At the beginning of every year, people all over the world tend to make resolutions. This word means a promise that you make to yourself. It is common to hear people talk about their “New Year resolutions” like dieting, learning a new language, or getting a raise.

This year, my resolutions are to finish a book I have been writing, and to practice speaking French – which I learned in high school but haven’t used in fifteen years! I would also like to improve my photography skills. (You can see some of my photos at my personal blog.)

When talking about resolutions, we need to use future and speculative aspects of the language. Depending upon our level of certainty, we might say that we “will” do something, we are “going to” do something, or else that we “would like to” do something.

Let’s look at some examples:

  • I will take up tennis so that I can lose some weight.
  • I would like to read more books than last year.

We might also simple say what our resolution is, with a little explanation as to the purpose:

  • My New Year resolution is to lose some weight. I’m going to go on a diet and take up running.
  • My New Year resolution is to study harder. I’d like to improve my grades, so I will spend more time at the library.

You can also incorporate some speculative elements:

  • I really want to save more money. If I take a part-time job, I can put a little money aside each week.
  • My resolution is to be a more patient person. If I put myself in other people’s shoe, I will understand them better and not get so frustrated.

(That last expression, to “put myself in ___’s shoes” means to imagine another person’s experience and empathize with them.)

So, let’s practice! What are your resolutions for this year?