• Daniel Bullock

Beginner’s Guide to Grammar: “I've done” vs. “I'm done,” which is correct?


english grammar use, do did done, clean up, mop the floor, tidy up, cute clipart
I've done all the housework or, I'm done!


Both are correct in terms of English Grammar. The meanings are different, though. Read on to find out the details.



How are “I'm done” and “I've done” different?

“I’m done” stands by itself. English speakers say this when they are finished. For example, they finished writing an essay. When finished, they say “I’m done”.


“I’ve done” can only be used as part of a sentence. For instance: I’ve done three laps of the running track today. We can not just say “I’ve done”. We need to know what it is you have done (in this case, you have run three laps)


Here are some example conversations to show the difference between “I’m done” and “I’ve done”


Using “I’m done”

A: Hey Jake! Hurry up! We are going to the movie theatre, did you forget? Why are you still playing that video game?

B: Just a moment. Okay, I’m done.

A: It’s about time. Let’s go!

B: Sorry to keep you waiting.


Using “I’ve done”

man washing car in summer, daily chores, housework
The car? I've already done it.


A: I saw our car last night, it was really dirty. I think I should wash it this afternoon.

B: Oh, don’t worry. I’ve already done it.

A: Really? You're a star. Thanks!

B: No problem. It’s your turn next time!





How are “He said he will come" and, “He said he would come” different?


“He said he would come” is correct. Said is a past tense word and would also is in the past tense. Both words in the sentence need to be in the past. So, “he said he will come” does not work. We have a past/future conflict.


Here are some examples for clarity, notice the tenses are in agreement:


A: Where is Jason, I thought he was meeting us here?

B: I don’t know. He said he would come yesterday. Why don’t we give him a call?

A: Yes, that’s a good idea.


OR:

old couple in the park, sitting on the bench, talking, about their friend, book, coffee, handbag, greenery, friendly conversation
He said he would come, and I believe him. Tommy is a good guy.


Tommy is a guy we can trust. He said he would come, and he did. We can rely on him.





Are “everyday” and “every day” different?


The saying “everyday” is an adjective and is used to mean something is routine or ordinary. We use an adjective when we want to describe a noun (a thing, person or idea). Common collocations with everyday include: routine, lifestyle, work, life, chores, experiences, things, sayings, food and drink. Basically, anything you can imagine that is routine or normal can be combined with the word “everyday”.


Every day, on the other hand is an adverb and modifies an action. We used it to talk about how often we do something. Some words that fit naturally with every day include: walk, run, speak, go, read, watch and write. Whatever action you can think of that you do often, can be used with the phrase “every day”.


Look at these three examples and notice the difference in usage and meaning: Blue text signifies a noun, and purple text signifies a verb.


I tend to just wear everyday clothes to go to work. I am not interested in dressing really fashionably.

I go to work every day

I study English every day


Is the saying "Lately, I was missing you a lot" correct?


Some people do say this, even native speakers of English. However, it is grammatically incorrect. The term lately refers to something that is recent and ongoing. The term was refers to a past and finished event. So, these two words are not compatible in a single sentence. We would need to correct this to something like:


Lately, I have been missing you a lot.

OR

sad girl sitting, arms crossed, upset, missing someone
I have missed my friend a lot


I have missed you lately.

Notice that we used perfect tenses. These are structures that include the word have, had, and has. It is important to use these structures in order to convey time accurately. If we just said “I was missing you”, we do not have much information to consider. When was the person missed? We don't know. On the other hand, if we say: “Lately, I have been missing you a lot”, we have much more information. We know that it is a recent feeling, and also it has been continuing until right now.





We are reading "book": Is this correct?


This is not correct. The noun “book” needs to have an article. English articles are the words a/an, and the. It should read:


We are reading a book.

Also, we might want to make it a plural statement. The two people may be reading one book each, for instance:


We are reading books

Some more examples of correct article use are as follows:


We are looking at the view.

We are speaking to the English teacher.

He is looking at a cat.

She wants to buy a video game.

English articles


a

an

the


If you would like more information on articles, you can read an informative tutorial here.



When writing, is it correct to say “this” or “these”?

a bowl of fresh and ripe cherries by the pool in summer
These cherries are absoloutely delicious!

This is sometimes asked by my students here at Daniel's English Club. Both of these words can be correct, depending on the sentence. If the noun we are talking about is singular, we need to use this. If the noun we are talking about is plural, we need to use these. Here are some examples in a table of correct grammar usage:




This book is very interesting.

I bought this phone in Tokyo.

These books are very interesting.

I bought these phones in Toyko.


Also, it is useful to consider that, and those. They are similar to this and these, but they are referring to things that are far away. Here is another table to make things clear and simple:


Word

Singular (1) or Plural (2+)

Example sentence

This

Singular

What's this? It's a pencil!

That

Singular

Is that a boat in the distance?

These

Plural

What are these? They're markers.

Those

Plural

Can you see those people across the road?


Is my English right if I say: "I visit him today"?

This is grammatically incorrect. I visit him implies that it is a routine, habitual thing. But that can not be the case if it is happening today only. The way that a native speaker would say this is as follows:


I am visiting him today.

OR


I am going to visit him today

People may also use more casual ways to say the same thing. For instance:


I'll be visiting him today

OR


I'm gonna visit him today

So, as we can see there are multiple ways that we can say this sentence using correct English grammar.


I hope these English grammar tips have helped you with your English today. Don't forget, you can always check the Daniels English Club site for more help and advice on improving your language fluency. Have a great day!


Daniel