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88 Boulevard Bernardo Quintana
Santiago de Querétaro, Qro., 76050
Mexico

(442) 223 8999

United English is Queretaro's best English school. Learn with native and certified teachers and a flexible schedule. Fluency starts in 12 months after beginning Starter level. We use TOEIC exams to test levels. Somos expertos en inglés de negocio. Tenemos un horario totalmente flexible y todos nuestros instructores son nátivos y certificados.

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United English Blog

Videos, News, Articles and more...

Must vs Have to

Dave Cook

When do we use have to and when do we use must? How about have got to? Or even gotta? Normally when we learn these two words, we are told that they mean the same thing - but is this really true? Let's investigate...

Must not vs Don't have to

It is true that must and have to mean similar things, however when we add a not the differences start to appear. Must not means that an action is prohibited, whereas don't have to means that something is not necessary. For example:

  • You must not eat in class.

  • You don't have to wear a uniform

Spoken and written English

 Instances per million words in the British National Corpus

Instances per million words in the British National Corpus

This graph represents how common have to, must, have got to and gotta are in a collection of examples of British English. We can very clearly see that have to is much more common in spoken English and must is more common in written language.

Collocates

Collocates are words which are commonly used together. If two words have the same meaning, you would expect them to be used alongside similar words. For must and have to this is true in most cases, but the few differences are interesting.

Have to

The following verbs appear with have to but not with must or have got to.

  • face

  • deal

  • rely

Farmers have to deal with all these challenges. 
Well, we all have to face the reality that coherence starts at home.
Students and professionals who have to rely on their pens. 
(Examples found on linguee.com)

These examples are all referring to general situations or obligations from external sources.

Have got to

The following verbs appear with have got to but not with must or have to.

  • watch

  • pick

  • sort


Look grandpa, you've got to watch her!
He has got to pick up the goods and the costs for the empty container return.
We've got to pick up Diana as well.
(Examples found on linguee.com and the British National Corpus)

In these examples, we can see that there is either a direct order or a more specific obligation than in the examples for have to.

Summary

In short, these words have very similar meanings, however there are some general differences to remember to use them more naturally:

must

  • Is much more commonly used in written language

  • Is more formal

have to

  • Is the most commonly used option

  • More frequent in spoken English

  • Can refer to obligation caused by external sources or situations

have got to

  • The have is almost always contracted (I've got to, She's got to etc)

  • Almost never found in written English

  • Refers to a direct order or a specific duty

-Dave Cook

Want to speak English effectively? Fan of video games? What do they have in common?

Chris Thompson

The answer? Focus and confidence. This great TED Talk by Marianna Pascal entitled 'Why you should speak English like you're playing a video game' explores the idea of language being a tool for communication rather than a subject you have to learn. Marianna says the focus has to be on effective communication rather than perfection.

'English is not an art to be mastered, it's just a tool to use to get a result.'

Check it out.

Class gallery

Chris Thompson

At United English, we pride ourselves on giving meaningful, interesting and dynamic classes to our students. We know that sometimes learning a new language can be tough, especially after a hard day's work at the office, so we try to make it as fun as possible for everyone (including the teachers)!

Here are two of our top teachers, Dani and Lisa, having a great time in class with their students.

Getting past the plateau

Chris Thompson

This post is for students who are finding it difficult to make the jump from Intermediate to the Advanced levels.

This is a very common problem in language learning, and is often referred to as the 'plateau'. It happens when a student progresses to a certain point but then has trouble making the jump to the next level. It can happen at many stages along your language learning journey, but it is most common at the intermediate level.

Check out this video from BBC Learning English for some helpful tips on how to push past the plateau and make it through to the advanced levels.

The best way to learn new vocabulary

Chris Thompson

Do you have trouble learning new vocabulary? Does it sometimes seem like it's just too much? Well, here is one top-tip that could really help you to start expanding your vocabulary bank. And this works in any language - not just English.

As explained in this article, the key is to focus on language 'chunks' or common phrases, and experiment with using them in different situations.

Why not try it out using the vocabulary from our new Telephone Language infographic? We're sure you'll start seeing the benefits soon!

 

The benefits of a bilingual brain

Chris Thompson

There are plenty of obvious benefits to learning a new language: better professional opportunities, being able to communicate when you travel, getting the opportunity to study abroad. But did you know that it can actually change how your brain works? Watch this video to find out some of the interesting benefits of being bilingual.

Student Satisfaction Survey Results 2017

Chris Thompson

We have now finished compiling the results of our most recent satisfaction survey.

We would like to thank all the students who took the time to complete the survey. This gives us invaluable feedback and helps us to keep improving our service.

Check out the results here. To download the PDF click on the button below.

New Teacher - Kirsten Greener

Chris Thompson

This year we welcomed our newest teacher, Kirsten Greener, to United English. In just a few short weeks Kirsten has already proven to be an invaluable member of the team, much liked by both students and teachers. Welcome Kirsten!

Kirsten pic.jpg

Kirsten says: “I joined United English at the beginning of January after teaching in Turkey, Italy and Vietnam. I’d always wanted to work in Mexico and, finally, the chance came at around Christmas time. I love the food, music, culture and the people - and my plan is to try and learn Spanish while I’m here.  I come from Newcastle in the northeast of England, a large city famous for its football team and for Greggs, a bakery with branches all over the UK.  I love teaching and studying language and, particularly, I love the process of working out how to best explain something in the classroom.  The best feeling is when you know a student has understood and can use what you’ve been trying to teach - you really can’t beat it!”

United English is very proud of our dedicated team of teachers and is delighted to welcome Kirsten into the fold. Thank you Kirsten for bringing your experience and passion to the school. A big welcome from us all!

Fluency Course & New LMS

Michael Rowley

Have you reached the Advanced Level? Do you want to continue and polish your skills?

Finally, we will be offering a fluency course for our students that reach the end and want to keep going, if only to get better and better.

Proficiency

Proficiency is a better word for the course than fluency really. Because we are aiming on polishing just that. Our students´ proficiency. This means looking at fluency of course (speaking faster, less hesitation, etc) but also expanding vocabulary, grammatical flexibility and listening ability.

Coming in January 2016

New LMS

Learning Management System is what the above acronym stands for. Currently, our system supports nearly 2000 users and is due an upgrade. The new system will boast a points system to keep students motivated and better scoring to report to our clients.

Coming in February 2016