” Present perfect continuous to describe ale theft.

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The kids can’t go to school because of the pandemic, so this week I’ve been “homeschooling” and It’s not so easy to find an undisturbed minute to write. On the plus side it’s a great time to use the present perfect continuous! Everyone’s routines have been turned upside down. Some people, especially in the medical profession, have been working flat out and having to deal with exhaustion, frustration and overwork. Other people have found themselves at home with nothing to do, or have found out that, in fact, it’s not their kids’ teacher’s fault that their offspring can’t do advanced calculus yet.

Whatever we are doing, we can all play a role in achieving the best possible outcome for all of us. Even us thumb twiddlers and Skypers stuck at home are stopping the virus from spreading. In true English style let’s keep our upper lip stiff, put the kettle on and look on the bright side of life. Worse things happen at sea you know! Enough idioms, it‘s time for some grammar.

Two weeks ago we found out that you can use the present perfect simple to show off. You can talk about your achievements, you can seek attention or talk about life experiences, as long as you don’t use a finished time, like “yesterday”. Let’s look at some recent achievements:

  • Scientist have cured two cases of HIV by using a stem cell transplant
  • For the first time ever, a non-English language film, “Parasite” from South Korea, has won best picture at the Oscars.
  • The number of Africa’s critically endangered black rhinos has risen by nearly 800 over a six-year period.
  • The fires in Australia have gone out.

With present perfect simple we are interested in the present result of the action: two people are free from the HIV virus, the Black Rhino is no longer in such danger of becoming extinct, Australia is recovering from the bush fires and you don’t have to speak English to win “best film”.

Present perfect continuous, on the other hand, does not focus on the result of the activity, but the activity itself. We can use it, for example, to talk about how people have been dealing with the business, venue and school closures in Zurich and abroad:

The present perfect continuous here doesn’t express a finished result. These activities are seen as ongoing and in progress from the past until the present. We don’t know if the teachers have finished their lessons or not, and it is possible that the lady from America has decided to stop making cakes, but that is not important in these sentences.

“Where’s the beer?” I hear you ask. Let’s have a look at the present perfect simple vs present perfect continuous beer demonstration:

Someone has been drinking my beer!!

(Photo by Michelle Riach from Pexels)

Someone has drunk my beer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Photo by Marcelo Chagas from Pexels

“Has drunk” means that your beer is definitely gone. “Has been drinking” means that at least some of the beer has gone. Maybe (but obviously not in the first picture) it has gone, but that’s not important. The horrifying fact that someone has been drinking your beer without your permission is the only thing you are interested in when you say “someone’s been drinking my beer!”.

A good clue that you can use present perfect continuous is if you can clearly see the results of the activity in the present.

In my flat the kitchen is sticky, I’m sticky, and feel strangely full, so I can say “My son has been cooking flapjack”.

The door handle of our flat keeps on falling off. I can say “I have been doing some DIY.

Native speakers usually use present perfect continuous when talking about “how long”. For example, “I’ve been writing this blog since the kids went to visit their dad”. The exception to this is if it refers to a state. For example, “I’ve been here for three minutes”, not, “I’ve been being here for three minutes”, and “I’ve known her for three years” not “I’ve been knowing her for three years” (Though of course we all know that stative verbs should generally not be used with continuous tenses *ahem*)

OOOooooo I could write about the present perfect continuous forever more, but I think that’s enough for now. It’s a difficult tense to pin down, because you can often use present perfect simple or continuous with a microscopic difference in meaning, if any. I have a feeling I might come back to it in the future.

Until next time, I wish you and your family good health and happiness, and don’t forget: If you leave the house, someone might decide to drink your beer. Don’t risk it!

See you soon!

Death and Americans: present perfect simple, part II

Soooo I promised you a part two to my present perfect simple blog post. Here it is, but you’re going to have to work for it. Look at these sentences:

  1. Queen Elizabeth the second is a wonderful leader.
  2. She has been an inspiration to the people of Britain for many years.
  3. She lived in Buckingham Palace in London.

So, everything OK here? Of course not! Number three is wrong. The Queen hasn’t moved house or sold up to go and live in the Bahamas. She lives in Buckingham Palace. It should be present, not past. What about here?

  1. Genghis Khan is a terrible leader
  2. He has caused many deaths across Asia.
  3. He was the first emperor of the Mongol Empire

Yes, you may think I’m going crazy here but: Number one? No no no, thankfully the “is” here is wrong. Genghis Khan was a terrible leader. It’s obvious! He’s not rampaging around these days. We have other things to worry about. What about number two? Trust me, number two is just as silly as number one! As soon as we use present perfect “has caused” we are saying the time period, his life, is still going on. With Queen Liz the second that’s fine. She is Queen now, so you can use has been when talking about achievements in her life like, “she has been an inspiration” because her life is in the present.

