English vocabulary – “Qualify” (4 uses, 15 examples!)


The 2018 World Cup stared June 14th! 

Was the World Cup popular in your country?
Did you watch it?

2018 FIFA World Cup.svg

By Source, Fair use, Link
This week I want to teach you a word that we can use to talk about the World Cup.

This is an update of a blog post I wrote 
for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil!
I’m from Canada but now I live in Japan. Canada didn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup but Japan did. 
(Canada never qualifies 😭)


32 countries will participate in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. This means 32 countries qualified for the 2018 World Cup.

Let’s look at the verb qualify today:

Qualify has a few meanings. We will look at 4 of them in today’s post. Definitions updated with Oxford Learners Dictionaries
This is a great site for English learners and I use it
with all my students here in Japan.
 to give someone the skills and knowledge they need to do something

qualify somebody (for something) 
⟡”This training course will qualify you for a better job.”

qualify somebody to do something 
⟡”The test qualifies you to drive heavy vehicles.”


The test qualifies you to drive heavy vehicles
to have or give somebody the right to do something 
⟡”If you live in the area, you qualify for a parking permit.”
⟡”To qualify, you must have lived in this country for at least three years.”
⟡”I have lived in Japan for 12 years. I now qualify for permanent residency.” 
*permanent residency = permission to reside (live) in a new country permanently (forever)
I now qualify for permanent residency
to have the right qualities to be described as a particular thing
“It’s an old building, but that doesn’t qualify it as an ancient monument!”
*We can use the past participle of a verb as an adjective.
simple present – qualify
simple past – qualified
past participle – qualified
You often hear the adjective qualified used in natural conversation.
= having passed the exams or completed the training that is necessary in order to do a particular job; having the experience to do a particular job
“Dave is a native speaker with many years of teaching experience, he is a qualified English teacher.”
A: “What do you think of the president’s new import and export laws? Are they good for our businesses?”
B: “I don’t know very much about international trade law so I don’t feel qualified to comment.”
Confusing verbs (past tense) 
and adjectives.
A lot of my private students in Japan and online with Skype have some difficulty using these different word forms because the spelling is the same. Here is a simple rule for knowing if the word is being used as a verb or an adjective.
Verbs will (usually) come after a subject:
Morocco qualified for the 2018 World Cup.
My school qualified for the national championship tournament
Adjectives will (usually) come after the verb to be (and sometimes after an adverb)
⟡Bill and Mike are not qualified to fix hybrid car engines.
⟡Dave is a highly qualified English teacher.
⚽World Cup⚽
~ For competitions like the World Cup, qualify means to be of a high enough standard (level) to enter a competition
I’m from Canada but now I live in Japan. Canada didn’t qualify for the World Cup but Japan did.
My school qualified for the national championship tournament! I’m so excited!
⟡The International Gymnastics Federation has published a step by step guide on how to qualify for the 2020 summer Olympics.
So… Canada’s national soccer team is not at a high enough level to enter the World Cup but Japan’s team is. How about your country? Who do you cheer for? Tell me in the comments!

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