How one word can make you or beak you. Choose wisely.

Wow! Can you believe that January is nearly over already?
I cannot. Can. NOT!
Time sure flies when you’re having fun!
And I am!
Hope you are too, my dear!

Today I wanted to highlight the danger (OMG VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION COMING UP AHEAD) of using the wrong word after certain verbs.

For example, many clients of mine get this one wrong.
Do you know the difference between:

He stopped smoking.
He stopped to smoke.

Do you? Yeah, confetti cannon for you!
If not, let me explain.

If you stop DOING something, this means that you don’t do it anymore. If you stop TO DO something, this means you stop whatever you are doing in order to do something else. Big difference!

‘He stopped smoking an hour ago.’ – This is great news! This means that he doesn’t smoke anymore. (And if you, my dear, have actually stopped smoking recently, hit ‘reply’ and mail me back, and I will send you a shiny new toothbrush to celebrate your fabulous achievement. NO JOKE. I do this for all my students. I hope I get lots of mails and that my readers stay healthy!!)

‘He stopped to smoke an hour ago.’ – this means that he stopped what he was doing so that he could take a cigarette break.  Big difference, right?

Let’s look at another common mistake:

‘She must remember to call him.’
‘She must remember calling him.’ 

Do you see/hear/feel a difference here?
In the first sentence, if you ‘must remember to DO something’, this means that you haven’t done it yet. For example, I must remember to tell you how great you are at the end of this mail. Wouldn’t want to forget that!

In the second sentence, if you ‘must remember DOING something’, this means that you must recall doing it. You’ve already done it. It’s the complete opposite of the previous sentence.

If you’re dealing with a client and she asks you about shipping something, you can say ‘I remember sending it’ or ‘I’ll remember to send it’. If your client is waiting for her products, which one would she want to hear? (The first one. Believe me, never keep a woman waiting. Ever. Thank you.)

I hope this helps you when it comes to better communication in English. And speaking of communicating better, I’m going to announce a very cool March Masterclass very soon! Watch this space!

Oh, and by the way….you’re great!

Have a delicious Monday and I’ll see you next week!

With love,
Buffi x

PS: Songwriter’s Day is back! This is my way of giving back to new talent. It’s half-price lyrics and pronunciation private coaching sessions for emerging artists, on Feb 24th in Den Bosch. There are 5 places left (each session is 1 hour long and it’s one on one). If you’re interested, hit ‘reply’ and I’ll send you the info! Feel free to forward this mail to all the artists in your life! X

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