Monday, May 9, 2011

ESL Lesson: Common Expression 2

Choose the right expression.

How long does it take ________the nearest train station?

A. get to
B. to get
C. to get to
D. getting to

Please scroll down for the answer, after answering it on your own.

Choice C is the right answer.
How long does it take to get to the nearest train station?

This is a question from a TOEFL exercise. “To get to” is commonly used in speaking, but it’s not so good to use in writing.

It’s a waste of time to try to rationalize why this answer is the right choice. For fluent English speakers, we just immediately know the correct one because we’ve heard it a million times. We don't pause for two minutes trying to rationalize why we choose the words "to get to". The best way for you to learn this is to see or hear it a million times. Okay, maybe not that much. Here are some examples of sentences using “to get to”.

What bus do I need to take to get to Broadway?

What does it take to get to medical school?

How many fights does the boxer need to win to get to the top?

What kind of grades do I need, to get to Stanford?

I want to get to class on time today.

You need to go toward the light to get to heaven.

Note: I recommend you print and/or save this lesson in a folder. Review it once tomorrow, once next week, once next month, and once six month from now. If you do so, the correct use of this expression will be solidified into your brain.

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Copyright: © 2011. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at and

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