Conjunctions – introduction to compound and complex sentences

FANBOYS conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, soConjunctions – introduction

Whenever you want to show your proficiency in writing or speaking you should demonstrate that you are capable of writing longer, more complex sentences. It is not possible without a proper conjunction though. Putting two ideas from seperate single sentences into one sentence requires from writers/speakers to use conjunctions. Today, I will present the basic set of conjunctions to use to make logical connection between the ideas you want to sell. This basic set, often described as a mnemonic FAN BOYS, Continue reading “Conjunctions – introduction to compound and complex sentences” »

Recent changes on the site

Administrative notice

After one year of being inactive online it’s high time to take into military English business again. The site has undergone serious changes already. First of all, you will immediately notice a new look and a layout of the website. Now, the layout is responsive so it means that while browsing it on mobile devices you will see a device-tailored window. It’s more easy to browse now.

The troublesome audio files were rearranged too. The audio files are stored on Google Drive now so no more problems with playing recordings. You can either play any recording in a seperate window, either download it directly from the same window. The previous hosting and embeded player caused some users having problems. Now, your experience should be much better.

Due to SlideShare policy and technology implemented by this third party, users of Google Chrome cannot play slide show of the presentations shared on the site. Other browsers support SlideShare presentations so try them whenever you want to access those presentations on For those devoted to Chrome, there are links provided, leading to Slideshare website where viewing works well.

We hope you will enjoy a new, lighter and responsive website.

Stanag6001 team

Modal verbs

Modal verbs – a handy summary

Modal verbs are often troublesome to many students. First of all, you must rememeber that all but ought & have requireModal verbs in English - can, could, may, might, shall, should, must, have to, ought to, will, would no preposition with the following verb. Secondly, as it is true for modal verbs, they do not need any operators to create questions or negative statements. Although we have a small number of modal verbs they can express multiple states and intentions. Below I present almost all possible meanings they can bear in sencences. In my research for a good grammar explanation of modal verbs usage I found a perfect summary in Grammarway by Jenny Dooley and Virginia Evans. It is still available on Amazon. Just click the picture. Grammarway by Jenny Dooley and Virginia Evans
At some time of your English education you must  have come across one of the books attributed to these English gurus. The following theory was organized in the order they propose, but the examples are mine.

Below the article you will find a link to an interactive exercise on modal verbs. You can also download this exercise in .pdf format to print out and do at home.

Here is the list of meanings of any modal verbs you might use: Continue reading “Modal verbs” »

Adjectives and adverbs – usage

Reading comprehension test on level 2 according to STANAG 6001Last week I conducted a lesson where I tried to explain the difference in use of adjectives and adverbs and their changeable role in a sentence. Since I’m trying out some online apps, I decided to use HotPotatoes software to prepare an online exercise illustrating the different use of both parts of speech. You can download this exercise from the download manager below and/or do it here, online.

Adjectives vs adverbs

some theory prompts

Adjectives normally describe nouns or pronouns, e.g.

He is a good boy.

In case of verbs related to our senses, they may serve as adverbs as well and then they describe verbs, e.g.

Coffee smells good.

It sounded nice to the ear.

look, feel, be follow the same rule.

Exception: I’m so sick that I cannot taste well. (the act of tasting food, not a taste of food)

Averbs normally describe verbs, sometimes adjectives, e.g.

He was completely lost.

He performed well on the exam.

They may play the role of adjectives as well, e.g.

I do not feel well.

Adjectives or adverbs – exercise

Fill in all the gaps with the proper form from brackets. 

  1. They ____________ [logical / logically] defined the terms. The proposal sounded_______ [logical / logically].
  2. They __________ [quick / quickly] adjusted the fees. They adapted _________ [quick / quickly] to a new situation.
  3. He measured the distance ____________ [exact / exactly]. It proved to be a __________ [perfect / perfectly] exact measurement.
  4. The smell of the wound was ____________ [awful / awfully]. The wound was _________ [awful / awfully] infected.
  5. It was a dangerous area to cross. The crowd was _____________ [dangerous / dangerously] hostile and the napalm smelled ___________ [dangerous / dangerously].
  6. The cannonade sounds ____________ [beautiful / beautifully]. We heard it ___________ [perfect / perfectly] from the distance.
  7. The commander was a very __________ [sensible / sensibly] person. He acted very ____________ [sensible / sensibly].
  8. The student wrote too ___________ [slow / slowly] on the exam. He always writes _________ [slow / slowly]. I didn’t know he was that _________ [slow / slowly].
  9. Talk ________ [soft / softly] or don’t talk at all. The music played ________ [soft / softly].
  10. Jake knows the enemy very ______ [good / well]. He always commands us ______ [good / well].
  11. You must do the exercises _________ [regular / regularly]. Only __________ [regular / regularly] exercises can bring desired effects.
  12. The rifles were ________ [good / well]. The commander said that the training was _________ [good / well] done.
  13. He cleared the gun __________ [careful / carefully]. He was a very ___________ [careful / carefully] soldier.
  14. He did not pass the course as ___________ [easy / easily] as he thought he would.
  15. I find this exercise very ___________ [interesting / interestingly]. It was __________ [interesting / interestingly] designed.