Genghis Khan is dead. This Emperor is no more! He has ceased to be! ‘he’s expired and gone to meet his maker! Hes a stiff! Bereft of life, he rests in peace! He’s off the twig! ‘He’s kicked the bucket, he’s shuffled off his mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-EMPEROR!! So his life is finished. Finished time, past simple not present perfect. Easy as that.

Many learners of English don’t understand the true scale of this kind of present perfect / simple past mistake. You just don’t talk about dead people’s lives using the present perfect. As soon as you say, “Elvis has sold a lot of records” your listener will think “Eh, Elvis back from the dead? I always knew he was chilling on the beach in Goa all this time.” “Elvis sold a lot of records” is the right grammar here.

So, that was death, how about the Americans?

Last week I said the present perfect simple has two different uses:

  1. To say “how long” something has happened for, (Something that starts in the past and continues to the present) for example: “I have lived in Zürich for 12 years”.
  2. To show off, for example: “We have made new jobs”, “I’ve broken my leg” or “I’ve written my tenth blog post.”

For use number two, Americans sometimes use the past simple when they consider the action to be finished. In order to make this past tense seem more recent they often add words such as “already”, “just” and “yet”.

For example an American might say: “Mom, I brushed my teeth already!” or “Did you put the trash out yet?” or “I just did my homework. Can I go play basketball with my homies?”.

Whereas a Brit would say: “Mother dearest, I have brushed my teeth!” or “Have you put the rubbish out (yet)?” or “I‘ve (just) done my homework. Can I go and play cricket with my chums?”

Americans do use present perfect like the British, like Trump in last week’s blog post, but they have this second option to use the past simple.

A short one this week! I’m gathering up strength for the present perfect continuous next week. I’ve been meaning to write that one for a long time! So be lovely to one another, have fun and see you then.

I’ve done it! -using present perfect simple to show off.

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Yes! I’ve done it! I’ve started the third month of my blog! Woo, go me! This week we’re looking at the present perfect simple TO SHOW OFF!

There are two reasons to use the present perfect simple

  1. To say “how long” something has happened for, (Something that starts in the past and continues to the present) for example: “I have lived in Zürich for 12 years”.
  2. To show off, for example: “I have started the third month of my blog.”

There are different ways to show off using the present perfect simple:

  1. Attention seeking: I’ve hurt my finger! I’ve broken up with my boyfriend. You’ve run over my foot with your car!
  2. Talking about achievements, (Look at me, aren’t I clever, fit etc…) for example: “I’ve just passed my driving test!”, “I’ve climbed Mount Everest! or “I’ve hoovered the floor, washed the dishes, made the dinner, fed the cat and put the bins out!”
  3. Talking about life experiences (when you don’t mention a time in the past): I’ve seen the milky way in Tanzania. My Dad’s met DJ Bobo. I’ve eaten crocodile flavoured crisps. I’ve seen a film in 4XD.

In these cases, by using the present perfect simple, (have/has + past participle) you are directing the listener to the present result of the completed action (what you, or others, have done or what has happened). You want the person you are talking to to be aware of the current situation. As always, here present perfect is making a connection between the present and the past.

In the film of The Lord of the Rings, Merry says “I think I’ve broken something” to make Frodo aware that he has a problem and needs help. Have a look!

Classic attention seeking grammar! The present perfect here, “have broken”, is used to make Frodo (or insert Hobbit name here) think, “Argh present perfect, what is the present result of this break? Do I have to carry the little ***** all the way to Mordor now”.

In the next video POTUS Donald Trump uses the “present perfect simple to show off” like a Boss. Everything’s great! He’s great, the economy’s great!!! He’s talking about his achievements. The connection with the present time (when Trump is in power) shown by the present perfect, makes clear that it’s all due to him and his minions. (The video is copyrighted by Bloomberg, so you’ll have watch it on the YouTube site, I’m afraid. It’s worth it!)

Here are some highlights:

“We have launched an economic boom. A boom that has rarely been seen before. There‘s been nothing like it!” “We have created 5.3 Million new jobs” “Unemployment has reached its lowest rate in over half a century”

In fact, he also uses the present continuous after this so that we really hear the present results of these achievements:

“Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades”

“The US economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office.”

