Fixed phrases:

Fixed phrases are an essential part of language learning as they will give the learner confidence to express their ideas in various ways. They are really useful for speaking and the learner will recognise them in both written and spoken language. In relation to exams they are essential for rephrasing exercises, for the First Certificate B2 and the Advanced C1. Learn how to use these fixed phrases in various situations so that you can use language in a flexible way.


Reason: saying why a situation occurs

We can simply use because/as/since + clause or one of these fixed phrases

Because of – I didn´t go out in the end because of the awful weather.

Due to – He was late for work due to the heavy traffic.

Owing to – I quit my job owing to the long hours.

On account of – I was fired from my job on account of my laziness.


Purpose: express the purpose of an action in these ways

So that – I want to make myself clear so that you can understand me.

In order – I am studying in order to get my degree.

(infin) – I do exercise daily to get fit.

For (+ing) – A corkscrew is useful for opening wine bottles.

For fear (that) – I wore a hat for fear of people recognising my black eye.


Result: express the result of an action with these phrases

Yet still – I am a hard worker, yet still I can´t seem to make progress.

So (+ adj + that) – My kids were so excited that I thought they would explode.

Such (+ adj + noun + that) – I am such a nice person that I have lots of friends.


Time: Use these present time clauses

We cannot use time phrases + modal verb, for example:

After I will go to the gym, I will eat a pizza.

Before – Before starting the course, you had better review the reading list.

After – After having read the reading list, you will be ready to begin.

Until/till – I didn´t realise that was the case until it was too late.

As soon as – As soon as you receive the confirmation, let me know.

As long as – I will carry on working here as long as they don´t reduce my salary.

By the time – By the time I had arrived, it was utter chaos.

Just as – The phone rang just as I entered through the door, much to my amazement.

As – As he was on the way back, he checked his emails.

Ever since – Ever since I found out that they had increased my rent, I haven´t been able to respect my landlord.

For ages – I have been learning foreign languages for ages.

While/whilst – While you were on the phone, I made the most of my time and washed up.

No sooner … than… – No soon had he arrived than he realised he made a huge mistake.

Hardly – Hardly had he begun the course when he asked for a transfer

Whenever – I get upset whenever anyone shouts at me.

Now that – Now that you have graduated, what do you want to do?



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