Interactive version of this exercise is here. You can do that online and get the feedback instantly.
You can also download it with the answers from the box below.

Concise writing – wordiness and redundancy

Wordiness and redundancy

A writer must write concise sentences. Avoid wordiness and redundancies in your papers.Generally, when checking the students’ work I try not to interfere with their style. Simple eradication of errors is enough to make them perform much better. But sometimes you need to correct their style, especially when the better expressions save a lot of words thus fit all ideas into the words limit. Getting rid of so called wordiness and redundancy may work a dream and drop your words number from e.g. 100 to 80. Just enough to prevent you from receiving penalty points for excesive wording.

Wordiness and redundancy – how to avoid

Passive voice. First thing you can easily eliminate in your writing is the passive voice. Unless it is absolutely necessary (another example of redundancy) you should use an active voice to present your ideas.

Instead of “It is believed that the new solution may save millions of lives” we can say Continue reading “Concise writing – wordiness and redundancy” »

Kursy językowe według Stanag6001

NOTE: This article is entirely in Polish since it is addressed to the Polish audience. It deals with Polish institutions offering language courses according to Stanag6001. If you are still interested, use e.g. Google translate features for getting know the content.


Kursy językowe według Stanag6001

Niezależnie od tego, jak niefortunne jest to sformułowanie, większość kursów językowych przygotowujących do egzaminów resortowych MON, jest określana właśnie tym mianem: „Kursy językowe według Stanag6001”. Jest to termin mylący potencjalnie zainteresowanych tymi kursami, czy samych osób je organizujących. Samo porozumienie standaryzacyjne Stanag6001 nie określa bowiem ani jak ma wyglądać egzamin sprawdzający poziom znajomości danego języka, ani tym bardziej jak ma wyglądać sam kurs. Liczy się sam efekt końcowy, czyli czy student reprezentuje wymagany poziom znajomości języka, co jest główną i praktycznie jedyną treścią dokumentu, na który  wszyscy z rynku „angielskiego wojskowego” się powołują.

W Polsce, podstawą do organizacji kształcenia językowego i egzaminowania ze znajomości języków obcych w Wojsku Polskim jest parę dokumentów różnego szczebla. Od najważniejszych do pomniejszych można wyróżnić:

  • „Decyzja Ministra Obrony Narodowej nr 501/MON z dn. 29.12.2010 r.”
  • „Plan Kształcenia i Egzaminowania ze Znajomości Języków Obcych w Resorcie Obrony Narodowej” (na każdy rok kalendarzowy).
  • „Ramowy Program Nauczania Języka Angielskiego w Siłach Zbrojnych RP, Edycja III /Poziomy 1 -3 wg STANAG 6001” (Wprowadzony Decyzją Nr 28 Dyrektora Departamentu Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wojskowego MON z dn. 5 listopada 2009 r.)
  • „Ramowy i Szczegółowy Program Nauczania Języka Angielskiego w… [Rodzaj Wojsk]”. Każdy Rodzaj Wojsk opracowuje taki program dla podległych jednostek i zazwyczaj oddzielnie na każdy poziom znajomości.
  • „Regulamin Centralnej Komisji Egzaminacyjnej Języków Obcych MON”
  • „Regulamin Nieetatowej Komisji Egzaminacyjnej Języków Obcych” (reguluje sposób przeprowadzania egzaminów na poziomie 1 i 2 przez Dowódcę Generalnego Rodzajów Sił Zbrojnych, rektorów – komendantów uczelni wojskowych, Komendanta Głównemu ŻW oraz Dowódcę Garnizonu Warszawa, czyli osoby funkcyjne, którym Minister nadał takie uprawnienia w stosownej decyzji).

W moim zestawieniu nie wspomniałem nawet o samym porozumieniu, czyli „Stanag6001”, bo to chyba jest oczywiste. O ile pięć pierwszych dokumentów można odnaleźć w Internecie, to ten ostatni jest już wiedzą tajemną, tylko dla wtajemniczonych i bezpośrednio zainteresowanych. Dla lektorów języka angielskiego i studentów najważniejsze są Continue reading “Kursy językowe według Stanag6001” »