So what about showing off about life experiences. Let’s ask these fine sailors…

“That’s got to be the best pirate I’ve ever seen!”

“I’ve ever seen” means, of course “I’ve seen in my whole lifetime”. If you are alive, which you probably are if you’re reading this, your lifetime is a present time, therefore you use present perfect when talking about experiences in your lifetime.

Here are some things I’ve done in my lifetime that I like to show off about:

  • I‘ve been to Norway
  • I‘ve never been to America
  • I‘ve drunk a Guinness, or two, in Ireland
  • I’ve shaken the hand of someone who has shaken the hand of someone who has shaken Snoop Dog’s hand.
  • I‘ve met the man who wrote the theme tune to Mr Bean, twice.

Watch out! As soon as you add expressions of past time to experiences, or suggest past time (for example last week, when I was 16, before I moved here etc…) you need to use the past simple. For example, “I went to India when I was 26.” I have a Quizlet about past and present time phrases here and another with some simple exercises with present perfect and past simple here in case you are unsure.

Oh! I guess there will have to be a part two. In part two of “using present perfect simple” I’ll write about:

  • How death changes everything (grammatically speaking)
  • Why the Americans have their own rules
  • Why newspaper headlines have their own rules
  • Why you shouldn’t get too specific
  • The answers to any questions you have

Please leave a comment, a question, a like, a follow, book a lesson or translation or just Netflix and chill -I can highly recommend “Better call Saul”

See you next week for some more present perfect simple.

Take care out there!

Sneaky commas and “that” or “which”?

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Hmmmmmmm……which one, “that” or “which”? Many thanks to Andrew for suggesting this one.

A warning first: We are getting into serious language nerd territory. It’s the kind of thing that native speakers get wrong all the time! *Cough*

It’s all about two types of relative clause. A relative clause is part of a sentence starting with “that, which, who, whose, whom, where or when”, for example: “The man who sold the world.” Here the word “who” links the two sentences, “The man” and “He sold the world”.

The first type of relative clause answers the question “which one?”, or “what kind of …?” This is called an identifying clause.

For example in the phrase, “The Hotel that you recommended”. The relative clause “that you recommended” answers the question “which hotel are you taking about?” and therefore identifies the hotel.

In the phrase, “My sister who lives in Canada” the relative clause “who lives in Canada” answers the question “Which sister?” and therefore identifies the sister. -It’s not the sister who lives in London.

The second, non-identifying clause, gives extra information. You don’t need to know this information to know “which one?” or “who?”, it just helps to build a better picture.

For example, in the phrase, “The Hotel Dolder, which cost us an arm and a leg …” you already know which hotel it is, it’s the Dolder in Zurich. Type that into google maps and you’ll find it no problem. The relative clause “which cost us an arm and a leg” just adds the extra information that you had to sell a kidney to stay there.

NOTICE THAT IN THE IDENTIFYING CLAUSE I USED “THAT” (The Hotel that you recommended) AND IN THE NON-IDENTIFYING CLAUSE I USED “WHICH”! (The Hotel Dolder, which cost us an arm and a leg) -Pardon me for shouting. This is the way things are done in English 99% of the time. (Not the shouting, the grammar bit!)

For the next part you really need to put your reading glasses on (40+ joke). In the phrase “My sister, who lives in Canada” The relative clause “who lives in Canada” is a non-identifying clause not an identifying clause.

Yes, Yes I know!! But have another look. There’s a comma! The comma is powerful, it is the Jedi Master of punctuation marks. It can change the whole meaning of the sentence.

In the phrase “My sister, who lives in Canada” The comma separates out the two parts of the phrase, “My sister” and “who lives in Canada” because they are two separate elements. “My sister” identifies who you are talking about, and “who lives in Canada” is extra information. You do not need more information to identify her, because who she is is obvious to the listener. Either she is the speaker’s only sister, or the speaker had already been talking about her. (Or it’s the sister no one talks about…)

In the phrase “My sister who lives in Canada”, “My sister” and “who lives in Canada” are not separated with a comma because they belong together. Both parts of the phrase identify who you are talking about. It’s the sister who lives in Canada, not the sister who lives in Mongolia! Because you need “who lives in Canada” to identify which sister it is, this means the speaker has more than one sister, and the listener needs more information to identify her.

Wrong placement of commas before relative clauses can be amusing for language nerds:

A:”My boyfriend who owns a Mercedes is coming to the party” B:”Come on! Can’t you get the one with the Lambourgini!”

Anyway, see you next week! Don’t forget to leave a comment or a like!

Take care!

“I’m lovin’ it!”, or: Why English teachers hate McDonalds.

