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So far David Horner has created 138 blog entries.

Phrasal Verbs – An Introduction

By Rob Lane Phrasal verbs are often frightening for learners. While they are commonly used by native speakers, learners have difficulty understanding and using them. A phrasal verb is a verb comprised of a verb and one or two propositions. James picked Sam up from the station. Joan is looking forward to her vacation. In the classroom, dictionaries, and textbooks, a broad definition of phrasal verbs is used. A more restricted definition does not include phrasal verbs that have a literal sense. [...]

By |2017-12-13T20:43:11+00:00July 2nd, 2014|English Language Club|


We are organising a fantastic social programme of activities and trips this coming July and August 2014.   Students will have great opportunities to make life long friends and experience the best of Dublin and Ireland.   Weekly activities include the Guinness Store House, Greyhound racing, Pub quiz , the famous Horner School Irish music nights and much more.    Full Saturday tours include the excellent trip to Galway City and the West Coast,  Glendalough Wicklow and the historical city of Belfas [...]

By |2017-12-13T20:43:09+00:00June 27th, 2014|Horner School News|

Inversion with Negative Adverbials

Inversion with Negative Adverbials By Rob Lane   Negative adverbials are words or phrases used to be restrictive, emphatic, or dramatic. They are used at the beginning of sentences and require one to invert the following subject and verb. Only then did I realise my error. Never before have I seen such beauty. Seldom do I eat fast food. Although more commonly used in written English, they are also used in spoken English. The most common mistake people make with these structures is to fail to [...]

By |2017-12-13T20:42:01+00:00June 12th, 2014|English Language Club|

Some and Any, Much and Many

How To Use Some and Any | Much and Many The differences between some and any, and also, much, many, and a lot, often cause difficulties for learners. These are examples of quantifiers. Although the rules are not complicated, there are a number of exceptions that can cause confusion. In this article, we will look at the rules for some and any and see examples to illustrate the differences and potential errors in use. This article looks at the basic usage of these words and so learners should a [...]

By |2019-05-22T22:54:13+01:00May 27th, 2014|English Language Club|

Wish and If Only

Wish & If Only By Rob Lane In an earlier post, we looked at the second conditional and saw that it is formed by using past simple in the conditional clause. This conditional is used for hypothetical ideas in present or future. In a number of structures in English, the past simple is used when we speak about hypothesis in present or future. The verb wish requires similar construction. If only can be used with the same structures. In this post, I will set out three commonly used structures wit [...]

By |2017-10-11T09:19:09+01:00May 8th, 2014|English Language Club|

Great Places to Visit in Dublin (Part 2)

Trinity College Dublin, only 12 minutes walk from the Horner School, was founded in 1594, under the reign of Elizabeth I and is Ireland’s oldest university. Famous students here have included scientists like Ernest Walton (Nobel prize-winner who split the atom), great statesmen like Edmund Burke and of course writers like Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett and Bram Stoker- (author of Dracula). The Museum Building and Dining Hall are both well worth seeing, as is the lovely Front Square [...]

By |2017-12-13T20:41:27+00:00May 6th, 2014|Hidden Dublin|

Great Places to Visit in Dublin (Part 1)

Dublin Zoo, in Phoenix Park, is the second-most popular visitor attraction in Dublin (only the Guinness Storehouse gets more visitors each year). The zoo was established in 1831, making it one of the oldest in the world. It has changed a lot since then, today, instead of iron cages, the animals are housed in large, natural- style enclosures. The zoo also does important breeding and conservation work for endangered species. Animals here include Indian Elephants, Lions, Tigers, Bears. The large Af [...]

By |2017-12-13T20:40:26+00:00April 30th, 2014|Hidden Dublin|

Comparison with Adjectives

Comparison with Adjectives by Rob Lane   In this article, we will look at some of the simple forms used for comparison. These patterns are rigid and learners must respect the pattern to avoid typical mistakes. Firstly, we will look at comparisons of similarity, and then comparisons of difference. Comparing difference is much more complex than comparing similarity so learners should be careful with the rules.   Comparing Similarity X (be) + as + adjective + as Y Tom is as tall as Sam. & [...]

By |2017-10-11T09:19:10+01:00April 24th, 2014|English Language Club|

Have Something Done

Have Something Done   In a previous post we looked at some standard passive structures. We saw that usually in a passive structure, the person who does the action is not mentioned. In this post we will look at two causative structures. These structures are used when someone employs another person to do an action. Today, I had my hair cut. Learners often have trouble with these structures because there are a number of structures which look similar. I will begin with the two main forms, some [...]

