Whenever you want to study the material from a given Use of English exercise, it’s a good idea to write down the full expressions that are being tested or take note of the grammar rules involved. By “full expressions” I mean the sort of expressions that appear in dictionaries.

You can also try to start noticing these expressions while reading for fun (you won’t have time for that if you are reading an exam Reading exercise). A word of caution though – you still need to read the types of texts that appear in the exam, i.e. mainly serious newspaper articles. A great source is The Guardian online.

First, let’s see how it is done with a normal text. At some later point, I’ll post about how to do it with Use of English exercises.

Here’s an article from The Guardian followed by my notes:


“New albums from some Universal Music artists will be available only to premium Spotify subscribers for the first two weeks of release, the two companies have announced. The deal means that for the first time ever, users of Spotify’s ad-supported free tier will not have access to the full catalogue of music on the streaming service. Instead, they will have to choose between paying up – the paid-for tier begins at £9.99 a month – or waiting another two weeks. Universal Music artists include Beck, Lorde, Katy Perry and Kanye West, as well as thousands of others. The streaming service says that artists can choose whether or not windowing applies to their work. The move, first rumoured in March, sees Spotify abandon its long-held stance that all music should be available to free subscribers, to encourage more people to sign up and then potentially convert them to a paid subscription down the line. Daniel Ek, chairman and chief executive of Spotify, said: “This partnership is built on a mutual love of music, creating value for artists and delivering for fans. We will be working together to help break new artists and connect new and established artists with a broadening universe of fans in ways that will wow them both.” Lucian Grainge, chairman and chief executive of Universal Music Group, said: “Today, streaming represents the majority of the business. Our challenge is transforming that upturn into sustainable growth. In a market this dynamic, one evolving more rapidly than ever before, success requires creative and continual re-evaluation of how best to bring artists’ music to fans.” Spotify’s largest competitors, including Apple Music and Tidal, do not have free tiers though both services allow time-limited free trials.”

1. release and rumour (noun = verb)

2. bla bla bla, someone have announced.

3. something happens for the first time ever

4. at £9.99 (the preposition used with prices is “at”)

5. x, y, z, as well as bla bla bla. (list-making)

6. to be able to choose whether or not + a sentence/ infinitive

7. broaden (verb), broad (adjective)

8. growth (noun), grow (verb)

9. competitor, competition, to compete

10.  though = although (but can be used at the end of sentences, too)

Now, if you have a well-organised notebook, you can copy the above expressions and structures into different sections:

word building: 1, 7, 8, 9

linking or writing: 5, 6, 10

tenses (Present Perfect): 2

time expressions: 3

prepositional phrases: 4


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s