I remember exactly when McDonalds adopted “I’m loving it!” as their slogan. I was working in Cologne. It must have been in 2001 or 2002. I was just coming home after a long day of teaching stative verbs, you know, the ones you can’t put in the continuous (to be/-ing) form. The verbs that describe:

The use of the senses
  • see
  • smell
  • taste
  • etc.
Communicating and causing reactions
  • agree
  • deny
  • surprise
  • disagree
  • etc…
Random things (those lovely exceptions)
  • belong
  • deserve
  • need
  • include
  • be
  • etc…
Mental and emotional States

Note that “love” is one of these verbs. Yes Ronald, you shouldn’t say “I’m loving it”, and you’re setting a bad example to the whole of the burger eating world by doing so! You could have been our saviour, providing an excellent example of correct grammar usage with: “I love it”, but no, it’s not enough that you destroy our health, you have to ruin the English language too.

Ok, maybe that’s going a tad too far. We’re all friends here, so let’s have a look at when, sometimes, you might, possibly have an excuse to add “-ing” to the end of some of these fine stative verbs, even “love”!

Of course, not all “-ing” endings mean it’s present continuous. It’s sometimes just needed after certain verbs.

  • I like eating burgers
  • I hate waiting for my Fillet o’ Fish
  • I understand being a clown makes you homicidal.

Present continuous needs “-ing” and “to be”, and means something that is going on now, and is temporary and/or changing.

  • Having given up on life this week, I am now exclusively eating fast food.
  • I’m getting fatter and fatter.

So, why would you want to put a generally stative verb into the present continuous? Watch out! these examples demonstrate, like McDonalds, colloquial, non-standard English, the kind your Mother warned you about, and can only be used with certain stative verbs in certain situations.

  • If you’re talking about the future: “I‘m surprising my mother with a party next week.” “I’m seeing my doctor on Monday”
  • For some reason: If you are a preacher in America’s bible belt. “Are you understanding me!”, “I‘m Believing God!”, “Are you feeling me!”
  • If you really, really, really want to make it clear that it is happening right now, and have no regard for standard English grammar. “Yes, I‘m agreeing with you! Can’t you see!”, “I‘m loving my English lessons with Sally“-Ahem!

Ronald Mc D, with his grammatically dubious statement, “I’m loving it!” wants you to believe the the person saying it doesn’t just generally “love” McDonalds, he or she is inside the McDonalds experience right now: is soaking up the amazing atmosphere, is tasting the delicious McDonalds delicacies, is joking with the jovial staff, is admiring the tasteful decor. -I should get sponsorship!- “Man this is amazing! Wow, what an experience! I’m loving it.”

Anyway, that’s it for this week. I’ve made it, and in the school holidays as well -I wonder what we should have for dinner… As always, please leave comments, suggestions, likes, loves, McDonald vouchers below and I’ll see you next week, if not before!

Those pesky exceptions: “all” and “every”.

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“Every breath you take…Every move you make…” oops! Back to those songs again.

This week my son requested that I write about the difference between “all” and “every”. Mistakes with these expressions are very common.

Quiz time. What words go here, “all” or “every”? Do you know the songs? -Watch out! It’s not as easy as it looks.

Song number one
Why do birds suddenly appear
All times/Every time you are near?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

Why do stars fall down from the sky
All times/Every time you walk by?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you                                                                     
That is why all/every the girls in town
Follow you all around
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you
Song number two
Loving you is a like a song I replay
All/Every three minutes and thirty seconds of all/every day (uh, uh)
And all/every chorus was written for us to recite (right)
All/Every beautiful melody of devotion every night
It's potion like this ocean that might carry me
In a wave of emotion to ask you to marry me
And all/every word, all/every second, and all/every third
Expresses the happiness more clearly than ever heard (uh)

You can check your answers here!

…and from 2.55

You probably found most of the choices easy. “Every” is used with the singular, “every breath you take”, “every time you are here”, “every second” etc, and “all” is used with plural and uncountable, “All the girls in town”. The one that causes all the problems is “Every three minutes and thirty seconds“. This is the rule breaker! three minutes is quite obviously plural. The thing is, you also use “every” when talking about frequency, or “how often” something happens.

“Every day” – Perfect! “Every three days”-Wonderful! “Every seven years” –Divine! Every 1 000 000 lightyears ” –Lovely! “Three things every three milliseconds” –Correct!

So, thanks Ferdi for your suggestion for this week. If you have any questions, suggestions or anything else, please let me know below. Have a good evening and a good week!