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


The 2018 World Cup started on 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 participle) 
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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