By |2017-10-11T09:19:11+01:00April 2nd, 2014|English Language Club|

Expressing Obligation

Expressing Obligation By Rob Lane   In the last post, I wrote about how ability is expressed using modal verbs and phrases. In this article, I will give an overview obligation. Obligation may be described as pressure on a person to do something or not to do something. There are strong obligations such as rules and necessities, and weak obligations such as advice. Obligations may be internal, from the speaker’s body or mind, and external obligations such as regulations. In this post, we will [...]

By |2017-10-11T09:19:11+01:00March 18th, 2014|English Language Club|

Expressing Ability

Expressing Ability By Rob Lane   Ability can be expressed using modal verbs and phrases.  Learners often prefer to use be able to because it is the easiest to form. As learners progress, they begin to use can, could, and managed to. It is at this point that learners encounter usage rules and often make mistakes. In this article, I will focus on the most commonly used modals for ability and the most typical mistakes. While the present forms are simple, the past forms have particular rules wh [...]

By |2017-10-11T09:19:11+01:00March 4th, 2014|English Language Club|

Tenses for Future

Tenses for Future by Rob Lane   There are a number of tenses used to speak about the future. Some of these are present tenses used with a future sense while others are specifically future only. Sometimes learners can be confused by the functions of each tense. This is not helped by the fact that some tenses share functions and so more than one tense may be used for the same idea. In this article, I will outline the main functions of the four most common tenses used for the future and compar [...]

By |2017-10-11T09:19:12+01:00February 18th, 2014|English Language Club|

Horner School Happy Video

The Horner School of English has been struck by a severe case of happiness.   Click on the link below to see some of the madness: Horner School Happy         Get in touch with Lisa at Google + to tell her if you think she has a future in the movie business.   [...]

By |2017-12-13T20:40:07+00:00February 10th, 2014|Horner School News|

Used to

Used to By Rob Lane In this article we will look at some structures that include used to.  Learners have difficulty with these structures, particularly to see the differences in function, and then in the application of structure.Because they are so similar in structure, you must take care with the to avoid confusion.   Structures and Function Subject + used to + verb Samuel used to be a mechanic. He used to repair cars. Subject + be + used to + noun/ verb-ing Damien is used to spicy food. H [...]

By |2017-10-11T09:19:12+01:00February 4th, 2014|English Language Club|

Conditionals – An Overview

Conditionals – An Overview   By Rob Lane     Hello and welcome to this week’s article. In this article, we will look at the conditionals in English. We will see five conditionals: zero, first, second, third and mixed. A conditional sentence is formed by a main clause (the consequence), a conjunction (if), and a conditional clause (the condition). Jim will go to the beach if it is sunny.   There are many possible variations of the standard conditionals. You should pay attention to the f [...]

By |2017-10-11T09:19:13+01:00January 21st, 2014|English Language Club|

Indirect Questions – Being Polite

Indirect Questions - Being Polite by Rob Lane Question formation is sometimes difficult for students and some questions require particular structures. In this article I will focus on indirect questions which begin with phrases such as could you tell me. We will look at a three part structure. A similar structure is also used for indirect statements and reported questions. This type of question is in the sections on Indirect Questions and Inversion in standard grammar and textbooks. There is a [...]

By |2019-05-22T23:19:22+01:00January 7th, 2014|English Language Club|

Passive or Active?

Passive or Active? By Rob Lane   This article focuses on general or standard passive structures. As masters of our own languages, we often use active and passive structures without thinking or understanding why. If you think passive is difficult, don’t worry, you probably use it and don’t realise. The first sentence people usually learn is I was born in + year/ place. Generally, active is more common. Although the structure is not complicated, it can be difficult to know when to use passive [...]

By |2017-10-11T09:19:13+01:00December 17th, 2013|English Language Club|

Top 5 Things to Do in Dublin This Christmas

Top 5 Things to Do in Dublin This Christmas: By David Horner Christmas Market in the Crypt of Christchurch Cathedral.  This will be the fourth year for this strange little Christmas market located in the atmospheric 12th century crypt of Christchurch Cathedral.  The market will operate on Saturdays (7th, 14th & 21st December) from 11.00 to 16.00hrs. The Crypt under the Cathedral is also filled with unusual artefacts from Dublin City. Christchurch Cathedral Christmas Carols at St. Patricks Ca [...]

By |2017-12-13T20:40:06+00:00December 11th, 2013|Hidden Dublin|

The Past – Which Tense?

The Past - Which Tense? By Rob Lane In this article, I want to give learners a summary of the past narrative tenses and how they interact. The focus is on the function, why we use them, as this is where learners generally have the most difficulty. Often, people study these tenses, practice them in grammar exercises but never become comfortable using them in real life. The question is when to use them. There are three key tenses: Past Simple Yesterday, Gustavo prepared dinner. Past Continuous Gus [...]

By |2017-10-11T09:19:14+01:00December 10th, 2013|English Language Club|